As I’ve shared I’m joining the ban wagon and taking on the Marie Kondo challenge as I call it. Her presences in the home mades it an easy and calm way of sorting. I do understand there are area’s that become tougher and can cause emotion’s to flare up. I myself didn’t think I would get emotional about sorting paper. Its just paper right? OR is it? I didn’t realize how much paper items I have/had. It seemed as if though I were pulling on a roll of toilet paper. The piles kept coming and coming. I had to finally take a break and come to it a few hours later. To the same piles I had left, what was I thinking that they would disappear by themselves. Don’t I wish.
As I began to sort through my filing cabinet. The one that has my genealogy, birthday, Christmas cards, extra printer paper, scrapbook supplies, a few pictures, disks, and tons of thumb drives I happened to stumble upon a few journals and a scrapbook. What laid inside of those three items bring tears to my eyes. Yes, I was getting emotional over paper. Or was it? I had decided that I would pile all those items into one tote, and come back to it after finishing the other drawers on the filing cabinet. I was able to shred tons of genealogy information that is know longer needed with it being on my laptop. Those ugly yearly tax papers, yes they were shredded too. In two separate piles I place our children’s paper’s or small items that had been stored in the filing cabinet. But those piles were being to grow like wild weeds. They ended up in their own tote’s also.
It was time to kick the scrapbook drawer in the butt. HOLY COW scrapbook supply everywhere, two drawers worth of it. I’m surprised everything didn’t jump out at us when we opened the drawers. Who would thought someone could have so much scrapbooks supply. Well, I mean there are other people who have way more than me so, I guess I don’t have as much as I thought. No I do, lets get to the point, scrapbooking isn’t my thing anymore. I just like the paper. Oh Jeez there’s that word PAPER. Once I got every last piece of paper and sticker out of the drawers and piled onto my kitchen table, I know longer had a table. This project to way more time than I had thought it would. Of course I had to look at each piece of paper. Then the stickers oh man, this job was hard. Once I began reminding myself that I know long do this hobby what was the need for all of this supply. When my mind was set in this mode, it came easy to give the donate or sell pile. Most of it was donated to our neighbor who has small children of their own. What better place to donate these supplies. I did make a few bucks of the items I sold. But wait until you see the drawer now.
It was time to get back to the emotional pile. Tissue on hand, chair to sit in before I fell to the floor, and something to drink. As I begin picking up each items the emotion started flowing. For a healing to take place there is an emotional moment I believe.
The first emotional item I picked up was the white binder. I knew what was in there, but I also forgot. Did I forget or didn’t I want to face that fact of what those three rings were holding? I felt my heart start to beat faster as I began to open that shinny cover. I didn’t want to look at it, but I know I need face that fact that I had written those words. That I had cried harder than I thought I’d cried. This binder holds, notes from when I had first gotten sick six years ago. I began writing in a spinal notebook, then fell off the path and just stopped writing. I thought what if I move all this to a binder, and that way I can just add more paper as I write. That worked for a little bit, the off the path again. The color purple caught my eye. It was that, that the tears began to roll, burning my eyes, and not wanting to touch the purple paper. This was a letter I had written to my husband and children six years ago. Which I haven’t shared with them. The journaling is all over the place on the purple paper. I was angry, scared, and just wanted to tell my side and my feelings to my son. To this day I don’t feel as though I’ve been able to do that. Will I ever, I don’t know. Will I be prepared for that day, most likely not. Did I shred the writting on the purple paper, no it’s resting in the same place in the binder.
