I was reading Vesta’s submission – she was talking about her husband.
“What I have noticed is that as my husband became immersed in the body form, in his own body form, a sense of space quietly began to be lost, like air being sucked out of a blow up swimming pool that has developed a small puncture.
As conversation reduced to talk of salt, and the evils of sugar, the benefits of magnesium and calcium, there was less and less room for a sense of sacred union. Anxiousness about the body form, about survival I guess, or perhaps preoccupations with wellness, took over the space and left not enough room for touch, togetherness, a sense of being spiritually alive.
With nearly every comment he makes of this sort, and his insistence that I give my heartfelt agreement, I feel further removed…”
I’ve been doing a bunch of medical appointments this year – i’ve named it “The Year of the Doctor.” For the last 3 – 4 years, i had really only gone to the doctor if I was sick. Once to get my blood pressure meds, but not again. Not for a mammogram. Not for a colonoscopy. Not for the follow-up blood-work they wanted me to do Not for any of that.
This year, I’m doing all the things. Colonoscopy – check. Mammogram – coming up. Problem with my foot – working on it. But i can see how easy it would be to get caught up in all of this physical stuff. The more I do, the more they want me to do. I’ve gone from lab work once a year to lab work every 3 months – to make sure my kidneys are still working, because of the blood pressure meds I’m on now, to make sure my blood pressure is perfect. I’ll get another shot in my foot today. If that doesn’t work, we’re looking at more invasive procedures. I’ve got follow-ups and check-ins – this week, I had three doctor appointments. That’s insane.
So I can see how easy it would be to get caught up in this stuff to the point that if someone says, “How ya doing?” i might find myself responding, “Well, they just about got my blood pressure down to what they want it to be, and my foot’s doing a lot better, even though I still can’t wear heels, and …”
I”m doing some proactive work on Alzheimer’s too. Not that I have Alzheimers, or any form of dementia at the moment, but it runs in my family. The women in my family live a long time, and most of them end up losing their minds long before they die. I would prefer not to do that.
My mother was really smart. So she was able to cover up the difficulty she was having pretty successfully for so many years that by the time we – my sister and I – realized what was happening – it had already happened. She couldn’t take medication for it not only because she couldn’t remember to take it, but she couldn’t remember what she was taking it for or that she’d agreed to it. There’s a lot of stigma and shame about losing your memory, but pretending you’re fine is not really a good solution.
I am still fine -but I’ve had this weird memory quirk with using the wrong word that seemed different to me. So we’ve done some checking – an MRI, mostly – and next week I’m going to take a test of cognitive abilities which will at least give us a baseline of where I am now.
I don’t intend to thwart death, but the progression of Alzheimer’s can be slowed if you catch it early. I’d like that to be me. And I think that talking about it – here and other places – is one way I can begin to reduce the stigma and shame around it.
Now, as for the rest of that FFF stuff, I met my exercise and dance goals, didn’t lose an ounce, didn’t count calories, and didn’t organize a damn thing. Man. I’m living a one-star life. I did go to the beach, and walked in the calming air of the ocean, waves breaking just a few feet away, wind beating at me, feeling that immediate sense of well-being the ocean brings me. I ate less a couple of days, applied for a loan to buy a house, and am using my Dragontree journal!! And it’s ok. It’s a new week. We’ll try again.