Sunday, September 28, 2003

Well, this is my last day in Ohio. I leave tomorrow to return to Texas where I spent the majority of my adult life.
I will miss my family here. It has been great to share to their life and to be part of my granddaughter's life. I hope she will remember me and that we will visit regularly.

It was good to see the siblings this summer and to share the time I was able to with my special sister. She came up yesterday with her new daughter, and DJ and Keisha spent the afternoon playing. Only a couple of disagreements; for 6 year old girls that wasn't bad.

My sister really has her hands full with DJ. She came with a lot of emotional baggage from her past. Its sad to think what people will do to children even before birth. My sister is making progress. She has earned her place in heaven. DJ finally calls her Mommy now; that's encouraging. Its really neat how DJ and Keisha hit it off from the instant they met.

I think about returning to Texas and its strange. I will not be returning to the life I left which is liberating. I learned a lot in this time I was away. I discovered that the people I counted as friends were not. And, I had to admit I was a bad judge of character.

I will be renewing my friendship with Oscar, and that I am excited about. He is the one who stayed in touch, encouraged me, kicked me in the behind when I needed it, cried with me, and prayed with me. Its ironic that I had to go away to learn that he was the true friend.

I will be returning to a new place, which is good. No old memories. I will have to start over with health care which is a little daunting. The climate will be better suited for my fibromyalgia. The symptoms will not disappear but may be muted.
I just don't think I could have endured another harsh winter.

So, I'll be in touch when I get settled. keep me in prayer.

Friday, September 19, 2003

I read with great interest the bipolar support blog that is indexed with my blog.
What a terrible turmoil this family faces.
I remember when it all came to a head for me. I had just 3 days prior given my youngest daughter the wedding of her dreams with no help. I had enlisred help but those I asked did not come forward to help. An example was the ceremony was to be at 10:30 AM. At 6 AM I was at the location doing the tasks the groom and his groomsmen were to do the night before.They even spent the night there to get this stuff done and then didn't do it. They decided to get drunk instead.
At 10:10 I was driving back down the street to my condo to get dressed. The mother of the bride wore no makeup or jewelry; did not have a shower and her hair was not fixed.
The father of the bride's " friend " who was also supposed to be my friend was on time and beautifully put together. She was one of the ones I enlisted to help and didn't.
I had her shower of 50+ people in my one bedroom condo 2 days before.We had people stuffed everywhere. Outside up the steps, down the walk,out in the parking lot, etc. She wanted a couples shower and her older sister was supposed to be giving it and all I was supposed to have to do was provide the place. Wrong. The sister didn't even show up until 30 minutes after it was supposed to start and then somehow it was my fault that it fell into disarray.
I gave the rehearsal dinner at a Tex-Mex place we ate at for years. The grooms family was from out of town and suggested I pick a place that could accomodate everyone. There was something for everyone on the menu and there was beer and margaritas for those that wanted alcohol.
We took up the whole back room. I had relatives from out of town come in but barely had time to visit.
The grooms family didn't pay the bill so I did and was glad I could.
When my daughter was getting ready ro say her vows I reached for my husband's hand and he shook it off.
We had been separated but reconciled 4 months before at his request.
Then 3 days after the wedding he informed me he was leaving me for this other woman and had played with me to get through the wedding.
I attempted suicide. I was serious. I was calm. I didn't tell him what I did. I can only remember thinking that I just wanted the pain to stop.
Its kind of comical but I found out when he realized what I had done ( after I went unconscious) he actually got into his car and drove to Walgreens and waited for the pharmacist to help him find syrup of ipetac and then came home and administered it to me.
He was a trained EMT and should have known you don't induce vomiting on an unconscious person. Well, it didn't work and he had to break down and call 911 an hour and 11 minutes after I ingested the pills. He had wanted to avoid that because we were both affiliate with the fire department and he didn't want a " scandal".
After I was moved to the nut house he and the kids and new son-in-law came to see me once and the first thing he said was "did I know it was 55 miles one way to this place"?
I answered him " no, I sure didn't as I was my view was restricted to seeing where I'd been from the back doors of an ambulance however, I was just fine, thank you for asking."
I was such an embarrasment to them. Still am.
So for me to see that Kyle's family supports him is so refreshing.
Actually, at the nut house I met Oscar and we have now lnown each other 4 years. Its been up and down and in between. He saved my life.
I love him in a way I don't love anyway else in the world.
He'll say I'm crazy and I always remind him where he met me. It isn't that I tried to keep it a secret.
That time began the period I call the journey into my new life. I finally was diagnosed correctly. I began a 3 year journey into learning about what wrong meds can do to me and how uncaring some in the mental health profession don't always have our best interest at heart but their own.
I saw my family for who they were and not how I wanted them to be and accepted it.
I accepted all that was wrong with me.
I began to understand me.
I began my road back to sanity.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

