Saturday
Feb012014

The Weekly Muse

Well, my week ended on a pretty quiet note.  After the good health news - and strange isn't it, that finding esophageal damage and getting new meds could be considered "good" news - the week went out with barely a whimper.

This - is not a bad thing.

The weepiness is still there, lurking in the shadows, threatening me in the background.  Last night I worked on my journal for my class and was able to excise a little bit of emotional baggage.

There is just so much more locked deep inside of me waiting for the right combination of stimulii to be released.  I started this class as a curiousity; something to pass the time during the winter and perhaps learn a thing or 2 about myself.

I never envisioned it being the emotional release that it's been; it's kind of a search-and-rescue operation in my soul.

Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You're a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye

Today is all about an old friend.  Angela and I have known each other since we were 12 years old - 2 awkward girls dancing and singing to Elton John songs in her basement.  Fooling around with her mom's Avon make-up and hanging out at the beach together.

We've been trying for months to get together but have been stymied by health issues and weather.  After 2 recent aborted attempts today, we finally connect for an afternoon of food and conversation.  As we have done for years, we'll simply pick up where we left off and continue the joys of our friendship.

 

So today's music is a tribute to that long and happy friendship.  Angela and I really did come-of-age together. Working our way thru adolescent issues we were always there for each other.  Her family moved to Chicago when we were 15 but our connection never waivered.  We kept in touch thru phone calls and letters.  We saw each other during the summers when Angela would come back to New England to spend time with her dad.

We've known each other for nearly 40 years and even though some of our separations were 10 or more years, it's just amazing how that random connection we made the first week of 7th grade has turned into a lifelong friendship.

The rest of the weekend should pass quietly.  Tomorrow we have no plans and we hope to keep it that way.

Thursday
Jan302014

Do Not Let Your Heart Be Troubled

Hmmm....another week almost lost to a sea of commitments, activities and plain ole exhaustion.

Not sure what my problem is lately; I feel very - weepy.  Could be the time of year; I do know that I sometimes experience the debilitating affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  And while, by New England standards, this hasn't been a horrible winter - it's weighing on many people I know. The persistent cold, snow-rain-snow situation does test a person's resilience.

I do have good news on the testing front. The 8mm polyp removed last Friday is benign.  I am on the 5-year plan for colonoscopies due to the size of the polyp but otherwise, at least in that regard I am good.

The endoscopy did show damage to my esophagus from the acid reflux so I'm on a new medication as of tonite.  Not only will it deal with the reflux it will also take care of the esophageal inflammation that is causing the laryngitis.  So hopefully within the next week, my voice will finally stabilize and I can just move on from this 7-month-long nightmare.

The job situation is static at present.  I've had my final interview and am just playing the waiting game; hoping for an answer some time next week.  As the song goes...the waiting is the hardest part.

The online, self-improvement class I mentioned I was taking has been - revelatory.  Difficult, challenging, upsetting and uplifting.  And as I write that I realize that might be part of my overall weepiness.  I'm digging deep into my past and into myself...and it's not all pretty-in-pink.

And so the beat goes on.  Life moves pretty fast and I'm just trying to hang on for the ride.  Some days my grip is stronger than others.

Saturday
Jan252014

The Weekly Muse

Well - the procedures yesterday went without a hitch.  Appointment was for 9:15am and I was in the O.R. by 9:00 and home before 11:00.  In fact my doctor was running 15 minutes ahead of schedule and there was a discussion in the O.R. just before I was put under about whether he wanted to use it for a break or should they call his patients to see if they wanted to come in earlier.

He opted to have patients come in earlier if they could.  Good man.

It was interesting laying there watching the anesthesiologist inject the Propofol into the I.V.  I watched as the level in the syringe dropped and it only got halfway before my eyes closed and I was out.  Took about 10 seconds.

When administered properly, for the appropriate use, Propofol is amazing stuff.  A fact that Michael Jackson and his "doctor" failed to adhere to.

Anyway...

A large (8mm) polyp was found and immediately excised and sent to pathology.  I'll have those results in about 10 days.  There is some concern about it, given the size, but until the results are back I'm not thinking about it.

