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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Maybe a little angry

There is some stuff going on outside my own life (but potentially deeply affecting me) that has added to the stress I already am feeling about my brother and moving and my surgery in 6 weeks (and vacation in just a few weeks; it is going to be kind of difficult without my brother).  Yesterday I snapped just a bit.....

I had gone to Kohl's to return some things and pick up replacements in colors/sizes that made sense and had a very bad time finding anything that I wanted.  I just wanted plain t-shirts but they had only 2 colors in my size, one of which was white (I'm too clumsy) and one of which I already owned but bought anyway.  Then I had to limp up to the front to the kiosk so I could order more, then limp back to look for a few other things, none of which I found.  So I wasn't in the best mood when I went to check out.  While I was waiting a new register was opened and the woman said "next in line, please".  While I gathered up my stuff and limped over an older woman jumped ahead of me.  I ran totally out of patience for the day and told her she was NOT next in line.  She came back with some line about "just being efficient".  The words popped out of my mouth and I said "well, I'm sorry about limping.  It slows me down." and then turned my back.  I know it was rude and unnecessary and ridiculous and not even like me to do that but I just had hit way too much stress.  I have a feeling those moments will come from time to time now....

Today though was good.  I was wakened by a call from my orthopedist's nurse. When I talked to her last week I had told her that I had a nodule on my achilles that I showed the resident but not the dr and that I wanted it to come off if possible because it really hurts.  She told me I had to make another appointment so I did, for today.  When she called today and I explained this she told me that I didn't have to drive so far for just that, that the dr had examined the ankle and she'd talk to him and call me after clinic hours were over.  (She's come across as a little flaky several times now, this being one of the bigger examples, while very nice).  So I'm waiting for that call and praying that this isn't translated into something that makes the surgeon not want to do anything because the stupid thing hurts more than anything else unless I've acutely injured something else (which is most of the time now).  I don't even know if surgery is possible but if it is I want this thing off and I do not want to go back to surgery in a year to do it.  I am praying that my not being there to present the facts that way doesn't mean that I don't get this thing taken care of.  Originally she said I'd have to come today to sign a surgical consent.  So either she decided I won't be having that operated on or she decided I can sign consent another time.  I guess I'll find out in a few hours.  It's making me anxious and I don't want to take any medication and fall asleep before she calls.  I am so cold that I could easily drift off.  It's very cold and rainy and damp here today and nothing I do gets me warm. 

Anyway, don't cross me this week and I'll share the results of my conversation with her later.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I am moved in to my apartment.  This is my 2nd night here.  My cats are thrilled and have already learned to use the cat door (although we taped the door part up so they really are using the hole in the door right now.  I feel like every time i get something unpacked and put away 25 new objects appear.  I cannot possibly own very much more stuff.  But I'm pleased.  It is beautiful, quiet, my own, and I woke this morning to very loud birdsong because my house is in a little thicket and there are apparently lots of birds nesting here.  I am so glad to have reached this point finally.  And Ikea is the best.  My whole home is full of Ikea and it is working wonderfully.  We need to make one more trip for another set of shelving but that's it.

I'll be all settled by my surgery. June 13 (which is Friday the 13th.  Doesn't bother me but I know it might bother some people).  I actually may be having a 4th procedure.  When I was there last time I told the resident about a nodule on my Achilles tendon that is often the most painful part (unless I have an acute sprain).  I did not, however, tell the actual dr and apparently the resident didn't either.  So I have to go back this week so that he can look and if it is surgically correctable add that in to the procedures.  I don't know that it can be done together.  I do know that it is another sign of how badly my ankle was hurt in 2009.  Dr. Body was concerned because I had bruising under the Achilles.  From what I've read this nodule is scarring from that beng torn a bit.  But removing it is very different than my other procedures so it may be something I have to live with or have more surgery on later.  I'm trying to get as much fun as I can before surgery as it is going to be a rather boring summer.  I will probably be in the hospital overnight because of the MAOI.  They put in a nerve block that prevents much pain for 24-36 hours.  I'm going to ask if they can do a 2nd block before discharge so that the trip home is less painful if the original is wearing off.  I have no idea if they can but there's no reason to not ask.  I'll be on very strong meds (oxycontin I'm reading online) for 2 weeks during which time I am to be on my back with my foot elevated high.  Then I'll get a cast for 4-6 weeks and no weight-bearing for all that time.  I'll get a cam walker and start putting weight down when the cast comes off and I'll start PT then.  The nurse told me by 6 months I'll be starting to walk normally and by a year I'll be 100% healed.  This seems unbelievably long but it is for a good reason and if at 4 months I'm not spraining my ankle ever 3 days I will feel that it's a victory.

No other big news.  I'm waiting as patiently as I can to see Dr. Mind Monday when I think he'll know more about the job thing.  My brother is holding steady.  My mom is now not telling me much about him because I won't fully support him.  I'm not sure she realizes she adds to the division when she starts not telling us things because we don't fully agree with her.  I can't do more than I can do and neither can my sister.

One of the things that seems bigger than it probably really is is that Dr. Mind and my brother have the same first name.  So I may be losing both the "Steves" in my life for vastly different reasons and yet losing either is a huge grieving process to go through.

Anyway, I am getting sleepy and still need to finish something before I fall asleep.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Summer plans

Tomorrow I will be booking my entire summer.  I saw the orthopedist yesterday and he gave me the choice of bracing my ankle in a custom brace long term (which as a therapist I could never do; it would just get weaker and weaker and less and less functional) or do surgery.  It is quite extensive surgery and will take all summer to be back to just walking wearing 2 shoes and without crutches.

I overheard the dr and resident discussing something that sounded like they think I ruptured the most frequently injured ligament in one of my recent falls.  There also is a set of tendons on the outside of your leg that they must feel are no longer in the track they should be in because the surgery will tack those down.  In total I'll have 3 surgeries in one:  arthroscopy to be sure there aren't bone fragments or ligaments torn that we don't know about now (there is concern I tore another one on the inside with my fall down the stairs), they will shorten the overly stretched ligaments, remove scar tissue and tack that down with part of a tendon (?) and then tack down those tendons. 

I'll know more specifics tomorrow but I will be non-weightbearing for 6 weeks.  Most surgeons do 2 weeks in a half-cast splint until sutures are out then 4-6 weeks in a cast, then a cam walker with really gradual increases in weightbearing.  I won't even start therapy until I'm out of a cast.  I'm hoping to do this the 2nd week of June which means that I'll be getting out of the cast around Anne's birthday, off crutches around Geraldine's birthday and walking a little in 2 shoes by
early September.  I'll know an actual date tomorrow and I think more about the surgery.  At this point I know major surgery, about a 3 inch incision plus 2 1-inch incisions, long recovery, I need a walker and crutches, I have a script for a year long handicap parking pass and I'll spend a huge amount of time sitting on the couch or bed with my foot elevated in the first month of recovery.

I'll be glad to be done with this.  However, it may not happen on this schedule at all because Dr. Mind is looking at an unexpected potential job offer and if he leaves I'll delay surgery.  I can deal with 2 of these huge things at once.  I can't handle new therapist, brother in trouble, summer of sitting around all at once.  I honestly can't imagine going through my brother's trial and sequelae without Dr. Mind but I can't go there right now.  The job doesn't sound like what he wanted.  It is not a sure thing.  At least one thing he did not want. I know he has turned down things that haven't been what he wanted. But at the same time this is his chance to follow a dream.  I selfishly want him to stay but I also know that if he goes it is the right thing for him.  I absolutely cannot imagine life without him but if he has to do this then I want to find a way to be happy for him. 

My feelings with him are so complicated.  He has been a big part of my life for so long and we have a comfortable relationship.  I feel completely safe with him which is really rare for me.  He knows enough that he can pick up on my concerns without my having to word them sometimes and at times like now that is a very good thing.  He is someone that I can  feel sure is on my side and really cares about me.  Those things matter.  So much.

I know if he is leaving he'll help me as much as he can.  That's the only reason I know about it at all; he knows time to adjust to ideas really matters for me and I know that my knowing has made this harder on him.  He has told me that he's never treated anyone as long as he has treated me and so he doesn't really know how you stop a relationship that has lasted so long. 

Nonetheless it is really hard to know that I'm waiting on yet another thing.  Moving is getting really close; maybe tomorrow.  I think tomorrow will work; we have things relatively under control and so I think we can move without it taking hours of heavy work prior to moving the cats and helping them adjust.  They'll be thrilled to leave this tiny space but it will be a big change for them.  They have to learn to use a cat door for one thing.

The big thing today is that there are no more unpacked boxes except photos that go straight into a drawer that isn't in place yet.  There are things all over to be put away but the stack of boxes is gone.  Thank God!  I am so tired of seeing cardboard.  It is looking really nice over there.

So I need to get some rest.  This week has involved so much driving and I'm completely worn out physically and emotionally.

More to come.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I went through recent posts and deleted specific references to what Steve has been accused of.  I would really hate for my blog to somehow hurt him.  I think it probably is possible to follow through this and figure it out and I think most readers have read it, but I also think to some extent at least it doesn't matter what he is accused of.  (Remember right now he isn't even charged with anything.  He is as free and you and me).

 So if you happen to look back and see changes that is why. I'll figure out how to handle it as we go through this.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Not Me

I have a few good things going on.  I will be moving into my apartment Thursday.  It's not all done but it is close enough.  I fell down stairs last week holding my laptop and smacked myself in the mouth.  It broke a tooth by hitting it exactly at the right angle to hit a weaker spot.  But it only needs a filling, not a root canal.  Dr. Mind released me from medication supervision because we agreed that I am handling so much medication right now that there just isn't any point.  It's been 2 1/2 years since I just got the vials out and filled the pill box. 

I sent a card to my brother last week.  This week I was thinking about sending him some information about a way to earn some money online, until I realized it could be a temptation for alcohol.  It's part of the rapid changes that I'm going through with being furious with him and not wanting anything to change.  Sometimes I get it in my head that if I pretend nothing has changed that maybe this will be a nightmare.  Dr. Mind asked why I am wanting to reach out when I've clearly said numerous times that isn't what I want.  I have a whole thing about knowing that just because you disconnect from family doesn't mean you don't hurt.  But the truth is that I  don't want to be part of his punishment.

