Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Doctor's Visits, Surprises, and What I Should Be Doing Right Now...

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment. The one that you have to go to because, if you don't schedule it and actually show up, the doctor will not refill your prescriptions and then you are all out of luck. We have a terrific doctor. He is the same one I take my grandma to. Leonard initially "found" him 9 years ago, when we moved here and I was impressed enough to stop going to U of M and just let him coordinate my care here. It has gone rather well, except for that moment in 2005, but that wasn't his was the hospital and surgeon's fault. So there I was, feeling pretty good about myself because I've finally gotten up the nerve to go back to the gym (a new gym that doesn't remind me so much of better, happier times) and restart my cardio/circuit schedule. The nurse took my blood pressure and said to me,"Are you stressed?" Oh....hahahahahahaahahahahahaahHAHAHAHAHAHA... My response,"Maybe just a little." Because I hate being whiney and poor me-ish and still have quite a bit of doctor=authority going on in my head even though I will deny it. So they did an orthostatics ('s the one where they take your resting pulse and BP and your standing pulse and BP) and my resting pulse and BP were 140/98 and 143 respectively. Yes, I am a little stressed. My doctor came in and the same old ensued..."Did you take the Toprol/Diovan/Tambocor?" and "We're going to up the Toprol for just a little while...when was the last time you saw the cardiologist..blah blah blah blah..." and I was crushed over this,"Stay away from the gym for a week to give the meds time..." even as I argued that I often check my heartrate and it is really only in the 160's when I'm giving it my all on the treadmill and can't I...? Bleh... So I'm mad and sad all at the same time. I used to come home and do all the whining (the stuff I don't do at the dr's office) to Leonard and he was so good at being so very caring and put uppy with me. My left knee cap is apparently still drifting off to the west and a few other things. Then came the Q and A "How's your head" part of the visit. I do like this doctor because he is thorough, cares about the body and mind, explains things and such, but I don't want him to be that way and it kind of sucks that my dad has the same doctor because he tells him stuff. Stuff that he surmises about me. And I don't like that. And I told both the doctor and my father this yesterday. Yes, I appreciate that my father cares about me and my wellbeing but I am 37, quite smart, still here, still managing so please don't treat me like a 12 year old even though I know that is what Dads like to do and they really can't help themselves... (I know that was a run on sentence but in real life, I tend to talk in runons and it sometimes makes me feel better to type like I talk and I would totally irritate the heck out of most of you if we were ever to talk on the phone...) End of appointment. New appointment made for BP/pulse/weight (apparently he is not delighted by my recent weight loss like I would be if it were any other year) and I will try and figure some way out of it because that is what I do. Day made better by trip to Trader Joe's with K, my dad's girlfriend. I am really getting to know her more as the months go by and it was nice to spend some more time with her. It was sweet when James came home from school. He didn't see K in the kitchen and came in all "Mom! Mom! I can play you a whole song on the recorder!!!!" and then he saw K and dropped his bag and launched himself at her for a hug. My mother doesn't realize what she is giving up.

I have been teasing James all week, in an attempt to get him out of bed in the morning. I have told him I have this huge surprise for him (which I do because I am not really that mean. He has spent all week so far trying to figure it out. "I know! We're getting the car washed!!!" (isn't he the greatest that he thinks that is a "surprise"? either that or I am the lamest, laziest mama in the world...) and "You bought a PS3 with Call of Duty 4!!!!?" (Okay, maybe I am the lamest because that's not it either) The surprise is that I am picking up his cousins today (they are off for Spring break) and we will surpise him at school and then go to a show and dinner. He loves spending time with his cousins and they have been desperate to see him.

What I should be doing instead of fretting over doctor's appts and surprises is PACKING... You know the thing from last month. I tell myself I will just get it done, and clean the fridge, and clean the bedroom so my dad has someplace to sleep when he teen sits Nik, and scrub the floors and dust and blah, blah, blah... Instead I am sitting here, doing this and watching the time slip away again...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Still here...Still Crazy

It would be proper for me to just post a hello every once in awhile, wouldn't it?

I'm okay. Really. It was a "brick wall weekend" but it's over.

It was a week in which my grandmother, and subsequently mother disowned me.

It was a week in which I couldn't pretend to be somebody else because the memories kept prying open the door of my denial.

It was a week in which I realized that the basement now smells like the place Leonard worked because his rollaway has now been down there for 6 months...

It was a week, I guess.

I was doing good on Wednesday, and I should have shared that with you all so that this wouldn't be an almost week long "run away" on my part. I guess I could be honest and say that sometimes the truly anonymous posts make me feel like I'm "doing it all wrong". So I thought about turning off the anonymous feature and then argued with myself (I always win, go figure) that it wasn't in keeping with my thoughts of what the comments section is for. I always said I wouldn't touch it because it's not my place----it's yours. It's even anonymous's. So I will keep it the way it is.

I also "got something out" that I needed to. I put it somewhere else. And I think that exhausted my emotionally. I happy and yet sad that some more now know. I worry you see. Mark this paragraph down as one that doesn't make sense.

