Monday, August 26, 2013

From the Mouth of a Hoarder Time.... (FTMOAH!) Week 3 post op for Lisabeth

Today is 24 days post-op for me, (if you are a first time visitor here, please see the post on 8/7/2013 as your interest dictates!) and today marks 3 weeks out of the hospital.  

I am doing very well, and have realized through this recovery a few things:

  • I am not Superwoman, and I am not quite as young and resilient as I used to be...
  • I am, however, doing fantastically well by my and my doctor's accounts, and minimizing my stress level seems to help that by leaps and bounds.  I get stressed past a certain level, and it is like I over-exerted and I am down for a day or two.
  • So- based on this, I have realized that my energy is not endless, it is more like a rather limited checking account.  To make withdrawals, I have to make the appropriate deposits of resting, and the like.
  • The other conclusion that I arrived at is ... as I continue my healing journey and have fully recovered, that there is a lesson to be learned from this.  I must internalize it, and be able to successfully implement it.  That means my interaction with my mother.
I have been keeping her at a distance, and if she is narcissistic, mean, morbid, intrusive or macabre... I end the call.  We are talking maybe each third day, just enough to keep her for calling work, anyone else, or engaging in her terrifying stalking behavior.

I have not discussed any additional issues health wise, and I will not permit her to start to ask 'medical' questions or deflect anything to her.  The conversations for the most part, have been rather surface.  

I called to check in today, and got a dose of FTMOAH. 

She was in a dither.  She stated she had 'made' a TMJ orthodontic device (which she calls an 'orthotic') to keep her teeth apart and her jaw from hurting.  Apparently she has misplaced it in the hoard.  And went into great detail about her travails in attempting to locate it.  During this discussion she mentioned:
  1. She found an entire kitchen drawer full of McDonald's, Burger King's, name-the-US-fast-food-chain-in-Appalachia's soft drink drinking straws, still in their little wrappers.  She asked if the local domestic shelter would want them...  Um... NO!
  2. She also was amused by the discovery, and said she was not sure why she kept all of those, as she goes to McD's for a sweet tea (YUK) and she uses and reuses the straws she gets, and she rinses them out every so often, and gets several days to longer out of them...  <the sound of Lisabeth's head imploding... GAH!>
  3. In looking for something else, she found a brand new toilet flapper that had been in the bathroom a really long time... and asked if they went bad or had an expiration date.  Now, I told her to throw it away, but I know this will come up again, and again.  It has been in her house a minimum of 20 years.  Some of those years with no HVAC.  I can only imagine...
  4. She then stated, "I am not sure how I got all this stuff in here.  I cannot find anything, and I probably do not need all this stuff.  I try to go through something and it does not look like I did anything at all, and I get so tired... "
At that point I ended the call.  I know where it was going.  It was going to 'poor me, no one will help me churn and reshuffle this stuff, and obsess over trash being re-homed to someone that will use it like it was a puppy or a kitten.  

She is also being very good and not 'going there' with many of the areas that are off limits.  Of course, a couple times I called she was so negative and having violent ideations about neighbors that I would immediately end the call, maybe a sentence or two into it.  I am not listening to it.  She does wing some value judgments in, things like 'oh... you are out running around again' and telling me what I should and should not do since she had an umbilical hernia repaired in the early 70's... ugh.  She is always focused on the neighbors, on their incomes, on their choices... It is the same conversation over and over.

So, I am keeping contact minimal, short, and when she makes a swan dive off the diving board of tolerable I end the call.  

I think I may continue this after I return to work, and my normal existence.  Although the longer contact does have a downside, if she is cycling behavior-wise I do not have any forewarning or opportunity to attempt to mitigate it somewhat.  But, that is not my problem.  

Thanks to all my friends and readers for your support, comments, emails, and all the kindness and good wishes.  I am still not 100%, but I am doing well.  And what health problems I am dealing with now as a result of the size of the tumor and the things it pushed against and possibly damaged, I still think will improve, and are improving.  Will I be back to what I was pre-tumor?  Maybe not 100%... but I am grateful for every bit of it.  

I have also not discussed my 'Frankenbelly' with my hoarding mother.  The hysterectomy incision from 2007 is huge, and now I have this even larger one that is just a couple of inches from the end of my solar plexus to the old incision.  The landscape is not smooth.  I have divots, and folds I did not have.  My belly button is down and to the side, and about 1/3 of what it was.  Right now, my abdomen resembles the battleground that it was.  And I am working on honoring, and accepting it as well.  And I do not need any negativity or judgment from her on this.  I am already getting a lot of guff from concerned friends and my doctors about my low, low weight right now.  I know when I start exercising/lifting/running, my belly will change and evolve to a more final state, and I will pick up the muscle weight I have lost.  I definitely am glad she cannot see me, after her reaction to me in April when I was 23 pounds heavier and and she informed me that I was going to die.  

But, again, I am staying focused on what is ahead of me.  Getting back to health.  Getting back to work, and staying balanced this time.  Getting back to my work out regimen.  And I have to focus on the positive.  I have a shining example, 7 hours away of what focusing on the worst gets you.  

Have a great evening to everyone!  Oh... and her did-it-herself-because-she-will-not-pay-for-a-professionally-fitted-TMJ-device?  I suspect that it is a pencil, wrapped in packaging tape, with some sort of headband on it.  Maybe I should go to a BDSM website and send her a pony-bridle gag?  <Evil Lisabeth...>


  1. So glad to hear that you continue to recover well. And also glad that you are not putting up with any nonsense talk from your parent. Keep on keeping well.

  2. I could have written that. You have a great attitude working right now.

    Also, you signed that wrong. It's EviLisaBeth. One L. tee hee


  3. Nelly:

    Thank you so much. I am really working to keep the 'lessons learned', and the boundaries, intact.

    And EvilLisaMe:-)

    Got it! LOL.

    -Lisabeth... aka EvilLisaBeth