When my kidneys failed I asked a neighbor to drive me to the hospital. Not for my kidneys, which I didn’t quite understand at that point, but because two things happened the night before. At about 3:00 I was lying in bed listening to the radio. The commentator gave a colorful report of Melania Trump checking into a Washington D.C. hotel to redesign all the military uniforms. Apparently she needed quiet and privacy. I remember thinking to myself that that was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard. Military uniforms aren’t designed merely for looks, and it wasn’t her job to… Then it occurred to me that I don’t actually have a radio in the bedroom, or even a radio that wasn’t packed away somewhere. I don’t listen to the radio. I also had a somewhat self-serving conversation with my mother. Though I was willing to have that conversation, I was also aware that she was dead and aware that it wasn’t actually my mother I was talking to. But it was
a conversation. I very carefully came to the conclusion that I wasn’t functioning correctly.
I ended up in the Emergency Room and was transferred to a small cottage hospital in England where the nurses spoke with accents that were strangely American. All but one from the Czech Republic whom I thought might be the ring leader. It was a very interesting time.
Earlier this week I attended the Nurses Clinic at the dialysis center. I took half a pain pill before walking up to the park to catch the bus. I also took two kinds of insulin, a phosphorus binder and a handful of regular pills. At the clinic I was given a flu shot, which I reluctantly agreed to, my third hepatitis shot, an Epogen injection in the flab of my arm, and an IV iron injection. I could be wrong, but I think that’s too many things in too short a time. I also gave four vials of blood. I did not walk back to the bus. My head was spinning. I got hot soup and cold water at the hospital cafeteria and sat for an hour and a half until I felt I could make it to the bus and then home.
We take the brain for granted. That we have a brain is like saying the world is real. It doesn’t mean anything. But when we mess with our body chemistry, whether by failure or on purpose, or even through good intentions, the world changes, and we change with it. My brain is obviously the main ingredient in these posts. The strange thing is that I tend to listen to the words that come out with a sense of wonder and surprise. I allow my brain to do the work it was designed to do, or the work it randomly ended up doing, to keep atheistic scientists happy. It does the work much better than I do, so long as I feed it correctly, keep its fluids balanced and don’t stress it too much or expect more than it's prepared to give. It’s just a brain, but it’s also the whole ball of wax. Without it, there’s nothing. No world. Not thoughts. No posts. Nothing.
I’m telling you this because it seems necessary. Or else I’m listening to it and reading it because it seems interesting. But what will any of us think tomorrow?