Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Past Year

I have been working more than usual for the past year, so even though I wanted to keep up a blog, it’s been very difficult. I’ve had to decide which to concentrate on, the writing or the blog. Needless to say the writing won. This doesn’t mean I want to give up on the blog. I thought I would try to jump back in by telling you about my year.

January started with James’s mother’s blood pressure shooting up. James took her to the doctor, who put her into the hospital for the night. She returned to her assisted living apartment the next day since it seemed her blood pressure was back under control. The next day came the call. She had a stroke during the night and had been taken to the hospital downtown. This mean it was more than they wanted to handle at the small local hospital. As it turned out, she had a major stroke. She lost the use of her left arm and leg and could not swallow. The doctor put a feeding tube in her stomach so she could continue to get nourishment. While all this was going on, she asked James to get her one of those realistic little stuffed dogs that are curled up in a basket. The dog looked like it was real and would even breathe (powered by batteries, of course). I think she just enjoyed freaking out the nurses. She also wanted her knitting. She was making a baby blanket and didn’t want to stop. She attempted to knit with her right hand while someone else held the left side. Unfortunately this didn’t work that well, but she was determined. She was moved to a nursing home where she was in a great deal of pain. It wasn’t until the whole side of her face swelled up that it was discovered she had an ear infection. After this was cleared up, she seemed to rally some other than her stomach was bothering her a great deal. She even started eating a little. Then she had to make another trip to the hospital to have her gall bladder removed. That was what was causing all the stomach pain. After this she never did get better. We lost her in June.

Now I need to go back to January again. In the middle of January my mother, who has been suffering from dementia, had to have foot surgery. The morning of the surgery there was a ice storm. My brother took her and my father to the clinic for the surgery. Everything went well and my brother managed to get them back home safely even though the roads were covered with ice. He got her inside the house and was fixing her a chair that would keep the foot elevated at the proper height when my dad said he wanted the newspaper. Well, it was at the end of a long icy driveway and my brother said to wait just a minute while he finished getting my mom settled. My dad doesn’t know the word "wait". He went out to get it himself, where he promptly fell and broke his ankle. Since he’s also diabetic and hard of hearing, it was a long road of healing that was very interesting. My brother and I took turns taking care of them. I would go over every weekday and he’d handle weekends. We discovered that my mother had Alzheimer’s and changed her doctor to one who would treat it better. Even though her foot had healed, she couldn’t take care of my father, so we had to handle things while his ankle slowly healed. He wasn’t able to put weight on the foot for months. My mother was confused and thought the therapist and nurses were my father’s girlfriends. So for most of the year the only writing I did was very early in the morning or on weekends.

During all this my writing career was getting very busy. I had the third Fresh-baked mystery novel to write for Signet, I sold a new mystery series to Kensington, and I sold my first vampire romance to Silhouette Nocturne with a proposal. My agent was able to get due dates far enough away for my dad to heal, but now I’m working like crazy to get caught up. This past weekend my brother and I also put on a birthday party/family reunion for my father, who turned 80. We had about sixty people in my parents' house, plus enough food to feed an army!

This is why I don’t blog very often. I will try to write more entries in the future.

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