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!



  1. Sorry to hear about your kitty. It is so hard with senior animals--we practically run a geriatric ward here with our dogs. We recently had to say good bye to our big old lab. We did not make the decision lightly, and I am sure you are "keeping a weather eye on the horizon" as pertains to your cat's health. Wishing you strength and healing.

  2. Thank you. She is hanging in there, and harassing her sister so I think she is feeling a bit better. I am so sorry for the loss of your dog. It is never good day when we have to say goodbye. ((Hugs))