Ron is home, and not a minute too soon

Hello all you wonderful Playtime readers / viewers.   As some of you may have noticed I started off the beginning of last week doing great with news posting and answering comments.   By the end of the week it was sporadic and haphazard.    

The reason for that is that Ron had to make a trip to North Carolina to pick up his sister and go to the nursing home where his brother is a resident.  His brother is 76 years old (I think 75 or 76) and is in and out of reality.   He is doing so much better in the home.   There reaches a point where people who are alone need extra help to take care of themselves and their age and health break down.  He would have died a couple years ago if Ron and the sister had not taken extreme measures to get him into a nursing home program.  The brother is poor, of course we the public mostly are, and nursing home care costs like six grand a month for those that can pay, for those on social security and SSI, your screwed.   The brother had physical and mental issues that were getting worse because he was not able to take care of himself both medically and physically such as cook for himself or do what he needed to do health wise.  Sorry if that sounds vague but I am trying to respect his brother’s privacy.  

Long story short because of Medicaid rules the brother had to be in a nursing home to qualify to be in a nursing home.  Go figure!  So to meet that requirement the sister had to pay 5 grand for the first month to get him in and then another time to keep things going another 3 grand.  She has more money than most but she is not wealthy.  She is 72, was a single mother who held two jobs at the same time and she has a retirement fund she put into all her life that she drew on to do this.   Later in life she met a grand guy she married who also worked hard and put money away and supported the sister doing this for her brother.  

Under Medicaid / SSi rules (Ron and the sister can tell you all the details, I am only going on what I was told by them) the brother can only have or keep about $30 dollars of his social security income plus he can have only limited if any assets.   So no matter what his social security payment is all but $30 dollars is taken and given to the nursing home.  The government doesn’t care about a person’s bills or dignity.   People that can afford to pay get a private room, the poor like Ron’s brother have to have a roommate that they get no say in having.  Ron’s sister (Diane, sorry I got tired of typing the sister and realized I would have to add another sister to the mix) now controls the brother’s finances as Ron controls the medical stuff for the brother.   Ron, Diane, and one other sister put a set amount into the brother’s bank account to pay his existing bills and cover his needs.  We do not begrudge this even though the other brothers with more funds than we have chosen not to help. 

So that is why Ron left for NC on the 11th of April, to fix a situation that had developed, see the brother, and handle paperwork regarding the brother’s care.   I got a treatment on that same Monday to help with my back spasms which involved 8 or 10 (I forget the exact number right now but that is around the normal number.   It is never less than 8 and rarely more than 16 anymore.  The most I had is 21 but I had lost the ability to walk and was in really bad condition when that happened.)  I took our second vehicle, a 2007 Toyota van still in good shape, and after the treatment I felt great.       The treatment itself is really painful but I have learned a long time ago to shut off / diminish / bear the pain I know is coming. 

For those not aware my body is wrecked, and I am limited in what I can do without severe pain.    I was built on a Monday by those paid on Thursday who spent the next four days in the bars on a bender and were seriously hung over on Monday when they built me.  That and the damage caused by childhood abuse caused my body to deteriorate / deform / decay and by my 30’s I was unable to do things most people enjoy doing without thinking about it that much.  Even my last year in the military to try to march caused me a lot of pain in my hips but because I only needed to do that for a couple special occasions, I did not think of it too much.   I should have, it would have granted me a military disability pension but I was still sure I was a healthy young person back then.     But my husband and love of my life for 32 years has stood by me and as I was able to do less, he simply did more to cover what I couldn’t do.   One of those things is the housework.   When Ron left James stepped up and tried to take over all the household things Ron normally did.   But James is working long hours with lots of overtime and I simply did not want him to come home after working a 16 hour shift to worry about doing things around the house that I felt I could handle for a week.  But every day after he got home he would offer to do anything needing to be done and I would send him to bed as he had to get back up and do his job again in less than 8 hours.  

Long story short because this is turning into a novel, the first several days I felt great and maybe over did as the steroids coursed through me.   But I was handling it I thought.  then towards the end of the week I did something really stupid that I knew not to do.  Everyone can yell at me for it, I already am paying the price.   I went grocery shopping, got the few things that we ran out of while Ron was gone and the two local Publix stores had a bunch of the soda I like for a great price.   Now the price is normally over a dollar but they had a get 5 for $5 and most importantly they had the amounts to sell, which normally they only have like three or four.  I got 20.   Yes twenty 2 litter bottles and I thought I was a king.  I got a few other things like a gallon of milk (gods are cows in short supply or something?  $5 for a gallon of milk?  I am going to need to use water for my breakfast cereal) I was so proud of myself for taking care of the house and getting supplies.  Here is where I screwed up.

