Trinity East has exasperated us, per the norm, once again.  Mum complained of feeling "weird" at 1 am.  She had an extremely low pulse.  The night nurse told her that nothing was wrong, and she was "bringing it upon herself", ie her panic attacks are annoying.

The problem with that statement is that panic attacks increase blood pressure and pulse. They don't drop a heart rate down to 39 beats a minute.

The morning nurse took vitals once she came on shift, and properly raced to alert the doctors. Mum was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Trinity West. 

When I arrived, she was in a small bay - the larger occupied by another cardiac patient - and hooked up to the happy red crash cart. Her heart rate was in the 50s, but her O2 was dismal at the 78-88% range.  They put her through a battery of tests before moving her upstairs to a room.

I headed home without any answers as to what was causing this condition. It wasn't until the next day that I learned she ha…


Music is powerful.  It awakens our senses, lifting us to heights we never dreamed possible, or else giving us reason to gird our loins and grit our teeth.  It sways the masses. It lulls the infant.  It serves as a tool when in love.  It is the secondary heat beat for so many individuals.

My go-to song when shit gets real is the old Sinatra tune, "My Way". Sung in a minor key, it serves no other purpose than to harness my determination to assert myself.

For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught  To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels  The record shows I took the blows and did it my way...
Such was the case all during February. My mother is still in the hospital.

Mum is a stubborn individual. She holds on to everything, and frequently buys junk through Publishers Clearing House.  The result was clutter and everyday items left out because cupboards, shelves, drawers, and other storage areas were filled with that junk.  The…


Does anyone remember the Publishers Clearing House of yesteryear?  The envelope would arrive with little stickers tucked inside.  You could order popular magazines at a nice discount.  They'd also enter you in their sweepstakes.

Nostalgia be damned.  They now swindle people via phone apps and through their website, should your parents be computer savvy.

PCH has gone too far with their bullshit, as I recently discovered.

With my mother in the hospital, I have spent over two months dealing with DAILY mailings from this organization.  Our mailbox is also inundated with a metric crapton of adverts from other companies. And, to make matters worse, my parents receive far too many telephone solicitations.

The culprit?  Considering I registered my parents' landline as a "do not call" number, the only way telemarketers could get the number is if someone in the house gave permission to an agency.  Publisher's Clearing House, to be exact.

PCH is infamous for selling your …

WINTER: An Adventure Every Day

...aka Ermahgerd wernder!

The roads were insane today.  The city plow hadn't returned by time I left for my appointment. Though in the truck and using 4-wheel drive, I fishtailed down the alley, into the turn, down the main street, and up the road to the state highway.  There the road was plowed, but only one lane.  It was clear enough to do about 50mph in a sedan.  The problem was all the motorists doing 20mph.  This forced the rest of us to drive in the deep slush in order to pass them.  The result was a spin-out for most, or smacking the barrier between both sides of the highway.
Total car and truck graveyard. Way too many pissed off, stranded motorists.
Seriously, if you are not comfortable driving during inclement weather, do us all a favor and stay the hell home. Going slow is safe but not when your speed is so slow that it impairs all traffic behind you, including semis trying to get enough momentum to make it up hills.
I had very little difficultly.  Yes, I fishtailed. Yes…

WINTER: Baby, it's cold outside

I am exhausted, so much so that my brain fog seems to have permanently warped into a vortex of confusion.  I find myself searching for the correct words when speaking or writing. Who needs those, right?  We're all good provided the message gets across.
I have not kept this blog updated for that reason. My normal routine is suspended while Mum is in the hospital, and I've stepped down from much of my day-to-day things - including command of my CAP unit. That was bitter-sweet.
Mum finally got it into her head that her recovery speed is entirely dependent upon her mindset. She stopped fussing over every ache and pain. She stopped fighting the therapists with regard to what her limitations are (comfort vs compliance).  And she seemed to take it very well when her surgeon told her that she could not smoke or drink again.  (In fact, he told me to get rid of all the ashtrays and pour out the alcohol - Mum didn't bat an eye.  Better Half and I poured out her bottle of scotch last…

CHRISTMAS: Now Fortified With More WTFs

Image was a day.

Yesterday was better. We visited Mum.

She was still very weak, and she didn't like the fact that they were pushing her to work harder than she wanted.  I explained to her that she was going to be pushed. She has to do the exercises in order to grow stronger and avoid complications.

"I know my limitations," my mother sighed. "They are pushing too hard."

 "You need to do them, Ma."  I don't cave when she fusses.  "If you don't do them, you're going to stay weak. You need to cough when they say, even if it hurts. Hug the pillow..."

She nods off.

I sigh.  We leave, and then head over to our favorite Christmas Eve Chinese restaurant.  It's a BH and GC tradition.  This time, we were able to bring Dad.

He doesn't get much opportunity to eat at restaurants these days. I think it was a welcomed reprieve from the daily drudgery.  He even refused to use his wheelchair, preferring to walk in under his own power.

WELL, AIN'T THAT SOMMAT: It's almost Christmas

Life has a habit of slipping by more quickly than anticipated. I found my eyes widening as one of my annual customs cropped up in my reminder queue: Queen Elizabeth II wishing her kingdom a very merry Christmas. It won't air until the 25th; have a link to People.

Christmas is Almost Now. We haven't put up the tree nor decorated. We've been too busy dealing with life, with Mum's surgery and recovery, and with other things.

If necessary, I suppose I could slap a tree up tomorrow. I have one ready to go: thin pre-lit tree, lots of cheap plastic ornaments. It's tacky as fuck and in no way does it really jive with our standard stuff. I bought it last month when we realized the downstairs couldn't support the size of our customary junk.  Dad's hospital bed and equipment, and his mobility, take priority.

I had already come to the conclusion that we wouldn't have more than a simple dinner on the 25th. Look at it in a practical sense, I could write a book on n…