More to the point, I was able to de-stress enough to come back here and not feel like my head was about to explode. There's been so much happening so quickly, between the bereavements (three) and the illnesses (two) in the family, I barely knew which end was up.
And, of course, no sooner did I come back, than the process continued. Make that three illnesses. My aunt's condition is stable, fortunately. But the cousin who is taking care of my aunt has now visited a specialist for symptoms of his own. And my father-in-law has been moved from the rehab facility, to which he'd been transferred while I was on vacation, back into the hospital (his third hospitalization since this month began). I'm particularly disappointed and concerned over this last development, because he had been gaining some ground while in rehab and had improved to the point where he was walking with a walker. Now he is back to being bedridden, which tells me that he's probably going to have to work to regain all the progress he had made previously.
We visited him in the hospital yesterday, along with my mother-in-law. Sometimes hospital visits cause patients to become disoriented. That's the case here. He's having some issues with being an inpatient, as he keeps wanting things that aren't allowed yet (like drinking fluid when there are restrictions on his oral intake, going to the necessary instead of using a bedpan, or sitting in a chair instead of sitting up in bed). The three of us tried to defuse the issue as best we could yesterday, but we couldn't resolve the entire situation and we did eventually have to go home. It's hard to witness someone feeling so out-of-sorts, particularly when even knowing what is going on is not enough to resolve the problem.
I am working hard to not build up to ridiculous levels of stress again. Turning into a walking migraine is not going to help anybody, nor will it solve anything. But life needs to cooperate and stop sending issues for a while. I'm TRYING. I may be only partially succeeding, but I'm trying.