50 Questions: A Deep Dark Secret

Share a secret you’ve never told anyone. Until now…

I was pondering this question for a while. I am an open and honest person. Sometimes to the point of it being a fault of mine. If you ask me a question, I will tell you the answer. It might not be the answer you were looking for, but I will tell you anyway. After all, you asked for it! So, I thought about all the secrets I could tell you guys.

Had a son who died because I took him off life support… nope, already told that.

All my medical conditions… talk about them all the time.

My children… talk about them all the time too.

My ex… talk about him some too.

There really isn’t anything very secretive about me at all. And then I had a conversation with someone (who wishes not to be named on my blog) about life, death, poverty, and self-image; and it hit me! I know what secrets I am going to share. I say secrets because they go hand in hand. Get the happy pills ready… here we go!

Death is not an end

This isn’t really a huge secret. Many people believe in an afterlife. But I do remember things that aren’t from this life. I remember them vividly. I have had out of body experiences and near death experiences. I can tell you that is what shaped my beliefs, partly. This is why I would never commit suicide. You can kill your body, but the soul continues on and you will be reborn into something or someone. Your energy is what makes you who you are. Not so much the body. The body is just a physical experience you claim before you are born.

Call me crazy all you want but, I warned you about that when I called my blog “Crazy Woman’s Journal“.

Let’s say you have a shitty life and you decide to off yourself. You will get to redo the life over again. Maybe not the exact same life, but one with similar problems. You can get a new life here in this time or in an alternate universe. It won’t matter if you kill yourself because you will get to redo it over and over until you live the life you are supposed to complete.

Analogy time! Your life is a series of books…

It would be like if your life were a series of books. You were reading through the books and decided in book 3 that you didn’t want to read them anymore and threw them in the trash. You went to the life library and picked a new set of books and started reading. But damn it! These books are following the same story line as the last series. You toss that set in the trash too and go back for another series to read.

This next series is JUST like the last two series. Same type of characters, same settings, and I swayer to you, the story is the same as the first two. Only this time you begrudgingly finish reading the series to learn something amazing, some life altering experience that you didn’t expect.

So, while the books sucked at first, and droned on in some areas, and one chapter just described a cat’s fur, the story line (as a whole) has a purpose.

That purpose sometimes sucks

While some lives are meant to change something or be amazing, other lives are a form of punishment. I call this idea “The Good, the bad, and the ugly”.

The Good

Some people get to have amazing lives with “demons” they still have to battle or overcome. They might create a mega-company that changes the world. They might become doctors who revolutionize cancer treatments. They might be some guy who discovers something great but it’s not recognized in this life. They might be an artist who touches many. There are so many great lives people can live.

The Bad

Then there are the shitty lives where you just seem to suffer, can never get ahead, or spend the rest of your life in jail or as a slave. These lives aren’t pointless though. They have meaning too. They serve a purpose. Sometimes they are for you to learn some lesson about hardship.

Like, how to live frugally… or how to survive in the mountains after a government overthrow… or how to live homeless… or how you can survive living in chronic pain even though it sucks ass… or to teach you to stand up for yourself when you have lived an oppressed life… or how to change your way of thinking and not be so closed-minded… or a chance to fight in a revolution and help make a change.

The Ugly

It can also be a punishment. It’s a life meant for paying a karmic debt, for lack of a better word.

Let’s say that you had a life where you decided to try making lamp shades out of your friend’s skin and stew out of there brains and vital organs. In that life, you got away with it and caused a lot of pain to many people, not just the one’s you killed off and consumed. Their families, their friends, the community, the state, the nation… everyone who was effected by your murderous, carnivorous, interior decorating spree adds to your karmic debt.

If, in that life, you were caught, went to jail, found remorse, and tried to better yourself; your karmic debt would be less. But that life, you managed to evade police, killed a puppy or ten for fun, set random fires that no one linked to you, and basically were just a psychopathic asshole. Your karmic debt would probably follow you through several lives of becoming Mother Teresa or Princess Di before you would be out of karmic debt.

Not all karmic debt if that extreme though. Sometimes you just suffer through a disease but end up beating it because your karmic debt is paid. Or you have a series of bad things happen but nothing that sends you to a padded room. It’s things that you survive and make it through… and then you help others get through the same thing and your karmic debt gets better each time.

Basically, it’s complicated.

