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

Monday, September 29, 2014


I will start this by admitting that I am obsessing.  For most of the time I've been recovering I've known what day I was on.  In the last few weeks I lst track of the week.  I figured that out today and now it makes sense again that I thought I was walking at 4 months, not the 14 weeks I seem to have gotten my brain stuck on.  It actually IS 4 months. 

I am so afraid that he'll see something wrong.  I know in my mind that it is great but my perspective is weird when I look at it and the swelling that has built up in the last week or so makes it look really weird.  It's probably also weird because I don't have normal anatomy but I don't know that yet.  I am sore in a different place, a place with puffiness and it feels like something is rubbing on something else.  Realistically a tendon is rubbing on a bone anchor, which is going to resolve itself as the anchor is absorbed into the bone.  But it feels strange.  Not strange bad necessarily, just strange. 

I am so proud of my ROM and that I even have some strength in all planes.  Dorsiflexion I even have fairly reasonable strength, I think a 3/5, maybe 3+ if he was generous.  I have been stretching a lot on my wobble board (a circle that has a round base so that it tips in all directions.  At first I practiced control of movements with it, now I use it to stretch at home and we use weights on it at therapy.  I can move it more than I thought I would be able to by this point when I got the last cast off.  I even can alternate feet on the stairs if there is a rail and the steps are deep enough.  I won't be able to do that without the boot for some time but I can do it now.

I think I'm just conditioned to getting bad news about this ankle.  All the times I've heard that I need surgery, the injuries, the inability to treat my sprains because the damage was already done.  And now I have to learn to trust it.  That's not easy.  It's especially not easy when things are different.  

My foot is still returning to foot shape.  Scar tissue has altered it's shape quite a bit.  One of my exercises really pulls on that and I do the exercise many, many times per day to help with that.  Once before I was doing that and felt scar tissue tear and a nerve came loose from the scar tissue, causing some weird nerve sensations and burning for 5 minutes or so.  I think I am on the verge of having more tearing and probably more nerve release as I feel what I was feeling just before that happened.

I am scared of what he'll say about the popping on the inside (all surgery was in the joint or outsde).  I know that in reality he'll probably say that I still had a lot of swelling in the joint on that side when I was last x-rayed and that it is irritating a tendon or ligament. 

It's all stuff I can answer myself but it's hard to not worry.  After 4 months you want to hear that things are perfect in the healing process.  Honestly they probably are although I may have more irritation on the outside of the ankle than normal; that has just flared up the last few days. 

Whatever.  It is still several days away.  It's a combination of excitement and terror that are hard to explain but which make it hard to wait and hard to not worry.

Maybe I should sleep some......another busy week is about to start.

Oh mother

Today we were watching my nieces play.  Anne tends to get a little rough with Geraldine and gets right up in her face.  Geraldine usually goes along but gets tired of it eventually and moves away.

Anne has certain behaviors and characteristics that are very reminiscent of a little me.  Nobody is about to diagnose bipolar anytime for a many years but I think that at some point it will at least be considered.  Right now she has sensory issues and I think my sister is going to start working on getting her some treatment for that.  She is an extreme sensory seeker, which is partly how she winds up getting to be too much for her sister.

When we were watching them today I commented on the sensory thing and my mom asked if I thought that this could be what messed up my relationship with my sister.  Apparently I was just like Anne and eventually my sister started not wanting to play near me much because I was too much for her.

I didn't know this.  It hurt me so much.  I do not think that it is the biggest problem my sister and I have.  The biggest problem we have is the dynamics of several abusive relationships that put enormous pressure on us and we coped differently.  But my mother now has made me feel like this is my own fault.  I know it isn't.  But that hurt.

I also think that mostly what happens there is normal.  Maybe it's a little excessive but a 4 year old and a 1 year old play very differently.  And they are siblings and they are competing for attention when they are with grandma and Aunt Jen.

Just more confusion.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I think

OK everyone, I'm going to lay this out on the line.  Several hard things are pending in my life as you know if you've been reading.  Thankfully Dr. Mind is not leaving at this time so one of the worst is gone.  But oddly the others are so huge that I haven't felt the relief I thought I would.

