Friday, September 29, 2023

Waiting for dinner

 For lunch I had a banana and a dish of coffee cookies and cream ice cream. The latter was wonderful and a banana is generally OK. Nevertheless, I'm hungry. I probably concentrated too hard at Bingo, to no avail.

I came back upstairs rather than stay around for happy hour. I think it will be close to pandemonium down there, and so I left. The kitchen is short staffed, so dinners are being served in our rooms or in the Bistro. I've had dinner there one time, and I didn't enjoy it. Too noisy. The ceiling is low and noise bounces and bounces and bounces.

Kitty greeted me, expecting her after dinner treat. I showed her my empty hand, which she associates with no treat, and she left for the sofa. 

Like all cats, she has to sleep in/on whatever is available. If that red cushion were down, she would be on that. When supper arrives, she will ask again or wait till I clear up. In short, we rub along quite well. I'm anticipating "very well" in another six or eight months.

Outside my window there is moderate progress. The front end of the building looks much closer to occupancy than the back end here by me. My end is looking seasonal, with yellows, orange, reds, and not even on the tree.

I'm pretty close to having all my blog posts reinstated. Probably the person most interested is me. Most I can just republish, but some I have to reread and relive, remember. There were about nine hundred when I began and I'm down to two hundred and fifty-ish. It's 4:45, and my banana and ice cream wore off long ago, so I'll go work on blogs until my doorbell rings!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Waiting for the washing machine

Laundry has become a problem recently. There are more tenants competing for fewer facilities. One day last week, one of two washing machines was removed. Yay, making room for a new machine! But wrong. Removed to that masculine lair of "the workroom" for repair. It has been "broken" for the entire year plus I've lived here. It makes a great deal of noise on one of its cycles.

Personally, I would call the GE guy. I had a magnificent Maytag repair guy back in the township. I had him for forty years. Well, him, then his son. But that isn't how they do things here. So, since the only machine is in use, I set my timer for forty five minutes, and then I'll go look.

In the meantime, I have a car. Actually, it's closer to a tank. In the week or so it has lived out in the parking lot, I've driven through a tank of gas, keeping appointments. The worst was the Reclast infusion. I have no problem with needles and stuff dripping into my veins. I do have a problem with time expended and side effects. 

My doctor assured me this second drip of Reclast would not be painful. Not the infusion, but the day after. Last time my housemate gave me a Tylenol with codeine, from her stash. "Oh, don't worry. There are few to no side effects the second time!" said my doctor. Liar, liar, pants ablaze. 

Since he is so far away from me, a long drive south, I've decided to ask for an endocrinologist at the local clinic. I've been doing that for  the rest of my specialists, and soon I'll be driving fifteen minutes for most of my doctor appointments. It will be sad to leave many of my current doctors, but not all. 

My endocrinologist, for example. When I first found him, it was by reading reviews carefully. When he turned out to be exactly as described, I recommended my sister to him. We've both been satisfied patients for forty years. But he has really upset me of late, Reclast not the least of his "sins", and a change is in order.

My laundry has been swishing away these last forty minutes, and I had a nice chat with Marty, the woman ahead of me. She began so defensively I was sad. I do like her and know so little about her. So I asked about her background, and learned she had been a teacher and a home maker. That seems to be the history of so many here. No really kindred souls.

It set me searching about for something else in my immediate surroundings to make me smile. That would be Kitty. She has two toys with balls. One is four tiers, a ball on each tier. The other is flat, with a cardboard scratching pad in the middle. The former was the first, and it was an immediate success. She tackled it, wrestled it to the ground, rolled over and over, attempting to tackle all four balls at one time. She often woke me at night with the sound of the balls.

Then I decided she needed more scratching opportunities than my sofa, and bought the flat unit. She abandoned the other unit for this. It was pushed half under the chair to make way for the vacuum, and this is her favorite place. She spends half or more of each day's play time subduing the entire unit. Sometimes she attacks from behind the chair leg, sometimes around it, a paw on each side. And sometimes she simply lays around and pats the ball from side to side. To side to side to side to side. And I fall asleep.



Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Short and sweet

The web page is fixed, almost.  It takes orders, and that's all that matters right now. In fact, Blake fixed it this morning and an order came in on its heels. Over the course of the day, two more, so that the yellow towels are gone, and some of the lime and most of the terra cotta.

I'm winding periwinkle bobbins now. Hopefully they will not take me so long as the previous colors.

Back to the web page. The address at the bottom of the page is incorrect. It is the Keenan Road address I had when I began selling towels from the web site. I thought I'd found and corrected it a few weeks ago, but I only deleted it, which suspended the web page.

If anyone tried to contact me there, it surely would be lost in the mail, as they say. Fortunately, I suppose, we use email almost exclusively these days. I'm still working on correcting it.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Up to date

Much has transpired since I last was here, only a few days ago. Several rescheduled doctor appointments have come to rest in rows for the rest of the month. I have a dental appointment (cleaning) this afternoon, my pulmonologist tomorrow, and another infusion on Thursday of Reclast. Yes, the same one that laid me low a couple of years ago. My endo doctor says it cannot possibly be so awful this time and he has not prescribed Tylenol with codine. How I hope he is right!

A lot of Uber trips, you say. Especially in light of a couple more appointments the following week. But, I bought a car. The six thousand dollars I had from selling the Subaru had to stretch out to seventy four hundred dollars, for a 2012 Honda with 188,000 miles. How I hope it will serve me well. 

When I got in to drive home, I didn't find time to tell it I will take care of it and it needs to take care of me. It was difficult to get into the passenger seat when I went with the salesman to get gas. When I switched to the driver's side, much easier, but the seat was too low. It was all I could do to reach and adjust the mirror! Seeing over the wheel was impossible, so I looked through it.

Back here in the parking lot I set about rectifying what I could. I found the lever to release the steering wheel, and put it all the way down. I understand it also collapses, but I haven't found that yet. When I leave to go to the dentist, I'll look for the vehicle manual and give it a good perusal when I get home. 

Other than that, a fairly normal week. Another set of towels finished. This one is terra cotta, a color I've never done before. I like them.

I spent more time figuring out how to rotate the photo than I did photographing it. I hope to remember next time. 

A reader brought a problem with the web site to my attention. You can get all the way to clicking on a towel selection, and then the program indicates "Not Available". Of course they are, but for the moment, they aren't. I've asked Blake, my computer guru, to look into it.

My next color to weave is periwinkle. I haven't made this color in quite awhile. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Table talk

I have three dinner mates. Two have come to the facility only recently, are former neighbors, and are tea party members. This is for real. Their way or the highway. They campaigned loudly and long for the Ohio super majority amendment, which was resoundingly defeated. The third table member is Rose, a conservative, probably a Republican, but completely open minded.

Tonight's table talk was about Covid, and the general shut down of the population during the recent crisis. We asked our server if all meals had been served in rooms during that time, and she said Yes, and that it had been as awful for them as for the residents. Personally, I think the residents had it worse, with little human contact.

The talk turned to vaccinations. One tea partier recited how many injections will be required; two for covid, two for flu, and I don't remember the last injection. The two tp's were actually bullying Rose to say she would not be vaccinated, and I stepped in.

My hand shot up and I said I'd be there to tell them the efficacy of the shots, which surely would be combined to two. Rose mumbled that at her age she wouldn't risk skipping. One of the tp's also is ninety, and started back on Rose for agreeing to the shot.

I lost it, and said I couldn't believe she actually thought she would be thrown to the ground and have needles shoved into her arm. "But what about the military!" she sputtered. "You're not in the military. Furthermore, joining the military is voluntary assumption of mandatory inoculations."

And I left the table and came home to my cat. Before I raised my voice a lot more.

Did I ever tell you, Kitty snores. And not just a little. When she is  really, really sleeping, those extra membranes in her throat really vibrate. If I get up in the night for that trip we take, I sometimes sit on the edge of the bed and listen. It's rather comforting, another living being.


