Father’s Day 2008: My Grandfather and Obama

We went to visit my grandfather yesterday, Father’s Day.  Took the whole family, even my folks who’ve been divorced for 7 years.  My Pa-Paw, as he’s called by everyone, is 91 years old, and he has Alzheimer’s.  He’s been in an assisted living facility for going on 3 years now, as it wasn’t safe for him to continue living at home with my grandmother.

Pa-Paw has good days and bad days.  Sometimes we visit, and he can’t remember anyone’s name but my mom’s.  Or he thinks I’m actually my mom.  (That’s a little scary, but my mom’s so cool, I consider it a compliment.)

Other days he asks questions over, over, over again.  He did that yesterday, but he was having a pretty great day overall.  We brought him a digital photo frame that runs a slide show of lots of pictures of everyone in the family, including our pets, and us standing in front of our homes.  We went through the show at least three times while he identified people and places.  He was really enjoying it, and it was great to see him so happy.

We all sat in a circle talking about recent events, news from the family and what everyone was up to.  My youngest talked about being Obama-central for her junior high school- even the teachers came to her for news on the campaign.  All of a sudden, my Pa-Paw clicked into gear.

My Pa-Paw was raised in the Dallas, TX area, son of a butcher who made great block chili.  He graduated from high school- a first for his family- and went on to join the Army.  My Pa-Paw landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day+1, picking his way up the beach through the bodies of fallen comrades.  He never talked about the war, it seemed he saw too much having marched across France, Belgium and Germany, down into Austria before the war was over.

When he returned, the South was still a very segregated place as it had been for much of his life.  It was frequent that I heard racial epithets from my grandmother, while my Pa-Paw mostly stood by without comment.  It was a way of life for them, and while I challenged my grandmother in my younger days when I felt bold, I finally gave up trying to change minds that seemed frozen in the past.

Yesterday, when the discussion turned to Obama, my Pa-Paw asked me straight out, “What is it about that boy?  What is it that has people so stirred up?”  The amazing thing was that these words were said without an ounce of sarcasm.  The use of the word “boy” was truly about Obama’s age, not in reference to his race.  I’ve heard “boy” used when it’s about race, and this wasn’t it. The questions were asked honestly and plainly.

We all looked at each other, stunned that he would even know about Obama, much less remember about such recent events, and that he would ask such a question.  I stammered for a moment, trying to come up with a simple explanation that wouldn’t complicate the question.

My mom stepped in, my mom who has been apolitical my whole life, having seen her heroes cut down in their prime.  She hasn’t allowed herself to dream, apparently until now.

My mom said, “Daddy, he’s like Kennedy. The people, they come to him like Kennedy.  He’s going to save the country, Daddy.  He’s going to make us proud again.”

“Is that so?”, my Pa-Paw responded.  “Seems he’s got a lot of people rooting for him.  I hope he makes it.  It’s good to see young people involved.  I hope he makes it,”  he said.  And then he asked me for the fifth time what kind of car I was driving.

We were all struck by the fact that race didn’t even factor in to the question, or in to Pa-Paw’s support for Obama.  He’s lived so long, seen and endured so much, yet even in his short-term memory restricted state, Obama had broken through all the barriers for my Pa-Paw.

It was a great day.  We were thankful to have another Father’s Day with him, and we hope to have more.

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CNN condones no politics at the office?

In a story on CNN.com, Should Your Office Be a Politics-Free Zone?, making talk of politics a no-no at work is advice that comes too little, too late.

There was a time when people didn’t take each other apart over politics.  That ended in the 90’s when the GOP took over Congress and the airwaves with the likes of Limbaugh, Savage and Hannity.  Politics has since become blood sport for many, promoted by the NeoCons, and resisted by the Democrats for so long, they lost 2 elections over it.

Now that the Democrats have found their voice again, here comes CNN to tell us it’s not OK to talk politics at work anymore.  This advice rings hollow now- where were these admonitions when everyone who wasn’t a conservative, religious Bush loyalist was railroaded by those who were?

Where was this admonition when in the run up to the Iraq War, those who objected, raised concerns or outright showed evidence that the facts the administration were touting were flat out lies, those people were publicly shamed- told they were unpatriotic, terrorist-loving, weak-kneed traitors to the cause.  This happened everywhere- workplaces, schools, churches, and on TV and radio for all to see.  There was no protection against those false charges made by NeoCons then from media outlets like CNN.

So here we are, the Democrats have finally found their voice, and the GOP is whining about being on the receiving end.   The difference this time is, Democrats are fighting back with the truth about the failed politics and policies of the GOP.  They’re not just making stuff up like the GOP did, not tearing people’s lives apart simply to advance political strategy.  That was the GOP way.  Just ask Don Siegelman about that one.

The advice in the column is, keep quiet about politics, don’t rock the boat.  You’ll notice that the main thrust of the story is how to appease these sensitive conservatives- Samantha Smith can clearly dish it out, but doesn’t want to take it.  Daniel Drew was effectively told to shut up, even though he was being threatened and disparaged simply for being a Democrat.   Some workplaces are prohibited from promoting any type of politics due to the restrictions of the Hatch Act of 1939.   For the rest, let me remind you that being a member of a political party does not make you a member of a protected class.  You are not entitled to protection from discrimination for political activity unless you are working in the public sector, where most overt political activity is strictly prohibited.  In the private sector, it’s all fair game.

I’d rather we could just all get along, as Rodney King once famously pleaded.   The GOP took away that decorum a long time ago, and now they can’t handle being on the other side of the cattle prod.   Will we ever get back to the Golden Rule- treat others as you would like to be treated?  When it comes to politics, not likely.

Mother’s Day 2008

Mother’s Day has not usually been a fun holiday at our house.  In the past, it normally required getting up early on a Sunday, getting dressed up and schlepping a fair distance to pick up relatives we dread spending time with, and then going out for an overpriced, overcooked brunch.  Exchange of sappy cards and some flowery hanging basket destined to die on the front porch came next.  Followed up by uncomfortable discussion of “happy family memories” that don’t exist, arguing ensues, and someone leaves in a huff, while someone else gets to say, “see I told you so” superior.

This year was not like that.

This year, my mom came up to my house at 11AM.  My husband cooked us all an amazing breakfast.  We read the Sunday paper.  We discussed the upcoming primary vote.  Then we settled in for two movies, 27 Dresses and Juno.  During the movies, we made bacon sandwiches with the breakfast leftovers (toast, bacon, cheese), and then chocolate chip waffles, complete with whipped cream.  We would have put strawberries on them, but we got an under-ripe bunch and they tasted more like Styrofoam.

Side Note: We have the best waffle maker in the whole world.  I highly recommend it, and if you haven’t had chocolate chip waffles, you’re missing out.  Just pour your waffle batter into the iron, then sprinkle the chips on top.  Close the iron, flip and bake until done.  Allow it to cool a bit, then spray with whipped cream – the real stuff only!- or dust with powdered sugar.  Heaven!

There was no early wake up call, no dressing up, no overpriced crappy food, no arguing, no misery, and no family we dread.  Just my kids, my husband and my mom.  We still did the sappy cards, and instead of a hanging basket I’m going to pay for a housekeeper for a month at my mom’s place (she’ll get the place cleaned twice in a month), or she can pick one housecleaning and one grooming for her dog.  Her choice.  Much more practical than a plant that will die.

It was great to just be able to enjoy the day without a lot of stress and pressure to “celebrate” Mother’s Day.  Like my mom said while she was here, we don’t need someone to tell us that we love each other on a certain day.  We appreciate each other all the time.

I’m hoping we can make a tradition out of this- breakfast at home, movies, chocolate chip waffles and just enjoying each other’s company.  Much better than the alternative!

Thanks to my wonderful husband for all his hard work today, and to my kids for being such great girls!  And to my mom, to whom I owe so much.  I wouldn’t be me without you.  Without any of you.  Thank you.

