He Could Be on a Bike Ride

Tomorrow, Monday, June 19, the beginning of another possibly long week. A week that for me, at the moment, consists of Monday through Friday as those are the days professional offices are in and open. I wait Monday through Friday to hear some kind of news. If you have been following my posts at all you will know that I still wait to find out whether or not the remains found off the road not far from a small town close to Boulder, Colorado are those of my older brother. I’ve been waiting since  November 2016 to find out. Last week I found out the Labs in Texas  didn’t start processing the DNA samples until May 27th. I guess they process in the order they come in. However, a very nice young lady promised me she would call the bi-weekly now. Our hope is that the lab in Texas will tire of hearing from us and get it done.

Every day I awake with him on my mind. Is he dead? Or is he just off on one of his long get-aways on his bike and will turn up somewhere, sometime. He is seventy-one now and it seems those rides should not be so long. His cabin did burn down though, and who knows, he could have just picked up and moved on settling in another small town somewhere just as he did before.  No one would know him and he would be able to just start over again, no questions, doing odd jobs to survive and get him started. It seems strange to me that he could cut all ties with family, all family. The last time I saw him was December, 1998. I’m his sister for Peat’s sake. How does he not wonder about me. I guess probably he does not wonder about anything anymore. I, in spite of my goings on, believe this body to be him. I don’t want to believe that but I do. But I must wait until I get the DNA results to know for sure. Tomorrow ….

Advertisements

More Than Just a Stiff Neck

I promised more with this post, the one that was said to be for yesterday but isn’t showing up until possibly tomorrow, however, I don’t know how much more I can fill in tonight. Again its late and I’ve had a very full day. We’ve been working on getting new bank accounts and it seems that isn’t the easiest thing to get done. We froze all of ours several days ago, Monday I think, because my computer had been hacked. The hacker had everything and it really knocked me for a loop. I did get everything shut down before he could get into my bank accounts and get any money but just knowing that he has been here is scary. My dear son-in-law who is a genius when it comes to computers, backed up all  my files and wiped my computer clean, then restored my programs with new virus protection. I can count on him to take care of all my computer, phone, television and so forth problems. He’s wonderful with all that. I did recently find out though that plants are another story. I’ve lost a few here and there while he’s in the learning process but I’m having so much fun watching the joy on his face as he learns about life in the country and what is a plant versus what is weeds, and that if the tractor breaks while he is driving, it isn’t necessarily his fault as tractors have a way of breaking no matter who the driver is, just when a part is worn, it’s worn and unless you catch it before it breaks, well, you aren’t in the hot seat, you just help fix it again. Back to banking, we only got one of our accounts dealt with and our medications picked up from the drugstore before I wore out, the bank having taken almost all afternoon. I wear out easily these days since I had the neck surgery I mentioned in previous posts. That happened on May 5 and went incredibly well. My neurosurgeon I think I may have posted before is the best the West Coast has to offer. He did his job well.  A week after returning home from the hospital, I fell during the night. I must have stepped wrong but managed to get my husbands attention and he got me back to bed. Now if I’d only stayed there. Instead, I arose again, went in the bathroom and for some reason, whether I passed out or just what, I fell against a small stool, a potted plant and a large wardrobe which, next time I saw it it still sat crocked from me falling against it. I was lucky it didn’t fall on me. It has since been moved from the bathroom, however, the next time I saw it was a week later because I ended up in an ambulance and back at the hospital. Not only was I in bad, really bad, shape from the fall, I was worried I’d done something to my new surgery. I didn’t. After x-rays the Dr assured me all the screws were right where he put hem. I was really banged up though and even weaker after the fall than I had been after the surgery. I spent another week in the hospital. Now, May was not a good month for me, as after being home not quite a week again, having had our daughter and our other son-in-law out for lunch, and we were all sitting around talking, her and I about crochet, when I started having chest pain. Actually, I’d been having it quite a while and had quietly gone in, taken some antacid medicine and continued on, but it just got worse and worse when my daughter noticed I was having a problem. She called my other daughter who lives next door, they took my blood pressure, which of course was high, and since I’d had an aspirin that morning they gave me a nitro-tablet. First one didn’t help but the pain went away with the second one. I was fine the rest of the day but promised the girls I’d call the Dr.  Long story short, it was Friday, I called, The Dr wanted to see me. They did an EKG ,which was showing some difference from the last one I had done and back to the hospital we went. Another week full of tests ruling out every thing they could think of and here I am again back home. I’m slow, I still have somewhat of a balance problem, and still have pain from the falls and surgery, which by the way, I had my six-week check up yesterday and all is fine,  but I will be spending another seven weeks in my cervical collar,  I can take it off for a few minutes when I’m just sitting and I’m sure there won’t be anything to make me jump up. My husband says that’s impossible but I think I can manage.  He thinks he was being funny, but I’m not convinced. I got to see my x-rays yesterday and I was shocked. I had no idea the extent of this. I understood they were doing work on C2 to T1 and that was a lot but I didn’t realize exactly what that meant. Now I do. I’ll leave you with those pictures which clearly show the two rows with six screws in each.  I’m still at a loss for words when viewing these.

