Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting to the bottom of these health issues

Here I am once again talking about my ongoing health issues. I really hope I'm not boring you silly but who else to run this by but you?

Yesterday was my appointment with the pulmonology department in Salisbury having a spirometry test and another chest x-ray. I've mentioned it before, but to refresh your memory, it is a ninety minute drive. Which by all standards is quite doable, but not when the temps are ranging in the ninety five degree mark and so so airconditioining.

Now I have had these tests before, I've had asthma all of my life. It is usually under control with meds. Only when I get a stubborn virus is it a bother. So I was not particularly anxious about the test.

We got to our destination....second floor of the brand spanking new building. I gotta tell you they have been on such a building spurt that the hospital is unrecognizable from what it was ten years ago.

I was met at the elevator by the tech and walked to her office. The testing takes place in like an acrylic phone booth....with all sorts of breathing gadgets right in front of you.

It is a little step up and backed into the chair. Holy cow....what just happened? Pain shooting from my back, down my leg , down my arm and seemingly getting stuck in my rib cage. Did lightening strike? Is this a heart attack? Was I shot? All in a matter of a nano-second ran through my mind.

None of the was a sciatic event. The tech was able to have me walk it out somewhat, I mean it still was persistent in my rib cage. I told her I needed a moment to collect myself...she insisted I go home. Her tests lasted an hour and my time would be better spent on the drive home. I reluctantly agreed.

Thank goodness Nicci was driving and she always comes prepared with extra meds. I took a pain pill with a Latte and off we went. I was fine, really. Just glad that it was over. What a surprising thing to have happen....just making a stupid little turn and BANG you are in a world of pain.

Today every nook and cranny of the right side of my body is aching. Not an unusual aftermath. But just think about it...this could happen at any time to anyone, anywhere. No warning just pop.

Thought I'd pass this along to give you a heads up on this type of event. By the is looking more and more like the dizziness episodes and lack of oxygen are due to anxiety. Go figure....Just what in the world am I so anxious about?

Be safe, keep cool and have a splendid day. RD

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How to Stay Young

HOW TO STAY YOUNG by George Carlin

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes
age, weight and
height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why
you pay "them "
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts,
gardening,whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle
mind is the
devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you
gasp for breath.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on.
The only
person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be
ALIVE while
you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether
it's family,
pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies,
whatever. Your
home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve
it. If it is
unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can
improve, get help.
9 Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the
mall, even to the
Next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we
take, but by
The moments that take our breath away.

These simple steps may save your life. The only other suggestion I might offer is to think about aging long before it happens.

This is without a doubt a ageist society. Just watch your television programs for awhile....they have seemingly 12 year old defending a vicious criminal, or a story line that includes a prepubescent doctor. Now for the aged and aging all I ever saw were hemorrhoid commercials, denture adhesives, and diapers.

This is how we are portrayed to the up and coming generation. Need I explain further? Not the epitome of the joke....a youngster speaking with a senior citizen on the value of learning new technologies, keeping up with the space race...when the senior citizen finally got a word in....he mentioned the fact that it is our generation who invented these new technologies. What is that generation going to contribute?

Quite honestly, I never ever thought of growing old. Not the horror of it, nor the "gone fishen" side...just never gave it a thought. We watch as our parents age....I always saw my mother and dad as young and vibrant. They didn't age, they had a few health issues and one day they were gone.

Now why wasn't I paying attention at the time? I had a life, I was busy, I was working. Was I different than most, should I have been paying closer attention and planning for my future? Who knows, in any event I didn't see the handwriting on the wall and went about my selfish life.

One day about three years ago I awoke to such pain in my leg and hip I thought that I had tossed and turned once too often and broken something. Later that day, while painting the kitchen I turned on the ladder and wow....that was a sensation not soon forgotten.

The rest is history. I've got a new hip, no pain there. I would suggest this be done to anyone suffering with OA. But......the side effect....I was aging. This is an old people's disease, I must be unique...ready for Ripley's Believe it or Not. I was still in denial. I wasn't planning on my future being anything but what it once was.

