Thinkin', Bitchin' & Nursin'

I am writing this blog today to my sons.  I have two of them by blood.  Three if you count my stepson.  This, however, is being written for mine.  Why?  Because I’m leaving on a huge plane tomorrow that will take me up to a cruise ship that will go out into the ocean and cruise the Alaskan shoreline.  If, God forbid, something were to happen, I want them to know some things.  It is my hope that if something happens, someone will read this and make sure to pass this post (none of the other posts for God’s sake!) on to them.  Most likely, it will be my sister.  So, Ter, I thank you 🙂

So here goes:

Dear Donovan and Jeremy,

I want you to know that I wasn’t always a controlling, in charge, confident, strong person.  I was once shy.  I was once a child who didn’t want to have to make new friends.  I was picked on in school from kindergarten until I graduated.  I didn’t have a lot of friends.  I was once a child who only craved some patting on the back by my mom who didn’t give those to me very freely, or the love of my father who wasn’t around.  I was a child who tried really hard to get those pats on the back, and never really succeeded much.  I don’t know what in her life made my mom, your Grama Mary, a controlling, in charge, confident, strong woman.  I think her denying me the approval I so greatly sought all my life caused me to become one.  I think her denying me the love I needed made me go searching for it elsewhere.  This is where your dad came into play.  And because of your dad, I have the two of you.

At any rate, because of that, I have done my best to let you both know when I am proud, and if I don’t agree with your choices, I let you know, but in a loving way.  I call you and seek you out just to talk and say I love you.  I don’t take my love away if you don’t do things my way.  You are grown.  You have to do things your way, and if you do things the wrong way along the path, well, that’s how we all learn.  That’s how I’ve tried raising you.  I want you to be in charge, confident, strong men.  And I have always wanted you to know that you have a mother who loves you, NO MATTER WHAT.

I love you both equally.  BOTH of you, mistakes and all, have made me proud.  I have always been, and will always be proud of you.  I brag about the two of you every chance I get, for different reasons.  Don’t you ever dare doubt that.  I don’t want you to ever feel you have to follow in my footsteps to make me proud (Dono that’s for you!) because it’s not necessary.  I want you both to go out into the world and do your best at whatever you choose to do with your lives, taking care of your responsibilities along the way.  That’s all I ever wanted or expected of either of you.  And you’re both off to fine starts.

I want you to know that no matter how easy I may have made life look, nothing has been easy.  If it were, I would be able to just relax.  But I can’t.  Ken told me that just the other day.  I really don’t know how.  I feel like I have to take care of everything and everyone around me, and therefore, I never let my guard down.  If you think that’s easy, you’ve got another thing coming.  So for making it look easy, I’m so sorry.  Because none of this has been easy.  Not one second of my life was ever easy.  But every second was worth it because somewhere along the line I had the two of you. 

My mom died, and because of our relationship, I had to wonder for a very long time afterwards, until I made peace with things and made myself believe that our last couple of years together showed me she loved me, whether or not she ever loved me much.  I don’t want that for you guys EVER.

So, if this letter finds the two of you, it means I have met an untimely demise.  (Or it means someone found it and gave it to you even though I’m alive.)  Either way, I want you to know I love you both very much, I’m proud of you each in my own way, and I will never stop loving you.  You have been my world since the day you entered it. 

Forever, Your Mom

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PS – Now maybe I can get on that ship and relax!!!!

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Yes, that’s right.  Knees and ankles are very much needed.  They are not an extravagant want, and they are not a silly, frivolous trinket.  They are NECESSARY!!  And I’m trying to save mine!

You see, I have degenerative arthritis in my right knee and have had it since my early 20s.  I have had three arthroscopic surgeries on it, two that entailed simply clearing out the debris from damaged cartilage, and one that entailed drilling into the bones to create cartilage that no longer exists.  I am now at the point where my orthopedic surgeon refuses to open me up any longer.  He says that this will create too much of a chance of a bone infection.  My knee is bone on bone, and deformed, and it aches most of the time.  Sometimes it swells up to the size of a small watermelon, screaming in pain — NO EXAGGERATION!

Now, my right ankle is yet another story.  My right ankle was x-rayed by my foot doctor when he was trying to figure out what type of brace I might need.  It turns out that I need an ankle fusion.  My left ankle isn’t much prettier.  According to this foot doctor, I have, what he calls, “funky, fucked up ankles!”  Yes!  He actually SAID that!

