August 10, 2021 – Photo

I call this photo ‘As the Crow Flies’. When I was attempting to take photos of the sunset, I heard a crow cawing loudly. When I took a look around, I noticed one approaching from the west, its wings outstretched in flight. I only managed to capture three images, and of those three, this was the best. Unfortunately, I think something’s amiss with my SD card because it’s showing all of my files as ‘corrupt’. Before it went belly up, at least I was able to rescue one image. Might be time to reformat the card. It’s a bummer to take a bunch of pictures and not be able to retrieve any of them.


August 9, 2021 – Kidney Surgery (Bad Patient Syndrome)

My friends, I started writing this post months ago and because I am completely exhausted (for reasons I’ll explain another day) and need to get some rest, I’m going to try and stitch it together and present it to you in the most cohesive way possible (rather than starting from scratch, which is what I usually do). With my very difficult mother-in-law being placed in a care home in recent days, I found this topic relevant. She is known for giving people a run for their money and I imagine she’s putting the nursing and care staff (at the facility she just moved in to) through pure hell at this very moment. As odd as it sounds, I find this comforting. Let’s be clear, it doesn’t give me pleasure knowing that she’s putting people through hell, however, what does give me pleasure is knowing that because of her, I’m not the worst patient who exists on this planet. Ordinarily, in a competition, I like to be awarded the top prize. In this particular case, I’m more than happy to come in a distant second. So in an attempt to help you understand how lousy of a patient I am, I thought I’d share a bit about when I had my kidney transplant.

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August 7, 2021 – Unexpected Blessings (Part Two)

Welcome back! Before I begin, I have to tell you that this has been a rough week for so many people I know. I’m not sure what’s going on but it feels like there’s been some weird cosmic shift in the universe. Apparently, we’re not the only ones trying to look for a suitable home for a loved one, my father-in-law has been looking as well (for his wife/my mother-in-law). He did manage to find a semi-suitable place but it’s anything but ideal. He doesn’t have the means to ‘private pay’, so he’s only able to put his wife somewhere that accepts Medicaid. The poor guy has been taking care of his wife (with very little assistance) for the last 4-5 years, and he’s at his wit’s end. Yesterday, he received the ‘go ahead’ from a facility nearby, so he went and gathered up her things and ‘dropped her off’. It’s one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do, but he knew he couldn’t continue to be his wife’s caregiver. Needless to say, once he got her settled in, he stuck around for about 4 hours. When he was preparing to leave and say his goodbyes, he stood in the doorway to her room. She was seated in a chair and staring him squarely in the eyes. According to what he told my husband, the look she gave him could have burnt a hole through him.

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August 6, 2021 – Photo

Have you ever heard of the term ‘Waking up on the wrong side of the bed’? That was me this morning. After I finished my post (last night/this morning), I crawled into bed. I believe it was around 2:30am. Shortly after 6am, I was awakened with a start to the sound of dueling chainsaws. Within a matter of minutes, a ‘chipper’ joined in. I grumpily climbed out of bed and walked over to the window to see what the heck was going on. From what I observed, a tree crew from one of the local landscaping companies had shown up to remove a couple of dead/dying trees from out in front of the hospital. After looking out the window, I shook my head in disgust. I tried to return to bed to catch up on some much-needed sleep but the jarring sounds continued, because once the chainsaws and woodchipper were no longer needed, a stump grinder and industrial leaf blower were put to use. I’ll put it this way, it’s not been a good day. I ended up taking a nap this afternoon but it didn’t help much. I sure hope tomorrow is better. Sigh.

August 5, 2021 – Unexpected Blessings (Part One)

I have to tell you, this past week has been a blur! Fortunately, it started off and ended on a ‘high note’ as the week began with an offer on my/our home and ended with successfully finding a home to move my mom into. I feel like I’ve been on a wild amusement park ride or possibly a combination of three (the Jungle Cruise + Indiana Jones Adventure + Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey). The thing is, there’s no way I could have achieved the positive results I did without the help of others, especially when it came down to finding a safe, loving home for my mom. And it all happened so unexpectedly! If you’ve read any of my posts in the last few days, you’d be aware of the drama involving my mom and her current living situation. The best way to sum it up? My mother’s dementia has significantly worsened since we placed her in an assisted living facility, so much so that the nursing staff (where she lives) is no longer able to provide her with adequate care. We were advised (my brother, my sister-in-law, and myself) at a meeting last week that we needed to be ‘actively pursuing’ other accommodations for her. The words ‘safety risk’ were mentioned.

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August 4, 2021 – Photo

This is a photo of my brother’s cat, Tiger. He is 16 years old and not a terribly friendly cat but still quite curious. Considering the fact that he’s an ‘old man’ at this point, it makes total sense. He stays a cautious distance from me at all times. I had to use my telephoto lens to get a decent picture of him because he runs off if I get too close. Tiger has a sibling named Pepper who/that is slightly smaller in stature but similar in disposition. Because I’ve had to dedicate the last few days to assisting with my mom, I’ve had very little time to put my shutterbug skills to work, but at least I managed to provide you with something that wasn’t from my ‘archive’. Anyway, I thought it captured his personality pretty well.

August 3, 2021 – Putting out fires.

My phone ‘beeped’ the other day, indicating someone was trying to reach me. When I checked to see who it was, I noticed it was my brother (Clover). “Give me a call when you can,” his message read. I immediately phoned him. The gist of the conversation was that the situation with my mother had reached a critical stage and that the care facility where she was staying was requiring that we provide and pay for a caregiver to be with her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And it wasn’t something that we were given time to sort out, they wanted to implement the changes immediately. It put all of us in a heck of a bind, suffice to say, and sent my brother into a tailspin. He immediately called me (in a panic) and requested my assistance. “Can you be here tomorrow?” he asked. I sensed the desperation in his voice and assured him I absolutely would be there, I just needed to know ‘when’. “I’ll be with her all day, so whenever you’re able,” he replied. “I’ll see you tomorrow!” I assured him once again. After we ended our phone conversation, I went from first gear to fourth, rushing about, trying to knock out everything I needed to accomplish before making the trip over.

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August 2, 2021 – Original Artwork

I was going to post a nature photo today but I couldn’t find anything that really ‘spoke’ to me, so I decided to share one of my paintings. Years ago, during photography class, my instructor asked me to take close-ups of different objects. As it happened, I had a calculator handy. I really liked how the image turned out; therefore, I eventually turned it into an acrylic painting. It looks very little like the original calculator, but I enjoyed doing it, and I love the simplicity of it. I hope you enjoy it, too.

August 1, 2021 – Moving On

If you don’t think 2.5 milligrams of steroids can make much of a difference in a person’s well being, think again! I certainly didn’t think that minute amount could have such a detrimental impact on my health, but it did. I went from completing a bunch of projects on the house and painting up a storm to laying around, practically brain-dead, and devoid of energy. And it all came about because I went in for my quarterly appointment with my kidney specialist and he suggested we reduce the quantity I was on by 2.5 milligrams (just a smidge). He felt it was a good idea because of the harmful effects higher doses of steroids have on the body over time. If I only had to be on them for a little while, a higher dose is not a big deal, but such is not the case. I am on them for the remainder of my life. Even though it’s rather a pain to have to remember to take them each day, I am grateful for them (and modern medicine). I owe my life and continue to thrive (in part) due to steroids, tacrolimus, and mycophenolate. Without them, my body would try to vaporize my ‘borrowed’ kidney and that would leave me in quite a quandary!

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