The door is off the hinges…

He called tonight.  Tentatively asked for me, and asked if I was sitting down.  I told him I’d already found the obituary in the papers here and in CA.  I asked what happened as the obit didn’t list a cause, still assuming illness or car accident.  After all, 24 is pretty young to die.

It was suicide.  Leaving behind a 16 month old baby.

This was not just a regular, run-of-the-mill female-type suicide.  Studies show women will attempt more often with less success than men as a cry for help.  In cases where they are successful, 20-24 YO women typically choose or hanging/suffocation over firearms according to JAMA.

My brother- still odd to say that- told me of her long struggle with drugs, alcohol and what some in the family perceived as mental illness.  He said they’d all taken their turns trying to convince her to get help for any and all of the above, but her attempts to do so were short-lived and exacerbated by her lack of truthfulness with her doctors.  He said they all knew she’d been having a rough time of it lately, and her husband had been trying to get her into some kind of treatment.  They did not lack for options- they had health insurance that would cover treatment, and family willing to support that choice.

She made the choice instead to shoot herself in front of her husband.  She cocked the gun with that distinctive “click” sound, he turned around and saw what she was about to do, yelled out to her, running to her, and when he was within arm’s reach she pulled the trigger under her chin.

I cannot imagine witnessing something this awful.  I cannot imagine the pain her husband, mother and other family members are going through.  I am shaken by this entire development of events.

I said before that I didn’t feel the need to grieve.  I’m feeling something very different right now, a sadness, questioning and sense of tragedy I didn’t feel before.

My brother told me he was at my stepsister’s home in CA with his mom and that the husband and baby were with them.  He expects to be there a week or two, and then will come home.  He was happy to hear I was open to meeting with him, and promised to contact me when he gets back in town.  He sounded exhausted, saying the family was going through the whole range of emotions, questioning every recent interaction with his sister, going over anything they could have done to stop this from happening- just raw emotion.  I did the same thing, and I didn’t even know her.  I was only related to her through my father.  We talked of the tendency towards depression that runs in our family, how our father fought it most of his life, how we’d each dealt with it ourselves.  He is so young to have this much loss, a father and a sister, especially in this way.

This is the second suicide I’ve dealt with in my life.  The first was a good friend who jumped off a bridge after he was diagnosed with AIDS.  It was horrible and tragic, just like this one. I’ve not had a lot of loss compared to some folks, other than my father’s death 14 years ago, and the death of a good friend in a car accident 20 years ago.  I worry how I’ll cope when it’s someone I’m really close to.

I worry for the husband, and how he will be able to move on from this to parent his daughter.  I worry about the daughter, growing up without a mother and knowing why.   You can tell a kid all day long it didn’t have anything to do with them, but they always question, always wonder, and turn that finger of blame upon themselves.  It happens with divorce, death, addiction, abandonment, all of it.  I pray she will grow up with a strong family support system around her that will outweigh this.  The impact of suicide never stops- the rings in the pond that rock was dropped in just keep coming for all those involved.

My heart aches for the survivors of this tragedy.  I will pray for all of them.

In which the past knocks on my virtual door

I am an only child.  My parents divorced when I was 5, and it was a long, messy, damaging process.  No one came out unscathed.  My father remarried quickly- my new stepmother already had three children.  Long story short, it was made known that I was not welcome during my court-sanctioned visits to my father’s house.  I quit going when I was about 14.  This was assisted by my father moving and not telling me where he moved to.  My father and stepmother had two children after that, a girl and a boy, neither of whom I knew at all.

My father died in 1994, unexpectedly to everyone.  I was contacted by my long-lost uncles who informed me of the services.  I attended, much to the surprise of that side of the family.  I was still the outsider, still not really welcomed.

Three weeks ago, I attend a political event and run into Stepmother.  She recognized me first, and I was just floored to see her after nearly 15 years.  We had some small talk, and that was that.  It was a shock to see her, and it dredged up emotions I hadn’t visited in a long time.

