Poison Drugs, Part 2

Hello everyone 🙂

If you’re following, you know I had to take these poison pills the other night. pills

I took them Wednesday night, and all day Thursday I was SO SICK. It was almost the worst day of my life. Yesterday I was a little better, and today I’m much better. So it’s safe to say I’m tolerating the treatment okay. I’m sure they will get easier each week (she says with a tinge of hopefulness).

I can’t drink alcohol anymore because these drugs mess up my liver. So that’s a bummer because this time of year I like my boozy cocoas.

I’m doing okay. The steroids are kicking in again so the joint swelling is down. The Lyrica is working on the nerve pain and I’m building up a tolerance to it so it doesn’t dope me up me as badly anymore.

I heard from a friend this morning with a referral to PT, so part of me wants to take the plunge and get that going for my spine. But the bigger part of me feels like it’s just too much to deal with it all at once. I really want to focus on my RA and deal with my back later, but I feel like I started something I have to continue now. But part of me wants to give myself permission to just postpone the spine stuff. The Lyrica is working and I’m in much better shape pain-wise. I’ll need another fusion eventually (a third one) so I feel like postponing the second one just buys time until that third one. I keep wondering what Michael would say if he were here. I believe he would want me to focus on the RA because it’s internal and far more serious. I believe he would agree that we handle one issue at a time and that RA is priority. I believe that, anyway.

I woke up in a good mood today. I slept really well (OMG this bed!), played some music while I cleaned my kitchen and drank my coffee, played with the girls after they had breakfast. Here’s hoping that today continues to be a better day. ❤

Peace,

~ Lisa

“Get Over It”

I had a talk tonight with a good friend. She said something to me that was interesting.

I can’t remember the exact words, but she said something to the effect of, there are a lot of people who don’t know I’m sick with an auto-immune disease, and she wonders if they should follow my blog (since I’m not on FB right now) because otherwise they’re just thinking I should “get over it” and move on after Michael’s death.  We also talked about how people hear Rheumatoid Arthritis and they think I have sore joints, oh they have arthritis so they get it, etc. This is SUCH a mis-named disease. This is a disease. An auto-immune condition. My body is attacking itself. It happens to be attacking my joints, so it presents like arthritis. But this isn’t granny’s arthritis. This is serious shit. In fact, since I’m so very helpful 😉 I’ll put a link to information about RA right here! From a reliable source, an easy quick read. Say, Mayo Clinic – what is RA? 

My reaction to this was that it was so interesting, because I had planned to take this leave from social media and my overall job far before I became sick, so that I could allow myself to grieve, mourn, and put my life in some sort of order. This sickness is actually robbing me of that leave/grieve time. I also needed the break from social media over the holidays, BEFORE I knew I was sick. But I found it interesting that she said what I know to be true. People are sick of my grief. They don’t understand my mourning. They’ve never experienced loss like this, or maybe they have but they handled it differently.

I had another talk with a friend of mine last week along the same lines. “People are going to get sick of your shit. You’re going to lose them. They can’t handle your life.”

Both of these conversations were loving conversations with trusted friends. Honest conversations that I truly appreciated. THEY weren’t in this place of ditching me. They just honestly told me their perception of others’ perceptions. And they are both right. I was wondering when the time would come that people thought, “Okay Lisa, get up and get going. Enough is enough.” Maybe the time is now or maybe it’s my friends’ perceptions, but I’ve been feeling it too. The overall vibe that people are just kinda done with me and my situation. This statement doesn’t come with any bitterness or negative feelings attached at all. I don’t blame them.

Now, I’ve been an insanely busy reader lately, absorbing as much as I can about my new life ahead. I take so much comfort in the words of others who are ahead of me in this journey. And one thing I’ve seen consistently in almost every writer I follow, is a version of this story. The Get Over It story. Usually nobody has the nerve to say that to our faces, but they get really sick of us. They don’t want to hang out with us because we’re a reminder of their good fortune- they’re not in our shoes and maybe they actually feel weird because of that. They get fed up with our solitude or our lack of accepting their offers. They get tired of chasing us because we don’t want to chit-chat or meet for coffee. They get indignant when their texts aren’t returned. They get chased away by our rejection. I don’t blame them. It doesn’t make them bad people. They just don’t understand. And it doesn’t make me a bad person. I am just doing the best I can.

