everythingyoualwayswantedtosaybutwereafraid

Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Archive for the category “Family”

A long time coming

As you can tell, I’ve been a long time away.  The Man left me on this earth alone almost two years ago.  He lived to his 90th birthday on November 6, 2014 and he was gone by December 1st.  It will take me awhile to tell all the stories we shared leading to that fateful day.

I’m still mourning, often without people understanding, myself not understanding what exactly is happening to me.

I am alone.

 

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Whoops! A red light

Red Light

Dear People, (City of Fort Worth, Automated Red Light Enforcement)

It is plain to see that I ran that red light.  The worst part of the whole ordeal is that my granddaughter was in the car.  We had spent the day shopping for material to make doll clothes and she had said, “Oh Grannie, that light was red.”  Of course, it was too late.  I had desperately tried to get over, but being unfamiliar with the new roads, waited too long.  (No one was being too friendly.)

I do want to say this, ” I was sure the intersection was clear, but could not get even one more look up to check the light.”

So, to sum it all up – I am really sorry for breaking the red light rule.  Here is my punishment along with sending you the knowledge that my granddaughter (who was in a very tragic accident when a drunk driver hit her mother) will probably only remember that her Grannie Pam ran a red light and that, my friends, is a far worse punishment than the fine!

Love to All

THE DOG

Of course, it was my idea.  Aren’t all those brainchildren mine??  She’s a beauty and so smart.  O.K. that’s the problem – too smart.  Skipper (Yes, that’s her name.) can be sooooo sneaky.  I mean, maybe just stubborn; but I had children that were stubborn and eventually it served them well.  I guess that means I shouldn’t give up hope yet.  She brings the paper in, but doesn’t always want to give it up.  She comes, sits,  and stays, but runs off when she gets the opportunity.  She follows me everywhere, but acts like a blithering idiot around other people.  I mean flippin out crazy.  We call her the Beast when anyone comes around.  Her manners are so bad around other people that she is not even allowed to be around anyone else.  I have learned to make her jump on the couch if anyone comes, so I can quickly snap the leash on her and tie her to the refrigerator door!  So far she hasnSkipper on back‘t pulled the fridge out the door!

Today was so bad I threatened her with the pound.  I don’t think she believed me.  Ah I love my dog.

Being unsure is the worst thing

Well, to the hospital we went after another fall; have finished there and now at a rehab center.  Physical therapist are a tough breed, but they swear they can help him so we are working at it.  The one thing that a rehab center does not want is the spouse hanging around all the time, and he does do better at the therapy when I am not there.  He knows I’m a sucker for his pain.  They don’t even have a chair in the room, but of course that doesn’t prevent our rowdy crew of 10 from descending all at once.  Where the Man goes, we go.

I cried crocodile tears to leave him at night the first time.  I’ve never slept in our bed alone.  I know they are all sick of us/me already, but I don’t care.  It’s our life, and we are sworn to live it in the way we wish.  They are hopeful that he will get strong enough to come home and get around.  They have given me hope, where I had none.

It’s a strange feeling when you feel alone, but you are not.  You don’t want to talk to others because you only want to talk about Him, yet when you talk about Him it is so emotional.  Then, they worry about you which you don’t want.  You have lost your closest confident because He is sick and you don’t want to worry him any more than he is already.  Sometimes, I can’t help but cry like when he told me that I could just crawl up in his bed at the hospital and stay there and when I told him that I didn’t think we would both fit he said there was always room in his bed for me and always had been.

I fear his mind is slipping.

Interaction with the office manager of a top of the line neurosurgeon

 

 

The appointment was requested by me to the Mans doctor on August 16, 2012 during an office visit.

I had researched the doctors within a certain area that would best fit our needs for pain control and possible surgery.

The Mans doctor’s office took until August 28, 2012 to fax the referral.  For easy arithmetic lesson, that is 12 days later.

