Monday, July 4, 2011

When Real Life Drops In

It has been a good long while since I've done a sort of "Getting real with Saz" post, and there are two reasons behind this: 1) things are more or less improving for me, even if it is horribly slow progress, so I've had no real need to vent 2) it's been weeks since I've had any urge to write any sort of meaningful content. We can blame summer, we can blame apathy, we can blame the fact that I'm a lazy bugger. Regardless of what we blame my lack of quality posting on, I once again feel the need to vent a bit about real life. Forgive me if you're here for semi pretty pictures and WoW content, for this post may disappoint you in that aspect.

The situation: A few weeks ago my grandmother started to have a lot of pain. Turns out she had an inflamed pancreas which the doctors thought was caused by a change in her diet, a change that she made because she wanted to lose a bit of weight. She's always been a bit heavy in the years that I've known her, and she is getting up there in years now, so her making the decision to lose a bit of weight isn't really a bad idea by any stretch. The problem is, this inflamed pancreas issue hasn't gone away. Apparently the ducts around her pancreas have filled with fluid, causing her even more pain. She has been in a Green Bay hospital now since last Thursday and has undergone at least two procedures to drain said ducts, and so far they're not stopping. She's apparently on so much pain medication that she can barely form sentences, and by barely form I mean she will only make one when she's mad about something. She recognizes people just fine, she's still stubborn and opinionated as ever (some of the few sentences she's uttered has been her being very adamantly against going into a nursing home for rehabilitation), but she's really not bouncing back from this situation too well it seems.

You know how sometimes you get a funny feeling in your stomach telling you that something is about to go downhill, and worry as you may nothing can change the situation? Ever since my sister told me about my grandmother going back to the hospital, and going to one down in Green Bay for that matter, I have had this feeling. I don't like foreboding, but it's what I do.

Meanwhile back at home, there's my grandfather. My grandpa is a pretty cool dude but due to his own life scare back in early 2005, he's a bit blind. (Side story: he had an ear infection, doctors gave him steroids for said infection, infection when septic aka went into his blood stream, his kidneys failed and his blood pressure rose to the point where it affected his retinas, rendering him blind. Dialysis restored about 20% of his kidney function magically, the infection was cleaned out, and he's quite healthy now, but his sight never returned. He makes great jokes such as "Oh, it's nice to see ya!" Really, he's a fun dude.) He can do simple things like make his own coffee and make his way into the basement to walk on his treadmill, but he can't really cook or do laundry. For most of their marriage my grandfather took care of his wife, his kids, his neighbors, everyone. He was always the handyman, the volunteer. The past few years though he's had to rely on my grandmother for things such as driving to whatever social functions they still went to (a weird role reversal for them, my grandpa was always the one who drove), the cooking, clean clothes. Unfortunately the past few weeks his care has been a bit patchy with her in and our of the hospital, and will remain so until either other care giving can be arranged - which he's not terribly comfortable with - or my grandmother's health can be restored. Or let's face it, if the worst happens, he must be moved into another living situation (a very weird thought for me, I've never known my grandparents to live anywhere but their current home, save for the Florida trailer home they had for a few years in my youth).

Here's the pisser: my grandparents have seven kids and multitudes of grand kids. Four of their children live locally, three do not. Guess who is taking care of this situation? That's right, two of the three out of towners, one of which is my mother. You see, what prompted this mini rant was a phone call I received from her today. She called me this morning to ask if I would sit with my grandpa for a few weeks. Things must be pretty bad if you have to call in the agoraphobic shut in to help take care of someone. Sure I don't have a lot going on and I'd be more than happy to help my grandfather out despite the fact that I'm still incredibly uncomfortable with leaving the house. It will take me a few days, but I'll settle in just fine and not to mention, it's my grandpa. He's the shit. Who the hell wouldn't want to chill with the guy? What get's me is this: with four kids living in the area, one or two of which I'm fairly certain are retired by this point, and no one can bother to check in on their father? The guy who would go over to their houses at the drop of a dime to fix whatever, the man who always took care of them...they can't bother to set up a rotation to make sure he has food in the house and clean socks to wear? There's also the army of grand kids. Literally, there's twenty or more of us I think. I know that everyone is kind of doing their own thing, living their lives, going to their jobs and popping out babies, but my mom has a job too. She's been using all of her vacation time to sit with my grandmother at the hospital, not to mention driving first the two hours to come here, now the three to get down to Green Bay. Her and her husband are in superman mode trying to take care of her parents, and her husband has been having to neglect checking in on his own step father (who lives in Lower Michigan, many many hours away from where they live) in order to help my mother with the stress of taking care of her mother.

