Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Attention Here

I am having a hell of a time concentrating today.  I know part of it is because I skipped school yesterday.  I allowed myself to have a day to recoup, relax, and re-energize.  I gave a lot of thought to how bad it would be if I missed classes yesterday, and decided that it wasn't so bad.  It's just the third day of classes, and I did all the necessary readings ahead of class, did my assignment for Judaism, so all I'd miss was the day's attendance points, and I'd be able to to extra credit for Judaism to make those up.  Of course, I'd miss the day's content and notes, but having already done the readings, I wasn't going to actually miss much.  I've already taken the Anatomy lab once, and so I already have all the fill-in-the-blanks for the lab notebook.  I'll just have to look them over a few times to remember them.

Obviously, I am trying to make myself feel better about making a not-so-good decision yesterday, but I really needn't put that much thought into it.  I feel a lot better today, physically, and I feel like I'm more ready to take on the amount of work I have facing me.  I feel rested.

The other part I know is contributing to my inability to concentrate is that my grandfather is in the hospital and on life support in the ICU.  He went into the hospital sometime last week, complaining of chest and abdominal pain.  He thought he was having a heart attack.  Turns out he had a duodenal ulcer, which needed to be repaired via surgery.  He went in and came out, and everything looked okay.  He was even feeling well enough to complain about not being allowed to drink alcohol (he's an alcoholic).  He's 81 years old, and weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-350lbs, he's got prostate cancer that's spread to his lymph nodes and God only knows what other health problems he hasn't told my mom about.  Oh yeah, and this is my maternal grandfather.

Anyway, his recovery stopped and went backwards at some point, and right now he's in multiple organ failure and on dialysis, breathing on a ventilator, and in septic shock. 

This man has been one of the many banes of my existence.  He's my mom's dad, and he's not a kind guy.  He's sharp as a tack, he spent much of his live in the Navy (retired at the rank of Commander), and he can be real mean.  He has no filter for what pops into his head and comes out his mouth, and he doesn't care who he offends or hurts with his words.  My mom didn't speak to him for a long, long time after her mother died of a heart attack, because he didn't call my mom to tell her that her mom was in the hospital, until after she died.  It's been in the last 3 years or so that my mom has been trying to make amends with him because she knows he's old and not in the best health.  My parents flew down to see him for his 80th birthday last year and again for his 81st birthday this year, and my mom has been trying to keep in touch with him as much as she can.  She's his only biological child, although when my mom was 10, the family adopted her brother as an infant, and my mom is pretty close with him.

I feel numb.  I was not close with this man, I have almost no fond memories of him (although I'm told he played games with us when we were little)(we lived in Florida and visited often).  I'm aware of the pain he put my mom through, and even recently he's gone out of his way to make her life (and mine) miserable, when he co-signed on a private loan for me and I was late making a few payments.  I understand that he's family, and honestly I am upset only really because my mom is upset (my dad, too, he was crying last night when he called me and again in the car this morning), and I feel sad that he'll be gone, and that his wife, Wilma (wife #3 for him) will be without him.  They were kind of cute together - she plucks her eyebrows all the way off and he would draw them on for her every day because she's legally blind.  So I'm upset for that part.  But for all the anger and pain and suffering he caused my mother, I am not too upset.  I didn't know him well.  I knew the story of his life for the most part, and I knew what my grandma used to have to put up with, and what my mom went through with him.  I know he stopped sending me $50 on my birthday because I didn't send him a thank-you card one year. 

I'm upset because my parents are upset, and because he's a member of my family.  I'm not upset to see him go.  I'm using the last $400 I have left from school to pay for a plane ticket to Florida, where I'll be spending the weekend, probably packing up his house and his things, helping out Wilma as much as possible, maybe scattering his ashes somewhere on the coast, and drinking with my mom and her brother.  I know he's not gone yet, as of this moment, but I can say with some certainty he'll be gone within the next couple of days.  As strong of a bastard as he is, his condition is really bad, and his age and weight are factors going against him. 

I think my dad is flying down tomorrow, and I'm planning to fly out early on Friday morning.  My little sister may or may not come with me, depending on if she can get off of work, and if she can stand to miss a day of classes.  If she doesn't come with, I'll have Phoenix stay with her.  Otherwise, he's going to have to stay home with Nali and Rainey and Meredi and Linda.  I think he'll probably be just fine to do that, I just know it will confuse him, and that's when he gets freaked out I think.  But it will only be a couple of days, and he loves Meredi. 

I'm trying to make myself feel better again.

I don't like feeling uncontrolled.  I don't like that I have to spend money that I was saving (although I was sort of saving for just this kind of situation), I don't like having to miss a day of work, I don't like having to leave Phoenix, and I don't like knowing my parents are spending money they don't have right now.  I didn't want to spend my three-day weekend stuck with my parents who increasingly annoy me the more time I spend with them, I didn't want to have to adhere to a schedule of any kind.  I wanted to sleep, relax, do some running, and sleep some more.  I guess that's out the window.

I am trying really hard to keep up with my reading and my homework, but I just cannot concentrate on it.  I read a paragraph or two, and then my mind wanders off into la-la land and I forget what I just read, so I have to re-read it.  It's a borderline waste of time to try and read when my brain is incapable of comprehending what I'm reading.  I just really want to try to keep up with all this stuff though, and make it though this semester without any big worries.

I probably shouldn't have taken yesterday off.  But there's nothing I can do about it now.

Also - I should have cried a bunch of times by now and I haven't.  I think something's wrong with me.

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