Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter and Colds Sucks!



After my three day vacation from minor depression---nothing like a good, no-rules political debate to make me feel alive---I’m back to wondering why I’m bothering to get out of bed in the morning other than I have to pee. I’ve only been out of the house a few times since before Christmas but on one of those outings I’ve managed to pick up a bug. Not the flu bug but something that is making my head stuffy and my throat fighting sinus draining. A cold? Maybe but I’m not coughing. And I literally can’t sneeze or blow my nose. I’ve tried. Whatever is up there doesn’t want to come out. Fumbling around in the medicine cabinet I hauled out the Zyrtec. It’s an antihistamine for allergies but I’m on day three of taking them and I’m not getting any better. I’m not getting any worse either and to that I say amen, hallelujah and whatever else I’m supposed to say to express that I’m grateful for small blessings. 

Yesterday it was noon before I got dressed and I only got dressed then so I could go down to the mailbox. Going out to the mailbox in my bathrobe is a line I won’t cross until I’m ready to sign myself into a funny farm aka nursing home. In recent years I’ve tried to make myself feel guilty about not getting dressed before 10 AM because I know social workers use that fact to help them evaluate old people for depression. Ticks me right off, if you really want to know the truth. Young people can wander around for hours in the sweats and t-shirts they slept in and no one gives it another thought. Young people are “lounging” don’t you know, but seniors are “slipping.” 

I was expecting a medication in the mail that I didn’t want sitting outside too long. What a saga it was getting that refill! My doctor has been testing my thyroid and adjusting my dosages since last October and until now I’ve had no trouble getting my online prescriptions filled. This time they decided to cancel all four of my thyroid prescriptions with a message to call my doctor because I had varying dosages in their files. Duh, I was only ordering the latest one! I tried finding a phone number to call the online pharmacy without success. Next I sent an online message to them to explain what was going on and I got an automated reply that they’d response within 72 hours. In 72 hours they sent me a phone number to call. I called and spent forty minutes between being on hold several times and talking to a pharmacist who eventually reinstated the prescription with the latest date and lowest dosage just like I ordered in the first place, but I was required to stay on the phone while she made notations and changes in her system.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this past month including the following books: 1) The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict and it was interesting. It’s about Albert Einstein’s first wife and their 13 year marriage before they divorced. She was also a gifted physicist and there has long been speculation that she contributed to his ground breaking theories but he cut her out of getting any credit. This book although fictionalized is based on that speculation and on all known facts about their romance, marriage and children; 2) Theft by Finding Diaries by Davie Sedaris. I only read a fourth of the way through this book before I decided I couldn’t take another description of being high on illegal drugs; 3) Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson is another book I’m struggling to finish. I really want to read it but it's making me feel like a third grader trying to read post-graduate work; 4, 5, & 6) Spencer Quinn’s dog detective series hooked me for a while and I read three back-to-back: The Tail of Vengeance, A Cat Was Involved and The Dog who Knew too Much. They were fun distractions that didn’t tax my brain and I've always liked books written from a dog’s point of view; and 7) In Book Club we read My Mountain Story by Lori Lansens. This was an engrossing book that all twelve of us loved for the many sub-plots and the complicated characters. It’s about four people who got lost on a mountain but only three came back. The New York Times calls it “a fast-paced, suspenseful adventure and a gorgeous tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.” The book is all that and more.

I started writing this blog in the morning, then I went to the grocery store and came home to fix dinner. By the time I sat down to finish writing it, my nose was running like the business end of a Water Pic and I’m getting the big-time chills and have developed a wicked cough. I don’t want this! I don’t need this! But with any luck it will just be a bad cold and I’ll live to fight another day. ©

34 comments:

  1. Hope you're feeling better this morning, and that the runny nose means infection is making its way out. Hope you also have soup tins, or soupy stuff that can be heated up in the microwave.

    The best part of a weekend, when working, is slobbing around the house - at least for me it was! Now since every days is a weekend, I get up, shower and change. It'd make me very cross too, if not getting dressed in the morning was taken as a sign of old age.

    I didn't know about Einstein's personal life, just that magic formula. However, it wouldn't surprise me if his first wife had contributed to his work, and was unacknowledged. Typical!

    Take care of yourself. ~ Libby

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    1. I went to bed last night at 8 PM and slept through to 9 AM. I feel better than yesterday and my nose has stopped running, but I'm far from back to normal. Before I went to bed I took from frozen chicken soup out of the freezer so I'll be eating that all weekend.

      Einstein's personal life was interesting. His wife, Mileva was the only woman studying physics at an elite Eurich college where they met. And there was resistance for a woman being there in 1896 but since she was lame they figured she'd never get a husband. They took a vacation together, where she got pregnant and because his mother didn't like the 'lame girl' he didn't marry her until months after the child was born and either died or given up for adoption. (A fact lost in history.) The book makes a good case for the fact that they worked on experiments together, wrote papers together but unbeknown to her, he took her name off them before submitting them to the scientific world. His excuse was he didn't think they'd be taken seriously with a woman's name on them. I did a little research after reading this book and found the controversy but no one really can prove Mileva's claims. He was a womanizer, though, had an affair while Mileva off with her parents having a baby, then again which caused the divorce after they had two sons.

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  2. So sorry you have a bad cold (or whatever you have)! Feel better soon.

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    1. Thanks. I'm hoping last night was the turning point.

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  3. It could be the flu..you should have it checked out and I hear Tamiflu really does help, but it must be started early

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    1. A couple of weeks ago I bought my "cold and flu" kit to have on hand---soup, Kleanx, over-the-counter meds, cough drops, orange juice, etc. I started the flu meds last night which is probably why I feel better this morning.

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  4. Also a book recommendation ...Fantasyland by Kurt Andersen...really informative of why our country is so crazy..told with a subtle dry humor...fact based non fiction.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I just added to my Amazon Wish List. Just reading the reviews there makes me sure I'd like the book.

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  5. Hope you get to feeling better soon Jean, you are so right young people wear their pajamas everywhere and it's OK but just let me go to Wally World in my PJ's...

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    1. I know! I am so jealous every time I see young adults wearing their PJs while out shopping.

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  6. I had no idea you have been housebound for SO LONG! I still have a drippy nose and take Chlor Tabs (Walmart) (or anything with chlortimeton maleate) to dry it up. I then tried Claritin thinking I must have allergies since I have no other symptoms. Didn't work.

    So I don't think I would get dressed until I needed to go out and about ... except that I get Mr. B to school. I live in leggings (some VERY colorful Lularoa's) which are almost the same as jammies!

    Even with the horrible rain we have at times, I make myself go out at least once during the day. Still not taking a long walk though ...

    Get well and get out!

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    1. I'm taking a Walgreens Flu and cold med for people with high blood pressure and it seems to be working. Although right now I'm due for another pill 12:00 noon and as soon as I finish this I'm going back to bed. Sleep and lots of fluids seems to be what I carve and ice! I should probably take my temperature but I don't think I have a fever.

      Does anyone know how to disinfect keyboards, phones, TV remotes, etc.?

      Leggings are great if you have the figure for them. More power to you for wearing them. If I tried I'd worry someone would post my behind online and it would go viral. LOL

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  7. I was 'gifted' this cold for Christmas. Yours sounds similar to mine - except my sinus feel packed solid, and that's a mystery because my nose is running all day.

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    1. That nosing running is awful isn't it. I was wading up Kleanx and shoving it up my nose. I know from reading your blog that you're feeling better. Hey, wait! Maybe that's how I got my cold...from you. LOL

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  8. I watched the mini-series about Einstein and his life, including his first wife Mileva. It was very good. She was brilliant. She actually tested higher than he did. I was furious enough to jump through the television when he did not give her credit. I think part of it was ego and part sexism. His IQ was extraordinary, but his EQ not so much.

    "My Mountain Story" reminds me of a book I read in the seventies, Alive, about the Uruguayan Rugby team who crashed in the Andes mountains. To prevent starvation, they resorted to cannibalism, using the dead passengers for food. When the survivors were rescued, they were not exactly malnourished (not as much as would be expected), and they had to reveal how they had survived. Some of them were Catholic and had some guilt issues with what they had done.

    I am so sorry to hear that you are under the weather. I hope you feel better soon.

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    1. I would have liked that mini-series. It was part sexism and part ego on Einstein's part. It must have been so hard for educated women back then to watch guys get the good jobs and awards and them do work they didn't get credit for. So many women wrote books under a man's name because they couldn't get published under their own. So his reason for not giving her credit on FIRST paper when he was unknown may have had merit but after that?

