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Good to go

I won’t say I was scared.  It was sobering.  Being terminally flippant, and I did joke through this experience consistently, I was brought to a point of uncertainty in which I felt I had to say a few things to a few people such as “Please clean the house before you tell everyone I died.”

I have also been thoroughly enjoying Facebook and have renamed it.  The preacher combines Facebook, Twitter, and My Space into one word — MyTwitFace.  Pretty good.  I’ve already decided Twitter is for the birds and will disconnect the next time I think of it — too much potential for too many people to know too much about me.  I’ve never looked into My Space since I have a blog and that too is too universal and subject to stalking.  But, like I told my mom when she worried about me being single in Minneapolis, when they get me under the street light, they’ll lose interest.

Facebook, however, has more of an exclusive club atmosphere and I am enjoying it a lot.  I can fondly change it from Facebook to Chatterbox. Or how about Party Line?

I’ve posted bottom line comments to my Chatterbox stating a stellar outcome to my heart cath  — clean and pretty, if you consider the bloody pump pretty at all, mine is in Cardo Man’s words, beautiful.  So.

I arrive on time, sit and wait.  Answer questions, go to another area, sit and wait.  Take my clothes off, put on a gown, answer some of the same questions — “Are you or could you be pregnant?” to which I replied “I bet you people love to ask that”, get plugged into monitor, lay and wait.  (Butt goes numb but it ain’t seen nothin’ yet) Go to procedure room, have things attached, an iodine wash where it doesn’t look good in a swimsuit, get draped, wait for CM to show. He poked his grinning face in the doorway at exactly 1:03 and cheerfully chirped “How are you?” How do you answer that one? “Oh, fine.” Ready to be punctured.

They claim I was sedated but what I think really happened is that Joy Juice Judy has her thumb on the trigger and dispenses it in increments —  the longer the procedure, the more she hits her trigger.  CM pierced the femoral artery which I did not feel and started pumping in the dye. When I say “pumping” I mean he lightly punched down on the entry site every time he wanted to see the arteries show up on the screen.

This is as gory as it gets.  The screen was even black and white.  I was able to watch and it was pretty cool to see the inside live.  I was wide awake according to me at the time meaning I had no idea how much Joy Juice Judy jammed.  But I’m pretty sure she was ready to shoot more if CM called out “hey, there’s some good stuff gumming up this one, gimme a stent!”  Instead he proclaimed me clear, replayed the video for me, turned me over to the plugger-upper guy, whipped off the glove and headed out the door before I could say “was it good for you”…. not even dinner?

At 1:35 they paraded me on my regal rolly bed back to the beige curtained chamber of boredom where my audience awaited my return.  CM blew in, shook hands, said I had a beautiful heart of an 18 year old and arteries he could drive a truck through.  “So what are the chest pains and the other symptoms about?”  “Well, it isn’t your heart, so you know you’re not going to die from them.”   Now the investigation can continue at a more relaxed pace.  He went on to say he loves putting in stents — a man who enjoys his work, I guess because doing so helps those who need it — but could find no excuse to do so on me.  (sorry)

After he left and our friends left, it was just Honey and me, no TV.  He brought a book, I brought a book, the lady on the other side of the curtain was snoring, I couldn’t prop the book, snoozed off and on, and I wasn’t allowed to so much as flex my right leg for four solid continuous unbroken hours.  I can’t tell you how profoundly that lack of movement affects the posterior region to the point where you say what posterior region?

At 5pm I was told I could sit up until the RN was sure nothing was going to spurt, after which she let me walk to the potty after which I could get dressed and sign off on all the instructions regarding showering, eating, etc.  I am to sit or lay all day today, take a shower this afternoon if I want to (ya think so?), carefully remove the dressing late tomorrow, look for all sorts of weird anomolies like, oh, maybe green and blue streaks, redness, hard surface from internal bleeding. Okay, and have a nice day, then.

All is well so far at 1:20 Saturday.  And before I sign off here, I went to the email and read that our good friend Bill Blevins, a WWII vet, lost his fight against heart disease.  Last month when I went to the ER, our friend Jim was upstairs undergoing his own heart cath and was administered stents.  This time, but different hospital, I was undergoing my test while Bill was being taken to another ER.  I came home to the house last night, he went Home to his mansion in heaven this morning.

We all say how wonderful that day will be when we see Him face to face, but we want to go together.  Not yet.  Until that great day of the Rapture of the Church, we say goodbye one at a time.

Goodbye, Bill.  We’ll miss you, we’ll take good care of Peggy, and look forward to seeing you again in God’s timing.

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Feeling the performance – Riverdance!

If the theory of DNA Memory is true, that we genetically carry the footprints of our ancestors, shadows of their cultures, then there are sub-conscious rumblings in my soul and echoes of flutes and drums in my veins that connect me to Ireland .  I close my eyes and see green hills and Maureen O’Hara.

No?  I don’t believe the DNA thing either.  It just sounded good.  According to Ancestry.com my European heritage is all of Europe.  Lines weave backward through myriad shire and kingdom finding root through Troy to Goshen back to Abraham himself.

