Wear gloves, don’t do drugs.

I work in a hospital as a pharmacy technician. A rather large hospital.

I’m around drugs on an almost daily basis. Hell, I make drugs typically once a week or so (legally. I make them legally…).

Today I got to learn the joys of drug interactions. I’m kidding. There was absolutely no joy. Just lots of nausea and general “I feel sick” feelings.

Last night when I was on my delivery run to stock the anesthesia carts in the ORs (and the other carts in other areas near the ORs) I ran into a problem. When I was emptying the return bin in the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) cart, I found a broken ampule in the bin. My first problem was that I didn’t have any gloves with me, and I’m fixing to pick up broken glass. Great. My second problem… the ampule was for a narcotic. Fentanyl, to be exact. I very CAREFULLY removed the ampule pieces from the bin and then went in search of a nurse to help me find something to put the pieces in.

fentanyl amp

That’s what the little bastard looks like unbroken. These amps are tiny.. about two inches long (though some are larger). The head of the amp just snaps off. But…then there’s glass.

So I found a nurse, and she found a container for me to store the amp in. But… In the process I ended up getting a little bit of fentanyl on my hands. Which is not what I wanted to do. By the time I was done transferring it into the stupid container and sealing it tight, the liquid on my hands was gone. At the time I wasn’t sure if it had evaporated or if it had been absorbed by my skin (hint: it absorbed). The rest of the night last night, I was fine. I felt fine, was able to drive home, and went to bed with no problems.

UNTIL 3AM.

I woke up very confused. Well. I woke up twice, I guess. I kind of half woke up the first time and was confused (like I didn’t fully realize I was awake) and then sometime later (could be two minutes… fifteen minutes… an hour…?) I fully woke up and was very, very confused. Maybe disoriented is a better word. I was also really freaked out, because my eyes DIDN’T WORK. And by “didn’t work” I mean that they would NOT focus on anything. My eyeballs had a mind of their own, apparently. I think that was the most scary part. I’ve never had my eyes not work before.

It took me probably an hour to an hour and half to calm down and be able to go back to sleep (after I googled “why aren’t my eyes focusing” about eight different ways). I woke up later in the morning and felt better. So I got ready for work, took my ADHD medicine (I take concerta) and went on my way to work.

About an hour later… I felt HORRIBLE. I normally work up a sweat at work, but today I was sweating WAY MORE than I normally do. I felt like if I moved too fast I’d throw up, and I had a horrible metallic taste in my mouth. I cornered a nurse when I was delivering meds and made her take my temperature… and it was normal. Humph. I could not figure out why I felt so bad, and then I remembered my eye problems earlier in the morning… so I started to panic.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. WHY IS MY BODY DOING THIS?

I went to my boss and explained what I was feeling and what had happened earlier in the morning. She sent me over to employee health to get checked out. Once I was over there and got to chatting with the doctor I finally learned the cause of my ickyness all day.

THE DAMN FENTANYL.

I mentioned it to the doc that I’d gotten some on my hands the night before, and she pulled out a book of drug information, flipped to some section in the book and told me that she was 90% sure that all of my issues stemmed from getting the fentanyl on my hands. What really set it in stone for her was my eye problem. “That’s a side effect of fentanyl”. Great. But… I got that on my hands HOURS ago. “Yeah, well your concerta is not a great thing to mix with the fentanyl. That’s why you’ve been feeling so sick.”

So basically, I’ve been high on fentanyl since the early morning hours. Okay, so I don’t ACTUALLY know if I was “high” on it, but it definitely made me sick. And then I made it worse by taking my ADHD medicine.

Son of a batch of cookies.

If all of the feelings that I’ve gone through today is what people feel when they get high off of narcotics… DO NOT DO IT. IT’S DUMB. Seriously. All afternoon since we figured it out I’ve been thinking to myself… “people abuse this shit to feel like this ON PURPOSE!? WHY?”.

I’ve been told that it should work it’s way out of my system some time tonight and I should feel a LOT better tomorrow. But that I should probably skip my concerta dose “just to be safe”. Fabulous.

I forsee a lot of lounging on my couch and watching Game of Thrones tomorrow. I’m okay with this.

Fingers crossed I don’t have wonky eyes tonight.