BUT, I did not know that until I had called the Man’s doctor’s office on August 21, 2012, August 29, 2012, September 4, 2012, and September 7, 2012.

On September 10, 2012 the Mans doctor’s office called to tell me when it had been faxed.  For easy arithmetic again, that is 4 phone calls to get the date of the referral.

With this information, I decided I should call the specialist.  The guru, board certified neurosurgeon with a specialty in pain management and hospital privileges at Providence Hospital.  I called them; the lady that answered the phone said, “Oh yeah,  you have a 3:00 pm appointment on September the 18, 2012.

The next day I got a package in the mail from Dr. Guru with 10 pages to fill out and bring with us.

The website request these things which I carefully collected.

You will need the following items…

 

  • All x-ray, MRI, CT or other films & reports you may have relating to your visit.
  • Any recent lab work.
  • All of the medications (names and dosages) you are taking at this time.
  • Your insurance card and co-pay.
  • Your drivers license or other form of identification.
  • Your referral from your primary care physician (if required by your insurance company).

Our office can help to facilitate provision of these films, reports, labwork and referring physician documentation.

 

I got the MRI on CD for Dr. Guru from the Hamilton Hospital, but they would not let me pick it up, so the Man had to go there and get out in a wheel chair to go sign for the CD.  He did.

We changed Dr.s and saw the new GP on September 17, 2012.  She told us to go ahead and go and see what he said.

When we got home from that Dr.’s appointment, the message on the machine reminded us of the time and date of our appointment with Dr. Guru and what to bring and that they only took cash and checks and be sure to have our co-pay with us in that form.

We got ready; maybe you can just imagine what that is like.

We drove the 60 miles to Waco with the Man in pain from the long ride.  We got lost and called the office of Dr. Guru.  Mandy gave us directions and was very personable on the phone.

We found the office.

I parked in the handicap place where the Man could get out most easily.

I went in to get a wheelchair.  I never take the walker, because every doctors’ office and hospital I have ever been has a wheelchair available.

I asked if they had a wheelchair.

She said just a minute and returned to tell me they did not.

I asked for assistance to get him in the office.  I was about 25 feet to the door from the handicap parking.

She said just a minute and asked the nurse who came out and asked the receptionist to ask me if he was coming from a nursing home.

I heard the question and answered no.

The office manager came to the window and said she was Mandy.  I said yes I talked to you on the phone; you gave me directions.

She asked me to step in the back for a minute.

I followed her to the back of the offices to a room with a desk and two chairs and a computer.  That is all.

She asked me to sit down and then sat down across from me.

I was confused.

She said Dr. Guru would be unable to see the Man on this day.  I asked why.  She said their insurance liability prevented them from assisting him into the office.  She said they did not have another appointment for three weeks, but she would work me in the next day.

I asked her what good would that do, and she said I could bring my own help or walker.

She was very apologetic and continued to reiterate that she was, “just the office manager.”

I stated that it was unbelievable to me that a neurosurgeon would not have a way to assist people into his office.  He surely had patients that were immobilized from back surgeries and other major problems.  This is their statement from their website.

 

Dr. Guru’s company is dedicated to providing world-class, contemporary neurosurgical services with the utmost of care and compassion. Our experienced healthcare professionals are dedicated to treating each patient as an individual, deserving of our time, attention, and respect.

 

These are some of the procedures they perform, yet they cannot assist anyone in the door?

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Microscopic Spine Surgery
  • Cervical Disc Replacement
  • Lumbar Disc Replacement
  • Lumbar Fusion
  • Cervical Fusion
  • Lumbar Discectomy
  • Cervical Discectomy
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Thoracic Spine Surgery
  • Spinal Cord Tumor Surgery
  • Anterior/Posterior Spine Surgery

Brain Procedures

  • Chiari Malformation
  • Subdural/Epidural Hematoma
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Atypical Pain Procedures

Other Procedures

  • Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation
  • Peripheral Nerve Stimulator Implantation
  • Carpal Tunnel Release
  • Vagal Nerve Stimulator
  • Ulnar Nerve Decompression
  • Muscle Biopsy
  • Miscrosurgery

I explained to her the pain and suffering that was involved in a 120 mile trip on that day only to turn around and do it again the next day.

