A busy summertime

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

Packing has been interesting with three cats obsessed with boxes...

Packing has been interesting with three cats obsessed with boxes…

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.

RA top 20Oh! 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!




9 thoughts on “A busy summertime

  1. Congratulations on the Top 20 RA Blog of 2013! Sorry about the family situation. I know it is hard. My partners mom is getting to that age where we will have to do it soon. Be sure to take care of you!


  2. Congrats on being one of the 20 top RA blogs. Love the cat in the box…my cats love such spaces!


  3. Congrats Wren. 🙂

    You definitely have a lot going on. Do you think the stress of being away from your home plays a part in the hands hurting? I know for me that stress definitely affects the whole situation. You are a great daughter to do this for your mom. Good luck and keep us updated.


  4. Wow!!! Reading your summer makes me tired 🙂 You have been a busy camper for sure. Selling and moving can be a trying time and my heart goes out to you! Congrats on the 2013 Healthline award! When I clicked on the link to see your blog I was soooo suprised to se mine on there. Talk about guilt!!!! I do plan on getting back online but things here have been just so crazy. I am hoping that by fall things will be in a better place for me to get back at it….slowly but surely that is 🙂


  5. Congratulations on being named one of the top twenty blogs. You deserve it, I love to read your posts. I hope that your dragon will ease off and let you enjoy the rest of the summer as well as being able to keep on with your writing. Here’s wishing all will be well in getting your Mom settled in the future.
    J.G. Chayko


  6. Congratulations on your award, Wren! Lovely. And what a cute cat. You must think of yourself in all this and do as you are doing, getting your rest and eating well. Hope the move goes smoothly and your adjustment as well. I’d love to get rid of my house and move into a smaller place, but the idea of sorting through everything keeps me put. Besides, soon I’ll be walking my little granddaughter to my neighborhood school. Wow! How time flies. Take care and thinking good thoughts for you!


  7. Congrats on the award. Stress, stress, stress will feed the dragon. Take care of yourself. Your a good daughter.


  8. Sorry for the late comment. You certainly have lots going on. Good luck with the sale and move. Fingers crossed that ole dragon stays in his den!


Comments are closed.