At the beginning of this calendar year, a chronic back pain began worsening and I could not put firm walking pressure on my right leg. Of course I sought medical help from established orthopedic physicians. After the failure of several non-surgical orthopedic procedures, it was clear I needed serious spinal surgery. It was diagnostically determined that my three lower lumbar vertebrate needed attention and that I needed to have these secured through fusing to my lower back bone.
Surgery was scheduled for May 2, but such was postponed at the last minute because of some disagreement among my non-orthopedic physicians. It was rescheduled for June 6. The surgery seemed to have gone well but I had other complications that took further attention. On June 22nd I was dismissed from the hospital but it seemed clear that I needed some non-surgical help. So I spent a week in an extreme care wing at Epworth Villa, the place at which I live in an apartment and to which I returned a week later. So by June 20th I was back in my apartment and receiving physical therapy three times a week here at EV.
A falling helplessly backwards episode in early September required an ambulance to get me to the emergency room at the hospital to treat and close a four-inch gash on my head. The bleeding was increased by my blood-thinning heart medications. While the healing of the wound has gone fairly well, it is clear that just as my walking-pain has greatly diminished, my balance seems perpetually in peril.
For three months I was medically forbidden to drive my car, I am now permitted to drive my car—but quite gingerly and for not too far or too long.
It does seem as though my pre and post-surgery pains and the post-surgery physical-therapies have greatly diminished my crippling pain, and I am now left with the simple fact that my remaining aches-and-pains are mainly due to my aging body and mind.
Last week I finished my 82nd year and am moving slowly but surely into my 83rd year!
I am hopeful I can begin again soon in posting some blogs on my web site. And yes, writing this blog will hopefully spur further postings. After all, Trump is still making a fool—a clowning but dangerous tyrant—of himself.
A concluding confession: growing old is not just increasing aches-and-pains; it is also a diminution of one’s powers of thought and movement and discernment, an unwelcome and stubborn fogginess and forgetfulness. Contrary to some lore, growing old does not necessarily make one wiser and more human, but it might sometimes for some folk. And, too, it sometimes makes us sadder and regretful about the life we have in fact lived. Is there grace even for me? we might wonder.
Thanks for your prayers and notes.
There is another matter, which is important but I will not spend much time on it now.
My aging has brought with it that mental decline that now does impede my construction of essays on theology, politics, the vicissitudes of everyday life here in the USA [and other places]. I do not feel condemned to fuzziness, but my gumption does suffer from time to time. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘gumption’ in terms of “shrewdness, enterprise, initiative’. 😟