Brief 8-9March2023: Susie ill

I can only cover a few items as I am exhausted. So this will be a few days. So not a narrative today.

Susie developed, if you have been following along, a bruise on her arm, this has become a problem for her whole right arm. It was blue with a bruise and painful and hot. Possible infection or blog clot.

Susie decided on Wednesday night when I was called in for this surprise. Susie started complaining about the pain, and the nurse aides were surprised to see the cause. The question was to send Susie to the ER. I drove back to the hummingbird house (I had been there in the afternoon for my usual quick visit).

Susie was in pain but was not interested in any more ER experiences. ER to her means needles and waiting; you are never sure you are safe. Nope, we are staying with the folks at the hummingbird house. So I got a chair and spent the whole night sitting beside Susie. I would be needed immediately if Susie got worse. We were all ready for that. Susie stabilized, got some rest, and the blue bruising faded.

I emailed Nike IT to let them know I was out on Thursday and was distracted and would not be helping much on the 7/24 items. I also sent out updates to FaceBook and my text group. I updated that every couple of hours.

I drove home at 6:30 from Tom’s Pancake House in Beaverton. I had corned beef hash with poached eggs, pancakes, and toast. I did not finish the toast and left some pancakes behind. This was last night’s dinner and breakfast. I then managed to land Air Volvo at the Volvo Cave without incident. I was exhausted.

I rested until the afternoon. I spoke to the hummingbird house, Jennifer, Susie was stable, and the same (good), and Jennifer asked me if I planned to connect to Susie’s doctor (good idea). I went online and scheduled the first available video appointment for Susie (Monday), then called the doc office, spoke to their folks, and described the issue. They would get back to me. I called Jennifer back at the hummingbird house and told her what was happening.

I made New England Clam Chowder from a can and ate that fast as I had a doctor’s appointment with our doctor at 2:40. I made it, despite bad traffic, on time and spoke to the doc. He planned to have a video conference with Susie that early evening, 4:20. My appointment went well, and he added an allergy med to add to my asthma meds; he thinks it might be more allergy than asthma as my symptoms are not every day. My diabetic meds will continue as my sugar levels were slightly higher–I blame good beer and excellent girl scout cookies!

Traffic on Thursdays is always bad, and end-of-school Beaverton traffic was full-on when I left the doctor’s office. I stopped at Paris Baguette, the same as found all over New York City, and got some tiramisu tarts for Susie and Jennifer and her family. I got croissants for breakfast (one chocolate).

I reached the hummingbird house before 4PM, set up the computer, and tested everything using their software. I was surprised that when the nurse aid online showed, the sound was going into the headphones–I had passed all their tests. I have to use the headphone mic (it is broken on my laptop), but now it does not work. I managed to find the setting and change it, and then everything worked. After the nurse checked us in, we only waited a moment for the doctor.

Jennifer joined us for the call with the doc. We moved the laptop so the doc could see the swelling and the other issues with Susie’s right arm. The doc ordered an ultrasound, antibiotics, and painkillers. I have to schedule the ultrasounds ASAP and arrange for transportation–with Susie’s hurt arm, it would be best to not lift her into the Volvo and out. We will try to move her in the wheelchair using a transportation service.

Aside: I took Friday off as I have to do all this work and am exhausted.

Susie was resting in her bed again after the call concluded. Susie was uncomfortable, she had sat too long in her chair, and her butt was sore. Jennifer placed Susie, in her bed, on her side, and Susie was better. We called Leta, who was happy to see her on the FaceTime app on her iPhone. They talked briefly, and I updated Leta on the doc’s appointments (both Susie’s and mine).

I was tired. I kissed Susie goodbye and drove home by way of a gas station. Air Volvo was driving on fumes. Finally, I reached home. I ordered too much Chinese food from East Harbor Chinese Restaurant that was delivered by GrubHub–it is terrific, and I will have plenty for the next couple of days!

It was Theology Pub night, Second Thursday, and tonight’s topic, suggested by me after reading a David Brook column, was art. No political or heavy theology today. Here is what our leader, Dondrea wrote as our direction:

Art has long played a role in religion. The Catholic church alone invested vast amounts of money in the production of religious art. For most churches, music also plays an integral part. It’s a way to illustrate religious stories and teachings, but it may play a bigger role in our spiritual lives and mental health than previously thought. Neuroaesthetics is a rapidly expanding science of how arts and aesthetic experiences measurably change the body, brain, and behavior. In fact, researchers say “art” isn’t a luxury in our lives but a huge contributor to our physical and mental well-being. How can we increase the role art plays in our lives and our worship, and what role does it play in our personal lives? 

It was an excellent discussion which I am too tired to summarise except to record that art means a lot to all of us, and we find a kind of peace in making and experiencing art.

It is 9:35, and I am tired, but I can let Wednesday be silent, so I will go on for a bit more…

Wednesday started with a headache and thus excluded my exercises and stretches at 6AM and staying in bed until after 7:15. I made liberal coffee (BTW, Tom’s Pancake House’s coffee tasted like water to me after a year or more of French Press liberal coffee) and had yogurt with a croissant. I scarfed this down while reading emails, Slack messages, FaceBook posts, and the news online. All of this is to prepare me for my usual busy Wednesday.

I showered, dressed, and boarded Air Volvo with all the board games already in the cargo hold for Z. I usually play board games with Z, now 12 years old, on Wednesday nights during choir practice. Z’s mother, Dondrea, practices with the band and choir on Wednesday night at First United Methodist in Beaverton. So we play board games while they practice.

I reached work in time to start hours of Zoom meetings. I also had another crisis of the moment that I had to immediately cover; I had been unwell on Tuesday and left it to Wednesday. So I was busy in catchup mode while multitasking. The morning was a blur of Zoom, emails, Slack updates, and me reading Service Now Tickets (SNOW) and documents and sending out questions and approvals (with questions being about 3:1 on approvals).

I headed out for lunch, a burger at Burger King (the last food I would get that day), with fries (should have been onion rings–but it was drive-thru and can’t be fixed), and a Diet Coke. I then headed to the Hummingbird house in Portland (Tigard) at 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116. The traffic was light, and I was able to admire the new cement work on 217. It has taken a month or more to build the new pillars for the new overpass.

Susie is in the living room in her recliner when I get there. She is in no pain, I remember asking, and she was delighted to see me. I told her I could only be there for a short time. We talked to her mother, Leta, on my iPhone. Their discussion, often the same day after day, is more a reason to see each other than to really talk. The message is, “I am so happy to see you and to let you know I love you.” But the weather, food, and various items get that message over. I tell Susie I love her and kiss her goodbye.

Back to the office via Air Volvo. The day, now fading from my memory (chased into oblivion by the emergency of Susie’ sudden serious illness), was full of preparing for important events on Thursday (which were completed without me as they were already moving thru the processes and approvals), and just following along. I remember being happy that the last meeting finished early, and I headed out before 5PM to First United Methodist Church.

I parked at the church and was walking to get a sandwich for dinner when my phone rang. It was Jennifer, and they were worried about Susie. This is where we started.

Thank you for reading. Sorry, it is two days and thereby long. It is best to keep these to under 1,200 words.

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