Friday, April 02, 2004

Whew! The dog will live. "Dad, you have to come upstairs now. It's urgent," my daughter just warned me. I rushed from my basement den to find the dog had chewed the "Sunday" end of my pill box and my wife needed to know if I remembered any pills in that day's compartment. Seeing an empty Saturday compartment on the other end led me to think I refilled that box last Friday night, and I had consumed those five pills, so no pet is going to the vet for an emergency stomach pumping. If my brother is reading this, he's likely laughing at the prospect of my having one of those pill organizers. I would have spun a smart-ass comment his way if our places were reversed. Just three years ago I remember how foreign those things looked when I visited sick parishioners to bring Communion. What can I say? I've hit my mid-forties with mild hypertension, an esophageal hernia, a small ulcer, and arthritis in my right thumb. From the day when I would not take an aspirin or a cold relief pill, I now appreciate that little box to ensure I keep on the daily routine. I don't like it, but it's a reminder of the mortality I've come to know a little bit more intimately these past few years. (It's also a reminder that my memory is not trusty enough to overcome my resentment at being on three medications.) This must be mid-life. I remember when I was nineteen, moved away from home and on campus, and found my metabolism had changed to that of an adult (I gained twelve pounds first semester that year). Clearly, the extra food I used to eat was now padding my fat tissues instead of adding inches. I think I will look back on this past year as the marker of middle life. It's more than just the pills and the blow to my ego. I just feel differently these days.

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