I am very concerned that the time I have with my Anna cat is drawing to an end.  Monday night she was horribly, terribly, painfully ill, vomiting a huge amount of food (I messed up and gave her something with grain in it that I thought was grain-free; her body can't handle grain anymore) and then she had intestinal cramps so severely that I could SEE them.  I was up most of the night with her and knew that it was likely that we would make that awful last visit to the vet on Tuesday.  But around 5 AM she settled into bed and woke up without cramps or vomiting.  Time beaten that day.

But since then she hasn't eaten much at all.  Today is the first day I've seen her eat much and that much is relative; she's had maybe 2 tablespoons of food at best.  She isn't even asking for food very often, in contrast to asking for food 17 times a day before.  She is drinking a lot and still urinating normally.  She has confused periods that are worse than ever before.  And I believe her body is retaining fluids although that is hard to determine. 

All I can do is keep offering a lot of different foods and water.  I may take her to the vet to be tested for a UTI but there aren't many symptoms of that so I'm not sure.  It's hard because I'm afraid the trip would make her feel bad and a bladder tap is definitely not painless (although apparently it's not so bad they tell me) but I don't want to have this happen over something treatable.  So probably we'll go in unless she is all better tomorrow.  Which she has done before.

But realistically I think my time with her is just drawing to a close.  The confusion being this bad is not good (earlier I found her lost in the basement) and she is having trouble doing things that haven't been problematic before now (I have an old entertainment center by my bed that she uses to get up and down; today managing that was hard).  She will cuddle and purr if I pick her up but it seems to be uncomfortable to be lifted up. 

I've known for a long time that I wouldn't have her forever.  She is 19 after all.  So for years I've known she was very old.  And she's had renal failure longer than she should possibly have survived.  There have been other times that the end seemed near and then it wasn't.  So hopefully that is true again.  But it would not be smart to assume that was true. 

I think that I am going to be facing on of the hardest losses of my life soon.  And I have no idea how I will survive.  I know that some of you are thinking "it's just a cat".  And I know she is a cat.  She also has been with me longer than every person in my life who is not related to me except for one.  Well, 2 if you count a facebook friend. She is intricately woven into my bipolar disorder; when I cry she comes and I cry onto her soft fur.  When I need to just scream she waits me out and then comforts me.  When I have panic attacks she is always immediately there and soothing.  Even these days when I hold her and talk to her about telling me when it is time to say good-bye and make a point of telling her every day, often a few times in the day, how much I love her and will miss her, when I get teary she snuggles in and purrs, as if she is comforting me when it is her who is sick.

She doesn't do many of the things she once did.  It used to be that she helped me wake up from the grogginess of the meds.  When the alarm went off she would cuddle up close to my face and keep me awake until it was time to really get up.  She was trained early on (on purpose) to meet me when I walk in the door and she doesn't do that now.  Mostly she is too soundly asleep to notice what I do.  She always fought medication but now she just gives me a dirty look when I dab her ear with the transdermal med that keeps her from vomiting day in and day out (that's not working as well lately either).  She is slipping away and all I can do is watch.

There is a very weird part of the grieving that is for the loss of expectations.  I had decided long ago that when she was gone and I was ready I would get a kitten.  But now I will be taking my brother's cats so I won't even have the comfort of a little fluff ball reminding me of Anna's kittenhood.

It's just so sad.

So be ready.  One day, I have a bad feeling soon, there is going to be a very painful post here. 


My boot will begin to come off Wednesday.  I think I've been pretty patient for the last 14 weeks but I am really fighting to stay patient for this next few days.  I'm moving around so well and having so little pain as long as I do my exercises (I do them a LOT and get really stretched out every day) and I am just ready for the next part of the process.  I think the thing is weaned off gradually and I'll probably wear a light brace for a while (I plan to pack several braces so that if I have one that is acceptable I don't have to buy another orthotic device; I've bought at least 3 or 4 this year not to mention all the casts).  Even my PTs are feeling like we're in a holding pattern and ready for the exciting part to begin.

