Well, the staples are out. I was nervous about having the home physical therapist remove them this morning, and armed myself with pain meds and ice at her suggestion before she got here. But it was really nothing. The big news is that I'll be able to take a shower tomorrow! My father is beginning chemotherapy for his colon cancer beginning on Monday, and today he had a stent inserted into his chest in preparation. He has to go through both chemo and radiation simultaneously for 5 weeks, but the thing that concerns him the most is not being able to shower for the entire 5 weeks. I can understand. In our modern culture we've gotten used to, and taken for granted, being able to jump in the shower everyday. Our forebears had no problem with sponge baths with a pitcher and basin, and I've lived in ashrams and have experienced very austere and simple living conditions that did not include long, hot, luxurious showers. But I confess, I'm completely spoiled and am looking forward to an actual shower and being able to wash my hair inside the bathtub instead of standing outside it and creating a flood zone in the bathroom.
A few years ago I was turned onto the miracle of epsom salts baths, which I wrote about in an earlier post. I'm jumping into one of those as soon as possible too. The other thing I recently discovered was using milk of magnesia as a deodorant. It's amazingly effective and safe to use. I put some in a little spray bottle. This helped a lot during this bath-less time.
I'm listening to a recording of Telesma's December 20 concert with Alex Grey in Baltimore. We are making a live album from the concert, as well as a DVD. The band members are all listening to the tracks on our own to decide which songs to include. I put off listening for days after Jonesy brought me the CDs of the rough mixes because I was afraid of what I might sound like. I was in so much pain at that point I had to lie down all day in preparation, go to the sound check, and then go back to our rehearsal space to lie down until we went on. I had just gone to my surgeon the day before and found out that my hip was near collapse and I was really in no shape to stand up and sing for 2 hours! But I'm surprised that the mixes sound great. It's always amazed me over the past 4 years of dealing with performing while being in pain that I can be in so much pain that it's difficult to climb the stairs to get onstage, yet once we get going, I feel no pain whatsoever.
I remember Adrian driving me home that night and I was feeling so much better after the concert than I had before. Singing is a wonderfully healing thing. I never knew where I was going to get the energy to sing for hours when I could find very little strength to do even ordinary things during the last several months, mainly after my car accident in May, when my health went into a steady decline. But I would always avail myself to whatever power comes when I perform, and try to allow it to flow through me. It's not that difficult to do when performing with Telesma because there are so many musicians doing so many amazing things and I let myself plug into that. It's sometimes more difficult when I'm doing a solo/duo show and my mind can think of many distracting reasons why I should get in the way of that flow!
Wait a minute -- I take it all back. I'm listening to a improv piece now that sounds like I'm a wolf howling in pain in a questionable key. That track is definitely not going on the album. I've been singing while I walk back and forth on my walker several times a day. It makes it more fun, the dog tolerates it and maybe I'll get myself back in musical shape as well!