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Showing posts from May, 2021

Biden taxes

       The newest political screed: Biden's taxes. Never mind that he willingly disclosed information and paid higher taxes to set an example. Trump's supporters seize anything and everything to twist a skewered tale. The far-right gobbles it up and spits out conspiracy theories and slander. Welcome to the latest: The comments section is entertaining. I sip my coffee and watch people soil themselves. Garbage in, garbage out. It plays out like this: "Do Hunter Biden's taxes!" Okay, do Trump's first.  "Bidden got kickbacks from book deals!" Okay, investigate every pro-Trump author as well.  "He laundered money!" Okay, this was debunked through a ton of sources. "He cheated!!!" Of course he did. That's why he refuses to provide his ta... oh, wait... that was Trump. Biden released his taxes. The problem with transparency is that some people are never satisfied. Lunatics would rather believe in conspiracy theories - a choice m

Knitting, the Saga

    I vowed to knit a blanket during the COVID pandemic. I do not know how to knit. People in my family do but distance and, well, pandemic, mean I won't be getting any in-person instruction from them. Hello YouTube! Dun dun duunn! The last  week yielded multiple attempt. I know how to knit and pearl, but I keep dropping stitches. The result is a chaotic blend of unraveling and the sound of my head beating against the desk. Better Half gave me sweet encouragement after yesterday's efforts resulted in even more snipping and binning. "It's okay to make mistakes. You're a beginner." That's true, and I appreciated his comfort.   I'm hoping I can at least make a potholder before June.  

Mom Update III

  The phone rings at 4 am. I swim towards consciousness.   "Hello?" says the muffled voice on the other end. The ventilator's noise overpowers the other equipment in the background.  "Mom?" I'm hardly awake. I fell asleep around 2:30 am.  She says hello a few more times and then asks if I'll be there soon. I parse the words; the NG tube and machine are striping away her consonants. Replying is actually pointless. She can't hear me. "I'll be there this afternoon," I shout into the phone. The scenario repeats itself several times over the next few hours. My exhaustion reaches new limits. I can't answer the last two calls. Voice mail will reveal more hellos and background noise. The nurse's eternally cheerful voice slices through my brain fog. The morning briefing is all good news. Mom's vitals look good, she's absolutely cognitive, the mittens are back on. The arterial looks good and the nurse explained that the NG tube mu

Mom Update II

   Another day in ICU. It's just like every other day, but this one is filled with 40% more blorft. Mom is combating ICU psychosis. It occurs late at night. As her nurse told me, it's like having two different patients; gentle and compliant vs agitated and combative.  ICU may difficult for some patients. I can't blame my mother for her behavior. She's unaware of what she's doing. In that twilight state, her hands find things that shouldn't be there, so she picks at them to remove them. I came in today to find her prepped for 10 rounds with whoever wishes to mess with her. The mittens strapped to her wrists aren't uncomfortable but fingers and palms get sweaty. She's physically depressed. The BiPAP's growls mix with her small snore. Her NG tube causes the seal to slip. Eyes closed, she's nearly oblivious to my presence. I wipe away a tear that formed of its own accord at the corner of her eye. This isn't a good state to be in. It's the cus

Mom Update

    The ICU jungle smacks my OCD today. The tubing bears testimony for the frenetic morning, aftereffects like small shockwaves after an upheaval. Mom's spirits are good though she balks at the idea of more surgery. "Our society doesn't allow euthanasia," I grumble at her. We don't, of course. Euthanasia is tantamount to suicide.  "I know," she's frustrated.  I can't blame her. In addition to the central line, she has an arterial in place. Add to that a gastric tube (she vomited earlier) and a drain for her abdominal cavity, and a Bi-PAP, and a Foley. Christ, I would scream "No more!" at the top of my lungs. She's taking it in stride. She realizes that there's a difference between a DNR and refusing treatment for something that will allow her to recover more quickly. She hasn't accepted that her stay in ICU will be more prolonged than we initially anticipated.  I'm proud of her ability to handle all of this. My mother is

Pondering Mortal Coils

   The rain and sleet let up enough for me to drive safely. Er, relatively safely. There were still great big puddles and I took several opportunities to veer toward curbs. There is something entirely satisfying about sending great waves onto abandoned sidewalks. I arrived at the hospital, soggy and still grinning from my mischief, and went through COVID checkpoints and empty halls. Mom was getting situated (bath). They directed me to the ICU waiting room. Opening that door was...jarring? Painful. Nostalgic. The last time I set eyes on this room. Dad was in his wheelchair doing a puzzle to occupy his time. It was shortly after Mom's open heart surgery. We'd come the day after Christmas (she was incubated Christmas Day). It isn't so bad this time around. But I can't deny that mortal coils have become sharply defined. I knew my father wasn't immortal. He passed. My mother isn't immortal either, but her eyes and aches draw that coil into view. "See? See how fr

Mum in ICU

 Seeing my Mum in pain... and knowing that I'm powerless to help. They removed the bad bit of bowel. We'll wait to see how it heals. She'll remain in ICU. They're worried about pneumonia.  She held my hand before I left. I have never loved her more than in that moment.

Mom's Emergency Surgery

  It started Thursday night. Discomfort that twisted into pain. I stayed awake until 2 AM to keep and eye on my mother, and then went to bed. She woke me thirty minutes later, and asked for an ambulance. My mother never willingly goes to the hospital's emergency department. We were at the hospital until the wee hours had wee'd even further. They said they would move her to observation as soon as they had a bed. I left her so I could sleep, and she woke me an hour later to say she was going into surgery.   I arrived soon after. I think? The last few days have been a blur.   The third floor surgical waiting room was nicely filled by time I got there. They had all thinned out, leaving just me and two gents, by the time her surgery was over. She would be in PACU until they found a bed in the ICU.   She was very fortunate. A section of bowl had expanded, and the tissue stretched so thin that it behaved like paper rather than skin. The surgeon was able to dissect it and stitch the he


 Neuropathic pain is a burden that presses down on you even as it pulls you away from having any quality to life.  The perception of pain varies from person to person. In this instance, my pain isn't acute (short duration). It's become a chronic, neuropathic storm that decreases with prescribed opioids. I keep those on reserve for radiculopathy, but it's on par with my lower back damage, so meh. Less than 24 hours after my shingles shot finds me clutching my torso again. New pain on top of existing pain. It hurts to breathe but nothing is physiologically wrong with my muscles. Just nerves. Lots and lots of nerves. No new blisters yet. Perhaps this spike is just a rolling sigh? _______ IMAGE CREDIT : Karim Fakhoury.

V for Vaccinated

  I had my second vaccine, hence the two fingers. I'm seriously, desperately hoping I don't have another viral reaction. My immune system shit the bed during the first go around. Shingles broke out on one-half my torso, reaching from spine to midline. I can't recall if I blogged about them. I can't recall a lot these days due to pain and Lyrica. Like breakfast. Did I eat before we left? I'm guessing the answer is 'no'. Wait, I did blog. It was part of the emotional support banana stuff. I'm back to the mind fuzz. It's drug-related. I can't recall how to spell words. I forget every last reminder that Better Half tells me. It's not so bad. I can drive, providing my mom isn't in the car. She causes me to second-guess myself. "Don't you need to take this exit," she gasps. Internally, I'm "OMG, did I miss it? Are we going the wrong way? Holy shit!" Being fair, she does this regardless of what we're doing. In the