Tag Archives: help

Major Surgery A Week Ago…

…and I feel like the poster child for those who should “take the time to heal right, but can’t because life would fall apart if you did.” WARNING: This post is about women problems (menstruation). 

I’ve been pretty vocal about wanting more kids, and the steps I was willing to take to have them. After my cycle ran amuck and I thought I was dying from blood loss, and with no end in sight, I had an endometrial ablation. A minor-ish procedure. I was down for the next 2 days from cramping, but no more periods, right? I was told that by the 3 month post-op date, I would know if it worked or not. 6 days shy of the 3 month mark, with no warning at all, the flood gates opened! I was devastated. My period was back and just as heavy as before. Since it started I was running for the bathroom every hour, and then every time I stood up, sat down, or adjusted my position in any way. I couldn’t be more than a few steps from the bathroom at any time. By day 2 my head hurt so bad and I had already bled through a giant pad, underwear, and night shirt, and was actively bleeding on the bathroom floor. 

I wasn’t going back to the ER because I did that once before I had the ablation and all they did was put an IV below my thumb (which hurt like hell) that they took blood from but didn’t give me fluids, they gave me Benadryl to help me sleep (because clearly I would want to sleep knowing I would bleed all over), told me I was fine sand sent me home. And that was after 8 straight weeks of nonstop, heavy bleeding. I decided to call my obgyn and talk to a nurse, maybe she had suggestions or whatever. I talked to the nurse who told me I needed a CBC with differential and suggested I go to the ER or urgent care to get it. Screw that, I have connections (not many, but I have some). I called someone who ordered them without having to resort to a trip to the ER or urgent care. I made an appointment with the obgyn, and went to the lab to get the tests done. 

Fast forward 4 days and I’m sitting in the obgyn’s office. Still bleeding very heavy. He came in and asked what I wanted to do. I told him I just want it to stop, whatever it takes. I couldn’t work a full shift, and couldn’t do my job effectively while I was there, I couldn’t take care of my family, I was miserable. He said I could wait it out and see how it plays out or I could have a hysterectomy. Either way I’d be missing more work, and the only way I could stop it for sure was to pick the hysterectomy. So we scheduled it for 6 days later to give me a chance to get things in order because I wouldn’t be able to anything for the first week, and not much more for the second. I would need to plan on taking 4-6 weeks off work. 

Surgery was a week ago yesterday. I had a laparoscopic assisted partial hysterectomy. They took my uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes, which were sent to pathology to try to determine the cause of the excessive bleeding and to make sure there’s nothing hereditary that my girls need to worry about. (We’re still waiting on the results). They left my ovaries. So any chance I might get cervical or uterine cancer were completely wiped out, and my chance of getting ovarian cancer was cut in half and I wouldn’t have to take hormones. On strong pain meds and ibuprofen, I was in bed for 5 days only getting up to go the bathroom. I had alarms set every 4 hours to help me manage the pain. On day 6 I was going crazy and had to get out of the house. Thank goodness for the scooter carts at Walmart. I got shopping done and got out of the house for a couple hours. I got home and was sore and exhausted.

Day 7 my sister-in-law and 2 of my nephews were passing through town on their way home and stopped to visit. It was so great to see them. They brought me flowers and stayed for a little while. Day eight, R had therapy, so Jay came and picked us up and drove us to the therapist. We went to Del Taco for dinner afterwards, and by the time we got home I was tired and hurting. Today, I’m staying in the house and staying in bed as long as the kids will let me. I’m down to only taking half a pain killer a couple times a day, and using over the counter pain relievers to manage the pain. It hurts a lot, but the pain is keeping me from overdoing it too much. 

I hate not being able to do more, but I don’t want to be in pain for the rest of my life because I didn’t take the time to allow myself to heal. I think that Jay and J are both finally beginning to understand how much I do for our family. With them having to step in and step up to make sure everything doesn’t fall apart, I’d like to think they will continue to help even after I’m healed. I’d like to, but I don’t. I don’t think R really grasps everything that going on, so I think he’s largely unaffected by all of the changes. 

As much as I complain and vent about my family, they’ve really stepped up and I’m very proud of them. I have another 3-5 weeks before I can go back to work, and I’m going to try to make the best of it, and not over do it too much. I’m happy I had the surgery, and I’m happy I will never have another period. I’m a little sad that I will never be pregnant again, but I think I actually came to terms with that long before I had the ablation done. 

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I think it goes without saying…

…that our home is full of stress, and often negativity, and not necessarily brought on by the people living in it. Rather it is often the outside influencers who bring it into our lives. That being said, the way that I handle these stresses often adds to, rather than takes away from, the feelings of stress and negativity we all experience. It is difficult to stay positive when you feel like you can never do enough good to achieve a good outcome.

