Tag Archives: Health

Sickness and Secrets

29 Jan

I’ve got the flu. I saw it going around Twitter some days ago and I can’t help but wonder if it’s possible to get infected over the internet while being on separate continents. It started out with some minor discomfort in my throat on Saturday and has turned into full blown sickness mode by Monday. YAY! I haven’t been that sick in ages but whatever. I feel like a tank has driven over me in my sleep.

Granny called me today and she was not happy with me not telling her that my flu got worse and bla, bla, blaaa. She thinks I should have told her and asked for help but I didn’t want to worry her and thought I would get by on my own. She is so very protective of me, probably because I’m like a daughter to her not only a grandchild and I’m the only one she can actually fuss about. But I’m 25, dammit, and I can handle most things on my own including sickness. She said I was so buttoned up and then sounded rather angry before she hung up the telephone. I’m not even sure what that means, only that it made me angry and I sill am even though it’s been hours since that call.

Really, grandma??

Yes, I’ve got it bad because I resolved to taking industrial strength medicine to dull my headache and other symptoms. I prefer not to take medicine for as long as I can avoid it, but I couldn’t anymore and so I bit the bullet and put my big-girl pants on. I may have cursed and whined to bestfriendboy about feeling like hell but that’ just how I roll. Nothing to worry about.

My family is very secretive, we are never told everything, there is always something someone knows but someone else doesn’t. It’s stupid. Like my uncle having diabetes. On Sunday though, my aunt let that secret accidentally slip out so now Granny knows. Not sure what happens next.

I on the other hand have not been told so many things, like reasons for hospital visits of family members even after I was old enough to take them and many other things. Over time I grew rather self-sufficient, if I was told something? – Good. If I was kept out of the loop? – Fine by me as well. It’s like we don’t trust each other completely. As I was a teenager, Granny used to interrogate me about Mom which I hated. Standing between two parties, especially when your neither good at lying nor want to do it in the first place is quite annoying. I always had to watch my words even around family which is wrong if it’s such a small family like mine.

Even if you tell them the truth, they don’t believe you. I’ve been asked so many times if I’m ok and how I’m doing and whatnot after Mom’s death it’s so annoying. Sure it was tragic, but also inevitable. If you saw the things I saw in the last year, you would be ok with your mother being relieved of her pain and suffering as well. Naturally there are days I miss her more, I think about her on a daily basis and in my dreams she is still alive which I’m not sure how that makes me feel. All in all though, I have accepted it so why does the rest of my family feels the need to keep dancing around me, trying to find things that are wrong with me when there really aren’t any?

Also, why am I supposed to share everything about myself when all my life I wasn’t granted the same rights – still am not?! Maybe I am a little buttoned up, but there is not much happening in my life lately. I get up, go to uni, go home, watch TV shows, eat, read, sleep, repeat. No big secrets there. The only thing I have really kept to myself so far is that I’m gay. I just don’t know how to bring it up.

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Ugh, this little phone conversation just made me so angry. Of course I love my family, only sometimes they are difficult to get along with. Just because I didn’t come running for help, making her get me medicine and food makes me a horrible grandkid? It’s not like I accidentally amputated my arm with a chainsaw and then didn’t tell anyone about while not going to the ER but trying to stitch things up myself. IT’S THE FLUUUUU! People get it all the time and they are fine. Sure, maybe they are miserable for a couple of days but that is just how sickness goes.

And if I am indeed buttoned up, then it’s not entirely my fault.

‘What You Wish For’ by Kerry Reichs

23 Jan

After Christmas I went on a shopping spree on Amazon because I got a gift certificate and was more than ready to use it. Hell, I’ve been born ready to spent money on Amazon. One of the items in my shopping cart was she newest novel by Kerry Reichs.

You’ve read my gushing on and on about her previous book and if you haven’t, well, you must be new around here. I was excited to finally read this and also a little bit worried if it could live up to my expectations.

The style of the book is different from her previous ones. It’s a multi-character story, so every chapter focusses on a different character. What unites them is their wish to become parents only they are not what anyone would call a traditional family. Far from it. There is the 40-year old actress named Dimple, 50-year old Wyatt who is a high school principle and Maryn the breast cancer survivor who is now sterile. All of them are single and struggle with the prospects of a society that sees family as a mom and dad and kids. Not a single mother. Especially not a single heterosexual man trying to adopt a baby. He surely must be a pedophile, why would he want to have kids?

