Nan Mustard's Recovery

This blog is a record of Erin (Nan) Mustard's recovery.

Friday, January 04, 2008

"The weather outside is frightful"

Dear Family and Friends,
I am writing earlier than usual tonight. In my continuing quest for a new lifestyle I have decided that adequate rest which begins before midnight would probably be a good idea and that drinking plenty of water would also enhance well being. Both of these would require big changes.
I was able to sleep until almost 8 this morning. Being on Hawaiian time really helped as that time zone is two hours behind ours here. I woke without the intense back pain that has been waking me very early almost every day. I woke to a world without hot drink or food since today was blood test day. All night the winds and rain had raged around the house and they continued this morning. I felt a draft when I walked by the upstairs doors to the guest rooms. One door refused to open but with extra effort it opened to a mini disaster. The Plexiglas that I install every summer above the room air conditioners had blown in and waves of water were running into the room soaking the bed, the carpet, the remote for the TV and all else in its path. So I moved the AC units out of the window onto a towel, turned the ceiling fan on, started a little heater and went to the next room. Well this room was not so bad but was taking on water just the same. So out came the AC and once the windows were closed the draft stopped and order was restored. The winds were pretty intense and outside the globe with its air pump and tie downs had blown away but got stopped by the line of rose bushes. We may not be able to use it another year, there could be serious leaks.
As I prepared to leave to go have my blood drawn it dawned on me that the toast I had at 11 last night meant that the 12 hour fast would not be completed until about 11 this morning. Good planning!? So I worked in the office until it was time. Then I filled a file folder with all the items I needed to deal with and drove off into the wind and rain. First was the blood draw in Brentwood, then breakfast but a funny thing happened there. The oatmeal was wonderful but when I started on the wheat toast I was struck with a huge pain, yes the tooth ache which had started in Hawaii came back with a rush. So Nikki directed me to her dentist which was less than a block removed. They took me right in, discovered that my PPO with Blue Cross knows nothing of dental care and seated me for X rays. There are few things in the world that I enjoy less than a dental chair for I am a gagger, that's right one of those who gag over even the suggestion of something foreign being placed in my mouth. The first Xray was problematic since a moving mouth is a hard thing to photograph, the second one was better as I tried to think of anything else than that device with a plastic sack around it was jammed in my mouth. Then a nice young dentist told me that he could not help me, that my condition of tooth #3 was so grave it needed a "root canal". And by the way he could not do it, I had to go elsewhere to have it done, they would try to find someone that could do it today, they tried but failed for today. They set me up with a group that practices nearby but once in the car and $85 dollars lighter I called George Miller, my dentist friend in Tracy. He told me who he goes to and that was good enough for me so I called and on Monday morning at 10:30 I enter the mysterious world of the Endodontics. I'm told that after an hour or so and $1,000 I'll feel much better but will need a crown which will be another $800 or so. My last crown was done in a lowly dentist office in Mexico for just $200 and its worked just fine but I'm not in Mexico, not even close to Mexico so I guess I'll help the local economy this time.
I went to Longs to pick up my antibiotic prescribed by the dentist but they were an hour behind so off to the bank to juggle money. Good old Social Security had direct deposited a check for November and then immediately took it back. They are now considering giving it back but there are some forms to fill out first, they came in the mail today. Some very kind souls had provided money for the recovery fund which was a total shock to me. It was very timely and unexpected. So I was able to move funds around to cover the upcoming dental investments. Thank you very much who ever provided the funds. I did not expect anything more to be provided and while I want to thank you very much I feel I have moved to the time when I need to stand up and be on my own feet now, your generosity has helped a thousand times and in many ways and the family will always appreciate your help. You have made a huge difference in our lives and we are humbled by it. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to each one of you who have helped over the past year and a half.
When I went to Longs today they not only gave me the prescription of meds I needed but also handed me a card from the people who man the pharmacy, a sympathy card. I was so touched by this act of kindness. The group of people who work there have been very involved in Nan's care for the past several years and have given excellent advice, have fought for us with insurance issues and have been very supportive and kind. Its another example of whats right with our society, there are many people who really care and try very hard to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
If I had a piece of advice for people facing serious illness I would find a pharmacy with people you trust, people you can call for advice and discuss your situation with. They can often make sense out of the various prescriptions from a number of health professionals you might have. They watch out for you and help keep you safe. Longs has done that for us and I appreciate it very much.
This evening I went to dinner with Nikki, Steve, Keanna and Kevin. We enjoyed a quiet time of just being together and talked of our Hawaiian experiences reflecting on the warm of the water, the breezes and even the rain there. I had brought Keanna a Hula Doll and she seemed to really love it.
Tomorrow morning I have the honor of taking Ms Keanna to Sabbath School and then children's church in Tracy. It is her decision and I welcome it. This evening I am going to stoke the fire a bit and write some thank you notes that are long overdue. Our family was on the receiving end of beautiful flowers, mounds of good food, checks and letters of encouragement. We have felt very supported and are going to make it through this rough time of loss partially due to the support and love that you have given. As I drove by the cemetery this afternoon I looked out and witnessed a group of people saying goodbye to a loved one, there they stood in the cold rain, huddled together, only about 5 in all. I thought in contrast to the graveside service for Nan, where so many came to say goodbye and to lend emotional support to one another, I also remembered the cold breezy day with the threatening clouds which gave way to bright intense sunshine which beamed on us during Jim's comments. I am grateful that God granted us sunshine and the support of so many friends and family as we said good night to our precious Nan.
We find ourselves waving as we drive by the cemetery and I often just pull in and stand or sit by the site reflecting on the events that led us there, on God's goodness in all in spite of the terrible sense of loss that is inside. Nan was allowed to fall sleep in Jesus without further medical trauma. As Sharon often says, God let her go in her sleep in a peaceful manner.
So a month has passed today since that fateful morning. A month of transition, of adjusting, of mourning, of regrouping and of acceptance that God does know best. You have helped a great deal with your calls, your cards, your emails and your prayers. Thank you for caring.




