Tomorrow (Friday) is D-day for the first test. If they find anything on this go-around, I will have the results in seven to ten days. This seems incredibly long and drawn out to me. But I guess lab tests require some send to lab-analysis-send back to provider-call primary doc- primary doc calls me -time. There is a profit opportunity in this someplace for some time-shaving, clever person or persons.
Monday is D-day for the second test. This is the one that keeps me up at night. Although, truthfully, both tests scare me. I expect the results from this second test by Thursday of next week. Which usually is code for it will actually be Friday before I get the call. I am hoping for a pleasant surprise of a Tuesday call and a pleasant surprise of "All good."
Right now this blog, and all my chit-chat to friends and family, is all nervous banter. Mindless rambling of a nervous guy.
Prayers are appreciated.
28th and 31st
The specialists I have to see are slated for the 28th and the 31st of this month (July) respectively.
These two moments in time will be the bellwethers of change. The nature of the change remains indeterminate in both cases, but I know that there will be a blessing in all of this no matter what. Don't ask how or why... I can only say that I just know.
Meanwhile, Bartowsky continues to edit the vast amounts of footage we shot on this trip. He has no idea how simple his life is right now. And I have no idea how complex it truly is. We all wrestle with our demons. Usually alone. I with mine. Bartowsky with his.
Today, at 4:30-something in the morning, my spidey-sense is kicking in and I sense other changes coming. So much so that I have already moved towards the moment I suspect is on the horizon. What movements have I made? What is it that I suspect? Let's just say that if I am correct in my assessment, it will change the nature of my days. I should know more within the next 24 to 72 hours.
At the end of it all, right or wrong, it is what it is. And "it" will shift and become whatever is in front, and sometimes behind, a person. Either way, there is a small hint of futility left upon the tongue when anyone spends more time wondering about probable outcomes than when one takes action. When one wonders instead of merely accepts the outcome. But the same residue is sometimes also left behind in the wake of action. What am I saying?
I guess that I am saying what will be will be. However, we can either try to prepare somewhat for suspected events, which I have done, or one can worry and wonder. In both cases I sense the gyrations of body and/or mind that hint at futility. But of the two choices, I would rather opt for action.
I am am so glad that I took this trip with Buddy Bartowsky when I did. Like our trip, the horizons in my personal life are starting to blur.
One of Three
Out there, somewhere past day three, which would be after the Badlands of North Dakota, I came to a decision. The Badlands have always been a place for clearing my mind, and for cleansing the palette of my soul. Teddy Roosevelt seemed to agree. I noticed in a recently consumed book on the man that his ranch in the Badlands became his go-to place after tradegy (his young wife dying, as an example), or the destination when he wanted to clear his head. I get it. My decisions always come easier after visiting one of two places; the ocean, or the Badlands.
We often say, "I made a decision." Or, "Did you make a decision?" I like my European colleagues' version of this idea. They substitute the word "take" for "make."
"Did you take a decision?" Or, "We must take a decision ." This is more precise. More clinical. Or so it seems to me. As if to say a smorgasbord of options will be laid out and one must take just one or two of the options and be done. A singular entrée, instead of a buffet.
I took a decision or two on the future. While Bartowsky read, or filmed, or studied the landscape, I thought of the options long and hard. I came to binary or algebraic decisions -meaning that the decisions used the syntax of, "if, then." As in, "if this comes to pass, then I will..." This method was used because so much of what I decided was (and still is) contingent upon other things taking place. There is a piece of Biblical wisdom out there that says, in essence, man plans his ways, but God determines his footsteps. Even my agnostic and atheist associates may say that life is what happens while we are making plans. I'll go with the first one. So...
The first of three steps was a promise to get "checked out." The heart is fine, but there are some other issues that need to be explored. So I went in for a physical yesterday. My doc is fantastic, and she suggested two specialists. The first is the most embarrassing. I'm 50 now. I can't believe it because I feel like a younger guy, but I am. With 50 comes a special male treatment that involves the lower extremities and a couple of hours of, shall we say, probing. I looked at her and said, "Great! Christmas in July." At the very least they will be able to call my wife and tell her that my head is actually not up there. Unless, of course, it actually is. One of us has to be right.
So I will submit myself to hanging the old rump roast in the wind, just to "make sure."
