CAN I DO THIS?

I started to notice small differences in my Dad after his car accident.

He was taking a lot of medication he should not have been taking. His Doctor never explained the medication to him. You give a strong opioid to someone who never used to take so much as an aspirin.

He struck a guardrail, his front tire became stuck up on the rail and he took out 350 feet of rail. His brand new truck was destroyed, both airbags deployed, the State and Town Police came to the scene. He refused to get in the ambulance or go to the hospital.

I handled the insurance company (not easy), the State and the Town. My Dad winced every time he moved the wrong way. We argued about him seeing his Doctor and he still refused. It took several weeks to settle everything and we discussed that he should get a used truck and not a new one. He agreed.

Next thing I know he’s bought a brand new Nissan Rogue. He had it 2 days when I noticed a big dent in the back.

I told my twin sister all of this because I knew something wasn’t right. My Dad is extremely frugal. He doesn’t like to owe money and after everything was paid he wasn’t getting much from the insurance company.

My Dad also began having problems talking. He kept running out of breath. I told him the day after the accident that he could possibly get fluid in his lung from the rib I could see sticking out. He still refused to see anyone. I called his dialysis place and let them know what was going on.

We were trying to get him help with his bladder that had been ongoing for years. He was at the point where he was screaming into a towel each time he urinated.

We finally got him in to see a Urologist. My Dad insisted on going alone. They inserted a catheter for a few days so he could go back and have tests done. He was in so much pain all he could do was sit there and grit his teeth. He thought the nurse cut him while inserting the catheter.

Three days later he goes to dialysis thene24a0470e843063ac24ede8055779515 back to the Urologist for tests. When I got home he was in his chair unresponsive. I couldn’t wake him right away. When I did wake him he was confused.

He could only give me his first name, he didn’t know the day of the week, and he said the year was 2008 (this is the year my Mom passed away). I called my sister and even though he was mad I called 911.

I should also say during this entire time his weight was steadily going down which I complained to everyone about for months.

When the EMTs came they tried to ask him similar questions that he couldn’t answer. He had a fever and his vitals were all over the place. One of them said “Sepsis”.

He had been to 2 different places with plenty of doctors and nurses who had to have noticed that he was walking like he was drunk, was incoherent, confused, had a temperature, any of the above! He was driving like this!

He spent a month in the Hospital. He had a UTI, Pneumonia, a Pleural Effusion, Sepsis and weighed 127 pounds.

He spent 20 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility for Rehabilitation. He was too weak for any rehab. When my sister and I brought him home we had to half carry him in.

Most people don’t know that a UTI and Sepsis can cause a form of Dementia, there is also a type of Dementia that people on Dialysis are prone to.

I’m with my Dad 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He didn’t want this for me but right now he’s scared. We talked about this. He didn’t want me to take care of and watch another parent die. We didn’t talk about any of this with my twin sister or anyone else.

My Dad didn’t do any paperwork. No Will, Durable Power of Attorney, nothing. He didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or cause arguments so he kept putting it off. I kept telling him I didn’t want anything that he needed to just do it. Then my brother would do something stupid and my Dad would be back at square one.

My twin said she would be with me all the way and help as much as she could.

She did for the first two weeks. Now she comes twice a week and stays 2 hours. She does do our laundry because of course we can’t go in our basement right now (don’t ask). She also insists on cooking which is tricky with my Dad. He’s become picky in the last few years.

I don’t know how he went from a vibrant 75 year old who did everything to a stooped over frail old man in diapers. One who wakes up every hour on the hour to get ready for dialysis because he can no longer tell what time it is or what day it is.

I had to explain time to a man who fixed and collected antique clocks.

There are days I want to leave and never come back.

There are days I’m so afraid I can’t swallow because of the lump in my throat.

There are days I don’t want to do this anymore.

There are days I’m so tired I can’t sleep.

And there are days I’m angry, sad, and feel alone.

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PTSD, Triggers, Keeping Silent And Remembering Trauma

The smallest things will trigger a response from me. A loud male voice behind me at the grocery store, the smell of beer and leather, bright lights and loud music, aggressive men in general, and even the way my Dad calls my name sometimes startles me.

Deep in the back of my mind I think I still resent my Dad for the way he handled everything. For the way he shook his hand and thanked him for bringing me home. For the way he called me a “drunk and a liar” as I was on the floor covered in blood in and out of consciousness.

I told myself I deserved it for many years. I allowed other men to treat me just as bad. Mostly because I was told by my own family that no one would believe me. I shouldn’t have been there. I shouldn’t have been drinking.

It wasn’t the first time it was just the worst time.

REMEMBERING THAT NIGHT

I don’t remember the day. I don’t remember the exact year. I remember the apartment because I was there everyday. I remember the person because we had been as close as two people can be for over 10 years. We were both alcoholics. The only difference was I did my drinking between 4pm and 3am. I never drank during the day and I never drank alone. He drank whenever, by himself or with other people.

Over the years I had seen him be cruel. He had been physical with me on a fee occasions but I wasn’t a small girl and always thought I could handle him. I admit to drinking to the point of blacking out and having no memory of the previous night. I know during these times some things happened without my permission. I only know this by how I looked when I woke up and where I woke up.

I was undiagnosed Bipolar and doing anything I could to not feel emotions. My alcoholism eventually made this a million times worse. I also admit I wasn’t always nice while drinking. I could be obnoxious, jealous, and petty.

I would try to stop or slow down my drinking many times.

One night I took my cousin to the apartment with me, I wasn’t drinking. Someone thought it would be funny to put Rum in my soda. I took a big gulp and that was it. He was pissed and said “You better not get drunk because you’re not staying here tonight”. Of course this pissed me off and I thought “Who the hell is he to tell me how much to drink? He wouldn’t even have groceries or clean laundry if it wasn’t for me.” So I drank and drank.

At some point we started to argue. I remember asking him what the big deal was. Over the years he always said to me “You always hurt the ones you love the most”. And he did.

I turned my back to walk away from him and he picked up one of the heavy oak chairs on wheels that came with a beautiful table that turned into poker table and hit me over the back of my head.

I think I fought back and angered him because he grabbed my hair and pulled me to the floor. He got on top of me with all his weight, pinning my arms down with his knees.

He started punching me in the face, he wore a skull ring. With each punch he said a word “YOU, STUPID, FUCKING, BITCH” I remember spit flying out of his mouth and my nose swelling shut.

The blood started to go down the back of my throat and I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t get any air and I couldn’t move. For the first time ever I was terrified.

Eventually he pulled me up by my hair. I noticed one of the bedroom doors open and a girl I had known for years looked out at me and hurried up to shut the door. I know I said “Help” but maybe I wasn’t loud enough. I had bleach blond hair at the time and it was soaked with blood. My clothes were soaked with blood.

He dragged me to his apartment door which was always open and threw me down the stairs. I don’t know how long I stayed at the bottom of the stairs.

The next thing I remember he’s trying to get me to a car and I fall on my hands and knees in a puddle.

He had his friend drive me and my cousin to my parent’s home. He carried me to the door where he told them I fell. I kept trying to tell them it was him and I didn’t just fall.

It might have been the blow to the head because I wasn’t able to remain conscious. My Dad took this as a sign of being extremely drunk.

When I could speak and told my parents as much as I could my Dad said no one would believe me. I shouldn’t have been there and I was a drunk and a liar. They told me not to go to the Hospital and that I would be fine.

I wasn’t fine and wouldn’t be fine for the rest of my life.

The heavy chair hitting my head had actually caused permanent damage. I found this out 6 months ago.

PTSD is bad enough. When you have an underlying mental health issue like Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and Substance Abuse Disorders, it can turn into something much more complicated.

Dealing with Conversion Disorder has been as bad as coping with Bipolar. I never really know what is going to set it off. It’s embarrassing to start stuttering and have people stare at you. To start shaking and have your hands tremor so bad you can’t count change. To have no control over your body.

My family doesn’t like to talk about any of it. He admitted to a bar full of people what he did. A friend of my brother’s was there. He also called my brother that night saying “I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re gonna hear but it’s not true” None of this made sense and my brother called wanting to know what was going on. My parents said it was a misunderstanding.

Two years later he was arrested for Domestic Assault & Battery and was sent to counseling. He broke the woman’s jaw.

