Just an Update

Once again I apoligise for the length between posts, my only excuse is life gets in the way of me posting regularly, or keeping up with groups I was once very active in.  I rarely see my mother these days mainly because her attitude has gone from bad to worse. For example, my aunts daughter is getting married in April and she was telling my other on the phone about buying her daughter’s wedding dress. My mother had a fit due to that money could have been sent to her for more cigarettes. I had hoped my aunt finally got it after the comment but alas it is not to be.

I’ve detirmined with the help of the wonderful man in my life that most of my so called family members are simply unhealthy and we are discussing totally servering ties with most of them. The exception being my 22 year old daughter who is making great strides to get her life on track. Sadly it may be the only option available. I do not intend to fall back into old habits and be sick or depressed all the time.

Granted at times depression still sneaks up on me for a day or two. However, I’m getting pretty good at reining it in when it happens.  I guess in some areas I still hold out a small ray of home my family will figure it all out and become decent human beings. Though I know that is not going to happen.

I’m in a really good place mentally, emotionally and physically and intend to stay there. Life is not always easy but at least the tough spots are my own and not the doing of other people.

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Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Its Been Awhile

Lots of changes since  I posted last. I am sorry it has been so long between posts but taking my life back has been an uphill battle which continues.

We found my mother a nice group home which she now lives in. I am able to visit once every couple of week so it works well. Granted it costs me a fortune but it is worth it.

My son and his girlfriend have moved into a house of their own, both are working and expecting a child in January.

Sadly I have had to severe ties with my oldest daughter who is engaging in some self destructive behaviors of which she does not want to change. She had become an emotional and finanical leach and I was again sick all the time. So the relationship for now is non-existant.

My 22 year old has a new boyfriend and they are planning on moving to Indiana in Feb.

My former fiance and I ended our relationship months ago and I disovered some things he was doing I was unaware of. However this is not a bad thing. I am currently seeing a wonderful man who is supportive and loving. We are not rushing things but taking them slow mainly due to my own fears.

Next in May I was robbed and held at gunpoint for 90 minutes and was shot at. The person has not be caught and I am now suffering from PTSD. I can not enter gas stations without having a panic attack but I am working on healing from that.

My health is much better with no trips to the hospital since the Diverticulaitis. I will eventually have to have ulcer surgery but for now it is under control.

It is off how changes in my life have caused such wonderful changes so I am feeling better both phyiscally, mentally and emotionally.

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 7:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Why we do it

Last night my oldest daughter and I were asked a question. It is one we have been asked before and will probably be asked again in the future. People who discover what we have been through in the last few years ask how we manage to get up each day and smile and be happy.

 

 

The answer at the time was because it is what we do. However, once again I find I am reflecting on why we do what we do and keep going. It would be easy to just curl up and give up.  There are days I want to give up. There are days I am sure I can not take one more bad experience or negative moment without reaching my limit and snapping. I become stressed; I lock myself in a room and cry where no one sees the tears. I scream, throw things and just have a royal fit. So, I do not smile every second of every day.

 

 

However, if I give up then the bad has won and I refuse to give into the bad stuff. Therefore, even when the pain inside feels unbearable I push it down, I get out of bed, and I enter the world and smile and try to live life.

 

 

Bad stuff happens, people and the world can let us down, and we can accept that it happens and keep going or we can let it destroy us. But just has bad stuff happens, so does the good.

 

 

So, how do we do it. We do it because the good is so much more powerful. It is the hug of a dear friend. It is the friend who drives you home when you have drank too much, it’s the friend who is just there and no words are needed to know they care. It’s the first bloom of a rose in the early spring. It’s the light in a child’s eye on Christmas morning. It’s the soft nudge for your pet. It’s your family letting you know despite it all they are always here for you. It’s finding the friend who restores your faith in humanity. It’s the first cry of a newborn entering the world. It’s the Good Samaritan who stops and gives a dollar to someone less fortunate. It’s the words of a song that can make you smile, or the sappy movie that makes you cry. It’s the warmth of a fire on a cold winter’s night or the coolness of a leap into the ocean on a hot summer’s day. It’s the memory of past times that can still make you smile and the looking forward to the new memories not yet made.

 

 

So why would we choose to not let the pain eat at our soul? Why do we choose to enjoy life? It is because the good is just too good to miss and we do not want to miss any of it.

Published in: on April 18, 2009 at 7:07 am  Comments (1)  

Fear, Friendship and Living Life to the Fullest

Sometimes you meet new friends in the strangest places. I say that because recently I met a friend in the most unlikely of places. Entering the situation I asked myself “Why am I here?” Didn’t want to be there, didn’t care to be there and really thought it an utter waste of my time, but it was something the kids asked me to do so I did.  In an effort to let them believe they were succeeding in cheering me up after a bad highly emotional time I believed I would go, fake a smile here and a laugh there and then just slowly leave with the kids never being the wiser and knowing my lack of interest.

 

 

I fought off the single men one at a time with utter dislike. Oh I was polite but made it clear I was so not interested in anything they had to offer. Nothing against them, I am sure some are really nice people, but I was just not interested. I like sleeping alone, and I like being single.

 

 

Ok, so a bit of the pain lingers over the being single part but I am adjusting. You know the saying if you love something, set it free, if it comes back it’s yours, if itdoes it never was. I believe in this cheese saying and am doing just that. I also am living life not hiding from it and not allowing my soul to be swallowed into the pits of heartache and despair. Therefore, what is the sense in dwelling over what is lost? It doesn’t mean I do not miss it especially in those quiet alone times, or something won’t trigger a memory of days gone by. It means I am letting go as asked and refusing to let pain rule my life.

 

Pain, hurt and anger did that for to long and I am trying to heal my inner soul not let it wither and die. However, back to the topic of friendship yes I know I sometimes wander off topic

 

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So, here I am in a place I don’t want to be, about to leave and just go to sleep as work can be exhausting as can the pressures of school and adult kids and grandchildren. I was just tired. I now know that a lot of the tired was a deep depression I had allowed myself to sink into which explains the utter exhaustion I was feeling (again off topic sorry) As I was about to leave something caught my attention, someone who wanted to engage in conversation, intelligent conversation, who was just looking to have fun, and enjoy life and all it had to offer. Wow what a concept right especially in this place I found myself.

