Just Ponderin’... on a day in bed

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 9:30am

About this blog:

  • Just Ponderin’ will celebrate its tenth anniversary in August of 2022 and now (pinch us!) has thousands of followers from all around the world, including many who love and/or have connections to Maine. JoHn and I made a small island off of Boothbay Harbor our full-time home in 2017 and still can’t believe we get to live here. We now share our nearly 200 year-old home with a German ShepHerd harboring a royalty complex (HRH The Princess Bunny Blaze), and a new-to-us Second Hand Dog all the way from Oklahoma (Belle/Belle-ah). I’m thrilled to have Just Ponderin’ included in the Boothbay Register and Wiscasset Newspapers. Just Ponderin’ is chock full of observations on - and celebrations of - the ordinary and extraordinary bits of everyday life.  If you want to get in touch, give me a shout at lisadingle@justponderin.com. And feel free to visit justponderin.com. I’d love that. Thanks for readin’. - Lisa 

On Monday, I went walking in the morning with my friends (What. Yes, I have some of those. Not a lot, just a handful of close ones. It takes me a while. Shut up.).


I was walking and kind of clearing my throat a lot, which had - my throat I mean - woken me up around 4 that morning, when its normally passive phlegm had turned actively homicidal.

I'm so sorry for mentioning 'phlegm'.


Ew. Sorry again.

So we were walking and I was throat clearing and occasionally coughing and was all, 'What isthis?!' and my aforementioned friend said it was probably fall allergies and they have been particularly vicious this year. She seemed to know what she was talking about so I felt all calmed and soothed and stuff.

I went home and was feeling way more tired than that walk tends to make me feel. I decided to vacuum in case the fall allergens formed a Survivor-type alliance with the copious amounts of dust and dog hair in my house, and planned to attack my lungs from multiple fronts.

I was kind of drained when I stopped vacuuming, but figured it was - you know - because I vacuumed.

But then I was cold.

Then hot.

Then cold and really really exhausted.

Then I took my temperature.



When I feel better, I will call that particular friend - the one who claimed it was allergies - and fire her. To let her down easy, I'll offer severance (2 more walks with me) and remind her that she is eligible for unemployment (she will have to walk with half a person until she can replace me). Sorry Pam.

JoHn was away totally goofing off with Gabeproviding life guidance to Gabe in New York City, so I was on my own. When he texted, I didn't want to tell him I was wicked sick so he could continue to provide life guidance to Gabetotally goof off, so I stuck with light quips and platitudes.

Then he came home late Monday night and walked into the bedroom, where I was half sleeping, and also wheezing and hacking next to an Everest-esque pile of wadded up tissues. He knew not to be too attentive because I am a very, very self-involved - and also profane - sick person.

As in, "Leave me the eff alone, I've got this."

On Tuesday morning, when I came downstairs, JoHn got to see me in all my fevered, sniffling, hacking glory which is when I reminded him that our marriage vows did indeed contain the 'for better and for worse' clause.

Luckily I'd had my hair touched up last week so - in addition to everything else - he didn't have to witness my roots.

My nursing staff for Day One was excellent. Belle-ah sat with me, and on me, sprinkling her advice and teeny white hairs liberally. Blaze checked on me during particularly brutal coughing jags, taking my pulse by wiping her tongue on my face.

Dogs can do that. It's a science thing.

I lived through the night, and awoke this morning calculating how many calories I'd saved up by not eating yesterday and not feeling hungry yet. I was hoping that, when my appetite returned, it would be enough for a free carrot cake.

Then I remembered the problem.

The Problem, today, was that people were coming over to sister some beams, and otherwise provide support, in the basement. This is an astoundingly ordinary job in a nearly 200 year-old house. Strangely, one that we did not consider astoundingly ordinary prior to our purchase of, you know, a 200 year-old house.

The plan was that I would stay upstairs in bed, and my dog-nurses would stay with me. This all sounded fantastic. I mean, they were so great yesterday, and all through the night. Which was a double shift.