I don't know why waiting another 5 days is so hard but I think I've just reached the end of my patience with having to plan every movement.  Last night I stepped on something and cut my foot.  I thought I had stopped the bleeding but when I got off the toilet I discovered it had actually bled quite a bit on the floor.  So I cleaned it up and then had to be extremely careful to not put my crutches down near the wet spot. Tonight I was watching a movie and hit eject accidentally on the remote when I leaned over to do an exercise.  I had no crutches and putting my boot on and off in 2 minutes is a huge ordeal.  So I was going to finish exercises without distraction but somehow found a way to trick the tv into restarting the DVD eventually.  But it was so frustrating; the tv is like 5 steps away and I can't do that.  And it has been 14 weeks.  Nearly 4 months.  Somehow that seems like forever right now.

I'm emotional anyway.  My cat isn't doing well.  She was extremely sick a few nights ago and I was  up all night and prepared to say good-bye that morning but she rallied.  Since then she's really not eating much.  Even things she usually likes she is mostly ignoring.  So I am worried.  The worst thing the vet could have done was what she did back in June--she was trying to be honest that Anna wasn't going to live for a very long time but she made it sound more dire than it has been. But because of what she said every time Anna isn't feeling good I am afraid.  I know perfectly well she won't be here forever and I knew that before the vet.  She is 19.  Cats don't often live that long.  All time now is bonus time.  But what I didn't need was the list of things that could happen any time she was unwell.  We've done this before and chances are good she'll eat in a day or two.  It may be that I need to try another food option and that the one that was her choice for the last months isn't now.  Or she needs tuna.  I went for chicken instead and she isn't thrilled with it although she drinks the juice.  Time will tell.  She seems to be feeling ok, just not eating much.  It's hard.

My emotions are out of control.  I can't begin to tell you the things I've cried over in the last few days.  It's probably SAD in part but I'm too agitated to start using my light.  This happens nearly every year. 

I'm also anxious about the ankle.  Can I really walk in a shoe?  It is so much better but it still is not close to 100%.  I'm afraid of hurting it again.  Perfectly reasonable but still hard to cope with.  It also feels very different because it is reconstructed and not like an anatomically normal ankle and so I have to get used to the feeling.  Thus far what I've experienced of that is weird.  It's still swelling in one area and I have some places with decreased sensation.  Normal but weird.  I also have a loud popping on the inside of the ankle that concerns me.  I think I know what it is but not why it is there.  Everything was done in the joint or on the outside.  And this popping is really loud.  It's probably fine but I have 5 years of training in "the ankle is bad".

Tomorrow is time with my sister and nieces.  So excited for that.  I love those little girls so much.  I can't imagine life without them.

And on a happy note we'll stop.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Brain on bipolar

I've been pretty stable for quite a few months, actually an extemely long time for me.  Vicodin is stabilizing for me so taking it quite a bit for the early part of the summer was probably good. Sleep has sucked but I can't use my weighted blanket because it is too heavy and I could hurt myself kicking it and I'm not willing to take anything more sedating for fear of falling so that is really on me.  There are solutions and I am too afraid to try them.  Perhaps when I get a brace next week I can manage to sleep in it and a slipper of some kind and get up and walk as needed, once I reach that point.  But for now it's out of the question.

My mood has been drifting.  It's probably partly SAD but as often happens with SAD for me the depression triggers everything else and so I am mixed which means it's not a good time to start using my light.  Increasing the activation is not good.  Usually I don't get the light going until about November because of exactly this situation.

I'm really struggling with things.  I thought yesterday was going to be the day I euthanized my cat.  I was pretty sure for a number of hours during the night because she was suffering.  But then she turned it around, again.  How many times she'll do that is unknown; at 19 she is living on borrowed time no matter what. But losing her is going to hurt so much.  She's been my best friend for half my life.  Nobody else has let me cry on them hundreds of times, ignored me when I was sceaming or sat on my lap and purred through the entire writing and revision of a thesis.  Nobody else has moved to Michigan and back to Ohio and then several times around Ohio with me.  Nobody else has the ability to sense when I am losing it and no matter how old and sick they are come to comfort me.  Her loss will be huge.