 

Daily, Well maybe…

When I first started writing my blog it was because I had figured I wrote everyday anyway so why not share some of it with others. I thought I had things others would be interested in and maybe sometimes I might even help some one with something through my words and insight. So off I went on my journey down the “Daily” blog road and at the first turn hit a wall. It was that word. DAILY. DAILY. All of a sudden there was nothing to write about DAILY. What? It was easy before I committed to it. Now, suddenly, my life was boring, my mind was blank and I felt like a fool. How could this happen. My career as a blogger was done. I no longer could write any thing let alone something someone else might be interested in. I put away my thoughts of  becoming awe inspiring through my wisdom with words. A week went by. I was bored. A friend called. The pen by the phone seemed to navigate to my fingers as we talked. I scribbled, I drew trees, then buildings then mountains as we carried on our conversation and made plans for lunch the following day. I hung up the phone and went back to my computer. I thought anyone who can conquer mountains while planning lunch can surly write a blog. I began writing and the words came easily. They didn’t come out in a blog daily but I felt if I just left that word out of the equation I’d do just fine. So folks daily I’m not but I hope when I add something new to my pages you will get something out of what I write. Of late, I have written nothing again. When I follow up this post, you’ll understand. but for now, it’s late, I’m tired and I’m headed for bed because you see, its my blog, I can finish anytime I want, write as much or as little as I want and get back to you on my time frame. So any of you others out there that feel intimidated by that little word, daily, or feel you are obligated to anyone but yourself when doing your blog, relax. Just relax, enjoy your writing and it will come to you. Have a wordless day? They will flow like a river tomorrow. I’ll say good night now and I hope you all will return tomorrow. My silence has had many pages.

Gumption

Positive.  Positive outlook. Positive attitude. Positive is something that anyone who knows me would swear on the bible that I am. Everyone who knows me knows that I believe almost anything can be dealt with if you bring a positive attitude into the equation right from the start. Most see me as a happy person, with goals, with spirit, and a loving, generous, soul that would do anything for anyone. I pretty much see myself that way too.
Lately though, the challenges have been plenty. I have shared many of those challenges here in my writing. Well, to be honest I have actually, opened myself up and let everything out.  I was pretty overwhelmed with everything that was going on at first. I’m still a bit dazed by much of it but I decided the only thing I can do is put one foot in front of the other every step of the way with a smile and a positive attitude and know that I am doing the best that can be expected of me and by me. In the end I will know I faced it all with courage. I won’t have let any of those who look up to me down by giving in to the negative thoughts that can take hold if you let them and most of all I won’t have let myself down. I know that getting through what is still yet to come I will need that courage and the positive attitude. If I were telling one of my children how to do this I’d be saying, “You’ve got to have gumption.” Yep, it all can be summed up in one word. Gumption. Me…of course I’ve got it. Always have and always will.

