Exhaustion, Depression and Stress..OH MY!

I opened Facebook this morning and saw a stunning picture of friends in front of glorious scenery on their vacation abroad and while I was so happy for them that they saw such wondrous views and had these fabulous experiences and OH MY GLOB that waterfall was just breathtaking….I burst into tears.  Not really the reaction I was expecting to come from myself. Quite shocking actually. Admittedly, I was envious of them. I adore them completely, I have no ill feelings in even the slightest towards them and their various trips they take I live vicariously through their pictures grinning from ear to ear and vowing I will go there someday, but I am envious.  I am finding a lot of late, that i am envious of what everyone is doing, the lives their living. They are living…..LIVING!! I feel like I am barely surviving each day and each day it is a struggle to do that.

The old saying that goes something along the lines of three steps forward, two steps back (or however it goes) I think is going to be my new mantra. When I feel like I get a handle on things, something trips me up or shoves me back a bit. This morning started with challenges (like waking at 3 am and not getting back to sleep) and try as I might to not let it set my mood for the day, it did.  It started with something as small as my son not brushing his teeth…for several days because he never unpacked his overnight bag from a sleep over. I mean..come on!! Yea, I know..he’s 12 and I should know better. I guess I underestimate my kids in hoping they will do basic hygiene every day without me having to remind them to do it. *smacks forehead* How silly of me!  Lesson learned: 12 year old boys don’t care nor think about these things. (Note to self: Start taping reminder notes to their mirrors and computer screens) I became very angry over this situation. Probably more so than I should have. I yelled. He cringed. The puppy cowered. I stormed out to go to work feeling like worse Mom in the world.

Now, today was to be the first therapy appointments for he and I. Being majorly stressed at all that has happened and is happening in our lives of late, I was very much looking forward to it. I should have known that it wouldn’t be that easy, it never seems to be in my life.  Mind you, i worked for a couple weeks with a case worker through my insurance company to find the right therapist that would fit for both my son and I. They took my insurance as well.  This morning at 8:30, the therapy office called to tell me my son’s insurance was canceled at the end of January and they couldn’t find me in the system. I felt my heart skip and start to beat faster and I think my eye even started to twitch a little.  After a call to the insurance company to verify we were still there and active, which we were, I called the office back. It was then they said they did find us, but, as it turns out, they don’t take the plan type that we have with said insurance company. However, they could set up a private pay price so that I could keep the appointment.  At this point I can now feel my pulse in my neck and temples and the angry tears started brimming in my eyes and I believe the next words I said were “Are you fucking kidding me!?” came out of my mouth and the lady uttered an oh my seemingly shocked to her foundations that I had the audacity to swear. Can someone please tell me why these offices can not check out the insurance eligibility prior to the few hours before the appointment?!  I promptly told her to cancel the appointments as I would not be keeping them since they didn’t take our policy and I certainly don’t have the funds to pay for their “private pay” fee.   Weeks communicating with a case worker named Johanna at our insurance company via email and phone calls and she couldn’t even tell that this place didn’t take my plan type?! Isn’t that this case worker’s job? To confirm these little details before saying Go ahead and make an appointment?  I called the insurance company back yet again and well, she couldn’t answer my call right now and would get back to me.  Right after that, the hospital calls to say I have to come back down (after I just left there yesterday afternoon from being there this whole weekend) so that they can train me on how to run a pump for an NG tube for feedings.  I was there..for four days, and not once could they have shown me this while I was there and they were doing them? After being told earlier that a visiting nurse would come teach me at my home, I am now told I HAVE to come back down and do a 3 hour drive because they do not trust outside visiting nurses. There is now a red haze on the edges of my vision.

I feel utterly beaten down, deflated and broken. Thankfully I am at work alone right now because I sat at my desk here and bawled in complete frustration and anger for quite some time. When that happens, the mind wanders through the strangest things and you reflect on a hundred things that have nothing to do with the insurance company but only further you’re growing depression over the situation and what life has thrown at you. My brain decided to reflect on my missed vacations due to health reasons with my husband last year..then this year with my oldest son’s..not to mention caused us to post pone our wedding and cancel a honeymoon all together. It reminds me of how poorly I feel i am handling my life right now which consists of work, trying to maintain the house and the rotating hospital stays for treatment or pop up fevers and try to raise another child who is also dealing with the stresses of a sibling with a major illness and acting out accordingly. Oh yea..and a puppy who seems to be have an endless amount of poop and always has accidents no matter how many times we take him outside to do his business. He reminds me of one of those play-doh extrusion toys!   In one end and out the other almost immediately! My brain decided to remind me of just how much life I was missing and all the fun I was not having. All the life we are not living.  I feel like the most selfish person in the world right now. I feel like I should be able to push all this aside and be that good strong person and focus entirely on his treatment and be that positive, uplifting supermom i should be. I am not. I feel like a failure on top of the extreme selfishness.

