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The Crackerhead Chronicles: The Twenty-first Crumb


The Twenty-first Crumb

Still Here


If I remember right, it was in 2010 when I wrote that I did not know how to end this book, and now I better understand why.  For there were still some things left to be included in it, and the actual last page of this account will be for someone else to write after my sentence in this prison of a world finally comes to an end.

Arlynda has already received her release, and she went home to spend all of eternity with our Heavenly Father in His Kingdom of Heaven as an heir to all that is His in glory at around 1:30 a.m. on December 5, 2017.  Yeah, it came as a great shock to me, as well.

Oh no, certainly not in regards to my beloved wife’s destination.  For I have never entertained any doubts about that, but the timing of her departure was not according to my schedule.

Quite obviously, a few things have happened since the last line of the twentieth crumb was written eight years ago.  Yes, the entire book has been subjected to some polishing of a few places and major reconstruction of others, but the content has largely remained the same.

If was in 2015 when it seemed like a good idea to upload the books that our Heavenly Father had given me to publish to Amazon.com’s Kindle platform.  Hence, the 2015 copyright notice to all but Little Lost Leon, which was finally finished in February of 2018.

I was desperately trying to finish the fifth chapter of the book while Arlynda was in the hospital that last time.  For she had loved the first four, and she was quite serious with pestering me over what would be happening next in the book.  I was not let in on the little secret that she would not finish reading it with her physical eyes.

Okay, I suppose it is about time for me to fill in a few gaps in the timeline.  For Arlynda started feeling worse and worse in 2011.  None of her doctors knew any more about what may be going on than we did, and she was finally terminated for lack of productivity from her stay-at-home job in 2012 (I think).  Ironically, her job was processing insurance claims for United Health Care.

Thankfully, our Heavenly Father stepped in soon after, and Arlynda was finally diagnosed with suffering from non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.  The clues had been in her medical records all along, but it took a lowly medical assistant to actually read them to put two and two together.  For she had been diagnosed with fatty liver disease over ten years before, which ran in her family, and Arlynda had type 2 diabetes.  The two together almost always leads to cirrhosis of the liver, but her diabetes specialist, who was supposedly one of the most respected in the field across the country, never bothered to dig deeper.

Alas, we became all too painfully aware of the fact that the United States really does have the best healthcare system in the world unless you really need it.  Furthermore, all of the claims of our two hospital systems in Springfield both being among the top 100 in the country were according to surveys bought and paid for by those very same local hospital systems.  After all, if you really were one of the most highly respected diabetes experts in the country—would you be practicing here or where the money is really at?  That is, of course, unless you had more than enough money to begin with, which Arlynda’s doctor did not.

After securing the non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver diagnosis, it looked like our only option would be for her to apply for Social Security disability, but we were sure not looking forward to it.  For even as sick as I was, it required three different appearances before the Social Security case judge (the same one each time, actually) before being granted partial disability, which left me receiving a government check of $23.50 a month at first.  Granted, it rose to around $230 a month over the years, but that is certainly not enough to get rich quick on, so to speak (crudely, I know).

Our Heavenly Father stepped in again.  For after becoming frustrated with filling out the application form online, Arlynda decided to try it later and closed the page.  A little after 9 a.m. the next morning, a very nice lady from the local Social Security office called Arlynda over the phone and told her that she had seen where she had not completed the application.  Then the nice lady asked Arlynda if she would like to finish it verbally at that time over the phone, and a couple of weeks later, Arlynda received her first check for full Social Security disability.

Please, do not misunderstand.  For I was overjoyed with the help Arlynda received, but fair is fair.  I mean, my fight with Social Security lasted over two years and ended with $23.50 a month.  Whereas, Arlynda did not have to fight a bit, and she was receiving almost a thousand dollars a month!

Adding insult to my self-diagnosed Spiritual injury was that my check was tied to how much she received.  When she received a raise in the benefit amount, mine was lowered.  Now, tell me that our Heavenly Father does not love her more than me!  I am, of course, just kidding (sort of).

