The UTI and the flash flood

Ok, I’m going to make this quick, mostly because I’ve found out from my initial attempts at blogging that constant interruptions come and find me, so here it goes…..again….”starting today” again…

Our initial plans for a week of summer vacation went by the wayside as the rain continued to fall during the month of June. Turns out, in my neck of the woods June 2013 was the 6th rainiest in weather recording history. The original plan for a quiet, full week of relaxation up north at the lake (just got interrupted….sorry), was discussed and a decision made to postpone for a “rain check” in early August. However, this writer was definitively suffering from work and life-related burnout and needed some kind of a time out even if spent at home in the rain. The Thursday and Friday were therefore kept as “vacation” days and a long weekend loomed in the not too distant horizon. Vacation day one was yes, a rainy one, and I smiled thinking about the mosquitos and black flies that weren’t going to be getting a taste of this old girl’s O positive. Had a few errands to run and enjoyed my favorite brand of TV trash for several hours. All that was missing was a cold rocks glass of JD/lemonade followed by an effortless power nap. Unfortunately, hunger struck and dinner had to be made. Later that evening, noticed some unique “symptoms”…ladies out there….you know exactly what I’m talking about here when I say “symptoms” and UTI in the same sentence, right? OK, good, that being said, I didn’t give it much mind and headed off to bed with the husband, pillow bumper pads in place between us to save (sorry, another interruption….)me from unwanted kicks from the nightmare lying next to me…..but, I regress…that’s a whole other blog topic.

Friday morning: Yea! I can sleep a little longer. Sounds good, but I’ve got one quick change of plans and then back to sleep. ……YEEEEOOOUUUCCCHHH! That’s not good. I’ve got definite problems and have to call the doctor. Thank goodness I’m home for the day and can get in right away. Call the MD office and unfortunately, they’ve got other plans, my appointment has to be squeezed in at 1:30pm. Just great. I start chugging the cranberry juice and notice the gray skies outside approaching. Rainy days have become a normal part of the scenery this June. No big deal.

Later that day, (I won’t bore you with all the incidental details of how I managed to make it through the hours, minutes, seconds, microseconds, that passed.) (sorry, but that’s interruption #3–husband has come to check on me and wants ice cream….I’m not kidding.) (Now daughter comes to check on me too. She’s a good kid.) I start the drive to the MD office and it’s guess what? Raining, yes. Lightly. The normal kind that’s been hanging around all month, incessantly annoying and giving me a low pressure system headache. I check in at the office and hit the ladies room immediately. Wait patiently in my holding room, pacing, praying, actually starting my Lamaze breathing exercises, grabbing a tissue to dap tears, looking out the window at the steadier rain now falling and finally the PA comes to attend to my concerns. Thanks heavens for electronic transmission of prescription medication script to the pharmacy. I pretty much sprint out the door to my car with the five minute ride to Walgreen’s in store. Little did I know what was waiting for me down the road.

The rain was now pelleting down in very heavy showers. I got going to the main drag, turned the corner and noticed the ponding. “Holy cow, that’s a lot of water”, I thought. Got myself shifted to the inside lane and kept going. Cars ahead of me served as water guides as I noticed the level of water spraying out from either side of their tires as they drove through the main roadway. One thought was on my mind, besides the increasing desire to “you know what”….the rain was only helping to further exacerbate my symptoms…”I have to get to the drug store”….”KEEP DRIVING!!” I started down the slope in the road, heading towards the canal section of town. Water was pouring down the hill. Lots of water. I’m not just talking about a little trickle of water here, this was major water. The storm drains were bubbling up next to the road. I saw several emergency vehicles in the distance, where the roadway crosses the canal at the lowest point. “Holy crap, I’m not going down there.” I quickly made a Louie in a driveway and waited for the road to clear. Backed up and headed up the hill this time. Made it to the light and thought “where is the high ground” and “OMG, I need to get to Walgreens NOW.” Slowed down as I approached the four way stop intersection, now under a few feet of water. Drove through slowly, saying several Hail Mary’s, tapping the brakes and pretending to be a monster truck or an amphibious assault vehicle of some kind….with my only thought being “get me to Walgreens or get real wet, real soon” (if you know what I mean.) I made it up the next slope in the street and cut back around the other side of the canal and to higher ground. The intersection ahead was clear and I made the quick final maneuvers into the parking lot of Walgreens; presently under a foot of water. Put the car in park and ran into the store, with bottle of water in hand, to the heaven-like prescription counter. The angel that waited on me must have noticed my urgency and found the prescription medication transmitted through the magical system right away. Within a few minutes, I had the first dose down and thanked God profusely. Unbelievable. Found out later that evening, when watching the local news that our town hadn’t experienced flash floods in more than a century. Just my luck. Now, that’s a vacation day to remember 🙂

(Sorry, got to go…another interruption is calling my name. More interesting blog thoughts to come again another day; just like the rain.)

“Penny” or Angel?

"My penny angel"

“My penny angel”

I’ve always had a fascination with finding pennies on the ground. Seem to find them at very coincidental times of my life. Heading on a trip and afraid to fly….found a penny at the airline ticket counter. Leaving the hospital after my late husband passed away….found a penny near the car in the parking ramp. Struggling with family issues and deep in thought…found a penny on the sidewalk walking into the store. It seems to happen at the strangest, but most opportune, times. I equate finding pennies on the ground with an angel grabbing my arm and saying “hey, I’ve got a message for you! Listen.” Pennies placed in my life path always get my attention.

The most profound experience I recall with “angel pennies” was the day of my hip surgery. I was fairly anxious, but so ready for the procedure. I wanted the procedure done and over so the pain would go away. I’d never had surgery before in my life. That morning, as I walked towards the hospital with my husband, I found a penny on the sidewalk right in my footsteps. Somehow it didn’t surprise me. I took it as a sign that my angels were sending another message. Everything would be OK. Once inside the surgical registration area, I met with various nurses, residents and my doctor in preparation for the procedure. Laying in the bed, waiting my turn to be launched down the hallway to OR, I pulled the blanket tighter, said silent prayers and tried to remain calm. A patient to my right, behind the privacy curtain, was highly agitated and nervously chattering away to the nurse. I couldn’t see her, but her nervousness was eating away at my composure and the anxiety inside me was starting to build. When will my bed get the green light to “go”? To my left, the post-op recovery area starts to fill up with noises of returning patients. I hear an elderly woman moaning and crying. My nerves start to elevate along with the increasing strength of her cries. “Please, dear God, get me the heck out of here”, I silently say to myself.

In the distance, walking towards me I see a woman in surgical garb. She is wearing a bright red sweater. My Grandmother’s favorite color. My favorite color. When I was a little girl, she knit me a bright red sweater. I still have it. Stored in a box in my closet. No longer able to wear, due to size, but still keeps me warm when I see it and reflect on memories of Grandma. She was the best. Had such a beautiful and mischievous smile. She’d always have something funny to say or make a face that would get me smiling. She loved african violets too. So do I. Miss her very much and wish she were still here to keep me warm and smiling.

The nurse walks up to my bed with a big smile. She says “hello” and informs me that she will be with me during the entire surgery and not to be afraid. I tell her I like her sweater and ask her name. She replies, “Penny”. Unbelievable. A huge grin covers my face and tears begin to well up in my eyes. A comforting, warm calm covers my body and I relax. I’m in great hands. She rolls my bed down the hallway to the operating room. The surgical team helps shift me over to the operating table, lay my arms out to each side, my thoughts turn to Jesus on the cross, I close my eyes. “Dear Jesus, help me”.

“You’re OK.” “You’re in the recovery room.”
I made it. Holy crap, I’m OK. I’m alive. I’m waking up. It’s all over. Thank you, God. Thank you, Grandma.

"Grandma's red sweater"

“Grandma’s red sweater”

“Surgery is now in progress”

My "baby" and her friend.

My “baby” and her friend.

I read the words on the message board and take a deep breath. My baby is in surgery. She’s only 16 years old, going on 26, but still my baby. She’ll be just fine. I repeat that thought in my mind. Already visited the chapel, said many prayers, had several cups of coffee and a bite to eat. Settling in for the several hour wait. Recalling a time similar to this, years gone by, when only an infant, the waiting and praying also took place. So tiny. So scared. Listening to Mommy’s voice and songs, through bandaged eyes and covered head, the little soul inside hung on bravely. My voice and attempts at lullabies the only form of communication she knew. The pinky finger I offered her to hold onto was the lifeline between the two of us. I remember her tiny little fingers, a few of them, holding onto my pinky. Curled around mine tightly, afraid, but safe with Mommy nearby. She survived that day’s experience and grew beautifully in life. Now, another stepping stone to be crossed over before moving forward again. Just as scared. Just as brave. She’s in good hands again today and everyday in God’s good hands. So blessed to have her in my life and proud to be her Mommy humming the lullabies in my head.