Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Night on the Town

After seeing the latest Coen Bros movie (A Serious Man - loved it) at the Harkins Camelback (the only theatre in the Phoenix area outside of Tempe that shows limited release movies) in Scottsdale, we went across the road (Goldwater Road) to the fancy mall and I got a free chocolate pumpkin truffle at Godivas after a free taste of Ice Cream at Haagen Daas after a slice of spinach and broccoli stuffed pizza at Sbarros (under $5). Nice change from Walmart and Golden Corral and movies that make me sick. BTW we used our free coupons that Harkins gave us after I got sick at Paranormal Activity.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Don't bother reading this

I get sick on roller coasters, the back seat of a car, in a small airplane, a rough sea ride but this was the first time I got sick in the movies. Since it's still hot here in Phoenix and we're waiting for Eliot's results from all the tests the cardiologist ordered we go to the movies a lot. Why Eliot won't spend more than $10 for a meal but has no problem with $6.50 (senior discount) for a stupid movie is beyond me. But anyhow he said there's this movie that cost only a few thousand $ to make and was raking in millions. Apparently it was taken in one house with a shakey camera and was supposed to be a horror movie (not my kind of movie to start with but if he's willing to put out the $13 what do I have to say). After 3/4 of an hour of this shakey camera I'm feeling really bad and said I'm going to go out for a drink. I found an usher who sat me down and brought me some water but I really wanted to get out of there and she went in to the theatre to get Eliot (who apparently hadn't missed me much) and we got out money back (I mean Eliot's money). I really complain a lot, don't I, but nobody really has to read this. I don't know why you bother Bobbie when you can be out taking pretty pictures of flowers and skies.
Today the big complaint is Pocketmail. Pocketmail is this handheld device that you can hold up to the phone to send and receive email which I got a long time ago when I was traveling alone. Actually it was a present at the end of a three month relationship with a first class asshole who I traded in for a poodle. Now that's a long story which I'll get into another time. Actually that's two stories: the asshole retired Air Force Lt Colonel and my 3 years with Cherie, my foster poodle.
So since we have satellite I use the Pocketmail website instead of taking the device to a phone. Some hacker or phisher messed up pocketmail and now I can't get my email from the website anymore. I actually have several emails besides the pocketmail but there were a number of people, mostly my family that I stayed in touch with through Pocketmail. So being Sunday (when our cell phone has unlimited minutes) I called everybody including my friend in Arkansas with whom I hadn't spoken in years. That was the high point of my day!
What pisses me off the most about not being able to access the website of Pocketmail is that I saved so many messages that chronicled our journeys which I never printed off and a lot of other stuff in various boxes and I've paid pocketmail through next May!
Maybe I shouldn't even be relying on this blog because of cyberwarfare!
Back to notebooks and pens. Fortunately I did keep a log but since I've been blogging I don't write much in it anymore except dr appointments and the names of the stupid movies we see and one other private matter :).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Joe, Teddy and Edie

I was on my way to the bathroom. A golf cart stopped with a man and a dog. The dog was cute and didn't bark. I scratched the dog's head.

"He doesn't bark. I like dogs that don't bark. What's his name?"

"That's Teddy and I'm Joe. My wife is Edie. I'm Irish and she's Dutch. That doesn't amount to much. You new here?"

"We're just passing through. We'll be here for a month. You live here?"

"Now we do but we're from New Jersey. I drove a newspaper truck"

"I was married to an Irishman. He drank. When we were in Ireland they either drank or wore abstinent buttons"

"I don't need no button. Never touched a drop. On my route there would be tavern after tavern " Joe pointed "there and there and there and there, one after the other and they all asked me what"ll I have and I would say 'a coke'"

"Nice talking to you. I've got to go to the bathroom"

"See you around"

Next day I'm riding my bike and come across Joe and Teddy in the golf cart. I stop and say hello and scratch Teddy's head.

"So where do you and Teddy go"

"I take him up to the dog run. I was so mad. Somebody had a big dog who made this big turd and just left it there. How can people do that? I always pick up after Teddy"

"Yeah, some people are jerks. Especially people with big dogs. I hate it when I'm walking or riding my bike and a dog barks at me, like they should have special sections in the park for people with dogs. One lunged at me. Although he was on a leash, he scared the hell out of me and I almost fell off my bike. I reported it to the office."

