Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. 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. (Just remember I'm looking through my prism which may or may not be the full story.) Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Mishap Month, the Milky Water Mystery and War

 

April 5th I had an appointment card in my hand, written by a receptionist at my internist’s office that said my appointment was for 1:00 on Tuesday April 5th. It was 12:30 and I was trying to register on their stupid, self-serve check-in computer which wouldn’t let me past the screen asking if I was a walk-in or if I had an appointment. Finally, the girl whose job it is to check on the five of us trying to register, to see if she can speed things along came over to help. She says the system doesn’t show I have an appointment. Duh, I knew that much already and she asked me to step over to another computer where she verified that I’m not on the books until the next week, the 12th at 3:15.

“I didn’t make that appointment,” I said, “I haven’t made an appointment for anything after 2:00 in over 20 years. “Do you want to cancel it?” “No, I need my yearly physical in April!” Changing it would have delayed it several months to get on the books again. She offered no apology or explanation for how my appointment got screwed up. Even showing her my appointment card didn’t lay a little guilt trip at her door. I was the victim of multi-tasking, I’m sure, but she acted like I was just another old person who showed up on the wrong day. If she cared that I’d have to psych myself back up again to get half naked in front of my doctor, she didn’t show it. And that twig of a girl wouldn’t care if that late afternoon appointment adds extra bloat pounds to stand next to me on the scales. I can only hope that late time slot doesn’t also shave a few IQ points off my brain because this is the hour long physical that includes the infamous set of Medicare questions.

Meanwhile on the home front I woke up one morning, turned on the faucet in the bathroom and got completely drenched down the front of me. It wasn’t long after when I discovered that the water coming out of the tap looked like 2% milk. The rest of the day I worn my Nancy Drew Mystery Solver hat and investigated the situation. Milky water was only coming out my master bath faucets and five of my close neighbors weren’t have any issues with being reminded of Bessie the Guernsey when attempting to brush their teeth or wash their faces.

The following morning I filed a Maintenance Request and asked if they could take care of it sooner rather than later because I’ll be using bottle water in the bathroom until the water runs clear again. Two days later I got an email saying that it was "coming from the city municipal and the power booster" (that the complex added over a month ago to a building I don't live in) and the anonymous person answering the request closed it! I don’t get mad often but that dismissal ticked me off. I knew from a google search that it was probably from air or a broken aerator in the line and was safe to use and far less likely it was c-zone disinfectant the city uses but either way I shouldn’t have been blown off like that. So I marched myself down to the CEO’s office and asked him who I see about a response to a Maintenance Request that I’m not happy with. “You can tell me,” he replied. So I told him my sob story from the start to finish and he promised to call their city contact and their plumber and get back to me. 

The next morning the maintenance man I love stopped by to see my milky water, take a photo of my faucets and to try a simple fix that the plumber suggested. But it didn't work, so a new service request got written up and bumped up the ladder for the plumber to get involved. The saga continues...

All things are relative and my problems are minuscule compared what the people in Ukraine are dealing with. I haven’t written about what is going on over there because, like everyone else, I’m frustrated and angry that something like this is even happening right before our eyes. I don’t even want to call it a war because it’s actually an invasion with the occupied country forced to fight back and its going to rival the Holocaust if something isn’t done soon to stop Putin. 

But what can any of us do personally while sitting in our well-cocooned and privileged lives other than what I’ve done already which is to wring my hands and make donations to humanitarian groups working over there: The International Red Cross, The International Humane Society, The World Kitchen and Doctors Without Borders? 

I see the worry here at the CCC whenever the topic comes up which isn't often because someone always shuts it down as being too "depressing." "Can't even watch the news!" is a common refrain. Ya, I get that. I'm good at avoidance too. Then the avoidance makes me feel guilty wondering if this is the way those who sat by watching the Holocaust unfold felt at the beginning. At times like that I ask myself again and again, when is empathy not enough before we invite WWIII to our own doorsteps? Do we only care about the inhumanity and atrocities others commit when they come for us? 

On the other hand, is it more humane to sacrifice Ukraine like a virgin thrown into the eye of a volcano to save the world from Putin starting a Nuclear Winter that will kill the entire planet? He's already sent unprotected Russian soldiers into the radioactive dust in Chernobyl's Red Forest only to get sick and track it farther outside of the hot zone. Why? Why do any of the old men with power want more of it when they could retire and live happily after on a tropical island? He doesn't care about his own people, he's unpredictable and has no soul. I would hate to be one of the world leaders right now as they debate and struggle to weigh all the difficult responses to Putin.  ©

41 comments:

  1. What a pain about the hassles of "mishaps". What's happening in Ukraine is appalling but it does irritate me that we are leaping to the support of Ukrainians (nice people like us) whilst we were happy to ignore the plight of Afghans and Syrians (less like us). Hope your irritations get sorted soon, they may be minor on a world scale but they're still annoying

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    1. Thanks. My water is still milky but I was able to get back in to see the doctor.

