for the day today. For simply being. For my friends and those close to me. For my family, though they are far away today they are close in my heart and my thoughts. For a home and a job that I enjoy.

For the many things that I sometimes do not take the time to think about enough and to give thanks for.

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Aftermath of Stormageddon

The downed tree was safely draggged off of the driveway to the lawn during the height of the storm. Several days later, Thot and I dragged the tree across the front lawn, down the hill, across the (gone missing yet again) creek and into the brush to lay it beside the other tree that fell last year sometime. Done deal. It broke off below ground level, too, so I don’t even have to have the stump ground. Even better.

As to the roof and the missing shingles… They weren’t from the edge of the roof after all. Oh, no. They were from way up high, near the peak of the roof itself. Several shingles had torn loose and several others had just loosened a bit. Luckily, my insurance company has a good local disaster recovery and repair company to call. They were out here by the end of the week to take a look, up on the roof and crawling all over it to be quite sure that the few missing/loosened shingles were all that had gone bad. They were, and even better, the felting underneath was intact. No major repair required, just replacement and retightening of the loosened ones.

That happened today. This morning. VERY EARLY this morning, actually. And the repair crew didn’t get word that I work nights. So they woke me up to tell me that they were here. All bright and cheerful they were…and I was not. I’m not sure my eyes were even fully open when I gave them the go ahead. And the dreams I had that were inspired by the sounds of workmen on the roof? Disquieting, to say the least! I can’t really remember what they were, only that there was lots of loud bangs and firepower involved.

When the supervisor came to inspect things this afternoon, I was a little grumpy with him, but as we talked more, he said that it’ll still be weeks until they can get all of the non-critical damage inspected, much less repairs made on all of those jobs; they’re still finishing holes in roofs and major wall damage. At that point, I suddenly cheered up. My house was made whole less than 3 weeks after the storm rolled through. I had no major damage, as it turned out. I lost no one and nothing to the storm. And the repairs cost me only what my insurance deductible would have been (because the cost was actually less than what the deductible was…so my insurance company didn’t end up involved at all, which is even better in the long run).

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

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Always remember, in our minds and in our hearts.

I know I will.

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Last night, THOT and I were sitting at the coffee shop and playing cards. I’d grabbed a deck on my way out of the house. It turned out to be a sealed deck from a long-defunct casino in Las Vegas. Still sealed, mind you; it took a sharp blade to cut the tape on the flap to get at the cards.

We played a few games. I couldn’t even come close to winning. Then something odd happened…

After we piled four 5s onto each other and set the stack aside, I drew a card from the deck. It was another 5. The 5 of hearts, to be specific. I started laughing to the point that I couldn’t even explain why and just flipped the FIFTH 5 over.

THOT took one look at it and called, “Hax!!!” Nevermind that he’d been winning! Nevermind that it was a sealed deck! And from a casino, no less! (Of course, a casino that has been out of business for years… Makes you wonder a bit?) As if I’d somehow managed to magic up an extra card to toss into a deck (and have it be something harmless, like a 5 of all things)… But the rest of the deck was intact, so we kept playing.

Funny, though, how my luck changed once we got rid of that 53rd card.

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It’s Been a Week

A relatively rough one at that, and it’s time for the weekend to start. Nothing overly huge and devastating, when I look back at it, but each little thing just kept piling up until the break point was almost reached.

I’m now a one-hamster family. I know that the little critters don’t have a forever-long lifespan, but a year is a bit young for one to just up and drop without warning. She was running full-speed on the wheel one night with her sister, but then a day or two later, I realized that I hadn’t seen the two of them at the same time for a couple of days. I went to investigate and found what I didn’t want to know. So ThingOne is getting more petting and a few more treats, even if her little pea-sized brain doesn’t make the connection as to why.

It’s been a bad few days at work for everyone this week. There have been some communication breakdowns at work lately that are getting more and more egregious, and they’re to the point where people are going to start getting hurt, if they haven’t already. We’re too tight-staffed to be sloppy or to let things slide, so when things happen, feelings get bruised and are difficult to soothe (and they should be…we feel strongly for our patients and are willing to fight for them).

