Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Should I be happy with the status quo? Or do I long for change? Am I thankful to be alive and have my little family surrounding me? Or have health issues overwhelmed us? Are we grateful that we have enough money to own our home and drive a car that's paid for? Or is the fact that we still have to work to support our most basic needs, which includes driving a car that is 14 years old, beyond sad, especially when we're 71 and 60 years old?

Life's big and little events have been causing some major reflection on the part of our little family (hubby, me and two miniature Schnauzers). I can't decide if we should feel incredibly lucky or ready to jump off the nearest bridge.

First hubby, 71 and diabetic, had a major health scare right after Easter of this year. He suffered a bleed from aneurism in his skull caused by years of untreated and hideous hypertension. He acknowledged the diabetes only when he was so sick he absolutely had to but then he took such care of himself that he's been medication free for it. With the aneurism he was hospitalized for ten days, six of which he spent in ICU. The man had never been hospitalized before which made this incident doubly scary. So are we grateful for the good health he's had? Or are we terrified that now we have to deal with major health issues that have gone untreated causing us to face a dire outcome?

Luckily we have insurance to cover some of the medical expenses incurred this past month. Yesterday we were informed that the insurance has not yet agreed to cover the current and huge quantity of medicine that has been prescribed. We are beginning to receive the massive bills generated from brain surgery and hospitalization; the amount owed by the insured is an intimidating number.

Last October my heart dog had to be put to sleep. On Friday night he was fine. On Saturday he suffered a major bleed into his gut. Wolf was about 19 years old and we had had him since he was around seven. We don't know his exact age because he was a rescue from a puppy mill where he had been cruelly mistreated. Wolf was a wonder of a dog, always happy, always loving, always by my side. I shall always be grateful for the long and happy life he had with us but my heart misses him every day. The spot by my side will always be empty without him there.

The week after Wolf's death, Gus came to us from a pound in Ottawa, Kansas. Left by his people to roam the countryside, he, too, has been thankful to have a family. He is a loving and funny little boy, full of life and joyous of heart. He loves his papa and his housemate, Fritzy, and he gives me sweet kisses, but he's not my heart's companion.

After working temporary jobs when my own consulting business took a downward turn, I was offered employment in an interesting, new field. I loved the boss who hired me and I found the new work stimulating. Then the boss resigned to accept a better position, leaving me to cope with four new bosses in as many months. One threw chairs when angry. One never smiled and was young enough to be my grandson; he quit. One was fired for incompetence. The current one doesn't trust anybody and believes the world is out to cheat him, me included. My office is now filled with suspicion and hostility.

Some moments I feel incredibly grateful for the gifts of our lives. Hubby survived. He has a team of caring doctors who want to see him not just live, but thrive. Thriving costs a lot of money, it seems, and it may be money we don't have enough of. We have food on our table every day and we are learning to tolerate the low salt, low carb diet now strictly enforced. We have both a 14 year old car and an even older huge industrial van (with over 300,000 miles on it) that hubby can use for doing "handy" jobs and both are completely paid for. We are barely managing the gas for said vehicles what with today's rising prices and and both aging vehicles demand constant maintenance. We have a roof over heads and we own that roof, even if we did have to re-finance the house last year. I may have to drive 300 miles a week to work in a hostile environment but I am employed for the moment and have a steady income with health insurance.

So is the glass half full? Or is it half empty? Either way, we are feeling that we have sprung a leak. Where's the duct tape when you need it?


bill said...

I know nothing about you other than what I see here, and I have to admit, your comments scared me. Thats a lot to think about, and I can see how it would weigh heavily on your mind. I cannot offer you false hope, but I can say that you sound like an intelligent, organized person with a lot of guts and determination. I wish you the best of luck.

milly said...

Whoa! I never thought anybody would ever read me. Thank you for the comments, both positive and concerned. We've hit a rough patch but we'll survive it. The economy, though, is a hindrance. Sometimes it feels like it's the folks like us that get left behind. M.

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