Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pulled the plug

As of last Friday I am officially unemployed.  My crazy mother gave me the most gracious excuse for quitting ever that saved face all around.

As I told before I handed in notice to the director citing the crazy micromanaging behavior of my supervisor.  Director asked me to reconsider and she would discuss with supervisor and it could decide at the end of week if supervisor was trying to be more likeable.  To be fair, supervisor may have been sugar sweet but by now I just couldn't stand to be there anymore and was going to finalize things, however director was out for the day.  I was talking to a co-worker about situation (she was aware previously of my unhappiness) and the crazy behavior of my mother that I had just discovered was waiting 40 minutes early for the kids to get out of school (hubby was getting off work early and said he'd pick them up) bizarre being there that early.  Anyhow mom decided to come to my workplace, pulled into the parking lot, hit the gas instead of the brake, jumped a curbed divider bed in parking lot and sheared a 12 foot tall bush off at the ground.  How she managed not to hit a car or person is a miracle.  Police were called, reports were filed, yada yada.

Citing mom as the reason I was able to make a graceful exit with a good public story, though a few co-workers and director know this is only some of the reason.  The two people who would be in a position there to move into my job have flatly refused. Both with elegant excuses, but I know one is because she doesn't want to work for supervisor.

Either way it's worked out.  Mom is having some bizarre stuff health wise going on and her confusion is growing noticeably worse, even to her.  She has a neurologist appt soon and we will see how that plays out.  Sonny Boy was able to attend an after school activity that he is really thrilled about but couldn't before because I really needed him to walk his little brother home from school.  Igor's violin teacher was happy as his lesson could be moved up to a more reasonable time.  Not to mention Hubby's job called him down to Arkansas unexpectedly today with only a few hours notice to catch a flight.  My stress level has gone from a +10 to a manageable 5 or so.

It's funny I've never had whole days to myself before.  When Igor finally went to kindergarten mom had moved in, when she moved out I was working.  Sure I had my off days during the week but they were spent running errands, and attending doctor appointments with mom.  I almost don't know what to do with myself.  Haha. Not really.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Have you ever stopped to think about how many passwords and pins you have floating around in your head?  No wonder I I have no idea what my husbands phone number is, I have to remember log ins for my phone, the tv, my computer, the iPad, computer at work, the back door, the car door (I don't really know that one) my debit card, eBay, Amazon, and half at least half a dozen other web sites.  It's crazy.  It's gotten to the point that if it requires a password input I will simply avoid that website or chore until I can no longer put it off anymore.  Honestly the fact that my phone has more computing power than Nasa put Neil Armstrong on the moon with cant we get some reasonable form of login that doesn't require seemingly random bits of information be stored in my brain?  God forbid you decide to change email it's a nightmare.

Hence accessing blogger has become problematic for me.  I can access it from the iPad but not from the laptop.  I know user name and I'm even sure I know password but something is whacked and getting to the interface from something with a real keyboard currently is not something that is gonna happen.

Life is happening.  My job basically sucks, my supervisor has sucked any joy I once derived from it.  She is a micromanaging, socially inept, person.  I honestly took my resignation letter into the director on Monday and explained to her that I can no longer work for M.  Director asked
 me to let her talk to M and see if it gets better, if I didn't feel M was giving a good effort at being less abrasive she would consider my resignation turned in on Monday and I would only have one more week to go.  I agreed and director told me that she talked to M and M was honestly surprised that anyone would think she came across as abrupt.  I honestly don't expect a big change, thankfully due to odd scheduling this week I will only work with her on Friday.  I'm not sure if four hours of work on Friday will be enough to judge if she has changed her ways, though it typically doesn't take her that long long to be ugly to me.  -- Just an aside, she is "abrupt" to everyone.  I've had more than a couple of co workers look at me stunned or tell me rather rude things she has said or done to them.  I doubt she can be let go as she has worked there 10 years in a different position, not as a supervisor.  Rumor also has it she is not well liked in her church or her husband's rather public position.--  But you know what really gets me is she doesn't seem to get social niceties.  She will often leave for the day without saying goodbye, up yours, adios amigos etc.  just gather her stuff and leave with me sitting there at my desk 6 feet away.  really?!  Really.  Either way it will improve or it won't.  I'm not going to stress about it anymore.

The kitchen is now functional!!!  Yay!  We still have some trim work to do, I can still see rough framing around the windows and doors but there are cabinets, countertops, a sink, stove etc.  For now we've had to stall finish work in an effort to get other things going that must be done before cold weather - one of those turning the heat back on.  It makes a HUGE difference in the house.  I think I might can like our house again, for a while there I was hoping for a fire when we were out of town.

The boys are running rampant activities but it's fun.  I would like a few days of no activities though.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The end of summer

The pool has closed, school supplies are purchased, football has started and school is looming next week.  Summer is over.  It has been a blur, all seasons seem to speed by but this one has been in super sonic mode.  Constantly fretting over the next step in the kitchen remodel, the never ending scratching up of meals and actually having a paying job have taken its toll.  Things I had hoped to do this summer have simply fell away, a trip down to Chicago so the kids could see a "big city" and go the museum, not done.  Not one single night of camping ( though scratching meals in the camper daily has given a camping quality to life) and no trips north to see the in laws there hasn't been too much fun this season.  I hope the kids forgive us.  The boys do admit to liking the large amounts of junk food they have consumed.

