There and Back Again

July 02, 2020 by Adam in Family

It was a busy day yesterday.  Joanna drove to Portland, loaded up Ben and all his stuff, then arrived home around four in the afternoon.  Ben was in good spirits, excited to spend time with all the cats and people.  A lot of people dropped off cards and gifts, including the fun little figure that Yayoe left for him - it's in Ben's luggage to take to California.  I helped Ben pack up for his upcoming stay and generally chatted while Joanna booked a hotel for the next few days.


I picked up Emma and stopped by to get some Tasty Thai.  Duncan had an endless playlist of YouTube videos for Ben.  Ben and Emma played with cats.  Eventually Emma made up songs on the ukelele until it was time to take her home.


This morning we arose at four, I fed everyone, got the caffienated, and took them to the airport.  Last I heard they were in Salt Lake City on the way to California.  Hopefully the rest of their travels go okay.

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Whirlwind Day

July 01, 2020 by Adam in Family

My fun procedure is over and done with.  The prep was annoying, but getting it done was fine and I appreciated the rest after restless night.  All seems well and hopefully I don't have to do it again for a decade.  Hopefully I'll forget what it was like by then.


The big news is that Ben is moving to a residental care facility in California today.  Joanna's a little stressed and Ben seems a touch anxious, but it feels good to finally move forward.  The plan is for Joanna to drive up today, returning home with Ben for a visit with everyone and night at home before going to the airport tomorrow early.  Ideally Ben would have gone nearby, but the wait list was over a month and the California place had a bed open this week.  Hopefully it all goes smoothly.


I heard from Sam that his lease is up and they're moving to another house.  Otherwise he's doing okay - stuck at home until things get resolved.


Joanna and I are both a little worn around the edges these days.  We had a quiet date night last night, doing puzzles and bringing some small amount order to the world.  At least today the year is halfway over.

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July 01, 2020 09:52 PM by mom
Hoping Joanna and Ben have a good trip, and that your rosy red rectum (Thank you, Aunt June) is feeling okay. Love, om



Monday

June 29, 2020 by Adam in Family

I have one of those fun procedures you get after you turn fifty coming up tomorrow.  I've been eating a modified no-fiber diet for the last couple days and my stomach isn't liking it much.  Plus I got a COVID-19 test, which made me squirm, clutch the steering wheel, and make loud uncomfortable noises for twenty seconds.  The next day my sinuses really hurt and I was pretty useless all day.  I'll be glad when this is over.


Emma made dinner for Duncan and I Friday night, the last meal with seeds for a few days.  We've been alternating between watching Community and me watching her play My Time At Portia, which is a not-quite-as-good Stardew Valley game.  I think it's the sense of low risk and making a difference in the world that's appealing to her.  Emma also went and had ice cream with Isa, which she enjoyed, though being around people at St. Vinne's kinda grossed her out.  


Sam got the computer and laptop I sent him, which is the only Windows machine in the house at the moment.  He and Skye picked up Outward in the Steam Summer Sale and have been playing quite a bit since they're basically stuck at home for months.  I played more The Last of Us 2, which alternates between sadly sweet and intensely terrifying.  Clearly I don't have enough of that in my life.


Joanna returned from Portland on Saturday night in time for pizza. She was riled up by the stolen signs and ended up ordering new security cameras and more and bigger signs.  Joanna's also setup multiple places for Ben to go next, both in Oregon and California.  Ideally Ben would be nearby, but some of the California places seem pretty good and may have a bed sooner.


As for me, I keep slogging through 2020, glad we're halfway to the end.  I'm taking tomorrow off for my procedure and looking forward to a week off for July 4th.  Today's my last day working with the Care Management team.  It'll be nice to get back to my usual team, though I'll miss the well-defined and straightforward work of the last few months.  In times of crisis, boring is a welcome change.

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Stolen Lawn Signs

June 26, 2020 by Adam in Family

I awoke this morning to find our Black Lives Matter and all people welcome signs stolen from our yard this morning.  It didn't help with my slowly eroding faith in humanity.


