- Arabella went through with the wisdom teeth extraction even though she couldn’t be sedated. (Although now she has dry socket, so…hopefully next week’s gratitude will be that she is feeling better).
- My son’s girlfriend bought cookie cutters and sprinkles on clearance and came over to make Christmas cookies with me. We talked about making cookies at Christmastime. I didn’t think it would happen, but it did.
- Clean sheets.
- My son’s car ended up being totaled after someone ran a red light on Christmas Eve and hit him. Thankfully my new son-in-law knows a lot about cars and is helping my husband and son in the restoration process.
- It’s been a rough week. I just haven’t been feeling good lately and feel exhausted. I’ve been struggling a lot with depression too, but here I am.
- I’m looking forward to doing some large scale planning this week.
- Time spent with family.
- Angel had a large mole removed this week and everything went well. We are just waiting to hear back with the test results.
Nothing normal about something routine
Arabella had her wisdom teeth removed yesterday. Although it’s a relatively normal routine experience for someone of her age, there was nothing normal about her experience.
Will and I went with Arabella for her appointment. The paperwork part seemed to take forever. Maybe because she lost the paperwork they sent her so she had to fill it out there. The forms asked for all of her medications and dosage which we didn’t have with us.
Arabella asked Will and I to come in with her for the surgery consult. The nurse asked questions about her forms. She also asked when was the last time Arabella smoked marijuana to which she replied last night. The nurse left the room then Arabella and Will started arguing rather loudly. Will said she wasn’t supposed to smoke and Arabella said it didn’t matter. She was screaming and swearing at him asking how he would know he never had his wisdom teeth out. I told my daughter to stop, she did.
Then the dentist came in. He told my daughter he was refusing to sedate her because he wouldn’t sedate anyone who smoked in less than 24 hours, preferably 48, because he said there is an increased risk of cardiac arrest with anesthesia. Then she said it was probably 24 hours and Will said it was definitely not which started another round of screaming. The dentist said she could stay awake during the procedure or reschedule for two months from now. My daughter freaked out in a full blown panic.
By this time the nurse was also getting upset saying she could drug test my daughter and told her they had other patients scheduled for surgery after hers and they were behind now. They did thank her for being honest but said she had to hurry up and make up her mind whether she was going to do the surgery or not. She decided to go ahead with it. Will and I quickly left the room. I saw the dentist in the hallway and apologized for my daughter’s behavior stating mental health issues blah blah blah. She was quite agitated when we left her in the room. The dentist said he could stop the surgery at anytime if it wasn’t going well. She did have the option of laughing gas.
Meanwhile out in the lobby I told Will I didn’t like how my daughter was treating him. I told him I was going to tell her that her behavior towards him was totally unacceptable. He asked me not to because it would only make things worse. I asked him why he puts up with it and he sadly said because he loves her. I truly believe he does. I think he is good for her but I can’t say the same for her. For the longest time I’ve been her scapegoat for her rages and mood swings. Now it is him. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him yet relief it is no longer me and I don’t have to live with her anymore.
I was in fight or flight mode pretty much the whole consult and when she first went into surgery. It was very triggering. It also brought back feelings of going with my mom to take Matt to doctor appointments when he could attack people. My new therapist said triggers are good because they show areas that still need some work. But I wonder what she would say if I told her I get triggered every day multiple times a day. I don’t think that is quite normal. Maybe I’m a long way from being healthy. It’s such a depressing thought that it could be an unattainable goal.
Every time the door would open and a nurse would come out I thought they might be coming for me with something wrong. Plus I don’t numb to local anesthesia so I worried she could have problems with that too. Instead they were calling in other mom’s with their teenagers for a consult. I envied them for their normal routine wisdom teeth extraction mother/daughter moment.
Will told me not to worry everything was fine. Arabella sent him a message that she loves surgery shortly after they started the laughing gas. It reminded me of the time I took my MIL in for a breast biopsy that gave her the diagnosis of breast cancer. Arabella is a lot like her. Once medicated my MIL said she loves biopsies and how she could go in and have a biopsy every day. I was finally able to relax a little with that thought.
