Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Week That Was


There are times when memories will blaze across our consciousness in much the same way that the sudden flash of a camera will reveal details which had remained hitherto unseen. It could be something one has just read, a smell in the air, a bit of music, perhaps even the way the breeze feels on your face.

There are many triggers, I had one just the other day, it might have been a comment here or over on Facebook, but a long dormant memory was triggered, and it gave me pause.

It was winter in Vermont, in the early 1970s. I was in far northern Vermont this particular night, I won't bore you with the details of why, suffice to say I was there, a stone's throw from the border with Canada sitting in a hospital waiting room.

Waiting.

Across the dimly-lit space there was a small group of people. I cannot remember how many, I do remember someone coming out of the depths of the hospital and going over to them. Heads drooped, sobs were heard. I could guess why. I didn't know any details but I've seen such things in the years since. Someone, a loved one, had slipped the bonds and gone forward to, who knows?

We have our faiths, or lack thereof, which try to explain what lies beyond. But until we get there, we don't, we can't, "know." All we know is that those left behind must learn to deal with the loss of a loved one. We don't truly mourn the dead, we mourn their absence, we mourn our existence without them.

Hospitals.

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So this is a new thing, a new series maybe. For me this has been an eventful, somewhat physically painful week. I am only just now returning to an even keel. Still lots of holes, I'm a bit down by the bow with a discernible list to port, but I'm alive. I've been repaired and hopefully most of my parts have significant mileage left on them.

While I'd like to be around a lot longer, one never knows. So live life to the fullest I guess (however one defines "fullest" for one's self) and don't sweat the small stuff. Leastways, that works for me. (The Missus Herself worries about everything, no detail is too small, no item is unimportant. She's got this. Which is why I don't worry, she's got it covered, drives her nuts it does. "How can you NOT worry about that?" she will query. My answer is often, "I don't know, I just don't. I do what I can, when I can. If I can't? Oh well.")

So.

Recovery from surgery is a process. Do what the doctor says, do exactly what the nurses say and, barring complications, you will heal. I am healing. It gets better every day, I'm not at 100% and that's annoying, but I'm patient because "what else can I do, but wait." Patience has never been one of my strong suits.

(Source)

It was an odd week, a lot of rack time, a lot of meds consumed. I am sorely tempted to post a photo of the surgical repair site, but I'll spare you that. As I told Tuna the other day, "I now have a hard point on my belly where I can mount ordnance."

Though how the Hell I could deliver that ordnance using the hardware which came standard with this 1950s era body I don't know. I do know that I possess no organic flight capability. Well, perhaps I should say that I have no way of controlling flight. I fall with the best of them, I just have very little say as to path or as to landing. Gravity gets the most votes.

S0 this is the opening post of what may (or may not) be a weekly thing. Might be semi-sporadic at best, it might evolve into something interesting. Or not. I do what I can, and that's all I can do.


24 comments:

  1. Every morning that you or I or any of us wake up is a blessing. And if you can actually get out of the bed and DO stuff, thst's a double win. None of us know how many sunrises we've got left, so thank God for every one and make something good happen each and every day.

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  2. The worry thing calls to mind something Audie Murphy said. Take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves.

    The hardpoint thing makes me imagine a Hank Caruso piece. Perhaps this one http://www.aerocatures.com/Graphics/baddestcat.jpg

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    1. True what Audie Murphy said.

      Hahaha! Love Caruso's work.

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  3. We shall wait your complete recovery with patience.

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  4. I had that exact "Patience, my ass" poster in my dorm room in college! I'd forgotten about that, until I scrolled down to that picture. Deja Vu!
    A lot of Big things to worry about right now, and the vexing thing is there's little that can be done about them. So Audie Murphy was probably right. The tough thing is following through with that philosophy. (Especially at 3AM)

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    1. All philosophies are tough to follow through on at 3 AM. (Yeah, I love that poster, saw it back in the day, never forgot it.)

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    2. Very "artistic" first picture. Quick first glance impression was "cool, Sarge found a picture of a supernova!" Then the eerie background spirit was seen. Woooo, cue twilight zone theme!

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    3. Heh. I try, sometimes too hard.

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  5. Right there with you, Sarge. Every day is better than the previous, but I'm amazed at how much this has taken out of me.

    It's been a strange week. Begun in a narcotic haze, every movement a challenge in the mitigation of pain. Weened off the pain meds 60 hours post-op, had to demand an antibiotic on account of the butcher who tried to intubate me through the soft palate instead of down the ready-made opening, leaving a rather nasty looking abscess. Back to work on Wednesday (I thought it would be Monday); had to quit after a couple of hours from the fatigue that nailed me like a 2x4. Morning and afternoon sessions Thursday, out driving Friday for a 3/4 workday. Sympathetic clients expressing their concern on hearing my condition, but where's our stuff, we need it yesterday.

    A lot of time to ponder on the fragility of this life; grateful that, whatever the annoyance and disruption to my daily routine I have, in the grand scheme of things, only hit a ppcket of turbulence in the flight of life, and as soon as the shuddering stops, the road ahead appears relatively smooth.

    I hope your flight also levels out and continues turbulence free. And remember, we still have yet to visit the Smuttynose brewery. So, when you're up and about and thirsty, c'mon up and we'll sample the wares. (You don't even have to drive through Sodom and Begorrah if you don't want to!)

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    1. Damn, I had the impression that they were treating your surgery a bit too cavalierly.

      As we get older stuff just takes longer to heal, 'tis the way of it, no matter how insurance companies would like to believe otherwise. Sounds like your anesthesiologist might need a refresher on "how to intubate."

      Like you say, this whole episode is just some turbulence, the structure is still sound. It might groan and creak at times but nothing seems to be falling off.

      As to a Smuttynose Brewery visit? Capital idea! (And I love the Sodom and Begorrah reference, yes, a place to avoid.)

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    2. Having endured two operations at the age of eleven as part of the treatment for Hodgkin's Disease, coupled with the whole "day surgery" thing, led me to think that this was going to be a lot easier than it has been. My education continues ...

      On another note, the fog in my brain has clearly dissipated, since I was ble to figure out the ridiculously simple process of dusting off the call sign and getting it to post. So, I've got that going for me, which is good!

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    3. I noticed that, took it for a good sign I did!

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  6. When I stop to think I consider it is now totally unexplored territory.
    I take just a little longer to enjoy it.

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    1. Good way of looking at it Skip.

      Take your time.

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  7. Can emphasize with you Sarge. Had major surgery back in 2001 to remove cancerous portion of the esophagus. Nine hour procedure. Two major incisions. One on the belly, the other on the back (following the contour of the right scapula).
    Was in hospital for 10 days. Released into the custody of the wife with instructions to "take things easy." The drive home was an hour long. It was one of those week-long hours. Construction bumps the whole way . . . and I felt every one. At home, I fell in love with my recliner. Learned to sleep in it. A week later, had a major coughing spell. Split open the internal belly sutures. It was back to the O.R. to have a dacron patch installed to hold everything in. Another week in the hospital. Then that same trip home. Recovery to "near normal" took a year. Hang tough.

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    1. I have a scratch compared to what you had Snuffy.

      Coughing is a challenge and can do all sorts of damage if not controlled. Either way, pretty painful.

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  8. One of my cousins lived for several years with an artificial heart. She then had a heart transplant. Went many years with frequent hospital stays. She was able to see her children grown and greet several grandchildren. Your description of a group at a hospital triggered this memory. One time I visited her there were eight people in the room. Her adult children and their children. She lived every day to the best of her ability. Husband? A coal miner and so grateful for his health insurance. Both of them were testament to love and fidelity.

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    1. Great story WSF. Thanks for sharing it.

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  9. "S0 this is the opening post of what may (or may not) be a weekly thing. Might be semi-sporadic at best, it might evolve into something interesting."

    Whenever and whatever, I shall greet each post with joy.

    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. Put it up, we'll read it! And I remember that poster! Had it in my locker for a couple of years!!!

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