 

 

We talked, and laughed and talked some more. In fact over the next several days we talked here and there when our schedules allowed, and about many different things and in that time a deep friendship was born from the meeting in the most unlikely of places. It was as if I had known this friend my entire life and not just a few days. It was an instant connection that seldom occurs when two people meet. It can take years to build a friendship but those special friendships that are so important can begin with a simple hello and a smile.

 

 

For me letting a friend close to me in any way shape of form can take years. Often in new friendships the people try to get inside and share your inner feelings as they share theirs with you. For me this often slams a door on moving from friend to good friend because I do not share a lot of me with anyone. Damage from a parent with N.P.D and learning that life is not fair and people can and do let you down even if it is unintentional is probably the cause.

 

 

Yet, some friends can get inside your head with little effort; they can touch your soul and leave their mark without trying to knock down your protective walls.  They take you as you are, like you as you are, accept you as you are, and do not judge past or present behaviors. They do not attempt to save you from yourself, or get you to talk about things better left unsaid. They are just there to give you whatever you need at that moment in time. They have their life, you have yours, yet a quick phone call can interrupt the stresses of life, make you laugh and let it be known that you matter to the world and the world is not such a terrible place.

 

 

With a close friend you are safe to be yourself.  This is the case with the friend I am talking about. I can be silly, playful one minute and then smart and intellectual, I can be happy, or sad, stressed or relaxed and the friend is still there. A comfortableness exists that I find with few people. Oh I have friends as I mentioned in my previous post and they mean the world to me, but few get me like this friend does. It as if regardless of what I say or do it’s understood.

 

 

For me getting it is important. I am complicated at best, not easy to get close to, jaded, cautious and often smiling and not letting the world know what is going on inside me, yet a real friend sees past the smile and just understands without attempting to force “talking about it” If you need a laugh, they say something funny, if you need to discuss politics, religion or views on the world they settle in for a discussion on the topic. They may disagree but listen and respect your views just as you respect theirs. And they can challenge you to think and at times see the world a little differently.

 


          Then every once in awhile a friend will say something that stops you and causes you to step back and reexamine life. This recently happened to me and it has taken a day or two to digest it and analyze it as I often do.  The topic was fear and how fear can paralyze us to the point we do not live life to the fullest. In a lot of ways I had been doing that. Fear is a powerful weapon and it is one I clung to as an excuse to sit back and just exist in a world full of new experiences and memories of past ones.

 

 

I have come to realize I do not just want to exist but I want to live life and experience all it has to offer. There are many things I want to do but was always to afraid to do them. What if I get hurt, physically or emotionally? What would others think? Or I believed that being responsible meant not taking chances. The hurts and disappointments in life had caused me to pull deeper and deeper into my self, I buried the concept of fun, I stopped being me and I stopped living life.

 

 

Living life is about taking chances and not allowing the fear to stop you. I have never been the biggest of risk takers, usually choosing the safe road due to fear of failure or loss. This idea was strengthened by each disappointment, each heartache ever experienced. My faith in others was kept low as I did not want to rely on anyone. My theory was if you rely on only yourself no one but yourself can let you down. Granted not long ago someone convinced me it was good to rely and need others and then decided they wanted no part of it. This further hardened my resolve against taking chances, trusting others and relying on others. I preferred safe, up until the moment the topic of fear came up.

 

 

Living life is about not letting fear consume us and cause us to hide in our own shell. Life is about entering the world and entering new situations with an open mind and free spirit. We do not know where life will take us but many of us know where we hope to end up. We have dreams, fantasies, goals and ambitions not always obtainable by playing it safe.  So what am I waiting for? It is time to live life, take the pleasures and the hurts as they come and keep moving forward.

 

 

It is about accepting myself for who I am and understanding I am far from perfect and no one else is either. It is about taking the risks in order to fulfill living. It is about living in the moment with no regrets. And in doing so allowing a real friend to share it you. A real friend is the one who takes your hand and say let’s do it and together you both leap off the highest cliff without a safety rope just to experience the thrill of the moment.

 

 

Do not get me wrong there are some things I fear and will run from even now. But I am sure it is because inside me still exists some heartache, and pain, but I have accepted the pain and the realization the despite the hurt and anger a love still exists. I am ok with those feelings and understand in many ways they have helped shape who I am as a person. I believe we are who we are because of past experiences and we change and evolve as new experiences are added to our memories. We can choose to live in the past and cling to the hurt or we can accept the pain, cry our tears, then pick ourselves up and go back out into the world and enjoy all the world has to offer.

 

 

So, I have swallowed my fear, I battle fear nearly daily but I will not allow fear to stop me. I know the dangers of some things I accept the risks and I choose to experience life despite them all. I want to laugh, I want to have fun, and at times I want to be serious and thought provoking. I want to be happy, sad, confused, stressed, wise one minute and innocent the next and I want to trust and be trusted. I want my friends to always know how important to me they are even with the chance they will not always be there. After all some people enter our lives and go, some enter and stay for a while and then go, but leave lasting footprints on our souls and because of them we are never the same.

 

 

 So, people may let me down or I may let them down or life simply may change and take us in different directions. But we are better people because of the moment in time shared. The only thing I can do is close my eyes and jump, because not taking a risk on a new friend is unimaginable. I can and will follow whatever path the friendship is on and continue moving forward and enjoying the moments for however long they last. I am not predicting an end to the friendship, but instead accept that as life is lived some things do change and not just with this friend but all friendships there is no guarantee of forever.

 

 

So, I am not allowing fear to send me running from this new friend. In the past running from a friend getting to close was exactly what I did. I did not want anyone close to me. In some areas I am still that way, I do not want or seek a romantic commitment or a happily ever after type of love. The fear of re-experiencing that type of hurt again is too great but I am ok with that. However, my fear of a committed friendship and allowing someone close enough to really know me as a friend is something I refuse to let fear take from me. Real friends are to rare and when one is found we can not let fear ruin that connection. We are human beings we need human interaction to survive. And every now and then someone enters our lives, touches our minds and souls in a profound way. And a friendship is born.

