How I Deal with the Naysayers

How I Deal with the Naysayers

My husband and I picked up my parents last weekend and moved them to Florida.  Our five-year-old daughter stayed with a friend. It took us two days and about 20 hours of driving.  We made it safely and without any major incidents.

My father suffered a brain injury on August 1st and has been through ICU, additional surgeries, Rehab, Therapy, and pure hell since then. The injury was caused by a grave error made during heart surgery. His heart is perfect. The rest of him is not. He is not the strong, sharp, healthy 86-year-old man he was when he walked through those hospital doors almost three months ago. My mother, age 78, and quite healthy, is not the same either. She is exhausted, discouraged, frustrated, and sleep-deprived.

For these reasons, my husband and I are now taking them into our home for an indefinite period. Yes, this is daunting. Yes, it required a great deal of discussion and planning. Yes, it will change our lives. Yes, people are saying that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into.

But here’s what I have to say:

  • The next person who tells me that I don’t know what I’m getting myself into will get slapped.
  • I am an extremely positive person. This is the way I choose to live. This puts me at a distinct advantage.
  • I am pissed. Those doctors screwed up my father. I am determined to help fix him. Anger helps motivate me.
  • I adore my parents. They have bent over backwards for me my entire life. It is my turn to do the same.
  • Their granddaughter is the light of their lives. Why not let them bask in her light and soak up some of that youthful energy? And in the meantime, this is an opportunity to teach her compassion, patience, and understanding.
  • Everything is temporary. Accept it. Enjoy it if you can. Move on.
  • I am strong and I can do anything. Why not this?

So, as we move through this new and challenging journey, I will continue to be positive. I will teach yoga. I will use my essential oils. I will cry when I want to. But most of all, as hard as they knock on my door, I will not let the naysayers in.

how i deal

 

How a Simple Phone Call Broke My Heart

A little background to prepare you…

My father had several surgeries in July and August. During his second surgery, the medical team made a grave error which caused either an ischemic or anoxic brain injury. This surgery was on August 1st. He is still unable to do lots of things he was fully capable of doing when he walked into the hospital that morning. It has been a long, hard road.

The following is an email I wrote to my four siblings and my Mom after a phone call from my Dad, while retrieving my daughter from school.

Dad called me and said that he had a message for me to relay. He said he had been trying to contact his family to let them know he was on his way home. That he couldn’t find Mom, to tell her he loves her immensely, and he will come home to her soon. (She was sitting right next to him in their home.)

I said that he might not understand this, but he was actually home with Mom. That he didn’t have to go anywhere. That he was being taken care of.

He said, “So you’re telling me I am home.” And then he kind of laughed in disbelief.

After a few nonsensical things about traveling, he said he was trying his best to get to me. I told him that I would come to him the next time we saw each other.

I told him that maybe some day he would be coming to Florida to live. He said, “Oh really! That would be good for me.” I agreed.

I heard Mom’s voice in the background, so I said goodbye and told him to hang up.

I had already lost it from his comment about loving mom ‘immensely’, so I needed to get off the phone before he heard the tears and sadness in my voice.

My heart is breaking.

How To Tell if You’ve Had Enough

How To Tell if You’ve Had Enough…

There I sat with the blood pressure cuff on my arm feeling pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t high.

On my right, the markers my daughter had just slammed into my hand after getting frustrated with her project, saying, “Here, keep them for 15 years!”

On the TV, the news coverage of Hurricane Irma.

Directly in front of me, my view of our palm trees blowing in the 25 MPH wind, not even from Irma, but from the nor’easter.

Five simple words repeated like a mantra in my head.

I can’t take much more. I can’t take much more. I can’t take much more.

Not the kind of mantra I prefer, but it remained.

The tears began to flow. The short and sharp breaths joined in.

I can’t take much more. I can’t much more. I can’t take much more.

I thought of my father.

My mother.

My failures as a mother.

My hives.

The breaths got longer, deeper.

My eyes closed as I wiped the tears.

The cuff came off.

The markers were released to a hiding place, most likely to emerge before the 15 years is up.

The mantra slowed, faded, remained.

I can’t.

And I won’t.

how to tell if

 

 

 

Roller Coaster of Emotions Tamed by Words

The roller coaster of emotions throughout this time with my Dad has been mind boggling. One moment, I am encouraged. The next, I am so distraught. One minute, I am laughing. The next, sobbing. And of course, at many moments, comes the piercing anger.

roller coaster

This has not bothered me though. I have allowed myself to feel and do whatever I need to get through it. And we are only at the beginning. I’ve done a lot of writing. This has become my outlet over the years, and has helped me tremendously over the past two months. When the anger arises, my keyboard gets a beating. But the act of banging out these words provides a bit of satisfaction.

roller coaster

This poem illustrates my last ditch effort to help my father sleep and swallow. Amazing that our body can forget how to do those things. This is all quite amazing. Unbelievable. Tragic. Downright wrong.

The words help.

____________________________________________

 

Throat Chakraroller coaster

Standing by his bedside,

I lay the stone at his throat.

Placed my hand above,

Moving it in a slow, gentle, flowing motion.

Swallow. Swallow.

As simple, yet as difficult, as that.

Meditating on opening, flowing, functioning;

Breathing energy into this space.

Onto his feet with oils;

Couldn’t believe what I was doing.

Never imagined doing this.

Any of this.

roller coaster

Go Ahead. Get Pissed Off. You’ll Feel Better

Go Ahead. Get Pissed Off. You’ll Feel Better…

Yes, I am a yogi. I remain calm as much as possible. Teaching yoga is my favorite thing to do. I believe strongly in the power of positive thinking and manifestation. I use essential oils and Chakra balancing for my health. I informally counsel others on these ways of living. Most of the time, I am a happy, friendly, loving, and giving person.

go ahead

But right now, I am pretty damn pissed off!

I have found myself here several times since June. I have been deeply immersed in medical arenas, discussions, inquiries, conferences, emergencies, planning, etc. on behalf of my father.

My father.

A vibrant, strong, intelligent, funny, clever, 86 year old man, who’s been reduced to unthinkable things. He WILL recover. He WILL be healthy again. I know it.

But every day or two, I just get pissed off. And I’m okay with that. Pissed off feels good some times. It releases me from the happiness and hopefulness often hard to muster.

Dad…get pissed off and get yourself out of here.

go ahead

Unfiltered, Unedited Look Into “She Waited For Me”

Here is your unfiltered, unedited peek into my latest manuscript.

Here’s What Pisses Me Off

I wrote a blog post a while back about how depressing it was to see happy mamas with their new babies. I always felt totally robbed. I can’t look back at the first four months of Emma’s life without feeling sad, angry, resentful, and cheated. It was so fucking hard! I was severely anemic, had PPD, felt completely paranoid, was sleep deprived of course, and had to take care of a newborn.

It blows my mind to this day that I breastfed her for three months! What the hell was I thinking? And what the hell was everybody else thinking? Why didn’t somebody say,

“You know, Libby, your body really is taking on a lot of stress already. Your blood level plummeted to half of its volume within minutes after your C-section. You have post partum depression. You’re crying every damn five minutes because you feel like your world is crumbling around you. You are 44 years old. You just endured months of hormone shots and pregnancy. You lost 30 pounds in a matter of days. Give yourself a break. You can feed her formula. You don’t have to let this parasite suck you dry. Go ahead. Dry up. Let your body heal. Emma will be fine.”

Nobody said anything like that. And I never thought about it. And it pisses me off. Even five years later.

And here’s another thing that pisses me off. Why didn’t anybody do anything about my medication? They made me decrease my Zoloft to 50mg during pregnancy. Why didn’t we discuss a gradual increase back to 100mg shortly after birth so I wouldn’t feel like a fucking crazy person? The anemia and weight loss were quite enough. But being so anxiety ridden that I couldn’t eat should have been clue number one that I needed a little something more.

I will never forget sitting in my living room, looking down the hall at my mother holding Emma, standing outside of my husband’s home office. She was crying, telling Jeff that I needed help, that I can’t take care of my child like this. I don’t know if I said it out loud or not, but I remember thinking…”Oh no, no, no! You don’t get to cry! I’m the only one that gets to cry!” But, honestly, I was happy for the support and that someone else was taking care of my child at the moment.

They did gradually get me back up on my meds. The anemia slowly improved. My appetite came back and I ate everything in sight. I began to feel like a normal person who wasn’t deathly afraid of this tiny human. And even though Emma was complimented in the hospital for a good latch and breastfeeding was actually a joy for a while, that all drastically changed when she was diagnosed with acid reflux and put on Zantac. What a joke. Who the hell puts a newborn on Zantac?!?! She didn’t have any worse reflux than any baby does. She was simply showing her true, spirited personality and she was DONE with breastfeeding. And so was I. One of the best things I ever heard from a doctor during that time was, “It’s okay to stop breastfeeding. You got her through the most important time.” It was a freaking miracle that I got her through anything. And when I look at her today, I see that I did a hell of a lot better than it felt like at the time.

It’s stupid to look back on the past and start the ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda’ dance. But, dammit, if I had been thinking more clearly…

  • I woulda ditched breastfeeding.
  • I shoulda told my doctors to get me the hell back on my medication sooner.
  • And I coulda enjoyed my first few months of motherhood.

Instead, I didn’t, and it makes me very sad. It always, always, will.

 

The Anatomy of Birthdays and Heart Surgery

The Anatomy of Birthdays and Heart Surgery…

anatomy

He turns 86 today. She turns 50 in 10 days. He is awaiting heart surgery. She has a plane ticket to Chicago to celebrate her birthday. He wants to get this over with. She wants him to be okay. He doesn’t want to miss or disturb her birthday plans. She says that he is the priority and birthdays can be celebrated any time. He has always insisted that birthdays be celebrated ON THE DAY. She agrees.

This is one of those times when living in the present can really help. They know very little about what’s going to happen, yet they would like to do things as planned. They don’t want to have to change their plans, but of course, they will. It’s his heart after all.

anatomy

If they live in the present, none of this matters.

He is important to her. She loves him. He’s been there for her a countless number of times. She will be there for him. She will be present.

Bottom line…she wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him. He trumps her.

Take care of HIM. Period.

anatomy

 

 

Five Things You Might Feel When Life Sucks and What To Do About It

Five Things You Might Feel When Life Sucks and What To Do About It

*****Warning – Profanity*****

It doesn’t matter what it is. Maybe you’re incredibly stressed out. Maybe you keep fighting with your spouse. Maybe your children are behaving horribly. Maybe your laundry is piled up like a damn pyramid. Maybe someone you care about is dying. Maybe you’ve just had it up to here with the pressure of being who you are.

Whatever it is…life pretty much sucks right now. But on top of the sucking, you also have to feel these five things. And you are ready to fucking lose it.

  1. Loneliness – you feel completely alone, that you are the only one who can or cares to fix any of this; if you don’t do it, nobody will; you want to just crawl under a damn rock, but then everything would probably get worse
  2. Isolation – might seem like the same as loneliness, but it’s not; it’s that feeling that everybody thinks you have the plague; maybe you’ve bitched one too many times; maybe you cry too much; maybe nobody wants to play with your kid anymore and maybe the parents don’t want your kid around theirs; maybe you’ve just been a little too much YOU and nobody can take it anymore. Hell, YOU can’t take you anymore!!
  3. Irritability – you’re right at the edge all the fucking time; the tiniest thing will send you over; somebody questions you, looks at you funny, or God forbid, criticizes you – – – forget it. That shit won’t fly. Don’t they realize how close you are to breaking every dish in that cabinet? Leave me the hell alone.
  4. Depression – it’s just really damn sad that life has to suck right now. You didn’t do anything to deserve it. In fact, you thought you were doing the complete opposite; being a good person, helping others, waking with a positive attitude, being a better person than you were the day before. A whole lot of good that shit did.
  5. Anger – This mother fucking shit is just about all I can take and the next asshole who does anything to make it worse will have a fucking bloody nose.

What do you do about it?

You say, fuck it.

You feel it. You own it. Then you take care of you.

You are the only one who will.

Facebook Asked, What’s On My Mind?

Facebook asks me, “What’s on your mind?”  Well, that’s pretty cool. It’s nice and open ended. Tonight, as I enjoy a hotel stay by myself on my way to a conference, I’d like to simply tell you what’s on my mind.

  • A headache is on my mind, but it should be gone soon. Bedtime will be early tonight.
  • My daughter and hubby are on my mind. I will miss them this weekend but hope they have lots of fun together. Facebook
  • Fundanoodle Fiesta is on my mind. This is the first ever National Sales Conference for Fundanoodle. It will be so much fun! We will learn how to grow our businesses by sharing ideas with each other and learning strategies from the experts. I have the honor of sharing a yoga practice on Sunday morning. We will explore postures for our Second Chakra and tap into our creative energy.Facebook
  • Two of my yoga students from this morning are on my mind. One of them is a friend of the women who contributed to my book, In So Many Words. We really connected and hope to work together on some yoga/healing work. The second one is a woman who had been out of class following knee replacement surgery. After class, I asked her how class felt. She said, “It was like coming home.” What an amazing response! Those words made my day!
  • Lots of SEO work on my websites is on my mind. Two experts in the field gave me some really good information about the importance of Search Engine Optimization and the best ways to implement it. Will be a lot of work, but not difficult.
  • And lastly, my very full belly is on my mind. But it won’t stop me from eating the chocolate covered raisins I bought at Cracker Barrell.

Peace out !