Archive | February 2010

Depression and other emotional disorders:

I just saw on the news that Marie Osmonds nineteen year old son has committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of his apartment building.  It is just so completely sad to me that this young man could see no other solution to the way he was feeling, other than to end his life.  Evidently he had suffered with depression for many years, and had been under treatment.  It’s a well known fact that Marie has also suffered with depression.  It seems to me that people who suffer with depression or other emotional issues are so ashamed of it, that they either refuse to seek help or fail to follow through with treatment.

Why is it, that in today’s society, people must feel ashamed to say that they suffer with a mental illness?  It’s not their fault…it is a medical disorder.  Unfortunately it is often times slow to be recognized, especially in teens and young adults.  We blow off the symptoms as “just part of growing up” or the people themselves just hide their feelings, for fear of being “labled” as defective.

Even when they do go for help, it usually takes several attempts with different medications to find the right prescription that will work for that individual, and sometimes they just give up, thinking that they can’t “be fixed.”  Then too, the medications themselves often have such awful side effects, or atleast the reputation as having awful side effects that they do not want to take them.  There are so many mental diseases out there, depression, anxiety, ptsd, bipolar, schizophrenia…many others.  The brain is still a bit of a mystery even to the scientists that have devoted their lives to figuring it out…so, of course how could a teen or young adult figure out their feelings?  Even with a very supportive family, people can frequently feel isolated and alone.  They won’t share their feelings or fears with their loved ones.  They suffer in silence.  And often, unfortunately and tragically…they end up like Marie Osmonds son.

My thoughts and prayers are with that family tonight…and all the other families who have or are dealing with mental illness.  I am pasting below the symptoms of depression as written by the Mayo Clinic.  Please, if you or anyone you know have these symptoms…don’t be afraid or ashamed.  Call your family doctor or go to the hospital.  There is help.  Life can be better.

Symptoms

By Mayo Clinic staff

Depression symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it’s obvious something isn’t right. Others people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

Depression affects each person in different ways, so depression symptoms vary from person to person. Inherited traits, age, gender and cultural background all play a role in how depression may affect you.

Depression symptoms in children and teens
Common symptoms of depression can be a little different in children and teens than they are in adults.

  • In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, hopelessness and worry.
  • Symptoms in adolescents and teens may include anxiety, anger and avoidance of social interaction.
  • Changes in thinking and sleep are common signs of depression in adolescents and adults, but are not as common in younger children.
  • In children and teens, depression often occurs along with behavior problems and other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Depression symptoms in older adults
Depression is not a normal part of growing older, and most seniors feel satisfied with their lives. However, depression can and does occur in older adults. Unfortunately it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Many adults with depression feel reluctant to seek help when they’re feeling down.

  • In older adults, depression may go undiagnosed because symptoms — for example, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex — may seem to be caused by other illnesses
  • Older adults with depression may say they feel dissatisfied with life in general, bored, helpless or worthless. They may always want to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things.
  • Suicidal thinking or feelings in older adults is a sign of serious depression that should never be taken lightly, especially in men. Of all people with depression, older adult men are at the highest risk of suicide.

When to see a doctor
If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Depression symptoms may not get better on their own — and depression may get worse if it isn’t treated. Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or problems in other areas of your life. Feelings of depression can also lead to suicide.

If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.

If you have suicidal thoughts
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Contact a family member or friend.
  • Seek help from your doctor, a mental health provider or other health care professional.
  • Call a suicide hot line number — in the United States, you can reach the toll-free, 24-hour hot line of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to talk to a trained counselor.
  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.

When to get emergency help
If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If you have a loved one who has harmed himself or herself, or is seriously considering doing so, make sure someone stays with that person. Take him or her to the hospital or call for emergency help.

Of course the other illnesses have their own symptoms, if you have any feelings of suicide, anxiety, depression, worry or stress that seems out of control or is affecting how you live…please call your doctor.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Never give up hope…Life can be better.

