Showing posts with label stroke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stroke. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


The starchy stuff.

“Aquawhatta? Aquafaba”, said the America Test Kitchen.

I have a cholesterol problem and statins give me joint pain. My lipids are 225 mg and 4.4 is (<5 chol="" hdl="" i="" it="" know="" ratio="" s="" span="" squeaker.="" the="" this.="" yes="">

I’m a quasi-vegetarian. I like fish and chicken and the tuna and salmon steaks just takes a minute; a little bit of olive oil, Dijon mustard and garlic. Or, canned albacore and canned salmon. And lots beans, veggies and fruit.

Aquafaba is shaking the unopened can of chickpeas and drain well, the starchy stuff. It is binder for (but not really) eggs, baked goods and mayonnaise. It foams up well with (almost) egg whites, too. Here’s a tip from the freezer…the liquid bean cubes in 1-tablespoon portions (ice cubes), or frozen baggies for solid cubes and nuke them in the microwave. Pop the chickpeas in the freezer for another day. Use mason jars.

I watch a lot of PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), specifically, America Test Kitchen, “Vegan for Everybody”. Chock full of recipes, easy recipes. $22 bucks. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy....

One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy....

I use a government cell phone, Tracfone and SafeLink. It’s a free phone. My phone works but, it’s disconnected. The computer voice said call 911. The calls on my phone, ingoing and outgoing calls; it’s not working. It’s dead. It’s in limbo. Well, that’s just wonderful.

I have aphasia. Words fail me. I have a script for the cellphone in my folder for the plumber, the lawn guy, the Culligan man…you get the picture. The dictionary and Thesaurus are a lifesaver.

The cellphone is disconnected. I go to the internet message center for SafeLink, explained the situation. I typed “I use a government cellphone. It’s a free phone. My phone works but, it’s disconnected. Help me, please. I used the proof of documentation for SafeLink,” said the script.

Oh, I get it. Long story short, numerous swear-words, email pixels, ID numbers and exhausting brain-freeze, all this work for naught. SafeLink is correct. The message center woman explained their annual income and monthly income below is minimum.

Late September, Fiat Chrysler Motors has retirement fund for retirees. I’m 69 in August. It’s substantial and I can breathe again.

Meanwhile, I ordered the Consumer Cellular. Before the cellphone, missed calls, abysmal apps (or no apps) and general disorder. I need a new phone.

I’m waiting for UPS. CC has a transfer phone for SafeLink. Once your phone arrives you should activate online. Here’s a plus, your number will automatically transfer on 04/01/17 if you have not already finished the process. That’s handy.

I’ll think I’ll wait for the first of April. No more Robo calls. It’s peaceful. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017's a bikini fest!

It's a bikini fest.

Harold, my neighbor, comes with the mail frequently, blustery winds, snow and wind. I’m not gonna do it. Brr.

“Swimsuits!” said Harold.

Swimsuits? There, Kate Upton, a necklace of beads and everything; a Sports Illustrated bikini fest. Postmarked upside down, Mickie Roller, arcane language for SI numbers, letters and address. I worry about the internet. It’s out there, lurking.

I played detective for the internet and SI appeared. Got the account number for the postmark and voila. There it is. My name, address and a Pennsylvania zip code. Well, where’s the cancellation? There, nested among the “revoke” terms, I entered-returned…but wait.

There’s pop-up screen. M2 Media Group (probably subscriptions) for cancellation; call this number. I called. There’s tuneful, melodious (prerecorded), lady stated the first issues are free. Sucker you in, perhaps? Then, the lady presents an address, if you want to cancel. Numbers and letters are bad news, really bad news. I get confused for 17 years. Regroup.

I found the internet M2 Media Group, found the cancellation, found the account number and stopped the product, all by myself. “Submit” and done. Whew.

I’m overwhelmed and flooded. I keep going.Two or three years ago, I had a sea change. I’m calmer now. Reasoning and understanding. My little brain is fried, though.

Oh, by the way, never subscribed to anything for magazines. 

Big Brother is watching you.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Mild Case of the Shingles

Ew. Shingles.

Sunday evening, I watched Madam Secretary with Tia Leone, and something happened.  My left brain and scalp itches, markedly. I tried to ignore it. A stabbing pain, in my brain, through and through. The stroke comes to mind.

Two days after, I broke out in, presumingly, hives. Sixty-eight years, I never broke out in hives. The left neck, throat, my left ear and left scalp itches. Very strange.

I have rats outside the house, specifically, the garage. I live out in the country, varmints, ground moles and, yes, rats. Tuesday, in the afternoon, I developed hives. I attributed that from organic rat poison…perfectly safe. I worried about owls, chipmunks and raccoons. It’s not their fault.

It’s not hives. Two times a year, fortunately, I had an appointment with my doctor Thursday, my biannual check-up.

“You have a mild case of the shingles,” the doctor said.

Incredulous, “Are you sure?”

The doctor furrows his brow, “Yes. I would know,” smirking. “You have prodromal discomfort, for two or three days before the rash?”

Tia Leone last Sunday, a stabbing pain, in my brain.


One in three developed shingles, a scabby purulent discharge, itches like crazy and oven-mitts comes to mind. The doctor prescribed valacyclovir hcl, 1 gram tablet, for seven days. 

I hate shots and Big Pharma.  Just so you know.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I had a chimney fire in my wood stove.

 A standby generator.

I had a chimney fire in my wood stove.

Two-doors down, the neighbor noticed a conflagration on my smokestack. The neighbor called me, I immediately closed the flue. I forgot the clean out the flue. My bad. Called Nickos Chimney tout suite.

Seems a tree had fallen, a big, whopping tree lay on the road. The electricity is gone. Eight hours later, in the evening, lights! Meanwhile, I’m a popsicle. 

There’s more. The water’s gone too. Frozen pipes. I forgot to turn on the water. Three days later, there’s water again. Thanks, Culligan! I have five gallons, four each. The dogs had fresh water. Slurp. The dogs are happy.

Ahh, the Jonah blizzard of 2016. The chimney fire, electric problem and water (I have well water). I finally learned. 

Be prepared! 

I live in the Laurel mountains in Pennsylvania and little woodland creatures abound. I love my life.

I called Generac, a standby generator. It automatically swings to action. Probable solved.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I did it myself; 45+ channels, crystal clear sound. It’s not brain surgery (pardon the pun).

Crazy person.

I’m cutting the cord…sort of.

I bought a $69 dollar, 19 inch, refurbished,TV at WalMart (gotta love WM) and HDTV antenna. I live in the mountains. I discontinued the landline, and use the cellphone. It’s a Tracfone, serviceable, but, its no charge; I’m disabled. I use my internet every blessed day and I own two TV’s and a Fire Stick.

Last month, I called Armstrong, to the tune of $200+/- per month. That’s a lot cable. I explained the situation, no landline, and keep the internet and pull the plug for TV (the fishing channel…really?). TV is manageable, and dropped down at $125+/-. Armstrong has excellent service.

I assembled TV (the left-hand is a bear, the four screws in the base for the TV), I lugged the set in my bedroom (its light) and antenna, (20 tries, I finally took duct tape and plastered the signals on the window…again, my left-hand). 

I did it myself; 45+ channels, crystal clear sound. It’s not brain surgery (pardon the pun).

Keep in mind, no internet and no TV; the wire doesn’t help for electricity in a big storm. The cable is out. A small generator, I have a wood stove, five-gallons of water and provisions, just in case. Plus, a have wonderful neighbors.

Bye, Armstrong.

P.S. 01/06/16: Three TV's and the antenna is fine. CBS, ABC, NBC and PBS (4 channels), the sound is good and the picture is clear. 45+ too. I'm a happy girl. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I don’t understand the concept of numbers. The gibberiish.

The dropped foot is no picnic. 

I fight throw rugs (no more!), trip myself and the dachshund moves out of the way.

I have WalkAide for seven years. The peroneal foot lifts the electrically…kind of a cattle prod.

 I’m out of electrodes.

Fifteen years, I had stroke. I’m totally bad with numbers and the dreaded spelling. Linda from Hanger products is my contact for Pittsburgh. She called me with a voicemail, indicated that the WalkAide is here and her cellphone is total gibberish. Fifteen years, I don’t understand the concept of numbers. One to ten, or more…I struggled. I can’t hear her; though, the hearing is completely fine. Gibberish.

