I have often told my friends and family, “It's Samhain-tide. If anything can go wrong, it will.” Last week was a perfect example.
Claude was released from re-hab (she had a knee replacement) and was home for a week. She had several panic attacks, but I was always able to talk her down. Last Monday, I got a call at 9am. It was Claude and Jack. She was crying and he was saying, “I can't calm her down. YOU try.”
I couldn't either.
I had her get dressed and had Jack drop her off at my house. I kept her for a few hours but couldn't get her to eat, sleep or stop crying and making those constant “huh huh huh” noises while rocking. Finally, she stated she wanted to go to the Emergency. I convinced Jack to drive, and off we went at 3pm to Princeton at Plainsboro. (Don't any of you DARE make “House” jokes. Tain't funny.) Finally, at 9pm, she was admitted.
Four days later, lots of hydration and tests, and they found nothing. She was feeling better, so they sent her home. The next morning, at 9am, Jack calls. “Is my wife with you?” I thought he was kidding. Claude and I are so close, we endure endless verbal barbs about “being a couple”. So I answered, “You better hope not; I'm in bed.”
He wasn't kidding – Claude was gone. No note, no sign, just apparently rolled through the bedroom wall into another dimension. As I was talking to Jack, I got a message on my mobile. Nurse Jackie from St. Peter's Hospital called to say that Claude fetched herself an ambulance in the wee hours of the morning, and was in Peter's A&E with shortness of breath. Please tell her husband.
Jack was on the verge of collapse. It's OK to get yourself to the hospital; NOT OK to do so as a disappearing act. (I chastised her proper once she got back home.) End result: congestive heart failure, probably caused by all that hydration at Plainsboro. They kept her until Saturday when I ...again... had to don my knee walker and show Jack how to get to New Brunswick. He worried about getting lost the entire way, even though it was my home turf.
|Claude on a good day|
|and not so good day|
THEN – I get a phone call saying Joe and Helen were coming to visit from Thursday until Saturday. These folks are like another set of parents to me, as they are 19 years older. Helen is great: when she comes she helps me go through boxes, do laundry, organize my books. We always get a lot done. Joe is no longer ambulatory, except to get from the car to my rocker, the rocker to the WC, and back. Meanwhile, he issues orders and shouts questions which are impossible to answer from another room like:
“Kat, what's that over there?”
“Over WHERE, Joe?”
“THERE! RIGHT THERE!”
Three days of this, folks.
They left Saturday, and Sunday afternoon my in-laws arrived to stay overnight. Peter and Diana (brother-in-law and wife) and I always get along great. They were staying with me, while my mother-in-law stayed with Gary in Asbury Park. Now, I usually get along with Mom, but she is getting older and more sensitive. Due to my stressful week, I wasn't exactly in a patient mood myself. Mom started making negative comments about another family member. When I mentioned that this individual once wrote me and said that perhaps my spiritual path resulted in my Cancer (six years ago), she exploded. “He never did that!” I was virtually called a liar in front of my family and friends, in my own home.
Yesterday, I had to give a three hour deposition regarding my law suit (I was taped at work using the rest room, as were 59 other women. Naturally, we're suing.) I got a letter saying my company overpaid me and I had to send a cashier's check for almost $1000... and my mother-in-law and Gary are coming to visit again towards the end of the week. I'm not overjoyed with Gary, either. He told his family, out of my hearing, that I misunderstood the letter I had received re: cancer. He read said letter himself, and knows there was no “misunderstanding”. I got thrown under the bus, people!
Finally, I got to use my shoe and brace for the first time today, and my leg was swollen so it rubs on the brace. I also need a new shower chair...another expense. Oh! And I packed makeup to wear at the Para X last week. When I got to the show, the bag was in my grip but the makeup was gone... just gone. I still haven't found it. That's a good $50 right there.
Samhain. You're killing me.
We still have two weeks to go. Holy Mary....
Anyway, I have three videos for you today. The first is for Sherlock fans. After having folks tease that Claude and I are a bonded pair....
(“We are NOT a couple.”
“Sure you are. You are a couple who love each other without having sex.”
“There's an English word for that: Friendship...you igit.”)
...I kind of understand John Watson's frustration.
And for the classical selections: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Ah...Bach.
Hang on there, everyone! Samhain got ta end sometime.