It’s really sad that widows oftentimes lose so much more than their husbands. It’s quite common that they lose friends in large numbers, finding themselves with a couple of die-hards that hung on if they are lucky. I really feel that so much needs to be talked about when it comes to grief. It’s such a taboo subject. Nobody likes to talk about it. It’s too sad. But it’s real. It happens and sadly in every marriage one partner is going to lose the other. People die and leave people behind. I don’t know why the whole thing is so uncomfortable and why relationships among the living have to be lost. He died. It sucks. Why can’t we be friends anymore?

The other common truth I see in other widow’s words, is that you never, ever, ever, ever get over it. Some widows are still exactly where I am, years and years in. Some women say it was 2-3 years of darkness, others remarry within months. But no matter how people choose to grieve, they never get over losing a life mate unexpectedly.  And the deeper the connection, the deeper the love, the greater the loss is felt.

It’s just interesting is all.

Lately, my grief hasn’t been so much over missing Michael himself although that’s constant. My pain has been more about me. My life. My future. My outlook. My state of being. My serious PTSD at watching my dad and my husband die within months of one another. Hospicing Michael really, really affected me in ways I’m still dealing with. The compound grief and loss and those affects on my body and my spirit. Of course it all goes back to being alone and how this wasn’t the plan, but it manifests itself in other ways. I don’t cry as often as I used to. It hits me more unexpectedly than it used to, though, and when the bouts of crying come, they come full force.

I worry a lot. Mostly about money but other things too. I’m not a fan of having no plan. And right now, I’m in limbo. I won’t let myself make any major life decisions for one year, thank goodness. My “life plan” has changed a hundred times since Michael died. I don’t know what my finances even look like, and I’m trying to find my groove and see if I can sustain the house with just my income. It’s not looking promising but I really need more time to see how things shake out. If not, I’ll look at selling. And that opens a whole new overwhelming set of decisions…where will I move? And HOW will I move? I love love love love this home. WE loved this home. It’s a deep connection. I have dog’s ashes planted with trees that Michael and I planted with our own hands. This is our home. I’m not ready to leave it and my connection to Michael through it. And that’s significant. I have moved every three years throughout my entire adult life until we bought this home. It’s finally where I planted roots. I thought we’d grow old in this house together.

I’ve never, ever been alone. And now I’m painfully alone. It’s a stark contrast to the past 50 years of being the youngest of 5 kids, then a young mother so I always had my children with me, a wife, a nana, and now this. Alone.

So to those who think it’s “time” I get past it and “move on”, I’m not angry at all that you think that. You’re ignorant and that’s not your fault. I want you to understand it isn’t so simple. It’s not only about missing him (although yes I miss him terribly). It’s about grieving the part of me that died with him, grieving the entire rest of my life that I thought was pretty set, it’s about the fear of the unknown that lies ahead, it’s about being faced with horrible decisions and horrible realities unexpectedly when you weren’t prepared in the slightest way, it’s about having nobody to bounce the day-to-day things off of, to help counter-balance my stuff.  It’s about having WAY too big of a life for one, and trying to acclimate to/ simplify that life while battling lots of physical pain. It’s about missing him, yeah. Big time. But it’s about so, so, so much more. And this shit takes time. I loved him deeply and wholly with every fiber of my being. It’s going to take me some time to unwind those fibers and find my life. I’m moving ahead and choosing to wake up each day. That’s a hell of an accomplishment. I’m staying fully engaged with and contributing to the rescue even though I’m not on social media. I’m trying my best to take care of myself. I’m trying my best to stay connected to someone. That someone varies but I’m staying connected to human beings.

I didn’t realize until late this evening that it’s been 4 months today. So much has happened in that 4 months. It feels like forever but at the same time, it feels like yesterday. I don’t want to make a habit of marking these anniversaries because that’s not who I am – but I noticed it so I needed to mention it.

Thanks for listening.

Peace,

~ Lisa

Help Wanted

This is nothing but a classified ad, and for that I’m sorry.

  1. I need an attorney to help me with taking legal action against a contractor. I plan to pay this attorney, so I’m not looking for handouts this time. Weird, huh? Ideally, the attorney would work on contingency, but I’m just making it clear that I am not expecting pro-bono work.  Who do you know? 
  2. King-sized bed must go pronto. It’s in the entryway of my house because I have no place to store it. Make me any reasonable offer and COME GET IT PLEASE!
    1. It’s a Simmons BeautyRest Recharge Hybrid. They don’t make it anymore (they do but they’ve changed the name I think) so it’s not easy to find a current price.
    2. It’s king, and comes with low-profile box springs that we paid extra for.
    3. Comes with a frame.
    4. It’s about 13-14 months old and has been in a plastic mattress protector since the day it arrived in our house. We paid over $3000 for it. It’s a NICE mattress, minimal wear.

