Sunday is not a Fun Day

Sunday was not my funday. (sorry Madonna) The headache I whined about earlier has not abated much, I was frustrated with mom (she attended church and told everyone she was feeling much stronger and getting out more. This was the FIRST day she’s been out since we went to the pain doctor on Thursday. She refused to see her good friend both on Saturday and Sunday-her friend was going to visit us.), I so wanted to elf more today (I spent a portion of Saturday elfing and thoroughly enjoyed myself), after church mom opted to come home (my blood in the parking lot was 66—I had 3 glucose tablets and a glucerna beverage, so was safe to drive- and mum’s when we got home was 469.), and my head and back ached so that I cried a minute or two. However, there were some good things. Podman and I exchanged comments on fear of God and the weather (not fearing the weather, just about the weather) and later I was fortunate to text my friend of the photo above as well as talk on the phone with him for quite a while. (by that time most of my headache had waned a bit, I had a short nap, some water, and two Tylenol. After our conversation, I went back to sleep)

I had plans for Monday. Blood draw, maybe a haircut, and perhaps a visit with Sir E. Or just do the first two with another visit to elf. Although, those are not really a good plans. It appears since mom is doing so great now, she wants to drive to Homer in the morning. (I bet she won’t want to go.) This is going to be a busy week. She has two appointments on Tuesday and two on Wednesday (hoping for two on Wednesday, the lab kit arrived and since we’ll be in that particular city, we can get her blood drawn after the pain pump is filled). Her health care visit on Thursday is later in the day, I can always dash in and have the draw before the health nurse arrives.

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The bad photo above (had to sneak it) is what mom normally does during the day.

Other good things from this week. The local Thai food truck is back!!! (I’ve eaten there twice.) I am so thankful for my camera and the loan of binoculars from Sir Cookie (the sexy smart one). And I reckon I’m thankful for me. (even if I am tired and cranky and whiny and wanted to bite mom when she said I should take a week and visit The Craftsman.)

 

Monday?

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I’m not sure if it is an Alexander Day (refer to storybook, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) or if it is just another Monday. Because my regular Monday wasn’t too bad, really. Today, however has been one of those days I should have just gone back to bed and stayed there. Although, I also did that. (To be fair, I did get some fun texts from TnT today, plus some updates from Podman on a situation I’ve been concerned about.)

I woke up at 4 to get mom up. She decided she was able to take care of herself, so I went outside. She had changed her fitting twice in the last 5 hours, but she did it all by herself. (I’ll probably have to buy more on Friday) It was dark and the moon was behind the house and I watched the northern lights. They were very pale and almost insubstantial, but lovely, just the same. I had checked my glucose and was pretty impressed. 95 is a nice number and since it was almost morning, I let it go. At 8, the alarm went off and mum was already up. I was so tired, I decided to stay in bed a bit longer. About 10 I finally really woke and had my thyroid tablet with water and checked my blood again. It was over 300. (Must have been the dawn phenomenon that sometimes happens in the life of a person with diabetes.) I was rather annoyed because I’d been so very proud I’d had a long run of great glucose levels.

I went online to make reservations for Thursday and was confronted with the first of many plane problems. Not a single ticket available for when I needed it. I knew mom would not be comfortable leaving here at 6 in the morning for a flight that go to the city at 8, where we’d wait around for her appointment at 11. I managed to get mom’s appointment changed to Wednesday, when tickets were available. The reservations hadn’t showed up in my email, so I went to sleep. (I have been so tired. Achy and about as much energy as cooked spaghetti. I keep putting off chores to do later and I am not hungry at all. When I wear my glasses I get headaches, when I don’t I also get headaches. My back hurts as well as my tummy. I had a sore throat last night, but it is gone, thank goodness! I’m not sure if it is the month long spotting from my cycles I thought had stopped or something else. The doctor’s office did call to tell me my liver was great and not to worry about anything, so that was good. I’m sure my being tired is nothing important. It is most likely from being here in a never ending loop.) I have never waited this long to get tickets. If I know I need them, I get them early. So, first bad idea was to wait. As I messaged a friend of mine, live and learn and pay! They were rather spendy things. I finally got up around 5 (I told you I was tired!) and still no email. I was getting frustrated, I felt I needed to know when the tickets were for. I tried using my airline code and was told several times it was incorrect. (It was on a laminated paper in front of me) I managed to use my confirmation code, but the times and dates were wrong. I was totally confused. I could not find mom’s at all.  So, I called. Thankfully, the reservation office is open late. I was VERY thankful they didn’t close before they got to me, I was on hold for what seemed like forever (it was only about 15-20 minutes). When the lovely lady chimed in, she literally saved my bacon.