Although Arlynda was most definitely too sick to do any consistent work even just on the computer, she could still get around fairly well, and her mother took full advantage of this.  For she had been living with us since we bought this house in 2006, and she hated Arlynda being too tired after work to take her shopping for something or another she truly believed she could not live without.

Be assured that there was many a day when Arlynda would have been much better off hunched over a computer keyboard than following her mother around as she had to go down every aisle of every store she had to visit.  By the way, Arlynda’s mother went home on January 15, 2017.

Please, do not think I am speaking ill of the dead.  For the real Bonnie Jean Babbitt-Chastain-Lozano was as sweet as she could be, but the demon possessing her was most certainly not.

No, I am not trying to be funny.  For she really was possessed for at least the time she spent living with us, and it is much to my shame that I did not realize it until the demon left her.  You see, one of my Spiritual gifts is spiritual discernment, but I was only observing Bonnie with my own eyes—not our Heavenly Father’s.

Oh my, the “fun” we had in this house.  For Bonnie took out all of her hatred for me on Arlynda, and when Arlynda would try to defend me, the proverbial stuff would really hit the proverbial fan.

As Arlynda became less and less able to walk around well, the more I tried to keep a constant watch for things Bonnie would leave in the way—especially after Arlynda became no longer strong enough to pick herself off of the floor if she fell.  I would try to gently explain it to Bonnie, but she only understood that I was out to get her.

On New Year’s Eve of 2016, Bonnie announced that she was having one of spells and wanted to go to the emergency room.  She had been having them for years, but that was the first time she had wanted to go see a doctor.  An ambulance was called, and the paramedics asked her if she would rather try to walk out to the ambulance or be carried out on a stretcher?  When Bonnie answered, I knew that something was different.  For she said, “Well, I do not want to be a bother.”

Arlynda had earlier called her younger sister, Leslie, and she rode with Leslie to the emergency room taking a different route than the ambulance.  About halfway to the hospital, an ambulance with lights and siren going came up from behind Arlynda and Leslie, and it was discovered that it was the one that had picked up their mother.  There were no lights and sirens when they left the house.

A few hours after arriving at the hospital, Arlynda and Leslie were informed that Bonnie had suffered a massive heart attack.  She was stable at the time, but over half of her heart was dead.  The doctor did not think that she would survive surgery, which was confirmed by other examinations performed by other doctors.

I do not remember just how long, but I think Bonnie spent around ten days in the hospital before being transferred to Leslie’s home under hospice care.  All while in the hospital, Bonnie was an absolute delight to everyone around.  She even told Arlynda that she was glad she had me to care for her after she was gone.

Yes, you may think that she was just cleaning up her act before having to stand before her Maker, but even Arlynda could see that there was much more to it than that.  In fact, Bonnie never expressed any concern whatsoever for her own welfare during that time, and that was all she was interested in before.

Aside from giving Bonnie a very nasty disposition, her demon had also made her into a hoarder.  No, it was not as bad as some situations shown on television shows, but we found well over a hundred empty cat food tins stashed where I could not find and thrown them in the trash.  There was one time when I broke down and carried out to the trash bin an old office chair that was well beyond repair, and she dug it out of the trash.  By the way, the chair was not even hers to begin with.

If you are wondering what Bonnie did to attract the demon to her, all she did was have a daughter who married me.  Besides, most of what has been taught in Christian churches about how to protect against demonic attacks are just exactly what our only true enemies want us to believe.  For the only protection we have against such is our Heavenly Father, and they cannot come anywhere near any of us unless He allows them to in order to accomplish His purposes.  Bonnie being so ugly was meant to be an added torment for me to endure, and I am deeply ashamed of myself for not doing a better job of enduring it quietly and keeping my beleaguered wife out of the line of fire.

Be assured that Arlynda still greatly missed her mother being around, but she was also so very thankful for not having to take her shopping.  In fact, as Arlynda’s health continued to deteriorate, it became where she would not leave the house unless she had to go see a doctor or be drained.

