Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It don't come easy


Doc and I will settle the issue of me and my health this afternoon. Ha.

I think I am better this morning. So now he will think I am nuts. (No comments, please.) I am going to do some sweeping and cleaning this morning while I wait for the cable guy (again, no wisecracks, please) so the doc can see what I am like at the end of a day.

Right now, when I breathe, I crackle. I can hear the noise coming from the back of my throat. I would hate to try to figure it out. I know sometimes it is a matter of elimination. I am not particularly good at describing symptoms, either. So, no, I do not think sinus or allergy plays into the equation. No red, raw throat, no watery eyes, etc.

I do not want to be one of those old ladies who has a million doctors and spends all her waking hours keeping appointments. In fact, I refuse.
* * *
Cream rises to the top, the rest just sours. You knew that, didn't you dude.

I miss you greatly.


Monday, July 26, 2010


Still I struggle with a decision. Am I better or not? I hate to make decisions, always have. Some issues require my decision. Another problem is hearing what I want to hear, but we all do that, don't we?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blog on

My poor body gets jerked first one way, then another.

Inside with not a lot of moving around, I breathe easy. Yesterday I even got the kitchen halfway cleaned up. At least I have clean dishes.

I went with Connie to the various Saturday stores. The minute I opened the front door, my breathing grew labored. The big puffy dark gray clouds did not deliver on their promise for most of the afternoon and the temperature added to the oppression. Thank heavens for shopping carts to lean on.

After the rain finally came, the air grew lighter and the temperature more pleasant. By that time, I was worn out and the grocery store became a matter of grabbing a few things. I ended up with cookies, ice cream (on sale), frozen lasagna, fresh frozen shrimp, tomatoes and bread. Some nutritionist somewhere cringes. I hate piecemeal shopping. You spend more money and forget things.

I hope the last two doses of antibiotics cure this bug, but I am afraid that will not be the case. I probably delay the inevitable. I keep saying, "Well, if I do not feel better _____, then I will go to the hospital."
* * *
Seeing my friends upset grieves me. Seeming my friends hurting eats at me.
* * *
I wonder if I know a flimflam man? You know: Hands off the man, the flimflam man. His mind is up his sleeve and his talk is make believe.
* * *
Hope George continues with the grooming and Booty keeps shakin' it.

I miss you dude.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

A PH kind of day

I woke up drenched this morning. Maybe I am improving because I seem to feel better and my breathing not as labored.
* * *
Yesterday, a couple of flies made their way into my apartment through a door which was open briefly. This morning, Satchmo plays fly catcher. Pogo lies contentedly in the window allowing Satchmo to chant war cries and sprint after the prey. Satchmo's pear-shaped body probably prevents him from being an optimal catcher, but in his kitty mind, he captures and consumes all interlopers. Pogo, with his cheetah body and speed, makes mince of the marauders.
* * *
Yesterday began poorly. I showered and then had to sit before drying off, sit after drying off, sit before dressing, sit between putting on each piece of clothing.

While making breakfast, I cracked an egg and missed the skillet altogether. The egg oozed into the burner dish of the burner behind the skillet, yoke intact. As I tried to remove the dish and egg, the egg slid out of the dish and down the vent pipe for the oven. Now I have egg all over the oven floor. I had put an English muffin in the toaster oven. When I grabbed the handle of the toaster oven, it came off. By the time I got the muffin out of the oven, the egg was overdone. I ate a few bites and tossed it.

I am scraping the bottom of the barrel in the appetite department anyway right now. I have lost 5 pounds because nothing tastes good, and I have a stomach thing going. I cannot afford to lose much more weight. You can see the bones in my leg beside my knee.

Connie tells me my nose finally has color again. She said it has been blue for awhile. She says I still have no color in my face.
* * *
A man who lives in the apartment complex and rides a motorized wheelchair, yesterday tried to put a plastic bag containing two quart jars of veggies and some fresh ones on my doorknob. His friend, who lives two doors down, was not home. Why he chose my door, I will never know.

Anyway, I heard his struggles with my glass screen door and some thuds. I thought it probably was Season, my next door neighbor. She already had rung my doorbell wanting to know if I wanted an ad circular.

The man in the wheelchair rang the bell. I opened the door and see a sack of veggies, including a broken jar of green beans, on the concrete at my door.

Now I have to bend over to try to pick up the mess, which severely limits the intake of air. That in turn caused much gasping. I had to race to get the mess to the kitchen and myself back to the couch before I passed out. Then I lay there trying to get my lungs to draw in enough air.
* * *
I bet my doc wishes I did not play Doc Cindy. I think there must be a fine line between being advocate and patient. Perhaps I cross that line too often. Or maybe doc has not run across many patients like me, who knows something about her illness and asks non-routine questions. We actually discuss meds and he seems surprised at times. I am sure know-it-all patients could drive a doc nuts. I hope I am not one of them.
* * *
Pogo has joined the fly fray. "This, son, is how it's done!"
* * *
I saw on FB how my friends rallied to send prayers and positive thoughts my way. I have a very hard time thinking I deserve the show of support. I am conflicted. Not liking yourself: habit or what?
* * *
I still can see you saying, "who else?" I miss you, dude.


Friday, July 23, 2010


Is it time? I feel pretty bad, and the doc says if I am not feeling better today, I need to go to the hospital. I know I am not at my best because I am cranky with the cats. They are irritating me to no end. All the little things about them that I thought were cute last week, are making me angry. Satchmo will not shut up and Pogo does not want any of the food I put down.

I wonder if I really need to go to the hospital or if I am not as bad as I think I am. I hate second-guessing myself all the time.

What would you say, dude?


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

That's progress?

My PH symptoms gradually have increased and the pressures have not come down any, so the doctor considers adding inhaled Remodulin to my mix. He said it costs $60,000 a year and wants to make sure my insurance will approve it.

Plus I have a bacterial infection. So tomorrow I get to go to the hospital and spit in a cup. Fortunately, wheelchairs abound. The hospital is huge. I could not imagine walking at all.

I really wish you were here, dude. I need an ear and some wisdom.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Same song

I forgot to connect the o2 to my CPAP last night. As a consequence, when I awakened this morning I felt like crap. The SOB continues.

Yesterday Connie and I went to the toy store, the shoe store, a clothing store and the grocery store. Between her arthritis and my PH or whatever, we both felt like we had been run over. A couple of times I felt woozy and immediately sat down. I am so tired of this.

I have an appointment with my counselor today. Tomorrow Tanya comes to start cleaning my apartment and Thursday I have a follow-up appointment with my heart doc.

I miss you, dude.


Monday, July 19, 2010


Blessings come in all sizes and shapes. The best gifts arrive unexpectedly. The past few days, a couple of women I have known for a number of years came forward with offers of help. I am so grateful because now my environment becomes a positive. Thanks ladies, I hope I can return the favor.

Sometimes I wonder how I can misunderstand others like I do. Time wasted. Assertiveness or lack thereof causes me much grief. I often go with the flow because I do not like to make waves. I am an introvert. I need to learn to speak up more. After 61 years, how many opportunities have I lost? How many potential fast friends?
* * *
I miss you, dude.


Sunday, July 18, 2010


Pogo squats at the foot of the refrigerator eyeing the top. He lets out a couple of succinct meows and umph he lands close enough to the top for his front paws to take purchase where the freezer door meets the 'fridge. He pulls himself on up. A couple of half cabinets above the refrigerator contain nothing. I leave one of the doors open so the boys can have a hidey-hole.

The refrigerator sits to the right of the sink. Satchmo, who carries extra baggage, cannot scale the refrigerator like Pogo does. He leaps to the sink, then to the top.
* * *

Alex took this photo the day we ate at Jorge's. Boopie and I became a part of his photo-a-day project. Thanks for letting me share, Alex.
* * *
What goes round, comes round. I see that in action daily. Something to ponder.
* * *
Today I am not so much sad as numb. I miss you dude.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Raindrops falling from my eyes

I got my feelings hurt tonight. Someone ignored me, though maybe not intentionally.

The snub (at least in my mind) sent me spiraling into a blue funk. Self-doubt and sadness clung to me like a crying cranky 3-year-old.

I shed tears for you. Or perhaps I cried for myself. I need the comfort you offered me. I wish I could explain to others just how or what. But I cannot even make sense of it myself.

I find myself following the path you took. Have I shut myself off so well no one will approach me? I am sure some view me as a misanthropic Miss Havisham. Normal people don't act like this. I may frighten some. I do not mean to. I am sad, that is all.

Sometime later, dude.

Not there

I make changes to my apartment in my mind. Move this here. Clean out the dresser. Move the computer to the bedroom. I wish these actions would transfer to my body. Some of the tasks I can accomplish myself, others need a hand from someone. I need to get off my duff before the desire dries up. Hopefully my outlook brightens along with the maneuvers.
* * *
Seems like my writing either flows or refuses to budge. Today it is desiccated.
* * *
Miss you dude as do so many others.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Purrr-fect life

Life with a cat or cats presents pleasures and punishment. The symbiotic relationship benefits felines and female.

Pogo works hard at his job of alarm clock. Today, for instance, he sat on my CPAP, shutting it off. He favors this technique particularly. Connie thinks the CPAP shutoff falls under accident. I know differently. Run across the body is another tool he uses.

Pogo drools. Not all the time, just when he reaches the nirvana of lying close to me and I pet him. You almost can see his eyes rolling back in his head. Just the closeness turns on the tap. Somehow the purr and slobber functions were fused. Interesting combination.

Satchmo catches bugs -- live ones or those that have not received proper burial. Occasionally he scampers across the floor perfecting his moves. He patrols the apartment looking for interlopers. Satchy Chan, ready with razor-like claws and teeth of steel.

Nothing awakens you like putting a bare foot into a pile of cold upchuck. So you hop on one leg in the dark to the bathroom, praying the whole time you do not find another pile along the way. Both boys blaze the trail for you, pausing every now and then to demand their breakfast. Now you worry about falling over them.  Yep, wide awake now.

In Shrek, Puss in Boots transforms himself from a dashing hero to a waif so he can get his way. The two faces of a cat. Rather like the Poor Pitiful Pearl doll of my childhood.
* * *
Today I get to visit with the youngin's and Boopie.  Alex picked Jorge's. Yummm, enchiladas with sour cream sauce. Fattening as all get out, but oh so good. Not too many more lunches with Brittani. She will head to San Marcos before long. I will miss her.
* * *
Why does a thought persist? The birdcage door opens, fly away, for pete's sake.
* * *
Time will not slow or stop. I miss you, Dude.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy trails

Empathy has a way of getting me into trouble. The trait forges a link between me and others, but also causes great pain.

Like a pack mule heading into a canyon on a steep, narrow, winding path, the possibility of falling hovers in the air like vultures waiting for carrion. The heavier the burden, the more treacherous the journey. Danger lines the pathway. Varmints of all ilk hide, waiting to startle. Some burrow in crevices preparing to throw down stumbling blocks. Others living to inject their brand of venom into the unwary.

The load shifts, chafing. With each weary step, the destination lies farther and farther away. Barbs strike the psyche, chipping away at the remaining reserves. The heavy load taking its toll precipitates a race, with life the prize. Is the canyon floor around the next bend or will the load finally break the back of the bearer?
* * *
I care, Dude.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Yesterday my counselor and I discussed my apartment. I told her my concern about clutter and the apartment's age contributing to the feeling of dirty. I told her every time I feel closed in, I remove more knick-knacks.

She asked if I could rearrange things. She suggested I need to put something on the walls (I moved from upstairs to downstairs about 10 years or so ago and never put the artwork up). She said I could have a minimalist decorating scheme without clutter.

She asked if I could find someone to clean the apartment thoroughly for me. I told her I probably could not afford a cleaning service and Connie was no longer able either. She suggested I put out a call on FB and maybe one of my local friends would have ideas.

After thinking about the session, I decided I want to move my main living space into the bedroom and the bedroom to the living room. The main reason (Connie pointed this out to me): no natural light in the living room. The bedroom features a South-facing sliding glass door onto a tiny patio. Since I seldom have company other than Connie, this plan will work.


My doc's nurse called yesterday and told me that the numbers from the RHC were about the same as last time. That news is good and bad. The nurse said doc mulls over what to do next and will let me know. I now wonder if I imagine it all. I hate that feeling.


