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Dear J-

Try something different: I rode my bike the slight extra distance to Burlingame and now instead of sweating and stripping at work I’m sweating on the train instead. Great. I’ll probably freeze when I get out at Mountain View and bike the few miles to Sunnyvale. If you believe you can, you should? Or should it be that if you are asking yourself if you can, you might as well try it? Or that change is inevitable and it’s better tried sooner than later? Or are you just trying to break all habits because habits are ruts with butts? Wait, that didn’t come out right. Let me explain; it feels like I use these first paragraphs to talk about something concrete, and then extrapolate it into some more general philosophical point.

My mom went to the emergency room yesterday, approximately a month after the first time for the same complaint: intense, acute knee pain due to arthritis. In between the two visits she’s been to see her family doctor (who offered more of the same pain control — Tylenol with codeine) and a chiropractor. So, more of the same and then an alternative, if you will. I wonder if the change in treatment did anything for her; if what you have isn’t working, though, you have to try something different. Don’t you? She’s slated to see a specialist later this week, so there will hopefully be some relief in her near future, but it’s painful to see her like this. I’m not sure what I can do, short of relieving my dad in helping her around the house.

She’s having trouble getting around, and I’m not sure what would make it better, but I suppose I have to cast my lot in with modern science and medicine, having long considered chiropractors little better than out-and-out shysters. What can I do? They’re too proud to ask and too stubborn to accept our help, but is that something I know or just something I tell myself so that I can keep living my current life? So yeah. Change is afoot, and whether it be permanent or temporary is up to me, I suppose. As humans we tend to normalize — accept — small deficiencies incrementally, little by little slowly believing them to be the new normal, until you’re left with a cumulatively, comparatively large issue. Without realizing how it got so far so fast, too: try to remember all your yesterdays and hold it up to today to figure out how tomorrow should be.

Mike

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