take it from me: growing old isn’t child’s-play… not by a long shot.
i was about to start training with a new trainer – you know, trying to jumpstart a new body after binneland. however, once he took my blood pressure (repeatedly), he declined to train me without a letter from my doctor.
i was thoroughly annoyed.
throughout my life, my BP has been either normal, or low. in fact, when i saw my doc for the flu about a month ago, it was perfectly normal. obviously these readings were an abberration…
so, i reluctantly made an appointment with my gp who’s been my dr for years now, and had a ripley’s moment… my BP was still through the roof and way above the norm for me.
fast-forward: instead of being at the gym working on chiselling out a new body, i was being fitted with a 24-hr blood pressure monitor. let me tell you, i don’t wish that thing on anybody. it measures your BP every 30 minutes with an uncomfortable, vice-like grip. i felt like my arm would explode like those over-ripe zombie-heads on “the walking dead”. today my arm is numb and sore and i’ve officially been relegated to the over-the-hill crowd with once-a-day BP meds. my BP is fracking me!!!
and now i’ve spent the equivalent of the trainer’s fee on medical stuff in any case. damn, as i said on fb earlier tonight,
“wouldn’t it be fabulous if age came only with wisdom, experience and knowledge and none of the atrophy that is so determined to turn us into dust?”
because i’m starting to feel decidedly like i’m crumbling… and this atrophy is certainly not “a trophy” i want on my shelf.
“i’m not a doctor, i just play one on tv,”, is a tag-line popularized by a series of american commercials.
(some famous tv doctors)
well, seeing that i play a doctor on tv, each time i’m ill is an opportunity for research. i check out the doctor’s office and bedside manner, looking for tips to make my portrayal more believable.
today’s doctor, though, is not someone i’d like to emulate for my character; bored, disinterested, reading her paper on a messy desk, eating, more interested in a previous conversation with the nurse. not an ounce of empathy.
i try to pick up what i can, but i’m not really interested in being a “method actor” – there are other ways of being believable – so right now there’s way too much of a parallel between shooting scenes of my character getting sick and feeling this miserable myself.
at least the day is looking up. the runner picked up my meds for me (i’m not even going to go into what this is costing!) and the publicist managed to get the magazine shoot postponed. it still feels like i’m swallowing rocks, and we’re running about 2 hours behind schedule in the studio, but at least i can go straight to bed from here.
ok. at this point i’m feeling very sorry for myself.
before i went to bed last night, i gargled with warm salt-water, i cooked with as much garlic as i could stand, echinacea’ed as much as i could, went to bed by 9 and slept for at least 10 hours.
woke up feeling miserable. throat full of razor-blades, lungs on fire and full of gunk, lymph nodes painfully swollen, my face feeling as tight as that character from the movie “brazil”, though thankfully no longer raw.
no kidding - it feels like that.
angi puts on my make-up and my skin feels thick, my face a bit more swollen than yesterday. it feels like she’s applying my make up through cardboard. i see some hyper-pigmentation forming along my jawline. i have a lot more thoughts about his micro-laser-peel, but more about that at another time.
i rush back over to the work doctor before my first scene and she diagnoses me with pharyngitis – an upper respiratory infection. my system seems to be in shock. i get another script for antibiotics. i foresee more gymnastics for my credit card, but at this point i’ll do anything to feel better.
oh, and i have a magazine photo shoot this afternoon as soon as i finish shooting my scenes for the day. yeah. right.
oh woe is me.
day 6 since my micro-laser peel. yesterday i leave on the bismuth subgallate all day. i take the pulmison (south african version of prednisone) yesterday morning, last night and again this morning. when i wake at around 4a.m. after nearly passing out on a combo of dormicum to sleep and cough syrup which i’ve taken to ease my burning lungs, i can see that the swelling has gone down considerably.
after my shower. the area under my eyes starts drawing really tight and i reapply some vaseline.
i wait till i get to work, before i wash off the rest of the yellow powder and vaseline. everything looks much better, but there’s still a certain amount of crustiness. i’m feeling extremely shaky and my lungs seem to be sand-papered.
angi works wonders on my face. she sprays opsite around my eyes to protect against infection and then very carefully applies my make-up. there’s still a certain amount of crustiness, but it’s well disguised. i’m still somewhat moon-faced, but it’s so much better than i could have hoped.
i look different, somehow, but not that bad.
it actually doesn’t look bad on screen. fortunately my scenes aren’t that long and my character is supposed to be getting ill. the problem is that my throat is starting to hurt like hell, i’m starting to hack, my lungs feel scorched and i’m feverish. for real.
i think it’s taken my last reserves to heal from this infection and the flu which never quite went away, is back with a vengeance.
now i’m in the green room waiting for my next scenes – i’m trying to dose myself to the gills with degoran, echinacea and vitamin c to boost my immune system.
“this too shall pass, ” i keep telling myself. i’m so tired of being sick. i set the intention that my body may heal. now i wait.