Finally, numerous voicemails I have a system. The area code, location and the numbers. The brain tells me that four…one…two (I jot it down), call the voicemail, two…two…five (I jot it down), call the voicemail, two…five…three…five (I jot it down). Digits are bad, (1-10) I have no concept, again my brain is fried. For example:




I get that. I get the visional, not numbers. I call numerous times, many, many times. Yikes.

Maybe, I’ll consider the captioned phone. Before the stroke, I have an A personality…always on the move, the next big thing. 

God’s little irony.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

It’s too much phone-idge.


I discontinued the 547 numbers and I have an existing cellphone, quasi-phone; a generic TracFone. I called Armstrong Cable and the phone is no more; hey, $30 bucks is $30 bucks! TracFone is a free phone and is serviceable, albeit the bells and whistles. It’s too much phone-idge. 

I called Automated Security Alarm (the thing with the neck chain pendant) and Monday morning, bright and early, the person is coming to install the cellphone.

By the way, words fail me. I’m a little bit aphasic, well, a lot. Irony abounds.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Ah, the laden-cholesterol-mystery-meat with egg and the fake cheese. Yum.

Egg White and Tofurky

My caregiver, Anita, and I were starving for McDonald’s Breakfast items, specifically, an Egg McMuffin (Egg White Delight). The McDonald’s person noted the Egg White Delight is not offered, but the laden-cholesterol-mystery-meat with egg was indeed offered. Egg McMuffin indeed. Sales and Marketing? You bet. Yech. 

I passed, thank you, fired up the kitchen and assembled 1/2 Lender’s Onion (Earth Balance Vegan pseudo-butter), Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon, two egg whites (dogs love yolks), and low-fat mozzarella (left-hand, yet!).

1/2 Lender’s Onion (toasted), fake butter.

In a small skillet, medium-high, Smokey Bacon, turn it over and its done. Its a soy product.

A shade of olive oil in a small bowl and nuke two egg whites, (a nuance of salt, pepper, dill and parsley) One minute.

Sprinkle low-fat cheese with the egg whites. Nuke. 20 seconds +/-.

It isn’t half-bad.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ah, macaroni and pseudo-cheddar cheese food.

Ah, macaroni and pseudo-cheddar cheese food.

Actually, it’s not half-bad.

I have an unpleasant probable with bad cholesterol. I can’t take statins; joint pains. Grandma and Grandpap Szczekocki died of a stroke, respectively, 64 and 72. They are obese people, with astronomically high blood pressure and extreme headaches after the stroke. Conversely, I too had a stroke. In the emergency I was fit, extremely (68/28) low pressure (I was dying.) and absolutely no headache. …I digress; my cholesterol is 283 last year.

One cup cheddar cheese is 530 calories and half and half is a whopping 313. My poor lipids. That’s not good. Here’s something different.

Boil 1 1/2 cups of mac. Drain it, set aside.

Boil two sizable potatoes (or sweet smallish potatoes), one carrot, one onion. Peel, please. Fork-tender, 10 minutes, save the water.

1/2 cup of peanuts (or cashews), 1 1/2 hot water (from the pan), 5 drops of cayenne, two or three pepper flakes, veggies, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, 2 tsp. of garlic powder. (Nutri Ninja, Nutribullet, or, a plain old blender, pulse for 20 seconds.)

In your microwave, 1 tablespoon Earth Balance pseudo-butter, handful of crumbs for flavor. 10 seconds.

Spray Pam liberally, 10 x 10 pan. Pour the mac and crumbs (space them out). 40 minutes 380 degrees.

It’s not mac and cheese, but full of veggies and nutritious peanuts. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I scarfed down Twinkies to a oblivion and washed down diet Coke for breakfast.

Before the stroke, I was a really bad cook.

I scarfed down Twinkies to a oblivion and washed down diet Coke for breakfast. Well, no more. I’m no nutritionist, that said.. 

…spaghetti squash, Ragu, ground turkey, fresh cucumber, tomatoes and sliced onion, and, of course, wine, Stone Villa Niagara. One glass, please. Yum.

A side note, Anita Kennedy is my caregiver, Wednesday 12:30 - 5. She washes vegetables and fruit in a Baggie (with a Cuisinart). My right hand quite dead, but it functions for washes dishes, writing checks (bad!) and the pliable bags, forefinger and thumb, a transport the laundry, bathroom, kitchen, (canned goods, toothpaste, Milk Bones, whatever). The right hand is a claw-arm.

