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26 March 2013 @ 08:02 pm
Already ready for another weekend  
So I had a three day weekend, which I had thought would be mostly relaxing. Turned out to be the most stressful three day weekend I can remember having! It think it started going downhill on Saturday when I was heading to Outback Steakhouse to meet up with other relatives for a lunch out. I was in a two lane turn off the highway and my mom was in the car chatting with me so I was following the other car in the two lane turn, which turned out to be a big mistake! The intersection was set up a little oddly and the car had turned into the westbound lane instead of staying on the eastbound and because I was following the car as I was distracted by my mom's chatter, I ended up heading into the wrong lane too! It was a scary thing seeing other cars heading for me on the same lane. Fortunately, that road's median didn't last long on that particular intersection so I was able to merge into the lane heading into the correct direction but my stomach was in knots. I caught the plates of the other car I had been following who turned out to be out of towners from half the country away. I've got to stop trusting other cars on the road.

Then in the evening I went to see a movie with a friend who was so last minute about things that we didn't have a restaurant we were going to eat out before the show picked out until the late evening, bad idea on a Saturday night. I called in ahead while I was driving there and was told there was a 30 minute wait time, so I had to still wait about 15 minutes after I arrived with a table which was a very tiny booth that only two people could sit at. It was okay for me since I'm small, but a real squeeze for my friend who three times as big as I am. That's what he gets for being so last minute.

But the food was good and we went saw the movie which didn't end until after midnight. Here's where the stress was piled on again. My mom works a night shift so bid goodnight to my friend and we parted ways as I headed downtown after the movie to pick her up. While I was waiting outside for my mom to come out, I checked my phone and saw my friend had texted me - his car had died and he was still stuck at the the theatre! Since it was nearly half an hour after I had left the theatre, I texted him to check if he'd already gotten someone to help jumpstart his car or if he was still there and needed me to go back an pick him up. Well, I took my mom home first and checked my phone. He didn't answer my question about whether he needed me to pick him up though he did say the cables caught on fire when he was trying to jumpstart his car! So I texted him again if he wanted me to come pick him up and take him home so he could deal with his car in the morning. Another 15 minutes or so passed, I still hadn't heard from him and I saw it was starting to snow. I was tired and wanting to go to bed since it was 1:30 AM but I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep without knowing if he was still at the theatre or not. So I got in my car and started heading back to the theatre and the snow was starting to come down harder. Halfway to the theatre, I finally got a text from him saying he already had his mom come pick him up. Ugh! At least I got to turn my car back around and go home though it was way past my bedtime. I'm so not used to going to bed after 2 in the morning since I have to get up early for work.

Sunday I woke up with a major headache. I almost never get headaches so I think it was a combination of stress and lack of sleep. Also, when I woke up the world was white. It was snowing so much harder and weather reports were predicting 6-10 inches of snow. Since my mom was supposed to work that day and I was supposed to drive her to work in the afternoon, I started to stress out over driving in inches of snow with it still coming down heavily as my car tends really not drive well in the snow. My mom ended up calling in to say she wasn't coming into work but now I was stressing over clearing out driveway of snow since it's so huge that six cars can park in it. Also, I was stressing out over my aunt and uncle being on the roads as they had driven my cousin back to his college in Champaign. After clearing the driveway twice during the day with snow still coming down, I started to stress over Monday because my uncle that had driven to Champaign was supposed to take my other uncle to the hospital in the morning for surgery and I was worried about him driving back to Springfield from Champaign in the dark and still heavily falling snow.

18.5 inches of snow!

We got way more snow than the forecast had predicted. My uncle called from Champaign and said they booked a hotel room to stay overnight because the snow was coming down heavy and what was usually a 2 hour drive turned into a 4 hour drive. That, and they saw a lot of cars on the way that looked like they had been driving too fast and had run off the road into the ditches along the highways.

I was glad they were safe and glad I had Monday off since my uncle wouldn't be back in time to take my other uncle to the hospital. But how would we get there? Though I had cleared the driveway, the city snowplowers had cleared the main roads but the snow they pushed aside had plugged up my driveway by a couple of feet high! Plus, it was still snowing. I called the different taxi companies and each one only had a busy signal as I'm sure they were getting a lot of calls for the same reason. Fortunately, one of my mom's friends lived right on a main road and she was free to pick us up and drop us off at the hospital.

In the hospital, they took my uncle for some tests. It was supposed to be a minor surgery to drain some some liquid that kept coming out from one section of my uncle's scar where he had the major surgery last year. It still wasn't healing completely and close all the way. Well, shortly after they took him away for the surgery, we'd been there for hours so my mom and I went to the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat as we were told the surgery would take an hour. Right in the middle of when we were eating, the receptionist at the waiting area called my phone saying the surgeon wanted to talk to me. Right away, I had a bad feeling. I called the surgeon right back at the number the receptionist gave me and it turns out his minor surgery needed to be a major surgery!

