In with a bang?

21 Feb

12:20 pm

Is that an expression? I think it’s actually, out with a bang, but considering how much of a whirlwind the first seven weeks of 2021 have been, I don’t think it really matters…

I’ll dive right in, how’s that? I have to say, while this year has had a lot of good stuff, which I’ll get to later, it’s been sort of a shit show on one end. I feel less in control of life than I have ever felt–mainly due to my dad having dementia, believing he is being “held hostage” by us, his three kids, in the skilled nursing facility (aka, nursing home) where he is at right now. I think I have a newfound understanding of anxiety! I mean, I have always reacted to certain things or thoughts with anxious behavior, but I have never felt what I guess some people describe as “anxiety,” which is, I wake up every morning with this feeling of uncertainty, like an elevator is dropping in my belly, like there is no solution to how to stop the rock that is going to be careening downhill at me that day.

I have missed writing, and I’m sorry that I have not this year; I just feel like all I’ve been doing, all year long so far, is triaging the dad situation on the weeknights and weekends with my brothers: getting him to a nursing home, getting him to stay there, getting him on much-overdue meds; delving into his crumbling life, which is, managing his assets to get him through his divorce in order to apply for Medicaid in order to find him a “home” for after he is (soon to be) discharged from the nursing home. (He’s there for hip rehab from a hip reconstruction surgery that he had to have because he drove at night without breaks, crashing his car into a tree and crushing his hip; he refused to stay at the first rehab back in September, and ultimately, he was in and out of ERs until early December–it was a mess!)

Um, I have felt mostly guilt and anxiety over this, but, past few weeks, as we talk more with him and the staff–well, I am starting to feel less guilty. It really is what it is, and there is nothing we can do to change or fix it for him. His short-term memory issue does not seem to be getting better, in that, he does not remember from one minute or block of time to the next; practically, that means he doesn’t remember the conversation that we had with him yesterday, let alone yelling at us for telling him that we are moving ahead with the divorce in spite of his objections. Where his mind is at is, I was served papers and OK, I am in agreement with getting divorced. In reality, our step-mom filed in May 2020; he was unable and/or unwilling, mentally, to respond by the deadline last July; so, we have managed the work of organizing his assets, hiring an attorney to represent “him,” negotiating the settlement proposal with all parties excluding him, and finally, beginning to list his assets for sale as part of the fulfillment of his end of the deal. It’s just one example of the loops we’ve found ourselves to be stuck in when trying to reason with him.

In fact, there is no “reasoning” with him anymore, even though he is quite lucid. Which means, when the time comes to “put him somewhere,” he is going to go kicking and screaming, literally. And, just getting to the point where we are all somehow OK with that–that’s caused and causing me anxiety. However, the facts don’t lie: he has dementia-thinking (which, goes FAR BEYOND memory loss and goes way back, before his accident). Like everything, it’s a process, and, well, many others have been down this road. This, too, shall pass.

Anyhoo… Other than that, life is pretty OK! Working a ton–my new job continues to kick my butt; but, at least I am down to only one gig–and spending a lot of time training our two new foster dogs. The second one, a girl, is a handful, but she is getting better and better at being someone’s dog. We had to sort of housetrain her when she got here; we’re working on getting her to not bark at our landlady; soon, I hope she can just chill inside, not in her crate, when I leave the house.

This weekend, I started on new glaucoma drops (yeah, man, wtf? I am 46 years old, and the doc said that I have mild in one eye, mild to moderate in the other!), and they suck. They give me anxiety! It is strange and I thought I was imagining it, but no, turns out, thanks to good old Google, that timolol is notorious for its systemic side effects. I am sensitive, sure, but these drops make me feel really out of sorts. We’ll see; I mean, there are other options, so, of course, I am gonna have to advocate for myself.

And, I have to say, the menopause stuff (yeah, man, am I just a fast ager? Haha) is finally seeming to iron itself out. My hormone therapy still does need some tweaking, but, after, um, almost a full year, at least I am beginning to see what might be ME and not a side effect (or vice versa); and, importantly, what works for ME and not what every article on the Internet says “should” be the right dose or effect! All this said, my night heat is much better (not gone, but better), my insomnia has much improved (knock wood!?), and the “other stuff” is super-slowly getting better. Thank GAWDess. The worst thing about this has been, ya don’t know what to expect so everything feels permanent and catastrophic. I would tell my early 40s self, and anyone out there who would listen, this is NOT true; it will change, and it will get better.

Whew.

In any case, I remain ever-grateful, still, for my sobriety, for the lessons learned. No matter how many ups and downs the days take me on, I still have that overwhelmingly sense of, I am one of the lucky ones, I got out. No matter how “bad” things seem, I am still sober–and that is everything good. That is literally everything. That is glitter and unicorns and an endless Mardi Gras parade.

6 Responses to “In with a bang?”

  1. Lovie Price February 22, 2021 at 2:23 am #

    “I wake up every morning with this feeling of uncertainty, like an elevator is dropping in my belly, like there is no solution to how to stop the rock that is going to be careening downhill at me that day”..that is definitely me for about 2 months…worse since the whole vaccine stress and having to get tested for covid ( thank god it was negative)..all of it combined with the pandemic, menopause, and family issues strangely similar to your own ( step dad with severe dementia and anger issues- my mom still trying to deal with it alone and brother living there while receiving cancer treatments..oh and then theres my 30 year old son who is basically living in isolation in extremely bad conditions, and i have been struggling mentally with how to help him- NOTHING is simple–ugh) add in my recent relapse and having to start all over with this sobriety thing..about ready to just walk away from everything and disappear sometimes..but i strive on..and try to keep the faith…good to hear from you ..you have always been my # 1 inspiration here on WP and i am utterly grateful

    • Drunky Drunk Girl February 26, 2021 at 10:41 pm #

      Thank you so much–your comment and all your comments mean so much to me. Wow, you have a LOT going on…I am sorry I haven’t been reading posts lately, but am going to catch up tonight or this weekend. Hope you are feeling better…

  2. Untipsyteacher February 23, 2021 at 7:24 pm #

    Giant hugs!
    I am so sorry about your dad. Super hard.
    I SO UNDERSTAND what you are doing with father.
    Finally got my mother into an assisted living home, she’s 95, with some mild dementia.
    The anxiety I sure relate to, waiting for a phone call in middle of night.
    Combined with Covid, well…
    There are some days I am fine, some days I want to run away! Lol
    xo
    Wendy

    • Drunky Drunk Girl February 26, 2021 at 10:58 pm #

      Thank you for your understanding! My dad is only 74, which makes this even harder to grasp. I am becoming more accepting of things day by day, though, so that’s a plus…

  3. mishedup March 3, 2021 at 11:07 pm #

    The parent things is awful…every generation has to go through that unfortunately…tho not every person. I had o do that with my mom, and it was hard. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl March 6, 2021 at 11:32 am #

      Thank you. Yeah, it is pretty awful, but there isn’t anything we can do about it (which is the worst part)…

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