Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Neville vs. The Drug

The score thus far is Neville 1, The Drug 2.

I've learned a lot about the world of the nerve, thanks to Diane, my physical therapist.  Now I know where the nerves in my arm and hand live, and what they're called, and which fingers they affect.  I know that an injured nerve can affect muscle loss and circulation, and prompt the formation of unnecessary scar tissue.  I know why, when I drink something cold, I can feel the cold go right down my arm (Neville is very, very alert.)

When all is well, a nerve checks in with the brain at a slow, steady pace, a sort of bip.....bip.....bip.....bip..... When something goes awry, the pace speeds up to get the brain's full attention, bipbipbipbipbipbip.  The Drug is supposed to help the nerve calm down and increase the blood flow around it.  The Drug has a score of 2 because 1) my arm's circulation has noticeably improved and 2) I'm actually able to sleep, which means Neville's bipping has slowed down.  Neville gets one point because my lower arm and hand is still mighty prickly. The only soothing surface is paper, especially newsprint.  All fabrics feel like woolly burlap.  Thank goodness for short-sleeved clothing.

One unforeseen side-effect of The Drug:  I'm humming a lot.  As posted before, I am a humming person, but the humming seems to have intensified.  I'm humming along with household appliances (like the vacuum cleaner) and, disturbingly, I'm harmonizing with them.  I've sung harmony most of my life (low alto) but this is a little over the edge.

I  recently talked with a staff member about this.  She'd been processing serials in my office and I realized that I had been humming the whole time she was there.  When I apologized for it, she said that she, too, was a hummer and completely understood.  We had a delightful conversation about the difficulties that arise from being the only hummer in a non-humming family, and how we both find ourselves humming tunes that come from who-knows-where.  We wake up with tunes in our heads.  We hum really bad songs and we don't know why we're humming them.  They are just there.   Why is it always the rotten song that surfaces when there are so many good songs in our mental archives?

Dave Barry addressed this in a column about his least favorite songs, the songs that are stuck forever in his head, and he asked his readers to vote for their least favorite song.  Over 10,000 readers wrote in, the best response he'd ever received with a column.  These people were passionate in their dislike of a particular song.  Dave tallied the votes, wrote about the results, and received even more letters.  He realized this was a book-worthy subject, which led to Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs, a book I recommend to anyone who listened to a radio between 1960-1980.  You will recognize these songs.  I bet some of them are stuck inside your head.  Should I reveal which song received the most votes for Worst Song?  Nope.  You'll have to read the book.  Besides, if I named it here, you might end up humming it.

Next week:  harmony and me.  Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Kim Doyle said...

Now you got me curious, so I just placed a hold on Dave Barry's book. I look forward to the earworms.