Deep Dark Secret #2: My Karmic Debt

I sometimes jokingly say that whatever I did in my last life must have been horrible to deserve such a shit life like this. But honestly, I don’t think it was really that bad because I could have it much worse. 

I do honestly think that this life is here as part of a karmic debt and part as a lesson that I have not figured out yet. Whatever I did in a past life wasn’t heinous like the murderous example above but it hurt a lot of people nonetheless and now I am paying my debt.

I am assuming here… It probably has something to do with medical since I am living with so many medical problems and I have a hard time with doctors treating me horrible. It probably has something to do with affection since I have trouble bonding with people. Or maybe those are just random forms of punishment that were doled out it has nothing to do with that at all.

Anyway, I do believe that this life is a punishment (for lack of a better word) where I am paying my karmic debt. I have trouble seeing myself as anything good which, I think, is part of the debt. People tell me I am talented, amazing, and all sorts of amazing things but I just can’t see it. I wish that for one day, I could see myself through someone else’s eyes.

Here is a minor example. I drew this picture of my cat, Sweetie. People say it is amazing and I did a great job. I don’t see it. I don’t see why it is so good. I can see all my mistakes though.

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I think the disconnection I feel is just a part of my karmic debt. I can connect just enough so that I am not completely isolated emotionally. But, if I bond with someone or get close to them, they are taken away in one form or another. I am supposed to be alone this life (this much I know). At some point I may bond with someone and they won’t disappear, and then I will know my karmic debt is paid. It may not happen in this life. If it doesn’t, then I know it will happen early in my next life and we will be very close.

Until then, I only have enough bonding to keep me from going insane. When I meet a person that I instantly feel like I could bond with, I find myself pushing them away. Not because I don’t want to have a bond with people but because I don’t want my friends to keep dying off at an amazing rate and in violent manners. I imagine that the person who pushes back and won’t go away… I imagine that is the person that will help me see my worth and finally have my debt paid.

So, if you are my friend and wonder why I tend to run away and not get close to you, this is why. It’s my punishment. And I am sorry for it but I don’t know how to change it, or make it better, or make my friends stop disappearing, or make them stop dying, or make them stay without clinging to them so much that they start to hate me. But mostly, I am sorry.

I don’t know what karmic debt I am repaying but I hurt someone really bad and now, I am paying for it with this life. There are no words that can convey my sorrow.

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50 Questions: What Are You Addicted To?

What are you addicted to, and why?

Coffee. That didn’t take long to think of. There isn’t anything else that I am addicted to. Just coffee.

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Why? Because when I don’t drink it, I get horrible migraines. If I continue to avoid coffee, they do not go away. I went about a year or two without coffee and the migraines never went away. In fact, my doctor at the time told me to start drinking coffee to help alleviate the migraines. And it worked. I miss you Dr Morgan!

It also worked this year after I dropped a door on my head. I was leaking clear fluid out my nose and ear. The headache was indescribable. I really have never had a headache like that before. If I was forced to describe it, I would say it was like my brain felt dry and raw and like a pressure behind my eye. The dripping would start and it would get SO much worse.

Yes, I went to the doctor for it. No, they didn’t do anything about it.

Anyway, I started drinking strong coffee (and LOTS of it) and just like Google said, the headaches were a lot less. I could handle them.

Oh sure, I still get the clear water-like drips and it still runs down my throat. And when it does, I just fill up my coffee cup even more and drink coffee until my head isn’t pounding.

So… coffee. I am totally addicted to coffee. And for a good reason.

50 Questions: Life-Changing High School Experience

Question one on the list is:

“What thing that happened in high school that pretty much changed your life forever?”

I have to cheat a little on this question. High school, for me, was hard but nothing life altering really happened. Unless you count getting married, traveling to Georgia to see my father-in-law as we thought he would die, almost dropping out but, I graduated through night school.

Go back one year to grade 9 in Junior High and it’s a different story. Since 9th grade is now in high school, I am going to tell that story.

Grab your popcorn and coffee.

Grade 9 – The Story

I was 15 years old – young, dumb, naive, and immature. I had a boyfriend at the time and he was about 17 or 18. I think he had just turned 18. We had sex because I thought that was the next step in our relationship and because I wanted to be “cool” like everyone else. School started and it wasn’t long after that when I found out I was pregnant.