I haven't been on the " pooter " for awhile. I think I went through a bad flare up. For a few days I thought I had a bad case of the flu until I realized that fibromyalgia is like the flu. Duh.
I hurt from the top of my head to the joints in my toes and literally everywhere in between.
I had the gastrointestintenal stuf; blah, blah, blah.
I read my sister's comment about my nephew going away to war. God, I know how she aches.
It is such a poignant moment for a parent and maybe a mother in particular.
Its ironic. When we were young I tried protecting my siblings from harm however there was no way to prepare her for this.
Its just an anguish each of has to go through ourselves.
There is so much more to write about but I don't have the energy right now.
Thanks for all who have stayed in touch.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Today is the 2 year anniversary of 9/11. It is a day that all Americans will remember the rest of their lives.
We will always remember where we were, what we were doing, who we were with when we found out our way of life had changed forever.
I want to salute every service person who is out there somewhere in the world defending our freedom. I have the utmost gratitude and respect. And, I also wish to salute any service person who has ever worn the uniform to defend our freedom.
What can I say to the countless families whose family member gave the ultimate sacrifice?
It seems so hollow to say I am eternally grateful and humbled by their sacrifice and am in their debt. Thank you.
To my son, PJ, Paul I respect you for your choice and service.
I know only too well what it took to wear that uniform. I will always remember the choices you made along the way from the little boy to the teenager to the young man and the personal growth along the way.
I have loved you since before you were born and have only continued to love you along your journey to becoming a man in the truest sense.
Our relationship hasn't always been easy but its been worth it to me.
You were a gift to me and I treasure every day I am allowed to be your mother.
I have made mistakes but I've always loved you from the deepest part of my heart.
I remember the day you made the commitment to join the Navy and the grueling 2 hour exam I put the recruiter through.
And, I remember 2 years ago today when the reality and significance of YOU wearing the uniform hit me.
I had to go in and wake you up and tell you what was unfolding and that maybe you needed to call the recruiter to see if this meant you were going to have to leave sooner than planned.
As your MOm I wanted to take in my room and hide and keep you safe. As an American I knew I had to let you go.
The last time I saw you you were leaving to join your ship off of Afganistan.
Standing in the driveway as we were saying goodbye I put you in God's hands one more time and haven't looked back.
And God rewarded me by placing you on ship with one of the suppliers to Marisabel's son who was in communications and I got to keep up with what was going on every week.
That was a true blessing.
I am so proud of you son. I am proud of all the accomplishments you have made to get where you are today.
We will never see eye to eye to on certain things and I will piss you off the rest of your life and I will wish you communicated with me more and that is just how it is.
We have always had that kind of relationship so there is no sense wishing it were different
because you are you and I am me.
I appreciate that you are you.
Just know that today I am thinking of you as I do everday and include you in my prayers.
I salute you.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I just finished another book that I thought was very funny.
The name of it is The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer.
She is a Texas writer and this is her first book. Even the spelling of Marsha is kinda Texan.
Having lived in East Texas for 22 years I could identify with this character and some of her escapades.
Basically, the main character suddenly becomes a widow at 33 years old having been a farmer's wife for 14 years. She moves back home and within a short time " circumstances " have her meeting up with a cowboy/ singer/handyman who changes her life.
There are some really funny moments like in Chapter 8 where she and this character have a conversation about " Jesus, the middle years ".
If you have any kind of sense of humor you will find this part so funny. There are so many other moments too.
I look forward to reading any other books she will produce in the future.
I could picture this as a Lifetime movie with Leslie Anne Warren cast as Lucy.
Or in the old days it would have been Dolly Parton and Burt reynolds.

