A Blanket of Sickness is Upon Me

The sun is shining. I really shouldn’t complain but I will. After three years I have a cold. It is a nasty, rotten cold and I feel like someone has punched me in the jaw. My punishment for having so much fun after being severely depressed for almost three months. My immunity must have been dancing a jig instead of being on guard and WHAM it got hit by this evil flu-like sickness. Of course my daughter has been walking around sick all week with it too. For some reason she has reverted to wanting hugs while she’s been sick. Like a good mother I give her hugs with a smile all the while my brain is thinking…AAAHHHH!!!!……GERMS!!!!!.…..BACK AWAY GIRL………but I made her soup and brought her drinks because she has been keeping up with her college schedule and trying really hard. That’s more than I feel like doing now. Where are MY hugs? Where is MY soup? I put on a breathing mask when I was taking care of my father this morning because God forbid he gets this, never mind a 94 year old getting sick, but when someone with dementia gets sick their dementia gets even worse. How much worse can it be?? I know, of course…….I saw it with my mother too. I never mentioned I took care of my mother who also had Alzheimer’s for three years until she died right here in front of me. I helped her over “to the other side”. So, I know if he gets sick even from a cold it could be death or he could just be pooping in his pants…..which is just as difficult when I’m caring for him and I’m sick too. This morning I barely had the strength to help him stand. So, I’m hoping and praying for this to pass quickly and a big HOORAY that it’s Friday so my brother will take over after he gets home. I can disappear upstairs and lie down if I want or just watch TV.

I can’t help but wonder if all of this wasn’t brought on by stress though. I handle so much here by myself. This time of year is now the anniversary of my husband’s diagnosis. That happened on April 1….great April Fool’s joke, huh? My daughters and I can’t believe it was a year ago…it’s really mind blowing. Also to top that off I had my mammogram last Saturday and received a call Monday that I have to return for another one. I haven’t really reacted to that. I figure they just need another set of images. I’m a photographer and I know even with digital things can create shadows. But we all know what lurks in the back of our minds and I’m no different. I can’t bullshit anyone. I am scared. What if? What if? So, I have to wait until Tuesday for another mammogram and in the meantime tell myself ‘everything is fine’…..  as I drag myself around feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck.

I know one thing for sure—I’m too damn busy and too damn needed to have any illness stop me.

 

Magic Blue Pills

This is my dog. He is one of the reasons I fall out of bed in the morning. Besides the typical needs of a dog in that the outside world is their toilet my dog also takes medication for grand-mal seizures or the prevention thereof. If he gets them, he gets them in clusters and it is a horribly stressful time to endure. So, I do all I can to prevent this from happening. The last two days I have had an off and on migraine. That is when I wake up with a migraine, it lasts all day but goes away about 6pm but then I wake up in the middle of the night and it is back again. Very frustrating when I am attending to my father too because I never know when he will wake up or what physical or mental state he will be in. Some days he is able to stand up other days he can barely hold up his own weight. So, all I can do is get up in the morning and try to ignore the pain of my migraine and ignore the sickness of the stomach. I try to eat so I can take the medications I’ve been prescribed. Thankfully I have my ‘magic blue pills’….these are Fioricet. A combination of butalbital (a barbiturate, 50 mg), acetaminophen (325 mg), caffeine (40 mg), and codeine (30 mg). Magic to me because otherwise I would be dragging myself across the floor. Now my brain just feels numb. I love my dog though because he will lay in the room and make sure all is well. So, the best part of having the responsibilities of my dog and my father is my own suffering is put on the back burner. I can’t dwell on it. I still have to cook the meals and do the laundry…migraine or not. Remarkably I begin to notice that the pain has subsided somewhat to a more tolerable level.

Yesterday I was able to just lie around and do nothing because my brother took care of my father. I took care of the dog but he mostly slept. The migraine dragged on much longer than today. Maybe just a coincidence, maybe because I slept for another three hours, maybe I’m getting them because I’m sleeping. I don’t know. Could be something I can talk to my doctor about at the dreaded physical in May. I just hope she doesn’t think I’m some kind of drug addict because I take so many of those blue pills. They are great though……Doctor, give me more!!!

Who Do You Think You Are?

Most people today have at least one mirror in their house. It may be a small one in your bathroom in the medicine chest or a full size dressing mirror so you can see how you look. Don’t want to go out with your pants on backwards, do you? I wonder though, do you actually see the “REAL” you when you look in the mirror? Or do you see the reflection of your personality at that time?

