Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Life Events Put a Kink in My Writing

After reading and writing all sorts of blog posts about time management--something I've been pretty good at through the years--for right now, everything has changed.

For over 20 years I owned and operated a residential care home--I lived in it, took care of, which included laundry, cooking, doctor appointments and recreation for six developmentally disabled women and lots and lots of paperwork, meetings with social workers, training etc. During that time period I also organized a CEU state approved training course for Administrators, did all the arrangements including registration, and taught some of the classes. I also wrote a state-wide newsletter for Administrators. (Still do) During that period, I wrote and had my books published.

When I retired, I thought I'd have lots of time. Turns out I didn't seem too, but I did manage to write and promote. One thing that has expanded is the amount of promoting I do--because it seems necessary. But I've been managing and having fun.

Then something happened that turned my life upside down. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know about this.

On the Saturday night before Christmas, our son, (Matthew), went to work as a bouncer in a popular nightclub. He worked there often. After closing, a fight broke out in the parking lot and all the other bouncers rushed out. Matthew stayed inside where two girls began fighting. He doesn't remember what happened, but a sober patron has told him that he was hit in the head with a table and bar stools. Between 7 and 12 men began kicking him in the head and body, and striking him with beer bottles.

He was taken by ambulance to the emergency room. One of Matt's friends went to his son's house and woke him up and told him to get to the emergency room, that his Dad's head had been bashed in. At 3 a.m. grandson called me and told me I better get down there.

I no longer drive at night so called my daughter. She drove the 17 miles to the hospital and was a great support. Matthew was conscious. His head was split open--I didn't look but have seen pictures of thebloody gash. He had a concussion and lots of bruises and cuts. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Fresno because of a brain bleed. He received seven staples in his head and many MRIs. They let him come home Christmas Eve.

He had various doctor appointment, though nothing much was done for him. One of his eyes pouched out, he had double vision at times, and his balance was off. About two weeks later his leg became painful and swelled. Back to the ER where they told him he had blood clots in his leg and there was nothing they could do for him and sent him home. (Problem was and is, he's being taken care of by workman's comp insurance and they don't really want anything to be done. His boss from the nightclub has gotten after the insurance company since then.)

Back to the doctors--I went with him this time. The doctor tried to say that the clots may have nothing to do with the beating, maybe from sitting around. Before the beating, Matthew was and is not a sitter. He went to the gym regularly and walked his dogs every day. If anything, he's always been hyper. If he got the clots from sitting, it was because he was told to rest by the doctors. I was very unhappy with the doctor's comment and told him so. The doctor sent him for another MRI to see if he still had a brain bleed--and he didn't.

Now they have him on medication for the clots (can't give him too big a dose because of the possibility of getting the brain bleed started again.) He also has weekly blood tests.

Needless to say, all this has taken a toll on me as well. He lives next door, so everyday I wait for him to come over to see how he's doing. He can't stay still though he sleeps more than he's ever done.

He says he feels better every day.

Okay so what has this to do with writing? One, I'm having a hard time concentrating on writing. I've been concentrating on smaller bits of writing, like blog posts. I may use some of this in a book one day--for one thing, I know that someone will not spring back from a severe beating like they do in movies. I also know the toll something like this takes on family members.

I have a book started that I should be working on, but right now, I can't seem to concentrate on it.

I also have another book coming out soon and should be planning a book launch, but haven't been able to focus on that either.

Like Matthew who feels like he's better every day, I'm calming down a bit every day. Hopefully all will be back to normal (or as normal as things are ever around here) soon.

Thanks for reading.



Di Eats the Elephant said...

Thanks for sharing, Marilyn. I had no idea. It does seem like all your years of running and operating your business has prepared you for this more than most of us would have been prepared to help. Our books are like our children, but our children are more than our books...they're everything. {{{hugs}}}

Patricia Gligor said...

I understand exactly what you mean. This winter was supposed to be about writing the third book for my Malone mystery series. Instead, it's been about taking care of my Mom. (I'm her only caregiver.) She fell and broke her hip in late September and was doing great. Then, the first of November, she fell again and shattered everything. Although she is progressing, it's taking a lot longer this time. I've had to put my writing on hold for several months now. I don't even have time to schedule any promotional events for my books. It's all about priorities. My writing is extremely important to me but my Mom is more important.

Morgan Mandel said...

Family comes first because they can't be replaced!

It's terrible to realize the capacity for hate that fellow human beings have.

Take care, Marilyn.

Morgan Mandel

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

You can see that I'm a bit rattled with the # of typos and I really don't feel like fixing them. An update on Matt though, he's now in a brain trauma center. The insurance company realized the docs here weren't doing what needed to be done.

Patricia Gligor said...

My prayers are with you and your son, Marilyn. Hopefully, now that he's in a brain trauma center, things will turn around.

Lorna Collins - said...

Continued prayers for you and your family. Lots of love to you, my dear friend.

Radine Trees Nehring said...

Oh Marilyn, dear friend, I find myself not only praying for you and your son--but for myself as well since this news has torn my heart.

As others have said, previous and present life experiences help me understand your trauma. And, like you, I am stuck in a slow and go holding pattern with writing as things in my own life sort out.

John and I send our love. God bless you and Hap and all your family.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I heard from Matthew yesterday and today. He's had lots of tests and they are planning his therapy--and guess what, they took him to the movies today. He must feel like he's on vacation. What a relief to actually have things being done for him.

Thank you, everyone for your prayers and kind words.

Libby McKinmer said...

Thank you for sharing with us. What a trauma for you all to have suffered. I'm so glad to read Matthew is in a brain trauma facility. They will be such a boon to his recovery. My Mom's neighbor fell off his roof (Mom found him on the ground) and he has made incredible progress. They said he'd probably never regain consciousness, but he is walking and talking and doing really well going forward.