Goodbye my friend

Hello Dear reader.

I’ve missed you. Did you miss me? I apologize for not writing, but unfortunately it’s been a really tough couple of months for me physically. While writing is not a physically strenuous task it does require clear thinking. My head is anything but clear when the headaches are bad.

Lots of things have happened since I last wrote, both good things and bad. I won’t bore you with the minor things, just the big stuff.

I’m missing a very close friend who passed away from a heart attack on Sunday, July 23rd. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around how it happened. It’s kind of a long story, but I need to tell it. Brenda had been in the hospital with double-pneumonia. I had been to see her several times just to visit with her. She was really excited about the wedding coming up. The last time I saw her was a Friday. I brought her some food (the food at the hospital here is horrible) and we talked. She looked 100% better than she had on Thursday, and told me she felt much better She told me, laughing, that she couldn’t die because she didn’t want to miss the wedding, but if that happened, she’d come haunt it. I thought nothing of it. Brenda joked like that a lot. Saturday I talked to her on the phone. She hadn’t slept well the night before and was going to take a nap. I told her to call me back after she woke up and I’d come by. I was having a bad headache day myself, and when she called back I was asleep. She left a message on the answering machine (which I can’t make myself delete) saying that I could come by whenever I wanted to. My headache continued to get worse, and by Sunday I couldn’t get out of bed. I got some food together to bring her on Monday. I called the hospital and they told me that Brenda had been discharged. This was great news. So I took the food that I had for her to her house. I was still in excruciating pain, so I was just going to drop it off and then come home and lay back down. Brenda’s husband, Scotty, answered the door when I knocked. Now to understand the rest of this you have to understand a couple of things about Scotty. First of all, Scotty was in a bad car accident a while back that left him blinded. Second, he has terminal cancer. When Scotty opened the door, I said as cheerfully as possible, “I was going to bring Brenda some food at the hospital, but they told me she had gone home so I brought it here instead.” The “cheerfulness” was so Brenda wouldn’t worry about me. Scotty said, “Brenda’s dead. She died last night.” As horrible as it is, I thought he was joking. I said, “That’s not funny.” He said, “No, it’s not.” He then told me the story of what had happened. Apparently, they were going to discharge Brenda Saturday, but decided to keep her over the weekend and get a little more antibiotics into her just to be safe. On Sunday, she got a letter saying that if she didn’t pay her 20% co-pay for her medical bills they were going to take her house. I’m really not clear about who the letter was from or why she got it on a Sunday, but she freaked out. She said she was not staying in the hospital making more medical bills that she might lose her home over and checked herself out of the hospital and went home, which is about three blocks (Leadville blocks) from the hospital. I don’t know why she didn’t call me then, but she didn’t. Scotty said three hours after she got home she went into the bathroom and he heard her fall. He couldn’t wake her up. I’m not real clear on this next part either, but he said he called the hospital. They told him they couldn’t do anything unless he called the police. Scotty then made his way across the street and his neighbor called 911. By the time the ambulance got there, Brenda was dead. Her memorial service is tomorrow at 11 a.m. I thought losing Sampson was bad. I’m still having a hard time believing this is real, much less having a clue how to deal with it.

On a much brighter note, Tim landed a really great job. He is a supervisor for a big roofing company. He gets an annual salary (not huge, but not bad either), with benefits, a company truck, a cell phone, the whole nine yards. We’ll have a year-round income instead of the famine/feast that has always been a part of roofing. The very best part is that he comes home with a smile on his face every evening. He loves the job, and he’s good at it. I’m extremely glad he’s doing something he enjoys.

On the medical front, I’ve had two “trials” of a procedure in which they deaden some of the nerves in my head. The trials involve injecting a deadening solution into the nerves, similar to what a dentist does in your mouth. The effects last roughly five hours each time. Both of the trials were very successful so now we’re going to do it on a permanent basis. To understand this, you have to have an idea of how my headaches work. Most of the time, the pain starts in the base of my skull. On a not-so-bad headache day it stays there. On a bad headache day, the pain then spreads up and around until it feels like my head is in a vice. By that point, moving at all is excruciating. Once I have this procedure done, the nerves which carry the pain from the base of my skull to about halfway up my head will be permanently deadened. The headaches will still come, I just won’t be able to feel them. It should eliminate the pain of the not-so-bad headache days completely. I don’t know about the bad days, whether the pain I won’t feel will still spread to the rest of my head, which I will still feel or not. Either way, this should improve my quality of life immensely. Really exciting stuff!

The countdown is on…25 days to the wedding. Things are coming together nicely, thanks to a lot of really amazing friends.

Well, I think I’ve rambled enough here for a while. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Until next time…

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