Thursday, May 16, 2013


Since my A-Fib ablation, I still seem to have a social life of medical appointments. It has been 8 months and I still am in sinus rhythm. However, the heart, a living, breathing, self-regulated pump, is an intricate organ.

In fact, I have been even more awed by my Creator's Mind, in my experience with my now aging pump. The human pump has similar functions to a man-created pump. It has valves, mechanism for operating power, etc. I don't profess to understand all the mechanical operations of either pump.

But I digress; I am still in a healing process. Recently I wore an heart event monitor, which is a portable EKG, for a month, to see if the ablation was a success and what else may need attention, as I had a high heart rate (pulse).

The result was the ablation for A-Fib was still successful (perfect sinus rhythm) but I was left with another anomaly known as paroxysmal supra ventricular tachycardia [PSVT].
This anomaly is portrayed in old comedies where  upset elderly characters have 'palpitations.'

PSVT not considered dangerous, but will wear the heart out if persistent. Treatment is using a drug class usually contraindicated for asthma patients (me) known as beta blockers. However, since my retirement, newer drugs in this class have been developed which selectively target only heart, not lung beta receptors, at least somewhat better than the older drugs.

Later if drug therapy is not successful, an electrophysiology  study (EPS) may be done, where areas may be ablated. I think another name is heart catherization study. All the 'electrical' intricacies which are so finely coordinated in a well-functioning heart are examined.

One welcome result of the month-long annoyance of the heart event monitor--no more blood thinners.

Please excuse the technical stuff.

This week we are trying out the smallest dose of a selective beta blocker drug--brand name, Toprol-XL.

All of this medical social life has really inhibited how I had orginally imagine life would be if I could get the A-Fib fixed.   Further I expected to be able to return to my old routines and not tire. Hmmm....I forgot that was at least 3 years ago--I am 3 years older.

I had envisioned being able to enjoy fishing without worry and frustration of all the chores I left undone-NOT! My community and church volunteerism have become more chore than enjoyable, something I really regret and simply must resolve.

My camera has largely been abandoned although I have photos of recent hens and chicks. My plants have lots of peeps. I find it humorous the plants name has no rooster--guess you can say it is built-in.

Somewhere I personally have to find a balance within which I am comfortable.

The last chapter in the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes is an allegorical description of aging. I think I remember the chapter golden years there.

What happened to the GOLDEN YEARS? I supposed the phase depicts our conception of not having to work for income daily. Unfortunately even this may not be the case for the generations following me.

I  wish to give a shout to a post by Arkansas Patti entitled RERUN. I hope she archives her many posts for her family. This post so relates to many of my generation in the South even as far as Texas where I grew up in multi-racial culture, including what AP describes in this blog.

We had more Latinos that African Americans. We called them Mexicans which I always interpreted as a person from Mexico, but that has become political incorrect, too. One Latino was in my circle of friends.

In first grade --time frame WWII-- my best friend was a little girl--white--but GERMAN. I was appalled the names my classmates called her, to the point I remember in tears telling my Mother, who urged me to continue my friendship.

Texas has its own ugly racial and cultural history.

Oh yes, there is many types of discrimination and hatred. Some is popping up on the political landscape. That is why I refuse to participate in any discussions along these lines. In fact I do not declare a party to get my absentee ballots mailed to me automatically. I just don't vote in primaries.

My aged near 77 year old memory may fail me, but I believe I declared a party only once in my life and regretted that. My voting is private and may favor one flavor, but I have voted for candidates in both major parties, and once in awhile a lessor party.

By the way how many of you are having problems composing or posting with Internet Explorer 10? Or your posts look crazy in anything but Google Chrome? Even in Google Chrome, if I use large photos, the text overlaps the photos. These problems are only one excuse for my lapse in posting. I cannot solve them and dislike a post that appears to have layout problems. I make enough typing errors.

Well back to the medical/social routines.

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Shenandoah Park Overlook at Point on Appalachian Trail;
Post to Left is a Trail marker, crude steps and trail seen
near it. The Overlook is toward the Shenandoah Valley.

[This photo is SOOC, straight out of camera.]
or is it 'pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall'? [Proverbs 16:18] which we often misquote 'pride goes before a fall'? I certainly hope not the second application; certainly this post's title is part of a parable where unwise and careless choice of a building site resulted in sad great collapse.

