First of all, Happy New Year! I hope 2015 is a year filled with nothing but good things for you. It is definitely going to be a year filled with promise, hope and opportunity. Make every minute count.
Second, I want to recap my year a bit.
I was absolutely miserable in the winter. I am already a summer girl, but add in a brutal winter like we had last year, and I was miserable.
But Spring did arrive. In May, I ended up in the hospital for a severe potassium deficiency. I was out with a girlfriend at a winery and felt funny. I decided I needed some fresh air but on my way out the door I evidently passed out. Fortunately I just crumpled and didn’t hurt myself. The bad thing is that a similar thing had happened the prior December. I added those two together and decided a trip to the ER was probably a good thing. Well, they kept me overnight so they could give me a potassium IV (which ended up being two). When they released me, my potassium was finally in the normal range (barely). It seems the water pill I took with my blood pressure medicine was the culprit. I decided that I needed a new doctor since the one I had been going to could have killed me.
JUNE – JULY
Let’s jump ahead a month. Mid-June my dad’s caregiver (dad is totally dependent on someone for nearly everything) became ill. So ill that dad ended up calling for help in the middle of the night because his caregiver had passed out. He was rushed to the hospital where it was determined he had sepsis. Another few minutes they said he would have been dead.
Poor dad. All he could do was lay in bed and worry. So, I moved in. It started with what I thought would be a few days of sleeping on the couch and ended up being two months of sleeping on the couch. We ended up telling dad that we couldn’t take care of him (I was there 12-15 hours a day on top of my actual job). We looked around at nursing homes and found one that everyone agreed would be the best. Do you have any idea how expensive nursing homes are? About $200 a night – that might be okay for a hotel room for a week’s vacation, but on a permanent basis, it is not affordable for most people.
I worked with the best elder law attorney (who was worth every penny) and worked to get dad on Medicaid. It became my third full time job (remember, I already have a full time job that pays me money and then I added taking care of dad and living with him). I did everything the attorney told me to do. But then, dad decided that he should do some things – things that ended up costing us time and money. It was truly a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. I was absolutely stressed to my limit I think.
Finally, though we got him moved into the nursing home in August. He settled in quite nicely and we wish we had moved him after mom died instead of waiting. Dad is an introvert by nature, so sitting in his room alone with just his tv and computer was perfect for him. Really, that’s all he did when he was living at home anyway. He asked me to do some other things for him though – his laundry and keeping his room dusted. He has an extensive eagle collection that is quite fragile and I am the only one he trusts to take care of it. So, since August I have been picking his laundry up every three days and taking it back. And I dust his room once a week. I also am still dealing with Medicaid and getting all of that straightened out. I go see him nearly every day. I enjoy that. I don’t have to stay long because he doesn’t really talk much. But I sit and watch whatever ballgame he has on tv with him. Since he can’t write, I have to fill out his weekly meals for him. I do enjoy our time together.
WANNA BUY A HOUSE?
But I can’t seem to sell his house. Once all the furniture was out of it and the house was empty, it looked really tired. Plus, since he couldn’t do anything around the house, nothing had been done since mom died over two years earlier. We tried the auction route – we got one big of $65,000. That was not even close to being acceptable. Our first realtor wanted us to list it at $135,000 – we said $117,000. There were several showings but we never heard a word from the realtor. She knew I wasn’t happy with her, but since dad was the one who hired her, I had to keep my mouth shut.
I hired the current realtor. We have had a lot of showings, but the feedback has been that it needs too much work. We lowered the price to $89,000. Keep in mind the house sits on four city lots with an in-ground pool – the house isn’t very big, but it has an attached one car garage and a detached two car garage. There are some nice things about the house, but like I said, it looked tired.
Fast forward to Christmas break – I’ve been painting dad’s house. I know that I have no money to replace the carpet, but the house is priced to sell and the buyer can replace the flooring (dad’s power chair ruined all the flooring). So, the living room and ceiling and hallway and one bedroom have all been painted. I am going to start the kitchen tomorrow. Then I think I am going to quit – the other two bedrooms aren’t too bad. Then I’m calling the realtor back and telling him to look at it and get it sold.
Now back to December – December 23 I woke up at 2:00 am with an elephant on my chest. No idea where it came from, but it was heavy and pushed through to my back. I woke Warren up and suggested that perhaps I should go to the ER again. Now, you have to know that Warren never ever will be accused of moving too fast. This was no exception. I knew I was probably 20-30 minutes from the closest hospital. I finally asked if he could drive a little faster since there were no other cars on the road at that hour. When I got to the ER no one was at the registration desk. Not wanting to wait, I found my way back to a nurses station and said I was having horrible chest pains and didn’t no if I was having a heart attack or not. That got some action.
I spent the night there – had two EKG’s and multiple blood tests. No heart attack. But they weren’t sure where that elephant came from. So, they sent me home finally with a promise that I would call my primary care doctor and have her order a stress test. Oh, and a prescription for nitroglycerin. I also was supposed to rest. Well, remember the part about having a house to paint? I knew I wouldn’t have time once I went back to work. I have felt fine and the house wasn’t getting painted by itself. And I learned a long time ago that my sister wasn’t going to get anything done.
That’s right, through all of the stress of getting things done for my dad, yes, I have a sister who lives right here. She has actually found time to go visit him once a week. And my 20 year old niece offered to help paint – until she found out that painting wasn’t so much fun. She gave me 2 hours and didn’t come back the next day. In fact, there is a box of stuff for my sister at dad’s house – I have called her multiple times to get it picked up. Today, I finally texted her that it was in my way and I put it in the garage. Still no response. Why do expect one? History tells me how it is going to be. I’ve never understood how two people can be raised by the same people can be so very different.
So, that brings you up to date on my life this year. I’m only hoping that 2015 will be a better year. I don’t think I can take another year like this last one.
So, how was your 2014? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?