luciab: (Default)
Tuesday already-- this visit has gone pretty quickly so far. I got in Friday night about 9, which was…. um, shall we say… rather more quickly than I should have arrived, and certainly more quickly than I expected to arrive. The trip was totally uneventful, which is a wonderful thing. I listened to a Southern Sisters mystery audio book, which I find is a good series for that purpose. It features two sixty-something Alabama ladies and is guaranteed to give me a few laughs. The only scary thing about it is that I don’t remember any of western NC. Yikes.

Mother and I have both had migraines most of the time I’ve been here. I am afraid that I definitely see a clear pattern…. Every time I’m here I have two-pill migraines most of the visit. I see a difference in Mother this time. She’s been more forgetful lately, and this time forgot when I’m leaving, though I told her several times and she apparently wrote it down (somewhere!) a couple of times. Thus, we wind up not going to Barbourville this time. Given the way our heads have felt, I don’t think it’s a great loss. I had debated renting a van this trip and taking back a TV and a pie safe from there, but realized I don’t need a TV and have no room for the pie safe, though it’d be neat to have. If I had rented a van, we’d have made the trip, but as it was I didn’t care that much.

Daddy is doing much better than he was when I was here at Christmas. WAY better. He’s sharper, more alert, and doesn’t seem scared like he did before. I still don’t think he’ll ever completely get back to where he was but I am pleased with what I see. Mother’s macular degeneration is apparently getting worse, which of course is what it always does. Her doctor says he wants to see her every month now, which is going to be a problem, especially since Daddy is definitely not up to driving to Lexington. She did just tell me that the van that is available for residents here will take them to Lexington for a fee, and that’s what they’ll do. Whew.

I had a major realization of sorts today. Daddy was getting ready to drive out to Bybee (10 miles away) and I just realized what a terrible idea that was. He definitely does not need to be driving at highway speeds. I realize I’m deluding myself that in town is acceptable but the speeds are so much slower that the results would be much less catastrophic if anything does happen. At highway speeds, though, things just happen way too fast.

On the whole, it’s been a good visit. I brought 3 quarts of strawberries, and we have polished them off already. Mother ate a few, but Daddy and I ate most of them. He even made shortcake for them. Yum. I’ve been painting and have finished the Undine I brought. I’ve also read a lot. Oh, and I brought a large print book for Mother—one of the Southern Sisters mysteries, in fact. She loves to read but says she can’t when her head hurts. I wondered if the large print would help, and I think it did—she read the whole book in no time, and loved it. The local bookmobile comes here, so she can request more now that she knows she can read the large print more easily. Yay!

We’re going to Lexington tomorrow, taking Mother for her appointment with her eye specialist. Hope that goes well. We’ll be doing some other little errands and eating lunch over there after that. Exciting stuff, eating lunch in the big city. Wonder which chain she’ll choose? Heh.

Well, I’m signing off. Back home on Thursday, get to see my kitties and sleep in my own bed. Yay.
luciab: (Default)
I didn't get the mail from my mailbox yesterday so today I got a birthday card from my parents. My mother picked it out (pink!!11eleventy!! boy, is it pink! With sweet poetry!!) and wrote it, of course; she always has. Her handwriting hasn't changed in a definable way, but suddenly it looks like an old person wrote it. She's called two or three times this week. I think it may be partly because of my birthday but it's also because she needs reassurance. Despite her earlier assertions that Daddy's doing better, she said yesterday that he's gotten noticeably worse since I saw him last. She said she found him the other day sitting in the chair in the bedroom wearing his boxers, socks, a t-shirt, and two heavy outerwear jackets. During the conversation I mentioned that I thought he was more confused when he is really quiet; it's like he is afraid if he says anything someone will notice how confused he is. Mother's response is that he's like that most of the time now. She said a friend suggested that she talk to their doctor; he might decide they need to take away Daddy's driver's license. Mother said "It would be awful if they did that; it'd just kill him." She did say that she exercises control and has decided not to let him drive on days he's particularly confused. I was relieved to hear that, and mentioned that while she's concerned for his mental well being if they take away his driver's license, she also has to consider her safety and that of others on the roads. The thought that he's worse off now than when I was there but is driving now scares the crap out of me.

On Saturday I had an appointment with a psychiatrist about my disability claim. I think it's about the Social Security one, but I'm not totally sure about that. This was triggered because of one of the meds I take. One of the first questions he asked was my age; when I told him he said "That will really help your claim!" I burst out laughing. "I'm glad it's going to help something!" He actually acted like he thought I might be approved. I remain unconvinced, but boy, that'd be something. People who have seizures and are legally blind have to fight to be approved, but I'm going to get it? I suppose it's remotely possible that different areas have different analyses, but on the whole, I think not.

I'm working on an assignment for the Humanities class. While poking around the other day I found a photo and brief bio of the teacher and damn, it has helped me a lot. Very strange how I need a picture in my head of who I'm writing for, but it's definitely true. Even writing this journal I have a sort of mental composite of readers. Anyway, the homework is to create a subject guide. We need to specify our target audience so she can gauge how well we have tailored our recommendations. I chose "quilting" as my topic and public library patrons as my audience, and damn, I am going to have trouble limiting my selections. In addition to "getting started" and patterns kind of sources, I also want sections on different styles (including art quilts), history, collaborative quilts and regional variations. Damn, these things are beautiful. I hadn't counted on the research having quite such a strong effect of making me want to quilt. Just what I need-- another art to pursue. I haven't quilted for years-- not since I made a panel for the AIDS quilt for my architecture school friend, Scott Hallam. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to zoom that image and I don't have those photos on my computer. My favoriet square on his panel shows a beach scene at night with lace for the froth at the edge of the waves and a satin moon and seed bead stars on a black silk sky. The text around the block is a quote from Scott: "The only problem with sex on the beach is that sand gets EVERYWHERE." Heh.

