Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I will put this up on occasion. It is the philosophy I live by

11/29/05 Tuesday
This will be a busy day. I am sharp this morning which I am always grateful for. The first thing on my schedule is to take Fred’s car in for the clear coat he purchased with the car. After that I will take Wayne to buy some essentials and then to do his laundry. Then I will take him to the Nu Vision church which is distributing food and clothing to the poor.
Fred just asked me to pick up a hot dog for him when I come home after getting the car done. He said he only had $3.00 to his name (That would be what he had on him) and would pay what he could. I told him not to worry about it. He has had another bad day so I again encouraged him to see the doc. He said he was going to wait till it warmed up to which I retorted “Fred, winters coming. It won’t be getting warmer anytime soon”. In fact we just had a record high temperature yesterday. I know he just doesn’t want to see the doc, perhaps because of finances. When I looked at the schedule I saw that it will be hard for me to get his hot dog but I will. Probably will have to get Wayne to a laundry mat and then run for the hot dog. I hope I remember.
Last night I got upset. While going through the stuff that has been piling up on our dinning table I found a letter from the pain clinic at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor. It was a reminder that I had an appointment on November 15. I missed the appointment and upon looking saw that it had never been entered in either of my calendars. This is not good. The last time I missed an appointment it took months to reschedule. I think that Cherie had opened the letter and either put it on the table for me to see or handed it to me. Odds are it was the latter and I was focused on some other task or got distracted before I could get it in the calendar.
At that point Cherie and I started going through the stuff on the table and I found more and more things I had forgotten to do. I feel bad because it shakes up Cherie when I get upset and as always she puts the blame on herself. I do depend on her to keep me on target but she is working hard and is often exhausted when she gets home. While she did not communicate this appointment effectively I have to be better about these things.
I reviewed with her how to help me get things done. Out of sight is out of mind for me so I explained that it works better if stuff I need to take care of is placed where I can’t miss it. I also asked her to make sure she put appointments in the calendar. With that done I apologized for getting upset.
I got Fred’s car done without any problems. After that I came home and got the shower curtain we bought for Wayne and some laundry soap for his wash. I called Wayne to let him know I was heading his way. He had been asleep so it was a good thing I did. When I got there he started to give me the same “I wish you wouldn’t keep buying stuff for me” that he hands out every time. I reminded him we have had this conversation many times so unless he wants to hear my speech again he better shut up. That worked to my relief. The things we get for him are simple necessities and really don’t cost that much. Besides Cherie is an expert at finding deals so the thirty dollar boots we bought for him only cost $9.99. He had been using an electric blanket in a pillow case for a pillow. When I found it out I told Cherie to keep an eye out for a deal on pillows and that only took one day to happen. Wayne would whine and complain about us helping him every time till it got so old I had to set him down. I think he is starting to understand that for us helping others such as himself is a pleasure for us. It has a reward that exceeds all the simple pleasures of life most spend their money on. While many would think of us as poor because we have little and keep the heat down to save money, I think we are wealthier than many. I don’t see wealth as having lots of money or possessions. There are many who are rich financially but are unhappy or consumed by their desire to always get more. For us wealth is measured by the satisfaction we get from helping, the self worth we have.
Anyway I got Wayne to the laundry mat nest to my apartment and then went across the street to get Fred his hotdogs. When I took them up to him he asked how much he owed me. I said don’t worry about it and he said he wanted to pay his own way. “Fred, you let me drive your Cadillac so let me buy you a hot dog” I told him. That was acceptable to him.
