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Talked to Sis this evening. She managed to move Nephew's appointment with the neurosurgeon up to today. Nephew has a mild concussion and some soft tissue damage that they're watching, but he's off of cognative rest as of this afternoon, but no sports/physical activity for a week. Maybe longer, depending on next week's exam. He's likely out for the rest of the football season.

I flat-out asked Sis if she'd reported The Ex for abuse and neglect, and she said no. Between the boys' unwillingness to testify against their dad, her lack of money for a lawyer, and the SRS's tendecy to blow off reports from her as being "just another bitter exwife"......

Sis did say that her boss is trying to help her find a pro-bono lawyer who'll take on The Ex. For this doctor bill, for the insure he won't pay for (despite court order), for defying another court order to not drink in front of the boys.........


My mom says Nephew is afraid of his dad, and doesn't want to hurt his feelings, despite being his dad's favorite punching bags. I'm rather afraid that someday soon, The Ex will hit/poke/verbally abuse Nephew one time too many, and Nephew's gonna haul off and hit him. Hard--Nephew has 4" and 30 lb on him already, and he's not 14 yet.
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Talked to Sis last night. She was just getting home from taking her eldest to the ER, after a couple days of problems. Nephew had had an accident on a four-wheeler at his dad's on Saturday, and his father refused to get medical care for him.

The ER did xrays and a CAT scan on Nephew, and he's on strict bed rest (not just no school or football practice, but no tv, books, radio, or even loud voices) until he can be seen by a neurosurgeon tomorrow. And no meds for the headaches etc, because they might aggravate the injury.

Sis told me she had an ugly fight on the phone with her ex, which summed up to "you"re making my son a sissy by coddling him with doctors."


To compound all this, Sis can't afford medical insurance, and her ex, while under a court order to included the boys on his Army insurance, has never done so. She said she's taking this to her lawyer as fodder for the ongoing custody battle; I can only hope she'll actually follow through. I'm afraid her ex has gotten away with an awful lot over the years, simply because she was too overworked and stressed to fight for herself and the boys.

Anyway, more when I know it. Or when Sis has calmed down enoguh to get words out.
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Another call from Sis. She had a call from Cousin today, who said that Sperm Donor turned up in the VA hospital in Amarillo, Tx, sometime this week. No idea how long he's been there, or what he's in for, or who admitted him, but at least he's off the streets for a while.
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No word on the Sperm Donor; I assume this means he's still missing.

Mom had a list of places he could be, to try to distract Sis from the image of his dead in a ditch somewhere. Including off shacked up with some chick he found at a bar, which I find (a) disgusting, given his appearance and smell last time I saw him, and (b) rather unlikely, given that he's drinking rather more since the last time I saw him.

I guess, I don't really care where he is, except that it upsets Sis to know he's missing. I just hope he hasn't killed anybody by driving drunk, on the way there.
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Well, a handful of messages, and a couple calls, to bring me up to date. (And I need to remember to call Mom in an hour or so.....)

According to what Cousin told Sis, Sperm Donor is missing. Has been since Friday, or so his busybody neighbor says. The truck he's been driving (sans driver's ?icense or insurance, and likely sans registration) is also missing.

Sis is rather put out that Cousin keeps calling her about this, because all Sis can do from her home is call the police in Texas and file a missing persons report. Which they're not taking to seriously, she says. And Cousin is perfectly capable of doing that, if she'd just engage her damn brain.
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Talked to Mom for a bit this morning. The upgrades on her house have begun, and she's pretty cheerful. The first thing finished is a new front door and storm door, that locks, and stays closed without being tied closed with a jump rope. She'll also be getting windows, and siding and gutters on her house.

Also, Mom's got 172 working days until retirement. She's pretty cheerful about that, too.