A Little Less Zip Please

via Daily Prompt: Zip

In the springtime of yesteryear

many a day would zip right by

nearly everything was ecstatically good

I felt but for a pair of wings I could lift myself and  fly

Now and again one of those days would come

when everything was boring and slow, plainly just a drag

I’d be thinking to myself  this is  so extremely  dumb

how’d my life go from tremendous and cool to undeniably bad

But now that fall has come into my life

the day zips by before I’ve barely slipped from beneath my covers

it’s fair to say I’ve had a change of heart

and now I’m wishing for more  slow, boring days like those others

I no longer dream of being the best

achieving everything as great and before my brothers

and the things that used to be a drag

are now favorites amongst my druthers

Life As I Live It

A brief recap for those unaware of the situations in my life at the moment. I just posted, “Waiting” Waiting…and to read that post will answer any question you might have. I’ll try to do the thing about connecting this post to that one but I’m not sure I have any idea as to how to do it.

However, part of the wait is over. I got a call from the Neurosurgeon’s office today and I finally have a date.  I’m happy, although still very apprehensive, to say the surgery is scheduled for May 5. The surgery will be to put screws in four of the vertebra in my neck. Numbers  two, three, four, and five are quite severely effected, pinching my spine, irritating, rubbing and deteriorating  the sheath which should be surrounding it but is severely compromised at this time.   This has been going on for evidently a long period of time but despite my complaints to Dr’s along the way no effort has really been made to correct the situation. Actually, I knew I had degenerative disk disease but had no idea this was taking place in my neck and in my lower back. That will require another surgery down the road. I also had no idea that at some time in my life I had fractured my low back. I have had pain for as long as I can remember so guessing when that might have happened would be useless.  Add arthritis to what I have just explained and you have a pretty good picture of what has been going on.  Oh, no, wait, …I don’t believe I ever mentioned the fact that I also have Fibromyalgia.

I was going on with things doing most of my usual activities the best I could do them until I fell out in my yard late last September.  Who knew, what I thought to be a simple “Ooops, that was clumsy of me,” fall down pretty much on my face, and then up again without too much effort, would turn into the months of agony that I have gone through. Then, about a month later, I turned around while vacuuming to retrieve some cord, lost my balance and fell again. Just another “Oops,” but this one did require my husbands help in getting up. It was after this that my doctor decided things needed to be looked into. Two falls in a months time didn’t set well with him. Tests were begun and over the next couple of months I took two more falls. This was not a usual thing for me. At this time besides the surgery I have orders for an x-ray on my shoulder and my elbow due to the last fall at which time I also jarred something in my vision causing double and triple vision. I had to get new glasses with a prism in them to try to pull my sight back to normal. Now, like I was saying, simple falls, nothing to be alarmed about, or so I thought. I am now using a cane and sometimes a walker. I’m not allowed to do any vacuuming, reaching, lifting or walking in my yard. I don’t drive partly due to taking medications and partly because I don’t trust myself to be fully capable and aware.

I am not old. Never thought of myself as old and did fairly good at taking care of most things in my life including gardening, walking, playing with my dogs and grandkids, and doing all the household chores. Now, I can do very little.

I guess this is where I say to you, one reason for this detailed post on these injuries, is don’t ignore these kind of things if they start happening in your life as you move gracefully into your later years. Also, if you have a physician that does not take these complaints seriously, find a new one.

I honestly believed everyone had pain, lived with pain, dealt with it and that I was just being a whiner until today, when a friend told me she didn’t have any pain to deal with. I said, “You must have something, somewhere.” She replied with a definite , NO. That is really a concept  I find hard to believe.

Not as briefly as I had figured on, that is my update on life in general around here for me. Hopefully, by Monday, I will get an answer on the DNA results. I don’t know how I’m going to handle that one if it is a positive match. All I can do at this point is continued prayer and prepare for my upcoming procedure. One good note on this is that all my girls will be here for this.  I am thankful for that.

 

Note:  Well, how about that. Adding the “link” up above in my post worked. I guess you can learn something new everyday if you just give it a try.