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It appears I managed to have me fly out on Thursday morning very early. Mom was leaving on Wednesday in the mid-morning. We were both returning on Thursday afternoon. It is times like this when I wish I had someone to help me. I was so muddled today everything got mucked up. The very nice person helped fix things. She managed to get mum and I on the same flight on the same day. However, the return ticket on that same day will be very late due to the planes being full up. Hoping we can fly on standby back earlier.

On the real Monday (because Tuesday must have been a Monday!) I talked to The Craftsman for 20 minutes and asked him tell Little Bear to call his Nana for her birthday. Mum was thrilled, she reported they had a long conversation. The kid said he pretty much listened and acknowledged words now and then. I laughed. I also connected with a guy I went to grade school with (I’m not sure how I feel about this. If we ever meet, I am certain he’ll not be that small boy in the ribbed polyester turtleneck!), was sent a dear friendly text from a very good person I’m fond of, and my EMT friend is now engaged to a super sweet man she has known for a while. (he’s been in the hospital and she’s been there helping to take care of him with his family almost nonstop for months. He asked her to marry him from his hospital bed!! I almost thought I was reading a Harlequin romance!)

Tuesday was also the anniversary of the ’64 Good Friday quake. Maybe this is why I felt so awful and slept so much today. (Below is fascinating story of the science in this catastrophic event)

The Last Days

Last days. Two words which embody everything. I’ve finally mostly caught up with the all the blogs I follow and find in my email inbox these last days. I’ve not been in the WP area, except to post a few things. I have wanted to comment, but the last days have been odd. Not any more frustrating than usual or tiring. Just normal odd stuff that makes me not want to do anything. I laugh when I see people stop blogging because they don’t have anything to say or write. I can’t imagine NOT having anything to say, I just haven’t had the energy these last days to respond. It has been pretty outside, the last days of winter are waning slowly. I’m glad, I will miss winter and I’d rather have it go away a little bit at a time.

Monday was a stunning sunshine sort of day. All white and blue and golden. I went to the beach and in the middle of all the snow, I found rocks. Rhapsody has been on my mind a great deal this last week and finding a depression of rocks seemed fortuitous. Rhapsody loves rocks and so do I. I stepped into the hole and found a few rocks to remind me of my friend in Germany who is doing somewhat the same thing I am. Once home, I put the rocks around a container of dried purple flowers. I’m not exactly sure why, I just felt like I needed to. I walk past them and touch them, I hope she feels my presence.

Tuesday was really busy. It dawned with a lot of snow and some accidents. I was not one of them and drove very carefully to each errand. I was going to stop at the local TV place and ask them what the heck this thing is. It was on the porch after I got home from my beach visit on Monday. (Mum hadn’t heard the driver come to the house, which was also odd) I had texted the photos to a few persons and still no thought on what it is for.

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Mum’s tv is working fine, she had her new receiver hooked up, but then this contraption arrived. I’ll figure it out eventually! What I did end up doing was visit the doctor. Again.

I know caregivers are needed to take care of themselves, but I honestly don’t know how this would have been discovered. I have been to the doctor a few times in the last months for other things. I now wonder if those things were a part of whatever this might be. OK, let me clarify the vague posting! While at the doctor, I was examined and it was discovered I have a yeast infection. I haven’t had one of those in ages. (I do wish the nasty pills to ‘cure’ those would taste better!!!!) In the course of the exam I mentioned one of the other doctors had suggested I should have a urine test. I wish it had been done at the prior appointment. The test showed there are protein things in my urine. Going online to find out what a lab result might be is not a good idea. About the only ‘good’ thing that might cause those is something I know is only plausible, pregnancy. So, they decided to take blood. They were going to wait til the end of April, but opted to do it this week. It hurt. I won’t find out those results til later. So annoyed. If I’m really sick, the irony will be laughable. Mum, who is lingering quite healthily in a stage 4 pancreatic cancer lifestyle, has fairly good body parts that are all in order. The daughter, who was well, might not be. Eye rolling!

I continued on thru the day with more of mom’s errands, some moderate elfing and much needed friend support, then picked up pizza for dinner. After which, I made what might be the final snowperson of the season. She’s entirely organic. OK, except her nose. That is a pipe from a pink wind chime. I didn’t name her. (I’d write about a response from The Craftsman after I sent this, but it doesn’t matter.)

