the last day of the year

So, aren’t we supposed to do some year in review? I see it on other blogs. Lets see, when 2010 began, my mother was in the rehab facility (I feel so weird calling it that because it sounds like she has a drug problem). The year is ending with my mom in the same rehab facility. At least she was home for most of the year in between. What else? I’ve lost some weight, not sure exactly how much. A decent enough amount that I’m a couple or three sizes smaller. There was some other stuff in the middle there, oh, the summer was really hot, and then Christmas came and now its today.

Seriously though, one big change I did manage was actually using this blog. I think when I started out the 30 day meme there were like 14 entries total. Now I’m nearly at 100. Getting the laptop helped a lot. I will continue blogging, even if its about my usual nothing important. You should also be getting more pictures from me hopefully since I spent a pretty penny a new camera. Just need to work on learning all the technical stuff and becoming more proficient.

I’ve become a better knitter this year just from experience, and trying things I was afraid of before. I knit sweaters this year, dammit! Actual garments besides scarves! And hats. Quite a few hats. Next year I will venture into sock knitting. I swears! That will mostly be over on my knitting blog which I also started this year.

In 21 1/2 hours it will be 2011. The year my son graduates from high school. Because of that, this year has been on my mind for a while. My only expectation being seeing my baby all grown up. He’ll be 18 in a few weeks (which means I’ll be 36 a week later, blah). I guess I really expected myself to be in a different place than I am, but so goes life. In the new year I’ll be losing more weight and I’ll get into better shape. I’ll plant a garden and take better care of it than I did this year. Or, I won’t. I’ll fall victim to the heat again. I think really, for now, and next year, I’ll just enjoy the moments. Like this one.

Blather

I feel the need to just spit words out through my fingers. Some sort of babbling catharsis. Like having someone to tell about your day, your misadventures, your sorrows, your smiles. That’s what you’re here for.

I’ve been cruising all the usual internet hot spots and completely ignoring my knitting tonight, which is not going to help me finish this project before 2011 strikes, which is my goal. I’ll still have one project on needles at the end of the year, unless I frog the cardigan I started, which now that I mention it, might not be a bad idea, because when I started it I was a size or two larger. Frogging that much would be painful, though, but possibly necessary. Oh, but then I still have that shawl on needles. Its not bothering me though because its hidden in a drawer.

I got back to the gym today. I just did cardio, but it felt good to be there doing it. The gym is still pretty calm, too. The new years resolution squad hasn’t started to pack in yet. I don’t know exactly how busy it will be then. Can’t possibly be too busy to find a machine, can it?

I reached out to an old friend last night. I’ve known him for something like 14 years. We’d be close for a while, then kind of meander off to other things, but eventually we’d find each other again, and things would always fall back in place almost like we’d never been apart. He’s a steady guy, no big changes in his behavior or interests. Always very calm and chill, even if he is a bit of a weirdo nerd. I love those things about him because its like he balances me out in ways. I’m a scatterbrained mess all over the place with what I’m into at a given moment, and emotionally, my god. He’s steady and straight and has dealt with a lot of mood swing and emotion from me, and has still cared enough to make sure I got home at the end of the night. I’ve wanted to kick me to the curb a lot, but he never has.

Anyway, he lives out at the coast now so I don’t see him, haven’t seen him in ages. We stay in touch through facebook, but lately I’ve been thinking about him and wanting to see him, to have that connection again. Besides, I always kind of felt like in a way I belonged with him, because of the way we fall so into place. I can’t totally explain that, its just a feeling I’ve had for a long time. So I contacted him last night with a sort of disjointed message, and he contacted me back. I guess I’ve just relied on him to not change and things to stay the same-like it was the one constant in my life!-but I get the feeling things are different now. Maybe he’s changed and grown and I haven’t kept up because I’m a lousy friend. I should have done a better job staying in touch with him and making more of an effort to see him (he works in town).

Its a lost opportunity? Definitely a lost love and big part of me if we can’t reconnect. My heart is broken because I’m feeling so lost. The one person I was sure of as always there has moved on. It really sucks, but its just as much my fault, if not more so.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve really wanted to hash out all day. I hate this heavy feeling.

 

in a bad shape

I went to the gym today to work out with the trainer. I went before Christmas, but I’ve missed a lot with my parents being in the hospital and all that. I’ve just been neglecting going because it takes up time I didn’t feel like I had. I found out how much missing the gym can hurt when you were just starting to get into better shape. I was slow, weak, and sloppy. I only did 15 minutes on the elliptical, and I know my chest and abs are going to hate me tomorrow. I’ve really got to start going again. I was really starting to feel good for a bit, there, when I was going every day. It shouldn’t take me too long to get back into feeling good about it. I just need to go habitually for it to happen. Get those endorphins kicking again!

