let us talk of some trivial things we like…

I’ve been thinking about aging. I just had a friend hit 55 and I thought wow that’s old. Then I realized he was younger than me. Truth be told I feel about 14 in my head but things are slowing down. I can’t run as fast or as far or far as fast if that makes sense. I’ve been getting tired earlier in the day and I groan when I stand up. I’m also getting thicker around the middle. I somehow this year also justified the purchase of an e-bike. Power assist, no longer do I go anywhere on wheels fully under my own power.

For awhile I’ve been observing the slowing down of my body. It’s kind of a pain,literally it’s painful.

I’ve been watching people my age. Observing them as they communicate, interact with younger people and move through the world. It’s a little disconcerting. It seems true that as we get older we want to hold on to what we have. This seems to encourage the older to become more conservative. Maybe become more suspicious of the young, jealous of their youth and vibrancy.

I don’t want to be one of those complainers. I don’t want to become more conservative in any way. I don’t want to be jealous of the youth.

This morning, four days or so after I began writing this I woke up. I had the smell of campfires and beer and lentil curry in the air. I had the barely remembered sound of a bass heavy tune in my back brain and could feel hair over my face. I was disoriented confused looking around at the four walls of my room expecting to see the green and orange walls of the festival frame tent.

The only thing that was real was the feeling of hair over my face. Not mine. That’s long gone but my wife’s thick mane of blonde hair had come loose of its retaining hair tie and was attempting to simultaneously strangle and smother me.

I lay in bed and pondered where this all came from.

It’s July. Festival season. Not the bloated experience festivals have become, but the lean mean growing up machines they were in my youth. Safe places to hang out, yes bad things happened but it was a freer time that Maggie ended in ‘85 they still hung on until they became corporate events with privileged glamping experiences and meet and greets with the stars. This is a time I often get restless, wanting to stand in a field and listen to music, go on an adventure, kayak, bike go off-road. We have a family vacation planned in Central Oregon, cave exploring, float the river, canoe, bike, hike, go to the lava fields and see what happens, it will be the first time together in a long time, eight of us including girlfriends and grand kid.

Six days or so after those four days. That’s ten days since I started writing this. Maybe.

We rented a really nice house, big enough for everyone, so it has no AC who really needs this? Until the heat is going to be 104 degrees Fahrenheit plus for the entire five days we had planned, the house had no fans and was as often the case in Central Oregon completely unshaded by anything. Suddenly things started coming up, work commitments for kids, accidents and emergencies that made travel difficult in the extended connections any family has and of course the crushing heat. The rental people turned up with some fans eventually but the heat was such that there was no joy to be had in the middle of the day unless you could find a cool bend in the river to wallow and stay out of the sun, The realities of the fragile nature of our planet came crushing down upon us, at nine pm it was still high 80’s but had cooled enough to eat. So it wasn’t the vacation we had planned, but that’s what happens when you try and organize so many people all at once at short notice. So eight turned to four and we had as good a time as we could in the rivers and lakes of Central Oregon, at times it turned into survival, enough cool water, cold fruit, is the dog okay, is it too hot, apply more sunscreen, find the shade, smile it’s a vacation(?)

Suddenly on the second to last day I noticed some floaters in my right eye, okay they will go away, it’s nothing, towards the end of the day there was a significant change in vision in my right eye, okay it’ll be alright in the morning. But it wasn’t. So I called the ever helpful advice nurse at 4am the next morning, one of the advantages of old age is waking up early for all sorts of reasons. She listened, hhhmmm, let me check with the consulting doctor… Shit, that doesn’t sound good. “We’ve decided you should go to the emergency room, don’t wait for urgent care…” I woke Michelle up, made coffee (don’t ask) and we head out. It was 4:30am so we figured plenty of time to get back doe check out.

