Thank you, everybody, on your sort phrases and effectively needs in the course of the previous two weeks. I admire them. We’ve been tying up free ends associated to Duane’s life and dying, and we’re practically completed with every thing.
- Duane’s memorial service is that this Sunday. I’ve been gathering images from members of the family, and have put collectively a slide present of reminiscences. After the memorial service is over, the ultimate free finish can be his monetary accounts. We’re prepped to deal with these, nevertheless, and are simply ready on the dying certificates.
- One of my rooms downstairs is stuffed with Duane’s collections of historic cash and Magic: The Gathering playing cards. The cash are a thriller to me. I watched as he collected them over time, however I by no means bothered to study something about them. Why would I? Now, I want I’d paid consideration. The playing cards, alternatively, I can deal with. There are a lot of them — my guess is a minimal of 168,000 playing cards and maybe twice that quantity — they usually’re largely unorganized, which implies I’ve months of labor forward of me as a way to promote them. But I perceive the sport and I perceive collectibles, so that is all inside my ken. It’s simply a variety of work.
- Kim and I’ve determined to not undertake any extra of Duane’s fish. This was a troublesome choice. Duane very a lot wished me to take his fish, particularly the 19 Mbuna cichlids. And there’s part of me that wishes to have them. They’d be enjoyable. It would honor his reminiscence. But I additionally know that the fish could be a trouble, that they do not match with our long-term plans. So, if no one else within the household desires them we’ll donate the fish to a pet retailer, then promote or donate the fish gear.
Things have been difficult barely as a result of I received sick. Duane’s prolonged household was passing round a nasty chilly for a lot of April, and I managed to catch it the day after he died. It laid me low for a number of days. (And now, at this very second, Kim is residence sick from work with the identical chilly.) Fortunately, it isn’t COVID.
Things have additionally been difficult as a result of my mom’s well being points have not too long ago reached a type of disaster.
More Adventures with Hospice
Last week, simply days after my cousin Duane died, the reminiscence director at Happy Acres contacted us. “We think you should consider placing your mother in hospice,” she mentioned.
I used to be gobsmacked. Why?
Mom has been affected by undiagnosed reminiscence points for over a decade, and he or she struggles with each anemia and diabetes. But these are all persistent circumstances. She does not have a terminal prognosis. Why would she want hospice?
The previous ten days have modified my thoughts.
Mom has misplaced fifteen kilos in the course of the previous month. She not reveals a lot curiosity in meals (besides milkshakes). Her persistent digestion points proceed, as do her persistent urinary tract infections. Now, she’s dropping the flexibility to stroll. She’s begun to fall. Since the center of April, she’s had 4 E.R. journeys on account of falling. She appears to be like like she’s been in a brawl.
And, as of this week, Mom has begun experiencing incontinence. All that is to say that I’ve overcome my resistance to the concept that she needs to be in hospice. Maybe she ought to. It cannot damage, and perhaps it can assist.
The medical doctors are nonetheless mystified as to precisely what is going on on with my mom. One enormous barrier to prognosis is that she is actually non-verbal. If Mom has a powerful emotion, she will be able to talk. When we had been driving her residence an appointment the opposite day, she croaked, “Burgerville.” She wished a milkshake. If I present her images or video of her cat (the cat that Kim and I’ve adopted), Mom brightens. “That’s my baby,” she says as she holds my telephone.
Mostly, although, she says nothing.
She hardly responds to questions. Sometimes she’ll nod or shake her head or smile, however largely she gives no response. (My sister-in-law took her to a health care provider’s appointment final week. Steph says that Mom mentioned nothing for your entire journey besides one phrase after they received again within the automobile: “cashews”. She knew Steph had cashews within the automobile.)
Because Mom doesn’t (can not? is not going to?) inform us what she’s considering or feeling or experiencing, all we and the medical doctors can do is act on what we observe. They’ve run exams to find why she’s been vomiting blood for the previous six months, however they’ve discovered nothing amiss. Same with the UTIs. Same with the reminiscence points.
“Look, I know this is frustrating,” her physician informed me throughout a one-hour video name in February. “And I wish we had some answers for you. Trust me when I say, however, that all of these tests are helpful. They may not tell us what’s wrong, but they allow us to rule out many possible problems.”
And so right here we’re at this time. Today, my brother and I signed the paperwork to confess Mom into hospice care. We do not imagine she’ll die anytime quickly, however we additionally know that the assisted residing facility is not outfitted to ship her to the emergency room six to eight occasions every month. It’s unreasonable to count on that.
With hospice, Mom could have a nurse go to two or 3 times every week. Whenever one thing occurs which may in any other case ship her to the E.R. — she vomits blood, she falls, and so on. — a hospice nurse can be to her inside half an hour to verify every thing is okay.
I’ll admit that there is part of me (an enormous a part of me) that wishes to maneuver Mom in with me and Kim. We have the area. She might have your entire downstairs to herself, and he or she may very well be reunited along with her beloved cat. Plus, I’ve simply spent two months offering hospice take care of my cousin, so I’ve a tough concept of what to anticipate.
I additionally acknowledge this stays a poor concept. It was a poor concept a decade in the past. It was a poor concept final 12 months. It’s a poor concept now. It’s a poor concept each time it happens to me.
Mom wants skilled care. Duane’s state of affairs was totally different. He was a wholesome younger(-ish) man on the finish of his life. Mom is an older girl whose well being has been declining for greater than a decade. The workers of the assisted residing facility know her and take care of her. They have coaching that I do not. So, I’ll let go of the concept that she ought to dwell with us…for now.
So Much To Do
I do not count on that Mom’s state of affairs would require as a lot time and a focus as Duane’s did. We’re paying $7000 per thirty days for skilled professionals to provide her the very best care. Still, I count on to commit someday every week to her.
Meanwhile, there’s a lot that I would like (or want) to get accomplished in different corners of my world. My life has been on maintain for nearly three months now. I’m desirous to resume it. There are a variety of large tasks looming on the horizon:
- I’m fats and need to get match. I joined a neighborhood fitness center right here in Corvallis in the midst of February. I exercised there 4 occasions earlier than I started spending most of my time with Duane. I need to start exercising once more. In truth, I would like my bodily health to turn out to be my prime precedence for the rest of the 12 months.
- Kim and I had meant to do a few landscaping tasks this spring. One venture — a aspect fence — is essential to her. Another — landscaping the entrance yard — is vital to me. I’ve had no time to start out on these (or different) chores, however I need to accomplish that earlier than the bottom turns exhausting for the summer season.
- I’ve drastic plans for Get Rich Slowly. (Drastic however good.) I’ve written 5000+ phrases about my thought course of however the brief model is that this: I hate what the trendy web has turn out to be. I detest it. And I’m unhappy that Get Rich Slowly is a few small a part of that. I need to strip this website of most (all?) promoting, undertake a minimalist structure, and revert to one thing nearer to the running a blog fashion I used twenty years in the past. If you need me to write down solely about cash, you will be upset. If you are a type of who’s pleased to learn any of my musings (monetary or in any other case), you will be happy. Again, I’d began transferring this route in January and February earlier than getting derailed by Duane’s state of affairs. I would like to search out/make time to renew this work.
- I must re-write the software program for the household field manufacturing facility. My father wrote the unique packages in 1985 utilizing an Atari ST pc. I re-wrote the packages in 1998 utilizing Visual Basic on a Windows PC. Now, in 2022, it is time to write a 3rd iteration of our software program, and that is a venture that may take a few months. (One problem is that I’ll must study a brand new programming setting. I believe I’m going to make use of Xojo, which can permit me to construct cross-platform apps.)
- I need to discover volunteering with hospice. Duane’s dying modified me in some very profound methods. While I used to be caring for him, my despair and anxiousness vanished utterly. (They’ve resurfaced some prior to now ten days.) The causes for this are apparent: As everybody at all times says, probably the greatest methods to beat anxiousness and despair is to assist different individuals. Plus, as troublesome because it was to assist Duane die, I discovered the expertise so, so significant. Anyhow, I really feel as if I’d be capable to do some good on this world by serving to with hospice, and I need to discover how I might help.
During the previous ten days at residence, I’ve both been sick or been coping with points that require my rapid consideration. I’ve had no time to dive into these deeper tasks. Now, as issues settle, I need to pursue them within the order listed above.
That means the primary two issues I’ll be engaged on are my health and our residence. It may take per week or two to get these tasks transferring, however as soon as I’ve some ahead momentum I can then resume my work on this web site. I’m keen to take action! I’ve a transparent imaginative and prescient of what I would like Get Rich Slowly to be, and I want that I might merely snap my fingers to make it occur. In actuality, I do know it’s going to be a gradual, gradual transition. The sooner I can get it began, the higher.