Monday, January 31, 2011

Hallmark Movie

The Last Valentine, which aired last night was sweet but what I enjoyed most was seeing Betty White.  It was a sweet story and came on the heels of Ron and I coming across a trunk full (and I mean full) of love letters exchanged between Ron's mother and father during WWII.  The letters were yellowed and all tied together in bundles arranged in chronological order.  They were tied together with ribbon with his mother's letter first followed by his dad's response. The letters covered a span of almost 4 years.  

Geraldine and Carl grew up together in Tulsa.  They were high school sweethearts and their correspondence began when Carl left for the Army.  They corresponded several months and then were married when Carl came home on leave before being shipped overseas.  During their honeymoon they decided to conceive a child and were successful.  Carl did not see his son until he was almost 2 1/2 years old.  

Once when Ron was young he asked his mother about the letters and she told him he could read when she died.  Ron has chosen not to read them.  Instead we are going to take them to his daughter.  She was only 9 years old when her grandmother died.  I told Ron what a treasure for her now.  She will learn about her grandparents in a most intimate and personal way.  I hope she treasures them!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tee Hee

I was in the restaurant yesterday when I suddenly realized I desperately needed to pass gas The music was really, really loud, so I timed my gas with the beat of the music.

After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my coffee, and noticed that everybody was staring at me....

Then I suddenly remembered that I was listening to my iPod.

...and how was your day?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Things are moving fast!

Well, after 35 years of living on my own my life is changing.  Ron has his house on the market and he's moving in with me.  The move will probably be completed this weekend.  I'm anxious, nervous, just about any adjective will work here.  I've been alone for a very long time and this will be an adjustment for both of us.  Compounding that feeling of anxiousness are the health issues looming ahead.  Not to mention the responsibility I have for a mentally ill brother.  There are moments I feel completely overwhelmed. 

In the beginning I thought Ron could stay with Mike but I realized that I was setting Mike up for disaster.  With Ron's health being such an unknown I felt that Mike wouldn't be able to handle Ron's illness emotionally.  If Ron were to get really sick and if Mike were to become psychotic again, there is no way I'd be able to handle both of them.  I told Mike that he has to learn to lean on the support of professionals and less on his family.  Mike didn't react well to any of this.  He threatened that he was going to get a gun because it was unfair of me to ask him to stay alone without protection.  I told him I couldn't stop him but that I would stop coming over because I would not put my safety at risk.  This seemed to get his attention.  I told  him that a paranoid schizophrenic has no need for a gun and that there were other ways we could address his fear.  I ordered an alarm system for his house that will be monitored 24/7.  That seems to have settled Mike down for now.  He told my older brother that he is jealous because I care more for Ron than I do him.  He said, "I won't be the center of her attention."   GAD.......I did too good of a job and now he want's me to be his mama!  It's like dealing with a little boy~

What I do realize is that if I want any kind of life of my own I have to set some boundaries with Mike.  My older brother agrees.  I have a hard time saying no to anyone let alone my sick brother but I have to require more of him if he is going to have a chance for an independent life.

Marriage for Ron and I is dependent upon settling some financial issues first.  If all goes well and he gets enough for his house we should be able to clear some of his medical debt and then see about marriage.  Otherwise, I'm here for him anyway and will support and care for him the best I can.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Church Bulletins

They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services: 
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow..
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered..
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance...
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Huge Progress

Mike made huge progress this weekend.  He stayed alone in his house last night.  It has taken a month but he did it.  I'm really proud of him.  I told him it was like falling off a horse.  If he didn't get back on it he might not ever do it.  It was almost becoming a phobia, his fear of being alone.  I know it is still just one day at a time but so far so good.

Tomorrow he sees the doctor at the Pottawatomie Clinic.  He's still reacting to his meds and the rash is continuing to break out.  It's better than a week ago but he has new places breaking out.  I'm not sure what the doctor will prescribe this time.

Wednesday Mike has a treatment plan meeting at Community Mental Health and he will also see the psychiatrist again.  So things are moving along.  

It seems weird to actually be alone in my own house again.  Ron is back in his house and he has a lot to get done.  He's got to have an estate sale and get his house on the market.  Of course he will see the doctor the first week in February and I'm hoping he will then be having surgery.  So, it's going to be hard to get all this done. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

The shooting in Arizona has brought some attention to more than one hot topic.  There is a lot of talk about gun control and now discussions on mental illness.  What is sad is that once the dust settles I doubt the talk will continue.  I have one question concerning gun control.  Were any of the gun toting Arizonians at the supermarket that day?  All those liberal gun laws didn't protect anyone did they?   And I heard about a law in Arizona that allows anyone who suspects that someone is suffering from a mental illness can have that person committed.  Yet, few people in Arizona even know about it and even if they did there is no where for them to get services anyway.

