Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My favorite time of the year

I went for a scope and biopsy of my stomach yesterday. It will take about a week for the biopsy results to get back. Otherwise, the doc just saw an inflamed stomach, or lining. He was in a big hurry and I was groggy so I'm not exactly sure. He now wants me to get a CAT scan. I don't want to. I've already spent too much money as it is. I think I'll just take yet another medication I was given and see how that goes. This is getting old and really getting me down.

This has been the summer of the couch and bed and TV. It has been hard for me to stay positive and up this last couple of weeks. It seems as though I lied on my last post. I want to be at peace and hopeful, so I tell myself I am, you know, the ole' "fake it till you make it'. I am trying really hard to fake it. Maybe then I'll make it. Too many pressures of life it seems and I can't do anything about any of them. Too many worries.

Curtis is in a community play that keeps him busy. And of course being with friends as well. Ron is busy with work and having a lot of fun training everyday for a triathlon. He got to swim the course in Daybreak this morning and loved it! It brought me back to the days when I would come home high as a kite after a great run. I'm glad Ron and Curtis are busy and happy with their own lives right now. I'm glad they aren't home much, as I hate having them see me like this.

l'll be glad when this summer is over. It isn't what I expected but I hope in looking back, it will have been one of much personal growth. Right now it is just about endurance. I'm pretty good at enduring. As a good friend and neighbor said, Just pretend you are in the last 6 miles of the marathon. I agree. Maybe hitting the wall as well. I've hit the wall, now it's time to keep running through it.

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year anyway.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Little White Companions

It's not uncommon to find pills around here and there, even after you think you have gotten rid of them. I have found them in my closet, in pockets, in my purse. Only about 3. Today I got up and thought I would try on some jeans. I have lost about 25 lbs. Not too bad for just over 6 weeks! Anyway, as I reached in the pocket, there they were, another pill and a half, my little oval, white companions. You see, they have been with me for many, many years. I'm feeling like I should say they were hard to give up, that I was tempted for just a moment. But they weren't, and I wasn't. I didn't feel one way or another. I should maybe curse them, or yell, or stomp and scream, I don't know, just something to show how I hate them. But I didn't. I just ceremoniously flushed them down the toilet like I have with the others I have found.

I don't feel conflicted, or at war with myself anymore. I am not churning and anxious about what the next day has in store. I don't have too many expectations. I am not on a timeline anymore. I don't feel disappointment and regret on choices I have made. I am who I am, and I will be stronger and better.

I am slowly getting to a place of peacefulness and hope.

By the way, Happy Pioneer Day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday My Sweet Sister

Today would have been my sister Sue's 57th birthday. She passed away very suddenly 5 years ago this August, the 9th. I've been thinking about her a lot lately. As any anniversary of this sort rolls around, thoughts of good times past seem to occupy one's mind.

Sue was one of a kind. When she entered a room, everyone knew that she was there, the party could start. She made the best potatoes, the funeral kind. She always had the best holiday accessories from sox to goofy jewelery, with added hat, scarves, or whatever else it took to celebrate. If Sue had something on her mind, whether appropriate or not, she would bring it up. She didn't believe in, or have, many filters. I think we were all the recipients of that at one time or another. She had a heart as big as the world. If someone needed a place to stay, she would offer her home, even if she hardly knew the person. She had many "strays" living with her on and off, and didn't charge them a dime. She would have given the shirt off her back if someone said they needed it. She had unconditional love. She displayed that greatest of all loves, when she gave up her baby daughter for adoption. She wanted her daughter to have a mom and a dad. I hope I get to meet Joy someday to tell her about her biological mom. Sue never stopped loving Joy, or thinking about her.

But more than anything, she loved children. She would be the first to offer to babysit even if you didn't need a babysitter. She would be the first to see the babies at any family gathering, sometimes irritating the heck out of them. She would flip them upside down and then onto her shoulders. I could never do that.