However, at least one of these Biblical quotes might apply to the above photo, taken on the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park, a drive we took after attending the U.S.S. Henley reunion in Plattsburgh, NY en route to husband's sister in  Aberdeen, NC.

After the reunion of the USS Henley in Plattsburgh NY, one of a number of ships to which Husband (H) was assigned, I chose the Skyline Drive as alternative to Niagara Falls debacle, which allowed us to briefly visit H's family, more or less en route home.

It is a beautiful 100-mile photogenic drive connecting to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The leaves were not turning, but there were stunning overlooks of the Shenandoah Valley, as above photo and the Virginia Piedmont on the opposite side of the road.

Sometimes I become too involved in my photographic endeavors, to get just the right shot. Here I wanted to be sure I had a part of the Appalachian Trail as well as the vista. The many overlooks have paved sidewalk and curbing as well as railing.  

When I am involved in composing, I am completely unaware of my well-being. Having 10 year old artificial knees, backing up while looking forward is a no-no.  I know it, but as I said I become too absorbed in the process. H was just about to yell, 'watch where you are,' when one step backward sent me tumbling to the pavement. backward.

Momentarily stunned, I surmised nothing broken, but getting upright with artificial knees requires assistance. We carry a sturdy folding chair with us. H had to dig it out from our heavily packed pickup and hold it just right for me. Usually, a garden pad beneath one knee is helpful but we forgot that item. 
With his steady hold on the chair, I painfully regained an upright vertical position.

During this period, a very nice biker and sister stopped to assist us. We talked a long time as he, too, was a veteran. It was a delightful interlude, despite its beginning. A veteran will help a veteran, no matter what branch of service; it so happened both biker and H were Navy guys.

We each continued on our separate ways. On arrival at  H's sister, she quickly found a out-patient free-standing clinic in a shopping clinic with X-ray facilities to determine if painful shoulder bones were intact. They were just severely bruised as was one boob upon which my Nikon camera plopped undamaged. A mild pain medication made the remainder of trip manageable. Bruising was excessive due to my taking blood thinners.

I commend the excellent day clinic which accepted a stranger's insurances without question and provided very rapid care just before closing for the day.

And the interlude with the biker was a pleasant addition to the otherwise unpleasant fall. Since they saw our dilemma and turned around to return and check on us--just shows how there are still good Samaritans  among us, but we never read about them. You never know when you will meet angels unaware, and hopefully I have an opportunity somewhere, sometime to return the favor.

Friday, April 05, 2013


Anytime I have an appointment with my nurse practitioner who serves as my primary care provider, I leave uplifted.

She explains things that are bothering me like my balance has lost its way. With no whit of notice one leg may cross the other while walking or if I step backward, there is a scary redundancy of backward steps...or a sway from wall to wall. These are usually momentary instances with no feeling of lightheadedness....just happens.

It seems the method in which heart medications work with the heart, leaves other body organs and functions with less functionality. I know from reading many drug interactions, functions and purposes, this is a complicated, intertwined near inexplicable process.

Bagpiper-Plattsburg NY, USS Henley
Memorial Service - Played Amazing

 Grace [I have posted before; it is
SOOC-straight of camera]
But the bottom line is I have to deal with the bad side of every drug or procedure that is making my heart and life improved....more or less deal with it, but she says it in a smiling manner. That includes the %$!@^&* heart event monitor--I have 1.5 weeks to go.

After I heard what my half-sister in Texas pays for a housekeeper for 1/2 day's work, (nearly 60% more than I do), I smiled with great appreciation for mine.

We changed vacation to Texas to late October on advice of family as heat is much less. The bluebonnets are not spectacular this year due to 2 years of drought; so October is just as good for me.

Grand Canyon is postponed until a later date; 1700 mi one way is too much driving for H to see only 2 points of interest, although I know they both are breathtaking.

Husband has prerogative of any other trips. He is the driver. I think he may be thinking of Canada, but it is entirely his choice. I don't want him to miss the fishing season here and his summer church buddy has just arrived in our area.

He finally made appointments for Passports next Tuesday. You may remember posts before we traveled to Plattsburgh NY described tortuous events in which we found H had no legal birth certificate, hence no Passport. He does now.

