Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday

I am worried I will burn myself out before Ron's surgery, rushing around, trying to prepare for everything. 

I did do some work today (after sleeping in until 8 AM).  I did two loads of laundry, cleaned the washer (still getting used to these "new" HE gadgets), swept the floor, debated mopping the floor, didn't, made the bed, washed the sheets (one of my loads), and watched a little TV. 

Of course, first of all I did my God Time and shower.  I didn't need to shave my legs. 

I watched some Supernatural.  TNT is running the first season.  It is interesting to note the differences in the shooting style from the Season 10.  Season 10 has more lavish sets, they don't try to hide the height difference between Sam and Dean, and the colors are brighter.  That may be putting it in HD, I don't know. 

Yesterday, I bought a generic assorted variety pack of one-ounce chips at the store.  I had a bag of the Ranch.  It was pretty good, but I shouldn't have drunk my sugarfree Orange beverage with it.  I got pretty bad nausea.  I forget my medications can cause stomach upset. 

I drank a fair amount of generic Pepto.  I had just bought some, knowing I get nausea when I am really stressed out (and Ron's surgery coming up).  I took off the wrapper and looked at it.  The water had separated out from the medicine, and it had a 2018 sell by date.  I was pretty disgusted.  It looked nauseating.  I shook it for a long time and finally got it back in solution.  It reminded me of my old chemistry classes about solutions, colloids and all.  I took a drink.  It was watery, still.  They must have reformulated.  It was horrible, but I drank it because I needed it. 

I had a couple of doses and took a nap.  I slept a while, but not very deep.  One of the cats brought a lizard in through the cat door, meowing proudly.  #6 was making noise, I think it was grocery day.  I kept hearing slamming car doors. 

It made me glad I don't work nights, because a lot of people fail to understand that some of us need to sleep during the day. 

I woke up feeling less exhausted than usual, so there's that. 

I did some of my housework.  Now I've ordered a pizza. 

I wanted to balance productivity vs. rest today and I think I did a pretty good job. 

I just hope I sleep well tonight, tomorrow's going to be a busy one. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"It's not like we're going to sleep anyway"

Ron's having his operation at 7 AM Wednesday, October 5.  We have to be at the hospital by 5:30.  Ron complained about it. 

"It's not like we're going to sleep anyway" I told him.  He agreed.  If we have a hard time falling asleep for a soda delivery at 5 AM, we will most certainly have trouble falling asleep, not to mention the nerves. 

Ron, at least, will get a nice propofol nap during his operation, but I will be strung out and vibrating, sneaking Bibles and Bible Promise books onto end tables wherever I can in the waiting room and trying to remember God Is In Control. 

I woke up exhausted today, and barely made it out the door in time.  We went to Walmart.  I wanted to do my shopping today. 

I had a list of things, button down shirt for Ron, underwear for Ron (he wants new underwear for the hospital).  He teased me about buying ladies' underwear for him.   He told me not to worry about the shirt. 

I got my shopping done, I got 3 six-packs of diet Mountain Dew, the drink of champions, and a six pack of caffeine free diet Coke, the drink of already-anxious lady in the waiting room during Ron's operation. 

The last thing I need is to get ramped up on caffeine and aspartame during Ron's operation.  I'll be a wreck and probably won't sleep for days.  Nope nope noper. 

I got drink mix for Ron, he likes the sugarfree stuff that I use.  He wanted "other" flavors though.  I differentiated them for him, one flavor has nothing on the container, another has one rubber band around the container, and the last flavor has two rubber bands.  That way he can tell them apart. 

A lot of times, living with a blind person is really not that difficult.  You just have to look at things differently.  All his pants are neutrals, as are most of his tops.  The few "colors" he has are all tops, and will match any pair of pants he has.  He puts braille labels on his prescriptions, and supplements.  All his shoes are black, even his sandals. 

Anyway, I had a productive shop.  If I had access to my "own" vehicle I would have gone ahead and bought another storage box and 80 or so pounds of litter.  See, Baby Girl had some issues with pooping out of the box, and throwing litter on the floor when she did poop in the box.  It was frustrating. 

I got some unscented litter and started filling it to a shallower level.  That did the trick.  Then I put the unscented litter into a storage box, 12-18 gallon size I think.  Still at a shallow level. 

I have noticed Baby Girl is attacking the other cats (hissing and swatting at them) when they use "her" box, so clearly I need to "make" another one.  I don't want toilet issues and I don't want anyone attacked. 

So I need more litter and a new box, to put in the front room.  I will get rid of the shallow box I have up there (I have 5 boxes total, in a 900 square foot house), so I have two, big boxes, side by side, in the living room.  Hopefully that will solve the problem. 

I yell at her when I catch her, but then the innocent cat thinks I'm mad at them.  And I don't want them to think I am angry at them for using the box, that's what they're supposed to do. 

The funny thing, I never wanted kids, in part, because of the diaper issue.  Yet I scoop poop and angst about providing a proper pooping environment.  Kids, at least, get toilet trained and stop using the diaper (unless you are the rare unfortunate with a severely disabled child).  Cats require a box for their entire lifetime.  I have, in fact, been scooping boxes in one capacity or another for over 30 years now. 

Anyway, I didn't get the litter.  Ron and I are going back to Walmart on Sunday and I can get it then.  Huh.  That will be funny, my cat litter riding home with a bunch of Church Ladies.  Paratransit has a crowd of them who only ride on Sundays, dressed up and ready to worship.  They can get very cranky about arrival times, I hear. 

I always thought a good church would just be happy you showed up, even if it was late.  And a real church would certainly understand someone dependent on public transit, and maybe even arrange a ride for them. 

We got picked up to come home.  We would have about 40 minutes before our next ride.  However, the driver was slow (he's just late every time we get him, and he takes his time driving anywhere).  Then he got an "extra trip".  Apparently paratransit felt it was more important to get the slow individual a straight trip from home to workshop, rather than honor our appointment time.  It's not like the guy would get fired if he were late! 

We ended up rushing around, me putting groceries into the freezer and changing out of my flip flops.  We barely made our next pickup. 

Our problems were compounded when Biscuit escaped into the garage, our exit.  We enter the garage, shut the door to the house, open the garage door, and exit.  That way the cats can't get out. 

Unless Mr Naughty gets into the garage.  I found him under Ron's other wheelchair and picked him up.  He was purring as he shed white cat hair all over my black t-shirt. 

I wore Biscuit's hair to work.  It was an interesting look. 

We didn't have a lot of work to do.  We managed to get it all done and Ron had time to run change. 

Then we went to the bank and made a deposit to cover Ron's share of the copay for his surgery.  Ouch.  Funny thing, though, it's only a couple hundred more than I paid to have that small tumor taken off of Torbie's foot. 

After that we went to Denny's for dinner.  I was pretty exhausted by this time, especially since I missed my nap.  I drank a couple Diet Cokes. 

When I got home I took my evening meds, of course.  I laid down and tried to get a little nap but those Diet Cokes came back to haunt me (see why I'm so scared of caffeine on Surgery Day?).  I tossed and turned, trying to fall asleep.  I finally drowsed off for about half an hour. 

When I got up I turned on my computer, alternating between computer and television.  Torbie came in the computer room, meowing piteously.  I sat down on the couch where I do my God Time and she got in my lap for a while.  Then I did my God Time. 

I thought I was too tired but I managed it in spite of myself. 

Afterward, I spent a fair amount of time worrying about all the things that could go wrong with Ron's surgery, including him possibly dying.  Spent some time working on that. 

Then my new worry, Ron needs a Dr Pepper order on Friday morning.  What if that's when they discharge Ron?  That would be big trouble.  I have to be there to get the delivery or we have no soda.  I will/would have to recruit someone else to check him out and bring him home. 

Ah, details.  They're a killer.  I will have to call my aunt tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pre-op

Today we went to the hospital. 

My aunt picked us up, I stuffed the wheelchair in the trunk, and off we went.  She had some trouble parking but managed to find a spot. 

In the meantime, Ron and I "went to the bathroom".  It was pretty much a single stall + urinal so I went in with Ron, got him in the stall, and left.  I stood outside the door. 

I found my aunt and we checked in and began waiting.  They gave us a restaurant-style pager, the kind with the lights, that vibrates.  Pretty soon it went off. 

Then we checked in, proved who we were, and signed some forms.  We waited some more. 

Then it was off to the blood draw.  That's all they did, drew some blood to match in case he has a complication.  They gave him his wristband (he needs it for the cross match if he requires blood); he can't take it off until after the surgery. 

Then we waited some more.  Ron was getting impatient but knows he needs the surgery.  I think both of us were recalling his misery on Friday. 

Then we got the preadmission nurse.  She took his blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen.  She reviewed his medical history and entered some information into the computer. 

She gave me preoperative instructions, and some antibacterial wash for Ron.  He has to shower with it, twice, prior to his surgery.  He will not be happy about that. 

While at the hospital, I scattered various "Bible Promise Books" in the waiting areas. 

Then, all done, we decided to go out for a late lunch/early dinner.  We decided on Cracker Barrel.  My aunt got the catfish, and loved it.  I got chicken fried steak, so did Ron.  He ate too much and is in bed moaning about just that. 

We had a good lunch.  Then she dropped us at home. 

I put away my stuff.  But wait a minute, where is the all-important preoperative paperwork?  I had a good panic over that, prayed about it, and finally found it on my Bible Promise books near the front door.  Not sure how that happened. 