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Bad days

It’s one of those “bad days” for me.  Sitting here at midnite…crying.  Having my own personal pity party.  Doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I go all out!  Sick of damn pain.  Sick of this freaking binder that cuts me in half.  Sick of wishing I was like a normal person.  Sick of wishing I could do all I want to do and accomplish everything I would if I wasn’t encased in a piece of crap body.

Have strep throat…and a headcold.  No big deal.  Just when you combine it with my adhesions/scar tissue, intestinal issues, DDD, Osteoarthritis, Fibro, APS, Lupus and whatever other illness ya wanna throw on my plate, it feels like just a tad too much.  Then add to all that worrying about every person I love, to an excessive extent…not being able to keep everyone safe and happy…and I think I’m on the fast track to insanity.

My guts hurt too damn much tonight…I can’t get my bedspread out of the washer.  That makes me angry.  But I know being angry at my situation doesn’t help anything…but it doesn’t stop it from happening…somedays.  I am almost to the point where I will have to give up more solid type foods…it’s just not worth the tummy troubles…or the pain as it goes thru the scar tissue.

I wish I could blink and be healthy and normal, and that my family would all be healthy and safe forever.  When you’re young, you don’t think about your health…you think you’re invincible…but you are sooo not!  In the blink of an eye, you can be sick or disabled.  I wish I could get kids and young people to learn that early…to try to eat well and exercise and sleep well and to learn good stress relieving techniques.  They could live a very long and healthy, happy life!

That’s another thing…when you’re old…no one listens to you anyway!  lol…

My throat is so swollen shut tonight I can’t speak…guess the family won’t mind that too much, eh?  Can’t ask them to do a million things… 😉  The only one who loves me tonight is my puppy Daisy!  She has been cuddled with me on the bed all evening, kissing my face and looking at me like I was the most amazing thing she has ever seen!  That is why I love dogs so darn much!  They always love you, they are always super excited to be with you and they really like to make you happy!

Add to the crappy night, there is nothing on tv.  My head hurts too bad to read.  I don’t even feel like doing this…but I wanted to get my crybaby crap outta my head so I can hopefully sleep tonight!  On nights like this, when I am in so much physical pain…I often say to myself, “It couldn’t get much worse than this” … But in reality, oh yes it could…emotional pain is way worse than physical pain…and put them together and it’s almost insurmountable.

Well, gonna go blow my nose…drink some NyQuil…maybe some hot tea…then who knows what wonderful and exciting pain adventures I will be off to!

Thanks for being around!

Pray for strength and peace.

Special Needs Children

I just read a news piece about a third grade girl who has special needs.  She goes to a public school in Columbus Ohio.  It’s reported that this girl just walked out of her school in the middle of the day…without it being discovered for long enough for her to walk two miles down busy roadways, evidently on her way home. Now, as if that isn’t bad enough…get this…they suspended the little girl from school for two days.  After reading the article, I read some of the publics comments on the topic and I was shocked.

Some people blamed the little girl and her parents.  They were cruel in saying that the mother was obviously uneduated and “the apple don’t fall far from the tree” and that the girl needed an attitude adjustment and other moronic things.  Some stated it didn’t even appear that the girl had a disability…she mistakingly must believe a learning disability is evident to the naked eye…

Obviously yes, the girl does need to know that it is unsafe and wrong for her to leave the school.  But doesn’t the school deserve some type of smack on the hand at the very least?  This hits a raw nerve for me.  There are many children out there who have various learning disabilities…some worse than others.  There is Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, and many others.  Some kids are high functioning, and you may not even be able to tell they have anything wrong with them…but as in Aspergers, they have poor social skills and cannot read other peoples emotions, they may laugh at inappropriate times, or not cry when it would seem they should.  They don’t get along well with others, or can’t make change or tell time.  Or other disabilities where they appear completely “normal” but yet cannot absorb information like the rest of us do, their minds work differently.  They do not test well.