Notice the way they turn inward?  (Don’t pay any attention to my MANfeet.)

Well, with the right knee teetering on the edge of “I can make it one more day” and “I need a knee replacement now,” and the right ankle teetering on the edge of “perhaps more aspirin and Bengay can get me through the day” and “I need my ankle fused today,” I am a walking time bomb!  I cannot exercise because nothing that I do helps my right side.  It only aggravates what is already going on.  I could do water aerobics, which is fun, but I don’t feel like allowing anyone to see me in a bathing suit right now, even though, except for age, everyone pretty much is in the same boat…

Seriously, I guess it’s not so bad, but I just haven’t had the gumption to pick myself up to go do it for fear of hurting myself further…yes, my body is that bad!

Soooooo…being that I’m going to be 48 years old, and being that I have weighed over 260 lbs. since my second son was born in 1987, and being that it is getting harder and harder to do my job that I just obtained my degree and license for in 2010 (I am a Registered Nurse)…I guess it is time to start taking better care of myself.  Of course, I’ve said this before.  But the pain I am in on a daily basis requires me to drop some of this tonnage!  Seriously, if you have a bad knee, or a bad ankle, or anything below the waist isn’t working for you, dropping weight is the best thing for you.  I can wholeheartedly say to that to a patient and believe it.  I can say it to myself and believe it.  But what I can’t ever seem to do is follow through with my own advice!

I’ve been reading Skinnygirl written by Bethenny Frankel.  She has some good pointers that have made me more aware of what I put in my mouth over the past 48 hours.  I am going to try to keep eating the way she suggests, which is consciously, not unconsciously.  By that, I simply mean that I will refrain from doing other things while I’m eating so I am more aware of what I’m eating and why.  This is supposed to be the way anyone who is skinny gets away with eating whatever they want whenever they want.  No more dieting.  I’ve dieted for 40 years.  That is NO LIE!  My mom put me on Weight Watchers when I was just barely 8 years old!  Dieting has gotten me nowhere.  I have lost and gained the same weight for this long…do you know what that does to your HEART?  Ugh!  I can only pray I don’t have a heart attack before I get to actually be thin.

I have a long way to go and a lot of weight to lose.  But it seems that it should be common sense that if you have a table, say, and that table has a leg that is not so steady…you will NOT be placing heavy boxes on top of that table!  You will protect the leg and only place light objects on it.  Right?  So it’s time to take the heaviness off my bum knee and ankle.  Enough is enough.

That’s right.

Enough is enough.

I am one of the most helpful people around.  I don’t like to say no to anyone.  I don’t know how to not answer the phone and let it go to voice mail, even if I’m in the middle of a nap.  I don’t know how to tell people they cannot use my washer and dryer because I don’t have much soap left and cannot afford to buy anymore until pay day.  I don’t know how to tell people I don’t want to go to a family gathering because all I can imagine doing is putting my feet up and sleeping.  I don’t know how to tell anyone in my life how horribly, phenomenally taken advantage of I feel at times, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  This is a problem for me.  This causes great anxiety a lot of the time, and I now have been referred to a psychologist in order to handle my anxiety issues.  This is costing me money.  Bottom line, I don’t like ANYTHING that costs me money.

My oldest son and his wife are going to be the death of me.  And they do not get it.  I offer an inch of help, they take a mile…every single, solitary time!

Seriously, my son, his wife and my grandson lived with us all together until about a month ago.  Now, they are working things out, spending time together, and trying to get on the same page.  I give them credit for that.  But it all comes at an expense to ME!  My son still lives here.  The room he is staying in is a pig stye.  He is a pig.  I cannot stand the mess, and although I’ve asked him to clean his room and his bathroom (yes, he even has his own bathroom), it remains horribly filthy.  I cannot stand my house to be that way, even if it is rooms I do not frequent.

Between my grandson’s greasy fingers that NO ONE washes after he has eaten at the table, my house walls look atrocious to the point where I will NOT have any company any longer.  I hate this apartment and want out.  It looks like pigs live here, and I am not a pig.  Neither is my husband.  Add to that the work being done on my son’s junker out in the parking lot, and his greasy fingers, there is dirt everywhere on the walls, cupboards, door knobs, etc.!  I cannot stand it!  We need to paint.  And my husband and I do not have time.  Hell, we don’t have the money right now either!

