Total Pageviews

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Do we know how to celebrate, or what?

Some events are hard to put in to words and some posts are very difficult for me to relive as I tell our story.  Please be patient as I struggle to spare you some of my very raw emotions on this subjects.
Many posts are written (and re-written) several times as I attempt to capture the meat of the story and leave some of the seasoning behind!
For those of you just tuning in and wondering what I am rambling about, I hope you will read my earlier posts and catch up with our story.
For those of you who have been along for the whole wild ride, thanks for hanging with me!
I would very much appreciate your thoughts and helps to know someone is out there!

Do we know how to celebrate, or what?

I was awake, but just barely, when my phone rang at 8:00am on August 30, 2013.  I thought about not answering; anybody that knows me would not call me at 8:00am, unless it was an emergency.  By the third ring, I panicked; what if something had happened with mom?  What if it was an emergency?

“Hello”, I finally answered the “unknown” call tentatively.  Minutes later I tapped out a text message to my family, moms surgery had been moved up two hours.  Even though it meant I really had to get a move on, I was glad for the earlier time slot, which meant it wouldn’t be quite as long for mom to be NPO.

An hour later I met my brother and older sister at the Skilled Nursing Facility where our mother had resided for the past 30 days.  Since we had removed so much when we thought we were going home a week earlier, it took us less than thirty minutes to load the remaining items in to our vehicles; another 30 minutes and we had mom safely loaded in to the car and began our caravan to the hospital.  It was just after noon, when moms’ name was called; the time had come for the painfully slow task of preparing my mother for another surgery.

Due to the severity of moms’ Rheumatoid Disease and the limited mobility of her neck, she had to be intubated while awake and in a sitting position.  I sat with mom in the pre-op area as they tried (and failed) several times to get an IV started; thankfully, before the forth stick, an ultrasound machine was brought in to help locate the vein so a fifth stick wouldn’t be necessary.  Mom was busily breathing in the lidocaine mist as I chatted with the anesthesiologist about her prior procedures.  Once they were satisfied that mom’s throat was numb enough to get the tube in, the anesthesiologist said to her, “I’m going to give you something to relax a little”.  “Versed?” I asked and upon confirmation I told mom to “have a nice nap” and that I would be here when she woke up.

The anesthesiologist then inserted the femoral pain block as we chatted more about moms’ history; what medications she was taking; what her prior history was; etc..  I don’t know if it was that I sounded smart or if it was simply because I knew what VERSED was and could pronounce METOPROLOL without tripping over my tongue, but it surprised me when he asked, “Are you a doctor?”  I assured him I was not a doctor, or a nurse, or any other kind of medical professional; just my mother’s keeper.  I had not worked direct care for nearly 30 years until I took over as my mother’s full time caregiver in 2012; I had learned a whole lot in the prior year and a half.

Once mom was wheeled away to the operating room, I joined my sister and brother in the waiting room; a short time later we were joined by my younger sister and my aunt.  As you can imagine, there was a lot of silly senseless chatter among us; we were all nervous and afraid of the outcome of moms’ surgery.  The surgeons’ appearance in the waiting room less than an hour after mom had been taken back startled us all; it didn’t help that his usual soft eyes and welcoming smile were noticeably absent.

“What’s wrong”, I quickly jumped to my feet when the surgeon appeared; by this time all five of us were on our feet huddling around the doctor.  The surgeon explained his concerns about mom ever regaining use of that leg again; once again stating that amputation was the only absolute way to assure the infection would not attack her knee again.  A decision had to be made and it had to be made right now regarding amputation and as my mother’s medical proxy, I was the one that had to make that decision.  Crap.  I asked a couple more questions and remember vividly the doctor saying, “I just know that if we had amputated back in July, you all would most likely be sitting on the patio having a glass of tea right now”.

My mind started to wander; mom does like her tea.  I was all too aware of my siblings and my aunt staring at me; waiting for an answer.  Part of me wanted to tell him to just go ahead with the amputation, at least mom would be alive; the other part of me knew what my mother would want, she had voiced it many times.  I had one more question before I could make that dreaded decision, “What about a prosthesis”?  The surgeon explained that due to the advanced stage of Osteoporosis, moms’ bones were mush and would never hold up with a prosthesis; anything we did to save the leg at this point would be considered a “salvage” limb and there was no way to know how long it would even last……A month? Six months? A year?  Five years?  There just wasn’t any way to be sure.  In fact, the only thing that I was sure of was that I wasn’t sure.

