11 am: My stress reaches a peak. As I mentioned yesterday this has been a stressful week for me. It was the transfer of all my life savings and most of my spouse’s from numbers representing money in various places, into numbers in other places, representing the purchase of a house in Bend, Oregon. Part of the problem is that in a way absolutely nothing happened, and if you saw us walking about we would look perfectly happy and healthy. A more natural response to stress is to do something really vigorous like fight or run away.

We didn’t do much physically, just went and talked to bank tellers at a couple of different banks, swiped a few credit cards here and there, showed our driver’s licenses to some pleasant people, signed a few documents and answered a few obscure questions about our childhood pet’s names. It’s all sort of crazy, because it didn’t seem like we were doing anything, and yet standing at one teller’s window I noticed my hands were trembling, so I checked my pulse. Normally, I am about 58 bpm these days, but just idly standing there I was about 90, and although the room was of a very comfortable temperature, I was sweating. I don’t think anyone noticed any of this but me. But I noticed it because it was disturbing my equanimity, and I will be glad when we are done with all the legalese, the accounting fuss and decision-making about details which are so obscure no one can actually make a rational decision.

At 1 pm I was in a doctor’s office on a prescribed appointment for some X-rays of my throat while swallowing barium pudding. I had this same exam a couple of years ago and so I wasn’t concerned about the procedure. It’s just swallowing some not particularly good tasting gunk while they are taking some X-ray photos of the radio opaque stuff going down. Apparently, I have a little bit of stomach flap which sometimes comes back up a little into my throat, through my throat to stomach sphincter. When that happens I get some reflux which I was concerned might be getting into my windpipe and into my lungs, especially when asleep. After the tests and a conversation with my doctors and specialist it appears my problem isn’t very serious. It will probably be coped with by just eating small meals, drinking plenty of water and not stooping over when I have any food in my stomach. Also, taking some medicine to reduce the level of natural stomach acid might help.

Talking to one’s personal doctors is always interesting and a bit stressful, and it was on top of the earlier experiences. In each of these situations it seemed necessary to stay perfectly alert, but then nothing much actually happens. I have been trying to think of this as a romantic comedy in which all sorts of silly little things transpire, which are mildly interesting in themselves, but which in the end result in the hero and heroine going off and living happily ever after.

View difficult situations as a life comedy which will ultimately work out.