bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘friends’

Forty Hours and Counting Down

I’ve never been so excited about having surgery in my life!  Oh, yeah.  I’ve never had surgery.  Oh well.  I’m still excited.

I haven’t been feeling so hot the last week or so, and that just cements my belief that this hysterectomy is the right thing to do.  I feel like I’m really on top of the whole situation, so BRING IT ON!  My doctor said to me this morning, “I’m excited!  I’ll see you Wednesday!”  That made me laugh.  He doesn’t usually make jokes.

I was supposed to attend the Hearts at Home conference in Normal, IL next weekend, but obviously, that ain’t gonna happen.  I missed the cancellation deadline, so I started checking around to see if anyone wanted to go in my place.  I have two friends that are going (and I’m really bummed about missing out time with them), and I was afraid that if no one took my place, then I would be stuck with a tote bag that cost $90.  (I paid $90 for the conference, and my friends would have picked up my tote bag for me.)  Well, anyway, I called the Hearts at Home office expecting to at least change my reservation to a non-attendee packet which would include the tote bag and audio of the keynote speaker and 4 workshops of my choice.  Well, let me tell you, once you say the word “hysterectomy,” people immediately try to help you out.  The lovely ladies from Hearts at Home gave me my money back, minus the $20 registration fee.  This was even without asking!  And, I am several days past the deadline.  How nice is that?

I’ve come to the conclusion that “hysterectomy” is second only to “cancer” when playing sympathy/empathy cards.  Cancer will always win that one.

It feels really strange to have meals being brought in from yesterday through the 24th.  I keep saying to myself, “It’s not like I have cancer!”  But, I know people want to help.  And, from what I’ve heard, I won’t be feeling much like cooking or bending over and putting stuff in the oven for awhile.

In the book 90 Minutes in Heaven, the author writes about his reluctance to accept help.  This was due, in part, to his being a pastor and, therefore, used to helping others, not being helped.  I’m no pastor, but I prefer to help than be helped.  I’ve really been working on it, though.  My family is trying so hard to help.  They want to do something.  And, according to the book, I should not rob them of that.  So, I ask for some envelopes or a refill on my water.  It shocked me how happy they were to do it! 

I mentioned to Tom yesterday that I would like to be able to use my laptop after surgery, but had heard that I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavier than my purse.  (I’m guessing this is an average weight.  My mom’s purse is usually quite heavy.  She’s like Mary Poppins.  Everything is in that bag.  And, at the low end of the scale, are the TV actresses’ purses.  See previous blog.)  Well, a laptop is pretty heavy when you think about it.  So, I mentioned possibly putting felt on the legs of a TV tray so that I could pull it close to the chair or push it away easily on the hardwood floor.  Tom jumped right up and did it.  Right then!  Wow.  That was unusual. 

What I have already realized is that it is easy to be the patient.  You just deal with it.  Whatever “it” is.  But, your loved ones?  They watch from the outside wanting to help you, but feeling helpless.  Wanting to do something, but not know what you want or need.  I’ve now been on both sides, and that’s what I’ve observed. 

So, the next time you are the one who is “down and out” as it were, please get over yourself and accept help.  It may be the nicest thing you can do for your friends and loved ones.

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Help Yourself!

Today was not the greatest of days.  A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that my stomach hurt, supposedly out of guilt.  (which has yet to be proven, but we’ll go with that for now.) 

This morning, I thought I was going to jump out of my skin.  That is the best way I can describe it.  Anxious.  Teetering on the edge of a cliff feeling.  Then, my stomach just hurt.  Then, I worried about why I was hurting and then worrying about it.

I kept trying to tell myself that I am not going to be “normal” anymore.  What used to be normal for me is no longer going to be.  And, what was normal then was no picnic for those around me, nor for myself, because I would always crash after a period of normalcy.  Mental illness stinks.  Calling it mental illness stinks too.

So, I had to figure out what to do to make myself feel “better.”  My upper back has been hurting (there I go again, sounding like I’m 82), so I haven’t gotten much sleep.  (DING!  Trigger time!)  So, I popped a couple of ibuprofen and took a 30 minute nap.  Woke up and felt pretty good for about, oh, 3 minutes.

Then, Bam!  Back to feeling cruddy.  So.  Now what, Michelle? 

Can’t call your mom because she is going to go out to lunch with her friend.  And, two things would happen if you called:  1)  She would take time for you, and not be as ready as she’d like to be for her lunch and 2) She’d think about you while having lunch, therefore not enjoying herself.  Now, I know you are reading this, Mom, and believe me, I did this just as much for myself today.  How cruddy would I feel if I messed up your day?  Pretty cruddy.  Let’s look at Option #2.

