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  • Writer's pictureren-lay


Updated: Aug 31, 2023

I feel the need to update you on my current situation.

Details of ‘keeping it all going’ continue to plague me.

I live an excess of frustration - with physical pain and troublesome symptoms, a health care system deeply broken, phone and on-line access leaving me on endless hold trying to get things moving, thieves stealing packages when I have no other way of getting in supplies, older friends dealing with their own aging issues and the deaths of so many. This is what my world looks like at 80+. Doctors say I need surgeries - one to open my chest and repair the heart and another to replace a seriously arthritic shoulder which prevents me from doing many ordinary activities like getting dressed, showering, washing my hair, cooking. Most days I retreat into an endless supply of movies and streaming series, sleep eventually with great difficulty and manage to rise by 2 pm most days to grapefruit, coffee and a blessed bowel movement.

This is not a connected life. In fact it is mostly disconnected from everything I have known. There are a few friends with whom I speak on the phone from time to time, but I don’t go out until the heat and air quality eases its grip on our environment and although I manage inside, walking out and managing stairs has been seriously challenged since my 2011 accident and then only with a cane and at a very slow pace.

I miss performances and birthday celebrations of those I value because I can’t get there. I am useless in helping with the suffering of others. Even the short walks I have managed to the bank and Trader Joe’s and my podiatrist in Chinatown are nearly impossible. Getting to doctors and out for tests is experienced as a burden and quite unnecessary in living day to day. To struggle through pedestrian traffic or catch a cab, spending money I don’t have just to navigate a world for whom I am now mostly invisible seems to go against a deeper desire to live out my days with a maximum of grace and ease.

I have no idea what choices I may make to get through the coming changes, but, as usual, hope for the best and occasionally have enough fight left in me to overcome each mounting obstacle. I am grateful at least to be able to still think clearly.


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