I never thought about that before, that when someone commits a crime and especially if they go to jail (which may or may not happen; innocent until proven guilty) part of the societal punishment is that they are separated from the people they care about.  I guess that sounds simple enough, but I didn't think of how much it would change a family.  And as I bounce between different emotions about my brother I either am glad that this is the way it is or I am hurt that the legal system hurts me even though I didn't do anything wrong or I am afraid that if I don't try to stay connected that I will lose all connection forever and I don't know if that is what I want.  Mostly though I don't want to be a pawn in the process of punishment.  I want to decide for myself what relationship there is and if he is incarcerated a lot of that is otu of my control.  Not just because of my fear of visiting jail, but because I'm only allowed for so many minutes on 2 days per week, I can only bring white socks or white underwear, etc.And letting them decide this is what the relationship amounts to means that I AM a pawn and I'm not ready for that.

I don't know what to do with this.  It's another place that I feel shattered and have no idea how I will feel tomorrow.  But I need at some point to figure this out and it is so hard.

I wish I'd never had a chance to find out how hard this is.  When it happened before and my uncle was arrested I was only 9 or 10 and I didn't understand.  This time I understand a lot more, especially because I know what happened with my favorite uncle; he lost all of his family and ties to home because it wasn't safe. 

So hard.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The first holiday

Today was the first holiday where one family member was purposefully excluded.  Honestly it didn't feel that weird because it is often my sister's family, my mom and I.  Last year though my brother was there and so that felt different.  My mom met him for a little bit yesterday and was really stressed by it.  She makes it look like it is easy for her to maintain a relationship and now I know it is very hard. I know mother's day will be MUCH worse though.  I dread it much more than I dreaded this one.   I dread vacation next month even more.  It wouldn't be bad if he hadn't been supposed to be there but he was.

Tonight my reaction was to want to sent him a couple pictures of the girls, just because that would be relatively normal.  I didn't, of course, but I almost did.

I nearly arrived in tears.  Just as I got close my iPod started playing a song that is great for Easter but not for me today.  It is from the perspective of the thieves who were hung with Jesus and is about how their lives got so off track.  Not ready for that one.  As far as tears go music is a hot spot for me.

Anne never mentioned it.  I was a little surprised by that but she was busy and he hasn't been a major player in her life.  I am not sure when she'll really notice he is gone.  She's been told but she'll have to see it herself.

So I now have a minor psychotropic sunburn (can't believe I never thought of sunscreen, I am always so good with that) and a tooth that needs immediate dental care (either I developed a huge cavity with no warning a clear xray 5 months ago in a few days time or I injured my tooth when I fell down the stairs, possibly with a smack from my laptop.  Regardless I am either going to be embarrassed if this huge cavity developed with my noticing (it's in a front tooth and if I missed it then one wonders if I ever look at my teeth, but I do...) or I am afraid of needing a root canal if it is injured and dying.  I really hope to get in tomorrow.  It will undoubtedly mess up my Dr Mind appointment but this week is full of appointments so something has to give.

Otherwise, one rough day down.  Many, many more to go.  It will be good when I can approach a "big day" (or a regular day) without the constant feeling of dread that follows me everywhere now.  Somehow I suspect that is a long time off since this won't be resolved for a long time.

One thing I am so glad of is that I had already told people from high school that I wouldn't be attending our reunion.  Guessing from the lack of any communication either they took me really seriously and didn't give me a chance to change my mind or the person or organizes them is ignoring me.  She and I don't get along so well and she tends to leave me out of things that I should be invited to.  Which is fine since I have no desire to do those things anyway, but I do wonder if I ever will be invited to any alumni function, ever.  But back to my point, the reunion would be bad because of gossip that I am not ready to face, especially the kind where people whisper behind your back just enough that you are aware.

Anyway, I came home and fell asleep on the couch, dreaming that I had passed out drunk in a public bathroom (I think b/c of how I had my head wedged under the cushions of the couch).  I've never been drunk so that part is odd but whatever.  I'm going to work on getting to sleep again now that I'm pretty sure the puppy is out for the night.  He ran and jumped and swam and ran and jumped and swam at my sister's and he's exhausted.  Huge blessing.

Monday, April 14, 2014


It turns out that having a sibling who is likely to go to jail for a long time for a crime you find particularly horrific is a really difficult thing to balance.  See, I love Steve.  I can't say we are close but we did chat on facebook pretty frequently and got along pretty well.  (Although the last time I saw hi in person I yelled at him for yelling at me...great memory).  We just don't have a lot in common.

From the minute I heard what he was charged with I knew I might never be able to see him again.  In fact my mom had written it down and handed it to me on a notepad which I threw across the room.  Because the simple truth is that he could have murdered someone and I'd find it easier to cope with.

Yet as time passes I want to be able to be more than I can be.  I want him to know that while I am devastated and hurt and angry I do still care.  I have had all sorts of ideas about how to show that and none really work.  

One problem is that there is pressure from my mom, who is so sad about how alone he is now.  She is being a mama bear and while it was understandable that I couldn't handle this a week ago that's not true now.  She isn't purposefully pressuring me but I can tell what she wants and what she thinks about my inability to just pick up the phone.

