Friday, August 31, 2012

THE OPERATION...DUN...DUN...DUN

As some of you may know, I recently committed a mortal sin.  I told myself that I would never again have back surgery because, in my opinion, my back surgery in 2004 was anything but a howling success.  Well, I finally realized that my most asked question by my doctor (and those of us who have bad backs will attest) was,"Does the pain go down the leg?"  After about a year of suffering, my answer was unfortunately,"yes."

Truth is, I had been experiencing some significant leg pain and it was getting really unbearable.  I finally figured out that the reason I was asked that question was because the nerve that runs from the spine and down the leg would behave like I described and there were solutions. 

I knew from the surgeon that a screw had broken off of the "cage" that fused all the bad vertebrae together from the 2004 back surgery, but, of course, he said that it would be "no problem."  Be wary of anyone who says, "no problem."  It usually means "I don't really know if it's a problem but I'll say it's no problem until I know it's a problem and I don't want to have anything to do with you when it becomes a problem. 

So, I did commit the aforementioned mortal sin.  I was insured that another
back surgery would remove the broken screw and whatever else, and I would be rid of the leg pain FOREVER.  Well, the surgery was done on this past Wednesday, as an outpatient no less, and right now I'm not sure what to report.  The doctor said that the broken screw had, indeed, worked itself up against the nerve and a broken piece of bone was also compromising the nerve.  I have a big incision and though I was told it would be held together with steri-strips, is held together with staples.  My leg pain before surgery would come and go, now it's constant and I have to use a cane.  But, I'm only 2 days post-op and it's too soon to tell anything.  I do know that routing around in there has surely caused aggravated inflammation to the area. I still remain optimistic and hope and pray that the promised outcome will be a promise kept. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

CONTEMPLATIVE

Wow! That's a big word to start out tonight's blog.  Well, it seemed more sophisticated than, JUST THINKING ABOUT SOME STUFF.   I'm sure you agree.  What I was contemplating is a subject that crosses my mind all too often, aging.  Now lest you get the impression that this is because of some bouts of mild depression, let me assure you that I find I am merely more aware of the physical and mental changes that I am going through and now retired, have more time to think about it.  Furthermore, as perhaps I've mentioned before, at this juncture of life, namely the late 60s, I am more aware of there actually being an end to this life.

In your adolescent years all you can think about is being a teenager and all the grown-up things you'll get to do.  When your in your teens all you can think about is getting to twenty-one and all the privileges that go with it.  Your twenties seem to last forever and then, there you are filling out a new form for a new doctor and you're asked how old you are and all you can say is, "th-th-th---thirty!" Yikes! When did that happen?

Once you're nearing the end of your thirties you don't know how you ever became OLD.  You were still young enough to remember that when you were little, someone who was 40 was...old.  And then you looked forward to retiring.  All the travelling you'd do, all the exciting places you'd visit, finally you'd go to Europe (at least that's where I wanted to go,) oh, and the thought of being a snowbird, leaving Wisconsin every winter for Florida or Arizona and then returning home every Spring.  Ah, the things you'd do but...when you were retirement age, all you got in the mail were brochures on Medicare, courted by every insurance company know to man to please, please let them be your supplemental insurance carrier. And certain "things" happened to you physically that made it difficult to travel or for that matter sleep somewhere other than home, and the economy tanked and...I don't need to continue that thought.

And, of course, you had to have all your "arrangements" in order in case of your...DEATH.  You had to be sure your Will was up to date and your advance directive was at every hospital and doctor's office within a 200 mile radius.  Had to make sure your family members know what's what and...well, let's just say once again, you found yourself thinking about this life...ending.  I'm not morose about all this, just realistic.  Not concerned about the lines and wrinkles (although age spots really suck!) but, though I'm not a vain person, occasionally I catch my reflection in the mirror and it surprises me (and not in a good way.)

So as I said, I've been a bit contemplative.  Here's the latest realistic but comic result. 

AGING IS A GRAVITY GAME
by Patty Lynn

Aging is a gravity game,
In other words, sag-osis.
Avoiding mirrors and scales a must,
As that fuels our ol' neurosis.

'Cause if you catch a glimpse you'll say,
"I can't believe my eyes!"
"That face, those wrinkles, can't be me.
That mirror is telling lies!"

C'mon, get real, that face, it's yours.
Yes, time's an awful thief.
And you can't make the clock slow down
By your blatant unbelief.

The facts don't lie but, still and all,
You long for a reversal.
You wish the years could simply be
No more than a rehearsal.

Don't stare at ancient photographs
Of how you looked "back then."
Change happens, so get used to it.
Time marches on, my friend.

