Posted tagged ‘medical’

– – – – Our Dear Meghan – – – –

September 29, 2018

Bear snarl

Bear as metaphor



Our Dear Meghan passed away this morning . . . .



Either:    “…more later …”

.   Or:       “… there are no words …”

.   Or:       ” …  It can’t …”


Nothing makes any sense … yet.





Personal Updates

August 5, 2018

When you’re old, old, old, old like me — well,  this is the oldest I’ve ever been anyway —  you kind of want everything settled and everyone in their place.   You don’t mind a little kerfluffle now and then,  but these last three months . . .  my goodness!

So,  just to make a record in The Spruce Tunnel,   here are some updates for my family and friends before I can go on to other topics.   Let me see if I can give an accounting of everyone:

In no special order,  I’ll start with Cooper.     Not too many hours ago today,  Cooper was on the Staten Island Ferry,* and on his way to the Statue of Liberty.

Cooper on Ferry 300

Don’t mind the squint.   He’s got light blue-gray-hazel eyes and the sun is very bright.  He’s also just returned from a several day spelunking tour and hopefully enjoyed the deep dark caves of eastern America.    Can’t wait to get a letter from him describing the caves!

Cooper apparently made it out to the Statue.     His daddy asks the question:  “Where’s Waldo?

Cooper tiny 330

That’s my “tiny little’ grandson in front of the Statue of Liberty.   Or is that a camera trick?

Daughter is vacationing in New York City too, along with Cooper and Daddy,  so that side of my little family is all happy and accounted for.       That’s fine with me!

Now, Son . . .

se us

Son is somewhere on that map,   having left Florida yesterday and on his way home  here in the Far North.     But I don’t know his route.  His texts are  not too specific.    All I know is that it took  not 3 1/2 hours,  but about 7 hours for him to go one-half inch up the eastern coast of Florida yesterday.   Apparently there are some pretty nice beaches along the way.

I am glad for him.  He’s had a lot on his mind, a lot to worry about, a lot of decisions to make, a lot of new people to meet, a lot of tasks . . .  and now he is alone for three days  in a pretty nice car,   beautiful scenery,  only his own thoughts to guide him.    He’ll be fine.

Nancy and Dusty 90  Dusty:     This has been a 3 or 4 month long concern,  but Nancy’s horse has finally found a new home.    I’m a bit confused because it doesn’t sound today like he’s going to the same place people talked about yesterday;  but although the destination is different,  both locations are described as “wonderful”  places for a horse with caring people . . . .   I hope everyone is as happy as Dusty will be.   He will be just fine now.


Our young friend M.       —

5/24/11 Aerials of UM Campus and Hospital and Ann Arbor area.

This week I took her to a big university hospital where they are supposed to know everything and be able to do everything.    They don’t.    And they didn’t.

M preop 330

She was patient #1595201 on the board.  All for nothing.  They went in – and they went  back out.

My young friend M.  is back to square one and rather beyond disappointed.   We have to wait.  Wait and see.    Wait and see what the medical industry will do to her.   And I’m very scared for her too.   Son and I and all her friends stand by her.  We hope and pray she’ll be fine.


The bat and the bird.     Well, I took care of their possible entry point:

Fireplace Screen

A little duct tape and some metal screen.    Okay, a guy would probably smack his forehead and say,  Why on earth . . .?         But it works for me.    There was about a 3/4 inch gap between the fireplace insert and the fireplace opening.  Now there isn’t.   I have peace of mind and I don’t have any birds and bats tonight.    That’s just fine with me.


Me.    Update on me?      Well,  I still covet your “butterflies.”    Or else I won’t be here to give you any more updates.     I read today ** that when Jesus walked this earth,  He lived His holy life for our benefit;    He lives today for our benefit.     He did miracles of healing back then;  and His miracles of healing  still exist for our benefit.    Because Jesus is also the Son of God,   True God and True Man,   His goodness and love and power are not confined to any one generation,  but are here, now, present for us all.

If prayers surround a person like graceful little butterflies,   then I too am just fine.




.*  If you’re from New York and  I got the name of that Ferry wrong, well,  sorry,  I’m just an Out Of Towner —   Pretty good movie!

Out of towners


.**      From  “Christ in His Mysteries  by Dom Columba Marmion   (A very valuable and highly recommended book.  I wish I could buy all of you a copy!)


February 15, 2017

(Just in case any of you  like science   or technology or . . .   freedom.)

Remember the picture in the last post showing what all the space junk in orbit around our earth would look like?


That “space junk”  is doing things, we know.

Well,  there’s a follow-up in the news today,  kind of an “addition.”    The headlines for the article from Wired . com   reads:  “88 New Satellites Will Watch Earth All The Time  All The Places.”   

The 88 new satellites from the company called “Planet”  (and they’re buying more)  will be “imaging”   the earth and everything on it.   The article concludes by saying that every day the entire land mass of the planet will be photographed and databased.     Every day.  The whole planet.

And there is a long list of people, entities,  corporations, and government offices who are buying this information.

Word for the day:      Luddite  –   Not liking all this technology.   

I’m  not a Luddite, probably, but I just can’t think of one technological  “advance”   that has a net positive effect on human society.      (That is,  add up both columns,  positive and negative,  compare,  and the negative columns will be greater,  slightly greater or massively greater.)

Don’t tell me the medical industry is a positive.    We should have done it all differently,  focusing on  the health of the person ,  not on  the disease.    Health officials take care of the disease,  not the person.   How much do you think medical “advances” are worth?

How much of a price would you put on these cute little twins?


Healthy little twins.    Just beginning to smile and get social.    How much do you think they were worth to their parents and family?

The world was recently  relieved of the presence of these little ones.

The medical industry declared that they were Sexually Active.     

They were vaccinated to death.    Routine vaccines.   Routinely too many at once.   Including the vaccine for a disease you catch  after  doing the “marital act”  with multiple partners – people  like lotharios,   prostitutes, and nymphomaniacs.

The medical industry thought these infants were a pair of immoral sluts.

Net positive effect?     Not if they were my babies.   America has the highest infant mortality rate of the industrialized  (technological)  world.



.*    (It can be found here, but take out the spaces:      https://www . wired . com/2017/ 02 /88-tiny-satellites-will-watch-time-everywhere/

(Take out five spaces, I think.   Copy and paste and then take out the spaces if you want to read the whole article.)


November 21, 2010

It’s so surreal.

I’ve exchanged trips to The Spruce Tunnel for trips down this tunnel.   Back and forth between two hospitals, through this tunnel many times a day.

The situation 24 hours ago:   Dad and Daughter, both lying in a hospital bed.

Both interacting  with attentive Cleveland Clinic doctors and nurses.

Both with an oxygen cannula in their noses.

Both wearing an automatic blood pressure cuff on their right arms. 

Both with an IV line in their left arms.

Both connected to monitors with screens of squiggly lines.

But Daughter goes on with life today without all this.   Dad cannot.

It’s so surreal

Such great joy, such great sorrow in all our hearts.

There are many philosophical things to say, but for just now,  I just need to . . . feel.


November 13, 2010

For family and friends:

Monday:  Discharge from local hospital, diagnosis:  End Stage Heart Failure

Wednesday:   Difficult and scary ride to the Cleveland Clinic;  admission and “rescue.”   At least from our point of view the doctors rescued Hubbie – and us.   Relief all around.   When did an Intensive Care Unit get to be a “good” place to be?

ThursdayFriday a.m.:  getting used to Intensive Care Unit protocol and procedures, machines and tubes.   Hubbie is responding well.  Some panicky hours as his body reacts to medicine trials, but the doctors are  swift to make adjustments, and the crises are over. . . until the next ones come.
Friday:    Much improvement, most of the time.   Sleep is on and off, around the clock.   Eating and breathing is easier.   Talking more easily with wife and son and one of the Minnesota Cousins.   We are all grateful for hospital policy of allowing visitors, 24/7.   One friend even did some detective work and phoned Hubbie in his hospital room.    I swear I didn’t give that number out!    But it was a nice thing to talk to an old friend.   Daughter calling from California.   I gave that number out to her.  
Saturday:  Continued improvement.   Activities included a game of CHESS!    Sheeesh!    And watching a football game.   Sheeesh again!    Okay, he’s strapped down to the bed with several octopuses worth of tubing, so these aren’t “active” activities, but you’d think…..    All this adds up to optimism on the part of the doctors that the much  needed life-saving surgery can occur as planned.    We are counting on their decision.