      I remember the Andes Mountain book. They didn't eat anyone in My Mountain but it had a plot of a mother, daughter and grand-daughter at odds with one another before going on the mountain. Great twists and turns. And lots of survival techniques.

      I slept all afternoon. I do feel better and hope by Monday I can be human again.

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  9. Hi Jean, Have you read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman?
    By the way, I'm a fairly active 84yr old and
    I don't choose to get dressed until 10am every day.
    Take care.

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    1. I have it in my Kindle! Sounds like I need to get around to reading it. The local librarian recommended.

      Glad to hear from someone else who doesn't like hopping out of bed and getting dressed for the day right away.

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  10. I get dressed at 11:00 and schedule all my appointments at 2:00pm. I spend time on my computer in the morning and don't feel the need to get dressed. It makes me feel a bit guilty because as a child, I was not allowed to come out of my bedroom until I was dressed for the day. We did not sit around in our bed clothes--not even on Christmas morning. That cold/sinus thing you are having may be what is going around and lasts about 3 weeks. You may want to check with your doc.

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    1. Three weeks! Well, two more for me since I'm a week into it. Yuck! If it goes to my chest or the coughing starts hurting my ribs, I'll do the virtual doctor's appointment online.

      I make all my appointments at 1:00 so I can get back home before rush hour but you don't much around where you live, I'll bet.

      My mom loved to lounge around in her bathrobe. She's put her nightgown and robe on as soon as she got home from work which was 6-ish and on her day off she'd stay in her robe a lot so that's probably where I get it.

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  11. I have recently been reading Fantasyland too. It is good and amusing at the same time (not dry).
    I’m sorry you didn’t like the David Sedaris book but I am also surprised what he was writing about, You should possibly try his earlier works but easier to listen to him read his own stories,
    I hope you are better soon.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. The book supposedly covers his life between 1977 and 2002 in diary form and I guess David did a lot of drugs then. It's advertised as covering his "path from struggle to success." I didn't get to the success part. I did like the writing style, I just didn't expect all the drugs and the nomad life that went with them.

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  12. Sorry you're not feeling well Jean. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

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  13. I loved your description of young people in pj's vs. seniors. So true and I had never thought about it like that.
    As for your books. I must say that I have always loved David Sedaris but I couldn't get very far into this book of drival. It upset me that this was actually publish. It was rubbish to me. Now that comment has nothing to do with the topic of drugs but the fact that he resorted to this type of writing. He is better than that. I wanted my money back. I didn't even get 1/4 of the way through. I donated my book.

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    1. You win some, you lose some..regarding books we connect with. We must have quit at the same point. I was reading on my Kindle otherwise it would be in a donate box. Being my first Sedaris book, I won't buy another but so many people seem to like him that I might try to borrow him from the library, after I get their app to do it. Need to go to their geek workshop at the senior hall to learn the ends and outs of that.

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  14. I'm sorry Jean after venting about Mr. Sedaris I forgot to say I am sending get well wishes. I hope you are feeling better today. Get well soon - and stay in your PJ's. :-)

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    1. My dry cough went to hacking up thick mucus which I think is a good sight that's it's breaking up.

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  15. Jean :

    hope you re feeling better already. this year winter has been so cold every one around me are falling sick. luckily I have been spared so far, cold is one which breaks this camels back

    Asha

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    1. I don't know anyone I've come in contract with who's been sick so I had to have gotten it from the grocery store. Stay healthy, Asha!

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  16. sorry you got the jungle rot too. I'm on day 11; cough is loose, and not quite as often, but far from gone...

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    1. That's got to be discouraging after all the health issues you've had in recent months! I think mine is on the way out. I still have a cough and my voice is not back yet. But my head is clearer and I've stopped sneezing and dripping. I'm impressed with the way Walgreen's flu pills have worked.

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  17. It seems that this cold thing comes in different guises. As for being depressed if you don't get up early well then I must be due for the anti depressants, lol I rarely get up before 10 am but I dont go to bed until 1am so it works fine for me.
    You sound like me with books, I have a job to find one that really holds me.
    Get well soon. Spring is just around the corner.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Thanks! I'm doing much better, even took a shower today and did some laundry both of which left me tired. And that was a good enough reason for me read. LOL

      I love staying up late. I like the quietness of the neighborhood and the late night talk shows. More power to the hours you keep.

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