Since it was 9th grade in a Junior High school with grade 6-8 kids, I was given the option to going to the pregnant girl’s school. At the time it was called Thalia Lynn. It was on the same campus as Princess Anne High School (now it’s the PA Center at Renaissance Academy).

I was due at the end of May 1991. I think it was 28 May 1991 or something close to it. I was excited and scared. I wanted to graduate still but I had no idea how I was going to do everything. Dad Kurt sat us down and had us make a plan for our future. I didn’t believe in abortion so that was out. I was going to keep him no matter what. We had a lot to decide.

Early Labor and Delivery

None of that planning really mattered because my water started leaking and I went into the Portsmouth Naval Hospital’s L&D ward to have it checked out. My water broke in the doctor’s face (how embarrassing!) and my mom managed to stifle a laugh until he left the room to shower and change. Actually, we didn’t see him the rest of the time.

I was in labor for something like 10  1/2 hours after that. He was born at 28 weeks gestation (about 3 1/2 months early) and went straight to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).

Brandon Thomas Latham

I love the sound of his name. I say it to myself a lot and I still get tears in my eyes. It’s something that will haunt me forever. We learned that he had Hydrops Fetalis. Do not google that. It will break your heart.

While I was pregnant, I got the parvovirus B19  which caused him to have Hydrops Fetalis. In case you aren’t familiar with that condition… it is severe edema (fluid accumulation) in a fetus/ baby. It’s like hydrocephalus (water on the brain) but all over the body. He was born with under-developed lungs and a hole in his heart also. We later learned that he also had Downs Syndrome, or Trisomy 21.

Just being born and making it 24 hours was a miracle. He lived on life support the entire time he was alive. His lungs kept collapsing and he had just a slew of health crises. It took such a toll on my psyche to watch my baby decline in health and watch him slowly die before my eyes.

This is also the day I got to finally see his medication wear off a little. With a tube in him mouth and wires coming out of every part of his body, he started writhing in pain… and all I could do was stand there helplessly and cry for the whole three minutes that the nurse had to wait to give him the next dose.

If you are ever confused as to how long 3 minutes is… it is an eternity when you are watching a baby suffer.

Day 5: The Inevitable Happens

By day five, he was struggling pretty bad. I got to hold him for the first time to help change sheets. I was on cloud 9 in that moment. Nothing else existed. Just me and Brandon.

Then the doctors called us for a meeting. It was all the doctors, me, my mom, my boyfriend, and his mom and dad. They told us that sometimes medicine helps but there reaches a point where it stops helping and just starts hurting. We were at the point where it was hurting him. They said we could keep him on life support until he died or we could take him off life support and let him die a little faster. There was no “if he lives” or “maybe he will make it”. He was going to die.

They left and let us decide. My boyfriend and his family were so distraught that they didn’t want to make the decision.

My mom turned to me and said that while, technically, on paper, it was her choice (since I was a minor), she felt it would be wrong to make that decision for me and that she would support me either way I chose. I immediately started bawling and said I couldn’t watch him suffer anymore. Just three minutes of watching him writhe in pain and contort his face in agony while attempting to cry with a tube down his throat was all it took for me to know this was no way to life… or die.

And in my arms on that night…

We went to the chapel and prayed. Let me rephrase that. Everyone else prayed. I begged god that if there was really a god, to take my life and let him live. Make him better. Give him a chance. I had heard too many times that it was my fault because I wasn’t “Christian enough” (not from my family or friends though). I was willing to burn in hell for eternity to let him live.

It didn’t happen though. We went back to NICU where he was struggling to stay alive. The nurse gave him a little extra medicine and then they tied off all the tubes and cut them, removed the intubation tube, and wrapped him in a blanket and put him in my arms.

I think someone said a prayer, he was baptized non-denominational, and then we all took a turn holding him. When he came back to me, I couldn’t let go again.

Tissue please…

For two hours I watched his skin start to grey, I watched him gasp for air as his little lungs couldn’t do anything with the air he drew in, and I felt his skin turn colder and colder.

The doctor came over for another listen for his heartbeat. He asked if I wanted to hear it too. I did! He put the stethoscope on my ears and kept it pressed to Brandon’s chest. I heard a strong THUMP and then waited. I heard a lighter thump and then nothing. I didn’t hear anything after that. I told the doctor I didn’t hear anything anymore. He listened again.

