Mary Beth Writes

12/22/2021

Omicron: On Twitter today an ICU nurse describes how exhausted care providers are. It’s hard to watch; she is very tired and very clear and she is not playing for pity.  Click here to watch 

In Wisconsin 61% of people have at least one vaccine, although what people NEED to fight omicron are two vaccines and the booster. Thus, one can assume more than 40% of the people I live among have little to no Covid protection.

Last January 250,000 Americans contracted Covid. Remember semi-trailers parked outside city hospitals as temporary morgues?

Officials warn that possibly/probably 500,000 Americans will contact omicron this January. Because of vaccines many less people will end up in ER’s – but many of the unvaccinated will. It is and will be heartbreaking and ugly.

Len and I cancelled our Christmas Day plans with our family. It’s too crazy to expose ourselves plus Len’s still-healing head to what’s out there.

My kids are awesome. When we said (I had tears, this was not easy) that we were not coming to Christmas, our daughters said they support and understand this decision. One of them will set up a family zoom. I know some families are splitting over this.

But. We were in hospitals for 17 days this fall. Len slept through much of it. I stayed through the nights the first 10 days and I remember just about everything. Nurses and hospitalist doctors were working 16-hour shifts to keep up with this community’s need for serious medical care. Their care was steadfast and professional, their faces were tired. If you mentioned it to them, they smiled and said thanks for noticing.

Some of you are related to medical caregivers – from cardiologists to nurses to support staff. Give them my deepest thanks. Len and I will do our best to not need them for a while.

Many of us, as adults, found the beloved and perspicacious people who became our family and friends. Generally, these are people who listen to us, who ask us questions about what we do and what we care about. Sometimes they do those things with us.

Christmas is very much about going back to our families of origin. Sometimes that’s awesome. A lot of the time those people don’t ask us anything about who we are now and what we are working on and where our interests and our hearts lie.

Not coincidentally, a lot of us go a little or a lot crazy during holidays spent with family.

Such an interesting human dynamic. Grow up, move away, become your best self. And then every time a major holiday comes along … go back to the people who still treats you like the kid you once were.

I have found that one of the best strategies to deal with this dynamic is to outlive them.

…                             

Yesterday I wrote the letter to the 3rd graders about the long-ago afternoon when Sheba and I, and a RACCOON sat together on the side of a hill to admire the river.

Would you like to read some of the emails they sent back to me?

“That sounds very very very very made up but very cool” 

“I hope the raccoon was chilling with you and your Dog” 

“Thank you for that info that fat raccoon sounds funny and the dog picture looks funny I hope you send more emails for me to respond to(I still can’t believe that you found a fat raccoon.)”

“How? Did the raccoon sit down with you guys?”

“Hi miss Daniels your good dog is so cute”

“Hi it’s funny when the ratcon sat bye you and the dog”

 

Free bonus Quarantine survival tip:

I’ve been doing shoulder exercises prescribed by my physical therapist for months now … and they are working! Too boring to explain how they rate this, but I have gone from 13% mobility to 86% mobility in the shoulder formerly known as OUCH.

 This is my most favorite stretch. I don’t use the towel they mention in this instruction, I just sit at my desk or the kitchen table or wherever and lean gently forward to do this stretch and then slowly sit back up.

My favorite thing is to not tell Len, but just gently collapse while we are eating sandwiches.

 

 

Comments

My sympathies to Len...
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks! He feels fine, but we know healing is still going on inside his brain, so it is worth being extra-cautious.

Thanks for including the link to what that nurse said. Gosh, her exhaustion and desperation for people to hear her and to get it! just washed over me. What a mess. Thanks for the shoulder exercise mention. I knew of that exercise but had forgotten it. Quite a few years ago I hurt my shoulder and found the exercise where you sort of pretend like your washing a window but do it against a wall to be helpful. The main thing that helped me was once spring rolled around, the motion of hanging my wash out every day or so. About a month ago I foolishly lifted a heavy box off of a shelf above my head in the garage and tweaked it again. While sitting here at the kitchen table, I just did a series of what I now will call Mary Beth's exercises. I think you made a wise decision for Christmas this year. Take care, Debra
Mary Beth's picture

Probably tomorrow I will write a tad more about this - three more families we know are cancelling family get-together Xmas. It's a sad call to make, but its crazy out there right now. I am SO laughing that you are calling it the Mary Beth exercise. It is helpful to relax those muscles and joints after one does rash and foolhardy things like - move a box. Don't forget, my dysfunction came from reading books....

Although, I know most of this stuff already before I read it. I love reading it AND I will be using this stretch.
Mary Beth's picture

Thank you!!!

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

WHITE CAKE!

The picture is our wedding cake, made by my friend Karen, who drove it from Indiana to Chicago on the hottest day of that year. It was in the back seat so their two little boys had to ride in front (remember when kids could ride in front?). They got lost in the city but I didn't know that for years because Karen and her husband start early and had time to get lost and then figure it out. Sometimes wedded bliss is a lot of work. 

The following story and recipe is not about the wedding cake, but it is the photo I have...

...

6/30/2022

How Do We Remember What We Remember?

6/30/2022

The Jan 6 Hearings, huh? This is an amazing moment in US history and I’m trying to understand our incredibly intense response. Four of 10 voters have watched at least some of the hearings, which is 20,000,000 people. It’s not just me that can’t look away.

Our Terrible Canoe Adventure

The eagle photo was taken by Len - but not on this trip! 

6/23/2022

We are fine but I have a tale to tell.

American Successes / American Failures

Did you ever have to tell the truth when it was hard? Did you ever lie to avoid a hard situation?  Did you ever know a hard, wrong thing but you told no one because it was going to be complicated and some people wouldn’t believe you and you might end up disrespected or worse for “telling on” someone else?

Most people work hard at learning truth-telling when they are 4 and 5-years old.

Molecule Moving

6/8/2022     

I didn’t know a Panoply of Dental Moments was coming my way this week, but such is life with teeth. One can brush, floss, slosh, and swish - but if one’s teeth want to crumble, they do. Yesterday I had my six-month cleaning. The hygienist said several times that I brush and floss beautifully. I was proud and thinking maybe I would give myself a “well-done” sticker when I got home. Then the dentist came in to do the check-up and said two fillings had cracks around them and needed to be replaced.

Rough Stories, Tough Week

6/1/2022 

Last Friday evening on PBS Tonight David Brooks said something like this. “I am afraid for all of us. The news just pummels us.”

There are as many tough stories as there are fingers on a closed fist. The shooting in Uvalde. The shooting in Buffalo. The corrupt power of the NRA and other obscene wealth-mongers that are destroying our society from the inside of elected reps’ pockets outwards. Ukraine. Global climate mayhem. Oh, and covid is everywhere. Less traumatic for most; long covid for some. So that’s six fingers on that pugilistic fist.

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent anniversary antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM BookReport books boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Eclipse EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation granola groceries Guatemala gum guns happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope hurricane impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland Ocotillo OnaJudge OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples poetry Preaching privacy Protest Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes recommendations Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb rime RitesofPassage Rosemary Ruether Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards Three Things ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Willa WillaCather Wisteria
Ad Promotion