my recovery continues

Peggy made it to France on only three tranquilizers. I knew she had taken one in Eugene, so when waited to take the other two in Atlanta, I asked her if she was more afraid of crash-landing in the Atlantic Ocean than in the Rocky Mountains. She said NO in a tone that implied it was a silly question.

My Friday doctor’s appointment was actually with his physician’s assistant, and he gave me to the go-ahead to bike and to do pretty much anything that caused me no pain. I therefore took the dogs for an hour’s ride Saturday, and was so swollen and sore afterwards that I’m back on narcotics. Several people called today to ask if I needed anything, but the one thing that I am unable to do for myself is to exercise the dogs; and it is a task for which there are few volunteers. I certainly can’t take them biking again, and even short walks are an ordeal for a man who feels like he has been kicked in the groin.

My moods range from despair to guarded cheerfulness. I spend my time reading, watching old Westerns, and editing old journals. I just started on 2006, the year I had the arthroscopic knee surgery that left me worse off than I had been. I can but wonder if this surgery won’t turn out the same. I know it is unlikely, but then I felt the same way about my knee.

Despite my surgical fears, I made an appointment for a nerve conduction study in preparation for carpal tunnel surgery. The last thing I want right now is even more forced inactivity, yet the higher my medical expenses during a given year, the greater the portion that insurance will pay, and I had planned to have the surgery this year anyway. I am also scheduled for another sleep study (the last one was five years ago). This is something else that was on my list of things-to-do, but now that I having to sleep entirely on my back, I literally wake up more tired than I went to bed.

I still entertain the hope that there is a silvery lining to all these gray health clouds. After all, I am but 58 (at least for a few more days), and am greatly motivated to regain as much vigor as possible. The worst challenge is that I feel forced to turn my surgical care over to people without any certainty that they know what the hell they are doing. If I were rich, I would get four second opinions for every one procedure, and I would fly to the foremost surgeons at the foremost medical centers, but I’m not rich so I must make do.

I managed to limp behind the dogs to the end of the block today, and we passed a string of maybe ten teenagers, each with multiple piercings and all black clothing. Two of them asked me for money for cigarettes, and I wished I could somehow convey to them how few years they can take their good health for granted. In truth, no one can ever take good health for granted, but most of us have thought we could, and decades passed during which it seemed that we were right.