Spaghetti Squash: 400 degrees, 1 hour, baking sheet/aluminum foil.  Cut it in half, take the seeds out, salt and pepper, a dapple margarine or Earth Balance. It’s hot…cool down in half-in-hour. Rings of SS, just like spaghetti. (See below, internet.) Use a fork. Pyrex container.

Ground Turkey: 1 pound of turkey, 3/4 cups Italian bread crumbs, 1 egg white (Izzy and Percy love yolks; their canines), half an onion, a few pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Ground turkey is just like cardboard, in my opinion. Spruce it up. (See below, internet.) 128 calories, potassium, protein and calcium. Don’t forget cholesterol, it’s lean. Mix it up, thoroughly. I have whopping cholesterol count of 286. Statins? Terrible joint pain. I look like a little old lady.

Low heat, peanut oil (2 teaspoons, +/-), cook thoroughly, use a lid, twenty minutes. Stir the meat vigorously.

Pour Ragu Garden Combination (24 oz., or more) and the meat. Heat.

Cut up (in your Cuisinart slicer) tomatoes, cukes and onions. Vinegar and olive oil, two to one. Salt (to taste) and pepper, pepper flakes and fresh oregano.

And of course, wine.

In the night time though, I put on the brace (I’m not a fool…) and demolish Twinkies. Izzy and Percy polish off the crumbs.

Just for an instant, a millisecond, really, the brain regroups.

Ah, the Tube.

I watch a lot of TV, particularly, Geo Wild, (I love Dr. Pol, the vet) The History 2, (aliens amok) PBS and, of course, Seinfeld.

Then the stroke happened. Captions play a big part of it for person, places or things. Captions settings are great for news, documentaries and just for fun. Indeed, my brain is fried. For example, I can’t wrap my head around it for; Democrat or Republican, the weather’s coming west or east, where is San Diego and Boston? I know stuff, but it’s hard. Just for an instant, a millisecond, really, the brain regroups. Captions help; it’s the narrative.

Ah, aphasia. Ya’ got to love it.

Fifteen years, I fell four times. Swearwords abound.

Fifteen years, I fell four times.

It was a beautiful spring day and I tripped up the (seven steps on the porch). It was snowing out, the van guy was late, the one-step-stoop was unstable with hemi-cane and whacked my right leg in the van. I miscalculated the vacuum and lost my balance and …the dog food incident. Three dogs, hungry for kibble. I wiped out my footing and down I came. I use metoprolol (Lopressor) and I’m dizzy all the time…you can count on that.

I tooled around four times in wheel chair, three weeks. The house is one-floor. I have a smallish kitchen. Swearwords abound.

I’m extremely careful. Live and learn (I learned quickly!) 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Aphasia: I am overwhelmed with aphasia; it's engulfing. I can't form the words.

Aphasia: Take a look.

I had a birthday, August 15, 1947. I’m 68. I have aphasia to the max.

Fifteen years, in 1999, I had a stroke; whopping, catastrophic, massive ischemic thrombosis. I couldn’t speak, walk and tooled away in wheel chair from the nurses station in five hospitals. I was a blank slate. The left side of brain was fried. A left middle cerebral artery has a clot and complete occlusion. Not good. My left gray matter is 80-99%, per the carotid duplex.

It’s some good news, 15 years later, my left carotid arteries are clear. Numbers and letters are bad for me; like a fog. Like slow motion. Backwards and forewards, right to left…I have no concept. Slowly, I’m reading again. Author Carl Hiaasen, he’s a Florida guy, totally irreverent; he makes me laughing. Laughing is good.

My right hand is dead in the water. After the stroke, I wrote gibberish on my left hand. I won an AP award from an editoral I wrote for ’99, six months before the stroke. The universe is chortling hysterically; God’s little irony. Specifically, I couldn’t remember my name, address and ZIP code. I was real mess.

Seven months later, I came home from the hospital in July, 2001. I had rampant Afib for, at least for twenty years. The doctors were puzzled and ordered generic pill, metoprolol, aka, Lopressor. Lopressor reduces the heart rate, I get that. I took the pill, but the Afib was back with a vengeance; pounding, hammering and, frankly, I thought I was going to die.

I believe it’s mercury fillings. The Afib is gone. The dentist extracted the mercury fillings (I have dentures), in 2005. No panic attacks, no heart-stopping Afib and I have my life back. After the stroke, I had one-word sentences; food, water, haircut. I'm slowly learning to speak. It's wonderful feeling. Mercury stays with you for a long, long, God-awful time. But, I HAVE time.