Today lunch with T. Friday lunch with Boopie and the youngin's. A regular social butterfly here. Ha. Oh yes, I have an invite to attend a gathering of present and former employees of the Globe-News at Hummer's, a sports bar. Not sure that will happen for me. The combination of lots of people and loud poses a problem for me. I have some time to reconsider, though.


Dude, I think of you every day.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Afternoon delight

Donkey: [Donkey and Puss in Boots have switched bodies] I've been abra-cadabra'd into a Fancy Feasting second-rate sidekick!

Puss in Boots: At least you don't look like a bloated roadside piƱata. You really need to go on a diet.
Donkey: And you really need to get yourself a pair of pants! I feel all exposed and nasty!

Yesterday, Connie and I watched Shrek 2 and Shrek 3. Officially the movies were intended for Aidon and Zane. However, the great outdoors drew the boys' attention. That left Connie and me with Shrek and the gang. The donkey and Puss in Boots make those movies. The best lines belong to them.

The movies draw children, but adults most certainly can enjoy them, too. The puns and jokes target adults. Most of what they say flies over the kids' heads.

I never go to movies, but over the past year, I have seen more movies than I saw in the past 20 years. Of course, the movies were children's films.

Animation has taken great strides. Computers and the digital age allow some fine effects, the characters take on a sort of real quality. More real than say Disney's "Fanatasia."

Watching two movies blew the afternoon. Somehow it also wore me out. We also made a run to the grocery store. I had not eaten all day. By the time I got home, I was about to cave in. I made a chicken sandwich, took my meds and went to bed. (I just remembered, I vacuumed the living room, too.)

The SOB continues. I hope it will not become a permanent part of my repertoire. I believe I have a full dance card, thank you very much.

Just about the time my arms and legs begin to look better, I get another nick or blood bruise. I seem to carry a Rorschach Test with me all the time. I actually got a heart-shaped one on the anniversary of the day we met.

I have my second meeting with the counselor this morning. Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, the work begins. I cannot wait to see how she chooses to begin.
* * *
 I hope my PHriends realize I do not neglect them purposely. Or I guess I do, but the reason I do has nothing to do with them personally. I need time to sort out myself. Right now I am more confused than ever. I am not particularly blue, so I wonder if I cried wolf.
* * *
 Dude, your family loved you very much. I hope you knew that.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Fearing the fear

Thoughtfulness represents a gift from the heart and costs nary a dime. Thoughtfulness benefits twice. Try offering something to others. The gift can be as simple as a phone call or note. Yesterday, another's thoughtfulness cheered me significantly.

Perhaps the clouds lift some. Now I feel numb. I wonder if I enjoy wallowing in self-pity. The answer resounds: NO! I want friends; I want to be liked. No one likes a self-absorbed cry baby. An Eeyore if you will. I take steps to push the gloomy donkey away, but maybe I fear losing the identity I have held onto for so many, many years.

My friends would laugh. They know the me that smiles, works hard, helps others. Little do they know inside resides a scared, depressed child. Someone who fears standing up for herself. Someone who no longer knows who she is.

The pulmonary hypertension plays a role in this fear that hounds me. I am torn. The disease kills. I know at anytime I could get worse. So that fear lurks on the horizon most of the time.

Right now PH has no glamorous telethon, no celebrity pitchman. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association serves as the clearinghouse/info center/etc. for the disease. When I first logged into the site five years ago, it was a smallish organization. Today it pushes hard for fund-raising, etc. I think the group has lost much of its personal aspects in an effort to get the disease before the public. PHA has morphed into a monster. It has a staff of 37 and moved into larger offices. The CEO twice offered apologies for incompetent emails sent out under his name. The organization has helped get the word out. They do have good programs. I am just not sure about the brains.
* * *
Well, dude, Spain did it! Lance faltered.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

An octopus' garden

For those of you who are younger than say 50, the cartoon at right is Pogo. Pogo, who is a possum, lives in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. His friends, Albert Alligator, Howland Owl, Porky Pine, Rackety Coon Chile and a whole cast of others, wandered into and out of the political satire strip. The artist Walt Kelly took jabs at Sen. Joseph McCarthy and hot button issues from 1948 until 1975. We could use a few jabs at life and politics today.



