Death Sentence

Saw the doc
again today.
Despite all that exercise
my Chi isn’t as strong
as it was last year

and will continue
to decline
even if I take
the latest drug —
just not as fast.

At that rate
I should run out
of dollars
before I run
out of breath.

Knowing it
couldn’t be denied,
I stopped at Pao’s
and got two
chocolate-raised.

If I’m going
on a long trip,
damn well
going to start it
on a full stomach.

13 thoughts on “Death Sentence

  1. I’m unsure whether to take this literally or metaphorically. If literally, please know I’m sad to hear it. But I take comfort in believing that you know, likely better than most, that all of life is lived only in moments; and that those are all we ever really have, until we have no more.

    Until then, please know what a pleasure it is to share a few moments in the universe with you.

    • This was an attempt to deal humorously with the fact that my COPD continues to slowly get worse, Dave. I really have no complaints about how good of shape I’m in for being 70, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not disappointed that all my recent walking and running haven’t, and apparently won’t, improve my condition.

      The drugs to treat this can only slow its progress and are quite expensive, even with part D medical coverage. I hate having to use drugs and I hate using Medicare funds almost as much as I hate using my own money.

      I will continue to enjoy life to the fullest, no matter what my condition.

  2. And so it goes. The way of the warrior is to say “Yes!” to it all.

    Happy to hear the fight isn’t over.

    BTW, I blame you for dropping $1100.00 on a Zuiko 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 zoom. My 70-300mm just doesn’t focus fast enough, and isn’t bright enough to grab the kind of shots I want of the various birds that frequent the retention ponds around the condo. I admire your shots and hope to become as skilled as you are one day. (Not soon.)

    I won’t say “Be well.” Instead, stay in the fight, Loren. We need you.

    • Nice to know that I can tempt others to spend money on camera equipment as recklessly as I do, Dave. Luckily, lenses seem to last forever, at least good ones that you don’t need to replace do.

      Looking forward to seeing your shots. You live in one of the world’s best places to bird.

  3. Sorry for your troubles, and appreciate the poem’s head on stance. Regarding your spotting the cranes on the Delta, seems to cap a strange year. On the 25th of April we had a ‘gathering’ or ‘falling,’ not sure of the word, but at least one hundred gold finches filled the giant sycamore in the neighbor’s yard. They stayed about 24 hours and moved on. Just amazing. kjm

  4. I’m pretty sure you’re not a Catholic, but I placed your name (first only) in a petition for healing at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.

    • Thanks, Tom, good thoughts and wishes are always welcome.

      I’m also looking at some alternative treatments and lung exercises. If worst comes to worst, I guess I’ll just add another drug to my routine and pay whatever it costs. I already feel blessed.

  5. Catching up with reading friends’ web sites and stunned to read this, Loren.

    A virtual hug sounds kind of lame and far too “social media” (I feel like I should be typing this on a pink smart phone) but that’s all I have…so, huge virtual hug.

    • This is COPD, not cancer, we’re talking about here. If I’m going to die, and at 70 I’m now sure it’s inevitable, death is not immediate, at least from COPD.

      I still insist I’m in better shape than most 50 year olds I know. What’s depressing is being told that you’re continuing to get worse despite 6 months of dieting and strenuous exercise. Not to mention being told that you’ll need to add another expensive medicine to your daily routine.

      I’m trying some breathing exercises to see if that will increase my lung capacity, or at least stop the gradual decline of my lung capacity.

      • Adding another expensive medication is not fun. I can’t help thinking, though, that the work you did has probably helped it from being worse. And that is a good thing.

        Breathing exercises also sound like a very good use of your time.

        And more bird watching, of course.

  6. Loren, I’m sure the exercise helps, both physically and emotionally. There’s no cure for getting older anyway, and almost all of us face these years with some chronic conditions. If the drugs are truly helpful, maybe they’re worth it. You seem to be doing the most important thing of all: enjoying your life and really living it, with a positive and feisty attitude. I admire that so much. Those shorebird portraits made my day today! Thank you. (And good for you for eating the doughnuts!)

    • All it took was my second brush with cancer when I was in peak condition from hiking up to 25 miles a day in the mountains and backpacking for a week in high country to realize that I’d better start enjoying every day to the fullest. I haven’t lost focus of that thought since.

      The Christian Scientist in me still objects to the idea that all our health problems can be solved with drugs. I do take drugs when I need them and am grateful that they exist and that I can afford them. For instance, I’ve been taking synthroid since they discovered I had thyroid cancer at 37 years of age. It’s kept me alive a long time.

      Still, I get the impression that most of my doctors are overprescribing drugs instead of looking for healthier alternatives. I have decided to try specific exercises to increase lung capacity and get retested in 6 months or sooner if I don’t see improvement in the next three months in my exercise program.

What do you think?