I often wonder if mum really is as well as she appears on paper. She is taking the meds in the pain pump as well as still taking the script for pain and nausea and sleeping at the drop of a hat. I changed one of her fittings at 515 AM Wed morning, she has done the rest. Unfortunately, she also has not kept track. I luckily found 5 more we didn’t know existed, but I probably should pick up extras on Thursday. The spares have already been used. We had this conversation on Wednesday night. MOM: ‘oooow. Owie, ooooow.’  Me: ‘Are you hurting more?’ MOM: ‘Not bad. About a 3.’ Me: ‘If you are at a 3, you should only need the meds in your pump. That is pretty good!’ MOM: ‘I think it’s about a 4.’ I then hear the pump notification chime go off after the drugs are administered and mum mumbling. She is going to take a single pain pill and hope it works. I went up later and found she’d taken two.

Comparison is supposed to not happen, it does. I look at my relationship with mum and think about how awful I am as a daughter. I compare myself and feel lacking. I don’t want to take her on outings, I hate the repercussions when we return (lots of pain). I don’t want to leave her alone, she is irresponsible about what she does (today she went outside for quite a while. It was warm, but she had said she was going to just walk around a bit. She’d taken a couple of pain pills, in addition to the pump meds. NOT safe). I don’t want to be responsible anymore. I want to be taken care of, I  guess I am not as independent as I thought!

I feel like Professor Okun from Independence Day. ‘Release me.’ Looking at the sunshine on the water makes me want to follow the path into the mountains. Wonder what we’d find inside???

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Why I don’t plan

Why I don’t plan. Yeah, this is all my own fault. I could have risen above myself and done what I’d hoped. I’m just lazy.

I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I actually woke at 7 with dark circles around my eyes. (this was rather curious. I’ve read about this phenomena, but I’ve never experienced it or seen it. The dark circles not caused by black eyes, I mean. It does look horrible! Rather like I belonged in a 50’s horror bite.) Mum woke me because she was staggering around upstairs. I called up to see how she was (she’s been frustrated with me lately, so I didn’t want to bug her. I really hate bugging people!) and she said she felt terrible because her blood was 413 and she’d not had anything to eat. She didn’t know what to do. I told her to take her insulin and then she’d be able to have breakfast in an hour. Mum responded she didn’t think she should eat with her glucose so high.  I was listening to this thinking how stupid she was being.  I thought, at least once a day you have a glucose in the 400’s, you always eat no matter what your glucose is, and I am not betting you were carb free since 11 pm last night.

At this point, I was still planning on going in to elf and perhaps something else. Nothing I was doing needed someone who looked presentable. I didn’t think I’d get to see anyone I knew. My own glucose was in the 200’s, but I’d had some chex mix very late (mine is so much better, but obviously, I’ve not been able to make any, so store bought is ok. I do the original flavor when I purchase it). At 8, I got up and decided to make sure mum had breakfast and got her morning Lantus. And this is where I found a problem. Mum keeps her insulin pens in the fridge in separate boxes. But, when I got into the Lantus box, I discovered the pen was a brand new Humalog pen. (Lantus is long acting insulin and Humalog is short). I opened up the box she keeps the Humalog in and that also held a Humalog pen. She’d taken the wrong insulin last night! I got the right one out of the fridge, loaded the pen with the dose, and went to confront her. She didn’t believe me! I just gave her the right amount and asked her if she wanted oatmeal for breakfast. I made it for her, she was going to do it herself, but I’d already done it. I made my own breakfast, took the garbage out (I’d forgotten to do that yesterday and I just remembered I need to run the dishes), and went back to my basement abode.

I was so tired. I answered two phone calls from the store to pick up meds and set my alarm on my phone for 20 min. Several times. I finally woke up at 130. I completely missed her noon rising, I’m sure she’s ok. She always is. I didn’t get up to eat, my glucose was still in the 200s. I went back to sleep!!!!

Her dog woke me at 3. I wanted to let him out, he didn’t want to go. He rarely listens to me. I had to use the cereal bait to get him outside. (a little empty pill bottle full of stale cheerios gets shaken and often I give him a single cheerio when he goes out the door.)

I didn’t elf, I didn’t pay attention to mum for the rest of the day, her dog doesn’t like me, I’m not hungry, and the brand new snow didn’t thrill me as much as usual. I wish I could crawl in a hole and bring it in behind me to hide me forever. Maybe someday.

I did discover something cool the other day. My point and shoot has debris in the lens from an incident while cutting wood a few years back. It always has junk in the photos which needs edited out. However, if I turn the camera upside down, I change where the debris is in the photo. Except, then I have photos I am not entirely sure which direction they are supposed to be. I believe the one below has the proper orientation…..Maybe.

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A bit of Everything

As I sit at my laptop, contemplating this week. The last months. The last year. Next week. I feel an ache in my chest and tummy from not being loving enough toward friends. Toward my family. I should have been a better friend to so many of those I know. When those friends extended an invitation or some other form of friendship (communication or whatever), I should not have ignored them. Passed it off because I may be needed with mom. So many opportunities lost because I was trying to be responsible to one and dropped it with others. With my family, I need to remember to not mind when someone is busy. I need to remember their lives are just as convoluted as mine. I need to remember to give more to those I adore, admire, and care about so much. I ran across this video on FB. I love the video blogger (is that the right term?). Once again, he hits the nail on the head. I’m too busy with mum and forget to take care of the others who are important to me. And then, they are gone in one way or another!

