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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    My week contains very limited subject matter. Spent most of the week in the hospital, not as a patient, but as a sitter (I don’t even qualify as a care-taker—had Sister Jimmie and niece Anita for the important stuff). I can serve water and ice, fluff pillows, help make beds and keep the covers up. Also I am a good listener and I don’t fuss over the patient—which I found to be a big plus.

  Brother Terry of Brandon was the patient. He was in for hernia repair for the third time and it was not routine. On the second repair they used the mesh girdle and all that had to be removed. Adding to this, he’d let the problem go for several years due to health problems of other members of his family.

    His wife, Janell, was diagnosed with cancer a few months after Ed’s death and died some two years later. After losing his wife, he just didn’t care if his problem was taken care of or not. Late in 2007 though he realized that he no longer had a choice – he had to deal with it. Adding to the problem is the fact that he is a long-time heavy smoker and was several pounds overweight.

  His surgery went well and he had amazingly little pain even with a foot-long incision. The problem to over come now is getting his lungs into shape. Being put to sleep aggravates lung problems. When I left him late Sunday, I urged him to leave the nicotine alone and he admitted that until Sunday afternoon, he’d not even wanted a cigarette. Well, hopefully he will fight the urge and refuse to return to that bad habit.

  We’re an amazingly healthy family and I’ve spent relatively little time in operating waiting rooms. I was surprised to find how compassionate everyone is—or at least they were on the day we were there. Everyone was sincerely interested in the welfare of the other patients and families, as were we. The family on the other side of our cubicle has a far more serious problem than we. The husband and father in this case had a life-threatening aneurism. Until the first report came from the operating room, everyone seemed very calm. Word came that the big hurdle was over and tears of joy flowed from all of us. Good reports continued for several hours and they went to ICU shortly before Terry was able to get into his room.

  Next cubicle up had a wife and son waiting, with several friends in and out during the time. They were sent to ICU for lack of an available bed. The son quickly began calling other family members to inform them of the reason for ICU, stating they’ll call and think the worst. I could just visualize being in the caller’s position and how traumatic the news of ICU would have been. The other family in that area was able to go home following their procedure.

  Friends and relatives came and went all afternoon, with many pastor’s stopping in to offer prayers. We all stopped our chatter to participate. Terry’s pastor did not appear—not his fault, he was not informed. He did get there as soon as he found out and was very supportive, offering prayer and promising to continue to remember all of us in his private prayers and also for the congregation to do the same. He says to Terry, “Now I know you won’t be there Sunday, so if we need your seat, I’ll allow them to sit there, but I’ll be sure to tell them that its occupant will be back probably next week.”     

    Another preacher friend (long-time) also came by and he is a character. He is retired Air Force and stated that he knew God could use anyone, because he was using him. Says, “I done everything imaginable and He loved me enough to save me and then to put me into service.” We had met him before, when he officiated Nell’s funeral. At the time their church was without a pastor.

  The most remarkable family member in the waiting room was with her husband. She was a character, to say the least. If I’d had a note pad and could have written fast enough, I would have material for a long-run soap. Her stories were more far fetched than anything you’ll every hear on TV. I will not relate them here, since I know how small this world is and some family member just might read it. This lady talked non-stop for over two hours and some of the tales she told were horrible, however I don’t doubt that they were true, because I don’t think you could make up the things she was telling.

  On this day Water Valley names were in abundance—our neighbors were Walkers, others mentioned were Scarbrough, Wiley, Coleman, Singletary, Russell, and a couple more that I can’t remember—needed a note pad.

  As each family left the waiting room, the others wished them well and promised to pray for them. As the Walkers left we certainly promised to pray for them, as they did for us.


  During the week we talked, watched TV and read. I rarely see the news, but Terry is an avid news person. I learned lots more than I wanted to know about this old world and our up-coming presidential election. I think I liked it better when I was uninformed.

  Apparently I got hooked, though, since I turned on the new Monday morning and night, and then again this morning. Watching the debate between Clinton and Obama this morning, made me want to turn both of them over my knee and spank them. They sounded like two little children squabbling in a sand box. Most of the dialog I heard was personal and it got nasty. Now if they want to lead the US I do think they’d better put their personal problems on hold and try to figure out what’s good for this nation.

  The problem they seemed to be addressing was what each had done for the poor. My thinking is that the poor will be cared for if all the other problems are corrected. In other news this AM was the prediction that the stock market would take the biggest hit since 2000. I’m no analyst, but it seemed to me that our economy is way to fragile if every little threat or action can send it into a tail spin. This is really frightening, because it’s not just the US, it’s world-wide. Maybe a little less communication would be valuable—I think the news media thrives on stirring up trouble. It seems to enjoy bad times. Well, my advice, and I know it won’t be taken, is just sit tight and let the market level out. If we don’t panic I believe that all will be well.

 As for the political realm, I still believe God is in control and suggest that we all just pray and follow His leadership as to who’s the person to lead this nation.

  Enough news, now it’s time for weather. I’m ready for spring, but if it has to remain cold, just let it be dry when the temp drops below freezing.

  We were in Pearl Saturday morning and had about two inches of snow on the ground—wet sloppy stuff. If it had been below freezing, there is no telling how much would have accumulated. Got to the hospital in Jackson and there was only a dusting. Jimmie then called Batesville and the report was none there, but that it was bitter cold.

  Last night I got up several times to see if rain, sleet or snow falling. Was glad to find only rain. Promise is that the moisture will move out before it goes to below freezing again—sure hope so.


  Betty, Al and Stan took me out for a meal last night. We wanted barbecue so it was off to Sylva Rena Grocery—found them closed—so we went on to Coffeeville. First time we’d been south in a long time, but found some great barbeque. Al had ribs, Betty, Stan and I ate chopped pork. The beans, slaw, and French fries were also delicious. Told them it was the best meal I’d had in a week. Didn’t tell them that it was the only meal I’d had, so they could have gotten by with a lot less quality. It was delicious and I’m sure we’ll go back soon.

  Was good to get in a visit with Sarah Williams, Editor of the Coffeeville Courier. I was seated with my back to the door, but she came around and says, “I recognized you by your hair.” Hair had not been washed in a week, so I wondered if it just always looked awful. Oh well, it’s great to be known, for whatever reason. Sarah has been a good friend and colleague for many years.


  The Herald is offering special Valentine Greeting Ads this year. Announcements of these can be found in this week’s paper. If you’re interested in this, give us a call or come by.

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