RSS

Category Archives: crochet

Birthdays and grief

My mother’s birthday was a few days before the holidays. As one of my brothers said to me, “I’m sure it’s not creeping up on you, either…” And it wasn’t. T thinks that a lot of my pain and anxiety were around the colonoscopy without my mother being there, and because of my mother’s birthday, and because of the holidays without her.

Yeah, I knew her birthday was coming. I knew it was going to be bad. I also knew I had somewhat of a plan for the day. Before Mom got sick, when she was still crocheting, she hooked up a bunch of preemie hats for our local hospital’s NICU. At the time, it wasn’t a lot of hats, so we kept saying we were holding off before taking them in. After Mom passed, I took all of the small amounts of yarn I had and crocheted more tiny hats. Then I put them all into a bag and left them in my library. Because I knew what I wanted to do.

On Mom’s birthday, I woke up and got dressed. And I called my father to see how he was. He said he was just going to call me because he was going to the cemetery and he wanted to know if I wanted to go. I didn’t really, but I didn’t want him to go alone. So instead of answering him directly, I said if he would take me up to the hospital to drop off the preemie hats, I would go with him to the cemetery. He said okay, so we left about ten minutes later.

At the hospital–where my father’s sister (my aunt) was admitted and stayed for several days, and where my mother went for her lymphedema wraps–I left Dad in the parking lot and I went inside. At the main desk, they checked me in and directed me to the NICU. As I made my way down the hall, I saw someone walk into the elevator, so I hurried to join her so I could save some time waiting for another elevator. Inside, the woman standing across from me smiled, then looked at the bag in my arms and her smile got wider. She asked me if I was bringing hats to the NICU. I said yes, and her eyes seemed to sparkle. She was heading for the NICU herself…she had twin girls who had been born before Thanksgiving–when they were due after Christmas. I said congratulations and I hoped they were doing well, which she said they were. And she told me, “They brought me to see the girls for the first time, and there they were in hand-knitted hats, and it just made my heart skip a beat. That someone out there did that for me and for them, complete strangers!” Her smile was so big.

When the elevator doors opened, I walked with her down the hall and into the NICU waiting area. I wished her luck and she disappeared behind a door that the nurse unlocked for her. I approached the nurse, who was behind a glass windowed reception area, and I put my bag of 40 hats on the counter in between us. And I announced that I was there to drop off crocheted hats for the babies. In all sizes, all colors, all different types of yarns. The nurse smiled and took the bag, then started going through the hats. She oohed and ahhed over some of them, and even rubbed a few on her cheek and said how soft they were. She told me how wonderful if it was to have them, and wanted to know “how many women are there in your group that made these?” I laughed and said it was just my mom and me. The sweet woman said, “oh my goodness, please give your mom a hug for me!”

I basically nodded and smiled, gave a wave, and left the unit for the safety of the hallway. It was hard. I tried not to cry as I made my way back through the hospital and out to the car where my father was waiting. Fortunately, he was busy navigating the parking lot and trying to figure out the best way to get to the cemetery, so our conversation was pretty sparse.

When we were done and I was home, I cried. I cried because those were the last hats I had from her. I cried because I missed her. I cried because I hated where I was in my life without her.

dscn5485dscn5486dscn5488dscn5490dscn5493dscn5495dscn5497dscn5499

When my mom was going through chemo, I made her a bunch of hats for her to wear after she lost her hair. Years ago, probably six or seven years, before I was crocheting, she was supposed to crochet me an open-weave sweater to wear over a tank top. She never got to it, for various reasons. I don’t even know what happened to the yarn we picked out. She crocheted me a shawl for my brother’s wedding, and added crocheted sleeves to an evening gown for my cousin’s black-tie wedding. So I really have nothing I can wear that she made for me. I wish I did. The last thing she crocheted was a lap blanket that she was expecting to donate, but a few days after she died, I took it. I wrapped it up in tissue paper and put it into a plastic bag that a set of sheets came in, and I put it away in my guest room. It’s in a drawer in my grandparents’ dresser. It’s ugly as sin color-wise, but I can’t bear to part with it. I also have a ruffled ball that was supposed to be for a baby that was a test-project. It’s on a shelf in my bookcase hidden behind some doors with the perfume that I took from her bathroom drawers a few months after she died.

