So, you may have been wondering where the hell I’ve been. Not that I flatter myself by believing that I am much more than a constellation of ones and zeroes in a universe of code, but I do feel like I have this place, and so I should tend to it now and then.
It’s 2014, and I have not written much in the last six months. I’ve been on hiatus, closed for business, out to sea in a lot of ways. But now we are almost a month deep into the new year, and I feel like I’ve got to come back, or risk never coming back at all.
The thing is, we lost my father in September. He was an amazing guy, the kind of person who lit up a room, brought the party, made you feel like all was right with the world. He was just the best kind of father, and King of the Grandfathers. The kind of grandpa who dotes on his grandkids, slips them candy and money on the sly. I’ve written about him many times here, including the time that he totally saved my butt, which was just one of the many many times he did. He was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, complications from a procedure performed on his heart, that ended in a blood-splattered night of dashed hopes and tears. In the wake of the loss, I’ve kind of been empty and had a hard time putting thoughts into words. Also I feel like I need to address the issue of losing my dad before I can write anything else. Does that make any kind of sense?
I sat by his side, taking my daily shifts in the hospital, and we had the most wonderful conversations. I think he knew his time was short, or at least he feared that it was. I don’t know if other people let him feel those feelings, but I did. I let him know it was okay to be scared. And I feel so lucky because he basically told me everything I had ever needed to hear him say. That he loved me. That I’m smart, strong, a good mother. That my husband is the best kind of guy.
He didn’t believe in God or heaven, but he said on more that one occasion that he thought he would achieve immortality in the hearts and memories of the people who loved and remembered him. Whether or not he had that right, I know he will never leave me.
2013 was a good year in a lot of ways. Both the boys had lead roles in their school plays. Edison made the all-state chorus, and his scores at the audition earned him the rank of number-one baritone in the state. We had a great summer vacation in California. We got a dog. But all that has been under the cloud of the worst thing that happened last year, not necessarily robbing me of joy in the good, but tarnishing it nonetheless.
My dad always told me, whenever I felt sorry about losing my mother, that I had to concentrate on what I have, to make what’s here now my focus. In the end, that’s some of the best advice he ever gave me.
So now it is a new year, and though the holidays were difficult, I do feel like the baggage is just a few ounces lighter. So much to look forward to this year: Edison is going to high school, and Clooney’s going to middle school. Every day is a gift, and there’s a lot of laughter and love around here. So now I’ve said it, and hope that, at least in a blogging sense, I can move on.
My dad used to end every phone call by saying, “Okay, if you need me, you know where I’ll be.”
Yeah, I know.
March 10 – Loud
March 11- Someone I talked to today
March 12 – Fork
March 13 – A Sign
March 14 – Clouds
March 15 – Car
Sadly, too many people are like the woman described here. Maybe you know a few…
I wish I knew more people like the officer who wrote the tickets.
I actually meant to write this as a post for this blog, but I accidentally wrote it on the Practice What You Pinterest site. I couldn’t figure out how to move it without ruining the format, so I just reblogged it. You get the idea.
I put up this feeder over the winter, and just recently caught a few birds in photos. I know the second one is a tufted titmouse, but I’m not sure about the first one. It looks like some kind of woodpecker. It had a hard time finding purchase on the feeder, hence the angle.
It started as a little cough. I’ve had mild asthma for several years, so when I get sick, it always goes to my chest. I had switched doctors not too long ago, because my former GP had decided to go into teaching and leave her practice, and because of the change, I hadn’t renewed my Albuterol prescription in so long that it had expired. And as I got sicker, I found that I no longer had any working inhalers in the house, so I made an appointment at the new practice in hopes of getting a refill for those.
Since she could see me sooner than the doctor, I went into the office and saw the nurse practitioner. She’s really great, very thorough, and took a good look at all the things I was complaining about. Basically at that point, I had sinus and upper respiratory infections, so she gave me prescriptions for Augmenten (antibiotic), Tessalon (cough suppressant for day time) and Promethezine (cough suppressant with codeine for night time), and she renewed my script for Albuterol.
Two weeks later, the Augmenten was all gone, but the cough stubbornly lingered; not only lingered actually, but worsened. It was as if the cough had been waiting for the Augmenten to clear out of town and then just bloomed once it was. I waited another few days, and then went back to see the nurse practitioner, who figured that a low dose of Prednizone would knock out the cough, and she also upped my dose of Advair, a steroid inhaler that I take every day to maintain the asthma.
But, all that had no effect, so a week later, I went back to see the doctor, thinking that another opinion might help to get rid of this thing. She thought I might have whooping-cough (though I had a vaccine for pertussis in 2010) so she gave me a prescription for Zithromax, and thinking that the cough may also be caused by post-nasal drip, added a steroid nasal spray called Flonase.
Three days later, not only did I still have the cough, but I was completely a mess. Between all the steroids and the six weeks of Promethezine, I felt like a dozen ping-pong balls were bouncing on the inside of my head. My heart was racing. My chest hurt and my skin was clammy. I took the kids, who had the day off, to the grocery store, and I felt like I was going to pass out in the cookie aisle. I was afraid I might be having a heart attack. And then I remembered, I’m on so many drugs, I don’t know what day it is. It was like Brave New World over here.
So despite my fear that they might throw a net over me when I got there, I went back to see the doctor. I finished the Zithromax, but I stopped all of the other drugs. And I felt better. My head is stable and my heart is back to beating within the confines of my chest. I still have the cough, but at least I can see straight. They ran some blood tests, and it’s all normal, no worries.
I’ll be glad when the cough is gone, but overall, I feel like the attempted cures were worse than the underlying condition. February was quite the pharmacological odyssey.