Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Greetings from outer space...

“And so I’m back, from outer space. I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face…”

I kept trying to start this long-overdue blog entry with the words “I’m back” and all I kept getting was that stupid song in my head so I figured I might as well include it because then maybe it’ll quit bugging me and taking up valuable brain space in my head.

Sorry for the loooongggg stretch of quietude on the blog, but I was off recuperating from life/fate/the universe/whatever having kicked me in the teeth…actually, it was more like getting hit by a bus and then dragged hundreds of miles over rocky ground, speed bumps, broken glass and a few squished animals here and there.

(For those with “’satiable curiosity”, this is my way of describing the fact that my formerly healthy and not all that old dad had a major stroke back in November and now requires 24-hour care and that my mother is completely helpless without him because he did everything for her.)

Oh, and did I mention that during all this fun and frivolity I had first, the flu and then, bronchitis, and that my non-child-support-paying and unemployed loser of an ex-husband got himself arrested for the third time while all this was going on? Boy, I tell ya. Fun times.

So, um, yeah, that happened.

I wish I could say I got a lot of recreational beading done during the holidays and while I was on my leave of absence from work because of the situation with my dad, but if you read the paragraphs above, you’ll realize that there wasn’t a whole lot of time or emotional energy to spare. Practically the only “down time” I had was when I was sick and I spent most of that time either wishing I was dead (not conducive to creativity) or in a cold-medicine-induced coma (makes it difficult to thread a needle).

Still, I did manage to finish a couple of things:

The photography sucks (the full extent of the mysteries of the digital camera continues to elude me) and the colors in the pictures are totally off, but both of these pieces came out pretty well – the small exception being that the darker blue necklace is a bit longer that I would really like it to be, but it was either that or completely re-string the thing because of a mistake I made and I just didn’t have the energy. This way, it’s a little long, but the mistake is fixed. I can live with that.

I also managed two afternoons of bead shopping therapy – and man, did I NEED therapy in the WORST way. Hence, the shopping turned out to be a tad more, um, indulgent than was probably wise. But, hey, it was better than driving off a freeway overpass, right?

(And for those who just read that sentence and are freaking out – it was a joke. Get over it.)
Pics of my shopping therapy will be posted tomorrow for anyone who feels the need to have a major eye candy drool session ;-)

Anyway, I’m back to work now and trying to re-adjust to “normal life”…if there even is such a thing. I hope to get back to writing more frequently, but given the situation with my dad, things may continue to be a bit bumpy around here. So, if there are some unexplained absences from this blog occasionally, I hope you’ll keep checking back because I will get things back on track eventually.


P.S. A small public service announcement because my family and I just learned a few things the REALLY hard way…if you are past a certain age, have a history of stroke or other health problems or your parents fall into that category, please put a plan in place for what to do if something should suddenly happen that incapacitates you or a family member. Make sure all vital records are in a KNOWN location and that things like computer passwords and other important information are included. I don’t mean to have that stuff lying around carelessly for just anyone, but I am saying that more than one person in the family ought to know where stuff is. Also, make sure you (or your parents) have adequate insurance coverage specifically for “long term care.” Because let me tell you…Medicare only pays 100% for the first 20 days and then 80% for the next 80 days. THAT IS IT. 100 days and then you are on your own unless you have specific long term care insurance. AND, you only get the 100 days if you meet Medicare’s “qualifying guidelines” for a skilled nursing facility. They change all the time, but currently this means that you must either have a feeding tube or be on an I.V. OR you have to qualify for AT LEAST 2 kinds of rehabilitation therapy of which the primary one has to be physical therapy AND you have to show “continuous progress.” So, let’s say that after 30 days working with a physical and speech therapist that a patient is not making any progress. Those therapists are required to report that to Medicare and BAM! Medicare stops paying. You now have the choice of either staying where you are and paying privately at a rate of $10,000/month or you can move home and have your family members take care of you around the clock (never mind that they have kids and jobs) or you can go to what’s called a “board and care” which is basically a private home where you lay in bed all day with no therapy. Medicare doesn’t cover that either so you pay anywhere from $3500 to $5000 a month for the privilege of lying around waiting to die. GET LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE, PEOPLE!

I am just saying…

P.P.S. I do promise that I will try to make this my last “downer” entry, but you have to understand, things have been REALLY, REALLY crappy so some “stuff” may occasionally leak out. All I can say is: read at your own risk ;-)

No comments: