This thread is a vent/rant type of thing, so feel free to skip if you don't want to hear my bitching. I just read the Christmas budget thread, and it underlined for me the utter shit that this holiday season has devolved to for various reasons. This has been a shit year(s) in general. Our financial situation has been bad this year, compounded by an increase in our biggest costs-- transportation, energy for the house, and our mortgage payment. I also didn't work as much this year as I'm used to, and that hasn't made anything better. We decided to sell out house to make our lives saner in many departments including financial, but we did so right as the real estate market collapsed. Where homes in our neighborhood used to sell in days, they now sit on the market for easily 6 months. The house has needed a bit of work to get ready for sale, and that's really stretched us both timewise and financially, as well as made daily life more stressful because we need to keep it as clean and clutter free as possible at all times, which I don't do well. So here we are at the holidays. My husband's office has a Christmas party every year, and wanting to get dressed up to celebrate my 80 pound weight loss, I bought a nice dress. Which needed shoes, a bra, etc. so on. My husband needed a new suit since he put the last one in the wash by accident. The party is held 3 hours away, so we needed to stay in a hotel, which the company didn't cover this year. The party is usually fun and the networking useful, but this year just sucked. It was dismal and we wasted both our time and money. Apparently the company isn't doing well and my husband is working relatively isolated on this project, and company turnover has been very high. We knew very few people and the ones we did know seemed near suicidal from stress. The people we sat with sucked. To top it all off, when dessert came, it was a fruit cup. I know that's not a big deal, but come on, a catered dinner at a nice country club and they serve what my kid gets for lunch. They also asked me to photograph the party, but to do it as a favor, which I refused. I don't work for free unless it's for portfolio building, and I've got enough event coverage to last me into the next century. Also I think it's really bad form to ask a guest to work at a social function-- they said they only wanted a few shots, but I'm a pro, I don't do "a few shots." They refused to pay me, which was fine, so they had some douchebag with a point and shoot taking really bad photos calling himself "the annoying wedding photographer." I about speared his eyeball with a fork. My mother got a new doctor and has been going through various tests and she's finding out what we've suspected for a long time-- her old doctor was being negligent by ignoring and allowing her to ignore some very obvious health problems that have been building for 20 years. She's been put on a lot of medications and had a ton of tests, and nothing has been good, but nothing has been that awful. Yesterday she had a heart catheterization to explore some possible blockages a stress test found, which is done on an outpatient basis. Her cardiologist told her at the outset that the worst case was having to get 2 stents put in and she'd have an overnight stay. Well, that's not what happened. The surgeon came out after operating and told us she needed a six-way heart bypass. Open heart surgery. And she needed it ASAP, as in, today. She's lucky that she hasn't had massive cardiac arrest and dropped dead. While waiting to be scheduled, they did some further scans and found blockages in her carotid artery. That needs to be operated on before her heart or she'd risk having a stroke during the open heart procedure. They had to consult a vascular surgeon and get her on the schedule, which didn't happen until this morning. They don't have her surgery scheduled, but they think so far that it will be tomorrow afternoon. I'm so angry and frustrated at my mother because she's been smoking and eating her way to a slow death for 20 years. I lost my father 2 weeks before my son was born from lung cancer. We need my mom, especially my 85 year old grandmother who depends on my mom for everything. They are best friends. My son needs my mother. I need her. I don't know how many times and for how long I've lectured her on her health. I hate it that my son comes home stuffed up and stinking of smoke. I hate it that I've known all along what was confirmed yesterday-- that she's a walking time bomb. I hate it that I know that even after all this, if she lives and recovers, she may not change her lifestyle. That scares me and infuriates me. It's selfish and I realized I'm being selfish for getting so angry at her. I'm also terrified. She's had radiation in her chest from two bouts with breast cancer, and healing tissue that's been irradiated is much more difficult than normal tissue. She's most likely going to be recovering for about a year. I don't know what we'll do for that year and how independent she'll be able to be. I've offered to let her move in for awhile-- we have an empty in law suite anyway. My brother has also offered to stay with her for as long as she needs at her house, but he smokes, and I get the feeling if she's around him she'll start up again. At least if she's at my house I can restrict her access, though if she doesn't really want to stop, I know she won't. I know I can't make choices for her. I also have her dogs now while she's in the hospital. There's no way in hell I can let the house be shown because it's zoo in here. It's good that my husband has this week off for the holidays because they won't let my son in the hospital and I don't have a lot of places to put him when I go see her. I almost shot the nurses when they chased us out of the waiting room because he was crying. I understand that there's got to be some procedure in hospitals and that children are difficult, but we all just found out that my mom is doing so badly and my son keeps us all going when things get bad. My son is good for my mom, and for all of us. Getting screamed at and chased out after learning all this information made me break down and start crying in rage. Add to this that my brother, an Iraq war vet, has turned into a cross between my father and a drill sergeant. I know at times of crisis he excels at giving orders, but for fuck's sake, I'm 30 years old, not 10. I don't think he realizes that a.) I'm an adult b.) I'm going to do what I think is right for me and my family, and c.) I don't need him to tell me things that I already know. My mom's one dog stinks because she has yeast in her ears which I'm going to have to take care of while she's here because my mom's neglected it and hasn't known how to fix it. It's good for the dog because she's not coughing from the smoke anymore, and I know how to take care of her ears since I had a goldie with the same problem. I'm angry at my mom for letting the dog get this sick-- but knowing how bad off she is, it's no wonder that she could barely walk through her house let alone take care of everything else. I've been and am so frustrated with her for not taking care of everything, but I also know that she really couldn't since she's getting very little oxygen to her blood. It's just not easy having 2 dogs in the house and I have no idea where my mostly outdoor cats who love to mark territory on my carpets have gone. I saw one inside last night. Meanwhile, the other dog (male) is marking territory on our brand new carpet that we got to sell that house because the cats had marked the previous carpet all to hell. He's a nice dog, but he's always marked things and now is not a good time for him to marking the hell out of my house. We are supposed to be going to my in-laws tonight and then to see a show in New York tomorrow. We've been planning this for months. I want to go just to get away for a day, but my husband thinks it's wrong to leave my mom, which I agree with I guess. I just hate not being able to do anything for her, and I want some sort of normalcy for us, and I don't know what good I'm doing anyway. I just want a break, and I want to spend some normal holiday time with my family. I don't know how much good I'm doing in the hospital especially since our whole family is in and out to keep her company all day, but I understand that I should probably be there for her.