But her greatest love of all was her son Ryan. She adored him! She lived for him. When life got too big for Sue to handle, she just thought of her son and he gave her strength to keep going. Ryan was just weeks away from having his first baby, Sue's first grandchild, when Sue died. It often broke my heart that she didn't get to experience in this life the one thing she loved more than anything, babies, and her own grand babies.

I miss you Sue, but I know that you are doing great! I KNOW that, and I know you are happy and at peace. Knowing that, brings me happiness and peace for you as well. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Monday, July 20, 2009

6 Weeks

It has been 6 weeks today. This is the longest I have made it without pills in a long, long time. It feels good.

It feels good, but I don't, not yet. It isn't withdrawal anymore. That was over a while ago. I am having major stomach issues. I think I know what it is. I had something called H pylori a few years ago and the symptoms are exactly the same. It is really painful. It hurts if my stomach is empty, it hurts if I eat. It is bloated and nauseated all the time. Funny how I am saying "it". I don't like to think that my stomach is a part of me right now.

I have a hard time staving off discouragement, even depression. It seems they want to be part of this whole process. I don't like these companions. It makes me think of people who are chronically ill. How do they do it? How do they remain positive and productive? How do they keep from just giving up and spending their days in bed? What makes them keep going and doing, even if it is just getting dressed everyday?

I was asking Ron how he did it when he was so sick everyday, for years and years. He replied that he never lost hope. During really hard times, he hoped that the next day would be better, he hoped that he would not be in a wheelchair, he hoped he could muster up the strength to make it to his kids events. Hope, hope and hope again. With hope comes faith as well.

I have hope and faith that the days will be better. I am not on a timeline anymore. I am happy to take this one day at a time. Maybe today will be better than yesterday. Maybe not. Maybe tomorrow will be better than today. Maybe not. Maybe this week will be better than last. Maybe not.

Through all this, I can't help but feel so grateful. Grateful for the most amazing friends and family. Friends that I haven't seen or talked to since high school have left amazing notes and words of encouragement. Neighbors that have come and planted flowers without being asked. Friends that have given blessings and offered prayers. Thank you all so much.

I have the most amazing family ever! We have been through so much. My children have all had a lifetime of struggles, experiences that have made them who they are, from a very young age. My mom and dad are true champions of unconditional love and support through some very difficult things. I thank the good Lord above that they are still with me.

I can't say enough about my sweet husband. We will have been married 32 years in a few weeks. Neither one of us knew what we would have in store. It is a proven fact that most marriages could not survive a fraction of what we have gone through. I am so humbled and grateful that we found each other. He is such a great man with so much to offer. Thank you honey, for all you do and are. I'd be lost without you! We are in this together and knowing that gives me strength and hope.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm So Proud!

Ron came walking in the house after work yesterday and said rather sarcastically, "I've never been more proud!" He had something in his hand, When asking him why, he gave me a letter and a certificate from good ole' Daybreak whomever, that said we had been nominated for Yard of the Month. Just nominated, not elected. Oh what joy! What pride! What accomplishment! All my gardening dreams had come true with this one, well two, pieces of paper! There is nothing left on my gardening "bucket list" to accomplish now. The water feature I want, the pergola I want, the big backyard shade tree I want, the awning over the back porch I want, the hanging porch swing I want, the fire pit I want, all just so I can win yard of the month, I don't need anymore. I have been nominated! Now, what to do with the certificate of accomplishment. It is so official looking. Do I put it on the refrigerator? Do I frame it and hang it on the wall? Do I put it in my notes of "What to read at mom's funeral" in case the kids can't think of anything? Do I blow it up, make a banner out of it and fly it from my home instead of a flag?

Just so you know, gardening is my other addiction. Any money I can get my hands on goes to flowers. If there is ANY dirt showing, I need more flowers. If I walk by someone elses garden and they have a flower that I like, I want to sneak in the middle of the night and dig it up, steal it if you will. If I walk by a park that has something I like, you guessed it, I again. want to steal it. When I walk into a nursery a sensation that I can't control floods over and through me. I can't control myself. Before I know it, there are hundreds of dollars of flowers, shrubs, bushes, anything, that suddenly appear in my cart!

