Bad days are when all of the family’s disabilities and problems stack up

Over the last couple of weeks, I learned that Lily was hospitalized for a major bacterial infection, my dad broke his ankle, and my parents are facing resistance from the insurance company over whether Lily’s hospitalization (the second this calendar year) was “medically necessary.”

I just learned yesterday of a death in the family.

And that Lily has a weird new rash.

And one of her current staffers may not be working out. There’s reason for my folks to suspect that she’s not being appropriately proactive in helping Lily get to the bathroom, and they’re worried she’s not changing Lily’s bedsheets after she soils them. (Which makes me wonder if that new rash is all that surprising.) It seems there may be some weird miscommunication happening, and a disjoint between official program policy and my sister’s desire to manipulate the system. Unfortunately, Lily doesn’t understand that she could be damaging her own health – especially so soon after hospitalization! – while amusing herself.

I just feel so helpless. My own life is not pretty at the moment; I think I pushed too hard to get back to work and to get back to normal after my recent illness, and haven’t healed completely. There’s also a chance that I have a second infection that takes a few months to resolve. Combine that with some uncomfortable recent weather here, and some good and bad excitement, and I’m wiped out. I don’t know what I can do to help my family, but I’m trying to be supportive, to check in on them and send them small gifts. I’m in no shape to fly to where they are to step in and physically do some of the work that needs doing, and that saddens me tremendously, and I’m trying to stop feeling guilty about that.

What really upsets me is that this feels normal. It seems like the family only ever has a few weeks of relative calm at a time, and then a whole flurry of small-to-large sadnesses or stresses happen – which I may have said here before and suspect that I will say here again. My life has been happy, really it has, but these clusters of sadness have happened for years and years, so I feel like I should be used to it…and able to cope more cleanly. The other thing I feel is that times like this week definitely reinforce my fear of being happy – I can’t ever relax into it, because I’m convinced that something bad is about to happen.

Edited to add: Seriously, it’s only a few hours after I posted this. In calling to check on my family, I learn that they spent last night in the ER, and Lily’s on a new set of antibiotics, and while she’s home now and was capable of relatively normal conversation, she also was extremely tired and acting really snottily.


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