Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Keith Brown had an even worse time that I did. On Saturday he managed to make unworkable the lawn mower, the golf cart, and the chain saw. He decided to sit for the rest of the day after his labors.

Monday, April 18, 2005

In life, we always think that next month will be better and less stressful. But when next month comes, it brings new annoyances. At least, this is true for me. I always expect things to get better and I am not good at handling just the ordinary bumps of life.

My lawn mower has not worked since last year. I suspected it to be the battery but had no idea what to do about that. John came Sunday, took the battery, and brought a new one today. The mower started beautifully. But the front tire is flat. I have no idea where to take a flat tire. so many "service" stations have closed, but John says I can take it to the Co-op. I will try that.

Now I have to get the tire off. I told John I could do it. We will see.

Also the electricity to my garage has never been on since the fire. John also kindly agreed to look into that. After working in the garage, he traced the line to the fuse box. the same fuse box that he says is illegal because it is in the closet of my bedroom.

He could not take the cover off because a clothes rod is anchored to the frame. I have now taken the clothes off and folded the offending rod up. We will see what happens when he comes back.

When we get that worked out, my garage door still will not work because I backed my car into it last year. John thinks I should call my cousin Dyke who works on commercial doors. I hate to be beholden to people. But I do love my garage door opener. It makes me feel so powerful.

We now take such things for granted. However it has not been that way for long. When Anne and Beth were little, we went up to where they were finishing a new fire station not far from our house. A friend of ours, who was a Starkville alderman and a fireman, had keys and took us.

He had a remote control in his pocket and the girls were amazed that the doors would open on his command. They had never seen anything like it.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I did a poor job of reporting on the tournament in Charlotte because of my illness.

I will now give an account of my three weeks of pain. I can't imagine that anyone will be very interested in it so I excuse all my loyal readers. Rather this is an exercise in getting over it, puttting it behind me.

After the game on Sunday night, Jay and I went back to the Motel 6 in Charlotte. He was getting ready to leave, wanting to put a few miles behind him so he could go back to work on Monday.

I was trying to get him out the door before I collapsed. I did not want him to know how I felt because he would be concerned but there was nothing he could do.

I recognize now that there were signs I was getting sick, but I ignored them because I was having a good time.

Friday night I mainly just sat during the second half of the game with Stanford. Jay tried to enliven me but I told him I was saving myself for the next game.

During the game Sunday night, I was interested in the second half, I wanted to win, but I just sat and watched rather than being a participant. I did not stand up at all.

After Jay left, I turned the TV off and did not turn it back on for 36 hours. Since all of you know what a TV addict I am, you know I was really sick.

It is hard to explain how I felt. I hurt all over. I had fever. I was hot and then I would be cold. I was incredibly weak. I remember once tying a pair of pants over my head trying to get warm. I only had aspirin to take and it didn't seem to do any good.

Finally Monday evening I decided that I needed to do something, no matter how bad I felt. I looked up a walk-in clinic in the phone book that was on a street I knew.

I should have taken the phone book with me but I didn't and I couldn't find the clinic. I came upon a Charlotte library; it made me so happy because libraries are my favorite places and I knew they would help me.

I went to the desk and a woman was typing and another woman was standing there. The standing woman walked off and the typing woman kept on typing. Finally she asked what I wanted. I told her a phone book and she said the only one they had was behind the desk. I asked to see that and she hand it to me but when I opened it she told me no, you can't use it here at the desk, someone might walk up.

I took it to a chair, again looked up the address again, returned the book, and left. I went to the Walgreen's across the side street and asked for the location of the clinic but no one knew where it was.

I went back on the street and found the clinic. I went inside, threw up in the bathroom, and filled out all their forms.

They measured my temperature as 102.5. I was given a slip saying my diagnosis was bronchitis, sinusitus, with flu symptoms, and a prescription for three medicines. I gave them $120.

I went back to the Walgreen's drive through pharmacy but they did not have one of the medicines. I didn't want to get just part of it so I didn't get any. I don't know what I would have done in my right mind but my feverish mind made that decision.

By then I could not take anymore and I went back to the motel and went to bed for another 14 hours.

Tuesday morning I was no better but I had to get medicine. I went to a CVS pharmacy where they also did not have all the medicine. They had the cough medicine, no Tamiflu, and only 3 tablets of the antibiotic. This time I took what they had.

I also bought some regular Cokes. I had been drinking diet drinks and eating nothing but figured maybe a few calories might help. I was still eating no food.

I had gotten to the drugstore by making two right turns. I was unable to figure out that simple pattern and got lost going home. I got on the interstate and them on the bypass, but finally made it back to the motel.

I took the medicine. I then had a reaction to the antibiotic. It would not let me sleep. Also it gave me kidney problems.

Tuesday night on the Charlotte they told of a Charlotte woman, only 35, who had died of flu.

I thought that is what is going to happen to me. I will die and hereafter when my name comes up, someone will say "You know, she died at a Motel 6 in Charlotte."

I determined that the next day I would find a better hotel to die in.

I had been keeping in touch with Julia by phone. She and Frankie wanted to come get me but so tempting as that was I absolutely would not allow them to do that. I did not want anyone else to get this sick. My brother John also chided me for not letting him come get me.

I did not notify the Hendersons in Florence, SC, that I was sick. Julia wanted to let them know but I forbade her from doing that because I also did not want them to come get me.

Tuesday night I was awake until 4 in the morning. After about 4 hours sleep, I checked out of the Motel 6.

The medicine kept me awake or I never would have made this trip home. Leaving Charlotte I went south on the interstate and then took the bypass around Charlotte so I missed the traffic. I made it to Newport, TN, just over the state line from NC. I checked into a Best Western motel that Julia and I had stayed in before. It has the best TV lineup I have ever had, including SoapNet.

I went to a grocery store and bought some fruit and starting eating a little.

Thursday morning I went to a CVS pharmacy to get more antibiotic. I was there at 9 o'clock when the pharmacy opened. I sat in a chair by the prescription window while the pharmacist opened all the windows, talked to her fellow worker, did chores. Finally after a long while of being ignored, I just left.

I got to Nashville and stayed at a Hampton Inn at I-40 and Old Hickory road. I took the long bypass south of Nashville because I could not face all the decisions going through Nashville. It was spring break for schools so when the bypass ended I decided to drive by Anne's to see if the children were playing outside. I did not intend to stop; I just wanted a glimpse of them. They were not at home.

I reported my progress to Julia and she made an appointment with Dr. Frix for Friday afternoon.

I made it home, went to the doctor, got more medicine, and suffered through another weekend.

I went back to the doctor on Tuesday. I was no better and now had a bladder infection from the antibiotic reaction.

Each day of suffering just blendedinto another. i continued to have fever; eventually I had fever for 20 days straight.

I went back to the doctor after another 10 days. I now had a lung problem. I got new medicine. This antibiotic was so old that the 10 day supply costs $7. It did the trick and two days later I had no fever.

I am now much better but still weak.

Being so alone, so sick, and so far away, did have a bad effect on me. I have cancelled a trip to Peru that I was going on with Beth and Laura. I am worried about the altitude and I do not want to get sick away from home, especially not in a foreign country.

I have a lot to look forward to: my friend Doris Carroll is coming for the First Sunday in May, Denee's and Anne's graduation, the kids in a play at school, and Desiree's wedding.

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