Saturday, 13 July 2013

Pain on the Plain

I have been to the mountaintop, yeah. And I came back to earth with a kidney-punch. I am still recovering from the hike up to Espinama, detailed in the blog entry below. Seems the carsickness and the ensuing daylong dehydration pretty much shut down my left kidney. Kidneys do very important work, quietly and in the dark. Take care of them, I warn you, treat them with care and respect. Once insulted, they do not forgive easily or quickly.

I will not bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I have had several massages this week, two by David the Sahagun Strong-Arm Man, and two by Civita, a gentle Reiki-style healer pilgrim from Italy who stayed a few days in Moratinos to help Bruno. So my chakras now are all spin-balanced and my energy channels are blown open and dusted out. I have a splendid little map of bruises on the left side of my lower back, where a softball of pain still nestles. I will recover. But it will "hurt like a blow to the balls" for a while, David says.

Meantime, I should go to the thermal spa as often as I can. Doctors´ orders.

I love deluxe self-indulgence as much as anyone, but this week of rubdowns and water therapy is, sadly, not as fun as it should be. It is very much a treatment for a physical ailment. "Blow to the Balls" pain takes the pleasure quotient way down.

Nothing is more dull than listening to other people talk about their aches and pains, so I will stop here with the kidney business.

Life at The Peaceable is strangely cut-up lately. The heat and the harvest have finally set in, with tractors roaring in the fields well into the hot nights. We keep the blinds down, so the upstairs does not become a greenhouse. The flies are moving in, and thunderstorms. We sleep at odd hours, wake up in the middle of the night, read and write and chat, then go to sleep again. It is a bit like living on a submarine.

Pilgrims find us, but only a few. Enough. There are not so many pilgrims out there just now -- they are all in Pamplona chasing bulls, one wit told me. I returned to Moratinos last night at dusk, just after a thunderstorm had passed through, and found a half-drowned bike pilgrim making camp on the church porch. I brought him home. He snored like a lord all night downstairs. Or maybe that was the thunder I heard.

Today came in bright and clear, our 10th wedding anniversary. I put on a nice dress and we went to a party at the albergue in El Burgo Raneiro, where a friend is hospitalero-ing -- it´s her birthday today. We celebrated with volunteer hospitaleros from Bercianos and El Burgo and Calzadilla de los Hermanillos, Dutch, Americans, English, and Basque, Valencian and Asturian. Nice people, jolly and dedicated. Outside the pilgrims lined up and peered into the windows, watching as we cut the cake and poured the wine.

Paddy and I went on to Mansilla de las Mulas, to a fine fancy anniversary lunch at La Curiosa, our new favorite eatery. I am not eating much these days, and I am drinking even less where alcohol is concerned -- but the Albariño sang sweet harmony with the goat-cheese blini. (Paddy had a steak. He said I am the best wife he´s had in the entire last decade.) 

And then the medicine wore off. We came home, and the sky filled up with spectacular clouds like the titles from The Simpsons. A storm came roaring in with a tide of tractors and combines, and the power went out. There was nothing to do but take a nap, so that is what I did.

I woke up a couple of times when thunder cracked close, but slipped back again to dreamland. I woke up finally. It was 8 p.m., and the storm was still blowing, the house still dark. Paddy dozed on the sofa, Momo Cat draped over his shoulders. Lightning flickered. I lit candles, but blew them out again. The kitchen clutter vanished into shadow.

It was fine in the dark, with the rumbling of snores and thunder. I sat still. I did not feel any pain.  


mizmol said...

A beautiful and evocative blog, Reb. I am sorry to hear about your health trouble, having suffered sufferedthe same several times I do understand, but you will feel better. Take care of yourself, Alex x

Annakappa said...

Sounds like you had a rough time, Reb. Hope you are now well on the way to full recovery.

Anonymous said...

Nice piece about the haze of pain. Disorientation. Sorry to hear you're hurting, though!

Corinne said...

Look after your kidneys- we were only issued 2 !!!!
Take care
Cape Town
South Africa

strangerthanfiction said...

A cautionary tale for all pilgrims. Water is crucial. Poor Rebekah!

Claire Bangasser said...

It must be my growing older, but my days of 'insouciance' when it comes to my body are pretty much over. We are given one body and it is well worth caring for...
I hope your kidney is recovering well and you as well.
You are an inspiration to us all :-)