Monthly Archives: July 2016

PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL

My Dad was released from the Hospital yesterday afternoon. He had his Aortic Aneurysm Graft repaired because it was leaking. It was a risky surgery because they have gone through his groin 3 times recently for surgeries and he’s on Dialysis and has Vascular problems. He spent his 1 day of recovery in the ICU.

I woke up this morning with my usual stiff neck, joints, and back pain. Stumbled out of bed and made my way downstairs. I expected to find my dad on the couch or if not there at least outside in the yard. I didn’t expect to find his truck gone. He didn’t leave a note.

I called my sister. If you have read anything previous by me you’re probably wondering “what the hell did she do that for?”. The only reasons I have are habit and hope. She didn’t pick up or return my call. I’m not sure how other families are, but I think most would try to answer their phone knowing their father was just released from the ICU after a major surgery. That’s just me I guess.

When he did come home, he came in carrying heavy bags of groceries. The phone rang just as he sat down. I made no attempt to answer it. Of course it was my sister. My dad went down the list of all the things he had done this morning. I became more angry as I listened to each one. My sister on the other hand was encouraging. She then wanted to speak to me.

I told her I had a problem with him doing all of these things then bragging about them like it was a contest. She said it was a good a thing. That he needed to feel he COULD do these things. I understand that, but he hadn’t even been out of the hospital a full 24 hours when he did them. His pride is going to kill him. My anxiety and constant worrying about him is going to kill me. This took us right down the same path of me getting “help” or going into a hospital for “inpatient” care. My family might  hear me when I speak, but they don’t listen. Maybe it’s one of the reasons I repeat myself so often. I even do it here. I even type the same words two times in a row. I do this often.

I’ve been banished to my room for a “time out” by my dad. Did I mention I’m 43? I was crying too much. It’s what I do in the morning until about 2 or 3 p.m. then I get a little better. Diurnal Variation I think it’s called. Topamax can make it worse. I looked at houses to rent if I get to go on a vacation. It calms me down a little. Lately I just want my mom. There are none of the usual triggers. It isn’t her birthday or the anniversary of her death so I don’t why I’m having dreams about her and missing her so much more than usual.

Advertisements

BOTHER

Last night, around 11:00 p.m. I started to have incredible pain in my diaphragm. I pretty much knew what it was but it has never been this bad. The been went straight down to my pelvis. I knew it was my Gallbladder. I was also nauseas and sweating. But the pain was unbearable. I tried the fetal position, it would work for about 15 minutes then it was like my entire midsection was having spasms of pain. I wanted to call 911 but honestly I was too tired.

I managed to call my sister at 7:00 a.m. and she asked what I wanted her to do. I don’t know. Say something soothing, offer to come over and just sit with me. She knew I was in the house alone, our dad was in the ICU after his surgery, and I was sick. She sighed and said “Do you want me to come there?”. The way she said it I knew she didn’t want to. Then before I could answer she told me I was on speaker phone because she was on her way to help our ex-sister-in-law because she had surgery on her shoulder. That pretty much summed it up.

I hung up with her and immediately received a call from the Hospital that they were releasing my dad in about a hour. I started to panic. It was too much. The crying started, then came the tremors and stuttering. Talking to myself and repeating every negative thing ever said to me while rocking back and forth. I can’t keep going like this. I have not slept in 2 days. The deep depression in the mornings that do not start to get better until 2:00 p.m. is mentally exhausting. My doctor isn’t much help. My family is sick of it. I had visions of banging my head against the wall to make the dull ache in my head and heart go away for even just a short time.

Running a fever doesn’t help either. Everything is screwed up. I think one of my stents is out of place. I won’t gross you out with the details. My back is killing me, I’m not urinating much and when I do there is blood. The can’t see me until the 27th. I just don’t want to ruin the 79% function in the 1 kidney I have left.

Why couldn’t my sister just come over and hug me? I watch too many movies and too much TV. This is what she tells me. I have unrealistic expectations. Real life sisters don’t act like that. I’m tired of begging people to love me or even like me. I’ve been doing it since I was 5. I don’t even like me. And that there is the problem.


RESEARCH YOUR OWN MEDICATIONS

Unfortunately, all too often Physicians will rely on what a Sales Rep. tells them while pitching whatever Drug they’re trying to sell. My Psychiatrist has a problem with this big time.

