I haven’t written here for a while–ever since I had my first cataract surgery, which I admit now, once the thrill of the unknown was over, wasn’t much to write home about.
There is nothing romantic or noble or even dangerous about cataract surgery. It was such a cinch I didn’t even bother to write about my second one. (I will say it was a lot like the first one, only on a different eye.) The colors are brighter but I still need glasses, so I spend a lot of time trying not to think about the fact that I might have saved myself a whole lot of trouble by just saying no.
There is no basking-in-the-sun moment with a thing like cataracts. Everybody past a certain age has had that surgery. Say the word “cataracts” and they’ll pounce on you like dogs on swill and attempt to tell you about their own boring experiences with the same surgery you just told them you had. “It was nothing,” they say, and then proceed to fill you in on every little detail.
Sort of like I did in that earlier blog post.
But enough about that. My useless rants have just begun.
After a couple of weeks of snow and whiteouts and cold and ice and more snow and whiteouts, we closed up our house in the north woods earlier than usual (almost three weeks earlier) and headed downstate to be with our kids for the holidays. That was roughly 10 days ago. Since then there hasn’t been an inch of snow anywhere near our house, or anywhere else in this insanely beautiful but deluded* state. (*See last state election for details.)
So for weeks now my left leg has been aching. Behind my knee and up the shin bone. Off and on, but enough so that it wakes me up at night and makes me limp during the day until I get my sea legs. But the other night it got so bad I allowed myself to be talked into going to the ER. Just up the road. No more than a mile away. Except that that particular hospital no longer has an ER! They closed it in April. Just like that.
So then it’s a drive into Ann Arbor to the big ol’ University of Michigan Hospital (I used to work there but that’s another story. Also boring), where they did an ultrasound and eliminated the worries about a blood clot.
Well, okay! That was a relief! But the leg still hurt. And that night, because when one door closes another opens, my nose began to pour hot water, my throat surrounded itself with sandpaper, and I developed a cough that started around my belly button, ran up my chest, hit that sandpaper running and hurt so much I would have been crying my eyes out if I didn’t know from past experience it would have hurt even more.
So I slept. For two days and two nights I slept. I slept so much my hips hurt and I worried about bedsores. I ate nothing but Club Crackers and chicken noodle soup (both Campbell’s and Progresso, but don’t ask me which one I liked better unless you really want me to tell you. I’m on a roll with inane stuff today. You might just want to sit quietly and let me get it out of my system, okay?)
But I’m feeling a bit better today and I think I’m going to live. That’s the thing about getting old–with each passing year the reality of mortality sets in and you just can’t get away from it. It’s good to be alive, and sometimes we like to pretend that death will not happen to us–it’s those other old folks who have to worry–but life is precious and there isn’t much time.
I think I’ll go kick some ass.