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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 17

Authorís note:

Altogether, five different places in Oklahoma City was where we lived. To feel like a dog who follows his tail around and around in the middle of a mat trying to find a comfortable place where he can finally rest seemed to be our destiny. We lived on Portland Avenue close to May avenue, Elliot street in the real slums of the town, Northwest 10th street, On Thirteenth Street close to the childrenís hospital, and finally on 23rd Street in the vicinity of the capital. Of all the places the last was the nicest. Iíll give a page to each location.

Portland Avenue

The old farm house on Portland Avenue was now a rental place and that was obvious. Work had been done to make it clean and livable. The rooms were spacious as only older homeís rooms can be. There was the difficult, long living room all women hate to have to decorate but I solved this problem by placing sofa and chairs across the room.

The space behind the living room furniture became a dining room. It worked for me. For some reason that room was dark so Rhonda and I spent most of our time in the warm, very large, light kitchen.

On my own I was still doing the therapy with her braces, as hateful as it was. Rodney built her a special chair with large coasters under it so I could push her around to wherever I happened to be. The chair and therapy helped if only for the easier immediate care we could give her. She was now holding her head up, even if not able to sit up, yet. The chair fit all around her snugly and gave her support so she appeared to be sitting on her own. There was a wide platform to hold her arms up so she could play with whatever objects were placed in front of her.

She a lot of her time in the chair and this sounds sad. However, if you compare that to the other children who were left in their cribs this was better. She was up and able to be in the middle of all my activities. The coasters on the bottom of the chair even allowed me to have her not too far from my cooking which she must have enjoyed because now she loves to watch the cooking shows.

Sol, her first therapist was the one who gave Rod the plans for this chair. I thought it was an ingenius thing he did by designing it.

Even though Uncle Dennis was prone to pop in from time to time the place was lonely. Because the house was off to itself there werenít really any neighbors. I was beginning to find out about living in a big town. Some of the friends came to call and this was when I met the doctor who was in that congregation. This chance acquaintance saved my life many years later when he knew where to send me for the best medical attention. We started going to the meetings and I met a number of new friends.

These people were more reserved though and were not of the same fun loving group we had left in Norman. We attended meetings, went in service, and studied the Bible together but there were no invitations forthcoming in any way for getting better acquainted. This was the first time I began to experience depression. I had no idea what that was or how a person was affected but the lesson learned at that time was real and very frightening.

"You have lost weight that dress is hanging on you." Rodney never made comments about how I looked or what I wore but this time he did.

"I canít eat. My stomach stays in knots and Iíve been vomiting. I thought I must have the flu, but there is no fever."

We went to the meeting but when I came through the door at home I couldnít get to the bathroom fast enough. I was so nauseated. This weakness experienced was something never known to me, before.

"You are going to the emergency room." Rodney was firm in his decision.

He carried Rhonda in one arm and practically carried me into the hospital. I could hardly stand.

Dr. Little was anything but little. He was a big man and doing a large job in a city emergency room. The place was full but he immediately saw me. The nurse gave me a shot and I was on my way out the door while I leaned heavily on Rodney in order to walk.

We no sooner got home than the phone rang. It was Dr. Little.

"I had no intentions of sending your wife home. She is very ill. Her nervous system is in a state of collapse. If you intend to keep her home you must go for a prescription. I gave her a shot and she will rest but this isnít over."

This was almost an understatement because throughout the years the same malady would come back to haunt me. The only difference is that I know the symptoms and immediately withdraw from anything of a stressful nature in my life, and to even be able to laugh about a comment made by one or another who doesnít understand.

"Donna drifts in and out of things!" One friend told me she had heard someone say.

My empathy for the death of Whitney Houston, the talented singer, February 2012 makes we wish she could have had a wise doctor like Dr. Little. I saw the actress leaning hard on someone as she tried to walk to a performance and my heart went out to her. Thank heavens for a loving family and my husband, who gives me the respite I need so that I can mend and get back to my duties.

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