Where Have the Days Gone?

It’s been a while since I’ve made an entry here.  I don’t know where the time went.  Summer turned to fall and now winter is upon us.

My third book was published a few months ago and now I’m working on a memoir.  It’s slow going.    I haven’t decided yet what to include.  Eighty-six years of living produces way too much material for an obsessive compulsive like me.  This book is important to me because it’s probably the last one I’ll write.   So I keep writing and hope that one day a light will turn on.

I’ve had a few bad times since my last entry, but mostly I’ve been feeling better.  I’ve stopped eating meat entirely, started taking Vitamin D again and reduced my Lopressor.  I think I’m on to something.

My former primary physician took me back.  I couldn’t find another doctor I’d feel comfortable with.   And I do like him.  I think we can work our problems out.

Though I haven’t posted, I’ve continued to follow some of my cyber friends and you’ve been in my thoughts and prayers.  So much sorrow and pain, but also beauty and joy.  Bless you all.

5 thoughts on “Where Have the Days Gone?

  1. Good to see you back, Sunbird. I was checking your blog from time to time to see if you’d posted and WP had neglected to send out a notification; I was concerned for you when I didn’t see anything new. I’m so glad you’re back and feeling somewhat better. Congratulations on the publication of your third book! I wish you good days ahead.

  2. How nice to see you post, Mary. I’m glad you’re feeling well and finding what works for you. Congratulations on publishing another book – and continuing to write. I’ve wondered about you – and you’ve just brightened my evening with your post. :-)

  3. Mary, Like you I’ve been away from blogging here for awhile. I have thought about you often and wondered how you were doing. I’m happy to see you were here during the holidays and I hope you had some wonderful ones. You can read my latest blog to catch up with my news but I wanted to say howdy and send you a warm hug today. Also let you know that I am almost finished with my Third novel too! My second one SAM published on Amazon in October of 2013. LIke you there for awhile I wasn’t sure I had many more in me. But you never know what the future brings. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be here right now and found out in early Jan that I have a few good years still left in me. I think you do too and I hope to see you again soon. Your blog always lifts my spirits and I feel less alone in the world when I feel you across the miles. Yours is a strong spirit with so many depths. Take care of you and know that you are always in my prayers. . :)

  4. Hi Mary,
    Just checking to see if you’re still blogging. It’s been such a long time since we were in touch – I think of you often and hope to hear from you one day soon. My email address is still the same, if you still have it. Not sure if I have your current address.
    Sending love and a hug to you,

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What Happened to Compassion?

For the past five years, I’ve been trying to stay with a doctor who has lost his desire to help me with my problems, which are severe and interfere with my life.  Because he can’t find a cause or a solution, and because my symptoms have not exhibited themselves during my appointments, he says they are a result of anxiety.   I like the doctor personally.  I’ve been seeing him for at least fifteen years.  But I know he can no longer treat me if he believes what he says.   I’ve tried to talk with him about it, but his mind is closed.  I feel he’s just waiting for me to die.

This is also my opinion:

After talking with my friends, I think this is especially a problem with the elderly.  When you get to be as old as I am, many doctors just feel that your problems are due to ‘old age’ and they either don’t want to, or think they can’t, do anything about them.  I’ve noticed a distinct change in my own doctor’s attitude toward me since I’ve aged.  I HAVE questioned whether it’s him, or the health care system.

Recently,  with great regret, I decided to leave my present doctor and seek another one who cares about the elderly and would work with me on my problems.  But I’m running into walls.  I can’t get an appointment with any of the doctors I’ve chosen.  One doctor’s office person told me he couldn’t see me because he was in the same practice as my other doctor and that would be problematic.  Another person from that same office told me he wasn’t taking new patients.

That’s the response I usually get, “He/she isn’t taking new patients.”    Many of the doctors are fairly young.  One I really would like to see, and am not allowed to, is 43 years old.  When I expressed my puzzlement about this  to a person on the phone, she told me that doctors have a quota of medicare patients they’ll take.  One office which has 5 or 6 doctors has only one doctor available to take Medicare patients.   Due to his background information and Healthgrade rating, I’m not interested in him as my primary physician.

It’s not like I’m a charity case.  In addition to Medicare, I have secondary insurance.  And I’m quick to pay my bills that insurance doesn’t cover.

I thought I’d found someone who might have a different approach to my problems, but he doesn’t.  During my one and only visit, this week, he read my chart and decided, without even getting to know me, that yes, my problem is anxiety.  He also had a bad attitude.  He pointed out to me that I am old and I’m going to die.  I know I’m old and going to die, but in the meantime, is it too much to want to make my life as easy and enjoyable as possible?  I know I’ll not be comfortable with this new doctor at all.

