Thursday, February 23, 2017

UNPLEASANTRIES

February 23, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

I've been thinking of some of the things I have to do to maintain my health that are unpleasant, to say the least.  One is being on oxygen full time.  Let me stress that I'm very grateful that we have oxygen here in our home and it helps me breath easier.  Having the tubing in my nose and around my ears constantly is uncomfortable, not to mention the bothersome tubing scattered all over the room.  But, thank God for it!

Barry and Tam can't understand why in the past I gave myself breathing treatments with my nebulizer and it didn't bother me.  Now I have a nose piece that I don't have to hold, and by the time the treatment is finished, I'm ready to climb the wall!

Another one, I hate having to take a fluid pill every day because of the continual trips to the restroom!

It's still February but here in Georgia signs of spring is here.  Our pear tree is blooming.  I hope we don't have our usual killing frost in March.  The jonquils my late husband, Ralph, planted many years ago are blooming.  This is strange as for some unknown reason they stopped blooming about 10 years ago.  Barry says maybe it's a good omen.

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

INDISPENSIBLE TAM

February 17, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

I had an appointment with my pain management doctor this week and he gave me a cortisone shot for my knees.  Barry did some research and it can take several days to be effective.  I think they are some better but I still have pain.  The doctor has scheduled the procedure for my arthritic spine for March 7th.  The spine procedure can't be done at his office, it will be done at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in Dalton as an outpatient.  The patient is suppose to be alert enough to answer any questions.  I hope and pray it will be effective.

As I write this, on Thursday afternoon, I am having a bad day with quite a bit of pain.  A number of years ago, I had a vertigo fall in my kitchen one morning which changed my life.  I have never had anything like it before.  After that, I was afraid to be alone in the kitchen.  I had been preparing meals for myself and Barry and taking care of myself.

My sister, Jeanette, told me about a lady that had been doing some work for her that she really liked.  She talked with Tam to see if she would be interested, and set up an appointment for her and I to meet.  We hit it off right away, and that's how Tam came into mine and Barry's life.

Tam was hired to sit with me and keep me company and prepare my lunch.  One day, she asked if I had anything she could do for me.  I told her to do whatever she wanted to do.  As time went on she told me she could type if I ever needed help.  That was when she became indispensable to me.  I had typed a few novels and non-fiction work for many years and typing had become a tiresome chore.  So, she became my typist and editor along with being my caregiver.  I don't care how many credentials a writer has, he or she needs a good editor.

Tam said I gave her a job when the economy was bad and she really needed it and she has promised to stay with me to the end.  We have grown to love each other like mother and daughter and she has also became a good friend to Barry.  I know she could get a better job with benefits now, but she chooses to stay with me.  I am grateful she's still with me.  I have told her when my next novel is finally ready for publication and by a miracle becomes a best seller, I'll share the wealth with her.

Wednesday night I had an experience in the middle of the night that was similar to the vertigo fall.  (Barry says he thinks it was a dream.)  I suddenly woke up and the room was spinning.  My first thought was I had been in a serious car accident.  I was hurting all over.  It was 5:30 and time for Barry to get up to get ready for work.  He consoled me and gave me my morning meds.  I went back to bed until Tam arrived at 9:00 am.  I have felt bad all day.  Prayers are appreciated.

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

UNBEARABLE ARTHRITIS

February 7, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

I am feeling pretty darn awful on this Monday afternoon.  I was sick all weekend and Barry was patient and very good to me.  Tam has also been today.  I am indeed blessed to have them both.

For some time, I have dealt with almost unbearable pain from arthritis in my knees and spine.  We made me an appointment with a pain management doctor.  I liked him very much.  He asked me to describe the pain, which I did.  The pain in my knees is bad but the pain in my upper back is worse.  He asked me to compare my pain with any other pain I had experienced.  I told him it was like childbirth pain that never ends.  Sometimes I cry from the pain and feel like screaming!  He took several x rays and told us he would call and let us know what he thought.  The following morning his spokesperson called and said there was a procedure that they could do that he thought would give me some relief.  I go back in about a week and hope I can manage the pain until then.  Any prayers would be appreciated.

Recently, my old friend, Genevelyn came to visit me and we had a good chat.  We used to visit quite a bit when she lived across the road from us.  Now she lives in town and we don't get to see her as often.

My late husband, Ralph's sister, Agnes, sent Barry and I a large package of old family pictures.  We really enjoyed looking at them.  Agnes is 90 years old and in great health and still living alone and taking care of herself.  She is still driving and going to church on Sundays.  I really envy her.  Barry pointed out that she never smoked or abused her body.  She is a fortunate woman.

I've been making notes of many memories and Barry did some research for me on Alan and Shirley Lorberbaum, leader in carpet manufacturing in Dalton.  They were very nice, kind people who I was fortunate to have as friends.  When I feel better, I'll write some about the early days in carpet in Dalton.

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Monday, January 30, 2017

TRIGGERED MEMORIES

January 30, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

When Tam gave me a pretty blue chenille robe for Christmas, it opened the floodgates of memories dating back to the summer of 1944.  I was scheduled to graduate from high school in 1945 if all went well.  I spent the summer working in a chenille factory in the small north Georgia town of Calhoun to make enough money for my senior school clothes.  It was uncomfortable work but paid more than dime store jobs.