My corner neighbor actually was nominated and WON yard of the month. They got a sign that told the world that they had won. I bet they got a certificate as well!

I just couldn't take it anymore. The sign showed up in my yard for a few days. What! I didn't put it there!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My brain drives me crazy!

I drive myself nuts! I can't turn off my stupid brain obsessing over stupid things. Dumb things like, should I move some of my flowers around. I shouldn't have gotten that color flower for my front porch. Why am I worrying about flowers now. The planting season is over. It is never over. I hate that I have an appetite now due to the prednisone I am on. I would rather keep not eating and loosing weight. Wait, I should be happy. That means I am finally getting better. Should I go to a support group. I don't want to go to support groups. I hated them in the past. What would be different now. I am different. I have changed. I don't know. I can't sleep. I can eat. Crap. I hate that I can eat. I want to exercise. Now. I don't want to keep driving myself CRAZY! Why did I spend so much time in the sun when I was young. My skin is looking so old. Too many age spots from sun exposure. How did I let myself get this way. How can I pull myself out. How can I finally find peace and self acceptance. Maybe just the way I am. I'm so glad I'm finally off pills. I am happy I am finally seeing improvement. Slow but sure. I miss not tending my g-babies. Why can't I remember anything anymore. Probably because my brain is too busy thinking/worrying/obsessing over stupid things! My body still isn't working right. It's only been just over 5 weeks. Be grateful. That's right. Be grateful. And be grateful again and again and again. Maybe I should fill my brain up with gratefulness. Whenever I think a negative thought I will try my hardest to force it out and replace it with 10 positives! Yeah, that's what I'll do.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Michael Jackson Murdered?

Listening to the news this evening, it was said that one of Michael Jackson's sister's said he was "murdered". I thought that was completely ridiculous. But as I thought more about it, I believe in a way, he was. Of course not on purpose, but inadvertently from doctors that were less than honorable. Who wouldn't give the chance to be the personal physician to the King of Pop! Hopefully many, when they found out what the needs were. Drugs. I told Ron how I felt and he replied that it was still Jackson's choice. Being an addict, I believe that at some point into the addiction, the choice is actually taken away, especially if you have a supplier at hand, any time, any day. Addicts don't like being addicts. They wish they could change. They get so desperate that sometimes they will do whatever it takes to get what their body is SCREAMING for! As I have said before, you find yourself wrapped in chains, and for me, wanting so badly to get help but not able , or I should say, not willing yet, to dig deep within to break free. I'm sure everyone will have their own opinions.

Beware of doctors that over prescribe or continue with refills. I found a doctor that made it too easy. But on the other hand, if he had not, I probably would have kept "shopping" until I found one that did. But on the other hand again (I sound like Tevia in Fiddler on the Roof!) maybe not. I don't know. All speculation.

Was Jackson murdered? I don't know but I do care, as I think this problem will continue to grow and grow and grow until both patients and doctors alike, take more responsibility.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bad Week!

I'm a bit lost for words or whatever. It seems as though not much changes from day to day. It was a real discouraging week. The progress is so much slower than I expected. But the setback of the virus and reoccurance of ulcers has made things tougher. I pictured myself up and moving as I haven't in years by now. Funny thing, my body had other things in mind. I am now hoping that I'll be feeling much better by the end of the summer and even then, I'm not sure. I will just have to take whatever is given. I don't have control over that. But I do have control over my attitude. The last week, even that has not been good. I will do better this week. I have to. It isn't fair to my family to have a physically sick mom and wife, as well as feeling sorry for myself. This has affected all. Even my precious little grandson. He is soooo worried about me. He cried and cried the night I went to the ER. When I see him now, he just runs and jumps into my arms! How I love him and his darling baby sister. They were a big part of me wanting to get better.

