I Don't Feel Like Dying Today

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Apr 17, 2020
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#1
I always love it when a Doctor tells me I have less than two years to live. The first time was about ten years ago, and the consensus among my family, friends and I was that he seems to have missed it by a bit. The Doctor gave me six months to live - I told him I wouldn't have him paid off by then, so he gave me another six months <rimshot> old joke.

Well, another Doctor told me three months ago that I likely had 18 months without treatment, and that with treatment they hoped to extend my life another four months for each treatment until treatment is pointless. To chemo I have gone, to chemo I have gone, hi-ho the derry-o, to chemo I have gone. And I get to go again May 11.

"That's odd, you don't look like you're dying."

"Thanks, I don't feel like it, either."

But all the high-tech imaging, and blood tests and statistics are on the Doc's side. And this one is smarter than the other Doc of ten years ago. It is ironic that about three years ago, I did feel like I was dying, had to spend a few days in hospital, and spent the following year in a wheelchair, too weak to stand unassisted.

Then I had a good day. Don't know why, but I felt a lot better. Told my wife to get a walker, stood and walked, weak and wobbly and balance bad (that was not new), but walked. In a week, I graduated to a cane. Now, I only use the cane outside, or to a Doctor appointment. I'm still weak and wobbly, but not as weak as then, though wobblediness continued.

Now, such things tend to affect one's prayers, and I resolved early on that I would not be a whiner - when I pray for myself, I keep it simple and intend to avoid typical responses, like bargaining. I remind myself often that I have nothing to offer that He needs. So I keep it brief, and spend more time praying for others.

"Father in heaven, your name is holy, your kingdom great, and may your will be done on Earth as in heaven. You know my illness, Lord, better than I do. I ask, Father, that you be merciful to me, a sinner. I'm only a man, and I don't know what to pray - so I leave it in your hands. I'd like to live longer, but if it is more merciful to go sooner, then I trust that if I do, that is you being merciful. Or if I live, that is you being merciful, for you are a forgiving God."

Then I pray for family, friends, and various issues. I fear He hears from us too often praying only for ourselves, frequently when we are in trouble. Only time some people pray, based on what I've seen. I have thanked Him many times for blessings He provides, but he's so liberal with them you can't hit every one, anyway. But I've also seen my share of trouble - some think more than my share. That's life, you're going to have trouble, we all have.

"Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings - for this sunny day, for my lack of pain, for this loving and loyal wife. For this home, for our food, for helping our garden grow, for everything we forget, Father. Mostly, thank you for Jesus, our Intercessor, in his Name I pray, amen."

Oh, it is late, and I am drowsy, and perhaps I've over-shared. But writing things down is how I process, well, just about everything. I'm reading Samuel I this week - aloud to my wife. She's asleep, but I'll spend a few minutes reading about Hannah, Eli, Hophni and Phinehas before sleep. I do love reading my bibles.

I'm also reading to her "In His Steps." Charles Sheldon, the author, IIRC? She's never read it and is really into the story.
 
Apr 17, 2020
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#2
And so I didn't. And today is another beautiful day, here in OKay. Sun shining, I sat under the pergola watching all the action in the garden. Not that there's that much, yet - but, hey, it's a new garden, with more new plants than I can recall. Some are abelias, some are camellias (well, one) and there's hawthorn and hostas, and many others, with one that goes euonymus. The lawn is mostly bare, but the fescue is sprouting. Christine has been quite busy planting a vegetable garden behind the greenhouse.

She was outside digging the patch, turning the soil yesterday, when I heard a yelp, then she came running. Her shoulders heaved with sobs as she buried her face in my chest.

"What has happened, dear? Are you hurt?"

"I hit myself with the shovel," she said between sobs, peering up at me with a left eye of red and purple.

"You have a black eye! Or, that is... you will tomorrow... let's get some ice on it," and as we worked on that, I continued, with my shoulders beginning to heave - but not with sobs, "...Now let me get this straight, you hit yourself in the face with a shovel?"