Before I left I separated and started laundry.   I normally do the laundry, but Ron takes it out of the dryer so I don’t stress my back by bending over and we put the stuff on our bed to fold / hang up and Ron helps, or does it himself when my back is hurting too much for me to bend over to do it.  Ron was not here and I was about to screw up badly.  

I got home with the groceries and the 20 bottles of soda.   Ron normally keeps reusable heavy bags in the car for groceries so we don’t use as many plastic bags, and he puts like five bottles of soda in a bag and carries them in.   He refuses to let me carry them and I felt I had a chance to now prove to him I could do it also.   I was wrong.   Boy James was upset when he got up for work.  More on that later.   

So seeing Ron carry five bottles at a time in each arm and James just picks up  armfuls of them like whatever amount is there and carries them like nothing.  Must be nice to be 30 and have a body that still works.  I filled two bags with five each and started into the house.   To reach the kitchen the shortest route is through my office from the driveway and then through the open concept living room / kitchen to the actual kitchen area itself.   I did not make it through my office.   I set one bag down and struggled with the one five bottle bag.  I set it down, went and got the second bag of five.    Then I went out to get more.   This time I took three and only one bag.   I was down to one bottle in one bag before I was done.   The milk nearly made me burst into tears.   I took extra medication.   But I still had the laundry to do.  

After resting and letting the medications work, morphine is my best friend and I am resisting going to Fentanyl as it scares me what I hear about it, I took the stuff out of the dryer, placed them on the bed, and took care of them.   That evening when James got up for work he realized something was wrong, he kept asking me if I was ok.  Of course, I told him, I just had a busy day, no problems.   That night I got some sleep and the next morning I started doing more laundry.  When James got home after a long shift he asked what he could do for me.   He wanted to know if any housework needed to be done and he took the trash out to the end of the driveway.   No I lied to him, everything is fine, I think later I may do some stuff but all is good.  He went to bed.  I did several loads of laundry.   I am not sure if that is the day I tried to vacuum the floors or not, but whatever the point is I over did.   My back gave out.  Over the weekend I could hardly walk, I couldn’t sit in my chair at my desk for very long and stopped trying to do any of the normal work like putting dishes in the dishwasher.   I was in so much pain at times my back would spasm and it would cause me to catch my breath because it was such a sudden pain. At night I couldn’t sleep even with medication the muscles in my back spasmed and the nerves in my spine where either pinched or pulled causing either sudden shooting pain, constant burning feelings, or my feet to suddenly try to force my toes from my body.  

Needless to say I was miserable.  I could barely walk and was using my canes in the house something I normally don’t do.   James noticed and he was really upset.   He took it personally, refusing to understand I thought I could do it myself and just misjudged.     He refused to go to bed until he went through the house doing everything he could think of that needed to be done including making several meals up for the day.  He kept asking why I had not asked him to bring them in?  When I said he was working and I simply should have tried fewer bottles he did not buy it.   First he said he wouldn’t have minded getting up to do it and then that they could have stayed in the van until morning when he got home for him then to carry them in.  Hard to argue with him on that point, the guy is smart.   Needless to say all weekend and today when James woke up, he comes out of his room to see if I needed anything.   He has repeatedly told me he is getting me a different desk chair when he can afford to as he thinks the chair is hurting my back.  Thinks I need something called a zero gravity gaming chair.  

So that is why I have not gotten to the comments nor done my normal posting for a few days.   I have been posting things that do not take so much mental effort and been slow on the comments (which I love) because when I am in this much pain even thinking is hard.  Even when in bed trying to get my back to release it is hard to concentrate when in this much pain.  If I take enough medication to cover the pain more than I normally do, I cannot think due to the medications.  To write this I have had to go lay down twice.  It is easier to read news on my phone or pad and to watch videos that don’t take a lot of thought than things I normally like to consume and share.   

Anyway Ron is home, and when he got in he could hardly walk.  It was a long trip even though at my insistence he took an extra day on the way home.  As crippled up as he was, he refused to let me carry anything heavy and only let me have a few light things to carry in as he had heard from James what I had done.  I am sure that when he gets up I will hear about it.   Good thing I made a really good spaghetti red sauce a few days ago.  That will put him in a good mood because he loves my cooking.  Plus James went to work and won’t be here to tattle on me.   Ok my back burns like someone has a blow torch on my spine so I will do a few comments and then go lay down again.   Best wishes to everyone.  Scottie

8 thoughts on “Ron is home, and not a minute too soon

  1. Scottie … you are VERY FOOLISH to LIE when others try to help you. And that’s all I’m going to say right now.

    Except … I’m really sad and sorry you’ve been in so much pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Nan. In my defense I am a guy. 😁😃😎

      But seriously James is working 11 days in a row this stretch. He was to have two days off but has to go back in early. So he will get about 8 hours off before needing to be back at work. So yes I should have left the soda, that was a mistake I have paid for ever since I did it. I may be slow, but lesson learned a lesson for a while.

      In my defense I had not tried to carry the soda before as Ron or James always did it. The other stuff I could have handled much better if it had not been for trying to carry the soda. But I go back to how many hours James is working. I was not going to get him up to carry the soda and hope he could have gone back to sleep. But I should have either left them or carried a couple at a time.

      The pain is the worst it has been in a long time while I can still walk. The muscles won’t quit spasming. Sitting in my desk chair even with extra cushions builds up the pain so bad I cannot stand it. But hopefully with Ron home and lots of rest my back will heal again. There is something I can do to help but it costs $300 my co-pay cost and that is the shots right into the spine. If need be I will go that route. This is one reason I am such a proponent of universal healthcare. The treatment that would help greatly with the pain and increase my quality of life would cost me about $300 every six weeks to two months. That is a cost I cannot afford regularly. I spend a small fourtune in drug costs now as it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Scottie—
    I understand the desire to demonstrate independence and try to claim a life that’s unfortunately elusive—and your good nature means you don’t want to impose on your loved ones more than necessary. I’m sure your family understands too. What I hope may prevent you from overdoing in the future is your knowledge that doing so is not only so hard on you, but also on them.

    Rest well, and enjoy the spaghetti dinner. You’re all lucky to have one another. Being a good cook is a huge contribution that you make.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Annie. Thank you. The pain for doing something stupid is making a large impression on me, enough so I won’t be doing that same thing again. It has set me back a lot.

      I am lucky that everyone here loves the red sauce I make. I make a thick tomato sauce with lots of minced garlic, oregano, basil,
      some chopped onions (I used to use green peppers but James doesn’t like them so I leave them out) and a little bit of a few other things like thyme, sage, celery salt, salt and pepper and other odds and ends as it hits me. For meat I use a quarter pound of ground Italian sausage and up to a pound of hamburger. For spaghetti sauce I use a lean hamburger because the sausage is going to add a lot of fats. For chili I use a fatter burger as the fats added a lot of flavor. I cook the meat in the tomato sauce. Ron sometimes makes our own meatballs, something I have yet to master as mine tend to fall apart. For the tomato sauce base I use Dei Fratelli Tomato Sauce (normally three large cans, we eat a lot of red sauce and pasta.) as it has the most tomato taste to me. I use tomato paste to thicken the sauce. I never measure anything, I cook by instinct, feel, smell, and taste. That is why my foods have slightly different tastes even while they taste good. So many people think everything has to turn out the same. I think that is silly and doesn’t let people enjoy the cooking experience.

      Do you like to cook? What are your favorites that you enjoy making? I also enjoy baking sweets but as we are diabetics, I have not made any in a long time. Sme with bread, I love to make bread but we were not eating it up fast enough so it would go bad. Now with James home I may start that again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Scottie, I understand your pain because I am in so much pain myself & I live in a state where getting opiates is almost impossible (which is why so many NYers move to southern states, especially FL). This morning, my pain levels are at 11.

    That said, I need to go shopping too but I am going to get delivery. Don’t your supermarkets have this service? I don’t know what I would do without delivery. I even have a handy app on my phone.

    I hope you are feeling better. hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Polly. I am sorry you cannot get the painkillers you need. State legislatures who think they know more than doctors, the legislators who want to look tough on the drug overdoses called the opioid crisis let the Sackler family off with no punishment yet make it impossible for you to get the pain medication you need. Patients in pain have a right to pain relief treatment, it is medical treatment to increase the quality of life.

      Yes we have grocery delivery here. Plus the stores I shop have the baggers take the stuff to your car and will load it for you. The reason I hurt myself is entirely my own fault. I can’t blame anyone else. When I got home I could have left the soda in the van for James to bring in when he got home in the morning from work. I could have just carried a couple at a time. I was stupid. I seen Ron carry five in a heavy bag at a time and thought I could. I was wrong. A mistake I will not be making again soon.


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