Personal Update 1/6/16

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So much has happened since my last post that I do not even know where to begin. I am a completely different person now, it seems. I guess a good starting spot would be my mom. She had been doing amazing. Better than I ever thought she could do again. She ended up being in and out of 2 nursing homes. She was home for a while after her last stay when she got a virus. She had meds that did not agree with her. She ended up passing out in the bathroom and breaking her shoulder. That landed her in the hospital again. Some stupid doctor in the emergency room almost killed her. Gave her a medicine that reversed all of the meds in her system which threw her breathing all off. She was put back on the bi pap. Hospice called in a chaplain for us, assuming she would not come off of it, and she would pass away. She came right off without a problem though. She recovered well and that is when she was placed in the last nursing home.

 

This nursing home is amazing. The best one around, with the best staff. It’s a beautiful place and they do everything they can to make her happy. She has 24 hour care, but can still go shopping or on other trips if she chooses. She has been the best that she had been since the beginning of the year (2015). Until Sunday. Sunday the nurses had a hard time getting her to wake up in the morning. When she did, she was very confused. The staff believes her meds are too strong for her now and want to dial her back, they think this is what may have caused this issue. They think she has caught a stomach bug on top of this confusion. She has pretty much been asleep since Sunday evening. Dad and I are taking turns being with her as much as possible. Again, I am so thankful for the 24 hour trained staff. They take a huge weight off of my shoulders, which is highly appreciated currently, because in August I found out I am pregnant. Being pregnant, I do not need all of the stress.

 

I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. I am so excited to bring him home and be our own family. I am also freaking out quite a bit, because I feel like my pregnancy has flown by. I mean, we are a week into the new year. My baby shower is in March, and we will have a baby by May. It’s going crazy fast.

 

Also, we got engaged in September. We had been planning on doing that before finding out we were pregnant, but the baby happened first. We got engaged at the same point we would have anyway. We are trying to plan our wedding for the end of summer, but financially its a challenge.

 

This year Kyle and I have a lot on our plate. Baby shower, giving birth, buying a house and moving, wedding. Pretty much we are living our entire lives in one years time. All of this while my mom is so sick and all I want to do is spend time with her. I just hope everything goes as good as possible.

 

Wish us luck, were going to need it!

Time Slipping Away

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It has been 7 months since my mother’s back surgery. It has been 6 months since a doctor told us she “has 2 years to live”. This month is her 56th birthday. This month she has been in the hospital twice for week stays. This month we have had several meetings with hospice about setting up care at home. This week my mother took her third EMS ride since her COPD was diagnosed. This week I almost lost my mother.

I am thankful for the time I have left with her, but I feel that it is being pulled away from me. It’s all going too fast. The days are not long enough. I feel like I am being robbed. There is so much I need my mother for and I am afraid of a time when I won’t have her anymore.

She is finally stable enough to go home today. Hospice will be back out to my parents home with weekend. But I am petrified of the time in between. Hearing someone scream for air is scary and painful. Terms like “air hungry” “DNR/DNI” and “End of Life Care” have me crying in my sleep and jerking awake at night in tears and hyperventilating.

She keeps saying how sorry she is. How she wishes that any one of us had been able to get through to her about her smoking. I remember begging her “Mommy please quit smoking,” after seeing her father die a painful death due to lung cancer. The difference? He was an old man. In his late 70’s. It was his time to go. She is young, but she always assumed she would have plenty of time like he did. We all have to die of something, she would say. Now I see the fear in her eyes over dying. I see the regret. She knows she will never know my future children. I’ll be lucky if she is at my wedding.

And of course all of this is happening while my brother still smokes 2 packs a day after his massive heart attack at age 38. He has a chance to fix things for his self, and it hurts to see him not taking it. But I know you can’t make a person change.

I’ll end this by saying that I am so thankful for the bipap machine that my mom was on in the emergency room. I know it saved her life. I know it was a close call. I am also thankful for a close friend Shay, who came to be with me while waiting for EMS. I’m also thankful for the whole Fowlerville Fire Department, and Livingston County EMS. I am thankful for ER nurse Linda that held me while I cried at the foot of my mothers bed and ICU nurse Jim that took special care to update her files (that had medications she hadn’t taken in over 6 years on it) and giving us more information about her condition in a half hour than all of the doctors have given us in at least a few months. I am thankful for my future mother in law that came and let my dog out, and made us dinner and is here for me in every way she can be. I am thankful for my cousin who drives out to sit with me in the hospital room. I am thankful for my friends I know I can cry on. I am thankful for my dad who has been a rock for me and my brother even though you must be in so much emotional pain your self. I am thankful for Kyle who holds me and lets me be the emotional wreck that I am on a daily basis. Thank you everyone.

Meds Making Me Worse?

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As many of you know, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a very long time. I personally believe since childhood, but my parents always brushed off my behavior. I did not receive any treatment until I was over 18 and decided to seek help on my own. I was on many different things before being prescribed Effexor. At first, I believed this was my miracle drug, the answer to my prayers. I felt a million times better. I was even able to finally get my drivers license because I wasn’t afraid anymore.

