About Me

My photo
I am mundane and magical, Silly and serious. I am an underachiever who suspects that someday in the eternities I may yet blossom and even fruit. I am a collector of spirits and essences, a studier of mood and nuance.I have many many faults and yet I've always been loved. I am a good friend, but I will let you go if you so desire. I believe in Somewhen. I laugh easily and cannot often cry, which I know is a Flaw. Like You, I am a work in progess.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Stress

My mom got sent home again from dialysis. Last time there was a clot. This time there was too much variance between her arterial and venous pressures and Celeste, her nurse, tried many things to at least squeak her through today, but it didn't work. So now I'm waiting for someone to call me to tell me when my mom can be scheduled for surgery to replace her carotid catheter. I hope today because she needs dialysis to stay alive. She also is going to need surgery to improve her fistula which is not maturing properly and once that is corrected (hopefully a second surgery will do the trick) that will need more time to mature.

My mom has been so sweet and has been trying so hard to do all the things she's been told can help her live and this is just a kick in the teeth.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

40th High School Reunion

Not long ago I got notification of my 40th high school reunion. I was surprised to find I wanted to go. I'm an introvert and while I am curious about the lives of more people than I ever interacted with, well, I never interacted with them. I didn't even attend my own high school graduation. So yes, I was surprised. I thought about this and I think much of it has to do with the fact that I NEED a vacation. I'm planning to go for at least 1 or two weeks.

When I told my mom that I would be going, next June, her first question was if The Ghost was going. At that point I didn't know, but it turns out he is not which pretty much guarantees that I won't see him again in this life. I truly doubt I'll go to any 50th reunion. But that's ok. It would have been hard on me and perhaps awkward. I've made plans to visit my friend Grace and I am going to rent a cabin and I've invited another friend. She can bring her husband if she wants to. I hope to see cousins and maybe another couple of friends. I invited Bruce and my mom but neither off them want to go. I'll have to make arrangements for nursing care for my mom and food preparation and stuff and transportation to and from dialysis. But I'm really planning to go. And I'm really planning to take some time to just be. Hell, I may even go to Disneyland or something. I will go to thebeach (Grace lives in Costa Mesa)

The reunion is actually going to be in Mission Viejo at a hotel and I've requested 3 nights there. Then I can stay with Grace and I am looking for a good cabin in Crestline or some town nearby in the San Bernardino mountains.  Something with a fireplace and not all too modern.

Updates on the Landscaping

We have moved to the inside of the house now. The front room is being worked on. I dread the kitchen, bu I am also very much looking forward to it. The landscaping is mostly done. I have a bunch of flowers and shrubs that I thought I was going to plant today. So far it hasn't happened. I als planned t clean the chicken coop. Hopefully I will do something out there!

Saturday I had friends over and we made a fire in the firepit and roasted weenies and made s'mores. I haven;t toasted a marshmallow in YEARS but mine came out perfect! It was fun. Dayan brought River's acoustic guitar and played a little. Jetty Lee bit Kaige but that was the only sour note. Everyone had fun.

Here are some pics of the yards and the chickens


Aint Bea Pookie Pi and Glory





Vim, Aint Bea. Pookie Pi and Glory


Dusk and Rudder


 Vim (white Leghorn in front), Dusk (to the left), Glory, Pookie Pi, Aint Bea, Rudder



Vim (she's my favorite)


































Update on My Mom

Today is Sunday 09/10/2017.  My mom is having a good but quiet day. I am having a good but quiet day. Many of the past days have not been good or quiet. First of all, C-diff.... Oh NASTY NASTY bacteria!!!! And very contagious although, miraculously, neither Bruce nor I have succumbed. And I wasn't wearing gloves for the first bit of it. C-diff causes terrible, incredibly stinky diarrhea where the sufferer has no control whatsoever. We went to a three part washing system. An outside squirt off, followed by 2 runs through the washer in hot water with bleach. C-diff can live on surfaces for 90 days. Alcohol will not kill it. It laughs at hand sanitizer. Hot water and soap dilutes it to something that may be innocuous. Only bleach kills it. When I got the diagnosis I was required to call my mom's home health care service and her primary Dr's office. People in contact with her wear protective clothing. Now, my mom is at this point dialysis dependent. She is not passing any urine. She would die without dialysis. So I have to take her and she is on the machine for at least 3 hours and 15 minutes, plus travel time. I've felt so badly for her! Everything is covered with chux. There was no stopping the virulent diarrhea. You could smell her from a great distance and I couldn't change her till I got her home. Before I learned about barrier cream I was worried she'd end up in the hospital just from sitting in the irritating mess. It was awful. Of course she's been dehydrated. Most people have fluid removed during dialysis, my mom has been getting fluids. And she lost a lot of weight. Most diabetics have a strict diet with little carbs or potassium. I've been told to feed her whatever she will eat. But C-diff also kills your appetite. She doesn't want to eat. Even though we are almost done with a 2 week course of very strong antibiotics 3 times a day (which have been effective as far as I can tell) she still doesn't want to eat or drink much. And she's supposed to have potassium, so I am begging her to eat foods she used to like, like avocado or bananas. She isn't hungry. Her Dr gave her Marinol (synthetic THC) to quell nausea (she's had nausea badly) and to stimulate her appetite and it seems to have helped for the nausea but hasn't had much effect on appetite. I wonder if natural cannabis would be better. Her Dr wouldn't say so directly but he did say there is a dispensary in nearby Mesquite NV where marijuana is legal. I think about going.