My brother's situation is getting to me.  I am so angry at him and yet anger at him is pointless.  Because of his Asperger's he simply doesn't get it.  I did not know this until this week but I don't think I have ever once just had a real fight with him because it is pointless.  He doesn't see other sides to any situation.  Never has, never will.  We all adapted to that.  It's like my mom and I were talking about today, he is so hyperfocused on things that don't matter that I timed him at 7 minutes talking about something that was so egotistical that it was only funny because it was so pointless and another probably 5 on something involving the word "grammarian".  He has this egotistical laugh when he gets going with this stuff. He gets so focused on one thing that he doesn't change what he is doing.  For example instead of filling out food stamps application yesterday he spent an entire day crushing cans.  Most people would intermittently do that while doing other things.  He crushed something like 15 bags of them in a day.  His hyperfocus led to so much of this.  He has ALWAYS had a "thing"-dinosaurs, comic books, Mash, rocks (I swear this is true: he has boxes of rocks from all over the country.  They are just rocks, not anything special.  He can pick up a piece of sandstone and tell you where it came from---state, location, which trip he was on and what campground they stayed at.  And those rocks have been moved with him since he collected them from age maybe 8 on.  He's almost 50.)  So his hyperfocus just changed to things that were criminal and also to alcoholism.  It's like his motto is "do everything to extremes".  In 2011 on vacation I noticed how much he was drinking and talked to my mom about it.  She thought I was miscalculating but by the end of the trip it was hard to deny how much beer had been consumed and how much of it was the cheap stuff he brought in a huge box and then re-stocked.  In 2012 I went outside at night for a minute and on the way out found him in the basement den on his phone with 7 bottles of beer in front of him.  My room was above the trash cans and later that night I heard him take them out.  I mentioned this to my mom who said no way, she'd cleaned up 7 bottles in that room in the morning.  He had just handily covered up the fact he'd had 14 bottles of beer after everyone went to bed about 9 or 10 and he'd had one in hand all day.  Now it's easy to see.  Then it was easy to make excuses.  But the truth is confronting him about it wouldn't have worked.  Nothing like that ever has with him.

I get that this is out of his control (the Asperger's).  But I also believe that you work with what you have and that you are responsible for yourself. At some point you have to look at your life and see that what others are saying has value.  My mom is having to treat him like a small child. 

I don't know what else to say.  I just feel like there is so much I need to feel and think and say and I can't say it to the person who should hear it.  I'm scared of how this will go.  I made it through the beginning of this part of my life mainly because of shock.  But this time there won't be shock and I'm scared that it will be like the last time things happened in my life that I didn't know how to handle and I'll wind up in the hospital. 

I just want to know how to feel and act.  And nobody writes guidebooks for this.  And if they do I don't want to read it because I don't want to read someone telling me how to feel when I don't really know myself.

I hate this.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

want to know a secret?

I am less than a week away from starting to walk with a shoe on my post-operative foot.  I am walking all over with the boot now without problems, even alternating feet on the stairs sometimes and handling our uneven, gravel driveway easily enough.

I bought a lot of shoes.  Different sizes, different styles to make sure that I had shoes that were right to re-learn walking in.  I have been wearing extremely supportive shoes for years and those didn't seem like the right idea because I think I need to be able to feel the surface I'm walking on more than I can in those shoes.  So I got a variety of flexibility in the soles.

Tonight I tried on a pair and just messing around in sitting could tell this was the pair that I will want.  I stood up in them with some weight on my foot and it still felt good.  So using my crutches for most of my weight I took 3 steps with the shoes on.  It wasn't allowed but I'm so close and was so careful to keep the weight very limited that I wasn't concerned.  It feels incredibly strange to do that after nearly 14 weeks.  But it didn't hurt and the shoe definitely lets me have feedback that I'm going to want.  They are also very well-padded which is important with an incision that gets sore when it swells which still happen sometimes and probably will for another 6-8 months. 

