Things I have no reason to post elsewhere

Vega_Lyra

Senior Member
Location
Europe
Captivating life journey...
Writing is cathartic.
Thank you for sharing.:wave:
 

Original Poster
A Child's Gift

This morning, despite setting the alarm for 8:55 so I could make it to a doctor appointment by 11am, I woke up at 10:45. Luckily, the office is only about 12 minutes away. That is, when they aren’t working on the road. Which they are. The road crew posted signs that one of the two lanes was closed, though no one knew why, because both lanes were open the entire length of said road work. However, we drivers were unsure whether to trust the posted signs or our own eyes, so we merged from one lane to the other and back again, like a great indecisive caterpillar. After we finally trusted our collective gut, and broke up into the two lanes, we exchanged WTF? expressions and similar gestures of solidarity at the next stop light.

The appointment this morning was a pre-op wellness exam. The EKG looked great. Eight vials of blood were taken, and after the doctor fondled my balls, he stuck his finger well up my rectum and said, “Well, this is all good.” To which I replied, “You speak for yourself, I can tell you.”

When the doctor got through with me, I had an hour and a half to drive four blocks to where I was scheduled for chest x-rays. I had to fast for the blood draw. Fortunately, though I was in a rush, I’d thought to bring a banana and some water with me. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten my wallet. I didn’t want to drive back over that road to get it, and then over it again to radiology, so buying myself a decent lunch was out. I just went to radiology, wishing I’d brought, if not my wallet, a book.

The radiology receptionist asked for my name and birthdate, and then asked “What time is your appointment?” Without hesitation, I answered, “One-forty-five.” Even so, she advised me that I was an hour and a half early. “Everyone’s out to lunch. Would you like to go home and come back a little later?” “Not on your life,” I said. Her expression assured me that was a much larger investment than she had any intention to chance. “Just have a seat, sir.”

She handed me a clipboard and I sat to read and sign a form stating that I understood my financial responsibility should my insurance not cover the procedure (again, a chest x-ray) which was worded unlike any financial responsibility form I’ve ever seen. I read it three times and signed it feeling as though someone was trying to pull a fast one on me. Moments later, I was called to the back. I’m sure I hadn’t waited even 20 minutes. I figured I wasn’t the only one who missed lunch.

There was roadwork on the drive home as well. Again “this lane closed ahead” signs were posted though both lanes were clearly open, but we drivers were onto them this time, and sped along smoothly. That is, until we got to a crop of newly installed traffic signals, and our smiles and our up-stuck thumbs dropped as we all had to brake suddenly. Thing is, the new signals weren’t in operation yet. No red, yellow, or green directives. Just clusters of stoic, non-communicative rectangular boxes suspended out over the road, staring blankly. Again, we exchanged various gestures of confusion and frustration, not only between each other, but this time, with the cross-traffic drivers as well. We were a growing population.

When I got home, a bit flustered, a bit back-achy, a bit violated, I found a little stack of papers and books on my doorstep. In red felt-pen, in a child’s hand, on a sheet of lined paper but not on the lines were the words “To: *Sassy and *Sparky’s Grandpa” (*not their real names). Taped to it were a pristine Sweet Scents Shopkins Collectors Card, a #1 bauble that had likely once been attached to a keychain, and a paper heart colored with red crayon. The heart was smiling.

Under that was a very similar sheet of paper saying “To: Sassy, my BFF” onto which a book titled The Incredible Present was taped, along with a hand-drawn and colored smiling Emoji with a speech bubble that said “From: Kathy. I love you.”

Under that was another sheet of paper, this one penned in green, that said “To Sparky from your friend Luke.” This one was taped to a book titled Five True Stories of Baseball’s Best.

These children, Kathy and Luke, are a brother and sister who live on my street, who happen to be the same ages as my two youngest grandkids. Because this general area is not always safe and tranquil, I do not allow my grandkids to play on the sidewalk. These two children are also not allowed to play on the sidewalk. So, one day, after my two and those two saw each other from across the street, I went over and introduced myself to the parents, and invited their two to play with my two in my front yard. We have lots of toys and art supplies and stuff here, and more importantly, a fence, which they don’t have.

In no time, I recognized that they’re good kids. Really good kids – polite, respectful, and obviously very excited to have other kids to play with. Mine shared a bag of grapes with them, they ran home and came back with four juice-boxes, the two boys shared each other’s cars, the girls played school. They’ve only recently met, and have spent such time in my yard only twice, when I babysat my grandkids.