Drained?  We learned up close and all too painfully that one of the side-effects to cirrhosis is ascites, which is when the liver dumps fluid directly into the abdominal cavity.  Arlynda equated it with Veruca Salt being juiced in Willie Wonka, and they drained over 14 liters off Arlynda the first time she had the procedure.

 It started out only being necessary once a month or so, but it became more and more frequent.  She was really needing it done at least twice a week toward the end, but that was not really practical.  For we had been unable to have a wheelchair ramp built for the house yet, and I could barely get her out to the car and back into the house.

Alas, here we go again with the realities of our wonderful healthcare system.  For it is true that one can simply apply to receive a motorized wheelchair, and for a relatively healthy person, it is really not that big of a deal.  Ah, but for a very sick person, those three separate visits (at least) here and there is a very big deal.  Furthermore, it took around six weeks to complete the process.  By the way, her new motorized wheelchair was finally ready to be delivered the week after she no longer desperately needed one, and with no ramp in sight, it would not have helped her all that much, anyway.

Every time Arlynda would fall, an ambulance crew would have to come out to put her back on her feet.  For I was barely able to keep myself upright—let alone pick Arlynda up off of the floor or ground.

I said in an earlier crumb that I had ballooned up to around 400 pounds.  Well, when I had my heart attack in 2015, I discovered that I had lost almost 200 pounds by then.  Nope, I did nothing to gain so much weight.  Neither did I do anything to lose it.  Be assured that I would be completely immobile now if I still weighed so much.

Coming back to Arlynda’s problems, she fell three times the last couple of weeks here at home.  For we have two small steps out of the actual house down into what we call a breezeway, and then another two small steps to the ground.  I could usually help her go out to the car without a lot of drama, but coming back into the house was an entirely different story.  I had sent off for what I thought would work to hand-winch her back into the house in her wheelchair, but she went to the hospital for the final time before it could be used.

Arlynda was in pure misery the last two months.  For she only made it out of her recliner to go to the bathroom and to medical procedures.  It had been years since she could actually sleep in our bed.  So, she was well conditioned to that, but she dearly wanted to go into the kitchen and putter around the house at least a little.  She had to use an adult potty chair next to her recliner the last 2-3 weeks because of it becoming to where she did not have the strength to travel the 15-20 feet to the bathroom, even with a walker.

It was that potty chair that greatly contributed to her sudden end (naturally-speaking, of course).  For it was not quite wide enough, and she had become stuck trying to get off of it the last few times.  Thankfully, I was enabled to help her twice without disaster, but the morning before she had to go to the hospital that final time, she fell trying to sit back down in her recliner.

Again with the realities of our wonderful healthcare system.  For it did not matter what I would tell the 9-1-1 operator, and then have to repeat it to the actual ambulance dispatcher, you get what they send.  The first time Arlynda needed help off of the floor, two very strong and knowledgeable paramedics came out and had her in her recliner without much trouble at all.  It all went downhill from there, though.  One crew arrived and proceeded to tell her to simply stand up.  Another crew consisted of two young ladies weighing maybe 200 pounds between them without a clue of how to lift a helpless woman weighing almost 300 pounds off of the floor.  The crew that arrived the morning of the final day consisted of two small women and a rather brawny one.  I tried to tell them what the good crew had done, but they ignored me.  After dropping her twice, they finally succeeded in placing her back in her recliner, which she had fallen at the foot of.

Little did I realize that it had been the beginning of the end.  For when Arlynda awoke around 6 p.m. because of having to go to the bathroom, she did not believe she had the strength to stand up out of her recliner.

Four hours later, she gave me permission to call for an ambulance to take her to the emergency room, and I was very hopeful that all that was needed was for her to have another good draining because she had passed over the line marking where she would be too heavy to stand on her own.  She was admitted to the hospital, and a paracentesis, which is the draining procedure, was scheduled for the next day.  That was to be on a Thursday, I think.

Another thing that we learned the rather hard way about cirrhosis is that the liver stops processing ammonia properly.  Ammonia is a natural byproduct of the digestion process, and when its level becomes too high in the bloodstream, one falls into what would be best described as a drunken stupor.  Arlynda was prescribed Lactulose to combat it. but there had been a couple of times when the ammonia level still became too high.

