Monday, July 31, 2017

'Normal' is a setting on the dryer... Another episode that includes 'From The Mouth Of A Hoarder'!

Ye gods where do I start...  She keeps giving me so much material of late.  I will start with the FTMOAH...
[Referencing her disgusting act of peeing in a cup to see what color her urine was...] "I have a disgusting question for you..."

NO.  Just NO.

"You know day before yesterday when I peed it the cup and it was orange?  Well, I decided that maybe I should keep it to show the doctor [if she went to a doc-in-a-box] so this morning when I got it out of the refrigerator it was still orange, but there was a whole lot of sediment in the bottom and..."

<Presses END CALL repeatedly>
"... So I am giving [the charity] a whole box of new things I got from [local hardware store as premiums] all except the new toilet brush, it makes a great back scratcher.  I am going to keep it next to my chair..."
[Discussing her six year old lawnmower that the ignition switch went bad on apparently]..."And I know IT HAD HELP!  HE BROKE IN and either shoved something in the ignition or messed with the wires because ..."
[Talking about the neighbor's fiancee that came to see about her lawn mower who is diabetic, in his late 70's and recovering from serious spinal fusion surgery, c-diff and hospital induced pneumonia...]"He is SO BIG and he is totally WHITE HEADED!  I was SHOCKED!"

What makes the difference?  Many folks over the age of 40 are seriously gray, and weight is a shallow way to judge someone [trying to not call her out for being so shaming of someone for aging when she is nearly 81, gray and you name it].  
I am missing several other things, it is just out of reach some of the more recent comments she has made that are racist, irrational or just over-the-top paranoid.

So- she continues to have no air conditioning, no one will come back to replace her roof, and she continues on her normal, negative trajectory.  

This past weekend I attended my high school reunion.  I decided definitively that I was going the day before the deadline to cancel my hotel for a full refund.  The major reason for the indecision was I am having surgery next Monday, and last week my preoperative mammogram came back not-so-great.  I had to get additional testing on the Thursday before.  Luckily, it came back okay for now, and they will stagger tests so I am being monitored every 3 months for a while.  So all that is happening on Monday is the tumor/cyst/mass removal and removal of the last remaining ovary.  My mother has not asked when my surgery is of late, and I have no intention of telling her.  She will do NOTHING to help, and she will most likely grandstand and make my life (and recovery) absolutely miserable like she did in August of 2013 and July of 2014.  I cannot take it.  Even if she asks, I am not telling her when it is.  I just secured a hotel room near the hospital to keep my friend that is taking (and me!) from having to leave here at 5am or before.  They will not know until they get in me how invasive things will be, and whether I will have to stay past that evening.  With things so up in the air, she will DEFINITELY go to 'worst case scenario' and then I will get to hear about her ovarian cyst rupture and hysterectomy in 1984.  Because everything is a springboard for her to talk about herself.  I will just not call her that weekend and that Monday, and hopefully I can call her and sound somewhat normal on Tuesday.  I hope.  And if I can, I may not tell her until it is long over.  

Sorry, I digress.  Back to the reunion saga.  Now, her chiropractor is a classmate, and informed my mother of the reunion and asked "Is Lisabeth going to visit when she is in?"  To which my mother informed her that she did not know a reunion was happening, I had not told her.  So, after quite a bit of thought, and after my mother's neighbor sent me a picture she had taken secretly, I know why my mother has steadfastly refused to see me since three months to my life threatening issue in 2013.  She is not disabled and mobility challenged as she claims, she is not dangerously frail and thin, and she is now white headed.  If she sees me, all of her house of cards falls.  I had events pretty much all weekend, but I could see her the night I arrived for 2-3 hours, and was going to offer to meet her at 5ish pm and a restaurant of her choosing.  I called at 12 noon as I was leaving, and advised her voice mail that I would be in the car for quite a while, to call me.  Over 2 hours later, she had not called, and I called again and left a message to call me when she got the message.  Torrential downpours and wrecks slowed me down, and by the time I arrived at the historic hotel I had reserved a room at, it was past 6pm.  No word.  I went and got dinner at my favorite local pizza place and just had time to get back to the hotel and shower and change for that night's reunion kick off.  Nothing from her on Friday, nothing on Saturday.  I could have made time for her on Saturday, but I was not chasing her.  I met her neighbor for breakfast (who confirmed she is spry and gets around just fine) and went to a restaurant with some high school friends that ironically, was 2 miles from her home.  I had to drive past her street to get there.  NOTHING.  Now, I know for a fact that when the Chiropractor, Dr. Wednesday told her that, she wrote it in her calendar.  So whether she will admit it or not, she knew that most likely I was on the way the the town I grew up in for the reunion when I left the messages.  