Our neighborhood had a block party last Friday. I was really nervous to go but I wanted to try. I haven't seen anybody since this began. I was worried that people wouldn't know what to say so they'd not say anything. Hello! I have it here for everyone to read about but what do you say? Everyone was so great! I love it when people talk to me about the whole deal and you'd be surprised at how many suffer with addiction. I'm not. Not at all. Anyway, thank you all for being so great and for all the words of encouragement. Especially the prayers. I know that the faith, hope, and love of my family and friends have helped me make it this far. I love you all. This has been and will continue to be a very humbling experience, a refiners fire and for that I am grateful.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I started getting sooo sick on Tues. afternoon. By last evening I felt horrible! What is going on! I called a rehab place and asked if I should be that sick after 4+ weeks. The answer was no. Something else must be going on. Long story short.. I talked to Dr. Dave, my very smart and adorable son in law. He said I should go to the ER. but make sure I was up front with them, as they give out narcotics pretty handily. Don't worry. I haven't gone this far to blow it now! So off we went. Basically, I have some crazy virus going on along with ulcers most likely (looking back, this same thing happened after rehab years ago). So back on the prednisone...Yuck! Come to find out, the doc who put me on it last week prescribed it not quite right. You can't just stop that medicine. You have to taper or it can cause all sorts of problems. So that was happening as well. The prednisone is treating the crazy symptoms of this virus, the joint stuff. Got something for the ulcers and for the nausea that has not been letting up. So... I think I am FINALLY on the road to wellness! Lots hope so. FREAK!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Am...

not wanting another cornea transplant
grateful for corneal transplants
mad my beautiful purple planter just up and died
so proud of all my children
in love with my very patient hubby
sick of being sick
wondering if I'll ever feel normal again
wanting to have the energy to live a normal day
grateful for another day of making it
nervous for Curtis' pathology report
in love with the cutest grand babies in the world
wanting my music
staying away from flower stores
mad I have wasted so much money on junk
getting rid of that junk
wishing I were organized like Jami
mad I got myself into this mess
happy I am digging myself out
so grateful for prayer
happy I have my parents with me still

All over the place!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Andy and Curtis

There are those days in all of our lives we will never forget. Those days define who we are, our character, either good or bad. These two days are two of mine.

Day 1.
It was a hot Spring day. I had on a light blue dress with silver sandals. I was on my way to visit Ron in the hospital. His liver had been poisoned with toxic levels from something I can't remember. He was very sick. On the way to the hospital, I thought I would stop by the SL Clinic for a pregnancy test. My period was late but I was sure it was because of the stress and pressure of things that were going on. Sure enough, it was positive. (I guess Ron felt OK every now and again. Sorry kids, I know that's a gross out!) I got to my car and started balling! When I arrived at the hospital Ron could tell I had been crying. When I told him what the matter was, he was even more sick! I told everyone I needed to have a miscarriage, I couldn't have another baby, not now. Some agreed.

I was well into my pregnancy. Andy's little heart was strong and clear. It was too late to miscarry. I had a healthy pregnancy.

Day 2.
It was Sept. 25th, 16 yrs. ago. I was just about 2 weeks away from starting my 3rd trimester. It was Monday. I had a doctor's appointment. I didn't want to go. At the last minute I jumped in the car. The doc measured me. Great! I had gained the right amount of weight. Great! Then he got the instrument to listen to the heartbeat he had heard many times before. Hum, that little bugger is hiding from us. Try again. Hum. He is stubborn. Hum. Silence. Then. Did Ron come with you? No. I need to send you down for an ultrasound. I'm sure everything is fine.

I knew what the answer was. I laid on the table and the tears started streaming. Could I really have willed my little baby to die? The doc told me that I was too far along, I would have to go through labor and delivery. But I had to wait until Wednesday.