After another hour of waiting, they called us back in. The surgery went great, better than expected. I’m sure their expectations, along with mine, were pretty low. I wondered how often they see someone with mental health issues like my daughter’s. They sometimes need routine surgeries too. Maybe that is the only thing normal about it.
Gratitude week 115
- This week I planned a trip out west for my husband and I for our 25th wedding anniversary. We will be staying a couple days in Idaho and Montana, two more states to check off my bucket list. I thought it would be funny to visit Yellowstone and see Old Faithful on our anniversary. Funny story, when Paul and I were in New Orleans we met a lady on a tour who was from Idaho. I told her I would like to visit her state and asked her what the best thing to do was. She said don’t, go back to New Orleans instead. My daughter told me to bring back some potatoes for her. I know it doesn’t sound like an exciting 25th anniversary trip, but I believe there are good things to see and experience in every part of the world. If you are looking for it, you will find it.
- Since Paul and I cancelled our trip to Puerto Rico in January because non-essential travel was not recommended due to COVID wrecking havoc and running rampant, Expedia gave us an airline credit. The extra protection travel insurance was total crap. They wouldn’t refund anything even though travel was disrupted and not advisable. So, I booked the above trip using the credit which was an absolute nightmare. What should have taken me a couple hours to plan literally took me all day. I didn’t get anything else done, like write on this blog. But anyway, I was unable to apply the credit when I tried to book it myself. But to talk to an actual live person through Expedia and the airline itself was a two to three hour wait. I tried chatting through the airline and got nowhere. I almost gave up on being able to use the credit, but finally tried Expedia’s chat. The person I worked with was absolutely amazing and was able to book the trip for me using my credits over chat. I’m grateful they also gave us credits for the cancelled trip since the insurance company refused to cover any of our costs although it was advertised as being refundable for any reason.
- My husband learned how to play Mahjong and taught me how to play. The game was a Christmas gift a couple years back from Paul but we never learned how to play until this past week. It is rather time consuming and intimidating to learn. We ended up having Angel and Dan over for homemade pizza and Mahjong this week and it was fun.
- I had a dentist appointment this week for a cleaning. No problems!
- Last night we set the clocks ahead an hour for Daylight Savings Time. Spring is coming, even though we woke up to a couple inches of snow. But at least it will be light later.
- Yesterday we had some friends and family over for a board game day. It was nice to do something fun and get our mind off of things. We played several new games.
- It’s been hard with Arabella in the hospital. Paul and I have been having a difficult last couple of days and haven’t been getting along well. I thought we would get used to it over time but it doesn’t seem to be going that way. It’s stressful and doesn’t bring out the best in us. However, our relationship is going better now.
- I’m grateful that Arabella is talking to me now and we are getting along a lot better than we did before. It’s easier to help her through her depression this way.
Gratitude week 97
- Woohoo! It’s no shave November. LOL
- My husband is on week 2 of the detox diet and doing good.
- I’m grateful that Angel and Alex got gym memberships and work out several times a week. I’m happy that two of our kids have picked up on some of the healthy habits my husband and I have.
- The last couple of days the weather has been seasonally warm and sunny.
- I have appointments tomorrow with both the dentist and the doctor for a physical. YUCK! So the following day I made an appointment to get a massage. Yippee! It’s been ages.
- I started rereading the first edition of my book. It’s been almost two years since I wrote it and this will be my first read through since then. I’m grateful to have started the process again.
- I got a major project crossed off the list in the garage apartment. We finally got an oven hooked up after 6 months. My mom donated her oven which was great except that it was hooked up specially for propane and not natural gas. We needed someone to hook up the oven to the gas line. But the hard part was finding someone that could convert the oven back from propane to natural gas. I had 3 service guys out that couldn’t do it. We had to wait for parts. Some of the parts were incorrect. The guy from the appliance store that finally was able to fix it was out for the summer due to open heart surgery. He even had to come out a couple of times but he was finally able to get the oven converted this week.
