Monday, September 26, 2011

Lazy River Wanted

I've been all about wanting, looking for balance the past little while.  I don't think it's in my foreseeable future, at least not in the way I imagine it.  I'd really like a smooth lazy river though, instead of the white water rafting.

I had some hope of getting my nephew here at my hospital so that I can continue to spend my days off with him and he won't be alone as much with other family so close.  Also, I think we'd offer him superior treatment.  That's neither here nor there at this point.  We've received another of those calls.  You know, the kind that assures you  they know what they're talking about because they put a timeline with it.  Yes, Justin has had a major downward turn this afternoon.  I believe this one is much more significant than the others.  My prayers and wishes are that he makes it through tonight and can be transferred here to Baptist  tomorrow. 

On the other hand, I am trying to plan this wedding that's coming up in just weeks.  I asked Kelly yesterday morning if we could have an Angry Birds theme.  Alas, he denied me...even the cake.  I would have made a beautiful blue bird.  Even though a few people have expressed that we are insane for doing this so quickly, for me, it is a light at the end of a dark tunnel.  It's something really happy in a very bad time.  It's something to look forward to in a year filled with sadness. 

I am looking at invitations and possibly dresses tomorrow, depending on how Justin does.  The two intertwine somehow.  Not that this is going to be formal, but I doubt Vera Wang does a Red Bird....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mental Health Cleanliness

When you're looking for a free place to sleep and bathe in a hospital, you're kind of thankful for what you get.  I think that in my head when I offer minimal accommodations to families at my work all the time.  I've tried to tuck that in the back of my head this week.

Yesterday, I took a cold sink bath because the shower wasn't available.  At least this room has its own toilet.  Anywho, there was no hot water, so I chose a ponytail over trying to wash my hair in a tiny sink with really cold water.  This morning, I waited for almost an hour for this shower I was told to use.  Finally, I stopped a man and asked about it.  Turns out, that one is out of order.

He walked around looking for a housekeeping or maintenance supervisor to get me a shower, damn it!  I ended up in the old psych unit.  OMG.  The water only stayed on for about 30 seconds at a time.  I guess that was a safety mechanism so a patient can't drown themselves.  After about 3 rounds of that, during which each time it was cold as it came back on, I looked for a better way.   I finally figured out to hold the button in instead of letting it run out and turning it back on.  The shower head wasn't adjustable and it hit me full on in the face.  I could have easily drowned myself if I'd so chosen.  The problem was, I had one hand to soap/wash with and I was blinded by water.  I was so happy to have clean hair, I tried really hard to only think thankful thoughts. 

When I got to Justin's room, the one nurse asked if I found the shower.  The other said, "Look at her fluffy hair!  You know she did!"  I guess that means I should have used the cold water sink anyway yesterday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Caught in an Evil Vortex

**Not for sensitive ears or eyes**

You know how my last blog post was about happy endings?  Well, fuck that! 

Justin and I haven't been close for several years.  We reconnected earlier this year when his son was born.  I thought he'd gotten his life back on track.  He looked good.  He seemed good.

This experience with him has been hell.  I am now the person I coach at work.  I am the person I tell, "It's ok to cry, but try to hold yourself together in front of your baby/son/daughter."  I had done ok the past few weeks.  The first days were awful.  I collapsed onto him, basically, when I saw him the first time.  Otherwise, I have held it together and cried outside.  I have utilized the good drugs Mother Nature and science gave us by prescription to get me through the toughest moments.

SO...I stand for 14 hours or so a day (because the ICU staff are glad to have someone with him) and do every little thing I can for him.  It might be scratching an eyelid or a nose.  It might be adjusting his bed 20 times because nothing is comfortable in that halo and every place he can feel is uncomfortable.  I stand because he can't move his head and he wants to be able to see me.  That means either directly beside his head, leaning over or at the foot of the bed.  I am one of those people I say needs a break.

I guess when you wake up multiple times a day, and it's like a lightning strike every time that is more the life changing event than the actual event.  All of this has made Justin have several epiphanies.  The gut wrenching conversations we're having are Oscar award winning material.  Today, though, it was a 4-word sentence that did me in.  He's used humor.  He's been angry.  He's been weepy.  Today when he'd asked me to scratch his eye again, he just looked away from me and said "I hate being paralyzed."

His lungs looked better for a while today, then he had a very rough afternoon.  He scared me to the point of hiding in a corner and I don't hide in corners.  I feel so alone.  I need a Navigator!

I was actually told to leave the cafeteria tonight by a rude volunteer who pushed me out of line because they were apparently having a  special dinner tonight, but this was before the cafeteria was closed.  I'm so delirious with exhaustion and sadness, I didn't even call a bitch out!

I'm just sad.  I was so damned happy and I bragged about it.  I shouldn't have ever done that.  Two days later, we got calls that Justin was sicker and it was grim looking.  We get it worked out for me to rush down here and it's been pure misery to live and watch.  There is so little I can do for him and yet, today, he told me thank you.  He said he never expected that I would be the one by his side, rubbing his head, scratching his nose and keeping his nurses in line.  My response?  It doesn't matter what people do that we love.  The person we love is always inside.

So I'll do my very best to keep coming as often as I can to this hell hole of a town.  I'll stand in his room 12-15 hours a day.  I'll love his wonderful nurses (like the one who came to hug me today just because I looked like I needed it) and call out the ones who are shitty (like the one who thought it was ok to make Justin wait nearly 15 mins for something that took less than 3 when that's all he wanted in exchange for going back on the vent early).   I will fight the urge to scream until I get in my car going down the interstate.  I will fight the urge to cry my eyes out until I'm at least in the parking lot.   And now, I will try to sleep on this lovely futon that's at least free and just down the hall from him.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

You Like Happy Ending?

