Wednesday, June 26, 2019
For his birthday, John and I were going to the Cub game on Saturday, July 13. Now we aren’t. He’s still too ill, still too weak, and afraid that he’ll become woozy in the crush of 40,000 fans. He no longer likes to travel far from home and is skipping all Chicago’s summer street fairs. This news makes me sad, because it’s so not John.
He is battling heart failure, and it has diminished him. John was once on the cutting edge. He was the one who was bored with the latest trend before I even heard about it. He was out every weekend. He was the charismatic one, always making new friends from different generations, different walks of life. He was curious about everything.
That's not who he is anymore.
• Technology makes him angry. He doesn't do Facebook or Twitter -- which isn't a good thing for an advertising copywriter whose clients use social media.
• He hates Uber and Lyft because they mean fewer cabs on the street ... and his phone won't accept apps.
• He needs glasses but he won't wear them. At dinner, he'll ask the waitress if they serve what he wants, rather than looking at the menu. At museums, he stares at the exhibit for a moment but doesn't read the cards ... because he can't see them.
* He doesn't get his hair cut anymore. He wears it pulled back into a little gray ponytail.
• He can't move. I am, literally, a foot shorter than he is. I'm fat and out of shape. And John can't keep up with me when we walk up the street.
• He complains about new people. For silly things, like one of his neighbors has a dog. And he hates crowds.
His doctors wanted him to get a pacemaker in 2009, but he refused then. A decade later and they're not talking about it anymore. His new cardiologist put him on Entresto, and hopes that will enhance his heart's ability to pump blood without any device implementation.
I'm afraid that 13 years of battling heart disease has made him old. I'm afraid he's running out of time. I'm afraid I'm watching my friend die.
He is 64. I am not ready to say goodbye to him.