I have a hard time seeing the good in the events that affect my life because it is overshadowed by the mass amounts of negativity that I have thrown my way everyday. Getting yelled at for enforcing rules, being hit by the kids I work with, having parents send me nasty messages because they are too ignorant about what is going on in our home to see (or accept) the good that we are doing,

The good that I see on a daily basis is precious to me. The smiles when kids at work “get it”, the support that we as a family get from the parents who see the good we do (or at least the effort we put into trying to do good), the growth we see in our kids. While these positives may be short lived, they are no less important than the negative, in fact the good is so much more important than the negative, it’s just difficult to recognize the positive as often as we recognize the negative.

It’s overwhelming to start a new, high-stress job; have a new (almost) teen join our family,  and start homeschool because we can’t get guardianship of him, and keeping up with court orders that allow others the opportunity to negatively impact him; have a child leave our family when we’ve seen so much progress, and almost constantly worry about him losing that progress in his new environment; having to place so much responsibility on our newly graduated almost 18 yr old; the start of a new semester, and losing hours at work. I know that my stress is more than some deal with, and I’m also fully aware that others see my stress as trivial. My stress is sometimes more than I am able to handle.

Working in SPED is giving me more tools that I can use to help me be more positive. I’m learning to point out more of the good and ignore more of the bad. This a talent that doesn’t come natural to me, although some of the people at work seem to think it does. I’m grateful I have a good place to learn and practice these new skills. As I push through the tough times and work towards being happier I can see that I can have a positive impact on others.

What I want for myself…

…is to be different than I am. To be smarter. To be healthier. To be skinnier. To be more tone and fit. To be less of a door mat. To be more assertive. To be a better mom. To spend more time with my daughter. To help her see how amazing she is. To have more energy. To be a better wife, or to be better single. To be…more than I think I can (or deserve) to be. 

But reality is…I’m only me. I can only ever be me. I can wish and want and dream to be better, but it will never happen…unless…I can find a way to be happy. Truly happy…with myself being me. Is being me really so bad?

I’m not perfect. I don’t know everything, and I don’t want to. I’d like to honestly say that I can always admit when I’m wrong, but I can’t. So many times I have stumbled, but I have always gotten back up. So many promises were made to me, and then broken. Sure, I’m bitter about some of them, but maybe that’s ok seeing as how I’ve missed out. I pictured my life being so different by now. Maybe it’s just that I’m scared about turning 40. I can’t even say that it snuck up on me because it didn’t. I saw it coming. Part of me wishes that death would come for me, quietly in the night, so I wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. Ok, suffer is probably a slight overstatement. So I wouldn’t have to deal with life’s many disappointments. Yup, that’s better. My life has been hard for me. I imagine everyone feels that their life has been hard for them though. I’m not that special. 

One thing I’ve learned, that helps me to not be so down about myself and about life, is to tell someone I need to hear something positive about me. Usually it’s one of my brothers or uncles or mom. Sometimes it friends. When I’m really down and I can’t think of anything positive about myself, I have a group of people that I trust who are always able to find the positive in me. These are also the very same people who won’t hesitate to kick my butt when I need it. Trust me…I’ve needed it. 

I struggle to ask for help, and I keep things inside so I don’t become a burden to others; but holding everything in and keeping it all to myself leads me to explode on whoever is in my way when I’ve reached my limit. I don’t mean to lash out, and I try not to, but I fail. I’ve lived a life that has left me weary and scarred. I have people that I trust, but I guess I am unable to trust them completely. I can’t allow others to tear down the walls I’ve built up to protect myself. There seems to be no middle ground. People in my life have either been extremely selfish or extremely selfless. Again, no middle ground. I continue to try. I continue to learn the harsh lessons that come from failing to ask for help. I won’t give up!

Secrets and Lies…

…are toxic. I think that many adults, maybe even most adults, would agree that secrets can be dangerous. After all, isn’t that why we keep them? To protect those we love? Or maybe, if we’re honest with ourselves, we keep them to protect us. 

I have secrets. And I assume everyone does. I don’t have many people in my life that I trust enough to tell them to, so I just keep them to myself. I wish I could trust someone enough to tell, but I’ve been hurt too many times. Secrets weigh a lot. They weigh me down. They make me feel in control…but in control of what? They make the walls I’ve built thicker, so it’s harder to let someone in. But I still keep them. Afraid of being judged, or letting someone down (heaven knows I’ve done that enough), or of losing people I love. I long for someone I can trust enough to tell my secrets to so I can shed the weight. Sometimes I feel like it’s too late to tell anyone, too much time has passed and it won’t make a difference anymore. Sometimes I feel like it’s too soon to tell anyone, like some obscure statute of limitations hasn’t run out yet.