I honored my  mom as best I could on her birthday. My birthday is coming up soon. Hub usually cooks me a special dinner and he’s been asking me what I want to eat. I kept putting him off, because I honestly do not want to celebrate my birthday. I finally told him I didn’t want anything special on my birthday because I didn’t want to have my birthday. I don’t even want it to be acknowledged, because it’s just another reminder to me that she isn’t here with me. Last year she was in brain radiation on my birthday…she was just getting over the symptoms of the brain mets. We were dealing with the lawyer trying to get my parents’ trusts all finalized and stuff.

Last year, five days before my birthday, I had to call an ambulance at 11pm for Hub because he had an episode of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) where his heart rate was sustained up around 225 or 250bpm. They had to stop his heart twice with medication to get it reset. We went to his follow-up appointment with his cardiologist on my birthday.

Right now, I’m in pain. My arms and back and neck and shoulders hurt. I have headaches on an almost daily basis for multiple hours at a time. My hips hurt when I try to sleep. I still have nausea. I still have jaw pain. I still have anxiety over the jaw pain, though it’s not as persistent as it was in the past few weeks. I’m not sleeping much and I’m not crocheting because I hurt too much.

I don’t want to celebrate. Right now I just want the days to be days, so I don’t have to be so sad.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Motherless Day

I know, it’s dramatic and sad. But it’s also true for me.

I still can’t believe that I wrote (and read) a eulogy for my mother.

I still can’t believe that I can’t walk to my mother’s house to see her.

I still can’t believe that I won’t ever see her again. Or hug her. Or hear her laugh. Or see her smile.

I still can’t believe that I can’t pick up the phone to give her news. Or just say hi. Or ask how she is. Or see if she wants company.

I got invited to a mother’s day barbeque by my aunt–the one who tries to help but does a terrible job. She sent an invitation by email saying she was inviting us, and then told us how hard it was when HER mother died. Then when she called me on the phone (she’s calling weekly–prior to this I generally saw her 3-4 times a year and never spoke on the phone) she asked again if I would join them. Both times I said no thank you.

The barbeque was at her daughter’s house (my cousin). My cousin then sent out an email inviting us to the barbeque. After a lot of tears and ranting to Hub, I sent her an email saying thank you for the invitation, but no thank you. Seriously, it made me feel like they weren’t just pushing the knife in, but twisting it around. My mother died five weeks ago, what makes you think I would want to come to your mother’s day barbeque to celebrate how you have a mother and I don’t? And beyond that, what makes you think that asking me not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES helps me? You’re reminding me repeatedly that I have nothing to celebrate…and you do. Good for you, now leave me alone.

I know, I sound nasty. I felt nasty. I wanted to be left alone. I wanted them to stop bringing it up, stop talking about it, stop REMINDING ME. I wanted mother’s day to go by just like any other Sunday. I wanted it to be OVER.

I sent Hub to his mother’s house to be with her. I stayed home. I had hoped to be alone to pass the time as best as possible. Instead I sort of got corralled into spending several hours with my brother and his wife. We’d been talking about this on and off for several days this week. I didn’t particularly want to entertain them, but I was worried that my brother needed to be with me. He’s feeling like he needs to be with family, so I hated to turn him away. Getting the details together for the evening was difficult, and as it turns out we really only had dinner and hung out for a while. Hub came home and joined us for a an hour or so, then they left. I hope it was helpful for my brother to be with me. I don’t know that it was helpful for me. Either way, it passed the time I guess.

