Holy shit, could this possibly be a positive post from me?! SWEET JESUS.
Things are... oddly stable. It feels weird. My parents are pretty good, all things considered. Dad's new heart valve + pacemaker combo is working great and he feels so much better, so that's freakin' amazing! Mom got her knee injection (thank you Lindsay!) so that's been one less thing for her to worry/complain about (though all things considered she really doesn't complain very much). Mom's dementia will never improve (especially during Covid-times when dementia resources like the senior center and adult daycare programs are still closed), but it thankfully doesn't really seem to be getting noticeably worse. My dad takes very kind care of my mom, and sees this as a part of life and his duty. We are lucky that now he's healthy enough where he's managing OK now.
I hired home health aides to be at the house on weekdays to give my dad a break from keeping an eye on Mom, so he can go for a motorcycle ride or go putter in the garage for a few hours without worrying about Mom setting the house on fire or not taking her meds. The aides also make Mom lunch, get dinner figured out, keep her company, and they also do housework, go to the store, etc. My dad really appreciates the mental health break each day.
Sadly, Mom doesn't understand that she needs to be babysat. Mom thinks the aides are housecleaners (because they'll do some light housekeeping while they're there)... and she doesn't understand why they need housecleaners 5x a week when their former housecleaner would come every other week. Mom also doesn't understand why these "housecleaners" are playing cards with her and just chatting-- she feels like she's getting ripped off because if they're there to clean the house, they should be cleaning the house. (We have explained they are there to give Dad a break and to do whatever needs doing-- whether that's light housekeeping, changing the bedsheets, taking the folks to doctor appointments, going to the store, cleaning Mom's commode, scheduling doctor appointments, yadda yadda, but Mom doesn't remember that. When we re-explain it to her, she totally gets it and appreciates it in the moment... but then she forgets that we had that conversation, and then she gets annoyed that 'the housekeepers' aren't doing anything, and why are these people here.) Mom also feels like she has to be a good hostess to the aides, and at first she liked the company, but now she's just kind of annoyed having guests over all the time who aren't really her friends.
Mom managed to convince my dad to reduce them to 3x/week (which I am not really happy about), but I also understand that my parents are adults and they can make their own decisions. My mom may be dementia'd, but she also is quite in charge of her emotions, wants, needs, opinions, and longer-term memories and routines... so if Dad is OK only getting a break 3x/week, then have at it.
I think I mentioned that Matt's cousin Evan passed away on the day my Dad got discharged from the hospital (Saturday, July 25th), so we left NJ that day and returned immediately to Delaware to do the urgent family stuff on Matt's side, and we haven't been back to NJ since. Now that Evan's memorial service and funeral has been done, and his house has been mostly cleaned out, there's not really much left to do there, either, except to mourn on our own.
So now Matt and I are back in Delaware, without any crises to manage. It feels very weird. I've been in some kind of panic panic panic panic emergency aaaaaaaaaagh mode since January, and now things are stable and I don't really know what to do with myself.
I've been sleeping a lot, but part of that is me catching up on months of no sleep, and the other part of it is exhaustion from needing an iron infusion.
Because I was caring for my folks for so long, I had to postpone my own healthcare for months, so I've been trying to get my own stuff scheduled now. I need a tooth pulled plus I need a ton of other dental work done; I need a mammogram, I need a bone density scan, and I reeeeeeeeaally need an iron infusion. I'm working on 'em all. It'll be nice to have that stuff behind me.
Matt and I continue to quarantine by choice, because there's still a back-of-mind sense that something could go wrong with my folks at any moment, and since they are in a high risk group, we need to be confident that we could run up there without infecting them. (Also, we're introverts and it's nice to have this excuse.)
We continue to do our Coffee Break Concerts (now only 2x per week, down from 3x/week) on Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:00 - 3:15 EDT on our FB page (fb.com/HotBreakfastRocks). It's been fun learning a bunch of songs for these, and I'm so grateful we've been able to keep these shows going with only maybe 3 missed dates because of parental doctor appointments. The shows are usually playful and silly, and we always give it our all. Sometimes we don't get every note right (and we flog ourselves for days afterward), but what we lack in perfection we try to make up for with heart and good vibes. We still can't believe people tune into these, but I love love love love the little community that has grown in the chat window of our concerts. People who don't know each other in real life seem to have really nice connections in there, which is delightful. This Wednesday will be our 50th show! Wheeeee!
On July 30th, Matt and I celebrated our 10-year Bandiversary as Hot Breakfast. We had played a few shows prior, but sans the name.
Also under the anniversary heading, two weeks ago Matt and I were hired to be the private backyard entertainment for a surprise anniversary party for a sweet couple downstate. I cannot describe how surreal and amazing a feeling it is when people want to hear our music... and not our cover songs, but our songs. Plus, these people aren't friends of ours-- they discovered us organically and have followed us since 2011. And they know the words to our songs! How is that possible?! It is the best feeling in the world. We felt very very lucky. It was also really nice to play for other people, in person, safely, etc.
In other news: A quandary... a poll!
Our local, privately-owned massage & facial place called their loyal customers to tell us all that they've reopened, and they wanted to answer all of our questions around safety, and how we can be (reasonably) confident that we're not gonna get the Covid by getting a massage and/or a facial. I'm on the fence about this.
I'm definitely not comfy getting a facial-- facials require constant face-to-face time and I wouldn't be masked (I assume). I wouldn't be comfortable in that situation. But a massage? Hmmmm.
My muscles are aching from all the tension I've been holding for so long, and from sleeping on a bed from the Truman Administration at my folks' place for all that time, and OH MY GOD what I would give for a 90 minute massage. But I just don't know.
What do you all think? Would you get a massage? What if they said their therapists (whom I know and trust) get tested often (testing is abundant and free here), and they also get 2x/daily temperature checks, plus the spa's cleaning tactics (which have always been stellar in my view) have been re-evaluated, increased, and improved and yadda yadda, and their therapists always work with masks on, and I would also get a temperature check before entering and I'd also have a mask on while getting massaged... I feel like the risk is pretty low. But I also might be a dummy.
What do you think?
(A) I'd probably get a massage under those conditions.
(B) I'd have to go there and see what my Spidey Sense told me.
(C) NO FREAKIN' WAY. NO NO NO NO.
Anyway, it's nice to not have a crisis to report.
Love you all very much.