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Big ol’ recap. LONG.

Big ol’ recap. LONG.

Hello internet! It’s been quite a while. So many things have happened since last I talked to you and I guess that’s a good thing. How sad would I be if 1 year, 2 years later nothing had changed??

To back up, we moved east at the end of 2013. I had to scroll back in my posts to see and yeah, I really haven’t blogged at all since the move.

In December of 2012, we lost my father and big C’s mother in the same week, at opposite ends of the country. Both deaths caught us completely off guard, they were sudden. So much loss and pain. As I was dealing with my father’s death,  C was on a plane to be with his siblings with his mother’s passing. It was so hard to go through our grief separately. In the past we’d said over and over, yeah we’ll end up moving there someday, but it was a vague ‘someday’.  We missed being here for his mom. Life hit us both so hard that we started thinking differently. What do we need to do for us now? Where are we supposed to be right now? The answer was to move near his father to be with him for his last years here. (Big C joined the Navy after high school and landed in the PNW where he started his own family. So, he never got to have an adult relationship with his dad.) We talked a lot about moving… it was going to be hard. Both he and I have 3 grown kids that live in the PNW and making a conscious choice to move across the country, away from them felt so wrong. Our youngest was just barely 18. But after our parents died we knew it was time to spend some time with Senior. And omg. I fell in love with this man.

For the first 6 months we lived with him. C, Bean and I took over his second floor. Our oldest daughter and my granddaughter came as well. They stayed in the RV outside of his house for a few months and then she found a house. (one that I would eventually buy from her when she met a man, had a baby and got married. In that order lol. Yes so much has happened…)

At first, I felt really weird about staying there, but not because of him. He took my daughter, my grandkids, and I into his family as if we’d been there forever. He was one of the greatest men that ever lived. I could see why C is the man that he is. He had a wicked smile. When he smiled it always felt like he had a secret hiding behind it. You know what I mean? Like a twinkle in his eye?  He always made me feel at home in his home. I just felt really weird because I have to lay down quite often. It feels super weird to be sick at someone else’s house.

To compound my awkwardness, when we landed here I was completely off of my mental health meds. Believe it or not, due to a pharmacy error, my old PCP had been refilling my depression meds for a solid year, while the pharmacy was putting my then current PCP’s name on it. I went to refill right after our parents died and was told that my Primary Care Physician would NOT under any circumstances refill my Zoloft. I was stunned. It’s just Zoloft! Not the “taboo” opioids! I could rant on about what this country’s ‘war on drugs’ is doing to the chronically ill society but I’ll save it…I went off of the Zoloft cold turkey while dealing with my father’s death. I’d been on it for over a decade. This had me almost completely homebound and desolate for a year. So, I felt really out of whack, and very not me…I often had to just stop what I was doing and go upstairs to lay down. C told me that dad understood what I was going through, as he took care of his ailing wife until she passed away I think a year before we got here. (C’s mom that passed was Senior’s ex-wife) He was the type of guy that made you feel good. He was quiet and strong, he carried wisdom with him, and he loved his people so strongly. We had 4 amazing years with him before he passed away. It’s been several months but I still feel like he’s here sometimes. I was present when he passed, but it still feels surreal to me.

Alright, I have to get off of my butt and get some things done around here today. I’ll be back.

When Depression Stops You In Your Tracks

When Depression Stops You In Your Tracks

Ok people, my body is forcing me to be pro-active, and to be honest with you, I haven’t been pro-active at all this past year. I was so sick last night that when I  woke up this morning I was surprised that I woke up. I actually had a moment of wow-I’m here.  My body has done some pretty crazy stuff to me and I don’t ever remember being surprised that I made it through the night.  When that’s your first thought in the morning it’s time to get off your ass and kick your depression and anxiety to the side and FIND A NEW DOCTOR.  I’m struggling with my depression and I’m at a place where I feel like ‘I just can’t’ and I’m intelligent enough to know that my brain is making me feel this way.

I’ll tell you a little story about the reason I haven’t gotten a new primary care doc in the last 5 months.
[side note: my rheumatologist and neurologist are amazing.]

My father fell and broke his hip last November. He was 82. Everyone at the hospital told us that all of his breathing issues were due to that trauma of the break. Before he fell, he didn’t have any breathing problems or any other physical problems, just the Alzheimer’s. We had to wait a couple of days because he wasn’t stable enough to survive the surgery. His DNR stated ‘use all measures to sustain life’ so of course we opted to get the hip surgery done. One doc told us we could not have it done and I thought that was the craziest thing I’d ever heard. He suffered those 2 days with excruciating pain all the while looking into my eyes and mouthing words ‘help me’ under the Bi-Pap in sheer terror. My father had late stage Alzheimers. He didn’t know who I was. He had the surgery and the surgeons were blown away by how well it had gone. I told them my father is a fighter, and tough as hell. Of course it went really well. I had my proud daughter thinking cap on. Things went down hill again and he was moved to ICU and vented. We had many doctors, nurses, specialists tell us that he wasn’t going to make it and that the vent would probably not be able to come out. And it did. He made it off the vent. He made it up to Intermediary Care ward and was on a Bi-PAP. With the Bi-PAP on he still wasn’t getting good oxygen levels. He was suffering.
After 2 and a half weeks we had to decide to take it off. By now, he wasn’t opening his eyes anymore. I sat next to him and prayed the rosary for him, told him not to be afraid as he is going home to be with his family, and talked about our times together. The nurses were surprised that he was still with us on this earth and his vitals even looked good. I was hurting and told the nurse I was going to lay on the window seat, facing him and she said she’d monitor the vitals behind the desk and let me know when he was close. In all of my 45 years I have never felt so guilty for having to lay down my body during my dad’s time of death. I watched his face. He looked so peaceful and I could hear his breathing. I closed my eyes for a second and I felt like a pop in the air, I felt it on my chest. When I opened my eyes I saw this dark smoke ? waft it’s way out of my dad’s nose and it pooled in front of his face. I screamed out to my partner What the hell is that?? and the nurse ran in the room and screamed ‘you better say goodbye to your father now!!!’ I jumped off the seat and ran to him screaming I love you dad I love you dad! And he was gone. The nurse said his vitals were ok then they just dropped like incredibly fast. Someone told me he waited for me to close my eyes so I wouldn’t have to see him die.

At about the time my dad was put back on the CPAP and we were told by 4 different docs that he wasn’t going to live, and that basically we were keeping him breathing for us. That we needed to decide because that breather was keeping him alive and maybe we were being selfish. In different wording, not that harshly. It was about then that my doctor refused to fill my zoloft. Refused. I had been on it for 10 years, I have depression and have since I can remember. I was at the hospital, praying and sleeping there and couldn’t believe she wouldn’t refill it. We came home to shower and I called and her assistant said she hadn’t refilled it in a year. I was speechless, I was holding the bottle in my hand and it very clearly had her name on it, along with the last years worth of bottles as well. So, we called the pharmacy. It was a pharmacy mistake. When they got a denial to fill A YEAR BEFORE from her they sent it to my old doc without telling me and he filled it. And continued to do so for a year!! The pharmacist called my doc to explain it and I did as well and she stood firm and said. No. I will not refill your zoloft. Not even a months worth so I could find a doc who would actually treat a woman with depression with the meds that keep her head above water. I had one one day and the next nothing. I spent the last week of my dad’s life going crazy in my head with grief, and my brain chemistry was out of whack after not having zoloft for a decade.

It’s safe to say that I am clinically depressed and receiving no medication for it. It’s also safe to say that I have this weird fear? to get a new doc. I don’t know what it is. I haven’t been able to go and get a new primary care doc. There was something that happened to me the year before that just shut me down completely, when it comes to doctors. It took sheer determination to find this one, the one that wouldn’t refill my zoloft. And now I feel defeated. And I can’t be. Something is going on in my stomach that will probably require surgery to fix, so says the ER doc, and I knew way back in the 90’s that one day I might need the surgery.

I’m struggling today. I’m in lots of pain in my stomach and really have to get my head together and start looking for a new primary care. I’m promising myself I will this week.

 

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