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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Disco Inferno

I’ll understand if you need to read this slowly over several days or if it’s all just way too much and you close the browser. I can so relate to that! I started to write this the same day I published the post below so it may read as a continuation. If you are new here or just find yourself lost, catch up on The Summer of Suckage by reading the posts below.

The fucking dam finally broke a little. Mom looks like shit, and I look just like my mom, so I realized how incredibly screwed I am. Kidding. Actually my mom did look terrible the other day when Lane 1 and I went to see her in the hospital. (Mr. Lane and Lane 2 were in Missouri visiting my father-in-law, who remains in ICU.)

We also went to see Uncle Eddie that day. He is now in care of hospice. Yes, more bad news, guys. I didn’t have the energy/stamina to type it all out in the last post.

My heart hurts. Big families suck because there are so many to love and then to lose.

Uncle Eddie is the last of my father’s living siblings. He has always been the funniest too. Always one who is ready to offer up a comment, advice or sarcasm whether you ask for it of not. Thankfully, he’s not lost that side of himself.

My cousin invited us over to visit, spend time, look at pictures, reminisce, fish, laugh and later some of us, I’m not naming names…burst into tears in the cafeteria of their mother’s hospital, while her son and sisters Mary and Angie talked about monkeys fucking footballs or something like that. Let’s get this straight right here and now… I have never had sexual relations with a football. I’m just sayin’.

Okay, so the robot malfunctioned and an odd liquid squirted from her eyes. It was illogical indeed, Lois crying? WTF?! It’s just been too many bad things at once.

It was only about four months ago when Uncle Eddie’s doc said there was no sign of cancer left. So of course we all got our hopes up. Then it came back with a vengeance.

As all this shit is going on, and as if we all haven't been through the wringer enough, brother-in-law Corky was up to his antics. He tried to off himself...again. (Mr. Lane's dad isn't Corky's dad, but apparently he was getting too much attention with everyone in Missouri.)

We didn’t get news of this as soon as it happened because my father-in-law was still on the ventilator, and the whole family gathered to be with him. His health was on a day-to-day touch-and-go basis at best.

To give you an idea of how many people had been staying under Dad's roof… Mr. Lane, me and our two kids, both of Mr. Lane's sisters came from Illinois with their two daughters. Their aunt and cousin came in from California. Another aunt and uncle came from Texas with one of their granddaughters. Their great aunt and uncle came from Arkansas, as did one of my sister in-laws. (mother in-law's daughter from her first marriage, should you be trying to figure this family stuff out.) My sister in-law her son, daughter and grandson live 30 minutes away and popped in here and there. I think that’s around 20, not including my mother-in-law, neighbors, friends and the church people popping in. (yes, I refrained from all forms of cussery, shut-up!)

Again, at the same time, I…as you longtime readers may have guessed, was suffering from intense stage fright of the bathroom variety. It was over two weeks since I’d had my way with The Tidy Bowl Man, and I became very sick. After my fever topped out at 104.2, I apparently was sick enough for everything to get back in action.

It seemed as if Corky was making every effort to get Mr. Lane and his sisters to come back home so the spotlight, as it were, could be on him. He got into a fight with his girlfriend, leaving enough marks on her to get himself arrested when their landlady called the police. Our brother in-law (Deb's husband) bailed him out of jail without calling and telling us what was going on. He assumed we had enough on our plate. So he did what he thought his wife would do, took care of Corky.

After being bailed out of jail, and given money to stay in a hotel for the night, he went and bought himself a bottle of wine and a bottle of Tylenol, downing all of both. He called his girlfriend who incidentally was pregnant, to say goodbye to her forever.

That’s when things went beyond the pail of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Corky’s girlfriend and roommate went downstairs to confront the landlady for “killing her unborn child’s father.”

Apparently the landlady is bat shit crazy enough on her own without those three renting the upstairs apartment. So after the confrontation, the roommate and girlfriend ran off to find Corky.

The crazy ass landlady went upstairs into their apartment and set the mother fucker up in flames! I swear to God, you can’t make this shit up! (Here’s the news story, his apartment is the one pictured.)

And proof, what comes around goes around. You don’t always get such fast results on this rule of life, but I was selfishly and strangely pleased because of everything he ruined in our house… well, now all of his shit was up in smoke. Juvenile, I know.

I have a real hard time putting valuable thought, care and love into a person's life who values their own life so little that they allow their behaviors and addictions to affect those around them. He leaves a disaster area’s worth of his shit everywhere he goes. It’s his MO. What sucks the most is that he was always such an intelligent person and insanely funny.

I hate to be like this. I especially hate to downgrade what was going on with him, worrying about myself. I hate to even admit this out loud to anyone, including myself. Seriously what kind of selfish bitch even does that? Apparently, I do.

When he was brought to the hospital, to be treated in the psych ward, they realized he had a much bigger problem. His liver was failing and he was in fact really dying. This is when my brother-in-law finally let his wife know what was going on. Corky took it ridiculously well and nonchalantly asked his doctor, to put him on the donor list for a new liver.

Because he was suicidal and had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, he didn’t qualify. His doctor tried giving him anti-rejection medication to see if that could help. Miraculously it did. And, providing he could stop abusing his body, the doc said his liver could heal itself.

I kept thinking, this guy is like a cat with multiple personality disorder. Sybil and Morris the cat’s love child in the flesh! How many lives can one guy get?

But I was so panicked and self-absorbed, that when I found out about his liver failure, I kept thinking the day he tried to kill himself here, I was the one cleaning up his blood. I was barehanded up to my elbows in his mess and essentially exposed myself to anything and everything he had.

That night I was trying to make it better, make what he did go away. I wasn't thinking about infectious diseases. I simply wanted my son to have his room back. I wanted to fix it, and right his wrong.

I know it's a shitty thing to think and feel and I hate more than anything to make anything about me or be such a self-centered…prick for lack of a better word, but I couldn’t help but worry if his liver was failing because of hepatitis or any other blood-borne pathogen. And was I at risk?

It took almost two weeks before it was confirmed that his liver was failing simply due to his abuse of alcohol. I’ve never been so happy to have a drunk for a brother-in-law in all of my life!

As all that was going on, Uncle Owl (my father-in-law’s brother) was on his way back to Texas and began feeling like crap. He was diagnosed with the same septic pneumonia as his brother, and was also put in ICU and on a ventilator. Thankfully he recovered and was released last week.

Also last week, my sister-in-law in Florida told me my brother Mark who is on his 18th year in the Air Force, was being sent to the Middle East…again. She tells me not to worry. I can’t help myself, it’s one of the things I do really well.

That day, I also found out that six of my son’s closest friends landed themselves in jail on various robbery, vandalism etc. charges. Four of them were in on the same crimes and the other two, on their own committed other stupid crimes.

The hows and whys have yet to be answered. I’m just thankful that during the crimes, my kid was stuck visiting his grandpa in a Missouri hospital. Because honestly, I think I know my kid, but no amount of good parenting is stronger than peer pressure and you really never know.

The very next day we learn that Corky’s girlfriend lost the baby.

Keep in mind there were a million petty things that have gone on too that I can’t even begin to bore you with. So you may be thinking, summer from hell, right? Well, sadly, I’m not even close to finished.

Another really shitty thing that happened last week, a neighbor boy drowned while he was at a lake swimming with his friend. He was only 9-years-old. Can’t even find words for that one.

Fast forward to a couple days ago. I got an email from the production company I mentioned in my last post. They are buying all three manuscripts I sent to them. Ahhh, good news! That piece of greatness came upon the same day Mom was being released from the hospital. More excellent news!

It finally felt like The Summer of Suck was coming to an end. It seemed as if life was going to get back to normal any minute now.

I grab the phone to call and see if my mom has made it home, since my car was in the shop and I couldn’t be there, but the phone rang in my hand before I could dial. It was my sister-in-law, Deb crying inconsolably.

Corky succeeded.

He hung himself with a bed sheet in the hospital bathroom. How he managed to do that while on suicide watch in a psych ward remains a mystery.

To quote my sister Mary, I hope he is finally at peace.

(Disco Inferno was one of Corky's favorite songs. To him and his disco loving self, I dedicate this post. R.I.P.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

You Take the Good You Take the Bad...

The good news first, I have a job with heaps of work. The bad news is my laptop crapped out. The good news is my son is so awesome, he secretly gave his dad money to buy me a new one. The bad news is I have to pay him back eventually. The good news is, he doesn’t know what “interest” means.

I’ve been collaborating with a children’s production company while all hell has been breaking loose. You guys, this blog like our summer has sucked so bad! There’s a ton of news and information I want to share with you but I really don’t know where to begin. And unfortunately, I’ve got more bad news than good news.

My father-in-law remains in critical condition, but since has been flown out of Osage Beach to Columbia, Missouri. He was beating the odds by recovering from multiple system failures and kicking that septic pneumonia’s ass.

Because he was in such a critical state, he was rarely moved or adjusted which led to a bedsore. A plastic surgeon on staff was supposed to be tending to the small wound above his tailbone, and for reasons unknown and/or those we can’t understand, he didn’t do anything for Pops.

One morning I walked into his room and smelled a hint of decomposition. This was two days after our family requested a second opinion on his bedsore. Besides not having any communication with the doctor, we were worried about the amount of pain Dad was having. Physical therapists tried working with him but he was in too much pain to perform all of the tasks they asked of him. So it was really hampering his recovery.

No other doctor (second opinion) ever showed up. My mother-in-law and I met with the ICU manager and other hospital personnel to demand answers and action. One of us may have used the F word, but I ain’t sayin’ who!

A doctor, surgeon, wound care specialist, angel who is not affiliated with the hospital, who was on vacation when we called asking for his help, saved Pops. He came in while he was supposed to be on vacation to work on a patient who wasn’t even his. Within an hour of meeting this man, he completed a surgery on him and was making a recommendation, “To save this man’s life, I would have him airlifted to Columbia.” Within 20 minutes the flight crew was loading him up.

His bedsore grew large enough to cover his entire rear end. It went clear down to his bone. He had to have a colostomy because it was so bad. He’s had so many surgeries, I’ve lost count. The day before yesterday, his surgeon finally reached healthy tissue and bone. So that is good news. But the poor guy has been through so much pain and recovery will take months.

To top it off, my mother-in-law found out their insurance doesn’t cover the cost of blood he receives since the hospital doesn’t use a blood bank. So instead of worrying about those costs, I had a blood drive for him to replenish the supply. Thankfully, a lot of people came out. Again, good news!

Are you still with me? I know it is like the blog that never ends. But wait there's more. I’m working on five manuscripts simultaneously, with two parents in the ICU in different states.

Calgon…you know the rest.

Yes, I said two parents. If you aren’t following me on Twitter, this is news to you, but not the good kind.

My mom is even a broke ass bitch…wait, that doesn’t sound very nice. Lucky for me her sense of humor remains intact while the rest of her is running like a broken-down jalopy. After showing “stoke-like” symptoms, my nephew Yoda dragged her ass to the ER. Her sodium level was really low. She was dehydrated, and when they dug a little deeper, that’s when all hell broke loose.

Her echocardiogram looked like crap. Then they did a angiogram. And for their next trick, they gave her a quadruple bypass. Apparently her heart was a hot mess, with two arteries clogged 100%, one 90% and the other 80%.

Her blood levels were wonky yesterday and she may require a transfusion, but otherwise, she’s on the road to recovery.

I would have shared a picture of my mom, however she said with the gown being open in the back, she is afraid “My whole butt hole will show.” I promise she will NEVER live that one down! She told my sister Anita to close the back of her gown tightly because she didn’t want any of her butt hole showing. Gotta love what hospital drugs will make a person say!

Meanwhile, back at La Love Shack de Lane… Oh did you think it was over? Hahahaha! You silly silly reader, you! …we are some broke ass bitches! Not just our wallets, everything around us is breaking. I’ll list some of the things rather than bitch about them individually. The lawn mower, Mr. Lane’s truck, my car, Lane 1’s car, my laptop, the friggin’ coffeepot wouldn’t even show mercy as it also bit the dust. This is after Lane 1’s car was hit and fixed.

Why would three check engine lights come on within days of each other? Because that is just how our summer has been going. ANT said it is the universe trying to force us to slow down. He might be right, but I’m still gonna bitch about it because bitching is one of the things I do best.

There are many more things going on. Some bad, some good, but I think this is all my attention span can take at this point.

Thanks for all of the emails, calls, messages, prayers, vibes etc. You guys really keep me going and I really appreciate you all looking out for me and my family.

Love you like I birthed ya! Lo