Well, the past few weeks have been hectic and a bit up and down... Two weeks ago I got sick. Spent Monday in bed, pretty much all day. Wasn't quite right the rest of the week - had kicked the cold by Thursday or so, but my hours were totally screwed up, and I was tired. My parents came out to help with more house stuff, and I was so messed up with sleep that I couldn't sleep Friday night until it was so late I just gave up and stayed up so I'd be up for them. That weekend we hung the vertical blinds on the big windows in my living room - so now I don't feel like I'm in a fishbowl at night when I cant see out, but anyone could be out there looking it. We also put them on the sliding glass doors on the side. The only window not covered now is the bay window out front, since that will really need drapes and I don't know how I'm going to decorate that room yet. We did the usual yard work. And Sunday picked up a bunch of lumber and did some preliminary cutting for the new stairs. My mom worked inside while we were outside, cleaning off more of my wooden furniture - my bedroom set, and a bunch of my bookcases. I also sprayed RoundUp on all the weeds in my front sidewalk and in the pavers along the side of the house. And I went back out on Wednesday and hit any remaining green spots with it again.
The work week was just crazy for some reason. It flew by out of control, I was crazy busy, still sleep deprived from the weekend, and not really sleeping right. I feel like I forgot stuff, dropped balls, etc. I did forget to book my flight to PMX - didn't get to that until Saturday night. I'm still catching up on some of the PMX communications now, about back on top. The week was over before I got up to speed it seemed. My parents came out on Friday so Friday morning they were here and we did a little before I was off to work. I managed a couple of hours of sleep Friday night, but I had to be up for 8AM. Rottman's was delivering my guest bed between 8 and noon - and they showed up at 9:30. Now I have the bed, but need to get the mattress and bedding...
Saturday was a scorcher, and I was outside helping my dad build the new back steps. I was very tired - exhausted really - and stupid. I went right out to - no food or drink. I worked for a while - and then just about passed out. I had a little water and went back to it, and had a severe bout of dizziness. So I came in, ate a couple of NutriGrain bars, sucked down a lot of water - and after a little bit felt a lot better. Exhaustion plus low blood sugar plus dehydration plus extreme heat equals an unhappy body. Must remember that. In the evening we had a rep from Basement Technologies come by - they do water proofing...
Oh, not sure I ever mentioned this... We had some really heavy rains a couple of weeks ago, and I knew there had been water seepage into the basement before, so I went to look a few times during the storm. Well, seepage doesn't cover it - flowing water is more like it. All coming in at one corner. It flowed all across the basement, actually leaving behind silt when it dried up. So I signed a contract for them to come and install a drainage system for that corner. I'd like to do the whole basement, but there are finished walls in most of it (but not some of that corner, fortunately) and I have to rip the walls out - they don't do that, and they need access to the fieldstone foundation walls directly. So maybe in the future - they said the cost is constant - the whole system will cost the same either way, either all at once or some now and some later. That should install that in October I believe. And I'll need to have the yard on that side re-graded - one of the contributing problems is that the yard slopes towards the house there, and my street is a hill and that's on the uphill side. So the water from uphill flows down and hits the house, then gets trapped in the corner (the house is somewhat 'T' shaped - the top of the T is the old house, parallel to the rod, the stem of the T is an addition sticking out into the back yard) and just pools up there until it soaks into the ground, and through the basement wall.
Sunday my dad told me to sleep in to try to rest a bit, so he put the finishing touches on the steps. (They came out real nice.) Then we replaced both ceiling lights/exhaust fans in my bathrooms. The old units were like hotel units - lights, exhaust fans, and a heater. But with just two switches you got the light+fan on one, and heater on the other. I found that annoying, and I don't see the need for the heaters. (Famous last words, we'll see how the winter is.) My dad brought replacement units - same brand, but just lights and exhaust fans.
Upstairs we removed all the components, but removing the mounting box would be a bitch, so I suggested just leaving the old one - since it was the same as the new one. So we cleaned it out, and mounted the new hardware - and wired it so the light and exhaust fan are independent. We started to do the same thing downstairs, but the damper flap on the exhaust fan was broken - then we discovered what would be best described as straw clogging the exhaust duct. We checked it outside, and it was packed. We'd heard from a neighbor that there had been birds nesting in there. There wasn't any cover on the vent when I looked at the house, and I insisted they put one on. Well, the quality workmanship displayed is typical - they left all the birds nest crap in there and just slapped a vent cover on it.
We pulled some of it out, and found the birds and totally perforated the ducting, so it had to go. To do that we had to rip the fixture out completely to get into the ceiling. Easier said than done, since it was mounted before the sheet rock went in. But we managed to do it. Then we pulled the ducting out, cleaned out the debris from the ceiling, and ran new vent duct. Then we mounted the new fixture in the old hole. It was more work than expected, but it is fine now. And it works nicely. So we got a fair bit done, and I should be happy.
But right now, I'm not that happy.
I saw my mother Friday before I left for work. Saturday my dad showed up, and I expected my mother to walk in - and after a bit I wondered where she was, so I asked my dad. He tells me she's at UMMC... took me a second to sort out UMass Medical Center. (And, actually, UMass Memorial.) Turns out she had had some pain in her legs Friday, and by Friday night it got bad enough that he asked him to take her to a hospital. She's had heart trouble and the pain seemed to be spreading, so she was worried it might be a heart attack or stroke. So they had a late night there, and she was admitted for tests and observation. I called and talked to her, and they had her on blood thinners and pain killers while they did the work ups. At the time she thought she might get out later on Saturday - but no.
Oh, important point. The previous weekend, while working in my house, she'd dropped a wooden shelf and it hit her leg. She got a nasty bruise on her shin. Well, that's about where the pain was, so I felt, and feel, like this could be my fault by proxy... She got hurt helping me.
I went to visit her Saturday night, and they had eliminated heart trouble - no stoke, no heart attack, no blood clot from the bruise... Basically they eliminated a lot, but still didn't know what. She thought she'd be getting out Sunday. Sunday was more tests. I talked with her by phone during the day, then my dad and I went to visit her in the evening. She seemed a bit better. They'd taken her off some of the drugs, and changed the pain killers, but she still had pain. They'd eliminated more - it wasn't her MS, it wasn't a pinched nerve, doesn't seem to be tissue inflammation, but still not sure. At that point they did expect to release her on Monday.
This morning my dad came by to putter around here some more, since he doesn't really have anything else to do, and use my laundry facilities since they'd only packed for a weekend. We still expected my mom to be released today. By mid-day she was still in UMass, and my dad had decided that he was staying in MA overnight either way, and would drive home with her Tuesday. I talked with her and suggested that whenever she was released we could all meet for dinner. At that time she was planning to be out.
Around dinner time my dad called - she wasn't being released. They don't know why her legs hurt. But why doing all the tests - X-Ray, MRI, etc - they found 'odd growths' on her thyroid and liver. So they want to keep her to run more tests.
Just writing 'odd growths' makes my stomach knot up... What do you think when you hear that shit? Right. Ever since he told me that I've had the irrational thought "My mom has cancer" running through my head (hence my earlier entry). I know it could be anything or even nothing. Right now it is just an unknown and they need to research it to know what it is. But several of my mom's relatives have died over the past several years of cancer, and my paternal grandmother died of cancer, so it is definitely on my mind. (Me? I'm adopted. I have no idea what I'm in for.) I'm worried sick.
If they don't know what's wrong before I'm supposed to leave for PMX on Thursday, I'm going to have to cancel the trip. No way could I jet off to Cali not knowing what's going on with her. And if it *is* bad news, no fucking way am I'm leaving. I know I'm supposed to staff the con, but they can cope without me (I feel something of a buttinski anyway, since Mike already had some people who are very competent handling things before he slotted me into staff and shuffled things) and I wouldn't be very useful since I'd just be thinking of my mom the whole time. The not knowing is worse than knowing something bad - at least you have something to work with then. I've been worried since I found out - unexplained severe pain is disconcerting, and my brain runs off on all kinds of 'worst case scenarios'. Now I keep circling around the idea that she has cancer and maybe that's causing it. I feel so helpless. I love my mom, she means the world to me, and I feel like there is nothing I can do right now to help her. On Saturday it wasn't as bad - I'm thinking it was a bad bruise, maybe she chipped the bone, or maybe a blot clot from the bruise is causing the pressure, or even a pinched nerve. Stuff that sucks, but isn't *serious* - treatable stuff. Now she's been in 3+ days, they still don't know what is causing the pain, and now they have *more* unknowns.
I want to rip out the part of my brain that keeps showing me Worst Case Scenarios. "Hey, remember grandma? She seems perfectly healthy, no problems - and then she's found unconscious on her kitchen floor, dinner half prepared. Right into a coma, dead within weeks. Lung cancer spread to the brain. Hey, how many years did your mom smoke anyway?" Gah! Shut up! My dad had cancer scare just a year or two ago, and it was nothing, a totally benign cyst. Why am I getting so overworked by this? Odds are it isn't anything serious.
Still, I'd like to hold someone I love and just sit quietly, take comfort in another human presence...