Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

Christmas day found the whole family at the hospital to see mom. We went to church in the morning, and then went to the hospital. They served free Christmas dinner for whoever was at the hospital that day. It wasn't too bad. It was still cafeteria food, but not too bad for a christmas dinner.

Mom, however, was not doing so well. She had no idea who we were. I don't know if having all of us there was too much for her, or if it was a bad day, or what, but she was disoriented, she didn't want us in the room, she was totally distant from Emma, which is HIGHLY unusual. She just wasn't mom. When I mentioned it to dad, he totally blew me off, of COURSE she knew who we were. She didn't. There was one moment of clear lucidity, she smiled big and you knew that she knew what was going on, but then it was gone, and she was lost again. We didn't stay long that day. My brother almost has anxiety attacks whenever he has to go see mom. To see her in that state is just more than he can handle. It is hard to see her like that. To measure her existance and her well-being by the numbers that are flickering and flashing on moniters. It's hard to watch and make sure the foley catheter isn't irritating her and to clean her up and keep the yeast infections under control. It's hard to help clean her up after a bowel movement. My brother has no idea what to say or how to say it, and he covers up for it by trying to get any kind of reaction he can from mom, good or bad. He gets really antsy and nervous, ready to leave in just a few minutes. Absolutely useless. My SIL, though, is a rock. She is nice to mom, talks to her in a normal voice, brings Emma and as much as Emma will let her, lets Emma interact with mom. She is a support for dad, as much as she can be. She is a blessing to this family. I can't thank God enough for the gift of my brother's wife.

I must give my father his due. Everyday he is at the hospital. He is taking care of her, doing all of the personal necessary things for her. I'm worried about how small his world is becoming, but he is a comfort and help to my mom in this difficult time. And he is strong, in his own way. To be at the hospital all day, everyday, is a hard thing to do, it would be hard for me to do, because you can't really do anything. You can't give medicine, you can't speed up the recovery, you can't walk for her or talk for her or help her get out of bed. All you can do is be there, and hold her hand, and try to soothe and comfort as best as we can. And to do that day after day after day after day is hard, and my dad does it without a second thought or a doubt.

I'm finally able to say, without shame or hesitation or too much embarrassement, that someday I hope to find a man like my dad. I'd like to find someone who loves me the way my Dad loves my Mom. Someone who loves me beyond all doubt, in all conditions, and without any hesitation or second thoughts. This is truly what marriage is supposed to be, this is what God intended when he ordained marriage. Not the silly, floaty, lusty love of the early years, but the love grown over 40 years, love that enables you to take on the task of caring physically for your disabled spouse. A love that looks beyond the bald head, the pale sick palour, the tubes and machines, and still see the young woman of 20 in the white dress walking down the short aisle to be with her husband.

May God grant that I one day get to have a love like that.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

I got home yesterday afternoon, went to Brother/Sister-In-Law's house and started to help prepare for Christmas meal. We started by making sugar cookie dough, which niece Emma helped roll out dough and cut cookies. Emma is allergic to milk and eggs, so we used soy milk, but there isn't a substitute for eggs, so we had to try to keep the eating of raw dough to a minimum. Once done at Bro/SIL's house, I went home and helped dad make the dressing.

Christmas eve, I was up early and over at Bro/SIL house by 9AM, cooking and making and preparing for the meal. It's a hungarian tradition to have Lentils as a dish at christmas, so SIL made a delicious lentil salad. We had mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, dressing, rolls, lentil salad, orange jello cottage cheese fluff salad, green bean casserole, and there was something else, I can't remember what. We cooked the turkey first, then everything else, so the turkey sat for about 1 hour before we ate it. It was SO GOOD, it was very moist and had a great flavor. My dad raved about the turkey for 3 days. Considering that it was the first time either SIL or myself had made a big meal like that, we did a good job and everything turned out very well.

My brother has a friend, Melvin, and Bro invited Melvin, his mother, his sister and her son, to have Christmas Dinner with us. Before we all managed to eat, another friend of my brother's called and dropped by with his son. Dad went to the hospital in the morning, came over at around 1PM for the meal, then left again around 2:30PM, then came back around 7PM for family gifts. After the meal, the kids did a small gift exchange, which went over very well and was a lot of fun.

The tradition in Hungary is that Santa comes to visit early in december, and leaves a few little toys in shoes left out in the house. Then Christmas eve is the family gift exchange, and Christmas day is for the church and family time. Because this tradition means a lot to
SIL, and I don't have kids, and no one else in the family has much of a preference, this is how we are doing it, and probably will continue to do it. It made a nice holiday. We merged Hungarian and American so that we do Christmas eve like SIL did it as a kid, and then Christmas morning, Santa will bring some small toys and leave them in the stockings to be opened before, or maybe after, church.

At any rate, it turned out to be a very nice day. SIL and I got along well and worked very well together in the kitchen, and Brother was in a pretty good mood, too. It was nice to see Melvin and his family again, I hadn't seen them in quite awhile.