Moral of my long ass story…

WEAR GLOVES AND DON’T DO DRUGS, Y’ALL.

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Major milage.

My new job has been kicking my ass.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But lawd have mercy.

I love my new hospital job. I probably should have said that first. I really like a majority of the people that I work with (whether or not that’ll change later… we’ll just have to see). I knew that I was going to be on my feet a bunch. I mean… I am working in a very large hospital.

But sweet lawd baby jeebus.

I didn’t quite realize how much I’d be on my feet. This week marked my third week at the hospital. I started training on the delivery shift this week (taking meds up to the different floors for patients, restocking OR rooms…etc) and my feet are OVER IT. I have sneakers that I wear to work that have memory foam built into the sole of the shoe (thank fuck) and they’re the BEST investment I’ve made in forever. I’d hate to think how miserable I’d be without them. On my delivery shift, I’ve been clocking around five MILES of walking a shift.

That’s right.

I SAID MILES.

I have friends that run that a day for exercise. That will never be me. I’m so not a runner. But walking? I could probably do that. I mean. I kinda already have. I just wish I could have…I dunno… built up to it? Maybe then my calves and feet wouldn’t be so angry with me for the last hour of my night. If I don’t lose some weight with all this walking I’ve been doing (and scurrying after co-workers that I’m supposed to be shadowing that walk entirely TOO FAST)… then I’ll be pissed. I’m going to be getting a fitbit with one of my next paychecks so that I can more accurately keep track of my steps and stuff at work.

Right now, I’m keeping my phone in my back pocket (because it will track my steps if I do that) but I’m not really supposed to have my phone on me. It’s supposed to live in my locker while I’m working. I’ve been breaking the rules because A) I want to track my steps and B) everything at the hospital is in military time (i.e. 24 hour clock) and I haven’t learned that quite yet, so I have no way of quickly knowing what time it is.

I’ve been struggling a little this month because my ADHD meds got fucked up. I have pretty severe ADHD and my medicine (when it works) is magical in making my brain function correctly. At the end of April I got my prescription refilled at a pharmacy that I never in a million years would have gone to. I’m still on my dad’s insurance until next month when mine kicks in through work… so I’m kind of limited on where I can get my meds. Well. As of this year. Last year he had a different plan and I could go wherever. Now? Not so much.

So I went to this new pharmacy… (and I’m not blaming the pharmacy…it was probably all they had in stock) and I got my prescription filled. I got the same medicine that I’ve been getting… but it’s made by a different manufacturer. If you are on concerta, or have a family member on it… you’ve probably heard of this. Or even if you work in the healthcare field like I do. I discovered this when I was working in our Out Patient Pharmacy at the hospital, that some of the different generics for Concerta are no longer AB rated. What that means, is that the FDA did some extra tests and discovered that two of the generics were found to not be bioequivalent (or the same as) the brand name. Which they should be. I found out that my new pills are manufactured by one of the two manufacturers that the FDA called into question.

UNFORTUNATELY… they can still be sold. Which in my opinion is shit. I’m a pharmacy technician. Why on EARTH would we sell a pill that does basically nothing for what it was prescribed? Besides money. I know, I know. Pharmaceuticals is big business. But wouldn’t you assume that they would want to sell medicines that actually worked? I mean… my Concerta this month might as well have been sugar pills for all the help they gave my poor brain. I’m waiting anxiously for the first of June to roll around for my insurance to kick in… so I can go where I want to get my meds filled… and not get BX rated drugs.

My brain needs all the help it can get, okay?

This post has been ALL OVER the place. Oops. I’m blaming the fact that it’s almost 2am… and I should be sleeping. One more day of delivery shift. C’mon Friday. This girl needs to go get a pedicure (mainly for the foot massage…).

OH. PS. Here’s a link to the FDA’s article on the Concerta if anyone is interested. (I just looked at the date of the article and it’s been out since NOVEMBER ’14?! I guess I was lucky to not get the BX generics until now…)

Apartment adventures.

I’ve officially been in my new apartment for a little over a week. I’ve started my new job too.

