Archive for mom

The Night Shift

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by brianestover

This is night number four in a row for me. The second night by myself. The first night by myself where Mom can die. I’ve had Jim or Georgia hanging out with me the last few nights.

I’m not going to lie, I’m scared. Scared that I’ll miss her going, scared that she might go without someone that loves her holding her hand and stroking her face. She needs to go though. Her NG tube was pulled over 5 days ago. She stopped breathing two nights ago for about 90 seconds. The two nurses working this side of the palliative care unit Jim and I all stood around. I asked for one of the nurses stethoscope. As she took it off her neck to hand to me Mom started breathing. Now it’s a regular pattern of breathing light then super compensating by breathing heavy followed by a short :10-:15 seconds where she doesn’t breathe at all. This has been going on for two days now. Jim, Georgia, Dad and I are all ragged from lack of consistent sleep. I’m glad my sister has the kids in and can’t pull long shifts here. But it’s going to be harder until Mom passes away because Jim and Georgia had to leave today.

The nursing staff in the palliative care unit have been great to the family, friends, co workers, people from church and from her life that have stopped by. There is a family lounge, I can walk around the entire unit barefooted, the rooms are equipped with a couch and a chair you can sleep on. There is a shower in each bathroom as well. They even let you drink beer up here. But now it’s all about Mom crossing the finish line.

The Losing Race

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , , , on June 26, 2011 by brianestover

The final race has begun. There is no winner in this race, the distance to the finish line is unknown only the outcome is certain. This race can only be lost. But it’s not a race that I’m racing. I’m along as a domestic, a helper, to my Mom. She seems to have some neurological and cognitive impairment, that appeared after surgery. It’s now 72 hours post surgery. If there is no improvement today, this is her new baseline. I’m not optimistic. She will be unsteady in gait, tremor in her left leg, physically weak and poor short term memory. I only have two jobs in this race. Escort her to death making the journey as easy as possible for her and help Dad as much as possible so the burden on him is a small as possible.

I think I have an idea of what I have to do. I suspect though this race involves a lot of on the fly learning, taking the turns and curves as they come then reacting. It’s going to suck watching her decline, fade and eventually lose. You might think being in a one person race gives you the inside track to winning, and if losing is winning then you are right.

This race is rather scary, tougher then anything I’ve ever done. No upside potential, only downside surety. A friend of mine once told me you can’t stop time, no matter how bad something is it has to end eventually. I know the finish line is near, the race won’t be that long ultimately. A year at the most. During that time there can be no cracking, no getting dropped no matter how fast, how brutal the pace may be. It’s just going to be enduring at the front making it easier for Mom to get to the finish line.

Safety Training

Posted in Random Stuff, Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2009 by brianestover

I had to take driver safety training this evening. It’s an online thing that my company asked me in their best “would you mind doing this so we don’t have to boot your ass to the curb?” voice. It’s designed to shore up areas where your driving skills may be weak. It seems, according to my car and my girlfriends car, that backing up isn’t my best driving trait. So far I’ve hit 1 car, 1 telephone pole knocking out power to an entire block the day before Thanksgiving (talked about people being pissed) and backed through a garage door. That wasn’t my fault though. I swear. Ask my Mom.

Driving forward I’m a champ.Talking on the phone while working on my computer, eating a Snickers, changing the channels on the satellite radio and steering with my knees at 85mph? No normal person could do that. For me, not a problem. Flipping through a legal pad, making notes, and carrying on a client call. Yawn, I don’t even need caffeine to help me wake up for that. The master of moving forward, and at high rates of speed I am. I may get a ticket in the mail soon. I got flashed by the photo radar van, and by flashed it’s not a good thing. Guess what that means though? More safety training!!!!!! Actually it means in AZ (this isn’t legal advice btw) just ignore the ticket and after 90 or 120 days they have to drop it.

Going backwards, well, umm it’s a different story. This is what happens when you hit another car at 3mph.

