EVENTUALLY MAKES A LONG LIST – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP SATURDAY : Eventually

Be there anyone amongst us who doth not make lists.

Not all my lists are written, mind you. Some are mental. I have a wedding coming up. It’s a very big piece of my “eventually” list and includes:

      • Can we afford reservations anywhere?
      • Am I physically up to a long drive from Massachusetts to Virginia?
      • Is Garry up to a long drive from New England to down there?

These lists used to be smaller and I used to be better at approaching them. I always did things quickly — just to get done with them and not have to worry. Reservations are probably manageable — one way or the other. Probably the other. I really want to go to this wedding.

When I first knew it was happening, I promised myself I would find a way to make it happen. Which automatically put it on my primary “eventually” list. I did not count on how hard I would find just getting through a normal day. Or how exhausted I would be after even a minimal effort.

Why am I so tired? My back is badly broken and my heart is tired. The back is both broken and arthritic. It hurts. I have better medication than I used to, so that’s a good thing, but the heart is a whole other issue.

The heart is genetic and I never knew I had. Most people who have the problem are unaware of it until it kills them. I was lucky I discovered it before it killed me. I was born with it. Probably so was my father and for all I know, my mother too. I’ve already had major surgery to repair it which involved installing two replacement valves, an electronic (metal) Pacemaker, and surgery which remodeled the entire left ventricle and a bypass.

The problem was my heart walls continue to thicken. The walls become inflexible. It’s harder for the valves to work – which means my red blood cell count drops which probably explains why I’ve had problems with minimal anemia since I was a kid. So far, though, it has never dropped dangerously low.

Can I get there and enjoy it? Can Garry make it? He isn’t good with long drives anymore. He used to love driving. For that matter, I used to love driving!

There are a lot other eventually lists. I’m not sure I can take a long walk to take pictures. I finally use the chair lift because hauling myself up and down the stairs isn’t going to improve my spine or my heart. The heart will get worse until it stops working.  No one will redo the surgery. I figure I’ve got another five years if I’m careful and a little bit lucky. Maybe longer. They keep improving the technology, so maybe they’ll come up with a miracle drug — and it will even be affordable.

The way we were – September 15, 1990

But that’s not so bad, right? I’ve had a full life. Not a super long one, but not cut excessively short either. Eventually is the rest of my life. There is so much eventually waiting for me to get to it.

Sometimes, I think, “What if I win the lottery? Could I somehow manage to travel to Europe and see Paris?” When we hit our 25th-anniversary and I wanted to go to Paris because I always wanted to see Paris (though I think I wanted to see the Paris that disappeared 100 years ago), we didn’t go. If you can’t walk, what do you do in Paris? If you can’t walk through Versailles or the Louvre — or walk those cobblestone streets — what else is there to do?

We went to visit Ben in Arizona and that was actually fantastic. The dry heat improved my ability to breathe and my spine hurt a lot less. I don’t know if I could live in that kind of heat all the time, but winter in Arizona is heavenly.

All my eventually lists are waiting for me. Sometimes, I forget what’s on the lists and by the time I remember, it’s too late. This time, though, I have to deal with it. One way or the other, it’s on top.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

27 thoughts on “EVENTUALLY MAKES A LONG LIST – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. If you are feeling so challenged by the event, I would beg off with regrets and send a lovely present. I know you would want to be there but sometimes it may not be possible.
    Leslie

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    1. It’s a long drive to an expensive area that would be gorgeous — it’s down in the Chesapeake Bay. But that drive. We’d HAVE to stop at least every hour or so, just so my legs would remember how to move and my back regain a semblance of mobility. That may be the way it goes, but I keep hoping for a happier conclusion.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d be happy to come to MA to drive you two to VA. Well not exactly. Happiness is near the top of my eventually list. I can’t get too close to happiness. It’s not good for my health. In this Trumpian era, unhappiness, sadness, rage (“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!!!”), and depression are healthy. But a bad back and heart are worse. I hope you’re able to make the wedding. It’ll be exhausting, but worth it. Okay, I’ll call Bernie Shaw and ask if he’s be willing to fly to Boston and drive you to and from.

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        1. Rockport (MA) is just a little more than an hour from here. Not sure about Lewes, but I could look it up! There’s a Rockport in every New England state, so you have to be specific. I like ours. It’s so very paintable.

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          1. Rockport MA, silly — your Rockport and my Rockport. I live there with my grandparents and mother when my father was overseas, and spend two weeks every summer eating lobster and Ipswijch clams from the lobster pound on Bearskin Neck.

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            1. That was when lobster was still affordable 🙂 We used to go to a little village in Maine where the tallest point in town were a pile of lobster traps. Northeast Harbor, I think. What GREAT food it was!

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              1. It was so long ago that I can’t remember. I do remember the fish man delivering fresh fish on Harridan Avenue. My grandmother (from PEI) knew her fish and impressed the fish man with her knowledge of just where to cut her a piece of Halibut. Then she’d make the egg sauce to die for. Those were the days.

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  3. I wish I had a driver too. It would be lovely to read about an event and pick up the phone and say “Send a car and driver for 8 am, I’m going to …..” Friends in Melbourne occasionally use a hire service to take them to the city or bring them home after an evening event, they live 40km out of the city, but that would be unaffordable for an interstate trip without that lottery win. I guess flying would be an even worse option. Planes are uncomfortable, maybe first class isn’t but who can afford that and airports are horrible plus you have to drive to and from them.

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  4. When is the wedding?

    I’m of the view that you can (and should) make this happen, if it’s truly important to you. And it sounds like it is. I’d be happy to help you brainstorm a solution.

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    1. I’m working on it.

      It’s in the Chesapeake Bay beach (Stevensville, MD) area, so it’s not going to be inexpensive. Our CAR is fine and this isn’t a major vacation period. It’s just a long drive for two older people who get tired pretty fast — and money.

      I’m going to call the two inns today, but Roberta was in touch yesterday and warned me that they ARE expensive. The driving is technically an hour less than Alexandra, but traffic gets a strange down there with the new bridges and tunnels. I’m up for any solution that gets us there in one piece WITH luggage and not too tired to have fun. There’s a whole horde of family down there I’ve never met, though we correspond online.

      I’ll know more after I see the Pacemaker guy (early October) and the valve guy (early September). They may need to swap the battery in the Pacemaker, but I think I’ll have some leeway in when that happens. My last diagnosis came back “not too bad,” which wasn’t exactly what I hoped for. I really thought it was FIXED for good and all.

      NOTHING is ever fixed for good and all.

      The over-tiredness MIGHT be the result of changes in medication (the meds I was taking, the only company making it stopped producing them, so I had no choice but to change) but on the upside, the new med works much better and it isn’t an opioid. According to the pharmacist, I need to give it a few weeks more to settle in after which I should feel better.

      It does get awfully complicated, though, doesn’t it?

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