Monday, April 25, 2011

An Act of Kindness

Typically, when someone brags about an act of kindness, it is something that person did for someone else. Today I'd like to do the opposite.

Saturday when I left for the grocery store the weather was fine. By the time I came out of the store, it was pouring rain!

I stood outside the store doors looking at the rain and trying to decide what to do. Should I run for it or should I wait a few minutes to see if it slowed down?

While I was thinking, a woman I did not know and had never seen before walked up to me. She looked at me with concern and asked, "Do you have an umbrella?" I told her no.

She looked at the parking lot and the pouring rain, then turned to me and asked, "Would you like me to walk you to your car with my umbrella?"

I was stunned and at first speechless! I declined the generous offer, but she made me smile. She replied, "Are you sure? Your hair will get wet."

Though I was very touched, I still turned her down. In truth, it wasn't raining that hard and it wasn't very cold out. (If it were February, I might have accepted.) And my hair is not very long.

This is the first time in a very long time I was the recipient of an act of kindness, and I gotta say, it felt great! Not only was I happier for the rest of the day, I was nicer to other people, too.

And it didn't stop Saturday -- I'm still talking about her.

So, to whoever the generous woman at the grocery was -- thank you! You made my week!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

With red pens in hand...

Sometimes, life is boring. Sometimes, it is just the task ahead of us that can be boring or tedious. When you are an adult, as much as you want to, you can't just skip the tedious or hard parts of life and only do the fun things.

I thought about that today as I geared up to edit some text I knew was dull, I knew was poorly written and I knew would be frustrating.

But, I also knew that as soon as it was finished, I could move on.

So, with red pens in hand and plenty of caffeine to fight the fatigue, I spent a good part of the day doing nothing but finishing the edit. It was pretty tough and I used a TON of red ink. And you know what? I feel so much better getting that monkey off my back! And the best part is, I was able to push it off on to someone else. Whew!

Now I just need to do a better job applying that attitude to other parts of my life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All of that for Nothing

So, I spent the day Monday starving. The vile liquid was even worse the second day, especially since I had not had any food. And I needed to stay even closer to the bathroom than the day before. What a way to spend a day off!

I got to the appointment an hour early as requested. I had not had anything to drink for 2 hours before that. I laid on a gurney in a little hospital gown with an IV in one arm, a blood pressure cuff on the other and waited. There was no TV, I had nothing to read, I couldn't bring my iPod (no valuables), and the only thing separating me from everyone else was a little curtain. I could hear everything everyone else in the room said.

Luckily for me, I did not sleep well the night before and I did fall asleep a few times. Unluckily for me, I waited a VERY long time!

The nurses kept coming back to tell me it wouldn't be long. One told me the worst part was over and from here on out it was easy. I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was tired and I wanted to go home.

But the nurses were right. The previous 40 hours were the worst part. Once the doctor gave me the sedative, I immediately fell asleep and woke up with my husband next to the bed ready to take me home.

The doctor arrived to say everything is fine. They found absolutely nothing. I think it must have been the fact I was still partially sedated, because my first reaction was, "I went through all of that, and you found nothing!" I was ticked! I went more than 40 hours without any food more substantial than Jello! It definitely was not worth it.

Luckily I didn't say anything aloud, but when we were alone and I told my husband I was mad, he reminded me that finding nothing was good news. Oh, yeah -- that was the goal after all.

Let's just attribute that moment of rage to hunger pains and sedation. Let's attribute everything I repeated repeatedly and the other stupid stuff I said (for a couple of hours) to the same thing.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Being Tortured by Docs

I'm pretty healthy for my age. I don't see the doctor unless I have a very good reason. Up until this year I didn't see the need for annual physicals, but because I just turned 50 I figured I should start doing better.

At the end of my physical, after getting a clean bill of health, my doctor asked if I wanted a colonoscopy. My reply was that no one "wants" one, but if you say I "need" one, I'll do it. He said I need one.

So, the dreaded day is tomorrow and the appointment is not until 1 p.m. I have not had any solid food since 11 p.m. last night, and I can't eat anything until AFTER the procedure. To add to the pain and suffering, several hours ago I drank a half gallon of a really horrible liquid -- eight 8 oz glasses over 2 hours. The lemon-lime flavor that came with it did not help at all.

Those of you who have been through this know what the liquid does -- but for those who have not, let me just say it cleans out your system in an intense way. You definitely want a clear route to the bathroom.

I haven't even had the procedure yet and I already feel as if I'm being tortured!

First, I am really, really hungry! Second, drinking half a gallon of that crap was horrible, even with the flavor added. I need to drink another half gallon in the morning. The cramps this caused were pretty intense and it is a good thing we have more than one bathroom in the house. I've eaten a ton of Popsicles and jello because they are considered liquids. Nearly everything I've had today has been a variety of citrus flavors because I can't eat or drink anything that is red, blue or purple. I am so tired of lemon and lime! I drank a couple mugs of warmed up chicken broth earlier just to have something that wasn't sweet or fruit flavored.

So here is what I think.

The person who came up with this test loved torture. The person who decided that a patient needs to be without food for over 24 hrs enjoyed torture. The person who came up with that vile liquid and the worthless added flavor enjoyed torture.

And finally, the person who prescribed this test for me -- my own personal doctor -- wanted to torture me directly.

I can't imagine what he would do if I weren't healthy! (I'm still hungry.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Thought You Were Dead!

Recently, I received an e-mail announcing the death of someone I barely knew I'll call "Bruce." I've occasionally been in meetings with Bruce (and 40 other people) and I'm sure I have talked to him -- though I can't remember a single conversation. Let's just say I didn't know him well enough to mourn for him, though I felt bad in general for his family.

Last week I was in another meeting that attracted about 30 people from all over the country. The room was filling quickly and I was arranging my notes when I looked up to see Bruce walk in the door! I was speechless! How was this possible?

During the meeting, I kept sneaking a look at him and was finally able to verify the name on his name tag -- yes, this was Bruce! When I got back to my office, I found an e-mail from a different source announcing the death of Bruce -- this one with a photo. Oh, yeah! THAT Bruce! There were similarities, but definitely different people.

In my defense, I didn't talk to him much either.