Friday, February 15, 2013
I think Karma has decided that I’ve had enough good things happen in my life recently, and it is time to shake things up again…I just wish she’d stuck with the adage that things “come in three’s”…not 3 squared! Or maybe she decided that in my case it needed to be 3 months of an Interesting Life…In any case….I’m living it, and I hope to goodness I am doing a good job of learning what ever it is she thinks I need a little more obedience training for.
It all started the last week of November, when I met up with one of my Besties for dinner in Gresham. We had a lovely meal and decided to wonder around down town and check out the shop windows, then to trek over to Pet Smart and see the puppies. Instead, while crossing at the crosswalk we met up with a woman and her Cadillac…the type of brilliant woman who looks right to make a left turn. Made perfect sense to her!!! I was the lucky one in that I her license plate and my knee kissed, t'was a hell of a smooch, while my hand planted in the middle of her hood kept me upright. My friend on the other hand…she learned how to fly that night. No broken bones, but a major amount of bruising.
So…#2 the very next day I’m off to Las Vegas for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon. ***Gentlemen, you may skip this paragraph***…yes, it’s one of THOSE stories.
Now you ladies of a certain age understand how excited you become when you reach the 11 month mark…11 months without a visit from Auntie Flo means you have one more month to go before you can officially celebrate. January…January 12 to be exact…I was even planning a “ Croning Party” for myself….2 days after I arrive in Vegas, my least favorite Auntie arrived…and was she ever in a VILE mood! I guess since she hadn't seen me in 11 months, she felt the need to do everything in her power to remind me just what a harridan she can be. So…my 12 months has been reset. Sigh. I’m sure it was related to the accident and the massive amounts of Adrenalin and who knows what else that went pumping through me. For a while I was afraid the race would be impossible, but I walked all but the first mile or two, and had a fabulous time visiting with Jackie and enjoying the experience.
#3…I get back from RnR Vegas, and silly me, unthinkingly I toss my back pack over one shoulder and ralk my way through the airport. This one I totally put on myself…my fault. By the next day I’m feeling stiff, and within 3 days, I’m begging my chiropractor for relief…and then comes the cough. Bronchitis, combined with an already angry back…not a good combination. Ribs moving every which way but those where they belong. Everything went south in a major way for 2 weeks, then…blessed relief! I’m out of pain, I’m running, and life once again looks all happy shiny in Robin’s world.
Until...dum bum bum dum....
#4 Let’s all go for a night run! It’s the Vancouver Marathon training group fun run, it’s at a new location, all my friends will be there…there WILL BE BEER!!! (after the run of course!). Operative words in that run on sentence above; “new location”. New route…at night…in the dark. I love running in the dark! On side streets. Where there isn't much traffic. Where I know the lay of the land and where all the dips and cracks and pot holes are. And…I hadn't been on a real night run since adventure #1. (Vegas doesn't count since the streets were all closed to cars.)
We end up running on a heavily traveled road with NO SIDEWALK, just a bike path. I keep edging off to the left, trying to stay clear of the cars. I’m trying to keep my mind on putting one foot in front of the other, and STAYING AWAY FROM THE CARS!!! Let’s just say I’m freaking out a little bit, and even though I've got excellent lighting on, I still manage to find the one dip in the road and go body surfing on asphalt. I land palms first, then right knee, then I feel my cheek sliding across the pavement. Oh &%#$ just how bad is this going to be??? “Cheryl, how bad is my face!!!” She shines her flashlight on my face and there are no marks. Yippie!!! Next I roll onto my butt and see how bad the leg feels sitting down. I can tell it’s scrapped up, lovely bit of road rash it will be, but it doesn't feel too bad. Let’s get me up on my feet and see how awful this is really going to be. Put some weight on it…bend it…roll it a bit…put my full weight on it….”MY LEG IS OKAY! I CAN STILL RUN!!!” I roll my wrist, I touch my thumb to each finger, I realize my wrists are both okay, though the hands, well red looks good on me, right? I am still thinking I'm okay for the most part. I’ll have a bunch of road to clean out of my hands when we get back to the base, but otherwise, I’m okay….yeah, sure I am.
Off we run, then we walk a bit…the right arm feels a little off…we run some more…we walk…the elbow aches a bit…we run some more…the elbow doesn't really want to straighten all the way, and something feels a little funny in there…we run one last time, and when we stop to walk, “ouch, we are walking back”, there is definitely something not right going on in there, feels like something rubbing against something...and not two somethings that should be rubbing against each other at that.
To make a very long story a little shorter, Urgent care, split, xrays, pain pills, ORTHOPEDIC, new splint, (removable, a bright spot), more xrays…no need for surgery (yay!)….2 weeks later....Mmmmm…we may be looking at surgery…(BOO!) Next visit is in 2 weeks. And I’d better be able to straighten it more by then! Or in doctor jargon, the flexion and extension need work. Fractured radius head in this stunning C shape, and blown out sumpin sumpin (actually I blew out at least one tendon or capsule around the humerus) in the elbow. No, I will not stoop so low as to make a joke about the humor of this situation...maybe later.
Two days later my life turns completely on end, six ways to sideways….I get a call at work from my Dad’s caregiver....she thinks he has another infection and wants to know if I want him sent to the ER. I'm his POA, and have the final say on everything when it comes to his care and his welfare. If she thinks he needs to go, we go! We have been through this many times. He has pain, becomes either agitated, or completely passive. The Dr's prepare us for the worst, and with antibiotics, a change of scenery, and top of the line care, he's back to the foster home in no time.
