Lenox Hill hospital in NYC plays, over the speaker system, the song “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles each time a Covid-19 patient is either successfully removed from a ventilator or is discharged home. The reason is because it’s a way of celebrating something good in this otherwise difficult time. I read this in the latest AARP magazine article titled Happiness in HARD Times and it’s all about finding ways to feel good, feel happiness, which, as the article states, gives us resilience to get through challenging times. I felt good just reading it. You might assume that finding happiness is difficult when we are feeling trapped, isolated, unsure and frightened but, as I’ve come to learn the hard way, we can find happiness in the most simple things in life; sunsets, pets, walks in nature, being creative in finding ways to help other people, and learning to do something we never had the time to do before the virus struck. No one is saying that this time we are living through isn’t hard, it’s just harder to feel hopeful but finding joy can help keep us emotionally and physically more stable.
I’m waiting for my french press coffee to be ready to drink – with a dollop of maple syrup. I’ve ‘given up’ coffee except for an occasional need, a comfort drink, and I had decided yesterday that I won’t be online as much for a few weeks either. I was at work the last two days, the temperature in our ‘office’ is not controllable by the staff but by some automaton that decides when it’s a holiday, night shift, weekend or some other day that the hierarchy are not in the building, the rest of us don’t need any ventilation, A/C, etc. I finally took a photo of the thermostat at 80* and – again – sent it to some person up the chain. On top of that I was so immersed in my own head about property and rising house prices and my eternal indecision about doing the best thing or the right thing or the smart thing or the happy thing – until it’s not – that I was exhausted by Sunday night. The good thing about time, about sleep is that it smoothes over the rough edges of the anxiety and makes everything seem more ‘do-able’ and ‘okay’ and less emergent. (As I sit here hearing the Effing traffic rush by only yards from me! …there, got up and closed the fucking windows so the sound is now a dull-roar) So this weekend is my get-off-my-ass-and-do-stuff-like-a-maniac beginning – I have been doing stuff but I’ve been methodical and moderate about it. Now I feel that I need to just be a whirling dervish and get it done ASAP just incase the opportunity arises to move quickly. I’m not going to lose my head, I’m not going to be rash and impulsive. If I have ‘the work done’ I can focus better on what’s in front of me, weigh the opportunities better. I also just need to upload a good book and have my mind hijacked while I work. Right now it’s Glennon Doyle, whom I’ve never read, but her voice is more childlike and the subject matter, although I’m not disagreeing with her perspective, is too visceral for me to relax while listening. Actually, this would be a good time for a friend visit – which we are not doing, thanx Rona!, but all my friends are too sympathetic and without any real advice or answers. Those have to come from me anyway – no one wants to be the person to blame if a recommendation is taken and it’s the ‘wrong one’ so people tend to agree and sympathize and give those sad eyes that say “I hear you. I share your misery” but they are as empty of conviction as I am. I need to get back into the frame of mind, the heart space of – life is a journey, have no expectations, go with the flow, live each day in the present, enjoy and appreciate this day and what I have, it will all be okay, sometimes things are hard- that’s just how life is, trust, have faith, have a light spirit and believe that good things will come if I’m patient, don’t be anxious about things that I can’t control, don’t worry about what I can do nothing about, don’t act like it’s the end of the world if it seems like things could be better but are just stagnating, remember; you have food, housing, water, a job, a family, ‘relative’ freedom, and character traits like fortitude, tenacity, resilience, inner strength, resourcefulness,…why does this sound like I’m entering battle? Is life a battle? Should it be? Am I doing it wrong? Is this how it is for everyone? Or just those of us not smart enough or those of us who have a moral compass? I could toss a coin to make decisions but who does that? Pre-game coin tosses because it’s 50-50 and no great loss either way. For me, it’s more tossing & turning at night, restless because I’m tossing – always tossing – ideas around in my head; I always have…I’ve always had a restless mind. And here’s another ‘thing’…I’m always preoccupied with myself; is this normal? I think of my children and grandchildren but my center of thought(s) is always ME. Some how that seems off. It seems – not narcissistic, not self-centered (I’m not selfish and only out for myself) – but overly concerned with myself and work, life, future, home, money, getting old, yadda yadda – I think