I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. I think its somewhat making up for the lack of really restful sleep I didn’t get there for a while. I’ve also had this nasty headache all day. I’m wondering if I’m getting headaches from taking too much headache medicine. That would really suck. I do turn to excedrine rather quickly when my head starts to hurt, so I suppose its possible. It hasn’t helped today.

I haven’t decided whether I want to make a new years resolution or not. I suppose I should decide soon. I’m kinda eh on the whole new years resolution thing anyway. I mean, what about a new calendar says you should change? Resolutions can be made any time if you really want to make one, so what’s so special about new years resolutions? Plus, the stigma around them alone generally means they’ll get broken. They were meant to be. Plus, people always make difficult resolutions, like weight loss and exercise? Why not make a fun resolution like “I will eat at least one cookie every day?” That all being said, I’m sure I’ll come up with a resolution.

What about you? Do you have a resolution you’d like to share with me? (Yes I’m begging for comments!)

post-christmas calm

Christmas went pretty well. It was just Zach and me, since my dad doesn’t participate. He seemed altogether satisfied with his gifts. At his age, its hit or miss. I think I hit it this year. I got the Good Eats 2 book that I bought for myself.

We did visit my mom. she’s been feeling sick to her stomach so she hasn’t been one for company. This morning the dialysis clinic called saying she wanted to leave. I figured it was because she was sick, so I picked her up and took her to the rehab center. Turned out the reason she wanted to leave dialysis was she was tired. She’s tired every time.  I don’t know why this was any different. I think she’s being stubborn.

My dad is just about back to his normal self. His strength is up and he’s doing things around the house that he used to do. I guess he needed food to get him moving again. He goes to the ENT on January 7th to discuss the tumor. Goodness only knows what will come out of that.

Otherwise, I slept almost all day after the early morning run to dialysis. I slept a lot yesterday too. Its no wonder I’m having trouble getting to sleep at night. Tonight, maybe I just won’t try. Maybe I’ll just knit. That sounds like it could be a plan. Tomorrow I need to do laundry. Yay mundane tasks. I think I’m just worn out and that’s why I’m sleeping so much. I feel like I could sleep right now actually.

I leave you with another picture of holiday splendor.

airing of grievances

Its Festivus, I’ve had dinner, so here I will air my grievances. I think everyone should do this. Its cathartic.

Florida Hospital. I am sick of you and never want to visit you again.

Aging. I hate you too, especially for making my son older. Stop it now!

November and December. You two have sucked. Seriously.

House. Stop needing repairs immediately. That goes especially to the plumbing.

Son. Start needing your mommy again.

Father. Quit the damn smoking already! How stupid can you be?

Mother nature. Summer was too hot. Make next one better.

In other news, my mom is out of the hospital but back in the rehab facility. They’re on top of things now, and everybody seems to know who I am. I do not believe there will be another mistake again, at least not a big one. I went over there earlier to drop off her stuff and they double checked with me about her next dialysis (they knew when it was) and helped me make sure my mothers clothes were all labeled so nothing gets lost. They’re giving her a room by herself too, at least for now.

I will leave you with a picture of one of my favorite Christmas decorations. It was my grandmothers stuff. Its flickering electric candles with plastic boxwood and plastic berries. It feels so much like Christmas.

 

 

 

nutcracker sweet

When I was a little girl I was given a nutcracker to put in my room as a Christmas decoration. I’m pretty sure it was my mom who gave it to me, it was the kind of thing she’d do. I can’t remember if that was also the year I went to the ballet, too, but at some point in those years 7 and 8 both I saw the ballet and got my own nutcracker. Being a kid, I did try to crack a nut with it, but luckily I did not break it.

What my mom didn’t know was she was starting what would become a Christmas tradition for me. Now, every year, I get a new nutcracker. This year, I picked up this baker at Pier one. I try to keep it to one a year, but they also had a trio of “band geek” soldiers that I ended up with. My nutcracker collection isn’t as huge as you might think. I only really started collecting them yearly in my adulthood. I’ve got six mini nutcracker soldiers, big soldiers, a tall, fancy king, a Scotsman, a pirate, a guy on a rocking horse, and a really tall skinny guy that I got last year and adore. Getting out the nutcrackers is usually what makes it start feeling like Christmas for me.

I have only seen the ballet once. Every year I mean to go, but never bother to get a ticket. I’d be going by myself, so maybe that’s why I’m not motivated. Still, I think the music is magical, and love nutcrackers, even if they don’t actually crack nuts.

Here’s just a few of my other nutcrackers. What do you collect that makes Christmas feel like Christmas for you?

 

 

a little normalcy

My dad came home from the hospital yesterday. Its weird having him back since he was gone for a week and a half, and Zach and I got used to a quiet home to ourselves. He’s doing tube feedings, and right now I’m waiting for the home health agency to bring him his formula. I’ve been kind of scattered today trying to track down if I could get it at a pharmacy, but I guess the home health is providing it via insurance. At least they’re bringing a months worth so I don’t have to panic over it again for a little while.