And so this gets more cheerful towards the end, I had a great time yesterday shopping at the art store with the J-half of [ profile] zihuatenejo. I am pulling her to the dark side.... er, make that, "teaching her to be even more finicky about her drafting techniques." We had also hoped to get some egg tempera paint, but the store doesn't carry it; we'll have to order online. Le sigh. No instant gratification on that score. After shopping we had breakfast (midafternoon-- yay!) and were both gloriously unhealthy. Yum, I say, even if corned beef hash does look like dog food, and we both agree it does. Still, yum.

So. Back to quilting books.

le sigh

Mar. 16th, 2007 09:21 am
luciab: (susan 3rd grade)
Yesterday is a prime example of my brain on Imitrex. (Oh, geez, no, don't tell me those stupid ads are true...) Between the migraine and the effects of the chemicals, it's clearly not a pretty picture. This morning the first thing I checked was how much space is left on my hard drive (over 30 GB-- yesterday I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do that) and I figured out that it wasn't storage the message was talking about but memory because I had too much stuff open. Still, it seems wrong that when I told it to empty the trash it was telling me the files were locked. There were only 700 items actually in the trash but it said there were 30,000 items to delete, and it kept saying it can't delete this or that file because it's locked. That sounds more like cache to me, but why would it be trying to delete cache? I am beginning to suspect a virus.

Still, the fact that I am coherent enough to figure this out when I've only been awake less than an hour bodes well for my thinking processes today. Big improvement!

And a good thing, too, because Mother called last night to say hi and ask when I have projects due so she can avoid calling to distract me right before. When I checked, I realized that I have stuff due a lot sooner than I thought. Ooops! The call was very disturbing for other reasons, though. Mother was all perky-cheerful at first but suddenly she lowered her voice and said, "I'm in the kitchen now. James takes it by spells," which is an old-fashioned/ country/ mountain way of saying he's sharper some days than others. She didn't elaborate, but I knew exactly what she meant. Daddy may be better some days, but he's also very fuzzy some days. Apparently one of his tells is that he puts his clothes on wrong-- at first he'd try to put a sweatshirt on as pants, but lately he's been putting his t-shirt on over top of his buttoned flannel shirt. Mother says he sleeps most of the time, sitting in front of the TV. After his surgery, when he was so terribly confused all the time, someone told us that elderly people sometimes take six months to fully recover from the disorientation. Well, it's now been a little over five. My experience is that stuff like this gets better gradually; it doesn't go from 60 mph to 0 in 10' or less. Seems like months 3 and 4 showed the most improvement, though the last month he's been driving a little. Frankly, that scares the hell out of me. I have to trust that if he gets up and put his clothes on wrong that Mother will know it's not going to be a driving sort of day and call someone else to take her for her errands.

I also realized that I need to be calling more often. She's starting to get concerned, scared, depressed-- all those things, and lord knows it's a perfectly reasonable reaction. She's kept telling herself he'd be better in six months and now the six months is nearly gone and he's still putting his clothes on wrong. The woman who lives across the street from them just had to move from her condo to the assisted living apartments, and she didn't want to go. The apartments are nice, but obviously smaller, and she can't have a garden, which she loves, and she's lost that independence. Mother made a comment a little bit ago about them moving there, but she's not happy about it either. It's not in the immediate future, which is a good thing. There must be a crew on staff that helps move people, because they're sure not going to be able to do all the packing and such themselves. Mother and Daddy say everyone who lives in the development calls the whole place "the reservation" which I think is pretty damn funny.

Today I'm beginning to admit that this may be as good as it gets for Daddy. All the furniture that he was planning to make isn't going to happen. All the little helpful things he's done for the widow ladies will have to be done by someone else. He won't be taking care of the strawberry plants and delivering fresh berries to favored neighbors. Mother has become better about taking care of things, which is good. I am feeling guilty because I'm not the good selfless daughter who goes to take care of them in the longstanding tradition. People used to just do that sort of thing without apparent consideration for their own lives. Did they not get depressed at giving up their own plans and friends? Was that always the assumption so it didn't come as a surprise? Have we gotten so selfish that we aren't willing to give up our own priorities to take care of the people who raised us? Much of this is moderated in my case because they are in an assisted living community, and there are friends who still drive and can help Mother run errands. I know that if I moved back, I'd be even more depressed than I already am, which is bad enough. And at least for the moment, running errands is about all I could help with. Somehow it doesn't seem like a good enough reason.

Well. Now I've gotten myself all in a mood and I still have assignments to do. Time to pick myself up, give myself a metaphorical shake and get to work. Whee.
luciab: (Default)
Saturday was a great event. If I hadn't been so exhausted I could have used another hour or two to shop and look around the displays more than I did. I pretty much focused on C&I and judging.

