Thursday, April 29, 2010

General Things

I never know what to name these 'update' posts. 'Update' just seem so boring. 'Exciting Happenings' just isn't true, usually.

So, we leave for Virginia this afternoon. I'll be non communicato until at least Sunday.

In regards to dad and mom and the hospital and the conversation over lunch, nothing new. Dad has an appointment with the EarNoseThroat(knees and toes, knees and toes) doctor today, here's hoping all's well. Also, I found a Yahoo Group for only children of aging parents. I joined. At least I can go there and vent even if I can't do anything about the situation.

Max is having more trouble with his vision. He's taken to walking around the bed at night after we turn off the light, even if he had been laying down and asleep when the light gets turned off. It is very strange. We're not sure why he's doing it. I think that his vision is bad enough that he is totally blind when he goes from light to dark that suddenly, and I think his eyes (well, eye) adjusts more slowly. But, if you can't see anything why wander around? He hasn't fallen, and I don't think he will, but we really can't figure it out. Also, his arthritis is starting to be more apparent. I'm making a vet appointment for him next week.

I have been soooo incredibly stressed lately, and I can't seem to find a way to dissapate it. It just keeps building, layer upon layer. Something explodes at work....then dad goes in the hospital....then someone else has a work explosion....then possible layoffs at Matt's job....then something else, something else, something else. Even good things, like jewelry commisions and gardening just add to the pressure. And it's a full moon so I'm not sleeping as well. I feel like someone shoved grapefruits in my shoulder muscles, everything is so tense.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Latest on Kiva

My first jewelry business Loanee, Edith Elena, has completely repaid her loan. Congratulations, Edith!

This means I have my $25 back and I can reloan it. I did a bit of searching and finally decided on the Santisima Trinidad Group. They are from Peru. Edith was also from Peru. This was totally unintended on my part, I had actually wanted to loan to some other part of the world.

But, this group (in part, at least) makes and sells jewelry. So, it was a no brainer! Another reason I picked this group is that it should be paid back within 6 months, so I'll be able to make another loan by September.

Manvel in Armenia is paying his loan back, too, although it will be a LONG time before I see that $25 complete again. He is a beekeeper and has purchased the truck with the loan, you can see a picture on his profile.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Various Updates

So, dad went to the EarNose'N'Throat doctor, who told him that yes, there is a hole in his eardrum (we knew this) and yes, it is infected. He's worried about dad developing meningitis, so he gave dad an ear drop, which I think is probably a direct/topical antibiotic. Dad goes back in a week.

I work this weekend. I'm hoping to get there rest of the potatoes in, the onions in, make the violet flower jelly, and catch up on sleep. Matt is planning another mushroom hunting trip. It's supposed to rain, so I don't know how much I'm actually going to get done.

This coming weekend, we're headed to Virginia to visit Barbara.

We're not sure what's going to happen with Max while we're gone. The plan had been to have him visit with my parents, work up to an overnight, and then they'd keep him while we were away (three nights). But between what's going on with my dad and my mom having a flame-up with her hip, that has fallen through. We can work towards that goal later, though, as we will be visiting Virginia again through the summer.

Also, Max has been having some evidence of incontinence. I don't want my parents to have to deal with that. It's not often, maybe once a month, but it is sudden, as in "Oh, we're playing with the ball! Oh, now look what Max is doing!" He doesn't even realize he's doing it, either. I'm going to take him to the vet after our trip.

So, our plans right now are to leave him home and have my inlaws come over, get him, let him out, visit, bring him next door, feed him, etc. We might try to have him stay there, but he HATES their new dog, Foxy, with a passion.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not-So-Funny Ah-Ha

I had been planning on writing today about some more ‘ah-ha’ moments I’ve had lately, and I probably will sometime in the near future. However, some new things came up recently with my dad’s health and I wanted to give an update.

First, the monitor that he wore for a month….showed nothing. He got the results back about that about a month ago. The diet he’s been working on….he quit. He says he doesn’t need it because he’d been losing weight before he had the heart trouble, anyway (he hadn’t).

Nothing new since then, though.


Had lunch with mom today. She took dad to the ER last night. They did not admit him, they got home around 3am. The story goes like this, according to mom (my thoughts in italics).