Hubbie confident enough to send wife back to Michigan for some catch-up work.    Like paying bills, if wife’s energy doesn’t give out.

More on family next posting.


November 13, 2010

I’ve come home from the hospital now.   A four-hour drive, but it’s beginning to feel like “part of the neighborhood.”   I’ll be seeing a lot of the Ohio Turnpike in November and December.    I hope.    Because if I do,  that means all is going well at the Cleveland Clinic.

Our tiny little family has met lots of very nice people:    medical people,  patients, family, and visitors.    In the midst of very serious circumstances, everyone seems friendly, giving, helpful, and hopeful.    I’m struck by how much good hope and optimism there is  at the Cleveland Clinic.

Maybe some people are just made that way, optimistic, look on the bright side, hopeful.       Hubbie is one of them.   Here’s a sample:

Yep.   That’s our refrigerator and our floor.   Sometime, recently, in these past two months, with his health failing fast,  Hubbie called out for me from the kitchen.  I came running, ready to help.   He said,  “Look at this!  I saved it for you.”  

I looked down at that black “spot” in front of the refrigerator, as he said with a  big  grin:   “It’s a four-leaf clover!”      I doubted it.        “I doubt it,”  I said.     At this time of the year, we don’t have flowers or gardens or trees or grass – or any kind of clover – growing.   

But he insisted.   It was important that he had found a four-leaf clover:

So.     There it is.    I don’t know how it got there.   But his happy, optimistic grin had some substance to it.    We both  needed that symbol of Good Luck.     

We had no idea what all was coming in the next few weeks.

I’ve never been much for good luck and free-floating optimism.    Past experience doesn’t exactly affirm optimistic outcomes.    On the other hand, there is a real  Source of hope.   Hope is one of the Virtues;  one of the Theological Virtues, to be exact:   “Faith, Hope, and Charity.”  

(Virtue:  a good quality or habit that a person has.   Basic definition.)    It’s not impossible for God to infuse virtue into someone, but the most common way is to learn, to desire, and to practice, practice, practice, practice.    That’s the way any “habit” grows.

The thing is, when a person places his  life in God’s hands and submits to His justice, God places the desire for virtue in the  human soul and then  kindly meets the desire for virtue with His supernatural aid.   The Virtue of Hope is called a theological virtue because it is one that has God Himself as its object.   

With the grace of God providing the desire, and  the growth, and the  knowledge of the Himself as virtue’s Object, there is reason to Hope, indeed.        

What a cute little reminder on our kitchen floor.


September 24, 2009

Here is the little patient today, after a tiring syringe of water:   Suzy yellow towel

Every care is taken.     I’m learning the meaning of “cherish,”   which I have tossed around almost casually in my classes.    

After the antibiotics and the pain medication and some comforting pheromones, she is doing much better.

All God’s creatures have troubles.   And sometimes troubles pile upon troubles.    Suzy should have peace and rest….but this is our house this week:   Rooftop bangs straight on

The Patience of a Cat.   It’s really true.  She is a study in patient acceptance of whatever comes her way.     My teeth are on edge from the constant banging above our ceiling….but mostly I’m on edge because I’m worried how this will affect Suzy.     I shouldn’t have worried.    She’s listening, but she’s okay.   Life goes on – in spite of all the bangs.

And so –  I have decided NOT to cancel class tonight.     A thousand “what-ifs” will keep me home, but one act of entrusting them all to Our Dear Lord will send me out.

Our lesson is wonderful tonight, anyway.  I’m hoping God will step in where I am inadequate to teach this.      Mark 6:53-56 sets the scene.   It’s sort of like “Black Thursday” – you know, the day after Thanksgiving at the shopping malls.

