So goes hopes for a predictable season when heat has abated and what counts as normal could return...
how banal one's hopes can seem these days.
Many my thoughts still focus on the uneasy transition between so called rural and urban life - i.e. travel between small town Montana (largest city that is) and the paradoxical place that is Washington DC. How same and how different the two can be. A Native American (Crow) artist named Ben Pease, speaking recently at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, described Billings as a 'border town, ' representing a clash of cultures between the two worlds. His talk was on how much art and culture are related but seldom considered in that light. The importance of images and their influence in our lives. The border, of course, between life then and now, when there is a revival of interest and consternation over the past existence of schools on or near reservations intended to try taking the 'native' out of young children and turning them into what passed as 'regular people, stripped of their cultural background.
A more than slight change of subject. To wit: the curious palavering involved in getting some straight answers on minor health matters (which, to some in other circumstances, might seem major). A late night barefoot run-in with a very solid chair leg produces a broken baby toe. It wiggles quite a bit and starts to swell. Still, I can sleep and desperately want to do so in spite of the ache that can seem like pain depending on my position in the bed. I forget that I should immediately surround the feckless bone with ice and keep doing so on days to come. But tomorrow I am hosting a neighborhood backyard 'get to know each other' party and by no means can I not be on my toes, so to speak (literally and figuratively).. The event, held during one of the record heat days, goes into twilight to take advantage of the absent sun. A slight breeze comes up. Cleaning up afterwards takes energy and action so the toe is left to worry about itself.
Online I see little can be done, or so I read: little toe has to be taped to its 'buddy,' neighbor, which doesn't appear very solid itself. Still, I mostly ignore what I now surround with the tightest sandals in my closet. Only later does it occur to me to think there might be complications. Medstar Urgent Care is not far away. I have left a message for my primary care doc whose nurse repeats what online med web sites tell me: not much can be done unless a metatarsal might be involved. (The slim vital connecting link to the rest of the foot.) But how would I know unless I went for an Xray, and so back and forth. Three days later I'm in the waiting room, then on the X-ray table, then awaiting diagnosis, which seems not to show terrible news. At least I read it that way: there has been no 'displacement,' I read in between the jargon of health care reporting. Which I take to mean not too complicated and maybe even a clean break. I send a copy off to the portal where I expect my doctor will see it and might even respond.
No such luck. I buy more tape and even gauze because it looks good - like I should be cosseting the digit more respectfully. I find that I can easily tear the tape by hand (after struggling with scissors) and can even try this late in the day to soothe it with more ice. Even at night: a cellophane wrapper holding ice that inevitably leaks onto the bed. The Urgent care center calls twice - two different people - reminding me that I have been referred to as osteopedic doc. I hold out for simpler solutions and instead keep a boot on my foot, as it seems I saved this awkward man-size (seemingly too large for my thin foot) device from another such accident several years ago. Yes, Medstar has the record on that. But didn't I manage then not to overdo any invasive action - on the advice of another osteopedic doc.. And didn't I survive in fine shape, so much so that I am now a walking fool - so that I could survive a pandemic by strolling/hiking miles a day outside?
All of this to say how I was eager to test the latest medical experience - recent CDC advice to sign up for free government Covid tests (noting expiration dates may not be important, depending.) and could do so by ordering them online (as long as I am an individual and not a company) or by calling an 800 number. The latter is what I choose, considering it the ultimate test of this behemoth's efficiency ( and in view of the fact that distribution of the latest CDC recommended vaccine booster is apparently mired in confusion.) Hah - and hooray. I'm delighted to say the robotic voice completed the job by phone, enough so that I have tracking info, expecting the goods in less than a week's time. An (almost) done deal.
Well, what do you know...