DRIVING LESSONS

You know, in the school of life, you never graduate. You may think you have completed your education but…surprise! We are always learning, right up until we stop at that last red light in life. I have roads on my mind as they pour steaming hot asphalt out onto our street today and have realized all summer, watching this process how very like our lives are to driving or traveling in a car, truck or SUV.

We never know when some moron is going to swerve toward us. We pray that moron is not us. We must always be alert for construction and/or accidents.  Pets, children, falling trees and spills are only a few of the obstructions we need to heed. Around here you need to avoid seagull “gifts”, flying witches, if you hit a light post downtown this month and always, rain by the truck full.

If you, like me, have suffered disease, accident or were struck by the missile of life via war or random acts, you find yourself on a detour you never intended to take. I know that road because I’m traveling it, also. Two things I’ve learned about detours are: they never have dead ends and they take you to places you did not plan to go. That’s not necessarily bad but darned inconvenient. But if inconvenience is the worst thing we have to worry about, we’re doing well.

I’m always amazed at the surprises that lie in wait for us on these unknown roads; such as the people we meet who we never would have met on any other pathway. When I was a child we used to travel by car every summer back to the Mid-West and the South to visit family. I never knew those relatives very well and most of them are only faces and names to me now but they were valued by my parents and I could feel the love. We moved to California, far from other family members when I was an infant. My mother, my eldest sister and I came first, traveling on a troop train at the end of WW11. I guess my Mom was scouting out the area and then we made the move, traveling on Route 66 across America.

My memories of the following years of summer trips are interspersed with periods of vomiting and laying my head in my mother’s lap, which was precisely the wrong thing to do. It didn’t help that she always wore an Avon perfume called “To a Wild Rose.” Wave that scent in front of my nose today and I can puke on command.  I have always suffered from mal de mare. Motion sickness sounds so much more interesting when it’s called by its continental name, don’t you think? My daughter and it appears, my daughter’s daughter also suffers from it. My daughter will not like this very much but I’ll reveal to you that her brother always calls her Barfy. You know how brothers can be. Now her daughter who is seven-years-old tells me that must mean she is “Barfy Jr.” I suppose it does.

As a little girl I counted telephone poles from my pea green position because that’s what I could see and we were all so blessed when they came out with a product called Dramamine. Travel by auto has never been a favorite of mine and doing it now is difficult for many other reasons, besides motion sickness. Having a painful sitter is a rotten way to go through life but that’s for another day and most of you know about my problems with that already.

I remember those trips with much fondness as the American Indian reservations had fascinating stores along the way full of turquoise jewelry and hand-braided wares. The food along the way was so much tastier than it is now. Frosted mugs of A&W root beer are difficult to describe today. The ice cold froth when you have been stacked six people deep into a non-air conditioned car, well, just imagine. The Burma Shave signs along the road were our form of entertainment and our substitute for video games and DVD auto players. This was long before you could find a gas station on every other block and Dad always hung a canvas bag of water on the back bumper of the car just in case our radiator over heated when we drove through the desert. If AAA auto service existed, we certainly didn’t have it.

I was always relieved when it was dinnertime and we could stop, eat and look for a motel along the road. In those days many of them were little cabin like bungalows and for me, getting out of the car was a recovery experience as my stomach returned to normal. I’m sure it was a relief for everyone else in the family as well. The negative note here is two-fold. Often, traveling along good old Route 66 were insects of gigantic proportions, unlike any I had ever seen. The other negative was my Dad wanting to “hit the road” as the sun first appeared in the sky. This was no small feat for a man with four daughters and a wife…all those women.

Route 66 Motel

My memories of road trips are so varied and later, thanks to medication for motion sickness, enjoyable. Strange, but I never gave any thought to the ability or inability to sit. My sacroiliac joints weren’t a problem then. The comfort problems ran more along the line of talking all of your sisters into leaning in the same direction so you could use one as a pillow in domino fashion..

Yes, trips, roads and later, driving are such a big part of our lives, destinations and joys. When our health places us on a road unknown, I am always reminded of that wonderful poem by Robert Frost, THE ROAD NOT TAKEN.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if ever I should come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

I have often thought of this poem when my mind comprehends where my road in life has taken me. Would I be writing and having my work published if I had been able to work as a nurse? That is just one of the many questions which arise. Where would we be living if I had not developed such a strong negative reaction to the sun? The connections are abundant as we think of our children meeting their life partners, where our grandchildren will grow up and so many other vital decisions. The saddest development for me is my inability to travel and get to know my grandchildren in Texas as well as I would have liked. That hurts every day of my life.  We each know there are many kinds of pain.

All we did to get here was to follow the road we chose or were forced to traverse. Surprises fraught by pain, disease or injury have rewritten the maps of our lives. Curly Q’s of life spin around us as we wonder, wish and dream but we have the one path we’re on and that has made all the difference. Make your journey a good one.

THE DETOUR by Sue Falkner-Wood

Wait! Something’s wrong

Is someone tricking me?

I don’t see the humor here

Not once have I said, “Whee!”

This is not the way I chose

Nor is it the way I planned

But here I am, in spite of hopes

On a rocket, oft unmanned.

Get the map or GPS,

The plan has wildly changed,

I’m still the same old me

But I’ve been rearranged.

