Friday, April 8, 2011

Family Dynamics..., a spinning top, firecrackers, a black hole, the domino effect??

Hello friends, I am so sorry I have not been around. Truly, I am sorry that I have had no motivation, no inspiration, no muse, no feelings of anything.  My depression has me in it's grip tightly, and I have yet to find a new psychiatrist (in network, within driving distance) my "one time only" bottle of anti-depressants that my PCP prescribed is running low, and I have been skipping a dose here and there. I know that is not a good thing, but I gotta do, what i gotta do.  I mean I really hate posting this, but at the same time, most of you I consider only friends. so I feel I need to talk about it. I mean seriously I've been spending days at a time in my PJs. Not doing anything, ANYTHING. I sleep a lot, I have been nauseous a lot, and I've been getting a lot of fact that is scaring me a bit, as they start out with very sharp, hot stabbing sensations either starting at the top of my head or coming in from the side, like the temples, and come out thru my eyes. THEN it becomes a throbbing headache that lasts for a few hours. At first it was come and go, but now for over 10 days it has been happening daily. However, ever since finding out my ANAs are +(which means inflammation), I've been taking 800 mg of Ibuprophen 2-3 times a day...I was taking it twice in 24 hours before in place of Celebrex which I am boycotting (as it has been more than 17 years...therefore there should be a Generic) so I upped it to every 8 hours.(for the inflammation)
Additionally, my one knee and wrist/hand have been in a LOT of pain lately, so my Vicodin intake has been at least once a day, sometimes twice.   SOOO, I've been thinking perhaps the headaches are "rebound headaches", which is better than thinking I have a brain tumor. LOL (or perhaps not so LOL) Tuesday I am having my pelvic US and my mammo done. seeing my PCP on the 20th and having an ekg done. On the 25th I am having endoscopy to check my esophagus and stomach.

I found a Rheumatologist, a bit of a drive, but not too bad, I see him on May 5th. HURRAY! maybe I'll get some answers.  I have had days here and there where my whole body has hurt like when you have the flu, I am thinking that is an FM flare?? anyone-- confirm that?

OK, so I think my depression is so bad because of my family, you already know about my son.
However that is not all. Anyone out there have a sibling, that ALL of their life they act like they are the only ones that can do anything right, they have to be the ones that run things, the boss, etc.?

Well, I can be like that myself sometimes but my older sister (9 years older) has been like that her entire life. It only took 2 visits for my first hubby to see it, and 3 for my present hubby to see it, and he has clashed with her numerous times over it. I have only had a few small clashes, as she is my sister and I feel, that is how she is.(OH, at one of the yearly Xmas parties, I USED to hold, some of my friends even asked me what's up with your sister, she is like telling people where to sit etc.)

However, she has also done some things in her life concerning me or my family, that I and my Dad, Mom and whoever else knew about it, has bit their tongue. My hubby, refuses to spend time with her, and has done so for many years unless it is a funeral or something. (I can give a really good example, shall I?)

Recently, my mother was admitted to the hospital, she called me right after getting settled in her room. I won't go into the entire conversation,  but the highlights are:

Mom:  Susan, I'm in the hosp.

me:  why, what happened?

Mom:  I felt weak and then fell over at home (there was more to the story here)

me: What are the doctors saying?

Mom: the ER doctor kept saying Heart failure, heart failure, the nurse said I had fluid around my heart, in my lungs.

Me: What else did the doctor say, and what did they give you?

Mom: The doctor said heart failure, CHF...I know the HF is for heart failure but I can not remember what the C is for. The nurse said they gave me medicine that will make me urinate a lot to get rid of the fluid.

me: the C stands for Congestive

Mom: oh...Congestive Heart failure, your dad had that a few times. (she then went on to explain to me how bad her sinuses have been and I told her it is not that kind of congestive)

me: yea, so that medicine will help, when will you see your doctor?

Mom: they said perhaps later today, but I think the morning.

me: OK, you go get your rest and I will check in with you tomorrow.

OK, so...what would you gather from that conversation?  
Did I diagnose her?

I gathered that my mom had Congestive Heart Failure. But I never actually told her that, I know, not to come right out and tell my mother things, as...I know my mother, and when she is tired or scared she gets things twisted.  She is 84.5. She has all her faculties but still, and when you put an elderly person in the hospital they tend to get what is commonly called "Hospital confusion". I worked with the elderly for over 10 years as a nursing assistant. YES, I do know a lot of medical stuff, being a CNA for so long, studying to be a nurse before switching to imaging. I MAY advise people sometimes of what question to ask their doctors, or what tests may be helpful, but I do NOT diagnose.

