Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The meat.

Yeah, I know all my posts lately are "mom" centered, but honestly that is what's uppermost on my mind lately. Today I was in the shower - you know all good thinking either happens right before you fall asleep, or you're in the shower - and I thought "mom turned off all the power to her house a week or two ago, I bet she didn't clean out her fridge before she left". Sure enough I finished getting dressed and asked the $16 million dollar question and discovered I was correct. I refrigerator/freezer with at least a fair amount food in it turned off. It's late March, in Arkansas. Heck it's been in the 80's here in WI. God only knows how disgusting that fridge is. My guess is we will have to throw the whole thing out.

So I came up with a plan. The kids will be on spring break soon. We are going to travel down and clean up the house. Find important documents - Mom can't get a WI driver's license or register her car- get more clothing, clean out closets and the like. Today Mom called all the utilities and had them turned back on for the few days we will be there. Called a cleaning lady, I called a real estate agent. Hubby has taken three days off of work. We are going to blitz the house. I'm really stressed about this. 1. Time, I really don't want to spend half a week down there working my fingers to the bone 2. We are going down there to take care of things I told mom to take care of before she came up 3. Money - we are not exactly flush right now. We've had some minor disasters (nothing horrible, just normal daily crap) that have left the family budget a little tighter than normal. 4. Taking the kids down, it's BORING there, and the satellite has been turned off. I'm sure the lawn is grown up which leads to many snakes - some poisonous - and other critters around, which will lead to a lot of boredom while we are trying to actually work. I'm more than a little perturbed at all this.

Hubby has made the point he doesn't think she's doing all this craziness on purpose. He thinks she is simply not capable of making reasonable decisions anymore. I think he has a point. Now we are biding our time to see if she can land a job and get into some sort of reasonable physical shape. If she cannot or will not improve in the next 6-9 months we will hire a lawyer and pursue getting disability for her. If she can draw disability she will have some income and be eligible to live in the senior housing apartments here in town. I'm torn with this decision. I believe giving her the option of not getting up, dressed and function on a daily basis will only make her condition worse. She really has a bad case of lazy. However she really needs medical coverage. Luckily the charity care things here in town covered her last round of medical appointments, but I don't know how long that will last, I know they do not cover expensive medical testing.

Through all this Hubby has been a rock. I'm sure he feels a type of crazy with this as well. I know he didn't sign up for all this crap when we got married, but I'm glad he's still there.

Anyway, it's time I put on my drill instructor/ physical therapist hat and run Mom through her paces. I marched her around a very short block today and you would have though I made her run a 5K.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A foot in two (or more) worlds

My children are polar opposites. Those two boys certainly give credo to the nature in nature vs nurture theories. I know children with the same biological parents are often opposites, but it certainly seems pronounced in our family.

One foot -Sonny Boy - is firmly planted in a gifted world. I know every parent thinks their child is the brightest star in the sky, but I honestly believe if we measure his IQ we would be hitting some pretty remarkable numbers. If he doesn't screw up his life by doing something stupid, a fear that is easily dreamed with his ADHD I can see a very bright future from him if he applies himself. This foot swim in the sea common to every parent, love, worry, and exasperation on occasion. Generally this foot treads water on auto-pilot.

The other foot - Igor - is firmly planted in a world of worry. While I do believe Igor is of at least average intelligence I do worry about his future. How will he manage in a world that caters to the 20/20 vision crowd? School will cater to vision needs but what happens in college or the working world? How will he manage in a world that is so dependent on being able to drive? Is Igor doomed to live in a city with at least bus services so he can travel about independently? Will he be able to live a small town life if that is what he chooses? I mourn the opportunities that he is denied. This foot swims in a sea of information, a sea of making sure Igor sees the best doctors, has the best educational interventions. A sea of fear that a wrong decision made now will severely impact life in the future. Sometimes this foot relaxes a bit a treads water smoothly and it's easy to forget the dangers that lurk beneath it, other times it watches Shark Week and goes into panic mode.

I don't suppose Mom moving in has helped the stress. Honestly she is much like having a slightly mentally delayed teenager in the house. Daily I stress she must dress, and I drill sergeant her through a regime of exercises (that even she admits have improved her strength and coordination) Just getting her up and moving has all the appeal of going to the dentist. I will be the first person to say I am far from being as physically fit as I should be, but I can walk around the block. I honestly don't know how she is going to manage learning a new job if she lands one. Learning to efficiently navigate the internet, the names of the main drags through our little town, and the pronunciation of the Milwaukee suburbs have proved almost impossible for her. I really don't know where this leg is swimming yet and I suppose that proves the most stressful. I'm not quite sure how to handle her. If I treat her in a manner to make sure she does what she should and the like I run the risk of angering her, and increase my workload by at least 3/4 of a child. If I let her pull her own mistakes she has no success and mopes on the couch in a depression that worsens (she is already on anti-depressants) and all self esteem drops to rock bottom. There are so many aspects to this issue I can't even begin to go into them all here. I suppose I need your thoughts and prayers to help me get through this with grace.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ER's, IEP's, IRS, SMO's and assorted other acronyms

