Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016, Go Away, I Don't Like You

I don’t know about you, but 2016 can’t go away fast enough for me. I won’t speak to world events, but I swear this year has been out to get me on a personal level. As in 2016 is that bear from "The Revenant" and I'm Leonardo DiCaprio.

I don’t normally talk too much about personal stuff because privacy is a thing for me, but at this point, I need all of the prayers, good thoughts, and positive vibes I can solicit, so (deep breath) here goes. This is a rundown of how my year has gone:

January: Was working a double position at the day job because, well, I don’t know why, but it wasn’t fun juggling both positions for three months.

February: Got unwillingly dragged into some unpleasant drama at the day job. Can’t go into details, but nope, it wasn’t fun either, and it went on for months.

March: Some unknown person cleaned out my bank account using check fraud. So not fun. So, so NOT fun. Plus, I caught a stomach virus that knocked me flat for three days and caused me to miss an important project that made the situation at work from February that much worse. Yes, work has been a major challenge for me this year, but all of the things I've mentioned so far are trivial in comparison to what came next.

June: My father’s health began to worsen, and he finally got a diagnosis of asthma, emphysema, COPD, and pulmonary fibrosis on top of his AFIB. Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disease with no cure and a short life expectancy. There’s scarring on the lungs that cause them to harden, essentially suffocating anyone who has it. I lost an uncle to the disease, and my aunt currently has it. We knew what it meant. This was a very disheartening time for us. 

July: July 4th weekend to be exact. I came down with some sinus crud and a terrible sore throat that lasted for weeks and weeks until…

August: I’d seen four (I think) doctors at this point, and I was finally told I had an abscess on my left tonsil and was referred to a specialist.

September: Surgery! To remove those dastardly tonsils and cure my illness/plague that would not go away. Plus, it was a double whammy with sinus surgery at the SAME TIME. Let’s not even mention the bills I’m still trying to climb out from beneath for the whole thing. Aye!

October: Absolute misery from my surgery recovery, slowly improving until mid October, when I returned to work, and then, layoffs! My boss was laid off, and it seems only one person in the entire building seemed to know how to do the majority of his job other than him. That’s right. It was me.

November: Day job chaos continued. Lots of stressful changes there. Then, my father became suddenly, severely ill. We live in an area affected heavily by the smoke from the wildfires, which they believe triggered his respiratory distress. I rushed him to urgent care on a Saturday afternoon, where his diagnosis was pneumonia. He was in the hospital for approximately four days.

He was released the night before Thanksgiving and put on home oxygen full-time, but I suspected he’d been released too soon. I took the following week off work to make sure he was OK. He wasn’t. He got progressively worse. I took him to his family doctor twice, extremely alarmed because my father couldn’t breathe from simple tasks, such as standing up, let alone taking a few steps or moving.  It was such a dramatic change from only 2 weeks before. We were told it was the pulmonary fibrosis progressing. It would get worse. He was put on home health care, which meant frequent visits by a nurse and therapist to check in on him. By last Friday, my father was miserable. I was staying up all night with him every night. Neither of us were sleeping. My three brothers were all pitching in and helping, and I was still exhausted, emotionally and physically.

Which brings me to December.

Last Friday, my father was in such terrible shape and having such difficulty breathing, he was beginning to lose his will to live. When the home health care nurse came, he asked to be put into a facility. She contacted his pulmonologist who instructed us to get him to the emergency room for an evaluation. We did, and the four hours I spent sitting with my father on a gurney in the hallway of a crowded ER will always rank as some of the most disheartening of my life. Test after test showed he had pneumonia. His pulmonologist arrived and reassured me she thought he could bounce back from it. Then, he began experiencing heart failure as we sat there. I swear, the man can’t catch a break. He was stabilized and was in the hospital for a week. The pneumonia was stubborn, and his body is weak.

As of yesterday, my father is now in a rehab facility for an indefinite time. My time lately has been split between work, rushing to the hospital/now rehab facility to sit with him, being a referee between my brothers, and trying to find time to sleep. And cuddles with my cat, who is terribly confused about everything that’s been happening. Our hope is that my dad will improve and be able to come home again, and soon, but we’re aware he might remain there or in a facility like it.

I know. Too much information. But I’ve been such a terrible author, critique partner, and friend to so many this year I felt an explanation was warranted.

Plus, did I mention I really could use some good vibes sent my way? Please don’t feel sorry for me, there are many people dealing with much worse, but do please pray for me (and my family). Call me a sap, but I believe in miracles and good will and prayer and Santa Claus and the Loch Ness Monster.

By the way, yes, I’m still writing/editing new stuff, just very, very slowly. I hope to have my next book shipped off to the editor soon, but I’ve stopped putting a deadline on it. That only seems to goad the universe into thinking Bwahahaha! Let’s see how she writes with THIS on her plate. Bwahahaha!

I’m determined, however, that 2017 is going to be a better year. And that I WILL finish another story.

A girl can dream, right? 

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