I’m not completely unpacked yet. If you know me off the internet…this isn’t surprising at all. I’m slowly working on it. Making sure that I put things where I think they should live… laundering my clothes that have been in boxes for a week or so… trying to figure out where to hang things. Y’know. The basics.

I’ve been loving having my own space. My cat might love having all this space more though. wpid-20150508_003531.jpgLook at that stretch! Lindy loves being able to roll around on all the floor space I have and I’ve noticed that typically first thing in the morning when I get up, and when I get home from work, she’ll tear around my apartment like she’s in a race and HAS to come in first place. It’s all fun and games until I trip over her as I stumble over to my keurig.

My aunt from Boston sent us a cat tree as a house warming present. I had to put the damn thing together, which wasn’t particularly fun. It wasn’t really hard (certainly a lot easier than I had originally imagined) but the “scratching post” parts of the tree are wrapped in some sort of twine thing…and those things HURT my phalanges as I was assembling it. Lindy, after getting used to it, has come to love her new tree. wpid-wp-1431311106830.jpegMy apartment is on the lower floor… which means that I’m half underground. I was a little unhappy about that at first, but I’ve come to realize that it’s not that bad of a thing. Because I’m halfway underground (about four feet-ish) my apartment is WAY insulated. It’s ridiculously easy to keep cool in the summer and really easy to keep warm in the winter. I’ve not had to run my A/C ONCE in the week that I’ve been here… and we’ve had a few days where it’s gotten up into the 80’s outside. In fact… I’ve been COLD in my apartment. Right now, I’m curled up on my couch with a fuzzy blanket because it’s a little bit chilly in here.

The downside to all this insulation is that my windows are about four feet from the floor and they have very narrow window sills. Which means that Lindy can’t sit on them and has a hard time jumping up there (not that she has anything to sit on once she gets up there). That’s where the tree comes in handy. Lindy can safely and easily look out and judge the world.

Most of my neighbors have pets too. Most of them are cats…I think there are only three dogs in the the whole complex. One of the dogs is a little chihuahua. I seriously dislike this dog. It barks… AT EVERYTHING. It just sits in it’s window and barks at any and everything that passes by. Birds, rabbits, butterflies, humans… it barks at all of it. This little demon dog woke me up with its barking the other morning. I rolled over after some grumbling for a few minutes to try to go back to sleep when I heard one of my neighbors yell loudly… “SHUT UP!” at the dog. I was amused. Because the dog listened.

Another thing that has been an annoyance since moving in, is my neighbors across the hallway. It’s a tiny hallway. wpid-received_10152746521397257.jpegThis is the staircase (the only staircase) that leads down to my level. My door is right around that corner. My neighbors are right there at the base of the stairs. They ALWAYS leave their shoes outside their door. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I’ve tripped over their damn shoes. Last night when I got home from seeing the new Avengers movie (omg, it was SO GOOD)… this was what I saw.

wpid-snapchat-9114687131752843809.jpgYes. Pants. IN THE HALLWAY.

Why my neighbors needed to take their pants off outside the privacy of their apartment, I have no idea. I’m just glad that I was not home to see the disrobing.

Living in this apartment has definitely been an adventure so far.

I’m hoping for no more pants in the hallway and that sir barks a lot will keep it’s little mouth firmly shut. Especially when I’m trying to get my beauty rest.

Tomorrow starts my second week at work, so I’ve got to go grab some of that aforementioned beauty rest.

 

Hello, May.

It’s the first of May… which means it’s moving day for this ginger!

I showed up at my new apartment a little after 9:30am and I had my first set back in this unit. I was told by my landlord that the door would be unlocked and the keys to the apartment would be on the kitchen counter.

They weren’t.

The door was locked and I had no key. Talk about frustrating. I had an appointment with the cable/internet people at 10am to come set up my internet… so I kinda needed to get into my place. I had to call my landlord three times and text him once before I got a response from him. Luckily, he had a solution (his shed where the master keys are stored was unlocked) so I could get in and get started on move in day. Landlord was most displeased with the old renters for locking the place (because he asked them not to).

Luckily for me the internet people were late so I was able to get in and put my things down before they arrived. But I basically have no furniture in my place yet… so I’m sitting on the floor with my laptop writing this.

The bed delivery guys just showed up, which I’m really excited about. I’ve got myself a brand new bed and I cannot wait to sleep on it tonight.