I'm still shocked at my mom's loss of functions. She's still mentally all there but she is losing physical abilities so fast it makes my head spin. She can't stand alone. Her physical therapist, who I really like because he can motivate her to do things I cannot suggested she have a medical recliner so that she would not be laying down all the time. Her oxygen level is in the 82-85 range which is not good. Sitting up, even in a recliner would help. She has used it twice and once was briefly. He tried to get her to stand and march in place Friday. She could only stand for about 45 seconds and forget marching. This was with him spotting her. Some of the CNAs who come to shower her don't seem to realize that she can't stand or walk. The one who came Friday did not call beforehand and I had waited till 4 before I assumed no one was coming and went out to do errands. That was a horrorshow. One of the CNAs, Melissa is good with her. Takes her time. Puts lotion on my mom. Sanitizes the shower after and dries my mom's hair. Makes good and sure the site on her chest where her catheter is won't get wet. the oe on Friday did none of this.

My mom has remained grateful and funny and uncomplaining though I wish she would tell me more about how she feels so I can maybe do something about it. Some days she is so weak and tired she doesn't want to go to dialysis and I have to stress to her that not going is not an option unless she is ready for hospice. She tries so hard to cooperate. It's heartbreaking.

She really likes the flannel shirts Bruce donated to her cause. Dialysis makes you cold and she is under heaped blankets at home even when it's over 100 degrees outside. I bought her some new flannel shirts and she likes those. I also got her and electric throw to use at dialysis but she wont use it because she's afraid of a bout of diarrhea. Fortunately she hasn't had that happen for awhile thanks to the antibiotics. I can usually get her home before she has to go and it's much less smelly and of a better consistency. I'll have to take another stool sample in to see if the bacteria is eradicated, it might not be even after the two weeks  in which case the Dr will either up the strength or go to an even stronger antibiotic. It can also come back. Nasty bug!!!!!

I feel like my mom is tolerating the dialysis better. it doesn't wipe her out as much as it used to. But I am still very concerned about how she sees her quality of life.

She's still very funny. We've been having work done on the house and the other day I told her that Bruce has been working his ass off. Without pause, she retorted, "What ass?" I had to tell him my mom is scoping out his ass.

Friday, August 11, 2017

I write to vent. But I think it is inappropriate to write about this particular day. But I am so astonished and worn out and concerned and hoping with all my heart I can be patient and cheerful and empathetic.

Bare Bones Update

I'm very tired and very worried.

My mom was in the hospital from Monday evening till Thursday afternoon. She should have been in there earlier but I am a hospital neophyte. And I intend to stay that way. I told her I will only take her to the hospital again if she asks me to. The staff members were all very very nice. And efficient. But I felt their the Dr's and the Palliative care people's subtle emphasis on End Stage Renal Disease. My mom did choose to start dialysis though, and that entailed having a carotid catheter installed as her fistula isn't seasoned enough to use yet. She was a trooper. But she has been so weak and so nauseous and she wasn't eating or drinking. This morning I was so excited because she ate some oatmeal and drank some cranberry juice, but it gave her diarrhea afterwards. I have learned to change briefs pretty efficiently. And I am so glad she is letting me, both for hygiene reasons and because she is so weak I am afraid she will fall. She's in good spirits. She missed her tv and Toby and the no-hospital feeling of home. Bruce has been so good to her, for her and with her. And she is grateful for everything we do.

Tomorrow I attempt to take her to dialysis at the regular center for the first time. I hope it goes well. I'm really anxious for them to change the dressing on that port as I have no supplies to do it and haven't been taught and I am terrified of it massively bleeding. I will remember to take a blanket. a pillow and have her in a buttoning shirt.

She had an assessment at the hospital by an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. They were optimstic that she could regain strength and function. I certainly think she could if she could eat and drink. It worries me gravely that she is eating and drinking almost nothing. The home health care nurse came today to get those services rolling. I am grateful. If she needs labs done between dialysis days they will be able to do them at him. They will be able to administer IV fluids. They can assess whether or not she will need oxygen. There's a lot they can do and I want them to do it while we see if dialysis can give her a decent quality of life. If it doesn't, then we will look toward hospice. Quality of life is more important than quantity.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Back Yard as of July 26, 2017

The patio is almost done. I've ordered 6 glider chairs and 6 side tables. Bruce put together one of the glider chairs, the instructions were terrible but he did it. He wonders why I am getting so much seating. I want the back yard to be able to comfortably accommodate some people. He wonders who.

Tomorrow Dan and Clark are going to work on the water feature. I wonder if the firepit is usable now. I could go for a fire!