Thursday, May 3, 2018

An Unexpected Gift

I went for a walk this morning. I reluctantly put the leash and harness on the dog and walked up the street. I have zero energy and did not expect to go much further but I let the dog lead the way. I have been living in my town for a little over ten years and still do not know all my neighbors. It's much different than the neighborhood of my youth. The houses are spread out here and community can be hard to come by.

We walked by a house and the tiniest tea cup dog came walking up his driveway. I stopped to look because I could not get over the size. It was so cute. And it wasn't like one of those little dogs that yips and has a Napoleon Complex. He came up, I was nervous he would run in the road so I waited until the owner came over. My dog and little tea cup pup sniffed and seemed to get along. At first the pup was shaking like it was battery operated. The dogs seemed to get along well.

The woman and I chatted about the dog and then we started talking about trips and long plane rides and diet restrictions.

I noticed her hair was bare in spots but did not say anything. She eventually offered her diagnosis of lung cancer that spread to the brain and a recent finding of a brain aneurism. She immediately told me she was in remission from the cancer, miraculously, and they are watching the aneurism and it is not getting any bigger. I looked at her in amazement. I was walking like a zombie and happened upon a woman I have lived around the corner from for over ten years and learned so much in a twenty minute time span. She was weak but she said she was grateful for the good days. She mentioned the incredible support she gets from her family. She spoke so highly of her very intuitive and supportive husband who always knows when she, Eleanor is having a bad day. He says "Let's go for a ride." and they get out and drive. She talked about her daughter who is a nurse and is such an amazing resource for her when she doesn't understand what the doctor is saying and visits regularly. Another child is local and another is in Australia with a new baby, that was the long trip she went on.

My heart filled with so much emotion. I felt love for Eleanor. I saw the beauty in Eleanor. The strength despite her tiny frame and slow gate. Her daughter pulled up as we were speaking and her face lit up. She immediately started walking toward her daughters car and we said our good byes. I told her it was a pleasure to meet her and I would be sending her positive vibes and I touched my chest. She picked up her little teacup and Ganesh and I started off for a long walk around the block.

Eleanor was my gift today. My mind is often occupied with so much regarding my own "issues" and "struggles."

Of course Eleanor reminded me of my Mother who battled cancer valiantly for eleven years, and my brother who succumbed to lung cancer the same year my Mom passed. I was a bit jealous. She is in remission from what killed my brother. I told Eleanor that it was so wonderful to see someone in remission from something that took my brother. That she is a survivor! Of course it made me sad but the take away is that she is my gift for today.

Eleanor the survivor.

I wanted to hug her but she was so anxious to see her daughter, and after not meeting for ten years to offer a hug I didn't know if that might be odd. The hug would have been for me I think. I wanted to feel the strength in her sunken chest. I wanted to feel her energy. Perhaps feel the hope and gratitude. Perhaps feel her strength. Although I could have also given her a feeling of empathy and love because that it what I was feeling so strongly.

I will see Eleanor again. I will offer a hug. I may come home and cry. But I will also see Eleanor for who she is, an amazing human being. Beautiful, strong and grateful for what she has, despite her illnesses. They do not define her, at least in my short encounter with her I did not feel like she was swimming in despair, but rather floating on top, and riding the wave.

Thank you Eleanor

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I love my dog. Who doesn't love their dog?

His name is Ganesh. We got him after a trying year. I named him Ganesh after the Hindu God Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles. I thought how fitting, he will be my best friend, love me unconditionally and remove my obstacles of feeling lonely through big losses. I put a lot of thought into this decision.

I do believe it was the right thing to do, to change his name from Byron to something more suitable to his personality. I had no idea how literally accurate this name would be, for my Ganesh has yes, removed loneliness many times and shown me numerous days of unconditional love, but the biggest obstacle that he removes on a daily, sometimes multiple times daily basis, is his own daily constitution.

I have gone through feelings of disgust and shame, then thoughts of "how efficient!" But honestly disgust has prevailed. He not only removes his own yard deposits, but those of other canine pals who place their offerings in his path.

I know I need to remedy this, and that probably means following him around like a helicopter Mom with a disposable poo bag wrapped around my hand and placed under his backside in hopes that it will succumb to what is the right thing to do. But honestly who has the damned time?

