Tag Archives: Family Support

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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TWISTED MEMORIES AND MAYBE MOVING ON

It’s a horrible thing not to remember events in your own life. I often have to call my best friend and ask her if I’ve met someone before or been somewhere before or if I’m still allowed certain places. I can’t ask her about family stuff because she wasn’t there.

My Dad and I have been fighting about the TV a lot because he won’t take the time to learn how to use it. He’s 74 and stubborn. He couldn’t find the right weather channel and flipped out. He threw the remote at me and said “Get this shit off here!”. I picked up the remote, placed it next to him, sat back down and said “Do it yourself”. He didn’t like that and jumped up from his seat coming towards me with his hand raised. I put my foot up and stopped him fast.

When I told my sister about it she said “I don’t know why you’re surprised. He used to beat Mom all the time when we were little.” I was stunned. I don’t remember this at all. I remember one night they were both drunk and yelling at each other. My Mom was pushing my Dad and wouldn’t stop. He did slap her. He admits this and more than made up for it over the years. He actually quit drinking cold turkey the next day and has been sober for 37 years.

I called my Mom’s sister. I’m very close to her and I know she would tell me the truth. She was not happy with my sister. She said my version was correct. I said “Auntie, my Mom would’ve went to one of your brothers or killed him herself. She didn’t take crap from anyone. Or am I wrong about that?”. She laughed and told me I wasn’t wrong at all.

We also talked about the possibility of me going down to Naples, Florida and finding a monthly or yearly rental. She isn’t happy living with her son. She’s past retirement age and still working full time, doing everyone’s laundry, all the shopping and the cooking. She’s also the free babysitter. She’s like my Mom was, doesn’t know how to say no to her kids. I want to help her. I love the area of Florida she lives in. I don’t want her to pay as much as she is at her son’s house I want her to be able to have a place to live and not work full time. I love her so much and I’m happy around her and even when I’m alone down there.

The problem is the guilt I feel thinking about leaving my Dad alone. Our relationship isn’t healthy. I can’t get up in the middle of the night without him yelling. I can’t get up too early without him yelling. I can’t change anything in the house. If I go to a store and lose track of time and it starts to get dark outside he starts throwing up. NINE AND A HALF YEARS without drinking or getting into trouble or really doing anything. I’m 45 and single. The car I bought still doesn’t have 35,000 miles on it. I bought it 6 months ago with 34,600 miles on it. I’m rotting away. This isn’t living.

I love my Dad and all I can think about is “What if something happens to him if I leave?” My twin lives 10 minutes away but I know she won’t check on him.

I have a lot to think about.

Rhode Island to Florida isn’t that far, is it?


HOW DO YOU TRUST YOUR OWN MIND?

I have many regrets and I have hurt many people over the years. I won’t use alcohol or not knowing I was dealing with a mental illness from an early age as excuses. These are only insights to my behavior. Bipolar started at an early age for me so I didn’t know life without it. People that hear or read this always have doubts. I had doubts because I am skeptical by nature and question everything. If you know me than you know I also research everything.

There was too much evidence proving that it started early, scientific, physical evidence that I couldn’t ignore. The research team at Harvard University couldn’t ignore it either nor could the team at Brown. At the time I was so overwhelmed with this new information I panicked and shut down. Someone else had to speak for me and tell them I couldn’t do what they were asking. I couldn’t be their freak in a lab, locked in a room with no access to my family. They should’ve known how damaging this would be. Even the suggestion of it was terrifying.

There’s a problem with letting your family see you at your weakest. They never forget it. They also never forget all the times you broke their trust while drinking. How could they? Letting my twin sister see me when I thought I was 5 years old and our Mom was coming to pick me up was a huge mistake. Allowing her husband to trigger a Conversion Disorder/PTSD episode like I’ve never had before was another mistake. Her seeing me so out of control and confused about where I was and blacking out gave her ammunition. More to put in her memory bank to bring up later.

She hasn’t been answering my texts about driving from New England to California but has answered other texts.

Today I finally talked to her, as in I actually spoke to her on the phone, it didn’t make me feel better.

She said she honestly didn’t think it was a good idea for me to try to make that kind of trip. She said she didn’t think I could handle it. It’s too far away if something happens and I panic or lose control.

I have been doing pretty well with control lately. I either write out my issues on paper or here. I also use other tools to calm myself down until I can think about a situation rationally.

I know I probably wouldn’t make it all the way but I wanted to try. Now I have butterflies in my stomach and I feel like I can’t swallow. I also feel trapped, like time is passing me by and it’s all too fast. I lost so much time already. I don’t have that much time left. This is something both my dad and sister refuse to listen to me about and they won’t listen to my Doctors. They won’t look at the statistics or my medical records. They refuse to talk about my alcoholism and the amount I drank. How much damage it did permanently both physically and mentally.

I’m not sure if I am thinking clearly or not because I’ve never thought like other people do. I’ve always loved the dark beautiful side of things, understanding human nature, nature vs nurture, survival of the fittest, basic instinct. I would read books and want to be a vampire queen, a Goddess of Rock, The Morrigan, a warrior in a magical land, anything but myself. But I woke up the same every morning. I lived in a fantasy world for a very long time. It was safe there in my books, in my bedroom, hiding from the outside.

