How about a blast from my past? I was remembering when I learned to drive and my first car. My father taught me to drive. He wanted to be sure that I was capable of driving anything that moved (except a motorcycle). Once I had mastered the basics (straight shift no cheating…most cars were not automatic) he took me out and had me drive a 1/2 ton truck. That was an experience.
When I passed my driver’s test he decided to get me a car??? I guess you could call it that. It was a second/third/fourth/ hand Willy’s Jeepster. It had a convertible top, isinglass side windows that you put in after the top was up. It had “air conditioning” (that is the outside air) and no heater.
The seats were bolted to the floor so you couldn’t adjust them. In order for me to reach the pedals..especially the clutch…I had to put a pillow to my back. You can imagine that four or five teenage girls thought this was the bomb. We absolutely loved that car. We drove it in the winter wrapped up in heavy coats, gloves and whatever else we needed to keep warm. We drove through snow and rain. We drove it while wearing swimming suits in the summer with the top down. We flirted with boys in other cars. It was great.
In my senior year of high school the car started to have problems. It wouldn’t always start. It took a while for my father to figure out what was wrong. Those cars had starter buttons in the floor that you pushed down to start the car. For some reason that piece was not connecting with the piece it connected to in the engine. We could push the car to start it popping the clutch (something most of you have never heard of or done). It didn’t take much. Just rolling a little bit would get the car going. The other more interesting option was to open the hood and hold a piece of metal between the starter and the starter connector and like magic we were on our way.
When we went downtown to shop we tried to find a parking place at the end of the block so that if we had to push the car it was easy. I’m sure you can imagine that we met lots of boys that way.
In those days the place to hang out was the Hot Shoppe. It was a drive in place where car hops brought you your food. Tons of friends met there on Friday and Saturday night. No problem getting the car started there.
Later on more problems began to crop up. While stopped at a light at a very busy intersection on a hill I couldn’t get the car started. My father was with me. The light changed and the man behind us kept blowing his horn. My father calmly got out of the car and walked back to the other car. I was worried about what was going on. My father returned and calmly sat down in his seat. I asked him what happened and he said “I told him I would blow his horn if he would start my car!” My father always had the “mot juste.” He was known for it.
Another day at another busy stop light I lifted up on the steering wheel and it came off in my hand. I stuck it back on and drove us all home holding it on.
The final event came when the car began having electrical problems. My father took the car to be rewired and all seemed well. That night we drove the car into town and on one of the main streets smoke started coming out from under the hood. We pulled into a gas station thinking it was overheated and opened the hood. The car was merrily in flames. A gas station attendant rushed out with a fire extinguisher and put out the fire. My father came and picked us up and the car was gone for good.
I have never since had a car that was more fun and more interesting. I am sure I never will.
Anyone who has a major or chronic healthcare problem and has to manage their day to day care must be stressed out. I have been managing my husbands care and I am a nurse and have been a case manager (one who handles these kinds of problems) and it is about to drive me into insanity.
This week the IV medication that he receives every 12 hours didn’t arrive and I spent hours on the phone trying to get that fixed. The provider messed up and we didn’t get meds until 1pm today totally ruining his schedule and having him miss a dose of needed medicine.
Then I spent the rest of the day organizing the medicine and care he is to receive following the stopping of the IV meds and had doctors bouncing it between them each saying it is not their job. The medical system has totally fallen apart. Too many doctors with specialties and each one not considering the whole person.
I am grateful that I will be getting him in to see my own primary physician who is wonderful. I am hoping that this will create some harmony in his care and take some of the burden off me. I really don’t know how those with no experience in health care can manage the care of their loved one. I am not surprised to see that some nurses are opening their own business as patient advocates. It is really needed. Heaven help those who don’t have someone to help.
There has been a gremlin in my house. I am sure of it. We now have TV remotes mixed up and they don’t seem to work totally anywhere. One will change channels and do volume, the other will turn on and off. We need two remotes for my husband to work his TV. My daughter sent a new remote for him and I can’t get it programmed. The instructions work but you have to search for the codes for the TV and the cable box and the numbers that may work reach out to infinity. If I had a week I’m sure I could get it programmed. So for now he is using two remotes.
Why do things have to be so complicated? My daughter say the more things they add to each electronic piece the more likely it is to go wrong. I’m finding that to be true. Somehow I have got to get something working. I contacted the cable company and they are not allowing anyone to come into the house at this time. Since there are many issue involved with this having someone here is the only way to solve it. Oh well….sighhhhhhhh.
Life is complicated enough without having to fight with electronic devices. I wonder what it will be like when robots do everything? I think I am glad that I will not be here to see it.
My husband remains in hospital without any word on a diagnosis. I have done some research on my on and have some ideas to pass on. As a nurse I do know when the information is reputable. I will just have to take one step at a time.
I have had so many calls from friends that it has given me such a boost knowing how many care. This is just a bad time to have this happen but there is nothing different to do. I will continue to attempt to talk with the physicians working with him even though so far I have not heard from a single one. This is a common problem with hospitals and doctors and I will be stronger about insisting to discover what they are thinking. The hospitals here are not yet full of covid patients and are actually functioning well so there is no excuse for no information.