Doing what I do, there is no easy way to deal with bad news. Not for us (be it the doctors, the nurses, or others on the staff) and most definitely not for the families whose lives are turned upside down. Parents seem to know as soon as one of us walks into the room with bad news just what it is that we have to tell them. There’s something in the way we walk, the expression on our faces, or the way we hold ourselves in preparation for delivering news of this sort that alerts them to it. Sometimes the tears come before we can even get a word out and half of the discussion comes in trying to calm a parent enough to hear what it is that needs to be said. Other times, the parents refuse to hear the words, to listen, or to engage in the discussion at all. It’s as though their worries and fears have deafened them, made them unable to cope with the news, even for the sake of their child.

In some ways though, having a conversation with the parents of a child with a known chronic illness can be more difficult, especially if they’re not prepared for their child to have taken a sudden turn for the worse. Children are very resilient and can live with many debilitating illnesses for years without ever giving it a second thought, but at some point, they decompensate and end up in my treatment room in extremis. There comes a point where we have to ask how far a parent wants for us to go in resuscitating their child, and if they’ve never been asked that question before, it’s a shock. If, as for many families in our area, there is a religious concern with “life support”, it becomes an even bigger issue, especially when the question is raised emergently. It’s not a decision to be made lightly or under pressure, so I cannot think of a worse time and place to be trying to make it (especially if you haven’t ever been told to think about it before) than with a doctor standing there in front of you saying, “Your child is very sick, close to dying. If we have to put him on life support, to take over breathing for him with a machine, do you want us to do that?” And let me tell you…being that doctor, asking that question…to see the fear, the terror in the parents’ eyes as they realize what I’m asking, it kills a little part of me each time.

Sorta’ puts my hamster into perspective…but I think a little glass of whisky may be in order tonight.

Categories: Wildlife, Wonderings, Work | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Time Passing

I drove down to the far corner of the state last weekend. I noticed two things by the side of the road as I drove.

The lack of rain this summer was very evident in the cornfields along the side of the freeway the entire length of the drive. The corn was dry, brown, and shriveled, much shorter than it should be at this time of year, too. It’s been a long, hot summer.

But the other thing I saw was that some of the trees are already changing their leaves. Not a lot of them, and not brilliant colors yet, but it’s starting. Is fall already here? or is it just another sign of the long, hot summer, that the trees are so exhausted from a lack of rain that they’re going to shed their leaves early in self-defense this year?

And if fall comes early, can winter be far behind?

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Can’t Sleep

So on the way back from NEBS/GS, I managed to tear my rotator cuff.  No, there’s not a good story to go with it…I’m simply that unlucky.  Suffice it to say that I may never again eat at a Denny’s again without cringing.  At least it’s my right arm, and I’m left-handed.

But it’s nearly 0600, and I should’ve been asleep 2 hours ago. This doesn’t bode well for the weekend full of work, if I can’t get enough sleep the night before I start. I just can’t get comfortable enough when I try to lay down. Hopefully, physical therapy (to be started early next week) will help with this, and I can avoid surgery altogether.

What’s really got me torqued off, though, is all the things I can’t do right now. I’ve got a new rifle on order, and I won’t be able to shoot it when it comes in. For that matter, I can’t do much shooting at all!!! Other than single-handed, that is…and I guess I’ll get much better at that over the next few weeks…maybe even months. There is no exercise program at the moment; no riding of my bike, and I can’t even begin to think of going back to Georgia to ride horses at the moment. I’m having to stop and gauge every single move before I make it, lest I end up on the floor, crying like a little girl…and that is JUST NOT WHO I AM.

However, I do have a very sweet man taking very good care of me. He’s doing his very best to see that I don’t make things worse before I get better… And I do know just how lucky I am in that.

Categories: Health, Wonderings | Tags: | 1 Comment

Why is it…

that when I most want to come home from a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night” at work and just curl up and go to bed, that today has to be the day that my lawn is getting cut at 8am?

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