Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why on earth did it take me this long to do this????

I'm sure it has a lot to do with my denial of DH's mental illness.  Part of me is still hoping that he'll wake up one day and be "normal" again, just like he (pretty much) woke up one day and wasn't any more.  Intellectually, I know it's not realistic, but......I do the same thing with my mom, but that's another post.

When my mom lived in assisted living, for nearly two years I would go to her apartment on Sunday and set up her medications for her.  She had a purple pill container for her morning pills, and a blue container for her nighttime pills.  If a doctor prescribed a pill for noontime, we always had to request that it either be in the morning or at night, because my mom could only seem to remember those two pill times.  But it worked long past the time when she could no longer read anything, because she could differentiate between the colors of the pill containers.  Every Sunday I would religiously refill her pills for her.  It helped with keeping the prescriptions filled, too, as I was right on top of things.  I remember asking DH if he wanted me to do that for him, too (at the time he wasn't on as many medications as he is now), and he got offended and said "no, I'm an adult, I can do it myself."  And that was that.

I know he hasn't been taking his pills religiously.  And recently, since he's home more, I've asked him why he hasn't taken them at certain times.  Often his response is "I forgot to fill up my pill container."  or "I forgot to call in my refills."  And you're saying to yourself right about now, "Ok, Carol, this is obvious."

But it took me this long to do it.  I just didn't ask him.  I took over.  And once I did it, he didn't mind at all.  I had expected some kind of objection, but he didn't say anything about it.  And it feels good, because it's one less excuse he has to not take his pills.  I think he hasn't taken his full regimen for weeks.  I have an idea to track everything on paper, too, as sometimes his pdoc will make a change that isn't reflected on the prescription bottle and I don't always know/remember those.  Like "Your Depakote levels are a little high, let's drop down to three pills instead of four...." and if I can't remember what the right dose is, it's almost guaranteed that DH isn't going to remember either.  So my intention is to request that the pdoc's nurse write down what they have listed as what he should be taking, and that she write down any changes made at DH's appointments and send a written "change notice" home with DH, so we are on track.

So far, the results have been promising.  DH has been in a pretty good mood yesterday and today. (I started doing his meds last weekend).  At that time I observed that he had no Effexor (antidepressant) and could not remember if or when he had requested it to be refilled.  He hadn't taken it for at least 2 weeks.  Now, a week later, he is more cooperative, more friendly, less demanding, more appreciative.  It makes things so much more pleasant and comfortable for me.  I hope the improvement isn't just a fluke.

I wonder what other changes I could make that could improve things.  I'm amazed and embarrassed that it took me so long to do this one.  But better late than never, right?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What I think about DH working

Well, it's been a little over a week since DH was fired.  Financially it hasn't really hit us since we had that last paycheck from him, and he had managed to show up for work every day that he was scheduled up to the day he was fired, and that was 5 days.  So actually, his last paycheck was bigger than his checks had been previously.....

But mental-health wise, after a day or two, it started to sink in.  DH got really depressed, as so many of his coworkers were people he counted as friends, and so in a sense, it was a kind of "double whammy" for him.  He stayed in bed for 3 or 4 days straight, only getting up to eat or smoke.  Then I came home from work one night, stopped at the nursing home to check on my mom, and DH was STILL in bed.  I had tried to be as understanding as I could--I knew that despite the fact that everyone around him could see it coming (the firing), he really didn't.  And losing a job in any way is disheartening and stressful.  But then, as he was laying in bed, he made some kind of comment about wanting to be a billionaire, and I got snarky.  I still feel bad about my comment, because his feelings were hurt, but I said "Do you think Bill Gates, at any time in his life, laid in bed for four days straight?"  I don't think it probably was my comment that motivated him, but shortly after that, he got out of bed.  He put in an application at McDonalds and has already had an interview.  Unfortunately, they told him they "aren't actually hiring, they're just compiling a list..."  But the fact that he went out and did that impressed me.

I also told him to file for unemployment.  I know two people who were fired from my part-time job who were able to get unemployment.  DH says "if I even get it, it won't be much", but I say it'd make things a lot easier to get $20/week than nothing, for sure.  So my task for the upcoming week is to get him to file for that.  I know that you're not supposed to be eligible if you get fired, but it seems like some places don't fight it, so he might as well see if that's the case. 

I think I'm starting to see that working really took everything he had.  He's done more around the house in the past 2 days than he did in the past 2 months.  I so much wish that his disability would go through.  Unfortunately, it looks like he'll probably end up re-applying because his case is at the top of the appeals levels now, and from what I understand, only 2% of cases are approved at that level.  Not hopeful.  But I'm seeing how much better things could be if he didn't feel like he had to work.  And if I didn't feel like I had to ask him to work.

Who knows?  Realistically, it could be 3 more years before he finds a job again.  I very much hope not.  But it's happened before.  I'm trying to focus on the fact that except for the 4 (3?) days he spent in bed, he hasn't been down much, and I was sure that when he did get fired, he'd be positively suicidal.  So there are good things.  I'm relieved and anxious about the future.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DH got fired

Well, I know most of you aren't surprised to hear this.  But actually, in the last two weeks, DH had been really trying hard to get into work.  He was very proud of himself.  (He still wasn't doing anything at home at all unless I really really nagged, but at least there was some money coming in)....

Anyhow, tonite he was in a really good mood.  He went to work and was already back home by the time I got home from work.  He said he was scheduled to come in at 3pm, even though for months he has worked at 6pm on Thursday nights.  I'm not sure whose fault it really is, DH's memory and attention to detail is so terrible that he might have looked right at the schedule and not noticed that the time was different.  I'd like to think, also, that management would have pointed out to him that they had made a change, but, according to DH, they didn't.  Well, it's been coming for a long time....and he's had many "second chances".  So here we go.

In a way I have that strange, relieved feeling that I had when I got laid off.  I knew it was coming for so long, it was a relief to have it over and done with and know where things stand.  I'm scared about finances.  But I think if I'm very careful, and maybe sleep at my friend's house once a week, I can make it work.  I don't really have much of a choice!  Well, as I said a few weeks ago, I've been here before and I learned a lot from that.  My biggest fear is DH's "needs".  His cigarettes, his pop, and even though he once again isn't caring about his diabetes, I don't feel right feeding him food that is blatantly unhealthy, especially for a diabetic.  I imagine that's what it'll probably come down to, though....he's not checking his blood sugar or anything like that lately anyhow, and "healthy" foods are so much more expensive....I'll do what I can, but I don't think it'll be the best nutrition....

DH, I think, is still in shock.  He is really handling it remarkably well, considering how he normally reacts to negative stress....but like he said, he thinks he's in shock and that it feels like a bad dream.  I imagine tomorrow or the next day, when it really sinks in, I'll need to keep close tabs on his mental health.

In the meantime, I guess I'll just play it by ear and know that somehow "the money always comes from somewhere".....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Well, Christmas was strange, but not as sad as I thought it would be.  DH's mom's injuries were not as dire as we first thought.  I am learning that DH, even when he gets the information directly, is not necessarily an accurate source.  He talked to his brother and told me that his mom had broken her pelvis and her arm.  Then he talked to his mom himself and told me that no, she had broken her hip, her pelvis, and her arm.  I called her on Christmas, as I am having a tough time getting DH to call his family members (not sure whats up with that, is he afraid of what he might hear, maybe?) and she told me this:  She broke "a couple of bones" in her pelvis, but there isn't anything the doctors can do to fix them.  She has a crack in her hip, but it's not actually broken, and her arm is fine.  But her shoulder is messed up and she did have to have surgery on that.  So she is out of the hospital, but in a lot of pain and can't walk.  Mostly, though, she can't walk because she needs to take some pressure off of her hip by using a walker, but her shoulder makes it difficult.  She tried to describe this "half walker" thing that she is learning to use.  She sounded good.  I was hugely relieved.

As far as DH's dad goes, he's still in the hospital.  He had a massive stroke affecting his left side.  We are waiting to see where he goes next, probably a rehab center in his hometown.

And my aunt.  We went to their house for Christmas.  She has lost her hair and has a cough, but aside from that, and the fact that she didn't get up from her chair while we were there, she seemed in remarkably good spirits and she ate well.  She seemed a little more "tuned in" to everything, too--usually she has a bad habit of just repeating what everyone else says--I'll say something like "DD is on Christmas vacation from school this week." And she'll say (to my uncle): "Did you hear that, Uncle?  She's out of school this week." (Even though he's sitting right next to us and is involved in the conversation.  She barely did that at all and seemed to have more to say than usual.  I was pretty scared to go and see her, as she (and my uncle) are people who have been in my life forever, and the fact that they might not always be there is almost scarier than the fact that my mom won't always be there.

My mom.  I didn't spend much time with her on Christmas.  I feel bad about that.  But I felt like I needed to see my aunt, and my mom can not remember from one hour to the next that it is Christmas, so I thought it would probably be ok.  But for New Years Eve, I bought some little horns and some sparkling grape juice and we had a little party and sang Auld Lang Syne :-)  She said it was fun.  We'll do it again tomorrow :-)

And the Kindle.  Best present I've gotten in a long time!!!!  I am amazed at how many books are available for free and for .99 too--I just love it!  Right now I have a wish list about ten miles long and I'll have to figure out a way to share it with you (not really because I want you all to buy me something, but mostly because I personally feel like I can get to know a person a little better when I can see what they're interested in reading)...

Mostly, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  I'm looking forward to 2012 hopefully being a little easier.  Thanks to all of you for being there for me and offering your wisdom and support throughout the year. Hugs to all of you!