Another problem is that right now I am hearing a lot from my mother's reports about how Steve is feeling.   And while he is very upset and lonely and aware that he destroyed his life I have yet to hear some of the feelings that would make me feel better, that showed he knows why it was wrong.  This doesn't mean he hasn't said it but it isn't being reported back to me.  Which makes me think that he hasn't developed the insight to feel bad about what he did (allegedly?  we don't use that word much but I should because we really don't know and without knowing the charges even he doesn't know what he did or didn't do) as much as he just feels bad that he hurt himself.

Dr. Mind and Dr. Brain say that contact is up to me.  I had thought that I would have this time just before his trial that I could see him.  But the way this is happening that may not happen.  I can't see myself being able to handle a visit to jail with all the sex offenders there.

Tonight I want to send him a card.  But I can't figure out how to send a card that says that I love him because he is my brother, that I miss him and always will, that I'll try to continue sending cards but that this in no way implies that I support what he did or that I can even forgive him for it at this point and that our relationship is different from here on out.  One thing that is so important to me that he know but which seems so stupid is that he has always called me his own little variation on my name.  I will vomit if I ever hear that name again.  It's the same as him touching me; it will make me ill.  Someday I'll talk to him again. I believe that.  But what to do now is a tangle of guilt, need, pressure, anger at myself that I can't make it all disappear, etc.

I wish there were a timeline that we had some knowledge of.  The word is that he'll be arrested again when the grand jury indicts him.  But we don't know when the grand jury meets, how long it will take to do whatever they do, or even when they'll start to meet.  The computer analysis can take a long time from what I've read.  And they have to have done that to know what to charge and how many counts.

I know things I never wanted to.  I'm not allowed to look things up and I've done reasonable well at that but it is impossible to go through this without learning things that you never wanted to know or think about.

At least now it is time for my valium and in about an hour I'll be sound asleep.  Sound asleep is my favorite thing right now because valium prevents the dreams and I just sleep.  I hate that I'm on valium but Dr. Brain says that it if works when so little else will that she's happy to use it and we'll just wean off when the time comes.  Which made me feel better but it's a little scary to know that I can't miss a dose or I'll go into withdrawls.  The same is true for klonopin because I'm taking so much of it.  But ultimately getting some rest and not being so anxious I'm climbing walls is a good thing.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sweet Meds

This is a particularly hard time for, as the most recent posts have noted.  Sleep was bad before and I was expecting to go to even more Seroquel or start a new anti-psychotic today.  But with the things that have happened anxiety is the key issue and so we are just treating anxiety.

I have been on fairly large doses of anxiety meds for years.  Mostly I took 2 mg of Klonopin at bedtime and then could take 1 (used to be 2) mg as needed during the day.  For the past few years I rarely used that extra one.  However as soon as the events of 4/4/14 hit I knew that I needed more than that.  The first clue was that I hadn't been able to sleep and had taken a day's worth of PRN 30 minutes before the call came at 5:00 AM and there was no way I would make it without help.

I asked for valium as it is something I've tolerated really well in the past and never had tolerance issues.  There aren't a lot of other options so that is what I was given.  It hasn't worked all that well, unfortunately.  I take it and 3-4 hours later sleep.  It should work much faster than that.   It works better if I time it so that it is closer to not only my bedtime meds but also my evening anxiety meds, but that means putting the afternoon dose of klonopin off which isn't easy.  I've been trying to not take it until midnight or so because I want to fall asleep without it if I can. 

I saw Dr. Brain today.  I wasn't sure if she'd let me continue with it.  Instead she said that she is ok with my using this for several months if it helps me get through the next things that will be happening.  So I'm on a bigger dose now and will keep taking that about midnight (3 hours after bedtime meds) with it hopefully working faster and wearing off faster too since I start my days pretty groggy.  It's a little weird to think that I'm on daily valium but it is the best choice so I'm doing it.  I just have to be sure to take it and not try to stop without tapering it under Dr. Brain's care since I'll be pretty tolerant to it with time.  If I wind up hospitalized I know the first thing that will go, but I intend to stay out of there.  This is so hard that it is hard not imagine winding up there but I'm doing ok for now and I think that's good.  Today I only cried randomly abut 5 times while driving.  It's amazing how many reminders are out there.  The worst was the prisoners on work detail picking up trash and the thought this could be the only way my brother sees sunshine, grass and trees and hears a car whiz by his face for many years, if he is fortunate to get to do that. 

This still just is as hard as anything I have faced.   Everything feels more stressful; money, almost moving today(and then the Ikea couch cover was an Ikea loveseat cover and I can't move the cats in until the cover is on or they might tear it so I have to wait for that to come), acquiring things I didn't really think about needed until now, etc.  We are supposed to go on vacation a few weeks.  I don't want to.  Mostly I don't want to spend money but I also don't want to go through the first big thing without my brother.

One day I'll make a list of things that would be easier. 

Just a thought

This little bit of an interview with Stephen Colbert is, I think, rather much like what it feels like to be my brother Steve  right now.  From my perspective I am learning what a gift it is to be able to love and what a painful thing it is when you are no longer able to love someone as freely as you want to. 

