Thursday, October 13, 2011
“ You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’
Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I've been driving Reva around for two days to four different dentists/doctors. I even took yesterday off to do it. Why?
We haven't communicated much since I've moved (my bad), but I called her and she was in bad shape. She had made the decision to have her upper teeth pulled and a plate put in, and had had it done five days prior. Not being in touch and so not being able to tell her what to expect she had just followed the dentist's recommendations.
She was in extreme pain, food and water were coming out of her nose, she was consuming maybe 400 calories a day, the plate had jagged edges that exacerbated the pain, she could feel a bone in one of the holes that was left, her jaw was yellow and swollen, her sinus' were a mess, and her arm where they tried to introduce the drug to make her sleep (which it didn't) was a technicolor marvel. She was on Vicodin (this woman who... seriously... will not take aspirin unless under threat of death), and it wasn't helping. She didn't think George could get out of work, and how would she drive? And I'm thinking... this is extreme.
I drove her as she subconsciously held onto both jaws to the 'Oral Surgeon's' office (and I use the term, oh so loosely) and we went in. It was a Japanese themed office. Low slung furniture. No tables. Large shallow bowls with decorative moss balls in them.... salt water fish tank... three young receptionists that wouldn't give us the time of day until she hovered over their minimalist enclosure.
They called her in. She had so many questions. I had a book in my lap.
As she left I opened it... read a sentence and realized my bookmark was too far ahead. I flipped about five pages back, read a page and heard a noise. She was back. Not walking through the door, but already at the minimalist enclosure. She said something to one of the receptionists and we left. It took, maybe seven minutes.
There is so much more to this story, but in this instance what happened was... she went in, was seated, he came in, shoved something into the gaping hole, she said she was in so much pain and he answered as he left, 'It takes time'.
She then told me she'd found out he was a 'Med Spa' doctor... meaning Botox, etc. Explains the decor.
We then went to her dentist and her doctor, who looked into her mouth and said, "Oh, my God." The doctor set up an appointment today with a different oral surgeon to look her over.
Reva was HUNGRY and wanted to thank me for driving her, so food was the objective. I kept trying to come up with soft things....... which often leads to breakfast. We went to a heavenly pancake house because corned beef hash seemed possible. After the waiter brought the food and left I picked up my fork; she put her hands together, closed her eyes and prayed just for an instant. I stopped to acknowledge her and yet my emotional/ childhood/psychological response kicked in. I kept it to myself.
Being the strong woman that she is, I don't think Reva knows she murmurs when she hurts. She's too busy battling the pain. You can see her awareness go inward. Focusing. Focusing. The murmur is the fight.
That was her, often in the passenger seat.
That was her, trying to eat as I mowed through my plate.
Today, we went to the second surgeon and there was some murmuring going on. He says some of what she's going through is normal, and some is.... well, a wait of four weeks is important. I think that sometimes physicians close ranks. But what I think doesn't matter.
In our travels, Reva told me there was a way to buy cigarettes for 28.00 a carton. Someone had given her a sample from what they had and told her where to go. She had offered me a sample and it worked for me....so today, after hell, we found the smoke shop.
My God, we had fun. It's a place where you pick your filter, then your tobacco....fit it all into a machine and in 8 minutes... Voila! a carton of cigarettes. The kid in charge of the place was amazing.... even though the place was filled with people and he seemed surprised at how many of us there were.
We both bought a carton and came home.
Have you read this far? Well, I thank you because this is where the awareness comes in.
You can't smoke these days, and not feel the heat. Reva and I are from Kentucky, and though she is a few years younger than I... that was the culture growing up there.
As a child, I remember driving behind trucks full of tobacco going to market and the sweet smell on the street as the leaves fell to the pavement and were crushed by cars.. It's what you did. Your parents smoked. Your parent's friends smoked. Your friends smoked. You smoked.
You also knew it was bad for you. That's why I hate the lawsuits. We knew then. Our grandparents told us. It's always been fairly obvious... but, it's what we did.
I decided to post this cigarette extravaganza on Facebook. Before I did, I looked at how many of my 'Friends' lived near me and smoked. There was a niggling thought about non-smokers, but...
Oh, yeah. But.
I immediately got, and I kid you not, 'STOP SMOKING NOW!'.
Well, sure Lesley. I just put out my last cigarette and now I'm going out to frolic with the flowers.
Instead, I wrote a kind response.
She wrote back that she knew it was hard but I could do it.
I posted that I knew it was hard years ago.
She posted an obnoxious quote about being a runner and why she does and cancer was in there... and. give. me. a. break.
It occurred to me today that the strongest woman I know, smokes. And she also prays, in restaurants. She is a lovely dichotomy.
And though she throws me off at every turn, she is a cornerstone... a touchstone.... and all the best of what her God may create.
I know she is enough.