Mom said that the fallout from Sis calling the cops on Sperm Donor was minor, at least up here. From. What she was told, the cops got there when he was having a less drunk than usual day, and they managed to talk him into paying his water bill, so he'll at least have that. After the cops left, he called Crazy Aunt Cathy and bawled her out for reporting him, so she called Cousin to complain (because she thought Cousin had done it). Cousin called Sis, and thanked her, saying she wouldn't have thought of that. Sis told Cousin how to get him involuntarily commited (again), and reminded Cousin that Sis and I have been disowned, and he's not our problem. Cousin still has some spine, so she might follow through. *shrug*

It's still raining here, just a little. The radio said it'll be past us by noon or so. It's dropped about an inch since it started yesterday, slow and soaking, which is fabulous. And there's a chance for more rain next week. After this, rain seems ...possible, again.

We got D moved this week, and she handed over the keys to the old house Thurs morning. She's sad about that, and a little bitter, but she's excited about doing up the new place just the way she wants it. We didn't get everything out of her garden, but we did get her favorites, and the thing's that'd be hard to replace. She's already replanting at the new house. I'm babysitting a couple bed's worth of perennials for her, to move when she's ready for them.
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An update on the family business, and another phone call from my sister....

"You should know, I did something that's probably going to call fallout" she says.

Sis called the police in the town Sperm Donor lives in, told them the situation, and sent them to check on him, and hopefully forceably detox him.

She means well. Still not sure it wouldn't be kinder to leave him to the fate he's chosen.
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All of the worst family escapades start with "so, I got this call from my sister this morning....."

Today's excitement: The oldest daughter of Crazy Aunt Cathy called Sis to ask Sis to send money to The Sperm Donor. Because according to his do-gooder neighbor, The Sperm Donor is sitting in the dark, in a house with no running water or electricity*, drinking up his monthly aid checks. And Cousin With No Sense thought that if The Sperm Donor's daughters would just help him, he'd be better.

What. The. Fuck.

Sis told Cousin With No Sense to call her when he's dead. (Go Sis!) Cousin apparently thought that that was an unreasonable response, which just boggles me. Why is it reasonable for us to send resources we can't spare to someone who never supported us, and who chooses not to support himself?

* The busybody neighbor told Cousin (or her mother**) that Sperm Donor's utilities had been shut off a while ago, because he'd stopped paying his bills.

** I suspect that this is actually coming through Crazy Aunt Cathy, who has finally figured out that Sis blocks her calls.
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According to Sis, Grandma spent yesterday doing her best to show everyone that she could take care of herself. Got herself up and showered and dressed without help, did her own shots, did her exercises, even walked without her walker or cane.


Doc decided that if she keeps it up today, he doesn't have a choice and *has* to send her home.


But, Doc told Grandma that if her home health nurse reports her skipping her insulin or meds even once, she's going to the nursing home.

Mom is thrilled, that Doc's taking the heat for it. And Uncle M came up and had some long talks with Grandma and Mom yesterday. Mom was a little confused about that last, until Sis confessed that she "might have called Uncle M, and might have said some things she thought he needed to hear". And that made Mom feel good, that Sis stood up for her.

So, we're back to waiting and worrying. Uncle M will be back in town tomorrow to fetch Grandma home from the hospital (because Mom volunteered him, in front of other people, so he had to say yes).
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Every time I've called Grandma this week, she's sounded worse, weaker, more tired, and less able to follow the conversation. So, By kept the kids yesterday, and I day-tripped west to visit while I had a chance. She was thrilled, and while it was just the two of us, seemed to be able to follow the conversation. When Mom got there, she stopped talking and seemed to be having trouble focusing and tracking things. After Mom and I had left the hospital, she told me that she thinks Grandma looked worse yesterday than the day she went back in.

Mom heard from Grandma's doc this afternoon; he said that Grandma cannot take care of herself, and can't stay in her apartment alone.

Not a surprise, especially after I saw her yesterday. Back in September, Grandma looked old, yesterday she looked diminished and frail and fragile. She had trouble sitting up to talk to me, has had trouble giving herself her shots (let alone getting the timing right), and couldn't get herself dressed or to the bathroom without help. So, yeah.

I don't know if Mom talked to Grandma about it tonight. When I talked to Mom yesterday after visiting Grandma, Mom said she was nerving herself up to have that talk. Mom wanted Grandma to have a little time to think about it and get used to the idea, and not just feel dumped. But I really think it is the best option for her. And definitely for Mom--Mom made herself sick in the two weeks between hospital trips, trying to work all day then spend 4 hrs or so taking care of Grandma, before going home and trying to do things for herself. Not practical at all, and Sis and I were trying to convince her of that, but it took her doc to get through on that one.