To make matters worse, unless you are very poor or very rich, there are very few avenues for a parent of one of these high functioning learning disabled children to pursue regarding getting a good education.  Generally you “mainstream” these kids into the public school system.  You have yearly IEP meetings with their teachers/administrators and go over the “goals” for the child for their academic career.  It’s little more than a joke however in some cases.  They will offer your child maybe a multiplication table for their math tests or some other “helper” type gadget.  Or have the child go to another room for testing.  But in alot of cases, these children are just falling through the cracks.  Somehow they get passed from grade to grade, without really making much progress…I do know of juniors in highschool who do not know their left foot from their right foot or how to tell time or make change or count money for that matter.

What are these kids going to do when they are out of school?  Whether they get a diploma or not?  Some wouldn’t be able to ANY paying job whatsoever…I mean, you must know atleast a little about making change or counting money, or how to follow verbal and or written instructions, or how to deal with people…Now I am sure there are people who would say “Well, it’s the parents responsibility to make sure their kid gets an education!” This is true…but parents are not educated teachers.  We did not go to college to learn the strategies for teaching children.  I for one can not do Algebra to save my life…so how would I help my child to do it?  Maybe some would say “Pay a tutor!” Well, what if you can’t afford a tutor?  Can’t afford Sylvan?  Can’t afford a private school…what do you do?

Now if you have a VERY low income, you may qualify for assitance with some special education facilities…but not if you’re “middle class.”  So the parents of these “apparently normal looking children” are left to worry over their childrens future.  How will they survive?  How will they support themselves?  Who will be taking advantage of them?  Who will encourage them to do things that are wrong or dangerous?  I know I have not researched all the avenues available for these kids, but I intend to now.  There has to be something to help with these children’s education.

And as far as that school in Ohio…they need to take a long hard look at what happened here.  What if that beautiful little girl had been run over or kidnapped?  When we send our kids to school we do so thinking that for the most part they will be safe there.  Especially elementary age children.  She was in a “special needs class” she should have been better supervised…not sent to the isolation room and left unattended for 15 minutes! 

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 The Miracle of Poetry

by Susan Davis
Artistic Director for The Enrichment Center in Winston-Salem

When I tell people that I facilitate the creation of poetry among adults with developmental disabilities, I can feel the room grow silent. After all, what could people with severe disabilities such as autism, mental retardation, and traumatic brain injuries know about poetry? How does a person with impaired communication, low I.Q. and an inability to read or write create poetry?

In the winter of 1992, as I sat talking with a group of clients, I was struck by the natural beauty of their language – the rhythm, the inflection and the repetitive speech which, seen outside the context of autistic pathology, is nothing short of poetry. With their permission, I turned on a tape recorder and the poetry began.

The creation and love of poetry seems to come naturally to people with developmental disabilities. It allows them to break the rules of conventional language and be heard in a way they havenít been before. It gives them a chance to hear their own voices, and develop a strong sense of self. It breeds self-esteem. Above all, it gives them a forum in the community and the hope of banishing isolation.

Such was the case with Jeffrey Tolley, a young man with mental retardation who loved to play basketball at his neighborhood gym, but was horribly hurt by the treatment he received there. In his poem, “Gym I,” Jeffrey expresses
his pain:

Gym I
I feel sad
because nobody over there like me
because I’m like this
you know, handicapped.
They’re human beings.
They’re not like us
you know, over here.
They can talk right,
not me.
They’re big.
I’m small.
I say
“I can touch the rim.”
They say, “No you can not!”
But you know I did.
I proved to myself I can touch the rim.
They say “Hey boy!”
They call me boy.
Those teenagers don’t like me.
One guy said “I donít want to play with you.
You’re too ugly.”
They donít feel like I’m one of them.
I’m not a human being.
I don’t talk right,
and they don’t want to be my friend.

Thank you for reading my blog!  Please pass it along to friends/family!

The Little Girl…Part 9

It’s one of her “bad days.”  That’s how she labels each day of her life now.  “Good days or bad days.”  She’s had been laying in bed all day.  She was loaded up on all her pain medications with heating pad in place.  A stack of books beside her on the bed with a magazine thrown in for variety.  Of course her computer was right there too.  That was a necessity!  It was her window to the world during these bleak days in bed.  She had found many wonderful friends on this World Wide Web!  She could talk to them and they understood her pain…it was a sisterhood of misery so to speak.  She cherished each and everyone of these friends.