At 7:28 pm, I held my son in my arms as he was pronounced dead. And I felt… numb. My baby had died. My little boy was gone. My first child was laying lifeless in my arms and I couldn’t feel anything for a second. Then I just felt relief. I knew he wasn’t going to hurt anymore. He wasn’t in pain anymore.

The Aftermath

After that, I couldn’t face going back to Thalia Lynn. I couldn’t watch all those girls giving birth to healthy babies knowing that my son was never coming home. I returned to regular school which was hard also.

I joined The Compassionate Friends support group and started my path to healing. They also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. They are free but accept donations. I get paid nothing for saying this; I just highly recommend them.

I got a tattoo done in his honor also.

Brandon's Memorial Tattoo

The purple ribbon is for grieving. The butterfly is The Compassionate Friends symbol for renewed life. It’s a sign of hope that our children are living a new life or that they reincarnated, or went to heaven, or another dimension. You can read the full details in
“Why Butterflies?” here. The two little hearts are for his brothers. And the two little hook things are a symbol for me still holding him in my heart.

I also started writing poetry as a way to grieve. Here is my first poem…

My First Poem – Baby

When my baby died
I cried all night long
I wished that he were here
Yet happy he was gone
For now I know he’s peaceful
And will never be sad inside;
But shouldn’t he be crying
For the ones he’s left behind?
We mortals still have questions
We ask him every day
The one I ask so often is
“Will you be okay?”
We bring him tiny presents
And rest them on his “bed”
I still can’t help but wonder
“Why can’t I be dead?”
But I am here to tell the story
Of how he never cried
Of how he fought for life
Until the day he died
In his ears I whispered
Sweet nothings for him to hear
To let him know I loved him
And that I was very near
But as I whispered softly
He quietly passed away
And took my love to heaven
Forever on that day.


Hopefully the next questions won’t be so depressing.

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Resolution?

After weeks of digging for the reason I have a mental illness added to my chart; and I think we came to a solution.

Let me just clarify before I continue, I am still NOT going back to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center’s emergency room if I am conscious and coherent (and probably incoherent too).

Anywhoodles, I called and talked to the same guy, we’ll still call him George still. I explained that I had filed a complaint against Dr N before and I was still having an issue with him. He asked what had happened and I gave a quick run down of what happened before and the lack of a response that I got as a “resolution”. Since I can’t find it posted on my blog, I will give you all a quick run down. Ready?

The FUBAR Situation

On 23 March 2015 I went to the emergency room for seizures that would start, stop, and then come back within minutes. I was hesitant to go to the ER because of stories I have heard about partial seizures being non-treated here. But after calling Nurse First and still feeling very off, I went into the ER.

I saw Dr N and I it was like being in the Twilight Zone. He refused to hear what I was saying, they ignored the low O2 alarm that occasionally went off because my oxygen would drop down for a few seconds then come back up (lowest my son saw was 50-something and the lowest I saw was 67), and then he checked to see how kidney function was doing.

So, I don’t know how he connected kidney function with seizures… I wouldn’t have thought of checking that. But he did and my kidneys are fine. Not that I thought there was an issue. He came in at one point and mentioned my “dissociating” but I wasn’t dissociating! It was like, no matter what I said he would not hear what I was saying. He was so stuck on “I don’t understand these symptoms you are having” that he could not hear me say, “I AM HAVING SEIZURES THAT KEEP COMING BACK!” Even in my chart he put that I came in “for an unusual sensation that is hard to describe.” WTF? I am pretty sure this guy is either on drugs or perma-fried because it was completely surreal trying to get him to listen. It was like talking to someone about cooking who was only interested in discussing auto mechanics.

Stoner-Dog

And when I snapped and said “I am having seizures” again and he said “well, I don’t know how to treat those.” WTF? How are you an emergency room doctor and you don’t know how to treat seizures? How? That should be like emergency room knowledge 101.

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He went back to bed (charted) and the nurses released me because I can sit at home and be ignored just as well as I can be ignored sitting in the hospital. I do need to throw in here that Nurse J (the guy) was great and Nurse J (the woman) was the most attentive I have ever seen a nurse be at this hospital. In hindsight, I was impressed. During the visit though, I felt so off and randomly out of it that I could barely think (or read… how embarrassing. I swear Ms Nurse J, I can read better than that!)