My mom is still in the ICU, but doing much better. They’ve gotten over 15 liters, or almost 4 gallons, of excess fluid off of her, and they’re still working. She’ll be assessed at the end of her stay again to see if they want to send her to the rehab again. Not sure how much longer she’ll be there, just know it will be until her doctor is satisfied with her fluid levels and health.

I know its crazy, but if she has to go back to the rehab center, I won’t put up a big fuss. The rehab center knows exactly how upset I am/was, and they know I will complain if necessary, and will not back down until the problem is solved. They’re all very concerned over there about what happened (I don’t know if they could be held liable) and every time I go over to pick up something of hers that I forgot on the last trip, they are more than accommodating in helping me find it. This is one of the better (and smaller) rehab/nursing homes in the area. Last time she was there they were great. This time they just had their heads up their asses at her admission (I blame it partially on being a Friday night).

So that’s where all of that stands. I promise a happier post soon. Maybe later tonight, even.

about mom and dad, again

My dad had surgery to have a feeding tube placed in his stomach via abdomen. It went well and he’s tolerating the “formula” well. I talked to the ENT surgeon that treated him when he had his laryngectomy and he said there is a large tumor at the base of my dad’s throat, and that’s what’s keeping him from swallowing. They looked with a scope but couldn’t see it very well. He suspects its cancer since my dad didn’t have any follow-up radiation after the last round. In order to get an idea of how involved with the throat the tumor is, like exactly how big it is, and how attached to the walls of his throat it is, they need to do exploratory surgery. They would do a biopsy at that time and then give him his options. If its not too attached to the throat, he can have the surgery here. If its really bad, he would have to have the whole section of his throat removed and rebuilt from tissue from his inner arm. He’d have to go somewhere else with super surgeons to do that. Or, they might be able to treat it with chemo and radiation.

All of this is going to be up to my dad, because apparently its not a rush decision since he’s now being fed and can breathe. Last time they did the surgery so quickly because he was having so much trouble breathing. Frankly, I will be surprised if he chooses to go through with any surgery. He might do the exploratory surgery, but if it would involve that massive operation, I don’t think he’d do it.

As of today, my mom is back in the hospital. She was in the nursing home one week. In that time she should have had at least three dialysis treatments, but they only managed to get her to one. There was a major information and organizational flaw somewhere, and I let them know I was none to happy. Because she hadn’t received proper dialysis, she was retaining a whole lot of fluid. The got her to the dialysis clinic today, but before they even got her on the machines she fell in the bathroom and knocked her forehead open. Obviously, they called an ambulance and called me. I had them take her back to the same hospital, where my dad is, because she can see her renal doctor and cardiologist while she’s there. When I saw her she was such a mess. Her glasses were scratched from her fall, and they said she needed stitches in her forehead. Luckily she didn’t break any bones, but they were treating her for a possible heart attack, I think mostly as a preventative measure. The nurse did say the heart attack chemical in her blood was a little high.

When I left they were taking her up to dialysis and she is obviously going to be admitted. What happens after that I don’t really know. Oh, I do know. Pretty soon, they’re going to have to commit me because I’m going to go insane!

Taking a deep breath now.

anger

My mom was discharged from the hospital late Friday afternoon. I took her straight to the rehab and care facility they’d set her up in. She’s only there temporarily, just to make sure she has the strength to get around the house safely. She was at the same place earlier this year after a couple of hospital stays left her extremely weak. I don’t think she’ll be in it for two months again, though. At least I certainly hope not.

My dad is still in the hospital. He’s having surgery tomorrow morning to insert a feeding tube into his abdomen, and to biopsy the growth in his throat. He’d given me a list of things he wanted me to bring him, such as shaving stuff, a comb, and the yellow legal pads he writes on to communicate. I was gathering the stuff today, and I grabbed two legal pads. One of them had a note written on it. It was a note for the family, basically saying that now we knew the tumor had won. He knew I knew how sick he was and he wanted to explain what happened. In the note he blamed it on smoking, but also added that he didn’t regret it one bit, because the smoking brought him such pleasure in the 40-some years he did it. When I read it I felt like I’d been stabbed. He’s willing to let it all go because he loves smoking and cannot do it anymore. Nothing about being sorry, just glad that he got to smoke as long as he did.

I’m so angry with him right now I can’t even begin to explain it. How selfish! How arrogant. How disgusting? It feels like his family means nothing and smoking is everything. Its incomprehensible to me. I used to smoke, too, but I quit. I knew what it was doing to my health and I knew it upset Zach. So I quit! I quit after he had his surgery to remove his first tumor because I thought he wouldn’t be smoking anymore and I wanted to show my support by not smoking either. The day I quit, he started up again. Obviously I decided to continue with my plan to quit. It will be two years next month. And it was two years ago around today that he had surgery to remove cancer from his body.

He let it come back. He dared it to come back by continuing to smoke and drink. Now at least I understand why, but I can’t forgive him.