About a week ago I had gone to our local HEB grocery store to get some things (all essential, trust me). I walked into the bread and pastry aisle to look for some Oreo Double Stuff cookies (okay, I lied about essential) and all the shelves were bare. I walked up and down the aisle twice and found nothing except a small pack of Fig Newtons. I like Fig Newtons, but I already had a pack at home that I had bought a month before and had not touched. I was walking away when I noticed a bag at the very bottom shelf toward the back. I crouched down and got it. It was a bag of Ginger Snap Crunchy Cookies. A single solitary bag just pushed up the back of the shelf. I vaguely remembered having tried them once but could not recall if I hated them or not. I sure didn’t love them or else I would have kept buying them. But what were my options? Pandemics have a way of making us “try new things”. So I took the bag. I hopped over to the coffee aisle and stocked up on my Donut Shop coffee for my Keurig and headed for the exit.
Move forward a week later. I am in love with Ginger Snap Cookies. They are literally the best cookie to have with my coffee. No contest. I don’t know why I hadn’t found these sooner or why it took a pandemic for me to realize this, but these are now my official coffee cookies. Try them when you get the chance.
Pain is relative
When I was a detective I got to see many people in emotional pain. I learned a lot from them. Mostly I learned that we don’t all hurt the same, and when we heal, we don’t all heal the same. There was a such a great disparity in how people reacted to loss of control. I saw some victims of violent crime be strong and come back from it without much of a problem. Others would never be the same again. I would see those who simply had their house burglarized (while they weren’t at home) feel such a violation of their person that they would have to move away and never feel safe again anywhere.
I see this disparity happening right now with the pandemic. Some people are taking it in stride and can see the end near. Others are taking it as a violent assault on their life that will never end. They are being damaged and hurt by it in a way that the others don’t understand, and when this is over they will be different, and many won’t understand that either.
The key to all of us getting through it is to understand this disparity and not to judge it. Those getting damaged are just as much human as everyone else. They do not choose to suffer damage. They do not choose to be different.
I only mention these things because I see a lot of people chastising people for being weak. For making a big deal about what is happening during this pandemic. That is plain evil. Please, if you see someone doing this get involved. Get in the way. Stop people from trying to hurt others who are already hurting. Take a stand for those that need our help.
Captain No Fish and the 21st Century
Captain No Fish is taking classes on line, which, if you know anything about him, is as frightening as the pandemic itself. He was scheduled to take them on a campus, but ever since the time of Corona all campuses just about everywhere have been closed.
Captain No Fish, though younger than I, comes from a different time and place than many of us. Picture Marshall Matt Dillion from the TV show Gunsmoke taking online classes (okay, maybe Festus). He’s just as likely to shoot the computer as poke at the keys. The other day one his daughters called him and wanted to Face Time with him so he could see and talk to his granddaughter. He told her he didn’t have a smart phone. I had to tell him he was holding a smart phone in his hand. He had had a smart phone at least since I met him over a year ago. The app to Face Time was already on his phone.
He’s just a guy who has never had much need for technology, until, of course, the pandemic. Now he takes online courses every day for several hours a day. He is completely out of his element. And I would have guessed by now that the Captain would be like a fish out of water, struggling for air on the deck of his own boat. But he is not, he is shrugging along like a champ. He is, as he likes to say, is “kicking ass”. Of course I get called over to his place a good 10 times during his class to find some link he can’t find, open some website he can’t open, or just log him back in when he accidentally logs himself out. This past Thursday I was actually worried because he did not call me to log him into the class like he had done the 5 days before that. I walked over to his place and from is living room window I saw him sitting at his desk listening to his instructor and taking notes. I almost cried. What a trooper.
Of course it didn’t last. That very night I was told by a reliable source that when class ended that night the instructor told everyone to log off so he could talk to a student afterwards. He did, or at least thought that he did. A minute later the instructor, who could see that he was still online, came on and told him to log off. He told the instructor that he was off line, which yeah, if he had actually been off line he would not have been able to tell the instructor that he wasn’t online. It took him a while to catch on. If I didn’t like this guy so much I would have put him out of his misery right there and then. But he is a good guy, and good guys are scarce in the time of Corona.
Pain is not relative
Pain don’t hurt. -Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse
I have had this excruciating pain on my left side for about a month and half. It started out at about a 2 for a few days, but quickly moved up to a constant 7-9 from there. And then it started to radiate to my lower back and other places. Quality of life was (is) non-existent. I went to doctor and they ordered a sonogram which came back negative. I have a CT scan scheduled for Monday and have for the last two weeks been on Tylenol 3 and taking it 3 times a day maybe about 8 hours apart. It has helped. Takes the edge of the pain enough for me to want to do normal things like read and write or, you know, breathe. I have in all honesty never been in this much pain in my entire life.
I only realized this because the other day a strange this happened that almost never happens to me. I was sitting outside in my patio and for a brief moment I realized I was crying. And I don’t cry. Unless you count The Lion King the first time I saw it and my mom’s funeral I am pretty much cry free. Okay, those commercials about dog abuse and those kids from the Shriner’s Hospital for Children really get to me. Let’s stop there.
And here’s the thing. I was not crying because I was in pain. I was crying because I wasn’t. I had that day switched the Ty3 to every 6 hours instead of every 8 (with doc’s permission) and I realized for a moment that I had no pain at all. None whatsoever. The med doses must have overlapped just right to finally bring the pain to a complete stop for just few brief moments. I realized then how bad the actual pain had been.
It didn’t last, of course. But it was an eye opener. The pain has made me very short with people in the last month or so. I have been told you can see the pain in my face and my forehead and upper lip have beads of sweat on them when I am in pain. I am lucky we can’t leave the house much because I would likely tell stupid people off in person rather than just on FB or my blog. I did notice the other day I might have been a bit rude to one of the nurses at the doctors who tried to change my doctors appointment to another day because I was 45 seconds late in signing in that day. I got to see the doctor anyway, but I was in pain and I regret taking it out on her. She was just doing her job.
But I am sure by next week I’ll have some answers and this will be solved. I am only blogging right now because I ran into one of those overlapping med moments today. I can’t concentrate enough to read or write if I am not in those moments. I am forced into binge watching Netflix to keep my mind off the pain. I might have even forgotten about the pandemic for a few hours here and there this past week when the pain is great enough. But enough of that.
Be kind to one another. It doesn’t cost a penny, and it brings your soul untold riches.