Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Missing Magic Mountain (no, not the theme park)

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Lots of 19th century “innovations” are gone for good reason: horse-drawn wagons, the Saturday bath, walking across continents, surgery without anesthesia… novelties like these are lamented by no one except history buffs and masochists.

But one 19th century institution missing from our world is a true loss: the health retreat. Back in the day they were called sanatoriums: resorts set up for the “improvement or maintenance of health, especially for convalescents.” Today the  idea of withdrawing from life to recover a bit health is so odd that most people, hearing the word “sanatorium” translate it as “nut house.”

My oh-so-slow recovery from my latest medical travail makes me long for this old tradition.

I ache to check out of my life for a time and into another, one where meals are prepared and laundry is done and my duties consist of napping, reading, and taking long walks through woods and meadows. (more…)

About all that health stuff…

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I’ve got this deal going – in my head anyway – with the Three Fates. The Greeks called them Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, and they spin out, measure, and in the end cut the thread of our lives. We are literally in their hands.

My deal is, I get to stay alive for some unspecified number of moments after the liver cancer and transplant. I get to be conscious, occasionally functional, and once in a while I even get to thrive. I also get to experience each and every sensation of a body running down its weave.

I’ve started and not finished a dozen posts on my health trials of the past year. One did refer to my struggle last summer just to learn that I’ve comedown two impossible–for-a-transplantee autoimmune diseases, but that’s it. I feel guilt for not having posted more. (more…)

Photo of the week: July 4

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Holding it all up.

Holding it all up

It’s been a nasty month health-wise (more on that dismal topic soon).
This guy seems to be taking his burdens in stride.
I’ll take the lesson.


Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

A short time ago a friend came by and we went out for a quick bite. I’d had a hectic and minorly frustrating day today and was complaining about it, as we are wont to do – most of us, anyway. After I’d vented and the conversation relaxed, my friend laughed.

I was puzzled. Neither of us had said anything amusing.

What’s funny? I asked.

You, he said. Listening to you rant about phone calls and classes and traffic jams instead of your medical  operations or test results or upcoming procedures. I haven’t heard you do that in years.


I was stung for a moment, even a bit ashamed. WHAT was I doing, fretting about such things? After where I’d been? Perspective, Ed, please! Perspective!

And then I rejoiced.

Did I ever expect to worry about such everyday problems again? Did I ever expect to have everyday problems again? How far I’ve come! And how damn amazing is that!

I deeply thank my dear friend for that lesson.

Three Scenes from a surgery

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

I’m being silly. No, that’s too kind: I’m being stupid. I desperately want to write, want to update this blog and take it to new places because I’m sick and tired of thinking – and writing – about being sick and tired (and maybe I don’t have to for a while!) and I want to work on my plays again and write the essays kicking around my brain and I’ve got this idea for a novel and…

But I don’t.

What I have been doing is everything I can to avoid writing. Photographing. Having an operation (again). Reading. Walking the dog. Recovering from said operation. And… uh… did I say photographing? It’s all just surgery-excused writer’s block.

Oh, my new photography obsession is a fabulous mania. I’m having a blast learning all manner of photo techniques, how to visualize the shot, taking classes and reading books on the subject. And of course snapping pics, hundreds, anywhere and everything, to the bored distraction of my friends, family, and dog. Somehow all the trauma and medications of the last three years left the visual parts of my brain functioning better – certainly more willingly – than the language parts. But photography isn’t writing. I need to write.

Well, the surgery excuse is now officially old. The operation succeeded – mostly – I’ve recovered – mostly – the dreaded bubble‘s gone – mostly – and I even made it to the gym this week – mostly. Time to put fingers to the keyboard. Before I shoot at the other writing goals though, I need to exorcise the health stuff.

So here, as a sort of mopping-up exercise, are three scenes from a surgery, which took place November 5th.

1. Nooo! I don’ neeed a kidneeee!     

In which the joys of pain meds reveal their dark side.

2. “Do you know why you’re still here, Mr. B?”

In which I learn you can wander the halls too long.

3. Terror.

Yes… well… there’s no other word with quite the impact of “terror” these days, is there? Yet I have to use it: all the synonyms I can find really just tell a part of the whole… totality we call terror. This post will be along shortly. Nailing down what I’m trying to say isn’t easy.

There. Medical demons exercised with the exception of #3. When it is done, I get to move on. Next posts, already in the boiler, will be on hypnotherapy and surgery, and just how much is a cure worth? Stay tuned.


Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Funny thing about confidence: you don’t really know you’ve lost it until you start getting it back. Without an inner voice constantly whispering a “you can do it” nag, a hypercautious agony aunt takes over and plunges you into a fog of jitters. Auntie has excuses for everything. “No, no, no!” she hisses. “Be careful!” “Oh, you really shouldn’t go out tonight. You’re not quite recovered you know!” “Of course you shouldn’t feel guilty about not taking that bike ride! Look at what you’ve been through!” Eventually this irritating scold owns you so completely you cringe at the risks involved with everything. “Be careful of that tea now, it’s hot!” “Don’t trip on that step!”

Unless you had the misfortune to be raised wary (or had a very difficult childhood, the same thing), auntie’s isn’t the default human condition. (more…)