Old people tend to think about dying, at least when they get sick or feel negative about politics or the Dallas Cowboys. However, discussing dying is not a popular topic.
We found that out recently when we were going through our papers to make sure that “everything was in order” and that we “wouldn’t be a burden” to our children when we departed this not-so-fair earth.
We thought it would therefore be prudent to discuss certain things about our death wishes with our daughter and son-in-law. We have specified our daughter Karol as executor of our will and final wishes, so we wanted to bring them up to date. We had mentioned that sometime when they stopped by we would like to chat about a few things about our “final” days on earth.
Not really—this is what is known as “fake news,” quite common in the USA. There are even news agencies that have departments to cultivate fake news. It is apparently not hard to do—take some item of “real news” and twist and turn it a bit. Like “Trump goes to Germany” and add “because he dislikes their leader.” Then mix in some other garbage and you have a headline that was once the property of the trashy tabloids.
So I am imagining some fake news. Tex-Rex, known as TR in Waco, Texas, is a large shepherd dog weighing in at 70 pounds. According to our local paper, “He’s got to be the most popular guy at school. It’s his hair , his eyes, the way he walks down the hallway.”
I am lying on the “rack” (my term) undergoing some automatic and machine-induced stretching for my back muscles. It is part of my therapy at the Providence Health Center. Neil is my Physical Therapist and he is trying to help me overcome some sciatica problems.
I have tried my own course of treatment because the problem has come and (sometimes) gone, for a number of years. First, I get on my back and move my arms and legs up and down, alternatively—left arm back, right leg up; right arm back, left leg up—about 15 times, like a dog learning how to swim. Next, I get down on the floor like I am going to crawl on all fours like a spanked puppy and do another routine—left arm forward, right leg kicked back, then the other side. Finally I scoot up as close to a chair as I can, put my legs up on the seat of the chair and stare at the ceiling for about five minutes.
Last night I attended the Fish Pond Village Home Owners Association annual meeting and later that night I had a dream.
The electrical power had gone out and all of us—people who lived in all 25 units—were trapped inside the village. It was a dream, but I still remember it vividly.
It was about 9 o’clock at night and it was dark, with even darker clouds overhead and around the Village. It was so dark that the bats, black cats and armadillos were invisible. Only the howl of an occasional coyote could be heard in the distance. The Village dogs were whimpering and it was all the owners, Cindi, Nancy, Katy, Judy and the others could do to calm them.
My cardiologist suggested that I have a “stress test,” so today I had one. Rather than run on a treadmill until exhausted, a chemical was injected into my blood stream to cause the same effect. Leads were attached to a number of parts of my chest and adjacent areas, blood pressure was monitored and a technician recorded the results on a computer. About an hour later, in a different exam room, a special camera took pictures of the heart, from various angles and the results were again recorded on a computer for the cardiologist to examine.
I have already had my pacemaker examination, an echocardiogram and a brief visit with the cardiologist. All of this is to determine if my heart is in reasonable “shape” for someone my age—84 and still counting (although quite slowly at times).