Tuesday, September 30, 2008

too many decisions

I had a meeting at the hospital yesterday, with Dad's social worker, K, and the Palliative Care Coordinator, J.

Dad is still very, very sick. His lungs will be an ongoing problem because of the COPD. His heart, although functioning normally now, will also need to be closely monitored because of his irregular heart beat and congestive heart failure. Because of the blood clot in his arm, he will always need to be on closely monitored blood thinners. His liver abcesses have healed, but will always hold the potential for disaster. His kidneys and urinary tract are always in danger of failing and infection, as his prostate is enlarged to the point of needing surgical intervention. He is far too sick to handle surgery, so the only option is to keep him on a catheter. His feeding tube will keep him hydrated and meet his most basic nutritional needs, but it will not provide him with the additional energy needed to build up his strength.

He still wants to go home. He told us yesterday that he's going to be in the hospital for a few days, then go to rehab for a few days, and then he'll be able to go home.

His reality is that he'll never again go home. He will likely leave the hospital to go to rehab. But, he won't be able to keep up with the pace of rehab, and will be forced to a) leave the facility, or b) private pay (not an option). He will then have the choice of "going home" where he will need to private pay for 24 hour care, or going to a medicaid available nursing home. The only other option, which Grumps & I are discussing (but have not yet mentioned to Dad), is for him to come home with us. In this situation, someone could be with him round the clock, and he'd have the funds to pay for some specialized care (light physical therapy, specialized nursing care, nursing assistant to help with bathing, etc). Any of the above options would allow us to call in hospice, when the time is right.

My heart wants to go for the last option. I want to bring him home, and let him sit in his recliner and smoke his cigarettes and drink his coffee and watch a college football game. My head is TERRIFIED of doing this. Can I handle bringing my Dad home to die? Can Grumps & I handle the stress that this set of circumstances would undoubtedly put on us as individuals, and on our marriage? I would still need to work, so is it fair and right for me to ask Grumps to do SO MUCH of the care-taking during the day?

I honestly don't know what to do. There are so many options, choices, decisions to be made. And I'm simply incapable. I feel as though whatever path I choose will be the wrong one - either for Dad, or for Grumps & I.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Still Alive!

Sorry for the blog silence... it's been a crazy couple of weeks.

I'm still fighting whatever this viral funk is, but I am definitely feeling better. I worked a full day yesterday for the first time since last Monday! Needless to say, I'm SWAMPED!

The office move is progressing nicely! We set a new record (especially for our-indecisive-selves) and had out carpet, paint, and Formica picked out in a day. The telecom folks were at the new place yesterday getting us all wired in, the landlord was there ripping out the old carpet, and the painter was there getting set up. This time next week, the new suite will be painted, and carpet should have arrived (but probably won't yet be installed). We're all getting pretty excited about the change!

Dad is still in the hospital. I haven't seen him since our trip to the ER with him on Monday (don't want to expose him to whatever this funk is that I'm fighting), but I have a call into his doctor to get the latest info.

AND - prepare yourselves - but I actually have GOOD NEWS!

Grumps found out yesterday that he was accepted into the tuition assistance program! There's still a whole mess of legwork to be done, but he should be starting at the local community college in January! He's SO excited! And it warms my heart SO MUCH to see it!


Oh, and as a total aside, I've made little bits of progress on my 101 in 1,001. You can check it out here, if you're interested.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm Alive!

Even though much of this week hasn't felt like it.

Went to the doctor, who was concerned that I had either strep throat or mono (umm, 30 going on 13, perhaps?). Turns out it is neither. Just a nasty virus that has kicked my arse, and that I must let run its course. Fun.

I'm drinking lots of clear fluids, and getting lots of rest (thank GAWD for the DVR, and my complete Sex & The City on DVD collection... movie releases on Tuesday! WOOHOO!!!), and not doing much of anything else.

