Friday, November 23, 2018

It is past due! From the Mouth of a Hoarder...

I have to laugh or I would scream...  FMTOAH time!  I have called my hoarding mother twice since last week.  Oy, why do I do this to myself?  Anyway... Here it goes!
HM:  So, what has your experience been with ground turkey?  I saw a recipe on 'Cooking Light' and [nattering insufferably about how skeptical she is to whether that will be 'right' despite the fact she cannot cook due to her microwave and oven being out of order and her range top hoarded solid...]
Me:  :::Stunned silence:::
HM:  Well?
Me:  Um... You do remember that I have a Type I allergy to turkey and capon, right?  
HM:  What does that mean?  <Harrumphing>
Me:  That I have to have an double epi pen because I go into an anaphylactic reaction...
HM:  I don't remember THAT.

Now, I have had issues as a child with severe facial swelling, and it was around holiday time but no one toppled to the connection (or no one cared enough to try).  One of my few last visits to her house (1997 or so) she fed me turkey loaf... Cooked lovingly in the microwave.  I had a severe reaction with my face, lips and throat swelling. I looked like Quasimodo, and I nearly died.  I had continued exposure, and it only got worse.  SHE WITNESSED THE START OF IT.  Now I know that the weird, 'sudden' allergies are part of my overall condition (actually a co-morbidity) caused by Mast Cell Activation.  This has been a 'thing' for over 20 years of my life.

HM:  So you don't know whether ground turkey is good in that or not?
HM:  I keep meaning to ask... You have several degrees, right?
Me:  What?
HM:  You have multiple degrees on something right?  You finished school for something or something?
Me:  Yes, you were at my graduation for my undergrad.  [I tell her my degrees, and licensure].
HM:  Someone asked me, and I could not remember...  

Yeah.  I am not important in her life, but I knew that already.  Thank goodness for friends who are family and my furry family.

Thank you for reading!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

A snow day in the northeast!

I am at home, working from home.  My little feline loves are quite happy!  My newest kitty (the one that is 17-20 years old) has had a health crisis, and unfortunately, one that may result in kidney failure.  I am doing everything humanly possible, and she is improving.  We take it one day at a time.  That is all we can do.

So... My hoarding mother.  She cannot get out of her own way to save her life.  Not much changes, and I fear the house conditions continue to deteriorate.  She did get the roof replaced this month, only 3-4 YEARS after the hail damage.  She- in discussing other things- has disclosed that:

  1. Her dishwasher no longer works.
  2. Her microwave no longer works, and she has a new one that 'she cannot get out of the box or lift onto the counter' so she cannot use it.
  3. Her washing machine no longer works.  And she is not always continent and has C-Diff.
  4. Her A/C does not work.
  5. Her refrigerator is on its last legs.
  6. Her oven no longer works.
  7. Her hot water tank will not kick off 'vacation mode'.  
I am sure there are other things, but when I last saw her house in 2010 (and I had not been in the house since 2000 the time before) it was firmly a Level 5 hoard, and a Level 9 on the Clutter Image Rating.  It has not gotten any better.  For folks that hoard, it seldom does.  Especially when other mental health issues, like Narcissistic Personality Disorder, are present.  Her cruelty and pettiness are absolutely breaktaking.  Her lack of boundaries knows no limits.  I continue low, low contact.  I plan on not ever setting foot in that house again, and I will never see her in person again.  That is what I have to do to keep me healthy.

She is aware that I am going through the diagnostic process of something.  I will not tell her what, because she has often stated directly "I want to know what is wrong with you because I am sure it is wrong with me, too."  No, it isn't.  I am finalizing a process that has been years in undertaking, and I just now need to figure out genetic markers and co-morbidities, but basically, I have a genetic connective tissue condition that is degenerative.  I will most likely end up disabled, and organ failure and other charming things will be a challenge.  I am lucky that my progression has been slow, most folks are disabled in their 20's or 30's, and I am 49.  I still run, but I struggle to do so.  My sub 10 minute miles are now sub 15.  I have gained some weight, and my fine motor skills are noticeably impacted.  I am losing the ability to write legibly in longhand, even to sign my name. I had something happen, and long story short I was asked to not get a hotel room at a conference and drive it every day, about an hour each way.  The first day was a 12 hour day, and I nearly wrecked several times going home because I was so exhausted that I was having trouble keeping my car in lane that was a long term construction project.  I was in a single lane surrounded by Jersey barriers.  Do to some unfortunate disclosures by folks that should have known better, it became 'a thing' the next day when I delayed my arrival a bit because I needed to rest, and I was unable to attend the third day.  I was not ready to disclose, and I had that choice removed.

