ADELE’S RESPONSE

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Hi Patricia,

I’ve been out of town for several days so it has taken me longer than usual to respond.

I’m glad you let me know how you felt in our last session… I know that takes courage and it is difficult to do. I regret that you didn’t feel like you received what you needed from me. I am confident that in the future the boundaries and space you need can be maintained and I welcome you to come in when you would find it helpful to do so. 

Sincerely,

Adele

GOOD CARE

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Four pills a day, and crush them  for the next six weeks. Make sure you do it three hours after eating, then wait an hour for the next meal. And don’t take other medications until two hours before or after.

Focus. Use the oven timer. How else could one do this? A hammer lays on the bread board at the ready. My concerns of dying from a heart attack compete with the surety of bleeding to death internally due to complications from the stomach stapling done over 30 years ago…a time when it was first being done, and not done right.

My bright idea of stopping the acid blocker that the news touted heavily as causing Alzheimer’s caused my stomach to bleed again several weeks ago. I did not want to stay on it if I did not have to. I seemed to be doing alright as I weaned off it. But the bleeding started again. I will always have to take this drug and that is a hard thing to accept.

The four times a day medication is temporary with about two more weeks left. That is taken to help the present bleed heal and there are signs that it is working. If the surgeon had taken the time to treat me as a human that needed explanations, I never would have stopped the high potency acid reducer.

He was cold and abrupt, even chastising in his rebuke about my being sick and acting depressed. His assistants, both women, have taught me more about what is happening to my body than the surgeon ‘god’ bothered to do.  And though this knowledge terrifies me, I am better off knowing.

The surgical area done so long ago can no longer tolerate being bombarded with stomach acid. I’ve had pain from it for the last five years without knowing why. The constant tiredness I coped with for many years was most likely due to a slow, steady bleed. 

The Meloxicam prescribed for the impinged shoulder a year ago caused the bleed to escalate. I was unable to stand and went by ambulance for a four day hospital stay. For much of the stay the weakness was so intense that even talking to Samuel, who sat by my side all day every day, took more effort than I possessed.  

I should not have been prescribed any type of anti-inflammatory…ever. I was not told that way back when I had the surgery. Doctors today know this yet many are too busy to even read a patient’s history. And too many do not take the necessary and crucial time to explain and educate.

Future research includes scouring out a second opinion from a Bariatric Specialist. And it also includes finding a therapist that’s reliable; one who has some basic understanding of how an adult who has been sexually attacked as a child will build castles around their true feelings— and an experienced therapist confident in themselves and their abilities won’t take it personally. They are out there. Raymond was one.

Linda also helped after my mother died 7 years ago. I saw her several months and the only personal details I knew about her included the fact that she would soon retire and had grown children. She did not need to press upon me personal details to feel important or needing to flaunt herself. She focused on my needs and showed great kindness. So the search goes on…

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EQUILIBRIUM

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Hang on tight to peace… I knew when I wrote that it wasn’t possible. One can choose to let things go, and sometimes lose the fight. Simple things upset my equilibrium. One moment OK, the next? Up till 3 AM taking a double dose of Xanax which makes me sleepy the entire next day. And I haven’t had to that in a long while, though this past few weeks twice now. 

Autumn’s approach has exacerbated my sleep issues as my brain adjusts to less light. Going to chorale adds tension by tiny interactions which make me lie awake thinking about them; a new member more aggressive than me, pulling up her chair in the middle of an intense discussion with my neighbor who was fascinating me with her story.

What do I do? Well, as the people pleasing ‘nice girl’ that my mother trained me to be, I pulled back my chair to make room for her, and never heard the rest of this wonderful story. Others would look at her briefly than go right back to their conversation until finished.

The fact that Adele hasn’t bothered to respond, and my guess never will, makes me feel as if I’m not meant to have help and support. I know in my mind that is not a true fact, it just feels that way. I feel like others get a  fix on my insecurities and take advantage of them as she seems to be doing.

One way to hurt me back is to ignore me. I had been in so much pain about that very fact as I cried and grieved about siblings who didn’t bother to respond or acknowledge my pain. And like a previous therapist, Matt, they feel they can get away with outlandish behavior. I still question myself. If I’d stayed quiet, I’d still have her. To have to open the telephone book to start again is just too much right now.

