My compromised health has really made me aware of my changing role in society, I'm getting older. I'm weaker, and the unpredictable nature of my condition means the next couple of years will render me to a small area where I'm always near the hospital.
Luckily I live within 4 minutes of the hospital in a nearly 5000sf manor so being house-bound is not as bad as it may be for others. The privileges I enjoy come from hard work, intelligent decisions and from the life lessons learned in the Scouts, the entrepreneurial spirit taught to me by my patriarch and the utter lack of dependence by inheritance, government or charity.
I mentor, I take care of my friends, and I'm the named patriarch of my family with my parents blessing. I am am the prototypical Alpha male, never divorced with a wife that's a true "ride or die chick", I own a few homes, have a few million in assets and have not worked for anyone in 30yrs... I'm the master and commander of my life and those involved in it. I don't collect a paycheck, I hand them out.
I'm not happy though...
I'm not allowed to eat what I want.... My health is making me it's bitch and I'm freaking out. I'm picky, and get nauseous constantly. I'm on prescription anti-nausea medicines, antacids, pressure and diabetic pills and Insulin. My stomach linings gone and recovery takes time....doctor told me it's not bad if a shark loses a tooth, it's worse if they lose a whole row, and critical if they lose 20 rows....that's what I did to my stomach.
I thought the booze just destroyed my liver, 2 years sober and my stomach is still destroyed with full recovery being years away!
I feel like I'm starving, hunger hurts. I've never been hungry, my wife always kept me fed but now I wake up hungry...my wife is sleeping and I have no one to get me food. I don't know how to cook for myself, and I frantically look about for food in the pantry. I got so hungry this morning I yelled at my wife demanding ice cream, ice cream for heavens sake. Like I was some starving lunatic on a desert island.
Food, is not something I ever considered really worth my time...just something to finish quickly and move on to more cerebral activities. I hate food, I hate hunger and I hate that I'm a slave to my health and so dependent on my wife.
I'm so lucky to be married to an Alpha female. She's a genius, and has learned to be my nurse, do my injections and cook a whole new menu that are the bright times of the day. I was scared in the hospital as I could not put the food down but Ally can adapt anything to my gluten-free/nut free/sugarfree/acid free diet. She co-runs a multi million dollar company, was a 4.0 student and is a natural musician of more than a few instruments so she never surprises me.
She realized my depression and frustration of my changing role and has helped me reestablish myself as a country gentleman in the English tradition. She bought me some new new suits as I'm now slimmer and can't fit in my old suits. She even got me my favorite type of gentleman adventurer suits from Duluth trading in "firehose canvas" as it's so easy to care for and can be worn everywhere. She bought me some Mont blanc pens and cuff-links as they are my favorite pens, a couple of mechanical watches that are more daring then I normally wear and some other accessories outside my normal style... She knows how to boost my confidence. Displaying style is a great way to feel confident in any situation.
I'm changing my style from homburg and long wool coat and suit, diving watch, work shoe and bright bombastic silk ties to something more classy and less demonstrative of power. Simpler suits, linen and some tweed. Move from homburg to duckbill cap, much more suited to estate life of a country gentleman where the Homburg is for the boss at work...a duty I don't plan to do for the next few years as I'm going to simply run things from my home office. I'm planning on getting some seersucker suits and some more modernized colored versions a place in my wardrobe.
I'll wear the Rolex to weddings, but I'm in landlocked Montana so it's silly to wear a diving watch... There are so many new mechanical watch startups selling really interesting watches that are truly beautiful with an aesthetic that rivals the past. I'm eclectic with ties from Jerry Garcia to Armani to Donald Trump collection but I'm thinking of going back to an ascot. Ascots are cool, and less common. As a young boy I wore an ascot, inspired by Thurston Howell on Gilligan's Island. I also wore seersucker suits often as as a young master back in the 70's, always with a vest of course.
I prefer cufflink shirts but I've decided to stop wearing the human bone cufflinks and tie-clip and just go designer. I like mont blanc because of my German heritage and it's a product I endorse as the smoothest ink out there. Plus it's high end to those in the know, but are very simple and modest. It's less flashy and more fitting for me getting older.
Shoes, I'm going to stop wearing workshoes with suits... My wife just bought me 15 more sets of shoe stretchers to keep my good shoes in condition and I'm going to go with a mix of small production and handmade shoes as I don't want shoes people can recognize and I'm looking for a 1920's-30's look overall.
Coats..need to be wool or cashmere, and preferably an english tweed. I'm wanting something gray to mottled green-gray but due to me being tall (almost 6'3") I have limited choices. It needs to be Montana tough and that means warm with an umbrella pocket and gloves pocket.
Sunglasses are going from aviators to wayfarers as I'm not a pilot, and fighting my urge to go with bright colored lens. I might get a pair of vintage 1920-30s glasses and have non prescription polarized sunglasses installed in the frames...it will be a change in style.
Why is image so important to me with confidence? It's simple, you're treated better by doctors, nurses and everyone when you stand out from the crowd and show affluence. Wearing a suit shows respect to others and it's reciprocated and appreciated by any professional. These are the most important people to our existence and can be seen as a way of being prepared.
It can be life or death, but mostly it's preferential treatment as you're already extending them respect. I have a fear of male doctors and only trust women when it comes to medical care. I just don't feel men have the empathy and natural ability in medicine as men and women are different. Certainly men have natural advantages in some fields as do women, and men can be highly skilled doctors...my experience is that women are simply better on average, and in general than men in medicine.
I'm getting a nutritionist, a diabetic podiatrist, a physical therapist, a diabetes specialist, a liver specialist and whatever else they say I should have, so I wanna look good. I want them confident to bill my insurance and know I can cover whatever else might be needed. I know I can't wear a suit to physical therapy, but I sell high end pro sports jerseys,coats ect that won't be a problem.
I hated wearing that hospital gown, rendered generic and forced to walk with a walker with a belt around me for the nurse to keep me from falling. So helpless, so useless, constantly repeating your name and birth date at every shot or pill like some inmate in a mental ward...I know, first world problems, but it does not change the fact that I was unprepared and unused to difficulty so it made it tough.
The hospital was wonderful, I had a private room with a chair-bed for my wife, who was there constantly and only left to cook and bring me meals as we live so close. The floors were amazing, decor tasteful and bathroom incredible. A private sink, closet and desk area. Great internet,television and music choices and outstanding service, they even catered to my phobias. They made me feel safe at my weakest, and I don't accept others help.
I had to accept help, it let me grow in a way, as I would die without it. It let me depend on my wife now in ways that I thought I could not do. She's in full research mode, and she knows how to research and I trust she's gonna get me through this. I'm gonna bitch and complain about drinking water and eating this and that but I'm gonna follow her lead in this. I'll exercise more, I'll eat what she tells me, and take my pills and shot when she tells me. If I feel weird i'll not make excuses and let her drive me to the hospital. I'll eat lentils and other odd things my wife makes as "tacos" and learn to enjoy it...because ultimately it's an expression of my wifes love and I really do enjoy most of what Ally makes me.
Plus i'm really enjoying my overprotective clingy kitten that keeps checking if i'm dead...