I asked her if I could get him in the office would they see him.  She said yes.

I asked as I was going out to get him,  wasn’t she more concerned about the Man and I getting hurt after they had refused to help us?

She immediately told me that Dr. Guru would be unable to establish a patient relationship with the Man, and to have a nice day. What happened to that dedicated, respectful, professional, experienced healthcare person.

She never looked out at the Man.  She never came to him and explained.  No attention or respect there.

I left. When I got to the car he was trying to get up.  I told him they would not see him.

He was confused.  I told him what was said.

The Man cried. I cried.

He screamed in pain after another 60 mile trip home as he got out of the car.

I have never in my life had an experience with a doctor like that.  Well, actually the experience was with “Mandy (no last name), the office manager.”

Life is full of experiences.  Some more memorable than others.

Why do people keep hurting the Man?

Why is America so allergic to elderly?

I know what goes around comes around.  I trust in Karma.

Now, I am glad he did not see him, because I think something unusual is going on that an office manager would be able to make those kinds of calls for a Dr. Guru without consulting him.  I think maybe they had reviewed the Man’s file and didn’t want him because he was too much for them.  I don’t know.  I know they may have success because of their selection process.  No, I mean because of their discrimination process.

The Man is pissed because they hurt me.

I am pissed because they hurt him.

Help~

 

 

A new route

 

 

 

We finally got our courage up and changed doctors.  Why is there such guilt associated with this particular move?  As the Man said, “But, I like Dr. XX so much.  I really hate to hurt his feelings.”  We just finally had to realize that it doesn’t matter if we really, really, really like him.  That’s not the point.  I really, really, really like my three-year old granddaughters, but I don’t think I want them treating us for illnesses (although sometimes their presence is more medicine that the doctor prescribes).

I am sick of doctors that are allergic to old people.  I have never understood the fixation with chronological age.  That must be obvious since the Man is 30 years older than I am; however, his blood pressure today was 120/60 while mine probably couldn’t be charted!  Age is a relative thing.  It’s all in the health.  I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, have had a light stroke, migraines, etc.  The Man has none of these things.  The only thing wrong with him is his bones have served their time with hard work – way harder than most of us could even imagine.

His previous doctor said he had congestive heart failure.  I asked how he knew that – was it a blood test or could he detect it with the stethoscope?  No, he just said that most people at “his age” have some heart failure.  That went into his medical file.  How scientific was that, and now it follows him to every surgeon he will see.

The new doctor said she saw no signs of any heart failure and although many elderly do have some, it’s not a done deal.  And she also noted that there was no treatment going on for it in his chart.

No more bitching today.  It’s been too good a day.

By the way.  The new doctor is a woman.  Go girls!!

The first election of the first born son

 

It was quite an event at our house to go and vote.  With the first-born entering the world in 1973 his first presidential election was the 1976 election between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.  There are a lot of tidbits about that race that make interesting reading, such as Ronald Reagan was defeated by Ford for the Republican nomination.  My grandmother at that time was 66 years old and not registered to vote.  I was insistent that she register and brought the paperwork for her to get registered.  She was my caregiver for the first-born during this time as I was still going to college, so we saw each other daily.  We had a great many discussions about who she should vote for, and I spent months trying to convince her to vote Democratic; however, she kept her cards close to the vest so I was never sure which candidate she favored.

On election day, we went early to vote before school and work and before taking the first-born to grandmother’s for the day.  When we went in to vote after standing in line for close to an hour the three-year old precocious first-born was ready for his big debut.  I did not realize how serious he was, but he announced to everyone there he was ready to vote for Jimmy Carter.  I must admit the lady at the polling place was a gem and allowed him to scribble something on a scrap piece of paper and pretended to put it in the ballot box.  Of course, I was so proud of his first election.  Little did I know what a politician he was becoming at such an early age.

