Is Anyone Listening?

I don’t blame you if you’ve decided not to read this blog. I understand. After all, it’s been two months since my last post. I got out of the habit of writing. I haven’t felt like it even though I know that writing would ease some of the pain I’ve been in. Not all of it though, since some of it is physical and using my right arm/hand can be painful.

Now that I have your attention, the physical pain is caused by a massive rotator cuff tear as well as a tear in the bicep of my right arm. I am right-handed. I am a church organist. I am the caregiver for my parents. I am the driver for my parents. I am not on any pain medication other than the anti-inflammatory I take for my arthritis. I’ve been using ice and Extra Strength Tylenol to help cut the pain. This is the injury that happened in early November, the one I had a cortisone shot for and that I went through physical therapy for. I don’t know when the bicep tear happened, but it’s possible it happened at PT when they added weights.

As for the other pain, the mental/psychological pain I’m going through, well, I learned two days before I had the MRI that resulted in the above diagnosis that my dad has Alzheimer’s. The psychiatrist at the VA GEM clinic told us that when she examined him. I had called the day before the appointment and requested that one of the doctors explain to dad why they took away his driving privileges. That is the reason.

I was surprised and not surprised. After all, my aunt, his sister, had it, and the changed I’d noticed in him were troubling enough to make me think something like that was going on.

The biggest problem now is to get mom and dad to agree to a move to assisted living and to move right away so that I can get the surgery I need. Even then, things will be delayed because I need someone to come help me through the first weeks of recovery and that means coordinating my schedule with my sister’s schedule. I hope it happens soon because I’m tired of hurting.

Just thought it was time to check in and let you know what’s up in case anyone is still out there.

Published in: on February 26, 2011 at 5:37 PM  Comments (5)  

Snow, Wind, Repeat

Before I get into a rant about the cold wind blowing in from the northwest, here’s an update on my progress at Weight Watchers. Despite being less than 100% faithful to the new program, I dropped 1.8 pounds last week. That’s as much as I lost during the whole month of November. The trick was not in the new program, but in the mindfulness of my eating. There were times when I ate small quantities of things (OK, chocolate) that, just a week before would not have been enough. But instead of buying a bag of Hershey’s kisses and eating nearly all of them in a day, I picked up some good, dark chocolate and nibbled on a piece a day. A nice treat that satisfied my craving for something rich and sweet. I also ate a lot of grapes that, oddly enough, satisfied my urge to crunch on something.

Now to the weather. Most of the U.S. seems to be in the grip of a cold snap that is also producing snow. Here in the Pittsburgh we are fairly lucky. The snow totals aren’t too bad, but the winds are. Combine the wind with the cold temperatures, and it is just frigid outside. I know, I spent a lot of yesterday out in it. The walk from car to building was enough to convince me that I wanted to be inside. Of course, once inside, I wanted to be back outside because I could not get anyone to wait on me.

That’s one of my pet peeves about some stores. You have money that you are willing to spend, but there is no one around to assist you. I did manage to get what I wanted. Now, I just have to find someone to help me get my new, flat-screen TV out of the box without breaking it. It’s a little heavier than I thought it would be and with my shoulder injury, I’m afraid to do too much lifting on my own. I also decided to upgrade to a Blu-Ray player. Hey, if I’m going to be stuck at home a lot this winter, I should have the means to enjoy myself, right?


Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 9:52 AM  Comments (2)  

Life Got More Complicated

I slept in this morning, read the paper over breakfast, and then cleaned the bathroom before I showered. While I was doing that, my phone rang. It was my cousin calling to tell me that my aunt had died. She was my dad’s last remaining sibling and we hadn’t seen her in about 6 years. She had Alzheimer’s and was in bad shape then. Dad kept wanting to go visit her, but my cousin kept telling him that she would not know him. I was torn between taking him to see her and having to comfort him as he broke down then or dealing with his grief when she passed away. I took the easy way out, but now feel guilty for not going to see her.

Besides the obvious complication of dealing with a death in the family, I will also have to deal with preparing for house guests and practicing for an additional church service. My sister and brother-in-law are coming up for the funeral. My cousin asked me to play for the funeral, which will be difficult because I’ll be crying. Hard to read music when there are tears in your eyes. The preparation for my house guests means cleaning that I hadn’t intended to do just yet. I was going to tackle the major cleaning this week, but have to do it NOW.

