Friday, July 31, 2009

Yesterday was a rough one...........

I have to back about ten days to start this story...........
About ten days ago I commented to my husband that it seemed odd we had not heard from his Mom since July 8th. She called to wish me a happy birthday and I was in bed newly diagnosed with pneumonia. Didn't talk to her. I tried calling her back about a week ago and got no answer. Left a message saying it had been quite awhile since I had spoken with her. Mentioned this to Rob a few days later who said she had said something about taking a trip to Michigan around the end of July. Now I am thinking is it really possible she would go on this trip and not call and say goodbye or don't worry? Rob then tries to call her cell phone number to discover it has been changed and he doesn't have her number. He then calls his cousin in Michigan and low and behold she is there! She only talks to him a few minutes but mentions on her way home to Rhode Island she would like to swing by and take us out to dinner. I am so excited at the very chance that I am going to see Cassie, our ten year old niece. Because of several things (my job only giving me ten hours off a month for sickness, vacation etc and they are ALL used for illness), my Dad's health which has gone down the toilet in the past year and financial reasons (Rob just went back to work, and even at that, he took a pay cut). I love this little girl. I met her when she was about eight months old and barely walking. I watched her at her grandfather's wake so her Mom could greet visitors. I adore her. Her Mom was only thirty-three when she died of cancer and that night I laid in bed with her while her grandmother, aunts and girl cousins went for a final visit. I dressed her for her first holy communion as her mother requested and watched the pain on her Mom's face as she was unable to do it. Her Mom told her to always let me help her and that I would always be there for her. I have tried, with all of my being to live up to that request. Her first birthday without her Mommy she turned nine. We drove up to Rhode Island and I had an American Girl doll for her with the furniture and stuff. She was thrilled beyond words. There is something about this child that from the MOMENT I saw her melts my heart. Even to see her for a few hours would be a wonderful diversion from my grandmother's final days and my Dad's illness. The night before they were to come my husband got a phone call. She wanted us to meet them at four. While Rob could do that, I could not. I work until 5:30. She told him they could not wait for me. Rob at first said that he couldn't make it either then. When he hung up I told him that IF he could make it without me, he should go and see her. The next day his mother called him on his cell phone at work and told him that she wanted him to meet them at the mall at four o'clock and they would grab a quick bite and leave. He agreed to do that, texted me and I said sure, go ahead. As the afternoon wore on I got a literal pain in my stomach. It is one thing to know that this little girl is hundreds of miles north but she was literally in my back yard this ONE day. It was unbearable to think they would not wait. I texted answer. I asked if I could leave work: NO. As I began to drive home I was overwhelmed with grief, then hurt and despair. WHY could they NOT wait? I just kept thinking of how this little girl had spent several days with her mother's cousin and in the Spring several days with another cousin. Why wasn't she spending time with us? I called home and Rob said they had left from the mall. I didn't have my mother-in-law's cell phone so I called her house and I left a message. I told her how very hurt I was. I might have cried, I know my voice was breaking as I told her how I felt that we deserved to spend time with our niece. Later I came home and I made a post on my Facebook page" I am very, very hurt that I did not get to see my mother-in-law and niece because they wouldn't wait two hours." Next thing I know one of my husband's cousins posts a post that I am attacking her mother (NEVER MENTIONED), her aunt and portraying them as heartless and cruel. Please reread my post. This could not be further from the truth. Several of my friends made posts saying I had not done this which seemed to incite her to make yet another post which was unkind. It went on and on and tonight I deleted the entire thread. What gets me is that she completely overlooks what was done to us. Rob spent ONE hour with his niece and I had no time. But she drove her across the country to see her mother's cousin. (Please don't misunderstand these cousins are wonderful people and we love them).
Rob made a post stating that his mother took two trips in the past few months and both were to see cousins. Today his aunt replied with a post to his post stating that his mother has asked to come and we always tell her it's not a good time. This, sadly, is not true. Last June, 2008 she wanted to come. We were committed to a wedding in Philadelphia of my childhood best friend. Had we not gone, friend would have been hurt and we would have lost the deposit on our room. She never called again. We had begged her for years, nearly once a month to come and each time we were told no, she couldn't get away. Right now my evenings and weekends are filled with trying to help my parents. My sister-in-law, Leslie who was also helping is in a rehab. Her leg bones are shattered. She has synthetic bone and cadaver bone implants. She is having it very rough right now.
Perhaps I am selfish but I think that my mother-in-law could have said "If we stay to see you, it will be late. Can you put us up for the night?" We have a guest room with a queen sized bed and we have a comfy sofa. It would not have been a problem. I wish I had been given some notice of the trip because I could have tried to get special approval for that afternoon. However, they seemed intent on only being in our area ONE hour. They live five hours away. I don't understand why we were not allotted more than ONE hour. I"m sorrry but I am still hurt.
Perhaps what is even more hurtful is that noone wants to admit that we were not given any real thought. Regardless, I missed an opportunity to see Cassandra. I have to honestly say that I think she is the one who lost the most yesterday but not having time with her uncle and aunt. How sad is that?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Last review

