One day, several years ago, my then six-year-old granddaughter said to me, “Nana, you want to hear something?” I said, “Sure,” because she was giggling which made me think it was going to be extra good. She said, beginning the sing-song dirge of the ABC song, “A B C D E F G, H I J K et cetera.” Then she laughed the delightful laugh of a six-year-old. I chuckled of course, because it was so unexpected. I asked her where she heard that word and she said her Mom had told her what et cetera meant. In an attempt to be the adult, I warned her it was best not to use that phrase when she was asked to say the ABC’s in kindergarten.
Here we go again, many of us, facing yet another health crisis. For those of us who have lived with any kind of chronic health problem for years, we aren’t in as much shock as many of our fellows because of the current Corona virus. We are accustomed to being shut up in our homes, taking precautions, especially if we are compromised already in our immunity. For some of us it is frightening but for others it just means more time away from the family or perhaps more time with the family. My husband, Jim and I are simply isolating ourselves, eating food out of the freezer or eating groceries our dear daughter has brought over from an online order she picked up at the local grocers.
This time offers many families the opportunity to have more time together for trips to the extremely deserted beaches, walks along the quiet streets, etc. There it is again, that phrase. In thinking about this week’s blog I realized how this crisis in the world does tie us all together as never before because it involves the whole planet. To personalize it however, brings out a more positive side of this time we’re currently living in. Families can take time out from their regular lives, time out from the et cetera of daily living and play games, tell family stories, and actually communicate which isn’t always easy to do in the hubbub and bustle of the regularity and routine of daily living. It certainly is a change and change can often be good. Now, to further explore the interesting facets of that old phrase, et cetera.
I realize, except for the King of Siam in the old musical, THE KING AND I, one hardly hears that phrase any longer. If a child can figure out so quickly it’s a good way to get out of recitation, then we have to sharpen up our skills. Do you remember the last time you went to a new doctor and you had 6 pages of your medical history to fill out, not even including the sheet for your medications? Some of the doctors I have seen over the many years or been seen by, one couldn’t find my chart and winged it and the last two orthopedics men and one internist didn’t bother to look at them. Why do we waste our time and effort? I’ve decidedfor the next new doctor I see, I will simply write “I’ve been in pain for over thirty years, et cetera; if interested further, talk to the bearer of this paper.”
I think the phrase would come in handy when I don’t feel like cooking dinner, such as, “Same old, same old, et cetera; lunchmeat in refrigerator, bread out on counter.” Then I’ll go to bed. Don’t you become exhausted with the effort to be the person you once were? I confess, I still try and often feel the pull of love, duty and an ordinary life. But there are some days when the same old et cetera puts its gnarly hand on my shoulder and I become tired of even speaking the words it would take to explain.
Many years ago, in my past life, sickness was something you caught, obtained treatment for, received get well cards for and then recovered from. This life of living with chronic pain year after year has so many “so forths” in it they grow quite tedious. I even become bored with me, et cetera
Maybe FLASH CARDS would be a good idea. They could be an interesting variety of words and phrases for us to hold up or post in the front window like businesses do to alert the UPS carriers if they have a package pick-up. We could put them on strings and wear them around our necks when we leave the house after this crisis passes. Just think of all the things we could say to our family, friends and physicians, let’s see…
SPEAK TO ME AT YOUR OWN PERIL AND MINE
ROUGH WATERS AHEAD, YOU FIGURE OUT WHERE THEY’RE COMING FROM
COLD CUTS FOR DINNER TONIGHT OR GO GET TAKE OUT
DO YOU KNOW WHAT PAIN DAY AFTER DAY FEELS LIKE? NO? LET ME SHOW YOU
DON’T TELL ME YOU DON’T HAVE ANY CLEAN CLOTHES; THAT SHIRT LOOKS FINE TO ME
I WANT TO BE ALONE BEFORE I KILL SOMEONE…RUN!
I TAKE PAIN PILLS BECAUSE THEY’RE NOW CHEAPER THAN SILVER BULLETS
DON’T ASK ME HOW I FEEL UNLESS YOU MEAN IT!
I ALWAYS LOVE DOGS; IT’S PEOPLE I CAN’T ALWAYS STAND
HIDE THE GUNS BUT LEAVE THE KITCHEN KNIVES ALONE; A GIRL ALWAYS NEEDS A BACK-UP PLAN
PLEASE READ MY HISTORY BEFORE YOU ASK ME SOMETHING STUPID AND LOSE ANY CHANCE OF GAINING MY RESPECT
I’M THE ONE WHO’S PAYING YOU, REMEMBER HOW THAT WORKS?
SO, WE’RE OUT OF MILK? BUT STRANGELY ENOUGH THE WORLD IS STILL REVOLVING.
DOES THIS LOOK NORMAL TO YOU?
WHAT DO YOU THINK PAIN LOOKS LIKE? WANTA’ SEE?
BURN THAT DARN PAIN SCALE…PLEASE!
I’ll let all of you figure out who would be on the receiving end of these flash cards. It would be so much easier than speaking or yelling or getting hysterical and not quite as rude as that “Speak to the hand” business. It would be more like “Speak to the finger.” Did I say middle finger? Shame on you for thinking that. I could have meant thumbs up, for a “good job.”
Well, I’m already feeling a little bit better. I know we can’t be without the et cetera altogether because some people don’t listen or they feel they’ve heard about our health so much they know it by heart. No. We’re the ones who know it in our hearts, minds and bodies. When we’re faced with the same old pain in several places at the same time, we often do not have the physical strength to explain; we’re too busy writhing, crying or planning our next move.
