Update: As Good As It Gets (Warning Language)

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Disclaimer: For those who are sick of “this shit” or “me bitching” scroll on by. For real. I wasn’t writing this for y’all anyway.

The man I refer to as my VSF is so dope. He listens to me without brushing me off. Doesn’t make fun of me if I repeat myself (which I do, a lot).And he checks up on me almost daily. It is an awesome feeling. He listened with concern while I talked about being scared regarding my annual cerebral angiogram coming up on May 13th, It is a surgery , so no matter how many people tell me it is no big deal or that I had it done before(I do not remember cuz I was UNCONSCIOUS!!!. I don’t want my fuckin brain poked at. However, I do wanna poke some other people’s brains, and maybe they will stop being so insensitive.

Because:

My short term memory is not getting better.

As a matter of fact, on some days it seems to be getting worse. I have been trying to keep my mind sharp by writing, and I try to write one to two pages a day of my novel. Why today did I forget one of the main character’s name? Why did I leave my microwave popcorn in the microwave last night? I also forgot the password to my (this) blog so I have to copy and paste what I write to an email and then copy and paste that to an app on my iPhone.
Speaking of apps, thank God for the “to do list app” because I have a myriad of doctors’ appointments next week.

I am not stupid.

As a matter of fact, I am still highly intelligent. I may walk slowly because my left side can be weak at times. Talk slowly because I am afraid I’ll ramble or sound confused. I may skip or add words when I type things out now where I didn’t before, but for the most part I live by the mantra: I had brain surgery; what (the fuck) is your excuse??!!??

Being isolated sucks balls. Mind you, I don’t live alone, but you would never know it. I feel like I am only spoken to if and when somebody needs something from me. I have actually caught on to when I am going to be asked for a favor. Don’t patronize me. Why? Look at reason # 2

I thank God for my Mom, my VSF, my brother k/d and a few select friends. (they know who they are). Without them, I would be lost and forgotten about.
If you have ever seen the movie Soul Food, there is a character named Uncle Pete who lives in an upstairs back bedroom, is cooked and brought his food by his sister, and very few family members check on him (from what I recall.) I feel like Uncle Pete minus the meals. I feel like a burden or inconvenience most of the time. I am only forty three years old. I should be living not just existing. I think if I got out more or talked to people more often, I wouldn’t feel so awkward in social settings.

Headaches. Again they range from mildly annoying to excruciating as shit. Today, it must be getting ready to rain because the back of my head is throbbing.(on a scale of 1-10 it is a 7)

Fatigue. My nap time is 2pm. If I miss my nap, I am fuckin miserable. Although, the medicine I’m on helps with my mood swings, if I am tired don’t ask me for shit.

Depression. I have been diagnosed with major depression. I am cool with that diagnosis. Why? Because I almost died, my quality of life has changed, financially pfffft, I’m in pain, and I am isolated. Major depression sounds about right. Besides my medication, I meditate and have manifested a beautiful house on the beach somewhere, maybe Puerto Rico, where me and my VSF will live. It will be paradise!!!

Then there are the grandbabies. They make me soooo happy too. They can wear me out, but yeah, I kiss em up.

So for now, that’s it. What scares me is that I have plateaued, and this is as good as it gets.

I’ll let y’all know what happens on the 13th.
Peace,
“Star”

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Why Religion is better than Spirituality??-Not THIS AGAIN!!!

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***enter usual disclaimers about not meaning to offend anyone here***

I was surfing the web, but I honestly don’t remember what wave I was riding. However, I am almost sure I was coasting somewhere close to meditation techniques. On the side bar of the webpage I saw a link that said (I am paraphrasing):

Why Religion is better than Spirituality

I raised an eyebrow. Okay I am lying, I am not genetically predisposed to raise one eyebrow at a time.

I smirked.

Then clicked on the link.

Again, I briefly skimmed the article until it got to the thesis which basically stated (paraphrasing):

Spiritualists lack the organization to come together to help the community like a local church can.