It's sad to watch Grandma slip away from us like this. We've known it was coming, but it's very sad.
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I need to call and check on her today, but Grandma was doing alright on Saturday, and Sis said she was ok yesterday. The good news is, no broken bones, just deep bruises. The bad news is, the rattles in her lungs are pneumonia now, and she's on serious antibiotics for a few more days.

I day-tripped west on Saturday to visit, and spent the afternoon playing cards with Mom and Grandma. (Which doesn't say much...Grandma has to be on her deathbed before she won't feel like playing cards.). She was alert and followed the game well, and we had a good visit. Mom took me to dinner at the "Happy Days Diner", which is better tasting than it might sound), where she talked me i nto eating battered, deep fried cauliflower. Also better than it sounds.

Spent 2 hrs out at renfest yesterday, mostly to visit the people we know out there. Managed to wear both kids out. They and I napped in the afternoon, while By worked on framing walls on the shed. It's looking more and more like a building.

The Miss was sick last night--threw up all over herself, her bed, her pillow, her teddy bear, and the two walls by her bed--so she's home from school today. She just figured out that being home sick means she can't go to the tool store with Papa, so maybe this isn't so fun. I am the big bad mommy.

We had some light rain this morning, the first in weeks. Not as much as we need, but it did settle the dust and rinse the cars.
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Another update on Grandma, as of 8ish last night:

* She'll be in the local hospital until her glucose is regulated again, maybe longer. Still waiting on the xrays to check for broken bones and fractures (left ankle and hips). She's got energy enough to be mad as a hornet about being hospitallized again, which is a good sign at her age, if somewhat harder to deal with.

* If there are broken or fractured bones, she'll be going to the short-term rehab wing of the local nursing home, and ideally be eased into the idea of moving there.

* If not, Mom and her brother and Grandma's doctor get to try to convince Grandma that it's for the best. The local facility is pretty nice, esspecially for such a small town--tiny apartments with their own bathrooms and kitchenettes, patient's own comfy furniture, lots of social activities, field trips, card games......

* Mom and her brother have started the paperwork to get Medicaid to pay for long-term care.

* Cammie's going to watch the kids Saturday, so I can go see Grandma without all the fuss of chasing them.
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Sis finally talked to Mom. The news is:

* Grandma should not have been sent home after her ER visit yesterday.

* Her doc wasn't called about it, didn't know about it until Mom and Grandma went in this morning, and is furious. This is the second time that ER doc has pulled this crap when Grandma came through the ER, and .....yeah. totally not professional, not safe, and not cool.

* Still waiting to hear back on xrays of Grandma's left ankle, which is swollen and bruised. They suspect it's broken, but the xrays from the ER went walkabout, so they had to do that over.

* Grandma went back in today because her serum glucose was back down to 70, and she was confused, sleepy, and unwilling to eat. She'll be in until they get her regulated again.

* Her doc says that, if they get her regulated and her ankle's not broken, she could go back to her apartment. But the opinion of the family is that once she's regulated and feeling better, she'll stop taking her meds and following her diet because she feels good and doesn't need it anymore, and we'll be at this same place (or worse) in a month or two.

* Mom and her brother visited the local nursing home and talked about options. Don't know much about that yet.
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We almost lost Grandma yesterday.

When her Home Health Nurse came in for her regular check-in, she found Grandma on the floor, unresponsive. When they got Grandma to the emergency room, her serum gl?ucose was down to 20.

By the time they got hold of Mom (who was 50 miles away, leading a field trip on 30 sixth-graders), her glucose was up to 100 and she was starting to respond. She didn't know what happened, didn't remember falling, (third time this week, that Mom knows of), and didn't remember Mom bringing her soup and making her eat it last night.

Based on her finger test log, they *think* that she just hasn't been eating enough lately, so her regular dose of insulin was too much.