How sad it is that that young man was showing so many signs of mental illness and though many were aware that something wasn't right no one intervened not even law enforcement though they had several encounters with Loughner.  I'm sad for him, his family and the people whose lives were lost because of his dillusions.  I just hope that something good can come from his delusional act.  I hope our Nation will wake up and address the issues associated with mental illness and put our money where our mouths are!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Adverse Reaction

Poor Mike, he's having a reaction to all the medications.  He has broken out in huge bright red welps and his skin feels like he's on fire.  I feel so sorry for him.  We've been putting lotion on him but we can't stop the drugs because it would be dangerous.  We did see a psychiatrist and he's going to try and start weaning him down to only one anti-psychotic drug.  Hopefully none of his psychotic symptoms will return but hopefully his skin reaction will go away.

He was in so much pain last night he was having suicidal thoughts again.  Ron and I sat up with him and tried to ease his distress.  He finally fell asleep and managed to sleep a few hours.  I'm taking to the Indian clinic tomorrow to see his doctor.  I hope he can give him something that will help.

Ron and I talked a lot this weekend.  He said he is OK with his illness and whatever may come.  He said he just wants to be sure I'm OK if "this thing goes south".  That's the first time he has ever talked about the possibility of not beating it.  He's making his appointment for the Pet Scan on the 17th and should have the results the first week in February.  We are praying that it hasn't spread to his lungs but preparing for the possibility that it has. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mike's doctor appointment went well yesterday.  They are going to order a neurological exam and an appointment with the cardiologist.  He adjusted his blood pressure med.  Mike's blood pressure was way too low.  We were able to get 9 of the 11 prescriptions at the clinic.  I have contacted the drug companies for the other two and have applications for assistance.  They are both expensive anti psychotic drugs but I think we can get him some help with them.  I have a lot of paperwork to do this weekend.  I'm also hoping Ron and I can have a date night (by ourselves) we haven't had any time alone for awhile.  Anyone know of any good movies worth paying to see?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today when I saw the story about the homeless man, Ted Williams, in Columbus Ohio, I was reminded that God is performing miracles every day.  It reinforces my belief in miracles and I will continue asking Him for my own.  What a story about Mr. Williams.  He has gone from panhandling on the street to receiving an offer to be an announcer for the Cavliers.  I just hope people are not just using Mr. Williams to make a buck!  He will need all kinds of support in order to remain clean and sober. 
"This has been totally, totally amazing," Williams told the Associated Press. "I'm just so thankful. God has blessed me so deeply. I'm getting a second chance. Amazing."
"I can't believe what's going on," said Williams, a father of nine. "God gave me a million-dollar voice and I just hope I can do right by him."

Although I am reminded that miracles happen every day I am also reminded that we may not receive the miracle we have prayed for.  After all it is His will and not our own.  On my way to work this morning I asked God to give me the courage to accept whatever may come but I'm still praying for Ron's total recovery.

Today is a busy appointments, etc.  I'm ready!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Good Day

Mike had  another great day today!  We are going to the clinic tomorrow for his doctor's appointment so I should know where we are going with his medications.  Once I know what the clinic will be able to provide I can get some idea of where to get help for what they don't have.  I'm taking him to social security to see about Medicare prescription coverage and also applying for help through another drug program.  Just waiting for the doctor's appointment.

His thinking is getting a lot better.  His psychiatric nurse will see him again tomorrow and she asked me to get him some watercolor paper.  They are going to paint together tomorrow.  She's showing him how he can use painting to help him describe some of his visual hallucinations.  He has a hard time describing them with words.  He told me he didn't hear the voices today so that is good.

One of Mike's neighbors and friend is coming over tomorrow to paint the bedroom I've been working on.  That will really save me some time and work.  It was so nice of him to offer to help.....people are really kind.

My minister sent me a booklet on wedding planning.  I feel kind of silly.  I'm too old to be a bride!  Ron and I are planning something very simple but we would like to get married in the church.  Our church has a small chapel that would probably be perfect or we could get married in the church parlor.  Either one would be good. 

Well, I'd better get that watercolor paper for my budding artist!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here's to a great Tuesday!

I'm just getting ready to start the day but enjoying a little peace and tranquility before I begin.  I'm still having trouble sleeping at night.  I wake up about every hour and as Ron says ,"My mind starts buzzing".  I lost another 2 pounds since Sunday but I think it will slow down now that I'm back to work.  I haven't been trying it is just coming off from what I am sure is due to stress.  Of course I've also been climbing up and down a ladder stripping wallpaper and getting ready to paint a room.  It's amazing what a little exercise can do for you! 

Mike had such a great day yesterday.  It's a good thing I have all the car keys with me because he said he would have driven to Braum's (icecream).  We talked about it last night and he agreed that driving wouldn't be a good idea. I have to worry about pedestrians and the general public's welfare. :)

Ron and I are talking about getting married as soon as we get his house sold.  I'm ready!  I think 55 years is a long enough courtship don't you?   

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mike had his best day so far.  He was really thinking clear today and his knee wasn't bothering him as much!  His good day gave me a great day!  Here's to another good day tomorrow!

Back to work

I hear the wind howling this morning outside.  It doesn't make me want to jump up and head back to work.  It is so hard to go back after a 10 day vacation.  Although I wouldn't really call this holiday season a vacation.  I've never been so emotionally or physically tired in my life.  Taking care of Mike is like taking care of a child.  Only this child weighs 287 pounds and eats like a horse.  Same schedule, about every 3 hours he is wanting something and I have to tell him he can have fruit or jello.  I'm trying to watch what he eats to control his weight and in the process I've lost 6 pounds in a week.  Go figure!

Last night we talked about my going back to work today and he expressed that he was anxious.  He will stay here at my house until 8:30 when Ron comes to pick him up.  He will only be alone for 1 1/2 hours but he said he was afraid of hearing "the voices".  I'm afraid he has gotten used to  me being with him every minute.  I don't know how today is going to go.  He'll be alone from 9am - 4:30.  He did it for 3 days before the holiday but it's been awhile so we shall see.

Yesterday Ron and I took him to Walmart.  He drove the electric wheelchair and I helped him follow his list.  He even paid for everything by himself.  He said he had great fun....I was exhausted!  I'm so new to all this since he was so functional before this last psychotic break.  It reminds me of someone who has had a stroke.  Everything changed overnight.  I know we are just a flicker away from another psychotic episode and I'm constantly on the alert.  When he starts talking a little crazy my ears go up like a police dog.  I start questioning him like Joe Friday trying to figure out if this is his "normal" crazy or are we getting ready for full blown "off the bend". 

Now, I wouldn't be able to spell my own name right now if it were not for Ron.  He is the most amazing man I've ever known.  What man would even stick around for this?  Yet, he not ownly is here for me he is so kind and caring toward Mike.  Even when Mike constantly asks Ron to get him a drink of water or hand me this or hand me that.  Ron never loses his patience and never speaks unkindly to Mike.  When Mike says inappropriate things (like when we took him to Cracker Barrel last night).  Some friends came to the table and Mike blurts out in his most serious voice, "Ron is my friend since 1st grade, he has cancer and he's going to die."  Talk about a conversation killer.  But, Ron just put his arm around Mike's shoulder and said, "Not today Mike, I'm not dying today."  Afterward they had a serious talk about respecting privacy and that some things do not need to be told to other people.  Yet, he assured Mike that he wasn't mad at him and very much appreciated his concern for him.

I love this man........with all my heart, all my life!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Hate To Strip Wallpaper!!!!!!!

I asked Ron to smack me a good one if I ever go near wallpaper again.  We spent the day stripping wallpaper from my mother's room.  I put it up when she & Mike first moved here 18 years ago.  I wanted it to be like her room in her former home so she would feel at home in her new house.  I don't regret it because she loved it so much but ohhhhhhhhh how I hated stripping it off the walls today.  I'm exhausted.  Mike spent about 4 hours with my older brother while Ron and I worked on the bedroom.  We actually got it finished.  Now tomorrow I'll paint the room.  We are getting closer to having the room fixed up and ready to move in the furniture.  I guess we will be staying there at night once we get it finished.

We were going to experiment with Mike staying in his house alone tonight but he started getting anxious about it and I told him we would try another time.  I can't stand seeing him scared or anxious.  So we are back at my house and he and Ron are watching the Oklahoma Vs  Connecticut game in the Fiesta Bowl.   Two happy campers right now.

I was having an emotional day today but Ron helped me get my nerves settled down.  The only time I am completely overwhelmed is when I allow myself to imagine life without Ron.  I just start shaking and wondering how on earth I could go on without him.  It took me almost my entire life to find him again and he literally changed my life.  I'm praying so hard for a miracle!  Hope is the only thing that is keeping me going.