In the previous post, I asked for help. I didn’t clarify I have some things in order. Sort of. Mum does have a will. That was finalized just before she was put in the hospital in 11-2016. (If you have parents, try to slip them towards the sharing information stage a bit before a critical medical situation!) She did ask to have money set aside for her cremation (I should probably talk to her financial advisor). There are several venues for a memorial service, I just don’t know if I should go big or not. People may not go because they went to the baseball game last summer (in fact, mum’s pastor mentioned in a roundabout way that the baseball game was a sort memorial for her.), but not all her friends attended that. As I look at the service, it seems like I’m getting ready for the closing ceremonies at a Cub Scout day camp. (I was program director for many years with such programs) Mum is always the most important person and once she is gone, this is going to be her last hurrah. I had better make it important. She wasn’t a vet, dad was. I also want to put a sidewalk square for her in a busy, favored park in town. However, she’s got this silly idea that it was illogical to put up a park for someone who died while drinking.(—He was one of the cutest kids in my class, it is a very pretty park, and he was screwing around drinking.) There are a lot of memorial stones in it for educators. Mum would be right at home!

I did find out about her house mortgage today. It is almost done, but I had no idea just making a last payment wouldn’t end it. Next month will finish it and I’ll visit a banker and hope it gets sorted. I could do it this month, but am not sure how the next weeks will pan out. (I may need those dollars!) I had a statement thoroughly explained to me today and need to take another thing to Sir Wrench to see if it is important (an informative letter about the rig). I also found out that mom had signed up to have Fed Ex or UPS things dropped at the post office. (I learned from SSC that the addresses out here are absolutely bonkers. Even though mum lives in one city, her physical house address is a different one! Don’t ask me how this works, it apparently does. The post out here is for the city mum lives in, they help the drivers who drop off things by giving them a localized spot. Granted, most of them know where mum is, but wow!)

Next week is going to be a bit of a pull for mum. She told me she was too tired to get her hair cut this week, so she’ll do it next. She walked to the paper box this morning, it was 20 degrees, but she said it wasn’t bad except for the wind. (she wore her down coat and was pretty panting when she came inside. She decided to go because I forgot it wasn’t Saturday. The paper doesn’t come on Saturdays) The other day, when the nurses were here, I was holding her so they could examine her back. She is so frail!!! I know not having teeth makes her look more feeble overall, but damn, she almost looked better when she was going thru chemotherapy. Almost. Monday we fly to the city and back to have her pump checked over. Tuesday she has labs done in a nearby town. Wednesday the nurse comes to see her. Thursday she gets her hair done in the morning and meets her new oncologist in the afternoon. Friday she gets to talk to the oncologist counselor. (thankfully, they won’t talk to me! I’d take reams of paper if they took notes!) She said it would be a bit much, but she could do it. After another week of healing from the surgery and getting it recalibrated, she’ll be ready to go.

Not so myself. I am so damn tired. I look at photos from a couple of summers ago and I was prettier then. Today, I have an almost perpetual crease between my eyes, a fairly constant headache that vanishes only when I manage to forget I’m the responsible one, I drink too much diet pepsi because I need to be alert, and my tummy aches cuz I’ve been too busy for those special people in my life. I find myself getting on my boots and just looking at them half on and thinking it is too much work. I eat too many spoonful’s of ice cream or snack on Kit Kats and Jr Mints. (the latter are on sale again!!)

I don’t want to get up in the morning. I notice tears are on the edge of my eyelids and almost anything will send them spilling over onto my wrinkled faded cheeks and freckles. I’m a pathetic mess. I would say I don’t care about anything except getting mum sorted, but that isn’t true. I do have things I want to do and attempt to make time for. (I was totally bummed.  I was going to elf on Friday and due to one thing and another, never managed to get there. Hoping I will this Saturday. Thankfully, the owner of the home is staying elsewhere for most of the weekend again, giving me the go ahead for a different time. House elves to the fore!!) I did get some more books and am enjoying an absolutely awesome read I’ll post about later. (except I forgot to take notes!!!! Grrrr) Maybe I just need hugged and kissed and….

No matter, I am going to leave you with this photo that made me cringe, even as I took it. (or is that WHY I took it!!!???!!) The local Safeway is going through extreme renovations, moved the eggs, and scrambled their grammar.

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Kiss me a Hug

I’m sorry I’ve not written. I haven’t been able to muster up the energy to say anything. Not because there isn’t much to say, I’m just a tad numb. First about mum and then a bit from where I stand at the moment. I am beginning to hate this year, I’m still a lover of February and thank goodness we have more snow in the offing, but I hate this year. (Bad part about the new snow, I need to drive to the next city over to get a single item for mom care. I should have gotten it on TH when I was in town and the roads were good and I the next town was just a skip away.)

She’s doing absolutely perfect. Everyone is pleased with how well she came thru the surgery, how well she is recuperating, how healthy she is. It amazes people she’s had so many major cancers and has 4 small tumors growing inside of her. They love her attitude and fortitude and how nice she is about the trials she’s facing. (I’m the bitchy whining worn out one!) Our trip north was almost canceled because of fog, the pilot took two approaches before we managed to land. Got mom to the hospital and they prepped her. She was in love with the bizarre air blanket they put over her. Most of my time was spent alone and waiting. (Literally. As you can see from the photo, no one else was waiting for a patient in surgery!) I read and was pretty bored. (I was also amused by the mountain scape under the appointment window. It looks a great deal like a sleeping woman with erect nipples. Please, tell me you see it, too!) I didn’t manage to eat lunch or dinner that day, but I managed. One of my friends picked me up around 11pm, after mom flew thru the over 2 hour surgery. (recovery and what not was longer)

Her doctor was more concerned with the pain part and forgot she takes insulin. I gave her a shot before surgery and in recovery. Once she was in her room, the nurse said she’d have to do it. But, they didn’t have orders to do it, so they’d call in the morning to see if they’d be allowed to. They had to call the doctor twice. Once for each insulin. I arrived and we sprang her by 2. I was so tired, but she was her normal independent self. A friend took me out that night to see a play. (I love live theatre!!!) I think it was probably the 7th time I’ve been out in public with someone other than my mom since last Feb!!! (I’m a difficult person to take places. I tend to be a bit embarrassing and am on the lower edge of elegant. My friend is VERY elegant and incredibly confident. In high school, she was one of those pretty, smart girls who roamed the upper section of the cliques. I was in a lower middle clique). Some of those times include when I’ve met a friend briefly in places like fast food spots or the laundromat!!! At any rate, it was a splendid play and not quite like the movie. Little Shop of Horrors. I really do think my friend was amused with how much fun I had. There was someone behind us who was quietly singing with the cast and, during intermission, one of the people in front of us was heard to say ‘I didn’t realise this was so dark.’ And then, ‘I always get this mixed up with ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show. (I immediately wondered if Audrey 2 provided salad for the dinner scene, to go with the meatloaf……)

 

Got back to the hotel (we had been asked to change rooms for a maintenance thing. I was glad, the new room was a bazillion times warmer!) and talked to Strider for a bit. He was telling me about the movie, Black Panther. (I’m not even going to think about it!). We flew back home the next day. Mum sat with a friend, so I was able to get a window seat on the other side of the plane. I didn’t know what I was looking at, but I did enjoy myself. It is funny to see how straight the marks man make on the land are and how curvaceous the natural landmarks are.  I was incredibly harried, but I managed. We got home, eventually, and she was knackered. Not tired or worn out, knackered.

So, am I. I have been close to tears or in tears so much the last month. Since being back this week, I’ve slept and slept and read. I did see a doctor again (somehow, I am behind on payments and need to rectify that as soon as possible. I hate debts) and he upped my Toujeo from 28 to 30 units. I’m supposed to go back for a GYN thing next week. Had to cancel because of mom’s appointments. Haven’t heard from The Craftsman, except in texts since last Sunday. (I’ve called and talked to Little Bear, he also went to see Black Panther.) OK, that isn’t true. He sent me a Christmas package this week. As you can see from the photos, it was a bit amusing. Little Bear bought me the gift card, The Craftsman sent the silver dangly earrings (they were prettier after I dusted them off!!). In the box were also two boxes of my expensive test strips (I needed to use them before they expired. He had been picking up the spendy strips and saving them til I returned, I’ve been using the less expensive ones up here.), a Christmas card from friends in GA, two pieces of mail associated with mum (they were sent to Oregon because that is my mailing address on my ID), a devotional book given to women in the church, and all those lovely air filled packing pouches! I’m sure I’ll find something to do with them.

