Sunday, July 31, 2016

 Christmas 2015, one of the last pictures

A long time has passed since my last post back in April of 2015.

It seems like eons ago.

It's amazing how we managed to get through it all.
Speaking for myself, I just rode the waves, being helped by Prozac.

Wheelie had his schedule, which kept him focused.

He never complained.

As long as everything went like plan, he was okay.

Five days a week his CNA would come and get him up. Give him a shower or a bed bath and dressed him.
The showers were tricky, but the girls figured out how best to transfer him from his wheelchair to the shower chair.
 He told them HOW, like keeping his shoes on until he sat in the shower chair, so his feet wouldn't slip.
He wasn't an easy patient, stubborn and wanting things his own way, but who blamed him? Very few ladies became familiar with him to the point where they GOT him. He loved them to peices. The other ones grinned and bared it.
It must have taken all his strength to roll with the punches. Not to complain.
I seem to be the only one who knew how the wind was blowing, and deal with it accordingly.

Like: just leave him be.

I fed him his breakfast, as slowly but surely he wasn't able to hold his spoon or fork, and had to drink with a straw.
Then he would read the paper.
Until the day came he stopped that because he couldn't turn the pages, and more often than not the paper would fly all over the living room.

Then we would check the TV schedule for soccer games.
We watched an awful lot of soccer games.
Him, stoically, me sometimes at the edge of my seat yelling at the screen.

During those hours I was able to run to the store without being afraid something would happen. Sometimes we would have a volunteer come and keep him company. 

In the evening it was Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and then for him the Turner Movie Channel to watch an old movie.
By that time I would be worn out, so I would go and sit on my bed and watch my own programs with the sound off.
When the movie was over, I would undress him, put him on the potty for the last time, and put him to bed.
He still mumbled away after taking his Ambien and Flexeril, but as time went by he became quieter and went to sleep faster.
During the night I would have to turn him over, since he couldn't move himself anymore.
I slept lightly in those days, one peep and I was up.

When the time came he couldn't pee by himself anymore, we went to the catheter.
Which went well for a few months.
Until the nurse couldn't get it in and poked something, which made him bleed, and which meant a trip to the ER. She quit not long after that. I still believe she really didn't know what she was doing.

After a few weeks of messing with that it was decided to have a supra pubic cath put in.
Basically the cath would go through a small hole in his tummy under his navel and straight into his bladder.
This took three trip north to Blue Ridge, a good hour drive. An ambulance would have cost a mint, which the Hospice nor the health insurance would pay for.

Worked fine, but from that time on he lost a lot of blood. We figured it was the prostate cancer being back again. But he didn't want to find out.

Just let me be, dammit.

His voice was lost somewhere during the summer . So we didn't communicate much or well. If he did want to say something he would squeak out a word, and by me asking questions, we would figure out what he wanted to say. It was an exhausting way to communicate for both of us.

The only thing he could say well was : MOM!

Sitting in his chair and refusing to go to bed scored him a few nice bedsores.
So he finally gave in and took naps during the day.
I fixed his chair up earlier with swim noodles and sheep skins so he wouldn't tip over and make the wounds worse.

Then around Thanksgiving, he stopped eating.
I did fix us a miniature typical Thanksgiving Dinner. The kids came over, he was happy.
After Thanksgiving, he started to shrink. No longer interested in much of anything,
The only time he perked up was when the kids came.
Spider was engaged to a guy who had two little kids, a boy 4, and a girl3. The boy was a rascal, but he loved Opa, and Opa loved him.

Then Christmas came.
The children were oblivious to Opa's tired, skinny face. They did manage to make him smile and say cheese for the picture. One of the last ones we took of him.

They went home early, because Opa was just too worn out.
He decided to go to bed.
Which was to say: I am going to bed now, this is the end.
He started having pain in his limbs, neuropathy, and he finally decided to take some painkillers, and a few days later we added morphine.
On December 30 he slipped into a coma. He laid down in that bed and never moved.
I kept waiting through the night to him calling me: MOM, to turn him over. Something that had become such a normal routine.  He stayed quiet and still.

On December 31, the kids came to say their goodbyes.
Little boy ran into the bedroom....came back out shrugging his little shoulders: I guess Opa is asleep!
And went about his business.

The kids left, and I went and sat on my bed next to Wheelie's, held his hand, talked to him.

I played a favorite  piece of music for him, The Little Train of Caipira, by Villa-Lobos.
I hope he heard it.

January 1, New Years Day
I called the Hospice, left them a message.
Our case worker was not on call, but we kept texting each other.
Weird, she should have BEEN there.
I waited, no one called back or came.
I called again.
Same story.
He started to run a fever, I was told he was transitioning.
I started to count his breaths.
On TV the Vienna New years Concert was on.
at 9:15pm, Wheelie took his last breath
While the band played the Blue Danube.
I didn't cry
I was just kind of numb. I sat and looked at him for a long time.

Where have you gone?
Are you still here?

After a while I figured Hospice wasn't coming.
So I turned off the light and went to sleep.

Hospice came the next day.
I was pissed.
The nurse who came was hyper and just rubbed all of us the wrong way.
She had to pronounce him.
She pronounced him a day after he died.