Anyway, Stephen describes "Steve's" lesson:


Thursday, April 10, 2014


I remember when I lost all respect for my father.  There were 2 incidents.  The first made me lose most respect and the second was the end of respecting him.  The first time I was 13 and he read my diary.  There was a lot in there where I was trying to cope with his nastiness and mood swings and the girl he'd brought into our family as his girlfriend.  He made it out that this thing was so hurtful to him and that I should be so guilty.  Yet he invaded my privacy and used what he wrote against me so that I wouldn't have that outlet for dealing with him.

  I was 14 and in the prior 2 years he had disengaged from his family in favor of an adolescent girl.  Until I was 12 he had moments when he was good to be with, even was loving in his own distorted fashion.  But  after he became openly involved with this girl that faded.  I became more and more angry with him as time passed.  The day I realized that I had given up on him in a way that made me not respect him was a day that he came to a track meet that both his girlfriend and I were competing in.  He ignored me completely, even if I walked near him and even when I was competing.  I might as well not have been there.  It was like my being on the team intruded upon his time with his "girlfriend". 

Both of those events were specific occasions but they were occasions that developed over a great deal of time.  With the things happening with my brother now I was blindsided, along with everyone else.  The shock is wearing off now.(or the meds are managing it better) and talking to Dr Mind today helped a great deal.  The idea that any of this can be true is beyond belief.  The trial is probably still a long time off.  I  think he is in a difficult situation; sometimes I am glad that I'm not really eligible to be on a jury because things can look completely different than they are.  But even these accusations are extremely hard to bear because he did get in a situation that caused them to come up, no matter whether he is guilty or not.

In the week that I've known about this I've gone through a lot of stages.  There are many more to come.  It feels like grief and we all seem to be handling it like grief so I think it will probably proceed through the stages of grief with all the back-tracing and re-tracing that takes. 

My initial reaction was that I was done.  He is an alcoholic and probably has Asperger's.  I have social skill issues but I'm a socialite compared to him.  Get him on the right topic and he'll dominate a conversation for hours.  Ty to get him interested in what you care about and forget it.  We won't play Trivial Pursuit with him after watching him win a came where nobody else got a turn.  He's extremely smart but never followed through on plans to do much with his intelligence until this last job.  He's never been easy to deal with and he's had a talent for messing things up.  In the last year he finally got a job where he felt respected and competent and in control, rather than having little control in the jobs he'd had previously.  He was making more money than ever before.  His ex-wife or almost ex-wife (don't know if they really divorced) was going to get back together with him.  He had so much going for him and if he did what they say he blew all of it.  On top of that he is accused of something I find to be particularly offensive.  I thought I couldn't ever see him again.

Time has passed now and I have accepted that I have cut my father out of my life but that doesn't mean I don't still care or wonder about him.  Just recently I found a different search site that gave me his address and indicated he may have re-married.  That's pretty odd to think about, that i have a "step-mother" but it makes me happy for him.  He wasn't equipped to live alone, but if I'd taken him in I would have been miserable.

And so my most recent thoughts have been that I will continue to listen to the daily updates from my mother on how he is doing.  I will continue to pray for him.  I will go to my extra counseling sessions and talk to someone who isn't hurting personally until I feel stronger.  At some point I will try to write a letter to him telling him how I feel and why.  He probably knows but I think that it is the right thing to do.  And then sometime before he goes to court I will meet him with my mom somewhere neutral with ground rules in place about the interaction so that I don't live with the idea that I let him go to jail if he is convicted without saying good-bye because I'm pretty sure I can't handle going into a jail.  We'll see, that may not happen and it may not be as bad as I think but I think (at this point, everything is very changeable right now) that is what I need right now.  I don't need to see him to ask questions or talk about it, I just need to see that he still looks like the brother that I thought I knew well.

Unfortunately I don't think anything less than a not guilty verdict will give me the respect I had for him back.  I didn't realize exactly how much respect is earned and that it can be gone in 5 painful words at 5 AM on a Thursday morning.  That's not fair, innocent until proven guilty, but it is just the current state of my feelings.

I am just so confused.  And that is how many entries will end for the next however many months.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

My broken heart

I want to explain what is happening and I can't do that because I don't want to risk putting something out there that could be used in court at some point.  It would take some doing to link this blog to me and then to the person who will be on trial but I don't want to risk it.  I don't want to risk being called as a witness when I only know secondhand information and a lot of pain.

To put it very simply my brother was arrested last week.  I will not say why but I will say that it is a very serious charge that echoes things that other men in my family have done.  I do not know specifically what he is charged with.  I know he is pleading not guilty and he is innocent until proven guilty.   There is just a risk and also intense anger that makes my sister and I unable to tolerate being with him. 

In the last 5 days we have cried more tears than I thought I could cry.  It has been like a death in the family, because our little family just crumbled.  I have had a lot of PTSD reactions and have had the weird experience of everyone suddenly knowing what happened to me as a small child and supporting me.  I am taking a lot of klonopin and a little valium (for a short time anyway).  I have no respect for him and I hate him yet I love him.  I don't ever want to see him again but I feel like I should support him and want to do that.  Yet his pictures upset me so much that I took them down from the hallway outside my room. 

