On the Move 2

Ok. She was able to move in for 1 week. The Dr at Assisted living took a look at her and agreed with her that she shouldn’t have this much pain. But this was after a week of complaints etc. It just worked out that the dr visits and her arrival didn’t coincide so it took a bit longer.

Anyway this Tues he saw her and wanted a CAT scan done. Off to the hospital she goes. It takes so long that they decide to keep her over night and send her BACK TO REHAB on Wed. Turns out she has fractures on both sides of her sacrum, so there actually was cause. Now she has to go back to rehab until this heals (could be a while), but also paying for Assisted living.

Meanwhile I talk to her and she says “Deborah Ann, Im so lonely.”

She’s been there 1 day.

“I’ve BEEN UNDER THE KNIFE for 12 HOURS, where have you been?”

She had a CAT scan.

Really, its just getting better and better.

Also no one can see her because they are having Covid lock down again. Which, in a way, inst horrible from my point of view.

The good new is her apt. is coming along. Almost empty and we’ll probably put it up for sale after Labor Day. Ive signed all papers for both Nursing and Assisted so thats all done. I’ll have a story and a half for my poor old therapist tomorrow.

She’s on the move

This last week was a whirlwind. Back and forth. Back and forth. Between my house, GMAs house, assisted living place. On Thursday the movers came, took all the furniture for the new place and boxes etc. Sam and Phillip were there for reinforcements and off we went. By the end of the day the new apartment was completely unpacked, including clothes hung, dressers filled, pictures hung etc. The guys helped with breaking down boxes, getting rid of garbage etc. By the end of the day, her new place looked very much like her old place, which should be comforting for her.

Then came more Walmart/Home Goods/Target trips. Next I donated the car to the Veterans of America, so she can’t threaten to drive. Saturday we dropped off stuff and brought her over to see the room. She was very happy but confused. We met a couple of residents and they were great. Very friendly and said they’d help her settle in. The good news is everyone there is lovely.

Next on the agenda is getting her apartment here ready for sale. My friend Mary helped me Friday, and I made 5 trips to Goodwill with stuff. Millions of things she never touched in the 11 years she was there, even though when we moved her from her house she NEEDED the baking stuff, cooking stuff etc. I’ll still need to make God only knows how many more trips but its looking ok.

Today was the big move-in day. I waited for the phone guy to hook up her line for 7 hrs, if you can believe such a thing. She’s in, but confused. I told her I’m not coming back till Thurs. and she looked at me like I was crazy, so I told her I’ve been there every day for 2 weeks and I need to do stuff at home, mostly for her. Im swinging on the end of the rope.

Before/After

Alternate Reality

It’s Monday but let me share what happened Friday. I spent the day over there cleaning and packing. I finally get home and about 3pm GMA calls and says;

“Deborah Ann, You must come here immediately! We are going out to eat and I need my purse!”

Someone explain where she’s going, from the nursing home? Has Le Cirque opened for the geriatric set without me knowing? I said “Sorry, spent the day cleaning, Im not coming over” So that passed by.

Fast forward 2 hours, Sam and I planning on going to a neighborhood get together. She calls twice. Whispering urgently in the phone:

“Deborah Ann, You must come here immediately! Theres a man in my room!” I don’t want something to happen!” OY. We all know if something was going to happen, she would be the number one target (insert eye roll)

We call the nurses station and OF COURSE THERES NO MAN. Nurse laughs and says “Its her roommate (a lady) who she thinks is “weird”. What a wacko.

Saturday comes and I totally plotz. I cant move. I cant think, etc. If I get through this week, it’ll be a miracle. Made Walmart and Home Goods run today. Tomorrow is getting TV and wall stuff hung in new place. Meanwhile when I saw her today, she wanted to make sure she had her crystal in the new place. For all the dinner parties she’ll be hosting. Jesus help me.

She’s on the Move

Lots of news. Two weeks ago GMA slid off her bed and apparently bruised her coccyx. I hadn’t heard from her by 10:30am on that day and tried to call, twice, with no answer which is weird. So off I go to see if everything ok and she’s laying on the floor and cant get up. She’d been laying there for about 1 hr and I had to have Sam come and pick her up and get her sorted.