The Next Day: All Hell Breaks Loose

As I was resting the next day, I get a phone call. It was Dr N calling to tell me he couldn’t figure out what my symptoms were from. I was a little blown away about the call because he wasn’t calling to see if I was okay, I would have been fine with that. I have had other doctors call to make sure I was okay. I am totally okay with them making sure I didn’t go home and immediately die. But he wasn’t calling to check on me at all. He was calling to tell me he didn’t know what those symptoms were, oh and he called my doctors and told them I am not taking my medication (when I was) and had them change my medication to something they all agreed I should be on (that I am against for religious reasons). I was so fucking livid.

Then he tries to set up an EEG and called me about that. He was like “I was going to have them schedule you for today but they had two openings (or maybe it was one?) and they said you would have to call.” WTF? So now you make my appointments for me too? Oh hell no! We aren’t doing this. You are not my health care advocate. You couldn’t even treat me for seizures and now you take over my health care?

And then he calls my psychologist and tells her I wasn’t taking my medication and how he just didn’t understand what was going on with me and on and on.

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I finally went to the hospital and filed a complaint after I finally lost it and snapped at my CMA on the phone. I am so SO sorry T*. I still can’t have my house phone ring without going into a full blown panic attack. The thought of the hospital makes me so mad.

And now to the bullshit

After that complaint, I got the lamest letter that says, basically… paraphrasing here… “We’re sorry for your shitty experience but he doesn’t practice retaliation. He feels really bad about it though.” Out of the whole thing that is what they got? Really? No reprimand? At the least a little write up with a “You can’t act like a patient’s advocate and lie to their doctor” or anything like that? … Fine. Permanently lost me as a patient.

Then this happened. Read about it here. I mean, you couldn’t have asked for a worse experience. Turns out, I linked it back to Dr N. He diagnosed me with a mental illness without telling me or my psychologist or my doctor or anyone for that matter.

And back to the phone call

So I tell George that we tracked it back to Dr N. We had to audit my damned chart in order to find it but, three weeks later, after digging through charts in two hospitals, a clinic, and a specialist office… after having so many searching with me that they probably thought I really was crazy, we found it. He added it on the 24th of March at 0532. They told me that to have it removed, I would have to talk to Dr N about it.

Not wanting to encourage him to harass me or call my house or have any other way of wrecking havoc on my life, I decided to call “George” and explain it to him. He said he wasn’t sure if he was working that day or not. Wait. What? You are the head of the emergency department and you don’t know who is working? Well… okay…

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I gave him the run down of what happened. He tried to defend Dr N. So I kept explaining that this is causing issues with my care with other doctors and I was told to talk to Dr N and I do not want to and asked if he would talk to him. He tried to defend him again and then started saying “He will probably say that he really thinks you have this.” or something to that effect. He even had the balls to tell me that Dr N doesn’t HAVE to tell anyone that he diagnosed me with that. (BULLSHIT! It is my patient’s right to know my diagnosis and not have to fucking spend weeks digging through records to find out about it.)

And that is when I decided to screw being nice and lay it out on the line for him, being totally real…

I told him, “Okay, look! I am about to call the state on you, your hospital, the doctor and everyone involved. I don’t care what you THINK he might say. I want to know WHY he diagnosed me with a mental illness when I don’t even meet the criteria for it.” or something to that affect. I am pretty sure I cussed at that point because I was quite pissed.

I didn’t call asking for someone to be Dr N’s right hand man and stick up for him. I wanted answers and they weren’t being given to me. At this point, I don’t give a rats ass what George thinks, I want to know why Dr N diagnosed me. Period. And why he didn’t tell anyone about the diagnosis. Period. That is what I want to know. I don’t want to hear excuses. I want answers.

So he says he’ll get right on that and will call me right back.

Another lame excuse, or “Do I look stupid to you?”

He calls me back and says that Dr N did not enter it into my chart. The EHR auto-populated my chart with that diagnosis and it happened to other people too. He then said he removed it from my chart or record, I can’t remember the wording. And was so sorry that happened. I call bullshit.

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So I explained that while that was nice and all, it doesn’t solve my issue with my specialists who now think I am malingering because I have a “mental illness”. He said he would call them and explain what happened. I got the number and called him back with that.

He then calls again and said that MB wasn’t in the office but he would be back Monday. Has a sticky note at eye level and all and will make sure it is done. And then he concluded with, “I just want you to know we are taking this very very seriously.” Well it’s about damned time.

So I told him Thank you and that I appreciated that, because I really do.

