Quite a lot has happened since I last wrote. I ought to get back into the habit. I do much better when I am being introspective instead of paying all sorts of attention to what the world thinks. It discomforts me and annoys me. We live in interesting times, and they are often frustrating. Today is payday though, which is always nice. I've taken to quietly buying a handful of silver ounces when I get paid. I'd say that it is about time. It pleases me no end to think that every ounce of precious metal I buy is one that cannot easily be tracked, envied, or confiscated by political jackals, and I will not surrender it to another looter like FDR if the bastards demand it. The times are indeed troublesome when a simple act of prudent self-protection is practically an act of revolution. As best as I can, I am withdrawing my sanction on this fool's errand called government. I've been carrying around one of my coins, a Canadian Maple Leaf ounce. The shine and heft of it, the feel of it in my fingers, is hard to describe. There is something satisfying to hold the pure distilled essence of some of the wealth one has produced as a physical thing in one's hands. This is real money, not that fake scrip used by jackals to steal from everyone.
On Friday, February 22, last month, one day after my last entry, in fact, Shannon fell ill with a case of pneumonia. She started having intense pain in her sides and back. It got so bad that she decided to go to an urgent care provider and get checked. The urgent care provider gave her an X-ray and decided that they couldn't find a problem. They speculated that it may be a case of costochondritis and gave her some painkillers. They told her to be careful and watch for any other symptoms that might develop. Later that evening, she started running a fever, and the pain came back, so her mother and sister advised her to go to the emergency room. I got a call from Jackie saying that Shannon wanted me there. Having a sister there was good but she really wanted a parent present with her. That was at 10 PM. It took me about two hours to get there.
They were running all sorts of tests on her, trying to find out what was going wrong. She had a fever, she vomited earlier before going to the ER, and she had the back pain. She thought it might be some weird manifestation of a kidney infection, such as she had had twelve years previously. I think the ER doctor wanted to run with that possibility because he did a bunch of tests on urine and blood. The tests didn't point to any kind of kidney or bladder infection but her white blood cell count was about twice the normal level and her blood pressure was pretty low and her heart rate was elevated. When I got there, the monitors to which she was hooked up said that her blood pressure was 92/47 and her heart rate was around 130. As the night progressed, her heart rate went down and then back up over a range of about 15 beats per min, never dropping below 109 and her blood pressure kept going down, hitting 84/46 at its lowest. They were pumping fluids into her intravenously all evening. I speculate that it was an attempt to raise her blood pressure by raising the fluid volume — sort of the opposite therapy applied to hypertensives to whom they give diuretics. That's speculation though.
Around 3 or 4 AM a new doctor came on the floor and began looking over the tests. She told Shannon that something was going on with an infection but that they couldn't find out where. She recommended a CT scan. I advised Shannon to tell the doctor to go ahead. Apparently, there is a risk to women of fertile years, but the doctor felt that the exposure to the CT scan was a smaller risk than proceeding not knowing what a CT could tell them about what was happening. After they did the CT scan and the Shannon was brought back to the room and the doctor had looked at the results, I noticed a marked change in the doctor's demeanor. She sounded much more confident and upbeat than she had before the CT, and I realized that before the CT, Shannon's condition was really starting to worry her. It wasn't immediately obvious to me. The doctor had a good sense of professionalism and seemed very personable. It was only in comparing her aspect before and after she knew what was wrong that the contrast made her concern apparent. At any rate, the doctor said that the CT clearly revealed pneumonia in her left lung. The doctor had another bag of antibiotics dripped into her and her heart rate started coming down and her blood pressure started coming up. When they reached a decent level, they kept her for observation a couple more hours and then released her around 7 AM with a prescription for a five-day course of antibiotics.
Last week, I had an insurance consultant for the landlady visit. Vanessa is changing insurance companies and they new company with which she intends to deal wanted some pictures and measurements. Needless to say, that required that I put the house a little more in "company order" first. I had to replace the kitchen faucet, which broke when I had pulled a bit too hard on the sprayer and the hose had gotten tangled around the shut-off valve down in the lower cabinet, below the sink. It was the kind with the sprayer integrated into the faucet itself and I sort of "dis-integrated" it when I tugged on it too hard. I replaced the faucet with another that also had the faucet and sprayer integrated but this model is a bit better. I also bought a new vacuum cleaner. I mopped the kitchen and both bathrooms and cleaned all of the fixtures, including the tub and shower. On the whole, the place is starting to look a lot nicer and I'm inclined to pursue this improvement project. I think the kitchen refrigerator should be next, so I can retire the one in the garage that is presently holding my perishables.
For the past three days, I haven't eaten breakfast at my usual haunt. Unfortunately, Ronald McDonald, The Clown, has betrayed me and at least two of the nearby restaurants have discontinued the sausage McSkillet Burrito of which I have been quite fond these last couple of years. I'm disappointed. I'm wondering what brought about this decision all of a sudden. Perhaps something in this perverse stilted economy has rendered serving this product less profitable lately. I don't know.
I'm toying with the idea of writing to a lady on OkStupid again, as if that weren't a perennial issue for me. I really am having trouble deciding if I want a relationship in my life again. Make no mistake, love is wonderful. It's thrilling and intoxicating at first, and that mellows into something beautiful and soul-satisfying, when it works. I've felt that. I wouldn't mind having that again. In fact, I'd love it. On the other hand, I am just too content in my solitude and I am leery of the complications and mess that relationships can bring. Who knows? Perhaps I am not really suited for partnering up with a mate. I know what I don't want. I don't want to be some woman's problem. That's corrosive to one's self-esteem and taxing to one's serenity and patience. I worry about ending up with someone who comes to decide that I'm just not "good enough," or perhaps finds me "unworkable" again. When my marriage fell apart, that was crazy-making enough for one life, in my humble opinion. I'd like to not go through that again, if there's any way to avoid it.
I have a particular person in mind, over on OkStupid. I find her profile very interesting. She seems quite self-actualized, which is very attractive. She writes well. There are definite indications of intelligence, creativity, and sensitivity. Those are really strong lures for my interest. On the other hand, she might be the type of ambitious and driven that just wouldn't work with me. Presuming we even got off the ground I wonder if she is not the type who would become "disappointed" with me and try to "fix me up." That wouldn't work. On the other hand, I have come to realize that I should also definitely stay away from women that I am inclined to "fix up" or "rescue." That doesn't work, either. I am not a white knight and not all rescued damsels, however worthy, nice, or sweet, are princesses. If I'm going to be partnered with someone, I want it to be with a woman whom I feel can stand on her own without my help — someone with whom the give-and-take of a relationship feels like rough parity, most of the time. Maybe the range between those two types is too narrow for me to find someone there. Maybe I'm better off by myself. I don't know. Perhaps I will write to this person later this evening and see if she'd like to meet for a cup of coffee. I've got some thinking to do about this.