It was while reading a book called “Strong at the broken places” that an idea came to her.  She had been struggling with trying to find something positive out of all she had been through…to find some purpose for it all.  While reading about a man who was dieing of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma…this man, although he knew his time was limited, he would go and volunteer at a Hospice Home weekly.  He felt that since he was living with the fast approaching the crossover to the otherside, what a good match for him to go and help those who were a few steps closer than he!  Now this was her take on what he was doing, not necessarily his.  That was it she thought!  She needed to go help others through their hospital stays!  Afterall, who knew better than she what it was like to be in a hospital?  After spending so much time in the hospital herself, she had been through all the emotions of feeling like a caged animal, of feeling isolated and alone and forgotten.  Of being scared out of her wits.  The not knowing how the next shift would be treating her or not treating her.  The indignities that go along with being in a hospital setting.  She became very excited at the prospect of being able to help others! 

She immediately began searching the local hospitals and hospice homes for a position that she was equipped to perform.  It took her a few weeks and there it was!  A local hospital had an ad on the internet for a “Patient Safety Technician” this position consisted of sitting at the bedside of patients who were at risk of pulling out tubes or climbing out of bed or who were on suicide precautions.  The patients included brain injuries, strokes, seizures, etc.  There would be no lifting or physical requirements!  She couldn’t believe it!  This would be perfect!  She applied immediately.  She prayed and prayed to get this job…she knew it was meant just for her!  Right before Thanksgiving she received the call…she was to come in for an interview! 

Well, to say she was excited would be a huge understatement!  She screamed “Honey!  I have the interview!” she was so happy!  Her husband was happy for her!  She began rummaging through her clothing…she needed to find an interview outfit that still fit her!  She tried on many suits and finally settled on one.  During the interview she was so nervous!  She felt like a stuttering fool!  She left the interview feeling like she probably looked and acted like a moron and wouldn’t get the job.  So much for positive thinking she thought to herself as she drove home.  She walked in the door…to an empty house.  Climbed into her pajamas and laid in bed…thinking of all the dumb answers she had given during the interview.  “God, I am such an idiot!” she said aloud.

The phone rang.  She put down the spatula she had been using to flip hamburgers over on the stove…dinner for the night.  Atleast her husbands dinner, as she can’t eat red meat, hers would be the side dish of mac and cheese.  She answers the phone and it’s the hospital!  She was offered the job!  She was so elated she could barely follow the rest of the conversation!  When she hung up, she began screaming…”I GOT IT, I GOT IT!!  I GOT THE JOB!!!” 

That was one more thing she had to be thankful for that Thanksgiving!  Her life, her family, her friends and now her JOB!  She felt like she was going to be actually contributing now!  To the household, to the community, and most importantly to people who were scared and alone laying in a hospital bed.  After starting the job, it was as she had hoped, perfect for her.  She talked easily to the patients, they liked her, she was caring and empathetic, and to the ones who were able to communicate, she would tell them bits and pieces of her story.  She would answer their questions and concerns.  Some saw her as an inspiration, they felt that since she had survived such a horrible health predicament and come out on the otherside, that they could do the same.  She encouraged them to stay positve, to set their goals and go for it.  They discussed faith and how they felt angry at God…how they felt abandoned…how they felt jealous of their family members who could come and go from the hospital as they pleased…She let them know that all of that was completely normal…that she had felt the same feelings herself.  They would sometimes tell her she had really helped them, had given them hope, had made them feel stronger!  She would go home and feel like she had really made a difference to someone that day at work.  For the first time in a long time…she felt good about herself.  She felt this was what God wanted her to be able to do.  To help others who were suffering.  To be an example of strength and courage.

