Tuesday, December 21, 2010

HO HO HO and Bah Humbug

Its really hard to accept that this week is Xmas already.  Blink once and it was summer, blink again and it was fall, and now its the end of the year.  We are having an unseasonably cold winter and even fall.  Setting records down in the low twenties, or single digits for this time of year.  I don't like the cold.  I am ok if it is cold but dry. Meaning no sleet rain mix, or no wet snow.  Powdery snow isn't so bad.  I could do without the bitter wind though. And to be quiet honest I'd just as soon stay inside when it is cold.  I like fall. I like it better when the weather is in the 40's - 70's. 80's aren't bad. I was saying the other day how I don't like the cold, and M was telling me that I don't like hot weather more.  Hmmm.... I didn't agree.  She insists that I am miserable when it is hot.  Perhaps she is right.  I used to like hot weather.  Hot weather when I was young meant summer break. And if it got too hot, well, then jump in a pool, or the lake, or whatever is nearby.  I love the water.
But I know that sometimes I still think of myself as I was when I was younger. When I could jump up and run across the room, when I could play ball, could hop skip jump if I wanted to. Now those things aren't an option. Yes I can jump on my bike and ride.  Sometimes I ride better than I walk.  M was talking about how happy a friend of hers was about something a while back and mentioned that she was so happy she was skipping across the floor.  Somehow the subject changed to whether or not I could do that. Skip. I used to be able to.  My brain says it still knows how.  My body thinks it can.  But alas. It isn't the same body it used to be. As it thinks it still is.  So ok. I can't. Most of the time I accept what I can't do. Other times, I think it is unfair. Where has the time gone? Blink and my daughter is now 25. WTH. That can't be right. In a week I'll be 48. Pushing 50 as M's sister calls it. Whatever. I don't really care how old I am. Or whether anyone knows or not. Some people can't seem to believe that I am old enough to have a 25 yr old daughter. I think that is sort of like saying oh but you don't look sick.... I sometime feel oh so much older.
Earlier in this post I abbreviated Christmas as Xmas. or xmas. I do that quite often.  The other day I saw someones post on facebook complaining about how people need to put the "Christ" back in christmas, and how it was somehow "blasphemous" to use "xmas" - whatever.  I mean I'm sorry if someone is offended. But sometimes I think I'm offended by the extremes some people go to with religion. It's a holiday. The same people that fuss about it seem to be fine with the idea that it is also a day where we celebrate looking for some big fat hairy man with a big belly and beard that wears funny clothes wants little kids to sit on his lap and give them candy canes.  Really? How confusing is that for parents to one minute tell their kids to stay away from strangers, and not to take candy from strangers etc to then say go on sit on the fat mans lap.
I'm terrible at keeping up with this blog.  I started it as a place to keep track of my thoughts. Which is ok.  Sometimes I do want to express things and this is as good a place as any. I sign on and get swept away reading other peoples blogs. I'd much rather be a voyuer I think. Reading about other peoples lives. They do a better job as story tellers anyway. Plus I feel I get to know them. They become my friends. Much more interesting than my boring entries. Dear Diary. It snowed yesterday. Then it melted. LOL
I had my Thyroid surgery. Recovery was really no big deal.  Still look a little like someone took a knife and slit my throat and I have the scar to show for it.  That should fade in time. Other than that it was a non-event. Luckily the nodules in the half of thyroid they took out were benign. There was incidental traces of cancer cells in the thyroid itself. But not significant. Whatever that means. At this point it is wait and see. I had my thyroid levels checked after 5 weeks and they are normal. Before the surgery they were high normal (or low normal, meaning low number but thyroid was over productive on the edge of normal) now it is mid normal but he wants to check again after 3 months to see if something changes. Then watch the nodules in the right side to make sure they stay stable.
M had her elbow surgery. Tennis elbow. Don't think she has played tennis in her life. But has had various jobs with repetitive motion. That and some heavy lifting.  In any case, the surgery went well. Dr had said it would be 2-3 month recovery before back to 100%.  She has close to 95% of range of motion back. Is still restricted on how much she can lift (no more than 25lb). And on light duty at work for another month. She's the type to have trouble sitting still and not doing. So having to take it easy has not been easy for her. Also, because of her being on light duty, I've had to pick up the slack on some things. Like carrying 40lb bags of wood pellets in from the garage to put in the pellet stove. So I've had to work harder. Some things I can do no problem.  I don't carry things up stairs well.  Need one hand free for balance mainly. My problem is as much my knees - especially the left one, as anything. The last synvisc wore off after about 4 months. I'm not due for one until January.  The past week or two have been pretty bad.  It wants to give out, and it grinds.  Most painful is when it is bent and I go to straighten it.  It isn't painful while it is bent, just the straightening it up. and the putting weight on it.  Trying to decide when to plan to have surgery to just replace it.  Right now think I'm going to wait until October.  Then I can enjoy riding my bike this year.  Course might be sorry if the knee causes more problems.
