Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ugh! Don't Read This.

Usually I blog about the beauty of the farm and rural roadsides, the fun outings, and the happy visits from friends and relatives. It is not that unpleasant things do not happen in my life, but rather I don’t usually see any point in extending the unpleasantness by writing about it. I do not mean to be deceptive, but I blog mostly to please myself—although I hope to please you too—and frankly blogging about the good things in life is one way to distract me from the bad things.

I know that I should be ashamed to say it has been a bad week. Nothing seriously different has happened to me nor anyone I love this week. No alarming phone calls about wrecks or cancer. I do not have to worry about food on the table (if I am able to fix it), a roof over my head, or so many things that others have endured this week. But I have felt puny all week because of health-giving procedures that are good but not pleasant. If Magnesium Citrate rings a bell with you, you know what I am talking about.

Gerald and I had to rise early Monday morning to get to 9 a.m. appointments with our dermatologist in Saint Louis. Despite heavy traffic, Gerald expertly got us there on time. No bad news there. My appointment was to get rid of minute cysts (dozens of them) all over my face and also ugly catch-on-your clothing warty growths. I had not really had time to think about it ahead of time, but I believe I thought it would be like the dentist giving you a shot to stop the pain on a bad tooth repair. Not so. I was required to be brave, and I thought I would die. The only one I felt sorrier for than me was the doctor because I knew she did not like hurting me. I was left with red spots where the cysts used to be and ugly splotches where the warty growths were treated by freezing. Gerald was helpful to remind me that I was going to look far better soon when all healed.

We had time for a lovely brunch after our appointments and time to get on to his check up with cardiologist at 1:30. That went well, and we had a pleasant drive home through Missouri since our usual highway was closed. We meant to eat at a favorite restaurant at Cape that has sort of become “our” place, but it was only 4:30 when we got there and we found out they now only serve later in the evening rather than all day. We were kinda glad they weren’t open since we weren’t really hungry yet and decided we would go on to a favorite Anna restaurant. There we discovered they serve evenings on the weekends but only lunch the rest of the time. We still weren’t very hungry so we drove on home to Marion to our old stand by—Cracker Barrel, although I really did not want to be seen by anyone who knew me since I looked such a red-faced mess. But hunger was greater than pride, and we had a nice meal and saw no one we knew.

Now I should explain that I am having to sleep with my left arm in a splint in hopes of repairing nerve damage in my elbow that might cause me to lose function in that hand. Naturally a writer does not want to be unable to type, and originally I thought I was going to have to have surgery until this lesser treatment was suggested to try first. That was great news, but after a couple hours sleep in the splint, I would wake up with a terrible ache in my arm and would sleep fitfully if at all the rest of the night.

At the first wake-up with aching arm, I would move to the guest room so I could groan and twist all I wanted without disturbing Gerald. This had gone on for almost a week, so I wasn’t too rested before the St. Louis trip on Monday. Gerald and I both needed Tuesday to rest up. The dermatologist nurse had said to refrain from using makeup for a couple of days, so I sure did not want anyone to see me although the redness of the multitude of removed cysts had already faded. Adding to this was the fact that my permanent was suddenly gone, and I not only felt terrible, I looked terrible. Nothing makes a woman feel worse than a droopy worn-out perm with hair in all directions. Twisting from the arm splint did not help my hair either.

Even without makeup and with lousy hair, Wednesday was fairly normal. I fixed a nice meat loaf for noon dinner, and drove to town to visit with Katherine that afternoon. That evening I really did not have anything to blog about, and I did not want to share my misery. I looked forward to life returning to normal.

Except I had forgotten that Thursday was the day meant to prepare me for Friday. Maybe it was best I had not anticipated that day. I could have put on makeup since two days had passed, but I did not have the heart to do so. I lunched and dined on chicken broth and lots of water. I drank water at 2 and 3 and 4 as directed. I drank the first bottle of Magnesium Citrate at 5 and thought I would die. I drank the prescribed water afterwards. I spent the next three hours dreading that second bottle. I was already nauseous. I was uncertain if I could possibly get it down. But I did and drank the required water afterwards. Suffice it to say that sleep was not any better that night although the arm problem has calmed down just as the physical therapist who prepared the splint for me told me it would do. Next morning, I got ready in a hurry since I had been directed to not wear makeup to the surgical center.

At 6:45 yesterday, Gerald had me at the surgical center, where everything was sparkly clean. People were kind, friendly, skilled, and comforting. The warm blanket on a cool morning felt wonderful, and the two procedures were over before I knew they had happened since I was instantly asleep after the nurse directed Gerald to kiss me before he was sent to the waiting room. After good news from the doctor, Gerald collected me and gave me a choice about where to eat the delayed breakfast-lunch. His idea of going through the drive-in for a take-home breakfast sounded great to me because I did not look any better than I had all week. Once home after we finished our meal, I tried to sleep as directed, but I never did go to sleep that day, and I was not comfortable until midnight or so.

I kept thinking I should blog. I had the time. I thought maybe I could make all this funny. But it was not funny to me. I might be able to laugh if it happened to you, but I was not amused. So you are getting a true look at my life with me pouting and looking like a wild woman all week. (I say pouting because I know how desperately needed such fine surgical centers are in so many places on our globe. I certainly wish everyone had access just as I did. Every time I felt sorry for myself, I also felt ashamed that I was such a spoiled baby.)

Today I had a long wonderful “girl friend” visit with my youngest daughter by telephone, put on makeup for the first time since Sunday, had my pitiful hair fixed and made an appointment made for a perm on Wednesday, bought myself a new coat I really needed since I had left the last one on the back of a restroom door in Iowa or Nebraska or someplace two years ago, went to a sad but stimulating program at the mall on slavery in Illinois, and then visited with Katherine a bit. That visit turned out all right since two neighbor kids caught Sam’s dog Scooter when he ran out the door and into the park when I opened the door to go in.

Driving home through the dark, I saw the huge bonfires our son-in-law Brian had going. Gerald has been working for two or three weeks cutting brush and trees away from the side of the road. The county had helped pull up roots, Gerald had pushed trees into piles, and suddenly Brian’s newly acquired field is larger and more productive, and a dangerous curve on our country road is much safer. I fixed us all a bite of supper, and life seemed normal again.

As Mary Ellen accurately and sympathetically said on the phone this morning, my life has been tough from top to bottom this week. I promise to write about the good things next time. I hope you didn’t read this.


Anonymous said...

mom, this is a very pitiful kind of way! sorry you had such a yucky week...I think I will stop griping about fifth and sixth graders and start being scared about what I have to look forward to!!! ha. love you.

Sue Glasco said...

Thanks, Sweetheart. Keep telling us about your 5th and 6th graders. Remind me to tell you about a Black Studies prof from SIUC whom I heard speak yesterday. Kinda reminded me of an Uncle Don type who would be able to spur students to higher standards and end up being their favorite teacher.