Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Better than the alternative

This week has been hard for no particular reason. I started feeling depressed over the weekend and just decided to let myself feel it, and I would jump back in on Monday. I did, mostly -- I had work to do on Monday, and things to do, and I did them, but I'm still kind of struggling. It's something that I feel bad even mentioning, with all that's going on in the world, but like I end up saying a lot around here, it is what it is.

I went shopping for my mom yesterday -- she needed toilet paper, facial tissue, and cologne ("can you get me something that smells good?"), and then my sister and I went out and had lunch together, then went to Mom's apartment. She needed new batteries in her hearing aids, so my sister took them into the bedroom to work on them, and I was sitting in the living room with Mom. She would ask me a question and I would answer her and then she'd say "I can't hear you." She did it a second time and I just looked at her and then we laughed and laughed.

She wanted to watch coverage of the Texas flood, and I cried when the reporter asked a young mother in one of the rescue boats what she was worried about (which is always a stupid question, but I know they have to ask something) and what she said she was worried about wasn't her home (although I'm sure she was) but the fact that she had put her children in danger by waiting too long to ask for help.

My eyesight is getting worse and I need to do something about it, but I'm scared. My sister in Denver has some medical stuff going on and I'm worried about her. That's the reason I finally pulled the trigger on a new Macbook -- I was afraid that we were going to have to fly out there and if I had to stay more than a day or so I would need a computer, and the one I had was a piece of crap.

I'm constantly worried/concerned about my mom, and we have to do something about their house, and there's water in our basement and Bob saw a mouse in the garage the other day. I woke up in the night worried about having ordered a laptop case and I shouldn't have spent the money, but the one I bought at Target is crap, and will they let me return it without a receipt? And Dinah woke me up this morning at 6:30 by throwing up.

And politics. I tell myself that it doesn't affect me personally, so shouldn't have any effect on my mood, but of course, it does. 

I went to see my allergy/asthma doctor last week and I showed him a rash that I had on the back of my neck. He asked me all the usual questions -- had I changed shampoo or laundry detergent recently, etc. Then he asked, "Have you been under any stress lately?" When I told Bob that, he said, "You think?"

But:

  • Going out to lunch with my sister
  • Laughing with my mom
  • Finally getting a new laptop.
  • Last night Bob took me out to eat and I tried, but just couldn't get out of the black mood. So he took me home and went back out and came back with a piece of key lime pie for me because I said I thought I needed sugar. (I told him at dinner that I hadn't had any coffee today and he said, "Well, that was a mistake,")
  • I won a gorgeous black leather tote bag in an Ebay auction for about 1/5 of the retail price. I actually don't begrudge that money at all -- I regret spending $21 on a cheap laptop bag at Target.

So I'm going to go put the flag out, and unload the dishwasher, and go out and buy Bob dental floss. And get on with the day because really, what else is there?

Bob's dad used to complain about getting old and Bob would say, "Well, it's better than the alternative!"

Friday, August 11, 2017

Stream of consciousness

Just a post to say that everything's okay, or as okay as it seems to be lately. I'm out at my Mom's as much as I can be, doing shopping for her, taking care of her business. I'm spending a lot of time paying bills and going through Dad's paperwork, and working with a financial planner to try to be a good steward of my folks' assets.

And we're trying to figure out how to handle getting the folks' house cleaned out, cleaned up, and sold, and it's such a huge undertaking that it's basically overwhelming.

I keep thinking that it's hard enough running your own life, let alone running someone else's.

My house is a disaster. When we were preparing for Dad's funeral, I hadn't planned on doing anything with photos, but Mom wanted them, so I went over to the old house and brought home all of the photo albums -- ALL of them, which was, I don't know, maybe twenty of them. I went through them and selected photos for the funeral and made a display, and now I've got all of those albums here. I don't really want to put them in the basement, because we have a water/humidity problem down there and I don't want to ruin them, but I don't have room for them upstairs so they're sitting in the hall.

