When Kevin and I were out gallivanting yesterday, we ate lunch at a Subway in Gallipolis. Right outside the window was a large two-billboard-wide steel structure being refurbished by four busy workmen. You can see two of them above - one is up on the top of the substructure, installing electrical lines for after dark lighting for the ads; the other is below at the left in a 'cherry picker', painting the steel (well, priming it, I think, preparatory to painting it). Where I live in Columbia, billboards are forbidden by covenant so I don't see this kind of activity very often. There were two other guys whose jobs appeared to be keeping the public away from the work zone and handing the other two tools and supplies.
Today has been full of long, tiring hours ... starting at 2 a.m. when I got a call from the hospital my brother Jeff was in saying he had fallen and was unresponsive and they had med-evaced him by helicopter to the Ohio State University Hospital shock trauma unit. (Finding out that sentence worth of info took almost 2 hours all by itself). Apparently his blood CO2 levels built up and he 'fell out of his chair' and struck his head on the mobile tabletop. I'm not sure how that could have happened, really, as the chair is a recliner. Shrug.
After hours of phone calls, I was told he had been reintubated (put back on a respirator) and was 'stable but critical.' I had already made an appointment for 11 a.m. today to meet with one of the buyers from our auction to solve some problems with title transfer for the purchased vehicle. Since (at 10 a.m.) I did not have any idea where or how Jeff was doing, I set off to take care of this (one of the last details toward getting my brother Alan's estate settled).
As I mentioned before, my sister and I have a contract on a house in Kansas. The seller wants to settle on August 1st ... which means all these little details have to be wrapped up and our money released to pay for the house. I followed my GPS's instructions and took a _very_ backroad trip to Lucasville, Ohio and then back to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Jackson to deal with the 'antique truck' detail (my grandfather's 1957 Chevy pickup). It was hot and still and humid today which did not improve my comfort any at all. :P
By the time I finished at the DMV it was 2 p.m. (left home at 10:30 a.m.). I went to my lawyer's office and spent another hour dealing with paperwork of various kinds. At that point, I reached a stage I had assumed would come at some point but did not anticipate for today - I whacked (metaphorically, thank God) flat faced into a brick wall of stress. Basically, I had what, for me, amounted to an emotional melt down. I lost my ability to do simple arithmetic, was trembling all over and mentally confused, basically just physically, emotionally and mentally done in. :P
Luckily, the lawyer's office was air conditioned and quiet/calm or I might have physically collapsed. I'm not sure they knew I was descending into inertia (I am a pretty quiet person), but they clearly could see I was upset. Sigh. After a half hour I recovered and could go on dealing with matters at hand and now I am fine (after five hours of mostly rest). After the lawyer's office, I had to stop at the pharmacy to pick up medicine for my brother Kevin, go to my bank, and to the post office. Then I came home and have been basically sitting ever since (fed my brother Kevin and myself supper).
What I've been doing since last Thanksgiving has been a stressful progression and I know it ... but I tend to take things as they come and deal with one problem at a time until things are under control. I knew it was possible for me to become truly stressed out but I've been on guard against it and really did not expect such clear symptoms (clear to me, anyway). I expect my much abbreviated hours of sleep last night did not help. :P
I have not been able to concentrate enough to sew or knit or do anything productive for several days ... and I do not deal well with heat _at all_ ... and the combined stress of my brother's illness, constant driving, buying the new house, settling two estates and getting two different cars repaired at once ... has been considerable. I guess I should be happy that I've been able to function as well as I have.
Tomorrow I _have_ to go to Columbus and see how my brother is doing. I am his designated 'next of kin' and I need to talk to his doctor(s), etc. I do not look forward to the (probably) three hour drive each way to accomplish that, though. Sigh.
My sister wants me to come to Kansas for the closing on our house on August 1st. I feel very doubtful right now that I will be able to do that. We'll see.
PS The point of this post is NOT to ask anyone for sympathy or support ... but is just to document for myself what is happening in my life ... and, maybe, to help other people feel that they are not the only person under stress or dealing with difficulty. Somehow there is always release in knowing that other people are in worse condition than oneself. :)