The Mommy “Angel”….

To the mommy who didn’t sleep tonite cuz she was up with a sick baby, I noticed.

To the mommy who is still wearing maternity jeans at 6 months post delivery cuz she can’t afford new ones, I noticed.

To the mommy who skipped garlic toast with dinner so her family could each have 2, I noticed.

To the mommy who buys generic deodorant so her family can eat name brand peanut butter, I noticed.

To the mommy who is still up doing laundry or dishes after 1 am, I noticed.

To the mommy who is rocking her sick baby in the steamy bathroom at 4am, I noticed.

To the mommy who hasn’t had 4 hrs of strait sleep in a year, I noticed.

To the mommy who is scraping whatever that weird gunk is between the stove & counter, I noticed.

To the mommy who goes around spraying Lysol on all surfaces multiple times per day, I noticed.

To the mommy cleaning poo/pee off the potty numerous times per day, I noticed.

To the mommy who has said her thousandth “protection” prayer for her children, I noticed.

To the mommy who has compared herself yet once again to the latest celebrity moms body, I noticed.

To the mommy who has read the same bedtime story for the hundredth time, I noticed.

To the mommy who has layed on the floor holding her childs hand so he/she could  sleep, I noticed.

To the mommy who has spent hours helping her child with their science project, I noticed.

To the mommy who has stayed up all night worrying about a sick child, I noticed.

To the mommy who has worried herself sick during her childs first overnight stay, I noticed.

To the mommy who has repeated “stranger danger” to her children several times, I noticed.

To the mommy who has felt ugly at the end of the day, I noticed.

To the mommy who doesn’t feel valued, I noticed.

To the mommy who loves her family more than herself, I noticed.

To the mommy who cuts coupons, makes lists, and juggles the bills, I noticed.

To the mommy who hasn’t felt sexy since she was 3 months pregnant, I noticed.

To the mommy who tries to make each holiday and birthday special, I noticed.

To the mommy who cooks a meal or two each and everyday, hearing the words “eww”, I noticed.

To the mommy who does her families laundry each week, I noticed.

To the mommy who changes the bedclothes each week…whether they looked dirty or not, I noticed.

To the mommy who struggles thru the evening child bath with smiles and tickles, I noticed.

To the mommy who scrapes yet another egg crusted skillet, I noticed.

To the mommy who sat alone in the middle of the night feeling inadequate, I noticed.

To the mommy who rocked her colicky baby while crying herself, I noticed.

To the mommy who 2nd guessed herself on every child rearing decision, I noticed.

To the mommy who cut ravioli into equal portions for her children, I noticed.

To the mommy who tried to explain Jesus, Santa, or the Easter Bunny, I noticed.

To the mommy caring for children, grandchildren and parents/grandparents, I noticed.

To the mommy scrubbing baseboards/nooks & crannies, I noticed.

To the mommy singing the ABC’s one more time, I noticed.

To the mommy hugging her child & kissing their boo boo, I noticed.

To the mommy wiping the ickiest body substances for the 10th time that day, I noticed.

To the mommy who goes without a new winter coat so her children can have new, I noticed.

To the mommy who skips her prescription this month so her child can have his, I noticed.

To the mommy who fears she is making many mistakes, I noticed.

To the mommy who checks her sleeping babies breaths, I noticed.

To the mommy who sneaks cauliflower into the mashed potatoes, I noticed.

To the mommy who makes her childs lunch everyday, I noticed.

To the mommy who tucks their child in each and every night, I noticed.

To the mommy who scares away the “bad monsters” everynite, I noticed.

To the mommy who has braced herself for the after school “listen to my story first” onslaught, I noticed.

To the mommy who has had to read a thousand stories outloud to her child, I noticed.

To the mommy who skipped her shower today so her children could have a hot bath, I noticed.

To the mommy who skipped a cookie so her child could have two, I noticed.

To the mommy who felt inadequate when compared to another mommy, I noticed.

To the mommy who felt second best when compared to a “work outside the home” mommy, I noticed.

To the mommy who tried to remain calm when she was scared out of her mind for her child, I noticed.