Really, I guess it didn’t matter if I was sure or not; mom had been sure and she trusted me to honor her wishes.  I reminded the surgeon of my mother saying over and over that she would rather “die on the table” than to lose her leg; that her crippled hands and lack of upper body strength would prohibit the use of many forms of ambulation; that she would likely die soon if sent to a nursing home and I wasn’t sure I could take care of her without at least being able to transfer her.

“Please, do what you can to save her leg” I said through my tears “I have to at least be able to transfer her to the bathroom and bed”.  The surgeon nodded with understanding and gave me a sympathetic hug while assuring us he would do everything he could, but couldn’t “guarantee” the outcome.  “Thank you, we really do appreciate everything you’ve done and I trust you” I wanted him to know that I didn’t blame him for our current predicament; I just wish we would have gotten mom to him sooner.

After the surgeon returned to the operating room, the five of us sat silently, each lost in our own thoughts.  I’m not sure what everybody else was thinking, but my brain was struggling to remember something; something important.  Thinking maybe I had made a note in my phone (as I sometimes do) about an important event, I scrolled through the “notes”; nothing.  What in the heck was I forgetting?  Whatever it was, I knew it was important.  I was silently panicking as I tried to make my brain think of something other than the possibility of mom losing her leg; I could feel my blood pressure going up and my heart was pounding so hard I thought maybe everyone in the room could hear it.  I was afraid if I didn’t remember whatever it was I was suppose to remember soon, I was going to have a heart attack.  Stupid brain, THINK!

Had I called to make all moms’ follow-up appointments?  Yes, I think so.  Did I tell the hotel I needed to extend my stay?  Pretty sure I took care of that.  Had I called to put mom on the active prayer list at church?  I wasn’t sure, but I was pretty certain they would keep her on there until we returned home.  “Today’s the 30th, isn’t it?” I asked no one in particular while looking at my phone to confirm the date, “I’ll be right back”.  I hurried to the car so I could charge my phone while I made a call; I couldn’t believe I had forgotten.

I was almost to the car when my phone rang in my hand; I knew who it was before I even looked…..damn, he always beats me to the punch.  “Happy anniversary, babe!” I offered as my greeting to my husband of 27 years.  Do we know how to celebrate, or what?

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Some events are hard to put in to words.........some posts are very difficult for me to relive as I tell our story.  Please be patient with me as I struggle to spare you some of my very raw emotions on this subject.  Many posts are written (and re-written) several times as I attempt to capture the meat of the story and leave some of the seasoning behind!
For those of you just tuning in and wondering what I am rambling about, I hope you will read my earlier posts and catch up with our story.  For those of you who have been along for the whole wild ride, thanks for hanging with me!  I would very much appreciate your comments/thoughts..... helps to know someone is out there!

One year ago...............


“Thanks for sharing your birthday cake with me” mom beamed as she wiped the cheesecake from around her mouth.  I don’t know if I looked tired or if mom just knows how much I like to sleep in the mornings (since I don’t do so well night), but before I left that evening mom said, “I’ll be fine in the morning, you should sleep in a little tomorrow for your birthday”.

I had celebrated my 50th birthday a day early with my older daughter and her beautiful family at the Cheesecake Factory; I had never been there before.  Getting lost on the way was frustrating; circling the parking lot, for what seemed like forever, was maddening; watching my grandson enjoy my birthday cheesecake was PRICELESS; the delight in moms’ eyes as she finished the last of it was just as priceless.

I have to admit, sleeping in sounded like an awesome way to start my birthday.  “Are you sure you’ll be OK if I wait to come in until a little later?” I asked mom.  Mom assured me she would be fine and would call if she needed anything before saying, “I’m sure toothache girl will be in at 5 to make me use the bedpan”.  Huh?  (we didn't know her name, but had called the aide "toothache girl" ever since she had informed mom that she knew what kind of pain mom was in because of her toothache).

When I questioned mom about using the bedpan rather than the commode, she told me that when this particular aide worked she always made her use the bedpan AND she had woken mom up the past two mornings so mom could “try” to go.  “It’s OK, it’s just hard to get back to sleep”, mom was resigned to it being the way things were.

