Where, Oh Where, Has My Energy Gone?

I felt awake enough when the alarm on my cell phone went off around 8:50.  It’s not that I bounded out of bed, rarin’ to go and greet the coming day.  (I’ve never been like that!)  Rather, I resisted the temptation to hit snooze and roll over and steal another five minutes under the covers before getting in the shower and dressed for church.

And who could have blamed me if I decided to pass on going to church?  When I looked at the Weather Channel icon in the corner of my laptop screen, it showed 6º F. outside.  But, just before 10 a.m. Susie and I trundled to the bus stop on High St.  It was cold, but the sun was shining and there was no wind, so it was bearable.  I even had to remind myself to put on my gloves!

There was nothing to deplete my physical or mental energy during or after the service.  Last week required emotional and cerebral energy, because during coffee hour in Fellowship Hall, the young people of the church (Susie included) danced in a flash mob in honor of Dr. King’s birthday.  (They danced to DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide.”)  It was exhilarating to watch, even though I knew about it beforehand, both from Susie and from the Religious Education Director’s parents’ blog.

Susie’s wearing the yellow shirt.  Stationary pictures
don’t do a flash mob justice, but my Kodak Easy Share
is not that wonderful for motion pictures.

Once the pandemonium around the flash mob subsided last week, I sent Susie home alone on the bus so I could hear a talk by my friend Don Rice, “Art with an Attitude.”  He was displaying part of his massive collection of underground and alternative newspapers and publications of both the Left and Right, when the radical politics of the 1960s and 1970s coincided with cost-effective and less labor-intensive methods of printing.  He hung mounted and framed front pages from many magazines, and displayed a potpourri of newspapers, pamphlets, and journals from all political persuasions.
Don Rice

Don didn’t display any publications from the Flat Earth
Society, but he did present a cross-section, everything
from the
High I.Q. Bulletin to The Objectivist, the Holy
Writ of Randroids worldwide.
Don cleverly published a digest of readings from the ultra-
Left and -Right literature printed by small presses in the U.S.
He called it
The Agitator, and it is visible at the top left, near
an issue of Gerald L.K. Smith’s
The Cross and the Flag.
Some of the magazine covers Don displayed.  (Didn’t know how to
eliminate the reflection and the glare from the sun outside.)

I came home from last Sunday feeling fairly energetic, maybe because I knew that I didn’t have work the next day, and my time was my own until 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Compare that to today.  Susie and I rode home on the bus after the service, and she went to her computer and started writing, chatting online with her friends, updating Facebook, etc.  I stretched out on a futon in the dining room, a few feet away from where Susie was, and I didn’t even make a pretense of reading or watching some of the TV shows stacked up on the DVR.  I pulled a cover up over myself and slept for the next two hours.  And I still don’t feel that restored.  I need to muster up some energy to make the trip to Kroger to buy bread and milk.

I am debating about using some sick leave tomorrow morning to go to my doctor’s office and getting the fasting blood glucose test she’s been wanting me to have since fall.  I Twittered about it before starting this blog entry, and said that I’ve been procrastinating about it because I’m dreading what the result will be.  A very astute high school classmate of mine quickly pointed out that what she may find won’t change what I do or don’t have.  Which means I probably will go, if not tomorrow, than sometime this week.

There’s a chance (a pretty good one) that it may be tied into my overall lack of energy.  My eating habits are atrocious, and I need to lose about 40 pounds (my BMI is 31.7, which is in the “obese” range).  I almost always feel the need to drink something, and my energy seems very low.  I know enough to realize that these may be symptoms of diabetes.

When I was living in Cincinnati in the early 1990s, I remember writing the usual news-filled letter to my dad about my seasonal hiatus from the post office, people I knew and lived near, etc.  Almost as an afterthought, I said, “It seems that I’m always thirsty, no matter how much water I drink, and I almost constantly have to urinate, and I’m always exhausted, regardless of how much sleep I get.”  (During the time I was laid off from the post office, I never slept better, because I could go to bed when I wanted and sleep as long as I wanted.)  I told him about riding the bus downtown one day, and the urge to urinate was so sudden and so intense that I got off the bus and made a mad dash into a bar to use the men’s room.  As a P.S. to the letter he sent me in reply, he said, “The thirst-urination thing could be a blood sugar problem.  You may want to go to the next free screening offered by the Red Cross.”  I didn’t; I waited until my annual post office physical, which revealed everything to be fine.  (My guess is the symptoms came from my excessive caffeine consumption.)

One thing I realize is that in delaying the test, I am mimicking what my dad (probably) did the last few years of his life.  He had an aversion to doctors coming anywhere near him.  While he was in a coma from the heart attack from which he died, Steph and I went into his ICU room.  There was no sheet or blanket covering his feet, and I was horrified to see long, curling, uncut toenails.  He resembled those drawings of Howard Hughes during the last 10-15 years of his life, when he lived in total seclusion and complete neglect.  (I thought Steph was going to lose her lunch when she saw that.)  Reading between the lines, I suspect that my dad had diabetes, or thought he did, and wouldn’t go to the doctor for treatment.  He knew that diabetics are more prone to infection than non-diabetics, from simple daily activities such as shaving (which he hadn’t done since 1975; he grew a beard when he and my mother divorced), cutting your nails, or even a simple skinned knee.

The temperature is just in the double digits right now, according to the bottom of my screen.  I should probably take advantage of this brief heat wave to go to Kroger.


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