She spent many years doing this job she loved.  Over those years she had four more grandchildren, making a grand total of five!  She loved them all so much, they frequently stayed all night with her and her husband (otherwise known as Mee Maw and Paw Paw).  Her children and their children would come over every Sunday for potluck dinners.  She felt blessed.  Surrounded by her family, she sat in her chair thanking God for what she had.  When her little five year old grand daughter Sarah came and crawled up on her lap…she hugged her tight and thanked God again…because this LITTLE GIRL would never have to hide under her bed praying to God with fear.  This LITTLE GIRL and all the other grandchildren would be loved and protected.  She rocked her grandbaby and a tear slid down her cheek…one last tear for the LITTLE GIRL that she herself used to be.

THE END

Bring your life to life…stop planning and start living!

thank you all so much for reading my blog!  some of you may know this already, but alot of it is based on my life, with some fiction thrown in as well…I could have put in alot more, but didn’t want to drag it out too much.  I am writing an actual book on this story and hope to someday be published.  Thanks again for taking the time to read it!  I will have many more blogs to come!  😉

The Little Girl…part 8

After finally getting another nurse to take her concerns seriously, an MRI was done and it was found that she had a pulmonary embolism.  A blood-clot in her lung, a potentially fatal condition!  They were able to dissolve the clot with Heparin and Lovenox.  She has a bloodclotting disorder called Antiphospholipid Syndrome and will forever need to take a blood thinner and make monthly trips to a Coumadin Outpatient Clinic.  She is giving up hope of ever getting better.  Of ever going back to her old life.  Depression sits heavy on her mind.  She thinks of suicide often, even plans it.  She frequently asks to speak to the hospital clergy, and prays with them…hoping somehow their “holyness” will rub off on her! 

Finally after missing family birthdays, and many holidays…she is sent home.  A home nursing service will follow her.  Her abdomen will remain open until it is safe for them to attempt to reconnect her intestine and allow her to eat.  At home she is only able to lay in the recliner, she cannot lay in bed because she is unable to get back up.  She has a wound vac attached to her abdomen, that suctions secretions out, she has the central line still providing her nutrition, a bag is hung each night for this purpose.  Her husband and grandfather have learned how to care for all her tubing and feedings and machines…a big job for two “regular guys.”  There are many trips to the hospital due to infections, electrolyte imbalances, ostomy leaks and tests.  But she is thankful to be home.  Although she is basically a “lump in a chair” atleast she is surrounded by her family.  She begins to slowly recover and to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

She is finally ready to try to have the final surgery to reconnect her intestines and close up her abdomen.  She is extremely nervous about more complications but is also very hopeful that the end of this nightmare is near.  She comes through the surgery very well…no complications this time!  The staples run from her breastbone to her pubic bone.  The criss-crossing scars allover her belly look like a child’s scribbled map…but she is just happy her “insides” are again ON the inside where they belong!  The recovery process is slow and scary.  The constant fear that she would develop a fistula (hole) in her bowel or an infection or a blockage is at the forefront of her mind.  She will forever live with pain due to adhesions, scar tissue, neuralgia, neuromas, and bowel issues…there is a very high risk for obstructions and she must really be careful about what she eats…no raw veggies or fruits, no red meats, no nuts or seeds, no beans…nothing high in fiber.  But she is free of tubes!  Her body is hers again!

Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years.  Her children grow up.  She becomes a grandmother at 45!  She is so thrilled with her grandson!  During his infancy she cradles him lovingly every chance she gets!  Although she tires easily and has constant pain, she revels in these moments with her first grandbaby!  Her marriage has developed into a very close if passionless partnership.  Due to the pain, intimacy is all but non-existant.  She is unable to hold a “real job” due to her health issues.  They lost their home due to their mounting medical bills.  They now lived in a cheap rental, but she did her best to make it their home.  It was just the two of them now.  They had what they would consider a decent life now, always thankful to be alive and to be here for her children and now grandchild.  They found a wonderful church to worship at.  Although she had gone through a period of anger at God for what had happened to her, she always kept her faith, and her relationship with God open. 