Jesus left the Glories of Heaven, His “Ivory Palaces” as the wonderful hymn tells us;   He had just fed the 5,000 and made sure there were Twelve Baskets left over to feed His people –  and THEN He shows us why they need to be fed.    But  He lets His people demonstrate their need in Mark 7:1-13 and then He teaches them to step onto the right pathway in Mark 7:14-23.         Real life lessons.

Next week, the very next passage takes us to the wonderful truth that this God-in-our-Hearts is for the whole world, not just the Jews!

And that is why this long section of Mark is bracketed by two miraculous feedings, the first  with 12 baskets left over and the second with 7 baskets left over.   The first, 12 Tribes of Israel and 12 Apostles indicates “who” can be fed.     The second, 7 Baskets, or  the 7 Sacraments, indicating the “how” and “where” we get fed with  spiritual food which gives us eternal life.

I want to go to class for this part of the Bible.


September 19, 2009

My usual morning greeting:

Cat Morning Cartoon



Except I’m not a guy.


And except this is really what I normally see:   Suzy Alarm Clock lighter

It’s hard to see those big eyes amidst the black fur, but she really does stare me awake.  I’m assuming there are “hearts” all around in there too, like the cartoon.

But we have a problem now.

We spent the last two night walking around with a really bad kitty toothache.   She’s a very small cat and has already lost a good percentage of her body weight….She has seen her vet;   she has surgery set for next week.   But she hasn’t eaten or drank anything for many days.

"not feeling so good"

"not feeling so good"

I may have to take her in for some subcutaneous water delivery today.  

If she were a human child, I could relate;  I could comfort;   I could rationalize.    But this little one doesn’t deserve so much pain and I can’t relate and I can’t comfort….and I can’t think much of anything else…

St. Francis of Assisi loved animals….please?


Subsequent postings may be short….nothing like pain and fear to focus one’s attention.


September 9, 2009

This kind of a Marine:

Dad PFCA daughter may learn a lot from her Mom, but she will forever see herself   through the eyes of her father.  It’s just the way it is.  

I dreamed about my father this week.  I don’t usually remember my dreams, just vague, happy interesting bits and pieces.   But this week I woke up with a short, very detailed dream that seemed to be important that I remember it…and know something from it.   Like a message.  But I don’t know if it’s a correction or a warning or a prediction…

I have a good dream book that is usually right on about interpreting the elements of a dream.  I’ve noticed the meanings often resemble the personality of the dreamer.   But the dreambook is silent this time.

I thought if I’d write out the dream, maybe something will occur to me.

The first element of this dream is my father…up there in the photo.  A Marine, but not in his Dress Blues, but as an ordinary PFC, with all the nobility and strength of character that a man develops in  the Marine Corps:   courage, duty, firmness of purpose, clear thinking about right and wrong;  being a true gentleman; protector.

So, accentuating the elements…my father, an “ex”- Marine as he calls himself, had been defending our house somehow in this dream;  he got interrupted by a bad appendix.  He called for me to help.   He was sitting in our garage on a high bench, and waiting for me.   He had made his own incision but ran into a  tough vertical  band of cartilage.    

I had a really beautiful gold, double-curved very sharp scalpel, like a saracen blade with two curves.    It was very sharp as I sawed through the tough cartilage.  I didn’t mind the task, but I didn’t like hurting him.   He indicated I should keep going.  The job would get done.

The dream ended deliberately right there.   Apparently that was all the elements I needed to work with to learn….something.   

So….I’ve been thinking about my father all week.   1,300 miles away on the east coast of Florida.    Can I help him?Viking SPear


August 23, 2009

My daughter and I were out for a happy shopping trip one day when we came upon this.  One red car off to the left, one car upside down off to the right behind the green sign.

Bad Day Wreck

As  we were passing the car wreck with ambulances coming, she said:  “Every day is a seriously bad day for someone, somewhere.”      This ambulance in Cleveland is a sign of someone’s “seriously bad day” too:


I’ve been trying to think why I won’t bother a doctor with my little foot problem, because I have kind, caring friends, whose opinions I value highly, telling me to ( insist that I)  “go see a doctor” for this little injury. 

