Robert is the one that alerted me to the huge flock of quail feeding in the back yard. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I’d never seen this many quail before (even when we saw them with babies), and I’d NEVER seen any this big before. Talk about pan-size birds. Oh my… I know they’re tasty, because I ate them years ago when we visited Robert’s aunt and uncle in Kansas. But the thought of eating my bird friends now is abhorrent to me. I opened the sliding glass door to get a closer photo and suddenly there was a loud bang — like the sound of rail cars being adjusted on the tracks below. That’s all it took for the birds to take flight. Drat! It’s actually kind of amazing to watch quail take flight because they fly straight up–no running to leap into the air, just a flap of wings and up they go.
I’ve been absent from here for several weeks now–actually, I can pinpoint the day–November 15, 2016. That morning, Robert went in for his second cataract surgery. He had a very slight unproductive cough, but not serious enough to call off the surgery. By that evening, however, his cough turned nasty and he began running a fever. He went to bed about 8:00 p.m. At 3:30 a.m., I was awakened by Robert stumbling around in the bedroom in the dark, ranting about not being able to find his bedroom slippers.
What followed is the stuff of nightmares, and included two ambulance rides for Robert, numerous tests, a stay in two different hospitals, and the pronouncement that his left kidney had died some time ago and would have to be removed. All this in less than a week. Needless to say, my mind has been elsewhere for these past few weeks, especially considering the daily regiment of eye drops that had to be administered to Robert’s left eye. The 7x per day scenario has been reduced down to 3x per day so I’m a bit freer with my time.
I’ve tried to remain positive in light of Robert’s new health diagnosis/crisis. I feel that his doctor(s) missed noticing the warning signs that something was amiss with his kidney function. That said, I have to admit that doctors aren’t being paid like they used to be — insurance companies give the provider a pittance of the amount billed, and the patient is left with higher copays and less than adequate care. A friend noted the same thing I’ve known for years now — we have to be proactive in the care of our own health. We need to be knowledgeable about the blood tests that are performed, and able to determine what is normal and what isn’t. I’ve read recently that the ‘norm’ can vary from one laboratory to the next, so we have to be consistent when having lab work done, and use the same laboratory each time. Be sure to get a copy of your lab reports — Robert and I never saw a single lab report from his dr., so we don’t know what tests were run and which weren’t. Not good… Being in a small town means we have a limited number of physicians to choose from. Everyone is hoping that when the new hospital is completed, more physicians and specialists will move into the area and provide us with a wider choice of health care providers. One can only hope…
Meanwhile, we take it one day at a time, enjoying the days we have together for we don’t know what the future will hold for us. Our kids are starting to call us far more frequently than before, which is nice, but we don’t want to have them worrying about having to take care of us. One day, hopefully far into the future, we will have to move closer to the younger son and his family. But we’ll face that day when it comes.
Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Be grateful for what you have and take each moment as a gift, for that’s what it is.