Thursday, August 2, 2012
i have a confession to make. four months ago i didn't even know what a nephrologist was. words like that only exist in games like scrabble, i thought. to my chagrin this identifies a specialist in kidneys. good gravy, i never considered them that much, never having had a kidney stone (i hear you want to die). yet, here it is, a high count of creatinine in my blood. does that make me a cretin? no surprises there!
my bladder looks like india, filling and emptying. little sparks of light flash as a new shot of urine enters. my kidneys do look like the beans. my prostate faint but enlarged. i roll over as the technician rubs me here and there with a cold electronic device. hyper-tension? the doctor, a wonderful woman from romania, says, "small for someone your size." now i curse all the anti-inflammatory pills i ingested recklessly over the years. "they curl up a bit a the ends. i'd say, working at half capacity."
at this point my blood-pressure does go up. she says, "it sounds worse than it is." consulting others, i find a friend's uncle lived sixty-five years on one kidney, and 70,000 transplants happen every year. still, i'm not the happy person i used to be. actually, i can feel the tension in my body. doesn't a poet/artist need the hot wires to create? i always considered it par for the course. the doctor encouraged me to get a blood-pressure indicator.
let's see, i'll take it now. 134/76. okay, that's not bad. i have found the top number will drop into the 120's after i exercise. where it should be. unfortunately, it's often in the 140's which indicates anxiety. what else is new? isn't everyone in the modern world insane, so i'm normal? have you heard of black swans, a term coined by nassim teleb for the unexpected events which we can't predict and upset everybody's apple-cart?
for example, everytime i go to town for days off, i find out another friend has died. young, old, it doesn't seem to matter. if it happens next week, i'd better be glad it's not me. or take this case, i came back three days ago to find a major fire brewing on the forest. we've put out dozens of abandoned campfires this summer, and finally one gets away, a thousand plus acres and growing. nothing like a flight of black birds to get my blood boiling.
thus motivated by intimations of mortality, i have scanned and posted my last travel photos, down the maya trail though mexico and guatemala. and thinking about evolution, i've put up pictures of patterns in rocks around the base of the lookout. yesterday, i clicked and clicked, the smoky sun and bloody moon, the towering clouds of smoke, fascinating. not exactly the end of the world, but why not?