Wednesday, March 28, 2012


G's mood and energy levels continue to improve,
so today, a sunny and gusty day, we went to the arboretum
to explore 1,700 acres of loveliness.

Eastern redbuds (Cercis canadensis),
my favorite spring-flowering tree,
were everywhere and gorgeous.

Swaths of daffodils bedecked paths
and swept down slopes like streams of gold.

Turtles sunned themselves
in the glittering lake.

And we witnessed the triumph of loft over gravity.

One family, two kites.

My heart soared with them.

Monday, March 26, 2012


After the rain: a view down our street

It's been a weird three weeks. Summer came for about 10 days, with temperatures in the mid-eighties every day. Bulbs and trees that don't bloom until mid April are in full flower, or have already bloomed and faded. Some of our daffodils lasted about 3 days in the heat, instead of sticking around for weeks as they would do in more typical cool spring weather.

The day program for G ended with the next location still unknown. I think I know where G will be attending next but have to wait for doctor forms and assessments to be completed. And in between, I visited several locations, G was accepted at one and then days later turned down, I was given strange excuses, phone calls weren't returned - it's been a dismal process.

To top all that, G started behaving strangely about 2 weeks ago, and I feared another infection and repeat of last April's bleak days. After having several tests run and finding nothing obvious amiss in his health, 10 days ago he was too tired to go upstairs to bed. Argh. There followed four nights of us sleeping on the couches in the living room, a hospital bed ordered and delivered a week ago, furniture moved, special sheets purchased (did you know those beds are XL twins?), a mattress topper purchased (did you know those mattresses are really not comfortable?), heel protectors purchased (a new problem - brought on by the uncomfortable mattress?).

And then a thought occurred to me - is the level of anti-anxiety medicine in need of reduction? Since last summer, we've reduced it twice, in September and October, both times when he showed signs of extreme lethargy. I wish I had thought of this right away, but the signs started out differently this time than the last two. Wednesday I cut back his dinnertime dose, and yesterday, thank God, he began to show improvement. Enough improvement to want to go upstairs to bed. This after telling me on Tuesday morning, after his first night in the hospital bed on the first floor, that it didn't matter to him if he slept upstairs or down. That was quite the eye opener for me, as I thought being able to sleep in our room, in our bed, meant something to him. I guess if you are feeling lousy, the bed location trumps the trek up the stairs.

I have been feeling like a cloud has been over our heads. And even though I knew it would pass, that whatever happened we would deal with, it was still so difficult to have so much of our lives off course, tilting crazily, not sure when or how I would be able to get us back on some kind of level footing.

G is in bed upstairs for the second night, and I hope it's the beginning of a more stable stretch.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March blew in...

Susan Branch calendar

It's been an eventful week, and not all in a good way.

My last day at work was supposed to be February 29th, but something came up at the last minute, and my boss asked if I would mind staying another two days. Of course!

Early crocuses. Aren't they dear?

On Friday afternoon, my boss was in the office, so we had a lovely talk about what the last three years has meant for each of us. I offered to turn in my key, or did he want me to keep it for the occasional re-entry to do some mundane office tasks for him. And what about my email: did he want me to set it to forward to him, or I wouldn't mind checking it daily and sending on anything that might come in that he would need. At the end of my several suggestions about how to handle this or that in the wrapping up, he said, "I don't want anything to change." That makes it easier! So - I'll be available when he has the occasional need for some clerical help, or until I find another job that will keep me from being on call now and then. I left feeling good about being able to be a support to him in some small way and with the hope that his business picks up again. More for his sake than for mine; it's very disheartening to him that business is so down right now. Ironic, because during the worst of the economic recession, he was very busy. And now that things are picking up elsewhere, he's not seeing it.

Saturday I had to go to the post office to pick up a registered letter, which turned out to be from the day program G attends three days a week. A letter informing me that March 15th will be G's last day there. No prior warning. Out of the blue. It's a long story which I may tell later, but I made the mistake of opening the letter and reading it while I was still at the counter, waiting for change for my stamp purchase, and I burst into tears. Not my usual style, in public or not. I feel, at the moment, as though I've been punched in the stomach. It's unjust, to say nothing of unprofessional.

Oscar's rubber chicken, with his head under the oven.
This is how I found him Saturday night, and I know how he feels.
Luckily, it's not fatal.

Sunday after church I had planned to meet two of my caregiver friends and best advisers for lunch, and the timing was perfect: I got wonderful sympathy and practical advice from them on this latest development. Find a new day program for G, and after he is settled, deal with the way this was handled and the assorted problems that have plagued us since G started there last June. I'm still reeling from this change, but this morning I visited a potential location (much farther from our house, as are all the other options) and hope to visit another one tomorrow.

Sunday evening my parents were here for a bean soup dinner; my mom brought the salad and her wonderful oatmeal cookies, and besides the soup and bread, I made cranberry and ruby red grapefruit compote. Really yummy, from Lots of good conversation.

Cranberry and ruby red grapefruit compote

In a few minutes, I'm going to my friend and neighbor's for lunch with her and another neighbor, so that should be fun. I'm taking some freshly cut pussy willows for them.