I picked up my prescription for Topamax this morning. This is my mood stabilizer. I’ve been on it for years but have been having problems since I went into kidney failure a year ago. When I went to pay for it the pharmacist said “You really need to read the new information about this drug. Some of it relates to you.” I said ok and went home. when I did read the new information I wanted to punch something.

Here is the new info: Recent studies have found that Topamax can cause the following in some patients, we have found it to be about 1 in 500.

  • decrease in vision
  • blockage of fluid in the eye causing increased pressure (Secondary Angle Closure Glaucoma)
  • These issues can lead to permanent loss of vision
  • an increased level of acid in your blood
  • leads to Metabolic Acidosis causing (osteoporosis, osteopenia, and kidney stones)
  • fatigue, no appetited, change in heartbeat, trouble thinking

Your Healthcare Provider should be doing regular blood tests to measure the amount of acid in your blood. Nope. Never.

Topamax can also make you feel irritable, anxious, depressed, restless, agitated, impulsive, and aggressive. Imagine that.

I fit everything on here but the scariest thing is I told him about the Eye Doctor being worried about the pressure behind my eyes and he fluffed it off. I’m really off today. I’m mad because my sister isn’t taking phone calls. Our dad has major surgery in the morning. But why should that interrupt her day at the beach? I know I sound like a bitch. I just wish I say these things out loud. My day was filled with being peed on by Dutch at the Vet’s and my Dad told me to “Eat shit”. I talked too much at the Vet’s office because I haven’t talked to people in a long time then felt embarrassed. I then cried in the car on the way home. Something has to give soon.

 


You’re So Vain

Recently I was told that I am vain. I almost laughed out loud. I didn’t bother defending myself. The person making the accusation wouldn’t have understood my way of thinking. She hasn’t in 43 years. The only thing it would have done is cause another argument.

Growing up the only person I remember saying I was pretty was my mother. Even she would add “But you would be so much prettier if you would just lose some weight”. When I started drinking and going to parties sometimes a guy would make a comment to me. I remember a popular guy in high school saying I looked good one night. My response was to turn around and look behind me to see who he was talking to. Over time as my drinking became worse, and so did the company I kept, that changed. The more I drank, the cockier I became. Alcohol on most occasions didn’t act like a depressant on me it acted like a stimulant. My brain chemistry was different. I would start at 5 p.m. and keep going until 4 a.m. or so. I did a lot of damage to myself not to mention others.

Sober, I never found anything positive in the mirror. The numbers on the scale kept going up and up until I reached 270. When medications and illness caused me to rapidly lose 135 pounds I didn’t see anything different in the mirror. Without guidance from anyone on how to dress for this new shape I found my own style and was unsure what looked right. No one would go shopping with me. My sister was now heavier than me and wasn’t dealing well with it. I was having to ask strangers and dressing room attendants if pants or shirts were the right fit. It was sometimes embarrassing.

Then came comments of the opposite nature. “You’re too thin, you look sick”. Ummm, I was and still am sick so maybe that’s why. It never ends. Even now if I am in a public place I don’t think about how I look or about bending over to put air in my tire until some idiot makes a gross comment. Even then it takes a few minutes for me realize they are talking to me. I fuss with my hair and make up constantly because that was the only thing I had control over when I was 270 pounds. I could at least make those things look good. Now it’s a nervous habit. I’m not comfortable in my own body and I’m not sure I ever will be.

There were too many years of torment physically and verbally that no matter what I do, who I talk to, just won’t go away. It’s a horrible thing to admit but the only the times I had confidence, even if it wasn’t real, is when I drank. It gets harder and harder to leave the house. It’s become too much effort just to go to the grocery store.

The peanut gallery keeps telling me there are plenty of things I can do on my own. I don’t need other people to do things with. I know that. I WANT other people to do things with. I have an extremely hard time making friends. If one more person tells me to “join a group” I might slap them. Let them join some of the “groups” they keep pushing me to join. They wouldn’t last a day. I’ve tried many of them over the years. Each one leaving me feeling more alone and more scared about how I will be in the future.


