Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Popeye’s Elbow, Flashers, Babies, Jumanji2 and the Flu



Dr. Google says I have Popeye’s Elbow otherwise known as Olecranon Bursitis. Leave it to me to get something weird. What is it? It’s a golf ball sized lump at the tip of my elbow. Apparently there’s a body part there called a ‘bursa’ which is a cushion in between the bone and the skin that gets inflamed and fills up with fluid that sometimes gets infected and needs to be drained. Fortunately most of the time they go away on their own in 3 to 4 weeks with a little rest and ibuprofen and by using alternating ice and heat pads. The weird part is I could also have tennis elbow because before I noticed the Popeye’s ball of warm flesh at my elbow I’ve also been experience mild pain in my forearm. I haven’t played tennis since I was fourteen and batting a ball back and forth in the middle of the street with my best friend when a guy stopped his car by each of us to “ask for directions.” He was totally naked from the waist down.

Being naïve teenagers who giggled over anything remotely funny we nearly split our sides out laughing as we ran into the house to tell my mother. When we finally got the story out Mom called the police. Ohmygod, that poor, young Officer who came out to the house. We were still laughing and his questions just added to our amusement. Of course, we didn’t remember any other details but his penis staring up us. Did you get a license number? What kind of car was he driving? How old do you think he was? What color was his shirt? Was he wearing shoes? Wearing shoes? I doubt we’ve have noticed if he didn’t have any feet to put them on. Yadda, yadda, yadda. What I remember most from that interview is my mother giving us a stern directive to get a hold of ourselves and stop laughing. But how was that even possible when the policeman had to explain what he meant by ‘erect’ or ‘flaccid’. Like I said, we were naïve kids and we didn’t know what the guy was doing. But he definitely didn’t have both hands on the steering wheel. And they say back in the ‘50s everyone lived in Mayberry where things like that didn’t happen.

Speaking of sweet innocence …I got a good dose of babies on Sunday. One of my nine great-great nieces and nephews (all under two and a half) was having a first birthday party. It’s amazing to see their little personalities forming already. One boy was on the selfish side wanting to take toys away from the others, one would try to take them back, but another would have a look on his little face that said, “What the heck just happened?” And when a boy was quietly pilferaging all the Mardi gras necklaces out of the other kids’ party swag bags his great aunt snagged him and said, “Aren’t those pretty! Let’s share the pink and purple ones with the girls and share the red and green ones with the other boys.” When one boy slammed a toy frying pan down on the top of another child’s head and the crying started, the pan swinger said, “Sorry” and hugged his victim as per his mother's directions. I saw some wonderful parenting going on, always watching, always stepping in with teachable moments.

It’s been a good week for socializing. The day after the party I was sitting in the Guy Land Cafeteria with two of my Gathering Girls pals and after a long lunch two of us went to see the movie Jumanji2. Neither one of us had a clue what it was about other than what we could pull up on our phones which was, “Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.” It was starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan and we laughed from beginning to end. We didn’t expected that. In fact before going in we joked about being too old to understand what was going on since neither of us was into video games.

I wrote the above paragraphs when I got home from the movie theater. Two hours later the flu hit. And the next fourteen hours I spent alternating between projectile vomiting and projectile diarrhea and sometimes doing both at the same time. At one point in the night I woke up to find myself on the bathroom floor and I had no idea how I got there. The worst seems to be over but all I did on Tuesdays is sleep, sip Gatorade and take the flu meds I, thankfully, had stocked up on last fall. I did manage to get a shower and do a load of laundry but some clothing I just threw out. My goal for today is to eat something and hope it stays inside my body but from what I've read I'm progressing on the flu timeline right on schedule. I can expect to be weak and tired until the weekend. This is a terrible strain of flu! ©

33 comments:

  1. Take care! Being ill and on your own is not a good combination - been there, done that, and rinse/repeat. And wonderful of you to still make your second post for the week despite being so ill.

    Your naked man story reminds me at around 10 years going to school, passing a stationary car with a man at the wheel hunched over himself - only years later realised he was masturbating. I don't remember telling anyone - somehow felt it inappropriate.

    I can't imagine Jumanji2 being funny - I remember J1 coming out and didn't think it did well enough to warrant a sequel. But good company and mood takes care of a lot.

    Kids change their personality as they grow. The most striking example of that, for me, was Neil in the docs 7Up. A charming and happy child - grew up to a not-so-happy loner adult. I'm waiting on the next stage of 7Up to see how he's fared the past 7 years ~ Libby

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    1. If I had had to write this blog entry from scratch after the flu hit I wouldn't have made it in time for Wednesday. But it's not unusual for me to write it in parts over several days so that's what saved me.

      I didn't see the original Jumanji but I remember thinking it didn't look good. The reason why we picked that movie was because it was at a good location and time that suited us. And it was a fun movie but hard to explain.

      I don't know what the 'docs 7Up' is.

