Friday, October 30, 2009

Here's another depressing-ass family post

It has become apparent lately that my parents are not taking care of themselves very well anymore. Dad has let the house get way past dirty and is venturing into unhealthy.

My mom isn't taking good care of her personal hygiene, she doesn't always remember deodorant and while she washes, it must be a cursory wash, not a good scrubbing. She has a sore on her neck where the trach collar is rubbing a sore spot.

I must go home tomorrow with my aggressive, undiagnosed Bi-polar brother and his wife and we all, mom dad, bro, sil and me, have to sit down and talk about this.

Yeah, that's going to go so well. Dad, you can't clean the house, we're going to bring strangers into the house to clean it. Mom, you aren't taking care of yourself good enough, dad isn't noticing, we're going to bring strangers into the house to help bathe you.

Shit. I don't want to do it. I don't want to do it. I want to wake up in the morning and have it all be ok. it's not supposed to be like this. I shouldn't be having to do this when they're only 60. I'm only 34, this is shit that's supposed to happen when I'm in my 40's. I'm not equipped to handle this right now. How do I walk in and start to tear my family apart?

I keep falling apart. I don't know how I'll even manage the drive. I don't know how to do this. How do I do this??

Dear God, give me the words because I don't have ANY IDEA how the hell do to this.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lumbar Puncture

So, the Lumbar Puncture went ok. I didn't realize it was just a spinal block in reverse.

Ok, that's a stupid comment on my end. It isn't JUST a spinal block. It's still something that sucks being done.

They numbed her with a couple of shots which, judging my mom's expression, HURT. Probably didn't hurt as bad as the spinal tap itself would have, but still. They numbed 1 spot, they couldn't get to the correct spot to fluid, so she had to numb 1 vertebrae higher. Mom was a trooper. I'd have been crying, but she didn't. But then, she didn't realize what they were doing today until she asked why we were in the Brain and Spine clinic. So she didn't have a bunch of time to dwell on it, either.

All in all, it was an ok day. For as bad as it could have been, it wasn't. And I'll take that today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Large Cancer Hospital

I'm not sure if I've posted this before, but I've thought it. So if you've already read this, my apologies. Apparently it strikes a chord every time I go with the folks to the LCH.

I was with mom and dad at the Large Cancer Hospital this morning. Mom needed an MRI of her spine and she shakes so much they had to sedate her. This is a separate unit from the regular MRI unit. Because it was a sedated unit, there were people of all ages. The youngest was under 10, the oldest possibly in her 80's. But that was hard to tell, mom looks about mid 70's, and she's just now 61. There was a young girl, maybe 7 or 8, bald as can be. When she went in, her mom pulled a blanket over her head and took a nap. No telling how hard her life is, how many hours has she spent curled up in a waiting room chair trying to sleep for a few minutes. There was a young woman, her shirt said 'Senior's 2010'. She was on crutches, but I wasn't in a position to see why she was on crutches.

While the MRI was going (it took 2 hours) dad and I went down for breakfast. It struck me, as it always does, that cancer has no boundaries. Not age, sex, finances, weight, education, race, religion and any other distinction you could come up with. At the cafeteria it's sometimes hard to see who the patient is. My dad isn't a patient anymore, but he looks like he could be. In the hallways it's a little easier, patients are often the ones in the wheelchairs.

My mom has a Lumbar Puncture (aka spinal tap) on thursday. I'm more worried and scared than I think mom is. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go in with mom. I wouldn't want to do that without someone holding my hand. I know they used to not give anesthesia for that procedure, and I don't know what to expect. And then I think about how crappy this is that it's my mom going through it. And then I think that it doesn't matter who it is, it's just crappy that ANYONE has to go through this. I'm normally sort of resigned when I think about my getting cancer. The genetics are definitely against me, it remains to be seen what kind of cancer I'll get first. But once in awhile it really hits me, and I get scared witless.

It was raining when we were done, so mom and I waited at a door and dad took the bus to the car, then came back to get us. While we were waiting a guy with a throat speaker, the thing they use when the vocal chords are destroyed, usually throat or lung cancer, was being wheeled out by a transportation person. He told her, 'You have to take me somewhere I can get a cab'. And I thought how REALLY crappy it was that he had to take a cab home from the cancer hospital.

