My debit card and the turkey baster

Starbucks Ueno

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Last August was, well, life-changing like I’ve never experienced.  One change included having my license revoked. I thought I had experienced enough bias and presumptuousness of my own to not to judge others. Uhh, wrong. A license being revoked is not reserved for those of a certain age demographic.

I immediately took this new,  albeit unrequested, change in my life to be temporary. Temporary as in:

  • What was anyone thinking? Does everybody think I don’t need to go anywhere (It is several miles just to the nearest grocery store or pharmacy)
  • This won’t last long. A jail sentence of a few weeks, maybe a month at most.
  • I’m not doing this badly. I know far worse drivers. Go pick on somebody else.
  • What is the master plan for getting my Starbucks Chai Tea Latte, skinny? please? Venti, please.

I discussed the topic almost nonchalantly with my husband one night as we went to bed. A simple, ‘I don’t think I’m getting better. This is beginning to feel permanent.’ My husband said just as easily, ‘I think so. You are probably right.’ We have deeper conversations; this was not one of them.

This has complicated our lives more than anything since my diagnosis. My husband travels overnight at times. Our nearest family member lives six hours away. Our son, the only other option, has been in college full-time. I soon almost relished a non-stop trek to doctors’ offices because it was freedom away from the house. Almost. I’m not crazy!

One recent weekend. our son’s girlfriend was in town for a visit. We live in the Midwest, she is from Southern California. She pointed to a large item in the sky, puzzled by its purpose. Finally she confessed she had no idea what this monstrosity was, and asked why there was something that looked like the world’s largest turkey baster planted right in the middle of our towns and cities. The turkey baster. . . was a water tower. We all laughed, both at her description of a water tower and how different the various regions of the U.S. can be. She hadn’t seen one in so long, she had no memory of their existence.

Today was so typical: my husband left at 6 a.m. I had forgotten I needed a refill on  one of my inhalers for my asthma, and had exactly one dose left. Breathing is always optimal for good health, so I had created a temporary crisis. I was in luck ~ my son was able to take me to the store. I seized this good fortune! He could take me anywhere I wanted to go. My mind raced with ideas. First things first, though. Prescriptions to be refilled, and a Big Red to drink. I was having a fantastic day from a physical point-of-view, so I was able to go inside to shop for a change. Soon we were buying brownie mix, Cheez-Its, orange juice, and more. I was unleashed and the grocery store was my personal Disney World!

By the time I had finished paying for my medication and about five grocery items, the checkbook was decreased by $130. I decided not to mention the possibility of eating out, as I was thankful for the provision for the necessities and our treats.

I approached the pharmacy, where everybody knows my name.  However, my husband does these errands on his way home. As I prepared to pay for my purchases, I realized I had no idea how to use my debit card at a store counter. I had not been out ‘solo’, paying at a store in so long that I forgot how to use their machine. I didn’t remember all the steps involved. They even had to remind me to sign my name. I was so excited to be out on such an adventure, it just humored me.

We came home and I enjoyed my Big Red soda like I was eating caviar.

It is amazing how much can be taken for granted, assumed. I thought everyone knew what a water tower looked like. I think most people know how to use a debit card machine.

I am so thankful for these opportunities. I appreciate things so much more now. I have realized how much I needed to be entertained constantly ~ this is now virtually gone. When I do purchase a splurge item, it is like a gem to me. This isn’t the life I would have chosen, but I wouldn’t change the lessons I continue to learn for anything. They can’t be taught in a book.


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2 thoughts on “My debit card and the turkey baster

  1. mnickles7 May 11, 2011 at 9:32 am Reply

    Keep on fighting and relying on God for strength. As you read in my Blog, my mom had MS. She struggled from her early 20s until her passing at age 55. I was diagnosed at age 23, the day before my wedding. I am now 37 and still very active. I go in June to a Rheumatologist, they will also be testing for Lupus. But with God, ALL things are possible! He is my healer and my strength.


    • Overcoming Illness With Joy May 11, 2011 at 10:24 am Reply

      Thanks for the encouragement! You are so right about where our source of strength comes from. I did not know you were diagnosed at age 23 – I am encouraged by you as well! I pray the tests for the lupus come out negative. 🙂


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