My other son needed a car that was reliable because his job is one where he drives from place to place all day long.  Both jobs he holds require good transportation and his car was breaking down quite a bit.  So my husband and I purchased a new Kia Soul, emptying out our bank account so we would not have to finance much (there went our house down payment), gave my car (2004 Chevy Cavalier with only 74,000 miles) to my younger son so he would have decent transportation, and my younger son gave his beat up Toyota Corolla to my oldest.  He has a car, but because he is not working, his wife has it where she is staying so she has transportation to and from work.  She is making the payment on that car.  Her mother has told her to stop making payments and let it get reposessed (one less bill to pay) and drive the Corolla…the Corolla has no brakes, so I’m not sure if the mother is living in reality at this point.

Of course, the Corolla doesn’t drive right now.  My son’s wife comes over and picks him up several times a week to go fishing, get together and talk, go on picnics and the like.  All nice stuff, but when it is NECESSARY that he have a ride to the doctor’s or to school, they are telling me I have to do it because she doesn’t have gas money.  So now, my days off where I get to do whatever the fuck I want no longer exist!

Yesterday, while I thought I had a day to myself, AFTER having taken him to the doctor’s and stopping at the store two days prior to grocery shopping day to buy more lunch meat (we apparently gave a couple of sandwiches away to the wife and grandson because somehow six pounds of lunchmeat and one pound of cheese disappeared in five days), he tells me he did poorly on yet another final exam and needed to turn in missing assignments that I had not yet completed for him.  Yeah, not, “Mom, can you help me with this?”  But instead, “Mom, there are two more reports for you to write.”  Ok!

The other day, he told me his wife wanted to know if I could add a fifth line…yes, a FIFTH line…to my cell phone plan so she could have a phone.  He said she was willing to pay for it each month.  I have watched these hellions not pay their bills for over five years.  Um, NO!!  I told him it would be something like $80 a month.  I also told him that they should be saving money to get their own place.  I didn’t think they needed another phone.  She already has like 9 of those free phones from the government for someone on welfare!  I don’t know how she has managed that, but it’s ridiculous!  The phones I pay for are mine, my husband’s, and one for each of my sons.  That was supposed to be for a year until they “got on their feet.”  Yeah…I’m still paying three years later.  I am seriously contemplating dropping the phones next year when they come up for renewal.  Enough is ENOUGH!

I am still working weekends so I don’t get to spend time with my husband.  Those are his days off, and mine are during the week.  We haven’t even had sex in probably two and a half months.  Good thing we have other things in common.  I am exhausted on weekends, and he is exhausted during the week.  All we do is work and support other people!  It sucks.  Our life sucks.  In 37 more days, we leave for vacation.  We are going on an Alaskan Cruise with my mother-in-law.  I am so excited to get the fuck out of here.  But of course, the whole time I am gone, I will be worried about my babies:

We were thinking of boarding them, but since the car purchase, we are very tight on funds.  My son will be here.  He will be 26 years old in a couple of months.  He should be capable of taking care of them.  But there have been moments I have come home from being out and about after having put them in the cage early in the morning only to find at noon, they are still in the cage and he never let them out while he sat there eating breakfast getting ready to leave himself.  Like, when you get up, you have to let them out to at least pee!!  GEEZ!  It’s going to take a lot of Xanax for me to get past this and be able to leave the house and them in his care.

The topping on the cake…my son has decided if he doesn’t pass this nursing class, he will then join the National Guard in November (he has to wait that long because he had back surgery).  This is fine, but this also means he will just live here until he joins.  How long am I supposed to support his ass?  It’s expensive for someone extra to live here under my roof and not pay any bills.  I cannot afford this much longer!  My money is not going very far.  I am strapped.  And he has no income so it’s a moot point to ask him for anything!  But while he is not contributing, I told him the other day, since my daughter-in-law and grandson were here, they could stay for dinner.  This was a kind gesture on my part.  I had salad while they ate the food.  It’s not going to hurt me, I’m fat.  But the point is I gave up my portion and my husband cut his back so they could eat with us.  What do they do?  She asks me if it’s ok if she can do some laundry while she’s here.  AND she already had the basket upstairs by the washer and dryer.  Obviously, I’m a door mat and she knows it.  I bitched a little about how I didn’t have much soap left.  She said she didn’t have any soap and no money to buy any. Fine.  USE my soap.  Take my blood.  Whatever.