- Angel and I met with the florist this past week for wedding planning. He was an old friend of ours from the community theater and gave us a discount. It was great to visit again. Crossed that off the list.
- I was able to cross off DJ from the list as well. Believe it or not but back in the day I used to drive my minivan out to the school once a month for the PTO meetings. I helped plan the school family dance and went through this DJ. We also used him when we planned my husband’s and friend Jen’s 40th birthday party. He said he would give us the same rate that he gave us over 10 years ago which is way under market price. Win, win, win.
- We have all the major stuff planned now for the wedding. They have the wedding chapel, the reception hall, cake, DJ, flowers, my daughter’s wedding dress, and photographer. My daughter asked me to be their wedding planner because I am a super anal organized detailed person. Since Angel lives at home we are able to talk about it and bounce ideas off of each other. Unfortunately this may have caused her future MIL to feel left out who is more of a fly by the seat of her pants kind of person. Thankfully we are all aware of the situation and maybe it can be fixed now before it is a problem.
- Yesterday Angel and Dan had their engagement pictures done. It was a horrible day for Angel however. Once in a while she provides care for an elderly lady with dementia. Angel was out walking with this woman yesterday when the woman fell and broke her leg. It was a very traumatic experience for them both. Thankfully since it was a beautiful day outside, there were several people nearby who offered help instead of walking away or recording the event. The whole experience was very upsetting for my daughter who was crying the morning of the day she had her engagement pictures done. The family of the elderly lady was very kind as well. I can’t imagine how horrible she must feel. I felt a little of that guilt when I tripped over my dog and thought we might have to put him down. It’s an awful feeling. Thankfully everyone was supportive.
- While I have enjoyed the time this week by doing some creative writing, I haven’t been really talking much about what is going on. This week was a lot more chill than the last couple of weeks. However I did find out that Arabella did not get the job she interviewed for earlier in the week. She also reached out to me today for the first time since I last did the gratitude list. Unfortunately it did not go well and I got another fuck you from her. Her insurance is not going to cover the cost of psychological testing and she blames me for it. She said she took me off of her HIPA form so I can’t talk to her doctors anymore. A couple of days ago I called the county to ask what kind of mental health programs they offer, but since I am not her guardian and she is over 18 there is nothing I can do. At this point I feel like I’ve done everything I could possibly think of doing for her. I do feel a sense of peace and gratitude that I’ve done everything I could humanly do for her. She may need a guardian some day but I don’t think she will ever let that person be me. I feel very conflicted with the holidays approaching. I’m not sure what is going to happen, but I feel like I am able to handle things better.
- I’m grateful my mom is going to spend a couple of days with her sisters next week. My mom hasn’t been doing too well lately. She has been having insomnia again and is very anxious she is going to have a nervous breakdown. I just can’t handle this right now.
- I’m grateful for everyone who has been supportive during this difficult time. Thank you to my followers for the prayers, well wishes, kind comments, and offers of support and hugs. I really wish I could thank you in person but that would blow the whole anonymous thing. I want to especially thank my husband who has been a rock for me even though he is going through his own hell with this. I know he reads my posts and is even okay when I vent about him. Thanks! Thanks to my daughter Angel who has been more like a best friend since we are so much alike. Thanks to my best friend Cindy who is always texting and calling to make sure I’m okay. She won’t let me slip away. Thanks to my son Alex who doesn’t fully know everything I’m going through but cares anyway. Thanks to my dog and my cat who still cuddle up to me when I manage to push everyone else away. Thanks for the good people out there who don’t get recognized but step up to help someone in need. You are the people that keep this world going and make it beautiful place to live in.
- I finished the What’s Normal book. Yeah, I’m pretty much screwed.
- Angel and I have been reading books together. We just finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and watched the movie. Seems like I could relate to that book better than the what’s normal book. LOL.
