Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Feeling Lost

The past few days have been a blur, but the hardest ever.  I never want to plan another funeral.  I feel numb, sad, lost, and so many other feelings that I'm sure most that lose a loved one experience.  I just want to go back and do things differently and have more time!

I have great family and friends who have called, texted, stopped by to bring food, and just try to assure that I am ok... I am so thankful to have them all!  But I also just want to be alone and left alone at the same time.

Will I always feel this lost?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

A Day I Will NEVER Forget

I know I haven't posted in a while, I apologize.  My life has been like a roller coaster not knowing what will happen at each turn.

 As most of you know I take care of my mom, which is my job as well as a child's responsibility when parents age and become unable to do for themselves!  It has been a challenge the past 8+ years, but we have gotten through it. The end of October she ended back up in the hospital, labs all over the place and retaining so much fluid it was unhealthy.  After a few days there the doctor wanted her to return to rehab to get her strength back up and back on her feet.

Rehab didn't seem to be doing much at all, it seemed that she was spending more time in the hospital ER than she was at the center.  Every week something was going wrong, either blood work, blood pressure, platelets, and UTI's .

When the time came that her insurance wasn't going to pay any longer I had to struggle with the decision to either leave her there permanently or bring her home and try to see if I could make it work.  This was a tough one because I didn't want to leave her there, but she was much worse off and I didn't know if I could physically do what would be required!  She was having trouble even standing alone on most days and for some reason, her mind was all over the place.  However, we  (my aunt and I) made the decision to try to make it work and if we couldn't then we would do what we had to do.  So, she was scheduled to come home Christmas Day!

She ended back up in the ER again December 21 with a horrible and highly contagious stomach virus, another UTI, and multiple lab elevations; and was admitted.  She didn't feel or look good!  After days of antibiotics, she was ready to be released and coming home.  I was happy that she would be back but scared of how it may be for us all. 

She got home Wednesday, December 26th and she seemed mostly like herself for the most part. She was still on meds for the virus and had a horrible bedsore that we had to treat, but she was pretty much stuck in the bed unless we used a lift to get her in the chair, but it hurt to sit too long. 

The week went by and her mind seemed to be getting worse, we wondered if she had another UTI because the past few had caused confusion and "talking outta her head".  However, yesterday she didn't seem like herself at all.  She slept most of the day and didn't say much that made sense.  The health nurse came by and she was a little concerned that she could be coming down with something.  We were thankful she had an appointment with her doctor scheduled in the next few days to get a checkup without having to go back to the ER. 

Last night my aunt called, concerned about her, and asked what they had said.  She said that she wasn't acting much different and she thought she needed to be seen by a doctor sooner; so, we decided if she wasn't better today we would call the ambulance and have her seen at the ER.

This morning I went and got us some breakfast at her favorite place, hoping it would brighten her morning.  I found a note when I came in from my aunt telling me she got choked on water last night taking her meds and she thought she needed to go to the ER this morning if she wasn't better. When I walked into her room she wasn't breathing right, she was making a funny sound when she exhaled and it seemed she was struggling hard to take a breathe in.  I called the health nurse and let her hear her, she suggested I was her up and see if anything changed... so I did.  However, when I woke her up she was still breathing the same and just stared at the roof.  She wouldn't look at me or respond to anything I said.  This was the scariest moment and I felt panicked, and called 911 right away!

I continued to try to get her to say or do something, but she wouldn't.  It seemed like it was taking the ambulance forever to get there!  When they arrived they didn't seem to be as worried as I was so I thought it was a good thing, especially as we pulled out the driveway and they didn't have any sirens on.  I began to calm down as this continued down our road heading to the hospital, she was in good hands and it was going to be a long day in the ER again, but they'd get her right and we'd be back home... is what I was thinking.

However, when we got to the end of our road that thought quickly changed when they turned on their sirens and went around a car that we were following down our road.  Then as we got onto the next road I found myself going 85 trying to keep up with them until they passed 3 cars at once and I got stuck in traffic.

My mind and heart were racing not knowing what was going on and praying that everything was going to be ok. When we arrived at the ER I went in and usually am allowed to go straight back there with her (we've made this trip a hundred times it seems), but they told me to have a seat and they would call me when they had her settled. 