Fast forward to Tuesday 4/29.  My oldest gets a MySpace IM from my half-brother, who is now 23.  He introduces himself as her uncle, and says he wants to talk to us, get to know us.  Oldest comes downstairs and says, “There some guy named **** who says he’s my uncle and wants to talk to us.  Who is he?” So I have to say, yes that is true, and explain the situation.  His message says he wants to know more about the family.

I get on MySpace, and find him.  There’s all these messages from his friends in the prior 48 hours about “sorry for your loss”, “if you need to talk”, “shoulder to cry on”, etc.  I gather someone had died, and it is one of the sisters.  I don’t know which one- my step or my half, so I email him.

In the meantime, my poking around on the internet reveals that it is in fact my half sister who died on 4/23 at the age of 24, leaving behind a husband and 14 month old baby.  I don’t know what happened to cause this yet, but I’m sure I’ll find out eventually.   It’s an incredibly sad story, but because I didn’t know her, I don’t feel a great sense of personal loss.  Of course, you people will think I’m a monster for that, I’m sure.  I have every sympathy for her husband, baby and her family, but I don’t feel a need to grieve personally.

In my email to my half-brother (even writing that sounds weird to me), and said if he wanted to talk, I’d be open to that.  He wrote back the next day and said he was glad I’d written, and that he’d wanted to reach out for a long time.  It seems that this loss has encouraged him to do so.  I’ve been waiting for a call from him ever since.

My problem at this point is, I have no idea what this kid has been told about me, and what kind of family stories he believes or judgments he’s already made.  My family is not easy (whose is?), and I frankly don’t know what this kid will want from me, if anything at all other than a connection to his father.  Which I barely have anyway.  The whole thing is a real emotional upheaval, and I was not prepared to have to deal with this kind of thing after my father died.  I just figured I’d be written off by that part of my family, and that would be that.  They have never made any efforts to keep in touch with me or to reach out in even a cursory way, and I did not expect that to change.

I have always identified as an only child, never as someone with siblings, because I never really felt I was a member of that family.  Now I have someone saying, “I’m your brother”, and to my kids, “I’m your uncle”.  And I don’t know what to make of that.  I want to give this a chance, see what he wants to know, but I really feel like my guard is up.  I wish I didn’t feel that way, especially since I know next to nothing about this kid, and that’s not his fault, but nor is it mine.

What I’m really wondering is why the Universe decided to open this particular window now.   What is in store for me?  I’m almost afraid to find out, but that would be unadventurous.  I’m forging ahead, reservations and all, to see what lies beyond.

Medical Update

Looks like surgery on May 20 for gallbladder removal, and possible hernia repair.  The hernia is giving me more trouble these days than the gallbladder, so as long as they’re both taken care of, I’m OK.

I’m really not OK about surgery.  It’s a scary proposition and I don’t think anyone looks forward to it.  I’m not a big fan of hospitals, I hate IVs with a totality that is frightening, and I don’t always respond well to the drugs they give you.  Not to mention the food- is there anyone who likes hospital food?  I think not.

I’m supposed to check in at 8:30am, surgery at 10:30am, then they’ll keep me overnight and send me home the next morning.  The scheduler called it a “23-hour admit” which I guess keeps the insurance company from invoking a full admit for more than a full day.

I told my Man he could just take me to the hospital in the morning, and go on to work for the day since there would be nothing for him to do at the hospital.  He seems to think he needs to be there all day, which isn’t really necessary.  He works all of 15 minutes away, and his boss is more than flexible if he needed to leave early.

What is it with people feeling like they have to come see you if you’re in the hospital?  If you’re there these days, it’s likely to be for something serious, and you won’t be up to visitors.  I know I hate people showing up to visit me anyplace if I’m not expecting them.  At the hospital, I won’t look halfway decent for sure, and I hate being seen like that.

