Last Night I Crashed!

I have always called it crashing. After several nights of being awake all night I lay down last night and fell asleep. Not just the regular kind of sleep but a very deep sleep that no one could wake me from.

I’ve done this many times in the past few years — maybe longer. But others only saw it happen in the past few years. This time was a little bit different though. I’m living in an assisted living facility now. Ya know — the kind with nurses on duty all the time. One of my friends had come into my room for a visit, saw me not moving, and according to them all I was lying there with my mouth open and barely breathing. I didn’t know about that, but it paints a very unattractive picture, doesn’t it?

Well, Lisa called the nurse in and she later told me I wasn’t breathing at the time. I didn’t know that happened, just that it wasn’t anything new for me. Still asleep at first I didn’t know what all they were doing until I began waking up. Goodness! one of them was pounding my chest while another was using a cold cloth to bathe my face. I tried to tell them to go away and let me sleep but the words wouldn’t come out. Frustrating!

I have always had a soft voice, my inheritance from my Dad, but to lie there and feel them working over me as if I were dying was pretty new for me. And to keep trying to talk and have them ignore what I was trying to say was even worse. I don’t know how long we were doing all of this, but maybe they had just been using the wrong words when they called my name and kept telling me to come back. I then heard another few words — the ambulance is here! At least that brought me to the point of being able to finally start waking up and talking so they could hear.

I have nothing against ambulances. Some of the time they are very comforting, like when I broke my leg. But when I am waking up from a deep sleep it’s a bother to hear that they have called one. I mean really! I was just catching up on all that lost sleep!

The guys had rolled the gurney in by the time I was fully awake, and they kept saying I should go to the hospital to be checked out. I kept telling them I was okay and it wasn’t anything new. It was the first time I had ever heard the details of what I looked like though.

The medics asked a couple of times if I was sure and I finally convinced them that it was a normal thing for me. I’ve always called it crashing, mainly because it only happens after i’ve lost a lot of sleep, but I was kinda afraid to tell them that. They left and I started sit up, only to have Karen, the nurse, push me back down, sit beside me and bury her face in my shoulder and cry. She was having flashbacks of when someone in her family passed away and she thought I was dying at the time. I told her I had been trying to tell them I was just asleep but she said I stopped breathing and my B/P was not readable. So that’s how it feels to be dead? That would be so disappointing. I’ve always heard that you can see a light and walk toward it and you are there! All I saw was a good night’s sleep.

I think everyone on staff last night came in to hug me and tell me they had been so afraid. I finally told them it was not a big deal, it happens a lot and the next time they should just go out and close the door and I would either wake up or not, but if not that’s the way I want to leave this world, in my sleep and peacefully. I have a feeling I will have to write that down for them now. The “living will” kind of writing. I have one but my son has the copy I made. At least I think he has it.

Anyway, that’s how I began my evening yesterday. One of the aides told me I had missed dinner, like I really cared? I asked her what they had but don’t remember what it was. Just remember that I told her I didn’t miss it at all, I wouldn’t have eaten it anyway. She agreed with that! I had been eating a bag of popcorn when I fell asleep and I finished it after removing the safety pins and a couple of chunks of wax they had dumped in there when they came in. I was in the middle of pinning a quilt together at the time and Karen said I was lying on the pins.

So, I finally got an idea of what things look like when I am so sleepy and tired that I crash. My mouth open?!!! Not the attractive picture I always had of it all. I hadn’t even had my shower yet!


One Liner Wednesday on Thursday

I just read Lauren’s post on LSS — and I’ve forgotten the rest. Sorry Lauren. Brain freeze I think. Anyway, it was a story about ancestors and it broke my heart to see that she didn’t get to know most of hers. I grew up around family, so rather than use her formula I’ll just talk about that and what it’s like to be one person in a family of hundreds.

First of all I have four brothers, three of whom are still living. We lost Steve two years ago. There are also two sisters, both living. I have three living children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. My parents are deceased and the family is scattered but we are still close.

