Thursday, September 27, 2012

And I Don't Have Bette Davis Eyes
Right around the time that Dave was making his decision to go back to work which meant going 1,500 miles away from hearth and home, I had to schedule a doctor’s appointment in order to get my HBP medication renewed for another year.  The appointment was the day after Dave left.  Not surprisingly my blood pressure was through the roof; 157/97.  The doctor took it again a little later in the appointment—after I’d told her what was going on in my life.  It was down, but only to 140/80.  She also heard a heart murmur she said she hadn’t heard the year before and sent me for an EKG.  The doctor upped my medication which is an anti-anxiety medication and that made life more tolerable in more than one way.  When she got the results from the EKG she said that the damage dated back more than ten years.  Funny, how come no one ever mentioned it before?
It was the end of the school year and I wanted to take my daughter Amy and go to our home by the sea because I knew that I could deal with Dave’s absence there better than in Gig Harbor so I put off all the maintenance type medical appointments until later.  The last week of summer break I spent my days at Group Health Tacoma having an ultrasound of my heart, getting a physical, getting the girls pressed and having my eyes tested.  I don’t like to take time off from work for medical appointments 1.) because no one takes as good care of my student as I do and b.) because I try to save my sick leave for when my 90 year old mother gets sick.
Half of the results of those appointments went well.  Unfortunately the ultrasound confirmed that I have heart damage caused by HBP and possibly dating back to the ‘90s when I took ephedra in order to lose weight.  I am at risk of heart failure. When Dave left I'd felt like my heart would break, now I realized I'm in danger of just that. I’m taking my meds and eating more healthfully and I’ve lost ten pounds in three months.  At this rate I should reach my goal weight before I die—I hope.
The other bad news was that I have had some bleeding in my right eye.  My sight cannot be corrected in that eye.  In fact the glasses that I have, which are about ten years old, would probably be just fine if there wasn’t a twisted blood vessel that had caused the pooling of blood.  So tomorrow is another eye appointment at a different Group Health ophthalmologist in Federal Way to determine if the situation can be treated.  I am not looking forward to this, no pun intended.
Bette Davis was right when she said that getting old is not for sissies.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Here GrandDave enjoys a special treat with Granddaught Lydia.
And Now We Return You to Your Irregular Programing
This morning I got up at five as usual.  I took my shower, cooked breakfast for my daughter, fixed my lunch and took the dog upstairs with some dog treats so he could go back to bed with Dave, as usual.  I tiptoed out and went to school as usual.  Except that it wasn’t usual.  As I backed out of the driveway of our Gig Harbor, Washington home I knew that when I returned after school Dave would not be home as usual.  He would be on his way back to Arizona and I cannot expect to see him for five months.  I could not bear to wake him for I would have been lost.  Saying goodbye was not an option much less taking him to the airport.  No, my daughter-in-law did that for me.  Both Dave and I thought that best.
Our “commuter marriage” went on hiatus for a month when my husband Dave hurt himself hiking and had to come home for surgery and recuperation.  It was stressful to have him injured, but it has been lovely to have him home and have life feel more normal even if he’s been limping around with a leg brace and sore shoulder.  Prior to his injury he already had planned a return home for a ten day period so it was not totally unplanned, just sooner and longer than expected.  Now there is no expectation of his return for five months.  The good news is that by that time we will be more than halfway through this fifteen month venture and nearly halfway to his permanent return when hopefully we can begin to pursue our American Dream of retirement which was put on hold by the economy.
Our two months apart this summer made us appreciate each other more.  Although I had never grown tired of having him around after he retired, after twenty-two years of marriage we took each other for granted to a certain extent as many married folks do.  Now our time together is too precious to let petty annoyances blossom or to not think to pay a compliment or feel gratitude for the qualities we first fell in love with.  His month at home demonstrated how we never tire of being together, never run out of conversation; never feel anything but blessed for each and every minute.  Dave’s accident on Granite Mt., which could have been so much worse as articulated by one of his brothers at their mother’s 90th birthday party recently when he said, “We could have been gathered together for a far different occasion,” Phil said earnestly certainly made us treasure our health and time together.
Parting this time was certainly no easier than it was in June.  Actually the contrary is true.  In June Dave knew he could return for his mother's birthday.  This time there is no expectation that he will return before mine.  I am hoping for a pleasant surprise.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Weekend of Mixed Emotions
Today is Labor Day and this weekend has always been bittersweet to me.  Unlike most parents, when my children were school age I loved having them at home during the lazy days of summer and was as sad as they to see summer vacation draw to a close.  Now I work for the schools and still am sorry.  On the other hand it means that my favorite season is around the corner.  Although the calendar and the moon say otherwise, Autumn is whispering her name in the foggy mornings.
Just as though I am a student myself I have to have back-to-school clothes as compensation to begin our ten month march back to Summer.  This summer I was busy with doctor appointments for my mother, myself, and my husband, not to mention Dave’s knee surgery, but I did manage to find a new jumper that will be snug this Fall and Winter and there’s always the tie-dyed blouse I bought for our class picnic last month which I did not get to attend in the long list of things that have gone by the boards since mine became a commuter marriage.
I had plenty of projects that have gone undone such as painting the porch furniture, getting that bird house put up and does anyone ever get all their summer reads read? The furniture will have to go back in the barn and the bird house wait.  The books can be read evenings and weekends when Mother Nature turns our attention inward.  Summer may be over, but there are still the delights of Autumn to look forward to and just now my attention is turned toward SeaTac because today the baby comes home for ten days!