The ER doc and all the nurses made it a point to tell Grandma, once she was lucid, that if the HHN hadn't had an appointment with her that morning, Grandma would have died, and that Grandma *really* needs to think about moving into the nursing home. Some of those talks sank in--when they got her home

Grandma hasn't wanted to think about that option, because the home she worked in before she retired was such a hellhole. The one in town has always been better, and they're regulated better now, than they were 20 years ago.

Grandma still thinks she can move in with Mom, and Mom will care for her the last few years of her life. I think my sister or I will have to sit Grandma down and explain to her that Mom simply can't do that. Mom can't afford to retired and spend all her time caring for Grandma, her house isn't set up for elder care, she doesn't have the nursing background, she's not physically capable, and not emotionally capable. Being at Grandma's beck and call has already drained her, and she just can't.

Mom is livid that she can't get hold of her brothers to simply tell them Grandma was hospitallized again, let alone get support and help from them.

And there's probably going to be a big stink at the hospital, because Mom's not sure that Grandma's regular doctor was notifed that she was there. This has happened before....last time, she was in the hospital for 3 days before he found out, and there was a big stink. Also, some bright penny in the ER decided that since Grandma's glucose was back up over 100, it was ok to send her home. Mom's going to be asking Grandma's doctor about that today.


Our tenative plan to go to Mom's on Saturday and go to the pumpkin patch is shot, but the kids and I may go up anyway. Mom plans to go talk to the nursing home about getting Grandma the round-the-clock care she needs, sometime today.

More as I know it.
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It is 8am. So far today, I have:
* woke The Miss up, bathed her, gotten her dressed for school,, and sat down with breakfast
* ran the first load of laundry for the day
* written notes for The Miss's teacher and bus driver, about her missing next Monday (dr's appt)
* got The Boy up and sat down with some peanut butter toast

Still haven't talked The Miss into doing her take-home assignment. Have to work on that the next few days.

The car is already loaded; after The Miss is off to school, The Boy and I are headed to Goodwill to get rid of junk.

Talked to Mom last night; Grandma isn't doing well. Her hip is bothering her again--the one that they looked at doing replacement surgery on 2-3 yrs back, except her bones are deteriorated enough there was nothing strong enough to attach a replacement to. She's gone most of the last year without much discomfort from it, until it flared up this week. Mom says she can barely walk, or get out of bed, or do much of anything. And poor Mom, because Grandma seems to expect her to fix it somehow. Don't think they can do anything, given her age and state of health.
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Despite the yard being mostly dry, except where I watered, the kids look like Spawn of the Swamp Thing. The Boy is so muddy I can barely tell what color his tshirt is. That's talent.

In other news, we have an appointment in Leavenworth on Thurs to apply for Head Start for the kids. Wish us luck, and an open spot.

Talked to Sis briefly this morning. Crazy Aunt Kathy was on her way to Tx to pick MPU up, because she didn't think that Sis would rise to the occasion. His next hearing is at 815 tomorrow, somewhere in southern Ks. CAK seemed to think Sis would drop everything to drive his drunk ass home afterwards. Not likely. I told Sis to refer CAK to me after this; maybe that'll get CAK off Sis's back.

By's dad is in India this week running training sessions, Nephew is well enough to be back in day care as of yesterday (yay!), and we've got cooler weather and a chance of rain tomorrow. Think that's all the news.
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Or, Crazy Aunt Kathy Strikes Again.

Judging from the profanity-laiden, sputtering missive I just had from my sister, Sis had another phone call from our favorite aunt. Who told her that CAK had told Male Parental Unit, also known as The Drunk Who Disowned Us, that Sis would drive to Texas, pick him up, and drive him back to Kansas for his next court date.

I told Sis that:
1) Because Aunt Kathy is crazy, anything she com.mits you to is therefore subject to review and veto as necessary
2) He disowned us, remember?
3) When he disowned us, he forfeited the right to ask for services like long road trips where he smokes cheap nasty cigarettes in your car, and drinks the whole way, and doesn't help with gas.

And he disowned *us* remember?

I suspect this is Kathy's not-so-subtle attempt to force some quality time, that will help Lput the family back together". She's big on stupid stuff like that.