These are some of the reasons we stay silent. We’re talked out of it, told no one will believe us or we see that nothing is really done about it.ddc04855251fa6c0f0d2cc95d4f717f1


TAKING CARE OF DAD~ MORE ON THE ELDERLY AND ADDICTION

There are some people who abuse alcohol or drugs their entire lives and live to be 80 years old with no problem. On the flip side of this you have people who later in life, form addictions due to an “event” or “trigger”.

Retirement, death of a spouse or loved one, loss of income, or a decline in physical health can all be triggers for addiction in older people. Depression is one of the biggest problems.

You wake up one day unable to do the things you once loved, worried about finances, still grieving the loss of your wife/husband who was also your best friend, your children have their own lives now and you find you have fewer people to talk to. All of these things can lead to depression.

I’ll discuss more about depression at a later date.

A person’s age and gender contributes greatly to how open and honest they will be when answering a doctor’s questions but doctors play a role too. Too often an older adult’s concerns are dismissed as “old age” and prescription medications are used to solve the problem.

The #1 drug prescribed to people over the age of 65 and on Medicare are Benzodiazepines. They are used to treat anxiety, pain, and insomnia. They are also one of the most dangerous medications prescribed to seniors.

According to the American Geriatric Society benzodiazepines pose an increased risk for impaired alertness, respiratory depression and falls.

All benzodiazepines slow down the Central Nervous System. When used for insomnia it’s only effective for a few weeks. When combined with another benzodiazepine you can lose consciousness and stop breathing.

There are symptoms people experience when combining benzodiazepines that you need to contact your doctor if you exhibit:

  1. Continuing slurred speech or confusion.
  2. Severe drowsiness or weakness.
  3. Staggering.

There is a big issue with over-prescribing or “polypharmacy” which means having more prescribed medications on a daily or weekly basis than is healthy for one person to have. It becomes dangerous due to different drug interactions and side effects.

A person with a chronic or serious illness can find it challenging to keep up with a complicated medication schedule. Taking multiple meds at one time can cause some medications to neutralize each other so they end up taking more believing they either didn’t take it or it’s not working.

My Dad didn’t understand why he was still feeling so anxious specifically at the end of his dialysis treatments. He wouldn’t understand unless he had a degree in Pharmacodynamics or was a doctor (most doctors still don’t understand how to adjust medications for patients on dialysis). The pain medication he was on for his compressed nerve was making him anxious as it was being dialyzed. The anxiety medication he normally takes is at a very low dose. He didn’t think twice about doubling the anxiety medication. He would be unsteady on his feet when leaving the Dialysis Center and no one said a word.

Some people go to more than one doctor who may prescribe a medication without knowing what the patient is already taking. Patients don’t always remember all of their medications and don’t make a list like they are asked to.

I usually go with my Dad to any new appointments to fill out the paperwork and list all of his medications. His Nephrologist doesn’t see him in his office he visits him during his dialysis treatment. This means I can’t be there. I’m not there to fill out any new paperwork or to let them know about any new medications. My Dad isn’t going to tell them. My Dad will say everything is “Fine” when the doctor comes around.

Primary Care Physicians should be going over a patient’s list of medications on a regular basis and making adjustments. I know my Dad’s does not. If he did he wouldn’t have prescribed 2 benzodiazepines with an opioid. My Dad shouldn’t still be on Klonopin and they should be looking at Chronic Pain Management instead of him taking Hydrocodone that isn’t even working. I made him stop taking the Restoril. I personally wanted to go to his doctor’s office and tear him a new one for even prescribing it to a 75 year old man. It’s a dangerous medication for anyone to take long term but even more so for people over 65.

None of this matters when you are dealing with someone so full of pride and stubbornness that he won’t admit just how sick he is.


TAKING CARE OF DAD~A LOOK AT ADDICTION IN THE ELDERLY

Chronic pain conditions affect about 30% of elderly people. The first line of treatment they are given when they see their doctor is either an immediate or extended release opioid medication like hydrocodone with acetaminophen.

Elderly patients with chronic pain usually develop insomnia which in turn can make pain worse.

Benzodiazepines are often prescribed for insomnia and anxiety. These would be medications like Klonopin and Ativan. Insomnia and anxiety can both occur with chronic pain.

Older patients  have an increased sensitivity to Benzodiazepines. As we get older we don’t metabolize medications the same way we used to. This can cause an increase in sedation and memory loss. Unfortunately too many people are unaware of this.

With the opioid addiction crisis becoming more of a problem the CDC came up with a set of guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

The guidelines are intended to improve communication between providers and patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy.

Nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronic pain. Clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient. If opioids are used, the should be combined with nonpharmacologic therapy.

Clinicians should prescribe immediate release opioids at first and at the lowest dose. For acute pain 3 days or less is often sufficient, more than 7 days is rarely needed.

Clinicians should avoid prescribing opioid pain medications and benzodiazepines concurrently whenever possible.

My Dad has always had severe anxiety. He never told a doctor about it, I think he only discussed it with my Mom and me.

When he had to go on dialysis he found that towards the end of the three and half hours he felt the overwhelming urge to get up and leave. He couldn’t keep his legs still. He’s always had problems with his legs being restless. He’s always been a light sleeper and now the restless legs were causing him to get no sleep at all. He finally mentioned it to his Primary Care Doctor. His Doctor put him on Klonopin, 5mg three times a day or as needed. I know my Dad, he wasn’t going to take them three times a day and I felt comfortable with it being a low dose.

His health became worse and he was under more stress. He wasn’t sleeping at all and his legs were moving all the time. His Doctor prescribed Restoril 30mg. I wasn’t aware he was taking this medication until he was on it for a few months. I started to notice a change in his behavior.

Restoril is a benzodiazepine. Now he was taking 2 benzodiazepines but this one lasts longer in older adults. The other problem is how these medications work when you’re on dialysis. His Doctor has a habit of not taking this into consideration or looking it up. During the day he was off balance at times and sometimes sounded like he was slurring his words. I was pissed about it and told my Dad he shouldn’t be taking both medications that there were better alternatives, but he was so afraid of going back to not sleeping he wouldn’t listen.

My Dad hurt his back a few months ago. I repeatedly told him to go to the doctor but he refused. He finally went to his Primary Care Doctor who of course prescribed him Hydrocodone on top of everything else he was already taking. I didn’t know he was getting 90 at a time.

My Dad came home a few weeks ago extremely upset. He had crashed his truck into a guardrail and didn’t know how. The truck was brand new and completely totaled. He took out 200 feet of guardrail and both air bags deployed. He refused to go to the Hospital even though his ribs hurt. If they had tested his blood they would’ve found Klonopin, Restoril, and Hydrocodone in it and he would’ve been arrested. He had no idea the medications were still in his system and effecting him as much as they were.

You would think this would’ve scared him but it really hasn’t. He’s in so much pain from the compression in his back and the previous fractures that he can’t sleep. At 75 and being on dialysis he doesn’t want to have surgery and I don’t think anyone would do surgery. The doctors he’s seen have been useless.

I sit here and watch him fade away. He’s down to 149 pounds, he’s all bone with a sunk in face. He doesn’t look like my Dad. He’s getting up in the middle of the night and saying scary things like how he wants to die. He has no memory of what he says or does from the night before. I can’t remember the last time he said something positive.

I don’t know how much longer I can watch him pop pills slowly killing himself. I’ve done this already with my Mom.

I feel so guilty for wanting to have a life of my own. I’m also petrified because I’ve never been away from home.

I don’t want to be 75 and alone. My Dad has had a wife who adored him, children who love him, a job he loved, travel experiences, a lot of good memories. It’s sad that only 1 of his children worries about him but that’s most families. My siblings think I owe my parents because of what I put them through when I was younger. First, my brother was way worse than me. Second, I think I’ve more than made up for my mistakes in ways they will never know or understand. I did it with love, understanding, being there when needed, listening, and on occasion I made some of their dreams come true. I’m proud of that.

But it’s time for me to have a life. I won’t survive mentally watching my Dad die. He’s always been my hero I don’t want to think of him as anything else.


DECISIONS (I CAN’T MAKE THEM)

I have a million things I want to do. A million places I want to go. A million ideas to put into action.

The problem?

I can’t make decisions.