I made a gift for my cousin’s baby–due in a few months–including a baby blanket, matching hat, and a doll. Once I made the doll, I realized it was kind of cute, so I made another for my massage therapist, who is also due in a few months. As I was finishing that one, I decided that I was going to try to make some of these dolls to give to our local police or fire department as comfort dolls they could give to children at accidents or fires or in domestic violence situations.

20160414_162103

The thing is, I really hated sewing the doll together. The hat, head, body, and arms are made separately, then have to be sewed together. So I went back to the pattern I had for the doll and started trying to rework it so I could make it in one piece, minus the arms. The arms I still have to make separately and sew on, but it’s a lot easier than sewing all of it. I redid the pattern and made another doll, but it turned out too big and the proportion was a little off. I worked on the pattern again and finally came up with a good result in basically one piece.

20160506_232110

I’m going to put out a call on facebook, I think, about seeing if anyone else wants to make some of these dolls for local donation, or even if they want to make them for their own community. I’ve never reworked a pattern like this before. I’m not the greatest at this amigurumi stuff, but this is a pretty easy pattern in the end. Sewing the arms on is still a pain, but it’s doable (even though I can’t seem to get them even on both sides!).

The doll has given me something to concentrate on. But oddly enough, I didn’t do any crocheting today. I cleaned up the house a little, did laundry and washed dishes and put dishes away. And I binge watched Grace and Frankie on Netflix. Now I’m trying to wind down the day and get myself together to see T tomorrow.

I’m tired. Weary. Even though I saw my massage therapist on Friday (and also BECAUSE I saw her), my body hurts. My heart hurts. My soul hurts.

Hub told me last night how much he misses my mother. I cried and he apologized for upsetting me. I told him that I wanted him to tell me, that he shouldn’t keep it to himself. He’s a good man. I’m very lucky. He loved my mother like she was his own. She loved him like he was her child. How often does that happen? I have good people in my life–those gone and those still with me. I guess that’s something to celebrate.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pacman chunks

WOKKA WOKKA Pacman eating the little dots while he chases the ghosts.

207111

Hub and I were driving somewhere the other night and we were talking about my mom. Lots of my thoughts and conversations right now are centered there, so it’s no surprise. Bless my wonderful husband for just letting me talk when I need to and not getting frustrated that I keep bringing things up.

Anyway, I was telling him how weirded out I was that I’m not panicking all the time and feeling anxious about the whole situation. I’m sad…I mean, so far beyond sad that I don’t even know a word to describe the feeling. I understand wholly what is happening, but it’s been happening in these Pacman chunks, so I think it’s been easier to absorb. Not that any of these things are easy to come to terms with, just that I haven’t been faced with all of it at once…so far.


I started this post on March 28th at 9:20 in the morning. My mother went into the hospital that evening at 5:30. Initially I was going to let this post go to the trash bin, but today it struck me again, and I wanted to continue with it from this side of her passing.

I miss my mother intensely. I think of her all the time. Things happen all day long every day that I want to tell her and so it hurts me when I realize over and over again that I can’t share my days with her. I’m sad.

I lost my mother in these Pacman chunks. She took her first real downturn just after Christmas day. Those were when the brain metastases made themselves known. Mom’s attitude changed, she became uninterested in engaging with anyone, and she was throwing up a lot. It was at that point that Mom started withdrawing from her normal activities…with others and with me.

We used to talk every night at 9:30pm, for as long as I’ve been living outside of her house (that would be 22 years) with the exception if one of us was away on vacation. When the mets started, she stopped calling me on a daily basis. Besides the 9:30 call, we would also talk on the phone periodically during the rest of the day, but now she stopped making and answering any phone calls. We took Mom to brain radiation, which resolved some of her symptoms–most importantly she was able to recover from the vomiting and motion sickness every time she moved–but she really never resumed calling me on the phone. Of course we saw each other daily because we live nearby and I was at her house all the time, but in the evenings after I left to go home, I wouldn’t speak to her until I went back to her house the next day. Sometimes she would answer the phone if I called, but sometimes not. The first chunk was the phone calls.