Throw a couple of other characters into the mix, like Wyatt’s cousin who is healthy and fertile as you can be but never wanted kids and doesn’t change her mind and you’ve got yourself a story. Just imagine, there are women out there who don’t want children, it is possible. Then there is Maryn’s ex-husband whom she is suing for the right to use the eggs they harvested, fertilised and stored in a cryobank before beginning chemotherapy. Andy is against it for reasons I don’t quite understand. He also starts to run for city council and that turns into an ugly mess soon. Last but not least we have director Julian who challenges Dimple to go out of her comfort zone in order to get a role.

In the beginning I struggled a little bit with the jump from one character to the other. I’m not used to so many players in the mix but once I settled into the story I was fine. I really liked the story, the characters and the message it sent. There is more to a family than a mom and a dad. Also, I just love Kerry’s writing style.

There were just some minor things that irritated me, mostly for personal reasons. First of all, when Dimple refers to her libido or inner whatever as LaMimi I’m instantly reminded of 50 Shades of Grey and Ana’s inner goddess. So that’s a dealbreaker. Then there is the legal aspect of Maryn suing Andy over the use of their embryos. Eh, I read about that at length in ‘Sing You Home’ by Jodi Picoult even if it had different circumstances. Also, I’m not that into legal matters. As I said, minor hiccups.

What I liked though was the mention of one character from Leaving Unknown, Laura/Lola, the girl that works at the studios in LA. She is mentioned once but I saw it as a treat and was happy that I recognised her. It’s just a funny occurrence. Then there is the matter that the Reichs women must think Summer is THE name of the rebound wife. Andy’s second wife is named Summer and if I remember correctly, so is the fiancé of Pete who is Tempe Brennan’s ex-husband in the novels by Kerry’s mother, Kathy Reichs.

In the end, all characters come together through different circumstances. It’s heartbreaking and bittersweet but also a good ending. I liked where the book went and not everything turned out exactly as I expected which is always a plus.

There is a Q&A at the end of the book and there is one excerpt I want to share with you because it’s so nice and sad and great and… It’s a letter from one of the characters. It’s not a part of the book but something Kerry envisioned for the character.

I had a second chance to do everything I wanted, but that is rare. Never wait to be asked twice to dance. Dance. Laugh often. Be noisy. Hug your father. Do something every day that doesn’t make rational sense. Be joyful, though you considered all the facts. Love freely, and love those who don’t deserve it. Do a selfless thing each day. Every day won’t be the best day in your life, but that’s okay. If someone were to tell you the world would end tomorrow, plant a tree. Most of all, don’t be afraid of risk. If you open yourself to opportunities, fortuities will land on your shoulder like birds. The only thing that holds you back in life is yourself. I give you permission. Go for it.

Reading this made me cry all over again after I was done crying about the actual book. Maybe it’s wrong to measure the quality of a book by the fact if it made me cry or not but that’s juts how I roll. If I cried, it means the story touched me enough to make me care – to be a catalyst for the feelings I cannot let free on my own.

This is a story about wanting to have kids without having the opportunity to do so on your own. It’s about health that is not distributed fairly and most importantly, it’s a story about family values. A kid can grow up happy having just a single parent, or two mommies or two daddies as long as it’s cared and loved for. There’s nothing more that matters.

Love Yourself!

15 Oct

I can only hope this post will not come off too narcissistic but we will see. Also, it was more difficult to put my thoughts in words than I thought so I hope I still managed to get my point across.

Yesterday one of my very best friends celebrated her birthday which of course put me in a good mood since we hadn’t seen each other for almost two months. At one point during the evening she told me that I was exceptionally happy which may be true, especially in comparison to how I usually felt in recent months.

The thing is, I am actually happy and satisfied with myself. I’m not quite that teenager who felt like doing cartwheels down the school corridors anymore but I got the days back where there’s a playful skip in my step during my walks through the hallways at uni. I can honestly answer that I feel fine when being asked how I’m doing. It’s not a charade anymore and that is quite something.

The other day, I realised that I really like who I am as a person. Of course there are many things I would change if I could but I also know that they are not too important and that it’s ok to like yourself. I’m not sure why this is such a new revelation for me but being able to look in the mirror and thinking: ‘Hey, I look nice! I like what I see.’ and not have it immediately followed by a slightly guilty feeling is something else. It’s not that I hated myself, I never did that but I felt uneasy appreciating who I am because I somehow thought I needed to be more this or that to be happy. As it turns out, I just need to be myself.

Most days I cannot make up my mind if my curls drive me crazy or actually look nice. I only know that it feels weird looking in the mirror and seeing myself with straight hair. It’s just not me, even if straight hair means being able to brush your hair whenever you want without looking like a crazy mop afterwards. So I guess I actually like my hair.

Obviously it would do me good if I weren’t such a lazy person but I also know it spun out of control in recent months because of all the stuff I was trying not to think about. I’m trying to work on this but being a little lazy from time to time is not a crime and I accept it.

I’ve come to terms with all my obvious faults and shortcomings and  I don’t mind them. I actually really like who I am and it’s totally okay to feel this way. Why wouldn’t it, right?

What I’m trying to say is this, love yourself because you don’t get another you! We are who we are and that is completely okay! If you can’t even accept who you are than how can you accept the differences in other people? Also? Don’t spread hate  just because other people are different or you don’t understand where they’re coming from. October is Anti-Bullying month and we should all remember that our behaviour effects other people.

I wasn’t really bullied in school but I also know that I never quite fit in with the other kids. I felt different, not as included no matter how hard I tried to be one of them. Most of the times I even liked going to school. I cannot imagine how it must feel to be so hated by other students that you wanted to kill yourself. It’s sad and heartbreaking that kids like Amanda Todd don’t see another way out of their misery than to commit suicide. It’s so wrong on all levels that can be wrong!

I’m asking everyone of you to not bully or hate on other people. I know we cannot all get along, sit around a camp-fire and sing ‘Kumbaya’ while we hold hands but it doesn’t mean we have to destroy one another either! Find some kindness and acceptance in yourself and spread that feeling.

Something’s Missing

16 Jul

I feel my posts are lacking lightness and happiness recently but I don’t know where to take it from, I’m sorry. I feel sad and lonely which is probably why I’m jeaouls of the people I know that have a clear understanding of where they’re headed.

I’m not doing enough of anything, taking care of my mom, keeping the house in order, finishing my studies… I know it, I feel it every day but I can’t change it.

My mom’s chemo treatments have had a bad effect on her blood lately so the next two rounds of chemo were delayed. We still don’t know when they will start again but as her blood tests are showing improvement it will probably not be for long. Still she is so weak, so forgetful and just not the person I knew for most of my life.

Often I ask myself if going through all this shit is really worth it. The possibility of surviving this kind of tumor is near to zero and I don’t feel like the time I have with her is doing me much good. As much as it pains me to say this, but for me, she more or less died a while ago even though her body is still around. But what else is left of that independent woman that raised me, the person who fought so many battles to give me everything she thought I might need? Not much.

My life has me in chains so to speak. She is just a phone call or a text message away and she lets me know this. I don’t feel like I have that much time to myself even though I hardly spent time with her except going to the doctors or other appointments with her. Every time she tells me how good a person I am my heart shouts “NO, I really am not!” because I feel like a looser. I wish I could break free of it all, just leave her behind and start my own life someplace else. But how is this ever going to be possible unless she dies?

I’m not talking to her much lately because I don’t want her advice and also because explaining stuff to her is just really annoying lately since she has a hard time understanding more difficult things. I’m still not finished with my student research project (but getting closer) and I don’t have a place for my thesis yet. She has been asking me about these things a lot for a couple of days now but I refuse to explain her why it’s taking me so damn long because I don’t have an answer for myself. I’m lazy, some things are still missing, I’m stubborn and I don’t know what I will do after graduation.

So I try to avoid talking about this but she keeps getting back to the subject, threatening to talk to our neighbour who is advising my project. I told her that I didn’t want her doing it but she won’t give it a rest. The thing is though that I have to do this on my own, I don’t want my mommy taking care of everything (which she also can’t do anymore). I’m grown up enough to sort out my own things or else how will I ever learn??? I’ve been clear about this, that I want  and need to do this on my own, but she doesn’t understand it.

She thinks we’re in a fight (which we’re not) because I don’t want to talk to her about it and she says that she feels our relationship has taken a bad turn. It probably has but not just recently. It’s been getting worse as her illness has gotten worse. Which makes me feel so, so bad. It does! But I can’t help it.

I want a goddamn break from everything around here which I will get in about four weeks when I’ll leave for my Canada trip. I can’t wait to leave! When I go out with friends I’m still not really free, she calls me with not so necessary things or texts me. I can’t ignore them because something serious could have happened but it hardly ever does. In Canada though I’ll have an excuse to leave my cell phone off because it would be too expensive to talk to her all the time. Ha!

Then again I feel like a horrible person because I can’t show her more empathy, be there for her more. I just don’t know how to do it.

The night she was rushed to the hospital as an emergency I told God (or whomever I believe in) that He could have her. Since He made it pretty clear that she won’t come out on the upper side of things, that it was ok with me if she died. I want it to be quick, maybe an aneurism bursting in her head…so she won’t feel a thing. It’s been three months now and she is still here and I wonder why. What’s the purpose of her sticking around this long?

– Well, I have no clue!