On Thursday morning, I picked up my Grandma to take her to the doctor. I talked about my grandma back on Halloween and how she can make me feel at times. She is her daughter's mother. That hurts, in lots of ways, because I looked up to her so very much as a child. Never seeing the faults. Always seeing what it was she wanted me to see. I guess we are all that way. On the drive to the doctor we were talking about just stuff really. I don't talk about Leonard, or loss, or my grief with her really because it becomes a contest for her. Who has it worst. And I really am trying not to fall into the bitterness pit. It appears bottomless. As we were driving she said to me,"You all have to realize my life has completely changed..." and it made me smile. I have always felt bad over the loss of Grandpa because he was a wonderful man. She has lived, basically the same life now, for the last 7 years with my mom. I know it is tough, but she is obtuse as well. We get to the doctor's office, sign in and all is going well because I basically am just listening. When they went to weigh her (my grandmother-in my opinion and her doctor's- has geriatric anorexia) she said,"Ohhh ho! I don't want to get up there today. I've lost a bunch what with mouth surgery (she had a tooth pulled) and all..." She weighed the same as at her last visit. "I must be bloated because I've lost,"she whispered harshly in my ear. I told her not to fixate so much on weight and food...that she had been doing well. I was becoming emotionally and physically overhwhelmed by this. It amazes me how much I cannot do and/or put up with anymore. We sat and waited for the doctor. I said something about my dad (big mistake) and because I don't want to keep saying "and" here is what happened...

Grandma: "You're mother put up with so much while trying to raise you kids..."
Me: "Dad was there for quite a bit of it, while Mom was doing her stuff."
Grandma: "I was there...and I remember"

Interjection: I lived within driving distance of my grandma for approximately 5 years of my childhood...the rest was spent in places where she visited once a year or so...

Me:"Grandma, come on, let's not do this. I truly was there. I grew up in the house. Let's just be happy for them..."

Grandma: "Your mother was right. You three (me and my brothers) are never there for her. You've chosen your father and you just don't care enough to do or be anything for her. How selfish you are."

Me:"&*#&*^@^! (of course in a church whisper...we were in the doctor's office) Grandma, what will I ever do to make her, and you, happy? It is not enough that I have helped her out emotionally and financially in the past. That I drive you to the doctor's for both her and you...and it doesn't bother me?"

Grandma:"Well obviously it does and you NEVER have to do it again..."

Me:"You know, I have tried to reason but my husband (insert words that are too graphic and painful for me to repeat because I am not in the same frame of mind and I don't want the recounting to be as horrid as the actual) and the children are all that I can deal with and I just can't do this, or the mind games or the crap anymore. Not from you. Not from mom."

Grandma:" Well I tried to love you. I really did. I offered to love the girl 'you say' you've become but I guess you just shut poor old grandma out." (no, I am not-although I wish I was-making this up)

Me:" I think you are the one who is doing that."

Grandma: "No. You hate me. It's obvious. You hate me..."

Me:"Yep, I hate you." (/sarcasm off)

Grandma:"Yes you do..."

Can you see where this went in a fairly quick and juvenile like manner? And I was mad at myself, and yet glad that I got it out. It excised a little bit of the cancer of bittness from my soul. I don't want to be like them. I strive to not be that way.

The rest of the appointment (thank goodness the doctor arrived) went fairly well. She is healthy. Nothing's wrong. Nothing ever is. But these are visits that she requires and I did take her without hating it to every one. (Gosh, why do I feel like I am pleading my case here?). She was acting quite melancholy and said,"Well then I guess I'm a healthy old lady then, eh?" to which the doctor replied,"You're a healthy young woman Margaret...with a good family to support you..." and I swear I could see her eyebrows waggle up and down from almost directly behind you. The doctor (who also happens to be our family doctor) looked at me and I just winked. And we were done.

They were going to book another appointment but she said she would "wait", until the nurse reminded her that on her next appointment the doctor would want to excise a mole she had on her face. Her face brightened at the thought of possible surgery (add Munchausens to the previous diagnosis) and she said,"I suppose I should schedule that...if my granddaugher can 'stand' to take me..." and so the appointment was made. And I didn't feel so very much better after all. She went home and, predictably, told my mom. I just can't do that, with them, anymore. I need the bits of strength for surviving the last bit of Nik's childhood and the years I have to guide James. Truth be told, I'm not doing a very bang up job of keeping him scheduled and well rested. And I hate myself for it.

So, in a nutshell, it basically spiralled down from there. I found Leonard's secret stash of candy (one I didn't know he had) and it made me cry at the little boyness that could be him. My kids colored eggs with my dad. My dad and his girlfriend came over Easter morning for the traditional eggs and bacon. It hit like a wave again; Leonard not being here. He needed to be here to crack eggs on his kids' heads. I stayed home while the children went to visit my mom and grandma with their baskets. I didn't want to cast a shadow over it. There was no basket from Nonny this year. It hurts that her anger at me is directed at the children. She doesn't realize it. There is nothing I can do. I can't do it with them anymore. For my health.

There was a birthday party for my nephew thrown in there somewhere too and it was good to see my son smiling.

There was also a wonderful, handstamped card from Lissie. Thank you so much Lissie. You all touch me in so many ways and I am glad that I have this little blog, if only for meeting so many wonderful people and being able to share what was once a blissful life with you all.