I’m finally back after some time away from writing. I was discharged from the hospital last Saturday and I was so completely exhausted that all I wanted to do was to rest and stay quiet. The whole hospitalization episode that has gone on since Labor Day weekend with a few interruptions has just worn me out.
I decided that I am going to focus on getting better as much as I can without stressing myself and causing more problems. My other main priority is to not have a relapse and end up in the hospital again anytime soon. I know that I was taken care of very well at the hospital, but I hated being away from home. The days there just dragged on without end, and I found myself getting depressed just laying there. I feel so much better here at home, especially on Thanksgiving Day.
I spent some of the time since Saturday planning out the Thanksgiving Day meal that we’re having later today. I made sure to cook things in stages, rather than doing everything at once, because I didn’t want to get exhausted while preparing the meal. Luckily, things worked out for the best, and all the items are ready for today. It just requires heating up our plates in the microwave oven and we’ll be all done and ready to enjoy our dinner.
For all the hassle I’ve gone through recently, I still believe and know that I’m the luckiest man in the world. I have Hal and The Stooges, my true family, and they are all I need to be happy and grateful this Thanksgiving.
I was informed by my nurse that today is Friday. Amazing how you lose track of time in a hospital room. Anyway, I realized that I hadn’t written a blog post in a while, so I started wracking my brain for something original and interesting to write about.
It took several minutes for my brain to break out of the hospital-related topic stream of consciousness, but eventually I made my mental escape. I began thinking about Thanksgiving now less than a week away, and how Hal and I would celebrate together.
The first thing that you need to know is that, after many years of failed attempts, that I’ll never try to turkey again. Each time turned out to be a disaster and the bird got thrown out.
I worked from the recipe my Mom gave me many years ago. The turkeys she cooked always came out on the dry side. To this day, I dislike moist turkey. I would prep the turkey or turkey breast, put it into a paper bag (Mom’s secret) and then place that into the roasting pan and put it into the oven for the required amount of time, plus a little extra.
The hours would pass until the recipe called for me to remove the lid from the roasting pan, rip open the paper bag covering the turkey, and then returning the turkey to the oven for the final round of cooking that would insure the dry texture. Something always went wrong at this point for me. The turkey never dried. Fortunately it never caught fire either. I wonder if something was written down wrong all those years ago? Each year I would try to make a subtle change to correct things, but it never worked out. That is when I gave up on cooking a turkey myself.
Ever since then, I’ve freed my mind and made whatever I wanted for Thanksgiving. Since Hal and I have been together, we’ve celebrated with chicken, or steak, or pork, or my personal favorite, salmon. It isn’t the Thanksgiving turkey meal that makes the holiday, it it is the meal that you share with loved ones that makes Thanksgiving special.
I am so tired of being in the hospital. Every time I am here the doctor wants to explore some new possibilities about why I’m having trouble breathing. I appreciate the concern, but I really would like a definitive answer about what’s wrong, and what to do about it.
I’m tired and bored this afternoon. The well wishes have lost their intended affect on me, not because of any insincerity; but because I’m tired of hearing them so frequently. Even Hal had to take a break from visiting me today because he hasn’t o pay for Uber or Lyft to get back and forth to the hospital, and that adds up to about $25 per day. I can’t blame him, but it makes me feel even more isolated and depressed.
I am trying to keep a positive attitude, but times like this really make that difficult to do. I haven’t posted near as much as I have written because when I proofread the entries I realize how awful they sound. I will keep trying to do my best here, to follow the doctor‘s advice,And to take better care of myself. That’s all that I can do for the time being.
I hope that Hal feels better because he did mention that he was tired this morning and that was one of the reasons he’s not coming over to visit this afternoon. I believe him, and I know this has to be difficult for him. I don’t want him to come down sick because that’s the last thing both of us need.
I’ve really never suffered from the holiday depression syndrome That everyone talks about. However, this year that might be different because here I am in the hospital the week before Thanksgiving with no idea when I’ll be going home. I certainly hope to go home before the holiday so I can spend it with HaL and the stooges. I’ve made plans for Thanksgiving dinner, nothing out of the ordinary, we’ll either have salmon, chicken, or pork chops I’ll be prepared for any eventuality. It will only take a couple of items from the grocery store to complete any meal that we choose to have on Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to going home. I’m looking forward to going home and not coming back to the hospital. I’m looking forward to going home and not coming back to the hospital and enjoying the Thanksgiving and the rest the holidays for a change.
