Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Trip to the doctor

January 1, 2019 
(copied from my journal)

One wonders:
               Has the meningioma
caused the pulling back
              from human contact
                      the dislike of social interactions
the need to stay home
                     not go out into society
                           not to parties
not even the grocery store?

 "The risk of meningioma can be reduced by maintaining a normal body weight, and by avoiding unnecessary dental x-rays," says Wikipedia (Not the greatest source, but interesting).

The neurosurgeon's visit did not tell me this. But let's face it, I was too immersed in the guy's good looks to remember the questions I wanted to ask .... Will I never grow too old for this kind of silliness?

He said I probably had the tumor since the year 2000. It's not cancerous but if it presses more on the lobe (which one?) my right side may start to drag: a foot, a leg, a shoulder.

(Shall I begin recording this on my blog? Will it be helpful to anyone? Will it help me stay focused on my writing, on getting as much done as I can, while I'm able?)

... My right side may start to drag: a foot, a leg, a shoulder ...

Surgery could be worse than leaving it alone. "Surgery can cause a stroke," he says. I'll have another MRI in September. "All we have to do is watch it for now."

The doctor said nothing about dental x-rays and nothing about my weight. Nor did I know to ask him about these two possibilities. But I've had plenty of dental x-rays in the past and am due for a cleaning this month.

The first thing the dentist will tell me is we have to take more x-rays and I will tell him "No thank you, just a cleaning will be fine this time." He and the technician will argue with me, no doubt. I'll let them argue but will stand firm.

The last time I was in the dentist's chair and mentioned that my tooth hurt, he took x-rays and said I needed a root canal. (I had a root canal on the tooth next door to that one already). I go get the root canal - another out-of-pocket $1000+ - and my tooth is still hurting.

But I will not get anymore x-rays and will live with the annoyance. As for weight gain - I will do my best not to eat the raspberry-filled sugar donuts my daughter just brought me, along with those beautiful flowers.

Should I start blogging again? At least I wouldn't be hiding from myself. Why does "being seen" mean doing something with the self? And not being seen, not doing anything with the self?

I like not being public, not expanding on who I am and isn't that what writing outside the self does? But if you're a writer you have to write and share what you've written? I have six file cabinets filled with my writings. Should I throw them out? What to do with forty-five years of journals?

Does being public change the self?
How to keep the self intact when interacting with others?
How to remember oneself when in a public space?

I'm reading Saadi Youssef.

                            "As for me, I say: I have no actual life outside poetry."
                                     (Saadi Youssef, Nostalgia, My Enemy, p. 4)

Did I crawl back into myself after the Alzheimer books? I didn't like being so public, writing and talking about Abe without him here... without his telling of his own story ... using his material ...

Yet, I seem to be coming out of my "blues," if that's what's been happening for the last few years. Or, maybe it's the brain tumor. Who knows. Either way, I have to live with it and work around it.

Going to Jackie's now. She's painting a wall and wants my opinion: Silver or champagne? I'm going for the warmer shade, champagne.

Happy New Year, with thanks to poets who help me to write and remember who I am. To Ann Hursey, Loreen Lee and Trish Honig. To my grandson, Hunter, who listens to me talk while he's driving home from college; and to Smokey-Bro, who is no trouble at all, sometimes.


Ann B Hursey said...

Dear Esther, Glad to read your thoughts on life, uncertainty and writing. BTW the photos you posted didn't appear in their designated boxes on the website. Thought you'd like to know.

I laughed when you said,"Smokey-Bro not being any trouble at all, sometimes." Sounds about right.

Love, Ann B Hurey

Esther Altshul Helfgott said...

Hi Ann,

Thanks for reading.

I'm not sure why the pics aren't showing up. I need to find a techie.

Smokey went bananas when you all left. He's finally sleeping.

See you soon.



Radish King said...

I am so glad to find you here this frozen winter morning.