It’s hard to see the way

Thus I plan from day to day

My body is no longer mine

The pain seems here to stay.

Is it okay to drive

When I don’t know the way?

I have to tamp down panic

As it fills my heart each day.

A detour it may be

But I choose faith not fears

I can’t stand a daily life

Drowning in my tears.

It’s true this is a detour

But can I not still strive?

Each day has value and brings hope

Because I’m alive, oh yes, I’m alive!

53 thoughts on “DRIVING LESSONS

  1. Hey Sue:
    Lovely. I too remember those road trips as a kid. I used to get motion sickness when I rode in the back (all the mtn curves). Fond memories of those roads less cluttered, no Interstates. Small motel cabins, picnics in roadside areas (or on the trunk of the old Chevy if we couldn’t find one). I have traveled Route 66 in Northern Az. Always wanted to start out here and end up in Ca. I love ot travel by car. So much more to see and stop when you want to.
    The way our lives are playing out is NOT what I had envisioned. But as you said, you have to wonder “what if”. I love that Frost poem. When I am walking I always want to take that road (or path) less traveled. Usually see things you wouldn’t see on the well trod path. So much more enjoyable than the boring uneventful life !
    Love ya, hope you are feeling better.
    Tonie

    • Tonie dear, oh yeah. Good old Route 66, now a legend. So much more of everything on it, I would imagine. I think that poem has stuck with me for many years because my own life has never taken a customary, “normal” path. That used to bother me, but I think all these detours bring out the individual in each of us..our talents, our views, our friends are all uniquely us as a result of those paths that are less traveled.
      Yes I am feeling better. Folks, I had a bit of extra misery from my sitter problems and had a bad spot that had to heal so it wouldn’t become worse. So often when I sit my sitter grows numb and I can get into trouble if I’m not careful. Better now.
      How’s your weather in VA? Love ya, Sue

  2. Yea Sue
    I call it serendipity!
    Take it all as it comes by chance really rather than by choice
    It would be good to travel free again no restrictions and pain
    Still no email
    Had bad tummy cramps today couldn’t walk up straight so didnt go to see my dad.go tomorrow I did ring and he will be going to rehab next week ,still ok
    Chris

    • Chris, I’ve always loved that word, serendipity. You’re right. It does make life a lot more interesting and if we also believe life is a plan it all fits..kind of like a mystery date. Hope your Dad is hanging in there and is not hurting. Hope your hips have recovered from all that hospital walking. Be good to yourself this weekend, okay? Love, Sue Good luck with the email. Better rattle a cage, huh?

  3. My “driving” memory still is vivid in my mind today-but happened back in those young teen years of starting to drive. We lived on a farm with animals all over the place-so we had to be very careful when driving around least a stray goat or sheep might get in the line of “Fire by Vehicle” and oh my, not good results. I was having one of my final driving lessons with my Dad, all seemed just fine until he suddenly yelled ‘Oh Lord, watch out for that child running across the road!”

    First–we were on a dirt road in the middle of a huge farm, so “Where” would a child come from to be in my way? But I heard my Dad clearly and put the “metal to the peddle” thinking I had my foot firmly planted on the brake. Not so lucky that day–my foot had landed on the gas and I proceeded to “mow down” some invisible child! Finally got the vehicle stopped while my Dad lectured me on how easy it was to run over another human being. His lesson stayed with me and during his last year of life as I was taking him on one of his final rides around the farm, we both recalled that crazy driving lesson and had a fantastic chuckle over it.

    It was a precious time and will be a wonderful ROAD memory for me… Great post Sue–makes us all recall so many ROADS we have traveled. Thank you. Martha

    • Martha, Oh dear, my girl you are more brave than I. I watched my sisters cry and my Dad swear during their driving lessons and I chose drivers ed and drove that teacher crazy instead of Dad. Sounds like your Dad had a wonderful sense of humor. Oh that poor invisible child will forever be planted in your memory. Isn’t it funny the things that plant themselves in our minds and other things don’t? Growing up on a farm always sounded like such fun to me…maybe a grass is greener type of thing.
      Since we’re focused on roads, I can’t believe how many idiots have moved the barricades and driven over our brand new warm asphalt out front. I was putting a few pots..light ones, back onto our newly painted porch (I’ll pay later) and the construction guys were still rolling it down and there they were…the moronic drivers who just couldn’t be inconvenienced. Is there anything more intriguing yet entertaining than human nature? Don’t think so.
      How’s your pain level been lately? Thinking of you…Fondly, Sue

      • Martha:
        Love that memory of your Dad. I learned to drive while getting up hay on the farm. One of my first jobs, drive the hay wagon round the field. And Sue, it is some fun but LOT’S of work. Never a dull moment, eh Martha ??

  4. Sue, I love that Frost poem, and the Randall Thompson Frostiana selections that include it. The Detour, indeed. Good companion piece. I enjoyed it. Feeling exhausted and foggy, so I won’t mutter on. Who knows what will come out of my mouth today! I enjoyed today’s entry and am glad they are finally finishing up the road not taken in a while in front of your house! Hopefully, finishing touches are soon to come. What a saga you’ve been living since it began.

    Toodles, everyone!