I have energy in my mind but not the rest of me. The thought of taking a shower, doing my hair, make up, getting dressed, is exhausting. So I don’t.

I’m tired all the time.

Then there is the anxiety. The feeling that something bad will happen if I leave the house. The extreme worry that my Dad will get sick or have an accident. It’s not far fetched.

On his way to the post office 2 weeks ago the package he was mailing started to slide off the seat. He took his eyes off the road for a second to catch it. When he did his truck hit the guardrail, his front tire got hooked on it and he took out 200 feet of guardrail. Both airbags deployed, the 2017 $25,000 truck was totaled, and he refused to go to the hospital.

I had to take care of everything for him. He isn’t a people person and he doesn’t hear very well. He thinks you get further dealing with people by using his deep angry voice when my mother always said “You get more with honey than you do with vinegar” a concept he never understood all the years they were married.

Where was my twin sister during this crisis? At the beach, sleeping, taking care of the kids, at the beach, and sleeping. To be fair she has ME/CFS? She had Mono for a long time that wouldn’t go away, she went to several doctors and no matter what they did she was still testing positive for Mono and could barely move. This went on for a few years when she started having a specific type of seizure where you might not notice right away. She would just stare off at nothing but I noticed 2 of her fingers would flutter when it happened. It was harder for me to have empathy because she never did with me.

Lately we were working on our relationship and had made a lot of progress. But I needed her these last 2 days and she couldn’t be there. I understand she’s tired and feels sick. I don’t feel well either. I’m having problems with my kidney stents which is beyond painful, a fever, and headache that makes you want to hit yourself in the head with a hammer.

There’s something really wrong with my Dad. I can’t handle it on my own. He’s lost so much weight. He has diarrhea all the time to the point he isn’t making it to the bathroom. I also noticed that it’s black which I know means blood. He’s cold all the time even when it’s 90 degrees outside. He isn’t sleeping, his legs move constantly. His Primary Care Doctor is giving him the wrong medications.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I didn’t have a summer. I wanted to go somewhere for a few weeks just to take a small break but I don’t think it’s possible. Who would check in on my Dad? I worry about everything all the time. Even about dying alone because I have no contact with the outside world. Plus I quit smoking and gained 30 pounds.


HOW MUCH LONGER?

I grow more tired every single day. My Dad grows more difficult to deal with each day. The pain medication mixed with anti-anxiety medication has changed his personality even more.

I find myself jumping at his voice and trying to make myself invisible when he’s around. I cringe when he slams doors and growls at the smallest things. I know he’s in pain but none of this is helping me.

Where are my siblings? My brother is somewhere in the state but I haven’t heard from him in at least 8 months. He never called to wish my Dad a Happy 75th Birthday in June and he hasn’t been by to get his mail.

My twin sister didn’t call my Dad on his birthday either. She called after his birthday or said she would. We are having a tough time. I need help with my Dad and she refuses. She lives 10 minutes away and doesn’t work. She did say that her “Mono” became active again and she had to rest. I then find out that she’s at her mother-in-law’s beach house with the kids going to all these events. Not resting.

My Dad fell out of his truck after dialysis the other day and couldn’t get himself up from the hot pavement in our driveway. I couldn’t hear him yelling my name. He eventually crawled to the door. One arm was covered in blood and missing the skin on his entire bicep. I couldn’t stop crying while I cleaned him up and bandaged everything. Of course he yelled at me to “Quit your crying!”. He’s my Dad, I couldn’t help it.

I can’t watch another parent die. I’m not healthy enough. My last stent exchange didn’t go well. It was done May 20th and I’m still urinating mostly blood (sorry for the over sharing). I also have a lot of pain in my back and pelvis. I know something is wrong but I can’t take care of it right now. My Dad is going for Injection Therapy on his back on the 31st. I have to take him. I hate the hospital he’s having it done at, it’s where my Mom passed away, it’s where I died for a short time when I went into Kidney Failure, and it’s where nurses commented on my mental health in front of me.

I’m tired, lonely, angry, disappointed, and keep wondering why I’m fighting so hard.

