Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Oh, that's right... I haven't written any in EIGHT FREAKIN MONTHS!
Truth is, I kind of miss this. The process of catching up is just such a pain in the... well, you know. Can't upset the auto-censors. Here we go with the Reader's Digest Condensed Version, then. Everybody likes Readers Digest, even God.
I finally showed my son the door late in January, when he made it halfway through his twenty-third year continuing to be uneducated, unemployed, stoned, and frequently afoul of the law. Predictably, the process was accompanied by much recrimination on his part and guilt on mine. Will he use this cold-water dose of reality to get his stuff together? I don't know. But I can't make it my problem anymore. For awhile he hated me. For even longer, I hated myself. Now we're talking, at least. To my knowledge, he's still not working, and he still hasn't secured permanent residence anywhere. I imagine that will finally happen when his friends decide they want their couches back.
Seriously, this is hard. I'm codependent and a fixer by nature anyway, and it goes against everything I've been taught to cut those apron strings. Tough love always seemed a contradiction of terms to me. But I just can't do this anymore. It was literally making me sick.
My daughter and my grandson are still living with us. Prince Charming has been on again and off again with the child support, resulting in her no longer being able to work, because she hasn't been able to afford the daycare. There is no end in sight. Were she alone, I would insist that she learn to fend for herself too. But my grandson is in the equation, which changes everything. And, truth is, I really enjoy the little guy. There's nothing like toddler snuggles to make a woman's day. And he loves his Oma.
The hard part? She's increasingly sliding back into the old role of child, expecting me to center any available time I have around her and her needs. This is not happening. I don't have the energy I used to, and honestly, I don't have the desire either. It was old when she was seventeen. Now she's twenty-seven. It doesn't help that it appears to be her plan to maintain the status quo until either A, a new Prince Charming sweeps her off her feet and whisks her away to paradise, or B, she comes into her inheritance and can finally live the good life. Given that B would entail my biting the dust, that's not very appealing to me, even if it is more realistic than A. Somehow we're going to come up with a Plan C, unless one of you has an eligible brother, son, or grandson who has a job and an appetite for punishment. But I'm rambling.
Healthwise, things are much the same. I'm still smoking, although I quit about as often as a wasband who will not be named changes his socks. I gain weight. I lose weight. I gain even more. It's been the same old pattern. I made it all the way up to two hundred and forty-six pounds when I was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver. That scared the crap out of me, and so I sold a kidney (my bad one, not to worry, I'm not THAT much of a fool) and joined Slimgenics. This was about a month ago, and I've already lost twenty-two pounds. It hasn't been as hard as I anticipated. Processed foods are completely out of the picture, and I'm shedding old addictions as quickly as I am the weight. My ultimate goal is to make it down to a hundred and forty pounds. I haven't weighed that little in thirty years.
The down side? (There's always a down side.) It's expensive as hell. Their supplements and snacks could drive a person to bankruptcy. Once I go through my current supply, you can bet I'm not going to order more.
I got my crafty Libertarian self elected as a district delegate for the Republicans, and if all goes according to plan, I'm going to get myself elected as a State delegate too. If I could make it all the way to the Convention, that would be beyond fantastic. I harbor no illusions about Ron Paul actually winning, but the Party is growing, and the mindset is catching on. Some good changes will happen if the right people get elected to the right offices. And this groundswell will make the frontrunners just nervous enough to want to dicker on the points that are important to us. Baby steps, baby. These next four years are going to be interesting.
My job is demanding but satisfying. I love the people with and for whom I work. I do not love the commute. I average three hours a day on the road. That's too much. Unless I find something with comparable pay closer to home, though, this will have to continue until we retire in ten or so years. Then? Eastern seaboard, baby, here we come!
The weather is freaking me out. Last year at this time, we were cheeks-deep in snow. EVERY other year at this time, it's been cold as hell, and things didn't start greening up until well into May. Not so this year. We've had several days in the eighties, and trees are blooming already. The grass is back, shoots are springing up everywhere, and the frogs and mosquitoes have awakened. Mind you, I love the warmth, but it still makes me nervous. I can't help wonder if the earth has tilted on its axis or if, God help us, the Mayans or Al Gore were right.
