Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thursday Thirteen #188


According to the Social Security Administration, here are the 13 most popular boys names from 2011.

1) Jacob
2) Mason
3) William
4) Jayden
5) Noah
6) Michael
7) Ethan
8) Alexander
9) Aidan
10) Daniel
11) Anthony
12) Matthew
13) Elijah

I checked 2001 and 1961, and "Michael" appears near the top on those lists, too. While my search was by no means exhaustive, it looks like it became massively popular in the mid-1940s and has remained so ever since.

The nearest female equivalent is "Elizabeth," which hangs rather tenaciously in the top 20 though she doesn't rank as consistently high as "Michael."

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I Want Wednesday

I want this to all be behind us. My mother wants out of the nursing home she's in. She's currently sharing a room with three other people, all there for long-term hospice care. BUT that is because she was checked in last night at 11:00 PM* and they had nothing else available for her. If she's not in a semi private room today, she will be soon.

She just wants out. The home she's in is "not acceptable." It smells bad. The people in her room make nasty noises. It cannot possibly be the best we can do for her.

Um ... yeah, well it is. It got a 5-star rating from the Department of Health and Human Services and an A on Angie's List. And, thanks to Medicare, the first 20 days are free.

If she leaves there, we'll have to find 24/7 private nurses for her. I don't have thousands of dollars in a box under my bed to foot that bill. And besides, the facility she's in has an onsite pharmacy for pain management and facilities for respiratory and physical therapy, which she wouldn't get at home.

I know she's been through a lot and she's angry about being sick again. But she is where she needs to be.

*Their usual closing time is 8:00, so they stretched the rules to accommodate my mom.

Not sleeping

It's 4:00 AM and I'm blogging. Why?

Because I can't sleep. Mostly because I can't breathe. It's pathetic what a baby I am when I have a cold. I complained less about the discomfort of having my internal organs removed (a year ago at this time!) than about this weariness and nasal congestion (my throat feels better just now).

Part of it is worry about money. My mom checked into a nursing home in her hometown, about 20 minutes from me, this evening. Her doctors in Madison, WI, predict she'll be there two weeks. Which is good because not only is she feeling "antsy," Medicare will pay for up to 20 days.

I hadn't planned for paying for my mother's healthcare costs. I help her out every month because she's my mom. I pay for her Medicare Part B insurance and her snow removal every autumn and give her a $20 giftcard* for the local drugstore each month. That comes out to about $230/month. I can afford that and I'm happy to do it because she is my mother.

I have always known in the back of my mind that I'll have to pay the lion's share of her funeral costs because she doesn't have life insurance and because my sisters are ... well ... the way they are. (One is always broke and the other has never been forthcoming with money for our mother.) This I am not happy about because it's so not fair but hopefully it's not something I'll have to deal with for quite a while.

But this was never on my radar. Not for a moment. I'm going to be 55 in two months. If I empty out my savings to pay for my mom's care, who will pay for my old age and retirement? I don't have kids to lean on.

This scares me awake.

But hopefully she will be strong enough after two weeks that she will be able to come home. Her recovery so far has been really awesome. I'm surprised and impressed by how tough she's turned out to be.

Much tougher than her whiny middle daughter, who has a cold.

*She uses it for "treats" -- nice shampoo for herself, treats for her cat, presents for the grandkids …