"Why don't you come meet Edie. I'm Irish and she's Dutch and we don't amount to much"

I followed Joe on my bike and he called to Edie to come out. She came out on the porch. And Joe rode away with Teddy.

I remember looking up at her. She had very big nostrils. That's not very nice but that's what I remember most about her face.

"Joe says you're from New Jersey. I was born in Brooklyn. He said I should meet you"

"You know Joe has dementia. He takes medication but I can't let him go anyplace alone outside the park. We both use oxygen at night and always take it with us but don't take it into restaurants. We like to eat out a lot but they don't have good restauants here like they do in Jersey."

"Eliot doesn't like to spend more than $10 for a meal. He says he just wants to buy a meal, not the restautant. So we go to Golden Corral a lot for the early bird senior special. He likes buffets.
We used to go to Souper Salad but they closed."

"Yes, they closed 3 years ago. Times have changed. You can't get a meal for $10. $15 to $20 is the least these days" Then Edie listed a number of places where you can get a decent meal for that but I didn't pay much attention because I knew Eliot would never consider them.

When Eliot and I first met I would treat him once a month to a real restaurant meal on our monthly anniversary date but I stopped after a while because it wasn't any fun. He thought I was wasting my money and he would order the cheapest thing on the menu. And then we would have nothing to talk about while waiting for service. It's best when we eat at home in the RV. He makes everything in the microwave except for the frozen vegetables which he boils in a pot.
We usually have canned potatoes and either frozen chicken breasts, frozen fish or Boca burgers. When we first met I tried to cook for him but he didn't like anything I made and he won't let me use the oven. "It's for storage" he says. Like the bathtub even if we have full hookups.

"Nice meeting you Edie. I'd better get back"

"Stop by anytime"

The next morning I met Joe and Teddy and we chatted again.

"I'm Irish and Edie's Dutch and that doesn't amount to much" I used to drive a newspaper truck
and there were tavern after tavern and they asked me what I what I wanted and I always said 'a coke'"

Okay, I tried to write some dialogue. I never was any good at writing dialogue so I though I'd give it a try but then what happened. I got self absorbed again and started complaining. I do that a lot lately. Wow, I'm really into self-pity when I'm not doing the self-hatred bit. I'm good at both. But I did email my congresswoman. I tried calling her but her mailbox was full. It was about the public option. I got an email from Credo telling me that Giffords had not yet stated her position on Pelosi's robust Medicare+ 5% public option and I should tell her to support it. I also called my brother and my son, Patrick today. My whole family are Democrats and it's really hard living with a Republican so I had a good time with my brother. Eliot can't stand Barney Frank, like he's responsible for the mess we're in especially the housing bubble. My brother loves Barney Frank, says he's got 3 strikes against him. He's gay, Jewish and has a lisp. It's funny that Giffords is my rep in Congress. Up until April I was a registered voter in New York because my driver's license from New York which had been good for 9 years finally expired and I had to get an Arizona driver's license using my brother's address in Tucson which is my mailing address. So at least I have a Democrat representative in Congress. I've tried writing to my two Republican Senators, McCain and Kyl but that's like hitting my head against a brick wall. At least they know there's one voter in AZ who opposes their positions.

Samhain (Halloween)

It's pronounced sauwin - Samhain is the old Irish spelling. There are eight holidays in the Wiccan religion. They're called Sabbats. The four main ones are the solstices and the equinoxes. Samhain is one of the cross sabbats coming between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. It is the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinest meaning spirits can travel back and forth and has been adapted by Christians as All Saints Day and the Mexicans as the Day of the Dead and by Americans as a fun time to wear costumes and carve pumpkins and play trick or treat. It used to be if you didn't get a treat, beware you might find some damage done to your property. Times have changed. Now you have to watch out for the tricks in the treats.
Now I guess I should try to remember the other three cross sabbats. I really didn't study Wicca very long and of course became disenchanted with it as I did with all organized religions. What I liked most was "Do as thou wilt but harm none" and I liked calling down one of the many (symbolic) Goddesses to assist me when I needed her help. Let's see there Lammas, that comes between the summer solstice and the fall equinox, probably some sort of harvest celebration. Beltane is the real fun one where you jump across the fire and go into the woods with a comvenient male for procreation. That's become May Day and comes between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. The fourth one is the one I always have trouble remembering. It's February 2nd. Imbolc I think. Now it's become Ground Hog's Day.
If you want to find out more, just Google Wicca.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Yikes, I make some stupid remark when I'm tired and it's been a stressful day and I'm feeling depressed and probably just need a hug and then Bobbie writes about green cemeteries and webwisewoman's friend dies. What's this about death. It's on everybody's mind. Could be we're getting old.