Hubby is in France this week.  He called to inform me he could see the Eiffel Tower from his hotel room.  Pfft on him.  I saw the business end of a paint brush for three solid days!  I read on the inter webs that a volcano in Iceland is gurgling and could possibly shut down air traffic like it did a few years ago.  If he gets stuck there I hope all he finds to eat is stinky cheese!  Though we are somewhat accustomed to cheese eating being Wisconsinites and all.

I am so glad school is starting.  The boys really need some routine to their exsistence.  Currently they are both grounded from electronics for various infractions, from the wailing and teeth gnashing one would think I had reduced their diets to bread and water and shot the dog.

Looking through the various bits on the i pad the kids have been playing with...dang they won't upload.  You would find them humorous.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yep, I'm not dead yet.

It's been more than a little wild around here with the kitchen remodel going on.  Nearly every spare minute has been spent with some construction project or searching the inter webs for stuff and ideas.  The kitchen is finally staring to come together with the installation of the cabinets starting late last week.  If things go smoothly we should be able to cobble together a functional kitchen within two to three weeks.  I'm not holding my breath cause you know how construction stuff goes.

On other fronts Mom is still being herself, though I'm letting her.  The last couple of doctor visits have subtracted two different meds from her LONG list.  She was still getting dizzy just this last week though nothing is showing on her implanted heart monitor.  Hopefully the removal of these meds will prove fruitful.

Sonny Boy has started football now full force.  Four days a week, two hour practices.  You might think this was the NFL, not 5th grade peewee.  He likes it though, and he's comfortable with his coaches, a big improvement over last year.  Igor is rather bored this summer.  Both boys go down to the pool daily but Sonny Boy generally hangs out with a group of kids his age that are there while Igor swims.  Igor's social circle is smaller and he is not near as social as Sonny Boy and being on the younger side of the pool crowd leaves him out a bit.

This week it was officially announced that my hometown school district is closing.  It's not really unexpected, the place has been in decline for a long time.  Low enrollment, poor achievement, and plagued with mismanagement it is time.  This will be the last nail in the coffin the small town has been filling for a while now.  A strange feeling knowing your school (heck the whole district) will no longer exist.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A solution - maybe

It's 1:00 am and I've been googling for several hours now.  Unfortunately the search engine that tries to answer every question anyone can come up with can't answer mine.  How do I help my mother to help herself?  It's not there, and frankly the information I can find doesn't help me feel much better about the situation.

The official term for it is self neglect.  Mom fits all the factors and several of the early stages, alas there is really no solution to slow or stop the progression.  The problem is entirely hers.  Frustrating as I watch her simply disintegrate into nothing waiting on me to pick up the pieces.

Therefore I have come to the conclusion I can't do it any more.  I can't spend endless hours at the hospital every time she is admitted, I can't be her on-call taxi service, I can't be her social liasion.  I will no longer do those things.  I will take her to the store, library, and any other reasonable errand she needs to run once a week.  I will attend her doctor appointments with her so I can bully her into action when I feel it's necessary.  I will no longer hound her about smoking, about not eating even reasonably decent, or not getting even minimal excercise ( well at least as much as I can keep my big fat mouth shut). To NOT do is inherently harder than to do.  To give up and realize it is entirely out of my control is not in my vocabulary.  I find it so damn difficult to let her be when I know she hasn't dressed in three days, or walked outside, or washed her dishes, or eaten a fruit or vegetable.  I can't continue to parent my parent when she doesn't even show the same amount of responsibility that my 11 and 7 year old do.

I am at a loss, and I must let go for my own sanity.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

...And they're always glad you came

In my job I often work the circulation desk to cover for breaks, lunch, or simply when the clerk gets over whelmed with too many patrons.  Mostly I enjoy it, I see a ton of people and I'm starting to learn some of the more frequent visitors.  The public library is a haven for all - and I wouldn't change that- but we certainly get a wide variety of the population of our small town through the doors on a frequent basis.

Perhaps the one that intrigues me most is "Doris" (I do know her real first name).  I have seen Doris for years around town and occasionally at the swimming pool.  Doris is very hard to describe, one gets the impression she is doing her best to appear ghost like as she conducts her mysterious errands. Near daily she comes in and pulls a paperback and reads for a while, returns the book and leaves.  Doris rarely speaks to anyone, doesn't stay terribly long, and never checks out materials.  I have spotted her through the window of the coffee shop, and a co-worker said told me she frequently drinks coffee at a nearby family diner.  I do not think she is homeless, as she is fairly well groomed and clean.  She also must have some disposable income to appear at the pool - though in fairness I don't know if she is attending this year.  No one really knows her story, which in our small town is rare for the eccentrics.  My best guess is she is autistic to some degree, and the library is part of her normal routine.

The last couple of days I've had patrons that after a few brief words it has hit me "oh!autism!"  Yesterday was guy roughly 30 years old who was asking about a book.  Not unusual, except for the amount of enthusiasm he had for a novel that was primarily written for 14 year old girls.  When I checked for the book and discovered that our library did not have it, but we could bring it in, I garnered the same reaction as if I'd pooped on the desk.  I was then quizzed about the availability of bookstores in town (none) and how fast could I get the loaner copy and could his dad reserve it?   The guy then goes out and retrieves his father who brings in his card to place the hold.  Dad didn't look too thrilled about the whole operation.

We of course have a wide variety of patrons with a wide range quirks.  A nearly blind lady we have a specific computer with special contrast on.  A mildly developmentally delayed mother with a severely delayed daughter who loves Japanese anime.  A local history junkie who is forever combing through microfilm and the the regulars who come in and check their e-mail and Facebook.

While living in a small town has its disadvantages (a serious lack of dining options being one) it has a sense of community I don't think is shared in cities.  A place where Doris is free to haunt around and people look out for her, and the library keeps a computer for one specific patron's use.

Where everybody knows your name.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Up All Night

I haven't been doing well lately.  I finally managed to taper off the meds the not so ethical TMJ doc put me on.  The bummer is that the reason I was started on those meds is back full force.  Nothing like clenching your teeth together as hard as possible for hours at a time to make you feel good.  Honestly, try it.  Clench your back teeth together as hard as you possible can - count to 10, release.  That is what I do all night.  Yes I have a night guard, and I probably wouldn't have teeth without it, but I just chomp down on that.  I wake up 4 or 5 days a week with at least a moderate headache and feel like somebody has punched me in the face repeatedly.  On good days I can drug away the pain and start to feel OK by noon, but often not much helps.  Somedays the pain finally starts to fade by late evening.  When I finally start to feel better I don't really want to rush into bed to start the cycle over again, even though I'm rather sleepy.  Hence Up All Night.

Seems as though my blood pressure is sky rocketing as well.  I was standing in line at the pharmacy the other day and for grins I thought I would sit down at the little blood pressure thing and try it out.  My blood pressure was screaming high.  I came home and found Hubby's blood pressure cuff and took my BP after resting a bit, it was still high.  I've been taking my BP at different times of  day and its still really high.  I'm recording it for the doctor and will call to try to try and get a quick appointment in the next day or so.

I've been googling and I found a med I want to try and see if it helps with the clenching issues.  I hope the doctor will write me a scrip to try it.  I guess she'll write me one for blood pressure med too. Maybe if I can get the crazy clenching under control the blood pressure will come down on its own.

In other news... Mom has an electrophysiology study this week.  Hopefully they can find the cause of these fainting epiosodes and she can start driving again.  The kitchen has stalled with the installation of a window that was significantly smaller than we anticipated and the need to reorder, and install again.  We don't even want to discuss the cost factor.  The boys are living at the swimming pool.  Work sucks.

Well, I should go to bed and start the pain cycle over.  It's 1:00am and I should try the dr's office and see if I can get in early in the morning before I go into work.

What a whiney post.  Just drivel.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Little of this, a little of that

We are currently living in self induced chaos.  I'll explain.  On May 1 we started an extensive kitchen remodel.  We boxed up the dishes, and started destruction.  Things are moving forward but when making a pot of coffee is an adventure you tend to start to hate things and just wish you had your old stained kitchen sink back.

Not only is the kitchen destroyed it has in turn trashed every other room in the house.  The kitchen by necessity had a TINY pantry that had the washer and dryer stuffed into it.  We are going to move the laundry upstairs and make use of the odd little room we have Hubby's "office" in.  He rarely uses it, and doesn't have a beef with sharing it with the laundry machines.  In the meantime though the laundry is taking over.  I've done several loads of laundry at Mom's, and a morning at the laundrymat which was all kinds of fun.  The plumber is here right now running plumbing up to the new laundry room.  Hopefully, I'll have a washing machine running by the end of the day.  The bummer is Hubby was called out of town last minute and the washer is in the living room!  Alas I will have to wait to get laundry done unless I can beg a man or two to wrestle the beast up the stairs.  I still have to go buy a dryer as well because our dryer was getting on in years and spewed lint everywhere when the lint trap was opened.

I am trying to be mellow about the half camping conditions we are enduring but after a few weeks its getting old already.  Hubby is working hard at it, and in reality I don't expect completion until August but occasionally I get so tired of the battle to find a spoon, or the layer of dusty grit that has settled on everything and reappears ten minutes after cleaning ( I don't even bother with the floors) I just declare defeat and order a pizza again.

I repeat the mantra " it will be nice when we are done".

Work is somewhat better.  My supervisor was almost pleasant the other day.  I'm still not thrilled with her.  Another position has opened up and I threw my hat in the ring for it.  It will pay a little more and be about the same amount of hours.  I have no idea what days and hours I'll be working as they haven't set a schedule for it yet.  I was warned it would include some evening hours, but that might be better as the kids would be with Hubby then.  We shall see.  The job isn't mine yet.

On the other hand Mom is up to her tricks.  Last week on Her way into physical therapy she's fell flat on her face in the hospital hallway.  Busted up her face pretty good, nothing serious but she looks as if she went a couple of rounds with someone.  She was admitted to the hospital for observation because it was not apparent why she fell because there was nothing there to trip on and it was fishy that she didn't have her arms out to catch herself.  The cardiologist is worried she's having blackout spells again.  After an overnight and some tests she was sent home attached to a heart monitor and an appointment was made to see another specialist this week.  Yi, yi, yi.  If its not one thing it's another.

I suppose we are just busy living life.  Somedays I can't believe how fast it goes by.  Saw a quote the other day I thought fitting.

The days are long, but the years are short.  Sums up things well don't you think?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Toss It

I guess I'm just not that sentimental.  Honestly, I see all things things on Pinterest about saving your kids artwork, school papers and so on and think "Really?"  I just don't see the purpose of saving all the crap crafts the boys make at school, church and scouts.  Currently I have an aluminum pie plate full of dirt sitting in the dining room window.  This somebody's idea of an Easter craft, there is supposed to be grass seed in there to sprout over the "tomb".  Of course it needed water daily and didn't get it, along with the fact the "tomb" collapsed a little on the way home from church.  I could have told that Sunday school genius it wasn't a good idea.

I really wonder how sentimental the kids are about stuff.  I know I have little to no attachment to most items from my childhood.  My mother saved a handful of baby clothes of mine, but I could care less about them, they are more her keepsakes than mine.  Sometimes the boys hesitate when told to toss some item or another and I'll let it go and be tossed around the house for a week or two, after that they lose interest and generally throw it out themselves.

I've been trying to toss things lately.  The giant hutch in the dining room has been cleaned out in an effort to sell it in prep for the kitchen remodel.  We've been shopping and arguing about details the last few weeks.  I have a refrigerator on the front porch and a vent hood insert on the way.  We have decided on a range and hopefully can get it ordered to arrive just as we need it.  The fridge was a clearance at a going out of business so it has to sit.  Now we are arguing about doors and soffits.  I guess we don't have anything important to talk about.  When we remodeled our first house years ago we learned remodeling is a trial on marriage and just argue for the sake of it.  I want a window in the door I can see out of - he does not.  Neither one of will budge, I imagine we will end up with a door both of us hate.

Things are going pretty well.  Sonny Boy had the rods removed from his leg about two weeks ago.  A few months earlier than expected but he is doing way better with physical therapy since.  The bone is healed well and he is not limited in activity as long he is not " skydiving" per the doctor.

I'm beginning to dislike my job.  My direct supervisor has a stick so far up her butt it's amazing.  She treats every mistake I make like its some personal insult to her.  You'd think we were handling life and death issues.  The job it's self is rather dull.  I like everyone else there and the little extra money is nice but sometimes the extra hassle dealing with the kids proves a burden.  I. Not even factoring in the mom and kid watching issues that are sure to arrive this summer.  Hubby has so far talked me down a few times from quitting but I'm beginning to absolutely dread going into work.  I'm lucky enough that I don't HAVE to work and I'm thinking its not worth the stress.  I keep thinking that the witch will lighten up and try to give her space but it hasn't improved.  As for hopes she'll quite, move, be fired that's hopeless as she's been there for years and years, though not in her present job.  One day she was so rude to me in front of another co worker that later the other worker told me she was floored.  I'm not gonna gripe more, like I said its not a HAVE to job, so I'm not gonna stress it.

Well it's late and I'm typing this on the tablet because my shoulder / neck hurts to bad to sit at real keyboard.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Normal Life? Well sort of.

Into a somewhat "normal" rhythm now I think, I hope.

Sonny Boy's leg is mostly healed.  He still has a pretty significant limp and is going to physical therapy a couple of days a week but he is no longer using crutches or falling down for no apparent reason.  His knee still cramps up from time to time and gets sore when he's on his feet for a while but nothing out of reason.  The most odd thing is that his knee is hairy - like really hairy.  Sonny Boy proclaims that his knee is going into puberty before the rest of his body.  He will look a little odd this summer with one skinny hairy leg.  Otherwise he is given free reign by the orthopedic doctor.  Tomorrow we go back for a check but expect little issue.

Igor finally started violin lessons.  Tonight was his first lesson and I really like the teacher.  We will get him an instrument in the next couple of weeks.  I'll rent one as he's little and will need a smaller than full size.  Talk of music lessons and Sonny Boy being sent home with a recorder from school has him wanting lessons as well.  I don't know if I can squeeze another activity in for him as when he's busy, he's busy.  I'm hoping the urge will wear off.  I'm not against the lesson but another activity is going to take a hit in order to do it and I feel he needs the physical aspects of wrestling and football more.

Yesterday a girl rear ended Hubby on his way to work.  If he hadn't sent me pictures with the text I would have assumed it was an April Fool's prank.  Hubby was driving the truck which is out of the ordinary, but was a good thing as the car hit pretty hard, tearing up the bumper and hitch and possibly bending the frame a bit.  The girl's car - some sort of Volkswagon was torn up pretty badly.  Thankfully her insurance was paid up.  What a pain in the buttocks.  I'm really glad it was Hubby driving as I'd have never heard the end of it had it been me, regardless if it was my fault or not.  Hubby LOVES the new truck and the only reason I primarily get to drive it is the lack of fuel economy. 

Mom is busy being Mom.  Today I took her to the psychiatrist and went with her to tattle.  I've learned in the last few months that Mom hasn't exactly been straight forward with her doctors.  The shrink wants her to attend counseling which I think is a fantastic idea but she balked at that.  The doctor adjusted her meds and has her coming back in a few weeks, hopefully by then I will have her talked into counseling.  Tomorrow I take her to yet another doctor appointment to discuss the results of some tests on her bladder.  I hope something can be done as she doesn't empty her bladder totally and is rather incontinent.  I'm scared they will recommend surgery which I don't think is the best thing for her due to her general weakness.  I have also gotten her on the waiting list for the subsidized senior apartments that are across town.  It will be less handy to have her not right next door but the rent is fully half of what she pays now.  I also hope being in an apartment complex filled with people her age or older would be good for her socially.  I don't know, it certainly won't isolate her more than she is already.  There is a six month wait so nothing will happen soon on that front.

Me?  Well I feel like I'm running is several directions at once.  Leaping from fire to fire and not getting much accomplished.  Hubby took the boys to his mother's over spring break and I stayed home so I wouldn't miss any more work (I had missed two days earlier in the week due to stomach flu) and had a full four days home alone.  I purchased a bunch of junk food and gorged on Game of Thrones reruns.

Speaking of Game of Thrones it's sort of my latest geek obsession.  The new season starts on Sunday and I think we should have a party or something.  If you haven't watched the show go out and get the first season.  If you are offended by nudity, violence or sex you shouldn't watch it, certainly NOT a kids show but so good.  I haven't let the boys see it of course, but I bought a magazine with pictures in it and the kids looked it over good and Igor drew me a picture of dragons fighting.
Well the kids are off to bed and I'm off to park in front of more GOT.  They have all the seasons on HBO on demand.  It's the only reason I buy HBO.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Today I took Mom to a couple of doctor appointments.  Nothing really new other than some urinary retention issue ( mom doesn't empty her bladder completly) they are going to run a couple of simple test next week.

Not the funny part.  Mom's doctor gave her a list of foods high in potassium that she should eat more of.  - waste of paper if you ask me - but while reading through she reads " cow's milk?  What's that?"  The nurse and I were milk that comes out of a cow!  And that's how my day went.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Book Worms

Finally Sonny Boy has gotten to the age where reading a good book is entertainment.  Last night we sat happily in the living room with our nose in books for several hours.  Sonny Boy comes by it naturally.  My grandmother always had her nose in a book and the family joke was that you couldn't let her go into the bookstore on a shopping trip or she'd never come back out.  Mom was always stealing my library books in high school (there wasn't a library in our little town) and currently reads a lot of fluff, but reads.  Hubby reports he was quite a book worm in elementary school and he still reads a bit when he has time.  FIL read a lot as well, evidenced by boxes and boxes of Louis Lamour we removed from his house.  We come from a long line of book worms.

Igor still isn't a strong enough reader to move onto chapter books.  He's exactly on target for his reading skills, but still not quite advanced enough for it not to be hard work.  One of the miseries joys of being a first grade parent is reading homework and practice.  I was graced with Sonny Boy who was actually reading some before kindergarten.  By the time he reached actual reading instruction he was a fluent reader and really needed little help progressing.  Igor on the other hand needs some help and it's a torture like no other to listen to beginner books stumbled through on a regular basis.  I know I should be more proactive in this sphere as I think being a strong reader sets one up academically to succeed long into life.  Honestly though I'd just rather shove an ice pick into my ear drum.  Generally we pass the torch around so we are not all tortured daily with even Sonny Boy getting in on the act.  I hope Igor gets the Book Worm gene as his reading skills improve, because in a family of readers (and a librarian mother) life will be a little difficult.

My job at the library basically entails processing the new books and DVD's that are received.  I do all the stamping, stickering and enter them into the catalog for circulation.   Lots of piddley details but not the most taxing job.  What amazes me are the popularity of some writers over others.  James Patterson books inevitably have hold list of 50 or 60 people, as well as several other popular writers.  The most popular books - the ones we purchase 7 or more copies of - are by writers I find so formulaic that if you've read two of their books you can pretty much figure out the plot in their other books.  I get that sometimes one just read fluff for entertainment, but the books that hit me as modern literature have pretty low circulation.  I also wonder if people realize that these overly prolific writers are not really writing their own books.  James Patterson seems to release a new book every month with a co-writer no one has ever heard of.  ( I pick on him because he is very obvious - there are other writers just as guilty)  I think I have an ethical problem with this.   To put one's name on a book you obviously could not have written - because you have written 22 other books this year - just seems so wrong and smells of plagiarism.  The authors that "co-write" must get a lot out this, money or at least publishing deals under their own pen to make it worth it.  I'd be damned it I wrote a novel and then let James Patterson or any other author put his/her name on it. 

Off of my soapbox now.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I'm Not a Doctor, But I Play One in Real Life