I got a call from T’s school. They said there had been an incident and could I come to school immediately. I got in my car and drove the 4 blocks to his school. When I turned the corner to the 4th block I saw a police car at the school and I knew the officer was there to talk to me. My mind raced as I thought of all the possibilities. T is a good kid, a great kid. I didn’t know what “the incident” was, but I knew it wasn’t good. As I walk in to the office I am greeted by the vice principal and the officer. We walked into the principals office and the door was closed behind us. My heart felt like it was missing at least every other beat. The vice principal began to explain and as reality set in, I felt lost, angry, scared, upset, unsure of how to handle the news I had just received.

T has been keeping secrets for over a year. At 7 years old he should not have secrets, especially heavy ones. Over a year ago, he was touched, and ask to do things by another student, inappropriate things. He did what was asked of him, and some others he wasn’t willing to talk about today. Sometime over the last couple weeks he asked a couple other kids to do these things with him, the same things that were done to him over a year ago. I don’t understand, and I doubt I ever will. If I’m this confused, I can only imagine how much more confusion he has been dealing with. Gathering details…recorded interview with the officer…I can barely wrap my mind around it. I need time to think and to process the information, but I can’t yet. I’ve got stuff to do today. Stuff that must get done today. 

When we finally get home I can’t stand the thought of being home, so dinner will be a dinner out tonight. At dinner I decide that I need to give his parents a chance to process the information. I need to give them the same instructions the officer gave me. “Don’t punish him. He’s not in trouble. Talk to him about private parts, about how they are his, and no one else is allowed to touch them. If he is willing to talk, then listen. Don’t pry and don’t ask questions in a way that will lead his answers. Love him. Let him know he is not at fault.” I write an email. I write it knowing that dad will not be able to read it all before calling to yell at me and freak out about what happened to his son, but hoping that he reads it all. He doesn’t. I write it hoping to give them a chance to process the information before they try to talk to him. I didn’t have time to process it, I was brought in, sat down, given the facts, and told to take him home and keep him out of school on Monday. My phone rings just minutes after sending the email. Apparently, they missed the part of the email where I tell them I’m giving them a chance to process the information. 

I talk to dad as best I can while he yells at me, grilling me to tell him the facts. I’m in a restaurant. I excuse myself to walk to the store where “Uncle” and T will meet me. Dad keeps yelling and telling me to “beat his ass” for what happened. Yup. Not gonna happen. I’ve been tense all afternoon, and I’m tensing up more talking to dad. Dad keeps yelling and I try to tell him I need to go so I can be present with Tanis and give him the attention and support he needs. Dad tells me “He’s fine…you need to calm me down!” My battery dies and I feel relieved that the yelling has stopped for the moment. Then I began to feel angry as I process what dad said during the “conversation”. T is willing to talk to me, he seems a little embarrassed, and not quite sure why he isn’t in trouble, but when we got home he told me everything. If I punish him at this point, then that open line of communication stops dead in its tracks. 

T is sorry I had to come to the school because of what happened. I’m not worried about coming to the school. I’m worried about the effects this will have on T long term. I love this little boy. My family and I have sacrificed so much to be here for him. I feel like dad thinks I’m nothing more than a babysitter he can boss around. I’m trying to protect T and help him and teach him right from wrong. I haven’t had a 7 year old in my house for almost 10 years, and it’s not easy trying to pick up where someone else left off. It hasn’t been easy, but he’s worth it. 

Much too much, and much too overdue…

…for a reality check. 

I’ve been wanting to post this for a while:
June 29, 2015

Daughter, sister, auntie, mother, mom, grandma (Umma), friend, confidant…these are just a few of the titles that I am very proud of. I assume that many share these, and similar titles (son, father, dad, brother, uncle, etc.) 

These are a part of who I am, and while carrying these titles is sometimes difficult, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Recent events have led me to evaluate and reevaluate why I have these titles and why I choose to continue to live in this difficult and harsh world despite the hardships that I face in life. Life is full of choices, and every choice (good or bad) has consequences. The consequences of holding a child in your arms and telling them that you love them may range anywhere from a small hint of a smile to a tantrum with that child screaming that they don’t love you, and everything in between and beyond. 

I want to talk about one choice in particular that has had an impact on my life and the lives of everyone I know. Suicide. 

Now, I know that some of you will read this and say to yourselves “I’ve never considered suicide” or “I don’t know anyone who has killed themselves”, but I promise that it has still impacted some aspect of your life. 

My dad made this decision almost 31 years ago. I was 8. I don’t know if he realized what an impact this decision would have on the people in his life until it was too late. I don’t know if he considered the impact this choice would have. 

