Friday, June 28, 2013

Know it'll all be clear...

Life's too short to have migraines.

I've tried to convince myself that the pain's all in my head (haha) but it's. not. working. (sob)

If I was feeling better, I could be putting together a really fabulous entry on what a week we've had!  Wendy Davis rocks!  DOMA is no more!

But the good is tempered by the bad, of course...Rick Perry doesn't seem to understand that no means no.  What is wrong with him?  And DOMA being struck down doesn't affect my Kentucky... I live in Louisville, which is a wonderful city, but there's still a whole lot of bigoted rednecks that live in the rest of the South.

But still, there are two things I picture from this week that almost make my headache go away:

1) Wendy Davis and Leticia Van De Putte on the floor of the Texas Senate - Davis standing for a reported 15 hours, Van De Putte coming straight from her father's funeral - and making me SO PROUD I nearly couldn't stand it.

2) Sitting at my desk at work covertly reading the SCOTUS live blog and seeing Justice Kennedy's beautiful wording and realizing what it meant - DOMA had been struck down. I was so happy I literally wanted to jump for joy but that would have given me away so I had to get up and sedately walk away from my desk into the break room so I could bounce.

I have to believe that things will work out. I haven't stuck around this long for it not to. ... Because obviously, the world revolves around me.

Well, it's coming from my perspective, why shouldn't it?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I WISH that was my doctor...

Went to visit my psychiatrist today.  It used to be a weekly thing but now we've stretched it to every two months.  Go me!  I also used to have to go see a psychiatrist AND a therapist but I cut the therapist loose...I don't really like someone probing the dark inner recesses of my mind, you know?

So anyway, my psychiatrist visits are usually short and sweet, but also a little disturbing.  My goal is to go in and say whatever I can to make him believe that I AM OKAY.  His goal is apparently to see right through me and get at the truth.

Me, after a migraine-filled week in which I've taken 20 Vicodin and am feeling a little sick about it:
"I'm doing great!"
"So how much Vicodin do you take a day?"

Me, after spending two weeks in bed, avoiding my family, and Dwayne ordering me to tell the doctor about it:
"Everything is good!"
"So how's your relationship with Dwayne?"

Me, after another marathon migraine and my regular doctor gives up and refers me to a third neurologist:
"Doing really good!"
"So what has changed for you medically?"

It's a little strange and stalker-ish how he seems to know things!  And I'm dying to know what he's writing down in his little notepad about me...

But it's worth the uncomfortable trip, to make sure I stay out of the hospital, healthy and on my meds.

So yay!  I'm doing good.  For now.  Hopefully for the next two months.  :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Such a lovely place

So it was about this time two years ago that I melted down completely and went into the mental hospital.  Here's some advice if you ever find yourself in the same situation:

1. They're tricky. You're saying, I know, I don't feel good, blah blah blah, and next thing you know you're locked into a psychiatric hold and you can't leave.  
TIP: Be prepared.

2. They put psych patients in with the drug addicts and the alcoholics.  Guess who's considered the scary ones in that bunch?  You could always tell who the psych patients were in the room because no one would be sitting by them. And I can't blame people.  I spent most of my time staring into space, sleeping or crying.  One of the other psych patients in there with me tried to escape.  From a voluntary check-in!  
TIP: Stay away from the psych patients. Unless you are one. Then, sorry. :(

3. The days go by with excruciating slowness punctuated by meetings, doctor visits, group therapy, checkups, yoga, meditation, ART TIME.  I stayed in my room and slept through meetings, therapy, yoga and meditation, until they finally put their foot down and said I had to go to art time.  Which was fabulously fun.  Or just may have seemed that way when you've been beaten down by life and staring at the walls of a treatment facility for a few days.  Whichever, the point is, art time lets you see grown adults coloring diligently around a table WITH an instructor and helps you get at your inner self. TIP: Don't miss art time!

4. The place where I stayed had a very nice kitchen.  I didn't know this at first, because I refused to leave my room through two mealtimes before hunger finally drove me downstairs for supper.  My fear of crowds made me very uncomfortable, but the food was great.  
TIP: Be ready to face your fear on a daily basis if you want to eat good.  Otherwise, you'll be eating crackers.