 

 

So my reason for this is simple. Friends can be found in the oddest of places, and it takes being unafraid of risks and chances to see what is there. For me fear could have stopped me from meeting the new friend. Fear could have caused me to run as soon as the connection was felt. Instead I choose to keep living life and follow the path of friendship wherever it may lead. I choose to have enough faith in myself to know I have found someone who gets it and who I enjoy talking to and trying new things with. And in a short period of time their friendship has become important to me in ways I never thought a friend could be. I am a better person for having this friend in my life. To sum it up my new friend is spectacularly amazing!

 

 

(And only because I know some people who read my blog like to read into things and assume other things, I am talking about friendship. Real and close friendship, nothing more! It is sad I have to clarify that but some people simply do not get it)

Good Friends and Good Times

For years I have stated I have many acquaintances and few friends, but again friends have a way of making you stop and think and challenge what you think you believe. So, I paused and have been going over the friends I have in my life and the acquaintances. I have done so because over the last several weeks, what I thought the future held changed, my car needs more work than it is worth and I owe more than it is worth. My oldest daughter is having trouble finding work despite her constant looking. My granddaughter finally came home to be with her mother after being with her other grandmother for awhile. School went from hard to harder. Work as always is demanding and at times mind numbing, but it pays the bills. I am broke most of the time in my quest to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. With all of that and more my mood was probably the worst than it has been in years.

 

 

I got into a cycle of depression, I went to work, I did homework, I went to sleep, I got up and did it all again. I seldom smiled, wanted to just turn off all emotion and tried but failed. I just wanted to be left alone. I did not want to dump my problems and pain onto my children, parents or friends. I have always been one to keep my problems with me believing my issues are my own so why dump them on someone else when they more than likely have their own.

 

 Yet, my girls tried to awaken me to live life and reenter the land of the living. I reluctantly went out with them both and even managed to have a great time. Albeit yes I drank to much on more than one occasion but it was fun and for a brief moment in time that inner hurt, anger and resentment did not feel so soul consuming. Then friends I have not really stayed in contact with started calling just to say hi and let me know if I needed anything even to talk they were there. New friends called or emailed just to say hi without prying into my inner emotions they let me know they cared. And my new friend continued to make me laugh and made me think and helped me realize that life is too short to not be lived.

 

 I realized recently that my belief in a lot of acquaintances but few friends was way off the mark. I have many friends who care and that I care about. Without them and the warmth and comfortableness that true friendship provides. I am sure the depression would have won out and I would have sunk into the pit of darkness.

 

 

I have realized that my belief in what a friend is compared to what an acquaintance is came from another person’s definition of friendship. I was told and even believed a friend is someone you can call with a problem, talk about it, and help sort it out (And in come instances I am sure this is true). A friend knows the inner workings of your mind, heart, emotions and all parts of you. With this definition in mind I believed I had few friends (Very few), because there are parts of me I do not share with others, I do not dump my problems on friends or others, I do not look to friends to let me lean on them.  Therefore I had few friends and liked it that way. I did not want to bear my soul to many friends, nor did I want them to bear theirs to me.

 

 

However, my view of what friendship is has evolved from the definition I had bought into. A friend in my mind is someone who can sense the issues but does not pry into them. They let it be known if you want to talk they are there, but mostly a friend is there to give you what you need without asking why, or assuming you want to just talk and cry. A friend is one who will take the extra step to make you laugh, the one who will get you the next beer and not judge because you are tying one on, heck they may even join you in having another drink. A friend offers you a hug without strings or expectations of more. A friend lets you know the sparkle in your eye is missing but it doesn’t matter to the, other than knowing you are upset, hurting, stressed, angered or a variety of other issues. Then they point it out with a smile when the spark of life is back. 

 

 A friend joins you on whichever path you choose to take to climb out of your darkest hour, without judging you or telling you the path your taking is wrong. If you are on the path and it is working for you than obviously it is the right path and if not the friend will pick you up dust you off and then follow you down the next path you choose without saying you are wrong. A friend understands you are following them down their path of life as much as they are following you.  And they know if one of falls the other is there to catch the other.

 

 

In my quest to define friendship I found a wonderful definition that relates more to my way of thinking. These are not my words but one from another site and as usual the reference is listed. “Friendship is an in-depth relationship combining trust, support, communication, loyalty, understanding and empathy” 

This rings true to me. My friends, were loyal, and I trusted them as much as I can trust (again trust is still damaged but I’m working on it), they have been as always understanding and showed empathy without throwing pity into the mix. And communication has been there. In my mind communication is not the pouring out of all the problems or every aspect of your life, but knowing what to say and when to say it. It is the sharing of ideas, concepts, laughter and sometimes tears and knowing when digging into the reason for the tears is not always what you need.

 

  

 

In every day life most of us have to “charm and perform” we put on a mask and become who we have to be in order to fulfill the demands of life (I.E. work, school, family and so forth). But a real friend is like home, it is comforting and relaxing. You do not have to charm or perform for a friend, you can take off the mask and just be who you are faults and all and the friend doesn’t care, they are your friend even on the worst of days. A friend is relaxing and helps ease the stresses of the performing we all do daily in our lives. Friends relate to each other and “relating is the basis of friendship” (Wilson, n.d.).

 

 With a better understanding of friends and friendship I must say I have the best circle of friends anywhere. I may not be the most open of people when it comes to discussing my problems, but its ok, we relate to each other anyway. Without the support of my friends I am unsure if I would have been able to climb out of the depression that was so trying to pull me deeper and deeper into the darkness. To all of you thank you from the bottom of my heart. You mean the world to me. The world seems a little brighter and less cold because of you.

 

 I can not wait until the next bad karaoke night, the unplanned spontaneous holiday dinner we manage to pull off in less than two hours, the laughter and jokes or the late night ride home because one of us drank to much, the off the wall texts and even the loss of one shoe. These are good times with good friends.