    • Lyn dear, you do sound exhausted. One of those costs we each pay is our energy, isn’t it? It is wonderful to be getting things straightened up around here. Jim has helped me, under duress,(with him not being a plant lover like I am) to put back a few of my potted plants onto our freshly painted porch. You can bet each has a rolling stand or a tray to catch the water beneath it. I’ve been washing pots, benches and all the things I couldn’t reach for several months since they were all stacked up tightly. Bought mums and a white cabbage plant today and love the feel of fall in the air. Down in the mid 40’s last night and in the high 60’s today. Much pain tonight but it’s okay..got a lot done. I’ve always been a Frost fan. There was another one of his about a roadside stand but it had too many social implications from the time he wrote it to be universal in its appeal like this beloved poem. Hope you get some rest. Love you, Sue

  5. Dear Sue, Thanks for bringing back memories. My family made the trip from Southern California to Chicago several times. The first one I remember was when I was 5 ( that would have been 1935). Like you said the motels were little cabins with attached shelters for your car. No a/c going across the Mojave Dessert, stopping for food in little towns, standing on the bump in the back where the axle went through ( can’t do that any more). I’m afraid I got caught up more in that than in your message. I will reread it to get that. Glad you are finally getting your road finished and that you are feeling a little better. It is getting harder for me to type, I have what they call benign essential tremors combined with the beginnings of Parkinson’s. My handwriting is completely illegible and I have to keep going back to correct my typos. It’s not painful, but is extremely annoying. I hope things keep getting better for you. Love, Janet

    • Janet, Oh dear, I can imagine how frustrating tremors must be. So many of us have recalcitrant joints but to not have control…frustrating. My Dad had early Parkinson’s in his later years but it was not at all fast moving. You just take your time and we will understand.
      My message is often just entertainment and efforts to get our minds onto better times, old times or other times. Roads traveled is a rather universal way to look at all of our lives, don’t you think? Do take care, as ever, Sue

    • Janet, my Hubby has essential tremors, too. It makes him so angry. He used to make stained glass pieces, and the tremors got so bad, he couldn’t make the seams neatly. He also loved to etch glass, and had to give that up, too. The medication he takes for it only controls it a tiny bit. I know it’s annoying for him. He often will ask me to sign his name for him. To have this combined with Parkinson’s must be so terribly rough. I’ll include you in my prayers for him.
      It seems to me that most of the roads I wanted to take were somehow blocked. But I try to make an adventure out of the new road, whenever possible. My husband says that I “meander to the beat of a different drummer.” I try to enjoy my meandering!

  6. That brought back many memories for me also. We were three girls and mom and dad always left around 4 in the morning. We sang songs, even had the words handwritten so we could all singalong. The good old days. Funny when my daughter leaves on a trip with her family now she does the same as dad did. 4 a.m. they leave. So funny. Of course now a days I can’t move for about 2 hours once I get up so George has to have lots of patience with me. The prednisone is working for me, I can actually do more stuff I want to do without pain. It’s been 2 years of total pain. I feel like I’m in heaven some days. Also had a bladder scan and they gave me more pills to take for that as I’m in diapers all day long and night. Took the first one today. Hope I will soon be in underwear once again. Still waiting on that phone call from the Rheumy. Hope it comes soon. The doc said if the prednisone worked it was probably RA. It worked the first day I took it. Not sure how I feel about that yet. I’ll have to do more reading on RA, cause I thought it was OA. I go back to see my doc next week with all my news about my body. I only have the pills (prednisone) for 15 days and then I think she will put me back on celebrex. That kindda makes me nervous cause I don’t feel like I can handle all that pain again. Anyways enough about me.
    Sue I’m so happy to hear they are almost finished the road and you have some of your plants back where they belong. Good for you sweetheart. It’s always nice to hear good news.
    @ Janet, do take your time and all will go as planned. No one here is here to judge. We all have our own problems and all these people ( I now call them my friends) are so kind to everyone.
    @ Chris, I love that word SERENDIPITY feels like magic. Hope your e-mail is up and running with out any problems for you sweet lady.
    @ Tonie, I also like the road less travelled. So much more interesting. But seems to me I’m totally off the road and not traveling anywhere right now. Can’t wait to be back on it. I’m still able to dream big and still have HOPE in my heart.
    God bless you all.
    Love ya all big!
    XXX

    • Suzanne, even when we’re standing still, seemingly, we’re moving in some direction. You’ve made tremendous strides recently. Don’t worry about when you’re off the prednisone. Just tell the doctor what you’ve told us. I think she/he was using it as a diagnostic tool and now you know. Don’t be shy to share how you’re feeling..doctors want to know. Hope the pills for the bladder help. What an inconvenience that must be and the chafing…whoa.
      My dear, Hope is the greatest elixir we can have, don’t you know? Loved to hear about your family and sisters. We used to sing, also. Right now I’m think of one called “Ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall.” Oh my.
      Take it one day at a time dear girl…Fondly, Sue

      • Thank you Sue for your encouraging words. You always make me feel so much better. I will be telling the doctor what I told you all. I see her on Thursday, Oct 24th. Not too long to wait. Well I really have to go to bed and hopefully I’ll sleep. Just need to sleep.
        Love ya!
        XXX

    • Suzanne:
      Same with my Dad and Mom, we always left before the mists had lifted (here in the BLue RIdge we have mist in the mornings most everyday just like in Ireland ) I sat on the hump in the back seat and slept. I am so glad the Pred is helping you. Soon you will have the help you need and then things will be better. God bless ya