Every day everyone changes how they are feeling and what they think.  Everyone is taking meds to sleep.  Nobody really knows how they feel.  Everything changes by the minute when we discuss it.  I am requesting one fact at a time because I don't want to be overwhelmed.  Today was a tiny bit easier for us all.  I've cried pretty hard tonight but only a little during the day.  The worst is when things sneak up on us.  I was just getting off the interstate yesterday when a song came up on my ipod that reminded me of our playing when I was 3 and he was a teenager.  The age gap made for a limited relationship but he was a good big brother when he wanted to be.

The whole thing is a horribly painful mess.  I'll be posting about it a lot I'm sure but no details for some time.  I will probably pull this post down in a few days, just to be safe.  

This is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through.  It is the most unexpected thing I can think of.  But that's life and right now mine hurts.  A lot.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Fwd: Consistency, PLEASE?

I saw the ankle dr today.  She isn't a surgeon, she's a physiatrist (rehab specialist).  She had some listening issues.  She seemed to think I WANT surgery and was opposed to therapy.  I'm a freaking therapist, what does that imply to most people?  I have been told though that therapy will no longer help and that surgery is necessary if I want this repaired.  She disagreed with everything the dr. down here had ever said about anything.  Absolutely nothing was right.  And maybe he is wrong.  But I already failed therapy once.  A lot of her basis for argument was that I haven't had a bad injury in several years.  That has a lot to do with the fact that I am very good at wearing my brace when there is a risk of hurting my ankle and I'm also very good at ignoring lingering pain.  My ankle hurts a little all the time.  Sometimes it hurts more, sometimes less but I'm used to it hurting.  I probably didn't express that well, that I wouldn't notice the pain until it was quite bad, but when I did try to explain it she blew me off. 

She had never heard of the procedure that has been recommended.  She had to look it up and remained skeptical.  Yet it is the surgery of choice for people with my problem 

She also was just weird.  I have a bump on my heal that makes my achilles tendon quite sore much of the time.  I thought it was maybe a bone spur.  She said no, it was a nodule on the tendon.  But she has no treatment for it.  Um, thanks?  Another reason that surgery is currently my preference is that I want that thing removed too.  I can't see it getting less painful with time.

She did finally ask an orthopedist (after warning me she wouldn't refer me to anyone who will do surgery easily, again with the "you want surgery you don't need" thing (and if I don't need it that isn't because I decided I did, it is because my old doctor has repeatedly told me I did, right up to 3 weeks ago.)  He told her that some people opt for surgery rather than living with the constant turned ankles, sprains (mild though they might be), pain, etc. but that he wanted to see me to make sure I understand how intense the recovery is.  That's fine with me.

So I agreed to try PT. I'll start that tomorrow.  I'm hoping to have limited visits b/c of the cost.  In 3 weeks I see the ortho.  Regardless of what he thinks I don't know if he can do the surgery as it looks like he only is at this one clinic I visited today and if that's the only place he does surgery it won't work as it is outpatient surgery only which I can't do because then I have to pay for 20% of my surgery and because with the MAOI I need monitoring post-op.  And from what I've read this can be a few days hospitalization anyway.  So I have to find out if he has hospital priveleges and if he does and they aren't at the main campus if Dr. Brain is still comfortable with that (since she has to coordinate the anesthesia protocol and having psych involved and she usually comes to check on me herself).  I'm not sure what happens if she isn't.  I guess I try for another referral. 

This doctor was nice enough, she just wasn't picking up what I was saying.  She was very over-confident.  She's only been a doctor for about 18 months and I think inexperience was rearing its head today.  She also didn't know basics, like where the guy she referred me to has surgical privileges.

Maybe PT will take care of everything.   I admit that my last round of PT jaded me because they were AWFUL.  I know that isn't true always and that it may help a great deal.  But I don't think it has the power to repair the torn ligaments permanently and I can't be in PT all the time.  It also doesn't get things so that I can walk without a brace, do anything I want to do without risking re-injury, wear whatever shoes I want, etc.  And it's not like I take surgery lightly; I have good reason to be quite wary of it.  But the bottom line is that I want this to be fixed.  Permanently.

Otherwise still needing lots of anxiety meds and still crying a lot.  A song I forgot was on my ipod came on just as I got off the exit ramp for home this evening and I sobbed and cried the whole way home and then some.  I did get 4 hours of sleep last night (5?) which is much better.  But it took a lot of medication  achieve that.

Just 2 days until I can talk to Dr. Mind.  And talk and talk and talk.  This is so hard because when we talk about it we all wind up crying, or things are said with the wrong meaning.  We are fumbling around in the dark and not finding much that makes sense in either our interactions or our own emotions.  All of us need meds to sleep right now.  Which is weird because it is exhausting to go through a day thinking about everything that is on our minds.

It just makes no sense.  Life, that is.  And maybe I could've handled the dr better if I weren't so tired and stressed and sad but that is how I feel and I can't change that (and wouldn't because feeling otherwise in this situation would be pretty unhealthy.)