When Andy was born, the nurse wrapped him in a blanket. I only held him for a few minutes. Ron held him most of the time. When we were through she asked if she should "take care of him". Ron and I looked at each other. We didn't know, we weren't given any options. Maybe there weren't any. I know now that they put Andy in the garbage with all the other things patients didn't know what to do with. I wish I had a foot and hand print. I think they do that now. They took a picture of him but it was so ghastly to me that I threw it away. Chelsea found it in the garbage can and was so angry at me. It was the only remembrance of her brother. We did get the blanket he was wrapped in. I found Jessica with her nose in the blanket crying, "Why didn't you let me see him!"

Whenever I revisited those days in my soul, it was a pain no pill could ever mask, but I tried.

Today I picture two, maybe three, little boys playing in a spirit -kind -of- way in heaven. Andy gets serious and says, "Mom and dad will be raising 5 children on earth." Nils being the oldest knew what Andy was getting at. Curtis might then reply, "K", and then realize that he was number 6. Andy would put his arm reassuringly around Curtis. "Don't worry, you will be number 5. I love you so much! We will all be together someday!"

And now I am grateful for what fate has in store. Someone is in control when we are not. I can hardly wait to throw my arms around my Andy and say think you, I love you so!

And because of him, we have our Curtis.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

28 Days..

It has been 28 days today. I haven't been feeling too good but I had 1 quite good day and another OK day last week. I'll take it. The doc put me on prednisone for my swollen joints. It's a great medication in lots of ways, but it has lots of crazy side affects. I'm off it now so I'm hoping I'll see some big improvements this week. With that being said, I was also told that it could take until the end of July to really start noticing big differences, maybe longer.

I am a pretty patient person, but when it comes to me, I am not at all! That will be one thing I will have learned through this process. I can't hurry this at all. I have been doing all I can to eat right and get some kind of exercise, trying to get my body moving and working again. Taking very short strolls in the morning have pushed me to the limit.

Last night I was thinking of some of my runs where I felt like I could have run forever and ever. That was the greatest feeling! I hope I get to enjoy that high again in the near future.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Tribute to my Dad..

My dad is one of the very few left that fought for our country in WWII. Dad has never spoken of experiences of the war.

One day my uncle called me. Have you seen "Saving Private Ryan?". I said no. He then went on to tell me that my dad was there and I needed to see it to see what he went through. Upon asking dad about it, he dismissed it by saying something like, You do what you have to do. He wasn't on Normandy until a few days later, but it still wasn't secured, thus all the bodies, blood and gore, and of course, fear for the lives of his comrades. He never worried so much about his own. I still haven't seen the movie, but I plan on it.

Here are a few stories I have since learned:

Once while eating breakfast, his platoon was hit. Many around him dropped dead. Dad was fine, at least physically.

Dad was literally in the trenches, deep, dirty, and muddy, body to body. He was on the front line many times. He still has the coat he took off a dead German officer.

Dad was holding a dying comrade in his arms. Dad could tell the injuries would be fatal. The soldier kept pleading with my dad, "Don't let me die. Please don't let me die." Dad gave him his one, I think morphine or whatever it was they gave for instant relief, to his fellow soldier. The soldier was out of pain. Dad's pain increased 10 fold.

Another time, dad rushed into enemy territory charging with his commander. They were surrounded by Germans. So close in fact, they could hear every word the enemy was speaking. They didn't realize that the rest of their company didn't follow them.

These are just a few of the stories I know. But my mom found a gold mine earlier this year, letters my dad had written home. They are priceless to me. They talk about how upon securing enemy territory, there was a man, not enemy now, who was wondering around broken spirited and starving. Dad gave him his K rations, all he had. Dad got quite a scolding from his commanding officer. Another time he sent a $5. bill home. He wanted to make sure that his dad pay his tithing with it. Another so eloquently written letter, spoke of the beautiful earth. He had come across some beautiful flowers, birds, and whatever else, I can't remember. He then spoke of the Creator of us all. He was so grateful that he was blessed to witness this beauty that could take him away, for just a short time, from all the pain and anguish and hellishness of war.

