Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stop the Ride, I Want to Get Off!

The last two months have been a roller coaster of incredible emotional ups and downs for me. I can't really say why I haven't written here (OK, I blame FaceBook!) but for anyone that is still following along.......

We had a mostly good time in Florida. This trip was different from our previous February break trips in that we were looking at retirement parks. We spent hours in the car, looking at different places. It was quite exciting to think that we might actually be to a point where we can escape the snow! We also were able to get together with some of John's family and our annual trip to Blue Springs State Park was incredible.

Just after arriving home I received an email telling me that my family history blog, Apple's Tree, had been named as one of Family Tree Magazine's Top 40 Genealogy Blogs! I was Giddy!

The more we talked after we got back, I realized that John and I were not exactly on the same page about what we wanted and what we could afford. After the excitement of looking and planning that was an incredible blow. More so because I was back to work in frigid temperatures and I found that, for other reasons I won't go into here, I really have come to hate going to my present job. The late winter blues hit me harder than usual. Life got busy with family, kids concerts, meetings and a couple of events at work, all of which I should have written about here. But every time I went to write here the posts ended up being Apple Whine and I deleted them. Instead, I really focused on Apple's Tree.

Focusing on Apple's Tree led to another emotional high for me when I was the featured author for the 91st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

I decided to finally get my right foot fixed and got my surgery scheduled. I explained to Mom that it would conflict with her regular check-up with her doctor and that I wanted to move her appointment up. Her response was something along the lines of, "that's probably a good thing because I've been getting dizzy when I'm just sitting in the chair and that doesn't seem right. And I want to ask him why my leg feels like it's on fire sometimes." I got her an appointment the following week! We went on St. Patrick's Day and the doctor told her he didn't see anything wrong, she was just getting old. Her BP and O2 levels were both good. I was frustrated but didn't really know what to do - so I did nothing.

Over the following weekend there were many phone calls back and forth to Florida. John's sister, Mary, had called about a house that had just been put up for sale in her park and thought it would be perfect for us. She went and looked at it for us. And we got in touch with the seller. We agreed to buy the place, sight unseen. Both an exciting and at the same time very scary thing! We did eventually receive pictures and the layout certainly will be a challenge. The entire place needs painting and we'll probably replace some of the carpet and linoleum but overall I think the place will suit us well and if it doesn't we can rent it and buy something else.

Meanwhile that week was another busy week. We saw Mom on Monday and Wednesday. We planned to go down on Friday, the 26th, too but she called and said she didn't feel well and not to come. There was a stomach bug going around and we figured that was what she had. That was the day we send our check off to Florida and I was a little too focused on that. I called her Saturday and she sounded better and said she felt better. I got busy on Sunday and didn't call.....

We arrived Monday to find her seriously ill. She said her stomach and right hip and leg hurt. Because she had an upset stomach she had stopped taking all of her medications except her water pill! I called the doctor and he couldn't see her until late afternoon. We took her to the ER instead. The triage nurse listened to her heart and asked if atrial fibrillation was normal for her. It was not! Her blood pressure was sky high. They did a CT scan to see what was causing her belly pain and found that she had an aortic aneurysm. They still had no idea where her pain was coming from but needless to say, she was admitted to the hospital so they could address these serious conditions.

Over the next couple of days she continued to get worse, or at least weaker. They brought her heart rhythm and blood pressure under control. A sonogram revealed that she also has gall stones but they didn't think that was what was causing her pain.

By Thursday she seemed to have turned the corner but was so weak that she couldn't even lift her legs or roll them enough to change her position in the bed enough to get comfortable. On Friday she had a dye test to see if the vascular surgeon could even try to repair the aneurysm. She continued to improve, just a little bit each day.

We had a very nice day Easter at Bean's house. She served a very nice meal and knowing how low I'd been all week she made me a carrot cake from scratch, my favorite! It was a beautiful day and the kids were able to have their Easter Egg hunt outside.

On Monday her doctors had a meeting and decided that she could not have surgery to repair the aneurysm. Apparently she has been living with it for awhile so we will just have to hope for the best and work to keep her BP down. Although she had been improving she was still a long way from being able to go home so arrangements were made for her to go to a rehab facility and she was transferred there on Tuesday.

The rehab place isn't too bad. She is not happy that they expect her to socialize with the other patients but otherwise she is doing OK. She is still weak and tires very easily, naps whenever she can. She is up and walking a bit but most of her time is still spent in a wheel chair.

I went to both of my doctors during the week and I am set to have my surgery next week. There have been a million things to do and most remain undone. I think I have my bus set to turn over to the sub, with all my paperwork up to date. The woman who will be taking over for me is very good and it's a relief I don't have to worry about that. I will be on crutches much longer this time than I was with the past two surgeries so John may have to go check on the new house without me and I know the garden will quickly look like a jungle. But I can go to Florida over the summer and working in the garden over the summer will keep me busy.

There have been a couple of other zingers lately. One friend was diagnosed with cancer and another's husband has been in and out of the hospital several times. He was just down the hall from Mom for a few days. Mom will be going home before I'm back up and walking but we will be making sure she gets the help she needs.

One way or another everything will work out - it always does!


  1. Wow, you have been busy. You are definitely right, things always work out. Just be sure to take some time for yourself and heal your foot. I hope you have a great weekend.

  2. You have a lot on your plate. I'm so sorry that you are no longer enjoying your job...that makes it so much harder. Trust you will love the place in FL. Glad your mom is improving.

    Take care.

  3. So many hard things at one time. I am so sorry. I hope your mother feels better soon and that all else goes well too. Take care...
    And congrats on those wonderful honors for your other blog. That is some accomplishment.
    I enjoy Facebook too and spend way too much time there.

  4. So much going on, at least some is positive. I know your bright outlook will carry you through. Hugs to you and prayers for you Mom.

  5. You're in my thoughts and all your family will certainly be in my prayers. Life just gets crazy too often, deosn't it! Take it a day at a time.

  6. You've certainly had your ups and downs these past several weeks, Apple. I'm glad your mom is getting the treatment she needs and hope she'll regain her strength soon. Perhaps she'll find she enjoys having others to socialize with.
    I hope and pray your op goes well and that you'll recover quickly.
    I'll be a relief for you to be away from the pressures of work at least for a while. One less thing to deal with.
    That's great knews and quite an accomplishment that your geneology blog was honored by a couple of different sources. Congratulations!
    Exciting news about the house in Florida too! Lucky you to be able to look forward to soaking up the Fl sunshine.
    I hope things smooth out and settle down for you as you recuperate from your op.
    You and your mom will be in my prayers.
    Meanwhile, happy spring! Enjoy the beautiful spring bulbs and the greening of the countryside. Isn't it good to see spring awakening once again?

  7. Hope your hospital stay is short. These days, those in our generation are finding out our own limitations and having to deal with our parents' issues, too. A burden sometimes, but a blessed one considering the alternatives. You seem to have come to a good place with all this; believe me, I know it's not easy. But we're with you!