Am I better? Yes. But not enough.

Oh damnit. I went to the doctor Tuesday. The wheeze remains in my lungs. “It’s better,” she said. “I don’t love it.” My biggest gripe is complete absence of energy. One simple task wipes me out, drenched me with sweat and leaves my lungs to gasp. The doctor ordered up some physical therapy. I pickedContinue reading “Am I better? Yes. But not enough.”

Pneumonia, Day 10

Lungs. Need them back. Fully functional, please. Wheeze-free, please. Yes. Lord, above all else, no more damn wheeze. Life on pneumonia reduces all actions by half. It’s like playing a board game where your movements are controlled by the roll of dice and you hit a two every damn time. Walk to bathroom. Pause. CoughingContinue reading “Pneumonia, Day 10”

My pneumonia is scaring the hell out of me

It started as a respiratory virus. Hardly unusual. I get one almost every winter. A thundering chest cough. Fever. Every breath sounds like a hands saw cutting old tree branches. I felt better on the fourth day. I left the apartment. Got my mail. I went to get a ham sandwich and iced tea. ThenContinue reading “My pneumonia is scaring the hell out of me”

Further complaints about illness and mortality

Illness invites thoughts of atrophy. I’ve been sick for a week. That’s the second round of incapacitating illness I’ve suffered this year. Both attacked my lungs, hardly the strongest piece of latticework in my body — a structure that is already not up to code. This hacking, wheezing festival began Monday and intensified as theContinue reading “Further complaints about illness and mortality”

Living the cliches of middle age

The worst part about getting old isn’t admitting that all the warnings about just how physically difficult aging is were absolutely true. It’s realizing they were kind of underselling it. I pulled a triple homicide and an officer-involved shooting on one long, cold night a week back. By the end of the day, I wasContinue reading “Living the cliches of middle age”

All the savage things

Red and white police lights swept across the otherwise dark houses on the southeast side house where three teenage boys were shot and killed. Only a blue TV light in the upstairs window and a yellow light at the front door shown from the house where they died sometime hours earlier. An cop guarded theContinue reading “All the savage things”

That same old song

I used to tell this joke. It wasn’t funny because I was too serious. I said it with anger. People laughed. Maybe I sounded funny, but I seethed secretly. Anyway, here’s the joke: If I die early, don’t play “Amazing Grace.” I heard that song too many times at my parents’ funerals. I wanted aContinue reading “That same old song”

Working out of the darkness in 2020

Darkness washed over me as I pointed my Charger south on U.S. Highway 169 toward Winterset. I forgot how dark it gets in the country, away from the constant glow of the city. Even a small city like Des Moines never goes completely dark. Orange hues from streetlights radiate into the night sky creating anContinue reading “Working out of the darkness in 2020”

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