Serendopeity

The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Category Archives: Burnout

WOW!!!! Thank you everyone. (and an update).

Serendopeity has had more than 5000 hits since starting last year.  Thank you one and all who have been faithfully hanging with me.

I know that there are periods of time when I am very quiet – it gets tiring day after day making sure mom and dad are safe.  It is getting more difficult by the day if the truth be known.

Although physically healthy mom’s mind seems to be fading, however, not nearly as quickly as dads is.  For whatever reason he is beginning to hallucinate and refuses to sleep at night.  Instead he naps all day – I cannot for the life of me figure out how to reverse this process.  If we wake him during the day he gets all pissy with whoever it is that wakes him and when I try to explain to him at night that I cannot go to sleep until he does, he apologizes, tells me he is going to sleep and then proceeds to stay up.  It is few nights when I manage more than a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I do manage to catch up a little on weekends when Craig makes sure that I get to sleep in.

Alzheimer’s is a most horrible disease. It robs you not only of your memories but also your dignity.  I can only hope to hell that the gene if there is one, stops here and that neither of my brothers or myself are afflicted with it.  Having EC has nothing on Alzheimer’s that’s for damn sure.

In other news, I haven’t heard back yet from anyone in Afghanistan on whether the packages have arrived.  However, I did get an explanation on why it could be taking so long.  The packages I send are addressed to Camp Mirage.  For those who don’t know, Camp Mirage is a top-secret location of a Canadian Military Camp in Afghanistan.  So, the packages I send go from the base in Trenton, to Kandahar and then are forwarded to Mirage, wherever it may be…that could add quite a bit more delivery time to the original 3 weeks I was told.  So at least I feel a little better about knowing if the packages have arrived.  It would be nice to know that they at least got there.  I also heard through that “amazing” grapevine that some contraband got through (not in my packages).  That being the case, it is also possible that the packages are being held up longer so that they may be inspected – inspectors are going to be a little disappointed to find mainly junk food in the one I send.  I did manage to find a supply of silly string so at least that got send in the second round.

Bottomline, somethingfromhome is going slower than I would like – the corner of the dining room is piling up with items to send.  I have never had an overabundance of patience and sometimes, well, it shows LOL.

Spring is on its way and with it comes mud…I hate mud and refuse to wash the floor until it is all gone.  The dogs track it in so we have paw prints all over the floor LOL…it doesn’t make sense to wash it 10 times a day.  Not only that, I don’t have the energy for that kind of work.  Getting 4 loads of laundry done a day on top of everything else taxes me pretty much. 

The real estate guys were here last week.  It looks like the owner is putting the property up for sale.  Not that I blame him, but, I really don’t want to move again.  The price has been low-balled but even so I don’t know how long it will take to find a buyer.  The house needs loads of work, the store needs work and the duplex – well that In reality though who wants to spend all that money and then tear it down.  I wouldn’t – but maybe that’s just me.

Thats about it for now – again, thanks for sticking by me.  I do appreciate it.  5107 hits is not even close to some other blogs, but it is a milestone for me and one I am proud of.  I never thought that my blog would get 100 hits let alone over 5000.  Keep it up and one day, just maybe, Serendopeity will the fastest growing blog on WordPress.

Have a good one

Nancy

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One more parking validation stamp and the new ER will carry my name!!!

I feel like a country song.  If it wasn’t for bad luck I would have no luck at all!

This afternoon mom, dad and I went to the Passport Office to submit applications for their passports.  The closest Passport Office is about 1 1/2 hours away and in the same mall is this really neat store called Hart’s.  It is a department store but not as upscale as say, The Bay or Target but they always have good sales so while we were in the neighbourhood…

Before I go on I would just like to quantify my stupidity – as if there is a good reason for stupidity, however…Since having EC and the subsequent chemoradiation I have been a little clumsy at times.  My feet do not always do what I want them to do and on more than one ocassion I have fallen flat on my face or my butt.  When all the treatments were over I went to a specialist to find out what the problem was.  In addition to some neuropathy in my lower right limb I also has spinal stenosis between the 5th and 6th lumbar discs.  What this means is that the discs are slowly closing up around my spine.  This may sound terrible and I guess if I live to be 80 or 90 it will be but for the time being it just means that on ocassion the transmission of signals in my body misfire and I am momentarily unable to move.  It does not last for long – a coupleof nanoseconds at most but it is a strange feeling and sometimes I fall down and go BOOM!