Instead be thankful you're alive.
And lines, each on, you've earned them.
In twenty years with many more,
You'll regret you ever spurned them.

Besides we don't have any choice
We're subject to time's toll.
The choice we have is just to live
A life that's rich and full.

So live each day as if your last.
Be mindful how you live it.
Forget the superficial things,
And kindness, always give it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A NEW CHILDREN'S STORY

Writing poetry for me is nothing short of complete joy.  As you know, it doesn't come easy sometimes, finding rhyming words confounds me and there are times when I can't be inspired to write anything. But recently, I've simply found a word, a name, a thought and I'm off and running.  Tonight's blog should more aptly be called this week's blog, as it has taken the better part of a week to develop this little children's story into something finished, something worthy of sharing with you.

The inspiration this time came from nothing more than a silly name.   The name was Zelda Zackly and much like Penelope Pickle it took on a life of it's own.  I have thoroughly enjoyed creating this story first, because I'm happy with the end result and second, I love the process of the writing trying new ideas, new rhyming patterns.   It also serves to remind me that I can still do this, not as quickly as I think I should be, but I've still got it (whatever "it" is.)

Well, I've rambled on enough.  It's time to introduce you to:

ZELDA ZACKLY
by Patty Lynn

Zelda Zackly loved to read.
She'd sit and read for hours,
Imagining she was a queen
Or a witch with mystic powers.

Sometimes she'd read when it was dark
'Neath sheets upon her bed.
She'd use a flashlight propped just right,
This "tent" made with her head.

Her favorite place on summer days
Was 'neath her maple tree.
There with some shade and lemonade
She felt a bit less lonely.

But though her books allowed escape
To lovely far off places,
The world she knew made her feel blue,
Not like her world in pages.

You see her Dad had been deployed.
She didn't understand.
He said he had to fight a war
Out in Afghanistan.

She knew that place was faraway
But unlike books, was real,
And dangerous and scary, too.
In short, a lousy deal.

She didn't know when he'd return,
But even if she did,
It seemed like an eternity,
At least, to this sad kid.

Her Dad was Zelda's bestest friend.
How much she missed his hug.
He'd hug her when he tucked her in,
Called her his "little bug."

So Zelda read and dreamed her dreams,
Imagined he was home...
To play their games and hug her tight.
She felt so all alone.

The months went by and Winter came,
Then Spring and Summer, too.
Though she still liked to read a lot,
Sweet Zelda still felt blue.

She waited, waited, then some more.
"Be patient," Zelda heard.
"It will be soon," her mother said.
"You've got to take my word."

The next day and the next day, too
Seemed like the one before.
Poor Zelda wondered, "Would he come?
My life is such a bore!"

She went to school, then she went home.
Each day was just the same.
She sat there by her big front door,
But Daddy never came.

Then one day when the doorbell rang
Mom answered it and found...
A box just sitting by the door.
Inside a scratching sound.

"What can this be, and what's that sound?
Let's open it and see."
"My goodness!" Zelda's mom cried out.
"This box is not for me."

"It's not, then tell me, tell me please.
Who is the package for?"
"Why it's for you, my Zelda girl.
Go in and shut the door."

Now Zelda was beside herself,
Said, "Mom, please open it.
There's something in it, it's alive.
I just might have a fit!"

Her level of excitement grew
As high, as high could be.
Mom cut the tape along the top.
As Zelda squealed with glee.

For there within the box she found
A darling, little puppy.
She'd wanted one for oh, so long.
The name she chose was Puffy.

Then suddenly she looked at Mom.
"Hey, Mom, who sent the pup?"
"Why look," said Mom, "there is a note.
Reach down and pick it up."

So Zelda reached down in the box
And read the note inside.
With every word that Zelda read,
This happy girl just cried.

Yes, tears of joy came streaming down.
The words made Zelda happy.
"This pup is yours, from me to you.
I love you," from your Daddy.

The note went on "Now Zelda, girl,
There's more to your surprise.
Walk out the door and then turn right,
Be sure to close your eyes."

So Zelda gave the pup to Mom,
Then closed her eyes real tight,
Held onto Mom, walked 15 steps,
And then turned to her right.

Her Mom said, "Zelda, stop right there.
And open up your eyes.
Now look right there in front of you.
Your biggest, best surprise!"

But Zelda had to rub her eyes.
She knew that she saw someone.
"Oh, Daddy, is that really you?
You're home, Dad, this is awesome!"

This moment was for Zelda Z.
Her every dream come true.
And as she felt her Daddy's hug,
She whispered, "I love you!"