The rest of my furniture will be delivered this evening by a bunch of strong young guys at my aunts church. So after tonight I won’t have to sit on the floor anymore (unless I want to). I’m really loving this place so far. The electrical plugs are a little weird (you have to flip a switch to get the bottom set to work) and I’m missing a light bulb in the bathroom… but other than that… I’m in love.

Right now, I have to bring in my cat’s temporary litter box and food/water dishes from the car, so she can have a bit more normal things around her. Poor Lindy. She’s so freaked out by all of this. Right now I have her locked in the smaller bedroom so she was out of the way of the delivery people and she couldn’t get out. Once I bring in her litter box and stuff, I’ll move her to the bathroom (I think) while I’m back at the old house doing some last minute stuff.

I can’t wait for this place to have my furniture in it so it actually looks like an apartment… instead of a bunch of empty rooms.

Is April over yet?

Things have been crazy busy around here.

This past Saturday was my grandmother’s memorial service. All of our immediate family on my mom’s side came to Iowa to be a part of it. My dad even drove up from Florida with his girlfriend to be here. My grandmother was his ex-mother-in-law… twenty-five years ago. I had mixed feelings about his visit.

On one hand, I was happy that he decided to come up (and his girlfriend too. I like her). But on the other hand… I was kind of annoyed. I’ve been trying to get my dad to visit me up here in Iowa since I moved here four years ago. In that four years I’ve gone to Florida at least three times and have seen him. He really loved Iowa and said he wants to come back and visit (but only when it’s not freezing outside).

Him and his girlfriend took me out shopping for apartment things Saturday after the memorial. Basically, my kitchen is stoked. Not for food, but for supplies. Like… I have a microwave now. And a toaster. He really wanted to get me a crockpot and a toaster oven… but 1) I’ve never used a crockpot in my life and 2) my apartment has an actual oven, so I said no thank you to that stuff. I have all the really important things though. Like dishes. I have dishes now.

One of my aunts had extra silverware at her house that wasn’t being used, and brought that up with her, so I have flatware now too. My aunt and uncle from Boston took me out on Sunday and helped me pick out bedroom furniture. I now have a new mattress (it’s so comfy), bed frame (it’s a platform and has built-in storage…which means no box spring needed!), bookshelf headboard (now I don’t need nightstands) and a matching dresser. All of that will get delivered on the first when I get my keys… and the mattress people will put everything together for me. Score.

After we found all the bedroom furniture, we scooted over across town to a discount furniture/everything store. It’s kinda like goodwill, but classier. I found a dining room table, shelf for my living room (for my TV to live on) and a filing cabinet to double as storage AND a small table in my living room at this place for less than $100. I’ve pretty much got all of the basic stuff that I need. I can get furniture for my second bedroom later, and whatever odds and ends that I think I might need after I’m moved in and have gotten a couple of paychecks from the hospital.

I’m planning for the second bedroom in my apartment to be a “reading room”. I’ve always fantasized about having one in an apartment or house that I’d eventually have. I’m planning on putting a futon (a comfy futon, thank you) in there for guests to sleep on if anyone comes to visit, and at least two bookshelves. Though, I’ll probably need more than two bookshelves. I have a LOT of books. I’m also putting the green recliner chair that matches my couch (the couch will be in the living room) in the reading room. There’s a really nice window in that room, so it’d be a perfect reading room. I could curl up on the futon, or in the chair and read to my hearts content.

I have exactly ten days until I can pick up the keys and start moving my stuff in. I have a couple of friends in town that have offered to help me move, and I’m going to enlist the help of some strong boys from my aunt’s church to help with the heavy things. I have about a million things to do before the first.

I have to call at the end of this week and have the electricity switched over from the previous renter to my name (ugh, more bills). I also before the first have to go down to the local cable company and get an account there set up and make an appointment for them to come hook up my internet. I’ve decided that for now, I’ll just have internet at my place and not regular cable. I have netflix, amazon prime and hbo go to satisfy any TV cravings I might get. I might get cable later on… but not for a while.

Oh. I also have to go have the address on my ID changed. -___- Meh. I’ve already gone down and gotten myself a P.O. Box at my local post office and have changed my address with them… but I still need to get my DL changed. Poop.

