Skip to main content

The expiration date of sanity...

We continue to adjust to life and we continue to try to find some kind of normal to hold on to.  It has been much harder than I ever anticipated it would be.  I keep wondering what I could have done to be better prepared for what came next.  Maybe there is nothing I could have done.

I was visiting with a doctor this morning and he told me about a study that was done at the University of Colorado.  He said that only recently, has anyone thought to study the effects of chronic illness on the caregivers.  Their findings are grim.

They suggest that 7 years is about the maximum amount of time a caregiver can carry the load that is required of them to carry.  Aside from caring for a loved one, they also manage a marital/family relationship, hold down a job, and maintain a household.  Oh, and take care of themselves.  After the maximum amount of time a person does this day in and day out...they find that divorce rates, unemployment and suicide rise sharply.

I would say, I'm about 16 years past the expiration date of sanity.  

Seriously, I feel the weight of my calling as a mother of my children.  It's not just caring for one but three.  My doctor asked this morning, what would be left of me by the time I face this with my next child and the one after that.  I don't know.  It will be by the grace and mercy of God that I get through this.

Last week, was just full of disturbing news.  My insurance denied the plasma for Shelbie.  Dr. G has his people working on that.  If they aren't going to cover it, then we need a new plan.  We could go back to the once a month but he feels like the side effects we always deal with are complicating her situation even more.  He had wondered about breaking the dose up and we would go for 6 hours every other week to the hospital.  I know somehow it will work out but it's a hassle.

Also received two collection notices on medical bills I didn't even know existed from Spencer's Salmonella days.  I spent three hours on Friday, arguing with the collector, my insurance company and the Utah hospital about the fact that they can't turn me in for a bill I never received.  I think I have that worked out but we'll see.  Who cares really?

Friday was a red letter day because in all my going back and forth on medical bills with my insurance company, I found out Sam has no health insurance.  He hasn't been insured since December!  I have no clue who is responsible for that screw up but I just about had a stroke over it.  I have a mess of bills from his medical issues last month that were not covered.

I finally took the stack of bills, shoved them in a drawer, slammed it and called it a week.

Sam and Spencer had been planning to spend Spring Break together so Spencer could teach Sam how to ski.  Shelbie had a photo shoot she had had booked for weeks that she was committed to down in Utah and, my sister and niece were there for the week from Canada.  So, it seemed like I belonged in Utah even though I loathe that drive.

It was nice to be in the warmer weather and nice to spend time with my sister.  Shelbie had her struggles but did an amazing job at the photo shoot.  The boys enjoyed their time together and Sam did an awesome job skiing for the first time.  By the end of the day, Spencer was taking him on intermediate runs and a short black diamond run.  Of course, they wouldn't be my boys without a little prank at the end of the day.  Spencer called me and in his best saddened voice said, "Mom, can you meet us at the U of U emergency room.  Sam hit a tree."
I'm so tired I didn't even react.  I said, "Alright.  Is he going to live?"  He's alive and well.  I need to update them on what's funny and what's not anymore. They were disappointed I didn't freak out.  They love seeing me get uptight.

This week, we have to figure out Shelbie's leg situation.  Her leg just keeps swelling bigger and bigger.  She still has hives and still has a lot of pain that now radiates down her entire leg, not just her incision.  She gets so frustrated and upset and wants me to fix it.  I can't fix it.  I have no idea how to make her life better and that is hard for both of us.  She can't do many things by herself.  She gets tired really fast and just plain worn out and the crummy sweats she continues to have seem to be getting worse.  When they happen, she panics.  She says it feels like she is burning from the inside out.  All I can do is...nothing really.  I stand there and watch her and tell her to breathe.  I'm useless really.

We are all just a little exasperated and expired.



  1. Wow, Kathy. That is quite an update. Glad you got to be with your sister in UT. I am in awe of your faith, your sense of humor, your writing ability, and what you are writing about. Your prankster sons need their heads knocked together! :) May the Lod bless you, Kathy. You surely bless the lives of all around you.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Obscure Sorrows

I sat on the bench like I usually do on Saturday mornings, the organ music was slow and quiet.  I think that's why I like playing there; its just slow and quiet.  I set the pace.  I mostly keep my eye on the music for fear of messing up but I did notice a couple walk in.  I had known them a few years ago, not well, but enough.  Enough to notice each other and say Hi.  I had heard recently that she had breast cancer.  She's likely a good 10 years younger than me.  Her red wig was striking, her eyebrows carefully in place and by all accounts, she made cancer look good.  
I had the strangest feeling I've never had before.  She has no idea, that somehow, I know all about her recent strife with cancer.  I have heard how it struck, how she deals; I know more than a distant acquaintance like me should know.   She is living this complicated, unfair, story that went off in a way she scarcely expected.  For a moment, I felt like I was an extra in her 3rd act; the struggle.  And, I wo…

A Witness

I was expecting just another run of the mill night at the gym last night.  The kind where the 'meat heads' stay at their end of the gym grunting and groaning to sound strong and I would claim a little corner in the room where the Yogi's hang out and Plank, and there I would Spin on a bike for a few miles, do some rowing, a little TRX and finish up with some free weights.

Last night though, I actually decided to do an easier workout and took an inclined walk on the treadmill.  There were no meat heads in far end of the gym.  No one really at the gym at all.  For the longest time, I kept pace with an old guy on a bike behind me.

But then, a man and his son came in.  I knew them.  I knew them well but they don't know just how well I know them.  They have a son who passed away from Cystic Fibrosis a little while ago, he would have been Spencer's age now.  They have a younger son who also has CF.  I knew his wife and mother in law back when my kids were being diagnosed.…


It has been an emotional weekend!  Holy Smokes.  I need a vacation from being sensitive.

It's been months since I have been able to find my homeless friend May.

Monday, I had this overwhelming feeling that she was in trouble and it dawned on me that I should call the apartment where she was last known to be.  They didn't answer.  They didn't answer my call all week!  Finally, yesterday (Friday) they called me back.  I was afraid that they wouldn't give me any information about May since I wasn't family so I lied!  I told them she was my great Aunt.  The manager hummed and hawed and finally gave the phone to a man who wondered what I wanted with her.  After some convincing, he told me that she had been arrested and taken to the State Mental Hospital.

I was so sad!  I immediately called the State Hospital and asked if I could speak to her but of course, they can't tell me if she is there or not...and, I couldn't remember her first, legal name.  She has sever…