This give me more time to iron out health quirks, if possible, and adapt to the aging process. (SMILE)

I know of two area events I may get to attend, one of which H is not interested. Blanchard Springs Caverns between my residence and Mountain View (I think)  has 'Caroling in the Caverns' two weekends in December. A church friend's employer gets tickets for his employees; she plans to get me included, if she does not forget. Supposedly one part of the caverns has perfect acoustics, similar to the Mormon Tabernacle where their choir performs.

Then my church has a weekend of worship for all similar churches in October at Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO, which happens to be on my birthday this year. I surely would like to go once in my lifetime. I understand sometimes 3000 members attend. It is mostly music and communion on Sunday. Some of the music is similar to that which I wrote about earlier.

The two day event includes gospel music choirs, trios, quartet, etc. performances as well as mass a capella singing. Persons who have attended earlier events says it sounds like 10,000 angels singing--quite hyperbole....

Speaking of writing about music, I removed the music posts, because I could not clearly define if I was violating copyrights. I did not reason clearly concerning material I was using; most of my postings include my photos or ClickART which includes some permissions of use with attribution. Sorry, if you missed the posts, but, my conscience is the only honor code I have.

I have found a player which is a widget and you upload a play list to a place called, but it is more than I want contend with at this point in time.

I considered forming a blog 'circle' of A-Fib sufferers as I know at least 3 bloggers or their spouses on my blog list with the same affliction. However, I thought it not equally fair as some of us have or are contending with other health issues,  some of which are just as devastating. There are just as many cancer survivors, including me on my blog list.

Praying for each other is much more productive. We all have blessings, and then there is the rest of life....

Carpe diem..

PHOTOS: by NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


After my heart ablation, I was elated my heart no longer wanted to 'drum' its way out my chest; however, there are complications and other problems with which to deal. Just one more thing to worry about; except heart rate is very high--blood pressure is low normal; not a good combination.

My case is no exception to heart and a myriad of other diseases. In case of open heart procedure, a much more dangerous surgery with possible complications, I have seen more than one patient survive and feel wonderful for a short period of time, then develop A-Fib.

The drudgery of test after test, social calendar of nothing but physician appointments, monotony of driving 32 mi round trip for cardiac rehab occur day after day. Then add a small burp of a cold, it adds more monotony to the routine.

Even though I am thought to be able to do daily routines like cook, wash clothes, housework, etc., I find myself limited in energy and desire to do so, but push myself to do what I can. When I fail my expectations, I am depressed, frustrated, even angry. I used to be able to do this.

We have a housekeeper every other week, so vacuuming, floors, dusting etc is pretty well under control. Thank God we can afford it.

Here is what I need to do today, none or which do I possess the 'want to do.' Remember some of these involve a 32 mi round trip to a larger town.

[Take shower and re-connect an event monitor I am wearing for a month before I start the day.]
1. Pick up order at Staples involving travel .
2. Change cell phone carrier--a rigamole that really requires a separate post as it involves a long historical record.
3. Exercise at hospital.
[above three are all in the nearby town-32 mi round trip]
4. Deliver a payment for my Telecare group to local bank.
5. Wash clothes, dry and fold. [some are sheets the folding of which wear me out as I am so short.]
6. Cook at least one meal for two, major problem finding one common ingredient two very different people need and LIKE.
7 .Empty dishwasher.
....And if any time is left I have outdoor pots to plant for spring.
Plus the TeleCare group I helped organize, I am in charge of daily operations, which involves a lot of headaches.

Plus I need to schedule yearly carpet cleaning sometime soon.

I am tired just thinking about this. If and when I sit down to enjoy a few minutes on computer, watch television, read my Kindle,etc. I fall asleep and have to watch for a re-run. I routinely watch Dance Moms--thank goodness next week, the previous week' program is rerun before the new program. This happened last night. Unfortunately football games are not usually rerun, which is no fun anyway, as I already know the outcome.

And the frustration I verbally take out on whoever will listen. I don't cry much, but the aggravation, burden and frustration is bringing me close to despair and have had severaa lumps in the throat.

The things I love do like photography are on the back-burner, and a trip to Texas to see family and bluebonnets has been postponed, but I hope gets done. My bucket list doesn't look like it will have any mark-offs.

