There and back again


It’s a sobering thought, being human.

Too often we get caught up in the trap of being young and feeling invulnerable. Invincible. Impervious to all bad things.

I went from 1970 to 2009 with nary a hiccup other than the occasional visit to the ER for things like metal springs through fingers, starters falling on foreheads, and getting pummeled in the face while sitting in my truck at a stoplight. All interesting stories, but another time, another place.

Last year, I had what they call a fundoplication, which basically means they realigned my innards so they would work better. A couple of months later I was down for the count with a major ulcer that led to me losing 35 pounds. I’ve bounced back from both of those, only to be told by my regular doctor two months ago that there was something wrong with my thyroid.

The word cancer was bounced around once or twice, but after spending several hours under the knife where Doctor #3 took out half my thyroid, the prognosis is good. Thyroid (other half) is functioning just fine, and the growth in the other part was similar to a “large mole,” which Doc said would have been huge eventually. So it’s good that they took it out. I guess.

Nevertheless, my kids don’t like to see their father helpless. I suspect my wife doesn’t either, and I’m not too fond of it myself. Even now, five days post-op, I am having to reteach my fingers to find the right keys on the keyboard, and my brain to find the right words. You know what they say. You miss your mind the most, but by that time, you won’t even be aware of it. I could blame it on the pain medicine, or maybe they just took too much of the gray stuff out when they operated….

In the back of my mind is the haunting realization that I will need my brain soon enough. I go back in the classroom tomorrow. I’m not sure how well I will perform, but we will all see, won’t we?

And this morning, my daughter drove me to the doctor to have the sucky, plastic drain removed from the front of my throat (yeah, I know, eeeewwww!) so that I don’t have to carry it around with me. “It may leak a little for  a while,” the doc told me. Right after that, I found this brownish clear fluid running down the front of my shirt. Fortunately it stopped eventually.

But while there, I started thinking how I went for almost 40 years without a stay in the hospital, and now, bammo, three in eighteen months. Sad how health is wasted on the young. My daughter is still trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, and I am stuck wondering if I have enough time to get what I want done with my life.

Not to be maudlin, or anything. Just considering the realities of where we all stand.

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3 thoughts on “There and back again

  1. Wow this truly is thought provoking. I would be, what one might consider young and someone who has their whole life ahead, however you never know what will happen. There is a plan for each and everyone’s life and what that plan is, I for sure have no idea. You don’t have to older or younger to understand that life is fleeting and that living everyday like it is your last is important.

  2. The idea of a weak father is not something anyone ever wants to see in their father. However our own human nature is sure to appear every once in a while. This morning I was wrestling around on the floor with my son and started thinking about the great memories of the past with my father doing something very similar. Sometimes it is not how long we can maintain ourselves, but how many great memories we have made along the road to that point. Memories can become more valuable that gold. I love you Dad.

  3. First, I’m happy that you’ve made it through in two pieces! 😀
    You know, one healthy one and one thrown-away one… you know…
    Anywho, again I’m glad you made it through! ^_^

    As to something An Eager Mind said…
    “The idea of a weak father is not something anyone ever wants to see in their father.” – This is indeed a terrifying thought. You know, getting older doesn’t bother me because I’m getting older, it bothers me because it reminds me that my parents are getting older. I believe I’ve said this for a piece in class once, but I’ve never had a close family member die. As I grow older, the inevitability grows closer, and it terrifies me.

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