I asked my Physician’s Assistant whether it’s true that it’s normal for women to gain 10 pounds each decade of their adult life.

“Yes it is,” she said.  “You’re doing just fine.”

I never asked what “just fine” meant.  That said, on the plus side, I managed to hold off two decades of weight gain.  On the minus side, in spite of all my self-talk:

“It’s ridiculous to believe you should look like you did in your 20s.  That makes about as much sense as the pre-pubescent wish to never grow breasts or have a period.”

“It ain’t gonna happen girlfriend.  Stop fretting.”

“You need a little reserve.  Grandmas are supposed to be soft.”

“There are other numbers more important, like cholesterol, blood pressure, angle of mobility, heart rate, activity level….”

I wish to be thinner.  I have narrow shoulder, a size Small, and I just look and feel better if my hips are at least a size Medium.  So I watch my calories, I study the latest diets, I exercise, and I try.

Recovery from Osteomyelitis is no picnic. I find out there is no such thing as a cure. Duckie will always be considered infected, to some unknown degree. First, I find that out, then I find out other things. We’re in and out of stories, and around the bush and back. I’m happy I have a sense of humor and some training in problem solving: Asking 5 Whys, Root Cause Analysis, Pareto Charting, Process Mapping.

For those of you just tuning in to Duckie’s story please click this link for Part One, “WII:osteomyelitis as Veterans:Duckie (Putting a Healthcare Puzzle Together)”

Sky Game
Duckie and Mr. Incredible at a Chicago Sky Game. Duckie is an avid fan.

 

A quick aside: Duckie married a mildly mentally impaired man, Mr. Incredible. They live with us until the two of them get annoyed with Loved One and me. They stay with Mr. Incredible’s parents until the same happens over there. Duckie stays with me while she recuperates. Mr. Incredible visits. He needs predictability. Nothing is predictable here.

“For every subtle an complicated question, there is a perfectly simple and straightforward answer, which is wrong.”  – H. L. Mencken

 

Maybe this is about health care; maybe it’s about health insurance; maybe it’s about parenting a mildly mentally disabled adult.  Then again, maybe it’s just me trying to get my thoughts in order, because this is one bizarre story.  One with a happy ending.  I think.

DSC03986
Duckie at her happiest: Healthy and Active.

 

I remember when the whole thing started, as clearly as if it were yesterday.  I flew in from San Diego, picked Duckie up from work and headed 2 hours north, into the next State, for a short vacation.  That day was the first of the manifestations.

“My leg hurts,” Duckie said.

“Where?”

“Right here.”  Duckie rubbed deep on the top of her left thigh.

“You did work an 8 hour day.”

Duckie is a courtesy clerk at the local grocery store.  She bags your groceries, loads blocks of salt and dog food into your car, and brings all those carts back to the store.  When the weather is nice, she walks the 3 miles to work and back.   She enjoys the walk; it’s part of her weight management plan.  Besides being a bit overweight, Duckie is in great physical shape.  Her normal work schedule is 15-20 hours a week, in 4 hour shifts.  Sharing Duckie’s life gives me a whole new appreciation

English: United States Supreme Court justice H...
United States Supreme Court justice Harry Blackmun. Photo from official public domain Supreme Court multimedia 

Every year, on the anniversary of Roe v Wade, I set out to research and read the Supreme Court Opinion and share my own opinion.  Every year I chicken out or I get lazy, or something else is more pressing.  I know my opinion is sure to anger both my pro-life and my pro-choice friends, many of whom see things through a black-and-white, all-or-nothing lens.  As in so many things in life’s journey, this issue a complex one.

But this is an election year, and many people will vote for their President based on his position on this issue alone.  So it’s high time I did the research.  But first the disclaimers:

You will find no pictures in this post of fetuses, babies, or demonstrators on either side of the divide.  I support Barack Obama; I tend to vote Democrat.  I am pro-life.

Did you ever buy something you just love and then can’t find it again?  Did you ever get so delighted with a purchase that you had to tell someone?  Did you ever meet someone who impressed you with his or her commitment to quality?  All three things happened to me just before I went on my camping trip.  (Spoiler alert:  remember last week’s Photo Friday.)

I bought these great pair of flip-flops in Hilton Head.  I was attending a conference and the flip-flop sandals were an end-of-season-great-price in the resort gift shop.  The flip-flops were $30.  On sale.  It was 10 whole years ago.

What? You’re probably asking.  $30 for a pair of flip-flops?  I hate to shop; I’m not that woman who moans when she smells good shoe-leather. (That’s my sister, Deanna.)  Still, every once in a while, I decide to treat myself to something purely unnecessary; something that makes me feel pampered; something a wee bit extravagant.

This year, one of the sandal toe-ribbons on my flip-flop broke.  Oh how I love that gentle gross-grain ribbon between my toes; no break-in-my-flip-flop blisters to welcome me to summer.   Okay, maybe it is time I gave them up anyways.  The fabric is getting a little tattered looking.

My 10 year-old sandal; the one with the ribbon still intact. Okay, it IS a little worn out.

 

Yes, I was wearing the same sandals for the past 10 years.  A quick trip in the washer, and dried in the sun, and I am set to go again.  Good as new.  Lucky for me, the leather Peanut still proclaimed loud and clear:  Eliza B.  So for $30 over 10 years, that’s just $3 a year.  A pretty good deal.  One I want to repeat.

Harold Cole Watkins, PhD, overcome with remorse, killed himself one rainy night in late 1937.  A few months earlier, Dr. Watkins was on cloud nine. His new, sweet, raspberry-flavored, Elixir Sulfanilamide made it possible for parents to administer the bitter sulfa medicine to their children sick with Streptococcus infections, commonly known as strep throat.  A few months earlier, Dr. Watkins was on cloud nine. His new, sweet, raspberry-flavored, Elixir Sulfanilamide made it possible for parents to administer the bitter sulfa medicine to their children sick with Streptococcus infections.  Sore throats.

A pharmacist employed by S.E. Maassengil Co., Dr. Watkins met the company’s goal in response to public demand for a liquid form of the hard to swallow pill.  Now, over a hundred people were dead, most of them children.  Some children died in their mother’s

Amy Ferris, Truthsayer and Author

“A penny for your thoughts.”   What if we donated a penny for each Tweet or Facebook post we put out there?  Let’s ask people for a penny in exchange for their thoughts on a topic; politics, the Gulf oil spill, Afghanistan.  Think of the money we could raise.  Just think of the good you could do.  We could provide books to every child.  We could feed the hungry.  Amy Ferris leaves