Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Saga Continues...Part 2

Hello again! I am sooooo glad to be inside an air conditioned house than outside in the blazing 107 degree heat!  I just got back with my husband from his dental appointment to have a crown placed on one of his teeth and then to his weekly allergy injection.  It was so warm out, my sweat had sweat!! It's going to be a looooonnnnnggggg summer, I can just tell!!

The story continues....let's see....things weren't always bad while we were living with my parents. The time we all went to the Grand Canyon and Sedona were great. And we went to Pacific Beach in San Diego, CA and had a blast at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. I've got many pictures from all the trips and I cherish each and every one of them....for two reasons. One, they represent the good times in our life and second, now that my mom is gone, the pictures of her are even more precious. I can't ever get those times back and I want to very much! So if anyone develops a time machine, can I be one of the first to ride in it??  LOL....

Over the 10 years we all lived together, we tried very hard to both hide and help my dad with his drug addiction.  Very hard things to do, indeed. I tried to hold his medications for him and give them out at spaced intervals. That lasted for about two hours. He kept following me around and coming up with things like, "oh, I wrenched my back while doing my work out. Can I have an extra pill?" It's very hard to play jailor after your own dad. How do you say no? And everywhere I hid his pills, he found. So we came up with a safe that requires BOTH a key and a combination.  I joke and say this safe is "BP"....stands for "Bobby proof."  He tried to take some kind of tool and pry it open when I was at work but it didn't work.  And it got paint flecks all over my carpet that he didn't bother to clean up!

He got really upset over not being able to get into the safe that he started just outright demanding I give him his pills back. I was afraid of what he might do, so I gave them back.  But I kept ours in the safe, though. He can have his and we can have ours!!  Oh, sigh, if only it worked out like that. When he threw a fit, he threw a massive fit. Hitting things, throwing things, I never knew what else he might do and didn't want to find out. So I divided up our pills and gave him a small amount to keep him quiet. But when I did that, our supply ran short and when I'm out of my pain medication, I'm miserable!!!!  Frankie and my mom were miserable!!!!  But I just didn't know what else to do. I felt trapped in every sense of the word.  And we would be out not for just a few days, but sometimes a week or two.

When mom and I were out on my traveling nurse jobs, that was nice. We would be gone for a week or so, as I had an assignment at Banner Desert Hospital in Mesa, AZ. The nurse company got us a really nice apartment in Scottsdale and mom and I would go and live the high life for awhile. It was sooo nice to keep our medications in the medicine cabinet instead of locked up in the safe.

I did the nurse job at Banner Desert the best I could, but working on the floor just got to be too much. Plus, my wieght was ballooning up and I could hardly breathe without having to huff and puff!!  My joints, especially my knees, were all screaming at me. I tried to put up a brave front for my mom, but damn, I hurt so bad I could hardly stand it. But I had to work....I was the main bread winner, so do speak!

The next assignment was the San Antonio one, where mom died. I knew the second we got to San Antonio, and felt the increase of humidity, that I wouldn't be able to work at the hospital that hired me.  It was a shame, as everyone there was so nice, caring and compassionate. When mom fell ill and was critical, I had a team of people around ME, and she had a team around her and we both were being cared for. That was the absolute worst day of my life on that day they told me my mom was going to die. I couldn't imagine my life without her. Who would take care of my dad? Was I responsible?  I was so afraid to call him up and tell him mom had died. What would he do? Would he take an overdose of his pills and end it all? But I couldn't NOT tell him. So I told him and he was just absolutely silent. My husband said he paced a lot that night and didn't sleep.  My grandma came and stayed with me to help me adjust to the drastic changes.  She lives in College Station with my aunt and uncle, so the trip wasn't too far from San Antonio.  Grandma was in shock mode, too, but she kept focused and we took care of all the arrangements to have mom cremated and sent back to Michigan, where we thought she'd be buried in the Churchill family plot.  After all was taken care of, grandma went back to College Station and I started back home to Tucson. I'm glad I took that trip alone. I remember driving and crying, remembering every moment of my life with mom and now driving the highways alone, no laughter or music in the car that mom loved while she drove.  I wished I could go back in time and figure out what happened. Why did her kidneys fail so fast? Was it a whopper of an infection? They all seemed to think so in Texas.  She was always getting infections. After all her joint replacement surgeries she'd get a skin infection that would need a treatment of antibiotics.  But she always got a fever with her infections and she didn't have one this time. Only her white count was very low, but that is one thing you can't tell when looking at  someone.

I tried to believe that I could still keep that job in San Antonio. Mom wanted me to keep working so badly and I tried to do that for her, in her memory. So I went back to Tucson, packed up the moving truck (with MUCH thanks to my in-laws and sister-in-law Barb and brother-in-law Jay as they helped with getting us moving men and money! And my mom and dad-in-law helped pack up the kitchen.  My father didn't lift ONE finger to help us. I don't know why. I kept telling him, "Dad, we are leaving tomorrow. Please help us!" and he would look at me and tell me we had plenty of time.  NO, we didn't!!!! So Frankie and I worked like maniacs and finally everything was loaded and we were ready to go.

Our life in San Antonio flopped even before it started. I tried to work, but had such a severe panic attack that they sent me home on my first night there. It was so much harder than I thought to work in the same hospital my mom had died in.  We were living in the Super 8 motel, I couldn't work a shift to save my life and we were broke. My grandma and frankie's folks financed our stay at the Super 8, but that was running out fast.  My uncle, who lives in Michigan, kept telling us to come and stay with him for awhile. I was so blinded by grief that I followed what Dad wanted. So Michigan we went to and stayed there for about two weeks and then Frankie's folks graciously took us into their home until we get on our feet again.  We were broke (as usual) and would have stayed in Michigan until Frankie's disability check came in at the end of the month, but Frankie's folks came to our rescue again and financed some of the trip home and my aunt and uncle gave us money, too.  They were probably glad to get get us out of their house....especially my dad!!

Well, I'm gonna bring this to a close for today as my eyes are blurry and my brain is foggy. I hope this isn't too boring.  It does me a lot of good to talk about this and remember what happened.  Having mom die is the WORST thing to have happened to me in my life so far.  Even after almost 2 years, I'm still in shock that she is gone.  I will forever love and miss her.

I hope you all are happy & well!
Until next post,
Missy

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