Saturday, September 9, 2023

Undoing the undo

After I moved back into the old rooms at the old house two years ago, I was dealt an ultimatum. All my old posts had to go and any new posts had to be totally neutral. That became a nonnegotiable item for living there. It was delivered in January, when I returned from convalescing from the broken femur. It was pack up the loom and the broken leg and leave, or spend a month deleting the life I'd recorded.

I deleted the first post, about finding a kitten in Pittsburgh. Like slitting my wrist. Not just cutting, actual slitting. Muscle, bone, sinew. It was gone! I sat and stared at the screen for a long time. I could not do that again. Mary Moon made me brave enough to blog, told me just to start typing and the rest would take care of itself. And so it has.

All the rest of the posts were suspended. One at a time, day after day, week after week. It takes time to suspend eighteen hundred odd posts. My life from 2011 to present. But finally I was left with nothing but the present. January 2021 and on. Some very canny old timers caught on. River, for one, and Ellen. I just went on from there, for a year, a new beginning. 

But I never really recovered from that broken femur. I could have, but my heart wasn't in it. I started looking at ways to rehab without working at it. And here I am. I love the irony of the Independent Living retirement home. All the rest is pretty plain. Then Assisted Living. Then Memory Care. And so on. Down the last long (?) path to dead.

I decided on the Atrium. Although it is counter to my old tree hugging, liberal and loud days, I was not scared. Nothing would change me, and perhaps it was time for a change here. Jan and I toured the facility and I had decided before I saw the room. That was a year ago. From time to time over that year, I reposted some blogs. 

Now that I am at one year here, it's time to roll up my sleeves and get going. I've reposted about a thousand entries and have about seven hundred to go. Of course, I can't just pull it up and hit "Post". Often I have to stop and read. It's fun.

But what about the actual rehabbing business? Back on my feet! Well, here it is. I'm still on the walker I adopted after living here a short time. Every fall here has taken more starch out of me. I got so sick in March. That took another cup or two of starch. But, I have stayed with the exercise, three times a week. It has saved me.

The exercise classes have made me able to save myself from some of the consequences of the several falls I've taken. When I've determined help was not coming to get me off the floor, I got myself up. Think about that. Not my long term goal, but good enough at the time to be able to get up and get on with it.

Every fall has involved my head, though, and I am fully aware of how much more mental ability a fall has cost me. I'm OK all morning and afternoon, but by supper time I am through. I cannot remember, think, reason. But, I can still get back to my room and pass the evening to bed time.

At supper last night, RoseMarie and I and Betty were the last at the table, as always. It used to be just Rose and myself, but now Betty stays to help Rose up from her chair and over to her walker. I used to do that, but am so grateful Betty has taken over. I'm much more sure on my feet than Rose, thanks to exercise classes, but I know I could easily misstep and fall again.

As we were pushing off, Rose said she always intended to get this old, just not this decrepit. I agreed, saying I had no idea I'd be using a walker to get around. I guess that's the hint I've waited for. I need to start in the gym, on the recumbent bike, next week. Won't be Monday, though. I have an 11:30 doctor appointment in Cleveland. By Uber. Report to follow.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Things that have changed this year

My youngest daughter became a nurse practitioner. She was awarded  the degree she set out for fifteen or twenty years ago. How I applaud the achievement, though she climbed several mountains of her own making.

I came to a decision about weaving towels. When I have finished the warp currently on the loom, I'll be through with towels. I will go back to "fashion" weaving, making shrugs and shawls and such. In the beginning they will be cotton, but when the last of my 8/2 cotton is gone, I'll change to 10/2 and probably some novelty. It will be fun. 

My car was a whole nuther mental wrench. My trusty red Dodge had come up against another costly repair. Northeastern Ohio winters are hard on cars, and mine had a rusted out something or the other front end assembly. In addition, the entire driver's side fender assembly had rusted through. 

