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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My opinion and a Dollar still won't get you a decent cup of Joe

I have an extraordinary amount of spare time on my hands. In July of 2004 I began having health problems and within a few days I was diagnosed as having Cardiomyopathy. Some folks call it congestive heart failure. Most of the people my age (45) claim to have never heard of it. Most ask "Isn't there some kind of surgery you can have to fix it?" When I say "No, not really. Only a heart transplant, or a miracle from God" they look at me quizzically and say "Are you sure?, maybe there's something out there you don't know about." I tell them I'm sure and they act like they don't believe it. They might see me and since I don't look sick and may actually have energy or just had a three hour nap assume that everything is just fine. "Why aren't you working?" "Because I have a bad heart." " But you look fine, I thought you were doing okay." I say, " The truth is that somedays I can walk two miles and somedays I need an extra 4 hours sleep right in the middle of the day." Then they go home and go to sleep and to work and forget the conversation they just had. I see them the following week or maybe two weeks later. Sometimes I repeat the same conversation with the same people over and over and over. I'm using a little hyperbole here and I don't really blame them because sometimes they just don't know what to say but you see, I have an extraordinary amount of spare time on my hands. There are 24 hours in a day and when most of your life you've worked 8 to 12 hours any given day, time begins to move like it did when you were a kid. Very slowly. There is too much time to think. I hope I haven't become jaded but I've come to believe that most of us are just going through the motions. If it hasn't happened to us individually then most of us have not idea what the other is going through. We are all mostly a selfish bunch, living in a bubble. And it's not that we don't want to help it's that we don't know how to help.
My computer just crashed and I lost a bunch of cool why me, pity party stuff but here's the main question I have. If in this Christian experience we are all given different and varying levels of gifts to complete the Body then should I realisticially expect someone who has the gift of prophecy, or administration or music or whatever to emphathize, symphathize with mine or anybody elses sickness? Wouldn't it be better for me to know your gifts before I start expecting something from you (vice versa) that you can't give?


Jamie Dawn said...

I have my own health problems to deal with, so I can relate to your post. I am 42 and I have had 18 throat surgeries in the past five years. It has been very tough.
Close friends & family are what matters to me. Whether other people understand all I've faced or not doesn't mean much. It is too tiring to try and explain it, so I simply don't.
I wish you well as you deal with your heart problem.
Maybe you should get a t-shirt that says, "I'm sick even if I look fine to you."

Ted said...

There is nothing i can say except your physical heart may have a problem but the heart i know you operate in the spirit with, (the you that we enjoy)leaps like a child. You bring laughter and joy to everyone. I am refreshed by our conversations because you are real about everything. i don't have to hide behind a spiritual mask to be around you and feel accepted. In short we help each other make it through the daily crap,focusing on the real reason we are here.
God has given you a task that he thinks you can handle. You may get mad at the trainer and God will not fall off the throne because you voice how you feel. Just know that it was not an accident that we are re-united and anything i can do let me know. Remember how thick my skull is and don't get mad if i don't understand all the time what you are going through.

uncle joe said...

I appreciate those kind words. I really look up to you because of all the "stuff" you've been thru (and I'm sure I don't know all of it) you keep plugging ahead. In this case being hard-headed is a good thing and truthfully you're one of the few people who have even tried to understand and for that I thank you. I'm not really crying right now, it's just the onions i'm cutting up....!

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Hey Joe! Tell them you are a government consultant studying the effects of excessive leisure time on adult males over 40!

Then hang a bunch of charts over the computer and leave a couple piles of printed graphs stacked there and forget about it!

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

And you might take up tutoring a kid once or twice a's fun, sit down work.

uncle joe said...

Good advice Valerie, thanks.