It's looking more and more likely that my metabolic functions will Collapse before we get "The Big One" of Civilization Collapse, like the ATMs going dark or a Nuclear weapon detonation or Martial Law being declared in the FSoA. My generally bad health has taken a turn for the worse with many new problems cropping up, although no diagnosis yet. I definitely am suffering some kind of biochemical imbalance which may be an across the board systems failure. I am supposed to get a full round of blood tests but so far have not been called by the laboratory to schedule an appointment.
Tomorrow I will call the clinic to get an appointment with the Primary Care NP who replaced my old MD who retired last New Year's to have a look at the latest in symptoms and also to get a referral to a neurologist & an internist. I've developed a severe itching problem which I think is related to the peripheral nervous system rather than some skin irritation. The skin irritation I do have I think results from the constant rubbing and scratching I do to relieve the itch. In the cause and effect sequence here, it's the Itch causing the Rash, not the Rash causing the Itch. In any event, none of the creams prescribed to me by the dermatologist has done anything to fix this extremely annoying symptom.
The issue with calling the clinic for an appointment tomorrow is that usually it takes at least 2 weeks to get the appointment. I don't think I will die in the next 2 weeks, but then after that for her to refer me to more specialists takes another 2-3 weeks. I don't think going over to the ER is a solution because I am not conspicuously dieing fast. The ER doc would not be able to figure out what is wrong any better than the other docs I have seen recently. So I just have to Hurry Up and Wait, or Hurry Up and Die, all while dealing with an incredibly irritating itch that makes the days interminably long and makes it almost impossible to sleep.
Whenever it comes here, dying doesn't bother me and I don't fear death. I have always known I wouldn't get the full 80 years my parents got, in fact making it to almost 60 was quite miraculous. Also, as I wrote in my Bucket List article a little while back, there really isn't anything left I haven't done that I still am capable of doing. I don't have kids or grandkids of my own to worry about in taking my trip across the Great Divide. I have only a few friends who will mourn my passing for a while, throw a Wake for me, and maybe remember me a while longer than that. I am Dust in the Wind on planet Earth, as we all are. What legacy I do leave is all written on the Internet, here on the pages of the Doomstead Diner and on many of the other groups and forums I ran over the years. Not to mention all the commentariats I trolled. lol.
I did worry about one thing directly in the aftermath of leaving work as my bodily functions began their downhill slide, which was that I wouldn't have time to tie up my work on the Diner and that I wouldn't have my financial affairs tied up. I was concerned all my personal possessions would be scattered to the wind along with my bank account. However, that was over 2 years ago, and in the month following I got my Last Will & Testament written and I wrote a self obituary here on the Diner, which still sits in the drafts waiting until I croak for one of the other Admins here to publish it. So after that, I was up to date any day the Grim Reaper came a-calling.
The intervening time has given me opportunity to write a lot more, with a few real gems in there I am glad I got down on the disc. I also still have plenty more to write about, by no means am I burned out or do I think I have exhaustively covered every Collapse related topic there is to cover. Collapse is ever evolving and ever changing, and there are always new observations to be made on how it manifests itself. However, I hit most of the major points along the way here, and at some point this chronicle has to end, whether it be by my dying first or the Internet Going Dark. If by some miracle I did last long enough to reach the latter alternative, I wouldn't have any meaning & purpose left for my life, and honestly I really don't want to live in a society engulfed in chaos, which is certain to occur once the internet goes bye-bye for good. As a society here in the 1st World, we're simply too dependent on it for too many things. The electrical grid, banking, water and sewage treatment, street lights and of course Elon Musk's self-driving carz.
I am glad I came to understand the nature of Civilization Collapse over the last decade, and had the opportunity ro write about it on the pages of the Doomstead Diner. It made me a lot more philosophical about Existence, about Consciousness, and about the Nature of God. I shifted from being an Atheist to a Panentheist a full decade before I became collapse aware, but through the lens of collapse I was able to understand these questions much better and focus my mind on how to express the ideas and my beliefs. Much of that credit goes to my friends and fellow philosophers Inside the Diner, with whom I hashed out these ideas on many occassions on our Spirituality & Mysticism forum.
I am most grateful for the friends I have made on the Diner over these years, without them I would have no friends at all to discuss these concepts with, or who might remember me for at least a short while after I pass into the Great Beyond. I pretty much left behind all my IRL friends by the end of my trucking years, and though I knew and saw regularly at work many people, I was never really friends with them. They were just work acquaintances, and I spent my off work hours by myself, keyboarding out my analysis of Doom here on the internet. I'm still doing that for the time being, but I also have had the opportunity during our Diner Convocations to meet and spend time with several of the Diner principals, and I consider them all my closest friends, my only friends. Maybe if I make it through this latest of trials, I'll be able to join them IRL in the Lower 48. Time will tell.
