The expression “when it rains, it pours” has never been more true for my family I think.
We are in the process of moving my grandmother (aged 100 years, 11 months and 10 days) from an independent retirement apartment to assisted living. She was put in the hospital a couple of weeks ago with congestive heart failure, and has been in skilled nursing rehab for about a week. The task of the move has fallen to myself and my parents, aged 75 and 76. Cleaning out a 100 year old woman’s apartment is no fun. We are talking hoarders here, folks. I took out at least a dozen bags of trash and items to be discarded that *should* have been trash. Then Mom had to cull more stuff and the clothes. Good God, the clothes. Some had not been worn in so long there was dust on them. We packed everything up, and Mom hired an EXCELLENT senior moving company to move the furniture.
In the middle of all this, I am still waiting on my shoulder surgery. It was delayed from 1/17 because I cleverly had a car wreck on the way to the parents to GO to the surgery. Apparently anasthesiologists won’t put you under for at least a week after you’ve been in even a fender bender. Mine happened in congested traffic. Everyone, including me, slammed on their brakes for something. I was the last in line, and didn’t slam fast enough I guess, and slammed into the BMW in front of me. $115 “inattentive driving” ticket and $500 car insurance deductible, and my car should be ready to pick up on Friday.
So, moving Grandma’s stuff in a rental car. That actually proved to be a boon, because the rental has fold-down rear seats and let me carry more stuff than my Civic hybrid. And I suppose having the surgery postponed was also a blessing because I have been able to help the parents with the move rather than being moral support.
Add to this that Daughter is scheduled to have a cardiac ablation procedure to correct Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, a condition she was born with but which has been worsening. This is set for Friday and will involve surgeons threading a soldering iron up through her femoral artery to her heart and zapping the offending nerve bundle into submission. Sounds un-fun.
Then, yesterday evening after packing some of Grandma’s stuff I went to the parents’ house to chill for a bit. I found their old dog Ebby in bad shape. She had been failing for a while, but just looked horrible. I put the other dog – younger and far too rowdy- in her crate, and lay on the floor with Eb. Using my empath and Reiki stuff (believe it or don’t) me and Eb talked and she got lots of pets. She was in a lot of pain and basically was communicating it was time for her to journey. I talked to my Dad and asked him to see if the vet could give her something for her pain at least.
He took her to the vet first thing this morning and was told it was indeed Eb’s time to go. Ebby, age 13+, passed to The Summerland before 9:30 this morning. This was very hard on the parents, even though they knew her time was close. None of the rest of us who knew Eb dealt with it very well, either.
I filled the day with moving stuff, supervising the movers at the new apartment, running errands for the new place and generally getting the new apartment ready for Grandma to move in on Thursday. Mom went home after the movers left the old place, to be with Dad and grieve Ebby in private, and I notified the kids and my brother of what had occurred.
My cousin is supposed to be coming to town 1/28 to help finalize the move – including any final furniture that needs to come out of the old place and over to my place. This weekend, my sheriff is coming to town to see his kids before training, and I am hoping he can help me move most of that furniture with his Big Truck.
Meanwhile, after all of the activity the past couple of days, my shoulder that is waiting on surgery has flared up into an angry hot mess, and my back may actually fall off. That would be a good thing, because it hurts like hell being still attached and all. Money is non-existent (so buy stuff off my sponsor page and toss me a nickel already!) and not likely to become more existent in the near future. I get a call from my doctor today that my labs were normal except a serious Vitamin D deficiency. Doesn’t that cause rickets or scurvy or something?
Anyway, requires a prescription and not just regular vitamins. Since Vitamin D is provided by the body in the sun – a situation I habitually avoid either through working nights and evenings, or through being a night owl, AND it is related to diets with protein, I am at risk. Lack of money means cheap eats, which means little protein. Bone pain and muscle weakness are symptoms. Fantastic. I hurt already, who can tell what is vitamins and what is age and decrepitude? Another symptom is cognitive impairment. How can we distinguish that from my usual level of impairment since the head injury? Is it really possible I dropped ANOTHER 50 IQ points? I am going to need diapers, a bib and a full time caretaker at this rate! So, there’s that.
To top things off, Son is stationed in Afghanistan, and everybody over there pulls guard duty on the towers. Now, I know the boy is a great shot gun-wise, and smarter than your average bear, but I can’t help worrying a bit about him sitting in the freezing dark and hoping nothing interesting happens. I don’t want the odd Afghan person lobbing anything metallic or explosive in his general direction and would be perfectly happy if he never has to kill anyone. Although I don’t doubt for a second he will if he must.
I am just waiting for more shoes to drop. So are my parents. So are my daughter and her husband. So are the kids’ other set of parents. Probably my Grandma, too. Somebody asked me how I was holding up. I told her I just freak out for small amounts of time – usually privately – then put my head down and keep trudging forward. The only way out of a bad place is to get through the bad place, and that is kind of where we are right now – trudging through the swamp with the belief that firmer ground and nicer weather are on the other side.