What we need now is some humor. New Jersey, that's a funny place. I read some comedian or actor - what's his name - is trying to sell his 30million$ house for 15million. I think it would make a nice old people's home. He should donate it to us. That should help his taxes. The taxes on the home are almost 200thoussand $ a year. Could we afford that? or maybe if we set it up as non-profit or make it into a church. The church of the Almighty Old Person. We could take turns being the Mother Goddess. Oh by the way, no males allowed especially not WASPs. They're definitely not PC these days. We'd probably have to put in some alterations, like a lift to get some of us in and out of the pool and we'd need a PT for the gym. What the hell would we do with the bowling alley? Any suggestions? Lots of room to plant yellow flowers for Mellow Yellow Monday and I have a friend who's into making houses green. Does that mean I can't paint my room purple? Actually I think I'd like rainbows. And only old comedies in the movie theatre except for Hitchcock. A few raunchy ones would be okay too especially if we could get Margaret and Helen to join us.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mad Woman Returns

This mad woman is not just crazy she's also angry and she certainly isn't wise (that was always tongue in cheek anyhow). I couldn't log into my blog like they didn't friggin know who I was. Like aren't they suppose to remember me even if we move the satellite. We just had another hell of a day moving down from Prescott Valley to Cave Creek Regional Park on Carefree Highway just north of Phoenix. and the high was 99F. We actually made two trips first taking the fifth-wheel which Eliot still hasn't mastered backing up. And then after setting up the satellite we went back up to Prescott Valley for the trailer with the quads and ate at Golden Corral which Eliot loves and is probably one of the worst places for me to eat.
And then I finally figured out when I had to reset my password that I had been typing the number part of the password wrong!
And now I probably ought to go to bed because we have to get up before 6am because Eliot's stress test is at 7:20.
Most of my life I was in charge. I had a marriage where my husband drank and taught his students and I had to do everything else. He didn't even drive. And then the 12 years I lived with Brian he gradually broke away from my control. (We both had a lot of therapy.) And then I was on my own for five years driving my RV back and forth across the country. Now I feel completely helpless. I've never even driven the fifth wheel . We used to have a Class A motorhome which Eliot drove pulling the trailer with the quads and I drove a Tacoma truck following him. That wasn't bad except he refused to get CBs so some time he lost me because he wouldn't notice I wasn't behind him. But now we have a truck which pulls the fifth-wheel which pulls the trailer and I'm always the passenger. A few times I got to drive the truck like after he has a medical procedure and the day I went to the thrift shop by myself.
Sometimes I'm pretty depressed and wonder if it would be better just not to wake up some morning. But actually mornings are the best time. It's now late at night so I'll take a Valium and an Ambien and tomorrow will be another day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Now that I have everybody's attention through begging, nagging, cajoling etc and so forth (now where did I plagiarize that from - don't tell me I just remembered - Kurt Vonnegut but not which novel?), I'm going to have to produce. But you have to know I'm scattered. Okay no excuses (those would take up the whole page).