Option #2:  Call and talk to Dad.  Great listener, but this was going to call for more than just listening.  It would require my going over there.  And, the timing would definitely still interfere with Mom’s day, so she’d know about it, and (see option#1)  My dad rocks, and would quickly suggest we meet somewhere for breakfast/lunch.  Normally, that would be reason enough to call him.  Yum!  However, I have really been watching what I eat, and going out to eat didn’t sound good at all, and might have been counter-productive.

Option #3:  Call Tom.  Tom had a big presentation today at work.  I really try not to call him anyway, because what can he do?  He’s half an hour away.  So, my calling him makes him feel helpless and causes him to not be able to concentrate on his job.  And, I don’t have to tell you all how important having a job is.  🙂

Option #4:  (Yeah, I really did think of all these.  My mind tends to do this.)  Phone a friend.  No not Regis Philbin.  One of my many friends that has said, “Call me any time.”  Well, you all are so sweet, but there were reasons I didn’t call each of you.  Too numerous to mention, and possibly too personal.  Just know I thought of you.  😉

So, I was out of options.  But, I persevered.  I decided to go to The Happiest Place on Earth.  I know.  You think that’s Disneyland.  Well, you are wrong.  It’s Wal-Mart.  Well, it was as close as I could get in under an hour to a pretty happy place.  Plus, I needed a few items.

Well, you know how it is.  When you aren’t feeling well, things just don’t go right.  I couldn’t find my car keys.  I was sitting on them.  And, that was before I even left the house, obviously.

I hit Wal-Mart, and stuck to my list, for the most part.  Just getting out did help a little.  And, I was proud of myself for not hitting the chocolate aisle, just ripping open a package, and sitting in the middle of the aisle looking like Augustus Gloop. 

I then drove down to Lion’s Choice.  Ordered a sandwich, NO FRIES, and a diet Dr. Pepper.  Then I drove to/through Greensfelder Park and enjoyed the scenery and weather.

But, what I did next was what made me turn the corner.  Get out your notebooks, kiddies.  On my .mp3 player, I watched an episode of “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”  And, laughed and laughed.  Right there in my minivan.  After it was over, I realized I felt much better. 

Huh.  That “laughter is the best medicine” thing may have some merit after all.

Yes, I’m Still Here

I forget that some people come here to find out how I am doing.  Just remember, friends, that usually “no news is good news.”  It usually means I am too busy to write, or just can’t think of anything to write.  I realize that I am rarely at a loss for words, but it is harder to blog than it looks sometimes.

Actually, there have been some things going on in my life that were a little too personal to write about.  Plus, I have made a promise to myself to not write about other people in my life, especially those that read this.  🙂  But, things are just fine and I’m not on the edge of some cliff somewhere.  I promise.

I love fall and so the good moods abound!  Two weekends ago it was so warm, it bummed me out a little.  We had friends in town that wanted to go to the pumpkin patch while they were here.  It was about 80 degrees, I think, so the bees were all over the lemonade stand.  YIKES!  So, our pumpkin patch pictures show us all in shorts.  I will say, though, that my godson, William who is only 4 months old enjoyed the warmer weather, I’m sure.  We had fun propping him up against pumpkins.

But, regardless of the weather, we had a great time with our friends.  And, isn’t that what life is all about?

Take Care of Yourself

I’m taking the day off today.  It’s Thursday and I’m wiped out.  I’ve been helping with VBS and even though I am not in charge this year, I’ve been up a church a lot this week.  Plus, my daughter has had dance recital and practices all week.  And will have through the weekend, so that involves shuttling her to and from and  doing my part in volunteering.  But, today is my day to stay home.

I was able to go over to a friend’s house and help her start selling stuff on ebay.   I could sleep in without thinking that if I didn’t get up, I wouldn’t get much done at church, and I can lounge around in comfy clothes.

As I told my mom, if I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t take care of my family.  I learned that in MOPS.  And, it is so very true.  I realize I’m pushing it when I feel like I’m on the brink of crying more than once a day.

You know what else I realized today?  No one cared that I was taking today off.  What I mean by that is that I didn’t get any calls saying, “Where are you?  Can you come help?”  None.  Na da.  Zip.  That just shows me that I put more pressure on myself than others do, plus I have a great group of friends that understand me.

That is worth more than they can possibly imagine.  I’ll tell them that.  After my day off. 

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