Sunday, August 30, 2009

7 days

It's now been 7 days since dad was last discharged. SEVEN days. I'm just waiting for it all to fall down again.

The house is almost ready. I will take some photos today and show some 'before' and 'afters'. Trust me, it's not all that; but it came up well (I think).

Back to walking on eggshells...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Err, hello, I'm Shel and I'll be your blog host today...

I apologise for my lack of update; things around here have been beyond ridiculous.

Dad: has been in and out of hospital since my last post. They are talking dialysis (cleaning out the toxins in the blood by pulling it out, cleaning it and putting it back again) if this keeps on going. We have ditched the first specialist and now have a new Liver specialist and a gastroenterologist. Things aren't looking up or down; they are just looking. So, whilst they are just that, so will I be.

House; is almost ready for market. The photographer will be here Monday week, so it's been very much 'sorting, moving, packing and prettying'. I do have some photos of each room 'before' and very soon I will take some of 'after'. The painter has finished inside (except for whatever I write on my list between now and Thursday) and only has a little bit of the outside to do (because Grant will not have time to finish). It's come up well; hell, if I wasn't selling it, I'd buy it!!

Kids; gosh, considering what has been going on around here of late, the kids have been awesome. House full of wet doors? No problem. Mum stressed over one thing or another? Eeasy. They are both good kids at the end of the day - Riley is getting another award at school on Monday. I will be unable to attend, but it worked beautifully that G will be able to.

Today we take some stuff to mum and dads (only for storage, we're minimising the pictures/trinkets etc), drop into work to pick up a few bits and pieces and then we're home to clean out the shed, polish the floors and continue prettying/cleaning.

Our final home run will include cleaning up outside, getting some pretty little plants to brighten up the place and the RE comes over Sunday to pick up keys.

We haven't even started looking; I refuse to start that until I finish this. So, one more week.

There's been a bit of an 'incident' with G's family. There are 4 families (plus G's parents) and in total there are 12 children. Each year, we have been buying Christmas presents for all of them; and as more came, it was starting to get ridiculous. So, at Christmas, the 3 girls and 1 husband (because the 4th wife didn't come up that time) discussed the idea of Kris Kringle for the children. That way, they would all get something more substantial (durable!!) and not 18 things that are made in China and break in 3 days. All good; what a good idea etc etc.

This week, I put forward who had who for the KK. 4th wifes husband hasn't told her, and she feels 'it's more personal to give all the kids presents and I'm still upset we don't do it for the adults'. Because, you know, what you need is more shit you don't need. Then I receive another email from 4th wife telling me that '3rd wife didn't realise it was for the children, she thought it was for the adults and she doesn't want to do it either'. Which is a complete load of rot, because we all discussed it in depth. But, hey, if she wants to lie, who am I to judge?

So, we say 'whatever, I think it's stupid, but whatever'. 1st family (we can be the 2nd family) also say it's stupid and an utter waste of time and money, as do G's parents. I now an am uber bitch in 4th wifes eyes (because *I* organised it without telling anyone, or at least, have not been clear enough; 4th wifes husband has wisely shut up and played dumb, and with the 3rd wifes lies, is the only conclusion she can reach) and have sensibly not heard from 3rd wife.

Considering neither 3rd or 4th wife remember anyones birthdays, all this 'happy families and Christmas is important' rubbish is running rather shallow. It looks more and more like a present grab, whereby families 1, 2 & 3 pay less attention to 'spending limits' and more to what the particular child will like; family 4 spend not a cent more than the limit and mostly buys things that do not fit, work or appropriate.

I am very dirty on that. But, what do you do?

So, I shall continue on. I'm certainly NOT looking after myself; I'm either not eating at all for 2 days, or eating rot after I've not eaten for 2 days. My face looks like I'm 16 again and whilst my weight hasn't gone one way or another; I feel very routund and tired. The better I deal with dad, the better I will deal with life. And it's not going to get better, or easier, or managed. There are too many variables, however slight, that cause a relapse. So, we just wait out the 5 days until we go back again and on the 5th day, he rests and gets dripped and managed in a controlled environment. Even outside temperature is a variable for him. How much he walks, whether he has too little water when it's 2 degrees higher than what it was the day before are variables.

It sucks. I'm getting a tree full of lemons. I'm making lemonade out of it; but it has a very bitter taste.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It all starts to become a little much when it's real

You know when you fall over and scrape your knee; it hurts like a bastard, but you know that eventually it will all be fine. That the cut will slowly scab, itch and eventually, leave barely a mark. In 12 months time, you'll giggle at the ridiculous squeal you omitted when you suffered such an injury.

I've put all this stuff with my father into this category. Bung liver? Pfft. Give it a few years and he'll be right as rain. He's done nothing even remotely untoward for at least 7 years now; surely that has to count for something? Attack of the crazies? Pfft; one drip full and he's back to normal.

Except, it's starting to not go that way.

Today it hit me like a big bag of potatoes. He's dying. This is not some little issue with a knee; or something that will heal up and be gone. It's here to stay, warts and all. It will be what takes my father away in the end.

I went over there today and he looked awful. 'It's just the tablets' both of them are telling me; but do they really think that? Or, like me, are they trying desperately to make it fit into the 'it'll be fine' box - when it obviously is not going to fit there?

I have no idea what to do. I want to do so much; yet, at the same time, I want to cover myself in the blanket called denial and just pretend that he's just 'got the flu' and will be back at work this week. That it won't be a long term thing because he'll be fine.

But, I'm really starting to doubt that now. I am honestly starting to think that this will be the death of him.

And I dread that moment.

A song, from the early 90's keeps popping in my head; and it's filled with bits of advice for living. It basically says 'worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum'. Which, is true. But, it's like living on tenderhooks.

'How is he today?' has become my mantra.

And each time he gets better, and then slides backwards, I feel like an over-optimistic fool. I nearly shout it from the rooftops that 'he's fine' when, for a whole day, he's fine. But, the following day turns into a bad one; and I feel even more useless than I did before.

Surely I would know when my father is going to die?

What scares me the most, is what my gut is telling me. I can't even put that into words.

I have been keeping myself relatively busy with work, the house and the kids. It's actually been pretty good; work all day, come home and pack/unpack some more stuff, do the dinners and lunches and go to bed. But some nights, like tonight, I find myself shovelling mulch in the pouring rain crying my heart out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I said it was going to be a busy week, but really....

Well, as it turned out, I was very busy this week; it was just very little of the above got done. I will apologise for the length now, because it's going to be a big one.

Monday; The day was at work, the night was shifting furniture, packing boxes and sorting half the house out for the painter.

Tuesday; was a normal day. Except I also had kinder duty. So, school, groceries, swimming, kinder, lunches, dinner etc. Night was moving furniture around, getting organised for my course the next day.

Wednesday; I did it. I got to the course, got the kids to school and everything was rosy. The course itself is really interesting and perfect for what I need. It also helped considerably that the teacher was very nice to look at.

Let me pretext what comes next by saying that Connor had grandparents day at school on Wednesday; and that mum and dad were going up there.

At about 2pm Mr nice looking told us to go have a break. I checked my phone and saw that one of the guys from work rang. So, I go downstairs and call him back.

'Hows your Dad?' he asks.
I ask him WTF he's talking about; he was meant to be at Connors Grandparents thing, so he might not have ended up coming in at all.
'Where are you' he asks.
'In the city on that course' I reply.
He then gets into a complete dither, apologising because he thought I was with him etc etc. My sense of urgency grows and I nearly spit at him "what the bloody hell is going on?"

I call mum who says 'he's not right'. He has tried to plug his disposable razor into a power point, can't get his shirt on and is trying to call work with the TV remote. He's slurring, dizzy and he's not right. She tells me not to bother coming home (yeah sure).

I tell nice looking man I have to go, as my father is sick. He's totally fine with it and I shoot home. Walk into mums and near on die myself. He looks completely vacant and can talk, but very VERY slowly.

It takes him forever to tell me that 'he's fine' and that he'd 'spin out' if I took him to hospital. So, I call 000 and explain the scene to them. By this point, we are nearly positive he's had a mild stroke. Ambos come (lovely people they are) and whisk him off to hospital with mum in tow. Connor, who was at mums, announces to no one in particular that 'poppy has gone to die now'. I nearly agreed with him. G picks up Connor and I head up there too.

Midnight. After 5 hours of triage, shambles and tests, we finally get a general diagnosis. encephalopathy. So, not a stroke. Mum and I leave at 1am at least relieved to know he's not had a stroke and that this attack of the crazies is probably not permanent. They ask him todays date a hundred times; each time it changes. March 1990, June 2000 etc. As the hours progress and the thiamin? is dripped through him, he becomes more and more coherent.

The next day at the public hospital, we walk in to find a group of interns grading his alcohol withdrawal. Not a big thing for a great number, I give you that, but I nearly burst into tears at the fact that we were back at the fucking start with this place. I crack the sads and call his specialist. Until this point, we had no idea exactly what it was. Now we know it's his liver, we'll call him. So we did, and Scott moved him out of the public, into our local private hospital. Even that took 5 hours; and I was already driving him there.

Where are we now? Well, he's much better. He's had more tests done, another ultrasound and a CTG to measure any brain damage, which has come back OK. The ultrasound/Xray was only done yesterday evening, so we don't quite know if it's all gotten worse or not yet. But, he's coherent, looking much better and Scott thinks that it was all caused by a combination of lack of B12, constipation and (due to the constipation) a build up of ammonia, which likes to get rid of B12. And no B12 can make people go crazy; especially liver patients who have no B12 in reserve.

Where am I now? Sitting in a brothel of a house. The kids just barely made it a normal week, although no homework got done (for the first time this year). In addition to all of the above, Riley got 'buddy bear' to take home this week. I think 'Buddy bear' will be going to Auskick and the hospital and that's about it.

My sister called the place where I had my course and they are more than happy for me to start the course again; which was a nice little relief. Not that it mattered, but I'd have liked to have finished it. Now I get that chance.

The painter has been fantastic. Left him a key, he's painted and it has all come up well. At least that's one good thing that happened this week.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Busy much? I did ask for it though....

This week I am;
kinder duty
dropping children off @ 7am so I can make my 9am course for three days
Packing/unpacking for the painter
Organising carpet
Painting outside
cleaning out the shed
Getting 4yo kinder offers out

amongst all the regular every day things you do when you have 2 kids. Except, my husband will be away.

We've decided we're going to take full advantage of this housing bubble and put ours out for sale before the bubble bursts. So, on Thursday, we got a real estate agent out to check it all out. Saturday, we got our painter friend over to price it. He starts Tuesday morning.

This week is going to hurt. But, if I get through this, the rest will be eassssy.

Just wish me luck!!