The hardest part, of course, was talking to dad about Aunt Ann. He broke down and eventually left the room and took to bed. He is sick (on antibiotics for a chest thing) so that isn’t too unexpected that he’d want to go to bed. But, he was definitely crying when I left. The best thing about my sister coming up, other than seeing her, is that she will be able to sit with dad and mom at the funeral while I’m at the organ.

I realize this post is scattered, but that’s how my mind is right now. Time to sign off and figure out something with the music. Or maybe do the dishes or vacuum or something.

Published in: on November 20, 2010 at 7:23 PM  Comments (4)  

Random Thoughts on Christmas Decorations

This has absolutely nothing to do with my topic, but I just had to vent about something I saw this morning on the way to Panera. A house in my neighborhood had Christmas decorations out already. And, there were still pumpkins in the yard, probably even one that has a face carved into it. This is just wrong. Thanksgiving isn’t for another two weeks.

It’s one thing for stores to rush the season. After all, they are trying to make money. I don’t like it, but I understand it. But, for a homeowner to put those reindeer figures on his lawn before Veteran’s Day is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Rant over.

Ho Ho Ho Humbug!

Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 10:41 AM  Comments (3)  

Writing and Pain and Rain/Snow/Cold

Well, it’s been an interesting week. If anyone is following me, they know I was late with my Thursday post. I am also a bit late with today’s, but I did answer the comments pretty much as they came in.

Let me explain my title. I have a very sore shoulder. I’ve had a touch of bursitis in my right shoulder for a while now and that combined with the fibromyalgia has always meant a bit of pain there. But, on Monday night, I did something while cleaning the kitchen that caused the shoulder to make a lot of noise and give me a lot of pain. Since then, I’ve used heat and extra-strength acetaminophen to get through the day. I kept putting off calling the doctor, thinking that it would feel better, but, here it is Saturday and it’s not a lot better. Needless to say, I’m calling on Monday.

The weather is not helping. We had gorgeous weather over the weekend and then it turned cold and wet. We were even supposed to have some wet snow mixed in with rain overnight. It may have happened. I don’t know. I was in bed. Even if there had been snow, it would have melted on contact with the ground. It’s still too warm for anything to stick. But, with temperatures in the 40s, it’s cold. And that is not fun for a weather-sensitive person who also happens to have a very sore shoulder.

All of which is just my way of saying, I hurt and I want some sympathy and I don’t want to have to play for church tomorrow, but I also don’t want to give up the money that I’ll earn by doing so. Although, if my shoulder doesn’t feel better in a few hours, I’ll be making the “I’m sick” phone call. It’s not so much the act of playing that’s the problem. It’s the driving. I put close to 100 miles on my car each Sunday driving from my house to church 1 then to church 2 then to visit my parents then home. That may not happen tomorrow since the short (15 minute) drive to my visit my parents usually makes my arm hurt like the dickens.

I think I kind of made my mind up, didn’t I?

Published in: on November 6, 2010 at 1:28 PM  Comments (2)  

Election Day

It’s finally here! Election Day, and I’m thrilled. Not because I’m excited about the election, but because I’m excited to see an end to the barrage of political ads on TV and in my mail box. This year has been the worst in recent memory. Just a constant stream of vitriol from both the right and the left. The ads made normally enjoyable programming unbearable. They also made using the DVR a necessity. It was the only way to avoid the ads.

Think of the money that was spent on those ads. Now think what else that money could have been used for. Research into cures for diseases. Research into energy alternatives. Feeding the hungry. Housing the homeless.

If you had access to the funds used for the ads, how would you use them?

By the way, I realize this is completely off topic, but, then, I’m feeling a little off today.


Published in: on November 2, 2010 at 12:51 PM  Comments (1)  

If I Won the Lottery

It’s only Tuesday, but it’s already been a long week. Besides my usual Sunday routine of driving to and from two churches and my mom and dad’s house, I added a Monday morning trip with them to see one of their doctors and, at night, my trip into Pittsburgh for my fibromyalgia study meeting. Yesterday was a rainy day in the area and the rain continued into the early evening, which meant I had to drive in it. I hate driving in rain and dark and, oh yeah, fog.

That’s when I decided that if I ever come into a lot of money, I’ll hire a car and driver. Everyone else seems to want to buy  designer clothing, jewelry, a new house, fancy vacations. Nope, as of yesterday, I’m going with something a friend of mine said many years ago. A car and driver is the ultimate luxury. No more fighting traffic on the parkway. No more worrying about being able to see the road when it’s dark and raining. Just the pleasure of watching the scenery while someone else is at the wheel.

So, what’s your idea of the ultimate luxury?


Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 7:25 PM  Comments (2)  

She’s Back

I don’t even want to look at the date of my last entry. It’s been too long and I am the only one to blame for it. Yes, I have excuses. I’ve been sick, as in bronchitis and pleurisy. There was also a little thing like Christmas to interfere with my writing. Not to mention having company over the holiday and, more recently moving my mother from assisted living back home with dad. All while not feeling 100% and all in lousy weather.  We had mom home for Christmas week. Dad and I picked her up on Sunday, December 23 and had planned to go out to lunch first. But, no, that didn’t happen because we had this monster rainstorm while driving her home. So, instead of all three of us going out, I ended up calling the restaurant, placing a take-out order, and going back out in the rain to pick up the food. Then, of course, I had to clean up (toss the containers and put the dishes in the dishwasher, but still) after we ate. This was after I’d played for church that morning.The next day wasn’t much better.  I had to go to the candlelight service, which meant driving, which meant no codeine cough medicine. I started coughing while the offering was being collected and didn’t stop until part way through the opening of “Silent Night”. Believe me, it was anything but silent while I was hacking up a lung.Then, on Christmas, I had to play for another church. I got through that service without coughing, but felt lousy doing it. Then, I went to visit mom and dad and cook dinner for them. By the time I got home, I was exhausted. Christmas wasn’t over, though, because my sister, her husband, and my nephew came to visit the following day. Fortunately, they were able to do their own housework and they ate most of their meals out. They also understood that I was too sick to do anything with them, so they spent all their time with my parents.I spent most of the next week or so after they left on the couch with books and magazines and the TV remote. I ventured out only to visit the doctor or to pick up my newspaper or my mail. And now, suddenly, it’s January 23 and I don’t know where the past month has gone.  I’m still going to the doctor, later today, in fact, and trying to catch up with everything I haven’t done since around Thanksgiving.  I’ll be writing for the website, Black and White, that “investigates various subjects of public interest”, once we work out a few details. Stay tuned. And, yes, I promise myself to write more often now that I can actually sit at a computer again. 

Published in: on January 23, 2008 at 1:15 PM  Leave a Comment  

Yes, I Know How Long It’s Been

I’ve been busy and unable to write. I had house guests and then my mother got sick, again, and I had extra stuff to do with that. I’ve been too spent to do any writing. Heck, I’ve been too spent to do any housework to speak of. But, that’s going to change next week.

OK, I sound like I’m putting things off, but not really. Next week is when I go to Bedford Springs Spa Resort to take the waters. In other words, I’m taking a few days to be pampered at a first class spa complete with mineral springs. It’s a newly restored luxury resort in Bedford, PA, that, according to what I’ve read, has a long history of catering to the rich and famous. Being neither, I think it will be interesting to see how the other half lives. Of course, I can’t really afford this, but, based on the way I’ve been feeling lately, I can’t not afford it.

These truly are ramblings, aren’t they? When I started writing this, I intended to be profound, to have something to say. Obviously, I”m still overstressed and too tired to think. Maybe I’ll go back to reading a book.

Published in: on October 12, 2007 at 2:37 PM  Leave a Comment  

Steelers Lost and I’m Sad

Amazing how a little thing like a football game can bring you down, isn’t it? I just saw the Steeler drop their first game this season. I’m sure my niece’s husband is thrilled about it, though, since he’s a Ravens fan. Of course, I was pretty thrilled to see that the Ravens lost to the Browns, so I guess we’re even.

Not a lot to report today except that I’ve started writing for another blog, There I’m known as “bglozik” if you want to check it out.

Published in: on September 30, 2007 at 7:17 PM  Leave a Comment