Reflections on 50, as we Cross into 51


Fifty was a ripe, solid, round number.

Did you know that Harry Potter’s birthday is ALSO the 31st of July …



There weren’t any big bells and whistles. Hell, there wasn’t even a party !

I can say, that 50 was a good year. My health is good. All the numbers are nominal. Got my summer doctors visits in, over the last two months, and we are good to go until January of next year.

My HIV is all but non-existent. With high numbers, nobody is worried, so we keep on keeping on. My diabetes is controlled well. My A1C is down and all those numbers are good to go as well.

But at fifty, men need to take a look elsewhere in their bodies, as we are hitting the age where, doctors are looking internally, to make sure the plumbing is running well, that our prostate is good, and doctors begin the tedious work of doing those cancer screenings more often.

Fifty was also the age that we need to bump up our nutritional intake, and vitamin supplements for people, 50 plus. Because it’s all downhill from here. And we have to keep up muscle mass, eat well, exercise, and take the supplemental vitamins to keep our bodies in shape.

If you are not paying attention to the engine of the car, the frame is going to begin falling apart. If the engine ain’t running well, that car, won’t go very far … so to speak.

I’ve had certain issues begin to come up that are beyond my control, both physically and economically. As we age, teeth begin to fail, erode, and to disintegrate. This is a serious issue for me.

On the negative side of fifty, my fifty year old teeth are not serving me well. Over the last year I have lost four teeth. A month ago, one of my front teeth cracked in half.

I’ve written about this earlier, as it happened. I went to get checked out by two institutions. One a professional dentistry office, and they wanted upwards of $48,000.00 for a rehab job, taking six months to complete.

I also hit the McGill Dental Teaching hospital, and they wanted upwards of $50,000.00 for the job, including braces and adjustments, taking TWO YEARS to complete the job there.

The reality of this situation is this … We cannot afford $48,000 to $50,000.00 dollars.

Our group insurance does not cover major dental issues. And No Canadian insurance outfit does either. I’ve called everyone in the book to inquire, and they all told me that the Canada insurance plans do not cover major dental.

Which means I am FUCKED !!!

I hear about Clear Choice in the States that do the work in ONE DAY. But they finance the whole shebang. We won’t qualify for a loan that large, $48,000 or $50,000.00

I feel bad going to the bank and asking for money that will take the rest of our lives to pay back, and I’m afraid that I won’t live long enough to see that completely paid off, and I don’t feel right saddling my husband with a debt larger that he can visualize and take care of himself, if I die in the interim.

A week ago, I was in Ottawa. It was grim. Knowing I was dentally challenged, made enjoying myself a bit subdued. Nobody wants to see a crack whore on film.

I feel like a crack whore …

When I got back early last week, Something happened in my mouth, and an abscess presented itself, quite forcefully. The pain was excruciating. I’d never felt such pain in my life. By Thursday last week, the pain was so intense, I was having immediate, brain reactions to said pain. The pain cycle was two hours.

Thursday morning I saw my doctor. He took a look and prescribed me antibiotics. When I got them filled, I also got some serious pain killers to go with the antibiotics.

I ate an entire bottle of pain killers over 15 hours.

Like I said the pain cycle was two hours. I timed it. I take two pain killers and the pain would subside somewhat. But would eventually crank back up to 200%, over a two-hour period and then finally peak, with screaming, insane, blinding pain in my head.

Intense pain induces a kind of insanity that I’ve never experienced before. I would swing from placid and happy to intensely bitterly short and angry over a two-hour period.

I thought I was loosing my mind.

Thursday afternoon, I was Hanging out on Google with a friend, and as the conversation went on, the pain began to ramp up and I began to unravel, in front of him. I did not tell him then and there what was going on, because I was trying to keep it together as my brain whirred into NERVES ON FIRE mode.

In the end, I cut the conversation short, and tried to gather my wits, take a pill and try to lay down and get past the fire …

The pharmacist told me that as soon as the antibiotics got into my system, that the pain would go away. That did not happen until Friday evening, when I took my last dose of pain killers, because I wanted to get through the meeting in one piece, so I loaded up before hand, to make sure I would not flip out in front of my friends.

The antibiotics are working.

Now I have to find the method and the money to try and fix WHAT I can get fixed, without breaking the bank, or having to go to the bank and ask for money, that we cannot afford at the moment.

So in financial terms, we are kind of intensely POOR …

Tomorrow we hit 51 …

I am still alive more than twenty four years later.

I am IN THE WORK. Both my guys are IN THE WORK themselves. I am reading the book with my lady friend. I am spiritually centered. I am solid in sobriety. I have good friends. I have meetings and service to do. I am doing everything right, to stave off a drink.

Sobriety serves me very well these days.

Let’s end on a good note shall we…


Tuesday – Christmas Miracles


Well, the forecast is not good, for Canada that is, Canada in the Mid to East. There is too much snow out West, and out East, to the Maritimes.

We will hit a balmy 17c on Christmas Day. For the record books, this will be green Christmas number 7. This record goes back to the 1950’s.

The Canadian forecasters tell us tonight that Winter, will just be “late,” as they put it.

It was a busy day today.