I was most particularly pleased with the display table by [ profile] harleenquinzell and [ profile] zihuatenejo. I don't even have to specify which half of zihuatenejo because both of 'em displayed stuff. Wistric surprised me by arranging a galliard in my name and then humming it for me-- the tune sounds an awfully lot like "My Old Kentucky Home," in fact. This is his first calligraphy, and I found it pretty impressive for a first shot.

Needless to say, I was also exceptionally happy with the works displayed by my apprentices. They each displayed their most recent works-- Livia's Court Baronetcy scroll for Maddalena and Geoffrey, and Sunneva's GoA scroll for Letia.

It was just generally a fun day-- I got some serious snark time in with some old friends (for some reason I seemed to have been in a seriously snarky mood) enjoyed the displays and the excellent lunch. There was also an illuminating discussion (Ha! I crack myself up!) on period painting materials, that now has Sunneva and me wanting to do research. And lord, when Sunneva does research, just stand back. (Heh. I can't wait to see what she finds; maybe I should just stand back, too.)

The drive was fun, too-- the household went up together and we thus had plenty of time to solve the ills of the world, or at least to snark about them. (Again with the snark.) Talent, discretion, AND snark: I have chosen SO well.

Sunday..... sigh. I think I'm taking a cold. I first chalked up Saturday's sore throat to allergies, since I forgot to take my pill in the morning. And I have sneezing fits about once a week, so yesterday morning's wasn't unusual. But the fact that I took an allergy pill and my throat is still sore, and my eyes watery and my head feels like it's stuffed with cotton (including the thinking ability part, not just the pressure thing) fills me with dread. And dismay. Ick! The dreaded dismay!

Back to positive news, though.... I've booked my flight to see [ profile] anonamys graduate in June in Seattle. My daughter, the Doctor of Physical Therapy. Yay! I'll be out there for six days; we're going to see the EMP and the new public library among other things. Oh, and the Japanese garden, and probably the Fremont Troll, too. And maybe Gas Works Park; as I recall it's pretty close to the Troll. Damn, I'd better quit planning this or I'll have a month's worth of stuff to do in six days. But for some reason, I've wanted to review pics of the sundial at Gas Works several times and can't find the photos I took ten years ago. Yes, I'm a librarian and we're supposed to organize things, but (a) I wasn't a librarian then and (b) I've always been better at being organized at work than I am at home. I'm sure there are about 8 rolls of excellent pictures of Seattle and environs around here, in a very safe place.

I am close to concluding that I'm not going to have a really bad, miserable sort of cold; not a winter but something more closely akin to a cold snap.... still stuffy and watery, but not too god-awful. The fact that I have about half a migraine means that the two things add up to one viable call-in-sick-day for the volunteer gig, I think. Not a good idea to spread the contagious part all over the public library. I may be able to drag myself out to the grocery and drug store (I'm completely out of some basic things like milk and soup; hard to feel like I'm taking care of myself when sick if I don't have soup.)

I do need to do some research, though, so I'm not sure how to best accomplish that. Go be contagious all over the little design students at State? Oops. I'm oozing evil again.
luciab: (Default)
practicum log )

fear and trembling in Kentucky )

pick up and delivery )

going in style )

Guess it's time to get back to work on the log. Wellll.... maybe after I throw together a soup in the slow cooker. Heh. I can be a SUCH a master procrastinator.
luciab: (Default)
Lord, I am so zonked from driving all day. Mother noted that traffic would be really heavy today and wondered if I wouldn't consider staying an extra day, but I thought I remembered it being not that much worse than usual on the day after Christmas. Wrong. Both interstates were packed the whole way, but it did move along pretty well-- only took me an extra half hour.

Christmas was good. I think the most.... ummm... interesting gifts were from my son-- a DVD of The Passion of the Christ and another DVD of some TV show about how taxation is destroying our freedom, or something. Agenda much?

Daddy was doing better today; better than yesterday, at least; yesterday he put his t-shirt on outside his regular shirt and skipped any remotely healthy food for breakfast, going straight for a huge piece of pie and some candy. He was terribly vague all day and spoke hardly at all. It was very distressing.

The kitties have done a little racing around to celebrate my return. I'm happy to see them, too.

And it sounds like Tuneless Boy got a new bass guitar for Christmas. Whooooeeee.
luciab: (Default)
And we’ve made it to Friday. I didn’t have a good day, though there is not a single thing actually wrong. I just had a headache all night, so I didn’t sleep well. Then Mother, awake and alert, talked non-stop. I’m still not awake enough for that, and it’s twelve hours later. (Of course, who ever is?

The repairman came this morning to install the replacement disposal, and the first thing Mother asked him when he got in the door was, “Are you the one that married….” True small town behaviour. There were actually two men—one to do the work, one to lean against the counter and watch. They must be from the local Transportation Dept. Heh. An hour after they left the kitchen still reeked of stale cigarette smoke from their clothes.

My son and grandson called to reschedule; one of their family members died last night, so they’re coming Christmas day. I’m kinda glad they didn’t come today, what with the migraine and all. Of course, that sort of suggests that I think I won’t have one when they get here, which is pretty much the opposite of what I’m really thinking. We went to the Chinese Buffet for “dinner”—the big meal is at lunch, if you haven’t twigged to that yet.

I sat down to read this afternoon and wound up taking a long nap; all three of us sat in our chairs/sofa and slept for a long time. Big excitement, I tell you. It helped my head, though the migraine still isn’t completely gone.

Tomorrow’s big excitement is going to be making meat loaf; I think I’m going to be making most of the Christmas dinner, too. I’m thinking to roast a chicken; Mother is going to make her sweet potato casserole with the crumbly brown sugar and pecans on top. We’ll wing it from there. Oh, and I made another Peanut Butter Pie tonight. Daddy looked at it and said “Is that mine?” and Mother and I cracked up.

Otherwise, I am not happy with his lack of progress. He is a ghost of himself-- way too quiet; he almost never speaks unless we ask him something directly. I really do think the anaesthesia/hospitalization has taken away the man I knew, and I don't know if he'll be back.

I miss my kitties. I wanna go home. I want my Daddy back. I want everything to be okay again.
luciab: (Default)
We had a mini-Christmas this morning, before I took Amy to the airport. Mother and Daddy were suitably impressed with the lap-blanket, and everyone was happy with their loot. After seeing the news and weather, we were all pleased that Amy wasn’t flying through Denver, especially after her experience in Atlanta. It’s been a very quiet day. Mother and Daddy slept most of the day, and I’ve been reading. I brought an awfully lot of books, but I haven’t been in much of a mood to read the things I brought. Sigh.

My son and grandson are coming down tomorrow. Jonathan is 10, and is, as my friends used to politely describe his father, “full of beans.” Poor kid will be bored to tears, I know.Oh, well; they keep saying he loves to read but no one ever thinks to bring a book? Life is hard.

Not much other news. Mother wants me to stay another day (or two or more….) and take them to Barbourville. If I knew for sure what they hope to accomplish, or how they are going to accomplish the few things they have mentioned (that will take more than just the three of us) I might be more inclined. As it is, I want to see my kitties and my own bed. We’ll see.


Dec. 18th, 2006 08:40 pm
luciab: (Default)
The peanut butter pie was such a hit that the entire thing is gone. Daddy was really funny-- every time I'd see him, he'd have chocolate crumbs (from the crust) on his cheeks or chin. Amy wanted some for dessert tonight, and by the time she was ready, there was one piece left, and it had bite marks on every edge except the outside diameter edge. I'm really glad he's enjoying it so much.

I'm noticing that he is being much quieter than usual. He's also been vague about things-- forgetting some words and such. That part isn't bothering me as much as how quiet he's been. It strikes me that he's being quiet so we don't figure out how much he's forgetting, but that's just my wild-assed guess. I know Mother has been really concerned about him. The professionals are being very reassuring, saying that he's doing very well. I think he's doing well physically, and he's probably doing reasonably well mentally and I'm just wrestling with the whole mortality thing. He seems shrunken somehow.

There was an absolutely astonishing article in the local paper today, saying that women are more stressed through the holidays than men are. Good thing I was sitting down, or the shock would have knocked me over. Ha. I figure that ranks right up there with "it snows in Alaska in the winter" and "water is wet." And in addition to the seasonal joys of shopping and seeing people that I don't necessarily want to spend time with, two years ago in December my beloved Siamese cat died, a year ago my favorite Aunt died, and this year my dad broke his hip and is noticeably diminished. I think he'll get much better than he is now, but it's still kinda rough.

I'm glad that he's still here.


Dec. 18th, 2006 03:27 pm
luciab: (Default)
Things have quietened down a lot. I picked Amy up at the airport this morning; it sounds like Delta just lied through their teeth about the flight last night. Of course, that's speculation, so don't anybody sue me for defamation. We know the flight was delayed twice, and suspect that they needed to delay it again, and THAT would have put the flight in after the (tiny) airport closed for the night, which would make it the airline's fault, and the airline would have been responsible for the overnight accomodations. As I said, pure speculation. The end result was that I picked her up 12 hours later than she was supposed to arrive, the Daniels drove Mother and Daddy to Lexington, and we met over there for lunch. Not a hugely long reunion, but still A got to see her uncle for the first time in 10 or 12 years, and got to meet Daniel. Mother and Daddy are great fans of chain restaurants; today it was Rafferty's; I'd never eaten there. I got BBQ, and it was excellent. None of that silly vinegar stuff that eastern NCers call BBQ. Ha. This stuff had body and flavor. Yum.

The Daniels brought a 2,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of "The Starry Night" and I think it's going to go unfinished. It's a hell of a hard one.

Not much other news. I'll be around.


Dec. 14th, 2006 07:41 pm
luciab: (Default)
I'm done! Done with classes for the semester! And not a single question on replevin. (I even asked him aobut it when I turned in my exam-- he thought it was on the midterm. Damn. That's what I studied.) And lots of questions about specific names. Now see, that's why I suck at history. I can't remember names.... the bizarre thing is, the names I tried to concentrate on, I got wrong. The name that I didn't even pay attention to came back to me at the last minute and I got it right! And the acronym I took a wild-assed guess on-- I got that right, too. And I think I blew enough smoke to do okay on the essays, so maybe I didn't do too godawful bad. When you know you miss 3 6-point questions right off the top, you definitely hope that you blew smoke in the right direction. This is very strange, though-- usually I do better on short answers, but this time I'm regretting there were so many of them. Can't fudge them-- they're right or wrong, no partial credit. I did turn in an answer to one essay question that I didn't have to so maybe I'll get a gold star for effort. Heh.

I talked to my brother yesterday about Christmas-- he and his honey are going to be in KY this year at Christmas for the first time in... oh, decades. I'm so excited to see everyone. I ordered my camera and had it sent to KY; I hope it gets there early so I can take pics of everyone.