And I clicked the damn X on the page.

There are a myriad of reasons why I clicked the X, but for brevity sake, I will provide one or two examples:

1-A teenager was excommunicated from her church because it was discovered that she was pregnant. I did not know you could kick anyone out of a baptist church. I thought only catholics did that. But, by all means, feel free to correct me if I am wrong. That was a time in her life that she needed to be Loved and supported the most.

I just…can’t.

2-A co-worker and close friend of mine was living with her children’s father. She was being physically and mentally abused, and the father even threatened that if she left, he would take their children and disappear. She was terrified to call the police or go to a shelter for fear of retaliation before she had a chance to get away. During her free time at work, because she wasn’t able to do research at home, she found an apartment in another state. All she needed was money for a moving trailer and the security deposit. After offering her some money, I suggested that she ask our church for assistance with the rest. I thought for sure they would help out a new member with getting her life together.

I was sickened by the church’s response.

Apparently, my friend did not tithe regularly, and therefore, the church refused to help her.

Wow!!! How Loving!! How Christian!!

What would Jesus say? Better yet, to use a coined phrase (pun intended):

What Would Jesus Do??

After pondering that question, a group of us “unorganized Spiritual folk” took up a collection for her. It was enough for her to make the trip, and move into her apartment. We also were able to get a grocery store card for her and her children.

Furthermore, no matter WHO your higher power is, isn’t the WHOLE point of all his/her/it’s teachings to LOVE one another??

Oh my friend? We didn’t hear from her for a while because she was so afraid of being found., but about six months later, I got an email from her at work. She thanked us profusely and told us they were all safe, and she was even going to school to be a counselor for abused women.

So much for Spiritualists lack of organization.

Peace,

Star

Photo Credit: mq1.jpg?v=ca8f44

 

Customer Service or Customer Sarcasm-The Last Thing that Made Me Mad. (Rated R for Language)

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My long term disability case manager should have taken sensitivity training before becoming employed, or if doesn’t like his job or working with people, he should fucking retire. All this man does is demand that I get records, demand that I follow up on those records, demand I keep him abreast of all of my doctors and doctors’ appointments. Make sure those doctors send him their records about the appointment and then follow up with them as well. Which would be fine if I had a normal brain without short term memory issues. But if THAT was the case I wouldn’t need to be on disability. I would fuckin go back to work. But that is not the case.

Read my “about” page to get caught up on my health situation

This poses the questions:

WHAT THE FUCK DOES MY CASE WORKER DO ALL DAY???

WHY DO I HAVE TO FOLLOW UP ON HIS REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION???

SHOULDN’T HE DO IT???

And some final questions:

WHY CAN’T HIS CLIENTS HAVE HIS EMAIL ADDRESS??? I mean I know I have brain damage, but it would only make sense that a client with short term memory issues be allowed to send an email to her case worker so she can have an save this information in writing.

THE FINAL QUESTION:

Does he have to be a condescending asshole to me when he calls and leaves messages? I didn’t want my brain to explode. I don’t want to be disabled. I paid into this benefit when I was employed. It doesn’t cost my case manager a thing. So why the fuck is he such an ass puppet to me? The last time he made me so upset, I called his supervisor and left a sobbing message. (Before my meds were adjusted). I could remember him being nice for about two more phone calls and then he went back to being an ass.

The last time he had the nerve to ask me, so there is nothing physically wrong with you, you just have mental issues?

Bitch, I has a brain aneurysm rupture in the hippocampus of my brain (which is the emotional center of one’s brain). THAT WAS PHYSICAL!!!I’m assuming this man has a college degree??? Can he use his deduction skills??? Again, I have brain damage, and it makes sense to me.

(wooooooosaaaaaah)

I still hate him.

For real.

Any other suggestions?

