Altering Habits

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2008-10-06, 11:20 p.m.

Day 1506

Man, didn’t mean to be gone so long. Sad thing is I didn’t even GO anywhere, I was just gone.

To address a comment or two or three –

When The Bob is in the hospital, actually in a room, admitted, someone is there with him for all but a handful of hours in the middle of the day. Usually. If he’s having some sort of procedure done we’re there before, during and after. If it’s the ER? Were with him from the moment he gets out of the ambulance until his status changes somehow (discharge or admission, so far). We know all too well that he can’t advocate for himself, but he’s real good at fooling people. Even hospital staff can be fooled for a little bit, but they usually figure out that he’s just BS’ing them and start looking to us for answers to history type questions. We’ve also learned to NOT answer for him until we’re asked unless he really tells a whopper. Staying mum makes it easier for the nurse or PA to assess his level of dementia. (And we don’t get the evil eye for pitching in before requested).

When he seems to run into trouble is overnight or early in the morning. I think it’s more that he forgets where he is and why he’s there. I think he’s not really combative, yet. Just frustrated and unsure of his surroundings sometimes. He’s also trying to exert some authority over decisions that will impact him, but he’s losing the capacity to really understand the secondary implications to any decision. He is the epitome of “living in the moment”

Oh – and the hospital staff? Overworked and under appreciated. Don’t know how they do it day after day. Takes a special kind of person.

The projects that never end? Why did I rip out flooring in that other room? We want to add a first floor laundry, shrink the fireplace (more on that later) and redo what’s left of that room more as a ‘sitting room’. Plus – it joins onto the kitchen and until I get the walls re-arranged out there, I can’t finish up that particular entry into the kitchen. Everything is kinda joined to the kitchen. Even the pond was. We’ve also declared 2009 to be the year of outdoor projects only. No new inside jobs. (Unless it involves lips & zippers)

So. Bowling Thursday. Very, very average for me. To bowl my exact average, I needed to hit 567.27 pins for 3 games. I got 567. That 0.27th of a pin is really hard to get. Do you have any idea how hard it is to break a pin? They’re nearly solid maple, with a really thick plastic coating. Tough little buggers. Teamwise we took 6 of 8 points, which gets us back up to .500 for the year. We’ve had our ‘real’ team bowling once out of 5 weeks so far this season. One more week of Zach subbing for us and we get my youngest brother back. He’s been out watching his twins play soccer for their high school team. He thinks it’s more important that he supports his boys. Certainly can’t disagree with that. Now, if he misses because of work we give him 10 tons of shit about it. But miss it for your kids? Perfectly aligned priorities.

Friday Cindy got a call from The Bob’s doctors. That little capsule camera thingy produced some results. Results that require more tests. They (the doctors) were borderline on admitting The Bob Friday afternoon. We came just short of begging and pleading that they NOT admit him – especially if no testing would be done till Monday. It’s just too much upheaval for Bob to have to sit in the hospital again, wondering why he’s even there. It also kills our weekend – going in and staying with him, making sure doctors aren’t going to discharge him, being unaware of why exactly he’s there (like what almost happened last time).

The doctors said that no – there’s no reason to admit him, yet. CMSS is under orders to really keep an eye on him and if there are any episodes like what caused the last ER visit, they are to ship him off to the hospital ASAP. Hard part now is trying to get these next tests scheduled. I’m hearing date that are like 2 weeks or 2 months out. Um, folks? This man is bleeding internally. Granted, he’s not bleeding a lot, but isn’t this generally considered a bad thing? How long can one bleed internally before it’s a real problem?

So. Again with the so. Given a small reprieve for the weekend, I addressed one or more projects. With some help from Zach, I assembled a rather large frame out of PVC pipe. This frame is now being used to support a screen over the pond. Ultimately, I’m aiming to keep leaves out of the pond for winter. They tend to make the water tea colored after soaking for an entire winter. I don’t think it does any physical harm, but it also doesn’t look nice.

Saturday after noon, we started taking the brick veneer off the fireplace. Picture this if you will. A room, about 11x22. Along both 11 foot walls (north & south ends) are windows, pretty much taking up the entire wall. The east 22 foot wall has an entry from the kitchen about in the middle. North of the entry is a powder room. South of the entry is an uninterrupted expanse of wall, long enough for a couch & end table. The west wall. Oh my, the west wall. Lets start at the far right end and work our way across the room. First we have the door to a coat closet. Then we have the thing we hang all our keys on, followed closely by the door to the garage. There’s a nice little 2 foot section next, where we like to put a very unique (and gorgeous) floor lamp. After that, there is this massive, floor to ceiling brick fireplace, about 5 feet wide that juts better than a foot into the room. Then there’s was (note the tense) an additional 5 feet of shelving for books, bric-a-brac and dust. That fireplace effectively cut the room in two. I’ll have to dig up a picture to fully illustrate the monstrosity that was the fireplace.

Our aim? Shrinkify the fire place. Rescale it to fit the room. Lighten the color. Maybe put in a gas insert with a heatilator.

Earlier tonight, Zach and I sat down with Annette and talked about doing the home version of an intervention. Guess you could think of it more as a family meeting. I had thought that maybe after this meeting we’d be all raring to go and get the family meeting done in a week or so. Instead, we’re going to go a little slower. First, we need to get Eric’s buy in. He was off to see Kelly in Syracuse tonight. Could have stayed, but he wanted to see Kelly more. Can’t fault him, but this will be easier to do if all 3 of us work together.

Also, at some point soon, Zach and hopefully Eric and I will be comparing each others notes. Then, we’ll do some dry runs with Annette. She’ll get to play the part of Cindy. That’s going to be a hoot. We ought to learn a lot from it too. What we need to learn is how to deflect all of Cindy’s defense mechanisms and stay focused on the points we are trying to drive home. Team work. One person on point, the other people absorbing the defensive parries, acknowledging Cindy’s remarks, but turning the focus back onto the point at hand. That point? Her drinking is disturbing to the entire family and there will be personal boundaries declared & defended and consequences to suffer.

The hardest part of all this will be keeping it under wraps until the meeting day. IF there’s a significant leak, we’ll have to run with it on the spot. The next hardest part will be getting Eric’s buy in.

On a happier note – got back the results of my GTT. I am definitely not diabetic. Unfortunately, my cholesterol numbers are up. Time to rededicate myself to some good, old fashioned hard work outs. Back to the weights, more treadmill, more elliptical.

Also weighed myself this morning. Now I have a new base line. Target loss? 30 lbs. Hell, I did 80lbs 2 years ago, peeling off 30 will be work, but at least I know it can be done. Bring on the sweat. (and the Fit Day. Time to track everything, again.)

Getting late. Gotta post and run.

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old habits - new tricks