Friday night the chiropractor was there, but I managed to ignore her and did not interact.  I do not need a load of guilt from a 'wonderful stranger' or 'flying monkey', especially when she should not be acknowledging my mother is her patient under the ethics of confidentiality.  I also know that Dr. Wednesday saw me, so she will turn herself inside out to say "Did you and Lisabeth have a nice visit when she was in for the reunion?" the first time my mother is there for her monthly adjustment.  

Sunday, I met a high school friend for lunch, and left my natal state happily.  I had a great time, but I wanted to go back home.  At 5 pm, my phone rang and it was my hoarding mother.  I did not answer, and did not return her call until I walked in my apartment 3 hours later.  She was escalated about her mower not starting because everything is Defcon 1.  She wanted me to order a part from Amazon because she does not use her credit cards online.  Um... NO.  Ironically, I had received a call that morning about one of my cards being fraudulently compromised that morning at the stroke of 8am.  We got off the phone, and today I called her back to tell her to order it from a local store, that I was not ordering on Amazon.  She did not ask about my weekend, how I was feeling, or anything that is going on.  

I have decided to let Dr. Wednesday stir the 'shit cauldron'.  I will deal with my mother's manufactured crisis and other's crises that morning.  We shall deal with whatever she throws at me, when she does.  She did mention she was in the area of my hotel on Sunday.  She has no reason to be in that part of town, so that was strange.  

My best friend of 36 years said her parents saw my mother a few weeks ago and they remarked how well she was getting along and moving around.  I also cannot deal with my mother's interrogation of who was there, what we did (drank... A LOT) and her endless barrage of nosy, intrusive questions.

I am tired.  Just so tired.  Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Another episode of 'From the Mouth of a Hoarder"! (FTMOAH)

You simply cannot make this stuff up. 

Well, I guess you could... But that would make you a very twisted poptart, indeed.

Here it is... Today's episode of ...

"How much is your car payment?"


"How much?"


"I WANT TO KNOW!  I AM CURIOUS! <starts ranting>"

<Sigh> In the $400's.  

[Now, I have refused to tell her how much I paid for my car, and have refused to tell her the payment.  As it was, I did not give her the exact, but I was just so pissed and OVER IT that I popped it out.  Now I will never hear the end of it.  And it is none of her business!]
"Well, you pay so much in rent."

My rent is not all that out of line with the place I have and the amenities I enjoy...

"$2,000 a month is a lot of money!!! I could never..."

Wait- my rent is NO WHERE near $2,000... Where did you get that figure?

"<Sputters incoherently...>"

[I have never told her, not once in the 9 /12 years I have lived where I do what I pay a month.  Again, none of her business!]

"Well, what is your rent then?  You pay out SO MUCH MONEY a month!"

Actually, I live very modestly and well, and I am not discussing this with you.  Next subject...

"... So I called the telenurse and told them that I had not been peeing myself like I do in the night, why I had to get those 'britches' to put in my pants at night since I leak..."


"...And she asked how much I pee, then said I was dehydrated or was having kidney issues, and I told her it could not be that since I drink a jug of 8 cups of liquid 1-3 day..."

Yes, you can.  You have no AC and it has been over 90 degrees, and you have lupus so it is possible renal function is changing for you...

"... So I waited until I had to pee this morning and and I peed in a foam cup and GUESS WHAT?"

<<<crickets softly chirping>>>

"It was dark orange!  I have never seen that before!  I would think I would have seen it when I was wiping!"

<<<End Call>>>

Luckily, she has not asked when my surgery is.  I do not plan on telling her.  I also am going to my HS reunion and I am just buzzing in and out and I do not think I am telling her in advance or while I am there.  I hope the Chiropractor keeps her yap shut.  I suspect she will be there, and will definitely see pictures.  I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  I also have my pre op mammogram, EKG and other testing this week.  It is soon...

Take care, and thanks for reading.

Hoarding.  No one wins.  No one.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Not for the squeamish... It is time for 'From The Mouth Of A Hoarder'!

I wanted to share this with those of you that are interested in the FTMOAH... Maybe a bit in the spirit of, rather childishly, 'if I have to experience this...'

But seriously, I know some of you can relate to my pain of 'hoarder speak', no filter, and the verbal diarrhea that flows constantly.  And on that note...


