A Rough Patch

A month ago my cousin was diagnosed with a very rare condition, transverse myelitis, and within an hour was paralyzed from the breastbone down. This happened so sudden and unexpectedly that we were all still reeling from it when my sister passed away a little over a week later. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit of a basket case.

I spent a week in California dealing with my sister’s belongings since my father, who turns 79 in August, is devastated. My sister moved in with my father about 8 years ago and although dad is completely independent, with the exception of driving, she had become a caretaker of sorts. That job now falls to me and since dad hates the weather in Oregon, I’ll have to handle his affairs from here. Fortunately, dad is adored in his community so he’ll be well looked after but I’ll need to monitor his business affairs and become a more constant presence in his life. After losing my mother at 52, another wife at 48, and now my sister at 53 he’s pretty beaten down, but he’s a survivor and I’m sure he’ll pull through.

There was a bright side to my trip though and that was the opportunity to stop in and see my cousin Bruce before returning home. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for him lying in a hospital bed all day with few distractions from his plight, but he’s in very good spirits and his therapy is coming along nicely. He’s been able to move his left foot, and lift his knee slightly and a few days before I arrived he started moving the toes on his right foot. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a complete recovery and looking forward to seeing him again when I head down to move Pops.

That pretty much sums up my lack of presence on this ol’ blog lately and also why I haven’t been around to read and comment on yours. I’m slowly working my way back into the swing though and hope to get back up to speed soon.

Many, many thanks to all of you who read Mark’s blog and sent kind thoughts and words my way. I felt the energy and it really made a difference.


12 responses to “A Rough Patch

  1. Glad to have you back!

    If you are going to handle all the business stuff…if your Dad has a credit card, set up all the rent, utilities, etc. to automatically bill to that so you never have an interruption in service, and then pay that single bill online. That should cut down on your efforts and you’ll have one place that has everything on it.

    Get Power of Attorney if you don’t already have it and any medical documentation you might need if he should fall ill.

    If he is a veteran, he may qualify (has <$80K liquid assets — house isn’t include in that unless you sell it) for Aide and Assistance benefit (~$1,400/month). That will help you defray the costs of supplemental care. It is a long process so start now…call your local county veteran’s affairs department. I’m currently working on that for my mom…we need to see an attorney to shuffle some assets around a bit.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about these bad things. I’m thinking of you.

  3. Good to have you back, Roger! I’m sorry life has been so rough lately. I hope you are able to relax and enjoy your time back with Mark and Max.

    My folks are really getting up there as well. 86 and 82. Heaven only knows what is in store for us in the foreseeable future, so for the time being my brothers and I are quite content with just the usual parental annoyances.

    Get out in the garden with Mark. You know it’s relaxing to just get your hands dirty.

  4. Wow, I’m sorry to read all of this. My thoughts are with you. Keep that Fuzzy chin up!

  5. Rodger, it’s great to see you online again. I’m sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time. Keep well in the face of all of the chaos. I’ll be thinking of you and Mark.

  6. you have been much on my mind; I hope you are doing well enough under these circumstances. What a tragedy it all is.
    I hope you can keep us all abreast of the news when you can, but for goodness sake first take care of your self so you can better care for others.

  7. lazybythelake

    slow and easy wins the race – that is what i always say. don’t try and go too fast. it will come. i think good things for you everyday.

  8. Rodger, you have all our best wishes. You’ve had a lot to deal with. I know you and Mark will come through this difficult time okay.

  9. I guess I’ll stop complaining about the trivial things in my life now!

    Sorry to read about your troubles man. EvilG is right – get out in the garden and get your hand dirty. Best therapy in the world.

  10. Thank you all for the kind words, it really means a lot to have so much support. Things are finally settling down and I’m looking forward to getting back online and catching up with you all.

  11. So sorry to hear about your sister and cousin. I swear to God this summer has just been a big ole stinking pile of shit for everyone I know. So much heartache, loss, and turmoil. I have never seen anything like it. I am so sorry for your loss.

    I know what you are going through with having to manage your father’s affairs. It isn’t an easy adjustment, but you will get it down. My heart, prayers, and best thoughts are with you.

  12. Oh Rodger, so sorry to hear about this. I know we don’t actually know each other from Adam, but I sure wish I could give you a hug, and not of the cyber variety, right now. I haven’t been around the blog world much either lately. Good thoughts to you.

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