      • Thanks Tonie. I can’t wait for things to be looking up once more. It certainly sounds lovely where you live or I guess I should say lived??? My memory is all over the place. Sorry about that sweetpea!
        Love you big.
        XXX

  7. HELLO EVERYONE,
    JUST READ ALL THE POSTS RELATED TO THIS SMASHING BLOG, SOME OF IT RAISED A CHUCKLE OR TOO. MY SISTER WAS A YAKKER, IN THE UK A TRIP TO THE COUNTRYSIDE INVOLVED LOTS OF TWISTING LITTLE LANES, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN CHRIS….. SO MANY TIMES WE WOULD GET OUT OF THE CAR WITH AT LEAST ONE OF US COVERED IN VOMIT, STRANGE HOW SHE NEVER YAKKED OVER HERSELF. INTERESTING THE PART ABOUT DETOURS SUE, THERE ARE MANY PATHS ALL OF US MIGHT HAVE TAKEN, BUT WE WERE PREORDAINED TO FOLLOW THOSE WE DECIDED TO TAKE, I SUPPOSE WE ALL WONDER WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF WE HAD TURNED DOWN A DIFFERENT ROAD. SUE, TIM HAD A SIGMOIDOSCOPY, GETS THE RESULTS OF THE BIOPSIES IN TWO WEEKS, HE SEEMS A LOT MORE CHEERFUL, SO HOPE THAT WILL BE THE END OF IT, HUBBY GOES THIS TUESDAY. GOT BACK FROM THE SHOPS TODAY, TO FIND A COUPLE OF BIRDS FLYING ROUND MY HOUSE, COULDN’T BELIEVE IT THE WINDOW WAS ALMOST CLOSED, SO HOW THE HELL THEY GOT IN I DON’T KNOW, THEY ARE CRAPPING MACHINES, IT WAS ALL ON THE CARPETS, THE BED, THE WALLS, I THOUGHT “THANKS FOR THAT” AH WELL ALL GOD’S CREATURES EH?? DON’T KNOW WHATS GOING ON WITH MY INNERDS SUE, GOT SOMETHING A BIT LIKE CYSTITIS WITHOUT THE STINGING WHEN YOU PEE, GOT THE DRAGGING FEELING AND THE BURNING PAIN DOWN BELOW, ANY ADVICE, I KNOW YOU SAID CRANBERRY TABLETS BEFORE, GOT THE LIQUID, BUT ITS HANGING ABOUT, AND VERY UNPLEASANT. RIGHT WELL GLAD TO SEE EVERYONE ON HERE, AND HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A REALLY STONKING WEEKEND………MY LOVE TO YOU ALL, ………….JENNIE XXXXXXX

    • Oh Jennie, birds in the house…gees. What a mess. How did you get them out? Then all that clean-up. Know your DH is great help at times like that. Dear girl get yourself to a doctor and pee into a cup. You probably have an infection and need antibiotics. When you’re that miserable it isn’t just dehydration or irritation, usually it means you need to kill a few bacteria. I have a feeling “very unpleasant” is an understatement in your case.
      Jen, if it isn’t cystitis, it may be you’ve been on your feet too much. I know that happens to me due to poor muscle turgor and if I stand or walk too long it twings a bit. I also get it from hot food or food that is too spicy, like peppers, curry, etc. Strangely some acids will do it although Vitamin C is often given to paraplegics for chronic bladder problems to keep the urine clear. I just want you to be certain something sinister isn’t going on and get it checked.
      Did you ever read books by Norman Cousins? He wrote about humor and the role it plays in health. He tells of being in the hospital once and substituting his morning apple juice for his urine sample. Apparently he reached over and told the nurse he needed to filter it one more time and drank it (the apple juice, not the urine)and she went running from the room. He was a wonderful pioneer in the subject of humor therapy. His books are wonderful.

      Oh my nothing like those memories of puke being shared in a hot car. Funny now…As far as Tim, I pray he gets some answers this time around. How are he and Claire hanging in there? Is he feeling okay enough to work now? Poor lad. Not sure what a stonking weekend would be but guess we’ll try. Love you, Sue

  8. To all
    Just incase you don’t all know…. I knw it’s on Facebook……sue,s Jim has a kidney stone and is home now after being in ER
    He is in a lot of pain and still has the kidney stone and as Sue says he wouldn’t stay on hospital..l know we all wish Jim the best and that this blimmin stone will pass pretty dam quick. Thinking of you sue love Chrisx

    • Thanks Chris. It helps so much to have friends all over the world like you in England, reaching out to us. Much love…Sue Long night continues.

