Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Crash of a Computer (Better Known as a Dear Friend)

My computer has been sick for a while now. But somehow, I thought she was stronger, that she would pull through. She fought hard and seemed to be getting better, fighting off each trojan and virus that had hit her in one mighty blow—even through my virus scanner and firewall. It seemed she had out maneuvered them all at last. I thought it was just a matter of time, of replacing missing DLL fills, damaged memories.

And then it happened. There was no loud warning cry, no tremble, no plea for help. She just simply froze up, locked up. I did the three key trick without doubt that the move would bring her right back. I was wrong. She shut down like normal, but never started back up. She tried, she sputtered, she blinked, she strained, but was only powerful enough to come back to life for seconds at a time.

A friend of my son was able to force her to reboot in BIOS or something of the sort. He then upgraded her to Windows XP. I watched with hope. He assured me all would be right. She would be saved and intact. But, in the end, he was wrong. Oh so very wrong.

The computer is up and working again, but it’s not the same. My old familiar friend is gone and there is a new yet-to-be friend in her place.

The new yet-to-be friend does have lots of memories from the old. But she didn’t catch them all. Including four years’ worth of e-mail folders, filled with research and articles and things even more important. Including a pile of messages that were in my in box, waiting to be answered that will now never be replied to. How rude I must appear to those waiting for those replies!

I know it could have been worse, that so much more could have been taken away with my old friend, like my manuscripts. So I'm trying not to be too sad about her untimely passing.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Update On My Son

Some of you wrote me and asked how my son was doing. I’m sorry I didn’t think to post an update here about him. I’m happy to report that he is doing so much better. He made it back to school the week before finals. Friday was his last day of school and his last test. He somehow managed to do really well in all but one class. A big chemistry class. He had struggled with it the whole semester and even thought about dropping it because he was having such a hard time with it.

Just before he got sick he had finally gotten a handle on things and his grades in that class were coming up and up. And then he missed more than a week of class, one test that he wasn’t allowed to make up, and then had to go in and take another test on his first day back with little to prepare for it, but he made it. His grades in all his other classes were so high that one low grade isn’t going to hurt his GPA too badly, thank goodness.

We never did find out what was originally wrong with him, since the hospital lost the samples they sent off for testing. It turned out that the testing, that darn spinal tap, did more harm than whatever sent him to the ER to start with. They had to stick him over and over to get it right. Then they didn’t tell him not to lift or move his head after, nor to go right to bed as soon as he got home, to drink lots, or anything else that he should have done to prevent a spinal tap migraine. Just sent him home. Didn’t send him home with anything for pain either. His lack or proper care afterwards resulted in terrible after effects. For a week he couldn’t sit up without the room spinning, without his head pounding. If he stayed out of bed for more than a couple of minutes, the headache reached an almost unbearable point, the dizziness increased, and soon he was throwing up. It was just awful!

He was so worried about missing classes that he tried to go that next Friday, one week to the day after his spinal tap. College is almost an hour and a half away. I tried to talk him out of it, but he had that next big chemistry test coming up that Monday, and he knew he needed to go and take notes, so he said he would be fine and off he went. He made it thirty minutes from the house, and then called me. He had pulled over on the side of the road, throwing up again. He still wanting to try to rest in the car a few minutes and see if he could go on. I finally talked him into turning around and coming home. He is 21 years old, but I could hear him crying over the phone. His grades are so important to him. He hadn’t missed one day of college in three years. On top of that, he has a great scholarship, but he knew if he failed one class or if his GPA dropped, he would lose it. Sometimes being a mom means feeling completely helpless. There wasn’t anything I could do to fix this for him, or to even make it better.

I’m so glad he passed that class and his GPA is fine. He has the summer off, well from school but not from work, and is getting better every day, though as touchy as his back is and the way he has pains in it if he makes a sudden move, I wonder if his back will ever be completely okay again. I thought high school football had done enough damage, without something else.

One last piece of news about my son -- he is getting married this month -- on the 28th, to his childhood sweetheart. (Smile) They have been together since she was 13 and he was 15. It will be a small wedding, but since the bride’s family lives out of state, I’ve found myself in charge of most things, so with less than two weeks left to go, I’m kind of running around like a nut, trying to make sure everything’s lined up and we aren’t forgetting something.