September 26th, 2006
|10:57 am - Another short one . . .|
I was thinking about Mike Ford this last weekend, when I went to get my eyes checked. It's been, well, way too many years -- ever since my Lasik surgery -- since I had them looked at. Not good; diabetics -- whether non-insulin dependent, like me, or insulin dependent, like Mike -- should get their eyes checked yearly. It's both a quick look into your circulatory system -- without anything being cut, which is kind of neat -- and a way to watch out for macular degeneration in particular, a very bad sort of thing that gets worse the longer it goes untreated. Mike, eventually, had to have some serious laser surgery to cauterize burst blood vessels and save his vision.
I don't mean to be dramatic about this; my exam went just fine. No sign of troubles; there's stil the three scars in my right retina from the cryo and laser surgery after old Joe Piscatello punched holes in it with a pretty remarkable backfist back in 1979, and they've still got the retina tacked down. My left eye remains 20-20, and my right eye has very slight astigmatiscm and farsightedness; nothing worth bothering with getting prescription glasses for. I'll get by on cheap drugstore reading glasses with no problem, and continue to have a few different strengths depending on how tired my eyes are on a given day.
But it did remind of of Mike, for a number of reasons. Skipping regular care was something he was far too prone to do as long as I knew him, although it got better when he and Elise got together, and better still when Lynn and Victor started insisting he do better. For a lot of things, it became essential after he got the kidney transplant -- miss just a few doses of antirejection drugs, or don't have them quite tuned, and it gets real, real bad.
But the damage had been done in the early years. I'm guessing that the autopsy will show a myocardial infarction -- his third, at least; he'd had two silent MIs that I knew about, a long time ago -- and that it will suggest that it was very very quick. Which is a good thing. We had discussions, years ago, about dialysis, and his unwillingness to start . . . long before he was on dialysis, which was a different technique and not nearly as bad as he feared.
Mainly though, this morning I was thinking about a conversation we had, maybe ten years ago, about Robert Heinlein.
"Sometimes, just after I've woken up, I wish he'd just finish with this being dead thing and get back to writing."
A snort. "I was thinking just that this morning."
As was I, this morning, about Mike.
This is actually quite something to read just after a psychiatrist appointment. "Actually quite something" in the good, "Hmm... Must remember to take care of myself" way. Thank you.
He did manage to tick me off about that whole thing, more than once.
I'd pretty much given on haranguing him about it -- it was in the "save your breath to cool your soup" category; thankfully, there were others who he'd listen to -- when we were in Surdyk's, doing some wine and food shopping. His insulin wasn't all that well balanced that day, and he mumbled something about how he needed to get his blood sugar up.
Which was fine.
It would have been fine if he'd thumbed a glucose tab, which he should have -- but didn't -- have with him. It would also be fine if he'd picked up some orange juice, which they do have at Surdyk's.
But no. He stood in front of the case of chocolates, thinking, for the longest damn time, until I got enough tired and/or scared and/or irritated enough about his tremors that I made some not entirely patient comment about how it would be just fine if he would go ahead and fucking pick something, eh? because I really, really didn't want to see if I could catch him when his knees buckled; 911 isn't my favorite three-digit number; and I'd forgotten if he had the medic alert bracelet and . . .
"I don't get to eat chocolate very often," he said. "I want to pick something I'll particularly enjoy."
Yeah. He did, at that.