Showing posts with label survival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label survival. Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2017

When I Was 21 - - - - - A Distressful Post

In 1960 I gave birth to my first born - a precious baby boy.  

            Yes, I am a lot more transparent than any time in my seven years of blogging - for various reasons. One, is that I prefer to have the documentation and also the  "the insight"  may provide some useful information.

It was a wonderful time, happily married to a loving nicely employed man, schooling finished for the time being --- and pregnant. And what an easy and healthy pregnancy it was, without a minute of morning sickness or any prenatal complications.   When the word "Glow" is used to describe some pregnant women,   THAT was ME.  I was so happy, happy, happy!

Even though we were temporarily living an hour drive away from our "stomping grounds", we decided to have our baby at the hospital where I completed my RN Nursing Program.   Being a petite lady weighing a little over 100 pounds (before pregnancy) I was what some call   "All Baby".   When my due date came about on December 5,    no signs of a baby about to be born. I was so very ready emotionally and everything was prepared for the joyous event. Unfortunately, it was two weeks more before my water broke at 3 AM and we were on our way to the hospital. It was lovely to be greeted by a familiar smiling face at the hospital. That face belonged to one of my nursing classmates. They got me settled and LABOR was on it's way.

The contractions were getting harder and harder but it seemed like it was taking forever for the dilation numbers to move along to a higher number. There were many, many hours of fierce pain. Whatever they were doing for me in regards to pain management was NOT working. The pain was so very harsh and unbearable. Eventually, medication was administered that put me out. And, I didn't remember anything until my baby was brought to me in my room all bundled up and crying. My baby was a very unhappy baby. Not the least bit interested in nursing or being held. I was very lethargic and felt worse in ALL WAYS than I had ever felt in my life. I don't believe I can put it into words just how horrendous the experience was for me.

Now it is time for a CAVEAT. The following  information may contain TMI. You may want to shift your mind to reading this as if it is a medical informational post. Remember, this took place years ago. Procedures and philosophies have changed drastically since that time.

Unfortunately, VERY unfortunately, obstetrical forceps were used to (pull out) deliver my 8 pound, 6 ounce baby boy. My body was severely damaged and required an extensive episiotomy (a surgical cut in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus made just before delivery to enlarge the vaginal opening). Many sutures were placed and the discomfort and pain was nearly insufferable post anesthesia. There was very little helpful medical guidance. Complete relief from the stressful physical situation took more than 6 months.

I gave birth on December 20th and was discharged from the hospital on December 24th with my baby boy who seemed to be very unhappy and seemed to never stop crying. Allegedly, he was physically healthy and did not suffer any abnormalities.  My mother was with me for a week but made it very clear to us that she did not plan on being a babysitter! And, she meant it!

With trying to be as succinct as I can in telling you what my son's childhood was like, I will say. From day one, every new life experience for him was traumatic and there were hours and hours and hours of crying. He seemed to have fear of everything. Yes, of course, all available medical care was summoned to no avail. To me as a parent it seemed as though the medical professionals considered him to be "just a bad kid".  There never was baby/mother bonding.   And, life was super challenging for our little family. To this day, his behaviors, I would say, continues to be borderline in interpersonal relationships. Nothing seems to come easy for him, but he manages to get by in the margins of life.
Now, let's flash forward many years to when I was in my early 50's. I started noticing some rectal incontinence. It started around the same time as my serious back injury. So a lot was going on with me and my body. The first question was whether or not there was an association with the back surgery. Many invasive and may I say disgusting medical tests were completed at Stanford University Hospital. Some nerve evaluations along with practically every test (for down there) that you can imagine were completed during a three hour session while I was awake. That was one of the most horrible medical testing that I have ever experienced but ,   not even close to the distress of childbirth. When it was completed and I returned to the waiting room the first thing out of my mouth to my waiting friend was "I Need A Drink".   And, I hardly ever drink!

