vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
My sis (who's still down there) says they're moving Mom to Advanced Adult Care... sort of an ICU Lite. The tubes are all out of her face and her hair's been fixed and she gets to be a human again.


Recovery will be slow, but she should recover. Thank you to everyone for your hugs (both real and virtual). It really helped.


Mar. 27th, 2010 06:29 pm
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
When last we left our heroine, she was dealing with the terror of her mother possibly dying.

[ profile] herodocles drove down to my place in Myrtleholt to help me drive to new Mexico and arrived around 9ish/9.30ish on Tuesday night.

We got out of town about 8am the next morning (after breakfast, exhaustion, etc. and headed south on I-5.

We had an atlas and directions from both Yahoo and Google. We drove and drove and drove and made it to Indio, California, when we stopped for the evening to sleep. We're both "larks" so darkness=sleeptime for us both.

We discovered we travel well together, even for long trips. We talked a LOT. About lots of things, both mundane and SCA (in SCA I include history, research and useless cultural trivia). Mundane includes science, religion, politics and education (which can also be science, religion and politics). We disagree about some parts, but not enough to make each other go grrrrr.

The hospital update on mom was:
She is awake.  They are working on getting her off the ventilator. Right now there seems no sign of stroke.

THURSDAY, March 18
We got out of Indio about 8.30-ish and drove straight east. We discovered that Arizona doesn't bother keeping its rest stops open, and that the Bowlin Company operates a large number of interstate-based tourist traps (all saturation-advertised on billboards). Very annoying.

We talked more, drove more, and had to stop to feed [ profile] herodocles more.  He is always hungry....My sister (in the US Army) got compassionate leave and flew home from Korea. It was about 36hours of travel. She arrived around 5pm in El Paso, and some of my mother's friends picked her up and took her to the hospital, and out to the house afterwards.

We got into Las Cruces, where my mom was hospitalized, around 8.30pm, and went up to the ICU. I saw her and then we went to her house to crash out. My sister let us in, we made introductions and all turned into puddles of sleep.

The update I got before we got into town, and just before I got into the hospital:
Diane is back!!!!!
She is doing the best yet !!!!
She is totaly wake , responding to everything and ordering people around now without words. She is still on the ventalator but at a very low setting. Looks like she is on her way back to recovery. Her two daughters are in town now so animal sitters you can take a break the house is covered.
Thanks to all the prayer the PITA is back.
My mom's name is Diane, surprise surprise, and her (self-proclaimed) nickname is PITA (Pain In The Ass).

FRIDAY, March 19
After feeding my mom's critters (two cats, two dogs, four geese and a goat), in the morning, we went to go see mom. We talked to her for a while -- she has a ventilator down her pipe, so she couldn't talk herself. Then they booted us out and we went to lunch and then to get some shopping for my sister. Being as she's a tall Caucasian stationed in a land of small-framed Asian folks, she couldn't find clothes or shoes. So we started off at Ross and, in the spirit of sisterly bonding, tried on A LOT of clothes. A LOT. I even bought some.

But it was mostly fun just hanging with my sister and talking and giggling over the Really Bad Clothes Choices. We challenged each other to new things, including some very bad ideas.

We went to dinner (from 6pm to 8pm, ICU is closed for doctor's rounds), then back to see our mom. Here was the update we sent Friday night:
My sister Chris and I went to see mom today a couple of times today.
She's awake and aware -- she smiled at some smart-*ss comments we made.  
Her blood pressure was up a little today, so they had to delay on removing the ventilator. They're hoping for tomorrow, if her numbers hold up.

After that, we went back to the house and crashed out. All three of us were pretty exhausted.

SATURDAY, March 20
We did the morning feedings again, then went to go see mom. We finished some shopping, and went off to the Sprint store, as my blackberry was having some issues. There was a Marshalls store and a shoe store, and my sister discovered more shoes And I have a pair of new workout shoes. I learned something about my sister: she likes VERY girlie shoes. And high heels.

I know, I know, are we really related?