It happened again today.  I was on the phone with a case manager from Mom's insurance company discussing Mom's many maladies, and the lady on the other end of the phone asked if I was a health care professional.  This isn't the first time, the second time, or even the fifth time I have been asked this by nurses, doctors, and others in the medical field.  I don't think I am particularly knowledgeable about things, I do educate myself where I feel it necessary but it makes me wonder just how stupid  ignorant the general public is about basic healthcare.  I'm really good at Google so when I'm given information I Google it.  I read up on reputable sites, sometimes I( gasp ) READ A BOOK and educate myself on the ins and outs of diagnosis and treatments of XY or Z.  I don't think I do an excessive amount of digging around for things, and after scarring the hell out of myself a few times I don't Google things the doctor may have said on a hunch.  I would like to be a fly on the wall in the average doctor's office for a day - or maybe I wouldn't, I might strangle a person who doesn't know the basic function of their organs or why one shouldn't eat bacon three times a day.
Today I decided I'm just going to take over Mom's stuff.  I don't really care if she likes it or not.  She is not making good decisions, isn't trying to take care of herself, and generally a nightmare to deal with.  Last week she moved back over to her house and hasn't done a damn thing except sit and smoke.  Today was the first day I've seen her in clothes.  She made some sort of cinnamon stick thing out of a can on Sunday, the leftovers are still sitting on her stove Wednesday - uncovered and stale.  I've gone over and done a few loads of laundry for her and she hasn't bothered to put the clean clothes away and her bedroom is honestly worse than both of the boy's room combined.  After harping at her all week I took the bull by the horns and called a home health agency and they are going to send a housekeeper / sitter out four hours a week.  I was surprised it wasn't more expensive and I told Mom this is what's going to happen.  She agreed, and she's going to pay for it,  shocker.  I have also made an appointment with her shrink, I plan on attending and making sure the she's not glossing over lack of ambition for anything and seeing if we should do some sort of dementia screening.  The crazy things she fights me on I just don't get.  Today her power bill came in, it was neglected while she was in the hospital and had become somewhat in arrears.  I suggested let's get you on budget billing and set up your checking account to auto pay the bill.  OMG, it was like I suggested we sell her car, move into a nursing home and we'll never come see you again.  I can't understand the reaction she had to that.  I frankly told her that it makes things easier for her, for me and the damn bill is paid on time and that's all that really matters.  I set it up and walked her through making it an auto pay on her checking account.  It took about 10 minutes on the phone and about 4 on the computer.  The only thing I can think of is that she liked having the control of paying that bill, but really with her memory problems and my burdens it's more likely the power would be turned off than the bill getting consistently paid on time.
Tomorrow is busy with medical appointments ( no wonder I know so much jargon)  I have a dentist appointment to repair a couple of fillings that I had to put off when Sonny Boy broke his leg.  The home health agency is coming by to meet Mom and sign some paperwork - I hope I don't drool on myself from the Novocain - and Sonny Boy has PT after school. 
I should get to bed.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ephemera of the Mind

With the weekends mercifully unscheduled I have been able to sleep in and it's glorious.  I don't get much done during the day, but I don't really care.  Several hours on uninterrupted sleep is wonderful when it takes me FOREVER to shut down my spinning brain and actually fall asleep.

Hubby has taken the boys off to church this morning.  Due to my propensity to sleep as late as physically possible I'm not going to rush out the door.  I suppose I should really go but honestly I've gotten a bad vibe from the church we attend lately.  When we started there it was a smallish non-denominational church, very simple but comfortable.  Now it seems as they are getting grand plans, services are live streamed on the internet, they have a coffee bar where they sell lattes and it just seems commercial.  A couple of weeks ago we attended services at fairly large church here in town because Sonny Boy was receiving a religious award for scouts through that church.  I enjoyed it.   The service was more traditional, and certainly had some aspects I wasn't used to ( Lutheran - I was raised Southern Baptist).  I think I want to attend church there a few more times and discuss changing.  The Lutheran church has a very active youth program that many friends of Sonny Boy attend, they have many different groups and activities and a more traditional Sunday school program that I think would benefit the boys.  I am leery of the fact that it of course belongs to a bigger governing body which in principle I don't care for.  I suppose I must research.

I received word that my aunt passed away yesterday in her sleep at 90 years old.  Her last meal was a cheeseburger and onion rings.  It's sad because that was the last of my father's siblings.  ( Crazy age difference in the family - my grandmother was 45 when my father was born)  I don't know if I will go down to Arkansas for the funeral.  I would like to, but what a nightmare in logistics and expense.  When my other aunt passed away I was sitting in the hospital with Mom and broken shoulder so attending that funeral wasn't even an option, though I was much closer to that aunt.  My aunt's grandchildren are scattered all over the country so gathering them may take a few days.  I'll have to see what the funeral arrangements are and decide from there.

Cabin fever is driving the boys nuts - and therefore driving us nuts as well.  It doesn't help that Sonny Boy is mobility impaired and frankly needs some good, honest exercise to get the energy out.  I can certainly tell when he hasn't had a sport to attend in a long time.  I'm disappointed we didn't get to see more of a wrestling season out of him as he started off with a bang.  The doctor said he should be fine for football season in the fall but that is a long way away.  Sonny Boy wants to try a spring sport, but honestly without a background in soccer or baseball he'll sit the bench a lot because they are out for blood here by 10 years old.  Our town has fielded championship Little League teams the last few years and it's taken way too seriously.    Maybe once the leg is healed enough I'll see about attending the little private wrestling school.  The club's coach sends his boys there in the off season and they are competitive on a national level - I don't want to go there.

Soon we'll start violin lessons for Igor.  Hubby is concerned the skinny, bespectacled, odd kid is going to draw a lot flack for also playing a violin.  I say he'll just fit in with all the other orchestra nerds and it won't matter.  Igor is pretty limited for sports and he really needs his own "thing".  I think he'll catch on pretty quickly as he has a good ear for music and isn't near as rhythmically challenged as Sonny Boy.

Brag time on the boys a bit.  Results from a couple of different standardized tests came in this week.  Sonny Boy performed extremely well - totally acing the social studies section of one test - coming close on the science and performing well above average for reading and math.  Honestly the kid is wicked smart,  I sometimes wonder if I'm not doing him a disservice by not pushing him harder academically, his daily classes are a no brainer for him.  Igor had decent results too.  Pretty much middle of the board or slightly above average.  He has to work a little harder for his grades but they are good.  I know most parents don't rave about their child being "average" academically, but honestly IQ was my biggest fear when adopting Igor.  I knew I could handle physical disabilities, but intellectual disabilities were a fear factor. 

Everything else is about the same.  We are discussing Mom moving back to her house at the end of the week, we want to see what the doctor's say on Thursday.  That will be a relief, though I imagine I'll be over there a bit doing for her.  Maybe I'll see about maid service for her... or me.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Ever notice?

