10 December 2014 @ 02:42 am
So, last Monday my dad passed away. We went to visit the Friday before, and he was actually doing okay. I spoke to the doctor who said he had been breathing well (even though they had moved him to the ICU because they were worried he was having trouble breathing) and they thought he would be able to improve on his own without a liver transplant. Great news! He was still pretty out of it and confused, and his arms were strapped down with padded gloves on to ensure he didn't pull anything out (feeding tube, catheter, and so on). We got to talk to him a little, though. We left to go eat and an hour or two later the doctor called me again. They had drained fluid from his abdomen (paracentesis - 3.5 liters!) and they decided to check his throat too and decided he wasn't clearing it well enough and they gave him a breathing tube. We came back and he was sedated from the intubation, not that you can talk with a breathing tube anyway. We visited again Saturday and he seemed just as sedated, though I don't think he was anymore. He just seemed out of it.

I didn't visit Sunday since I figured it would be more of the same - him not even awake. Barb texted me at some point saying they had put him on dialysis as his kidneys weren't functioning well. I regret not stopping in because early Monday morning - like 3:00am - they started calling me and I started missing it because the alarm was set on my phone and it silences it. I woke up at 8:15 to 13 missed calls and numerous texts. His blood pressure crashed during the night and they were keeping it up with medication but I needed to get there immediately. John and I threw on clothes and went to the hospital, me calling my sister and mother frantically to get them to come, too. When I got there he was already not there, he was bleeding internally and it was seeping out of his mouth. The doctor said he wasn't in pain but there wasn't anything to do. I talked to him alone for a little while anyway, telling him I would make him proud and I love him so much even though he had a hard time sometimes, and everything I could think of that he might want to know. Once my sister and mom arrived we let them turn everything off. They turned off all the medications and took out the breathing tube (if someone asks you if you want to leave while they do that, at least turn around. Don't watch. It doesn't happen immediately and you'll be able to return and be with them in their final moments). We held his hands and watched while his body shuddered to a stop. The worst part (I mean, besides that he isn't here anymore) was waiting the final 10 minutes while his body struggled to poorly breathe and slowly stopped working. After the monitor started beeping it still wasn't over. It isn't like in the movies where you pull the plug and the person just stops, it was slow and kind of agonizing. It isn't like with a pet, either, where they're given the injection and kind of fall asleep and breath out for the last time, maybe because of the monitor telling you exactly what their body is still doing.

Anyway, that sucks. This sucks. Everything sucks. It doesn't feel real and I keep having to remind myself that it is. Basically the only way I'm making it through the day is by forgetting about it as much as possible or ignoring it. If I think about the times I won't be able to call him and make jokes or ask him about random facts or call when we're in NYC and can't find something, I just fall apart. It isn't fair. He was only 63. And somehow now I'm supposed to handle his estate and get the insurance to come through and figure out his normal bills and the hospital bills (no medical insurance) and the house, but I can't even handle my day to day life right now. I can't focus but I also can't not focus on something because then I fall apart. I try to make it feel better by reminding myself that he hadn't been himself for at least a few years. The person I miss isn't who he was the last year, but the person he was before that, who I always hoped would come back. The funny, likable, helpful, interesting guy I was proud to call my father and introduce to all my friends.

Back to the chain of events, for posterity.

Suddenly we were faced with what to do with his body - he hadn't made any arrangements or anything. His advance directive noted that he would like to be an organ donor, but as he went into multiple organ failure they weren't able to use anything. I suggested we donate his body for research and education, and everyone was amenable to that. I knew it would mean we wouldn't have to pay for funeral costs and that maybe his death could have some meaning in helping something happen. The hospital's social worker found a place that would take him and helped us fill out the paperwork. John and I were basically at the hospital all day, getting home at 5pm and continuing to find numbers to call people and let them know. My Aunt (his sister) from California flew in late that night and we set up a viewing at the Anatomy place so she could say goodbye to him. We hosted her for the week while trying to figure out something to honor him. Visiting the anatomy place was weird. It was in an office/industrial park and they had him behind a window and covered in a sheet. They had clearly tried to push him back into how he should look and his chin and mouth especially looked very strange. I couldn't look for more than a minute and we waited outside while my Aunt said goodbye. I took the week off of work, and so did John to help me out. Which he did, tremendously. I'm not sure my mother or Aunt or anyone else could have been more impressed by how much he stepped up to help me out. Without any direction or help from my mom (who was hit harder than she expected by it, I think), I just didn't know what to do. My aunt was a big help too, but John just took my phone and responded to texts and phone calls and everything so I wouldn't have to do all of it. He even called the church Barb suggested to set up the memorial and talk to the pastor there. I couldn't have gotten through even a day let alone the week without his help.

On Saturday we had a memorial. Through the help of some awesome employees at OfficeDepot, we had a big professional picture mounted on foam board, another poster of pictures we pulled out of all his old albums, and a frame filled with more recent pictures of him (plus a great one of his first wedding). We brought a really beautiful table he had made to display some of the stuff on, and I asked a few people to talk about him. The pastor had nice things to say and gave a sort of general description. My Aunt Diane talked about some of her memories of him when they were growing up, John said some very touching things that ended in how he'd take good care of me, which I know would have meant a lot to my dad. Mike talked about meeting him and respecting him, and Sara and Jennifer talked about knowing him as we grew up. Lizzy came up with me to read a thing I had written about some memories of him and how we'd miss him and how we'd make him proud, and Barb went up to talk about him more recently, too. It was really nice, and it really touched me how many people came. I kind of wish anyone from GE had been able to make it, but it was just fine with friends of the family and a whole lot of my friends who are seriously just the best.

Maybe I'm done for now.
26 November 2014 @ 03:51 am
I'm kind of conflicted at this point. My dad has gotten worse - he got moved to the ICU late last night as he was having trouble breathing, I think. There's a lot of fluid building up in his abdomen and it's putting pressure on his lungs, if I understood right. When we visited today his breathing was pretty okay though, and no tube for that. He does have a feeding tube, which is bothering him a lot. He seems very uncomfortable about it, and really really confused on top of that. He's barely coherent and he looks awful. He spent most of the time I was there muttering things like "kill me" "let me die" "please help me please please please" and so on, which was fantastic. I feel awful because I consented to the feeding tube and I don't know if that's something he would've agreed to. The nurse pointed out that he's so confused he has no idea what he's saying and he doesn't mean it, and she's seen patients be like that and get better a day or two later and have no recollection of it.
So that was my day. Bummer.
19 November 2014 @ 03:55 am
There, now this sounds exactly like my posts did ten years ago. Although by ten years ago I think I mean 14 years ago when I started this thing. Way too long ago. Okay, let's do this shit.
Today I watched another season of Always Sunny in Philadelphia, because why the hell not. And visited my dad and talked to a doctor, because one of them finally felt it pertinent to call me and tell me anything. They're transferring him to Univ of MD Medical Center so they can evaluate him for the possibility of a liver transplant. Because if anyone would use a new liver well it would be him, right? I mean, of course I want him to get better, I'm just conflicted on giving a bipolar lifelong alcoholic a liver that someone else might need. It doesn't sound like any doctor thinks his liver is going to improve at this point. He has a MELD score of 23, which isn't like "give him a liver now" but isn't so good either. He's still yellow and seems to actually be getting more and more confused and mixed up. Half the things he says are nonsense, really. He told me we can eat the red tailed hawk and blue owl he bought for thanksgiving and instead of transferring him to the other hospital they're just going to change his name.

I feel like an angsty teenager. BUT I JUST KEEP GETTING SO MAD. And alternating that with kind of depressed. But I also can't concentrate or focus on anything so that blows at work. At least I'm not in school any more so I can't bomb any classes or anything. Although your parent being sick is pretty much the best excuse, isn't it?

I could do a catch up, huh? Loads of things! Clearly, we had the wedding (more than two years ago) and it went pretty well, although we forgot to buy water for people to drink so everyone finished drinking quicker than intended and we had loads of booze left over. We still have bottles of champagne in a box in our basement. The waffle bar was cool though. And, you know, other stuff. I also forgot to share pictures with anyone ever, but eh. One day guys! What did people do before facebook? How did people see other people's wedding pictures? I made some photo books for our parents at least. Probably it was boring (the wedding) because we refused to have dancing because we don't like it so nobody had anything to do except talk at tables we didn't assign.
Anyhow, what else. I graduated last December, which is fun! It took three years and the last class was a bitch, but I somehow managed a 4.0 so that's cool too. I went up for graduation and that was nice cause there was a department party thing where I actually got to meet some of my classmates and professors. Now I can put MSLS after my name in the no situations where I would ever do that. Guess that's it. Probably done typing, gonna continue bottling it up like a grown up.
18 November 2014 @ 03:02 am
Can't turn my brain off, so for some stupid reason I thought I'd look at livejournal again. After only 3 years?
As normal when shit is hitting any sort of proverbial fan, I literally cannot turn my brain off and go to sleep. I watch way too many hours of tv shows (seriously I watched 6 seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the past week), play puzzle games (that actually seems to work the best?) in bed while trying to fall asleep, read, whatever. As long as I'm occupying enough of my mind to keep from dwelling on shit. It sucks knowing I need to wake up at 8 to get ready for work and just watching the clock tick past the point when I should have gone to bed, and then each hour after that, mentally calculating how many hours of sleep I'll get if I fall asleep right that minute.
Anyway, "what the hell is wrong with you?" My dad's in the hospital with whatever kind of liver failure and it's a rollercoaster of "he's dying" "he's getting better" over and over again. He went in about two weeks ago cause he was super jaundiced, kept falling, and couldn't balance. He went downhill when he started withdrawing from the apparently copious amounts of alcohol he was drinking. He basically wouldn't wake up/stay awake for two or three days - like he wasn't unconscious but he would open his eyes for 2 seconds or say "ok" or "yes" and then shut them again and stop responding. He improved a lot after that, each day getting a significant amount better until he now where he's at almost his normal level of cognizance (though still yellow). He's talking well and understanding things, mostly, but he's also still super confused. I can't tell what things he says are down to his confusion and what's due to his other mental issues like mania. He says (and believes) some crazy shit - e.g. he owns part of a college football team and the players have been visiting him (from wisconsin), he has an apartment, he's been in the hospital for months, why he's in the hospital, what has been done to/for him there, when/what he's been fed and what he needs to eat (that's my least favorite).
I'm having a hell of a time getting in touch with any doctor, as they seem to stop by whenever they have a chance, different times for all of them, and are very reluctant to call me and give me updates (despite me being the point of contact). As far as I've been informed by my dad's underemployed friend who keeps hanging out at the hospital with him and actually manages to see the doctors, they keep saying there is a strong possibility he won't improve and get better. Of course he isn't a candidate for transplant because of his age, overall health, and not having been sober for 6 months. It sounds like he isn't improving at the rate they would like to see and they're currently suggesting the possibility of palliative or potentially hospice care. He needs to go into a rehab/nursing home/inpatient therapy when (if) he gets out, anyway. I just hate how it's gone from "he's gonna get better it just might take a week" to "he's not gonna get better" and back and I hate that I don't know what to do about it. A CT scan a few days ago showed he had fatty liver, not cirrhosis, which is great. But he still isn't getting better. Sort of refusing to eat also doesn't help, as while his liver doesn't work his bowel needs to get toxins out of him, and not eating stops that from working. He kept telling me today that he was flushing his body out with water so he didn't need to eat the food he was brought, but I should take it if I want it. Ugh.
We had a nice discussion about how when he gets out he has to stop drinking, for real, completely, forever. He argued that he could have a drink when he goes out or with dinner, etc, and I argued back that he nearly died and is he shitting me? Which is a little frustrating.

So instead of continuing to think about this shit, I'm mainlining comedy tv shows. I may have developed a massive high school crush on Charlie Day. He was annoying but then he was cute and little and dark and sorry guys, I even kind of like the voice now! I simultaneously hate and like that show. I can't decide if it's awful or genius (probably the latter), but it's definitely addictive. I even want to REWATCH episodes I just watched a few days ago! Why! I'm not those people!

Also, wtf has happened to lj. I can't figure anything out here.
21 July 2012 @ 03:20 am
I'm finally used to working a full time schedule. Being at work for eight hours at a time is fine, it's just not having as much time in the rest of the day that sucks! I have a lot more to do at work, and less time stuck on the desk to spend doing those things. Nothing exciting really, although I'll be running our nonfiction book club now. We had two meetings that I facilitated thus far, and they went pretty well. The people who come for it are really nice and tend to have a lot to say about the books. The hardest part so far has been picking the books for next year, since I don't read any nonfiction. I managed to pull together 7, though I haven't read any of them aside from Persepolis (because I really wanted to make them do a comic).

Aside from work, wedding stuff is going pretty well.
What we have done so far: venue, my dress is purchased, catering might be figured out (a deli we like said "order stuff a few days in advance"), guest list is solid I think, and we've gotten both our rings (well, we're waiting on mine to come in).
Stuff we have going: We met with an officiant and we're figuring out the ceremony with her, I have an appointment with a tailor to halve my dress, favors are half made and will be worked on this weekend, I bought a few things for centerpieces, John's suit is being considered, and our invitations are in the works. I know I need to order/book/whatever linens and figure out flowers, at least. Lots of things started, few things finished, and I'm sure a million things yet to be brought to my attention so I can freak out about them. I decided a few weeks ago that I just wasn't going to let it stress me out. We want the whole thing to be as laid back as we can make it, so why shouldn't it be like that the whole way through? I'm sure that isn't realistic!
17 May 2012 @ 02:09 am
Ugh, things.
I got a full time position at work a few weeks ago, and started just about two weeks ago now (only two more weeks until a full time paycheck!). Ugh, it's exhausting. Instead of sleeping properly since I'm working more than double what I was, I still go to sleep at 3am even though I have to get up at 8am more than half the week. I also find that I now need more work clothes since I'm no longer wearing them only 4 hours most days. Unfortunately, neon is in? And I am not wearing neon colored clothing to work.
The best thing about being full time is that I finally get things to do at work aside from "sit at the desk and help customers". I even get to run one of our book clubs! The first meeting (for me) was tonight, and it was pretty good! The book made it kind of difficult and the people (all 4 of them) wouldn't rise to the comments I hoped that they would, but it still went alright. All of them are nice, anyway. I've got books chosen by my predecessor until December, so it's going to be awhile before we can do anything I find interesting. Once we can, though, I'm totally going to make them read some comics. I think they will not appreciate it but I kind of don't care.

Done with classes again and somehow continuing a bizarre 4.0. This is the first semester where that has bothered me a little. It's clear that some of the professor aren't really grading assignments. There are certainly no comments, and almost everyone just gets a straight 100% on almost everything. I feel like the modicum of effort I'm putting into it is almost too much. At least I still feel like I'm learning things in most of the classes. Four classes left. I'm not sure how I'm going to do them anymore, either. I might still do two next spring, but I'm probably going to take this summer and fall off. I don't really want to, but I don't want to get overwhelmed with the wedding planning and trying to still sleep somewhere in the vicinity of 8 hours most nights.

In preparation for engagement pictures I ordered a bunch of dresses off of modcloth. The sizing was a pain and most of the things I tried were two short or just fit awkwardly. I learned that I have a long waist (or low?), and that makes things even more annoying. I found one really good one, though, and free shipping and returns is the best invention ever. However, modcloth might be the worst invention ever because at least 50% of the dresses that come up there are cute, and 25% are ones I would buy but only 5% are ones that will fit me properly.
I also redyed my hair the same color but it turned out waay darker, and got a hair cut that wasn't short enough so I shortened it up myself and I'm kind of unsure about it now. It seems alright in length (no hugely weird chunks as far as I can tell or anyone will tell me), but the layers and ends of it aren't right (none and blunt cut). I even brought 360 degrees of pictures from my good last hair cut! Ah, well.
That's enough things for today!
11 November 2011 @ 03:15 am
31 Days of Horror master list!
Day 1 - The Boogens, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Tales from the Crypt: The Switch
Day 2 - Tales from the Crypt: And All Through the House, Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone, Only Sin Deep
Day 3 - Return of the Living Dead Part II, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
Day 4 - skip
Day 5 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, 30 Days of Night
Day 6 - skip
Day 7 - The Fly (1958), Hobo With A Shotgun
Day 8 - Rosemary's Baby
Day 9 - From a Whisper to a Scream
Day 10 - Freddy Vs. Jason
Day 11 - skip
Day 12 - Crazies (2009), Tales from the Crypt: The Secret
Day 13 - Psycho
Day 14 - The Horror Show, Lord of Illusions, Dolls
Day 15 - Ghoulies, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Day 16 - Horror of Dracula
Day 17 - Phantoms, Dracula (1992)
Day 18 - Body Snatchers (1993)
Day 19 - The Stuff, Dead & Buried, Tales from the Crypt: Lower Berth
Day 20 - skip
Day 21 - The Thing
Day 22 - Nickelodeon Halloween episodes: Pete and Pete, Rocko's Modern Life, Salute Your Shorts, Ren and Stimpy, Doug, Alex Mack, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Aah Real Monsters, plus Beavis and Butthead.
Day 23 - Village of the Damned (1995)
Day 24 - Child's Play, Night of the Comet, Halloween H20, The Frighteners
Day 25 - Slither
Day 26 - Silent Night, Deadly Night 1 & 2 (basically)
Day 27 - Carrie, The Funhouse, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, two episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Community Halloween Episode
Day 28 - Dawn of the Dead, Tales from the Crypt: Television Terror
Day 29 - Simpson's Treehouse of Horror episodes from season 2 - 11, Attack the Block, X Files: El Mundo Gira
Day 30 - Poltergeist 2, Field of Screams haunted house/trail/hayride (dunno if this counts)
Day 31 - Halloween (1978), Trick 'r Treat, The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXII, The Thing (2011)

Total movies: 39
Total tv show episodes: 30 (21 + 9 on Nickelodeon night)
Total attractions: 1
Skip days: 4
26 October 2011 @ 05:09 am
I am procrastinating a paper - ahh college! It is therefore fitting that I just read back in this through a half of 2007 and 2008. Do you still call grad school college? Yeah, doesn't matter.
I don't remember what the "work drama" was but I vaguely remember the dad stuff. He went into a rehab facility to stop drinking again about two months ago, which is good. A friend of his that he met at the workforce development center was/is helping him out. She's nice and a lot better than Teresa, but still weird and also super religious I think (instead of "hopefully" she says "prayerfully". Enough said). Anyway, it sounded like they let him out of the rehab center earlier than expected, or maybe he ran out of money to pay for it since he doesn't have health insurance anymore. Either way, he hasn't called or talked to me since he got out (or went in really since he only was able to call once for a minute or two while he was there). I feel guilty for not calling him or stopping by, but I don't really want to get him started again either. I feel really selfish, but I just don't want to deal with him right now. Oh well.

Better things!!
We are watching a horror movie every day in October. We aren't really though because we have had a number of skip days, but watching more than one on other days should make up for them. John and I have been posting progress on facebook and I will transfer it here when we're done or the month is over (because we have so many movies we want to watch that we will extend into November).
I'm crocheting more, which I like. I discovered that the granny square is super easy and mindless and kind of fun because it goes quickly. I made a lap blanket! It's very light and airy, so maybe better for warmer weather, but the cats LOVE the yarn I used and knead on it every chance they get. I started on a second lap blanket for a Christmas present, and I got yarn for a third (also a present) as well. If I can keep up this momentum it will be awesome.

Ugh I just read a few old posts where I actually wrote things about the books I read and I realllyyy wish I still did that because I'm so bad at remembering well! At least I'm still keeping a list though.
Mood: tiredtired
07 October 2011 @ 05:04 am
I will be happy the day I am already asleep when my neighbor leaves for work.
I reallllly need to work on fixing this, but I'm afraid I have absolutely no willpower.
It's making everything suuuuuuuck. I'm sleeping totally plenty most days! Just not at the right times. Like, at the complete opposite of the right times. Even the cats go to bed before me.
Mood: tiredtired
04 September 2011 @ 03:56 pm
Fall is great but it also means school again! I like it, but who doesn't prefer doing nothing? The beginning of classes always makes me feel very nostalgic for little bits of school in the past. The smell of autumn and fireplace smoke, the wind blowing in the window, new school stuff and new things, a proper schedule (!). apple cider, etc. Even going to classes - for some weird reason I have always kinda liked going to classes - taking notes and sitting in class - I don't know what it is really but I miss it with these online classes.

Speaking of a schedule, mine is totally screwed. I have a sleep log app on my phone and I took a look at a graph of sleep times today. I most often go to sleep between 4 and 6am and wake up between 12 and 2. No matter how much I slept the night before, even if it was only 3 hours because I had to work early that day. I'm not sure why it is, but that's when my body wants to sleep. I don't like it, but I seem to have a very hard time doing anything differently. I would really like to be on a more normal schedule - 2am -10am would be great, and only leave me an hour short when I have to work at 10, but still give me 5 hours after getting off work at 9. I bet I'd be a lot more productive too.

I'm sure I won't be able to fix anything until I cut down my computer time. Internet time, really, since I don't do anything on the computer that isn't online. I even see playing video games as being productive these days - much more so than reading 10 Cracked articles or going through another few days worth of blogs on Google Reader (there are a few that post way too many things a day (ahem, Gawker blogs), but they post a lot of things that interest me - just combined with the loads of other blogs I find good things on makes it overwhelming!).

Next up: more dad drama and some annoying work crap that doesn't really have to do with my work but with the system.