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    2. Its a documentary on a group of British children, from various socioeconomic backgrounds, who are interviewed at 7 year intervals, beginning at the age of 7 years old. They're around 64 years now. Google it - absolutely fascinating. Many copied the idea, including US, but this UK show is the best. ~ Libby

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    3. Wow, that's a forward thinking project! Sounds interesting.

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  2. I am sorry to hear you have the flu and bursitis! Glad you had Gatorade and meds on hand for the flu. When I didn't see your posting earlier today, I was hoping you were okay. You are very good at telling a funny story...I laughed at your tennis experience. I hope you feel much better soon. Ann

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    1. I am doing much better, Thanks! I was able to eat today and kept inside my body. I'm just really tried which from what I read is common with the flu. I'll be contagious through Friday so I wouldn't be going anywhere anyway.

      Unfortunately I have several other flasher stories I could tell, but one was the only one with humor.

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  3. Oh my Jean, I hate to hear that you have come down with the flu, I hope you are over it quickly and feeling much better soon.

    I did see Jumanji with Robin Williams and thought it very good, I was wondering how good Jumanji 2 actually was, and from your review it sounds excellent.

    The naked guy in the car probably got more punishment to his pride by you two girls laughing at him, it would have been nice for him to have been caught but I am glad that you two ran away laughing or not at least you ran.

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    1. The first 5 or 10 minutes you'll think Jumanji2 just a typical teen movie but when they get sucked up into the game they change ages and in one case sexes but they keep their teen personalities. Image Dwayne Johnson playing a nerdy, frail boy with no confidence and Jack Black playing a self-absorbed, shallow girl and that's what generates the humor. It's just funny and fun. It's action packed too but no one gets hurt. I want to find the original one on Demand, if I can.

      I'm giving the flu until Friday then I'll go back to my normal routine, whether I'm ready or not. But I will be.

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  4. Oh, I hate to be an exacting medical wife, but you likely didn't have the flu (which is a respiratory thing) but rather a stomach virus, like Norovirus -- the dreaded puke and poop thing.

    (Norovirus infection - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/norovirus/symptoms.../syc-20355296
    Nov 17, 2017 - Overview. "Norovirus infection can cause the sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea. The virus is highly contagious and commonly spread through food or water that is contaminated during preparation or contaminated surfaces. You can also be infected through close contact with an infected person."

    I guess you can be sick to your stomach with flu sometimes, but flu is actually respiratory -- congestion, bad cough, fever sometimes, body aches. But whatever you had, I'm glad you are on the mend. I live in DREAD of catching what you had and I wash my hands immediately after going out anywhere and carry hand sanitizer with me if I can't get to a sink and soap. I'm a little OCD about avoiding it; not sure if it's working or if I've just been lucky so far.

    Did you know Robin Williams starred in the original Jumanji? I thought it was a board game... glad you enjoyed it. Nothing better than a good laugh!

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    1. That actually makes me feel better to know I probably had a norovirus instead of the flu because the changes that I've given to others in my family sound less likely. A friend of mine had the same symptoms when we talked on the phone a few weeks ago and he called it the flu so I just assumed it was. Glad I'm going to live, anyway. It was nasty!

      Yes, I did know about Robin. Jumanji might have been a board game in that version but it was a video game in this version.

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    2. I was thinking the same thing that this did not sound like the flu. I have always dreaded throwing up. I think I'd almost rather die.
      Glad you're feeling better, Jean.

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    3. When I found myself on the bathroom follow I had the scary thought that people die like that.

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    4. I'm with you, Mary. I have barf-phobia. Nausea is the absolute worst feeling for me. Jean, the puke/poop thing is often called "stomach flu", but it's technically not flu as defined by medical folks who know such things. It's "gastroenteritis" (inflammation of the stomach/bowels) that cause the awful symptoms and some specific viruses like Norovirus do the same. It is HIGHLY contagious, which is why it can become epidemic in classrooms, schools, cruise ships, etc. So glad you are better!

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  5. Jumanji 1 was fun. I believe it was with Robin Williams and it was a board game that the kids had to finish.
    Yes I, like Libby, have seen all the 7 up series. They are fascinating. The last one, 56 up seemed that a lot of the people would no longer participate. For a variety of reasons, which they do talk through in the episodes, I don’t think a few of them want to participate any longer. Some mentioned that they didn’t like the direction the film was taking: as if it was a bit self-serving. I think one person mentioned that he felt it had been enough but the producer didn’t want to let it go. Over the years they have lost a few people. It ends up being an interesting study of a lot of cultural issues,
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. I'm going to have to look that series up.

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  6. I had that elbow bursitis once, and it was just as you described. It was the oddest feeling to have that fluid-filled sac hanging off my arm. One of my friends had experienced it, too, and she said it would probably go away if I babied it just a bit, and it did. I can't remember how long it took, but obviously the fluid just reabsorbed: it kept getting smaller, and then one day I realized it was gone. I hope yours does the same, and likewise that nasty flu/bronchitis. We always just lumped all of those things under the general label "creeping crud." It worked pretty well, since everyone knew that, no matter the details, it translated into "I know I'm not going to die, but the thought that death might be better has crossed my mind."

