[image: a promotion for a movie titled Fear2. You might still be able to get one of these coats for your cat here.]
Yesterday was a day like a Russian novel for me, full of events and dread, with recovery at the end. Here is the sketchy outline, the events, and some nods to the places I went in my mind.
Kidney doctor in the morning, Tom couldn't go with me. I was pretty sure my recent shortness of breath was caused by further kidney failure. Hoped it was that and not recurrence of my breast cancer. The night before I did some hectic research on accesses for dialysis. The doctor is satisfied with me not going back on it yet, just watching my slo-o-ow trend downward. But he could hear "some whistling" in my lungs, and I had gained four pounds in two months. That could be from fluid in the lungs, what, congestive heart failure? He wanted to order a chest x-ray. We agreed I would call my PCP about it instead.
11:00 Went out and sat in parking lot, called my primary care doctor's clinic and got in with one of the other doctors at 1:15. People take not breathing very seriously. That and no heartbeat. If you want attention in the ER, not breathing is excellent.
Called Tom. Got him just leaving his own pulmonary function tests. (More fear on that later.) We agreed to meet at home and make lunch. He offered to drive me up to PCP. I felt gratitude, and thought about the pleasures of marriage in old age. I had no idea when I was young.
Breathing raspy now. Pneumonia. Maybe bronchitis. Hoped it wasn't the antibiotic resistant kind that kills people.
1:15. Dr. very smart and attentive to detail. Ruled out heart, discussed COPD and emphysema, etc., which can start EVEN THO YOU QUIT SMOKING 20 YEARS AGO! How unfair. He walked me around the hall briskly, thot I did good. Ordered a breathing test and chest x-ray. Went home trying to adjust to the idea of chronic lung disease.
3:30 His nurse calls to say he has revued my breathing test and it is okay. It will be two days to have the radiologist look at the chest x-ray. That's my fault, I'm breathing.
5:00 Couldn't nap. Starving. Worried about my blood sugar. How could I be so hungry? I must be getting diabetic. Eat some leftovers. Something wrong with my friend G's phone. I try her cellphone, leave a message.
7:00 I am definitely either manic or depressed, hit by a crazed desire to cook a creamy pasta dish with Tom's help, substituting bacon for pancetta and so on, using some frozen peas that were used as an ice pack on my ankle back when. We play Iron Chef in the kitchen. It's really active and the food turns out good.
I am not a reader of Russian novels myself. I just know they have a reputation for being very long. I assume most of that is not actual action, but people thinking and feeling. The subjective, as in the deep exploration of the fears highlighted above. It did seem like a long day. And all those fears were real, if temporary. Even then, it was kind of funny, like, What now? Watching myself as one of those farces where people dressed in ridiculous clothes keep bobbing their heads out of doors and hiding in closets.
Oh yes, in with all of this, it was a beautiful sunny day today, one more in an improbable string of them. I hope yours was better. And now it's time for the weekly taking out of the trash. Garbage. I mean plain ordinary actual tangible garbage, which would really smell bad by next week. Kind of thing you have to do if you're alive.