Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is My Sun Setting?

January 3, 2008 I entered the Beebe Medical Center with an unbearable pain in my right side. Later it was discovered I was passing a kidney stone. Believe me, if you haven't passed a kidney stone, this is something you don't want to do. If our official government torturers knew how to replicate this pain, there would be no need for waterboarding suspected terrorists. During that emergency stay, I had an MRI scan performed on my body. It wasn't until a few nights ago that I read the full report. What I read confirmed what I suspected for a long time, I'm getting old! I am literally starting to fall apart. My 1998 Subaru Forester has over 105,000 miles on it, I expect it to start falling apart. In that case I can get a new car. Not so with my body. This is my one and only body. I think I've taken pretty good care of it in my lifetime but I am 66 years old. I'm afraid the wear and tear of the past 66 years is beginning to show. The MRA report says "there are multiple calculi in both kidneys." That means I still have kidney stones. Oh God! Not again. This is a result of my lifelong habit of not drinking enough water. I've tried to drink more water since I found this out but I fear I'm still not drinking enough. Even so, that won't help clear up the "calculi" that is now in both kidneys. My doctor tells me they will pass one way or another. Either in small granules or, heaven forbid, kidney stones. The report also says "there are calcifications in the liver and spleen suggesting granulomata". I don't know exactly what that means but it doesn't sound good. The next item is the kicker. It says "there is atherosclerosis of the aorta." That's hardening of the arteries! Proof positive that I'm an Old Dude. There are other notifications that don't make me feel good, the main one being that I have a slight case of emphysema. This from my years of smoking cigarettes. I stopped smoking my one pack a day of Marlboros on July 27, 1967. I had smoked for approximately 6 years. Apparently the damage was done. Several years ago I had a chest X-ray. My doctor at that time asked if I smoked cigarettes. I told her "Yes, but I stopped years ago." She told me that the chest X-ray indicated that I had scar tissue on my lungs which indicated that I had smoked cigarettes. One of the reasons I stopped smoking was that I got out of breath climbing the two flights of stairs to the floor where I worked at a bank in center city Philadelphia. I figured that if I was out of breath in my 20's, what would I be like if I continued to smoke. Probably dead by now. Last week I had the results semi-annual blood test at the VA outpatient clinic in Georgetown. It indicated that I was doing well in all areas, especially my cholesterol count. The doctor indicated that was as much due to my genetic heritage as to my diet. Thank goodness for that. Blood pressure was also fine. However, I did indicate to him that I probably needed another eye exam because I'm having trouble focusing on distant objects. He examined my eyes and told me I had some large "floaters." I asked him what was that. He said "all a part of aging." Uh uh. Another reminder that I'm getting old and beginning to fall apart. I look in the mirror every morning when I shave. I don't have a choice. I have to look or take the chance of cutting my throat. Who I see in the mirror isn't the same person I picture in my mind. I think to myself "Who is that old geezer looking at me in the mirror? Did I sleep with HIM last night?" Oh well, the MRI report also said "there are serpiginous vascular structures int he abdomen suggesting varices." I'm not even going to look that one up. I figure I have enough on my plate now. One thing is painfully obvious, a Michael Phelps I am not.


    Or, not.
    Trust me, you will wish you had if you go through another attack.
    I'm just sayin'.

  2. I read this entry; enjoyed the photo-show of all your flowers.

    I can see why you're so thin; probably tired, and surely would not want the bill for all those annuals I saw growing all around your house and the edges of your property.

    You put a great deal of time and love/effort into making your home a very special place.

    As to your age and health, we all face that - I'm right behind you on that one.

    I'm sure Michael Phelps doesn't have a garden as lovely as you do; nor does he care about the birds, flowers, and trees the way you do.

    If you put as many hours a day into taking care of your body and 'self' as M.P. does, you wouldn't have a lovely home; lovely flowers - no boxes for birds, but you'd probably have a stronger body, and swim better.....

    He has youth; he has nothing to do but to 'win' - in his case, he's focused on the gold - in your case, you're focused on nature.

    That's how I see it.

    Talk to you when I get back around the 12th of September. Diane

  3. You are very perceptive. I don't want to tell you what I spend on annuals. It was way too much this year. The good thing is that many of them will come back next year. All of the impatients and the red salvia came back on their own this year from my plantings of last year. Most of my marigolds also seeded themselves from last year. Next year I won't have to spend as much on annuals or plants in general. The plants I like best are the ones who come back on their own year after year. Again, you are right on the mark when you state that I'm focused on providing a backyard habitat for nature and my own well being whereas Mr. Phelps is focused on gold. Neither one is bad. Just different priorities. I couldn't be happier when I go out each morning and "make the rounds" of my ever developing garden. When I see the bees, butterflies, and birds going about their business I know I am successful in my goal of creating a backyard habitat for some of God's creatures. To be perfectly honest, I prefer my life to someone like Michael Phelps. When I was younger I received a certain amount of attention which always made me feel uncomfortable. I would not want to be in a position like Michael Phelps is in now. I wish him the best but he can have that lifestyle. I'm happy just where I am now just as I'm sure you're happy where you are at. As for my weight. Both of my brothers now top 300 pounds. I'm 155 lbs. They are two of me, each! I don't want to be like that. I'll stay just the way I am, skinny. I would be miserable carrying all that weight around. Have a safe and happy vacation. I'll miss hearing from you.


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