Saturday, February 28, 2009


Just watched Bill Maher's Religulous on DVD with my dad. I have to admit that I really enjoyed watching it, he asked a bunch of questions that I have wanted to ask for a long time. Left a lot unasked, but he asked a lot as well. I think out of the whole thing the one thing that got me the most was the Holy Land amusement park thing in Florida and the scene where they have their Jesus actor lugging the cross along and here are all of these tourists vying for the best angle to record it with their digital camera. ::shakes head:: I think that sequence right there summed things up rather well.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Sleeping in 20-40 minute intervals

I wonder… do ten 20-40 minute long naps equal 8 hours of sleep a night?

It is so difficult to keep focused during the day when I have to get up an average of six times a night.  Maybe it is to cover my dad back up for one reason or another, or he might need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night – which means I have to get up to help him in there and back to bed.  If he can’t sleep I am the only one there is to be woken up to talk to him.  When he wakes in the middle of the night, thinking it is morning, I have to get up and let him know it is not yet morning, the clock says 12 midnight, not noon…

Sometimes I completely give up on sleeping.  I’ll get up at 4 in the morning (or stay up until 5) in hope of getting a little bit of work writing advertising online.

Sometimes I can not sleep because he has sleep apnea and I will sit and listen for him to start breathing again.

Sometimes the stress is simply too much.  To try to sleep means I let in the stress and that means I break down crying.  So instead I force myself to stay awake and loose myself in something else to do.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Discount Jewelry

Are you looking for the prefect way to let your loved one know that Valentine's Day is not the only day you love them? The day for lovers might be only days away, but that does not mean that you can not still take advantage of the discounts of that day to find elegant Discount Jewelry to give to someone you love.

For over 35 years Holsted Jewelers has provided millions of satisfied customers with a wide assortment of classic jewelery. This is exclusively designed jewelry at very competitive prices, and with their special "set savings" deal, you can save even more when you buy more.

To find out more visit the Holsted Jewelers website at the link above and check out all of the jewelery selections, you are sure to find the perfect way to let someone know Valentine's Day is not the only say they are special to you.

Stem Cell Research

World Health News at Harvard EDU has an article this morning about stem cell research. While a controversial subject, there is no denying that stem cell research could help with making leaps forward in our understanding of so many of the health concerns facing us today. From spinal injury to Alzheimer's, cancer and so many other devastating conditions and diseases that we are struggling to find cures for.

There are times when all you can do is cry

There are times when being a family caregiver just gets to you. Times when you suddenly realize that you are nearly 40 and have done nothing with your life. Yes, you were there when your parents needed you the most, but in choosing to help them you gave up everything that could have been.

Three semesters of full load college courses toward a small business management degree are nothing after so many years out of the system. $45 paid into Social Security when you were 18 only serves to depress you when you think of how you should have your Social Security fully paid up by this point in your life.

Last night it all hit at once, combined with the knowledge that I will loose this house one day, and all I could do was collapse on the step stool in the kitchen, out of sight of my dad, and cry.

The Village Voice: New York Restaurants Guide

Since 1955 The Village Voice has been known as a no-holds-barred newsweekly reporting on New York City politics and the cultural scene of the city. Over the course of those years the newsweekly has received three Pulitzer prizes and multiple other awards, including the National Press Foundation’s Online Journalism Award and the Editor and Publisher Eppy Award for Best Overall US Weekly Newspaper Online for its website.

But did you know that The Village Voice can offer you more than news? Check out the New York Restaurants guide on the website to locate New York City restaurants sorted by whatever criteria you desire. Rather you want to search for a particular cuisine or for all of the restaurants that offer online ordering. Maybe you want to find out what restaurants above 110th are wheelchair accessible? You can find out all of this and more using the restaurants guide at The Village Voice.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do you know what you're worth?

There is an article at the New York Times Health page that breaks down what a home health aid makes.

Short and sweet of it: "....a week of round-the-clock help costs $1,894.90....."

Most family caregivers in a situation like mine provide round the clock care for their care recipient, and what do we make. $0.00.

We don't even qualify for earning toward Social Security or unemployment.

Which means that my care at the moment, for my father, based on round the clock care, 365 days a year for the past 8 years.... $727,641.60

Over seven hundred thousand dollars worth of care.

But wait -- the article says:

There are times, however, when two aides simply can’t cover the full seven-day week. If your mom truly needs the aide to be awake every hour of the day, we assign two aides to each 24-hour period, one working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the second working the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift. In this case, to cover the full week, we would assign four aides. Two of them would exceed the 40 hours per week limit, each having to work 48 hours during the week. So, you would have a total of 16 hours charged at the overtime rate. In this scenario, a week of care costs $3,328.80.

Okay, so based on that scenario, round the clock care, like I provide to my dad and so many other family caregivers provide their care recipients.

Now we have an estimated value of $1,278,259.20 for the last eight years of care.

Over one and a quarter million dollars worth of care that I provided - just for my father, this does not include the 8 years of care my mother needed as well, just for my father. Over one and a quarter million dollars in value of care were a stranger to have provided that care. And yet - I do not even qualify for deemed Social Security, my teeth are rotting out of my head, I am overweight because of high levels of stress which is deteriorating my health, and I have no savings to fall back on.


Saturday, February 07, 2009


Two of my nephews stopped by earlier. They have got into the habit of stopping in occasionally when they are out this way fishing, this time it was cutting firewood. I have no idea why this area is the place to come get firewood for them all, but it at least gets dad some company every once in a while, so I won't complain too much as long as they leave wood in close enough that I can still get wood for dad next summer.

The two of them hung around for about ten minutes, watching the end of a show on TV with dad and answering random things I could think up to try and stir conversation: such as what they were in the area for and how they were doing. Might not be very talkative when they are here, but I am happy that they at least come by every once in a while to sit with their grandfather for five or ten minutes, their sister won't even do that much.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sometimes you want to get away for an adults only vacation

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all and be somewhere that you can be pampered and relax. Karisma knows this and that is what their El Dorado Royale resort offers their guests. Located located in Maroma, Quintana Roo, Mexico, the El Dorado Royale is an adults only safe haven from the busy world outside on more than a mile of sandy beach.

Built in 2001, and renovated in 2005, the resort offers visitors such indulgences as milk baths, veranda hammocks, king-sized jacuzzi, and four-poster beds draped in flowing white gauze.

Enjoy beach-side fitness classes and an aromatic massage in the El Dorado Royale's dedicated spa. Take a break with a swim from your room to the swim-up bar for margaritas. Looking for a little more activity in your Adults Only Cancun vacation? The El Dorado Royal also offers scuba clinics, kayaks, pedal boats, parasailing, hikes to local ruins, bicycles, a sauna, two tennis courts and much more.

The resort offers seven restaurants and use market-fresh ingredients to bake their own breads and make their own pastas and sauces, which means that they are able to offer special menus that cater to any diet or indulgences.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Knee pain

Last night my knee went out just as my dad needed me to help him walk down the hallway. It was a very pitiful sight, me limping along hanging onto a cane to ease the pain in my knee and trying to help steady dad as he walked. I'm not sure just what happens to my knee, it just starts hurting occasionally - really *hurting*. The bad part is, particularly when I need to help dad walk, that some times when it goes out there is a chance that it is going to completely fail and I'll go down. It has only really gone out once, and that was roughly 15 to 20 years ago, but that was sudden and painful enough that I cringe at the idea of it happening again.

One would assume it was stress in the joint from helping my dad walk, but it has nothing to do with that. Yes, he has squished me down by a full inch, but I had the trouble with my knee long before that. Next best guess would be that it was caused by weight stress, but the trouble was there many years before I got overweight and has not really got worse in proportion to the weight I gained from stress. My best guess is that it is some kind of rheumatoid arthritis or something, but that is based on the knee being worse in cold weather - which I guess could be a symptom of a lot of things really. Huh?

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