My son bought a metal detector last time she got paid.  A week after that, he asked to borrow $20 for gas.  I pointed out that he had just bought the metal detector, and he sheepishly smiled and said, “Yeah, and I can’t take it back or I would.”  I gave him my bank card.  He returned and said, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t stop it at $20, so it went to $25.”  <Sigh!>

This is my life.  This is what I’ve made of it because I can’t seem to tell anyone no.

You want to hear something very strange…and hurtful actually because I have worn this shoe on my foot many times over with this person.  I had a conversation on the phone yesterday with someone who was talking to me while I was dealing with my son who never seems to care that I’m on the phone.  I ended up starting a school project while on the phone with this person and because I wasn’t saying “Uh huh” or anything else while they were talking, but was instead typing and listening, when they got to their destination, instead of saying, “I’m here, I gotta go,” they hung up on me.  I tried calling them back fifteen minutes later, but got no reply.  I thought, “Oh well, their earpiece must have died.”  Later that night, I called them back to share something with them, and when I asked what happened, they said that I was typing and not listening, so when they got to their destination, they just hung up because they knew if they told me they had to go, I wouldn’t have responded anyhow.  NICE.

To top things off, the conversation I had over the weekend with this person consisted with her talking to her children and playing with her children while I was talking, and I had to stop talking several times and wait because she wasn’t listening to me.  Hanging up on her never entered my head.  Hell, I answer the phone while napping when she calls.

Apparently, the world is made up of two different kinds of people:  those who feel entitled to uninterupted time from others, and those who give all their time whether they have it to give or not and never feel entitled to anything, including friendship, kindness or a simple nap.

I always try to be the latter…

Something needs to change here.  I hope counseling will help me deal with this shit because at times, I feel like putting a gun to my temple and pulling the fucking trigger.  Thank God for Xanax. And thank God for my husband who is always there for me. No matter what I go through, he is at the other side of the path waiting for me to hold me and comfort me and simply tell me he cares.

Hope I didn’t piss anyone off.  I have a say, too, though, and I chose to say it here.  Have a great day!

Today, my son told his wife of just five years that he didn’t want to be married anymore.  This, on the eve of my poor, tired husband’s 48th birthday.  Actually, it IS his birthday right now.  I guess it’s been coming for a while.  Regardless, he came downstairs sobbing as if someone had killed themselves, and I panicked so badly I thought I’d puke!

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There is NOTHING that compares to the sound of your grown son crying, let me tell you!

He said, “I told her I don’t want to do this anymore.”  He also said, “I thought this would be easy…”

WTF?  EASY?

Did he think it was easy when his own father walked out on me?  Did I make it look that easy?  I didn’t think it was easy and I’m sure his father didn’t either.  But this kid thought it would be easy.

They live with us.  Did I mention that?  My son, his apparently soon-to-be x-wife, and my grandson.  They have lived here now for five months.  Not only that, it’s not the first time I’ve had to support them.

Back when they first got together, my son and she sat me down and said they wanted to move out into an apartment together.  I told them what they were up against.  She had no job, and he was making just barely a buck above minimum wage.  He knew it would be tight, he had told me, but he felt it was time since they were having sex in my basement.

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Yeah, my kid is honest like that.  I have probably had 100 heart attacks in my lifetime, and I just have never confirmed them with medical tests.

So they moved out.  Six months later, after a car accident, loss of her new job due to headaches that made it impossible for her to work (yeah right!), and repossession of the car in question that had my husband’s name on it as the co-signer, they moved in with us.  They weren’t married.  I should have put my foot down then.  I didn’t.  I felt bad.

Damned Catholic guilt.

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It was only a few months later that we found out she was pregnant.  Of course, this fell on the wake of his previous girlfriend giving birth to his daughter, and then refusing to allow us to have anything to do with her.  He never married the girl, so he had no rights according to the State of Ohio except the right to pay child support.  I was upset about that one, so they decided to get pregnant to make up for the missing grandchild, or something like that?  I don’t really know.