My mother was from a family of thirteen children. No, that’s not a typo, she had ten brothers and two sisters and one of my aunts still lives. She will be 93 on Monday and we will celebrate on Sunday.

Altogether I had close to 75 first cousins, most of us living with a one mile radius of each other. I am including both sides of the family here. My dad had one brother and five sisters, all deceased now, and one of his sisters married one of my mothers brothers. So among these cousins, five are double first cousins.

I grew up on Highway 81, a little known area with a well known name — Rome, KY. Well, Rome is a well known name and the reaction from people if we told them we grew up in Rome was priceless. Most of my cousins lived along that stretch of highway and they were my first friends and playmates. We went to school in a four room brick building — St. Martins School. It no longer exists but the church is still there and as far as I know it’s going strong with several of my cousins still in the congregation.

Our house was just across a pasture from my maternal grandparents and we were in and out of their house almost as much as our own. I can remember crossing that pasture, avoiding the cows and bull when possible, and spending summer afternoons with my grandmother, watching the soap operas on the only TV in the family for a long time but only after helping her with the dinner dishes. For us dinner was the noon meal and the evening one was supper. My grandmother was also a great cook and between my mother and her plus my paternal grandmother I learned to be a pretty good cook myself. We all canned vegetables and fruit in season and enjoyed opening those jars all winter long. Grandmother and Papa had a farm and in addition the cows they had chickens and pigs, all of which ended up on our tables. We also had fresh eggs every day, and after Dad got our first cow and pig and Mother got a house full of chickens we were pretty independent as far as groceries went. I can remember churning the cream into some of the best butter ever. During the autumn season we gathered black walnuts that fell from the tree at the end of our property and produced enough each year for most of the family. Mother sold the extra eggs and butter to the neighbors and used that money for Christmas gifts for all of us. Not much extra money those days but my parents made sure none of us knew it. Since everyone else was in the same financial boat we never knew we were dirt poor. We had what we needed and some of the things we wanted.

My paternal grandparents lived a couple of miles away and had a dairy farm. I loved going out to the milking barn with Mom and Pop, the name they were known as even to strangers. Pop would hook most of the cows up to the milking machines but Mom had almost a dozen that she had raised from newborn and she refused to hook them to a machine, preferring to hand milk them twice a day every day. Dairy farmers don’t get days off, or even a morning or afternoon off. Mom also raised geese and plucked them periodically to make the feather pillows she kept her entire family well stocked with. From her I not only learned to bake bread and fruit cobblers, but also how to save every scrap of fabric to make quilts. I’m still making quilts now even though my family are already well stocked. They each still love receiving new ones once in a while.

We have a treasure trove of stories and some of my personal ones are almost unbelievable these days. I learned to walk and talk by nine months of age and then proceeded to teach my older brother my wicked ways. He soon learned some tricks of his own though and I became the follower while he was my much adored leader. If he said do it I listened. He and a neighbor boy gave me my first haircut one night when Mother was shopping and Dad was “watching” us. Not sure how it happened but Dad didn’t catch the haircutting. We caught it though when Mother got home and saw the results.

After we moved from town out to the house on Highway 81, my brother had the job of burning the trash. I should add here that the land we lived on had been bought from one of my uncles, and he still had a barn full of hay behind our house. His plan was to leave the barn there until he had used all the hay and then tear it down, giving us more space for whatever Dad decided to do. He didn’t get the chance to tear the barn down or even to use up the hay though. My brother watched Dad demonstrate how the cinder blocks our house was being built of wouldn’t burn and brother was watching as Dad lit a match and placed it on a block watching until it burned itself out without burning the block. Brother decided to show me how safe our house was but he used a little bit of imagination there, stuffing the holes in the block with some of the loose hay before lighting the match he had kept after burning the morning trash. That barn full of dry hay went up fast and brother pulled me into the hen house to hide, while they had to pull Mother away from the barn when she couldn’t see us. She kept trying to run in and save us but one of the fire fighters kept her back while others went in to look. That was the worst trouble he ever got me into, but I still followed every place he went. Even after the rest of the siblings grew big enough to play with us, big brother remained just as today, my hero!