Later that night I went on FB and posted as my status about my mom, and asked for prayers candles and healing energy. I got a lot of responses from HS classmates and art friends. 3/4 down the list my niece posted: "Luckily Aunt Susan, you are wrong and she doesn't have Congestive heart failure, she had an episode of A-fib, they adjusted her pacemaker and she'll be coming home tomorrow.  You really should not use your own medical knowledge to diagnose people. get the facts, before scaring and worrying people." (She didn't know ANYONE that had posted, and totally embarrassed me to the friends that had a chance to read it, at least those 2, maybe others. what was the point, except to be passively malicious?)

there were 2 other posts wishing my mom well after that. at first I responded to my niece's post, then decided to just delete it.

I then went to my email ( a few hours later), where there was an email from my sister and one from the same niece.

the one from my sister was very condescending, telling me how I need to talk to the doctors and stop diagnosing people myself. That all I was doing was worrying the family needlessly etc. etc. Very passive-aggressive.(BTW it was a broadcast email to her 2 daughters, one granddaughter and me)

I totally was not in the mood for yet another one of her "you are not worthy lessons" that only she could get the information. (I didn't call anyone or email anyone, I just posted to my this came from my niece)

I totally lost it, and told my sister off, letting her hear all the stuff I knew about her concerning me, that she didn't think I knew.( in a reply to all emails) I told her everyone else had been right about her all along, she is a bitch.
That even our father thought so...that must have stung, seeing how she was always Daddy's girl.
Some of the info I knew, I even posted to my nieces in this email, did you know that about your mom?(having to do with her treatment of me and my children over the years)

I brought up a lot of stuff, it felt good to get it out.

My niece's email was basically a reply to her mom's but she also replied to all, and again it oozed with passive-aggressiveness.  Thanking my sister for getting her facts straight, as she "wanted to keep baby boy right where he was for the next 3 weeks (pregnant) I was so worried, and didn't need the extra stress"....why not just reply to her mom...because she had to get that dig in to I right?

So I replied back to her, that "PUHLEEZE, if she was so concerned about Nana, she could have called the hospital, and that that being concerned over Nana, would not cause pre term labor...and that she only included me in that email to be passive-aggressive like her mom."

Know this:  My sister does not love our mother, she only takes care of her because she made a promise to our father to take care of her. She has told this to me, right to my face.  Most of the time for stuff, she sends her husband over to my mom's...they do not visit, except on holidays. They have only taken Mom to Dad's burial place (urn) once, since his memorial service.  Dad is now gone 6 years.  They live 20 minutes from my mom, I am almost 2 hours away and the military cemetery is half way between my mom and us.

My sister also said in the email that they would be bringing home Nana later in the daughter took Nana home.

SO....the result, of me finally telling my sister off:  no reply one way or another from her, and a "cut- off" from my one niece..."for all the nasty things you said"...sorry if you can't accept the truth about your mom.(oh they both well know of her over bearing nature and her bossiness, and both have had their times where she weren't talking, but I unveiled some of her maliciousness)  The other niece was already estranged from me, as she has made one bad decision after another, costly to her kids and an entire community. I, unlike other people in the family, have told her so, instead of talking behind her back.

Even though, I did NOT tell one lie, just as I did NOT diagnose my mother, I merely went by what she was telling me.  She did tell my sister that what she told me, & was replied to by me as, "That sounds like congestive heart failure mom."(since those were NOT my words to her...I have also now told the entire family I will only speak to my mother thru emails, so there is proof of what was said, and because she can NOT hear on the phone at all) as I was saying even though, I KNOW I am NOT the one in the wrong here, it still hurts to be held as the bad guy in the family.  My children for the most part are ok with all of this, the oldest is hoping for a letter of recommendation from the pregnant niece(an attorney) for Grad. school, so she is only upset about that, but I told her, that one has nothing to do with the other.  My youngest daughter who now lives up there, went to see my sister one day a few months back, wanting to know why she keeps her and her siblings out of get-togethers just cause she isn't speaking to her siblings... she side stepped it. when my daughter asked what is going on between her and "my mom" (ME) reply

She called me later and told me, what the older daughter told me many times, and my son..."Aunt Barbara really is a bitch." brother is not speaking to anyone, nor has he for almost 6 years. My son recently threatened me, because I caught him in a lie, and proved it to his Dad, who he thought he had buffaloed. My oldest daughter's relationship with me is still strained, as well with her step-dad, her father and step-mom--she holds all of us responsible for everything that has gone wrong in her life, but for bonus points, she holds me more responsible. My sister who has basically been not talking to me for a while, is REALLY not going to talk to me now. As both of her daughters.