That was happening again while Arlynda was in the hospital, and the nurse I talked to over the phone told me that it was thought that the problem was that she had been given too much of something after her paracentesis. By evening, Arlynda slipped into a semi-comatose state that lasted and lasted.

I did not become too overly concerned until she was still in it after twelve hours.  For she had been like that for fourteen hours once at home, and I figured that the hospital would take care of it better than I did.  By Saturday morning, she was talking to her nurses a little, and told them that she wanted to go home.  I was ecstatic and planned on going to see here the next day because she was going to have to stay in the hospital longer than anticipated.

By the time I made it to the hospital Sunday afternoon, Arlynda was just there.  Oh, she recognized that I was there, but she was so distant.  I still do not have a clue.

Bright and early Monday morning, which would have been December 4th, I received a phone call from Arlynda’s hospitalist, which is a doctor in the hospital assigned to patients without a regular doctor with hospital privileges.  I do not know why her liver specialist was not around, but that is neither here or there now.

Anyway, the nice hospitalist started talking to me about end of life decisions for Arlynda because they could not bring the level of ammonia in her bloodstream anywhere close to a normal level.  For her liver was completely shutting down, and I went into shock.  Oh, I was able to answer all of her questions, but it was not me doing the talking.  Angie, Arlynda’s unofficial sister (long story) came and took me to the hospital to be with her for a few hours, but she never regained consciousness.  Around 1:30 the next morning, I received the call.

 No, Arlynda could not have had a transplant.  For it was determined that she was too heavy and still had nicotine in her bloodstream, which would be like putting a good liver in a bad body, to put it rather bluntly.  She had quit smoking regular cigarettes almost two years earlier, but electronic cigarettes were still not good enough for the purists.  Her excessive weight problem due to her health issues was also not their problem.

Oh how I miss her, but I am so very thankful that her great suffering finally ended.  MY TURN NEXT!!!  Well…

Alas, I have been fairly clear about what an idiot I naturally am, but I now think I really did not have a clue of just how stupid I can be.  You see, I had another heart attack around two weeks ago, and I wanted to stick around for a little while longer.  Yeah, it is baffling to me, as well.

Be assured that I am only half-joking.  For I am being plumb serious when I refer to our lives here as being like sentences being carried out in this prison of a world, but I know that our Heavenly Father wants me to finish the rewrites of the books He has given me to publish and release them into the wild again, so to speak.  I have not completed this task yet.  So, I want to remain until I do.

I have already mentioned Little Lost Leon, which is out there on FishHawk Droppings now.  So, is Bittersweet Refinements and A Love for the Ages.  This book will be the next.  In His Own Words should not entail much, but The Minister and The Crackerhead has issues.  So does Let Your Will Be Done and Broken Branches.

Speaking of Broken Branches, it is about a feller, who is given the opportunity to go back in time and observe several generations of his true bloodline.  It was written while I still had no idea who my biological parents were.  This has changed.

I still do not know all that much about them.  For I was only able to trace my natural lineage back to around 1900, without finding just what they did.  My mother’s name was Ruby Mae Halfacre, and I think my father was V.L. Sullivan.  I will not know for sure about him until Arkansas releases the paperwork sometime this summer.  They both died during the 1980s.

If V.L. Sullivan really is my biological father, I have a full older brother living around Newport, which is where I was born.  I also have several half-sisters.  That is, if any of them are still alive.  I think the youngest would be well into her 70s by now.

Since I am in too poor physical health to make the trip down to Newport, I have not actually seen Jimmy, my older brother by two years.  Since I have not been able to find a good phone number for him, neither have I actually talked to him.

I do not want to say much else because of the ramifications.  I take that back.  For I really do want to say a lot about it, but I have been advised that it would cause much damage to others.  So, I will just say that I do not have to wait until my original birth certificate is unsealed to know for certain who my biological mother is because the one who confirmed her name to me was a very good friend of hers and in the room when I was physically born.

