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Three score and ten or more

Monday, September 12, 2011

Home Again, Hurray

Janet is back home.  We had a scary couple of  days but she is home.  (Weak, spending a lot of time in bed, but home.)  She was scheduled for an MRI yesterday afternoon, but she was still being sick to her stomach when they took her up to the machine.   The Dr. running the thing was not happy, and implied that if her stomach decided to upchuck during the MRI she was just going to have to stay there and do it, so, they mutually agreed to postpone it till today.   They had her on large doses of Ibuprofen and “”what else” all night. (She says that they woke her up every two hours to take her vitals, medicate her, take her to the bathroom and  -- she was not wholly sure what else) but when she got up this morning, she could lift her left arm and move her left leg, which they found a little shocking.

She called me at about 7:45 this morning to tell me not to bring the stuff I was scheduled to bring, but  that she was going to come home.  I had a bunch of stuff I had to get done in the morning so when I go there at about 10 AM she was sitting in the chair in her room and was all checked out.

Prayers, good thoughts and her determination paid off.  Thank you for your concern.  I am astonished and pleased because when I left as she was going down to MRI, she was so obviously sick that I was sure she would be there for a week or more.  That’s how much I know.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Everything New Seems Like The Same Old Thing

When I first started this blog I wrote a little about politics, a little about how it feels to get older than dirt, even a little about other blogs, but back in “06” in the fall I began to wrtie about a trip Janet and I were taking to Finland via London.  One of the things I mentioned while we were in England was that some of our adventures in London were restricted by the serious pain that Janet was suffering in her back, up under the shoulder blades..

WE arrived in Finland, saw some sights , visited a few old friends the (one of our purposes in the trip) went sight seeing in the new Mormon Temple that had just been finished in Helsinki, and which was open to view for the general public.  The night after our visit to the temple we settled down in our little time-share and went to sleep.  In the middle of the night, Janet woke, screaming from pain in her back and could only sat “DOCTOR”.  I rushed her to the nearest emergency room, from which, after an examination, she was rushed to Helsinki’s Meilahti (Helsinki University) Hospital about fifty kilometers away. 

For the ensuing several months this blog became a log of my visits to the hospital where a brilliant surgeon had replaced five centimeters of he upper aorta with a Dacron tube, gave her a bypass, and treated her for two strokes which had occurred during the surgery.  I introduced you briefly to the two wonderful families from the local LDS church who took me and, by extension, us into their homes as family, tolerating and even loving several of my children who flew to Helsinki to see their mother and ultimately to take her home.

In spite of the warning from one of the neurologists at the hospital that when she woke, she might not know any of us or be able to function at all in a normal way, she suffered few easily tangible effects from all this except that recovery took quite a long time, and, as a result of the strokes, she has no peripheral vision on her right side, and we have both spent anxious moments going from doctor to doctor when it was discovered that she has, what they call, a dissected aorta, from top to bottom (for which a number of surgeries has been proposed, but none happened) we have lived the normal medicine filled lives of most sixty five to seven plus year old people.  She helped found a charter school and taught there for a couple of years and we have had some wonderful travel, though she has some problem in airplanes.

Yesterday she felt dizzy for most of the day and spent most of the day in bed, but this morning she felt all right so we spent part of the morning going to yard sales, and had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants.  Part way through lunch se complained that she was getting a really bad head-ache on the left side.  By the time we left the restaurant and started home she was having pain in her neck, left shoulder, and arm and by the time we got home, she was having pain in her side, and down the left leg.  Fearing a stroke, I have her a couple of aspirin to chew up and swallow (yuck) and suggested that we had better take her to the doctor.  She chose to go into her bedroom and lie down for awhile, and , my son Stuart and I had a prayer session in the living room requesting help from our Father in Heaven.  We then went into the bedroom where she was lying very uncomfortably on her right side, she was so tender on the left side that she couldn’t get comfortable and rest.  Stuart and I  anointed her with oil, laid our hands up on her head and gave her a blessing, after which we got he up, into the car and to the emergency room.

She spent most of the afternoon and evening giving blood samples, getting shots for the pain, and having a sonogram and CT scan,  They don’t think she had a stroke, but that the pain may be a result of swelling  in her aorta.  She has now been taken to Memorial Hospital in Savannah where the doctor who has been “watching” her aorta will compare the CT scans that were taken last winter with the ones taken to day, and  recommend further treatment if necessary.  I am nervous, but I felt a deep sense of peace as she was receiving the blessing so I am very optimistic.  I’ll keep in touch.  At least when I sing to her as she lays in bed, she can hear me and respond, and she was very cheerful as they took her away in the ambulance. Those of my blog friends who pray are invited to do so, and those who don’t, I appreciate good thoughts sent her way. 

Monday, September 05, 2011

Back again (sorta)

I haven’t posted since my birthday in July, so probably those who used to follow me have long since given up the space on their blogroll to some more useful purpose.  It isn’t that I haven’t had things to write about.  Janet and I went to a wonderful family reunion in Idaho, a number of interesting things have happened, but when I sit at the computer, I end up checking facebook, reading the blogs of others, (any of my favorites have become as casual about it as I) or just goofing around.  I have been trying to finish the story of my son Eric, but it is so much harder when I try writing about a time when he was in the process of trying to withdraw from much of the integrated activity of our family.

Probably the biggest reason for not writing is that my mind is not as functional as it has been.  I told Janet this morning that sometimes I am so happy, and other times I wonder if this getting old crap is really worth the effort.  I have real trouble making simple decisions, I start and activity and the wonder what I started.  This morning was a really silly thing.  Janet and I like to go to good restaurants, but for some reason, I never am able to finish the entre and end up taking part of it home.  Our refrigerator is sometime replete with white boxes. (This was not a problem while Eric was staying with us, he did a “white box scavenge almost every day).  This morning I had my traditional greek Yoghurt quicky and notice a white box that I knew had a wonderful piece of steak in it.  Deciding to add steak to my breakfast, I took it out, put it on a plate, sliced it thin and gave the thirty second microwave shot, and popped the first slice into my mouth.

It then occurred to me that I would enjoy this more if I went to the  bathroom and inserted my upper platel  (I am sure that people exist that can eat steak without teeth, but I am  not one of them.

After the teeth were in place, the steak with ingested, and I wandered around the house for a moment, it occurred to me that this might be a good time to make a post.  I started this thing, in part  to share the experience of being three score and ten of more years old, and thiis was certainly an unfortunately frequent sample of the experience.  (I say unfortunate, but to be honest, I have to say, I found it pretty funny.  I guess it’s okay if you can laugh at your own stupidity for a moment.)