The puppy

The puppy suddenly started flipping out when my mom isn't home at night a couple weeks before the old dog died.  She used to sleep in the room with him and it helped somehow.  But now I have done everything I know and he is still barking.  He slept for a while but if I take a deep breath he wakes up.  I even gave him a little sedative.  I think he's getting a little more.  He is so wound up that he's never going to shut up and I need to get downstairs to get water so I can take my pills (way late because of him) and I can't take the barking anymore.  I have in the course of a month tried everything.  Leaving him alon in his crate feels mean but it does not good from me to be laying there while he barks at me. 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

I miss Wednesday

Everything changed Thursday.  Things are not getting easier yet.  I don't know when they will.  Things will never be the same.  My family is divided now and there were only 4 of us (plus inlaws) to begin with.  I thought that when I gave up contact with my father that I would never do that again and I am doing it again.  It hurts, much more this time than with my father because that I planned to do.  This new divide came out of the blue.

I am having a rough night.  My mom is at my sister's and so I have the puppy.  He's had a rough time going to bed without my mom lately.  Tonight nothing makes him settle at all.  I stayed with him 75 minutes and tried various things before giving up and trying to leave him to put himself to sleep.  That didn't work so he is outside barking at something and hopefully he'll come back in and go to sleep because I really, really need to get to bed and try to find a way to sleep.  I have an appointment about my ankle tomorrow so I have to not take valium or I couldn't drive.  I saved my klonopin for this evening hoping that might help but I very much need quiet time in my bed, with my weighted blankets and without a puppy barking and crying at me.  I don't mind laying down with him in my mom's room if he settles, but when he carries on despite my being there it is pointless.  And frankly I can't handle it tonight.

Wednesday my life was so much easier and I didn't know it.  I was feeling a bit better, I was worried about this appointment and also about what would happen with Dr. Brain this week.  I was NOT worrying about day to day survival, I was not watching my family come apart at the seams.  I was looking forward to vacation (which I am not nearly as much now because it is going to have a big sad chunk).  I knew there was some hope of my house being inhabitable by the end of the week.  I really thought things were improving.  And then one of the hardest thing I've ever had to cope with happened.

The puppy is barking again.  I'm wearing noise blockers but can still hear him.  I am not going back down.  nothing I do is helping so he'll just have to settle himself down.  It feels mean but so does a lot of what I do lately.

I desperately want to see Dr. Mind.  Tuesday will be the earliest and probably it will be Wednesday.  After this week I'll see him twice a week for what I suspect will be a while.    More moey gone.  But I need help desperately and I need someone who isn't hurting as much as I am to help.

I can't take this dog.......I really can't.  But I have no idea what else to do.

Oh and to make things better my phone won't read it's SD card.  I downloaded a program that will provide GPS navigation.  It looks like maybe I can do a factory restart, losing everything on the phone and try again but I don't want to do that until after I am back from driving in a completely unfamiliar place in case it totally screws my phone up.  If that doesn't work I'll need a new phone (the new card is expensive enough to make the new phone more viable) and I don't have money for that. 

I really wish I could take my valium.......But a car accident would help nothing.  So I'll do my best.  The puppy gets 10 minutes more and I guess I go back down and try yet again to get him to sleep.  Usually it's not nearly this hard.  I'm sure he senses the stress around here too.  Just crying freaks him out and that's been so much of that.

I am about to decide to go to my house to work.  But he'd bark the whole time rather than calming down.  I wish my mom were home more nights but until the end of this semester she's needed down there a lot.

I can't stand this..........any of it.  Getting panic attacky.  Maybe 1/2 a valium......


I am finding that the anxiety associated with my unnameable situation is incredibly intense.  I have been taking my full PRN klonopin and Dr Brain gave me a lo dose of valium as well for when it is out of control.  I made it through the day on just Klonopin but just took valium to relax enough to hopefully sleep some.

I find it so hard to know what to do to make the anxiety less.  I can't exercise right now because of my stupid ankle.  I almost went to my house at 10 pm to work on assembling my table but decided that if I got tired over there it wouldn't be ideal. 

I know cognitive ways to control anxiety.  I've worked very hard to learn them.  But this defies those techniques.  I think that this is something that changes how I see people, probably forever, and it has made some of the abuse I suffered much more relevant to my life than it has been since I left home. 

I like to help anxiety with knowledge.  I feel safe when I know more.  This situation though knowledge makes things worse.  I don't know what to do with that.  I am blundering around making decisions that are as hard as anything I've had to decide.  I'm trying to do that knowing I can change my mind later.  But what I'm dealing with is far beyond my understanding and that makes it seem bigger than the HUGE, life-changing, family-changing thing that it is.

2014 sucks.  I was sick through January, lithium toxic in February and then having psych issues through now.  Those were improving and I was even going to ask to come off med watch because I made it through without being suicidal.  No going to happen now.  2 weeks ago we lost our wonderful Gracie dog.  And now this.  This is the thing I just don't have answers for.

And I am so tired and so anxious.  My body wants to be anxious and MOVE.  My head wants to sleep to avoid this.  It's a weird combination.  This will be lasting several months so I guess eventually I'll get used to it.

OK, panic attack starting.  Hurts to breathe, having trouble breathing.  Gotta go fix that.

Friday, April 04, 2014


I can't go into any detail right now and probably won't for months until certain legal things are resolved.  (I personally am not in trouble).  But today began with a phone call at 5 AM that something had happened that has shaken my family to the core. Nothing will ever be the same.  Hopefully someday I will find a way to live with the questions I've been left with. 

