August 8, 2022

bank account set-up woes, freight trains, pricey inconclusive tests: cloudy with a chance of losing it

*I drafted this before Reg's seizure on Monday, August 1st  - but I feel like it describes so much of the emotional roller coaster I've been on, I'm sharing it anyway. It might even make you laugh . . . 

Curly and I got home from visiting Nana at the hospital followed by NOT dropping Curly off at the golf course because someone said not to bother. I suspected that that someone didn't know enough to give Curly advise, but I was too distracted to figure it out. 

I told Curly to vacuum and get things done and maybe we could go to the pool when I returned with Mini after buying her a laptop for college. I thought Reg was gonna be my 'cabana' boy - I had no tasks for him to do linked to an actual pool, but I liked the sound of it, plus it's summer. 

Reg was home, since basketball just ended and he couldn't caddy because he was doing the 3 day extended EEG test to see if he has a seizure disorder. I found out when the woman came to connect his head to a bunch of electrodes that he  couldn't run a vacuum while hooked up. Dang. So much for my vacuuming cabana boy. 

This was Tuesday morning and Reg still hadn't had a 'deja vous' episode. The stress of trying to figure out how to induce an episode was irritating me knowing that if we didn't get an episode recorded, our $2,000 after insurance money would be wasted. 

Mini walked in right behind us from the poop-ified dog-sitting house and asked if she had time to shower. I JUST NEED LIKE 15 MINUTES. I really didn't want to wait, but I told her to hurry. Why had she not showered when she was waiting to meet me after she stole Coach's car? *Sigh.* 

I felt a little better when I went back over to my desk and went through the pile of birth certificates AGAIN. Oh, lookie, lookie. Curly's birth certificate was there the whole time. I stuck it in my purse. 

*I do have a lot of birth certificates - some kids have multiple copies. 

** Note to self:  some things, like searching through piles of birth certificates, should be done without being rushed. 

Mini and I drove to the place where we prefer to buy computers. I could've gone a little bit out of my way to drive up the speedy state road, or take the more direct route with stop lights. I opted for the direct route. Mini and I got stopped by a freight train. Then that freight train seemed to stall. Another freight train came from the other direction. Then a commuter train. Then we had to sit and wait through all the cars ahead of us trying to cross the tracks with traffic lights. It was unbelievable. A 12 or 14 minute drive took over 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile Marie was texting about all the doctors she'd spoken to and tests that were being done and how Mom didn't know her phone number or half the grandkids names. I wondered if I should've stayed at the hospital, especially if Curly didn't need to go caddy and the bank account wasn't getting set up and apparently Mini and I were going to grow into old women before we ever made it to the computer store. I scolded Mini for not being ready to go when I wanted her to go. Then . . . I lost it. 

I sobbed. And sobbed. Tried to stop and then stared again. 

Add to this an ordeal I'm not going to even get into, but we are at a crossroads with Lad. His exotic frog collection is overwhelming, not to mention smelly. Some of his other choices are even more concerning. We are navigating things and are unsure how to proceed. When it rains is pours. 

Any guesses on how
many tanks he has?

Mini and I got a computer. I almost laughed when right in front of the salesman she tried to unplug the display laptop and remove the security device as if she was going to take THAT exact one home with us. She caught herself and was like OH, WAIT. 

I'll say it for you, OH, MINI. How will we all be entertained once she leaves for college? 

We then went to the camera store and spent more money than I care to mention (still worth every penny) to pick up the approximately 110 hours of home movies that I thought were lost, then were found, and now are transferred on a few little jump drives that I must guard with my life. 

It was cloudy and I wasn't sure I should go to the pool with Curly. I hesitated. I called Coach and sobbed on the phone. Curly wanted to go to the pool. Mini urged me to go. She pointed out that even with the clouds the UV rays were 8. I didn't know what that meant. (I know what a UV ray is, but I didn't know what the range is, what number it goes up to. Hey, when it's sunny out - it means it's hot and I might get some color and I enjoy being at the pool. That's what I know).

Mini:  You are a sun bathing monster, how do you not know what UV ray numbers mean? 

I took Curly and her friend to the pool and I was glad. It felt good to relax and I napped a little as it wasn't too hot to fall asleep on my chair. I had warned Curly that we were going to the bank after the pool and her friend was gonna have to come with us. Understood. 

We got to the bank at 4:35. They close at 5. They wouldn't open the account because it was after 4:30. My regular banker wasn't there and I know she would've done it, because we are in the system. It doesn't take that long. I say that, but we all know when I go back for my 4th try to open her account that there will be a power outage or a bank robbery or some other interference and it will take us hours. 

I do know that there are people in the world with real problems and I do feel silly complaining about my day (which was last week and several days before Reg's major seizure). 

