While We Have It

A visit to my doctor’s office yesterday led, circuitously, to an x-ray of my right knee. The x-ray revealed that I am a degenerate. “Degenerative joint disease is seen with some osteophyte in the medial compartment and superior patella.” It further expressed “loose bodies present including the posterior intercondylar notch and the superior popliteal fossa.” What this means, in practical terms, remains to be seen. However, some Google sleuthing suggests surgery (perhaps arthroscopic) is the go-to response to discovering “loose bodies” hanging around one’s knees. No hurry, as far as I can tell. In the meantime, I will just be kind to my knee. I suspect my left knee is similarly-afflicted, but the pain was not sufficient to warrant an x-ray, I suppose. I never expected to be sufficiently defective to require remediation.


Last night, I went to bed around 10, hoping to get around seven hours of sleep. But I woke several times, twice to go to the bathroom and a few times to wrestle with the breathing device (BiPAP) that seemed intent on whistling so loud as to pierce my eardrums. By 4, I gave up on my efforts to sleep for a solid seven hours; I would have to be satisfied with a tenuous six hours. Sometime during my restless sleep, I had several dreams in which I missed flights or cruise departures or buses or all three because my clock had stopped working; I remember nothing of the dreams but a sense that I had not wound the clock. I haven’t had to wind a clock since I was a kid, I think. Maybe the dream is symbolic; I left my childhood behind me as I failed to prepare for adulthood. Though I doubt that’s the symbolism represented by the dream, I feel a certain pride at my cleverness for thinking of the idea. Pride or not, though, I did not get as much sleep as I intended, nor as much as I probably need. I read something yesterday that suggested older people (I guess I am one) should ideally sleep seven hours a night—no more, no less. I have yet to meet that ideal. It shall be among my objectives for the future.


Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.

~ Aristotle ~


One more large piece of my furniture is set to move on the greener pastures. My desk/ desktop credenza, at which I sit each day to write my blog posts, will relocate to the office of my church’s treasurer. The remaining items (queen-sized Sleep Number bed, corner desk, wrought iron patio furniture), if not sold, will be donated to Habitat for Humanity/ReStore. Progress. A little at a time.


Life is a prelude to death; which is emptiness. When life ends, it is gone. At most, it transforms the substance of one person’s experience to the vapor of another’s memory. But even memories die. Knowing that, it seems especially important to take every advantage life offers, while we have it.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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