I digress; aphasia, loss of ability. I am overwhelmed with aphasia; it's engulfing. I can't form the words. 

Check it out.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Meet my Ancestors: Grandma and Grandpap had off-the-charts blood pressure and a blinding headache. Both had strokes.

Anna Wisniewski and Walter Szczekocki

Grandma and Grandpap Szczekocki died of a stroke, respectively, 64 and 72. They are obese people, with lard, butterfat; essential dumplings, with astronomically high blood pressure and blindly, sufferably headaches. Conversely, I too had a stroke. I was fit, extremely (68/50) low pressure and absolutely no headache.  (Read: Mercury Fillings, please.)

Grandma and Pap Yezek were healthy as horses. They were farmers. Pap was 78.  I have knowledge about Grandma. Anna Hribal Yezek raised chickens and never spoke to me. It’s a long story. Two women, Grandma and Mom, fought constantly.

My mom, Jo, was plethora for cerebral vascular accidents, although Mom died of an aneurysm.  She's 72.  Grandma's family history, the Anna Wisniewski Szczekocki clan, died from a stroke. Grandma had five sisters; all had strokes, Mary, Gertie, Frances enlisted with Women's Army Corps (WAC) in Chicago and Helen owned a beer distributor. 

They died very, very young. Grandma had a sister from the convent, Sister Teonesta, praying fervently at the contra-cerebral vascular accident. Sister had a stroke as well. They are obese people

My dad Charlie and his brothers died of old, decrepit, age. The daughter, Eleanor, is 95-plus, living and well. Dad died of Alzheimer's. He was 87.

You pick. I had a massive, blown, left middle cerebral artery, with an acute infarct. The infarct is the loss of adequate blood supply.

I was dead, essentially, at 52.

Meet my Ancestors, a long time ago....

"Tsk." she muttered. 

She flung the tomato juice, milk and Sunkist oranges for $.49 cents. Grandpap wanted coffee, too.

"Such high prices," talking to herself.  She continued to shop and just for fun,  Kraft Carmels.  Grandma had a sweet fang.

Marion Market's was busy Saturday mornings; a sunny, spring April day.  
She checked out. The supermarket had two women on cash registerers, busy sorting the produce, 15 minutes from her house. Two shopping bags to distributed the load, arm to arm, she walked to the Post Office.  She'd run out of  $.04 stamps.  That done; home.
Everson, Pennsylvania is extremely hilly and uphill.  It's a village of Polish Catholics, everybody knows everybody and Fayette County population is about 1000, more or less.  
Grandma walked briskly.  Well, not briskly.  Grandma is hefty.  She walked uphill to St. Joseph's church, up yet still on Maple Street, huffing and puffing and markedly short of breath.  She opened the door, exhausted.  The bun on the nape of her neck was soaked with sweat. She heaved to catch her breath. The mouth was drooping, just a little, she had a headache. Anna died in the living room. The family doctor, Dr. Pisula, and came running. But Grandma was still.
"Anna had a stroke mercifully fast," he said, "there's nothing I can to. I'm sorry. She's dead." 
The doctor packed his stethoscope and little black bag and left.  
She hated doctors and pills, hence, the physicians told her about hypertensive drugs. All the time.
Coincidentally, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of massive cerebral hemorrhage, April 12, 1945.  I'm a useless factoid.
Grandma did the same, April 12, 1958.  Grandma is 63.  I was 10.

Anna, recently deceased, and Walter Szczekocki, owns the house on Maple Street.  Kitty Mae and Jess Johnson were married and lived in the house.  Mary Ann and Billy were siblings.  The older children have married, Louie, Chester and Jo.   Kitty Mae and Jess produced a son, William Walter Johnson, aged 5.  Mary Ann was engaged and Billy is in high school.  It's a compact house for the family and there's an out-house with kinfolk.
Mary Ann Sczcekocki Knipple
Pap is distraught, to be sure, and crying.  "Go call Jo," he ordered.  Kitty Mae dialed the number, for the elder sister. 
I answered  the phone.  Clearly, something was wrong.  Aunt Kitty Mae was wailing.
"Where's your Mother?" she said, sobbing.
"Here. Wait a minute. It's Aunt Kitty Mae." I passed the phone to Mother, "She's crying."
"What's wrong?" said she to Mae.
Marions Market.  Shopping bags.  Soaked with sweat.  The doctor came and went.  Mum was gone.  Mum had a stroke.  End of story.

