Archive | January 2010

Memories!

Memories, from the corners of my mind…misty water colored memories…of the way we were…lol,, yep this blog is gonna deal with some of my memories, the good, the bad and maybe a little ugly.  Let’s start with the good:

I remember going to Sunday school in New Haven.  I loved it!  The adults were so nice to us!  We played games, listened to stories of Jesus and got to sing songs…Jesus Loves Me being my favorite of course!  We lived close enough that we sometimes got to walk there as well…I loved doing that too…in my dress up clothes!

I remember going to my grandmothers (Mamaws) house on the weekends or holidays and staying all night, alot of my cousins would also.  We would all bed down on the floor after having ice cream with chocolate syrup!  If I was staying alone, Mamaw would make me a bed on the floor by her bed and would hang her arm down for me to hold her hand until I fell asleep…I always felt so safe there.

I remember in elementary school entering a writing contest to win tickets to the Ringling Brothers Circus!  I was at school and got called down to the principals office…Mr. Calbeck…he was kinda scary and I never got in trouble so I was very afraid!  He handed me the paper saying “Congratulations!  You won!”  I got to go down to center and ride on an elephant!  lol

I remember in middle school when everyone was just starting to wear Nikes tennis shoes…I wanted some!  Mamaw took me shopping to buy them…even though she was a factory worker on a budget…she bought them for me anyway!  Although I know she thought it was ridiculous to spend so much money on a pair of tennis shoes!  She always bought me whatever I wanted…within reason!

I remember in highschool riding around with friends jamming to Led Zepplin and the Scorpions…drinkin Little Kings…lol.

I remember Senior Year in High School being voted “Most Likely to become a Poet”.

I remember finding out I was pregnant with my son Jeremy…I was 19…I was sooo excited!  My mom was too.  We immediately went out and started buying little baby clothes and baby items….I wasn’t even 2 months along yet!.  The day I went into labor with him, I was watching “Dirty Dancing” and cleaning…ALOT…all the ladies will understand the “nesting instinct”…that apartment was surgery sterile, let me tell ya!  I called my Mamaw and said I felt like it may be within the next 24 hours and she came to sleep on my couch.  I was having contractions, but nothing too uncomfortable.  I went to bed…about 2 am it began to hurt a bit more…I started pacing around the apartment…this went on for the next 23 hours!  Finally my water broke at 1am the next day…but not a gush…more like a trickle…I thought I was peeing myself!  lol…called the doc, he said head in to the hospital…well, it was snowing like crazy outside…a bit of a blizzard actually.  So I called my dad/mom and he drove all of us to the hospital.  I had Jeremy ALL NATURAL not even an aspirin…Let me tell ya, I was throwin bedpans in that room!  But finally around 11:00am the pushing urge began…STRONG!  And of course my doctor wasn’t there yet…stuck in traffic!  They kept yelling “Don’t push, Don’t push!”  “Breathe”…I was grunting like a crazed hog!  Hold it in?  Seriously?  Sorry, but when it’s time for a baby to come…he’s coming…so they are flying me down the hall on a gurney….got me in the OR….the head is crowning…doc runs in, nurse barely slips a gown and gloves on him, his butt hits the stool and out flew Jeremy and the doc caught him like Johnny Bench!  He was screaming his little heart out…(Jeremy, not the doc..hehehe).  They laid him on my belly I kissed his little head and just felt my heart melt.  My little boy!

I remember when Jessica was born.  She was a tough pregnancy.  First of all, they tried to tell me she wasn’t even gonna BE a baby.  To go home and wait to miscarry.  But at about 5 months I was at the kitchen sink doing dishes…abdomen up against the counter and BOOM…she kicked…HARD.  Lol…I had thought all along I was still pregnant, but I was uninsured and they had already said I wasn’t…that pregnancy was full of her twisting around, doing flip flops, and kicking so hard…jammin her feet under my ribs…people would watch in awe as that baby would cause my belly to contort to very unusual shapes!  I felt like I had been pregnant for years with her!  I was ready for her to come out!  She would use the same beautiful yellow lacey bassinet her brother had, and I had all the clothes/blankets/bottles/toys/books any baby would ever need ready to go…Just needed her to come out.  She wouldn’t.  I walked and walked and walked.  I ate spicy food.  I tried all the tricks to bring on labor.  Nothing.  Finally I thought it was time…I felt a bulge…went to the hospital…nope, not the baby…she had pushed my darn bladder out!  Yes…my delicate little daughter decided to kick an organ out of her mother so she would have more room to practice her gymnastics!  Well, the docs shoved it back into place and sent me home.  After another 10 days they finally induced me.  Now, having remembered the first birth…I opted for an epidural on this one…but, they won’t give you that til like stage 8…what they didn’t understand was that for the first one, I went from 8 to delivery faster than minute rice!  By the time they got the epidural in…I gave birth 15 minutes later…at 12:25 pm…my Jessica Renee’ was born…again, I kissed her head and cried…everyone in the room was smiling/crying and jumping up and down!

Okay, so…to keep this blog not tooo terribly long, I will quit Happy Memories and go to the bad ones…and will have a part 2 on this subject!

I remember as a child hiding under the bed while the adults fought, so scared.  I remember once getting a baseball bat and going out and hitting my dad with it to get him off my mom…boy I paid for that one!  I remember hitting him over the head with a glass pop bottle while he was passed out on the couch after busting up my mom and the house…again, bad decision.  I remember some really bad things that happened to me as a teenager that I won’t go into detail about to protect some peoples privacys and stuff.  I remember making some poor decisions with a few men, who turned out to be cruel.  I am not going into detail on some of my bad memories for many reasons…they were bad enough the first time…don’t want to completely relive them again, but you get the general idea.  Some things I can’t go into to protect some innocent people.  But lets just say there were ALOT of struggles!  I remember waking up from my drug induced coma and realizing my abdomen was still open!  And the full extent of my injuries came to light.  And every day since November 3, 2005…as those of you who read my first blog has been wrought with bad memories.  The last bad memory I will share is when my beloved dog Dexter passed away on May 28, 2008.  What a horrid day.  We all bawled like babies…he was my little shadow, always by my side…such a faithful and loving little dog.  I still miss him to this day and always will.

So, all in all………the good memories are always more detailed than the bad!  Your mind protects you and tries to block out alot of the bad stuff!  I don’t dwell on the bad stuff much…the health stuff is hard not to…but the good always outweighs the bad!

The past year I have been on a mission to make good memories!  And I am.  I will share more good memories in the next blog…stay tuned!  I really appreciate those of you who take a few minutes out of your days to read my blogs!  It means alot to me to have so many who think I have something of interest to read about!  So thank you and pass my blog onto others you know!

“Is suffering really necessary?  Yes and No.  If you had ot suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you, no humility, no compassion.

Another long and lonely night! Just me & my pain.

Well, it’s after 11am, and I just woke up…and don’t want to be up now.  This is a regular occurance due to my chronic pain issues.  Maybe I should just entitle this blog “A day in the life of a pain stricken woman”  The pain is sometimes so intense…you can’t take a deep breath, you can’t move, you can’t even cry.  That was last night.  It feels very much like there is a knife in your belly just moving around cutting and jabbing at your innerds…alongside a blowtorch that is joining in on the fun.  Then add to that the spasming of your intestines (mine are essentially glued together with adhesions, with strictures..makes food debris hard to travel through) I can actually put my hands on my belly and feel the spasms and rather violent peristalsis that is occurring…it feels remarkably like a baby moving around when you are pregnant.

On these many nights being on the pain rollercoaster, I try to read…if I can concentrate through the pain.  Or surf the net trying to find pain control ideas.  Or just lay and pray.  Alot of praying.  Trying to make “deals with God”…you know, like “Please God..just end the pain that I am in!  If I am not doing any good on Earth, please just take me home with you!”…so far he hasn’t taken me up on that offer, so either he believes I am or will be of some good on this Earth.  I try the meditation techniques…the deep breathing is hard because it hurts to take really deep breaths…but I do what I can.  Visualization is nice…I picture laying on a warm sandy beach with the waves lapping at the shore, smelling the salty air, sipping a cold margarita, watching the tanned surfer dudesssssssssssss…uh ahmmmm….never mind….lol. 