A couple of years ago, I introduced my mother to the game Words with Friends. I used to play against one of my brothers and other random people, and I told Mom about it. She asked if she could play against me–she and Dad used to play scrabble all the time but she said he tried to cheat, so they stopped playing–but the only way I knew to play WWF was either on Facebook (which she refused to join) or on an iPad. Hub and I had two iPads that came from one of his bosses. One was an older iPad, the other slightly newer. So we loaned Mom the older iPad, taught her to use it, logged her into WWF, and we began playing on a nightly basis. When she would go up to her bedroom in the evenings, she would play her turn. I would go up to my bedroom around the same time, and I would play my turn. Through the evening, we would play back and forth on my laptop and her iPad. We could pretty much make it through a full game in one night. Even after she stopped calling me at night, she would still play WWF every couple of days. When I saw her during the day she would apologize for not playing very much the night before, or for not playing at all. I would tell her to play when she felt like it and not worry about it. Eventually, and not too much time later, she stopped playing altogether. The second chunk was the WWF games.

Somewhere along the way, around the time the mets in her brain kicked in, she stopped wanting to get out of the house. Since this past fall, she’s been in and out of a wheelchair. Initially, she had a deep muscle spasm in her back that left her unable to bear weight on the leg on that side. She was moving around in a wheelchair because she couldn’t stand. Even then, though, we were going out with the wheelchair. I got pretty good at getting the wheelchair in and out of our minivan or her car (if my father was driving), so we still went shopping at the grocery store or at the craft store or at the yarn store. We even went to some craft fairs and such. I know she hated the wheelchair, but we made it work. Shortly after the radiation for the brain mets, the lymphedema in her legs got bad, so she wasn’t able to walk around…and that left her in the wheelchair full time. The fatigue from the radiation contributed…she never really recovered from that. At some point, she was only going out to her radiation appointments, then after that only to her lymphedema appointments, but that was it. She stopped wanting to go to the store, or even going outside at all. Over the last months, I could barely get her outside onto her expansive deck–when it was warm and sunny enough–which was something she loved to do. The last thing we did was when Hub and I took her and my father to see some botanical gardens. It was a week before she died, and it was a beautiful if tiring day. But up until that day, she hadn’t been out of the house for anything other than medical appointments for months. The third chunk was spending time outside the house.

Everything seemed to really go downhill after the brain mets appeared. Even after the radiation, which helped a lot of her symptoms but seemed to leave her exhausted and drained, she only got better in certain ways. The symptoms of the brain mets dissipated for the most part, but her energy and her interest were both low. She was having more trouble seeing things, concentrating on things, and finding motivation to do much. She seemed to be pretty concentrated on the lymphedema…not terribly surprising considering it was in both legs and it impacted her ability to move around as well. But other than the lymphedema and the wrap appointments, she lost interest in everything else. Including her crochet. She made a few attempts at a project that was supposed to be a baby gift for my cousin, but it didn’t go very far. Even trying to talk about that project, or the projects I was working on, didn’t hold her interest. Crocheting is how we got through most of her illness…the surgery, the recovery, the chemo, the days where she was too exhausted to move, the days where we sat outside in the sun and crocheted. The chemo hats we made, the preemie hats we made. We talked about crochet almost every time we were together. We crocheted a lot of the time we were together when she didn’t want to (or couldn’t) do anything else. She crocheted on the last cruise she took with my aunt and uncle. She crocheted through her first pelvic radiation. Through recovery from the pelvic radiation. Through the next sets of chemo…on and on. Crochet was how we spent time, how we passed time, how we shared time. The fourth chunk was crochet.

