Thursday, November 21, 2013

Special Delivery

                          I only wanted her to know my feelings

                          I didn't mean for everyone to know

                          My note should have been only seen by her eyes

                          It wasn't something they were meant to show.


I told many things about myself in my memoir: Mr. Joe; Tales of a Haunted Life. Sometimes I have trouble remembering which stories were in the published book and which ones were left on the "cutting room floor". This story wasn't in the final version, but it is a good one and one I want to share.

I was raised in a small town in southern West Virginia. The town had a  grade school that served grades 1-6. The school had two classrooms, a cafeteria, and maybe one or two more rooms if my memory serves me correctly. Remembering  the number of rooms in the school is not important to me. The memory of what happened in one of those rooms is.

I was in the first grade with maybe three or four others. I remember there being four rows of desks with each row being a different grade. If you can imagine a classroom scene from Little House on the Prairie, you will understand. I would guess that there were no more than two dozen students in the room. I was in the row farthest to the left. The girl I fell in love with was sitting a few rows away from me. I had fallen for an "older woman". I had fallen in love with Sue.

After almost a year of watching Sue from two rows over, I decided to make my move. I found that it was best if I learned how to print before I would send her a note. A paper full of scribbling did not seem like the best way to express my feelings. Even at that age, I had planned ahead.

I pulled out a blank sheet of paper and  printed the first love note of my life. I wrote the words "I love you" and quickly folded it to hide my message from everyone but Sue. I thought that if I handed it to my friend in the next row he would help help me deliver my message. Boy, was I ever wrong!

Instead of passing my note to the next row, my "friend" passed it to the student in front of him. Each student then took their turn reading my note and  passing it to the next. My note seemed like a snake weaving its way up and down the rows. I had been busted and it didn't feel good. Each time someone read my note they would turn and point at me and laugh.

The sad part is that Sue never received the note that day. In fact, she didn't know of its existence until sixty years later. She was the only one in the room who didn't know how I felt about her.

I reconnected with Sue on facebook maybe a year ago. I told her this story and how she had been my first love. I also saw her last summer on a visit back home. I finally got the hug  and kiss that I had longed for so many years ago. Even at six years old, I had picked a winner. Sue is a very special lady!

Friday, November 8, 2013

The "Parting" Room

                                 I'm sorry if I bothered you, I seem to have some gas

                                 But, as my doctor put it, all these things will pass

                                 I didn't know they had a room for what we're going to do

                                 And I will do the best I can to get along with you.

I am almost finished with my "Wellness" physical that was provided by my Medicare supplement. I have only one more hurdle to clear before it is complete. All I have left is the ever popular colonoscopy. I have always dreamed of being on camera so I guess I should cherish this opportunity.

I don't know much about this procedure at all. I know what they do and where they do it, but that's the extent of my knowledge. I did, however, learn something by going with my sister when she had this done a few months ago.

I learned that there is a room where the patients go immediately after their colonoscopy. It is a place where they spend a little time before going into the recovery room. It's an area where they are sent to release all of the gas that was built up "during filming". The name of the room sounds strikingly close to the name I chose for this blog. You might even say that it rhymes with it.

I don't normally have a problem meeting people, but this could be tricky. I am trying to picture myself laying on some sort of bed beside other senior citizens with one thing in common. All of us face down wearing a hospital gown passing gas. That has to be one reason that they give you medication to block that memory. I could have many sleepless nights in the future if not for that drug.

I retired from a custodial position in a wonderful school district. Even with all I was subjected to over the years, I can't top this one. I can't imagine being responsible for this area. Is there a grace period between when the last patient leaves and when the cleaning process begins. I would jump through hoops to read this persons job description. Would he get paid by the hour with a bonus for every patient over a certain number? I guess I will never know the details.

I don't need to think about all of these things right now. All I should concentrate on is doing what I need to in order to live a healthy life. My appointment is not for a couple of weeks. I will put any worries I have on the "back burner" for now.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Just Checking

    I just signed up for Medicare and got my checkup free

    I went to see the doctor to find out what's wrong with me

    He checked my weight, he checked my chart, and then checked my behind

    And told me I looked healthy and there's nothing he could find

    He's sending me around this town to undergo some tests

    He told me not to worry, that is was all for the best.


I had my "Wellness" examination at my family doctor's office this week. This is a free physical offered to individuals who are starting on Medicare. It is meant to start the members off on a healthy path through their senior years.

I was sitting in the examining room full of self confidence. That was a strange sensation considering my medical history over the past few years. But, things had changed for me. My surgeries had been successful and a healthy lifestyle seemed to fit me like a glove. For the first time in my life I was taking good care of myself.

I have had the same doctor for going on twenty years.I trust him and always try to answer his questions as honestly as I can. When he first entered the room he took a few minutes to read any information I had given the nurse earlier. After checking the computer he handed me a booklet titled Living Well at the End of Life. He followed that by asking me whether I have made my final arrangements and who they should call if something should happen to me.

On a "bedside manner" scale of one to ten, this might be a two at best. What the heck had the nurse written down and what had he seen on the computer. I was thinking that it couldn't get any worse, but I soon found that I was mistaken. I'm not sure of his exact words, but they had something to do with dropping pants and bending over. I was pretty sure I was the one he was referring to since he wasn't showing any signs of movement.

Before the appointment ended he assured me that it was standard procedure to give me the booklet and ask the questions that had made me feel uneasy. He then told me I would have some paperwork to pick up on the way out. The "physical" turned out to be a series of screenings for me to undergo rather than procedures in his office. Well, except for the part that included rubber gloves and Vasoline.

I have several appointments over the next few weeks. They include blood work, an ultrasound, and a colonoscopy. None of these things will be found on my favorites list, but they are all necessary. I have a wonderful family and many friends who are very special to me. I plan to do everything in my power to stick around and enjoy them. I think it's everyone's responsibility to do the same.