Slip Sliding Away

In a lot of ways I’m still trying to stop the slip so please bear with me, I’ve tried to write this a few times and it just comes out in disjointed gibberish.  I will try to keep everything as simple as I can without too much fluff, which is when I get generally get lost.

I don’t remember what day last week I slept through my early AM pills.  Because it was late I didn’t take them but I did take the one I should have taken after breakfast.  It had been close to a full week since I was taking all my meds early, morning and evening pills.  I was barely holding on.

Tuesday I finished my CNA course and we had a certification program where we were all presented our papers which is my ticket to take the state test to start a new path.  It wasn’t that big of a deal to me until it was.  I made a point of getting a picture so I could put it in my journal.  I looked horrible.  The crush of the room was bothering me and ramping up my already jarred psyche so when it was over and the eating began I left.  I knew if I started to eat I wouldn’t stop and no one and nothing would be spared.  And there was food waiting for me at home and I could binge to my hearts contempt.  What I forgot to mention is that though I laid out my meds the night before, I didn’t take them…..and you can repeat that all the way to Saturday morning but by then it was too late.

Thanksgiving for my family was on Friday.  I was in a full blown anger hurricane and no one was safe.  I stayed in the corner and pretended I was ‘tired’….well, tired of all of them.  I ate only what I wanted; turkey, potatoes and dressing.  I was kind to the kids, although the youngest was put on my lap and when he felt the disruption in my aura he began to cry and try to get away from me….I really couldn’t blame him.

Saturday I took my pills again but my heart was racing, my breath was shallow, my blood pressure was all over the place and I just wanted to scream – I took a tranquilizer….and tranquil I did become.   My emotions flattened out and I slept for three hours, but my mind still hasn’t returned, it still can’t grasp anything and hold onto it for a long time.  Words slip off the tip of my tongue, ideas float just out of reach and my memory pulls up the wrong information and my mouth can’t stop it from tumbling out.

I’m back on my three doses a day.  I don’t know if I need to continue to slip to get back down to stable ground or if I need to start the climb again to where I was.  I just hope which ever it is it doesn’t take me back to a place I don’t want and can’t be again.   If there is any take away from this whole hellish experience is: DON’T GO OFF YOUR MEDS.  I’m not well, I’m not better, I’m not quitting.

What Dreams May Be

Dreams are like movies directed by the soul.  Your mind works out all the tangles and knots your daily life creates and then smooth’s things over so we don’t all go bat-crap-crazy.  Of which I am truly grateful.   There are certain things, symbols in dreams that are consistent with all the dream weavers out there….

There’s the anxiety dream where you can’t run when you’re being chased.

There’s the project dream where you dream you have a baby, a puppy, or something new born that is in your charge and you need to take care of it.

The wanting to speak dream where you try to say something but your mouth is full of gum or food and no matter how hard you work to pull the stuff out of your mouth you can never quite get it all out, ofrom between your teeth.

The happy dream is where you fly.

My dreams a few nights ago had puppies and flying.  The puppy was the sample of a business idea that someone came up with in my dream…..Send A Friend A Puppy….Even I had a double take in my dream and asked them to repeat it.  It works like this, you have a friend you want to cheer up so instead of flowers you send them a fluffy, clean 6 to 10 week old puppy.  In this case it was a golden retriever puppy.   They come in a box with food and puppy-poopoo-pads and gloves.  You have to admit no matter how sick, sad or frustrated you are, an afternoon with a puppy will take a lot of the gloom and doom and shine up your attitude in no time.  My mind has been feverishly trying to remake the main character in my completed novel less of a push-over and more of an woman that is 75% intelligent and 15% stubborn and 10% without a clue…..like most women.  That’s the new puppy.