"It's not funny!"

"Well, no, baby, it kind of is... I mean, so many questions come to mind. Like, you had your hands and one foot on it and were aiming at the ground, right? Or was it deliberate? And which end of the shovel did you use, anyway? Did you cross bludgeoning off your list of suicide options?"

By then she was laughing harder than me, gave me a kiss, said, "Thank you, honey, I love you, too. I'm back to the garden," and she trotted away.

Yep, black eye today.
 
Apr 17, 2020
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#3
Last night, I didn't get to sleep at all. No. No...

I finally broke down and succumbed to adding a few new bibles and reference "books" to my e-Sword software. Mainly so I can set my own font sizes. So I paid the premium download fee - premium meaning fee because the ones and zeros are not wrapped in fine, yappy goatskin nor are they red-gilt edged - and downloaded the NKJV, NASB11, NAS77, NRSV, NRSVA, NET-A-S, Vine's OT&NT, Believer's Commentary, NET notes, NASB exh concord, and something else I don't recall at the moment.

By the time I had it all downloaded and organized e-Sword, then the grey tinge out back hinted at a sunrise for another new day here on Easy Street. The irrigation system was finished a couple weeks ago, so the ATT guys returned today to rebury our phone/internet line, Tino and Jesse, who were two of the nicest, hard-working young men I've seen recently well, there are also Estefan and Hosea with the landscaping company that spent a few weeks here over the last several months, dealing with drainage issues that threatened the house, and beautifying things as we went. It required terracing with two retention walls to protect the slab from further damage.

So, about an hour ago, FedEx dropped off a bunch of rather heavy boxes from Amazon, the internet WalMart, and we have a bunch more lawn furniture to assemble - and a surprise for my lovely wife. Three garden statues.

"Let's open these three first," I said.

When she realized it was a statue, but couldn't see exactly what was in the box, she exclaimed, "You bought those naked girl statues!"

Last week, while shopping on Amazon, I first found the naked girl statues with a search of "garden statues" and I'd shown them to her, telling her I wanted to get her a gift for the new back garden.

"Looks more like a gift for you..."

"So you wouldn't allow naked girls in our garden?"

"I'd have to think about that or awhile," her ay of saying no.

However, after she walked away, I clicked on the company to see what other light, concrete statues they offered, and ordered a Virgin Mary about 31" tall, and two angels at about 26" tall each - perfect for sitting on a retaining block wall above a nice flower bed of ornamental shrubs and annuals. My wife is Catholic, and she is so proud of the statues, she finds them just beautiful. I'll find them more-so once the lawn in front of the beds thicken.

I will admit to some ambivalence about purchasing the things, what is a graven image and who are prohibited... No one here thinks they are God, or pray to them... maybe I should have gone with the nudes? :)

Then again, I did just buy an NRSV, so that pretty much makes me a wild-eyed liberal now, anyway, despite more fundamental beginnings. Funny, I don't feel any different. I still just look at these big unopened boxes and dread the coming three days of assembling furniture. We just did this last week for the front porch.

Ordered the same stuff for the patio out back, so we've put these together before and have gotten faster at it. BUT we have a glider/rocker love seat with this order that will be new to us, and bigger, and heavier, while we get older and weaker. Fun. Fun. Fun.

'til daddy takes the T-bird away.

"I wanted to get the vegetable garden completely planted tody, but I'm tired and calling it a day," said Christine, just now.

"Hey! Both of us can't be lazy! I'm better at it than you - you lack experience is your problem - so we need to retain our respective roles so as to avoid confusion and anarchy."

"I'll anarchy a knot on your head!"

"Yeah? Well, I'll call APS and report you for abuse and neglect! You'll do time, with your previous criminal record."

"That was more than fifty years ago, and I was a child in the car."

"They took you to jail."

"Yeah, and mama came and bailed out daddy for his DUI, and I waited in an office until she took me home. I don't have any criminal record."

