Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye, 2017

I don’t think I’ve talked to one person who didn’t say 2017 was a year they’ll be glad to see end. It was, all around, not a good year, and for too many it was a year of health problems and changing health. Certainly, it was for me.

When I say that, some close to me point out that a year ago I was in great pain, and today I am pain free and free of the hallucinations and fuzzy thinking caused by over-medication with both prescription medicines and wine. And I walk better than I did, though I cannot walk without the assistance of a walker—or sometimes a person. The not-walking was a surprise. I expected to recover from hip surgery like most other patients, but it didn’t happen. My hip was different, my surgery was more extensive, and I’m lucky to be where I am.

Still the not-walking, coupled with two other conditions, makes me think of 2017 as the year my health fell apart. Around Labor Day, a routine doctor’s appointment resulted in a five-day hospital stay. “Go directly to the ER. Do not go home first.” Do not pass Go. Atrial fibrillation, which I now have forever. And in November a lens implanted during 1986 cataract surgery went a-wandering in my eye. That is to be fixed surgically this coming week, but the possibility of a second surgery remains strong. Ah, the perils of aging.

So for me, with many other people I know, it was a bad year for health.

2017 was also the year we saw the era of Trump. Swept in by election results questionable on several fronts, the orange man has brought dramatic changes to our country—flooding the judiciary with extreme conservatives, several of whom are rated unqualified by bar associations and one whose lack of knowledge was so profound he withdrew from the process; reversal of regulations that have protected our health, our rights in the workplace, our environment and climate, our civil rights; destroyed our international reputation, to the point that most of the world sees our presidency as a joke; wrought unrest, unease, fear and hatred throughout the country. Many of us wake with the first thought of “What did he do today? What did he tweet?”

The man who occupies the White House is a buffoon—impetuous, blindly unaware of domestic and international affairs as well as history, a racist, a failed businessman, an egotist, a misogynist, a man without empathy (it’s significant that he has no pets).

I’m far from blaming Trump for my ill health. How could he cause a lens to go wandering? And yet, is there a well-accepted connection between mental and physical health. Could Trump be the reason that so many of us see 2017 as a bad year personally? I think it’s a strong possibility. What can we do about it? For one thing, recognize that connection—knowledge is the best way to fight it. And then, speak out, express your fears, concerns, outrage. And in the 2018 elections, please vote.

I am convinced that 2018 will be a better year. As for me, bad things come in threes, and I’ve had my three—hip surgery, a fib, and the eye problem. As for the current administration, one can’t help but feel that it is a boiling cauldron about to erupt. 2018 may be a very interesting year, Pray God it will also be better for all of us.

God bless us, everyone. Deck the halls!

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