Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Glass

 I was sitting here tonight, insomnia again, lingering symptoms and the start of a cold coming on, so instead of tossing and turning in bed and keeping Carl awake, I thought I'd write.  I didn't know what to write about, though.  I then happened to glance at my water glass to see how much I had left and noticed I actually had two of them sitting there-- and the old question, 'Is the water glass half empty or half full?' came to mind. 

One of the things that bothers me the most about this spell I've been going through of odd health is how it affects my loved ones and friends.  I know I'm a broken record of 'I don't feel good' over and over again.  I'm working on the whining, truly I am.  (I mean I'm trying to cut back, not get better at it, ok?  Just had to clear that up.)  They share with me the frustration of dealing with the doctors and the unending round of "No, it's not that,' and "Oh, yes, it is that,' and "Wait, maybe it's this AND that" to, "Who knows what this woman's problem is, let's just hope she goes home and leaves us all in peace." 

It's been a week since I went for the ride with the very nice EMT's.  Look how this affected Carl, arriving at the foot of the exam table in the doctor's office last week after a hard day's work, knowing full well he is going to have to work overtime for months to pay off the ambulance ride and emergency room visit and yet showing nothing but concern.   When he walked in the room, he flashed me a smile and a look of pure love that took my breath away almost as much as the nitroglycerin pill under my tongue did.

He's had that same look on his face ever since we met when we were 14 years old.  After 32 years of marriage, he still insists I am the best thing that ever happened to him. Wow....  I'm no prize, but he tells me I am.  He was in the hospital ER with me, followed my gurney to my room and sat with me until nearly 11PM.  I told him it was time to go home and get some sleep, as he gets up every day at 5AM for work.    He came to kiss me goodbye and left for home, only to come back two more times to say goodnight again.

"I don't want to leave you here," he said as he came sheepishly back into the hospital room.  "Do you know on the way to the hospital, I got lost?  You weren't there with me to be my co-pilot."  When he said that, we both teared up.  Gads, we are corny, but we've been together for so long that at times we take each other for granted.

Do we always resemble a super-sappy romance novel?  No.  Of course not.  Do we ever disagree mildly?  Yes, and sometimes we disagree wildly and very loudly too, though I admit, the loud part is me.  I do get loud.  Often.  We have our differences just like every other couple on the planet, but for the most part, we've managed to muddle through the good times and the bad.  I'm blessed.  What would I do without him.  I don't want to know.

And the next person to show up in the ER a week ago to see me was our eldest son, Joel.  He looked very tense when he came in and I gave him a reassuring smile.  He has always been a loving son, I could not have asked for better.  I tried joking with him a little bit to break the ominous atmosphere, because at that time, I was wearing all the bells and whistles and wires and hoses and paraphernalia of the typical emergency room patient and it doesn't look real encouraging.

After a little bit, Joel solemnly asked me if I needed something he had with him.....and here I'm going to have to be embarrassed again and admit a silly, annoying habit of mine:  I am a nervous person who would probably be a smoker ( if I would have taken up the habit, but I never did, thank goodness! for we'd have more troubles then) and a  fidgeter (is that a word?)  I used to work for an insurance company that supplied us with 'rubber finger tips' to handle the voluminous amounts of paper work we received in the office each day.  For some reason, fidgety me took a shine to the rubber finger thingies, seen below in all their glory:
and I jokingly call these things 'my cigarettes' for they calm me down just as cigarettes seem to calm smokers.  I know the habit I have of snapping them and popping is annoying and I tried to stop many times, but it's a hard habit to break.  But you see, it brought tears to my eyes when Joel broke out in a grin and handed me a 'smoke' in the ER, how did he remember to bring one of those from home on such short notice?  I think he knew then and there that Mom was going to pull through.  He said, "I have another one too, if it gets real bad," and I busted out laughing through my tears.  (Yes, I've been known to grab two of the silly things when I'm super-stressed, usually when I'm going to have to be around 'certain difficult people, but I won't go there.)

The next people to come and see the Amazing Woman Who Caused a Stir was our youngest son, David, and his lovely girlfriend, Kayla.   By this time, I was in the hospital room and Dave approached my bed with a shy grin and handed me a plastic bag, "Hi, Mom, how are you doing?  And how would you like a pair of shoes.... and a bra?" and I had to laugh again, for when I had left the doctor's office, my clothes were strewn about the room like a tornado had torn them off.   Carl had to collect them and throw them in his car when he followed the ambulance to the hospital. I think Joel brought some of my clothes up when he came, but my shoes and uh, my, uh, bra, were still in the car, so Dave brought me those two essentials when he came to visit.  Good thinking on his part, protect the public from unsightly areas.  We were blessed with two wonderful sons, what more do we need?

The next person I called was Mom.  I tried to let her know about it in a goofy way and she was upset, but not unduly so. I just told her I needed a break from Carl's driving and decided the ambulance was a VIP way to arrive, what with all those sirens and flashy red lights.  She said, "Well, maybe they'll find out what IS wrong with you," and I said I sincerely hoped so.  I told her I loved her and would talk to her in the morning.  To have Mom in my life yet is a blessing too good to be true.

And the very last, but not least, person to arrive that night was Ann.  She worked until 11PM and stopped in after her shift was over.  She sat in a chair in the dimly lit room and we actually found ourselves giggling uncontrollably over some silliness or other before she left for home.  I can't tell you how much good the laugh and her visit did for me that night....good friends are a rarity, and Ann is a jewel, a true friend through thick and thin.  I never had a sister, but have often thought, if I did, this must be what it's like.  Another blessing from above.

And a huge blessing in my life are the people I have met since writing this blog....I have received so many warm wishes and caring concern from everyone, it's overwhelming.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You are all so kind!

So, back to my original question: Is my glass half-empty or half-full?

It runneth over.


Darla said...

I'd say you have puddles all around that glass! Beautiful post Karen. Do remember, laughter IS the best medicine..

Granny Lyn's Garden said...

You made me cry, but that's ok. You are very blessed with such a wonderful family. Take care , and God Bless,Lynda

FlowerLady said...

Karen ~ What a wonderful, loving, fun post. It brought tears to my eyes, and joy to my heart. You are a dear, and I love it that you and your DH have been together for so long and that your love is strong and growing. It is a blessing to read about.

Be well.

Love and hugs to you both ~ FlowerLady

Shirley said...

Your touching post has me wiping away the odd tear this morning. How truly blessed you are to have such good and wonderful people in your life. I do hope diagnosis and solutions come soon, that you may be on your way to full health. Wishing you well, dear blogger friend.


Ellada said...

when you have your family on your side, the glass is always half full.
Smiling is good for the health.

Zoey said...

Hi Karen,
It sounds like you have a great husband and family. You are a blessed woman and I wish you success in finding the correct diagnosis.

Chris said...

Hello Karen, I believe your glass is definitely half full :-)

Karen said...

Thank you everyone, you are all great medicine!