Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Friday, January 06, 2012

Let's see....

Becky left a comment that she's probably not alone in the questions she is asking.  So I thought I'd answer here.

I read your post and all I can think of is the word "relief". As a mother hen type, I am SO SO glad to know you are not going to be rushing back to work, and that you will now afford yourself the gift of time to heal and get better. 
Deciding this has been hard, which is why it helped a great deal that Dr. Brain told me while I was still in the hospital that she did not want me to return for at least 3-6 months but since she kept saying June at the earliest she meant 6 months.  She also talked to me then a bit about being off longer.  It seems everyone who treats me is in agreement here.  This was hard because my doctors took the suicidal stuff a lot more seriously than the hospital team.  The hospital people took it seriously and made sure I was very safe but when you are one of 6 or 8 suicidal people it's rather hard for them to be as surprised as the people who know me well and know that I have fought off what is called passive suicidal thinking (wishing you could just die) many times and more serious active thoughts several times and I have never had a plan or intent.  This happening I think shows nothing but how much worse things are right now.  What is hardest for me is accepting that a major change has happened.  Some of it physical as it is likely my brain chemistry has reached a new level of messed up.  It wasn't just accepting that I was not going back to work that I struggled with in the hospital, it was knowing that this is really happening.  There was so long I assumed I'd get better simply because I always have, even against the odds several times.  Knowing that it is  time to accept that this time things aren't going back to normal has been very strange.  I've tried to fight this so hard that nobody wanted to sit me down and say enough.  Apparently everyone treating me has thought this and it seems were a bit afraid of bringing it up.  If Dr. Mind was thinking this several months ago then it must have been pretty clear for a long time because I know that none of my doctors would think of or bring up this idea unless they were sure and he was asking Dr. Brain what she thought then.  And my acceptance of it all has a great deal to do with knowing that this is the long-term insurance that I need to be using if there is a question of my not being able to work as this insurance lets me keep my house, car, etc.

I know what a strong (HUGE) work ethic you have. I saw too how you always pushed through, and did a good job, no matter what was going on. I've also seen you so very stressed about their opinion of you, sick days, scheduling, and wondering if you had a job to come back to. Working 40-50-60 hour weeks is hard on anyone, let alone you who have gone through an INCREDIBLE year(+) of horrible. Is it not a bit of relief to not need to worry and stress about it now? Isn't it a relief to get yourself back on a decent sleep schedule without worrying about getting up for/being rested enoug for work? 
Yes it is a relief.  We'll see what Dr. Brain says tomorrow but as I said my impression from her is that she is in absolutely no hurry to send me back.  Everyone agrees completely that I cannot do the job I've had.  What they don't know is that the changes to Medicare mean doing that job was getting harder and would be extremely difficult even with the level of function I had in the spring.  And I'm tired of some of it.  I'm so tired of things like a patient complaining about me a year after whatever her complaint was occurred, making me unable to prove that I am pretty sure she had me mixed up with someone else because I don't remember anything about any issues with her visits and I only saw her maybe 4 times.  I truly believe she had me confused with someone else but I can't prove it.  I also am tired of constantly having to call doctors offices, of the enormous amount of documentation required to practice now, and these additional medicare required assessments that are essentially an eval.  Truthfully there just wasn't a point that I was getting enough rest after some point last spring.  Since those repeated full evaluations/justification of treatments started in April I think it's a pretty good sign that those were the last straw.

Today our city hit a record high of 50-some degrees so I took advantage of the weather and did some spray painting. While I was out on my deck spraying away, I thought so much about you. The thought that keeps sticking in my head is this NAMI(?) group you may join. You said you hesitated to go because you'll not learn anything new/you could teach it. Likely the reason it was suggested was for the interaction(?) ANYWAY - I was wondering if you are going to the group.

NAMI is the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.  It provides a lot of support and political advocacy for mentally adults and their families.  (I think there is actually support for parents of kids with mental illness as well).  I am taking the class.  It actually was Dr. Mind who told me I'll probably be bored and that I could teach it, but he still wants me to go.  So I will.  Interaction is the goal and once I've taken this class I can go to a smaller support group.