Yesterday, I had the uncanniest thing happen. I was watching a show on PBS about railroads ( I think I was a conductor in another lifetime! ). It was showing the impact the railroads had on the WW11 effort. There was some footage of 3 sailors outside a railcar and one was on the top step smoking a cigarette.
It was more or less a side profile but did show part of his face. I would swear it was my Dad. Do you know how weird that was?
It looked just like he did in his Navy picture. I wasn't born then and by the time I was born and have recollection of him he already had put on a considerable amount of weight.
I never knew him as a thin man. I never saw him thin until he was in his casket. No one had warned me as to how much weight he had lost.
My Dad always looked like he was 9 months pregnant with quintuplets. There was barely enough room for him to sit in his seat and drive; the steering wheel would rub his belly. And it was hard as a rock.
He will be gone 10 years in January.
Seeing that footage for those seconds just brought back so many memories.
How many of us watch these old documentaries and see the people in them but don't associate them with other people?
I remember hearing a lot of the famous photos from the war and after the people were never identified. No one knew the pictures would end up as being historic.
Now I have a son in the Navy. My Dad's profession was a firefighter. My son wants to be a firefighter when he gets out.
He is skinny as a rail. When he got out of basic training he had " bulked up" from 119 lbs to 131!!
I haven't seen him since a year last June so he may have put on a little more. He will be 23 in November.
Of course with the world situation I worry about his welfare but also have put him in God's hands and trust in that.
He serves on the JFK, an aircraft carrier.
As we tell Keisha its a really big boat.
Speaking of JFK I was reading in the online Houston Chronicle that there is going to be another book out about Jackie Kennedy. This one is going to deal with her depression after the assassination. At first I was surprised to learn that she suffered from depression because my image of her from that time period was from the perspective of a 12 year old girl watching this tremendously courageous and stoic mother and wife go through her grief as an example to the country.
She became the benchmark my Dad would always use to rein in our emotions after that. " Be like the Kennedy's".
Now, suffering from my own depressive issues Why am I surprised to learn she suffered from depression?
I would be more concerned had she not.
It reminds me of when I ended up in the nut house after my suicide attempt before being diagnosed as bipolar. All the professionals said to me, " we aren't surprised you are here. What we are surprised at is what took you so long"?
I could well identify with the charecteristics that were given in this article.
I am so grateful that someone has decided to publish her account so more attention will be given to the subject.
I've always said, " until people like me try to educate people like them society will always look at mental illness as it does".

Sunday, September 07, 2003

There won't be a lot today. My back is still not feeling too good.
Today is my oldest niece's birthday. I was 9 years old when she was born. She was a cutie. She was way overdue as were all my sister's kids.
After she came home from the hospital my brother-in-law wanted to go fishing and my sister went with him and I babysat. They lived about 8 blocks from my Mom's house.
I remember changing Laura's diaper and realizing she was peeling all over and thinking she was dying. I panicked and grabbed her up and ran across the street through some woods and through a park to my Mom's house screaming " I've killed her".
That's when my Mom somewhat explained about overdue babies peeling.
I thought for sure I had killed that baby. I wouldn't let her out of my sight. I still picture it plain as can be.
Back then one didn't use the word " pregnant". Patsy was always "expecting " something. Every year she was expecting.
It wasn't until I was having Dan that I finally figured out what it was she was expecting all those years.
She had 7 kids in I think it was 9-10 years. She eventually had the 8th when she was 40. My sister has always been a little eccentric but I love her dearly all the same.
When I saw her this summer I was surprised at good she looked. I never knew her to look so slim. She and I look similar so maybe there is hope for me when I get into my 60's!!
She has done remarkably well with her life and it wasn't easy. She had a lot of hardships along the way; the main one being an alcoholic, abusivise husband.
When I read Angela's Ashes I thought a lot of my sister and her life. It wasn't exactly the same but similar in a lot of degrees.
She really suffered in many ways.
She would probably think it amazing that I look up to her but I do.

Jennie passed her STNA exam this past week. We are very proud of her. By the way it stands for State Tested Nursing Assistant.
She got a 92. She finished it in half the alloted time.

