A Day In the Life …


MY FRIDAY BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY weekend was mighty busy. More than I bargained for, actually. It started with me wearing my “Homeowner’s” hat; taking a lawnmower in (hand to wrangle it into the back of my truck, then out again) for maintenance and then paying “bail” to get my weed eater/brush cutter sprung outta jail so I could do some serious work in the yard over the weekend.

Then I switched hats (after getting spiffed-up) and met my mystery writer friend, Joyce Oroz, for lunch up in beautiful downtown San Juan Bautista. Writerly hat donned, I was hoping to leave the grey skies behind as I headed inland, but apparently the grey extended its hand all the way into (and beyond) San Juan Bautista. As I walked the block and a half to the restaurant, I took inventory of my warmer weather attire, and I crossed my fingers, hoping we’d be eating inside at Jardines. Thankfully I didn’t find Joyce outside in the patio, but nestled nicely to one side of the Mexican restaurant’s indoor seating area. A pesky pain in my arm interfered with my high spirits a little bit, but after a lovely, filling meal, we chatted with the assistant manager about utilising their garden patio (dining area) for a book signing. He was quite sure something could be worked out, but would have to get back to us on Monday or Tuesday. We were happy with that and bade our good byes to the manager and each other.

My shoulder and arm kept hurting (I couldn’t figure out why) and by our departure was quite bothersome, so, before leaving San Juan Bautista, I rung up my family doctor to see if I could—by some miracle—be squeezed in … no such luck. They didn’t like the sound of the symptoms and since I could not be seen by them, their automatic (CYA) response was to recommend I go to the emergency room.

Sigh. Not happy with the recommendation, I did comply. But calculating the timing and my itinerary, I chose the hospital on the Peninsula over Salinas because it would be closer to my next destination … and if the worst happened (which I doubted), I’d be closest to my daughter—so much more convenient for her (and I prefer CHOMP to SVMH anyway). Another reason was I’d be more likely to make it to the event at Open Ground Studios since it usually took less time at CHOMP than at SVMH. Even with CHOMP being busier than usual, I made it out in under three hours—just in time for the event.

So, I spent some “quality” time at CHOMP, admiring the paintings hanging in their waiting room as I went through the “triage” of care, then was led into the inner sanctum for further evaluation. Kinda wished I’d brought my edit with me—time would have passed faster (maybe). I always feel like I’ve wasted the staff’s time when it’s a false alarm—but I am thankful it wasn’t the worst-case scenario (heart attack—I always have to consider it since I’m on blood pressure meds and have a wonky heart that likes to skip beats, then add an extra now and again). Instead, it was most likely a neck/nerve issue that I’ll have to address at a later date. (Drats!) Well, with Memorial Day weekend upon us, it was put into the back burner. I can’t read a crystal ball, but I do foresee more doctor appointments in my near future—several, in fact … plus a stress test (ugh). Sniggle and sigh … all in one breath.

With that out of the way, I was finally able to switch hats (Painterly) one final time and enjoy (mostly, since my arm still hurt) a wonderful evening with my fellow artist friends and the public that came to see the exhibition of art created in classes and by OGS members. I didn’t participate this year. It felt kind of weird not having any work displayed—other than the piece on the Co-Op Member’s wall at the back (along with my books), but I’m glad I didn’t—I would have been scrambling the last month or so, even more than I already had been! Time to let other artists get the spotlight—well deserved, too. I’m so proud of the amazing things that are created with the OGS walls.

By the time I got home, I was ready to crash and take some medicine that would work better than the Aleve (which gave me zilch relief). Saturday I awoke to no pain (the cycle was broken—yay!) and the day was spent recovering from the busyness of Friday. I didn’t even touch the weed eater—I’d planned on spending the day whacking away at my burgeoning weedy yard, but recovery was more important. The weeds could wait for another day. Monday was the first day I attempted using the weed eater … oh, my. I am so far out of shape—the vibrations did not feel good on my neck, so I laid it to rest in front of the garage … and have yet to pick it up again.

