Victor knew that Christmas was important to me.  None of the kids could come and they were really too busy for us to visit.  I asked Victor to take me on a trip.  Maybe away from home, I wouldn’t feel the pull of Christmases past.  That may have been where I made my mistake.  It turns out that it’s Christmas wherever you go.

The trip could’ve been flawless, but someone in Dubai gave me the evil eye. I didn’t see it happening, but I know when I get smacked by a witch.  My eyes and eyebrows started itching.  Before long my eyes were all but lost in a sea of red swollen skin.  I looked like I had been mugged. I scratched out almost all of my eyebrow hair.

My ears began swelling next, itching and also turning red.  My earlobes looked like individual testicles, dangling next to my face.  I’m here to tell you that turning 63 was enough to face, without looking hideous as well. (If you thought I’d provide a picture here, you certainly don’t know me as well as you thought.) Over a two-week period it gradually got better, so it appeared that, thankfully, that evil affliction was not a permanent one.

Then we got to Singapore and I looked almost normal, although my ears still felt a bit funny and, of course, I didn’t have much in the way of eyebrows, which is an unusual look. Now you would think that the evil eye had finished its dastardly work, right?  That’s what I thought.

I took what was supposed to be a soothing bath the first morning of our week in Singapore and threw my back out.  To be more precise, I threw my butt out.  I don’t know how.  Nothing whatsoever happened.  I just felt this shooting pain and that was it.  I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying Singapore with Victor, though.  It is a wonderful place, I’ll tell you about it another time.  We walked all over Singapore.  Seven days of walking and being enthralled.  I was okay walking.  Walking only ached.  What I couldn’t do was sit.  Sitting hurt.  Getting up from sitting to standing was agony.  But after being up for a few minutes, making the quietest whiney noises I could, the worst of the spasm would pass and I could walk pretty much normally.

As the wonderful week in Singapore was coming to an end, the hotel rules were that we had to leave the room at 10:30 am.  This was reasonable, however our plane was not due to leave until 11:30 pm, so we bought time in the hotel until 6 pm and also another day of Internet access, in case there was an emergency back home.

We went to the airport at 6pm and checked in, five and a half hours early for our flight.  Our actual trip home was 27 hours, in steerage, of course, counting the wait for the second plane at Heathrow.

They make you sit on planes.  I kept trying to stand up.  I tried to explain.  They don’t care what your reason is; they want you to sit.  It was a long time sitting.  Flight Attendants do not provide drugs.  I asked.  I think that is a glaring hole in their passenger service.  Flight Attendants should provide drugs.  It would be better for the passengers and also better for the Flight Attendants.  Where’s the down side?

Thankfully, the flights were just about on time and we got home when they said we would.  When I got in the house, I called the doctor’s office.  This was Wednesday afternoon.  I couldn’t get in to see him until Monday.

I stood for days.  I had “compulsory TV watching with Victor” while standing at the bar in the TV room.  I stood all the time except when in bed.  I can be in a lying position, but only on my side, with a pillow between my knees. (That reminded me of how I had to sleep when I was pregnant.  That was a nice memory.)

I had an MRI because the orthopedist wanted to see inside my lumbar region.  (That is the polite way to say that he wanted to see what was cooking inside my butt.)  The MRI was fun.  You are cocooned and you wear earplugs and they send you into a cylinder.  It’s very comforting.  It is surprisingly noisy though, so I kept waking up thinking how bad the music was.  I was sorry when the 30 minutes were up.  It was very relaxing.

Unfortunately, my orthopedist just went on vacation for two weeks, and although they said that I would find out the results overnight, they didn’t really mean it.

Well, it’s been a week since my MRI and I finally got the report.  The problem is that I have no idea what it means.  My discs are “desiccated throughout the lumbar spine.”  Now aren’t we all wet inside?  How can my discs be drying out in all that blood and bodily fluid?  I have cysts here and there, some going off to the right and some off to the left.  I have at least four discs that are “bulging.”  And this one is my favorite: “At L4-5 there is facet arthrosis and a disc bulge with central/right paracentral disc extrusion extending inferiorly 1.2.cm, contacting the descending right L5 nerve root as it exits the thecal sac.  There is mild bilateral neural foramina narrowing and mild spinal canal stenosis.” Now that is just one sentence in a tightly typed four page report.  I have not a clue what it means.

Victor says that he only did retinas so all he knows is that I’m getting shorter.  My back hurts and I’m getting shorter?   I think this evil eye is stuck to me.  I need an evil eye remover.  Anyone got any ideas?