So far, my husband is insisting on being there all day, and my business partner wants to come up too.  Add to that my mom, who’ll likely insist on coming up (but maybe not, she hates hospitals even more than me) and then my kids will want to come by that night after school is out.  Hopefully, they’ll all just stay home and send their good wishes instead.  I’m really just going to want to get it over with.

Am I being unreasonable?

Misunderstood

I posted a diary today at Daily Kos that I thought was funny.  It featured a photoshopped photo of Hillary Clinton wearing a revealing ball gown that was actually worn by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  It was a really great dress, but the cleavage was rather remarkable.  When I saw the original photo, my first thought was, “Hillary Clinton would never wear something like this, and it’s cool that Merkel is comfortable enough to wear it.”   Then I thought it would be funny to put Hillary’s head on the photo- my husband the photo shop master did a great job.  In the diary post, I even included the original photo of Merkel.

Well, no one really got the joke, and I got flamed terribly.  Demands to delete the diary were met, and people really got their noses out of joint.  And that bothers me.

I still don’t know if people viewed it as anti-female, or objectifying, or maybe they’re just so serious that a post about fashion is offensive to them.  Whatever.  They were just furious, and demanded it be taken down right away.  Frankly, I was embarrassed I’d posted something that upset so many people.

My point was, Hillary is running as the “female” candidate.  Yet her clothes do very little for her, and make her look more like a small man.  I don’t understand why people would be upset at the idea that a serious female candidate could embrace her female identity and body image and celebrate dressing like a woman without being seen as losing ground, or making themselves out to be sexual objects.  Of course, I’m not saying that a women should dress in a revealing way, but on occasion even serious women like to remind themselves that they’re beautiful, at any age.  Angela Merkel is clearly comfortable with her body image and her fashion choices, and I don’t believe the world sees her as less serious, or as less of a leader.  It’s too bad Hillary isn’t comfortable with her body image in the same way.

That makes me wonder what message that sends to girls interested in politics.  That women have to give up their feminine selves in order to be successful?  That the only way to be successful is to dress like a man, pretend you don’t have curves, and refuse to acknowledge your considerable female power?  Surely we’re more evolved that that by now.

What the pundits don’t address is that Hillary’s fashion sense does speak to voters- some negatively and some positively.  This could possibly be a reason why she polls best with over 65 women than with under 30  voters- her style of dress sends a specific message to them, and it’s not always good.  I have yet to see her in something that is not a pantsuit of some kind.  It’s getting boring.  She is in a rut.  I have yet to see a dress, skirt or even casual clothing.  Jeans, anyone?   The clothes one wears is an outward indicator of what a person is about.  For women, that is particularly true- you send others a very clear message about what you’re about by what you’re wearing.

Hillary’s look spells rigidity and follows a formula too often.  There is little creativity involved on her part, little personality displayed.  The colors she chooses also show she doesn’t pay close attention to detail, and relies on others to tell her what’s best.  Why else would she wear so much yellow so often?  Remember that shiny orange mandarin collar jacket she wore to a debate early in 2008?  It was terrible, and made her look ill.  Then, in the PA debate, she lectured Obama on working class folks while blinding the audience with diamond earrings that must have been 2 carats each.  Certainly a mixed message if you ask me.

For those who cry foul that women get judged more on clothing choice than men, tough twinkies.  That’s the way it is, and it’s not likely to change.  I believe in equal rights, and I fight for women to be treated equal to men every day in my work.  However, I don’t believe that I have to give up my love of a great handbag or interest in fashion (even though I can’t wear any of it) in order to support women’s rights.  I choose to have both, and that choice doesn’t make me or my work any less relevant.  I happen to like being female, I like having more clothing options than men (neckties anyone? Yuck!), and I like to look nice to please myself.

Of course I am not a Hillary supporter.  I was originally for Edwards, and when her dropped out I chose Obama.  I haven’t looked back since.  As a woman, I’d love to see a woman in the White House in my lifetime.  I just don’t think Hillary is the right woman for this time.  Obama is clearly the best choice for a number of reasons, and I hope he wins.

