IPF JOURNEY 02-11-2017 [what matters in the end]

It is not even 11 am yet. House cleaner is working. Spanish speaking (no English to speak of) small brown woman. It is always the same. Imagine the Vulcans landing on Earth for the first time. Probably the most obvious thing they would see in the global social structure is that brown people do all the work and white people have all the fun. Of course this would be a cursory glance, but actually because of that, invaluable. We do get a bit bogged down with nuance and forget the proverbial “forest”.

Time and Space:
It seems that whatever I am doing, or use to do anyway, always felt like it was the wrong thing and that I should be doing that “other thing.” Reading student’s papers, I should be paying bills. Writing something for the class, I should be grading. Updating the syllabus? Need to read that stuff from the local union. I “should” really finish that book I started… And so it goes.

Interestingly I never bothered to research the concept. It might, after all, be a known and even treatable syndrome. Man, a little late now. Anyway, a non-academic Google search failed just now, instead coming up with mostly  how to be efficient (not a bad idea, but again a bit late) and how not to multi-task .

On the day-to-day for today thing, coughing kind of up and down. Best not to move. I joke that I only cough when I move, breathe, or talk. Not a joke. Dr. S. is throwing another med at me. It is a psychotropic first and a chronic cough thing way last on list of applications. Not very interested. But should try anyway. Hope the side effects don’t kill me. – What am I saying!

220px-100mg_generic_benzonatate_capsules
Benzonatate

I have continued reading, quite slowly, Gawande’s book titled “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End”, 51GzTLFuAML.jpgand it is digging deeper into how our endings tend to play out and he compares in a pretty broad sense the difference between a prolonged struggle in and out (sometimes only in) a hospital, and  getting cut and probed and drugged and such, versus the calmness of the hospice and the “human” care you receive. This really sticks with me. Dr. S. totally freaked out last week when I asked her PA about a little “I’m done now” kit mentioned somewhere in my readings. She called me directly at home and was very, very upset and wanted me to avoid such thinking, at least for now. Shit, she is wrong. But professionals rarely listen to the lay person. And that is another thing that Gawande talks about. Cool.

Jesus, I am running on. Maybe you should quit here even if I go on some more. Take a break. I would but have NOTHING else to do, but maybe pay a couple of bills. Listening to Janacek string quartets and wondering why I have been avoiding this recording for4717_1a344877f11195aaf947ccfe48ee9c89.jpg the past four years. Well, it probably became too familiar and I really don’t like things being that familiar. That is why most of the classics are just out for me.

—-UPDATE!——– Breaking News  ———-
Dr. S’s PA emailed me that I got approved for OFEV. What the hell is that? Well, in the simplest terms it is a cancer treatment that is also used for IPF. Side effects are bad, bad, bad. Bad all over. Even possible liver damage. Nausea and direahaa  etc. This is JUST what I have been reading about for Christ’s sake! Or my sake. So this would be on top of a list of pills that, well, is already pretty large. Are “they” going to make me sick to make me un-sick? I mean, well, you get it. Treat one discomfort by creating another. I am not happy right now.

——UPDATE 2 ———-
New nurse. Really sharp. Knows her meds and seems to very up on IPF as well. Was a bit concerned about my med regime from Dr. S. She did not know why I was not on a steroid. Very concerned that this cough has lasted so long.

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IPF JOURNEY 02-11-2017 [relief]

I have a little confession to make.

When I was first diagnosed with IPF, I got this sense of relief. It was relief of my earthly obligations. I was done. Well, certainly on my way. So then, what is the use? That is, what obligations could I have that still had relevance for me? Well, I do anyway and you probably guessed that. But this strange relief. Have you ever woken up in the morning with a cold coming on? It is uncomfortable. You are, to a very slight degree, suffering. But then you think, well, then I should take the day off. The day off! And without any guilt as well. No emails. No phones. No managers. No silly chit chat among fellow workers. A friggin’ day off. Maybe it was worth a bit of discomfort after all.

It is, or was I should say, a bit like that. I have a doctor’s note excusing me from participating in all those things I’d rather not. A release of tension. It was accompanied by a sense of bewilderment as well mind you. I was bewildered with images of me dead. And then there is that bizarre and futile attempt to imagine what it is like being dead. It is that very disturbing limitation of our brains to imagine “nothing”. More to the point, to “be” nothing. Certainly reading a bit of Alan Watts on the subject is helpful, for a while anyway. And then later it is not.

