Monday, August 01, 2011

And so it continues

Martha is back in the lockup, after becoming physically aggressive toward Alice.

In our first family therapy meeting on Sunday afternoon, she was primarily angry because the session had been scheduled during a time when she had hoped to be able to go to the gymnasium.

After complaining bitterly about the whole arrangement being "fucked up," she decided that the clothing she had chosen to bring was not adequate to her liking and I should bring her more. I explained that the contents of her room were horrifyingly rancid and that I was disinclined to spend time washing and sorting any of it. "Then go buy me new stuff," she demanded.

This evening she used her one daily phone call to badger me about bringing her more clothes or buying her some. I told her I wasn't interested, and that she should make do with the ones she chose to bring. "OmiGOD," she spat. "Bring me some crayons and a coloring book."

"They'll give you paper," I said. "Draw your own pictures."

"That's gay. I hate my drawings. Then I get pissed off."

[silence]

"Anything else?" I asked, after a rather long stretch of nothingness.

"No. Bye." [click]

I didn't hear from the therapists or the release planners today, but I am hoping with all my heart that they are finally able to convince the insurance provider that she cannot come home and that long-term residential care is really the only option we have left. They closed the Nebraska loop-hole, or I'd already have packed her in the car and headed for Omaha to leave her at the hospital doorstep.

Maybe that makes me a bad mother.

But I think that allowing her to torment and physically abuse her siblings makes me a worse mother. So that option's out of the question. If we are forced to bring her home again, I will be packing up the other two and we will seek shelter elsewhere.

There. I said it. [/marklevinvoice]

Honeybadger JUST DON'T CARE. Honeybadger gets stung by bees. Honeybadger gets bit by a cobra. Honeybadger don't care.




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The 2011 school yearbooks are in and are sorted and ready for distribution. WOOT!

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I have been feeling rather light-headed for quite a while now, so last week I called my hematologist's office to schedule some blood-work. I've learned to pay attention to my body, and when I feel weird for more than a week or so, I figure it's time to run the numbers and see if my iron levels are where they should be.

They drew blood this morning. It hurt like Hades, which is extremely unusual; I usually don't even feel it when they do their phlebotomy jiujitsu on me.

They called me this afternoon. Apparently my potassium levels are extraordinarily HIGH.

WTF?!? The only meds I take now are colestipol, which is a bile-acid sequestrant and which can cause one to be LOW in potassium... and omeprazole, which shouldn't have any effect on my potassium levels.

It is possible that I could've gotten a false hyperkalemia indication because of this:

Pseudohyperkalemia is a rise in the amount of potassium that occurs due to excessive leakage of potassium from cells, during or after blood is drawn. It is a laboratory artifact rather than a biological abnormality and can be misleading to caregivers. Pseudohyperkalemia is typically caused by hemolysis during venipuncture (by either excessive vacuum of the blood draw or by a collection needle that is of too fine a gauge); excessive tourniquet time or fist clenching during phlebotomy (which presumably leads to efflux of potassium from the muscle cells into the bloodstream); or by a delay in the processing of the blood specimen.

Since the blood draw WAS somewhat abnormal, they're going to re-draw blood tomorrow morning. In the meantime, though, they were extremely concerned and wanted me to head immediately to the E.R. if I got extremely dizzy or felt some kind of cardiac problems, since hyperkalemia can lead to cardiac arrest.

I swear, it's always something.

If they determine that I really do have hyperkalemia and it isn't due to a lab quirk, I may end up in the hospital tomorrow. But let's hope not, k? I just don't have the time or the inclination to be hospitalized.

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I am really worried about my Pop. He just isn't doing well. He's cancer-free, but the ensuing misery of re-establishing immunity has been nothing short of horrific. A couple of weeks ago he erupted in a virulent display of chickenpox, which has left him pocked from head to toe and disturbingly addlepated.

Cancer sucks. And life is just not fair.

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On the plus side, "serene" is precisely how I'd describe home and family life without her here. Even "Zen-like." And yet, as Rick and I discussed it, we're both gritting our teeth in anxiety over the uncertainty of what we'll have to endure. It's just too good to be true, this peacefulness.

The first time she was in the lockup, we felt almost celebratory. We took family walks. We went places. We all sat together and laughed about stuff and watched television and left bedroom doors open without fear of having our things ransacked. And then they dropped the bomb on us that even though they completely agreed that she needed more serious and long-term intervention, the insurance company would not cover the expense because of the lack of a history. The pall descended upon everyone in the house almost immediately.

This time around, the exuberance is muted. We don't trust it, because it will get yanked away from us again just like before.

We're like abuse victims who can't get away from their abuser. It's like living in a war zone... you become inured to the daily, hourly, minute-ly whistle of incoming sniper fire or bombs, and when everything goes silent, you still can't relax because your body (at an almost cellular level) just knows it won't last and you'll have to duck and cover again.

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People all the time ask me if I'm okay. I work really, really, really hard to be positive and funny and to NOT be a complete funsucker, which is why I just don't talk about this stuff much.

Yes, I'm okay. As okay as I can be, I think.

I am meaner than this crap. People all around me are suffering in private ways, and I've got no reason to expect different. My pain ain't special. And I'm not going to allow it to take center stage. You bet -- life does suck. But it doesn't mean I can't figure out ways to make it suck less.

Such as:

Crab Imperial
Sauvignon blanc
Show tunes
Afternoon naps
Funny Facebook status updates
A good cry
Puns
The color green
Sparkly things
New boots

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I glued some teeny Swarovski crystals to my big toenails so I could have sparkly things with me on a continual basis.

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I think that having a Facebook account has taken quite a bit of my blogging impetus away. But some things, like the stuff in this blog post, just don't lend themselves well to a Facebook status. They're too, well, serious. And because there are just so many people who read my FB status updates, I fear that writing about this on FB would appear to be a solicitation of pity. I'm not interested in people "feeling bad for me" ... but I do need this outlet to write it down from time to time. If anything, I'm grateful that so few people read my blog. It liberates me to be a little less concerned about how people will "take" it. Because this honeybadger JUST DON'T CARE.

1 comment:

Lauren Ragan said...

I'm sorry to hear that you are still having some troubles with Martha. I really enjoy reading your blog posts even though, they aren't always good news. I pray for your family and your parents, that you both may find some peace and healing in the next few months.