Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crack, Clunk, What Next?

It's September. A Fall bite is in the air in the early morning, when I go to swim at 6 am. I am an Autumn enthusiast; it's one of the main reasons why I live in Connecticut. As much as I hate the thought of leaving Labor Day week-end behind, the incredible beauty of Fall foliage in New England is enough to make a person believe in some sort of higher power.

And so I muse, happily, peacefully. Until . . . crack!

Oh, no. A filling. My teeth are really difficult. Between all the medication I take and the fact that my mouth is dry so much of the time because I'm constantly dehydrated, I get a lot of fillings. And sometimes the fillings get so big that a filling isn't enough. Root canals and crowns are their own challenge. I'm still fighting off a Crohn's flare that started last February with an infection after a root canal, antibiotics, c-difficile, more antibiotics . . . a six month ordeal and counting.

But I call the dentist and get an appointment for this morning. And so I return to musing, happily, peacefully. Until . . . clunk!

The flushing mechanism in my toilet breaks. MY toilet. The one I use 20 times a day. The one that's three steps from my office -- close enough to get there in an emergency. Yes, I have other toilets, but none as close. None that flushes quite as well. I have a plumber. The last time I called him, though, he never returned the call. I go to swim and ask my friend Lynn -- who knows absolutely everybody -- for the name of a plumber in case I need a back-up. She comes through, and so I have a plan.

I call the plumber. He answers and says he'll be here around 9 am. Fabulous. And so I return to musing, happily, peacefully. Until . . .

Lynn says these things come in three's. I've heard that before. So I'm ready for you, Fate. You're going to deal me one more relatively small but urgent blow. And then you're going to move onto the next person. As long as I know it's going to be a relatively small problem -- a cracked filling, a toilet flusher -- I can handle whatever comes.

See, we with chronic illnesses always live waiting for the other shoe to drop, don't we? An emergency is an intestinal obstruction, not a cracked filling. Vomiting is something to be alarmed about, not a broken toilet. Even a broken toilet that belongs to a Crohn's patient.

So today, I count myself lucky. Because it could always be worse. Jennifer

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