Sunday, February 3, 2008

February 2, 2008

I don’t usually have reason to consult my calendar on a daily basis. The lifestyle that Stanley and I have developed requires little more than a basic understanding of the seasons of the year which are so different in the desert than they are in the rest of the world that a calendar really isn’t of much help.

However, I have had occasion to look at my calendar frequently in the last few weeks as doctor appointments, specialist consultations, and testing have to be scheduled with vast empty spaces between them to allow for stress to really sink in. I have reflected many times in the last month on what I wrote in November about time passing so quickly. The last month has been my opportunity to reassess the speed of my passage through time and the last 30 days have redefined the word drag.

On New Year's Day, I had what I have since learned was an atrial fibrillation episode. I didn't know quite what to think, but I knew it wasn't right. We returned to San Antonio just to make sure it was nothing serious. However, that wasn’t quite the way it worked out. After being stuck more times than I can count and having my insides photographed with a variety of radioactive substances, a stress test (why don't they tell you ahead of time that the 'stress' part of the test is worrying about it before hand?), having every beat of my heart recorded for 24 hours, and further delays due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, a catheter ablation, is scheduled for Feb 7 at noon. I'm not very good at waiting or being scheduled by someone else so this has been a learning experience for me. I'm trying to find the joy, but it's a bit evasive.

Nothing can slow down one’s passage through time quite as effectively as waiting, but with lots of time on my hands I have learned a thing or two.

Nitroglycerin can blow the top right off you head.
The most stressful part of a stress test is the anticipation.
In a medical situation, no one cares very much about your prior plans, commitments, calendar conflicts, or your sincere desire to get on with your life as quickly as possible.
There is no better medicine for a fretful patient than a good husband. Lucky for me, I have the best.
I really, really, really like my life. That includes the dog, the tiny house and its tiny kitchen, the cast iron bed in front of the windows, the fireplace, the wind that can blow incessantly, the dust that piles up way faster than I can sweep it out, and the noisy construction still in progress on the south end of the building.

My mom has been so gracious about having us stay with her and I am very grateful, but there is no place like home. As Dorothy might say, “Toto, we’re not in Hacienda de Perote anymore.” The next time I write, my little ticker trouble should be all fixed and with any luck, we will be back in the land of sunshine surrounded by grape vines and cactus.

Meanwhile, a few pieces of news to report: one dear friend is recovering from cataract surgery (is there any gift greater than the gift of clear vision?), another has just lost her husband (a dramatic reminder to all of us that life is so very fragile and so very short), the new grandson is thriving (nothing is any better at melting troubles than a baby’s laughter), and a nephew is being married tonight (I love new beginnings!).

Until next time, keep those positive thoughts coming my way.