Dad thought he was having an anxiety attack. His fingers and legs/feet were tingly. That’s it. He called mom (who had gone to bed) down to sit with him. He had another ‘attack’ while she was there and he asked her to take him to the hospital.

But, I asked mom what his other symptoms were, and she said she didn’t notice *anything* different or strange. He had no visible symptoms before they left. She said he was cold on the 2 minute trip to the hospital (they live 4 blocks away). She said the doctors at the hospital said it didn’t sound like an anxiety attack. At one point she did say the doc thought he may have been hyperventilating. (based on what mom told me he’d had to eat, I think he was having a high blood sugar episode, not an anxiety attack. Since he usually has very LOW blood sugar episodes, it may be that he didn’t recognize the symptoms. Given that he’s been diagnosed with diabetes, it SHOCKS ME they didn’t do a blood test! Also, diabetic neuropathy comes to mind).

The ER was much more concerned with his ear. He’d been having a bit of an ear ache for a few days and, because he’s had some fairly serious ear infections in the past (the kind that killed kids before antibiotics, Mastoiditis), the ER docs were dealing with that. They wound up giving him antibiotics and sending him home on the promise that he would be calling the EarNoseNThroat specialist today.

Supposedly, he was doing that while mom and I were having lunch (Why didn’t he do this first thing in the morning???) Mom thinks that the specialist will get him right in because it is an ‘emergency.’ I told her I thought that if it was an emergency they wouldn’t have let him out of the hospital. Just my opinion. I also asked if they had called the cardiologist. No, of course not. (What? He has tingling in his hands and legs, a known heart problem, and no one thought to call the cardiologist?)

*is shaking her head*

So, past that we got into a very uncomfortable talk about Planning. You know. That talk. That kind of planning. For those things. Things like nursing homes and wills. Medical expenses and other uncomfortable things. Uncomfortable because they have made absolutely no plans, and have limited money set aside, and don’t have wills.

My father thinks he knows it all and is convinced that he’s got everything planned so everything will be fine. (Keep in mind that when mom had her heart attack 8 years ago, he freaked out because ‘he hadn’t planned on this.’ So, he hasn’t learned a thing). They have no wills because he doesn’t think they need them. He has no life insurance (my mother does), because he doesn’t see the need for it. He has money stashed aside and he thinks it will be enough. And my mother just goes along because she doesn’t want to rock the boat (as she said today)….and because she is scared to death of him when he’s mad (as she also said today).

So she nods and makes soothing sounds to me when I talk about this, but just goes and does whatever he tells her to do anyway, because he scares her and it’s easier to keep him happy than to deal with him when he’s mad. He is not physical, no. Never. But he is verbally and emotionally vicious when he’s angry and she just cowers.

(Right about now I need a valium, you know what I mean? Not seriously, no. I’ve never had a valium, but I think it might help temporarily right about now. Or several stiff drinks. Or maybe a valium AND several stiff drinks).

Mom cooed at me that they have enough money for living expenses (and I said no, you don’t. You have enough money for living expenses if nothing bad happens, maybe. If one of you comes down with cancer and decides to fight it, you can kiss that money and the house goodbye. And the money will be gone in months if you have to go into a nursing home).

She said they have the house to fall back on (and I said no, you don’t in this market. You would have if you’d sold at the height of the market, yes, but right now it would take months to sell the house for what it is worth and if you need the money NOW you won’t have it. Besides it won’t go far in a cancer/nursing home situation).

She said that she doesn’t feel old (and I said that isn’t the issue, the issue is making plans while you can. People die whether they’re old or not).

She said that he’s counting on getting a reverse mortgage (and I said that reverse mortgages are something that you get when you haven’t planned and have no other choice. It’s not something to hope for, it’s something to avoid. It’s something that is your last choice). (And in their case it may have to be an option because he screwed them sooo badly with his poor planning, dammit).

She said that our lawyer cousin told her regarding a will that as long as everything is in both names, she has right of survivorship when dad dies (and I told her that she’s assuming a lot. She’s counting on surviving my dad, after which point *she* would get a will and *I* would be covered. If she dies first and leaves dad, then survivorship means nothing).

And I feel like the bad guy. I went to have a nice lunch with my mom and now feel like I bullied her. I mean, we’ve talked about a lot of this before, yes. I didn’t mean to go into it again, and I wound up talking about these things a LOT more than I’d intended to, but when the situation presents itself I think it is good to take advantage of it. So I said a lot of things that had been mulling around for a while. And I feel like I bullied her and put her in a bad position. But…she was already in a bad position (relationship) partially of her own making.

Why do we keep going over this? It’s like a broken record, broken record, broken record. When she was talking about dad and how she ‘can’t’ do anything about what he decides, I told her that she created the situation by letting him bully her early on. She agreed, and said that she wished she’d put her foot down earlier. I told her that he probably wouldn’t have married her if she had. (Those words sound rougher in writing than it actually was at that point in our conversation, btw).

I told mom today, and this is truly how I feel, that I’ve pretty much given up on the whole will-thing. They are not going to get them, I have pretty much accepted this, and I’ve started preparing myself for the battle with the state that will, eventually, ensue. I told her I will try like hell to save the family heirlooms and furniture, etc, but everything else I’ve mentally written off. I’m not waiting for them to die so I can put my inheritance on our mortgage. I don’t think that way (I know some people who do, though). I have known people whose parents died without wills; I don’t want to go through what they went through. And I want family stuff to stay in the family. At least they don’t have gobs of debt that I’d have to worry about. (Yet?)

And I’m an only child and I have no one to be on my team in this situation. Not blood; Matt is there, of course. But it isn’t the same. I can’t help but think that if I had a sibling or two we could, with power of numbers, persuade my parents (father) that he needed to do something differently. I’ve been so estranged from any blood family by distance and intention that I 1) wouldn’t know who to ask for help and 2) wouldn’t know how to ask for help, oh, and 3) it wouldn’t matter if I did because they (dad) would discount the offers and suggestions because he hadn’t thought of them first.

Mostly I’ve liked being an only child, but in this situation it really sucks. Really.

And I’ll be very honest here: I’m so angry at both of them right now I can’t even communicate it. I’m angry at him for being so arrogant that he could in his mind control everything while in actuality run them into the proverbial ground, and so angry at her for just playing dead and letting him. He has left them with very few options if things get bad. Let's hope everything turns out like the fairytale they're hoping for.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Funny Ah-Ha

I got home from work last night around 9:20 (Wednesdays are my late days at work). We were due to write out a few bills. Matt was filling out some paperwork at the kitchen table and I came up behind him to see what he was working on. It was the questionnaire from our new doctor’s office. This is what he had written:

Do you smoke? __Yes _x_No

Do you drink? _x_Yes ___No If yes, how often? Very occasionally.

Do you have pets? _x_Yes ___No If yes, type and #? Yorkie, 14


“Dear, what is ’14’?”

“Well, they want to know how much he weighs.”

(smacks self on forehead)

“No, dear, they want to know how many. “Do you have pets? If yes, type and number.”

“That’s a pound sign! They want to know how much he weighs!!”

(fighting back gales of laughter)

“Um, no, dear, that’s considered a number sign. You just told them we have 14 yorkies.”

He changed it. Can you see a house our size with a herd of 14 Yorkies? Why on earth would the doctor’s office want to know how much Max weighs??

But I did a stupid, too.

A little while later, I was writing out a check for a bill and I wanted to keep a tally of what we were sending out. Matt got up from the table to get something so I asked him:

“While you’re up, could you find the……..” (makes motions like I’m hitting number buttons on a pad) “…you know…..the Add’em’up machine?”

He stops and looks at me.

“The ‘Add’em’up machine????”

“You know,” (I make motions like I’m hitting buttons again).

He’s still staring at me, now with a smile on his face.

“THE ADD’EM’UP MACHINE?!?!? Oh my god, you didn’t just say that!”

“Dammit! The calculator! That’s it! Calculator!”

I was tired, so sue me.

Friday, April 09, 2010

I was featured in a Treasury!!

Getting featured in a Treasury on Etsy is a big deal. I think this is only the second I've been in that I know of.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010