cronechronicler

You don't know where you are going. You don't know how to get there. And you arrive just the same. Ghanaian saying

Episode Number Two: The Wonderful One Hoss Shay- 2019 Model

Behind the scenes my primary care doctor was monitoring the action. He noticed that my eye doctor’s concern about a stroke resulted in my appointment with the retina specialist. When the specialist made the call that I have macular degeneration and began treatment, the plot veered away from a possible TIA. My doctor picked up the loose string and arranged for me to have MRI’s of my brain, eye and neck. The results were that I did not suffer a stroke. However, I do have narrowing of the blood vessels in my brain. The next step is for me to see a neurosurgeon.

Up to now I have been weathering this weird series of my having a problem, a doctor making a diagnosis and passing me on to a specialist who instead finds something different and the next specialist coming up with another possibility – twice. The thought of having narrowing blood vessels in my brain begins a new chapter, if not a whole new book. It is scaring me. And my appointment with the neurosurgeon is three weeks away.

My problem with pain from sciatica and arthritis in my knee is ongoing but getting better. I began physical therapy last week. In my assessment the therapist asked me about my recent medical problems. I gave him my litany. When I got to my brain MRI and the diagnosis that I had not had a stroke… but, the therapist broke in and said, “They found narrowing of blood vessels in your brain.” Like this is normal. He explained that they will keep a watch on me from now on to see if anything develops.

Finally things are coming full circle. I think I’m in good enough shape to go another ten years. This One Hoss Shay is not ready to collapse just yet.

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Episode Number One: The Wonderful One Hoss Shay – 2019 Model

July 14 was a wonderful day. I joined the small church where I was once pastor for the 175th Anniversary of its founding. My son, who had spent many weekends visiting me there, was my escort. It was a lovely travel back in time. By the end of the month I was in quite different territory.

Toward the end of July while typing the newsletter for the apartment building where I live – along with the word game ladies and the wonderful patio occupied by oak trees and squirrels, I suddenly saw bizarre forms marching across my computer screen. Upside-down vee’s and scallop-like humps decorated the page. This went on for several days until I finished my task. Then my vision returned to a new sort of normal. I thought stress had done me in. Typing was never my strong suit.

About a month later, on the day after Labor Day, I awoke with horrendous pain in my right knee and down my leg. I had experienced pain from sciatica before, but never like this. My doctor prescribed pain medication which took care of things until the RX ran out. The next step was x-rays and a visit to an orthopedic doctor. He told me that my knee had almost no cartilage left. In due time I’ll be a candidate for a knee replacement which this doctor specializes in. Nice to know but I think I’ll wait. Instead I’ll go for Physical Therapy.

At a regular check-up with my eye doctor I reported the strange vision I had experienced in July. She said if I had notified her when it happened she would have sent me straight to the ER to check me out for a TIA. Instead she sent me to a retina specialist. This doctor diagnosed me with age-related macular degeneration, the wet kind, and gave me an injection in my eye. During the hour I had spent in the waiting room I heard a woman talking about having such injections for the past five years with the result that she could still do most of the things that mattered to her, including driving. Never dreaming that I was about to discover I had the same problem, I nodded to myself that that was a good thing. After I received the diagnosis I thought that I would probably be able to see until I was ninety.

My primary care physician received reports concerning these visits. Wait for the next installment to see where that led me.

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Haiku: Illumination

Darkness before dawn
Old knee creaks language of pain
Candle lights my way

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Haiku: Hope Is the Thing With Feathers

Changes are daunting
Signs of aging surround me
Not for faint of heart

Surprises yet charm
Emanating from strangers
Delight and joy

Days that begin grey
May hold moments of newness
I’m not giving up

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Speed Bump

Six years ago it all began
Sleep-canceling pain in my right knee
No stranger to old-age infirmity
I sought help

I’d only been in town a month
Few physicians on my speed dial yet
An orthopedist seemed a likely choice
My son steered me to one who treated him

The doctor listened to my tale
Proclaimed the problem not my knee at all
Inflamed nerve from spine was sparking pain
His diagnosis was sciatica.