I’m happy to report that I’m sleeping better. Although I woke up several times last night to find my BG levels dropping, I recovered and was able to get back to sleep.
This morning we’re preparing for a visit to the grocery store. Hal will go in and shop while I have the things I need delivered to the car since I’ve already ordered them. I just cannot bring myself to knowingly walk into any enclosed space with lots of other people since I don’t know if they might be sick or not. I’m recovering well from pneumonia, but I won’t be stupid and take unnecessary chances either.
My plan is to prepare some chicken breasts for dinner this evening, as well as some homemade mashed potatoes and a green bean casserole. Hal can pick out ingredients for a nice salad and we can open a bottle of wine for dinner as well.
I’ve stuck with the decision to self-isolate since leaving the hospital without any real difficulty. There are occasions when I think that I miss going to the store, but all I have to do is to remember sitting in the grocery store parking lot struggling to breathe as the last pneumonia attack nailed me. I can’t say for certain that being in the store somehow triggered the attack, but why take that chance?
I prefer to be outside, especially with Hal. I’m working on my endurance so I can take long walks again. That will be a gradual process, and there’s no rush for me. Recovering from pneumonia is a long-term effort and has to be taken in manageable steps if I’m to succeed.
Regardless of what happens today, I’m very lucky. I have Hal and The Stooges. I wasn’t killed by the pneumonia. I still have my love for music. I still have my love for writing.
The daily prompt for today asks me to define “Peace” on my own terms. Not something I was really prepared for, but a challenge is a challenge.
“Peace” is more than the absence of conflict. It is a way of seeing the world as well as ourselves. Peace has to start from within, it can’t be projected outward if it is absent internally.
Learning to love and accept love is what I consider the first step towards peace. It is like preparing a field for planting. Things have to be prepared in order for the desired results to occur. Like so many people, I learned how to give love, but not as much about how to accept it from someone else.
Once that happens, peace can begin to grow within us. It must be nurtured, because it is fragile and delicate. Peace can be incredibly strong, but only after years of struggle. It has to grow its own thick skin to survive and prosper.
Peace is something we demonstrate to others around us. Peace is something we strive to achieve. Peace is the goal that is worth sacrifice. Peace comes from within so we can share it with the world.
Today’s prompt asks the question about a point in my life when Fear made a decision I couldn’t make for myself, and what the impact of that is even until today.
When I was ready to graduate college with my BA, I seriously thought about going to Law School. It seemed like a natural progression to take with a degree in Political Science. The thing that held me back was fear of the future. I knew that only Dad’s death and the help from the VA had allowed me to go to college in the first place. Mom was doing her best, but I yearned for my own independence.
I knew that if I went to Law School, it would mean moving to another city in another state, with no guarantee that the VA would still help. I checked on several law schools and even in the 1980s the prices were obscene.
Fear convinced me that I had to move on without further education. The decision wasn’t hard because the fear already has me in its grip. I ended up in the Navy and made my way through several career bounces since before settling on the job I have had for the last fifteen years.
For the last fifteen years, I’ve worked as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) for a software company with a major government client. I utilize my education and my background experience to demonstrate to the client how our products can improve their own data management processes, written procedures, and their overall data quality.
The job sounds both exciting and boring, and yes, there seems to be equal measures of both most of the time. I am constantly learning new systems and how we can integrate them into the infrastructure we have already constructed. This proves challenging because I can’t control how any external system creates and maintains its own data. The external company is solely responsible for those processes unless we can negotiate a written agreement on how to share data in formats which each separate system can process correctly.
There are times when I wish that I could try to market our products to other data producers, but that job is not in my career path. I exist in that nebulous world between client and software developers. I normally receive high praise from the client who sees what I can show with their data, while at the same time, the software developers in the same company i work for seem to view my inputs less favorably. I attribute this to the software developers mindset that they think they know best what everyone wants. They also seem to have forgotten to approach any data management system from a client point of view.
So, my job is interesting and often full of surprises. I wouldn’t still be doing it after fifteen years if I hated it, but there are some days that are worse than others, as with any job.