Tuesday, July 11, 2023

What If…

Your health was giving you clear messages?

Just to get your attention...
Always works for me. 
Today's post is very personal - Be forwarren. No heels will be discussed today. Although these red pumps are beyond cute.    

Not to worry. I am  not suffering a terminal condition other than the one we all eventually face. I am not religious, so do not believe this life is some grand rehearsal of things to come. Accepting this fact is very liberating and facilitates living each day to the full.  

No one has been the recipient of more blind luck than I with family, friends, career, activism, and accolades. All of my kids (4) are successful, happy, and healthy. Even my two older grandkids have Masters's Degrees and meaningful careers. I love you all so much. 

To the point, why any gloom?  About three years ago my steady-state outstanding health experience was shattered by a routine ultrasound scan of my legs; a blood clot. My medical team considered this serious and I was immediately put on crazy expensive blood thinners*. These drugs have massive side effects for someone as active as me. After much blood work, it was discovered that I have a genetic mutation called “Factor V Leiden”; an inherited blood disorder with the propensity to generate clots. Members of my family have been tested and to their good fortune, negative. I took myself off the thinner after a year because of risk factors (brain bleeding) and when I got even minor cuts, it was almost impossible to stop the bleeding. The clot is still where it was originally and another clot has formed in my other upper leg. These two, although serious, are now classified as chronic; having no occlusion, and seem to not be in a traveling mood. Blood vein filters (IVC) have been discussed. At each Doctor's visit I am lectured on the seriousness of the clots. Also with Factor V, there are likely other clots and will be more.  

Related: In February I developed Advanced Macular Degeneration (AMD) in my right eye associated with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). My right retina ruptured from pressure (clot) and I have near to no usable vision in that eye. This all occurred in a matter of 3 hours with no warning. I am getting good care with monthly eye injections ($1800 co-pay each). The bleeding inside my eye has stopped. However, I have been told to not expect improvement. It is amazing how the mind adapts and switches eye dominance to a working eye. The left eye (my working eye) is being monitored closely. To consider that something so life changing could happen so quickly is sobering. 

The poem embedded in the Song “Night Moves“ by Bob Seger, haunts:

I woke last night to the sound of thunder

How far off I sat and wondered?

Started hummin' a song from 1962

Ain't it funny how the night moves?

When you just don't seem to have as much to lose

Strange how the night moves

With autumn closin' in

I have already been so fortunate there is no need to whine. Escapes; a many. I had a place at the beach for two years where I enjoyed walks, the sand, surf, pool, and entertained friends. I ride my motorcycle, drive a convertible, have stylish shoes and drink good wine. I have dinner with friends at fancy Palm Beach haunts. I dress and present mostly the way I want with no lack of confidence, living a full life today. I still have my cognitive ability and can write. All recent blood work is normal to near perfect. Best of all, I am loved and accepted by my family. 

My body at 75+ is giving me clear messages. So what to do “With autumn closin' in?” Work to I drop?  Submit to big pharma's medical copay strategy that will eventually render me and everyone else penniless? Travel or just sit aimlessly waiting for the inevitable? 

There are still French Cafes I hope to enjoy. Italian wineries to visit. So many places... 

Live every day to it's full is my choice.  What would you do?  What are you doing?   

  Dylan Thomas wrote over 70 years ago these iconic lines: 

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

*XARELTO® can cause bleeding which can be serious and may lead to death. This is because XARELTO® is a blood thinner medicine (anticoagulant) that lowers blood clotting. During treatment with XARELTO® you are likely to bruise more easily, and it may take longer for bleeding to stop.


  1. I’m sorry to read of your health challenges and glad that the conditions are being managed.

    A few moments before reading todays post, the same question occurred to me. I am just entering my eight decade. Autumn is closing in. Thus far, I have enjoyed good health and I maintain a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and work part time for the social and mental stimulation it offers. But I am experiencing the inevitable changes of age.

    Barring the unexpected, I plan to keep on a slow and steady pace. I may cut back on work or fully retire at some point. I hope I can still keep physically and mentally active.

    I have watched in turn my grand parents and parents, and now my older siblings as they entered this age. Those that fared best kept busy in one manner or another. I hope to do the same.

  2. Rhonda , old age sneaks up on all of us , that’s just the way it is , I have also had my share of medical issues , my choice is to keep living and doing what Susie does , like you as I look back I have no regrets have met many good people like yourself had some real fun adventures through out my life , SMILE and keep going

  3. This month I will be 76 years old. Am I ready to go? In a sense yes because the accomplishments society expects have been achieved. Are there things I would have done differently? Sure, but what outcome who have happened?

  4. Rhonda -

    I'm sorry to hear of your health ailments, and understand in my own way a little bit of what you're going through. My GF lost her vision in one eye when her cataract surgery went bad two years after the surgery. So, she's very protective of the one good eye she has left, and is extremely grateful that she can see out of that eye again (after being operated on by a different eye surgeon).

    Hopefully, you will keep living your life to the fullest as long as you can do so. You are lucky to be loved and accepted by your family for the person you are, no matter what presentation you display. You are indeed blessed, and I'm glad that you can see the good side of life in spite of what life is throwing at you right now.


  5. in the for whatever it's worth category-and this may not be applicable with your problems-a friend has had several clots removed by Sarasota Vascular Specialists.
    She swears by them. Why not a 5 minute info call = 941 371 6565

  6. “Life should not be a slow and careful journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

  7. I'm sorry to hear of your health problems, Rhonda. I, too, have had a couple of blood clots, and the doctor put me on the cheapo blood thinner, Coumadin. I quit taking it because of the bleeding problems (I still shave, unfortunately) and the fact that I can't take ibuprofen at the same time - which I need to even be able to move, due to my bad back. When this all started years ago, I had just decided to start HRT. The DVTs (deep vein thrombosis) put an end to that dream, however. Have you blood clots affected your estrogen use?

    I'm praying for your health!