Was she wearing the pendent for the people to come if she falls? No, don’t be ridiculous. Clearly this move is coming not a moment too soon. She seems like her back bothered her for the following days but was acting normally, albeit with constant complaining. Prior to this she went to see Newtown Assisted Living and decided that was the place for her. She got reacquainted with many people she used to know and everyone was very kind. She really was open to the idea. So we were on the right track.

Two days after the fall, we had an appointment to get her assessment for care at Newtown. Even after fall, it was deemed she was only a level 1 which is great because every step higher is an extra 900$ per month and we are trying to make her money last as long as possible. She even got to see 6 visiting 4 week old corgi puppies (which I was desperate to bring home because they’re delicious). We leave there, everything great.

The plan was to move her the next Thursday but unfortunately, due to everyone moving hither and yon, movers are hard to get. Got a date of August 5. Meanwhile, Gma and her friends go to an outdoor concert last Sunday and I think she walked way too much because this Monday I go over and she cant walk, or move and in a lot of pain. Here we go again, calling the ambulance (which turned out to be genius move number 1). At the hospital the Xray etc and nothing broken or fractured so good news there. Meanwhile, I’m going up and down hallways, talking to anyone who will listen, that she CANT GO HOME, SHES NOT SAFE. Not difficult to plead my case, due to the reason we’re there. I said she has to go to Newtown rehab (which is connected to Assisted Living she’s going to) so when her apartment is done next week, she can just wheel over to the other side of the building and thats it. (genius move number 2).

Every guardian angel was on deck, because the plan is going great. She’s in there and I’ve spent every day picking out correct apartment, dealing with bills, figuring out her paperwork (which puts you in her headspace and its a scary place to be) that has writing all over it, around the edges and on the back. A birds eye view into the mind of a lunatic.

Yesterday her helper Alene came to help me and she is gold. We got through so much, tossed a ton, recycled, cleaned. Today we’re going to start to pack up for the move. I have not seen GMA since Wed. but I’m so stressed I just cant until all of this is over. I cant sleep, my jaw is tight and Im an emotional wreck. I cant wait to this portion of the program to be over.

It is what it fucking is

Hi, Im back. I know it’s been a while. I’ve been going through some stuff and I really couldn’t summon the will to write about it. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m ready to lay it all out there. A lot has happened in the last few months, so I’ll just go step by step.

First great news is we are all fully vaccinated. Its a wonderful feeling knowing that the family is protected. Its been such a tough year, for everyone. There’s finally an end in sight. Its been terrific starting to get together with friends and family again. It’s almost beginning to feel normal. So normal in fact that Ive already taken 2 vacations in June.

The first was a week visiting Figure 8 Island in NC. Sam and I met up with one of my oldest friends, Jane. She came with her partner Kevin, her daughter Jordanna and her husband Kelvin plus their children Maya (6) and Wyatt (1.5). It was relaxing but as you get older you forget the schedules of kids (5am wake-ups!), and all that energy. But we also got to get the snuggles and hugs and the reading of books together. I feel like we really reconnected and I got to know the kids better. Its hard because we don’t live near each other to begin with but it was really great to spend (and I HATE this phrase) quality time with everyone. The island was gorgeous and there was hardly anyone there so it was a good first try at vacations.

Two weeks later I took off for a Girls Week in the Red Neck Riviera, Myrtle Beach. I flew down and my sister-in-law Jen, her mom Jeanne, her daughter Taylor and her daughter Rose (1.5) plus Jen’s sons girlfriend Mary and her daughter Alayna (6) all drove from Pittsburgh. Again, it was wonderful to reconnect. I don’t think we ever have spent that much time together. It was great just hanging out, talking and being with the kids.

I haven’t been to Myrtle beach for about 30 years and its amazing the people you can see. We stayed at a hotel/condo/resort and had a “Penthouse” apartment which really only meant it had 3 bedrooms. However, whenever someone was was in the elevator with us and we pushed the PH button, there inevitably would be a “OOOOO, the PENTHOUSE”, we even got the question “Is it all gold and white marble up there?” Yes. Yes it is. Do you remember where you are? Oy. Was so grateful to my SIL for all the schlepping she did. She was a trooper as she got up at the crack of dawn to set up chairs etc. Which was excellent because the week before I had to go to the hospital.

I felt an ache in my left arm and after a few days Sam and I decided to get it checked out. After 7 hours in the ER, they found nothing. They were very thorough but had to follow up with cardiologist and still nothing. So I really couldn’t use my little dino arms as much as usual.

