No, You Don’t Understand

October 2017 – Katie’s Meeting @ Liz’s House b/c Liz broke & we brought the party to her. Kitty, Marie, Sue, Mary, Shelley, & Yours Truly. We 7 missed everyone else. Also:  Team Brennan duly setting up Halloween décor – even if Liz won’t be scaring anyone in 2017.

The Liz Report:

  • Sparkly wedge shoes, a speedy exit from the Anthem, and ever-so-slightly uneven walking surface made for a Gravity Wins moment. Various contortions to avoid falling may have worsened the torque or impact. Lots of pain. Carried to the car.
  • No ER, please…home. Several days of RICE and crutches. She definitely overdid it at work a few days despite intermittent stretches of feeling better. So, she made a doc appt. for the next week and she packed for the gang’s fall leaf peeping trip.
  • Sadly, another trip interfered – thanks to crutch + foot + bed leg + more gravity. Another fall – wrenching, blinding, hip-searing, immediately immobilizing pain.
  • This is when Liz’s constant refrain, ‘No, you don’t understand… I can’t do [xyz] because I’m in too much pain.’ started in earnest.
  • EMTs NOT prepared to deal with her pain level, thirst, stairs, and more. Much hemming and hawing later, they ‘taco-ed’ her in a stretcher & off to Suburban.
  • EXTREME pain not managed well at all in ER. A patronizing air about getting in the system and doing certain paperwork before discussing pain meds = bad, bad, bad. Liz persisted, doc gave some Rx. Scan taken, doc upped to Max Load Rx for pain.
  • Waited all night for surgeon to mosey in… Tim trying to sleep in the chair…. Ugh. Surgical nurse pops in at 7:30 a.m. ‘READY!’ and Liz hasn’t spoken with surgeon yet. Tim at home. Flash forward – all players gathered, surgery commences.
  • Diagnosis:  hairline fractures from first fall (like the shell of a hard-boiled egg); ‘exploded’ hip joint from second fall
  • Surgery was the one hour (easier-than-3-hours) version because small incision to use leverage/traction worked to realign femur + 3 screws in hip joint area.
  • PT & OT + 6,000 other people showing up in her (private!) room at all hours. Some semi-useful. None the doctor. Most in a big rush. Timing food, meds, and actual therapies for best combined impact – not a thing on any treatment orders. But when the experienced  PT shows up, confidence and positive options abound! The foot harness to move the leg! Realistic options for walking!
  • Released earlier than expected (um…family’s in Baltimore helping David move). Home is good. Megs is FT caregiver. Bed in Apt. B is a very negotiable height. Padded chairs, a walker, PT visits to home & oh, yes – morphine. She’s on her way to getting ready to get ready to be better.
  • Goal:  ‘normal’ in 3 months.

Real Estate Report:

  • Sue’s Florida Home! They close Thanksgiving weekend. North of Tampa, closer to Stephen than Stacy. 4 BR, 3 bath, a pool. All kinds of wonderful features. Let the home décor shopping begin (well, after they close)
  • Kitty’s Moving! Yes, it’s a familiar story, but with some new tweaks. Already listed with friend realtor. Will rent a small apt. near 20895 for work. Goal to own a small house near Annapolis.
  • Marie is hosting her ‘other’ niece. It’s been fun and upbeat.
  • Basements rock. Even if you stuff too much junk into them. Sorry, parts of country that don’t have the pleasure. Earthquakes & high water table count as good excuses.
  • Alana A (Parkwood realtor & resident) donated blood marrow over the summer & just heard her match (still anonymous via the registry) is ‘stable.’ Awesome.

Book Report:

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple semple 9780316403436

Sue picked it because …Bernadette was so funny and she wanted something lighter than last month’s slog.

  • Today’s understatement:  We did not like Eleanor Flood. Some of us couldn’t even read the whole book because she was so ugh.
  • Her day filled with angst-y, anti-social habits and flashbacks where she played the victim or drama queen to just about everything made most of us want to holler, “No, YOU don’t understand!” As in this is not how life works. Note: this use of the phrase is the polar opposite of Liz’s aforementioned campaign for comfort & care. [This could be some sort of irony or twist. Cuz, you know…we’re that literary book club in the ‘hood.]
  • Some acquiesced to the idea that she had tiny glimmers of trying to do right. Or maybe she warranted a bit of empathy for making choices out of fear or depression. But then she’d just do something (or reveal an old something) that was thoughtless, selfish, etc. And… ugh
  • Writing style was very readable. Witticisms were tight, astute…but just so barbed.
  • Commentary on Seattle demographics added to humorous tone. At least we had that from …Bernadette.
  • Why did her husband still love her? A testament to his faith… and maybe something we just don’t get to see of her.
  • We all sighed over Timby. Don’t really want to read any sequel of his teen years.
  • Book covers are covered with great praise from all points. Are these excerpts from the complete statements which reveal less sunny opinions? As in, “It’s a masterpiece [missing bit:  of unpalatable narcissism]!”
  • The last scene does offer a bit of hope/sweet relief. Maybe a lot of tomorrows later  (not today) it will be better for Eleanor.

NEXT MEETING:  November is hostess-free. So we’ll meet at a restaurant. Location & date TBD via email when Katie spreads word of her book pick.



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