I had a doctors appointment across town, a 40 minute train ride and a short stroll. I got there EARLY and waited almost 90 minutes. Once again, I noticed that the Greek national dress is black …

The room was full of hens and chicks. And they were babbling away. Several women, traveling with husbands and daughters. But it seemed to me, a common conversation was going on between them, that I could not understand.

While people were coming and going from the exam office, couples were reunited, and we played musical chairs for an hour. I had the solo seat, being the only single in the bunch. And a couple of elderly women came in and needed seats, so I know that drill …

I moved three times, I stood for half an hour, then had my turn.

Doc had things to say, and not all good. He said the x-ray report was worse than the x-rays themselves. I have calcium build up on L3 and L4, and the discs are crammed together, causing pinched nerves which caused the sciatica and the pain and numbness.

He can tell by the x-rays whats wrong, and the fact that I am presenting solid evidence for spinal issues, the aforementioned pain and numbness.

I have NOT been taking my pills, that are suggested: As needed.

The pain is not cranking, and only ranges in the 1’s and 2’s. And not the past 9’s or 10’s. So I stopped taking them. Addict that I am, I don’t need any help.

BUT, he suggested I take the pills so that I get the muscle relaxing and the hope is, in 3 to 4 weeks, things will begin to get better. I asked about Chiro … He does not usually suggest chiro.

In simple speak, I am almost 50. And my body is aging. Having several medical issues going on at the same time, and the fact that I take a handful of pills nightly for them, one more isn’t going to kill me.

Ok …

I got back on the train and headed back to my first connection where the Orange and Blue lines connect. At this station, the tracks are not side by side, they are stacked, one above the other, on both lines.

I get off on the upper level, and have to transit downstairs to my connection to go back downtown. Somewhere along the line, I ended back on a blue train going back in the direction I just came from.

I should have noticed, the train was empty when I boarded, and that the train sat in the station longer than a usual train does. So I sat down, and did not notice I was on the wrong train until it hit the first station, like I said, in the outbound direction.

I had to get off at the stop and cross back over and come back a station to get on the proper Orange line train I needed to make.

Hubby left early this morning, so I got home and was all alone. I had a couple of hours to kill before I had to travel back in the direction I came from earlier in the day.

I packed my bag, with the usual stuff. I have an old plastic and metal water bottle, and I had bought a great Christmas card for the church and had our Christmas donation in a baggie, and a few odds and ends.

I dropped my bag at the elevator going downstairs, and it cracked on the floor. I did not notice that anything was wrong with the bag until I hit the mall. As I walked in and got on the escalator to go down, I noticed my pants were soaked wet. I was like, did I pee my pants or something?

No, I didn’t actually.

My bottle was broken and a full bottle of water was flowing out the bottom of the bag all over everything inside. There is a huge potted plant on the ground floor which I stopped at to rid the bag of water and now sodden shit. The card was ruined, but thankfully, the money was dry. You can’t wet Canadian currency. It won’t hold water.

I got on the train and made my transit without delay.

I walked down the hill to the church, and miracle number one was waiting for me in the hall. For the last few months I have been writing about a particular friend, whom a disagreement was had.

Both of us went into radio silence.

One because he was mad at me, and two because my sponsor told me to keep my thoughts to myself and my mouth shut.

In no uncertain terms.

It has been a tough slog going to meetings knowing that someone in the rooms hates your guts and is resentful. But people have to be allowed their process, and God took His sweet old time in acting.

I walked in the room and stopped short and dropped my bag on the table, and thought to myself, “what are you doing here? You never come to this meeting.”

I said nothing, instead.

Love is a term we use with friends we care about. And I love my friends, this particular friend especially. He said his piece outside in the hall. I was shocked and in tears by the time it was over with.

The water flowed and we hugged for the first time in months.

We spent the rest of the pre meeting time period talking outside.

He did not stay. And they asked me to chair.

I sat down and began the meeting, and miracle number two walked in the room and sat down. Miracle number two is a young man, like miracle number one, I care about very deeply, because they together saved my ass during a very crucial time in my sobriety.

Good deeds do not go unnoticed.

Miracle number two has been off on an adventure in Isolation.

But he’s been coming around for a few weeks, quietly. He would come and go and not speak. So I put him to work, in reading and participating in 12 step work at the end of the meeting.

After the meeting we walked back to the train together and we spoke for the first time in months and months.

Never let good deeds go unspoken. I had things to say and he needed someone to listen.

Right Now, my family is complete. Everyone I need is in my life. And I mean everyone I need. (not including my husband).

I prayed for these two miracles for months now. I Begged God to make it right, and in His time, He made things right.

Glory Be To God…

My heart is full.

There are gifts under the tree that I did not buy. Where they came from and how they got in here without me noticing them and then the gifts being wrapped, is beyond me. One is a huge box, and the other stands about four feet tall and I have no idea what they are.

The gifts I bought myself are in transit. One is in the city somewhere, and the other two are in transit from the states as we speak. My Indigo books that I bought on Friday, came on Monday night.

All I want for Christmas is family. It is the family we created. The family we were all meant to have. Some are blessed to have family of origin still in their lives, but I do not.

And you are grateful for God’s small miracles.

I certain am.