This afternoon in the first minutes of Raleigh’s Rush Rush Hour, Jon and I were calmly headed to Chapel Hill for my bi-monthly transplant evaluation and check-up. We had no expectations as to the outcome.
In other words, we had made that medical pilgrimage so many times (perhaps, 75 or so) in two years that any conjecture could, if not “would”, range from the totally obscure to the painfully generic.
My fear was that my extremely wonderful cardiologist, Dr. Briony Peony-Smith (not her real name), was regrettably poised to admit me to the hospital to finish the undetermined wait for a heart. However, despite my essentially bed-ridden limitations, my extreme shortness of breath, and my inability to focus, I am “still, yet, and again” otherwise able to continue depending on Henry and Jon as my caregivers.
I can still hear my eighth grade French teacher, Mr George Bright, enunciating that most general definition of encore. Yes, we love those random nostalgic gems that make us smile. I thank God that I don’t experience any shortness of breath while perusing that mental year-by-yearbook account of my life as a Catholic boy in North Carolina coming of age in the early 70’s.
In addition to a constant unfold of “sentimental journeys”, my immediate prognosis includes: a very restricted diet; extreme and non-stop nausea; an almost absurd inability to stay awake for more than hour or so; and a physical inability to talk. One might add that I can no longer rub my stomach as I pat my head with the other hand. Or perhaps I won’t share such.
I can still drink regular coffee, even though our “K-cup dependent” Koureg gets an F and has withdrawn altogether.
I can still eat ice cream. Hooray. Hurrah. We shall, one day soon, miss Edy’s Grand Gourmet Mocha Chip, Harris-Teeter’s Banana Pudding, and Turkey Hill Peach ice creams.
I still have Wanda, the mega-channeled remote control.
And I can still wake up each morning, glance over at my beloved nestling with our charmed and charming puss, and smile.
Despite all the bleak days, wretched finances, and wellness obstacles, I love my world. My friends. And my family.
I just wish Jon and I had more closet space.
(“The Fallen Angel” by Salvador Dalí, 1950’s.)