Tuesday, September 22, 2015


     Why should today be different?!
     Drama, drama, drama. 
Roberta is 82. She can still surprise me with a shrewd remark or being the one to point out the right direction, when I get lost driving. But in the last year she lost a lot of that sharpness of perception and ability to make good decisions.
     It becomes more apparent at night.
     She goes to bed much earlier than I. I, usually, get absorbed in watching TV or working on this blog (alright, alright, I also check out what Facebook people have to say or play online Scrabble!).
     It gives me a real jolt, therefore, to suddenly see Roberta appear at my elbow. Usually, there is some     interesting thing to follow!
     On most of those occasions she is only half aware of what she is doing. How else can you explain, for example, her coming to the living room, where Sonny or Taka can see her, dressed only in a blouse and panties? Most importantly, she forgets to take her cane or walker!
     Last night I again didn't anticipate her arrival. She went to sleep, but in an hour I saw her stumbling down the ramp into the living room, sans any means to help her keep balance!
     She plopped on the couch after handing me
images (200×180)something. I stupidly peered into my hand: it was a scab she tore off her injured forehead! The scab still sported the strips of adhesive paper, which are supposed to hold the wound together. In her sleep my charge, probably, scratched the whole thing off!
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     Sometimes I feel during a crazy situation, my mind turns 180 degrees! I felt it again, as I gazed at the place on Roberta's forehead, where sides of a neat line of her wound began to part by a few millimeters without the adhesive strps holding them together. 
     It wasn't too bad. I stuck a large band aid with some Neosporin onto Roberta's head and sent her back to sleep. 
images (263×192)     By the morning she managed to lose it, so I used two smaller band aids instead. She also totally forgot her night adventure. We spent the whole morning laughing about it. 
What else is there to do?!


     On Saturday I went to a dinner with some friends. The wife, Irina, is from Russia, and the husband, Rafi, is from Iran. They came to the United States recently and are still trying to find their way to stability.
Irina's work on their portrait
     What's so interesting about that? They are vegans! I am a devoted carnivore (as is my whole family), but because of poor health and some moral reasons began to play with an idea of quitting eating meat. What do you think about it?
     Irina and Rafi didn't just omit meat from their diets. They also don't use salt or sugar and milk products. I am not sure, whether they are full vegans, but it looks that way.
     Both, husband and wife, are very thin and almost see-through! Before, I often smirked at the people with their lifestyles, thinking, they look like the absence of heartier food and spices in their lives translates itself into their appearance and personalities.
     Now I stopped smirking. I'll take good health and energy over any appearances!
     They rent a little "in-law" apartment next to someone's house. It is small and austere, but has plenty of air. Irina and Rafi welcomed me to their home, where they worked hard to make dinner for us. I was interested to see, what kind of meal can be prepared without salt, that can still please the senses. Besides, like I said, the time has come for me to seriously listen to some alternative ideas about eating! So, I came there with open mind and ears!
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     There was so much food! They eat lots and lots of fruit, and platters of cut melon and grapes dwarfed the tiny table with four placemats. The meal tasted hearty enough: rice with baked eggplant and tomatoes, generously decorated with tomato/onion sauce, as well as baked potatoes with the same topping.
     Did I mention, it was one of the hottest days of the season? Well, my dedicated hosts slaved in front of the hot stove and oven to create a wonderful experience for me!
     Food was just a part of it. Rafi is very knowledgeable on the topic of how food affects health, and we spent hours talking about it. Then Irina - an artist of some repute - showed me her works. It was so touching to see her husband
pulling out folders of her drawings and her other creations. He truly cherishes her!

     At the end of our get-together (I saw my hosts beginning to yawn and realized, I stayed there too long) Irina and Rafi took me to my car. It was a residential area, and the evening got dark very quickly. They lit our way with a small flashlight.
     What a good time we had! It was hard to say goodbye!

Saturday, September 19, 2015


     Little by little life normalized. Roberta seems to be in comparatively good health. Her wound bothers her a little, but only superficially.
 An advice nurse strongly suggested that I take Roberta to her Primary Physician. She even called Dr. Massen's office and insisted that they give us an appointment. A nurse called me back and said, we can come, as she put it: "Tomorrow (Friday), at 11."
   That evening Sonny and Serina went shopping. I hate it, when the phone rings, while the kids are out. Many times it means trouble!
     Their car stalled. After a while it turned on again, but on a hill near the house it began to shudder, and by the time they came home, smoke (or steam) billowed from under the hood.
     Which meant, another trip to the "car ER" for me!
     It also meant, I'd have to do some creative thinking in order to allow Taka to go to work and us being able to go to Roberta's and my appointments - all with one vehicle!
     Sonny drove Taka to work the next morning. I called the tow truck and followed it and my little Honda to the garage. Fortunately, I was free in time to get home, get Roberta dressed and for her to take a few sips of coffee before we left to the doctor's office.
     We made it on time, but after waiting for about 50 minutes (!) a nurse came out and said, the appointment was for next Friday!
     The advice nurse got us that time slot in the doctor's schedule, because Roberta hit her head in a fall, and you never know with this type of injury, if there would be nasty consequences. What sense does it make to make her appointment for a week later? Besides, she is 82 years old and had to sit in their highly uncomfortable chairs for almost an hour before someone deigned to tell her that, she was wasting her time!
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Dr. Massen and his office workers
      I like Dr. Massen. I think, he is a good diagnostician and has the charisma necessary to help people. But his office workers! They misplace information, delay doing their duties toward patients and always have some feeble excuse, like: "We are very busy this morning" or "I know, I was supposed to call to a specialist for you, but I went on vacation!"
     Dr. Massen had to leave and couldn't see Roberta. We left (I - fuming!).