  9. HI SUE , BLIMEY YOU KEPT THAT QUIET ABOUT POOR JIM, I DO HOPE AS CHRIS SAYS, HE PASSES IT QUICKLY AND WITHOUT TOO MUCH PAIN, POOR OLD LOVE. A STONKING WEEKEND SUE, IS A GREAT WEEKEND, THOUGHT YOU WERE USED TO MY SAYINGS NOW, BUT THEN MAYBE I NEVER USED THAT ONE BEFORE.
    NORMAN COUSINS, NO CAN’T SAY I HAVE READ ANY OF HIS BOOKS, BUT I WILL GOOGLE HIM AND MAYBE GET ONE FROM AMAZON. TIM AND CLAIRE ARE IN LIVERPOOL THIS WEEKEND, THEY HAVE BOOKED INTO A SPA HOTEL FOR THE WEEKEND, TIM HAS GONE TO SEE HIS FOOTBALL TEAM PLAY AWAY…CLAIRE GETS THE SPA. I THINK MAYBE THERE IS AN INFECTION GOING ON WITH ME SUE, AS I AM GOING TO THE LOO BOTH ENDS EVERY HALF HOUR, STILL DRINKING THE CRANBERRY JUICE, AND TAKING AMOXICILLIN TWICE DAILY, PLUS A PROBIOTIC, I WILL SEE HOW IT GOES FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS, OBVIOUSLY IF IT CONTINUES I WILL SEEK HELP, I JUST WANT TO GET BARRY IN TO THE CLEAR FIRST, AFTER TUESDAY, THEN WE WILL SEE. ITS A MISERABLE WEEKEND HERE IN OUR PART OF FRANCE, BUT SET TO CHANGE ON MONDAY, AND BE MILD AND SUNNY RIGHT TO THE END OF THE MONTH, HMMM!! WILL SEE HOW THAT PANS OUT. OK FOLKS, NOT GOT MUCH TO ADD EXCEPT GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND KEEP YOU ALL SAFE……………JENNIE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    • Jennie,I didn’t keep it close to the vest…he only got sick yesterday about 2PM He came home, grabbed some PJ bottoms and laid down.Jail commander who is a good friend showed up a few mins. later and was very concerned. He wanted to grab one of our other friends, one of the jail doctors and bring him over. I told him I’d get him to the ER when he needed to and it was about twenty mins later I suggested we go and Jim agreed.That in itself is amazing. They thought at first it was a bowel thing, then the cat scan showed it was a kidney stone but had traveled down into the bladder and the pain got better. Still straining urine and he’s still taking the pain meds and some other meds so time will tell.
      I’m so sorry you’re feeling so rotten. Glad you got on the antibiotics and hope they clear it up. You might need to back of of the juice due to the diarrhea. Let me know how you’re doing..Love you..Sue

      • Sue ! Yet another event in your “uneventful” life !! Prayers for Jim and you dear. Glad it was just a stone and nothing worse. It must have been painful for him to agree to go that readily.
        First chance i have had to get on here today. Been trying to “find” my house as mother used to say. Floors clean, kitchen clean, some stuff put up and dogs flea dipped ! Now I have Tom Selleck movies on and am getting ready to start some crafts.
        One of the lady’s from church is in the hospital with chest pains, they are doing a cath on here today so will get better news soon I pray. Please pray for her, she is Dorothy.
        I am so tired today from working all week. Took me back to when I had a job and I would work, come home and lay down.
        Jennie, glad Time and CLaire are taking some time away. And you take care you !
        Chris, hope you are feeling better. Did you get to see your Dad today ??
        Lyn, fatique is one of the worse things huh ? So much to get done and so little energy to do it. My spoons run out WAY before my chores do.
        Take care all
        Love you
        Tonie

      • Yes Sue, you are so right, when George got kidney stones, we were having supper at our son’s house and once we got home and to bed it just hit him. He toughed it until 5 a.m. and then I called the ambulance.
        Love to all. Hope Jim is doing a bit better now. It Thurs. Oct 24. XXX

  10. Hi all
    Sue how’s it all there now with Jim

    Had to call an ambulance for DH last nite chest pains.they took him to Hosp I followed. He is home now we got home at 5am. Tests all showed nothing..so they think it was reflux and his confusion is the bp tabs.but they are not strong enough for him bp too high
    So folks gonna go and get sorted looks like more drs appts next week now
    My dad better but morphine causing bladder retention and catheter in again!
    I was only at emergency last Saturday with my dad!
    So I’m aching all over leg muscles bad
    Back later Chris

    • Oh Chris ! Poor dear, you and Sue and your dh’s. GOd bless ya, hope you are getting some rest today. I am glad nothing was wrong with him. So frightening when you get the chest pains like that. Reflux will cause those symptoms. The lady from church is having heart surgery tomorrow. she had three blockages, got two open and used stents, but the third will not open so they are doing bypass. Continue to pray for her please.

      Love to all
      Tonie

    • Oh Chris, Of course there was something wrong, they just don’t know what it is yet but to rule out anything critical is always the wise choice. Your poor man. Tell hm we’re thinking of him, all of us women! Wish they could find something to calm down that B/P. When Jim got to the ER the other night his B/P was 208/110.. Thankfully it came down a little with the pain med that went into his veins.
      I know how difficult this has been for you and on your body. I’m in so much pain from those 6-7 hours walking or in a chair. Bowels messed up, pain in back and bottom unbearable…but you and I, we wives and daughters, we do what we have to do. What is the alternative. Sometimes the price of love and responsibilities is hard to bear. Just do what I’m doing right now dear girl and just take it one hour at a time. Prayers and many hugs.
      As far as your Dad, morphine is a hard drug on old folks unless they are terminal. Not surprised he can’t urinate. Maybe they will change his meds. Where is he having pain?