The influx of mail sent to me from Social Security must be a mistake. They are way too early. I don't want to understand this stuff so I'll just put it in a folder for a rainy day.

Body parts heading 'south'. I've been active all of my life....I never considered health clubs, excercycles, walking machines. I did it all routinely. I walked the dogs on long healthy walks, I climbed our steep stairs multiple times a day and we ate a healthy well balanced diet. Let me tell you youngsters that's not enough.

One day things just wear out. Like my most recent appliance maker Kaput. You either replace it or do it the old fashioned way. Same story for your body. Let's not forget about saw your did they age. You can be a carbon copy.

In conclusion, don't leave by thinking I've got this all worked out. Far from it. I'm just coming to grips with it. I'm really doing you a favor....start planning now! Have a wonderful weekend. RD

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Philadelphia Eagles sponsers

The Philadelphia Eagles website lists these companies as corporate sponsors, but the images aren’t clickable, so I’ve looked up as much contact info as I could find.



AAA (American Automobile Association)
Take a close look at Heather Hunter’s bio. She’s worked on behalf of rescues, so she might be worth contacting.





Chrysler & Jeep

CJ’s Tire


Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia

Dietz & Watson

Dunkin Donuts





Independence Blue Cross

Jefferson University Hospitals

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Lincoln Financial Group


Miller Lite


Corporate Office: 888-735-6332

Papa John’s
They donate to the Louisville Zoo, so I assume at least someone there likes animals. They need to be consistent and not support a team that contradicts their previous donations to animal welfare.

Pennsylvania Lottery


Twitter (see their website for more Twitter accounts)


Rite Aid



Sovereign Bank

Facebook (inactive)

Taco Bell


TEVA Pharmaceuticals

Ticket Exchange by Ticketmaster

Corporate Headquarters: 480-693-0800


Waste Management

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No Time Like the Present

That used to be my motto. Getting things done did not need to be thought about but done as quickly as possible and on to the next. Not so anymore. Oh, I'll admit there are multitudes of things that need doing but I realized that I can't do them. Well, not all of them.

We are getting there....slow but sure. That could very well be my motto now. I work slowly and then that may be too much. The frustrations are building up and have nowhere to go. I can't pick up the phone and talk to a nearby pal. My support system now comprises my daughter and husband. And they each have issues themselves so cannot begin to understand what is going on.

I don't know what is going on. The doctors do not know what is going on. When do you call it quits and throw your arms up in the air and say 'uncle'.Alright, I'm giving it just one more shot. I've been referred to a pulmonologist. That will take place several weeks from now. I also have more blood tests to fulfil...geez, the blue marks are just fading from the last time.

Have you ever been on an amusement ride and in the middle of it wanted to get off? No way you can stop get off collect yourself and go on to the next ride. That is very much what I'm experiencing. It all starts with the dizziness. Out of the blue mind you....then it moves on to short of breath.

You feel like you can barely make it to your room or some other safe place to sit or lie down. You grab at anything that is available to you to keep from falling. Your arms are outstretched and you take on the Frankenstein shuffle. You finally park yourself somewhere, hopefully near your medication.

These episodes can sneak up on you in another manner.....I'm told I will be late, or why isn't dinner ready, some such nonsense which you would normally have roll off your back and tell them to JUST WAIT. Not are not unlike a fainting goat. You want to drop then and there....I have not fallen on my back with all four limbs in the air, that may be next.

So far the doc has given me a new asthma med, a breathing machine, and oxygen. If you think about it it does have merit...somehow blood pressure plummets, you feel faint or dizzy and the oxygen should revive you to continue what ever you've been doing.

Now I look the same. Nothing has changed. My balance is impaired and that is what you can see, but I cannot take a chance on wandering too far from my stash of meds so I have become housebound. This, to me, is almost intolerable, but that is the state of things at this moment.