Everyday two of the other children got to play with the big doll house. I was waiting for my turn. It never came. Lisa and I had to go to first grade after only a half year of kindergarten. I never asked Lisa if she ever got to play with the dollhouse. Okay I'm whining and making excuses for not having ever grown up just because I had only a half year of kindergarten. I use that excuse all the time especially when I get mixed up with right and left. "I told you to turn right instead of left because I only had half a year of kindergarten."
Okay so I'm scattered. I'm reading three books at once and then bought a dozen more at the thrift store so now I'm reading 5 books at once. Ah, but it's the one I read before I fall asleep that really matters. I got back to Jung last night and had fabulous dreams. It's always nice to find someone else who had a confusing childhood.
I even found a book for Eliot at Stepping Stones which is quite a feat because Eliot hasn't read a book since he was 12 years old that didn't talk about trails. It's about squirrels.
When I was barefoot and pregnant in Arkansas, well actually I wasn't pregnant anymore. It's another expression I use too much like "I only had half a year of kindergarten" like I'm trying to be Andy Rooney or Sam Levinson. So the three children and I would go to the library once a week and get lots of books. Half of mine would be for my husband. This was one of the few things I could do to please him besides buy his Irish Whiskey.
Mark (my husband) and Eliot (my current paramour - a word I introduced to his illiterate family and friends at his granddaughter's 23rd birthday party last week) are so different they could belong to different species: homo intellectus and homo hikeus.
Oops, did I mention I was scattered?
Off to the urologist, another funny guy who likes to stick a gidget up my widget (his expresssion , not mine). He has cartoons on the ceiling so that when you're lying on your back with your legs in those contraptions, you can read them and laugh instead of wince.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Found Anne

It's 2othcenturywoman.com and now I have her bookmarked. I don't think she's ever read my blog. She's invited all the people she's met on blogs to her guest house. She doesn't know me but I feel I know her. I'll just turn up some day on Lummi Island!

20th Century Woman

Does anybody who reads my blog read 20th Century Woman, the woman who lives on an island in Puget Sound and writes so wonderfully. For some reason I can't access her blog anymore. when I click on it from my blog I get something like >edif< or whatever. I knows she's not on blogspot. Her URL is something else. Maybe I can search around. I know someplace it shows things I've looked at if I haven't already erased those.

Stepping Stones

We got up too late for the hike on the east side of Watson Lake. Monday we had taken a short hike there and Eliot said we'd come back early one day with sandwiches in out fanny packs and go further exploring some of the intersting side trails. I've mentioned before that Prescott has lots of nice places to hike and also bike. The biking part of the trail is a rails to trail path that used to be part of the Sante Fe, Phoenix, Prescott railroad back in the days before automobiles took over. Between the trail and the Lake are all these side trails through boulders with cute names that I can't remember.
So instead Eliot took a two hour walk through the RV park. It's a large park with mobile homes at one end. He probably had to make only two circuits while I got to go to Stepping Stones, one of the local thrift stores where for under $20 I got five shirts - two long sleeve and three short sleeve, a pair of nylon hiking pants and a dozen books. I love thrift stores. I almost never buy anything new. Utah has the best thrift stores in the country run by Deseret Industries (known as DI) the charity arm of the LDS church. Goodwill has gotten too expensive. The Salvation Army, DAV, and some of the others charities are variable. Some of the best buys can be hospital thrift stores because people die with lots of nice hardly used clothes and the stores are usually staffed by volunteers who underprice. Before I met Eliot and I travelled alone for 5 years I thought of writing a guide to thrift stores throughout the country. But now I hardly ever get to spend time in them. Not one of Eliot's favorite pasttimes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the saga continues...

Eliot can't have surgery until clearance from the cardiologist. Although his EKG hadn't changed his blood pressure`was off the charts. So today he's having an ultrasound of his renal artery, and next Tuesday a chemical stress test and echo cardiogram with a follow-up with the cardiologist the following Monday.The surgery on his neck was supposed to be next Wednesday. So he will cancel that and he says indefinitely because the third cortisone shot has left him almost pain free so he wants to wait. He's never been happy with the surgery though even his chiropractor friend, who is against surgery in most cases, says he should have it. In the meantime his blood pressure seemed to be going down since he gave up beer and we've been doing some hiking but last night and this morning was high again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another hike near Prescott

Today we did a 3+ mile (round trip - a little over two hours) hike on the trail to Granite Mountain trail in the Granite Mountain Wilderness northwest of Prescott. Several years ago we actually made it to the top about 8 miles round trip eating lunch at the top overlooking Prescott. I remember that hike vividly because of the ant that got stuck under my sleeve and stung me and the prickly pear that I brushed against too closely. It's a popular hike and being Sunday we had lots of people passing us :). Eliot's blood pressure is down a bit tonight. He almost seemed disappointed because he really doesn't want the surgery on his neck. I did okay with my two sticks. It's not my favorite hike because of all the loose granite on the trail, like ball bearings under your feet. We were surprised by all the flowers still on the sides of the trail but we didn't have the camera with us! If we had remembered it I'd have a photo for Mellow Yellow Monday.
It's hard to believe that for six years before we became decrepit we hiked all the time. In fact we met through the keyword "hiking" on Yahoo Personals.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Comment on 20thcenturywoman's post on Death