“Star”

Ps. I think I found a website where I can complain. I’ll just copy and paste this blog…lol

Blog Prompt: http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/489937/75403/

Photo credit: www.gesupplydiscrimination.com

 

 

 

The Up Side of Being Pissed Off

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Some would say that being angry is a waste of energy. I don’t agree. We should be entitled to our emotions. The problem arises when we choose to act on them.

Because of my medical issue (see about section of blog) I was put on a myriad of medication to heal and to calm me down. My Dr. explained if I didn’t calm down, my healing process would take longer.

For a while I was so calm I was numb. I honestly don’t remember feeling anything but sleepy. In mixed company, I felt as if I appeared slow. But according to others, I seemed normal. Deep down I knew I was anything but normal.

Before I was put on the medication, I remember my son getting “out of line” with me and I literally leapt over the couch and starting punching him in the face. Pre-aneurysm, that was something I would never do. Post aneurysm, I think about beating people in the head with a cast iron skillet daily.

So thank GOD for medication. I honestly would be dead or in jail because of it.

But I am also REALLY happy that I can feel again. I mean, I don’t like being angry, but at least I know I am not a zombie. Pre-annie, I was super emotional and cried all the time. If I cry now, I am so filled with joy it is literally spilling out; or if the cause of my tears is provoked anger—get as far away from the kitchen as you can.

Things that irk (for those of you with slow reflexes):

Noise. If there is too much going on around me, I get overwhelmed and become really scared. My fear leads to anger because I don’t like being scared. Oh and today’s R&B is “noise”.

Sarcasm. I am proud of being sarcastic, and I actually liked sarcastic people. It was an art to me. Now there are only two people in my life who can be sarcastic with me (My SF and my Brother in Love) and even they have to do it in person, because I don’t normally catch it on the phone. Luckily, I didn’t lose my sarcasm, humor or wit; otherwise, I’d be pissed off more often.

To the right…to the right. I lost my peripheral vision in my left eye. DO NOT COME UP ON MY LEFT; IT SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME!!! If you didn’t read it in the “noise” section ,  I don’t like being scared.

Psuedo  doctors. Unless this has happened to you or you ARE a neurologist SHUT THE F*CK UP ABOUT MY HEALING PROCESS!!! You have NO IDEA HOW I FEEL OR WHAT I AM ABLE TO DO. One day I can be full of energy and ready to hang out with friends, or clean my apartment, or go out to eat. However, I usually have to take a nap before or after that. Then quite possibly the next day, I am in bed, and I can barely move.

Patronization. “Oh, you must have a headache, today; you’re crabby.” Nothing makes me want to reach for the skillet more and give the person who said that a headache.

Feeling like I am an inconvenience. If I could drive, I wouldn’t ask people for shit. Hell, I wouldn’t be home. I would be with people who don’t do the first five things on my list. If I ask someone for help, sighing heavily or rolling of the eyes makes it skillet time. Trust me at that point, I’ll risk walking and getting hit by a car before I ask for anything.

My routine. I HAVE to have it. I got used to it, and if I deviate too much from it, my short term memory issues kick in and I repeat myself more. Repeating myself is embarrassing to me.

This was cathartic for me. I am not so pissed anymore, and no one was harmed in the writing of this blog.  Thanks for reading

“Star”

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Hodge Podge of Hell (I Still Shine Update 4)

 

Hodge Podge of Hell (I Still Shine Update 4)