With that done I took Wayne and his laundry home. Then we headed for this New Vision church the Zeph Center had told him about. We drove around where it was supposed to be and had no luck finding it. I asked Wayne if he had the flyer so I could get the address and he said he had left it home so back we went. Getting the flyer and the signed form authorizing Wayne to receive this service we returned to Cherry Street and found the place. Unfortunately all the doors were locked and when I called the number on the flyer I got a recording. I left a message and getting back in the car took a closer look at form. It had “Salvation Army” on it so I suggested we go there. Wayne knew roughly where it was so after driving around a few blocks downtown we found it. Leaving Wayne in the car I found the office and they instructed me where in the building I needed to take Wayne. It was in the basement so after explaining he had to use a walker and couldn’t navigate stairs they unlocked a door so he could access the elevator. When we got downstairs there were about 20 others waiting. We were given a number and settled in to wait our turn. The heat was cranked up and after an hour I went outside to cool of. Unfortunately it was too much hassle to get Wayne upstairs and the heat has a tremendous affect on those with Multiple Sclerosis.
It took two hours for our number to be called and I could tell Wayne was being affected by the heat. I took him into the office and helped him fill out paperwork and carried the grocery bag of food out for him. If I had known that was all he would get I would have gladly taken him to the grocery store and bought it instead of sitting two hours in 90 degrees. As Wayne tried to get in the car his leg gave out and he fell. He tried to get up but couldn’t so I picked him up and helped him get in. Once he was seated he couldn’t even lift his leg to put it in the car so I did that for him.
When I took him home we went through the sack of food. There was a big bag of powdered milk and a box of cornflakes. He already had four bags of the milk and three boxes of corn flakes cause that is what all these agencies get to give so he asked if I would take them. I found that he only had three eggs left so went to the store to pick some up for him. On the way I called Barb to see if she wanted the milk and corn flakes only to learn she too had tons of both items. At the store (Which is in Swain Field, a depressed area in Toledo) I saw a young guy with a cart of groceries evidently waiting for his ride. “Hey! Could you use some powdered milk and corn flakes?” I asked. He looked at me wondering who this crazy white guy is and what is he up too. I told him I get free food for people and had this left over. “It’s new in the box If you don’t need it give it to someone who does” I said to ease his mind. He agreed to take it which is cool cause I don’t like to throw anything away someone could use.
With all that done I headed home, stopping at Kroger to get the groceries on the list Cherie had made. By this time it had been a long day and was about 4:30. As I shopped I started getting that disorientation I often do when surrounded by a myriad of things. It is hard for this brain to sort all this out and gets worse when I have had a long stressful day. Usually it is not bad and goes away when I take a breath and relax. Not this time. It became a struggle and affected everything including the partially paralyzed right leg. By the time I got to the check out I was hanging on to the cart and had to concentrate on what I was doing. I got that done and limped out to the car.
I had broken the belt clasp for my cell phone so went to Verizon to get another one. On the way I remembered I had told Fred I was going to get him some distilled water for his oxygen machine. Of course I didn’t think of it while at Kroger so stopped by Miejer to get it. That was a chore for me at this stage. Getting that done I went to get the belt clasp. Verizon was busy so I waited in line for probably twenty minutes which was fine as it helped me relax.
I was glad to get home. It was nearly 5:30 when I did. I carried the groceries up and when Cherie saw me she told me to go lay down. She fixed the beef stew recipe that was on the stew meat she got at K&J. I had bought cloves because it was in the recipe but they were whole cloves, not ground. I put them in the pepper mill to grind them and ground to much which wasn’t good for the stew. We ate it but didn’t save any.
We had laid down and were watching NCIS when the phone rang. It was Fred and he didn’t sound good. “Bob, I hate to call you but I’m not getting any oxygen from my machine. Could you come down and look at it?” I got dressed and went straight down. I traced his oxygen line from one end to another but found no kinks so I checked the machine. When Fred refilled the humidifier he had screwed the bottle on crooked which allowed the air to escape. I fixed it and talked with him a while. He told me he didn’t know whether to call me or the rescue squad and didn’t want to bother me. “Fred don’t ever hesitate to call me. I’m like State Farm, you know like a good neighbor I am here. You know I like to help you”. He said he would call and thanked me for coming down.

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