"Well, you should."

"You're the one with a criminal record."

"But only because I committed a crime. At least I come by mine honest."

She was laughing so hard she spilled her coffee, "I love you, baby. I think you're the nicest criminal on the planet. I'm going to sit and watch my new eight-zone irrigation system water everything. Wanna come."

"Yes-
 
Apr 17, 2020
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#4
Due to my illness, I'm pretty weak. Oh, how the mighty have fallen; I used to be almost freakishly strong, and a working mosheen. When I was fifteen years of age, daddy took me to our church to do some work in the parking lot.

For many years a large oak tree had shaded a large portion of the lot, early birds had the shade so their cars wouldn't be so oven-hot after services Sundays. However, the tree had been dying for years, and had to be cut down as a matter of safety, and this was done earlier in the week.

However, the three men who'd done the cutting had left a large stump - it was cut, but had been too heavy for the workmen to lift into their truck, so it was left behind with several churchmen promising to take care of it. Thus we were there for that, as well as some general sprucing up.

So there were me, my daddy, and five other grown men on hand for the task. Now this stump was greater than five feet in diameter and a good three feet in height - seven men could surround it, find hand holds - no problem. Until we began to lift. Three of the men protested that it was too heavy, and set it back down, which disappointed me - I wanted to set it in the truck and be done.

However, I was not the decision-maker in this crowd, just a kid, and the men decided the best plan was to call for some help, so they all went inside to an air-conditioned office suite while I stayed in the hundred degree heat of a sunny, Southern parking lot.

I circled the stump, looking for a purchase, but slight indentations were all I could find, so I settled for that. I couldn't reach far enough to get holds on opposite sides, nor far enough across to get halfway. My hand holds were almost imaginary, and my hands were only about one-third the breadth of the stump, which put me at a disadvantage because I was well away from a balance point.

The only way I could think to lift it alone was to square up, squat, grab the trunk and then try to muscle it back against me, pulling that two-thirds of the opposite side of the trunk into the air by tilting it back against me, then stand with it, and walk four feet and place it in the bed of a pickup truck, a brand-new '68 GMC which belonged to one of the men.

Man, did that stump tilt back mighty slow, and was it heavy! It had been heavy for seven of us, and it seemed about seven times heavier alone. The sweat ran in rivulets as I strained, and I thought I'd fail. But once I got it tilted back past its balance point (center of gravity) and tilted back against me, I knew it was mine, because my legs were big and all muscle. I stood, took the few shaky steps to the truck and set it as far over the tail-gate as I could, looking like a big ant with a big stem.

I had to take a forty-second break before hopping into the truck to shove it on in and close the gate. Now, this wasn't as fast as reading about it - I'd circled that trunk many times trying to find a grip that just wasn't available. So I'd been out there alone for a good forty-five minutes, and had just closed the tail-gate on the loaded trunk when my daddy and our six brethren came out of the building.

Brother Sanders looked at the stump in the trunk, then searched the lot, "Where did they go?"

"You mean they've come and gone already? Without a word? Loaded it without our help?"

"Who do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, we called the Perret boys and - didn't they load the stump?"

"I haven't seen anyone," I replied. "I loaded the stump while ya'll were inside."

"Oh, I see," said Brother Sanders, "so who stopped to help?" He was looking around again.

"Didn't have any, so I did it myself," I stated.

"Bull."

At this my father intervened, "If my boy says he did it by himself, then he did it by himself. He is very strong - about as strong as I've ever seen outside a circus, or something."

"Okay, okay. It's just hard to believe... I'm sorry, son. But... do you even know how strong you are?"

"Yes, sir - as strong as I have to be," and that brought guffaws, which I remember surprising me because I had spoken seriously, and missed the humor of it at the time.

As I grew, I became stronger, of course. Other workers could not keep my pace. One employer replied, when I told him he really needed to buy a fork truck for his warehouse, "As long as I got you, I don't need a fork truck."