Now we get to the reason for the immense funk I’ve been in. GMA has really been kicking up. She has decided she no longer needs her pills and that I am the one who wants her to take them. She’s been to the dr multiple times to “discuss” her meds. Which have never changed. Because she’s crazy. She’s driving me there with her. Finally, through the work with my therapist, I got up the nerve to look into Assisted Living. It’s actually the best option for her. She’s lonely and she cant take care of herself properly, even with the helper. We went to see one place yesterday and she’s on the fence about the whole thing. But it’s happening. I feel like a great weight is beginning to lift.

Meanwhile, at one of the places I met a terrific woman named Cindy who showed me around. It turns out she’s a fellow cancer survivor and she wrote a book about her experiences. What a story. I read it all in one day. Her strength is inspiring. She’s amazing and if your interest is piqued, you can find her book here:

So now you’re up to date. Long road ahead but I think I see an end. Thanks to everyone thats been putting up with me through this. Its a lot, and I’m glad I have you with me.

Sláinte

Hola!!! Everything back to normal here. Phillip is over Covid, thank God. We picked up Milesy from the airport after his 7 week sojourn in New Orleans, the lucky duck. He had a great time and is now here until May, when we drive him to his new spot in Chicago.

The big news is Sammy and I both got our first vaccine. Im so happy that, hopefully, things will kind of get back to normal. I cant wait to see friends and family and not be so afraid. Im really excited because my sister-in-law has planned a girls trip in June and I get to see my nieces baby and my nephews little girl and I cant wait. Its going to be so much fun! Almost worth waiting a year for. We are getting our second vaccine April 3rd so we’ll be all set.

Saw the breast surgeon last week and she confirmed that NO MORE CANCER, for now. Obviously anyone can get it at any time, and mine can come back, but for now everything good and Im going with that. Its one more piece of good news. Im still tired in the afternoons, though nowhere near where I was. She said its probably because of the meds Im still taking (and continuing for 10 years). So Im just continuing to have naps etc and giving myself a break.

Also started seeing a therapist about GMA. After first session I think I’ll be going for the rest of my life. Lots of things to get through and its not going to be pretty. Hopefully I’ll develop techniques to deal with her. Wish me luck. Speaking of which, tomorrow is St. Patricks Day and though it’s another year without parades and bars, we still have corned beef, soda bread, The Quiet Man and the family together to enjoy it. Sláinte!

Negative, Part Deux

GMA is driving me fucking insane. Her retention is low, yet she BELIEVES she’s completely competent. She is wondering why Im taking charge of the money, why I take the credit card etc, like Im robbing her. Im very close to the end of my rope. I could go on and on but I don’t feel like it because I’ll be back in the breach again in the morning.

Next, Phillip has gotten Covid. He had a friend over last weekend and he turned out to have it. So Phillip is banished to the basement. Miles has had to postpone his trip to New Orleans, so he can be sure he’s ok to go. Sam and I just got tested and we’re negative. As of now. I also got my first mammogram since the diagnosis and that came back clear. So, some good news.

A New Year

It’s been a while and I have a minute, so here’s the update. We had a really great Christmas. It was quiet. We were supposed to go to our good friends for a small Christmas Eve night but we all just decided it was too much. We were sad but I think it was the right decision. We stayed home and the four of us hung out, played games and I made Baccala. I’ve always wanted to try it. It’s a traditional Italian dish, starting with dried cod, made especially at the holidays. I soaked it 3 days and made a really good recipe but we all agreed it would probably have been better with fresh fish, rather than the dried version. But at least we gave it a shot.

Christmas Day was super nice. We made our family’s traditional timpano. The boys helped and we had fun. We missed Gma, but honestly, it was relaxing and I was happy I didn’t have to worry about her.

The Boys and the Timpano

The week after we all relaxed and the boys ended up going to see friends (Phillip to MA and Miles to NJ to see Meg) We hung with another couple and had a great time saying Bye Bye to 2020. Its been a tough year and unfortunately 2021’s start hasn’t been stellar. Im hoping this year brings health and more time spent with friends, which are the two most important things.