But these little gifts! Quite unexpected, and so sweet, and colorful, too. And they arrived on kind of a bummer day.

I left the little stack of affection and kindness on my desk, intact, just as I'd found it, anxious for the next day my grandkids visit; Saturday, probably.
 

SeaBreeze

Endlessly Groovin'
Location
USA
Very sweet story, nice to be loved and appreciated by the little ones Grandpa. :love_heart: You did have a rough day!
 

Smiling Jane

Senior Member
Location
Albuquerque NM
A couple of friends developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Both of them had some kind of outpatient surgery that involved releasing the nerve(s) that have been immobilized and caused pain. They wore braces while they healed, then the braces went away. All of my keyboards and work surfaces are designed to keep my wrists in a neutral position so hopefully I'll be okay. You could be doing something gardening or back when you were working that caused it.

I love the story about the children leaving little gifts. Not only are they grateful to have your grandchildren around, they're willing to express it. That's very sweet and kind of unusual, in a very nice way.
 

Lara

Well-known Member
Location
North Carolina
What a pleasant surprise at 2am :). I opened page one and thoroughly enjoyed your easy free-flowing writing style. Then I realized there were yet pages two and three to read. I read more but will revisit to finish. I'll go back to bed for now. Very interesting Cap'n. Thank you.
 
Original Poster
What a pleasant surprise at 2am :). I opened page one and thoroughly enjoyed your easy free-flowing writing style. Then I realized there were yet pages two and three to read. I read more but will revisit to finish. I'll go back to bed for now. Very interesting Cap'n. Thank you.
Well thank you, Lara.
 
Original Poster
Thinking about my kids today. Derrick is 44. Then there’s Finnian and Taylor, who are 30 and 28, respectively, and my daughter, Maud, who’s 23. Taylor’s the one with a lot of kids. Six of them, including a step-daughter.

He and his first wife, were pregnant when they were 16. He was 17 and working by the time the baby was born. They lived with me, sort of, in a little guest cabin in my backyard, until they could get a place of their own a year and a half later. They married when she was 18 and pregnant with their third child. Taylor’s wife left him and the kids (deja-vu) after their youngest started school. She’d fallen in love with a cowboy, and moved to Texas. Soon, Taylor met Anne, and they’ve had two kids, making 5 plus his step-daughter.

But I was thinking how different from each other Finn and Taylor are. Derrick’s another breed altogether, and he’s doing great. They’re all doing well for themselves, but, of course, Taylor will lag behind financially. This does not worry him. He’s a Come what may, I’ll handle it kind of guy. He trusts himself, and he has every reason to…he’s either been there or he’ll figure it out using reason and common sense, which he has in abundance.

Finn, on the other hand…him, I worry about. He has planned well financially. He is also rather miserly. He splurges on himself if he wants a thing badly enough, in which case, in his mind the purchase is justified, but he gives penny-wise gifts to a short list of recipients at Christmas, and only at Christmas. He served 23 years in the Naval Reserves, and banked every dime of that money, including the thousands he got every time he “re-upped”. He earns six figures at his civilian job, and puts 50% of it into his savings. His wife earns about the same, and saves even more than him. They keep separate finances, each paying half the mortgage and utilities, then he buys food and she buys household items. They take vacations on their annual cash rewards from their credit cards, plus they’ll each throw in an extra $500 to $1000, depending on where they go. They did that for their East European trip, but didn’t need to for their Alaskan Cruise.

Anyway, Finn is the planner and oft’ times miser. Taylor disgusts him with all the kids and the huge Christmases and Easters and birthdays. I disgust him to, for not sticking with a career and planning for my retirement. So, (until recently) if I ever needed his help, it was a loan. When I had to live with him and his wife for a year (after the car wreck), they charged me $350/mo. I don’t judge because, also being human, I don’t feel qualified, but Taylor was livid that his brother charged me rent. That was one of the things that widened the chasm between the two of them.

To clearly illustrate the difference between Finn and Taylor; at my home in a small town up north, I fell from a ladder while using a hand saw to trim some tree branches away from my roof. Finnian happened to stop by about 15 minutes later. He took my credit card and rushed to Home Depot to get me a chainsaw. While he was gone, Taylor stopped by. He finished trimming the tree before Finnian got back from Home Depot.

