Monday, August 26, 2013

It's All in the Name

When I was a young teen, I met a young woman who was a nurse with  the Department of Health and, to me, she was the most interesting person I ever met (at least up to that moment). She planted the seed of nursing in my heart and mind that I carried until my retirement in 2008.

Working for the Dept of Health, she had some stories to tell! One hot summer day, she and I shared lunch and she told me a story I found hysterically funny, but at the same time bizarre and worrisome.

It seems there was a woman who frequented the nurse's office because of issues of, shall we say, an intimate nature. This particular time, she came in because she was expecting and couldn't quite figure out how that happened. The nurse said she stared at her from across the desk thinking perhaps her client was just pulling her leg. When her client didn't say "gotcha" or "I'm just kidding" she explained to her how these things happened and. as a final thought, handed the young woman a pamphlet and instructed her to take it home and read it carefully.

"All right, Miss Nurse," the woman replied. The meeting was over; the client went home.

Several months passed and the nurse found herself wondering what happened to the young expectant mother. A week or so later, as things happen,  the young woman wandered into the health department with two babies in tow.

The nurse greeted her, congratulating her over the birth of her twins, oohing and ah-ing over how cute they were. The woman beamed. Then she said, "I read that paper (pamphlet) you gived me and I liked it so much I named my babies after it."

The nurse was confused. "You did? How so?"

"I really liked the names in it?"

"Names?" she asked, still not connecting the dots.

The nurse said a look of exasperation passed over the woman's face as she took a deep breath. "Sue Phyllis and Gonorrah." ( She actually spelled the names Syphllis and Gonorrhea on the birth certificates but pronounced them as I spelled them.)

The nurse felt a little blank and then the light went on over her head. "I see. Are you sure about that? I mean you really want to do that?" My friend said her voice reached new heights in the soprano range as she questioned her.

"Sure, I do. Why wouldn't I?"

I asked the nurse if she explained to the woman that she'd just named her baby after raging STDs. She admitted she tried, but the woman was insistent. "So," she said, shrugging her shoulders at the lunch table, "what're you gonna do? A birth certificate's a birth certificate." CAN YOU IMAGINE!?!?!?!?!

 So....if in all your worldly travels you run into someone named Sue Phyllis or Gonorrah, please try to hold it together as you tell them you heard the story of how their loving mother chose their names.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Much Ado About Nuttin', Honey

I've been sitting on a couch with my foot elevated since July 29. Here's how it's pretty much gone on an average day.

I can't rest in our enormous aspen bed because I am unable to climb the bed steps. That being the case, I've planted myself on the sofa for now.. It's placed against the picture window, so at least I have nice scenery. The sun comes up EARLY and that means so do the kittens. Until just a few days ago we still had three of them, now only two, who love to run, leap, wrestle and usually land on my head.. My kittens are my alarm clock: a pouncing of sorts onto my head by enormous Maine Coon feet....with claws.

I love, love, love Dr. I get my Dr. Phil fix early in the day on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). These are reruns from early on in his network career and I've learned lots and lots about everything from nosy mothers-in-law to creepy next door neighbors, child actors gone bad,  to how to mooch off your parents in three easy lessons. Then there's the siblings who hate each other so much that someone needs to take their texting thumbs away from them so they can no longer communicate. (That's right...they never speak...only email and text.)  Next, I pull out the computer and write (I am determined to finish my sequel...and get busy on the Christmas novella I promised myself and my husband I'd work on). I doodle around on the laptop until about one and then it's time for PBJ or pimento cheese or Fake BLT.

By this time, both adult cats are outside and on the prowl, one or both of them periodically showing up with some catch they cannot wait to share with me and the kittens. (Note: kittens think it's the cat's meow while I am totally grossed out!) On any given day, the catch of the day can be anything from a field mouse too dumb to stay away from the cats to a shrew or mama chipmunk. On one particularly eventful day the mommy cat, Jill, brought, a rat, a baby squirrel, a chipmunk, a baby rabbit and later that evening....the mommy rabbit. Jack, her brother, brought a rabbit yesterday and wanted to bring it in the house and Don wouldn't let him. So Jack dropped on the porch and it went running (Yes, it was still alive and kicking) and the cats chased it all over. All that is left of it now is, yes, you guessed it, the rabbit's "unlucky" foot. Don found it in the front yard earlier today and asked me if I'd like to have it. (YUCK!)

Don has had to do his regular job, clean, cook, take care of me, feed the cats, water the garden, run the errands and put up with my incessant whining about my foot pain, and when will it be time for another pain pill. He's a saint, really. He's toted me around the house because I can't put any weight on my foot.  He's washed my hair, helped me into the shower, tucked me in, made me cinnamon toast and answered every call I've made, whether on the phone or hollering through the house.

Like I said, this blog entry is about nothing at all. But really, it's about everything. It's about the little things that make life special. Kittens and watching them experience all the things in life that are new and fresh. Hummingbirds outside the front window drinking from the feeder and watching Jack chatter and fidget trying to figure out how to catch one. (Watch out, Jack. They'll poke your eye out!) Experiencing mom secrets with a mommy cat who trusts me enough to sit next to me while she feeds her babies. Having a husband who loves me and cares about me and shows me in ways no one else ever has.

I hope you never have to be down from an injury that never heals to learn such simple lessons. But if this is what it take for me....bring it on!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Knee Walker

A few days ago, when my better half returned from a long day of calling clients, he did so with much exuberance and excitement. "To what do I owe your elation?" I asked. "Funny you should ask," he responded, all grins and giggles. He went back out to the car and returned, smiling like a Cheshire cat, with a contraption that obviously this old gal was too out of touch with to know what it was.

I stared at it for a minute and said, "All right. So what is it?"  The smile never left his face. This find was a treasure and he didn't mind in the least filling me in on the function of this odd-looking board on wheels with banana bike handles (remember those? and I had one, did you?)  "It's a knee walker."

"A knee walker," I replied in a flat monotone.

"Yep. The church medical closet lent it to us so you could get up and around. He then proceeded to educate me in the way it functioned, ending with, "but the brakes don't work."


Waving his hands, he said, "Not to worry. You won't be running any races with it."

For those of you who read my blog but haven't a clue what I'm talking about, here's the skinny. I broke my foot last summer. It never healed for some reason. This past Monday I had surgery (ORIF) to insert plates, screws and a calcaneal bone graft from my heel. So now you are up to snuff.

I stared at the "knee walker", obviously enjoying my Percocet too much to grasp the information and said, "What do you call it again?"

"A knee walker," came the reply from my loving husband, who, by the way, has cared for me calmly, quietly, patiently and without any "don't be such a crab"-like comments, or the ever-annoying roll of the eyes.
A knee walker. There are a lot of cool walkers out there.

 Like, for instance, Luke Skywalker. The coolest, walker of them all.

Or how about Spirit walkers? Native medicine men (or women, I suppose), herbalists. Those are relatively high on the cool-o-meter.

But no. I get a knee walker. Serves a vital function, gets me from Point A to Point B and back again, but the brakes don't work so no running starts (as if I can run right now anyway.) The best I can do is hop on my left foot, an accomplishment all on its own.

Oh, well. I'll be thankful for the lend as it gives me a little freedom when Don is out. But I'd rather be Hazel Skywalker. Return of the Colorado Jedi.