Last week was quite eventful in many ways. I made a few posts about my sister-in-law, Leslie. She has had surgery to repair the femur and the other bone (sorry I forget). They had to put a piece of cadaver bone in the leg. They are hoping to get her to a rehab tomorrow although she won't be able to stand on it for quite a while. When she gets home she is going to need round the clock nursing care for awhile. This was very serious. We are concerned but honoring her request that noone visit her except for her parents, my brother and her children because she is in a lot of pain from the pins and grafts of bone. I just wrote her a note and a card. I will wait until some of the attention dies down before doing something for her.
On another note I had a very positive experience. I was chatting with a friend from high school who found me on FaceBook. She was telling me how she stays in touch with the son of a friend who passed away many years ago. That struck a chord because I lost a very dear friend in 1986. She had hepatitis as a teen and then had out of control high blood pressure which noone realized was from liver failure. She was sent to a hospital for testing and she coded from the dye. They resuscitated her but then told her she had a short time to live. She was only 34 years old and she had two young daughters. On top of that her husband had just left her for a younger woman. She was working two jobs. I got a call on a July morning as I was returning home with groceries from her older daughter. She was 14 and told me she had found her mother dead. We were both in shock. I kept in touch with them but at some point we lost touch. It was heartbreaking when I last spoke with the father of the older daughter who told me she had just had a baby (she named after her mother). The younger daughter was having some really difficult problems and he was putting her in boarding school. I won't go into details but it has been over twenty years since I communicated with them.......until this week. I found them both on Facebook (actually through their father's account). I emailed them both. The older one still has a lot of anger over losing her mother and seems to blame her. I think she is confused. No doubt over the years she heard her father's accounts of things which would have varied from mine. On Saturday I made copies of many pictures and sent them and the last gift Kathy bought me, to her younger daughter, Dawn. I have to tell you I held that tiny gold pair of earrings and I cried each step to the post office. I hated to let them go but I knew that they were meant to be with her daughter. Her daughter had a lot of questions for me about her mother, and also about her father that she never met. Her parents were divorced when her daughter was an infant. I have them back in my life. The older one seems very stand offish and I am hearing a lot of what I consider propaganda that was told to her being repeated from the younger one who does not believe it. As I licked the envelope I whispered a prayer to my friend that she would send love in the envelope and let the girls feel her love for them. I believe love transcends time and space. I believe that I was meant to get in touch with these girls again. I think it is part of a healing process that Dawn is going through. I feel very blessed to be a part of it in any way.
Weekend was hectic and hurried and at one point my computer desk fell apart. Hubby had to fix it with more screws but feet broke off of keyboard and I am always wanting the feet OUT to use it. We'll see how this goes.
Saw Dad today and several times he just laughed out loud. That is food for the soul. I am capturing all of these things and tucking them away to remember when I need them.
Hoping for a good week.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Leslie had surgery about dinner time yesterday and had some pins put in the two large bones in her leg. The doctor is saying she might need an artificial knee cap but right now they want the leg to heal and the swelling to go down before doing extensive work. My mother said they told her she will have to work with a cane that the leg was so badly damaged it will never be the same. Please keep her in your prayers.
Glad the weekend is here. I have had a difficult week. I am tired and went to work yesterday right after a shower .Didn't have time to dry my hair or put makeup on. Of course I ended u having to be in two meetings so I felt very uncomfortable. I have never gone to work such a mess before. Coworkers insisted I did not look that bad but honestly I was very self conscious. Trying to get some extra time this morning to make a much better appearance today. Thank God it's Friday. My sister is going to be here this weekend too. That means I have to worry less about my parents. My brothers were in New York and I had to run errands for my mother several days this week. That included buying things like adult diapers and I wasn't sure what to get and it took a lot of time. Thankfully my parents had a pretty calm week and my mother handled it better than I thought she might.
Weather is lousy and I have a lot of aches and pains in my chest where I had my surgery. Pain around the heart is always difficult to ignore. Hoping for some extra sleep and sunshine this weekend.
Now tell me how YOU are...........