it has a lot to do with my loner-lifestyle (unintended but reality none-the-less) and the ‘fact’ that I can really only rely on myself for my needs (as it should be…?) or maybe it’s because I have no true idea of who the hell I am…at 57 still figuring out what I want, (btw: I really don’t like the phrases “who am I, I need to ‘find myself,’ I don’t know myself well enough” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true – it’s not psycho-babble) …This can go on forever… this coffee is making me too hot and I’ve diluted the sweet maple flavor by pouring more coffee in the cup without adding more syrup because I don’t want to get up off the couch…it’s been 50 minutes and I was only going to write for 30 but I still have coffee to drink so I’m just going to keep writing (you can stop reading if you haven’t already) and this weekend I need to make a mask for my daughter as well as myself because ‘work’ now has resorted to the GOVERNMENT SUPPLY OF MASKS and I had to STAPLE my TWICE yesterday because it kept falling apart and…I mentioned this and the fact that the nose ‘wire’ doesn’t conform to the bridge of my nose so the mask keeps riding up my face to the charge nurse who replied – not kidding here – “they are not made for “medical use” per the box that they come in”…WTF! Early July and I have to: finish my taxes, make a couple of masks, finish staining the deck, start tackling all the inside projects and hoe out the house of miscellaneous debris – mine or just what’s accumulated over two decades – It doesn’t all have to be done this month but most of it has to be mostly done and definitely before September (preferably August – when my sister and BIL come up for a week) – No pressure. Really. Cuz it all doesn’t really matter anyway; nothing will happen if I don’t accomplish any of these (except the Effing taxes- those have to be done) – Life will go on, I’ll still be here and all these items of things to do will continue to wait until I get to them. No biggie. Go back to enjoying the time in between the work; the walks, a nice drive, a movie, grand kids, and a kayak float on the river more often. So what if things ‘don’t get done’ … so what if I don’t move… I’ll adjust to making a point of feeling more grateful for what is good and right for me and minimize what, right now, sucks my patience and frustrates me. I’ll get over it…I always do. No…I won’t ‘get over it’…I’ll just live with it…simmering but I’ll live with it. We all have shit we have to live with and mine, right now, is pretty minimal. Glennon Doyle was married with three children when she – quite suddenly – fell in love with another woman. I find that interesting. I wonder what that feels like; falling in love – with anyone, man or woman? I focus my mind on the benefits of singlehood when my ‘envy’ (for lack of a better word right now) starts to show up. I think it would be lovely to have someone who has my back, someone to talk to late at night about what’s bothering me, another voice – of reason – besides mine, someone to go paddle around on the river with me and share dreams and ideas and hobbies and what books we are reading. Oh well. I don’t and that’s okay too. See this is why I need a forever-home…because I can nurture it, love it and it will be there for me giving me what I need. And around and around I go. 69 minutes and my coffee really needs more syrup and my ass needs a break and I really need to start my chores, I need to start my finishing.
Linda G. Hill: toss
“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself”
Small word, enormous expectations.
I’ve become a DIY person…not by choice. I like to do things myself but, depending on the project, there are many, many times I’d really prefer to pay someone else (a ‘specialist’ such as a plumber) to do a job – because that is their vocation and, allegedly, they are capable and should be able to do ‘the job’ better than I can do it myself. However, over the decades I’ve found that if I am willing to suffer the ‘problem’ until I have eons of time to research and examine and contemplate and finally start the challenge myself – I can save myself getting screwed over. I often times forget to check out YouTube videos but, again – if I’m patient and browse through many videos to find one that is coherent and succinct, I can find one that matches my needs. That means that meanwhile I have some obvious property projects that are on my (growing) list of Things-2-Do and a constant reprioritizing of that list depending on how much time I have, what the weather is or will be for a couple of days and if I have an extra pair of hands (read “muscles”) to assist me. It all comes down to patience and
low realistic expectations. Regardless of the aesthetic outcome, I’m usually pretty satisfied with the job I did myself and ‘it works’ as well as if I paid someone else to do it…and…I’ve expanded my familiarity with how to do odd-jobs (in addition to expanding the tools in my toolbox).
FromLinda G. Hill: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “want.” Make the word “want” the first, second, or third word of your post. Have fun!