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  2. That's really frustrating to have an appointment card to verify your appointment and have it disregarded. I've had such a card but at least mine was accepted. I've had the less than helpful receptionist, too, when there are computer check-in problems -- that manner conveying you are the problem because you're old and likely incompetent.

    As for Ukraine, this situation could be seen as "hell if you do" and "hell if you don't" in terms of how to resolve this invasion. I agree, the leaders of the world have difficult decisions to make. There's so much at stake for democracy now that such free countries have declined in number and there has been an increase of more autocracies as I've referenced. Meanwhile, the innocents are sacrificed.

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    1. I hate being treated like I'm too old to understand computers. I understand them enough to know if you don't click on 'save' after entering data that it's like the appointment was never made and that's obviously the receptionist's fault, so own up to it when there is clear proof that's what happened.

      You are so right about the war, we're damned either way no matter how much or how little we support Ukraine.

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  3. I understand what you mean about comparing our difficulties to those of the people in the path of an invasion. On the other hand, I've read innumerable articles by reputable thinkers about the fact that we don't have to compare levels of pain or suffering. Our own difficulties and problems are valid reasons for us to be unhappy about them, whilst at the same time doing what you are doing - contributing in any way we can to alleviate the sufferings of others. And, I can certainly relate to your anger at that request being closed when it wasn't actually closed at all. Recently I received an instruction to cut up my credit card because it had been cancelled. The reason for cancelling it was valid, given that I hadn't used it in a few years. But...when I was online having a written 'chat' to a person in the bank, she suddenly closed the chat! I was infuriated and had to say this mantra to myself as I made a phone call to the bank: 'Catherine, don't yell at the person who answers the phone to you. They don't know how rude their colleague has just been.' In the end it was all fine. But these things are so-o annoying and time wasteful.

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    1. NOT comparing levels of pain or suffering is hard to do and comes with a great deal of guilt at times. I guess that's called being human. We are compassionate. On the other hand it feels like it comes from a selfish place rather than a compassionate place because I want there to be peace in the world so I can live the final decade of my life thinking only about what makes me happy.

      Online chats take so long!. I love your mantra. Keeping calm and civil when someone else is rude usually works for me. it simmers them down.

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  4. There's a to unpack here! First off, what a doc office mess. That one should be reported. Someone is in charge of the office staff; they need to know how their patients are being treated. So, sticky wheel... it worked with the maintenance!

    Ukraine... every day my heart breaks a little more. I can't tell if it's being set up to be the "Hiroshima" of nuclear avoidance, which is sort of a contradiction in terms. Or what's best? I wish we (and all) would continue to send more and better, more effective weapons. Like you, I feel helpless. A friend is knitting baby blankets for Ukraine. Another blogger ordering Etsy download digital art and patterns from Ukrainian sellers. (Which actually makes some sense, but helping one, not all). I have this terrible WWII flashback of avoidance. After reading The Splendid and the Vile, I think of Churchill begging the U.S. for help and us not helping for a very long time while England was getting the crap bombed out of them because it was politically bad. I think we're doing better than that -- but when does it stop? No answers. Just deep sadness and anger.

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    1. Making blankets and ordering patterns probably makes a person feel like they are doing something in an otherwise helpless situation. My go-to is always donating to known charities. I can't believe that the Russia's actually attacked a 'Doctors Without Borders' and a 'World Kitchen' set up.

      We were gearing up our industries for war long before we entered WWII. We didn't didn't have the stock pile of war equipment, etc., back then like we do now. So much has changed since that war. Hopefully our world leaders know what they are doing and keep cool heads about them. Thank God Trump isn't in the mix.

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  5. Life sure has changed. Customer service has changed even more! I cannot believe that woman at the doctor's office was not apologetic...but wait...I can believe it. Something similar happened to me a few weeks ago. Since we moved recently, we're trying to establish new health providers. I booked a dental appointment with a dentist recommended when I first contacted them (he has more experience with crowns, bridges, etc). I got to my appointment 10 minutes early, all brushed up and flossed, and I'm told he isn't at that office. He's at their "sister office" an hour away. Then they tell me he seldom works from the office near us. Their website says he's there, though. No apology. She asked if I wanted to reschedule, but it would be a long wait. I said "No thanks." Went home, and made an appt with another dentist recommended to me. Their first appt was in August...AUGUST! Oh well, what can we do??? As for your water, I am so glad you made waves. A person is lost without reliable water, and buying bottled water can become a hassle. I keep wondering if I'm becoming more critical, or if life truly has changed. One thing for sure, what is happening in Ukraine is beyond comprehension. We need a miracle over there!