As to the reason for all this - the endoscopy to identify a possible underlying cause for the persistent laryngitis - not much was found.  Some evidence of acid reflux on my esophagus might be the culprit; the doctor has to analyze the results first.  The gastritis that was supposedly found about 4 years ago is no longer present, which is at least some good news.

So for right now - we wait for the pathology results of the polyp and then I'll get it all in one phone call. 

Today is a somber day in my personal history.  19 years ago today my beloved daddy died at age 63.  I was 32 years old and completely unprepared to have the fulcrum of my life - leave.

I have grieved so hard for him; the first 10 years after he died were a sea of dark, black thoughts and dark, black experiences.  In losing my beloved daddy, I nearly lost myself too.

The sinking ship that was my life then has largely righted itself.  I still have days when I feel adrift without his gentle counsel and guidance. So many times in the years since he left have I wished for that magical "one more time" with him - sometimes to talk to him about what's going on in the world, mostly just to hear his voice and feel his arms around me as he hugged me - telling his "princess" how much he loved me.

My dad - was a cool dude. Always willing to learn about the latest gadgets - and many of them he had to own - he would have loved the Internet.  With his varied interests in guns, cars, Civil War and WWII histories, politics and world religions - he probably would have had a blog long before I did.

I miss him. Every day.  I will miss him until I draw my own last breath and then - I will see him again in glory.

Until then daddy - I love you.  And while I did inherit your gifts for writing I think I'll leave it to the great poet e.e. cummings, to say what I want to say today:

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Thursday
Jan232014

Prep

Hmmm....

Nearly a week with no blog entry.

I just haven't had much to say.  It's been a somewhat busy week but not out of the ordinary.  I've been feeling pretty good lately so I've had energy to do things again.

Which - damn - I can't begin to express how great THAT feels.

There just isn't much going on.

Oh! I'm getting deposed on Monday for an incident that happened at work about 3 years ago.  I have first-hand knowledge of the incident and my name is on a call center list for repetitive reports of faulty equipment that eventually resulted in the traumatic injury of an employee.  So today I was prepped for the deposition.  Fun times to come.

And now we are in the midst of a prep of a different kind.  Tomorrow I am scheduled for an endoscopy and colonoscopy - the "double dip" as named by the G.I. doc-bastards who invented this unique 21st century torture.

The endoscopy is to see if there are any silent stomach problems that could be causing the laryngitis that continues to plague me.  Seven months after my first bout of it, it lingers.  I can go days now sounding just like my old self. Then - boom! - a day comes along and my voice is as raw as meat put thru a grinder.  I haven't been able to tie anything to these occurrences - no dietary changes, no elevated stress levels, no overuse of my voice in general.  And since we've ruled out everything else that could cause the laryngitis, the endoscopy is the only thing left.

So...because I'm 50 and they are putting me under anyway - the colonoscopy will also take place.  So tonite is the dreaded - prep.

I took the advice of a couple of friends who have been thru this already and began a modified fast this past Tuesday.  As of lunchtime on Tuesday I was eating only protein with a little fresh, skinless fruit mixed in.  By Wednesday I reduced my portions to almost nothing.  Today is the prescribed liquid-diet which has consisted of tea, chicken broth and jello.

To say I am hungry right now - would be a gross understatement.  Having not consumed a real meal since Monday evening...yeah, understatement.

My appointment is first thing tomorrow morning; in fact I may be the 1st procedure of the day.  I am just thankful it's an early appointment.  This fasting thing is going to be pretty old by tomorrow morning.

I expect to take a lovely and luxurious nap once we get home and then I shall eat some comfort-food and get things back to normal.

There - that is the most exciting thing happening right now.  Not much else - oh there is politics of course but...

...meh.

Saturday
Jan182014

The Weekly Muse

It has been one long, exhausting, emotionally-charged week.  Heather - is beyond bereft.  She is utterly empty, nearly blank.  It's not that she isn't feeling her loss - she is; in fact she's feeling it so much that she seems to be short-circuited.

Understandable and no less painful to witness.  She is, essentially, a 30 year old widow and it remains beyond comprehension that this has happened.

It is believed that cardiac arrest is the cause of Joe's death at age 32. He was 6'2" tall and weighed about 340 pounds.  But underneath the excess weight was just a very large human being. Broad shoulders, heavily-built legs, Joe played football in high school and college. Joe's drug-of-choice was food and wine and it seems that it may have been his undoing.

