I’ve never mentioned this to anyone. Not my wife, not my doctor, not to a friend. Maybe I should have said something, especially to my doctor. But for the longest time, I didn’t know what it was. I heard this noise when I got up out of bed and went into the bathroom in the early morning. I thought it was a noise outside the house. It sounded distant. But then I’d move through the house and it would move with me. It always seemed distant, but it was there. It was like a noise I imagined a bird or a squirrel might make, a repetitive sound that didn’t change at all. Finally, about four or five months ago, I realized: I hear this noise regardless of where I am. And, increasingly, I heard this noise all through the day and night. I finally figured it out. Are you ready? I’m hearing my heart beat. Or, perhaps, I’m hearing the blood pump by or around or through or near my ears. And it’s driving me crazy. I haven’t mentioned it to my doctors. I don’t know quite how to describe it. But I guess I should say something. Especially if what I am hearing is getting louder and more pronounced and more frequent and more maddening.
It’s especially upsetting right now, with the cancer thing and so forth. But I guess I should mention it. Next time I’m in to see a doctor. If I ever get an appointment. Which will require a biopsy appointment first. Which may never happen.
On an unrelated topic, I think I had fewer birthday cards and messages this year than ever before. A card from my friend in Franklin, Tennessee. A call from my brother and my niece and her husband. And I think that’s it. No card from State Farm (a huge letdown, as that’s always been the highlight of my year). No, I did get an e-card from the clinic in Little Rock that injected my spine last year. One can never forget the spine puncturist cards. I got online birthday wishes on Facebook, too. Quite a few. But the decline in e-cards and physical cards was stunning. We don’t wish happy birthday any longer, I guess. It’s a little sad to see it go. Not terribly sad, but a little sad.
The absence of a birthday card from my oncologist was moderately depressing. I wasn’t sure whether to chalk it up to the brevity of our relationship or her assessment that there’s no return on a patient who won’t be around in a year. That is a joke, in case you were running to call the suicide hotline.
On a more serious note, I do notice of late a tendency to tear up over nothing. I wonder whether that’s related to my cancer or something else? Could be both, I guess. Whatever it is, it annoys me and makes people uncomfortable around me. That sucks. It just does. I’ve always been one to spray gallons of tears at the drop of a hat, but this is getting ugly. I can’t have this. It just won’t stand. I may have to stay indoors behind curtains. Really.
When I cast the jokes aside, I feel a little like rolling up into a ball and releasing whatever it is that’s inside. But that’s not the way I should behave, especially with my wife in close proximity. That would alarm her unnecessarily. But, then, I feel utterly exhausted, to the extent that I might need to ask her for help moving from point A to point B. Yet that’s nuts. I’m not weak yet, not by a log. I guess my imagined weakness is purely psychological.
Shit, I’m wandering all over creation here, am I not? It’s time to go to bed. Nearing midnight. Time to go to bed. I wonder if I should post this now or wait until morning when I can edit and remove the more embarrassing stuff. Probably best to release it now. When my worst warts can be seen and excised. God, I didn’t bargain for this. I didn’t know how an unconfirmed cancer diagnosis would make me feel weak and unprepared to make decisions that will impact my wife and my family from now on.
If I can focus on tonight’s wines of the world. Israel wines. Israel food. Nothing much positive to say about it. Enough. Just enough. Maybe more later.