These pics obviously aren’t the actual bed because as I mentioned, THAT is in my entryway….but this is what it is. Interested? Email me. Know a lawyer? Email me. lisabooth826@gmail.com. Thank you. ❤

Results – Confirmed

The hits just keep on coming. Results are in. I have an auto-immune disease.

My blood test that we were waiting for was a Vectra Test. It tests for stuff in the blood that indicates Rheumatoid arthritis. Here’s the score scale. Vectra score

And in typical Lisa over-achiever fashion, I scored SUPER high on the test nobody wants to score high on. My score? 86. 86 out of 100. EIGHTY -SIX. Because I don’t do anything half-assed. :/ That means the disease is severe right now. And drug therapy is beginning.

I’m on a few vitamins, had to get a pneumonia shot because my immunity is pretty low. I’m on steroids which further weakens my immune system. Also, I’m taking methotrexate. This is technically a chemo drug, but it’s used widely for RA. I take 6 pills all at once, once a week. I am taking the first dose tonight. I’ve been putting it off since yesterday. I’m afraid to take them, but down the hatch they shall go. It’s just really difficult psychologically to swallow pills that are essentially poison.

My limited physical abilities = limited projects at home. Were you at Michael’s Celebration of Life? If you were, you’ll recognize his memory tree. It was on display in the back of the room with the other mementos, and we had people write memories of Michael on cards and hang them on the tree. I’ve saved all of those memory cards as well. ❤ Anyway, I took it down to the shortest height, removed the stand, ran the plug through the water drain hole at the bottom, got some floral foam and some moss, stuck it all in a chipped pot that I got for almost nothing, and voila! I think it’s beautiful, and now it’s a permanent fixture in our (my) home.

Michael's tree

I’m JUST ABOUT ready to take photos of the house for all of you to see. There are still a few touches that need to be done before I am ready to reveal it in its entirety, but it’s coming together so nicely. I’ve made sure that there is a piece of Michael in every single room and space. I’ve only placed things out that I love or that serve a purpose. I’ve decluttered dramatically. Organized like crazy. Made it mine but still making sure you feel him everywhere. It’s a warm and comfortable place to be. The only thing that’s missing is him. ❤

I’m pretty messed up about everything right now. I have so much stress. I miss him. He’d make all of this feel surmountable.

Hey, who wants to see two fluffy dogs? I woke them up from napping to snap a pic. ❤

Fluffies

And now, I’m going to sign off and take all of these poisonous pills. Wish me luck. ❤

pills

Peace,

~ Lisa

 

Am I Getting on your Nerves? I Need Feedback

I don’t know if I’m writing too frequently? It seems to come in waves. Lately I’m just feeling like blogging a bit more but I don’t want to overdo it and lose your interest.

I don’t want my blog to always be depressing. I don’t want it to bring my readers down or darken your days. This is a tough scene and shit is getting more and more real every day over here. And I’m not sure how to share it with you without being a downer.

I don’t want to worry you or make you think I’m about to do something drastic. But I don’t know how to tell you what I feel without sounding dramatic and like I want it all to end, because I do want it all to end.

I want to write about positive things, (and I am still working on a post about the special people in my life), and I do try to share my small victories with all of you, but the reality is that there aren’t many happy moments or good things happening right now.

I am scared and stressed and facing some big decisions and I don’t know who to turn to to help me navigate them. But I don’t know how to write about it because really, only I can decide my life.

My blood results are back. I just got a notification and checked them on my portal, and the doctor’s notes attached. It is RA. If I’m reading the results correctly, it’s very severe/advanced RA, BUT…BUT I may not be reading the test correctly. I’ll call the rheumatologist’s office first thing tomorrow and get something scheduled to talk to him and learn more.

Meantime, I’m not making any decisions about my spine or surgery. I need to learn what i can about the RA and treatment first, and then I can decide which horrible condition needs to be prioritized. Good times.

I’m also sad today at learning of the passing of a GK adopter who meant a lot to me. He didn’t even adopt my foster dog, so I never knew him. He was just a special person who worked his way into my life. I never met him in person, but we became FB friends, and he was a wonderful supporter of the rescue. He and I shared a birthday and would chat back and forth from time to time and OMG did he LOVE his dog. He was just a genuinely nice guy and too young to die. RIP SS, you had an impact on my life and I’ve asked Michael to look out for you. He’s a good guy and he’ll show you around. ❤

So please readers, help me. How can I share my experience with all of you, how can I possibly hopefully help others who will walk in these steps someday, how can I let the blog do its job (which is to be my therapeutic tool) without driving others away? How can I be honest and be authentic without this becoming a depressing place to visit? What would make you want to share this blog for others to read? I’d love to see my readership grow. And I’d love for you to tell me what you think of the blog. I can’t promise I will change anything as this is what I need it to be, but I’d like to understand it from others’ perspectives.