I went out of my way to buy the right foods for this girl to eat because she was nauseous all the time, and felt like crap most of her pregnancy.  I had to spend extra money only to have her cry the next day about how she wanted something else.  My husband was the only one working at the time, and I was working from home making a nominal income.  Times were rough and we were looking at a possible foreclosure at the time, but we managed somehow.  I paid for her engagement ring, and paid for her wedding that her own mother and sister didn’t even attend!

During the pregnancy, she told me after she had the baby, she wanted to go live with her mom so that her mom could help her.  I thought, wait a minute!  I have to support your ass, but you are going to take the baby from me?

Again, WTF?

That never happened, but we fought a few months after the baby was born, and she ended up moving out for a few months.  Then she moved back in after apologizing.  Again, Catholic guilt and all.

They lived with us until they went and got their own house.  They “rented” off a friend of hers at her new job, but never really paid any rent.  Six months later they got kicked out.  By then, things were better at home, so we allowed them to move back in.  Then we walked away from our house, and went to a two-bedroom apartment.  They were going to go into their own place, but ended up at her mom’s because her mom needed help.

<cough-cheat-the-system-cough-cough>

That lasted until January of this year when they had to move back in with us because her mother made it unbearable for my son.  My son, the deadbeat.  My son, the lazy ass.  My son, the one she has nothing nice to say about.  But he has held a job, and he is in full-time nursing school at this point in time.  He will be having back surgery May 10th, and will be going back to work 6-8 weeks afterwards while he still attends school.

Yep.  Her daugher can do no wrong.

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Well this daugher of hers has complained about everything in my house.  She doesn’t like it because I make her pick up after herself.  She doesn’t like not having any room for her shit.  She doesn’t like that I don’t always buy the foods she wants.  She doesn’t like a lot of things about me.  She works 24 hours a week and complains after her fourth day of work how tired she is even though she knows I put in about 32 hours in 48 hours worth of time.  It doesn’t matter to her that I had surgery on my foot – the bitch complained that I complained that I had sore feet!

Anyhow, my son told her he is done being married.  She is packing her shit tonight while my husband and I sat here watching TV.  She came down crying, and I said, “Angel, I’m so sorry…”  I told her the same thing I told my son.  “You both need to make sure you do right by that baby.”  She said she knew that.

I went to bed.  While waiting for the husband to come out of the shower, I went to my phone and dialed in facebook.  I was going to send a nice note to her privately to let her know that I was once again sorry things were not working out but if she needed anything for my grandson, to let me know.  I have the money to help, and am willing, you know?

But surprise!

I have been defriended.

She no longer has a profile.

No longer will I have privy to whatever is going on with my grandson while he is not in my sight.

She cut me off.  She cut us all off.  And she is upstairs in my spare bedroom sleeping.

Kinda changes my agenda…

I am so pissed off at being taken for granted right now that I could punch her out.

I won’t be making that offer to help out.  My son can let me know if his son needs anything.

I won’t be doing anything to help her out at all.  She burned that bridge when she hit the delete button.

And that’s a shame because she makes minimum wage for 24 hours a week.  My son isn’t working, so there’s no child support to be had.  And her mom is making only enough from her workman’s comp claim to pay the rent.

I am a nurse.  I make a lot of money. And I care genuinely for people.  For the first time in my life, I have a person I no longer give one shit about.

That’s why I’m down here blogging.  I’m saving a life.  If I weren’t here, I would be up there wringing her ungrateful, advantage-taking neck.

How many of you out there talk to yourselves?  Oh, I’m not talking the occasional thump on the head with an out loud, “You idiot!”  I’m not talking about verbally remembering something in the grocery store.  I’m not even talking about that occasional mumble to yourself because you are irritated, or the shout out to the idiot driver who just cut you off or (in my sister’s case) honked at you at a stop light.

I am talking about full-fledged, out loud, actual conversations or speeches.  I’m talking about the kind of talking to yourself that leads to an “Ah ha!” moment wherein you REALIZE you are talking to yourself and then look around to make sure no one heard you.  The kind of talking to yourself that sucks you in, because you feel the conversation deep into your very core.

I have started doing this.

I believe stress is causing it.