I must keep reminding myself that the tendency to be thrown off-balance by even minor outside stimuli is something permanent. It is a hard one to accept and bent me over with a sob while walking. It is just the way it is due to such trauma in childhood, so much that even in my 60’s, my psyche will not allow it to surface in order to protect the balance I have achieved.

During the years I spent working  as a Psych nurse I knew, “There but for the grace of god go I,” and treated the patients accordingly. If my memories of Danny’s attacks come, I may need that kind of care. And if so, I hope to be treated with the same kindness and gentleness.

I loved my job except for some of the people I worked with. Some people do that kind of work because they are in need of as much help as the patients, and rather than calm them they upset them more. I’ve been victim to such types with colleagues I worked with. But there are still those that help a great deal. 

I was especially capable of assessing patients as they came into the ER overnight when the psychiatrists were home in bed, although equally capable when assigned Charge nurse. The doctors I called, still groggy in bed, trusted my judgement whether to admit or not. Knowing deep pain, one recognizes it. 

The patients who were admitted were calm, unlike the state they were in when the other nurses brought them up. When a person is treated with compassion and respect when in such pain, they feel relieved and safe, not frightened.

The only trouble for me was during those times when I reviewed records in the ER then did the face to face assessments conducted in the little cubicle was that I had to be focused. I still spent much time far away in my ‘other world.’ I did not learn it was safe to be present until I began meditating a few years later. 

I know I have much to be thankful for…and tomorrow is another day.

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WHOLE

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The day started dreary, overcast, and cloudy. Saying bye to Samuel, it was time to meditate. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to feel my feelings or be me. Yet during the process my insides settled and more positive feelings arose after a few tears. A sadness sinks in as fall arrives, but not one that cripples. I can usually deal with it, though not always.

After Shane calls, as he often does on his way to work, the sun came out and a soft breeze brought soothing warmth during the meadow walk. The flower pots needed water, and I snipped fresh herbs to mix with the burgers to be broiled later.

Feeling energized the outing to do errands became enjoyable, not tedious.

A day can start at a low point but move upward with habits that are self-caring. My ‘happy’ isn’t kicking my heels and going full out, it is feeling centered, whole, and accepting of all that is there inside, letting it flow up and out. Smiles that come feel genuine, not forced and peace found is held tight.

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APPLESAUCE & FOOT-BALL

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I sigh while closing windows for the night. Warm days, cold nights, and though I love fall it is hard to let summer go. A few crisp leaves crunch underfoot on the meadow walk. Samuel surprised me by coming down and sitting near-by in the other Adirondack chair. We sit in the sun quietly then hold hands on the way back.

I finally relayed the ‘Adele’ story, hesitant because he seems to see the other side of it every time which feels oppositional and lonely.  

“You know, I pay Adele $120 each session,” I began. That hit him where it hurts and his response this time felt like he was on my side.  Tears fell and I hadn’t realized how hurt I feel because of losing hope this will work out. 

After explaining how the time went he said, “Unprofessional. You should ask for twelve dollars back for the 5 or 6 minutes she wasted, and she needs a dog-sitter.” 

He figured out the cost per minute as I did. No response from Adele yet, but I’m feeling as if I can not work with someone who I have to tell how to do the work. 

William, my seven year old grand-son is now in foot-ball. They do it up right, cheer-leaders, an announcer, music, and a food stand, all for second-graders. It is fun, though at 9 am in the morning a lap blanket is required. I delivered two buckets of applesauce made the night before to Shane and his family after the game. 

Yearly I’ve gone to the county farm to buy a bushel of seconds to make into applesauce. My two sons ate huge bowls of home-made sauce after school each day. Now Shane’s kids love Nana’s applesauce too.

Shane is one of the coaches, just as he helped coach base-ball and soccer this summer. It is so satisfying to see my son so involved in his own son’s activities. He is also a den leader of William’s Cub Scout group and this year took on the role of pack leader. It makes me dizzy thinking of being that active and busy but I’m happy that he is.