Peace,

~ Lisa

 

Making Lemonade

Hi everyone ❤

Well, Thursday was bad. REAAAALLLLLLLLY bad. Just as I expected. I was fine until I got hungry. And then the dams broke and it was BAD.

I had offers and invites. It wasn’t that. It’s just that I KNEW it would hit. I didn’t know when. But I knew. I didn’t stress about it. I just went about my Thursday. I put on movie channels on purpose so I wouldn’t see anything unusual on TV. Politely declined the invitations and was really comfy in my house in my skin in my day. It was just Thursday. Nothing more. And that went really well for me until about 5pm. As I heated the oven to make an embarrassing dinner I won’t tell you about, it hit me. So many things that I still can’t even talk (or write) about them. So many things. So much pain washing over me. So much pain. I can’t even go there myself, much less explain it here. It is so much deeper than a holiday. That’s all I can say.

Today was alright. I felt a little hungover from the emotion of it all. My day started bright with a new bed delivery this morning. I decided last week to get a new bed. The ONLY reason I decided this, was that we had a king. And it is huge. We were both bed-hogs, and so are the three dogs who sleep in the bed (their choice where they sleep – one, Bella, chooses the floor). So, we always needed a king. But sometime last week, I climbed into bed and was really, really aware of how big it was. How empty. And I realized that I had this sad feeling every night as I go to bed. I had begun getting into bed on “his side” right away because I couldn’t stand getting in on mine, and looking over to see his empty side of the bed.

Do you see how every damn decision has so much emotion behind it? It’s exhausting.

Anyway, I decided to get a queen. That’s it. No deep meaning. But as long as I was getting a new bed, I was going to get the nicest bed I could afford. I decided that I was going to get the one that was my softness level that I wanted. I wanted cooling gel. I didn’t know I wanted to be able to push a button and sit up to watch tv or read, but when I saw that I wanted it too! And I decided to get exactly what I wanted.  So, I picked it out on Wednesday and it arrived first thing this morning! Tonight, I will be sleeping on MY brand new bed for the first time.  The new bed is dramatically smaller and our (my) bedroom feels dramatically bigger. I think once I rearrange things, I may even have room for a reading nook in the corner. Not sure, but I think so…

I didn’t choose to need a new bed. But as long as the universe chose it for me, I decided I deserved the bed I really wanted. I had lemons. I made lemonade.

But here’s the thing. I hate lemonade. It’s acidic, it’s sour. As an ulcer suffer, I know drinking it will cause me to suffer and screw up my insides. So I stay away from it. I trained myself to hate it.

So that’s my analogy of the day. Losing the love of my life is the lemons. This whole thing, every thing I’m doing – it’s all lemonade. I’m trying to add sweetener to it but blah. I’m trying to add things so it doesn’t hurt so much but meh. it still burns. It still isn’t what I want. What I want is my pre-lemon life. I want to take all these damn lemons and destroy them or tell whoever dumped them in my life to take them back, but they keep coming. And I don’t know what to do with them.

citrus citrus fruits close up delicious
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Oh, and if you’re in the Twin Cities area and you’re interested in a king bed (mattress, box springs, frame), let me know. I need to sell this one. It’s in amazing shape, it’s almost new. Let me know. I’ll make you a good deal.

I also have an announcement to make: After SIX torturous months, I can finally say the FLOORS are DONE. No, you aren’t imagining things. They’re DONE and they’re gorgeous. I’m ONLY showing you a small reveal, because there are LOTS of other neat things I’m doing this weekend and I’ll be posting a separate post about the latest colors of my insanity. So for now, Rosie is modeling a tiny square for you.

Rosie floors
Peek a boo! Floors!!!

The new flooring is so much thicker and quieter and it looks really rich (lemonade – see what I did there?). I’m in love with it. So, now that this is mostly behind me, I need an attorney. If you know an attorney (Twin Cities area) that can help me take some legal action against a contractor, please email me at lisabooth826@gmail.com.

Health: Ya know, it’s just meh. Today was a high pain day. I also have a lovely thing going on: burst blood vessels in my eye. Several of them. Same eye, multiple huge red explosions. So much fun. Not much has changed otherwise. Steroids and Lyrica are keeping the pain and inflammation manageable. I’d say at least a 50% reduction in those symptoms. I know they’re just covering it up and not treating anything, but I welcome the relief no matter how it comes.