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    1. Did you ever figure out how you got elbow bursitis? I didn't fall but when I read that repetitive leaning on your elbow can also cause it I started noticing that I do it a lot when I'm reading my computer screen. Hard habit to break but I'm trying.

      "Death might be better" than what I had didn't cross my mind but the fact that I didn't want to die THAT way did. LOL

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  7. Have you checked with your Girl friends as to whether or not they are also ill? It sounds like food poisoning, too. Definitely NOT flu, as another commenter rightly pointed out. Regardless, I am terribly sorry you are so ill. Like Mary, I abhor throwing up. It is The Worst.

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    1. I did check with both my nieces and my lunch pals. No one else has gotten sick yet, and hopefully, won't. Today I'm throwing out all the deli foods just in case that was the source but I'd also been to a couple of restaurants as well.

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  8. I'm so sorry you got this dreaded flu. Keep hydrated!! This has already been through our home with Rick and thankfully I only had a mild case..
    Rick also has that "lump" on his elbow and has a dr.'s apppointment. Jean you are mirroring us, or Rick at least. Hmm....

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    1. Yes, it's occurred to me that you guys gave me the crude! The internet is a powerful tool for spreading viruses. LOL Funny that we both have the elbow lump! What are the odds?

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  9. Sorry about your illness and elbow thingy. Glad to see you remembered to blame the internet - lol.

    When anyone says they want to return to the 1950s, I assume they've lost their memory. There were dirty old men and dirty young men, galore, in those days. Why didn't I think to burst out laughing at them? It would have served them right. In school, we were taught "Do not engage 'them' in conversation" and "Head for the nearest police officer." Of course, the DOMs and DYMs usually only struck when youngsters were isolated. Another good piece of advice from school concerned being confronted by a potential rapist: "Engage them in logical conversation." The libido cools down when the brain engages logically. I found that it worked!
    Cop Car

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    1. Wow, that IS good advice. I hope I never have to use it but if I do, I hope I remember to use it.

      Hey, thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Oh man! Flu and bursitis! YUK! Get well soon. I'm eating a citrus as I type. On y 3rd cold since November!

    I have not watched either jumanji movie. The storyline doesn't appeal to me!

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    1. Honestly, the storyline didn't appeal to me before I saw the movie, I just wanted to extend the day out with my friend. But being spontaneous really paid off. I thought it would be a movie for teens but in the middle of the afternoon the theater was filled with adults.

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  11. I believe, from experiencing it twice, that you had the Norvo Virus instead of the flu. Probably picked up in the restaurant, or the theater. It is usually food borne. Did your friend eat the same as you? If not, she probably didn't get sick.

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    1. You and the other commenters here have made a believer out of me. I think I've narrowed it down to some stir-fry. The place I get stir-fry from makes sushi at the same work station. No one at the birthday party or at lunch before the theater got sick.

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  12. Penis is all that you guys could tell the cop that you remember. Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha..
    I'm sorry that you had the flu. It's very hard getting this sickness at our age. I'm just getting over it after two weeks.
    I heard that Jumanji2 was silly. Sounds like a movie just for me.
    Well Jean, I think part of my sickness was I still felt like I was on the water. This cruise, the waves were really bad but other then that, this cruise the best. I've already paid my introduction to next years cruise. A 10 day cruise. Whoopee do. See ya my friend.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. I doubt we used the the word 'penis' back in those days, Paul. We really were naive.

      "Silly" is a word that would apply to Jumanji2 but it was funny and some of the humor takes a second to catch. I really did like it.

      Enjoy planning your next cruise. You guys just like to travel!

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  13. The story about the cop trying to interview after the flasher incident had me laughing so hard I was crying. You have such a talent for describing the scene and its emotions.
    Sorry to hear you've been so sick. I think the older I get, the more I resent any illness that involves vomiting. That ending up on the bathroom floor and not knowing how you got there thing sounds like an inner-ear problem. Glad you are feeling better. -Jean P.

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    1. That's how hard my friend and I were laughing....to the point of crying. Still makes me laugh.

      I've had inner-ear problems but I don't think that was apart of this episode. I was having cold chills before passing out and I remember feeling dizzy and feeling clammy. Just found out today that my cleaning girl had the same thing the week before I did. And she would have been here during her contagious stage. She ended up in the hospital.

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  14. I saw the first movie and though I thought the whole prospect was preposterous, I did like the movie. I, too, am sorry to learn that you were so sick. It is scary to be so sick and be alone. I hope you'll be staying well now. I enjoy your writing. You write things we can identify with. Nancy

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    1. That was my first experience being so sick and being so alone. I couldn't think of a single person to call for help.

      I enjoy your blog, too. Our lives are different but we have things in common as well.

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