Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Snow

After a fairly quiet week, we're getting the predicted SNOW this afternoon! We had a lot of rain earlier, preceeding the dramatic temperature drop, which caused the change in the composition of the falling moisture.

Getting back to the Book Store was fun, even though I didn't even attempt to work the whole shift time. Seeing so many Friends while there was uplifting, after missing them for two weeks! And the same day, I attended the meeting of the Board of Directors for the Magnolia Cemetery Lotholders Association. That was a good time to see several other friends I hadn't seen in a while.

Hubby insisted that we attend the local theater production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" that same evening, so I had the 'fullest day' yet -- all in one.
The play was very good, and received a fairly good review in the newspaper the next day. Now we'll both reread Harper Lee's book to refresh our memories of the whole classic story.

I have picked buttercups (aka jonquils/daffodils) several times this week, keeping a colorful and cheerful bouquet of the regular size blossoms as well as my favorite minatures on the dining room table. Now the ones still in the yard may be covered up with snow in just a little while - at the rate it's coming down. Not to worry, though, since the flowers are quite resilient and hardy. I've seen them covered in several Inches of snow in other years, only to perk right back up when the snow melts.

An interesting piece of mail yesterday brought two pictures of Marshall County MS groups, a church and a school, both dating from the early 1900s. They'll be included in the next issue of the quarterly newsletter for the Marshall County Genealogical Society.

A phone call yesterday opened a whole new area of interest, when the caller described her frustrating search for her father's family genealogy. I offered every avenue I could think of for research, but she's already tried all of those places without any luck.

Another researcher came to the MCGS meeting this morning, describing his beginning search for his father's family. He wants to find the lineages before their family reunion this summer.

The internet offers many sources for research these days, and it can get to be a time-consuming passion (addiction) in short order. This visitor was advised to "start with what you know" and then use Family Bibles, the Census records and sources of that nature to dig deeper into the family history. Documentation is vital for 'proving' that your discoveries are factual and authentic and not just someone's assumptions or conjecture.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday - too early

Since my last post it's been a very quiet week - for me. Doing very little, going almost nowhere and beginning to 'crawl the wall'. Maybe a good rest was needed, but enough is enough.

I had not been hospitalized for over 20 years, and then it was for a serious gall bladder surgery - the old-fashioned way. I stayed 8 days that time. Prior to that exerience, my hospital visits were to give birth - five times.

The local hospital is excellent, a great place to go if you need to be in a hospital. BUT it is not a place for R & R. Tests of all kinds, including a chemical stress test in the Nuclear medicine section, were exhausting. Seems like every time I almost relaxed, a nurse was there to add another pole or bag of something to drip from the existing pole, or take blood, or check my vitals. Even in the middle of the night, they made their appointed rounds.

I remember thinking that one very attractive middle-of-the-night nurse had beautiful dark braids hanging down her shirt front. I admired her hair style -- until I realized that she was actually wearing a ponytail, and the 'braids'were her stethoscope hanging around her neck.

But that is all behind me now, and the one prescription I brought home seems to be doing its job of keeping the 'fluttering' in check. At least that's the way the ER doctor described what my heart was doing. Instead of a steady pumping action, it was 'fluttering'.

So this week, instead of going somewhere every day, I have limited my activities to one mid-week meeting and one more tomorrow - a luncheon. The forecast is not as nice as I would have wanted for tomorrow, with cold rain and a slight possibility of some snow (NOT MUCH the TV weatherman said). I just hope everyone will be able to come to the luncheon as planned, without interference from the sky.

I finished two good books this week, and wished each one would have been longer. Anne Rivers Siddons always captures my imagination and keep me enthralled from her first pages. The other novel was a new-to-me author and an interesting story.
I need to get back to the Used Book Store soon, to replenish my supply of reading materials. I really missed my volunteer hours at the Book Store this week, but Friends covered for me. I fully intend to be back in gear next week!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Surprised? Yes.

This week was going along just like all my weeks recently, with something on the calendar for Every day. Charlotte and I scheduled her physical therapy for Wednesday instead of Friday, since the St. Andrew's Episcopal church's Valentine Luncheon would be on Friday, and I had already bought tickets.

Wednesday evening I logged on to my computer, and oh Brother ... Problems ! It was so slow loading that I was almost jumping up and down, impatiently wishing it would hurry up. Finally, after rebooting a couple of times, I got back on my Outlook Explorer page, and it locked up. Nothing would move.

We unplugged everything, and took it to the Computer store. They built both of our computers, so all our problems go back to them for service. They promised to have a look at it in 2-3 days.
That was the best they could offer, with a desk full of repair jobs waiting.