The lab tests and scans were back and what they thought was a minor infection just at the area where the scar kept leaking from turned out to be an infection that was spread all over the entire left half of his head! They were going to have to completely remove the entire bone flap on that side because the bacteria causing the infection was seeped throughout the bone of the skull that had been removed and put back during the first major surery he had last year. Of course I gave the okay for him to have the procedure done right away.

The surgery lasted two hours that my mom and I just sat in the waiting room worrying. Another half hour for him to wake up from the anesthesia and moved to recovery so that we could see him. Fortunately, he was much more coherent after this surgery than the first one. We don't know how long he'll have to stay there at this point as they still have to pinpoint exactly what time of bacteria it was as it was a slow spreading one that didn't give the usual symptoms that a body usually shows with a more aggressive bacteria. Once they do figure it out, they can administer the right antibiotic treatment. The infection has to be cured first before they can put in a new structure to replace the removed bone flap in his head.

So that means at least another six weeks of antibiotic therapy where we'll probably have to inject him 3 times a day again and then another surgery to put in the replacement skull part once he's infection free.

Since he's no longer employed since the first surgery last year, his insurance benefits through his employer ran out last month. We were waiting on his application with Medicaid but still haven't heard back from them, just told that it's still in process. With no surety of insurance to cover medical costs, which is likely to be another several hundred thousand dollars, we were rushing to fill out the COBRA application as the deadline is in a few weeks to get that it. The cost of COBRA to extend the benefits with the original insurance with the employer is ridiculous. Over $500 a month, but I would rather pay that than the several hundred thousand that the costs turned out to be from his first surgery which his original insurance had picked up.

Ugh. I need some worry-free downtime!
Current Mood: stressedstressed
Paynesgreypaynesgrey on March 27th, 2013 01:17 am (UTC)
Wow, that all does sound stressful.
Sorry to hear about your uncle. I'm wishing you and your family the best and that he heals quickly.

All that snow!! I forgot about that. My sister was saying that on her facebook (she lives in Peoria). It's unbelievable!
Hopefully the weather warms up soon.
sailorpandasailorpanda on March 28th, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
I have family up in Peoria too! Illinois was hit pretty badly with the snow. 18 inches one day, and today was so sunny that half of it's all melted already. We're supposed to get near 60 degree weather later this week. Weather transitions can be crazy in the midwest.

Thanks for the best wishes! It's going to be slow going but the rest of the family is supportive and my uncle is keeping upbeat all things considering.
Lisaserena_b on March 27th, 2013 05:20 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Sorry to hear you're so stressed. I hope you get the stress-free days you need soon.

Sorry to hear about your uncle and I hope he gets better soon. The Healthcare industry in this country is ridiculous (not just the insurance part, although that sucks too, but why does everything cost so much to begin with? Because there's nothing regulating it and they take advantage of people, it's sad).
sailorpandasailorpanda on March 28th, 2013 12:36 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm sure I will feel less stressed once my uncle's condition stabilizes more and he gets on an antibiotic therapy that really works.

And I'm in full agreement about the deplorable state of the healthcare industry in the US. The medical/insurance industry in the US is so capitalistic that the cost of medicine is so high which drives the price of insurance higher. It's a vicious cycle. If the government really wanted more affordable healthcare for everyone in the nation, they should start by trying a structure more universal in approach like in countries such as Sweden that regulates how much profit insurance companies and medical professionals can make off the public. Of course, I can see all the US companies going up in arms were that to be proposed since it would cut into their profits. Ugh.

I'm waiting for the country to implode one day at the rate we're going and the apocalypse actually happens!
Lisaserena_b on March 28th, 2013 12:52 am (UTC)
Yes! 100% agree!

The problem is that everything is politics, and the politicians are in the hands of the lobbyists, and hence everything is so polarized. Either people think regulation is a good thing and want to regulate EVERYTHING, or they think it's the devil and NOTHING should be regulated.

I consider myself mostly a Libertarian, but the one thing I totally disagree with in their platform is that the country should abolish regulatory agencies like the FDA and the EPA. I mean, are they over regulating? Probably. But what would the world be like without ANY regulations? Um...weren't there rivers on fire in the 70's because there weren't any regulations?

Same thing with Healthcare, there has to be some regulations/standards put in place. Everything's about making a buck. Our country isn't Democratic, Capitalism really runs everything. (Except for our actual Government which can't even manage a budget and if it was a business would promptly go under because they are so inefficient and wasteful with money it's ridiculous).

I really do think that it's going to come to some sort of head, probably sooner rather than later. Rome fell eventually and so will the U.S., under the weight of our own greed and stupidity.

/rant (sorry about going off in your comments!)
sailorpandasailorpanda on March 28th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
Haha. That's ok. I agree with everything you said. I've gone on rants like that sometimes when I'm hanging out with like-minded friends here. We just kind of feed each other as it can go on for awhile, especially if a little alcohol gets involved. But it's good to vent off some of the steam over the inefficiencies of the government considering we end up living with the consequences of the screw-ups made by the people running it!
Isabelle Melançonsecondlina on March 28th, 2013 02:49 am (UTC)
You really do O_O Wow. Talk about stress! *hugs you*
sailorpandasailorpanda on March 28th, 2013 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks! =)