I got on the internet and found the only "new" car I could afford, a Subaru two years younger than the Dodge. So, I bought it. It had impeccable lineage; one owner; bells and whistles; well maintained. The problem, it turned out, was changing me from driving a domestic car to a foreign car with every add on available. The back up camera was OK; the rest was not. Gas tank, wrong side. Lights, I never did figure out. Or any other control.

Resell it! But, the used car market tanked, literally the week after I bought the car. Market value was half I paid for the car. So, I sold the car to my daughter, for my granddaughter to drive back to college in Minnesota. Great for her, but I have no car. I think my daughter is happy her eighty year old mother no longer has wheels, but I can still drive.

Beginning this coming week, we will see my ability with Uber. Or Lyft.  I have a doctor's appointment literally every day next week, and will be using one or the other form of transportation. I'll let you know.

And, I took on a cat, Katherine. What cat? No one has seen her  on a regular basis, except moi. She hides before the doorbell finishes its ring. The only other people who have seen her are housekeeping, my sister and my daughter. Housekeeping knows her because Diana took care of her when I was in Assisted living last spring. So did Jan.

So, that's the year in review for me. The rest of my year has been all the people who live here.  I think I'll save that for another post.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

One year

I've been here a year. Hard to believe, in a way. It's time for a retrospective, a review, an attempt to improve the future.

What have I done? I've ploughed through some daunting obstacles. I've faithfully attended improvement classes that have been instrumental in overcoming the obstacles. I've made a decision about weaving. I sold my car. I saw Shelly get her degree; master of science in nursing, making her a nurse practitioner. I've become a friend to my grandson, Blake. And, I rescued a cat.

Obstacles: several falls and a pacemaker. I hate falling. I don't trip on rugs, which I don't have. I don't stumble. I just don't know. The last fall was a month ago. I had my laundry in the wheelie cart, in the laundry room. I was repositioning the cart, it caught my foot, and back I went. Another time on my back. I pushed my button and waited. Nothing.

Eventually I got on my butt, scooted to the door, used a chair and the door handle to get upright. I took inventory, and except a very sore noggin, nothing. So, I did my laundry. The next day I reported the incident to a supervisor. She had me push my button and showed me, real time, that I did not register. Dead battery.

Why am I the test canary? The guinea pig who pushes the right buttons, or not? The good news is, they surveyed the building and discovered more than a few dead batteries. Battery replacement has been backed up one month.

The pacemaker was a total surprise. I went to a regular doctor appointment. I was happy to keep the appointment; my legs kept swelling from excess water, and the condition had extended to my left arm. The doctor sent me to the emergency room for an evaluation. They sent me to the hospital, in potential cardiac arrest, in an ambulance. 

I arrived pretty late in the evening. The next day was evaluation, and a recommended pacemaker scheduled for the next day. When I woke from the surgery, the placing doctor was there, apologizing for poking a hole in the membrane around my lungs. I was just too skinny, he explained. Anyway, that was another surgery and four more days on my back.

When I was recovered from the hole in my chest, the hospital offered me a couple more days in the hospital to recover more. I knew I would be stuck several more times to reset their damn IV line, and I decided to go home. So, Jan and Tom drove me home and deposited me in my room. When they left, I was in too much pain to move. No one could come help me.

Eventually I hit on Blake and over he came. Got me into a nightgown and into bed. Came in the morning to take care of the cat. I decided I needed to switch to Assisted Living, so I got that done. A big mistake, but that's another story.

In AL, I immediately caught the lurgy going around. So sick. I was in bed and immobile for several days. I missed my birthday. I recovered slowly, first in a chair, then up and shuffle to meals. I stayed another week in AL, then back to my room, my cat, my routine in Independent Living.

This gets me from September to mid April, and the end of the big trauma. As you may know, Laura is going to Greece for a semester, then Australia for a semester, with a couple months in between to bum around Europe. She came to say good-bye for awhile; she leaves Wednesday. She's looking over my shoulder as I type, and has OK'd a new picture to go with. I'll go on and on later.