So that’s my dilemma.   I’m worn out with the search.  Should I keep trying?  Or just give up and wait to die?  It’s not my nature to give up, but when does one reach the breaking point?

5 thoughts on “What Happened to Compassion?

  1. Hi Mary. I can empathize with your problem. If I hadn’t been a nurse and worked for my primary care doctor, I would be like you, but I’ve known my doctor
    Since he was a kid (I had worked for his father). He knew me and knew how I was before all my medical problems started showing up. First of all may I suggest making an appt with your previous doctor and tell him just what you stated in your letter. Be sure to emphasize that you have always been an active woman for your age and always loved life to the fullest. As a matter of fact I would consider showing him a copy of your “what happened to compassion”.

    I have to think that you last marriage and him dying so soon afterwards made you an emotional cripple. Then to be treated like dirt by his daughters who should be happy that you did everything that would have befallen them.
    They should be forever in your debt, but they are too immature to realize that.

    Mary, I hope you don’t get upset with me for being so bold, but I love you and
    want to have the Mary I use to know back in my life.

    So suck it up and let those doctors know how you feel.

    Connie Ward

  2. Don’t ever give up, Mary. Like you, I am disillusioned with those who call themselves medical professionals. Don’t they have to subscribe to a code of medical ethics, like legal people have to by the bible? I sometimes wonder. Many regard themselves as business people rather than genuine health care providers on whose expertise we entrust our bodies. They seem to care a lot more about their profits than their patients. Still, I do know of some exceptions with real compassion, whether for the elderly or the young. It’s just a matter of finding them. Please keep looking. Word of mouth often offers the best recommendation.

  3. Oh Mary, I can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear this, but I’m even sorrier to know first-hand that it’s true. My father is 88 with a serious heart condition among other things, and his doctors have told him there’s nothing more they can do for him. They won’t even listen to him about his deteriorating condition. My 90 year old aunt isn’t getting any help for her cancer. And my friend who was 47 and had a severe disability didn’t get any care from her myriad doctors when she took a bad turn for the worse. She passed away within 4 months under miserable circumstances. It’s disgusting.

    But it’s not just age the medical community is turning its back on – it’s anyone of any age who has anything other than a textbook condition. I’ve experienced this myself and I can’t even tell you how many people between the ages of 20 and 60 have told me the same thing. And with all the impurities in our water, air and especially foods, a lot of weird medical conditions are arising. These doctors give us a cursory check, do a few tests to run up their bill, then give up on us right away. They don’t want to waste time on us even though we have good insurance and dollars to pick up the extra. I don’t know what’s wrong with them – we all have tried different doctors (I’m on my 11th in 2 years) and it’s happening to everyone. I’m so sick of it. Even doctors who treat patients just throw powerful new meds at their symptoms – without dealing with an actual CURE – which so many times cause serious problems of their own – another friend of mine is dealing with that now and it’ll be a lifelong struggle for her.

    It seems to me that compassion has been replaced by greed. At a time when we know so much, aging should be nurtured and cared for, not chucked aside. I do hope you find a geriatric doctor who will help you. You deserve so much better.

  4. Hi Mary, I don’t know if this will get through to you, but I want you to know I read your blog entry. It makes me feel like I want to come over right now this afternoon and make you and I both a pot full of tea so we can sit in the Sept sunshine and just talk. I would, if only I also lived in Springfield! At least we can connect a bit and I can let you know I have dearly loved having you in my classes. You’re a jewel among jewels. Please be hopeful. The answers will arrive because you are asking all the right questions. Love, Marlee

  5. Hi Mary! It’s been a while since I’ve touched base with you. Have you been able to find another doctor? I understand completely what you’ve said here. My mother is in pain all the time from arthritis – and even still from a fall she had in August. But her doctor just ignores that she needs help with pain and continues to tell her she’s doing fine – when she’s not. It is frustrating. I hope you didn’t give up finding someone who would help you.

    Are you still taking your writing class? That sounded like such a good idea. I hope you’ll post when you have time.

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Something New

I started a four week online class on Wabi Sabi for Writers this week.  Wabi Sabi is a concept I love.  It celebrates the imperfect, the old, the simplistic.   Everything is beautiful just as it is.  It’s amazing how things look when we slow down in our busy lives and really see something without any preconceived ideas, as if for the first time.

As a writer, Wabi Sabi gives me permission to write imperfectly, to not have to worry about being judged by myself or by someone else.  As a human being, it allows me to be more authentic and to follow my own sense of what’s right or wrong, not to be tied to someone else’s rules.  It makes my heart sing to think of discovering such magnificence there is in the world.   I hope I learn my lessons well.

