Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Oriented to day and date...NOT!


OK so one of the things they evaluate someone on during a screening for dementia is orientation to date and time. Now, I think that's really stupid because, on our best days, we often don't know the day, date or sometimes the time. So what?

But I woke up this morning with Tuesday on my mind, walked into work thinking "Shit, it's only Tuesday," and spent the entire morning working thinking it was Tuesday.

The sudden realization that it was Wednesday prompted me to check my watch (for the date) and the calendar (for the day of the week) just to make sure that I'm not in some sort of demented time warp. Nope. No time warp, just not oriented to day and date. I frantically searched my Prozac fogged brain for any particle of memory of Tuesday, or rather what I knew to be Tuesday. It seems that Monday and Tuesday have merged together in my memory. Imagine my pleasure in knowing that it's Wednesday and I have only one day left in my work week! I love my Fridays off! This week, Mary and I will go to the "Firefly Frenzy" sale at JoAnn Etc. where we can get 50% off the regular price of any one item. I have three of these coupons, as does Mary, so we're going to make the rounds to three different stores and get some stuff that we've been wanting but didn't want to shell out big bucks for. I want the Boye Crochet Master Set (as I'm learning crocheting as well) so that I have a good variety of crochet hooks. I already have the circular knitting needle set, and just love it (although I could use another, honestly).

My father has apparently been calling the house collect a lot. We didn't recognize the caller ID number but I was getting quite annoyed at the insistent ringing several times each day. Of course, the answering machine has been out of order, so we didn't even have a small clue that it was him. He called last night and I'd had just about enough of this number calling, so I angrily grabbed the phone and said "Hello!" I got a recorded message saying I had a collect call from [my father] and did I want to accept the call? I pressed "3" to accept the call and spoke with my father for a few minutes. He'd gotten the check for $300 I sent him from his checking account, so that he could make purchases at the commissary at the jail. But, it turns out that they don't take personal checks -- money orders or bank drafts only. *sigh* So, I had to go down to the Student Center and buy a money order this morning. Anyway, back to the phone call...

I spoke to him a few minutes, then he said "I have to go get my breathing treatment," and hung up. A few minutes later the phone rang, and I recognized the caller ID this time, and answered the call. I had the option to press a key for the rate for the call, so I did. There's a FIVE DOLLAR CONNECT FEE, plus the collect call charges. ULP! I accepted the call, and spoke with him for exactly 3½ minutes until we were disconnected for some reason. So, he called back and I spoke with him for about 10 or 15 minutes longer. That's going to be $15 in connect fees ALONE. Good thing he has income, because I'm paying those fees from his checking account. Otherwise I'll have to get a part-time job just to pay the phone bill.

Lisa talked with her mother last night, and was happy to hear that Mom was feeling a lot better. She was apparently on her third bag of Heparin and felt that made all the difference. It's thought that she may have had some sort of mild blockage that the Heparin helped clear through thinning the blood. If that's the case, I suspect they'll put her on a daily blood thinner medication. She's upset at the thought of this because when she was on the Plavix it cost her $150 per month and she just can't afford another $150 per month medication. She's insulin dependent plus she has to buy syringes and all the supplies that come with being an insulin dependent diabetic. She's had both carotids roto-rootered, had heart bypass surgery, and has some sort of degenerative bone disease in her hip. Fortunately, though, she gets her medications through some agency associated with Social Security now and it has saved her a bundle of cash.

I think Lisa's mother is thinking about dying. That is, I think this latest event has gotten her to thinking about her mortality because she told Lisa that she and Lisa's father had a conversation a couple of nights ago about putting the house in the five kids' names. I think Lisa's mom wants to do that while she's alive because she knows that, realistically, her husband would likely leave the house to his two sons only -- and the house originally was purchased for Lisa's mother by her grandparents back when Lisa's mother and biological father separated. And of course Lisa's mother wants her kids taken care of.

Lisa's grandfather, who is almost 92 now, was scared to death when he learned that his daughter (who is only 63) was taken to the ER again. I would think that, at 92, you face your own mortality each and every day but when your own child begins to suffer from ailments that typically afflict the elderly, that's got to be sobering. He said he never felt old until the day his own youngest offspring began to draw Social Security.

Speaking of children becoming elderly...

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Michelle, my oldest, (seen here with her brother and her 3 daughters) will be 30 on Monday. Where have 30 years gone?

Born in San Antonio, Texas on June 19th, 1976 she was our first. We named her Alisondra Michelle with the intention of always calling her Michelle. You can normally find something nice to say about newborn babies but rarely can you honestly say they are anything that resembles good looking. Michelle had a yellowish cast to her skin (slightly jaundiced) and with the redness of a newborn, the two colors combined to give her a healthy tanned sort of look. She was born about a week earlier than my due date. Weighing in at only 6 lbs. 3 oz. she was classified as "premature" only because of the due date and something to do with the hair still on her ears. She was a sleepy, lazy baby, needing to be taught to suck on a nipple -- and we had to use a preemie nipple at that because regular nipples were just too much work for her.

From the time she was 10 days old, she slept all night. When she woke in the morning, she'd lay in her bed and "play," often going back to sleep. She rarely, if ever, cried. Mostly she'd fuss a bit here and there, but rarely did she let out with a full-bellied cry. Until the day she got a spinal tap when she was two years old. She was diagnosed with Asceptic Meningitis but was only in the hospital for two days before her release.

How I adored that child! My first child, but also the first human being I truly felt deep and lasting love for. The night I went into labor for my second child, I sat and held Michelle and cried because I knew that our relationship would change. At that moment, I resented the intrustion of the yet unborn second child into my world that revolved around Michelle.

And while the journey between that night and her 30th birthday was fraught with trials and tribulations for both of us, the end result is that there is a marvelous human being in my oldest daughter. There is a compassion for all people that is deep-rooted, and she gives an awful lot of herself to others. Not just people she knows, but to perfect strangers as well.

She just finished up a degree in Paralegal Studies and has opened a lot of doors to opportunity for herself and her family. She's a good Mom, with three daughters of her own. She's also a good wife, I think. My son once described Michelle and Doug as a "fun couple." They laugh a lot, and I think that when laughter is prevalent on a daily basis in your relationship, you can get through just about anything together.

I adore her. I'm fiercely proud of her. And I love her very much.

Finally, want to see something that will freak you out? I have no earthly idea how this thing works, and I've tried for a few days to figure out what it's secret is. If any one of you can figure it out, I'd surely like to know. WEIRD SHIT!

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