Monday, August 11, 2008

Three Beautiful Things 08/11/08: Retirement and How Long Will I Live?, Who IS That Poet?, Maybe He Was a Boy Scout Leader

1. I went to a retirement workshop today. I'm probably screwed, but it sounded to me like people who plan for retirement and know they are screwed are happier than people who are screwed and didn't know it until they retired. I'm hoping when I visit my kidney doctor Friday that I'll learn something about how long he thinks I have to live because a lot of the planning around retirement seems to be about predicting how long one expects to live. I'll be able to provide for my loved ones better in the future if I can nail down my personal life expectancy more precisely.

2. Margaret and I got together for coffee to talk about our team teaching next school year. Our discussion was stymied from time to time. One of us would think a certain movie would be good for our course, but we couldn't remember its title; Margaret wanted to know what I did in my WR 122 course this past spring, and I couldn't recall; we thought we'd like to assign some poems by this woman who writes really good poems about daily life in coal mining country, but we don't remember who she is. We have our work cut out for us.

3. Kenton mailed me an interview that ran in the Harrison Sentinel or Beacon, I can't remember the paper's name, with a man whose name sounds vaguely familiar to me and I'm thinking if Kenton thought I'd enjoy the interview he thinks I'll know who the man is, but I can't remember him, so I emailed Kenton to find out if he was someone we knew in Boy Scouts. I hope Kenton can help me remember.


Desert Diva said...

As for retirement, you react better knowing you're screwed before you retire?

You've skirted an issue with your kidneys. Are you OK? It sounds serious - especially if you're considering your life span in relationship to that issue. If you'd rather, send me a private message.

I hope it's something that you can manage with medication.

raymond pert said...

Yes. From what I heard today, no matter how good or lousy my situation is at retirement, I will be happier for having begun to plan for it by going to today's workshop!

About my kidneys: When I contracted bacterial meningitis in Nov. 1999, once I survived it, I was told that one concern with meningitis survivors is kidney damage.

BUT, a nurse or another caretaker came to me and said the news was good that my kidneys seemed okay.

BUT, not so fast. In 2004, I was having some problems with my health and a battery of tests revealed that I had lost 70% of my kidney function.

Fortunately, the human body can function just fine on 30% kidney function and my kidney doctor told me that while I have chronic kidney disease, by all signs it looks to be slow developing. He went back and looked at my blood tests that were done when I had meningitis. Turns out those numbers were not so good...they indicated the 70% loss...but the numbers had not changed since 1999.

A couple of weeks ago I saw my internist for a regular check up and my blood work revealed that my kidney numbers were higher. I don't know how much higher, but they told me to be sure to see the kidney doc soon.

Up to this point, my doctor has been most concerned that I keep my blood pressure down and the best way to do that seems to be to not drink alcohol. Curses. You can imagine the Pinot envy I felt reading your recent post, D. Diva!

I see my kidney doctor on Friday.

It was kind of a morbid joke, but I was pretty much kidding in this post when I said I'd ask my kidney doctor about my life expectancy.

I found it kind of absurd today in this retirement workshop that the presenters kept referring to decisions that we had ahead of us about what to do with our retirement benefits that depended upon how long we thought we'd live.

Who knows that?

The workshop felt as existential as it did financial. (Overall, it was a good workshop, but this one part of it had me feeling like I was in a Kafka story.)

So, I left today thinking, well, if I'm not going to live more than, say 12 years, then I'll start taking Social Security at 62, but if I'm going to live 25 years, I'll wait until I'm 65. Maybe the doctor can help me decide.

I know, I know..these probably aren't laughing matters, but I am who I am and this was where I found my mind going and my 3 Beautiful Things going today.

I will be posting a piece on my blog on Saturday about my doctor's visit. I would post it Friday, but I'll be going to a wedding right after I see the doc.

Whew! Kind of long-winded!

Bob said...

Listen, you can get kidneys really cheap in China. You don't want to ask how they get the kidneys but say some drunken Navy sailor wakes up in a fleabag hotel room bathtub a bit bloody with a wicked scar over his kidney, at least they left him one!

MGM said...

Perhaps your kidneys are less of a concern than this memory problem you keep alluding to?

Just sayin'.

Go Figure said...

I was going to say something astute but I forgot what it was I was going to say.

Desert Diva said...

Gee, and I thought I had "problems." What a terrible thing to have happen as a result of contracting bacterial meningitis. I'm amazed that you have this "challenge" and still faithfully find the good in life by writing "Three Beautiful Things."

You know I'm not on a high spiritual plane at the moment, but I'm going to offer my humble prayers and think of you on Friday as you visit the doctor.

As for the Pinot Noir, I'll just have to drink one for you. ;-)

MarmiteToasty said...

Ignore Bob, you dont have to get one from China, I saw fresh kidneys in the butchers shop today, I went in to buy steak and kidney to make a steak and kidney suet pudding but I always ask for him to leave the kidneys off cos I dont like the taste of them, AND of course, I dont know whos they be :)

Im screwed in retirement, hopefully I wont get to it so it will not be a worry..... if I do, I suppose I always have me house to sell....

Also, NEVER eat anything off the hospital menu if it sounds like body parts, cos it probably is :)


SmallWorld at Home said...

Hilarious post. So did you remember the poet? I'm curious now.