To the mommy who listened to an hour long story of a “booger picker” at school, I noticed.

To the mommy  who heard “But Tommy/Marys mom always lets them do it!” a hundred times, I noticed.

To the mommy who has heard “I hate you!”, I noticed.

To the mommy whose heart has broken during each of her childs sad times, I noticed.

To the mommy who has had to smile thru tears, I noticed.

To the mommy who has felt invisible, I noticed.

To the mommy who felt all alone, I noticed.

To the mommy who wondered if anyone noticed their home décor, I noticed.

To the mommy who has tried to freshen up after a day of spit up and diapers, I noticed.

To the mommy who has had to referee another sibling fight, I noticed.

To the mommy who has given her life for her children…I noticed.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..signed, The Mommy Angel

Why not just move on?

I have heard people speak those words regarding people who have had something devastating occur in their lives, wondering why those people seem to linger in their misery long after the initial event has passed.  Sometimes it seems people just can’t seem to get past a particularly bad event in their lives. Maybe they stay in grief mode years after a death of a loved one. Maybe they have post traumatic stress for months or years after being mugged. And those around them, whether its people who love them or people who just like to pass judgment on others, can’t help but wonder why the person just can’t seem to pick up life where they left off? Just brush it off and MOVE ON already!

Well, as someone who suffers daily with chronic pain and anxiety related to a botched surgery that occurred in November 2005, let me just say that it’s not as simple as one may think.  I truly wish it was. But when every single waking moment is filled with pain from that incident, it’s really hard to just “get past it.” And the anxiety that I suffer with is also hard to just blow off…I suffer with anxiety and worry daily, regarding my declining health, my pain, my bleak future, not being able to do things I would like to do, not being able to make money to contribute to our family, incurring medical bills that keep us in debt, fear of future medical issues, feeling like a burden, and fear of the medical profession as a whole.  It’s hard to put trust back into the very group of people that caused your situation. It wasn’t just the surgical mistake the doctor made, it was me laying in ICU for days with infection burning thru my body, eating my insides like acid…with both nurses and doctors not picking up on it. It was that next year where 200 days of it were spent in hospitals, enduring 15 further “repair” surgeries, open wounds, flesh eating virus, pneumonia, blood clots,  wound vacs, poorly fitted ostomies, skin infections, central line infections, blood infections…caused by poor medical care in some instances. Nurses who didn’t wash their hands properly for instance. There was one instance I can prove this, I was of course very ill, laying in a hospital bed, a CNA was caring for me, cleaning me up for the day, and during the bedbath she had to wash around my central line in my chest, so she would touch it and move it aside during the bath. She was young and very sweet and I liked her, she was one of the few who actually talked to me and treated as a human being in the bed rather than some practice dummy. She and I were conversing, mostly her since I wasn’t feeling real chatty, but she used some little hand sanitizer she pulled from her pocket before she left and I said it smelled good, she said she got it at Bath and Bodyworks and she had many, so she handed the little container of sanitizer to me saying I could keep it. I said thank you of course, and she sat it on the bedside table and left. The lighting in the room was dim, but later I turned on the over-bed light and picked up the sanitizer…it was then I noted the little bottle was smeared with fecal matter. Yes…POOP. So, obviously at some point the girl got poo on it but didn’t realize it and was then squeezing it onto her hands to “sanitize” her hands, but was really contaminating her hands in the process…

So, that long story was really just to show that when we are helpless in a hospital or nursing home setting, we are depending upon the medical professionals caring for us to follow Universal Precautions to help keep the rate of infection down. But sometimes they do not. Sometimes they don’t wash their hands, or don’t do it properly. Sometimes they think, “I was wearing gloves when I cleaned up that poop, I don’t have to wash too” and move on to the next person.  But maybe the glove had a tear or small hole. Maybe some of the matter got on her wrist or her shirt or her stethoscope (another potential portal of infection), they maybe washing a dirty area then wash a clean area, or touch your IV caps or your foley cath tubing when emptying your bag…there are so many ways for infection to spread. They don’t mean to. They are just trying to do their jobs…which are extremely stressful, with the corporation rules, the constant short-staffing and heavy patient loads, the management breathing down their necks to keep costs down but do more work…it’s no wonder there are so many staph infections and MRSA infections, among others that get spread throughout healthcare settings on a daily basis.