I tried to post this on 20thcenturywoman's blog but since it was over a month old I guess it was too late and it wouldn't submit or maybe it's out satellite connection. The post was about death.
I tried to figure out how I missed this wonderfully written post. I must not have known of you then when we were still in the mts and Eliot turned the generator off when he started his nighty campfires. I had an alcoholic husband also from whom I had been divorced and tried to help once, actually got him into VA rehab but after his second collapse our daughter rescued him but he didn't like living in the assisted living home she put him in and got a friend to get him out. He died six weeks later and I would have gone to his funeral but it was postponed 3 months because of the backlog at Arlington National Cemetery where his ashes finally ended up. I was far away by then as I had already become a gypsy (full-time RVer) but I should have flown back for the funeral for my daughter. That would be once less thing she'd have against me. I have recently begun reading Jung as I've always been interested in his idea of the collective unconscious and think he'd be thrilled with cyberspace where all our thoughts are floating around. I'm sure no one will read this because it's over a month late but it doesn't matter. I only afraid Anne (I call you Anne even though we don't know each other and you've never read any of my posts) that I'll never finish my library books including Memories, Dreams, Reflections because I'll be spending all my time reading your posts.

Mancos, Co and high blood pressure

I was reading a post on 20th Century Woman's blog about Manley Hot Springs in Alaska which reminded me of Mancos, CO which is between Cortez and Durango. They refused to give up their High School and join the “unified High School” something that has ruined small towns in the US and probably contributed to the Columbine tragedy. It is a town with a very mixed population from oldtime conservative libertarians to “new age” liberals that teach yoga. They have a wonderful library and they hold lots of events in their high school and take good care of their teenagers.
Yesterday we saw Eliot's cardiologist and his blood pressure is too high but he made a deal with the cardiologist not to put him on more powerful drugs till he can see if he can bring his blood pressure down by giving up beer. He usually drinks a six pack at night so he can sleep. He's sure now that he won't be able to sleep but did get some last night. He will be having more tests next week including a chemical stress test. He says he doesn't want his blood pressure to go down because he's afraid of the surgery. I know he's concerned about the surgery and I'm not sure how much to believe him. The high blood pressure would seem to me to be more of a problem.
We have three days that we don't have to go down to Phoenix and hope to do some hiking each day.
I wish I had more time to write and read other blogs as well as the three books I'm currently reading. Maybe I should hire a "life coach" I heard there are actually such people that make their living organizing other people's life. (I don't know how to put in one of those funny faces so I'll just say smile or laugh)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lynx Lake

Lynx Lake Recreational Area is one of the many parks in the Prescott area. Arizona has many natural recreation areas. Arizona is not just Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. There is a trail all around the Lake. The west side of the lake has a paved trail from the picnic area at the top of the lake to the larger one on the bottom which also has a boat launch. The east side of the lake is unpaved and a little rugged and is closed from December 1st through June 30th to protect the nesting bald eagles. But this was Oct 8th and we got to walk all around and not only did we see two eagles flying but numerous ducks and cormorants and grebes and a squirrel with a great big white tail. Ponderosas and alligator junipers and blue lake and sky. The trail was 2.3 miles and took us an hour and a half. I use two Leki poles and the only pain Eliot had was his knee. Hopefully his blood pressure will be normal tomorrow when we see the cardiologist. Guess who suggested we go to Lynx Lake today. Twas the caregiver who supposedly makes Eliot's blood pressure rise. I also have been blamed for my late husband's drinking.