Nov. 24th, 2006 10:08 am
luciab: (Default)
I had a very pleasant Turkey Day. Made two pies (not the most successful; I think my oven Has Issues) but still good. Kind of puttered around and called everybody I needed to call for a Holiday.

My brother is in California soaking up the sun; it was the usual Akron winter weather when they left so it obviously didn't occur to him to take shorts; he's now regretting that oversight. What a way to suffer. And [ profile] anonamys couldn't leave her internship till Thurs AM sometime, so was just getting into Seattle when I called. She was getting doggy-kisses and much affection from the cats (nothing so tacky as kitty kisses; they'd save that till nobody was watching, get a grip) and she and [ profile] freudian_slip were getting ready to go to his family's for dinner. Mother said she fixed a much-scaled-down version of their traditional meal; she and Daddy just enjoyed the hell out of it. They're both sick to death of institutional food by this time, so home cooking was just the ticket. Plus, some friends brought them a jam cake, which I hadn't thought about for years, probably, but made my mouth water when I heard the words. Yum. Mother also said Daddy hasn't been disoriented, which was the thing that had me the most worried. And she said they think his foot-drop (learnt the name from Amy) will go away after some time.

So I was happy as a clam to hear that my peeps are doing well, and was able to go to [ profile] harleenquinzell's house for dinner with a light heart. Everything was well in hand when I arrived, though breathless as any major meal is at that point in the prep. I'm glad that I'm "family" enough that I can get there early and help a bit instead of it being a big formal type thing. Yay, family! [ profile] zihuatanejo and his parents came for dinner, too. His parents were great fun. They had just driven up from Fla; believe me, after I make a trip of that length I am incoherent and certainly not up to being alert, nevermind charming and funny. Mad props.

Dinner was wonderful, of course. It always is, there. And I had fun talking to [ profile] foklens about rock-and-roll. And it was real rock-and-roll we were listening to/talking about, too, not over-processed "rock." I espoused my theory that rock-and-roll should be something that your mama would hate and didn't think till later that I don't hate it, but my mama does, so that makes it okay for me. I don't know how their mamas feel about it. I was feeling good enough (after having to take more Imitrex than I wished, but damn, it worked) that I was enjoying the hell out of having the speakers cranked and a good bass line having its way with me. I remembered how much I like that music, and was able to articulate that the only reason I don't listen to it more often is the damn migraines. And I'm gonna go hear foklens' band play at the Upper Deck on New Year's Eve. Yay! I've been wanting to do that, so I'm happy to find out they're playing some time when I don't have an exam or paper due within two days, or some event that I have to attend for whatever reason.

Well, I suppose I should get started on the next big project. Le Sigh. Here I am, all in the mood for kicking back and enjoying turkey and rock-and-roll, and I have to write a paper. And, oh, yeah-- this one is 50% of the grade for the class. Oh, I had definitely better get to work.


Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:31 pm
luciab: (Default)
I just got a letter saying my application for long-term disability has been approved, and will be payable for as long as I "remain permanently disabled for the further performance of [my] usual occupation until the point at which [I] would have qualified for an unreduced service retirement allowance under the retirement system had [I] been able to continue employment." About which I have mixed feelings, as discussed earlier. I mean, it is a relief to know that I can afford to pay rent and such while I finish school. If I tried to live on just this, it'd be a tight thing, but damn, it's a huge help. Still, there's that whole "disabled" label thing. And the guilty feeling that I should not need this, and I should not take it, and I should be able to work and deal like everyone else. Except, remember when I was so excited a day or two ago because I have 8-10 days a month without a migraine? Still true. So maybe I shouldn't feel guilty. Or maybe I should just get a grip.

On a more sobering note, I talked to Mother a couple of days ago. They were worried about me trying to squeeze in a trip home over Thanksgiving, so that's one less thing to feel guilty about, which is always a good thing. The sobering part, though, is that they came home last Saturday and I talked to her on Sunday, and she said Daddy is "still a little confused." As in, she wants him to use the bathroom that connects to their bedroom instead of the one down the hall, becuase she thinks the big opening from the hall to the LR/DR might be too disorienting. She also said they have given him a gadget to help hold the toes of his left foot up so they don't drag and trip him. Apparently, no one has expressed any concern about this to Mother, but Amy mentioned that she's never heard of that as an aftereffect of hip replacement. Those two things together make me concerned that he may have had a mild stroke (or maybe not so mild, if he can't lift his toes up.) When Mother was in the hospital and rehab a few years ago she said she was "too weak" to write and had to print at first, then learned to write again. I thought at the time that sounded like a stroke, but no one mentioned it to her, or else she didn't remember it. Recently, though, she mentioned something about having had a stroke or strokes then. So I'm not totally convinced that their beloved Dr Gillespie, fox though he is, is always totally on top of things, or maybe just not totally open with them. Or they could not understand, I suppose, though they tend to try to keep up with stuff. It concerns me. And there's not a damned thing I can do about it.

So. Dishes await. Later!
luciab: (Default)
Well, it would maybe be a "grrr" if I had the energy. I'm working on the paper that I've been all excited about but I've had a migraine for days now and it's wearing on me. Plus the fact that I've passed "informed" and "immersion" and gone straight to "sick and tired" of the topic. I'm sure it'll come back and I'll feel the love again but right now, not so much.

I haven't been totally useless today. I've gotten several pages written (okay, let's not go so far as "several" but I'll definitely claim "a few.") Also did some background/prep work for a smaller project that's due the 17th, and for which I need to go to Duke Medical Library on Friday.

I suppose I might ought to be working on That Damned Paper, which is due two days before the one I've been working on. Sigh. At least I have 3 of the 5 final exam questions answered for that class. Of course, they are the easy three, leaving the harder two for later. Yeah, like "later" is going to help. The final and That Damned Paper are both due the 18th, AND we are supposed to give a brief oral presentation of the conclusions of our papers that day too. Believe me, I am NOT spending any time doing a Power Point presentation with handouts of that puppy. I do not want this thing immortalized any more than it has to be to get a grade.

I've also been a wee bit distracted today with all the happy political news. And Mother called to see if I was excited and almost forgot to tell me that Daddy may be going home in a week and a half or two weeks-- in other words, before Thanksgiving. W00t! (Except do I have time to go back to KY for Thanksgiving? I do have other papers due after this batch is in. I'll worry about that tomorrow.) And of course, [ profile] harleenquinzell's news made me happy, too. Yay! All sorts of good news today.

Now if this damned headache would quit. And the package would get delivered. And I could get a flash of inspiration for That Damned paper. Bitch, bitch, bitch.

oh, goody

Oct. 31st, 2006 09:34 am
luciab: (Default)
You know it's not going to be the most enjoyable day you've ever spent when the question is: Do
I work on That Damned Paper to put off housework, or do I clean house to delay working on That Damned Paper? Could be mighty productive, though, since I have long since bored myself to tears with the few online games I play, and have no books of any real interest. I finished Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy night before last; that's a pretty hard act to follow. I'm re-reading some classic stuff now; it's good enough I don't want to fling it down but not so good that it'll keep me up nights reading it.

In between housework and putting off That Damned Paper, I am putting the finish on the bed-table my dad made. It does exactly what I hoped it would, and is a perfect size. The cats are intrigued by it and keep trying to crawl under it, which is pretty funny since there's no room for both my legs and any cat in the house. At one time or another, each has wound up with her head and shoulders crammed under the table and the rest of her body sticking out.

Miranda is in two-year-old mode (which is pretty apropos since she IS two years old) and keeps jumping in my lap, wiggling and squirming and not sitting down, while purring loudly. I really DO know that cats don't understand either human language or logic, but I can't stop myself from telling her to Sit down!! As if a cat is going to listen to commands. Ha.

I went back and looked at some of my LJ entries over the last year and a half or so. I hadn't really put together how stressful the last year has been, with going back to school, Aunt Susan being in the hospital and dying, and Daddy breaking his hip. The entries before Aunt Susan fell and broke HER hip were a pleasant surprise; maybe not a laugh a minute, but entertaining to read. And now, one year later, I am one semester shy of a Master's degree-- and job hunting. Sigh.

When I was volunteering at the library yesterday I made the mistake of picking up a book on resume's and looking at the section on what to do/say when there's a gap in employment. You know, like the year I was out of work with disability due to migraines? Oh, yeah. That's gonna be fun in interviews. I plan to look for a part time job in one of the local public libraries next semseter. Much easier to find a job when you have a job. Kinda like it's easier to borrow money from a bank when you have lots of money already. Not real logical to me, but true nonetheless.

Okay, back to the dishes. Or finishing the table. Sometime today, though, it's gonna have to be The Damned Paper.


Oct. 14th, 2006 01:40 pm
luciab: (Default)
I think my test went okay this morning. There were some words I couldn't find and sort of puzzled out from the rest of the story, but on the whole I think it was okay.

Not so okay is what I heard from my brother Danny, who is now in Richmond. Seems that twice now Daddy has actually gotten out of bed by himself and managed, via wheelchair or walker, to get to the bathroom by himself. Mother took a nap and when she woke up Daddy mentioned it to her. Another time, he was so determined to get up that Danny and Mother wound up helping him to the bathroom, sans walker. The worst part is that Mother was on his weak side. He still can't lift up his left foot, so was dragging it along. Danny rang for staff to help but they didn't get there quickly enough for Daddy, and he by god wasn't going to wait. The staff person finally arrived while he was in there and her attitude was apparently along the lines of "Good job!" I guarandamntee you that the PT person does NOT know about this.

It is ridiculous that Mother is insisting on staying with him, since she is either asleep or so distracted by her puzzles or letters or whatever she's doing that she never notices that he's getting out of bed. The PT told him that he shouldn't use the walker without staff assistance, so Daddy seems to think that means if he can get around any other way, it's okay. And Mother is what sleep Mother IS getting is while she's sitting up on an armchair. Don't you know that's good for her head and back?

I don't have any idea how to convey to him how dangerous this is. He is so damn stubborn, and has been so independent that he absolutely won't admit to himself or anyone else that he might need help.

Edit: We just had a family pow-wow via cell phones. Danny did find Mother's cell phone, so she won't be totally incommunicado. He's also taking in Daddy's TV so they'll be able to watch the news and such-- the one in the room didn't work at all. They are also considering asking for a bed alarm-- at this point none of us have any hope that it would actually cause staff member(s) to come see what's happening, but it might help remind Daddy to at least ask for help. And Mother is going to ask Dr Gillespie to talk to Daddy and explain that he WILL be going home but needs to be able to walk safely, and that is just a matter of getting some strength back. Man, I hope some of this works.
luciab: (susan 3rd grade)
Boring hospital post-- fell free to skip. I"m too fried to LJ cut.

Sun 3 PM
I got to the hospital Sun morning at about 10:30 after a wonderfully uneventful trip. They brought Daddy back from the recovery room about 11:00. Mother had talked to the doctor as soon as surgery was over, and the doc was really happy about how everything went. Surgery went more quickly than expected.

When Daddy started coming out of the anaesthesia, he kept trying to pull the oxygen canula off; it was apparently bothering him. And he didn't like the blood pressure thing on his finger,either. For about half an hour, every time he'd wake up enough, he was trying to pull one or the other off. If it wasn't that, he was trying to take his hospital gown off. (At first the blankets over his private parts; later on he got more ambitious with the gown. They had a block strapped between his legs to keep his hips in the right position-- thank god it came all the way up. I am traumatized anyway. I may never be the same.) When Mother asked him what he was doing, he said "I'm not planning to spend the whole day in here!" She got a huge kick out of that and has told everybody that has come into the room. Some of them she's told several times, the lucky devils.

Sun 8:25 PM
The blood pressure/blood oxygen monitor they had strapped on his finger kept going off. I thought there was something the matter with it. Turns out the monitor was okay, it was the probe that was messed up because he kept picking at it. They finally took it off his finger and taped it on his forehead, so now he's got this glowing red dot stuck on his head. Highly amusing.

He seems to be reasonably coherent but then he'll throw back the sheets and blankets and start trying to get out of bed. I'm in constant danger of being flashed. I say again, EW.

Mother is at home now and I'm here for the night. They won't be giving him any more pain meds till 11 AM so I'm not thinking I'll get much sleep, with him trying to escape and all. I don't think he's able to actually get out of bed. He sure keeps trying, though.

Mon 8:30AM
Lord what a long night. Daddy didn't go to sleep till about 3:30, and I didn't sleep at all. Every time my eyelids drooped, his oxygen monitor went off-- he would breath through his mouth when he went to sleep and
he wasn't getting the oxygen.

We did have a good laugh about 2 AM, I guess it was. He'd been trying to let the rails down, and trying to remove the pillow that has to stay between his knees to keep his hips in the right position, and trying to
take out his catheter. I'd say "No, you can't do that" and he'd sound kind of surprised and say "Oh, okay." He was asking what everything was-- all the machines and such. He wanted to remove the rail they had over his bed for him to pull up on. He manged to disentangle the triangle pull-up bar. He wanted to take off the bed rails. Finally he started reaching for the chair that was a couple of feet away from the bed. I helped move it over to to the bed, and asked, "Why do you want to move the chair?" With great disgust, he said "Because I want to change something. It's awfully frustrating when everything I try to do, I get told no!" and I just cracked up. The sad thing is, even his TV remote doesn't work. I ffgured that would at least be one thing he could control, but no. Not even that.

I saw a lovely dawn this morning. Not the sunrise; the window faces the wrong way for that. What I saw beyond the hospital was fog in all the hollows of the landscape. At the southern horizon I can see the edge of the Smokies. Poking through the fog were the tops of trees in all the fence lines. It was like a miniature version of the scenery that gave the Smoky Mountains their name. Beautiful. AS the sun warmed things up, the fog melted down and barns and houses became visible dotted on the hilltops. It is now revealed in all its gentle beauty.

Mon 2:10
I cam home this morning to try to get some sleep. Mother always wakes up so early, I figured I'd be snoring by 7:30 or so. Nope-- today was the day she overslept. I know she needed it so I was happy for her. By the time she called at 8:00 I was so zoned out (hadn't slept since 7 AM yesterday) that it didn't seem to make much difference. She finally called for me to actually pick her up at 9; by the time we got all the to-ing and fro-ing done it was 10. I got back to the house and crawled into bed; called Amy at 10:15. Dozed off about a quarter to 11. Yay, me. At 11 my brother called, thinking Mother would be here and I'd be at the hospital. Anyway I finally got to sleep. Woke up and felt like it had to be at least 4 hours later, especially since the light from the windows looked so different. When I checked the clock, though, I had only slept an hour and a half. I'm still not convinced that every clock in the house didn't spontaneously re-set itself, and all of them to the exact same time. Adrenaline is a powerful thing.

I have now eaten the first decent meal I've had in days, and caught up on LJ and my email. Whew. Now to go take a shower, put on clean clothes, and go back to the hospital. I expect to see a huge difference-- the epidural will have completely worn off and the PT should have been there and gotten him out of bed to "walk". I figure those two things together will cool his jets a little.

The nurse said he'll have to sleep with that pillow he hates so badly between his knees for six weeks. When I told Mother that, she said, "Oh, no! He'll kill me!" meaning with his unhappiness about it.

I said, "Oh, you can outrun him now! He won't be able to catch you to kill you."

She laughed and said, "Well, I can't run at all."

"Well, you can still hobble faster than he can, at least for a while."
And she finally laughed.
luciab: (Default)
Mother called last night. She said Daddy, who is now 86, was trying to change the ceiling fan last night and slipped and fell off the ladder. He got up and after a bit fixed dinner, sat at the table and ate it. When he started to get up from the table, he fell again; said he got his feet tangled up. Mother said "He has such big feet and he wears big old shoes, so I can see how that would happen." Which I thought amusing because I never noticed anything about his feet being big. Whatever.

This morning during class I got a call from my brother. Seems when Daddy fell last night, he broke his hip. They are apparently planning to do surgery today sometime but Mother didn't know when. And of course, Mother either doesn't have her cell phone with her or doesn't have it on, so I can't call her.

Danny is seriously torn up because he fears the worst-- Aunt Susan and her mother both died from complications after broken hips, and my other grandmother never really recovered from hers. Danny's honey, Daniel, is a nurse and is short-tempered with Danny for being so pessimistic about it. Daniel also mentioned something about fracture versus breaking, and neither Danny nor I knew there was a difference. I'll have to look that up online.

When we moved down here twenty years ago, 500 miles seemed about the right distance away from them. I wasn't close to Mother and while I adored Daddy, we never talked much (Mother talked for both of them,) and everybody was healthy and I lacked the foresight to imagine otherwise. I think I also figured that we'd get tired of living down here and move back before anybody got really sick or old or anything. Now this is home, and I don't want to live there, and 500 miles is way too far even when everyone is healthy.

I don't know what to do. I have a paper due Monday but I'm going to have a hell of a time trying to concentrate on it. (Not that I was doing all that well even before this.) I don't know whether to just go to Kentucky even if I can't get Mother on the phone to tell her I'm coming, or wait to at least talk to her. I really hate the idea of her being there alone the first couple of days. Problem is that she doesn't drive, so she'll have a hell of a time trying to get even to the hospital and back, never mind the grocery store and such. I know that a lot of people there, including fellow church members, seem crazy about them and will help a lot. And even if I can help out for a couple of days, Daddy won't be able to drive for months at best. I am just realizing that I always imagined that Mother would be the one who was sick; Daddy can take care of things when he needs to. It's not happening that way.

Everything just changed and I feel like I'm knocked cock-a-hoop. Yep, that is the perfect description. Cock-a-hoop.

uh huh

Sep. 4th, 2006 06:26 pm
luciab: (susan 3rd grade)
Life here always has a slightly surrealistic quality. All summer I've been wanting to fix my version of mozzarella and tomato salad (1) for Mother and Daddy, because it's easy to fix and strikes me as exactly the sort of thing they'd like for their typical light suppers. When I described it, however, Mother gravely informed me that she is reluctant to eat dairy, because of her digestive problems. Okay, I can see that. Daddy seemed interested, though, so we got the stuff and I fixed it yesterday evening. I had some for lunch today, but Daddy hasn't tried it yet. Mother allowed as how it looked pretty, then sat down to a meal of milk toast (she had an upset stomach) followed by frozen yogurt and ice cream, all made with regular dairy. All righty, then. Hard to imagine what that meal would have been if she were not avoiding dairy. Maybe she would have put whipped cream on the applesauce cookie bar she had for dessert.

I strongly suspect we'll wind up going to Barbourville one day while I'm here, since both Mother and Daddy have independently asked me if there's anything else I want from the house there. Despite my "no's" they each commented that I can't know what's there till I see it again. And if I don't know what's there, how can I know whether I want it? Grrr.

(1) Mozzarella cubes, crumbled feta, cucumber, grape tomatoes, a touch of fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar dressing

jiggety jog

May. 9th, 2006 08:03 pm
luciab: (susan 3rd grade)
Going home tomorrow... whew. It hasn't been too bad a trip, I guess, except for the migraine I've had the whole time. What a shocker.

I was really dismayed when we went into the house at Barbourville to see how little is gone. I dunno, maybe it's more sorted than I think, but I can hardly tell anything's been pitched. Part of the problem, I think, is that they can't just put stuff out on the curb-- trash comes on Mon and Wed, which means that they have to put stuff out the night before, and they work their trips around when Mother feels good enough to go, not by the calendar. I guess if they are there on the right day, since they aren't in the habit, they don't think to put stuff out anyway. And there was something about not paying for garbage service. Anyway, they are bringing everything they need to throw away back HERE. I actually managed to get two bags full back here Monday, along with a big bag for the Salvation Army. Yep, that's all, and Mother was tickled to death that I worked so hard. (I know it doesn't sound like much, but I really did bust ass. You'da been proud.) We also brought back several boxes of photos and letters. Most everything they bring back they sort again once it's here. Believe me, the end is NOWHERE in sight. I think if I had [ profile] bzzzzyb here and we just tackled it for several days the end might be somewhere on the horizon at least. Sigh.

I got a lot done on the handouts for my Color Theory and Shading class today. I had a handout for it already but it was pretty poor. It's going to be great now! I'm adding all sorts of color pix, including a color wheel and several clips of illuminations from manuscripts. I'm going to have to charge for it, but it'll be worth it. Of course, I don't know how much to charge, but I'll think of something.

Daddy is making me a tray table so I can sit in bed and work. Asking him to make something specific is always interesting. He always improves things, and if you aren't there to keep an eye out, it might get improved into something you can't use. I think this one is going to be good, though. We talked about a couple of ideas, and he had a really good suggestion about how to make it be either a flat surface or tilted-- no fancy wingnuts or anything so fancy-- just an extra pair of legs at the back. Six legs sounds silly, but if I use one pair it'll be level, or I can flip the longer ones down to tilt it for writing and reading. Cool.

I'm going to go pack some more I think. Veronica Mars is on tonight, and I've made sure I can watch it (only one TV gets cable.) Oh, the joys of being at the 'rent's. Heh.


luciab: (Default)
Susan Arthur

February 2011



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