We are expecting a house appraiser any time within the next few weeks. So in addition to cleaning in spurts and fits to accommodate this fellow. I'm having to put things away that I love to work on between chores and flopping around . This is maddening.

My daughter's surgery was approaching at a fast pace. After three years of pain and agony of walking on a lump in her arch, and being seen by several doctors one of whom said it was nothing to worry about, Fri was the cut out date. She went in for pre-op work up yesterday and was told she had a hernia and they could not operate.

The surgical scheduling is quite a challenge for these doctors. From the main hospital Peninsula Regional, a specialty surgical place to now McReady Hospital in Chrisfield Md. She has been shuffled around and is getting the tumor removed on the 28th. I'm wondering.....everything is being done with such haste after sitting on this for three years.

This is just the normal day to day life on the farm. Nothing special, but each item taken by itself is either troubling, or time consuming beyond belief. I'm far from throwing the towel in over these matters I just don't want to wait weeks and weeks for results. I am learning patience in my old age and that is a good thing. Be Safe. RD

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Modern Love

Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear

Article Tools Sponsored By
Published: July 31, 2009

LET’S say you have what you believe to be a healthy marriage. You’re still friends and lovers after spending more than half of your lives together. The dreams you set out to achieve in your 20s — gazing into each other’s eyes in candlelit city bistros when you were single and skinny — have for the most part come true.

o decades later you have the 20 acres of land, the farmhouse, the children, the dogs and horses. You’re the parents you said you would be, full of love and guidance. You’ve done it all: Disneyland, camping, Hawaii, Mexico, city living, stargazing.

Sure, you have your marital issues, but on the whole you feel so self-satisfied about how things have worked out that you would never, in your wildest nightmares, think you would hear these words from your husband one fine summer day: “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did. I’m moving out. The kids will understand. They’ll want me to be happy.”

But wait. This isn’t the divorce story you think it is. Neither is it a begging-him-to-stay story. It’s a story about hearing your husband say “I don’t love you anymore” and deciding not to believe him. And what can happen as a result.

Here’s a visual: Child throws a temper tantrum. Tries to hit his mother. But the mother doesn’t hit back, lecture or punish. Instead, she ducks. Then she tries to go about her business as if the tantrum isn’t happening. She doesn’t “reward” the tantrum. She simply doesn’t take the tantrum personally because, after all, it’s not about her.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying my husband was throwing a child’s tantrum. No. He was in the grip of something else — a profound and far more troubling meltdown that comes not in childhood but in midlife, when we perceive that our personal trajectory is no longer arcing reliably upward as it once did. But I decided to respond the same way I’d responded to my children’s tantrums. And I kept responding to it that way. For four months.

“I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.”

His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.

He drew back in surprise. Apparently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a custody battle. Or beg him to change his mind.

So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”

Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.

Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”

You see, I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to “The End of Suffering.” I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.

My husband hadn’t yet come to this understanding with himself. He had enjoyed many years of hard work, and its rewards had supported our family of four all along. But his new endeavor hadn’t been going so well, and his ability to be the breadwinner was in rapid decline. He’d been miserable about this, felt useless, was losing himself emotionally and letting himself go physically. And now he wanted out of our marriage; to be done with our family.

But I wasn’t buying it.

I said: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. Not unless you want to create co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad relationships and therapy. There are times in every relationship when the parties involved need a break. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?” he said.

“Go trekking in Nepal. Build a yurt in the back meadow. Turn the garage studio into a man-cave. Get that drum set you’ve always wanted. Anything but hurting the children and me with a reckless move like the one you’re talking about.”

Then I repeated my line, “What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”


“How can we have a responsible distance?”

“I don’t want distance,” he said. “I want to move out.”

My mind raced. Was it another woman? Drugs? Unconscionable secrets? But I stopped myself. I would not suffer.

Instead, I went to my desk, Googled “responsible separation” and came up with a list. It included things like: Who’s allowed to use what credit cards? Who are the children allowed to see you with in town? Who’s allowed keys to what?

