Mr. Production

(Puru – this one’s for you.)

In the early days of our relationship, oh, some twenty odd years ago, Mark would say: “When you are old and infirm, I’ll take such good care of you. Will you take care of me?” And my answer was always an emphatic “No”: a) I’m not a romantic, and b) I’m not the nurturing type.

Well, life sure got me. We’re not to the “old and infirm” part (because I sure wouldn’t be taking care of him) yet (or are we?), and Mark has had every accident or illness known (and some unknown) to man. And I’m just talking about in his adult life!

Where to start? Broken femur on a rafting trip in 1990? Giardia while on safari in Tanzania, just before climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1994? Bruised kidney while kayaking in 1995? Arthroscopic surgery to graft new articular cartilage on his knee in 1997? Skin, flesh and muscle rubbed off (major boot-bang!) both shins while back-country skiing in Yosemite in 1998? Third degree burn from a hot pack in 1999? Concussion while kayaing in 2000? Strep infection that left him speechless and motionless in 2002?

Why don’t we start with the big one.

  • San Francisco, November 2001 – Hit by a car while riding his bicycle to work. Concussion, broken pelvis, sprained wrist and knee. Loss of certain cognitive functions, like word-finding. Full recovery time: 9 months.
  • Pondicherry, February 2005 – Dengue fever (broken bone disease), mis-(self)-diagnosed first as a reaction to Larium (mefloquine), then as malaria.
  • San Francisco, March 2005 – Surgery to remove a benign tumor (granuloma formed around an infection caused by a worm) in the lower lobe of his liver.
  • Bangalore, January 2006 – Ideopathic trigeminal neuralgia (suicide disease), considered more painful than child birth.
  • Mumbai and Ahmedabad, February 2006 – Pulmonary pneumonia.
  • San Francisco, June 2006 – Ruptured Achilles tendon (affliction of the middle-aged man) requiring 2 surgeries to reattach. Full recovery time: 4 months.
  • Bangalore, January 2007 – Hit by a bus. Major road rash on left foot and arm.
  • New Delhi, February 2007 – Acute appendicitis and subsequent emergency appendectomy.

What next?!?

Today, while mincing his way back from the dining room at the Sri Aurbindo Ashram in Delhi, he said: “I’m going to get in such great shape this summer!”

The belief in immortality remains strong.

His anticipated response to this post? A peevish: “Do you have to recount every cold that I’ve ever had?”


2 Responses to “Mr. Production”

  1. 1 mbjesq February 26, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Boy, some people sure love to dwell on the past! I’m a live-in-the-moment kind-of-guy; and I’d say you’d have trouble finding anyone healthier than me. At present.

    When my friend Hans read about my recent episode, we exchanged the following emails:

    Hans: “Heard you were back in the hospital with maintenance problems. Another hint of mortality?”

    Me: “You mistake signs of morbidity for suggestions of mortality. If anything, the fact that I am still alive hints in the opposite direction.”

    The fact that I am still kicking-ass after Yoo-Mi’s laundry list of “superficial flesh wounds” (which I, of course, deny, collectively and in each particular) seems a pretty good indication that you’ll never see the end of me.

  2. 2 Archana March 6, 2007 at 7:37 am

    Now I understand, the next time Mark scares me to death about his abodominal pains, then I should just write it off to the collateral damage of knowing him! Do you know Mark that you owe me a big apology, I talk to the Head of the best hospital in India, AIIMS ( and convince him to see you directly and then you come out and tell me that I am in Mumbai and should not interfere!! Aargh. Anyways, you helped me in pain and i helped you in pain and we are even. Our life is going to be real smooth from now on.

    Kick more ass!

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