I only know that she is still here and I’m still here, both caught in the ties that bind us to each other. I’m so sorry this is such a depressing and dark post but I need to get things off my chest.

Most people say/ wish/ want to live their lives to the fullest, enjoy every moment of it. I don’t feel like I ever really did that. In general my life is a good one, I have many luxeries, enough to eat and drink. A functioning health care system, friends, hobbies and a loving but small family. Still I’m never satisfied and rather complain about it a lot.  I’m 24 and I feel so overwhelmed with the task that was laid upon me – taking care of my sick mother and being mostly alone with it except for my granny.

I wish I could do great things, help people, make the world a better place to live in, and yes, live my life to the fullest. But how can I do that when I fail at being a better person in my own home? How does one live the crap out of one’s life anyway?

Time seems to be fleeting, going faster with every day that goes by. How many days do I even have left before it is all over and I have to look back at what I did with my precious time on earth. Will I be sorry in the end?

My greatest fear is not being loved and not loving enough. Will I ever fall head over heals, madly in love with another person? Will I ever be loved back in an equal way? I want this so badly yet I’m afraid of putting myself out there. Being gay is most likely not improving my chances at finding a partner. I’m just so sick and tired of being alone, going to bed alone, waking up alone, going through my days hoping things will change but not having the the nerve to actually change things.

I feel as far away from accomplishing any of my dreams as possible. I don’t see the road anymore and some dreams are vanishing in the mist that covers most of them.

So far, the only thing I figured out about myself is, that I need to run at least once a week to keep my inner bitch tied to the ground. So, even though it rains and rains and rains, I go into the forest and run because it’s the only thing helping me these days.

This post has been long enough now, and I applaud everyone who made it this far. Thank you for enduring my ranting and complaining and whining. I’m also sorry for using ‘I’ so much. It must mean I’m pretty self-centered most of the time. See you tomorrow. Maybe my mind won’t be this dark after sleeping tonight? – Oh, one can only hope.

Running for my Sanity

14 Apr

Today pretty much sucked from its beginning even though today is saturday the 14th and not friday the 13th (I was born on a 13th of friday so I don’t really believe in that superstitious stuff surrounding the day). It all started with my mom falling down while doing our usual saturday morning shopping for the weekend. She lost the spare key to our house earlier so we needed to buy a replacement key but as she wanted to go into the shop, there was one pretty big step and she didn’t have the strength in her legs and fell down. It took 3 people to get her on her feet again. The worst is, this wasn’t the first time this has happened but at least the third that I was present.

After that, my day was already in the toilet because I again had to see how fragile she is and it breaks my heart. When she tells other people that the worst of her situation is, that she is unable to drive a car at the moment then I get angry, because it’s certainly not the worst! I’m actually relieved she is not out in traffic, causing accidents and what not, and she told that line a lot today, adding to my anger and frustration.

It’s getting harder every day to put on my mask of happiness so other people won’t see all the pain I’m in. My usual answer of “Fine” to the question of how I am doing comes up less and less as I am more and more answering with not good and then blabbing out my problems. I know that other people have problems as well, the blogosphere especially reminds me of it again and again. I also know there are millions of people out there doing way worse then me, but still, it doesn’t help me when I see my mom falling down, smashing things because she didn’t see them, running into stuff with a shopping cart, not being able to fasten her seatbelt…

At the supermarket I then bought a bag of my favorite potato chips, because that’s what I do when I am really upset, I eat and watch something. Today I chose Sex and the City 2, because it is idiotic but bound to have a fucking happy end. A half an hour before the end, I hit pause and went for a run, not because of all the stupid calories I ate before, but because I felt like it and it is the only way I know to deal with my anger and frustration and fear and all the other emotions I feel these days. I go into the woods and run up and down those small hills, pushing myself to run faster uphill so I nearly collapse when I get to the top.

I love the feeling of moving forward, that’s why treadmills are not for me, I need to see the changing scenery, being alone around God’s creation. It’s so beautiful to see how wind moves the grass, experiencing that ants can be pretty loud on dried leaves and pushing your body as hard as possible. Running gives my mind the time to think things over or let my constant heavy breathing drown out every thought and just be; be myself in motion, not stopping until I am at the bench where I have to stop and enjoy the landscape. Nothing bad can happen while you’re moving because you’re never in one place, the now can’t catch up while you’re running into the future.

My favorite place in the woods around here.

What I am trying to say with the title of this post is, I need to run, to put my frustration, anxiety, anger, self-loathing and hate into these runs in order to keep me sane because pushing my body to its limits sets free these little friends called endorphins and they can make someone happy, most of the times. Even if they fail their mission of cheering me up, at least I know that I have put all the negative energy into motion without punching someone or hurting people with my words, which sometimes I really can’t help doing because I’m this pretty direct and honest person that just has to say everything that comes to her mind without censoring it.

