Monday, September 09, 2013

more perspective

I posted about my good friend whose life is hell due to the incapacity of her husband caused by medical errors.  Although they will be financially able to afford his care, they will be forever in a state of hell.  That put my petty concerns into perspective really fast.

Now, I have had three friends in the last couple of weeks who are all dealing with various stages of medical problems - all of which have long term consequences for them and remind all of us of our mortality.  One friend, who was actually just diagnosed a few weeks ago, is undergoing treatment that I'm afraid my actually kill him.  Although no one wants to say the words "palliative care" I think they are important to keep in mind.  Treatment that provides no anticipation of any future quality of life may not be the best choice.

Another friend is having problems with medication balances which are rendering her virtually a prisoner in her home since she has no idea when she will just collapse!    A scary thing to find your body is just unable to hold you up anymore and finding your self on the floor.

And another just sent an email that says "Need to reschedule because we have an appointment at Hopkins that day that we can't change...."  OK, that is actually code for "we are seeking a second or third opinion, or we have something so complicated that we are heading to Hopkins."  Although Johns Hopkins is just about an hour away from us no one uses it as our first line medical care.  So, that email tells me a lot in a few words.

Knock wood, we are all in good health, including my 92 year old father, so even when I complain I really know that I have nothing to complain about.  Life is good.  My job now is to be a good friend to all these good friends since I know they would do the same for me.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

catching up, getting ready

After a lovely "work week" at the beach where I sat around watching people to install new windows and a new door at my condo I returned home to get things around the house here caught up. 

My father' birthday dinner - Thanksgiving Birthday Dinner - went flawlessly thanks to the catering company that provided all the food!  This was both easy and surprisingly economical.  Food for 6 guests (and plenty of leftovers) all cooked to perfection and ready for my pickup came to $140.  I don't think that I would have spent much less on the food had I prepared it myself.  Turkey breasts at this time of year are not cheap, if you can even find one as was my problem when I tried to do this myself a few years ago.  And we had food for everyone to take home.  And the price included a spectacular birthday cake that was truly the best cake I've ever eaten (one trick was she added a touch of almond extract to the yellow cake, but she wouldn't tell me the secret to the perfect fudge icing).   Everyone had a good time, my father was happy and I didn't stress over getting the dinner on the table so success all around.

Next we have had some maintenance work done on our house - recent installation of a new heating and air conditioning, then exterior painting and repair of roof and siding.  I feel like I've done little but watch people work.  The house now looks good and should stay in good repair for a number of years.

Now I'm working at getting the inside of the house in order for us to be gone for almost 4 weeks.  Its not like leaving for the weekend.  And I'm deciding on clothes, changing my mind, pulling out different items, repeat.  Actually I'm good with the clothes now (until I change my mind again) but I do have a definite shoe issue.  I really dislike shoes, I have few shoes that actually fit me, and I can't stand wearing athletic shoes at all, which everyone seems to insist are necessary for walking distances.  My feet just get claustrophobic and want to be let loose!  So I have had a new cycle of purchase, return, repeat.  I had a huge box for (which I love because I can try on the shoes at all different times of day, kinds of sock/stockings, with pants, dresses, etc.  and then return the ones I don't like) from which I selected 1 pair which I'm still debating on keeping.  (Another perk is you have a whole year to decide if you like them.) 

We are at two weeks and counting before our departure for Spain and I'm into making the last of the lists of things to get done.  Rental car is next up but I had to recover from buying the train tickets which should have been easy but like most things in Spain, was not.  I tried the website in English and in Spanish to see what I was missing and it was just hit or miss if the transaction would go through.  Finally, after two days of trying,  I got all the tickets purchased and printed.   The rental car issues were things that could be discussed in English with insurance and credit card companies so I think I have a handle on the rules and insurance coverage and just need to deal with the second driver charges (I'm thinking that Charlie can do all the driving and I'll save that money!)

Busy weekend ahead - Happy Hour with friends on Friday, Bar Mitzvah for grandson of dear friends on Saturday, movies with other friends on Saturday night, Sunday brunch for my father.   Now off to make another list ......

  • Let all credit card and bank know we are in Europe so they don't close down our accounts
  • Get zinc tabs and meletonin from health food store
  • Copies of all documents scanned on put onto phone/cloud
  • Stop mail/Stop paper
  • Arrangements for airport transportation
  • Hair cut/eyebrows/makeup purchase - sounds like a day at the mall
  • ............