Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Friends and Time

I have a friend coming to town I haven't seen in over thirty years. She was, along with Z (a mere girl, like me) my first grown-up female friend. I met her in the Huddle Room at the University of Utah. She has been a Professor/Tutor at St Johns University, Santa Fe campus, and is now retired. She's coming to town for a high school reunion and I get to spend Friday afternoon with her. So I'll be cleaning house and cooking up a storm.

I have raided the large garden next door; I gathered loads of fresh organic eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, parsley, and basil. The bag of purloined vegetables had to weight at least fifteen pounds. Yesterday, after my doctor appointment (I am still clotted just right) I stopped at a fruit stand and bought a Utah watermelon, two cantaloupes and five peaches. I have enough food for a small army, but I just want to feed these two very important women a lovely lunch. I'll fix a very fresh eggplant parmigiana, a fresh chilled melon plate, and fresh peach cobbler for dessert. My bar is well stocked and there is beer in the fridge. I have soft drinks and two varieties of iced tea. I could fix a great iced coffee. And last but not least, I have a HUGE bouquet of late summer flowers. I think I've got all the bases covered.

It cooled off for a few days last week, but it's very hot again now. Our days are in the 90s; our nights in the high 60s. It's too hot to do a lot of cooking in the middle of the day, so I'll probably get up very early Friday morning to cook the peach cobbler. I will make the tomato sauce this evening. Then while the cobbler is in the over Friday morning, I'll cook the eggplant and assemble the eggplant parmigiana. Once the cobbler comes out of the oven, I'll slip the eggplant dish in the oven for about a half hour--long enough to melt and lightly brown the cheeses. Then a quick shower for me, and I'll be ready. Even if neither of them feels like eating, it won't be wasted effort. My friend Tracy and I shared the last fresh eggplant parmigiana I made. She's ready for another such treat, and her husband, who didn't even get a taste of it last time, is planning on leftovers this time.

I am frantic to get my house clean, but things just keep popping up that can't be ignored. Am I making excuses? Probably. I used to go to group therapy where one of the women in the group always talked about getting up and vacuuming and mopping all the rooms in her house, cleaning all the bathrooms and doing laundry EVERY DAY! I thought she was especially crazy.

I'm a once a week sort of cleaning lady. I change the bed, clean the bathroom, vacuum and dust and call it good. Then another day I do laundry and think I've done a good days work. I try to keep things neat, but I hate vacuuming and mopping floors. I just don't ever plan on eating off my floor. I would like to get all the windows clean, but that's optionaly given time constraints.

For some odd reason I seem to be very popular the last little while. Phillip is coming back for another pit stop on his way back to San Francisco, and Larry, my boyfriend when I was twelve, is also coming to town for the reunion. It's a hive of activity here, and drastically cutting into my blog reading time. I've become an addicted tweeter too. I need a little cooling off time there.

Z is having a very rough time of it right now. She has radiation burns on her chest and back. She's allergic to sulfa drugs and when they treated her burns they didn't check her chart and put sulfa/antibiotics in a salve on the burns. She had a very bad reaction: high fever, chills and shaking, and extreme pain. All of this makes her dislike of western medicine more intense. She hates them all. It was a nurse who dressed her burns with the sulfa drug and didn't check her chart for allergies. Every interaction with a medical professional turns into another trauma. She is going to take a radiation break this week. She still has two weeks to go on radiation, but just can't take it anymore. I'm not sure she's going to feel well enough to get together. I'll just have to clean house with my fingers crossed.

20 comments:

Mauigirl said...

Hope the get-together with your friend goes well. You sound like a lovely hostess! All those wonderful veggies!

So sorry Z had such a bad experience with the radiation and the salve. In my recent experiences with my mother and aunt I saw how easy mistakes could be made. Why is it they always ask the patient what medications they're on when they should have the records? My mom is 90 and my aunt is 88 - what if their memory isn't good enough to know what dosage of whatever it is they're on? And why is it the doctors don't look at their records to see the answers to questions they ask us? (Example: Remind me why you were in the hospital? When did you get out?"). Sheesh. No wonder mistakes happen.

La Belette Rouge said...

I want to come to your party!!! You seem to have the most wonderful and interesting friends which says a whole lot about you.

That is awful news about Z's experience. I continue to keep you both in my thoughts.

Hugs and love.
xoxo

Gail said...

Hi Utah-

I love eggplant parmesain as I have said. Your lunch sounds so yummy. I wince in agony for Z's experience. Damn-it. I will continue t pray.

Love and hope
Gail
peace.....

Steve said...

if there is any beer let me know and i can come up and take care of that for ya!

hope your time with your friends is good and as always my best to Z

Stella by Starlight said...