Unbelievable! It’s a good thing no one has rear ended me, especially if they were going more then 3mph. I have no idea why them call these things bumpers. You can’t bump into anything or you need a new one. If someone rear ended me, my rear end would be in front of the front end. They would turn my car inside out. No way that can be good for you or your car. Never tried it, not signing up to either. If your driving behind me, don’t f*cking hit me. Please.

I did learn several cool facts in driver training. I was even tested on them. Because testing me on facts is going to make me a better driver. Much better. Especially since I failed the first test. At least I passed on my second try. All in the name of safety, I feel safer, can’t wait to see if I am safer tomorrow.

I thought some of the facts you need to know are:

Fact 1: The average person drives 25,000 miles per year. Besides belching out a huge carbon footprint, only five of those miles are in reverse. Do the math. What are the odds that you’re going to hit something? I defy the odds. I’m a bookie’s worst nightmare, the long shot making good. Bet on me. Just don’t park behind me.

Fact 2: Annually there are 117 adult deaths and 273 children deaths attributed to going in reverse. You’ve seen my bumper, imagine what would have happened if I was going 5 or 10 miles an hour.

Fact 3: Every 1.6 minutes someone backs into trouble. I stole that line straight from the training. You just can’t make up stuff like that.

Fact 4: Just over 10% of all collisions happen in reverse. Not that you undo the collision where you just ran into a telephone pole, although I bet you wish you could do take that back, I know I do. So if you go backwards 1 mile for every 5000 you go forward and 10% of collisions occur when going in reverse, quick someone do some math for me and give me the odds. I’m calling my bookie, but only when driving forward. Never in reverse, the odds seem against me.

I also thought some almost facts would be fun as well.

Sort of fact #1: I live in parking lots and back up 10-15 times per day. This means I’m a better backer uper then you.

Sort of fact #2: Just in case my boss or company reads this, I really don’t talk on the phone and work on my computer at the same time. I text instead.

Sort of fact #3: Since I’ve been in pharma, I’ve driven over 300,000 miles. This makes me one of the top 1,000,000 polluters in the world I’d guess. But I recycle. And I didn’t get invited to the climate talks in Copenhagen. I’ve always wanted to go to Denmark.

Sort of fact #4: My boss just got his new car 2 weeks ago. I have a meeting tomorrow. I’m going to park in front of him to practice my new backing up skills.

So be safe kids, I’m out there everyday backing up.


Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2009 by brianestover

It’s been a long week.  Last Thursday evening, I packed and loaded up the car to go race.  Dropped the dogs off for the weekend at a friend’s and headed up to Show Low, AZ for the Dueceman Triathlon.  Since my training had gone in the opposite direction of good over the last few months, I opted for the olympic distance race.  There is a nice little race series from the folks at Genuine Innovations, The Genuine Innovations Triple Crown.    Genuine Innovations probably made your Co2 cannister and inflator. It involves three races, the Tempe Intervational Triathlon, Sahuarita Triathlon and the Dueceman olympic race.   I ended up with a comfortable 2:15+ min lead over the next person.  Should be in the bag. The guy in second place beat me my :14 at the Sahaurita triathlon, mainly my fault, and I had a rather comfy almost 3 min on him at the Tempe race.

The crew does a great job on this race.  Friday they were busting ass, setting everything up.  I helped a bit here and there, placeing mile markers and marking the run course.  Unfortunately the pizza place didn’t do such a good job on the pizza.  Trisports brought 14 or so people up to help put on this event.  About 50% of them got food poisoning.  Sarah was the first to go down.  Since I was staying in the condo with her and Kim, I got to listen to her puke all night instead of sleeping. No worries though, being an insomniac has trained me to operate on 1.5 hour of sleep.  The alarm goes off at 6:18am, I roll off the living room floor where I was attempting to get some sleep.  Made a very strong cup of tea, ate a bit and watch some tv.  About 7:15, hopped on the bike and rode 4 miles to transition.  Everything felt good, power numbers were higher then ever on the steep hill climbing out of the condo.  Of course I had limtied data on this hill since I’ve ridden it a grand total of 3x prior to this morning. Roll into transition, get numbered, put on wettie and head down to warm up.  The warmup felt ok, not great.  

