Sunday, December 27, 2020

 Dear Kids,

What an odd Christmas Day we had!  I’m still pretty much down with my leg pain, and Dad developed back pain last Saturday night watching the cousins’ covid exchange party on zoom.  Backs are funny that way–he doesn’t even know what he did, but by bedtime he was in a lot of pain.  Finally, Tuesday morning, he went to the Park City instacare while I was having a CT scan at the hospital there.  They gave him some medicated ointment to rub on his back, and prednisone, too.  He feels a lot better now.  I was having a scan to see what my lung tumors have been up to lately.  I’ll find out the results on Monday afternoon.  My leg is gradually getting better, but it’s a slow process.  At least I’m not having any more shark attacks.

Oh, yes, Christmas.  Besides my leg and Dad’s back, Dad also had a stomach upset the night before, so it seemed better if we didn’t drive around to visit people.  But it still felt like Christmas!  We watched movies and worked a puzzle, and Nora’s family came later in the evening and made pizza.  Paige played Christmas songs on the piano, and Scout flopped on the floor beside her to listen.  (Anna played a concert for me last Monday night.)  Besides all that,  I got to talk to each of you on the phone.  It was all good.

From all reports, the sledding party yesterday was a great success.  Dad really enjoyed it, but I still didn’t have enough oomph to go.  I’m pretty sure there’s another sledding party this coming Saturday, but plans have been changing so often that I’m not sure. Nora knows everything.  Donna, too.  And Tom and Kim.  I’ve heard that Vanessa’s family can probably come then.  If I’m really lucky, I’ll be able to come, too, but I’m not taking any bets.  It’s really hard to be patient, though.  I expected to be all better by now, but that was before I started hearing horror stories about hip surgeries gone bad.  People don’t tell you that kind of thing beforehand.

Even though I’m not a good functioning hostess these days, our house is open now.  Sunday nights are fine.  If you come in and I’m not around, I’m probably upstairs in the recliner, or in the beanbag chair on the stair landing.  It’s my daytime hangout spot.  Nights, in the recliner, I’m draped with kitties. 

Yes, it’s all good.  Lots of love, Mom

Saturday, December 19, 2020

 Dear Kids,

Dad and I had a blast watching the cousins’ gift exchange on Zoom last night.  Thanks, Tom, for setting it up.  It worked out really well!  It wasn’t quite like being there, but lots of fun watching Sharon’s and Paul’s and Al’s and Tom’s families remotely, besides the families that were there at Nora’s.  Next up, of course, is Christmas Day, and Dad and I hope to be able to drive around  Heber Valley and visit those of you who live there.  I hope I’ll be up for it.  My recovery is moving along, but slowly.  There’s less pain in my leg, but sometimes it still feels like a shark is biting through it.  But I’m not the only one suffering! Tom’s family is gradually getting well, and I’m glad none of them have been seriously ill.  All along I’ve been saying that the young people should spread covid around, since they’re not so susceptible to the symptoms, and then we’d all have herd immunity.  But it’s entirely different when it’s your own grandchildren.  I don’t want any more of them to get it. Al is still recovering.  Meanwhile, Ben dislocated his shoulder skiing and has to have surgery.  Nora had a “plasma?” injection into the torn ligament in her arm, which was so painful she had to take “nor-something,” (makes you really crazy.)   Heather had the stitches taken out of her eyelid, after her skin cancer surgery.  I forgot to mention–her eye was sewn shut for a week.  It’s been really hard for her.  And then there’s John.  He had hernia surgery on Thursday.  I called him Friday to see how he was getting along, and he’d just finished shopping at Costco–he filled up a whole cart!  At the hospital they’d given him oxycodone, which he didn’t need, and nausea pills, which he didn’t need . . . . This is so unfair!  I’m glad, of course, that he had an easy time of it.  I wish we were all so lucky.

I’m usually in charge of the after-Christmas sledding party, which I’m trying to do this year, and I dearly hope I can be there.  Even if I’m not, it’ll be fun and crazy.  First I thought we’d have it the day after Christmas, but Nora was talking about moving it into the next week.  Whatever you guys decide is fine with me!  Either Tom will make dutch oven potatoes, or we’ll have soups.   I’m guessing we’ll eat sometime in the early afternoon.  There hasn’t been much snow here at our house, but there’s usually twice as much at the cabin, and the hill is always good.  There are six red sleds hanging in the garage now, plus all the miscellaneous ones in the attic.  If I’m not there, you all know where everything is.

I assume all the college kids are glad to be done with the semester.  Sharon and Addie both had their last finals on Thursday.  Oh, I remember what a wonderful feeling that used to be for me!  Sharon’s 1/4 of the way finished with her nursing program now, but I have to warn you all–don’t tell her anything that’s wrong with you.  She immediately shifts into nurse mode and asks you all kinds of questions and pins you down on whether you’re doing the right things or not.  But it’s wonderful to have a nurse in the family! She’ll be a great benefit to all of us over the years.  Go, Sharon!

I’ve been working a puzzle on the dining room table, and the kitties have delighted in sitting on the pieces.  Finally I stacked up their two cat carriers and locked them in.  Funny thing–Scout loves his.  Sometimes he spends all day in it, curled up asleep.  I think he’s in hibernating mode.