THERE IS NO CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

MY EARS NEVER HEAR THE CONSTUCTIVE PART OF CRITICISM. MY EARS ONLY HEAR THE PARTS WHERE I’M TOLD I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. THE PARTS THAT SAY “REALLY? YOU COULDN’T EVEN GET THAT RIGHT? NO WONDER EVERYONE RUNS FROM YOU!”. THIS IS A CYCLE THAT’S BEEN GOING ON IN MY BRAIN FOR SOME TIME NOW. AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. AND EVEN THIS I AM JUDGED ON. I AM TOLD I DO NOT TRY HARD ENOUGH TO CONTROL.

MY SISTER AND I BOTH HAVE CELIAC DISEASE. SHE FEELS FREE TO SAY WHATEVER SHE WANTS WHEN IT COMES TO MY BEHAVIOR. I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT WHEN SHE GOES OUT WITH HER HUSBAND OR FRIENDS SHE ISN’T REALLY CAREFUL ABOUT GLUTEN. SHE ALSO ISN’T SENSITIVE TO HER HUSBAND’S NEW SOBRIETY. SHE KEEPS WINE IN THE HOUSE FOR HERSELF AND IF HE ASKED NICELY AT THE CONCERT THE OTHER NIGHT AND THERE WERE “RULES” PUT IN PLACE, SHE WOULD’VE AGREED TO “LET” HIM DRINK BECAUSE HE FELT UMCOMFORTABLE. WITH ME SHE WOULD’VE SCREAMED AND PROBABLY SLAPPED ME, THEN TOLD ME SHE WASN’T GOING TO SPEAK TO ME AGAIN.

MY SISTER ALSO WOULD’VE SUGGESTED A HOSPITAL STAY. MY ENTIRE LIFE HAS BEEN LIKE THIS IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. EVERYONE THINKS THAT I EXAGGERATE EXCEPT MY BEST FRIEND. SHE’S SEEN AND HEARD MOST OF IT.

MY MOTHER, THE QUEEN OF SNACKS AND ALL THINGS FRIED, WOULD SAY THINGS ABOUT MY WEIGHT. SHE WOULD SAY “MAYBE IF YOU SKIPPED THE ICE CREAM? OR DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHIPS?”. OF COURSE SHE WOULD BE EATING ONE OF THESE ITEMS WHILE TELLING ME THIS. I DIDN’T HAVE MONEY YET OR KNOW HOW TO DRIVE. SHE DID THE GROCERY SHOPPING. IF THE PACKAGE SAID NEW ON IT SHE BOUGHT IT EVEN IF IT WAS THE MOSE UNHEALTHY THING IN THE STORE.

SCHOOL WAS SCHOOL. FROM THE TEACHERS TO THE STUDENTS THERE WAS NO HIDING. MY SISTER IGNORED ME AND WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO BE IN THE SAME CLASSES TOGETHER. I REMEMBER ONE GYM CLASS IN PARTICULAR. IT WAS THE GYMNASTICS ROTATION. THEY DIDN’T KNOW I WASN’T ALWAYS FAT. AT ONE TIME I WAS ACTUALLY GOOD AT THE UNEVEN BARS, THE BALANCE BEAM, AND RINGS. BUT BY MY FRESHMAN YEAR IN HIGHSCHOOL NONE OF THAT WAS HAPPENING.

WHEN ONE FEMALE GYM TEACHER FOUND ME HIDING IN THE LOCKER ROOM SHE WAS NICE ABOUT IT BUT INSISTED THAT I DID THE VAULT. YOU RUN DOWN A LONG MAT GAINING SPEED, JUMP ON A SPRINGBOARD THEN OVER THE VAULT. I DID IT BUT LANDED RIGHT ON TOP OF THE FEMALE GYM TEACHER. THIS GYM TEACHER WAS SHORT, WITH CLOSE CROPPED HAIR, AND HAD BUILT A REPUTATION AS A LESBIAN. WHETHER SHE WAS OR WASN’T, I DIDN’T CARE. I WAS ALREADY HUMILIATED FOR FLATTENING HER LIKE A PANCAKE. EVERYONE ELSE WAS INTERESTED IN BOTH. SO I HAD TO ENDURE BEING CALLED A VARIETY OF LOVELY AND SURPRINGLY INVENTIVE NAMES CONSIDERING THE PEOPLE IN MY SCHOOL.