This is NOT how I was raised, our extended family was always kind of close, as well as the immediate family for the most part. it is not how it was growing up, and all the Aunts and Uncles and cousins getting together. I miss that a lot. All the aunts and Uncles are gone now except for my mom. I miss my brother, who used to be a lot of fun, and I always looked up to him. Once he became "born-again" he changed, and then years later, my SIL changed for the worse, really weird, mean, under-handed and strange, and since then, my brother also changed again for the worse, and then he just decided he was cutting us all off. 

What I am seeing  now in my family, is what my husband's family was like when I met him, and I thought it was so alien to not be speaking with one's sibling or parent. (though now, in hindsight I see why he cut himself off from his mother, and having her in our lives, and living with us, for the most part was a horrible experience)  I am grateful that his brother came out for a visit before she died, and the 2 brothers got to bond, it was nice, but the Fates are cruel, and his brother died 6 months later. so We are and have been the only family my hubby has.  Ron's Dad died before he and I even met, his brother was his only sibling, and his son in San Diego is more like a distant, semi pen-pal. (That breaks my heart, as my own kids break my heart)

I have my youngest daughter and my hubby (mom too) but that is it, and no RL friends, so can you now see why in addition to the chronic pain and other stuff I have been in a very dark place?

Anyone else have similar family dynamics?


Anonymous said...

Man, all of this is just a big hot mess.

I'm gonna lay it down since you've posted thus are obviously open to comments.

I think taking your anti-depressants irregularly are definitely affecting your headaches as is the Vicodin. I hearts me some Vicodin but I always get a Vicodin hangover. Could you tell your PC doc that you still haven't found a psych and ask for a refill to give you more time. If they are not accomodating with giving 1 refill, perhaps you need a new PC doc.

As for the family shit, I can't even begin to tell you about the shit that used to go down among myself and my siblings. It almost always was spurred by the parents (usually my father). At one point, I didn't speak to my oldest sister for a year. Another time after reconciling with her, we then didn't speak to my other sister for 5 years. 5 damn years! That's INSANE and juvenile. Just this past 2 years I've realized that I have the power to control how much I get emotionally involved in other people's issues. Once I had that epiphany, I was able to spend time with "those people" who otherwise I would want to beat with a bat.

Good luck.

Wendy said...

Hi Sue,
I totally understand why you feel so overwhelmed and depressed with all the family issues you have and your health issues on top of that. Do you trust your Dr.'s and the med's they prescribe for you? Esp. any anti-depressant you're on. And as for the family stuff and your sister and niece, that would make anyone bat shit (excuse the french ; ) I've had to make some strong boundaries around my family and how they interact with me, and that's only happened with a really and I mean really good therapist. If you don't have one, I know you'd probably benefit so much from seeing one and just having a safe place to vent. Sending you lots of healing blessings.

flyingbeader said...

I think you headaches are stress induced & probably the severe pain is from your cutting back on the meds, but then you know this. As for family...we don't even want to go there. My biggest problem has been & always will be my Mother. I have one sister who has no name, and one who is about to lose her name. My brothers are okay but they are so busy raising their families, and my sister is on medication for her brain cyst so sometimes when she forgets to take it she can be so mean to me. But all families have issues. Show me a perfect one and I'll probably squeeze my eyes & say they are pretending.

Sara said...

Hi Susan

Poor you, I am always getting A-fibs and they are always adjusting my pacemaker. THey can seem pretty horrible at times and doctors tend to never think of the pacemaker until I go to the pacemaker clinic. Its insane really. I empathise with your bad heads being a migraine sufferer. I think yours are probably stress related like mine. As for the family stuff. I know its impossible to ignore it but remember you know what you are doing is what is best for you just try and close off when they start. Always available if you want to sound off on private email. Hugs Sara

Lynn Stevens said...

Unfortunatly we can't pick our relatives! I think most family's go through some turmoil at times, Sometimes its best to just take a step back and take care of the ones you Love. Letting go can be the best medicine. I hope you get your meds taken care of , now just take care of YOURSELF!!!
hugs Lynn