Saturday, July 23, 2011

Random Thoughts

Yesterday was a grueling day. It began with a trip to two banks and a pharmacy. It was 107 outside with poor air quality. My lungs were not happy. I came home and began the arduous task of filing for social security disability. My company's long term disability carrier told me that I had to and if I didn't they would be deducting the amount from what I would get. Apparently, if you are out of work a year you are entitled to this. Besides, there is no guarantee that the surgery will eliminate the other issues, although I am optomistic about it. We shall see. It took me literally hours to find dates of hospitalizations, addresses of doctors and they asked for lists of tests done. Their system didn't allow for over twenty CT scans done in the past two years. I felt they had plenty to work with anyway.

I am on a low sodium diet with strong diuretics to keep the fluid off. This has lead to some real constipation issues. I was in a lot of discomfort last evening.

I am dealing with some friends who have real issues too. They want to lean on me about their issues and it's hard to be sympathetic sometimes. Many people create their own problems and think they are much more difficult than mine. I would love to have them walk a mile in my shoes.

I came across a poem I love. I love ee cummings. I love Rob.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart) i am never without it(anywhere i go you go my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it's you who are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud)

and the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sleepless in Englishtown

Today was really a rough one for me. It started out well with the new mattress and box spring being delivered and the recliner. I was expecting a friend to come for the afternoon. I had just made up the new bed when the phone rang. It was my employer. They made an administrative decision to let me go. Although I felt this was a possibility it was shocking to hear. I actually broke down and cried on the phone. While I can Cobra my health insurance, Rob was on my dental and as of August 1 we won't have dental until we can sign up with his company for the next year. I also loose my life insurance. What I don't understand is why they didn't let me know sooner. This call put me on an emotional roller coaster.

My first feeling was shock and disappointment. In October I would have been there four years. The first two years my attendance was stellar and so was my job performance. In July 2009 the health issues began and I was out on disability several times but always made it back within the short term disability period. This time, I couldn't. Next came a wave of anger at the doctor who had been my cardiologist for about eight years. He failed to find the problem and the fluid back up from the heart was keeping my lungs wet and causing me frequent bouts of pneumonia as well as leg swelling and I was exhausted for much of that time. In hindsight I am amazed I was able to work at all. Most days I came home from work and ate something, then went to bed. I went to the doctor so many times with swollen legs and even when he saw that I was on oxygen all the time and so short of breath he told me it couldn't be the heart. How wrong he was. Now I have lost income for two years, lost health (my lungs will never be the same), and now my job. I can't explain how he laughed when I made inquries about all these issues. My lung doctor repeatedly said she thought it was my heart and he just shrugged off anything she had to say. In the end it was she who was right.
Tomorrow my mother wants to take me and my sister-in-law to Lancaster for the day. A diversion from all that is happening. Not sure I am up to it. I can't even sleep tonight and there is a heatwave here in the NorthEast. Going to be 95 again tomorrow and over 100 Friday.
I am moving forward. Next week will be so difficult for me but I have to keep telling myself that I have to do this. Without the surgery the heart failure will overtake me and my existence will be miserable fighting fluid overload. I want to get through this and move onto a better place, where I am once again living.
This is so hard on those who love me and I hate that they are having to go through this with me. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. I won't be online after Monday, July 25 but surgery is 27th.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Retail Therapy

Last week my Mother got a check for life insurance from my father. It was a small policy and she decided to divide it amongst her five children. I thought that was nice but of course, it's difficult to enjoy receiving money under these circumstances. You feel guilty yet grateful.

