Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Cardboard Continues

Okay, I'll be honest about this.....I thought I'd be finished with cardboard boxes by now, that we'd have Mom moved into the apartment and all squared away, and that we'd be leisurely making plans for an upcoming trip (more about that later).

As it happens, I still have some boxes in my bedroom, unpacked, and we don't have Mom moved in yet.  *sigh*  Everything is going well in the grand scheme, but at ground level seems to be moving at a snail's pace.

Hopefully we'll make some more progress this weekend.  Part of the problem is that Mom keeps cleaning up her "mess" as she packs.  Anyone who knows my Mom knows that her idea of a "mess" isn't really a mess.  I told her that a little clutter while you're packing and unpacking is just part of the process, but she keeps stopping to clean up.  *sigh again*  So, I just try to stay out of her way and let her do things her way.  I'm sure she won't have as much clean-up to do when she's finished as I had.  I just can't watch it.  *LOL*

Another part of the problem is getting all our help lined up.  Everyone's busy, and getting everyone in the same place at the same time (and factoring in the weird weather) is tricky.

Oh well.  It'll all come together.  And when it finally does it will be a huge relief!




Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Cardboard Conundrum

I'll get the negative part of this post out of the way right away.  I'm sick of cardboard boxes.  SICK, I tell you!

I'm up to the point in the unpacking process of saying to myself, "Why on EARTH did I pack THIS?  WHY?"  Of course, when I packed these items, there was a perfectly logical reason I packed them.  I WANTED them.  Now my question is "Do I want this enough to find a place to store it?"

Okay, negativity over.  My goal for the week is to get some more boxes unpacked and out of what will soon be Mom's bedroom.  I actually made some good progress during a snowy Monday this week, but didn't get to do much of anything last night.  Hopefully tonight will be more productive!

Mom's making some progress, getting a lot of unneeded paperwork shredded and out of her way.  Jasper went to his new home last Friday, so that was a big relief.  Mom's sister Sandy and her husband Wilton have been in for a quick visit the past couple of days, so that's been nice for us.  It's the first time they've been able to come visit since Daddy passed away, and it's been great to see them.

Okay, gotta close for now and attack the cardboard mountain.  Wish me luck.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Moving

Many, many happenings in my little corner of the world!  Mom asked if I would be interested in sharing an apartment with her if she sold her house.  So, since a three-bedroom unit was coming open in my apartment complex I went ahead and moved last week.

Needless to say, after 10 years in my previous apartment I had accumulated an unbelievable amount of "stuff".  A lot of it went to the Haven of Rest and Goodwill, but there was still a mountain of cardboard boxes after I'd finished packing.

Now I'm in the process of UNpacking, but at least I'm moved in.  Next we'll start getting Mom packed up and get the house on the market.

Busy, busy, BUSY!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Coping 101

My little corner of the world will never be quite the same. At 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2013, David Curtis Sweeney, my Daddy, succumbed to an aggressive case of lymphoma. We'd received the diagnosis on Thursday evening and hasn't really had time to absorb the enormity of it all before he was gone.

For Daddy's sake, I'm glad he didn't linger. He passed peacefully with Mom holding his left hand and me holding his right. When my turn comes, I hope I'm lucky enough to be wrapped in a comforting blanket of love like the one that surrounded Daddy when he slipped away.

I want to write more about him, and I will. As Mom puts it, "He had a good life, and we had a lot of fun." There are stories to tell, and I will tell them.

But not just yet. First I need to heal a bit more. But the stories will be told soon, I promise. Not today, but soon.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Things for Which I'm Thankful

It's been over a month since my last update. It's been a very busy time; Daddy has really had a rough time in the past few weeks.

On October 28 he had a radiofrequency ablation performed. It seemed to take care of the extreme nerve pain he'd been suffering in his lower back, but the injection sites were very painful and didn't seem to be improving.

On November 7 I took him to the doctor who treats his rheumatoid arthritis (a regular follow-up for his RA). When Daddy told the doctor that he was still having injection site pain, he asked if Dad was still taking his pain meds as prescribed for his RA. Actually, it had been having such a bad effect on him (drowsy, weak, apathetic) that Mom had weaned him down to half his regular dose. The doctor insisted that he be given the full dose as prescribed.

So, Mom gave him the full dose that day; the following morning he couldn't even transfer himself from the couch to a wheelchair. He fell in the floor, and Mom and I couldn't lift him; he was dead weight. We had to call in friends to help us get him back on the couch. What a nightmare!

On the following Friday (November 15), he and Mom had a lab appointment to have their blood work done for an upcoming regular checkup with their primary care physicians. I took them to the lab (and then to another doctor's appointment for a small skin cancer on Daddy's nose), then we took him back home. He got back on the couch, exhausted, and said he'd take a nap while Mom and I went to run a few quick errands.

When we returned from our rounds, we ate a Chinese take-out lunch and rested a few moments. I planned to come back the next morning to help Mom with cleaning their dog's enclosure and such, so I said I'd go on home and do a bit of household drudgery.

As I reached the end of their driveway, I heard Mom shout my name. I stopped the car and she ran up to the window. Dad's primary care physician had called and said that his lab work showed that he was extremely anemic and to get him to the ER as quickly as possible.

