Saturday, February 7, 2015
One Eventually Wearies ...
I was a lucky lad. A very lucky lad.
I had parents who loved me (and each other)--got to attend good (if not great) schools--fell into a job I loved (middle school teaching)--met a woman I loved immediately, a woman who, impossibly, loved me back--retired with a decent pension--fell into another job I loved (English at Western Reserve Academy)--retired again (after ten more years).
And I had my health. Throughout boyhood, young manhood, middle age--nothing ever really happened to me besides the usual: a tooth needed filling; I got the flu; bumps and bruises.
Then, as I neared fifty, stuff started happening. I hurt my knee while ascending the Chilkoot Pass in 1993 (it's never really recovered). Then--that bizarre experience with Bell's palsy in October 2003 (I'm mostly recovered, though part of the right side of my face remains numb and disobedient). In the summer of 2004--skin cancer (requiring facial surgery). Late in 2004 I got my prostate cancer diagnosis. Surgery failed; radiation failed; I'm currently on hormone-deprivation therapy--not a cure. A delaying tactic.
I've had some more serious oral surgery. And other stuff seems always to be going wrong, all up and down my body. Of course, I'm seventy now. What else should I expect?
Here's a new one: A few months ago, Joyce and I were on a walk around town (not a "speed" walk--but a brisk one). At an intersection, a driver waved us on, so I broke into a little trot to cross the street and found--to my alarm--that I could not stop. Well, I could have, but it would have meant falling on my face. I eventually staggered to stillness and could only shake my head at the latest chapter in the book of my physical decline. Now I have to be very careful about changing positions. If I've been sitting awhile, I need to stand carefully; if I've been walking quickly, I need to take time to slow down before I stop. Otherwise, dizziness overwhelms, and I have to grab onto something. Or hit the dirt (snow/ice).
Anyway--here's what I'm getting at today: All of these complaints wear you down after a while. Instead of running off to the physician or dentist (or shrink?!), you just say to yourself, I'll deal with this by myself.
One medical/dental professional (ain't tellin' which) has been calling me lately about a follow-up. I just can't do it. Don't want to do it. So I ain't doin' it.
My left knee has gotten worse in recent months, but I'm not doing anything about it (other than being circumspect). I don't want another surgery--or a replacement. I'd rather limp a little.
I know, I know. I should care more than I do. I should run (well, walk slowly) out and get these things looked at--or taken care of (whatever that means).
But I'm just tired of it all.
One eventually wearies ...