Thursday, May 8, 2014

60 Months from Now . . .

I've lost half a pound since my last weigh-in, and FatSecret says it will take 60 months (5 years) to reach my goal weight. In five years, I'll no longer be taking Tamoxifen. Will I still have a dad? Will I still have a mom? Will my mom be living with me, will I ever go to California again?? I can't wrap my head around any of this, so I don't.

Here's the headline news:
  • I had a job interview on Monday for what was billed as a "Medical Editor." It's not actually editing, though; it's what I call "monkey work" — finding citations in a long, long medical document and physically linking them to the original article in the vast, vast database. It will be dullsville personified, but the money is okay (almost half my editing rate but almost double my subbing rate), it's only 10 minutes from my house (and across the street from a nice library); if they offer it to me, I'll probably take it. I should know soon.
  • I haven't actually talked to Dad since the scary Brian Piccolo phone call a week or so ago, but I talk to Mom all the time, and she says he's doing really well; he just sleeps a lot during the day (and wanders the house at night — which might sound freaky, but it's simply an exaggerated version of what's been his routine for years). I think he finishes his radiation treatment this week, and Mom's biggest question is, when he can go off steroids, which seems to be causing the worst side effects (or the need for other drugs, like insulin, with the worst side effects).
  • They've got a home health nurse twice a week, who will help give my dad a shower and help Mom change their massive king-size bed (Mom has the strength of a kitten, I think I've mentioned; she does aqua aerobics, so she gets cardio, but she does nothing weight-related despite my gentle nagging). 
A snippet of dialogue:
  • Me: Can Dad really not take a shower by himself?
  • Mom: He gave himself a sponge bath before seeing the radiologist on Monday.
  • Me: Um . . . okay. Does he smell bad?
  • Mom: Honey, I can't smell anything. [side effect of her Parkinson's]
  • Me: So — sorry, I'm still not getting it. Why won't he take a shower?
  • Mom: He's very cold.
  • Me: So he's afraid the shower will be too cold?
  • Mom: I think that's it.
  • Me: What's the nurse going to do about that?
  • Mom (sweetly): That is their problem.
I'll be there in two and a half weeks. Of course I wish I were there right this minute. At the same time, I've been whirling around on my hamster treadmill and am glad I'm here to deal with all my own life stuff. And I just found out that I'll be missing the Credo Service with my OWL kids, one of the most beautiful church services of the year, because I'll be in California. Of course I'd rather be with my dad . . . but there's always something. When you lead a full, rich, busy life, you are tugged in many directions, all the time. C'est la vie.

More news:
  • My youngest brother hasn't responded to my loving suggestion that he develop a better attitude. I haven't heard from the other brother at all, though Mom mentioned that he called to tell her all about his five-year-old son's summer plans, including a week with his other grandparents, with whom he spends every major holiday (brother lives in Minnesota; these grandparents alternate between Wisconsin and Arizona). Mom keeps a stiff upper lip, but every word of this is like a knife to her heart (grandson in question has been to California maybe three times, max), and I want to punch my brother, repeatedly. Can he not hear himself???
  • I've been going to zumba but it hasn't been fun at all. I'm so out of shape, my knee starts hurting right away, and I feel clumsy and old and cloddish. But I keep on keepin' on, because how else will I get back to where I was? Yesterday I had a free-ish morning, so I planned to take a walk — but as I hobbled upstairs to get into my workout clothes, I realized that my knee was hurting again; I'm too scared to walk far away from house for fear that I'll really hurt something and then have no way to get back. So instead I lifted my weights, did my core work, did all my physical therapy (shoulders and knees — I am so crippled!), and stretched, and that was great — but still. I can't shake the feeling of "failure" (or "permanently crippled old lady," for that matter).
  • Remember when I mentioned back in December that the Music Director at my church had been asked to resign? There was an immediate backlash, and ripples from that event continue to madly swirl and color much of my church life. My committee, which is preparing a slate of officers and standing committee members for our Annual Meeting next week, has been dealing with the fallout from this event, as lots of people are running with An Agenda and some are running with a Secret Agenda. I'm spending an hour a day on this, it has been crazy (though interesting, I will admit).
There's more going on, but I think that's all I want to write about right now.

Yesterday I had a soul-restoring lunch with my elderly friend Mrs. Professor, and I told the server that I would like a glass of Chardonnay and a glass of wine. She did a double take, and then I realized what I'd said and went "Oh! I mean a glass of water." She said, "Oh, I think I know what you want." It was funny.

(Though she then brought me shrimp bruschetta when I'd ordered scallops wrapped in bacon; how do those two things even sound alike? Mimosa points out that both start with "S" and "B," but still.)

(The shrimp bruschetta comprised shrimp, French bread, butter, garlic, finely diced tomatoes, and savory juices. I managed to choke it down.)

(My weight loss for the week had actually been a full pound, but I think I'm carrying half a pound of buttery shrimp effluvia.)

(It was worth it. Damn.)

Today I'm subbing for half a day at Stratton School, where I taught math last year; paying our property tax bill; picking up some items at the library (and possibly sorting "my" section, depending on how much time I have); taking Mimosa to the T station to refill her Charlie Card; writing up my notes for writers group tomorrow; going to zumba, sigh; and calling Mom. I'll ask her what would be a good time to catch Dad awake and alert, because it's been too long since I heard his voice.

My most excellent co-chair Tina is calling me at 9; perhaps I'll dress before then. See, I not only have a five-year plan, I have a next-five-minutes plan.

—Lady Chardonnay the Organized


  1. Hang in there, Lady C! I'm so glad you get to go to California soon. I know you will be a comfort to your parents and they will be a comfort to you. You have such a busy schedule until then, it looks like! A blessing and a curse, I suppose. It keeps you busy and distracted but, yet, doesn't afford you much time to process. Take some time for yourself each day, if possible! (Bathtub book club, perhaps?)

    Sending you so much love and all kinds of positive vibes!

    1. Blessing and curse, exactly -- I'm distracted, but grief and fear keep sneaking through at odd moments. My new daily treat is re-watching Season 1 of "The West Wing," which I haven't seen since its premiere so many years ago. It is very soothing and puts me right to sleep, which is a lovely treat! Thank you for your ongoing kind support, my friend.