People go out of their way not to talk to me. It isn’t because of anything I’ve said or done. It’s because of what I might say or do. And that’s the worst part of all.6fdde65c60ad6b93a59fc21b54fa7621


WIDE AWAKE ROTTING

I don’t know why I blacked out. If it was the stress of dealing with my dad, the heat, me not feeling well, all I know is that I woke up on the floor.

When I woke up on the floor of my bedroom it was like I was somewhere else. I didn’t recognize this disgusting place filled with bags and bags of empty water bottles, paper towels, cigarette butts and ashes that had taken over the room. But it was my room. I had let it GET THAT BAD. I kept ignoring it or I didn’t want to see it. The shame of finally seeing what I let happen was too much. I had to leave it a little longer and remember what had triggered me in the first place.

I know I’ve been allowing people, places, and things said, get to me when I shouldn’t. I exist with every nerve ending exposed, my heart on my sleeve, and no protection. I always have, I also replay conversations and events in my mind that I feel were hurtful or that I deserved. (the key words are “I” and “I” am not a good judge because I am so sensitive) It’s probably one of the worst parts about it all, the constant film running in the background of my mind. It’s been the hardest thing for me to control or find coping skills that actually work.

Music, coloring, and research, work depending on the day. With an autoimmune disease, kidney disease, and medical disorders having to do with my blood that can’t be explained, my medications work at different levels in different ways.

One of my doctors believes part of my Conversion Disorder comes from watching my Mom die. Not just the horrible way she died in the hospital but the way she slowly killed herself at home.

She knew everything she had to avoid to stay alive, she knew everything she had to do to stay alive. I knew when she gave up. When she started staying in her room all the time, stockpiling food she wasn’t allowed to eat and not talking to anyone.

At the time I was working 60 hours a week and trying to maintain my alcoholism.

My mom was never thin but started to gain weight rapidly. This made it harder for her to breathe and put stress on her heart. Her bones were brittle and weak from chemo and radiation she had 7 years before. We were so lucky she even survived, most people don’t. I don’t know what it was that made her give up after fighting so hard previously.

When she fractured her back it was the beginning of the end. She would lose control of her bladder and bowels. She cried, moaned and screamed in pain all night long. Nothing we or the doctors did gave her any relief. They decided to do surgery even though she wasn’t healthy enough for it.

She made it through the surgery but the weight gain and immobility made it so hard for her to breathe she felt like she was suffocating. It was her biggest fear.

I now see some of the same behavior in my Dad and it scares me. It’s the opposite with him, he’s lost a lot of weight and does too much. He has old fractures in his back that he chose to ignore over the years. This time his sciatic nerve is being compressed so he can’t ignore it. He’s fallen down numerous times and doesn’t tell me unless I see blood and bruises. Yesterday he was stuck on the pavement of our driveway for over an hour bleeding from a large wound on his arm. He fell out of his truck coming back from dialysis.

He refuses to go to the hospital.

I called my twin sister to let her know what was going on and I might be taking him to the ER. She never called or texted back. Once again I’m left to deal with watching a parent die. Only this time I don’t think I’ll handle it at all.

My Dad and I are close. I told my Mom everything but my Dad and I have a lot in common. When I quit drinking for the last time he watched movies I know he had no interest in, same with TV shows, just to keep me company. He’s never given up on me. It’s only been these last 2 years that we’ve really argued and that’s due to both of our illnesses.

I want to live my own life.

I’m just not sure if I deserve to.

I destroy everything around me or they leave.


It’s Been Awhile So Get Ready!

After not really writing for awhile, I started to notice I was becoming more irritable, irrational, quick to anger, isolated and depressed.

I’ve always had a problem with confrontation. I avoid it as much as I can. This has usually meant staying silent when someone hurts me or says/does something I disagree with.

Eventually I will reach a point where I can’t swallow anymore B.S. and I reach a breaking point. Whoever is near me at this time suffers the consequences.

I can physically feel it happening. I hear my blood rushing in my ears, I lose my vision except for the color red or red dots and my head gets incredibly hot.

When it’s over, I don’t remember all of it, only bits and pieces. I know I screamed and yelled, said some horrible things, but I don’t remember the specifics.

I don’t make excuses for myself. I have tried to explain why it happens.

One of the most difficult things is when your loved ones think you aren’t trying hard enough.

When I had my last kidney surgery to change my stents, it was embedded and partially blocked with a build up of mineral and calcium deposits.