Now, I have had times where I have been really, really impacted, but I have always rebounded.  I hope, hope, HOPE I can do it again.  But I fear that I have fallen so fast and hard, I am unlikely to rebound to the level I had.  This my be my new normal, I fear.  And the pain has gotten worse.  But, I take no prisoners, and make no concessions.   I will NOT let this thing define me.  Where this relates to my hoarding mother is although I do not tell her much, some of it seeps out.  Most mothers know if something is not right.  She is oblivious, and if she did know, she would make it all about her in some way.  No thank you.

I have been working 70-80 hour weeks.  No exaggeration.  She is aware that my organization is struggling to recover.  She does not ask about anything or offer empathy.  She is aware that I will, most likely, be saying goodbye to another furbaby.  She does not ask anything helpful or offer encouragement.  And I do not expect it from her.  I am struggling to wrap my mind around the (potential) enormity of my diagnosis.  This may change to trajectory of my career, and of my life.  I had a gentleman express interest in me, and ask me out.  I have not responded, but I don't think so.  Between work, health, and cats... I do not have much bandwidth.  I know I have dropped from most of my friend's sights, as I do when I am dealing with something, but I just do not have much to offer right now.  I will bounce back, but I know the self isolation is not good for me, but I am in harness, at least for a while, with a grinding work schedule.  I did not make plans to visit friends due to work and my sick cat, but a friend surprised me and is coming to visit.  We will have a lovely Friendsgiving holiday, and another dear friend made plans to share the day as well, so it will be the three of us.  

That sounds perfect...

I will be okay.  No matter what happens with health or any other challenge, I will land on my feet.  But sometimes, that is an isolating and exhausting 'superpower'.

Hoarding... No one wins.  No one.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 8, 2018

A funny and an update!

Wow.  I am sorry it has been so long!  First the humorous...  Or not.

Little changes for my hoarding mother.  She is continuing her downward spiral, but that is fodder for discussion on another day.

She has a 'hoardy' person that lives nearby to her, and I would not say that she is a friend, but an acquaintance... A transactional acquaintance.  She 'collects' all kinds of crap to recycle, and she mentioned that she had an infestation of what my hoarding mother calls 'ground moles'.  Now, apparently my hoarding mother read in a book or an article (probably 'Hints from Heloise' who I refer to as the Patron Saint of Hoarding') that used kitty litter will drive them away.  So, she collects a few days worth of her 6 cats' pee and takes it to her.  And in hoarder fashion, bugs her every day to see if she used it, etc.  


Apparently several days passes, and the friend opens the bags.  Later, my hoarding mother calls, and this friend exploded, screaming that she was allergic to cats, that it stunk so bad that she had to air out the house, etc.  My mother was mortally offended. 

Now- what I think happened...  My mother kept pushing for this woman to try her solution, and receiving a noncommittal answer, sent the pee bags over.  Eventually the person got into whatever she left on her from porch, and out of curiosity opened the bag.  My mother has no sense of smell, and despite her claims to the contrary, her house reeks of cat pee and hoard and probably now, adult diapers.  (She now has C-Diff). 

You can't make this stuff up.  
So, my last update was my little vocal one died.  I only had her 18 months, but we loved a lifetime.  My other kitty was stressed and sad, and I started looking for a companion for her a couple weeks later, although I was not ready, she needed someone.  Long story short, without planning, I ended up with an elder kitty that has mobility, health, lower GI issues, and is hard of hearing.  I got her 10 minutes before closing, and she was going to be euthanized the next day.  She is a pretty, sweet dilute Calico, and she gets along with my hard to get along with resident cat.  I find them napping together sometimes, sometimes lightly touching.  She is older  that presented...  The rescue said 8 years old, I estimated 12-15 years old, and the vet thinks she is 17 or older.  She was kept in a cage the last two years of her life, and she has simply blossomed in the 5 months I had her, and is a cuddle bug.  My heart breaks when I think of those fur babies I have lost, but we are reaching a new normal.

Work and health have not been a smooth ride, but I am dealing.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 9, 2018

A little light in my life went out today.