Life: Trying very hard not to make any decisions. But finances and insurance demand some decisions. Scary stuff.

Emotional Health: It’s been determined by many non-experts 😉 and a couple of kinda experts that I am indeed having a nervous breakdown. It’s okay. I’m safe. I’m functioning. I’m loco but I’m here. I’m working really hard on paying attention to myself and my world. I’m giving myself, my heart, my head, and my soul time. I’m always working on finding that nice balance of letting myself just be, but making sure I stay responsible and keep the lights on. I think I achieve it for the most part. I can tell you, in spite of my circumstances my soul is at rest if that makes sense. It’s damaged beyond repair in my opinion, but my soul knows he is gone. My spirit, my senses, my brain, my heart, all aligned…all systems know he’s gone. The more I accept Michael’s death, the deeper the pain cuts. Everything about me is deeply wounded, and my physical shit on top of all that makes it really hard to be me right now. But I’m making sure I’m seeking medical help from the best doctors and specialists, and I’m treating my mental condition just like any other symptom or issue – and I’m giving it the attention it needs and also the space it needs. As confusing a time as this is, I know exactly where I’m at on the sanity scale. I’m a little off the scale altogether right now, but I’m being watched over by some very special people. Which leads me to…

My next post promises to be happy things. There ARE some nice stories in my life, and the next time I write, I’ll be sharing those with you.

Lemonade. ❤

Peace,

~Lisa

My mom

The other day, a blog reader asked me about my mom. It occurred to me, I’ve never mentioned her.

My mom passed away in 2002 or 2003, I can’t remember.

I had disowned her about a year or so prior to her death. She was an alcoholic of the particularly mean variety. I was the youngest, and the last child at home. She didn’t really begin drinking until that time, so my siblings weren’t exposed to the same drunk, angry mom that I was.  They got the phone version, but not the live, in-person version so much.

Looking back, my mom always had mental health issues. I think her sickness actually manifested itself in the form of having kids. Maybe she thought she could create her own little bubble, maybe she didn’t think about it at all. It’s just ironic; the person who shouldn’t have kids because of her mental illness, has a bucketload of them.

I am the youngest of 6; only 5 of whom grew up in the same household and I never knew #6. Of my 4 siblings, I keep in touch with one. The others have abandoned their children (literally; two of my sisters dropped their kids off with someone and never returned); been heavily involved in drugs or some other illegal activity, spent time in prison, etc.

My mom raised a happy bunch. :/

My dad married my mom when she had 5 kids. Before they made me, one of those kids went to live with bio dad. Then I was born.

My mom always hated me because she hated my father. She told me this many times. She told me she should have never had me, and honestly she was right. She wasn’t fit to raise any of us, but she did love the others. As my siblings got older, my mom began friendships with them. She wasn’t all bad. She just didn’t love me and she resented the shit out of me because she said I was exactly like my dad.

I always grew up a daddy’s girl. Not only was he kinder to me, but I enjoyed his company more. I was more interested in train stations and museums than I was in Avon or sewing or whatever she was into at the time. I always felt like I was with greatness when I was with my dad. Not in a superfan sort of way; I just remember being VERY young and being VERY aware that I should listen to this man because he had a lot to teach me.  It carried into my adulthood right up until the day he died. My dad was always my teacher, my trusted counselor, and my friend. And my mom just hated it so much.

Later in life, my parents split and my mom moved to Southern CA and then Mexico, which was where she was living when she died. My mom was the type of alcoholic that was equally abusive in person or on the phone. If you weren’t right there, she could call and tear you down in seconds. We had a very tumultuous relationship for many years into my adulthood, until I disowned her in 2000. I told her if she sobered up for one year, to call me. A little over a year later, she was gone. She died at the age of 62: Cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcoholism. If her will was any indication, she died very angry at me. That makes me sad for her.

I could honestly write an entire blog all about my mom. It’s not hard for me to talk about as much anymore because so much time has passed. I could tell you stories that you would think I was making up because my life with her was truly so unbelievable on so many levels.

I looked and looked for a photo of her to post, but she died before the digital age was a thing. I finally found an old one in one of my albums, so please forgive the quality. It’s a photo of a photo in an album. I would guess this was taken in the late 80’s.

Mom and dad
My mom and dad circa late 80’s? 

So there you have it, the story of my mom. 🙂

Peace,

~ Lisa