You know how it is when you’re busy but the things you’re doing don’t really rate a blog post?
That’s how it’s been for me this summer. Still, I’m going to try to break the silence right now.
First, my mom. She’s doing well. So well, in fact, that she’s finally made up her mind about selling her condo. It’s a decision that she’s been mulling for a long time. The Great Recession was the main factor in waiting, but her health also came into play when it went south on her. Now, though, she’s greatly improved—and so is the local real estate market, thank goodness. So this condominium, which is gobbling up her nest egg like some voracious, never-satisfied beast, is now up for sale.
Preparing to sell has meant a lot of activity around here. Lots of cleaning of
closets. Lots of deciding what to keep and what to toss, what to donate to hospice or maybe try to sell. It’s meant perusing real estate websites for decent condo/apartment rentals in the area where she’d like to live. It’s meant doing a fair amount of deep cleaning, and, as of last Monday when the place was listed, of keeping the house absolutely pristine all the time, just in case random realtors drop by with prospective buyers.
Remember, my mom is half Finnish. Genetically prone to neatnik-ness and trained from infancy to react with horrified dismay to dust or clutter, showing her house means that it must constantly resemble a glossy photo spread in House Beautiful magazine. Mom totally resents Nature because She keeps carelessly dropping dead leaves on the back patio and making it look “messy.”
And putting her home up for sale means that I frequently need to buck her up when she starts feeling overwhelmed or low about moving. She and my dad chose this place together back in 2003. They loved it. He died, unexpectedly, in 2005. There are memories permeating the walls here, and at 81 years old, mom’s a bit apprehensive about starting over again somewhere else.
Me, too. When she moves, I’ll have to move with her and be even further away from my own home. I wish she’d come live with me there, but she hates the climate in the mountains. The winters are too cold. Even the summers feel uncomfortably cool to her. Then there’s the fact that the Finnish neatnik-ness didn’t rub off on me so much. My house will never make the pages of House Beautiful. Mom would never be happy there.
Still, she’s become too frail and forgetful to live alone. She has enough money to live comfortably, but certainly not enough to pay the outrageous price of assisted living in a retirement community. We checked. Wow.
So, I’ll stay with her.
Then there’s my uncle. He now has a studio apartment in an assisted living facility. During the last month and a half, I was either visiting him in the rehab facility following his hospitalization or helping my aunt move his things to his new home. I’ve also been taking him to medical appointments and for lab visits—it looks like he’ll be having parathyroid surgery soon. Since all of this has been taking place down in the Sacramento area, I’ve been doing a fair amount of commuting back and forth.
I’ve also been doing some freelance writing, which has been very satisfying. I hope to continue it, too, as it’s work I can always do from home.
And my own health? My old rheuma-dragon continues gnawing on the joints in my hands, causing constant low-level pain and swelling. “Low-level” is key, though. It hasn’t kept me from functioning at all.
During the last couple of days the pain has intensified enough, though, to slow me down markedly. Along with that, the bursitis in my hips, which had finally eased off, is back again.
Although I don’t feel especially stressed, I know that it can trigger RA flares, so I’m trying to stay calm, cool and collected, eat carefully and get plenty of sleep. So far, so good. Barometric pressure can also affect the dragon. The barometer has been all over the place lately, rising and falling like a roller-coaster from one day to the next—even from one hour to the next. The upside of this particular ride is that the temperature, which is usually very hot this time of year in California, has actually been rather comfortable. A gift, and I’m grateful.
I just have to remind myself that there’s always a price.
Oh! I was just notified that RheumaBlog, despite my neglect, has been chosen as one of Healthline’s Top 20 Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogs for 2013. I’m blown away and honored, all at the same time! I’d like to offer my congratulations to the other 19 RA blogs that were chosen, too. Visit them all—they’re worth your time and attention. I’m proud of us all!