About 2 hours ago I put my sweet gray kitty to sleep.  She been declining, and the vet confirmed she was in pain, and anything we did would most likely, at best, have very short term results that would mask the underlying condition, if they worked at all.  I am in shock, but after discussion with my vet, it was the kindest option for my sweet girl.  I held her the whole time.  I have sobbed intermittently and paced, stressing my other old girl out a bit.  She fierce, she was full of sass, and she loved me.  I am heartbroken.  I will miss her headbunts, her raspy voice, and her scowls when things did not go the way she thought they should.  I will miss turning on and off faucets for her, and her startling me sitting in strange locations.  I will miss her.  Now my other cat and I have to adjust to a new normal without her.  I worry that my other kitty will miss her, and will be lonely.  I dread going to bed without her.  She would manage to hog the bed, and I wondered how 8 pounds of cat could cause me and the other cat to wake up on the edge of the bed.

I also am overwhelmed by my friends and their kindness. Texts, emails, calls, social media responses and comments... Three of my friends ordered dinner delivered to my from my favorite (Vietnamese) restaurant, and figured out what I like from pictures.  I had not even thought of food, and most likely would have gone to bed (if I do that tonight) without eating.  I am so grateful.  I am SO grateful.  I do not know what I do to deserve the wonderful people in my life, and I do not take a single one of them for granted.

I spoke to my hoarding mother today.  I mentioned that I was worried about my kitty and headed home to check on her.  This launched a monologue about the last kitty she lost.  She called as I was driving to work to pick up my laptop and returning home to spend time with my kitty before our emergency vet visit.  

You know who has not called to check in to see how the visit went?  My hoarding mother.  Honestly, I am thankful for that, but it reinforces how perverse her relationship dynamic is with me.  And the outpouring of support and love for me and my kitty?  She would have little frame of reference since relationships are transactional, not reciprocal.  I will most likely wait a few days before I check in because I just CANNOT.  Earlier this week she was alleging someone came into her yard and dug a hole near her storage building (to pry a panel off and steal from it...) and they stole the dirt from the hole.  Really.  She then asked her neighbor to set up a baby monitor to listen since she can't hear well.  The neighbor said no...  The neighbor called me, it was not a baby monitor, but a driveway alarm.  These folks work, and would like to sleep at night!  When telling this, she was indignant that they refused, and I told her they should, that is intrusive and an inconvenience.  

Wow.  Just wow.

Back to working on my presentation for tomorrow.  I have to say I am having a hard time working on it as my heart is not in it.  I also found out that I am being recognized at the end of the month for my work in anti-violence.  I did mention it to her, and her response was, "Why would they honor you?  Did you ask for it?"

Le sigh.

Have a good evening.  Please hug those who are important to you a bit tighter when you see them, human, feline, canine ... (As long as they consent!)

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

What is important...

Sorry, this may be brief.   I have been in grant mode, and of course, that caused my tendonitis to flare.  I got the all clear on Thursday, and yesterday my elbow has done little but yell at me.  Not the end of the world, but an annoyance nonetheless.  

I just about 'went there' with my hoarding mother.  She has not escalated to the point she was mid-month, all though she is still talking about the neighbor's break ins and her problems with the house, still claiming that there is electrical problems/lack of power in the house and garage, no hot water/gas, and the water is shut off to her bathroom/shower (there is only one bathroom in the house).  If this is true.  IF.  I have not talked to her neighbor lately because I just do not need another level of crap... Not the neighbor's, she is lovely, but more machinations of my mother's that will come back to me that way.  Midweek last week I gave her a call to check in, and she was in a weird mood (and that is saying something) and stated that she went to the funeral home to check about prepaying her funeral expenses (something that she alleged she had done years ago...).  The funeral home is a reputable one, it handled both my paternal grandmother's funeral arrangements and my father's 30 and 29 years ago, respectively.  What she wants is going to be $6,500 and with 'discounts' she will pay $5,700.  She plans on being transported to the funeral home, embalmed, placed in the casket and buried next to my father.  She will not have a viewing, a funeral, and does not want an obituary or the dates carved on the stone.  I have only heard this 3,000,000 times in roughly 20 years.  Maybe 4,000,000.  