I am so grateful to all those that have fought and are fighting still, to keep our country free. I hope we all can somehow, in someway, show our gratitude and thanks.

I think I'll call my dad right now and tell him that I love him so.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Turning the Corner...

Last night Ron came in the room and said, I am really proud of you. I asked him why, for many reasons. I then told him this is the first time in all my attempts that I feel I am really going to make it. He said he felt the same way too. I asked him why again. He said, "Because I really think you get it this time".

I don't know if I get it but what I do know is that the evil force of addiction is SOOO powerful. Something that starts out so innocently, when all of a sudden you wake up in chains, a hellish prison that has it's claws deeply embedded in your body and soul.

My body isn't screaming for the relief one pill would bring anymore. I am still very weak but a lot of that could be from the lack of appetite as well. I am nowhere near being out of the woods. I am still in the "honeymoon" phase. Now the real work starts.

I am ready to start my new life. My children have always done their best to give Ron and I their very best. Don't they finally deserve that from me now? I have been an addict most of Curtis' life. This is all he has known, so he never knew. My girls have always known, they could always tell, as they knew me before addiction days. So could Ron.

I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused, for the lost years, for the split personalities, for the ups and downs, the meanness, the obsessing, the seeking, the dishonesty, for everything that comes with this beast. I express my deepest sorrow to Ron. I wonder how he has stayed with me. I am just a lucky person I guess.

The work is just beginning, as I said. But I feel as though I am finally turning the corner.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bodies Are Amazing!

I have been watching Wimbledon. I love watching tennis! I have always thought tennis players are some of the best in-shape athletes of all! They sprint around the court, start and stop on a dime with such control, they have to be so strong to hit the ball as hard as they do, and the muscle control for the stretching, etc. I have been to the US Open twice. When I was young, my family belonged to the SL Swimming and Tennis Club. There were many tournaments there that I loved going to. My family even had players stay with us. I saw Martina Navratilova and many other greats up close. I loved playing the game as well. I was pretty good for a recreational player.

It's as if someone is trying to send me a message. I also saw an 83 yr old woman slalom water skiing on a commercial. Then on Oprah there were some elderly people in great shape! Some had the cardio. of a 20 yr old! Amazing!, from great eating and exercising and I'm sure there has to be great genetics as well. On the other hand, a 4 yr old who weighed 155 lbs,! His mom weighed around 350. They were on Dr Phil. ( I know what you're thinking...way too much TV! I agree!) This mom knew there was something wrong with her son and that his weight had nothing to do with how she was feeding him and his lack of exercise. There was no convincing her that she could be responsible for her son's obesity. (HATE that word. It sounds so..BIG) To make a long story short, after the show, the boy was taken away by the state and given to the dad. When he was taken, the boy weighed close to 190! 4 yrs old! One year later the boy came to the show again, less more than 100 lbs! He was SOOOO happy and he said his favorite food was broccoli. I hope he doesn't go back to his mom anytime soon.

I am soooo excited to know that I can undo years of abuse. Not just pills, but over-eating and being addicted to sugar as well. Also my utter lack of being physical. I don't know where I lost that. I have loved being active my whole life. Even when Ron was so very sick and I was working a ton, I always found time to run or go to the gym, or whatever. I think that is what saved me from really going off the deep end!

I live in a neighborhood where the majority of people are very active. (For example, I was on my front porch. A little boy was riding his bike. Another little boy yelled from his porch, "Can you play?" The boy on the bike answered, "No. I'm in training." I chuckled.) It has been inspiring to witness. More than anything, it has been a joy to watch Ron get into all this. He is actually training for a triathlon in Sept.! I never thought I'd see that day!

Our bodies are miraculous! I am going to start TODAY to thank the good Lord above for the body I have been blessed with. I am going to start treating it with the respect it deserves. I have a feeling this will make the biggest difference of all!