The funeral was this past Tuesday and it was, by far, the worst funeral I've ever been to.  Mourning the untimely death of a 32 year old man with everything to live for - is not for the weak.  There was a  gathering back at the house Heather and Joe shared after the funeral for Heather's family and friends and it was somber and solemn. Very little laughter with most everyone just not sure of themselves.

It was for Heather's friends and family because Joe's family - his father in particular - are unkind people.  Since Joe died the father has treated Heather with total contempt, marginalizing her into non-existence. They didn't even come to the gathering.

Joe's father is a jerk on a good day so his grief has turned him into a monster.  Heather wasn't allowed to participate in any of the funeral plans.  She was pushed aside from the beginning of the process.  And the worst was delivered to her the day before the funeral.

Joe owned the house they shared - with 1/2 ownership still belonging to his ex-wife.  Though they hadn't been together for nearly 4 years, Joe never resolved that issue.  We assume he would have before he and Heather married this coming fall.  And now, Joe's father has informed Heather that he has hired a lawyer to deal with the ex-wife issue and that Heather...

...has to move out.  As soon as possible, if not sooner.

The man couldn't have waited to tell her until after the funeral?  He can't let her stay there for a little while, at least until she gets her bearings a bit?  Whatever legal moves need to be made about that house, they won't be resolved in a week or 2.  It will be months.

I know Heather isn't looking to stay there forever or even for free; the man could give her a few weeks or a couple of months, at least.  No harm will come to anything by giving Heather time to begin to make the necessary adjustments in her life - like getting back to work and having time to think about what comes next.

Instead, he's being a total prick.  So Heather parents believe it's best to get her out of there as soon as she's OK to move.  Get her away from that monster and back into the safety of her parents' home.  We agree and have offered the use of ourselves and our Jeep to assist in that move.

For now - we remain fervently prayerful for Heather and her family, and for Joe's father - that his heart might be softened and he might realize how painful his actions are to the woman who was going to be his daughter-in-law.

In between working and other responsibilities, we did airport runs, took care of pets, baked and in general tried to find ways to help our dearest friends.  I know that the coming months will give us ample opportunities to feel useful.  Nothing makes you feel more helpless than when the people closest to you endure the worst pain imaginable.

In all other things - life goes on.  Work is work. There is no news on the job-front; it will be what it will be.  My boss is interviewing for a replacement for one of his direct reports and this week was a busy one with Greg in the office from Atlanta; 3 days of interviews all over our large campus.  With me as his primary escort from one meeting to the next.  As he left yesterday to return to Atlanta he gave me a stack of thank you notes and asked if I could get them delivered; which of course I have no problem with. 

Then I noticed on the top of the pile was a note - to me.

Now, I've done the escort-the-candidate thing many times over the years.  And never - not one time - has the candidate given me a thank you note.

Greg is a very nice man - sweet, kind and genuine.  Nothing phony about him and intensely curious about everything around him.  In our travels around campus (I walked about 3.5 miles with him in tow over the 3 days) we chatted about this or that and it was clear he wasn't killing time until his next meeting.

Then he gives me the note above and I was just - overwhelmed.  Such a class act.

And I'm thrilled to report that an offer will be made to him for this Second Vice President position in the coming week.  I truly hope Greg accepts the offer (even though it's going to be a tough sell to his wife) because we need more people like him in the office.

In fact, when I read the note I silently said to myself - "Boss, hire him and I might be willing to stick around for a while."  People like Greg can be game-changers for the rank and file.

For this weekend we are, thankfully, going to get a little rest and a little play-time.  Today is just as it is - quiet, some writing, perhaps a nap.  I am taking an online class for the next 12 weeks - kind of a self-nurturing, self-improvement thing - that has me drawing, painting and writing in a journal. So I have some classwork to do.

Tonite - YIPPEE! - is our first formal date night since September! Dinner at our fave place and a show to follow.  We've barely been out to dinner since we got home from Florida in October.

Tomorrow - a little more of the same - relaxing, writing, painting - with an airport run mixed in.  After this past week, I'll take it.