I HAVE A PLETHORA OF ADVICE OF HOW I’M DOING “BIPOLAR WRONG”. I WASN’T AWARE THAT THERE WAS A RIGHT OR WRONG WAY. SINCE MY SISTER GOES TO A SUPPORT GROUP SHE KNOWS ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW. THE PEOPLE IN THE SUPPORT GROUP ARE ALWAYS RIGHT BECAUSE THEY THEMSELVES ARE BIPOLAR, RIGHT? OH, WAIT! THEY ARE NOT BIPOLAR OR MENTALLY ILL THEY JUST HAVE A “LOVED ONE” WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS SO THAT GIVES THEM ALL THEIR KNOWLEDGE. I FEEL SO BAD FOR THEM. THE PURE HELL THEY MUST GO THROUGH. I MEAN THEY CAN’T EVEN WALK AWAY FROM IT CAN THEY? OH, WAIT. WRONG AGAIN. THEY DON’T LIVE WITH IT 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK. THEY CAN GO HOME AFTER THEIR MEETING AND GO ON WITH THEIR “NORMAL” LIVES. HOW NICE FOR THEM.

I UNDERSTAND THAT “CAREGIVERS” AND “LOVED ONES” NEED SUPPORT. WHAT I DO NOT LIKE IS A FAMILY MEMBER COMING TO ME WITH NEW “STRATEGIES FOR ME TO COPE WITH OR HANDLE MY DISORDER BETTER”. OR TELLING ME THAT THEIR “GROUP” DOESN’T THINK I’M TRYING HARD ENOUGH. WHY DON’T YOU AND YOUR GROUP COME OVER HERE WHEN OUR FATHER HAS RISKY SURGERY THURSDAY AND FEED HIS 250 BIRDS PLUS CLEAN THE HOUSE AND TAKE CARE OF THE 2 PARROTS INSIDE? WHY DOESN’T YOUR GROUP WANT TO GO INTO 8 DIFFERENT COOPS OF PIGEONS FLYING AROUND YOUR HEAD WITH I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY INCHES/FEET OF DROPPINGS ON THE FLOOR?

IT’S OK FOR ME TO DO IT THOUGH. I ONLY HAVE STAGE 3 CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE, OSTEOARTHRITIS, SPINAL STENOSIS, IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA, CELIAC DISEASE, VITAMIN D RESISTANT RICKETS (DON’T LAUGH), LEUKOPENIA (VERY LOW WHITE BLOOD CELLS), LYMPHOCYTOPENIA, LEUKOCYTOPENIA, I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE LAST TWO EXCEPT IT MEANS I’M MORE OPEN TO INFECTIONS AND IT HAS TO DO WITH MY WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT. IT MAKES ME A LITTLE NERVOUS BECAUSE MY UNCLE PASSED FROM LEUKEMIA BUT WHO KNOWS? NO ONE REALLY TELLS ME ANYTHING.  I ALSO CARRY A HIGHER LEVEL OF M PROTEIN IN MY BLOOD MAKING ME A HIGHER RISK FOR DEVELOPING CANCER. BUT DON’T WORRY I CAN STILL TAKE CARE OF MY DAD AND THE BIRDS BY MYSELF.

IN AUGUST I THINK I’M GOING TO BOOK A VACATION TO NAPLES FOR 12 TO 14 DAYS. MY SISTER OR SOMEONE ELSE WILL HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT EVERYTHING. DUTCH’S SURGERY WILL BE DONE, MINE HOPEFULLY WILL HAVE GONE WELL, AND MY DAD’S WILL HAVE GONE WELL. I’LL BE NEAR MY MOM’S SISTER IF I HAVE ANY PROBLEMS AND THEY HAVE REALLY GOOD RATES THEN. I CAN’T PREDICT THE FUTURE BUT I KNOW THAT RIGHT NOW I’M NOT LIVING OR DOING ANYTHING I WANT TO DO. I’M ON PINS AND NEEDLES ALL TIME. CRYING, HEART RACING, JUMPING AT LITTLE THINGS, MY OWN FATHER STARTLES ME WHEN HE YELLS MY NAME. I DON’T WANT US TO BE LIKE THAT I LOVE HIM TOO MUCH. IF ONE PERSON MENTIONS PRIORITIES OR MONEY I MIGHT NEED BAIL MONEY. (JUST KIDDING)


BROTHER, BROTHER

Today is my brother’s 50th birthday. I’m frightened for him, of him and about him. A part of me doesn’t want him to show up at my house. The house we grew up in. I know he will most likely be high and drunk. The last time he came here I was already asleep. My dad sleeps on the couch downstairs now because it’s easier for him. He heard the knock on the door late at night.