New Jersey, Wal-mart and other controversies

It's very thought provoking to live with someone with a completely different world view. First to the New Jersey girls: Since my companion likes to listen to right-wing talk shows I got to hear Hugh Hewitt interviewing Daggett. Hewitt is up there on my list of offensive talk hosts with Rush, Hannity, Levin, Beck, Medved, Savage and the rest of the ilk. Hewitt is telling Daggett he has no chance and the reason Hewitt is so against Daggett is that he will take votes away from the Republican, probably not as many as he would take away from Corzine. So after listening to Daggett who sounded reasonable if I were a New Jersey woman I would probably vote for him on the chance that he might get in and if he didn't probably Corzine would win which would be the better alternative to Christy (sp? - I never saw the name in print).
Secondly the Wal-mart billionaires aren't making their money from Wal-mart. When Wal-mart was riding high and everybody was buying their stock, they took their money and invested it in other companies. Wal-mart stock is really down now but it won't effect their wealth. Things are not black and white. Wal-mart is not all good or bad. We shop there all the time because it's cheaper. Wal-mart didn't put the Mom and Pop stores out all by themselves and if a community wants to keep them out, they can by their votes.
I am basically against super capitalism and greed but also against fanaticism whether it's on the right or left.

Back from Phoenix

Eliot doesn't handle stress well. So his blood pressure was out of sight when the Nurse Practioner took it. He didn't want me to go in with him for the examination. He said that led to his stress. But he doesn't pay attention to details that I (as someone who has had some experience as an LPN) might think is important. And what he does remember he doesn't tell me. As his caregiver, I want to know all I can. So here it's 2:30 already and we still have to go to the lab and get the chest xray and finally make it over to Golden Corral 8 minutes before the early bird special ends (at 4pm). He says McCrystal eats only one meal a day. Like what has that got to do with the price of eggs in China or the fact that he is so stressed out because he hasn't eaten all day. By the time we get to Walmart to get his new Rx (an increase in Bisopr/Hctz to 10/6.25 from 5/6.25) he was mellow and the blood pressure machine there showed satisfactory results for his blood pressure. I took mine which seemed to be a little low. The Walmart blood pressure machines are not always accurate. So when we finally made it back to Prescott Valley I took out our blood pressure machine. The results were a little higher but Eliot was satisfied that it was stress that gave him the high reading. But they won't do the surgery if his blood pressure is off the charts. Anyhow we go see the cardiologist tomorrow and he will probably order a stress test. His EKG by the way was fine, that is no different from his past EKGs which just shows his earlier heart attack from 15 years ago.

I know stress reduction exercises but Eliot won't let me do any of this "new age" stuff on him. I tell him that there are scientific results that the relaxation response lowers blood pressure. He says all he needs to do to reduce stress is to go hiking so today we're going to go hiking at Lynx Lake.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Down to Phoenix

Off to Phoenix again, this time to Eliot's PCP to get approval for his surgery on Oct 21st. He's fasted because he figures he'll need blood work. He's not concerned about the PCP's approval. It's the cardiologist on Friday that he's worried about. He's sure he'll make him do a stress test.
I had a cup of Earl Grey tea and decided I'd wait also to eat. My son, Jake, in Budapest is always telling me to go on juice fasts. He does it all the time usually for 3 days but sometimes longer. Did I ever mention that both my sons are vegetarians. Another short story!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