I can say that something happened that brought out many questions about my past that I will have to find ways to answer.  At the same time my family (my mother especially) is suddenly having to face parts of my past that have never been considered before.  And I am not the main character in this story.  It is something that defies all that I thought I knew about my life and familiy and unfortunately it means that some very sad things will be happening. 

There are deep hurts that came into being today and everyone is hurt a little differently.  Life will never be the same after 4/4/14 and not in a good way.

God works in amazing and fabulous ways....Last night I absolutely could not sleep.  I had no reason, it was one of the worst nights I've had in a long time.  Finally at 4:30 I got up at took 2 mg of Klonopin which is a pretty hefty dose since I'd had 2 mg along with my other sleeping pills at 10:30 the night before (and I'm on so much Seroquel now that I should never be awake).  At 5 the phone rang and the nightmare began.  If I hadn't had the huge dose of Klonopin in me I would have had a very severe panic attack and my mom was busy handling other things.  Instead I panicked more quietly and contacted Dr. Brain for more meds.  I am now taking another anxiety med a couple times a day when it gets unbearable, although thus far it hasn't helped.  But seriously if I hadn' that odd dose I would still be feaking out.  Instead I fell asleep after a few hours, woke with a migraine, took a migraine pill, slept some more and woke with 3 hours of sleep for the day.  Not bad considering.   We'll see if I can match that today.

There is just so much loss and sadness and anger and hatred at times and the knowledge that life is never going to be the same again and not in a happy way. 

I will post more about this and I'll explain eventually but for now I just can't.  I can't because my heart will break, because I have too much to work out, because it isn't my story and because of the aforementioned legal stuff.

For now I am cuddled up with 2 cats who want me to feel better (and who are cold) and that's a good thing.  Life just hurts sometimes, a LOT.


 I think I've made a bit of a mistake.....I have an appointment Monday with a doctor in the orthopedics department at Cleveland Clinic who has ankle instability as one of numerous conditions she treats listed.  I was happy to find a female surgeon.  Unfortunately I just looked at her profile again and she's not a surgeon.  She's a physiatrist (rehab doctor) and sports med and she treats these things but non-surgically. 

I'm still going because maybe she can help somehow and maybe she can get me into a surgeon faster than I would have managed without a referral.  She may have some things to try without surgery, who knows.  The ankle surgeon was pretty sure that surgery was the only choice but maybe something else will help.

It may turn out to be a waste of a day and a tank of gas.  But I really didn't catch that she was just part of the orthopedics department, not an orthopedist.  That's a little tricky.

I saw a video she did as an education thing and she seems nice on that which is always a good thing.  I hope she knows a really nice ankle surgeon who can see me soon.  I have gotten myself used to the idea of doing this soon and if I have to wait months to see a surgeon then a month or two to set up surgery and the MAOI protocol I will have gotten myself ready way too soon.

Nonetheless, leave it to me to pick the wrong specialist.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Sweet Irony

A few hours ago I posted about how little I wanted to earn swagbucks today.  It can be tedious work but the payoff is that I earn gift cards that let me buy books for my Nook, music, gifts for my nieces, and random things.  Right now I'm saving for a new ipod as my current one is about 8 years old and is full.  I'm actually going to get a refurb one and I'll pay some money for it but I'll paypal my way to affording it.  With a long trip for vacation coming, the fact that I use my ipod regularly both in the car and to sleep and am unreliable about bringing it in and out all the time and surgery coming faster than I want to think about the money will be well spent.  But I have to go on the site and earn it.

For those who don't know swagbucks is a site that lets you earn points by watching ads, doing surveys, doing searches with their search engine, and completing various offers.  Sometimes it is great.  Often it is a little boring but something I can do while reading a book and with the sound off.  Most days I earn about 100 points which is $1.  I spend anywhere for 30 minutes on an awesome day to 2-3 hours on it.  Sometimes that is just searches when I'm interested in something and I'll get 20-50 points for searching a lot. 

Today I didn't want to do it.  But I did and it was one of the best days for surveys I've ever had plus I got 50 points for requesting an insurance quote.  I wound up earning 350 points today which is awesome.  So migraine that refuses to go away aside I am pretty pleased.  Something worked out today.  Maybe tomorrow the entire worker's comp/Medicare issue will be resolved.  Who knows?  if nothing else surely my migraine will be gone.  I've taken just about everything I can for this and it has been stubborn.  The best fix for some reason was a can of decaff Coke.  I suppose the sugar helped but I ate some sugary stuff earlier as low blood sugar is a big trigger for me and I didn't grab a snack this afternoon.  Whatever.  I got a lot of points and I'm very happy.

And now I must feed my cat again.  And again and again.  She's starving today.  Whatever makes her happy, as long as she eats it.  And she does.  Sometimes 3 cans, sometimes 5, per day. She can't eat crunchies since her surgery.  But she eats well despite that.  Go Anna.  (My cat food budget is embarrassing.  People always ask in the pet store if I have a lot of cats.  No........just 2 but one eats like 6 regular cats.......I pretend I buy for a month at a time but it is really 2 weeks.  And I don't tell anyone what I spend......:)