The week has been relatively uneventful.  Isabell is settling in at mom's house - I chatted with her on Wednesday for my weekly visit.  Emma was at the beach all week, coming over a little early to hang out.  I'm hoping I Isabell and Emma can hang out some this weekend.  Duncan continues his Minecraft playing routine.  Sam and Skye hopefully get the computers I sent them today.


Joanna's up in Portland, likely for two days this time.  She's working very hard to line up next steps for Ben, making some progress.  Nothing is ever definitive, but we're looking at either a place in California near LA or the state hospital part of the Children's Farm in Corvalls.  The latter seems better in that the program seems good and the closeness means we can visit more frequently.  The great irony would be that if the Children's Farm and Aetna contracted with each other, Ben would have been there over a month ago.


As for me, I'm wrapping up with with my temporary team.  There are people I'll miss working with and some things I'll miss doing.  I also like my Leading Wisely team and feel a little more freedom to make my own solutions, despite the occasional chaos.

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Father's Day Weekend

June 22, 2020 by Adam in Family

It was another full weekend.  Joanna had a migrane on Friday and was pretty miserable all day.  Emma made dinner and then we went over to visit mom, Isabell, and Robbie for a little before coming home.  


Saturday was our anniversary, though it was pretty low-key.  I made gluten free crepes with strawberry and whip cream, which Joanna said she'd love me forever if I made it long ago, but I redo it annually just in case. 


Emma and I went on a morning errand run.  I reset and packed up an old computer and laptop and shipped it to Sam and Skye.  We picked up a long list of prescriptions at RiteAid and did a quick shopping trip at Market of Choice.  It was the first time since the pandemic started that Emma had been in a grocery store.  It's probably good that she got to experience a group of masked people wandering six feet apart in a store at least once.


Sunday was Father's Day.  Joanna got me a nice card and Emma declared that she was doing all my chores for me - breakfast, cleanup, and all the rest.  Towards the afternoon she decided she wasn't quite up for mowing the lawn.  At the end of the day there was a bit of incredulity that I did so much work every day.  It was very sweet.


Joanna headed up to Portland to visit Ben.  Duncan, Emma, Sam, and I all played Jackbox games in the morning.  I chatted with dad briefly.  The afternoon was pretty lazy, full of video games, board games with Emma, and resting on the couch.



As for today, I'm hoping to do my first curb side pickup at the library this afternoon.  Emma's going to the beach with Jamie.  Joanna returns.  Duncan continues his non-stop Minecraft play run.  I'm down to my last week before switching to my old team.



Mocha Friday

June 19, 2020 by Adam in Family

I'm hoping to get insurance to start covering my Friday mocha as a medically necessary mood enhancer.  It's been a hell of a week and I'll take whatever I can to feel slightly less overwhelmed by everything.


Things with Ben have gone downhill.  I'm not sure we can say that issues with insurance and delays in getting him into the next step in care were the cause, but I can't see how they helped.  At this point we're looking at a referral to a state institution, which ironically may be the Children's Farm Home in Corvallis or possibly a similar Trillium run facility in Portland.  Joanna has some meetings with state officials to try to get Ben on the Oregon Health Plan.  The referrals to the next place may take a month or more, so Ben may be stuck where he is for quite some time.  


I spoke a little with Sam, who is essentially stuck at home until things get resolved.  I'm trying to do what I can to help him keep his spirits up - I sent him a couple books and am working on getting him a working computer.  It's another case where it feels like my kids are caught up in broken systems and the outcome is more a roll of the dice than something thoughtful and fair.


Duncan is in good spirits, his teeth recovering nicely.  With Joanna away for much of the week I've felt a little like a single parent, cooking him soft food and making sure he gets his pain killers and antibiotics on the right schedule.  Last night he went to a socially distant birthday party for a friend, hanging out six feet apart in the front yard.