  • At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So glad that you are all home safe and sound. What memories you have made with the kids, something that can not be taken from you.

    I paid $3.00 a pound for tomatoes yesterday and the man said the high price was due to California being so dry!!!!!! They should be free by next week!

    Was good to talk to you yesterday. You sound like you are on the right track. One day at a time, balanced food, good sleep, hard work, and starting each day on your knees with the Lord.

    Time to get ready for church, have a meaningful Sabbath and tell Keana that Auntie Sharon is very proud of her for taking her Papa to church.

    Love to each of you,


    PS. We all think the book thing would be great!

  • At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol. said…

    Hi Tim,

    I know only too well the Pain of a tooth that needs a "Root Canal". It took nearly a Year to get Mine setteled down and finished. Almost $1500.00 and 11 months it has finally quit hurting. The intense Pain was almost immediately relieved but the long time to get the thing completed was a drag for sure.

    Have a good Sabbath with Your Grand Daughter and family and keep those windows closed tight!

    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 12:27 PM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    I hope the storms have calmed and everything is quiet and drying out. What an experience! That almost sounded like hurricane weather. California doesn't get storms like that, remember? Oh well ~ I don't think any of the weather patterns are normal anymore. We have been getting some rain, some snow, but no "normal" weather yet. The first of the week was in the teens this week should be in the 50's and 60's. Now that's not normal either.

    So, you are home again, trying to take better care of yourself and back to work. Good for you. Isn't it strange how quickly a vacation can seem so "long ago"? In a way I think it will be that way for you in thinking about Nan. You will never forget her, but the problems of the last 18 months will seem "long ago". That's one of nature's way of helping us cope. She is in no more pain, resting in the Lord and will soon awake with a new perfect body.

    Our prospective "help" came last Thursday and will be here until Monday. She is a lovely Christian lady with a lot of energy. My concern ~ she is too much like Roger and I don't think I can handle 2 Rogers. She is intense, talks a lot, very motivated, self assured, opinionated..... You get the picture. She is sure God sent her here and this is the perfect place for her. If this is so, why do I not feel at peace about it? How can you tell a person she is not right for the job when she is so certain God led her to us? I still believe we need a couple here. The right person WILL come when the time is right.

    I hope you get that tooth under control soon. A tooth ache can ruin a whole day. By the way ~ good advice about the pharmacist... I hadn't thought about that before.

    You should be just getting out of church your time. You had fellowship with fellow Christians and a blessing from taking Keanna to Sabbath School. A new week with new challenges and victories is on its way. May you have peace and joy (the kind Wes talks about) in your life this week.

    Love ~ Carol


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