The reason I ask is because I have an issue with myself. It’s not a problem but I wonder if others do this. I have always dressed the same way since I was a teenager. I wear t-shirts and jeans all year round. When the weather is cold I’ll wear a sweatshirt and a coat outdoors. But I don’t act nor dress my age, which is 47. I also tend to wear dark sunglasses, the type that are silver reflective. Then no one can see my eyes.

When I go out to do photography I carry a backpack for my lenses and can look very serious because I am concentrating on the work I am doing. So I tend to get a frown on my face, some people say it’s a scowl or a sneer. Today I happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection in a window and it actually frightened me…lol. I looked like a terrorist. I’m dressed in black, carrying a black bag, looking like I want to kill the world. Maybe this is why I have trouble with photographing people. My self-image is one of fear. I have built up this image of a person that the world had better stay away from. At least that is what my mind is saying.

But others tell me how happy and nice I am and how I could easily get people to pose for me if I just asked them. How can this be?? I am supposed to be the Tasmanian Devil how has my mind lied to me all these years and continue to do so? I am actually afraid at times.

I used to weigh 250 lbs. and I am about 5’2″ now because I think I have shrunk an inch. So, I was always tough and could beat the snot out of anyone. I was very confident, and very strong. I became sick almost 4 years ago with an infection and was treated with antibiotics for three months which destroyed my ability to digest foods properly. This turned into Irritable Bowel Syndrome and totally reduced my ability to eat down to only: potatoes, rice, and bread. These have to be organic too or I’ll get violently ill. Anyway, I lost 100 lbs. making me someone I had never been. I had been overweight my entire life from the time I was 6. Now I was considered a normal size but my brain still considered me fat. It still does four years later. My brain still thinks I can kick the shit out of anyone that crosses my pass. It’s dangerous because I’ve seen photos and realized that I’m smaller than the average person and they could easily throw me to the ground now. Brain is crazy, brain thinks everything is something else. Brain thinks I am someone else. Brain thinks I am not 47, brain thinks I am tough and not fearful. I think brain is trying to kill me.

Does anyone else think like this? Is this a bipolar reaction? My therapist won’t discuss this with me because he doesn’t have time to analyze me and he is not a magician.
Sorry, for the long and winding road through my bloggy brain. It’s quiet here again because older daughter went to the party and younger daughter is upstairs.
Maybe someone has some insight into this?
Have a good night all!

I’ve Been Tagged

Yesterday I was tagged by carlarenee45 whose blog is http://carlarenee45.wordpress.com/

Heres what I need to do:

1. Post the rules that are a part of this game
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them! (but of course)

So, here are the eleven questions that Carla asked.

1. Where are you originally from?

Everyone knows I originated from another planet located in the Andromeda star system but I settled in Boston of all places.

2. How many times have you moved in your life?

Only three times, all within a two-mile radius…..how exciting is that?

3. Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?

Yes, I have a dog named Conan. He is an American Eskimo. And a zebra finch that is as ancient as dirt that I call Birdie.

4. Do you like your job (if you have one at this time)?

I like being a mother and I am a caregiver because I’m crazy and loyal (and stupid)

5. were you ever the kind of kid who liked to fight?

Did I like it…..hmmmm, I was certainly a fighter and a good one but it was in self-defense. It did feel good to beat the crap out of someone who was terrorizing me though but they had many, many chances to leave me alone.

6. Have you ever been to jail? No

7. who do you live with?

I live with my father, one of my brothers, and my two daughters.

8.Have you ever been discriminated against in any way? explain (if you do not mind)

Yes, I was discriminated at a job interview because I was too fat for the man interviewing me. He gave me the once over, you know, he eyed me up and down and said the job had been filled. I left and walked down the street and got on a pay phone and called him but changed the tone of my voice to sound all sweet and asked if the job had been filled yet. He told me, no, it was still available to come in for an interview. I told him I was going to report him but I didn’t. I was too upset.

9. Do you have a bad, good or great, relationship with your family?

Right now I like to think it teeters between good and great. I have had very bad times with my father but he has late stage dementia now and remembers nothing so why should I be the only one carrying the burden of the lousy memories?

10.do you have a religion or a belief in God?

I have a strong belief in God but my church is nature and all around me. Sometimes I forget that God is always there when I am depressed and I try to remember the poem “Footprints in the Sand”, especially the part : During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.

11. How long has it been since the last time you’ve had sex (and I don’t mean alone)?

Hahahaha……but those times can be the best. I am a widow now. It has been a year today since my husband was first tested and they found a shadow on his x-ray. I will probably never have a partner again. Anyway, the last time was back in 2010 in October, I think. You’d think I would remember. But I didn’t think it would be my last time. I didn’t know my husband was going to get sick. So, now I live in my fabulous fantasy world where I can have anyone I want!! LOL

Now I’m supposed to tag 11 followers but I can’t since I don’t have 11 followers, in fact I have very few followers. boo hoo…….so I am only partially doing this. Perhaps when I am tagged on some future date I may have more people interested in my exploits in life and I can complete this in a proper fashion. Until then I hope I don’t scare of the few I have!