But, this entry really wasn’t supposed to be about infection control…so I apologize for the tangent. My point with that was that I ended up with so many hospital acquired infections during that horrid year, and witnessed so many medical mistakes…wrong meds they attempted to give me, watched them perform treatments or instill meds in ways that were not following proper protocol, leaving me to lay in a dirty bed for far too long, or just being unprofessional or even, I am sad to say, downright cruel in some instances…I had one aid strip me down and park me in a shower chair, tossed a rag in my lap and left me there under the cold running shower, while she went to do something else. At the time I couldn’t stand or walk, I had lines coming from everywhere, my intestines were open with my belly having a softball sized wound, covered in saran wrap and hooked to a wound vac…a foley cath to collect my urine, and was so weak, ill and drugged I could really barely speak or move. I sat there with my teeth chattering, naked and vulnerable, freezing water spraying on me, no call light in reach and unable to call out for help. Another aid came in and half way dried me off, threw me in a gown and rolled me back to bed.

Nurses who yelled at me for wetting the bed, or soaking it with perspiration during high fevers or the hot-flashes after the ovary removal. A doctor who was abrasive saying “This is the hand you were dealt, you gotta decide how to play it” when I was fighting for my life…and just trying to live from one minute to the next.

So, yea…I have anxiety issues when it comes to the medical profession. I must go to the doctor every month, the Coumadin nurses every month…and I live in fear of my intestines becoming blocked or twisted by adhesions and ending up back in the hospital, facing another surgery in a life or death situation. Or having to go due to bloodclots or heart problems. 

Every single day since that botched surgery has been filled with pain and anxiety. They can’t fix the physical or mental damage that was done. They can throw meds at the problems, but they can’t fix them. They believe and understand the physical pain I am in, like they said, “You can’t be cut and sewn and cut and sewn on one area of your body as many times as you have been and not have long-term consequences, the adhesions have become rubber band tourniquets around your bowels Tammy, you can no longer digest food properly and the nerve bundles have been sewn up into the tissue adding to the pain cycle, the ventral hernia which we cannot fix will continue to burn and cause pain, we are sorry that all we can try is to keep you comfortable and keep your nutrition supplemented” oh and there’s always the “We are so sorry you have had to live thru this unattended mishap.”

I wake up and the pain is there, I can’t sit up from a lying position without first rolling onto my side. I walk hunched over much of the time because standing strait sometimes makes the pain worse. I cannot cough, sneeze, laugh, yell or blow my nose without bending over and splinting my belly and God help me if a sneeze catches me off guard! Of course running or most exercise is out of the question. I can walk, but not for long, extended periods. I can dance, (badly)…but carefully and not for long, I can’t lift more than 10 lbs, can’t pull wet towels out of the washer, I can’t eat red meat, raw veggies or fruits, fiber, nuts or seeds or dairy, I can’t do much of what a normal healthy person can do…somedays I can’t leave my bed or couch due to the pain in my abdomen. When I do leave my house, I put on my “normal face”…I walk straight even if it hurts, I smile at people and chat with people, I get my groceries and put them in my car…I’m so good at my act people have no clue how I’m really feeling…but what they don’t see is me getting into my car and driving away sobbing…but  CAREFULLY sobbing, because I don’t want to cause more pain…getting home and waiting for the garage door to shut so I can walk all hunched over, crying, holding my belly, carrying in the groceries and putting them away…then laying in the fetal position, as still as I can, while waiting and praying the pain med will atleast take the edge off so I can take a breath without feeling like a knife has been plunged deep into my gut.

My life was completely altered by that botched surgery and the events caused by it. I usually say that I died that day in the operating room…because a part of me truly did. I’m not the same person anymore and never will be whole again. I feel I would’ve been better off for them to have cut off my leg, because atleast that would heal…my insides can’t heal and they can’t just be removed. The pain and scarring from that ordeal is permanent. The change in my psyche is permanent.