PART TWO

I know a lot of time has passed since last put something in this journal/blog thing. I wondered why during all that time I was not writing. I think I had simply become bored. Bored with the outside and bored with the inside. Or perhaps just tired. Maybe that. I have a reminder that pops up on my computers, iPhone and Watch. It says “Write every fucking day!” And I wasn’t. I dodged it. I ignored it. I felt a little guilty too. Imagine that. I did not turn it off.

Yes, tired. Getting some physical therapy during this period did not improve things. I did not eat much. I didn’t read much. And I didn’t do a lot of things of which I cannot remember, as I did not do them.

All of this was due to the great “Lung Biopsy”. I don’t recommend one unless absolutely necessary. For me it was. I usually do OK with surgery and such. I like the drugs and recover quickly. I banter with doctors and nurses, which they all loved immensely.

nurse_ratchedNot this time. The biopsy was the reason for all of that coughing mentioned in the earlier entries. And pain. I mentioned throwing up mucus from my lungs, not my stomach. A horrible and a bit frightening experience. The surgical site on my right side hurt a lot too. So I would cough and it would hurt a lot. And I was coughing all the time. Now you know why.

Perhaps more on the biopsy experience tomorrow, or even later. I have this story about this amazing hallucination and, well, later.Oh, Nurse Ratched was in it. That’s here in the picture.

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IPF JOURNEY 12-25-2016 [Feeling good in spite of Christmas and thoughts of loneliness]

It is Christmas day. Well, what of it? Going to see Nephew, his wife and dog, and his mother. Now that is OK. Will drag some O2 bottles and maybe the concentrator.

But that is not what I wanted to talk about.

I feel pretty GOOD! Really. The past two weeks or so I have improved a lot. I can move around. Now recall that it wasn’t that long ago that I could not get from the bedroom to the bathroom, all of ten feet, without getting a coughing fit and having to sit down. It was back then that a shower was hellish as I would run out of breath and (cough, cough) have to sit for more than a few minutes to get my Os back up.

I recall the first couple of times taking a walk with the physical therapy woman and it was all slow and wobbly and uncertain and the like.

Well, I’ll take now over then for certain.

BIRDS: The rear of the apartment behind the kitchen is a room that exits to the back yard, so to speak. S put some bird feeders out there and there are now ten or more birds at a time flitting around. Several different species, and I forget them at the moment, but they seem to mostly get along although kind of in flights of the same kind. Groupings sort of. Like people, but without guns.

And of course, looking at all of that I then think about all the dying species on the planet because of a relatively small group of plunderers grabbing the last drops of oil and the last puffs of natural gas for money they don’t need. dead_crow_by_crillustration-d4ltx0pAnd I think of all those politicians, you know the ones, who help these criminals do their deeds. It is amazing. The arctic is melting and warming at an alarming rate which is going to fuck up the weather for much, if not all, of the globe. And those guys, including the lunatic and his gang of thugs in the White House, yell out that climate change is a hoax. And about half the voting population of this country is fine with that, even if they have no idea what anyone is talking about. And so on and so forth.

Remember me talking about doing a study on loneliness? Nope? I see that I haven’t talked about it yet after all. A month or so back I ran across a BBC video on loneliness and it piqued my interest. There wasn’t much data or science in the film, but the interviews and a smidgen of statistics were good enough for me at the time. Well, I put some notes into a file and soon forgot about it. I would occasionally think about it and lament to myself that I have very little interest in, well, anything right now. Or right then. But I do. And feeling so much better of late I had the luck to run across a Maria Popovich article in her “Brain Pickings” blog by Hanna Arendt (whom I have recently been reading about  –  I forget why. And then there is a book I am purusing called “The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone”. The first pages are, predictable with and introduction full of quotes by famous dead people from Aristotle on. And they are all about how we are social creatures. And that is were I am right now. The point is, things are kind of coming together.

Optional thoughts on being alone follow:

My intuitive sense is, and has been, that mostly, and I mean REALLY mostly, we need to be among others of our species. Sociology supports this in a myriad of ways. Durkheim’s notion of Anomie, and Marx’s of Alienation are my two favorite references. There is also Tonnies and his notions of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (community and society). All seem to believe that Western society was headed for serious trouble with the advent of industrialization and the end of the small farming communities.

Regardless, the being alone thing, from my own experience, is that less stuff gets done, what does is without outside evaluation so remains in a fog, drinking from boredom is very, very easy, my thinking is dull and I crave stimulation. That and developing a habit of talking to myself, which does not do well when I am in a social setting make for a strange brew.

