Tuesday, August 24, 2021

A Beautiful Start to the Day

 We left the house at 6 AM. The "waning gibbous moon" had not yet set. (I had to look up what you call a moon that was full two days ago, but now has a tiny nip taken out of it. ) The air was cool and pleasant. We saw only a few people out and about.

We were on our way to the lab for a test I have to get three times a year to see if the powerful medication I take for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is leaving my liver alone. Liver damage is just one of the possible side effects of this miracle drug. Only one other patient was ahead of me. I was in and out in no time. 

IPF makes you cough. I am glad I didn't cough in the waiting room or during the blood draw. People would have thought I had Covid for sure and I would have gotten dirty looks, even though I was wearing a mask. 

Sunday was my 81st birthday. Our daughters came over and brought dinner, most of which I couldn't eat. My appetite is still a distant memory. "No appetite" is another side effect of my medication.  I have become a skeleton. I don't know whether to get clothes that fit (size 4 as opposed to my normal size 8) or to keep on hoping and trying to regain some weight.

I confessed to my daughters that I am guilty of what I call "IPF Kabuki."  I frequently act as if I am worse off than I really am, if only to make sure that everyone knows I need to be taken care of.  I still have not accepted the fact that I have this disease and that limits have been imposed on my life, against my will.  I realize that every person on earth is subject to limits, and that I am hardly alone in this. Still, there is something about chronic illness with a stated life-expectancy of "3-5 years after diagnosis" that dims your hopes. 

That said, from what I read on line, I don't seem to be that bad off. I may be wrong, but I suspect I could be doing more. Instead,  I have been lolling around, having my kind-hearted spouse bring me this and that and do more than his share around the house. Meanwhile, I have stopped doing all of the things that are supposed to be helpful in my situation. No exercise for over a month. Not pushing myself to eat more. Not doing any breathing exercises.  I am pouting, I guess. I am just so angry and so unaccepting of what has happened to me.  I need to grow up.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Breakfast at Burger King

Photo by Richard Sacredo on Unsplash

On the way home from a week at our cabin in Knox County OH, we bought our breakfast at the drive-through window at Burger King and then found a spot in the parking lot. My husband was so charmed by our close encounter with a red-winged blackbird that he wrote this story. 


We paid for our breakfast croissant sandwiches and parked to enjoy them. I put down the car window and started opening my sandwich. A bird is trying to fly into our car! What is happening? I start rolling the window back up. The bird is fluttering, suspended just outside the driver's side window, squawking.  It's a redwing blackbird,  its red (patch) brilliant in the morning light.

We get the message right away. He's earned a bit of my sandwich. I toss it out and it's quickly gone.

Wait. There are more of them. A whole family is on the pavement outside the car door. I toss out another crumb. An apparently young bird shyly pecks at it. Its siblings look on, but do not challenge him. They are taking turns!

Several more crumbs, and it's my turn. I settle to enjoy my croissant sandwich. But there he is again. The brilliant father is perched on my side mirror only inches away, looking me square in the face, squawking--resplendent in the prime of his life. How can I deny him?

These birds seem very orderly and know exactly what they are doing. So if you're heading east from Coshocton on Ohio's Route 36 and are stopping for breakfast at the Burger King, buy a little extra. 


Saturday, August 7, 2021

I Know They Have to Repair the Roads, but . . .

 A week ago, on our way home from a vacation at our cabin in Knox County, OH, we were cruising along on US Route 40 east of Uniontown, PA, when we suddenly encountered a "Road Closed" sign.  Oh no!!

The 25-mile detour took us along a narrow, 2-lane, winding country road. Near Confluence, PA we laughed at the name of a nearby town--"Lower Turkeyfoot"--but otherwise, our mood was grim. When was this detour ever going to end? It threatened to go on forever. It bypassed our usual rest stop in Addison, PA and finally dumped us off near the Mason-Dixon Line. The sign on a roadhouse said, "You survived the detour! Let's party!"  All we could think of at that point was getting home, so we kept going.