Yet, I feel so much more Irish than say, Prussian or Italian.  That could have something to do with growing up with the surname of Murphy and listening to Dad talking about his Murphy line, who was the immigrant, etc.  Mom also spoke of her Dutch line of sailors.  I just wasn’t that fascinated.  Sorry, Mom.  But, aye now, the Irish, the twinkling eyes, the roguish smiles, the castles, the green shutters and stone fences, the dancing and drums …  much more fun than say, wooden shoes.

We’re watching the Best of Riverdance.  When I emerged from the Celtic store in Gatlinburg last week proudly waving my purchase, my son-in-law chuckled and said “as opposed to the Worst Of?”  After viewing of the Best Of and remembering my experience of the live performance in Minneapolis, I’ve concluded that the Worst Of would look the same.  There is no Worst.

It can only be described as an experience.  You watch, you feel, you meld with it and believe all you have to do is put on the tap shoes and you are one of them.  That night my friend Lisa and I persisted 65 dark miles through winter wind and snow, and froze our fingers and cheekbones walking to the old Minneapolis Theatre.  The stage was wooden, the floors were wooden, the seats creaky and packed close together, barely room to peel off the parkas.

Lisa educated me all the way there on theater behavior.  She studied theater, there is protocol.  There is prescribed pattern.  By first curtain, if theater is a verb, I knew how to.  Then the thunder of steeled toes and heels vibrated through the stage, the floors, the seats and penetrated the bodies.  At the first opportunity to do so, the whole of the audience flew to their feet, shouting, whistling, applauding hard enough to wear on the tendon and joint.  Lisa must have been in theatrical shock but she too rose to her feet eventually, commenting later that she thought she was at a hockey game after a double overtime.

You too can buy the DVD in Dolby, set up the surround sound, crank up the subwoofer, and swim in the magic of Riverdance.  But …. until they’re in front of you on a wooden stage, passionately stomping out their heritage, until you’re watching “by the seat of your pants,” you haven’t felt Riverdance.  If you have that opportunity, you just may hear some Irish in your blood.

The Star shone on Saturday night.

Another weekend.  Gone.

It happens every Monday.  Someone Everyone greets each other with “Hi, how was your weekend?”  What they are expecting to hear is “Fine” to which they respond “That’s nice.” You could be in a wheelchair wearing 3 casts and breathing through a tube and they would still expect to hear “Fine” so they can chirp “That’s nice” because they are walking and not looking.  My answer is usually “I forget” or “Let me think.”  It just doesn’t matter anymore.

I have noticed as I get older that time is spinning faster and faster just like that last roll of toilet paper as it gets closer and closer to the core.  Weekends are breaking records.  They pick up speed significantly around noon on Saturday and accelerate to the speed of a freight train on steroids until they crash into the alarm clock Monday morning, violently pitching me out of bed.

I have choices on weekends–plans that I can make in advance to brighten up this nano-second in time with something memorable.  Or I can vegatate with the remote, or search for the misplaced ToDo list.  Or not.  This particular weekend we chose wisely — a bright spot.  We attended a performance of Star Queen  at the church.

Ya gotta check it out here.  Just do it.  This is not Amateur Night.  These guys have the goods.  They are pros.  Just because it’s in a church…okay, I made my point.  They read the Book of Esther in the Bible of all places and made it into a musical.  And wrote the music.  Jazzy, imrov, funny.  Something you’d see on Broadway.  I’m impressed.  I’m even more impressed that John tommy Oaks, educated, experienced in the field of music, and highly trained, is using his talents and training in a ministry when he could be setting fires in the secular music industry.  God bless you, J.t.

Oh! And here’s the website:  http://www.johnthomasoaks.com/star-queen.html

Have you ever, when looking for something to do, thought to pick up a Bible and read a story in the Old Testament?  Me, neither.  Is the language a little stuffy, a little hard to follow?  Pick up a Message translation.  It’s a read-aloud paraphrase that talks to you like someone at street level.

There’s Xerxes the King, Esther, the drop-dead gorgeous Jewess (sshh, that’s a secret) queen, her cousin Mordecai the Jew, evil Haman (picture the black hat, cape, and handlebar mustache [yah ah ah] and hiss at him), a cast of several, and pagan parties in which the king orders excessive drinking.  A phrase you’ve heard several times if you’re over the age of 10, is “for such a time as this.”  Yup, that’s from the Book of Esther.  Also, “if I perish, I perish.”  Book of Esther again.  Esther’s name is translated Star and she was the Queen in Persia.  Star. Queen. Get it? ok, then.

John tommy and sometimes his dad, Thomas, or someone else, travel with Star Queen.  All parts are played by as few as two of them, using hats and wigs. They’re not just East TN performers although this is home.  Contact them.  Invite them to your church, community playhouse, whatever.  This is a production not to be missed.

Tomorrow is Monday.  Again.  After the train crashes at 5-whatever, that’s a.m., I’ll coax the sleep out of my eyes and head for work.  As I make very sure the coffee pot is running and check the email, someone will cruise past my door and ask how my weekend was.  They’d better slow down, ’cause this time I have an answer other than just “Fine.”