Louie (brother's Mom) Szczekocki and Helen Gismondi

I was an only child of Josephine and Charles Yezek.  Jo died of a whopping aneurysm and Charlie died of old age.  My mom is borderline-agoraphobia and my dad is amiable drunkard and he never missed a day's work.  A weird family, but I loved my parents. Charlie's a plumber and the pick-up truck full of parts and spigots and fittings and debris clutters the seats.  Dad is disheveled and looks like an unmade bed, but he is quite smart.  He had a scruffy baseball cap, grimy hands and watches boxing and works at Westinghouse a long time ago. Dad is his own boss. 
Mom called Dad. My Mom and I squeezed into the truck, flanges and all. My mom never owned a car. Well, she had a permit, sort of.  She had a crash in Bridgeport Dam, another booming metropolis, in her 20's. Two cars and a fender-bender; she tore up the permit.
"I'll walk,"  she noted.  Dad was with at the time and the car was fine, damaged, but fine. She never drove.
Grandma never liked Mother, sad but true, and Mom couldn't care less. My aunts were sobbing and mounds of Kleenex tissues were wet and soggy. Mom, however, nary a tear.
"I'm sorry, Pap," she embraced Grandpap.
The undertaker came and went and the body was embalmed.

Grandma died at home and the coffin laid in the living room.  All sorts of company came, from the inebriated men to the women making kieska, kielbasa, duck soup dziczyzna, my personal favorite, pierogi, laden with lard.  The camaraderie came non-stop for three days; the women prayed the rosary and the men were imbibing.
The day of  Grandma's funeral, Mom was late.  Exceeding late.  One hour late.  The sisters glared and Grandpap scowled.  Mom was undaunted, with Arpege perfume, red-red lipstick and seamed stockings just so.
Two years passed, Grandpap had a stroke. Dziczyzna, keiska and all matters of cholesterol took their toll.

Me and Charlie
 I remember Grandpap. My hair was short and Buster Brownish and he called me Mimsy.  He spread his arms around me and grinned.
"Hi Grandpap," with a hug.  
I remember a white shirt and tie, never smoked and he brushed his teeth with salt.  He had sparkly teeth.  I was four and he was gigantic.  I found out later Grandpap was miniscule person, perhaps 5'7".  Even Dad the plumber was a munchikin .  Even my first ex-ex-ex-husband was 5'7", the misanthrope womanizer.  Yes, a contradiction in terms.
Kitty Mae was kind, long-suffering and loves the church and the crisp, clean almost-virginal linen.  She's was always ironing for the church.  Men-folk abound with Grandpap, Jess, Little Billy and sibling Bill.  Mary Ann Szczekocki and Knip Knipple were married by now.  Knip was deranged in a good way.  Jess was a loving husband and ten years senior.  Kitty Mae was wildly hypertensive.
Every day before breakfast, Mae took the coffee and buttered toast with home-made preserves, out on the rear porch to feeding the birds.  Chickadees, bluejays and cardinals scarfed down crumbs and bits of toasts. The birds ate from the plate.
Sister Teonesta
Pap was 68 and had a mild stroke, then suffered two strokes. He's quasi-bedridden and he's falling down over the bed, to the floor.  Apparently, the paralyzed side, the arm and leg, were dead.
"Mae," said Jess, "it's Pap,"  Grandpap fell to the floor with thud.
"You can't walk, Pap," she explained.  Jess and Kitty Mae pulled him up.
Grandpap was mute and discouraged.      
Kitty Mae bathed him, fed him, encouraged him and he died in his sleep.
Grandma and Grandpap was buried from the house from the living room, respectively, 1958 and 1962.  It was a full-blown, three-day, bells and whistles wake.
Grandpap looked good for 70 years, white shirt and all.  Legions of men came to the Polish Club to give respect and the women baked delicious dishes.
"Na zdrowie," the men toasted.
The undertakers, however, halted the viewers.
"It's leaking fluids," said the afresh dead body.
"Here.  The eyes and the ears," squinting at the ooze. "It's overflowing."
"Well, that's not good," said the embalmer.  "Pump it out?"
"Pump it out."
The decay fluids were leaking badly.  I peeked through the keyhole on the door of the living room.  Out of the coffin he went, to the floor.  The undertakers manipulated the pump.  I don't want to think about it.
Mom's affliction with agoraphobia, coincidentally, buried Grandpap.  She never left the house.  I was a teen-ager.