The results of the testing was a referral to a Neurological Proctologist.

Studies show that a large baby , a mother with small pelvic bones , a prolonged labor , a baby whose head is in the wrong position during labor , or the use of forceps can be associated with the development of incontinence.  Rectal Incontinence being the most difficult to manage.

But, let's try to move along regarding the difficult life my son has experienced.  Throughout his life, I have felt so very helpless.  And, he was certainly misunderstood.  After studying medical literature, speaking with many doctors and feeling profoundly happy about advancing medical science I believe that my son experienced   BRAIN INJURY   at the time of his birth. It is my thought that my presence triggers a psychological and visceral response of PAIN AND DANGER for my son! So - so tragic !!  Additionally, during his childhood he experienced a couple concussions, one when he fell from a height during playtime with friends at a very young age and he was hospitalized for two days. The other time was when he was "beat up" at school.   Terrible ! ! !

On a positive note, just think of all the football players with the current attention about concussions and blunt force to the head.  Thankfully, there is a lot more information about Brain Health!

Painfully, I tell you that many years have gone by periodically without contact with my son. Additionally, he was on foreign land many years of his military deployment. At one time I made all the arrangements to visit him in Korea.  At the last moment he "shut me out" and I cancelled the trip. Additionally, when he came to visit for my daughter's wedding, he left town the day before the event.    But the time may have come - - - along with some medical and professional psychological guidance that relationships and health for my little family may be improved before I am gone.

I pray that with knowledge, medical evaluations/treatment, new coping skills and gentle guidance that the remaining years of life for my adult children will be flowered with comfort, understanding, peace, forgiveness and excitement.

What a beautiful day we are having here in Northern California. The temperatures are very pleasant but reported to be rising to the high 90"s by the end of the week.

Happy Day To You.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

You Do What You Gotta Do

Sometimes my life has me feeling  just like this - JUST HANGING ON .
There are so many things that need my attention and they involve a lot of deep thoughtfulness . 

Little Warning --- This is a very long post today --- Really, really Long!

Recently, I visited with the caretaker of the local Cemetery where I have had a six foot by six foot burial plot for many years. Since I am in possession of the cremains of  My Special Man (at his request and have been, since his passing in December 2014) I am working with the professionals to prepare for interment. Basically, when a plot is purchased it is simply only the ground. This cemetery requires that a Two Foot Tall border (usually cement with steel rebar) is built to surround the plot. There are many variables in selection and prices. Because I live on a "Pile of Rocks" -  NOT a pile of money, I have decided to have the top surface of the border topped with rock from my garden which will save me some money, as well as provide some symbolism of my love of gardens.  In addition, since I have many sizable rock boulders on my property, one of them will be used for the headstone. Something kind of like the next photo.
This is a google image of my cemetery. It gives you an idea of what I'm writing about. The boulder grave marker would sit where the headstone is. Some words that I will have engraved on the grave marker along with names and dates, will be   -    THE GREATEST GIFT IN LIFE IS LOVE.         Remember, this was a "late in life love" and I chose not to marry.   My Furbabies (Pixie, Puff and Lily) cremains will also rest nearby with us.      I think all of this will add some nice personalization to this special project and lifetime event.   And, YES, these decisions can save me a bundle of money ! ! Headstones can be and usually are quite expensive !

Since, I have a strong sense of responsibility, I feel that there are several activities that I must take care of before My Last Act ends. Unfortunately, I am, (what is called by some) a Senior Orphan meaning that I do not have available family (or others) who can assist with end of life responsibilities. Soo many, too many of my dear friends have passed on.    My thought is quite simply      "You Do What You Gotta Do".
Two weeks ago I started to see a Psychologist for the purpose of making a concentrated effort to re-establish a family relationship with my two adult children before it is too late.  Yah, you know what I mean.  There are many understandable (but disappointing)  life experiences and decisions that have occurred through the years that have been "out of my hands".  But, I have always tried my very best to live by the Golden Rule of "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You".  Being human means we all make mistakes and we must live with those decisions.  I have spent many years in psychotherapy with the strong desire to break the cycle of great heartache and disfunction (in my family of origin) or at least learn to live the best life I can live. Most of the time it has been a very lonely and tough road for me. But, it only takes a nano-second for me to realize all the many blessing I have had and am grateful for. 

