edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
My right shoulder is still killing me despite my having done nothing today -- I have been doing things entirely with my left hand every time I remember, and have not lifted anything heavier than my hairdryer (and that only for about two minutes).

So I contacted a local medical practice and asked to set up an appointment. Since I did that via email, who knows how long it will take to get a reply. But at least I have started the process.

I also looked up sprained shoulders online, since I have no idea what else might account for my symptoms. (I am pretty sure it's not dislocated. That I think I would have spotted much sooner.) And I have to say, my squick reaction at medical diagrams is still present and accounted for. It's funny -- faced with actual blood and injury, I am perfectly sanguine, but faced with a sanitized diagram of the exact same problem? I flinch and get nauseated. (I have the same reaction to stuff I did while working for Pat, incidentally. Doing it was no problem. Thinking about it afterward? Ewwww.)

The mind and body are strange and mysterious things.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
My friend and former employer, Pat S., died in July. My mom recently sent me a newspaper clipping of a longer article about Pat -- sort of a combination obituary and life retrospective. I am posting a transcription for my own reference, since the newspaper in question does not have a free online archive (and their fees are outrageous!). Pat's relatives' names have been altered to maintain their privacy.

Pat Selvage's life: A profile in courage )

---------------

You know, I always forget just how weird the paragraphing in newspaper and magazine articles is, and what awkward gramatical contortions most journalists fall prey to. I kept having to stomp on my impulse to rationalize the paragraphing and trim out the dialogue tags that would thus be rendered redundant, and that's not even getting into my urge to rearrange and rewrite bits of the Van Ryzin section wholesale.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
My friend and former employer, Pat S., died in July. My mom recently sent me a newspaper clipping of a longer article about Pat -- sort of a combination obituary and life retrospective. I am posting a transcription for my own reference, since the newspaper in question does not have a free online archive (and their fees are outrageous!). Pat's relatives' names have been altered to maintain their privacy.

Pat Selvage's life: A profile in courage )

---------------

You know, I always forget just how weird the paragraphing in newspaper and magazine articles is, and what awkward gramatical contortions most journalists fall prey to. I kept having to stomp on my impulse to rationalize the paragraphing and trim out the dialogue tags that would thus be rendered redundant, and that's not even getting into my urge to rearrange and rewrite bits of the Van Ryzin section wholesale.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
When I was in high school, and during my college breaks, I used to work part-time for a woman named Pat S. She'd had crippling rheumatoid arthritis since she was a child, and she needed aid for almost all physical tasks (though her mind was just fine, and she worked as a social worker for many years, until her health problems got too bad). I cooked for her, helped her move around the house, helped her use the toilet, put her to bed, dressed her, drove her to appointments, watered her plants, cleaned her house, organized paperwork, provided conversation, did some basic medical tests, etc. The pay was crap (even after I switched from direct wages to working via a state agency), but I liked Pat, and I felt useful.

Pat died last Monday, July 7th.

I have the details second- or third-hand, from Susan and from Vicky's friend Heather.

To set the scene: Pat had a ramp attached to her back door, so she could get to her driveway. Most of it had a guardrail, but the flat section immediately outside the door did not have a railing -- presumably this was so other people could more easily go out and work in the yard.

On Monday, Pat's electric wheelchair fell off the ramp and into the shrubbery. The two people working there at the time called the ambulance, since she had a broken leg and collar bone, a lot of cuts, and a lot of bruising. Pat was apparently very upset and didn't want to be touched. One of the helpers told the EMTs not to touch her, which seems to have meant that legally they couldn't do anything to help her.

Eventually they got her to a hospital, and there seems to have been a resucitation attempt -- she'd understandably gotten worse -- but it didn't work. She died.

Nobody is sure exactly what the funeral arrangements will be, but Susan tells me Pat's family is thinking of cremation and a delayed memorial service. I hope I will be able to attend.

