The OMG dreaded mammogram call back….

I’m glad it is Monday!  Last week ended up being an emotionally draining week!  I got the call and then the letter that the radiologist saw some density on my mammo that he didn’t see on the previous one.  I did what I always do..I turned to the internet…. GAWWWWW.  While the news was emotionally supportive with many stories from women who have had a good outcome – there were a few devastating posts.  I had him go with me this morning for my tests which included a second mammo and a possible ultrasound.  It turned out to be normal breast tissue…PHEW…I made a pact with myself on the way home that February will now be my month for an annual mammogram.  This waiting 4 or 5 years between them is just stupid and ridiculous.  One thing I read on line is that women should continue having mammograms until the time when you choose to not have them because if cancer is found, you will choose not do anything about it. I assume this means that you are either not healthy enough to endure surgery or something else got you first.

I had very little spunk this weekend after the fall in the parking garage.  But I’m recovering and will probably make a visit to the chiropractor this week once I know I won’t scream when he adjusts me.

Last week Jax had an eye infection…it was better after the first 24 hours of antibiotics…but I told the girls that the only time I regretted having kids is when they were sick.  The unknown has always sent me over the edge with worry and anxiety.    It’s not different with grand babies!!!

For me – good health is good life.  Everything else can be dealt with.

Until next time……

Back in the day of TV Guide magazine

their home was to be placed squarely on the coffee table with the remote placed vertically straight on top – centered.  If I noticed anything eschew, I would lean over and straighten them so they were perfect.  Back in the day when Jenny was a toddler, before I would go to bed at night, I would count every one of her colored plastic blocks as I put them back in the container and if one was missing – I enlisted him to help me find it…THEN we would go to bed.  There was a time when I cleaned my bathroom – at least once a day…cleaned – not cleaned up.  For most of my younger years, I did not leave the house without my hair being perfect, my makeup on and agonized over what clothes I would wear – changing my outfits several times before I left the house.  Yet, my closets and kitchen cupboards were a mess.  I jammed things into them anyway they would fit and then I would close the door.

I have a tendency to revisit similar habits now…when I’m feeling insecure.  Perhaps I should turn that around to this:  I realize I am feeling insecure when I have the need to obsessively organize things on the outside…the things that others might see as a failing on my part.  Just a few minutes ago I was in the laundry room and thinking about the multi-colored hangers I own.  The thought crossed my mind that maybe what I should do is have different colored hangers for him and different colored hangers for me.  The theory that when I pull things out of the dryer, they could be hung on the appropriate colored hanger so when I put them away, I would know which go on his side of the closet and which go on my side of the closet.  Then I thought – sounds great but what if I have a momentary lapse and hang clothes on the wrong hanger and they are put in the closet wrong, you know 180 degrees off from where they should be…and then patted myself on the back because I realized how much more anxiety this could create….what’s going on in my life right now that I can’t control!

I tightly hold on to the things I can control because there are other things I can’t control and anxiety and cold sores are the symptoms!

Until next time….

According to my blog stats…this is number 1000…

When I finish this post and hit enter, I assume that my screen will light up with balloons; and dollar bills will rain from heaven..isn’t that what we expect from life?  When we hit goals, we celebrate with approval from everyone else and then set new goals…not that I have had a blog quota in my head and/or quite frankly, I haven’t set many tangible goals in my life other than weight loss and isn’t that pathetic…but I can top that…seems that when I have reached a goal or milestone in my life, I haven’t really celebrated other than the internal dialogue which says…but you can do better.  Or using different verbiage…it isn’t good enough.  I think this may be one of the multiple keys to my door aka my brick wall which feeds my anxiety.

I look back at my childhood and the false praise I received.  In an effort to build my self esteem, I heard things like – I was the best dressed, the prettiest, you are very smart, you are better than that, you have a lot of piano playing talent, you have beautiful long fingers for piano playing.  I HAVE AND HAVE ALWAYS HAD SHORT STUBBY FINGERS!  When you are a child, and are praised for things that are untrue, it doesn’t build your self-esteem – you know the truth – it screws with your psyche!  I was not the best dressed, not the prettiest, never felt smart because of a learning disability and I did not have incredible talent for playing the piano and I HAD SHORT, STUBBY FINGERS!  I know now this set me up for believing I couldn’t live up to my mother’s standards of the perfect little princess and so I tried harder and harder and never learned to be good enough!

Which brings me now to the New Year and fickle New Year’s resolutions and new anxiety because I have to live up to standards which I will not uphold and the cycle continues.  But, I’ve always believed that once you recognize a problem – you then must fix it.  Nuh uh.  This year, I’m going to strive to be just okay.  Okay with who I am.  Live 2015 knowing that I have no goals or standards that I must live up to.  I am good enough.

