2024 is a New Year

2024 is a New Year

2024 is a new year

2024 is a new year and a year in review. Despite the strife worldwide, we have more than enough right here in my home, allowing me to step aside. I have enough of my issues to deal with. And yes, the image is a blatant attempt to draw your eye and read my blog.

2023 was most likely the toughest year of my life. I retired from my career job on Feb 1. I looked forward to catching up on my sleep and writing more novels. It took the entire month of February to catch up on sleep. It took the better part of that month sleeping eleven to thirteen hours a night. I didn’t realize just how exhausted I was. I loved every minute of sleep.

March brought me to a place where I could start my retirement earnestly. I started going out more, getting a good start on emptying the proverbial ‘job jar,’ and thinking about and taking notes for my next book. Believe it or not, one doesn’t sit down at a keyboard and start writing. It would be best to have something in mind and a general direction you want to go before you put a single character or word down.

2nd Quarter

April allowed me to start something in a book. Simultaneously, my domestic partner was having more and more trouble with her body. Little by little, it began failing her, and we quickly went from a cane to a walker and then to a Rollator. She stopped cooking, although she could make her bowl of cereal in the morning. I was driving her to more and more doctor appointments to figure out what was happening to her.

Hummingbird brain pattern in MRI of the Brain = PSP

In early May, we got a diagnosis, Progress SupraNuclear Palsy, or PSP for short. It took four neurologists, ending up with the Director of Neurology in the Palliative Care Unit of the Medical Center, to figure it out. The telltale sign is a brain MRI revealing the silhouette of a hummingbird.

Even though I knew something was wrong with her, I went into denial for weeks at a time. Being a retired nurse, my lady started reading up on it. It’s not a pretty disease that has a baseline of what to expect for the future. What is undisputed is that it is a terminal disease. It averages ten years from the onset of symptoms to the terminus. But it could go longer or shorter. No metrics can accurately predict what will happen, unlike most cancers, etc.

3rd quarter

June comes around, and I’ve accepted what will happen. I am determined to give the best quality of life I can for as long as possible. I started planning the projects to update the house according to her needs.

July-Aug-Sept is the same, except for no significant progress with the completed projects. Contractors were booking out to late Sept and October. Knowing that doesn’t prevent my anxiety. I’m also trying to get her on Medicaid. We hired a law firm to handle it for us, as I don’t know how to get that done. I expected them to do all the work. Nope. They tell me what to do, and I have to do it, squeezing it into my already full day.

4th quarter

October, the projects get done. By the end of the month, the house is ready, and lots of $$$ have found a way out of our bank accounts. I don’t care. It’s her health and quality of life I’m interested in. As for me, I’m struggling to keep it together. If you know the elements of ‘Emotional Labor,’ I check off every box. I wouldn’t say I like this, I hate it. I’m an engineer; I build and fix things. I can’t fix this, and I’m no caregiver.

November rolls around and she’s still a long way from getting on Medicaid. She’s nagging me. I get it, but I can’t get the government to go any faster. As I work on taking care of myself, except for enforcing 5-6 hours off each week, I realize I’m doing a poor job of it.

The dreaded holidays

December, oh the holidays are upon us. More additional stress to get the house decorated, and many trips up and down the stairs to get the decorations out, displayed, and empty boxes put away until the end of the season. We get word they accepted her for Medicaid, with a caveat. There is a difference between being accepted for Medicaid and having it activated. She makes too much money in retirement and they either want to take it from her or shield it from them in a special account called a ‘Pooled Trust’ from which we can pay our bills, but gives them a view of where we are spending the money. We have to deposit a large sum of money in the account to get it activated. Of course, they calculated it on gross income, and not income after taxes. Bastards.

I’m realizing that I’m in trouble and I eventually figure out I’m traumatized. I was in denial about it, but the more I learn about trauma and talking to therapists, I realize there are so many different kinds of trauma, and I’m suffering from a couple of them. Counseling is helping. So is the book I’m reading, ‘The Body Remembers.’ It’s a long book, but I’m fascinated. I’m on chapter six, which is about 18% of the 600+ page book.

2024 is a New Year

January 2024 is a new year. I’m looking at it as a year of recovery and smoothing life out. Medicaid should be activated by next week, after which, I can start hiring help to cut down on my responsibilities and work schedule. Until now, I’m working 24×7 days a week as a fulltime caregiver. I need to cut it down to 8 to 10 hours a day, letting someone else fill in the hours.

Assuming I get that done, I can sleep again and catch up on my fatigue and reawaken my creative right brain. It’s been quiet way too long. Then I can resume my writing. I have heard from many of my readers they really want to know what’s happened to Sir and his band of not so merry men and women. While you wait, did you know I have sixteen books out there? Here is a link to most of them on Amazon. If you prefer to tip your toe more slowly, check out the book library on my website. Here is that link.

I thank all of you for your continued patience as I work out these details and get back to writing. I miss you all, just as I know you miss me. Send me a note or two of inspiration as you like. It will help.

Enjoy the fact that 2024 is a new year.

Say hi and tell me what you think. I want to know.

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