Later in that dream I was told that I could fly again.  I didn’t believe them, but they assured me I could.  So I took to the sky and doing my rudimentary swimming motions I propelled myself into the air.  Though I was flying, and I was happy while I was aloft, I noticed that the scarf/sleeve had either sand or rice trying to pull me back towards the ground.  I struggled against gravity and as long as I focused on staying in the air I did.  I love flying in my dreams….they truly are my favorite dreams.  I see this as a promise of present happiness despite of the things that seem to be trying to tie me to the ground.  That’s to my surrender I no long dread or hate or even feel put upon taking care of my Mom.  When she gets angry with me I react internally first and then sort of laugh at the whole thing….she’s like a toothless Chihuahua.  It does kind of make me laugh and I try very hard not to do it in front of her.  So, mom is one of the bags that are trying to hold me down, the other, I believe is my work with OA.  I ran into a woman while getting food for my family and se said some of the OA speak and I asked her.  I told her my problem with getting sponsor and she said she would be more than willing to talk with me.  She said most people that can’t get the fourth step done is because they haven’t truly done the third step: Surrendering to your higher power.  I’m trying to learn to surrender on the celestial level now, trying to surrender myself, my control and my life to God the Father and Jesus Christ.  It’s harder than I thought it would be.  But then anything worth doing is never really easy.  It only seems easy when you see it through the rearview mirror.

I’ve also been having anger dreams where I just rant and rave at my sibling about stuff they don’t understand.  And there have been a few anxiety dreams as well about running out of time, which is an anxiety that chases me in the waking hours as well, but I don’t remember the specifics of the dreams only the impetus of them….the hospice nurse made the comment that Mom was deteriorating and it triggered the anxiety and a feeling a fear and dread at the idea of my mother passing.  (That’s a whole other post).  The events in the dream disappear almost with my eyes focusing on the alarm clock, but the anger and anxiety tend to fuss with my day for a while.

Okay, why the post about dreams?  Because it is confirming what I’m starting to realize myself.  I’m happy, really happy.  And I know I’m burdened some with my responsibilities and my health but I’m still happy.  If surrender brings this much happiness I would hope surrendering to the other conflicts in my life should and would be easier.

Pleasant and prophetic dreams to all!

Gobsmacked by Life

So, when last we met, dear reader, I was embarking of under-employment but ever so hopeful things would continue on the course I had set it on.  I stopped climbing the walls, so to speak only to have the freaking wall fall on me!  I planned on giving myself one week off from work, which is reasonable since I hadn’t really had five straight days to myself since, well, since I don’t remember when….and starting the next week Mom shot up a temperature to like 103.1 and then it would go down, then back up.  I got the temporal thermometer to see if the digital one was not digitizing the information the way we wanted but it was telling the truth.  Which basically means now I have a really cool thermometer…..but I digress.  I called 911 and had them take her to the ER in Mountain View.  If there is one thing I can say about being on anti depressants and anti anxiety SSRI and dopamine enhancers is that when you are faced with something serious your emotions shut down and you can focus on the task at hand get things done. Well, sort of.  Apparently  was being a real pain in the caboose and my humor wasn’t what my sisters would have liked.  After a few long, tiresome hours they realize that Mom was dehydrated.  Who knew you ran a temperature when you are dehydrated.  S. had heard about it when she went through her medical assistant training but she wasn’t sure.  Once that was determined they decided to give her IV fluids and see if it brought her double digit BP back to the normal range….well, normal for an 85 year old woman.  They admitted her around 2 am, I went home and had dinner, took a chill pill and went to bed around 4am.

What I learned from this experience is that 1) the right hospice agency makes all the difference and 2) never make plans that you can’t put off for later.  We’ve changed our hospice agency which is more aggressive towards the pulmonary set, unlike the last one that would have been happy for me to give Mom morphine to calm her down and let her die in her sleep.  The hospital doctor sent her home with a nebulizer and between me and K we have been militant about her getting her treatments, eating whether she wants to or not, and drinking at least two quarts of water a day she is gaining ground.  Just as she started to get back on her feet the holidays descended like a biblical plague.  Okay, so I’m not a bit holiday fan but being broke, being literally tied to the house like some house bound prisoner because Mom doesn’t like to be alone and “misses me” even if I’m in the other room.  Did I mention she’s almost as deaf as a door knob?  (hearing aids are on the list of things to do in the New Year).

