So much good... so much evil... so much confusion. It's hard to sort it out.
- The nurse who told me that I wouldn't become addicted to the hydrocodone or the oxycodone the doctor preferred that I take over the ibuprofen because "You are too strong a person to allow that to happen. You are motivated." Is she the last person on the planet to understand that addiction is a disease and not something you choose? Narcotics over analgesics...... strange.
- The restaurant which places the handicapped spots in the corner of the parking lot.... and puts the only curb cuts there, too. Dropped off at the front door, my walker and I were confronted with an 18" high curb..... and blustery winds.... and the fear was tremendous. Architecturally strange.
- The hospital bedside commode that accommodates patients who are 5'3" or taller. The rest of us have our feet dangling, vainly searching for the comfort of the floor.
- The young man delivering two heavy boxes of foodstuffs from the up-scale grocery store who refused to take a tip - "Not from that woman!" Hearwarmingly strange.
- Keith, the representative from Verizon's sales department, who stayed on the phone with me as I was transferred, like the blip on Atari's Pong screen, from Customer Care (now there is an oxymoron) to Sales and back again, over and over and over. No one seemed to understand nor have the authority to solve nor the willingness to listen to my problem but Keith, who works on commission and was making nothing by keeping me company, Keith stayed on one leg of the various conference calls for nearly an hour. Handing me off to Cameron (who did manage to solve the problem) he said goodbye by thanking me for allowing him to learn about the systems in his new job. Delightfully strange.
- Marilyn, my hiking buddy and personal shopper, who has made countless trips back and forth to the mall, selecting and sizing and putting together an outfit which would not constrict my sutures, which would be short enough so that I could stand up and not trip, which matched the earrings and bracelet I've been wearing like totems since I've been home, and who shared her personal history of loss and illness with a calm survivor's mien. Not strange..... just wonderful.
- A casual acquaintance, a lunch partner from an alumni event, who offered to stop by and talk about God with this cynical heathen. The Reverend Barb is one of the good ones; I really hope she has an answer or two for me this afternoon. Strange? Certainly. Wonderful? Absolutely!
- The credit card company (okay, Chase Visa for those of you who might want to reconsider using them) which refused to release the hold they'd placed on my account because I had missed a payment. The fact that I was lying in a hospital bed, perforated and drugged, when the payment was due made no difference to them. The fact that it was the only card in TBG's wallet, the fact that we'd never missed a payment before, the fact that the entire world knew what had happened to me..... "Yes, ma'am, it is a sad story but there is nothing I can do." Strange? Oh, yes. Solvable? Definitely.... the card is in pieces and our new Costco Amex account will fill the bill nicely, thank you very much. (be sure to read Chase VISA's response by clicking here. Sometimes companies do "get it")
- Counselors who don't return phone calls. Paperwork that is submitted but remains unacknowledged. Officials who show up unannounced at the door and expect to be welcomed with open arms. TV news producers who are surprised when their every wish is not gladly accommodated. Reporters who want to sit on my couch and watch the State of the Union with me. Strange.... for sure. Unexpected? Not really.
- Four page handwritten notes from total strangers. A lengthy message on my answering machine from Slava in Latvia, including his phone number so that I could "return this call and continue this conversation." Raggedy Ann dolls and crocheted angels and Texas blue bells....... does anyone want these outpourings of love? I know that they come from the hearts of those who are trying to help, but how much of my house can become a shrine to the worst moment of my life? Balancing their needs against my defenses.... strange indeed.
- And then there is the blogosphere, where The Burrow has 97 followers. 97 of you demanding that the interweb send you my ramblings every weekday. On January 7th there were 12 of you - family and friends and Nance - and now there are 97 faithful readers. Strange and wonderful, all at once.
With apologies for the lateness of this post today (sometimes I am just too tired to type), I thank you all for sharing this peek into the strangeness that has become my life. It's nice to know that I am not alone.