Whether it was this or something else today (like stupidity) remains to be seen however I ended up tripping over a display in the store.  While my right leg was wrapping itself around the display tower my left arm was clutching some wooden shelves.  The shelves were those small triangle shelves that look like they are floating on the wall – and when I hit the floor, on of the points stuck up into my ribs.  My right foot got smashed by a falling display tower…After 2 minutes and the realization of how dopey I looked I picked myself up and I was fine.  My foot hurt and I thought I had broke a toe, my left wrist was sore but I could move it.  My right wrist and right forearm hurt from trying to break the fall, but all in all I was ok and could walk – no harm no foul.  Dad was upset that I had fallen and tried to help me up – that was even funnier – he can barely walk and he is trying to help me up LOL.  At the time I was more worried that someone had saw my fall and was laughing at me – rule number one – you cannot laugh at someone’s falling down until you know that they are ok!!!  And it seemed as though I was ok.  That changed in the car on the way home.

Of course I didn’t dare tell mom and dad in the car that I was in pain – it would have just added to the confusion that comes with taking mom out of her comfort zone to a new place so I kept quiet all the way home.

By the time we got home I was in excruiating pain.  It hurt to breathe, it hurt to walk, it just hurt…

It was late in the afternoon and I knew that Craig would be home soon, so the minute he walked in the door I told him I was off to the ER, he was in charge of dinner.

In the last 4 weeks I have been to the same hospital 5 times.  Between dad and the ER visits and his hospital stay and my CAT scan I am becoming a fixture at Trenton Memorial Hospital.  I swear that if I get one more parking stamp validation I am going to ask them to name the ER after us!  The wait in ER this time was not very long at all.  Not like last time when we left after 5 hours and not seeing a doctor.

(Now I know for all of you anti-Obama and anti-Universal Health Care in the US people,  you are rubbing your hands together and saying “See, it doesn’t work”  but I can tell you from first hand experience that I would not be here if not for the Health Care System in Canada – but that’s a whole other blog topic!!!!)

Tonight I saw a Doctor, had an Xray and was home again in less than 2 hours.  Oh ya, and it was FREE!!!!!!

Diagnosis – I have a cracked rib, thus the pain breathing and moving and a badly bruised foot.  So not only do I have a noticable limp now, I also have to fold my left arm across my chest to limit the movement and the pull on my ribs.  This is in addition to holding my right arm like that for the better part, since it doesn’t work properly and hasn’t since the surgery.   I laughed at the Doctor when she offered me pain killers – I told her that unless it was something other than Demerol or Morphine save the ink in her pen because I had lots at home.  In fact, one of my main concerns that took me to the ER was I was worried about taking the Morphine as it can cause breathing to slow down and I was afraid that if I had hurt my lung not just my rib I might not be waking up tomorrow morning…and that would not be good.  I can see my obit now – survived deadly cancer, died from tripping over a store display.  Not how I want to go out!!!!

So tonight I am in horrible pain, more than usual and I am afraid to go to sleep. Not because I am afraid I won’t wake up but rather I know how much this is going to hurt in the morning. 

The worst part isn’t the pain though.  I have lived with pain since 2004.  I have so many responibilities and things to do that pain just slows me down and makes it more difficult to get on with the day.  The laundry and grocery shopping doesn’t go away just because I hurt.  Meals don’t miraculously appear on the table and the car doesn’t drive itself.  And no, I am not complaining, that never gets me anywhere anyway so why bother LOL, I don’t have time to be on the disabled list!!!! 

For the next couple of days I am supposed to take it easy, relax and make sure I breathe deeply to ward off pneumonia or fluid on my lungs.  Been there done that and don’t want to do it again.  And to ensure that I am able to breathe deeply pain free I have been instructed to take as many pain killers as it takes.  For the first time in a long time I am almost tempted to follow doctor’s orders to the nth degree.  That has not been been something that I am accustomed too; I am more of a push the envelope kinda gal, just to see how far I get.  I am convinced that, along with a whole lotta of luck got me this far in my cancer journey and I am afraid to stop now.

But, in all honesty I am tired.  I am burnt out. It is becoming more and more difficult to find the energy I need on a daily basis and if I feel like this at 48 years old, how am I going to make it to 80?????

Help is on it’s way!!!!

I have taken some initiative and I will have live-in help coming soon. This will ease my stress levels immensely and will also allow for me to take some time off when I need it.

My ex-neighbour Craig’s job was cut short, as are many others in this economy, and it looked as though he would not be able to stay in his apartment much longer.  He is not from around here, but would like to stay in the area as his daughter is near by and he she’s her every other weekend. I have an extra large room available (it’s almost as big as the living room, except it has 5 feet cut off for a large walk in closet. It’s about 17″ x 15″)  On Friday I took Craig out to lunch and asked him if he would consider moving in here.  I will not be charging him rent or board (until he can find a job), instead we are trading off.  He gets a place to live and I get help with mom and dad.  Additionally we get another dog and a Gecko lizard LOL.  The dog is so cute, and I know that when I tell my neice Jamie she will be thrilled LOL.  I think she will also like the lizard as she used to have one of her own!

This means that I will be able to go out for an evening and not worry about what mom will “put away” while I am gone.  It’s not so much the “putting away” that aggravates me, it’s that she doesn’t remember where she put anything except that “if I did it” (which a common response) it would have been put in an “approriate place”.  Since mom’s cognitive function is, at best, non-existant, appropriate takes on a whole new meaning…

I already fell as though a tremdous weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I realize there will be an adjustment period – change is a big deal to anyone with any form of dementia, but I am hopeful that within a week or two, his living here and being here all the time will the “norm” for all concerned.

I never thought that I would need help with mom and dad.  Hell, I am 48 years old, I should be able to do most anything.  Unfortunately surgery, chemo and radiation for Esophageal Cancer has left behind some issues that make things impossible for me to do.  I am confident that now that I have help things around here will be alot smoother, less arguments and a whole lot less stress for me. YAY!!!!!

I wasn’t too worried about my trip to Lake George.  I had enlisted in the help of my Aunt Betty who lives here in Brighton and she had agreed to come and stay with mom and dad while I was gone.  She will still spend time with them while I am away, but she will be able to sleep in her own bed at night and rejuvenate for the next day LOL.  For someone her age, 77, she is awesome.  A year or two ago she went skydiving!!!!!!!  And loved it !!!!!!! LOL.  Each winter season she drives to Tennessee to her daughter Sandra’s.   It used to be Florida but Sandra and her family moved to Tennessee, a move that Aunt Betty claims “ruined her life” LOL.  She likes the warmth and the sun and from what I have heard, this past winter in Tennessee was anything but. Oh well, I think 40 degrees is much better than -40, but that’s just me.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about my trip to Minneapolis the end of June.  I hadn’t gotten anyone to look after them for that period of time.  It is very difficult to ask anyone to do it, I know what it is like and what it entails and it isn’t a fun job.  Craig is well aware of both mom and dad’s condition and is confident that he can do this.  I am too.  And if, when I return the poor man has left for parts unknown I will understand LOL.  However, I don’t think that will happen.

SO, it is a beautiful, sunny day here.  Still a little cool, but the sun makes it not so bad. 

Have a great week

Nancy

Sometimes you fell like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

And sometimes I feel like writing and sometimes I don’t.    The last couple of weeks have been a “don’t” period.  I am not sure why but perhaps the fact that I hate the month of April might have something to do with it.   Fact #116 on my  164 Things about Me List is that I hate the month of April.

Why, you ask?  Read this and throw in the fact that it was also a year ago April 3 that I found my Uncle dead in his chair and it pretty well sums it up.

I am also suffering from Caregiver Burnout.  I will be remedying this in the very near future – June 1st to be exact – when I will be vacationing in beautiful Lake George, NY and participating in all the fun that Americade and Bike Week have to offer.  Click here to see what Americade is all about and why I will be having the most fantabulous time ever!!!!!

Additionally I am having more help come in to help with mom and dad.  I have come to the realization that,  try as I may,  I cannot be the chief cook and bottlewasher, laundry maid, and all round General Domo around here.  My caregiver role is a 24/7 job and even when I was a workaholic I didn’t keep those hours.  It may have felt like it at the time, but I was young and naive back then.  At least I got to go home and away from work everyday, had weekends to do whatever, had a life. That is not the case anymore. 

So, more help, a week pretending to be a “biker chick” and I think that I will be ready to write again.  Oh ya, after returning home I will be heading off again at the end of June.  I will be going to Minneapolis, MN to attend the wedding reception of my now famous cousin Kate Harding.    I haven’t seen that branch of the Family Tree in many many years so I am very very excited about going.  My only regret is that Mom and Dad will not be able to go with me.  They don’t travel well these days and I am afraid that too much change and excitment would not be a good thing for them. 

The livingroom is almost complete now.  Still have the trim to paint, but I am so glad I went with the traditional colours that a house this old and “stately” deserves.  I will post pics as soon as I get the patch cable from my nephew.

Hope your week and your month of April is going/has gone well and one last thing – no matter how chilly it still is, I have spotted my one true confirmation of spring being here.  This week, I saw my first Magnolia Tree in bloom.  I love Magnolia Trees and I know for sure that spring is here when I see the first one.

Wow, I guess I had more to say than I thought I did.  LOL.  Ya, Ya – what did you expect?  Afterall it is me we are talking about and I am not usually at a loss for words.

Nancy