Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Struggling

We've been in the habit (since November 1) of making a nightly "grateful list" of three things each.  Last night I was grateful to get to take the shortcut exit from the parking garage.  It closes between 6:30 and 6:45, and I squeaked through yesterday when it was in the process of being closed.



Ugh.


I know I have many more things to be grateful for (including that I left work driving a convertible on a lovely 82 degree night, at about 6:40, which is a highly reasonable time).  But ugh, I feel like I'm getting hit hard now.  From all sides. 


Watching my husband say good bye to his dad this past weekend broke my heart.  His dad is still hanging on, but it's been a lot of ups and downs (high BP, low BP, possible kidney failure, then more fluids, now a fever, not eating, etc.).  I'm SOOOO glad we went to Pittsburgh on short notice and got to spend days with my in-laws.  If/when my father in law passes away, at least we will have gotten to say goodbye.


Watching my mother-in-law deal with it has been nearly as distressing.  She's pretty emotional, understandably, but she also seems to forget about it and she goes on and on about this male resident that she seems to be infatuated with.  I know, this is very common in people with Alzheimer's.  I remember reading something about 15 years ago about Sandra Day O'Connor acknowledging that her husband had a girlfriend in his assisted living facility.  Her attitude toward it was very calm and understanding, saying along the lines of her wanting his last days to be happy.  Even at the time I read that, I remember thinking it must have been hard for her, and all these years later, it stuck with me.  But now I have a tiny grasp on some of how hard it must have been.  It's so hard for my husband, and his brothers, and his mom's twin sister, to hear her go on and on about him.  (He actually seems to be a very nice man, I sat with him at the community jigsaw puzzle one day for a few hours.)  She sounds like I imagine she must have sounded when she was in high school in the 40s.  Fortunately, she has at least some of her mind left and she doesn't mention this guy as often when she's sitting at her husband's bedside.  I've tried to keep my husband from being too upset about it, telling him this is common, and it's okay.  Even if his dad were to become aware of it, I like to think that he would be as understanding and gracious as Sandra Day O'Connor seemed to be. 


On top of that, there is a fairly significant crisis that my husband is dealing with at work (along with other people).  It happened Sunday evening (while we were in Cleveland, hanging out with my law school roommate and her husband for a few hours before catching a 5:xx flight back to Dallas on Monday morning, the second in our string of red eyes).  While he didn't know either of the people involved, he's gotten involved in the $hit$storm that has followed.  Very high stress, a lot of media, lives at stake, lives lost, all that crap. 


And my work is B-A-D.  The most time consuming type of new matter that I work on is something involving a death (much like my husband's job, incidentally!).  It's hard to use averages, but I'd say I usually get about 1 death per month.  Each death takes multiple full days of work to get all the associated tasks completed.  When I flew up north this past week, I had a total of 2 deaths "in the hole" (that I needed to work on).  When I got back to my desk on Monday morning, I had gotten 4 more.  Ugh!  It's like I need a month straight just to handle those 6 cases -- but of course my 150ish non-death cases also need work done, so I can't just abandon them for a month!  This is probably the furthest behind I've ever been at this job, and it's scary.  And unfortunately, I've got tons of work travel on the books in the next month or so, which will make it even harder to get on top of it all.


I guess that's all I really have to complain about.  A dying elderly father-in-law, a mother-in-law slowly and painfully losing her mind, work homicide-induced restlessness for my husband, work other death-induced restlessness for me.


I know things aren't so bad in the grand scheme of things.  And honestly, I know it could be about a million times worse.  We are both healthy, no one will say my in-laws were taken "too soon", we both love our jobs, despite the stress; heck, we both HAVE jobs! 


But it still feels like it's kind of hard to breathe right now. 

6 comments:

  1. Sorry for the stress :( This has to be a tough time for both of you (I believe that once you join a family that there is a mingling of feelings), and I am sorry you have to deal with it.

    And I am an advocate of never minimizing your feelings just because others have worse things to deal with. You have tremendous stress and emotional turmoil on the personal and BOTH of your work fronts. That is rough.

    It is awful that there were lives lost - the worst I ever had to deal with was someone getting a head wound requiring stitches when we were told we could have people working in our cleanroom while a vendor was installing new equipment! And that was stressful and awful enough!

    For whatever reason I am pretty good at centering myself and being thankful - Lisa says I constantly have to 'talk her down' ... she doesn't like her current job, but at least her boss is doing his best to deal with the toxic environment a couple of people create. But it is a good challenging, decent paying job, which is more than she had managed to have since we moved here.

    It is spring break week as well, so we are thankful to have two wonderful kids - especially since we'll be empty nesters in just a few months (yikes!). Time flies SO fast, and like you mention about seeing your in-laws and them both having lived full lives, it is good to always appreciate the time you HAVE had.

    :)

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  2. Yeah - things are CRAZY over here, too. Working late, busy, new drugs, full hospital...it's been rough. Hope things settle down for you soon. And I'm sorry about your father in law. That is so terribly tough!

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your in-laws, both struggling in different ways that are equally heartbreaking for the family.

    I don't see this as complaining. It's your life and things are out of sorts right now in some areas. It's a little easier to catch our breaths when we can actually talk or write about some of the worries. I am sending thoughts and prayers to you, your husband, and his family.

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  4. Oh my goodness. I have been thinking of you and wanted to text but didn't want to intrude. I'm glad you got to spend time with your FIL too. Boy, all that happening at once is just crazy and must be very stressful. Hang in there and take care. I'm sending positive thoughts.

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