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Life is very hectic

My life is so hectic with being back to work, running errands and trying to help my mother. I have almost no time for myself right now save the hour I may steal to check emails and facebook.
Please say a prayer today for my sister-in-law, Leslie. She was in a bad car accident yesterday. The car she was driving was totalled and her leg is broken in both of the major bones as well as the knee cap has been damaged. The swelling was too bad to do the surgery they had planned about dinner time yesterday. I am concerned she will regain the use of this leg. She is a very busy woman and always helping others, particulary her parents. Her coworkers all know her to be the one to help them when they have had babies or surgeries. This is also a trying time for my brother, Bob and their two teen aged children. It will be hard to be focused on work today but I must. I have two events already and am only permitted four in a YEAR. Just learned that anything else we do counts as part of this point system so if you do anything improperly on your job this can be considered points. Don't know why this was all combined but it was.
Will try to post an update on Leslie soon for those who wish to keep her in your prayers.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I woke up again at 5:30 a.m. It's a curse upon my head. Dog and cat both were sleeping until I woke them up! I am so happy it's a weekend. I did manage to go to work yesterday and I felt so much better than I had. It was a bit hectic there for a Friday but I managed to get through the day.
My brother and his wife (who live next door to my mother) have chosen to spend the weekend at my mother' s mountain vacation home. Yesterday they babysat so my mother could run errands before they left. My middle brother's wife came over and babysat later so my mother could get her hair done. She also supplied dinner for them so my mother was feeling a bit spoiled. I was glad to see them doing those things for her.
I find I am semi addicted to a game on Facebook called Yoville. You are given a virtual apartment and some starter pieces of furniture. Then you can clock into the local widget factory and get paid every six hours. If you have people join your crew you get more money and promotions. You can shop at the town's fashion shop and the furniture store and even a pet store. I aspire to own a dog but first I want a house with a yard for him to play in. There are several style houses you can buy. The trailer is the cheapest, then a ranch, then a cape code, then a gothic and then a modern house. The modern house and a tree house must be purchased with YOdollars. Yodollars must be PURCHASED with real life credit cards. Seriously. One of the bosses where I work purchased her modern and made it a swanky beach house. I am old fashioned and like to work hard for what I get. To tell you the truth though I am tempted to spend ten dollars and speed up the process. Just when I thought I was mature enough to experience delayed gratification. Life is short. Who knows what will happen in Yoville." Won't you please, won't you please, please won't you be my neighbor?"
Fred Rogers, lest you forget.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

$100 later...........

OK yesterday I waited all day for my doctor's authorization for CAT SCAN to go through. It didn't. My day that I tried to rest had my husband's car being fixed and delivered. Later realizing that someone else's car parts were in it, had to drop those off and I came home. I still felt really crappy and made husband a steak and when he was done told him I needed to go to the ER. When I arrived it was a slow night. Thank God. Still they hooked me up to some monitors and they did lots of tests, including blood cultures. They did scan my lung. The pneumonia has pretty much cleared up now. I have another few days of antibiotics. The scan showed I have scarring in my lung from many years ago.
Basically, they think I should return to work on Monday but should rest until then. They gave me IVs which seemed to help me. We didn't get home until after midnight. Poor Rob had to get up and go to work today. Tomorow is pay day and I should get my regular check. Two weeks from now I will be missing a week's pay. I only had 4 all purpose days which I will have used last week. We also had a hefty car repair bill and ER cost me $100. I can't let myself get too upset over this, I need to rest and heal. Going right back to bed after I get some breakfast.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Ok, here's the thing. Went back to the doctor yesterday. She listened to my chest and doesn't see an improvement. We talked about a few things. I am at higher risk having pneumonia because I am diabetic, because I don't have my spleen, because I have the bionic heart valve. Those are three factors. That's a lot. My age also works against me. Damn mother nature. My breathing does not feel better and my head feels both confused and dizzy. Just read those are also symptoms. Apparently my right lung (which has always been the troublesome one) has a LOT of fluid in it. The lung itself, and now fluid are infected. The crazy part is that I am not running a fever. I do have crazy and almost constant chills but my body refuses to run a fever. I have NO cough. My body does not seem to be doing any of the things it could to help me in this battle. The pneumonia is large according to the radiologist who saw it. At this juncture
(for all those political followers) the doctor feels I need a CAT SCAN. My cat refused and we are waiting to hear from my insurance company (who actually is really good, United Healthcare) to approve it. Then I will schedule it ASAP and find out if the pneumonia is larger than it was a week ago. IF it is, I am in deep doo doo. I will probably have to go inpatient and receive IV antibiotics. IF I get sicker I will have to regardless. Wonderful as my bionic heart valve is, should it become infected it means I would have to get it replaced. YIKES. No thank you. You can imagine how serious that surgery is and we won't even discuss the pain involved. So, I wait. I distract myself from worry by playing a few online games and taking lots of naps. Cause sleep is good for me. I also distract myself with snacks, such as the most delicious diabetic candy on Earth that Jennifer sent. Honestly, it is the first I would buy myself. The other stuff I tried was awful.
Yesterday Susan sent me a beautiful bracelet in the mail. You ladies are spoiling me now. In all honesty I have loved receiving those two packages. I cannot go out, cannot drive myself anywhere. Thank God for neighbors out of work right now who insist "Just call us". Hubby's car brakes went and his car is in the shop getting new brakes and an O2 sensor. Long overdue.
I will keep you up to speed. IF I get hospitalized I will try to borrow a laptop.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Still Sick