I sat and I sat, mind racing, thinking the worse... but praying hard for good results.  Finally, after about 45 minutes the nurse comes over and tells me that she is gone to x-ray and when she gets back to the room I can go back there and tells me that she is ok.  Whew, what a huge relief!!   I figure it would be a few minutes so I went outside to make a few calls and smoke me a much-needed cigarette. 

After a few minutes of coming back inside, I was allowed to go back, but didn't expect what was to come!  When I went into the room she was the same as she was leaving home, still staring at nothing and no response to me talking to her.  It wasn't but just a few minutes and the doctor entered the room and started telling me how sick she was.  Pneumonia, septic, another UTI, urine looks like motor oil, and her blood pressure is dangerously low.... how was she this sick!? I was thinking she would now say what they would be doing to fix these things, but she started asking about a DNR and life support if needed and I knew this was much worse than I thought.  I was trying my best to hold it together. but I didn't know what to do other than tell her to do all they could do and ask her could I go out for a minute and make some calls. 

I called my aunt (but couldn't get her) and made sure other family members knew how sick she was and returned back inside to find the doctor again asking me about putting in a central line to help get meds in to stabilize blood pressures.  While I waited I stood at the bed telling her how much I loved her and how the doctors were going to help her feel better.

Back out to smoke again I went when they came in to do the central line, that wasn't something I wanted to see being done.  So, I tried calling my aunt again a few times till I was able to reach her.  She was the one person I felt needed to know right away since we have been the ones taking care of her the past few years.  I was so scared and there all alone and I knew it wouldn't be long and she would be there if no one else was.

It wasn't long after I got back into the room that the doctor came in again and said she needed to put a vent in and explained the best she could about the need for it and to get her BP up.  At this time it was so low 54/34.

When I was about to walk outside shortly after they put her on it to meet my oldest daughter, the doctor informed me that I should call any family that may want to come because she didn't think she was going to make it.  As I got to the door going outside my aunt was walking in.  So, I tried my best to tell her what was going on and told her what room she was in.  Then I walked to my daughter's car and tried to explain to her and help her prepare herself for what she was walking into. 

When we got back to the room she lost it, this was so hard watching her pain and thinking it was possible my mom was going to die.  What would I do without her!?  My sister arrived just after and the nurse was preparing momma to move to ICU.  I was thankful that I wasn't there alone anymore but terrified of what may be coming. 

They explained that there would be a little time after moving her before we could go back in there with her, but I didn't want her to be alone. While we waited to go back in the ICU my sister-in-law, brother, my other aunt, my husband and youngest daughter, and other family started arriving in the ICU waiting area. 

I let the ones that hadn't seen her go back since they limit how many can go in at a time and I wanted everyone to have a chance to say what they wanted to say and spend time.  This was so hard on us all.  When I went back there again the doctor explained that her liver and kidneys were failing more than they were earlier in the day and did I just want them to make her comfortable.  Being her only biological child all of these decisions feel on my shoulders to make, and it was so hard to make those words come out of my mouth!

My best friends showed up to support me and say their goodbyes because my momma had been like their 2nd mom.

I went out to get some air and smoke a cigarette or two before the hardest thing I would have to do was done, I just didn't know if this was going to be something I could do!  The Chaplin arrived and prayed with us all and we all stepped out where they could remove the vent. 

They removed it a little after 6pm this afternoon and we all surrounded her bed loving her and talking about how she was about to join daddy.  Her breathing slowed slowly and the nurses were so nice letting us all be there for her.  Then at 7:24pm she took her last breathe... this was the hardest day I think I have ever had to live, my mom is gone forever, this will be a day I will never forget!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Venting Is Good For The Soul

Dear Diary:

My biggest fear since early childhood has been abandonment. My mother abandoned me when I was four years old and I have never quite recovered.  

I heard my ex husband moved to Florida and my stomach is in knots. How could he leave our son without so much as a goodbye? Does he not understand the damage that abandonment does to a person? He actually left him alone two years ago; he told him to call him when he wanted to see him. No calls on his birthday and only sees him for ten minutes at Christmas. He is a narcissist and deep down the narcissist is terrified of being abandoned so he abandons everyone and everything before they can abandon him. Well, the best defense is a good offense, or so I've been told. 

