When Everything Around You Takes You By Surprise…….

I know I am not as “regular” of a writer here on this blog as many of you are, but I tend to just write when something’s going on, or when something just inspires me to write. I don’t do the every day thing, but I really enjoy reading the blogs of people who are. Anyway, there’s no real reason for that little side note, other than the fact that I am stalling writing this next blog.

Everything I’m going to write about today may not make too much sense to you all. It may be a longer blog than normal, but I would still appreciate your feedback; whether through comments, or just simply liking the blog. Thanks.

So the last time I wrote was just a little over 2 weeks ago. I had just tried the support group for women victims of sexual abuse. I was so anxious that day, and I wanted to give a quick update on how the second one went. It went really really well. There were a couple people who didn’t make it to the first one, but are part of the group, and made it to the second one, and the mixture of personalities is really cool. I felt super comfortable with these ladies and the facilitators and I really believe this is a good thing for me. I don’t want to lie, I still took an ativan, and I was still crazy nervous to get out of my car and actually go in, but once I did, I was super glad. I have a feeling this next meeting will be a lot less anxiety provoking for me.

A lot has been going on in my life over the last 2 weeks. I had a group of co-worker’s over to my house for a BBQ and it was great. I love each and every one of them, and respect them all just as much. They are truly great people doing great things. The only unfortunate thing, however, is I found out the Thursday before this BBQ (which by the way had been planned for over 3 weeks), that the program these co-worker’s are part of at the organization was going to be going through some cuts due to budgetary issues. I didn’t know what to think when my boss told me this was going to be happening. I was angry, sad, scared, and just shocked that the organization let the budget get this out of control (I can’t say specifics, but it never should have gotten this bad). I decided after hearing the news to still have the BBQ and enjoy the time with all these people. It was hard though, knowing this budget issue would touch each of them personally, either directly or indirectly. Then the following week came, and we had to sit down and have a meeting with these people to tell them all the basics of what was going on. Some got really upset, others, just sat there in silence, and you could just see they were boiling. We met with them as a group, but would be setting up times to meet with each individually to talk to them about how it would affect them personally. We were going to be cutting the hours of the program in half basically, and go down to staffing for those hours being done by only one individual, and not two. So some of them would be losing all their hours in this program completely.

It was horrible to be in the meeting where our director and my supervisor were telling everyone what was going on. To see the faces of these people, who just 3 months ago, I was working directly with, I was doing the same job, they were not only my co-workers, but my friends. Now, I had to sit on the other side and be there when they all found out this news. It’s not easy for sure. I don’t want any of them to feel like I “went to the other side” or “ditched them” I just took on a new position and I care for each of them just the same. Unfortunately, some of them just don’t that.

 

My Grandpa has also been struggling pretty bad lately. He went into the hospital on Memorial Day because he was leaning to the left and saying he was sitting straight up. He was unable to lift his feet up to be able to walk effectively or to step up a 3 inch step into the house, and we as his family, feared stroke, and so did his doctor when we called him. We took him to the ER and from there he was admitted. After a couple days in the main hospital, he was accepted into the rehab program. He was over in that program until just 3 days ago. While in the program, he was so so confused. He also had dementia, and as part of that horrible disease, when you are taken out of your known environment, the confusion gets worse. Well, it did. He had no idea what was going on 99% of the time. Unsure of who was around him, where he was, why he was there. He believed at times he was at a hotel and he was insisting on making sure it was paid for. Every time he would get a meal to eat , he would ask for the bill and would want to pay it.

This is so hard to watch, as it is not my grandpa. He is not the man I know. He is in there somewhere, but this disease has taken over his mind and it’s horrible to watch, to see it affect my grandma and my dad, and the rest of my family, and it’s hard to be on this side watching pa get frustrated because at times I truly believe he know’s something is wrong.

 

Lastly, there’s my mom. I’ve mentioned on here before, she has a lot of health issues, depression included. The problem, though, is she doesn’t seem to be moving forward in her treatment. She uses her therapy sessions as a time to complain, rather than a time to let things out, and then challenge herself to change things. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to just unload on your therapist, because I do that too, the difference is, my therapist listens, AND when I’m done, challenges me to try things differently in order to make things better. She doesn’t just say “oh I’m sorry it’s going like that” and then “I’ll see you next week”. So my mom has been super irritable lately, and no matter what you say to her, she snaps back at you. And I’ve gotten to the point where I’m standing up and speaking up, asking her why is she so crabby, or standing up for myself, or at times, I quit responding at all because I’m not looking to get into an argument and I refuse to respond to her when she is seeking an argument out. It feels like no matter what she’s looking for a ¬†fight, and I’m tired of it. Dad’s tired of it, and neither one of us knows what to do anymore. We have tried going to therapy with her before for family sessions, but it ends up as as fight, with her saying “you are just teaming up against me” and other crap like that. We AREN’T against her, we are TRYING to get her to realize she has to be the one to make some changes in her own recovery to be able to move forward and feel better. SHE has to come to a level of acceptance that she at this point is refusing to do. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or giving in, it just means you no longer want whatever it is in control of your life to no longer be in control. Acceptance is taking the control back into your own hands and preparing to move forward. Mom and I are always fighting it seems like lately, and I’m tired of it. I’m missing the mom I used to have, the person she used to be. I miss my friend I no longer have.