These nights of pain are very lonely. VERY lonely.  I sometimes feel like I am the only person on the planet dealing with this suffering.  I know of course that I am not, but at night it sure feels that way.  I have friends on facebook and myspace who also suffer with various chronic pain conditions…and I thank God for them everyday!  This is why the computer has become my lifeline in a sense…they are the only people I “know” who are like me.  No one in my real world suffers with the intense pain that I do on a daily basis.  Pain year after year changes you as a person.  You have to live differently.  You can’t always do what you want to do when you want to do it.  You are a slave to your pain.  You may want to go take a walk…but your body says “No way sweetie!”…you may want to go shopping, and you DO!  Then about 20 minutes in your body goes “PUNISHMENT TIME!” and there you are, standing in the middle of WalMart with a cart of stuff and you suddenly can’t move due to the pain…so you stand there with this look of constipation, not moving…sweat breaks out…you begin to panic, wondering how you will manage to walk up to the registers and check out…or just ditch the cart and get to the car…I feel embarrassed…like others are staring at me…so anxiety kicks in, the adrenaline makes me move slowly to the register as if nothing is wrong with me…I check out and make it to my car and start to cry as I drive home…and cry all the way…not caring that the people in cars beside me can see.

On the days or nights when I am having a pity party…I feel like living with “Invisible Diseases” is very different from other ailments…If I have my legs amputated….people can see it and feel empathy…if you have cancer people KNOW what that means.  But with Adhesions, Fibro, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Neuropathy, tendinitis, plantar faciitis, hernias, degenerative disk disease, arthritis, migraines….people can’t SEE these illnesses…they may not even know of them…and when you are like me, who has ALL of those ailments (except plantar faciitis) you feel like a lonely little freakshow, that no one understands.  I often get mad at God, I am ashamed to say…and I scream “Why me? Why do you hate me? Why so many health problems at once? “…I keep feeling there is a reason for all this physical suffering….and I am on the path to figuring that out.  I could deal with most of the issues…it’s the abdominal adhesions/neuromas and hernias that cause me the most horrible pain….but, my Grandma says, he wouldn’t let me deal with all this trauma if he didn’t think I could handle it…so he must REALLY have confidence in my inner strength!  lol

I just dream of being normal again.  Of being able to make plans with friends a few days in advance, and not having to cancel due to pain levels…you do that enough with friends, and they stop trying to make plans with you…lol.  Tired of being asked “How you feelin today?”…because the way I feel rarely changes…although there are “tolerable days” “bad days” and “horrible days” so I guess I have  a few to choose from.  I wish I c ould eat a big juicy steak with corn on the cob!  I wish I didn’t have to wear this stupid binder.  I wish I didn’t have to swallow 11 pills or more every day.  I wish I could be more active, without suffering afterwards.  I wish my belly didn’t buldge out.  I wish even SOME of the pain would go away!

I worry too about the consequences of taking all these meds I am on.  I am only 42 years old…taking all these pills for the next 30 years isn’t gonna make my liver very happy…not to mention, my body will build up a tolerance to these pain meds…then what happens?  I am on really strong doses already…what do we go to in 10 or 20 years?  It’s these things and more that fill my mind at night.  But, then its daylight again…I suck it up and pretend to be one of the “normals” and go on with life.  There are people out there worse off than me for sure.  Atleast I have a roof over my head, food to eat, family/friends, clothes, and this computer to keep me in touch with friends!  With all this crap that I whine about, I do know that I have much to be thankful for and I thank God each and everyday for all of it.  I guess my deal is, I just wish for a way to make others understand what people with invisible illnesses are dealing with…little daily activities that some take for granted…are a struggle for us…shaving your legs, getting in and out of the  car, getting clothes in and out of the washer/dryer, standing and doing dishes, carrying a case of soda, going to the bathroom (yes I just told that), walking for more than 15 minutes, picking up small children/animals, reaching for something above your head, bending to pick up something off the floor, pushing a vacuum, dancing, just getting up from bed (I must roll onto my side and grab the rail to pull myself up), blowing your nose, sneezing, crying…and worst of all laughing.  I love to laugh…and now when I do…it brings physical pain.  I used to laugh until I cried…now I try to avoid that, because it hurts so much and feels like my belly will split in two.  I miss sitting with my son watching stand up comediens on tv and laughing hysterically until we were crying and squealing like pigs unable to breathe!  lol….I still laugh of course…and once in awhile even to the point of tears…but its painful. 

