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Gratitude Log May 5th thru May 11th 2016

May 5, 2016

- I am grateful today is almost over. M.S. fatigue is about the worst it's ever been.
- I am grateful to have seen the psychologist today.
- I am grateful that was the only thing I had to do.

May 6, 2016

- I am grateful to feel a bit better today.
- I am grateful I have an eye doctor in Morro Bay.
- I am grateful for light dilating wye drops!

May 7, 2016

- I am grateful for spaghetti for dinner.
- I remain thankful to have no interaction with my sister.
- I am grateful for the cat and the Turtle.

May 8, 2016
- I am grateful to have had such a wonderful mother who was also my best friend. Even though she is no longer here to be celebrated on Mother's Day.

I'll leave it with that for today since it's pretty big slice of gratitude.

May 9, 2016

- I am grateful for my house being clean.
- I am grateful to have clean linens.
- I am grateful to be able to go to bed soon.

May 10, 2016

- I am grateful for a day of rest.
- I am grateful to have had my hair cut and a good talk with my friend, Linda, at the same time.
- I am grateful to my little family (tortoise and cat) for the smiles they bring me.

May 11, 2016

- I am grateful for my grief support group.
- I am grateful to feel more rested today.
- I am grateful Betty brought some roses over today for the Turtle.

Gratitude Log, April 28 thru May 4

April 28, 2016

- I am very, very grateful I was able to attend the Hospice Memorial Celebration today and really say "Goodbye" to my Mom. The grieving is not over but I feel better.
- I am grateful for friends.
- I remain grateful for my fellow grief support friends.

April 29, 2016

- I am grateful to have enlargements of my mom's photo for me -- and to give as gifts to my brother and sister.
- I am grateful for my friend, Cindy, and how well she cares for my gardens.
- I am grateful I had enough money left at the end of the month for a good dinner tonight.

April 30, 2016

- I am grateful for thrift stores!
- I am grateful for the continued pleasant weather.
- I am grateful for the hibiscus flower that is about to bloom.

May 1, 2016

- I am grateful to have watered the front garden.
- I remain grateful for Outlander Season 2.
- I am grateful the flowers from last Thursday's Memorial are still doing well.

May 2, 2016

- I am grateful for library books.
- I am grateful for the Internet.
- I am grateful I have had no contact with my sister since the beginning of April.

May 3, 2016

- I am grateful for the delicious halibut I had for dinner.
- I am grateful for the wonderful tiny frames I got at the Dollar Store.
- I am grateful for the beginning of the month.

May 4, 2016

- I am grateful for whole wheat french bread from Albertson's that the bakery will slice if asked. Only $1.69!
- I am grateful for my grief support group.
- I am grateful for the TV shows I love. Even The Vampre Diaries that looked to be going to absolute shit this season may be turning itself around.

Gratitude Log April 21st thru April 27th.

Gratitude Log

April 21, 2016

- I am grateful to "Eric the Handyman" who came and cleared the clog in my kitchen sink. And only charged me $10.00 when I know his hourly charge is $40.00. I think after his last dealings with my sister he is aware of my bad financial situation.
- I am grateful for the new psychologist I am seeing. She is in her seventies, is very wise, and yet eager to learn new things. I like her a lot.
- I am grateful for my house.

April 22, 2016

- I am grateful for Earth Day that began in 1970 and that I helped in its beginning as the first Ecology Chairman at my high school in 1973.
- I am grateful I found out my sister paid the auto insurance by calling the insurance company.
- I am grateful for the .10 inch of rain.

April 23, 2016

- I am grateful for family friend, Betty.
- I am grateful for my cat and my desert tortoise. They both make my life better.
- I am grateful for the cooler weather.

April 24, 2016

- I am grateful for the produce section at Spencer's Market.
- I am grateful for the cat not getting quite as upset when I gave her the monthly flea treatment.
- I am grateful for the wind because it made strangers come together with humor.

April 25, 2016

- I am grateful for the short conversation I had with someone while waiting in line today about whether the hills would green again or if the rain is over.
- I am grateful for "Once Upon a Time" and all the strong women who are characters on the show.
- I am grateful for library books!

April 26, 2016

- I am grateful for clean clothes.
- I am grateful for the cool weather and reduced wind.
- I am grateful to an acquaintance who called today.

April 27, 2016

- I am grateful for my grief support group.
- I am grateful for the Turtle's joy at eating an orchid cactus flower.
- I am grateful to be a woman who supports the women's rights of Hillary Clinton's campaign and not some neanderthal "Bernie Bro" who drank some very strange kool aid.

Gratitude Log April 14th thru April 20th

Thursday, April 14, 2016

- I am grateful for the backyard drama I got to see this morning: an aggressive mockingbird protecting its nest while scolding and lunging at a neighborhood cat -- while my kitty and I watched from the safety of the sun porch.
- Sorry. Just one thing today.

Friday, April 15, 2016

- I am grateful I don't have to pay income taxes.
- I am grateful to have watched the Turtle eat red seedless grapes because he is so fun to watch.
- I am grateful that, two days after interacting with my sister, I feel almost physically okay again.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

- I am grateful that my arm and hand feel okay again after trying to unclog the kitchen sink with boiling water.
- I am grateful the hot day is over.
- I am grateful I was able to go to the library.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

- I am grateful to have gotten through the heat today.
- I remain grateful for Outlander Season 2 and the humor in the latest episode. 18th century bikini waxes, anyone?
- I am grateful for being able to sit at a bench outside Spencer's Market and watch the ocean.

Monday, April 18, 2016

- I am grateful that the three days of heat are supposed to end tomorrow.
- I am grateful that I talked to my acquaintance, Sharon, today and that she was interested in how I am -- for a change.
- I am grateful today is almost over.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

- I am grateful the library book I reported as lost (I am quite sure it's on a shelf in some library in SLO county) 2 months ago was finally taken off of my record.
- I am grateful Hillary Clinton won the New York primary!
- I am grateful for the chance of rain this weekend.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

- I am grateful for the weekly grief support group.
- I am grateful that today was the first comfortably cool day since last Friday,
- I am grateful to have watched the latest Agents of Shield episode … I think.

Gratitude Log, April 7 thru April 13, 2016

This is something my new psychologist asked me to do daily in the hope that finding things to be grateful for might help with anxiety and depression. I am doing that in a Text Edit document. Thought I would post it weekly here on Live Journal.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

1 - I am grateful to have my cat.
2 - I am grateful for my house.
3 - I am grateful that I went to the market today.

Friday, April 8, 2016

1 - I am VERY grateful I realized I can mail tree estimates to my sister instead of having to interact with her.
2 - I am grateful for tacos from Taco Bell when I needed comfort food.
3 - I am still grateful for my cat, who helped me with #1.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

1 - I am grateful to have clean clothes.
2 - I am grateful that the weather, though, muggy, is cool today.
3 - I am grateful for how beautiful the front yard looks.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

1 - I am grateful I got through this day.
2 - I am grateful for the return of Outlander. Season 2 looks like it will be very good.
3 - I am grateful that I went to my parents' house today to see what has been going on in the quest to make it a rental.

Monday, April 11, 2016

1 - I am grateful that my house was cleaned today (and grateful to see my friend, Lori).
2 - I am grateful the Turtle finally ate a good meal of 2 large lettuce leaves and 4 snap peas!
3 - I am grateful I am still able enough to go to the laundromat.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

1 - I am grateful for the continued pleasantly cool weather.
2 - I am grateful for the climbing roses my across-the-street neighbor has offered for the Turtle (he loves them!)
3 - I am grateful for a small book I requested from the library called "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

1 - I am grateful that I did not allow my sister to project her own ill feelings into my answers to her on the phone.
2 - I am grateful to my parents for treating me with respect, even as they helped make my life a little better.
3 - I am heartily grateful this day is almost over.

Hillary Clinton

I am so frustrated in this election. Yes, I believe in socialistic health care; yes, I believe that taxes favor the rich; yes, I'd love to see a revolution that puts women's rights in the hands of women, not weird conservative men.

That is why I support Hillary Clinton. She is, I think, similar to a female Lyndon Baines Johnson -- the man from Texas who gave us Medicare and Medicaid and created the "Great Society." He was an asshole. But look what he accomplished. And in the face of manic conservative backlash.

Ms. Clinton is not LBJ. She is woman who has been in the political hot spot since 1992 when her husband became president. Of all the "scandals" and allegations put at her door, not one has been proven. And, the GOP has tried their considerable damnedest to try. Since 1992. Not ONE allegation has been proven. When the GOP couldn't pin an existing scandal, they made one of a man's personal life with Monica Lewisnky. It had nothing to do with running the country and Ms. Clinton handled it, as she has handled every curve ball hurled at her, with dignity and grace.

