19 December 2002
They say strange things happen around the time of the full moon. And strange things
have been happening.
To start with the weirdos that the full moon causes to crawl out of the sewers, today I
received my very first hate e-mail. I've arrived. I'm so proud. The e-mail read
"You are too FAT. Please remove your offensive site from the internet. Thank
you." I will not dignify the writer by posting his name, but I will compliment him on
having better spelling than most writers of his ilk. So thank you, jerk. Sorry you're
offended. I have a suggestion: don't read it; go check the porn sites instead.
But things go rapidly downhill from there. As I mentioned in yesterday's entry, Peggy's
mother died yesterday morning. It was not an unexected death, yet you still hate to see
anybody lose someone they love during the holiday season, and Peggy's mum was much
beloved. Peggy said that her mum was her best friend--a wonderful thing to be able to say
about one's mother (happily, I can make the same statement). My heart is in Australia with
all of the family as they go through this painful time.
She was the third person I heard about in the past week to have died. The other two
were parents of people on other e-mail lists, parents of people I don't know at all, other
than by name, not really by interaction. Still, I felt a tug at the heartstrings thinking
that they, too, would be having a painful holiday because of an empty place at the table.
And then there are my uncle and aunt. Who are married to each other (my aunt is my
mother's sister). I wrote about Barb
just a little over 2 yrs ago when her Alzheimers began to worsen. She was finally placed
in an Alzheimers facility a month or so ago and it has been a painful experience for
everyone, especially her husband. The two have been joined at the hip for over 50 years
and watching her fade away mentally and then having to put her away somewhere
physically has been so very difficult for him.
But on top of that, he has his own problems to contend with--his peripheral neuropathy
has worsened to where he is blind in one eye and only partially sighted in the other
(legally blind) and he also was developing heart problems.
As so often happens, the heart problems turned out to be worse than anticipated, once
they got in and began testing and discussing various treatment modalities. Last Friday
(ironically, Friday the 13th), while I was blissfully on my way to LA for a lovely
weekend, all hell was breaking loose in Sacramento.
I am a little fuzzy on all the details, but Bill ended up having an angiogram and
quadruple bypass, after a day of vascillating back and forth with tests and discussion and
decisions and recanting and more decisions. While he was in one hospital with all this
going on, his wife was in another, having just fallen and broken her hip. My mother, who
had gone to Sacramento to help out, the three adult children of my aunt and uncle, and my
other cousin and her husband (whom I am personally nominating for sainthood this month!)
were running back and forth between hospitals as the next crisis arose.
I returned home to cell phone messages with updated reports. Bill wasn't going to make
it...then it was looking ok...then he was worse. Tonight his kidneys appear to be failing,
while his wife in the other hospital has developed a yeast infection. It may be dialysis
for Bill (though if it is a long-term plan, he has left instructions he does not want to
begin the process), and a search for a new facility for her, since she will not be able to
stay at the rehabilitation center where they are moving her tomorrow.
I feel pretty much helpless in this situation too, as I can't leave work (heck, if Dr.
G couldn't give me sick leave when I was achy, feverish, and coughing like I had
tuberculosis, he's certainly not going to be able to let me run to Sacramento to be
anybody's moral support). I have let it be known that I am free over the weekend, if
anybody needs anything, but at this point--who knows if there is any more that can be done
other than adopt a wait and see attitude?
In the middle of all this, it's kind of hard to remember that it's actually almost time
for Christmas. We still don't have our tree decorated--but it is in the house.
Tomorrow night I'm going Christmas caroling with some friends and I've promised to work at
the city's free dinner for those who have nowhere else to go on Christmas Eve. Somehow
between now and then I hope to actually get some Christmas shopping done--but don't hold