I find these times psychologically odd; there’s an urgent and expectant energy in the air and we all feel it regardless of self-isolation and/or social-distancing, even for those of us who still work and whose current daily life is very similar to our previous life: LBC and LAC (life before/after covid). I have repeatedly stated, in my writing and when asked via phone/text, How are you doing?, that my life is not much different now than LBC but despite that I still feel different; not depressed, not anxious, not morbid, no fear, not bored ~ not really. And I think that says something about energy, group energy, and in a more expansive way how historical landmarks effect evolution; political and social evolution definitely but individual evolution also. This pandemic, in this country, has created two different large group responses bookending the range of human emotions and reactions: those angry, afraid and compulsive who are acting out, over-reacting and becoming more paranoid and at the other extreme there are those who wait expectantly and obediently through this transition curious to find out what’s on the other side, opining if there’s an end or a ‘back to normal’ and suspecting the answer is No. I expect there are some historical sociologists somewhere out there who have some interesting answers.
Meanwhile I have been chronically grateful for my work and my family; we all socialize with each other, which, judging from reading about some other peoples’ lives these days, many do not. I did have about two weeks separation from my daughter and her family but that’s as long as it lasted; I guessed we decided that we all have no other ‘connections’ with other people and, despite the fact that I do go to work, I am always in a mask (as is everyone else) and we are checked each work day. I know that is not a 100% guarantee someone else isn’t an asymptomatic carrier, including new patients, but I think the ‘exposure’ is so limited combined with our relative youth, lack of co-morbidities and good health – we are willing to take the risk. We can’t live in bubbles despite the comic and pathetic attempts that I’ve seen on social media of people wearing five-gallon containers on their heads or, believe it or not, plastic bags <– that is what fear looks like.
It’s a source of comfort to notice that people are finding ways to entertain themselves and fill up their otherwise *empty days: more creative ‘social’ media, work on their properties (inside and out), cook & bake, get more exercise, garden and discover other sources of stimulation and pleasure. It’s a refreshing contrast to the bitter and antagonistic rabble-rousers who can’t resist the impulse to inflict their unimaginative and ignorant views and fears on other people. But on a more personal level, and what intrigues me about my unhindered life is that I also feel the need to do things that I have not previously felt compelled to do such as gardening. I have thought about gardening and visualized gardening but I’ve not acted upon those thoughts before like I have this year. There’s a…getting-things-in-order feeling that I have and it isn’t (necessarily) morbid but ~ it is a little… like I need to switch it up, change things, get things done that, combined with my desire to use this time that I have (a post-cancer’s gift is a new respect for life), creates a plan for now and plan for the future intensity within me.
During this time of year I am trying to take advantage of increased sunshine and more tolerable temperatures (60-70s), however, most of my free time seems to attract cold, snow, rain, gray skies or any variety of these, conversely my work days are sunny and warm. I have started some seedlings (is that what they’re called when you plant packaged seeds?) both vegetables and flowers and I’m buying some selective plants, preferably perennials but I can’t resist pansies for my window boxes.
I’m taking my time but I have a vision of a relaxing and interesting garden for my property that will include a swing, a small greenhouse, a canopy over part of my deck, and taming the wooded area beyond the fence to include a little patio up on the ‘hill’ overlooking my back-yard area. My son has been a great help; once I delineated where and how I wanted the ‘beds’ to be laid out, he’s taken the lead on really digging up the space and spreading the bags of manure.
I’ve also (because the weather has been uncooperative most of my free days) done some less vigorous and more relaxing projects inside ~ usually while listening to an audio-book (I never thought I’d so much enjoy audio-books!). I still have some painting to do and other more objectionable chores like cleaning out the basement and going through closets and empty rooms that contain odds-n-ends that need to be repurposed or thrown away.
I really want to use my time to finish other projects (and there are many, many of them) that I’ve either started and left unfinished or purchased the materials for and never started: cross-stitch, quilting, knitting, and crocheting. Plus I have so many ideas of things to make for or do with my grandchildren!
