In my old blog, I had a much used category, Riding the Bicycle. I decided when I started this new wordpress blog that I would invent new categories with new names. (Because, after all, I may have grown enough to not be polluting the world with the exact same ideas over and over again.) But today, I couldn’t help it, I just needed the category Riding the Bicycle, because to me—after 4 previous years of blogging—that category means the struggle to live a full life. A friend, John, told me that his metaphorical image for this struggle is juggling many balls in the air. It seemed perfect for him. But for me, keeping MY balance is the issue, rather than juggling objects external to me.
So here I am again, my body is acting up. I’m sure that I’m not much different than billions of people over the face of this earth. God love ’em, I can’t help any one of them with maintaining their balance right now. My friend, Will, went through six decades of his life without a single illness. We all know people like that. Mary Jane Smith had a perfect attendance record in high school, and has a certificate to prove it. But some of us really did get sick and had to stay home from school. It wasn’t all hooky.
Two infirmities have followed me through all 7 decades of my life. My mom was told I’d be lucky if I made it to 5. When I was 40, I was told I would probably die of gout before I was 50. When I was 65, I was told I would probably die of pulmonary hypertension before I was 70. Well, not in so many words, but the message was clear enough. So weak lungs and an inability to digest purine have been dogs nipping at my heels as I pedaled furiously over this or that terrain. And let’s not forget allergies, heart palpitations, and a host of acute illnesses.
I used to think I was a hypochondriac, but as long as we define that as someone who imagines himself to have illnesses that don’t really exist, that’s not what I am. Most people don’t want to be reminded over and over again about illnesses, either imagined or real. But I really am not a hypochondriac, if ever I was one. I’ve just been forced, because of the person who I actually am, to deal with a steady, but not constant, stream of health challenges as I also went ahead and lived a rather full life. Talking about it to the cyberair from time to time has actually been helpful.
So, yesterday I went to the family practitioner, today to the specialist, and tomorrow, who knows what. Hopefully, it won’t be long before I’m back on the bicycle of life again.
(To the tune of “Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match)
Bicycle, bicycle, I want to ride.
Life is so good, I won’t be denied.
Sitting here, waiting, I’m fit to be tied.
So give me the perfect ride.