It’s just after 5 am and, for the umpteenth-billionth time, I’m wide awake and unable to sleep. I am just going to have to accept that this is my new normal, and that sleep is one more thing that will move into the realm of legend, like my mother’s Mississippi Mud Cake, because I’ll never get to have that again, either. Then again, I hate marshmallows, so maybe it’s not so bad that I don’t get to have that cake anymore. (Still, I need to find that recipe because I know that the Little Woman would love it.)
But I digress.
Unfortunately, I’m in a semi-foul mood in these cold, twilight hours, perhaps brought on because of my lack of nocturnal adventures. Obviously, there’s the ongoing situation with my sister (who seems to be recovering much better now), and that has its own issues. I’ve been made a caretaker numerous times in my life and I have to confess that I’m worn out. Actually, there’s a part of me that’s just tired of it, but since I’m the eldest and I have an education, it seems that I’m the only one who has an understanding of how the law works, or who can make sense of the medical babbling a physician spews (instead of simply saying, “It’s bad.”). Apparently, I’m the only one who has the ability to just not go into work (without making any arrangements, no less), and tend to things to which others should be tending,* or that I’m the only one who can be trusted not to rob my charge blind (all while being accused of doing just that).
(*I’m looking at you Nephew. Stop rifling through your mother’s bank accounts, you thieving idiot, and grow the f*** up. It’s funny how you’ve spent so many years telling the world that you’re “a Man,” but when the time comes for you to prove it, you manage to take your mother’s last dime to throw a party for your friends.)
But again, I digress.
This is hyperbole, of coure. I am actually quite thankful to be that person in the position of being able to watch after someone else, to tend to their affairs, and to understand what’s happening. Not everyone can do any of those, much less all three, so I do recognize that I’ve been given such responsibilities because apparently I can handle them. At the same time, however, I’m frustrated by things that are just . . . well, you tell me:
For starters, the folks at the hospital – as wonderful as they’ve been – really need to get together into one room for an hour and iron out their stories. I’ve never been inside any organization where so many collectively know so little. Doctor A says that Baby Sis will need four weeks of additional therapy; Doctor B says that she’ll need eight weeks. Doctor C says that Baby Sis’ recent spell of delirium was caused by Condition X; Nurse D says the real culprit is Condition Y. Then, Nurse E is apparently giving out legal advice, warning my other sister (whose knowledge of the law is that there’s a good lawyer named Perry Mason, and that’s about it), that certain paperwork needs to be filed now, else Baby Sis might lose everything she has and then some.
I get the confusion over the medical advice / diagnoses; if you show four people the same document, you’re likely to get three very different interpretations. I get it. But you’d expect some consistency, and I’m not seeing that at all. Add to that the doings of the Legal Nurse, and you can see why I’m getting pissed. I’m no Ben Matlock, but I have been down this trail before; I have an understanding of what’s required and how to do it, at least where the law’s concerned. I appreciate Legal Nurse’s suggestions, but what she’s proposed is not even legal. Worse, I can’t seem to convince my other sister that Legal Nurse should be dealing with – oh, I don’t know . . . nursing, maybe – and not putting out her shingle in the ICU. So I’m getting bombarded with calls (admittedly, not 1/10 as many now as before) from anyone and everyone, and it’s getting to be too much.
Then there’s the fact that Baby Sis did something a while back that still angers me. Our parents left us a small amount of property, with the condition that we all share it. Well, for numerous legal and personal reasons, we siblings turned over our shares to Baby Sis. At the time, this made perfect sense, although I insisted that we retain our rights to access if necessary. Specifically, I wanted to continue using an area for storing items that I had no place for at my then-address. Baby Sis agreed, the documents were signed, and we’re all as happy as clams, right?
Well, no. That ‘right of access’ inexplicably dried up after about eighteen months. Not only could I not store items, I couldn’t retrieve the items that were already there. I didn’t know it at the time, but a pipe leak was left unattended; she was embarrassed by the mess and said nothing. Then, as one might expect, mold set in; eventually, the property (and all of its contents) was condemned, and Baby Sis forced out. That’s the Reader’s Digest version, because the whole affair was a lot messier.
But what really got me was learning this week that the property was not as bad off as had been alleged. A new owner has apparently rehabbed the entire site, and whatever was found in the house either trashed or resold – including the items I’d owned that Baby Sis kept from me. I’m furious, as there were several items from my parents that I would have loved to have kept; many personal possessions, including letters, books, and my first computer (which I didn’t need, but thought would be a cool artifact). Hell, I didn’t even know that the property was up for sale; I would have at least tossed out a bid to reclaim it. I could spend days detailing what was lost, but it’s the principle of the matter that gets me the most. She could have asked for help, and I’d have been there to assist. She could have allowed me to take my things, and I’d have been there. It’s not the loss of material items that angers me; it’s the lack of communication. It’s the fact that there was personal information within those items that may now leave us all to potential crimes, including ID theft. All because she didn’t ask for help. I’m conflicted because while I’m mad over what happened, it feels wrong to have that in my mind as I see her hooked up to various monitors and sensors. Here she is near death, and I’m mad because I no longer have my army basic training yearbook?
And now I’m dealing with a return of my own physical pains, but I’ll spare you further complaints, as by now you’ve read enough. No one ever told me that getting older would be this messy. I’m trying to limit my foul mood to just this morning; a sort of ‘one and done’ kind of thing. I’ve got tests to grade and coffee to drink, so I can’t let my late-night ruminations overtake my day. I’m not interested in letting what is essentially temporary nonsense take me back down that dark road of depression.
I just can’t go there now.
The sun has finally arrived, so I guess the day’s begun. I’m feeling a bit better, too – both mentally and physically – and I’m thrilled that there’s at least the promise that today will be better than yesterday. Now, I just have to make that happen.
But first . . . coffee.