The one thing that I want to do, should do but I have yet to start is ‘getting into shape’: I have put on the pounds this winter and normally that doesn’t bother me too much but this year – must be my age – I have a larger muffin-top and more back fat not to mention the increasingly stiff joints. I am not self-conscious about how I look. I’m more concerned with how I feel and how I am aging physically ~ not well. There’s just something about exercise, a daily schedule of doing things that are sweat inducing that repels me and makes me *cave to my old nemesis, procrastination, which is why I’ve felt that – if I were able – I’d rejoin the group gym that I had used years ago (pre-AT endeavor). It’s just like any other thing that I don’t really want to do…I have to decide that I am going to do it, put one foot in front of the other and JUST DO IT.
I’m trying to stick to my theme for the A2Z challenge because the one day that I strayed I wrote the worst post of the challenge. “J” being a difficult letter for me to fit into my theme – except for Jackson Rees Bag – and using Linda G. Hill’s SoCS, I decided that I’d use ‘joint’ for the joint statements that are disseminated throughout the affiliated hospitals and clinics of the Mother Ship, D-HH (Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in Lebanon, NH). These statements/emails are daily, keeping us all abreast of the ongoing information about Covid-19 and what the organization is doing about it. There is usually a reminder somewhere near the end of each statement clarifying that all does not apply equally throughout each facility – which should be obvious when it comes to parking or where to enter the building but I guess being ‘clear’ can’t hurt. The point of these joint statements is that we all carry out policies the same – another obvious.
Re: Jackson Rees Bag.
I didn’t and don’t really want to go into detail with this (being a SoCS post as well) but it does begin with “J” and it is related to hospital/health/respiratory so, here goes:
A Jackson Rees Bag is also called an anesthesia bag. Both ambu and JR bags are used with a gas such as oxygen to assist or supply each breath to a patient. Unlike an ambu bag, which is made of a more stiff plastic that can be squeezed but pops back open regardless of a gas flow, a Jackson Rees Bag is a very supple, limp and smaller bag that needs a constant flow of gas (oxygen/nitrous oxide) to keep the bag inflated while gently squeezing it to supply ‘a breath’ via an ETT to a patient. These type of bags are used in the OR and for assisted breathing for a newborn/infant. Another difference between the two bag types is that the flow-dependent JR bag needs a pressure gauge to measure the pressure applied with each breath – especially when using with a newborn – to avoid any trauma to the lungs.
That’s about it for this posts’ topic. I’m going to go outside and enjoy the much appreciated sunshine available. I hope you all enjoy your weekends and, as always,
P.S. Don’t forget to check out these beautiful quilt ideas from Quilting Patchwork Applique
So, it’s another Saturday and this week I am not at work. I haven’t been on WP as much; I’m preoccupied, I guess. This morning I thought I’d check to see what’s happening in Bloglandia and saw the SoSC from Linda G. Hill posted: what ever is beside you when reading the prompt. See this little cute, hairy (yes, hair) face? My little boy, Colby. Every morning that I am home and I sit on the couch he needs his cuddle time. The poor pups, they need a hair cut and the groomer is closed and my clippers don’t work well on their hair. I’m not sure why but I’m going to try again today or tomorrow. It’s sunny outside right now; the forecast said cloudy and possibly rain on ALL of my days off this week so I took advantage of it and walked the kids early, got to the grocery store to get some supplies (Surprise!…TP was on the shelves; not much though and a sign “one per customer” – dip shits should have thought of that two weeks ago when everyone was worried about what to wipe their asses with), dropped a few things off at my daughter’s house – on her porch, texted to say I left it. This weekend we decided that I should keep my distance from now on as I’m constantly involved with sick people (respiratory people) at work and, although I’ve been foresighted and fortunate so far, best not to take chances. My daughter and her husband are no longer working so I told them if they wanted to do some cleaning and yard work, I’d pay them. My daughter cleaned my bathroom (thoroughly) and my porch (which is my summer living room) and my sheets and made my bed while I was away. I don’t mind housecleaning but if I don’t have to spend my time off doing it, and pay her, works for everyone. So, while walking in the sunshine along the river this morning I gave some thought to what I will do this weekend instead of reading and otherwise wasting time. I got a much needed delay (something good always comes from something bad) in filing my taxes as I am sure I will have to pay some and I am dry of funds right now. Monday I will call the city to see if I can delay payment on my quarterly property taxes as well. I have ALWAYS paid on time so this will be a first. I start my new shifts this week; since we are short a night staff person, I proposed a mock schedule and the boss liked it…a lot. I am now going to work: one 12 hour shift per week (flipping a day then a night) and one 24 hour shift per week. My weekends will be Saturday day shift then Sunday 24 hr. shift. Thursdays will flip between day or night each week. I’m not exactly crazy about this arrangement but it fills all the holes without OT (which my boss likes) and it minimizes HIS hours per week so instead of five days, he works three…he loves that. Hopefully it’s temporary and hopefully NH won’t get an uncontrollable surge as other places have experienced. If we do, all our staff will be working at the biggest hospital nearby taking care of vent patients. I’m not looking forward to it BUT, if it happens, I will use it as a learning experience and hope something good comes from it. Meanwhile…in anticipation of this happening, I have work around my home to do and I have financial/paperwork stuff to gather in the event that …well, just incase. Hang in there fellow bloggers and, as always, stay safe!
