Where to begin?? Perhaps I should try to organize by topic…
Through the continued navigation of the personal care bureaucracy, we ended up with some very good news: rather than slightly over 1 hour of personal care per day, it turns out Blaine qualifies for a bit over 3 hours of care per day, five days a week. I still feel like I am in a dream and I will wake up and find out it’s not really true. If it is true, this is revolutionary! It means Francesca could provide more than just daily bowel care and a load of laundry a day. It means she can help him get organized, keep up with his paperwork, help navigate all the bureaucracies that remain, monitor his equipment/supplies/medications, help him make a weekly meal plan, skin and foot care, etc. etc. etc.
Do you realize what this means????? Well, of course, first it means I still don’t believe it. After nearly 30 years of caregiving, to have this kind of assistance seems too good to be true. Marie’s next goal: start to believe it and don’t immediately switch into anxiety mode about when it will be taken away. Let it mean life is good!
After continued reminders and re-reminders and cajoling and pleading, the medical equipment place finally actually placed the order for the new seat cushion to replace the one that caused Blaine’s latest pressure sore. Have almost completely lost confidence in them. Realize daily nagging might be necessary from now on to get them to take action, as in submit the durned order already. What? Don’t they want to sell stuff? Isn’t that how they make their living? I just don’t get it!
2. Marie’s health
Okay, so this was a week that my health got almost as much attention as Blaine’s. I got one of those dreaded “suspicious mass” letters following my mammogram the week before, and was directed to make an appointment for a repeat mammogram and an ultrasound. At first I wasn’t really that worried because I know that there are lots of false positives in mammograms and everybody seems to err on the side of caution these days (thank goodness). But since I was told to make appointments for both a mammogram and an ultrasound, I figured that couldn’t be too good. It must look more suspicious than usual. And then, in my quiet moments, I had to admit that all breast cancer stories likely begin with that letter, so once in a while it occurred to me that this could be the first day of a new way of life for a while.
My mammogram had been particularly painful this time. More than I could ever remember. When I left, I felt I had been tortured and texted Ric that we needed to meet at our local favorite dining spot for dinner so I could have a drink… and I NEVER do that. Well, hardly ever…
So when I went in this Thursday, I was a little worried, but did my best to keep a positive attitude. The tests began with a pelvic ultrasound (because I’ve had polyps in all my colonoscopies, the doctor told me this is a necessary test because some people with a family history of colon cancer also have higher rates of ovarian cancer). So I left work and arrived at the clinic with an uncomfortably full bladder. To distract myself while waiting, I read an old celebrity fluff magazine…something about whether Katie Holmes is her own person or a robot controlled by Tom Cruise. Sorry, can’t remember the conclusion…
Anyway, the pelvic ultrasound was pretty rough, kept trying to imagine myself at Mt. Bachelor in the poster tacked to the ceiling above me. So happy when it was over and I could pee. Whew…
Then on to the mammogram… this time it didn’t hurt nearly as much. Was it the different technique in the person operating the machine? Not sure… Anyway, she took a photo of my right breast, took it to the radiologist, who ordered another view. She took that one, took it to him. He wanted yet another. By this time, I figure my breast will be glowing in the dark for the next month…
The radiologist examined the third picture and said I was all clear. They had been unable to produce the same “suspicious mass” no matter what they did… so it must have been one of those things that happens on a mammogram sometime. Cool with me!
So I came home and collapsed on the couch, sleeping through the local and national news… Ric got home and I could tell he had been more worried than he had let on (as had I), so we spent the evening snuggled with our pups in front of the big tv, our favorite place lately.
Getting back in the groove more as I go into the office more days a week now, prepping for returning to full time the week of April 21. I get a lot of work done at home, but definitely don’t feel as connected to the people I work with, which is not a good thing.
The best news is that I walked to work one day, and biked to work another day. Nearly froze my ass off in the morning stretch of the bike ride, but the return trip was under a gloriously sunny sky. Replenishing my vitamin D stores. But holy carp, did my butt and entire body hurt!!
Highlight of the past week was going to the Bruce Springsteen concert last Friday night… So love seeing someone my age still rockin the night away! He’s the boss and always will be. And his new music is wonderful… at least as good as the older stuff I love so much. That’s a photo from my iphone above.
The best part was that all three of us got to sit together. Usually, one person gets to sit next to Blaine in the wheelchair section, while the third person has to sit elsewhere. Somehow, someway Ric arranged to get three tickets together. It was so much fun for all of us to be together… And I just couldn’t sit still during Born to Run and Dancing in the Dark…
Feeling increasingly calmer, much less stressed. Loving my hubby and son and pups. Need to allow myself to be here now, not worry so much about tomorrow.