1. It was Eric’s birthday this week. He is my absolute favorite human. I’m grateful he was born, grateful we are here at the same time and got to meet each other, grateful he picked me to be his life partner, grateful that he’s healthy and happy, grateful that he has a job he loves and they love him there, grateful that we share the same values and some of the same interests, grateful for the way he makes me laugh, grateful for his kindness, grateful for the way he takes care of me, grateful that after 30 years he likes being with me as much as I like being with him.
2. We got our tree, decorated it and lit it up. For the longest time we didn’t have a tree. With dogs we just thought it would be too much of a hassle, didn’t know if they’d try and wreck it, but then the winter of 2016, after the election that year, we needed some joy, some light, a bit of a celebration, so we finally got one and loved it so much we’ve had one every year since. I also spent this past weekend wrapping and getting some presents under the tree and some packed up to ship to Oregon. Turns out it’s a really good thing I got all that done last week…
3. I was in the hospital this week. I certainly hadn’t planned it. I’d been having gut trouble for about seven months, attributed it to a couple of new medications the first two times, then the third time I got better over the weekend and by Monday got busy and neglected to make an appointment to see my doctor about it. In fact, when I went for my yearly annual exam a few weeks ago, I forgot to even mention it. Then Sunday night, I got another flair but this time much worse. Nothing I was throwing at it was making it any better and I was in a lot of pain. After a visit to urgent care, then my regular doctor, and a CT scan, I was sent to the emergency room and admitted to the hospital, where I stayed until Thursday afternoon. My diagnosis is: diverticular abscess, essentially a bad infection trapped in a bubble somewhere in my large intestine. I’m home and healing now. The bummer is as soon as I’m enough better, I’ll have a colonoscopy so they can get a really good look at it and then surgery to remove it, so this isn’t over.
That said, because of my stay, I’m extra grateful for accessible to me healthcare, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, hospitals, all the people who keep those places running and patients cared for, general practitioners and specialists, science and medicine, masks and vaccines, masks comfortable enough to sleep in, all the various prescriptions supporting my healing process, IVs, CT scans, adjustable hospital beds, a comfortable pillow, good socks, my Universal Standard Hathaway Jersey Joggers that I wore for three days straight at the hospital and they were super comfortable and no worse for the wear, my Manta Sleep Mask that also got a workout while I was there, headphones and earplugs, smartphones and wifi, streaming content apps and podcast & music apps, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, texting, cameras on phones, my healthcare app, all the people who sent me love and checked in and offered support, soft toilet paper, finally getting to take a shower, my roommate and her parents (we all sort of agreed to give each other our privacy, that we weren’t there to make friends or enemies, and that was nice, and at night when it was just the two of us, she was so quiet and I had the bathroom all to myself because she had a catheter and hadn’t eaten for days), that I was able to get well enough to come home before needing surgery (this particular surgery done as an emergency is a whole other thing), getting to sleep in my own bed, the grilled cheese & banana and mashed potatoes and chicken breast that were my first solid food, that Eric had a light work week as it was the last before winter break so he could visit and take care of Ringo and do errands and be my driver and cook and advocate.
4. The gym. I went in today and did the hydromassage chair (twice), got in the pool and stretched, and sat in the sauna with Eric. I felt almost like a normal person.
5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. Like Jeff Foster says in that post I love so much, “Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude. Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar.”