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Professor Liddle-Oldman

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There Might Still Be Time. We Might Still Get By. [Oct. 1st, 2015|11:06 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
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1 October 2015

State Of The Professor Address.

Spent much of the day with my mother. As I've mentioned, she's moving out of her house and into a room at the back of my sister's new second B&B house. She was supposed to have moved, but they're having trouble getting a cert of occupancy. Nothing wrong, just bureaucratic inertia. We loaded up both cars and made a dump run -- mostly stuff for the swap shack, cookbooks and records -- and loaded up both cars and made a run to the new place. She drives a white Prius with a rear bumper mended with electricians tape, so she's easy to follow.

I had a thought, though, as I was dumping boxes of sheet music into the paper recycling dumpster. (No one wanted it, or the hundreds of classical LPs, or the remains of David's extensive library.) David, her husband, has Alzheimer's and is in permanent care. He no longer recognizes her, though he usually remembers he likes her. As I was throwing away a life, I realized that David is gone, and he is not coming back. This is permanent. This is irreversible. It made me even sadder. Miserable disease.

Last weekend my mother called up to say that she was rattling around, alone, in a nearly empty house, and could she come over and cook us lunch? We said that of course she could come over, and we'd feed her, but she showed up with soup makings -- potatoes and onions and carrots and shredded cabbage and a can of lentils. She also showed up late, as she'd been diverted by a cop barricade and had been in crawl and stall for hours. Something was going on on in Cambridge, though we have no idea what. She asked me to back her car into the space she was sort of in. it wouldn't shift and the parking brake wouldn't release. So we left it there and went to buy hamburger and make soup. Later, it occurred to us that perhaps I could push it backwards, so we tried that -- and it shifted fine. She stayed over, sleeping on the couch, and drove home in the morning with no trouble. Her mechanic couldn't find a problem -- perhaps it was just hot and grumpy.

The soup was excellent.

The lovely Mrs. Professor is largely healed from her quite nasty burns -- everything at least has skin on it now. She still has healing to do, but we don't have to bandage her up three times a day.

The 29th was our 30th anniversary. She had to work late, so we ended up staying in, but we went out the next night to celebrate. We are pleased with us -- 30 years, the loss of several jobs and a house, assorted illnesses and my cardiac operation, papering several rooms together, and now this latest health issue, and we are still solid, together, and function as a team. We still find each other interesting, amusing, and I at least still think she's the cutest thing on two legs. We're pretty sure we're field-tested about as much as we need to be.

On to the next challenge. And, at our ages, we know there will be one. And one after that. And one after that...

But for now, for tonight, we're good.
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Anniversary [Oct. 1st, 2015|01:00 am]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
Yesterday, 29 September 2015, was our 30th anniversary. *smug*
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I'm Strong To The Finich [Sep. 18th, 2015|11:46 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
[mood |relieved]

18 September 2015

Yesterday was the last day of the lovely though beleaguered Mrs. Professor's radiation treatment. (The last two days the city took the three dedicated parking spots for construction equipment, so we had to fall back on the valet parking). Huzzah! She tried to send the team an Edible Arrangement (lovely ripe fruit cut into flower shapes, very nice), but so far she hasn't received an acknowledgement email. Went out to dinner -- Italian -- with her brothers to celebrate last night. Now all she has to do is heal up from the second-degree burns in places I ought not discuss in public. We hope this will not take long.

Of course, this means that I need to really start job hunting...

As a random note, I recently read a book that was set in Boston but obviously not written here. The action takes place in September. At one point the characters are hunched into their jackets against the oncoming winter chill, with their breaths smoking. Now and again I laugh and laugh and laugh. Pretty much every day of September so far has gotten well up into the 80s, as it does every year. It's rather like characters in shows set here but filmed in California, when someone announces that they're going to drive to "War-chest-shire", instead of the correct pronunciation of "Wista".

Well, it's midnight -- I suppose I ought to go look into supper.
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Thinking About Smacking Peter Jackson [Sep. 10th, 2015|09:46 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
[mood |aggravated]

I was not all that impressed with the first Hobbit movie; too overstuffed, too "cinematic", and too little of the book. I was seriously not impressed with the second -- really, a dwarf/elf romance, death squad orcs, and surfing on a wheelbarrow on a river of molten gold? However, I'm not even bothering to watch the third one, Battle of Five Armies (which was really at most a battle of five regiments, or five squads; Thorin's people and the detachment from his relatives, the survivors of Lake Town, the Elven King's household troops, the raiding party from the Misty Mountains, and an eirie's worth of Eagles). I happened to click into it on the telly one night, just as the sandworms were emerging from the side of the Mountain...

It's a clear and straightforward story. You don't have to shove everything you ever saw into the damn thing to tart it up; most especially you don't have to have a sixth force from Arakis arrive. *eyeroll*
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Update [Sep. 9th, 2015|09:20 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |sympathetic]
[music |the hum of the AC]

9 September 2015

We're closing in on the end of the radiation treatment, which is good, because it turns out radiation burns are uncomfortable. The poor Mrs. Professor's left side is red, and there'd a skinless patch larger than my hand. The middle is weeping sores. Considering where it is, it's a challenge to keep bandaged. One of the nurses did a professional job today, finishing it off with a body net, which was helpful and supportive.

Less than two weeks left; if I remember correctly, three more radiation treatments and four electron beam "boost" treatments. We are so ready for this to be over and for her skin to start recovering. A friend of ours, who underwent the same thing last year (and hadn't mentioned it up until now -- we don't refer to her as "Yankee Spice" for nothing) called to sympathize. Her husband is actually a physicist, and had a long talk with the techs about roentgens and dosages and the like. When she complained of being tired, he nicely pointed out that if she had had a full-body dose of what her afflicted portion was getting, she'd be dead.