I told mom that It was both reassuring and terrifying that if I ever get cancer dad will take care of me, whether or not I want him to. She laughed. She also told me it was easy as long as she was so tired. She didn't care, so she let him do what he wanted. I told her I couldn't wait for her to have enough energy to fight with dad, because after several years of dad doing what he wanted, when he wanted it and how he wanted it, they would have some HELLA good fights. She laughed again. I hope I can laugh when I'm in her shoes.

Dear God, Please give me the peace and strength to handle what you put in front of me. Thursday will need a great deal of each, I think. Amen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a peaceful post

So it turns out last week when we were both so pissy, my friend mlk and I were both pms-y, in addition to being overworked and WAY TOO TIRED. She's not on birth control, and I recently got off the pill (because I didn't think sex once every 4 or 5 months really warranted a pill every single day), so apparently we're cycling together. That should make the middle of the month pretty interesting for awhile.

I had some friends over to my house friday night. It was fun, we watched Shaun of the Dead. With the 2 1/2 year old with us. It has become apparent that we must now begin to watch a little more kid-friendly movies. We can probably still get away with PG13 until she's a couple of years older. Don't know what we'll do then.

But, I cleaned my house, and I mean I CLEANED my house last friday. It's staying clean, too. It's very nice. I like it when my house is clean. It's peaceful for me to walk into a clean and not cluttery house. I feel a little more at peace with my world now that my house is presentable again. I may do it again this weekend, too. Maybe saturday this time? You just never know...

I'm sitting here listening to my grandmother clock tick (like a grandfather clock, but smaller). The clock works, but the striker doesn't hit the bell, so it doesn't ring like it should. It will cost me a bit of money to have that fixed, so it will just have to be this way for awhile. But it's reassuring to listen to it tick and tock. Plus I get to wind it every sunday. I like doing that. It takes me less than minutes, but I like the habit of it. There's a sense of being connected with previous generations who had to wind their clocks every week, too.

I think that's it for the night. I just wanted to put something positive on this page, it's been full of negative and unhappy lately. I'm trying to be a little more positive, a little more 'glass half full' than 'glass half empty'.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

YAY! A Trivia friday!

It's time for WTF Friday Trivia

Three diseases (besides influenza) that killed a lot of people at one time: Smallpox, plague, measles

Three over-the-counter medicines that once required a prescription: zyrtec, claritin, yeast infection cream?

Three vaccinations that many people receive as kids: measles, mumps, rubella (german measles)

Three non-medicinal treatments for flu-like symptoms: chicken soup, mentholatum, nasal sinus rinse.

Three generic symptoms of no particular illness at all: low-grade fever, chills, nausea

Three antibiotics (brand name or chemical name OK): Ampicillin, levofloxacin, tetracycline

Two diagnoses that once appeared on "House (hint: it's never lupus**): Rabies, radiation poisoning.

Standard trivia rules apply: no Google, no cheating, no calling your readers who are pharmacists and/or infectious disease researchers (HAHA! That was meant for me!!) and/or nurses for hints, etc. I'll post my answers on Monday night after 5pm. Good luck

Friday, October 16, 2009

My grandma's China hutch.

I filled my grandma's china hutch yesterday. It's about half full of grandma's, and half full of mine. I stepped back from it and it made me cry. I'm going to send pictures to my mom and my mom's siblings. It fits the house so perfectly.

The design on the china is a wheat stalk with a blue-green edge. The gold wheat stalk matches the yellow walls. It looks like it was done on purpose.

Every time I looked at it last night I thought of grandma. But I smiled when I did.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A long week

You ever have one of those weeks where things just don't seem to go right? You do A, you're wrong. You do B, you should have done A. You do A again, you should have done D. You go to Z, they tell you you went too far.

I can't win for losing.

And I internalize things. So if I'm wrong about A, then about B, then about D, I start to think I can't do anything right. So in an effort to stop being wrong, I stop doing anything, and that's wrong, too. Then I look back and see things that I should have been able to see, account for, or predict, and I blame myself for those things, too.

Plus, somehow I got the 8AM and 8PM (well, at this point it's 8AM and 6:30PM) antibiotic doses. I'm really tired and my brain is moving slow. I'm PMS'y which makes me a little sensitive, too.