I guess what I’m blathering on about is that I’m tired, I feel like a well used rubber band that is still functional if you don’t push it beyond it’s but when too much pressure is applied  it will loose the last of it’s elasticity and then when pushed father will snap and crumble to bits.  My doctor thinks I’m doing fine, but then we didn’t talk about how I imagine sawing through my arms again, or how I want to use a razor to carve a cross hatch pattern from my wrist to the bend in my elbow.  I won’t do it, I know I won’t, I’m too big of a sissy when it comes to physical pain but he seems to think it is something that should be reported to him.  I wish he was tech savvy enough to just read this and prescribe accordingly.  I can’t go up any further on m=any of my meds so what other choice does he have then to tell me I’m doing good and hope the placebo effect will see me through until the stress passes?

I’m pretty sure this will be my last entry for 2014.  May the New Year be bright, healthy and prosperous.  Thank you for reading and following me.

The Bluffers Rebuff

I miss Sammy.  I miss the way she says ‘Hello’ in the morning, or says “By by” when I leave but mostly I miss knowing there is one living, breathing person* in the house that loves me unconditionally even when she bites me.

Mom and I have plastered over the dings in each others walls, though I didn’t hurl anything heavy, she took asserting my boundaries as a direct hit and then taking Sammy away so she wouldn’t breathe in her feathers as a killing blow.  Covering the wounds works like turning off the lights instead of doing the dishes….if you can’t see it, it never happened.  I was told that I was breaking a dying woman’s heart by taking Sammy to my sisters, but if Mom truly is allergic to her feathers then taking Sammy out of the house was the only recourse.  It’s not like I would allow her to live outside even if she could.  It is still seen as an intentional, malicious action against my mother, which was not my intent, and I tell her I don’t intend on having Sammy stay away forever.  I’ve ordered air filters/purifiers/cleaners for her room and the family room and once she can breathe okay I will bring Sammy home as a test.  Mom on the other hand feels she will never be able to be in the same room with her again.  It is her way of bluffing my bluff, to see who could last the longest without her.  Well, not to be too macabre or put too fine a point on it, I’m the one that can live longer without her.  That’s not why I’m not going to buckle to her will, or maybe it is, I dunno sometimes what is going on in my head.  In a lot of ways I’m still very angry at my mom for the way she treated me, talked to me, acted towards me, and yet knowing that it’s coming from a place of fear and her interpretation of everything as pain she doesn’t know (or want to know) any better.  I can’t change her, I can only change myself so she can no longer hurt me.  But she made me cry this weekend, and honestly that seems to be the worst thing that she could have done.  That was the start of her treating me better, she thinks she broke me.  What happened was I didn’t have all of my social meds for the day and I crumbled a little but she’s taking it as a victory.

To help me overcome my loneliness and the fun in watching her, I bought a wifi camera that will allow me to log into it and I can watch her all day if I wanted to.  I won’t, hopefully.  But when I’m at home and in my room I can put it on my 24″ monitor and it would be like she was in my room with me.  It just can’t get here fast enough!

*Sammy is a feathered person….and yes, I’m one of ‘those’ pet owners.

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys.

Mom and I hit the rocks, then the reef, then the iceberg over the weekend.  One realization that came from it was startling, sorta dream-crushing and it needs to go through the journal process before I can share coherently.  Sorry.  The other realization is that I can’t make my mother have a happy end of life.  I can’t do it for her, I can’t ease her from her dystopian state into the station where she believes she belongs.  It’s not my job to make those choices for her.  It’s like trying to have a pet polar bear in Phoenix, just isn’t going to end well.  I will be there to help her with her choices, of course, but I’m no longer going to foist them on her.

The fight was bad, things were said, apology made but we’re still dancing around each other not sure when the other one is going to launch the next salvo of words to try and destroy the other.  Neither of us willing to admit we love the other, and there are moments when she talks to me and I wonder if I still do.  I guess I do, I haven’t called the Shady Pines to come and take her away.  She hasn’t called the police to report me for elder abuse, so I guess we are still on an even keel.

What I don’t really like about myself in this fight is the war in my head of how to behave.  I don’t want to be mean to her, yet I think bad things, and wish I had the wherewithal to do what I imagine.  I get too much pleasure out of calling her bluff and watch her try and squirm away from the consequences.  For example she believes I don’t love her because I won’t dust my room or clean the birds cage on a more regular basis because of her allergies.  So, I’m sending Sammy away to my sisters to live for a while.  My reasoning is two fold, I want the feathers that stay aloft in the air for hours, the one she breathes in, to settle down and to see how well she improves and to, mostly, call her bluff.  I won’t let her use my parrot as a wrench in her manipulation toolbox.