She stopped engaging with me even when we were in the same room as she got sicker. Weaker. She would sit on the couch or in her wheelchair and stare at the television. I’d try to ask questions or just talk and sometimes she would respond, most times she would keep looking at the television. I knew she could hear me, I knew she understood…this was when she was very lucid and I was sitting close enough for her to hear me. She just seemed to be removed. She refused to talk to most anyone on the telephone and if we asked if so-and-so could come over to visit, she would say no. If my Aunt and Uncle came over, she would engage with them on and off, but sometimes not even with them. Too may people in the room and she got overwhelmed and shut down even more. Even when it was only the two of us in the room, more often than not she would keep her gaze trained on the television and not respond to me. The fifth chunk was responding and engaging with me when I was in the room with her.

Good, bad, or otherwise, she really didn’t start losing lucidity until the last few days of her life. By this point, even though she had been lucid and aware of us talking with her, she wasn’t really engaging. So the lucidity was a change, but it didn’t actually change much. We were still having one-way conversations with her, we just weren’t sure how much of it was getting through. Sometimes she would turn her head to look toward one of us, but most times not. Her blood sugar was spiking (I almost feel like that was her body’s way of shutting down in a painless way), which left her looking and acting more and more drugged. But still I held her hand, I touched her, I rubbed her feet with lotion. I stroked her arms. None of these things had any kind of real response. The sixth chunk was the lucidity.

Then I lost her physically. The final dot. The final chunk.

Wokka wokka wokka. I lost her that way, like little dots being consumed by a yellow sideways pie-head. These things happened over the course of three months (give or take), so I had some time to grieve those losses. I had some time to try to get used to the changes. Even so, I still grieve the losses, I still feel the changes. Make no mistake about that. I just wonder if Mom tried to disengage in this way, to make it easier on the people around her. Consciously or unconsciously.

I don’t know. I know I miss her. I know I miss each of the chunks…and the chunks that I didn’t focus on in this post.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here we are

Mom had her 8th radiation treatment today. It was the second time she was scheduled to see her doctor after the treatment, so I went with my parents to sit in on the appointment. Luckily, Mom hasn’t been experiencing any side effects yet. She’s taking an anti-nausea pill every day just in case, and so far it seems to be working. Unfortunately, I think it’s affecting her taste buds (she had the same problem with the anti-nausea pills during chemo), but if that’s the worst… They did say that the fatigue and other side effects might not start until three weeks into treatment, but we’ll see. I did think it was interesting that Mom told the doctor that today she was 1/3 of the way through treatment. But if that’s how it works for her, that’s fine. Mom says she’s still taking her gratitude prompts to her appointments every day, so that’s good, too.

I’m just about eight days out from my surgery. I have been trying to find lounge-dresses to wear after surgery so that I don’t have to wear pants that might aggravate any incisions I might have. I went all over on Monday and found nothing. I was so disappointed. I do have a whole list of what I want, so I guess I was really narrowing down my options. But mostly the two places I went had nothing long. I really want an ankle-length item to cover my legs in case I have company. Plus, if I’m going to be sitting in my recliner in my family room, I want to have my legs covered or Butthead will try to lick my legs all the time. And YUCK. Today Mom and I went out to a discount store to see if they had anything. I was surprised at how much clothing they had in my size, but everything was polyester, and I really don’t like the way polyester doesn’t breathe. In the end, though, I bought something that felt like jersey but was polyester (for a whopping $8) and another that was the rayon/spandex mix that I was really looking for (which was $20). Mom was so happy to be able to help me go out and find something. She’s still upset that I’m not really wanting her to be at the hospital with me, but I need to know she’s taking care of herself and that she and my dad will be taking care of our dogs. I am both hopeful and worried that I’ll be home the same day, so it won’t be a long, drawn-out stay in the hospital where people will need to come and go to visit me. Mom was in the hospital for four or five days, so we came and went a lot. Like I said before, my doctor said if I go in early enough in the morning, I might be able to go home the same night.

