Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas

Ten days until surgery.

I got what I wanted for Christmas. I get to have surgery after the New Year and I got to spend Christmas with my kids. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have my special someone with me, but Covid continues to delay that. He's worth the wait though.

The day was drama free for the most part which is a rarity for my family. The kids loved their gifts, and really loved the ones I got them, so I am ecstatic. 24 hours later and I'm still grinning.

I find myself staring at them or watching them and just soaking in all the moments I can. I feel surgery will go well but it has really made me slow down and look more around me and appreciate things. If I have learned nothing else from the experience I have definitely learned to take it a little slower and enjoy the little things.

Their father was no where to be found for another year in a row. I'm not surprised. He hasn't even spoken to them since October of 2018. He's pretty much abandoned them. I have accepted it and the kids are going to make their own decisions where he is concerned. Sabrina acts like she doesn't have a father at all.

I have never kept him from them or denied him access to them. This is his choice and he's going to have to live with it. As much as I hate the damage that he has done to them, I never bad mouth him to them. My friends hear all the insults I wish I could say. The kids will figure out what a selfish ass he is on their own.

I refuse to let him ruin my joy right now. I have a lot to be thankful for and two kids and a special man to love on and that's what I'm going to do. I hope your holidays have been great.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Surgery and Life

 I got the call from the surgeon's office the other day. After some discussion, pre-admission testing will be done on January 4, 2021 and surgery will be done on January 5, 2021. This will be done by Dr. Toyota at Temple University Hospital. This also means that I got my wish and I get to have Christmas with my kids with no issues.

I thought that finally having a date would be a relief and I could make plans but all it has done thus far is ramp up my anxiety. All I can think of is the surgery to the point where I cry. I need to focus on my kids and getting my Christmas plans in gear. I want their day to be special, not Mommy all depressed in the corner.

My friend Preston assures me that I will be fine. He tells me that as long as he has known me (since high school) that I get thrown difficult situations. I usually fall down, plan a comeback, and then get up and push through everything thrown at me. He says that it makes me incredibly strong. I just need to find that strength.

Work is going well however I'm, of course, worried about how long I am going to be out for recovery. I'm also worried about possible accomodations that I may have to have afterwards, like oxygen. I want to be able to do my job to the best of my ability. Everything is up in the air right now.

I think that all the uncertainty is part of what is effecting my anxiety.

The kids are back home with me and it's meant the world having them here. We worked as a team yesterday to get the living room straightened up and we put up our Christmas tree. They kindly informed me that we don't have enough ornaments and we need more so that's on deck for today. We are also finishing up decorating elsewhere in the house.

Right now, Christmas is my focus. My kids are my focus. My bear is my focus. He's been helping look ahead to the healthy future I will have. He means more to me than I can put into words right now.

The surgery has to fall to the background. Present, and attended to, but not my primary concern. I can do this.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Not Fair

 I had my follow-up appointment on Wednesday up in Pennsylvania. The day started okay. I left early because I had never been to the office before and even with GPS, I have a propensity to get lost. I made it to my appointment a half hour early. They drew blood and did an EKG and then I saw the doctor.

Dr. O was upset because I gained back 18 pounds of fluid that I was able to shed while in the hospital. The excess fluid puts pressure back on my heart and lungs. She stopped my Lasix and started me on Bumetanide, which is another fluid pill. She said I could come back in a month, then she would discuss my case with the PE surgery team. Then I would have one more appointment to discuss a surgery date.

I felt great about that. That meant that I could have a great Christmas with my kids. We could an awesome day together and create an amazing memory. As usual, I was wrong.

Dr. O called me later that evening to tell me that my INR (coumadin level) was too high so she adjusted my dose. That's no big deal, I've had to have that adjusted before. Then her tone got serious. She's concerned about the fluid, and on Tuesday she is going to discuss my case with the PE team and see if they could do the surgery next month instead of January.

I got hysterical. I cried. I called my Aunt Carol who is my voice of reason these days and always points out things that I don't see because I get too emotional. She calmed me down and brought up the fact that nothing is definite yet. The surgery team may not be available due to Christmas. The surgery team may want to wait the month to see if I can shed the fluid. All of these are reasonable things and could happen.

Despite every thing that has ever happened in my life, I have never been one to cry and say things are not fair. I generally just clean myself off and push forward. This, however, is not fair. I have accepted this surgery, and even though I don't like it I am going to go through with it. 

All I wanted was Christmas with my kids. I want them to, if God forbid anything happens to me, have an amazing and great memory to look back on. I don't think that is too much to ask for. So for once in my life, I'm calling it NOT FAIR. My kids have been through a lot the past few years and they deserve a fantastic day.

Now all I can do is wait for Tuesday and hope things work out in my favor.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

And So, She Cried

 This may be another long and rambling post. Bear with me.

I've been sick off and on since March/April with "bronchitis/asthma". I had a nasty cough and shortness of breath that just progressively got worse and worse. I finally had enough and headed to the emergency room on November 2nd. I explained everything to the doctor, as well as my medical history. He decided to do a CT scan of my chest. The results came back that I had a blood clot in my lung.

I have Factor V Leiden (a form of thrombophilia) and I have had clots in my lungs before so I figured I knew the drill. Boy, was I wrong. They gave me two Lovenox (blood thinner) injections and transported me to the hospital by ambulance, where I was admitted. I was started on I.V. Heparin (another blood thinner) and I figured I would be in the hospital for a few days. Wrong, again.

The pulmonologist came in and explained that the blood clot in my lungs was very large. He said that I may have to undergo surgery to have it removed and that he was going to consult another doctor from Temple Hospital in Philadelphia the next day. He said surgery had two options, a minor and a major. I hoped and prayed for the minor option. After the first consultation, the doctor gave me a printout that was a detailed description of the major surgery and I cried for two hours straight.

A few days later I was transferred (again by ambulance) to Temple Hospital for evaluation. I had a million tests, saw a dozen different doctors and specialists, and was pumped full of meds. I kept praying for the minor surgery throughout it all but that wasn't to pass.

My official diagnosis is Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH). This means that the clots I have in my lungs are causing strain on my lungs as well as my heart. If not treated, over time the increased pressures will weaken the heart muscle and the heart will weaken and eventually stop functioning normally. Unfortunately, due to size and location and the pressures in the heart, I am going to have to go with the major form of surgery, called Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PE or PEA) surgery.

I'm not going to lie, I am terrified.

During surgery my body will be cooled, they will open my chest and they will put me on a heart and lung bypass machine. They will removed the clots, sew me closed and then warm me back up. I'll be in ICU for a day or two. For about six weeks I won't be able to drive or lift anything. I'm going to have a scar that will be at least a foot long.

I'm worried and I cry about so many things. Complications. Will the scar turn off men? (My special friend assures me he's fine with it.) Will my kids be ok? I'm not going to be working for a while, so I worry about bills. My job is protected but they aren't going to pay me if I'm not working. How soon will I heal? How bad will the pain be?

So many questions and a million more swirl in my head daily. This week I am looking into making arrangements for my kids and power of attorney for medical decisions which may sound ghastly but it's a necessary evil. I need to be prepared for the sake of my kids.

That's the update of my current situation. I still cry on the daily and probably will up until and after surgery. My friends (especially that special man) have been amazing, listening to me vent and just talk. I joined an online support group and it has been a wealth of information.

One day, in the future, the tears cried will be happy ones. 


Sunday, May 3, 2020

Ramblings

I have a lot to talk about so this may run a little long. This coronavirus pandemic is wearing on me and if it wasn't for my friends, and someone special, I don't know how I would be holding it together as well as I am.

I was laid off in mid-March from a job that I absolutely loved. I'm hoping that when the governor lifts his restrictions and the kid's daycare re-opens that I can return to work. It's been my goal to work my way up in the company and this virus threw a wrench in my plans. A lot of my plans, actually.

I need to get my car repaired. I need to keep working on my credit so I can plan to buy a house of our own instead of renting. I'd like to possibly take some college courses. With the encouragement of that someone special, I'm editing my book and am going to attempt to have it submission ready by the end of the year.

I also have some legal things to take care of. Two things that I am very emotional and angry about. Child support and custody. 

I filed for child support in 2018, and they still have not served the father of my children. Until he is served, he accrues arrears, but until I get a court order I don't even know how much that will be. I haven't filed for custody yet because at the time we broke up we were still living in the same household and then I had my mental health issues. There just wasn't the chance.

He and I never had that explosive break up fight so I never really let go of all the anger I have felt and it's just built over the years. Now it's been popping out in random ways. I cry a lot and my heart hurts for my kids but I'm also beyond pissed off.

He has not spoken to my children since October 2018. I never expected him to, but I had this tiny thought that maybe, JUST MAYBE, with a pandemic going on that he would seize the opportunity to reach out and repair the relationship with his children. As of right now it hasn't happened and I'm sure it never will. 

My son is seven now and he will occasionally say "I miss my dad." at random times. This tears my heart open because he hasn't figured out that his father wants nothing to do with them like his older sister has. Whereas she knows the deal with him and never even asks about him, all he remembers is the fun dad.

I am just so angry. He has not contributed a penny toward their care. He's not sent so much as a text or email to check on their well being. How can someone just go through life with children and not wonder how they are doing? How can you just live your life like you have zero responsibilities?

I'm no hero. I'm a single mom like many other single moms out there. I may have floundered in the past and made my own mistakes but I try every day to make sure that I can be the best mom I can be. I do it all myself and I do my best not to whine or complain. I don't talk crap about their dad in front of them. I have NEVER denied him contact with them.

I know part of it is the pandemic but I am tired. I'm exhausted. I'm with my kids 24/7, and I am doing everything on my own like I have been for the past few years (with the exception of the darker times and family assistance). Since there is no school and I'm not working, our routine has changed and I have not been sleeping well.

Morning comes and my son wakes me. We have some cuddle time and eventually my daughter wakes up and then it's breakfast. Then online meetings/story time/classes for school. Then it's lunch. Then more activities/assignments for school. Playtime outside. I do crafts sometimes while they do computer work. Dinner, some TV, bath time, bed time.

I'm the mom and it's my job to do it all. I'm just tired. Weary in a way I haven't been in a long time. I'll keep pushing like most all single moms do and make it happen. I say single moms but single dads too. They know the struggle.

And dammit, I am angry!! I am pissed off!! I did not make these kids by myself but I'm surely handling it all by myself!! I cannot wait til the pandemic is over so I can take him to court. He may not want to be involved with his children but his wallet surely will be!

Until then I just keep pushing. I'm not looking for perfect but one day we will all be happier and stable. Just push.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Hard Conversations

Being a single mother (or parent) is hard enough but sometimes you have to have some hard conversations. My 11 year old daughter came home with a permission slip to be allowed to take a "Human Development" class. This brought to my attention that I really needed to sit down and at least have the period talk with my daughter. After all, her half sibling started her period at 10 and it could happen early for her too.

I dove in one night after her brother went to bed. I tried to keep it brief and answer all of her questions. I tried not to be too graphic because while I don't want her to be uninformed, I don't want to scare her so she won't come to me about it.

She was still grossed out and I was still embarrassed and every once in a while I ask her if she has any more questions or concerns. She's quietly asked a few but sometimes she's just, "Ew! No! Gross!"

Then we have my son. 

At dinner the other night he looked at me and said, "I miss daddy."

This absolutely hurts my heart and soul. Once October comes around it will have been two years since their father has spoken to my children. Two YEARS. I just do not understand the thought process behind that.

To be clear, this is not by my choice. When he first left the household, he communicated with my kids. He called, video chatted, and I even brought them to him and we would all go out TOGETHER so he could spend time with them. Then he moved out of state and the contact tapered off until it stopped completely.

As angry as I am, if he called and asked to talk to them tomorrow, I would allow it. That's their father. However, I know in my heart that call is not going to come. It might never come again.

What do you say to your son when he says he misses his dad? How do you make him feel better? How do you explain to him that his dad is an asshole?

If I figure that out, I'll be sure to let you know.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

What do you...?


My lovely friend Edward posted this on Twitter today. (His blog is linked on the list at the side, he has posted some deliciously naughty NSFW stories that you should check out.) It made me think for a while and I realized that I couldn't respond in just a tweet alone. So here we are.

What do you want to do?

I want to provide a stable and healthy home for my children. We've technically been considered homeless off and on for over a year. We are finally in our own home and settling into a routine. Things may not be perfect, and really what life is perfect, but things are definitely improving in a lot of aspects of our lives. I want them to make them happy again.

I want to get back to writing. This blog is a start. The book I'm working on and the books I am reviewing are another. I am reclaiming the parts of me that I shut down to make someone else happy and working towards making myself happy again a priority. Writing has always brought me peace and joy and I'm excited to get to work.

What do you want to know?

I want to know more about myself and my mental illness. I've been diagnosed mith Major Depressive Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder. I've always been curious about how the mind works and I once thought about pursuing a career in psychology or even counseling. I want to know more about myself so I can understand why I do the things I do, why my brain tries to trick me with false narratives, and why I sometimes self-sabotage. I really need to continue with therapy and meds and see what I can discover about myself.

What do you want to love?

I love my children. That's a given.

Most of all I want to love myself. I want to bring back the happier version of me. I spent ten years living the life someone wanted me to live instead of living my life for me. I stopped doing things I enjoyed because it annoyed him and all I ever wanted to do was keep him happy so he wouldn't ever leave.

He left anyway.

All the blame is not on him. He contributed for sure, but so did my mental illness. My history. My choices and decisions. My lack of self esteem and self worth. A million little things that just accumulated into one big mess that was me.

All that being said, I also want to love again. I crave touch and affection like a plant craves water. I miss having quiet nights cuddled on the couch. I miss naughty texts during the day while you're both at work. I miss the long, hard hugs that I could just bury my face in.

Maybe I shouldn't even consider falling in love right now as things aren't always the greatest. My life is chaotic and I have my moments where I am a total mess. Is it right to bring someone in to that?

Really though, when is the right moment? How long should I wait for that?

I want to love LOVE again.