In the 1920's and 1930's, Dalton in Northwest Georgia became the tufted bedspread capital of the United States thanks to Catherine Evans who initially revived the handcraft technique in the 1890's.  During the depression era merchants organized "spread houses" which maintained families during the depression years.  The first to make a million dollars in the bedspread business was Dalton native, B.J. Bandy with the help of his wife, Dixie Bradley Bandy, to be followed by many others.  When Mrs. Bandy was older, I met and had a ride with her in her Cadillac.  She was a delight.  I wrote a daily column in the Dalton's Daily Citizen in the 1970's and Mrs. Bandy was one of my readers.  Later, robes and bath mats were also made.

I am writing this on the weekend and haven't been feeling well.  Barry and I are afraid my hellish COPD is getting worse.  If you are still smoking, for God's sake STOP!!  Barry thinks if I hadn't quit smoking in 1999, I wouldn't be alive today.  I quit cold turkey and never backslid.  I had chronic bronchitis and really suffered.  Since I quit, I never had bronchitis again.

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ANOTHER TRIP TO THE ER

January 17, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

As I write this, I am in extreme pain.  I decided to post my latest health problems while I'm still functioning somewhat.

As many of you know I have the hellish COPD which causes my feet to swell so I have to take water pills.  A few days ago, my feet became quite swollen.  Tam called my doctor who increased my lasix.  They told us to give it 3 days and if they didn't go down to let them know.  On Saturday the right foot had gone down to normal but, the left foot was still very swollen and had a reddish rash on the top.  Since it was a Saturday, Barry called the home health nurse who was concerned that it could possibly be a blood clot.

Before I knew what was happening, Barry took me to the local hospital.  After examining me, the ER doctor had me in an ambulance to transport me to Gordon County Hospital in Calhoun.  Our local hospital wasn't equipped for my needs.  I've only been transported by ambulance a few times but, it's always been a painful experience.  The ride is so uncomfortable.  I thought I wouldn't live through it.  You would think a vehicle to transport people that are hurt or in pain would be more comfortable.  I am still aching from the ride.  The attendants were nice, it's the ambulance that I'm critical of.

The good news is I don't have a blood clot.  Also, my heart and even my lungs were clear, according to the ultrasound, which found everything perfect.  The reason for the swelling and rash is cellulitis, which is an infection of the skin.  They gave me a penicillin shot and a prescription for an antibiotic.  When Barry and I returned home it was dark.  We ate a snack and went to bed and slept 10 hours.  We were both worn out.

Since I'm a diabetic I have to watch my feet closely.  There used to be an office that cared for the feet of diabetic patients.  My toenails need cutting now.  Does anyone know if this service is offered around the Chatsworth area?

My foot is some better but not completely well.  I'm afraid the antibiotic has upset my stomach.  See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

THANKS TO MANY

1/11/2017

By Olivene Godfrey

I want to thank all of you who commented on my recent blog regarding my hurt feelings following the post of my diagnosis of dementia.  Some of the comments were so touching and brought tears to my eyes.

My niece, Charlene's comment warmed my heart.  I've had a soft spot in my heart for Charlene since I kept her for several months when her mother, my sister, Jeanette, worked.  Charlene was three months old when I started keeping her and was such a sweet and happy baby.  I don't remember her ever crying.

When my friend, Jeanette Greeson, commented on the pain I'm having, I know from her blogs that she understands my pain.  I have an appointment with a pain doctor in a few days and I pray he can help.  While she was preparing for surgery in December, she also sent me a nice birthday card.  Jeanette and I have been friends for many years.  I remember way back when she was living in Chatsworth, she brought me a cheese cake that she had baked herself.  She felt like I deserved recognition for Barry's graduation.  Barry was born with a thirst for knowledge but he disliked the classroom, and getting that diploma was a struggle for both of us.  Jeanette knew about those struggles.

Another friend I want to mention is Neal Keener.  When he was a young boy his grandmother contacted me about the many books he had read.  I was working for a newspaper and interviewed him which was a delight.  He was very bright and so sweet.  Over the years I lost touch with him until one day I saw him at the Village Cafe.  He told me he lived and worked in Atlanta but still had a house in Chatsworth.  He is one of my most faithful blog readers.  Thanks, old friend!

I've told you in the past that following my recent stay in the hospital, my taste buds have been messed up.  I now eat peanut butter and saltine crackers for breakfast.  The downside is the peanut butter sticks to the roof of my mouth and between my teeth so, I have to rush to brush my teeth.  I guess there could be worse things....

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

HURT FEELINGS

January 3, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

After my recent blog was posted with the news I had been diagnosed with dementia my feelings were hurt, as not one of my readers commented in any way on it.  I told Barry and Tam how I felt.  They agreed that maybe they didn't know how to respond.  I thought all that needed to be said was, "I care".  The dementia is in the early stages and I'm no different.  I'm 89 so it's natural that my short term memory isn't as good as it once was, and I'm confused sometimes, more so when I'm tired.  I overheard Barry say to Tam, "She's still smarter than some normal people."  Bless him!

We are talking about changing neurologists as the one we saw is rude and has no bedside manners.  Barry and Tam were not impressed.  He never spoke a word to me and I'm his patient.  We should have checked his referrals on the internet.  Some former patients gave him some bad reviews.

My late husband, Ralph, had dementia but was funny sometimes.  His neurologist was Dr. Pederson, now retired.  Ralph really liked him.  I remember once when Ralph was in the hospital Dr. Pederson visited him.  Later, I saw the doctor and he was laughing.  He told me he had visited with Ralph and greeted him and asked how he was feeling, and Ralph said in a loud voice, "There's something rotten in Denmark!"

I have an appointment in a couple of weeks with a pain doctor.  I'm in constant pain from my arthritic knees, neck and spine.  Most nights the pain keeps me from sleeping much.  My vital signs are always perfect.  If I could control the pain it would be wonderful.  Please keep me in your prayers.

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)