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Three score and ten or more

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Interesting Week End

Interesting Week-End.

I began my Saturday trying to prepare to lead a discussion among the senior men’s group in the Statesboro Ward (Mormon, if you really hate Mormons this is the place to get off, even though it is a minor part of the post).   The subject of the lesson had to do with preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. (Mormons are what I would call “small a” adventists.)  We believe strongly that the Second Coming of Christ is imminent, though imminent is a word open to interpretation since it is clear that Paul and several other apostles of his time believed  that the Second Coming was imminent at that time, and it hasn’t happened yet.  I was having a difficult time coming to grips with a central core for the discussion, and after some study put it aside and went to surf the blogosphere. (I kind of prefer the term “blogoverse” but have decided to go with the flow.)  One of the primary sources to which I always go is the AP newsvine, from which you can get a lot of news “unfiltered” as it were.  The result was my previous post on different views of the “Cartoon Wars”.  It gave me some new insight into the Muslim point of view, including some obvious hyperbole ( For instance, I have a hard time believing that an unbiased survey shows that 67% of Europeans hate Jews, especially if the post did not included all of the recent Muslim immigrants to Europe.)  

If anything, it was, to me, convincing evidence that traditional proselyting techniques would have little sway with many Muslims who, after all make up about one and one half billion of the souls on this earth.  How could they, and others who share the similar types of heavily structured and judgmental societies that exist on our earth be influenced to the stage that anyone of them could be prepared for the moment when “Every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ?

For a little while, I had to reflect that every faith, including mine, contains a judgmental group who feels that anyone not like “me” is doomed.  In this case the doomed may include not only those of not of “my”(speaking for anybody in any faith who feels this way) faith, about anybody within my faith who isn’t like “me”.  This could include Baptists who go to dances, Mormons who smoke or drink alcohol, girls who wear mini-skirts, tattooed and pierced people, drug addicts,  readers of pornography, liberal college professors, conservative college professors,  people with beards and funny haircuts, etc., etc,. etc.  These too, I am afraid are not terribly susceptible to most traditional proselyting processes or “calls to repentance” (especially when most of them are sure that they are right and everyone else is wrong.”- somewhat like a lot of Muslims).  The concluding thrust of my discussion (Most of the men in this group have serves proselyting missions, been Bishops (read, lay pastors) or worked hard in some other area of ecclesiastical activity) became the necessity for those who truly wish to influence others for good to be good themselves, that is to attempt to love and be charitable to neighbors, not to be judgmental (unless, of course, you are a judge, or on a jury, where that is your responsibility) to seek out the spirit (Holy Ghost, if you like) and attempt to make this a better world.  The discussion went that way, without any real direction by me, and I left the meeting feeling that if more folks, of more wards, in fact of more faiths, really went in this direction it would be a much healthier world, and that I, at least would try to behave that way.   I will try to love even those whose politics drive me bananas. (read-Teddy Kennedy et.al.)

As we left the church, my wife turned to me and noted that her arthritis was acting up, I wasn’t walking well with my neuropathy, and would I mind if we just went out to eat lunch. (One of those things which come under the condemnation of some in my faith is to frequent merchandising establishments, including restaurants, on Sunday).  I said that I would enjoy it since neither of us was in a good cooking situation.  After some discussion, since we are both on low sugar, low carbohydrate diets, we decided to go to Ryan’s Sunday buffet, have a big salad and a steak or fish and go home)  We did that, went to the buffet, had a good salad, and as I stood up to go to the meat table, I felt a little ataxia (unbalance). This is not unusual for me so I went ahead.  As I returned to the table, I felt a little dizzy even sitting down (This is NOT customary) .   This became more pronounced and I began to feel nauseated.  I excused myself from the table to leave for the restroom at which time, my legs went out from under me and I fell almost on my face.  I turned to my wife and asked her if she could help me get to the restroom, but she was unable to do so.  She asked the server to find someone to help, and a manager came, but between the two of them they were unable to get me erect and moving (260 pounds of dead weight), but the nice manager found a wastepaper basket and held it for me (with the good wife and the manager shielding much of this from the patrons—but not all, I am sure. )   Finally I had someone get me some aspirin, as I felt that I might be having a stroke, and they did, but they also called 911, and, as I was depositing all that fine salad, that steak, and, I suspect, some things that hat just been waiting around inside me to try to escape vertically upward, into the wastebasket,  the ambulance came with EMT’s and they hoisted me on a gurney and got me to the ambulance;  seriously troubling all the poor people who had paid for a pleasant Sunday buffet. (I feel like I ought to seek them out and apologize.  Who wants to pay ten bucks for a meal, and spent the time listening to someone wretch, and then watching that person wheeled out on a gurney.  Good for the digestion??)  