Finn will get me a better tool; Taylor will just do the job for me.

Finn jokes that I was lucky to be in a car wreck that resulted in my getting enough money to comfortably see me through my forced retirement. Taylor wishes I hadn’t had to go through all that, that I’d been able to earn a living until I began collecting social security at some point.

To that, Finn would laugh and say, “Yeah, of course, but it was kind of worth it.” To which Taylor would respond, “To you, sure. Because now you won’t have to help him in his old age.”

…that is, if he would respond at all in this hypothetical. Taylor keeps harsh words to himself. Finn, never. Not at all. And because of that and six other reasons, chances are, Finn will live longer than Taylor. It's Taylor I worry about most.
 
Original Poster
Back surgery is done. I checked into the hospital at 6am, and was wheeled into the OR at about 9am, or so I was told…I was already under anesthesia. I’m not sure what time they finished, either.

My son basically dropped me off - like I told him to. To me, it's just senseless to wait around a hospital while someone has a lengthy surgery. He said his wife woke him up at around 4pm (he works nights), because she hadn’t gotten a call from the hospital yet. And hour later, too worried to get back to sleep, he called the hospital. They said I’d just gotten out of surgery, was doing fine, and the doctor would call him back soon.

In reality, at some point during surgery, I started to bleed and the surgeon had just decided to begin transfusion when he finally got the bleeding under control. He’d also found that I have an extra nerve root. Each vertebra has one pair of nerve roots, one nerve root on either side. At level L-5, I have two nerve roots on one side and one on the other, and one of the double nerve roots was crushing its twin. The surgeon had never seen this before, but he knew (obviously) he couldn’t remove either one, so he had to arrange them so that they would never again be in physical contact with each other.

So, the bleed and the “surprise twin” problems kept me in surgery a few hours longer than anticipated. But I was released on day 3, as planned, and my son took me home with him to stay for a few days. I have been home since the 26[SUP]th[/SUP], and my granddaughter (22yrs old) is staying with me while she’s not at work or school (she does both part-time).

It’s been a week and a half since surgery and I feel really good; getting around the house just fine and spending time out in the yard in the evenings. I’ve resumed my nightly walks, though my granddaughter insists I do it before dark in case I trip over something we didn’t see. I’ve stopped taking at least half of the meds I was prescribed after surgery as the only pain I’m having now is some discomfort at the surgical site.

Some side notes; The surgeon said that twin nerve root is obviously a birth defect, and so I’ve likely been in pain since birth, and grew accustomed to it, which would explain my high pain tolerance. Interestingly, my brother, who died when he was four, was also born with a birth defect in his lower lumbar called spina-bifida occulta; incomplete fusion of the two halves of the sacral vertebra; When my older son saw my incision (while it was still bandaged) he said, "Jeez, Dad, it looks like they extended your butt-crack half-way up your back!"

Anyway, I’m doing well. Just have to remind myself to not bend or twist.
 

SeaBreeze

Endlessly Groovin'
Location
USA
I'm glad everything went okay with your surgery, that is odd about the extra nerve and I'm glad they were able to do something about it. Please take care of yourself and take it easy, hoping that you recover quickly and completely.
 

terry123

Well-known Member
Location
Houston, Tx.
Love your writings!!! Glad you are doing well after surgery. You live an interesting life. Would make a great book. I have definitely lead a sheltered and boring life!!
 

maggiemae

Member
Location
GA
Wow, you sure did well with that type of surgery! Glad you are on the mend. Sounds like you will be back to normal in no time!
 
Original Poster
Terry, thank you. I enjoy writing, always have. At times, it helps me keep life balanced.

Maggiemae, I was told by my surgeon that I am rushing things a bit...impatient was the word he used. The granddaughter who's staying with me agrees, so I'm going to relax more and stress less (about housekeeping and stuff). I feel really good, but the doctor says I need to give the healing process a good year.
 

maggiemae

Member
Location
GA
Yep, listen to your doctors. Hey, all that housekeeping stuff will be there regardless of your health! I sorta get stressed out with thinking I need to dust this or I see a cob web in a corner and a floor needs a good cleaning but then I think...girl, you got the rest of your life to deal with this. And if I don't get it all done, someone else will have to deal with it! Take care of yourself....your kids and grandkids are more important than any housekeeping chore right now!
 


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