I honestly don’t know how else to put it.
The past month or so has been weird to say the least, so it’s been a while since I have updated you all about my condition. (see about page if you haven’t already)
Physically:
I want to feel better. I really do. I try every day to make the most of the day. I don’t know if it is the meds I am on to keep me calm, but I am so tired. If I don’t take a nap, I am grumpy, yet I can’t fall asleep at night. I still get frequent headaches, and they are sometimes scary and crippling. When I am overly tired, I have tremors which are also scary.
Mentally:
My short term memory seems to be regressing more. I constantly have to rely on Post-It notes. I forget my medicine, to take out meat to defrost for dinner or if I even ate, and I am constantly asking what day it is. I have a hard time spelling and/or typing now. I try to keep brain active by writing and painting on the computer. It seems to help until I get tired.
Emotionally:
I am angrier than I let on. I do believe my meds have kept me from freaking out or killing people on more than one occasion. My birthday and “annie-versary” was okay. It was okay because I honestly do not remember it. I remember getting a “scented wax burner” from my Mom and a carrot cake from one of my daughter’s friends. I also remember being very happy at the FB messages wishing me Happy Birthday. I am upset now because I can’t remember what I wanted to type. It was so easy ad I had it all planned when I was taking a bath.
Speaking of that, I am getting real annoyed at people who dismiss my memory issues. They say things like “I’m the same way and I don’t have brain damage. Or wait until you get my age.” I realize they are just trying to empathize with me, but honestly the sh*t doesn’t work. All it does is p*ss me off. Can I have my illness to myself please? I mean unless this happened to you, seriously, shut up.
Three people I knew passed away this month. (They say it comes in threes). I just couldn’t deal with it. The meds “keep me SO calm” that I couldn’t cry. I actually get relieved when I cry. I feel like I have “broken through the induced trance”. But afterwards, I’m worn out, and I need a nap.
I had a panic attack at my best friend’s Thanksgiving dinner. There were a lot of people there and a lot of noise and movement. I lost my breath, the tears just fell from my eyes, and I started shaking. My best friend had to take me outside to get some air. When I came home that evening, I fell sound asleep.
My son is being a super @ss. He is nineteen and recently acquired a girlfriend who is seventeen and apparently very immature. She is the type of little girl who needs to constantly pick arguments with my son to have him apologize so that proves he cares for her. I hear my son on his cell phone getting angry, and he treats me like sh*t for the duration of his anger.
My daughter is having marital problems. She used to talk to me about the clod she married, but this time she got so depressed, she shut me out which scared the crap out of me. She was all the way across the country, and I was helpless. She left, and her and my three granddaughters are staying with me now. I am relieved that they are out of danger and am thrilled to see their beautiful faces everyday.
Financially:
I’m broke. Point blank. Period. I had to ask my SF for money for a co-pay for a doctors appointment. He was more than happy to oblige but called me ridiculous when I told him I’d pay him back. That gesture touched me so much I “broke through the induced trance” cried then became exhausted from crying.
Christmas is coming up, I have NO MONEY to do ANYTHING for ANYBODY. That hurts so much because my amazing granddaughters are here.
My son said he was going to buy decorations, put up a tree and buy food for a meal. He reneged (possibly because of the young girl), and that broke my heart. I really wanted to help my daughter make dinner. So we will go to my best friend’s family’s annual brunch (good food less people) and make the most of the day. Because family and friends are what the season is all about anyway.
Spiritually:
Honestly, that is the only part of my life I don’t have issues with. I just wish I could meditate more, but now that my daughter and the girls are here, there just isn’t any space or quiet in which to do so. I suggested to my daughter that we do it together, but she kind of mocked the idea. So, I don’t do guided meditation, I just try to relax rebalance my chakras.
Which is all any of us can do right?

Until next time,
Peace and Shine On
“Star”

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Happy? Anniversary

Happy? Anniversary

I wasn’t going to write this blog, but I will…

…for ME.
I am being selfish for once in my life; so if you are sick of me talking or writing about it stop reading now, and no hard feelings.

Today is the anniversary (or as us warriors/survivors call it “annie” versary) of when I almost died from a cerebral artery aneurysm rupture. It isn’t really a day to “celebrate” more of an acknowledgement.

That’s how I am going to handle it. I am going to acknowledge the day, possibly eat some more carrot cake left over from my birthday four days ago and chill out.

What shocks me is the amount of people who think I am supposed to be “over it” by now.
The only way I can get people to understand what I am going through is to equate it with losing a loved one. The year after your loved one passed no one would dare say to you “it’s been a year stop grieving”, would they? And if they did would you still consider them a friend?
I am fully aware that I didn’t die, that I am blessed and should be thankful. But like my psychiatrist said, “You are grieving the old you, and it is okay to grieve her. You have to accept the new you and make her the best she can be.