I keep looking ahead though.  The future is gonna be better.  I learn ways of dealing with all of it.  I know when to rest (mostly)…luckily I love to read and play on the puter!  I don’t mind being a “homebody” for some people that would be unbearable.  It sounds nuts, but one way I deal with all my ailments is this:  In my mind, I have decided to think that God knows there is only one thing that I couldn’t bear at all, and that is for either of my children to be seriously ill…so I choose to think that He put all the illness on me, so my kids wouldn’t have any problems…and then I say Thank You God!

So, that’s how I will end this blog (other than the following quote)..is with THANK YOU GOD! Thank you for my life, my family/friends, my books and my computer!  😉  Even if no one reads my blog, that’s okay..it feels good to get things out of my head!

Surrender comes when you no longer ask, “Why is this happening to me?”  Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.

PS)  Thank you to those who are reading!  Some people keep their lives private…I obviously don’t have that need…I am what I am and I am not ashamed or embarrassed.

My second blog!

Well, here is my second attempt at this “blogging” thing.  What shall I write about today?  Hmmmm…what’s on my mind?  I have been reading alot of inspirational type books lately.  Ya know, those books that teach you to deep breathe your way through stressful situations?  Yea, those.  I really love the idea of having a mind that is “tranquil”, just peaceful and loving all the time…doesn’t that sound wonderful?  I love all the inspirational quotes…and there are days when I read them, and I deep breathe, and I feel calm and loving…then some moron slams his brakes on out of nowhere and causes me to have to slam on mine and spill my coffee…and BOOM!!!  I am like something out of the Exorcist!  Nothing tranquil about that.  This happened just today, and I am still irritated about it.  Later though, I am gonna grab my Eckhart Tolle book and I will again find that peaceful and patient place in my mind.

Another thing on my mind as of  late.  Some people may take this wrong, and for that I apologize in advance.  This whole Haiti thing.  My God what a horrific tragedy!  I think it’s wonderful the USA is stepping in and helping this unfortunate country!  I really do!  But, I can not help but feel irritated by it at the same time.  We have people…ALOT of people, right here in America who are homeless, jobless, hungry, without medical care…and you can’t say “Well in America those people can get government assistance/shelters, blah blah”…this isn’t always the case.  The shelters are full, they are underfunded, understaffed.  The  food banks are running out of food, because there are too many working poor.  The homeless can’t get jobs, they have no address.  People are losing their homes.  Families are living in their cars, in tents.  I think its fine for America to help other countries…but we truly need to help OUR country first. 

One last thing on my mind today is the fact that I have been reading about how the newspaper industry is more than likely going to be obsolete within the next few years due to everyone getting their news off the internet.  This seems so sad to me!  I personally like to actually HOLD the newspaper and read it…section by section…it gives me some sort of satisfaction.  Although I must admit there are days when I do not read the paper, because I have basically either heard the news on tv or saw it on the web…but I still like the idea that it is there.  Same with landlines…everyone is going strictly cell these days.  I dunno, I still like the landline.  I think usually the line is clearer…maybe it’s just me.  CD’s…no one buys them anymore, everyone downloads music off of their computers.  Oh well, everything changes I guess.

I have decided to end each of my blogs with some type of inspirational message…so here is today’s:

“Somtimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.”  TOLLE

Thank you for taking time to read my amateur blog!

Hello world!

So…gonna try this blogging thing once again!  I had one a couple of years ago…but didn’t follow through.  I love writing.  Always have.  I feel that writing is therapeutic, getting out all your thoughts…frees up your mind.  This blog will be a journal of sorts for me.  I will talk about my life…they say every person has a story, some more interesting than others.  I of course feel mine is interesting…I have lived through alot, starting of course the day I was born into a very dysfunctional family on Friday October 13th, 1967.

My mom and dad were 19 & 20 when I was born.  Not really ready for children…but they tried.  Unfortunately my dad was a drinker and immature, not ready for the responsibilities of a family.  My childhood was wrought with chaos, alot of screaming, fighting, abuse…one of my first memories was me running down our driveway, in my brand new white pajamas, in the rain going to get help because my dad had my mom bent over the counter with a knife to her throat, I was going for help and fell in the mud.  I got to the neighbors house and he went to my house and told my dad to stop and tried to talk him down, but my dad threatened him and he left.  That was when I decided I had to protect myself because no one else could.

Growing up was filled with alot of that sort of drama.  Being drug out in the middle of the night in my pj’s to drive around to every strip club/bar in town to find my dad.  Fights.  Me and my brother hiding under beds while the adults fought.  Being verbally and physically abused.  I quickly became the “pleaser” of the family.  Do everything you’re told and do it well.  I excelled in school.  I loved the outdoors, the woods, the park, the cemetary…I lost myself in books!  Reading was an escape for me, I could “go to another world” where it was nice and fun and exciting!

My teen years were a bit better, although my parents were both drinking at this point, I had learned to block all that out and to mostly take care of myself.  My grandparents were very good to me growing up, and I got to stay there on weekends alot.  They spoiled me in a sense…I felt so safe there.  My grandmother is my hero.  She just turned 90!  She is and always was a very strong and independant woman.  She raised 4 kids all on her own, while working in a factory.  She herself had a very hard childhood and that is where she got her strength and character, as I did.

I always felt growing up like I wasn’t “good enough”…like every other girl/woman I saw was somehow “better” than me.  Better looking, smarter, nicer, funnier, cleaner, classier, better dressed, just better.  These insecurities led me to some bad relationships, that in retrospect were similar to my parents…controlling and abusive.

However, I did manage to put that behind me.  Got married to a good man.  Had two wonderful children, although they are six years apart due to my having a few miscarriages in between them, which was tortuous to go through at the time.  But my children are and always have been my number one priority in life.  I never wanted them to have to go through the things I did as a child.  I wanted them to feel safe and loved…and they did.  Not that I was a perfect parent, we all make mistakes.  I have forgiven my parents for my childhood, they did the best they could with what they had, they were young, uneducated and struggling financially for alot of years.

I became a nurse, and loved taking care of others…I did that for about 10 years, then stayed home with my children.  I have always considered myself a strong woman, but I never knew how strong I would have to be until a tragic event that occurred on November 3, 2005.

I was having “female troubles” for many years.  Before this time I had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Disk Disease, but other than that, fairly healthy.  The physician that was treating me for my “female issues” found cysts on my ovary and after some discussion we decided to have them removed.  It was supposed to be a strait forward procedure using a laproscope, which is supposed to be safer with an easier recovery.  Of course every surgery has risks…oh boy do they.

That day in November, I was in pre op on the gurney, with my husband at my side.  The doctor came in, we held hands and said a prayer.  I was wheeled into the operating room.  I remember very little until around April…other than periods of agonizing pain in my abdomen, screaming out in pain, trying to climb out of the bed, tubes being inserted in my nose and down my throat, lots of needle sticks, horrific hallucinations due to the drugs…I mean nightmarish delusions that seemed so real, I was traumatized by these illusions and can still vividly remember them today.  That’s what I remember.  Now what my family and medical records reveal is this:

During the procedure the doctor punctured through my intestine with an instrument called a trocar.  It went thru one side and out the other.  Now a hole of this size should have been recognized, but for some reason, it was not.  The doctor could not do the operation laproscopically as planned and had to open me up to do it…he did, then sewed me up and he left for Disneyland.  I left for the ICU due to peritonitis and ended up on a ventilator and IV’s and Central Lines in my chest.  I was in a drug induced coma.  My family was told to make arrangments for my death.  My insides were basically eaten up with infection.  The next surgeon who went in there said my intestines were like wet tissue paper in her hands.  She could not repair the damage.  Over the next year I endured around 15 abdominal operations, some small, some major.  Some of my bowel was removed.  I had ostomies…that leaked constantly and caused skin damage.  I had a wound vac attached to my abdomen.  I was fed thru a catheter in a vein in my chest.  I spent a year in and out of the hospital…mostly in.  I missed family birthdays, holidays.  My children were11 and 16 at the time.  They were traumatized to say the least.  My husband was so scared and stressed.  He spent every moment he could with me at the hospital, but he still had to work and be at home.  My family would stay with the kids and help keep the house going.  My poor grandmother who was in her 80’s was worried sick and at my home cleaning and cooking and caring for the kids.  It was a horrible time for all of us.  Today I am alive thankfully, but somedays I feel like it may have been better if I had died.  I live in constant pain.  My abdomen hurts constantly due to neuromas, adhesions and a ventral hernia.  I have no muscle wall over my abdomen, my intestines/organs lay right under the skin.  I wear a binder 24/7 except when showering.  Coughing, sneezing, laughing and blowing my nose cause major pain.  I can’t eat alot of foods, no raw vegetables, no brocolli, no beans, no red meat, no nuts…nothing that can cause gas or that is hard to digest.  I must go to a pain doctor every month and must take strong narcotic pain killers to help dull the pain that I am in.  I spend alot of time in bed on days that I just hurt too much to do anything, even with meds.

There was a time when I thought dieing would be easier.  But I now feel that God spared me for a reason.  I am not entirely sure what that reason is yet.  Possibly to help others in some way.  Whatever the reason, I know this…I have survived alot of adversity in my life.  Sometimes I ask “why me?.”  I have pity parties somedays…but mostly I just plug along in life like everyone else.  I put on a brave face everyday..atleast to the outside world, my immediate family knows my pain.  Unfortunately they are affected by my disabilities as well.  They see me doubled over crying like a baby.  They feel helpless because there is nothing they or anyone can do.  But to everyone else, I look “normal” I don’t show my pain to everyone.  I don’t want pity. I don’t want any attention drawn to me.  Therefore I walk strait and tall…even when my abdomen screams in pain.  I focus on what needs to be done and I do it.  I am living life. 

One thing I can say I have learned from this is:  Just because someone looks healthy…doesn’t mean that they are.  So next time you see someone parked in the handicapped spot get out and walk jovially into the store, don’t assume they are fakers.  They may be hiding their pain/disability due to pride.  When that waitress seems a bit short in her responses, maybe she has a chronic pain condition or illness.  I just want to make the most out of my life that I can.  I want to do what it is I am here to do.  I read inspirational and self help books voraciously! 

I am back in the healthcare environment and loving it…I am hoping it will be a permanent career for me!  On top of the above mentioned ailments, I also have a bloodclotting disorder and must take blood thinners for that, and recently have developed tendinitis in my elbow and a torn ligament in my knee…lol, so……lets just say my medical bills are phenomenol!!!  We will never be out of debt!  We had to sell our home last year and now live in a rental.  The medical bills just keep coming!  While the money only trickles in…ahhh, such is life.

Anyway, so that is my first blog!  Don’t worry…they won’t all be this “me, me, me”…I am capable of writing about stuff other than me and my health problems…I think…?  No really.  I love humor and intend on showing that off a bit here…although it tends to lean toward the sarcastic side at times.

This was just an “insight” into what has made me…ME.  Background if you will.  It felt good to type this all out.  I know it’s long!  I promise they won’t all be novels.  Like my friend TJ says, blogging is cheaper than therapy!  And God knows, I can’t afford therapy!