What does husband do? I really don't know as I am too busy with what I perceive are my duties.

Today I wondered what the terms 'old as you feel,' 'old-timer,' 'old age,' 'ancient,' 'too old to cut the mustard anymore,' and similar but sometimes even less complimentary or demeaning terms mean--where am I on the scale of aging? 

Needless to say whatever is golden about age, I do not see today. Nor do I appear to be growing old 'gracefully'--whatever that term means.

I need counseling on growing old, but that would add to my social doctor calendar!!!

If you have some solutions..............

When I find time to post again, perhaps I will try to find one photo from our last vacation to show you. That may be it, too, as something will be calling me to do.

Monday, April 01, 2013


In case you think I am crazy, I wrote the Easter post and scheduled it a week earlier before I decided to suspend my litany of music favorites. I completely forgot about it.

I have done a lot of reading on copyrights, plagiarism, etc. and it is a murky subject. One blogger has actually been sued and had to pay for publishing a photo. In fact photos seemed to be the most common lawsuit.

Blogger has unwittingly made using You Tube easy as it is on the menu to add directly from their menu. In fact I suspect it is the most abused site on the Internet. Uploading copyrighted material is only the beginning even with attribution. A few posts are removed, but nothing like what is published.

Most all the music I have posted I already bought on, but not necessarily the artist I published in any given post. I created my own CD, which I have a right to do. And I assume my post would be included. Yesterday, I think all but one were the actual ones I bought.

But the others I bought were not on You Tube, as I really had an amazing choice of artists on, when I decided to make my own CD. You don't have to buy an album, just the songs you want.

Later I will post the remaining list by title only, and if you are interested in listening to them, you can search by title on YOU TUBE to listen to them.

When I first started blogging, I and several of you, followed a very talented writer, artist, and humorist, whose work was so plagiarized, the blog was closed; going private did not work.

So on to other subjects when I get over this nasty, cold/allergy/bronchitis. We don't know which we are treating, so I am enduring a "cover all bases" regimen. It wa difficult chosing medications that agreed with each other and less likely to affect my mended heart.

In the meantime, I have lots of photos I have not even looked at from our vacation, as I immediately returned to have the ablation. Since that event I have spent a great deal of time trying to comply with a myriad of physician's instructions. Not easy.....

Monday, March 25, 2013


In previous posts over the years I have been blogging, I have mentioned my childhood life. As an adopted child I grew up in a conservative religious setting, but my religious upbringing as much as my public education balanced my upbringing into a reasonably stable citizen in the world, balancing public, private and religious work, making many friends, and even local politics.

My dearest friend from the second grade was in the same church setting as I. We have keep in touch without seeing each other often for all these years. I visited her in a Texas nursing home two years ago, and we took up talking as if we had never parted.

Today, however, I am mentioning an entire church family that  was intertwined with mine in several avenues. Our fathers were both church elders and respected leaders in their businesses. Each family had 3 children in similar age groups.

Currently the eldest daughter is a personal friend to this day. She was a nurse but suffered rheumatic fever at a young age and now suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis. She took care of her parents when the other girls married and moved away. She married, also, but the marriage did not endure; she also suffered one of the worst losses I can imagine: the death of a  daughter to cancer. She has  her two sisters and several grandchildren and great grandchildren to comfort and help her. I try to stop by and visit her when I am Texas, which is infrequently.

The youngest daughter, last I heard, worked at Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas.

Their mother was a public school teacher, but also had a broad music background and was in a sisters trio (I think) before marriage. She taught a cappella singing in Vacation Bible School to many tykes like me that could not sit still or shut up. Many (not me) went on to be in adult choruses in many Texas cities. She, her eldest daughter and best friend (see above paragraphs) sung as a trio at my wedding IF I remember correctly.

I did participate in a cappella choruses in elementary and middle school, but transferred to band in high school--we got to take trips to FOOTBALL games; hence my knowledge and love of football. Oh yeah, I was in a community chorus in Arkansas, before it folded, and COPD with a plethora of inhalers, nebulizers, oxygen, etc. ruined what singing voice I had. However, as you can tell from my blogs, my love of music, particularly gospel, has remained to this day.