Later in the day, my grandmother went to vote for her first time, and she had the first-born with her.  Now, she had never told me how she was going to vote, but had evidently had this discussion with a three-year old!  As they entered to polling place, the first-born announced to all there,  “I already voted early this morning for Jimmy Carter and now I’m here to vote for Gerald Ford.”

I guess that answered the question of my grandmother’s support.  She voted in every election since then even until they had to come to the car for her to vote.

You gotta love em.

Let it be

Our household is anxiously awaiting the election.  The Man would not even date me until he knew for sure that I was a Democrat.  I did not tell him that, but he says that it just showed in the compassion and determination that came out of me.  It was a good thing I was, because living with him would have been impossible without that common bond.  His most important value he wishes to pass on to his children is to vote Democratic.  One of the happiest days of hs life was the day that his daughter, son and wife went with us to vote.  He was proud.  He commented on the fact that the McCoy’s were Democrats through and through;  what the ole timers called Yellow Dog Democrats meaning they would rather vote for a yellow dog than a Republican. Our daughter told people she dated that her dad would flip if she married anything but a democrat.  I asked him one time what caused him to be such a hard-core Democrat, and he responded, “I don’t know much.  I just farm and ranch, but I know that every time a Democrat is in office I do a little better.  I make a little more money and get a little more ahead.  And when Republicans are in office I lose it all till I have to just hope that I can hunker down until the next Democrat gets in office.  Now, that is a fact.”

Now, he is sick.  If he is to vote in another election it will require voting from the car, but I can guarantee that he will insist on going and no early voting because he wants the day to be special.  I also can guarantee that he will be able to mark that Democratic box without hesitation.

So, now on a regular basis he asks me how many more days it is till the election, like little children ask how many days till their birthdays or Christmas.

And if he does get to vote on November 6th he will be voting on his 88th birthday.  I hope he gets the present he so richly deserves – one more Democratic President, Barak Obama.

This is where the cowboy rides away

Let me tell all you young people out there.  Dying isn’t an easy job.  The body fights for all it’s worth, and old bodies have been bombarded with all kinds of hardships over many years of rough terrain in life.  And although the body fights, the pain is palpable.  If you are the one in the dying you suffer, you hurt, you try and try and try to get back to where you were, but cannot because the wear and tear is just too great.  Still, you continue on – some with quiet solitude, some with great anguish and noise, some with bewilderment and some just do.  The dying is hard enough, but the ability to muster the dignity is greater than soldiers on the battlefield.  To suffer in silence; to put on the face of endurance for everyone that comes by.  Never show your weakness; never let em see you sweat.  I am learning how families of wounded warriors must feel when their wounded soldier works tirelessly, steadfastly, and resolutely to repair the debasement of their bodies.

Once more, I am checking off another point on my list of things that I wanted in a man who I wrote oh so many years ago.  My list included silly, girlish things like tall, but it also included the oh so important things that make a man like determined, hardworking,  and staunch.  Over 30 years, this last requirement has manifested itself more and more in The Man.  Such dignity.  This is where the Cowboy rides away.

Tough Guys – click for music

I don’t want to share the details

It’s my last post about The Man.  He is deteriorating, and I am loosing strength.  Everyone keeps saying why don’t you call me, let others help, but really what can they do?  Can they take care of his toileting needs?  Can they fix the foods that he likes?  Can they help him dress, change his soiled sheets, help him shave?  Can they talk to him to remind him of intimate moments to try to bring his mind back to the present?  Can they remind him of his role as a father, husband, lover, provider?  Can they infuse me with strength and rest?  It’s all mine at this point.  I intend to see it through.  I have never shirked a task, and this is one rough task.  Pray for his peace.

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