The city swept our streets last week, clearing mounds of brown leaves that neighbors had raked or blown into piles along the curb. Then the wind blew and rain fell and more leaves speckled lawns and sidewalks and pavement.
The trees always win, and that’s fine with me. Fallen leaves return nutrients to soil. And I like their sound and earthy smell as I scuffle through them. A child’s pleasure, it’s one of the rewards of forcing myself out the door to take my walk when it’s colder and the sun sets too early. My neighbors wear warm coats and wool hats as they walk their dogs. We all feel winter’s breath.
My fingers, too, are registering the approach of colder weather. The heat is on in our home, and my skin is dry. I’m up to four digital ulcers again, after a really long stretch of only one or two over the summer and well into fall. For now, no infections, although I’ve been on and off antibiotics for months, and my right thumb is not happy with my typing.
This morning I see my dentist, who had a new flipper made for my missing tooth. I’m hoping it will be easier and sturdier than Version One, which I’ll also have her check. Since I got my implant two weeks ago, the flipper no longer fits. I have yet to decide if this false tooth was worth the money, but I also have at least two more months to wait until I can get my crown and have all my teeth again—that is, assuming that the other lower front tooth, which is also resorbing, can stay put for a while longer.
So it goes. Managing my scleroderma is always a process of fine tuning every day. After 40 years, it’s just part of my routine—time consuming, but mostly white noise. I prefer to focus on living.
Image: Johannes Plenio