In this last month, I recalled this quote from one of my favorite books (both I’ve mentioned in here many times, it’s from Daddy Long Legs, by Jean Webster): “One doesn’t miss what one has never had; but it is awfully hard going without things after one has commenced thinking they are his….” I’d have to amend this quote to read ‘thinking they might be his!’ Human touch is so important to me. I often reach out and kiss people a hug because I need to touch. (I got an unsolicited one the other day from a receptionist! A hug, not a kiss.) Hearing a voice is powerful, conversation is beautiful. Feeling a two armed hug is beyond incredible. I’ve gotten some and I want more. Unfortunately, when a person is a super hero sort of Shadow Girl like I am, it is easy to be overlooked or hidden. I know where I am is not as bad as the places others are. I realise I chose this situation. I understand I have everything in the world I need. Returning to Oregon and the existence there actually seems rather nice after these ridiculous seasons. Cooking and making lunches and baking and cleaning house and reading favorite books with the cats and weeding and shopping once a week sounds like a lovely agenda. (Boring, but it is my house and my yard and I’m used to it!)

Kissing you a hug from Kris, Shadow Girl! (I need a costume with purple…….no capes!)

Planned Friday

My niece was with me on Friday. I had wanted some help with a few things and my sister said she could visit. I should have realized how odd it was going to be when my sister was driving and texting. (I am pretty sure she was doing it, she may have had her daughter texting, I’m not entirely positive, though.) They arrived at the pool late, Jake told me my niece couldn’t have a hamburger for lunch, she could have chicken strips. I asked why and was told she’d eaten something already and chicken strips would last all day without getting yucky. I did a couple of errands, we stopped to get our lunches, and I found out it was my sister who made the decision and my almost 13 year old niece had no say. She still did what her mom said (It was more than the two burgers I purchased…I love 5 dollar meals!) and decided they were too spicy with pepper! She was really hungry and wished she had gotten a burger.

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We also decided her mom and my mom were really similar in many ways. Both are bossy and often cranky. (I reminded JL this was between us and not to tell her mom!) JL had apologized for her mom being late earlier and I saw myself. I wanted to cry. I told her I was way more laid back and waiting was a good time to read. While we waited for our meals at the store, we read. I think she was surprised with her easy aunt!

Once at the house, we all ate, and then I attempted to get the kid to help with a bunch of chores I had ready. We moved all the recycling stuff to mum’s car, I had her use mom’s washing machine and dryer (wash and wear does not encourage separation of colors. I was also annoyed I had not noticed mum had stains on lots of things until they were pulled from the dryer.), and I managed to get most of the chores I had set aside for us to do done. By myself.

JL is taller than me, so I asked if she would scrub some spots off the ceiling in my bathroom. She did, halfheartedly. Granted it wasn’t the most fun thing in the world and I let her go after a bit. While I finished the job, I thought of one of my aunts. Aunt L, when I was about 10, had me wash dishes for her. I had to wash and dry her silverware twice because I didn’t do it right and there were spots. I realized how different we treat kids today. I let my niece slide on the job because she felt it was too hard and boring. I felt my aunt looming and vowed to not let that happen again.

While JL was folding clothes, I made her refold a few things and showed her how to fold shirts. I also told her about socks and balling them up. She is of my family, we ball up socks to keep them together. I learned last year that balling up socks makes them loose around your ankles. JL was very impressed with the how to fold a shirt with arms, but didn’t seem to think the socks were a problem. (She’ll get there eventually and I felt my aunt’s approval as JL wended her way up the stairs with mum’s folded laundry.)

I wanted help with the stairs. I needed to vacuum them and they are STEEP! I also decided to trim the fringes Mittens has made…and then I opted to stop. I wasn’t sure my snipping off the raveled bits would be worse in the long run! Having the stair carpeted is dangerous, having it plain wood is almost worse. I’ve slipped more often when there wasn’t a covering than when there was. When Strider and Princess (his cousin who is the exact same age, minus a couple of months) were about 7, they wore motorcycle helmets and slid down the stairs on a bean bag. I wish I had taken a photo. Needless to say, mum was busy with JL and I ended up doing the stairs alone. Very carefully!!

That was pretty much most of my day. I had several things I wanted to get done and mum decided she needed to do things as well. I figured I should let them be. I can do the other chores on my own. She’s annoyed with me anyway. Mum is. She left her dog outside way longer than I thought she should with the cold. I could hear him barking and barking and wondered if she was sleeping. Nope, she just left him outside. She was given a photo of Princess and her husband and when I saw it I reminded her she’d seen it before. She said she hadn’t. I got my ipad and showed her the photo in a series she had seen in August. Of course, it was my fault and she had not forgotten. I fell asleep in the early evening and mum put away the dishwasher. (It is one you need to roll across to the sink and back. It is very heavy and I try to not have her do that.) She forgot her last shot for over an hour and a half.  I decided I don’t care tonight.

I could be in the states next weekend or maybe, if I’m still in AK, I will drive down the Peninsula and go watch dogs race. I’ve always wanted to and last year I couldn’t.  Meanwhile, there are always sunrises to lift and light the ring of fire around us. (photo is from Thursday morning.)

