Downs and Ups

Dear Liza,

I know you and your school friends started distance learning yesterday. I would be starting school too, in the same situation of being on-line rather than in class, if I hadn’t retired a few years ago.

Encouragement from everywhere…

Because I taught school for thirty years, Fall has always been emotional for me. The joy of seeing old friends and students, the stress of starting new challenges, the fun of doing what I loved, all added up to a bit of an emotional avalanche.

Yesterday was a different kind of avalanche. It started with a pretty routine doctor’s visit. I thought I had a kidney stone and wanted it checked out. After a few tests, I was relieved. No infection, no stone. So I can go home now, right?

Well, because of a heart diagnosis from a few years’s back, they wanted more tests to make sure my heart was all right. This meant a trip to the Emergency Room, which is where they do tests here. Auntie Bridgett had driven me, and when it became obvious this was going to be a longer haul, she went and fetched Grandpa Nelson. They sat in the waiting room while I sat in the bed behind swinging doors.

Occasional hard truth…


SEVEN hours later, after blood draws, sonograms, and MRIs, I was pronounced ‘just fine’ and excused. No idea what the ‘stone’ pain or symptoms were from. My heart is healthy, although I was given the name of a local thoracic surgeon to see ‘to follow up’ on the heart issue, just in case.

We got home near midnight, too stressed to sleep and too tired to think straight. I felt as though I had gone to put my toe in a river and ended up being washed miles downstream. I’m not sure what the bill for this medical fiasco of an afternoon will be, but pray that my insurance covers it.

So, that was the down part of the day. The UP part?

That my people were with me, caring for me, sending me love and concern. Grandpa Nelson smuggling me a Payday candy bar because I hadn’t eaten all day. Auntie Bridgett bringing me the Willamette Weekly crossword puzzle. Offspring worried from afar. Doctors who explained and comforted, even through long hours of administrative frustration. Coming home to a cat who missed us.

And a random flower photo.

Well, sweetie, I hope your day was better than mine. Today I plan to go for a long walk to celebrate being ‘just fine’ and take an oath to stay out of hospitals for a long, long, time.

Love,

Grandma Judy