Last time out, I reported that I was once more having difficulties getting around, though I largely confined myself to a description of one particular incident, and while it was disheartening enough in its own right, it also seeme to have taken a toll on my automobile: the cooling system is once again backsliding toward "marginal," as indicated by the temperature gauge, which normally never budges above just below center. Twice in the last couple of months the gauge has spiked upward; though it hasn'r actually reached the indicated Danger Zone, I am not at all happy with this situation, and I see no graceful way to fix it; there's no particular problem with writing a check to the shop, but actually getting the car there might be problematic, more for my scrambled nerves than for anything else, and while they'd usually be able to provide a loaner, it must be requested several days in advance. Triple A would presumably be happy to tow it in, but they'd have to figure our a way to tow me in as well; there's no way I can climb into the cab of a tow truck. I conclude that this is just one more manifestation of the death spiral, an unsubtle reminder that that my days are coming to an end and I should prepare myself for it.

Were that the only thing wrong with me, such a conclusion would be ridiculous. However, merely walking remains problematic: more than a few steps unassisted, and I lurch around in a most unlovely, and uncomfortable, manner. In an effort to force the issue off dead center, I have been leaving the walker at the bathroom door; I can generally make it the four or five steps to the stool, but I will inevitably have grabbed something on the wall somewhere along the way.

Getting there, as it happens, is much less than half the fun. If I pull into the garage and I have to go, I won't make it there in time; it's as though the bladder senses the relative proximity of a toilet and begins to drop off its load, even if I've only crossed the threshold of the back door. This situation is even worse at the workplace, where the porcelain facilities are farther away: just getting up to go can precipitate some flow. Your friendly medical-supply house offers several methods of dealing with this condition, each more horrible than the last. And one pricey drug I'd been taking, I decided to abandon: it was not helping the situation, and it was draining my wallet to the tune of $600 a year. God knows what it was costing CFI Care (not its real initials).

(Actually, if the pharmacy's labeling is correct, a 90-day supply retails for $899 and change, so we're talking about ten dollars a tab. This is well beyond the point where I consider the five-second rule to be a factor.)

I contend that the accumulative nature of these particular issues justifies my self-description as "decrepit," a word which almost always has a fellow traveler, and a less-arguable one at that; I am indisputably old and almost certainly decrepit. The psychiatrist disputes both these terms, and argues that I'm not ready to be put on the cart, and what's more, I should be out there dating or something. I argued that old guys seeking, um, companionship are looking for either a purse or a nurse, and that I have nothing worthwhile to contribute to a relationship. "There are things you can do," she responded, "that don't require penetration." I figured that was the ideal time to change the suject.

The Vent

  19 May 2018

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