As bad as this day could have been, it was actually a nice day. It was acceptable. Not exceptional, but given the circumstances, it was nice. Acceptable.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday before Christmas

So, I was supposed to go home today. Last night, a friend called and asked me if I'd like to go to the Symphony with him. He had bought tickets a couple of months back when he had a girlfriend, but now no longer has the girlfriend and needs someone to go with. I readily agreed, as the concert was Handel's Messiah. I've never seen a live production, much less one from such a professional event as the Large City Symphony.

But there was a selfish reason, too. I wasn't ready to go home. I didn't want to go home yet, to sit at the house alone, or to go to Brother/SIL's house, and then come home, make dinner with dad, sit and watch tv without talking, then to bed, repeat for several days in a row. To put it off one more day was great for me.

That also means I can go to my own church, and not have to struggle with going to mom's church. I can only do that so many times in a given month. It's so hard to be there with dad, my mom's friend Vlasta, SIL and niece, but no mom.

I'm already ready for Christmas to be over.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I can't wait until my niece does stuff like this...

The Penis story

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

No Penis for YOU!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


In an attempt to clear the demon from my head, I called my Aunt Marsha, my mother's sister, last night and told her of my baking disaster. She laughed with me, and we talked for about 1/2 an hour. I told her at the end that as terrible as all of my mother's health issues are at the moment, it had to be a part of God's plan to bring this family closer together. I do not remember more than once or twice in my childhood and adulthood calling my Aunt just to talk, apart from the times when mom was already on the phone with her and we talked for a minute or two. We talked for about 40 minutes about baking, life, kids, family...just talking. It was nice. I want this to be an enduring legacy of my mom's period of sickness, that this family is closer together. The suffering and pain should not be in vain, and I will do my best to try to maintain the bonds that have been forged here. God grant our family peaceful times and continued closeness. Amen.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Baking disaster

I don't know how many of you are bakers, but I love to bake, and I've had my share of flops. Yesterday I made some orange-cranberry bread loaves to give to some people. It's a really good recipe, and it turns out very well. Except for last night. I got the bright idea that I could add some nutrition to this recipe by using whole wheat flour. Bad Idea. It made the bread a kind of orange-grey color, very unappetizing, and it destroyed the texture. It's crumbly and way too dry, it just falls apart around the cranberries. All in all, not the best idea I've ever had.

When this usually happens, I call mom. We usually laugh. Then it hit me that I couldn't call mom. I fell apart in the kitchen. I haven't thrown them out yet. I need to, but that somehow seems wrong to throw them away before I told mom my funny story. I

Someone today asked me how my weekend was, and i fell apart again.

This sucks.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

grad student aggravation

So, today I got some grief from my grad student, she thinks sometimes I work too fast. As in, if the animals need dosing with antibiotics, or sometimes when I'm dosing with Infectious Agent, I go too fast. This has never been a problem. I'm not fast, I'm efficient. I will always try to do things in the most efficient manner. I have never dumbed myself down before, and I'm not going to do it now. I refuse to take 30 minutes to do something that I know I can do in 10 minutes, and still be accurate. What's more, this has never bothered Dr.C, until now all of a sudden, Grad Student is worried, so it Dr.C.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007


funny pictures
moar funny pictures

bad news...

bad news on the home front, mom went into the hospital on 11-24, went into respiratory arrest, and has been on a ventilator since then. She has MRSA in her lungs, but so far not in the blood or urine, and she's down to 30% oxygen on the respirator, so one or two small good things in a very large scale of bad things. I'll post more on this later, I've got pages to enter, just not the time yet. To flesh this story out, I'm back at work because at this point mom is heavily sedated and on the respirator, so there is nothing I can do to help her. Right now she is in God's hands, and I will probably need my sick leave and vacation in the not-t0-distant future.

This particular blog is about a prof. He is a collaborating PI, so we work closely with his lab. Yesterday afternoon, we were in a building where we house our infected animals, and I met him in the hallway. He asked me how I was doing. I kind of made an "eh" sound, half-smiled at him, and kept going. This man is in constant contact with my boss, so he should know what's going on. He then said, "I was just saying hello to you, you could at least answer me." So I said, "My mom is in the hospital with an MRSA infection in her lungs and she isn't responding very well to the antibiotics, so I'm actually just getting through the day today, I'm not really doing all that well, but thanks for asking." He looked startled and said, "Oh, I did hear something about that."

WTF? First, I did answer and if you didn't have your head so far into your blackberry you would have heard and seen my answer, but you didn't. Second, I really don't care if my lack of a good mood affects you. It didn't have anything to do with you, and thanks, that's one more time I have to tell that story. Thank you. As if the wound isn't sore enough, thanks, I get to rip it open ONE MORE TIME. Thank you. So, Dr.P Kiss my ass if my lack of a good mood upset you. Next time, don't assume it has something to do with you and just let me have my bad mood.