Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Patience, Patience, Patience.

Things are going well. It’s been a very busy summer with family visits and hosting several out of town friends. I’ve been walking a lot, which I love to do: taking stairs instead of escalators, finding interesting hill walks in the City.

I’ve stopped taking the anti-virals and antibiotics and next week I meet my new doctor for the first time. I have been suffering what I think is a bit of PTS. I have a twinge of fear when someone comes at me with a needle, where as before it was just a part of the regular routine, something I just did: sat calmly while a smiling face poked needles into my veins and pumped me full of toxic chemicals.

I had to visit the dentist earlier this month and I was terrified. As the chair tilted back I wanted to bolt out the door, and I have one of the best and nicest dentists in the world. I had a fractured tooth and we were going to try to put a crown on it, but in preparing the tooth it broke completely so he patched it up and scheduled me for an extraction. And again when I had the tooth pulled it was all I could do keep from bawling like a baby and screaming “Leave Me Alone!!!”

There are mood swings, I assume from the after-effects of the steroids and a year spent in survival mode. I now look forward to times of solitude, where before being alone was never very important to me. I have a dream of spending a month in a cabin on the coast, reading and writing and drinking tea in the early morning and taking long walks. I do realize that after about a week I’d be ready to return to the City and want to spend all my time photographing in the streets. But it’s a nice dream anyway.

It’s funny, I’ve always been impatient with people in general, but now even more so. I just don’t have time for nonsense. When I was a kid I knew my dad was not a smart person. I knew he was mean and irresponsible and I didn’t care for him at all and never gained any benefit from a relationship with him. But there was one time he said something to me that stuck. I don’t remember the exact situation, but one day we were in a wood shop and he said to me, “Can’t never could do anything.” I don’t know where that came from or where he heard it, I never asked. But it made sense to me, and today I think of that phrase often, especially when I’m at work and watching the people around me and when I hear adults complaining about this or that and acting the part of the victim. I just don’t have patience for it.

I suppose I’m just going through life changes, I turn 50 next month. I don’t mean to sound like the grumpy old curmudgeon that I am and I certainly do appreciate your patience with me. And just so you know, every morning, when I wake up, I tell my self, “I’m alive and it’s a new day.” I’m truly grateful for that. And if I can do that, anyone can.

-- Dave

Photo by: David W. Sumner


Anonymous said...

Now that your survival per se is not so acutely threatened, you can relax enough to respond emotionally to everything you've been through - so all the stuff floods out- and of course, when you don't expect it or want it!

Learning to be patient with yourself, that's the thing.

We look forward to seeing you and belatedly celebrating your 50th!

John W. Wall said...

It took awhile to figure out what that phrase meant without actually hearing it spoken. I didn't get where the inflection was or what the subject was. Anyway, it reminds me of a sign on a billboard outside the Norfolk Navy Base: Success Comes In Cans. Failure In Can'ts.