According to his wishes, the Cremation people came and took him away.
No funeral, no viewing, none of that nonsense.

And that was that.

The Long Goodbye


Saturday, July 30, 2016

There is an app for that!

Yesterday was one of those desperate crying my eyes out, wondering what the hell to do NOW day.

I went and stood in front of my shelf with the pictures of my Heavenly Angels (mama, pappa, Wheelie)
and asked them to please get me through another day of worry about the damn money.

In the afternoon I decided to withdraw my request for a smaller apartment, for which I paid $100 deposit to just get on the waiting list. At least that amount would cover me for now.

My landlady called back and said that she had JUST deposited the check but had not sent the waiting list to the management company yet, so she would take me off and deducted the $100 from my rent, which is due August 1.

A huge sign of relief here.

Spider calls me and tells me to hang in there. She is in the same boat and has been relying on the kindness of strangers for a long time herself.

She and Boo just moved back in with her long time girlfriend, who like Spider, just broke up with her fiance. Both girls have a child. The friend, who I'll call Hippi has a little boy who just turned 3. She lives in a house on the same street we lived in when Spider was 4.
An amazing thing, how everything comes full circle.

They all have their own room, they split the costs, they are surrounded by neighbors/friends who find it absolutely normal to help support these two ladies.
Spider is looking for work, ANYTHING but restaurant work. She's got a foot in the door at Target, which I think is excellent, because it would mean, a job WITH benefits, and no worries about relying on tips.
Boo is starting school again, fourth grade!!!! on Monday. She is excited. She is ready.
Today they are having a slip 'n slide party for the little boy, I was invited, but I just can't see myself slippin' an' slidin'

So back to yesterday.
I have been in contact with my wayward son for a while now.
He is a changed man, and is happy and healthy and sober.
I wrote him about my financial pickle.
He texts me: download this CASH APP mom, so I can send you some money.


SO I did. It's called SQUARE CASH.
It's a free app
and it works

$200 directly into my bank


I can't remember him ever giving me a gift. except for a little wooden box one Christmas, en a crumpled up birthday card without an envelope for my birthday (probable swiped from the local grocery store LOL)

This was HUGE

And I couldn't help but see the smiles on my Heavenly Angels' faces.

Crying again, but now of relief, of gratitude.

Spider: See mom??? It always works, and always at the last minute, when you don't expect it.

Yes, daughter.

SO now I can get ready to watch the Olympics, starting next Friday. Very excited about that!

And after that a trip home in September, a gift from my little sister.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016
(well, actually it's Friday as it is after midnight)

It would probably be a good idea to fire up my blog again. Put my thoughts on paper again.
Thank God someone was able to forward me the url, because I lost it.
Thanks Diana

I just watched Hillary accept the nomination.
A girl breaking the glass ceiling.
A fierce speech.
Lots of good ideas and promises.
I like her, I hope she will become our next president. I just hope and pray she will not get the same moronic finagling from the Republicans, like they did to Obama.
I like her humanity. Her earnest demeanor.

We were watching history being made tonight.

And I am not even going spend my energy on the "other" nominee.

Tonight I went through some papers.
A folder with everything about David's death, the sympathy cards, the certificate of cremation, his SS card, Driver's license, Medicare card, Birth certificate, death certificate, his Army papers.

Another folder with my own stuff, bunch of old passports, and one new one, my US citizen certificate (1995)
My school diploma, my son's "amends" letter, which I keep close to my heart.

I reread all the sympathy cards again. Bringing to the surface those tender sad days right after he died.
Wondering and being so pissed off that none of his kids, grand kids even bothered to send a card. Or made a phone call.

I have not had the heart to open the two full envelopes with our correspondence, our love letters.
We didn't "go" together for very long, but we wrote each other every day.
I just can't get myself to read them yet.

It was difficult enough to open my old Blog here and read the last posts.

It has been a tough couple of months. Some say it's the grieving taking hold of my heart. It probably is, but I also stopped my depression meds. I was tired of feeling "good"
I cry a lot. Especially when I worry about my financial situation.
And not having an army of people to hold me and tell me it will be alright.
I have Spider and Boo, I have my FB friends, I have my sister in Holland.
And a few (well, really only one) friend who moved closeby after her husband died a month before David did.
I don't mingle much with the neighbors.
Just don't feel very social these days.

But I still crochet like a maniac. It keeps my hands supple.
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (but it could also be Ostio, he guy doesn't know what)
In any event, everything hurts, my back,. my hips my toes, my hands, my shoulders.
He wanted to send me to a rheumatologist, and a physical therapist.
The cop pay for each visit to an specialist costs me 45$, which I can't afford.

So he put me on anti inflammatory meds, which gives me the runs. But it helps the pain for the most part.

I am struggling to make ends meet. Even ask for help from St. Vincent de Paul. I'm still waiting for them to come and assess my situation.

I've put myself on a waiting list for a one bedroom apartment in this building, which they wanted a 100$ deposit for, without much reassurance that this will happen anytime soon. But it will be worth it, 200$ less than I pay now. I like my apartment with so much room, but I really can do with just one bedroom and one bathroom.

So life is a interesting right now.

And my back is starting to smart from sitting in this office chair, so I'll end it and go to bed.