dinner with julia

May 23, 2015 at 2:29 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

thursday is bridge day.  even when i was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago i insisted that he go and play.  it is my contention he is a social person and the importance of his social life takes top of the list with me.  on sunday we were to meet with heather for a belated birthday brunch but i was unfortunately too ill to go along.  it has become easier to encourage him and for him to go.  there have been days i just cannot get out and he is more comfortable going to the grocery store with a list some times and just on his own (which is scary for me) without a list. through his playing bridge i have made some terrific friends.

julia could be my older sister and i have such deep affection for her. she keeps this wild man in line when need calls for it.  he talks to her and she gives him good advise.  he has a lot of respect for her.  i have a lot of respect for julia and love. ok there i said it and she is going to cringe:) that makes it all worth while julia! the thought of you shaking your head and cringing just a little bit:)

dot is another woman in the group. i love her honesty. she just says it like it is this woman.  she also keeps him line. they can joke with each other in a great way and i think they will be friends long after i am gone. of course he will stay friends with julia too!

charlotte is married to ken.  ken is norwegian. they were gone for a long time last year and we missed them.  right now they are gone to south dakota.  that is where they met each other.  charlotte swears she is never going to sit across from me at dinner again. why you might ask, well it is because we are able to crack each other up and then have to cover it up when the questioning looks come. like it’s my fault my face contorts and i become the human lie detector.  ken is so sweet and i worry that he does not take his health (heart) seriously.  he is a stoic man. charlotte says he can take care of himself and so i am honoring that. oh hurry home you two, i miss you.

there are other women who sort come and go with us for dinner.  it is us regulars who miss each other when we are not there.

julia does this wonderful thing for me, she sends me cards.  i hope she knows how much they mean to me.  they spend time on the fridge and then to my special box of keepsakes.  she truly gets the spoon theory and gave me the absolute best gift afterward.  her husband worked with a soup company.  he had a tie pin that had what else??? a soup spoon!! i carry this spoon with me every day.  it reminds me not only that she cares for me but that she gets something so vital to me and my situation.

when my energy is low i pull out the pin and remind myself i have one last bit of energy that i can still draw on.  sometimes that is all it takes. other times i take it to bed with me and know that it will get me through the night. each morning i am grateful and know that my pin has seen me through another day or night.

what surprised me about julia is she hides her light under a bushel.  she is absolutely brilliant and kind. when we first met she said things like “i stayed home and had nine kids.” some would make the mistake of under-estimating her, let me say i played a couple of words with friends game against her and she is absolutely brilliant!! yet she never makes out that she is superior in any way.

thanks to these ladies i am motivated to get moving on thursdays. i know there will be laughs and that is what keeps me putting one foot in front of the other.

i have an amazing younger sister who is in sweden now but will be here june 10th.  we are moving to another house so we will have more space.  i am hoping that judy unger will be able to come and visit after the worst heat of summer is over.  i long to hear her playing her music. she is incredibly funny and just warms my heart.  i just keep looking forward and never feel “done” with things.

sometime i will be done as we all know.  right now i have not disclosed all to my loving and amazing man. there are 5 stages of kidney failure. right now i am in stage 4. at stage 5 i will go on dialysis.  people live for years on dialysis. of course my heart or liver could choose to check out before it comes to that.

one day i will share with my family, heather, kristen and bill, even susanne his first wife who i will trust to support my beautiful loving step-kids and my grandchildren. one day is not here yet.  i will purposely keep things light and age appropriate. i will miss you all my friends but we aren’t there yet. i just want to make sure that you all know just how much i love you and to understand that my lack of tears and fears doesn’t mean that i didn’t trust you with my feelings. i simply wanted to feel the joy of my love for you and my belief that you are going to be with my love when the time comes. make him laugh, let him remember that i loved laughter and wanted that for all that i love.

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850 days

May 20, 2015 at 10:48 pm (Uncategorized)

for vic, her sons and mother…..

Vic's Final Journey

It is a mere 850 days since Vic died.  2 years and 4 months seems so short… 850 days seems far more representative of the longing.  It seems “longer”….

I woke up this morning with tears pouring down my cheeks.  I so longed to hold my child.  I know that the boys remembered too.  Jon-Daniel posted on his Facebook “Appreciate your Mom, tell her you love her, make her smile – because the only time she ever smiled while you were crying was when you were born!”  The first to “like” his post was his brother.

I imagined that the longing would get better.  It doesn’t!

At first it felt as if I was overseas – away from the trauma of Vic being ill.  I always felt guilty at the “reprieves” I had when I was travelling for work.  Now I would give anything and everything for just an extra minute…

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on your mark, get ready and get the heck outta here!

May 14, 2015 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

last week i spent a few days in the hospital.  here are a few clips from this visit-

emergency room (where i was sent from my cardiologist)

er doctor: after seeing your bloodwork and speaking to your dr we want to admit you to the hospital so we can run further tests and get you stabilized.

me: i understand. first i would need to know how long this would take along with what type of tests are going to be run.

er dr (with a hint of surprise): well we would do our best to have you out in a few days. it would all depend on the results of your results.

me: my concern is that i not be here beyond friday. i will agree to be admitted, however, i would point out that i am wearing my running shoes.

before i was even out of the er, waiting for a bed and transport upstairs, my first test was run. so i guess they are taking this running shoes thing seriously.

