There must be something about me that draws complete strangers to me.
In the past week I have had two similar experiences that have left me scratching my head. :/
I attend Mass every morning. I usually go to the 6:45 am Mass, but sometimes go later at 8:30. Our church is enormous. The floor plan is almost in the shape of a cross with three "spokes" of the cross being seating with the top of the cross the alter and stage, etc. The sides and main pews are clearly divisible and during morning Mass the few people that do attend sit in the main "spoke" facing the alter. At best there are 30 parishoners in a church that seats 1,000. We are a sparse group during the week.
With so few people we have our choice of seating and unless you attend with someone no one sits in the same row as, let alone next to, a fellow worshipper. We spread out. I like it because I don't have to worry about bumping anyone and I can get up and down as slow as I need to due to the pain.
This past week I attended 8:30 Mass and took a seat about half way up the pews directly in front of the alter. As I was kneeling and praying I felt some one sit down near me. My first thought, since my eyes were closed, was that Pooldad had joined me. YAY! [He had late shift and I had left him at home sleeping] But no. When I glanced over I saw it was an older gentleman [60ish?] and in this huge, empty church he chose to sit right next to me. Like Pooldad would've sat right next to me. He didn't look at me or acknowledge me. He just chose to sit down next to me. I know it's church, but really? It sort of creeped me out.
After that I took to sitting to the right of the alter in the pews that are off to the side. No one sits there and it would be too obvious if the gentleman followed me.
Another thing I should point out is that when I go out in public I wear a blue mask over my nose and mouth. I do this in an effort to minimize catching a cold or the flu from strangers. I can't be sick when they call for my surgery and if I was to get sick [with any kind of infection] before that I will be hospitalized immediately. I have had my flu shot, use my own pen when signing for things in stores, wear gloves and use tissues to open doors, wash my hands all the time, etc. I take every precaution I can think of not to get sick. Everyone is used the mask [even strangers] and understand the reasons why I am wearing it. I simply do not want to get sick. Okay? Okay. :)
So you would think that if you had a hacking cough, runny, sniffly nose and were sneezing continually without benefit of a tissue you would not pick the one seat in a near empty church that is right next to the WOMAN WEARING THE MASK. Would you? Sigh.
I am still shaking my head over this woman. I can understand if people have particular seats/pews that they sit in everyday, seats that they are used to - you know, like in class you have "your seat" even if it isn't assigned - but this is not the case with this woman. I go everyday and she has never made an effort to sit anywhere on that side of the church and it wasn't as tho' she was late to mass and the seat was conveniently located near the doors so she seated herself quickly. You have to walk the length of the church to get to where we were sitting and no one would interrupt Mass to do that. Although I feel really bad that she is so sick and obviously miserable, she has to know that she could infect anyone instantly with what she had coming out of her mouth and nose. But she sits next to me? The one person, out of 20, with 980 other empty seats, who is obviously making a concentrated effort to not get sick?
What is it about me? To be honest I don't feel very good pointing these people out, like I am being overly critical or a big cry baby and maybe they needed a friend and the girl in the blue mask looks friendly? I don't know. . .I know Church is about friendship and brotherhood - but the seat directly next to me? When the church is empty? Had better [only] be occupied by someone with the same last name as mine. Heck. I didn't go near Pooldad, literally go near him, for a week when he had a cold. I certainly don't want a stranger's germs. :) And I like friendly, older men - but I can like you from over there [------> pointing to the end of the pew] just fine tyvm.
I am getting better in regards to my organ functions [each test is a little more promising than the last!] and we are hoping for the day that the doctors stop telling me a transplant is my only option. [Hey, it could happen. :)] We're saying our prayers and God has already given us a couple of miracles. We figure it doesn't hurt to ask for one more. I do appreciate, so much more than you know, your good thoughts and prayers that y'all send me. I tell Pooldad all the time that you guys had a lot to do with helping me survive my last two hospitalizations and I am so thankful for you ALL. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I could never say it enough, but I hope you know I carry you all in my heart and thank God every morning and night, in my prayers, for my Tadpoles.
One last thing before I have to go and finish up my "chores" [read: nap! heehee] I finally went to see the rheumatologist [2 months later] and she is convinced that there is something wrong with me [y'think?] that is causing the excurtiating joint pain. She has scheduled a lot of tests and x-rays in the next two weeks to help narrow it down. I hope it is something that can be treated without opiates. All my doctors are pleased with my diet and exercise and have said that what I am doing can be key in helping lessen the pain, but neither seems to be working. I was so hoping they would because I already take enough pills I hate to take more, but. . .as I said, all we can do is wait and see what the tests and the x-rays tell us. The only good thing to come out of this is now I don't feel like a drug seeking addict when I call in to get my morphine or dilaudid refilled. I take them as sparingly as I can because I hate the side effects, but the doctors are fine with trying anything they can to help me with the pain. I know there are some people out there who are told it is "all in their head" and I feel for them. I thought so too at one point, but when I was off the meds I couldn't move, let alone stand up or grip a cup. For so long the doctors had me diagnosed with something else, but now that they have retracted that diagnosis they have to find out what else it might be. I think now it is a matter of what it is NOT and not really finding out what it IS. Make sense?
Okay - that was my monthly health update. Hope I didn't bore you into oblivion, but there isn't much else going on here at Chez' Skippy. Pooldad is over his cold, the kids are doing awesome [and band is over YAY!] Spot says "hey" and I guess we are just gearing up for the holidays in between doctors' appointments and therapy. :) I can't believe Thanksgiving is in two weeks! What I really can't believe is that I am going to be here to enjoy it. WOW. If you only knew. . .
Thank you Tadpoles. Thank you so much. For everything.
We'll see ya' on the flipside. :)