I must confess, having so many problems at once becomes tedious, even to me. If only life would come at us with only one problem in hand but oh no, that’s not how it works. Skin trouble, joint pain, muscles spasms, cancer, viruses of all strengths, acute fatigue and weight up and down, need I go on and so forth? For me it’s a case of having multiple rheumatoid problems all at the same time and I know for many others, their problems cause other problems which begat other problems, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Stay strong my friends. This too shall pass. Just be safe so you don’t pass along with it.
All I can say to this Sue, is right on!! Keep safe.
Cindy, Thanks so much. Fondly, Sue
Thanks Sue, I needed that! My unit had been transformed into the Respiratory Care Unit. Our brave nurses enter every day and night and care for those presumptive patients with Covid-19. No longer are nurses angels, they are super smart, compassionate and fearless warriors in the face of this enemy. I am proud to be a nurse and to see the good in everyone around me!
Brenda, Are you currently working in that unit? Good for you. I wasn’t sure if you were talking about yourself. I agree our nurses today have to be everything; smart, compassionate and technologically savvy. I am also proud of all of the medical workers. My daughter is a speech path and had to see inpatients today. So many are walking into risk to do their jobs. This is true also of many of the grocery stores, etc. Fondly, Sue
Focusing on the positive and staying safe here. Thanks for this, Sue! Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Lyn dear, doing all we can and are expected to do here as well. Love, Sue
Loved this sue
Along with funny good sentiments is hard won knowledge
All keep safe
Chris, one good thing about getting old is seeing the humor in that knowledge, don’t you think? Glad you liked the blog. Staying safe here as well. Pleased when it finally passes over, Love, Sue
Sue (and all)
Humor is what gets me through tough times. It is the Southern way, lol. Today so much stillness and fear in people’s faces. When we go out we try to make people smile and laugh just a little. It is a serious situation. Don’t get me wrong. But trusting in Him and having Faith, along with using the wisdom He gave us, will see us through.
B lost one of his best friends in France Monday to this virus. The man’s wife has it as well, and several other of his friends. He has spoken to them and they are amazed at how quickly this spreads. So he is sitting on me not wanting me to go anywhere . But I am being good . We have much work to do here, if it ever stops raining, lol.
Good to see all the responses. Prayers for us all. Especially those nurses, dr’s, store employees, police, and all who are daily working to keep us going.
Tonie, glad you are both keeping yourselves safe. Indeed, so many wonderful aspects of human nature have emerged in so many. Of course, there are the morons who won’t comply but this time people are scared and that is causing compliance. So sorry to hear about B’s good friends. Awful and so sad. This is one vicious virus and thankfully not evolving as much as they feared; still dangerous. We are also staying in. My oncologist called me yesterday to cancel an appt. for next week and to be sure I was staying isolated. She reminded me of what a great risk I am at in this situation being so immune suppressed as I am. We are all getting restless but life isn’t that different for many of us. Hope your rain let up so you can get your spring work farm chores up and running. Love, Sue
Sue, great blog once again! My rheumatologist also told me I am high risk! I was to get a biologic infusion yesterday and then the second dose mid-April, but I decided it was best to stat home.
I hope everyone is staying safe and isolated! Pommum Brenda
I hope everyone is staying isolated and safe!
Brenda, Pommum, the very same advice to you. All of us with any autoimmune disease is a high risk, as well as asthmatics, those with high blood pressure, heat conditions, etc. Everyone needs to stay in. Thank the Lord for companies who are now delivering, like Costco and other local markets. Others caring for others. Both of my kids are working at this time, part time for my DD and full time by phone for my son. They are both in medicine. Stay aware, love, Sue
Rain stopped for a few days. So we have been busy. It’s almost April and I have nothing planted yet. So ….soon. Here all is well, as I pray it is there and with all. We are having a “drive in” church service this am. I have missed church, but God is everywhere. I have had good services on the lawnmower, lol. Toilet paper is scarce as hen’s teeth, but we will survive this as well. All the good stuff we eat is in abundance at the stores so no problem there either. Plenty of stuff stored from the summer.
Now, I hope everyone and their spouses, children and animals are all getting along nicely. My daughter is actually liking the homeschooled bit. She sees where one of the boys has a problem and is fixing that. Of course, she is having fun with them. Making them call her “Mrs Horton”, lol.
Okay, coffee time. Prayers for all of us in this crazy time we are going through. God bless us all.
Tonie, I love that your DD is loving homeschooling. How great is that. Now that she has the time, it is also good to be with the kids more. Am surprised to hear about your late planting so crazy weather, huh? it will get done, Knowing you. I am so pleased that B got home to be with you before all of this happened to the world.
I mentioned to Brenda that my kids are still doing some work. My DD as a speech pathologist has to occasionally see swallowing patients in the hospital but they have otherwise closed her department, thank God, as I do worry about her being in the hospital atmosphere or even out in public. We’ve been blessed to have her ordering grocery pickups for us as well as herself. My son is working from home. As you know he is an RN exec. for a large company that works all of the USA. He is involved in equipping ER’s all over the country; for instance ordering large tents for those in the highly populated areas of infection like NY, CA and New Orleans. All those idiots who went to Mardi Gras. Know I didn’t spell that correctly. Two weeks after partying it is all popping out down there in a big way. He is also helping them with other problems all over the country by phone.
We are just bored and playing it safe as we all should be. J and I have been watching our massive DVD collection. Right now we are watching that marvelous old TV mini series WINDS OF WAR. Glad you’re well fed. As far as TP, well, you do live on a farm. I keep remembering my Mom referring to someone as being as rough as an old cob. Remember that old sage? Love you much, Sue