  11. Hi sue
    That was certainly a high bp reading .he must have been in bad pain
    .my dad had a stone some years ago,but it didnt reach the bladder and he had to have it out. He had a tube put in first ,to help it down the ureter I think
    Has Jim passed his yet is he in less pain?
    Those waits are certainly tiring at hosp
    Well it’ll be drs app tomorrow for DD ,the week looks set for hosp etc
    My dads rib that was broken hurts him .you ought to see the size of the bruise it covers half of his top part
    Tonie
    That poor lady ,will be thinking of her tomorrow
    Well all just got some washing to sort out and off to bed to read oh no I’m not I’ve got Downton to watch I forgot!
    Chris

    • Chris, that sounds like a huge bruise. Is your Dad on a blood thinner? Poor man, that must still be very painful. I suspect he’s really sort of tickled by knowing people so far away are thinking of him. Sounds like you have a busy week..hope it doesn’t get to be too much. Rest when you can, okay?
      Jim is feeling much better and back at work today. I have to go into Portland tomorrow to see the rheumy so he’ll get away to take me in. We’re having lovely weather right now. Enjoying our new street. Now the sidewalks. I have a new Ipad and need to find some time to find out how to use it. Think it will be great but for now I’m trying to get the porch straightened out. Scrubbing a wood bench that got all the exhaust from the trucks and wasn’t meant to be out in the open all summer. Got new rubber stair treads for our bad weather out front and put carpet tape on them yesterday but just that much sun had me perspiring all night in a cold house. It’s this whole sun sensitivity..ugh, so many problems.I know many of us have a bucket full of complications and symptoms but it does get old. Take care in your busy week. Love, Sue

  12. Chris:
    My Dad was like that also. Didn’t say much atal. So much sickness and death around us these days. A man I grew up with passed on Saturday. His sister lives down the road from me. She called me and I agreed to sing for his funeral tonight. I had no idea he was sick. He was 58. If young people who drink to excess, smoke and do drugs could see a man like him and where it leads you….well but they still think they are bullet proof don’t they. I was glad to hear he gave his heart to the Lord though. He had cancer, heart disease and liver failure. His legs were so swollen they split open. (WHat causes that, the heart disease ?)
    I am taking a break before heading outdoors to get my final things done before cold sets in. It is gonna get WAY down this week at night. So need to do a few more things. Gotta bring in the plants, drain the hottub.

    Sue I pray you are recovering from all the ER stuff. I know how difficult it is for you to do all that, yet you still do. There are so many of us who are just not up to par to do any kind of extended sitting or standing, well let;s face it MOVING ! A little dab will do ya ? (remember the Brylcreme commercials ?) This week of working and Dr’s appt, etc reminded me of when I was working, just coming home and dropping. If I was in doubt of my abilites than not any more. Trying to continue to function in the way we have always is so hard to give up. Exercising, doing what I can to keep moving, the lack of energy. Fatique is such a horrible companion. (there is you a topic Sue) I really think I can deal with pain better than fatique. Although the pain helps make it worse huh ?
    Prayers for you all. Even you who read and don’t speak up. I can’t tell you how glad I am we have this blog back again. I know Sue wants to help others thru this and it works for me. When we talk about all the things we go thru there is always some of us that gets, hope, help or can just empathize with it. Take care all
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Oh my, sounds life is piling up. I hate it when that happens but certainly understand. Yes, dear, I am still in a lot of pain from that 6 or so hours in the ER but I felt so badly for Jim. I tell you, he should made that gurney look small. I hate those miserable, uncomfortable things.He’s much better today and didn’t strain all his urine so may have passed it out of the bladder by now. He’s sore and tired but so much better. I had GS today as he is having stomach upset. We watched two movies made here in Astoria…GOONIES and SHORT CIRCUIT. It was fun.I have to run into Portland tomorrow to see the rheumy in the afternoon. Dread the trip but like to see her. Do take care dear girl and better days will come. Know what you mean about getting ready for winter. I feel the push but don’t have the energy. Love..later, Sue
      look

      • Sue:
        Glad Big Jim is doing better. And we know you can’t keep him down long huh ? It seems it is just normal for us to be in pain, but it is awful when our loved ones are down. I will be praying for you and your tushie today.
        I thought of you last night. I sang for the funeral and the director wanted me to play entrance and exit music. So I had to sit on that bench for over an hour. This morning my back and tushie feels like something stomped on me. Whenever I have to sit long periods I always think how awful it must be for you. I didn’t know SHort Circuit was made there as well. Love that movie !
        Take care dear
        Love
        Tonie

      • Oh dear we had tiny flurries up here in Quebec. It’s getting very cold now and still not finished doing what I need to do. So I can certainly understand the feeling. Tomorrow is another day. Sleep well everyone.
        Love you big!
        XXX

  13. Hi
    Well Sue I hope you get to like the iPad.i love mine and wish we had an apple desk top too. but price determines!
    It must be good to get all sorted now, but you balance it out….that’s me talking!!!
    That’s so good Jim is better ,a relief..you never know what’s around the corner do you ?
    My dad was put on a blood thinner about a day after he went into hosp I don’t think its warfarin but they inject it into the stomach
    Tonie. My uncle had something similar with his legs,but they leaked fluid all the time and he had heart probs
    It’s a shame you can’t use the hot tub a bit longer,but I guess it’s prudent to get it all safely tucked away for winter.so many jobs to do…you watch it too ok?
    Don’t we all do to much!

