Saturday, May 20, 2006

Yeah, I know:

It's been a while.

Life has been pretty eventful lately. In the good news column, last night was our school carnival, featuring (for me anyway) the used book sale. That means there is no longer an ocean of brown paper grocery bags full of books in my living room. It also means I no longer have to look at the pile of papers sitting on my coffee table (aka my desk) and guiltily think about what I should be doing to prepare for the used book sale. It all came together in the end. The bad news was, it poured rain on the carnival. The good news was, the used book sale was under shelter. The bad news was, the books kept getting wet anyway. We had to keep running around wiping them off with paper towels. The good news is, people bought them anyway. Only maybe a third of the books I unloaded from my minivan at the beginning of the afternoon went back into it at the end of the evening. Also, my lack of volunteers turned out to not be a problem. One lady who showed up to work her shift from 5:45-6:30, and both she and her husband hung around till closing. Her husband wasn't even signed up to work, and he both went around yelling that all books were ten cents a piece during the last half hour we were open AND helped up pack up at the end. I love that guy.

After the carnival was the talent show. A whole crowd of people was huddled in the sheltered spot outside the MPR where the show was going to be just to get out of the rain for quite a while before they unlocked the doors and went in. It was a pretty soggy crowd in there, and we nevered did get a seat, but we watched the whole thing. Mermaid's performance of "When I'm 64" went off without a hitch. She kinda stood there looking away from the audience without smiling the whole time, but she sang it nice and loud, and the lyrics only got away from her once. She was really pleased with herself and we were proud of her. And when the talent show was done, we were able to grab both kids and make a quick break for it, due to the fact that our minivan was still parked right outside the MPR, right by the sheltered lunch tables where the used book fair had taken place.

Priorities when I got home were: change into sweats, pour a glass of wine, and count the money from the book sale. We made $181 -- woo hoo! I feel it was pretty successful, which is good since I've already been informed I'll be running it again next year by the person who volunteered me to do it this year without my permission. That's what I get for being good friends with the PTA VP of Events.

In other news, it's been a rough week for my grandma. Come to think of it, it's been a rough month for her. A rough year, even. She's been in a nursing home since early April, and I've been going to see her every week, which has been kind of nice. I've enjoyed spending time with her, and bringing her stuff to eat (she doesn't love the food at the nursing home), and having me visit seems to give her a boost.

Unfortunately, after my parents went on vacation for two weeks, Grandma ran into some health problems and got sent to the hospital twice -- once with a blood clot in her leg a week ago Wednesday, and then again this past Tuesday night with congestive heart failure, which has been a problem she's had pretty regularly over the last few years. The first time she went in, the nursing home called my parents' home number, left a message, and didn't bother to call any of the zillion other numbers on the list. So none of us even knew she was at the hospital having surgery until two days later, when my aunt and uncle came down from where they live in the mountains to visit her and found her bed at the nursing home empty.

Grandma came through that okay, but started having problems breathing almost as soon as they sent her back to the nursing home Monday night, and she was back in the ER 24 hours later. By this time, my aunt and uncle had had to return to the mountains. The hospital assured my aunt that Grandma was comfortable, but because the hospital was crowded, she was in the hallway of the ER. Big Little Brother, who lives just a couple of miles away from the hospital, went over to see her, and called and told me I should come down, so I did. It was awful to see poor Grandma, lying there in the hospital. She wasn't hardly moving at all, and when I went to talk to her, she told me "I just want this to be over." I stayed there with her in the ER, and fortunately they had a room ready for her about an hour after I got there. On the way up, she said they weren't supposed to be taking her upstairs because "I didn't want to go." Even though she did seem to understand that they couldn't just leave her in the ER hallway indefinitely, she continued to insist that she'd been told she wouldn't be moved once she got to the hospital.

I stayed with her for the rest of the afternoon, went to BLB's for a few hours for dinner and such, and then returned to the hospital to spend a couple of hours with her. The next morning I was back again, and I stayed all day. My aunt and uncle were on their way back down from the mountains, and my parents were flying back from Hawaii a few days early. In the meantime, Grandma was actually getting a little better, much to her dismay. She wasn't eating or taking her medication, and I think she thought that would just finish her off. I was supposed to leave around one, but once the doctor came in and told her she was actually improving, I decided to hang around. Poor Grandma just didn't know what to do, and it was pretty hard to know what to tell her, but I'm glad I was there with her. Once my aunt, uncle, parents and BLB arrived, it was decided Grandma would go back to the nursing home the next day and stay there -- no more going to the hospital. In the meantime, she felt like eating, and went ahead took her meds again. She was pretty tired by then, so we left to let her get some rest and went out to dinner.

I'm really proud of my family. Everyone appreciates what everyone else is doing, and there's no complaining that this person should be doing more or anything like that. Everyone was glad my parents were able to go on their long-planned trip to Hawaii, and they didn't mind coming home a few days early. Reasonable Man didn't mind holding down the fort up here in Davis while I was there with Grandma for almost two days. BLB didn't mind running around, getting Grandma settled in nursing home on Monday night and everything else that followed. And I'm so glad I was able to go down and be with her on Wednesday and Thursday, even though she kept encouraging me to go home. I know she was glad I was there, and I was glad I could be a comfort to her and that she didn't have to be alone. I don't know what the next few weeks will bring, but I'm awfully glad to have my school stuff over with so I can concentrate on more important things and be available for my family as needed.

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