Have I missed anything? I don't think so. Enough for today, then. I'll do this again in another eight months, Mayans and Al Gore notwithstanding.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I put in two hours of overtime today, and lo and behold, I'm still hanging around. Amazing, how quiet it is, sitting in the middle of an ocean of empty cubicles. Got a lot accomplished, too. Didn't think about sneaking down to the cafeteria more than about seven dozen times. Easy peasy. So easy, I'm going to do it tomorrow too.
I'd be on my way home right now, but to tell the truth, I'm relishing the peace. Chaos is not my friend. And it's been a constant in my life, in one form or another. If it's true that we choose our lives ahead of time for the lessons to be learned in them, I suspect this is the bear I need to wrestle and overcome.
Truth is, I'm a codependent. Of course, back in old days, they had much nicer labels for people like me. We were fixers. That doesn't sound so bad. We were the beloved aunties everyone brought their sad stories to, the sweet old ladies with a ready ear, shoulder, and lace-trimmed hankie. We were the parents who were there for their children no matter what, and we were the lower middle class working schlumps who invited strangers to their table because they looked hungry. Isn't heaven supposed to be made up of people like that? Yeah. Well. Guess not.
The thing about being fixers is, the people who want fixing will fix themselves, the ones who don't will resent our efforts, and then there's that woefully large group of people who recognize our fixerishness (codependency just sounds so nasty) and milk it for all it's worth. And, in the end, we're the ones who need fixing, and we just don't have any energy left for it.
Why do you suppose Sonnyboy still lives in my house at 23, without a job, without an education, and without the slightest intention of doing anything except playing Peter Pan, getting drunk, and conning me out of money? Why do you suppose I've bailed Princess out of jams time and time again, and settled her financial woes at the cost of creating my own? Why do you suppose I always wind up in the middle of arguments between the two of them, and between them and the Silver Fox too, and thereby experience three times the stress of any one of them?
Yeah, I allow it. They may be the ones who put me there, but it's only because they can.
I've got to wonder what's turned me into such a pleaser. Face it, that's what I am, at work too. Good for getting ahead and influencing people, but bad, very bad for a person's emotional health. It could be the legacy of a childhood in which I never quite measured up. It could be a subconscious attempt to keep myself safe and out of the crosshairs. Who the hell knows.
At any rate, it's doing me no good. And I don't want to run away. So I guess I've got some self-fixing to do. Again.
God isn't done with me yet, it would appear.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The low carb thing bombed miserably. And I have more arterial sludge now than ever before. The doctor put me on cholesterol meds yesterday. Freakin wonderful. She told me I was inching up perilously close to the danger zone with my blood glucose, too. Good bye, McDonalds Mocha Frappes. Good bye, burgers and fries. Good bye, indecent quantities of communal red licorice at work. I don't even like that stuff, so why the hell did I eat so much of it? Because it was there? (That's pretty much why I married my second husband too, and a different story entirely, which probably doesn't even belong here, but you know you'll read it anyway sooner or later.)
I haven't gained all my weight back - I'm still twenty-one pounds shy of that - but I could probably pull that off too within a month, if I continue in the direction I'm going. Can't do it. Just can't. I'm on BP meds. I'm on cholesterol meds. What's next? And I'm so DAMNED sick of wearing clothes with X's in them.
Life has been batsh!t crazy, which hasn't helped cement my resolve by any means. Sonnyboy just keeps getting in trouble and avoiding work like a pox-riddled ho, Princess moved back in with the most beautiful little boy in the world because Prince Charming turned out to be a toad, I'm still robbing from Peter to pay Paul, and I'm tripping over stuff in my own house. There's no room for anything. There's always chaos. The sibling rivalry thing apparently lasts well into the twenties. My Silver Fox is spending an awful lot of time in his garage. I'd join him if I didn't think he'd actually put me to work on something.
But it's going to be OK. It's going to be OK. (Said it twice, for luck.) And I've gotten Rosie the Wonderbike dusted off, my treadmill and elliptical set up in the smallest bedroom in the house, and an attitude. Maybe I should have mentioned the attitude first. You probably caught on to that part of the equation by my second paragraph, though. Smart people, here on SparkPeople.
Friday, April 22, 2011
I've been back in Minnesota for a week now. Mom is home and doing well, albeit still not ready to live alone. Her sister is staying with her for the time being. Fortunately, on my father's side, we're Italian, meaning my generation and the generation before me bred like bunnies. There will be plenty of relatives to take care of her when Aunt Karin has to leave. So all is well on that front.
