~Please note before you read on that it’s not a happy read and that I am in no way looking for sympathy, I am just putting the current situations out there.~
The end of last year (2015), I was planning on taking some much needed time off to get personal and health matters in order before starting back work and commissions.
Well, that didn’t happen.
For those of you who missed the soap opera, here’s the recap:
December 24th I was down for about 2 weeks with strep and a cold/flu virus which left me floored for about a month after.
January 2nd, my 11 year old Pomeranian fur baby, Mousse, died after being ill for a few days.
January 7th, my Stepfather died unexpectedly, also at which time my mother got seriously and permanently injured. While trying to help my Stepfather, she damaged her sciatic nerve along with other muscle and tendon damage.
-This situation also left my mentally/physically disabled mother without any income, and as a result she was losing the home and pretty much everything.
February, I and my husband had been dealing with trying to help with paperwork for my Mum to apply for assistance, and we found out that she had been without any sort of heat all winter because the bills were all in my Stepfather’s name and the propane company wouldn’t talk to her or let her pay the bills.
So then it was up to us to try to find out a way to get things straightened out so she could have heat and pay bills and get her assistance so she could pay her bills.
Also in February, while my Mum was going through tests about the injury they found a mass in her lower back, they didn’t know any more than that.
March 20th, one of my few close friends and honorary sister unexpectedly died from heart failure.
More in March, further tests showed that the mass in my Mum’s back was likely moving to the spine and could be cancerous. She was still in debilitating pain from the injuries, none of the medications the docs were giving her helped and she was not a woman to tolerate not having full independence, which I think was worse than the pain for her.
Since at this point I had lost all comprehension of dates which are mostly irrelevant anyway, my Mum went for many scans and tests, the last one was a biopsy of the mass in her spine.
There was nearly a month delay in hearing back about it, apparently the results were being ping-ponged around doctors and specialists.
Omitting many other depressing details, the mass was large, fast growing, certainly a tumor and certainly cancerous.
It was some rare type of cancer that they still didn’t fully identify, but it had undoubtedly metastasized and was larger than they had thought.
Rather than growing toward the spine, it had actually been growing out of her spine and was deteriorating the vertebra.
The first 2 weeks of April, I was down with another round some sort of flu like illness and was so dazed I wasn’t really ‘here’.
My Mum was not able to drive and at this point the car registration had expired and she was unable to have it renewed because of everything else going on with her.
April 28th, my husband and I took my Mum to Hersey Medical for further tests.
The doctors were trying to find the source of the original tumor, they thought it was likely in her chest and had moved down her spine, probably some sort of lung cancer.
That was a hell of a day, my Mum’s doctor had really messed things up as far as necessary pain management for her even to have the PET scan. We drove down to pick her up which was about a 2 hour drive and then another nearly 2 hours to Hersey from where my Mum was staying. We get there and she doesn’t even know what all they were going to do. So she had IV contrast and she had to sit in a room for over an hour while she drank more dye for the imaging. She was in so much pain but the doc told her not to take anything. Well, after all of that, nearly a 6 hour ordeal for her the technicians brought her out and told us that they can’t do the test unless she can straighten her legs and that she needed to take her pain medication so it would peek around the time of the test. Her general practice doctor should have had extra pain medication and given her an additional one for that day. So we had to go back home. We’d all been up for about 2 days straight and all exhausted.
We had also been doing what needed to be done to have Power of Attorney for her so that we could talk directly to her doctors and to anyone else so we could handle her paper work and not have her need to deal with that extra stress in all of this. So we stopped off on the way home and got that notarized.
The next day, April 29th I got a call from my uncle. My Mum had fallen in the bathroom and was refusing to let anyone in to help her. He wanted to know what to do because she wasn’t letting anyone help her and had the door locked. I got him to hand the phone in under the door and talked to her and told her to just let him take her to the ER. I told her we were coming down and to just go to the ER. She hadn’t been eating or drinking much and so it made sense that she might need IV fluids. She was telling me that she just needed to lay there for a few minutes and get her strength back, she’d be fine. She didn’t want to go to a hospital or emergency room.
My uncle called an ambulance and after much fighting between her and the paramedics my Mum was being taken to the nearest ER.
Well, she got her way in the end, she never did get to the hospital.
She died in the ambulance.
Since then it’s been one thing after another and we had to clear out her trailer which is a 2+ hour drive for us.
My Mum was still in the morgue and I had to go to the funeral home and sign the papers the day we went down to start clearing out the trailer. She rented so we only had a month to do this. When we got there someone was already there. Stepfather’s disowned son had people clearing out stuff already. He had no right to be doing so, he also changed the locks so I couldn’t even get in my mother’s house.
We finally got in after we got the landlord involved and we still don’t know how he knew she was dead because none of the neighbours did, it was only myself, my husband, grandmother, aunt, and uncle that knew.
Well, after all that this man I had never met before kept sending us messages threatening to take us to court because he claimed that all his father’s jewelry and coins were missing and the we ‘took anything of value and ran’. We never saw these coins or jewelry, I was only going through my Mum’s things, I had no need to time to even touch my Stepfather’s stuff. His family had over 3 months to have claimed anything they wanted and I needed to deal with my Mum’s things and to get the things of mine she was storing. Well, a lot of my stuff was missing too. As far as anything of value, my Mum’s used dog grooming clipper blades are about it. She had cut yards of fabric, open paints, used paint brushes, thrift store clothes for scrap fabric, used sketch pads and open sheets of paper, sewing thread and so on. Nothing even in packages, all used or open. My Mum made things, so it was of value to her and I, but not anything worth claiming in monetary value like this person seemed to think. Yes, I took a lot of stuff, half dried up paints that I could salvage, fabric scraps, and broken costume jewelry she had kept for parts to make stuff from.
So I was having anxiety attacks every night, couldn’t sleep and had to get a funeral together for my Mum yet in only 2 weeks from when she died.
I never did get everything out of her home and I found out later that a bunch of my things that I thought I needed to collect from my Grandmother’s place was actually in the shed out back and that the landlord had had someone come pick it all up and dump it after the lease was up. No one told me, all I was told and all I knew was that the shed was all my Stepfather’s tools and I was told that it had already been cleared out before we got there. There was no reason to check it and I was far too overwhelmed already.
After that I’ve been trying to get my house cleaned up. I can’t work, it’s not healthy and we desperately need a new mattress which there is no room to even get in the house. I have been in so much pain from sleeping on it.
We’re working on cleaning and repairing the basement so we can put up shelves and then I have more sorting to do. I hope I can have things together by the end of July. Time has been going far too quickly for how much has been happening.
And so my absence is explained.
I have only now returned to my accounts trying to post listings of my jewelry and some vintage clothes along with the family’s crystal stemware trying to clear space and help with the debt my Mum left in all of this.