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Pasta today, trees tomorrow.

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I might have mentioned this song before. It is an old one about a meatball rolling out the door and eventually ending up mush. It has a happy ending, though. The next summer, all that mush becomes a meatball tree. I mention this song for two reasons. First, I’m mushy (not mushy as in sweet and lovey, mushy like well, mush! I’m also pasta, not meat.). Second, I might be mush today, but in a few months, I could turn into a tree!

In the last 24 hours I’ve been pasta mush. Not the firm tasty kind you bite into and close your eyes and hum. The overcooked kind from when you dump the pasta into boiling water and pick up the book you were reading and find out finishing the chapter was really finishing several chapters and now the pasta is boiled into sludge only good for swallowing without teeth or being put into a casserole and re-identified as something else. (yes, I have done this before in real life. My family is used to it!)

I have been reading blogs as they come thru my emails, it has been good to see words from people I admire and look up to. I’ve been writing now and then (it is a lot of work, it can take hours to finish one post!). Yet, I’m so tired. When I post, it is daunting to actually put the comments I’ve thought into the blogs I follow. Putting one foot in front of the other is where I’m at. Even the ‘plans’ I’ve made in this last week have morphed into something else. Or are in stasis.

Talked to The Craftsman yesterday morning and mentioned the changes which might be happening. He was disappointed. I’ve had a couple texts since then-they took down the tree last night and he told me goodnight this evening. Strider called me today. He’s loving having a place of his own, is concerned about moving the chickens to his new abode with the dropping temps in the VA area (I really wish I could be the flea in the car as he moves them in his ford focus to a new city……), and said he’d come up if I wanted him to. (he wouldn’t bring the chickens!)

Mum wandered into the basement while I was gone this afternoon. (She really does not like having me muddle her things about. It is her house, after all!) Today was one of her good days. I’m a tad nervous about Friday. I shouldn’t be. It will be as normal as her regular visits. I’m sure of this…but, it might not be. She fried up the rest of the roast for dinner tonight, there were hard bits, but since she made it, she could eat it. (unless she gave them to Obi on the sly)

Meanwhile, I finally managed to shower (I’ve been putting it off, hoping to house elf. Since I didn’t today, I dragged myself into the shower at mum’s). I keep wanting to put my head down on the keyboard and cry or go back to sleep. I’ve already slept for ages this morning and evening. I think I offended a beautiful person who works with mum. I’m even too tired to read. Total pasta mush.

I am taking my meds again. My glucose has been pretty darn good, too. I’m just soul tired. I was outside to get the paper this morning (it was IN the box, third day in a row!!! Perhaps the paper guy made a resolution?) and was too nervous on the ice to ground myself. (irony!!!)

Good night from AK and know my thoughts are with you.

 

 

Apathic or Rash

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I’m entirely apathetic today. In one week I’m supposed to leave mum and return to Oregon for a short time. Or not. My dear friend, SSC, reminded me to not do anything rash. Can one be rash and apathetic at the same time? It is raining and my soul is in tears. (so are my eyes! Lol)

I finally was able to make mum an appointment with the radiation oncologist and then her primary called me back. This morning I was told so many things, I texted mum’s nurse M (I was an idiot with texting and need to remember to text complete sentences and not just thoughts), and this appears to be an entirely bleak January.

Mum’s primary care professional told me she’s going to talk to mum and tell her she cannot drive. She has told mum she can’t live alone (not sure how to resolve this with me gone). She was looking at the report from mum’s retiring oncologist and wants more information. From the report, it appears there is nothing left to do except wait. Ms. N wants to see if radiation might be still be an option and to discuss this with mum. I also misunderstood the radiologist and thought mum was going to be scheduled for a pet scan in the spring. It appears the scan may be in Feb (NOT spring!).

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Today mum made dinner. She cooked a roast (she did it because I don’t do it right. Mine are too dry. She also cut it in half to cook one pound of meat and not two, she didn’t want to ruin it. It was good, I could have eaten more). She had the rest of her teeth out less than a month ago and is now gumming roast. Incredible! She gets mad when I remind her she’s made of iron (she hasn’t a clue what adamantine is beyond unbreakable or I’d add that!). Yesterday, she had her hair done and went shopping. (she got more croissants and I got Kit Kats) She’s also done a great deal of sleeping. I had to wake her twice last night for dinner. Her abdomen hurts (it is funny, she’ll hold her tummy and say her missing teeth hurt. I need to look up that old wives tale about teeth in the stomach…..) and she takes quite a few pain pills and then none at all. One night she’ll take an ibuprofen with them and the next none, she’ll take half of a sleeping aid pill and the next night nothing, she’s inconsistent and that messes up meds just as much as taking too many.

