It’s been . . . intense.

It truly has been. I don’t feel like re-reading the couple of entries below, so I’ll just tell you guys a quick synopsis of the past few weeks. I called Mom and Dad about a month ago and while on the phone with them they told me I needed to come home to see Papa once more. I made the plans and was scheduled to leave on Tuesday, May 3rd (throwing caution to the wind re; my schoolwork). Papa then had a stroke on the Thursday before I was meant to leave, so I moved my ticket up as far as I could which turned out to only be a day, but I figured that it was better than nothing. It wasn’t enough though. He died very early on Sunday, May 1st, 2005. The “Wake” was then held almost a week later on Saturday the 7th. It was lovely, there was a lot of family and friends . . . almost everyone that should have been there was. I was even asked by my grandmother to say the Prayer for the Dead to close the proceedings. It was intense.

So that’s that. It wasn’t fun but I’m so very very thankful that I was there. Not just for myself but for my family as well, since we all needed each other to lean on. Backing up though, there’s a lot of other stuff that happened. For one thing, I’ve been having problems with my left foot for a while. It has hurt so long that I almost thought that’s how things were supposed to be. I went to see an orthopedic surgeon just for fun though, and it turns out I have something called plantar fasciitis. Basically there’s a tendon running from your heel to the ball of your foot which makes sure everything works right. Well, as you age it becomes less elastic and more prone to injury. Between my weight, the walking I do in Glasgow, and the fact that I stand for a living, I have injured it badly (the website even gives a list of causes, including: “Repetitive activities that stress the ligament, such as jobs or activities that require prolonged walking or standing on hard or irregular surfaces or from sports such as running” . . . ever notice the cobblestones in front of Jinty’s?). Not so much to require surgery (not at the point I hadn’t anyway) but bad. I ended up getting fitted for special shoe inserts and went about my day.

My next crisis came a few days later when I was trying to get the dogs outside so I could leave. My parents’/my/my cousin Taylor’s dog is named Tahoe and is quite old at this point. He’s also blind thanks to congenital cataracts (pure-bred Golden Retriever). So, he doesn’t like going out and when I tried to soothe him, he snapped at my left hand. I couldn’t just try and bribe him with a treat at that point, so we had a bit of a . . . tussle. He got my right hand pretty bad in the process, though I eventually got him out. I didn’t think much of it, but the swelling just wouldn’t go down and it remained very very sore for a while. I eventually went to see the family doctor, thinking it was broken (you would be paranoid too if your brother had gone a year with a broken wrist and not known it). Turns out it wasn’t but it was VERY infected. Apparently dog (especially old dog) bites are really really bad. “We can set a bone. We can stitch a tear. But if the infection goes untreated you could lose the entire hand.” Direct quote. Dr. Shotton said I was only a couple of days shy of a secondary infection which could have gotten into the tendons of my hand, which at the least would have involved a permanent loss of motor functions in my right hand and could have ended with amputation. He was serious. It was intense.

Then this past Saturday I was lying in bed reading. I got up and did a bit of a hop but came down on my left foot rather than my right. I didn’t exactly hear anything pop, but I definitely felt a twinge. I went to take a step and literally fell down. I had strained my foot again (I hadn’t been taking my anti-inflamatories because of the antibiotics that Shotton had given me for my hand), and for the rest of the day didn’t go anywhere without the assistance of a cane. Amy thought it was bloody hilarious. If it had been anyone but me, I probably would have agreed!

So now I sit in my parents’ once-again-neat-guest-room. It used to be Amy’s room and is pretty nice. I’m all packed for my return voyage tomorrow. Not excited. Not even a little bit. I hate to fly. But I guess it must be done, so here I go. At least I have my traditional “Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups” travel t-shirt. Let me tell you, the security people at airports love that shirt. I wonder why?

Slainte.

“Sometimes reputations outlive their applications
And sometimes fires don’t go out
When you’re done playing with them.”
~Coyote Shivers – “Sugarhigh”

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