 

 

Reference

Wilson, J. (n.d.). Friends and Friendship What Is Friendship?. Retrieved April 17, 2009, from http://www.cyberparent.com/friendship/whatisfriendshipdefined.htm

 

 

Stress, Illness and the Narcisstic mother who doesn’t care

I apologize for not posting in a couple weeks. However, two weeks ago I had severe abdominal pain and was taken to the hospital. Initially the doctor thought is was my appendix and I was given a cat scan. The test showed the appendix was fine but I had diverticulitis and was admitted to be treated with IV antibiotics and pain medication. Usually diverticulitis clears up in a few days with such treatment and giving the colon a rest (no food or drink). Four days later I was no better so I got a second cat scan in which a colon appendage was found. An appendage is not dangerous but painful and treated the same way diverticulitis is treated.

 

Thus, I was given clear liquids and remained on IV antibiotics and morphine for the pain. Yet, it was getting no better and I was unable to even keep jello down. So, an exploratory laparoscopy was scheduled for one week ago today. The surgeon had me terrified. If it was the diverticulitis he would have to remove the damaged area which meant I could have ended up with a ostomy bag at least temporarily.

 

As I woke from the surgery my first worry was what they removed from my body and if I had an ostomy bag. Thankfully it was discovered that despite the diverticulitis and the appendage it was my appendix. It is thought that due to the diverticulitis the inflammation of the appendix was not found in the CAT scan. I was released on Friday and it was assumed all would return to normal. The problem is I am still not eating a lot due to simply not being hungry and when I do eat I become nauseous or vomit.

 

I was told from day one that stress was a factor in my health issues. The woman who is supposed to be my mother is impossible and even after being confronted less than a month ago that her actions were going to kill me, she kept on and I landed in the hospital. I admit I let her get to me, but I simply do not understand how someone can see they are causing someone so much pain and simply not care. I really thought I had a handle on my stress level, but it is apparent that I don’t or else I would not be ill now. Now I wonder how much impact stress really plays on a person’s health.

 

Chronic stress can have a negative affect on the body. During stressful situations the sympathetic nervous system rises and the adrenal gland releases epinephrine and norepinephrine into the bloodstream. The adrenal gland also releases cortisol which is a hormone that signals the release of fatty acids to provide a burst of energy. During the stressful situation the nervous system and hormonal activity causes digestion to slow, blood sugars to rise and the heart to pump more blood to muscles. On the short term stress is healthy. However, long term stress can contribute to stomach problems, frequent colds and respiratory problems (Haiken & Herscher, n.d.).

The constant mobilization of energy does not allow for any surplus energy to be stored. This means fatigue occurs more rapidly, and the risk of diabetes can increase. Blood pressure also rises during stress and if the stress is prolonged it can cause a risk for cardiovascular disease. One study found that people suffering from emotional stress face a higher risk for serious cardiac problems (Haiken & Herscher, n.d.).

Much more evidence exists supporting that fact that stress can and does affect a person’s health. What is sad is that I knew this, but assumed I had stress under control in my life. It took a serious health crisis for me to realize that I was lying to myself. The woman who is supposed to be my mother is never going to change and her behaviors are never going to change, and she is never going to care what affect she has on others. Hopefully, soon she will be in the nursing home and I will have some peace.

The simple truth is I have to distance from her in order to not allow her to create constant stress. I accept she is a narcissist, but I will never understand how a person can be told what their actions are doing to others and simply not care. A lot of it is due to denial not just being a river in Egypt.

 

The woman denies anything is her fault, even simple things. For example, this morning I went into the kitchen where she stood eating a piece of fried chicken. There was chicken pieces on the counter and I just pointed out she needed to clean them up. Her response was  “I am not the only person who has been in the kitchen”. This is probably so, but she was the only one eating chicken.

 

The woman really thinks she is some supreme being who is perfect and does absolutely nothing. I could rant for hours, but what is the point, it just causes more stress. I of course am some terrible person because I avoid her. Heck, while in the hospital the doctors stated she was not allowed to even visit. She is sad person intent on killing me, which I can not allow. I am sure I will be considered even more terrible for not going to visit the nursing home a lot. The plain truth is I cannot see her often and allow her verbal abuse and demands to upset me and cause more stress. I refuse to die for this woman who obviously cares about no one but herself.

 

Reference

Haiken, M., & Herscher, E. (n.d.). Stress and Chronic Illness . Retrieved Feb. 4, 2009, from http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/stressill#s15

I have Diverticulitis (Mom almost suceeded in killing me.

When my family doctor asked the woman who is supposed to be my mother if she was trying to kill me, I never imagined he meant literally. I know now. On Wednesday night I began having abdominal pain on the right side which steadily got worse. Since I had all the symptoms of appendicitis I went to the E.R. Several hours later it was determined it was not my appendix, and was told it was kidney stones. However, upon release the doctor informed me to return if I got a fever, the pain got worse, nausea and diarrhea started to come back immediately. Twelve hours later I was back in the ER in intense pain a temperature, nausea and diarrhea.

 

I was given a more intense CAT scan which found it was not kidney stones but diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a condition in which pouches form in the wall of the colon and become infected. The infection can lead to inflammation or infection. The symptom are usually pain in the abdomen often on the left side (Mine is on the right side and the infection is near the appendix from what I understand), fever and chills, bloating and gas, diarrhea or constipation, nausea with occasional vomiting, and not feeling like eating (Web MD, 2009).

 

Treatment includes being admitted to the hosital and being given IV fluids and antibiotics, as well as pain management. Most often a liquid diet is also prescribed. If this treatment method is not sucessful, surgery to remove the dieased area of the colon is done. Tomorrow morning I will have a CAT scan to detirmine if my diverticulitis is healing or if surgery is needed.

 

However, even being told what was causing the intense pain, I was at a loss as to what contributed to me being back in the hospital. I find it interesting that diverticulitis is a lifestye illness, brought on by not eating healthy, not getting enough exercise and having intense stress which may be viewed as unamanagle  (Health-Cares.net, 2005). Due to my fiance and I agreeing to eat a more healthy diet and excercising more, I was amazed that I developed this illness. After all I start eating extremly healthy and working out on a regular basis and I end up with an illness in which bad eating habits and lack of exercise can contribute.

