Thursday, June 22, 2017

I've been trotting

off to the out-patient cardio-fitness center two times a week for the past few weeks, Reader Dear, and I've been meaning to give you the rundown. It's the push-and-pull of life, the cycling 'round of mundane chores, that has kept me from working out a space in time to press you with the details.

But, heads up, Dear Reader, here they come now:
This fitness center is located on the third floor of the local hospital's massive out-patient complex.  Now, one might suppose that if one were serious about getting physical exercise, one would exercise some discipline and use the stairs to get to the top of the building.  Let me just say, however, the elevators are plentiful.  It is ever so delightful to exercise the use of an "up" button to speedily get to a room where machines are awaiting one's sweaty physical exertion!
Before any use of the machines, however, I was soon to learn there is a whole protocol of prep work!  I'm going to give you all the steps, Reader Dear:
1. Check in.  Register at the automated kiosk.
2.  Go to the desk where the heart monitors are located and report your presence.  You will be given a heart monitor.
3.  Go to the locker room-slash-restroom, where you will choose a locker and can fill it with whatsoever you please (a fancy party dress, or fancy shoes, even a pet monkey if you so choose.*)  Keep the key with you on your wrist as you continue on to the  lavatory area.

4.  Following the in-person instructions that you were given on your very first session, hang the monitor around your neck in one of the provided aprons.  Attach the wires to your chest in three locations, with three sticky tabs.  (The sign will refresh your memory if needed).
5.  Step on the scales in locker room-slash-restroom and note your weight.
6.  Report back to heart monitor counter and fill out a form reporting your weight and the answers to several questions ("Are you taking your medications as prescribed?").

7. Do the ten warm-up exercises as listed and pictured on the large-print sign.

9. Apply hand sanitizer to your hands from dispenser on wall.
10. Wait for someone to take your blood pressure and escort you to a machine.

Whew, that was a lot of steps, Reader Dear!  A work-out!

11.  Begin your work-out.
*I did not make inquiries about this.
I don't advise it.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Death and Taxes

"Nothing's as certain as death and taxes!"   my father used to say.  He was usually just joking around at tax time.  But there's the truth of it that makes the statement (slightly) amusing.

As it turns out, Reader Dear, I've discovered one can get an extension on both!  Each has its deadline (better known as flatline in the case of death) which, with a little maneuvering (or all kinds of inconveniences and miseries) can be pushed further into the future!

Today, with our already-extended tax deadline approaching,  the Yard Man and I went to see our accountant.  We carried along our (semi-organized) jumble of papers.  We sat in comfortable chairs in a  cool, quiet room.  I drank the coffee (with a choice of four flavors) offered to me.  We answered a few questions, but mostly just let our pleasant, highly competent accountant do all the work!  It was (almost) delightful!

Our accountant will spend some time in assessing our taxes due; but, no matter how capable, precise and meticulous, the bottom line will not be the exact same figure as each of a dozen other accountants would give us, were we to present them with our (semi-organized) mess of papers.*
*It's the nature of the U.S. tax codes, Reader Dear! Seventy-thousand pages of federal tax codes yield various figured-out figures!

Which proves my own assertion, Reader Dear, regarding death and taxes:  "Nothing's as certain as uncertainty!"

Sunday, June 18, 2017

So, here I was

back at the rehab facility with my brand-new change of heart (newly zapped).  I was still eating in the Dysphagia Dining Room, and still working away at learning to walk up stairs, and still having my medications handed to me six times a day.  But I was entertaining joyous thoughts of leaving!

It's true, I confess, the thought of acting as my own doctor, nurse, personal trainer, medical aide and housekeeper [not to mention chef] ) was a bit daunting!  (The Yard Man was intent on filling some of these roles, but, alas,  he had no place to do his internship other than a horse barn!)

The day of departure came and it was rather amazing, Reader Dear, how much paraphernalia one can accumulate in the span of time it takes to struggle through a few weeks of rehab.

Even more astounding was the stack of paper mail that awaited upon my arrival home (at least a foot high, and no more than a fraction of it lovely cards urging me to "Get Well Soon!") Apartment woes awaited, as well.  And all of the odds and ends one must attend to when arriving back from the dead (okay, okay, I plead with you, Reader Dear, just to use your imagination!)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Drawing to a close,

Reader Dear!  Though a long way from the very end of the journey, this tale of my Chat-with-Mother-Mary ordeal is soon to wrap up!  The impact of it may never come to a complete and final brush-oneself-off-and-be-done-with-it-all,  but the blow-by-blow, detailed account will soon be sliding into history.  (Just so you're prepared, Dear Reader of Mine, when you tumble abruptly into a mundane and slightly boring plot twist [aka, life "as usual"]!)

The preceding warning comes as The Yard Man transports me from the cardiac wing of the hospital, back to the local rehab facility (It's a new sport called facility-jumping at which I've gotten rather proficient [points are gained by getting your chauffeur to drive you through the local park en route back to previous facility (but, alas, points are deducted for devious thoughts of climbing out of the car and spending the night on the grassy lawn of the park, perhaps never to return to the facility where headed [or absolutely any other facility (ever!) for that matter]!)

But, listen up, Dear Reader!  Upon my return and establishment in a new room at the rehab facility, there is the heart-stopping news* that a second move is imminent!  (And we're not just talkin' beds and rooms here!)

Three more days and two more (sleepless) nights and I. AM. GOING. HOME!**

*Jesting, Dear Reader.  I know you know that in spite of the news, my heart continued it's reassuring thumpity-thump!
**And, while this home will FEEL. SO. HEAVENLY, it's actually located far outside of that area known as Heaven's Realms!
Doctor Jantzi is one five-star doctor, Reader Dear!  Believe me, he is golden!
"You can go home," he said.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

When next I opened

my eyes, I was a better person!  Ahem, Reader Dear, all I'm trying to say is that the medical personnel were able to shock my partially-bovine heart into a proper pumping rhythm!

It was a relief to know the deed was done, there'd be no more fruitless attempts.  (When first they had tried to do this heart-zapping thing [a few weeks earlier, I was told] they'd been foiled by a small blood clot!)

Back to my small double room they wheeled me, and I got to listen to my new roommate have conversations with her family*.  "I don't know why I'm here," she said.   "They just keep doing stuff to me.  I don't know what they're doing.  I don't know why."
*(only my astute assumption)

Over on my side of the curtain, however, I was preparing to leave the hospital (hallelujah!).  I would be going back to the rehab facility, and (wonder of wonders) both facilities had granted permission for The Yard Man to drive me there (no more ambulance rides!). 

I dressed and collected my tiny pile of belongings.  When a nurse wheeled me out of the room on my way to the hospital lobby, I bid goodbye to my roommate.  She was sitting in her chair by the bed, clutching an antique pocketbook.

Down in the lobby my nurse asked, "Do you know how old your roommate is?"
"No," I responded.  "She looked pretty old."
"She's one hundred years old!" the nurse told me.  "She came into the hospital because of shortness of breath!"

"Wow!" I said.
Reader Dear, it took my breath away!