I know..this isn’t forever. I have had multiple people state that to me to try to help me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. FYI: It doesn’t help.  I know that when he is cured and back to his old self this will be something to reflect on as a struggle we got through and move in with our life.  But that time is not here yet. There are still months ahead of us in going through his treatment to reach that end goal. Hard, tough, stressful, painful months. We are barely half way in all this and I pray I can make it all the way through mentally and hell..even physically. I am trying to take it one day at a time so as not to feel overwhelmed, which is a monstrous feet in of itself. I have a feeling I will end up on some type of anxiety/stress medication and almost definitely something for blood pressure before the end of all this. I am fried.

I did warn you at the creation of this blog it wasn’t going to be all rainbows and unicorns and sunflowers, right? Right?!

 

 

 

 

 

Frustrations & Complaints (move along if you don’t want to read further)

The night didn’t go so well. The lack of sleep has caused me to be in a foul disposition thus is going to reflect in this post.  The IV machine kept beeping and of course the nurses didn’t hear it so it would wake me up and I would have to go out and let them know that there was an issue with his fluids. This happened at least three times.  Then he had to use the restroom so he needs a hand with that..mainly rolling the IV cart and maneuvering it for him since he is half asleep.  All that started at like 12:30. I started to drift back off and then some weird ass dream woke me up and had my heart pounding. I can’t even recall what it was now. Then, the hunger set in. It was damn near overpowering too. I kept craving sushi in the worse possible way. I seriously debated going down to the cafe that is open 24 hours but all the food is starting to taste the same there and from what the nurses said, they aren’t that well stocked in the wee hours of the morning. So, after a cursory search of the floor to see if there were snacks of any type other than saltines or graham crackers, I went back to bed. The hunger pangs kept me up though and I decided to surf Facebook. Why oh why do all the amazing and scrumptious looking recipe videos come up at that time, when I am soooo hungry?!  It was torture, I tell you. I finally fell back asleep sometime around three is my guess.  But, the damn beeping IV machine woke me at 5:45.

On the complaint front, while the nurses are wonderful as well as the other staff here, the facilities leave quite a bit to be desired. First, they have these vinyl pull out couches and they have to be only slightly more comfortable to sleep on than the floor. Let me tell you, osteoarthritis and this couch do not get along what so ever.  I usually take Advil PM in order to get a good nights sleep, but last night I forgot to. Just as well I suppose considering Kyle needed help.

The bathrooms. We have been in here probably at least ten times now, and in as many different rooms.  Every room (save one) is equipped with these filters over all the faucets including the shower heads.  Our guess is they are the equivalent of Brita filters so the water is clean for patients with compromised immune systems to bath or wash hands without worry of bacteria. Here’s the problem. These filters, they clog up within two showers and then the water flow is a trickle coming out. And that is if there is a descent water pressure, which a lot of times there isn’t.  Nor hot water, or a semblance there of. The current room has a puddle in the base of the tub that has rust in it. Apparently there is also a problem with how they are leveled so they dont drain properly.

This is a children’s hospital. Children of this day and age have electronic devices that rely on internet such as tablets, cell phones, laptops and gaming systems. I have seen them all in various rooms (one teen had the whole X-Box One with Connect set up).  The problem is, when the internet infrastructure was installed, they underestimated the demand on it so it is very laggy. They also linked all the nurses mobile computer stations to be wireless as well so add that to the demand of mobile devices of the patients and families and calling it mediocre would be a kindness.  A simple video chat with loved ones is just about out of the question let alone playing a game or streaming a movie or show.  Thankfully, Kyle has a bag of dvd’s he brings with him and is happy with that.

I see the hospital updating the grounds right outside our window. There use to be a mini golf course and they have chain-link fenced off the are and are dubbing it Phase 2 of the gardens.  The nurse and I both said, wouldn’t the funds have been put to better use for updating the bathrooms/plumbing/computer issues (just to name a few)?  I know i would have budgeted the money for those things other than a new garden.

