That thing where life throws you a curve… right into your face

Well, I’m finally having some time to reflect on the past month or so of events. Lots of things have happened, all of them out of my control. But first, a small recap on things left undone from previous posts:

  • I had originally thought that a volatile stock market would be good to both test out my stock market code as well as possibly start trading. However, after the massive drop in late September/early October, I realized no matter how good my script would be, massive corrections like that one would happen and potentially cost me a lot of money, mainly if I become too confident in the script. So I had set the code aside.
  • Instead of working on the stock market code, I began coding a job ticket system for work, which is badly needed; there are existing systems on the market but they’re expensive, or if free, overly complicated to use or implement. So I started creating one from the ground up based on the order forms we currently used, which some additional features. As of now, I’d say it’s around 80-90% done.

That brings us to mid-November, when my mom’s health, already not so great, nearly hit rock bottom.

She has had a constant, ongoing migraine for about two months. On the night of the 22nd, both Thanksgiving Day and my birthday, the pain was unbearable and she had me take her to the hospital, where they found out her sodium level was dangerously low (“any lower and she could start having seizures, or go into a coma”). The situation was bad enough that the hospital admitted her for overnight observation.

Before that, however, as a recipient of rental subsidy due to her low income (she’s strictly on Social Security), the apartment complex that she lives in issued notices that they would no longer accept the subsidy. In other words, she has to move out. Being that she was already in poor health, I would have had to find her another apartment on my own, and handle all the paperwork, moving, etc. But after the hospital visit, now it became obvious that my mom could no longer live alone; I was now forced to make arrangements with the subsidy program to be allowed to live with her while she keeps her subsidy, which meant finding a larger apartment (which in turns involves more paperwork).

So now I have two big tasks: “finding another apartment for both of us”, and “taking care of all that’s involved with the housing authority to make that happen” (you can’t just move anywhere you want, the place has to be approved, applications filled, etc.). Unfortunately, during my mom’s one-week stay at the hospital, I come to find out the in-home assistance she used to have was taken away. Add “become my mom’s caretaker while the issue is resolved” to the list.

To make matters worse, being old-aged and not versed in how phone systems worked, she was taken advantage of by a cellular company that replaced her landline phone with a cellular phone; add to the list of tasks “having to port back my mom’s telephone number to her landline phone.”

I’ve essentially taken on a full-time job on top of my actual full-time job. I haven’t slept in my own apartment since mid-November since I can’t really leave my mom alone at night, so around 3 weeks now. I used to commute 15-20 minutes to work… now it’s 70-80 minutes.

I’ve had to cut a couple days back at work; fortunately my boss is understanding and we’ve made an arrangement where I can do what I can from my laptop on my days off, if necessary. Those days off I have to dedicate to both searching for apartments as well as doctor visits, doing household chores and errands, etc.

In short, my life has been completely turned upside down, over the course of a week. Not really sure why I hadn’t ever contemplated having to take care of my mom, especially in her old age; possibly because until a few months ago, she essentially took care of herself. The in-home caretaker was mostly needed for heavier duty work. But for now, my mom can’t do much of anything except for bathing or feeding herself and doing a handful of dishes every now and then.

“Complaining” is not really what I’m feeling, though. I’m making all these changes because she’s my mom and although she’s not in danger of dying, she is at the point where I don’t know how many years she has left. I had resisted moving in with her before because quite frankly, I’m a loner. But I guess now seeing just how bad a shape she’s in, perhaps it’s guilt that I’m feeling.

That or the feeling of having (wanting?) to repay her for taking care of me for so long. Or both.

I’m pretty much rambling at this point. For a week or so, things were so crazy and complicated that it wouldn’t take long for me to lose track of what I was saying or doing. Things are going much smoother now but I still have remnants of that.

There are still other issues I have to take care of for my mom, some of which will hopefully be resolved soon, others will take a long while. So I’m probably going to be in a bit of a fog for a while.

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