Daily Prompt

I WAS TOTALLY FLABBERGASTED TO LEARN THAT MY EARLY CHILDHOOD HAD BEEN AN EXERCISE IN ABSTRACT EXISTENCE PERFORMED BY AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY. HOW COULD IT BE THAT EVERYONE KNEW WHAT LYE BEYOND THE DARK CURTAIN HANGING JUST BEYOND MY REACH AND STILL, NOT A SOUL LET  A SLIVER OF LIGHT SLIP THROUGH THE TINY CRACKS OF THE CURTAIN AS THEY PEEKED WITH CURIOSITY TO SEE THE CHILD THAT BEEN PLUCKED FROM THE DEVASTATING SCENE WHICH IN REALITY HAD BEEN ACTUALLY OBSERVED BY VERY FEW OF THEM.

The Clock Ticks Loudly But The Hands Aren’t Moving

(cont. from 2-16-2017)

 

It has been nineteen years since we’ve seen him but the tears unexpectedly came swiftly as Detective Marc said those words. It felt like only yesterday that he sat on my couch looking out the window as we spoke of trivial matters. I still don’t know if my tears were  because if this “body” is him,  he’ll never sit there again, we’ll never talk again ,trivial matters or otherwise, or if they are partially caused because I hadn’t let myself fully understand the depth of  the report from my Doctor, until today, which began with words like spinal cord, surgery,  immediately, and every other statement that  followed  spoke of “severe,” such as severe impingement and sever deterioration. Since getting the MRI report back and since Detective Marc called, my head has been in a fog. Nothing is making sense and I’m feeling totally nauseous.   It’s as if time is standing still while the old clock on the mantel is yelling profanities at me with every strike.

Waiting…

Twice I have tried writing about this. Twice I stopped before I got to the point of my blog. Those of you who have read “Waiting” and “The Clock Ticks Loudly but The Hands Aren’t Moving” will note that I have combined the two posts here. I will once again try to tell this story. If you have read  my  “About” introduction,  you know that most of my posts are about my life.  Most everything I write are true facts. I don’t want to sound as if I am complaining, or as one might say, whining, looking for sympathy but what follows are just the facts and my feelings as this all unfolds, This story doesn’t have an ending yet so if you are interested in following to the end, be patient. It will come, eventually.  There is an ending or an outcome to every story in one’s life, not always what we want or hope for, pray for, but each story does  come to an end. Here, we have two intertwined stories taking place at the same time and both include plenty of hopes and prayers and yes, patience.

I’ll begin here back at the beginning of “Waiting” so that you can put everything in order and perspective.

Nov. 15, 2016

Its been about three months since Detective Marc called to tell me that they had found his cabin burned to the ground. They had only gone to check because one of the townspeople reported that he hadn’t been seen around town since September. He too was familiar with the man know to most only  as the mountain man  and had noted that he hadn’t seen him on his bike around town for quite some time. There was no sign of him at the cabin. A week later Detective Mark called to say they had taken the cadaver dogs up to the cabin and again nothing. There was no body. I gave a small sigh of relief. Now, he was just missing again.

We rarely knew where he was or what he was doing. Nothing about how or where he lived or if he had family. Now and then, usually with many years between times, he would just show up either at my other brothers house or at Mom or Dad’s, on the doorstep with a backpack in hand. We had come to expect this from him. This time though, it had been too long. We tried to locate him when Dad got sick, having no luck at all.  Dad died, without him there. I was sick at heart for this fact. That was 2009. Then in 2013 he still had not been located. We tried. Mom was sick. Early in 14 she too passed without seeing him again.

After that I just gave up on him for a while. It seemed impossible to locate him. But as each year drew close to December, his birthday and Christmas, I’d found myself praying that he was on one of his cross-country bike trips headed home. This was the time he would have shown up, the time of year when he had shown up previously.  Every year my heart sank when he didn’t come.

Yesterday, startled out of my deep thoughts into reality,  I stiffened as I looked at the number and picked up the ringing phone.

