Saturday, October 20, 2007


My sister and brother-in-law were supposed to come for a visit next week, but the visit has been cancelled. That is just as well because my wife returns today after three weeks nursing her 96-year-old mother and her mom's caregiver, my sister-in-law, who just had major back surgery and apparently will not be allowed to fart with force and conviction for the next six months.

I'll be doing major handholding, refuelling and providing R&R for my lady wife for the next ... as long as it takes.

Oh about the Terrors of the Fart. That is not true. However, it is true that my brother-in-law has spent most of the last week lying face down because he just had a detached retina. You can "tack" the retina down with a laser, but Bill's doctor decided to inject an air bubble into the eye, that bubble holding the retina in place until it heals.

For the first day or two, Bill was supposed to lie on his face all the time. Now it's only two hours out of six. He can't sleep. Sleeping is Job Two. Breathing is Job One. So he can breathe he has to lie on a mattress on the floor with his head sticking over the edge and his forehead resting on a pillow. His forehead hurts.

I am miserable just thinking about it. I read in this week's New Yorker that brain scans suggest that people in certain kinds of vegetative states are more aware than we like to think, and if that cheers you up, I step aside to make way for the Lord High Philosopher King.

Thus, I am learning all the time, like it or not. A mind is a terrible thing to use.

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