Although I had a great run (who knew that was possible with 175 gr. of potato chips in your tummy?!) I’m still not completely my cheerful self that I want to be but at least I am exhausted and calm now. I didn’t change my tires today, hopefully tomorrow, and I also did not work on my project for the university but frankly, I don’t feel like it today. I felt like shit to begin with and I am dwelling in the rest of these feelings to let them out which is better than to keep them bottled up forever. I really hope that after another good night’s sleep, everything will be better – I will be better, stronger, more hopeful…which I know is a very high aim.

As I was on my way home out of the woods, there were dark rain clouds in the sky so I told them to feel free to drench me in water, because it is a pretty cool feeling to be walking through raindrops when you don’t have to care about running around in wet clothes for the rest of the day. The funny thing is, they actually started to send down the rain so I looked up and thought “There is actually someone listening to me up there” which was a great feeling that might be only based on the fact that rain simply falls out of dark clouds, but who knows?!

At least I’m not angry, horny, frustrated and filled with hatred anymore, so I guess I’ve proven my point…a little bit. Now, I’m going to watch some more TV to live in worlds with happy endings and resolved problems of pretty people for a short while.

My glimpse at Hell…or am I already in it?

12 Mar

This was one of the worst weekends in history, at least for me. Saturday afternoon I walk downstairs to prepare myself a little snack and I hear sounds from my mom’s bedroom. I go there while thinking she may have a bad dream or so. Boy was I wrong! Her face was all swollen up and she was talking nonsense and that she is dizzy. I was horrified and didn’t know what to do, since it really looked bad. (My mom has terminal brain cancer so something like this was not totally unexpected but WTH?? Also, I am an only child and my father is long gone and not missed I should add. I’m left alone with most of it, except for my 78 years old grandma, who is great but not the youngest under the sun.)

I calles my grandma, who thankfully only lives a street away. She was instantly over at our house and when she saw mom’s condition didn’t know what to do either so we called 911. The ambulance came quickly and were not reluctant to take her with them to the hospital she is familiar to because she was operated there and got her chemotherapy at it as well. Just as most of the paramedic’s equipment was already stowed away in the ambulance again, she had a seizure or something similar. It looked like a nasty epileptic shock. I was so horrified and thankful that the doctor was already in the house at the same time. They stabilized her and took her to the hospital.

I had to take my car and follow them since my granny was riding shotgun in the ambulance. They made  an emergency CT upon arrival but it was not too revealing so my mom had to stay in the recovery room until this morning. They made an MRI this morning as well which came back as clear as it can be for a patient with a recurrent glioblastoma kind of brain tumor.

Needless to say, I spent my Saturday evening in the hospital was well as Sunday afternoon and Monday morning because we didn’t want her to be alone before the MRI as she was scared. I don’t mind doing all of this for her, after all she is my mom! But it’s just so hard doing most of it alone and she can be a real handful.

I get that it’s hard being dependent on other people, not being allowed to drive and all but as soon as she woke up in the hospital on Sunday morning she wanted to leave which was absolutely out of the question. The nurses were very nice and it is their job to help her and make sure she doesn’t fall but she got angry because she thinks she is fit and can do it all alone which she most certainly cannot do. I really wish it were different, but it’s not.

She is behaving like a little tyrant or a spoiled only-child, everything you do is just not as she wants it. I get that she is frustrated but I’m almost falling apart myself. After all, I’m only 24 years old, I shouldn’t be taking care of my dying mother. It’s too soon!!

Eventually she will die though and I already dread it because things are difficult enough as they are now and I don’t know how much more I can take since I have a ton of studying to do at the moment, too. It’ll only get worse for a while I guess until it will get better one day, only, when will this day come?

And the mess doesn’t end here. I just got a call saying she broke her left arm when she fell earlier today. Hip-Hip-Hooray, 6 weeks of wearing a cast. Seriously, haven’t I suffered enough?

I may be the worst person ever, but honestly, I wish she would die rather sooner than later. The chemotherapy can only stretch her life expectancy, give her more time, but what kind of time is that? I don’t want it, cause there is nothing of it I’m enjoying at the moment. Everything is work. Our house looks messy all the time, the door of the fridge is left open for more than half an hour sometimes and a lot of other stuff. The worst is, she doesn’t see herself as being that ill.

So, in conclusion I’m not sure whether I’m already in hell or just stuck with my nose against the window of it. Bear with me as I keep finding out, will you?!

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