Recently, I found myself in a drunk yoga class. . . as opposed to being drunk in a yoga class. Been there, done that.
Let me back up. This week I attended a “Yoga for Recovery” class that combined core yoga poses with some reading and light meditation, specifically geared for people in recovery. I really enjoyed it and plan on going back for the entire series. Upon returning home, however, I noticed that skin on my right side (around my waist band) was reddish and angry, presumably from my brand new yoga pants I had purchased for my Arizona trip, but not yet worn. I thought nothing of it and slathered it with Campho Phenique* and that, was that.
But that wasn’t that.
The next morning I awoke to a blistery rash starting to circle around to my belly and around my back from my hip. WHAT THE HELL. You know who loves looking at weird and gross things on my body? MY HUSBAND. Well, not really, but my Mom is 3 hours away so he was up to bat by default.
“Eeewww”, he stammered as he peered at the red cluster of blisters forming on my hip. He squinted and stepped away from my torso. He walked over and opened his laptop.
“What? Why did you say “ewwww”?!? Did something bite me?” I asked. “Is it Poison Ivy?”
At this point I had more than a few worst case scenarios buzzing through my mind. Here’s a fun fact: alcoholics are obsessive. We like to churn things over and over in our heads until we can conjure up the WORST possible outcome and then we take that and make it worse. By constantly obsessing about situations, we trick ourselves into thinking we’re in control of them and of course, that is never the case. We keep at it though, the proverbial dog chasing its own tail. It’s exhausting and counter-productive, really.
However, that does not stop me. I’m sober, but not completely sane, remember. In the few minutes it took my sweet husband to consult Dr. Google, I had:
- Been poisoned by a gang of minuscule (yet freakishly deadly) spiders who somehow got trapped in the waistband of my yoga pants and obviously bit their way out. Spiders are assholes.
- Developed a rare strain of AIDS that had previously been dormant for 23 years that I assume I contracted after kissing a rather sketchy “drummer” by the Hollywood sign (that’s another story) but was clearly manifesting itself in a display of open sores on my hip. Back then I couldn’t decide if the dude was homeless or just into grunge, but clearly I was paying for my youthful frivolity.
- Been infected with that flesh eating bacteria like that poor girl in the rain forest or Congo or wherever, but she lost both of her hands and one foot. My body is literally cannibalizing itself from exposure to some third world bacteria that I probably got from using the bathroom at the fucking mall.
As I started to flail about the kitchen in sheer panic, my husband glanced up from his computer with a weak smile.
“IT’S LEPROSY, ISN’T IT!?!”, I screamed. “I KNEW IT. I bet I got it from the self-scanner at Lowe’s. That thing is always streaky…probably with toxic waste and boogers.”
He rolled his eyes and sighed. “No, honey. It’s not Leprosy. What you have is a classic case of Shingles. Welcome to your fifties!”
Shingles?!? Okay. I know two things about shingles. They are heavy as fuck when they are in a cardboard box and you are a smallish girl assisting your father in building a garage. YOU try carrying an entire box of shingles sometime, trust me. Heavy, rough, and scratchy. However, to this day I know how to adeptly use a post-hole digger, so there’s a skill to put on my resume.
The same father I’m referring to above used to eat something horrific called “Shit on a Shingle” when I was in the same age bracket. This, evidently, is a military delicacy and was NOT to be made fun of in our household, no matter how badly it smelled. Now, my Mom had no part in the Shit on a Shingle nights at our home, nor did I. This was a “treat” my Father saved for himself when she was out for the night with other plans, and my little brother and I were splitting a can of Spaghetti O’s. For those of you blissfully not in the know, I have ascertained that SOS is chipped beef poured atop toast, or in my Dad’s case, a frozen waffle.
I would rather eat a live Praying Mantis. Seriously.
I know nothing of this other type of shingle. However, I do recall seeing commercials featuring elderly people (supposedly with shingles) happily playing golf. Fantastic, I’m already behind – I don’t know the first damn thing about golf.
So, I have made an appointment at the clinic and have subsequently executed my Last Will and Testament to prepare for the inevitable. Please donate my “WWJD” flask to The Great Museum of Alcoholism so that it can be gazed upon as a holy grail of sorts for our times.
*Campho Phenique. Remember in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the father thought Windex cures everything? Well, my sweet Grandma felt the exact same way about Campho Phenique. It didn’t matter what was wrong with you, Campho Phenique could calm it, soothe it, and remedy it. My Mother once casually remarked to me during a game of Gin Rummy that for the last thirty or so years, my Grandmother would put a “dab” of Campho between her buttcheeks after bathing, as a hemorrhoid preventative. “I didn’t know she suffered from hemorrhoids”, I said naively.
“She didn’t”, my Mother replied.