Tag Archives: Ann

Ann’s Update: 2 Feb 2011

Dear Everybody, Especially Those in China,

Again, I have a couple of good reasons for having presented you with silence for the past few days (I’ve lost track of the number), such as:

1.  Laying off one caretaker, interviewing another.  The details are a bit sad, but these things happen.

2.  Wrapping the next to last Xmas present.

3.   Making phone calls and answering phone calls and missing phone calls.

4.  Going on errands that should have taken 1/2 hour and actually took three hours.

5.  Recovering from same.

6.  Promising myself that I’d done everything I needed to do in the outside world, only to discover five errands that were urgent (the next day) and taking two to three hours to do them (how do you underline words in this program?) and two hours to recover again.

7.  1-1/2 hours spent in feeling sorry for myself, followed by 27 hours spent feeling guilty for feeling sorry for myself.

8.  The revolution in Cairo.  I have an answer for what should happen next in Egypt.  There should be a Golda Maier (Mayer? Meier?) — with an Egyptian name, of course — an educated woman, a mother and maybe grandmother, who can fearlessly offer herself as transitional communicator between the people
and the government.  She would be welcomed instantly, for reasons I will offer next time, and Egypt will step into the 21st century.

9.  I’m tired, and I’ll continue this tomorrow evening.  I will also answer those who got their panties in a bunch over my China comments (which delighted me, by the way).  During the day tomorrow, I will be Nanna, and will regain what I have left of my mental health.

10.  You are good people — at least, most of you are, at least most of the time, and I send my love to you all.
Blessings — Ann

P.S.  Sasha is doing very, very well, and has gotten back to the lab again, this time for over two hours, today.  He becomes much happier when this happens. And his chemistry memory seems to be very good indeed.  And the Shulgin Index will be available, the printers say, the first week in March!

Ann’s Update: 28 Jan 2011

Dear People All over the World, including China, unless the people in China are among those who believe that Tibet is better off as part of China than before they were part of China. Although I don’t wish to alienate any nice people in China, they must understand that I am a devoted admirer of the Dalai Lama and all the people of Tibet who resisted the invasion of Big Brother China.  I would not have expanded on this except for Greg, who always puts my writing onto Caring Bridge and Facebook, and who phoned me today when I was driving in town (without my head set) and asked me (referring to yester– oops — several days ago, when my salutation included the words, “except the people of China,” or something like that), and asked me, “Why?”

My reply was rather scattered, since a corner of my mind was busy trying to identify possible policemen or other law enforcement who might notice that I wasn’t talking into a headset, and subsequently levy upon me a fine of huge proportions.  And they would be right.  I believe in headsets while driving and also while not driving, and I own two of them, but don’t know where they are at the moment.

Since then, I’ve reviewed the part of my brain that contains files called “China and Tibet,” and re-affirmed my strong feelings about that subject.  That’s why you are being subjected to all this.  I’m out of the China closet.  Actually, that used to be (in the late 1800’s) called the China cabinet, but —- Never Mind.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.  Hello, Dear People of Everywhere,

Today was one of the Big Days.  Sasha actually walked all the way to the lab, and took his seat inside, with his caregiver present, and began talking chemistry with Paul, who took some fantastic photos.  Tania joined them at one point, and there is a great picture of all three of them, smiling broadly.

We are (meaning the two girls/women/ladies and I) gradually getting a picture — sort of — of Sasha’s pain problems, the where and the why.  His Achilles tendon and the heel have become almost-perfect examples of superb Western medicine and what can be done by really good Western surgeons.  The original angels are, of course, Drs. Howard Kornfeld and Paul Abramson, who pointed us in the direction of said surgeons.  Without them, we would never have heard of doctors who label themselves “Limb Savers,” and we probably would have lost a foot by now.  And, yes, we all would have lost that foot.

In the evenings, Sasha’s needle pains attack his leg, and they are now being understood as the results of the peripheral neuropathy, and he’ll probably continue having that problem.  We’ll do our best to make him as healthy as possible by means of diet (fresh fruits and veggies, protein, vitamins, etc.) as well as exercise.  Following the advice of a very wise person, we’re giving him goat’s milk and Basmati rice, and these do actually help reduce swelling in his feet, which is a real concern.  But we’re all still learning.  Every night is a bit different.  When he can be persuaded to stay in bed most of the night, the foot swelling is gone by morning.  When his pain makes it necessary for him to sleep in the Lazyboy chair, the swelling is still present when he wakes up.  But all of it is getting better.

Sasha’ mental state seems to have improved during the day, since he came home from hospital, but the “sundowning” is almost always present, to some extent, by the time evening comes.  His chemical knowledge is still there, though, and now that he can work in the lab with Paul, it will probably sharpen and improve, along with his analytical ability and other aspects of his mental functioning.  But he can’t be left alone, because there’s too much risk of falling, among other things.  So we continue to fund-raise, because we’ll need 24-hour a day help for the rest of Sasha’s life.  So far, as I’ve said many times, we’ve been amazingly lucky in our caregivers, with perhaps a single exception, but we’re busy taking care of that exception.  We seem to have attracted really lovely human beings — funny and caring and patient — and may it continue to be so.  With Tania and Greg as our right and left arms, all we can do is give thanks (and feed them all Basmati rice).

For the moment, this is all.  When Greg returns from his mother’s funeral, I’ll write more.