Halfacre is an Anglo/Saxon name that I have read originated in the southwestern Cornwall region of England.  That is where Joseph of Arimathea supposedly went after of the crucifixion of Christ Jesus, and where King Arthur of Camelot fame and fortune held court.  So, I  have some new fantasies to entertain.

I also found something very interesting about the name, Sullivan.  For in the old Irish Gaelic, it means hawk-eyed, and I was created to be one of our Heavenly Father’s FisHawks.  I have not been told of there being anymore, but I dare not think that I am so unique.

Speaking of being hawk-eyed, that is something I no longer am.  Well, at least not with my physical sight.  For I am now legally blind in my left eye, and I usually have to use a magnifying glass to read anything in print on paper unless it is really big to begin with.

Alas, I had no idea just how incredible my physical eyesight truly was until it started going bad.  For I could see as well up close as far away, and I could also see almost as well at night as during the daytime.

I used to tie trout flies without a magnifying glass on #28 hooks, which are a little longer than a quarter-inch long (if that) and I could read road signs before Arlynda even saw that there was a sign while we were out on the truck together.  I once shot a grey squirrel through its left eye from around a hundred yards away.  My mom was with me out hunting, and she did not know that there was a squirrel there until it hit the ground.  One of my favorite things was shooting persimmons out of trees by hitting their stems.

Nope, can’t be doing any of that now.  In fact, I have not actually driven a vehicle of any sort out on the street or road for several years because I do not trust my ability to do so safely.

I cannot remember exactly when, but it started after what I used to call one of my lightning bolts zipped across the top of my head.  It feels like pressure is building in the back of my head, and it then rips to the front.  Most of the time it is relatively painless, but there have been a few that really hurt.

It was after waking with my left side not working quite right a few years ago that I discovered that my lightning bolts were actually mini-strokes.  That particular incident affected the sight in my left eye, which became worse as time progressed.

It was not bothering me all that much until my right eye started giving me trouble.  I finally went to an eye doctor, who announced that I need to have Avastin shot into my eyes to dry up the excess fluid that had built up in the back of them.  It was a couple of days after I had my first shot in my right eye that I had my heart attack.

No, the shot had nothing to do with it, but I was sure desperate to make it out of the hospital in time to receive my first Avastin shot in my left eye.  For I was told that it might take up to four rounds in each eye to restore at least reasonably well sight, and I had made up my mind to start learning how to write computer code so I might start contributing financially to the family again.  One needs to be able to see to write code, you see.  Well, at least to the extent I was aware of.

I supposedly only had a minor heart attack, but they kept me in intensive care for almost four days because of how high my blood pressure was.  My first shot in my left eye was scheduled for the upcoming Thursday, and I could not find a doctor in the hospital who would tell me when I could be released.  My blood pressure was down to normal, but they were still keeping me.

So, I checked myself out against medical advice (AMA) and that is when the “fun” really started.  For I did not realize that I did not have the strength to stay on my feet for longer than a few seconds.

The hospital I was in pretty much said, “Okay, go on and leave then,” and left me sitting on the side of the bed on the seventh floor without any idea which direction the front door was.  Oh yeah, there was also the little matter of me being too weak to walk, to consider.  I finally begged one of the nurses enough to convince her to send a wheelchair and someone to take me downstairs, where Arlynda was waiting to take me home.

Thankfully, I made it into the house, and I made it into bed without a lot of trouble.  This was Wednesday night.  When I awoke the next morning in plenty of time to make it to the eye doctor, I discovered that I was too weak to make it out of bed.  Okay, I could roll out of bed, but standing on my own two feet was out of the question because of how low the bed sits off of the floor.

After sitting on the side of the bed for what I thought was quite a while, it came to me to place under me whatever I could reach to change the angle.  With this done and on the fourth try, I succeeded in making it to my feet.

I literally clung to the walls to make it to my chair in the living room so that I could call the eye doctor and explain what was going on with me.  They were very understanding and told me that I would not have to start all over if I could make it in within a month.