Sometimes things happen to us in life, where it’s just not so easy to move on and forget it. When the memory of it hits you in the face everytime you move or cough or take a deep breath…how do you just “get over it already?”

Just as when a loved one dies…who’s to say how long you should grieve? You will never just get over losing that person…your heart will always feel heavy at the thought of them being gone. Or your house burns down, taking everything you own…yes, you can get new stuff and a new house…but its still a trauma that you will carry with you, even if just the fear of fire.

I do what I can to lead a normal life. But it truly is controlled by my pain on most days, even if I can walk and smile my way thru the store or at church…its an act…its not me…because ME is balled up in pain, sobbing and begging God to get me thru the next sixty seconds.

I would honestly give an arm or a leg, if it meant the pain would be gone or even lessened by 50%…maybe then I could “move on” but really I don’t think one ever truly just moves on after a traumatic event in their lives, they just learn to shove it down and hide it from the world, because it’s just not tolerated otherwise.

 

What kind of hand were you dealt? If you have had a strait flush your whole life…be very grateful…and if your holding jokers like me most of the time…I feel your pain!

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Pride…

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Pride. Such a simple word, but it can mean different things to different people, can’t it? Some think to have pride is a sin, something that means you’re vain and snobbish. To some, it just means you care about your appearance or your achievements. Which, in my opinion, is not a bad thing, is it? Shouldn’t we all care about our appearance and achievements? I know I have stood in line in Wal-Mart behind people who really need to gain some pride…and invest in some soap and deodorant while in the process.

I was watching the show “What Not To Wear” the other day, and I’ve seen other episodes where the person being “schooled” in fashion, would say something like “People who are all put together are high-maintenance, self absorbed snobs!”  That attitude got under my skin a bit. Now I don’t care how someone wants to dress at all, if you wanna wear a ripped rock t-shirt and sweats everyday, then by all means you do that…wear what you’re comfortable in of course. But don’t make judgments about me because I like to wear a cute outfit with accessories that go with the outfit! I mean seriously…Some seem to think that it must take an inordinate amount of “self-absorbed” time putting together a decent outfit…but it doesn’t at all, how hard is it to grab a pair of jean capris and a cute blouse and slap on some earrings and a bracelet? It doesn’t take me anymore time to get ready than it does my husband or someone who is a jeans and t-shirt, no make up kinda person. I’m ready in a half an hour…with shower…twenty minutes without. I don’t shop a lot, and I get most of my things from Goodwill or Wally World…I do have a lot of clothes and shoes from keeping things over the years, so I can throw an outfit together quickly and know how to match and accessorize. But I don’t like hearing others make the judgment that I must be high maintenance or prideful to the extreme to care about my appearance.

I don’t get why anyone would fault someone for having good personal hygiene and clean, matching clothing on…with a matching purse no less! The nerve! So Stacy and Clinton on the show (yes. I’m on a first name basis…lol) made the woman see how easy it is to throw an outfit together and slap on some lipgloss and hit the road looking like you have some “pride” in your appearance.

I never really understood what high-maintenance meant. Still not sure I do. But, if it means you care about being clean and having a decent outfit on…then sign me up for the high-maintenance crowd!! My khaki capris and peach tshirt are no different than your black tshirt and jeans…I just threw on a bracelet and earrings…whoa! Slow me down!

So, I guess we all have pride…if that’s what we wanna call it.  I care about cleanliness and hygiene. I happen to like cute outfits and shoes. It doesn’t take me long to get ready, I don’t do high-end shopping, I have short, easy hair…so forgive me if I might appear to be a little pulled together on the off chance I leave my house for a change…and lets be forgiving of the other “snobs” like me for choosing to take 20 minutes to get ready to present themselves to the world in a somewhat more fashionable piece of material than you chose to throw on.

