Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A sad post, and a little rambling

Whoever said that trouble comes in threes certainly has me worried.  I hope one of the three was the massive amount of work that needed to be done to the car due to Hubby hitting a giant pothole and/or the dishwasher going kaput.  The last couple of weeks have been quite stressful as we await more test results from Hubby's father.  There are still some tests pending - but it appears he has pancreatic cancer.  Father-in-law has been obviously sick for close to a year, having severe stomach pains when he eats and lost a large amount of weight without trying (he's a small guy, really couldn't stand to lose too much).  Many, many tests have been run by several different doctors in his hometown and at the VA center and the only conclusion was that he had gall stones so they removed his gall bladder in January which did not seem to relieve any symptoms.  I don't know all the details but he eventually was seen by more well versed specialist - I think my Sister-in-law bullied him into it - and the results were not good.  Father-in-law is supposed to go back for more testing this week and they are going to rush the results to an oncologist, I don't know what or if any treatment will be prescribed.  I pray this is some horrible medical error, but with the lingering illness I doubt it.

Surprisingly FIL is in quite good spirits according to Hubby and says that he's led a full life and is not upset.  I haven't spoken with him myself.  Hubby is doing well considering the snowball effect of all the stress in our lives currently, though his blood pressure is high enough to worry his doctor, and that was before the news of his dad.  Sister-in-law is doing well too and knowing she will be the main caregiver is full of the same practical questions I have about what the next few weeks/months will bring.  Our children know that Grandpa is sick and likely will not get better and SIL has explained to her eldest.

Hubby feeling the understandable need to be with his father has us traveling again this week.  We will spend a couple of days in the Twin Cities while Hubby calls on clients and then we will travel north to be with family through the weekend.  Mom is going to stay here at our house.

In other less grim news the guy we thought was very interested in Mom's house hasn't reappeared at all, nor have there been any showings on the house.  Practically giving away the place and not even getting looky loos.  Mom is getting stronger by the day.  Today was a fairly warm day (though according to her still "cool") but I made her get out and walk around the block.  She made it!  In the uphill direction and without having to stop due to hip pain.  Now, I'm not a doctor, but I do google a lot and I had decided from the way she described the hip pain she was having that it was not actually IN the joint, but muscular from so much sitting.  A few weeks of stretching and hip exercises and we have some success.  Mom still complained of her calves hurting on the uphill, but that just simple weakness showing up and will improve with more walking.  She's on her way!  Mom decided to let the house behind us go on without her in it.  Probably a good move financially since nobody is taking the bait on the house back in Arkansas and she doesn't have a job.  She is getting job interviews - 2 last week - but no offers yet.

Well it's late and tomorrow proves to be a long day, along with a long weekend ahead. Please keep FIL in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sick & Oh so Tired.

The trip to Mom's went just about like we expected. The refrigerator was horrible. I could smell it as soon as the door opened. Hubby was brilliant grabbing his phone and taking video of her opening the doors for the first time. Hubby was nice and brought along a respirator for her to wear as we had both declared we were NOT cleaning it out. (we had a freezer go out while we were on vacation a few years ago and we are still suffering trauma from that) Mom refused to wear the mask, however she did get in there and empty all the stuff into trash bags and wipe the interior and shelves with strong bleach solution. Needless to say it still smelled REALLY bad. I wiped it out again the next day and changed out charcoal in it daily while we were there. I left it with several boxes of baking soda in it and sprinkled in the bins. Honestly I think it needs to go to the dump which is a shame as it's a decent fridge other than the smell coming from the interior.
Other projects tackled were to clean up the lot next door where a mobile home had sat until recently. The people mom had rented the lot to left piles of junk, including and not limited to an old carpet cleaning machine, the carpet, tires, toys, chemicals and a mattress. The lot had not been mowed for a year or two because of so much junk hidden in the grass. We had a very large fire going for two days but still didn't get all of the stuff burned that we could, the last day there was very windy and we couldn't burn at all. I'm sure the EPA would have written us a large ticket but what do you do? Hubby and both boys did tons of yard work, trimming trees, bushes, and mowing. I did too, with frequent runs into the house to prod Mom back to work on her "desk" which was literally covered in years of papers. Hubby managed to get into some poison ivy and rubbed it on his face. Sunday he looked as if somebody had used him for a punching bag with swollen eyes and red scratches. He went to the doctor today and she gave him a shot and a pack of prednisone. Since this morning the swelling has gone way down. The bad part is that he has to dress up and give a presentation tomorrow in front of a whole bunch of people, I hope the meds do more magic overnight so he's not so self conscience of it, he's nervous enough without that worry too.
I "staged" things, and cleaned the house. Mom hired a cleaning lady who came out the first day but she didn't really do much of anything but charge her $40. She did run the vacuum and get most of the dead lady bugs up around the house. Mom and I went through her huge closet and she weeded out tons of clothes. Honestly I don't think she's thrown anything out in years. I found the dress she wore to my wedding 15 years ago, I found stuff I'd gotten tired of and passed on to her 10 years ago. She tried on and we declare keep or toss and she came home with a large box and a suitcase of clothes we have to hang up and find a place for now. Many things need alterations, so we may have to find a seamstress as my sewing skills are seriously lacking.
We cleaned out her food pantry. I brought home a couple of boxes of canned goods. Many of the cans I found were way out of date. If they were too old I tossed, a year or two I'm going to try it. I found one can of pineapple that clearly had issues. Mom had left a loaf of Wonder Bread on the counter. I know why it's a "Wonder" The bread was clearly dated Feb, had been opened and was still somewhat soft and had no mold growing on it. NOT natural for bread.
Honestly, Mom left the house like she was just going on a 2-3 day trip instead of moving, I was disappointed in the type of things that were not done. There were dishes in the sink, dirty clothes in the hamper, and cigarette butts in the ashtrays. I don't think she thought she would actually stay, but she has and I think we are doing OK. We are starting to adjust to having her in the house now and she's realizing that doing some exercises and getting dressed daily really do make you feel better and I'm not torturing her just for fun.
This afternoon I noticed that the landlords for the rent house behind us were over there cleaning up. It appeared that the last tenant had moved out over the weekend. I'm disappointed somewhat to see him go as he was the best tenant they had move in there so far, quiet and the yard was relatively neat and he didn't have junk around and no dogs coming over to poop in our yard etc. Anyway I stepped over and re-introduced myself as we haven't talked in literally years and asked about the house. It's a very small house and they are asking a reasonable rent, it is under discussion as to if Mom should rent it. I brought her over to take a look and she liked it well enough. It would work out well as we could keep up the yard easily (it's tiny) and she'd be close enough to keep an eye on her but still give us all some privacy.
Along with Hubby having poison ivy, Igor has some sort of bug and is running a fever. Nice. We are all worn slap out and have sore feet. It will take a few days to get back into the swing of things I'm sure.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A post! With pictures Even! Woo Hoo

