I haven't gone all the way through the 1981 diary, but one notable event occurred in the early part of the year: I bought our twelve-year-old daughter her first bra.
When I began looking at this particular volume of my life, I was confused for awhile at random things I had jotted down at the ends of various entries that had nothing to do with what I had written. Things like "The sky's the limit" or "Good things will happen". Or I'd mention "a vague, uneasy feeling". No, I wasn't doing drugs or drinking.
I finally recalled what was going on with me that year: I was testing to see if my feelings on a certain day were some sort of intuition. I'd mention if I felt a vague uneasiness, or if I felt on top of the world, or if I had a good feeling about something. It was a test. And by the way, intuition flunked the test; after that year, I never put such nonsense in my diaries again.
Not to say I haven't had moments of intuitive feelings, but they have been rare.
The most memorable was this: My mom was living out here in the mobile home; I went with her to the doctor, and she complained to him that her legs hurt. He gave her a prescription which we filled, and we came back home.
A few days after that, she started feeling really bad and vomiting. She could hardly get out of bed, and didn't want to eat. So we took her to the hospital, where they kept her to run some tests. They finally came up with congestive heart failure as the culprit.
I'd call her in the morning after breakfast and she would sound downright perky; breakfast was delicious and she felt much better. When I'd call later in the day, she was sick and vomiting again. This went on for a couple of days, and still, the only thing the doctor came up with was congestive heart failure... for which she did indeed have symptoms.
After the third day of this, I went to bed that night, lay there puzzling over the situation for a while, and fell fast asleep.
In the middle of the night (I will never forget this), I woke from a sound sleep and sat bolt upright, knowing what was wrong with my mom. She had started feeling ill in the days after her doctor prescribed that new medicine! If she was being given that med after breakfast at the hospital, that would explain why she felt better each morning and then got worse after breakfast.
Next morning I called the doctor's office, but he wasn't in. I told whoever it was on the phone about my suspicions, but I could tell she didn't take me seriously. I called the hospital and spoke with the nurses who were taking care of my mom there, asking them to relay my ideas to the doctor or have him call me. Nobody really seemed to believe me, but somewhere along the line, the doctor took Mother off that medicine. She was home the next day, and never had any signs of congestive heart failure again. The doctor, once he saw I wasn't going to pitch a fit or threaten to sue him, admitted I had been right about the problem, and said to make sure nobody ever prescribed that particular remedy for my mother again.
I've always felt it was the hand of God that woke me up that night and told me what the problem was, because I woke up just knowing.
Ever since that time, when Cliff or I don't feel well, I ask myself if it could have something to do with a prescription. That's why it didn't take me long, last summer, to figure out that my chronic cough was being caused by my new blood pressure medicine; I stopped taking it and the cough was gone. When Cliff was first out of the hospital after open heart surgery and was experiencing dizziness, I'm the one who figured out he was on too many blood pressure medications, took his blood pressure, and called the cardiologist's office. The doctor had him stop taking one of his pills.