The cemetery was peaceful, calm and serene and Anna and Walter left us.  

Josephine and Mickie Yezek

Grandma had a sister, Mary Somerfield, and she had a premonition, Mom told me.  Mary had a booming voice and she smiled all the time, toothless, I'm afraid.  She was rotund, never had a bra on and the paczki doughnuts were rich and heavy.
Mary had a son, Bobby.  "I don't know why I'm baking a cake so soon," said Mary telephoning Mom. "The birthday is next week," she noted. "Well, you never know."  
Mary died Wednesday, December 16, 1958 of a stroke and his birthday is in December.  She's 51.
Bobby Somerfield ate his cake silently.  He was obese and weeping.  Mary iced the two-layer cake in absentia, clearly gone and clairvoyant.
Years later, the house was quiet. Jess had a supervisor job with Anchor Hocking Glassware, Kitty Mae had copious ironing from the church and Bill the Sibling was a mechanic for small planes.

Billy Johnson was grand champion of divorce and three-times loser of wives. He's moved out, of course.  He had a pre-op for his knee surgery and had a sky-high-off-the-charts blood pressure.  He's taking antihypertensives.

Bill "Murphy" Johnson

Aunt Mary Ann, Knip, Jess and Kitty Mae were vacationing at Ocean City Maryland.  Well-rested and tan, Knip and Jess checked out.  Kitty Mae was going to the bathroom.  
"What's taking so long?" said Mary Ann.
"Mae?" said Jess.  "Are you OK?"
Jess opened the door in the bathroom and here she was, moribund, and quite dead.  She had a stroke.
Kitty Mae refused to talk about the stroke. She had small strokes.  Mae walked with cane and almost-mute characteristics.  She had a "yes" or "no" utterance, at best.  My mom's funeral two years ago, Kitty Mae couldn't speak at all.
Uncle Jess died of lung cancer. 
The doctors prescribed antihypertensives, unlike Grandma.  She's 59.
Chalmer "Knip" Knipple and Billy Szczekocki
Anna and Frank Yezek were farmers and "Pap" and the boys were coal miners.  Acre's and acre's of tillage, from cows and chickens and porky swines. The stint in this farm are brief and remote.  I remembered fireflies, lots of cats and mice, and sweet acrid odor of manure.
Anna Yezek was dynamic. Grandma had five boys, Dad was one of them, and the sixth baby daughter Eleanor, at least 90, last I heard. The sons were active and vital till death, to the exception of Mick with a heart problem. My Dad was 87 and he couldn't let go, kicking and screaming till the last.  Charley finally succumbed.  He had Alzheimer's.
Milton Yezek, the fifth baby, worked for General Foods in Connecticut and the brothers worked in a coal mine, coughing up dust. Uncle Milt graduated from Penn State University and got the hell out of Dodge. He scraped up the tuition and bought a life. The little I saw, Uncle Milt was kind, empathic and harvesting fresh produce from the garden. Milton was a farmer at heart. He's dead.

GG Mary Hribal Beran, Me, Charlie
Charley had a brief stint in higher learning as well.  Westinghouse picked up the   tab bachelor's degree, unheard of a company-based tuition-assistanced in the 1940's.  Dad was brainy. He discussed with Jo, the rigors of night school three times a week for six years, albeit  a sheepskin; he chose no, and left Westinghouse.
Mom and Grandma didn't like each other, heinous comes to mind; stormy, infuriated and, well, insane.
Anna and Jo were fighting vehemently about nothing. Mom left the farmhouse with a huff, kid in tow and sheepishly Dad fired the pick-up truck, full of parts and plumbing supplies. Grandma was smirking and Dad was in the middle once more.  Fierce Mom and fiercer Grandma.  Not good, not good at all.  I'm probably seven.  My Mom left the farm, never to return.

I don't know the family or Pap or kids or the autocratic Grandma.  
My Mom's brood was plethora for cerebral vascular accidents and my Dad and his uncles died of old age.
You pick.