"So I have been having a HORRIBLE time going to the bathroom..."

Mother, we are not talking about this...

"And I pushed and I pushed and it would not come out and it hurt so much and ..."

Mother, I am not listening to this about your shit.  Call you doctor...

"I don't see my Lupus doctor for another 6 weeks now!  And I do not have a primary care doctor, they are all quacks! So I get a mirror to look..."

Mother, final warning.  I am NOT going...

"And there was this great big swelling next to my butthole!  I had that before!  Dr. Whomever lanced it but no doctor wants to do that anymore and..."

<<End Call>>

I drove down the highway shaking my head and laughing maniacally.  


On a separate note, I am scheduled for surgery the first week in August.  I am not telling her until I have to, and maybe not even then.  I just do not need the headache, but her insistent demands to know are tiring as well.  

Have a great night, everyone.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Blog posts I found interesting...

Monday, July 10, 2017

An update and a bit of 'From the Mouth of a Hoarder' (FTMOAH)

What a busy few days it has been!  Full of the fun things, and the 'WTF' things...

Had a lovely weekend of shopping and fun.  Spent Sunday at the pool, did a spot of swimming and got some sun.  Enroute to a large urban area about 90 minutes from home with a friend, I starting getting text messages from my hoarding mother's neighbor.  Long story short(er), my hoarding mother called her up to the fence and she surreptitiously got a couple of pictures of her.  Now my mother is ANTI-PHOTOGRAPH.  Even in my wedding she did not allow herself to be photographed, and did all she could to create drama at my reception by hiding in the bathroom and in the kitchen.  So...  The woman who:

  • Tirelessly appearance shames others in every conversation, talking about how much weight they have gained, how wrinkled they are, how much gray hair they have, and the like...
  • Complains about how frail she is, how she has to use a cane everywhere she goes, at the grocery or other stores she gets a cart to use as a walker, talks about all the 'wonderful strangers' that offer her help to get things, carry things, and wonder why she has no one that helps her...
Was photographed purposefully striding across the yard, unaided by any cane.  She is far heavier than I have ever seen her, and she is extremely gray now, as one would expect someone of 80 years old to be.  She is also very wrinkled, and the expression on her face, which I thought little of because that is her normal expression, is grim.  

This is not to appearance shame her.  She does not look her age, at all.  But, she is telling me that she is losing weight because she is unable to shop and cook for herself, and that she is not 'white headed' like everyone she sees and clucks over like it is a character flaw, and talks about how wrinkled and old they look.  She gives me hell on a regular basis about my appearance and weight, how short my hair is, how wrinkled around the eyes I am, and that I have been obese in my life, and I am not under 100 pounds anymore like I was when I was so sick in 2013.  I am going to have a hard time not rolling my eyes so hard they get stuck in the back of my head the next time she starts her crap.  She was going on about how swollen her legs were and how she could wear nothing but flip flops (that she calls TONGS)  and that is not true either.  So as I suspected, 90-99% of what she tells me is utter bull pucky, and I suspect this is one of the reasons she has avoided my overtures to see her in 2015 and 2016.  A bit hard to frame my perception when her reality is so very different.

She also ran into her sister's daughter, who is also a narcissist.  She, and her sister disowned this young woman in the early 80's for living a lifestyle they did not approve of, writing bad checks, living with men, and the ultimate piece was her dating <gasp> a black man, bless their little bigoted hearts.  Now this woman who is now in her middle 50's is living back in the area, but in the time after her estrangement, stole my mothers estate from the nursing home and absconded with the funds, and stole quite a bit of jewelry when she left our house for the last time.  So now my mother is rehashing all that ancient history all over again.  LET IT GO.  She cannot.  So there is that.

She had a tree fall from the neighbor's yard and come down on her garage, allegedly.  Of course she went scorched earth on that, the neighbor, and everyone else.  She is going to sue him now, for this tree and the 3 others that have fallen over the past 4 years.  But that is not the FTMOAH part.  

Ready for it?  FTMOAH...

She has been making obtuse yet dramatic references about 'what she has been going through' and 'what has happened here' that I have ignored, and after she managed to turn a discussion about me buying chocolate candy for the office to herself and that she has no air conditioning and has not...  She has decided that the hated neighbor 'in the turn' jumped her locked fence, pried up the 'outside unit' of her heat pump, removed the good works, and replaced the old works with junk and closed it back up.  

SAY WHAT?  This is even more paranoid than the gas can incident several weeks ago.  She has not called the police because she wants to get estimates for the damage and to back her up because they will not believe her.  