Unrelated, because I don't have any
photos that depict frustration -
but I took a pic of this photo
while I was in my dad's study on one of
 my recent visits. I'm the cute one.
 Kidding. Can you guess which is me? We were
 vacationing in Colorado. Look at the mountain
 in the reflection. That's a humming
 bird at the feeder. 

Everything I tried felt  wrong and I was at a loss for where I belonged - having no protocol for what one does when one's mother is in the hospital and finding it difficult to navigate with sisters who hover and monopolize. Sheesh  - it was so frustrating. 

I guess self-care for me is getting things accomplished and off my list. Yikes that was just not happening. BTW - Reg is on anti-seizure meds and having an MRI the 18th (soonest I could get, but the doc isn't worried).

In the next 12 days I will drive Tank back to Omaha, Coach will drive Ed to Indiana, and Coach and I will drive Mini to college together. I start babysitting on the 16th. You know the saying "Not much to see here" - well, that's not true for us at the moment.

Something your college kid is glad to have (but maybe not standard protocol) while at college? How busy is your next 12 days? 


Eli said...

You are the blue shirt holding onto the red striped shirt? With your "favorite" haircut, right?

Nicole MacPherson said...

Oh Ernie. I would be sobbing too. That all just sounds like so much stress. I'm sorry you're going through it. Talk about the Sandwich Generation, I think you are more like a Giant Hero Sub Sandwich. Good luck with the trip.

joymariecooks said...

Oof. There's SO MUCH on your plate right now. Virtual internet hugs and real prayers for you.

Jenny in WV said...

Sometimes you need a good cry.

I hope life settles down to a less stressful level soon!

Kara said...

You have a lot going on Lady! Give yourself some downtime!

My next two weeks are busy, but not as busy as yours. My younger two start back to school today (Sophomore and Senior). My oldest moves to her dorm on Thursday, and classes start for her the following Thursday. Her dorm is a whopping 10 miles from our house. Not far, but she's still packing like it's 30 hour drive, not a 30 minute drive.

I'm guessing there are five tanks of frogs, which is five tanks too many. I do not like amphibians and would not appreciate them living in my house.

Ernie said...

Eli - You don't miss a beat - yes, that is me in the blue, featuring my boy haircut.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I had not heard of the sandwich generation, but yes - that is currently my situation. My mom is doing so well now, thankfully. My dad is able to bring her to therapy. It's raining today, but if there is a window without rain I might try to scoot over there and get her outside for a walk as it is not too hot. It has been fairly stressful. When I am not in the thick of it - like no one is in the hospital - I tend to have a positive outlook, so that helps.

Ernie said...

joymarie - Thanks very much. I do feel more relaxed since I wrote this, but Lad's issues are difficult to address. I am fairly busy, but when I have pockets of time to think - that remains a 'what to do next' situation. I appreciate the hugs and the prayers.

Ernie said...

Jenny - You are so right, sometimes a good cry is called for. My contact lenses might disagree, but those can be swapped out. Reg's doctor has been very encouraging and my mom is doing quite well, which has made life a little less nutty.

Ernie said...

Kara - I elected to watch a movie last night on the couch while I sewed a button on Tank's shorts (again, watch the knife and fork, Tank, or maybe the beer so you can stop popping this button off). I finished the button, and then promptly fell asleep. I went to bed and slept very, very long. That is my downtime, I guess.

I'm cracking up at packing as if she is going 30 hours from home. It sure will be convenient. I hope she is happy there. Such an exciting time.

Five frog tanks is a good, reasonable guess. I am WITH YOU - still 5 too many. Unfortunately that is a fraction of what he has going on. A FRACTION, I say. Not sure why? Is it a comfort to him? In my downtime, stuff with him crops up and I think HOLY CRUD, WE HAVE GOT TO GET THIS FIGURED OUT. Easier said than done.

Busy Bee Suz said...

To put it nicely, you have a shitload on your plate.
You totally earned that breakdown; it had to happen at some point.
The good news is that Reg is on medication and *crossing all my body parts* it's helping until the Dr. appointment.

I can't remember what the girls wanted to have at college that wasn't standard protocol. Well, maybe Lindsay's adopted cat. 🐱

How many frog tanks? I can say that more than one is too many.

Blue shirt. Not so happy about her haircut, but she's a fantastic woman in the making.

Can you make copies of the thumb drives? Keep one in a fire safe.

I hope things lighten up.

Beth Cotell said...

As everyone has already said, I would be sobbing too! You have so much on your plate on a normal day and now to add a sick parent and a sick (or at least undiagnosed and trying to get a diagnosis which can be more stressful than the actual diagnosis) kid, it's a lot.

I love that you pointed out the mountains in the reflection and the hummingbird at the feeder. Those little details are what make a picture great!

I am praying for you Ernie!

Ernie said...

Suz - I like that - I 'earned' my sob fest. Well, you aren't wrong. It was a day. Coach later said it was so hard for him when I called him so upset and uncertain about where to go and what to do. I'm glad that was a short lived few days. I don't know how people manage when their children are facing terrible illnesses with little hope.

You are funny about the great woman in the making. Gee, thank. I do think the 'what does not kill us' (or in my case, what was not focused on/glossed over) - has made me stronger. As frustrating as it was to often feel like a second class citizen - it sure taught me a thing or two.

Thank you.

The aquariums. Ugh. He was supposed to have them all out of there by Aug 1st. He moved some things around but I don't think he is down to two aquariums and that was as low as I was willing to go. TWO - still too many, but I can deal with it. Babies and tots start back here on the 16th - I need that space for nappers and it smells and so on. Why? I just don't get it.

Ernie said...

Beth - It has been stressful, but we do feel like we are in good hands. Reg is on ant seizure meds and he has an MRI on the 24th of August. I don't think the doc expects to find anything, just thinks he has a form of epilepsy. It could be that Reg will never have another seizure. He says that happens for some people once they are on the meds.

I don't think my folks intended to make that photo so stunning - I think they were just focusing on us in the little log cabin renal in Colorado, but the mountains in the background add a layer to it.

I so appreciate your prayers. Thank you.

Charlie said...

Agree With all the comments above, you really earned that sob fest. Sometimes it’s the tiniest things that can push us over the edge when we have a lot going on, and you really do have a lot going on. I’m glad to read that the doctors are positive about Reg and that your mum is doing much better. It’s been awhile since you’ve talked to us about Lad and his problems so I’m sorry to hear that you have some issues at the moment. Times have been bleak previously and you’ve got through it, so I have no doubt you and Coach will solve this one too.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Yes, the general theme is that my emotional waterworks were inevitable. I went to my writing group tonight - that was where I was when my dad called to say he needed help getting mom to agree to go to the hospital. The group meets every two weeks. It was hard to believe all that had taken place since the last meeting.

I keep reminding myself that Lad is a much better place than he was a few years ago, but Coach and I feel like we are unwittingly enabling him right now. He isn't saving his money. The frog collection is very pricey, but he claims it isn't. That's just exhibit A. We aren't stupid. The plan is to save up to move out. If we are sitting by thinking he is saving so that he can move out and he isn't - then what? I'm afraid there might need to be some tough love involved, but is that going to do more harm than good.

So, it isn't completely desperate, but it isn't easily solved, as if anything ever is.

Nance said...

Tough, tough times. And you can't always be The Strong One or you'll lose yourself. Trust me; I know.

I'm glad you're carving time out for your writing group, but make sure you're taking time for getting away and regrouping/relaxing, too. Even 30 minutes a day--every day--is a difference maker.

Pat Birnie said...

I agreed that there are times where it’s all too much and a good cry is needed. I’m glad your mom is doing better and that the doc is not too worried about Ed. It may be different but my youngest had two grand mal seizures a few weeks apart when he was 12, both when he was sound asleep. He was told the same thing- never swim alone - and also told this is very common and associated with puberty. He is 30 now and never had another one. I’d also weep about the $2000 and no irregular activity was picked up - that is so frustrating.

Jeanette said...

Oh my gosh, with all that going on I can see your frustration! Your sob fest was definitely justified! I hope things get better for you soon! It's important to take care of yourself too!

Ernie said...

Nance - I have no intention of always being the strong one - above my pay grade. ;)

My pre4ferred alone/down time is chilling by the local pool with my book . . . babysitting starts next week so that will soon become a distant memory.

Ernie said...

Pat - Yes, the fact that my mom is improving so much is such a relief. The simple few meds they put her on has made such a difference.

The doc told me that if he'd had a seizure before the age of 12 he would likely outgrow it.

Oh, that $2,000 - not even needed because a week later - well, ugh. Just gross.

Ernie said...

Jeanette - Thanks - I've seen such an improvement with my mom, it is a weight lifted. Fingers crossed that Reg's MRI comes back normal. I was just fine and chill banking on the meds being the answer but when I go for my run, the wheels of my mind start spinning. What if there is something else that shows up on the MRI?

Deep breaths.

Bibliomama said...

I am of the opinion that as long as we acknowledge that a lot of our problems are first-world problems, we are allowed to complain about them. And this is a lot.
I got stuck for a long time on 'exotic frog collection'. Was this a euphemism of some sort? Apparently not. Huh.
Getting things crossed off your to-do list is definitely part of self-care.

Ernie said...

Ali - I laughed out loud, like really loudly, at your thinking that exotic frog collection was a euphemism of some sort. Oh, how I wish.
It was an overwhelming time and the cards were just stacked against me. Repeatedly.
After getting the 3 kids to college, I am hoping to get some things accomplished that don't include ordering more dorm necessities from Amazon.