A Year And A Half

First…what would you say/think if I told you I bet $20 each to win on the five longest shots in yesterday’s Kentucky Derby? An hour before the race every fiber of my being was screaming at me to do just that.

As I began to think about executing these bets, the weight of the last 12 years sunk in. NOTHING I have done in that time seems to have worked out as I had hoped. In the end, I didn’t make the bets. Of course, the second longest shot in the 148-year history of the Kentucky Derby came charging up the rail at the end to win. Rich Strike went off at 80-1; the horse was not even entered in the race as of 8 AM Friday. I have to admit I literally cried with disappointment a few minutes after the race ended. While the winnings from a $20 bet on Rich Strike would not have been a life-changing amount of money, it sure would have felt good.

As I wrote here, life has defeated me. I have no confidence left to do anything. If you had told me 12 years ago this month that I would have been unemployed/retired, not by choice, for the last decade I wouldn’t have been able to comprehend that scenario. (By the way, I STILL don’t have my car. The part that was supposed to be delivered on Thursday to the dealer will not arrive before Monday. By the time my wonderful wife and I return from our trip, and assuming the car will finally be fixed by then, it will have been almost 40 days without driving it.)

I’m sure that many, if not most, of you are growing weary of my frequent lamentation over my perception of my lack of good luck. It is what it is and it is not good. Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.


A year and a half ago–November 8, 2020, to be exact–my wonderful wife and I moved into our Arizona home. That day was also a Sunday (yes, the driver and crew delivered our contents on a Sunday) so it has been exactly 78 weeks since we moved in. That move was also filled with all sorts of disappointments, but we are happy to be here. (The interstate moving business is a racket.)

In some ways, it doesn’t seem possible that it’s already been a year and a half, but in others it seems like we’ve been here for years. The last year has not exactly been a picnic with the death of my wonderful wife’s mother from cancer and then my wife’s own cancer diagnosis five weeks after her mother died.

I am writing this post at about 2 AM on Sunday because I just can’t sleep despite taking 10 mg of melatonin. The only time in my life I can remember being in such a state is the two-month period that began in early January, 2004 when my mother died and then I almost joined her the following month.

Sometimes I just want to scream and cry, but nothing good would come of that. I worry that I would get out of control and damage the house and/or myself.

If you’re still reading this post, I will reward you by stopping now.







7 thoughts on “A Year And A Half

  1. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” I’d credit the quote if I knew who said it. Take heart, my friend. I am sure that soon you’ll be driving that ‘vette again.


  2. I am reading this on Mother’s Day in the parking lot of an urgent care center because of the acute flare up of an ongoing problem with groin and hip pain, which today requires me to walk with assistance. My lot is complicated by having diabetes and hypertension, which puts me at a higher risk of acute and permanent kidney disease if I take NSAIDs.

    The “server” who dispensed the little service I received today barely took a history or did an exam, made her diagnosis 90 seconds after hearing my story, and was going to send me home without crutches or a Medrol dose pack despite my obvious limp. At least I got the steroids. And now have to get an MRI. Of course this could be do to sepsis or cancer, which blood work would have ruled out, but the ortho can do that, if I can see one in the next three weeks.

    Our society has broken down, and reasonable people can no longer be held to reasonable standards. If a physician of 34 years can get sh**ty treatment, God save the rest of you.

    PS, make up for not placing your bet by shorting Tricida.


    1. Very sorry to read of your travails, Doc.

      “Our society has broken down, and reasonable people can no longer be held to reasonable standards.” Very true, unfortunately, and it didn’t HAVE to happen. The pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction.


  3. rulesoflogic and Dr Banner,
    My physical problems do not approach yours so I will not list them. Just know that I will do my part concerning yours.
    Concerning doctors and the medical system, I have found that each one of us, for ourselves and our loved ones, NEEDS to be our own advocate for our health as the system is too overloaded to do what it is supposed to do. We need to educate ourselves and then push, shove and cajole the doctors to do what is necessary to take care of us and our loved ones. That is why my wife and I each attend the other’s appointments and more.

    As for the Derby, this one is a classic example of everyone underestimating the long shot. Never, never, never underestimate the situation. Make sure you build up even the least among the group as you never know who will be the one to which you depend. And always play the hunch, the gut feeling, as you need to learn to trust your instincts with which you are blessed.

    Enough preaching for today, as it is Monday and Monday is the beginning, so make the best of it. Our grand daughter’s orchestra concert is this evening, so there is a lot to do to prepare for that event.


    1. Many thanks, Philip. While I completely agree that we have to be our own best health advocate, we are at the mercy of the health care system in providing things like prescription drugs.


      1. My reply is this: Do all the things over which you have control and then find ways around the obstacles over which you do not. Never, ever, give into the tyrants no matter the level of their tyranny.


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