I’m miserable, but still thankful…

So, I’m sitting here on Thanksgiving Eve, alone, my Mother in Law having just been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and hypoxia, just yesterday, and they are keeping her for a few days. Which is fine. As good of a job as I think I do taking care of her now these last almost 9 years, I know that there are things I cannot control. Her health is always more questionable than not–simply due to the nature of her issues. However, at 87 years old, I’d guess she could consider herself pretty darn lucky (and healthy) in the overall scheme of things.

Regardless, when I took her to the Dr’s yesterday before they decided to admit her, I was starting to feel a few twinges of this “whatever” flu thing that’s going around. I’d been sick in early November, ended up with pneumonia and bronchitis and luckily was able to kick it (for the most part) within a week. Residual sniffles notwithstanding, I was feeling pretty good.

At the Dr’s office, find myself blowing my nose more than usual and hoping it’s just a transient thing. Not so much. By the time they assessed her and made the decision to admit her to the hospital, I was in pretty much full blown misery. I didn’t follow the ambulance to the hospital, as they said it would be awhile before all the paperwork was done with, and, since it was the Dr’s decision to have her admitted, there was really little I needed to do. Head home to tend to the pups, then collapse in bed. After a few hours rest, go to the hospital to check on her. Talk to the nurse, they give me the diagnosis and the Dr will call when he has more information on her.

Back home, have some food delivered (first time ever, not counting pizza) and have some dinner. My sis comes home, we chat a bit, but for the most part, I’m holed up in my room trying to feel better. It’s definitely very weird not having my Mother in Law here, since I’ve taken care of her for awhile now.

A couple glasses of wine with dinner, I crash and wake up at 7:30 AM. Anyone who knows me knows I’m NOT a morning person, but I get up and turn on the hot water for tea, take my morning meds, take the pups out and go to wash my face and see that I have a very clear case of conjunctivitis! UGHHHHH!! Not pretty, but for the next couple hours I’m warm water washing it and hoping it doesn’t get any worse.

I had offered to take my daughter to a job interview at 11:15 (it was a ways from campus and her class didn’t get out til right about 11:00 am). She had texted me where to pick her up, we’d stop for a quick bite after the interview, then spend a few hours together.

It was not to be.

Most people who know me well, know that I lost the sight in my right eye in 2010 after a series of 4 surgeries meant to correct a detached retina. The Dr wanted to do one further surgery (remove part of the retina, which, honestly, I didn’t see how it would help at that point), but I put the kibosh on it. After four failed surgeries I was extremely nervous about going under the knife once again and I said no. As it turned out, the 5th surgery wouldn’t have done any good after all, as I’d developed a macular hole which eventually led to blindness in my right eye. I’ve learned to deal with it, as I really have no other choice. I still drive (yes, one is able to pass a DMV sight test as long as you have one good eye) and as I said, was planning on taking my daughter to her job interview.

Only now, with conjunctivitis (otherwise known, to me, as the creepin’ crud), that was an impossibility. Surprisingly enough, it was pretty much only in my good eye, so I was constantly cleaning it out with a warm washcloth and I KNEW that I would be stupid to try and drive with this issue. Reluctantly, I texted her and told her I couldn’t drive her to the interview.

Back to bed and feeling like a crap mother, I knew that my daughter understood, but it didn’t make me feel any better that I’d had to cancel. She was extremely adept at the transit system here in Portland, both my kiddos were, having had to learn to navigate it when they moved here in 2010 and 2013 to go to Portland State University for their degrees.

The Dr called about my Mother in Law and we spent 30 minutes discussing what had occurred with her in the previous weeks to lead her to having to be hospitalized. After our discussion, I told him I’d planned on coming to visit her today, as he said she was starting to respond to treatment, but I couldn’t drive because of the conjunctivitis. He said it wasn’t an issue, she was still in ICU/CCU and would be moved to a regular room once she was more stabilized.

The rest of the evening–took care of the pups, but mostly just vegged out in bed and tried to catch up on some movies I’d previously recorded. When I woke up this morning (Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve), I’m still cleaning out the gunk in my eye. Let my kiddos know that we won’t be going to my sisters for Thanksgiving tomorrow after all (big family too-doo, always really enjoyable), my other sister who lives with me has to work, so we’re all pretty much going to be homebodies tomorrow.

Which brings me to my miserableness (is that a word??). Taking the daytime cold meds, not supposed to make you drowsy, ha-ha, cleaning out my eye, taking the dogs out and they are taking care of/watching over me in bed. Sleep, wake, potty, eat a bite or two, repeat. We’re all pretty tidy in here right now.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It really makes one aware of and thankful for all that they have. Brings families together that might not otherwise be able to spend any time together due to distance, work or whatever. I remember so many Thanksgiving dinners of past–when growing up or when I had a home of my own with my husband and our daughters. Something always special and memorable about each and every one.

This year however, due to all of the above mentioned items; I will NOT be spending the day with my family. I’m just too sick, too miserable, too out of it to join in with anything that’s going to be happening tomorrow.


I am thankful…

…I’m thankful that I have access to medicine that helps me treat my illness and occasional twitches and twinges.

…I’m thankful that I live in a country where access to healthcare is pretty much just a phone call away.

…I’m thankful that my daughters are thriving, working, going to school and learning to be strong, independent women.

…I’m thankful that I have a strong familial tie with my 6 brothers and sisters, my mother, my ex-husband and others who have helped shape me over the years.

…I’m thankful that I have access to and the ability to pay for a place to live, food on my table, and a warm comfy bed from which I can sleep well.

…I’m thankful that I’m actually sick, and not like so many people who are not going to survive another day.

Got my kleenex, got my Germ-X, got my TV remote and my cell phone.

I’m miserable…

…but I’m thankful.

P.S. She got the job. No doubt in my mind, but then, I’m a Mom, so therefore, biased.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family. Be thankful.




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