June 2, 2016

The sun has been holding me hostage for the last couple of days.

There was some laziness and procrastination in there, but mostly I was in recovery mode after a long week. This has been a rare week without doctors appointments, and I took advantage of that to just rest. Mom, too, has been catching up on her naps. When we were out in the car yesterday, I asked her what she could see. She described for me the trees, the sky, and the road ahead. It made me happy that she could see better, but at the same time I was grateful that the temptation to drive is no longer there. The improvement in her vision has refueled her spirit, and I sense that this will make the move more contentious. I’m sure that her recent willingness to address the issue has been forgotten, and is unlikely to return. I should get an email with the new schedule for the caregivers today. It will basically be four to eight hours a day, six days a week. We will have two caregivers splitting the shifts, so that if one calls off sick, we still have the other. I will use this time to find the right place for Mom. I want to narrow the search down to just a few before I take her to see any. I’ve done some research online, and have the list down to about a half dozen. I’m willing to be on a waiting list, for a good place, and I already have one in mind. No matter what, it’s going to be at least a forty-five mile drive, probably more. And I have new pressure to get this done.

Something happened yesterday that tells me the sands are running out on my mobility. I was walking into the kitchen, and my legs simply buckled, dropping me to the floor. I’ve had them try to fail me a few times over the last year, but this was the first time they gave out altogether. I try to visualize my spinal cord as glowing lights, flowing unimpeded. But my mind sees the stenosis squeezing ever tighter, cutting off communications with my lower limbs. I still don’t look at this as the end, more like a warning sign. Time will grind on inexorably as my spine slowly breaks down, and time runs out. The struggles of the past year have made a battlefield of my face, and when I catch my reflection I see every minute of my sixty years writ large upon my features. I want to get Mom moved and settled in before I lose my mobility. I would like to have the use of my legs after all is said and done, for as long as possible. Right now I have enough to worry about. Besides, with the VA it would be a long and arduous road. The red tape alone could take a year.

I’m certain that it will all work out, eventually. One thing that’s done wonders for the whole family is the couch we picked up for free. During the day, I usually have both dogs and at least one of the cats up here with me. Einstein can keep a watchful eye out the window from where he lays, and there’s a cat perch in front of the window. In the evening, I can snuggle with my Honey and somehow we all fit. Mom usually just shakes her head at the pups on the couch, but when one of them leaves her an opening, she will snuggle with me. The layout is more open, with room for the dogs to play. Everyone has relaxed, and the urine wars have stopped. I’m starting to believe it could be magic, this couch. Today I have the mind-numbing task of searching through paperwork for a VA authorization from a year ago. But my mind today is on the upcoming elections. I try to abstain from punditry in politics, but this primary season has been so preposterous it baffles me. I am not as disturbed by the frighteningly successful antics of the Donald, as I am about his popularity. By turns I feel angry, saddened, and afraid. Has his rhetoric expanded the polarization in our country, or simply shown the spotlight on what was already there? For the last (nearly) eight years I have observed our congress obstruct our President in a manner that is pure racism sold as philosophy, to anyone really paying attention, paving the way for someone like Trump to rise to power. Has the ‘dumbing down’ of America really progressed this far? I think this whole thing is darkening my outlook as much as anything else.

I’m not trying to climb up on a soapbox here, or go on a rant. I only bring it up because of its effect on me. Right now, Moms nose is buried in her arm like a little puppy as she naps at the table. This week, she has decided to nap at her table again until after lunch. Then she will usually nap in her room in the afternoon. She was up all day yesterday because she had an accident, and I had to wash her sheets. I was in the living room when she got up to go to the bathroom, and I noticed that she only had her pajama top on. She would be in there for a while, then go back into her room for a few minutes, then come back out to start it all over again. “Hey, Mom,” I called, “you don’t have any bottoms on. How come?” She struck a pose that managed to be both coy and nonchalant, and replied, “Oh, I put them somewhere, I guess.” I had my answer when I went into her room. I think she would smell what was on the sheets when she would lay down, and go to the bathroom to try and clean it off of herself. She went through a roll of toilet paper in the process. The sun is supposed to be back later in the day, and hopefully lift my mood with it.

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