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Sleepless, With Jenny

Some nights my eyes are wide open.  This is one of those nights.  I don’t know why this happens.  I’m not sleepy.  I’m not tired.  I’ve turned the light off three times, trying to go to sleep.  The more I try, the wider awake I feel.

Maybe I’m staying awake in sympathy with Jenny.  She can’t seem to sleep either.  She had her teeth cleaned this afternoon and four of them pulled.  While she was under the anesthetic, the vet took the wax out of her ears (she has infection in both ears).  She was loopy most of the evening, but seems stable now.

But she’s restless.  Keeps moving from one end of the bed to the other.  Snuggles up next to me, lays her head on my lap, then goes down to the foot of the bed and stretches out for awhile.  Then back, and forth again.

I’ve been a wreck all day, worrying about her, knowing how frightened she would be.  I’ve never taken her somewhere and left her before.  She suffers from separation anxiety.  And she’s a real fraidy girl.  Gets the hard shivers and shakes when there’s a thunder storm (I wrap her in a blanket and hold her), or when I leave for an appointment, or when we take her to the vet.  She barks and growls at the ring of the doorbell.  She needs me to hold her when people come in.  If I don’t (like when my hair dresser comes), she hides under the dining room table or the futon in the sun room.

She only tolerates the two cats.

She also follows me everywhere, gives lots of kisses and is a wonderful companion.  I love her.  She’s my girl.

What has this to do with being sleepless?  Probably nothing.  Except that Jenny and I are both awake while everyone else sleeps.   And we’re company for each other.

Now she has settled down, lying still, curled up next to me.  Hopefully, I’ll follow suit.

2 thoughts on “Sleepless, With Jenny

  1. I know you wrote this awhile back but reading it made me smile and tears stung my eyes. When my daughter died I inherited her adorable little Brucie Woocie. PomChi. I had never had a dog and had no clue what to do with or for him. In the three years I had him he become my little darling companion and even more precious and special because he had been Crystal’s baby and since my only child died without leaving me a grand child he becames my grandpuppy. Like my daughter he too succombed to that horrible monster Cancer. I won’t break your heart with the details. But when he went to sleep I buried him in front of my window and planted a tiny twig of what i thought was a pine tree and turned out to be a cedar (of course I’m allergic, ha..ha..) to mark his grave and to have something grow to life from death. It was a puny little tree for two years. Barely survived the winter and then a fierce summer heat. I kept watering it and praying over it. This year it grew three foot, turned green, straightened and I decoreated it with a garland of hand strung berries and popcorn for the birds to enjoy. It was my christmas. My only gift and it was one I shared with all of nature. I remember so many sleepless night after Crystal died. I was so heartbroken, lonely and lost, and Brucie would come and cuddle with me and his heartbeat kept me in touch with the life around me and his warmth made me feel loved. It damn near killed me when he died. But now I smile and never forget him every time I open my curtains he is still with me. On those nights I lay awake, like you, just can’t sleep, I still have my kitties and my memories, and I find that if I just close my eyes and let my thoughts drift to sweeter times not only do I sleep but I have sweet dreams…I hope Jenny will be with you for a long time. She is so blessed to have you for her mother and you are blessed to have her to share the ups and downs. :)

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The Worst Day

Fourteen years ago today, or tomorrow, my youngest son, Scott, took a gun and shot himself through the head.  When the police found him lying on the floor of his apartment in a pool of blood, his phone was off the hook, the receiver underneath him.  The coroner couldn’t determine precisely when it happened, but I narrowed it down with a paper and activity search–dental appointment he kept, a small withdrawal from his bank, his last day at work, the days I called and didn’t receive an answer.  It had to be either August 4th or 5th.

All indications were that his suicide happened on a moment’s decision.  He was dressed only in his jockeys, his bath towel hanging over the tub was still damp, his philodendron were freshly watered, empty beer bottles were in the kitchen sink and a plate with a cooked steak and potato were sitting by the microwave.  Two bags of trash were stacked by the door, tied and ready to be taken to the dumpster.

For the longest time, Forrest, my husband, and I, didn’t believe he killed himself, even though he’d been depressed and suicidal and had recently been discharged from the hospital.  But the examiner determined it was a suicide.

Even today I question the strange circumstances–phone off the hook, the receiver underneath him, in his briefs (he was a modest person), the uneaten food.  His co-workers saw no signs of depression his last day at work.  In fact, he talked to one friend about getting together.  He’d just recently talked to me on the phone about future plans.  It all seemed so unreal.   The only other scenario I can come up with is that he got a phone call which set him off.