A few weeks ago, before the whole scheme to go south and clean up the "scary refrigerator of rotteness" I made reservations at a nearby state park to camp over Easter weekend. I know, I know, how very pagan of me, but the whole idea of dressing up and going to church sounded just miserable and since the weather here in WI has been unseasonably warm we've had the itch just terrible.

With reservations made, camper pulled out storage and de-winter-ized and stocked we were ready to go. Hubby took this pic on arrival as the people who had our camping spot before us didn't depart until 15 minutes before check out. Honestly it didn't really matter as we had some misunderstandings with the water and ended up filling the water tanks with a big jug and hand pump!

Here's a nice shot of our gas guzzling, gypsy wanna be rig as she sits. Yes, we are that camper that can't get above 45 on the uphill grades that you cuss at.
While camping we saw and heard sandhill cranes constantly. SE Wisconsin's version of a loon I suppose. We were pretty close to these, this picture while zoomed in fully with my measly camera is not cropped at all.
Of course every camping trip involves marshmallow roasting. The weather didn't cooperate all that much. There was a cold wind most of the time and it spit rain early on the second evening we were there.
The second night we were there I awoke in the night to a HORRIBLE migraine, it honestly felt like someone was splitting my head open with a hatchet. I immediately found my migraine meds and then started puking 15 minutes later. Needless to say I didn't keep them down long enough to do any good. The fun part was I was trapped in that little tiny camper bathroom - so little it's impossible to even sit on the floor and was just miserable. After about an hour of hoping this has got to get better - and several more spells of inspecting the camper toilet way more closely than I wanted to, I made the decision for Hubby to drive me to the hospital. Google told us the nearest hospital was only about 10 minutes closer than our hometown so we opted for home and a hospital that has my records and our house five blocks away. I puked All. The. Way. There. Hubby drove like a bat, I have no idea how long it took him to do the normally 45 minute trip, but I just kept hoping we didn't meet up with any suicidal deer on the road at 2 am. Hubby got me into the hospital and thankfully there wasn't any spectacular cases in front of me and I was doped up pretty quickly, observed for a while and was told to go stay in a quiet dark room for the rest of the day. Since home was close, I came home, took a shower to wash the camp smell off of me and crawled into my delightful bed and slept til noon, woke up, ate, took more migraine meds and slept until 3:00 pm when Hubby, Mom and the kids got home.
I missed Easter again this year. However, at least Hubby didn't sleep through it and the kids hunted eggs in the camp site and got their Easter baskets.

We've been having trouble on and off with our dishwasher for a month or two now. Hubby has fooled with it, replaced some minor parts here and there and we finally gave up.
This is Hubby installing the new dishwasher last night at 9:30. It's purring away right now as I peck away at the keys.
Tomorrow we leave for the Arkansas trip. I'm really not amused, but I'm trying to keep my calm. I keep telling myself to "breathe"