All posts by jupiterj

falling apart

I have been thinking a lot about my dead parents. Elizabeth invited Eileen and I to their house for Mother’s Day. During the course of a few days I noticed that Elizabeth and Eileen were evaluating my socialization. Before the weekend was over both Elizabeth and Eileen seemed distraught. Elizabeth: ” You are no longer ‘you.” Later Eileen said that I had behaved like my Dad, insisting on driving home e.g.

I made an appointment to see Fuentes in hopes that she might help us evaluate all the weird parts of my behavior and line them up either to address or not worry so much about. Eileen and I tried to list everything that is bothering I including all symptoms like balance and so on. We had a nice talk. Fuentes helped us prioritize both her concerns and ours.

I think Eileen was reassured by this conversation. The fact that my right leg is bigger than my left alarmed Fuentes. So last night I was on a pad at Holland Hospital Radiology with a tech giving my right leg the treatment. So far that seems to have come out alright. At least the tech evaluating the results did not run screaming “blood clots!” from the room.

Also Doctor Fuentes referred me to a physical therapist and a neurologist. The neurologist is unsurprisingly unable to see me for a while but the physical therapist should be sooner.

What I had in mind was a discussion about how to proceed with all these issues at this time of my life which is what I seem to be getting.

This is disturbing as I am comparing all this stuff to my Mom and Dad who relied heavily on me to guide THEM through their evaluation and treatment.

Elizabeth and Eileen seemed to see me through the lens of the my Dad’s struggles with facing his own illness and death. I think I’m not quite as close to helplessness and demise as he was.

I am thinking a lot about this and still processing. I suppose when I need to I’ll come here and jot down a few thoughts to attempt to get myself clearer on my particular experience as I live through this. The best idea yet was making a list of stuff like the Dupuytren’s contraction, eczema, mild memory loss, hand tremors, brief hallucinations.

I think I am feeling better but it would be reassuring to have a plan. Passing blood in March hit me like a ton of bricks. Fuentes had me take antibiotics and that seemed to help but then I had to face a long recovery from whatever had happened. I believe this is what I am going through now.

I ceased exercising. I am very happy to talk to a physical therapist. I think that will be helpful.

Before signing off let me reassure you, dear reader, that my family is being kept on the page via social media and DMs.

I must say I didn’t realize how much added stress comes from the questions and anxiety (ANXIETY) and love of those around me. Makes sense.

Eileen is doing great otherwise. It’s like Fuentes said: “I always tell people don’t retire. Once you retire you gradually fall apart.” Nice timing. It would have been good to know.

I have decided to minimize driving.


I have been deciding on a daily basis to skip blogging. Instead I have been reading and listening to podcasts and talking to Eileen.

I have managed to finish a few books. In reverse order, I finished Seraph in the Suwanee by Zora Neal Thurston, Markings on the Earth by Karenne Wood, and Obit by Victoria Change.

SERAPH ON THE SUWANEE. by Hurston, Zora Neale -

The Thurston left me puzzled. I was confused at the beginning because the protagonists are white and it was the first of the several of Thurston’s works I had read that had white main characters. I thought this did not bode well as I started it.

Try as I might I could not see where Thurston was going. Most of the black people were people you could understand and might not mind knowing. The whites were more fully developed as characters and one could not always explain them to oneself. By the end I was confused. I don’t think that Seraph in the Suwanee is more a book about race than any other American book. I’m still pondering it. Markings on Earth (First Book Award Series): 9780816521654: Wood,  Karenne: Books

Karenne Wood’s Markings on Earth was before that. Her poem Spider Dance hit me. The idea of male Spiders dying after mating keeps popping up on my radar lately.

and this one

First Light

by Karenne Wood

At this hour, who could discern where land ends
or water, where creek becomes bay, bay becomes
river and stretches across to a blue verge
of Maryland, all the way black now, invisible.

Through July’s haze, the first light is a brushstroke
of gray seeping in. Ducks totter up the beach,
short bowlegged sailors. Over the water, duck blinds
loom as improbable creatures who graze a pale field.

From the marina around the bend, two crabbers set out.
Their diesel chugs reverberate as prows cut new waves.
Mockingbirds swoop, flash their shoulders like women
advertising summer dresses. Herons cast themselves down.

What matters? At the end, we become what we have
loved, each thing that transfixed us in the rapture
of its moment, its grace of its own making, ours the same.
We grow around the land as it grew around us, and

dawn crosses over us, whether asleep in nests or
berths or in the ground becoming life again. Here is
the moment: here, among herons, ospreys, morning,
river. I believe in this light: it is the light of the world.

From Markings on Earth

, University of Arizona Press.
© 2001 Karenne Wood

Return to the Karenne Wood website

Obit by Victoria Chang - Copper Canyon Press

Rhonda gave me this book for Christmas. I’m just finishing it. I was very tickled when there was a poem by Chang in the April 11 issue. I clipped it and stuck it in my copy of this book. She is quite good. Thanks, Rhonda!