One Year Ago Today, My Mother was Dying.

I’m not going to lie; this is hard to write. In fact, I almost didn’t write it. But…here goes.

Last fall was surreal. When my father passed away, my mother was there to look after him.  I could deal with it in bits, watching from the sidelines while my mother shielded me from the brunt.  Then she got sick. Cancer, of course.  Isn’t it always cancer? That’s when I realized nobody would be there to protect me from it. I had a choice.  I could hide, and pretend it wasn’t happening.  But that really wasn’t an option, especially when she became too weak to look after herself properly.That’s when my sisters and I stepped in.

In September of 2015, we took turns spending nights at her house. In the beginning, she could still get around on her own. Although weak, she insisted on getting her hair “done” every Friday, something she’d done for the last….I don’t know….forever.  It drove me insane.  I tried to hide it from her, but I got agitated. Why couldn’t she just lie down and watch TV? It’s not that I minded driving her to get her hair done, it was just so goddamned stressful trying to get her from the wheelchair, out the backdoor, down one cement step, and into the car.  I still don’t understand why she did it. Was she in denial?  Maybe.  Stubborn?  Definitely.  She had grit, I’ll give her that.

You know, my mother and I always had a tense relationship. I came along too late in her life, grew up in an era she didn’t understand. She always wanted to stick me in a mold that I just didn’t belong in.  She loved a lot about me, but there were two things I know she hated:  My tattoos and my rejection of religion.

When I found out she had cancer, I was scared and sad. Of course I loved my mother.  Do I need to say that?  I didn’t want to lose her but she was 85-years-old.  We all knew the day would come – as it does.  So…time for me to deal with it.  What scared me was the intimacy of taking care of her.  Here she was, my larger-than-life mother suddenly reduced to bones and dry lips. I hated having to empty her porta-potty.  I hated having to get her dressed and undressed.  I am not going to lie.

Eventually, I found my rhythm. I accepted that there were some things I just could not do. Leave that to the nurses. What I COULD do, was make her feel pretty. When she was healthy, she was a pale-pink-polish kind of woman.  I’ve always been a gothic-black nail polish kind of gal.  So, one day, I got out my dark purple polish. She was too weak to argue. I held each gnarled finger, gently painting her nails the deepest colour she’d ever worn. It was hysterical. I remember her looking at her hand with interest.  She still had a little spark in her eye. When her 90-something year old “boyfriend” stopped by, she lifted her hand and said, “Look!”  He laughed and told her they were “sexy”.

My mother had three daughters and it was obvious that she knew how much each of us could handle. She cried and carried on for my oldest sister.  She never did that with me. With my other sister, she talked about the ghosts of friends whom she claimed visited her. With me, she insisted I mail all of her Publishers’ Clearinghouse envelopes because “you never know!”  OBVIOUSLY she knew I couldn’t handle very much.

She was diagnosed in June, became too sick to stay home alone by September, and died on November 20th, 2015.  I thought it would never end.  To this day I sometimes have dreams that she is still alive and it bothers me because I don’t want her to have to go through that process of dying again.  I used to have the same dream about my father.  It stops after a while.

 

With the anniversary of her death so close, I thought I’d remember her the best way I know how…through writing. I won’t go to church.  I will never visit the tombstone. I don’t have to. She’s always with me.  Both parents are always with me.

The house I grew up in belongs to someone else now. I can’t roll my eyes and say, “Well, I guess I should visit mom,” on Saturdays anymore. What I can do is move forward.  She knew I loved her.  And I know how much she loved me.  That’s all anybody can hope for, right?photo-1477160842278-0609ba502d58

 

Dr. Laura has some Serious ISSUES

Dr. Laura, and I use the term “doctor” loosely, is a supposed therapist with her own radio show.  She has a gazillion followers and I have to admit that sometimes I’m one of those listeners.  Have you heard her before?  The things she says make Trump look like an amatuer.  It’s hysterical to me that people phone her only to be subjected to humiliating verbal abuse live on air.  Why would you do that??  She doesn’t give learned, objective, clinical advice.  What she gives is her opinion.  That’s all folks.  

I just can’t imagine phoning the show.  Ever!  Sometimes I have it on at work because it’s the only PG radio show I can find.  Her energy is usually so negative that I end up shutting it off anyway.  If you haven’t heard her before, here are some of the things she says and/or believes:

1.  Women who live with their boyfriends are “unpaid whores”.  Interesting, because she never berates the man.  Wouldn’t that make him an unpaid man-whore?

2.  If you’re not married, you and/or your partner are free to screw around?   Does that make ANY sense?  In my opinion, two people are able to make a commitment to one another without a piece of paper and a make-believe god saying it is so.

3. She has a real hard-on for men in general.  A man and a woman can be in exactly the same situation and somehow she’ll turn it around to make it the woman’s fault.

4.  She thinks all pitbulls should be destroyed. Seriously.  Maybe the owners who raise nasty dogs should face consequences.  I guess she doesn’t remember that in the 50’s the American Pitbull was considered the quintessential family dog.

5.  She believes that the mom should always stay home with the kids, no matter what financial hardship they might endure.  Her attitude is to “make it work” or have your husband take on more jobs.  LOL.  I would love to see her have to budget everything down to the type of toilet paper she can afford.  She might have not always been filthy, stinking rich, but she has no idea what people endure.

I could go on and on but why bother.  Hey, I’m not saying she’s always wrong.  Lots of kids get messed up and hurt because of the stupid things parents do.  I agree with that.   But that’s about all I agree with.  If you search “The Google” for her, you’ll find information about how she used to date a married man and eventually lived with him.  Of course, I can’t say that what I read on the Internet is true, but……..

This woman is hostile and it comes out of her mouth in the form of righteous indignation.  She actually hangs up on people, makes them cry, and shouts over people. 

My “opinion” is not to phone her unless you really want to be called a whore and screamed at.  Of course, she would have a come-back for everything written here but the TRUTH is that she is completely out of touch with reality.  She’ll ramble on and on about her fantastic sailing yacht and her crew while real people are just going day by day trying to survive.  What an ass she is.  In my opinion.

Now that I’ve just given her free advertising I’ll sign off.  I think the important thing to remember is that she is paid to “entertain” us and her brand of entertainment is worthy of a sleazy talk-show.  

In my opinion.

Forrest Yoga – Ouch

After a run on the weekend I decided to try a different yoga class from YogaDownload.com. Forrest Yoga.  It started out okay with some great stretches for my hands and wrists. They get surprisingly tight from typing all day.  But then things got weird. First, the instructor lured me into a false sense of safety with her casual talk about keeping the neck relaxed.  Then, she talked me into positions a 49-year-old has no business being in.  What was I thinking?  Now, I need to see my chiropractor ASAP.  Pretty sure I’ve got a rib out of place.  Ouch!!

From now on, I’ll stick with the classes I know!

Not Ready Yet

I don’t think I’m ready to give up the sleeping pills just yet.  I’ve got lots of justifications:

  • I only take a small dose
  • I don’t seem to have any serious adverse affects after all of these years (other than being addicted to them!
  • I’m miserable with perimenopause (anxiety, mood swings, and insomnia).  Is now really a good time to try this?

Okay, well, I guess I only have three justifications, but there good ones.  Do I feel like a failure?  Yeah, I guess I do. There’s a lot going on in my mind AND body these days.  One more stress on top of it just sucks.

I guess I’ll keep trying to at least keep the dose as low as possible.  That’s the best that I can do right now.

Failed Attempt at Reducing Sleeping Pill

Trying to wean myself off of the sleeping pill,Rhovane, but to be brutally honest I’m not sure I really want to.  I’m trying because I know I should, but what does that really mean?

My doctor had a “talk” with me months ago about how they’re discovering that people are having falling episodes, huge memory problems, and other things I can’t remember (see what I did there?).  Actually, I really don’t remember.   But here’s the thing:  What kind of “”study” was it?  How high of a dosage were they on?  What other medical conditions did they have?  What were their ages and how long was the study conducted?  Any or all of these things should be taken into consideration.   You can’t just make a blanket statement about a small study where a few people had negative effects.

That said, I understand that taking something every night to trigger your own natural sleep process isn’t ideal. It’s interesting that when I was first prescribed Rhovane, it was new and amazing and believed to be safe.  I’ve had a legit prescription for at least 17 years.  Now, all of a sudden, I’m supposed to wean from them.  Well, I keep trying.  I’ll continue to try, but it isn’t easy.  

I can’t promise I’ll ever be able to get off of them completely.  

Let’s see what happens tonight.  Maybe I’ll do better.

SHORT short STORIES Wanted….submission guidelines

I’m looking for humorous (short – micro) fiction to publish on my blog.

Unfortunately, I can’t pay $$ but stories chosen will have a link back to your own blog and I will promote your work through social media.

Stories should be less than 500 words.  No more than two stories per submission please.

Looking for funny (think South Park meets Woody Allen).

Please make me laugh.  I need it!

Submissions should be sent to:  ns.writer@hotmail.com.  Please paste your story in the body of the email and in the subject line put your full name and STORY SUBMISSION.

 

Thank you.

Things are about to Get Real

I am currently riding the crest of anxiety and feeling completely overwhelmed when there’s nothing to be overwhelmed about.  This happens every month and even though I know that the dark cloud will lift in a day or two, I still fret.  I don’t WANT to take Ativan but I have to.   I just did.   I tried going for a good run, but that didn’t help.  It’s hard to explain.  It feels like there are a thousand competing thoughts in my head and none of them make sense.  It’s yucky.  It’s the perimenopausal icing to the PMS cake (chocolate, duh).

I try everything you’re supposed to do.   Yoga, run, stretch, deep breathing, etc. Sometimes those things work but not today. 

I’ll be back soon, on another day when the ugly clowd has lifted.

1st Night @ Reduced Dose 

I reduced the dosage of sleeping pill (Rhovane) last night from 1/2 tab to 1/4 and it went very well. I know it doesn’t sound like a big drop but I have to start somewhere.

I did wake up with night sweats but that’s got nothing to do with the sleeping pill.  That’s just my body waking me up to remind me that I’m getting old.  Blah!

Somehow I’ll find my way though all of this. Eventually the night sweats and other symptoms will pass, my hormones will eventually level out, and I WILL break the sleeping pill habit. 

Words of encouragement are always welcome!  Have you been able to wean from sleeping pills?

Night 1.  Only 1/4 dose tonight. Scared.

I have to do this and it starts tonight.  Apparently going “cold turkey” off of Immovane can cause really bad side-effects.  Since I normally only took 1/2 tab, I think going down to 1/4 tab makes sense.  

This is going to be a long, hard process isn’t it.  Well, night one. We’ll see. Now I’m putting the ipad down so I can start gearing down for the night.  

~g’night!

CLOWNONYMOUS – The New ANONYMOUS

If you’ve seen the news lately, you’ve probably heard about these people dressed as clowns who have been jumping in front of cars and generally harrassing people, especially students.

CLOWN.jpg

Thank you to Unsplash.com for copyright free image use. 

I have no idea what’s going on in their minds except that it kind of reminds me of that group called Anonymous.  They must feel pretty safe behind that creepy makeup to feel bold enough to terrorize people.  Complaints of this keep popping up around Nova Scotia and I’ve decided to give it a name:  Clownonymous. I guess we’ll have to leave it up to them to fill us in on their little agenda. It’s not just in happening in Canada though.

Here, check this out and do something for me:  Take a good look at the clown’s fingernails. Pretty buffed right?  Not a speck of dirt. Nicely shapped.  These look like the nails of someone with an office job.  Maybe a stock broker.  They’re definitely not the nails of a run-of-the-mill thug.  I’d even go so far as to say that this clownonymous member recently had his nails filed.

Article published in The Sun, written by Brittany Vonow October 11th, 2016

Clownonymous

I’ll be interested when we find out what the true agenda behind this Clownonymous movement really is.  Something tells me it’s just a bunch of middle-aged gamers who’ve gambled all their Pokemon Cards away.

Anyway, Clownonymous.  I’m not impressed. Show me a bunch of Big Birdigans scaring people and then we’ll talk.  Until then, come on men, go clean your parent’s basement like they asked you to.