Ugh. Life.

According to my aunt L, I’m depressed.

I haven’t been hungry, but I’ve been making myself eat because I don’t want to get sick. On Friday, I went to the movies so I could get outside of my head for a few hours. I saw Insurgent and Furious 7. I couldn’t really tell you what the plot points were in the movies. Furious 7 actually made me laugh a couple of times, which was the first time that’d happened in days.

I didn’t go to work on Saturday either. I had planned to, told my boss that I’d be there for my shift… but he decided that I should take another day before coming back to work. I didn’t argue with him.

My aunt M has been driving me bonkers. She’s not accepting that I need space. I’m keeping to myself and she’s basically cornering me whenever I’m downstairs. She got it in her head that I needed to get out of the house, so she “took” me to the movies yesterday. We saw Furious 7 again. And I use “we” very loosely. She dozed through most of the movie. When she wasn’t sleeping, she was leaning over to me and trying to whisper her questions about what was happening in the movie. I don’t normally mind talking in a movie… actually that’s a lie. I hate it. I ESPECIALLY dislike it in movie theaters. You’re not only taking me away from my movie experience, you’re also disturbing everyone around you. (insert grumpy face).

On a better positive note, my job hunt is going really well. I had an interview at a hospital last week (before my grandma passed) and was called the next day to ask if I could come back this week for a job shadow. I’ve never done a job shadow before. I had no idea what one really was, but I figured that it was a good sign and agreed. All they told me in the phone call was to wear comfortable shoes and to show up at 9am.

That was today. I covered my tattoos, put on my most comfortable pair of sneakers (they have memory foam) and showed up at 8:55am. I was proud of myself for only getting lost on my way to the pharmacy once. Apparently, someone called out today… so they were short staffed. So I was basically put to work and thrown into the fire as soon as I showed up. I think the job shadow went really really well. I was supposed to be there for only two hours, but at the end of the time limit, they said I could stay longer if I wanted. I ended up staying for another hour. One of the techs I was working with thought I was a pharmacist intern. I was so flattered. I’m a pharmacy technician. I teased the guy “hey, if you want to think I’m a doctor, I’m way okay with that”.

One of the actual pharmacists there was pretty pleased with my work. He said I was a “rockstar” and he thought that I was doing a really good job with helping everyone. He actually thought it was my first day of work! I told him that I was actually only there as a shadow, but I’d love for it to be my first day. I learned from the head pharmacy boss lady that I won’t have to buy my own scrubs (hurray!), because they’ll be supplied by the hospital. I also found out that I don’t have to hide my tattoos while at work. Which is AMAZING news. I have lots of ink. Both forearms are all but covered (there’s just a bit of naked skin left) and I’m working on a full sleeve on my left arm. If I have to go up to certain patient floors, I’ll have a hospital supplied full sleeved jacket that I’ll have to wear, but I’m totally okay with that. The fact that I won’t have to cover my tattoos is such a cool thing. Most hospitals that I did my clinicals at when I was still in school last fall frowned on visible tattoos. Except for the VA. The VA didn’t mind about ink.

I was told today that they should hopefully know within a week if the job is mine or not. I freaking hope it is.

Last Goodbye.

On Wednesday, which I guess was yesterday, my grandmother’s condition moved from “days” to “hours”. She stopped talking on Tuesday, and she had stopped eating and really drinking Monday night.

I came home from work and she was completely unresponsive. Breathing still, but it was noticeably labored. It was my cousin that lives in town, myself and my aunt and uncle that I live with that were in the house all evening. We all spent time talking to my grandmother and trying to keep her comfortable. Hospice had decided earlier in the morning that she was probably going to pass within 24 to 48 hours.

I didn’t spend more than an hour away from her bedside (only that long because I needed to eat dinner until late last night. I was sent to go nap at 11:30pm. I debated the nap. I was tired, I’d been up since four-thiry that morning… but I didn’t want to leave her. I ended up deciding that I’d nap for an hour or two and then come right back and not leave again.

I had just really dozed off when I was woken up by a phone call from my aunt at 12:15am.

My grandmother passed after I went to nap.

It was like she was waiting for me to leave before she left.

I’m devastated.

She was my rock, my role model, my hero. I lost my mother two months before my sixteenth birthday. Nine years later, I lost my grandmother a week before my twenty-fifth birthday. I’m starting to kind of dislike my birthday.

I’ve taken today and tomorrow off of work. I’m not sure if I’ll go back in on Saturday or not.

I’m told by my cousin and aunt that her passing was very quiet and peaceful. I’m really upset that I was sleeping when that happened. That I missed that moment.

I locked myself in my room for a good portion of the day. The only thing that made me leave my cave, was that I needed to eat something. I’ve now parked myself on my couch and I’m fixing to lose myself into the world of the Sims 3. I think.

 

Two weeks.

Hospice came this morning to check on my grandmother. She’s not doing too well.

Her right lung is the lung that has the tumor. The hospice nurse said that in her right lung, she thinks the tumor has grown “significantly” and that she could hear no breath sounds. On the left side, there’s a lot of fluid in the lung, but it’s operational. The hospice nurse thinks that the tumor, since it’s grown, is starting to press on her heart. So that, coupled with the fluid in her lung means that she’s either in the early stages of pneumonia or CHF (congestive heart failure). Or both.

They’re thinking that she’s not at the stage where she has “days” left yet. YET. But that she probably will be there… with days left… next week. Which sucks… because my birthday is next week. Maybe it’s selfish of me, but I’d really rather her not die on my birthday.

I’m sitting with her in her room today and I can tell just by sitting with her that she’s not okay. She’s not making a whole lot of sense when she talks… I’ve been keeping a record of her mumblings. In the hour that I’ve been sitting in her room, she’s had two conversations that have made sense. Once, when I told her that a friend said that I had her smile… she said that it was “an extreme compliment to her” and then again she — out of the blue — asked if I have my outfit ready for my job interview tomorrow. Which I do. Mostly.

She just had a period where she didn’t know who I was. That’s a first for me. She’s never not known who I was.

Grandma: “You need to go downstairs and have dinner with your husband.”
Cal: “What? What husband? I’m not married.”
G: *Gives me a weird look*
C: *Shows ring finger* “I’m not married. Aunt M lives downstairs with her husband… she went to a movie this afternoon, remember?”
G: *thinks for a moment* “Well then, who are you?”

That killed me. It took all of my willpower to not dissolve into a puddle of tears… because she was still awake and looking at me. I knew that if I lost it she’s get distressed, which is something we’re trying to avoid. I left the room to have a moment, and when I came back, she was sleeping. She’s slept most of the afternoon.

Hospice is bringing in a “comfort kit” this afternoon that’s given to families towards to the end of life. It’s got some liquid medicines in it that will help my grandmother be comfortable and not anxious.

I thought that I was handling all of this rather well… but after today, I’m finding that I’m so not. We’re still dividing furniture. I’m now up to having a couch and matching chair, a dining room table and a new TV. I have so many mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I’m kind of excited about actually having furniture that’s my own. But… I’m sad about how I’m getting it.

I have a job interview tomorrow morning at a hospital. It’s about an hours drive from where I currently live… which isn’t terrible. It’s a job in my field of study and it will pay really well. I’m seriously hoping that I get it. It’ll take off some of my stress that I’ve been dealing with… with all this stuff.

Love you mostest.

We had a pretty busy weekend here.

My cousin, her one year old baby and my aunt flew over from Boston to visit my grandmother. Parts of the weekend were fun, other parts were stressful… and there were some parts that were sad.

Rosie (the baby) probably won’t remember my grandmother. That makes me sad. We took lots of pictures of them together this weekend, so that we’ll have memories of their visit (and so that Rose will know her grandmother), but she’s so young that she won’t remember this trip.

My aunts (they’re all sisters) had to talk about what to do after my grandmother passes. Whenever that may be. What are we going to do with the house? What are we going to do with all the furniture? What are we going to do for a memorial? Lots of questions were asked in a very short span of days.

They all (the sisters) started dividing up who would get what furniture. Who’s getting the bookcases and such. Apparently, I’m getting the dining room table and the living room couch, plus the chair that matches it. Mainly because I have no furniture of my own and I’ll need something to furnish my future apartment.

With all the people that were in the house, we had some sickness going around. I’m suffering from allergies. They’re SERIOUSLY kicking my ass this year. Normally, I don’t have much of a problem with them…but this year seems to be worse than normal. Then there’s my aunt M. She was secluded from the family the majority of the weekend because she had the funk. We didn’t know if it was a cold or something else, but we kept her away from my grandmother as much as possible. That didn’t work.

We found out yesterday that my aunt has influenza B. Everyone here is now taking Tamiflu as a preventative measure. I got my flu shot last October, but apparently the strain of flu that’s out in the world is one that my shot doesn’t always work against. -___- Fabulous. So my poor grandmother now has a cough. She doesn’t need any more chest problems. She’s already on oxygen…and her amount that she gets through her cannula has increased significantly in the last week or so. We started her at one liter when we got it a month ago. She’s now at three liters. I think this machine only goes up to four, but I could be wrong.

She’s tired all the time. And weak. My aunt A that was just here had a really hard time grasping that my grandmother was different than the last time she visited. The last time she was here, my grandmother could sit up by herself and take herself to the bathroom. She can’t do that anymore. When she needs to eat, we have to raise her hospital bed so that she’s sitting up, because she’s too weak to sit up by herself. We have to help her out of bed and either help her to use her bedside potty chair or we have to take her to the bathroom and help her to the potty there.

My grandmother and I have this thing that we do. I tell her that I love her “bestest”, and she scrunches up her nose at me and replies: “I love you MOSTEST. Mostest is better than bestest!”. That’s something that she and I have done since I was a little girl. We’d argue about which was better… bestest or mostest. I had the bright idea to capture her saying that on audio.

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That’s the audio clip (a picture of it anyway) of her saying “love you mostest”. That way I’ll always have it with me. Then I had another bright idea… and I went to my tattoo guy.

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And I got it inked on my wrist. So now I’ll ALWAYS have it with me.

Purple and red are her colors. They’ve always been her colors… so I had to get it done in purple and red. I showed it to my grandmother after I got it done. She loves it. She says it’s her favorite of my tattoos (which is saying something because now I have thirteen). Before I got it done, I asked her where she thought I should put it. All she could really decide on was that she wanted it on my left arm. That’s the arm that I’m doing a memorial sleeve for my mother. I loved the idea of having a little piece of my grandma on my arm too… so I went with it. I think it turned out great.

I don’t know how long my grandmother will be around. Especially now that she’s got this cough thing to deal with. I’m just taking it one day at a time.

All I know is that I love her bestest. And she loves me mostest.

Monday Musings

I’m sitting in my grandmother’s mostly quiet house. Both Aunt L & M have gone out for the day, so it’s just my grandmother and I. The only sounds currently happening in the house are the click-clack of my fingers moving across the keyboard, Rhett (grandmother’s cat) mewing at the birds outside, and my grandmother’s oxygen machine doing it’s thing.

The quiet is rather peaceful. Especially so, because most days it seems like it’s a madhouse in here. L & M are both always moving around and doing something.

L & M went out to get a day “off” from their elder care duties and to take M to go get an outfit for the memorial. We’ve all been told to plan ahead… which I hate. I don’t want to have to plan for death. I asked L yesterday after she told me to start looking for an outfit what my timeframe was… she told me that she “wouldn’t wait three weeks”. Which, y’know, sucks.

I spent a few hours online last night and found a dress that I like along with a few accessories that I ordered. It’s not a black dress. I refuse to wear black to her memorial. Whenever the memorial happens.

Either tomorrow or next Tuesday we’re having a social worker come by to talk to L, M and myself about IMPORTANT THINGS. Or so I’ve been told. Such things like… what to expect in the coming weeks. What her Will looks like. And some other stuff that I don’t really know much about.

My cousin came by with her fiancé last night to share the news with our grandmother. I was wrong about the married thing. They just got engaged. I like her future husband so far. I’ve only met him twice, but he seems like a pretty nice guy.

It’s time for my grandmother to be turned from one side to the other (to prevent bedsores). She’s sleeping, so I’m going to have to wake her up to get her to turn over. Hopefully she’ll be able to go right back to sleep, if that’s what she wants.