I feel okay today.
Now, there’s a statement I honestly feared I’d never make again. But I do. Feel good, or at least pretty good.
Just two days ago, I honestly thought I would never feel worse. I was tired, shaky, nauseous, breathless and too weak to walk…the way I’d pretty much felt for the last couple of months, only worse. I figured it went with the territory.
My wife drove me to the VA for my regularly scheduled chemotherapy session.
It didn’t work out. As soon as a nurse took my vital signs, I was hurried to the ER. My blood pressure was 70/42. That’s low.
I’m not going to go into the diagnosis except to say that low blood pressure was partly a result of the cardio surgery I had a couple of weeks ago and partly caused by the fact that I was taking medicine that had been prescribed a year ago to lower my blood pressure. I wasn’t drinking enough liquids.
Anyway, I spent the day in the ER, on my back on a stretcher-bed with an IV something stuck in my chemotherapy port. By the late afternoon, I felt pretty good, able to walk. Yesterday was good and so is today.
Over the last few weeks – since my mother died – I’ve not been able to write much of anything. Oh, a lot of that inability stemmed from my physical condition but a lot of it was a reaction to my mom’s death. It just seemed that I couldn’t get my thoughts off my mother, largely because I hadn’t been able to visit her before her passing.
Stretched out in the hospital two days ago, though, I had something of a breakthrough. I realized, that my mother would be appreciative of my sadness, appreciative that I missed her and was going to keep missing her. She would have been enraged, though, if I allowed that perfectly natural sorrow to stand between myself and the writing I still want to do before my own death. "Stop it!" she’d say. "Get back to the computer. Show me you loved me by writing a good book."
My mother was proud of me. I know that. She was happy and proud and thankful that I’d fought my way from a terribly sick and sad and drunken life to a decent life. A life that included her and also includes a wife and my grown up children and my grandchildren. A life that includes some success as an author. A life filled with friends I’ve made since I took my last drink. But she wants me to finish the writing I started two years ago because she knows that’s what will make this period of my life make some kind of sense.