I know he is my responsibility and there is the possibility of my pal getting worms, or worse. I do take him for walks and when I do ,I always pick up what he leaves behind before he can snatch it up.

I love him. He is handsome and sweet and cuddly. He is not the smartest, but then again who said I was?

So this is my cross to bear. Do I get him a zap collar and go from wind to window and zap him before he digs in? Do I just allow him out when we can walk him, or so I accept him bath breath and all?

For health reasons I know I need to be proactive but boy I wish he just stuck to eating something a little less socially unacceptable.

So, perhaps one lesson is, be careful what you name your faithful companion. Another, know that a dog, while he loves you unconditionally, is still, in the end, just a dog, looking for a steamy pile of obstacles.

Your in sarcasm

Anonymous Mother of Ganesh

The Guilty Party eyeing his prize

Friday, March 20, 2015

My children are beautiful

They still ask me to cuddle. The four year old not so surprising at his age, but the 11 year old…. And it’s not always. If Daddy is home he will pick Daddy over me. And she sometimes is not in the mood like she used to be, as she was every night for the first ten years of her life.

Such different cuddles. 

He wants me to tickle his face and tickle is belly and tickle back until my hand cramps, with his eyes closed he whispers “keep tickling.” I trace his beautifully smooth skin. His silky forehead, tiny temple, the divots where his brilliantly blue eyes lay closed, his beyond perfect nose, those cheeks, round and plump and fresh like warm bread. Over and over again I trace his face thinking if my Mother-in-Law were here she would want to do that exact thing because he so resembles her boys. I feel their presence in that moment. I stare at him by the light from the hall and marvel in his perfectness. His ability to make me feel this deep.

He asks to tell secrets. “I love you” I say quietly, he says “I knew it!” “I love you” he says and I giggle like a school girl for effect. He mouths “kiss me!” and I giggle again and he laughs out loud at the power of his words. He tells me I am his beautiful flower after I tell him he makes me happy. He tells me I am awesome.

She, she wants to tell me about her big skiing accomplishment tonight, she finally tackled the last of the summit runs without a fall! She can ski them all now! I am so proud of you I tell her, and she smiles with confidence. She tells me that her Daddy said the A-word and the H-word. Asks me to tell her stories about her aunt who often has hilarious mishaps. She wants me to recall the cute video she showed me today and reminds me that she has early band practice. We give each other our nightly kiss: right side, left side, lips, eskimo kiss, lips. We tease and joke and say good night.   

I never want them to stop, but I know they will. I need to appreciate the moments now. I can’t always, but when I am able to, oh the bliss. The feeling of appreciation for these healthy, happy human beings that I brought into this world fully and completely present with my very own power. The love they are able to give. The love I am able to give. To be able to be open and feel well enough to receive this raw, genuine love of children to their Mother. The ability to bask in the beauty of them without judgement. Just being in the moment. A gift. A moment of true love. I am so grateful.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nothing is a guarantee, but you still have to try

"O Captain! My Captain!" (prescription medication being my adversarial captain)

Well, tomorrow I go back into the trenches. My second dose of the "mild stimulant."

I am dreading it.

I have hemmed and hawed over giving it another shot and still don't know if I want to take it. The doc said if it doesn't work tomorrow I will go on a regular dose rather than a slow release so it will come out of my system quicker and I can take it twice a day.

When I asked the doc if he thought this would be something that could get better his answer was "You're sensitive to these things. It could get worse, it could get better, it could stay the same..." Pretty much what I already knew from all the years of going through med trials, but asked for my husbands sake.

The major reason I am going to take tomorrows dose is for my husband. He saw a glimmer of the "old me" and it really gave him some hope that I could get better. It's saying something that the poor guy is actually expressing his opinion about me giving it another go. His take this time is more like "You have to be optimistic about this and give it a try." "Stay positive and keep trying." He is usually pretty comfortable with my decisions because he doesn't know this business. I think he is banking on this medicine's efficacy. I am afraid he will be greatly disappointed.

I am sick to my stomach thinking that in about eight hours I am going to take a pill that is going to wreak havoc on me for 48 hours. Eighteen milligrams of hell. But hey, who knows, it might not be as bad as the first dose. The amount of times I have heard this and gone through this is actually pathetic!

The first few hours of my first dose was almost ethereal.