If you've read my bio, you know I've had bad luck in the way of love.  There are always two sides to every story, at least in most cases.  But, honestly, both of mine were directly related to the mens' lack of will and character needed to raise a child with special needs.  Not even her father could do it after the second year.

Kelly and I met when he was 12 and I was 15.  I'm working on 38 now so it's been a while.  We realized who each other was again when his sister found me on MySpace (tumbleweeds blowing by) during my daughter's last months.  She brought me up to speed on his life.  I don't know what he was hearing or thinking.  I kept up with him, but when your only child is dying is not the time to stalk someone into a relationship.  It took a couple of years.  We'd been chatting online, but Mr. Shyness held off.  I was chomping at the bit!  When we saw each other for the the first time, it was kind of sparky.  BUT, it was still four months before he asked me out.  Since then, we've been on the fast track.  It's kind of like Thunder Road.  It's not the tallest, fastest roller coaster at Carowinds anymore, and it's a little jerky and rough in places, but it still gives you major thrills.  We are incredibly passionate about each other and both brick-wall stubborn.

Maybe this time, it's like a special massage parlor...maybe this time I get my happy ending. I would definitely like one, but I'm not going to count on it until someone says it's legal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Want a National Holiday!

Last year, I made up Squirrel Awareness Month.  Those little speed bumps of nature deserved some moments of respect, I thought.  Today, I'm Googling holidays and Holy Holidays Batman!  I think there actually could have already been a Squirrel Awareness Month!  

For example, tomorrow is Defy Superstition Day.  But wait, in true infomercial form, that's not all!  Tomorrow is also Fortune Cookie Day, National Peanut Day, Positive Thinking Day , etc.  Who determines this?  How does one apply for and receive status as a National Holiday?  Did Mr. Peanut himself petition the Calendar Gods for a mark on their precious pages?  I am not finding much in the way of info on that process when I web search.  

I want my own holiday.  It should be a banking holiday.  You know, one of those where banks are closed, mail doesn't run and you get paid to be off work.  Karen's Day should be a National Holiday.  What would it honor, you ask?  I work all the damn time.  I need a National Holiday to get a break.  What else...honoring the women of America who love football;  honoring the women of America who are highly intelligent and amazingly functional on less than 3 hours of sleep per night.  I can think up lots of other reasons to have another bold lettered declaration on January.  

All my highly ranked, Federal official or Fed employee friends....find out how I get my own holiday!  Squirrel Awareness Month starts in 18 days.  After that, the flicker of my calendar flame is doused. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Me, Myself and I

I don’t get a lot of alone time.  I do in the car I suppose, but that’s not exactly the relaxation time I need.  I sort of nodded off at a stop light today and that is a bad idea.  Kelly and I have completely different schedules, but somehow, I still don’t get a lot of time at home alone.  It’s not that I need hours a week or anything, but when I get a little bit, it is such a treat.  Today, I’ve had a few hours.  My day actually started out with an upset stomach, so it’s not like I felt like doing a lot anyway.  I went to work a short while, and then was sent home because of the whole gagging in the bathroom thing.  I digress.   I’ve been home for about 4 hours solo.  Wow!  I have been on the loveseat with my pillow, blanket, phone, laptop and remotes.  I watched college football (GO HEELS!), napped, watched Friends, napped, Facebooked, finally braved food, and now I’m watching Pirates of the Caribbean.  Kelly is playing somewhere near Raleigh tonight, so it will be way late when he gets home.   Wonder how much Bravo, A&E, and TLC I can watch before he gets home???  Too bad it's not an NFL night....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Save Water, Bathe With Someone You?

Love.  My fake mother-in-law actually has this saying on her bathroom wall.  I've heard it mostly all my life.  It's pretty fun, generally speaking.  But, OMG, this weather guy in Arkansas went way overboard.  Ok, that was a bad choice of words.  Technically, it wasn't a bathtub, but it's a tub.  This is creepiest tub coupling ever.

Why have I never engaged in illegal drug parties?  First, I never had a good source or a lot of cash flow.  Second, I do not want to be either of the fools in this story!  How would you like this cutout in your mom's scrapbook??

On to things that are much more in line with my usual activities.  I willfully got up at 5:30 to put lunch in a crock pot.  It's gonna be delish.  I'm very excited to see Laura.  There will be no tub involved.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dates and I'm Not Talking Fruit

Happy Labor Day!  Whatever

Labor Day doesn't really mean anything.  I'm heading to work in a couple of hours.  We just went grocery shopping and it was an effing madhouse.  No one takes a break.  Besides that, it means something otherwise to me.

Tomorrow would have been my Due Date.  There's a big, ol' fat circle on the calendar, but no baby is coming.  If you've been around, you know I miscarried in late January.  It seems a really long time ago, but it kind of seems not so long ago some days.  As if the past week hasn't been traumatic enough, this has to fall in the same time frame.

The whole yin yang thing is bullshit.  There is no balance in my universe.  I seriously think I have some kind of weird barometer inside and I make my own atmosphere.  I have an innate black cloud.  Everything and everyone I touch turns to a steaming pile.

I'm not holding a pity party.  No sympathy seeking here.  I would, however, love it if something really awesome happened and didn't disappear almost instantaneously.  Maybe I should join the carnies at the fair next month.  I could just travel and eat elephant ears all year.  How could that end badly?