 

The stress issue is in a leaque all by itself. After all the doctors and other medical professionals have stated the woman who is supposed to be my mother is purposly doing things to try and upset me. I could give you many details but will not fill my journal with page after page of them. A couple examples of her behaviors to upset me are things such as when she heard I was admitted to the hospital and it was serious (upon admission surgery was being considered intensly because of my level of pain), she managed to call me and ask how long I woud be in the hospital. I told her I was unsure, I had heard anywhere from a week to longer. Her response was “Oh, well when you get to come home bring me a diet coke”. She also has taken to drinking my grandson’s baby juice just to annoy me because I find it appalling that the woman will take from a 3 month old baby. Again, I could go on and on but will refrain from doing so.

 

Back to diverticulitis, I asked the doctors if I could have had this building for a while. I asked due to the fact that for the last couple months I can only eat a very small amount and would get an upset stomach or I simply was not hungry and had to force mysel to eat. The doctor informed me that is exactly what happened in his opionion. Thus, I started thinking about when eating was followed by neusea or not being hungry and if the instances occurred more often after one of the woman’s attacks. I also, asked friends and family who were aware of how little I was eating and time frames. Guess what? After she started I tended to have more neusea, or not eating. The more upset she was able to cause the worse my symptoms.

 

With that said I now wonder if some of the pain has eased because I have been in the hospital and my children and fiance will not give her my phone number or room number, nor will they bring her to see me. I am still in pain and other than jello yesterday and today I have not had anything to eat and really I am not hungry. Resting the digestive track is another part of the treatment which is why the clear liquids. The pain is still there, but when I was admitted and the doctor would try to press on the area that hurt it would bring tears to my eyes. The pain was unexplainable even after being give morphene. As,  I said I am still in pain and given morphenem but when the area is pressed it causes more pain, but not so intense I am tears. My fear is that if I am lucky enough to not have surgery, will the symptoms come back as soon as I get to go home? Is it something that is going to reoccur until the time comes and the woman is out of my life completely?

 

One study conducted for the End Diverticuitis Reference found that stress is the primary cause of a person having a diverticulitis flare up. This actually makes sense since stress can cause the body to not properly digest foor. When stress is high the body sends blood and oxygen to areas of the body that combat the stress, thus meaningless is directed to the digestive system. Therefore, a person may have diverticuli the body is fighting so there is little or no symptoms and the illness can heal without the person ever having knowledge of having the infection. Thus, the body is spending blood and oxygen to combat the infection and then a stressful situation occurs and the blood and oxygen is diverted away from the digestive system allowing the diverticulitis to fester until medical treatment is required  (Dahl, n.d.).

 

This information is distrubing to me, mix it with the fact the woman who is supposed to be my mother is a narcissist and it makes the situation even worse. While NPD is a personality disorder and some may argue the narcissist is unaware of how their actions are improper and how they abuse people, I disagree. We have pointed out to the woman that she is a narcissist and per usual she will not admit it. I have heard everything from me needing professional help because of creating such a lie about her after all she has done for me. To someone brainwashing me against her. She simply refuses to see what the doctor said is true. Her behaviors and lack of empathy are kiling me.

 

My fiance and children have informed her of my health problems, and that it will take time to heal completely and yet she does not care. I really believe I could drop dead right now and she would not care or be upset, but she would be mad because I had the audacity to die before buying her a diet coke. Does this mean the narcissitic woman is truly evil?

 

I am going to say yes, because with all of this going on, my fiance attempted to keep everyone informed thatI may be laid up or some time and thus stil not back to work. He did not ask the woman for money or imply that we would, since I do not care how sick I am, the woman needs to get out of my house on the 3rd. My children were there for the conversation they all heard exactly the same thing. The woman on the other hand called my aunt and fed her a line of crap on how we were taking all of her money, and refusing to give it to her. Yes, that’s right she is now accusing me of stealing what she doesn’t have even though I am in a hospital bed.

 

The woman is evil there is no other way around it. I have decided if my aunt decides to buy into the woman’s bullshit and start in on how bad I am to the woman and so forth, my response will be, The woman will be on the next plane back to Indiana and my aunt can deal with her. I refuse to let her kill me.

 

This means unless my aunt wants her back, which I doubt, she is going to the nursing home. I will stop in once a week and check with the nurses and staff to see how she is and to drop off one 12 pack of diet cokes per week. Granted I do not have to do this, but it buys me peace from the daily phone call of her needing diet coke for its medicinal purposes (laughs, that is an entirly new post, but the woman feels diet coke will stop teeth from hurting, cure an upset stomach and much more).

 

Now, that I have researched and answered the questions I had about diverticulitis I am going to let the medications put me into a deep sleep as they have done for the last several days. I am going to attempt to not think of home and the woman, because doing so only upset me. I have decided to explain my home life and the woman to the specialists I will see in the morning while trying to get an idea if the clinical treatment methods are working, about how long that process takes and if the stress at home is still intense will it cause a relapse if not completely healed when I am released. The nurse seems to think I will not be released right away because of my pain level and inability to even handle jello.

 

While I do not relish the idea of staying in a hospital for any extended period, I also do not want to go home and be immediately subjected to an attack and have to come right back . I do not put it past her since I am sure I will hear about not talking to her while I was here or not ensuring she had diet cokes an so forth.

 

For the record I undertand that the fact the woman can push my buttons and cause undue stress for me and enjoys doing so, for whatever reason I am not able to just ignore it so she can not affect my physical, mental and emotional health. A part of not able to handle the stress she causes is due to her being in my home allowing me no escape from her constant verbal abuse which will continue until I am upset, she then yells at me that she is the elder and I should talk to her respet. And with that line I am upset all over again. I must learn a better way of handling this added stess and move past the anger to be use I have no other flare up, but at the same time the woman can and does get under my skin and does so intentionally

 

So for now, Good night All.

 

PS, Please forgive the mispelling and errors in grammer. The medications I am on cause my brain to not function as well as it should.

 

References

Dahl, G. (n.d.). Diverticulitis and Stress. Retrieved Jan 26, 2009, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Diverticulitis-and-Stress&id=694163

Health-Cares.net. (2005). What is diverticulitis?Retrieved Jan 20, 2009, from http://digestive-disorders.health-cares.net/diverticulitis.php

Web MD. (2009). Diverticulitis – Topic Overview. Retrieved Jan. 20, 2009, from Web MD: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/diverticulitis-topic-overview

 

Fighting Denial with Facts about COPD

Mother may be in denial of having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dementia caused by the COPD and at 63 having a body of an 85 year old, but I know the truth. More than 12 doctors in two states have all stated the facts and shown us the results. Each time we visit the doctor and do a breathing test she registers at severely restricted, even after a breathing treatment there is little improvement.