I was about to read the book  'Done With The Crying' ---  Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children by S McGregor when I thought, Wait a minute - I'm not giving up on this!

My Precious Granddaughter and family are enjoying a fulfilling life. The Great Grandbabies are growing so fast. Wish I could see them more often and enjoy the wonders of growing up with them!
January - First day of pre-school. Daddy always seems to make it to all the special events. They are fabulous parents. The LOVE really shows!
Another activity that is taking a lot of thought these days is whether or not it would be best to obtain a Reverse Mortgage on my home. My limited finances are becoming unbearable. And, I am facing some heavy financial expenditures for a while.  Sometimes it seems to me that for most of my life I have been living on a very tightly stretched budget.  Among other things, single parenting can be financially challenging.  As some of you know, I have learned to do many many things myself instead of trying to hire assistance. Many of these tasks are associated with maintaining my own home.   The day has come when I question how long I can continue to do things like installing my own garbage disposal, repair my electric range, power wash my house. The list goes on and on of tasks that I have been able to do for myself out of necessity. However, there always is a list and at the present it is getting longer.  The bathroom toilet needs attention and window washing is long overdue. I need to hire out some jobs like repair of my car air conditioning, propane heating stove repair and maintenance and outside house painting. 

I basically need some additional funds to continue living in my current minimalistic style.  I would be thrilled if I could (for once in a long time) start delegating the work without heavy financial burden and indebtedness. I feel very grateful that I have been able to keep my house, especially through the recent years of universal financial strain.

I have briefly given thought to selling my house, but, WHERE WOULD I GO WHERE I COULD LIVE,  THAT WOULD BE LESS EXPENSIVE AND ACCEPTABLE?    And, then there is THIS!
I need to find a way to get rid of lots of stuff. I am almost ashamed of the way things are looking around here. I no longer can physically handle the work of cleaning out and having a yard sale!  My last sale, years ago, brought me $3000.00. And, that was wonderful even though it almost killed me!

Call me CRAZY but I do not want pictures taken of my house and garage the way it looks at this time by appraisers if I sell or reverse mortgage the house. Yes, there is a big job ahead of me!

I think I could write a book about avoiding Cash in the Trash. I have learned how to stretch or make a penny in unbelievable ways.  HAVE YOU EVER RENTED OUT A CLOSET for someone's storage? I have for one and a half years!

I have always done my best in maintaining financial responsibility. For many years my credit score has consistently been over 800. And, it hasn't been easy. But, with sensibility and thoughtful decisions it is possible. My annual income (no government assistance here) has remained the same for many many years since my back injury/disability. And, the amount (Social Security Retirement Benefit) is based on the amount I was earning prior to age 52. That means the amount is considerably less than it would have been if I had been able to work until age 62. Yes, I had a Workers' Compensation Case. Trust me, NO ONE who is honest makes money on WC. You are lucky if you break even. I have "lived on both sides" with knowledge inside the system  as an employee and as a injured worker/client!  And, talk about stress, it took 10 years to arrive at a settlement which allowed me to break even. OH, it is such a horrendous system! And, very corrupt on both sides in many cases!

OK, there is another possible income generator that I have considered but really do not want to do. And, that is to sell my Premium Diamond Ring that  was gifted me by My Special Friend when he wanted to marry me. 

I think it is best for me to stop on that note as I think that gives you an idea of what life has been like for me lately.         It is not all bad.        It is Just What It Is.

Well, How about this?
I like that idea!

         That's it for Today. I think I need a nap.


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