So, roughly, my hypothesis is that with the industrial revolution began the atomization of people. I mostly think of Marx regarding this. Marx spoke of “alienation”. Alienation from one’s work (factories), from other people (the loss of social commonalities), and the alienation from one’s self. Well, good so far. Leaning on Marx is sort of OK again since the last financial disaster of 2008. But while he seems to be the best historical and economic basis for predicting how things have turned out, Durkheim saw how people lost their social cohesiveness from such social upheavals.

But to continue again towards the present, as the industrial age (which Rifkin refers to as the age of oil) evolves into what is called “modernity” we see a new emphasis upon material acquisition, that is, having lots of things. One of the stories goes that it was from the automobile industry, per the influence of a Robert Lowe, that having a new model car every year generated consumer interest in buying new cars. Apply this to virtually everything. Bang, we are on our way. Now, in America particularly, something else happened that I don’t think that our two dead heroes imagined: suburbia and homeownership. This is post WWII of course and America, white America anyway, was drunk on having stuff, and yards, and cars, and funny looking clocks on the wall and all the rest.

But even without the catalyst of suburbia and the freeway and the loss of public transportation to individual car ownership, people were drifting apart. Even families were breaking up as it became “normal” for the children to eventually leave the home to go create their own home and family, and often at great distances away from their parents. And as I think that, back to those three dead heroes, Marx, Durkheim and Tonnies,  I believe that it is indeed due to the breakup of social systems previously dependent upon cooperation and now obsessed with specialization, individuality, status and the mad desire for wealth that we see the resultant atomization of humans, at least in America.

Thus, the ultimate outcome: Loneliness. Isolation. Disassociation. Fear. Mistrust of others. And so on and so forth.

Jan_Matejko,_Stańczyk

Painting by Jan Matejko, 1862

While there is a good deal of effort to push things in the opposite direction, understandably on a micro scale, I see the majority of America and some other countries, perhaps Japan being one of them, really just fucking lonely.

I really think I am losing interest in this topic.

IPF JOURNEY 12-20-2016 [two entries – number one and number two]

Here are two entries from the same day. Both have been edited much later than their original writing. Lucky you. The first one, directly following these remarks, is the bummer one. It is political too. It is a polemic if you will. It is not about IPF. But I can’t help it sometimes. So, if you don’t like this kind of thing, skip to the second one called “the nicer one”. It is a little bit nicer. I stress, “a bit”.

Polar bears. Friggin’ polar bears again. In a news story online. I didn’t need to read the article. Anybody who doesn’t know what is happening to the polar bears must be a Republican. Because every civilized person in the developed world does, of that I am quite sure. So I was off on my sorrow for life on the planet jag again. I think of the birds especially, as they are magic the way they travel so deftly in that super thin medium we Polar-Bear-Icecall air. All the birds. It is especially interesting comparing the hummingbird to all the rest. It is simply amazing. What the heck is that all about? Oh yeah, my favorite misused term, “intelligent design.” Conservatives/evangelicals coined it as a means of worming creationism into textbooks. The “other” view. One is based in science, and the other in magic. So then, if creationism should be taught in school, then so should the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Indeed, all the religions are all based on magic. (Zen is not a religion. Zen Buddhism is however. I think. But that’s not the point. I like the term “intelligent design” but do not think of it as some kind of single being that is intelligent and designs stuff. If that were the case said designer left a lot to be desired. Maybe humanity is just a Beta test. But I think of the “intelligent” part as a process. Maybe an algorithm. The intelligent part is simply that it works and the more we uncover as to how it works the more sense it makes. The “whole” might be considered as intelligent just as we consider our brains to be. Or ourselves to be. Hell, you gotta admit, nice try here.

More on polar bears. I have a hard time with the notion that people who know that things like fossil fuels are killing the planet continue to do so and even thwart efforts to find better solutions for our energy need, even in spite of actually KNOWING that they are better. Of course I am thinking of Exxon Mobile who withheld information years ago that they knew what was happening to the climate but didn’t care to share that information. But worse, in a way, are those who really know, but don’t want to, so use the “hoax” thing to brush it all off. Republicans again. To remain a member of the Republican party is to endorse the Republican party and all the horrible and inhumane bits of legislation it supports.

NOTE: A bunch of political stuff cut here. Too much for even me.  