She then asked if I talk to my half sister.  I repeated that I do not talk to anyone, she is it.  I am not mean, I just do not answer and I am not interested in pursuing a relationship.  She started yelling at me that she "does not want [narc-sister, my niece, her narc-sister and her narc-niece] to be told ANYTHING".  I lost my shit.  (Probably not helped by 16 hour workdays and lack of sleep).  I forcefully interrupted her and told her that I had heard this 3 million times, and I HAVE GOT IT.  Set up [her] plans, no one is going to 'be informed' or have 'access' to her estate such-as-it-is.  I asked WHY she feels the need to have this discussion over and over, and quite bluntly, I expect if she follows through on her planning, that she will embalmed and planted before I am aware.  I informed her that she has created a life that no one is going to push for these things, as funerals are for the living.  

She was aghast.  Sputtering, and I took the wind out of whatever storm she was whipping herself into.  I got off the phone.  I am not playing these games anymore.  She overestimates her importance to most everyone I suspect.  And I do not plan on ever going home again.  

I did call on Friday (because I am a chump) and she was subdued but talking to me.  She began talking about her nasty feet, her moles, and trimming her pubic hair.  GAH!  I got off the phone.  She briefly asked about my sick kitty, and used her to talk about her last cat's death.  It has been a difficult couple of weeks, and Friday morning I ended up taking my sweet girl to the vet.  She is having a reaction to one of the meds.  The vet discontinued the most likely culprit, and I am to reintroduce the med at 1/2 dose in three weeks, if we make it that far.  This is risky, and it does not seem to have helped the reaction 2 days out.  She has lost 4 oz, and she is a tiny cat so that is nothing to sneeze at, and she is vomiting quite a bit.  I am afraid we are coming to the end.  It was a truly horrible visit for her, and stressed her out.  I learned that the treatments she needs for her arthritis and her respiratory issue will impact her heart, so she cannot have them.  If she has a flare that throws her into a systemic infection, we are done.  She will also not be able to have her pain treatments for her arthritis, so she is grumpy and stiff in the mornings and when she has been still.  As I write this, she is on the desk giving me kitty kisses and then romping off to play with her toy in the other room.  This will be tough on both of us, not to mention her kitty-sister.

I have to make a decision as to whether I will go to a conference in my home state, and I am leaning towards no.  When I travel it stresses the cats immensely, and I cannot imagine being gone for 4-5 days.  I will try to find CEUs elsewhere.  And frankly, I really do not want the proximity to my hometown.  I renewed the lease on my place, as I think the stress of moving would do my fragile kitty in.  

My hoarding mother has established her priorities.  I have mine, and I will erect and maintain boundaries to ensure mine are not ripped asunder by her manufactured drama.  

Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.  

Taking my sweet kitties to bed, they are summoning me.  Have a good week everyone.  Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What next?

This is been an 'interesting' week with my hoarding mother.  And by interesting, I mean the same old crap at an increased intensity.  I am simply running out of band width to deal with her attention seeking behavior.

I had a funder meeting that took me out of the office for 2 1/2 days with subcommittees and the like, and things are really busy and stressful at the office.  Elderly kitty that had the stroke 2 weeks ago is hanging in there, but requires medication, medical management, and a more constant surveillance of her behavior and health than even before.  And she is very clingy, and the other cat's behavior is impacted too.  Each time I think that I am done with the impact of an elbow injury in mid February, it wants to flare again.  Life is life, but my hoarding mother knows that things are really, really challenging, including my insomnia is back with a vengeance.  What does she do?  Hype EVERYTHING into high drama.  

The final day of the meetings, she called.  Now, since I have been doing extremely low contact and 'grey rocking' her, she is calling about mundane things that she considers an emergency or needs an immediate response.  And she will blow up my cell phone (which I use for business and I am on call 24/7) and if I do not respond, she will call my office or the housing facility that my organization runs that has a 24 hour hotline.  She called Friday, and was ranting that 'someone' needed to take the hated neighbor out, he has been in her house, he has stolen the fuse box out of her detached garage (but the garage door opener and outside lights work) and he has done something in her house so only partial lighting in the central hallway works.  She is also allegedly:

