31 March 2011

The body electric

It was an electrode kind of day.


The physical therapist stuck them around my knee, trying, I suppose, to awaken the dead muscles there. I could feel the current through various muscles in my thigh...until it came to a dead stop on the inside of my knee. Nothing. Just nothing.

It was warm enough today that I could have worn shorts to PT, but I am embarrassed by the atrophy, which is quite noticeable, through my thigh, knee and calf. It's even evident when I wear jeans--rare enough because they irritate my back.

After yet another killer workout (some of the elderly patients look at me with a kind of horror when I'm doing bridges and lifting weights simultaneously--something along the lines of "they're not going to make me do that?"--but my therapist pushes me hard), the therapist told the assistant to hook me up to more electrodes. "Captivity!" she sang out because it's hard to keep me sitting quietly for the 10 minutes or whatever it is that they ice my back and send current through those muscles. Sometimes, I just run out the door, waving, with a half promise to ice my back at home.

(As if.)

Driving home, I cancelled plans to make a bank run and a store run. It was already hot (we are supposed to hit 90F today), and whenever there is a change in the weather here in the LA area, people get crazy in their cars. Which was brought home to me again as I passed a horrific accident at an intersection I'd been through only 90 minutes before. Fire truck, ambulance, scattered car bits and puddles of liquid, mangled cars and people standing on the corner, heat shimmer rising from the pavement. A chill of distress shot up my spine, electric and tingling, as I crawled past the wreckage in a street that had been pristine just a little earlier this morning.

A few minutes later, turning into my cross street, I saw more emergency vehicles, lights blazing, and a flat bed tow truck, along with a pick up truck. Lined up against the wall were car seats and gardening equipment and other items. I didn't see evidence of an accident and wondered briefly as I carefully passed if this was some sort of a bust. I've seen more reports of burglaries and attempted burglaries of late.

I pulled into my own cool and dim garage with a certain amount of gratitude. Behind me, a plane glared and shone in the sun, roar of engines loud as it headed toward the airport. The air outside was hot and fraught with electricity.

Go listen to some good music: "The Body Electric" from the album Grace Under Pressure by Rush.

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