Now, the youth of our country are aligned with Mr. Sanders who they think can suddenly make our country into a socialistic domain. He is passionate and shouts a lot. He also said he was more of a feminist than a Democratic running mate who was a woman. As well, he wrote an essay as a young man about a woman fantasizing about being raped by two men. I won't demonize him for the rape essay (even though as a rape victim, even the "fantasy" makes me cringe in horror) -- he was a young man. I won't even demonize him for the feminist comment; he used a weapon at hand in an election even though the woman he maligned was a passionate advocate of equal rights.

But, this is not the person I want to be elected to try to accomplish his agenda. I want someone who has been through the hell of GOP censure and risen above it. Mr. Sanders is not that person. As the Democratic candidate he will lose -- because of one word, "socialism." There are just not enough people willing to back that at this time. The GOP want Mr. Sanders to be the candidate because they know he will lose. Think about that. They have ramped up attacks on Ms. Clinton while leaving Mr. Sanders alone. It's because they know Clinton would be very hard to beat.

I hope both Sanders and Clinton realize they will have to be running mates. The alternative of a possible Cruz or Trump presidency is unthinkable. If Sanders wins the primary, he needs Clinton to balance his still off-the-wall ideas. If Clinton wins the candidacy, she needs Mr. Sanders (and his ideas) to win.

I still favor Ms. Clinton because the GOP hates her so much; because she was the first to offer Universal Health Care (back in the 1990's (ahem to all of you who love to hate the ACA or who want a single payer plan); because she is committed to women's rights; because she was a great Secretary of State (y'all remember that, right? The most admired woman in the world? Numerous times?); because sometimes armed conflict is necessary and I trust her to know when and not "carpet bomb" a region just because.

Yeah. Ms. Clinton has been "presidential" since 1992. It's time everyone else caught on.

You are welcome to google Mr. Sanders' "scandals." They are verified by Snopes. Just THINK what a field day the GOP will have with those.

*****

"Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely — and the right to be heard." - Hillary Clinton

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Not a Caregiver …

Since mom's cancer was diagnosed last February, I have had to insist I am not a caregiver. I cannot clean … stuff … off of people. But that seems to have been a real sticking point for all the agencies helping to care for my mom. That I can't clean unmentionable stuff from someone's person.

By the same token, I have never asked anyone to help clean *me* up when I've had an accident. M.S. When your mom is dying, I have found, your own disability ain't worth much. I should be right there cleaning up … stuff … with joy and gladness in my heart. AND, doing it in the suffocating heat of my parents' house.

What I *am* good at is preparing food, doing shopping, taking dad out, decorating the Christmas tree (I do not have a tree of my own), trying to cheer people up, making mom (and dad) laugh. Probably other things I am forgetting.

My sister and her husband have had to do the dirty work. I applaud this, have told them so. But sis does not tell me anything.

Today, I got a large dose of my sister's apparent anger therapy. It appears she and Scott have been searching out homes and hospitals for mom. Since my sister never calls me, I knew nothing. I knew mom was doing badly on Friday and brought my own Split Pea soup for their dinner. It may be that is the last real meal my mom has.

On Saturday, I went over and decorated their Christmas tree. I just hated to see it sitting there naked.

Today, when I called, dad handed me over to sis. We haven't talked in weeks but I was supposed to know that mom would be going to a home/hospital. I let her vent her anger but it was very hard.

Later in the day, after I'd left a message that I had sat with dad and monitored mom (in bed since Friday night), she called and was friendly but very defensive about questions I had. If she had kept me in a communication loop, she wouldn't need to be defensive.

When my parents are gone, I think I'll need to have my two good friends, Joseph and Michelle, deal with my sister. She would *have* to be nicer to them than she has eve been to me.

********
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph ... 
Preserve your memories; They're all that's left you." - Simon and Garfunkel

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8 Weeks Sick …

I'm fairly certain I now know what's wrong with me. No thanks my doctor's Physician's Assistant who saw me both times since this began before Father's Day. The P.A. saw me because my doctor was unavailable the first time (same day) and out of the office the second time.

Do not, ever, trust anyone with your health except those doctors you trust. I told the P.A. the first time that I was sure it was sinusitis. I've had experience with it so I should know. He gave me an antibiotic for a bacterial infection. Okay; sometimes sinusitis can be that.

It didn't work that I could see. When I went back in the second week of July, I was feeling horrible! The P.A. was curt. He said that viruses can last months. When I asked about any tests in case it might be something else? He became downright snide as he said, "I don't think you have tuberculosis." Asshat. I never thought I did. Asshat. He told me I should call only if I had a "consistent temperature of above 101". So, 3 days of 100.8 didn't count, I guess.

I have had medical nightmares in the past. My doctor knows this. He also knows I do my homework. The P.A. (Asshat) merely made himself look ridiculous. And I was left wondering what in hell was wrong. Luckily (heh) in the past 2 weeks, I have had more symptoms and more time to think.

Based on all I know, all I remember from childhood, and all I have researched based on symptoms, I have chronic sinusitis. Almost all fits. The only one -- moderate fever that doesn't fit -- can be attributed to one of two things: 1- sinus attacks or, 2 - bladder affected during this 2 month (next week is the cut off) of diseased siege.

Last night was so bad I was scared. The night before I could not breathe. Could not sleep. Could only keep my head elevated. Then, yesterday afternoon, I connected the dots after a day of acute misery. And I did my own research. I also found that chronic sinusitis, while common, can have some bad ass complications.

I may need to see an Ears/Nose/Throat (ENT) doctor to manage this. If only the P.A. (Asshat) had listened to me and acknowledged my history of childhood tonsillitis and sinusitis. I am exhausted from this illness, from being blown off, and from the relief of finding out what must be wrong.

I'll give it the full 8 weeks - ending this Sunday. Then -- even if I am much recovered -- I will make an app't to see my DOCTOR. Only him. I think he would have realized this because he's great at diagnosis.

Heartily tired of this shit.

********
"It just seems to me that the world's kind of a mess, and the more messy it gets, the more interested I am in escapist fare. Having a good time is something that isn't about the war in Iraq or the Asian flu or the Kyoto protocol - things that are horribly depressing to consider in our real lives. I'm eager to get away from them." -- Eric Stoltz

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My mom now has Hospice. After months of fighting against it, she seems quite happy with the care they are providing. A nurse visits weekly and is in charge of medication. Mom hated taking the Vicodin her doctor prescribed because it made her feel even worse and gave her constipation. The nurse has provided a new, smaller Vicodin and a mild laxative to take at the same time. She takes only one Vicodin per day even though she is allowed one every four hours.

I got a cold, stayed home for two days, and thought I was better. Bad move. I now am *almost* over a bout of bacterial sinusitis. I do a number of things weekly to help my parents but have had to stay home. Hospice could have provided a volunteer to take mom to her weekly hair appointment, but a neighbor offered to do it.

My parents are both 94 years old. My dad is now no longer allowed to drive so they are housebound. The local "Call-a-ride" cannot drive up their incredibly steep driveway so they depend on me, my sister, and sis's husband for transportation and to do all errands. But, this does keep them independent! Mom will probably die before Dad does. Mom could have stayed in their house alone. Dad will not be able to due to advanced dementia. :-(

We are all in a holding pattern for now. In some ways this is a very good and special time. I am able to slowly accept that my mom will be gone. The weekly things I do to help are important, in a good way, as they add to memories without unwanted drama. Probably no one will understand that unless they have been abnormally close to their (rather dramatic) parents.

*******
"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else." ~ Emily Dickinson

The Originals & The Vampire Diaries

Surprise! I'm posting to LJ. Just needed to talk a little about the season finales of both shows.

Some background. My parents are both 94 years old. In February two things happened. My mom was diagnosed with a cancer that cannot be treated so sooner or later (within a year) she'll be gone. Also in February my dad had a bad fall that resulted in hospitalization, rehab, a permanent catheter, and a judgment that he can no longer drive due to his dementia.

It's been a rough few months for my family as we try to deal with all the ramifications toward end of life for my parents. I know! They are 94 and have lived a good life. Tell me that when it's your own parents and I'll listen. It is never easy. However, they are still alive and still being pains in the ass.

Okay. On to my short review of shows.
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The season finale of The Vampire Diaries made me wish, momentarily, that I was a spiritual person.