They were most concerned because my body temperature was down to 92, my blood pressure (which, unmedicated, is out of sight) was down to 135 over 40 or so and I was sweating like a pig (diaphoretic or something like that) and white as a sheet.  In the bus they EKG ed me hooked me up to something intravenous, and , thank goodness, removed my new suit coat before they took the scissors to my shirt so that they could check more stuff.   The way to the hospital was interesting.  When you are dizzy and upchucking every corner seems like a 360 degree spin.  Upchucking and trying to breathe through an oxygen mask is another complex situation.  As I got to the hospital they shot me (through the I V)  full of valium and some other stuff.  They, like the guys in the ambulance, couldn’t believe a body temperature below 94 (This IS the south after all) and kept trying new electric thermometers until they finally decided that they weren’t ALL wrong.  Any way, they kept me on a table for five or six hours till my blood pressure went up to normal and my temperature got up to 95, and over the kicking and screaming objections of  my wife shipped me home, where I hit the bed, took some more valium, and didn’t get nauseated at all until Monday morning (when I tried to read the paper).  I spent all day Monday in bed, medicated with Valium and something else (that starts with an M).  Today I went to my own doctor and discovered that (without me being aware of it) they X-rayed my head and my innards, did a whole lot of blood work, and were convinced that I would survive when they sent me home.  (My wife was not so sure).  I seem to have had something called either Peripheral, or Situational (I heard both terms used) Vertigo.  The doctor said that they don’t know the cause, that Valium seems to help (over a three day period), that they treat about ten or twelve of these in old coots and cootesses a year, and that they lose about l out of 20 or so.    It is not something that I look forward to a second time.  To top it off, dear wife went to the dentist this morning to have her teeth cleaned and came home with one fewer seriously infected tooth, and she is taking her turn on the bed in misery. (And she hasn’t even reached three score and ten yet)   At any rate this was a weekend in which I reached some new insights into my self, and my responsibility to mankind, and into my own human frailty (doggone it, I was scared)  


At 3:10 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Sorry to hear about that. I had to stop taking one of my BP meds because it gave me syncope - one minute I'd be standing and the next flat on my back unconscious. It got to be dangerous when I felt it coming on while driving and had to pull over. It caused my BP to drop to low. Not as low as yours. I once went for a treadmill test and they had to cancel it because my BP was only 80 over 60. Without meds, it's 280 over 180.

I also enjoyed reading the religious stuff.

Blogoverse is nicer but when in Rome...

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Kathleen said...

Oh, dear. I would have been scared, too. I can only imagine what your wife went through. I am glad that you are somewhat better. I am hoping your doctor has a plan for avoiding this in the future. Don't worry about the patrons at the restaurant. Things like this can happen to any of us at any time.

Your writing is terrific as usual. I must selfishly say, I love your blog and check it out each day.

You will note that I also have trouble believing that 67% of Europeans hate jews. That is a really scary figure.

Take care of yourself and the wife. You are both in my prayers.

At 2:18 AM, Blogger Norma said...

Well, that was certainly an exciting end to a Bible study. I'm glad there were people near by to help, which allowed you to be Christ for them (Matt.25)

Keep some dramamine with you. I had an inner ear infection one time that did that--I couldn't tell the ceiling from the floor. And that's what they gave me.

However, they still should have kept you overnight, just for your wife's sake.

At 5:48 AM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

Wow, what an ordeal! I hope the both of you get better soon.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

How absolutely miserable. I'm so sorry to hear of the complications. I hope and pray you're better soon, and you don't ever have to go through that again!


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