My best friend W called yesterday to catch up on things. She asked a question. “Would you get better if the person who hurt you the most apologized? Or if you talked to him and got closure?” I knew where she was going with this. I knew that she had seen and been around him in the last year or so. I told her the truth.

It isn’t about him anymore, it’s about me. I’m not the same person who thought they deserved to be treated like garbage. I have self worth now. I actually pity him because he’s incapable of changing. I will be honest and say that if I saw him do that grin he does I can’t promise that I’ll remain calm. It’s hard to know so I think I’m better off leaving it alone. Do I want him to see me now? Yes, I do. I want to stand in front of him and rub it in his face that I am now a beautiful woman who has more than he ever will. But people like him will never get it. He’s manipulative to the point of being a sociopath.

Her response was “Jesus, you just said everything I was thinking about him and you’re right he hasn’t changed. I was around him 2 times for E’s sake and I couldn’t take it I had to leave early both times. I hate him, I hate his face. I’m kind of glad you said what you did. He had a rule where no one could say “Jesus Christ or for Christ’s sake” in front of him and when I heard that I wanted to puke. That was what did it for me, all I could think about was you and I left.” W understands me better than anyone.

W’s advice about the road trip? DO IT! If you get homesick turn around and head home. you know yourself and how you are going to feel, you’re pretty good at judging when your mood is changing or when you’re going into crisis mode I’ve seen it. Don’t listen to anyone but yourself, don’t tell anyone until your ready and in your car on the highway.

So I’m still confused because I listen to too many people and not to myself. I’ve learned not to trust myself because other people don’t trust my decisions.

Still confused.


GOTTA GO AND A MILLION THINGS TO DO

My dad is constantly saying ” I gotta go or I have a million things to do”. He’s short tempered and nothing I do seems to be right. When I hear him say he’s “gotta go” I feel it’s because of me. He leaves if he notices I’m talking too much or I’m too quiet. When he says he has a “million things to do” it’s either an excuse to get away from me or to make me feel guilty about my limitations to help around the house. His constant negativity isn’t helping at all.

I still have not heard from my sister after telling her about the bone marrow biopsy by text because she doesn’t answer her phone.

I am honestly lost. The roller coaster ride is never ending and excruciating. I remember going to Hershey Park for a Hair Show and we all decided to go on the wooden roller coaster. Normally roller coasters don’t bother me but this one felt and sounded like the bolts and wood were going to come undone at any minute. I had chest pains and a gallbladder attack by the time I got off the ride. This is how I feel all the time now.

I keep thinking of all the time I wasted but it doesn’t matter I was still ill. Now I think of what time I have left. I want one more good concert, one more night with my best friend laughing until we cry, I want to hear my sister say she loves me no matter what I’ve done or said, I want to see my Auntie Lee one more time, I want one more vacation near the ocean in a house with a pool. None of these sound like much but to me they’re everything.


CUTS LIKE A KNIFE

My Dad can be cruel without realizing it. He makes comments thinking I can’t hear him except he can’t hear and is speaking louder than he knows. I can ignore it for a decent amount of time until he does or says something that’s a trigger for me.

Any time I have lost control sober it’s been triggered by words, body language, or feeling threatened. It’s part of having Conversion Disorder it doesn’t excuse my behavior only explains it. I don’t think I’m always 100% to blame. My dad and sister think they are the only ones on the Planet to suffer. This makes me want to slap both of them. They have both had the loves of their lives, children, their own homes, and experienced so much in life they just refuse to be grateful for it.

When I woke up this morning I had a bad headache and felt hot. I know it’s hot outside but my temperature was 99 degrees and I usually run between 93.5 and 94 because of my Kidneys and medications. My feet are also kind of swollen.

I tried to talk to my dad but he was busy reading his email so he ignored me. I started to do something else when he asked me a question. I startle easily. I jumped and yelled “WHAT?”. He said “Well I guess I know how you’re going to be today. Jesus Christ. It’s like this all the time with you now!”. I lost it.

I reminded him that I startle easily and he brushed it off. I felt myself growing angrier. I said “You never really asked about my scars or why I startle easily. One reason is because P and J locked me in a bathroom with a knife told me I was a fat f*cking waste of space and they weren’t going to let me out until I cut my wrists.” He started saying “Shut up, shut up, shut up, halfway through but I wouldn’t stop. I told him I did it and how they laughed when they opened the door and called me a “stupid bitch” because I didn’t get it right. By this time I’m stuttering and rocking and didn’t notice he had left the house.

It’s ok that I take the blame for everything, I’m difficult to be around, I talk too much, I’m too sensitive, I’m used to it. I can’t see my nephews because my brother in law is around during the day now probably because he isn’t working or it’s too hot for him. My sister is afraid I’ll start something with him. It happened one time and only because he was aggressive and looking for a fight. The things he said to me were so offensive that I can’t believe my sister would take his side.

Yes I lash out when I feel trapped which is most days lately. It’s harder and harder to stay here. When I go to the new Doctor Tuesday they’re going to ask me for a contact person. I don’t really have one I can depend on. I want to go off all my meds. I want to leave where I am. I want to be someone else. I’m tired of feeling like a joke or an embarrassment to everyone. I’m not exaggerating I was kicked out of my Uncle’s funeral by my sister because I was looking around too much. She thought I was acting “manic” and should leave so she made her husband drive me home. How would you feel?


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