I get to the hospital, let him know I'm there. Thankfully he doesn't notice the cast on my arm...I was terrified he'd see it and get worked up. He's tired, doesn't know where he is, and not terribly communicative. I stand beside him and hold his hand until my mom arrives. Unfortunately I head back to work for a few hours. My yearly self assessment was due by the end of the day, and I was only half way through. I truly wish now I'd not gone back to finish it, a pay cut would have been worth it to have had a little more time with him while he was still somewhat lucid.
I return to the hospital to be told by the Dr that we need to plan for hospice care....that it's just a matter of days. The hospital will admit him, keep him comfortable, but in a day or two he would need to either go to a hospice center, or back to Luminita's foster home. The next thing I had to do, was the 2nd hardest thing I've ever done in my life. #1 was dialing 911 when my husband died. This time is placing the call to my brother to tell him our father is going to die...not in that intangible future we had always known was coming...but soon...tomorrow, the next day, this time we weren't going to get to take him home and have him feel better and clearer and have a few good weeks of clarity and good talks, and memories, and laughs, or even to just sit with him and watch golf matches on TV....the only thing I could think was, "my Daddy is dying." (Oh crap, here come the tears again.)
I'd already made calls to my sons before we got this news. Told them there was no need to come to the hospital immediately, but as always they did. Thank goodness my boys have that wonderful sense of family...we may not spend a lot of time together, but when there is the slightest sense of something going awry, they are there just as fast as can be. (sorry this is so long, but it's time to get it out)
My mother and I took off to get some food knowing the boys....excuse me...my men...would be there with their Bapa, I felt that somehow he would know they were with him. While we were gone, the nurse called and said we should come back soon, very soon. I'm thinking, deluding myself, that the antibiotics would do the trick and in a few days, he'd show the Dr's they were wrong. It was a bloody gallstone after all...gall stones don't kill people!
Mother and I return from getting some dinner. All three of my sons are there, Dad looks peaceful, but I can tell he's very ill. Past trips to the hospital by now he would be hallucinating about the war, the concentration camps, or even trying to get Jesse to fix the leaks in the water pipes in the ceiling. this time was very different. I got it. I understood my Daddy wasn't going back to his home. I held his hand, I stroked his hair, and I told him it was okay...if he was ready to leave, it was okay. I told him over and over that I loved him, and if it was time that his mom would be waiting for him. To be totally honest, I don't know if I believe that, but I know he does. I never knew much about my real grandma, but I knew he loved her deeply. My sons got the opportunity to say goodbye, and even my mother, who had been separated from him for many years, whispered her final words to him. We really don't know when he took his last breath. Jesse, my oldest was the one who kept watch. When we thought he was gone, I went for the nurse....she thought a few times she heard a flutter of a heart beat...and silly me, again I'm thinking, "He's going to fool us all, he's stronger than the Dr's think". I knew better, I didn't want to admit it. When she finally said he was gone...Oh...all I could think was "my Daddy's dead". I haven't thought of him as Daddy in decades...I've been more parent to him than child for 10 years, but at that moment, I was the child once again, and all I wanted was to tell my Daddy one last time that he was important to me, and I loved him, and I didn't want him to leave.
=Then came the family, the funeral, the nephews that I wish - hope - will learn what they mean to each other...before they regret it...Then just days after my father's funeral, the death of my mother's cat. I honestly think I cried harder at the vet holding my mother, than I did at the funeral....it was just one straw too many.
And then #6 Anti climactic, but pure hell for the past 2 weeks.
What’s that???…it’s an ache in my lower left back again…it will go away…Hmmm…It’s the next day…ache’s still there…it will go a way…Hmmmmmm day 3…Oh my FREAKING GAWDS…Kidney stone pain!!!! Off to the Dr, convinced I’m giving birth to a twenty pound stone through my ureter. BP is through the ceiling, hoping someone will please just take the knife out of my back. CT Scan, more pain meds (thank goodness I still had some left from the arm since the ditsy Dr [not my regular PCP] forgot to call in the prescription), and home with the diagnosis no blood in my urine and no stone on the scan. Dr says don't see the chiro until we have a diagnosis, then she leaves me hanging. What the FLIP? Not even a call to see if I'm any better. I spend the entire weekend in bed, waiting for the pain to pass....Monday morning my BP is just as high as it was Thursday, I'm fantasizing about taking 4 pills instead of the prescribed 2 but know the consequences of that rash idea. Back to the hospital for xrays to make sure it's not my spine. Perfect xrays, perfect blood workup. better even than 2 months ago for my physical. FINALLY I get to see my PCP. we talk, he gives me a hug when he hears about my Dad's death....we talk about stress, the fact that I'm lopsided due to the stupid cast, the fact that I haven't been able to do any of my normal exercises, and he brings in a spine to show me what he thinks is going on. Nerve bundles, muscles that hold the stabilizing bones in place, sacroiliitis or some such. No more pain pills, something to relax me a bit, and deal with the muscle spasms, a steroid to reduce the inflammation...look at my diet and remove any inflammatory foods, and GET MY BUTT BACK TO THE CHIROPRACTOR!!!
Okay....once again, sorry for the novel. I needed to get it all off my chest and maybe I can move on a bit. spilling a few more tears tonight while writing this probably did me a world of good.
Hopefully #6 is it, for the time being at least...My attitude is trying to turn back to the sunny side , and maybe I've learned what ever lesson the Universe thought it was time for. Touch Wood.