Just the other day, while blow drying my hair, looking strait in the mirror at myself, I had a conversation with my son – a WHOLE conversation – wherein I told him how ridiculously irritating his princess of a wife was in my eyes.  Yep.  I was telling him everything about her that pisses me off.  The blow dryer was running at a deafening roar (I have a lot of hair) and my mouth was moving as if there was a freight train coming to knock me off the tracks!

“You don’t know what it’s like to be home with her day in and day out!  When she does the dishes, she puts things away wherever she wants to, and never in the same place twice!  Since WHEN do we put the knives in the drawer when there is a block for the knives right on the counter?  And when we put the knives in the block, why can’t we figure out that the LARGE knives go at the top together where there are three slots for the three large knives, and there are six steak knives with six slots all in a row for them.  Count them!  SIX!!!  And how many times do I have to tell her that you do NOT put large items on the top of the dishwasher and leave the bottom empty?  Oh, and speaking of the dishwasher, this business of realizing AFTER dinner that the dishes were never run from earlier in the day, and then not doing dinner dishes because she has to start the dishwasher that is already full?  Yeah, THAT better stop!  Or she will lose her seat at the table!  And tell her that asking ME what is for dinner is NOT ACCEPTABLE!  She can eat whatever I serve, without knowing in advance since she is so lazy she cannot cook.  If she doesn’t like it, she can buy more food!  Or she can starve!!  I realize you love her, but son, enough is enough.  Look, just tell me one thing:  WHY, when she finds the fudging sweeper in the closet with the handle to the back so the door to the closet will close, does she put the damned thing away with the handle facing the door and then struggle to close the closet, only to leave it partially open, EVERY FREAKING TIME??  I’ll tell you what.  I cannot take an unruly, unmanageable house.  And if I hear her say she is an adult and can do whatever she wants to my grandson one more time?  I’m going to beat the poop out of her to prove just what a fudging child she IS!”  On and on it went.  It takes me 20 minutes to blow dry my hair.  Somewhere around the time I shut the blow dryer off and started applying hair spray, I stopped mid-sentence, looked at myself in the mirror, and thought,

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“Holy bananas!  I’m nuts!  I’ve lost my mind!”

Thinking to myself, “Ooohhh, a banana for breakfast sounds good!”

The last couple of weeks have been days sent straight from Hades.  On a Tuesday, my youngest son (age 24) called to ask me if I could come get him because he got a flat tire on the freeway.  Not just a flat tire, really, but the FOURTH flat tire in about six months.  We had offered to replace this exact tire, in fact, when he got the LAST flat tire, Flat Tire No. 3.  He refused because he didn’t want to accept the help.  Very brave, but it may have saved some trouble down the line, right?

The next day, Wednesday, my oldest son (the one I had the last imaginary conversation with) screwed up his medications and ended up zoning out on his way home from work, pulling into the parking lot to the apartment complex next to us, and falling asleep in the parking lot – FOR THREE HOURS!  I had called the phone company to trace the location of his phone who told me they couldn’t do it unless a cop called them.  I called the cops to have them come over and make the call.  I called his dad and he and his girlfriend went out looking for him at the bars his co-workers frequent to no avail.  I called his brother who all but blew up his phone.  Finally he answered his phone, disoriented, and said he didn’t know where he was but there were buildings all around.  His brother guided him home, and thank God he didn’t get pulled over because he is in nursing school, and a DUI is a DUI, no matter the reason.  Add to that the fact that when he pulled into the parking lot, his wife (the daughter-in-law in the conversation above) went out the door as if she was a lower class hill rat, flung open the car door, and smacked him in the face!  WTF!! It was an episode straight out of Cops or Cheaters!

That night, in the bathroom, after everything calmed down, I’d had a few glasses of wine, and the hubby and I had decided to go to bed, I picked up a book (don’t judge – you ALL know you read on the toilet), and my mouth started as I stared blankly at the words on the page.  “You boys just don’t understand a damned thing about being a mother.  Just because you are grown men doesn’t mean I am not protective of you and want to keep you sheltered in life.  Just because you are grown doesn’t mean I don’t want to be part of those areas in life you need a little assistance.  However, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!  The problem isn’t having to give assistance to you.  The problem is the amount of assistance you require!!  You are 25 and 26 years old this year and at some point, you have to be able to compensate for your own errors.  I cannot keep coming to your aid like this.  You have to get a fudging grip on life – that’s right, grab life by the horns – and steer it already!   Accept help when it’s offered so that maybe next time, you won’t need help!  You are stressing me out!!  You have no idea what these phone calls do to me.  You have no inkling as to what my body goes through each time you guys cause me stress!  DO YOU SEE THIS GRAY HAIR???  (Tugging at my hair.)  YOU gave me this gray hair!  You need to start handling your business or I’m going to handle it for you and you won’t want me meddling that deeply in your business!  Trust me on THAT one!  So the next time there is an emergency, I want you to forget…”

