Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Lot of Times, Jimmy Does Know Best

     Most people that know my husband know him as somewhat serious, an avid reader, and someone that has a knowledge of just about everything. This comes in handy because he is a good conversationalist, which is useful when meeting new people. He is able to ask thoughtful questions.
     I didn't know him when he was a child so I have only ever known him as Jim or the more serious James. For some reason, though, the young people and children we have in our lives quite often call him Jimmy.
     This just makes me smile and brings a happy feeling to my soul. Most of the time that is now how I thing of him now, hence the title for this post.
     And the reason I am thinking on this is because I have spent quite a bit of time brushing our long hair cat black cat, Vader, again today. I am just lucky that he comes to me and hops up on my lap when he wants brushing. It makes it so much easier to care for him. It is also so soothing and relaxing to me to brush his log, soft fur.
     Vader is also the inspiration for a new children's story I am working on. It may be a high/low concept chapter book or a beginner reader chapter book. I have not decided. He is also a playful cat. The thing he likes to do the most is chase shadows. I have taken several pictures of him doing this and even tried to take a video clip for the first time with my little old flip phone. I have never had a cat that enjoyed this type of game.
     I still struggle with having the discipline to work on my stories and write. This past year has been one of the most difficult of my life, but that is for another post, another time. The main point of bringing up the difficulties is that Vader and our other cats have been a great comfort and source of companionship for me.
     And this brings me back around to Jimmy. There is thing that not everyone knows about him. He has a very generous and caring heart and that extends to rescue animals. He is the reason we have the fabulous black cat that has been such a great companion to me. If he hadn't insisted we did have the resources, room, and time, we would not have this little one. I would have missed out on a great blessing.
     All this also reminds me of one of my favorite books from when I was a kid, "One Kitten Is Not Too Many." That was a favorite early reader of mine. I may need to buy a copy of it again someday, just because it brought me so much happiness when I was younger.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Just Like That

     So, a few weeks ago I was happily wrapped in my soft Star Wars blanket in my recliner, chatting away with my sister in our little chat box online, minding my own business. One of our favorite TV shows was on in the background and my husband was reading his Kindle over on the couch. 
     All of a sudden out of no where I had a searing pain tear through my side. It took away all my thoughts. It was all I could do to just end the conversation and let my sister know that I was retreating to bed. I scooted off to the bathroom, hoping that an over the counter medicine would be able to combat this misery. Then I crawled in to bed and waited for sleep.
     Sadly, I ended up back in my recliner, twisting about in pain, trying to find a way to sit or lie that would alleviate the intense, unending agony. It just wasn't happening. 
     As I was writhing about in my chair, I happened to glance up at the ceiling in the living room. And that was when I noticed the odd stain in the ceiling. A stain like that should not be on a ceiling in a living room, I thought to myself. And then I was done with that thought as there was only room in my brain for the screaming pain that was reminding me that something unhappy was occurring in my side. 
     Fortunately, I recognized the pain. I knew this foe. I also knew that all I had to do was make it until morning and then I could call my doctor. Then I could get an x-ray and hopefully confirm what I figured had gone wrong.
     Little did I know, it would be another whole day before I could be fitted in for an appointment and x-ray. Two days later I was able to be seen by the doctor. And then they said there was nothing visible on the x-ray so a CT scan was needed. 
     Happily, the doctor did prescribe a lovely pain pill. I am a light weight, so it knocked me right out, even at a small dose. And that was why I missed the call later that night that I would be a work in for surgery the next day.
     The surgery went well due to the care of all the nurses, doctors, and technicians. I was back home and in bed before evening. And I was grateful for a new dose of pain medication. There was a whole new piercing pain from the procedure. The medication seemed to smack it down well. 
     However, over the course of the next couple days, it seemed to quickly lose its effectiveness. I called my doctor asking what I should do. The bottle said one pill every four hours. He said I could change it to one pill every three hours if it seemed to be wearing off more quickly or two pills every four hours.
     And suddenly I had more insight in to the slippery slope of how addictions can start. I was stunned at how quickly my body got used to a dose of medication, how I needed to up the dose to find the same relief that would allow temporary escape from pain and sleep. I felt a wave of sympathy and understanding in a a whole new way for anyone that has struggled with an addiction. It was a tiny bit clearer to me how this can happen to about anyone.
     I was fortunate. My healing process followed a fairly typical timeline and I was able to transition from prescribed pain medication, back to over the counter, and then back to needing nothing on an hourly or daily basis. So many people are not that lucky. Their pain doesn't end, not after surgery, not after the bone has supposedly healed, or the last stitch removed.
     I was able to finally focus on other things again, such as why there was the stain on the ceiling. It turned out there was a need for calking along a seam in the roof and a few replacement tiles. One good thing that came out of my nights of misery.
     My healing was also helped by having soothing, purring cats for my lap and some good books to read, to distract my mind while my body healed. A warm, purring cat curled up on the lap is ever so comforting.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dumbfounded: My State Most Days

     Even at my great age (I recently had a birthday) I am still astonished by how much I do not know. This is in reference to things both big and small. On a daily basis I discover some idea, concept, place, or thing that I had no previous knowledge of.
     The other day my sister sent me a link about Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome, AKA ACHOO.
     Now, this is actually not one of my unknowns as it is something that I deal with quite often. It does, however, remind me of a small but important lesson I learned over a decade ago. Or Re-learned. Or was reminded of, as I often forget.
     I was busily working away on the factory floor, helping my team build the headliners for BMW SUVs. A colleague complained that he had a tickle in his nose and really wished he could just sneeze and get it over with. I cheerily told him to just walk over to one of our super bright lights at the end inspection station and gaze up in it briefly as it would surely induce the sinus clearing sneeze he was looking for.
     He looked at me somewhat quizzically. My co-worker Krista asked if I had just gone plain loopy. Now it was time for me to be baffled. I walked over to the light to show them what I meant. I looked in to the light and a sneeze soon followed, just as it does when I exit a dark room/building and walk out to a bright, sunny parking lot, or any other similar scenarios.
     The thing that was most surprising to me was I thought this was something everyone experiences. It was an assumption on my part that it would be common to how everyone experiences the world.
     It was a small but good admonition not everything is a shared event, feeling, or thought. It also reminded me, again, to not make assumptions about what others think, feel, understand, or have had as a common experience.