 

fast forward to friday. fairly early i spoke to my guy and told him there was no need to come until i called him to pick me up to come home.  just the day before i was able to see my cardiologist, he is the dr who had called and wanted me to be admitted. after a few tests were run he was ok with me being discharged, but wait, first the nephrologist needed to be the one to do the deed.

friday morning the jovial dr i came in to see me.  my numbers were better even though not normal.  he agreed that staying longer would not change my situation.  he stood beside my bed and said “your kidneys are thinning and scarred.”  i sort of waved that aside and said i knew that so why not just go home.  dr i is a very pleasant man and i look forward to working with him.  what happened next proves the guy can work with me.  after this brief exchange i said “so are you going to sign my discharge orders now or after lunch?” it was by now nearly noon.  he was moving toward the door and i knew i had to act fast. he turned to face me and said the hospitalist had to write the discharge order.  the hospitalist is the dr at the hospital who coordinates a patients care. as he is moving i say “no, no, no, dr patel told me it was up to you.” he smiled, threw up his hands in surrender then said “ok, so i’ll make the call.”

within 20 minutes the lovely hospitalist arrived and the deal was sealed.  i made the call home and waited a bit less patiently than i would like looking back on the day.  it took longer to have the iv removed and the nurse to go over my discharge instructions.  we were offered lunch but declined. i’m sure anyone can understand why we would prefer food that actually has taste versus the unrecognizable stuff fed to the ill.

the moral of the story? set your boundaries and don’t be intimidated when you are sitting on a bed with a gown that is open in the back.  we all want to think that the dr.’s have our best interest at heart, we trust the hospital and their staff.  i am not saying don’t trust, however, don’t blindly trust while ignoring your own instincts.

tomorrow i have an appt to see my new nephrologist.  he is a jovial man, i think we are going to get along splendidly.

 

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just look for that upside

May 7, 2015 at 11:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

so let me start by saying this will be short as i am in the hospital and i fear typing with an iffy iv line.

a few weeks ago i decided to look for a new cardiologist. no complaints about my previous cardio guy but the hospital he had privileges at is a distance from our small town in addition to being in a highly congested area. my poor love had gotten lost the last time i was admitted, it is a massive configuration of concrete and glass. if you didn’t have heart failure when you got there you certainly would by the time you found where you were going.

yesterday i saw the new local cardiologist and i immediately knew he was the “guy.” he ordered blood work and a couple of other tests. everything was in one smaller more manageable space. lab work completed we headed for a bite and back to the “love nest.” at 5 p.m. the phone rings and it is the new cardio. he gets right to the point, i need to be admitted to the hospital. “you have two choices, go to rome or the local hospital.” it took me a moment to grasp that he was not saying my choices were hospital or handle it outpatient. he gave me the numbers and i knew my only choice was to be admitted as he was advising.

now you might think, how sad. certainly going to the hospital is not an event to celebrate. or is it?

every person i have come in to contact with has given me the gift of their kindness and genuine care. i am so grateful tonight for the friends who are going to read this and care. you have no reason to but you do. wow! how lucky am i?

my family is loving and have been with me through this journey. they support me in the way i need supporting. my friend flower (her hippy name) came by after working her shift and brought me my favorite food, grilled cheese with tomato on it:) she also brought soup and blackberry cobbler!! knowing how dearly he loves the cobbler i saved it for him.

there was a choice today, as there is every day for each one of us. my veins were not cooperating and at a certain point i stopped counting how many people had stuck me how many times to get this iv going. the goal was get that baby started and each attempt was just leading to the moment that needle went in and the fluid started running.

to all the staff at Cartersville Medical Center i want to let you know your kindness made a difference and was valued deeply. to the drs at Harbin Clinic in Cartersville, Georgia i can’t stop smiling. i know i have found a team that i can turn these problems over to and trust that you will care. Dr. Patel (cardiologist) took the time, even though his day was officially over, to look at those lab results, taking the time to call me and give me the support and confidence i needed to actually allow myself to receive this care. Dr. Ishaque is my kidney guy now and again i felt an instant rapport.

how lucky am i that the timing allowed me to experience all these beautiful, hardworking, caring health care givers.

of course i have my running shoes just in case we don’t agree on my being discharged tomorrow:) did you really think i was going to let them keep me?? i am shaking my head and saying to you, ” you don’t know me at all, but you will if you want to.”

so this is longer than i intended and i want to thank you again for the love and support. to angie, heather, kristen and rita……. you know how i feel about you. to my friends i just rejoice in the gift of your wondrous spirit and your acceptance of me for who i am.

IT’S STILL BEATING!!!! and that’s an amazing, miraculous, and wondrous thing.

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be kind to yourself

May 3, 2015 at 6:13 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set..
They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.



I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.

I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

i have no idea where this came from and i hope i will be forgiven for repeating what may belong to someone else.

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