The second daughter has breast cancer, but it is not deterring her from writing two books I have purchased. She was professor of mathematics at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. She has written more math books than I can count....math was not my best subject.  

The two books I would like to mention are not math books. One is entitled KABUMBA AND FRIEND by Sancie (which was the name by which the oldest sister's deceased daughter called her  (aunt). It is a charming children's book about true friendship between two very different animals a hippo and a tortoise. It is an interactive book between reader and children. I highly recommend it, and am placing it in our church's library.

The second book is entitled BIBLE WARM-UPS:Questions and Answers for Adults and Teens by Frances M. Thompson. It is a collection of Biblical facts. It may be used in a number of teaching and learning situations.

I bought the book to rejuvenate my declining memory and because I am hooked on a local Trivia Pursuit group along with my best friend here. We have found out just how dumb we are.

Who knows? They just might have  a group of Biblical questions. This book is just the kind of material used. I also bought THE BIG BOOK OF AMERICAN TRIVIA by Stephen Lang. I read a chapter of two in each three times. Some of it sticks.............

And if you want a math book Frances may have written just the book you may be seeking. Search on for her name as author and her works will all be listed--at least most of them.

Yep! I am nutz, nutz nutz!

ADDENDUM:  (Request for help) If any reader knows how to place an audio player probably a gadget/widget on my sidebar or in a post and add a musical piece or speech to it, I would love some help. I know it can be done. All of the musical pieces about which I have written previously, I bought from and have on a DVD, and thus have right to use for my personal pleasure. In most cases the musical performance is not on YOU TUBE, although some are. You may reply as a comment to this post or address for this blog. 

As you can see I am still struggling with the copyright issue and it is a tangled web of what is ethical and right. Just because 'everybody does it' does not make it right in my eyes. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


If you are reading this post on Internet Explorer 9 or 10, the sidebar may have moved to below the post. This occurred when I upgraded to IE10. I then downgraded to IE 9, but the changes did not go away.

I have spent 3 days trying to find the solution; others seemingly have encountered the same problem. No suggestions, all of which required altering HTML which frightens me as I do not know the language, did not work. So I set it back to original language. 

I am fairly sure the template is a Blogger template, which may be the only other explanation. I found the lines suggested to change in the HTML, but the suggested changes did not work.

Actually, HTML is a bit like working in the Windows Registry which I have done sufficient times to be comfortable, if I have WRITTEN directions Only. So far I have not destroyed any one's operating system.

So I have downloaded Google Chrome where it displays the blog as I originally laid it out, until either Blogger or IE get their acts coordinated. 

Now I will be composing in Google Chrome, so hope it behaves itself.

That is as soon as I recover from the sinus, ear, nose and throat infection I have along with headache, and touch of Montezuma's revenge. 

This means I will have another addition to my social medical condition calendar tomorrow.

Friday, February 01, 2013


On Jan. 24th Betty's A Piece of My Mind blog featured an e-book, THIS TIME NEXT YEAR by Liz Hinds . The e-book is available on for Kindle or compatible readers, and may be available elsewhere, too--I am not sure. Amazon is big in UK, too.

Liz Hinds was one of my very first followers when I started blogging. We are mutual dog lovers, almost to a fault, so we naturally blogged about her George and my Luckie. She and  husband live in Wales and also she became a grandmother, I think for the first time, during my 3+ years of blogging.

She has more than one blog, but the one I follow is Finding Life Hard?

I won't review the book here, as Betty did a good job. Yes, I giggled and laughed often while reading it and when I thought of some of the situations. Persons in Cardiac Rehab had to know what I thought was so funny. Sometimes I shared and sometimes I did not, like the choice and content of certain books the central character bought for self-improvement---didn't think it was appropriate in mixed company of cardiac debilitated men and women.

The setting and situations could just as well been American, as Wales. Some life situations are similar regardless of location.  The e-book is a great read and not an epic sized book. I am likely to re-read it just for giggles....and I rarely re-read a book.

My next read is Des Miserables, definitely not a light hearted book, but the movie peaked my interest, even though I know it will be a downer.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Today I introduce you to a soul set free of mental fear and torment by a persistent heart condition, MYSELF!