And now…

And now, I will be checking records in about a week. Let me find that anywhere in my records and I will be contacting the state and possibly a lawyer.

Lesson learned. NEVER EVER go to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center’s Emergency Room. They do not respect you enough to tell you a diagnosis which is your RIGHT to know and they defend retaliatory doctors. That is my opinion right there.

What else would they not tell me?

And the wait begins.

But I am still angry because it negatively effected my health care with other doctors so far. One misdiagnosis, even just for retaliation, means I am now stigmatized.

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23 Days of Not Smoking!

Today is the 23rd day of not smoking. I have to say, I was warned about getting depressed when you quit. I never really thought about it when I quit before, but this time it is hitting me. I think it might have something to do with no income, no hope of income, hungry all the time, trying to make bracelets to sell, and all the other crap I am going through right now. But man, it is hitting me. I will be walking to the store today for some catnip so I can make catnip tea. <— Great tip for depression!

Catnip tea is wonderful for me. I don’t know if anyone else drinks it, but I LOVE IT! It all started some time ago when my kids and I were discussing drugs and drug use. We talked about meth, cocaine, heroine… I can’t remember them all. But we discussed them, their side effects, and looked at pictures of people who did drugs. This was for a homeschooling moment, I think it was partly health and partly culture (but I can’t remember how, it’s been awhile).

When we got to the topic of marijuana, we were talking about Washington state and Colorado legalizing pot use. I told them, since I want to be honest with my children, that I never really understood all the hoopla about pot and why it’s illegal (we’ve researched… leaving politics off my blog!) and I also told them that if it were legal, I would either smoke it or get some of the oils or lotions that help with pain. I would totally go there! I also told them that I don’t smoke it ONLY because it is illegal… no other reason.

I smoked pot when I was 26 for severe migraines. The doctors gave me medicine for them but the medication knocked me out and I could not function. I had two little kids I was raising on my own and I needed to be conscious and able to sort of function. I smoked pot. It worked. One joint smoked and my migraines disappeared for MONTHS! So I didn’t smoke it daily, I smoked it when my migraines hit. I was having them daily before smoking pot. Then I figured out it was soy causing the headaches. I eliminated soy from my diet, no more migraines. No more need for pot either.

We discussed this a long time. My oldest son was curious if there was something that helps like pot and he researched and somehow ended up on a page about catnip. I made some into a tea and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it tasted. Okay, I lied… with enough honey, it tastes pretty good. By itself, not so much. But I was SO HAPPY! I felt great! And so now, I drink catnip tea for depression. It also makes it easier to breathe. I love catnip tea!

And this week, I am getting laundry caught up, dishes sorted through, and my bedroom cleaned. Since Marie moved in, we are sharing a room and I want the place cleaned up! I say that now, but considering I can only clean for about an hour or two a day before I hurt so bad I can’t function anymore, I am probably going to get half that done. I am working on it though. I am working through my pain. I am waiting for disability to figure something out. I am waiting for life to give me a break. I am waiting to win the lottery (it would help if I played)… I am just blah.

I know that spring is coming and I am not looking forward to it. The allergies going crazy, the sun coming out more, the heat coming back. This is not my favorite time of year… at all. I always get depressed this time of year. I am going to go make brownies.

Wishing It Were All Different

This is my journal for therapy. You know, that journal I am to keep but, I don’t. Why? Probably because I can’t handle going through my past in therapy so I don’t want to deal with looking through it again in a written journal. Yes, that is the lamest excuse ever. I know this. And that is why I started this blog.

A little about me: I am not really crazy. I just have a ton of anxiety issues. They medicate me to make me calmer. I take Clonidine once a day, sometimes twice a day. I am in therapy because back in 2011, my whole world changed. Let’s start just before that though.

In 2008: I left a bad relationship and became homeless with two kids. We lived in a van and a tent on the beach. We finally moved to Montana so I could be closer to my family. After three days here, my ex decided to call my dad. Understand, I wasn’t asking my dad and mom to take sides. I just needed support. They were very supportive, that is, until my ex called them.

I am not sure what he said, and frankly, I don’t care either. But after his conversation with my dad, my relationship with my dad changed. I thought it was just me but other people started pointing it out too. He, and mom, went from supportive to “I just don’t understand why you left him during a mid-life crisis”.

Quick note: Mid life crisis lasts a small while. It has things like buying a new car, wanting to drive your new Harley across country, wanting to explore the world, getting a tattoo, or something along those lines.

