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Birthday girl

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It’s my birthday today. I always start the day noticing what I hoped to have figured out by this time that I haven’t yet (a few things on the list appear every year). By the end of the day, after talking to whichever friends call (or whom I manage to call), I can notice the things I’ve tried that worked and the things that didn’t but that I learned from.

The biggies this past year include doing a few poetry readings (with poems I wrote this summer), going on a few dates, taking IV antibiotics, getting more in charge of my Lyme recovery plan with a notion that I can fully heal, going to a Lyme Disease support group, and writing a bunch in my novel. I also got on a plane this year (more than once) for the first time after 3 years in bed. Those are big for me. I’m hoping to do a lot more this current year.

Today was one of the weather days that I hate. As the barometric pressure fluctuates and the temperature and humidity bounce around, my joints scream. Despite the pain, I spent several hours today handwriting the next 20 (4″X6″) pages of my novel. That was the perfect way to welcome the next year of my life.

Imagining what the coil machine does

I’ve been thinking about what a coil machine does. I have a thoroughly misleading, pseudo-scientific, but highly visual way of understanding what happens. Bacteria vibrate. Anyone who has had their petri dish contaminated by bacteria can tell you that live bacteria vibrate. The way I understand a coil machine works is to set it to vibrate at the same frequency as the bacteria. The waves from the coil generate forced resonance. Basically, the bacteria vibrate at greater and greater amplitudes until they rupture, or to give you the exact image in my mind, explode. I like to think about the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge to illustrate my point. (That wasn’t purely forced resonance, there is some engineering term about strain to describe it more precisely, but it shows you what I’m talking about. It is the only thing I learned in fifth grade science class that I can remember in detail. Maybe that’s because it applies so perfectly to other situations in life, like killing Lyme bacteria.)

I’m itching (not literally) to get back to the coil machine. My joint pain has crept into additional joints. My ears hurt and the familiar abdominal pain has returned. (Not to be confused with the kidney related abdominal pain.) If I’ve learned anything from this long period of illness, it’s that I don’t naturally have patience. It’s a state I have to redevelop each time I need it. I keep telling myself: let the Lyme bacteria come out of their cysts. The fewer that are dormant, the faster they die!

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