Still thinking about those polar bears. Polar bears?  The frequently used photograph of the bear on a small chunk of ice detached from the mainland and certain to die a slow death is a grabber every time. It really shakes me up. So do pictures of dead elephants with bloody stumps where their tusks were. Why don’t I feel that way about people? Or do I? We all get soft and gushy when we see a sick kid. And we see pictures of sick kids in Syria as often enough. I don’t get the animal thing so will skip it for now. It is kind of embarrassing. Or shameful. It even seems contrary to humans having survived this long.  Some weird shit eh?

JOURNAL 12-20-2016 the nicer one

I wrote quite a bit for the journal today. But it was a tirade on a particular political party and on religion. I’ll leave it for Steven Colbert and John Oliver. I have few enough friends as it is.

Stocked up on O2 today. Had delivered enough E-Tanks to equal 24 plus one really big boy good for about 30 hours. [Note: I now have a standing order for 36 due to travel needs.] It is an M22-tank. (Really? 30 hours?) It is a backup for power failure. The assembled tanks look like military ordnance. It is weird.Lotsa Tanks

A down day. Forgot to go outside. Did not exercise. Some of that ol’ time depression. Not quite feeling it head-to-toe yet. Maybe later. Maybe not. If you have ever had some kick-ass clinical depression you know what I mean about it being all through your body, not just in your head. You can feel it. Creepy.

This journal thing is starting to wear on me. I feel foolish writing this stuff down as if someone might read it. What good would it do anybody? Does it do anything for me? I don’t know. I don’t know.

As mentioned earlier regarding my problem with hating TV, in spite of that I have continued watching two series. One is “The Man in the High Castle”. I don’t know if they can keep it going for a third season, but the story (PK Dick) is terrific and suspenseful and so, and sooooo appropriate for the moment. Imagine WWII with the Nazis and Japan winning and splitting up ownership of America and, oh, no spoilers. The other is “The Americans” which recaps the 80s under Reagan and his insane ideas about an anti-missile defense shield and strange weapons like “tiny pebbles” designed to act like a shotgun scattering pellets at an incoming warhead and fucking it up somehow. lostinspaceNever happened. None of it ever happened. Some people made a lot of money though. Hey, believe this: The genesis of all of that was suggested by the likes of Edward Teller, but weirder still were science fiction writers Jerry Pournelle and Larry. No kidding. My favorite documentary maker, Adam Curtis, notes this in one of his films for the BBC called “Pandora’s Box”. The show is painfully slow at times but is great at contrasting Soviet and American interests, American materialism, spoiled children and on and so forth.

g’night

IPF JOURNAL 12-17-2016 [oxygen is a gas. really]

Another of those tired days. I think it is from not moving around enough. I am, and in part allow myself, to be stuck in the house. But the idea of walking through a Target or a grocery store with a large E-Tank repulses me.Yeah, I see gray haired codgers like me, but mostly a bit older, cruising the stores in an electric cart. I’ve been there before, in the cart I mean, with other health issues. The oxygen thing for some reason feels worse to me.

Reading a book about Hannah Arendt, which was triggered by a Facebook post by Sherry’s brother. A very interesting person. Arendt that is. I need to read some of her stuff now. Yeah, sure, like I’m reading a lot these days. News and more news is about news is all I have been reading. It’s not the same thing. Lazy reading. But of course, these days, the news is pretty compelling stuff. breaking-news-01Addicting. I can’t not take a peek, and then another hour is shot mostly reading stuff I already read earlier.

Hey, did I ever explain the cannula? Regardless, a bit more anyway. I keep wanting to spell it cannella, which is a type of tree in Florida. Or I’ll spell it canella, which I guess means nothing. I thought there was an Italian pastry in the mix. Guess I was wrong. It is bugging me though. [Later: found it. The pastry is called a cannoli. Ha! Vindicated.]

So this cannula thing is in my nose all the time. From it a four or five foot tube is attached to some sort of oxygen supply. That might be an E-Tank on wheels. Or it might be connected to a portable oxygen condenser on wheels – or maybe the really small ones you can carry with a shoulder strap. Also  there is the really small tank that can be on a strap. It fits in the grocery cart kid carrier. I’ve used all of these now except for the small condenser which won’t work for me. Its output is not sufficient to my needs, which is 4 liters per minute. I’d give you even more details but it is boring.

But I will say that you can connect the five foot tube to a fifty foot tube. Which we did. For weeks we tripped on that thing and it got tangled and snagged on stuff, THEN we found out you can get a 25 foot one. The supplier never thought to share that information. THEN we found out that there is a swivel connector that reduces the looping and tangling. They didn’t tell us that either. They just want to drop by and leave or pick up a piece of equipment and get the hell out. Service. “They”, if you are curious, is the oxyge100px-Better_Business_Bureau.svgn supply company Apria. Do a Google search with the phrase “complaints against Apria”. Never mind, I did it for you. Here is the Better Business Bureau scoring:

“Apria Healthcare has received 1.02 out of 5 stars based on 117 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of F.”