For 4+ years many of you have followed and sympathized with my battle with a common heart condition, A-Fib, short hand for atrial fibrillation, a condition 1 in 4 persons may have at some point in their lives. By the way you don't have to be a senior citizen, either. A church friend in his 40s had it, too.

Without revisiting my daily struggle and frustration of trying to live a nearly normal life at my advanced age with a chronic condition, and the very dangerous drug with narrow boundaries of safety, I am happy to report I am now nearly, if not entirely free, of the condition.

September 27 you may remember I had a heart procedure in Little Rock, called pulmonary vein ablation. In brief the 4 pulmonary veins which enter the heart in the left atrium were ablated (scarred or cauterized), even though only one was causing A-Fib. The reason is if one vein does, the other three veins eventually will develop the same symptom.

After three months of healing and NO recurrence of A-Fib, my electrophysiology cardiologist removed the drug, Tikosyn, from my regimen. After one week I have had no A-Fib attacks.

If still symptom-free in 3 more months I will be able to discontinue Pradaxa, a blood thinner with dangerous side effects.

I am under no delusion. This condition can return. Drugs and ablations may, and do fade in 30% of users. I hope I am in the 70%, but, if not, I still have the same options, unless ObamaCare denies payment because of age. The procedure is costly.

But today and all the days I remain A-Fib free, I shall be thankful and enjoy freedom from drugs, fear, short a life set free from fear. I still have work to do, but I will endeavor to step into it with joy, not cardiac rehab [translate exercise] and lose more weight -- oh how I need support in this!

Thank you, blogging buddies for listening and I know some of you, or your dear ones have the same malady.

Thanks to my dear husband for being there for me every step of the way, as he has his own health problems too!

Yes! Luckie, too, who often lay by my chair in sympathy as I struggled through A-Fib  attacks which were more frequent in late evenings and night.

I am commenting on FACEBOOK more and more, using it much like blogging but nearly requiring the intensity. Many of you have a FACEBOOK account. I will 'friend' you, if you request.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Today I feel compelled to write an addendum to my previous post, RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. Sometimes the words I choose convey an attitude or feeling which I did not intend.

Briefly I had helped a gentleman, with more extreme shortenss of breath than I, access our hospital when the parking lot shuttle was not available. I carried him in my car to the entrance and then I had to walk from a remote parking area with uphill grade, which caused extreme shortness of breath myself. This scenario was complicated by bitterly cold wind, a nemesis to persons with lung/breathing deficiencies.

Two days later my deteriorating breathing had become more severe, so I made the decision I needed emergency help and went to the area emergency facility at 10 p.m. that evening..

My post upon reflection sounded a tad whiney that the result of my helping another soul perhaps caused me to incur the E.R. trip even though I would certainly do it again in a minute.

The E.R. trip was a blessing as I learned I needed to have my COPD/chronic bronchitis/asthma conditions re-evaluated, and that the source of my continued shortness of breath after a heart procedure, is my lungs, not my heart.

A few phone calls, and I am being setup for a better treatment regimen involving nebulization which reaches deeper into the lungs, which I discovered while in E.R.

Then, when my dearest friend finishes her breast cancer radiation treatments and makes an appointment with our asthma/allergy physician around March, I will also will set up an appointment for re-evaluation and assessment. It has been quite awhile since my condition has be more closely assessed.

Changing medications or changing the mode of delivery into the body often is a simple solution. Also, after a long period of time, the body may ignore a routine medicine, the intended effect fades, and a sugar pill is just as effective. I've been on 5 different hypertensive drugs since 1991 when I was first diagnosed with hypertension.

Therefore I view my emergency room visit a definite plus, a blessing in disguise. Even though I travel to specialists in Arkansas and Missouri, I am thankful that we have a regional hospital in our somewhat remote rural Ozarks, which offers services not often available in similar settings. We also subscribe to an Emergency Heliocopter service which can airlift us to various metroplexes with specialized facilities -- a PLUS in our area, too!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


As those who follow me know, I have spent about 2 years battling common, but serious deteriorating conditions of elderly persons: lung and heart disease. Having them both, is doubly difficult for medical management, as the two systems are dependent and interdependent on each other to function  perfectly synched with each other.

Although I worked in pharmacy, a profession dedicated to service to others, in retirement I have spent much time in various volunteer, charitable works, and church related welfare centered activities. I have found these activities take my mind off my own personal struggles, which staves off depression.