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    1. I've ran into situation just like you did, where a doctor's website said one thing about location and it was wrong. When I mentioned it to the doctor he said he hadn't been in that office in 5-6 years. If a person is going to have a website they need to keep it up.

      I only have to walk to the kitchen to get clear water but every time I do I get irritated. Then I feel guilting because in my first world country I'm not walking miles. Fortunately I had also laid in a supply of bottled water for tornado season.

      I do think many of us get more critical as we age but there are also a good many people who get more mellow as they age. I'm ot sure if life has truly changed or if we're just hearing about more stuff going on so that it feels like the world is worse.

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  6. Your water problem is one that would bug me to no end. Fix it, I'd be yelling.

    Your summation of Putin is precise: "He doesn't care about his own people, he's unpredictable and has no soul." While I'm sure that is who he is, I also wonder if at his age [almost 70] he could be suffering from some kind of dementia that has made him more aggressive. In my experience people in the early stages of Alzheimer's become meaner.

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    1. I'm betting you are right about Putin and maybe that same theory could be applied to Trump.

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  7. How about the whole city of Shanghai being locked in with no food?

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    1. Well there goes more supply-line storages globally. How scary that must be for those poor people.

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  8. I am a senior and have read that as we age we become more ourselves, i.e. cranky young people become even more cranky old people, and mellow people remain mellow. I have seen this happen. How annoying about your treatment in the doctor's office. My church helped a Ukrainian woman and her children come to our town and we found a house for them, we can all do something to help and it adds up to a lot.

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    1. Makes sense to me about aging.

      We have a church here in town who has helped a couple of Ukrainians families settle here too. I can't imagine how hard that would be.

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  9. I'm just sick and tired of people not suffering consequences for bad behaviour, period. From customer service on up to oligarchs and world "leaders," it seems that there's no meaningful deterrent or penalty anymore for wrongdoing.

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    1. There doesn't seen to be a clear path back to a place where ethics and responsibility are valued, does there.

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  10. Oh gosh! I couldn't drink it either ... until it's clear. Just had my annual Doc visit yesterday. Followed by blood work, urinalysis and a bone scan. Now he wants to see me every 6 months instead of once a year!! My BP was perfect, my weight went down. I am now just busy work????

    My gyno appt went the same way ... it was at a different office! I had even sent them snail mail explaining I want the office closest to me. And they don't apologize and just assume it's an old lady thing ....

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    1. At least you still get gyo appointments. I've aged out of them. But you've aged into the bimonthly routine. I got my blood work and urinalysis today and am waiting to the hospital to call to set up lung function tests. I've always said I'd probably die of lung cancer even though I never smoked. I lived with second hand smoke from babyhood to to 60s.

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  11. The internet has changed everything. Everything. It's made us far more aware of what's going on in the rest of the world (unless Instagram and the Kardashian klan are your major news sources) and contributed to individual and social anxiety in ways we've never seen before and don't know how to manage - aside from avoiding computers and TV. Our values have become skewed; instead of learning about other cultures, we've become more tribal and selfish.

    I can't believe Putin thought he could do this and get away with it, and I'm hoping it ends his reign, but it's going to take time without risking nuclear bombs being deployed, and he can do so much more damage until backlash from his own actions undoes him. If it does.

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    1. You've got a good overview of what is going on, in my opinion in both paragraphs.

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  12. I don't like afternoon appointments and would have been royally pissed if my appointment got screwed up.

    I really feel for those affected my war and know I am lucky to live in the lucky country called Australia

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    1. I was ticked off but the point was booked 6 months ago and there is no way to know which office staff screwed it up because there are so many of them. One word of apology would have gone a long way to making me feel better, though.

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  13. In the past couple of years I've started getting a text confirmation of my appointments as they are set up so that they can go right into my preferred online calendar as well as reminders that I have an upcoming appointment. I'm comfortable using my phone, but if Drs offices are counting on that as their due diligence, that sure leaves a lot of people out of the loop. It also is yet another separation of staff and client leading to more customer service issues. I've just come from a visit with a new Dr so this definitely rang a bell with me.

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    1. I've been getting text messages from my hair dresser and some doctors for 1=-2 years but I always insist on a written card, too. When I didn't get a text for that appointment it crossed my mind to call and confirm but then I thought I probably hadn't signed up for the texts with that doctor and I had that paper card so I didn't. Lesson learned there.

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  14. Some good points here, mainly people not being held accountable for just about anything. From rudeness in customer service, companies and red tape that do shoddy work and invasions and atrocities. It’s all a real mess. I keep up with the news and such, but it is to the point for me, that it feels never ending and all the lies and mis information. I’m glad I’m old and try to look at the big big picture, that history cycles and if we’re not careful, climate change will make all of this a moot point…
    And I donated to two charities as well, one being World Kitchen..