My brother continuously told my father that all he needed was to “smoke a bowl” to feel better. He told him he didn’t need all this “medication”. Funny how he said the same to me.

The next day I finally took the step I promised never to take. The problem was my brother was approaching 50, denied having an alcohol problem and told everyone he had an ex-wife problem instead. No one found this funny. He is a drunk that repeats himself about himself. How much money he makes and where he works. Or how smart he is even though my parents threw him out of the house. He never brags about losing all his money gambling and having to sell his mini mansion and boat or that he lives out of a motel now.

So I called him. He never answers, just like my sister, so I told him not to call or come over anymore. It was too stressful on Dad and me. My dad is actually his stepfather. My dad raised him since he was about 5. When my brother found out about his biological father in his early teens everything changed. He almost single handedly destroyed our family. My sister still doesn’t talk to him. I understood his pain and hurt but as more years went by and our mom passed he became more selfish. No one had more pain than him. When it was my dad who lost his best friend, wife, mother of his children, his rock.

I can’t watch him drunk and going on and on about his wife and kids when I have too many of my own problems. I am barely keeping my head above water as it is.

I just found out how much it costs to keep my kidneys working every 3 to 4 months. $974 is the amount I have to pay. I then have to pay some separate costs for anesthesia. Believe me I was thinking of going without it until I actually watched the procedure being done. Yikes!!!! I’m glad I was asleep for the others. So I’ll sit her and color until someone calls, shows up, or I take a nap. The good part about the nap is Dutchie has to curl into my stomach with my arm around to sleep with me. I’m on my side. He’ll stay that way for hours. He’s a cuddler. What a face!!


YOU’RE UNCONTROLLABLE

Today I am going to discuss what it is like living with Conversion Disorder and Bipolar Disorder.

If you don’t know what Conversion Disorder is, it’s a difficult psychiatric disorder involving some kind of trauma that your brain can’t handle remembering. This memory needs to come out or be expressed in some way. The way your or should I say my brain copes is to cry, tremor and stutter when I am faced with a trigger or stressful event.

It’s a little scary not knowing that there’s an event in your life you don’t want to remember. There have been some pretty horrible things in my life that I wish I could forget, to know there might be something worse is freaky. I won’t lie, it bothers me quit a bit. No one else in my family will talk about it.

When you have Bipolar Disorder and Conversion Disorder it makes your treatment more difficult to nearly impossible. I try not to focus on the life expectancy of people with both disorders. Then once I add in Celiac and having 1 kidney I might as well start my bucket list.

What I can’t understand is the fact that my family doesn’t understand any of this. My meds still have not been adjusted to account for having only 79% kidney function. I found out recently that it does matter and affect how your Bipolar meds work. My Psychiatrist said it didn’t. No wonder my moods are all over the place. I jump at every loud noise, cry every morning, stutter every time my dad says something I think is an insult. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells all the time.

The stuttering is the worse. I’ve had people walk away from me, mimic me, finish my sentences, or ask if I want to write down what I need to say. I would except for my hands tremor too much to write when I get like this. If people would just have a little patience I could calm down on my own and get through it. The worse thing was calling 911 for my dad and having them not be able to understand me. I felt so helpless.

This brings me to a little side story. There is a State Trooper that lives in our neighborhood. He must know my record. I remember he showed up when my dog was hit by a drunk driver right before my mom passed away about 9 years ago. He wasn’t exactly sympathetic then. I was arrested for DUI after my mom passed away a town over. I’m pretty sure he probably knows. Every time I would see him I would get this cocky look. When I had to call 911 for my dad when he hemorrhaged in the bathroom the State Trooper showed up. He just stood there with his arms folded across his chest, smiling and chewing gum. I then heard him talking to one of the EMTs. He asked why there were so many of them. The guy said the call sounded serious. The Trooper said “Nah, the daughter’s just nuts”. I can’t say I was surprised to hear this. My dad was only bleeding out on our bathroom floor so why should I expect any less? This happens often. What would he say if I told him his boss drank every night at the same place I used to? That his boss would often try to grab me and make me sit on his lap because his chair blocked the women’s bathroom? That he would sit there for 6 hours straight drinking then drive home? Everyone has their issues. To judge me or anyone else in a profession that requires you to reserve judgement doesn’t inspire me to trust you to do your job.