too long for a comment

This started out as a comment to the comments by Bobbie and webwisewoman but then developed a life of its own so I decided to make it into a new post.
I'm thinking there's several short stories in there after reading about what a short story is by Nadine Gordimer. And the coming full circle I guess is that maybe I did learn something from that essay course I took at Writers and Books those many years ago, you know like there's got to be a point you're making, tying things together. Eliot says what's this thing about mothers and daughters. I said Freud figured it out but Eliot never even heard of Oedipus. All he knows about is hiking and stocks. I know I'd never get lost in the woods with Eliot. Now there's another short story.
Bobbie, It's finally comforting to have all these siblings especially my youngest brother who was only 11 when I got married and I only got to know 30 years later. I sure didn't feel that way many times in the past. Eliot is an only child and has only one son. It makes his life simpler. Maybe that's why he loves those Alvins so much.
But back to my siblings. I often wonder who's going to go first . My 75 year old sister who's in assisted living and can't walk and says her short term memory is shot. One of the twins who's 68, diabetic, had a quintuple bypass and parts of his esophogus and stomach and one kidney removed from cancer (diagnosed early), bad peripheral neuropathy and is in constant pain, takes 4 Vicodan a day but he's the patriarch. The other twin who was always the physical fitness nut and was a psychologist in the Air Force (now that's another story) but has chronic indolent leukemia, now in remission. My youngest brother who's 64 and travels all over the world (his wife used to have a tour guide business and is the daughter-in-law my mother my disliked) but is basically healthy and exercises a lot. He did have a failed hernia operation several years ago that perforated his intestine and was hospitalized a month. He also worries the most (after me) or will I be the first to go. My problems are not lifethreatening I think. I have peripheral neuropathy and might be pre-diabetic. Just started testing my blood sugar. My legs and feet swell and I wear elastic stockings. I have interstitial cystitis and don't empty my bladder so I'm prone to UTIs and have ulcerative proctitis which is currently in remission. Most of my problems are probably due to having been on a tricyclic anti-depression (desimpramine) for 7 years. The side effects were terrible but the half-empty glass was finally half-filled. I always thought my depression was caused by my seeing the pathology of the human race but it turned out to be the reuptake of norepinehrine in the synapsis. Or so they say. Anyhow now what keeps me alive is writing on my blog (and what saved me this summer when I sometimes felt that I'd rather not wake up in the morning) and finding all of you in cyberspace especially Bobbie and Celeste and now webwisewoman urging me to write. and all those other wonderful women whose blogs I read.
I wrote this this earlier but didn't post it right away because I wanted to ride my bicycle a little bit while Eliot walked and then Eliot wanted to go out to the early bird special at the Golden Corral (for those that don't know the Golden Corral is an all you can eat buffet that lures obese seniors in between meals). I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to see what would happen to my blood sugar if I just stayed away from the Dessert Bar and kept all other carbs to a minimum. I stuffed myself on green vegetables and salad with pine nuts and ham, a deviled egg and a bunless hot dog (they didn't have any sauerkraut - how can you eat a hot dog without sauerkraut?). My blood sugar was 107 right after the meal. I think that's okay. I'm keeping a log. My fasting blood sugar when I got up this morning was 84 and just 89 after a lowcarb breakfast.
Then we went to our storage shed because I told Mary Ellen I might have something about her Irish relatives. I didn't find what I was looking for but did find her little stuffed bear that she always took to bed and too many other old memories.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Windy Weekend

This past weekend was very windy and played havoc with the satellitle dish. Things aren't really back to normal yet since Hughes doesn't officially allow portable satellites so they've blamed us for overuse because of all the failed transmissions or something like that. Anyhow I used the weekend to call all my relatives since we have unlimited minutes on the cell phone. I actually had a conversation with my daughter with whom I've had limited contact with for many years. I called her and she did talk. And it wasn't as painful for me as the last time we had a long talk about nine years ago. I know after her father left she felt I neglected her and this time I said I had no excuse and I was very sorry. Nine years ago I guess I gave excuses. She said she learned to cope by being mean and apologized for hurting me. It's funny how her father got off the hook. Well, he had a disease - alcoholism (which she inherited but is a recovering alcoholic thanks to AA). I wrote to my sons after the conversation and got a wonderful reply from my son who lives in Budapest and spoke to my other son with whom I am very close. She's mean to them too. But maybe it's an opening. Afterall she did talk to me instead of saying she didn't have time. And as Eliot says it's water under the bridge. I'm just afraid that if she doesn't let it go she's only going to hurt herself. She has Crohn's disease and arthritis and from what I hear from relatives is that she is putting on weight. If I ask her how she is, she says she is fine. She recently got an RN degree but isn't working. I don't know what more I can do but I have to stop beating myself up.
I also spoke to my sister who is in an assisted living place in Jackson, WY where her daughter lives. She is 3 years older than me and has fought MS since she was 24, actually having a child when she was 40. I was "yuck another girl" in the opinion of my paternal grandmother
and then when I was four years old my twin brothers were born and I learned that taking care of precious baby boys made me useful. Another boy was born four years later. My mother said we were all mistakes, that is, we weren't planned. My father was a compulsive gambler but died when he was 53, leaving my mother who was 49 penniless. She then made a life for herself, starting selling in a Sears store in Florida and ended up as their top decorator. When she retired from Sears at 65, she moved to Rochester, NY where my brother had just opened a Fabrics store and she started his "shop at home" business decorating many fancy homes. When I sold my house to Brian and bought my RV I took her in the RV to Tucson where my sister had just moved and my youngest brother had lived for years. She found a retirement home there and then I drove her in the RV to Florida where my brother for whom she had worked now lived and then after she sold her house in Rochester I took her in the RV back to Tucson by way of Sheridan, WY where the other brother now lived with his second wife. My mother loved traveling in the RV. This is beginning to sound like an autobiography. Write, write, write but should I be doing this on my blog. What is a blog anyhow? It started out as a windy weekend when I called all my relatives, I also spoke to all 3 brothers. My Mother died on Thanksgiving Day in 2002. I and all my siblings were there. We had come to celebrate Thanksgiving with her because she had turned 90 that July. She was in ICU by the time we all got there. So we pulled the plug on Granny. She had septicemia by then and the machine was doing 100% of her breathing. Every Thanksgiving now I feel I should light a Yarhzeit candle instead of eating turkey. Maybe this year I will.
Why am I writing all this. When I was around my daughter's age sometime in my 40's my brother (who had become the patriarch) sent me and my mother to my nephew's bar mitzvah in Tucson and my mother and I started talking about "our disagreements" especially over my sister-in-law and ended up crying into each others arms. So that's why I called my daughter.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Harkins Theatres birthday gift