First of all, you are the most hyper and impatient person I have ever met. You must exhaust your special SF physically, mentally and he probably had a hard time dealing with you emotionally in the beginning because you were so angry.

I wish I would have videotaped our first session; you could barely speak you were crying so hard. You were never going to heal if you didn’t rest, so hence your treatment was designed to calm you down and rest. No, you are not ready to be weaned off of the medicine, because YOU ARE STILL HEALING!!!”
Then he muttered some curse words under his breath that made me laugh. Every time I leave his office from an appointment, I am compelled to text my SF and apologize to him for me being incorrigible in the beginning, thank him for being there and Loving me regardless, and then I tell him what my doctor said. I normally get a little “smirky face” texted back to me with something along the lines of “nooooo really? you don’t say?
That alone makes me chuckle.

So according to my psychiatrist, I will be healing for a while. I told him about my birthday/anniversary day plans (or lack thereof) and he told me to enjoy myself and then relax. Ignore the people who tell you to “get over it” because like grieving the loss of a loved one, it will get easier in time, but it is perfectly normal to remember and reflect.

If you are still reading this here are some things you should know:
• I still get frequent headaches, and I still get really scared if it’s a bad one.
• The meds I am on make me tired, but I am not a zombie with no soul. The only thing that saves the people who piss me off from me leaping on them and ripping their throats out like a spider monkey is because I am too tired to do it. Well that and I am too cute to go to jail.
• I AM STILL HERE!!! I like company and cheeseburgers and Bud Light Lime, or Captain Morgan and Cokes, and guess what??? I AM STILL WITTY and FUN to hang out with. So call and come by, I’d like that.
• DON’T say you are going to do something with/for me and then don’t do it. NOTHING PISSES ME OFF MORE. Also DON’T SAY you were “going to” drop by. JUST DO IT. Shit nine times out of ten, I will enjoy the surprise.
• When I am nervous or stressed I seem to lose my “bearings”. If I am not answering a question correctly or if I seem to be acting “odd” keep an eye on me, but don’t panic. A simple, “are you okay?” will do. If I AM NOT OKAY, TRUST ME I WILL let you know.
• My sleeping patterns are erratic. If I don’t answer the phone when you call that is probably why. UNLESS you are one of the pseudo friends who said they were going to call you back and/or come by and DON’T. Yeah, then I am  ignoring you for wasting my time more than once.
• The physical stuff I will talk to my neurologist about at my next appointment. Y’all really didn’t need to know that. I just like bringing up my neurologist because he is FINE!!! LOL.

Finally, if you are still reading this, thank you. Thank you to those who Love me and SHOW it. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for praying for and with me. I Love you all.

Peace and ShineOn
“Star”

Men Are Thinkers; Women Are Feelers

***waits for the digestion of the title, and for the obvious backlash it could possibly unleash***
You can’t get mad at me; I didn’t say the above. My pastor said it. And he said it to be “helpful” not to be “hateful”.

The above statement is not to say that “men don’t feel” or “women don’t think. Quite the contrary. Being a pastor, he has done marriage counseling and this one of the many ideals that couples need to understand when they communicate.

Here is the ideal in full:

Men are thinkers; women are feelers. You can’t tell a man how to FEEL unless you know and UNDERSTAND what he THINKS, and you can’t tell a woman what to THINK until you know and UNDERSTAND what she FEELS.

***waits for further digestion***

Y’all still with me?

Good.

I know I have been/am guilty of not fully putting the above into practice. Like I may or may not have told you before, I am hypersensitive, which basically translates into heightened senses. I see, hear, smell taste and feel things at almost a supernatural level. This is a great asset when it comes to writing but not so much so when it comes to relationships because I have been called (and will take accountability for it) “over emotional”.

But my refutation for that sentiment is:

I’d rather feel than NOT to feel.

