Hopeless & helpless


I’ve discovered the most hopeless and helpless feeling is watching a parent age, especially when you can do absolutely nothing to ease their pain

My dad has COPD and it’s getting the better of him now that he 80. Some days are good and some days are bad, and there is a trend the last few months with the bad.

A few months ago he went to the hospital with pneumonia. Then again with COPD exasperation. Then another after a fall out of bed.

The most recent scare was him calling me at 5 a.m. when I was out of the state on military duty. He whispered, “I cannot breath.” Just imagine the panic, fear and helplessness of getting that call when you are asleep. Let me tell you, it wakes you up fast. Fortunately, he managed to hang in there while I figured out how to call 911 from one state for help in another state. While I told the paramedics how to get into my house. While I called my neighbor, who I’ve only waved to from a distance and spoke to on the phone, to get the dog into the back yard so the paramedics would not be hesitant to enter. While I tried to not freak out.

After getting home from that hospital trip, there was another time where my sister found him on the floor. He had slide out of bed and could not get up, so he just laid there on the floor…for a couple hours.

So now, we’ve had to adapt, or are figuring out how to adapt. From the previous hospital visits, Medicare started some at-home care visits. This most recent hospital stay triggered a move to at-home hospice care. If you are not familiar with the difference, we were told this. At-Home care is to help you get better. At-Home Hospice is to make you comfortable. It’s gentle wording for a harsh truth that no one wants to know, hear or experience.

So now we have hospital stuff all over: oxygen machines/hoses/masks, walkers/bed pads/medications…and more medications. My sister and I have had to gut my dad’s room to support the situation. In more blunt terms, we had to take out his hoarding stash of things and fill up my ‘guest room’ with it all so we could accommodate they medical supplies he needs now.

Now, my house is insane. Various nurses, social workers, physical therapists, chaplains, and hygiene aids come in and out. And they almost never some on any predictability. And sometimes they all seem to come at once. Once day, about a half an hour after a physical therapist left, the chaplain came. While I was speaking to him at the front door, the hospital bed delivery gentleman came. Then while he was coming in, the social worker came. So in one hour, four people were there, and three were there all at once. Then, an hour later, a hygiene aid came. These people are wonderful and all provided by Medicare, which gives me some comfort.

With all these changes, my sisters, my boyfriend and I still have to work. He works a lot. I have two jobs that both require some travel. My younger sister lives an hour away and just started a new job. And my older sister lives several hours away. So making sure someone is with dad at all times now is very complicated, and stressful.

We’ve also lost all modesty in the house. Accidents happen and clothes have to be changed. Bedsheets have to be changed and washed out. Floor have to be clean. None of us are medically inclined people, nor want to be. So, it a struggle. A very real struggle. And, add in the fact that it makes you feel even more helpless and sad.

Yeah, it’s a lot. On top of that, while I was out of town last week, the barn owner called to say that my horse went blind. I will have to put her down. She’s in her early 30s, so it’s expected. However, it’s the same situation with dad, you know the situation, the facts, the eventual result, but it doesn’t make the reality easier. So again, it is just a hopeless and helpless feeling.

While I know this is the natural circle of life, I would prefer to remain ignorant to it. I would like to hid under the covers. I would like for it to all be different. Yet, I cannot. Things need to be done. Messes need to be cleaned up. And work still needs to be done while juggling all of these things I want nothing to do with.

Such is life I guess. Off to help with another breathing treatment.

Random airport thoughts


So I took my first work trip since March of 2020. And as I sit here at the airport waiting for my flight, here are my random thoughts:

  • Why do people put their phones on speaker and talk loudly around others? I mean I get that you might have to have a conversation, but on speaker?
  • Do people really not comprehend that wearing a mask UNDER their noses is not effective? Or are they just being defiant? Lazy? Sloppy? I really want to know.
  • When there is a literal world pandemic and you still cannot bother more than one second of water (and hopefully, maybe some soap) on your hands after using the bathroom…I may have seen patient zero at the airport bathroom.
  • Why do some people still not see that literally breaking into the Capitol with tactical gear as a problem? I truly am confused on this? It seems pretty obvious to me that this is a bad thing. Yet some folks are seemingly ok, if not in full support of this.
  • Why does nearly everything on the Cheesecake Factory menu have to be like 1200 calories. (I had a gift card to use.) Why are portions so big now? Is there anywhere in the world that you can get a reasonable portion, of healthy food when you travel?
  • I realized that I have missed my camera, the act of taking photos, the joy of being creative.
  • I also realized that in the process of working so much I have become stressed, cubby and slightly sad. I need to regain motivation, movement and creativity in my life.
  • I have to admit, that the hardest thing about wearing a mask for a long period of time is admitting that my breath is that bad thing I smell. If you don’t experience this, you must be a magical creature, constantly brush your teeth or lying.

Well, time to board my plane. I hope you enjoyed some random thoughts. Have you had similar?

Hello again. Is there hope?


I know it has been two years since I last wrote a post. And in that year, I only did two posts entirely.

I have missed blogging. Of course, I am not sure anyone missed my blog, but that is ok. I started it years ago to feed my desire to write and be creative. If one person liked it along the way, that’s was a plus. (To that one-hello! How have you been?)

Anyway, today is more wandering thought than creativity. I am sitting at the airport. And of course, while I wait, I am people watching.

I used to travel for work nearly every month, which eventually just ruined my free time and creativity to write on my own blog. Then, COVID struck and I thought, oh I can write now. However, my work became even more time consuming, just from home.

I am flying today, not for work, but a friend’s wedding. Not just any friend though, it’s a friend that I deployed to Iraq with back in 2005. And two other girls from that deployment will be there too. So, even though flying during a pandemic is not ideal, it’s really important. Therefore, I sit. All sanitized. Wearing a mask. And trying to avoid proximity to others.

I cannot lie. It feels different. First, the parking areas at the airport were EMPTY. We were able to drive right up to the parking garage lot. I swear I didn’t notice one car in the Park-n-ride lots that lined the airport road. That was the first majorly different thing. Then, inside the airport there are signs and stickers all over the floor, reminding people to distance and wear their masks. Of course, there are those who don’t pay attention, listen or care. Who knows which reason they are not following directions.

This got me thinking. Having been around the Army for a bit, I am used to following directions. I am used to going the better-safe-than-sorry route. So, it boggles my mind daily when I see and watch people. They argue about wearing masks. They argue about distancing. They argue about everything.

I just don’t get it. Is wearing a mask really impeding on your rights? Heck, I don’t like them either. They are hot. They make my glasses fog up. They are itchy. They don’t look good… and the list goes on. However, if this is one thing I can do to help others not get sick, not get sick myself or just show that I care about people other than myself, I will do it. What’s the big deal already?

And let’s just say, that those scientist people know some things and this mask thing can help. (I know this is a reach for some. But let’s throw out this hypothetical situation.) So IF they do help stop the spread and we all wear them, I have come to the conclusion, there may still be no hope this will get under control.

My lack of hope in improvement is not due to lack of belief in science. It is due to the lack of hope in humans to wear a mask properly. As I sit here, there are masks on most people. Yet, at least a third of them have no idea on how to wear them, or chose to make a statement by not wearing them correctly. Some have them only covering their mouths. Others have them on their chins…protecting who knows what. Others are fancy and wear them like an earring. And then, there are the special ones who won’t wear them at all.

If getting this thing under control relies on people doing something as simple as wearing a mask, I am concerned.

Well, it’s almost time to take my flight. Stay safe out there folks and hang in there. And, can someone please give me a reason to have some hope? It doesn’t look very good right now.

Is peace possible?


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Peace of mind. It’s a wonderful thing to have, or want to have. Yet, with all the anger, decisiveness and stupidity going around today, I wonder: can anyone really have peace of mind anymore?

We are bombarded with images of crime, cruelness and destruction on a daily basis in the news. Which is not a statement to bash journalists. It’s merely a statement on the status of world events that make the reports. It’s the nature of news to report things that are out-of-the-ordinary, unusual or shocking. That’s what makes it news. I get that.

However, it can be overwhelming. How do us average citizens process it all, let alone make a difference? I suppose all you can do is make an effort, each and every day to do your part.

Whatever that may be, as I am sure it will be different for us all, it should involve some basic factors. Well, at least I would hope it would. And in my opinion, those factors would involve the following qualities…

Ethical: Are our actions ethical? Of course, everyone can define ethics differently and by their culture, religion or etc. So how do we all agree on what is ethical? I suppose the best way to describe this would be to ask, are my actions something I can do in front of/or explain to a police officer, boss, spouse or grandma?  If not, it may be something to reconsider.

Improvement: Do our actions improve anything? Now, this does not have to be on the level of solving cancer or world hunger. Though, those accomplishments are certainly wonderful. But on a daily basis, is what you spend your time on worthy of your time? Does it help move anything forward? This may be a simple as working at a bakery and making the best pastries you can. Or maybe you are that journalist that asks the tough questions on a government leader at some level, so that they stay accountable and honest. Or maybe, you volunteer to take in foster pets. And in all reality, on those really tough days, do you at least take the effort to listen to others, genuinely consider their perspective and think, what would I do in that situation?

Kindness and Respect: Do you act with kindness and respect? Many people say they treat others with kindness and respect, but do they really? Think about it and watch people interact. Step back and think about how you treat others.  Do you speak to people with real interest, approachable tones, and value? This may be as simple as looking a cashier (or customer) in the eye and speaking in a way that says, I see you. Do you listen to what others are saying in total, or are you thinking about your response? Do you jump to conclusions when the situation is unfamiliar or not to your liking? Or do you stop to consider the possibilities and facts and put yourself in their shoes, regardless of their race, religion or party? Or maybe this is being a responsible driver, not cutting people off and even merely acknowledging there are other people on the same road as you.

 

I know that I am not successful at this everyday. However, I do try. I try to be a good person. I try to consider others feelings, situation and experiences. I attempt to spread kindness through smiles, words and actions. I try to value you others. Yet, in all that I still cannot find a total piece of mind. Have you been able to do it? If so, how?

Wandering


I’m sitting in Canada and wondering where my life is going. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy. Years ago, I was a shell and an empty shell at that. I was cold, but I smiled and pretended to be happy. Really, I was dead inside.

Now, I’m awakening to life, happiness and all the potential the world offers. Yet, I understand the dark thoughts that haunt people in the corners of their mind. Some call it sadness. Some call it depression. Some say, get over it. If it only it were that simple. No one wants to be sad. I certainly don’t. But it’s there lurking for no reason.

So, if you understand that thought, know you are not alone. Take each day at a time and seek the joy and happiness that is surely around. Maybe it’s in a flower, a smile, a salad, a pool…. whatever. Find your space of peace and quiet and joy. You can be happy. You just may need to remove yourself from bad choices/people and seek little things until you feel happy on a regular basis. You can do it. You are the only one who can make it happen.