I have watched the “What Not To Wear” a few times…and the person getting the makeover is always happy at the end…they found out its not as hard as they thought to care a little bit about their outward appearance and it doesn’t make you a bad or self absorbed person. We all should try to appear clean and confident when we show ourselves to the world…why not do it in a cute outfit? ;)

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written by my big sis, an amazing writer… Laurie Fessler at Hybernationnow

Originally posted on Hibernationnow's Blog:

i’m not allowed to talk to people,no one or my daddy,mostlly daddy will slap me down. i not saying nothing cause then i get in trouble and i get punished too much,sometimes so purple an blue i cant go to school with my sister and brother. i like school a lot cuz my teachre is pretty and nice an she smiles alot to all the kidss.not jus to me but to all the kids but a lot to  just me. sometimes she puts h er hand on my arm and aks me to stay and tellsme if i wanna talk she would listen. i know that but my daddy. would not like that or mama either. but i want to sometimes. in my heaert where it burns so bad and my hands turn into balls of  fists like fire.

sometimes i feel like i’m gonna explode and when, my teacher,mrs…

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2013. 1 Comment

25 years ago…

baby jeremy

Twenty-five years ago you came

assured my life would never be the same

what a sweet boy you were to all

I loved you each year you grew so tall

It all happens so fast

I wish childhood would last and last

So I could hold you in my lap and hug you oh so tight

Instead you grew at the speed of light

Now that you’re grown and on your own

I have the memories that are mine alone

Memories of my sweet boys face

Blowing out his candles, these memories you can’t replace

Twenty-five years ago today

God gave me a gift and in my heart he will stay

 

 

Betrayal

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She rolled out of the bed, shutting off the alarm. Thoughts immediately flood her mind. So many things to do today. The most important one being interviewing a young woman to fill the live in nanny position. She has been looking for a responsible nanny since her previous “super nanny” Margo, had to move to the East coast to live with her son and his family. She had been with them for 14 years, and was fabulous with her 2 children, 14 year old Sophie and 12 year old Stephen. Margo kept the house in order, made an occassional meal and helped with the kids homework when she was running late at the office.

Being a doctor is a wonderful profession, and has wonderful perks…but the hours can certainly take over your life…it certainly took over her marriage. The divorce was two years ago, but the pain still feels fresh. It was true that becoming a doctor and creating a thriving practice took up alot of her time. She worked hard to get here. Being a physician was her goal since second grade, when she had her tonsils removed. She was fascinated with her doctor and all his instruments! The blood-pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer), stethoscope, laryngoscope, otoscope and even just a simple thermometer…it all held so much wonder to her, even at the age of eight.

Her parents were strict. They were “pushers” pushing her to do this after school activity and that activity…pushing her to take AP classes…pushing her to eat right and exercise…pushing her to only socialize when necessary and only with the “appropriate” friends. So, it goes without saying, her teen years and college years, were all very academic oriented, with very few exciting events. Her life-long friend Brandy calls her whole life “Vanilla.” That pretty much explains it. Boring vanilla. But, in reality…living a vanilla life suited her. She wasn’t a risk-taker, she loves to learn, loves to read and research, loves to sit at home and cuddle on the couch with her family. Who needs sprinkles anyway?

At 5′ 1″ and 100 lbs, she is what the fashion industry has pegged as petite. Shoulder length blond hair and deep blue eyes and, as her friend Brandy says, “A complexion to kill for!” would pretty much complete her description. She was always described as a determined fighter by her mother. Sometimes more determined than was good perhaps. Once she set her mind on something, there was no stopping her.

When she first saw Scott…her determination definitely kicked in. She first laid eyes on him in the medical library of Vanderbilt teaching hospital here in Nashville. They were both in their first year of residency. He was tall, at 6’2″ he towered  over her. He had dark brown hair and big brown eyes…those eyes…they are what drew her to him. He could flirt with the best of them, she was not exactly shy, but having led her “vanilla” type lifestyle, she wasn’t a big flirt by any means. He came over to her table there in the library that day. Struck up a conversation about hematology, referencing a book she had laid out on the table about a blood-clotting disease called Antiphospholipid Syndrome. They talked for quite awhile about that particular disease and others before he paused and asked if she would like to go for coffee. She hated coffee. But…some icky flavored brown water was NOT going to keep her from continuing some conversation with this competely perfect man!

