Sunday, July 27, 2014

A New Bunny Auntie, Fatty Liver?

My morning did not start out too well. I pulled out my box of photos I have not yet scanned because I knew I had two photos of *Matt.  I can even see the photos:  one of Matt and me, with his Oakley sunglasses around his neck, and the other of Matt holding a sea turtle at the Cayman Turtle Farm.  So I went through hundreds of photos and threw out the ones that really didn't mean anything in this day of being able to get pictures off the internet.  Suddenly a group of bad pictures taken in the 1970s of Big Ben mean nothing.  Anyway, I come across a bunch of pictures of myself during the first trip to Grand Cayman, when Matt showed me around.  I even came across a picture of me at the Christmas party down in Cayman with the airport station manager.  The two pictures of Matt? Missing, and I have no idea what happened.  Metaphorical?  Then, the next morning, my green tea appeared in a cup I hadn't seen in twenty years: A Cayman Airways mug.  Huh?  The logo of "Sir Turtle" is very much faded, but its appearance spooked me.  Metaphorical? 

My last blood tests at my primary care doctor revealed a "fatty liver", so I have to have a sonogram of my abdomen and kidneys.  I have since seen my gastroenterologist, and he said he is not worried about it.  I am trying to get him to cover my feeding tube opening with a flat "button", but he needs for me to have a CT scan of the area so he can determine if it can be done with the opening I have now, or if I have to have a whole new endoscopy procedure [this would make number 3 for me -- ugh], so I have all those procedures booked for the next 2 weeks.  

The day got better when I met the Wolfes for lunch -- Deb, Andrew and the twins Sofia and Elan.  It always gives me a lift when I see them.  This was my birthday lunch five weeks later.  Nothing like stretching my birthday out.  

Chelsea has a new auntie and I have a new friend.  Her name is Danielle [Nellie] and I met her -- of all places -- on LinkedIn.  I was in a freelance writers group and introduced myself as living in Queens.   My profile indicates that I am involved with rabbit rescue and she contacted me.    She came over this week and brushed out Chelsea, and was not intimidated or uncomfortable around my disability.  It was so comfortable and refreshing.  She was talkative and stayed until almost 11.  Here are some pictures of Nellie with Chelsea.

Well, okay, you can see Nellie's hand and shirt.  Maybe next time, there will be more of her.  But, you can certainly see enough of my Chelsea's beautiful face and how she loves to be petted.

Next time:  42-year high school mini-reunion and meeting one of my teenage idols up close...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Update, Making Amends, and Throwback: Cayman Airways

On the update front: I had my quarterly visit to the ALS/MDA clinic this past Friday and my muscles basically haven't declined in years. My legs don't work but the arms are strong and manual dexterity is good. I am now 10 and a half years since diagnosis (Jan, 2004). And my symptoms can be traced as far back as 1997.  I will start getting in-home physical and occupational therapy again to maintain and improve independence.  I lost 2 pounds, and would like to lose 15 more.  Summer is here and I went to Red Mango twice with Louise for my fro-yo fix.  I am excited because I have two bunny rescuers who have come forward to say that they want to visit, and a former student of mine has offered to help with a project around the house.  

A funny thing happens when you know your days are numbered.  You start to think about people you have hurt and/or relationships you have totally messed up and you want to make amends.  Suddenly "one day" becomes NOW.  And with the magic of social media, I find myself connecting with people I don't know very well [some not at all] and reconnecting with people from my past -- elementary school in Brooklyn, secondary school in Long Beach, college, jobs and volunteer work.  So I reconnected with Annu,  a former administrative assistant from Cayman Airways in NYC, as well as people from Cayman Department of Tourism and Cayman Airways in Grand Cayman.  

Cayman Airways was my first position as a sales executive in the travel industry and it was a very strange setup.  I interviewed there in 1989 and didn't get the job.  I could tell I was well-liked at my interview, but they were starting a whole new non-stop service out of New York and needed someone with experience, so they hired Winston, who was an experienced sales manager at British Airways and whose parents were from Jamaica.  This was all explained to me through a really nice letter from my would-be [and future] boss Frank.  Much to my chagrin, I went back to the job I had at Garuda Indonesia Airlines.  At the time i and even joined a better company with better chances of advancement. When I had my new job for only five months as a sales assistant, I received a phone call from Frank at Cayman Airways.  The man who had gotten the job instead of me, was moving to start an office in Atlanta and the position in NYC was open again.  I interviewed again and I got it.

I was informed that I was reporting to my bosses in Miami and flew to Miami for the quarterly sales meeting and met all my co-workers.  But I soon learned that there was a structure that was very confusing.  You see, for years,  Cayman had a staff in our cities that was under the control of the Department of Tourism, but they also repped the airline.  It was their concern to get people to the islands on any airline, but Cayman Airways felt they needed dedicated airline professionals in every office.  In my office, there had been a boss for years, but he wasn't MY boss and my Miami boss let me know it.  But C., the tourism boss in NYC had other ideas.  It was very uncomfortable that he expected to control me, but I had a boss in Miami.  Eventually my boss -- who always had my back, was terminated and my boss in Miami was B who would tell me to stand up to C but then would betray me behind my back. I was very naive about all this.  Let's just say that while I was on the road four days a week, it was natural for Annu to want companionship with the Cayman Airways/DOT people and there was a lot of manipulation going on by C and B and when the airline stopped flying out of NY and I was scrambling for a job, things had become so strained between Annu - who had already been hired by DOT, and C had hated me from day one, I ran out of there to a new job and didn't look back. I should have,

Fast forward to now in 2014. I had a long-needed talk online with Annu and I apologized for the crappy way I managed everything and we cleared the air,  There is still one person I need to reconnect with, but he has fallen off the face of the earth.  How does one disappear in this day and age of social media.  Anyway, I miss my days at Cayman Airways and it was a time of fantasy for me: a dream job and a dream island.