Sunday, March 4, 2012

Am I okay?

Am I okay? That's a hard to question to answer. I guess you'd have to define "okay".

Life is hard. Lately, my life has been harder than it should be, or at least, harder than I'm use to experiencing.

Since my last post:

I thought my sweet 8-year old kitty, Tommy, a gorgeous black and white short hair, was battling a bad case of pneumonia for the last three months. After five vets and many office visits and tests, two weeks ago he was diagnosed with Stage V Lymphoma. The fifth vet I took him to finally figure why all the antibiotics weren't working for the pneumonia. He told me Tommy only had a few days left. Within twelve hours Tommy had a seizure at 3am as I was petting him. I had to take him to the emergency vet in the middle of night and say my final goodbyes to him. It was horrible.

Last week I was granted permanent guardianship for my sister by the state of Alaska. Sounds like a good thing, right? My sister consumes me. Trying to take care of her financial situation she left behind in Alaska, which is extraordinary, is like having a part-time job. Making sure my sister's physical needs are met, checking on her during the week, talking to her caregivers (occupational therapist, physical therapist, the owner of her home, etc. etc. etc.) is time consuming. Because of the guardianship, I have to document every move I make regarding my sister, every decision I make for her, account for every penny I spend of her money on her many expenses. I have to keep detailed records which I update every day. Some weeks there are as many as 50 tasks I handle on her behalf The Excel spreadsheets I've been keeping are ridiculous. This is required by the state, and it takes a lot of time.

I love my sister, I want her to be happy and well-taken care of, but even though she's in a beautiful adult family home with wonderful care-givers, there are still a lot of tasks to attend to for her. I have no choice in this matter. I couldn't live with myself if I let her become a ward of the state, which was the only other option.

The Vulnerable Adult Order of Protection was awarded by the court last week, against my niece. I knew I had to do this, but you can't imagine how awful it makes me feel, to keep my niece away from her mother. It's necessary, but heart-breaking at the same time.

Work is more stressful than normal. I have a deadline that is set by a government mandate, which means there can't be a delay on this project. It's a very complicated project, and frankly, I'm not sure I can complete my part of it in time to meet the deadline. That scares me.

My eating had been horrible for two weeks. I got up to 197.2. I was terrified and angry with myself. I finally got back on track about two weeks ago and actually was able to cut out sweets completely, started eating fresh fruit and vegetables again. I was feeling great.

Then I came down with a horrible cold a week ago. I stayed home two days, sneezing and coughing. It was just a cold, but I was miserable. I didn't exercise at all last week until Thursday, and again Friday. Then the weekend came and again, my sister came first, I came last. I just didn't have time for the gym.

I spent several hours with my sister on Saturday, dealing with a problem she was having with the new splints she has to wear on her paralyzed arm and leg. It was quite the ordeal, with her crying and screaming. She was extremely upset. I finally figured out the problem, but it took hours. Remember, she talks all the time, but no one can understand her. When she has a problem, she lets me know it, but figuring it out is something else. It requires a lot of time and a lot of patience.

Then again today, we spent several hours together as I took her on a little car trip, just me and her. It was her first car trip since the stroke, almost six months ago. We had frozen yogurt at Gibson's in Tacoma, and then went down to the waterfront for a while, just watching the people. Next, we drove by her new dentist's office (where' we'll be going on Thursday). It was a really good day for both of us. I like doing this stuff with her, but it just takes a lot of time out of my life.

So, what's the verdict. Am I okay? Not really. I'm tired. Worn out. Not exactly feeling "okay". At least not by my definition of okay.

It will get better, I guess. Someday, I'll be okay again.

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