I’ve never been to the Emergency Room for myself, usually you sit around in the waiting area for hours doing nothing feeling foolish. This time I was whisked into a room before the paperwork was completed, hooked up to countless cables and machines, testing my heart, car scan blood drawn IV in, “what the fuck” these crazy professionals are trying to figure out what’s wrong. Poke your tongue out smile all sorts of weird requests, until they tell me they are worried I am having a stroke or heart attack. Suddenly its all real sitting in bed waiting, no food, no drink, prodded poked, questioned, damn am I going to make it, I feel fine apart from this eye thing man, is this all necessary? Michelle is being all strong in the corner and all the time we are dealing with the rental company who shat they can’t extend check out, someone else is moving in when we leave. ” You’re going to have to go and pack up and get out of the house, I’ll be fine.” not sure if I ‘m lying. So now you are all alone in this bed in the ER. sounds of crying, vomiting, the life flight chopper arriving, scurrying shooting, the understaffed overworked nurses being so caring. So I sat there and watched the English Women win the Euro’s trying to distract myself from what may be happening, I feel fine apart from this eye thing.

Seven hours later, I am not having a heart attack or a stroke, appointment made with the on-call ophthalmologist, turns out I have a detached retina, okay that’s less than a heart attack or stroke. It needs immediate surgery, well tomorrow, then you may have to stay in Bend for 10 days or so!!! How can I do that? We have commitments to family not just work.

The ophthalmologist calls my provider with me, eventually after a beaurocratic nightmare we get to the retina guy, who knew, appointment made 8am the next day, not the best idea to take off on a 3 hour drive but what choice is there? Okay well lie on your right side! How do I do that in a pick up truck? Do your best or you could go blind in that eye if it gets too bad. The next three hours are some of the most uncomfortable rides of my life, no AC in my sons truck, seat won’t recline it’s an old style pick up, doing my best to stay flat on my right, fearful of watching that curtain close over my right eye, fear. heat, discomfort. Michelle hates driving this truck, is it going to be alright, slightly dehydrated, no don’t stop for drinks or food lets get home. I was told not to eat after 10 pm so I could have surgery. It’s considered emergency surgery.

Getting home, stay on the right, keep the eyes closed, rehydrate, eat bad fast food it’s all there is right now. It’s going to be okay.

See the surgeon, come back in five hours, go home, no eating, sip water, don’t panic, you have two eyes, I could watch the curtain slowly move over my right eye. The surgery will be fine don’t worry, you will have to have a specific position once it’s over. They will spot weld the retina in place with a laser and then put a gas bubble in there to hold it in place, it’ll be okay, it dissipates, its routine, emergency only in being time sensitive.

So here am I sleeping sitting up. Unable to drive, lift anything, carry anything, move my head fast or see out of my right eye right now. I also am not able to go above two thousand feet or the gas in my eye will expand. That’s changing as the gas bubble evaporates/dissipates or whatever. I can’t do all the things I had planned as I may go blind. I can’t work as I can’t get there and my left eye gets tired because it’s doing all the work.

Getting older sucks but I’m still 14 in my head…

This is the crap I’ve been listening to today what else is there to do?

10 thoughts on “let us talk of some trivial things we like…

  1. wow! are you back to normal yet? that sounds awful…getting surgery on my eyeballs is one of my worst nightmares…I’d rather get surgery on my actual balls!! and I have!! rest well my man, enjoy the tunes 🙂

  2. Bloody hell Neil, I go on a blogging holiday for 2 weeks and see what happens man! That’s really frightening stuff, I associate detached retinas with trauma to the head, can it just detach itself of its own accord?

    Thinking of you mate, really hope all gets well soon.

  3. Sigh. I’ve had emergency room visits while on vacation too. It’s really disconcerting having stuff like this happen far from home. It’s kind of weird that they were so focused on heart attacks and strokes. I’m under the impression that retinas go detaching all the time. I’d think that’s the first thing they would check. I hope you recover quickly. Also, sucks about your vacation weather. When we planned our Oregon vacation this summer, I noted that our rental didn’t have AC. I thought about last year when the temps hit 110 and crossed my fingers. I guess these heatwaves are going to be an annual thing. Everyone is going to have to retrofit their houses with aftermarket central air.

    1. I guess loss of vision is signs of all sorts of things and my detachment was atypical and emergency room doctors like drama. The eye doctor was also not available until the afternoon. The good news is my heart and head are all healthy. Only have to worry about the eyes it seems

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