Monday, May 15, 2006


Remember that old show? Claire Danes's series as a teenager? My youngest daughter was a fan, and I enjoyed the show too, and was sorry when it was cancelled.

Anyway, even though I have been doing so many things my life has been taken over, I feel as if I'm not getting anywhere. And yet I am. Just like... what was Claire Danes's character's name in that show? Sheesh, I remember some of the other characters... Ricky (Enrique, the guy who wore eye makeup) and Sharon, Claire D.'s best friend.... who the heck was Claire's character?

This is a long post... you can get the Reader's Digest version by reading the colored highlights.

Saturday: 16.8-mile run, training for the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon, June 10. Slow. 3.5 hours. But I didn't get terribly tired, at least not until the next day.

After running, I talked to my uncle in Seattle for an hour and a half, about my mother's medical insurance (he's her "financial manager") -- what transpired could have been settled in 5 minutes. I said she needed prescription coverage. He said he knows nothing about medicine or prescriptions, he knows about finances... as her daughter and a nurse I should find a plan that seemed appropriate, sign her up, and he'll budget for the cost. Now why did that take an hour and a half??? I had an earache. I'm supposed to find her a new health-insurance plan, too, as a Medicare supplement. He doesn't like the one he got her a couple years ago. But I really wanted to get her on a prescription plan, so I spent nearly the whole weekend doing that.

After the long run and the long phone call, Steve and I went out to "jam" with a dulcimer group. That was 3 hours. It was the first time I've had my guitar out since Arizona, the middle of March. I got tired holding the guitar, strumming, changing chords fast, trying to keep up with these "authentic" dulcimer-players, here in the Appalachians... in Arizona, I see now, the players were just dabbling. Steve, the dulcimer-player, a relative beginner, had a hard time, too. So after that long day we finally got home about 11p.m. I was whupped. Then I worked some more on comparing Medicare-supportive prescription programs.

Sunday: More work on the Medicare thing. Then church, which is an hour and a half, not including driving. Time well-spent, though. After church, I retrieved from my files, edited, and printed several photos of granddaughter Abbie, as Mother's Day gifts for her mom, her mom's mom, and my mom. While they were printing, I worked more on the Medicare thing.

Then Mother's Day dinner at our son's house (granddaughter Abbie is his daughter), 4 generations of us. Jamie (daughter-in-law, Abbie's mom) wouldn't take any help. Jon cooked steaks on the grill and Jamie had made beer bread, garlic dip, twice-baked potatoes, macaroni salad, and homemade butter-pecan ice cream. I was hardly hungry after the great bread and dip. We stayed a long time. Jon played the guitar, Abbie played the fiddle (yes, Abbie played the fiddle... she has a 1/16 size real violin, and can draw the bow across the strings to produce a sound, a fair start for a 3-yr-old.) We were there a total of about 5 hours. I love my family, and had a wonderful time, but I still had Mom's prescription plan hanging over my head... there are several gazillion to compare and choose from, just impossible to narrow down. We went home around 8p.m., I narrowed it down to 2, picked one, and finally signed her up around 11p.m.

Today (Monday): In the morning, went with my mom to her doctor, to make sure we were all on the same page about her meds and conditions. At least the doctor and I.... mom not only is not on the same page, she doesn't even open the book, just reads the summary on the back. I've got to educate her on what her medicines are for. I had no idea, until she stayed with us in the Grand Canyon, how heedlessly she muddles through her entire health situation. So I'm getting it all straightened out. The doctor, bless his heart, spent an hour and 15 minutes with her, in 3 installments, seeing other patients while she dressed or undressed, whichever one was called for. His willingness to consider a patient this closely is why, when I stopped being his nurse, I became his patient. I wanted him for my doctor. It felt very strange to be in an exam room with him and a patient, and be sitting in the "extra" chair while another nurse assisted the doctor. I kept repressing an impulse to jump up and get something, do something, help with something.

After the doc was my swim workout, a scheduled 1500 yds in 45 minutes, but I accomplished 1638 yds (weird-size pool) in 40 minutes, and was very pleased.

After the swim was my run, 75 minutes at a slow pace (heart rate to be kept under 140, which I did most of the time). It was slower than I wanted to go, about 6 miles in that time. My new heart-rate monitor may well be the topic of another post.

And now I'm done for the day. I did not drive around the campground in my Kawasaki Mule shoveling out fire pits. I didn't do it yesterday or the day before, either. I did it Friday (hadn't been done in most of the 200 sites since we left last September, I concluded.) I'll do it tomorrow. No one seems to care. There are hardly any campers here yet, less than half a dozen at any one time. There are 2 other "work-camping" couples, but they haven't been assigned jobs yet, aren't sure what their roles are going to be. Steve isn't "work-camping;" he's working for pay as a seasonal ranger. SOMEONE better start helping me shovel ashes when it gets busy around here. I can't do 200 sites twice a week by myself, with incidental cleanups in between.


Deb said...

Woman, you have a lot on your shoulders. I'll keep you (& mom) in my prayers. That is so much for anyone to deal with...very exhausting, no matter how much you love someone. Glad you got your training in (try not to budge on that!) and let the ashes go as long as possible. THOSE can wait for another day.

Favorite Apron said...

Hello Ellie - this is a shout out from Polly in Ohio. We met via the penguin list a few yrs back. I'm glad I found your blog - you're lookin good. I'm assuming that y'all are retired from the park in MD? Is Mom still playing the fiddle?
Take care.

Vickie said...

Glad to see you got the Medicare stuff done in the nick of time. I had to do it for my dad back in Jan. so know the mess you had to go through.
Your workouts are great and seemingly consistent. Your swim is going great too. But like me, we always have Soooo much to do all the time its a wonder there is time for training. Keep going!

Fe-lady said...

And I thought I had done alot in the last few days...reading your post made me even MORE tired!
Good luck with all of your responsibilites...but it sounds as if you are getting in some "me" time also!