The second specialist, the non-scope-centric referral, is the math specialist. That is, that Doc's examination will produce a result of greater importance to me. Albeit, both specialists can change the direction I want to take. The second one though is the one that I think about. That Doc's result will be the basis for the big decision looming on the horizon. If the Doc says X, then I go with Y. If the doc says A, then I go with B.
I won't talk about that specialist here (now) in terms of the what. However, I will say that this Doc is number two of three steps.
Step One: Go see my Doc and among iffy banter get down to brass tacks on the specialists. Done. Completed. Fini.
Step Two: Go see the specialists. Leave the racial and body type profiling proctologist joke at home. But (and that's a big butt) share it here:
"Is it racial and body type profiling to desire a petite and anorexic Pygmy with no noticeable fingernails as one's
I hope not. That's my dream.
At at any rate, step two is not completed at the time of this writing. And Step Two, Part B -the non-rumpus room specialist-is the key. Step Two, Part B leads to algebraic Step Three.
Step Three: If X-result, then take Y-action. If A-result, then B-action. It will be one or the other. What are these results and actions and specialists? Well, they are related to the trip. To cruising an endless ribbon of highway. To adventure and whatever comes our way. Possibly to Steppenwolf (pictured above). But the real answer, the no-kidding, here-it-is answer, is...
We had a rule on the trip. It was called, "The Golden Ticket Rule."
Quite simply, if Bartowsky or I ever had visions of murdering our traveling companion (him killing me -most likely, or me killing him -less likely) we were to voice this inclination. Talking about it would produce an immediate action, best summarized as: Find nearest airport and put Bartowsky or Dad on a plane home.
"Congratulations, son! You just won a beautiful golden ticket on Delta Airlines!"
The intent behind this rule was not necessarily a concern about murder or being murder. Although we do watch The First 48, so... Rather, the concern was close proximity for 12 days or more. In a car. Designed by the Japanese. I'm 6'-3". Bartowsky is 6'-2." And thus, the Golden Ticket.
Which was never redeemed.
Happy Day After the 4th of July!
This morning I put on my serious shoes. That's how I think of the shoes I wear to the day gig. It doesn't matter if the toe is rounded or pointed, or the color or texture of the shoe. They are all serious if I am dining them for the old proverbial salt mine.
And serious shoes would normally denote the end of the road trip, and thus the end of this blog. However, there are a few loose ends to tie up. And over the next few days, in the next couple of weeks, I will wrap up everything as I close the loop on items that were either started or mentioned in this blog.
For now, suffice to say that I was looking for a few things "out there." And I found some of them. So I will come back to those things here -on this blog.
But for today, it's time for some serious shoes.
Have a great day.
More commentary to follow here -once we catch our breath at home for a few days.
Thanks for going along on the ride.
Charleston (Book 4)
Gulf Lobster Sand Crab
My father told me once that the nicest beaches in the country were in Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama. I was a kid and didn't believe him. I had witnessed the beaches at Patterson Lake in North Dakota and the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, where my mother lived. What could be better than these two places?
And then I went to Clearwater one year.
And then again. And again. Once, when my wife was stressed out, I used airline points and sent her there, too. It was only for the weekend, but she came back sun burned and blisssed out. I was a hero.
Later, I discovered Mississippi and Alabama. Well, "discovered " might be a bit much. Others, probably Native Americans, (North or Central) discovered it long before I showed up to say, "Hey! Look everyone! The Gulf Coast is stunning." My friend Richard and his wife had lived in Naples/Marco Island, etc. I can hear Richard saying, "No kidding?" with a crooked grin.
Bartowsky digs it, as well. However, our Swiss-Norwegian-Scotch Irish-heritage gives us two color options on the coast: "Gulf Coast Sand,"or "Lobster." My wife tans. We only tan after multiple coats of "Lobster," and by that time we are candidates for the melanoma test center.
If there is ever a war on the Gulf Coast, we have the perfect camouflage. Like sand crabs that don't have to bury themselves.
"I didn't see them, sir! Those Fast Present albinos took out forty-seven of our men. It's not our fault... couldn't even see them, sir. They were right there. Right there..." his voice trailing off in disbelief.
"You should stay out of the sun," my doctor said -firmly back in reality.
"I like any place cold," said Bartowsky. Adding, " The colder the better."
But even Bartowsky loves the beach. We just need to love it in the early morning hours, or as the sun goes down.
Otherwise it is Lobster-Boy and Sand Crab to the rescue.