Perfect. Yea…not so much. Here she is 16 years later…the last five of which she knew Scott was having an affair. At first she couldn’t believe it. Scott would never do that to her or their family! But, the signs were there. She asked him one night after dinner, as Margo was putting the kids to bed, if he was seeing someone. He laughed at her and told her she was crazy. She dropped it, but after another call from him saying he was having another “late night” at the office, she couldn’t repress her instincts anymore. She became the woman she swore she never would. She started snooping on her husband. She would go thru his pockets, check his calendar, check his phone, but it was checking his computer that confirmed her suspicions. She clicked on a folder entitled “L” and there on the screen was a picture that caused her heart to jump right into her throat! It was Lisa. Scotts old girlfriend. She was a model, and the picture before her made that all too clear. But this was more than just beyond some “headshot” this was a fullly nude Lisa…and there were many of them. She stood staring, mouth agape. Her heart was beating so hard she could barely breathe. Her head was swimming. Why? Why does he have these photos of Lisa? They hadn’t seen each other in 15 years…or had they?

She began running the past few years in her head…was he having an affair with Lisa? Or just fantasizing…how recent are these pictures of her? Her head was spinning. Anyone but her! She had always felt insecure when it came to Lisa. She was this perfect looking woman, never had children so nothing was stretched out of shape on her! She was not the smartest woman, that’s for certain…why? She continued checking out Scotts computer for anymore evidence…THERE. There it was. Messages. Lots of them. He and Lisa have been conversing. He’s too stupid to delete his history. She read thru their messages quickly…they were having a full blown relationship. Worse…they discussed her and the children! That devastated her. To find out that Scott was with Lisa. He always said she meant nothing to him. She was just a “bimbo” he said.  He said the two years he spent with her, were the most miserable of his life…that she was vindictive and immature. But, evidently vindictive, immature bimbos were more his type. She confronted Scott with what she had found. He blamed her, blamed her long hours, said she was too boring for him….she was devastated. She went to confide what was happening to Brandy. She had trusted Brandy. But as she was explaining it all to her, Brandy dropped a bombshell. Scott was seeing many women, including her! She said it was a one time thing…but one time is all it takes in these matters, isn’t it?

She couldn’t believe that Brandy could betray her like this! She had been her best friend for as long as she could remember! How could Scott? How could Brandy? She had done so much for Brandy over the years! She had let her live with her rent free, she bought her and her daughter clothing and other items over the years, they came over every weekend to watch movies and have dinner or play boardgames…the betrayal by Brandy stung more than he one by Scott.

The anger has eaten at her since she had found out. She proceeded with the divorce and stopped communicating with Brandy. Brandy begged for her forgiveness, blamed it on alcohol and one night of weakness. The excuses weren’t gonna cut it. From either of them. During that time, she found out about so many lies. Lies by Scott, lies by Brandy. Brandy always talked so poorly of her family. She called them white trash. She claimed her mother was a drug addict/alcoholic. She said she may as well been raised by a pack of wolves. She claimed to have no-one in her life that cared about her. She made her feel so sorry for her and her baby girl. But, after finding out about all the lies, she then wondered if all those stories were also lies. She wondered what lies Brandy told her family about her?

How can people do those things to each other? She struggled with that question that past couple years. But she has decided now to make a fresh start. To not dwell on the betrayals by those closest to her. She focused on her children and her career. And she is happy. She recently met a man at work. They had been to coffee, she had developed quite a taste for it by now, and she enjoyed his company. The future was looking up.

The interview went well. She hired the new nanny. She let go of all the resentment and anger and mistrust that had accumulated over the years. But, she wonders…everytime a person is treated like she was, lied to and betrayed…how does one ever fully trust again? If the ones who profess to love you the most can treat you so badly…what can we expect from those who don’t know us at all? Or do people just have their own versions of the truth and feel they are doing nothing wrong when they lie to you? How do they live with themselves when they are scheming and making up lies? Do they have a conscience? She hopes to never have to feel that way again. She prays her children never know what it feels like to be betrayed by someone they love…but she knows that prayer will likely not get answered. It’s inevitable.

 

 

 

Again…just a flow & type story. Just practicing…thanks for reading!