Uh huh.  They are not the only ones.  She also will not leave if she sees 'he' is home unless she has a doctor's visit.  She cannot leave the house empty or 'he' will come in.  (Reference to the 'snake poop' incident, the loosening the light bulb over her washer incident, and the stealing her stalking log incident...)

She then goes on to tell me that she is sure something awful was done to the little brown cat that she essentially stole from a neighbor.  She states that it has the largest butthole that she has ever seen, and she is sure that someone.... 

At that point I ended that verbal vomit from being spewed on me.  REALLY?  UGH!

There is much more, but I think you get the idea...

So, final piece.  My doctor's visit on July 5th.  We have a plan.  I will be having surgery soon.  I should get the call to schedule this week.  The plan is to try to get the softball sized mass and the ovary out laparoscopically, and if they cannot due to endometriosis or scar tissue they will reopen my hysterectomy incision and go in that way to avoid disturbing my mesh midline incision repair.  They will have a general surgeon and an oncological gynecologist on standby, and if I get in early, and it is laparoscopic,  I will go home the same day.  If anything more, I could be in one to 4 days.  My doctor reviewed my past mammograms and wants me to have another to ensure the mass on my chest wall they have been watching has not changed, and she wants that done as part of my pre op.  Um... YAY.  I am sure it is fine.  But okay.  

Lot of moving parts happening right now.  But it all will work out.  My mother asks about my surgery, then immediately launches into a story about her medical issues.  I think that it may be time to go from very low contact to EXTREMELY low contact.  I cannot stand it.  She is miserable, and I refuse to let her make me feel miserable.

Hope everyone is having a good week.  Thank you for reading, and the support.  

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4th.... Independence Day

A lot to update on since the last entry!  I have been working a lot (shocker) and have been on the road a lot.  Since mid June I have been in Florida twice, New Orleans once, and some other overnight travels that have been a bit more local.  My cats are to the point when they see my tote or my overnight case they get very angry.  I hate being away, but I have a friend who provides them excellent cat sitting services, and they love her.

First, the health stuff.  Lots and lots of testing since early May, and in the past two weeks I have made the nearly 2 hour trek to the nationally acclaimed teaching hospital (NATH for short) 4 times.  I go back tomorrow.  This is what I know at this point.

  1. The 'thing' in my pelvis is some sort of tumor attached to a small piece of the fallopian tube that apparently was left on my right ovary that has grown SOMETHING.  We have no reason to believe it is malignant (based on previous history) and in the past year it has not changed in size.  It is unclear if my remaining ovary is involved.
  2. I go tomorrow to schedule surgery to remove this mass.  My doctor will have an gynecologic oncologist on call just as a precaution, but she believes it is not going to do anything else.  She also feels strongly that she can get it laproscopically without cutting my mesh incisional hernia repair.  I hope so.  If she cannot, I am going to not allow more invasive surgery unless they see something that it becomes essential.  
  3. I will be off work 2 weeks, maybe, and have a recovery of 6 weeks.  
  4. I am continuing the discussion that I want the ovary removed.  My doctor is really against that due to family history of osteopenia and osteoporosis and heart disease, but I am just a few years under the age for menopause, and if it is left, I will continue to have a figurative 'sword of Damocles' hanging over my head for the remainder of my life, and I can almost predict it is going to have to come out at some point.
We meet tomorrow, and discuss details and I believe I will be scheduling surgery at that point.  The fact I have had 3 invasive surgeries, much scar tissue, and horrible endometriosis is going to make this challenging.  If they are successful, it will be outpatient and I will go home that day.  I just have to figure out how I am getting there and back.  I also may hire a cleaning service short term.

I had my final follow up with my GI clinic doctor.  I was her last patient on her last day at the NATH.  She is returning to the midwestern state her family is from.  This was a mixed bag.  It appears that I am consistent with a diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and furthermore, a mentor and colleague of hers is researching a new disease that they will be publishing soon.  EDS is much more than just hypermobility, it has mast cell activation, an auto immune component, GI issues, and for some, a vascular component.  This new thing is apparently 'Super EDS'.  The working name for it right now is 'joint hypermobility, autonomic dysfunction, gastrointestinal cluster syndrome.  (JHADGCS?)  I have more testing, one is a tilt table test (due to my little stunt that landed me in the ER in mid-May) in August that I will need to have someone go with me (I HATE THIS!) and I have nuclear testing in October that is over 4 days. 