I have been dreaming about my ex husband this week. I dreamed he and the new wife had a baby. What a nightmare! I keep thinking that I see him around town and it is very unsettling. Why I am torturing myself with this nonsense? I swear I have let him go, but sometimes he creeps into my subconscious and I can't shake him. 

Maybe I am thinking of our son and how I have had to assure him that I not going anywhere and that I am always here for him. Or how sometimes he eats and eats to try and fill this invisible void inside himself. I think of quitting smoking and losing weight with such urgency now. I have to live to be at least 110 so I know that our son is going to be taken care of. 

I am typing all these words but none of the words seem to convey how heavy all this seems to me some days. I am only venting here because most of the time all this is some of the madness that swirls around in my brain. There is no one to tell how I feel about it all so I hold it all in and get on with the business of living. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

No Shock in Recent School Shooting

I'm sitting here watching CNN as many others are today.  It is horrible what took place in Parkland, Florida yesterday.  Listening to interviews of students who lived through the traumatic event. Sixteen years old, Addison Jost (Addy), is talking about what transpired an she made a statement that really floored me, but didn't surprise me... She expressed that she wasn't surprised because this sorta thing is happening so much.

Would you be, really deep down, be truly surprised if it happened in your community?  I know I am thankful that it hasn't in mine, but it wouldn't shock me to the extent it should if it did, and that is SAD in America!

I  have sat at work and heard it on the television most of the day, hearing our leaders in our country avoid discussing "Gun Violence".  This pisses me off! every time this happens, we hear this.  Weeks and months go by and NOTHING happens to control any of the issues (not just gun control) that contribute in EVERY case!  Then it happens again... 

Something has to be done and our leaders have to quit putting the conversation of Gun Control & Mental Health on hold!

My hearts and Payers go out to all the families, friends, and community of Parkland, Florida.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Killer Winkles

This is Killer Winkles. He came into my family in 2010 or 2011. I got him when he was a puppy, maybe 6 to 8 weeks old. I nursed him from a tiny bottle and treated him like he was human. I never knew I could love an animal the way that I love him. 

My oldest son called me at work last Wednesday to tell me he had found him dead outside. He was only about 7 years old and he was in great health. It looks like somebody shot him with a pellet gun. My poor baby, I feel so bad because I was not there to comfort him. I have cried and cried for my dog. 

I would tell him to give me hugs and he would lay his head on my neck and love me. He would sleep cuddled up on my bed at my feet or he would actually lay on a pillow that I had on the bed. He was the first dog I ever had that actually loved me. I will miss him so much!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Feeling Accomplished

The past few months have been chaotic.. well busy!  I have had a lot going on with everything deciding to break at my house to have overcome some great obstacles as well!

Most of you know that I went back to school and got my BA in IT with Web Design focus.  AND most of you know that I have been stuck and not really doing anything with it since I graduated 3 years ago!  However, that is really changing and I mean rapidly!!

A few months back I was referred my 1st client, by a friend.  A guy running for Sheriff wanted a simple site for his campaign.  I have to say that is my first one, I was proud and it turned out nice.  The client was happy and that's pretty much what matters, right!!??

Shortly after I was contacted by Client #1 who asked if I could contact a lady who loved his site and wanted her own for her campaign.  I contacted her, and she wanted me to build hers. I showed her a mock-up site and she loved it, with a few tweaks she was published and ready to go!  I have to say that I was happier with the 2nd site, it looked better and I could see my growth.

The day I shared that I was having that meeting on my Social Media, I got a message from a friend who wanted to meet with me to discuss one for her... Could I possibly have another client so soon?  Well, it turns out that I did!!     :)

This one was going to be a challenge though, one that would push me more than the two before.  It's a lawyer, but she wanted her site to be personable, not cold (her words) like most lawyer/law firm sites she had seen.  You see her story is unique... she lost her son and that drove her to the career she has today; she wanted her visitors to know that about her through her site.  It's inspiring!

