Monday, April 25, 2016

My Amazing Body

My body is pretty amazing, it may not look amazing but it has done some amazing things.  It has gone incredibly fast (ok, it was in an aeroplane but I think it still counts), it has climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it has carried and given birth to four children.  My body also has some interesting quirks.  I never knew they were quirks until they were observed by my husband.  He assures me that I am quite strange but I just know there are other’s out there who are similarly afflicted.

One thing my body does and I have absolutely no control over it is it gets frights.  I mean, I can hear someone coming towards me, think to myself ‘there is someone coming, don’t get a fright’ and then scream and leap skywards the moment they appear.  I have discovered that this does not improve with excessive “therapeutic” exposure so you can all stop sneaking up on me now. 

The other night I was on the phone to James, it was late, there were mousey noises in the crawl space off our bedroom and I was in the process of releasing one of our cats into the area to catch the little critter.  Did I mention it was late at night?  James was all the way in India and I had mildly elevated “I’m going to be eaten alive” levels.  So when I felt a creepy hand being placed on my shoulder from behind I understandably jumped up screaming into the phone and almost fell headlong through the crawl space door where the rodent of extreme size was lurking.  I simultaneous scared the bejeebers out of the dog, the cat and the Emily who was attached to the hand.  I turned around to find her doing a speedy backwards upside down crawl to get away from the monster who had her mothers body.  Do you know what James did?  Besides book himself in for a hearing aide fitting?  Yes, people, he laughed at me. 

Another thing my body does, or rather does not do is that I am thoroughly unable to walk in a straight line, I cannot touch my finger to my nose and I also cannot put my finger to the middle of my lips in the “shhhhh” position.  In fact all my kids have mimicked shhhhing as small children by putting their finger to their cheek.  Its not because they are uncoordinated its because they are copying me!!  I’m not that great at the “head, shoulders, knees and toes” song either.  I would definitely not pass one of those tests the police do when they suspect you’ve been drinking and driving.  And forget trying to say the alphabet backwards, who made that one up?  I would fail it stone cold sober which is how I am all the time because I don’t need to drink alcohol to be in a state of deep confusion. 

I have terrible balance, I always have, it’s a wonder I can stand up at all some days.  I’ve had doctors marvel at my lack of coordination and balance and back in the day I even disrupted a beginners step class taking out other participants in the process, from the back row.  Seriously I have skills, just not the right ones.

Another thing my body does with stunningly frequent regularity (no, not that!) is that as I start swallowing a drink it suddenly decides, completely independent of my intentions, to reverse the swallowing action.  This results in a kind of convulsing, silent cough, tears streaming down my face until one of two things happens.  Either I get the spasm under control and continue to swallow the liquid or I spray it all over whoever is near me at the time. 

Along the same lines, I also quite regularly forget to put the cup to my lips when taking a drink.  I just pour it out down my front or into my lap.  I can’t quite explain this one, it just happens.  There have been times when I’ve done this right before needing to be somewhere and I have convinced myself that anyone seeing me would assume I was attacked by one of my small children.  As the children get older that assumption gets weaker and weaker.  Soon I’ll need to wear a bib for eating and drinking.  I did it the other day while driving the car and managed to stain my top and make it look like I had peed my pants at the same time. 

I love light rooms and sunshine during the day.  I turn on lights just so its bright sometimes (ok, all the time).  I get very annoyed when I lose the ability to see colours very well after dark.  On the flipside of that, I cannot sleep with even the hint of artificial lights.  My husband is addicted to technology and has all kinds of gadgets that make their way into our sleeping space.  There are blue lights, red lights, yellow lights, a whole rainbow of those tiny little annoying indicator lights on various gadgets.  Lights that blink fast, lights that blink slow, ones that randomly turn on at 3 am and some that I swear are doing Morse Code in a last ditch effort to get me to press a button and release the tiny robots that are living inside.  The fact that I have kids who are terrified of their stuffed animals if the lights are off results in our house being lit up like a Christmas tree at night.  It has taken me 40 years to figure out that I could simply use a sleeping mask to overcome this annoyance (and spare my family from my sleep mutterings which apparently are not very kind). 

I got a sleep mask the other day (or eye bra as my children have dubbed it) and tried it out.  It was blissful.  I woke up through the night and opened my eyes.  Still pitch dark out.  Time for more sleeping.  Problem was it was neither pitch dark out nor was it still the middle of the night.  Oops, serious oversleeping that day!!  I’m not sure why my family didn’t wake me but it probably had something to do with my generally unkind reactions to being woken unless there is the sweet smell of coffee accompanying the waker.

I found out the other day that I also have a thing that actually has a name.  I had previously tried to tell James that I wasn’t weird to be this way and that other people also have it but he wouldn’t believe me but its true, its a real thing.  I have sun sneezing.  It’s where you sneeze when you go out in bright sunlight.  Its got nothing to do with allergies or dust or anything else.  It mostly happens in the sun but very bright lights can set it off too.  It makes me happy that other people are similarly afflicted. 

My greatest fear in life has now become stepping outside into the bright sunshine while taking a sip of coffee with someone sneaking up behind me.  The only thing worse than that would be if I wasn’t wearing adequate incontinence protection at the time.

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