Emma comes over tonight and I'm excited to see Isabell and Robbie this weekend, who just made it to town.  Tomorrow Joanna and I have our eight year anniversary, though with everything going on it'll likely be low-key.  Sunday is Father's Day, where I'll be thinking about my kids that are far away.



Rainy Days

June 16, 2020 by Adam in Family

It's been wet these last few days, the rain strangely comforting.  We went off on a few walks into the outdoors.  Skye called, which was nice as well, and I heard on Monday that they were back in the same house again.  At this point neither of them are working, but they're in good spirits and plan on watching Netflix and playing video games until everything gets sorted out.  I sent Sam a couple books and hope to ship an old computer their way soon.


The latest Ben plan is to try and get him into an in patient facility in southern California, possibly as soon as this Friday.  I may need to drop everything to head up with a car full of people and cats to visit with Ben.  It'll be nice to see him.


Joanna heads up to Portland again today while I manage the care and feeding of Duncan and the cats.  Duncan is a little more complicated than usual, requiring painkillers and the occasional bag of ice tied to his head.



Mocha Friday

June 12, 2020 by Adam in Family

Life seems a little more cheerful today.  Joanna made it to Portland and had a long visit with Ben.  We're starting to explore other residential facilities - there's one near San Francisco that might work.  Hopefully we'll get some clarity before the end of the day.


I chatted with Emma about her first day of summer - I think it's gone quite well so far.  She chatted with Sam for a long while, which I think was good for both of them.  Duncan spent the day playing Minecraft with friends, dutifully going for a walk after dinner.  Work was somewhat busy yesterday, troubleshooting some weird problems.  I'm excited to be returning to my normal team in a couple more weeks.


I feel kinda lame not being involved in any of the protests - I dutifully put up a Black Lives Matter sign that Joanna ordered.  I suppose we have a few other things going on these days and just keeping everyone safe and alive to the best of my abilities is okay for now.



Things Fall Apart, The Center Cannot Hold

June 11, 2020 by Adam in Family

We're all feeling despondent again.  Ben was all set to move to a residential care facility tomorrow but at the last minute we got the news Aetna doesn't actually contract with Trillium and they weren't going to take him.  Ben's already stayed where he is for longer than usual because we were waiting for a bed.  Now that's all upended and we're feeling lost.


Joanna's been reaching out for help to everyone she can find.  There's a place in Port Townsend Washington that might be a possibility.  Ben's regular counselor doesn't like the idea of having him so far away.  We're not even sure we can get Ben in there anyway.  Then there's the issue of traveling in the time of a pandemic.


Joanna's headed to Portland in a couple hours.  I'm hoping she comes home with at least the outline of a plan.


No news about Sam.  Talked to my mom yesterday, who was somewhat reassuring.  I sure feel surrounded by broken systems these days.



Slept All Night

June 10, 2020 by Adam in Family

I went to bed at a reasonable hour and woke up at a normal time.  The day before they ran a story on NPR about getting enough sleep in times of anxiety and one trick they had was to start counting and breathe.  Somehow I thought of it each time I'd wake up and distract my worries on this boring task.  I don't think I ever got past ten.


Sam's back home and worked yesterday.  I talked to a bunch of people in the family to give updates and I appreciated all the support they gave.  I think we're in this weird, long period of time where nothing happens for awhile.  My brain keeps whirring away, trying to figure out what it can do to help, but I'm not sure I have enough information to make good decisions yet.


Joanna and I had a nice walk through the woods yesterday, warm and wet with rain.  I did a little meditation and went for a run.  We watched a bunch of late night comedians on YouTube, talking about the current events.  All of that plus a full night's sleep has made a huge difference.


It's the last day of school for Emma and Duncan, though I'm not sure there's been much to do for a few days.  No idea what those kids are going to do over the summer.  Joanna and I were talking about how as parents our expectations keep lowering.  If we can keep them all alive, we'll declare it a rousing success.



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