It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I’m once again repeating myself: No one has more to be thankful for than I do. I have a fabulous family, a wonderful job and a life that’s filled with life. Despite the dire warnings from the nation’s medical elite, most of my days are good; many are even great, filled with meaningful interactions with the extraordinarily interesting people who surround me in life and online.
But I haven’t felt much like celebrating for the past couple of weeks. After so many good months, I feel like I’m slipping. Starting last spring I could feel the days getting better as they got longer. The summer and fall were better than I ever could have wished for. Now…not so much.
I should expect times like this. After all, hospice is by design a time of gentle “slipping.” Once again, my old feelings are intruding. Once again, I’m not scared of death; I’m just frustrated—very frustrated—with feeling sickly. I don’t want to make too much of that: it’s still about discomfort and not pain. I’ve been spoiled by the good times.
Now I almost never get through a whole meal–even the tiny snacks I now think of as meals– without puking up some phlegm or having to go some place to lie down. (It helps when I make ice cream a “side dish” to help melt the problem away. Even knowing that, it’s hard to remember to put out the ice cream when we’re dishing out the main course. I only remember it when I need it. Stupid.)
Of course, this could just be a bad month. But I have to ask: how many times can I pull off my “near death” experience? Do I have any credibility left? (As Jeff Goodby told me this week, “you’re just never going to f——die, are you?” Well, that’s the plan, Jeff.)