“I can’t feel my hands!”


I love you guys, but when I post about my health problems, what I’m really posting about is a plaintive plea for reassurance. 

“No,  Carol, you are not dying.”

“Trust me, Carol, I’ve been through this same problem. It’s no big deal.”

“Carol, I am a doctor of world renown, and this is simply a case of sleeping with two pillows instead of one and crocheting too much.” 

I do not want to hear that I’ve contracted an incurable disease that wipes out my brain matter in a matter of minutes, or that I’ve got carpal tunnel syndrome, with immense pain soon to follow unless I knock off the crocheting and the typing, or worse. 

The concern and obvious expertise offered so helpfully are appreciated. However, what I need most when I go whining about my latest sniffle, cough and strain is my mommy, and what mommies do. 

I want my mommy to kiss it and make it better, fix me her elbow macaroni with stewed tomatoes and butter, tuck me in bed and tell me I’ll be fine in the morning. 

I could sure use my mommy right here, right now. 

For about a week, I’ve half-woken up to turn to the other side on the bed, one of my hands tingling, numb, fallen asleep, probably under one of the two pillows I started sleeping on about, hey, whaddya know, about a week ago. I started freaking out about the tingling, numb hands when it became a pattern, two days in a row. Now, I can’t even think about going to sleep without worrying that it will happen. I lay down with my arms pointed straight at my sides, hard to do lying down on my side – if I try to sleep on my back, thanks to a pregnancy in the year 2001, I snore louder than Eddie, than all the men in my town combined – and shake my hands, close my fingers into fists, then out again, every five seconds, in nervous anticipation. 

All day I worry about my hands, wondering if they’ll go into lock-up while I’m awake. Maybe my feet’ll be next. Can I live for the rest of my life waking up without feeling in my entire body? It can’t be that bad when I’m asleep, I don’t feel anything anyway right? 

Last night, I made the mistake of watching some “Real Sex” porno industry documentary on HBO, the last shot of a naked man holding onto a penis attachment, which was singing in a musical. My entire dream consisted of me, post-pregnancy, wandering around trying to get a hold of my ob-gyn because my penis broke off. Every woman grows a penis after giving birth in this dream, but the penis falls off naturally within days. But I ended up having an accident, pulling it off prematurely. So I’m freaking out because I don’t know whether I’ll ever be able to pee again (my bladder was full in waking life), much less enjoy an orgasm, did the penis part take part of my clitoris with me?, how am I going to keep this penis at least in the vicinity of my vagina while I hunt down an emergency appointment? I tried to call, but the guy laughed at me, then hung up, thinking I was pulling a prank. I tried placing the penis against my groin with duct tape and holding it there with the sheer force of underwear two sizes too small (the penis fell out in a dried-out orange stump). Eddie showed up to advise me, after the fact, that had I taken Sudafed, the penis wouldn’t have broken off like that. In the middle of this debacle, Alexis (the GH fictional lawyer Alexis) phoned me in a panic because she didn’t want to go through surgery to remove fibroids. 

Oh yeah, and I woke up with both my hands numb. 

Here we go! ... Er, James, get in the
back, in your carseat, please.

Katrina says it could be peri-menopause. I immediately thought of OLTL’s Nora, then breathed a sigh of relief, because she had Matthew shortly after that scary diagnosis. I could still have one more child if I wanted (Elizabeth had John, the Baptist, way after menopause in the Bible), which I do next year, God willing. 

But I won’t be able to know for sure until March, when we return from a nearly two-month trip out of town and I make my appointment with Dr. White. 

The day after Christmas, we hit the road, driving south, through Oregon and California, maybe a visit with my EYE ON SOAPS boss and friend Katrina Rasbold and her family in Grizzly Flats if it doesn’t snow, then on to Arizona, New Mexico, what’s next to that state?, I forgot I aced geography in 6th grade, Texas, Alabama or Arkansas, I always get those two confused, Louisiana is in there somewhere too, then Florida, to finish settling the rest of the estate Eddie’s parents left him in their Spring Hill retirement house. There, we’ll hopefully head to Disney World for James’ third birthday, January 21, with friends who live in Pinellas Park maybe, Eddie’s cousin Bev and her husband Tim definitely. Then, before Valentine’s Day, a week before, we drive back, in reverse, until we hit Long Beach, California, to board a Princess Cruise line headed for parts of Mexico—the same route Eddie took when he worked on the ship from 1991-92. We’ll be on the ship for a week, while Eddie does a two-hour gig with a band, the rest of the time eating our heads off, James at the daycare bonding with other kids, Eddie and I trying to make a baby, stuff like that. 

The consensus amongst those I’ve spoken to about the trip:

  1. Eddie is insane to drive across the country when he could save himself the time and aggravation on a six-hour plane flight instead.
  2. Carol is lucky to have a musician husband like Eddie to score a seat on the Princess Cruises with son James for a luxurious Mexican vacation.

Re: #1... You don’t have to tell me twice. Women, let my husband figure it out for himself through trial and error. The first three nights that James refuses to sleep in another strange hotel and we start seeing pink elephants dryhumping some field mice in the clouds should just about do the trick. 

Re: #2... Talk to me on February 22, when I am back home. I’m already freaking about how to avoid drinking the water down there and contracting some contagious vomiting illness on the ship. 

There is a #3 for the faithful EOS readers (with a few vagrants from SOAPZONE): I’m bringing my new Sager laptop with me to write the columns that I write every week without fail. It’s not guilt so much as my equivalent of lounging around on a beach chair with a margarita (I’ll be doing that too, fartknockers). If I don’t write, I’ll go as insane as Eddie’s obviously gone in his fixation to avoid airports at all costs. 

Because I’ll be away from home, EOS’ “cubbyhole[s ic]” will read more like a travelogue (thanks to Mae-B, for the suggestion) and “channeling” will delve into individual character profiles, one soap each week. 

On SZ, “News & Gossip,” “Scoops & Spoilers” – and by default, EOS’ “Scoops” with commentaries – will be whatever I can scrounge on the road, as my SOD and SID subscriptions will have been put on postal hold for the duration. 

Don’t be so quick to thank me. 

My hands, remember? 




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