THE WANDERER

She carried a heavy backpack everywhere she went. She could be seen walking one hour in one city and the next hour in another. It seemed she never stopped. It’s a small state so most people had seen her at one time or another.

The salon I worked in years ago faced a busy street. My workstation faced the big glass windows overlooking the street. This wasn’t so great for me because I get distracted easily. I like to say I’m just very observant. I won’t tell you what my boss said about it. I always noticed the walking woman, with what seemed to be the weight of the world on her shoulders. She walked repeatedly by the salon on certain days.  I knew somehow that she was mentally ill by her mannerisms and the repetition of her actions. I had seen this behavior before. I knew she wasn’t walking for her health because of the clothes she wore and the fact that she was smoking while walking. She also walked with a purpose. For years I watched her, she refused handouts or charity and always looked clean.

At the end of June “The Wanderer” passed away. Her family wanted everyone to know her story, so they gave interviews to the local paper. When I read it I cried for hours. I saw my mom, my Aunt, myself, my Uncle, pieces of every mentally ill person I’ve ever known.

She was 69 when she passed away. She came from a family of six children. My mom came from a family of seven. She had a mother who was unable to stand up for herself and a father who was physically and verbally abusive. My mother had the opposite situation. She was known as “The Protector” in her family and so was my mom.

“The Wanderer” dropped out of school and worked at assisted living facilities, helping mentally challenged adults. My mom dropped out of school in the 7th grade to work with my Grandmother in our only State Run “Mental Institution” called the IMH.

She married young and had four daughters. They are not sure exactly what happened except at some point their mother suffered a breakdown and left the family. They were then raised by their father. There was at one point a divorce.

Their mother remarried several years later and she tried to see her daughters more. She had three children with her new husband. One girl and two boys.

Her older daughter knew not to count on her to show up for family functions. Sometimes she would and sometimes she wouldn’t. Her older children could see that there was more going on with their mother than anyone was saying.

Unfortunately she never got diagnosed. Their mom was smart, but socially awkward, she wasn’t good with money, spent exorbitant amounts on clothes then couldn’t pay her bills, and she had issues with her body image.

She did manage to hold down dome jobs through the years. She refused state assistance. As time went by she became worse. She began to think mind controlling chemicals were being sprayed at her through her workstation. She became increasingly paranoid, thinking the company was out to get her. She quit.

She would admit to her family that she heard voices but not to anyone else. This made the family’s attempts at getting her the help she needed useless. She wasn’t a threat to herself or others so the family’s hands were tied. She began bouncing from one family member to another, all the while still walking as much as she could. If anyone asked too many questions or was too intrusive, she moved on fast.

Eventually she ran out of family members willing to take her in anymore. She stayed in homeless shelters and would disappear for months. At one point her family found her and tried to bring her to a hospital. When she realized where they were taking her she jumped out of the car while it was moving on the highway. Having been in this state’s hospitals I really can’t say I blame her.

She disappeared again and relied on the community who were friendly to her. She would stay at a 24 hour Laundromat at night. The state still couldn’t help even though she did put herself in danger by jumping out of a moving car. Elderly Affairs couldn’t help, no one could.

The family received a phone call that their mother had fallen in front of a 7-Eleven and had a severe laceration on her head. The staff knew who she was and made sure she stayed put until an ambulance arrived.

The Hospital (I won’t name it but I’ve been there and my mother died there) was going to just release her after they stitched her up until ONE DOCTOR  decided that something else was going on and ran more tests.

“The Wanderer” was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer in her Liver and Lungs. She had weeks to live. She went home with one of her daughters. The family had to jump through hoops trying to get Medicare and Hospice for their mom. She repeatedly kept saying she just had to “walk it off”.

Her last days were filled with grandchildren, children, and rest of her family and friends. She sat outside with her oldest daughter laughing and sneaking an occasional cigarette. Her daughters were with her when she passed and wanted people to know that she WAS LOVED.

Sometimes people who are mentally ill make the choice to live outside the system. My Uncle Jimmy did and was happy most of the time. It breaks my heart to think of him buried in Potter’s Field, no wake or funeral. It was his choice for the most part. I am scared it will happen to me and not by choice. That I’ll be alone, my family will be done with me. It’s getting close to that now. It’s the tears. No one knows how to react so they get defensive and angry.