So we're not admitting this to anyone but I have taken my first baby steps.  Sort of.  Not really since there was so little weight involved.  But kind of.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I really crashed my mood tonight.  I watched "Awakenings" which I had seen 20 years ago and remembered as a happy movie.  It turns out that it has a sad ending where the people who were helped with L-Dopa to come out of a near catatonic state after suffering from encephalopathy for 25 years did not stay out of that state.  And I cried.  A lot.

I wish I'd remembered how that ended.  Because it was way too close to home.  Just over 5 years ago I started Emsam.  And after that I had a long period of  psychological improvement.  It was not like I was all better but for a couple years my meds were pretty stable and worked pretty well.  I actually had a routine to my days that included a time I always went to bed and a time I always woke up.  I've never had that before or since.  I had those last few years I could work and except for 9 stressful nursing home months work was good those months, and some of the nursing home months were good too.   I had lost weight and kept it off/lost more because I wasn't on so much Seroquel or other weight gain drug.

And then it all turned around.  The wrong way.  Dr. Mind told me not long ago that he knew for almost a year that I was going to have to stop working soon and that he was dreading having to tell me that I needed to look at whether I could really keep doing that.  He was very open that he is extremely thankful that news did not come from him.  I don't blame him; that would be about the only thing that I can think of that would make me walk out on him.

But the truth is that back then I said so many times that I had gotten my miracle with Emsam and a higher dose of Seroquel XR.  And I did and I am so thankful for that time.  It's just that I'm very sad that it didn't last and that now I am on more Seroquel than I would have been allowed to consider back then (the limits start to blur when there isn't anything else to take but drugs that have much more nasty side effects and you are at elevated risk for those side effects) along with several other mood stabilizers and while I am truly doing well right now "well" is defined so differently than it once was.  Now well means that I'm not cycling but I also don't do almost anything stressful.  It used to be that I was handling a relatively normal life without great strain.  Now relatively normal life is not even close to the goal.

I don't know.  It's been a rough 24 hours.  Old cat got really, really sick last night and I was up all night with her.  I thought it was the end.  She had stomach cramps so badly that I could see them and she not only threw up she had diarrhea everywhere.  I am in the process of steam cleaning all the floors while disinfecting several blankets and her bedding.  She seems to feel better now but it was really bad.  That was after Dr. Mind got very sick during our session and tried to continue treating with his hands covering his face because he was so dizzy and nauseous.  Needless to say I decided quickly that we were done.  So I am worried for him as well.  Then I talked to my mom about how I am feeling about my brother.  It only kind of helped; I later discovered I am feeling a lot more than I thought when she brought over some cookies because she made them to take to him tomorrow.  And I am so annoyed because every week she does that, tries to make his life happier and  he does not deserve it.

I have a lot of bad feelings to work through.

And I should check the dryer to see how my comforter is doing.

Monday, September 22, 2014


I saw my brother yesterday and realized that my emotions have taken another crazy spin.  This time it has gone to very angry.  I don't think I'm as angry about what he did (although there is that, I just think mostly I have dealt with that) but it is that he isn't acting like an adult now.  Instead of saying "I created a really crappy situation but I will take every step I can to get out of that situation" he seems to insisting on doing things in a way that is honestly taking advantage of our mother, along with adding a great deal of guilt to what she is already dealing with, and ultimately he's going to leave a lot of crap for others to clean up.

He is nearly out of money.  At my mother's request I sent him information on getting food stamps.  Using the estimator program I found that he would get quite a bit, enough to comfortably eat without spending anything on food.  He hasn't bothered to fill out the online application.  He also hasn't taken any steps to getting a job.  And he could get one.  He hasn't been convicted of anything and while his mug shot was on the news and can be found if his name is searched his name is common and if he simply changed his haircut a little nobody would recognize him from that picture.  He could have been bringing in a steady income for months and has chosen to try to run his own little business which has not provided even close to enough money.

I know taking those steps are hard.  I know he lives in fear of being recognized, even though it is completely illogical this many months after he was in the news for a day or day and a half.  But I also know that you do what you have to do.

When I suddenly lost disability from work and had no income at all I immediately got food stamps and worked out financial arrangements with my mom.  I immediately cut all costs that could possibly be cut.  I gave up everything I could and I have kept those things gone.  That included my house, as much as I hated that. I know that I don't have enough income to afford things I need so I do Swagbucks.  And while I am thrilled to have that as an option and I have earned well of a thousand dollars in 2.5 years I earn things by pennies at time and I spend several hours per day every day working on it. So yes, I have a way to buy Christmas presents and that is wonderful but I work incredibly hard for that extra money.  And if I didn't do Swagbucks I would have no money ever to buy gifts, music or books or any number of things that are "wants" and not "desperately needed".  Right now because my cat is so sick she goes through a horrifying amount of food plus $35 of medication per month.  I was really upset about not adhering to my budget until I realized that I've added medical bills and tripled or more my cat food costs.  And that means that when the bras I bought a few months ago were faulty and I had to replace them with a different kind Swagbucks and cashing in the pocket change I dutifully save is how I can afford them.  It's how I'll pay for the new sneakers I need when I start walking next week(!!!!). And it's how I'll pay my savings back eventually for the iphone 4 I bought from my brother-in-law this weekend.  It won't last forever but my other phone was dying and this gives me the benefit of not needing to buy a new ipod as my ipod is full; now I can put new stuff on the phone.  I am PROUD that I force myself to earn that money, every single day. 

 I accepted help but I built on what the help gave me (and I paid back every penny I borrowed).  Yes, my mom provides a home for me and hasn't charged me for this first year and the cost will be tiny after this year but I have been responsible and the reason she didn't charge me this year was so I could pay off credit cards and I have worked very hard at that and am almost done.   I also help her out for no fee as often as she needs it.  I have not dug a deeper money hole with this money/time to pay it back; I do have medical bills for a year or so but that was unavoidable and isn't THAT much.

And if I could do more I would.  If for some reason cutting the long hair that I love meant I could get a job that hair would be gone. I do not understand not doing everything in your power to take care of things yourself and to capitalize on assistance instead of just taking advantage and going back to the same way of doing things.

I am furious about this.  I'm sure that I'm not really furious about this specifically and that it is also about the entire situation but it just is the last straw as far as my patience goes.  Being angry about the entire situation just seems like a given.  I'd be worried if I weren't angry about it.

I'm also angry because I feel like God is asking so much of me with this.  I don't want to deal with my brother and God made it very clear that I am supposed to.  So I try and being nice to him when I want to scream at him is hard.  And there isn't much point to telling him what I feel because he doesn't get it.  Or he gets part of it but thinks that he has accepted enough responsibility for his actions that he is free of the rest.  Or something.  I don't understand his logic and I never will.  If I did I would understand how he did what he did and that's so far beyond me that I can't even try.

Also, I am cold.  I left a window cracked open today and it got cooler inside than I thought it would.  Autumn came exactly on time today.

And I need to earn more Swagbucks before I get sleepy.  If I don't do them before I'm tired my mind won't stop until I've earned them all and I don't need to not sleep.

Dr Mind said I should write about this.  Then he got really, really sick before the session was over and so we ended without saying much more than that.  So I'm worried about him as well.  I'm feeling pretty emotional overall with both things.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Messed up

My sleep hasn't been good for months.  I can't use my weighted blanket until my ankle is much, much stronger which is bad and I am too afraid to use the valium that does help me sleep unless I reach absolute desperation.  Messing up my meds was kind of the final straw; I'm just not getting relaxed at night.  Dr. Brain wanted me to give it one more night (tonight) and then she'll make suggestions but I'm so afraid of being medicated and falling on my crutches that I don't know if I'll do anything suggested.  So I'm tired.  And tomorrow is a huge day.  I have Dr. Mind, some errands to kill time and PT in the early evening.  I tried to schedule so that I could see my nieces Friday, completely forgetting that I can't handle them alone yet, my mom can't go on Friday and we're going on Saturday for Anne's dance performance anyway.  PT wears me out.  It's funny, it's not physically hard but it is socially a lot and it is a big room with a LOT of stimulation.  So I generally fall asleep after PT which I'll have to avoid tomorrow or I'll never sleep at night. 

It's been a weird few days.  Not only the med error which has left me emotional and just feeling weird, but everything.  I have been trying to knit my mom a hat for football games for her birthday.  This should be easy, I've only knitted thousands of hats but I've had so much trouble.  I finished one today that actually did get finished without falling apart but I don't think it is going to fit.  It's also going to be hot.  So I have a few more days to try one more time.  My hands are sore because I made this one too thick (my yarn was too chunky) and I'm so tired of trying to get this to work that I don't want to try one last time.  But I will.

Today we took the puppy to the dog park like almost every day.  There was a puppy there and instead of going to play with it like he always does he got kind of aggressive with it.  I was closest so I had to jump as fast as I could (not fast) over and pull him off.  I felt so bad for the other family. And really upset about our dog.  And also really afraid of dog fights.  When I was a kid I got in the middle somehow of a dog fight between 2 big dogs (one was a St. Bernard).  I was knocked down and the other kids present divided between trying to help and getting an adult (I was the oldest and I think I was 9) but I wound up with a black eye and scratched up face and body.  I was SO fortunate to have not been mauled or had worse facial injuries but it was traumatic.  Between that and being chased by a German shepherd (?) when I was 6 and walking to my grandparents' house after school I get nervous around large dogs I don't know.  I also was bit by a large dog that had gotten loose at a home health patient's home in 2010.  That time I was lucky because the dog bit into a strip of leather on my sneaker that protected my skin.

Otherwise, I am hoping to be back to where I was when I fell in therapy.  I am walking better than I was then with my boot on and even walked up and down the driveway today which is .25 mile.  I discovered yesterday that my arch is pretty much gone on the post-op foot and that foot is 3/4" longer than my other foot now.  Hopefully that will improve as scar tissue releases.  I think that happened the other night.  I was doing a newer exercise that is to help stretch the tightest band of scarring and suddenly had burning nerve pain and the skin turned red.  I couldn't get ice without putting on and taking off the boot so I rubbed it which felt good and everything stopped within a minute but it was a really weird feeling.  I know sometimes nerves get trapped in scar tissue while healing from this and I think that's what happened and I think the nerve is free again.  Extremely odd sensation though.

The med error has increased my anxiety.  I thought I was going to know about Dr. Mind's plans last week but he didn't say anything.  So I'm worried about that.  And we decided last week that I will not know a great deal about my brother's charges, what happens in court, etc.  I agree that this is better for me but I have questions and concerns to go over.  And the not knowing thing makes me so concerned I could find out accidentally.  Once you know you can't unknow.  It's hard.

And that's about it.  Still working on getting sleepy.  Sigh.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

One year/3 months

Today is 3 months from my ankle surgery.  I am now walking fairly confidently with my boot on.  Today I walked to my mom's with my backpack on with my computer in it and even that didn't throw me off too much.  Today is my first day wearing jeans with it and I have to say that it is a lot more comfortable that way.  It's a really big boot that goes clear into the bend of my knee and this helps it not feel like my knee is "stuffed".  I have a long, long way to go and a lot of exhaustion to overcome from yesterday's drug mess but it's certainly better than 3 months ago--or even 4 months ago.  It's amazing that I've been really restricted by this leg for 6 whole months now but I have. Only 3 or so to go, I hope.

Today is also one year from Geraldine's surgery.  You would never guess anything was ever wrong with her, much less that she had a large tumor taking up a good bit of her abdomen.  She certainly isn't the sick little girl that she was a year ago.  She is no longer pale and she has more than enough energy instead of being much more sleepy than most newborns.  She's quite possibly the happiest child I've ever known. 

It's weird but I honestly don't remember the day of her surgery.  We were so busy trying to keep Anne distracted and unaware of the stress and while I remember text messages that the surgery was delayed and how well Geraldine did even though she had to be starving and then I remember that the procedure was faster than anticipated that's all I remember.  I remember talking to my sister that night as her heart was breaking because she wasn't allowed to feed the baby and that is just what mommy's do. 

But 3 days later Geraldine was better than she had ever been in her little life and she went home the first day it was possible and never looked back.  She hates her follow-up visits with a passion but we all hate that she has to endure them.  Now that it has been a year they may begin to space out a little.  I don't know when that happens.

I am just so grateful for all the things that went right that day and in the days leading up to surgery.

Words are insufficient.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Stupid, huge mistake

I had my pillboxes together for some reason this morning and took the PM meds in the morning.Since Seroqul is delayed release I've had 2800 mg in working its way out of my system (800 is the usual top daily dose; I take 1400 usually).  I called the clinic and after swearing that this wasn't the most pathetic suicide attempt ever I was told to sleep it ff.  I have been up a couple hours now but am still really groggy.  The last time I made a similar mistake I was groggy for several days.  Hopefully that isn't the case again but at least it is the weekend so I'm only missing one PT session and one day of home exercises.

So, so stupid and exactly what the morning box is totally different than the PM box and in 2 different places.

Oh and I can't take meds tonight except my PRN klonopin (and I suppose I can take some valium if I have to) so I have to hope this lasts until tomorrow r I will be up all night.  I'm going to have to sleep in my boot instead of the splint just in case I get up when all these meds are tsill wrking their way out of my body.  So much fun.

Sorry for erros.   Tried to correct but too groggy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Mixed feelings

My thoughts about what is going on with my brother are so confused.  Lately I have spent most of every Dr. Mind session crying about this.  I am finding it so hard to know that there is going to be a day that I have to pretty much say good-bye because it will be the last time I see him free for a long time and I still don't know if I will be able to handle visiting in jail.  (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, well, that's awkward because I'm not going to tell you.  I also removed all mention of specifics from the archives.  But pretty much my brother is awaiting grand jury indictment for a pretty ugly thing (he didn't kill anyone which is good) and is likely to be going to prison for a number of years.  He was arrested in April and then the charges were dropped to be filed in a different level of court, which is confusing and seemingly very inefficient but the system apparently works that way.  It has been an extremely painful experience that has ripped huge holes in my already divided family and has been a very difficult process for me as I really didn't want to ever have anything to do with him again and God wouldn't let me rest with that so we do have contact and it is very hard every time but it is the right thing to do. 

At the beginning there was shock and anger and hurt and those things got me through the first 6 weeks.  Well, those and valium.  But now those things are gone and the next part is just going to be deeply sad unless it goes to trial (the hope is a plea bargain) which would be devastating in all kinds of new ways.  So I'm trying to learn to be prepared and to have a realistic picture of this; with time it has become easy to make it less than it really was because it is easier to handle that way.

But now there is a new twist.  For whatever reason, probably prison over-crowding, apparently lately people charged with the same crime my brother will be charged with have been getting probation.  And while I do not want him to go to prison I am very confused about this because the rational part of me knows that if this weren't my brother I would want him to go to prison for a substantial time period.  I do not think he should get off easy.  It kills me to say that because on many levels I want to pretend this never happened, but the reality is that it did and it happened to be something that I have extremely strong feelings about because of my own life.  When he was first arrested and family members were being told the typical reaction was that people were worried about me because everyone who knows my past knew how close to home this hit.  That's how difficult it has been because I am so divided in my thoughts.

In the last week I have realized that I am both absolutely terrified of my own reaction to this when it happens.  I don't know that I can be strong enough.  I know that I have people ready to support me through it but it kind of is a lonely journey I will have to go on.  So talking to Drs. Mind and Brain about that fear is high on my priorities.  But I also will have a strong reaction if he did what he is accused of doing and gets off without real punishment.  I feel pulled in 2 directions by this and it is really hard for me to handle.

I also keep being confused by wishing it were just over and wishing that this limbo period just could continue and I'd never have to face what is coming.  I already have learned more about it than I ever wanted to know as I try to understand.  It's just too huge.

And did I mention that this is likely to come up in the holiday season?  Yippee......