Winter and the Cold Moon

Monday grateful: Traveler’s Insurance. Car and House. I’m grateful I still have it. Deaf old guy t-shirts. The Ancient Brothers on healers and healing. Sue Bradshaw. Annual Physical this morning. Great Sol lightening the morning Sky. The shema. Hashem in letters of fire. Getting laundry done. Groceries in the house. Self care. Agency. Independence. Cognitive awareness. Physical mobility. Healthy.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ruth, Gabe, Mia

One brief, shining: These days I often peel back the metal lid of a can of Wild Caught Sardines, put them on a plate, open up my current package of #34 crackers, this week they’re Rosemary, reach in the fruit compartment of the refrigerator to select a cold Pear or maybe a Tangerine, prepare the fruit by slicing or peeling, add it to the plate, pour myself a cup of coffee, place it all on the table and start to read my breakfast book, right now Democracy Awakening by Heather Richardson, while enjoying a protein rich morning meal.


Annual physical today. My PCP, Kristen Gonzalez, retires next month for medical reasons. Apparently very bad headaches. As a result, I’m seeing a nurse practitioner, Sue Bradshaw, who has worked with Kristen for over twenty years.

Kristen may have been the best doctor I’ve ever had. She and Charlie, whose last name I can’t recall, were about the same, but she’s older and wiser. Which I imagine he is at this point, too. She’s kind, empathetic, put me first always in our encounters. And she’s medically humble. Says when she doesn’t know. I trust her, trusted her, completely.

Her retirement makes me sad on two levels. First, that such a competent physician and decent person has something so wrong that she must leave her work. Which she clearly loves. Second, I’ll miss having her in my corner, the backstop for my health.

As I scan myself at almost 77, I don’t have anything that jumps out, says Tell Your Doctor About Me. Yes, prostate cancer. But it’s being managed. New labs next month. Yes, altitude and funky diaphragm induced shortness of breath. Yes, slacker thyroid gland. All part of the world for me, nothing that causes me worry. Well, maybe one thing. This damned back. It’s been flaring. Yet I do my exercises, take some acetaminophen and it behaves. Sort of.

It bothers me not so much because of the pain itself, which most of the time I don’t notice, but because of the limits it puts on exercise and travel. Exercise I need to maintain my overall health. And travel. Well. I want to travel.

I think.

I say I think because I’m not getting out and doing it. I have nothing planned and don’t know what I could do if I did. Which is partly why I have nothing planned. A combination of physical discomfort and inertia. Some days I imagine this is my life. Here on Shadow Mountain. Out some during the day, reading, meals with friends and family. Staying in at night. Sometimes I push against that idea; sometimes it feels like what I want.