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.