I found email he’d received from a female.  I called her and asked the nature of their relationship and when she saw him last.  She sent me back copies of email she’d received from Scott.  He’d set up a site for her online.  They finally got together.  He brought her a bouquet of roses.  She was not attracted to him and evidently told him so.  She said she’d been trying to call him but got a busy signal.  I think she may have finally gotten hold of him, thus, the phone off the hook.

Of course, no matter what happened, it doesn’t bring him back.  I try not to think about it, but when the anniversary comes around, so do the memories.

Today we had thunder storms, with wind and lightning.  Jenny Penny’s little body shivered and shook with fright until I wrapped her in a blanket and held her over a heating pad.   It’s been so dark.  Outside.  And in.

I miss him!


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It’s All Good

Susie came again Saturday.  We spent most of the time in the kitchen.  Made hummus and macaroon cookies.  Had some of the chicken cicciatore we made yesterday for lunch.  Then we cleared my bedroom of everything but the furniture and lamps.  Getting ready for painters who are supposed to come this week.

It’s nice being busy, getting ready, visiting with my niece.   I feel human again.  Engaged in life.  Not just sitting on the edge, looking in.   Makes it easier to live with my physical problems.

Regardless of physical problems, life has not been the same since my son, Scott, killed himself 14 years ago.  And then, my son, John who died of colon cancer two years later, and my husband.  Since then, other family and friends.

Scott’s desperate act stripped away my mask of a lifetime and left me wondering who I am.  It feels like, when he killed himself, I died too.  Only a shell remains.

In fact, each death takes a piece of me until I am a stranger, even to myself.  I struggle to believe in anything any more.    Except nature.   I learn about life from birds and other wild creatures.   They live their hard lives without question.   Work at keeping themselves alive, accepting, and dealing with, life as it presents itself.  I love watching them.  They inspire me, give me hope.

Today, I have another physical therapy session for my neck.  The treatments are loosening the muscles but haven’t helped the dizziness.   Whatever happens, the birds are still there.  And the rabbits, the squirrels, the trees, flowers, sky, breeze, sun, moon and stars.

There’s much to be grateful for.

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At Least I Have My Mind

Susie,   my niece, came today.  She cleaned and organized the fridge and did the dishes.  We made lasagna in the oven and chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker.  Had planned on getting some other things done but she had a headache and left early.

I fixed us big sandwiches for lunch: cheese, ham, turkey breast, lettuce and thick tomato slices on buns.  Susie had fritoes with hers.  I ate popcorn chips.   Sent her home with lasagna for her supper.

She wants to come back tomorrow because we didn’t get everything I’d planned done.  If we both feel well, she’ll be here.  Want to make hummus, bake macaroons, make pimento cheese for sandwiches.  And put everything away in my bedroom.  The painters will be here next week to paint my bedroom and the hall.  We might also do a little laundry.

I’m finding that I need extra help these days, especially with the meals.  I tried Meals on Wheels, but am concerned, during these hot summer months, about the cooked food sitting in hot cars until it’s delivered.  So I stopped them after only a week.  I may start up again next fall, after the weather turns cooler.  Susie needs the work, so it works out for both of us.

I’m sad and discouraged about my primary physician’s attitude about my physical problems.  When I tried to tell him about the very uncomfortable and frightening episodes that appear without warning, he dismissed me with, “you’ll have to live with it.”

I’m looking for another doctor, though I’m not happy, at my age, about starting over with someone new.  But I know, if I am to be helped at all, it’ll have to be by someone else.

Had two of those episodes today, the second just about an hour ago.  My blood pressure suddenly rose to 175/105, with the accompanying tinnitus, blurred vision, chest pain, cold and tingling hands and feet.

Physical therapy is helping my neck, but not the dizziness.

I could do more to help myself, like take a few steps with my walker, do my bed and sitting exercises, not spend so much time on my bed.

I must!  It’s going to be up to me.

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Today, I had to stop watching a video of a hawk eating a beautiful white live bird.  The bird was as large as the hawk, but obviously under its power.  The hawk was taking chunks of feathers and flesh from the other bird’s back while the other bird cried and occasionally flapped its wings, trying to get loose.  It was a long, slow process.  Weak pitiful cries.  Raising  its head from time to time.  Flapping its wings.  It made me sick.  I kept wanting to take my mouse and beat the hawk away.   I wanted to see the bird go free.