It’s those words, the mean words, that I want to get away from.  I know I’m angry right now and I’m working hard to keep my head from swimming in the anger and frustration.  When I start getting angry I start deep breathing and chanting in my head, but that’s ameliorating the symptoms, not ripping out the foundation of them so I can build anew.  I’m at a loss of how to do this though.  How do you plug the holes and snip off the pour spout of the venom in your brain in favor of peace, love, and …YIKES…I sound like a hippie!!  I don’t want to feel the bile bubble up or the desire for revenge or strut the I’ll-show-you posture any longer.  Part of me is hoping this declaration will be enough, that making the choice to do so will be all I need to do to become that loving, peaceful zen-like person…..I guess that is my circus and one of the many monkeys that are on my back.  Reality sucks, and it’s hard work.  Maybe I should rethink the hippie thing.

“I just want to spend all the time I can with you…”

Raise your hand if you don’t think is a guilt trip…..

Yea, that’s what I thought.

Prayer: The Hearts Sincere Desire

I’ve been praying again, at least making an honest effort.  I still forget that I’m praying sometimes and let my mind wander but I pull it back as quickly as I can, apologize to my Father in Heaven and push forward.  It seems odd that prayer is so hard for me.  That it was nothing before but “Please, Father, get me through today.” (And He did) But because of my meager efforts I’m no longer extremely anxious about taking the forward steps I need to into the haze of uncertainty because I know He will prepare a path for me even if all I can see it one step at a time.

It’s so hard to describe the sensation of this for me.  I’ve always known there was a higher power (mine is God/Heavenly Father/Elohim) for as long as I can remember.  At one point I wanted to be cloistered away as a nun;  a life of service and reflection apparently appeals to the writers heart.  However, I chose the secular world and now my realities are 1) my job is ending 2) my education to be a phlebotomist is a joke in the industry 3) I’ve not stuck anyone in years and 4)it’s going to pay less (especially a non-union job) than the pittance I’m making now. (I’m not even going to go into the lack of writing, lack of journaling and lack of any creativity in my life right now).  My mind races and then collapses from exhaustion.  I think R.E.M. said it best:

It’s the end of the world as we know it

And I feel fine

I’ve never been able to really make plans for my future because I’ve always had the concept hard wired into my mind “Live now for tomorrow we die”.  So now, I pray about it, when the anxiety, fear and general loathing of change overtakes me and then a calm comes and the gentle words of peace and comfort scatter the emotions like cockroaches in the light and I feel fine.

Though I’m still anxious about a lot of things:

  • Mom’s ultimate destination and getting her ready, getting me ready, fear of walking in on her and finding her when I’m alone
  • Money lasting to the end of the month and not being able to buy stuff with my own money
  • Getting money together for my nephews wedding (This is new one, he’s going on a cruise and we’re all invited)
  • Job ending
  • Job searching
  • Being trapped forever with Mom
  • Never getting my eating under control and never being able to eat Golden Mega Stuff Oreos again
  • Dying before I have a chance to live
  • Being around people
  • Dealing with my family and the anger it stirs up in me and the fear of not being able to control it around them

That’s just off the top of my head, the things that I can pick out when it’s spinning.  Though I know everything in my heart will be okay, the chemicals in my brain still won’t settle down and leave me in peace.  I’m hoping to replace my emergency anti-anxiety pills and the half one I take every day, with meditation and prayer.  It is my sincerest desire to be trusting and rest in the Lords embrace and know everything will be okay.  Though my heart is starting to trust my head is still overly paranoid and distrusting of everyone and everything, both physical and spiritual.  It’s not the end of the world, just a change, and I will be fine.  Prayer needs to be my bridge from this life to the next, I can feel that in my heart to be true and I need to be more persistent in following the whispers of hope and orient myself to the feeling of warmth and comfort the Spirit provides when I follow my heart.

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