Today is the First Day of the Rest of Something

Yesterday I had an upper endoscopy and learned that I have a dire condition known as LUQ. Before you begin sending condolences I have to admit that’s just another term for “bellyache.”

Sheesh. I could’ve told them that without going through the fasting and discomfort associated with an upper endoscopy. Although, to be honest, the discomfort was minor and mostly consisted of me being a bit chilly until the nurse placed a warmed blanket over me.

I probably had an ulcer, but if so it healed before the procedure, and now I just have some inflammation in the abdominal area. I have to lay off dairy products for two weeks while also taking a good probiotic (the doctor kind of made fun of my gummy probiotics) and Citrucel.

Color me relieved. I’m proud of my LUQ diagnosis. Hoping I can milk it for a good long time. It’ll have to be almond or soy milk though. (Any tips on dairy free diets are welcome.)

Peace, people!

Too Excited to Sleep

There’s no doubt I’ve had a weird week running from one medical related appointment to another, fasting for a procedure every day, and then sleeping off anesthesia most of today.

Tomorrow, though, life takes a turn for the better because my Illinois grandkids are finally going to be here! It’s a good thing I got my sleep in earlier today, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be too excited to sleep tonight, kind of like these kids in this old Disney commercial:

https://youtu.be/b95oyhSd5ls

Peace, people!

Why Do They Call it Fasting When it Goes so Slowly?

Three days in a row now I’ve had to fast for a morning procedure. Once for blood work, once for an ultrasound, and again this morning for an endoscopy. It occurred to me yesterday as I was having some kind of gel smeared on my abdomen that “fasting” is an odd word for a process that seems to drag on forever. Shouldn’t it be called “agonizing” or “slow mo deprivation?”

I decided to look up the meaning of fasting as it pertains to food. People fast for religious reasons as a means of showing restraint or abstention. Basically it means to hold fast or firm against the temptations of food, to be immovable in one’s resolve. Okay. I can get behind that. I just wish there was a way to make fasting go faster.

Send me some good vibes this morning. I’m hoping the doctor finds what’s causing my gastric distress so I won’t have to fast any more for a good long while.

Peace, people.

Oh, The Things That You’ll Lose!

If you’re anything like me this is an outline of the things you stand to lose beginning in your 40’s:

The first to go will be your 20/20 vision, and even if you already wear corrective lenses suddenly you’ll be unable to read the fine print on medicine bottles. And it happens overnight, literally “now you see it; now you don’t.”

Next on the chopping block is your ability to hear words in normal conversation or on the movie screen. “What’d they say?” will become your new theme song. I chalk this loss up to too many years of loud rock and roll. “Huh?”

Sometime after the hearing begins to go, you might notice your bladder starts to lose its ability to hold out against sneezing, coughing, and laughing. Invest now in bladder control products.

The memory might’ve started to wane around the same time as the hearing, but I really can’t remember.

As long as I don’t lose my sense of humor I guess I’ll muddle through: blind as a bat, hard of hearing, incontinent, and forgetful. Baby, I’ve got it all going on.

Peace, people.

Holding Space

Several days ago I was at a Tallahassee Walmart in search of a replacement charging cord for my iPhone. It seems my youngest cat had decided the existing cord was her personal chew toy and had rendered it a danger to both of us.

The young man who assisted me in the electronics department was the kind of guy one just instantly liked. He wore a genuine smile and seemed knowledgeable. Within a very few minutes he’d made a couple of suggestions and I was ready to check out.

As we finished my transaction an older man in a wheelchair rolled up behind me. My young salesman addressed the man saying, “Hey Super Dave! Where have you been? I’ve been worried about you!”

Super Dave grinned from ear to ear, “I was having some problems with my breathing, but I think we got it fixed up for now.”

I noted his oxygen tank and the hose clamped to his nose. He had the look of a grizzled veteran who’d perhaps fallen on hard times. The salesman came around the counter and shook Dave’s hand.

“Glad to hear that man. You’ve got to take care of yourself.”

Then he turned to me and said, “Super Dave is my man, don’t you know.”

Super Dave beamed. This young man had held space for him in his heart when maybe no one else did. I’ll be honest, I walked away with a tear in my eye.

Peace, people.

Still Thinking About the College Cheating Scandal

I grew up in the farming community of Floydada, Texas. My family was working class, and my scope of the world was severely narrow. Neither of my parents attended college; although, my mom was a voracious reader and instilled a great and enduring love of reading in me.

As a kid, my grades were always solid. I learned easily and had a real talent for test taking. But, if it hadn’t been for my relationships with friends whose parents were college educated and who had been groomed to aspire to higher education from birth, I’d probably never have given it much thought.

As it was, my first semester at college was a lesson in cluelessness. I didn’t know how to negotiate the system. I had no idea how to secure funding, and my parents hadn’t saved money for my education. Naively I felt the whole college experience seemed like more bother than it was worth.

Long story short, after that first semester I dropped out and married Studly. While most of my high school friends earned degrees and entered the work force as professionals, I was raising babies and trying to help Studly Doright make ends meet by working in clerical positions. Not until we hit a huge bump in our marital and financial road did we consider sending me back to college as a way to create a better life for our family.

Studly negotiated all the ins and outs of college financing, and my grades qualified me for scholarships and grants, but we still owed a considerable amount in student loans after I’d earned my degree. Sometimes the weight of the debt felt impossible to bear, and that was before we started funding our children’s college educations. Bottom line–it costs a bundle to send kids to college.

Now, I’m no Alberta Einstein, but I performed admirably as a college student. Early in my second year as a returning student in my 30’s, a classmate glanced at my grades and gasped, “You have a 4.0?!”

Apparently his sister had graduated summa cum laude with a 3.99 grade point average, and that was a big deal. I’d never even heard of such a thing, but all of a sudden I had a goal beyond earning a degree. A single “B” in my college algebra class kept me from a perfect 4.0, but I still had the summa cum laude etched onto my diploma.

Often I wonder at how many others are out there who, through accidents of birth, never understood what their options were or didn’t have the means or knowledge to fulfill their destinies. How many super bright young people will be stuck in low end, low paying jobs because they aren’t exposed to the possibilities of a better life? Or if they’re aware of them, the opportunities seem out of reach due to a lack of financial resources and/or a certain savvy that children of college-educated parents have simply through environmental influences.

And then there are the kids with every advantage whose parents still feel the need to bribe and cheat in order to move their progeny even higher on the food chain. How utterly crass and elitist is this practice? Is it a status thing? Like having a trophy kid?

As conservative politicians push for public funding of private schools, we are going to witness an even greater divide emerge between the educational haves and have nots. I predict that the elites will become more so as those who were raised as I was become even less likely to have the means to access higher education.

And yes, I know that life isn’t fair, but don’t we owe it to our society, hell, to our world to make higher education a right instead of a privilege? It seems some in higher office prefer to have an uneducated populace. I can only imagine why.

Peace, people.