Gun goes off, Geoff moves into the lead, quickly, I slot in second position with several people on my feet.  Urmas goes by, and since he is a former national level swimmer I hop on his feet.  For about :02. Then another dude goes by and I get another :02 of draft.  Round the first bouy and a group goes by.  I jump on their feet.  I can’t make it stick.  No get up and definately no go.  Get dropped, I’m sitting in 8th place and 3 more guys go by.  F*cking great, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this far back in the swim.  Round the far buoy and finally feel ok.  Move back up a few slots and swim a straight line to the dock pulling a few people.

I’ve got nothing coming out of the water, getting up the boat ramp that someone made steeper since the start of the swim was a struggle.  Get rolled in transition by a few people. Finally get onto the bike, roll a few people back.  Move into 4th or 5th place, not really making up anytime on the guys I know I typically outride. Hit 5 miles in low 59min pace, hit 10miles in mid 59 minute place.  I’m rolling fairly well, but it just not there.  Over the next 5 miles it becomes apparent to me, I had 20k in me, nothing more.  I’ve rolled into the top 3-4 and now have started the roll out of the top 3-4.  By 15 miles I was on high 61 min pace and by 20 miles I was sitting up realizing today isn’t my day.  I was getting rolled by people who I typically outride by 1:30…over 20k.  Enter transition in 8th place according to a spectator and about 1:08 on my PT. 9,10 and 11th place are entering transition as I’m leaving for the run.  Pick up one spot quickly, it’s pretty evident to me that I’m doing nothing. Any get up and go I had has gotten up and gone.  I’d already made the decision on the bike to dnf or just jog the run. But within the first :45 of the run, I realized I’d be doing more damage to myself completing then DNF’ing.  Took a right hand turn off the course, walked back to the RV where the trisports race crew was staging out of, grabbed a few cokes and went to get my stuff out of transition.  

After clearing everything out, I worked the mile 7 run station in the half for a few hours handing out Gu.  To make the day worse, hardly anyone wanted a Gu. Even lost $1 betting on who would and wouldn’t take a Gu. After a few hours of this, my hunger got the best of me, the bulk of the half was past my adopted aid station.  Grabbed a bit to eat, then went and helped break down the Dueceman Half transition area in the rain.  Got yelled at by a lady for moving her bike to a different rack.  Seriously, it’s 8+ hr after the start, and the Xterra race the next day still has to be set up. We are down 7-8 people and have a pretty tight timeline to get everything staged for tomorrow’s race.  You’re bike is fine, I dropped the other bike I moved…psych.

We drove back Saturday night. There was no way Sarah could work the Sunday Xterra and since I was awake why not drive home?  Got back to Tucson about 11pm.  Turned around Monday night and went to Phoenix for a 3 day meeting. F*ck me, I’m tired.

Now for the triathletes are slobs rant.  This is the second weekend in a row I’ve broken down a transition area.  We recycled over 30 plastic water and G-ade bottles that people just tossed on the ground. People left gel wrappers, snicker wrappers, towels, a winter coat, fruit, orange peels, banana peels (insert joke) and just about anything else you can bring to a race.  Both weekends it looked like people didn’t know what a trash can was.  There were trash cans and recycling bins all around. You’re mom doesn’t pick up after you in transition, you pick up after you.  It was disgusting how much crap people just littered on the ground.  If I owned the parking lot or area where transtion was I’d tell the RD hell no never again, you guys are f*cking pigs when he asked if I could use it again.  Really it’s not that hard to throw something in the trash, you do it everyday.  Why is race day different?