with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Parents and Sicks

Whew, what happened to the week?

I finally got ahold of my mother in Lisbon to wish her a belated happy birthday and to check in to see how their three week cruise around the Mediterranean had gone. She reports that they have had a great time, though she sounded incredibly exhausted. She got the flowers I sent to her, and the bouquet was so large, she split it into two so she would have one by her bed and the other on the desk in their hotel room. Isn’t that nice.

I also took time to check in with my dad, living his normal life in Marysville, Washington, going to the local pancake house every morning for grease on a plate, playing with his fishing boat, and avoiding all doctors. I have been nagging him again to get to the doctor for a full checkup and at least get his hips looked at. He sits all the time and his body has locked into a sitting position. Walking is incredibly painful and miserable, so he just doesn’t do it. But he whines about it and tries, once in a while. He probably needs hip replacements or some kind of therapy or surgery to fix whatever is locked up and broken, but then he has to work to keep it in shape. I get all my procrastination genes from my father, that’s for sure. Ugh. Anyway, hopefully I have nagged him enough and I told him I would call in a few days to give him grief.

Having spent a majority of my life taking “care” of my father in one way or another, after seven years out of the care-taking role, I’m finding it a great relief and pleasure to not have to be there to witness the self-imposed deteriation. I can savour all the energy I save by not hounding him to walk and move and get about. He is actually doing much better than I thought without my constant presence, but I have started hounding from afar because he is slowly getting “worse”. We’ll see.

What else happened? I’ve been so busy, I’ve hardly had time to do any writing. Ruth called me at six in the morning on Wednesday to tell me her daughter had left home after being very ill for over a week and returned to Beersheva, almost two hours away, to get back to her work there. Only two days before she was being hauled to doctors for bleeding and coughing up blood and such, combined with the horrible flu, chest infection, and a massive dose of antibiotics, only to be told that the antibiotics caused the bleeding and that it was “normal”. She was confined to bed for the rest of the week. But oh, no. She’s barely 18 and thinks she knows everything, so she took off with her mother telling her this was stupid and the wrong thing to do. A few hours later, in the middle of the night, of course, she gets sick, has cramps, and wants mommy to come rescue her. Mommy has to wait until morning because she doesn’t have a car. Ruth decided to take a taxi and called me to cancel our appointment. I cancelled my day’s appointments and drove her down to Beersheva instead. Ugh. In the meantime, I told her, tell her daughter to get her cute butt to the hospital because it would be four to six hours before we could get her to the hospital or doctor here in Tel Aviv and this is nothing to waste time on. So she did. Turned out the infection had spread to her urinary tract, so I warned her that in addition to all the antibiotics (which aggravated the urinary tract infection, as it does to me every time), there would be no sex for at least three weeks, or this could boil up again. I don’t think she listened, but then again, neither did I when I was her age.

I drove them back and Ruth got her into bed where she is to stay until the end of the weekend, at least.

As for me, I have been fighting a sore throat through now for over six weeks. I kept thinking that it was just the left overs from the sinus infection I had the week before Dahni died, and then with all the crying and sadness for the past month dealing with the loss, just left overs. But I finally took a flashlight to my throat and freaked. It was coated white with yellow spots. I told Brent and he checked our insurance card and, of course, it hadn’t been renewed since September. It was still current, but the card had a September date on it. So he had to call his agent and get a new card, which, of course, takes a couple of days. Ruth heard me whining about it and promptly called her oldest friend in Tiberias who is a head honcho at a clinic up there and made arrangements for a few favors to be called in. Brent and I drove up on Friday after he got home from work, a long two hour drive, and within seconds he diagnosed me with the normal throat infection, the kind I’ve dealt with all my life, put me on antibiotics and told me to gargle with baking soda and warm water. Well, that was a lot of fright for something I am so used to. I just deal with it faster, but I haven’t been paying attention to much for a while. So I missed the early clues. I’ve also run out of Amoxicilyn, so now I have just enough to last me for the five day regimen, but I do have to get some more on one of our trips to a country that is free with their sale of drugs. Since I have chronic once or twice a year attacks, this is something I can easily treat myself, having spent over 40 years dealing with it. Such are the steps you take when you live on the road and your health insurance sucks.

My friend, Maureen, got her hand thoroughly bitten by one of her cats and it swelled up to three times its normal size. She went to the clinic and they gave her a tetanus shot, and then she felt miserable from that. Ugh. She understands it was an accident, that she caused by not paying attention to his need NOT to be picked up right then, so she isn’t so mad at him as she is at herself. We both understand cats better than we do people, I think.

She and I were supposed to head up to Tiberias on Thursday to go meat shopping at a wonderful butcher up there, Limousine, which also houses a fabu restaurant, and then hit a dairy farm on the way back, but things didn’t turn out that way. I was all packed and ready to go and I couldn’t find the car keys. What a nightmare. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow, but suffice it to say, it was a good thing that it was called off as Maureen was seriously miserable with her bad hand. More ugh.

I did get more work done on the web site, and I’ll be uploading all the new stuff next week, but ain’t it a bitch when life gets in the way of your life.

Tel Aviv, Israel

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