Until next time….

If you analyze it, you have to name it!

Does everyone do it or am I just a professional ruminator? and by ruminator, I mean continuously mulling it over in my mind until 1) I am able to name it; or 2) my subject matter morphs into another subject entirely…which gives me the opportunity to compulsively focus on IT.  While brooding about my anxiety tonight while trying to cycle my breathing with his (but not to the earth shattering pitch), I fell upon the idea that perhaps I’m not suffering full blown anxiety, I just can’t shut my mind off which leads me to be anxious because I really do need to go to sleep and I just can’t!  I also realized that my over analyzing does have an end…and that finalé occurs when I can label the mental flapping, stick it in the right drawer and then move on.

With this little morsel of information, I realized that I have to analyze or name nearly everything that meanders through my mind during a 24 hour period.  I pigeon hole, pigeon hole, pigeon hole everything once I can categorize and label it!  Few things are accepted at face value, few things can just be put to the side…they must be analyzed ad nauseam.

Sunday morning news shows are a great way to pick up more fodder to think about.  During a two week period, I spent considerable amounts of brain cells thinking about politics, immigration, the racial discord with police and the release of the CIA report.  I watch/see/hear about these threats to America and my attitudes and opinions volley back and forth.  This past Sunday, I was able to finally sit down and share a conversation with him…I was able to firmly name where I stood on the issues and now I have moved on.  I probably should just go back to bed and try to go to sleep now that I’ve gotten this all down in black and white . #&(!# …and I think that is exactly what I’m going to do.  So….

Until next time….

I had my very first acupuncture yesterday…

and if you are considering acupuncture….there is no reason to fear the procedure.  I admit I was a bit hesitant but I was having such severe anxiety – especially when I turned off the light at night – that I decided to go for it.  He has been having some leg pain which wakes him up several times a night – with our anti-medication mentality, he decided he was going to try this route.  After 3 treatments, it was a grand success.  Last night on our walk, he said who would ever believe that sticking a bunch of pins in you would cure anything.  I still don’t completely understand it either.  I know the theory of this ancient chinese cure but it just doesn’t seem logical – thus my hesitation.

Dr Piva in Pleasant Hill did the work.  After relaxing on the cushioned table with a pillow under my knees he started inserting the needles.  The first two went on the bottoms of my feet.  I didn’t feel the first one, the second one felt like an instantaneous pinch…3 total in each foot and ankle, one midway up on my legs, one in the center of my stomach, 3 each in my hand and wrist and one in the top of my head.  He said I’m going to leave you for an hour.  I’m not going to tell you what to expect….we will talk about it when you are finished.  My first 10 minutes or so were filled with – this can’t possibly work – but I started relaxing…I felt like there were actually twinges or movement – not painful – just unexplained…these feelings would move on – at about the 20 minute mark I lifted up my legs and arms just to see what it looked like…I was starting to relax…I heard a nurse laugh in the hallway and realized that I had fallen asleep…this happened again and the third time was the nurse’s return to remove the needles, swab with alcohol and wait for Dr Piva to return.  He is such a gentle, soft-spoken man…I felt very comfortable.  He didn’t know if I would need a second session – he totally left it up to me.  If I start having unexplained anxiety, perhaps another treatment would help.  He also recommended I get some legos or a non frustrating game and channel my anxiety when I’m laying in bed… I’m a believer…who would ever believe that sticking a bunch of pins in your would cure anything!!!

Until next time…

Flashbacks which I like to call flashbangs….

I have said to people grieving…many times…hold on to your memories they can’t be taken away.  I’m always afraid it sounds trite. ((of a remark, opinion, or idea) overused and consequently of little import; lacking originality or freshness.).  When it comes from my thought process, it is what I hold onto…it is what I want to believe.  But, now, I’ve known so many folks who have/are dealing with loved ones with alzheimers or dementia that I fear the memories can be taken away.  I hate to think of it and the torture relived because I’m sure the memories drawn up from childhood for these victims are not just the great memories they would like to remember; but, perhaps reliving the bad things too….in an endless cycle.  I hate it the thought.

As my mind continues to heal from the stress and anxiety of the past, I seem to have many more flashbang memories of my childhood.  The good thing about being of sound mind, I can either remember them with a smile or remember the bad things, deal with them and move on.  I’m not caught in a cycle, so to speak.

This morning I walked into the kitchen and saw his drinking glass sitting beside the sink… as I have seen many times and I immediately flashed back into walking into the kitchen of our childhood home and seeing my mom and dad’s drinking glasses sitting beside the sink.  In those days, we reused a daily water glass because dishes had to be washed by hand and now it is no consequence to me to drink from a glass and put it in the dishwasher – then get another one and another one.  But he likes to have a glass on the counter for drinks of water.  The one thing only he knows is that it is not uncommon to find several half filled glasses in the refrigerator where I have stashed them so I have some cold water available.  Half empty/half full depending on your perspective.  I wonder if this irritates him.  He has made comments about my little collections of empty glasses in the fridge.  But he moves on.