Anyway, I put the instructions, along with the antibacterial wash, into a bag over where I keep my medication, I'm sure to see it there. 

Ron is in bed with his vibrating massager. 

I'm about to go to bed.  Tomorrow's going to be a long day. 

We'll make it. 

"If he lets you do it"

This morning I woke up later, a little bit of a headache, took some aspirin half asleep and went back to bed at 6 AM, kind of day.  I woke up a couple hours later with a residual headache and less tired than usual. 

I am always tired, it's just a matter of degree.  Fatigue, I'm sure, is one of the big reasons people don't like to take lithium.  Or whatever drug is causing the fatigue, I suspect all of them.  I try to ration my energy for whatever is important, and that changes. 

So I got up and took my shower, and started on my God Time.  As you know, last night Ron refused to take a bath prior to going to the hospital today.  They will be doing blood work and such. 

I asked Ron if he would like to take a bath.  Instead of telling him "You need to take a bath".  He said OK.  I was shocked, but hid it. 

I helped him get that done.  However, he balked at washing his hair.  It is greasy.  It looks terrible. 

I was feeling like a terrible caregiver and very frustrated.  Then God, I think, put a thought in my head "You can only help him if he lets you do it". 

BAM!

How true!  I can't help him at all - unless he lets me do it.  If he doesn't want to wash his hair, then it won't get washed.  I can't force him to do it.  That's the pathway to elder abuse and me ending up in prison. 

Ron is not worth going to prison. 

So I will "let" him go with greasy hair and if anyone asks (they won't), I'll say "He didn't want to wash his hair today".  I did tell him he would have to wash his hair next week before the surgery.  He didn't argue, which I guess is agreement. 

I went back and finished my God Time, checked the mail, etc. 

Now I'm waiting for my aunt to show up and take us to the hospital.  Hopefully we won't have to redo everything we did last month. 

At least they have a cafeteria. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Good thoughts and wishes"

Well, at least work went well. 

I woke up utterly exhausted.  I was so tired I did my God Time later and stayed in bed as long as I possibly could. 

I got dressed and we went to work. 

I didn't have a lot to do for snacks, so I helped Ron as much as possible.  He wanted to load the new soda machine and did some shuffling of drinks from one machine to another.  I helped him with that, he was very appreciative. 

He is generally very appreciative of things I do at work.  At least these days. 

I had to remind him a few times, he would have a hard time finding someone to replace me.  The other vendor is having a hard time replacing one of their "quit" employees, and they've had months to search.  If you can find someone willing to do the physical labor, are they technically inclined?  Are they honest?  Hard to find. 

Anyway, he was OK at work.  We do have a problem with Soda #2, it's not taking coins.  We will have to have the repairman out again (we just had him out to remount a loose bill acceptor in our new machine).  Fortunately he is "free" per our Dr Pepper contract, the one I mentioned the other day. 

On our way out, Ron almost slammed the door on my hand.  When I push the wheelchair, it doesn't have a guard on the wheels to protect my hand.  What I mean, the handle is even with the wheel, so if something hits the wheel (a heavy glass door), it's going to hit my hand as well.  I had to duck and dodge getting out. 

I didn't think to mention it to Ron, it's just a quirk of the new wheelchair.  It's still a good chair. 

We came home and I took a nap.  I heard some noise next door from #6, maybe Ron too.  I woke up exhausted again. 

Maybe I need to see if I am anemic.  I'm taking a multivitamin with iron so I should be OK but who knows? 

I might do that after Ron does his surgery, get a blood test. 

Anyway, Ron wanted to go to Arby's so we did that.  We had a pretty good time, until it was time to leave. 

Ron held the door open as I pushed him through, then, about halfway through, slammed the door on my hand.  I yelped. 

"What?" 

You just slammed the door on my hand. 

"Well, I didn't know!"

I'm not saying you did, I'm just saying it hurt.  Please don't do that again. 

"Stop attacking me!" and it has been going on for hours now. 

He doesn't want to "talk", he wants to "monologue" about how our marriage is broken beyond repair and how maybe we should just get a divorce, it is clear that I hate him, I'm no treat myself, etc. 

I did the rest of my God Time (I had done most of it before the trip to Arby's).  He was still going.  I turned on my computer and put some music on.  He kept going. 

He is finally done now but I am even more tired than before. 

I understand he has narcissistic personality disorder, he expects everything to revolve around him.  He is very sensitive to criticism.  Or even the perception of criticism, and I have to accept there is something in his head that says I am "attacking" him when I told him he slammed the door on my hand. 

He had a tantrum when I suggested he take a bath tonight.  He is not clean. 

No, he said, he won't take a bath.  So tomorrow we will go to the hospital for preadmission and he will be dirty.  Or, more likely, he will want to take a shower in the last 10 minutes before my aunt shows up to take us to the hospital, get distracted scrubbing dead skin off his feet, and have a tantrum because I am "rushing" him. 

I'll remind you I suggested he take the bath tonight, but if he doesn't want it, he doesn't want it.  I can't change that.  I am not going to fight with him on this. 

It may make me look "bad" as a caregiver but I have to pick my battles.  It is more important to GET him to the hospital than it is to GET him there clean. 

It would be very easy to become bitter, especially when Ron accused me of being too negative.  This from a man who basically says "I wish I were dead, I hate living on Earth" all day long.  I did laugh at him when he accused me of that, and repeated it back to him as a question "I'm too negative?  Me?"  He decided to back off. 

He's frustrating, exasperating, and downright scary when he is having a blackout.  I never know what he'll do next, and that is not a good thing.  He mocks my need for a good night's sleep every night, as if it were something rare and unusual. 
"Oh, don't wake you up!  You'll get me!"  What the heck? 

I would think that a man who loved me, who cared about my physical and emotional health, would care enough to ensure I get a good night's sleep every night. 

Instead he was mixing wine and Neurontin, after I already told him Neurontin causes blackouts when he drinks.  He doesn't believe me, or doesn't care to believe me. 

It is more important for him to drink.  I understand that is the #1 priority these days, Ron has to have his drink.  He is going to have a hard time in the hospital after his surgery, unless he gets his enabler (the guy who brings him alcohol, for pay), to smuggle something in.  I'm going to talk to the man about that.  Ron can't have alcohol, it could combine with the painkillers they are giving him and kill him. 

And just the fact that I even need to think about these things!  I have a blind man in a wheelchair, isn't that enough?  Does he have to be a verbally abusive, narcissistic, alcoholic too? 

Not feeling very hopeful today, but I know God can make this work and give me what I need to be a good caregiver at least. 

But I'll take your prayers, if you pray.  I'll even take "good thoughts and wishes" for the next couple weeks, because they are going to be hell. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Ah, Monday

"This is why" Ron told me bitterly "You're so fat.  Do you ever stop eating?" 

I was shocked.  I had simply given him my half-eaten protein breakfast bar, to hold, while I pushed his wheelchair out of the house.  I reminded him that I have to take my medication with food, but he made a disparaging comment. 

It was pretty representative of the last couple days.  You may have wondered why I didn't post yesterday.  1.  I had to work.  2.  I had a migraine. 

Ever had to unload a truck load of 50 cases of merchandise, in the bright sun, heat, and humidity, with a migraine?  It's hell. 

I did it because it had to be done.  I went to the warehouse, loaded everything onto the cart (not fun), I had help loading the truck (praise God), had to unload the truck pretty much on my own, and get everything into the building on my own.  Then I had to stock.  Hundreds of candy bars.  Help Ron with lifting and moving things. 

All.  With.  A.  Migraine. 

Most medications don't work or are contraindicated for larger women with family histories of heart disease.  I can take Phenergan but I didn't have it with me.  :( 

I had already maxed out on caffeine and Excedrin for the day. 

Anyway, in spite of all my problems, I did it all and did it well.  The vending machines looked pretty good, considering. 

We came home.  I leapt for my Phenergan and crawled into bed. 

This morning I woke up a little late, I was a little groggy from the headache.  I took my shower and got dressed. 

We went to work, after my little interlude with Ron that I already mentioned. 

I was pretty upset at Ron.  I am also aggravated by his whole "good communication" thing.  I will explain something to him and he says "You need to use good communication"  I can communicate, just fine, thank you very much.  You understand every word I write.  My verbal communication is no different.  He does it, I think, as a way of slapping me down. 

No one likes to be told, constantly, they can't communicate.  Then, sometimes, he will do this "Oh, good communication!" in this "approving", condescending manner "You finally got the words out, go you!"  VERY insulting. 

I have chosen not to bring it up with him.  If he knows it upsets me he will continue to do it.  Hopefully he will get tired of it and move on to some other form of insulting me. 

He just bothered me again, asking me to "research wheelchair bus transportation".  I told him to call 1-800-GREYHOUND and find out for himself.  "They don't do that!"  "Why don't you call and find out for yourself?"  Even if I did look it up, they're just going to refer me to the number. 

So, we got to work.  We had two main things happening besides the stock.  1.  We had sandwiches coming and 2.  We had a vending machine coming.  The machine we refer to as soda #1 has a poor coin entry design.  The coins jam, causing very unhappy customers. 

We wanted another machine (we borrow them from Dr Pepper as part of our contract, we fill the machine with 80% their product, and buy at least 30 (more like 60!) cases of soda from them every month), so they arranged to have it come this morning. 