“Hello Detective. Do you have any news?”

“Sandy. We found a body.”

It had been nineteen years since we’d seen him but the tears unexpectedly came swiftly as Detective Marc said those words.  It was 1998 but it felt like only yesterday that he sat on my couch looking out the window as we spoke of trivial matters. I still don’t know if my tears were  because,  if this “body” is him,  he’ll never sit there again, we’ll never talk again ,trivial matters or otherwise, or,  if they were partly caused because I had only just let myself fully understand the depth of  the report from my Doctor,  which began with words like spinal cord, surgery,  immediately, and every other statement that  followed  spoke of “severe,” such as severe impingement and severe deterioration more words like be careful, no falls, no lifting, one wrong move,  wheelchair, for the rest of your life. That is where my thoughts were when I picked up the phone. Now, nothing was making sense and I was feeling totally nauseous. I heard he detectives voice repeating those words . A body, they had found a body. Not too far from where his cabin had been. There was no way to tell if it was him. They would need a DNA sample from me to get a match to see if it was  him. I agreed of course, said goodbye to Detective Marc, and  ran to the bath room and vomited. I saw my older brothers face, as I knew it, then pictured me in a wheel chair and vomited again,  as the reality of why they needed the DNA set in. Still in much of a daze, I made my way back through the house, headed for the back door to call my husband in and try to tell him about the call. Stopping to hold on to the fireplace mantle for a minute hoping the dizziness would pass, I looked up at the old clock. The one that was much older than myself or my brother. The one that Dad had given me as his years were leaving him just as they were leaving Grandpa when he gave the clock to Dad. I remembered him saying that if I ever saw my brother again, the clock was supposed to have been his. That’s what grandpa had wanted.  The clock, as if set to do so at that precise moment chimed the three o,clock hour.

“You stupid clock. I should throw you in the trash.” I grumbled as I ever so slowly moved on to find Steve.   The clock hadn’t run for years. The hands never moved, yet, everyday, it would chime at the three o’clock hour.  At that moment, it was as if time was standing still whilst the old clock on the mantel stood yelling profanities at me with each strike and each slow step I took. My three felt like thirty.

Now, I am waiting. Waiting to get DNA results. Is the body they have found that of my missing brother? I probably won’t know until towards the end of the month. I had talked to the Coroner and he told me it took two months to get results back. That will be around the twenty-third. Everyday is torture. The not knowing almost drives one crazy. I haven’t seen him for so long but still, he is my brother and if this is him I will die myself a little more inside. My heart is aching and pleading with me to just hold on.  Along with that I wait too to find out when I will be having surgery. The physical pain that has plagued me for so many years finally has an answer. Well, at least part of it. Some of it is just there and always will be. That’s another story. However, the back pain that I had resolved to be a part of my forever life, now has a possible fix. I took a fall last September and have been going down hill ever since. Problems that had been there for what seems like forever increased to a point of needing a MRI. The answers that came with that procedure were hard to believe. It’ll take a couple of surgeries but the possibilities without the surgery are not an option. Already, my hands feel like clubs because of the nerve damage. It is difficult to write (type) so I have done little of it.  However, I, like many of you, use writing as an outlet. Writing is my salvation. Writing eases the pain and takes away the time that moves so slowly. I haven’t been able to say these words let alone put them on paper. I didn’t know how. I haven’t shared any of his with anyone except my family. I finally decided it was time to write again.  So this is it. This is why my life is in a holding pattern.  All this is why no one has heard from me, why life stands still, and why my heart and my stomach just wrench with complete pain and fear. Fear of the unknown can so completely render a persons whole being incapable of functioning in a normal manner.   So now,  I just wait for the insurance to give authorization and the paper work to all be in order. I wait for the surgeons call to set a date and,  of most importance,  I wait for the next call from Detective Marc.  That should be only a couple of days away at this point. The twenty-third they said. We should hear something by the twenty-third.

Waiting…………..yes absolutely,  waiting………..is pure hell.