As I set the white binder to the side, I had to decide what was I going to sort through next, the Black photo book or the journal. As much as I wanted not to look through the journal I had to. I had to see where I began and where I am today. This journal has blogs about my year of taking care of my mother, leading up to the day that all came to a fast stop, to how I was wanting to kill myself, and hating life. I read the first few pages, crying over each word, and replaying the minutes and memories as tear dripped from my face. The more I read the more I felt like I needed to run, to get away. But I also wanted to stand up and scream, and just hit the person/s who damaged the relationship I had with my mother. I had always thought I was the rock some one, that they would never let me turn to sand and stream through their fingers. They were to be my rock, my support, my shoulder to cry on, to be my sheild, to be able to crawl on their back and hear them call me Sis. But I didn’t I didn’t hear that at all. All I heard were car door shutting, and knowing that was it. That our relationship would never be the same again. That we would part our own ways, and live life as we always did. Yes, as we always did. When help was needed I was called on, I was the running, the filler, the one who put her whole self into the relationship. Dropped whatever she was doing to help, to do her part. Would I do it again, as much as I can sit and say I wouldn’t I know I would, why? Because I have been shown real LOVE. And just because we don’t have a relationship I still love them.
The pages in the journal were heavy, heavy to turn, but yet wet from the tears. There were stains on each page that I turned. My writing in this journal also came to an end. I was tired or writting about being angry, and wanting to tell my side, that I finally just stopped writing. But I also, knew it was time for Eva to grow, to be someone that she was, and not what others had told people. To grow and have stronger relationships with people who want to be my Rock, who want to help me when I’m falling and who want to keep me here on earth. Those people are my Husband, Daughter, My Aunt, and My In Laws, and the few friends I have. Thank you to them, that I’m here writing this blog.
This book holds so many memories, memories that I’ll never let go. Inside the pages holds, pictures of my children when they were babies, first born, school pictures, graduation pictures, sports, and family pictures. There is also photos of myself when I worked at the school, a family picture of myself with my siblings and husband. That was the last “family” picture that was taken of myself with my siblings. And I believe the first one since I was maybe 2 years old. It’s hid the in the back of the book. That’s a picture I don’t understand, and I may never understand. We had that picture taken for our Mother’s Christmas gift. Our Mother was so surprised and teary eyed when she seen it. But what brings me to tears is to know that picture we had taken for her sits in the same box we gave it to her in all those years ago on that Christmas day. Yes, I found it while cleaning my mother’s house a few years ago. Wow, what a slap, or better yet, she doesn’t want to see her children, do we bring that much pain? I’d love to ask that question. Does the picture still sit in that box at My Mother’s home as far as I know yes.
On a better page on the left is of me while I worked at the school. One of my more for filling and favorite jobs. I had always dreamed of being a teacher, but with a learning disablitity and having issues reading, I never went that route in school. Actually I’ve never been to college. But I’ve been close enough to being a teacher. I was a teachers ad for may years. I know, I know, how in the world did I do that with my learning issues. Well, I was in my own world helping students with the same learning problems I had. We were learning together, by making gamings, flash cards, projects, taking test together, doing homework and classwork together, to studying togehter. I had so much fun with this job. I had grown to be something that I thought I’d never be a teacher. I’m proud to say that students I worked with are now graduated, and some hold jobs and some are going to farther their education. How exciting it that?? Pretty Darn Exciting.
Trust, some of us that have a ton of trust, some of don’t have any at all, I’m in that category.
Let’s learn about my father..
I truly believe my problem was and still is, Trust! I grew up in a very toxic, divorce household. My mother raised us kids, my two older brothers and myself. My father was an alcoholic and still is, my parents lied to one another about everything. I have yet to get a straight answer from either of them when I pop the questions, about why things were the way they were. I never was able to have a relationship with my father, and I still don’t. Sure he calls every once in a while, I think the longest that he has gone without calling me has been two years maybe three. I will say when he does call, we have some laughs, we talk about what’s happening in one another’s world, and the phone comes to a fast end. With us hanging up, not saying I love you, I’ll talk to you later, or See ya, nothing just the simple touch of the “X” on the phone.
There were many years ago, I wrote a letter to my father, asking his questions, wanting answers. I wanted him to know how my life was while growing up. I wanted him to feel the pain and the emptiness, anger, loneliness, and most of all to hear his CRY. I learn later that he had called my brother asking him what to do. What, he didn’t know what to do. It’s easy just pick up the phone and call. I was waiting for that phone call, to come any day. But that phone call never came, and still didn’t come, until I had finally chalked up as well he’s not going to call, nothing new. I went on with my life for the next few months, to my surprise he calls! I’m excited, I want to hear the answers to my questions. But the most important I still wanted to hear him cry. Why wouldn’t he cry, just cry damn-it, that’s all I want. My want was never filled, but I did get some answers to my questions. Some of them I had already figured out myself.
Let’s learn about my mother…
For my mother, was a loving, caring, fun, and a hard worker who provided for us kids, she kept a roof over our head and food in our bellies. Our father paid child support it wasn’t much but it was something. The job I only remember the most that my mother had was working for Cincinnati Bell. My mother was in her later twenties early thirties when she was hired to work for Cincinnati Bell as a switchboard operator. While moving up on the ladder, becoming part of the team for telephone books, entering names, numbers and addresses made for a long day and week. She was later promoted to being the team leader who organized the phone lines and numbers for the Cincinnati Reds Stadium when there was an event to take place. My mother was able to keep her headset from the switchboard position, which she later gave it to me. She felt it was be an important part of her story as I was doing genealogy by this time. I can remember all the stories she has shared with me. Some of the stories were she would have to stay late after work to cover for a call in or my grandmother would be mad and angry that she couldn’t just talk to my mother when she felt like it, or why my grandmother didn’t understand that my mother had to work on the weekends and holidays. But there was another side of my mother. My mother had friends, she went out, she drank, and had a good time. She had boyfriends, some nice some not so nice, there were fights and breakups.
When my parents divorced there was an order that my father would have visitation rights every other weekend. My mother’s “Court Order Rules” were completely different. If my father wasn’t following her “Rules” or playing her “game” then our visitations with our father ended. Life was good when it was on my mother’s terms. Us kids didn’t have to hear all the yelling, fighting, blaming, finger-pointing, the list never ends. Life was hell when her “Rules” weren’t in play. It was us kids who missed out on those weekends with our father, or half-siblings, beginning with our stepmother, learning to bowl, play baseball, vacations to Florida, holidays, and just to spend a day with our father. I can’t tell you what my father did for a living, except his bowled on a league, he belonged to a lodge, he worked for Gibson Greeting Card, he listened to country music, (he thought he could sign, not that I can), he would make wisecracks and he drank. But he never really knew what went on behind those English Wood doors, those Mirror Copy Cat Buildings.
When I met my husband, and we began to share our childhood and family members, he was shocked to learn about my life. To him, it was a horror story, one that I’ve always been told I should write a book. I joke all the time saying, “I would be a millionaire if I were to do that.” My husband’s parents were so strange to me. Why were they holding hands, saying I love you, have a nice day, wanting to help others, spending time with other family members, sharing holidays, and going to Church? I didn’t understand why weren’t the trust issues, why weren’t there any yelling, fighting, blaming, and breakups? What was the Church thing all about? Who went to Church because we didn’t, only on Christmas, or when I was visiting my grandmother or that lovely Vacation Bible School. (My mother would dress me and my two best friends in the same ugly dress every Sunday for Vacation Bible School). I was even more shocked when, his parents hugged me, told me they loved me, included me in family gatherings, EXCEPTED me for me. Not for what I had been molded to be while growing up.
As my relationship with my boyfriend now husband grew, I began going to church with his family, helping on the family farm, staying more and more at his house rather than mine, and learning a different way of life. One that has changed me from a jigsaw puzzle with a piece from every horrible memory while I was a child. Those horrible pieces have now been transformed into hopeful, blessed pieces as wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt and friend (which I have few friends because of trust). My husband, who is my partner and crime, my best friend, my hero, my knight have been married 30 years and trust is still something I struggle with. Not with my husband but, myself. As soon as I notice something of the norm, it sends my mind into overdrive, a Nascar on the last lap, going faster and faster. At every turn, I’m looking for some else to be wrong, something that I can point fingers at, something out of place, to yell, scream, cry and even run from. I have to remind myself, he loves me for who I am, he loves me for all the struggles I have each day, he loves me for being true to myself, he loves me because, I will go out on the limb to help others, and he loves me because his parents installed him, that God takes care of everything. That we have to Trust in God. His parents have helped me to trust God, to trust myself, and to gain trust in others. Most of all they have been more of my PARENTS than my OWN Parents!! They are my Mom and Dad, God moved me to Indiana to find my true Family.
