Tag Archives: pittsburgh

Sort Of A Vacation

Well, I was supposed to be on vacation this week, but it has turned into something else.  As I have posted previously, my step-father was battling lung cancer.  Last week, he was in the hospital and they eventually sent him home on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, my mother fell and broke her arm.  She had been caring for my step dad up until then.

Once she broke her arm, she needed treatment too and could no longer take care of him.  My siblings and I decided we needed to schedule trips to Pittsburgh, spreading out the visits to make they would have someone there to help them as often as possible.  My sister drove to Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Saturday morning, my step-dad lost his battle with cancer.  Fortunately, my sister was there with my mom so that she was not alone.  The rest of us made immediate plans to get Pittsburgh.  I was there by 530pm.  My brother shortly after that.  My youngest sister and her husband flew in by 7pm.  The whole family is together again.  Of course, my mother’s house is now quite crowded, but we are all here.

On top of everything else, my mother is having surgery on her arm today.  The funeral will be Friday.

My step-brother and his wife have been an immeasurable help to my mom and step-dad over the past few months.  When my mom broke her arm, they dropped everything to get her to the hospital and get her taken care of as well.  I am so grateful they were there.

This week is very difficult.  Certainly, my whole family is grieving, but our grief is nothing compared to what my mother and my step-siblings are going through.  I know their dad was sick and they knew he would die from his cancer one day, but no one expected this quite so soon.  Nothing prepares you for the reality of a loved one’s death.  And losing a parent is hard.

I also truly feel bad for my mom.  She is really struggling.  I am very concerned about how she will handle things once we all leave town.  I am going to come up here again in a couple of weeks to help her out.  DC is just a short drive from Pittsburgh, so it is easy to get here, even in my teeny-weeny Smart Car, which got pretty good mileage on the way here.

So, blogging may be intermittent this week.  I can tell you that this trip has been rough on my diet.  I don’t think I’m eating anything particularly bad.  I did have to make a quick grocery run to grab some fruit and nonfat Greek yogurt.  I did not bring any protein powder, so I have doubled up on the yogurt.  I’m not too worried about being too low on protein as I am eating about 1200-1400 calories per day.  The Greek yogurt should tide me over until I get home or to a vitamin store or something.

I’ll be back on my regular blogging schedule next week.

FINALLY:Update on Psychological Review

So, I had the worst time finding a doctor to do the psychological review in my area.  What an oddessey. 

Yes, the surgeon did make a couple of recommendations to me.  I have no objections to the doctors he recommended save one.  Distance.  Well, that and one of doctors he recommended did not take my insurance, so that one was definitely off the list.  All of the doctors he recommended are about 25 miles from where I live and since I’ve already mentioned in previous posts that I do not have a car (crazy city-girl), that is a problem. 

I spent two solid weeks calling every psychiatrist in my area to see if they would do the review.  I finally found one doctor, who accepted my insurance and was very close to me.  In addition to being a psychiatrist, she is a certified nutrionist.  She does the whole mind-body healing thing.  I think that might be just what I need.  The only problem is she will do the review only if I have been a patient for six months.  I do not want to wait another six months, so I had to cross her off of my list.  I may, however, hold on to her number.  I think I would still like to get some counseling regarding food, body-image issues as I lose weight and I think she will be a great resource in the near future.

In the end, I made an appointment with one of the doctors the surgeon recommended.  My friend who suggested that I use this surgeon saw this doctor and she liked him.  Yes, it is far from me, but I will figure it out.  I will probably rent a Zipcar for a few hours. 

The appointment is this Saturday.   Once that is complete, the surgeon’s office can submit to the insurance company for approval.  Once they have the approval, the surgery will be scheduled.   I hope to have a surgery date very soon. (ominous organ music indicating trouble ahead!)

So, today I am going to take a break from cat pictures in favor of pictures from my hometown. 

I went to Pittsburgh this weekend with my sister to see my mom for her birthday.   I took gave her a book, she gave me new sheets, new flatware, some books, soap, and juice glasses.  Yes, she gave me presents on her birthday. 

I usually only get to see my mom once sometimes twice a year.  I do miss her.  Apparently, she misses me as well.  She spends her time picking up little things here and there for all of her kids and grandkids.  When I go to visit her, I usually come home with a bag or box of goodies that she’s been saving up.

I have a great mom!

I also had the chance to visit my step-mom.  My dad died in ’96.  My step-mother is a very good woman and she took very good care of my dad.   The four of us, Ruby, my sister and her husband and me, shared a bottle of peach wine and had a great visit. 

We also went to this restaurant called Eat’n Park.  Way back when in the olden days…so olden it was before my time, Eat’n Park used to be a drive in restaurant.  You know, the kind you see in 1950s movies where people drive up to the restaurant and and a girl on roller skates brings you your food.  Thus the name.  Now it is a family-style restaurant.   They are also home to these wonderful smiley cookies.  Yum!

I love that place.  I wanted to have one last meal there before my surgery.  They have a great breakfast buffet.  Only in Pittsburgh can you get sauted pierogies on a breakfast bar.   I know, breakfast bar food is not the greatest for you, but I just had to have some of it one last time.  I did make sure I ate the fresh fruit first and vegetables first, but I did indulge on some of my favorites.

Anyway, here are some pics of my hometown:


I did not make it to the world famous Primati Brother’s.  They have the best sandwiches that are famous for putting everything, coleslaw, fries, everthing, on their sandwiches.  They are so good!

For more wonderful pictures of Pittsburgh, please see my cousin’s website.  He has a great photo webpage and our hometown is  featured prominently.  He is a great photographer and has some wonderful shots.  The last two shots above are his.

It was nice to go home!