Have you ever noticed you can be dead dog tired, nodding off in front of the TV or your book, get ready for bed and BINGO you're wide awake?  Well that's me tonight.  The lights go off and my brain comes on.

Mom made it home from the hospital on the 31 st.  It's been wild ever since.  The living room looks like an old age home with all the walkers parked about.  I collectively refer to them as "the cripples" or "the invalids".  Yeah, yeah, I know not politically correct but holey crap if you can't laugh at this ridiculous situation there isn't much of an option.

I am very frustrated with Mom.  I took her to our local doctor last week and the doctor tore into her because she refused to let the heart doctor admit her!  The Cardiologist was trying to admit her long before the falling out episode that broke her pelvis but she refused.  Granted she still would have had the heart problems and likely stents, but at least she would have been on her feet.  I came very close to walking out and leaving her sitting in the doctor's office.  Mom is also refusing to follow doctor's orders about some urinary catheterization she is supposed to do.  When she was in the hospital she was taught how and when she came home the first time she tried it it worked.  After that it has been downhill.  I couldn't get her to do it all and finally after the visiting nurse, and MD got after her and she had two nights of wetting the bed she decided on trying it again, this time with two separate attempts that were failures.  The visiting nurse came on Monday morning and I had her walk mom thru the process again and this time I watched ( way more closely than I would have liked) so I could do it if needed. Well, that night I was needed.  Way more personal than you ever want to be with your mother.  Today I couldn't even get her to try, and frankly I'm tired of pushing it.  Physical therapy is coming tomorrow with a list of exercises she should start on.  I'm pretty sure that will be the same battle.  Heck she hasn't been dressed in at least 4 days, and I practically have to drag her to bathtub.  I'm really at a loss.  I feel like I am fighting an uphill losing battle with her at every turn.  I really don't know what to do.  I'm at the point where I'm ready to throw in towel I just don't know where to throw it.

I think what's really ticking  me off is that right now I can see no other option but to quit my job.  Not just to care for Mom, though that is part of it.  I took this job ( the change in position) with the understanding that she would be around to watch the kids in the afternoon - she agreed to this.  However it's become apparent that she's not making the most rational decisions and I'm not sure I trust her watching the boys.  I can't simply go back to my old position as it's been filled.  I'm really worried as to my work reputation in our small town if I quit.  Work has been great, but I fear that it won't be taken kindly if I quit two or three months trained into my current position.  Yes, I could simply hire a sitter but it would honestly cost me more to work than I would make, not making it a financially sound decision.  I Am Thankful we are not reliant on the income from my job, but it's a small town and people talk and someday I might like to work more seriously.  (edited) I'm still mulling this hard.

Coming back to the post three days later...

Sonny Boy is healing well.  Bored for the most part and watches WAY too much TV but it's not like I can tell him to go outside and play.  Every now and then I'll make him read a book or something.  He will go back to the doctor next week and will likely be sent to physical therapy.  That will be loads of fun, nothing like one more medical appointment to attend.

In an odd way, even though Hubby and I are slammed with stuff to do at home it's been calmer.  I guess anything is calmer than two family members in different hospitals an hour drive away at the same time.  Weekends which normally this time of year would have been spent at wrestling tournaments are quiet and consist of chores and hanging out.  My time off during the week has basically been booked for Mom's medical stuff as we have waves of therapists and home health care coming in during the week, not to mention numerous doctor appointments to go to.

I went to the doctor myself after my indigestion visit to the ER.  My doctor put me on some different meds and is weaning me off another med.  Yay, nothing like feeling like crap and not sure if it's new medicine or withdrawal from old medicine.  Frankly I don't expect to feel physically good for several weeks as I wean slowly off a medicine I've been taking for a long time.  Yeah, it appears a not so great doc put me on the medicine and frankly lied to me that "there is no problem" with me being on it long term.  Let's not mention the fact that it's physically addicting and random folks on the internet describe the withdrawal as worse than heroin.  After this bout I'm googling stuff I'm not familiar with.  Makes me feel like a dupe as I consider myself pretty savvy about stuff.

Igor went to the heart doctor today - heart doctor on Valentine's day funny huh?  All is good there, and he is pleased to report that the heart doctor said he cold play golf.  Yi, Yi, Yi, maybe if he was the heart doctor's kid and she could pay the green fees and lessons.  I'm not even gonna touch on the fact that there is no way he could see the hole flag a quarter mile off and never see where his ball landed.

Otherwise, life is moving along.  Normal stresses, normal life.  Stopped up kitchen sink, a mess in the oven that smoked up the house.  Never - ending snow to shovel.  Never - ending laundry to wash.  Life.

I'm finally gonna post this a week after I started it.  I've had a variety of crazy computer glitches.  The post got saved but once the computer dies I take that as my cue to quit.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


What a crazy week.  It's so unbelievable that I have a casserole contingent coming to the house this week.  I'm thankful for that because honestly we are all gonna turn into fast food at the rate we are going.

Tuesday Sonny Boy broke his femur.  Wednesday he had surgery.  All went well with the surgery but he was kept in the hospital for pain control and to make sure he could manage some movement with help before he was sent home.  Friday we piled into the car with the trunk full of medical equipment, wheelchair, walker and crutches, and the rest of us so scrunched up we looked like illegal aliens crossing the border.