    My dad has now gone to a rehab centre,,he was there before
    DH ok.saw dr.she said leave all settle down……!
    Me….IBS ,reflux ,skin buzzing, legs sore
    Oh well got some tv recorded to watch
    Chris

    I

    • Chris, sounds like few changes with the guys. Do take care of your gut and so much more. Is Jen seeing a new doc? Jen…do take care and let us know how it goes. Love you both, Sue

  14. Hi sue
    Nope it’s Jennie’s DH having the cysoscopy thingy.
    Awake as usual in the nite..I want some fairy dust magicked around here! Don’t we all?
    Hope all goes well with the app. for you
    I agree with Tonie,I couldn’t have got thru all I have done without knowing I could get onto Sues blog,it’s a treasure.
    Chris

    • Thanks Chris..I do know about jen’s husband..forget.That’s how bright I am at midnight. You guys and your compliments…you’re going to turn my head…but probably not because that sounds painful…Love, Sue

  15. Tonie, oh yes..those hard benches can be devils. Some of the simple acts of life so many take for granted become so dangerous for us and let’s face it…some things are just so embarrassing to share with just anybody. Someone says, “Hi, how are you?” You say “Fine,” and what you really want to say is “I feel like crap. My ass is throbbing and I can’t poop because of it!!”.Hope you recoup today. Not looking forward to our trip but must..Glad it’s in the afternoon. Think we’ll take George. Can’t kennel him all day but Jake will be fine. He sleeps a lot and DD will come by to check on him. Must get something done before I get too carried away on FB. Love you..Sue

  16. Hey Sue:
    Doing okay. Still hurting, but not as much. Praying for your trip this afternoon. It is turning colder here and supposed to blow snow tonight. UGHHH!! Going to Dr tomorrow to get set up for my Lyrica. George is on a road trip!!! How exciting.:)
    Resting on my heated blanket and got my hot “bag o corn” behind my neck.
    Love ya
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Glad you’re staying warm in that…snow?? Bit early isn’t it? I need out my microwave heating bad..I forget it and just go for the heating pads. Well, so much for George and the traveling bit. He gets car sick!! He threw-up all over me.It was on the way in and we had to pull over and wipe me off and fortunately had an old towel in the car and used a bottle of seltzer to wipe off. My pants were still wet when I got to the doctor’s but I explained. Seems she has a Yorkie and finds them a real pain. Her broke his leg jumping when he was little and she hard to house train. I already figured that one out. My visit was a bit discouraging. May start on a new injectible drug to build bone. Will have to see if the insurance will cover it as it is very expensive. Would involve a daily injection for two years. I don’t mind that, as an old nurse, but we will have to see. She thinks I should expect more fractures of the vertebrae…kind of like a crumbling tower..oh joy. I’m exhausted. GD is hanging out here today due to a sore throat..More later. Love, Oh yes, let me know how it goes at doctor. Sue

      • Hey Sue:
        Georgie gets sick ! Poor baby and poor you ! I have never had one that got sick before. I took my two boys with me into town today. Nothing really new at the Dr’s, she just ordered the Lyrica for me. My BP was an excellent 112/78. The only good thing LEFT. Hurting after sitting for over and hour plus the drive. How is it my sitter is gone just like that ?? It is windy and cold, no snow yet, but it sure looks like it. Down to 48′ this evening. So sorry about the news from your doc. We will just pray more and know that the right thing will come about. Okay ? Love you much

  17. HELLO,
    WELL WENT WITH DH TO THE HOSPITAL YESTERDAY, THE CYSTOSCOPY WAS NOT SUCCESFULL, HE NEEDS AN OPERATION, A RESECTION OF THE URETHA? AN ENLARGED PROSTATE IS CAUSING A BLOCKAGE AND IT HAS TO BE DEALT WITH. HE WILL BE HOSPITALIZED FOR EIGHT DAYS TILL HIS DOCTOR IS SATISFIED HIS FLOW IS NORMAL AGAIN. GOT MYSELF SORTED OUT THIS MORNING, THE CYSTITIS WENT TO MY KIDNEYS AND I COULD HARDLY WALK MY DOC WAS CROSS, SAID I SHOULD HAVE COME IN BEFORE THIS, BUT YOU WERE ON HOLIDAY SAID I, WELL YOU COULD HAVE SEEN MY COLLEAGUE SAID HE, NOT BLOODY LIKELY SAID I, HE NEVER GETS OWT RIGHT, I HASTEN TO ADD MY DOCTOR AND I HAVE A CERTAIN SENSE OF HUMUR, AND HE TOTALLY GETS ME, WHICH IT QUITE A COMBO, A FRENCHMAN AND A YORKSHIRE LASS…………!!!!!!
    ANYWAY, GOT MY DOG ON EPO, HE IS OK, NOW I HAVE TO DO SOME FORWARD THINKING AND PLANNING ABOUT HOW I AM GOING TO COPE DURING DH’S ABSENCE, I WON’T BE ABLE TO GO AND SEE HIM UNLESS LIZ TAKES PITY ON ME AND TAKES ME THERE, BUT WE WILL WORK SOMETHING OUT. I MANAGED TO GET UP TO HER HOUSE WITH DH AND GET EVERYTHING CLEAN FOR WHEN SHE RETURNS FROM HER UK TRIP. THINK I NEED TO REST NOW.
    SUE, ..THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVICE, YOU KNOW HOW GRATEFUL I AM, AND YOUR HOUSE LOOKS STUNING AS I TOLD YOU BEFORE, SO I GUESS IT WAS ALL WORTHWHILE IN THE END, AND JIM GETTING BETTER MUST HAVE BEEN A REAL BONUS FOR YOU.
    TONIE….MY DEAR FRIEND, I A SORRY YOU ARE HURTING, I HATE TO HEAR THAT….SNOW !!!!! SURELY NOT,ITS EARLY FOR THAT ISN’T IT?? SORRY ABOUT THE LONG SIT ON THE BENCH, I KNOW HOW DIFFICULT THAT CAN BE, STAY WARM PET AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
    CHRIS..WE HAVE SPOKEN, SO WILL CATCH YOU NEXT TIME, TAKE CARE.
    OK I AM OUTA HERE……….I LOVE YOU ALL…….JENNIE XXXXXXXXXXXX