So the deal is, I’m nervous. But I’m not panicking and I’m not anxious. I feel like I feel like a normal person who would be nervous before surgery. I’m keeping my information-gathering to a minimum. I haven’t started packing (or thinking about what to pack) or putting things aside to take. I haven’t looked at the pre-surgery prep (bowel-prep) information. I’m trying to take all this one day at a time. I got my lounge wear, I’ll go the library this weekend to get a bunch of books. I have yarn. I can watch movies on our on-demand. I have good pillows and blankets and I’ll be sure to have lots of water to drink and pretzels to snack on. We’ll go to the grocery store this weekend and make sure we have enough easy-to-prepare foods. I already have a bench seat in my shower, so if I need to sit to shower, I’m okay.

I’m okay. I hope my health anxiety doesn’t spiral during recovery, but I can’t do anything about it now. I’ll have to work on that as it comes. I do, however, have to stop taking my digestive enzymes and probiotics before surgery (starting tomorrow), so I’ll get to see if I really need to stay on that stuff to keep heartburn away or if I am able to manage without it.

My PVCs are plaguing me tonight. What’s up with that? They haven’t been too bad recently. Some issues trying to fall asleep, a few here and there. But tonight…more often. I could do without that annoyance. Ferreals. Also, my sleep has been really crappy recently. Dreams, nightmares, etc. I’ve also been waking up earlier and earlier. That’s really frustrating for me since I’m going to sleep at the same time every night. I really need some sleep. But hey, after surgery they say I’ll be napping a lot. Maybe I’ll make up for the lost sleep? Until then, I’m just tired.

Tomorrow I’m planning to mow the lawn. The weather is supposed to be 70s and breezy. My kind of lawn-mowin’ day. Mowin’ zen, here I come!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Missing in(action)

I didn’t really realize how long it had been since I posted. I know a lot of stuff has (and hasn’t) happened, but I was genuinely shocked to note that it’s been a month since I last blogged.

Update on my mom. She’s still feeling well, which seems to surprise every doctor she’s seen. We’ve had multiple “second” opinions from a couple of doctors who are top docs in her particular type of cancer. After our pretty crappy experience with the first radiation oncologist, we requested new referrals for her to other facilities. After some extended time waiting for the referrals (holidays, etc), we finally got in to see a local radiation oncologist who is about fifteen minutes from our houses. Since she’s going to have to go 5 days a week for almost six weeks, we wanted to find something a little more convenient than the first doctor…plus, he was an asshole. Fortunately, the new doctor (and all the staff) at the new place were pretty great. My mother is really comfortable with the new radiation oncologist, and that’s all I need to know. Their facility has TWO hospitals backing their technology and research, so we’re getting some really great, cutting edge treatment technology. In truth, this doctor pretty much said the same as the first radiation oncologist–aggressive cancer, likely to spread even if they can kill the current recurrence–but the presentation was different. The aura was different. The intent felt different. I don’t know, it just all felt different, and like I said, if Mama’s happy…

So they had to study all her pictures and test out different treatment applications to see what would be best for HER situation. This week we go for the “dry run” so they can do a walk-through of the test to make sure everything is set. I would guess next week will be the start of the treatments if everything works out for the dry run. And from what we’ve heard, she’ll start feeling side effects in the first 2-3 weeks. But one step at a time. Right now, like I said, she’s still feeling good so she’s playing in the garden and cleaning the house.

Update on moi. I go for my surgical consult with the surgeon next week. So far I’ve been able to keep everything in perspective. The results of my hysteroscopy were mostly inconclusive. They grabbed a polyp but it was benign, so that was good. Beyond that, they didn’t get enough tissue to figure anything else out. So I go to the surgeon without that information even after all that. If I had known I would end up with inconclusive results, I wouldn’t have done the damn tests. The CRNP had told me that I really needed this test before I saw the surgeon, but now she’s saying “Well you’re getting a hysterectomy anyway…” Way to back step, lady. They also wanted to do a repeat ultrasound to make sure the cyst in my ovary resolved. Which I did and it did. Then the tech said, “But oh now there’s one in the other ovary.” Dude, they’re SUPPOSDA be there every month. She said the doc would probably want to follow-up on the new cyst, but the CRNP didn’t say that when she called to update me with all the results. So like I said, it’s off to the surgeon to see what he says. They already sent all my test results and the notes from my exams and tests to the surgeon.