Since getting home it's stressful as we get up in the middle of the night to make sure meds stay level for pain control because if they start wearing off we certainly hear about it.  The stoic kid howls and throws a rocking fit.  Even when pain is under control he's a little bear - I think all of his sense of humor leaked out of his bone when it broke.  Over all he's doing pretty well though and we keep telling ourselves we'll be sitting on him in a week or two to keep him from re-injury.

Mom has finally turned a corner and has made significant progress in her therapy.  Her planned release date is now the 30th.  I'm still stressed as to how we are going to manage two invalids in the house, jobs, school and the like.  I guess we'll manage as there really isn't another choice.

Personally I don't think I can handle one more minute of stress.  I took my blood pressure the other day and it's high.  My neck, shoulders, and back are so tight that it honestly hurts to take a deep breath.  I told Hubby if only his mother or sister were closer I'd have her come stay the night and Hubby and I would just get a hotel room in order to have a good night's sleep, and not have the noise of the household at full volume.  Because no matter if the other is taking care of the situation you still can't really escape it in our house.

Well I see Hubby pulling in the driveway from a grocery store run.  I'm going to run up to visit Mom a bit in Milwaukee because I have guilt she's basically sat in the hospital all alone all week with only a brief stop in by Igor and I one night.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Unfreakin' believable

Really, Really?!!  This has got to be some sort of record for bad luck.

I get a phone call today at work from Hubby "Does Sonny Boy have any allergies, and don't be mad." 

Sonny Boy's sled slammed into a chain length fence next to the sledding hill and broke his right femur.  Hubby had to call the ambulance to get him off the hill.  The same hill that Igor broke his leg on a few years ago.  The same hill I'd been telling the boys I didn't want them on because too many people in the family are already in the hospital and I can't deal with one more.  The same hill my co-worker whose husband is an EMS/ firefighter refused to let her kids go down because he responded to too many calls there. 

So today my afternoon was spent first at the local community hospital where Sonny Boy was x-rayed (let me tell you the x-ray makes one nauseas) and packaged up to go by ambulance to Children's hospital in Milwaukee.  I rode in the ambulance up with Sonny Boy while Hubby and Igor got a change of clothes for Hubby and came quickly behind.  We all hung out while they did more x-rays and got a consult from orthopedics.  Tonight Sonny Boy will be put in a traction boot and will have surgery tomorrow that will either be long pins or a plate depending on the surgeon.  The good news is it's a relatively clean break, not in the growth plates and should heal with few problems.  The bad news is it's surgery, a couple of days in the hospital, and several weeks on crutches.

I brought Igor home and will take him to school in the morning and head into Children's with a change of clothes and likely trade out with Hubby for the evening.  I may try to sneak over to the hospital Mom is in (across town) for a quick visit as I haven't been there in two days now. 

I just had to vent.  I'm really angry at Hubby over this.  While I know this was certainly not something he intended, he kept poo pooing my objections and letting the boys go on that hill, and now my already overloaded plate is now spilling onto the floor.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Just a note

Typing on the I pad as the lap top is in the next room and that's just too far away.  If something is crazy I blame lack of keyboard and autocorrect.

It's strange to think I've fallen into habits while visiting at the hospital but I suppose we are creatures of habit.  Mom has been in the rehab unit long enough that I've met all the nurses who typically work her wing on all shifts.  I've met several of the therapist, and I'm getting adept at managing transfers of her from bed to walker / wheelchair / commode.

Mom has one nurse who is Ukrainian and has a middling thick accent which gives Mom fits understanding her.  N is very chatty and smart as a whip and very blunt which frankly I find refreshing in medical fields, because no one ever really wants to give a straight answer.

Mom seems to have better days and horrible days.  Pain control is a real issue, she's not really on too many meds due to all the previous scare but what she is on makes her thick headed at best and really sleepy most of the time.  I think she has mostly given up TV and spends the majority of her time asleep.  I don't really know how much is med related, depression, or just plain old exhaustion from injury and not getting long periods of uninterrupted sleep due to pain and hospital environment.

This morning we all left the house before light to go to Sonny Boy's wrestling tournament.  The route to the tourney basically went right past the hospital so I parked the car there and went the rest of the way to the tournament with Hubby and the boys.  Thankfully the tournament was very well ran with a minimum of waiting around which usually occurs at these things.  Sonny Boy did surprisingly well considering he was all for giving up the sport a week ago.  He lost his first match in sudden death overtime, lost the the second match to a kid who just really did beat him, but he won the last two matches by pin to come in 3 rd in a 5 kid bracket.   He was thrilled with the results and his coach declared he was very impressed.  After the tournament we all went to the hospital to show grandma the new hardware and subject her to video replay.  The kids stayed only briefly and left with hubby while I hung around a few hours and attended therapy with her.

I came home around 6:00 to find all the boys watching some corny Garfield movie so I went upstairs to warm my feet under the electric blanket.  Did you know that warm feet induce narcolepsy?  Neither did I, but I woke up rather confused two hours later having slept through supper and just in time to give Igor a good night kiss.

I'm so very tired,  not simply physically, but emotionally, and ( crap I can't think of the right word if that tells you anything) cognitively.  I take time off from hospital visits and try to be good to myself but looking ahead more than a couple of days seems impossible.  Hubby has been wonderful and picked up all my slack, but I can tell the kids are actually missing me ( maybe the first time they would admit it) Igor is clingy( er) and even Sonny Boy has been cuddly - except when he made me be his wrestling partner the other night.