Well Thanksgiving has wrapped up. My attempt to cook dinner options for myself was interesting. The baked brussel sprouts and bacon were fabulous as was the gravy. The garlic mashed cauliflower well…….Let’s just say I will be vampire proof for the next decade. Way too much garlic! And Adding another head of cauliflower and a titch of cream could not save them from the recycle pile. Next time I plan on making them much simpler- Cauliflower, salt, pepper and a tiny bit of garlic herb butter. Honestly they were so jam packed full of garlic everyone at the table took a taste just to ensure the community love continued. Otherwise I was going to be unhuggable. I may have sweat garlic in my sleep last night.
Anyway the holiday has ended and the start of Hanukkah and Christmas season is upon us. For me this will be an odd season, most of it spent recuperating. The good thing is my loved ones and I quit giving gifts years ago- choosing to make it about giving time to one another not things. This season I will be getting more then my fair share- as I will need a lot of help. Something I am not the greatest at asking for. I am extremely independent. Just ask my Ex-husband who needed to assure me “it’s okay to need people. You can ask for help and still be strong”. After my back surgery he came home from work to find me on the floor, lying flat on my back rearranging the furniture in my office by pushing it around with my feet 1/8″ at a time. I thought he’d bust a vein over my folly. Eyeing me skeptically “You just couldn’t wait?”
For someone my age I’ve had lots of surgeries. Going under the knife is not a new thing for me so I was surprised when this upcoming surgery scared me like none prior. I had a fleeting moment of fear before back surgery of not walking (paranoia). My Hysterectomy was simpler. There was no fear of cancer and I didn’t need my uterus. All my knee surgeries a piece of cake except the ACL reconstruction Ugh! Let’s just say I quit skiing to avoid the possibility of a repeat. But this time I can say I am a little scared. This procedure dropped me to an entirely different level of God!- Cancer possibility and one kidney.
I was married during my back surgery and hysterectomy. The aforementioned ex was tasked with caring for me, not an easy task I assure you. Going in to these procedures I knew when it came to our life, stuff, finances, bills, I needn’t worry. I never had a thought what would happen if something went wrong. What was mine was his. He’d take care of it.
This time my roommate is my beneficiary and medical POA. If something were to happen she’d be left with a load of crap to clean up. A friend pointed out I’d be dead I wouldn’t care. But I do care now. I should have cared before. I have way to much stuff. Yes I know I express my anxiety in odd ways.
Nonetheless I’ve begun to prepare. This involved lower my bed off its risers as hoisting my body up, not probable. Next I rotated the bed to face my TV so I can prop myself up on my pillows against the wall. Lying on my side will also not be an option. I need to make sure I could easily get in and out of bed and rest as that will be my life for a few weeks. That was the easy stuff.
Next up is food prep. And if yesterday is any indication I may have some failures. With this wild and newfangled diet the best option is to precook and freeze. Things my friends or I could easily reheat. One of my friends is a trained chef so I have a serious ally there. And she has agreed to come and help feed me especially the first few days out of the hospital. I also made a list of some of my regular foods (like Greek Yogurt) including brand and where I buy them so if I need any shopping done it will be easy for my friends to support my crazy food restrictions.
Next up I realized that all my big plans for adding holiday cards to Etsy and creating a calendar to sell this year would have to be put on hold. There is always next year. I need to figure out how to put my store on vacation (even though I’ve only had 5 sales in three years). I still want to be responsible. And if someone wanted to place and order I will be in no shape to print or ship.
Next up, I’ve begun the deeper preparation for the unthinkable “what if”. The house is in both me and my roommate’s names but she has no idea about the mortgage. I had to prepare a list of our bills and contacts, account numbers, locations and passwords. Next I began compiling a box full of any and all pertinent information she might need- The house purchase and sale agreements, the licensing and titling docs, the lawyer’s letters, the conversation with the State Department of Revenue. Account access information for my entire finances-bank accounts, brokerage accounts etc. This time I don’t have a spouse in the know. She is my DPOA so she would need to know how to gain access to my life.
And things like my unpaid car loan and medical bills bothered me. I don’t have life insurance and was certainly not going to get it now. Which meant my roommate only had my retirement assets to work from in paying things off. She would have to assume the mortgage on the house. Which I hoped wouldn’t be a problem. But I wanted to make sure she would be armed and informed if need be.
I’ve already written a Will leaving everything to my roommate but I made an addendum list. First bequeathing my fashion books, fabric and sewing machine to the school, which meant more work for my friends to deliver it. Next I prepared a box of my artwork, photos and website/Etsy info and letter of instruction for another friend to close and do with as she saw fit. I made her my official social media maven. I wrote letters requesting accounts be closed out. I cleared personal files off my work computer and cleaned out my email boxes. I wrote letters to be mailed to loved ones I was estranged from as a final goodbye. The rest of my things I told my friends to keep whatever they wanted and donate the rest. I hate how much crap I have for them to deal with. I wish I had pared my life down much earlier. And I plan to after my recovery. I will become a minimalist.
Now deeper to the next level I traveled. I took enough cash out of my bank account to pay for my cremation or any immediate incidentals until my roommate could access my money. I wish I had a prepaid plan like she had when her husband passed. That would be so easy. I suppose if you’re superstitious you might think all this energy is a bad omen, that I am inviting trouble. I certainly am not. I expect this procedure to go off without a hitch and for a speedy recovery. But I refuse to leave my life unattended just in case. I have worked in finance for 15 years and I have seen it all. Trust me preparation is love.
Next she and I sat down to discuss what I wanted. Starting with “if” its cancer and a decision needs to be made to remove the kidney? Yes just take it out. Then the hard questions- resuscitation, life support, artificial sustenance, pain meds etc. All the information she would need to make decisions if necessary on my behalf and in accordance to my directives. And I made multiple copies of all my documents so there would be no confusion that she was in charge. When your familial relationships are strained this becomes even more precarious and vital. And I had frank and candid talks with my loved ones about visiting the hospital and respecting and supporting my roommate as she is the only voice of authority on my behalf.
With all of that completed or nearly completed I am heading into surgery soon. I have no doubt I have forgotten a thing or two or ….. But I need to get in before my deductible kicks back in Jan 1st. So I snagged the last available time the surgeon had this year. This means I’ll be gone from the blog for most of December. We’ll see how quickly I bounce back.
As my friend DT has informed me there will be no missing Friday Fictioneers. She is living vicariously. I promised her I would return to it as quickly as I could. This is my last post for a while (except perhaps FF next Wednesday). Next week I am going to be eyeballs deep in pre-op and prep. My office is in code Red about my absence. Trust me the lists I need to prepare there are just as large as my personal list. And I only have a few more days to get it accomplished. To inform the powers that be of everything I have pending. I am the hub of that wheel so you might imagine my function is vital. This also means they’ve been piling it on heavy the last few weeks trying to squeeze every last ounce out of me before I go.
I’ll see you all (virtually) when I return. I can share all the changes I plan to implement in my life. Remember I said minimalist and hopefully innovative. Take Care!
Blast from This Blogs Past
The Weekend Reading List
- Why Belonging Matters:Fellows Friday with Chelsea Shields Strayer ~ How have human emotions evolved to help us survive? This is a concept that has been at the forefront of my mind lately. As a spiritual, metaphysical person I believe in the power to heal oneself through energy work must like the lecture from my Mother’s waiter and qigong practitioner toted. But I also have given myself over to western medicine and many surgeries.
- 18 Things Everyone Should Start Making Time For Again ~ How I spent my time has been at the forfront of my mind lately. Take time to read this list. You may find a suggestion or two to implement.
- In Between (and a Farewell) ~ The anxiety of waiting for results.
- Paris Fashion Week: Spring 2014 ~ Anna Dray has summed up the fashions this season spectacularly. So instead of doing my usual previews I figured I’d let her work do the talking. Check them out.
- The Search for a Real Man~ Forget the hairy chest go for the Mensch
Big Blue Wave ~ Hey Ocean