Medical Emergencies and Multiple Hospitals

*apologies, this was written Thursday Morning but I’m just getting around to posting it. I will update more later*

Here I am again dear readers. Unfortunately, events like this seem to be the only time I’m able to find enough free time to write. I’m sitting here in the floor, back against the wall, in a hospital room listening to my father and my boyfriend snore.

Life is a complicated animal. Much has happened, as is the case for everyone. But over the last few weeks, it’s been crazy. My grandmother went in the hospital for not being able to breathe. It went from her having a goiter on her windpipe and artery to her also having a very aggressive form of thyroid cancer. While trying to get everything scheduled for her to start radiation at Emory, my mom has also been trying to take care of my father.

Renal failure, diabetes, eye issues, neuropathy (to the point of not being able to feel in his hands and feet), and balance issues are just a few of the lovely things my father faces every day. It’s a constant battle. But, it gets better. Yesterday morning while my mom was getting ready to take my father to dialysis, he fell and broke his ankle. Pretty severely. It was also my mom’s birthday. And her mother was in the hospital due to severe fluid retention that turned out to be a blood clot in her leg.

Today, they managed to get my grandmother released from our local hospital but only to take her to Emory in Atlanta to begin her first day of radiation treatment. My dad is supposed to have surgery on his ankle today. My poor mom can’t be in both places. So I took the day off work to come watch over my dad.

It’s so hard to see him like this. Restless, in pain, and a shadow of his formal self. But this is life. It happens to all of us who are here long enough. And I know he hates for me to see him like this. But I guess we all come to a point where we have to bite our pride and accept the help of those who love us, regardless of the situation. So, while my mom drives to Atl with her sister-in-law and my grandmother, I am sitting here doing research for the coming days after surgery.

Planning to add a ramp to the stairs at my parents’ house. Looking up trailer hitch receivers and cargo trays for my mom’s car to carry a wheel chair for my dad and/or my grandmother. Planning food prep menus to help my parents when they’re exhausted but still need to follow dad’s dietary restrictions.

So many things to do. So little time. The curse of my life.

In these situations, with a loved one who’s health is chronically failing, it’s difficult to explain. People always ask me how he’s doing. It’s hard to say, isn’t it? It’s not like chemo, there is no fight and then remission. The only thing that helps renal failure is a transplant. And what can you tell someone then? He’s hanging in there waiting for  someone with a good kidney and pancreas to pass so he can have them? That, by the way, is not something people want to hear. It’s the truth, but people do not want the truth. Not the whole, unaltered truth that makes them uncomfortable. So I tell people the truest thing I can. He’s still here.

And for now, that’s all that matters.


 

” ‘ Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.’ I said. ‘Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.’ ” – John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

“He admired my melancholy madness and said that it was graceful and beautiful. But it was neither of those things. I was a hurricane at the centre of a collapsing, burning, building; and I wasn’t someone to be admired at all.”

“Even if you know what’s coming, you ‘re never prepared for how it feels.” – Natalie Standiford

“You wake up every night to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.” – unknown

“Well it breaks my heart to see you this way, The beauty in life where’s it gone? And somebody told me you were doing ok, somehow I guess they were wrong.” Flogging Molly “Whistles the wind”

“Don’t ever think you’re alone here, We’ve just been trapped in different hells, and people aren’t against you dear, they’re just all for themselves.” – e.h.

“May we exist like the lotus, at ease in muddy water.” – Zen proverb

“Keep your chin up little stargazer, At worlds above your own, You are small but you are stardust, And that’s worth more than you’ve known, For every sun and solar flare, Is made up just like you, And if they’re cause for wonder Then I promise you are too. Look out little stargazer ‘Til nothing’s left unseen, And know there’s not a patch of sky Where no one else’s eyes have been, That the darkness that enfolds you Holds countless other starlit hearts, And with this you stand together Though you live lifetimes apart. Be brave now little stargazer The sky is growing light, And courage wanes like moonbeams When it’s pulled out from the night, But like those who gazed before you; Know when your heart is full of fear, That it is always in your darkness That the stars start to appear.” -e.h.

“we mature with the damage, not with the years.” – Mateus William

“Enjoy every sandwich” – Warren Zevon

“I abide my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this is also a chasing at the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief. And he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow.” – Assassin’s Creed

“Empedocles claims that, in utero, our backbone is one long solid; and that through the constriction of the womb and the punishment of birth, it must be snapped again and again and again to form our verterbrae; that for the child to have a spine, it’s back must first be broken.” – The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation M.T. Anderson

“She looks back out the window and as the light slides along her profile, I think I see sadness. And I wonder if she’s sad that I’m so weak and so afraid when she’s always been so strong.” – The Forest of Hands and Teeth

“If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less.” – Warren Zevon “Keep me in your heart.”

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

“Take the night and darken everything around me, Call the clouds, and listen closely, I’m lost without you. Call your name everyday, when I feel so helpless, I’m fallen down but I’ll rise above this.” – Seether “Rise above this”

“We live in grim times indeed if even children are too world weary to believe in magic.” – Fable

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

“She’s all laid up in bed with a broken heart, while I’m drinking Jack all alone in a local bar. And we don’t know how, how we got into this mad situation, only doing things out of frustration, trying to make it work but man these times are hard.” – The Script “For the First Time”

“Mama whispered softly, time will ease your pain. Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same.” – Patty Loveless

“Life asked Death, ‘Why do people love me but hate you?’ Death responded, ‘ Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am a painful truth.’ ”

“But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out all the clearer.” – Samwise Gamgee “LOTR: The Two Towers” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“These are hard times. The world hurts. We live in fear and forget to walk with hope. But hope has not forgotten you. So ask it to dinner. It’s probably hungry and would appreciate the invitation.” – Libba Bray “Going Bovine”

“It’s not hard to do. It’s just not easy yet.” – Monte  Selby

“Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds a man down or polishes him up depends on the stuff he’s made of.” – J. Billings

” ‘Sometimes,’ he said while gripping the fabric of his own pant leg, “You run out of tears long before you run out of hurt.’ ” – Tyler Knott Gregson

“Listen to the musn’ts child, listen to the don’ts , listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me – anything can happen child, anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein

“I clutch my pillow to my chest and bury my face in it. I don’t cry. I just ache. Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” – “Allegiant” Veronica Roth

“Needles and pins, needles and pins, sew me a sail, to catch me the wind. Sew me a sail, strong as a gale, carpenter bring out your, hammers and nails. Hammers and nails, hammers and nails, build me a boat, to go chasing the whales. Chasing the whales, sailing the blue, find me a captain, and sign me a crew. Captain and crew, captain and crew, take me oh take me, to anywhere new.” – Shel Silverstein

“She taught me all about real sacrifice. That it should be done from love… That it should be done from necessity, not without exhausting all other options. That it should be done for people who need your strength because they don’t have enough of their own.” – Veronica Roth Insurgent

“A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. ” – John Green The Fault In Our Stars

“We all carry things inside us that no one else can see. They weigh us down like anchors, they drown us out at sea.” – Chelsea Smile Bring me the Horizion

 

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Welcome to the Machine

Hello everyone. Welcome back. I apologize for my last couple posts being about how long I’ve been gone and hollow promises of getting back to this blog. Life has threw a couple wrenches in my gears lately, but I’ve been working hard to get all those cogs freed up and running smoothly. I could tell you all the sad, frustrating, hair pulling, banging my head against the wall stories that have kept me away from this blog and many things in general, and I might, but not today.

I know, as well as anyone, that life can get in the way. It’s a machine. It keeps chugging along, regardless of the parts falling off, needing greased, or repaired. It is a machine to be admired for its unwillingness to quit, regardless of how it falls apart. People are much the same. That is how I have felt lately, like a machine in need of a serious breakdown and rebuild. But I don’t have time for that, so I make small repairs where I can – on the side of the road, in the rain, in the gas station parking lot – because on this journey, you don’t always have time to stop. You have to evaluate the priority parts and make sure you keep those on par, everything else? Well, it just depends on where it is on the priority list.

Sometimes we think certain parts of the machine are important when they really aren’t. That is a problem. It leaves us blindsided when a part that is actually important blows up. This has happened to me a few times lately. So, I am trying to shave off some unnecessary parts and focus on the core of the machine. Because unfortunately, when some of those really important parts blow up, there’s no fixing them or replacing them. You  must simply move on without them and readjust the way the machine works.

In my re-evaluation, I have decided that I have neglected some major components of my machine called life for far too long. And I have lost some parts that cannot be replaced. So, I am changing the oil, lubing the chain, changing the air filter, and moving on.

When is the last time you re-evaluated your life? There is never a bad time to sit down and make a list of the people or things that you love but haven’t seen or done in a while. Our excuse is usually that there isn’t enough time right now, I’ll do it later. I promise you that the most important thing you can do is make time. Right now, before your machine blows, locks up, and leaves you stranded with a part that you’ve lost and cant’ replace. As a quote by Buddha says, “The problem is, you think you’ve got time.”

As my favorite band, Pink Floyd, says, “Welcome to the machine.” Be sure to take care of yours every once in a while.


 

“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.” – Anonymous

“We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic to creativity. When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our mind has changed, and that changes everything.” – Anonymous

“There is a kind of crying I hope you have not experienced, and it is not just crying about something terrible that has happened, but crying for all of the terrible things that have happened, not just to you but to everyone you know and to everyone you don’t know and even the people you don’t want to know. A crying that can not be diluted by a brave deed or a kind word, but only by someone holding you as your shoulders shake and your tears run down your face.” – Lemony Snicket

“Until we are ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” – Lemony Snicket

“February is the shortest month of the year, so if you are having a miserable month, try to schedule it for February.” – Anonymous

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” – Lemony Snicket

“There’s a history of heartbreak, Tucked in the creases of her eyes, A museum of the moments, That she’d watch just pass her by, And each tear that escaped her, Held the things she’d left unsaid, So the words she’d never spoken, Stained her dampened cheeks instead.” – e.h.

“I think there are two kinds of forgiveness, the kind that when you forgive you’re also giving then another chance, or the kind where you forgive, but move on without them. Use them both wisely.” – s.b.

“You told me that you had my back, And I thought that it was true, Now my shadow’s still behind me, But where on earth are you?” – e.h.

” ‘Love me slowly,’ she whispered, like the love I had for her, had limits. Like it could run out as easily as a grain of time. I could tell, by the sound of fear in her lungs, that she had a terrible past. The kind that no one talks about, the kind that remains bottled up inside of you, slowly and quietly, killing everything in your bones.” – Christopher Poindexter

“There is no statute of limitations on starting over. Re-invent yourself every day. Be the girl who walks barefoot and listens to the blues. Tomorrow, wear a trench coat and speak fierce truths. Be a phoenix. Be ashes. Burn down. Resurrect. Let go of the idea that you must always be who you have always been.” – unknown

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” he said. – Rachel Wolchin

“Le beau est toujours bizarre. (The beautiful is always bizzar.)” – Charles Baudelaire

“She wears strength and darkness equally well, the girl has always been half goddess, half hell.” – unknown

A Slightly Crooked Crown

After completing my Blogging 101 assignment (getting used to the reader, following some topics and blogs) I have decided to write a little about my day, and then leave you with a few quotes.

My bf and I purchased a house in April. We needed to slightly modify the bathroom so that we could stack our washer and dryer. The previous arrangement had the plumbing outside two of the walls, a false half wall behind the toilet, and the washer and dryer separated by a large (50 gallon) hot water heater. Did I mention all the plumbing was pvc? I don’t know where you may be from, my dear reader, but here our build code dictates that hot water lines must be cpvc. We decided since we had to make adjustments in the plumbing anyways, we might as well remedy all the issues.

This turned out to be a much longer project that we had first anticipated. We ripped down the walls, pulled out the hot water heater (which was so calcified that it wouldn’t even drain and the bottom was rusting out), pulled out the old plumbing, and started fixing things. With the state of the water heater, we made the decision to purchase an instant hot water heater that should more than meet our needs.  After a few kinks, we got the plumbing installed and new plywood put up where needed. Some of the bead board paneling we took down was no longer usable because of our new arrangement and much to our dismay, Home Depot discontinued our paneling three weeks before we went to get it.

We wound up getting unfinished bead board and polyurethaned it. As we started putting up trim, we remembered just how atrocious the previous owner’s miter cuts were and had a few issues with the crown molding. Seriously, if I had pictures of how bad his cuts were, I would show you. After two days of working on it (after our day jobs), and some of it being slightly crooked, we finally got the crown in place. It has been a long frustrating day. So, here are some quotes to help us all relax.


“Every time they’re at the sea, The oceans start to weep, wishing they were half as wide, As his love for her is deep.” – e.h.

“Don’t carry what you don’t need – in your pocket, in your home, in your heart.” – Joshua Becker

“Don’t ever think you’re alone here, We’ve just been trapped in different hells, And people aren’t against you dear, They’re just all for themselves.” – e.h.

“They witnessed her destruction, Then we left to wonder why, She saw nothing but darkness, Though the stars shone in her eyes, But maybe they’d forgotten, When they failed to see the cracks, That a star’s light shines the brightest, When it’s starting to collapse.” – e.h.

“She slept with wolves without fear, for the wolves knew a lion was among them.” – r.m. drake

“If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less.” – Warren Zevon

“I’m very well acquainted with the seven deadly sins, I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in.” – Warren Zevon

Hello World!

Hello all. I know this blog has been all over the place since I started it and I apologize. I am new to this blogging thing and I have decided to join the current Blogging:101 course going on to not only learn more about blogging, but to hopefully find a focus for my blog.

Today’s assignment is to say hello to the world. For those of you who are new here, this will give you some insight into who I am and what I hope to accomplish. For those of you who aren’t new here and have popped by a few times, maybe this is a refresher for you.

I’m a quarter-lifer (mid twenties) lady who lives in the deep South. I love to bake. I grew up learning to cook from practically my whole family. My Dad taught me to make grilled cheese sandwiches when I couldn’t even see the stove top. He pulled up a chair for me to stand in, for those of you who are curious. My Mom has been teaching me to follow recipes and bake and decorate cakes for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me to make biscuits in the flour bowl (by making a depression in the center and adding your liquids, not as hard as it sounds), gravy, and the family secret chocolate pie.

I love reading and I learned to read before I started pre-k. My parents owned a business when my brother and I were little. and we stayed with baby sitters a lot, so I don’t know the exact time I learned to read. My Dad was tucking me in one night and decided to see if I could read any of the story. I read it all to him, but since it was my favorite, he tried a different book, which I also read to him. He loves to read and apparently I got that gene. I DEVOUR books like a monster. 300 pages take me one day if I don’t have anything to do.

I also grew up playing in grease. My Dad and his friends are shade tree mechanics from the 70’s and his passion for cars was also passed on to me. I can change a tire, oil, brakes, and more. I love classic cars. His passion fueled mine since he never told me that girls weren’t supposed to work on cars. Instead, he told me that I would need to do these things on my own so that I wouldn’t have to rely on sketchy strangers if I ever got a flat. I now work in the automotive field in a body shop. I am lucky to have my job because there are still many shops down here who aren’t too keen on hiring women. The shop I work for treats me like family.

I love to take road trips and ride motorcycles. My parents have always had a sense of wanderlust and it also got passed down. I’ve also been riding on the back of my Dad’s motorcycle since I can remember. I now ride on the back of my boyfriend’s bike but can’t wait to have my own.

I started this blog to chronicle a journey in my life and I feel like I got a little off track by posting a lot of quotes. I am not very good at expressing my feelings when I am down, so I use quotes. I have decided to try and post less of those on this blog. If there is still interest in the many quotes I have collected over the years, I will gladly start a blog just for those.

I will try to cover a range of topics, about my life experiences, travels, my Dad’s health, my new experience as moving out and being a first time home owner at the same time. I will try to throw in some DIY car tutorials, home ideas, and some recipes. If you’re lucky, I might even let you in on the Family Chocolate Pie Recipe. 😉

Welcome to the weirdness. Welcome to my slice of the internet. Welcome to See You Starside.

Another Mile Down

My Dad had his surgery Friday morning to install the tube for dialysis. The surgeon said everything went fine, and it only took about an hour. There was a little blip in the recovery room. His oxygen levels kept dropping so they had to keep the oxygen tank on. They finally started weaning him off of it, and finally he was able to come home.

He has a few incisions where the tube is inserted in the peritoneal cavity and then where it comes out near his waist. He has to be out of work for about a week, and when he does go back, he can’t lift anything over 15 pounds. Hopefully he doesn’t try to overdo it. He does work in a parts store where most things are well over that weight limit.

He’s been slowly trying to walk around the house. They told him it would be good for him, so he tries. He is definitely stiff though. I can tell by how he walks that he’s in pain. He is taking the pain killers they prescribed, but he tries not to because I think he is worried about all the meds doing further damage to his body.

He can’t shower or get the site wet until he goes to the dialysis center to have the dressing changed and the incisions inspected. Hopefully everything goes according to plan. It’s going to be at least 6 weeks before everything is healed up enough to actually start dialysis. I’m not sure if he will start immediately after the doc gives him the “all clear” or not.

This certainly is not a journey anyone would choose for themselves or their loved ones. But we are not always given a choice. So now it is up to us to decide what to do with the path we are given. His choice, and ours (my mom, brother, and myself), is to go down this road. I do not know how long this journey will be. I do not know how easy or tough the going may get. I do not know where it will lead. But I do know that there is another mile marker behind us, that we will walk as a family, that we will walk with faith, and that we will not stop, we will not give up, we will not give out, and we will not give in.