It arrived promptly at 8, a nice looking Vendo V721.  When they took away my old machine, they tipped it onto the dolly, draining the drip pan contents onto the floor.  I had about a gallon of water all over the floor, in the doorway. 

Work has instituted some new cleaning procedures.  I can no longer go to the custodial closet and get a mop and bucket.  No, they have to be checked out and kept in the custody of the custodians. 

I was stuck on my hands and knees, with a couple large rolls of papertowels., people yelling at me for "blocking" the doorway, and then sandwiches calls.  I begged him to wait a couple minutes and continued to mop as best I could.  I created a huge barricade out of "wet floor" signs and ran out to get the sandwiches. 

On my way back, a manager demanded to know what had happened.  I told him, telling him I had to go so I could finish cleaning it up. 

Don't worry, he told me, he would get someone to help. 

The whole time, the TV in the cafeteria is blaring because Houston had a shooting today.  I am so sick of hearing about it. 

"If it bleeds, it leads" and boy were they leading the news with the story.  I hardly even saw a weather report. 

I went back to my mopping after I gave the other vendors their sandwich order (I pick up both orders).   Finally, one of the older custodians showed up and began mopping.  He finished in a few minutes and left. 

About 15 minutes after that, the custodian assigned to our area showed up, put all the wet floor signs in a dry area, did a small mop (about 9 square feet), than sat down, feigning exhaustion. 

Ron knocked over a wet floor sign and asked me to move them.  I did.  She got upset.  I touched the floor. 

"The floor is dry now" I told her. 

"If you want a break" Ron told her "Why don't you just take it, without cluttering up my vending machines?"  She picked up all the signs and went back to whatever she was supposed to be doing. 

In the meantime, I had a new vending machine.  I installed the lock (thank you God, that went easy) and got the meter reading (equally easy).  Ron decided to do things the "hard way" and took cold sodas out of the other vending machines, putting them into the still-warm new vending machine. 

I finished doing chips and I have to say the vending machines looked great when I left.  I even helped Ron replace "cold" drinks in the fridge. 

Finally done.  I was exhausted.  All the stress of getting a new machine (you'd think it would be a fun thing), the drama, all of it. 

I also decided I am buying my OWN mop, to keep in the stockroom.  I am tired of having to clean up messes without proper tools.  Ron dropped a soda today.  It could very easily have burst, creating a huge mess, and it would have been back to me on my hands and knees with the paper towels. 

At least they don't lock those up.  I have no idea where I will keep the mop but I will find a place. 

We came home, we had a good ride.  I took a nap. 

I slept for a couple hours.  I had a dream about having a dream, and looking for my glasses.  I got up. 

I still haven't done my God Time yet.  I think I will eat and take my pills first. 

I'm also running a load of laundry, and I probably need to clean the litter box. 

Ah, Monday. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Give the man a beer!"

Ron used up a lot of his sympathy tonight at dinner. 

He finally woke up around noon, felt pretty good, kept saying how sad it was that he felt so good, to be normal.   I said, I get it.  I get migraines.  I understand.  He disregarded what I said. 

We arranged to take a cab to Walmart to turn in his prescriptions and pick them up.  I had him in the wheelchair.  I put the wheelchair away and took it out. 

We tend to acquire older drivers with back issues. 

We went into the very busy store.  They will not be closing it any time soon. 

We went to the pharmacy and turned in the prescription.  They said it would be half an hour.  Not bad for a Saturday afternoon. 

Even better when it only cost $32 for everything.  We called our driver and got ready to leave. 

We talked some about the blackouts he had while taking Neurotin, several years ago.  I basically showed him my scars.  He was really shocked the memories were so vivid.  He assured me he would be very careful with his drinking and there would not be any blackouts. 

But I've heard that before. 

I told Ron I would like to get some BBQ, we never got a chance to have a "real" birthday or anniversary dinner.  He agreed, the driver agreed, and we went out to a very good BBQ place not far from the Walmart.  They have a really good cheesecake and an exceptional smoked turkey. 

Ron was in his wheelchair.  When we got into the restaurant he ordered his food, then started "begging" for a beer.  I told him I didn't see any.  The employee told me where to get it.  I had already pushed the wheelchair past the cooler so I joked, "OH, I'm already past it, too late". 

Ron kept begging for a beer.  By now I was getting pissed.  He did this before at another restaurant and someone yelled at me.  Ron kept crowing about how the man had yelled at me to "Get the man a beer!" 

I kept pushing him toward the register.  The employee shouted at me to get Ron a beer. 

Ron smirked.  I shook my head.  The man yelled at me again. 

I am sorry to admit I caved and got Ron a beer. 

When we got to the table, I let him have it.  I told him I was sick of his little game of begging for beer and trying to "shame" me into breaking my rule of never providing him with alcohol.  If he wants validation, I think, he should go to a bar, but stop begging like an alcoholic. 

In fact, I will remind him it makes him "look like an alcoholic".  Ron is very proud and doesn't want to be seen "that way" so maybe that will help. 

I continued.  I told Ron, I would never buy him beer again.  Tomorrow I will tell him, if he starts begging for beer I will loudly discuss his behavior during a blackout, and I know he doesn't want that getting out. 

I was furious.  I don't appreciate him manipulating other people into "shaming" behavior to support his habit.  As far as I was concerned, he ruined a perfectly good dinner. 

I'm still trying to forgive him. 

I am doing everything I can to be strong, set good boundaries, and support him in healthy ways. 

I just wish he could respect that.

An Anniversary to remember

I should probably make another drink before I type all this out. 

I spent our anniversary at work, and then the ER, with Ron. 

Ron had been kept up all night by foot pain (radiating from his back) all Thursday night.  Friday morning we went into work very early to get our Dr Pepper delivery, stock, inventory, etc.  We did all that but Ron was still in extreme pain. 

He was "barking" in pain.  It wasn't really a yelp or a yell, more of a bark.  He would shout in pain and his face was contorted in pain.  All radiating from his back. 

I didn't say anything, but he said he wished he had done the surgery on the 14th.  [I did make myself a drink - sugarfree raspberry lemonade]

First, though, he was concerned about recovery time.  We have a mandatory vendor conference in a couple of weeks.  What if he couldn't attend?  Our boss had a similar surgery to Ron and was out of work for months. 

I tried to tell Ron he just has to sit at the conference, he doesn't have to fill a vending machine.  That reassured him a bit.  Then the other vendor said he would not give us a ride. 

I didn't think that was very nice, but it's their vehicle.  If they want to refuse a ride for a crippled man in a wheelchair (I would fold the chair and put it away), they can.  As they say "It's a free country". 

That was a real kick in the gut, though, now we have to arrange a 600 mile round trip journey, or ride Greyhound.  That got Ron back to could he walk up the steps, after the surgery. 

He talked to the "Supreme Commander's" secretary/admin and she referred him back to our boss.  Our boss did some research into it and said we could take a serve-safe course if Ron couldn't attend. 

All this time, Ron is yelping "Ah!" in pain and doubling over periodically, while trying to fill the machines.  Happily the machines did not need a lot of work but it was gruesome to watch. 

No matter how he's treated me at times, I wouldn't wish this on him, ever.  I suggested, if it got really bad, we could go to Urgent Care.  He said no. 

We got home and I took a nap.  Ron drank what was left of the vodka, in the hopes that it would alleviate his pain.  It didn't. 

Happily he didn't have enough to trigger a blackout, which has happened in the past with these episodes (this isn't the first, just the worst). 

When I got up, a couple hours later (remember I woke up at 2 AM), Ron was groaning and doubled over again.  He was using his back massager on his foot. 

I suggested, using it on his back, since that's where the pain originated.  He did that and said it helped a little but he needed to go to the ER. 

First, though, he wanted me to take the deposit to the bank, and run by Walmart and pick up my prescription as we'd planned.  He called our driver. 

I did as instructed.  When I got home Ron was on the verge of calling 911.  I only talked him out of it by reminding him the cats would get out. 

We loaded him into the truck and drove off down the road.  Then our driver started talking about this blind man he met the other day, how the credit cards were so neatly organized in his wallet.  His wallet.

"We need to turn around". 

Ron's wallet was in the backpack because I needed the business debit card to make the deposit.  I had to run back and get it. 

We headed back up the road, in rush hour traffic, to the hospital.  We got there, I loaded Ron in the wheelchair, bringing my hospital bag.  I had various things like my tablet, quarters for the vending machine, change of clothes for Ron, personal care items for Ron, and chocolate for the medical providers.  . 

Don't laugh, a bag of mini Snickers will go a long way to establishing a good rapport with the care provider.  I also had my medication, which I took at the proper time

I hauled that all in and checked Ron in.  He was still screaming in pain, periodically.  His blood pressure and heart rate were elevated. 

Then he had me plug his massager into a spare outlet so he could "vibrate" his foot.  We got some looks for that but the medical peeps were cool about it. 

He saw the intake nurse, the triage nurse, and then a nurse practitioner.  Our driver waited for us, and he said she was giving people stuff to drink for CAT scans, etc.  She basically took one look at Ron and sent him "back".

We got Ron settled in his hospital bed.  He was still screaming in pain. 

What a day, huh? 

Another nurse practitioner came in, this one managing Ron's case.  I gave him Ron's written up medical history and the MRI report on his back (save some money if they already know what's wrong).  He talked to Ron, did an exam "AAHG!" and left. 

The nurse came back a little later.  He had steroids and morphine.  They didn't work.  After a while I rang and told them it didn't work.  The NP came back.  He was worried about Ron. 

I found Star Wars Episode 4 (the one that introduces Luke and Leia), and watched that with the volume down, and the captioning on.

The nurse came back after a while with more goodies.  This time, Valium and Morphine.  I think Ron has a tolerance to Morphine due to all the morphine he was given after the accident.  They had him pumped full of the stuff for weeks. 

Anyway, the morphine didn't really help the pain but the Valium kicked his butt.  He started mumbling about wanting his own bed. 

Ron finally said he wanted to go home, outright, and I told the nurses.  I put him in his wheelchair (he didn't have any IV's), and they came with the discharge paperwork. 

They prescribed Neurontin and Tylenol #3.  I was a little worried they would think Ron was some sort of pain pill junkie but they specifically told me "We know he's not 'seeking'".  So he has something. 

However, the pharmacy was closed.  We checked out, a very cheerful lady in a hijab named "Jennifer" of all things.  She was nice. 

I grabbed our driver and we left.  Did Ron want to go to a 24 hour pharmacy?  No? 

We went home.  I got Ron into bed and fell asleep myself. 

What a day. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I try to keep y'all happy

I wanted to go out to breakfast this morning, which meant getting up at 5:30.  On my birthday, but we were supposed to have a lot of rain today. 

Supposed to. 

Instead, I forgot to set the alarm and woke up around 6:30.  I got up and took my shower, I didn't have time for my God Time, which I did later. 

First, we went out to breakfast.  I had pancakes, Ron had an egg sandwich.  He ate about half of it and ate the rest at home. 

I ate most of my pancakes.  Since, I figured, this would be my Big Meal, I took all my medication in the morning (this is Ok for me to do). 

We had an interesting ride home, we picked up a woman with Down's syndrome.  She was very belligerent, kept calling Ron "Cowboy" in a derisive way, and cursed.  After she got out Ron wondered who's behavior she was modeling. 

We got home and I took a good long nap.  I had a nightmare that Ron had a blackout.  Between that and the headache, I was awake!  I took some aspirin, which worked, and tried to distract myself with my God Time. 

I did that and had a good time, then got online.  I had a lot of happy birthday wishes, for which I thank you all!  :) 

I am still hunting for a cute titanium ring, but haven't found The One yet.  It may be a cheap purchase but I want to have something I like to look at, on my hand. 

Mom and Dad called.  They are doing well.  A lot better, to be told, than Ron.  I told them Ron had a blackout on Monday and I had to cover. 

I will not lie and cover.  If Ron doesn't want me sharing then he needs to moderate his behavior. 

I noticed my arms are getting kind of pudgy.  I think this goes along with the menopause thing, I see a lot of overweight women my age with pudgy arms.  I am used to a flabbier arm, when I am overweight, but these are almost puffy. 

My lower legs are my vanity, I have nice calves, I think.  The rest of me is a good 50-70 pounds overweight, depending on which chart you use. 

I do hate the double chin, which is one reason I don't want to do photos and video right now.  Also, Youtube won't let me record directly off my webcam.  I have to record the video on my computer and then upload it, now.  I am sure I could figure it out but it's an added hassle. 

I WILL try to get some photos of us.  Maybe tomorrow, if you don't mind dark circles under our eyes. 

I try to keep ya'll happy. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"I'm voting for Biscuit"

My Day started at 4 and didn't wrap up until after 2. 

I got up, took my shower, etc.  I got Ron ready to go to: Walmart.  I wanted to buy some jeans today.  The ones I have are uncomfortably tight and I wanted something I could squat, bend over, or breathe while wearing. 

We got there and I left Ron at the door.  Our driver told us the store had called the transit company and demanded people be loaded only at one door, and in front of the door at that.  Oh-kay.  It's the only store making these demands but it does get a lot of paratransit traffic. 

The store is near a couple of senior-living apartment complexes.  It is not uncommon to see a senior on one of those little motorized scooters trying to cross the very busy street near the store. 

I went to the jewelry department.  It was closed but I wanted to see if they still had titanium rings.  They do not.  Well, that answered one question. 

Next stop, jeans.  I will be sitting in an air conditioned room for days on end, listening to people drone on about the most boring things imaginable.  It astounds me how they can take something so simple, and interesting, vending - and turn it into a "make it stop" litany of boredom. 

Anyway, I want to look cute while I'm at it.  I would love to say my old jeans fit great but they're a little tight.  So, I needed new ones.  I'm not going to torture myself, and people looking at me, with tight jeans while I "try" to get my weight down.  I need to cut out the snacking, that's all.  When I do that I'm fine.  I live an active life and should be able to consume a fair amount of calories. 

Which reminds me, I should get my dinner going. 

Got that going. 

So, I looked for jeans.  I wanted black.  I wanted bootcut.  I wanted something that fit properly.  I found a pair of straight legs that would work, and then found a pair of bootcut for $13.  Both in black.  I was very happy.  I guess that's my birthday present from Walmart. 

I did my other shopping after that, browsed the Halloween candy, stuff like that.  I had left Ron by the bathroom.  He insisted he wanted to wait there even though he never usually does. 

I don't know if he used it or not. 

Ron complained all day about his foot bothering him, he was having "zaps" from neuropathy.  I told him it was probably related to the blackout and he agreed. 

He really thinks I can phone him, if he is having a blackout, and he will "straighten up".  I don't know how to tell him that just isn't true, that blackout Ron is a subhuman creature, incapable of speech, throwing cell phones on the floor with abandon. 

I didn't get into that with him.  I am hopefully learning to pick my battles, and arguing with him would be pointless.  I just said "Normally you're away from the phone" and left it at that. 

We got picked up to go home.  The driver didn't want to secure the wheelchair, I had to ask him to do it.  I understand not liking parts of your job but this is someone's mobility, if they can't use their mobility device they can't even get to the bathroom. 

And no one wants that. 

Yes, I am overprotective of Ron. 

Anyway, we had another pickup, in a "different area".  I had never been there and I was curious.  I noted two facts, one, it was near an extremely busy street, and would be terrible for cats.  I always look at apartments and ask "Could I live there?" 

She came out and opened Ron's door, stared at him for a minute, and went around to the other side.  She got in, complaining.  The next 20 minutes were some of the worst negativity I had heard in a long time.  The woman was awful.  She didn't have one positive or even neutral thing to say. 

Ron was begging her to stop.  She demanded to know who I was voting for in the election.  I'm white, which probably means Trump (to some), but I'm a woman, so that probably means Hilary (to some). 

I told her I didn't talk politics.  She kept pressing the issue.  Ron snickered because he knew what was coming. 

"I'm voting for my cat, Biscuit".  I could literally feel her gaping at me. 

"He's not on the ballot!" She insisted. 

"I'll write him in, then."  I smiled.  She got it. 

Ron finally persuaded her to stop and then she demanded the driver turn the radio up very loud.   She was very restless. 

"I wonder" I mused when we got home "If she knows she's bipolar".  She was clearly (to me) having a mixed episode (manic and depressed at the same time).  Depressed = negative talk.  Manic = couldn't shut up.  It is more complicated than that but that's the gist of it. 

Once you have your glasses, you can see, and it is pretty easy for a bipolar person to spot another person with the illness. 

I put my stuff away (not much, mainly just the jeans), and I have lost my receipt.  Let's hope the jeans don't fall apart in the wash. 

I do feel a little bad about the jeans because I know $13 stretch jeans in a plus size can only be manufactured in unethical conditions.  They probably don't use child labor, but I doubt the garment factory is a fun place to work.  However, I don't plan on wearing them for long (losing weight) so why buy something more expensive?  And how do I know ANYONE is running a fair-trade garment factory? 

Anyway, I changed my footwear, got my work keys and badge, and got Ron ready as well.  We left. 

We had a straight ride to work.  I noticed, while working, I didn't actually need a tremendous amount of time to do my work.  It was Ron.  I tried to help him as much as possible, demonstrating "Yes, I can do this" to my satisfaction. 

Ron still insists he can hold out until after Christmas. 

I finished it all up, even cleaned the coffee machine (ick), and helped Ron with the bottled vendor. 

He left before I did.  For some reason he didn't understand me when I said I was putting the carts away, and of course the stupid things wouldn't line up properly.  But I got them. 

I ran out, met Ron near the door, and we left. 

Ron called dispatch about our ride, only to be told we would have to wait a half hour.  In the hot sun.  I worried the brightness would trigger a migraine tomorrow. 

Happily, she showed up in a few minutes "I drive through my lunch".  I hope she doesn't burn out! 

We had a good ride home.  I went inside and took a short nap. 

I was so tired I even slept through Ron calling in the Dr Pepper order for Friday morning (yup, another 2 AM wakeup, on our anniversary no less).  The cats joined me. 

I slept in one position so long my knee went numb, but it resolved when I got up. 

Biscuit wanted his dinner right away but it was only 4 PM.  I was stern and told him no, but I fed him around 6. 

When I finish, I'm going to eat my dinner, take my pills (headaches all day today), and maybe look up titanium or tungsten rings online.  I am in the market, so to speak. 

I still have a little cash in my online account so I can get something if it strikes my fancy.  I just want a cute ring that says "I'm married", one I can wear at work, that I can pull off easily. 

I'm sure I'll find something. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What will I do?

What if Ron breaks his neck one night during one of his blackouts? 

What will I do? 

Well, I've given it some thought. 

I have a pretty broad spectrum of job skills, and I can live cheaper than you because I take the bus instead of driving. 

I have worked in food service, retail, home health care, vending, accounting, general office work, etc.  I am certain God would lead me to the right job.  Worst case I would hook up with a home health agency or a temp agency. 

It would be nice to help a nice older lady with a couple of cats, or an older man with a small, friendly, dog.  Something like that. 

Or help run a restaurant, God knows it is very hard to find efficient and dependable help. 

You get the idea.  The other vendor is short an employee, he might very well take me. 

Don't worry about employment for me.  I'll be OK. 

We have insurance that will supposedly pay off the house if Ron dies, so there's that.  He doesn't have any other insurance.

Now, if I die I have a pretty decent life insurance, which Ron will need.  Ron, in my opinion, would be a lot more screwed if I died. 

He's just my boss, and husband.  I am his caregiver, wife, and employee.  No business, no caregiver, and no wife would have Ron in a very bad place. 

Sadly, that might be the "rock bottom" Dad talks about.  Not that I plan on dying any time soon, but you never know. 

The spanking end of things

I met the cutest, sweetest, little calico kitten today.  More later. 

Yesterday, without asking me, Ron made a trip to go out for breakfast this morning.  I was pretty annoyed when I saw that. 

I didn't say anything because I had mentioned, days ago, I would like to go out for breakfast.  I just didn't expect him to make the trip without asking. 

Considering everything, I didn't want to have yet another "discussion".  I figured, in the Great Scheme Of Things, it wouldn't matter in a day or even a year, so better to let it drop. 

However, it did mean I had to set my alarm for early. 

I slept OK but I woke up with a headache.  I took some aspirin and drank a Diet Mountain Dew.  I took a shower, washing my hair twice.  It was a greasy, tangled, nest.  Yuck. 

I got ready to go and we left.  We went to Carl's Junior.  We basically had to go because Ron woke up late. 

Paratransit had a lot of trouble with no-shows and late cancellations, so if you do either you get a "bad mark".  If you get 5 bad marks in a month you get a warning letter.  If you get 5 more in any other months of that year, you are suspended for 5 days.  It progresses. 

Ron is already over the limit, thanks to yesterday.  He had 3 bad marks just yesterday.  We can't afford any more. 

A late cancellation is less than 2 hours before the pickup.  All of this, I think, is very reasonable. 

It's just hard to be on the spanking end of it. 

I had a breakfast burger, Ron got something to go and elected to eat it at home. He has his reasons and I can't talk about that unless I get permission. 

I never did find the injury that caused yesterday's bleeding all over.  I guess it couldn't have been too bad. 

We had a pretty good time, and we had a timely ride home.  It was frustrating, though, that a quick breakfast turns into a 2.5 hour trip, total. 

I came home and took a nap.  I slept OK for a while. 

Then Ron called our driver to take me to the pet store.  We needed more cat food. 

I always keep a couple reserve bags, but those are for emergency.  I needed to buy 2 more bags, put the new bags into storage, and give Ron the "emergency" bags.  I like to rotate our stock and keep it fresh. 

Ron feeds the cats, by the way. 

I do wet food, he does dry. 

So, the guy picked me up and took me to the store.  He told me about his disability appeal at the VA. 

We got to the store and he had a look at the cats in cages waiting to be adopted.  One cage had 3 cats, way too tight.  It reminded me of the animal rights people complaining about the conditions for chickens.  I wouldn't have put 3 chickens in that space, much less 3 cats.  But I guess they felt they had to. 

The "owner died" cats looked pretty depressed.  I am praying they all find a good home. 

I got my cat food and got a box of treats.  My friend wanted to look at the doggie daycare dogs. 

We got stuck in line behind a woman with something in a box, buying cat food.  She mentioned she had just rescued a kitten. 

I had to see it.  It was an adorable calico.  I told her it was a calico, and a female, and the woman was impressed.  She was a "new" cat lady.  Her boyfriend had found it, in a box, being tortured by some kids. 

The cat seemed healthy, and was very sweet.  When I let her sniff me she rubbed against my finger and let me pet her, meowing sweetly.  When I got home Biscuit made a big point of scent-marking me where the other cat had been, and demanding petting.  I told him HE was the baby and I wasn't getting anyone else. 

The lady left and I paid.  Grain free cat food isn't cheap, let me tell you.  I was glad I had my "rewards" card. 

I bought 3 bags just to save a trip.  Things are going to get busy, one way or another, in the next couple months.  It will be great not to have to run out and buy cat food. 

I gave Ron the "old" cat food when I got home (it is still well within the freshness date) and put the "new" food in my storage area.  I collected the laundry, pre treated the stains, and put it on the soak cycle with some chlorine-free bleach.  Then I ran a load with it and some Tide. 

Ron is really hard on his clothes, but hopefully this will get the stains out. 

We work tomorrow, but have Thursday off.  Thursday is my birthday.  I don't know what I will do but I plan to have fun. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

"He couldn't work today"

I spent most of last night with a horrible migraine.  It persisted into today.

I also got to hear Ron having a blackout last night.  He basically got into my stuff and threw it around, tried to put my reusable shopping bags in the litter box, put a bag of trash in the toilet, etc. 

When it came time for work, it was apparent he would not be able to go.  I called our driver to give me a ride (I cannot ride paratransit by myself).  In the meantime, I tried to get Ron ready, to no avail. 

At one point he was screaming at me to take the brakes off, as he sat on the toilet.  He was trying to ride the toilet all over the house, thinking it was his wheelchair.  I put his hand on the wheelchair and told him "This is your wheelchair" and he shouted at me. 

At least, I say, he didn't think the wheelchair was a toilet. 

His alarm went off.  I thought that might wake him up.  No, it didn't.  He kept yelling "Fomo minush" I finally figured out he was saying "Four more minutes". 

When the driver came, I sent her away.  There was no point.  Ron was still in the house, mostly naked, in blood covered underwear (I never did figure out the location of the wound), shouting incoherently.  Paratransit can ban you for "disruptive behavior" so I didn't even try. 

When Ron found out she had left (I didn't tell him I had sent it away, just that his time had expired), he shouted "NO NO NO" at me.  My head didn't like that much. 

I took some Excedrin.  I ate a protein bar.  Ew.  It was the nasty vanilla one.  This was not shaping up to be a good Monday. 

I gave Biscuit and Baby Girl their num-num.  They were happy to see it.  I gave Torbie some treats.  I guess normally Ron does but he was too drunk. 

Ron was just generally obnoxious yelling and falling, getting back in the wheelchair, yelling some more, trying to get dressed (too late for that), etc.  I kept wishing for the driver to hurry up before Ron got REALLY ugly. 

He finally showed.  I left. 

I got to work and started.  I did an inventory of sodas (normally Ron's job), we needed 5 cases of canned.  I wrote them down. 

I took the carts out of the stockroom and got to work on snacks. I needed plain lays, but not Ruffles.  I needed hot chips, etc.  I forgot to do cookies in Snack #3 but it was mostly OK. 

I got everything else, though.  I was pretty busy for a while there.  When people asked about Ron (not many), I said "He couldn't work today".  It's true, he couldn't.  I just didn't say why. 

Since everyone knows about his back they probably assumed it was back-related. 

Ron called, drunk, wondering where I was.  I told him I was at work.  He hung up. 

He called me a couple more times.  He was sobering up.  He asked me to get him some takeout. 

Then he sent me a text that he was going to "go get drunk".  I didn't hear anything after that, even when I called. 

I figured (accurately) he had dropped his phone on the floor again. 

He had asked me to take our driver out to lunch and get him some takeout.  I think he really has a script in his head that I will have an affair with this man.  He is practically throwing me at the man. 

I'll just say he's not my type.  I don't like beards on anyone but Ron. 

Anyway, as requested, I took him out to lunch.  The guy really scored.  Not only did Ron pay the guy to get him alcohol, the blackout earned him $50 (in driving fees) plus a free lunch with a pretty woman! 

He took me home, I was dreading it.  I find that so sad.  No one should dread going home, ever, but I did.  I didn't say this to the driver. 

Sure enough, when I came home Ron had wrecked the front room again and was busy throwing pens on the floor.  I found toothpicks (I didn't even know we had toothpicks) all over the kitchen floor.  He was mumbling and incoherent, about as bad as when I had left, but not as loud. 

I decided to take a nap.  He woke me up a couple times banging around (he wrecked the front room again).  His phone rang, I turned it off.  Torbie slept by my head, Biscuit by my feet. 

We had a good time.  I slept a couple of hours until Ron woke me up, shouting.  He had gotten lost and needed to find the bathroom. 

When he's really drunk he has no idea where he is in the house.  I have to direct him.  Or face consequences.  Messy ones. 

So, I coaxed him into his wheelchair and got him in the bathroom.  About that time my bowels decided to gripe, I think over the protein bar.  I think I am intolerant of whey protein now.  I had to find my anti-gas pills and chew a couple.  Boy, those are nasty. 

He said he would "let" me sleep, but he lied.  He did not.  He kept making noise, yelling and such.  I finally confronted him directly "You said you would let me sleep". 

I think it's really sad that I even need to ASK for this. 

He went on the attack and said I should have called him in the morning before the ride left.   I reminded him he thought the toilet was a wheelchair.  He laughed.  I realized this was pointless and he was deflecting onto me.

It's HIS fault he was too drunk too work.  He's damned lucky I went in to cover.  Yes, by "covering" I "enabled" him but we cannot afford to lose the business. 

Ron is becoming less and less functional of an alcoholic.  I keep hoping something will wake him up, but my Dad says Ron needs to hit "rock bottom" before that will happen. 

I hate to see what that will entail. 

Ron's asleep now.  I'm going to try to get some sleep, too, while I can.  I don't know if he's going to have another blackout tonight or what. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sorry for the short post

Nasty headache today.  I'll try to write a little, though. 

It is telling I have no appetite, that's a bad headache. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Can you imagine?

I had to get up at 4 AM today. 

It was a long day.  I used my new shampoo, the one that promised soft and lustrous hair.  I never got a chance to see how it worked. 

I don't dry my hair, I've always let it air dry.  I know some consider it "inappropriate" for a woman to walk around with wet hair, but I don't. 

We went to the warehouse, I got 30 cases of drinks and snack items.  Ron was impressed I managed to fit so many snacks in with his merchandise. 

I had help loading the truck, but I had to unload it basically by myself (Ron climbs in the truck bed and shoves items in my direction).  It was hot, miserably humid, and sunny, with a relative temperature of 100 degrees (F).  I was sweating profusely. 

My hair had almost dried, but became soaked with sweat as I worked.  See why I don't worry too much? 

So, I don't know how the shampoo worked.  I will have to wait for tomorrow. 

I got everything in the building (almost as much work as unloading, let me tell you).  My work was impeded by one trainee. 

See, we are "it" for the Houston area.  If you have something Postal related, it all comes out of "my" plant.  Training classes are held frequently. 

We had one today, which was fine, more customers for the vending machines.  However, one woman kept standing directly in front of the door I had to use.  I had to keep asking her to move.  I know she saw me.  I don't know what she wanted, but she did at least get out of the way, after making a little comment each time.  [rolleyes]

That's not as bad as the time I was bringing in a cartload of snacks.  One manager was standing off to the side, with his lackeys.  I had to pass him.  As I did, he reached out, took a case of honey buns, and said "They're free, right?" 

I stopped and looked at him.  He grinned again and said "I can keep them cause they're free, right?" 

"No" I told him "I have to sell them."  He kept holding them. 

One of the lackeys finally whispered to him and he returned them to my cart. 

I don't know why people think crap like that is "funny".  It's not. 

Next time I will say, "You can have them for $12" (12 honey buns x $1 each, my retail price).

Anyway, little Miss I-don't-want-to-move wasn't half as bad as that guy. 

Ron insisted on putting the water away by himself, so I let him.  I focused on doing snacks, which took a while.  I did food.  I didn't do coffee but I am sure it is OK. 

In addition to doing my own work, I am always "on call" for Ron to verify sodas, help him get things, push him in the wheelchair, etc.  Helping him alone is a full time job. 

Ron and I agreed to have a day where we come in and he doesn't work, just to see how hard it would be for me to accomplish.  How long, rather.  Am I exhausted afterward?  Is he going to work me to death?  That sort of thing. 

That would be useful to know before the surgery. 

We finally wrapped it up and left.  We could run by a fast food place and get some takeout, because Ron had called our driver to take us home. 

Now, on the very rare occasion, if we have a driver who really likes us, and they have time, they might run through a drive through for us.  But it's uncommon and could get the driver in trouble. 

This way we didn't have a problem.  Ron just stayed in the truck rather than transfer to the wheelchair again.  I didn't mind.  His wheelchair weighs 38 pounds, and at best, is awkward to maneuver. 

At least I'm not covered in bruises like I was with the other chair.  That was brutal. 

Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful I live in a country where Ron can have a work wheelchair (no arms), a home wheelchair, and the bathroom wheelchair.  I'm glad I live in a place where we could afford all that, too. 

I try to never take my life for granted.  We got home and I took my meds (! grateful for them too), ate, and took my nap.  I was pretty exhausted. 

Torbie joined me.  I did have a problem, one of my "neighbors" was playing loud music for a couple of hours.  Had it gone on longer, I would have taken Ron for a "walk" in the wheelchair and found them out, so Ron could call the police to ask them to turn it down. 

I don't feel bad about that.  We have probably tens of thousands of subdivisions in Houston.  This is a "quiet" subdivision, but if you want a "fun party" one you can find it.  It won't be as nice, or as safe, but you can play your loud radio along with everyone else, and make noise late at night.  It is, I think, the height of rudeness to move to a nice quiet place because you like it, but then crap all over it with loud music and parties because you "want to have fun".  What about your neighbors? 

Leaving home early on delivery days, I have seen one neighbor leave for work every day, faithfully, at 3:30 AM.  The other ones follow suit shortly afterward.  We all go to bed early and get up early.  We're all, pretty much, on the same schedule. 

That won't stop #6 with the birthday parties, although they did have one this spring, during the day, like the "normal" birthday parties of my youth.  The late-night birthday parties get very old and are just an excuse for adults to get drunk and party.  The kids get so bored they actually throw the soccer ball on the roof of the house, and for a while, they were doing that with my house as well. 

We may have one party next week, definitely two in October, and at least one in November.  Then the Christmas party.  If I knew he was having it, I would probably stay in a cheap (non bedbug) hotel.  That one's the worst. 

It's funny, because I have plenty other "Mexican" neighbors, yet no one else chooses to "celebrate" like #6. 

Anyway, the noise woke me up so I had to get up, I did, watched a little Tv, did a little cleaning, etc.  I fed Biscuit and cleaned the litter box (in that order), washed my hands, etc. 

I called Mom and Dad (adoptive Mom) but they are at a football game so I'll catch them later.  I told her about the new wheelchair and she was happy to hear Ron can get in the bathroom, easily, now. 

However, if I need to use the chair to get into the bathroom (I didn't tell her this), I will need to lose some weight.  My hips won't fit into the wheelchair right now, and I tried. 

It's a good thing I didn't get stuck!  Can you imagine? 

Friday, September 16, 2016

$138. Or $139

Well, our driver was late, our pickup early, and we had a long line at the pharmacy.  I'm lucky I had time to get my pills. 

For whatever reason, they called the pharmacist to consult with my medication.  I don't know why.  She was still laughing at my "Mood stabilizers, the secret of my happy marriage" comment. 

I did get some shampoo, cat food, and a six pack of Mountain Dew.  Chips (or "crisps"), stuff like that.  Not much, really. 

I had already spent $138 on medication, and that's minus the Depakote.  $139 if you count the anti-gas medication. 

I meant to get some Halloween candy, and try on some rings (cheap ones, just to get an idea of my size, maybe buy one of the $20 titanium rings), but I didn't have time. 

Our ride was early, but a driver I like.  I tease her about Biscuit being her boyfriend because she likes him. 

We got home, I put away my soy milk, and laid down in bed while Ron chatted on the phone.  I let him go about 15 minutes, he kept getting louder and louder. I finally reminded him I was taking a nap and he said he had to go or I would become a "monster and eat [him]". 

Ah, no. 

I laid in bed with Torbie, and Biscuit joined me, flopping on my legs.  He's such a sweet boy.  I had a good nap. 

I forgot to mention, last night I woke up facing Torbie in bed, gently holding her paw.  And she let me. 

I really know some awesome cats, let me tell you.  I can't say enough about them. 

I had a good nap, which I needed.  Tomorrow will be a hectic day. 

I got up and fed Biscuit and Baby Girl, putting their new food on the stack of cat-food-cases I already have stacked on the table.  I like to keep things simple, and I don't want to run out of cat food. 

For instance, today at Walmart, they were totally out of the catnip treats. 

I saw that neighbor cat again, it was pacing around outside the catio.  Biscuit ran out in the catio and the cat left.  I guess Biscuit has staked his claim. 

I wonder if Biscuit peed on the wire mesh to mark his territory? 

The neighbor cat is a little overweight and has a beautiful coat, so I'm not worried about it.  It probably used to come in the house before we had the catio built. 

Biscuit seemed a little insecure when he came back in, so I reminded him he's my cat, and I'm not getting any more.  No other cat was going to eat his nums.  He purred at me and left to greet Ron. 

I need to go to bed in about 45 minutes.  Off I go. 



The Death Chapter

Ron has a couple complaints about me. 

I would be a liar and the world's biggest phony if I didn't tell you that. 

I'm going to share the "valid" ones. 

First, housekeeping.  Yes, I am very messy, but I have worked to make the house a safe place for us and the cats.  I'm working on that. 

Second, I'm fat.  I could stand to lose a good (reasonably) 50 pounds.  I would still be "thick" but healthier.  I'll get to that when I can.  I am seriously considering buying a treadmill for that. 

Third, I'm bossy, he says.  I am always making suggestions.  He finds it very aggravating at times. 

At the beginning of the whole back-surgery journey, Ron made it pretty clear to me it had to be his decision.  If I talked him into doing something he didn't want, and it didn't work out, he would blame me forever.  Good point. 

So I have quelled my natural desire to prod him into surgery and have tried not to share my opinions unless asked.  It paid off. 

Today Ron asked me for my honest opinion on what "we" should do.  He is concerned about the loss of strength in his legs (as he should be), but we have a big business conference coming up in a couple of weeks.  We cannot miss the conference again.  We did last year and it was very hard to do the "make up". 

We decided, together, to schedule the appointment for after the conference.  We should have enough time for him to recover before we get into the busy season. 

We hope. 

In the meantime I am off to Walmart to look for a size 8 titanium ring, and get my medication.  I had doc call in a 3-months for me. 

Plus I need to make the deposit for my health insurance so I can pay that.  I will walk out of Walmart significantly poorer. 

But at least I'll have my medication and maybe a ring.  I am getting a little tired of the "fake sapphire" one I am wearing at present.  It is a size 8, and fits, so  regular size 8 something else ought to fit. 

It can be a birthday present to myself.  My birthday is next week. 

Last night I decided to read my caregiver book.  It has some good tips (The Comforts of Home, a Caregiver's Guide).  I decided to read it in bed, my faithful Torbie-cat at my side. 

It went pretty well.  Then I got to the death chapter.  I really wish I hadn't read that.  Ugh.  Awful. 

It was a total downer. 

Sorry I read it. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"I'm fighting every day"

Best part of the day, sleeping with Torbie, all night and during my nap. 

I don't care if you let me pick you up.  I don't care if you get in my lap, or even if you meow at me.  Do you sleep with me?  That's what I want. 

I always sleep better with a cat in the bed.  Interestingly enough, when my cats have gotten to about 8 years old, they start sleeping by my head.  Maybe because I roll over on them, maybe because there's more room, or maybe because they like the way my head smells.  I just know that Torbie is the third senior cat to start sleeping by my head, and I love it. 

Sadly, it also means I probably don't have a lot of time left with her, but I will enjoy her as long as I can.  She is almost 9, but obese, so we're not sure how long we'll have with her. 

So, I got up.  I am having my period and I was a little cranky with Ron this morning.  I also cried and cried over an Amazon commercial (the one with the dog and the baby). 

We went to work.  They had wiped out our vending machines, or as the other vendor says "Blown out".  It looks like the holiday season is starting early. 

Maybe, I told Ron, he was right to wait on his surgery.  That's when he told me his legs are still getting weaker but he wants to keep working as long as he can. 

I did all the machines, it took a while, and helped Ron.  We were at it for hours.  Then we went to the bank. 

We made a deposit to cover the flood in$urance, $1400 - actually $1416.  I wanted to spend the extra $30 for more coverage but Ron said no.  I would always rather over insure than under insure.  Which is why I carry a life insurance policy on myself. 

We finished up at the bank and went out to lunch.  I got extra crispy hashbrowns.  Yum.  I didn't finish the whole meal.  Instead of trying to force it down, I got a to go box and put the remains of the hashbrowns inside.

We came home and I took a nap.  It was pretty late in the day but I still got a couple hours.  I needed it. 

My medication wipes me out. 

When I got up, Ron wanted me to watch a "funny movie" where a father apparently walks in on his small daughter getting sex ed classes.  Ron kept saying it was so funny.  It didn't sound funny. 

I told him I didn't want to watch a comedy.  He told me I "needed to fight". 

I finally snapped. "Ron" I told him "I am fighting every second of every day.  When I stop fighting, I kill myself." 

He gaped at me in shock.  "Should we talk to your doctor?" 

"No" I told him.  "I'm not suicidal now because I am fighting.  I'm not just sad.  I'm not in a bad mood.  I am fighting a life and death battle.  I fight every second of every day, because, when I give up, I die." 

He was very quiet after that. 

Later on I saw the commercial that made me cry.  Ron thought it was bringing up some issue from my past.  I had to remind him I am suffering from depression and PMS, probably anything would make me cry.  I wasn't nice about it. 

Then he wanted to talk about my family, which led to talking about his family, which led to the both of us concluding my aunt is worth all of them put together. 

At least we've got her.  And she's slim and in good health so we should have her for a while yet. 

Boy, that would really [censored] me up if she died. 

Anyway, Torbie is already in my bed, by my pillow, waiting for me to go to bed.  I'll have to join her, won't I? 

She's a gift.  I often tease Ron and tell him "You didn't like her.  You thought she was mean!"  She got in my lap the second I sat down at the shelter, and hissed at any other cats who showed interest in me.  She was claiming me as her Personal Human. 

I understood, but Ron thought I had some half-feral monster.  Pretty funny now. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"This is on my plate"

Well, I told Doc about the blackouts.  Doc asked me if there was "anything else" and I said "He is scaring me with the amount of blackouts he is having".  Ron laughed.  I didn't. 

Doc talked a little about drinking in general terms and asked me if I was "OK".  Yes, I told him, I just wanted him to know, I had a lot going between the (additional) caregiving and the blackouts.  Doc asked if I wanted anything tuned up and I said no, because I don't think it's going to solve the root problem of Ron = drinking.  I didn't say the last. 

So, at least I am on the record. 

Ron had a blackout last night.  I caught him with a pair of scissors in his hand, trying to pry up the edge of the sink.  When I asked him what he was trying to do he scoffed at me and mumbled.  He cut his hand on the scissors, which were covered in blood. 

What is it with Ron bleeding all the time lately? 

I told him I was going to bed and asked if he could "finish" tomorrow.  He scoffed at me but said OK. 

He went to bed.  Apparently, at some time last night he vomited all over his freshly changed bed.  No wonder Torbie sleeps with me.  I changed that later, after we got home. 

It's a good thing I keep a couple of backup sheets. 

I got him up, he still refused to bathe, so I "let" him.  If he wants to look bad in front of Doc and my aunt that's on him.  I don't think Doc would refer to him as "Very stable" though. 

We had a good ride to see Doc, with an interesting driver.  Ron wanted to take the walker, which proved to be a huge hassle for all concerned.  I'm pretty sure we scratched the wall in the hallway of Doc's office. 

I think Ron has learned his lesson about the walker.  He also forgot the wheelchair always provides good seating.  If there is no seating available he just has to sit on the walker, like a stool. 

We got to Doc's office about 20 minutes before the appointment.  There were some nice (friendly) looking people waiting in the waiting room.  You would think Doc would have a bunch of "crazy" freaks in the waiting room, but he doesn't.  Everyone is very polite and keeps to themselves.  Some bring their children, either because the child is the patient, or they don't have child care. 

Doc had a medical student sit in on the session, which was a little odd considering I was making my Big Confession about Ron having a Drinking Problem.  We covered symptoms and I said I still had manias and depressions, but they were livable.  True. 

It used to be a lot worse.  I said I took everything as directed and by the way, needed a refill.  Doc asked about my last blood test and decided not to do a new one.  It hasn't been a year, yet. 

Then I told him about Ron, he was a little taken aback, probably because Ron was so humorous about it "Oh, yeah, I have some bad ones.".  I think he wanted to know if I was asking for help.  I wasn't.  I just wanted him to know "This is on my plate, in addition to the more obvious caregiving".  And that's pretty much what I told him when he asked for clarification.  I'm sure they (he and the student) had a discussion about it once I left... well, we left. 

I took Ron out and set up my next appointment. 

I don't think Doc is going to go for 6 month intervals while I have all this going, and he probably shouldn't. 

So, it was 3 months. 

We left and waited on my aunt, who got stuck in traffic.  I sent up a little prayer for whoever was involved and their family.  That is a horrible notification to get. 

She arrived and I got Ron in the car (tough, with the walker) and stuffed the walker in the trunk (tough).  We went out to eat.  The waiter was doing the work of 3 people and not very attentive at first, but he became much better when some other staff showed up. 

I decided not to hold that against him and gave my usual tip. 

My aunt took us home, saving us probably at least an hour transit time.  We got in and I took a nap for a couple hours. 

I woke up pretty depressed but who wouldn't be?  I'm married to a blind alcoholic, in a wheelchair, who is in agonizing pain and needs extensive spinal surgery.  That's a pretty big freaking deal. 

I fixed up the litter boxes and will be washing my sheets.  I started my period today (not on my new sheets), so I am going to use the "old" sheet until I am done.  I would hate to spot up my pretty new sheets, and I slept just fine on the old one.  I just need to run the load. 

I thought the blood stained sheet had gotten clean (from Ron's blackout where he fell off the walker and hit his head), I looked when I took it out of the wash, but it is still stained.  My aunt made the point we can still use it for Ron, it's not like I have guests going to sleep on the sheet. 

So, when I got home, I put it on the bed.  Ron isn't exactly getting the 5 star linen treatment but he is very hard on his bedding. 

Ron has been very happy with his wheelchair.  I will put up a link. 

God, I hope you don't need it. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VWK4AQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8

He likes everything about it and even fell asleep in it for a while last night.  It has a seatbelt if you are worried about the patient wobbling, or falling out. 

That's it for now, off to do some housework. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Painkillers and cat food

Ron's drunk again and bothering me, so if I sound a little distracted that's why. 

I woke up at 7.  I had set my alarm for 6.  I got up and took my shower, went to Walmart with Ron. 

Ron complained because one of the cart-pushers is broken and makes loud beeping noises.  He didn't want to ride in the kiddie cart, but he didn't want to stay where he was.  He had brought his walker so I couldn't move him easily. 

He is still having a hard time admitting he is a "wheelchair" and believes, falsely, he gets "worse" trips if he is in a wheelchair.  They can't contract a private yellow cab to give him a ride, that's all, but the trips are honestly about the same. 

I had to push the cart and drag him from one door to the other, so he could have his "peace".  I bought my stuff, mainly some painkillers and cat food.   For once, I did not have a headache today. 

I finished up and left.  Ron kept telling me to make a deposit at my bank, but I have what I feel is "enough" money in my account. 

Ron's choice to ride in a walker bit us big time when the driver showed up.  He had a grandmother/granddaughter combo who must have weighed 900 pounds between the two of them.  The cab was STUFFED.  Ron and I had to wedge in there.  I almost had a panic attack when my seatbelt locked up on my neck, cutting off my air supply.  I ended up pulling it away from my neck with my fingers. 

Thank God we were straight. 

One thing I don't understand, lazy drivers who do not want to unfold the ramp to put things away in the back.  They want to do it the hard way, reaching things in over the top of the ramp.  It is 10 times harder, brutal on their backs, and a big inconvenience for me.  He tried to put a heavy bag on top of a light one, something that wouldn't have happened if I had assisted him, the way I normally do, putting the bags in the back. 

I was glad I hadn't bought much.  I had considered buying some cat litter but didn't. Thank God.  Two six packs of soda and some cat food were trouble enough.  Although maybe the driver would have unfolded the ramp, when faced with a 40# box of cat litter. 

We got home and went inside.  I put away my things (not much, I really only got cat food, drink mix, and toilet paper) and took a nap. 

I woke up from my nap around 1.  The yard guys came a little while later.  He likes chocolate candy. 

The yard has been properly harvested/subdued.  It looks much better now. 

Pretty bad when strange neighbors are banging on my door....

The cats came out of hiding and I washed Ron's sheet.  It was covered in blood from his blackout the other week.  He is terrible about "letting" me wash his sheets, I finally got him in a jolly drunk.  "Sure, whatever you want". 

I remain hopeful about bathing him before too long.  His hair is pretty greasy. 

I had a clean sheet for him so I took the one off and installed the other, as I'd learned from the nurse aides at the hospital after Ron's accident.  OK, it looked good. 

Then I let him back.  He was impressed with my speed.  He began drinking and made several drunken phone calls that made me cringe.  I have to remember he is only embarrassing himself.  I can choose whether or not to be embarrassed. 

I sound like a lousy self help book but it's true.  Yes, the first instinct is shame when Ron is on the phone with people, slurring away, or wonders aloud why his old friends don't call anymore. 

I'm not sure how much I buy the whole "It's an illness" thing, but it's a problem for him.  It's HIS problem.  My job is just keeping my stuff together as best I can. 

So, I cleaned the litter box.  I washed the bloody sheet after lint-rolling it to remove Torbie's cat hair.  We'll see what the washer does with that.  Now, that's a good challenge for old Sparky, let me tell you. Set in blood stains. 

Worst case, the sheet only cost $5, I can get another.  I'll keep you posted.  The sheet is navy and a poly-cotton blend. 

I took out garbage, although I haven't taken out the trash can.  It is still sitting near my front door. 

Ron's transfer chair (extra-narrow wheelchair) should be arriving shortly and then he can get into the bathroom safely, at least until he has the surgery and doesn't need it anymore.  Then it can go out in the garage and live with the other adaptive equipment. 

I'm still debating how much to tell Doc tomorrow.  I will at least mention that Ron is having blackouts.  If Ron doesn't take a shower it will be apparent Ron also suffers from depression.  Doc isn't stupid.  I will share enough, in the context of, "During one of his last blackouts, Ron really scared the crap out of me when he fell off his walker and hit his head...." 

Or would that result in some sort of referral I don't want?  Agh.  I am so confused. 

Anyway, positive side, we meet my aunt for lunch tomorrow after I see Doc. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

My burden

Kind of pissed. 

I woke up with a migraine for the third day in a row.  I had to drink a Diet Mountain Dew and take aspirin to try to beat it back.  Of course the caffeine, while helping, woke me up.  Nothing like lying in bed at 1:30 AM trying to sleep. 

I had visions of "migraine art" I could do.  The beauty supply store used to sell foam heads for women to store wigs.  I could buy some foam heads and do various interpretations.  An axe in the head.  Arrows in the head.  Razor blades all around the eye socket.  Etc. 

I finally gave up and got up for a while, got on the computer for a while, whined a little on Facebook (but everyone was asleep). 

I looked at protein powders for a while.  I am trying to get Ron to consume extra protein because he will need surgery and he is an alcoholic (but I don't tell him the last, God will have to do that).  Anyway, he can't have whey.  It has horrible digestive effects for him. 

I tried soy a while back and it works, if I put some peanut butter powder in it.  He loves that.  I get the soy at Sam's Club.  http://www.samsclub.com/sams/naturade-total-soy-vanilla-new-formula-3-lbs/prod1901057.ip

I put this in it: http://www.samsclub.com/sams/pb-fit-powder-30-oz/prod16480147.ip

If you want a recipe, 2 cups water, 4 scoops soy powder, 4 T pb powder.  I imagine it would be really good with chocolate soy powder and half a banana. 

Anyway, I thought Bodybuilding.com might have something "better". They have every protein in the world, except, as I found, much soy.  Oh, well. 

Then I got up and washed out Ron's blender bottle, and made him another shake.  I put it in the fridge and went back to bed. 

More fantasizing about "migraine art" as my head throbbed.  Miserable.  I finally fell asleep about half an hour before the alarm went off. 

Ron's banging around in the kitchen, drunk and making a mess. 

But I'll get to that. 

I got up as late as I could, got dressed, and went to work.  It was pretty slow.  We managed to finish it all and came home. 

I was feeling moderately better, so I decided to weed-whack the catio area out back.  The grass it pretty long, not that it bothers Biscuit.  He can do is "Jungle Kitty" routine (sing that to "Jungle Boogie" "Jungle Kitty, oooh-oooh, Jungle Kitty")

After I finished that, hot and sweaty work, I took a shower.  Then I went to bed and slept a couple hours, catching up on what I had missed the night before. 

I woke up with a returned headache.  Curses.  I took more aspirin (I sure don't have to worry about stroke or heart attack, but I'm going to need some more aspirin), and watched a little TV. 

My appetite came crawling back.  Thank God. 

I was wanting pizza, and I had a free one.  I am a "member" of the Dominoes reward program.  I get one free pizza for every 6, a pretty good deal in my book. 

I ordered it, a grand total of $2.44 taxes and delivery charge.  I got Feta and pepperoni.  It was very good, I will get it again. 

Ron started ranting about me being fat "feeding my stomach" "You used to be so thin". 

Forget the fact that I have eaten absolutely nothing all day. 

I reminded him, when I was thin, he was constantly complaining about my breasts and hips being too flat/skinny respectively.  I told him he was a hypocrite, no matter how I looked he was never happy.  He said all men are like that.  I don't believe him.  I think there are quite a few men out there who only care if their mate is healthy.   Not that I intend to go looking. 

He gets on these tangents about his mother.  He apparently despised his mother for being fat, and he turns that around on me "You're fat just like my mother".  So what?  Up until Ron's accident, she was a very nice lady.  I could do worse. 

I actually left the house, checked the mail, and came back.  He was still raving at me. 

I have decided I am going to tell my doctor. 

  • Ron has a drinking problem (I won't use the word alcoholic)
  • Ron is verbally abusive.
  • Then tell the latest health issues and increased caregiving
Ron will be embarrassed and VERY angry at me, but I think my doctor needs to know my "burden".   He can't treat me properly if he doesn't have the information.  As far as he knows Ron is sober as a judge and a loving husband.  He is neither. 

I am carrying a very heavy package and I need all the help I can get. 

I will reiterate, it is not my job to control or regulate Ron's drinking.  He is the only one who can do that.   I can only protect myself and moderate my responses to said drinking - which is usually running here and pouring it all out. 

The pizza came and Ron did a 180.  From calling me a "stomach-aholic food addict" to asking for some of my pizza. 

I thought, I can be an asshole, stoop to his level, or I can offer him a slice.  It is good and he needs the protein.  It was pretty much the perfect pizza.  Then he tried to pay me for the pizza. 

I told him, I can handle $2.44 plus tip (I gave the guy $5 tip)

I offered him a slice.  He was taken aback and said he had a burrito in the fridge.  He asked me what was on it, I told him.  He said it sounded good and then made a snarky comment. 

He ended up eating the burrito. 

Then he dumped half a tray of ice out all over the kitchen floor, that's the noise I heard. 

I, in the meantime, ate 2 slices of pizza, took my handful of morning pills (Doc: I don't care how or when you take them, just take them every day!), took a slug of decaf iced tea, choked them down, got my evening pills, took them choked them down, and at a last slice of pizza to make sure everything "landed". 

Good, all my meds are on board.  I DO NOT need to be walking around unmedicated, and the minute I can, I will take everything possible. 

I had such a brutal headache for most of the day, I couldn't take my morning pills, they cause and aggravate bad headaches.  But I feel fine now one blog after taking them. 

Good call, Heather.  I like to pat myself on the back for smart little things. 

I think my next call will be buying some butterbur and feverfew, two herbal things that help prevent migraines. 

I absolutely loathe, loathe, loathe the concept of a "hormonal" migraine.  I hate it.  It sounds like I am the victim of my ovaries, but in a sense I am. 

It's a lot smarter to take something, the 2 weeks before my period, to prevent migraines, than it is to just suffer and choke down another handful of aspirin. 

I fed the cats, about the only thing I need to do is clean out the litter box and I will be done for the day. 

I want to make sure the cats have a nice place to go. 

Spanish Bible Handout

Today was my all Spanish Handout.  I thought it would be interesting, but never could I have dreamed how odd it would get.  I had trouble ...