“Why does she wake you to use the restroom?” I wanted to know, “have you had accidents?”  My mother assured me she had not had any accidents and the reason the aide gave her for waking her was that the aide was leaving early and there would be no one there to help for a “couple hours”.  WHAT?

Obviously, it was too late that night to talk to the director, so I mentioned to the nurse on my way out of the facility that I was not happy that my mother was being inconvenienced because an aide had “other commitments” and I was concerned that there wouldn't be “anyone to help for a couple of hours”; he didn't understand why I was upset.  I didn't understand why this was happening and he couldn't explain it.

On August 28th, 2013, I opened my eyes and squinted at the clock; it was just after 7:30am.  “Happy birthday to me”, I said to myself as I drug butt out of bed and got ready to head to the SNF.  I knew it was too late to save my mother from the indignity of the bedpan that morning, but I planned on being perched on the bench outside of the director’s office when she arrived.

Of course, the director feigned the proper amount of disbelief regarding the problem and was adamant that mom would not be woken to use a bedpan “at that hour”.  “Or any other hour”, I reminded her that mom was still able to transfer with assistance and that I expected her to have that assistance when she said it was time; not when someone else decided she should be ready.

Knowing I was fighting a futile battle, I left the bedpan incident to rest and headed to moms room; at least toothache girl wouldn't be back before I got mom out of there.  It hated that I would be taking her out of the Skilled Nursing Facility and right back to the hospital instead of home; just thinking about mom having to have another surgery annoyed me all over again.  Unfortunately, this hadn't been the first time mom had been further compromised by incompetence, arrogance, ignorance and/or negligence; I could only pray it had been the last.

It seemed no matter how many times I attempted to explain moms’ fragility to various medical professionals (doctors; nurses; CNA’s; therapists; etc.), I was always met with a condescending look or comment.  It wasn't that I thought they were ALL incompetent; my mothers’ conditions were very complex and her body was extremely fragile.  I just don’t understand why the “whole person” is not taken in to account when providing care.

Many times when I would try to explain some of the nuances of moms’ rheumatoid disease, I would hear about their knowledge and/or experience with “arthritis”.  It’s obvious that many people don’t understand the ramifications and/or the systemic effects of RA, or that OA (while still very painful, I’m sure) is not quite the same.

Fortunately, and interestingly (at least to me), since she had been on the antibiotics that were prescribed to treat the Mycobacterium Avium Infection, moms’ RA had not flared; her lungs seemed to be clearing some; and, in spite of the pending “urgent” surgery and again the possibility of losing her leg, her spirits were good and her faith in God was solid.

Unfortunately, the advanced stage of moms’ Rheumatoid Disease came with other
complications.  Even when she wasn't in a flare, moms’ crippled hands made it difficult for her to hold things and impossible to open things; the deformities in her feet made it painful to stand; her “good” knee, as well as her shoulders; wrists; hips and ankles made a grinding sound every time she moved; and a good day was any day that her pain could be brought down to a 3 on the pain scale.  Of course, she has lived with RA for 50+ years, so a “3” for mom would probably be a twelve for me.

As I sat with my mom that morning and in to the early afternoon, I wondered if there had been something, anything, I could have done to alter the course we seemed to now be on.  Maybe, if I hadn't been such a brat when I was a teenager and not caused my mother so much stress, she would have had fewer flares resulting in less overall damage.  Maybe, if I hadn't been such an accident prone child moms’ stress level wouldn't have been so high.  I know she was diagnosed around the time she was pregnant with me, so maybe I caused this horrible disease in my mother.  I didn't voice any of these ridiculous thoughts to my mother; my despair would only be another burden for her.

By the time I returned to the hotel I was feeling pretty depressed and very alone.  As I
pulled in to a parking space, a voice in my head reminded me I was never alone; I sat in my car and prayed.  Another voice reminded me the course we were on was, somehow, the road we were intended to travel; that I was not powerful enough to have in any way altered the course that God intended.  I was feeling better by the time I inserted the key in to my hotel room lock; not so alone.

