Tuesday, April 12, 2011


(Just noted this draft I long ago stashed away that I wrote after reading the piece I reference below. My observations about our nation and the world still seem to be apropo.)

Others often write thoughts that stimulate my own resulting in my composing comments the equivalent of another post. Such is the case with Ronni Bennett's piece titled,"Aging Into Sentimentality" 11/23/09 at "Time Goes By."

I can certainly identify with growing up in a home where stoicism was considered to
be how one best coped as I observed. I do recall a few instances of being told "Don't cry, or I'll give you something to cry about" but I don't recall any physical punishment. I think I probably had my bottom paddled on occasion when I was little. My Mother told me of switching my little legs all the way home from three houses away where I had gone without permission to visit my young friend. Perhaps these are a couple of environmental contributors to my having a high pain tolerance level, maybe it's genetic, or both.

I also learned to look for the best in others, sometimes to my detriment when I too quickly gave the benefit of the doubt to the intentions of another.

Perhaps when we are older we simply have more time or take more time to ponder some of the matters Ronni and others comments describe. Certainly we’re more aware we’re moving toward the end of our lives, so I think it’s to be expected that most of us will begin to think more about our lives in quite different ways from when we were younger. I know when I reached about forty years and through my fifties I was really heavily into very egocentrically examining my life. All this when I was striking out on a new career path while simultaneously having more demands on my being than at any other time in my life.

Perhaps any major life change, once life seemingly settles a bit, can have us, suddenly, after the fact, starting to think about such matters as described there. Perhaps there’s a certain amount of relaxation occurring that allows erratic thoughts once inhibited to be released. Emotions held at bay then become more accessible, can emerge much more readily. I experienced that after my mother died, when later other major life changing events occurred for me, but in those instances the emotions didn’t emerge until quite some time afterward.

In recent years that sensitivity began happening immediately after my husband’s death beginning when my son arrived home. I continued to project strength outwardly to most others but my feelings became incredibly sensitive as was my vulnerability to the slightest kindness, exaggerated beyond all that was rational. I had never been on such an emotional roller coaster.

I believe sometimes as we get older the tears and strongly expressed emotions are not always completely about what they seem, or what we and others may think. I suggest the apparent surface cause can be primarily only the trigger reflecting much deeper sources erupting from composite forces of life’s residue.

I don't consider compassion and empathy for living creatures being maudlin or sappy when a core deep within ourselves is tapped. I've felt this way about animals and increasingly about other creatures for as long as I can remember. Allowing outward expression of such feelings can be cathartic though I'll grant you not always best anywhere at anytime, or with just any person lest they be misunderstood. Further, if you're not too rational for a period, you best be interacting with someone who knows you well, and realizes you're only in a temporary discombobulated state.

What I'm most acutely aware of avoiding for quite a few years are stories about young babes, children, fictional and true, books and movies that entertainingly show the pain adults inflict upon them including parents, other family members, friends and strangers. I become tearful and angry at the emotional and physical abuse to which these innocents are subjected. I never wanted to read Frank McCourt's book, “Angela’s Ashes” about his Irish childhood partially for just that reason. Likewise, I never went to see Steven Spielberg’s movie “Schindler’s List” in a big screen movie house, only, finally, renting the DVD years later as I had feared there would be too many broken family scenes and worse. “Sophie’s Choice” haunts me still as does the movie from my childhood, “Bambi” with the gut-wrenching scene of Bambi seeking his Mother. Many movies in recent years seem to feature young children, youth and teenagers being subjected to all sorts of horrors judging by their ad trailers.

With all the wars around the globe I think how horrible this must be for children. When I consider all the nation's ills, the world's wrongs I seem to have arrived at a state that allows me to be aware of my own limitations to effect change, and likely not immediate under most circumstances. I perceive I'm looking down on a picture much larger than myself, that much desired change is going to be more gradual that I like, very possibly may not even occur in my lifetime. Yet, I remain dedicated to doing whatever I can in my small way to facilitate the change I desire. I try to avoid becoming permanently discouraged when it doesn't happen in the way I might want, especially as rapidly as I might wish, sometimes much easier to say than do.

Referring to history can help put the current reality into perspective when viewed in comparison with life in other times. Most generations have had legitimate reasons to think their situation and future was dire, much worse than that of previous ones, especially if they had known better times in their lifetime, yet here we are. Sure, we can look back and say, "Oh those times are nothing like what we have now." Probably so. I wonder what those in our unknown future will say when they look back on our time?

Thursday, April 07, 2011







If visitors here haven't already...
stop by "Time Goes By" and
leave a few good wishes for Ronni.

Monday, April 04, 2011


(Blogger seems to be experiencing some technical glitches since I just posted this on Wednesday, April 6th after writing it Tues. night, but the gremlin affixed a different date, so I'll try re-posting to see if it corrects. Actually, my previous piece was posted April 1st, but the gremlin dated it March 31st.)

Yesterday was not a typical day. In fact, the day was quite unlike the
"Summerish Spring Day" described in my previous piece.

Let's go back a few days to when I started that dreaded process for a periodic medical procedure many of us undergo. I had more than slight trepidation since not only had my doctor specialist retired, to be replaced by one I did not know, but the procedure's preparation substances were different, too.

My memory of several previous such preparations requiring drinking of excessive fluids was pretty negative. I recalled the intensity of the liquid's repellent mouth puckering taste. Determined to make this experience as positive as possible, I forced myself to reject preconceived expectations. So, several nights ago I initiated the several day process with step one by swallowing the prescribed two pills before going to bed.

Coincidentally, at this time I was having rare slight headaches that developed into some other unique symptoms that had me thinking I might need to seek Urgent Care. This could complicate the whole process I'd already started and I didn't want to have to begin all over again at some future unknown date. Of course the time frame for these events was evolving into a weekend when my physician's office was closed. Fortunately, I was able to press ahead with my medical procedure preparation because I was really primed for completing this process, having already started, but I felt worse before I felt better. Diagnosis today, Tues., revealed Otitis Media -- middle ear infection -- and some concurrent swallowing and throat issues.

Returning to the saga's second step, the following afternoon was time to mix a large amount of this new liquid concoction for overnight refrigeration. I selected the lemon flavor over the orange, cherry and pineapple, hoping the taste would not be sickening or overpowering. Before refrigerating I was instructed to add lots and lots of water to the container's mysterious white powder and flavoring, then shake to mix. Another two pills would be taken before going to bed that night. Then, the next afternoon I would have to drink this flavored beverage within a specified short time period after first taking yet another larger pill. That entire day I could drink only specified liquids, eat no solid foods. After midnight I couldn't even drink liquids until after the next morning's medical procedure at the hospital.

I had prepared for the worst based on the last time I went through this process. So, I was choosing jello, chicken broth, gatorade, and ginger ale to provide some nourishment and keep me hydrated.

The drinking hour arrived and it was down the hatch with 8 ounces of the lemon flavor mix every ten minutes for the next two hours. I was surprisingly pleased that this new liquid was much more palatable than the product I'd always had to drink before. I gradually became liquid-sot and quickly realized I didn't want to sip ginger ale or any other beverage to pacify my palate. Forcing my mouth to accept the final three glasses of this lemon liquid drink took all my effort and will power.

About an hour later I began those most dreaded rapid trips to the throne in the room of contemplation. I had learned from past years what soothing remedies to have at the ready and was prepared, but I did not need them this time. A half-a-mega-tissue-roll later I could relax for longer time periods in the living room. I began to gather the few items I'd need to take with me the following morning to the hospital's outpatient radiology department clinic.

The procedure itself, like those before, was painless, uneventful and quite routine. As usual, I had no memory of the actual procedure, nor did I experience (or have I ever had) any brief memory lapses of events afterward during the Doctor's consultation. Some individuals do experience this later recall loss, so everyone has to be accompanied by family or a friend who is also responsible for transporting them home.

Now that I'm on my own I wasn't about to impose on someone to drive me to the hospital for this very early morning appointment. I couldn't use my car as I knew I wouldn't be allowed to drive myself home. I was able to use a special very inexpensive car service provided by our city for anyone needing such transportation. I was displeased with the hospital's requirement that prevented me from using that same service, or a commercial cab service for the return trip home. (I had been able to use a cab after this same procedure several years ago.)

Not being permitted to use any sort of private car commercial transportation is primarily due to the hospital's liability concerns, though ostensibly for my own protection. Ultimately, I did have to impose on a colleague to drive me home, and, in fact, tell them herself she would do so, before they would prep me for the procedure. Additionally, she had to be present for the Doctor's discussion of my medical procedures results.

I couldn't help entertaining rebellious thoughts that maybe my privacy rights were violated by the requirement I had to have this person present for my verbal medical report. I had been given all the same information, pictures and more written out in a folder to bring home even before the doctor's appearance. I quelled my natural tendency to protest for individual rights by acquiescing to system rules that must apply to all and leave little room for special circumstances.

Let this be a testimony that undergoing a colonoscopy, especially the preparation, has become a much less unpleasant process in every aspect than that I experienced just a few years ago. Despite my attitude expressed above, I do agree having a trusted known person present after the procedure, who can also provide transportation home, is wise and a not unreasonable requirement.

I do know of one instance when my husband did experience a brief memory lapse following his procedure when later he told me he was unable to recall our short driving trip home together. Just because I've never had such a short memory lapse doesn't mean I might not the next time. Fortunately, that won't be for another five to seven years.

A colonoscopy is a recommended endoscopic colon examination which enables early detection of pre-cancerous or cancerous cells. This visual procedure is administered in a hospital outpatient setting by a physician specializing in Gastroenterology.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report:

"Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and in women."