    • Jenny dear. Sorry for your troubles and keeping DH in my prayers. Did your Dr get you sorted out ?? Don’t you drive sweetie ?? I can’t imagine you not. Hope you get it all worked out . I bet it will be strange with Dh gone just you and Sacha ! I am laying on my heated blankie recupping from sitting in the Dr’s office for over an hour. It is COLD out there and definitely them clouds looking like snow clouds. We have a cold front coming down from Canada (thanks Brenda !) so the snow is just going to be flurries. But is sure has affected that wind. COLD. I took the dogs with me to the Dr and we stopped in the drive thru and had chili for me and chicken nuggets for them. It was a great deal, I had a free chili coupon and $1 for their chicken !! 🙂 Rest up
      Love
      Tonie

  18. HI TONIE,
    I USED TO DRIVE AND HOLD A FULL ENGISH AND A FRENCH LICENCE, BUT WHEN MY SPINE AND FEET BECAME BAD WITH O/A I GAVE UP AS I WAS WORRIES MY FEET WOULD GO INTO SPASM AND I MIGHT HAVE A COLLISION, JUST DARE NOT RISK IT……….AND I MISS IT SO. THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS MY LOVE, AND RIGHT BACK AT YOU, BLIMEY I HOPE THE MEDS THE DOC PUT ME ON KICK IN SOON, I FEEL LIKE CRAP…..NO MUSTN’T GO THERE HA HA! THEY CERTAINLY CAUSE ME TO RUN TO THE LITTLE ROOM IN EVERY WHICH WAY. GOT TO WAIT FOR THE ONSUTANT TO WRITE TO THE FAMILY DOCTOR BEFORE MY DH CAN GET BOOKED IN, I SPOKE TO LIZ WHO IS BACK FROM THE UK NOW, AND SHE SAID SHE WILL HEP US OUT WHEN HOSPITAL TIME COMES, SO THATS A RELIEF, SHE IS COMING FOR LUNCH TOMORROW, WE WILL MULL IT OVER THEN………LOOK AFTER YOURSELF HON, KEEP WARM AND SAFE..I LOVE YOU…….JENNIE POO!!!!!! XXXXXXXX

    • Jennie, Hope you found my reply and words on FB message for you. Too tired tonight but we’ll chat tomorrow…Love and courage dear girl. Sue

  19. Oh yeah Jenny I got it. If I couldn’t drive I would be up the creek as it were. We gotta thank Him for all the little blessings huh ? You rest up, take yer meds and behave for a while. I figured Liz would help you out since you help her (albeit you get eggs) I had my shower and need to get dressed for church, going early to work on our crafts some. No worries, most of the time I just read over and don’t see the misspells !! Love ya

  20. Hi
    Tonie that was a good bp reading….you must be one calm lady.
    Sue
    Hope you can get these injections sorted out .and hope the Grands keep them sore throats to themselves
    If you could i would like to see the photos of your home.when you can get around to it

    Well where Is everyone Annie,Laura ,an all what you a doin ??
    Gonna try and get some sleep ,saw my dad tonite so mite go for a ride tomorrow ,just a little one. DH has rotten headaches on these tabs again so have to see.oh the tabs name is doxazosin for bp
    Ok that’s it lights out Chris

  21. Sue
    As said on email,the photos were beautiful .the colours terrific,how cud you have doubted them.it all looks lovely. The pots look so good where they are and the pink chair great there.as I said I want to sit there too
    It looks a lovely place to come home to
    Wel I do hope you are a bit better today and can start some sort of recovery now after all the crap you’ve had..hope you don’t catch the sore throat
    Well the sun is shining here good start to the day. DH still asleep so don’t what we will be doing but be back end of day
    Chris

  22. Mornin”
    Chris, my BP is always low like that, basically I am calm, but even when stressed out it doesn’t go up much. Have a great day in the sunshine. We are having a wintry bit of weather here. It is supposed ot pass over next week and be back up in the 60’s. Not feeling my best today, but must make a living of sorts. So off to see Ms Alice. Take care and enjoy your drive. Are the trees all changing colors there ? The mtns are beautiful here.
    Love
    Tonie

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