Well, anyone who has seen my blog lately knows I am having major eye issues. I saw the eye doctor again last week, and apparently, I have serious cataracts, which have gotten worse at an alarming (for me) rate. I am seeing the surgeon at the end of November, and hopefully that will be all fixed. The upshot of it all is that I am functionally blind in my left eye at the moment, and the right one is barely functional. I can't do depth perception at all.
I can't see beads under size 8, and 6's are better, so I haven't been beading at all, because I am a weaver, not a stringer. I just have no talent for stringing. I love how other artists do it, making chic statement pieces, but when I try, I get symmetrical pieces that remind me of "pop beads" that were popular when I was a kid. For those of you who are too young for that reference, pop beads were pearly plastic beads, around 12 or 15 mm, and they had a round connector on one side, and a hole on the other, so they "popped" together. I had every color, size and type of pop bead, a precursor to my current hoard.
Anyway, in the process of being bummed out, but managing to do some paper art inspired by Jennibellie's paper buttons and flowers, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFguRhrWVns&feature=plcp, I began to feel ill. (If you don't know Jennibellie, she is definitely worth a look. She is a unique artist, not defined or confined in any way by rules and regs, and she is inspiring.) Anyway, it all began with stomach cramps, and ended in the emergency room, getting a bag of saline for dehydration, and a morphine shot to calm the cramps.
The emergency room, what an adventure all the time. Every time I have been in one, it has been just wild. This time, the excitement began with an elderly gentleman in the bed on my left. He kept screaming "Ayeyayayay! Help me! Christ help me!" and a lot of other epithets in Spanish that I couldn't make out, having had only a couple of years of high school and college Spanish. The English-speaking personnel just told him to calm down and keep his clothes on (I couldn't see the apparent strip-tease he was performing, due to a gratefully placed curtain.) The Spanish-speaking personnel kept telling him to stop screaming, to little avail. He wanted water, but could not have it due to a low sodium situation, so he screamed for water. He was in pain, so they gave him a pain shot, but he never waited for it to work, he just screamed on. I think he was just sick and scared, but it was pretty exhausting listening to his screams for hours. They finally decided they were keeping him in the hospital, and shipped him off to an unsuspecting ward somewhere.
Directly in front of me, they brought in a very large woman (and believe me, I am a little round person myself, but this lady was easily twice my size.) She was conscious, but totally uncommunicative, they asked her her name, no response. They asked her why she was there, no response. A technician tried to take blood and she refused by moving her arms around until a nurse went in and told her that she needed the tests, and she laid still and submitted. I got the impression that she was sent to the ER by either a facility where she lived, or by some family members who had not hung around, because the staff seemed to know why she was there, and they decided to keep her, at least overnight.
To my right, I first had a man who was somewhat intoxicated, and had been bitten by a stray dog. The bite was either on his finger or his thigh, and had been inflicted either that day or three weeks ago, depending on the telling. He was slightly amusing, but they dispatched him pretty quickly. Next up, on the right, was a really, really intoxicated woman. (I gathered that the bed to my right was the designated "drunk tank.") Anyway, I'm not sure what was wrong with her, she was slurring her words so badly, but she did take offense to several of the hospital personnel, and was loudly demanding apologies from them all, although the offenders seemed to just disappear and were replaced with new, potentially less offensive ones. Then she demanded a phone, they found her one, and she wanted assistance with her call. They asked her the number and she said things like 4520 and 2326, but never anything resembling a phone number. So, they sneaked away from her, and whenever someone came to give her a test or something she complained that no one would help her with the phone.
Meanwhile, my saline drip finished up, the morphine kicked in, and I was at least feeling good enough to go home. So we left, with some regret, because you always want to know the outcome of every soap opera, but I needed to go home to my own bed and heal. Mark was an absolute hero to me that day. He cleaned up my sick messes, he took me to the emergency room, even though driving in the late afternoon and evening are very difficult for him due to his macular degeneration. (At this time, we have about one good eye between us.) He made me Jello and got me Gatorade, and last night, he even made his world-famous chicken soup with dumplings. I think that contributed to my cure. I am better, if somewhat weak and wimpy, but definitely on the mend. The soup stayed down, I slept the night through with no disasters, and I saw my regular doctor yesterday. She changed some of my meds, so maybe the dehydration will stop. It has caused a lot of the problems with my eyes, and two episodes of stomach terrors in the last two weeks. It has been going on for awhile, but it just got really bad from about March of this year when my cornea was ripped from dry eyes. So, life seems to be improving.
I also wanted to talk about the emergency room personnel at Maryvale Hospital, here in Phoenix, about a mile from my house. From the aide who wheeled me in, to the doctors, nurses, technicians, aides and janitors, they were an awesome group of folks. They were all cheerful, patient, and generally wonderful to all the sick, scared and often annoying people they had to deal with. I have now been to that hospital twice, once for tests, and then on Monday last. Even their office personnel were happy. I don't know what is in the food or water over there, or if they just hire really well, but their staff is awesome. This neighborhood is in transition, old and new, good and bad, and they handled every person there with dignity, respect and compassion. I was awed. I want to thank them, and thank God for them. They are angels here on earth.