I think I’ve finally resigned myself to not doing any of the heavy work needed to bring my yard back into a more tidy form … instead, I’ll be making a call to have someone come in and do the work for me—this is a very hard thing for me to let go of. I love my gardening—even the hard stuff. Maybe I’ll have him out to work this weekend. Maybe I’ll have another story to tell. We’ll see.

I cannot believe it’s June already (insert serious eye-rolling here)!! Until next time, I’ll say adieu. Have a fantastically blessed Friday and weekend.

Say Aaahhhh…

I HAVEN’T BEEN TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM for quite some time.  Apparently things have changed drastically since then.  Or, perhaps it was simply because of the overwhelming number of flu cases that have begun to poured into the ER this year.

The visit certainly provided me with heaps of fodder for blogging (she says with a smile), though, I think most of it might sound more like complaining than anything.  Well…maybe.

It was with great reluctance that I entered the bowels of the hospital…it always seems such a waste of time:  the usual four hours it takes to process, assess, poke and prod, then diagnose, no matter how bad I am feeling.  And, unfortunately, whether there for an illness or visiting a sick friend/relative, I usually end up leaving with a sinus infection (I forgot that little gem last night)…my body does not like air conditioning (especially hospital’s forced air a/c) for more than about 15 minutes.

At about three hours into the visit, I finally made it past the waiting room and was relieved, happy I’d still make it home at a reasonable hour. That feeling of hope was dashed when the lady escorted me passed several people sitting in chairs in the hallway.  She mumbled something about getting me into an exam room as soon as one was available.  And left me to more waiting.

Funny thing, waiting.  I’m working on a blog entry about waiting, so I won’t go there right now.  That’s a whole other story.  But, I will say, I don’t wear a watch anymore and depend on my cell phone for entertainment and checking time.  And I could not see a clock anywhere to tell me what time it might be, so occasionally, I’d check my cell.  I only had 23% power left on my cell when I walked in.  By then, I was down to 10% and had shut the phone off so I’d have enough power to call for a pick up.  I had not driven because I was plagued with bouts of dizziness, and it would have been foolish to get behind the wheel.

My dizziness felt like it was long gone, so I wanted to bolt — but since I’d taken a taxi, I was stuck and felt obligated to see this through.  The room did not materialize until after the nurse did another assessment of each of us in the hallway, the doctor had come through and questioned and “examined” us in plain view of each other, and I was temporarily escorted (I must have looked drunk as I weaved up and down the hall–at least not from dizziness, but I was having a wee bit of balance issues by then) into a tiny room to do an EKG…then, back to my seat in the hall for even more waiting.

I think it’s safe to say that my hospital has outgrown it’s emergency room facilities–again.   Even with all of the recent expansion it’s been doing, they need a larger facility (and more staff wouldn’t be a bad idea–those poor doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff were working their collective tails off!).  Stacking patients in the hallway behind closed doors to make room for the next wave of patients is not my idea of efficiency…but I guess, one must do what one must do…

Finally, in a room.  And things moved a bit faster then.  But my first clue about how much time had actually passed was when the x-ray tech came to take me for some tests — he mentioned he had come on duty at 11:30.  I was was shocked and asked what the time was — his answer?  “About 12:30 or 1.”  I had come into the ER around 6:30-6:45 in the evening.  All I could do was sigh.  Thank God for patience.

When it was all said and done, and I was properly assessed, poked, prodded, x-rayed and diagnosed, I had been there over seven hours.  A record I do not ever want to repeat.

A very dear — and clearly dedicated — friend of mine pulled herself out of bed to come pick me up and take me home…I will be forever in her debt for her rising above and beyond the duty of friendship to rescue me from the hospital and deliver me safely to my home and the sanctuary of a warm (did I mention the hospital was freezing?), cozy bed.

I thank God again and again for patience, and especially for friends like Nan.  They are precious gems, hard to find, to be held close to the heart.  Thank you Nan!