Monday, August 10, 2015
"It is a wise father who knows his child. But it's a very wise child who takes time to know his father." ― Harry Oliver
Many of you know that I have been diagnosed with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension which is a condition with an expiration date. Unlucky, you live for three more years; lucky, you live for five more years, but it is always fatal. However, the doctors here do not have the equipment to do the tests to verify their diagnosis, so I could just have mild hypertension which could give me ten to fifteen more years. My sons, John and Chris, sort of ganged up on me with the result that Chris is flying me to New York City next month to see a specialist. We will know for sure just what I’m facing and what can be done about it. This is not something for which I could ask because it is very expensive as I have no insurance—not even Medicare. Yes, I am the right age for Medicare, but I opted out of the medical coverage so I could get more cash every month since I get the minimum (around $700 a month). I say I’m going to New York City, but Chris and Brenda actually live in Fort Lee, New Jersey which is just across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan where Brenda works (Chris works in Brooklyn, still part of NYC). My eyes are also degenerating, and I used to get new prescriptions and glasses every year, but it has been four years since my last prescription, and I really need a new exam and glasses. In addition, I will probably see a podiatrist to see if anything can be done for my feet—a real problem because of my diabetes. I have resisted because I don’t think I’m worth that much money being spent on just me. God intervened when He got a man in the U.S. to send us a lot of money to spend on the people here, so that argument went south in a hurry. I have learned to listen when God speaks. I won’t be able to travel to Arkansas to see my grandchildren because this is a medical trip and one that is being given as a gift. The One Book Foundation board has sent money to be available for Karen and John if there are emergencies here in Bunda while I’m gone, so there is God acting again to remove my objections. While I am not frightened of death, there is a lot I still want to do here, and I want to give Karen and John as long a time with me here as possible. It won’t be all doctor business because I will be there for two (2) Formula One races to watch with my son who is as big a fan of Lewis Hamilton as I am. I will be flying to Dar Es Salaam and from there to Dubai and then on to JFK in New York. I have been seeing signs saying “Fly Emirates” for years, and now that’s exactly what I will be doing. That airline even provides a chauffeur to drive me from JFK to Chris’s door in New Jersey and back again for my return flight (la-ti-OMG-da). Shaban and I will go to Mwanza on Wednesday to buy my tickets from Mwanza to Dar Es Salaam and back. I will be leaving mid-September and returning around the first of October. Not particularly fond of 23 hour flights, but “ndivyo ilivyo” (what can you do?) as there is not another way to get there. It will take three days to get there and three days to get back, so another blow against instant gratification. I really don’t mind as I have learned to take things as they come. Still don’t think I am important enough to warrant this much attention and expense, but I am smart enough to know when God is involved. If I don’t go through the doors God opens, He sometimes throws me through them. It’s a lesson I have learned the hard way, and He doesn’t have to hit me in the face with a wet mop but once. I’m going, God, I’m going. I am asking now and will ask again for prayers for Karen and John while I’m gone, and, as long as you are praying, you can add some for my traveling and the pilots of the planes in which I will be riding.