Like I started to say, M seems to think I sit on my butt all day. I am a network engineer. Work on a computer all day. I do get up and walk around, sometimes move equipment around. but it is a very sedentary job. However, it can be stressful. And it can be tiring. My old job I used to travel periodically. This one not really. 2-3 times a year or less. I pull a lot of on-call. 2 weeks on, 4 weeks off. That gets old. On the plus side, if I get called, I can remote in from almost anywhere. My old job I could work from home. This one office politics won't allow it.
Within a week, my daughter and I will be flying off to visit my mom for xmas. We go twice a year. At memorial weekend, or the anniversary of my Dad's death, and sometime near xmas. Mom isn't doing so well. She's 84. Has congestive heart failure - but she looks so good. To look at her she does look very healthy. But walk with her, you see she can't cross the room without getting out of breath. She has a huge in-operable anuerysm wrapped around her heart along her aorta. Part of the congestive heart failure, her feet swell up really bad, and she retains fluid. She takes meds to take the water off, and ends up in the hospital every month or two to have fluid taken off, but they have to be careful because her kidney function isn't the best either. Too much of the meds could shut them down and she could go into kidney failure. She gets so worn out, and can sound so weak. The latest thing is that she has something that causes her problems swallowing. Her throat is sore but not like with a cold/sore throat. When she eats everything tastes bitter. She says she is still eating. But the swallowing is difficult and that she will eat something that she really likes and hopes it will taste good but it doesn't. I worry about her. Also that she is so far away. 1000 miles. To drive takes 2 days. Flying is an almost all day thing too. No non-stop flights. Unless I want to drive 2 hrs to an airport, fly to another and drive  2 1/2 hrs to her place.  Add the time to fly, and get there early enough to through security and it is a long process. This trip we are leaving from an airport only 15 minutes away. Have one layover then fly into another small airport that is only 1 hr from Mom.  Good news is that she can drive up and get us.  She still drives.  I trust her to ride with her.  She won't drive after dark, and doesn't like to drive in strange places or big cities. My brother lives about 5 - 5.5 hrs away. He is able to get down there to visit fairly often - least once a month. He worries about her too. Has talked about getting her to move closer to him.  She will have nothing of it.  As much as I worry about her being so far away, and there by herself, I see her point.  In the little sleepy little town that she lives in, she has a lot of friends.  People that care about her.  Things are different in that little town than they are in other places.  That can be good or bad. For her it is good.  People know their neighbors.  Look out for each other. People gossip, but sometimes in a good way. She has a church family. She isn't alone. If she were to move to where my brother is, she would be in a big city filled with strangers. Other than my brother and his wife, no one would really care. She says she would be bored, feel isolated and alone.  Would hate to be a burden to my brother. Wouldn't feel safe driving herself. And would become a shut in.  I think it would be the beginning of the end. But that doesn't mean I don't worry about her. And don't feel oh so far away sometimes. 


Diane J Standiford said...

Wow, when you start writing! Gees, we are getting old. Young was more fun. My mom is 82, Alzheimer's...I guess, too far awy to know her ;ife and that has been true for 30 years now. We have a close relationship, but I was always an embarrassment to her, the whole gay thing and all. She liked me better from afar and vice versa. The cycle (circle?) of life kinda sucks, but there it is. I can't believe she still drves.

MS Day Dreamer said...

I get the distance thing. One reason I am in PA and my mom is in KY. This way she can pretend, and I can let her. It's just easier. As my partner says, why push it? my mom is in bad health and getting on in years, what do I accomplish? So I guess that means in our family we have our own version of don't ask, don't tell. I don't hide, and I don't lie. Its complicated, but it is what it is.
Yes mom still drives. Her mind is sharp, and her sight and reactions are fine. She can't walk far, and gets really out of breath due to health issues, but otherwise, you would most likely swear she was in her 60's not 80's if you were to meet her.