Here I am, looking less exhausted and beaten. My scabs were flaking off and healing nicely but some of them cracked today (vigorous chewing? It happened at lunch time) and started bleeding. I’m still impressed at how quickly the body can heal, but these stitches feel like flies on my face.
I left the house early today to visit Koch 33 Collision. In early February, a work colleague’s car happened to give mine a love bite on the entrance ramp of 22– this was early on in the days of my unknown cardiac troubles when the symptoms were starting to show. I remember not because my heart had anything to do with that situation but because I joked about minor car accidents just adding more stress to my life. The estimate will cost less than $1500, hopefully the insurance companies can agree to that.
When I came home, I made myself my first cup of coffee for the day. I have slowly been changing my morning coffee habit into a morning water habit, unless my blood pressure is low, then I go ahead and make the coffee (which my occupational therapist at hand rehab thought was hysterical).
“What?” I said. “This is my first week on this medication and my blood pressure has been low when I have to take it. They don’t know what caused my a-fib, so I can’t skip the dose, but I also can’t take a beta blocker with a blood pressure of 97/56.”
Today my blood pressure was perfect so no coffee.
The neurologist’s office called and moved my appointment up a week from 4/4 to 3/30. I mentioned the report from the physical therapist should be in my chart, and that the news looked good, and that my body had adjusted to the beta blocker so my blood pressure and my blood sugar seemed to be stabilizing.
Gayle had promised me a new graphic every week I made it without a fall. Unfortunately, I was on day seven when the last fall occurred so I never earned it. But today is day eight. So I definitely made it seven days. And I display my new badge proudly.
I worked on Larry Sceurman’s short story “The Vanity Demon” for his upcoming anthology, Coffee in the Morning. I’ve reached the point in the editing schedule where I should edit one story a day to kick back to Larry for final tweaks before sending to Gayle for layout.
Speaking of stories and Larry Sceurman, Gayle, Nan and I spoke to the Apex Writers Group last night on Zoom, about 21 people attended our presentation. The participants seemed most interested in book construction, so Larry’s book, The Death of Big Butch, allowed us to show how we used text and book design to reinforce the nostalgic feel of the 1970s.
I also received my latest copy of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group newsletter, which included my first official “Podcasts for Writers” column. If you’d like to read all of it, it appears here. More of these lists will be printed and organized in my paid Substack archives.
The Teenager came home from work and we had to run some errands. Somehow, we ended up at my hand rehab appointment more than an hour early. We visited Josh Early Candies, which killed some time. But with our meager budgets we could not afford fancy chocolates.
We ended up at Grocery Outlet, but not our local store, one on the other end of the Lehigh Valley. And we hadn’t made it 20 feet into the store when I spotted Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk in juice boxes. Now this is The Teenager’s favorite milk for drinking.
She almost bought a pop-top can of artichoke hearts to eat in the car but proclaimed that would be a new low, even by her standards. I bought myself a pack of Maple Donuts because it was time for my afternoon snack, and I seem to do better if I save a carb-y item for around 2 p.m.
The Teenager then made a noise and I wasn’t sure what was wrong and she said it was sad how happy we were wandering around a discount grocery store. I lamented that it was a shame Nan could not be with us. And I didn’t know if that would be a good time to also mention that Gayle and I had exchanged emails with a ridiculous amount of excitement about customized packing tape from Sticker Mule.
Gayle had said she had to check out the template because it was something the business should do when we had more money and I quickly said that despite the fact that we recently printed a new book, this was something we obviously needed. And then she totally outdid herself on the design, so if Sticker Mule delivers a good products, it’s going to be so amazing that you will have to order books just so you can receive a package from us. I pack a good looking parcel to start with, so this will up our game.
When I showed Gayle’s proposed design to The Teenager, the Teenager also got excited and I bet her father would, too, because he did spent most of her life to date as a shipper-receiver so our whole family has an acute appreciation and enthusiasm for packing tape.
But this is taking up way to much space– The Saga of Angel and Gayle and their Polka Dot Packing Tape.
The Teenager and I sat in the parking lot eating Maple Donuts. Maple Donuts are always delicious, but they are not maple flavored. These donuts had a sell by date of March 27 and it’s only March 21 so I knew they would be melt-in-your-mouth soft. And they had cinnamon sugar. I LOVE A GOOD CINNAMON DOUGHNUT.
I ate two cinnamon. They glided down my gullet and I couldn’t help myself from also having a plain cake doughnut. I have no self-control.
The Teenager whipped out a Silk soy milk.
“Are you going to drink that warm?” I asked.
“Room temperature,” she answered. “Do you think I ever drank these cold? How do you think they came out of my lunch box?”
Hearing her reminisce about having these in her lunch box reminded me of how many times I worked hard to find sales and coupons and deals to buy them for her because I knew she loved them– and other than that she only got Juicy Juice or Adam and Eve juices because I was very strict on what I fed her and Silk in juice boxes was so expensive compared to the half gallons. And sometimes I worked hard to save money on all the other groceries so I had the $10 extra to buy her favorite milk for her lunch.
And they are delicious.
The half gallons supposedly are only sold at Dollar General these days but we still haven’t found one in our area that sells them.
Once we headed to The Institute for Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation, we had our cravings satisfied.
The Hand Report
When I arrived at therapy, they wrapped my hand in a moist heated pack for twenty minutes and it’s the best twenty minutes of my life. My therapist heard my tale of falling down the stairs and landing in the hospital in the hours after my previous visit, and he said I win for the most interesting story of the day.
Then, he proceeded to talk with me about things I could do at home to prevent future falls and make my life safer– because he is, at the end of the day, at occupational therapist. It was a great talk. It was an even better conversation because he gave me a hand massage during it.
My mobility has improved greatly, and even though it is still swollen, I can make a fist! I did several exercises there. My therapist mentioned that next time we will focus on strength, because he believes he can trust my previous experiences to make sure I follow through with a home rehab plan, he wants to be sure I have full hand strength so that I can fully grip the banister.
“Not that I’m picking on you,” he added.
I did four sets of exercises. First I picked up handfuls of these six-sided dice and dropped them all so that the six was facing up. Then I held the big ball in my hand and drew the alphabet in the air with only my hand and my wrist, not my arm. Then I squeezed the red ball. For the final exercise, I had two balls the size of a golf ball but a tad lighter. I rolled them across my fingers and then tried to reverse the order on the way back.