OK, enough whining for now.

I lied earlier. The cough is back. Bugging me quite a bit. Can’t have a phone conversation. Now I spent a lot of time with the first pulmonologist trying to solve the cough problem to allow me to the work on expanding my lung capacity. But sincet the dry cough is a typical symptom of IPF, says to me that it ain’t going anywhere.

Cough, cough, cough, and so forth.

IPF JOURNEY 11-01-2016

Did I mention the trip to ER? I see I did. Coughing again today. PT came in and we did a bit of walking and coughing and a couple of low effort exercises with coughing, and now am sitting and coughing. Took a half dose of Cherrytussin (pretty odd name if you ask me) and helped for about 45 minutes.

Bored yet?

OK, in spite of my earlier mention that I didn’t even watch documentaries any more because there was unlikely to be anything new for me, I actually watched a couple of documentaries yesterday. Maybe there is something new after all. (It was just some kind of depression or fatigue that prompted my statement about nothing being new to me.)

I’m actually worried that since my Os go down so low from minimal exercise and the cough is persisting that I may be farther along with IPF than I care to think about. And there is the rub, eh? When time is an abstract, denial, or just being more day-to-day is not so hard. But if one hits that “holy shit, that soon? Really?” stage It is going to be different.

Continued with Atul Gawande’s book Mortal and the section I am reading is on this very thing, People of various ages including their thirties, are discussed in detail. For some checking out is just not acceptable and they try all kinds of treatments and procedures, many of which do little else than cause more suffering. If Gawande is correct on the studies he cites, he notes that people in hospice instead of continued, yet doubtful treatments in the hospital, actually live longer, with less pain and less stress. That is something to consider. Also the treatment costs are far less making insurance companies more likely to cover it. Fuck insurance companies, in case I haven’t said that yet.

About those documentaries. The first, full length 1.5 hours was titled Considering Violence. Using the writing of Franz Fanon (who also wrote Wretched of the Earth, 1961) it uses paragraphs from it on the screen to make sense of what he was talking about and how relevant it is in all the colonial examples used in the film. concerning-violenceIt is really great. A total inditement of Euro-consciousness as an exploitive and oppressive force in the world. I would say that this continues under the guise of “the war on terror” with the same process of extracting resources from the poor to enhance the lives of the wealthy. Oil, for the most part, but also coco and coffee come to mind. Oh, water too. Did I say labor? Scrapings from the bottom of the world. Shit, I won’t miss this world much. imagesBut then, there won’t be the possibility of “missing” anything.  And so forth. But one of the essential elements in Fanon’s treaty on the subject of colonization is the it takes force and violence to subdue a population and violence on the part of the oppressed to overcome the colonizing oppressors.

Getting tired. Still coughing. This is getting rather grim.

Second flick was only a half an hour, and was a composite of videos from the student strike in Montreal in 2012 and titled “Street Politics 101”. If you don’t know about this astonishing event, well, you have to start following alternatives to main stream media. Yes, even the kind of “liberal” shows. I’ll maybe pound on that point later. For now, suffice it to say that the six month long strike, in which the college students were striking initially over a tuition hike but later over the “system” at large as well, over time drew the regular public in banging pots and pans in protest. Here is the real interesting part. Anarchy. Before you freak out, maybe you should read about anarchy, and the various forms of it, and that it is not chaos at all. However it does, in this case anyway, include violence. And each segment of the film highlights one of the “lessons” applied as taught by the anarchists. Interestingly these lessons, or rules, play out rather nicely, that is, if you are on the side of the students. The crowd grows at one point to 100,000. Pictures taken from above are absolutely amazing.student-demo-20150321.jpg

Also, watching the police run away from a bunch of gangly bookish students was something quite new to me. And it was the anarchists who taught the students how to do this. Again, become informed on this anarchy thing! You have been lied to since you were born. Time to start reading the right books now.

Now look at how this little documentary relates to the previous one. What is the common theme? Numbers and the lack of fear to use violence. Remember that Nelson Mandela did not claim that non-violence was the only course to take. There was violence in South Africa by the revolutionaries. This, obviously, is important. This, obviously, is not well known. At least not in the United States.

