Sunday, January 18, 2009

Melancholy, Baby

Yesterday was a very busy day at work. Not much in the area of flights, but no end of people sick, in pain, in wonder and wanting to ask questions about what they can do about their own illness or that of someone they love. We are the after-hours answering service for Hospice, and there seemed to be no end of people being cared at home or elsewhere under the auspices of this very compassionate but very busy group who needed assistance of some kind.

The same went for many other physician practices, as well as the hospital itself. Even without the weekday complement of support staff and administrators, there was a quiet bustle to the place that seemed to reflect the amount of sickness that appears to be pervading our community right now.

That extends to me as well, and it's starting to get tiresome. The upper respiratory issues, including excessive drainage and occasional bouts of hacking cough, seemed to have abated until I returned to the workplace for two days. I return again on Monday, and will be requesting a thorough look at my work area. I was wondering out loud when the carpet last received a deep cleaning, and when the ventilation system was evaluated. The workstations themselves are fairly clean and orderly, although this is a survival mechanism, especially in a 24/7 operation. Some things are just beyond the control or reach of everyday staff.

My ears are still plugged and ringing, this after the standard 5-day run of antibiotics. I will be following up with my primary care doctor and will likely seek a referral to an ENT specialist. My hearing is a key part of my livelihood as well as my avocation, so I'm taking this seriously and expect that my care providers will too.

After work I called Leslie and talked with her for a while. Michaela is still getting chemotherapy every few weeks, and combined with other factors, not the least of which was the numbing cold in the east right now, Leslie seemed to be down a bit.

I ended our conversation so that I could touch base with Evan, and wound up having dinner with him at Old Chicago, which isn't bad if you're not counting calories. After dinner I called Leslie back, which I said I would do, but she had gone to sleep. I would have like to talked with her a bit longer, as Evan went (uncharacteristically) straight to bed as well.

Our cat Smokey wanted to sleep with him, and the other cat curled up atop the couch, so I was left basically alone in a quiet house with only SNL and Star Trek for company. Then the two words arrived which indicate it's time to turn off the TV and go to bed: "Male Enhancement". I knew things would have to be better in the morning.

And so they are. I'm not coughing as much, even though the ringing in my ears is still there. Evan was up early. I called Leslie, and she reported a snowy, beautiful late morning in Pittsburgh. Michaela got through her chemo well, and was getting a trip to the movies. The Penguins ran roughshod over the Rangers this afternoon. The Steelers will hopefully treat the Ravens the same way later. It's sunny and pleasant outside; even without the company of friends and loved ones, it's gonna be OK today.

This week a good portion of our country will set aside their fear and apprehension to celebrate a great transition in our earthly leadership, one that will hopefully mirror the more selfless tenets of the spiritual leadership that many of us also espouse. Hopefully, those of us who disagree with how our faith should translate into our earthly leadership will set aside these differences long enough to share in some cautious optimism for the future.

There's a lot of hard work and lonely nights ahead. With our collective faith and resolve, this will be followed by more calm, sunny mornings, full of healthy relationships, and maybe we can all espouse what Martin Luther King called true integration; "when true neighbors are willingly obedient to unenforceable obligations".

Have a great week ahead.

1 comment:

The little old mom who lived in a shoe said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. I hope your ears stop ringing. That is sure annoying, isn't it? Especially when it interferes with work. Bob and I have been decluttering and sorting and I've found some things I wrote at dispatch. Wow! I could sure be a brat!!!!! I think you escaped some of the direct tantrums, but if I haven't told you that I'm sorry for being so snotty and temperamental... I am. A little bit of maturing and a LOT of Jesus goes a long way.