Your kidneys filter toxins from your blood and help keep your bodies chemistry in balance.

If you have 1 kidney working at 40% that has been compromised because the stent keeping it working at 40% has become embedded and blocked, your blood isn’t being filtered and your body chemistry is thrown off.

Now imagine you have an illness involving a chemical imbalance in your brain. Plus most of the medications you take go through your kidneys.

This would cause a huge problem if this went on for 6 months without you or your doctor knowing.

So when my stents were finally changed it was like starting over. I felt like I was mentally back where I was at 20 years old. My Psychiatrist didn’t adjust my medications even though he received all the reports. I was basically starting fresh but at high doses. All the medications that had been in my system I had detoxed from. One of the reasons I felt the way I did.

Starting over with all the side effects is horrendous. There have been times I just wanted to get in my car and start driving until I ran out of gas.

My Dad isn’t doing well and I’ve had to worry and take care of him. He has multiple disc herniations and bulges in his back. There’s also a compression at L4 and extreme spinal stenosis and arthritis. When I heard them ask if he knew he had several healed fractions I thought I was going to vomit.

He was too busy bragging about how many pounds of grain he can lift and carry to feed his 300 birds! He told me he got rid of almost all of them. He lied. Then continued to dig the hole deeper by boasting of all the other things he isn’t supposed to be doing.

I can’t chain him to his chair. He turned 75 on June 5th. I called and reminded my sister the night before. She NEVER CALLED HIM. On the 7th I called her and asked if she had called our Dad. She said she was going to. I asked why she didn’t do it on his actual birthday. She replied “He didn’t call me on my Birthday” That’s when the blood started rushing. In the last month she has told me 3 different times that she or her and her husband dislike my behavior and how I don’t take responsibility for anything.

I never see my sister and her husband. Since I had that 1 fight with him 4 or 5 years ago I’ve been kept at a distance. But they still bring up my “behavior”. How do you know what my behavior is when you’re never around me?

Sorry if I’m mad because once again I’m the one taking care of one of our parents and I’ll be the one that gets to watch them get worse and worse. I’ll be the one to either find him dead or watch him die at the hospital while you make excuses from 10 minutes away.

She never called for Father’s Day either.

I can’t watch another parent die.

Watching my mother almost killed me. I can still see her face, the nurses laughing, my Dad howling, the blood, like it’s right in front of me.

I remember her last words to me and that kills me.

I don’t want to do it again. But he never left me. I owe him. I know the rest of my family figures it’s okay because I’m alone and they think I’ll stay that way. Maybe they’re right and I should accept it.


LITTLE DEATHS AND SUICIDE SHAMING

The remarks made by an actor on Twitter recently about a friend’s suicide made me more than angry.

He thought his friend was “selfish” for taking his own life. After all that is what his spirit guide told him. I think he’s mistaken about what a spirit guide actually is. A guide doesn’t tell you what to think or do, they guide you along your journey.

If he was such good friends with this person why didn’t he see the signs of his friends struggle? I didn’t know the man but I noticed he was different. Maybe because I’ve been there.

Like in poker, we all have tells. Staring off while the people around us laugh and talk. Not really paying attention or adding to the conversation. Nervous habits like bouncing your leg up and down, tapping your fingers, constantly looking around a room. The smile that never reaches your eyes. Sleeping more or less than usual. Drinking more or using drugs more.

The man was an addict. I’m not sure why he thought it was okay to drink as long he wasn’t doing heroin. It doesn’t really work that way. You’re still self-medicating.

As far as reaching out to a friend or loved one goes when you have a serious mental illness that you are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol it’s almost impossible to do.

Each time I attempted suicide I was drunk. All I could think of was the pain, the guilt, the hopelessness. Every bad thing said to me played on a loop in my brain. “You’re a waste of space, no one likes you, no one will ever love a fat c*nt like you, you should just kill yourself, we can’t believe you anymore because you’re a drunk, etc”. There was no room in my head for the idea to reach out to someone. I didn’t even know I was Bipolar and had been for quite some time. I automatically thought I was worthless. I had thought this since I was 8 or 9.

