Sunday, February 9, 2020

Already more than a month into 2020, and I’m still sitting here speechless…

It’s been 2 months since my last blog.  Where have I been?  Right here, reading others blogs, watching impeachment trials (and cowardly acquittals) on MSNBC, looking at cooking & van dwellers videos on Youtube and 70’s television shows on DVD (ah the good old days).  I’ve been doing very little writing and a whole lot of waiting to be myself again.

I’m mainly here right now to offer an earnest apology to the visitors of my blog who have been checking in, only to see the same old post.  (Also to push down that picture of my sister Shawn & other family from December, Shawn is tired of looking at it!) 

But the truth is, I’ve got nothing worthwhile to write about.  I’m still wrestling with this awful jaw disorder, both it (and the GOP Senate) have left me speechless.

After my last post, I made a promise to myself not to write anything more about my TMJD unless it was to report it was over, or on the mend.  But I can’t do that yet.  It’s now in it’s 14th month, and pretty much the only thing I can focus on.  I’ve seen some occasional glimmers of hope, followed by some rotten backslides.  It’s just left me feeling really defeated.

I thought about shutting my blog down for awhile, but I’ve seen enough bloggers do that, never to return.  I gotta believe I’ll get past this & back on my soapbox again.

So until then, if you stop by and notice a little dust on things… just know that your visit is very much appreciated, and hopefully I’ll be talking with you again soon.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Learning the hard way, there’s nothing more important than family

Here’s 3 of my 5 siblings:  that’s my sister Shawn and her husband Jim on the left, my sister Courtney and her husband Robert on the right, my brother Steve and his wife Ann seated.

Courtney & Robert traveled from Ohio to Pennsylvania on Saturday to spend the day with family.

It breaks my heart I wasn’t there too.  (With this awful oral splint, I’m unable to talk, unable to eat solid food, unable to crack a smile—not that I have any reason to.)

I was happy to see this, but at the same time it makes me sad too.  What makes this especially difficult is that I haven’t seen my sister Courtney in 19 years, since our Dad’s funeral in 2001.  Until a year or so ago she’s lived in Florida and…. oh, it’s a long story, as most family stories are.  Suffice it to say, it just would’ve been really nice to see everyone today, together again.  

I read recently that 5-10% of the population wrestles with temporomandibular jaw disorder; if that’s true, why do I feel so damn alone with this?  Still, if you google ‘TMJ Reddit’  there sure seems to be a lot of people out there with this issue…

I also read that for 80% of TMJD sufferers, the condition often goes away within 18 months; tomorrow’s my one year anniversary with it, I sure am hoping it’s true & I’m in that 80 percent.

Anyway—I didn’t mean for this to be a big self-pity party.  I’m just missing a lot of people, places & things right now, namely this group above.   I love & miss you all, and hope I’m well enough to see you all again soon.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving from a couple of turkeys: oh heck, why not…

I love this picture of Mom & me.  It was taken at my sister Shawn’s house on Thanksgiving Day, 2002.  Of all the family photos I have, this is the only nice one I have of the two of us together. 

(As much as Mom loved to snap pictures of Dad and us kids, she hated having her own taken; so photos of her are few & far between.)

Anyway--a couple days before, Mom called me and asked when I was driving down for Thanksgiving. 

As I had just gotten my driver’s license (and a new car) that summer, and no longer needed to rely on a family member to come get me or bring me back to Pittsburgh, I said I’d make the trip Thanksgiving morning. 

Mom said “Oh.”  I asked if that was okay.   She said “You used to come down the night before and stay a few days…” 

Doug you turkey--what was I thinking?  I said I’d make the trip home as soon as I got off work Wednesday.  As I was one of the people scheduled to work the day before the holiday, I knew my boss would only require us to be in the office a half-day.  So I’d spend the night at Mom’s house (she now lived alone as Dad had passed in February 2001) and we’d head over to my sister Shawn’s house together the next day for Thanksgiving.

When I arrived at Mom’s, she came outside and said “Hi honey!  Why don’t you park in the garage instead of leaving your car in the driveway!”   Hmm… I’d driven down several times since getting my car a few months earlier, she never suggested I park in there before… was she expecting snow?    

A couple hours later, my sister Shawn pulled into the driveway.   Mom said “Shhh!  Hide in the other room, I don’t want Shawn knowing you’re here!”   Mom met her at the kitchen door (where Shawn had picked up some items for Mom from the grocery store on her way home from work).  Mom asked how her day went, Shawn said fine, but she had a lot to do tonight in preparation for tomorrow.  Mom asked if she was sure she didn’t need her to bring anything.  Shawn said no, she was good. 

Then I heard Shawn ask “I thought Doug was coming here today?”   Mom said yes, that’s what she thought too. 

Shawn said “Well, it’s dark now.  You know he has trouble driving at night, shouldn’t you call him and see if he’s okay?”  Mom said “You’re right.  OH DOUG…..!!”

I walked into the kitchen.  “Hey Shawn.”  Shawn said “Hey Doug.”   Mom said “Waitaminute!  That’s all you have to say?  You’re not surprised to see him here??”  Shawn rolled her eyes. “Oh Mom… when Doug came around the corner I figured you had him park in the garage.   Okay I’ll see you two tomorrow, the earlier the better.”  

After she left, Mom said “Can you believe her?”  I said yes Mom, I knew Shawn all too well.  Mom said “Did you remember to bring that can of cranberrry sauce like I asked?”   I said yes, even though Shawn already told us she was making a fresh cranberry salad.   Mom said “Aren’t you going to ask why I had you bring it anyway?”  I said nope, ‘cuz I knew HER all too well too!

Oh I know this is a dumb little story… but since Mom’s passing (15 years ago this December) I can’t help but look back and think about these happier moments when the holidays roll around.   I guess I’ve been feeling especially bummy this year… last year I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital (after getting a uretal stent placed for a blocked kidney).  This year, I’ll be spending it alone again (as I’m pretty much unable to talk or chew with this godawful jaw splint I’m wearing 24/7).  

But next year, come hell or high water… I’m going to make it to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving if it kills me!

shocked turkey

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