I asked her some questions tonight. They were from an obituary form (told mum what it was, but that they were good things us kids needed to know). Mum’s got a community history as long as the Mississippi. No wonder I can’t go anywhere without meeting someone who knows her! After we talked, she also said she is looking forward to driving in a while and is certain sure she’s doing well enough to completely recover with a bit more time, from this last run around.

I am not going to change my ticket (the rash thing), I did cancel a lunch date (it was during mum’s Monday appointment), and I bothered someone for help and they might be able to on Friday afternoon. (I was too rash on that one, I should have just done it myself and not said anything.) I was invited to a ‘sip and paint’ on Saturday, but will decline. I need to get things more sorted. Besides, at the moment, I feel insubstantial. Sipping anything when insubstantial may be messy! (Oddly, the rain seems to land on me. Hmmmmmm)

One of the oddest things I have read today was in the paperwork from the memorial chapel. ‘CREAMATION IS IRREVERSIBLE AND FINAL. PLEASE READ THIS DOCUMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING.’ It seems sad and ironic this clause needs written in caps at the top of a legal form. Sort of reminds me of the final scene from the original ‘Oceans 11’. (Maybe this is why!!)

A long week

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If you have a painfully sore left shoulder, pain in your abdomen on the left side, a sore left jaw, are very tired, a bit light headed, and have trouble getting a solid breath, this might mean you have some form of indigestion. Which is a much happier diagnosis than anything else it might be.

After a terribly scary drive to the next town over (seriously, I started out in a snowstorm, ended up in snow, and then was in a city with the temp of 29 degrees and RAIN!), the NP saw me. The nurse and the receptionist both felt something might be off, but the NP asked some questions, looked me in the eye and said, “I’m not sure what I should be looking for, but why don’t you get up on the table.” She listened to my chest and probably my heart and pressed on my tummy and decided I had heartburn and if the pain didn’t subside, to come back. (kind of reminds me of when I lost all the vision in my right eye. It was seeing black and after test after test, there was no reason for it. The doctor told me that if it got worse to come back. I wondered if he wanted my eye to fall out! The vision eventually returned. A couple of years later, it was discovered I had MS and the loss of vision and some other things were probably clues that were missed.)

On the plus side, I’ve lost a couple of pounds (and since that is the only scale I’m ever weighed on, I’ll go with it!), even in winter wear!  (I reckon I’ll try to see my own doctors in the states, if I can manage to return.) I finished a book (see below), it snowed, mum has gotten lots of Christmas mail, and the neighbor will be here this evening to plow free of charge!

I’ll be here through the holidays. I don’t really care, they will be just another set of days in the week. I’ll go shopping on Friday and see if there is something I can do to make Christmas festive for mum. I’m really pretty tired and don’t want to do anything. She may or may not feel like church on Sunday, but her face is rather bruised from the tooth extraction. She’s graduated to eating almost everything. Her container of cheese balls is almost empty as is her container of animal crackers. (she sucks on them til they melt!) She’s made waffles and drinks her coffee with peppermint creamer. She’s complaining because her glucose has been running up to the 400’s for ‘no reason at all’.  (her lunch one just now was 502.) Taking her shopping is a bit hard on her bank balance. I am not sure if she’ll go with me on Friday or not. (she’s pretty sensitive about how she looks!)

There are a few options I can look at to manage to finance a leave, perhaps in January. I also need to set up and make sure someone is going to check on mom and take her out and about. The cat can’t go with me til the middle of January (there is an embargo or something like that on pets for that last bit of flying) and I’m pretty sure the flight I had originally chosen would not be good for a pet. I’d be in the airport in ANC for at least 6 hours and then the one in Seattle for another 8 or 9. (I’m not sure it would be good for me, the way I feel!) The particular flight is gone now at the price I was looking at, so I need to look for a different one.

Anyway, I’m super tired and just wanted to update you all before taking another nap or two. (Maybe third naps are in order!)

I did finish the last book I was reading (mum says she has the whole series—except this one—on the shelves in the basement and I should read them. I can’t get to her shelves and before I leave will have to rearrange her basement so she can manage to find her stuff easily again.). It the one by Jan Karon called ‘Home to Holly Springs.’ I’m very thankful those sorts of crazy experiences don’t happen in real life when a person returns home after a long while. It was a thought provoking read. It generated thoughts about home and what that might mean to different people. Probably a post for a different time!

OH! And it appears, for the moment, most of my email might be actually working. So very grand, I do love reading what you post during the day!

One of my good friends suggested I need a massage and some other things which are NSFW. I laughed. He may be right, but I’d probably fall to sleep during the massage and miss everything else!