And that's something else that's keeping me from working at the old house -- of course there are things there that I would like to have, but I have NO room here, and I think my sisters and brother are probably in the same situation. So we're going to end up selling or giving away everything. And my Mom thinks she might like to have some of the things from the house, but she can't remember what, and there's no way that we can get her over there to the basement.

Anyway, like I've said before, it's just life. This stage of life -- where we end up taking care of our parents -- isn't a whole lot of fun. I want Mom to everything that she needs and/or wants but I still have to be sure that it's the right thing for her, and the right thing to do. She would like to have a rocking chair at her apartment, and there is one at home, but I don't think they'll let her have it there because it's a safety risk, but I need to find out about it.

Now I'm overwhelming myself again and feeling upset. It will all get resolved and figured out, but sometimes it feels like a lot to handle.

Just a stream-of-consciousness update. More later.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

So

So. It's tempting to list out all the things that have happened, that have gone wrong, in the last year and a half, but there's really no point to that. It's just life, and as I remind myself, our life is pretty good -- very good, in fact -- and many people have a lot more to deal with than we do.

It's been a little over a year since I lost my job, and while it wasn't what I wanted, I don't know how I would have handled all of the things that have happened if I had also had to go to work every day.

Bob's dad passed away in October. One of Bob's brothers had been living with his dad, helping him, taking him to doctor's appointments, etc. He needed a few months to get things together after their dad died, and he moved out of the house shortly after the first of the year. Bob put the house on the market the first of April, and it sold immediately. With closing a couple of weeks after that, the house had to be emptied and cleaned, and with Bob working every day, most of that fell to me.

I spent quite a few days over there packing up the kitchen and dining room and throwing things away. In the end, we ended up getting the 1-800-JUNK people to come out and haul a lot of stuff away. Much of it was furniture that there was nothing wrong with, but it was stuff that no one in the family wanted. While I would have liked to have taken some of it, I didn't need it, and didn't have room for anything anyway. It was an expensive choice, but we just didn't feel like we had the time or energy to have an estate sale or put things up on Craigslist. I gave a few pieces away to a friend, and that was the extent of it.

Bob and I spent a couple of days cleaning everything, scrubbing out the refrigerator, cleaning the carpets, etc., and the closing went through fine.

That same week, my dad got sick. He had a bad cold and cough; he choked on a large pill that he was trying to take, aspirated, and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. Two weeks after that, he passed away. There was a lot of in-between, of course -- lots of talking to doctors and nurses, getting my mom back and forth to the hospital, filling out a lot of paperwork, then getting him moved to a nursing home under hospice care, where he died on May 1.

Then came planning the funeral, notifying relatives and friends, etc. I went through hundreds of photographs to make collages for the funeral, wrote the obituary, met with the funeral home people, chose flowers . . .

The whole thing was kind of an interesting experience, and while I wouldn't say I *enjoyed* it, I was glad that I had the opportunity to do these things for my father. The funeral was fine; there weren't as many people there as I had expected, but later I realized that he was one of the last of his generation. There just aren't many of his friends around anymore. We had the funeral in his and my mom's hometown, a small town in Missouri. It was a full military funeral with a 21-gun salute, and two Naval seamen in dress whites removed the flag from the coffin and folded it in a wonderful ceremony.

I had held it together pretty well, but the memory of the seaman kneeling in front of my mother to present the flag to her can make me cry even now.

With my mother being legally blind, profoundly deaf, and disabled from a stroke years ago, handling my parents' affairs falls to me. I've spent the last couple of weeks calling insurance companies and banks, brokerage houses, lawyers, etc., and there's really no end in sight. I have an appointment with our attorney tomorrow to go over some stuff with him. I sat at my mother's assisted living apartment last Thursday while a cable installer set up cable and new telephone service, and my brother and sister and I have taken turns being over there with her.

While they were installing cable, I had them install wifi also, so I can take my laptop over and work in Dad's office while I'm getting things transitioned. I will probably eventually move things over to my house, but for now I'm just feeling my way through it.

As we do everything in life, I guess. We just do the best we can and somehow it all seems to work out.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Body blow

Sometimes I feel like giving up, like curling up in the corner and just letting it all wash over me, but I can't. You can't do that, you have to go on, there isn't really a choice. It just seems like life is so hard sometimes. I know that I'm very lucky. I'm loved, I have a good life. Things are hard sometimes, the last couple of years have been hard, the last couple of months have been really difficult. Sometimes it's just hard to be positive.

I was out at my folks' assisted living apartment today helping them with some stuff (which is difficult at the best of times), and I checked my email to find that I'd been fired by a client because she hadn't received an email from me on a project, and she felt that I had overcharged her. And consequently, she no longer wanted to work with me, and would be finding someone else to do her website work.

I had sent the email. I don't know why she didn't receive it. And I didn't overcharge her. I charged her for the time I spent, but she didn't think it should have taken that long. Whatever. I definitely don't think I'm perfect, and I don't expect everyone to like me, but it was out of the blue and it hurt. I do try to remember that not everything is about me, that everyone has stuff going on, and maybe it had nothing to do with me at all, but it sure feels personal. Just a body blow when I didn't need another one.

Oh well. Onward and upward.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

And the hits just keep coming

Bob had an appointment with his cardiologist last Tuesday. I went with him, but it was just a routine visit. But the doctor decided that he wanted to get some more bloodwork done, so after we left his office we went out to the clinic to have blood drawn. We visited with Bob's doctor, who is also his best friend, then went out to brunch. Bob was leaving for a work trip to Florida the next day, so we came home, did laundry, and started packing for the trip.

About 8:30 that night, the phone rang, and the caller i.d. said Encompass Medical Group. I thought maybe it was an appoinemtnt reminder or something, but it seemed strange they would call so late, so I answered the phone. It was a nurse who said she was working the night shift and was looking at his blood results. She said his sugar was out of sight and he should probably be in the hospital.

So that was a little unsettling.

I handed the phone to Bob, and she told him the same thing, and said she was going to call his doctor. Bob went out to take a drive to clear his head, and I kept on packing. While he was out, he talked to the doctor, who told him that he now has full-fledged diabetes, obviously uncontrolled, and he would be much happier if he stayed home. Bob said that he couldn't, that he had to go. So John told him, okay, if you have to go, then you have to cut your calorie intake in half, cut way down on carbs, don't have any sugar, and no beer. He also told him to tell the guy he was sharing the hotel room with that if he (Bob) started acting goofy, to call 911. That was a set-up for a joke, to be sure, because his roommate said, "How will I tell, he's ALWAYS goofy."

Bob had been taking medication for diabetes, but it obviously wasn't doing enough, so I talked to the doctor and we set up an appointment to meet to get info on blood glucose testing and insulin injection. In the meantime, Bob did great on his trip. He called me and told me what he was eating -- mostly salad, some fruit, lean meat -- and said he felt fine. His return trip ended up being ridiculous, though. He had a flight at 9:00 in the morning, but it was delayed, which caused him to miss the connection. All of the flights were overbooked, so the best they could do for him was a flight leaving around 9:00 p.m., which got in at 10:30. So by the time I picked him up and got his luggage, etc., we got home at 11:30. Super long day.

Most of my day today was spent wrangling blood testing supplies. The prescriptions that were called in to the pharmacy added up to around $300. Fortunately, my sister suggested checking at WalMart before picking up the prescription, and I ended up buying a testing meter, testing strips, lancets, alcohol wipes and a sharps container for a little over $20. The only thing I had to buy at the pharmacy was the insulin and needles, and that was $50, so I spent $70, but way better than $300.

So anyway, he's doing fine. Not happy about it, of course, but he's taking it pretty well. He was practicing sticking his finger tonight, and said it looks like we've got a whole pharmacy going on up in his office. And it does indeed.