He really was right, but so wrong, too.

Once I protested to my father, of my one-year-younger brother, "He works too slow - I'm the one doing most of every job you give us!" Seemed unfair to me.

Daddy told me, "Yeah, well you may as well get used to it, son. The Good Lord has blessed you in many ways. You have the strength of several men, and He gave you a good mind, too. And a good heart. So, when you outwork everyone around you, then remember to thank Him that he blessed you with ability. Don't worry about the guy working with you - you'll meet some that will keep up and some will even challenge you - but the average worker will do what he can, and be tired at the end of the day, just like you. So if you got more done, be happy you can, and look at it as a group effort, because that's what it is, and that's how the world works."

It was a lesson I never forgot.

Despite being such a hard-working meat machine, I also happened to have inherited - and have been blessed with - pretty decent mental skill, as well. So I quickly learned to make my bread more with my mind than with my body. As most of us do. I still had plenty of exercise from various major projects around the home.

Once I became disabled about ten years ago, I've really missed the ability to work. Can't do woodwork anymore, which was my favorite hobby. More than a hobby. It is so expensive to pay someone else to do things I no longer can, especially when you want it done right. Done wrong is even pricier, in my experience.

Yes, I'm an old do-it-yourselfer. Not as good a one as daddy was, but you couldn't grow up his son without picking up at least a few skills. Nor could you without learning some bible, either. Yes, I was blessed. I am yet so. But I think I was blest most by the parents God chose for me.
 
Apr 17, 2020
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#5


Practical Utility

by HWatts


More than four decades ago I was jailed for six months behind a drug possession plea agreement; 'behind' is what the other prisoners called it, so I did as well, reaching for some street cred, “Oh, my incarceration is six months behind a controlled substance charge,” ...I answered when asked, “Whatcha in for?”

Somehow street cred eluded me. “Oh, you dat Cawlidge boy, ain'tcha? I heard about chew.”

Fortunately for me what they heard was that I was a lot tougher than I talked, "don't mess with him."

However, that was in prison, where I spent four months. My first two months were spent in county jail waiting for a slot to open up in the Big House – a place so popular advanced bookings were apparently required. Also popular in many songs of the blues variety, for my Graduate School would be Parchman Farm. After a rocky start, County proved to be a breeze. The Sheriff promoted me to trustee status my second day there – in response to my victory in a fight - which meant I would work for the County Supervisor on the road crew, as well as Cell Boss - elected unanimously by my fellow criminals after the meanest one picked a fight with me and awoke in hospital an hour or two later.

Additionally, trustees could come and go from the locked cells at will during the day, and could also walk around town in street clothes. The Sheriff was a very practical man who trusted me and allowed me to stretch those rules a bit more than most simply because he believed I shouldn't have been jailed in the first place. I tended to agree with that sentiment, and assessment.

My third day ever in a jail was my first day to work as trustee on the road gang. However, that should not conjure images of armed guards and chained workers, nor were we wearing orange garb as is often seen in contemporary times; no, jeans and tee shirts were our costume. The County Supervisor simply had all the prisoner-trustees climb into the back of a dump truck, drove to the work site – usually a stretch of county road – let everybody out with task instructions, then drove away to take care of other matters with a “See you at lunch.”

He had other plans for me that day, as he first drove us all back to his headquarters, the County Yard, “...HW! Get down here! You see them telephone poles down there? I need 'em moved to the other end of the yard, on the left side of that gate. I'm gonna leave you here to take care of that, and I expect you to have it done when I get back at lunch, which is at noon. Understand?”

“Yessir... by myself?”

“Why heck yeah, by yourself!” his crew cut seemed to bristle, “...how many people do you think it takes to move fifty utility poles? You ain't lazy, are you?”

“No, sir! I'll get it done.”

“That's more like it. Sheriff bragged on you, but I don't have to accept you as a trustee if you don't work out.”

“Yessir.”

Utility poles are 45 feet long; set one on a football field with one end on the goal line, and the other end will be at the fifteen yard line. Average weight of each was 1200 pounds. Soaked in black, sticky, tar-stinking creosote. I estimate, in hindsight, a splinter density ratio of one-half million per square inch. Fifty of them weighed about sixty thousand pounds, or thirty tons. And they were turned the wrong way – each one must be swiveled ninety degrees before rolling them the 300 feet to their new home. I had just over four hours to move them, and felt cheated at not having even one helper.

I checked the barn and found a pair of cheap cloth work gloves, working out my plan in my mind – lift one end of a pole and walk it in a 180-degree arc until it is pointed toward its destination. Lift another and do the same. Roll one so that it was twelve yards from the other, parallel, both pointing toward the new location, to be used as rails on which to roll other poles.

At that point, only a ninety degree arc would be required to put the pole to be rolled onto the track. I would build a railway upon which to roll poles, but each end of each pole would have to be lifted and swiveled multiple times before all would be in place. I could think of no better way.

Big and strong, with good stamina, I knew I could do it. I also knew many men could not... but the time would be close, so I began. With that first lift I discovered just how tough the job would be – I would be exhausted, and the one hundred degree heat would have me completely soaked in sweat.

The lift alone was bad enough – squat at the end of a pole, work both hands under it, then stand, keeping the back as straight as possible, lifting six hundred pounds, with the weight decreasing a bit as the ground began to take more than half, the higher the end was raised. Not enough to really notice, especially when I began to walk the end in a long arc. Slow, but steady. The demise of my cheap gloves came quickly, so I went back to the barn and brought the whole box back with me.

I was yet building rails when I began to get holes in my creosote-blackened tee-shirt due to splinters digging into my chest and belly. Some bled and added another lovely color to my shirt art. I decided to wait until the job was done to pick them out, otherwise I would have to stop every few minutes and the job would not be completed on time.

My clothes were completely soaked in sweat – as if I had jumped into a lake – and even my shoes squished with each painful step. My lower back was screaming in protest. I kept on, grunting with effort. When I finally got the rail built, twelve poles in all, six in each runner, stretching 270 feet from the old pile to the destination, I had just over two hours to complete the job. I picked up the pace.

With all the rails finally in place, my task progressed faster. Rolling the poles was relatively easy, but still each one had to be arced into place at both ends, then stacked three deep at destination. I increased the pace yet more, working like a madman gone berserk. Rolling the last one from the old pile and stacking it on the new was a small victory, but I still had the twelve runners left to move, reversing the building process. I had thirty minutes to get that done and made it with five minutes to spare, lying on my back in the heat of the sun where I had dropped to regain my breath and enough strength to move toward the barn's shade.

Muscles twitching, I gradually stood shakily erect just as the dump truck came into view. Sweat-soaked from crown to sole - hands blistered, splintered and bleeding - arms, belly, chest and thighs also bleeding - covered in creosote – including my face – I watched the Supervisor swerve violently away from the barn to stamp the brakes, skidding to a halt beside me in the middle of the yard.

“Hey son, are you alright?!”

“Yes, sir.”

“What in God's name happened to you?!”

“I moved those telephone poles, like you said.”

“How in heck did you do it?”

I began to explain my cleverness in constructing the rail system, but he interrupted me.

“Dang it, son, are you telling me you moved all them dern poles by hand?!”

I gave him a blank look, nodding.

“Well, crap-fire, son, I'll swear to anybody you ain't lazy, but they sure don't teach you nothin' practical in that fancy college of yours, do they? You see that big, yellow front-loader over in the corner?”

“Yes, sir.”

“The keys are in it.”
 
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#6
Well, now I'm embarrassed. And not because of the prison thing - that falls under shame but it doesn't embarrass me. What does is that, due to my blurry old vision I had originally thought this sub-forum was titled "Christian Prose and Poetry" and so I began this thread to write stories and vignettes from the perspective of an old Christian. In my own defense, the title "Christian Poems and Poetry" - being arguably redundant - escaped my notice until just now.
 
Apr 17, 2020
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#8
Well, yes, I do enjoy writing, and whether or not it is prose - personally, I think I hit upon a nice phrase now and then - it is my intention to continue to drop in here until a Mod or someone else wielding great power and influence in the world decides that my format doesn't really fit the titled, intended one (which is true), and then invite me - in a very polite and civilized manner, I'm sure - to cease and desist. And I will yield without protest or rancor.

Cease and desist. Aren't they the same thing? I haven't checked the dictionary, but I'm a fair hand at vocabulary, and no difference in shades of meaning pop out at me initially. Yet the terms are used together when a judge issues an order.

"Your honor, despite your Cease Order my distinguished colleague's client has persisted in his obnoxious behavior pertaining to his canine's feces..."

"I object, your honor, my client did indeed cease. However, he failed to desist because he was under no such order..."

Yeah, I think something like that is how it happened. Legalese. Forked tongues, out for meat. Hunting's mighty good these days. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how politicians, lawyers and other twisters of truth (yeah, if I'm paying, twist it my way) made the phrase pass no law respecting an establishment of religion come to mean you can't put a Christmas decoration on gummint property.

Of course, we see so much real subversion and perversion of law these days - man's law - that justice rarely seems to prevail. A myth. Ignoring God's law, too? As it appears most do, only worsens everything.

Then we ask with Habakkuk, "Why do You make me see iniquity and cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; strife exists and contention arises. Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld, for the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted."

Hope we don't incur the same fate God pronounced to Habakkuk.
 
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#9
Or until I realize this site is all but empty. Farewell.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
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#11
hello-farewell-hello.............................................................................................................................................................
 
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#13
Had my second chemo treatment yesterday. The doc puts tiny little beads of the med straight into the tumor, so that I have few symptoms... mild pain, moderate at times with an internal burning sensation at the site, a Lortab once a day takes care of it. Twice, if needed. Dr. order one every 4-6 hours as needed pain, but that would be too much for my money.

A retired RN, I never worked in this state, so know no nurses or doctors as part of past working history, therefore I get no respect, no professional courtesy, just another slab of meat on the repair or recycle conveyer belt. I can spot the good nurses faster than you can say Jack Robinson. Thank the Lord there are still many around, but I've worked with and supervised plenty bad ones, too.

My assigned nurse yesterday was okay, not bad, but not all that good, either. Poor communication skills and a detached manner she thinks professional, but comes across as don't-care. However, a really good nurse whose do-care did show attended to my needs while the one assigned walked around with ear-phones blaring, cutting her patients out. That's okay these days. The bad ones eventually kill someone.

I have personally saved three patient lives almost lost due to gross incompetence on the parts of three different nurses at three different facilities while I was Charge Nurse of a unit, or floor. Which means you get a fifty-cent per hour increase and anything that goes wrong on the unit puts you in receipt of liability, with your license on the line. Some nurses don't take charging seriously; the most-suitable nurse often doesn't want it - nobody does it for the fifty cents. Charge nurses 'carry' a group of patients of their own, too - responsibility increases involved with charging just means more work, of course. If you care. If you don't, well, you still get the fifty cents.

I was the kind of nurse who cared - it was my job. I had learned leadership skills as a teenager when I replaced a warehouse supervisor my second day on the job, trial by fire. I had learned effective interpersonal communication skills as a salesman in my first career, at about 22 years of age until almost fifty. So I had a lot of experience in dealing with both customer and worker difficulties and complaints. I had learned to treat difficult situations with finesse. And I worked hard.

My goal was to meet and greet each patient in the first fifteen minutes of my shift as other nurses sat at the station gossiping and waiting for Report. That was just me making certain that all my patients were actually alive and doing as well as possible before hearing a different version of the truth during Report. I'd find who needed pain med and administer it right now if needed. I found out who wanted coffee, including family members, and bring that right back. My perspective was always centered on my patients, except when someone else demanded it. My percent of patients who asked to have me back as their nurse was extremely high, so I know they appreciated me. And they said so. They said it at the time, then they'd tell me again at WalMart, or wherever, and I never recognized them. Were just too many.

I also once talked a psychiatric patient out of his loaded 9mm pistol with which he threatened himself. Of course, I was worried about the danger to me also, but he was a former patient I well remembered, and figured if he drove to our facility to talk with me before killing himself, then he didn't really want to do it. So I went out to the parking lot to speak, saw the pistol in his hand and spent the next hour talking him into leaving the pistol with me, though he declined to speak with anyone else or admit himself to the facility. After he left, I was able to contact his family, who found him in good physical shape in bed.

Then I once had a deputy carrying a shotgun and his boss, the Sheriff, with his handgun out come onto my unit searching for a nurse who'd been reported by a patient of killing another nurse and holding three patients hostage, including the one who was able to notify police. Of course, I knew all my nurses and patients were fine and breathing, because I was always a stickler about that.

However, to my surprise, the reporting patient was able to identify the killer to the LEOs as soon as she saw me, "That's him! He's the one 'at kilt that pore girl!"

I quickly exited the room. That was one patient who never asked to have me back. Hey, nobody is universally pleasing to all. But my average was high, and hospitals sent me to "bad" units to turn them around. That unit would go from most-complaints to most-complimented in two or three weeks. There are a lot of very good nurses out there - some better than I was - and I'm grateful for that.

We get old and a little judgmental sometimes, seems to me. We often feel like the work ethics we grew up with are gone... but that isn't really true, I think. I believe some of us were every bit as lazy as some of the current laboring generations, and that some of them work hard as we did, or do - if able. That's what people do. Have always done. Will always do, in this world, imo.

At this point, I should admit that the mix of meds I'm taking tends to keep me up and rambling in conversation for awhile, and my lovely wife lies sleeping, thus the long ramble. Not medicines that make one "high" - it's a liver thing. Messes up your diurnal program. Okay, the Lortab does keep me up awhile.

Also, back to topic, nurses work short-staffed all the time, increasing the workload substantially. Add to that already high-stress environment a world-wide pandemic just torques up the stress. In a hot-spot, I saw one young nurse who broke into tears over the CoVid-19 deaths she'd seen, including that of a fallen colleague.

So a big thank-you for those who showed up, and keep doing so - nurses, yes, but all medical personnel, from the man who waxes the floors to the heart and brain surgeons and everyone in the trenches. LEOs, First Responders, Convenience Store Clerks, Over-the-road truckers and trainsters and jetsters. Everyone doing an essential job. Thank you for showing up, all who keep doing it.
 
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#14
Just prior to the chemo procedure Monday - yep, anesthesia - I finally heard the results of the first dose about 4 months ago, and the news was better than I dared hope (okay, I dared). The response of the 2" tumor was complete. "It's nothing but ash, but there is a pea-sized one a few inches away that I'm very confident will surrender even more quickly than the large one did." He was all smiles.

So was I, but that's my usual anyway. He'd told me not to hope too much for a complete result, for which there was a 20% chance, give or take. Another twenty percent of folks show no improvement at all. The 60% in the middle have varying degrees of improvement. Yeah, good news. Hopefully, when I return in a couple months for imaging to determine the fate of the pea, they won't find another growing nearby.

Another way I'm lucky is in my body's response to the chemo. Not taking it systemically, but local to the site, plus the newer, milder meds results in decreased side effects. My luck is I have no nausea - many do - so I need no med for the symptom (and have some on hand anyway, should it change) and I find the pain mild for the most part. No hair falling out.

Last time, I had four days of excruciating pain that started eight days after the administration. Usually, pain begins about day 3 or 4, post-admin. It was highly unpleasant, but ended abruptly. Guy's trying to save my life, in a whack-a-moley kinda way, so when they called to ask how I felt during that pain crisis, I asked, "About what?" and laughed.