 


FAILED AGAIN & FAMILY ANGST

For once I tried to do something charitable that didn’t benefit me. I failed. It’s a feeling I’m used to. I try not to get my hopes up ever for anything. Our family motto is “If something bad is going to happen it’s going to be to us”. Recently finding out my mom’s maiden name actually meant “dark stranger” or “sinister” in some translations didn’t surprise me at all. My mom couldn’t just get Lung Cancer. She had Cervical Cancer while pregnant with twins and had to have an emergency hysterectomy after we were born. Years later she then was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. Of course that isn’t what killed her, Congestive Heart Failure did several agonizing years later.

My father has 9 lives. I’m afraid they’re almost used up. From saving the kids stuck on the railroad tracks and almost getting himself killed, the Portuguese Man Of War, 2 bouts of Peritonitis, a Quadruple Bypass, Lyme Disease 2 times, ran over his foot with the lawn mower, a rare virus that destroyed his kidneys putting him on dialysis, Temporal Arteritis that they caught minutes before he stroked out, bursting his eardrum 4 times, Aortic Aneurysm, I’m pretty sure I’m missing stuff but you get the point. And you might have guessed he hates to go to the Doctor and waits until the last minute.

I’ve never won at Bingo, scratch cards, or any contests. The one contest I won was rigged so that everyone won. So I was excited for exactly one minute.

I wanted the Janie’s Got A Fund Fundraiser to work because I know it’s legit, it’s something I’ve experienced, it’s needed, and important.

It bothers me that so many in my family didn’t take me seriously or care. My sister was busy at the beach and then going to a concert and after party because her husband of course knew the band. He used to be in a side project with one of the women in the band. They were going to be hanging out in Newport for the entire day and night. I’m not sure if anyone knows much about Newport, R.I. but where they were going is pretty high end. It isn’t jealousy, it’s pain. A lot of pain. I bought some new colored pencils yesterday. That was my big day. And I actually washed my hair.

The first pic is my Dad with Nixon, the next is him probably getting his first bout of peritonitis in the Navy, and then my sweet beautiful mom. I’ve probably shown these before but I miss her unconditional love and his smile that disappeared with her. He used to make me laugh even when I didn’t want to. Now it’s mostly yelling and tears.


IF IT BLEEDS IT LEADS

I have become an angry, negative person. I was also becoming someone who had lost the ability to empathize anymore. I had trouble with that to begin with unless it had to do with animals. It was when I saw 2 things, one in the newspaper and the other on TV that my feelings began to change.

The first item I saw had to do with a celebrity’s girlfriend or ex-girlfriend’s suicide. The autopsy results were released and the deeply personal suicide note to said celebrity was also released. The media made BOTH PUBLIC for all to read.

The biggest problem I have is this celebrity is known to be Bipolar and doesn’t take medication. He doesn’t talk about it much and does not advocate for the way he deals with his Bipolar Disorder. He figures it’s his choice and his alone. I have seen his decline in the last year, before and after the death of his girlfriend. One of his bestfriends I noticed was no longer seen in photos with him. I have an idea why.

Releasing the autopsy reports is iffy. She herself wasn’t in the public eye, it was ruled a suicide and not a homicide. I didn’t see the need to publicize it except for showing the different narcotics found in her system and who they had been prescribed to. The media had talked to her friends and family and found out that she would go through periods of extreme lows and highs.

The medications had been taken from the celebrity’s house. They had been prescribed under a fake name he often used. These were not your usual drugs. These were heavy narcotics. Different forms of morphine and propofol. I’m only guessing these were being used to self-medicate his Bipolar Disorder.

Publishing her suicide note for her friends and family to read is cruel. It was deeply personal and mostly about her relationship and love for him. When you throw two people together that are battling a storm without any survival tools it isn’t going to end well. Place the media in the face of the one left behind and we’re looking at a another potential tragedy.

Even someone who doesn’t have a mental illness would have a difficult time dealing with that pain and stress.  I wish him well and hope he reaches out to his friends and family that do still love him. You can’t hide behind a joke and a fake smile forever. It’s time to take off your mask and realize you will still be loved.


%d bloggers like this: