It looks like my Wednesday is going to start out with a migraine. AWESOME. I am taking measures to cut it off before it progresses, but that hardly ever works so mostly I'm sitting here until I finish my tea.
Mom took Gramps to the neurologist yesterday, and the news is... not so good. His MRI showed significant shrinkage in the frontal lobes since his last MRI, which was a year ago August. The neurologist has since diagnosed him with mid-stage fronto-temporal dementia, which, apparently, is the worst kind of dementia to be diagnosed with. It doesn't affect memory quite as much as other types of dementia, but rather affecting personality and behavior. It's progressive, and most patients, after initial diagnosis, have about a 2 year life expectancy. The neurologist thinks he's had this since last August. Mom is... understandably upset. I don't think I've really let it sink in yet. I sort of don't want to.
I almost didn't go to agility last night, because this news had left us... kind of out of sorts, but in the end I went and had a really good time. I talked with my agility instructor, Vickie, a breast cancer survivor (who, this time last year, was bald). She gave me a hug and talked a bit. "Don't feel guilty for doing the things you like to do," she said. I told her it wasn't so much guilt that made me almost skip class, but my concern that my head wouldn't be in the game, so to speak. But... the funny thing is, I've sort of reached a point with agility where when I'm on the course and running obstacles with Darwin, I almost go to a very zen place. (Well, this happens when we're running WELL. Not when I'm screwing up and giving miscues.) And even though last night I was a little distracted, and definitely screwed up and gave miscues, I still left class feeling very centered.
In other news, I would like very much to rant about this Roman Polanski BS until the cows come home, because I am thoroughly OUTRAGED at how many people seem to have turned into rape apologists overnight, and am doubly outraged at the media for using what I personally believe is misleading language regarding his crime. "Having sex with a teenager/minor" conjures a completely different picture than and is NOT the same thing as "drugging and anally raping an adolescent." And what the shit, do Hollywood A-listers actually believe they are above the law? HE DRUGGED AND SODOMIZED A THIRTEEN YEAR OLD, GUYS. LIVING THE HIGH LIFE SKIPPING AROUND EUROPE FOR THIRTY ONE YEARS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE "PUNISHMENT." HE HAS NOT PAID ANY SORT OF DEBT TO SOCIETY. COME ON, PEOPLE. HE IS NOT SOME SORT OF TRAGIC HERO. HE IS A RAPIST. SAY IT WITH ME NOW: RAY-PIST.
So, hopefully someone on my f-list will compose a lengthy and vitriolic rant about the subject, because that's about all I can muster -- this headache is looking like I'm going to be out of commission for the rest of the morning.
And then Mom came over. She took Gramps for a cyscopsopy today, and apparently he has bladder cancer. It's in the early stages, and he's going in for a procedure to remove the mass ASAP.
And now being giddy and happy about being able to write feels... kind of silly and frivolous.
I'm dealing... pretty well, all things considered. Better than the last time he was diagnosed. (What the HELL, Grampa? First a sarcoma on the arm, then leukemia, and now bladder cancer. PLZ TO STOP WITH THE CANCEROUS CELL-GROWING, KTHX.)
So, yeah. Good thoughts, prayers, whatever your personal preference happens to be -- would be greatly appreciated. ♥
It would please all ever so much if you could perhaps stay out of the hospital for at least six months at a time. Really.
Love and Kisses,
SO! Today I was supposed to meet up with the ARPH rep and do a dog (two pups, actually) transport to Orlando. Over the weekend, a potential adopter surfaced and is interested in adopting both, so no doggie-transport today. Instead, I tagged along for an in-home interview of another potential adopter/foster home.
First, though, I met Rosie, the rep. We hit if off immediately and were showing each other pictures of our dogs on our cell phones. Huge amounts of dog geekery everywhere. She's around my age, which made it a little less awkward, and she's... spunky. There's no other word for it. She is absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt spunky.
After the interview, we decided to go and grab some lunch together. Unfortunately, the moment we sat down and we both checked our phones, I saw five calls from George.
This, I know from experience, is a bad sign.
So I called him back, and Mom answered, and she explained that Gramps was going to the hospital again and George was driving her and then went into an in-detail account of Gramps' symptoms, which are largely flu-like, except a bit more intense, and she hasn't been able to get them under control.