I looked through the list and passed it on to him.

His response: “Keys? We don’t even have keys to our house.”

I remained stoic. I could see pain in his eyes. Pain I recognized.

“Oh, I see what you’re doing,” he said. “You’re going to make me go into therapy. You’re not going to let me move out. You’re going to use the kids against me.”

“I never said that. I just asked: What can we do to give you the distance you need ... ”

“Stop saying that!”

Well, he didn’t move out.

Instead, he spent the summer being unreliable. He stopped coming home at his usual six o’clock. He would stay out late and not call. He blew off our entire Fourth of July — the parade, the barbecue, the fireworks — to go to someone else’s party. When he was at home, he was distant. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He didn’t even wish me “Happy Birthday.”

But I didn’t play into it. I walked my line. I told the kids: “Daddy’s having a hard time as adults often do. But we’re a family, no matter what.” I was not going to suffer. And neither were they.

MY trusted friends were irate on my behalf. “How can you just stand by and accept this behavior? Kick him out! Get a lawyer!”

I walked my line with them, too. This man was hurting, yet his problem wasn’t mine to solve. In fact, I needed to get out of his way so he could solve it.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m a pushover. I’m weak and scared and would put up with anything to keep the family together. I’m probably one of those women who would endure physical abuse. But I can assure you, I’m not. I load 1,500-pound horses into trailers and gallop through the high country of Montana all summer. I went through Pitocin-induced natural childbirth. And a Caesarean section without follow-up drugs. I am handy with a chain saw.

I simply had come to understand that I was not at the root of my husband’s problem. He was. If he could turn his problem into a marital fight, he could make it about us. I needed to get out of the way so that wouldn’t happen.

Privately, I decided to give him time. Six months.

I had good days, and I had bad days. On the good days, I took the high road. I ignored his lashing out, his merciless jabs. On bad days, I would fester in the August sun while the kids ran through sprinklers, raging at him in my mind. But I never wavered. Although it may sound ridiculous to say “Don’t take it personally” when your husband tells you he no longer loves you, sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do.

Instead of issuing ultimatums, yelling, crying or begging, I presented him with options. I created a summer of fun for our family and welcomed him to share in it, or not — it was up to him. If he chose not to come along, we would miss him, but we would be just fine, thank you very much. And we were.

And, yeah, you can bet I wanted to sit him down and persuade him to stay. To love me. To fight for what we’ve created. You can bet I wanted to.

But I didn’t.

I barbecued. Made lemonade. Set the table for four. Loved him from afar.

And one day, there he was, home from work early, mowing the lawn. A man doesn’t mow his lawn if he’s going to leave it. Not this man. Then he fixed a door that had been broken for eight years. He made a comment about our front porch needing paint. Our front porch. He mentioned needing wood for next winter. The future. Little by little, he started talking about the future.

It was Thanksgiving dinner that sealed it. My husband bowed his head humbly and said, “I’m thankful for my family.”

He was back.

And I saw what had been missing: pride. He’d lost pride in himself. Maybe that’s what happens when our egos take a hit in midlife and we realize we’re not as young and golden anymore.

When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: it’s not a spouse or land or a job or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within. Relying on any other equation can be lethal.

My husband had become lost in the myth. But he found his way out. We’ve since had the hard conversations. In fact, he encouraged me to write about our ordeal. To help other couples who arrive at this juncture in life. People who feel scared and stuck. Who believe their temporary feelings are permanent. Who see an easy out, and think they can escape.

My husband tried to strike a deal. Blame me for his pain. Unload his feelings of personal disgrace onto me.

But I ducked. And I waited. And it worked.

Laura A. Munson is a writer who lives in Whitefish, Mont.

Having read this article several times today.....first go-around found me wishing I could be this detached and self serving. Second go around I came away with a different opinion....this is fiction.

If this is to be believed they must indeed be a pair matched in heaven. He, being emotionally abusive and she the eternal mother and self sacrificing to the point of carrying on as though daddy has a few issues to work on , so lets go gang and have some fun in the sun.