I have been awake since about 1 a.m. I had to call out of work today. I hate doing that but I am going to try to see my doctor again today. My chest is hurting. I couldn't sleep last night due to chest making noises and my heart racing. I want to make sure the pneumonia is gone or at least better.
Yesterday my sister went home, back to Albany. It was so hard for her to leave and very hard for my parents to say goodbye. She was here three weeks to help them. She is having surgery in about four weeks herself. She has been handling all the bills, referrals etc for my mother as well as doing all the shopping and meal prep. She is one high energy woman. Now my mother has to do this. Of course I will help when I can but I don't get home until 6 p.m. and dinner will be over by then. I am hoping that I can just go be with Dad and give her a chance to go out at least once a week. She seems so old suddenly and frail.
Well, going to crawl back into bed. Hoping for a better tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

For a few hours of good sleep

I have not gone to work for three days. You would think I would be well caught up on sleep. NO WAY! Yesterday as soon as I got to sleep the doctor's office called for blood test results. Back to sleep and a few short minutes later my grandmother called to see how I was doing. At this time I got upstairs and came down for a cup of tea. My sister called from a specialist's office to another doctor' s phone number. This went on ALL DAY.I signed into Facebook figuring that is a stress free activity and then the IMing started by one friend. I have been through so much with her. She is married to someone I begged her to get away from. After he abandoned her while she was having surgery in one state, she managed to get back here. While I was going through a divorce, she wanted to live with me but I said no. I did buy her groceries and help her. Next thing I knew she was back with Mr. Trouble again. She won a lawsuit and he wanted to get married suddenly. They did and I wasn't invited to the wedding. Shortly afterwards he took her money, her car and was gone again. She let me know but then backed off for a long time. Now suddenly she has reappeared on Facebook and is looking for more support. I have told her several times that I have my hands FULL. Yesterday when she wanted to tell me all about this guy I told her I have been down this road with you so many times. Your kids begged you not to do this and here you are again. I'm sure she wanted help. Sorry. Not going there again. She saw a friend of mine on Facebook and began talking to HER. That irked me. I have now blocked Facebook IMing. I need this like I need another lung full of fluid. I am going to shower and see if I can get a nap in. I am wiped out. Mentally and physcially.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Folks I just can't get a break right now. (Except that I know some super people like Jennifer and Susan and others who always add some sunshine to what would be dismal days). I have been having problems breathing and for the past few days it was worse. I left work early yesterday hoping to get in and see my doctor. Couldn't yesterday but did today and she thought I had pneumonia. In my right lung (it's the troubled one apparently). She sent me to the hospital and sure enough the thing is filled with pneumonia junk. Now I will be out of work the entire week. Thank God Jennifer sent me a basket containing lots of sugarfree goodies (Thank you Lord!) and it will be on my night table. At times like this I pray for a laptop to magically appear but sadly it doesn't. Maybe Santa but that's a few months off. So I am gasping for air at times. Those times are when I make any movement. Thankfully I have a handicapped parking tag so my voyage from the car to the x ray department was only about a quarter of a mile in which time I felt sure I would collapse. I was almost tempted to steal a hospital wheelchair but I frown on stealing. So, for the rest of the week I will be around. Can't say I will be enjoying myself. I feel run down and my oxygen intake is low right now. There is a birthday cake on it's way to me. I know this because Rob would NEVER not get me a birthday cake. Just praying it has strawberry filling. I am only going to have a small piece. Pinkie swear.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A late night