It doesn’t last for 12 years and include having a wife, a mistress, and a lover, trying to make your wife think she is crazy by playing mind games or holding a knife to your throat in front of your wife and youngest kid. It doesn’t include trying to get your wife and lover to move in together so you and her and her and your kids and her kids can all be “one big happy family”.  M’kay?

Back to 2008: After that debacle, I did find a job, a very good job! I was making $27,000 a year BY MYSELF! I had new friends. I had family nearby. I had a support network like I have never had before.  That was so different to my married life. Probably because he ran off all of my friends… I was genuinely happy. I don’t think I have ever been that happy, honestly.

In 2009: Life was good. That whole year was just fantabulous! Seriously! I can’t think of a better word. My ex was being an on-again off-again jerk but, I was too happy having a life to give a crap.

After a few months he started complaining that the boys, who were in public school, weren’t learning anything in public school. He berated me and told me it was my fault and I needed to do something about it. I had finally had enough and put my foot down. It was NOT my curriculum. I was NOT homeschooling them anymore. I had talked to the superintendent about my complaints and nothing changed. If he wanted something done about it, HE needed to come complain. I was done with it.

About a month later he called and said he wanted me to homeschool the kids like I was doing before we moved here. Hmmm, odd, but okay. I agreed. The next school year started and the boys were homeschooled and my ex wasn’t such a jerk after that. We started talking in a more civil way and started working together a little better.

In 2010: I swayer (in a southern drawl) that I was sick all of 2010. I ended up going down to visit my ex with my kids and got the scare of my life. There was a mass on my liver. Talk about a heart stopper. Turned out that my liver was just GIGANTIC!

I ended up going back home to Montana and got sicker and sicker. The doctors here wouldn’t listen to me. I was getting sent home from work constantly because I was too weak and sick to do my job. But the doctors here kept telling me it was all in my head.

By mid-2010 I was fed up with the doctors here and drove 500 miles away to a Navy hospital to get some help. Turns out that “all in your head” was this…

  • a VERY large liver, bigger than they said in San Diego
  • Gastritis
  • Duodenitis
  • Mallory-weiss tears in my stomach
  • Adhesions in my esophagus.
  • Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
  • Biliary Dyskenesia
  • 47 food allergies
  • Gluten-intolerance
  • and a few others. I can’t remember them all.

I went from being told I was going to die, to feeling like a brand new person. I was better, healing, thinner, happier, and back to work. I was going to live! You have no idea how hard it was to write my children letters for after I died because I thought I would be dead in a year.

In 2011: I was working hard, saving money, enjoying life, and generally on top of the world again! My children were also tested for food allergies as well. LeBraun has 37 food allergies and Leeli has 26 food allergies. They were improving in health also. We were all losing weight. Life was good!

Then June 26th happened. I was working in a nursing home. I was working with an unstable woman and she fell backwards. Out of instinct, I caught her. HUGE mistake! I ended up on Work Comp with a protruding disc in my lower back. Those things HURT!

I went to physical therapy and it only made it worse. I ended up making an appointment with the Pain Clinic. During my wait to go to them, I took it easy and went for a walk each day. I used emu oil on my back and slowly, my back started to heal. I was super positive that I would be able to go back to work if my progress kept up.

When I went to the Pain Clinic, they scheduled me for an Epidural Steroid Injection. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but my thoughts were “If it helps, cool!” And that was a huge mistake!

The day of the injection, I didn’t pee for 14 hours because I COULDN’T pee. I had to go to the Emergency Room and get catheterized. My legs were burning like crazy, my skin was hot and flushed, I was having angioedema attacks, my legs were weak and I kept falling… and so much worse! Those were the better symptoms. I ended up learning to catheterize myself so I could pee.

And the entire time, the doctor kept saying “Huh. That’s weird.” Like he had never heard of this happening before. I know better now.

I started going to therapy because the doctors really made me feel like it was all in my head again. Although, in my heart, I knew that it wasn’t. Therapy has really helped me come to terms with myself and my limitations.

In 2012: I went for a second opinion. The doctor was quite honest with me. He told me to find another career, and preferably something I could do at home because I would never be able to work outside my home again. I didn’t believe him at the time. I do now, but at that point, I didn’t want to believe I was disabled permanently.

Lat 2012, I settled with work comp and I got a one lump sum settlement. I survived on that for quite some time. It lasted 1 and 1/2 years. I was surprised it lasted that long.

All of 2013: I worked at trying to find something I could do at home. Blogging or writing seemed to be the two things I do well. I through my whole being into making it as a writer.

I am working on making crocheted items to sell, but my crochet skills aren’t the best. I am working on that though. I also made jewelry but, it seems like everyone wants the Wal-Mart price. No one wants to pay for the time it took me to make anything. It was depressing and slowly, I moved away from trying to get crafty. No one wants to pay $15 for earrings, $35 for a scarf, $50 for a bag… No one can afford that. If I sold it to them at the prices they wanted, I would be making $1 an hour, not counting the material I have to buy to make the items.

I started focusing on writing. My Adsense revenue started going up a little and I was getting hopeful that I could earn a very small wage at doing something I love. It might take a few years to get it to a livable wage, but then I would be able to actually support myself again.

I finally gave in to my limits and filed for disability but I keep getting told that I will be denied a few times and that it is hard to get on disability. But I have to try. I need an income. I can’t survive on nothing forever.

January 2014: I decided to try cleaning houses for a living. Nothing major, light housework. I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t dress myself without help from someone else. I can’t clean my house without help. Some days, I can’t stand long enough to cook myself a meal. Why I thought I could make it as a housekeeper is beyond me.

I could clean for about two hours before I had to quit. I  could barely get back out to the car. One day, I ended up on the floor and was debating if I should call for help or just crawl out to the car because legs just would NOT work with me. I finally got up. But it really made me rethink the whole idea that I could actually work outside my home.

Each day, I was horrible pain. Each day, I would sit in my chair and cry. Each day, I really thought that, when I sat down and my legs would go numb, that one day they wouldn’t come back. I was so afraid of what I had become. An invalid.

I had to skip a day so I could sort of recover. By the time my friend’s mom volunteered to take my place, I finally hung my head in shame and let her. I could not do it. Who was I trying to fool? Everyone who knows me, knows that I can’t do it. My kids were worrying about me. I had no idea why I was even trying so hard. I had put in application after application for jobs too. But, now, I know I won’t be able to work at those places. I can’t even clean a little bit.

So I started focusing, again, on my blogging. I was checking Adsense every day and trying to figure out what I was doing right, what I was doing wrong, and how I could do better. One day, while I was in my Adsense dashboard, it had a suggestion. Change an ad to make it better. I thought, “Well, it’s Adsense telling me to do this. They know what they are talking about! Okay! I will!” And I did.

The next week was wonderful! My Adsense was going up. I was making about $10 a day. The ad that I adjusted was getting 98% of the clicks. Adsense really knew what they were talking about!

Then I got an email from Adsense stating that my account was disabled for “invalid account activity” and I could appeal. They wouldn’t say what the activity was, or what I did wrong. They gave me a link to their policy page.  I went down everything on the page and I couldn’t find anything I did to get my account disabled.

I posted in the forums and a guy answered my question saying I probably already found my answer to what I did wrong, I just didn’t realize it yet. Putting an ad on your blog that could cause accidental clicks is against their policy. When I set the ad to “blend” and not obviously stand out like I had it before, I had set myself up for myself account to be disabled. Because that is against their policy.

It’s the only thing I could think of that caused that. And now, I am angry at Google. VERY angry! So mad, that I took my blog that I had over there for 11 years and moved it to WordPress.

…And now: I have no idea what I am going to do. I don’t know how I am going to make an income, no matter how small.

I really can’t work outside my home. I can barely take care of my needs on a day-to-day basis. I am in pain constantly. I hurt so much. My legs don’t like to work. I have a chair that stands me up so I don’t need help standing up from someone else. I have a walker for when my legs hurt so bad they don’t want to work.

But seriously… I feel like I am living a life of punishment. I can’t have anything good happen to me. Why? I am seriously wondering WHY!? Why can’t I have ONE good break in life? Maybe I already did.

Plan for the future? sure did! I have a van I can live in when my kids turn 18. I will be homeless, but I will be able to have a roof over my head.

And now, I am finally listening to my therapist and keeping a journal. Now everyone can see how crappy my life is instead of just keeping it to myself and trying to stay positive.

At least, if there is anything good to come of all this, my ex is actually being very nice to me. He is helping me pay my bills and making sure we have enough food. If nothing else, I am grateful for that.