Why do I not go?  I need to assure myself that I’m not just being a Stubborn Swede.    The word is actually “conservative” – “no sudden movements” – “glacial” –but  I understand the choice of the word “stubborn” — it can be exasperating to others.     So….

First, I’m not inexperienced with broken bones, having cared for many in my hospital-working days, having seen son and daughter and other family members deal with broken bones,  and having had a minor problem and then a very major problem with broken bones myself, previously.   It’s not like this is some mysterious event.

Second, I consulted with another person whose medical opinion I trust very much – my son’s.   He has an educated, intelligent, common-sense, conservative (a Swede, you know) approach to life and life’s little problems.   As he said to me, bottom line, a doctor is good if you need surgical intervention. 

Well, actually, he asked me:  “Is anything protruding?”   (A rather direct bedside manner, but he and I speak the same language, so I found that funny.)    He and I both believe God gave us self-healing bodies.   So, no, nothing’s “protruding”,   no unusual sensations, and rest seems to be doing miracles right now for my foot.

Third:  But maybe the main reason I didn’t see a doctor is that this all happened in a larger context — our trip to the Cleveland Clinic.   When you spend the day in a such a huge hospital complex, you can’t help but walk around with a heavy rock in the pit of your stomach when you consider all the misery a human body can produce.  Lives are changed forever.  There are patients (and their families) facing impending death;   there are patients enduring excruciating pain;  there are patients experiencing mortal fear.  

So, you know, a tiny little line in a tiny little metatarsal pales in significance to what humans must deal with.

I have a good friend who continues the old custom of making the Sign of the Cross  and saying a little prayer whenever an ambulance goes by.   There is good reason for this.

That is the best “Sign for an Ambulance.”

P.S. – And then there’s always my husband’s helpful comment while I was hobbling around at the Clinic:   “Do like the Marines would do:  just put one foot in front of the other…..”        : )



August 20, 2009

CC Big Bldg

State of the art; beautiful;   the newest Cleveland Clinic building;  an unfortunately familiar place to us.  My husband’s doctors are here.  If it’s being done in medicine today, it is being done here;  cutting edge research and doctors experienced in advanced techniques.

My husband’s appointments went well.   Treatment plan:   “Active Watching”  — or something like that.   One of the doctors spent over an hour with us, teaching us, explaining, talking, answering every single question we could think of.  Then he promised to call us at home the next day with some test results.   And he actually did.  We can’t say enough about the wonderful doctors at the Cleveland Clinic.

Here is a close-up of that amazing acrylic fountain in front of the building:

CC Left closeup pond

Here is a closer close-up of the other side:

CC right closeup pond

The fountain is a fascinating part of the beautiful art work, inside and outside of this hospital.

I would have taken more photos, but I had a little problem myself.   About 5 minutes before we were to leave our home state and drive to Ohio, I most likely broke a small CC Bruisebone in my foot.  We had to leave, couldn’t wait, but it was a terrible experience trying to walk on that all day.   I don’t know if I should put my “foot”  up here, but this is a “hospital posting” — so there it is.    That’s part of my left foot, not looking normal.   SO GLAD to be home today so I can often elevate that foot and stop the pain a bit….bad timing.

A spider did it.   Or, more accurately,  proximity to a spider.

Ever been to Ohio?

CC Ohio field hosue

Here’s what you’ll see out your car window.   And also this —   Some crop ripening to a rich golden yellow:

CC fields ripening

We stopped for an “adventure” on the way home:

CC mt goats

I think they’re mountain….goats….or sheep….or rams.     You may recognize that as the inside displays of a big Cabela’s store.   My husband and I hit the gun section right away.  That’s where my Glock  9mm is waiting….or else the Rueger….My husband was looking at the .22’s until I told him “That’s just a big brother to a BB gun!”  — and so he moved on over to the shotguns.    Much more helpful if you need some protection.    Feral dog packs are on the rise, everywhere.

CC Ostrich


Cabela’s “went out and shot” some ostrich for us.   Very tasty.CC Kens ostrich Or a close-up of my husband’s – best with lots of mushrooms!