So many of you have asked so discretely, I figured it’s time for an official public update on my ongoing health issues. I am scheduled to meet with a speech pathologist next Tuesday. She’ll do some recording and some looking around. She’ll probably remind me about all the things I learned and promptly forgot in those speech classes I took from Sherry Landrum and others — all those years ago.
I confessed to her that some of this might just be that I’ve gotten lazy as I’ve gotten older. I used to warm up my voice before going onstage. I never do that anymore. I know how to breathe properly, but I probably don’t always do it. I know how to project without pushing, but I’m frequently asked to speak in large rooms without amplification. Often these rooms have terrible acoustics. So, I know I’m straining, and I’m hoping she’ll be able to remind me how to do things properly again.
Second, I am scheduled for a full upper endoscopy on October 1. They’ll run a tube with a biopsy port down the entire length of my esophagus and into my stomach. In speaking with my speech pathologist, she said, “It’s not really THAT bad.” I then asked her if she’d ever met a neurotic control freak before. She laughed and then confessed she’d never actually endured the procedure herself. At that point I informed her that she’s not allowed to have any more opinions on things she’s never sat through personally.
Prayers. Good vibrations. Positive juju. Whatever you’ve got, I could use some of it.
At this point in time, I’d be happier with a terrible diagnosis than with having to sit through a seemingly endless hallway of locked doors. I have good days and bad days. Some days I’m ready to quit my job and start checking things off my bucket list — hit all 50 states, visit all the MLB stadiums, go to Australia, skydive, eat at French Laundry, run naked on the beach somewhere in the South Pacific.
Sorry for that unfortunate visual.
Other days I’m afraid this is all nothing more than really bad heartburn, and if I would just give up Diet Coke and pizza I’d be just fine. That would make for an awkward conversation with the folks here at the ScreamFree Institute: “Sorry I quit with no notice to pursue a reckless course of erratic behavior because I thought I was terminally ill. Turns out I just eat poorly. Can I have my job back?”
Some days I’m angry. Other days I’m tired. I get sad sometimes. I’m a little afraid. I probably shouldn’t admit that — being a theologian and all. But it’s true.
So…there you have it. That’s the update. Any questions?