My PVCs are greatly reduced. I notice them mostly at night when I’m trying to sleep. They’re manageable. I wish they weren’t there at all, but I can deal with them like this without them really infringing on my mental state. My sleep still sucks. I’m having crappy dreams again. And I’m waking up multiple times in the night. AND I’m waking up early in the morning and not able to get back to sleep. I HATE THAT.

I’ve been doing some hats here and there. Hopefully soon we’ll have enough to send to the infusion unit. Mom has been doing some other projects, so she’s slowed down on her hats, too.

It’s been feeling a lot like waiting around here. Waiting for her referrals, her appointments, her tests. Waiting for my appointments, my tests, my results. Hub has been dealing with some medical issues (minor), so that’s been on our front burner recently.

I’ve been seeing T on my regular schedule. Sometimes I feel like the appointments are just me chattering and not resulting in much. I wonder about that. But other times I know I need to be able to get help for something that’s bugging me. I still think this schedule of once every other week is good.

I’ve NOT been back to my massage therapist. She had to take six weeks off for some knee surgery and when she came back, I was right smack in the middle of all this …. waiting. So I told her I needed to see Mom’s radiation schedule and MY surgical schedule before I made any appointments with her. On one hand, I miss the massages and I know my body does. On the other hand, I’m functioning, so I know I can do without the massages. So I’m sort of iffy about that…

I’ve written a little bit. I did some work on a story and felt okay about it. I wish I had a good direction for it and I wish the characters didn’t seem so SAD at the beginning of the book. I don’t like to start a book that way. But even so, writing is writing and I felt good about what I did.

So now you know. I’m okay. I’m just mid-action.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Waking a sleeping giant

Last night was the second night I took my fantastic pills. I survived yet another round of milder anxiety, and like every other night, had trouble falling asleep. Then, there I am, sleeping like nuthin, when I realize I’m awake. And my second realization is OW OW OW OW motherfucking OW. It’s like someone took my right ovary in a vise, squeezed it tight, and then twisted it around and around and around. I haven’t had cramps like that in years. YEARS. It’s like 3 am, I realize I have to pee, but the pain is so much that I don’t want to move out of bed. I know from past experience that the best way for me to relieve some of the pain is to lay on my back with my legs splayed in a certain way…it was a yoga thing that I learned at some point. But instinct has me curling into a fetal position on my side, trying to scrunch myself into a tiny ball. This relieves my back somewhat, but does nothing for the cramps.

Reluctantly I got out of bed and went to the bathroom, then went back to bed. I laid on my back like I knew I should and listened to the radio I turned on for noise (and company). Hub is snorin’ like a mother, facing me, almost in my damn ear. King size bed and that man ALWAYS knows when to snore right in my face. ARG.

I was up like that for at least an hour, maybe more. I woke up several more times through the rest of the night, but the pain was never as bad as the original wake-up. I’m kind of feeling like my body made me go nap yesterday afternoon because it knew it was going to give me hell overnight. I slept only a couple of hours in between the pain, the peeing, and the snoring. I’m still unhappy and uncomfortable today, but it’s more a undercurrent buzz of discomfort. Mom wants to go to the yarn store later, so I am hoping to be up to that to keep her company. She and my father are going on a cruise, so she wants to stock up on yarn to take with her to make hats. I’ve got my mammogram scheduled (after her cruise) at the hospital campus where her infusions were, so we want to have a good number of hats to drop off that same day (and get to see the nurses there again!).