My older cat got his name from the possum. I think he lives up to the name or at least he gives a valiant effort.
* * *
Today Spain takes on The Netherlands in the World Cup final. I hope Paul the octopus keeps his prognosticative prowess. The win will be the first WC championship for either team. Go Spain!!

* * *
Connie said something which roiled in my subconscience for days.  She told me I am living my purpose. By being myself, I am fulfilling my role. I guess I am afraid I am not living up to my potential or I am failing someone or most of all myself. Maybe I need a manual or some directions -- breadcrumbs?
* * *
Some of your friends have gone out of their way to be nice to me. B comes to mind. He does not know me real well, yet he always sends such nice messages. Others also bless me every time I have any contact with them. I know I try to keep a connection to you through them, but I also know they are good people and I would benefit from a friendship with them. Isn't that the way you meet friends? Through other friends? Not the only way, but one good way.

Sometimes I feel like I am an observer. I do not live, I watch. Suddenly I look up and I am at the end of my life. Was the whole thing a waste? Did I put my life on cruise control and just sit back?
* * *
Dude, Tour de France begins the Alps today. Chavanel owns the yellow and Contador is sixth and Lance is 14th. Today marks the eighth stage. You would have a sleep management problem right now. Ha.


Saturday, July 10, 2010


Sorry, words fail today. Maybe later.

Dude. Later.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Energy rations

OK, time to form a plan. The enemy approaches from all angles. Rather than closing my eyes and ignoring it, I must try to eradicate the encroachers.

I guess I need to learn from racehorses. Pace. So, start. Then keep the energy spent steady, saving a final burst for the finish.

I am not known as a clean freak, after all I share my life with cats. With PH, I could not do clean freak, even if so inclined, without maid service. This week, my schedule joined the enemy to annihilate any previous efforts. You see, if I spend the day grocery shopping or paying bills with Connie, it takes the next day to recoup. This week, I ventured out all but one day. The one day I stayed home, I slept and slept. All this adds up to an enemy that uses a trebuchet against my wimpy weapons. I wish I could say time to bring out the big guns for me, but my reserve evaporated.

So I chip away at the enemy one blow at a time.
* * *
I am not normally a braggart, but (I bet you knew the but was coming) I would pit my doctor against any in the country. The man exemplifies an ideal doctor.

Appointment scheduled for 1:15. At 1:15, one of his two nurses calls your name. Just a few minutes pass before he comes in the examining room. We run down the medications I am taking. He listens to my lungs, then listens to me.

He limits his practice to about five patients a day. That allows time for emergencies. That allows him to take his time with his patients. That allows personal phone calls to patients who have hit a few bumps in the road. Every time I hit a snag with my health, I know I can call and see doc that day, or the next day at the latest.

This time he called to check on the cath and the counselor. He wondered how the cath went and if I had heard about the numbers. The Versed wiped memory. He also wondered if I had seen the counselor and how that had gone and did I think it would help. Then he asked when my next appointment with him was and told me he would get the cath results from the heart doc and call me if he thinks he needs to see me sooner.

How lucky and blessed can one woman be? Oh yeah, did I mention he saved my life?
* * *
I think the brothers must feel I am a weird nuisance, so I will evaporate.
* * *
K and I had a wonderful talk yesterday. She has a way of lifting my spirits and I needed that. ♥
* * *
Well, dude, one crazy World Cup nears an end. I could hear you many times hollering at the TV.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Some gotta win, some gotta lose

OK, today I fear I am turning into one of those old ladies with many, many physical complaints. E. pointed out to me yesterday that my SOB could be something entirely different than the COPD and the pulmonary hypertension. Great.

Last night Connie and I talked about a sharp, stabbing pain I had just to the left of where the ribs meet in front and radiated into the back. After doing some searching, pancreatitis seems to fit the symptoms. Enough already.

I have not received a single bill for any of the medical procedures I have had done since the first of the year. Nor have I gotten a bill from BritKare. I wonder if the doctors and the insurance company fall that far behind in their billing. I guess I need to take some action. I would hate to end up with horrendous bills toward the end of the year.