5. Families were allowed to visit on certain days.  I never missed my family so much as when I was locked in and couldn't get out.  I had no laptop, no cellphone, no ebook; so I stalked my family on the public phone as much as I could.  I had to take my turn, though, because everyone else was doing the same thing.  The important thing was they had to come visit me on my allotted day, and bring money.  Because I missed them, and snacks.  
TIP: STRESS to your family how important family day is, because it's really disappointing if you're one of the ones whose family doesn't show up.

So that's all I've got for now...I'll tell yall later how the next two months went.  Really a short time in my life, but it'll stay with me forever.

...And yes, I said she tried to escape.  From a voluntary check-in.  Ensuring her spot in the IV chair at the nurse's station for HOURS and then the room with the 24-hour surveillance cameras.  There's crazy, and then there's CRAZY...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day 2013

We had Father's Day for my grandpa today.  He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December, had emergency surgery, then radiation, and has had lots of complications since then.  The doctor said this week that he has pneumonia again.  Is it because we went out of town last weekend?  I don't know, but I'm so grateful he's still here.
Popa, Father's Day 2008

My daughter never met her father.  I have the distinction of being one of those girls who managed to give birth AND get dumped by their boyfriend on the same day.  I was the clear winner, however, because that day I met the person who I would love more than anyone else in the whole world.

Michelle and Chelsea, 1992

I've always been a single mom, but not.  Chelsea grew up with me AND my mother AND my grandmother...and Dwayne and I started dating when she was four so she really had me plus two other moms plus a kind of stepdad. So I always had help, and HELP, but it still has always felt like me and Chelsea vs. the world.  I wonder if my mom felt like that with me?
Michelle and Chelsea 1994

Michelle and Chelsea 1995

Michelle and Chelsea 2004

Us, now

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It's dark inside.

I hate when I get this twitchy feeling my nerves are jumping around and things just feel wrong and I want to curl up in a ball and hide from SOMETHING but I don't know what it is.

Even though I'm getting better, I still get this feeling often.

And I know I'm getting better.  It's taken a very long time to get this far, but I still have a long way to go.

I saw the movie `Silver Linings Playbook` tonight.  My co-worker lent it to me for the weekend after he watched it four times in a row and gushed over how awesome it was.

And it was really, really good.  It had our hometown girl Jennifer Lawrence in it, she was great...

But seeing it once was more than enough for me.  It just made me so exhausted, because I've been there.  I've been in that psychiatric hospital, and in those group therapy sessions, and on all those different medications, and fighting to be a `normal` person.

I'm glad I saw the movie, I just don't want to see it again.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back home, at last

I'm finally back home. The past few days have been difficult - traveling, shopping, dining out and being a tourist, when I've spent the last couple of years being a shut-in.

There were still times I stayed behind in the hotel when the family went out, but I really did try to take part.  I don't want to be tired all the time. 

One of the places I went:

And further down:

I've rafted the river below the falls twice. Back, before, you know...

I hardly recognized myself when I got home and looked in the mirror.  I actually got some sun the past few days and am not my usual shade of pale white that comes from being in my room 24-7.

I'll try to keep it up. I really did push myself. For every moment I sat waiting alone in the car or the lobby or the hotel room, there was also a moment I uncomfortably endured the crowded restaurant and park and shop.  It can only get easier.

But for now at least, I'm home with my kitty:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sunday after the second Saturday...

This is my grandpa putting flowers on my grandma's grave for Decoration tomorrow.
I'm not sure why we started early.

If you're not from the Appalachians you may have never heard of Decoration Day. It's what the idea of Memorial Day came from. It warranted its own paragraph in Wikipedia under Memorial Day -

"Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains.
In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles.

People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others.

There often is a religious service and a "dinner on the ground," the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass.

It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the "memorial day" idea." 
This is my great- grandparents grave... I called them Ma and Pa but my Grandma, in true Appalachian fashion, called them Mommy and Daddy her whole life.

Further down this way in the Taylor Family Cemetery are the graves of my great great grandparents and my great great great grandparents.  Tomorrow morning the cemetery will be full of distantly related people we don't know and lots of firsts and second cousins we haven't seen since last Decoration.

This is my first Decoration since Moma's been gone.  Two years ago we all came down here for Decoration and my grandma was so sick - she would only live for another month after that. But she went everywhere with us. She was such a fighter.

I couldn't come the next year,... I had emergency surgery and couldn't get out of bed. 

So I've made trips in between to decorate her grave for the seasons, but this is different.  I've never been to Decoration without her.  What do I do, how do I act without her? This is her thing and I am just a supporting player with no one here to support.

I miss her so much.