I started the video in an attempt to learn about hawks.  I’ve been reading about them for the last three days, since one killed a young rabbit in my back yard.   As Ken and I sat in the sun room talking, I noticed the little guy hopping through the grass, its ears up, soft white tail bright in the sun.  Watching it as it moved, with ease, across the yard, filled me with joy.  Then, in an instant, it was grabbed by bony claws which seemed to just appear, and soon, it’s short life ended.  Ken opened the door to scare the hawk off; but the rabbit went along in those powerful claws.  I can’t get the scene out of my mind.

These rabbits have been living here since before I moved here five years ago.  They nest under my deck.  And find food in my yard.  They’re a part of my life.  I have a wooden fence around my yard.  I thought it was a safe place.   I never dreamed harm could come from the sky.

I have to wonder, is my 10 lb poodle girl safe?  Or the two house cats, when they sneak out once in awhile when I let my girl out?

I want very much to believe in a loving, benevolent, higher power.  But I have to wonder about a god who would create creatures that feed on one another in order to survive.

2 thoughts on “Hawk

  1. Mary
    I am SO glad you’re back in the blogosphere. I have missed you very much. The new website looks wonderful. Ken sure is talented. I am sad to hear about the less than ideal health — things will definitely start to look up; they often do for people as beautiful as you — but I am really happy to hear about the new book on poetry. Congratulations! But, above all, I am truly, truly, delighted you are writing here again. Welcome back, Mary!!!!

    • Thank you, Vera. Much more to be done, but it’s good to be blogging again. Even though I’ve not blogged for a while, I’ve enjoyed visiting your site from time to time and reading your thoughtful entries.

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A New Beginning

Hello everyone!  This is my new blog, which isn’t finished yet, but I’ve decided to blog anyway.  My son, who is a web designer, is creating it for me.

First, I want to thank old cyber friends who sent messages and expressed their concern and their desire to see me blog .  It has meant a lot to me.  I’ve been caught up in health issues, particularly the unstable blood pressure and dizziness, feeling quite depressed about my condition, and seeming unable to make changes.   I’ve followed some of your blogs and have been inspired.  Nicole, especially, you have no idea what you do for me.  Following your struggles with your tic disease and your positive attitude has inspired me.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.  And in my heart.  You all are.  I am grateful for your friendship and your loving, caring natures.

After months of battling bad health, I’m no better than I was last March.  I’ve been searching for just the right physician, one who cares about her/his patients, who listens, who is not in a hurry to rush away, someone I can trust.  I haven’t found the right person yet.  Still looking.

In the meantime, I’ve had a phone session with a medical intuitive in Maine, trying to find out what my problem is and hoping for some healing.  Her name is Jane.  We were supposed to have an hour’s session but she let me go after a half hour because of my anxiety and physical reactions to my energy centers being opened.  She said some people need to take it slow.  Haven’t noticed much change so far but Ann said my body would be working on healing itself over the next three or four weeks, when I will speak with her again.  I want to believe this is going to help, but am not 100 percent sure.

I don’t like to post when my life and my emotions are in such darkness , but I’ll try, even if it’s just a sentence or two every now and then.  Just to keep in touch.

One positive, I’m happy to say, my book of poetry was finally released last May.  Next, I hope to work on a memoir.  If my health will allow it.

I must have faith.

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Some Days Are Good!

February was a difficult month, physically.  Had some setbacks, saw a lot of professionals in the medical community.   No one knows what is causing my problems, so they don’t deal with it.  In the meantime, I just sort of ‘exist.’   Since I don’t get out, except to keep appointments, my life is rather dull.

I’ve lost a couple more friends.  Each time this happens, I’m filled with fear and dread.  Don’t think I need explain.

The brightness in my life has come from reading and writing.  I’ve joined an eight week writing class on Writers On the Net called ‘Shadow Writing,’ which is digging deeper to help us get in touch with our authentic selves.  We’re in the sixth week.  I find the classes help motivate me to write.  I haven’t posted here for a while, but if it wasn’t for the class, I wouldn’t have written anything at all.  At least I have produced something for the class.

But the big news is that my last name is once again officially that of my husband of 51 years.  My lawyer called me today.  Now I just need to get a new social security card with my ‘new’ (old) name.  Hooray!  I can’t say how relieved I am.  It’s like coming home.  The other name felt so foreign and uncomfortable.  I can rest easy now.

Oh, Forrest, my love, now everything is as it should be.

7 thoughts on “Some Days Are Good!

  1. Congratulations, Mary, for having your ‘old’ name back. I have missed you since your previous post. Glad to hear you’ve been busy writing. The writing class sounds intriguing. Most importantly, though, do keep healthy and well. Here’s sending you lots and lots of love. xoxoxoxo

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