Peggy, I already know you and Z will have lovely visit. Your kindness will help Z get better. People with cancer need as much positivity as they can get. I can't believe they gave sulfa to someone allergic to the drug. Her break from radiation will do her good. I am so sorry she had to endure that agony.

Although I understand one's antipathy towards Western medicine—I credit the doctors who saved my life. However, most of them were aware of Eastern practices and recommended treatments such as accupuncture, accupressure, and vitamin therapy. I hope Z can find a practitioner who's aware of alternative treatments.

Mauigirl, your comment is absolutely on target. I force my doctors to tell me everything, insist on seeing all procedures in process, and knowing the side effects of every drug I'm prescribed. I'm on a 10-year clinical trial that will end in 1-1/2 years. My original oncologist was wonderful. Now, I deal with the head of the study, who is utterly condescending and patronizing. I can't help wondering whether male doctors are dismissive of female patients. Ya think?

I'm convinced that cancer patients suffer from chemo brain, a condition not yet been fully researched, which may cause forgetfulness and confusion. I cannot imagine the challenges your mother and aunt experience with medication. I am sometimes paralyzed with confusion about all I need to know regarding my medication.

Your comment is dead on: ...why is it the doctors don't look at their records to see the answers to questions they ask us? (Example: Remind me why you were in the hospital? When did you get out?"). Sheesh. No wonder mistakes happen. Yes, no wonder.

thelass said...

I want to come to your house for lunch.

Fran said...

You were making this all sound SO good, I was about ready to drive to Utah to join the feast!

A tidy house is the sign of a bored person....
dust happens is my philosophy.... maybe I'll add clutter too. Yep-- dust & clutter happen. According to my lengthy studies-- dust & clutter will wait as long as it takes till you get around to them.

So sorry Z is having a rough time.
I think what happens is they see so many warning stickers on medical charts, they become oblivious to them?

My Mom is on coumadin (sp?), and a few times they were going to do invasive things ( dental surgery)....
and our family had to ask/remind them about getting her off the med so she does not bleed out.

Jeez!

Utah Savage said...

It would be so lovely to have all of you over for lunch. Phillip is driving in tonight and I'm baking him chocolate chip cookies. I'd have been a hell of a mom.

I so appreciate the good wishes you send Zs way. She needs all the good vibes she can get. This is rough going.

Fran, I totally agree with you about dust and clutter. The do happen, don't they.

I need dental work that will require an oral surgeon. I dread it. And certainly will have to back off the blood thinner.

I had planned to clean all afternoon and evening. But I had girlfriends in need of my computer, beer stocked fridge, and my charming company. That last bit was dripping with sarcasm in case anybody missed it.

anita said...

yes, those radiation burns are extremely unpleasant and often downright painful. when things heal up a bit, you might recommend aloe for Z (the pure form of aloe, not mixed with any other chemicals or scents). my radiation oncologist had me use that rather than some of the other petroleum-based products (such as aquafor) for healing the burns.

just my two cents.

stay strong.

MRMacrum said...

Being busy keeps the brain sane. Or at the least, keeps it from noticing it ain't.

Nan said...

Sorry to hear Z had another bad experience.

But in defense of the clinicians I'll suggest they ask what seem to be stupid questions because they don't know what else to say, and they know they're supposed to actually talk to the patients -- but they're also supposed to be looking at the charts first because it kind of goes without saying that if you're a patient you might not be thinking too clearly so any answers you give can't be trusted. And female clinicians can be every bit as arrogant and condescending as their male counterparts -- men don't have a monopoly on being jerks. The absolute worst doctors I've ever dealt with have been female.

I don't trust people whose houses are too clean. Excessive tidiness is unnatural.

Comrade Kevin said...

I love fresh vegetables. I wish I had room here for a garden like you do.

It's impossible to get fresh black eyed peas and silver queen corn in DC and that's something I always miss when I'm up there.

Randal Graves said...

Do Utah watermelons wear magical underpants?

Utah Savage said...

Funny you should ask Randal, Yes, Utah watermelons do were magical underpants. It's the law in Utah.

Amos said...

LOL Gotta love Randall

Stella by Starlight said...

Bye...

Beach Bum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beach Bum said...

It's a hive of activity here, and drastically cutting into my blog reading time.

I know the feeling. The semi-constant video game party has at last ended but what has taken its place is five teenagers hopelessly trying to figure out the meanings of "Animal Farm" and "The Old Man and the Sea". Both are part of their summer reading project for school. As I sit at my desk reading blogs I am actually having fun watching them squirm in a literary fashion.

Utah Savage said...

Stella, don't go...

Hey Beach, that is great news. Actually reading good books. I hope they get into those books.

The Peach Tart said...

Utah enjoy all your old friends and don't fret too much about cleaning. I'm sure they would rather spend time with you and aren't going to be inspecting your house.