Naomi Judd’s Suicide: I think about this happening at least once a day. I have always enjoyed the duo’s music. Somehow, although I knew Wynonna suffers from depression and Ashley has a fear of abandonment, I missed all of the news that Naomi had a history of depression. My first feeling was a sense of anger, because she ended her life the very night before the Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. To make her daughters, especially her singing partner, Wynonna, deal with her death and her chosen means of death less than 24 hours before this induction was set to happen is what makes me angry. But then, I have to quickly stop that thought of being angry at her. I have been to the edge of that cliff with my toes hanging over, only once, thank you, God, and I reached out to a hand I trusted to pull me back. When I spoke to my parents about it, my dad’s initial reaction was “did you even stop to think about what you’d be doing to us?”. I was still working my way through the emotions that had brought me to that place; today, I would speak up and say, “Hey, guess what? This isn’t about you!” And so, I’ve got conflicting emotions about this happening, and a whole lot of sadness that this woman who was loved by so many could no longer fight the demon.
Roe v. Wade: At the age of 65, my right to have an abortion is a moot point. I walk on both sides of the fence on the issue of legalized abortion. For the most part, I am pro-choice. We are humans and sometimes we make mistakes; everybody is entitled to make a mistake without having the government saddle them with how it chooses that mistake to punish them. I also agree that there must be perimeters in place for said abortions, limits to how many weeks along is too late to have an abortion, how many abortions a woman may have in her lifetime. I’ve heard multiple stories of women carrying multiple fetuses in her womb and a medical professional suggesting that she consider downsizing the number of children to give the remaining children a better chance of survival. I’ve heard multiple stories of parents given the option to terminate a pregnancy when it is determined that the fetus she is carrying has several medical and emotional deformities that mean the child will probably end up institutionalized. Both of those cases involve aborting a fetus. And obviously, in the case of a traumatic event where a decision has to be made to save the baby or the woman, taking the baby would be abortion. The pro-lifers are committed to saying that life begins at conception, so they would have to disallow all of these kinds of cases and let ‘nature take its course’. Oh, and forget being able to abort a fetus that is the result of rape, incest or other form of sexual abuse. And that is why I lean to the pro-choice side, but, as I said, with perimeters for the legality to have one.
Talking on the telephone: I don’t know when it started, but I have reached a point where I absolutely abhor having to talk ‘live’ via telephone. When I try to think about why I feel that way, I know that part of the reason is because I find it harder to focus and remember what’s been said when done verbally. I seldom have a telephone conversation when I don’t have something to write on and something to write with next to me so that I can jot down notes while the other person is talking. I also think, in my weird way of thinking, that it’s an extension of my desire to not intrude on another person’s time or space. With a text or an email, the recipient has the choice to respond immediately or respond later. It also gives the speaker the chance to say everything without interruption (I’m really bad at interrupting my brother sometimes, but that’s because what I just thought will be gone if I don’t say it right after I thought it.) I hate talking on the phone so much that I pile up phone calls I need to make – making appointments, talking to my insurance companies, questioning a bill, asking for additional information – and then sit down and dedicate time to making all of those phone calls one right after another. Recently, I had four telephone calls I wanted to make. I piled them up by priority. The first was to make an appointment for some diagnostic tests. There is a central appointment department for all of the sites for the particular practice I prefer. I was on-hold waiting for a real person to talk to me, and I ended up being on hold for almost 25 minutes. The site closest to me (across the street from my doctor’s office close!) did not have an opening to do the kind of test I needed to have done until November. That’s right, it’s May and nothing is open until November! The next closest one is about 15 miles away, and on the same street as the fire company that hosts the Red Cross blood donation collections that I use. And they could get me in there within 4 days. The drive there, even though it’s only 15 miles, will take 30 minutes because our little boroughs and villages around here have very few two-laned roads and none of them are highways. And 15 miles round-trip will take the better part of 2 gallons of gas, which, on my last fill-up, was $4.58 a gallon. All set though, after about and additional 15 minutes on top of my prwait time. Second call was to the billing department for my doctor’s practice because I received a bill for my last visit in April. This was a quick call, thankfully. The person pulled up my account, saw that my insurance had paid the bill, and apologized that I had received a bill in error. Easy peasy. Next was a call to my insurance company. This call took roughly a half-hour to complete, and I chose not to ask all of the questions I had, just the ones I needed an answer to sooner than later. The person was helpful and polite, but she was of very heavy accent and more than once I had to ask her to repeat herself (because I couldn’t understand her). By the time I ended that call, I’d spent a torturous hour and 20 minutes on the phone, and I just didn’t have it in me to make another call to talk to another person. Plus, I needed to go someplace.
Visiting the hospital: My best friend’s husband ended up back in the hospital on Sunday due to a high ammonia level in his system. I don’t know much about it, except that the ‘average’ is to be between 11 and 35 and his was 78 at admission. This is the second time it’s happened, and it causes him to become confused and unaware of himself. The first time it happened was pretty scary for his wife and son, but this time George seemed aware that something was wrong, and Joanne immediately called for an ambulance. He was in St. Luke’s, which is the newest hospital in our area. We had a lovely visit and talk, and in addition to the fact that all of the patient rooms are singles, he said the food is good and arrives hot, the nurses and assistants who check on him are friendly and very thorough and also very patient (he’s hard of hearing and they have to wear masks) when he asks them to repeat themselves. Once or twice, because he was being asked questions by someone standing beside him and I could tell he wasn’t sure what was asked, I repeated the question to him louder and slower, and because I was sitting directly across from him, the sound traveled directly to him. I felt very helpful! And George is often more silent than talkative, and I’ve told my bestie that sometimes I don’t even warrant a “hello” when I see him; she discussed that with him apparently and he told me that it’s not about me, and he likes me just as much as he always had. Because I spend most of my time one-on-one with Joanne, I never really get much time with George or their son, Kevin, so this visit to him goes down in the memory book as one I really enjoyed. I also know, based on what I’d seen of the building and the staff, this is the hospital I want to go to if I ever need to go to the hospital!
Mother Nature: It looks like Mother Nature may be starting to get her act together. We’re not having those overnights that cause frost on the windshields of cars, and our temperatures are starting to want to hover around the upper 60s/lower 70s. I’m good with that! I have a friend out in Iowa who said they were supposed to hit 90 yesterday and possibly 100 today! It seems a bit soon for that kind of heat, since no one in the deep south has seen those kinds of temperatures yet. I have another friend who is vacationing this week in the Outer Banks and it has been cold with high winds since they got there. There is even a video out there of a house that was built on stilts right at the shoreline which crumbled into the water when the wind blew the stilts right out from under it! They rented this beautiful vacation house with its own heated pool and hot tub, and it’s too cold to get into either. Gayle is an avid swimmer, going to indoor pools in the winter to get her laps in, and I know she was looking forward to having this uncrowded pool, so I feel bad for her in that regard. I have to be honest, though – hearing these stories about it being unbearably hot or cold and windy makes me appreciate the weather we’re supposed to have for the rest of the week. A chance of rain on Friday, but last weekend, it steadily rained all of Friday afternoon and evening and Saturday all day until late afternoon, so this is an improvement! Of course, I have two appointments scheduled for Friday because that’s how my life works…
So, that’s pretty much what’s going through my head and taking up my time lately. What’s new with you?