The human mind can only take so much abuse. I could take a lot of physical abuse and I did. But it was the constant psychological damage and trauma that I couldn’t handle. I doubt most people could. My own family could only handle knowing a small fraction of what I went through and what I thought. They refused to hear anymore from my doctors. I still have to find a way to live with it all.

After 5 suicide attempts before the age of 27 something inside me stopped trying and just drank more. I finally stopped drinking 10 years ago and was correctly diagnosed as Bipolar with Social Phobia, Anxiety, PTSD and Conversion Disorder. Knowing about the mental illness helped me stay sober. Getting to the cause of my drinking went a long way.

I would like to say that I don’t think about suicide but I still do. It’s in a different way now. It’s more like I just want to run away or disappear. It’s harder without family or friends. It’s even worse when you have a chronic physical illness that is life threatening.

My twin sister has stopped speaking to me. It hurts. But she can be extremely toxic. Everything is black and white in her world. She didn’t call our dad to wish him a Happy Birthday on the 5th because she said “He never called me on my Birthday in January”.

First he’s 75 and your FATHER. Second, you never answer your phone and I know he tried to call and it went directly to voicemail which she never checks either.

Long story short I lost my temper for the first time in a long time. I even dropped the F bomb in front of my Dad. That’s how mad I was.

I’ve been left to take care of him and his other 2 children could care less. My Dad is stubborn and cranky. He’s now taking vicodin like candy because he herniated several discs in his back and refuses to stop lifting heavy objects.

I need a little vacation.0d806ffdc1b7a4766b4b545aeb74354b


FINDING MYSELF

I’m not a religious person. I believe in what I can see and feel. This makes it hard for me to find any real spirituality that fits in with what I believe.

I’ve researched Buddhism, which is okay but I would have to fake a lot of the positive thinking they have going on. I’m not sure my body can do Yoga right now either. Most of their concepts are hard for me to wrap my brain around.

I’ve researched Hinduism which is similar to Buddhism but not.

Paganism which can get a little dicey. My Celtic/Norse heritage which can also be a tough one. Shamanism sounded good so did Wicca but I have too many questions and I’ve never been someone who could “just believe” in anything.

I tend to lean toward the darker side of things. I know it’s unhealthy.

I do believe in animals and love to watch them and their behaviors. My favorite has always been the Wolf.

I also think there is something to the metaphysical properties in gemstones. I can’t dispute the research that’s been done the last 50 years or what’s been found that’s the same across many cultures and beliefs. Amber is has the same meaning and properties to Native Americans as it does to Buddhists. I enjoy working with real gemstones. I’m not talking diamonds. I’m talking amethyst, black onyx, agates, the less expensive ones.

I’m still lost and have no idea what I’m doing. I need purpose. I’m also tired of modern medicine telling me they can’t help me anymore.

My GFR is at 40 and my recent surgery didn’t go well when they changed they my ureteral stents. One became embedded which caused more scar tissue which I can’t afford to have. This means having my stents changed more frequently under anesthesia and having a breathing tube. Of course they couldn’t wake me for 2 hours after the surgery because my twin drove me to the hospital and decided to tell me exactly what she thought of me before I went under the anesthesia. When you have Conversion Disorder that can’t happen. The anesthesiologist was not happy with my sister. He had seen her talking to me before the surgery and he had seen me crying.

It’s been a difficult couple of months. I’m more tired than usual, my neck and hips are killing me and my social anxiety has been at an all time high. I’m used to physical pain so my neck and hips have to be bad for me to complain. I kept working while I had 2 herniated discs in my back with 2 bulging discs above and below each one. The only thing that finally stopped me was when I got stuck on the pavement getting out of my car. They thought I wasn’t showing up until I finally reached my cell phone and told them I was outside on the ground. lol

My Dad is having sciatic nerve pain right now and is the biggest baby I’ve ever seen. He won’t listen to a thing I say even though I’ve been through it all. I had 3 Epidurals, water therapy, a 2 hour IV drip of some cocktail to release the muscle spasms because I was shaped like the letter L and they refused to do surgery because it would cause a domino effect. But he listens to one of his friends who says he was kidnapped by aliens! It’s frustrating.

Other than all of this everything is okay.group-wolves-called_9ee7f18bde1c5374


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