Tests are back

And they’re all good.  No odd bacteria, no cancer, no sprue.  I was pretty sure nothing would be cancerous, but I was really worried about the sprue thing, even though it was highly unlikely.  The thought of enduring a life void of gluten in all it’s forms was unthinkable to me.  No more bread, pasta, cookies, cake, brownies, etc.  My god, what would I do?   I’d rather eat pizza than rice cakes any day.  At least I don’t have to worry about that.  Now we’re waiting to see if they’re going to take out this damn gall bladder once and for all.

Introspection? Nah…

Got this from my friend ewok1993- check the blogroll over there>>>>>

I am a year older as of yesterday.  Time is marching on.

I want to get our house sold, get moved in to the new place and get my mom settled

I have a new camera that is so teeny tiny, it surely must belong to Barbie.

I wish I had unlimited time and dollars to help as many people in the world as I could.

I hate people who oppress other people.

I fear too many things, but I put on a brave face most of the time.

I search for belonging and acceptance.

I wonder what my kid’s lives will be like in 20 years- what our lives will be like in 20 years.

I regret not taking more chances when I was young.  There was so much more I should have done.

I love my family, my house, my friends, where I live, what I do (most of the time), and food.

I always need to be sure there is enough toilet paper in the house.

I am not going to run a marathon in my lifetime.

I danced from the time I was 6 years old until my sophomore year in college.  Suffered an injury and never danced again.  I still miss it.

I sing in the car when I remember I can listen to something that isn’t NPR or talk radio.

I cry too often at stupid things and stupid times.  I wish I had better control over that.

I write tentatively, and want to be more sure of myself in my writing.  I want to be OK with making a strong argument or opinion on paper and not worry about it coming back to haunt me.

I won a queen sized bed in 1989 in a department store drawing.  It was a great bed while it lasted.

I am confused about why it is so difficult to hold the Bush Administration accountable for anything, when it is so well documented that they have broken so many laws.

I should get healthy.

Last thought before I go to sleep… I think about what’s going on the next day, and then I often say my childhood prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep”, and bless all the people I love, even the ones who pissed me off that day.  Sometimes it puts me to sleep, and sometimes I can talk to God about what’s making me nuts that day.  And then sometimes I can’t sleep at all and I have to start over again.

There, now was that so bad?

Today’s Hospital Procedure

I had to stop eating by 12 midnight last night per doctor’s orders, even though I couldn’t eat another bite after dinner at 7pm.  A 6am check in time awaited me, mocked me, bullied me into not going to bed until well after 1am.  I couldn’t sleep.  When I did, it was fitful and light.  Getting up at 5:20, getting dressed in pseudo-pajamas/sweats, trying to make my hair look halfway decent and leaving the house sans makeup, wedding ring and any other jewelry are all things I just don’t do.  “You’d better not make fun of me,” I warned my bleary-eyed husband.  I recalled when he’d had his carpal tunnel surgeries last year, I got to see him “on drugs” before they wheeled him into the OR, and he was waving his arms around like he was having an acid trip at a Grateful Dead concert.  Since he’s the most straight-laced person I know, it was fun to witness.

We arrived at the hospital at just a few minutes after 6am.  The place was deserted.  I knocked on the registration counter to see if someone was around, and a woman from the Admitting cubicle prairie-dogged up and directed me over to her desk.  She checked my ID, insurance card and attached a plastic ID bracelet to my right wrist.  Off we went to the Procedures department.  “They’d better not be mean to me,” I told my Man.  I was sure someone would make some nasty comment about my weight, or something similar.