Today is Eliot's 70th birthday. I took him to the Chinese Buffet and then to "The Invention of Lying". I told the ticket seller at Harkins that it was Eliot's birthday and they gave me a coupon for free popcorn. I asked at the counter if we could get something else because Eliot can't eat popcorn (something probably many other people our age have problems with). They said they'd have to call the manager, who said he'd have to ask the general manager. By that time it was getting late and the movie was about to start. After the movie I mentioned it to the cleaners who were waiting at the door and was told by a young woman that they can only give popcorn free. I told her she should ask the man in the sky but she hadn't seen the movie and didn't get the reference. I recommend the movie to all skeptics.

Pranic Healing

I mentioned in a comment on Bobbie's blog about the right foot going clockwise and the right hand making a six changing the direction of the foot if pranic healing would help (it doesn't) but I thought I'd give to reference to the pranic healing video:

Looks like surgery is probable

If you're not interested in hearing about the health problems of old folks, skip this!
We went back to Dr Field who showed us just what he does actually showing us what I had seen on You Tube. He removes the disc, clean up the vertebrae, grafts on a cadaver bone and then holds it in place with a metal thing which he screws in. When that is done (the metal plate) you don't need to wear a collar long. Field said he didn't even need to wear it at night. And last night we saw friend chiropractor Bill who first said he is against surgery except in Eliot's case. If he were a couch potato and was not going anyplace then he would say just get the shot and hang around but since Eliot wants to be active he should get the surgery even if the third shot leaves him pain free. Also he explained why he was sick after the fall. Toxins are released from the disc so we're thinking it must have herniated when he fell. He said the fusion is necessary because of the stenosis and agreed with Field that this is a good surgery especially since it's one level. I just hope Eliot follows through because as Bill said you don't want something happening in East Jesus, Nebraska and something like even a sneeze could cause a problem. He also made some suggestions about my problems so now I know what to ask Levy, my PCP, when I see him. Eliot will get one more cortisone shot Monday and if that goes okay I'll see Levy on Monday afternoon. I did see Maureen, my urologist, Hurm's nurse. She is wonderful. I should write about her on in another post. She did give me some cipro because there were some white cells but the culture results won't be in until Monday and then she got me fitted in to see Hurm on the 15th even though there was no room. You see in addition to my peripheral neuropathy and circulation problems (I wear elastic stockings), I have institial cystitis and also don't empty my bladder fully (which is why I get frequent UTIs) but Hurm said last time he did a procedure (he is so funny, talks about torture and putting a gidget up my widget) he said my bladder actually can hold up to 2 liters so sometimes, especially during a long movie, I just tell myself I don't really have to pee, it just feels like I do.
So it looks like Eliot will have surgery on Sept 21st. I'm optimistic. He's not.