 

The doctors a year ago told her if she continued to smoke, her ability to breath and the pain involved would become so severe the strongest narcotics on the market would not be able to ease the suffering. She would die a slow painful death. In my mind, being told that my own behaviors would cause a complete inability to do even the basics of survival, that breathing would be extremely painful and my death would be ugly, I would listen and make the necessary behavioral changes to prevent such agony and stress of family members. But not mother, where she is concerned denial is not just a river in Egypt and anyone including doctors who all say the same thing in regard to her health are quacks. With that being said, I want to know what she has to look forward to and will present her with the findings. However, I know the result will have no affect or change her behaviors, but at least she will be even more informed of what she is going to experience, so when the time comes and I feel little or no pity for her level of pain, I will know she was fully informed and chose not to listen.

 

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is the term for a group of lung diseases that obstruct the airways I the lungs. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two main deseases falling under the COPD umbrella. Once a person has COPD it can never be cured, however, with treatment and stopping smoking can prevent it from worsening. As COPD progresses the ability to breath becomes increasingly difficult until finally death occurs (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). My mother has both chronic bronchitis and emphysema and refuses to stop smoking despite smoking being the leading cause of COPD. So what does she have to look forward to?

As we have already witnessed by her numerous trips to the hospital and doctor for breathing difficulties acute exacerbations will occur. Acute exacerbation is an increase in shortness of breath and/or wheezing, as well as often an increase in the production of purulent sputum. Hospital stays are often needed to treat the symptoms. Over time the need for increased oxygen will become necessary until the lungs simply are not strong enough to sustain proper airflow for survival without medical intervention (Swierzewski III, 2000).

 

People who have COPD and acute exacerbations have an increased risk of respiratory failure which occurs when respiratory demands exceeds the respiratory systems ability to respond. Without intervention at this point the person will die. Mechanical ventilation is required at this stage. Mechanical ventilation is when a ventilator is used to force air into the lungs instead of having to rely on the respiratory muscles being used to draw in air (Swierzewski III, 2000).

 

There are two types of mechanical ventilation, invasive and noninvasive ventilation. Invasive ventilation is when an endotracheal tube is placed into the trachea and connected to a ventilator. This type of ventilation is most often administered to heavily sedated or unconscious persons. It is also the most effective form of mechanical ventilation.  Noninvasive ventilation is often used on conscious and cooperative patients. A mask is placed over the mouth and nose creating a seal and forcing air into the lungs. Many people if they change the conditions that placed them on the ventilator are able to be weaned off of its use. For those with severe COPD it is impossible to breath on their own so the rest of their life they will be dependant on the use of mechanical ventilation (Swierzewski III, 2000). Due to mother’s non-compliance I believe when the time comes invasive ventilation will be the only option.

 

Another complication to look forward to is Cor Pulmonale, which is pulmonary hypertension and right sided heart failure. Lower extremity swelling is often the first sign of Cor Pulmonale. This is caused by COPD making it necessary for the heart to work harder, especially the right side. Due to the poor gas exchange in people with COPD the decreased oxygen in the blood causing blood vessels to constrict and many of the capillaries surrounding the alveoli are destroyed and thus the heart hast work harder to force blood through the fewer constricted blood vessels. Thus, the right ventricle becomes enlarged, the walls of the heart thicken ad the chamber eventually is unable to contract properly and heart failure occurs (Swierzewski III, 2000).  Mother has already been told the walls of her heart are thickening so I am sure this is a road she will travel down if her lungs do not stop working first.

 

Other possible problems are pneumothorax which is a hole that develops in the lung allowing air to escape into the area between the lung and chest wall causing the lung to collapse. Due to COPD damaging the lungs people with COPD are at increased risk for developing a hole in their lung. The way this is treated is to place a tube into the space between the lung and chest wall to let air escape out of the space and re-expanding the lung. The tube must stay in place until the hole is repaired (Swierzewski III, 2000). Polycythemia is the body’s attempt to adjust to decreased amounts of blood oxygen caused by COPD. It is when the body increases the production of oxygen carrying red blood cells to compensate for the decrease blood oxygen levels. This over production can lead to a clogging of small blood vessels (Swierzewski III).

 

One top of all this COPD can increase the symptoms of dementia. Often if the COPD is treated and the person stops smoking the symptoms of dementia decrease (Merck Manual of Health and Aging, n.d.). I had asked the doctor about this since it appears that the more she smokes the less cognitive ability she has. Since the brain relies on oxygen is makes perfect sense that the more on smokes, making it impossible for the lungs to take in enough oxygen the brain would begin to cease functioning properly. Thus, the less oxygen that gets to her brain the less ability she has to function on a cognitive level.

 

One study found smoking increases the risk of dementia by 50%. The reason for this is smoking increases the risk of cerebrovascular disease which is tied to dementia. And oxidative stress is when the body has too many “free radicals, which are waste products created by chemical reactions in the body, (Such as caused by tar from cigarettes) (Consumers Affairs.Com, 2007).

 

So, while mother is ranting about it being her civil right to smoke (yes she does this), I have to disagree with her, Suicide is considered to be against the law, and yet she is permitted by law to engage in the very behavior which WILL cause her a painful death. In the early stages I tried to force the issue of her not smoking because the idea of a painful death is disturbing to me. However, the law says it is her right and soon she will be out of my home and can do as she pleases. Thus, in a few months at best I am sure she will be in some form of hospice care to attempt to manage unmanageable pain, hooked up to a machine to breath for her. Just as it is her right to do this to herself, it is my right to simply not care anymore and to feel no pity for her pain. After all she knows the consequences for her behaviors, but thanks to her narcissism believes somehow none of this is going to happen to her, after all she is better than everyone else who has ever had this diagnosis.

 

 

 

References

Consumers Affairs.Com (2007, Sept. 4). Researchers Link Smoking To Dementia. Retrieved Jan. 15, 2009, from http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/09/dementia_smoking.html

Mayo Clinic (n.d.). COPD. Retrieved Jan. 15, 2009, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/copd/DS00916

Merck Manual of Health and Aging (n.d.).   Introduction, Alzheimer’s Disease,  Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia . Retrieved Jan. 15, 2009, from http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual_ha/sec3/ch27/ch27a.html

Swierzewski III, S. (2000, June 1). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Retrieved Jan. 15, 2009, from http://www.pulmonologychannel.com/copd/acuteexacerbation.shtml

Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 9:51 am  Comments (6)  

Caregiver Burnout

Prior to finding a wonderful online support group of children caring for their elderly parents and the stress involved in doing such. I felt alone. Coupled with caring for a mother with Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I felt even more alone and as if I was drowning. In the year since mother moved in, I have forgotten how to smile, or enjoy life. The demands and stress were overwhelming and my psychological, emotional and physical health has declined. Others in this group experience the same thing on a daily basis. This online forum, gives us a place to cry, vent and not feel alone, in that we are finding a way to heal. This has led me to wonder what toll does care giving take on a person, and does caring for an abusive parent increase the risk.

 

While looking for answers I discovered there is a name for what many of us experience. It is called Caregiver Burden. Caregiver Burden is defined as “the physical, emotional and financial cost of providing care” (Karlikaya, Yukse, Varlibas, & Tireli, 2005). It is important to note the most caregivers experiencing caregiver burden do not seek help for themselves even when it is needed.  Informal caregivers, who are caregivers not paid to provide caregivers are often referred to as “the hidden or secondary patients” (Doval Mezey & Berkman, 2001).

 

Caregiver burnout is more extreme than caregiver burden. Caregiver burnout is described as “a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or do more than they are able either physically or financially. Caregivers who are “burned out” may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression. Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than the elder (WebMD, n.d.). (UH-OH, this sounds like me)

 

Factors, influencing the level of caregiver burden and burnout include socio-economic status, the current and past relationship between the caregiver and the elder, and the composition and health problems of the elder. “Primary stressors include the functional and behavioral deficits of the elder, and the frequency and unrelenting nature of the care demands” (Doval Mezey & Berkman, 2001). Thus, it appears that the elder’s temperament and demands as well as past relationship with the elder weights on the level of burden the caregiver experiences. In my life, the verbal abuse of the elder, along with the demands and isolation created for caring for a person who is so unruly we can not have friends over or take her out have created a huge amount of burden.

 

Furthermore caregivers who are faced with providing care for a person who is cognitively or mentally impaired and exhibit disruptive or unpredictable behaviors are likely to experience depression, anger, increased anxiety, hostility, fatigue, grief, and social relationship strain. During my research I found the caregivers who experience low or irritable mood, feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach or excessive guilt, attempted suicide or thoughts of such, motor retardation, agitation, disturbed sleep, fatigue, loss of energy, lost of interest in activities usually enjoyed, change in appetite, and problems concentrating or thinking for more than two weeks may be experiencing the depression end of caregiver burden (Doval Mezey & Berkman, 2001).

 

Based on this information, I was able to pinpoint several symptoms I am experiencing. (Suicidal thoughts are attempts are not ones I have experienced). Thus I decided to seek answers to determine the level of depression I may be experiencing. I used the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale and after answering the questions honestly I am disturbed by the findings.  Anything over a score of 21 indicates the possibility of major depression. I scored a 48. I took two other similar tests on the same site and got similar results. I will be contacting my doctor tomorrow regarding this disturbing finding. (Center for Epidemiologic Studies, n.d.). Next I found an assessment to determine if I was suffering from caregiver burnout, and found that I am experiencing a high level of distress and should see a doctor. This test can be found here (American Medical Association, n.d.).

 

A link to the tests is provided with the references for anyone else wishing to take the preliminary test. I believe it is important to note that test is preliminary and should not be use in place of a proper diagnosis by a trained professional.

 

So what are some factors that contribute to burn out? Unrealisitc expectations are one factor. This is where the caregiver believes their caretaking will have a positive effect on the health and happiness of the person they are providing care for. Lack of control is another. This is when the caregiver feels they lack the finances, resources and skills to provide care. Unreasonable demands are another. Many caregivers put unreasonable demands upon themselves and the elder can contribute to the demands (WebMD, n.d.). This describes what I am going through perfectly. I believe I may be lucky in discovering this information because may caregivers do not realize they are suffering from burnout and will get to a point where they can not effectively function on a daily basis (WebMD).

 

With all this said, I wonder what the effects are of caregiver burden and burnout besides depression. Will it effect long term health and so forth. Research studies thankfully exist to answer these questions.

 

One study of 24 primary caregivers and 31 non-caregivers of similar age, education and gender but the similarities ended with that. Caregivers showed a significant increase in morbidity. Caregivers had higher incidences of illnesses, such as, high blood pressure and more acute health conditions. 69% of the differences between caregivers and non-caregivers were their total illness score. In other words caregivers had more illnesses and severe daily hassles associated with being a caregiver. Furthermore, caregivers reported more psycho-social problems, psychological distress, and inadequate social attachments. These results provide evidence that providing primary care increases the risk to the caregiver’s physical and psychological health. “Elevated blood pressure was a particularly salient feature for caregivers” (Willis & Gottlieb, n.d.).

 

Due to my mothers early signs of dementia, mental illness and narcissistic personality I wondered if this contributed to the problem. The burden of care giving for mentally ill people was first introduced in 1963 by Grad and Sainbury. Today’s medical community accept that care giving to a mentally ill person or one with dementia can be a “source of potent and chronic stress and can cause deleterious consequences for both the physical and mental health of caregivers” (Karlikaya et al., 2005).

 

Research shows that caregivers of demented patients are nearly twice as likely as caregivers of non-demented patients to have symptoms of depression. Also, the spouse or adult child who is the caregiver often has an emotional burden that makes the risks even higher (Karlikaya et al., 2005).

 

This information is very disturbing since I have felt for some time I was suffering some depression. Now, I wonder if I am suffering from burnout and as a result severe depression. As I mentioned earlier I am calling the doctor in the morning to discuss the possibility. While at the same time it angers me even more to know that effect this woman is having on my entire life with little or no thought on her part.  