Just now I realized my left ovary is more angry today than the right one. I guess they are pissed that they are being cranked into gear. Can’t say I blame them, but I wish they’d go hock off the doctor and not me!

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Struggling

I’m still struggling. Last night was a bad night. I ate something that did not agree with me and for the remainder of the night, I was awash with anxiety. It was a typical gluten’d feeling: hot face, feeling hot and cold, anxious, antsy, wired, and thinking about my health. The few times I managed to doze off, I had terrible dreams that stayed with me even after. When Hub went downstairs to work this morning, I dozed again and had more dreams. Bad ones. Unhappy, uncomfortable ones. I’m tired, and I feel down. At the moment, I’m struggling not to cry.

On top of already feeling like crap today, two different times on tv they were talking about women’s health. The first one was heart health, and how women’s symptoms of heart attacks are different from men. When I saw that the segment was upcoming, I took the dogs outside and stayed out for at least half an hour so I would miss the whole thing. It’s too much of a trigger for me. But then as we were getting ready for dinner, there was a local report about breast cancer and how women are just skipping their mammograms. Since my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer, I’ve been struggling not to dwell on the potential for the hereditary impact on me. I’ve never had a mammogram, though I’m 42. The year that it was first recommended to me, I was unhappy with my gyno, so I didn’t follow through. I’ve not been back to any gyno since that whole episode, so there’s been no one to write me a script to get one. And truthfully, I’m afraid of what might come of it. Now with my mother’s diagnosis, I’m even more afraid of cancer than I was before. Even though my mother did pretty well (relatively speaking) going through her surgery and chemo, I’m way more sensitive to everything than she is, and I’m afraid of everything surrounding the potential of cancer. Surgeries, chemo, pain, nausea, etc etc. But still, the segment on the news triggered me, and I feel anxious and upset. I know part of it is because I’m really tired, but part of it is because I am me.

Tomorrow I go back to the dentist for a cleaning. I’ve enlisted Hub to drive me to and from. I expect he’ll sit in the waiting room and wait for me, even though the dentist is only 15 minutes away from home and it’s only a cleaning. And if they let him, he’d come back and sit with me while I got the cleaning. I haven’t had a cleaning in about 3 years, and prior to that I was in and out of the dentist’s office fairly regularly. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. But my anxiety is worse now than it used to be for me. And this dentist is new to me, as is the hygienist I’ll be seeing tomorrow, so I’m apprehensive. I’m not anxious yet, but we’ll see how the night goes. Unfortunately, my back has been bothering me all afternoon, but I’ve already rescheduled once and I’d like to get this over with. I know the anticipation is worse than the actual appointment will be. I’ve had enough cleanings to know that they are generally uncomfortable, but not life-threatening. However, this IS the first time this hygienist will be dealing with my frakin’ baby tooth. Urg.

I had my session with T this past Friday. I ended up crying in session, because I told her how much I miss my writing. She keeps telling me that I need to get back to it, because it is my purpose. Without it, she thinks I’ll continue to be stuck and struggle. I want to write so badly, but it isn’t working. I’m angry that my books don’t sell anymore, and that no one ever gives me any feedback. It’s like dumping a child out into the void, never to be heard from again. It’s hard to continue to put yourself out there and never see any kind of return. In that same vein, I made a hand-made crocheted gift for a friend, sent it to her, and never heard back from her about it. WTH. It’s painful for me to say, but I want to be validated. I want someone to say THANK YOU. To say, “Whoa, you put your heart and soul in that. That’s awesome.” What I get is radio silence. And it makes getting motivated to do stuff very difficult. It used to be that I’d write for myself, but that doesn’t seem to be enough for me now. I need to find that kind of satisfaction for myself again, and quit worrying about other people validating me.

I do feel like I’m a bit depressed these days. I’m tired and angry and stuck. I’m in pain. My tinnitus is acting up big time. My weight is still an issue. I have anxious moments. Is that reason enough to be sad? Or is this a depressive episode? Does it matter?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,