I’m glad my Mom doesn’t understand what happened yesterday the US Capitol. I wish I could forget it. At first I felt physically sick watching the events unfold on tv, and when I thought about my Mom who was always anxious, I know that if she didn’t have dementia she would have been terrified. Then at 2pm yesterday when I got off from work I was a little afraid, as I needed to leave my home and drive the 24 miles to Tysons Corner, VA for my final appointment with my endocrinologist of more 25 years. Dr. Tanen joined my team of eight doctors in 1995 who were in the middle of the thirteen year battle to save my life. I had already had 15 surgeries by then and Dr. Tanen’s primary role at first was to remove several nodules from my thyroid without surgery. We used to laugh about the fact that my thyroid is one of the few organs I actually have left. He was the youngest member of my medical team and we were the same age. Over these 25 years we also became friends. Yet, I almost cancelled my appointment yesterday because as an African-American I wasn’t excited about leaving my home with the chaos going on in DC.
I went and I’m glad I did. He was the last member of my medical team still practicing medicine and we had an amazing visit. I’m grateful for the role he played in my life as part of Team Loretta! He had a fabulous bedside manner, never made you feel inadequate for asking questions about your medical care and is just a wonderful person. When he closes down his practice in March, I hope that he and his family thoroughly enjoy retirement. They certainly deserve it.
When I returned home, the chaos was still occurring in the Capitol in DC. I was exhausted, felt physically ill and I cried. Last night at 8:30 pm I attended the nightly virtual prayer service at my church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Capitol Hill, which I also help lead a couple of times each week. That service always prepares me for rest and a peaceful night, but last night that inner peace was hard to come by. Peace was eventually restored at the Capitol of course, but yesterday will be etched in our history forever. Yesterday was only one of a couple of times I actually wished I had dementia so I could forget what we all saw.