Friday, December 16, 2011

Control or Undo?

Decisions, decisions
This evening, after a lovely day with Tom's family, I find myself a hot smoking gun in writing comments and e-mails.  So I will reproduce two items below that I don't feel like developing any further.  As far as criticizing Oprah, it takes a brave or hopeless writer.  I believe I am both.
Why I feel Oprah is a seriously bad influence on women:
1. She is airbrushed on the cover. To say nothing of professional hair, makeup, and all that Spanx.  Nobody actually looks like that, ever.
2. She tells us we can do Anything if we only fabricate outlandish goals and continually pump up our craving to achieve them. This is bullshit. It makes women cheer when they are in the studio audience, but the next day it can only make you very very depressed. Because you can't.  Do Anything.  Everyone is limited in many ways by many factors.  I mean, come on, I can hardly do anything, let alone Anything.  And I've tried.
Hi ----- to all who are contemplating kidney transplant -
In the 14 months since my transplant (live donor) I have had 15 bladder infections, and no. 16 showed up today the way they do, with major urge incontinence.  So charming.  They bring depression and apathy with them, and the antibiotics upset my digestive system, so I have to force-feed yogurt and acidopholus pills and carry various stomach medications.  I am having serious pain problems with degeneration in my spine, perhaps avascular necrosis caused by the huge doses of steroids at the time of the surgery.  I am limping, that's a hip, and recovering very slowly from a broken arm. The steroids caused me to start having exaggerated moodswings that require medication, and it took six months or more of trial and error to solve the insomnia they brought on.  Everyone tells me I look great (for 69).  Wow, reborn.  I have not had any rejection problems.  There are people in my family who are glad I'm still around, I guess.  :)  Otherwise, I have not earned the transplant or paid the universe back.  The main thing I have gained is that I am no longer afraid of dying.

I don't know whether I would do it again if I had foreseen all this, but I think that's not a very good question.  We don't get to undo our decisions.  Or control the outcome. Don't even think it.


  1. First, I'm glad you're still here; you're a very good influence on your readers (I read you regularly, even if I don't comment often), I consider you a life teacher.

    Second, I'm sure many people, including me, agree with you about Oprah. You've described her in a nutshell. Brave, yes; hopeless, hardly.

  2. Thank you Colette - that makes me feel like I am useful in some way.

  3. I am now convinced that life happens whether we are on the same page or not. The more I let go of any need to change what is happening right now, even down to any small needs that don't seem to fall into place LIKE I want them to...the more happiness evolves out of it. I feel that I was miss taught growing up, thinking we can control anything but how we react.
    I hope that your loss of the fear of death is not wanting something better that what is right now. When I notice my mind wanting that for a way out of current pain or difficulties.., I have to really look at what is good in life which may have been discounted in the pursuit of the self.

  4. I think that many health events have taught me that I am not in control, and that I or someone I love may die at any moment. There is a lot of anxiety in striving against that reality. Also, I have no remnant of a Christian belief in hell. I believe death is the end of our suffering, though I don't rule out reincarnation or the somehow revival of spirit.

  5. Here is something I have to always remind myself of, we can die at any moment so be very mindful of every reaction and be in your body not in your mind, be aware and peaceful. If I have anxiety everyone around me can feel it and thus reflect back on to me my same misery. If I show the world I am happy even though I could die this instant, then they reflect this happiness right back doubling the effect.

  6. Having health events makes life kind of interesting. I find myself daily, sometimes hourly, feeling for the ground beneath my feet though that is really what life is, seeking some sort of foundation. Ill health or less than optimum health propels us more quickly into that space and I guess that's what I mean when I say "kind of interesting."

  7. Yes, we sort of come to life. I'm reading right now a book called "How to Be Sick" by a woman who was flattened, apparently for good by a strange virus. I like her tone very much. She was a lawyer, and writes with a clear, factual voice.