Category: The Family

Enough

I can’t be responsible for other people’s feelings. All I can do is treat the people around me with dignity and respect and not take it personal if they react in a negative way. I’m not the family counselor, mediator, referee, or general go between. I need the people in my life to start acting more like the adults they are and stop relying on me to help save the day, calm things down, or motivate. I’m not oppose to helping, that’s just in my nature. However, I expect people to learn how to do things themselves after awhile and that’s not happening. I know it’s me; I’m allowing it. The challenge is figuring out where the teaching stops and the enabling starts.

There’s a lot on my plate, more than the people around me know. Not that I have kept them in the dark on purpose, but because it’s just a continuation of me being sick for so long. Yes, my Amyloidosis is in remission, and I had a heart transplant that will extend my life, but I’ve really traded one set of problems for another. Before, I was just trying to survive and keep my heart beating a little bit longer. Now, I have to survive the anti-rejection drugs that have awful side effects, not to mention the handful of other medications I take for various things that still aren’t working like they should be, post-transplant.

I’m not myself yet; I’m carrying a sadness that I haven’t been able to shake. I’m frustrated that my house doesn’t feel like home right now. I’m irritated that some of the people around me aren’t doing their part to be full participants in our family and household. I hate feeling like I always have to be the bad guy to get things done. I’m tired of attitude, entitlement, laziness, and most of all feeling like I’m being taken advantage of. I want to live my life with joy, love and gratitude, but I’m finding it hard to keep focused on that when I feel like the energy around me is trying to derail me.

So, ENOUGH already! It’s time to change my approach, I can’t change the people in my life but I can change me. Not sure where to start but I’ll figure it out…

Finding a New Normal and Redefining Boundaries

I’ve been home in Wyoming for almost a month now and it’s been a challenge to find a new normal. I’m still tired, my sleep schedule is off, and I’m generally feeling sad, I guess. I have a lot of things I’d like to do, and I can do them, but I’m so overwhelmed by all of it I don’t know where to start. My house isn’t my house right now, my garage is full of not only things we brought back from Salt Lake City, but also most of the contents of my oldest son and daughter in-law’s apartment; they are living with us temporarily. The old fat cat is back to living in my office, and generally being a pain in my back side with her crankiness. That means my office is a hot mess instead of being a place I can go to decompress.

Nothing is where is should be, or at least that’s how it feels right now. Things don’t stay where they belong, or things are just left where they are set down and left for someone else to pick up. Then my husband likes to tell me about, and sometimes even shows me pictures of, the infractions of the other inhabitants of the house, which makes me feel responsible. I could tell him to handle it himself, but there is a part of me that doesn’t trust that he’ll do it in a way that won’t make things worse. As my oldest son would say “that sounds like a you problem” and it is my problem.

Are there things my husband could do different, of course, but at this point I simply don’t possess the patience for him to figure it out; it’s easier to do it myself. Spoken like a true control freak some who know me would say, but no less true right now. Emotionally I really can’t handle much more. My plate is full dealing with my own inner dialog and trying to help maintain the emotional stability of others around me. It can be emotionally draining a lot of the time. So much there are days I’d rather just stay in bed and sleep the day away and let everyone just fend for themselves and stay out of the drama.

Of course, burying my head in the sand and not dealing with my surroundings isn’t helping me move forward. After speaking with my therapist this week, I realize I need to set some clearly defined boundaries and expectations, then follow up with consequences if those around me chose to over step. The boundaries and expectations aren’t the hard part, it’s how do I impose consequences for the adults around me who really should know better.

Right now, I’m feeling like I need to just take a step back and take care of me for a little bit and do the things that make me feel better. If anyone wants my opinion, I’ll be happy to give it, but there will be no more unsolicited advice from me, not that any of them have ever listened to me anyway, so, why waste my breath. If you’re not living in my home, I don’t have anything to say about how you live your life. In my home is a little different story since I have to live here after you move on.

I tried to address the boundary conversation with my husband today and unfortunately it didn’t go very well. It kind of makes me dread having to broach the subject with the other folks in the house. I know it needs to be done, I just don’t know where to start.

My Little Sidekick

Thor-man after his hair cut.

My furry little friend has been the subject of my photo of the day for a few days now. It’s so nice to have my little sidekick with me again. It’s been six months since Thor and I’ve been together and we missed each other. He’s transitioned to apartment living really well and seems to be enjoying our trips down to the doggy area a few times a day, not to mention the car rides. Having him here helps me feel better when my husband’s not in town; I’m not as lonely. He’s such a sweet boy, and although he looks like a puppy he’s going to be seven years old on April 22nd.

