My life, technically, is not over: no one in the medical profession has given me any kind of a time frame during which I need to get my affairs in order. (That said, in early October I am being dispatched to a specialist who is, I am told, the only guy in town who specializes in this, whatever "this" may turn out to be.) But bodily dysfunctions beset me at every point from the waistline to the floor, and I don't have any reason to think they're going to stop doing that.

At the moment, I'm retaining more water than Boulder Dam. The unnamed Wikipedant specifies three levels of edema, and I appear to fall into the second: swelling climbs up from the floor to mid-thigh, though it doesn't manifest itself to any great extent farther up. Kidneys malfunctioning? Apparently not: at least there are no indications that they're misbehaving. I have no small level of peripheral neuropathy, presumably due to wacky glucose levels, but it's difficult to determine whether any particular pain — pain levels are on the increase of late — is the result of the nerves being shot or the body cavities sloshing around with this vague watery substance, or some specific combination thereof. The common warning given to diabetics has to do with numbness in the pedal extremities; numbness and discomfort, I contend, do not exist in the same place at the same time. The knees, never good, are now indisputably bad; motion, in any direction you care to name, is difficult at best. Getting in and out of the car is an excruciating experience, made more so by the fact that I can't pivot either foot to any great extent. What happens, therefore, is that the right foot ends up trapped under the brake pedal, which for actual driving is decidedly suboptimal.

Of course, keeping that liquid moving is absolutely necessary, and male micturation is normally uneventful. Not for me: the time from first warning to first fluid dribble is diminishing all the time, and those pesky nerves get into the act by making it nearly impossible to aim well, no matter how precise the placement. The obvious solution — sit down rather than stand up — is made problematic by the aforementioned bad knees, which will allow me to sit but which will make standing up again problematic. Not so long ago, I rolled out of bed and could not get upright again, no thanks to those same bad knees.

Of course, I carry around more mass than is absolutely necessary, and I noticed what appeared to be a redevelopment of the beer gut. There's just one problem with that explanation: the underside of the epidermis suggests that if fat is being deposited, it's only along ill-defined vertical pathways, making the skin weirdly lumpy. I was fool enough to think it was bunched-up underwear. It was not.

And from that point on up, no issues. (Well, I do need a haircut.) I do not understand my current condition, and I have no reason to assume from it that I'm heading for a speedy dirt nap. But then, if I'm always feeling bad, that dirt nap suddenly looks a lot more inviting.

The Vent

  9 September 2018

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