235. “Come with us!”

A Visit to the ENT | Ann Ning Learning How

Before I get to “Come With Us!” I’m going to tell you about my visit to GUH yesterday.  Driving there was weird since I haven’t taken that road since 2009.  We ended up getting confused by the Reservoir and turning left on Q , left on 44th, and right onto Reservoir.  E (&S) used to live here while she was getting her graduate degree from the School of Foreign Service and I remembered how the streets worked.  I also used to live on P Street (my Junior year) with a bunch of crazy med students (Hi, guys!! Xoxo) and a couple of other fun girls, so 44th was familiar.  I couldn’t believe how easily I used to trek the 1.7 miles from our P street house to school.  V and I used to eat ice cream bars on the way home.  N once refused to walk under my sun umbrella bc it looked so nerdy.  I was like, It’s cooler in the shade.  I’m carrying this umbrella.

Overall the consultation was a good one.  My doctor was super nice and it was good to get another perspective.  I made a collage to commemorate the visit.  I didn’t even ask Mommy if Ed could make a public appearance.  I just tucked him under my purse strap and got out of the car.  I could see people smiling at him on the way in.  You can see in the pictures that I was rubbing my nose (this was after the numbing spray went in), and during the actual scoping I was barely holding on.  Good thing he was quick about it.  So the recommendation is to hold off on surgery for now, and to see if my issues can be helped by speech therapy first.  I was in ST for ~1.5 mo as an inpatient and ~5 mo. As an outpatient, but it was more for general recovery – this would be targeted treatment for how I use my voice.  He explained that surgery also increases the risk of scarring, which would not be good.  Even if they did operate they’d do one thing first since my bump is on one cord, but the weakness is on the other – and apparently ENT’s don’t look favorably on operating on both sides at once (makes sense since more stuff could get messed up).  And judging by the state of my stoma (the hole in my neck), I might be a prolific producer of scar tissue – but that’s just me reflecting, not anyone’s professional opinion.

So for now I’m going to bide my time, wait for my insurance to change (I’ve been approved for Medicare in October), go see CMD and M (37), and we’ll take it from there.   Thanks for praying!  Now, on to business…

Come with us!

During my Last Hurrah trip to Singapore and Malaysia in 2009 we got to see many dear friends and family members.  One “Uncle” faithfully chauffeured us around my parents’ hometown, to restaurants, church, and a particularly memorable laksa feast prepared by “Aunty” at home.   One day Tanpo thanked him for picking us up (again) and Uncle asked, Do you know why I do this?  Daddy had no earthly idea.

Then Uncle told us that when Tanpo was a teenager and Uncle himself was a very young teen he remembered seeing the young people at church hanging out together and making plans to go eat (predictably) somewhere.  Uncle would hang back a little, wanting to join the group, but naturally shy about it.  My Daddy saw him and said, Come with us!  And Uncle has always remembered that and has taken such good care of us when we go visit since he was grateful that Tanpo looked out for him way back when.

Learning How.... | AVM Rupture Recovery| Ann Ning Learning HowThose words actually cost my Dad very little – and he had no recollection of ever doing such a thing.  But being included was a Big Deal for a younger person.  It makes me think of my friend A who has recently moved back to our area with her hubby, D (who took my book cover pics for me), and their little girl.  When we were growing up if there was a visitor at church I could just look at A if I was already engaged in conversation, raise my eyebrows a little in the direction of the newcomer and she’d run off to talk to him/her and make them feel welcome.

These days I’m often the one on the periphery – my mobility issues often make it easier to just sit quietly rather than be social with another person or a group, but I’m quite content to rest and I don’t mind being alone at all.  Other folks find it more painful, so if I was part of a core group of socializers I’d always like to look out for folks on the fringe to see if they wanted to join in.  It was quite possible that perhaps we were too rowdy – I didn’t assume people wanted to hang out with us, I just wanted them to have options.  And when I was new myself I found ways to insert myself into the current of what was going on.  It’s always nice to be invited, though, even if you exercise your right of refusal – the friendly words, “Come with us!” are always welcome.

This is one of my favorite A stories:

41.  One Leg at a Time

41. One Leg at a Time



133. The Short List


I love Excel.  A spreadsheet is not a blank sheet of paper you’re supposed to fill up with the Great American Novel – it’s a series of orderly rectangles that can tell you stuff if you fill in the blanks with numbers and symbols.  I used to have a recurring nightmare back in the crazy days about being stuck in an Excel spreadsheet.  (I’m not kidding.)  I can see myself running around, bumping into the borders of a cell.   Now the thing that is notable about that dream is that I’m running – not that I’m stuck in Excel.

I don’t use spreadsheets often now, but once I learned to use them I relied heavily on them for all sorts of things.  I once wrote a paper for my Social Entrepreneurship class in Excel.  It was just going to be an exhibit but it kept on growing and growing until it became the bulk of what I wanted to say.  I also used to keep my prayer list in Excel.  The functionality was perfect for me – I made different tabs with different categories for days of the week.  Nicely color-coded of course.

These days I can’t really see or write too well, but I think devoting myself to prayer is really a stamina thing.  I consider myself cognitively intact, but my mind tires easily and I avoid telling anyone I’ll pray for them since I will likely forget in 5 minutes.  That’s why I decided to use a post-it note prayer list.  This is good for me since it’s a memory aid, but it also helps my motor skills because my left hand is in charge of moving my stickies.  I figure it might also be good for little ones who are learning to pray.  Here’s a suggestion – once you fill in the sticky notes with names, snap a picture on your phone and send it to the person you’re praying for, congratulating them on making the short list!   Also, there are some topics you might wish to make one post-it note for and just move it around daily, e.g your country’s monarch, POTUS, your church elders…

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