Friday, June 6, 2008

Ape Index

Three Years ago, Robert Filpi, a M.D. with Valley Radiologists Medical Group Inc. wrote me a letter as a follow-up to my lumbar spine fracture and fixation. After taking five views of my lower back he found "Lumbar are in normal alignment. There is a slight loss of height in the L4 vertebral body. A pedicle screw fixqtion has been performed from the level of L3 to the level of L5. There is slight anterior loss of height of the T12 vertebral body as well. Some loss of height of the the T11-12 interspace. An inferior vena cava filter is noted in place." While most of that sounds like doctoral gibberish a few sections are notable. In three different spots I have experienced a "loss of height."

I verified my shortening earlier today at the Berkeley Iron Works gym. On the wall by the bathroom is a place where you can measure your height, ape index, and then record the data. I did so. Before I cratered I was 5'9" and now I am 5'8". I am an inch closer to my grave.

My arm span was 71 inches, which means I have a plus three ape index. I found this rather reassuring. After I cratered three pins were placed in my left arm and then removed six months later. My arm does not straighten completely, yet I still have a positive reach. Very nice!

On another note entirely, I am momentarily lost. On Thursday, Lord willing, I will finish school at UCSC and be free to lurk wherever I want. Unfortunately, I'll also be broke. I can probably float for a couple weeks but will have to get a job pretty quickly. I'm not sure where to move. Lately, I've been thinking about Leavenworth Washington. A couple buddies of mine have a house there and I can leach off of them, smoking their resin, and eating their peanut butter & jelly for a solid month or so. I'll be close to Squamish and I even know a couple girls up there...all very tempting reasons to head north. The doppelganger wants me to live with him in Berkeley though. I like living with my brother, espescially since he's making a lot of money and doesn't mind buying me dinner at Tuk Tuk Thai or taking me to the movies and sponsoring me. Decisions, decisions, decisions. I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do. I need to put lipstick on my head just to make-up my mind.

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