20110227

110227 Thaikarl - Blood good, it is

friends,

i received some very nice, concerned comments on my last post.  and several kind offers from friends to donate their own blood for mama.  don't think the blood would survive the post getting to thailand however.  i sometimes feel like i'm viewing the world of thailand with fogged glasses and earplugs in.  i can't quite see what's going on clearly, and what i hear is muffled.  i have to try to figure out what is going on.  and i realize that my understanding is filtered through my own experience.

mama's condition has been known for quite a while.  in the past year, as her kidney slowly wears out, it has slowed her down and caused her problems in over-all well-being.  she is normally a self-guided busy machine.  she cooks, processes output from the fields, makes things (she knotted a three foot fishing net by hand), tends to the plants, chops wood, removes the weeds, visits with friends, and relaxes in between.  i asked tok what mama wants to do about her failing health.  they discussed it, and faced with the hassle and complication of home dialysis, mama decided that she didn't' want to mess with that.  she's around 77 years old and has had a full life.  she would rather spend her savings to have a decent funeral than spend it on extra-ordinary medicine that would prolong the length of her life, but not the quality of her life.  the funeral is preparation to go from this life to the next life.  not to some heaven or infinite after-life, but to the next incarnation in this world.  and during that transition you meet your ancestors and the spirits that surround us.  so it is more important to her to have a good send-off than to live her a little longer and  have a poor presentation to the ancestors.  

she is a person that i love and care for, but you know we have never had a conversation?  she speaks no english except for "good morning"  any interaction with mama and i has to be translated thru tok, and i get the readers-digest-condensed version.  i'll ask a question, like "how many relatives does mama have?" tok and mama will talk for 10 minutes, and tok will answer me "many".  that's it.  life without her will be quite different.  tok will have to maintain the house and take care of her daughter all by herself when mama isn't there to help.  i'm fairly useless with the house stuff.  i can't cook - and don't really care to learn how, i can clean but i'm worse than a fifteen year old, i don't know much about caring for plants, except for dumping water on them, and i sure can't knot a fishing net.  my job is to "bring home the bacon" or in this case "bring home the baht"  until i can figure out a way to do that at home, i have to do that from here... which doesn't help take care of the household up-keep.

tok did locate some blood, and she's got a donor list going so next month, or when ever it's needed she won't have to do so much running around.  the hospital may have better supplies on hand by then also.  the notable thing, which was the real subject of my last post, was the idea of running around on your own to find a donor.  i've only heard of that here in the states with people who have very rare blood types.  thailands medical system is quite extensive, but there are some areas lacking of course.  and they pay a tiny fraction of the price we pay, for the same or better general health care.

the weather in seattle is miserable right now. (whine, snivel, whine whine) low thirties, windy, rain.  oh, would i much rather be in the tropics.  77 degrees F and partly cloudy in bangkok right now.

onward! regardless!

8 comments:

  1. Karl, wonderful to hear Mama is receiving the much needed blood :) As far as doing your own running around - when my father in-law was in his last days, someone called our house from the war veteran's hospital and told me that he was nearly out of oxygen. I won't tell you what I nearly said, I'm just happy that it was me that took the call and not Stray!

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  2. Thanks for the Blog, and best wishes to Mama and Tok. Thanks

    Ivan

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  3. you have a great family!
    please apreciate them

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    1. i do appreciate this family i wandered into. i tell my wife frequently "i am a lucky man" considering the crazy relationships i've had in the past, and the messed up families i've witnessed, i know i am in a very fortunate situation now. i do my best to preserve that state of being. things that are disruptive to the harmony we enjoy i just let go of, as most of the time they are trivial, when seen in the bigger picture of this life. sometimes i think about how things might suddenly go sour- as they sometimes do in life, but i realize my actions and participation goes a long way towards wether or not that will happen. and even if it does, to have this time of life as it is is a comfort, and guides my actions and thoughts in the present, into the future. thanks

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  4. wish i was a computer geek

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    1. you don't have to be a 'geek' to get things done online these days. if there is something you want to do- blog, post pictures, post thoughts, there are tools, like blogger here that takes a lot of the geekyness out of it. you need to focus on what you want to do. for instance: "i want to have a blog to post my thoughts and photos" and ask the question "how do i do that?" put that in google "how do i make a blog" and you'll get billions of answers, one of them will make sense to you.

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  5. hello love your blog

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  6. Nice post! Thanks for taking the time to compile and share this wonderful post.

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