Afternoon, we went back to see mom and it wasn't good. This was the Saturday update:
Mom is sedated again.  She was very aggitated and her breathing rate and blood pressure were just too high.  She is still at 35% oxygen.  Still not sure when she will be off the ventilator.
She is in alot of pain right now.  People who get her kind of stomach surgery usually get an epidural but she can't due to her back surgery. 

Once again thank you for all of your prayers, well wishes and help.
My sister and I had a long talk. We needed it.

SUNDAY, March 21
Mom was sedated most of this day. We did the chores, had lunch, went to go see her, then went to go get [ profile] herodocles' car a bath (which she desperately needed after traversing California, Arizona and New Mexico). AZ and NM, I am sorry to say, are FUGLY with a capital F. So is most of southeastern Cali. We decided the car had earned a name for herself, due to her great service. So she is now Penthesilea.

Apparently Sunday is Wash Your Car In Las Cruces Day. We went to multiple car washes before we found one we could get into. On the way, we found a billboard for a Japanese sushi restaurant. They were open for dinner from 6-9pm, so we talked about it when we went back to the house. My sister agreed she was in the mood for something besides Korean food.

It was nom.

We went to see the mom, who was sorta-kinda awake, let her know I had to leave to get back to work in Oregon on Wednesday morning, and she was awake enough to make hand gestures that said "I love you, now get outta here." We got back to the house, showered, packed up, and talked more with my sister. I showed [ profile] herodocles a whole slew of my childhood photographs (yes, including the obligatory nekkid-kiddo-in-the-bath photo). And he still thinks I'm cute, regardless.

MONDAY, March 22
We haled out of Las Cruces around 8.30am and headed west. One of my mom's friends, a fellow named George, gave us some directions for avoiding most of the LA area on the way back. So we drove across NM and AZ on the I-10, then skedaddled north on the 95 to the I-40. The drive on the 95 was probably the prettiest we had in the southwest. We headed west on the I-40 to Barstow and stopped there for the night. As I was trying to sleep that night, I realized that everything, including my newly brushed teeth, tasted like talcum dust. Bleargh.

The medical news was:
They barely sedated Mom today.  They had her on a setting where she was working very hard to breath.  The example was like breathing thru a straw.  She made it to about 3pm and then they sedated her and changed the setting.  We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

TUESDAY, March 23
We pulled out of Barstow around 8.30 am and took the 58 over to Hwy 99. We were talking about how much nicer it was to drive away from teh interstates. The drive down is something we talked about doing again -- as a trip for fun. There were places we wanted to stop but couldn't because we had no time. Got back to Myrtleholt around 9pm. Set the alarm and went flop.

The medical news was: 
She was alert and reponsive. Still on the ventalator and a very low setting. Yesterday she was off the ventalator for 3 hr and became very tired so they started it up again. There was talk about taking off again later today.

Back at work. Bleargh.

Updates thoughout the week say that my mom is still on the ventilator and -- if they don't get her off of it -- she's getting a traceotomy. This creeps me out, as I always get that No Smoking commercial in my head when I think about a tracheotomy:

The medical saga keeps unfolding. The dread comes and goes in waves.
I'm so tired.
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
[ profile] herodocles, thankfully, is coming with me, so I don' thave to do this alone.

I am scared.

I am sorry I will miss Coronet, and [ profile] visceridwen's Vigil, and for dropping this all on poor [ profile] missypumpkin at the last minute.

I have to go.


Mar. 16th, 2010 05:51 am
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
My mother is in the hospital and I don't know if she's going to live.

She was scheduled for surgery on the 8th, for her back. She'd had a spinal fusion when I was about 7, and they had to work in that area, so it was dangerous. She and I exchanged emails before she went into the hospital.

Surgery apparently went okay...but stuff happened afterwards. This is what I got from her designated medical updater/contact:
> She had surgery on her back Monday , after surgery, her shoulder is messed up now. That's not all last night she
> had to have emergency surgery for a punctured intestine / colon.

Then I got this:
Today I got updated from Joyce that Diane is now on a ventilator due to all the fluids and infection from her emergency surgery. I just spoke with the nurse in ICU and she was very helpful. Diane had a burst ulcer on her intestine so she is on the ventilator to help her breathe and on antibiotics to fight the infection. When they opened her up there were peas and everything all over inside her. Diane is sedated heavily right now and won't know if anybody comes up. The nurse will call me if there is any changes.

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
I had a lovely Solstice and a fabulous Mithras Natalis. I hope you all did, too. I spent the last 10 days being slothful with [ profile] herodocles -- it was very enjoyable. As far as I can tell, he liked all his presents. *hee*

Swanned about Eugene and Springfield on various days with [ profile] trudchen  and [ profile] fearga . This involved copious amounts of tea and conversation. Nom.

Plus, they graciously fed me. I will be revenged, however. With chocolate. Muahaha.

Went hot-tubbing with [ profile] trudchen  and [ profile] hrothgar1 . Got the tour of [ profile] lady_anyanka 's and [ profile] hrothgar1 's workplace. (Nice digs!)

Toddled off to socialize with [ profile] scarywoman , Durin, [ profile] visceridwen  and [ profile] scarywoman's mom, at [ profile] scarywoman's mom's house. Dinner provided by Fezzic. Nom.

Visited [ profile] missypumpkin to get measured for my Tudor undergarments.

Then we attended the annual Caer Lutris New Year's Party with [ profile] herodocles , [ profile] hrothgar1 , [ profile] grian_ruadh , [ profile] shiningmoon , [ profile] elfie_chan , [ profile] alysaundre , [ profile] lady_anyanka , [ profile] corvideye , [ profile] bethpeters3 , [ profile] ariadne3 , [ profile] amycat1959 , [ profile] blaze2242, [ profile] ceruleanfleur , [ profile] jupiterorbit and [ profile] horsefriend2  (Plus many outside LJ-land). Drank real eggnog, played Apples to Apples, munched cookies, gave and received prezzies, was amused by other prezzies (ZOMBIES!), and generally had a grand time. Twas much fun.

There was only one dark spot on my holiday. )

The really happy thing was that my sister called. She'd been incommunicado for a while, I thought she was on a mission or something, She was just in the hospital. Yeep.  LOVE YOU SIS!!!
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
...back from Texas, time with the Sister-Unit, the B.i.L. and the Pack of 5.

I iz tired.

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)

...or, rather, when I wake on Thursday morning, April 16, 2009, it will have been 10 years since Daddy died.

Wierd -- sometimes it feels like centuries; sometimes... yesterday.

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
<i>Two of the journalists, though, should be standing in the corner wearing dunce caps today. The first is Chuck Todd of NBC News, who asked if it wasn't consumer spending that created the current death spiral, and whether it wouldn't make sense for people to save more and spend less.
I'll spare you the back and forth, though, in re-reading the transcript, I'm struck by Obama's ability to reinterpret Todd's question as though it were intelligent. But anyone who has been following economic news in recent months knows that the trouble we now face was brought on by a monumental banking crisis, leading to a collapse in consumer and business spending. The problem isn't overspending; it's a near-total lack of spending.</i>

From the Guardian (UK)


Mr. Kennedy really needs to get out of the Beltway and its Group Think.

It is precisely our Get It Now, Get It Cheap, Buy What I Want Whenever I Want It mentality that got us into this mess in the first place. People attached the same mentality to buying a home as they did to a DVD player: I Want One, so I'll get it on credit. I want it cheap, so I'll buy the Chinese one.

When we got dragged into a war, what did our government tell us? Keep spending money! We'll cut taxes so you spend Even More!!! You have a 401K, so you don't need to save money -- in fact, we'll make sure that it doesn't benefit you financially to save at all! We'll penalize you for having savings unless it's enough money to that you're an investment company....

The immediate problem is lack of spending, to most people.
The true and deeper issue is the consumer culture itself.

Our marketers first found the things we needed, and sold us that.
Then, they could no longer sell us the things we needed, more than we needed, when we did not need them.
So they created an appetite -- a want -- for things we did not need. And pretended to us that the thing was only WANTED was something we needed, so much that we believed it.
And we never had to walk away from things we wanted, because, hey, we could borrow the money and get it anyway, right?

Mr. Kennedy's bought into the idea that, well, we need to have a lot of money. Not only floating around our selves, but also floating around our world. Milton Friedman once said the world was based on Greed. And that capitalism and greed created the most good for the most people (a disturbingly socialistic view from capitalism's great supporter). So, there's the buy-in from everyone else, since Friedman Said So. Greed isn't good, but it's better than anything else...

So we need to have money and we need to Buy Stuff. Lots of Stuff! Lots of Cheap Stuff!! It makes the economy work!
But do we? Do we really?

We need food, water, shelter and fellowship. Everything else -- everything! -- is gravy.
I've lived on ramen, generic mac'n'cheese, frozen peas and low-grade canned tuna. And I was grateful for the tuna, when it was on sale at 33cents a can.
I remember eating a lot of pasta when I was a kid. Remember those times when we were living off the stuff in the basement, sis? And mom's canned crabapples and baby corn and pickles? And the garden? (And I did enjoy eating some of those cows.... they deserved to be hamburger :P)

Has anyone besides me enjoyed the sweetness of self-denial? Of looking at that Thing I Want and holding it and longing for it and... putting it back? Has anyone enjoyed the accomplishment of saying "No" to the self and its Want Want Want?

The problem, Mr. Kennedy, isn't that we're not spending.
The problem is, that we can't afford to spend on the Useless Cr*p anymore.
And the silver lining is?

It's about time.
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
... to the musically inclined [ profile] barefootorbust !!!

...and to my beloved sister [ profile] koolknave !!!
And belated to Bella and Fede -- nice cluster of birthdays you've got going there, sis!

My dad

Aug. 20th, 2008 08:22 am
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)
 My dad's birthday was August 3rd. He would have been 70 years old.
The original song that this is filked from is about Callie's dad. I was singing along with it and the last line popped out in this version instead. Then I had to write the rest.

I miss you, Poppa.


To the tune of “Mountain Man (My Father’s Legacies)”
Melody ©1998 by Arlene "Callie" Hills
(the mp3 samples page is down)

A forest of silos jut up from the valley,
around the next bend, hayfields shrouded in mist,
an old John Deere tractor in fields of sorghum,
I think of you often at moments like this.

The implement yards, they were always your touchstone,
you sought them out weekly with brand new ideas,
with pencil and paper, in an old beat-up farm cap
sketching your blueprints in places like these.

     Along with my hands and a fondness for power tools,
     a keen eye for crop yields no other eye sees,
     to make do, to tinker, you gave those gifts to me,
     I think of you often during projects like these.

At sunset, the silos on the ridge are black outlines
the barns are all lit up like red Christmas trees,
as tractors and balers drive in through the twilight
I think of you, Poppa, at moments like these.

I'm home

Jul. 21st, 2008 03:53 pm
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)

New Mexico is hot. I have pictures of the wedding. And my mother's house.

My niece

Apr. 4th, 2008 09:48 am
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)

Here's a pic of little Izzy (okay, everyone else calls her Bella, but I'm the Evil Auntie(tm), so I call her "Izzy") from January...

and here's a picture of her, after her burn. It just wrung my heart. Poor thing.

She pulled on the tablecloth and yanked the hot coffee down with it.

**hugs sister**
**hugs niece**

My Mother

Mar. 2nd, 2008 10:40 pm
vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (cicero)
Is going in for surgery tomorrow morning, for a hernia she rec'd from a motorcycle accident, coming back from Sturgis (the Great "Biker Con") two years ago.

This is the accident that totalled out her Yamaha, her primary leathers and her boots. 
But her 1960s cop's helmet is still functional.
Go figure. 

Please spare a positive thought for her, 8 am Mountain time (USA), please?

vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (kermitYAY)
 to [profile] koolknave
my fabulous sister!!!


to [profile] barefootorbust
a wonderful musician


vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (Default)

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