However, the last two years have reduced my physical abilities in some of these activities to often spending money supporting the same services, but not nearly as gratifying.

However, one kind of activity often pops up which I simply react; I call them 'random acts of kindness.'  These pop up spontaneously and you simply do whatever is needed. Rarely you suffer from the consequences of your good intentions, but recently such a case arose.

I am in cardiac and respiratory rehab at an area hospital 16 miles from my home. Over the years this hospital has become a regional hospital with many services offered, not ordinarily seen in a somewhat rural remote region. Although I still have to travel to larger cities for specialized care, I am most grateful we have this highly rated facility this near to me.

Like many larger facilities the parking lots are very large; handicap marked parking at a premium, and the lots involve uphill grades-- very difficult for heart and lung patients, as well as persons with physically limited mobility.

To alleviate the torture of just getting to the front door, the hugely efficient hospital volunteer auxiliary provides small enclosed golf carts, like shuttles, run by their volunteers.

Usually there are two shuttles running, but, of course, there are the unforeseen events, such as flat tires, blown engines, volunteers not showing up, etc. Last week on Monday was one of those days; I have rehab M-W-F.

That day was also a day there was extremely strong, bitterly sub-freezing temperature wind--not a recipe to which heart and respiratory patients should be exposed.  I was dressed for the weather but not long exposure.

When I arrived a man in my session was standing outside his vehicle waiting for the shuttle. He appears to be in more serious condition than myself -- my observation only because he was 24 hour oxygen and I'm only during night.

He said he had been waiting several minutes without seeing either shuttle.  After a few more minutes, he said, 'I guess we will have to walk and stop often to get our breath.' It was an uphill grade. I lost track how many times we stopped--about 6. We both became seriously short of breath.

At last inside the lobby, he tossed his oxygen unit on the nearest chair and sank into an adjacent chair, breathing so heavily, I forgot about my own, and hurried inside the rehab unit to get the nurses to check on him.

We both recovered enough to do our rehab.  The shuttle magically appeared when we went by the volunteer desk. Seems the little carts are not well heated and the volunteers find a sunny spot to sit when not busy.

But the crux of the story was the same thing happened on Wednesday. This time I put him in my car and took him to the front door, but, of course, I had to repark, and walk up the hill a second time that week. My SOB had worsened from Monday and Wednesday added to the problem. By my Friday session I really should not have exercised, but I did. (The shuttle ran that day.)

By the time I got home I knew I was in deep trouble breathing and could feel my heart struggling to function, even though it was in rhythm. I kept believing some rest would improve with oxygen. But NO, at 10 p.m. I was nearly shut down with very shallow breathing. I told Husband we needed to go to ER, but no ambulance.

Fortunately, we did not have a long wait: one breathing treatment, a loading dose of prednisone and antibiotics I was on my way home. And a stern warning not to expose myself to bitterly cold air. My ER visit was the consequences of ignoring, or not being prepared for the sub freezing temperatures, not the act of kindness.

It all started commiserating with a fellow sufferer and then helping him one day with a simple car ride, so he did not have to walk two days in a row. Would I do it again. You bet, but I will have something, even a Kleenex, to cover my nose from sub-freezing temperatures. Cool air is good. Extremely hot air or cold air is a shock to respiratory compromised individuals.

In the process I gained a gentle compatriot in our mutual aging diseases and the rehab program. I don't even know his name, except he lives in a rural community near me.

Having also been the recipient of a few 'random acts of kindness,' I think these deeds are remembered more dearly--not that should be the purpose. We are all in this world together, and unfortunely most, if not all of us, will get of this world alive, so we should be grateful, gentle and kind to each other, especially those weaker in any respect to ourselves.

No, I am not perfect; have more warts, defects, faults and failings than anybody, but as long as I breathe, I keep being a work in progress--a life long project.!

And I have small packages of Kleenex tucked in my outerwear pockets as well as both cars, purses, Kindle case, computer cases, etc.  This event also reminded me of my Mother who insisted I never leave the house without a handkerchief or Kleenex which came into use in my era. I thought it a nuisance--something else I would lose; but, as I grow older I have had several flashbacks--Mother was right after all.....

Girl Scout motto-Be Prepared