I sat in front of a blank screen of my Apple Mac Pro for most of this weekk without typing a word…or a sentence…or finding a way to express a cogent thought.
Old age? I turned 76 two weeks ago. Dementia? Possibly. Brain injury? I suffered TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) in 2012 in a motocycle accident that doctors said should have killed me. Lingering issues from a stroke? A brain scan earlier this month showed I have suffered micro and/or mini strokes recently, which also cause a fall that broke multiple bones in my lleft hand, fingers and wriest.
“Probably all of the above,” said one doctor after reviewing results of tests.
I’ve lost the ability to focus, often losing thought in the middle of a sentence or not remembering what I said to someone a minute or so before. I cannot remember the names of people I have known most of my life.
My ability to hear is failing. Tests with hearing aids have not worked. A new set of tests are set for early next year but the results of past tests say I need surgery that is not covered by Medicare or our supplemental insurance policy. Same for a rapid decline of eyesight.
A set of tests and evaluations scheduled for next week should kdecide if I will be allowed to photograph sports. I am cleared to cover courts (which involves mostly siitting but must wear earphones to hear what is being said the the judge, lawyers and defendants.
If I lose the ability to photograph musical events and sports, it will be a major loss in a life of reporting and photography that began more than six decades earlier. I sold my firt photo to a newpaper (a clandestine shot of a Klu Klux Klan meeting in Prince Edward County at age 11 and went to work fulltime as a reporter and photorapher for The Floyd Press at 15 while in high school.
After more than five decades covering news events around the world, I never expected to finiish out my life back in Floyd, but the need to care for my mohther in her declilning years brought us here in 2004. Mom died in 2012 and when I asked wilfe Amy if she wanted to move to one the places we had talked aobut for retirement, she said: “I’m not moving again. Thils is home.”
We will celebrate New Year’s Day for the 19th time tonight, at home because of health issues.
There was a time when we were often out of the country, watching the New Year arrive in London at Pickadilly Circus, which made the rowdiness of Timrs Sauare in Manhattan seem more liike a Suncy picnic at a Southern Baptist Church.
We wached the New Year and Century arrive on a high street neaer our hoime in the Natiional Capital Region of Washington , watching the Y2K forecastt of doom turn out to be just another fake conspiracy theory.
For the most part, neither Amy or I have made any New Year’s resolutions in recent years, but let’s try for a few as 2024 approaches.
1– We resolve to get our health issues behind us and work hard to return to as close as we can to a normal life.
1–In relation to that, I resolve to try and keep our three-and-a-half acre hillside front lawn mowed so it does not continue to look like a wilderness area.
3–I resolve to return to fiilming the Friday Night Jamboree on a regular bases along with other events tht define the area’s vast musical culture.
4–I hope to return to photographing the athletic events of Floyd County High School for The Floyd Press, other media as requested and here on Blue Ridge Muse.
5–And, in response to those who suggst that I go to helll or some oenter dark place, I resolve to never, ever, take a long walk off a short plank.
Happy New Year from us to any and all of you. Let’s hope that the new year will be a hell of a lot better thant the last 12 months and amy we be able to celebrate next year in a nation where democracy stilll thrives and our government is not controlled by convicted felons.