As much as I philosophically, environmentally and socially would have preferred if 10,000 years ago Homo Saps had not crossed over from Hunter-Gatherer into Agriculture and discovered Metalurgy which enabled all the cool War Toys we sport today, that just was not the path we took and nobody back then could have forseen where it would lead. It just seemed like CFS to have as many kids as you could and make your society the biggest and strongest one, wiping out anyone who got in your way. So inexorably over the millenia we arrived at the point we are at today, discovering in the last 250 years how to harness the thermodynamic energy of fossil fuels and build a marvelous array of toys to make our lives easier and more pleasant. Meanwhile of course, also completely destroying the environment we depend on to live.
I don't regret being born in this era, nor do I feel guilty for all the fossil fuels I burned either directly or indirectly to make my life possible in this civilization. I was one of the luckiest ones, born in the right place at the right time to the right people. I got to fly on Jets to see many places, I got motorcycles and carz, I got spiffy computers, the lights nearly always came on when I flicked the switch, the toilet nearly always flushed and I never went hungry a day in my life. I didn't get the Private Jet and Yacht of course, but I still got most of the perks of Industrial Civilization and that was done mostly on a middle class FSoA paycheck. Now also as my time on earth in this iteration of my corporeal self comes to a close, I ALSO got some time in Retirement, over 2 years now and still running. This is a luxury most people through human history have not had, and now fewer all the time are getting as pensions and social security programs are eviscerated globally. If there is one thing I will regret in dying soon, it will be that I couldn't collect on my SS for a longer period of time. lol. At least I will not go out of this world in this incarnation as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska.
What I do try to reinforce in my writings on collapse is that while the situation is bad and now bordering on awful and likely to become positively horrific, it's still not the utterly HOPELESS situation some other Collapse Pundits make it out to be. Sea Level is not going to rise 300' in the next decade, this is going to take quite some time. The entire globe won't become unsutiable for habitation on such a timescale either. Even on the more mundane level of monetary system collapse and the ATMs going dark, we won't instantly descend to Mad Max. Even Syria is not at Mad Max level, there are still organized factions fighting it out with each other and the lights are still on in Damascus at least part of the time. What the person who wants to try to survive the Zero Point has to do is figure out what the best strategies are for surviving these types of dislocation, because they are bound to be coming down the pike at some point. We have a shrinking resource pie, and Homo Saps will fight over the pie as it shrinks, that's the way we are built, it's survival instinct. 1st Worlders aren't immune to this, there is no Exceptionalism to the Survival Instinct. Currently there is still enough to go round in the 1st World, though more poorly distributed by the day. When (not if) that is no longer the case, the FSoA and everywhere else in the 1st World becomes a facsimile of Syria today. About the best one can hope for on the War front is that the clowns in charge don't push the button on the Nukes.
I won't regret not being around for "The Big One", I know it will come eventually and as I mentioned I don't relish the idea of trying to survive inside a failed state, which I would not be able to do in any event. I'm barely able to keep going even WITH all the bells and whistles of Industrial Civilization still available to me! Just in the last couple of months I have had an EKG, and Echo Cardiogram, a Nuclear Stress Test and and Ultrasound on the veins in my legs. Not that any of these expensive tests have yet provided a clue as to what is actually wrong with me of course. Fortunately, I am not paying for them, Medicaid is still doing that for me. If I had to pay for this shit, I would just skip it and wait to die. Paying still good money to stay alive at this point for me is a total waste of money. That money can do more good helping to get the SUN Foundation off the ground after I am dead. I am like a $1000 used car totaled in a wreck and the Body Shop tells you it will cost $5000 to fix me up. What idiot would waste their money this way?
To tie up the latest in the Death Chronicles from RE, the main change here resultant from the latest problems is that I am going to accelerate up publishing my autobiography, to try and get all the parts out before I take the Final Ride to the Great Beyond. I'm also writing a lot more as I race to the finish line to get as much off my keyboard as I can before rigor mortis sets in and my keyboard fingers are cold and stiff, so I will probably drop more like 3 new artiles of my own on the blog for a while to work through some of the backlog. So check back in regularly to catch the latest in DOOM here on the Doomstead Diner.