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    1. I'm also glad that I'm at the end of my life and not the beginning. My generation has had some tough times---the Vietnam War for one---but all and all we've had it pretty easy.

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  15. I've had a maintenance ticket closed without telling me too. It wasn't anything important like your water, I just wanted a sliding screen door on my patio. Apparently, they don't provide them anymore but no one notified me, just closed the ticket. Finally, I went to the office and they told me. I get a notification when they have repaired something but I don't need to be notified then. LOL. I was there for the repair. Oh well, but you own your unit so it should be different for you.

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    1. Our two maintenance men are really great but one was on vacation when I put in my work request and apparently one of the office girls took it upon herself to close my ticket and gave me the reply based on what someone the previous month experienced when the pressure booster was put in the other building. Totally different situation.

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  16. Dear Jean, first, this thing about what we can do. You are doing it. I've always heard from those wiser than I, that we take the first step on the 1,000 mile journey. that's how it begins. Or, when overwhelmed by the enormity of a situation, we do one thing. Just one and the energy from that travels around the world.

    Secondly, please be gracious to yourself with regard to the annoying things happening in your life--the daily things that now make up your life....and mine as well. Our lives count and when we are stressed, we do not send out to others the vibrant energy of wholeness. So take care of yourself and don't consider that being selfish in any way.

    As to Putin . . . and Trump as well, they may be demented; they may be hard-hearted and self-interested and greedy, all those things and all we can do in our part of the world is to contribute to causes as you have done and to try to send vibes out into the world that bring peace to others and help them be the essence of what peace is and can be. I hope this doesn't sound like preaching. It's what I've come to as I've dealt with my own questions--and I think those questions have been asked by all throughout the ages. Peace, ever and always, as you go to the deep center of yourself and find wholeness.

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    1. Thank you for your wise word, Dee. And no you don't sound 'preachy' at all. We all need reminding from time to time that we need to bring peace within ourselves and then send them out to the world and hope the Butterfly Effect carries our vibe far and wide.

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  17. It may have been multitasking that got you 'off the books,' but it could have been a computer snafu, as well. My pleasure this week was sorting out my electricity company's sudden asssertion that I couldn't log on to my account because I no longer have an account with them. Never mind that my lights still were on, and I'd just received my weekly usage email. I was lucky with this incident. I got a customer service rep who was smart enough to say, "There's no way I can figure this out, because I show your account is active. Try waiting 24 hours to see if the IT department gets is straightened out." They did!

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    1. When I have issues online I've found the wait overnight thing does solve a lot of problems. Glad you got your lights still on!

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  18. Dear Jean, first, this thing about what we can do. You are doing it. I've always heard from those wiser than I, that we take the first step on the 1,000 mile journey. that's how it begins. Or, when overwhelmed by the enormity of a situation, we do one thing. Just one and the energy from that travels around the world.

    Secondly, please be gracious to yourself with regard to the annoying things happening in your life--the daily things that now make up your life....and mine as well. Our lives count and when we are stressed, we do not send out to others the vibrant energy of wholeness. So take care of yourself and don't consider that being selfish in any way.

    As to Putin . . . and Trump as well, they may be demented; they may be hard-hearted and self-interested and greedy, all those things and all we can do in our part of the world is to contribute to causes as you have done and to try to send vibes out into the world that bring peace to others and help them be the essence of what peace is and can be. I hope this doesn't sound like preaching. It's what I've come to as I've dealt with my own questions--and I think those questions have been asked by all throughout the ages. Peace, ever and always, as you go to the deep center of yourself where the wholeness of being dwells.

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    1. I replied to your first post up above. I went ahead and moderated this duplicate through so you'll know you didn't make a mistake posting it. (It's really easy to miss that notice Bloggers puts out when a post is waiting for the blog owner to read it and approve it to go public.) I get some nasty spam from time to time thus I use the moderate function.

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  19. I hope your milky water gets fixed soon, I don't like when my Water doesn't look right. Before we bought the new expensive Water softener, this Water here had gelatinous stuff floating in it which freaked me out and was killing off our Tropical Fish. Now the Water is fine, but I have mo idea what that jelly clear stuff was and there was no way I wanted to use it for anything! As for Madmen like Putin, Trump and every Banana Republic Dictator on the Planet, all the Money and Power in the World is never enough for them to just quit wanting MORE of both... Power corrupts and absolute Power absolutely corrupts. Plus, they're at end of Life so do they really Care if they took everyone on the Planet with them to an earlier demise, I think not, they had too long a run for any Evil Human to enjoy IMO. It frustrates me when Good people die prematurely and Evil ones live to be very Old.

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    1. My bathroom water is still milky looking after they tried a few things to resolve it. Ticks me off to no end but I found someone else here with the same problem. The more I find the more likely we can get some real action.

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