Wednesday, December 30, 2015

At the Dawn of 2016



I'm pensive at this New Year's dawn,
I wish my heart felt light,
It's hard to celebrate and cheer,
When world peace seems out of sight.

I am seventy-one this year,
I'd hoped that I might see,
A new year when I'd really feel,
A sense of revelry!

What joy if only hatred ceased,
And terror stopped its spread,
And each new year brought hope,
And a bright outlook ahead!!

Much of the world is suffering,
Each day, worse than the last,
I wish our resolutions could,
Make all this in the past.

I pray that in this year to come,
Our hearts will overflow,
In love and true compassion,
Towards those who need it so.

May all of us slow down a bit,
In the chaos and the strife,
And stop to breathe and cherish,
The treasures in this life.

Let's start at year's beginning,
To find some joy in every day,
To be a bit more loving,
In our own special way.

Best wishes to all for blessings
and peace in the new year.

Carmen Henesy
12/30/2014







Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy 45th Birthday to My Firstborn, Shawn Edward Smith - December 17, 2015


Very early in the morning of December 17th, 45 years ago, I awoke to find my Concord, Massachusetts world snowy white and the early twinges of labor beginning.




As I headed for the shower, my husband, Ed, was encouraging me to hurry - as the 30 mile drive from our home to Chelsea Naval Hospital was about an hour, even in optimal weather conditions.  Finally, we were on our way and, for some bizarre reason, we brought our collie, Snoopy, with us!

Near the hospital, our car stalled and refused to budge...thankfully, in front of a gas station.  The owner, hearing our tale of woe, loaded us ( minus Snoopy who remained in our car which had been pushed into the gas station lot ) and, with his snow plow at work, drove as fast as he could to the Chelsea ER.  From my arrival onward, everything slowed down.  I was given an epidural - which Shawn seemed to enjoy - because he took his sweet time, arriving late in the evening.  




Shawn, a week old, slept through most of his first Christmas.  He amazed us by sleeping about six hours a night when he was only two months old - so I went back to work night shift as a psych nurse at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

When he was a toddler, we moved to Tampa, Florida and, after two years there, we headed to Ed's next Air Force assignment in southern California.  Shawn got his wanderlust early in life!

After two years in Fullerton, I moved to San Francisco. Shawn flew down frequently to visit his father, having no qualms at all when I would lament about his flying alone.  At six, he looked at me and commented, "What do you mean, Mom?  The plane is full of people!"




Thankfully, Shawn's dad met Lois who became Shawn's
 "other mother." They celebrated their 25th anniversary several years ago.  I couldn't have asked for a better 
person to be in my son's life.  I remind Ed that I did him a great favor by moving to San Francisco!!!


Ed and Lois when they came for Shawn's high school graduation


Shawn decided to join the Air Force Reserves after finishing a couple of years of junior college.  He looks so young and skinny in this picture.






With his GI Bill money, he returned and got his BS in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University.  He has continued in the Air Force Reserves, achieving, to date, the rank of Master Sergeant, having been deployed on several occasions, and filling in for months at a time at his home base, Travis, in northern California.  

I am immensely proud of my son ( as I am of my other two sons as well ) but I am most proud of Shawn's being there for his two younger brothers.  They had an absent father from the time they were three and five-years-old and Shawn stepped up to the bar, helping in every way.  At one point, I went through disabling back surgery and he was my lifesaver, shouldering so much responsibility as a junior high school student.  There is no way I can ever repay him or thank him enough.  So much of the men Alex and Jeremy have become is because of their big brother, Shawn.




Shawn is still single but he would make some lady a terrific partner.  He is a fabulous cook, a great dancer, wonderful
with his little niece, Harper, a meticulous housekeeper, astute with money and a great travel planner ( something I like to think I helped inspire ).  




Of course, I admit to a little bias but I like to think he's not a bad looking fellow.  The ladies nowadays say he resembles George Clooney.


With his beautiful sister-in-law, Laura Vukasinovic



Shawn on the left, Alex in the middle, Jeremy on the right - in the birthing room 
shortly before Harper's debut


It doesn't seem possible that nearly a half century has passed since Shawn's arrival in this world.  Thank you, son, for adding so much to my life and for being the fine man you are.  I love you and am so proud to be your mother.


There is an awful lot of white at the temples and in your beard!!!



















Thursday, December 10, 2015

Aloha, Beloved Merle - December 10, 2015







At this time of joy and festivity, my heart is filled with such sadness.  I just learned of the death of someone I loved deeply and held in much esteem.  I feel like I knew Merle Endo all of my life but we met only about fifteen or so years 
ago because of forensic nursing as I met so many dear friends.  Our encounters were infrequent - at conferences here and there, once for a day when my cruise ship was docked in Hilo, Hawaii and Merle spent a whole day with Sherry Arndt and myself, and, finally, a wonderful day when we were together in San Francisco for hours, playing tourist, taking dozens of photographs - not nearly enough of each other but, primarily of flowers and bugs, laughing and giggling about whether they could have "forensic value."

From our first meeting, Merle and I formed a close and loving bond.  The internet was our form of communication, especially in later years, with retirement, as we both traveled hither and yon.  




Merle touched the lives of so many people  She was an emergency room nurse at the Hilo Medical Center, then worked for the sexual assault response team of the Hilo Police Department.  She was one of the most caring and compassionate women I ever met.  She had the utmost respect of our colleagues of the International Association of Forensic Nursing.

I was in India from May until October this year, in a household with very poor internet connectability.  I managed only sporadic contact with this dynamic lady who constantly encouraged me to visit Hawaii, luring me with the promise of homemade lilikoi pie.  

When I read condolences on Facebook several days ago, I
was in complete disbelief.  I immediately went to Merle's FB page and scrolled down until I saw her last post to me, dated September 7:

September 7
Upping pain meds. Pain is unbearable, making me scream. Wish we had good permanent orthos on BI. To guard rt hip, now left is almost just as bad. Don't know how my friend Carmen dealt with all her bone problems and still traveled halfway around the world. Love you, Miss Carmen.


I love you, too, sweet angel of a friend.  I hate that you were suffering such terrible pain since the summer.  Your daughter tells me you were only diagnosed about three weeks ago and were to undergo chemo.  I guess the Lord chose not to have you suffer any longer.  

For me, you were the epitome of the aloha spirit.  I will never forget you and I pray that your friends and family will have courage to get through the days ahead.  I am so blessed to have known you.





Bing images


Bing images

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pre-op Bits and Pieces and a Cruise in April!!!! - November 17, 2015


A beautiful day in San Mateo as I went about my tasks -
nothing like Mumbai traffic and madness!

It's been a busy week for me.  I finished up my preparation for tomorrow's right total shoulder replacement. I saw Dr. Yan, my primary care provider, the middle of last week for my preop physical and EKG - good to go in that department, then went yesterday for a chest x-ray and type  and crossmatch - though I don't anticipate needing any blood.  I expect all will go as smoothly as it did when I had my left shoulder done two years ago.  I am so ready for this operation since I have been in so much pain for the past year.  I know recovery will be a little more difficult since I won't be able to use my dominant hand for awhile ...Thanksgiving is out for me since I'll only be a week postop and I won't be up for a drive to Sacramento and hanging out all day with everyone.  I'll relax at home, maybe have a turkey TV dinner, a vodka martini, and a long snooze!

Did a few last minute tasks today, filled the car with gas, got a manicure and pedicure, prepared my advanced directive for health care, finished filling out hospital forms, went out for spicy Chinese food and did laundry.

I am really excited about one thing!  For the first time in over five years, I will be going on a cruise.  My good friend, Kris Bleything and I will be doing the fourteen day transatlantic crossing April 16th from Tampa to Barcelona on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas.  After a week in Barcelona, she will come with me to India for a month.  Of course, I am planning to stay a few months but I am so excited to have a friend along with me for a little while - the first time I'll be able to show off "the country of my heart" to one of my American friends.  

Even nicer is that we'll spend a couple of days with my friend, Charlene, in Tampa, to start off our journey.

Well, enough chatter ... time to do my last minute check list and try to get a good night's sleep before my surgical adventure tomorrow.  At least Doctor Dreamy aka John Belzer, MD, is my orthopedist!


The sunset sky above my friend's condo with just a sliver of a moon.



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Our Beautiful World - Stone - The Acropolis, Athens, Greece, November 15, 2015


I have been fortunate to see many of the world's most beautiful places - the Acropolis in Athens, Greece and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, being among the most special.




The Acropolis of Athens, according to Wikipedia, "is an ancient citadel located high on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains several buildings of historical and architectural significance."  Seeing it always gives me chills and begins day dreams about what life must have been like in the time of Pericles and the ancient Greeks.  I sip wine in Plaka tavernas, feast on spanokapita, taramasalata and lamb and my imagination runs wild.  

I am participating in: OBW 123 ~ 123 Stone





Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"H" Is for Hospital - November 10, 2010



"H" Is for Hospital




"H" is for hospital,
I hate going there,
Even when given,
The very best care!




They give you a gown,
That never stays tied,
And gapes open often,
To expose your backside.



Early each morning,
You suffer great pain,
When the lab tech arrives,
And misses your vein.



It's almost impossible,
To get any rest,
You're constantly bothered,
For some kind of test.



I'm the grouchiest patient,
With the surliest mood,
When I get these infusions,
Instead of real food.


To tell you the truth,
There isn't much worse,
Than being a patient,
When you're also a nurse!!




It really is scary,
To be feeling so sick,
And the road to recovery,
Isn't so quick.




And if that's not enough,
When you're given your bill,
You'll suffer a relapse,
And really feel ill.


Carmen Henesy
Copyright (c)  Carmen Henesy
November 10, 2010
All rights reserved

  Exactly five years ago, I wrote this poem for another blog, posted just after
hospitalization for cellulitis of my left ankle.  I thought I would repost it since I am being
hospitalized again.  I will be admitted to California Pacific Medical Center, Pacific Campus, San Francisco, November 18th, for my right total shoulder arthroplasty, to be done by
Dr. John Belzer, surgeon to the likes of athletes of the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Forty Niners and other pro athletic teams - as well as members of the San Francisco Ballet!  He is an excellent orthopedic surgeon who, if good looks and a charming
bedside manner were a prerequisite, could replace Patrick Dempsey on "Grey's
Anatomy" ( I can't vouch for his acting ability ).  

I'd like to ask that everyone offer up a prayer for my well being - and that of my surgeon, 
his assistant, the anesthesiologist, the surgical team and all involved in my care and recovery.  We could all use a little Divine intervention!














Monday, November 09, 2015


"H" Is for Hospital


"H" Is for Hospital




"H" is for hospital,
I hate going there,
Even when given,
The very best care!




They give you a gown,
That never stays tied,
And gapes open often,
To expose your backside.



Early each morning,
You suffer great pain,
When the lab tech arrives,
And misses your vein.



It's almost impossible,
To get any rest,
You're constantly bothered,
For some kind of test.



I'm the grouchiest patient,
With the surliest mood,
When I get these infusions,
Instead of real food.


To tell you the truth,
There isn't much worse,
Than being a patient,
When you're also a nurse!!




It really is scary,
To be feeling so sick,
And the road to recovery,
Isn't so quick.




And if that's not enough,
When you're given your bill,
You'll suffer a relapse,
And really feel ill.


Carmen Henesy
Copyright (c)  Carmen Henesy
November 10, 2010
All rights reserved


 
 

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Lot of Catching Up to Do! - October 26, 2015




Well, folks have probably forgotten me after my long silence these past few months!  My India residence had the absolutely worst WiFi connection so I was seldom able to post.  

Besides that, my right shoulder has been insufferably painful and massage did little to relieve the agony.  I didn't get to San Francisco before departure so I was without my usual pain medications -the new Federal law states that you must have prescription in hand from your physician - no more phoning in to your pharmacy.  I can honestly say that Naprosyn does NOT alleviate that joint pain.  My total shoulder replacement is scheduled for November 18th so, thankfully, I should feel better as soon as the day after.  My left shoulder was done two years ago.  Of course, I will need about three months of physical therapy - and it is my right shoulder so I anticipate things will be a bit more difficult post operatively!  I'm trying to practice doing things with my left hand.

I flew from Mumbai to Tampa for a week with Charlene Payton, my dear friend of forty years.  I didn't really have jet lag, I don't think, but with her incredible sleep number bed, I made up for five months on that horrible mattress I had in Mumbai.  Blissful sleep, wonderful company, and great eating readied me for a week in New Orleans and my fifty year Charity Hospital School of Nursing reunion.

I stayed at the home of my friend of fifty years, Martha Meaux Genin.  What a joyful time we all had.  There were so many memories, a few tears, lots of laughs, fabulous food.

Finally, I made it to West Sacramento where I got the warmest welcome ever from my sweet granddaughter, Harper, and the granddogs.  She does not want me out of her sight now and I am being showered with hugs and kisses - when she isn't saying, "Nana, don't touch me!"  She has grown by leaps and bounds and has an incredibly amazing English and Spanish vocabulary for a 2-1/2-year old.

Now that I have really high speed internet, I'll be catching up on India posts and the rest of my world.  While this last stay in India was not my best, I do want to go back.  I can't end my visits to this "country of my heart" on a bad note.

More to come.......


Friday, September 11, 2015

Through My Lens Nr. 6 - Making Music in Jaipur - September 11, 2014


This visit to India, I did make it back to Jaipur, my favorite city so far, for a ten day stay.  I was fortunate to live there, once for six months.  I love the colorful city and spent a wonderful evening at a special event with lively music, good food, and colorful saris.




I am participating in Mersad's