Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Saw the doctor yesterday. He said my heart is skipping roughly one out of every three beats -- not good. He has to get permission from my insurance company for me to have an EKG and Holter monitor, since he doesn't do anything like that in-house so it may take several weeks to get approval from the insurance company, plus who-knows-how-long to get an appointment with the cardiologist. Welcome to "managed care." Then depending on what they find, possibly echocardiogram and stress test. Beyond that, who knows?
Meanwhile, he says "No heavy lifting" but doesn't define "heavy." Fifty pounds? Twenty? So I guess cutting down trees is out for now.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?
This song came out when I was eighteen, and sixty four was an unimaginable distance away -- I mean old! Well, today I quietly turned 64. Funny, I don't feel old. I just feel like me. My life has turned out nothing like I imagined when I was eighteen. Parts of it were hard. Parts of it were lonely. Often I surprised myself with what I accomplished. Sometimes I disappointed myself.
Some people have one great love in their lives; I've been privileged to have two, very different loves. Each has helped me grow.
Life is good.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Finally got my colonoscopy done last Friday -- I'll spare you the details except to say everything was fine 'up there.' However...
Just before they gave me the anesthetic, while they were in the process of hooking me up to the various monitors, the nurse called the anesthetist over and pointed out a series of premature ventricular contractions, and that my blood oxygen had dropped to 79 instead of its usual cheery 95 or better. naturally they told me it was 'nothing to worry about,' and went on with the procedure.
But when I was in recovery, they brought the whole team back in, and my doctor asked my a series of questions: Had I ever had a heart attack? Chest pains? Shortness of breath? Chronic bronchitis? Sleep apnea? This makes me think it's a little more serious.
I'm scared that there may be something wrong with my heart, but I'm more scared of not being able to take care of myself, my husband and my responsibilities. In my family, there's nothing worse than not being able to hold up your responsibilities. At 81, my mother's greatest claim to fame is that she can still take care of herself. I saw what my father went through when he needed to be taken care of. Sure he got the help he needed, but at the cost of being considered useless, a burden, and of having no say in his own care.
I know my husband loves me, but he's been dealing with his own health issues the last couple of years, and although we seldom talk about it, he's been preparing me for widowhood. He wants to make sure I can do everything that needs to be done to keep the house and the property going, the animals cared for, the bills paid. If he died household income would drop by two-thirds, so money would be an issue as well. I'm scared that if it came down to it, I wouldn't be able to take care of myself and there would be nobody else to share the work.
Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer, but there's nobody else I can talk to about this. Need prayers for healing.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
If our family had a family crest, our motto would be: "Linda is Wrong." If I wasn't outright accused of lying, I was "mistaken" or "misinterpreting, "over-sensitive" to the point of "looking for excuses to get my feelings hurt." One of my mother's favorite expressions was, "I don't know what you want me to say." But if I told her what I needed from her, I was "trying to run both ends of the conversation." Likewise, unsolicited advice was freely given, but if I asked her outright what she thought I should do, I'd get a chilly, "I'm sure you can figure it out without my help."
For many years, my husband was a buffer between my family and me, because they wouldn't say certain things in front of him, although my mother would frequently wait until he was out of the room to say something cutting. She had even advised him not to marry me, because "Linda isn't very fond of housework." True, alas, but irrelevant. He wasn't marrying me for my floor-scrubbing abilities.
When my Sweetie died suddenly, just before Thanksgiving of 2006, my family could find nothing kind or supportive to say to me. The best they could manage was: "What will you do now? You can't even take care of yourself." My sister picked two fights with me over the phone in the first week of my widowhood, and finally slammed the phone down after announcing that I could call her when I was ready to hear her advice. H-ll hasn't frozen over yet.
Every interaction I had with them left me feeling worse, if you can imagine something worse that losing your husband suddenly, and I decided not to keep in touch with them. I couldn't deal with being "argumentative, weird, incompetent little Linda" while I was trying to hold my life together. Slowly I healed, not just from my husband's death, but from all the other hurts along the way.
Which brings me to my current dilemma.
One of my cousins told me my brother-in-law died over the holidays. He was a nice man and totally devoted to my sister, although I didn't really know him that well. My cousin seems to believe that now is the time to put old grudges aside and be there for my sister and my niece. Unfortunately, because of the family belief that "Linda is Wrong," if I contact them, I will be seen as butting in where I'm not wanted, and probably trying to start an argument, so if I do contact my sister, I would have to be super-careful about every word, every inflection, so she doesn't take offense. Basically, I would have to omit all mention of my own widowhood, and her treatment of me then.
If I don't contact them, it will be seen as selfish and uncaring. I would really like to be there for my niece, who never knew her biological father, and had a close and loving relationship with my brother-in-law, but there is no way I can contact her without my sister getting involved. And I don't want to get sucked back into the family drama.
If I had a mailing address for them, I'd just send a sympathy card with a brief note, but that's not possible. I have my niece's cell-phone number and my sister's e-mail address.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Heard an awful racket coming from the front porch this evening. I swear it sounded like the classic portrayal of Marley's ghost dragging his cash-boxes and chains up Scrooge's stairs. Turned out to be the neighbor's Great Pyrenees who has once again escaped and was clanking his 12 foot chain across our porch. Our neighbor is 82, and keeps the dog chained so he won't come to our house to visit. It's going to be in the single digits again tonight, and I'm sure whatever water the poor dog had -- if he had any -- is frozen solid. Besides, he usually eats like he's starving when he gets loose. I know we're supposed to discourage him from coming here, but they've been issuing warnings the last few nights to keep your pets indoors. So we have an overnight guest. We'll deal with the old man tomorrow.
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