When he started to school I did homework with him, so when my turn came to go to the big red brick school and we were both in the same room I already knew the first grade material and again did my homework with him. Only one time did one of the teachers put me in the same class with him and she told me many years later that she wanted to see if I could beat his top scores in everything. I never tried to beat him. If I had I have no doubt to this day that he would have beat me in a much different way.

We had family reunions each summer even though we lived in each others pockets all year. But to get that many people together for barbecue chicken and all the trimings was a treat in itself. Home made ice cream for dessert was the food of the gods.

Lauren mentioned going through to find her family and one of my sisters did that as well. What she found was probably a lot of fairy tales, but according to that we are descended from royalty on both sides of the family. Henry VIII on Mother’s side, and Attila on Dad’s. Not too sure if I should even say that since neither of them had a claim for doing good deeds.

So many memories are coming to me now, but it would take the rest of the week to write them all down. I have been writing some of them down for my daughter since Christmas, one chapter a week and will continue doing so until I run out of life or memory, whichever comes first. My daughter used to sit at my Grandmother’s feet and listen to her stories, my granddaughter sat at my Mother’s side and did the same. I am writing my stories down in journals and online as a way to keep them alive for anyone who wants to read about their past and the wonderful people they are descended from. And I am aware that my grammar is all bad now, but it’s easier for me this way. After all, I’m closing in on 80 years and don’t have the time to worry about grammar now. I still have some quilts to finish

Wakey, Wakey!

That’s what we hear at 6 a.m. every morning lately. I guess it’s so everyone will be awake and dressed by breakfast but there are a lot of days I want to throw something more solid than the pillow at them. Not completely just for breakfast though. At 6 a.m. they also want us to come to the medicine room and stick our finger, not exactly one of my favorite pastimes. My fault though. I just HAD to eat so much candy during the worst of the pandemic and raise my formerly under control level kinda higher on the scale. But what else could I do? I made the candy for my family but they weren’t able to come during those bad days and somebody had to eat it. And really, homemade caramel candy will keep only so long and tossing it because of mold would be a bad idea.

And I forgot to mention the extra pounds, didn’t I. Um humm, no place to go and no one visiting to share the caramels with, all that butter and sugar and sweet cream all cooked together.

I haven’t mentioned Asher this morning but then I haven’t heard any updates from my son today. He will get back to me eventually and I’m learning a lot about patience. According to my mother: “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. It’s seldom in a woman, and NEVER in a man! Sorry guys. I didn’t write that, my Mother said it frequently while I was growing up and I have to admit I was not above using it with my own kids.

Oh, joy! The message I was waiting to see just came in. Asher’s lungs still are not opening well so they will continue the oxygen for another 7 to 10 days, lowering it a small amount at a time. But he is resting well as hopefully you will see now.

Asher, resting on his side for a change.

This isn’t exactly the way I wanted it but at least I finally got the picture clear, if not a bit smaller.

This is not working the way I had hoped it would.

Update Asher

Our little guy is almost completely out of danger now. The latest news from Mike is that all tubes and lines will be removed today. He is breathing on his own, heart and lungs are better and he is moving around more each day and letting them know in a loud manner when he objects to something they are doing. Thank you for your prayers. Our little miracle will someday thank you himself. Now I’m going to play the great grandma role to the hilt by insisting they bring that little sweetie for a visit as soon as they can safely take him out.

Wow! I just took the first deep breath I’ve had for over a week now. I think my first move will be to tell my grandson about his aunt and how much we have all been pulling for Asher. I do have another photo to put in here if I can remember how, but for right now I’m going to just sit here and breathe!