Now, I know my grandmother is difficult. Honestly 'difficult' is putting it lightly some days. She's the type that got the mindset of "I'm old now, I can say whatever I damn well please." and she sometimes really doesn't consider other people's feelings. My father (who has never really had a high opinion of my mother's mother) thinks that she's just alienated everyone so much that they don't want to bother getting in on the situation. It's quite possible, though I'm not sure how true this idea really is since my own issues have removed me away from a lot of the family gossip for the past several years. However, I've always seen my mother's side of the family as rather close knit. They're a chatty bunch that once you get them talking, they don't shut up. I think part of the reason why I distanced myself from my mother's family a bit was because they were always up in each other's business. I prefer my privacy to an extent...which is kind of ironic considering what I've put down in this blog and in other blogs in the past. Essentially I'm the type of person that doesn't mind talking about personal shit unless you're grilling me for it just because you want some juicy story to spread around. They thrived on that sort of gossip. Regardless, they've always been big on Christmas/Easter/Thanksgiving get togethers, and for the most part keep up to date with what is going on with everyone else.

I suppose I can sort of see that going to see my grandma as being a sort of inconvenience for some of the kids, since it is a little bit of a hike and gas prices are kind of terrible here the last I knew (it has been far too long since I've been out...), but taking a few minute drive to check in on my grandfather? Even by my standards that's pretty damn lazy, and I'm about as lazy as they come. It honestly makes me a bit irate, and if I was the confrontational type I would probably chew a few folks out.

Really, I deal with pixels much better than I deal with people.

So this is Saz's latest ball of stress. It's real life and it's trying to pull me back into the realm of social interaction. Chances are I'll be taking care of my grandfather for the next few weeks, which shouldn't be too bad all in all. I mean, he's a joker, so I'm sure he'll make plenty of fun at my expense at my inability to cook and such. I'll put off taking up that factory job offer for a bit (oh right, I got a job offer from my old work place making pistons...decent money and I think benefits, but damn the work sucks), not that I was physically ready for that one anyways but the money would have been really nice, or maybe I'll just end up working that in somehow. Inner voice that causes my anxiety issues: now would be a good time to stand in the fire. Seriously, I have shit to do.

What happens will happen, good or bad. I'll be taking care of what I can, even though I feel completely incapable of doing such a thing, despite how simple the situation is to take care of on my end. I may disappear, or I may be back to blogging in full force because I don't have much else to do other than sit around while my grandpa naps to baseball. While my vacation to Azeroth has been painful at times (I still feel homeless, not to mention the Firelands area lag makes it so I can't really do dailies all to well), it has been a ton of fun. It's not something I want to give up easily and I'll do my best not to give it up completely, but unfortunately rl things have once again come around to slap me in the face, as if to say "Hey you! Your real name isn't Saz and it's time for you to get out of your funk and take care of things!" This is by no means a"'goodbye" or "I'm shutting my blog down" or "I'm quitting WoW" post, just a "Hey, gotta take care of my family now, no idea how much I'll be around" statement. Though I will have an internet connection while I'm there (amazingly my grandparents on both sides were a lot quicker about getting connected to the world than my father was) so who knows, maybe I'll just be as awkwardly anti-socially chatty as ever.

I think my rant has finally lost its steam and I feel myself beginning to babble. I shall end this post with this: Take care of the people you give a damn about, and especially take care of the people who have bothered to give a damn about you. While it may seem long to some of us, life can be quite short. Being alone in the time of need is miserable, so don't leave the people you care about hanging. It's one of my bigger regrets that I have left quite a few of the people I care about out in the cold, so please don't let it become one of your regrets as well.

Much love to you all,


  1. I hope things work out well and I'm prepared to wait however long it takes for the next installment of Feral by Nature.

    I'll keep checking in and you take care out there in the real world and have fun with your Grandfather.

  2. I've actually been trying to work on the next 'chapter' of Feral By Nature, but it's having issues jelling in the intro! I have a great connection here internet wise (I was a bit unsure of that possibility when I wrote this post) and my grandfather is pretty easy to care for, so I should be able to get out that next installment fairly soon here.

    My grandfather is a pretty cool guy, so my stay with him should indeed be fun. Appreciate you checking in! : )