Friday, April 29, 2011

"May you live in interesting times"

I first came upon the curse, may you live in interesting times, in the Terry Pratchett novel, Interesting Times, which is about the Counter Continent (if your world is a disk riding upon 4 elephants riding upon the turtle, Great A'tuin, you have to have a very heavy small continent to be the counterweight of the larger continent "across the place.")*

These are interesting times we're living in, on a world scale and on a national scale. But I ain't goin' there! I'm more interested in the day-to-day interesting times of people I know. My sister... ahhhh, my sister. Her times were soooo interesting over the past week or so that I'm surprised she's still sane. Well, I'm surprised she's as sane as she is.... hurhurhur.

ANYway, between animals, cars, the house falling down, her microwave ending its life (which means no coffee OR oatmeal in the morning) the electricity being iffy, etc., she's had a bad few days. Not to mention finding out that Daddy can no longer eat properly (he'll be 90 years old in a couple of weeks, things are wearing out).

Daddy - a more stubborn man you'll never meet. But it's only in self-interest. When told by the doctor at the age of 89 that he should have a colonoscopy, Daddy said, "NO!"

The doctor just banged his head on the desk (his own head, not Daddy's). But Daddy's right - he's waaay too old to be going through a colonoscopy. Believe me, I know - it's not that easy for ME to go through one. Well, not actually "go through one," that sounds a little weird, and it would have to be a really BIG colon. Ok, he's too old to "experience" a colonoscopy.

So the eating thing: Daddy has esophageal stenosis - which means his esophagus has become narrow and it's getting harder for him to swallow. It could be fixed with a fairly simple operation of inflating a balloon in the esophagus to widen it.

(Are you picturing a balloon dangling down Daddy's throat with a doctor at the other end blowing with all his might?).

ANYway, Daddy said, "NO!"

He has decided to learn to eat very small bites that can fit through his esophagus. Mom grinds his food exceedingly fine,*** and I would imagine he eats all day long in order to get enough nourishment. But he's an adult who is totally still in his own mind. He is totally compos mentis. (aside to my brother: that does NOT mean he has a compost pile!) He can do what he wants with his body (as long as it doesn't take a corresponding toll on his help meet, Mom).

Mom, Daddy and my sister are all living in interesting times. Is it a curse? You're darn right it is. They would all really prefer to be living on an even keel, one day following the other with no big changes or ordeals.

So, I give you this benison:
May your days be boring and happy.
(Also all that stuff about the wind behind your back, 
which is good unless you have long hair, 
which blows all over the place and is annoying.)


*a quote my friend from California uses for the East Coast. His slow-witted** pool cleaner used it when told they were moving to the DC area: "you mean.... across the place?"

**slow-witted, we presume, because he'd been "smoking," hint, hint, nudge, nudge

***like the mills of the gods, but not as slowly.

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