How Quickly the Storm Clouds Move In

I was having a really good day today; bouncing from one activity to another. To paraphrase my mother….Like a chicken with it’s head cut off. I was accomplishing some things, other lay half finished. Another sunny day with the temperature close to 90°….I was bursting at the seams. I even got my father shaved, cut his hair, and shampooed him without any of his usual stubbornness. And tomorrow is Friday! YEAH!!! When my brother gets home I can end my care-giving duties until Sunday at 5pm when I take over again.

6:30pm rolls around and the kitchen is cleaned, my father is done. I am just waiting for one more hour when I can get my father ready for bed. It’s quiet except for the birds singing outside. I do not keep the TV on much at all except for something special or Gordon Ramsey. I can hear my daughters excessively laughing and talking loudly and it’s starting to annoy me. This is PMS week I remind myself but I ignore them until one comes into the kitchen talking about cooking something…they don’t know what and they’ll clean the mess.

You know, please tell me, I can take it, am I a bitch? I don’t want them in the kitchen making anything. I have washed dishes numerous times today and now the kitchen is CLOSED!! No more nothing. You want to eat something…take something and get out. No cooking, go away. Come back tomorrow and do it then. Not at 2am, not at 4:30 am….or any other ungodly hour, like my youngest does. I like the peace and quiet…this is how I stay sane.

Then my older daughter tells me out of nowhere about this party that I totally forgot about because she had already said she wasn’t going and now she says…..if so and so gets a ride I can get one with him. You know, this other kid is a drunk. True, he won’t be driving but I don’t know who these people are that will be driving. But that’s just how it is for the parent today isn’t it? Hey, like I said to her…what are you even telling me this for?? She’s 23….I sit here all day busting my ass cleaning shit and she’s telling me about a fucking party. Yeah, like I won’t be worrying about it.

Hey, I got a good one for my kids. Hey kids…….One of my friends is going to a party and his friend is going to give me a ride. I don’t know him but since my friend is cool, all his friends are cool too. Oops, did I end up dead in a ditch?  Sorry, now you have no parents. But, hey, I really wanted to go to that party.

My reaction to all of this took my great mood and smashed it and made my blood pressure creep up and the ever present desire I fight to drink reared it’s ugly head. But I am proud to say I didn’t drink. I wrote this instead. Thanks for reading it for you saved me from drinking tonight. I’ll eat instead.

Hypomania Has Crept In

The other day I had an idea. Oh goody…Dorothy had an idea. These things tend to pop into my head without warning, the good ones do anyway. I decided I was going to cut the dosage of my Sertraline. That’s Zoloft. Remember the commercial with the bouncy ball or egg or whatever it was with the frowny face that wouldn’t come out of his cave because he was depressed until he took his pills and then suddenly all was well for him. That was Zoloft. You don’t see those commercial anymore because there are lawsuits about birth defects and some other things that my brain doesn’t remember because all of these pills have killed the memory center.

I originally decided to do this because I have gained weight recently and the fault must lie in the medication. It can’t be in my overeating because I have IBS and my diet is so restricted it would make any other person go insane. I thought it might be peri-menipause…you know, the menipot that women can get. But it’s so much more fun to cut the pills and see what happens, besides I can always go back on them and I won’t tell my doctor. He’s grumpy enough without me darkening his doorstep.

That’s something else I can’t understand. I’d think he would be thrilled to see me and want to know all about my “exciting” non-existent life or better yet…..my fantasy life. It doesn’t get better than that. But he always seems to act like a kid who has to get blood taken out of his pinkie. I can’t help it that I have to cram six weeks of drama into 20 minutes of time! He just doesn’t want to hear it. So, why am I going then?? Why don’t I just send an email and say…”Hi! Everything fine. Bye. Send prescriptions to pharmacy. ”

Anyway, it has been five days since I cut my dosage in half and I feel great. My depression has gone away and my mania has started to creep in. It is not full blown mania…I don’t get that anyway. I get hypo-mania and I love it. I am able to do more work, organize more things, throw out more junk, and just feel better.

In conclusion, medications are good to a degree and we all have a balance that we need to find and in my case it changes throughout the year. I know myself better than anyone does. I wish I had a doctor that would believe what I say and listen to me and not just think I am crazy. The bad part of it all is that I very well could be crazy and come back to this days later and not know what I have written and have no memory of what I have done.

It’s a strange life I live and I keep trying…that’s all I can do.