 

 

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So Here We Are

I’ve been home from Canada for over a week now……sorry I haven’t posted anything lately…..I’ve had this urge to post, but truly just couldn’t convince myself that what I had to say was important enough to put out there for people to see. Today I decided I was going to write a post and not worry about if people would respond well, or respond at all. So here we are.

This past week has been up and down. I was still running on a bit of a high from being on vacation for a week, but then my first 2 days back at work were two of the most busy days I have ever had at work. I started this job in October last year, and this past week I had two days in a row with more than one guest coming in back to back…..Tuesday I had 3 guests come in with no more than 20 minutes between them. My job is to help people having a mental health crisis……so it’s not just people come in and stay a few minutes and leave, it’s they come in, go through an assessment, then come back and talk with me for no shorter than 45 minutes, then they go through an exit assessment and then I have paperwork to enter into the computer. the whole process usually takes about 60-90 minutes per individual, sometimes more. We are only open from 3-9 pm so when 3 people come in to utilize our services all on the same night, it can be a bit overwhelming…..especially because I was the only one working, I didn’t have a co-worker those days last week. We usually have 2 of us there so as to be able to help everyone more efficiently, but my co-worker called in those days.

Then, I had ECT treatment on Friday, so I was down for the count for most of the day. I am glad this treatment is available to me as it seems to be very efficient combine with my daily medications. I have ECT 1x a month so as to help boost the effects of my medication and help to keep my depression and anxiety stable.

Saturday, my grandpa fell down and my grandma couldn’t get him back up. He was complaining his back was hurting him really bad, so grandma called the ambulance and they took him to the ER where they did cat scans and x-rays to make sure nothing was broken. All the tests came back fine, and they sent him home with pain meds. Yesterday, however, pa woke up in tremendous pain and was unable to move to get himself out of bed. Grandma called 911 again and the paramedics again took him to the hospital where they ran tests again to make sure nothing was indeed broken and they ended up admitting him because of the amount of pain he was experiencing. They were trying to get him into the rehab facility portion of the hospital, but the Dr. said he probably wouldn’t qualify and that they were going to look into nursing homes for him to recover at. Pa was really confused, the pain meds didn’t help, and he kept asking where he was and why he was there and tried getting out of bed, so they had to put an alarm on his bed and they had a nurse sitting with him all the time in his room. I feel bad for Pa and Grandma alike. I feel bad for Pa because I know he’s in pain and just wants to be home. I feel bad for Grandma because I know she’s hurting watching her love go through what he’s going through. She had promised him she’d never put him into a nursing home and I though he probably wouldn’t remember it, she would, and it hurts her to see him deteriorating. It hurts all of us. I have a close relationship with my grandparents, and I talk to grandma at least 4x a week. It’s hard knowing they won’t be here forever, and that the time is fading fast.

Today I was supposed to work, but I told my boss what was going on with my grandpa, and before I even had a chance to ask for today off of work she said to me “you’re lucky to still have your grandparents around, you need to go spend time with them” and she told me not to come to work today. What a blessing.

 

Time is precious

I got to my grandparents house today around 11 am. Usually on Tuesday’s I have therapy at 3:30pm and then head over to pa and grandmas for dinner with my cousin and them and then we watch dancing with the Stars together. It’s just time to be together. But today I didn’t have therapy or anything else going on for that matter, and I decided to come on up here and just spend the day with them. I got here and the speech therapist from home health was here working with pa as he just got out of the hospital a couple weeks ago. I sat there watching, listening, just taking it all in. I realized how hard of a time Patty was having with some of the things she was asking him to do. I realized just how poor his cognitive skills are and that pa isn’t the same pa as even just a few years ago. I realized all this, but I also realized how lucky I am. Lucky that he’s still alive that he’s still living in his house and just lucky to be so close to him and grandma that I have the opportunity to just spend time with them. I love the relationship I have with pa and grandma. I love that we are so close, in distance and in our relationship. I love them to the moon and back and I want to just soak it all in. I never want them to die, though I know it will happen. I don’t want to have regrets when it does. I don’t want to say I wish I had spent more time with them, or that I wish I had asked……

I want to know I loved them to the fullest and that I gave back to them just as much as they gave me. I want to just soak in their mannerisms, their smell, their laughs, and their quirkiness. I want to be able to close my eyes and feel their touch, see their faces and know they’re alive within me. I say all this as a reminder to myself to live each moment I have with people to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised.