Monthly Archives: December 2007

ANOTHER entry… wow.

“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

The sun is out for another brief visit. Hurray!

Well, last night the Ki Society was having their annual Dojo Cleaning Day (evening), so there was not any actual classes going on. All my waiting was in vain, except for the fact that I was able to knock out an entry while I waited, so there’s that. I will go again on January 3rd.

I have my acupuncture appointment today at 2pm, which comes with a mini massage. I’m hoping to get out with my friend Amy for coffee on Saturday or Sunday.

We got the Christmas tree all decorated last night and it looks lovely. Today is the experiment to see how Dylan does with presents under the tree. He is a paper NUT, so I’m not feeling super optimistic. We shall see!

I’m being pushed out the door to go deliver presents so i can come back to the office and we can be sent home…. odd thinking. That’s my boss. go figure.

more later maybe.


Coping strategies and better days

There was sun today! When I left my doctor’s office, I stood outside with my eyes closed and my face turned up toward the sun for about 5 minutes. It felt great. Tomorrow I have an acupuncture / massage appt downstairs from my office. Tonight I am going to an introductory class at the Oregon Ki Society.

I am interested in the Ki exercises and breathing most. Maybe I will try the Ki-Aikido if I get started and like it. For now, just Ki classes. Stress reduction. Yes please, and thank you. Did I mention that the classes are held in the building next door to my office and across the street from my school? I sure do like convenience like that. There is a Thursday night class at 7pm every week, and in a few weeks when I start up my classes again, I’ll be across the street until 6:45 anyhow. May as well come pop over here for an hour of learning to harness my energy, right? The difference between coming home an hour later and being out of the house an extra night per week (if i came a different night) is huge. I’ll take the slightly longer day.

I am currently sitting in my car in the parking lot at the Ki class and using my schools wi-fi connection to be online. Gotta love that. I was going to hang out in the library, but though my school is open and faculty are there, the library is dark and shut. Sad panda. On the plus side, I took the moment to run upstairs and check my mailbox for my paper that I was agonizing over. My professor thought it was great and I feel good about that. We didn’t get a grade on them… reflective papers I guess don’t get grades? Anyway, I’m sure I got an A in the class. Here is what my professor wrote on my paper to me: “Thanks for putting so much of yourself into this project Sandi. It shows… and may God bring your vision to pass.”

Oh hey, people are starting to show up here! Awesome! I guess I’ll go inside and see what it’s all about.

My first post on Xanga (way back when) thanked God for Xanax. Again, I say, Thank God for Xanax. And, Wellbutrin. And, Cymbalta. And, my nurse practitioner Maureen who prescribes them. And, my husband for not minding too much about me being a walking pharmacy. Did you hear me rattle as I walked by?

I sobbed in the car on the way home from work today. Great heaving sobs. It’s probably best not to cry and drive at the same time, but I’ve got years of practice and only once have I crashed while crying. Besides, I was 17. Everyone crashes when they are that age, right? Additionally, it wasn’t my fault, but I wasn’t paying attention either.

But about that sobbing. I called my stepmother to invite her to join me for a free introductory class at the Oregon Ki Society. Stress reduction, mindfulness, energy work, movement and meditation together. I am hoping to start taking classes in January, and I thought she might be interested in joining me. We could both use the stress relief. She is helping to care for her family members (sisters, mom) and is worn out and on edge and grieving. I am attempting to reconcile my mother’s declining memory and my youngest daughter’s mental and physical health, and I am worn out and on edge and grieving. I figure she is one of the few people I know right now that can relate to where I’m at and maybe we could help be supportive of each other. But our phone call left me drained and hurting and feeling like crap, and ultimately feeling alone and sobbing. I went through my list of cell phone contacts 3 times trying to think if there was someone i could call and count on to understand. There were a few names that I knew I could call, but it was 5:55 p.m. and I know dinner time isn’t really the best time to call friends up, crying and difficult to understand, while they are trying to sit their families down to eat.

I was sobbing great heaving sobs last night too, in my therapist’s office. Allowing myself to feel the loss and the grieving from these relationships that are dying, have died, was a surprise outburst of tears. I’ve been trying so hard to play them down as not a huge deal, but they are big deals, even if to no one else but me.

I used to call my mom when I was upset and crying. Now I’m crying about my mom, and I can’t even explain to her why exactly, so calling her isn’t going to make anything better. I’m feeling her loss in incremental stages and missing her already. She’s no longer the person I have always known. She’s not “Mommy” anymore. I hate it. And, I’m mad at her for being sick and it’s not her fault and that’s just so wrong and I feel guilty. But, it doesn’t stop me from feeling upset and angry!  And we have no idea what kind of time frame we are looking at for her. I find that frustrating too. I feel like a control freak! Not that I’m not a control freak anyway, but I just feel so out of control and helpless in the face of so many things right now. I can’t list them all here, some of them are just too private or not mine to share. I heard the other day that our degree of happiness can be correlated to the degree to which we feel in control of our lives. So, no wonder I’m depressed. The weather isn’t helping. In fact, I’m quite sure it’s hurting. This year is worse than usual what with the other things going on, but I’m just one large trigger button. The grey skies, the never-ending rain, the lack of daytime hours, it’s just depressing. And I’m not one to really mind rain, so it’s just the whole seasonal darkness thing, along with holiday nostalgia. All of the traditions from my youth are gone. It’s time to make new traditions. I’ll try.

I’m also looking for a support group for family members of / adult children of / caregivers of people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve got some information on a few nearby meetings, but they are all once a month. I was expecting meetings like AA or ACA or Al-anon…. meetings that are available daily or weekly. Once a month!? What the hell are they thinking? My therapist insists however.  I could also use a support group for parents of troubled teenagers or something. I’m heartbroken. I love my husband, I love my kids, my pets, my house, my schooling, my friends, but the pain involved in the loss of these two extremely important relationships is intense and unexplainable to someone who hasn’t gone through it. And why do these things have to be happening at the same time?  Is it too much to ask to only have to deal with one heartbreak at a time? Apparently.  I’m so thankful for the people who love me. And I’m sorry to be putting them through my misery. Yet I’m so thankful for their presence and love and patience.

This too shall pass.

What’s that they say? Lord, please give me patience…. RIGHT NOW! 😉

As Bartles and Jaymes used to say in their infinite wisdom… “Thenk yew fer yer support.” Yep. Thank you.

And, pass the tissue. I might start crying again.

My Mom

My mom is a very kind, generous person, and has been very supportive throughout my adult life. She’s now 70 years old, though she doesn’t look quite that old. I got those genes I guess. I generally get guessed to be about 10 years younger than I am, just as she always has.

She was the Valedictorian of her class in High School (an academic title typically conferred upon the highest ranked student within the graduating class of an educational institution) and was Phi Beta Kappa (Phi Beta Kappa is generally considered the most prestigious American college honor society, and membership is one of the highest honors that can be conferred on undergraduate liberal arts and science students) at a prestigious university in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating with a Bachelors Degree, Summa Cum Laude. This is all to say, she’s smart. Really smart. Her identity comes from being smart. This is what she is known for.

So, what happens when a really, really smart person begins to lose their mental faculties? My mom is now diagnosed as being in the early stages of dementia, likely Alzheimer’s but they won’t know for sure until time passes and it’s seen to get worse or not. Her father, a research chemist, died with Alzheimer’s at the age of 82. In the last two years of his life he had no idea who his kids and grandkids were. Is this what my mom has to look forward to? How will she identify herself when she feels stupid because she forgets everything? How hard will it be for her to give up driving because she gets lost every time she goes out? How do her kids relate to her when she is no longer the smart woman they grew up with? I already don’t know how to relate to her anymore. Sometimes I feel I have to take care of her like a child. It feels like babysitting some days.

And, honestly, I’ve never even totally resolved my anger with her for leaving us when I was 5. Yes, my dad was cheating, she had good reasons to leave, and yes, she came back a few months later, but not to our apartment. She moved to a nearby house with strangers and it stunk of baby diapers, and then later an apartment with her crazy new boyfriend and his dogs. I forgive her, but I get angry for having to take care of her sometimes when I feel like she didn’t take care of me when she was supposed to.  Sounds kind of dumb I guess, but there it is. It is what it is.

Also, if Alzheimer’s is genetic, what kind of dice have my brother and I rolled? This scares me greatly. I’m not terribly scared to die, but I’m terribly afraid to live without my senses. I’m praying there will be a cure or a vaccine or something before I get it. I probably have 30 years or less for this to happen. If not, well, it’s been nice knowing ya. Forgive me if I don’t know who you are.