Saturday, January 27, 2007

Osteoporosis and the Flying Nun

Many years ago Sally Field starred in a cute little show called "The Flying Nun". Her nun's headiece had these extensions that looked like wings and she'd take off on the updrafts at unexpected moments.
This past week, during the 6 p.m. news, she was on a couple of times advertising a drug called Boniva, used to treat osteoporisis in post-menopausal women.
The commercial starts off with Sally lamenting about a friend who has to set aside time "once a week" to take her op pill, when Boniva only needs to be taken once a month. The first time I saw this, I was livid, thinking about how would these people cope with diabetes, which needs attention throughout each day - and here she is (or rather the script writers) attempting to appeal to consumers
with "once a month" versus "once a week". Give me a break.
This morning when I got up I was going to write a post about how once again we have evidence that those on the outside "just don't get it" blah blah blah. But instead, my heart suddenly started to swell with immense pride. Pride for all of us, - that we, in a noble, effective manner deal with the "daily grind" (as Chrissie puts it) of diabetes self-care. That, in itself, is a soaring victory.
I left to go shopping and my neighbor across the street said, "Hi Kathy, you look like you day's off to a good start". And it was, even when the cash machine ate my card.
Look for the good - it's out there.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

"Please wait. This may take several minutes."

Well, I appear to have finally successfully installed my highspeed internet service. The man at the mall who sold it to me said it would take 20 minutes to accomplish - for me it took 3 days. Yikes. But, I'm looking forward to hearing the music and seeing the videos that some of you use to embellish your posts.

Thanks to all of you who sent good wishes on behalf of my mother. Please know that your comments truly made a difference in helping me stay calm. She had been home for a week and doing relatively well - getting back into her routine and using some of the services avalable to the elderly in my home town. On Monday I was looking through my emails at work and saw one from my sister that said "Mom's on her way to the hospital again." I thought it was in my deleted items folder, but, it was current. Her 5th visit, and the buffoons in my hometown have sent her to a different metro hospitals each time.

They decided to do an interventional radiology procedure, threading a catheter up through her leg all the way into her head and injecting a compound that would seal off the mail vessel to the side of her nose that was bleeding. There was a 5% risk of stroke and 5% risk of blindness, but she agreed. So off I went to a huge surgical waiting area where there seemed to be a lot of drama going on. I noticed a frail elderly lady in a corner, sobbing into her hankerchief. I went over and asked if I could help. She said her husband was having emergency bypass and that her son was flying in from out of town and wouldn't be there for several hours. She was very frightened and confused about what to do with the pager she'd been given. It was heartbreaking, but I stayed with her until my pager went off and got the report that M's procedure had gone well and she would be sedated for several hours. I then returned to see if Helen needed anything more. She was a lot calmer and wanted to pay me for my help. Of course, I didn't take the money but did accept a tentative invitation for dinner once the Mr. was recovered.

So, my mother went home on Thursday and we are once again keeping our fingers crossed.

I am trying to put this all in perspective. We have Monday off for MLK day and someone at work said "well, Kathy, got big plans for the long weekend"? I felt like saying "don't you remember my mother is ill - how can I have plans for the weekend when the phone could ring any minute with bad news"? I recently saw an article on a mental health website on being "Addicted to Drama" - people who are so used to living on the edge that they are uncomfortable when things settle down. Maybe that's part of my problem - lookng at this as a potential life or death situation when it's actually just a natural part of the cycle of things - people get old and health deteriorates.

I got home that day and felt a deep sense of peace, until talking to one of my sisters who said that if "anything happened" as a result of the procedure, it would be all my fault - she had not agreed to it, thinking the risk was too big.
The next day, however, she'd settled down and seemed to have forgiven me.

Yesterday, in the evening, I realized that I'd forgotten to take my handful of oral meds that morning. I felt ok, my bp was 128/71, so it probably wasn't an end of the word situation in this case either.

So, on it goes. I'm hoping for some nice, uneventful days ahead.