I want to remind each of you the awesome deals you can get when the sale items are going to change. For me, I shop my local Krogers store. Every Tuesday at midnight the ad will change for the following week. On Tuesday’s at my Krogers, here in Indiana, I have found that prices are reduced for quick sales to move merchandise for new sale items.
***Dairy department, There are items reduced in the dairy department also. Which I do not buy those until I’m planning to use them right away.
***Produce department Look for those slightly bruised fruits and the salads that their expiration dates are approaching soon. I buy most of my apples and oranges in the reduce bins. I was able to purchase five apples for ninety-nine cents. Depending on the number of potatoes, onions, and bell peppers I have at home will be if I but from the reduced bin. I have found stir fry bags for two dollars and ninety-nine cents that were four dollars and ninety-nine cents. I found this Pasta Kit for one dollar and ninety-nine cents it serves two.
***Bread department Has a stand where they place the reduced bread, doughnuts, and snack cakes. I was able to grab these buns for ninety-nine cents. I have bought doughnuts and snack cakes from this stand.
***Meat department The meat department is reducing prices to rotate meat that is to expire soon.
***Eight pork chops, for seven dollars and fifty-one cents. That is four meals for my husband and me.
***Three Pork Bottom Steaks for five dollars and eighty-five cents. I plan to cute these into strips for meals.
***Three Beef Center Steaks for six dollars and three cents. Again I will cut these into strips for meals.
I’m a saver, but I have a dear friend who is a member of this group, which is also my neighbor, who is the lady of savings and cutting cost. She’s a true inspiration to me. She’s fought her battles and has shown lots of women and families if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. Which I’m still working on myself.
I do hope to share her lessons, information, and idea’s with the group someday.
You’ll need 1 large mixing bowl 1 Large Cooking sheet 1 Cooking board 1 Sharp knife 1 Potato peeler 1 Glass casserole dish Something to stir with Tongs
4 peeled potatoes 1 medium size onion peeled and sliced 3 tablespoons of Olive oil 2 Fish Fillets (depends on how many you’re cooking for) Salt and Pepper Seasoning Salt Garlic Salt Ground Paprika Fresh Chives Fresh parsley Fresh Cilantro Ketchup Tarter Sauce Pam Spray for the cookie sheet and the glass casserole dish
Wash, potatoes, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower and dry. Peel potatoes and slice them placing into the large mixing bowl. Take all seeds out of the bell pepper, slice and place into the large mixing bowl. Slice onion and put in the large mixing bowl with potatoes and pepper. add the olive oil, all the seasonings and herbs stir making sure everything is covered with the seasonings. Spray the cookie sheet and the glass casserole dish. Pour the Potato mixture onto cookie sheet, spreading out to cover the bottom of the cookie sheet. Put into oven cook for 10 minutes, then stir, and cook until potatoes are soft and crispy. In the Pam sprayed the glass casserole dish add the fish fillets cook as directed on package.
Toss salad Add all ingredients and top with Cheese and Dressing.
You’ll need Large bowl, cookie sheet, glass casserole dish, cutting board, knife, potato peeler, foil, and something to stir with.
Set oven at 375 you will cook to your desirer.
Ingredients: 2 Filet Mignon’s wrapped in bacon (I bought these already prepped) 2 medium-size sweet potatoes washed, dried and peeled and sliced 1 medium size onion peeled and sliced 1 Green Bell Pepper washed, dried, seeds removed and sliced. 1 Red Bell Pepper washed, dried, seeds removed and sliced. 2 Good tablespoons of Olive Oil Seasoning salt Salt and pepper Garlic salt Ground Paprika Fresh Clives Fresh Parsley Fresh Cilantro Pam Spray to spray the bottom of the glass Casserole dish and cookie sheet.