Now we were asking them to do another shift on the heels of those 18 hours. All that sounded doable to The Management but...

Oh yeah.

They totally rebelled.

It was an administrative and legal nightmare and... yeah... it could have been a disaster. I mean, the ramifications discussed today were just beyond. The hospital board is pissed, and I'm telling you, heads will roll.

Did I mention I binged the television medical drama, New Amsterdam, yesterday? 

Anyway, I figured I ought to file a deposition before one of these coughing fits takes me out (if so, I hereby authorize it for posthumous use):

I, Lisa R. Dingle (henceforth referred to as 'Patient'), being of sound mind and body blah blah nursing care blah blah blah two canines... blah blah blah... two day period... blah blah blah... gross negligence... blah blah... failure to perform duties... blah... enumerated as follows. Blah.

1.  HRH The Princess Bunny Blaze (hereinafter referred to as' Nurse One'), when asked to re-tuck the sheets pulled out during Patient's restless, fitful sleep due to a potentially life-threatening mucoid illness, instead chose to drag one, large, faux cheetah fur dog bed onto one, large, faux lynx-fur dog bed. Nurse One then proceeded to take a nap. This was not during a scheduled break. Patient was able to snap the following evidential photo via her iPhone:

2.  When Patient pressed call button, Belle-ah (heretofore referred to as Nurse Two), arrived in a reasonable amount of time by leaping onto Patient's bed. Patient stated she needed to use the restroom and politely vacated the bedroom, at which time Nurse Two proceeded to DRINK PATIENT'S COFFEE, which was located on the table beside Patient's bed. Patient was not able to take a photo of this action, as Nurse Two retreated from the coffee as soon as Patient returned to the room. However, it seems evidentiary-ish that the following occurred approximately fifteen minutes later:

3.   Patient was attempting to rest - an important contributor to her recovery, by the way- when the entire nursing staff erupted in a disruptive activity that can only be described as troublesome, unruly, rowdy, disorderly, undisciplined, attention seeking, riotous, wild, turbulent, and anything else that was before the dot dot dot when I googled synonyms for 'disruptive' because I didn't want to use it again. This time, the patient did manage to capture evidence with her iPhone. Please click on the link below to view what Nurse One and Nurse Two were engaging in while Patient was attempting possibly life-saving rest:


Also, in the first seconds, there is clearly a muddy paw stain on the bed.

Which is unsanitary and could lead to rigor mortis (eventually).

Electronically signed,

Lisa R. Dingle


Wednesday, 18 September 2019 3:21 p.m.


The good news is that now, at 3:37 p.m., I am not dead.

And I've added 'hungry' to 'boredom' on my list of complaints that I am refusing to give my useless nursing staff (who are busy protesting their hours and working conditions).

JoHn went to get himself a coffee at his Xanadu, Red Cup Coffeehouse. But knowing his continued desire to support and help me, I've texted him that I'd like a small Italian sub, no green peppers. Also, Lay's potato chips, and he can't get those at the pizza shop so he also has to go to the supermarket.*

He just texted back the following:

"Seriously? You are so needy."

Fair enough.

I texted back:

"No. Just kidding. Steak and Cheese will be fine."

I figure it will take him another ten minutes to order the sub, at which time I'll text him about the carrot cake.

By then the dogs should be back in to ask for magic markers and poster board.

I expect they'll be marching up and down Townsend Ave. in the morning.

Thanks for readin'.

You can comment below, or join fellow ponderers on Just Ponderin's Facebook page... or both! You are in total control.

*no, I cannot eat all that. But after a few days of being sick, I always feel like I can eat a ton of salty food. Then it gets here and I take a few bites and am all... oh no. But JoHn still brings it, which is why he gets to be the Nearly Perfect One.

To comment, you can join fellow ponderers on Just Ponderin's Facebook page... or come on over to justponderin.com... or write to Lisa at lisadingle@justponderin.com (totally up to you, you have all the power :))