Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Friday, August 29, 2014

A new experience of being vulnerable.

Our grandson is going to be hard to say goodbye to!  Edinburgh is a long way from Dunedin!
At the start of our visit to Edinburgh he could not sit unsupported. Now he sits,  is beginning to crawl and whenever he can will pull himself up to stand.
A nosedive!

On July 24th, when we arrived back in Edinburgh after our trip to Southampton, Brighton, London and Biddenden I had the beginnings of a sore throat that eventually led to a head cold, then a chest infection. Since then I have been battling chest troubles, eventually going to a doctor about a week ago. It was diagnosed as a "chest infection" and I was given antibiotics.  I have had to cope with fits of coughing which sometimes made me feel lightheaded. My chest seemed to be getting worse, so, keen to get it clear before our big flight back to New Zealand, we went back to the doctors’ rooms, talking with another doctor. He diagnosed "asthma", gave me a breathalyser and put me on a course of steroids. The first day of the dose I was feeling better and spent the afternoon helping my son erect a retaining wall. I noticed I was feeling pretty washed out so I tried to leave him to do much of the physical work. Both he and my wife were very protective but I could not help but get involved in the physical stuff. Their objections made me feel a bit passed my “use by” date, so I wanted to “do my bit”.
Pleased with our achievements, we settled for our evening meal, and remained around the table watching a TV program and chatting. It was then I got one of my coughing fits. Afraid I might scare the baby and disrupt the group I stood up and walked toward the bathroom. As I reached for the door of the bathroom I was momentarily dizzy, then all I knew was that I had collapsed, crashing against the walls as I went down. (– so much for not scaring the baby nor disrupting the group!) Still dazed, I rose to my feet stupidly saying, “I am fine!” Everybody was by then rushing to my aid and knew I wasn’t.  Me, bullet proof, Dave Brown had experienced a blackout? I felt stupid! I felt old! We measured my blood pressure, which wasn’t too bad.   My pulse, however, was racing, and kept racing into the night.  Was it just the coughing? Was it the steroids? We talked with a doctor this morning and she wasn’t worried. But it was for me, a new experience of vulnerability. 
I am happy to report my health today is improving in leaps and bounds, and I expect by the time we board the plane for New Zealand, I will not be one of those annoying, perpetually coughing passengers. I just feel a bit more aware of my age and mortality.
Marcus Borg motivates…
I have just finished reading Marcus Borg’s latest book, “Convictions: A manifesto for progressive Christians.”  I enjoyed it and have been challenged by his calls to seek justice. But I leave you with a quotation from his opening chapter. He writes; “I have also experienced a second and unexpected effect of turning seventy: it has been interestingly empowering. In a sentence: If we aren’t going to talk about our convictions – what we have learned about life that matters most – at seventy, then when?”  I have spent years carefully wording sermons and services so as not to offend too much. I run around being careful not to upset people by sharing different perspectives than they have, preferring often to keep silent. Maybe at nearly sixty-six I need to speak more plainly about my convictions?  If not now, when?  The nosedive mentioned above gives even more of a sense of urgency, maybe. 

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