At the Procedures desk, I handed a nurse my admitting paperwork.  There were two neon green Post-It flags stuck to the desk that each read “Eggs!” “Eggs!”.  I never found out what this joke was about, but for some reason it made me feel better.  They took me into a procedure room right away- no preliminary waiting room first like my husband had last year.  There was a huge, red boom box set up on a counter, blaring the new Celine Dion CD.  I laughed at that.  My husband went over to see what other “musical selections” were available- Kenny G, Celtic Dreams, Romantic Classics- wow.  At least when my mom had her angioplasty last year, they played classic rock.  I didn’t say anything negative about the music to the nurse, in fact I made nice small talk about Celine and her plans post-Vegas.

I got to keep my clothes on, except for jacket and shoes, which was also a relief to me.  I was glad I’d chosen to wear a stretchy tank and loose yoga pants- they didn’t have any trouble getting under them to attach the sensor things on my chest and left side.  Then the blood pressure cuff and pulse-ox finger clip were applied.  Then the IV was started- that was the worst part of the whole thing.

The IV felt sharp at first, and I thought it was going to mellow out but it never did.  It just felt burning and sharp the whole time.  They taped it down really well, and it continued to bother me.  I asked my husband to be sure they took that thing out as soon as they could when we were finished.  It worked fine the whole time according to the staff, but it never felt right.  I didn’t want them to mess with it much either, because it really hurt.

By this time, they’d also put an oxygen line in my nose and were starting to bring other equipment into the room.  I felt trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey already, and then they showed me the size of the scope they would be using.  They showed me the bite guard I would have to wear, which wrapped around my head too- to protect my teeth and the scope.

All this stuff attached to me, I felt completely out of control and powerless to help myself.  It was a terrible feeling.  The staff had been kind so far, even with my complaining about the IV. I knew it annoyed them to no end, but they didn’t make me suffer for it, which was nice.  They did say my doctor tended to run late, and that also upset me.  The longer I laid there with that damned IV, the longer I had to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.

The doctor arrived 15 minutes late, and they asked me to get on my left side.  I asked for a pillow to support my back, and it was brought right away.  My doc came in and asked how I was doing.  I just asked him to get this over with ASAP.  My husband told him I was anxious, and I told him to get the elephant tranquilizers and just get to work. The doc laughed, and they made my husband leave the room to sit in the waiting area.  The doc started injecting the sleepy drugs into my IV.  They really burned going in, and they kept telling me to breathe, breathe, breathe.  Then he injected a second drug, and I started feeling sleepy.   Then, I remember nothing until waking up.

I have no idea how long I was out.  I woke up in a different room, with my husband sitting in front of me.  He said it was over, and they would be taking the IV out in a few minutes.  I nodded off again, and then woke up when the nurse came in to remove the IV.  They were commenting on how it was raining again, after a few days of blue skies.  Someone started telling me they found two ulcers, did biopsies of each, and will send out for testing.  Results back in a week or two.  Doc says this might be the cause of some of my pain.  If it’s the “right” kind of bacteria, they can treat it with medicine.  Until then, double my dosage of Prilosec.

I fought to stay awake through this, and insisted on sitting up and getting dressed.  I put on my jacket and shoes with help from my Man (he’s such an angel, isn’t he?) and they brought a wheelchair around to take me out to the car.  I just wanted to sleep at home in my own bed, and I knew my Man needed to get to work.

We came home, and I went straight upstairs to bed.  Didn’t wake up again until my Man came home at lunch and presented me with a bowl of mac n’ cheese- comfort food.  I ate, fed the rest to the dog, and went back to sleep.  The kids came home from school and wanted to know how it went.  They were kind, interested and sympathetic, which surprised me for some reason.  I guess it’s because I grew up in a household where illness was treated as a character flaw, or as an outright lie.  You weren’t to be believed if you were sick.  This stems from my mom’s experience with my hypochondriac grandmother who was convinced she had the disease-of-the-week her whole life.

Anyway, I’m up now, out of bed having some tea to make my sore throat feel better, and blogging to you all.  I guess I’m most relieved to know the hospital staff on this occasion treated me with respect and kindness.  They were competent to my knowledge, and I didn’t feel disdain from anyone, including the doctor.

Now we await the test results and plans for any future procedures to get this gall bladder out of me.