My personal take on the use of violence is that it is very limited in how it can play out. Taking on the entire government with all its military might, is absurd. It is nutty for the left wing revolutionaries as it is for the right wing gun-toting militias. But I will stop with that. As I obviously “know” nothing on the topic.

IFP JOURNEY 10-31-2016 [the blessing game]

god-monty-python.jpg
Portrait of God – Viz. Monty Python

[Revised 02/23/2017]

Please don’t “bless” me. I’ve read a fair amount of postings by people who have the same  affliction as me, and somewhere in their post is a “blessing.” I don’t know what the word blessing means. Is it a personal appeal to an invisible all-knowing something-or-other to actually do the blessing? Or are people just filling in for that all seeing thing and doing the blessing themselves? Anyway, my spiritual orientation is my business, such as it is. But having received a few blessings since this IPF thing, well, it is not that I don’t appreciate the gesture part of the blessing. It is just that it messes with my understanding of “life, the universe, and everything”.

I have lost my way on this death and dying thing. I looked for some personal blogs on the topic. I wasn’t interested in a medical perspective this morning. Instead I Googled “Thanatos” and “thanatology.” Some time ago I actually saw a, what, “thanatician?” This was after my son Donovan died (at about or before 30). There wasn’t much in the old thanaticion business that worked for me as I recall, but regardless, it sounds like a neat topic for study.

Oh, checked into ER last night. The coughing post lung biopsy was so bad there was no way I was going to get to sleep, or my wife either for that matter. Lots and lots of waiting in the exam room. Sucking on their “free” Os though. Blood and pictures taken once again. The ER doc did get a hold of Dr. Sinha, my pulmonologist, and they seemed to be on the same page. I think. We have finally zeroed in on the cough, and, as I expected, I got the same groovy cough syrup I had a year I had about a year ago before anybody knew what the coughing was about. No insult to my doctors, but they could have Googled it. Chronic-dry-cough. Try it. Sadly the cough  syrup will mess up happy hour which is, or was, the high point of the day. And I am starting a steroid I think called prednisone. I’ll find out in a little bit as my wife is picking it up right now. The steroid is for inflammation. (Two ‘m’s?) I hope I like it.

Back to death. So without some kind approximated timeline, I guess the thing to do is “start getting my affairs in order”, as they say. So I’m working on getting the student loan resolved. I’m pretty old for that, I know, but I have my reasons so just wait a bit until I get to it. Also I am getting my Social Security figured out for my wife. I think she can get something after you-know-what.

So much for the boring stuff. Where is the interesting stuff? Really. I am kind of dumb struck I suppose with all of this IPF stuff. I am suppose to be in some kind of “state” right now but don’t feel anything. The classic list, as formulated by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1969 – Swiss Dr.) consists of Denial,  Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. OK, let’s try them out on me.

1) Denial. I simply cannot self-diagnose this one except that I am putting on a “happy face” and joke a bit. So I guess that could be considered an expression of denial. However, it could also simply be a reasonable defense to the reality of this whole thing. I get it! Tell a few lies, jokes and stories and not dwell unnecessarily on the thing, Carpe diem and such.

2) Anger. I am not angry. Who or what would I be angry at? God? I think we have covered that. No God. Luck? Well, that just doesn’t make much sense. Although luck, bad or good, is a sociological variable all too much ignored. But I am not angry.

3) Bargaining. Nope. With whom? That invisible all-knowing magical god so many talk about? Not a friggin’ chance. Of course, if lying and suffering in the face of the inevitable, cutting a deal with a few religions remains a possibility, but god forbid, as it were.

4) Depression. Well, if my meds are working, so far it is not happening. But come on! It is really, really likely that I actually am depressed but  am successfully hiding it. (See Denial above.) In fact, I’d wager that denial is not a single stage, but can come an go very unpredictably. If it happens, I’ll probably not want to write about it because I’ll be, you know, depressed.

5) Acceptance. Like depression, I think it comes and goes. As mentioned earlier, maybe in my case it is a kind of relief. Not one sought after. But acceptance is a kind of relief itself isn’t it? You dump the depression, anger, denial and bargaining and just kind of sit there, under the old banyan tree, accepting whatever is next. Sounds good to me. It might get me a Zen certificate or something.zen-man-and-mountain

I think I am boring you. I am boring me. Things are getting a bit academic here, even if using my personal experience as the foundation. But hey, this isn’t a suicide note. Nor is it the manifesto of a martyr. It is just a reflection on a process that everyone might go through if not, you know, struck down unexpectedly by a falling piano or lightening and such.