The Sunday after the last post mom woke up with some female complaints that are not typical for a woman of her years. Not really knowing what else to do we went to the emergency room. The ER determined she wasn't in dire danger and sent her home with orders to see an OB/GYN the next day. She did. Test were ran. Nothing showed up except for a urinary tract infection that was caught by the ER lab work. A round of Cipro later and she's back to her normal couch potato ways. Mind you all this is with no health insurance, though I have found a couple of programs through the local clinic/hospital and United Way that help people with no insurance so hopefully the bills will be manageable. The joy of small town was that we had the same nurse and the same volunteer lady was working in the lobby as when Igor busted his lip. Cripes, bet they wonder what I'm doing to my family.
Today I met with about half the staff of the elementary school for Igor's IEP. He was declassified at "Severely Developmentally Delayed" and put on "Significant Visual Impairment". Basically it all means all the orphanage delays have been wiped out and we are simply looking at ways to make sure his poor vision doesn't impact him negatively in the educational setting. Evidently this is a rather unusual label as it had lots of questions of what and how to things floating around. While it's never grand to have a kid with an IEP, I'd rather he have that than a 504 as it will give him more support as it's needed.
I spent half an hour the other day on the phone with the IRS. It seems Mom's old job back in AR deducted too much Fica from her paycheck - to the tune of $400 or so dollars and is refusing to pay it back. Nice huh? Finally got hold of somebody who is supposed to be sending letters to all involved but it's been a little while and we've not heard back.
Igor went to the orthopedic doc last week and his SMO's are now being cut down to a smaller foot version. I took him today to the orthotist to have his feet molded. These new orthotics should fit mostly inside his shoe, which will be nice as they will hopefully stay much cleaner.
Sonny Boy got a note home from school the other day for socializing during class. A good talking to and four days removal of T.V. and Wii and I hope that should be the end of it. Yesterday it seems his partner in crime at school got in big trouble and Sonny Boy wisely stayed clear.
The dishwasher went kaput. I hate hand washing dishes. Hubby currently has it dragged out and into several pieces in an effort to salvage it. It's not a very old machine, nor was it a cheap one, but it's been giving us fits. I priced a new one today while in town and OUCH, not really a purchase we wish to make right now. I know a dishwasher is technically a luxury, but really who wants to hand wash dishes for five people daily?
I've been so stinkin' busy lately my attempt at actually "doing something" with the blog besides a abbreviated journal has gone downhill. I sometimes think of witty things I can write about, but of course I'm never in a place I can actually write them. I believe I'm only posting in an effort to keep spammers away.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It spreads....

Mom went down tonight. We ate supper and Mom was moving around the kitchen, picking up dishes and she got very light headed and weak and started shaking. I made her sit at the table and after a min or two she wasn't any better. Mom decided to take her blood pressure as she's had these spells before. We take her blood pressure and discover it's pretty high. I have her lie down in bed and in her stash of stuff I find a blood sugar tester that a pharmacist made her buy after fainting in the grocery store (didn't know anything about that episode) I prick her finger to her dismay, but her blood sugar was in a normal range. By this time Mom is shivering something fierce and I remember back to the days of her long hospitalization in '99 that just before she spikes a fever she gets chills terribly so I dose her up with a couple of Tylenol despite the fact she has no fever. We take her blood pressure again and while it is still high it is starting to drop. I leave her to rest for a while and she dozes off. I check on her in hour or so and she is feeling much better, no chills and the blood pressure is down to normal. I get her Kindle and she's happily reading away in bed. After a while she decides to go outside and smoke, as she's coming back in she starts retching. I grab the puke bucket I had commandeered from Igor's room and get it to her and put a chair behind her as she's weak from the puking, you know how that goes.

So now she's fallen to Igor's stomach virus. I was hoping he had an isolated, non transmittable case but it doesn't appear that way. Just lovely (sarcasm insert here) I'm about 24 hours until Hubby gets home from his trip and it looks as if the adults are going to fall. I pray I have some Mommy immunity somewhere as all hell will break lose if I go down before Hubby gets home. Not to mention I have committed to working at a wrestling tournament on Saturday.

The worst part is I'm feeling nauseous, but I don't know If I'm really sick or just grossed out from witnessing an adult barf. It's a different thing than your kids you know.