Ok, we came on home, and I used Alan's computer for a sort time, before bedtime, Just to try to keep up with emails. I'm saying all this, laying a possible foundation for what came later, since I was SO frustrated with the computer problems.

AT midnight, I woke from a sound sleep with my heart pounding and pounding. I checked my blood pressure and it was within normal range. Okay.. I debated for a long time... do I wake Alan or not? Do I want to go the ER route, or not? Finally, I decided to read a while, but elected to stay in our bedroom - in case I needed Alan. The light woke him anyway. We both debated a while longer, but decided to go on to the Collierville Baptist Hospital Emergency Room. Good Decision. As a 'heart patient', I was ushered into the inner sanctum almost immediately, and everything moved quickly from then on. The nurses were great, the ER Doctor ordered a chest x-ray and immediately diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation... fluttering of the top sections of the heart. The doctor asked if I had a cardiologist, and upon hearing my "No", he said "You do now. Dr. Ray Allen will be your doctor, and we are admitting you as soon as the paperwork is complete."

I was admitted to a 2nd floor room on the cardiac wing at about 6 a.m. Thursday morning. From then until my discharge on Saturday morning, it was Test Test Test, IV IV IV IV, and more.
I was given a CT Scan, an Echocardiogram, a Nuclear Stress Test and an Ultrasound on my legs in case there were clots causing my slight ankle swelling. Vitals were checked regularly, around the clock, and blood drawn for testing each time a new medicine was given.

Since I had only One hour sleep on Wednesday night, I was ready to call Thursday a day by 9 p.m. I slept (except for the nurses coming in for regular checkups) until 6 a.m Friday. Felt a lot better, too. The Nuclear Stress Test on Friday nearly did me in, though. Five patients being tested on two machines meant a lot of waiting, and I was hungry too (NPO from midnight).
The very nice technician wheeled me to the Nuclear medicine unit at 7:30, and I didn't get back to my room until about 11 a.m. Lunch finally caught up with me, and I enjoyed every bite.

It seems like I was hospitalized for a lot longer time than 2+ days. I enjoyed family members' visits and the medical personel kept me busy with all those tests. The cardiologist's partner came by the room at 9:30 Friday night and said I could go home on Saturday morning. A couple of phone calls alerted my hubby and son... and they were there right on time to bring me home! We picked up my repaired computer on the way home, and I have been busy catchin' up with 192 emails (collected in that short time !) and FaceBook entries.

We are fortunate to have such an excellent Hospital so close by. The staff and personnel are all very well trained and nice, too. I still think it was my computer-frustration that set off the atrial fibrillation, but I could be way off base. It might have been coincidental.

I'm Very thankful for a large and loving family and many friends who care for me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another week - almost gone

Another week is almost complete, with 'something to do' every day. My calendar just stays that way almost all the time. Those rare days - when the block for the day has nothing written on it - are precious to me whether I use them productively or just squander the time.

I am glad to be finished with all the reports that had to be mailed on or before deadline. While that is a 'dreaded' job, it's also a rewarding one as we review the year's work and, hopefully, progress. One more item remains to be finished: the Regent's Annual Letter. This will be a narrative summary of the same work reported on the other forms, but is limited to 250 words. That requires extra diligence to eliminate superfluous words, tighten up the paragraphs and get the message across.

Our town's new Mayor was the guest speaker at our Friends meeting the other day. He gave an interesting talk, and fielded some thought-provoking questions. I have every confidence that he will be an excellent leader, and will actually listen to his constituents. Too bad we don't feel the same rapport with 'leaders' in other areas of 'government'.

It's always fun to serve my volunteer time at the Book Store. The people who come in are generally willing to stay and visit a while as they browse the great selection of used books we offer. Occasionally we'll see an old friend who we haven't seen in a long time, and that's always a nice treat. Sometimes there will be somebody who knows somebody we know - so we connect that way. My shift was particularly busy this week, with quite a few young mothers bringing their small children in to check on the 'children's section'. Then a flurry of adults stopped by before and after another meeting at the Library. Folks are still coming in to see the White House Gardens exhibit. The films shown in connection with the exhibit have been excellent. Part 2 of "The Presidents' Wives" was as interesting as the first part. I'm looking forward to the final film, which is scheduled for next week.

We were saddened by the sudden, unexpected death of another long-time DAR friend. She had just had her 81st birthday with her family, and was 'feeling fine' at the dinner. She will be sorely missed in all circles.