Random thoughts, part 2

I’m going to finish my post from yesterday, discussing some non-melanoma things that are on my mind. First, though, I should mention again that Lynn and I are meeting with my oncologist via telehealth (video) call this afternoon to learn the results of my latest scans. I’m not too nervous because I feel good and my blood work was pretty good. I can’t say, however, that I am not a little anxious. I think that’s mostly because my luck has not been really great lately. I would welcome some good news this afternoon.

As for my luck, well I share the bad luck with everyone who has been affected by this COVID-19 pandemic. In our case, we are still sheltering in place as much as possible, our recent visits to two hospitals not withstanding. We feel isolated and alone. We can converse with loved ones over the phone and via the internet, but it’s not the same as being together with them physically and being able to give them a hug or even hold their hand. These days, when we do venture out, we see people wearing masks and you can only see their eyes to judge the expression on their faces. We also see a lot of people not wearing masks, which I’ll get to. When I see people wearing masks, I’m reminded of the John Prine song, “Hello in There.”

So if you’re walking down the street sometime

And see some hollow ancient eyes,

Please don’t just pass ’em by and stare

As if you didn’t care,

Say “Hello in there, hello.”

John Prine — “Hello in There”

People in masks look trapped to me, and I feel trapped, physically, socially and emotionally. Trapped in my house, trapped behind a mask, and trapped inside my body. I think I would have ventured out by now (I would kill for an ice cream cone) if I weren’t high risk because of my asthma and diabetes. I’ve made a promise to Lynn that I would limit my exposure when I go out and don’t do anything that isn’t absolutely necessary in order to reduce the risk of catching this damn virus. I would feel bad if I caught it, mostly because I wouldn’t want to give it to Lynn. As far as my own health goes, I’m willing to adopt a Que Sera, Sera attitude.

Speaking of isolation, my hearing has been going out on me. I’ve had so-called age-related hearing loss for years now, but lately it has gotten much worse. I think it’s just earwax buildup, but I can’t seem to clear it out, although I’ve tried multiple things with no success. If it weren’t for this pandemic, I would have gone to the doctor and at least gotten my ears cleaned by now. What this hearing loss means is that I have trouble hearing Lynn when she speaks. Sometime she speaks and I have to ask her two or three times to repeat herself; sometimes she speaks and I don’t hear her at all. This is frustrating as hell for Lynn as it increases her sense of isolation. The only person she has to talk to most of the time can’t even hear her. She says that it’s worse than being alone, because if she were alone she wouldn’t try to speak to the walls, which is what she equates speaking to me with most of the time. It’s frustrating to me, too, because I want to hear her and I can’t. I used to blame her for not speaking loudly enough, but now I know the problem is definitely on my end. I feel like I’m losing contact with the every part of the world and retracting into my own body. This inability to communicate is putting a lot of strain on our relationship.

What else is there? Oh yeah, I’m still unemployed. I’ve recently passed the five-month mark and my prospects for employment do not look good. I thought I was really close to landing something a couple of weeks ago. I made it to the fourth round of interviews. It was a job that I was very qualified for, almost identical to my previous job, and one that I was very excited about. Well, I didn’t get it, and since then crickets. I still apply for random jobs to satisfy the unemployment people, but my heart isn’t in it. I think after you’ve been out of work for this long, employers look at you as tainted goods. I now feel like someone who is thrashing in the water, trying to stay afloat until help arrives. After wearing yourself out, you kind of accept your fate, relax, and embrace the water. I feel that way about a lot of things these days. I can keep treading water, but at a certain point I’m going to have to accept that this is it.

Anyway, if I haven’t depressed the crap out of you by now, come back later, or maybe tomorrow for results of my scans, and further musings.

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