Monday, September 25, 2023

Muddling Through

 This is a post I don't really want to write, but I must. I am going to start out with some good and then I will share the hard. 

September is birthday month. Mine and Lindsay's are in the same month as are Jeff's and Paul Allen's. As we age and our family grows, we have started celebrating together. I told Lindsay I was just missing some fun time with the boys so we took off one Saturday morning early (to beat the heat) to go to the zoo. It had been ages since we had done that. In fact, Lindsay was pregnant with Palmer that last time we went. A new baby giraffe had born, but seriously it already looked grown by the time we were able to put this together. 

This is not the baby. He was on the left sort of standing back from the feeding.

Of course, we had to take the train ride. It was getting hot by this time, so you can see the red cheeks.

The big hit for Palmer were the cheetahs. He really didn't want to leave them. I don't know if he had recently seen something about them, but he loved them. 
There were 2 of them just laying down and flopping the tails.

I have not stitched very much this summer, but not because I don't want to.

I have stitched on a summery piece with shells and have enjoyed it when I can. I managed to get August's Christmas ornament for the Stitch-a-Long that I am trying to keep up with.

I have many things I would like to do, but my mind is not quite in the right place. 

Mom's house is on the market and that was a huge load off my mind. I have stuff in the front bedroom to deal with. I try to just close the door and not worry about it, but if I walk by it I feel it haunting me:) One of the biggest things are the large number of photo albums that need to be dealt with. I have already unloaded some to other relatives, but there are many to deal with. 

Mother has good and bad days. We did get the MRI and her taken to a pain doctor and an orthopedic doctor. She is not eligible for any cementing procedures. I know there is a name for that, but I just don't want to look it up. Her spine is too far gone with osteoporosis. She did get a new brace which is smaller and only fits the lower back since the fresh fractures were determined to only be in the lumbar region and from the fall. I hate that they were missed back in June. She could be on the road to recovery MAYBE. I really think she just has a good many issues at this point. She wants to be able to get up and enjoy the place we have her at and on a good day like the next picture shows it seems like that is possible, but the past 2 days have been plain awful. 

Lindsay took the boys by to see her after our zoo trip. They livened that room up quick.

Again, if you saw her today she would be in bed. We will be thankful for the good days and right now they are about 50/50.

I am still keeping Miles for now. He is growing like a weed and in to everything. Our biggest excursions are to see about Mama and to the grocery store.

On this day, we purchased some pumpkins.

On this day, we tried out the wheels.

Now, for the not so much fun to write part. 

I don't want to be a spokeswoman for hard times or be the one that writes a blog about aging or health for that matter, especially the part I am about to write. I guess time and my good Lord will show me what to do. I promise this week I plan to write a post that has nothing to do with Mama or any of my other problems....just a fun post of an old treasure. I need to capture some of those things for my children. It is coming.

I have known something was wrong with Jeff for a long time. Convincing him to listen to me was hard. I even self diagnosed the issue as far back as March if not before. I really wanted to be wrong. He finally shared it with our wellness doctor in Pensacola last spring and he wanted him to head to Mayo in Jacksonville, but of course Jeff put that off thinking it was just neuropathy. He finally called but then it takes a long time to get in and all I could do was pray that when he finally go there they would see what I see and run all the right tests. He was only going for neuropathy but I KNEW there was more. 

The doctor did see what I saw and scheduled him for 6 tests in the 2 days he was there. I haven't slept much since he left over a week ago. I prayed for those tests. I didn't want to be right but at the same time you can't know what you are fighting if you don't have a diagnosis. 

Jeff is in early stage Parkinson's. I really don't have the energy to write what I saw to know that. I hope in time I can write more, but for now I am in survival mode. Between Mama calling half of the days crying in pain and this I am just taking care of the moment. I have a great faith and I will get through it with the help of Jesus. I pray we stay in the early stages for a very long time. 

There are many decisions to be made. Lots more than you even realize. First up is retiring. I am pushing for June which means he would start leave in March. He will, but he is struggling too. Depending on the progression and the plans ahead there is much to think about. 

For now, pray for Mom's house to sell, her to be able to rest, and for a miracle first for Jeff and then if not that, a very slow progression.

Yes, life has thrown out a lot for almost 2 years now, but it has also provided so much good. We had a good friend's daughter to be baptized last night. Many prayers being answered there. 

When I have pulled myself together I will write more. I hope to put out a much lighter post later this week.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

A Long Hot and Challenging Summer

      I have to admit to being as tired as can be and not in the mood to blog. I have read a few trying to drop in every now and then, but not commenting. I truly have had almost no free time. Every minute has been allotted a task and I fall into bed each night. Thankfully, most nights I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and if I awaken in the middle of the night I am too tired to toss and turn. I feel as those I am losing my mind on many days and can't compose a sentence. Today I am extremely tired, but supper is in the oven, Jeff is going to be late, and I have texted Mama that I will come over to see about her after let's see if I can type.

     My last post stated that we were moving Mother in to an assisted living facility. She is still there thankfully. She is not doing all that well physically. I don't think I shared that we had even taken her to the ER one night in July, but that was the case. She has continued to complain about her back and I finally got someone to do an x-ray that showed she has compression fractures. They do believe them to be related to the fall based on some previous x-rays at her primary physician's clinic. That said, she has been on strong pain killers and told to wear a brace. She has not worn the brace!!! I have been in and out of doctor's offices in this here HOT HOT HOT summer. I have called and begged for tests to be moved up. In other words, between trying to clear out her townhouse, get her settled in to the new place AND lots of tests and doctor's appointments, I am just about slap crazy.

     She has an orthopedic appointment with just the orthopedic PA again on Monday now that I wrangled an MRI done earlier than was previously scheduled. I am hoping this will give us a course of action that she will be able to understand and live with whether it is just brace or some type of surgery.

    Now, that is all I am going to say about that, because no one wants to read about all that. Jeff, me, Lindsay and Paul Allen have worked so hard to clear out the townhouse. We all know Mama downsized a lot before she moved down here from Brewton in 2015, but we all know she had much more than Uncle Danny. Clearing out 2 homes in less than 18 months is not fun. No fun at all, and our small little family is tired. I could not even be where I am without them though. They have worked tirelessly moving and packing. 

    At one point, I sincerely thought I might have a sale, but once family had gone through it seemed right on the edge of "kinda enough, but not sure if it was enough" to do a sale. We all decided together that the amount of work it would require from us for the little earnings ---that we would just start donating. Friends came and took some, Lindsay did sell two pieces of the nicer furniture on FB, but Jeff and Paul Allen still ended up having to deliver it. Last night, just before bed time I remembered a thrift store here in town that I had seen china sets in and I looked them up and they even came and carried things away. I emailed before I went to bed and she had answered me this morning. To my great merriment, she came with a van and truck and got the last of decorative items and the furniture this afternoon. I am left only with the piano and she is considering that tonight. The thrift store is for the local animal shelter so that made me feel really good.

     The realtor is coming tomorrow to take photos and then it will be listed ---hallelujah. That will be one thing off my plate.

     Mother is still a long way from being settled and I have lots left to do to get her in a better situation, so having the house done will go a long way with my brain capacity. Her place is nice and if we can get her feeling better I think she has a chance of enjoying her new home. I am still going most everyday to see about her and I would like that to be maybe every other day, but we will see how that goes. 

     There are no tour pictures of her place yet... Maybe one day. The next two pictures  are right outside her door. The hallways are large to allow for safe passage of the residents since most of them are on walkers as well.

     There are lots of chairs a long the pods and hallways for sitting. It is a very coastal and pretty location. Each hallway has a coastal theme with the paintings...hers is palm trees, but there are boats, shells, and such.

     When I say it is hot, I am not kidding. All of this moving and doing has been done in the hottest summer ever. Really... the local weatherman has stated that is the hottest summer here since 1895. There was no let up in the record temperatures from the the 4th of July until Labor Day. Paul Allen and Tyler both overheated at work in the same week. Tyler actually fainted and Paul Allen's heart rate was at something like 170. The heat indexes for nearly 6 weeks were 115 and higher. Very little cloud cover or rain. Labor Day weekend was a breath of fresh air. It came after Idalia. She didn't have any effect on us. We were on the east side and far enough east to have no problems with her. I am always heartbroken for those affected but I am so grateful to have missed it. We still have a good month and half at least before we can truly relax over storms.

     The gardener over here with pretty flowers has hardly anything to show this summer. My yard looks awful. We are too tired and hot to do the much needed work. My geraniums have just given up. Anything with blooms has just said, "Nope, I can't be pretty in this weather!" 

      Jeff and I celebrated 39 years of marriage Labor Day weekend. I didn't know if we were going to be able to slip away to Auburn really until the day before. Lindsay said we needed to go and she would do her best to calm Grandma if needed. I am not sure Mama was too happy, which lets you know she isn't quite right just yet. 

      The cooler temperatures in Auburn were very out of character for this time of year but such a blessing. I can't ever remember it being that cool on Labor Day in Auburn or here in FWB. I let Paul Allen and Katie drop me off downtown and I shopped a bit and walked back to the house just strolling along. Mother made it until Monday morning without calling and crying so I count that as a win.

     Paul Allen and Katie did drive up and go to the game. They headed back Sunday around lunchtime so they could have the remainder of their holiday at home. This happened to them on the way home.

Warning---next picture contains a dead animal if you need to scroll quickly.

       The Palmer family is definitely having a run of bad luck lately. Perseverance should have been my word of the year. I think my post about trying to bow out of this blog back in January might have been a little prophetic about what was coming. 

      I have no stitching to share, but maybe soon I can get back to regular posts, because I certainly don't want this post to be what I blog about. I really will need to quit if that is the material I have to work with.

     I will leave you with one last picture taken in August. I have changed it up a bit this week and hope to add some fall decor to the house even though it isn't even close to feeling like fall. 

     I will share more about that oil painting one day in the future. I am hoping for more fun posts in the future, but for now I am going to say goodbye for another month. I am sorry to say I haven't replied to many comments, but I am going to get back to my blog at some point. 

     Many of you have sent direct messages on social media, cards, and emails and even comments that have helped my feelings so much, because it has been a hard summer. I have kept a playlist of hymns at the ready for when I am about to melt down and have also made it a point when I am getting very weary to remember I have lots of good in my life. My Aunt Faye has always said, "This too shall pass." I am kinda ready for it to pass, but I know we all to walk through things and it could be much worse.

     I know many are already enjoying some cooler temperatures, but for us we still have the remainder of September and part of October for any significant cooling. I will have to create fall in the house and I did choose some fallish colors to wear this week that are still cool clothing. That is how I do it. The white pants and so forth have been moved to the far side of my closet:)

     IF anyone is still here, I will be back ....just need a wee bit more time. ----Sandy