 

References

American Medical Association (n.d.). Caregiver self-assessment tool. Retrieved Jan. 15, 2009, from http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/5037.html

Center for Epidemiologic Studies  (n.d.). Welcome to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), A Screening Test for Depression. Retrieved Jan. 15, 2009, from http://counsellingresource.com/quizzes/cesd/index.html

Doval Mezey, M., & Berkman, B. J. (2001). The Encyclopedia of Elder Care: The Comprehensive Resource on Geriatric and Social Care. : Springer Publishing Company.

Karlikaya, G., Yukse, G., Varlibas, F., & Tireli, H. (2005). Caregiver Burden In Dementia:A Study In The Turkish Population. The Internet Journal of Neurology, Volume 4 Number 2, . Retrieved Jan. 15, 2009, from http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ijn/vol4n2/dementia.xml

WebMD (n.d.). Recognizing Caregiver Burnout. Retrieved Jan. 15, 2009, from http://women.webmd.com/caregiver-recognizing-burnout

Willis, L., & Gottlieb, S. (n.d.). Caregiver Stress:  Causes and Treatment. Retrieved Jan. 15, 2008, from http://codi.buffalo.edu/graph_based/.aging/.conf/.stress.htm

Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm  Comments (1)  

Narcissism and Addiction

        Anyone who has done research on malignant narcissistic personality disorder understands the narcissist’s main drug of choice is attention or the narcissistic supply, but is narcissist’s prone to other addictions? The answer appears to be yes, and that both the addiction and the narcissism combined can make the nightmare for others around the narcissist even worse. 

 

          The narcissistic supply is attention. Everyone seeks positive cues from other people; the narcissist however, does this by whatever means possible to preserve their grandiose false self image. The attention can be positive or negative as long as it is attention in some form. The narcissist soon learns triggers to use to get their “victims” to rise to the bait and give the attention the narcissist seeks. In other words, the narcissists derive pleasure from the suffering they inflict on others, because it gives the attention the crave (Vaknin, n.d.) 

 

For example, character assassination, lying, manipulation, demands and lack of respect are all tools the narcissist will employ when needed. “The narcissist place’s himself above the laws and pressures of the mundane and away from the humiliating and sobering demands of reality. They render him the centre of attention – but also place him in “splendid isolation” from the madding and inferior crowd” (Vaknin, n.d.).

 

          Due to the narcissist’s unrealistic view of the world and their place in it other addictions and reckless behaviors are not uncommon. The narcissist refuses to realize they are addicted and instead really believe they control the addicition. For example, despite the narcissist mother in my life having COPD, which makes it hard to breathe or walk further than a few steps without being winded, she refuses any attempts to give up cigarettes. Her reasoning is “she enjoys smoking and simply does not want to quit”. Of course due to the doctors telling her to stop or die soon very painfully, she uses it as a tool against family members to get them to do her bidding. “When caught red handed, the narcissist underestimates, rationalizes, or intellectualizes his addictive and reckless behaviors – converting them into an integral part of his grandiose and fantastic False Self” (Vaknin, n.d.). 

 

          My research has found the treating a narcissist’s addition to other substances is pointless, since the underlying narcissism is the root cause. Since most narcissists will never admit to having the disorder, treating addictions to other substances will more than likely fail. Even when faced with the consequences of the addictions to not only themselves but others, the narcissist will not admit the addiction is bad. In the case of my mother, the doctors are all lying and she is somehow above the dangerous affects of smoking, and caffeine especially for one suffering from COPD and uncontrollable high blood pressure. 

 

          So, why do narcissists’s often become addicted to other things or engage in reckless behaviors? The answer is lengthy but very informative.

The addiction allows the narcissist to

·        self medicate and avoid unpleasant emotions

·        it can act as a rebellion against other’s control or influence (that one would be the narcissistic mother in my life)

·        assists them in the theory they will do as they please regardless of what others like or don’t like

·        illustrates their disregard for normal social expectation and allows the narcissist to feel superior to others

·        gives them an excuse or justification for bad behaviour so they can avoid responsibility for it.

·        soothes them when they are not feeling “special”.

·        satisfies a need for stimulation.

·        helps them avoid awareness of their limitations, failures, and ordinariness.

·        consoles them when they don’t get what they want.

·        relieves boredom and helps fill an inner emptiness.

·        makes them feel good (and what narcissist can say no to pleasure?).

·        helps them escape into a worry, thought, and trouble free state.

·        gives them the illusion of control.

·        lets them withdraw from the stresses and demands of reality.

·        makes them feel strong and powerful (Ultimate-self.com , 2007).

To try and change narcissist’s behaviors or treat an addition is pointless. “Any effort to emotionally relate to a narcissist is doomed to failure, alienation and rage” (Vaknin, n.d.). 

 

          And there it is, the rage I feel. In some part of my mind I must have at one point attempted to relate to the narcissistic mother and due to that being impossible I a now full of rage. After all who can understand a person not caring if their behavior risks that life of an innocent baby. To a narcissist the baby is unimportant, only their own self is what matters. To those of us with normal mind sets this is unbelievable, cruel and heartless and beyond comprehension.  

 

The narcissist mother in my life is beyond understanding, and is not really worth my effort. However, in order to heal, I find I have to explore the avenues and damage she has done, but I also have to stop trying to understand her heartless behaviors and accept the NPD is the root of her evil. She will never change, never accept responsibility for her actions and never give a damn about anyone but herself. This I can do, I just have to explore more and separate from her as much as possible to ensure she does not continue to hold reign over my life and peace of mind.  

 

References

Ultimate-self.com  (2007). Addictions and narcissism . Retrieved Jan. 11, 2009, from http://www.ultimate-self.com/addictions-and-narcissism/

Vaknin, S. (n.d.). Narcissism, Substance Abuse, and Reckless Behaviors. Retrieved Jan. 11, 2009, from http://samvak.tripod.com/journal66.html

Vaknin, S. (n.d.). Narcissists, Narcissistic Supply and Sources of Supply. Retrieved Jan. 11, 2009, from http://samvak.tripod.com/faq76.html