caregiving, Chattahoochee Child, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Uncategorized

Thinking of Sir Shakespeare Hemingway


035Dearest Readers:

Yes. I know, I’ve been a bit negligent with writing in my blog. If you recall, on March 7, 2017, I lost one of the loves of my life. My little Sir Shakespeare Hemingway. My life appeared to stop after losing him. I cried. Oh…How I cried. The tears were an endless, rushing ocean of tears I referred to as a tsunami.

My friends didn’t understand. Heck. I wasn’t certain I understood. I kept telling myself that I had to move on. After all, after the death of a loved one, life continues. The sun still shines. The rains pour. Bills are due. Life continues. But how? How could I learn to live without little Shake n Bake?

I do not have an answer to that question. I still called his name. I looked for him outside, resting on the corner of our lot, where he always rested to get his sunshine. He loved sunshine. I clapped my hands three times, so he would hear me and realize he needed to come inside, only he wasn’t there. I prayed for God to guide me and to ease my grief. I needed a sign and one morning, a fly flew into my coffee cup. Shakespeare knew me well enough to realize I wasn’t a bit of good to anyone without my second cup of coffee. On that morning, I picked up the coffee cup, ready to sip the second cup, only to find a fly floating in the cup of hot, fresh coffee.

I laughed! “Shakespeare,” I screamed! “You sent me a sign. Thank you. Thank you.” Tears rushed down my face again. Another torrential endless waterfall of fresh tears I could not stop.

I must explain. The water bowls for my dogs are strategically placed in the kitchen, bedroom and where I write. If Shakespeare was thirsty and something was in the water bowl, he refused to drink. He would place his paw in the bowl, attempting to remove a dead fly, or a bit of dirt. If that didn’t work, he would kick the bowl over, to let me know he wanted CLEAN water, not a dirty bowl!

So Shakespeare!

In four days, Shakespeare will be tucked safely inside my heart for three months. Yes. The tears are flowing again, and even though I am blessed with other dogs, I cannot stop these tears at times.

This week I’ve been super busy caring for my husband. He awoke on Wednesday with chills and fever. Knowing enough about medicine and health to understand that when one has chills there is normally an infection inside the body. I mentioned this to my husband. Of course, he grumbled, called in to work and stayed in bed. I decided it was best to ignore him. After all, I had planted the seed that he probably had an infection, or maybe…  he had pneumonia.

About 15 minutes later, he walked into where I was sitting at the computer. “I think I should go to ER.”

“That’s probably a good idea.”

Shutting my computer down, I changed clothes. Off we go to the infamous Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital, ER. No doubt, this day will not be productive for a writer.

We arrived at ER about 8:30, maybe a bit later. Checked in to ER and waited. Moments later, someone calls his name and we enter ER. Those of you who know what it is like to go to a VA hospital will understand just how long it takes to see doctors. That didn’t happen for us. The doctors arrived, checked him over, ordered tests, chest x-rays, blood work, etc…Etc! At lunch time (1 o’clock or so) Phil mentions he is hungry. The nurse (a wonderful, caring male nurse) mentioned he would order him some lunch. Phil suggests that I go to the cafeteria and get some lunch since I haven’t eaten either.

“Oh, no.” I said. “I remember how disastrous their salads were the last time we were here. I’ll be OK.”

When the lunch arrives, it is much to my surprise, lunch for two. I seem to recall that when Phil and I were chatting earlier about my going to the cafeteria, I mentioned they would bring him lunch, but the wives, or caregivers who were with the veteran were treated as second-class citizens. “They do not consider how we might feel or we might be hungry and hesitant to leave the area since our veteran is sick.”

Oops. Looks like my voice must’ve been heard I say quietly as I open the box to a hamburger steak, lightly covered with gravy. Well done, limpy vegetables and cold egg noodles, but what the heck. I’m hungry! Believe me, I’ll not complain. It was a most considerate thought for the nurse to order two lunches!

About 2pm, the doctor returns. The diagnosis, “a bit of pneumonia.” When he shares the diagnosis, I think to myself  — Is that like a little bit pregnant?  I remain quiet. Listening…

Today, Phil is resting still. Earlier, when I checked on him, he was coughing. How I pray this ‘bit of pnuemonia’ leaves him soon, and I pray I do not get it. I’ve had pneumonia three times as an adult and when I get it, I am sick for weeks.

And, so today, while at the computer, I attempt to write again. Something I haven’t done much lately. At times, I don’t feel like a writer anymore. I suppose I’ve allowed myself to be lazy about writing. I must change that behavior and get myself back to the busy-ness of writing.

For now, I must go make my infamous homemade waffles for Phil and I to share for breakfast, or maybe an early brunch.

I’ve made a promise to myself this week. A promise to write more on my blog and a promise to get the story of “Chattahoochee Child,” completed.

I simply must WRITE again! Maybe in memory of Sir Shakespeare Hemingway who always rested curled at my feet when I wrote. I still find my left foot moving ever so slowly next to his curled little warm body so I can rub him while writing. Only now…that precious little boy isn’t there. Will this grief ever leave? What can I do to make it leave me? I don’t have any answers, but my heart is so full of his love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Writing, On My Soapbox!

My Apologies For the New Year and Beyond!


To those who read my blog on a regular basis, I would like to apologize for being a bit slack during November and December. My goal is to post on a regular basis, especially about subjects that get under my skin, or subjects I find newsworthy.

Since late October, I have been ill and that is why I haven’t been writing on a regular basis. If you are my readers, I do hope you will choose to return when I post on a regular basis.

To date, I’m hesitant to say I am getting well. It seems that every time I said that during the three months mentioned, I would only get worse again. I was diagnosed with ‘possible walking pneumonia – perhaps,’ only to get worse after taking the Z-pack. Returning to another doctor, I was diagnosed with ‘extreme congestion –deep in the bronchial tubes.’ According to this doctor I did not have pneumonia — yet! Thank goodness this doctor had the intelligence to request a chest x-ray. After another expensive batch of prescribed medications, I do appear to be improving; nevertheless, I am extremely weak. Walking around downtown Charleston today has left me completely exhausted and normally I can walk without exhaustion.

So, my faithful readers, I do hope you will continue visiting my blog and as soon as I am able to work with a bit of strength again, I will keep you supplied with newsworthy topics, issues that ‘get under my skin’ and other details, from a writer’s perspective. Meanwhile, I wish you a wonderful, healthy and prosperous New Year, 2013. It is unfortunate that my year has started with such illness. For now, I am moving forward in hopes all in Charleston, SC will stop getting so ill with viruses, the flu and other germs that I certainly do not wish to breathe or catch. I’ve had enough illness to last a while. Let us all toast the new year with health and positive thoughts!

Holidays

Belated Merry Christmas to All


Good morning, World. Today is December 26, 2012 — the day after Christmas. Belated Merry Christmas to all. Another day for many to shop – to get the great after Christmas bargains. Ho Hum. I will not be a participant this year.  I’m still too sick, too weak to fight the crowds. For the holidays of 2012, I have been ill. Everything has been a fog to me. The beautiful Christmas trees. The Christmas lights. Christmas caroling. Christmas parties…Christmas mass…a complete fog.

I became ill in early October with bronchial asthma. Knowing how to care for myself, I rested, used my nebulizer and inhaler. I have asthma and I know what is required to get well, so I didn’t go to the doctor. I rested. Slept — once until 2:40pm. Totally out of character for me! Getting well a few days before Thanksgiving, I cooked a Thanksgiving feast for two. After Thanksgiving I realized I was still ill, but better.

On December 13, I awoke coughing again. Oh goodness…am I still sick? I asked myself. The night before was a fun night of dancing, singing and having lots of fun at Karaoke at the Elks Lodge. Barbie is back, I said. I’m finally well!

Surprise! Thursday morning is my weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. After washing my face, I turned my lighted makeup mirror on. Oh Gosh. What is wrong with my left eye? I stared into the mirror, got a fresh tissue, dabbing it gently on my left eye. It was bloody red, appearing to have blood gushing out of it. I was horrified. I looked like an alien! I can’t go to Weight Watchers like this. I have to go to the eye doctor! I checked the tissue. It was dry. No blood, nevertheless; my eye was BLOODY!

I looked for my opthamologist phone number in my new Iphone5. It wasn’t there. I struggled to think of the doctor’s name, but I was a true blonde this time. What to do? I decided to drive myself to the office as an emergency. If I needed to stay all day so they could work me in, I would. I packed a few magazines and the Post and Courier in my hand bag, and off I went to the eye doctor. I was mortified! No eye makeup on and here I was driving myself to the doctor. I imagined I would run into everyone I know — without makeup!

By now, I had a bit of pressure in my right eye. I could see well, so I didn’t think there was any damage. Less than an hour later, the doctor checked my eye. The left eye had suffered a subconjunctival hemorrhage from coughing. He confirmed I had no eye damage, but would look this way for a matter of weeks. Great. The holidays are upon me and I look dreadful. Can I wear eye makeup? My doctor laughed. Yes, I could. There was no damage to my eye…It just looked — interesting! Little did I know how sick I was becoming. By Sunday, my chest burned and there appeared to be a bear inside my chest. Growling. Wanting to come out, only I was too weak to let it out. My eye was still red. I could be in a horror movie now, not needing makeup at all!

For those of you who read my blog regularly, I thank you and I apologize for not writing lately. I have been much too sick, and so has my computer. One morning I attempted to use the computer. Everything wasn’t working. Trying to get on the Internet gave me a code of  ‘this page doesn’t exist,’ or something similar. Remember, I am sick and when I am sick, my brain becomes pickled! I realized, not only was I sick with this dreadful virus, but my computer had a virus too! At least my computer and I are closely bonded…maybe a little too closely bonded!

Monday morning, I phoned my allergy specialist. The earliest I could get an appointment was Tuesday afternoon. Lots of sickness in Mt. Pleasant. I was only one of them. Arriving late at the doctor’s office, I apologized, telling them I could not remember where they were located and went to the wrong office. Gosh, how I hate when I’m sick. I am a total air head, unable to comprehend anything.

I remained at the doctor’s office for over two hours. Constantly they tested, treated and diagnosed me. No flu. No fever. No pneumonia. Walking pneumonia — perhaps!

Now, my readers will understand why I’ve been so quiet. Too sick to write. Almost too sick to lift my head off the pillow. Changing the bed linens left me gasping for breath. Christmas Day I received a blessed gift from God — I awoke feeling better. I could go to my friend’s home for dinner. I was finally stepping onto the road to recovery.

This morning I am feeling better — bit by bit. This Christmas holiday season I wasn’t able to shop at all. Each time I thought I might be able to shop, something came up – a surprising assignment with New York Daily News, another assignment for my magazine editor, and of course, all of the illness I battled. So, Phil and I have quietly appreciated that we have each other. Shopping for gifts simply wasn’t an issue for this year. I was much too sick. After all, it is the little things we should appreciate every year at the holidays. For example – good health. Spending time with family and friends. Being nice to one another. Playing it forward with kindness. Instead of being in a rush, especially in traffic, why not allow that insensitive driver who is striving to cut you off to get into the lane ahead of you? Open the door to a stranger. Say hello to someone with a smile. Be nice. Christmas is the time of year to appreciate those who are in our lives, and those who come into our lives. Every one has a reason and a season. The little things. This year I’ve certainly learned to appreciate those precious words and to appreciate “Merry Christmas.”

Perhaps God wanted me to get sick to realize I must slow down a bit and appreciate those I love. Belated Merry Christmas, Everyone. Let us all give thanks for our life, our family, good health and God bless us — EVERYONE! Happy New Year 2013.