- Although I didn’t look at the stats, this must be my longest gratitude list yet. Wow, I must be a super positive person after all. I am making good on yesterday’s fortune of pushing away the negative today.
Gratitude week 69
- I’m grateful that my tattoo healed nicely.
- I’m grateful that I can now swim again. I had to wait while my tattoo healed. So basically I did not exercise at all since my tattoo. The weather has been cool and crappy. It even snowed a little since last week so I didn’t want to run outside. Plus I was busy taking my mom to appointments. I’m hoping for a better weather week and finding the time to exercise.
- Breakfast with my BFF.
- A mother-daughter date with Angel to go thrifting. I didn’t find anything too terribly exciting but it was nice to get away.
- My brother Matt came over for the weekend. Although I stressed about it, things went better than expected. It was nice to take some time to myself so I don’t go absolutely crazy.
- For rides on the 4-wheeler with my husband while he does the spring clean up on the yard.
- That my daughter Arabella seems to be making a lot of progress in residential treatment.
- This is a big one…I’m grateful that I survived getting a crown this week with minimal pain. I had laughing gas for the first time. Can you believe that instead of laughing I cried? I’m grateful for a dentist and assistant that went out of their way to be compassionate towards my history of experiencing dental pain and trying to make me comfortable through the process.
- The things I was really stressing about this month, the tattoo and crown, are over. I’m grateful for the relief that I feel that the fear is behind me.
- I’m grateful that my mom, Paul, and I were able to play a game last night. Things have been incredibly stressful since my mom moved in so it was nice to have a break from the heaviness.
Gratitude week 65
- This past week has been pretty rough, but I made it through.
- I switched dentist appointments with my son because he had to work on the date his appointment was scheduled. I was supposed to go in Wednesday, but went in Friday. Thursday night I felt like I got something stuck in my molar but didn’t eat anything that could get stuck. I tried to get whatever it was out with no luck to find out at my appointment the next day that I cracked my tooth. So, now I need a crown. I have a ton of anxiety about this because in the past I have been known not to numb. I did feel my last crown and it is terrifying to me. But I am grateful I found out about the crack the day after it happened. I’m grateful that I will be trying some new things such as laughing gas to manage the pain. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve never used that before.
- I scheduled my first tattoo. I am terrified about this appointment too. I am not as terrified about the pain as much as how I will handle it. Will I cry, scream, or freak out at these appointments? Or will I act like a proper stoic introvert?
- I’m grateful it is still March because I dread the upcoming appointments in April. I will be very grateful when they are behind me.
- I’m grateful that I was able to get a lot of writing in this week.
- I’m grateful that my new custom made wedding ring is coming in the mail tomorrow. I literally wore out my last wedding band.
- I’m grateful that my daughter is starting to make some progress in the residential program.
- I think I am also stressed out because it is Easter next week and I don’t have any plans. I’m feeling down because my daughter is in the residential treatment program and my other two kids aren’t getting along. My mom is a big ball of anxiety. My dad is a pedophile and my brother will never come home again with his children if my dad is around. I haven’t seen one of my brothers since 2019. Family holidays are more painful than ever before. I am grateful that although we didn’t get together with the extended family for Christmas, it was probably one of the most enjoyable holidays since my grandma was alive. Everything was simple instead of busy and rushed. I have hope that maybe this Easter will be quiet, simple, and enjoyable. I’ll let you know how it goes…
- With everything that is going on, I am not really looking forward to April this coming week. But it is a step closer to my favorite season, summer. This morning we awoke to snow and cold windy temperatures. I’m grateful that the difficult seasons make the lighter ones more enjoyable.
- I’m grateful that one of our favorite restaurants just opened very close to our house. Paul took me out to eat there after church today. Yum!