It's good to be back at work. I've definitely missed the income. And having lived on credit cards for ten weeks left a toll. Leave it to me to have a plan, though - I've taken the internet off both our phones, I've cancelled my massage package, my tanning, my nail appointments, and the gym membership I never seem to take advantage of (and don't blow any aneurisms over that, we've got most of the equipment at home too!), and the monthly savings combined with the extra cash at my disposal since I'm not smoking anymore will get us caught up in a relatively short amount of time. Mind you, short to me may not necessarily be short to you.
I'm at a bit of an impasse with the low carb thing. I'll give it through the rest of the month before I start doing any tweaking to the routine, though.
Still cold in Minnesota. Now, there's a surprise for you.
Back to work!
Monday, April 04, 2011
What I ought to be doing is chemically soaking thirty years worth of nicotine stains off my mother's bathroom tiles. I also ought to be cleaning her toilets and her sinks, waxing her furniture, vacuuming her brand new carpets, and washing her floors. I ought to. She's coming home tomorrow, finally, barring setbacks. God knows there have been enough of those. And, despite the fact that my brother and I have painted the entire house, replaced all the carpets, and replaced the living room furniture and drapes to completely exorcize the last traces of the evil Nicodemon, I have no doubt that even the one dancing dust mote that escaped our attention will be the first thing to capture hers. And then, I'll be in for it, oh yes I will. I may be pushing sixty, but Mom's steely stink-eye can still make my lunch curdle.
So yeah, I really ought to be doing this stuff. But, damn it, I need a break. So, here I am. And yes, I know, you haven't heard from me since before Christmas. The cruise did happen in January, and it was wonderful. And since then, everything's gone to hell.
My mother, no surprise, has emphysema. She was made aware of that over fifteen years ago, when she had surgery for bladder cancer (also caused, incidentally, by smoking - any mucosa within the body is very sensitive to the effects of nicotine). She kept on smoking anyway. And lo and behold, the latter part of January, her COPD landed her in the hospital. Pneumonia and CHF (congestive heart failure) decided to get in on the act too. Her heart was racing like a rabbit's, her oxygen levels were dangerously low, and she was weak as a kitten, she couldn't even stand up. I came home on FMLA on the seventh of February, and have been here ever since.
It's been a rough road. Honestly, we thought she was going to die that first week. But she didn't. She fell no less than four times while in the hospital, because she's a stubborn old German, and refused to ring for assistance when she needed to go to the bathroom. Still, her heartrate and her oxygen levels stabilized, and the third week of February, she was moved to a nursing home for short-term physical and occupational therapy.
That very night, she was rushed back to the hospital by ambulance, and spent the next week in the ICU. It appears my mother never told anybody when her bowel patterns changed a year ago. Prone to frequent loose movements most of her life, she thought it was a great thing when she started producing little rabbit turds instead. She never questioned why things changed so drastically. She also never told anyone she hadn't had a bowel movement for three days prior to her release.
Bottom line is, she had an obstruction. The colonoscopy revealed, thank God, that it was not malignant, but rather the result of extremely infected and extremely inflamed diverticulitis. She was put on IV antibiotics, given a truckload of stool softeners and laxatives, and for the next three or four days, crapped more than I believed was humanly possible. It was mind-boggling. It also relieved the distension in her abdomen, and allowed her diaphragm to to descend back to where it belonged, thus increasing her lung capacity.
March first, she returned to the rehab center. Mind you, Murphy's Law is an ever-present force in my mother's life. All the pooping must have given her shingles. And oh, what a vicious case it was - horrible to see on anyone, much less an eighty-two year old woman. She worked her skinny little butt off anyway, and as I mentioned, is scheduled for release tomorrow.
She is, of course, on oxygen, and she can't be alone for the time being, and so I will stay until my aunt is able to relieve me, hopefully late next week. Thank God for FMLA - it may be unpaid leave, but at least I still have a job. I think.
I gained weight though. Boy, did I gain weight. I ate everything that wasn't nailed down that first month. I even ate some stuff that WAS nailed down. That was nipped in the bud a couple of weeks ago. I've been doing a lot of reading at night, and I've come to some conclusions about what is apt to work for me long-term, and I've adopted the low-carb approach. Stay tuned.
Almost two o'clock. I suppose I'd better get back to work. Well, crap. That's all, then. For now.
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