Steps: In the large bowl add the sliced sweet potatoes, sliced onions, sliced bell peppers, all the seasonings and olive oil (I do not measure these). Stir making sure everything is covered with seasonings. Spray cookie sheet, spread mixture in the large bowl on cookie sheet. Spray glass casserole dish, placing the Filet Mignon in with foil to cover. 10 minutes check on the potato mixture and stir making sure all sides are cooked.
Total Cost for this Meal was Five Dollars per plate.
What you will need Cutting Board, knife, glass casserole dish, a large bowl to place sliced veggies in, and foil. Set oven on 350 cooks for 40-45 minutes checking to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
Provolone cheese slices (I purchase our Provolone in these packages) cut into strips Chicken Breast (I only needed 2) cut in halves like a Hot Dog Bun 1 Medium size Onion peeled and Sliced 4 Good size Mushrooms washed and dried. 2 Tablespoon of water Garlic Powder Seasoning Salt Lemon Pepper Fresh, Chives, Parsley, and Cilantro Salt and Pepper Pam spray (or your brand of spray) 1 Glass Casserole dish (depending on size and how many chicken breast you cook)
Prep: Wash and dry Mushrooms, Peel and Slice onion placing them into the large bowl set aside. Wash cutting board and dry Wash Chicken Slice Chicken breast in half (note not cutting completely in half, cut like a hot dog bun) Spray Glass Casserole dish Spread the chicken breast apart and stuff mushrooms and onions topping with the sliced Provolone cheese. Close Chicken Stuffed Breast and placing in the Pam spray’ed glass casserole dish, with a 2 tablespoons of water. Top Chicken Breast with Garlic Salt, Seasoning Salt, Lemon Pepper, Salt and Pepper, Chives, Parsley, and cilantro. (note I do not measure these ingredients) Cover with Foil with poking hole in the top.
The day started off like any other day. Getting up and beginning to get ready for work. My daughter and I had a daily routine each morning before I went to work and she went off to high school. Putting our make-up on to styling our hair, and making sure neither of us had anything between our teeth. You know, “Do I have anything between my teeth statement.” But this day was different, not normal, off in some way, but how? My daughter turns to me and says, “Mom there is something wrong with your face, it’s drooping, just not normal.” My reply, “Come on we need to finish up here and get ready to leave, or we’ll be late.”
You see my daughter road to work with me each day, as I had worked at the elementary school and she would board the school bus that transported her to the high school. That ride was like no other, concerned, yet not concerned, to my daughter telling me, “Mom you need to go to the ER, something isn’t right.” Once we enter the building of the school, we continue our walk to the office only for me to ask a few co-workers if they saw anything wrong with me. They recalled the same as my daughter did, my right side of my face is drooping, and that yes I needed to go to the ER.
As I’m preparing to call my husband to have him get ready I’m telling my daughter goodbye, have a good day, and everything will be okay. And assuring her that I’m going to the ER. The ride home to pick up my husband seemed longer than its normal fifteen-minute ride. Felt more like hours. I didn’t know to cry, or not to believe what was happening. As I had walked through the door to our home, one that I knew to be familiar was one lost. I knew the sounds of the dogs barking and them running across the floors excited to see me. The sounds of them welcoming us home every day after work and school. The smell of our perfume and to the house looking a mess. At this point I decided I needed to clean, I had to get everything put in order before we left for the ER.
My husband stands and watches as he is confused about what is going on. He hadn’t been home from work before we left for our daily duties at work and school. Once he could get me to look at him, he finally said, “Eve we have to go, we need to get to the ER.” With him walking me to the car hand and hand, I could feel the fear in the both of us, the confusion of how did this all happened. The ride to the ER got longer and longer it seemed, the weirder I felt. Feelings I couldn’t explain or even try to figure out. As we pulled into the parking lots, my right side of my body was becoming weaker and weaker. Was I having a stroke, a heart attack, what was going on!!! No, I couldn’t be having a stroke or could I? Not a heart attack because I wasn’t falling to ground gripping my chest in pain. So what??