Grumps is north for the weekend, enjoying a special early hunting season. I guess we have a population issue, as the DNR doesn't often issue early seasons. Late? Sometimes (and we have one of those this year, too). But this is the 1st early season we've heard of, and Grumps has been hunting for 7 or 8 years now. The good news is that he got a deer his first morning out. So there will be chili in our menu this week, and the pressure is off for the rest of the season (read: through January 1). Yes, there will still be hunting, but my husband won't be the crazed, maniacal, target fixated fool he's been in years past).

In other news, Dad is back at rehab from his few day stint in the hospital. I haven't been able to see him in about 10 days, due to the ick that has taken residence in my body. Nor have I been able to talk to him, as he didn't seem to want to ANSWER HIS PHONE in the hospital (ARGH), and the rehab doesn't have phones in the patient rooms. I'm going under the assumption that no news is good news, as when things were going badly last week, my poor little cell phone rang itself silly. I'm hoping to be able to stop in & see him tomorrow, even if only for a short visit.

On the infertility front (what? this chick is STILL infertile? umm... yeah.) I had Lupron shot #5, and another surgical follow-up earlier this month. Doc says I'm healing well, and that I'm due for a Pap (umm, yay?), so I need to come in to see him about 4 weeks after my last shot (I'll see him again on Nov 3). I asked about scheduling the HSG, and he wants to put it off until after the Pap. His exact words were "I'm hoping to put it off long enough that you'll conceive naturally and won't need it." Isn't he cute?

I think that pretty much covers everything right now. Grumps has his 1st one-on-one with his MI Works case manager next week (Wed, I think), so a few good thoughts sent his way for that will be MUCH appreciated!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Pox on My House

The Grumps is sick - has been for several weeks now. What started off as seasonal allergies turned into an upper respiratory thing. Fortunately, he's on the upswing, and I figure he'll be back to 100% by the end of the week.

I'm sick. And I do mean sick. Sore throat (complete with lovely looking white bumps on my tonsils), stuffy head, slight cough, chest congestion, generally icky. Home from work today, doctor appointment this afternoon, throat culture (I'm sure), 2 week course of antibiotics, and I should be well on my way to dandy.


Dad is back in the hospital. Went in Friday to do some more tests, and hopefully drain off some of the fluid in his lungs. I haven't been able to get a hold of him by phone - and clearly can't go see him - so I'm not sure how he's feeling over the last couple of days. Words like "bi-lateral plural effusion" and "congestive heart failure" have entered the discussions. Still very much one day at a time right now.


On another note, I must publicly apologize to HAP. Although their rules are more stringent than Medicare, and I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone opting for their coverage over Medicare, they do have some saving grace... We got Dad's hospital bill for his 5.5 week stay. $158,000 total. His balance? $250.

Thank the Lord for health insurance!

And just a bit of housekeeping - Mel was right when she directed you all here for birthday wishes last week. My birthday is Sept 9. The Perfect Moment Mondays post was just referring back to that day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Perfect Moment Mondays

My birthday was not my best day ever. Between work insanity, Dad stuff, the craziness going on at home, and the fact that I turned 30 (which really bothered me more than it should have)... well, let's be honest... I haven't had my best day ever in quite a while.

So when I got home, I was ready to just go to bed. I was exhausted, and wanted to shut my head off for as long as I could.

Until I walked in the door.

The Grumps had made me a card, found a candle (a really really REALLY old emergency candle lol) to light, and set out a brownie as my "birthday cake".

It was ridiculously cheesy in all it's child-like glory, but it was exactly what I needed. It warmed my heart, and my soul, and brought a much needed smile to my face.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Daddy's Last Name is NOT Warbucks!


Got a call yesterday from the social worker at Dad's rehab. There is a chance that his insurance (note to readers: avoid HAP Senior Plus LIKE THE PLAGUE!!! IT IS EVIL!!!!) will cut him off on Friday.

Apparently, Dad has "plateaued" in therapy, and they don't like that. Let's ignore the fact that he's still fighting a liver infection (or possibly a new infection... his fever is back), he still isn't capable of being on his own, still on IV antibiotics and a feeding tube and a catheter and oxygen, and NOBODY has tried to teach him how to manage those things for himself. Oh, and let's not forget that he's only eating about 200 - 250 calories a day, because EVERYTHING seems to upset his stomach. Nope, we'll ignore those things COMPLETELY! Because he's been walking 100 feet at a stretch for a week now, and he should be at 125!


So, I called the business office this morning, to see what private pay would cost him. As of 2 weeks ago, Dad's doctors and therapists thought he's need another 3-4 weeks at rehab (but, you know, HAP knows better?), so I wanted to have an idea what it would cost him to stay there for the time all the professionals thought was appropriate.

Here's the rundown:

  • Semi-private room: $6,758 per month
  • Private room (which is what he's in now): $8,680 per month.

Both of those fees include nursing care, food, and the room.


  • Therapy (physical, occupational, speech): $30 per 15 minutes
  • Incontinence supplies: $6.61 per day
  • Feeding tube care & supplies: $7 per day
  • Medications: no idea (but, undoubtedly, a WHOLE FUCKING LOT)
  • Doctors care: no idea (see above note)
  • Catheter care & supplies: no idea

I have NO IDEA what we'll do now. I honestly don't think he can afford to stay there. But I KNOW that he can't be on his own yet. Another facility? Home with private nursing care? My house (gasp)?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My 101 in 1,001

*** I'm preempting this post with a disclaimer. See, I've been kicking around this list for a couple of months now, looooooooooooooong before the current unemployed spouse turned (hopefully) full time student situation (opportunity Beth, its an OPPORTUNITY!) presented itself. I've read back thru my list, and I really do think that these are all still things that are important. SO, I'm keeping it as is. Why not add a little more stress, right? At least with this list, I will have things that I CAN accomplish, CAN be done with, which I oh so desperately need right now.

In an effort to further the progress of becoming the me I want to be, I'm jumping on the 101 in 1,001 bandwagon. I figure the blog is a great way to hold myself accountable, and to have a concise place to keep track of the list, and my progress on it. I also decided that jumping into this project today, on my 30th birthday, is somehow appropriate.

I also find it - ummm - interesting? - that starting today, my 1,001 days ends on our 8th wedding anniversary. I'm not suggesting that it means anything... Wouldn't know what to suggest that it means. But when I ran the calculation, I was a bit taken aback when June 7, 2011 popped up. Weird!

I'm entering some of these items as smaller goals in steps to bigger picture goals. Why? For a couple of reasons. First, if I just list the "big picture" goals, I'll have a hell of a time coming up with 101 of them that I can realistically accomplish in 1,001 days. Second, I love love LOVE making progress, so having more things I can check off will help keep me motivated!

And since Blogger doesn't have a strike through font (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!), I will change the color of items to show my progress. Still "to do" will be blue (cuz it rhymes, and that's the way my brain works), "in progress" will be green (green = going or doing, right?), and completed items will be purple (cuz it's my favorite color). Some of the items are recurring things, so I've added in monthly or quarterly "tickers" to check off my progress.


  1. Pay off my Visa.
  2. Pay off Grumpy's Visa.
  3. Pay off the vacant lot
  4. Pay off the truck.
  5. Build the emergency fund up to 3 months necessary expenses (you know, without all of the fluff like netflix & dining out)
  6. Sell cigarette rolling machine on eBay
  7. Sell 5th wheel hitch on Craigslist
  8. Read You're Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget
  9. Have a "no spend weekend" (even if it's on a weekend that Grumpy is hunting... I don't think he'll go for it)
  10. Sell old jewelry that I'll never wear again and has no sentimental value.
  11. Send a donation to a charity every month, even if it's only $5 (Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11)


  1. Grow this blog to 25 subscribers.
  2. Participate in the Barren Bitches Book Brigade
  3. Get more active with my recipe blog, and get it set up on BlogHerAds
  4. Grow the recipe blog to 15 subscribers.
  5. Build up my blog traffic enough to get quarterly checks from BlogHerAds.
  6. Build up my blog traffic enough to get monthly checks from BlogHerAds.
  7. Achieve Iron Commenter Status for at least 1 IComLeavWe
  8. Participate in NaBloPoMo
  9. Comment on every blog I read for a week (day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  10. Get the "unread items" in my Google reader to "0", just once!
  1. Watch the Godfather trilogy, all in one sitting!
  2. Read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
  3. Read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. Read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
  5. Read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  6. Read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  7. See a race at Bristol
  8. Buy a hammock
  9. Read the Harry Potter books
  10. Read Atonement by Ian McEwan
  11. Take a weekend road-trip vacation, by myself.
  12. Finish watching the AFI top 100
  13. Learn to knit, cross-stitch, or some other yarn or fabric-ish handy work
  14. Re-watch the entire Sex & The City series, and the Movie.... again (shallow? yep. but I've been meaning to do this for at least 6 months now, and I haven't made the time for it)
  15. Buy a Wii
  16. Buy a WiiFit
  1. Have a meal with Dad every month: Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11
  2. Have a meal with Grandma every month: Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11
  3. Visit Kim in VA
  4. Go on a week long camping trip with Grumpy
  5. Have our niece spend 2 weekends a year with us (1st 08, 1st 09, 2nd 09, 1st 10, 2nd 10, 1st 11)
  6. Get pregnant (maybe I just needed to write it down as a goal? Yes, you can laugh at me)
  7. Take home a real live baby (you know, as a formal continuation of the last goal... )
  8. Visit Grumpy's sister in CA
  9. Buy and send out a "no occasion necessary" greeting card to one friend or relative every month: Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11
  10. Talk Mom into getting the POA paperwork done
  11. Visit cousin G @ her new place in K-Zoo
  12. Help Dad make a claim for the "missing money" I found in his name
  1. Regain use of the back porch
  2. Regain use of the back bedroom
  3. Buy & install new vanity & sink for bathroom
  4. Paint upstairs
  5. Paint back bedroom
  6. Paint kitchen
  7. Learn to sew (at least well enough to hem, repair seams, and replace buttons)
  8. Buy a stand alone or chest style freezer
  9. Learn to use a rototiller
  10. Use rototiller to prep the area I want to use for my garden
  11. Use up the leftover patio blocks to form a border for the garden
  12. Put together a "the world is ending" kit (flashlights, batteries, radio, non-perishables, bottled water, pet supplies, duct tape, ammo, cash in small bills, tampons, good book... you know, the important stuff!)
  13. Create Household Bible (account info, address book, passwords, etc)
  14. Paint exterior of front door
  15. Paint exterior of side door
  16. Paint exterior of back door
  17. Paint garage
  18. Buy & install (with Grumpy's help) new storm door for back door
  19. Sow seeds for my garden
  20. Get the quit claim deed done for the house
  21. Get new living room furniture
  22. Clean out & organize basement pantry
  23. Clean out & organize cabinet under microwave
  24. Murphy's Oil Soap the kitchen cupboards
  25. Paint the milk cans on the front porch
  26. Sell or donate the old vacuum cleaner
  27. Buy or build shelving for south wall of basement
  28. Install shelving in basement
  29. Put stuff on basement shelving (in a mostly organized way)
  30. Spend 15 minutes straightening up the house every day for 2 weeks (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
  31. Cut and transplant a branch from DaMamma's rose bush.
  1. Stock a freezer with vegetables from my own garden
  2. Learn to can something (sauce, jam, whatever)
  3. Learn to bake bread from scratch
  4. Spend 1 day per quarter freezer or batch cooking 4th qtr 08, 1st qtr 09, 2nd qtr 09, 3rd qtr 09, 4th qtr 09, 1st qtr 10, 2nd qtr 10, 3rd qtr 10, 4th qtr 10, 1st qtr 11, 2nd qtr 11
  5. Try 1 new recipe every month: Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11
  6. Find a homemade mac & cheese recipe that we LOVE
  7. Learn to make DaMamma's pickles
  8. Make a turkey dinner with all the fixin's
  9. Visit a farmer's market x10 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  10. Make an apple pie from scratch (the crust, too!)


  1. Take a yoga class
  2. Lose 35 pounds (-5lbs, -10lbs, -15lbs, -20lbs, -25lbs, -30lbs, -35lbs)
  3. Lose 3 pants sizes (-1st, -2nd, -3rd)
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Floss every day for a month (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
  6. Work up to 100 push-ups a day for a week (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100)
  7. Work up to 100 sit-ups or crunches a day for a week (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100)
  8. Run/jog/walk - participate! - in the Eastpointe Lions 5k
  9. Avoid fast-food for an entire week! (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  10. Avoid going out to dinner for an entire week! (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  11. Drink only water for an entire week (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Current Count: 101

Friday, September 5, 2008

Meme Time

Thanks Cali, for this easy way to spew some blog content on a crazy Friday!

The Name Game
1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car): Rocky Stratus
2.Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe): White Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Flip Flop (doesn't work too well, does it?)
3.Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal): Purple Dog
4.Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born): Ann Detroit
5.Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name): HemBe (or HemEl, if I use Elizabeth)
6.Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Red diet Pepsi
7.NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers): Paul Paul (honestly...)
8.Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Vanilla M&M
9.TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Lintz Lincoln (that oneis kinda funny)
10.Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Autumn Iris
11.Cartoon name:(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now): Peach Belt
12.Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Rolo Maple (the peanut gallery can shoosh about "breakfast being the most important meal of the day".... I KNOW!)
13.Movie star name (first pet, first street where you lived): Rocky Hayes

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thankful Thursdays

I know that I've missed at least one, if not two installments of Thankful Thursdays. I'm trying desperately to find some normal somewhere, so I guess I'll look here! This week, I'm thankful:

  1. Sis2 is coming into town next week. I look forward to seeing her again, and Dad ALWAYS improves when she's in town.
  2. Grumps & I are HEADED NORTH next week. We leave Thursday, will be back late on Sunday. It's a MUCH needed mini-vacation, and will give us an opportunity to see friends, and spend a weekend in our camper!
  3. We celebrated Grandma's 82nd birthday earlier this week. 82! That alone is reason to be thankful!
  4. Our family & friends (including you lovelies out there in blogland) have been uber-supportive of our current circumstances. We're loved - more than I knew. And that knowledge always brings me peace.
  5. In a little over 2 hours I'll be getting a 1 hour massage. I can't wait!

So tell me, what are YOU thankful for this week?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Birthday

To Grumpy
Happy Birthday To Grumpy
Happy Birthday, Grumpiest Grumpster..
Happy Birthday, To Grumpy!

And, you know, should anyone feel so moved, please feel free to leave him birthday wishes in the comments. Then I can show him that my internet peeps are REAL, and I'm NOT INSANE when I'm hunched over my google reader @ 8am on a Saturday morning...


After yesterday's horrid picture (thank you, Lori, for being so kind!), I felt compelled to post one that I'm more content with. As much as I'd love to post wedding pics for y'all (since they are my fav pics of me - EVER), I don't have Grump's permission for that.

Although, now that I think about it, I didn't have Sis1 or Sis2's permission either. Oops.

So, there you go, that's me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Perfect Moment Mondays

This was perfect moment #1 this past week. My sisters and I (me on the left... GAWD I look like KRAP). First time in a very long time - maybe even first time ever - that I've felt like I have sisters. Not a feeling I'm ready to let go of.

And perfect moment #2 happened yesterday. Grumps & I were on our way to Grandma's birthday party, when we drove past an honest to goodness LEMONADE stand! Around the block we went, so that I could pull up in front of the stand being managed by the most adorable little 6-ish year old blondes! They were SO excited to have customers, and we even saw a young, but very proud mama supervising from just inside the front door. We paid them $0.50 for 2 glasses (they were only asking $0.10 a glass) and were on our way, all of us happier from the encounter.

For more Perfect Moments, head on over to Lori's blog. And be sure to subscribe!