I was worried he wouldn’t remember me and maybe not recognize me because my heart beat is so different, but that wasn’t the case.

DNA

Anyone that knows me very well knows I didn’t grow up with my biological father. Being that he and my mother were both 17 when I was born it stands to reason I may not have grown up with him around; how many children born to teen fathers do? It was never a secret who he was or where he was. My mother never kept me from him in any way. I even recall him coming to our home when I was about seven years old and giving me a birthday gift. I saw him again when I was 18, when I went looking for him; that didn’t go well. Then again when I was 22, pregnant with my oldest son, I was introduced to his wife and four children; my half siblings. It still seems strange to think I have four siblings out there that I know virtually nothing about, but anyway, that’s a story for another time. There has really been very little contact between us and almost all of it initiated by me.

When I was diagnosed with Amyloidosis in 2014 I reached out to him again. I mean really, he couldn’t ignore me anymore, could he? I was dying! I had just been given this awful diagnosis, and told that the mortality rate was about 6 to 18 months. Certainly he would have more than a few words to say to me, but no. When I spoke with him I didn’t know what kind of Amyloidosis I had and the only time he called me back was three weeks later to find out if the disease was hereditary or not, I didn’t hear from him again. Really, he didn’t know if I was alive or dead, and that’s when I decided I would just be fatherless. It would be easier to just not have a father (in the human sense, God my Father is a whole different story) and pretending he didn’t exist might shield me from the hurt I felt knowing, finally, that he really didn’t care!

During that last contact with both he and his wife, I was surprised by a speculation on their part that I was not his daughter. Now keep in mind I’m 43 years old at this point in time and this is the very first time I am ever hearing that he has any doubt that I may or may not be his offspring. His wife spouted off something about blood type, that was wrong, but otherwise no one gave me any information about why they doubted my paternity. Of course my mother has never wavered as to who my biological father is, and I believe her wholeheartedly. I don’t think a mother would lie to her daughter for 40+ years about something like that and I have never thought she did. But the lack of contact after knowing I was diagnosed with a terminal disease and the speculation that I wasn’t his child certainly explained why he didn’t appear to care how I was.

Fast forward to 2019 and me sitting around a little apartment in Salt Lake City almost four years in remission from that nasty disease that should have killed me, healing from a heart transplant. I get to thinking, does he even know if I’m alive, and does he really doubt I’m his daughter? Again, I tracked him down and called. Again, I was told that he doubted it, however this time I was given a name of a possible “alternate” father. Ultimately you have to love modern medical technology! Why don’t we put this all to rest once and for all. I don’t know that things will be any different once we have definitive proof, but a DNA paternity test would put this whole thing to rest. Assuming he is honest on his end and swabs the inside of HIS cheek and not his co-worker’s, we should get the results I’ve always known, and I think he has too, and that is, he’s my biological father.

So, you want to know the results, yeah, so do I! We’re still anxiously waiting. It shouldn’t take long, we both sent in our samples right away and it only takes 2 to 3 business days to process. Assuming the lab got our samples about the same time we should know by tomorrow, Monday at the latest, what the results are. Until then, we tentatively text each other in this weird kind of way, I’m not sure how to explain it. I feel like he’s texted me more words than he’s spoken to me in 47 years. Unfortunately, his contact is still for informational purposes, and not really an inquiry about me. Any results yet? I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. I don’t know him, and I don’t know what his life has been like, or what he’s been through. There may be perfectly valid reasons why he’s stayed out of my life, I don’t know. I hope once these results are in he’ll tell me.

UPDATE 3/12/2019: Probability of Paternity: 0% – I guess I’m on the hunt for a new “baby daddy”

Photo Challenge

Husband and I – January 1, 2019

I’m going to try the 365 day photo challenge again this year. So here is photo #1, my husband and I in one of our favorite places to hang out…in bed. I’m going to have to get use to having my photo taken, OY! This Prednisone face with bullfrog neck is driving me crazy, but it is what it is. At least my hair looks good. Thankfully, I won’t be on this dose of Prednisone forever so the size of my face will go back to normal, eventually.

I got the results of my December 27th right and left heart biopsy and blood tests. My white blood cells are back to normal, which means my bone marrow is finally doing it’s job. All of my other blood work was good, just needed some minor tweaks to my medication. I was finally cleared to drive, so I got to drive myself to cardiac rehab on Monday. My biopsy came back with no rejection…EXCITING! Even more exciting my Kappa and Lambda Free Light Chains which would be a measure of the amyloid in my system were the lowest they’ve ever been, meaning I’m still in complete hematological remission.

I’m so happy I’m starting to feel healthy again…

View the entire Gallery.