I feel awful about this in general, but I feel particularly bad because I didn't call or visit Pat the last time I was down in NJ, for Cat's bridal shower. I didn't have the time for a long visit -- especially since a half hour visit often turned into two hours of unofficial labor -- so I thought it would be simpler to just avoid Pat until the next time I was in Madison.

And now I will never see or speak with her again.

ETA: Here is her obituary.

ETA, 8/21/08: And here is a longer obituary and retrospective, transcribed from the Madison Eagle.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
When I was in high school, and during my college breaks, I used to work part-time for a woman named Pat S. She'd had crippling rheumatoid arthritis since she was a child, and she needed aid for almost all physical tasks (though her mind was just fine, and she worked as a social worker for many years, until her health problems got too bad). I cooked for her, helped her move around the house, helped her use the toilet, put her to bed, dressed her, drove her to appointments, watered her plants, cleaned her house, organized paperwork, provided conversation, did some basic medical tests, etc. The pay was crap (even after I switched from direct wages to working via a state agency), but I liked Pat, and I felt useful.

Pat died last Monday, July 7th.

I have the details second- or third-hand, from Susan and from Vicky's friend Heather.

To set the scene: Pat had a ramp attached to her back door, so she could get to her driveway. Most of it had a guardrail, but the flat section immediately outside the door did not have a railing -- presumably this was so other people could more easily go out and work in the yard.

On Monday, Pat's electric wheelchair fell off the ramp and into the shrubbery. The two people working there at the time called the ambulance, since she had a broken leg and collar bone, a lot of cuts, and a lot of bruising. Pat was apparently very upset and didn't want to be touched. One of the helpers told the EMTs not to touch her, which seems to have meant that legally they couldn't do anything to help her.

Eventually they got her to a hospital, and there seems to have been a resucitation attempt -- she'd understandably gotten worse -- but it didn't work. She died.

Nobody is sure exactly what the funeral arrangements will be, but Susan tells me Pat's family is thinking of cremation and a delayed memorial service. I hope I will be able to attend.

I feel awful about this in general, but I feel particularly bad because I didn't call or visit Pat the last time I was down in NJ, for Cat's bridal shower. I didn't have the time for a long visit -- especially since a half hour visit often turned into two hours of unofficial labor -- so I thought it would be simpler to just avoid Pat until the next time I was in Madison.

And now I will never see or speak with her again.

ETA: Here is her obituary.

ETA, 8/21/08: And here is a longer obituary and retrospective, transcribed from the Madison Eagle.
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
The nice thing about being grown up is that we don't have to do Christmas at the crack of dawn anymore.

See, when Vicky and I were kids, she'd wake up at 5:30 or 6:00am, drag me out of bed, and insist that we go downstairs right now and see what 'Santa' had left in our stockings. Then she'd want to move on to present-unwrapping right away, but since my dad is very much not a morning person, we never got him downstairs before 8:00am at the earliest, and he (wisely) insisted on eating breakfast before facing mountains of torn wrapping paper.

This, of course, meant that I suffered at least two hours of tired tension on Christmas morning, awake earlier than I wanted to be, but unable to go back to sleep because of Vicky's enthusiasm.

These days, she's much more reasonable. I actually got up before her this morning -- granted, that was mostly because she had a migraine last night, but I think it's still noteworthy. :-)

The church service last night was nice, as always. Mom and Dad were ushering, and Vicky and I got dragooned into helping, since it really takes four ushers to hand out all the candles and take the offering both upstairs and downstairs. Also, Dad says (and I agree with him) that the offertory should be moved to before the homily/sermon, rather than after the homily and right before the candle-lighting, because there just isn't enough time for the ushers to collect the plates, do a head count, count and store the money, close the doors, kill the lights, and light the first candles at the back of the sanctuary.

I forgot to complain to the UUA about the changed words in the hymnal*** last year. Perhaps this year I'll remember.

This afternoon, I visited Pat. I said it was going to be a 45-minute visit, from 2:00pm to 2:45pm -- and I fully expected it to run 15-20 minutes longer, because that's how visits to Pat go -- but I ended up being there until 3:45pm. She was getting ready to go to a friend's house for the afternoon, because she hadn't been able to find help until 9:00pm tonight, and it takes such a long time to get her stuff packed and get both the bags and Pat into a car these days. Her feet are doing very badly, so she has a hospital-style stretcher in her bedroom, in order to get herself mostly upright without having to stand on the floor.

She had a couple of Mormon missionaries there when I arrived, and we sang some Christmas carols together, which was nice. Pat has some sort of arrangement with the local Mormons, such that whoever is doing mission work in this area drops by to visit her every week or two, which I think is very nice and charitable of them. This is actually the third pair I've met at her house over the years, and they've all been very pleasant young men.

Tonight we had roast leg of lamb for dinner, and now I am off to have pumpkin pie for dessert. I don't actually like pumpkin pie half as much as I did when I was younger, but I keep forgetting to tell that to my mom, and it's not as if I dislike it... but Christmas cookies are much better. :-)

***I admit that I do like the altered third verse of "Joy to the World," though. Somebody decided that there was just no way to de-Christianize the third verse as it stands, so they wrote a completely new one. Instead of

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness
And wonders of his love
And wonders of his love
And wonders, and wonders of his love


we get

No more let sin and sorrow reign
Nor thorns infest the ground
Let righteousness its glories show
As far as love is found
As far as love is found
As far, as far as love is found
.

I think it's pretty.
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
The nice thing about being grown up is that we don't have to do Christmas at the crack of dawn anymore.

See, when Vicky and I were kids, she'd wake up at 5:30 or 6:00am, drag me out of bed, and insist that we go downstairs right now and see what 'Santa' had left in our stockings. Then she'd want to move on to present-unwrapping right away, but since my dad is very much not a morning person, we never got him downstairs before 8:00am at the earliest, and he (wisely) insisted on eating breakfast before facing mountains of torn wrapping paper.

This, of course, meant that I suffered at least two hours of tired tension on Christmas morning, awake earlier than I wanted to be, but unable to go back to sleep because of Vicky's enthusiasm.

These days, she's much more reasonable. I actually got up before her this morning -- granted, that was mostly because she had a migraine last night, but I think it's still noteworthy. :-)

The church service last night was nice, as always. Mom and Dad were ushering, and Vicky and I got dragooned into helping, since it really takes four ushers to hand out all the candles and take the offering both upstairs and downstairs. Also, Dad says (and I agree with him) that the offertory should be moved to before the homily/sermon, rather than after the homily and right before the candle-lighting, because there just isn't enough time for the ushers to collect the plates, do a head count, count and store the money, close the doors, kill the lights, and light the first candles at the back of the sanctuary.

I forgot to complain to the UUA about the changed words in the hymnal*** last year. Perhaps this year I'll remember.

This afternoon, I visited Pat. I said it was going to be a 45-minute visit, from 2:00pm to 2:45pm -- and I fully expected it to run 15-20 minutes longer, because that's how visits to Pat go -- but I ended up being there until 3:45pm. She was getting ready to go to a friend's house for the afternoon, because she hadn't been able to find help until 9:00pm tonight, and it takes such a long time to get her stuff packed and get both the bags and Pat into a car these days. Her feet are doing very badly, so she has a hospital-style stretcher in her bedroom, in order to get herself mostly upright without having to stand on the floor.

She had a couple of Mormon missionaries there when I arrived, and we sang some Christmas carols together, which was nice. Pat has some sort of arrangement with the local Mormons, such that whoever is doing mission work in this area drops by to visit her every week or two, which I think is very nice and charitable of them. This is actually the third pair I've met at her house over the years, and they've all been very pleasant young men.