After being on Effexor for almost 2 years, and being with my current boyfriend for a little longer, the thought of us having children came up (See post Small Steps Toward Opening the Window). I have heard many horrible things about taking antidepressants while pregnant, especially something so strong. When I brought my concerns up to my doctor and explained my desire to come off of this drug she laughed at me, “like a crazy person” lol. She down played the strength of what I am on.

Someone like me NEEDS to be on a medication like this. The BENEFITS out weighed my RISKS. She would not hear me out. After leaving her office I tried to come off the medication on my own several times, each time ending in tears and panic attacks. This left me little hope.

Recently due to a job change, I lost my employer insurance, and have been placed on state insurance. About a month ago, I went to refill my medication and I had no insurance. My state insurance had not been approved yet. What does a person like me do? The price of my Effexor for one month, plus one month of my birth control was well over $200 for one month. ONE MONTH. Are you for real!?!

Clearly, I am not making as much money as before, hence the need for state insurance. I left the pharmacy in tears, scared I would slip back into my depression after a few days of it leaving my system.

So I went home, and I waited. I babysat my emotions. I was trying to prepare for the black cloud to swallow me whole, but it never did. I’m not saying I haven’t had my share of moody moments, and emotional days, but nothing like what I have felt in the past. ¬†Actually, I feel happier most of the time. I feel the best I have felt in years.

I feel much more alert. I feel my good emotions much deeper now. I have dropped a few pounds, not a lot, but a few. My sex drive is back! I was afraid it was gone forever.No more headaches. And I am less tired all the time. I used to be able to sit down and fall asleep any time, any where, even if I wasn’t tired. The past few days I have actually had a hard time falling asleep.

Were my meds making me worse? I believe it is very possible. I feel I was put on a medication that was too strong, and while it did work for a while, it wasn’t necessarily good for me. I guess it would kind of be like taking morphine for a simple headache. It will take the pain away, but you could probably accomplish the same results with less drugs. I hope, even if only one person reads my blog (which is very possible, I have a small following. But shout out to you, One Person!) that they will be able to use my experience to make sure something like this doesn’t happen to them. ALWAYS RESEARCH what ANY doctor is prescribing you. If it doesn’t feel right, STOP TAKING IT. Do not blindly trust doctors just because they went to more college than you. Do you know who pays their student loans? Pharmaceutical companies.If doctors actually heal you, then you aren’t making everyone else money. Think before you take these medications.

Becoming Myself

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Who was I before everyone else told me who I was? This is a question I have been struggling to answer lately. I finally went back far enough into all of the family photos to find this picture. I was this girl. Crazy, sassy and hyper. Loving all things art and baby dolls. I was quite confident in the fact that I could paint a master piece with a baby on my hip. Two of the main things I have always wanted to be are a mommy and an artist. Even when I was told I could never make money in art, and that being a mom “isn’t a real career”. I always held these dreams in the back of my heart thinking that someday maybe I could find a way to make it all happen while following the path I was told to.

Well, it’s my birth month. I will be 27 this year, and I am finally ready to be who I am. Maybe not a mom quite yet, I mean I would like to be married first, but as far as being an artist, I’m starting my journey. My first step was starting my current job, which I love. Second was getting my life in order so I have more spare time. I am about to that point. Now I need to push myself to explore my creative side again. That is how I plan on spending this month.

I will spend this month Becoming Myself.

Personal Update 4/17/2015

Alright, let me jump into this personal update. I’ve got a lot that happened, and not much time to type it up today. Here goes…

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First, and probably most importantly, my Grandpa passed away on Thanksgiving. He was getting ready to go to my parents house for dinner and had a stroke in the shower. It was very hard losing him. Thanksgiving will never be the same, but we will always do a shot of whiskey in his honor now.

The week after the funeral my mother went in for back surgery. Last year while sick with complications due to her COPD she passed out on the dishwasher door and broke her back. Something the doctors could not find until October, even though she complained of pain and had many x-rays and tests done. Her back is fractured in 5 places, and they get worse every day because of her long use of steroids to keep her lungs open. All of the medication she is on is slowly eating away her bones.

In December she went in for surgery to try to repair some of these fractures. Because of her breathing they could not put her all the way under, or position her they way they needed for the surgery. They almost lost her on the table, and now the doctors refuse to go back in and try again.

The week of Christmas, my mother’s favorite holiday, she could not handle the pain of the “healing” in her back anymore, and we took her back to the hospital. They tried to accuse her of trying to get more pain meds. The social worker pretty much acted like my mother wasn’t a person anymore. The doctors make it seem like we are just waiting for her to die now, but I know she has a lot more life left in her. Having Christmas with my mother in the hospital was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

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My aunts and cousins helped me bring Christmas to her, and I am so thankful for it.

After the first of the year, my job continued to get more stressful, on top of all of my personal family issues. I went few days without crying at some point or another. I also started trying to get my own health together. With my mothers health issues, and my brother having a heart attack at age 38 in early October, I need to get myself in check so I can care for everyone else.