Currently I have mom set up with a tv table beside the bed (there is no bedside table there) with buckets, washcloths, watered gatorade and her phone so if she needs me in the night she can call me if I don't hear her. Hopefully for her she'll sleep through the worst of the bug as Igor's only seemed to last about 12 hours.

If I don't fall with the pukes tomorrow I'll start the bleaching and washing nightmare in hopes of stopping this stuff from going further but I worry it may be too late. Anybody want to come over and help?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Life Happens

A big ole' bucket of life has been dumped in my lap the last few days and now I'm busy trying to clean it up. Yuck.

Hubby has had some stomach issues which led to some anxiety issues and things snowballed from there. He called me Sunday rather stressed with a migraine. I talked him through all my own tried and sometimes helpful headache remedies and instructed him to call me in one hour. They helped to relieve his headache, however he had a couple of nights of no sleep. Poor guy is stressed out.

Igor's lip has healed well. It's still a little puffy but there should be no lasting effects. Today however he woke up feeling fine and at 10:00 was was watching T.V. and crying. I asked him what was wrong and he tells me his throat hurt (Igor speak for "I'm gonna puke") so I rush him to the bathroom and we sit in the floor a while and then he complains his leg hurt. I'm not sure but I think the leg hurting was just a charlie horse. Igor never puked so I parked him with a bucket in front of cartoons and realized he was running a fever so I dosed him with some Tylenol. He was rather miserable for a while and then upchucked. Lovely. He then proceeded to throw up about every 2-3 hours all afternoon and evening with his fever returning in the evening. I had a Cub scout meeting to attend and Mom said he puked again while I was gone. I then went to Walgreens and picked up some tylenol suppositories for him. Igor was none to happy when I explained where the medicine would go but didn't fuss too much. I had him sip a little watered down gatorade as he drifted off to sleep. I hope he feels better tomorrow. I hope he keeps all the germs to himself.

I've been battling a migraine myself for two days. I've used up more than weekly allotment of Relpax so I'm having to just suffer through it. It's by far not a horrible headache but I've certainly felt better. Sure makes caring for a whiny pukey kid that much more miserable.

The battery died on the van. What pain. It didn't leave me sitting somewhere thankfully, but I did have to jump it from Hubby's car and take it in and get a new one installed. The guy that helped me was very pleasant but he had the strangest nose I've ever seen on person in my life. It wasn't a growth, it didn't look like any kind of a new injury. I told Hubby who had waited on me and he knew exactly who I was talking about. The best way to describe this nose was to say it looked like "cauliflower ear" that wrestlers can get. I so wanted to take a picture. Other than that the guy was totally unremarkable.

So I guess that's life in a nutshell. Fun huh? Hopefully Igor's pukes don't ravage the household in the next few days. If so I have Sonny Boy's promise to help out if all the grown ups go down at once!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Staying busy

My newest sport lately has been surfing around on Pinterest. GAWD what an utter waste of time, but there are some good ideas and occasionally I get a chuckle from some of the stuff. One of the good ideas was to make your own frozen burritos. This I actually did.

I kind of made up my own recipe along with a recipe from Martha Stewart and came up with my own three bean and rice filling. Turned out pretty well. We ate burritos for supper that night and I promptly ran out of tortillas, however today I picked up some more, stuffed and wrapped and ended up with a dozen or so for the freezer. I doubt they are any cheaper than the store bought ones (haven't purchased one of those in years) but I'm pretty sure they will taste better and be less processed.

I've also become very shopping savvy with the groceries lately. I'm sure if you do the grocery shopping you've notice how danged expensive food has gotten. I'm becoming quite the pack rat and load up on stuff when there is a good sale. Right now the pantry looks like I expect to never buy cold cereal again as we have like 8 boxes or something stupid, but as long as they don't get opened they have a crazy long shelf life. Don't worry I don't think I'll turn into one of those coupon clipping crazies that have 42 bottle of ketchup, BUT I might buy three or four if the price is good. Adding another mouth to feed to the household one needs to be prudent.

Of course gas prices are on the rise again. Just when camping season is around the corner. Geez, I fear my camping plans will be curtailed severely at $4.00 a gallon gas. yuck.

Right now we are getting hammered with a snow storm. Not windy but I bet it's snowed about three inches in the last 2 1/2 hours. Bad luck I promised Igor to go out and eat Chinese food tonight and of course he hasn't forgotten. So right now Mom and I are debating it. The China Buffet is just here in town so it's not like we have to go miles. I'm really sick of cooking as well so it's a toss up. However we live on the top of a hill and if the plows don't run before we need to come back up the hill it could be a bit of a problem particularly with the snow coming down as hard as it is.

Well I guess that's it. Life in the fast lane - or maybe the curb if we go slip sliding out to eat tonight.