Paddy came home this afternoon, with a "so far, so good" result from all his tests. He has two more big major exams scheduled for next Tuesday, however, involving televising his innards rather thoroughly, fasting, special diets, etc. They´ve not found anything bad yet, but they´re being very thorough in their searching. Which is good. Our tax dollars at work.
Paddy is his old self, just kinda tired from a bad night´s sleep. He would have had all the rooting-round done today, but the doctors at the hospital went on a four-day strike. Doctors here are employed by the state. They are paid only about 45,000 Euros per year, and they´d kinda like to have more than that, seeing as they are trained up to international standards and are expected to work all kinds of strange shifts.
The opposition points to the fact that there´s a surfeit of doctors in Spain, and the several medical schools keep cranking out more and more. If these docs don´t wanna work for what they are paid, someone else will. I come from America, where the medical system is a nightmare of unbridled greed, mismanagement, abuse, and more greed. It´s amazing for me to see doctors having to strike to be paid a good wage, and behaving like employees! (and even more amazing to know the hospital might suspend exploratory surgeries for a couple of days, but primary and emergency care will still be delivered 24/7, available to everyone.)
This morning, while I was still thinking Patrick would be in the hospital indefinitely, I took the dogs out in the howling wind and sleet for their morning hike. Even with the weather so miserable the pilgrims just keep bombing through, and farmers keep up their plowing, and the neighbors wave or beep their horns as they pass by on the highway. And as I walked the sky cleared. The great gray clouds all scudded away east, and left behind a cold blue sky.
Two birds started singing to one another in the underbrush, a complicated, sweet melody. The wind sighed. And I realized that for the past five minutes or so I had not felt worried. I hadn´t thought of me, or Patrick, or the house, or what-if. I had only watched the sky and the waving green grain, and the dogs leaping and dancing and yipping through it all.
I´d been in The Present. It´s the only place we ever really ARE, you know. There´s no past or future, and the only worries are the ones you bring in there with you. It´s very peaceful there. It´s a gift, the present. It´s always available, usually free, and so healing.
Thanks to everyone for all your words of concern and support, and those prayers, too. Don´t stop yet. We still have that pesky Future to contend with.