The next thing I felt was sheer panic as I stepped in to my hotel room.  Someone was (or recently had been) in my room; something was different, I could feel it.  I glanced toward the counter in the small kitchenette hoping to spot something I could use as a weapon in case someone was hiding in the bedroom or the bathroom.  Deciding a butter knife probably wouldn't be an effective weapon, I thought maybe the best course of action was to back out of the room and get help at the front desk.

As I backed out as slowly and as quietly as possible, I scanned the room looking for
something out of place.  I had almost pulled the door closed when my sight landed on something that certainly hadn't been there when I left that morning.  I just stood there staring; wanting to know who had left it and how they got in.  I nearly jumped out of my skin when my cell phone rang in my hand.

“Hi mom, Happy Birthday!” my younger daughters’ voice made me relax a little.  I stepped quickly out in the hall and closed the door as quietly as I could before saying “Thank you, honey”.  I was halfway down the hall toward the elevator and was getting ready to tell my daughter about the mystery in my room when she asked, “Did you get the flowers we sent”?

I stopped in my tracks; mystery solved; no need to alert the authorities!  Sure glad she called before I got downstairs!  I could just picture myself explaining that someone had broken in to my room and left me flowers; talk about priceless!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I don't always like the answers

Some events are hard to put in to words.........some posts are very difficult for me to relive as I tell our story.  Please be patient with me as I struggle to spare you some of my very raw emotions on this subject.  Many posts are written (and re-written) several times as I attempt to capture the meat of the story and leave some of the seasoning behind!
Thanks for hanging with me!  I would very much appreciate your comments/ helps to know someone is out there!

I don't always like the answers

When I opened my eyes, at nearly 10:00am, on August 24th, 2013, I almost panicked before I remembered that my husband had left the hotel early to go have breakfast with mom; he would have called me if there had been a need for me to hurry to the SNF.  It felt good to not have to rush; to just lie there; to just relax.  As I lay there, I wondered how long it had been since I had actually slept in; I honestly didn't know the answer.

Since March of 2012 I had been up early each morning to take care of mom; even when she was in the hospital, I felt the need to be there almost immediately after opening my eyes to help mom with the things that seem to get overlooked (or ignored) by medical personnel; things that were important.

Other than when mom was in an Acute Rehab setting, getting help with basic things like brushing her teeth; washing her face; or even getting to the bathroom on time, were luxuries (without enough staff to afford them).  While it’s true, especially in the beginning of moms’ decline, these things could be very time consuming (she couldn't even hold a tooth brush, much less use it); in my mind, they are necessities, not luxuries.  The times I had questioned the lack of staff to accommodate the individual needs of each patient; I hadn't liked the answer.

I may be naive, but, it seems to me that it should be a requirement that EVERY medical facility (hospitals; nursing homes; skilled nursing facilities; rehab facilities; etc.) maintain a staff to patient ratio that allows for adequate personal hygiene.  And, yes, I've looked at both the state and federal regulations that state (in part):

7.3.1 Staff shall be sufficient in number to provide prompt assistance to persons needing or potentially needing assistance, considering individual needs such as the risk of accidents, hazards, or other untoward events. Staff shall provide such assistance. (and)
§ 483.30 Nursing services. The facility must have sufficient nursing staff to provide nursing and related services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident, as determined by resident assessments and individual plans of care.

In my opinion, both regulations are written in such a way that much is left to interpretation and open to manipulation.  I’m pretty certain “helping Mary brush teeth” was never written in to ANY individual plan of care, so does that mean there just isn't time?  Seriously, if a patient (who is unable to be completely self-sufficient) doesn't even get good oral hygiene, how can they say they will “attain or maintain the highest practicable…………well-being”?

Although I had slept in, I certainly didn't relax that Sunday morning.  I had spent an hour obsessing over the indignities my mother had suffered at the hands of medical professionals (I use the term loosely); the injustices I had witnessed and perceived; the cavalier attitudes of many providers; how it use to be; how it should be.  I had so many questions and very few answers.

Has it always been this way and I was just too removed to really see it?  Was I just as much to blame as the next person for what our medical society had become because it was easy to ignore and turn a blind eye to things that hadn't affected me personally?  I wish I knew the answers.  Yeah, I think obsessing pretty much covers it.

My obsessions carried over in to the shower as I thought about moms’ imminent surgery and the chances of them not being able to save the leg; amputation had been discussed a number of times over the past year and a half and I hoped, with this new set of problems, that wasn't the only answer.

I also thought about all the past surgeries; what she had gone through; the preparation; the instructions.  Uh-oh, had the SNF received the instructions?  Did they know what the preparation entailed?  It’s always better to obsess over something you might be able to do something about, don’t you think?

As soon as I arrived at the SNF I went looking for moms’ nurse and make sure things
were on track.  “Yes, we have them”, the nurse said as she quickly flipped through moms’ chart.  I thanked her for her help and started to head to the dining room to meet mom and Mark for lunch when the nurse smiled and added, “As soon as our doctor gets back on Wednesday, we can implement them”.  Excuse me?! I really didn't like that answer.

wasn't sure I had heard her right and I couldn't believe we were going to do this dance again.  “What?” I asked incredulously.  Some of moms’ medications should have been stopped the day before and some of them were to be stopped Monday morning, there was no way I was going to wait until Wednesday to address this.  Someone needed to answer to this NOW.

I can tell you that there weren't enough hours in a day for that nurse to have managed to have a minimum of two hours per patient that day; at least a third of her day was spent dealing with me.  It was well after 5:00pm by the time a PA finally came in and signed the orders.  One would think after all that, the problem would be taken care of; I wasn't so sure.

As I was helping mom get ready for bed that evening, I alerted her to be on the look-out for the discontinued medications; we went through her list of meds and discussed which ones she should not take before surgery.  Luckily, although my mother has certainly dealt with her share of physical disabilities, with the infections under control and her no longer taking morphine for pain, her mind was still pretty sharp.

For two days after my discussion with the nurse and the PA signing off on the orders, they were still trying to give mom the medications that were to be discontinued; mom politely refused them.  Mom also had to remind therapists that she was now NWB over and over again; couldn't they read their notes?  I couldn't wait to get mom out of there, even if it was to go back to the hospital!  How sad is that?

Sadness seemed to be the theme for me for the next few days.  I was sad when my husband left to go back home; I was sad I hadn't gotten to go back home; I was sad that mom was facing another surgery that could cost her leg; I was just sad.  I needed something to pull me out of this funk; something to lighten my mood and comfort my heart.  Wait!  I know the answer to that one!

How long had it been since I’d really prayed; since I had “Let go and let God”?

That night I prayed like the sinner I am; I thanked God for the many blessings He has bestowed on me; asked forgiveness for my sins and to help me forgive others; pleaded with Him to not let mom lose her leg; and I tried not to question His plan.  OK, I said I “tried”.  I really needed answers.

I mean, I know He has a plan and that somehow everything we were going through was part of it, but I still struggled with it; I still cried myself to sleep as I wondered how my mothers’ pain and suffering could be part of any plan.

For the next several nights, I had vivid dreams about how I would take care of mom if she only had one leg; let’s face it, they were nightmares.  “Oh, Dear Lord, please don’t let this be an omen” I prayed silently each morning when I woke.

In my heart of hearts, I know God answers all prayers; I also know I don’t always like the answer.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It all made perfect sense

Some events are hard to put in to words.........some posts are very difficult for me to relive as I tell our story.  Please be patient with me as I struggle to spare you some of my very raw emotions on this subject.  Many posts are written (and re-written) several times as I attempt to capture the meat of the story and leave some of the seasoning behind!
Thanks for hanging with me!  I would very much appreciate yourcomments/ helps to know someone is out there!


Have you ever been kicked in the stomach by a horse?  I have; it was nothing compared to what I felt when moms’ surgeon confirmed what I thought I was seeing on the X-ray of her leg.  It all made sense now; the “ouch” in the shower; the need for the extending the leg brace; the elevated pain; the increase in moms’ need for narcotics; it all made perfect sense.

The only thing that didn't make sense was how mom had even been physically able to bear weight on her leg; let alone walk 175 steps at a time.  I always knew my mother had a higher than average tolerance for pain, but geez, I didn't know she was THAT tough!  I've broken a couple bones before and I know it is possible to walk for a bit on a small fracture; not so much on a shattered ankle, but I couldn't imagine walking for nearly a week with a rod broken through my femur!