Connie also told me yesterday that the docs came to see me twice after the caths. I do not remember either of the visits. Nada, zilch. She said they said my numbers registered slightly higher than last time. So now I wonder. Thankfully I have a follow-up visit July 22. I can ask questions then.

* * *

Well, dude, Spain pulled it off. Carles Puyol’s soaring header off Xavi’s corner kick proved the winner. You would be excited for the final. A hero with good hair!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Medi-owie procedures

I suppose I should revel in my heart cath results, and do not get me wrong, I do, but since my pressures are not higher, the mystery deepens. I know a reason for the SOB lies somewhere, just not in the usual spots.

The baby nurse (everyone looks like a baby these days) had a hard time getting the IV going. She poked, then wiggled the needle awhile atop my left hand. I told her the right arm/hand held betters veins, but she said the docs preferred the left because of the way the cath lab was set up. She ended up putting the IV in the right hand.

The doc decided since I enjoyed lying flat on an ice cold table in an freezing room, he would do a left heart cath as well. The left side looked good.

Procedures changed a bit since the last cath I had. This time I lay flat for just an hour. Spanish Inquisition and the rack come to mind, complete with sand bags. My lower back, across the area of the kidneys, felt as though it would break. The pain wracked my bones, not just the muscles. Another smidge of Versed would have helped about then.

When the baby nurse cranked me into a sitting position, my back screamed for a solid minute. She diverted me with a sandwich and some coffee. Yeah, coffee, finally. Thirty minutes later I signed papers and the baby nurse wheeled me to Connie's car.

Yesterday morning after my shower as I got ready to go, I had a panic attack. As attacks go, this one ranks on the lower end of the scale. I lay on the bed and panted for awhile and reminded myself dying probably was not on the books that moment. This incident did feature some old standards: nausea, hot flashes, cold sweat, gasping. The symptoms ceased pretty quickly and I finished getting ready. I am taking Xanax for the attacks and up to yesterday, it worked pretty well.


I want Spain to beat Germany today. Since this World Cup offered some bizarre situations, you never know. One element this WC did not lack was excitement. I can almost hear you now. "Shit! What was he thinking?" etc., etc.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Health, mental and physical

I met with a counselor yesterday. I think we will be a good fit. After the initial intake questions, she says I am clinically depressed and do indeed have panic attacks. We decided on some goals together and set up another appointment. I am hoping this helps.
* * *
I discovered I was wrong about the date for the RHC; the doc will do his thing this morning. I am having a hard time writing my blog without coffee. Ha. I am not too nervous since I have had one before, so I know what to expect. I am nervous because of what he might find. On the other hand, I have felt SOB lately and hope that this will lead to answers. Only time will tell.
* * *
Dude, thanks for being there.


Monday, July 5, 2010


I woke up cranky and my body, particularly my lungs, feels cranky, too. The medicines that chronically ill people take cause all sorts of out of sorts bodies. Feeling well takes a delicate balance. One small change causes the whole load to shift dangerously. Sometimes the mind joins in to shove the whole kit and caboodle over the edge. I am not there yet, but moving cautiously.

My apartment shows signs of my mood. Right now I do not find joy in cleaning the litterbox or washing dishes. Pogo and Satchmo irritate me with their whines for food. Routine drives cats and they let me know if I fail to follow theirs. My bad, boys.

Right now I am at the point I just don't. I don't go out, don't clean, don't anything. I hope to get a little push to get me going again. Connie tries hard to nudge me. Her life holds enough complications without adding more of mine. She calls or asks me to run errands almost every day when she could be at home herself, resting.
* * *
Dude, this one's for you.


Sunday, July 4, 2010


Every now and then I try to put my eye out. Before you freak out, not intentionally. Seems I have cut my eyeball at least four times with a fingernail. Don't ask.

Eyes get infected quickly. Twice I ended up at an emergency clinic. (I choose weekends and holidays to injure myself.)

The doc puts in some soothing stuff from a tube and then looks at the eyeball under ultraviolet light. "Yep," he says, "you scratched your eyeball." Duh. He writes a prescription for some sulphur mixture. Two hours wasted because I am a klutz.
* * *
The mail brought me two surprises. While not expecting either of them, after all they were surprises, one sender was not a surprise and the other was. So I guess one surprise was actually two suprises in one or a surprising surprise.

