I’m not a great fan of RPGs, but I did like a bit of ‘Shoulder’s Great’, the epic quest to find a cure for a mysterious plague sweeping the land of Melbourne. A terrible plague…that gave people aching joints. So macabre and dark. I remember it was the first major RPG produced by an Australian company that became famous worldwide, and also paved the way for a lot of gaming innovation.
Nowadays, even medical professionals look back at the game as being advanced for its time. It was all about aches and pains, with the quest based around fighting metaphorical manifestations of stiffness and soreness, and also breathing problems like asthma. But you don’t get it; it was a trendsetter. Today you can make bookings for hyperbaric therapy in Melbourne, right now, with no fuss. Got a breathing problem? Oxygen therapy, all available just roll up. Whereas in ‘Shoulder’s Great’ you get to fight a DRAGON inspired by common breathing problems, specifically a tough boss by the name of Wheezy, aided by his wyvern buddy, Chokey.
I still remember the day I reached level 65 and learned the ultimate mage spell, ‘Hyperbaric Harmony’. It gave my entire party a 60% chance of shrugging off breathing problems entirely for a whole thirty seconds, and also boosted their mana inhalation by 6 breaths per minute. I was usually a supporting role, helping people to get back on their feet and continue to fight by easing their aches and pains, not to mention helping them breathe easier.
So it really is kinda like hyperbaric medicine today, easing the pain of living with a lung condition and other such ailments. I’ve heard you can even get a portable hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Melbourne, wild. I do wonder if the persistent cultural presence of ‘Shoulder’s Great’ helped to create the oxygen therapy industry as it is today. I guess we’ll never know…just like I’ll never know what lay beyond the final dungeon, because my teammates were idiots and we never completed it.
So apparently, Melbourne is currently being ravaged by the dreaded Flu. It’s not fatal, and mostly it just causes a runny nose the likes of which you’ve never seen before along with a general feeling of doom and gloom, but still…I’m staying indoors. Nope, no thank you, none of that foolishness. I have work to do, cats to feed, laundry to complete.
And I’m all the way out here on the Mornington Peninsula as well; hate to think about what it’s like travelling into the centre of Melbourne every day on the train, knowing anyone could be carrying the dreaded lurgy. I’m enough of a hypochondriac as it is, thank you. I already get checkups every season, jabs when I don’t need them and I’ve even booked myself in for a few sessions with a psychologist. In the Mornington Peninsula, a place of wonder and peace and goodness, people take their mental health seriously. Actually, everyone does that, but especially here. But beware! Danger lurks everywhere!
I feel fine, but who really knows? I had a bad dream the other day that I had to give a presentation on the three forms of heat transference, and I know nothing about science. I showed up in front of an audience of 5000 people, all waiting to hear how heat transfers, only to realise that I was wearing banana-yellow business attire, and all my notes had been chewed by a sloth.
That’s got to mean something. Pretty sure I’m repressing memories from my childhood, and the sloth represents my inability to move on from that 39 I received in my theatre studies VCS class. Seeing a psychiatrist really would just put my mind at ease about this stuff, along with maybe some medication. Maybe. If I need it. Up to them. I’m just glad they have psychiatrists and psychologists in Mornington at all. People here are so relaxed, you’d think you’d have to go into Melbourne, stress-ville itself. No thank you…I don’t need the flu.
Cooking gets me stressed, perhaps more than anything in the world. I don’t understand how people do this for a living! And pretty much every family benefits from it every day, and some people go on game shows to prove that they’re the best at it. Really boggles the mind. I get takeout of some sort almost every night, and I can’t help but look at the poor cooks with pity. They have to cook for a job.
I mean, I’ve heard it gets better after you know what you’re doing and stop burning everything, but I don’t know how much better it can actually get. I guess if you did it for a job…but some jobs are easier picked up than others. There’s a job where you stick needles in people, for example. That’s whole different thing, especially for me since I have no hand-eye-coordination. They’re offering dry needling courses in New Zealand now, and it’s supposedly the big thing. You may remember back when personal training was ‘the big thing’. All the ads were telling you to quit your job, be a personal trainer! They must have been effective, because eventually they vanished and suddenly everyone has to quit their job and be a massage therapist. I guess that job filled up, and suddenly it’s all about dry needling. Become a dry needling person! Live a life of greatness!
Okay, they’re not that dramatic, but as I have rejected a life of making pizza, so I must say no to this one. Most of my cooking failure is because I have no attention span or coordination, so I don’t think dry needling is the career for me. Not even the greatest dry needling course in Australia is going to stop me from jabbing people. No hospitality, no health and fitness…guess my job hunt continues.
Three karate classes in, and I’ve come to realise something important: martial arts hurt. I mean, I’m basically taking one very solid part of my body and smacking it really hard against someone else. The human body is a tough object, as it turns out, specially when your fist is colliding with someone’s face. That’s bone on bone. And now, I’m walking around the place with my fist in a bowl of ice.
I really enjoy the lessons- they’re dynamic, and I feel like I’m getting fitter- but the recovery period is intense. I’d make it to classes monthly if I wasn’t so afraid that I’d forget everything. Weird thing was that I asked Sensei, and he recommended some oxygen therapy in Melbourne. Really didn’t see that coming, since he seems so…spiritual. I thought he’d recommend an hour of meditation a day along with some herbs, maybe a bit of incense. Or I could focus my chi or something. That’s the impression I’ve got during my lessons, but I’m starting to think that was all a bit of show. He just straight up told me that oxygen therapy was the bomb and that it really helped the recovery period. Not something to get hooked on, but good for those stubborn injuries, so I’m told.
I guess all that incense and meditation was for show, so…not sure how I feel about that. Still, I enjoy the lessons, and if a bit of hyperbaric therapy is going to make the aches and pains ease up a bit, I’m willing to give it a go. Sometimes I leave the lesson feeling like I got hit by a train, depending on who gets picked to be the practice dummy. If I’m going to make use of Melbourne’s hyperbaric medicine, oh so modern, it might as well be then.