That usually shuts men up.

For a little while anyway.

In my experience, the only emotion I have noticed that men are comfortable with expressing is anger. Again because like I have inferred in a past blog Men Want to be Needed; women Need to be Wanted. Men, for whatever reason, feel that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness. But no, not anger. Anger gets the testosterone pumping and makes men feel all “arrrrrrghhhh and manly”.

My “friend” is one of those “manly men”. I remember a time he was so angry I got this obscure text message that had a lot of cursing in it. I inquired about the issue, and he came by and literally spewed his anger towards his “situation” for oh, three hours non-stop. It was a fast paced mumble with a dialect that bordered on Southern.

I listened the best that I could.

But, I didn’t say sh*t.

Why?

Because he didn’t need me to say sh*t, because I couldn’t fix his situation. I mean I could have, but he didn’t want me to have a felony on my record combined with the fact that I only have two bedrooms in my bungalow.

But I segued, my bad.

An article, I make my students read in class called Sex, Lies and Conversation by Deborah Tannen, addresses the fixing vs the fluff when it comes to male/female communication.

Paraphrasing the article:

*Men, if we come to you with a concern of ours. We understand the story may be long and riddled with detail you don’t need (fluff). But we say all of that to you, to get you to empathize with our situation. We appreciate “feedback noise” when we “tell the story”. By that I mean an occasional, “mmmhmm, really, you don’t say, get out, are you f*cking kidding me?” That lets us as women know that you are indeed listening. But be sincere don’t “loop” it. That just pisses us off.

*Women:

1-Shut the f*ck up sometimes, and get to the point.

2-Men are fixers and they want to know:

a-if there is, in fact, a problem

b-can they fix the problem

c-if you want them to fix the problem.

It’s not that they don’t care that “Keisha” was wearing “that God awful yellow sweater while she cussed you out at work as you were trying to eat your salmon salad at lunch which was at three-thirty because the meeting ran long”. But those bits of information are not really relevant to them “fixing” the problem, and they will lose interest in the monologue and “go watch the game”.

Side bar: When I write, I tend to blame “Keisha” for a lot of sh*t. If your name is “Keisha” my bad; it’s not personal.

So here are a few pieces of advice when it comes to communicating with the man you supposedly Love:

Unless it is an extreme emergency…

*Do not wake him.

*Do not bother him while he is “watching the game” or “doing what he loves to do”.

*Preface the conversation with “I need to talk to you; I have a problem, but the problem is NOT YOU.

*That above bolded and italicized statement, is NOT AN OPTIONAL statement, because men for whatever reason hear the words “talk” and “problem” and IMMEDIATELY get defensive and/or shut down.

*However, if the problem is because of him, don’t come at him like a screamin banshee. Men don’t like that sh*t either.

*Also try not to make accusing “you statements”. I will give you an example: “Henry” didn’t take out the trash again.

Shut up, I don’t know a man named Henry either. LOL.

Instead of yelling at Henry with, “You stupid, lazy, “sonofamotherlessgoat, I have asked you four times this week to take out the f*ckin trash. You have time for that damn X-Box, Playstation, or ball game, but when are you gonna take out the damn trash, ass-clown?”

Try:

“Hey Henry, are you okay? I am kinda hurt that I asked you to take out the trash four times this week, and it isn’t done. It makes me feel like I’m not being heard, and I am the only one who or cares about the household chores.”

TRUST ME when I say, “Henry” will be more receptive to that than the screaming and will take out said trash at the first opportunity he gets.

*TRY not to argue via text message. (raises hand– I am “guilty” of that myself). But written messages sometimes are unclear and there is no “sarcasm or I’m kidding” font. No matter how many “lol’s” you put in a text, sometimes you just have to wait to TALK to the man.

*Notice I said TALK, not YELL.

And if none of that works, kick him in the nuts and destroy the television.

I’M KIDDING.

Questions?

Comments?

PEACE and SHINE ON!!!

“Star”