Cheryl sent me a thank you note. Though totally unnecessary, it brightened my day. Remember the little things often mean more than the elaborate, expensive ones. As that commercial that ended up in the American lexicon for 15 minutes says, blah, blah, blah, priceless.

The surprising surprise warmed my heart as no other could. The note represents so much to me, but maybe most of all, acceptance. Recognition of my minuscule role. Acknowledgment that I even had a role. And some amazement on my part that I am worthy. No matter. Tears of happiness mix with the bittersweet.
* * *
Well, dude, Spain pulled it off. What a match! They get the Germans next. Uh oh.


Saturday, July 3, 2010


Holidays. You stopped celebrating them.

We spent four major holidays together online. On July 4, a song popped up on the IM. Not hello, not happy 4th, just a song. Nirvana. I had not really heard any of their songs, but I had the impression I would not like them. But I was game and played it. The melody itself grabbed me and the words delivered a not so subtle message. (I have not checked out any other of their songs, btw.)

Where do bad folks go when they die
They don't go to heaven where the angels fly
Go to a lake of fire and fry
See them again 'till the Fourth of July

July 4 also marked another milestone -- you invited me to read Transplantland and Friends of Pepe. And sent me a conversation you had with Honda Engine Goddess.

You trusted me less than a month after I had met you. I am not sure why, but I am thankful.
* * *
I ate a whole bag of cherries in two days. I love summer because I love cherries. The farmers market opened Thursday. I look forward to tomatoes that taste like tomatoes. And near the end of August, black-eyed peas.
* * *
Had a great time yesterday with Boopie and the youngin's. Poor Brittani. For her, 11 a.m. seems the middle of the night. You could see life gradually returning to her by the time she reached the bottom of the coffee cup. For Alex, life presents an opportunity for adventure. You want Alex on your side. Brittani decided to join the lunch bunch. How fun!
* * *
Dude, don't want the love to fade away.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Bye, Brandon

Brandon died last night. Though not unexpected, he suffered mightily his last nine months or so, I still mourn his passing.

Brandon came to chat for the first time the night after Mason died. (Must have been that perfect storm, after all.) He jumped right in with both feet. He added a bit more sass to a group of sassy mostly older women. He teased and generally got conversations stirred up in no time.

He had a man thing about souped up cars and actually raced at the local dragway a few times. By the time we met, his disease had progressed enough that he could not do much of anything. Brandon's family lived on his military retirement. (Brandon had a heart defect in addition to the pulmonary hypertension. Makes you wonder about the competency of the military if they accepted him.)

Brandon had a son and a daughter who never got the chance to know a regular dad. Though not infants, their memories of their dad likely will be few. He told the kids he was going to heaven to talk to God. How hard that must have been.

The last nine months of Brandon's life were spent in the hospital. His heart worked less and less and he had fluid issues constantly. The few times I actually talked to him, he still was upbeat and sassy.

Brandon and I spoke on the phone a few times. Mostly about food and restaurants. He loved to eat, maybe because he had lived in Copperas Cove and had a Texas-size appetite.

All of us who have PH hate what it does to people. The potion to keep us alive offers some nasty side effects. I am fortunate that mine is mild. Others suffer with extreme headaches, vomiting, foot pain, jaw pain. Some of my friends have to take some pretty powerful pain meds just to be able to get up.

Most often another disease rides along for fun. Connective tissue diseases, lupus, and a whole slew of others.
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I have my first visit with the counselor Monday. I am going into this with few expectations and at the same time many. The past couple of years have been tough. I pretty much lost my identity when I lost my job. I found new friends online. Now it seems, I am losing them one by one.
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Dude, not a day goes by that I do not think of you and miss you.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Walled in

I hope you enjoy. Great photo, huh?
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All the above came about while thinking about the wall I put up around myself. Few people know the insecure, shy me, which lies just beyond the protective wall of my public persona. Another wall, merely feet away, hides the me I allow no one to see. That wall looks more like the one below.

Walls keep out, but also keep in.  
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