Friday, November 28, 2014

Why I Forgot the Box Was There

I am going to put pictures of dogs I have crocheted in between the paragraphs to break them up.    :)

Now, I am getting ahead of myself here because many, many things happened before the box was ultimately opened.   It all started back in May...

My Mom and Aunt went back to Missouri to close up her house.   Yep, Aunt Janice finally had enough of Misery's winters and wet summers.   It took them some time of course, they had to pack up over 40 years worth of knick knacks, memories and cookie sheets.   In our case, it also meant 40 years worth of foam cups, paper plates, Ziploc baggies and even wax paper.   By the time we started unpacking some of the boxes, we found that the people packing decided "pack the house" meant Pack the Whole House.    The wax paper was dated 1993 btw, the year I graduated high school!   But yet again, I am getting ahead of myself.

Mom took only two and a half days to drive home from Missouri.   My aunt had gotten sick early in the trip but refused to go to the doctor.   It also turned out she was using her oxygen incorrectly, and ended up causing lung damage.   She had her machine on pulse but if you don't have the strength to start the pulse, it doesn't happen   She needed it on continuous.     Anyway, by the time they left to head back to California, my aunt was very sick.   Mom tried a few times to pull into a hospital and my aunt would refuse to get out.   By the time they hit the door, my Dad was more carrying my aunt into the house than helping her. 

They did get home in time for TJ's birthday on June 19th.   My aunt never seemed to get any better, her oxygen needs were increasing by the day.   Her color was grey and the only movement she made was from her room to her chair, to the bathroom and then back to her room for bed at night.   One month after they arrived home we finally got her to the doctor and he put her in the hospital that day.   She had double pneumonia and congestive heart failure.  

In between all this we had TJ with a mysterious high pulse that we were still told was just stress.   If I hadn't been so concerned about my aunt, I probably would have thought of SVT much sooner.   But that's one of those hindsight things.   He was pretty much always nauseous and always tired.   But at the time we were distracted with my aunt.   Somewhere in all this chaos a box arrived from TJ's online school.   We had changed him from the school he had attended since 7th grade but they had a lot more choices for him.   Most importantly they had a Game Design class.       LOL      So anyway, there is our box from the title.   Now I had already changed around his classes, trying to make things a little less stressful for him since last year was such a disaster.   So I didn't worry about the box, it had his history book and a book for a class he had dropped.  So the box sat.

Fast forward to my aunt starting to feel a little better, but still in the hospital.   Now her doctor is starting to talk to us about putting her in rehab for strengthening.   She had gotten really weak with this illness.   TJ attends his first Cardio appointment somewhere in there and we all know how THAT ended!    So now I have TJ AND my aunt in the hospital.   The day he had his first ablation my aunt moved to rehab.   Things seem to be going better, his pulse is down and she's doing better if they are talking about rehabilitation.   Meanwhile, the box sat.

My aunt continued to slip in and out of congestive heart failure, they just couldn't seem to keep the fluid off.   I was beginning to get the idea that that was not going to change.   I felt her body must have gotten to the point that it no longer could get the fluid off easily and this would keep happening. Mom hoped I was wrong but it wasn't long before she was agreeing with me.   Meanwhile TJ's pulse is better but two weeks after he was released from the hospital it started heading up again.   With the ablation it couldn't reach as high as it was but he was in the 120's and his heart was once again out of rhythm.    The box waited.

My aunt started a rapid downhill slide on us and for a few days we were more worried about that.   TJ wasn't forgotten, just postponed a bit.   She was in the ICU for two days, the DOU for two days and a regular room for one day.   She wasn't stepped down from improvement, it was because she had signed a DNR.   She had developed pulmonary hypertension and they just never could get that lung pressure down.  The next step would have been intubation and she wasn't going for that.   They said with all the damage to her lungs, she would never had gotten off the vent if she had started, so I couldn't blame her.     Halfway through her first day in a regular room, she was gone.    At home, the box was moved out of the way as everyone came back home without her for the final time.

It was not the resolution we wanted, but it was out of our hands.   As harsh as it sounds, we had to push aside the grief and concentrate on the living.   TJ was starting to feel nauseous again with his pulse doing a yo-yo.  Arrangements were made for a second ablation and the waiting game began.  He was put on Metoprolol as a stop gap and it actually did give him a month before it stopped working as well.   As one of my friends', a nurse put it, "His heart wants to go fast and it found a way."   And still there was the box.

He was admitted on Oct 1st for the second ablation and it was a resounding failure, just like the first.  His electrophysiologist told me that he would zap one spot and it would actually move to another.   He is normally a man with few expressions but I saw definite consternation that day.    He told me he was trying another medication but that it was very strong and he needed to stay for the 48 hours it took to load.   That way he would be monitored if it had a bad effect.   That is when he started the Sotolol and its been great.   He hasn't had any of the potential side effects and his pulse stays in the 90's.   More importantly, his heart is in rhythm.  It took time for the stress of that to slow down.   The box is still in the entry.

We are now at Thanksgiving and the poor kid is always behind on schoolwork now.   My once healthy kid seems to have lost his immune system at Loma Linda!   Everything that comes around, he gets.   Additionally, I decided the bunnies deserved a treat and bought them some Timothy Hay for the first time in years.   Idiot mother forgot WHY I stopped buying it!   We are all terribly allergic and the bunnies are in the school room.   So the poor kid was miserable for the month it was in their bunny boxes.   I couldn't figure out why he was so sick.    I finally got a clue and ordered the Orchard Grass, boom, he is feeling much better rather quickly.   I felt really really stupid, let me tell you.   He still gets every virus that comes around but at least its not his allergies acting up.    Dad asks me what the box is at some point and I tell him books for his school that he doesn't really need, don't worry about it.        Yeah, another blunder there.

So why do I keep talking about this stupid box??       I am sure everyone is ready to scream, "Shut up about the damn box!"  Patience, its actually relevant!   Read over all we have been through since the box.   Note that I am sure I have forgotten some things as well.   Now sit down with your son to help him with his English assignments and read where it says: Read pages 71-80 of The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail.   Frantically click all over, looking for a link to said material.   Go back and figure out that this particular lesson started in the beginning of November and its all connected.   Remember the box.   Finally remove the tape and remove the big History book on top.   Note there are two paperback books under this book.   Hit yourself in the forehead repeatedly when one of them is: THE NIGHT THOREAU SPENT IN JAIL!!!!       Try to get your autistic son to explain why he never told you that he was having to google information on this play to answer questions.   Scream inside your head because you would never scream at him, no matter how much you want to.   Sigh loudly and explain to your son why you are now going to have to start this lesson from the beginning instead of just continuing where you are.    Laugh because you have cried too much in the past few months and in the grand scheme of things, it really is funny.