Love to all, and Merry Christmas!  Love, Mom

Saturday, December 12, 2020

 Dear Kids,

The big family news of the week is that Tom’s family has covid–well, at least Tom and the three girls.  I don’t think Kim is positive, or Tom would have put it on the family message thread.  When I talked to Tom a couple of days ago, he said Abi had been the sickest, and the rest of them just have flu-like symptoms.  Tom has lost his sense of smell and taste, but not as completely as with some of the colds he’s had.  We hope and pray they will all recover soon, along with Allen.  How about the rest of you?  Do you think it will pop up somewhere else among us?  Of course Tom’s family is quarantined, but we hope they’ll be out and about by the time of the cousins’ gift exchange next Saturday. (Allen called it the gift and covid exchange.)  

Our quarantine here is going really well.  When we need stuff from Walmart, John or Donna buys it for us and puts it on their porch.  Then Dad swings down to Heber (or Midway) in the truck to pick it up.  Dad and his truck are always eager to be out and about, so it’s working out fine.  I don’t feel like going anywhere, so the quarantine doesn’t matter to me at all.  My pain level is still high, partly because I’ve transitioned off oxycodone onto gabapentin and tramadol, my usual drugs of choice.  I miss the hallucinations, but it’s nice to have my brain sort of working again.  It isn’t nice to have my leg hurting so much, but I’m confident that my pain will east off eventually.  Thanks for all your prayers in my behalf.

Part of my regular every-day diet is the Charlie Thacker biscuits, and Dad made a batch of them for me earlier in the week.  I told him where the recipe was, and I presumed he followed it, but they were quite different.  But good.  Different shapes than I’ve made before, and quite brown on the bottoms.  That’s because he baked them in the bottom of the oven, because the rack was still down there, from cooking the Thanksgiving turkey.  We ate them all, though.  I appreciated his help.

Finally we have some snow on the ground!  Not much, but it keeps Scout and Sonia from rolling in the dirt.  They were coming in dirty up until the last possible day.  They figure I’ll brush them, and Dad will vacuum the carpets, and I think they like the attention.  Now they’ll have to find some new way to aggravate us.

Some of you have asked what I want for Christmas.  Amazon credit, same as always, but I can’t request Midnight Reverie, like I usually do.  Bonnie brought me a fabulous collection of dark chocolate truffles and Lindt truffle balls, and I was looking at them and thinking about them and planning when I was going to eat them, and my mouth started to swell.  Now it’s full of cankers, even my lips, which are big and swollen.  Talk about a conditioned response!  It must just have been the saliva while I thought about the chocolate.  I’m going to eat all the chocolate when my mouth heals, and if I have another cycle of cancers, so be it.  Life is short, and there are so many wonderful kinds of dark chocolate in the world.

Lots of love, Mom

Saturday, December 5, 2020

 Dear Kids, 

Most of you have heard that my surgery went really well last Monday morning. If only my recovery were going really well!  But you can’t expect everything.  All my complications are totally normal, but I didn’t ask enough questions beforehand.  Good thing, because I still would have gone ahead; I just would have been more fearful.  If my writing is incoherent, it’s because I’m taking very large (but legal) amounts of oxycodone.  So my stomach is upset all the time.  I hallucinate and talk to people who aren’t really there.  I slur when I talk.  My fingers don’t want to type.  But at least I’m escaping the very worst of the pain.  

They had me up walking just a couple of hours after the surgery.  I guess it can’t hurt my new hip, which is metal and plastic. I’m supposed to walk as much as I can stand every day, so I won’t get fluid in my lungs, which can lead to pneumonia.  So I came home from the hospital with crutches, and Dad borrowed a walker for me from Elk Meadows.  I’m pretty good with both of them now.  

Allen called me yesterday afternoon to check in.  He’s still suffering from the bad effects of Covid, which is pretty unusual for a guy his age.  He coughs all the time, but it doesn’t help his lungs that much.  I asked him about hallucinations, and he said when he had his appendix out on his mission, he remembers seeing waffles on the ceiling.   He gets sick remembering them.  He gave me some good advice about getting groceries, since Dad and I are both quarantined.  I can order what we need from Walmart in Heber and Dad can just go pick them up. I can probably do the same with Food Town.  It seems like everybody has curbside pickup now.  Allen also explained the difference between quarantining and isolation.  Dad and I are quarantined, which means there’s a perimeter around us which nobody is supposed to cross.  Isolation is when you actually have Covid and you’re completely, well, isolated from the rest of the world.  That would be lots worse, because Dad and I couldn’t even be in the same room together.  You’d go crazy! At least we can watch movies together and play with the cats.

Sonia’s idea of play is jumping up from the floor and landing in my lap, right on my incision. It hurts like crazy.  The wound is about 8 inches long and runs down the front of my leg.  Sonia hates my tablet, and she hates me reading off it, so I lay it over the wound before I doze off.  So she jumps onto Dad’s lap instead, but it isn’t as much fun because he doesn’t yell in pain.    

I wish we could have visitors, but maybe you’ll show up in my hallucinations.  I’ll remember and tell you what you said.

Lots of love, Mom