I heard from my youngest daughter this past week. Those of you who wonder if prayer works don't ever doubt it.
I have waited a year to hear anything from her.
She says we will never be what we once were but as an adult she wants to move on.
Glory to God.
I would send her E-mails and E-cards frequently and let her know I was thinking of her.
Now, I pray for her salvation. That is the true gift.
She is such a joy. I wish all of you could see her smile. She was born with it.
So, never give up.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

I had the appointment with the pain doc. He assessed that I did have fibromyalgia; also spurs on my vertebrea on my spine and something going on with the sychiatic (sp?). He precribed pain patches - 3 to be worn 12 hours a day, a newer muscle relaxer and an older anti-depressant that helps with pain manegement. I then had to go back in Thursday for a shot in my lower spine.
That was painful.
They have to numb the area first which gives you a heads up of what is coming. They are using some kind of X-ray equipment as they are going along. He knows when he hits the right spot because it is very painful. I don't know what the point of numbing you first is. It felt like the size of my fist clenching and on fire and you are supposed to be as calm as you can.
He said I did good.
The site still hurts today. I was told it can get worse before it gets better. I am not complaining just trying to be accurate.
I may not continue with the anti-depressant because I am way too groggy. It is a feeling of being on Valium.
I do not like the heavily sedated feeling some of these meds give me.
I go back in 3 weeks for a follow up visit and we will see if I need another shot.
If these methods do not work there is an alternative; they can cut the nerve endings so I don't feel anything. It is drastic but I may have to do it.

The house sold so we will be moving. I feel bad because in my present state I won't be a lot of help. Maybe by then I will feel a little better and can do more.
I have spent pretty much time since Thursday in bed. I hate being useless.
Its hard when you were the one who was the go-getter person. Inside me I still want to be that person. I've had to recognize I may never be her again and make the adjustments.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

I'm back!
We haven't been to the library for awhile so i haven't been on the computer for awhile.
Thanks for the messages from my buddies about the biopsy. I still haven't heard back yet. I hope to know later this week.
I go to the pain specialist for the first time today finally. dan is taking me. They say I have to bring someone with me; I don't know what that means as far as treatments but it sounds a little foreboding.
I don't care; I just want some relief. I cannot even remember a pain free day. I can remember even being a kid and experiencing pain as early as 7-8 years old.
I am 51 today; that's a long time to feel this way.
I don't make a big deal of my birthday.
When I was growing up my Dad would tell the story every year of my birth.
I always called it " the gospel of my birth according to St. Charles."
those who grew up Catholic will understand my sardonic humor in that.
Short version- I was premature; they think maybe a month. I had my fingernails and toenails so maybe I was 8 months.
My Dad was a firefighter. My Mom went into labor late at night and to call my Dad home from the firehouse. He didn't own a car and there were no buses running of course so he had to borrrow a car to come get her.
When they got to the hospital the doors were locked. The nurse that had to let them in hollered at my Mom for " waiting until the last minute" and that upset her. (You didn't upset my Mom)
I required a pediatrician which they hadn't planned on. The expense was great for them.
I had to baptized quickly because they thought I might die.
at 3 days old they had left me with my mother and she had fallen asleep and I had turned blue when they found me. I had to be resucitated. That scared the hell out of both of them.
My mother's first baby was stillborn and even though she had 9 live births following that she never got over the loss.
I'm quite sure The experience with me recalled all that emotion. However, in our family it was never discussed. ( It might upset my Mom )
They said I could fit in a shoe box but I don't know what size shoe.
My grandmother had to knit me clothes because regular baby clothes were too big.
And I was born on the first day of school that year so my oldest sister had to get the siblings ready for school as well as herself.
She was 11 years older than me. I always looked up to her and regretted my whole life we only had a small period of time that we actually got to share being sisters.
She is still alive. My family is such that we aren't close; not by a long shot.
Anyway, The story was always told in such a way that I was reminded as to what an inconvenience I was.
My one brother told me once when it was announced that I was on the way " it meant more of nothing". That was the sentiment.
So My birthday always signified the reminder of my inconvenience; the end of summer; school starting; fall coming and cold weather and hurting.
I hate to sound so whiny and bleak.
I turned it all around for my kids and tried to celebrate the joy of them being a gift to me.
I hope they all know how precious they are to me.
Had I not had the life I did I might not have appreciated them for who they are.
So all things seem to come full circle don't they?

We are supposed to pick up the The PC from the Computer Doctor today so I hope to be able to write more in the future.