"I mean, do you have any pain or nausea?"

"Well, I've had a fair bit of pain, but mostly very little to none. Should I have more? And no nausea, but I'll try harder if you think I should, Meagan."

She was laughing, as was I. However, if she'd been able to see me at the time, it would have been a pitiable and gross sight indeed. She'd have been shocked at the disparity between my words and my situation during the phone call.

"No, no. I'm glad you feel so good. These new medications are so much better, but most people have some pain and nausea."

"Well, dear, I'm thankful for having so little discomfort, but, Meagan, I'm actually walking into my shower now, but I do appreciate you checking up on me... and you sure do look pretty today-"

"You can't see me!"

"That doesn't make me wrong. You're almost as pretty as my wife. But I'm done ego-stroking for now, you have a good day, today."

And returned to my agony, with my wife trying to help me do nurse stuff to myself.

"Why didn't you just tell Meagan the truth?"

"She's going down her list, calling patients who will mostly be complaining about every little thing. You and I are RNs, we know what to watch for, we know what to do, we don't need assurances from another RN. Why not make her day a little brighter by being nice and telling her she's pretty? Didn't cost anything."

"You said she was almost as pretty as me..."

"Well, that was the truth."

"She's not even thirty, and I'm sixty-six and wrinkled. Are you sure she took it as a compliment?"

"No, that was so she'd think, I hope my man thinks I'm still the prettiest when she gets old. Ready to resume?"

"Try not to holler so loud this time."

Hey, stoicism only takes one so far.
 
Nov 17, 2019
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#16
I read your original post, dated April 24, today for the first time.

I find it ironic that you pray to the Lord for a longer life while I pray for Him to take me sooner than later. My prayer usually goes something like this:

"My dear Father in heaven, if it is your will, can you please take me home now? I know there will be no more attacks by the enemy in your kingdom. Besides, I'm not sure how much good I am doing down here. Thank you for listening to my request, in Jesus' name."

Of course, I pray about other things, but being taken out of this fallen world is my number one priority.

You may find it completely idiotic for me to pray that the Lord allows me to trade places with you, which, incidentally, would be my honor and privilege to do. So with that, I fall on my knees once again and pray for your complete recovery.
 
Apr 17, 2020
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#17
I read your original post, dated April 24, today for the first time.

I find it ironic that you pray to the Lord for a longer life while I pray for Him to take me sooner than later. My prayer usually goes something like this:

"My dear Father in heaven, if it is your will, can you please take me home now? I know there will be no more attacks by the enemy in your kingdom. Besides, I'm not sure how much good I am doing down here. Thank you for listening to my request, in Jesus' name."

Of course, I pray about other things, but being taken out of this fallen world is my number one priority.

You may find it completely idiotic for me to pray that the Lord allows me to trade places with you, which, incidentally, would be my honor and privilege to do. So with that, I fall on my knees once again and pray for your complete recovery.
Thank you so much for your prayer. Praying has value, power. If you are praying, then that's useful, and maybe you're doing more good down here than you realize. My usual prayer is a request that He be merciful, and I leave what that entails and the timing to Him.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
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#18
You are a very talented story teller :) I really enjoyed your linguistic ability and sense of humor. What a life you have lived! You and Christine sound like wonderful people who have been greatly blessed, both as individuals, and as a couple ~ the love you have in and share with each other. How truly touching and sweet. I pray your treatments go well and yield optimum results with a minimum of pain and maximum, life-extending benefit (y)
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
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#19
Prodigious talent you have. Sometimes a word comes to me and I have to check the meaning. Prodigious, yes:

remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree.

Have you ever considered writing as a source of income?
 
Apr 17, 2020
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#20
Prodigious talent you have. Sometimes a word comes to me and I have to check the meaning. Prodigious, yes:

remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree.

Have you ever considered writing as a source of income?
Since I was a seventh-grader. Should have. Life. You know?