It's encouraging that they've assured us that the cancer will not be back (though of course there's always the possibility of new, but we won't discuss this), but we are so ready for this to be over. Radiation burns, it turns out, hurt like a bastard after a while,
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Gamma Knife Is Kind Of Ominous [Aug. 7th, 2015|10:15 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
Today was the end of the first week of the lovely though afflicted Mrs. Professor's radiation treatment. As reported, she's had a brush with bosom cancer, which does not delight us in the faintest. They did a lumpectomy, followed by seven weeks of radiation and five years of hormones.  We have to go into Boston fice days a week.  She scheduled the treatments at 2:00 PM, to avoid traffic, but that's right in the middle of the day.  It's not all that far -- NE Medical center?  Right by Chinatown and near South Station -- but Kneeland St is a challenge.  The actual treatments last maybe fifteen seconds, with ten to twenty minutes getting the beam aimed perfectly.

Luckily the center has three dedicated parking spaces near the building entrance (Pratt Building, which causes unspoken jokes every time), and issued us a placard.  So far there's been an empty space each day, without oblivious dickheads ignoring the signs.  (Say, the ones that keep parking in our hadicapped space.)

We'll get through this.  I deliver many pats.  The indominatable Mrs. P carries on.  (OK, she cries some, now and then.  This is scary shit.)

Mortality.  I am not impressed with the idea/
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They Call Me _Mr_ Dimples [Aug. 5th, 2015|09:03 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
Mythbusters did a thing where they found that a car which has been dimpled like a golf ball really does get better mileage, for the same reason they dimple golf balls -- it decreases drag.

Since I killed our car the day I got fired, we now have a new one. It rolled over to 1000 miles last week.

We had an attack of weather yesterday. My mother, 30 miles to the west, called me to warn me that it was headed my way in case I had windows open. When I started to hear the thunder, I went out on the porch to watch. Rumbles, a couple of wind gusts, and then the heavens opened up and started throwing hail at us. Lots of hail. Lots of hail. It sounded like a gravel truck unloading, pea gravel sized hail bouncing everywhere. Hard.

You know where this is going. We now have a dimpled car. A brand new car with little dimples all over the upper surfaces.

*Sigh* At least we should get better mileage...
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Dental Dementia [Jul. 15th, 2015|07:17 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
Got so dehydrated -- despite drinking continuously after my mouth stopped bleeding -- that Saturday I ended up in the ER. When the paramedics arrived, they got a blood pressure of 60 over nothing; they wouldn't let me try to walk out to the ambulance. The hospital hung two liters of saline and I recovered. Bet your last bippy I'm drinking now.

Saw my PCP today for a follow-up. Creatanine level's recovered. Good to go. She cut my furosimide (diuretic) way back, though. I'm monitoring for a return of the edema.

Saturday, now, three days from now, we start two weeks in a cottage on the shore of Lake Winnapasaukee. We'd already paid for it, so there's no reason not to go. I'll be silent for two weeks (astonishing!), sitting on a screened porch reading and drinking coffee. We have a couple bags of new books to cover us, and bug spray galore. (Though the mosquitos aren't the problem they were when I lived in NH, much closer to boggy areas.) Let the relaxing commence.
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Dental Despair [Jul. 9th, 2015|10:28 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
Had a tooth needed to come out -- way up in the back, didn't oppose anything, decay too near the root. Dentist didn't want to do it -- too complicted. Sent me to a dental surgeon. Went yesterday. Anticipated misery. Every other extraction has gone badly -- shattered teeth, twisty roots, bone drills, scalpels, pain.  This one went better than I had expected.  Then it bled for thirty hours.  I slept on the couch upright lst nigtht.  Still wearing the clothes I was in yestereday.  Haven't eaten for a couple of days, won't be able to eat for days yet.  I hate dentistry.  The hell with  teeth, know what I mean?

Not happy.  At least the bleeding's stopped, and I could drink a little water.
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Drive, She Said [Jun. 29th, 2015|10:02 pm]
Professor Liddle-Oldman
[Tags|, , , , , ]

So last Saturday we went down to Prime Hyundai (nee Tom O'Brien Hyundai) to look at cars. I find it interesting that they're near the former site of the Fore River Shipyard (founded by the Watson of Bell's "Come here, Mr. Watson"), which went bankrupt and closed years ago in the face of Asian shipyards, and from which the enormous Goliath crane was disassembled and shipped to Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. Be that as it may, after some back and forth we bought a 2016 Elantra to replace the 2010 Elantra we'd lost. The manufacturer was offering a rebate, and we'll get the settlement check this week, and the lovely Mrs. P. bargained them down a few hundred more. We actually only spent about $2500 more than we had five years ago. I picked the new car up today, registered, inspected, and insured, and it's sitting outside the window as I type.

We go see the radiation oncologist Wednesday. Thursday I'm going out to help my mother pack and tidy. She's doing well, but she's in her upper 80's, and her husband is in care, so she's alone in the house. My sister and her husband own a B&B just outside Davis Square in Cambridge, catering to the tweedy crowd, and they're doing well enough that they bought a second house on the block and are converting it into more rooms. They're building an in-law apartment into it, and my mother will move in there. She'll be close to but not on top of my sister, and she can be the house mother, as it were; an in-house presence to troubleshoot and put out breakfast. Given the realities of age and entropy, we think it's a pretty elegant solution. But she's lived in this house for like thirty years, and one accumulates a lot of stuff.

Tomorrow, I'm thinking maybe ironing.
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