In the background I hear, “Good night girls.”  That’s the hubby saying good night to our nine month old puppies.  Then I realize I have not only been talking out loud for 10 minutes, but my butt cheeks are sore because I was sitting on the freaking toilet seat that long!  I was sure I had a ring around my ass cheeks…tsk tsk tsk.  I am nuts!!  I really am!!

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The other day, I had blood drawn.  I have an issue keeping my Potassium level up.  Anyhow, this blood was drawn on Monday, and the results should have been available to me by Tuesday.  It was a BMP (Basic Metabolic Panel) and those only take a day.  Here it is Thursday, and I haven’t gotten them yet.  This morning I checked MyChart, and they still weren’t there.  My mouth started.  “I have asked you people three times to post those results and yesterday you told me Dr. Garwood was the only one who could release them.  Who in the hell is Dr. Garwood?  I have never met this guy!  He has never seen me in the office.  I couldn’t find him in a Where’s Waldo picture let alone if he were standing in my own front yard.  What is the freaking hold up?  Why is this taking so long?  I have emailed and left two messages on the nurse line.  I have talked to the receptionist twice.  What in the fudging hell is the hold up?  I am sick to death of pulling teeth to get my own freaking medical information.  HIPAA laws aside, I am not asking for the Pope’s information.  I am asking for my own!  It’s MINE!  That’s why it’s called “MyChart”.  Give it to me already before I come down there and punch you in the face!”

“Grama, what’s wrong?”

UGH!  Caught!  “Grama is just mad the doctor won’t give her the test results she wants, that’s all.  It’s nothing for you to worry about.”

“Can I have Doritos for breakfast?”  Thank GOD he’s only four.  Teehee!  He has no clue his Grama is an absolutely certifiable insane woman!

“No you may not.  Have some Fruit Loops!”  (No pun intended! Ha!)

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Anxiety much?

I need one of these in my home…

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It sure would make life easier…and might actually quiet my mind and my mouth!

Why couldn’t I have been born one of those people who just doesn’t given a damn about anything or anyone?  Sometimes, it seems that it would be very easy to live a life of not caring if I just could have been born without a conscience.  You know, all my fingers and toes are there, both legs and both arms, and my head has a brain in it, just no conscience.

Seriously, if I had no conscience, I might be sitting in prison like this guy…

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…thinking I actually deserve a break and should be granted parole.

(For those of you uninformed, this is Charles Manson.  If you don’t know why he doesn’t deserve parole, you have been living under a rock and it’s best to let you live out the rest of your life inside the innocent bubble you’ve built for yourself.)

If I had no conscience, I might hit the gas pedal instead of the brake when a squirrel, raccoon, or goose crosses the road in front of me.

Seriously, I am the type to swerve off the road to avoid killing an animal.

And if I had no conscience, I might allow my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson to live like this:

…but, of course, I house them instead.

In fact, my husband and I house them, and provide heat, water, electricity, cable, and internet.  We give gas when it’s needed.  We buy food.  In return, we only ask that they use their food card from welfare to pay for the first week of food for the month.  My son works part time, and goes to nursing school.  I want to encourage that.  His wife has yet to start her job, but is starting one on Friday.  Her mother has offered to babysit.  I will be working full time during the week.  I won’t be able to babysit.  Her mother is usually a cop-out.  We will see how long the daughter-in-law, AKA Princess, holds this job.  In the meantime, my son is expecting to have back surgery in a month or so.  Once he does, he will be off work for 8-10 weeks.  In fact, he told his employer, he would probably be off work until his son starts kindergarten in the fall. This way they don’t have to pay for a babysitter.

Oh yeah.

But I have a conscience.

