Sunday, November 19, 2017

That Was All She Wrote

My last fortune



This was the last thing my sister posted on Facebook before she had her stroke. It turned out to be very prophetic. She never had another fortune cookie.

Sheila was an amazing person.
Her religious belief was paganism.

It is a religion very much based in nature.

She had a lot of stress in her life, but would set it aside and help out if she could.

She also never thought she would live past the age of 36.
But, she did.
So, she quit counting after she hit 36.
She also became grateful for every year she got past that.

She stood up for herself and the people she cared about.
Some people took it wrong and thought she was hard or being a bitch.

She was never malicious, but would tell people the truth and some people didn't like hearing the truth.

She loved puns and the color purple and making jewelry and writing stories.

Every year on Facebook she would share this photo:
The Ides of March. This is also the day she fell.
 
When we got to the Surgical Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit, the drain lines were already in and they were trying to get her to respond.
I mentioned it being the Ides of March and she actually rolled her shoulders. 
 
Initially the drain lines were only supposed to be in for five to seven days. 
That didn't happen.




Monday, November 13, 2017

I Was OK Til I Cried

I guess all the stress of past events have taken their toll on me.

Honeyman says I need to talk to somebody. I don't have a whole lot of somebodies, so this can be my therapy.

He suggested my sister because we went through the same thing this year with our older sister. But, she is busy. She works long hours and after that she watches her twin grandsons a lot.

Friday was good. The three of us went to the Foo Fighters concert and had a good time. Saturday started out good. I was fine. Honeyman and I watched a movie and Kiddo was at work.

Then... I lost it. My daughter made a comment to me online and I got so upset. I don't even know why. It made no sense. I could not explain it to anyone.

I did a lot of crying that night and I cried off and on yesterday. Today, I am a little better.

It is not all that my sister died. I honestly believe that it was meant to be. It is not easy, but that is the way it goes.

But, so much stuff happened leading up to it and I handled it. There was nothing else to be done.

I am great in a crisis. I do what needs to be done.
There  will be time to think about it later.

I guess that time is now.

The 15th of this month will mark 8 months since Sheila's stroke. She had a severe rare type of stroke called a subarachnoid hemorrhage.  It was caused by an aneurysm.

My niece called Kiddo at 4:30 am because she didn't have my number anymore. She thought she needed to call my parents and sister, but I told her that I could do it.

So, I called.

By 7:00 am, my other sister and I were getting ready to head to Iowa City, where Sheila had been life flighted.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is massive so we had to make some phone calls to figure out where to go.

We were the first ones to arrive. We only had a couple hour drive and my brother-in-law had a four hour drive.

By the time we arrived, the drain lines were in to take the swelling off her brain. The front part of her hair had been shaved off.
She was unresponsive for the most part.
At this point, she would make a movement if she heard something that resonated with her or she'd grip a hand when asked to.

It was a long day. Another surgery was done to find the source of the hemorrhage.

This was only the beginning.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Excuse Me While I Have a Breakdown

I have to say that this year could use a serious do over.

From the beginning, my 2017 has been cursed.

I could not flush my toilet.
That is how my year started.
Tree roots grew into the septic drain line.

From there the ball kept rolling.

The steering wheel shaft went out on the truck.
Then, the left wheel bearing needed fixed.
Probably from driving the truck with no power steering.

Found out Honeyman's kidneys were getting worse and he had to see a nephrologist.

My oldest sister had a rare type of stroke.

Honeyman had a kidney biopsy.

And people are still arguing about Trump. EVERY DAY!

Sis went day to day and finally started to improve.

Honeyman got put on a high dose of Prednisone which helped the kidneys, but screwed up all kinds of other things.

Sis fell again and ended up dying.

Our health insurance decided months later, they were not going to cover as much of the biopsy and we could pay another $1200 of the bill.

And this weekend was completely awesome.
Yesterday was my birthday and the day before that would have been my sister's birthday which she shared with our dad.
He is still alive and is 76.
It was quite somber.

Talking about my sister helps me. Looking through pictures helps me.
But, sometimes it feels like she is the elephant in the room.
I guess that's okay.
I like elephants. I will talk to the elephant. I will discuss the elephant.

She'd probably like to be called a unicorn though.


Twitter is tough to be on. Her last tweet was a retweet of my raisin bread recipe.
Plus, she actually noticed my tweets.

I am getting tired of all the political rantings.
And people are getting their news from pictures with captions on social media.

And for the love of Pete, can we stop all this stupidity over the National Anthem and patriotism and taking a knee? How many people are complaining about not standing for it and are taking the playing of The Star Spangled Banner as an opportunity to go pee or get snacks?

Some days I am good. Other days I feel like I am going to crack.

I am already seeing the  "2017 has been a tough year, let's make 2018 a better year".
Quit doing this.
Every year I see this and the next year is worse.
It is like a challenge to the Gods: It's like You thought this was bad? I will show you bad.
And cause we are people and many people don't learn, this is what we get.

Friday, July 28, 2017

And Then There Were Two

There were three sisters.
The oldest was six years and one day older than the youngest one.

Now, there are just the two younger sisters.

Back in March, my oldest sister had a stroke.
After that a vasospasm.
Next came meningitis.

She made it all through that and went to rehab.
She got done with rehab and was waiting for her foot to heal completely before she was released to go home.

She was diabetic and had had foot surgery the year before and it was taking a long time to heal.

Only her foot never healed and she never got to come home.

She was allowed to be independent in her room.

Monday, July 24th, she fell in the bathroom and suffered a subdural hematoma.
She was flown to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.

I was at an appointment with my husband so after it was over, we headed to the ER to see her.
I was taken to the consult room.
That is never a good sign.
Before the doctors came in, I got a call from my brother-in-law letting me know what they were going to say.

She was in a coma. Bleeding had occurred on the surface of the brain as well as the brain stem.
They could do surgery to get the blood on the surface, but nothing could be done for the brain stem. She'd probably never come out of the coma and she would be living on life support. Eventually, the injury to the brain stem would cause her organs to shut down and she would die regardless of the machines.

So, it was decided that we had to let her go.
Now or later, the outcome would be the same.
And she would not want to live on a feeding tube and ventilator.

Her husband drives a truck and he was out in Indiana.
So, she was kept stabilized until he got back.

A couple hours after he got back, she was taken off all life support.

Just after 10:00 pm, my oldest sister had died.

My sister was an organ donor and her organs were healthy so some of her organs were donated.

Tomorrow, a memorial is planned.
Im the fall, she will be planted.
She was cremated and she will be put into one of those tree urns and planted.
It's a weeping willow tree urn.

So, it's been a week.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sometimes I Don't Want to be Grateful

We love in the grateful age.

Be grateful for truckers and farmers.
Be grateful it wasn't worse.
Be grateful for what you have.

There's the gratitude journal.
Come up with five things a day that you are grateful for.
It doesn't matter how small.
It is supposed to make you realize what you do have.

Sometimes I don't feel grateful.
Sometimes I feel sad or pissed about how everything is going,

Yes, I have a house.
It has bad wiring, a crumbling foundation, a roof that is in horribly sad shape among many other things and I can't afford to fix any of it.
Am I always grateful that I have a place to live?
Yes. And no.

My husband has an incurable disease and he will die from it and the treatment they have him on does not seem to be working.
I could be grateful that he didn't die this morning.
But, I am not.
I don't know how to turn this situation into something to be grateful for.

I think it is fine to not be grateful all the time.
Life sucks. Sometimes it sucks a whole lot.

It's like in "The Facts of Life" theme song.
You take the good, you take the bad, you take 'em both and what do ya have? The facts of life.

It is good to be positive.
But, when things are shit, they are shit.

When your health is bad, it is okay to hate it.
I have heard from many people that they should be grateful that it isn't worse.
Why?

Feelings are feelings.
They aren't good or bad.
They just are what they are.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Life Goes On

It's May and things are moving right along.
Sis is moving from one rehab facility to another at the end of this month.

I am getting MORE chickens. A guy who works with Honeyman has chickens pooping on his pool cover so he doesn't want them anymore.
I have no idea what kind. Apparently, there are six. Though, I am not sure. At first, it was four or five and now it is six. But, they are all hens and still lay eggs.

I am down to eight dozen chicken eggs in my fridge right now and about a dozen duck eggs.
So, I definitely need more layers.
No, wait.
I just checked and I have nine plus the partial dozen that I have been using.


I am working on my garden. My lettuce was starting to come up and now it is gone.
Darn bunnies! Or squirrels. Or whatever.

I have learned that Jimmy Johns uses a wee bit much lettuce when making their unwich.
It's a lettuce wrap sandwich.
Any sandwich can be made into an unwich. But, you really, really need to like lettuce or get a sandwich with lots of stuff to combat all the lettuciness.

I did survive Mother's Day at my mother's house. Her moods are unpredictable so I didn't know how things would go.
Stopped on the way home to visit Sis at rehab.
I made and took her some apple crisp, which she loved. She will not eat much. Apparently, the food is bad. She needs to eat to get better and I told her so. But, that does not appear to sway her.
But, she can have food brought in if it meets her diet.
The best part of yesterday was her thanking me. I asked her for what and she answered "Everything."













Friday, April 28, 2017

Crazy Days

Today, I am taking a lazy day.

The last couple of months have been mentally draining.

Honeyman got his diagnosis of IgA nephropathy. The antibodies that fight infection are causing problems with his kidneys. That is an autoimmune kidney disease and that in turn caused his failing kidneys. Right now, they are attempting to slow how fast they crap out.

Been taking several trips to see my sister. She will, hopefully, be headed to rehab shortly.

I started a fundraiser on youcaring.com to help with medical expenses.

This was taken this past Sunday and she is looking a lot better than she was.

This is my big sister, Sheila.




A couple days ago, I spent the day making noodles, mac and cheese, bread, and cookies to take to my brother-in-law and my nephew. It's nice to not have to worry about fixing a meal sometimes.
My daughter and I drove out and delivered it yesterday.

Sheila is the sister I have written about before. She has her own jewelry making business.
She has a published a short story and just finished the first draft on a full-length paranormal romance novel.
The couple days before her stroke, she had started working on edits.

This is all the stuff I have been doing.
I decided to take the day and no do a whole lot.
I have done a fair share of lounging around.

Sometimes you just gotta do that.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

MIA For Good Reason

I had been struggling to fins my happy for quite awhile.
I didn't really want to post doom and gloom so I quit posting so much.

Just over a month ago, it was determined that my husband needed to finally see a specialist because of his lowering kidney function.
OK, we will deal with that.

A couple weeks later, I get a phone call.
My niece tells me that the doctors think my sister had a stroke and she had coded at the hospital.

This was March 15th~ the ides of March, which my sister always mentions on that day.

It was a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a rare type of stroke.
She has been in the SNICU since.

Make progress and step back, repeat.

Amidst this, my husband had his nephrologist appointment and was scheduled for an ultrasound and told that if that showed nothing, he would need a biopsy.
He went down and had to give a bunch of blood and urine samples.
Fast forward to next morning and the doctor calls and tells me he needs a biopsy right away cause he is passing a lot of blood.
He had the biopsy just a few days later.

We are still waiting on the results for the ultrasound and biopsy.

Things have been crazy lately so I have not written anything or barely even read anything blog related.

Twitter and Facebook are weird places to be without my sister around.

She is making progress. But, it is going to take a very long time and in the end she still won't be the same.
And I know, it could have been worse and I should be grateful for that. My husband has told me that several times.
Of course, he has never gone to see her so he didn't know how bad she looked for a while and I feel that I shouldn't have to be super positive either.
I am happy that she is making progress. But, it isn't easy to see her that way either.

Between that and Honeyman's kidney problems, I am just pretty emotionally spent. Makes it hard to be happy about a lot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

So, I Guess I am a Spoonie

That's what we are known as these days.
People with invisible, chronic, pain illnesses are either calling themselves warriors or spoonies or both.

As people with these conditions, we are all tethered together.
We understand what others do not.

Except... I really don't get the spoonie thing.

You can read about The Spoon Theory to get more of an idea of what it is. But, in a nut shell, it is a theory that every day someone with a chronic illness has so many spoons they can use and when the spoons have been used up, you are done for the day.

What I find confusing is that people are now saying you use up so many spoons for this and so many for that.
Also, you might get up Monday with six spoons and Tuesday you have twelve. Wednesday, you might only have three.
And some people use up all their spoons for that day and borrow from the next day.
And there is the whole thinking you have plenty of spoons for the day and BAM! they are gone. Spoons went away for no reason.

Everybody talks about spoons. I cannot be the ONLY  person not getting the spoonie thing.
I am not even sure the lady that wrote the theory meant for it to get blown up so big.
It was a simple analogy and now people are spoonies.

It is supposed to be about knowing your limits and choosing wisely.
But, how do you know from day to day?
And, sometimes, hour to hour?

I guess when I am out of spoons, you can just stick me with a fork cause I am done.