Rob and I have had many things we have needed for a long time. Our favorite chair (a chair and a half) with the wonderful old world upholstery is worn out. The cushions are crushed and it would be so costly to replace them, it would make no sense to do it. Also, we are in a smaller house now and it's too big for the place we want to put it in. Yesterday we bought a much needed recliner. The cardiologists have wanted me to elevate my feet for years and suggested one. I always hated how large and bulky they were and yesterday I found one that was just normal chair size and would work for us. We bought it. Then we wandered over to the carpets and found a lovely new rug for the room so we ordered it. I love it. We then made our way to the bedding department and treated ourselves to a very good mattress and boxspring. It's very firm which is what both of us need for our back issues. The chair and sleep set will be delivered Tuesday. The rug will be shipped within the next few weeks. We then went to LongHorn for lunch. They have a salad I love there, the Sonoma chicken salad. After savoring our lunch, we went to the mall and I got a screen protector put on my replacement phone. I also got a better case for this one. It felt so good to have money and shop without worrying about bills coming later. I spoiled myself. We came home and had a nice relaxing evening. The surgery date approaches. I have yet to have my claim approved and the company tells me neither my employer nor doctors have submitted paperwork and that is my responsibility. I am not sure if I can get this all taken care of before I am admitted into the hospital July 25th. Trying not to sweat all this stuff. I am in such good physical condition, compared to where I was six months ago. I pray that in a few more months I will be getting stronger and better each day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It's going to be a sweltering 95 today. I wonder what it will be in Florida since we are in the NORTHeast. On Monday my mother-in-law is taking her other son, and our niece to DisneyWorld. They have never been before and I remember when I went many years ago in July and knew I would never do that again. This is why Fall is my favorite season.

In my last post I mentioned reuniting with a friend and since then I received an email and later a phone call from our third friend. I am so happy. Believe me, I need all the joy I can find right now. My mother is feeling sorry for herself. Understandable because she lost her husband of 60 years just four months ago and doesn't know how to go on without him. My Dad made all the decisions. She has five children who would all advise her differently what to do. Two family members have had some differences and involved others and she gets pulled into it all.

On the bright spot my sister gave a wonderful shower for her oldest daughter on Saturday. It was in a nice restaurant and beautifully done. This niece is my Godchild and I got her the Emeril cookware on her list. Wow! The prices of the gifts are overwhelming compared to my original wedding shower so many years ago. (When I married Rob my matron of honor lived in another state and I didn't have a shower but since I had a house full of stuff, I didn't need one.) My niece got a Dyson vacumn and beautiful comforter sets, everyday dishes at $100 a place setting and china. On the way home my Mom said "to think that I received tea towels mostly as gifts." Different world back then. It was a joy to see her so happy and her sister who will be her maid of honor. I am hoping and praying I will be up to the wedding early September. Even if I am in a wheelchair because I can't walk far or huffing on an oxygen tank, I plan to be there. This is a picture of me with the bride to be. I scrunched over to put my head on her shoulder. I had a great summer dress but it was so cold there I had to have a sweater on the entire time (haven't replaced sweaters and they are all too big.) Have to wash the floor because my mother's pastor wants to come visit me and pray with me today. Yesterday I was short of breath again but I think it's because of the air quality and extreme heat. Stay cool everyone.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Gratifying Tuesday

Yesterday I did something that was long overdue. I went and made things right with a friend that I love very much. When I was having my last heart surgery this friend was supposed to go out with myself and another friend and at the last minute her then boyfriend called and insisted she see him that night. (She just jumped through hoops for this guy and they are now broken up.) I was so hurt. Later when I came home from the hospital and she called I wouldn't take her calls. That year she sent me flowers on my birthday and I sent her a note thanking her for them but telling her I was so disappointed in her as a friend. Now that I am older and wiser I like to think of a quote I once read "Stroke it don't erase it." A few years ago I began to think of all the times this friend WAS there for me, and there were plenty. We met when our children had leukemia in a support group. I was in her home the last weeks of her daughter's life and there for her afterwards. That's what hurt me so badly. I now realize this: she made a mistake. A friendship shouldn't be lost because of a mistake. So I have thought about her hundreds of times. Yesterday I was out running errands and I got detoured and found myself in front of her development. It was karma and I knew it was the right time. I rang her bell and she opened the door. We both stood there hugging and crying for a long time. Then she invited me in and we sat down at her kitchen table (as we have for twenty years) and had coffee. There is not much as gratifying as a visit with an old friend. No one else understands what I went through with my son. She was part of it. She was always wonderful to him and like me, he loved her daughter. I explained to her that I made a mistake and she said "Don't explain. You're here and back in my life. That's enough." She then called her friend to tell her and she was thrilled also. I am now trying to reunite a third friend of ours. I have mailed her a letter this morning. Let's hope soon the three of us will be together again. One of the best times of my life was when they took me to Atlantic City for my 40th. The following day they had a surprise party for me as well.