Cross your fingers and wish Sis strength enough to tell Kathy "no".

11:49pm, edited to add: Have heard from Sis again. Sis says she "might have laughed" at Crazy Aunt Kathy before hanging up on her. Good girl. And she called MPU's other sister (the one who won't talk to him, or CAK, without dire need), and gave that aunt the low-down on the latest. Which counts as Sis going for moral support; that aunt won't stand for any of the nonsense from MPU or CAK, and is very supportive and practical to anyone trying to deal with them rationally.
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Or, more family shenanigins.

Or, Crazy Aunt Kathy was lying like a rug.

Remember that post last week about my Male Parental Unit? The one that involved his truck, Cheney Lake, and his being life-flighted to the hospital in Wichita? Part of the story is true.

Sis did some investigating, because Crazy Aunt Kathy wasn't big on details, and the story she spun took place in a county where Sis has friends in the sheriff department. It turns out that the arresting officer is married to a good friend of Sis's, and another friend was an intern on duty in the ER when he made it there.

Here's what she found out.

1) Crazy Aunt Kathy said the accident took place the end of May, when MPU iwas on the way up for his DUI hearing in Salina. Wrong. It happened about a week before Sis got the first call.

2) No lake involved. MPU ran his truck off the road into a deep ditch, on some quiet back road in Reno County.

3) He was life-flighted to Wichita. In fact, Sis's friend in the ER says he barely survived this wreck.

4) MPU got his fresh DUI/ driving with an open container charges when the ER drew his blood, and saw that he was roaring drunk.

5) Aunt Kathy *says* that MPU is back in Texas. I suspect he's not, but she's spinning the story she wants to believe, which involves more not-his-fault accident and less blatant screw-up.

6) Sis has determined that, unlike addicts of other drugs, you can't get an alcoholic committed to treatment involuntarily, even if you're a family member. She is trying to contact his doctor at the VA in Texas, to see if strings can be pulled there. Because he's a public safety menace, and something needs to be done. If he kills himself by not dealing with his problem, fine, but suicide by bottle and truck is likely to take other people too, and she's trying to prevent that.

7) MPU pleaded not guilty and asked for a diversion (where he commits to getting treatment and not drinking) for the charges from May, and Sis says as far as she can tell, he did the same the second time. I'm hoping that two such accidents in less than 60 days will count extra against him.

I have *no clue* what Aunt Kathy thinks she's doing by lying to us like this. I don't even have the energy to be angry about's so far beyond rational behavior. And no, I don't expect rational behavior from her, haven't in a long time, I'd love to hear how she justifies this rewriting of events, in terms of her too-often professed "more christian than thee" faith, but I'm not sure that she's ever thought critically about how she treats her brother. And maybe I should simplify that to just, I'm not sure she's ever thought critically.

Whatever. I'm watching this one from a distance, and hoping to stay out of the disaster zone.
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Specificly, the Male Parental Unit. And the news is a month old, but Crazy Aunt Kathy chose to wait until last night to call Sis (with no explanation for the delay).

The reason we didn't really hear anything about MPU's court date last month was that he spent that day either in the hospital, or in the Reno County jail, also for a DUI. Among other charges, I'm sure. Crazy Aunt Kathy told Sis that he drove his truck off a dock, into Cheney Lake, was found fairly quickly, and life-flighted to the big hospital in Wichita. When he recovered enough, he was released to Reno County custody, and then was released. Why they did, I don't know, but now he's somewhere in Texas. Crazy Aunt Kathy claims she doesn't know where he is, or have a phone number for him. I'm not sure I believe her.

Apparently, Crazy Aunt Kathy didn't call anyone about this incident. Sis told Mom, who asked if it was a suicide attempt (unlikely, except maybe passively), and also his other sister, who was not surprised. That aunt gave Sis the same advice did: you can't change him. All you can do is stay out of the disaster zone.

I am guessing that Crazy Aunt Kathy didn't call anyone because this event shows that her plan to church and redeem MPU is doomed to fail. No amount of church-or any other help-will "fix" someone who doesn't think they're broken.


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