The next holiday up was Valentines day. Thank goodness no one was sick (or worse) for that one. My amazing boyfriend got me a sweet little puppy. Best gift ever, unconditional love.

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We named him Opie. We are not sure what kind of dog he is, but it doesn’t matter. I’m so glad we rescued him.

Around Valentine’s day is when I started job searching. The stress was just too much on me. A close work friend also found another job, and I knew it would become unbearable to be there anymore. I then became very sick. Sick for about 3 weeks. I went to my doctor, urgent care, and the emergency room. My sickness was most likely caused by stress, and then germs from all of the sick people that were in the ER. However, while sick, I was able to find my current job.

I feel like my current job is a step toward my true calling. I am now an artists assistant. Who knew I could really make money doing what I love??? I sure didn’t. Every day at work is a party, no for real, it’s a party. The company I work for hosts parties where the guests come and paint and drink. How cool! I get to select my own hours, and I have more time to spend with my mother. I couldn’t be happier.

The last few weeks have been full of happiness and hope that the rest of the year will be good. It’s spring, and it’s time for new beginnings. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see where I end up.

2015 Bucket List

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1) Lose weight and get healthy (losing around 30ish lbs, working out, and clean eating)

2) Read 12 books for the year

3) Learn 5 new songs on guitar

4) Learn basic sign language

5) Start living a more natural lifestyle

6) Paint master bedroom

7) Complete (at least) 12 random acts of kindness

8) Plant a garden

9) Finish 6 drawings/paintings

10) Learn CPR

11) Travel out of state (Ohio does not count)

14) Visit the DIA

15) Go on a random unplanned day trip

16) Day at the dragstrip

17) Day at the spa

18) Put all of my parents photos into albums

19) Go to 3 different beaches or lakes

20) Visit a zoo

21) Weekend camping trip

22) Get engaged… (I know this isn’t a goal specifically for me, but we have already been making plans, so it’s time for a ring)

23) Visit Aquarium

24) Greenfield Village/Henry Ford trip

25) Concert

26) Indoor rock climbing

27) Register to vote

28) Donate/volunteer

29) Save tip money for wedding

30) Over come my debt/ improve credit score

This is my 2015 bucket list. On top of this list, I have also been trying to do monthly lists Those are more like to-do or task lists, but it’s helping me keep on track. The best way to reach a big goal is to break it down into little steps.

Since the 1st of the year, I have been working out more, and eating better. My stress level is greatly reduced thanks to a job change. I finally have more time to become the person I truly am.

More to come, and an update will follow this post explaining my personal life since last fall.

Reflect: 2014 Bucket List

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Well… let me just start by saying that the end of 2014 was hard! That is going to be it’s own post later though. Right now, let’s discuss my bucket list from 2014. I accomplished a lot. I also fell short in a lot of areas. Things got in the way, and lack of time became a huge factor.

1. was to lose 30lbs the healthy way. I even got a gym membership that I hardly used. Sadly due to stress I actually gained about 10 more lbs. However, I have changed my eating habits for the better, and drink way more water now. I do plan on tackling my weight again now in 2015. I’m a solid 3lbs down currently, and have a new at home workout plan. #Piyo anyone?

2. was to get baptized. I did take my next step in my spiritual journey with God, and get baptized. My boyfriend did as well, the same day. I feel that is going to be a good solid foundation to build our future family on. I can’t wait to see where God leads us next.

3. Move out of my parents house. I did, and I met my goal date of Sept.1st! Having our own place has been full of ups and downs, but I’m so proud of us for taking the leap.

4. Get my own health insurance. Got it! Thanks to my job at the dealership, I have health insurance, and a start to a 401K.

5. Read 12 books. Well… I read, but not full books. I started a few, and ran out of time to finish.

6. Save $600. Every penny of savings we had, including our wedding savings fund, went into our house, and all of the lovely things that have fallen apart. We are pretty much at zero. We plan on starting up again.

7-10. Pretty much had no time for these things. Better luck next time, right?

11. Complete random acts of kindness. I’m sure I met at least 12, but I didn’t keep track. A lot of the kind things I did, I did mindlessly. They were truly random.

12. Plant a garden. I did not do this. By the time we moved in, the planting season was over. I did however pull out all of the dead stuff and prep for a garden this year.

13-19. Again, lacked time. So many things went wrong. A lot was family related, and it’s hard to accomplish much from the hospital.

20. Go to 3 different lakes/beaches. We did this, and had so much fun doing so. Lots of time on the boats. I loved it.

21-22. Nope. lol

23. Kiss at the top of the Ferris wheel. I got to do this with my love at  the Hamburg Family Fun Fest. So glad we wasted the money for one carnival ride.

24-27. Hahaha…no.

28.Attend the birth of my God son. I skipped work to be there. What an awesome experience.

29. Haven’t done it yet, but plan to still.

30.Volunteer/Donate. I did both. I volunteered with the free stuff van from our church, and donated all kinds of stuff.

Here’s to better luck in 2015!

That list will be up soon.