Friday, May 25, 2018

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: G.I. Blues (1960) 
Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here

1) Are you a veteran? Are there veterans in your family? Do you know anyone who is active military? (We are grateful and want to hear about it.) My dad was in a Navy corpsman in Korea. My favorite uncle was a foot soldier in Vietnam. My oldest nephew is currently a Navy Fireman (which in today's technologically advanced world, is an engineer).

2) In this song, Elvis sings about marching, and complains that the Army doesn't give Purple Hearts for fallen arches. Do you have any aches or pains to report this morning? My ankles and knees are stiff in the morning.

3) This song is from the 1960 film of the same name. In the movie, Elvis is in The 32nd Armor Regiment of the United States Army. That's the same regiment he served with in real life. He had the 32nd written into the script as a shout-out to the soldiers he came to know, but realized he'd likely never see again. Is there an old friend you're missing this weekend? I miss my oldest friend. She was worried about me on Monday and we chatted on the phone in real time Tuesday for the first time in forever. It was nice, comfortable and comforting.

4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food? Baked beans.

5) Let's celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with ice cream. What's your favorite flavor? Cone or cup? I'd like a cup of mint chocolate chip, please.

5) This marks the weekend when Americans step up their outdoor activity and do things they may not have been able to do during the winter months. For example, when is the last time you applied mosquito repellent? I don't remember. Which reminds me, I should pick some up at the drugstore. Any suggestions for a bug spray that doesn't have an overwhelming scent?

7) Or swam? Christmas Day. I celebrated the holiday in Key West with Reg and Henry.

8) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on?  Yup. The AC. It's gonna be hot holiday weekend here in Chicagoland.

9) Random question: How do you define success? I wrestle with this a lot. I think, ultimately, I consider my life successful when I'm happy and at peace with myself.

That's a wrap!

My nephew graduated from high school this evening. He was happy to be out of there. Happy to be facing forward, looking to college this fall in Macomb, Illinois.  

It was weird to be back in that high school auditorium. For this was the high school my niece (his sister) graduated from. And my sisters. And my mother and my uncle. So while I spent four pretty miserable years there, it was still bittersweet to say goodbye to the building forever. So many family ghosts wander the halls.

At least I know I'm needed

Monday was a very tough day for me. It began with debilitating pain and ended with me filled to the gills with medication. And so I took my doctor's advice and stayed home on Tuesday ... taking it easy, letting my body become acclimated to the alpha blocker/opiod mix.

I let my boss know I'd be out. And then I checked my email. That was the moment it all went bad. In preparation for The Big Move, the company reconfigured our email on Monday morning. I logged on, just to make sure I could.

Oh, boy. I saw a meeting I needed to attend scheduled for 10:30. I shot the team an email, saying I wouldn't be there (obviously), but I gave them my input on the project.

I started getting responses, and phone calls, as though I was sitting there in the office. This letter needs to be rewritten ... We need another version of this promotional mailer ... Is this sell sheet OK?

I responded with, "You know I'm not there today, right?" and "This isn't a work-from-home day, this is a sick day for me," and finally, "I"m logging off now. If you need anything else, you have to talk to my boss." In all, I worked about 5 hours from my dining room table.

Naturally, I resented it. The complete lack of regard for my personal welfare was not cool.

On the other hand, it was gratifying to know that there wasn't anyone else at the agency who could do what I do. If you're a regular reader of this blog,* you know that's been a worry. So my insecurity/ego mitigated my indignation.

*And yes, you silent lurkers, I see you out there! I hope you know how much I appreciate your return visits and readership.

Well, that was an experience

It started before dawn on Monday morning. About 4:00 AM. I woke up in pain. A severe but familiar pain. There was no blood in my urine this time, but I'd had this pain before. Just not this bad. It was my kidney stone.

I soaked in the tub. The warm water gave me some measure of relief. I gulped Naproxen (Aleve). I peed through a strainer (I retrieved nothing). The pain ebbed a bit. I thought if I slept for a while, I'd feel better.

I didn't. I felt worse. The pain spread to my back. I was nauseous, but I was only throwing up water because that's all that was in my stomach.

I called the office and told them to forget it, I wouldn't be there Monday. I called my doctor and explained my symptoms. She told me to pick up a pair of prescriptions at Walgreens and to take one of each, right away. Then, if I didn't feel better within the hour, I should go to the ER.

I freaked. I don't want to go to the hospital! I don't want to be cut!

"No, no." She assured me. She doesn't believe my kidney stone warrants surgery. It was my pain that worried her. She believed that my nausea was a reaction the extreme pain, and knew that an ER had medications and means that were beyond her.


And you know what? Within an hour of taking the hydrocodone/aspirin, I was asleep. When I woke a few hours later, the pain had abated.

Better living through chemistry!

The second pill is an alpha blocker. It helps relax the muscles, making it easier for the stone to pass. Hopefully, it will work as predicted.