So I ask all the right questions:  Do you know for sure she will work her job?  He said she would HAVE to.  I told him that HAVE TO is NOT in the Princess’ vocabulary.  I asked him what about the new job HE was supposed to be starting soon.  He told me he would just stay with the old one.  The old one is fine with that.  He followed all of this up with asking to borrow some gas money until Friday.

I just don’t understand this business of not having a conscience.  However, I might like to take a class or two in it.  You know, study it a  little and find out how to use it to my own advantage.

Then again, I’m a hospice nurse.

I am sure my brain just doesn’t work that way.

I absolutely adore my job.  I am a hospice nurse.  Soon I will be a Hospice Case Manager.  This has to be the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my life.  And that includes motherhood!  I sincerely like being there for people and their families at the time when the patient is transitioning toward whatever it is they personally believe is happening next in their life.

At any rate, Friday night was a full moon.

Everyone in nursing knows what this means!

Dementia and psychiatric units everywhere go haywire!  The moon affects patients the same way it affects everyone.  I remember back in the day working as a cashier in a convenient store.  Oh my God, the nuts who would come into the store would make you nuts yourself!

Anyhow, it started a weekend from hell.

I am currently the weekend on call hospice nurse for my firm.  This means I go on call from Friday afternoon through Monday morning.

I love what I do.  But holy cow, this was a rough weekend!

It started with a patient who was starting to transition, or die.  I got called out right after another nurse went off duty and left that facility, after having been in overtime because of the visit.

That facility apparently has nurses that are not comfortable with death, although I cannot understand that because it is a long-term care facility where death occurs on a regular basis.  At any rate, I got called out just as I’d returned to my hometown from another visit 30 miles away.  This patient was another 30 miles away in a different direction.  I got off the freeway exit, and while I was getting back on the freeway at the entrance, I called my husband to let him know to start dinner and eat because I would be late.

I finished up with the patient, who looked as if she was sleeping comfortably, a couple of hours later.  Mind you, I had started my shift exactly at 4:00 p.m. which never happens.  It was now after 10:00 p.m. and I had not had anything to eat since lunch.  I reached my exit off the freeway, and the phone rang again.  This time, the same facility wanted me back.  They insisted this patient was near death, with a very low blood pressure and almost no audible heart beat.  I told my triage nurse I simply HAD to go home and eat something, and then I would be on my way.

It was then that I noticed:

the full moon!

I thought to myself, OK, this figures.

Even the triage nurse said she didn’t know if it was the family or the nurse that needed me more that night.

I ran into the house, “wolfed” down a chicken breast (no pun intended), and hit the road.  I got back on the freeway and headed to the facility.

This time, I spent about three hours with the patient and family.  When I went to leave, I was a little leery, but she really looked very comfortable and I figured the staff could handle it this time because there had been a shift change and the new nurse was very nonchalant about giving the morphine as needed.

I got home, changed and got into bed.  Ten minutes…YES…TEN MINUTES later, the phone rang.  Triage was sending me back out to the SAME facility because the patient had died and the family wanted me there.

That’s the face I SWEAR I saw…that is EXACTLY what the man in the moon looked like to ME!

This night turned into that movie, Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray kept getting up in the morning to the same song, the same place, the same people, the same events, etc.

Anyhow, I was very glad I got to go back out.  The family was Hindu and practiced the death rituals that go along with that.  The patient’s body was now wrapped in a beautiful golden shroud.  She had a coins on her forehead and in her hands.  She was laying on the floor where the family had put her after bathing her.  I was very impressed with the whole thing.  It was absolutely beautiful.

So, after that, my weekend just kept going and going.  I left there at 6:30 in the morning and went to do an opening that lasted until noon.  After that I saw another patient in the area.  I went home and managed a couple of naps before bedtime.  Once my head hit the pillow, however, I was only allowed about an hour of sleep before I had to go out again, this time for my second death.  That family was at an assisted living facility, so I had to stay until the nurses arrived at 6:00 a.m. because the family didn’t want the body picked up until after 9:00.  I went to do another visit after that and went home to rest.

During dinner, I was called out to yet another person who was dying.  This time I stayed.  I was not going to allow this person to die without me being present.  However, after four hours, he seemed to fall into a pattern, and I felt it was safe to go home.  He died about an hour later.

The full moon.

What a piece of work.

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