I have spent many nights (and some days) blaming myself for his choice. I know, I know, it’s not my fault. But let me tell you something. I was not good enough for him to live for. Do you want to know what else? Neither were my brothers, my mom, his siblings, his nieces and nephews, his friends. No one was. If only I wasn’t such a brat. If only I didn’t roll my eyes when he told me he loved me, if only I had not told that lie and gotten caught, if only I had not thrown a jealous fit over something my brothers got praise for, if only…if only…if only…

For those who wonder how my dads decision has impacted their lives when they never even knew him, let me clarify. I know that the choice was his, and it was a choice, regardless of what led to it. In my mind, and in my heart, I know he made this choice not as a result of anything I did, but as a result of his feelings of depression, desperation, and despair. That doesn’t remove the blame that I placed on myself at the age of 8, and some part of me still finds reasons to take the blame. I am a different person because of his decision. I approach people differently, I have a different outlook on life, and I handle situations differently than I imagine I would have if he had decided to stick around. My attitude about life and relationships is different. That has had an impact on the lives of everyone I have come into contact with. Based on the 6 degrees of separation (look it up), his decision has impacted you too. You may, or may not know someone who has contemplated, or decided on, suicide. You may, or may not know that someone close to you has thought about it. 

I too have contemplated suicide when life has been difficult, but I have also taken time to consider the consequences and the impact it would have on those I love. I have considered what I would miss out on, what I would force others to miss out on. This is where I return to those titles I mentioned earlier. Based solely on my decision, my brothers, mom, children, nieces and nephews, granddaughter, friends would not have me to turn to in times of happiness, sorrow, or need. They would not be able to text or call me when they have something to share. Sure, I could take away my earthly pains by choosing to take my own life, or I can choose to live, realizing that these earthly pains are just a reminder of where I came from, how much I’ve grown, (and even though I find it hard to admit at times) how much I love my life and value the relationships I’ve made. 

Recently I had a very close friend tell me he wanted to take his life. He has a young son, T, he has raised alone for most of the boys life as his way of supporting his wife’s Navy career, and he has done an amazing job. His boy is not perfect, but man is he smart, and full of piss and vinegar. My friends life has not been easy…full of disappointments, abandonment, addiction, prison…the list goes on and on. But despite his very difficult life, he was able to marry an amazing woman, have a son, and raise him to be one of the most respectful 6 year olds I’ve ever met. This boy is my friends whole world…yet, while his boy was in his care, he chose to try and end his life.

I drove over 26 hours, by myself, to go pick T up. When I got there, my friend asked me why his life is so hard. I told him, and I believe every word of it, “because God knows what a strong person you are, even if you don’t.” I reminded him of the many pity parties I had as a teenager with him on my porch swing about how I blamed myself for my dads decision. I pointed out his son, and the burden he would be placing on his son if he took his own life. Then, he had the nerve to ask me a question. He asked “What about me?” I felt the blood rush to my head as I responded “What about you?” I mean really! You choose to give up with no regard to the consequences everyone else has to live with, and you really want me to answer that question! Honestly! I told him his life hasn’t been about him since his son was born. As the sole caretaker of that boy, and claiming that his boy means everything to him, he made a decision to leave his boy and attempt to end his life…had he succeeded, had his wife not called me to ask for help, his boy (his world) would’ve ended up in foster care with the potential to follow his dad’s difficult life path. 

He had lost his dang mind. I knew he needed to have his mental state evaluated, and the stress was sending him into seizures. I chose to call an ambulance. I needed to do whatever it took to protect his son, who, by the way, was telling me what “medicine” to give his dad to help him recover from his seizures, and where to find it. I had to argue with a 6 year old about the best way to care for someone after a seizure. The sheriffs department arrived first. My friend has NEVER had a positive experience with officers before. I explained that to the officers and they were able to miraculously put his mind at ease and he had a conversation with 2 officers for the first time in his life. (Thank you officers Jace and J.J.) They asked him to go to the hospital to be evaluated. I was in shock when he said yes. Relieved, but shocked. After arriving at the hospital, I let him say bye to his son, and we started on the long drive home. I now have temporary custody. His mom deploys in a few months, and wants him to be in a stable environment while she’s away. 

Last night was the first night he’s stayed over with us in a couple years. He had a meltdown, not because he is here away from his dad, but because he knew what his dad had done. He asked me what’s going to happen to him if his dad kills himself. He is worried that he will never see his dad again, and he’s worried about the “house” they lived in, and what will happen to their stuff. A 6 year old boy worrying about how he’ll get food, and take care of himself. No matter how much I tried to tell him I would worry for him, he couldn’t let go of that stress he had been carrying around since he witnessed his dad’s first attempt to take his own life. T told me of 3 separate instances that he knew about.

The messages I want to send to anyone who may read this…

  1. Suicide is a choice.
  2. Suicide is a selfish choice
  3. Suicide affects everyone
  4. It’s not all about you
  5. The world revolves around the sun…it does not revolve around you
  6. Your life may be very difficult, but someone else has it worse
  7. There is help out there, and you can find simply by asking
  8. You are not alone
  9. If you are thinking about suicide, even just a little bit, talk to someone