Yesterday I picked up Gma from rehab. What a day. I was extremely anxious. I got her home and it could have been worse. She’s still highly confused. I stayed the night and will for the next few days. I needed to see where exactly she was with her mobility etc. She’s still weak, but she did well getting around the apartment. The night was tough. She got up 4 times but she was ok to get to the bathroom on her own. I, on the other hand, was up EVERY HOUR because she has some stupid clock (Which I BOUGHT FOR HER), which first plays a song then bongs the amount of strikes for the hour, EVERY HOUR. So I’m zombie-like right now. Then, this am, she starts in on where is her stimulus check? How she got this bee in her bonnet is a mystery, but she asked about it approximately 6 times today. Thank God her helper came today at 2:30. Im free until 7 for the night shift. Hopefully this schedule will work for the short term. I think she’ll be ok at night once she settles in. Fingers crossed. Ugh.

Birds of a Feather

This is Miles. Miles is a bird catcher.

Yesterday I’m on my exercise bike, watching Love Island. All of a sudden I hear Miles, who works in the room above me, yell “Holy Shit!”. Im thinking “What now?” I decide to continue on my bike until someone actually yells for me, a talent which has been honed by years of running to a problem, which most of the time doesn’t require the run. So I continue the cycle until Sam comes in looking for a “net”. Apparently a BIRD got into the house and was flying around upstairs in Miles’ room. Don’t ask me how, everyone thinks I let it in when I unloaded groceries, but I’m unconvinced.

So Sammy “McGuyvers” a net from a sleeping bag carrier and some walking stick. He then goes up there and I hear a lot of swearing and shuffling and finally they came down victorious, with the bird, which they released, much to the joy of the bird. Everyday, it’s something. I wish I could have seen the chase but I figured the less people up there the better.

Meanwhile, I spoke to GMA and she’s doing ok. She wants to come home, obviously, but she’s still not strong enough. It’s really hard because I cant go over there and see her. She’s doing physical therapy and I think they’re waiting to see if she can move around on her own because they’re scared of her falling, which is a concern of all of ours. We have a meeting Friday with the social workers and nurses and hopefully will have a positive update. Meanwhile, as predicted, she told me how I haven’t called her at all. Even though I try to get through everyday and the nurses don’t pick up and neither does she. The good news is, if she’s torturing me, she’s getting better.

Today is Phillip Georges birthday. It’s hard to believe he’s 24. Part of me feels like it was yesterday and another part feels like it was ages ago. I know he’s going to be cranky tonight because he wanted to go down to Arther Ave, but restaurants are closed for indoor dining in NY right now and, in addition, we getting hit by a big Nor’Easter, predicted to dump anywhere between 8-18 inches of snow tonight and into tomorrow. Im going to make Bolognese and we can celebrate at home. I know it’s tough but with any luck, next year he can have a big celebration when Covid is under control, fingers crossed.

Positively GMA

A lot has been happening. We had a nice, yet very quiet Thanksgiving. Just us, the boys and Gma. All the food was great and we relaxed. Gma didn’t eat much but thats normal for her lately. Well, the following days came and went and Gma said she wasn’t feeling well. By Thursday she wasn’t any better and was clearly weak. I made the executive decision, against her will, to call an ambulance and send her to the hospital. Thank god I did.

Turns out she had a giant UTI and was dehydrated. They decided to admit her and they gave her a Covid test (which unless they admit they don’t do) and – she’s positive. She was miserable but still managed to complain about the food. Then her next move was to call at 8pm to ask for a delivery of her slippers, nightgown and robe. I said “Ok, I’ll bring them tomorrow.” Meanwhile she had a crazy roommate yelling in the background “Why cant she bring it tonight?”

We, meanwhile, ran around like lunatics trying to getting tested. All of us, thankfully, are negative. Yesterday, they decided there was nothing else the hospital could do for her as her lungs are clear and she needs no Covid treatment at this time, which is good. They’ve transferred her to a rehab place to try and get her strength up. Coincidentally, its the same place George, her 2nd husband, was in for 8 yrs when they first moved here. So I’m happy she’ll be in a familiar environment. Im waiting to talk to Dr. there after she’s evaluated. I spoke to nurse, who seems lovely and fingers crossed they can get her to eat and gain her strength back.

On the up side, In the last 2 days I’ve seen my orthopedist about hand (good), oncologist (good) and cardiologist (also good). Somehow, I’m ok. We got the tree and its up, as are the decorations. At least we can enjoy them while all this is happening. Below is our newest which I adore:

Geaux Saints!