It is now the fourth day since I had inguinal hernia surgery. Since then I’ve talked to a couple of guys about my surgery and compared to theirs it was duck soup; that is, there was only a little pain and that was when I did something I could control and not do again. Except for when coughing or sneezing I had no pain events that were serious enough that I considered taking the Oxycodone-Acetaminophen that was prescribed to me. I would rather observe my pain and avoid doing what caused it than suppress it and be dulled to my world of experience.

I don’t like having these drugs around and will dispose of them tomorrow morning if I sleep well tonight. I am doing some experiments with making an anti-sneeze/anti-cough spray. My current experiment is to dissolve a cough drop in whiskey and then spray that into my mouth when there is a tickle in my throat. There is nothing to report yet. As previously reported, if I could get a cough drop chewed and dissolved in my mouth in fifteen seconds, it would suppress the cough. By making the spray I can get that solution into my throat in a second or two but like I said, I have nothing to report yet.

I attended my usual conversations with my friends and they were as exciting as ever, perhaps a little too exciting because I overstated my opinion on something and offended a dear friend. Sorry. Later, in the afternoon I attended a scheduled group discussion, where I showed off a photo of my recovering incision. I held it life-sized over the site. Several of the guys mentioned what appeared to me as nostalgic memories of similar experiences.

On to more serious things. Because of this assault on my life, a modest assault, I have been thinking about my eventual death and what I wish that I had done, but haven’t done yet.

I don’t have much ambition to make money; actually I’ve never had much of that, and I do have enough to get by. Thanks to my medical bills being covered by the Veterans Administration because of my two years of military service as a pilot in the USAF, I haven’t been driven into desperation by this hernia operation.

I have some personal friends who treat me well, and I attend the UU church every Sunday and do a few routine good works there, so there is a mild feeling of satisfaction from that. I have several other small social groups that I attend regularly, and even though I miss the exhilaration of living in Berkeley for fifty-one years, what I am doing is meaningful enough.

I have Debbie as a multi-decades-long life companion and we get along so well that people often mention that in passing by. We rarely argue about money, or politics, or religion, or anything else except for the meaning and pronunciation of words. Even though I have been crankier than usual because of my medical problems the last few months, she has been a constant and reliable companion.

In my discussion group with about eighteen guys this afternoon I said something that was a bit much for them. I said that I didn’t mind dying or being dead, and didn’t expect to have any personal afterlife to look forward to; that instead, I felt comfortable returning to the nonliving matter of the Universe. That the Universe is such a spectacular thing that I feel good about becoming once again an unthinking part of its grandeur. That little speech didn’t get any hurrahs from those people, most of whom said they were praying for an afterlife where they would be reunited with their loved ones, but I felt that it might give them a feeling that everything would be okay even if that afterlife is what not happens to them personally.

Clearing one’s own mind from unnecessary stresses and helping other people to live more abundantly is enough.