Tomorrow is a new day. According to the nurse they have some labs pending so maybe some answers will come.
Placating my anxiety, depression and stress with prayer, TV and walking outdoors. I am unable to do some things as my brain is not up to par.
When nothing can be done it is necessary to accept that and do only what is possible. The prayer from AA sums it up perfectly.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Since my husband developed this UTI life has not only been abnormal because of Covid 19 but also because of dealing with someone who can’t think straight. It is better but not totally gone. God bless all those who live with an Alzheimer’s patients. I really don’t know how you do it.
The anxiety has taken its toll on my mental health and my body. IBSD has flared up after being gone for quite a long time. I know that all of this will end but I want to hurry it up. Living as we do we are mostly alone. We have some family here but they are unable to help much. It is not the day to day help I miss but the comfort of hugs and contact with friends. I am a person who knows the comfort of human touch. I count on it. It is what I miss the most. With my husband not well I feel very alone.
This is my time to spend time with God and that has been helping. I also keep in mind my grandmother whose favorite quote was “and this too shall pass.” She had such strength and faith.
There are many who are suffering much more that I and I hope they can find the resources they need, stay well, and survive the physical and financial crisis. There will be many to help in the days to come and it is up to us to do what we can.
Remember my favorite quote:
‘ALL WILL BE WELL, AND ALL MANNER OF THINGS WILL BE WELL’
Ahhhhh! Today I worked in the garden. Just being in the fresh air and doing something ordinary gave me a new lease on life. Good physical work with my mind concentrated on the job. It really felt good.
I read the post today from https://fracturedfaithblog.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-northern-ireland-3/ and learned that they are restricted in their outdoor time. I am so thankful that we can spend as much time outdoors as we want. Of course we are in a neighborhood with lots of room to move about without coming within yards of anyone else. I would really be stressed if I had to stay indoors. I feels such compassion for those in New York City who are also trapped….usually in very small apartments.
There are always people who are worse off than we are. Each of us has restrictions with this virus but each place is different. The only burdens we bear are the ones around us. I have talked before about not wanting other’s problems. This is a perfect example. As an older couple we are staying in except for food and medicine. Many do not have to restrict themselves so much. I don’t feel put upon because of this. It is our own cross to bear and we are grateful to have lived this long and pray for many more days.
I am sure that we all hope that these restrictions don’t last for a really long time. Most of us can live with a few weeks or more but months would be horrible.
Please take care, stay healthy, and from the nurse. WASH, WASH, WASH YOUR HANDS!
Tonight my husband and I attend a dinner for graduates of The United States Military Academy (West Point). He has worked on this dinner very hard….too, too, hard. The problem has been that younger graduates (we finally figured out) did not have the training in how to set up a formal dinner. Having done this during our years in the military and also since then we are well versed in how complicated it is.
For this kind of dinner there are seating charts, table numbers, reservations, meal choices and many other things. The younger grads think that you can just call the day before and change table seating or add extra guests. Obviously they have never dealt with hotels, country clubs etc and don’t understand deadlines.
In spite of all the confusion I’m sure it will all work out but afterward there will be an extensive after-action report and some teaching (from me) about how things are managed. Not many things are done like this any more. The world is more casual and most people have never had to do it. I guess if you work at the White House you get it. They will too after this.
I am not sure if I have written about this before but I wasn’t going to look through everything.
A while ago I went to a conference where the speaker asked everyone to write their worst problem on paper…no names….and pass it up to the front. She asked us if we would want to come up and draw out a problem that we would then be responsible for. Needless to say there we no takers.
We all consider our problems to be the worst. We have lived with them and struggled but we know them. We understand them. We really don’t want to take on someone else’s stuff.
I guess the lesson we learn is that we each deal best with what we already have and know about. Maybe we can take heart from that.
Today we went to see the movie 1917. I am not fond of war movies but my husband wanted to see it. I don’t want to talk about the movie but something that came to me while watching.
Another war….how many since? Why are we this way? Why do we go to war rather than solve problems? Why are we greedy and selfish? Why do we hate those who are not like us? Why are we not loving and kind and compassionate?
Did we start out that way or did we grow into it? And the real question is what can we do to change?
Lots of questions and no real answers. Rilke’s quote tells us to live in uncertainty and wait for answers.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke
I hope that he is right and that some day, somehow, a miracle will occur and the earth will be a place of peace and love.
Life can be pretty scary. The news tells us nothing good. There is anger and violence everywhere. That may explain why so many of us have anxiety. Maybe to be anxious is the right response to what is going on around us. Lately I have heard nothing but bad news. People I care about are sick and quite a few have very rare problems. Is this because we have too many people on the earth or because the earth is tired of us and wants to shake us off? Too much to think about.
The trouble with anxiety is that is grows exponentially. It starts small and you can get past it and then it begins growing like a virus and you find that it has taken over. You are no longer living life but just existing. There has to be a way beyond this. It’s understandable that any help has to be started long before the problem arises. If not it’s not strong enough to push the anxiety down. The trouble is when everything is ok we tend to ignore the fact that something has to be done beforehand. Again, we come back to persistence and determination. Just putting one foot in front of the other. We have to keep moving forward.