When I was a teenager, I used to put on my swimming suit, take my sheet and sunglasses and go to the backyard and bask in the sun for a couple of hours.  I loved laying under the sun and feeling the warmth tan my skin.  I believe it is an as my friend, Kim, always said.  Tan fat looks a lot better than untan fat.  It is one of the great flashbangs that I remember often…in fact, as I dabble in in meditation or just relaxation during a massage, this is where I go.  I have perfected the memory and it doesn’t take long for me to totally relax and be able feel laying the sheet on the grass, I can see the large oak tree, the brick fireplace my dad made to burn garbage, the flower bed to my right and Lennie Rae’s house behind my head.  It is my happy place…it is my happy memory…it is one of those memories that I am so afraid I will lose.

Until next time….

Last night I posted over there on Facebook that something has shifted in the universe today. I don’t know what it is..but I’m feeling uneasiness and change.  Kimba questioned me on it this morning…I tried to explain that it isn’t necessarily a Nina feeling…it is more a universe feeling.  The more I’ve thought about it, I question whether it may be rooted in anxiety and over stimulation.  Her questioning made me try to recall the days that I used to get these feelings often and those days were filled with lots of anxiety.  It’s probably just a signal from my little brain and not the universe that I need to prioritize and chill. 

It’s cool and raining today..but not what the bro and sis-in-law are getting in Kansas…We are at 41…they are at 29 with ice covering everything.  Where have I been..Does this always happen in Kansas and I just didn’t know about it before.  I was actually envious when I heard they were moving from Indiana to Kansas because I thought they wouldn’t have any more winters.  Someone needs geography or climetology 101.

I let the dogs out this morning – normally they run down the steps biting at each other and do their perimeter check, do their business and lay down.  This morning they just stood on the porch with the breeze ruffling their hair and sniffed the air.  They stood very still and just sniffed the air.  I stood and watched them…there is a lesson to be learned.

Speaking of Dog.  I’m a Dog the Bounty Hunter fan.  I love the show.  I am fascinated with Dog and Beth and the family.  I have a total crush on Duane Jr but he obviously pissed daddy off and isn’t with the group anymore.  I visited their shop when we were in Hawaii, I proudly wear a t shirt and sweatshirt…You don’t have to like them…but I do…they do not make any attempt to conform to societal standards.  I love that.  Anyway, Edith, back to the point.  I just read something about their show coming to CMT.  The comments were nasty.  Most of the comments had nothing to do with their show but an attack on Dog and Beth and their looks.  Ya.  Dog is eccentric with his long blond, obviously dyed mullet and Beth kind of stands out…But is this a reason to hate them?  They are different so we totally lambast who they are.  Seriously?

Until next time.


Procrastination and Anxiety

I am not a procrastinator for the most part…but, of late, I find myself totally overwhelmed with things I need to do..things I have logged in my mind…and I have no idea why I can’t get it together and get them done.  When Katy was getting down to the wire planning the wedding, she called with the typical OMG anxiety…with a lot on her mind.  I told her simply to make notes.  Now I”m not normally a note maker because somehow it feels less competent than remembering everything..but that was my advice to her.  and yes…I know my lack of note taking and the reason behind it just sounds ignorant!!

I get to that place when I have completed a project and what..then the thousand things start their parade thru my mind and I feel overwhelmed and frustrated.

Today I made the doc appointment, the mammo appointment and the post office passport app appointment.  I feel better…sort of..but what am I forgetting?

Until next time…

Ohio for Easter…

We are going to Kate’s house in Ohio for Easter…I told mom that we were going and she needed to go to Aunt Frances’ house while we are gone…she decided she would have Dana take her on the Wed before…like the 6th…she called me last night at work a little after 2300 and asked me to get her $200 cash Monday because she was going to need it when she went to Des Moines..she couldn’t quite remember when it was…I told her that we had over a week and I would get her money.  Today “he” was working on the boat in her basement garage and she yelled at him…asked him to take her to Aunt France’s house today because Dana is sick..but she had to get her meds etc…he agreed to do this…He is a saint.  So he took her to Des Moines and got her adjusted at Aunt France’s adjusted as anyone can be in that situation.  Ahhhhh all is well.