One thing I do find amusing is there is a ghost in the room. The automatic feed paper towel dispenser just randomly feeds out paper towels without anyone being near it to wave a hand in front of it.  *insert twilight-zone music here*

On an up note (I did say last night I would try) Kyle is in good spirits. My mother is coming to visit with belated presents for him which he is entirely too excited about.  He is smiling a lot and eating cheese its like they are going out of style. Milk and Dr Pepper too.  He has made a request for mini powdered donuts as well.

I feel a nap coming on. I think Ill go give in before company arrives. If you’ve stayed this long dear readers, thanks for listening to my vent. It did help some. I will just be glad when these hospital stays are in our past and he is cured and recovered to his old self again.

Ciao

“Always Look on the bright side of life”

I will be the first to admit that I do not have the most optimistic outlook or attitude sometimes. Hell, a lot of times.  The last several years in my life have had many ups and downs and it seemed a lot of times, more the downward slope. It tends to make me always see things in a dark light and not in a positive manner.  I am truly working on it but it is hard. Today, is not one of the hard days thankfully.  I woke this morning here at the hospital and decided that Au bon pain-in-my-ass is not what I wanted for breakfast. Everything in that shop smells the same and the smell is starting to disgust me.  I went to the basement cafe to get some breakfast and when I walked in, the atmosphere just lifted my spirits. The speaker system was playing some Latin music that you just couldn’t help but dance to.  I didn’t understand a word of it (even after 5 years of Spanish lessons in school) but you just didn’t need to.  The staff were chattering away and some lightly singing the lyrics to the song.  Some of the staff I have gotten to know by first name basis in the last few months and the one sweet lady named Carmen greeted me. Her big smile and good morning brought a grin to my face as she chatted about how late she was there last night and early she was this morning, all the while dancing to the music playing over head. She asked about Kyle and then commented on my blue hair (yeah..dyed it to match Kyle’s in the back and sides at the bottom) and how it looked “totally fab”.  She really set my mood this morning making the day seem bright and positive. Kyle is doing well. His counts are coming up and he’s put about 8 pounds back on that he’d lost.  His mood was that of my ol’ Kyle who was always giggly and smiley and fun.  We laughed entirely too hard over a video of someone showing some Thomas HO Gauge trains and the eyes on one of the trains were going the opposite ways of what they should be and he just couldn’t stop laughing, which made me laugh even harder and brought me such joy.

Joy…a luxury I haven’t had a chance to experience in some time.

I have to say I was very worried about coming this weekend. Stress has taken its toll and I was worried I wouldn’t be a good Mom to Kyle. The hospital stays are hard on me too emotionally. Its so incredibly difficult to see your child suffering and know you cant do anything more than hold his hand or talk kind soothing words to him while he gets through all this horrific shit that he has to endure to get better. It is extremely hard to not cry in front of your child so they see you as strong and they take your strength and put it into themselves so they too can be just as strong and confident in their ability to get through tough situations.  I am not this strong all the time, or even most of the time. I don’t see myself as a strong person in this. I feel weak actually.  I’m told otherwise, but it doesn’t matter what anyone tells me, its how I feel.  I feel like i should be strong like the other mothers who never seem to cry over this. Who are just determined to get through it and go on to the next step to recover.  As i said at the top, optimism isn’t one of my strong traits. Lots of times being beat down emotionally over the years causes me to spiral. One small bad tiny seed will spiral me down until that seed has bloomed into a forest of negativity and weighty depression. And crying, lots of it.   But, today, there wasn’t any of that.  A good friend came to visit and brought me Pennsic booty that she and another friend picked up for me in their shopping travels.  The company was just lovely too as she regaled me with her adventures in our little medieval Brigadoon.  (sorely miss going..next year, for sure!)

Now, as I finish typing this entry up, the skies are darkening and the stars are beginning to dot the sky. Kyle has settled in for the night and I hear my knitting calling. I’ve spent time virtually with my youngest playing some Warcraft and I’ve chatted it up with my hubby…who i miss so much right now.   Today, I had no pessimistic thoughts.  Well, I cant say that exactly. One tried to get the better of me and take away the happiness I was feeling and i shoved it down swearing at it and grasped the hand of Joy in my head (You know..blue hair, gold glow..all bubbly) and continued on my task.  Today I call it a win. I beat back the blackness that so often takes control of my brain in all this that I am dealing with.

One day at a time. That is the best I can do. Today was a good day and tomorrow I’ll shoot for the same thing.

I call that a win.