Rosie drives me back to the car, we agree to do lunch some other time, and I haul ass to the hospital.
I'm home now, for the time being -- the pups need to be let out and my body had been starting to digest itself. Now I've eaten, and will take the dogs out.
Not the kind of excitement I really enjoy on my Monday, y'know?
Grampa's staying in the hospital another night. They had a slew of tests scheduled, and had just taken him away for the first one when I called mom at... whenever the hell I called her. Noonish, I think. They're thinking it was actually a TIA, but there does seem to be something wonky going on with his liver, so yay for more tests. Yesterday he was in good spirits, cutting up, and just generally being a laugh riot. Apparently today he's lucid and crabby, and has bitched out at least one nurse. IF ANYONE ON MY F-LIST IS IN THE NURSING PROFESSION, YOU HAVE MY UNENDING RESPECT AND GRATITUDE FOR PUTTING UP WITH CRANKY OLD MEN LIKE MY GRANDFATHER. Oh, god why, Grampa. Why. (I only heard a portion of what he said to this poor woman, and I just. Oh god. What. Grampa. Grampa. God damn it, Grampa.)
Now the rest (love my bullet points. LOVE THEM):
- Holy crap, so tired. Quite literally running around all day, from about 8 AM to... well, damn. 8 PM. Go me.
- chash is made of spicy awesome. I love you, okay. LOVE. "But not the gayest thing a guy could ask you to do." Just. Love.
- YUM (TOMATO BASIL SOUP I LOVE YOU TOO.)
- I really should not be allowed to shop at produce markets by myself. Because today I had carry-out help. As in, could not carry out all my produce by myself.
- I bought a pinot noir rose wine today, called "Pink Floyd." Could not resist it, shut up.
- Holy monkey jebus, the car needs a tune-up. (ALMOST STALLING OUT AT A RED LIGHT IS NOT FUN TIMES.)
- Can anyone recommend a good natural peanut butter? One that does not, as my darling husband so eloquently puts it, "taste like ass"?
- I recently rediscovered my Furuba soundtrack, and listened to it while I was driving all over hell's half-acre today. I'd forgotten how much I love it. So soothing. ♥
- Dammit, I need new sneakers. My old ones, which are not actually THAT old (about six months?) are still giving me blisters regularly. Ngh.
Grampa is doing better! He has spent most of today in a room in the Emergency Treatment Center (which is the fancy name for the ER), and then a holding room -- they're keeping him overnight so they can run some more in depth tests, since not many of the ER tests are showing much of anything. However, he was more lucid during my last visit which was around 8 PM, so that's good.
Um. I'm pretty unbelievably exhausted, so I'm going to go faceplant somewhere, I think. I just wanted to give a little update and say thank you for all the kind words and positive vibes. ♥
An ambulance just took gramps to the hospital. Looks like he had a small stroke.
Any of you who pray, please do so. If you don't, positive thoughts are appreciated.
Coming back from a walk and seeing an ambulance in front of your grandfather's house is never a good way to start the day. :(
Showering, then taking dogs to daycare, then off to hospital. Will have my phone.
Once in the hospital, they took another round of X-rays, which showed no change from the first set. Then came the MRI and bone scan, which revealed a compression fracture in the L-1 disc. He's in a sort of... I guess they call it a corset? It's stabilizing his back. He's on strict bed rest while he heals (which he had not been doing because... well, because he's a guy and an ex-Marine too).
We're trying to keep our heads about this, since injuries like that in a man his age can lead to scary complications.
As for personal health, I'm feeling better as far as the cough goes. I do need to go see a doctor, though. I can still hear my pulse in my ear, and it's wigging me out. And I still have gunk in my lungs. But the gunk is considerably better -- I've done some hard-core cleaning over the past few days, including steam-cleaning the rugs, which I so totally recommend to anyone, because it makes everything smell SO GOOD. Or... well, clean. So a large part of the problem was probably allergy related, though hopefully not Darwin related. :)
I've been giving serious consideration to selling my car. It's kind of old (1994 Mustang), and it's seen better days, but someone could probably do something with it if they were willing to put a little elbow grease into it, but... I dunno. My uncle does a lot with cars; he could probably advise me.
Ugh. Just took D-bear out for a walk. Who said it could be this hot today? Okay, it's Florida, but still. And speaking of Florida, yay for the fun barrage of fire ants discovering my ankle while I was trying to scoop poop AND keep Darwin from jerking my arm out of its socket!
In a nutshell: The Cough That Would Not Die is... slowly dying.
The Finance presentation went... all right last night. Still have wild urge to strangle R who, despite us having a pretty badass PowerPoint presentation, insisted on creating slides for an overhead projector to... I don't know, "augment" our presentation? Which... yeah. The slides had more information on them than he could cover, the numbers were too small to be read easily, and it looked ghetto-tastic projected on the wall next to the PowerPoint thing. And his section ran-over, because he would not stop talking. Fnar.
A few days ago (April 27, actually), Gramps had a slight accident in the back-yard. He was mowing the lawn (on a rider mower), and ran over ... something. When he got off the mower to fix it, he turned the wheel so it wouldn't roll down the hill. Which is great, except for the part where he got in front of the mower and... straightened the front wheels out.
It basically knocked him on his ass and barrelled down the hill with him, and thankgod Mom was out there, otherwise he would've been knocked clear into the canal. Possibly with the mower on top of him. *sigh*
Anyway, Mom brought him to the ER, and he was fine, aside from a bruise roughly the size of the Great Pyranees, and a compression fracture in his lower spine.
Flash forward to this morning. He's back in the ER. Apparently his back hurts so much he can't even roll over, much less get out of bed, which he'd been doing quite a bit this week. So.
Never a dull moment, eh?
On the up-side, I taught Darwin to fetch today. ACTUALLY fetch, instead of chasing after a ball and then running away from me (with it in his mouth).
I have also decided, in light of stylistic changes and a lot of inadvertent cliches, to start the process of editing OGAM's early chapters. Beta volunteers are welcome, but if none are forthcoming, I'll just do it on my own. ;) It needs to be done. It's needed to be done for a long while yet.
You know those days where you feel sick to your stomach and hungry at the same time? I hate those days. Having one now. The very idea of food makes me go green around the gills, and yet my stomach is begging me to put something in it. It was the same way yesterday, and I ate, quite literally, nothing until four pm -- and even then it was because I felt like I was about to faint. I didn't want the food; I needed it. I just made myself have a small bowl of bland cereal to keep that from happening again. It feels like it's a lead weight in my stomach, but at least it's a lead weight that'll keep me from taking a header into the tile.
It's kind of how I operate, though -- when I'm upset or nervous, it manifests itself in my stomach. Gramps has an appointment in Gainesville to speak with the orthopedic surgeon. We still don't know what he's going to choose to do about his arm. I'm scared, frankly. I know I've talked about my grandfather before in LJ posts, but it's just... I'm scared. I'm thirty years old, and my grandfather has always been a fixture in my life.
Logically I know that no one lives forever, but aside from the sarcoma, he's doing so well. The radiation has him tired out, but he's still his same old self -- snarky and cute and giving me a ration of shit whenever I go next door. Like today:
NiaGramps: "You again?"
NiaGramps: "Don't you have a home of your own?"
Niamh: "Yeah." *points in general direction of our house*
NiaGramps: "What the hell do you want now?"
Niamh: "Doing laundry." (The place we're renting doesn't have a washer/dryer -- Mom's next door does.)
NiaGramps: "Leave a quarter on the dryer when you're done."
A lot of people think we're weird for having the type of relationship we have. We snark at each other -- it's what we do. We don't show our affection with hugs and kisses. In fact, we're very bad with hugs, and whenever my grandfather hugs me, it's accompanied by a hard swat on the back, which is meant to be affectionate, but mostly just makes me cough. Affectionate for me is giving him a kiss on top of his shaved-bald head (which I sometimes ask to rub for luck -- he always tells me no, and then I laugh and do it anyway).
In grad school, when I'd come back home from DC during holidays and breaks, the first words out of his mouth were, "You again? Hell, I thought we got rid of you for good!" Periodically, during those visits, we'd snipe back and forth at each other, and he'd finally be like, "When the hell are you leaving again?"
*sigh* Sorry 'bout that. I seem to have worked myself into a downer mood again.