Gratitude week 63
- There was one I forgot from last week. Before my daughter went into residential, she had her dental exam. With her asking for her new toothbrush in advance so she could brush in the bathroom right before her appointment and her candy bingeing, I was a little worried about what they might find. Not only that, but she was having some dental pain with her wisdom teeth. The dentist said that she didn’t have any cavities AND so far all of her wisdom teeth are coming in like they should. So it’s looking good that she won’t need wisdom teeth extraction. I didn’t even know that was possible! LOL!! On a side note, I’m sure my daughter Angel will be upset to hear that. She is my only kid that brushes and flosses probably more than I do. Her siblings always did the bare minimum and she always ended up with the cavities. It always made her mad when the dentist told her to brush and floss more and told her siblings to keep up what they are doing.
- Talking about Angel, she is coming back home today until she finds her own place!! Her boyfriend Dan came down with COVID a couple weeks back while she was visiting him at his parents house. They all holed up in quarantine there. Dan got really sick. My daughter and his mom got sick too, but his dad who we were all worried about ended up being just fine. They were sick for a good week and a half. It even went away for a day or two and came back with a vengeance. I’m grateful that they all have returned to health and that my daughter is coming back home!
- I’m grateful for the warm and a few rainy days that pretty much decimated all of our snow. I’m ready for spring although there is a chance for more snow this week…
- I’m glad that our first telehealth meeting with Arabella’s therapist at residential went really well.
- I’m grateful for some time for me to get my hair and nails done. I even decided to color my hair again and went a little darker. It must seem natural as no one really noticed it yet except Angel when I was facetiming her.
- I had my success story interview with the wellness clinic this week. It went pretty good. I’m going to be my worst critic, this I know. The lady that interviewed me was very nice. She said that I was beautiful and could be a motivational speaker. I was excited for the opportunity but it was rather terrifying and I did lose a little sleep over it. Now my husband is going to the wellness clinic.
- I’m grateful for the visit from my best friend. She made some deviled eggs for me and left them here for me to eat.
- Since the weather was nice yesterday, I’m grateful that I was able to go for a run outside without being too cold.
- I’m grateful that my son found his lost wallet.
- I’m grateful that I can start spending time with my mom again since she is fully vaccinated.
Gratitude week 53
- Yeah, 2020 is finally behind us!!
- I’m grateful for my best friend. She had her birthday this past week and I did something I haven’t tried since I was a teenager. We went to a shooting range. I was really nervous about it, but it was a lot of fun.
- Paul decided to quit drinking. Here’s to 5 days sober! Yes, he made it through New Year’s Eve. I’m grateful for the positive changes he is making in his life, in our life together.
- I’m grateful for the snow that blankets the ground. We had our first real snowfall of the season this week. It is really beautiful.
- I’m grateful that my routine mammogram came back normal.
- I’m grateful that my daughter Arabella will start attending outpatient tomorrow as we wait for residential care. I’m hoping this will be beneficial for improving her mental health.
- I’m grateful that my son will be getting his wisdom teeth removed tomorrow and will no longer be in pain.
- I’m grateful that I have all the holiday decorations cleaned up and put away.
- I’m grateful to get out of the house and go to the movies with my daughter and her boyfriend. We watched Promising Young Lady and it was pretty good.
- I’m grateful for clean sheets and warm jammies on these dark cold days.
Gratitude week 52
- Here’s to a whole year of gratitude! Cheers!
- Everyone in our house thought this was one of the best Christmases in years. The kids were happy with their gifts, everyone worked hard to get along, we played games, and there was even a dusting of snow on the ground.
- This has been a crazy Christmas season, but somehow we made things work. We didn’t get together with the extended family this year, but there was less stress and busyness. I’ve heard a lot of crazy things…some friend’s family members were invited for the holidays and others were not because some were a higher risk of COVID. Other families weren’t getting together because others couldn’t afford to have a gift exchange because their income was cut due to COVID. How petty! It seems this year that more people celebrated the holidays with their chosen family instead of their given family.
