I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Monday, October 15, 2018

Welcome to the working week

I know, I know, I'm not working. And I wouldn't be working even if I still had a job because I'm not well enough. Most of the doctors -- and there have been many -- that I have seen in the past several weeks have been wonderful. But some have been dismissive -- I can't tell you how many times I've been told that the fact that I got sick in Africa was “probably just a coincidence” and has nothing to do with what I'm experiencing now, no matter how many times I say that I was in excellent health before I went to Africa.

Now I have some proof. My primary care doctor got sick himself while I was gone, and closed his practice, so he wasn't available to consult on any of what's been going on. But I got my records from his office last week, and confirmed that at my annual checkup in May my heart rate was 76. The year before it was 70. So perhaps the fact that since Africa it rarely gets above 60 and spends an uncomfortable -- in every way -- amount of time in the 40's means that something did indeed happen when I got sick in Rwanda and that whatever it was has affected my heart.

One doctor actually recommended that I see a psychiatrist because I'm probably just anxious about retirement. I am quite experienced with anxiety, and there has been a lot of it recently, but I am not in denial when I say that retiring from my job is not even in the top ten list of things that are currently making me anxious. Boneheaded comments like that are.

The picture is from the Fine Arts museum in Ghent, where they are restoring the Van Eyck altarpiece from St Bavos Cathedral, one panel at a time. You can watch the restorers at work, then walk over to the cathedral and see the finished work.

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