Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Medical Decisions

When is enough enough?

This isn’t my favorite topic these days. Particularly after my latest visit to my heart doctor, just two days before my 76th birthday.

I’m several years older than I was when I first found out about my heart condition. In addition, I now have chronic kidney disease—though not advanced CKD.

I also have other health issues that could go south. Though I might be able to manage some of them, I can’t predict how or when they’ll collide with one another to send me downhill fast. Some are already colliding.

This isn’t news. It’s happened for years to others. Nonetheless, though I don’t feel singled out, I do feel alone. Especially when it comes to important medical decisions.

Back to my heart (which also impacts my kidneys). As I see it, I have two choices:

  1. Do what my doctor has been talking about for more than the last three years. Start taking a blood thinner, or try a work-around that would have a similar benefit. Would this guarantee a stroke-free life? No. Would it lower my risk of stroke? Perhaps. It would not guarantee that I would not have a brain bleed.
  2. Alternatively, as the woman who will live with this choice, I can say No. Enough is enough. I’m willing to live with the consequences even though they may not be pretty.

This isn’t because I like to gamble, but because nothing anyone does is going to extend my life forever.

Growing older is no picnic in the park. In fact, I can’t remember when I last was able to picnic in the park! My waking hours are consumed by taking care of my body, soul and spirit. Doing what I can to enjoy the time I have left.

Breaking my jaw several years ago changed everything. So did finding out decades earlier that I had IBS. Whatever eating is about, I often find myself on the margins looking in.

Nonetheless, I’m grateful my current Vitamix diet is good for my heart, my kidneys, and IBS. It also helps me eat food I can’t easily chew. In addition, I’m grateful for an outstanding integrative doctor who sees the big picture, and helps me maintain key markers for health.

As I see it, the only guarantee is that one day I will die. Given my age, it will be sooner, not later. I don’t want to muddle my life with exploratory options.

That’s how I’m seeing it today. I’m also grateful to be here today, able to enjoy family, friends, neighbors and strangers. Life is still very good indeed.


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 November 2019
Quotation found at

I stepped from Plank to Plank

Night Sky and Pacific

For several weeks I’ve wondered about this poem by Emily Dickinson. What’s it all about? Do I get it yet? I’m not sure. I do, however, think it gets me right now.

I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my Feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch –
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

c. 1864

Emily Dickinson Poems, Edited by Brenda Hillman
Shambhala Pocket Classics, Shambhala 1995

As usual, there’s precious little Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: