Saturday, January 4, 2014

Care Giver Care Taker

I am excited to announce that we we are escaping this mist and fog infested patch of land and heading south -- way south.  Down where the sun is so intense it can drive a person to insanity, but I will happily go mad, just to feel that big ball of gas and fire on my skin again.  And this will not be a short trip. This will be a long journey, not ending until I have to return to work on April 6.

After Ted's diagnosis, almost eight years ago, I desperately felt the need to be near family in Arizona, but my job is in Washington State, so here we stay.  Don't get me wrong, I adore this part of the world, except in winter, so for seven years now, I have plotted, fantasized and finally found a way to switch my teaching contract out so that we can leave winter behind each year and spend it near family in Arizona.   This year, I will have to use up every last second of sick leave I've earned since working at the college, but from here forward, my contract will be changed so that that won't be necessary.  

Care Giver Care Taker

Since December 4, I have had, not one, but two surgeries, and I am not the sick one in the family.  Ted is the the one with glioblastoma multiforme.  I am the caregiver, or at least that's been my designation since that awful day in 2006, but what happens when the caregiver gets sick? It gets tricky. I pay all the bills, do the accounting, work full time and generally run the show. Other caregivers out there truly know the amount of stress this can cause, but I suddenly became the care-taker, as in I had to take as much care from Ted as I could get, and I might add he did a wonderful job.  It's a definite bonus to be married to a healthcare professional when you get sick, but both he and I are ready for the massive change of scenery we are about to embark upon.

During one of my overnight stays in the hospital last month, I remember looking out the big window next to my bed and seeing nothing but a wall of white fog. That along with the death of one of our favorite pack members, Morgan, has triggered the insatiable urge for sunny days a long long way from here.

A platoon of marines will be moving into our house while we are gone, so the fort will be tightly guarded and plants will be watered.  The house is secure.

Finding a place to stay in Arizona has been extremely challenging.  This is snowbird season and we have giant targets on our backs. The few places we found that were even close to what we could afford had reviews that read like a crime scene novel.  People complained of bedbugs, car thefts, smash and grabs, and in one case a dead body.  Add bad management, rotten plumbing and noise to the list and we were getting desperate.  We love my family, and we'd like to keep it that way, which is why I wasn't going to invite the three of us, Ted, our dog KC, and me into any of their homes for three months.  But we found a solution and it's a good one.  I will post more about this trip as it happens. Stay tuned.  It's coming soon.