- After my son went to the ER and had a lot of testing done, he still has neck pain. Well, the weekend on call dentist was wrong saying it wasn’t his wisdom teeth over the phone. Maybe I’ll send her the bill for the ER visit and CT scan. My son went to the dentist this week and the pain he is experiencing is coming from his wisdom teeth. So, thankfully we found out where his pain is coming from. Now he just has to wait another week to get them removed.
- I’m grateful to spend Christmas Eve with friends having a good meal and going to the candlelit Christmas service.
- I’m grateful to be able to help someone in need this Christmas. A mom of one of my son’s friends is having a hard year. Her husband left her for a younger woman, then she lost her job. She is struggling with kids at home while we have food on our table. Paul and I decided to give her a gift card for the grocery store. I said it is not real giving if we give pocket change. True giving should make you feel a little uncomfortable. I feel grateful that we were able to find someone in need and help them this Christmas.
- I’m grateful for the gifts I received. I really needed a new pair of slippers.
- I feel grateful for Christmas lights.
- I’m grateful for great Christmas food. I did tons of baking this year…two pies, four batches of cookies…plus my other favorites like deviled eggs. I think I need to do a detox diet in January in the years to come. I’m afraid to step on the scale.
- I’m grateful that all my kids are living at home. It’s always so busy. If they all move out within 6 months like they all want to, it’s going to be way too quiet. Thankfully they all want to stay within the area.
Fortune cookie wisdom #20
Courage comes through suffering.
This fortune cookie blew away from the rest and was found the same day I found my lost ‘I am courageous’ sock. I only wore the socks once before losing one in Paul’s shirt for a couple weeks.
It seemed like a sign of some sorts. But what does it mean?
What does being courageous even mean? The dictionary defines courageous as not deterred by danger or pain; brave.
I would like to think that I am courageous. In the next couple weeks I am planning on doing courageous things.
This weekend I am running my first 50k. It takes a lot of courage for me to do this and probably will entail a lot of suffering too. There is no guarantee that I will succeed. I am very fearful that I might not be able to achieve the goals I’ve set in place for myself.
Within the next two weeks I will be submitting a 45 minute presentation for a local autism chapter about what it is like to be a sibling of someone with autism. I really need to put myself out there about the most difficult experience in my life. It is going to require a lot of courage. I am finishing my book on what life is really like with a disabled sibling. I’ve had to face my scars and demons.
As an extra test to my bravery, over the holiday weekend a filling fell out. I went to the dentist today to get it fixed. They said I could probably do it without being numbed. I would rather run a marathon with a broken leg. I was horrified and then they said I could get anesthesia just in case. But I decided to brave it despite my fear.
Then this past weekend I spoke to my dad about God. I don’t feel like he has much time left. For some reason he has softened his heart toward me lately. He told me that he loved me for the second time in my life. The first time was on my 18th birthday prompted by my mother. Then this weekend I asked him to come out and sit with us, his family, by the campfire. Surprisingly to everyone, he did.
Before this, I justified to myself that someone else should talk to my dad. My brother Luke sat down with my parents awhile back and aired out all of his grievances. It seemed like a good thing. I thought that he was getting along great with my dad. I felt like Luke is a better Christian than I am so he could carry the weight of talking to our dad. But my eyes were opened to the fact that Luke and my dad do not get along.
My mom is a devout Christian and my dad is a Christian bashing atheist. I bet you can guess how that worked. I believe that the best marriages are of those that have the same religious beliefs. Because, we the children, have to take sides. I feel the need to talk to my dad about God. I most likely wouldn’t have that burden if both my parents were Christians or atheists if I followed their beliefs. It causes a lot of disharmony and stress.
So on the way out of the cabin this weekend I said to my dad that I hope he finds God before God finds him. My dad laughed and said fat chance. I knew that my words probably did no good for him, but it released me. I did everything I could and if it is the last time I see him I will know that I did not leave a coward.
I don’t think that I am more courageous than the average person, but I am trying to be brave when there are demons to slay and fears to conquer.