Here we were in the ER getting ready to talk to the registry to get me checked in and answer the questions for why I’m having these issues. Those questions you are asked every time you visit a doctors office, do you have your insurance card, what is the issues you are having that brought you here today? Well, if I knew maybe I wouldn’t be here right now, is what was running through my mind. The longer I stood there, the more my right side became numb. The lady in her cute nurse’s scrubs hands me the clipboard with the million papers that need to be filled out. Only for me to almost drop it. With my husband standing beside me, I tell him, I can’t hold the clipboard it’s too heavy. He carries the clipboard and walks me to the waiting area. I begin filling in all the blanks when all of sudden I turn to my husband and say, “Honey, I don’t feel good, something is really wrong, you need to go get that lady at the desk?”
He and the registry came back to me, only to learn I can no longer talk, or move I was paralyzed. But how? How could this be happening to me? I could hear, and see, but what good is that going when you’re asked questions? Not good at all. The registry called for a nurse, which brought a wheelchair. I remember so clearly, the little old couple sitting across from us. Their scared emotions on their faces, but what really ran through my mind was, I hope my husband and I live that long. As the nurse began asking me questions, I became angry and aggravated because I couldn’t talk, and the questions continued to be thrown at me one after another. The more they asked the madder I became. The nurse asks my husband, “Has this happened to her before, his reply no.” As the nurse is asking me to get into the wheelchair, so we can go to a private room and begin the figure this all out. Once in that small, cold, stale sounding room, the questions began again. Looking at the nurse and then to my husband, I began to cry. But why am I crying, I’m still confused. My life is flashing before me. The Doctor is called in and just like the others who had seen me, was in shock, he’d never seen anything like it. He begins to examine me, looking in my eyes, listening to my heart, taking my blood pressure and asking if I could feel him touching the bottom of my feet, to the insides of my hands. My reply: BLANK! He orders lab work, CAT Scan, X-Ray’s, anything that would give us some answers. I began having seizures, my blood pressure shot to the moon, my eyes became sensitive to light, my teeth started chattering, and I had this awful pain, burning sensation, stabbing behind my right ear. At this point my husband is holding my hand but lost, in tears, yet trying to stay strong and not let me see him crying. The doctor turns to my husband, asking him a ton of questions with the same answer of No this hasn’t ever happened.
Puzzled was on everyone’s face. The Doctor begins asking about medications and health issues. My husband lists off all the medication I’m taking and for what reasons. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, Depression, Bipolar and high blood pressure, I was up to date with my OB-Gyn, and Primary Doctor so other than that I a healthy 45-year-old woman. Living life to the fullest. I had a job that loved and had been doing it for 11 years. Our son had just proposed to his girlfriend, so wedding plans were beginning to take place. Our daughter was about to graduate from high school. In the process of filling college applications out, and scheduling dates and times to tour colleges. Our year was pretty full with lots of activities. I was fearing I wouldn’t be a part of all these blessings, and how would my family move on without me. The confusion has worsened, and my anger has become even clearer. I wanted answers. And I wanted them right now. The doctor at the ER requested that I be transported to another hospital that could do farther testing and help us find the reasonings.
The staff was ordered to arrange to for an ambulance a room and the staff ready for me when I arrived. Only to find out an hour later, there weren’t any rooms available, the ambulances were also being used. The waiting game began. An hour went by, an hour in a half ticked by, to hours later, still at the ER waiting. Within that time, I began to get feeling back in my body. With a few places still numb. My upper legs felt like gel, as though my heavy hands were melting through them. The bottom of my feet were on fire, the pain I’d never felt before. I was able to talk some and was telling my husband my feet hurt. He began to rub them only to make them hurt worse. My husband calls for the doctor. Walking into the room the Doctor is shocked, lost for words, and confused. My bladder is working full force, I’m needing to potty. I announced I had to pee and now. I began getting myself up off the bed and trying to walk to the restroom. Nurses were called for help. But dumbfounded when seeing what was happening. I began stomping my feet on the floor, I had to use the restroom. One nurse runs for a portable potty and others, try to help me with my fancy ER grown. Doctor taking notes, my husband talking to me softly telling me to hang on the potty was coming. I’m moved to the potty with help, the doctor and nurses leave the room for some privacy. I look at my husband and say, “Can we go home please.” As I’m told no, while sitting on the pot, I begin to cry and begging my husband to take me home, that I was okay. When I finish peeing, I’m once again moved back to the bed, and looking at all the tubs, and tape, gauze, everywhere. Every machine possible was hooked up to me.
After 4 hours of being at the ER, I was finally transported to the Hospital. I remember asking, “Do you have to turn on those sounds and lights?” Yes, Yes we do ma’am. I’m thinking really, I don’t think so. But of course, as we’re pulling out of the parking lots there goes the sounds and lights. I had a nice lady with me in back. Who asked me questions about home, work, my kids, pet etc. The questions helped block out the sound and lights. Just like the doctor ordered, the staff was ready for me (as I thought?) and I had a lovely room overlooking traffic. The nurse who took my case wasn’t aware that I had arrived and put in the room. As I sat and looked at all the pokes, bandages, the gown and at the cold white room, I teared up. This own time my husband is filling out more papers. They should have written a book. A nurse passes by my room, peering in she asks, “How long have you been here dear?” Me, “Oh’ about an hour.” As she puts her hands on her hips and excuses herself, she walks to the nurse’s station and lets them hear it. I could hear her ask, why didn’t anyone tell her that I was there and in the room, why didn’t anyone go check that patient, what is wrong with you people? I hear her footsteps coming towards my room. She tells me how sorry she is, and that this isn’t normal, and she will talk to the head nurse about this. She was not happy.
Within a few minutes of meeting my nurse, I begin to have my attacks (as I call them). She yells for help, just like that, there are a million nurses, well it seemed like it in my tiny room. My nurse breaks out her little flashlight shining it into my eyes, I try to block with the arm that had little movement. Walks through the door, my husband. Question after question is asked, he tells them, “She’s never done this before, we don’t know what is happening, that’s why we were sent here. The round of tests was being put into place, my few hours stay became a 4-day stay. My children came to visit just a few hours after me arriving at the hospital. Only for when my son and his fiancee to walk in the room with two dozen roses, it was Valentine’s Day. Staff is called to the room, to make their way through the maze of people because I’m having an attack. My son standing at my feet, surveying what’s happening. I could picture the worry on his face. Within moments I’m back to normal, only dealing with the burning on the bottom of my feet. Our daughter walks through the doorway, only to begin to cry in her daddy’s arms. I am so thankful that our dear friend brought our daughter and her boyfriend to see me. Once again I go into having an attack, moments later peers a normal mother.
As the late afternoon turns to into evening, the nurse comes in with the orders for the blood work, tails right behind her, the lovely person to take my blood, followed by a bed on wheels. WHAT a bed on wheels, where am I going? Mrs. Stokes are you ready for your CAT Scan, my husband replies, she had that done at the ER. Sir, it’s in the orders to have another one done. Off I go with a new set of people, to have a set of test done. I couldn’t wait to get back to my family in that fancy so call hotel room in the hospital. Yep, all my family were all still there waiting on me. Ma’am, the nurse says, “I’m sorry but we have another set tests we will be continuing tomorrow morning.” Me, “Tomorrow? What I thought I was going home.” No Ma’am, the doctor here at the hospital has decided to keep you another day.” Tomorrow morning, you will have an MRI, EEG, EKG and more blood work done. WHAT!!!! On this “Tomorrow day” is when we found out I wouldn’t be going home that day either, but 2 more days from that day.