2200 hours tonight (Monday which is the same day he took her) she calls to say she can’t find her meds…okay..she’s right – he missed getting them out of the car when he dropped her off…she asked if we were planning to go to Des Moines this week…I said, well, no we are working…but told her somehow we would get her meds up to her…she said…..well either that or come get me and take me home…I said..Why would you want us to do that…she said Aunt Frances was making her nervous and she didn’t want to be up there for 10 days.  I told her that it was no one’s fault but her own..she solely made the decision to go up early and we wouldn’t be bringing her back and then turn around and drive her back to Des Moines next week….I wanted to scream at her that out of the goodness of his heart, he took her to Des Moines today and spent an enormous amount of time chauffering her around when he wanted to be doing something productive and had his own agenda for the day.

You know, (rhetorical) I lived in a vaccum for so long wondering what was wrong with me…why did I have such issues with my mother..why couldn’t I just get along..this is not the way you should treat or feel about your mother…the times I made an effort to talk to her and see if we could work something out and she always said she didn’t know what she was doing wrong…ya, uh huh…not until my dad died, and therapy started and I did a lot of soul searching did I realize I just had a bad relationship with her and nothing was going to make it better.  She was the adult and I shouldn’t have had to take care of her…anyway…my girls would really like me to put all of this behind me and  not take her personally…it’s hard…I know this is what I should do…but the distrustfulness and pain and anger are very, very deep.  I’m better than I was yesterday and tomorrow I will be better than I am today…and that folks, is what it is all about….Onward and upward….

Until next time…..

My life taking care of the oldsters….

92 year old Aunt Frances (lives with 90 year old mother next door) called me a little after 1am yesterday morning, said she was in terrible pain and I needed to come over.  How many times this has happened, I can’t begin to explain..grrrrr.  When I got there, Aunt Frances asked me to feel her hernia, it was very solid…this is a hernia she has had many years; I knew this was not a good sign.  In the middle of a rain storm – can you believe that – I hauled her into the ER where they found her to have an incarcerated hernia which would require emergency surgery to repair.  She was afraid.  Being the God fearing woman she is, I thought it was okay to tell her that she would die without the surgery.  I could see the fear and indecision in her eyes.  I asked her if she was afraid of dying.  She said no but she really liked living.  She said, I’m in God’s hands.  I told her there were really two things that could happen…she would either survive and come back here or go home.  She decided to have the surgery.  They wheeled her in around 6:15a and it was all over at 7:15 and after an hour in recovery, I heard her coming down the hall before I saw her.  She was on demerol, away from my mother for awhile…her life was good.  Surgery went well.

Before you judge me on the rest, either read my previous blogs about my narcissistic mother, or trust me when I tell you she has been very difficult and it took me lots of therapy, medication and the peace of God to not find a way to kill myself when my dad died and left me with her.  My aunt gave up a go-getter life in Des Moines when my mother begged her to get her out of the nursing home and live with her last December.  Aunt Frances wanted to give her Christmas and a month at home to get things in order then mom would go back to the nursing home and she would move back to Des Moines…to her church and her friends…needless to say, she just can’t bring herself to be responsible for moving mom back into the nursing home.  She is a much better person than I am.  My mother fights and competes with her day and night and does not believe for a second that my aunt is living there to take care of her…anyway…I wasn’t going to get in to this garbage.

At 5:30 this morning, mom calls Dana – (the daughter of a good friend of mine who takes care of them 3 x a week) and begged Dana to drive over here and take her to the hospital because she was alone.  Then once there, not to be outdone by Aunt Frances, she had to go to the emergency room because she was having a pain in HER stomach. Ya…she’s constipated.

Meanwhile, because I was at the hospital all night, Jenny went to DM to pick Katy up at the airport.  I tried to sleep on and off today but had insomnia because I could not figure how I was going to get to see Katy..get my mother home from the hospital and “deal” with her etc etc.  I have the two best girls in the world, they took care of it for me..they went to see Aunt Frances – who was totally enjoying the demerol and brought g’ma home – got her situated and made life so much easier for me.  Kate took me aside and said she had thought a lot about it, and I needed to remember that g’ma has an extreme psychiatric disorder and at least she isn’t mean like a lot of other old people…ya…she got that out of her system when I was young.  I have to honestly say that it feels so good to have someone take care of me instead of my history of the other way around.  “He” takes care of me too – but I always feel guilty when he has to deal with her because it just seems above and beyond the call of husbandry.

The big thing I learned about myself today is that I’ve been away from all of mom’s crap for awhile..I just don’t get involved unless there is an emergency..and I’m much better…but whenever I have to deal with her or figure out how to deal with her, I revert back.  Today and tonight I found myself food binging.  I haven’t eaten everything I could get my hands on for a long time – it’s not normal stress – it is mother and aunt Frances now I know that I have some work to do on the old psych.

If you are still reading this, thanks…today’s novel was for me to get the feelings out so I can deal with them and move on.

:: edit:: Oh great…it’s Friday the 13th