Love and thanks to all of you.  Sleep well and dream in color (unless you don’t want to).    Ann

Ann’s Update: 27 Jan 2011

Dear People Across the Great Wide World (except China),

Sorry again.  It was impossible to get to my computer, and I’ve got to get some sleep. Tomorrow, however, is a day without visitors, one hundred and five errands, etc., and I think I’ll actually be able to get some urgent things done, and also WRITE.  To all of you.  Sasha updates (good) and stream of unconsciousness (no comment).  I promise.  I give my word(s).

Love and gratitude and be patient yet again, please —   Ann

Ann’s Update: 23 Jan 2011

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Well, I would have managed to write last night, except for the fact that Sasha got sleepy early and everyone headed for bed, including me, at an hour when I would usually be sitting down and gathering thoughts and memories for this note.  I’ll either make this rather short, because we’re going to be interrupted momentarily by a plumber who will, we hope, make things flow as they should in the bathroom and kitchen — or I’ll make it long because the mood will be right and the urge will overtake me.  The writing urge, that is.

Right now, despite my knowing that 99% of the world’s population is unluckier and less blessed than we are, I’m caught on that knife-edge between light and energy on one side, and dark grey grouchiness and self-rejection on the other.  Mild depression, I guess.  (Self-pity, says my inner judge.)  On PBS television there is a great program about the Big Bands of the  ’40’s. Benny Goodman’s music, tremendously familiar and loaded with memories — or bits of memory — about high school (most of it sheer hell for a girl with an English accent who had recently been in Europe and home-schooled) ….  Actually, when I got to private school in New England, things got a bit better.  There were lots of weird people there; I wasn’t the only one. (The inner judge grumps, “You think you had problems because you had an English accent?  Try having a black skin, kid!  Now, THAT was problems!)  My mother persuaded my father that my brother and I should change our names to her family name, instead of going around with a name that sounded Jewish (because it WAS Jewish).  So we did.  We became Ormiston, instead of Gotlieb, because my dear father had experienced anti-Semitism (plenty of it in the State Department, for which he worked), and didn’t want to make his kids go through what he’d gone through (and because he was afraid of my mother).  It worked pretty well.  But kids will make hell for other kids without the excuse of black skin or Jewishness or even English accents.  If they’ve been bullied at home, they’ll bully others at school.  Boys, especially, will attack weakness or gentleness, and my brother was very gentle — extremely intelligent and gentle — and he was sent to private boy’s school in Canada and never really recovered from it.

But those were the days when good parents did things like that — sent their kids to private schools (if they could afford it) and told the boys to “buck up” when they wrote home pleading to be released from torment.  Bullying was accepted as normal (that lasted until just a couple of years ago, and is still accepted in most schools), and young males were expected to fight back or just put up with it.  Nobody talked about the suicides.  And, realistically, it was simply the law of the jungle — if you can’t fight back or turn the tables in some manner on your attacker, you will go under and die.  The survivors were strong and apparently self-assured.  The British Empire was forged by such survivors.  And they kept the empire going until a little guy who walked around in a cotton loincloth and taught helpless Indians how to handle the tough, hard British took the country back from them.

I’m probably going to have to throw out all this stuff, unless I decide I’m writing Book Three on Caring Bridge, and Facebook, and I’m not sure that’s what I should be doing.

I’m just in a mood to hate the dark side of humanity (including my own Shadow), and that is a complete waste off time.  It’s there because it has to be.  My only job is to make unconscious things conscious — starting with myself and my own Shadow.

As for Sasha, he’s doing well and better, really improving every day.  It looks as though the various things we’ve been attempting — hanging the heel out over the edge of the cushion — has begun to heal the ulcer.   And he’s sleeping better (which means the caregiver at night gets more sleep).

And I’ll stop running on at the keyboard, and give you fuller Sasha information in the next note.

Blessings and love —  Ann

Ann’s Update: 20 Jan 2011

Dearest Friends,

Sasha’s heel is improving, but he’s still lifting his heel from the ground when walking, just to insure as little pressure as possible until healing is complete.  In the evenings, he still gets the needle-pains in his left foot, and only the pain meds and a bowl of chocolate ice cream (by mouth) seem to help.

It was a beautiful day and we saw none of the reported high winds that brought trees down all over the East Bay.  It’s hard not to hope for warm weather and early spring, but common sense reminds us that more rain is needed, and more rain will come.  I just hope the weather gets a bit less bone-chillingly cold, especially at night.

Sasha’s spirits have been a bit low the past two days, although he smiles and laughs as soon as Paul Daley arrives, or Tania, or Greg, or several other familiar, loving people.  He always smiles at me, as I do at him.  Our two women caregivers are not only trained, and immensely capable, but affectionate and truly caring with Sasha.  They change what has to be changed during the night, and they always do what has to be done with amazing good humor, no matter how little sleep they might have had.  During day shifts, they engage Sasha in various ways, not letting him droop or sink into sadness (which sometimes overtakes him for a few minutes), and their good humor always brings him out of those low moments.

I’ll write more about our two women caregivers tomorrow or Saturday, but it’s too late tonight to write as much as I’d like.  I have one question on my mind:  how come people who take care of property — houses, farms, haunted mansions — are called caretakers, and people who take care of people are called caregivers?

Never mind….

Sleep well and Blessings ——Ann