I was chatty and upbeat, dare I say bubbly. There was a look in my husband's eyes that said "where the hell have you been these last five years? Welcome back and don't ever go away. And can I go out with the guys, and can you deal with all the shit you haven't been able to do because I really need a break and I am so happy you're back. I really, really missed you! And maybe later I can get lucky?" It was quite a look.

I actually had to mentally tamp myself down because I knew it was a medicinal effect and not an actual behavior. It was too fast and too good. I had the shakes and jitters. They were mild at first, like I had too much coffee, but then I got that tired feeling like when you've had two beers. Not enough to get you drunk, just enough to make you want to go to bed. But it was also a feeling of exhaustion on another level. A mental level. Like my brain and body were saying okay "that little shit of a pill you took earlier is acting like a fucking four year old in here and we want it out." The little bastard took it's sweet time leaving too!

Went home, took a bath, "relaxed" in bed, tossed and turned and obsessed and clenched jaw and clenched fists and clenched neck. I was even sucking on my checks like a baby rooting for her next feeding. When I closed my eyes I could see swirls of light and dark almost paisley patterns. It was AWFUL! Tried to wake my husband who was in corpse pose and snoring like a champ. I finally got up at 3 a.m. took a bath. Too hot, too cold, too hot. Got out took a Benadryl and did a crossword puzzle with the dog until I felt like I could lay down and actually sleep, or a least lay still. The next day I was anxious and emotional and really disappointed. For me, for my kids and more so for my poor husband.

We have been together over twelve years and for the first seven I was in an almost "remission" of sorts from the depression. I had my days but nothing like I was earlier in my life. And then I became pregnant with my son.

During my pregnancy it all came crumbling down.

I honestly thought I had kicked the depression, kicked the deep dark stuff. It came back like one of those Lord of the Rings Dark Riders. Faceless, looming, terrifying. It might leave for a bit but it would smell or feel me out and come back, just as scary and just as dark.

There have been hospitalizations and really, really terrible times. My family have seen me go from active to bedridden time and again.

So to say I want this med to work is the understatement of a lifetime! I want it to work for Z and T and S and me. I want to feel truly alive again. I want the multiple stimuli sensitivity to go away so I can be in the same room with them, TV on, kettle whistling and water running without feeling like I need to get out immediately or I will explode. I want to be able to "handle" things again. I don't want my husband to have to come looking for me, to find me cowered in a corner of our garage behind a motorcycle and some galvanized cans rocking back and forth because I am beyond calming down and afraid my children will see me in this state. I want better for them.

I will take this pill tomorrow, and if it doesn't work, which I really feel terrible saying, will most likely be the case, then I will call the doc on Thursday and get yet another script and take that and see how that goes. After that if it doesn't work my guess is he will have me take a break and see how things go. I know this routine like the back of my hand.

I want to live for my family, but more importantly I want to want to live for me. I am still here and much to my shock and awe still clawing at the mud as it crumbles down around me, as I slide and dig my feet into the side of the mountain. I am not sure if the slide will stop and I will be able to crawl to the top and see a panoramic view or if I will be stuck in that place, sliding ceased but hanging on for dear life, or if I will let go.

I fear each of those outcomes equally.

A bad trip...cure, or sure fire way to be institutionalized for good?

I do not think I am a good candidate for stimulants. Last night, three days after taking a half tab of a new med I was cramping from anxiety curled up in a ball on my yoga mat, that is a position right?

I know this med is supposed to give me energy but this is the wrong type of energy. This energy is in the pit of my stomach and makes my chest tight and my head spin, rather like the energy Linda Blare gave off in the Exorcist. I kinda think I will eventually projectile the green vomit. Hopefully it will be my anxiety coming out.

That's it, I need an exorcism! Screw this Pharma shit I need a Priest STAT!

The thought of having a priest come in an help me with my anxiety feels rather oxymornish due to my recovering catholic status. Could it be a reverend from the UU or maybe a buddhist monk? However I don't think they would get my anxiety to bubble up in the way I need it to.

Maybe I need a trip to Peru for a good Ayahuasca experience. I have friends that did it and they definitely purged!!!! My fear is that I would run in the jungle and end up a cannibal's kept wife. That doesn't sit well with my whole being a vegetarian thing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mild Stimulant or Major Agitator?

Captains Log 2

Day one 


So far...FOE!

Will try every other day per doc. I am really not looking forward to the next dose. :(

I hate this process. Can't even write.

More to follow...