Friday, January 20, 2006

As The World Turns

Wasn't that the name of a soap opera? Another World was the one I watched as a teenager. Sometimes you get to watch one and sometimes you get to star in your very own version. I'll pass on both thank you very much.

Random thoughts tonight are as good as it gets. Dearest one has had a headache since Wednesday. A few hours in ER today with IV meds but no relief. He is sleeping and hoping a new prescription for migraines works wonders. The internist told him last week after his stress test that he could only use his migraine meds twice a month. He used up a month's worth then in the last 36 hours. I knew it was bad this morning when he said it was as painful as when he had meningitis. It doesn't get much more painful than that, trust me. Thankfully his white blood cell count today was normal otherwise the doctor was going to do the long needle in the back routine to make sure this headache wasn't because of encephalitis.

A man we used to pick up as he hitchhiked his way from here to town was in a bed a few curtains down. I didn't recognize him until I heard him talking to the nurse on duty. I missed my chance to go visit with him before they wheeled him away. This man had an incredible memory - it was a year once in between times when we saw him standing on the side of the road hoping for a ride. He got in and remembered us all by name. His memory is slipping now and that saddens me. I think of all the people who would have passed him by on the road and not known what a kind and gracious man they missed getting to know.

As I was sitting there waiting to see if the IV was going to help I also heard a little child crying. The kind of crying where one could envision picking her up and cradling her in your arms and the sobs would get quieter and fewer in between. As I listened to her and her mom I thought about how all those tears of childhood mark us - the kind of tears I heard today do anyway. It's a wonder we don't one day melt away with the pain of buried tears.

I thought about two brothers I knew when I was an aide in a classroom eons ago and how one of them was bright and sunny all the time and one wore only a scowl. One day the sunshiny one came to my house to collect any bottles I had for the depot. He was as cheerful as could be. At school on Monday when I asked him what he had bought with the bottle money he told me he had bought a loaf of bread and some sandwich meat and stuff for lunch. He was happy. How is it that one person gets blessed with a sunny disposition and the other one not? And why do we punish the one with the scowl as if it were his fault?

Sitting across from the drugstore I watched a woman cross the street and was admiring the playful splash of black hair set against her natural grey when I realized she was a coworker from that fast food restaurant I wrote about the other day. She too, is unable to work now. I rolled down my window and called to her. We visited a while and she told me how she had spent 4 days in her apartment recently without getting a phone call or a knock on her door. She grew up in this town and has plenty of family. I wondered if she has scared all her friends away. When I worked with her I suspected she might be addicted to pain killers as she ate them like candy and got very angry when the doctor tried to get her to wean herself off them. I sit here tonight with her phone number and home address before me not knowing whether to keep it or throw it away.

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