She wanted to find a “meaning” to all she had been through in her life.  Why had her life been such a struggle?  Was she a bad person?  A bad little girl?  A bad daughter?  A bad mom?  She imagined she must have been some horrible person in a past life to deserve such misery!  Lizzy Borden perhaps?  She felt there must be a reason God had set her on such a tumultuous path in life.  There must be some meaning she was to find.  She is compelled to discover it.  She wonders if she can use what she’s been through to help others?  But how?  She knows one thing for sure…she did not live through all she’s lived through, for nothing!

To be continued

“Unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life, but from the conditioning of your mind”  Tolle

The Little Girl…part 7

Cancer!  That is what the doctor said, but what she heard was DEATH!  She couldn’t believe her ears!  “There has got to be some mistake!” This just can’t be happening to me, she kept thinking over and over…I am just getting used to living with Lupus…I can’t do cancer!  But here she was…just beginning to deal with “The Big C!”

It was found during a routine pap smear.  The yearly test women despise.  It was stage 3.  Fairly advanced.  But encapsulated to the cervix.  They recommended a total hysterectomy.  She was fine with that.  She hadn’t intended to have more children.  It was scheduled for the next week.  This was all happening so fast!  She still hadn’t wrapped her head around all of it when she was telling her family.  They all had so many questions, to which she didn’t yet have the answers.  Being an analytical type, she of course got right on the net to research this new monster that had invaded her body.  Afterwards, she wished she hadn’t.  So many sad stories.  So many bad outcomes.  She was scared.  She lay on her bed in the fetal position and cried…and prayed and prayed and prayed.

She and her husband showed up at the hospital at 7:30am.  The surgery was to take a couple hours.  She could go home tomorrow.  She was on the stretcher, donned in the beautiful hospital gown and cap.  Feeling very, very vulnerable and fearful.  She jokes around with her husband and the staff…hiding her fear.  The doc came in, the three of them held hands and said a prayer.  She was wheeled into surgery…she looked deep into one of the nurses eyes…and squeezed her hand, as the general anesthetic was pushed into her IV…a tear slid down her cheek.

She awakens, she feels heavy.  Her mouth feels dry…something is lodged in her throat!  She tries to move her hand to her mouth, but she can’t move her hands!  They are strapped to the bed!  She looks side to side…her husband is there.  “What is going on?” She wanted to scream…but she couldn’t.  She was on a ventilator…the hissing sound as it pumped air in and out of her lungs was audible.  She goes back to sleep.  The next few months are a blur.  She is heavily medicated.  She has multiple hallucinations due to the medications, some were horrifying.  She remembers trying to climb out of the bed.  She has unbearable pain in her abdomen…pain like she had never imagined!  It feels like her belly is on fire.  She is in and out of consciousness and being unconscious is preferable to be certain!

When her mind is finally clear enough to figure out what has happened to her, she can not believe it!  Her luck!  Evidently the surgeon had made a surgical error and punctured a hole through her intestine, this is a complication that can occur with any abdominal operation, but it’s rare, and when it does occur…it is usually noted rather quickly and measures are taken and recovery is generally speedy.  Unfortunately, it was not noted quickly and by the time it was diagnosed, alot of internal damage had been done.  She was septic.  Her intestines had become so infected they were like wet tissue paper when the next surgeon went in. 

She would end up losing a large portion of her bowel.  She would end up with an ostomy…but not a normal ostomy…it couldn’t really be done in the normal fashion, so the bag wouldn’t seal properly and therefore there were always leaks…this caused major skin breakdown and irritation.  She had peripheral lines it seemed everywhere!  In her clavical area, her armpit, her hand…the catheter for her urine…she felt like an alien.

She couldn’t stand to even look down at her own abdomen.  Therefore she could not perform her ostomy bag changes or empty the bag.  She would have to put her call light on and have the nurses come and do it…some of them would get rather irritable with her.  They felt she should do it herself.  But it looked horrid!  Her bowel was sticking OUTside her body!  She was in so much pain and had grown so weak from laying in a hospital bed, it was also just physically hard on her to do anything…she was doing physical and occupational therapy twice a day.  It wore her out…physically and emotionally.  Some days she would just feel like giving up.  She felt like she would never be the same again, would never be useful again…couldn’t imagine living with this pain everyday! 

