Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life gets Teejus!! (tedious) Part 1

For the last two years, my life has been pretty damned crazy. I would say it sucked but not all of it and not all of the time, of course.

2008 got off to a bang starting actually the day before Thanksgiving 2007. That was the day my mother came to live with my husband and I. She was extremely ill, with kidney failure, Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs or mini-Strokes), anemia, numerous compression fractures in her spine and we would find out the first week in December that all this was caused by a form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma. She was married but my stepfather didn't (doesn't) have two brain cells to rub together and there was no way I was leaving her with someone that kept telling her she needed to "get better and come home and fix me dinner!" Just wow!!

She was released from the hospital I took her home from on the day before Thanksgiving at around noon. Imagine if you will, driving 260 miles with a sick woman in your vehicle. She is in pain, wearing diapers and on oxygen. You smoke like a chimney and every time you light up, you are waiting for the car to go "whoosh"! The trip will take you thru Phoenix, AZ that has a traffic problem on the best days and you will hit there just about rush hour on one of the worse driving days of the year. You had the hospital call all prescriptions in to the local Pharmacy (I am so smart) so all you have to do is pick them up. We made it through this hell to arrive at my home about 6:30 pm. The pharmacy closed at 7 and would not open until the Friday after Thanksgiving. I threw the scrips at the hubby and sent him to Walgreens to pick everything up. There was at least 10, I think maybe even 15, different meds she was supposed to take. I got her in the house, got her cleaned up and into bed while waiting for him to return. Ahh, but on his return..."What the hell! Do you know she didn't have any insurance? Why didn't you pick up the phone when I called?" OH, yeah, he was not a happy man!! I forgot to tell him that yes, I knew that she had no insurance (I didn't hear the phone). $500 dollars in meds later...

She spent the next couple weeks in and out of the hospital. I absolutely hate hospitals but I went with her every time she went. I learned how to give shots, assisted with enemas, cleaned up vomit, fought doctors and nurses who think they are demi gods, and basically got one hell of an education in a very short period of time.

Before I go any farther, if in this post or any future posts, I say anything bad, which I am sure I will, about my husband or my job, that I think they are both a godsend.

I want you to know that my husband is the greatest man ever!! He never got along with my mother, from the first time they met, but he was my rock through the 13 months we cared for her. He works in a job with rotating shifts and voluntarily stayed on swing shift the entire time. He would get up each morning and fix Mom her breakfast and bring her the paper which let me go to my job from 6 am to 11 am and then come home and work the rest of the day from home (Laptops are the greatest!!). Then, when he got home, he would check on her at night before he came to bed or give her meds if she needed them to allow me undisturbed sleep whenever that was possible. Because of this arrangement, we were able to make sure Mom was never left alone for more than a few minutes at a time.

Which leads me to the job. My employer was great through all of this. I was allowed to work half days at home for 13 months. I was out of pocket ALOT, nothing was ever said and I never missed so much as a dime on my paycheck. I work for a very family oriented company despite its size (very, very large company) and I will be eternally grateful to them for their policies toward their employees during times like this.

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