Friday had arrived, I was doing great, having no issues, except for the droopiness on my right side of my face. The speech doctor came in to visit, did some exercises with me, and handed me a package of papers that had the exercises on them so I could continue to do them at home. Then followed a Neurologist, which had not answered for us, Except Mrs. Stokes from the MRI, it shows you have Demyelination and you have Bells Palsy. Well, I knew about the Bells Palsy, my loving speech doctor told me that. But what is Demyelination? I asked the Neurologist. He casually says, “Its a form of MS.” My husband and I look at one another and asked at the same time what does that mean? Again the Neurologist says, “Well, she can be in the first stages of MS or in the second stages.” Yes, but what does this mean for her life from here? The Neurology asked us questions as to why I was brought to the hospital as we tell him, he tells us I quote his words, “Hmmm, I’m confused, I don’t know what is wrong with you, but you have MS, Mrs. Stokes.” He get-ups hands us a business card and walks out like nothing had happened.
As my husband and I sat and sayidnothing at all to one another, my nurse walks in and asks us how we are doing. We didn’t say much of anything except for Confused. The Neurologist who just left the room gave us no answers just more confusion. God Bless the Nurses that go the extra mile. She went and got my discharge papers along with a few business cards for other Neurologist I could contact. I was sent home with a list of new medication, I wasn’t allowed to drive, or be left alone. I basically was adult-sat. I wasn’t able to go back to work either. I continued to have small attacks at home, only to find they were happening more often. As a family, we sat down and had a discussion on what our next plan was. We decided I would go back to seeing my Counsellor, which I had been seeing for years.
We found a new Neurologist, who once again did a ton of tests. We were finally getting some answers we thought. The MRI’s weren’t showing why I was having these episodes, but they did show I had 2 small white spots on my brain. What caused those we don’t know, and we never figured it out. I had a lumbar puncture done, in hopes that the fluids from my spine would give us some answers. No, those came back clear, nothing. The Neurologist couldn’t figure out why I was having these issues. Except he did tell us, that my clinical symptoms do seem to be related to my underlying psychological state. For the Bells Palsy that went away with time and medication but it seems to be separate from either anxiety problems or MRI findings.
The wedding didn’t go as planned. Lots of stress, misunderstandings, miscommunications, not feeling involved to hurt feelings. Our son married and moved their belongings out of our home, and into his and his wives home almost 7 years ago. The day out son moved his belonging out, was a volcano. Arguing, saying mean things to one another, not wanting to work on things, the issues became a battle. I was sick of being sick. We were hurt because we weren’t included in the wedding plans, although we offered, we got nothing in return. The rehearsal night came, we had not a clue where the wedding would be taking place, except for using our invitation. The wedding day came, and nothing had been mended. But we carried on as a family as I had thought.
I continued to see my counsellor every week two times a week, being taxied by my mother or family in-laws. Our daughter graduated, went on to college and graduated in four years. Her time at college was hard, she worried a lot about me and my health. And struggled with not hearing from her brother. Yes, he walked away from her. Everything came to a complete stop just a week after the wedding. My life continued this path for 5 years, having the episodes, having MRI’s done, lab work, EEG’s, all the test every three months to being scheduled farther apart to 6 months. Nothing had changed. And still not seeing or hearing from our son. Carrying the hurt, stress, loneliness, the why’s, what if’s, how come. Which only dug me farther into my illness which we still didn’t have an answer.
On my 5th year of testing, and the whole nine yards, we finally came to my sickness had to do with the stress, of work, wedding, home, and life. Yes, Life…My life was falling apart and I was working so hard to keep it afloat. To just learn that yes, Mrs. Stokes you have Conversion Disorder. The stress had taken hold of me and my life. I was allowing the stress to control everything about me. How was I going to get better if I didn’t feel myself from the stress? I resigned from my position at work, a place I worked for eleven years. Excepting the way, things were between our son and our family. And finding joy in our Daughter and her adventurers.
The following year, my sixth year of dealing with my illness, I had my final MRI. Had finally seen light at the end of the tunnel. I was diagnosed with Suedo Seizures, Conversion Disorder or none as Functional Neurological. My life has been very good, not having andy attacks, able to do what I want when I want. Although I’m not able to go back to work. I can enjoy my home, my safe place that familiar place, a place I know I can get away if I need to. I have been released from my neurologist, to continue my medications, and to continue to see my Psychiatrists every three months and to see my neurologist once a year unless otherwise.