Sunday, April 11, 2010


My kid Brother, Bert, turns 76 this week. I called him in his room at the VA Nursing Home in Amarillo, Texas this morning. I last saw him in 2002 when he first entered the VA and, though not ambulatory, could still get around in his wheel chair. Not so for the past year. There is something wrong with his legs to the extent that he can't turn himself over in his bed. Curiously, but fortunately, he has not developed bed sores.

Though he did not have a strong voice, his conversation was clear and precise. What he seems to miss most, in this condition, was the opportunity to play chess and scrabble. He does have a 42" Samsung TV which provides him with satisfactory entertainment and distraction.

We chatted casually for about 40 minutes and to my questions, he filled me in on some of the problems that have visited his male children. He asked me nothing about me or my family. This is probably common with hospital bed residents who have body tubes permanently in place in a four-wall existence.

A nurse came into the room with some mashed potatoes for his lunch. He wanted to keep up the converation but he was beginning to hack and wheeze a bit so thought it was time to give it a rest. We wished each other happy birthday and said bye, bye.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It only hurts when I walk

I have been slightly hobbled and somewhat irritated for several weeks/months with pain in my right ankle. I finally mentioned it to my PP who sent me down for X-Rays. As a result of which he sent me to a podiatrist. The podiatrist could not produce any pain by manipulating my foot, but he was fascinated by the X-Rays. Three surgeries were done on that ankle before I reached the age of 18 and it has received no attention since then until now.

The young podiatrist could not determine the cause of my pain so he prescribed heavy doses of Motrin, just in case it might help. Why not? One good thing is he never mentioned surgery, which quickly shot him to the top of my dance card. The other good thing is he never suggested that many new problems occur with age. He obviously perceived me as quite young. We could end up as an item.

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