Wire, wire,….wire. Hmm. Over the wire we hear constant news about ‘rona’, the virus that’s got many cleaning out the aisles (toilet paper? Really?) like they’re stocking a bunker. Meanwhile, I feel wired lately because spring does that for me: more sun, a little warmer temperatures and the spring-cleaning bug takes hold.
I honestly can not comprehend where ‘time’ goes! It seems to just evaporate…everyday, more time has gone, passed, moved on and I observe that I don’t accomplish much. I feel that I understand the ‘confusion’ with the elderly; you think you just did laundry yesterday but then, upon some concentrated reflection, you realize that, no, that was five days ago. I can see myself completely losing track of time, forgetting to take meds or take the trash out on trash day or getting the dog to the vet because I think that’s next week, but, nope, the appointment was yesterday. I suppose some of this comes from being (mostly) alone…there is no one there to bounce thoughts off, no one to say, hey, why is there a load of damp, mildew-y clothes in the washer? I have started keeping a very short list of things I do each day in my daily calendar so I can slow time down slightly by recording what I do with/during it’s passing. It also helps me recall a certain day if I have some clues.
On another note: I have been feeling glorious lately; the sun has been shining, it’s cold but not freeze-your-face cold and I’ve been delving (back) into listening to some podcasts, etc. that help me feel good, inspired, hopeful, and centered (and/or validated). Let me say that not giving any of my time/attention to any social media, “news” or other forms of ‘information’, although it has genuinely helped me emotionally (therefore, physically), but I miss out on some things that are going on. Example: I didn’t know Oprah was doing a 2020 tour with the intention of promoting health, wellness, etc. I tuned into a few of her videos/podcasts with celebrity guests for a delightful and surprising hour of discourse about health and wellness and empowerment, etc. I was so impressed with Tracee (Joy) Ellis Ross that I’ve listened to it back to back three times. I had never heard the name, didn’t know who she was until I saw her (You Tube) and I had no idea she is one of Diana Ross’ children. I’m not impressed with any of that – I’m just stating how ‘in the dark’ I am when it comes to celebrities or ‘current’ social gossip/tabloid crap. I loved WHAT she had to say. Period. The same is true of Oprah; not a fan but I find that often what she is saying (or her guests are saying) resonates with me and makes me feel good about ME. I can’t explain it – it just is.
What spoke to me loud and clear when Ms. Ross was speaking is “living my own life” and changing the narrative and the story about what women can and can’t do and who or what they ‘get’ to be. Ms. Ross, as she states, is “choicefully single. Happily, gloriously single” and that we, still in 2020, don’t get it when women chose to be single or childless because these women choose to live their own lives, not the lives that our culture believes women – not only should live, but they should WANT to live these lives that are part of a patriarchal map. And this is underscored by the annual Bloomberg analysis that states, at the current ‘glacial’ pace measuring factors such as labor-force, education, political representation, healthcare, corporate leadership, and poverty, women won’t gain gender parity in Congress until 2108. …2108 …slightly less than ANOTHER 100 YEARS. That’s a stunning figure: another one-hundred-years before women will take their place in society as equals.
Okay, I know there’s a lot in the ‘news’/media about equality, etc. Even I tire of hearing it all. But…we, as a culture, nation, won’t make any progress if we don’t beat that drum until it’s done. Out of sight, out of mind. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It cannot be ‘old news’ when it’s a current problem. So, yes, I enjoy – no I thrive when I hear these stories from other women (and men: Dwain, the rock, Johnson was the only male who was interviewed) about their challenges and awakenings and choices and dreams. And I appreciate Oprah and others for getting out there and using their voice for the rest of us who, although we have voices, they are small and no one hears us.
This post was brought to you by: Linda G. Hill’s #SoCS: FIGURE.
My SoCS from Linda G. Hill is going to start with me whining about my arm (I’m an animal > mammal), it’s the left one, the one that had some nodes removed. I’ve been experiencing increasing ‘discomfort’ in the form of throbbing…left side of my chest, through the armpit, and down the arm – today, down toward my wrist. I know this is due to the missing lymph nodes and, probably, some lymphedema is going on…ugh. Everyday…and sometimes throughout the day, I do the lymph-massage to alleviate/prevent this from happening but I seem to notice it more on work days. Not sure why that is; I’m more busy at work so I would think the working muscles (be what they are) would make those days less prone to the ache. I do have a “sleeve” that I stopped wearing, with MD permission – or more like, she told me to stop because I told her that I’d been wearing it predominately at work and those were the worst days. Now, sleeveless makes no difference. I have an early March appointment so I’ll bring it up..and I’m sure I’ll have to make a PT appointment to measure my arms. Again…ugh.
Other animal noises are my dogs barking when they have done their business and don’t want to wait in the single-digit numbered temperature to come back in. Oh, and geese flying over…I don’t know why but I love them…to hear them “HONK” and I run outside to see if I can see them pass over in their tell-tale V. I always feel bad for stragglers and those tiny flocks with only, like, five geese.
And morning birds…particularly in the summer – dang they are loud, especially when I don’t want to be woke early. Otherwise, I do like all their ‘peeping’ when they come to the feeder.
Squirrels! They used to annoy me chattering away while I tried to peacefully lounge in my tub. I had – HAD – so many oak trees that I must have had dozens and dozens gathered in my back yard. I had many trees cut down (not because of the pesky, noisy squirrels) and now it’s much quieter…they still chatter but it’s not deafening.
The other animal noises that I really don’t like are mammals that push lawn mowers, snow-blowers, leaf-blowers, horn-blowers and shouting into their phones as they pass by my house. I don’t like the incessant sounds of cars and trucks either.
Of all the animal noises noted above, humans are the loudest and most obnoxious animals on the planet. The noise we create, not unlike everything else we create, is appropriately called “pollution”.
Oh, what to write, what to write? I’m at work and it’s the first I’ve been able to sit in five hours – not complaining – but that’s unusual for me/here. I’ve noticed all morning that my left upper arm & pit and left side of my chest is ‘achey’ today and I keep placing my arm up over and across the top of my head while I massage (lymph nodes) down my arm, pit, and lateral chest to accomplish what I presume is necessary – assist the lymphatic system. No one has, not one time, looked at me (oddly) nor inquired as to what I’m doing. I guess they either have assumed correctly or don’t care or it’s not as a unique thing to do as I suspect. Either way, I do not care, I just want to damn ache to go away.
I almost always check out the local newspaper while I’m at work, time allowing. I don’t read much of it unless I’m curious; like today I read the article about Trump post acquittal (which I didn’t know about but I am also not at all surprised) and then quickly scanned the article about the Vermont (R) governor praising Mitt Romney for having the courage and integrity to do his job (all my words but that was the gist) and stating that he, Phil Scott, didn’t/doesn’t think Trump is fit for office. I was surprised. That’s as far as I got during my wait.
It’s a beautiful sunny but cold (I love it) day here and I am sick of the sun shining on my work days while simultaneously grateful I didn’t have to commute to work during the winter storm (snow, sleet, rain, sleet – ). I packed my duffle, prepared to spend the night – per my usual – when I discovered this morning that I need to return home tonight for the pets – so I’ll return home, unpack, sleep in my own bed and drive back in tomorrow. That’s okay…I am almost finished with one audio book and I have another uploaded to start…don’t mind the trip at all.
I hope the day forward is more moderate – not such a jam-packed schedule – maybe I’ll be able to step outside for some fresh, clean, cold winter air. I hope you all have a wonderful day!