Wednesday, February 03, 2016

My dad gave me a road map

Some parents show their kids how to live. That is loving and important. My dad showed me how NOT to live. That's a valuable lesson, too.

My dad was an autodidact with a passion for politics and history. That we share.

My father was also a committed Right Wing Nut Job. Of the old-school Goldwater variety. He thought pacifists were "chicken." That minorities wanted "too much, too soon." That the white male was the backbone of American Society, and no one appreciated him. This is, obviously, where we differ. I'm what the RWNJs would call "a libtard," a Kennedy Girl, an old-school, unreconstituted Liberal.

He loved arguing his point. Debating. Explaining why the person on the other end of the spectrum was just wrong. I don't enjoy debating these things. I like learning, yes. And digesting other points of view is vital and it be illuminating. But these issues are too important to me for me to treat them like sport.

And he did nothing to effect change. I never saw him phone his congressman or write a letter to the editor. He never even made campaign contributions, much less attend a rally or volunteer to leaflet.

Yelling at Walter Cronkite, making snide and disrespectful remarks about the opposition, turning the holiday dinner table into a tense debate stage ... none of these things makes a difference. None of these things makes anyone happy -- not the one spouting, nor his audience.

That is so not me. I try to walk it like I talk it. My dad never enjoyed the glorious moments I've had: balloon drops and storms of red, white and blue confetti. Seeing your candidate's face flash across the screen above the caption: THE WINNER IS. Knowing I played a part in making history.

So maybe his road map showing the path not to take me was his greatest gift to me.

Am I blue? You'd be, too.

So I just finished four more days of antibiotics. And my gastrointestinal tract is still not normal.

This has been going on for 42 days.

I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I'm sad. I'm singin' the blues.

So I went back to the doctor. Again. More tests. As she explained it, one of three things could be going on.

1) My gut is healthy but my colon doesn't know it. 42 days is a long time to go without a full meal, and maybe my body just doesn't remember how to process food. This is the most attractive diagnosis. Then I just start slowly start eating again.

2) My C Diff is just really, really resistant to antibiotics and we need to put me on a different course of treatment.

3) It's morphed into something else. This is both the least likely and the worst option.

I suppose I should feel lucky. I have no fever, I'm not fatigued and I'm functioning. Today the doctor told me about a new mother who contracted C Diff in the hospital and had it for a full year, leaving her unable to nurse her new baby. I'm not that sick.

But I'm still sick. And it sucks.

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Quality of life

Joey is a very old cat with a litany of health problems: high blood pressure, arthritis, kidney disease and a viral infection. Those last two are fatal. So I am trying to remind myself that our time left together is short.

But here's the thing: Right now he's sitting beside me, purring so loud I can hear it. He enthusiastically wolfs down his food. And last night he engaged in a little laser point tag. I'm going to try it again tonight.

As long as Joey is still enjoying his life, I'm going to sit back and enjoy him. The vet has warned me that he's never getting better. But for now, he seems happy enough to be here. And so here he shall stay.