Tonight we had roast leg of lamb for dinner, and now I am off to have pumpkin pie for dessert. I don't actually like pumpkin pie half as much as I did when I was younger, but I keep forgetting to tell that to my mom, and it's not as if I dislike it... but Christmas cookies are much better. :-)

***I admit that I do like the altered third verse of "Joy to the World," though. Somebody decided that there was just no way to de-Christianize the third verse as it stands, so they wrote a completely new one. Instead of

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness
And wonders of his love
And wonders of his love
And wonders, and wonders of his love


we get

No more let sin and sorrow reign
Nor thorns infest the ground
Let righteousness its glories show
As far as love is found
As far as love is found
As far, as far as love is found
.

I think it's pretty.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Off to Minnesota tomorrow! Just me and Dad... man, this'll be interesting. I think we'll either achieve relaxed coexistance and blithely ignore conventional cooking, or strangle each other in a week over god knows what all. Bets?

Today was... interesting. Two inspectors came over before 9am, to check the electricity and plumbing in the kitchen. Then Mom and Dad went into the city for their anniversary -- it's their 30th, btw! -- Vicky went to work, and I was alone with the dog and the cleaning lady.

And did I mention that we took the computer in to get all the data transfered to a new CPU? I couldn't even go online! The horror of it all -- I was forced to read actual books! *snerk*

Then I spent a lot of time packing and doing laundry, before spending 3 hours taking Pat to the mall to return some stuff and buy new socks. Which didn't actually work very well... they've apparently changed sock designs since the last time she bought any. (Might have been '95, if that recently. Some of her socks are seriously fugly by now.)

And then I came home to discover that the floor people were working in the kitchen, so I had to feed the dog by taking her outside, around the house, and in the basement door. Argh. Not my day. Really, really not my day.

But we should reach somewhere Chicago-ish by tomorrow evening, and I'll actually have time to read my summer book list (and possibly some more Dostoyevsky, how I love him!), so all is well nonetheless.

Also, I finished Titus Alone, and am thus done with the Gormenghast trilogy. In all honesty, I don't like the third book much, mostly because I was never that interested in Titus. I was more interested in Steerpike and in Gormenghast itself; the castle has a definite spirit of place. Granted, Titus does grow up over the course of the third book, but I still don't find him particularly sympathetic.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Off to Minnesota tomorrow! Just me and Dad... man, this'll be interesting. I think we'll either achieve relaxed coexistance and blithely ignore conventional cooking, or strangle each other in a week over god knows what all. Bets?

Today was... interesting. Two inspectors came over before 9am, to check the electricity and plumbing in the kitchen. Then Mom and Dad went into the city for their anniversary -- it's their 30th, btw! -- Vicky went to work, and I was alone with the dog and the cleaning lady.

And did I mention that we took the computer in to get all the data transfered to a new CPU? I couldn't even go online! The horror of it all -- I was forced to read actual books! *snerk*

Then I spent a lot of time packing and doing laundry, before spending 3 hours taking Pat to the mall to return some stuff and buy new socks. Which didn't actually work very well... they've apparently changed sock designs since the last time she bought any. (Might have been '95, if that recently. Some of her socks are seriously fugly by now.)

And then I came home to discover that the floor people were working in the kitchen, so I had to feed the dog by taking her outside, around the house, and in the basement door. Argh. Not my day. Really, really not my day.

But we should reach somewhere Chicago-ish by tomorrow evening, and I'll actually have time to read my summer book list (and possibly some more Dostoyevsky, how I love him!), so all is well nonetheless.

Also, I finished Titus Alone, and am thus done with the Gormenghast trilogy. In all honesty, I don't like the third book much, mostly because I was never that interested in Titus. I was more interested in Steerpike and in Gormenghast itself; the castle has a definite spirit of place. Granted, Titus does grow up over the course of the third book, but I still don't find him particularly sympathetic.

ms. fixit

Jul. 28th, 2004 06:00 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Apparently people have lost the art of repairing their own jewelry with tweezers and fingernail scissors. I just spent a couple hours fixing a bunch of Pat's earrings, and now she thinks I'm a mechanical genius. *boggles* This is about as far from rocket science as you can get.

Also, I got a haircut, but nobody can tell. This is probably for the best, since I liked the way it looked before and it must look pretty much the same now. *shrug*

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Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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