Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Jul 05th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Town With No Pity

sven_davis2This past winter was a big one for the flu; lots of people seemed to get hit who are usually resistant, including me. Fever, aching, fatigue, a cough ... it sucked, and I went through two rounds of it. Then a co-worker said she was starting to feel kind of sick, I started telling her what she should expect, and how much she should rest, and what she should take for it, and ... and then I recognized the look on her face, because it was one I’d been sporting myself.

What she wanted, and what I wanted when I was sick, was a little sympathy. But you don’t get that in this town, you get advice. In much of the world, it's accepted that bad things just happen sometimes, and we should give comfort to one another through the hard times and hope for better. But we're a problem-solving people. And in Santa Cruz, we’ve got more solutions to choose from than anywhere else.

I had an issue with minor headaches recently, and most everybody I told about it gave me some advice based on their own personal care prejudices. To only slightly exaggerate, the yoga friends had a couple poses that were reputed to help, the herbal supplement and vitamin types each suggested a different regime of capsules, I was issued phone numbers for acupuncturists and massage therapists and chiropractors and psychologists, a meat-free diet was advocated (as if), and the tough-love physical trainer suggested a precautionary round of chemo. Of course, there are those who will tell you that there’s nothing a little marijuana can’t make better; sometimes I think those folks look forward to getting sick.

The worst part of dumping on that poor woman was I didn’t bother to assume she had her own path to health all mapped out, her own tried and true way of dealing with it based on decades of taking care of herself. What she could really use was a “Sorry to hear that,” with a sympathetic look that said: “Oh no, colds are the worst. There is something wrong in the universe when somebody as awesome as you coughs herself awake while Donald Trump and the inventors of pop-up ads slumber on with drooling grins, dreaming of new ways to annoy people. You deserve much better. You are incredibly brave and I can only hope that should such a fate befall me, I’ll have half the composure and class you’ve shown through this calamity. If you’d like me to help you get through this with a neck massage (dinner, babysitting, house cleaning, sexual favor), just ask.”

Regarding my headaches, I took some ibuprofen until they went away on their own. Good thing too, because if you stay sick long enough for people to follow up on you, things get worse.

“Still hurts? Did you do that incantation every hour like I told you?”

“No, I tried it for a while and it seemed to make it worse.”

“Well then ...” they shrug, annoyed. Because clearly if you’re not willing to follow their advice, it’s your own damn fault if you’re not better. And even if you do submit to their plan, a failure to recuperate can only mean one thing.

“You must have done it wrong. It totally worked for my cousin. Did you bring your arms out like this? POM YOR IKK LUM SOO FOR MUN LAW SHA ...”

Some people, I don’t even tell them I’m sick. It’s bad enough to take the blame for a slow recovery, but it’s even worse to get blamed for the problem in the first place.  I once told a friend in New Leaf about some shoulder pain I was dealing with, and a nearby butt-inski said, “Do you eat gluten?”

Turns out the guy didn’t eat gluten, and his shoulder was fine, so there you are. Santa Cruz science. The fact is we’ve got a real tendency to blame the victim around here. We’re a bunch of armchair diagnosticians, happy to believe people brought their troubles on themselves. It’s easy to blame this guy’s knee problems on his weight, and that woman’s stomach problem on her diet of cigarettes and coffee. Brain cancer? I hear he let PG&E put in one of those smart meters.

As for treatments, I’ve long thought there are some reasons to be wary about mainstream western medicine. I also feel fine with poo-pooing a good number of alternative treatments. Any smart consumer must do some research to separate the demonstrably effective from the snake oil salesmen getting rich off our fears and suspicions and prejudices. I’m especially annoyed by those that seek to take credit for the work done by the most amazing healing source around: our own bodies. It’s impossible to not be impressed by how bones and tissues repair themselves, and how the immune system fights, and usually wins, grand epic battles we’re often totally unaware of. Even well-known unhealthy factors like excessive drinking, obesity, smoking, bad food, and a lack of exercise are endured by the body for a long time, decades even, before they lay you out. It’s all enough to make a person either amazed by or skeptical of natural selection as a means of engineering the complex machines we are.

Here’s where I’m going with that: Just because you were sucking on a rock twice daily when you got over your cold, don’t credit the rock. The world wants to sell you a lot of rocks.

To your health. Tink!

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by pandora charms shop, August 30, 2012
People deserve very good life time and mortgage loans or sba loan would make it much better. Just because people's freedom is grounded on money state. ,http://www.pandoracharmsshop.net
Thank you Sven
written by Vern, May 13, 2011
Thanks, Sven. You've captured a salient feature of the Santa Cruz personality. Is it the small town attitude, is it the progressive social-engineering watchdog activities, is it the "health" consciousness that changes with the newest berry sensation? Why are people here so in your face about conforming to a certain mind and body set?


Quick story: I was in the old Staff around Christmas time and the checkouts were backed up in long lines except for the closed express. There was a sign at the register saying to let cashier know if you want the express opened. I did so in an even-voiced, non-harassed manner. The person behind me started giving me breathing advice on how to calm down. I gave her a statement that stopped her short, became speechless, and cringed away from me. If she wanted to observe anti-social behavior, she got it.

People, learn that not everyone wants to hear your wacko remedies or latest guru advice. Learn how to read the signs that sometimes your intrusive behavior is not wanted or not to project your problems onto others. Especially, please learn how to listen when someone says, "I'm not interested, I don't want to sign your petition, No, I don't want to buy into your MLM because I cannot digest Blue Green Algae regardless what pristine lake it's from."

Thanks, again Sven. I'll put a rack of ribs on the barbie for you!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 3

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food