The first month of this year slipped away, almost unnoticed. Time, as always, has a way of distracting us from the reality that it gives us only a limited, but unknown, store of itself. If, at every moment, we were conscious of the precise amount assigned to us during our lifetimes, our experience of life would be difference. We would want to know how much we had used. We either would consider deeply every moment we spend—never to retrieve—or we would live in a constant, frenzied panic, unable to determine its best use. Time fascinates me, in part because it embeds itself in everything we do, whether thinking or acting on our thoughts. The second sentence of this paragraph begins, “Time, as always…” The definition of always is based on time. Other words I have used here—during, would, moment, never—rely on time for their meaning. Time surrounds us, yet it is simply a concept, not a physical reality. Oh, we could argue that for years (another time-reliant word), but agreement would elude us. My fascination with time may not be unique to me, but others with whom I try to engage in “philosophical” conversations about time seem to have little or no interest. The topic bores them. Perhaps a conversation that is guaranteed to end without any measurable resolution does not sit well with them. Such is life.
I went to my primary care physician’s office yesterday for pre-physical labs (blood, urine, whatever). However, in the fog that seems to be creeping into my brain, I did not fast beforehand. So, no tests yesterday; I will return early tomorrow. My physical is next week. Given all the tests, pokes, prods, and other invasive stuff I’ve experienced in recent weeks, I am not sure a physical is really necessary. Based on all that “stuff,” I think I could write the report arising from the physical:
Pleasant 70 year old man (they always say that) has lung cancer, the vestiges of pneumonia, COPD, Type II diabetes (a mild case). Though he has lost weight since his last physical, he remains overweight (grossly overweight, in the view of physicians who define obesity, etc.). He has lost muscle mass, due in large part to his sedentary lifestyle. His blood tests reveal wildly varied measures of blood components, some much lower than the desirable range, some much higher and, in one case, critically high. His answers to questions designed to determine his state of mind are, as usual, “normal.”
I am probably far off in some ways, but I feel confident the doctor’s findings will not be too far from my guesses.
After tomorrow’s blood and urine tests, I go in to the oncologist’s Village clinic for a two-hour (or so) infusion of magnesium. At some point, the amount of time devoted to “healing” that offers no guarantees, seems to exceed the time available to enjoy the freedom and joys of retirement. When, I wonder, does that out-of-balance experience begin to seem not worth the trade-off? I am not there yet, of course, but I do wonder; it is possible I could get there at some point. That is the point, I think, when people who have passed it, decide to investigate euthanasia. I am a believer in self-determination when it comes to life and death. If a person reaches the point of deciding death is preferable to life, he or she should be permitted to end life. And people who assist should not need to worry about helping. But, because the decision, once carried out, is irrevocable, I think a reasonable amount of time be required before action is taken. Hmm. What a cheery topic for a Thursday morning.
Once again, I did not sleep especially well last night. So, instead of going to breakfast with men from church, I think I will return to sleep for an hour or two after I finish this blog. Later today, the church board meets. The agenda is full, but I hope I can prompt participants to hurry it along. I’ll probably want to sleep afterward, too, so the earlier we finish, the better. I feel a bit distant from the church, even as president of the board. That is due in part to my absence/illness, but also due to my desire not to “run” the church. Others have different perspectives, I think. I suspect some people might think I am not filling my role as I should. At 70, I have reached the point of not letting that bother me. I think I’ve said it before: such is life.
They asked me what I thought about euthanasia. I said I’m more concerned about the adults.
~ Jay London ~
If you’re planning on taking public transportation in Finland tomorrow, make other plans. A series of political strikes will stop all metro, tram and light-rail services, as well as the majority of bus services, in the capital region, according to the Helsinki Times. What a mess.
Reading small online newspapers based in other countries does not necessarily make me better-informed, really. But that practice does make me more thoroughly entertained. And I tend to put more stock in reporting from many of them than I put in many big media newspapers. Any newspaper with an obvious left-leaning or right-leaning perspective on information-sharing is suspect in everything they do. I do not look at newspapers (or newscasts) for analysis, except when presented as commentary (and I expect to see multiple perspectives in the commentaries). Wishful thinking? Yeah, probably.
It’s 7:15. Time to finish this post and return to bed for a while.