December 9th, 2009

Dianne gets out of the house

This evening Dianne was taken by ambulance to the ER, then to ICU. Pneumonia, on top of everything else. Problem is, we get so used to her feeling weak and sick that I sometimes don't pay attention when something really urgent happens. She lay down for a nap and when she woke I went to help her out of bed and we struggled for twenty minutes trying to get her into the wheel chair. Not too unusual. But today she was so weak that I was doing all the work and I wasn't strong enough. She ended up on the floor which is not something we can deal with alone. The neighbors are used to running over a couple times a year to lift her into her chair. But this time she was pale and unresponsive, lips and fingertips were blue, so I called 911. By the time they got here (five minutes over slick roads!) Dianne was semi-alert and unwilling to go to the hospital. "It costs so much." But she had no idea how unresponsive she had been a few minutes earlier. I said it might be a good idea to make sure she was o.k. She is tougher than she looks. the stats on her look really bad, but she is much healthier than the numbers indicate. The pulmonologist wanted to put her on a ventilator! Thank goodness she reniged. She is going to be o.k.; just another backward step to make the next step forward more interesting and rewarding. But this sort of thing really makes me feel helpless and incompetent and scared. Unless we are lucky enough to go together, someday I will probably lose her. But by this time Friday, things will be back to normal and she will have benefitted from a couple days of good professional medical care.

Writer's Block: Go it alone

Do you think society puts too much pressure on people to be in relationships and/or have children? Do you think this ostracizes people who would be perfectly content to remain single and/or child-free? Is this pressure worse around the holidays?
Certainly the answer to all three questions is yes; but the problem is deeper. The problem is conformity in general, especially conformity to the past, to tradition. Marriage, Family, Holidays are all part of the past, part of tradition, part of being "conservative." Been there, done that. The world changes around us daily but we live in the 19th century, or the 14th, or the fifth century b.c. or whenever today's traditions were somebody's radical new ideas. We've got to decide what is "public" and what is "private" and we don't have a clue. Then we have to insist that public problems be publicly discussed and solved while leaving people's "private" lives alone. But the line between public and private is thin and arbitrary. Can my remaining single be a matter of public interest? Well, statistically, single people are more likely to be victims and perpetrators of crime. On the other hand, when I marry, both my spouse and I dramatically increase our demands on an already overstressed environment. But on balance, being married or single would seem to be a private matter. Maybe children should be a private matter also, but suppose I want an infinite (i.e. as many as God gives me) number of children like the Duggers or the Octomom. We share this planet as equal heirs of the creator and the rights of privacy pale into insignificance beside that fact. Do I want a one child policy, certainly not. But I do want people to be able to live without undue pressure from the "dead hand of the past which lies like a nightmare on the brains of the living." "Multiply and subdue the earth?" Hey, we did that already. Its time to quit, start respecting the earth. and stop living according to our misperceptions about what ancient sages said or meant.