If he were not bringing home a paycheck through out this little experiment I can guarantee you this would have a different ending. It doesn't mention whether she had a career as well...which would change the complexion of "let's give daddy space".

If this is true....she is a far better person than I am. Where she is expert at ducking I would be walking out the door. No amount of counseling praying, or ignoring the problem will change ..... he became disillusioned. Life was a disappointment although he achieved his goals. It almost parallels the state of being of an actor or person who achieves fame and can't handle it. What's with that?

After reading about this, I came to my conclusions. ...What do you think?

Have a marvelous weekend. Be safe.RD

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Its a Brand New Day

and I'm looking forward to what it will bring. I may have said that too soon. Bob just brought in a huge box of veggies from the Eggman. And a musk melon the size of a basketball, I love melons.

So there is no doubt that I will be making salsa for the next few hours. Nicci isn't here to give a hand so I had better start.

Here is good gateleg table materialized overnite. I cannot tell you how pleased and delighted I am. Some things just need to be left unsaid....I'm not asking because in all reality I won't get a straight answer. It is a bit worse for wear...table top split in half. It can be mended and that is what I'm here for.

The temperatures on the sidebar do not indicate just how awful it is out there. The air is so heavy you can chew it.

I'm off to the kitchen. I seem to be spending an awful lot of time in there. All good things. Take care. Put on that sun lotion, you never know. RD

Saturday, August 1, 2009

There is no reason for

this story to have ever happened or written about. It is just a crying shame that people like this exist and are free to do what they will.

Remember back when I told you about the sweet gateleg table I found? Yes, it was marked with tape and easily identified as a piece I wanted. Along with a small kitchen cabinet that I will rework, and a smaller wooden cabinet that had the signs of being stripped and I would finish the job.

This is what I do. Lucky for me Bob is in real estate and has been fortunate enough to be a foreclosure specialist. Sometimes the homes are empty and spotless and other times when a death has occurred the family has gone through the belongings and left the remainder for the agent to dispose of.

The gateleg was in one of these houses. As I said it was clearly marked but not permanently marked just masking tape "X", as were the hutch and cabinet. Bob also is responsible for the clean up and has a team of two that have done this for him forever.

We are talking about something that took place in May of this year, not ages ago. James usually brings the items over. He is the team. This time it took a real effort to do this. Always an excuse of one kind or another....none of them held water so the red flags started flying about.

One Friday after countless phone conversations James brought the hutch and cabinet. Ah, excuse me, where is the table? Bob is the only one that chats with James, he has an accent that is unintelligible to me, and I've been knows not to understand these local accents.

I just know a conversation went on maybe something like this.."where's the table James?.... what table? you know the one with the 'X" on it? Oh, yeah, its safe in the barn. But I asked for you to deliver that as well. I didn't have room he replies, looking at the size of the truck you could carry the majority of a household in there. The subject dropped.

I had time to repaint a room that this table was to go into. I had plans ,if you recall, of painting it red. I never let go of the subject, until one day Bob said not to mention it to him ever again. Huh? Its been sold? (this is what James does, he has a 24/7 rummage sale going on).

I have not mentioned it again. But I have thought of nothing else. I have lost respect for Bob, but this is not news. I want something to be done about James. Yesterday I made of photo copy of a gateleg table, just a precaution incase the doberman gang of a police force is at a loss as to what I will be registering a complaint about.

This has taken me so long since 1) we were told early on we do not sue our neighbors.2) I'm not sueing, I want to know the truth of the matter.3)it is such a painfully small community, and I am the outsider I think my charges will fall on deaf ears. 4) this could easily backfire onto Bob...who needs their commerce. As for me....I've said it often enough...I don't give a hoot about these people and a thief should be called out and reprimanded.

Do I have a leg to stand on? Geez, I hope so. But in reality...very unlikely. I'm going down there today. Wish me luck. Keep safe. RD