My momentary reaction to this once I got in my car?  OH F*^& ME.  Due my own choices and behavior, I am very, very alone on this all.  No one's fault but mine.  The good news is I am glad to have an answer, and I am now in process to see the doctor who is publishing on this.  Not the answer I hoped for, and I guess I have to accept that, like it or not, I am chronically ill with an autoimmune and autonomic disorder.  I will continue to fight this with all I have, do my best to work out, run, push myself that way, eat well, and I have absolutely GOT to get my work/life balance under control, and I have got to get more than 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night.  HAVE TO.  This past weekend I was DOWN.  No energy, slept a lot.  I am still exhausted, but I am coming back up.  

Now, my hoarding mother.  She never asks about how I am feeling, only questions she can boomerang to talk about herself.  I answer things very generally, and am very evasive which makes her angry.  She has said to me again that she wants to know what I have because she is 'sure she has it'.  I did mention that I would be scheduling surgery and she immediately began to talk about her scaly heels and thick toenails.  Alrighty then!  Oy.

My HM has been just horrible  All the same things I have been talking about.  She lives in a self isolated, self encapsulated world where she cannot perceive of any other reality than her perception.  It is so sad.  

In mid-May I got really sick in an upscale restaurant and passed out in the bathroom.  I left the restaurant once I could and drove myself to the emergency room, upsetting and angering quite a few friends.  I again sent the message I did not want to, that I do not want support, that I do not trust people to do right by me.  I know my intent is to not inconvenience people unnecessarily, but I also know that I am going to go through this surgery and its aftermath relatively alone.  Someone will take me and bring me home, but if I have to stay in the hospital any length of time, it will be in a strange city two hours away, so even if someone was able to visit or wanted to stay to keep an eye on things, they would not be able to.  Oh well.  I did almost 4 days mostly alone in 2013, and I did the whole hospitalization in 2014 alone.  I got this.  But I have to do better, and I may need to continue to look at who I have chosen to surround myself with.

Lots of stressors right now.  My job is tough, with financial concerns coming from a contractual impasse that our major funder was involved in.  My board of directors fractured, and I will have a relatively new board and an all new executive committee.  Internal and programmatic challenges abound.  The person I was seeing resurfaced, and I went out with him in late May as a friend, only to be rewarded with being asked to be a 'friend with benefits'.  He has reached out three times more, twice to ask if I want to go X or Y with him, which I suspect means he wants a ride (he does not drive due to a disability) and not sure what his intent was the last time.  Yeah.  NO.  My ex-husband, who I am very close to, has been having a hard time mental health wise, and is in a depressive spiral.  A couple of weeks ago he struck a deer on his new motorcycle, and managed to walk away from it with minor injuries.  Last week I was assaulted leaving a restaurant and got my debit card and credit card stolen (this happened while I was in Florida).  I was headbutted and knocked down 'by accident'.  The side of my head is still sore, but thankfully the headache has receded.  This happened right before I was to return to the airport.  No harm done, just inconvenienced, and I have a sore elbow and shoulder.  It could have been a lot worse, and I think it would have been if I had not sprung up immediately and confronted my attacker.  The past two weeks have been one minor annoyance after another.  I had a bad gig in Florida.  I got rolled.  I had to deal with cancelling my credit and debit card on the road.  I got to my car and the hood was damaged.  I got home and in the flurry of unpacking, I thought I put my brand new suit in the dry cleaner's sack but I did not.  I figured out the next day that I had put my suit jacket through the washer and the dryer.  It did not live.  I ruined my favorite designer handbag with a busted gel ink pen, and had to replace the liner in the console of my car for the same reason.  My cat has had to go to the emergency vet, and as a result of that bill, I will not be taking my Italy vacation, I will be deferring that for a while.  

But you know what?  Despite all this petty stuff, I have a pretty great and calm life, and so much to be grateful for.  Sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes the bug, as the country song says...  But these types of things make me appreciate smooth sailing so much more, and with all the minor stuff lately, I have been able to deal with all of it and it has not been that huge of a deal.  Some time, some money, and for the property damage stuff, at the end of the day, they are only things.  I cherish my time with my 'granny cats' and with the folks that comprise my inner circle.  And all of this stuff tells me that I possibly on the cusp of making some major, and positive changes.  I win, or I learn.  This is where I differ from my hoarding mother.  She would be ruminating on these things, blaming, pontificating, and making small annoyances into huge and overblown deals.  And they are not.  

Onward and upward.  I hope to write more regularly!  Thank you for reading.