Haven't been sleeping well at all. Last night I was awake from 3-6 a.m. Then fell back to sleep for 45 mins before going to work. Today I was allowed to leave early without pay at one. I went to the hospital for my blood level check and then rushed home. I watched the Michael Jackson memorial. I went through a lot of Kleenex. Called my mother who was at an ultrasound test with my father, Bryant the caregiver and my sister. They stopped for pedicures on the way home. Bryant (God bless him) lifted Dad so that he could soak his feet and have his massage and nails cut. They were very gentle with him and they got back home safely. Once there the doctor called. They ordered the ultrasound because my Dad groans and sometimes yells when his arm or hand is touched. This is the paralyzed side which happens to be the right side. The ultrasound showed tha he has bone tumors in the hand and arm. They are pre-cancerous tumors but they are on the bones and have the characterisitics that they are becoming cancer. Two years ago they removed a large cancerous mass from his liver. So now, things are even more complicated. We are trying to find a bone specialist who can inject steroids to lessen the pain when he is moved. He seemed so much worse today. Nothing could please him. I tried to imagine what it would be like to lose the ability to communicate. He is now insisting that all doors be closed (you cannot imagine how much effort went into figuring out what was disturbing him so but we finally did. He wants overhead fans on but no windows opened either. My mother refuses to put on the air conditioner and it was stifling. I couldn't stay long. I came home just not knowing what to do with myself. My birthday is tomorrow. My mother thought it was today. It will not be a happy occassion. I am grateful for all the support I get from friends and family. I just pray now that God will ever so gently take him. I want his suffering to end.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Day After

Our July 4th celebration was very low key. We cooked out at my parents with my sister and her friend. Dad's meals have to be pureed and he can't have everything so he had a variation of what we had, traditional grill food, corn on the cob, potato salad and regular salad. All of us are so tired. My mother, sister and I are all waking anywhere from 4 to 5 a.m. It annoys me so that the few days I could sleep in, I just can't do it. Yesterday I crased at 11 a.m. and slept until 1 p.m. I was recharged a bit. We came home around 9, spent some time on the computer and again crashed early. It just doesn't seem like July 4th when there are no fireworks and my sister almost always goes to see them. Everything seems to be off kilter these days. My sister has been here for two weeks. She has used her time off. Not sure if she can, but she is hoping to stay a few more days. I cannot see how my mother can handle this. My sister had hoped to be supportive and show her what needed doing. My mother wants to take a backseat and just have her do it all. This has been frustrating for us. There is one paid caregiver and if she has to hire another it will be so very expensive. All of this gets paid "out of pocket" as it is care, not rehabilitative therapy.
I was so thrilled that my husband got in some overtime on his new job. I was able to make a big payment on a credit card balance. Hoping to have that paid off by summer's end. I hate carrying a balance but sometimes life hits you with things that lower your income and raise your expenses and it's just a necessity.
I need to run back to the grocery store again today. I make a list, take the list (well most of the time anyway) and then get home and when putting somethings away have to hit myself and say "OH I needed THIS." With two adults and two pets we always need something. Might I say our pets are spoiled. The cat has rejected some treats that look like grass when at every opportunity he grazes like a cow. The dog will eat any treat we buy him but has allergies so we tend to get him the same things all the time. He will "dance" for a treat. We could never teach him out to sit. He flatly refuses but he'll dance. Go figure.
I am so enjoying three days off work. It's been a mini vacation almost. I wish I could slow the days down. I feel like I am fighting off a cold. It's in my chest too and this morning I had to use my inhaler. I cannot afford to be sick and miss work.
Oh and on an interesting note. This year my mother decided my birthday is July 7th. For all the previous fifty years it has been July 8th. My sister and I also came across a book my mother got before she was married (58 yrs ago). In it she recorded all of her son's birthdays but neither my sister's or mine. Ouch.