Her husband was there at the hospital with her everyday.  She lived for the moment he walked in the door.  She knew when he was there she could rest.  Or have someone to talk to.  She wasn’t allowed to eat, and could only drink limited amounts.  She was so thirsty!  The commercials for food and drinks on the tv would just about drive her bizerk!  She was too weak to read, she couldn’t hold the book up.  The only thing she had to pass the time was tv and when her family visited.  She felt somedays as if she was going out of her mind.  She felt like a caged animal…an ABUSED caged animal at that!  To add insult to injury, her hair started to fall out in huge clumps!  She had bald spots throughout her scalp…she had  always had extremely thick and wavy hair…now she is going bald.  Also, she was going through menopause due to the ovary removal…the hotflashes where awful!  She felt like she was having a heart attack frequently.  Alot of the nurses were not sympathetic to her physical complaints.  They acted like she was being a whiner or something!  One evening she complained of being short of breath.  The night nurse took her time coming into her room, even after she had told the cna about being short of breath and having chest pain.  When the nurse did finally come in her room, and took her vitals, she said”Oh, you’re fine!  You just need to work harder in therapy!  You’re getting lazy!”  She could not believe this.  She knew something was wrong!  She was having a heart attack!  “I need help!” She told the nurse…the nurse left her room…she was scared to death she was going to die right there!

To be continued

Breathe, Believe, Be

The Little Girl…part 6

She was a fighter.  That’s what she’d always heard about herself.  They would say it as if it was a badge of honor.  She felt like a fighter who had lost.  It was one struggle after another.  She was a single mother…raising two children … alone.  She loved her babies, more than she had ever known was possible.  Their father was gone.  He was abusive.  He was a womanizer.  He was a deadbeat.  She tried not to bad-mouth him…in front of the kids…but he was just a LOSER.  There was no other way to describe him.  What kind of man could treat a woman this badly?  What kind of man could abandon his children?

Years passed.  She went to college.  She got a career.  She was raising her children…living her life.  She was lucky to have her Mi Mi’s support.  Mi Mi watched her kids…for free.  She would buy the kids the extra things they needed or wanted.  Mi Mi was her “Savior”…Their father came in and out…very infrequently.  Which was for the better.  She could do this alone.  She WAS doing this alone!  She was mommy and daddy.  The kids were doing great.  They were sweet, loving, affectionate, smart and empathetic young children. 

She would lay in bed at night, sometimes with her kids, sometimes alone.  Is this it? She would wonder.  Would she never be really loved by a man?  Would she never have a good relationship?  Did she NEED one?  She had decided at this point, all she needed was her children.  They were her world.  She just wanted to be a good mom.  On occassion she would meet a man.  Go out to dinner or dancing…or more.  Always yearning for that special love and acceptance.  Never finding it.

After she turned forty…yes, we are up to forty!  She went out one night…with a friend…and she met a man.  He was older.  Mature.  Friendly.  He treated her well.  She was so flattered!  She had never been treated this way!  He took her on trips to wonderful places!  He treated her (by now mostly grown kids) like they were his own!  She felt like her “fairy tale” had arrived!

It wasn’t all a fairy tale though.  He didn’t ever compliment her after the “honeymoon” phase was over.  He could occassionally have a temper…He flat out told her he didn’t want her thinking she was pretty…But she was too deflated to care about such silly things.  He was basically good to her.  Her life was on the right track.  Her kids were basically grown…this man loved her…life was getting good..

Then there came the health issues.  It started slowly…or not so…depending on how you look at it.  Aches and pains…roaming throughout her body.  Fatigue.  After much searching, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.  Treatment consisted of medications that had side effects that were almost as bad as the disease.  She was a fighter though…right?  She had no idea just how much of a fighter she would have to be…

To be continued

Live life to the fullest!