Sunday, October 19, 2014

LATE SUMMER, EARLY FALL

I had my meltdown for the day. Oh, Lord, poor Dr. Brad. Poor Paul. Poor Oscar. It is my DUTY to give that dog his medicine! I am obsessing over it, I know. But I cannot get it down his throat. Tomorrow I will have to get liquid antibiotic for him. And pain reliever (tramydol). I have nursed and taken care of and worried and dressed and given medicine, and this is not even what some people have to do! Sometimes I think I'm just losing it. I know everything can't be sweet and uneventful and pleasant and calm all the time. God help me deal with these things. It seems to be more difficult the older I get. It's "losing control."  It's knowing I can't fix everything. I am not dealing with aging and illness very well.

These pretty things happened along the way, though:

Dogwood berries.

Some of the last of the summer roses.

Sedum (house leak)

Naked Lady.

Barney.



Sweet friend Emily and her husband Al came to mow our yard when Paul was sick.

Little cuddle time.

Turning...

Resting after surgery. He and Dex did pretty well together after a few skirmishes.

Amy and her baby Dexter.

He really took up with Paul.


Dexter nearly walked Amy's legs off!

Lots of energy!


Purr-fect camoflage.

Lone crabapple.

Paul sold this truck today.

The ivy Charlotte gave me this summer. 

Christmas cactus - Paul took it to the garage for the winter. Hopefully it will survive. The greenest on the right is Aunt Margaret's and is getting buds on the ends of the leaves.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"I GROW OLD, I GROW OLD...

... I wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."*

This is a year I've seen so much change in aging, our aging, and it isn't pleasant. As Bettie Davis said, "Growing old isn't for sissies."  If I've said that before, it bears repeating.

Since the end of August:

Paul had a cyst in his protate drained.  It was benign. But it was painful. This all began with inability to pee and he had a catheter (actually 2 catheters - it had to be put back in the same night of the day it was taken out) for I don't know - 6 days; his urologist saw the CT scan (previously scheduled for a follow-up visit anyway) and told him to come immediately to his office. NPO, which I didn't know until we got there; but Dr. Milam did the procedure to drain the cyst that afternoon. We spent the night that night. As soon as he was over that pretty much, his left foot began to hurt. He was treated for neuropathy (because of prior back surgery that has left that leg/foot tingly), then gout, but that was ruled out. From Monday to Thursday of the same week he was treated for neuropathy, gout, then had a CT scan of that leg and an echocardiogram at our hospital and when the results of his leg scan were read, he was sent immediately to Tupelo hospital for a stent - blockage in his leg. During this time, at the end of August, my cardio doctor told me I could leave off flecainide because I seemed to have more stamina (said I) and felt better, so one less med I had to take after the ablation. Then all Paul's illness tumbles in and I'm stressed out. Heart goes wild. Back on flec. Better, but not good enough to stay at the hospital with him - he sent me home. I rested as well as I could. It was quiet and pretty nice during the day - but nights were not good. The second night after I came back home (I stayed with him one night) I had one of the worst panic attacks I've ever had. I'm not sure it was afib, though my heart certainly raced. I called my sister-in-law Sandra and she came and stayed with me. I took anxiety med. I had a meltdown. Finally we went to the ER. I had to stay till after 1:00 because of enzyme tests (heart). She stayed with me, David stayed with me. (David took Paul to the hospital when we went, by the way, because I had had a terrible night the night before Paul's tests. Their other brother Tommy brought me home the day I came back after the one night. David went back for Paul when he was released. Is this sounding stressful enough yet??) So back to my panic attack - Sandra was prepared to spend the night with me. I'd already taken the Whole Pill, per ER doctor's instructionss (.5 xanax) and was getting a bit buzzed, and Sandra's phone rang. This was about 2 a.m. Her mother was calling and needed her. Bless Sandra's heart - she had a pretty rowdy night, too. Good as gold. After she left, I was out like a light and slept till 8:30 the next morning. (Also previously I don't even know when - our family doctor said, yes, take the med; you've had a lot going on. Lunesta isn't going to help with the stress. Sleep maybe, but not the stress. Don't hesitate to ask for help. Take it if you need it. I learned a new word this week from a book about the Roosevelts - neurosthenia. Teddy's mother had it. Today it's called PTSD, fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. We have stressed ourselves OUT.)

Paul's coumadin level has been adjusted once since he got hom (he was on IV for the 6 days inpatient). His foot looks better - oh, anyone reading this - take note of foot (or arm) pain, splotchiness (he had red splotches all over the bottom of his left foot). Oh, he never did have the stent. The concurring opinion of the cardio docs was that it could cause more damage. You can lose a limb if the plaque or blood "showers" down the arteries. Our family doctor told him here in no uncertain terms: Stop. Smoking. Now. Today. Or lose your foot, or leg. So Paul has stopped smoking. He has those hot feelings like years ago when he stopped. He never found the cause of them and when he started smoking again just to see if it relieved the hot flashes, it did! But what do you do - I would endure hotness and hopefully not lose a limb. He's doing better. He has not smoked since October 10. 

Then Oscar got sick. He couldn't pee. When I took him to the vet, and xrayed (under sedation) his little bladder was full of kidney stones and one was lodged in his penis. What misery! Today he had surgery for removal of the stones. (Did you know a dog's penis has a bone in it? I did keep a straight face when the vet told me this.) Dr. Brad is a wonderful veterinarian and his staff are all excellent - as one FB friend said - they all give 110%. He's never not busy when I take any of our animals to him. Everyone loves him. His mother and aunt I've known before I met him - they have the Pray Pottery in Iuka. Tomorrow I'll ask Dr. Brad about the UT dog food, commercial dog treats. Stupid me - I just read on the package of Pupperoni treats that they have garlic powder and onion extract in them. Maybe that's not the same as onion, but it's too close for me. You don't give onions to dogs (like they'd eat them anyway, but what do I know what some dogs may like?)

In other news:

Amy adopted a little dog - Dexter. They'll be here tomorrow evening sometime. That should be very interesting.

My sister is in Paris and other lovely European places (Venice, Jersey of the Guernsey Islands). Back in states the 24th; here November 1. Has already gotten a promotion at the Pentagon.

All we hear on the news is horrible and I try not to listen to it. The days I was here alone, I never watched it. I loved not knowing all the horror of world and national news and downright irresponsibility of our leaders and congress.  But you know, there is nothing new in politics - I've watched most of "The Roosevelts" on PBS (taped) and same thing with WWI. Same thing with WWII. Same old politics. I've often criticized the media, but without the responsible reporters (not the pundits and blow hards who just like to hear their own voices, and get a "sense" of things), what would we know. What do we not know anyway. As someone has said more than once: "I've read the end of the Book, and I know how it ends." 

My little quilt is at the quilters. I have other projects lined up. I've cleaned out 50% of one whole closet and have sewing storage in it. My new machine and most of my sewing supplies are in the corner bedroom - I have taken this end of the house as My Place. I have a stack ready for Goodwill or Charlotte's carport sale. I got my hair cut. I've taken garbage (ours and Aunt Ginny's) to the roadside 2 months straight. Paul did it Tuesday...and pulled the garbage cart back up the hill. I've changed our bed every night for a couple of weeks (because of his hormonal something with the prostate, which may be relieved with some OTC med we don't know about yet, but will ask next week. I've called my s-i-l's housecleaner Donna M and she and her helper are coming next Wednesday and every other week. The hardest thing for me to do is vacuum and mop, anything that requires bending over or getting below bed height. I dreaded getting that started; giving up as it were, but I had Tina when I worked full-time. It's just different circumstances. I need the help.

Tomorrow I can go get Oscar and get to see my daughter and her baby doggy Dexter (who is a Shih Tzu mix - yes, this will be interesting. I hope O and D get along. I don't want any more drama...

(*T. S. Eliot - The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

AGAIN, FALL...

I wish people would stop dropping unwanted animals near our house. This little thing was up a tree over the deck and I finally got him/her down. He lapped up the leftover milk from my cereal bowl and I couldn't stand for him to be hungry, so I fed him, knowing he could not stay here. This was yesterday. This morning, I helped him on with his journey, having fed him and taking a can of food with us, I let him out down the road. He flew off into the woods. I hope he finds a good home. 



Leaves from the walnut trees have been covering the deck for some time. Now they're beginning to turn yellow. It's been a dry August. There was some rain Thursday night.

 Dogwood berries.



Lorapetalum. One of them just completely died and hasn't been cut down yet. They were so puny from last winter, I don't know if they'll survive another one.

Sedum. The mums in the background are ones I won as the door prize at our first club meeting Thursday night.

Paul's constant companion these days. Urology appointment the 23rd. I'm calling next week though (the clinic did with little success in getting a closer appointment), and see if there are any cancellations. Inactivity is about to get him I think. Hurts me to see him not getting to do things he likes to - coffee shop (though I think he'd take his buddy with him), yard mowing (which I won't let him do). He has napped a lot and watched football games.

Pears Tommy gave Aunt Ginny and she in turn shared with us. Someone at his office has them, and we had a few last year.



First 20th Century Club meeting was Thursday night.

Jo (Russell) was hostess. Fredda (McCune), Cindy (Whitfield) and Joy (Kitchens) have sandwiches, chips, fruit.

Sue King Kerby.

Jo - hostess and program - first of the year business items: reading of constitution and by-laws, club projects, donations, etc.

Left to right Sue, Maxine Wade, Cindy, Zenobia Oaks, Jo, Joy, Fredda, receiving new yearbooks. Jo and I worked on them - I edited the copy saved from 2012-14 with tremendous help from Jo who gets all the updates from Clubwoman and other MFWC sources.




Fredda could hardly wait to get her book.

She was either last in the stack or Jo knew how much she wanted it!

At last!


I love all these dear friends. We have a great time together and our little fund helps community efforts with donations and support. We missed Brenda who was out of town at Jim's uncle's funeral; and Ruth Ellen whose photography class met this night, and she lives in Eads, TN.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

PAUL'S TRUCK & MY QUILT

Paul bought a new truck the end of August and he hasn't had much drive time. The week after he got it, he got sick. (He is much better, BTW - we go tomorrow for him to get the cathether out.) This color is called "Sunset." I bought the tag for it and the clerk asked me to color and when I told her she said they don't have that in their systerm - only basic colors. So I said, "Red." It's different colors in different lights. Sometimes it can be brown, sometimes, maroon, sometimes almost orange.


Meanwhile, I struggle with this. I've watched a Youtube video a dozen times to figure out the posts and sashing. I got carried away with the inside sashing and have to remove some if it or it would be twice as wide (black strips) as is shown. After taking out and sewing in the right way, joining the blocks and rows, and seeing if posts would look alright with some kind of decorative stitch in the 2" blocks, I have to put on the border (same color as the rose). Teresa at Treasure Chest in Corinth will quilt it for me. She helped choose the back which is a light grass green floral design, same as the leaves and stems in the large blocks. And bind it for me. This turned out to be a lot more work than I expected, but I've learned a lot by doing it this way. If I ever want to sash one again maybe I'll remember how. Did I say I'm calling it Midnight in the Garden?

I brought our laptop to this room, as it isn't used a lot. Paul uses the iPad and I use the desktop or iPhone. So I have it set up next to the sewing machine to look up how to's on Youtube.

I didn't sleep well last night. By 11:30 I could tell it wasn't going to be a good night. Sometimes I think it is the cpap smothering me that makes my heart beat fast, but if I don't wear it, I smother... Through the night and some weird dreams I woke not gently, but with physical fright, don't know how to explain it - as if I'd been scared awake suddenly. Heart rate was up, either from waking suddenly or afib; I didn't want to take extra Flecainide, but finally I took the morning dose two hours early at 5:30, and slept somewhat better, with the cpap on. Oh, for the days when I could just go to bed and Go. To. Sleep. And sleep all night. The last really good night's sleep I had was two months ago after coming home from the ER when I had the afib so bad, and was full of phenergan and some other nausea medicine. I try not to think about it the next day and usually through the day I'm fine. I get tired. I seem to have more "skips" than I've had in a long time (PVCs). Premature ventricular contractions. But I try not to dwell on it. 

Sher sent me a goodie box (two in fact) of brochures, bookmarks, 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival Poster. Like Christmas!
2014 07 16 10 22 331 The Library of Congress Releases 2014 National Book Festival Schedule

October 9-24, she has a trip planned to see her friend Lou in Venice, Italy, with side-trip to Paris and the Guernsey Islands. I don't get to go many places, but she always "takes me!"