Good news!

Today was the follow-up with the ENT who was treating me for the balance issues I developed while caring for Kim. The vestibular therapy is complete, and I am very nearly back to normal – I get a little “queazy” when moving my head certain ways under certain conditions, and have issues still when one or more of the vestibular inputs are removed (amazing, the things I’ve learned about how we sense balance!), but as functional as most, I think.

The doctor was much more personable today than he had been – this could have been because he had a medical student in tow, or maybe the former “professional detachment” had to do with his expectations for my recovery, but it was a very pleasant visit – my last with him!

I was surprised by what he had to tell me. And, I think, he was probably more surprised by my progress. As he put it to me, he didn’t want to give me his prognosis at the time, but he wouldn’t ordinarily have sent me for therapy: the threshold for therapy is 23% difference between the two ears. I was at 38%. He told me that he frankly did not expect that I would ever recover my balance.

So good news! I beat the odds! Thank you, Lord!

They say that the typical widower will suffer some major health setback or other within the first year of widowhood. The likelihood of something untoward occurring, though, decreases as time goes by. Hopefully, this was mine, and I’ll remain sound going forward. God willing…

Frustrations and life

As I continue to trudge down the path of life without Kim, I come to realize all of the things she had in hand that I wasn’t aware of in the least. Not the least of which was helping my oldest with her daughter.

This came to the fore today with Jeanette and Jillian planning for a pageant in another state, and Vanessa wanting to stay the weekend with “Poppop.” For Jeanette’s plans, it would be better if I could pick Vanessa up at school in Monroe, a little more than a half-hour away. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem – except that I had FINALLY located the perfect desks to set up my office upstairs with, and had already missed an appointment to pick them up last weekend because the boys were unavailable to help. I have a light afternoon tomorrow, Kenny doesn’t work on Fridays, and I had already corralled him into helping me pick them up tomorrow afternoon. If I skip out on them again, I’m sure I’ll lose them.


Back in the day, we would “divide and conquer.” Unfortunately, I’m not capable of dividing myself, and, sometimes, I have to take care of myself.

Eliminating ghosts

I had given Kim’s phone to my granddaughter after clearing its contents. Vanessa, being a nine-year-old kid, immediately started sending texts to her aunts and uncles which, of course, since the entry remained in their Contacts list, came from Kim. After the initial shock, they were angry at Vanessa.

Rather than maintain an unused phone number as a memorial, I fell upon the solution by which I would change the numbers between the cellular-enabled iPad I gave Kim for Christmas many years ago and the phone. Since iPads cannot place calls and they text (from what I can tell) through their associated Apple ID rather than via the phone number, this would alleviate the issue. Reviewing Verizon’s site, I found the I had the ability to swap numbers between devices on the same account via a few mouse clicks.

Sweet! So I did it. Not so sweet.

The end result was that the iPhone could not place or receive calls (or anything else, from what I could tell), so a call was made to Verizon support via their horrible robotic operator. After about an hour and a half, and having to swap SIM cards back and forth, the tier 2 technician I was working with got the issue resolved, and Kim’s number will be silent until the day I pull the plug on the iPad. Minor disaster averted. And once again, I have to give Verizon’s support team kudos for friendliness, knowledge, professionalism, and “stick-to-it-ive-ness” – but I truly hope I don’t have to call them again anytime soon.

Last night was another oddly sleepless night. Unlike the last time, I didn’t pop awake with things on my mind – they were there when I went to bed and wouldn’t turn me loose. Thoughts ranging from an unfortunate display of immaturity my freshman year in high school (Sorry, JaNele – you deserved a better response than what I gave. It’s 44 years late, but I do apologize.), to more modern incidents and concerns. The ol’ sleep monitor showed it, too – the first night logging under 50% “restful sleep” since I started using the thing. These episodes are not frequent, but they’re somewhat unpredictable – and I’m not a big fan of unpredictability.

Feeding into this one is, of course, the phone/iPad debacle, but I also received a new laptop for work – the provisioning of which is always a rare treat! I always forget to export the VBA programs that I write to drive a lot of my efficiencies and end up having to rewrite them (which isn’t very efficient). That, and reconnecting files with their programs is a rare treat, too. Finally, the new laptop smoked my primary flash drive and, though I’m an apostle of frequent backups, I hadn’t backed it up all through Kim’s ordeal. I have recovered the files from it, but the utility I use recovers veritably EVERY file stub on the drive, so there’s a lot of sorting, testing, and cleaning up going on – all during that happy time we prepare to be fiscally eviscerated by the IRS…

And that, too, will be a new adventure, just as the 1989 tax year, the year Kim and I married, was. For the last 30 days of 2020, I guess I’m a “qualified widower,” instead of the “married” man I was for the last two days of 1989.

Sigh. At least it keeps me busy.

What does not kill us…