  1. Arguing with the cable company, so does not have a box that works so no TV.  If the electrical system is in the house is truly wonky...?
  2. Arguing with the paper delivery folks as to how they roll the paper when they put it in her box.  She is cancelling it.
  3. She has had to have the gas company out last week to shut off the hot water tank (so no gas in the house if that is true).
  4. She had the water company out this week because the tub was leaking and she claims that she now does not have water.
  5. She still states she has groundwater leaking in her basement.
  6. She is churning, churning, churning the hoard.  She has found papers from 1989, and a computer, etc. from 2005/2006 that she has never used and keeps torturing me with questions about... "Can [this] be used?  What about [this]?  There is a disk for free internet from AOL!" ::Sigh::
So she is really in a Level 5 hoard.  Goat trails, stuff stacked to the ceiling,  no electricity in part of the house, no hot water, and now, no water.  Her furnace is not working, and her AC quit last summer.  She has C Diff, and is wearing adult continence diapers. I am sure she is 'bucket' flushing, but that will not work long term.  Sorry, I keep diverting.  The call on Friday... She was ranting that the neighbor has 'been in her house' and it is only 'a matter of time before he kills her' and he has 'put some listening device in her house so her can monitor her.'

I got off the phone and called Adult Protective Services.  I identified myself, her, gave a succinct background and cause for concern.  My hoarding mother's state is a 'duty to warn' state under Tarasoff, and I retain a social work license in that state.  I have been the petitioner to have clients, adult and child, involuntarily committed when they were a imminent, identifiable risk to self and others, and have the means and the lethality to do it.  They refused to help, even when I spoke to a director and also the Mental Hygiene lawmaster.  I called the police chief in her town, someone I went to high school with and is well acquainted with her.  He could have an officer do a wellness check, but since her property has locks on the gates, etc. he cannot trespass, and he will not put an officer at risk since she has a concealed carry, and several semi automatic weapons with clips and laser sights.  He understood and shared my concern.  

I struck out. Going there will do nothing, especially if she will not let me in, and I left one vulnerable cat that I almost lost in 2010 to deal with her manufactured drama, and I just cannot due to the cat, work, my health, and my mental health.  Her neighbor and the police chief warned the 'hated neighbor' and I have done all I can do.  She called later, and she was on an even keel again.  

This is not going to end well.  My concern is that she will confront and provoke an altercation with the neighbor, and shoot him under the 'stand your ground' law in her state.

I will keep pushing for intervention.  That is all I can do.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Trying to be my own solution... Because my hoarding mother cannot be her own...

Sometimes I cannot catch a break.  And I do not ascribe to luck, a greater plan, or whatnot.  Sometimes things just happen, and sometimes those things are a mix of good, bad or indifferent.  Lately, I have been struggling with a lot of challenges.  I think my hoarding, narcissistic mother was a huge lesson.  I fall, and each time I get up.  I still struggle with letting folks help me in a meaningful way, and sometimes I struggle with asking in a way that is meaningful.  I continue to work on that.  

Last Sunday evening one of my two elderly cats collapsed.  I will spare you the details, but it was late night, I was still up working, and she came to me just as she collapsed.  I grabbed shoes, the carrier, my sweet kitty, and wallet/phone/key fob and flew to the emergency vet.  It is only a couple exits away on the highway, but I had to get downstairs and to my garage that is east facing as opposed to my place that is west facing.  I looked at the time as I put kitty in the carrier, and 7 minutes later I walked into the emergency vet.  A few hours later she came out of it, and I was referred to my regular vet.  The probable diagnosis was a heart issue, possibly a vagus nerve reaction.  I made the appointment, and got really bad news.  It is a heart issue that caused a mild spinal stroke (oversimplification, but just humor me).  With treatment of a transdermal heart medicine and baby aspirin my sweet girl might have a year or more.  Maybe.  She is doing well, she is just a bit more attention seeking than usual, walks a bit slower, and sleeps a lot more.  She now vocalizes in a 'small' voice, and that is not her normal strident and booming meows.  She jumps up, plays, and begs for water out of the faucets.  It has been a hard week, as my last kitty that passed had a heart murmur that threw a clot, and produced a horrific seizure.  I put her down immediately as another one was imminent.  This is a bit different situation, but it will lead the same place, eventually.  I have decided to take it a day at a time, and let my kitty call the shots.  

I made the mistake of telling my hoarding mother.

She demanded to know why I did not put her down, and asked what I was going to do if it happened again and I was not at home, yadda yadda.  Then she proceeded to tell me about all the cats that she had lost over the past 20 or so years (which is a LOT).  I just told her it was not up for discussion, and if she wanted to keep talking about it, I would have to go.  I just cannot.  I am evaluating the situation every day, and I am hoping the pharmacy quits dorking around and gets my credit card information so I can get the medicine started.  I think our time together grows very short.  My other cat is very aware something is happening, and her behavior towards this one is a bit different.  I hope our time is not shorter than I hoped.  My mother also asked if I was going to get another cat, and another special needs elderly cat.  GRRRRR.

Also this week I came out of the office and walked to the parking garage where I park my car.  I immediately saw the rear right tire was flat, and I had left a few moments early as I hoped to stop by a coffee shop and get an iced chai.  I ended up driving several blocks on the rim to an automotive parts store and they tried to use a fix-a-flat product.  (My car does not come with a spare, nearly 70% of newer cars do not have them.)  No dice.  I was in a panic, I was the program speaker on International Women's Day for a celebration for a church about 15 miles away.  Luckily, one of my staff could help me, and she drove me to the event.  A participant drove me back to my car as she drove right by it, and I was able to call the auto service for a tow.  A friend saw my plight on social media as I had asked if anyone local could give me a ride and came the 40 minutes to where I was to wait for the rollback truck and follow it to the dealer and then give me a ride home.  I appreciated it immensely, as the tow truck driver would have transported me to the dealership, but I would have to got a rideshare home.  The next morning, the dealership was able to plug the flat (they hope it will hold) as they know I was hoping to limp my tires along until late spring and replace all of them.  They sent a driver to pick me up, and each person I encountered indicated that it was a huge puncture, and with a strange metal object.  They showed it to me.  

It was a corner of a construction knife/cutter.  It was centered in the center of the tire, between the treads and belts.  It most likely was not an accident.

I have let the area police know, and they will take a look at the camera to see if they see anything, especially since I was in the garage such a short time that day, and knew the time I came in and the time I found it.

I returned my mother's call.  She asked why I sounded funny, and I just said I had a long week, and was exhausted, I did not get home until midnight due to a flat.  I did not go into detail about what was in my tire, but she automatically assumed it was malicious.  She then told me that the hated neighbor in the turn stole her fuse box in the garage, and I asked about external lights and the garage door and she did not change the subject like last time, but weakly said that 'somehow' the automatic garage door still works and some of the external lights still work.  Um... If the 'fuse box' was gone, she would have nothing as it is a separate building from her house.  She said last week that something happened to her hot water tank so the gas company shut it off, and she also alluded that whatever this neighbor had done it impacted the house and only the hallway lights work and a few outlets.

Now, who knows what is true.  She also said that she has not repaired broken windows and just put contact paper over them.  

If this is true, she is firmly in a Stage 5 hoard, and she still has C-Diff.  She is now accusing the dentist of giving it to her, she won't consider that all the antibiotics plus using urgent care as her PCP could put her at risk.

She seemed to gather energy from the fact that life has been rough for me.  I remembered something from one of my undergraduate college professors who said or paraphrased "Misery loves MISERABLE company."  I think that bears true in this case.  Many of my friends are not having easy lives at the moment.  I am saddened by it, and I am clearly puzzled by what mechanism that someone could derive energy or even some sick pleasure from it.  I do not wish hardship on those I do not agree with or like, or dislike me.  

I have continued extreme low contact, and now she is calling me about once a day for an 'emergency question' and it is neither...

I keep 'grey rocking' her, and I will focus on what is important.  My precious kitties, my vocation, continuing to train for the next race/regaining health and stamina, my friends who are my family, and furthering my education... whether through a certification, another Master's Degree, or a PhD.  I think it is time.  

Life has been hard.  I just realized that just in the last year I have put over 17K miles on my car just running back and forth to medical appointments at a nationally renowned teaching hospital.  I have many, many vet bills.  I need to dig out of the debt hole (Mainly medical related expense for me and my cats) I have put myself in, so no big vacations for me, and I will need to postpone buying a condo for a couple of years.  I will do what I have to, and hopefully I can start picking up some consulting work when things slow down a bit... If they do.  Either way, I got this. 

I realize that my mother is continuing to deteriorate.  She refuses to get out of her own way to find any sort of solution.  I refuse to be her.  Onward and upward we go.  

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, February 18, 2018

And I went to ground again. Some lessons I must learn over and over...

Thank you for those who checked in via comments, emails, and the like.  It has been a busy two months, and I do what I normally do when life turns up the heat.  I 'go to ground' to mix analogies.  

I am not sure where to start.  I guess with a personal update, then onward to stuff with my hoarding mother.  Long story short, I had a long email and phone conversation with my new specialist after the disastrous appointment in December.  I felt she really heard me, and she scheduled more testing.  The medicine prescribed was AWFUL, and caused a headache within an hour of taking it, and it lasted two to four hours, then I would take the pill again.  I felt really rough.  I had my tests, and one was so invasive and so foul that they intentionally do not tell patients what it entails until you get there.  I also learned that I am still extremely claustrophobic.  I had a major freak out in an MRI, and managed to get through the test through sheer force of will alone.  My latest appointment with the specialist was a week and half ago, and she took me off the awful med with the horrid side effects (including headache and weight gain) and she has referred me to another specialist/surgeon, for physical therapy and biofeedback, and to specialized clinics and the genetics clinic.  I will not be seeing this doctor again as she has gone as far as she can, it is now up to the other specialists.  I feel so much better sans GI medication, and I am increasing my mileage slowly to get into my training groove.  

Now- from my hoarding mother.  Some areas of the northeast have had significant rainfall, snow, spring-like temperatures, and snow... Lather, rinse repeat.  Due to this, her area has HEAVY flooding.  She called today to ask why I thought water was coming up through the floor in her basement.  Apparently she called a home improvement store first and got angry when they were not helpful.  I advised her it was due to the flooding and melting, and she had a fatalistic attitude about it 'why should I even bother' when I told her she would need to toss anything that the water came into contact with.  She also stated that the hated neighbor in the turn has broken into the garage and taken the fusebox and the electrical panel.  I asked how anything electrical like lights or the garage door is opening.  She changed the subject.

She has been on a paranoid tear lately.  She tortured the Sheriff's Department in her area wanting to talk to the Sheriff, and finally settled to the Lieutenant.  She was angry and cursing him, stating he was condescending and did not believe her.  She blew up at me because she determined I had a different car because 'it sounded different'.  I had an SUV from the dealership (actually, the sales manager's $100K SUV that is self driving, etc.) because I hit some furniture after dark on the highway and did a significant amount of damage to my car, some covered by insurance.  She was furious I had not said anything about the accident to her, and she kept demanding to know how it happened.  Later, when they had to keep my car a few days longer since they found additional damage, she was giving unsolicited advice and opinions and then started saying things like 'is that why they gave you that SUV?  They have so many things wrong with their cars? ' and similar crap.  Um... NO, the SUV was a favor since their loaners were all out and they were trying to save me a rental fee and the car did not break- I CRASHED IT!  Her sense of entitlement to preferential treatment is astounding.   I was grateful, she was angry they did not do more or lie to the insurance company about a motor mount they had to replace while in there.  My car is back, and is good as new.  

She has been excessively horrible.  Smugly criticizing the neighbors for their wet basements and stating 'she has never had a problem' which is not true. but in the 50 years it has happened maybe twice, and then happened today.  She criticized a neighbor stating 'her pets do not last very long' and touting her pet's longevity, and then she suddenly lost one at 8 years old with a spinal stroke.  She continues to talk about horrible skin and body issues, and she lost more teeth, and only has nine in her head now, and may lose two more soon.  She also contracted C-Diff, and she has no sense of TMI.  C-Diff in a hoarding, 81 year woman is going to be hard to get rid of.  I could fill pages with the ableist, classist, racist, heteronormative and cisnormative crap she spews.  She absolutely exhausts me.

I have been limiting contact, and doing a lot of 'grey rock' with her.  Not that I would tell her, and not that she asks, but I have my own stuff to deal with, and life is not a bed of roses right now.  Work is busy, challenging, wonderful yet ROUGH, and I work 12 to 16 hours day Monday through Friday, and work all day Saturday and part of the day Sunday.  

I have my new treadmill in my bedroom, so that gives me some additional ability to train when my schedule is tight.  I am so grateful to the friends who got it and brought it to me.

I have much to be grateful for.  Even challenges often have a flip side.  If life knocks me down 10 times, I will get up 11.  I learned much from my hoarding mother, and I developed a sense of resilience I might not otherwise had.  With that being said, I have to repeat... Hoarding, no one wins.  No one.  Have a great week everyone!