where the writers are
The Working Title

Health worries has been pulling me down. Mine is fine but others suffer. 

Mom is set for a coronary ablation tomorrow. She's in NC on vacation on the coast where she and other family members have rented a house. I learned about her procedure in a few sparse lines on my birthday card. She notes that she sent me an email so I go in for details. She arrives home on Jun 30th, has the procedure on July 1st, outpatient once it's done and there's no bleeding, et cetera.

I make twice as much money in a month than she makes in a year but she sent me a check for my birthday pie fund. I insist that she not send me money; she insists on sending it. I will cash it and then buy her something for her birthday in October. Moms, what can you do with them?

Friend Steve, Beanery worker, went in for renal artery stenting. He's been battling health and weight issue for a long time. I've only known him for a few years but he's been doing the heart pill shuffle for that entire time, given and testing new prescriptions to cope with many problems and losing weight through a strict diet. Had coronary stents placed back in 1996 in SoCal, has dealt with diabetes, prostrate and gallbladder issues since then. If they can't stent the renal arteries, they'll resort to more invasive procedures. He'll be off work for ten days, limited in lifting and movement, not authorized to use stairs. 

The procedure was scheduled for the 29th. He told me about it a week before, having learned about it the day before. As he told me about it, he became queasy, dizzy and light-headed, with tingling in his fingers and feet. No word slurring, though. I sat with him an hour, then he called his wife to come for him, leaving his work truck at the Beanery. She arrived in twenty minutes. He was feeling much better by then. A few days ago, he told me she took him directly to his doctor, who told him he suffered low blood pressure caused by the meds. 

Mike Q is having a pacemaker implanted as his health struggles continue. That'll be done the week of the tenth. It doesn't help that his daughter and her family live in Colorado Springs. The fire forced their evacuation last week. Their home was destroyed. Frank is making progress recovering from his stroke late last year but now he's suffering from too much iron. Ron has made a great recovery from his bypass surgery.

Jane's foot has healed but she's going down to Shasta City for the 4th. Her ex husband is going with her and she's worried about him. He's been in the hospital for different matters seven times. A portable oxygen tank on wheels follows him around, clear tubes connecting the tank and his nose. Her son can't go; his meds are incapacitating him. 

Linn's hand is still recovering. The pins have been removed but he wears a brace on it. He remains big and jovial, ready to laugh, shrugging off everything that has happened to his health the last two years that I've known him. His wife, Rita, volunteers down at the hospital three days a week and helps feed the homeless twice a week, once in the town's facility, once at her church.

Emi's Mom is recovering from her surgery. Nichole's husband is back to work after his heart attack. Walt's hips and knees are doing much better on his new medication. He feels better, too, and has quit appending everything with, If I'm here next year. Meanwhile, my wife and my cat are both doing well on their meds.

My mother-in-law's health continues to decline and yet she remains impassive about it. Both sisters-in-law cope, one with fibromyalgia. The other's thyroids are long gone. Her husband continues treatment for lymphoma.

Such a list and it's only a partial. Gives me pause every day.

Oddly, though, perhaps sadly, a book idea quietly grows out of it, a volunteer seed spreading its roots and growing. That's not the sort of book or story I ever write, perhaps in a Nick Hornsby, Frantzen, Wally Lamb vein, but I can't stop thinking about it. I have these characters and situations yet I don't have the overarching theme and story. I know nothing of the structure although I see tales, incidents, moments and characters braiding together. Don't even have a working title, it's just 'the health idea'.  The working title is always a critical moment to me. A working title is the idea's flag, the declaration, I claim the right to be written in the name of this title. So right now, I'll stick with notes and thinking. I still have other stories and novels to write.

So much to write, so much in progress, so many more ideas bubbling up, and yet to get my first book published.

Such a strange life. I need to move to that life that I envisioned and make it real.

Keywords: