Recently life have been overwhelming-good and bad. Just when it seems one crisis or challenge is addressed, two or three more issues arrive. There are lots of terms for this: “Sea Change in Life”, “Bad Luck”, “Growth Opportunities”, and my favorite “Shit Happens”. Coping with these events has left me exhausted; no energy for blogging. More blogs will come; I miss the chance to tell stories. But it might be a bit irregular for the next couple of weeks. And there are some great stories to be told.
Thank goodness for really good drugs and antibiotics. Without them; I would not be getting healthy. They do make me sick to my stomach; but that’s good for the diet. And 6 weeks of this medicine regime is enough to actually change eating habits. Probably have lost 10-15 pounds already and will probably continue to lose weight. So that is a bonus; but I don’t recommend getting both bronchitis and cellulitus at the same time as a weight loss program. The combination of two bacterial infections can really kick butt. It’s exhausting and painful. At one point I was using crutches since my leg was swollen and painful.
It is amazing both how much use these crutches have gotten and how quickly the rubber / plastic rots. I got these last year with knee injury. Used them for a couple of months while healing. Then Kate had ankle problem as well as a knee problem so she used them a couple of times. Then David, my father in law wanted them for a while although I don’t think he actually used them. Finally a couple of weeks ago; I pulled them out and noticed that the arm hand rests are rotted. Wonder if they sell replacements or would bicycle handlebar tape work well.
Did return to work last week. That was good. And I didn’t have to use any vacation time; so this summers vacation is still happening. Very rewarding was the response from my co-workers. First question was how am I? Second question was are you still going to be going on vacation? It turns out that being sick for a couple weeks meant I was eligible for disability, thus no PTO. It also means there is no paycheck for a couple of weeks; but luckily there is an emergency fund in the bank. So we can manage for a few weeks.
Couple of interesting stories about money management this week. First was a week ago–all the cars needed gas. I had no cash. Tried using the debit; bad PIN number. Repeat process, same result. Tried using a credit card. Ok for the first car, but the second one got the credit card denied. Called the credit union and found that my cards had been flagged for fraud. Explained my sorry situation to the nice lady on the phone and eventually had her laughing. She helped me get everything straight. And then this last weekend, I tried transferring money from one credit union to another. The system took two withdrawals from one bank and then made five deposits to the next. At this point I’m ahead thousands of dollars. But on tuesday after the holiday, I”ll have to call the bank and make sure everything gets straightened out. Too bad, it would be nice to keep the money.
Couple other good things happened over the last few weeks. The California sculpture academy got a grant. A big grant, well big by our standards, not big by many standards. It’s to create some classes for veterans suffering from PTSD. A similar program exists up in Orange County at one of the community colleges. Some veterans were taking the ceramics classes for about 6 months and then were able to move onto creating a new life for themselves. The time spent working with their hands to create beautiful new objects seemed to help them cope with terrors in their minds. So now CSA has a grant to start a similar program casting bronze face masks or hands. I want to grow that grant, but unfortunately stood up a couple of people while out on sick leave. So there is more work to reestablish those contacts.
The second good thing is that I got into a mentor / protogee program and am now paired with a chief engineer for the next year. Get a chance to broaden my connections and learn more about different jobs. Have a great job–good work, good coworkers for the most part, some great bosses, and lots of job security. But I’m bored; the work is too easy. So the chance for learning new stuff is really great.
But right now it seems almost too much good news. I’m overwhelmed. Bob’s dad has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for years. One and a half weeks ago, he took a fall; jumped from stage 4 or 5 up to 6-7 overnight. The scale runs from 1 – minor memory loss to 7-total memory loss as well as bad control of a body. He’s a frail scared old man who doesn’t really recognize me anymore and who wants 100% attention 24 hours a day. It’s killing the family and the options are not great. I get so angry that he can’t be left alone for even 5 minutes and yet. Bob shows amazing tenderness to his dad, I don’t have it in me to do that level of care. Maybe it’s because it’s not my dad; but I don’t want to wipe his butt. And I don’t have the touch for calming him down when he gets frantic and tries to do something that will hurt himself. It’s really hard, especially on Bob and his mom as they try to cover 24 hour shifts without help.
Who knows what’s happening over the next few weeks; but it will be a soap opera. Keep watching this blog; I will post some more stories.