And I keep pissing off my friend. I hate my friends being mad at me. But I hate more when they get mad at me several times over the course of several days, so that by the end they are ANGRY with me. I hate that.

Anyway. That's my week so far. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Split-Second Aging.

THIS is a blog I sometimes read.

Yesterday it was an interesting concept on Split-Second Aging. The idea that sometimes, you experience a moment that makes you grow up instantly.

I have had this happen, and I didn't analyze it very much. But I've been thinking about times I have aged in a moment.

One of those moments was the first night I slept in my house. I had taken on an adult's burden and found myself excited by the prospect. But I also realized that I am tethered to this house now. No longer could I pick up and move with a month's notice. I began to think of my self not as a young woman, but as a woman. There was nothing child-like about me anymore. Not my job or my house or my responsiblities, not even my thinking.

I had another moment, when I realized that my dad wasn't listening to the doctors at Large Cancer Hospital. I realized that I had reached an age where I needed to begin to look out for and after my parents. I would have to take an pro-active roll, to listen to doctors and translate for my parents, and to listen to my parents and be an advocate for them to the doctors.

I'm sure there will be many more ahead, where in an instant I will realize that I am older, and hopefully wiser, than I had been a moment before.

Dear God, please give me the peace and wisdom to grow older gracefully. Amen.


So, I have learned, through a series of events today, and well, actually in the last couple of weeks, that I work well alone. Not that I like to be alone every day, but in the course of the work that I do, I work better alone. There isn't worry about meeting someone, I can modify and switch as best fits my schedule.

I am hard to work with. I don't like it, but there it is.

I can see where this comes from. I've been the primary animal person for several years now. I learned how to do what I needed to do and I did it. I learned how to do procedures and doses and applications, and for the most part, anything done after 6pm I did myself. There were exceptions, of course. Some of the REALLY BIG experiments everyone had to come in and help, but just the normal antibiotic dosing and such was me.

So now that I'm having to work with my friend (and now co-0worker) it's been hard. I don't always share what's going on in my mind, because I haven't done so for 4 years. I expect her to work the way that I do, and she doesn't. She WAY doesn't. We are often 180 degrees from each other.

Dear God, give us all a little peace. Amen.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Take Care of your Family

I have a friend, and in the last 2 months he has lost both his father and his step-father.

He didn't get along with his biological dad, though in the last couple of years they had made peace and had least a cordial relationship. When his dad passed away, he had no savings and no life insurance. His grandfather had to step up and pay for the funeral, because there was NO money. His step-mom will have to sell the house, because she can't afford the mortgage.

When his step-dad (whom he was very close to) passed away, he didn't have life insurance, either. His mom will have to take a loan to pay for his funeral. She has a job, but will have to work for many more years just to have an income.

Even I have life insurance. I don't have a husband or kids, but there is money in place to pay for a funeral, and whatever costs that might come attached to that. My bank accounts and house have been deeded to my brother, so that if the situation arises there is no question as to who the money and estate will go to.

You carry life insurance to take care of you family. You don't carry it for you, you carry it for your family. That's one of the things you try to make money for. You can get term insurance for just a little bit each month.

These 2 families are devasted, they don't even have money to pay for funeral costs. And the cost to my friend is much more. Not only the grief that comes with the loss of his father and step-father, he has the added worry of his almost bankrupt mother and step-mother who has to sell her home.

Dear God, help these 2 families, and help my friend. Show them a way to be able to support themselves, and a way for my friend to find peace in this situation. Amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Top Ten Thursday

This is hard, as it is hard to pick on 10 things that make me happy, and to try to define the TOP 10 things that make me happy. But I'll try.

The Top 10 things that make me happy:

1. The many small children in my life. It's so fun to hang out with them and play with them and watch them grow. It continually amazes me.

2. My friends, from 78 to 23, from newly made to knowing more than half my life, I have a large range of friends and I love them all.

3. My car. I love my car.

4. My house. I love my house

5. On most days, my job

6. Facebook, and especially Vampire Wars. I don't know why this amuses me as much as it does, but I really like it.

7. The way my muscles are sore after working out hard at the gym

8. Going shopping and getting a REALLY good deal on something I really wanted.

9. Walking into my house after it's all clean and neat.

10. Baking good sweet treats and then eating them! Yay for Christmas Cookies!!