The 50 degree weather arrived here today.  Actually is was closer to 60 than 50.  I went for a walk.  Not as long as I'd have liked because I was up until 3 last night with a not quite full-blown panic attack.  But I did walk up a pretty big hill and then back down it.
And then, I wonder if you may consider this thought: if you go and happen to be very bored with it, think about how YOU would facilitate the class. What information would you share? How would you do it? So now I've switched from mother hen mode to teacher mode. But I can just see you doing something like this IN THE FUTURE (mother hen is back), not now! So, it's maybe something to put in the wayyyyy back of your mind. Maybe.
We'll see. My understanding from having had people talk to us about NAMI in the hospital leaves me unsure that it is going to mesh completely with some of my beliefs.  I think that they use a more generalized approach than I think works.  However right now I need support anywhere we can find it.
You see, I believe there is a silver lining for you. I believe that you have SO MUCH to offer. I believe that God is working His Plan for you. I believe in you.
Thank you.  I know this feels right and I never thought that would happen.  Which makes me feel more sure.

Relief. Time to heal - time that you've needed for over a year finally is here! It's such a relief to me. I hope it is for you too!

I will admit to wondering what would have happened if I'd just taken a few weeks off last winter or if I'd had my surgery sooner.  But those decisions are past and at this point I'm doing what I can do.   Relief is probably stronger than I have managed yet aside from feeling relieved that this horrible decision finally is made, assuming Dr. Brain agrees.  While there isn't a lot of doubt this is necessary it is still hard to decide.  It does help to know that while the doctors seem to agree that this is time they alway seem willing to support whatever I want.  It is good to have this choice.  I just wish I had known this would/could happen.  I thought after so many years that I was well aware of what my particular disease process was.  Being wrong about that is hard as I'd never considered this happening at this stage.

But it has and until I don't get so tired so easily I can't imagine considering anything else.  And if/when we know for sure than less stress is good for me it will be hard to know that.  But I'm willing to work on accepting that which is huge.

Now I just need to see what Dr. Brain says tomorrow.


Michal Ann said...

Sounds like you're worrying about Dr. Brain's opinion but rest easy. I'm confident that she's right on board with your best interests, if not a few steps ahead. I can't say enough about the blessing of your wonderful medical team. You're doing an incredible job of "turning the Titanic around." As B's beautiful letter affirmed, its clear that you are on the right path, carefully working through the changes and transitions on the journey. I admire you very much and have been astounded at how diligent you've been over the years, pushing yourself to work so hard at home and on the job. You're a formidable force; I'm a light weight in comparison! O.K., o.k., I won't make comparisons.

Many hugs coming your way. Enjoy kitties, yummy soup and many deep and cleansing breaths. Your glorious and radiant rainbow shift is well under way.

Anonymous said...

Gosh Jen, thank you for taking the time and energy to answer. I am happy to know although this change is difficult, that you do feel some sweet relief.

It makes perfect sense to me how "your team" would take you much more seriously than hospital staff. They know how hard you fight with everything you've got, plus some. So, for you to want to give up is indeed significant.

I am SO in agreement with Michal when she speaks of admiration for you, and what a formidable force you are. You have been inspirational to me in the positive ways you approach your life and your illness. I cannot believe your raw determination in dealing with all of the things (can I say horribleness?) that you have fought through for over a year. I have learned a great deal from both your highs and your lows. Thank you!

"Knowing that it is time to accept that this time things aren't going back to normal has been very strange." - and to that I say, maybe it is time to define a NEW (and better) normal!

God, and time is on your side. So am I. And, I wish I could do something more tangible for you than to type words on a computer. But I can pray, and that IS a tangible thing, right?

Again, thanks for blogging today. It was good to hear where you are at. I will be here to read more when you feel like writing more.

Blessings to you,


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Beautiful post - I am hoping you are healing up from whatever trauma this has put your body through in addition to everything else. Rest well!