My mothers knee in July 2013
following surgery and prior
to going to the Skilled Nursing Facility.
My mothers knee in
August, 2013 after being in a
I kept replaying the shower incident over and over in my head, my mother wincing in pain and saying "ouch"; I knew I should have hit that CNA!  I guess I don't know for sure that was when the most recent damage was done, but I suspected it was a good bet.  All I knew for sure is that (even though it didn't look great), moms' knee looked a whole lot better before she got to the SNF than it did by the time she saw the surgeon three weeks later.  I guess it was a good thing I hadn't hit her because (as much as I hated to) I now had to take mom back and request an extension while we waited for yet another surgery on moms knee/leg.  I really wasn't looking forward to mom staying at the SNF, but I didn't know what else to do; it never occurred to me that it might not be an option.

I helped mom to the restroom and delivered her to the dining room at the SNF before I wandered down the hall to the facility coordinators’ office to make the necessary arrangements for mom to stay another week.  “We’ll have to move her to a semi-private room”, the coordinator informed me she was “sorry”, but the private room mom was in had been “promised” to someone else.  “Excuse me?” I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, mom did get to stay in her private room for the next week; her check out date (and next surgery date) was now set for August 30th, 2013.  “Do you think she’ll be back after her surgery for more rehab?” the coordinator asked, and then told me they could hold her room for a fee.  I politely responded, “No”; what I was thinking was “Hell, NO”!

After making all the necessary arrangements with both the SNF and the hotel, I finally took the time to sit down and call my husband.  As I dialed the phone, I thought about what I might say: “You know how I wasn't there for the surprise birthday party I planned for you last year; how I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving for a couple years; how I spent last Christmas and New Years in a hotel room with mom; ..........well, I won’t be home for my birthday or our anniversary this year.”  When I heard my husband’s voice on the other end of the phone, I didn't say any of those things; I just sobbed uncontrollably.

“Honey, what’s wrong?  Are you OK?” I could hear the alarm in Marks voice.  I had to get hold of myself
before I scared him any more than I obviously already had.  I took a deep breath and tried again to talk through the lump in my throat.  Once I was finally able to tell him about the rod going through moms’ femur and the need for more surgery, he understood my distress.  I really wasn't sure how many more surgeries mom could make it through or how this incident was going to affect her long term prognosis.  “Hang in there, Babe, OK?” my husband sounded like I felt; helpless and not sure what to do, or say, next.  “I wish I could be there for you, hon.” Mark said before we said goodnight.

I fell asleep that night trying to remember the last time I had seen my husband; it had been (give or take) 45 days.  I have heard the two best stress relievers are sex and crying; since my husband was 250 miles away, it had to have been the crying that sent me in to such a deep sleep.  I was barely able to open my eyes when my alarm went off at 8:00am on Saturday morning; I think I could have slept the whole day, but I had important things to do.

I quickly showered and since I had sent most of my clothes home, deciding what to wear didn't take any time at all.  By 8:45am I had already been to the SNF to check in on mom and was pulling in to the school
where my grandson was having soccer practice.  My daughter had been almost evasive on the phone the night before and I couldn't figure out why they weren't waiting for me to walk with them to the field; they almost acted like they didn't see me, but I knew they had as they had waved at me as I parked.  What the heck was going on, I wondered.  I was pretty certain I hadn't done anything to make them angry; had I?  I also wondered why they were pulling my grandson away from something that had obviously caught his attention; my daughter and her husband are excellent parents who generally take time to “stop and smell the roses”, especially when it comes to their children.

Since I was sure there were no roses around the corner of the building where my grandson had been looking, I decided to take a look as I went by to see what had caught his attention; what his parents wouldn't let him stop for.  Hhmmm, that’s interesting; there was nothing there except a man standing with his back up against the wall.  Wait a minute!  I recognized that man and I’m sure my grandson had too; how they had kept him from yelling “Grandpa”, I’ll never know!  Seconds later I was in my husband’s arms; I don’t much like surprises, but this was a good one!  My daughter laughed and said “This is why I couldn't talk to you mom; I would have ruined the surprise; you would have known I had a secret and I can’t lie to you!”  It all made sense now.


Surprises can be hard when you are a control freak; how can I control what I don’t see coming?  I guess the simple answer is, you can’t; but then, you can’t control what you can see coming either, right?  Yeah, it all makes perfect sense.