I have been working on her site for a while (very close to 2 months) and it is about to be published next week (hopefully).  I am excited because it is beautifully portrayed and we got it exactly how she envisioned, AND I'm proud of the site!  I learned today that the Law Firm that she works for will be linking her site from her page on their's... this is BIG!!  I mean a major law firm will have a site that I will link to one I created, that will be tons of exposer to my work!!

I am proud of all that I have accomplished these past few months.  I finally feel like all the hard work in school wasn't a waste and that I may actually be able to do something with this degree (and pay off some of that debt lol).

I am proud of All 3 sites, but each time they have been better... but I am loving this last one so much that I am wondering if I will ever top it!!

I'm feeling accomplished, and just wanted to share it with you all who listened to all the struggle along the way!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Good Doctor - My Review

As the parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum I like to watch movies or read books that portray autistic people. The reason I do this is so I can have a better understanding of how autistic people think. I have also gotten into reading blogs of autistic adults that share their point of view on a variety of topics. 

Last night ABC aired a program called "The Good Doctor". I was excited about watching this new drama to see how autism is portrayed. One of the first things about the show I disliked is the good doctor is a savant. Why must all autistic individuals be portrayed as savants? That is not the case in real life.

What I did like about the show is the way different aspects of the interpersonal relationships between the good doctors parents, other children and his sibling were portrayed. He and his brother got along very well. His brother "looked out" for him and protected him from the cruelty of others. The screaming match between the parents made me cringe a little because it rang true. It showed the good doctor remembering being bullied and what that felt like for him.  

Another part of the show that I liked was how he noticed the small things. He noticed how he was treated and didn't understand why. Or how different abstract objects have a smell like the copper pipes or how the rain makes everything smell different. The stemming he does with his hands. These are the characteristics that make sense to me as an autistic parent. 

It looks like it will be the typical medical program with gorgeous leading men and women, steamy affairs and such. Will the premise of the show somehow get lost in the shuffle of all that? I will tune in and see if this program hooks me because so far I am skeptical but hopeful.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

An Open Letter To School Shooters

Dear teenager, 

I know how it feels to be picked on in school. My middle school years were horrendous. I suffered abuse from a tyrannical step-mother and then I was picked on at school for having my hair short, or not wearing the clothes that were in style, or basically for not being a "cool" kid. There were so many days that I tried to blend into the walls so no one could see me. 

It all started in about the fourth grade. I stole something that didn't belong to me. Of course everyone knew. What may surprise you is this was the 80's so it wasn't live streamed or put on facebook, it was strictly word of mouth. As you probably have learned by now, when something is spread by word of mouth, and it is negative, it spreads like wildfire. No one wanted to be my friend after that. Who could blame them? This incident happened in Elementary school so in my eyes it only plays a small part. 

Then came middle school. Yikes, those awkward preteen/becoming a teen years. See, I was different than the other girls. I wasn't allowed to wear make-up, shave my legs, or date until I was 16. That automatically made me a freak. You will never know the shame and embarrassment of a senile teacher actually thinking you are a boy and the whole class erupts into laughter. Writing and thinking about that day still makes me cringe and I am 43 years old and that happened when I was 13. Short hair and a flat chest....bad combo. I was teased relentlessly for stupid stuff.  

By the time I made to eighth grade, the bullying was too much. I couldn't take it anymore. Then one day my best friend decided we were not going to be friends anymore. She came into the locker room and actually pushed me down. I looked her in her eyes and told her that I was not going to fight her. See, I knew she had been hanging around one of my tormentors for a couple of weeks and that girl was trying to talk her against me. Well, after she knocked me down, I went into the locker room next door and another girl got in my face. This time, she had 10 other girls behind her. I completely snapped! I told her to bring it on and that I would whoop everybody's ass that day. I must have looked as crazy as I felt, because her and the other girls backed down and she pointed at me and said "you're crazy". After that day, nobody messed with me ever again.  

So the moral of this long drawn out story is this......

You can stand up for yourself without taking a gun and killing or wounding somebody. All it takes is for you to have some self-respect and let the bullies know you are not going to take their crap. Also, as cliched as it sounds.......nine times out of ten you will never see any of them again after you graduate.