Fifty One


Guess what? Everything’s up in the air, except me. But don’t worry, it’ll work out.

And that, folks, is how you know I’m back in the saddle. I’m not naturally a nervous person, but the years of system and systematic abuse on top of the fried central nervous system left me very nervous indeed. Every uncertainty was like a set of razor-wire boleadoras, ready to spin out and knock me over and tear me up.

line print of gaucho from the 1800s riding a horse after ostriches, swinging 3 stones tied together, a set of boleadores, to tangle the ostrich in.

Ghastly image, but very apt, as some of you know from your own experiences!

Of course, this slice of recovery is just well begun, not done. I’m simply able to reflect on possible futures without melting down reflexively. I’ll still have bad moments, bad days… and they will pass.

After all, there’s always an afterwards.

So, I’m 51 today, and I can honestly say I didn’t expect to see this day. You’d think my 50th would have been more reflective, but no, this one is.

I realized I’ve been blogging for 8 years, maybe 9. The first year and a half were justly lost in a Google flail, in the early part of the Pit Years. They were online journals, not blogs; the point of blogging is not to rip my skin off for reader amusement or “inspiration porn”, but to trace one path through the thickets we all have to travel, and trade ideas that help others find their own paths, or at least make them more bearable. (Tip of the hat to the friend of my youth who had the integrity to tell me she didn’t want to read my diary.) I’m more grateful for my readers, in all your kindness and struggles and brilliance and care, than words can ever say.

51 is starting with a bang, or rather continuing the same bangishness that has characterized this year so far.

I’ve found out I don’t currently have gall bladder disease, detectable spleen or pancreatic disease, or any form of cancer growing in my gut, just some “mild” gastritis. This leaves the question of what’s causing the rather extensive GI issues open for further inquiry. I’m going to see if I have mycotoxicity, which is looking very probable indeed, going on reactions and the fact that even the weirdest symptoms on that list are mine; going to find out if my body is able to respond well to a massage intensive (twice weekly for some months) or not; going to finish the final house repairs (as soon as the weather warms up long enough to let us not only recover from the cold but then get past the setting-up); and going to find out where we’ll go next, when the lovely house we’re living in sells. (My credit will age out of the worst black mark next year, so getting a house loan is simply a matter of time, with ongoing diligence. Not to mention knowing where to land.)

I’ve been reflecting on J’s unique mix of gentleness, brusqueness, flexibility, and intransigence, and realized how much he helps me in nearly every phase of his personality. (To misquote a capable yenta I knew, the holes in his head fit the bumps in mine, and vice versa.) I wondered how much further I could have come if he’d been there when I first got sick, or before I got sick. What great work I could have done.

Then I remembered, oh yeah, my ego was very much in the way — as that egotistical sentence pretty well indicates (what about your partner’s work, eh, Isy?) We would have loathed each other on sight, as both of us were cocky little jerks back then. It took losing everything that I thought defined “me” and “my life” to realize what really matters in a person — and in life.

I learned that love isn’t my driving force, it’s the anodyne that makes living bearable; curiosity is the characteristic that drove me out of the grave. I never would have guessed at the pure slingshot force of it.

So, though I don’t think I’ll see another 51 years, I can see that I might be wrong about that too. I’ll start heading that way now. I’ve got good company, outstanding friends (some of whom I’m related to), and interesting things to do. Onward.

May the future be worth the trouble of getting to it!

Panoramic view of Road Town harbor in the tropics

H’mm… that looks good!

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8 thoughts on “Fifty One

  1. My love, I have such faith in you. I know that if you can find a way to counteract the challenges of our bodies dailly struggles with doing something signifigant every single day whose sole purpose is healing you mind and body (for me it’s become swimming) it does truly help. And I seriously and highly recommend talking to a doctor about the balence in your guts flora and the possibility of a poop transplant. I know it’s gross, but it truly can be a great help. I know the poop donation collection is primarily done in Boston. They actually get paid 1,000 bucks for a weeks worth of poo. I asked, my doctors, as I was being put under formy own poop transplant if it was handled anything like giving blood. For example, Could I get a sticker with a brown droplet on it that says “I GAVE A SHIT” – They definitly cracked up.

    • They should *definitely* have that sticker! FOCL!

      I might not be able to get it done in the US. Great excuse for a visit to the UK, where it’s not so hedged about by the FDA, which just created a highly limiting set of guidelines…

  2. Let me just add – That you are already a power house doing incredible things everyday to keep going that impress the hell out of me and are far beyond my lazy ass’s capabilites so far. I realized in retrospect that I sounded like one of the ignorant asshats who tell us to go work out and we’ll be fine, which is both maddening and freaking rude. You know I know better. I only meant that floating in a pool and doing as much time in there as I can helps me. I think the water preassure all over my body helps with the edema, at least I pee a gallon every time and the swelling goes down for a while, vs. doing anything on land in which my legs turn into the playdough fun factory of our nightmares, where you can actually make shapes with your fingers, and my brain is soothed by the water and the motion…. it’s the only place where my round arthritic body is graceful and exercise hurts the least… and by exercise I mean anything from floating around like a jellyfish to actually paddling back and forth with floaties and weights depending solely on whether or not a physical therapist is actually chasing me with a stick at that moment.

    • Didn’t occur to me for a second to take offense.
      Sounds like water really does wonders for you! I’m so glad you have such great results from something relatively easy to come by where you are 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday! Curiosity has been my greatest driver in times of despair too — so underestimated as a thing…

  4. Fuck a duck!
    , It has taken three tries for me to remember what I’m doing here. LOL face palm rolling eyes so far into head I might pass out. … Happy Happy Happy Birthday! Congratulations on making 51 entire trips around the sun with love, kindness, style, humor, strength, humanity, curiosity, intelligence, and integrity. It’s an EXTROARDINARILY rare achievement, and I am so incredibly proud of you and impressed by you, and proud of myself to call you a friend. I’m lighting candles on a bagel with lox and cream cheese so that Leo and I can blow them out together while making birthday wishes on your behalf. The wishes include the 52nd year of your life being the most love filled, most friendship filled, most deeply satisfying and self confident year yet. I hope 52 brings you incredible wonderful suprises that you absolutly never expected! Like new adventures, new friendships, new loves, new inspirations and sucesses, suprising improvements in your life and of course in your health!

    • /swoon!/ THANK you! I so appreciate you and Leo doing that for me!
      — Especially as I can’t eat bagels any more; thank you for eating one for me 🙂

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