I did not leave that chair for over a week without the aid of a walker, which was a problem.  For unlike my wife, who could go to sleep standing on her head, everything needs to be just right for me to maybe go to sleep.  Furthermore, I had become used to sleeping with my C-PAP machine, which had to be brought out of the bedroom to the living room, which greatly irritated Arlynda’s mother at the time.

Since I could push off with the arms of my chair, I could make it to my feet easy enough, and I would try to stay on my feet a little longer each day.  After three weeks, I felt ready to try to make it to the eye doctor again, which I did.

It took a little over a year before I could walk like I had before my MINOR heart attack.  My eyesight did not make such a full recovery, though.

Nonetheless, I was able to learn enough about computer coding to launch my own website in September of 2016.  After a year, it was not really any closer to generating enough income to justify the expense of keeping it up.  So, in September of 2017, down it went.

Perhaps you may have heard something or another about it?  It was called, SiteHoundSniffs, and it was a site directory.  This is someplace one can go on the internet to better (supposedly) find sites of interest, and it was receiving over 40,000 visits a month from all over the world.  Advertisers generally do not become interested until the traffic is in the millions, though.

Our Heavenly Father had been talking to me about rewriting the books He had given me to publish, and reformatting FishHawk Droppings to make it easier for visitors to read them online and/or download for free.  No, He has not assured me of actually seeing any great success, but I have come to understand that I would do well to follow where He is leading.

Between my physical eyesight still being rather poor, and Arlynda’s overall physical health deteriorating rapidly, progress was quite slow for several months.  Although, the pace has picked up considerably lately.

After Arlynda went home, I found myself in a quite desperate financial situation.  For we were having to use the credit card to pay some bills every couple of months or so beforehand, and with me only receiving a little over a hundred dollars a month from Social Security disability, homelessness in less than six months was a distinct possibility.

I am still not completely out of the woods, but I can now see some light peeking through the canopy.  Our Heavenly Father has told me that things will not blow up (so to speak) until after I have completed the rewrite and re-release of all of the books.  They are to remain free, with an ask for a small donation from those who receive some value from what our Havenly Father has given to place into written form.  As I have been told by a dear friend in Nigeria, let us see what He can do.

Little Lost Leon is amazing, and I can say that without the least bit of shame.  For I do not consider myself to be the author of it.  If anything, I am nothing more than a scribe placing into written form what our Heavenly Father tells me in my mind.

Alas, He also allows me to put my spin on things from time to time. Hence, all of the rewrites over the years.

Another amazing book(let) that is already available on FishHawk Droppings is The God Box.  Since it is only around eight pages long, some have insisted that it is really not a book, but that is beside the point. For the length of a book is no true indication of its value, and The God Box is more valuable than a book of 8,000 pages.  Okay, 8,000,000,000, then.  For it places into easily understandable language a simple definition of our Heavenly Father.

I truly believe that Let Your Will Be Done and Broken Branches will be just as amazing when the rewrites are completed.  There is even another book swirling around in the back of my head right now, but I am not sure if it will be ever written.  Besides, it may not actually be of our Heavenly Father.  Stay tuned, I suppose.

2 comments:

Crystal Mary said...

Life is a struggle and more so for some than for others. Its very hard to be tired down to a bed or chair on getting older - unlike when able to run around when younger. I spend a lot of my time with a laptop on my knees, sitting in a recliner.
I get up and do something, get tired and sit down again.
So I could see this life style for yourself and your lady.
But we need to count our blessings, as the hymn goes and name them one by one...
I praise God for my wonderful country, the birds who are so noisy and wake me up most mornings. There is always much to be thankful for... and the very best, is knowing that when we leave this rotting shell of a body behind, we step into eternal life where we never suffer again. God Bless you Jerry boy, son of the Most High God...

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Thanks for stopping by, my dear Crystal Mary!!! Indeed.

Alas, I just read this crumb again and found several very obvious errors. So, I will be doing os more editing and will change the downloadable eBook again. There is no need for those who have already done so to do it again, though. For the important stuff will remain the same.