I am feeling good this morning and I do not have a clue as to why. I am usually feeling very tired and sad this time of the day (noon). One of my doctors thinks I am experiencing “male menopause”. He had me tested for low testosterone and we subsequently found out my testosterone level is about as low as one can get and not be mistaken for a dead person. He has prescribed a testosterone patch for me to try. I will start using them as soon as they arrive in my mailbox. The doctor also informed me my hot flashes should stop. Except for some kind of weird placebo effect, this does not explain why I feel good today. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out the “nuts and bolts” of my lifestyle in an attempt to determine what I should avoid doing in my my daily routine and thus maximize my “feel good” time. About all that I have learned thus far is that it is important that I not eat much meat protein (amino-acids binds with the L-dopa in my Parkinson’s medication), not eat fatty meals, be very punctual with regards to my medication schedule, and pay close attention to my state of mind as I cycle through the on-off periods of my medications. My other doctor has put me on a dopamine agonist patch (changed daily) which seems to be effective in lessening the deleterious effects of the on-off cycles of my Parkinson’s medications. All in all, I am doing better physically, but I have not gotten to a place with regards to my  memories of Patty which permits me to do what I need to do with her belongings. Her things are pretty much as she left them the morning she went to the emergency room. The lipstick stain on her coffee cup is slowly fading away, but my memories of her are vivid in my mind. I find myself at times expecting to hear her come in the front door or listen for her in the house as she goes through her daily routine, but the silence goes on.

So, I am doing ok physically, I guess, but I am very lonely. I still miss the physical presence my wife very much and there is no medicine for that. However, the medicines that I have taken and the resulting changes in my mental state have nearly convinced me that what we do and feel as humans is the result of the chemistry of our brains as it exists at any given time. Notice I said “nearly convinced me”. I cannot bring myself all the way to the belief that “we” are just the product of chemical reactions in our brains because Patty is very much alive in the place in my brain that is “me”. I feel her spirit near me all the time and I am trying to find comfort in that feeling. Thus, I find it difficult to believe that the comfort I seek is contained in a bottle of pills. I do not want to leave the impression that I am not thankful for my medications because I am. I recognize that the fact that I am able to tell you this story is largely due to my medications and I am very grateful for that.


I am 89 years old and was married for 66 years. My wife passed away in 2016. I am a retired engineer and spent 35 years developing INS gyroscopes. I was a High School mentor in physics, a mountaineer, a model builder, a machinist and I have a degree in Physics. My interests include railroad history and photography, science history, cosmology, interesting people, and old engineering drawings. I place a high value on my friendships. I enjoying my life and I try look forward with a sense of anticipation and curiosity about what my future has in store for me.

4 thoughts on “STATUS REPORT

  1. Hello Mel,

    I’ve followed your updates since beginning of last year and wanted to thank you for sharing your personal experience. I’ve shared your posts with family members and must admit to crying on multiple occasions. Your posts have helped me tremendously with how I will deal with the loss of my parents one day.

    If you are willing and helpful to you, I would like to exercise your brain reference your Autonetics stories and the N5 Inertial platform. I have a G5B1 gyroscope which I believe was used in the NAA Hound Dog. I cannot find any information besides that the N5 platform was used in the Hound Dog Missile. The inside engineering history needs to be told for other generations to appreciate what an incredible job the men and women of Autonetics did back in the 50’s & 60’s. There is no write up any where describing the internals of these gyros in the superb way you write about it. As an Electronics Engineer, I would enjoy very much reading your Autonetics engineering past.
    Kind Regards,

  2. Mel, it was really good to see you at the model railroad show in Palos Verdes on Sunday. Thanks for writing about your situation. At 64, these are things that I have little to no experience with so it’s of value to have you so clearly describe what is going on. I hope that you will have many more “good days.”

  3. I’m in hopes the new testosterone routine will make a big difference. Mom is always with me too and always will. Think of the good things and it’ll bring an inner smile.
    Take care Dad


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