The next three days were a blur of tests and transfusions. We learned that his hemoglobin was down to 7.1 (should be 12). They gave him a total of 3 pints of blood over that weekend. He went through periods of confusion which was really frightening for us all.

Mom stayed at the hospital with him at night; I came home and fell into bed each night then was up and out the door early each morning to go back to the hospital

An EGD revealed that his stomach lining was very irritated (probably from pain meds he's been taking for the past year), he had a hiatal hernia (which we already knew about), he had a small polyp in the top of his small intestine (which didn't seem to be an item for concern), and a couple of spider veins in the small intestine that were probably the source of the blood loss. The gastroenterologist said that he wanted to do a colonoscopy as soon as Daddy's stronger, but that he didn't want to do it while he was so weak.

On Monday afternoon (November 18), they moved him from the hospital to a rehabilitation center. Because of all the inactivity in the past year due to the back pain, his back, arms, and legs had become so weak that he couldn't walk properly any more.

For several days he didn't seem to be making much progress; I feared that he'd simply given up. Then suddenly yesterday was a better day. He'd done well in his physical therapy session and his appetite finally perked up. I'm hopeful that this is the turnaround we've been anticipating.

So Thanksgiving is going to be different in my little world this year. Instead of the usual overabundance of home-cooked goodies, Mom and I will go to the rehabilitation center to have turkey and dressing with Daddy there. Even so, there are many things for which I'm thankful. I have a loving family, good friends, good health, and a sometimes-slightly-insane cat to keep me company. I have a comfortable apartment where I feel cozy and safe. I have my knitting to keep me centered and sane. I have a gorgeous grandson in Australia who likes to laugh with me on Skype.

And Daddy's slowly getting better. Yes, I'm thankful for all these things and a host of other things too numerous to list.

Sometimes life is tough, but there's always something in our lives that deserves a little gratitude. I hope that you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, and take a moment from the turkey and football to give a bit of thanks!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Busy Week Off

Last week I had a week off from work....well, I should say a week away from the office because I actually got a lot of work done while I was off. :-) A long-neglected walk-in closet got a quick reorganization, and I got some shredding done. (How does all that junk mail pile up so quickly?)

With Daddy still dealing with his back issues (he has a procedure scheduled for next Monday; keep your fingers crossed!) and unable to drive, I spent some time running errands with Mom. Mom actually has a valid driver's license but hasn't actually driven to speak of in several years.

We had a very sad occasion to attend last week. A dear friend of the family, Audrey Taylor, passed away. She'd been very ill for several years, and though we'll miss her we're glad that she's now at peace.

In the neighborhood where I grew up, Taylor's (we never called her "Mrs. Taylor"; it was "Taylor") house was the one where all the neighborhood kids congregated at one time or another. She let us all use her upright piano to practice our lessons. She organized arts and crafts for us in her living room. She made the best seafoam candy I've ever eaten. We made ice cream in her back yard in the summertime and had snowball fights in the front yard in the winter.

She was a large part of the childhood of all the kids who grew up in that neighborhood in that era. We loved her, and we'll miss her. Sleep well, Taylor, you've earned your rest.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Can I Have a Nap Before Bedtime?

It's been a busy week so far, and this is only Tuesday. Not excruciatingly exhausting, mind you, but busy.

Sunday was spent doing all the household drudgery I hadn't done on Saturday (which I spent running errands). You know, I can remember when I'd work all week, get up on a weekend morning and start doing the housework and be finished by noon. I still QUIT at noon, but I'm rarely finished! Oh well....one advantage to getting a little older is that when my energy level went down, the timing was such that I started wearing bifocals. So, I have more cobwebs and dust, but I can't see them as well as I used to. :-)

Monday I worked until 1:30 at the office, then went to my doctor for my regular 4-month follow-up. All was well; my triglycerides were a little high, but they're pretty changable so the doctor wasn't too worried about those. I got my flu shot, which didn't sting as much as last year's shot. (Yay!) On my way home I stopped in my apartment manager's office to report a drip in a valve where the water goes in to my water heater. She sent the terrific maintenance guys right away and they fixed it in a jiffy. (Yay again!)

This morning I felt a little achy from the flu shot. Not enough to stay home or even to say I'm sick. Just a little achy. We had a biometric screening on campus today, so I went over first thing this morning to be sure that the folks conducting it had what they needed. They really had their act together and were already well underway to setting up. When I went back at 9:00 for my screening, everything was running like clockwork; I was impressed.

We had an in-service training from 10:00 until noon, "Give 'em the Pickle". It's apparently been around awhile, but it was the first time I'd been through it. When I got back in the office, the afternoon seemed to zip by; I was really busy, so it went quickly

And now I'm in my beloved recliner with Tilly and the remote control, preparing to spend a few minutes catching up on the television shows I've missed in the past week or so. Hopefully I can stay awake until bedtime. :-)

Today's random thought: As I was driving to work this morning, the timing was such that I was driving past a row of street lights when they shut off as the daylight grew brighter. Why does that make me feel a little off-center, as if the power had gone out or something

Have a good evening, everyone.