Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

And Then I Met Danny

It's dark and a bit warmer this morning. The first rainstorm of the season is due on Friday. The Fall season definitely is here. Within the hour, Michael and I will take an hour walk and enjoy our time together. Then, after a quick run to Safeway, I am going to the ILD Support Group in the city. In tomorrow's blog, I will have all the latest information on the new drug trials. Later this evening, there is a rehearsal with the Irish Fiddling group. A long day ahead.

Mom had the surgery on her eye but it took so much longer than we had anticipated. After we checked in and had her eyes checked, she was given drops in her one eye to shrink her pupil so the laser could get in the eye easier. What we didn't know is that it takes an hour for the drops to fully shrink the pupil. An hour. I had an appointment with my eye doctor at noon about 20-minutes north of mom's apartment. It became very stressful.

Finally, mom had the treatment to help relieve the pressure in her eye, which she said was very painful. It took time to make the follow-up appointment, it took more time to get to the car, traffic was stopped on the freeway, we needed to pickup a prescription for her eye, the line at Walgreen's was long, we finally got to mom's house, I hopped into my car and took off. I arrived to the appointment with very little gas left in my tank (I was going to get gas on the way) and I was hungry. Really hungry.

I finally gave up my contact lenses that had one for distance and one for reading. Last year, the distance was never clear and it bugged me all year. After being fit last week, it still was not going to be crisp and clear so I made a decision. Yesterday, I asked the doctor to fit me for distance only and I would have to use readers. What a pain but, it is worth being able to see everything clearly again. As it was a holiday, I knew the pass would be packed with tourists so I headed home from the North. I limped into a gas station then grabbed a quick bit to eat in the car on the way to CVS to buy readers. That is where I met Danny.

I was making copies of some photos for mom when the photo machine broke and she tried to fix it. We got talking. She was 25-years old and recently moved to our town from the valley. Her town was gang-ridden, she was highly involved in all the bad stuff until three teachers in high school intervened. She was in the marching band and found that the friends she made there replaced the gang. One teacher took her aside after something she had done and pointed out to her that she was a leader but needed to learn how to lead. She loved to read and that was clear by her vocabulary. She was going to the local community college full time and working full time. She was very impressive. She is going places.

I briefly told her about Michael being raised in the projects and how he got out. Both she and he were considered the black sheep of their families and both felt they had to leave to escape. I asked why gangs are so successful? She said that the parents are usually hard-working people with one or two jobs each, the older children are in charge of the younger ones and no one is there to provide structure or lessons for the kids. No family dinners. No family conversations. Everyone is exhausted. Interesting.

The other workers called for her help and we had to quickly separate. I hope I see her again. I wanted to put my arms around her and have all the good things in my life flow into hers. It would be interesting to see where she is in five years. She made my day.

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