Tuesday, December 31, 2013

30 Days and Counting

Well, that was a long break.  Longest I've taken in quite a while.  It's been hard, when the only thing I can really think to blog about is my dad.

My dad, who is still on a ventilator, and whose magical "30 days in ICU" coverage is about to expire.

Just like that, the financial security he's worked so hard for is gone.  His wife is talking about selling the house, except they've (mostly he's) hoarded so much stuff that it's not likely the place could be made sellable. Between cats, cigarettes, and junk, I can imagine just how bad it is.  Plus, it's not a great area.  Their mortgage is paid off, but refinancing won't touch this--at 14 days, they were already over 200,000 dollars in medical bills.  I don't say "medical costs" because we all know there's a big difference between what that shit COSTS and how much they BILL.

Medically, he's not improving as much as I wish he would.  They've still got him zonked out of his gourd with Versed, and still have him tied to the bed to keep him from tearing things out. Apparently, he keeps squirming down to the end of the bed, which has caused a large friction sore on his leg where he keeps pressing it against the railing.

What a mess.

I haven't told anyone in the family, and that's by request.  I'm not happy about it, and yet I can totally understand.  The fear that certain relatives would descend upon his wife and take what they can while he's incapacitated is not unreasonable.  Fact is, I'm the only child of his he wanted informed.  There's a reason for that.  I'm torn, I admit--part of me wants very much to tell people so they'll have their chance to make peace, if that's the way they want to go.

Except they can't--he's drugged to insensibility and on a ventilator.  There's no communicating anything, no making peace.

I'll find out in the next few days what happens next.  After the 30 days in ICU expires, he's got coverage for 45 days in a long-term care facility.  The nearest Veteran's place is 2 hours from his home.  What a total cock-up.


 Spent Christmas day and the day after in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  Had Christmas dinner at the Publick House, then hit Higgins Armory Museum the next day.  Today is Higgins' last day ever--they close their doors for good tonight.  That is a tragedy, it's devastating.  If you never got there, you missed something amazing and magical.  There's never been another Higgins-type place in the States, and there likely never will be.  Thankfully, we got there early--the crowd was amazing, and the power went out in Worcester ten minutes after we left.  Imagine if we'd shown up late and had the power go out!  That would have broken our boy's heart.

I nearly cried in the gift shop.  Higgiins wasn't just a museum, it was an amazing mix of classroom and training, history and play, and the people who've worked there have really put themselves into it fully, and they're hurting.  I'm hurting for them.  And I'm hurting for the grandkids I don't even have yet who won't ever get the chance.


In addition to Higgins, we spent a little time in the Old Burying Ground in Sturbridge.  Would have spent more time, but it was 20 miserable degrees.  Who knew it got so cold in Massachusetts?  My first time there in the winter.  Now I know why I've stayed away.  I actually managed to hit my stride and warm up while photographing, but hubby wound up frozen to the core and hiding out in the car with the heater blasting.  I don't blame him--usually it's me, but when outdoors, I get that cold, then BURN of the extremities (Reynaud's, I believe it's called), which actually serves me pretty well in some situations.

On our way home, we hit two more cemeteries--East Norwalk and Mill Hill, though Mill Hill was a mistake--we'd meant to hit Pine Island, but missed.  Both cemeteries were for genealogy/family history purposes, as my mom's ancestors were original settlers in Norwalk.  Got a lot of good pictures, and even more bad ones.  Sad we missed Pine Island, but it turns out we're related to half the folks in Mill Hill, too.  Stopped in Philly on the way home for Pat's King of Steaks (our boy finally had one, after years of eating hot dogs there, and he loved it!), then wound up in traffic hell on the 95--all southbound lanes closed, they detoured us at a snail's pace in a huge loop out and around the accident.  Had to stop in DC for hubby to hit his office for something, then home.  Didn't get home until after midnight.


Here are some graveyard and road pics:

I figured her out, but it took some work!

Sturbridge Old Burying Ground

Frigid beach near Norwalk

Pretty nice for a rest stop parking lot near Hackensack.

And that's about it, I guess.  Well, except for a HUGE thumbs up for the folks in Utah who've managed to get married this past week!  Yes, the governor and his skeezy new AG will drop millions into fighting "gay marriage," but they are totally on the WRONG side of history here. Congratulations to my friends who've been married, and to my friends who've performed the marriages.  You're blazing new trails my friends.  Love you.

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