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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Is this too personal an operation to speak to those who know me? Tom Green featured himself getting a testicle removed on national TV. That included the severed organ and vomiting. I don’t know if he has gone in for reconstructive surgery, preferring to remain one of the elite sporting only one ball. There are cases, one is mentioned in the movie, In and Out, and one that entails the main character of J.P. Donleavy’s, The Onion Eaters involving a group of men with three. So perhaps a donor could be found for Tom if he desired.

But getting back to my predicament, I’ve been working too hard with my body for over 30 years—carrying and working with heavy ladders, climbing the same. And then restoring them to the roof of my vehicle, not to mention all the scrubbing, equipment, and  furniture moving and other miscellaneous activities I’ve engaged in. In the past I also had a carpet cleaning business, using a truck mount, an even more strenuous undertaking.

I knew I had one hernia and suspected the second, but the doctor found a third. The doctor, by the way, is known as the Hernia King of Connecticut, because he performs more of these operations than anyone else. And since he has done more than anyone else, this self appellation as King has credence. After all, wouldn’t you want a delicate operation done by the most experienced guy?

To make a long story longer, the appointed day came, and because of  issues with Patrick, my son, I ended up being dropped off at Bridgeport Hospital at the last minute. This made me quite tense and short tempered. I was not too worried about the surgery, having been assured I would not awake from the anesthesia in excruciating pain. I was upset, however, by the prospect of being late.

Fortunately I was dropped off on time. The third floor holding room had a sign telling us, the surgery attendees, to sit tight and they’d come and get us—no check-in; so I was never completely sure I was in the right place. Finally after 45 minutes of waiting, someone came out and informed us they’d be taking us soon, and my doctor’s name, Kenler, was mentioned. I took this as a good sign that I was in the right place.

At long last a couple of us were guided into a room to disrobe and put on “the gown with the open air solution for one’s ass”. My clothes went into a bag with my wedding ring. The nurse assured me that now, I was a free man. So I asked her if she had a wedding ring on—she did and added that as soon as my wife returned I would be asked to don said ring again, since I belonged to her—my window of opportunity closed as rapidly as it opened. I must say, in an aside, that this ring represents one of the most important things in my life beyond my integral involvement with life itself.

Then commenced a wonderful parade of intake personnel: data compiler, robe adjudicator, Indian anesthesiologist, Filipino scrub nurse, shaving specialist who informed me she had to “remove this sweater, but don’t worry it will grow back,” the PA who would assist the doctor, and of course, his lordship himself, the Hernia King, who drew on my abdomen a game plan, discussed risk analysis, and engaged in a brief but harmless badinage about his well-deserved appellation that should be just shortened to King.

One disconcerting aspect of this whole introduction was the PA telling me I’d be out of commission for not just two weeks, as I’d been told might be the case due to the healthy, virile specimen that I am, but six weeks of no lifting more than 10 pounds (then again, one report said 16 and another 20).

That is why I’m writing this disclosure of my medical affair. What else am I going to do? I can’t even vacuum the rug. The upside is the Valium—I am not afraid and in good spirits, just sore. I didn’t really want to go to work today anyway, and the drugs and dictum of having to rest on doctor’s orders, removes the guilt, shame, and fear that are sometimes my constant companions.

If this missive sparks in you, a desire to communicate with me, please write, either as a comment to this post or at larry@optonline.net.

This is my first real surgery. Just as becoming a father had done for me 30 years ago, this is another initiation for me into the human race of which I often observe but sometimes avoid engaging. More than ever, I feel we are all in this together, that I’m a part of you and you, a part of me.

I suspect grandchildren will be the next big thing for me. And finally, my dying will bring it all full circle.

A way a lone a last a loved along the riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.     Finnegans Wake

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We’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics lately, the Luge, figure and speed skating, hockey, downhill skiing and snowboarding. The Olympians seem almost superhuman in their strength, agility, and endurance. Patrick, my 29-year-old, autistic son, will never be in the Olympics.  He’ll probably never be in the Special Olympics either. He may never do a lot of things like get a paying job, get  married, drive a car, or even talk.  Yet he doesn’t fall short as a human being.

 On the contrary, he is a wonderfully lovable, caring person.  His main joys in life are his interactions with family, caregivers, and friends; hiking in the outdoors; and, of course, eating ice cream.  I do not think he spends his days worrying about whether he’ll ever succeed in any worldly sense.

 When asked if he is envious of the gold medal winners or any of the Olympic athletes, he typed, “No, Dad, I am happy.”

 Once I asked him what makes him happy, he typed, “You make me happy.”

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This is an addendum to my previous post. After releasing my anger in that post, anger that I have towards our beloved congressmen, particularly the Republican ones, I realized the cause goes deeper than just the bad behavior in Congress. Granted, that behavior jeopardizes the survival of what’s left of our democracy.* However, it’s really just a trigger for me. What’s being triggered is parental imprinting from childhood. In addition, I have many friends and acquaintances who, being loyal Republicans may feel offended when I’m criticizing the people they elected. That is not my intention. I think most people, who are not politicians, act out of a place of sincerity. 

My Republican friends see things from a different perspective, and I respect this. However, I think they’ve been betrayed by their party. The party used to be conservative, hearkening back to traditional values, state’s rights and small government—nothing wrong with that. We need a balance between progressives idealistically looking to something new who tend to expand government and those that want to stick with what has worked in the past and wish to give business a free rein. The problem is that the party was hijacked by reactionaries; they pretend to be Republicans, but they’re really as far right as Mussolini. They want to allow corporations to run the country and marginalize anyone who opposes them. Of course they don’t come right out and say that; they just oppose anything that will take control out of the hands of the large corporations and give anything (like health insurance) to the little guy. They love threat levels orange and red, military tribunals, Homeland Security, and The Patriot Act. They love our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and would like to start one with Iran. And anybody who thinks otherwise is unpatriotic. I could go on, but what’s the point?

But as I said, my anger is only triggered by all this. My happiness is not really dependent on whether our country is safe from corporatism.** It depends on something else.

 Now you’re thinking, “Please don’t tell me what you think it depends on, you’ve said too much already.”

 “But,” I respond, “You don’t know what I’m going to say.”

 So what does my happiness depend on? Mostly me and my attitude towards what I’m experiencing. I don’t have to like what has happened over the last 10 years, to be happy, but I could trust in life and what it has in store for me.

 There are different words for this life in which I need to trust. One is God, but there are many others. It’s not a matter of naming that which cannot be adequately named or really known by the intellect. For me the word life points to a lot of it, but it goes way beyond form or the material constructs and manifestations. Enough said.


*Especially now that the Supreme Court has given corporations carte blanche.

** “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini.

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