What To Do?

Imbolc                                                                                             Valentine Moon

relaxMy birthday month passed in a blur of illness and caregiving. February, my seventy-scond February, got underway two days after a difficult day, a full day. I felt exhausted around noon and had several more places to go. Like moving through jello, thick jello on the way home.

The next two weeks was a symptom buffet. Somebody was spinning a large wheel and where it stopped? That was the new insult. Hit me like a freight train. My memory of those days is absent, therapeutically so, I think. Pneumonia came after that. And after pneumonia, recovery from three weeks of misery. Mostly back to normal now, just a bit of stamina to regain.

However. A month, a whole month, even if it’s a short one, mostly erased. No painting. No writing. No visits to CBE. No exercise. Having to rethink life. Again. Home now, no more regular CBE obligations. Being available for Kate’s needs is top of my list. Doesn’t consume all of my time, not even close, so I’m beginning to itch, to want some fruitful self-directed activity.

A new novel? That one I’ve been mentioning? More painting? Reading about art, astrology. Judaism. I need a focus, an outlet for my own work. Nothing sticks right now. Guess I’ll just mosey along like I have been, see what comes. Maybe I’ll try some free writing a la Natalie Goldberg. Painting equivalent.

No big deal here, trying to get myself reoriented, start the engine. Sputtering. Too much choke.

Waiting on the Storm

Imbolc                                                                   Valentine Moon

ice dams

Snow storm headed our way. March and April are big snow months in the Rockies. Looking forward to watching the snow fall and temperatures drop. Black Mountain will be white again for a while. Shadow Mountain, too. Flakes already spitting as I went out to get the paper.

We’ve settled into a routine of sorts. Sometime during the day I swap out Kate’s tpn bag. She assists by drawing up the vitamins. I make small meals or heat up left overs. We both eat when we’re hungry rather than at meal times except for breakfast. Being hooked up to the oxygen concentrator all day, her nutrition bag, too, makes Kate restricted in her movements. A major reason I bowed out at CBE. Responding to anything out of the ordinary is  difficult for her right now. Lot of reading. Some television. Talking.

Placing the feeding tube awaits the pulmonologist’s assessment of Kate’s lungs. If she gives us a go, then the feeding tube could go in as soon as a week. That will change the routine. The J-tube, as it’s called because it goes into the jejunum, will not have the sterile procedures of the tpn and is gravity fed, so no pump. How things will look then we’ll have to see.

defrostOur Kenmore frostless freezer forgot its prime directive. I had to take everything out yesterday. Fortunately, I had all those styrofoam coolers the folks at Option Care have been sending with vitamins and nutrition bags. Checked it on the way up here this morning, the freezer’s in the garage. Almost all the ice build up is gone. Gonna get out the lysol and wipe the whole thing down, restore what wasn’t freezer burned and turn it back on. Having a freezer in Minnesota in the winter always made me think of salesmen and Eskimos.

Though I’m tired by the afternoon, my energy level has begun to return to normal. We’ve still got a puzzle to solve, revealed by my illness. What do we do if I get sick again? Hard to imagine I’m gonna get something this dramatic again anytime soon, but it didn’t occur to us that I’d get sick at all. We’re noodling this one.

We also agreed yesterday that I can go out as long as I’m not more than a half hour away, have my phone with me, charged and on. That means I’ll be able to go to CBE events occasionally. This is a time of intensive healing for Kate, getting her nourishment levels back to normal, then working on weight gain. Don’t wanna screw that up in any way.

As to moving. We’re going to consult the pulmonologist who is the ultimate authority here on these matters. That’s this Thursday. Once we get her input we’ll be able to make more intelligent decisions.

We have impressive ice dams on our north facing roofs. Before the idea of a move came up I was going to have them removed and electric heat tape installed to prevent them in the future. Now each thing that involves putting more money in the house will require scrutiny. Still going to have the ice dams removed though. Not cheap.

Demon possessed

Demon possessed

Meanwhile the dogs are healthy. Rigel’s eating well. Her predatory instincts have remained strong. When I cleared the deck last week, a rabbit squirted out from under it and ran to the shed. No wonder she spends a lot time sniffing at the deck, clawing rocks out of the way (when things aren’t frozen). Kep’s blown his coat with the recent run of over 50 degree weather. Off to Petsmart this week for defurmination.

Then there’s Gertie. This bitch bit me in the thigh last week. Three holes in my leg, blood dripping down, and a monster bruise. She wanted to get to the gutter guy who was trying to give me an estimate on the heating tape. She has an anger problem when it comes to any visitors. She’ll bite without warning. That was the issue that caused Jon and Jen to decide to euthanize her. We took her to spare her life. Most of the time she’s a really sweet girl, all doggy leans and kisses, especially to me. She spends most of her time with me. But…