connect the dots

by bam

ohhhhh, i said to no one in particular, as the parade of red spots made itself most apparent, marching boldly down my thigh. now i get it. now i know why, all week, i was having visions of my bed. with me very much flung upon it.
it appears that i’ve been shingled. by now, up and down my whole entire leg, the one that’s walking rather stiffly, as if it were a peg and i was pirate peet.
it had started days before. i’d been in a blur all week. but, until now, there’d been no spots, no way, no how, to connect the dots.
when i awoke on saturday i thought there was something burning on my thigh. first it tingled, then it stung. then it started moving. not one to mess around with mamby-pamby dramas, i went straight for melodrama. i am good at melodrama. been at it all my life.
i decided before the sun was high that i had a little traveling blood clot, oh yes i did. (feel free to click me off at any time if you, rare thing, have no hypochondriacal tendencies; but if you too make mountains out of molehills, read along, misery does love company.)
i kid you not, by the time i tiptoed up to bed, my left thigh burning deep within, i kissed my children extra hard, whispered words that i would want them always to remember.
as i cast myself upon the sheets, every bit tallulah bankhead, i swiped my brow, i uttered this: “this might be it. good night.”
my sweet beloved mate, he humors me, and plays along, groaning only sometimes. when i awoke on sunday, he rolled over, remarked, chipper as all get out, “well, well, look who did not die.”
close call, said i, as i rolled right out of bed. achy. limping like old rhymes-with-tart.
i made my way through sunday, stumbled through all of monday.
by now, i tell you, i had all but given up the ghost. i was feeling crummier than crummy, my thigh, my middle, all felt as if on fire. but there were no red dots, nothing to connect. so i just decided i was weary. worn out from month of may.
and then at last on wednesday, when either disc had slipped and sciatic nerve was making like a lightning strike, or i was going nuts, the little dots at last popped out. phew and phew and phew.
it was, it is, a blazing case of shingles.
praise the lord for neighbors down the block who took the med-school route. my beloved doctor friend, a mother of five when not diagnosing spots, came running to the rescue, made a real live house call, she surely did. took one look. consulted anatomic chart. pronounced it time to get the super meds.
next morning my back-up doctor called, the one who’s not yet realized how convenient it would be to move into the ‘hood. she told me many things, but the one i liked the best was this: dave letterman, one of my nighttime heroes, or at least he was, last time i bothered to turn on the tube, was off the air for three whole weeks with shingles on his face.
youch. i doubt my little dots will keep me from anywhere. certainly not from here, since they’re not on my typing fingers. not yet anyway. if there comes a loud silence from the chair, just know that i am upstairs trying to make these dots somehow disconnect.
but while i’m here, as long as i am typing, what of the human mind that zigs and zags on its way to making sense? how often in our lives, before we see the truth for what it is, do we read all sorts of plots into what’s not truly there?
what a treasure it would be if we could simply let the story line of life unfold as is, without mucking up the works, making melodrama where there are only dots. waiting for the wisdom that will connect them, dot to dot to whole clear picture.

do you sometimes draw lines from A to G to R before returning simply to letter B? does your head go wild places as you wait for what’s unfolding? and by the way, anyone have a shingles tale to tell. my doctor told me everyone’s got one. i had none ’til now. and i’ve just told you mine, so now it’s your turn…signed, spots…

oh, deary me, in my spotted-ness i nearly forgot to say: the most blessed of birthday wishes to the magnificent and uber-wise jan oh jan. tomorrow is her day. but today is of course the launch pad. for the richness she brings to all of life, and to the table, we hold her up. in highest honor. with much love. may we grow to be as wise as you someday….