I think I’ll tell you about the birthday party we had on Sunday afternoon. I know I’ve talked about Jennifer before. Her b’day would have been Sunday if she had lived but instead it had always been a day of mourning for me. But this year I met a young man in this new place who was also born on October 9. He has — or I should say “had” never had a party and wasn’t looking forward to this year’s birthday either. So, some of us got together and had a pizza party for him. We ordered a cake with race cars on the top. I had to laugh when he asked how we knew he likes cars. Didn’t bother telling him it was because he talks about them at every meal. He was so sweet, didn’t know what to do first but then solved the problem by taking the cars off the cake and playing with them on the table. Did I mention that the birthday boy turned 62 on Sunday? He still has some of the little boy qualities in him and I’m loving the effects.

Just a short post today. I have some celebrating to do and my back already hurts from leaning over the sewing machine this morning. Later, and I haven’t forgotten the photo. Just putting it off until I can safely attempt the search and download.

This is the first photo with his eye open looking at grandpa! Sorry about the size. Not sure how to handle the editing on WP.

My Great-Grandson

Asher Blake Wink was born Monday morning, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces and 23 inches long. He is a beautiful little boy but! And there always seems to be a “but” in this little boys life, he has yet to breathe on his own. Meconium Asperation Syndrome is a horrible way to start life but at least they now have some ways to treat this once fatal disease. He was put on 100% oxygen and sent to Norton’s Hospital in Louisville. They are equipped to perform miracles that other hospitals are not able to do.;

Today we were told he is improving but slowly and there are so many problems now and possibly for a long time to come, but I believe in miracles and a miracle is needed now. But he has a chance and that was missing in 1970 when his aunt, Jennifer was born with the same problems. They couldn’t save her. She lived 17 hours. This little boy is still fighting after almost five days and that, in my opinion, is a miracle.

First photo, taken soon after birth with his mom and dad, Sydney and Noah.
Thursday morning, early

Yesterday Again

I tried to write this one yesterday but it got lost somewhere in the cosmos — or maybe in the dark cloud that was surrounding me all day. So here’s attempt number two!

Gee, I would try to repeat some of the things I wrote but my mind just went blank. Sure wish I could say that’s a first but, well, I think it’s blank more often than it has something on it — my mind, that is. Must be that missing link where my brain cells once were placed. Just a huge white area now thanks to the advancing MS that is taking over. Not that it was ever all that great, but I kinda miss it anyway.

I can hear some activity in the hall now ….

Okay, that’s all that is left of the post I tried to send out early this morning. Tried for over an hour to get it sent but my computer and WP seemed to be working together to prevent it. It took several hours to find the draft that was being saved and then it was only half of the original post. So naturally I don’t remember anything that was on here after the activity in the hall.

It’s late afternoon now and I’ve lost about three hours just waiting. Once I was a very patient person but now? One month here, playing the waiting game for three to four hours every day when there are so many other things I would rather be doing? I’m quickly becoming a very impatient person.

I really shouldn’t complain. This place is much better than the other one. My laundry is being done for me now and I mean at this moment someone else is doing it! She will bring it back folded and on hangers and put it all away. Maybe that’s part of what bothers me. Sometimes I’m just too independent for my own good. Pampered, nothing I have to do unless I want to, meals cooked and served to me, room cleaned for me, and someone always available to check and make sure I’m not on the floor with another broken bone. What more could I want! Maybe I’m luckier than some of the others when I stop to think about it. I have my sewing machine, my TV (even though the reception stinks most of the time), my laptop restored, my printer working, something to do at all times —- except those hours wasted while waiting for meds, poking my finger for the blood sugar test, sitting at the table waiting to be served…..

And there i go again, complaining about something! I’ll just have to get over it and learn to be patient again. And I guess learn to let others take on my work now. I think I could never live a life with servants doing all the work! Of course that probably means I wouldn’t be very happy if I ever got rich. But then, maybe I could learn how to enjoy not having to worry about money and the real possibility of another injury or something that would put me in the hospital again. Not sure why I even think about that. No possibility of ever being wealthy. No rich uncles — actually no uncles at all still living. I guess it’s just the mood I’m in and the fact that tomorrow is October. I love the weather and the trees turning and things like that, but there is still October 9 to get through. Maybe this year it will be different.

A barge on the Ohio River on the way to who knows where. KODAK Digital Still Camera