Prescription a dose-pak of pills
Worked like a charm and I could sleep again
My new internist said he has sciatica as well
Calls it a speed bump when pain slows him down

I’ve traveled freely ever since
Until a speed bump’s bad pain road-blocked me
I called my internist to prescribe
Same meds did the trick again.

And here is the part that I love best
The medicine’s generic and so old
It only costs $1.99
Aging has its benefits

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Meatloaf Mystery

I opened my refrigerator freezer and was startled to see a blue plastic Heinen’s shopping bag. True, I had just returned from the grocery store and had been in the process of putting things away. I had already arranged many Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine frozen dinners (there was a sale) in the freezer in my accustomed order. But what was a plastic bag doing in my freezer? And what was in it? I always take my groceries out of their plastic bags before putting them away. I looked inside the blue bag and found four frozen meatloaf dinners, that I did not buy and which were not on my receipt. Who put them in my freezer inside a blue plastic Heinen’s bag?

Each of my two sons has a key to my apartment. I thought I remembered that Bob’s wife is giving up eating red meat. Maybe she decided she did not want the meatloaf dinners and Bob brought them over as a surprise. I emailed him about my strange gift from either Santa or an elf. Or possibly him? He emailed back “Not me”. He suggested that the bag was included in my groceries by mistake when I checked out. This could be how it happened. But this did not explain how the meatloaf dinners still in the plastic bag got in my refrigerator freezer. I emailed my son Fred to see if he was my mysterious “Secret Santa”. “No ma’am” he replied. Well, it certainly wasn’t me. So I accepted that this was an
odd occurrence possibly related to aging.

Then I did the only sane thing I could think of and called the grocery store to report the frozen dinners that had accompanied me home. I hoped the customer service woman would tell me that the person who checked out just before me had contacted the store about the frozen meatloaf dinners she was missing. I envisioned a happy ending. But the customer service woman just told me to return the dinners next time I did my grocery shopping. I felt like I was acting as a model citizen. But still the person in me who put away groceries in a certain order, and had been doing so for sixty years, refused to believe I had put the blue-plastic-bag-enclosed boxes of meatloaf in my freezer.

First thing this morning I struck a match and lit my little red candle to burn cheerily while I drank my morning coffee – just as I have been doing for twenty-four years. Then I put on my warm sox and my bedroom slippers. Then I blew out the candle. Oh, dear. I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

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Haiku: Passing Time

Days move slower now
Crawling at a turtle pace
Time to smell a rose

Weeks go charging by
Rapid rabbits hop along
Where did my time go?

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Engaging New World Yet Again

Sixty-four years ago I first commenced
Marched to regal music Pomp and Circumstance
Received high school diploma, adjusted my tassel
And was graduated. The beginning.

Four more years later another time
Marched outdoors on campus
Without Pomp and Circumstance
Received college diploma.

Life became serious.
Brought me independence and marriage
Motherhood of three babies. No diplomas or music
Recognition or sleep.

Years in the middle
Marched to my own drum beat
Weathered whatever my life set before me
Found goodness in living.

Long rich years have passed
I sense a commencement.
My body is slowing
While fine new gifts flourish.

If there is marching I’ll get out my cane
Wear purple and celebrate all that I’ve learned
Applauding the music of birds and the rain.
I don’t need a diploma.

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Wings

Once I flew on shiny wings of steel
Wings that bore me far away
To continents and countries new
To places where my heart was intertwined
With people and a life I learned to treasure dear.

Today I fold those steely wings and rest
My tired body bids farewell to travel days
Gently lifting new wings bear me home
To see beauty in the life that welcomes me
And joy in my beloved family.

Spring came the week I was away
Green leaves and flowers everywhere
Sound of birdsong in the early morn
Mind and my imagining are free to roam
Precious new wings expand my universe.

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Haiku: Lament

Spring touches a nerve
Memories call to my soul
I so want to fly

I long for new skies,
Music, color and fragrance,
To taste mystery.

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