Job Squad

History: When I was fourteen years old, I got my first job at a sandwich shoppe/ice cream parlor called the Front Porch. The owners bought industrial strength paper towels called Job Squad. Once in a while one of these would end up in the pocket of my uniform at the end of my shift, and sometimes it would make it through the wash and dry cycle of the laundry. They were excellent quality and didn’t shred or fall apart in the washer. Consequently, Mom started buying Job Squad. That became our family’s designated paper towel. Just as Miracle Whip was always our “mayo” and Blue Bonnet was always our “butter,” Job Squad was always the house paper towel.

Observation: Fast forward many years. Tonight at the dinner table, I said, “Chuck, pass me a Job Squad, please.” He proceeded to pass me the cheapie paper towels that we pick up at Walmart for fifty cents a roll. They are definitely not industrial strength. We buy them because they’re, well, cheap. Now, I don’t know anything about the household Chuck grew up in, but we have been married for 31+ years (off and on) and he also calls paper towels Job Squads. Maybe that’s what thirty years of marriage does to a person: you pick up the other person’s specific terminology and use it in reference to generic products.

In college I took a class (I don’t even remember what it was called), but basically it was a study of the English language. We learned a lot of interesting things, like why chicken is spoken of in euphemisms like “white meat” and “dark meat” instead of “breasts” and “thighs” and why some people say “ice box” when they mean “refrigerator,” “Coke” when they mean just a regular “soft drink,” “Poloroid” when they mean “photo,” and “Kleenex” when they mean “tissue.”

I don’t even know if Job Squads can still be found, but, if you’re ever around me at dinnertime and I ask you to pass me a Job Squad, you’ll know that I need a napkin or paper towel or something to wipe my hands on.

Hanging Out in the Hyperbaric Chamber, Just Watching Movies

Chelsea had a claustrophobic moment yesterday in the hyperbaric chamber, but today was better for her. The HBO attendant says her daughter buys all the new movies when they come out so she’s going to start bringing some from home for Chelsea to watch.

Chelsea was also excited to tell me that she’s been selling her bracelets and necklaces. The ambulance attendant bought one from her yesterday, and tomorrow she’s buying two more. Mike, the ambulance driver, is buying $80 worth of jewelry. If you want to get an early jump on Christmas, visit her Facebook store. Maybe she can cut you a 10% discount! Hmm. Do we need a code? How about KINDRED?

Dinner Royale

Dinner Royale: A hamburger patty, topped with cheese, an egg and grilled onions on a bed of lettuce and tomato (courtesy of Justin, Chuck’s coworker), steamed broccoli and cottage cheese. Notice there is no bread, no potato and no corn on this plate–although Chuck had two ears of corn-on-the-cob. I did make him eat two small broccoli florets, though. And he hasn’t died.

Chuck took me to Chili’s yesterday, and I got the original chicken crispers. Instead of the corn on the cob, though, I got steamed broccoli (I like mine better; I didn’t care for their seasoning), and instead of the fries I got sweet potato fries (they were fifty cents extra and could have used less salt).

You know what? I can do this. I wasn’t sure I could live without potatoes, bread, corn and rice, but maybe I can. My thanks to Vicki Cogan for suggesting “SUGAR BUSTERS!!” to me and to Susan Oehmler for her help with “Trim Healthy Mama.”

I’m a little scared of the scale because I don’t want to be discouraged, but I have lost over fifteen pounds,and my clothes are looser now.



Chasing Life Episode

It has been a hard couple of days for Chelsea. Please pray for her. I know you already are, but please continue. A couple of days ago she had a two-and-a-half hour crying stint. She cried so much her eyes were swollen and she gave herself a headache. (The episode of “Chasing Life” didn’t help. The girl checked into the hospital to begin chemo and they told her to get used to her room because that was all she was going to be seeing for the next month. Chelsea can definitely relate.)

As we may have suspected, yes, the C-diff is back. That may actually be accounting for some of the mounting emotional turmoil. She found out last night after some labs. She was crying so hard she couldn’t catch her breath. Her nurses and aides have been trying to console her to no avail. A positive note is that Chelsea’s least favorite aide has risen to the occasion and has shown Chelsea a completely different side.

I know right now our sweet girl probably feels like she has hit rock bottom. Her followup at NKC was cancelled for today because of missing paperwork–so another week has come and gone and still no hyperbaric oxygen chamber. I don’t think it was supposed to start today, but this knocks it back even more.

Too, too many antibiotics, but what are they going to do? If she needs them she needs them and now she needs more to combat the C-diff. Our poor girl.

Dr. Tadros has prescribed a slow drip of Ativan twice a day for her anxiety.

Chelsea has been so brave, quite a trooper, actually, with a positive outlook and cheerful disposition, but I feel like the C-diff coming back was just such a major blow that it broke her spirit. I wish she weren’t so far away.

We get to see each other via Skype everyday and we play Painted Yahtzy to help her pass the time, so it’s almost like being able to visit.

Please, family and friends, if you’re in the Northland (like Liberty or anywhere close), consider paying her a visit. She could really use it right now.

Thank you so much to the ones who faithfully send cards. Cissie White, you are a godsend. I can’t even put into words what that means to us. You don’t know how much that helps her.

Crazy Photo ID

One of the fine nurses taking care of our girl at Kindred. I can’t believe they let her keep this as her badge photo. LOL

She posted it on Facebook and her caption was “Never take yourself too seriously.” One of her friends wrote under her photo: “Hi, my name is Jill, and your life is now in my hands. Don’t worry, I got this!”

Kindred Nurse

Just a CHUCK-le

Before we left Chelsea’s room yesterday, I had Chuck grab my purse for me from the arm of the chair across the room. On a whim, I decided to try something.

“Here,” he said, trying to hand me my purse.

“I can’t carry it,” I said. “I have all this other stuff.” Actually, I only had two Walmart bags and they weren’t heavy, but he didn’t argue and we left with Chuck walking down the hall with my purse draped over his arm.

I didn’t realize that I had forgotten to take off my mask. He said, “Are you going to wear that all day?” I thought he was referring to my name tag. I looked over to see that he was still wearing his, too. Then it occurred to me that I had forgotten to take off my mask.

“Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look?” Said the man carrying a black sequin purse through the hospital.

After having said all that, watching my sweet husband carry my purse to the car for me made him that much more endearing to me. That right there is true love. And thirty years of marriage. Do you think I would have ever got him to carry my purse for me when we were just starting out? MY manly guy? Haha. Fat chance.


Chelsea was seen by a doctor in NKC today, and there has been a setback. The HBO will not begin for at least another week. He wants to see her again next Friday. He wants to make sure everything is okay with the bone before he plunges right into the hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The longer it takes to begin therapy the longer it will take for her to come home. Then, of course, if they do the flap surgery, that will also interrupt the HBO for a while. (The initial plan was to do half of the dives before the surgery and the other half after.)

It’s a little frustrating, but the Lord has His reasons and a master plan. All we can do is trust in that