Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Is Someone Missing From Your List" my medical insurance website asks me each time I log in to look at appointments/test results. "Is Someone Missing From Your List?" And the rapid response is: Of course there is, so why keep asking me! And 'does the robot remember we had a Paul Williams in our family?' Or is it like an indelicate family elder always pushing for you to be married already. (Yes I had that experience at age 24. The Texas grandmother asked me "So, how is it going with that boyfriend".  "Oh we broke up awhile ago", I say.  "Oh that's too bad now you will turn out to be an old maid at 25 like your Auntie Flo ). 

(the view from here)

At any rate, that is not what I brought you all together for. Tomorrow is my birthday and I decided to reach out to each one of you with this check in and a "hello". It might seem like a distant, rather impersonal sort of checking in. But you friends, those of you that Ive known for years, played music with, done gigs with, taught or were taught guitar, or had our kids over for playdates....this is a moment of appreciation to you. Yeah, especially you. I appreciate you.

And I also appreciate Ben and Paula Luber and Mark for getting me to my medical procedure appointment this morning. And Susan and Chuck Hahm for taking in Alexander for the day.

 (Reading The Slit's Viv Albertine's memoir )

I suppose along with the good cheer of birthdays comes the awareness that we have to take care of the engine and inner workings of mechanisms under the hood. And that's what I did on my Birthday Eve.

Two years ago I had an appendectomy on my birthday. That was a hell of a time. Paul had just died 8 weeks earlier and then there was so much to take care of after he passed. I literally had no time for grieving. There were several memorials and paper work for the mortuary and I played the role of the Paul Williams Press Agent when someone needed quotes and photos. (Sure I coulda said no, but I felt like Pauls spirit was actually enjoying the belated attention. Like photos and info to the Grammy's so his picture could show up on the Remembrance sequence). A lot came down all at once and then my appendix blows.

The appendix was taken out by a doc that was at the ER and a friend of the family. Nice. He sent lab stuff in, just in case, and it came back ok. He called me a few times more than a doc might that doesn't know you, to check up and see if I'm doing ok. Very nice. Meanwhile Alex and I flew out to the east coast for a much needed vacation with family friends.

This week, while in the Bay Area recording string parts with Renata Bratt I began to have a pain near where my appendix had been. So this Monday I went in and had it checked out. My doc wasn't available so a young new doc checks me. And he says: "Ive been doing some serious ruminating on your chart and I'm very concerned about this pain. I can see on your chart the surgeon called you Two Times and they never do that! He must have thought this was Very Serious. And then you Blew Off a follow up doctor appointment!" He's lecturing me and he thinking worse case scenario.  This is one of those few times where my practical mind is working better than the doctors--I'm usually of a hypochodriacal nature. So I told him to look for the test results. And I told him Id been given a clean bill of health. And that I did not make that appointment because I was on vacation after the many long years of caring for a husband that had just passed away. He was silent. But here I am now doing these tests on my birthday week; one down two to go.

Good news after todays test...things look okay so far. And now I'm home resting as the sedative wears off. Groggy but good spirits. And ironically, the pain that I had last week that brought me in,.. its mostly subsided.

Moral: Have fun kids. Beware the doctor that is more worried for you than your own inner Woody-Allen-hypochondriac, (and looking to bring you down on your birthday week). And, as Thich Naht Hahn says: Enjoy your non-toothache.

And so the ever-pressing question remains: "Is someone missing from your list?"
Answer: I think not... I appreciate you all, each someone.