Friday, November 28, 2008

Motel or Patel?

I have waited what seems like a lifetime for a peaceful holiday and my wish was finally granted. I do not know what I have done to deserve such a fine holiday but I refuse to look for answers, I just enjoyed it for what it was. For as long as I can remember we have celebrated holidays at my grandparents house full of 20-30 people whom would likely rather throw darts at each other than spend a day together but on that day we would all smile and discuss surface topics and be polite and eat lunch and cringe wondering who would be the first person to say something audible to piss another off rather than muttering it under their breath. The tension was ungodly and likely the source of the constant acid reflux I feel brewing around the holidays. The reason this fun gathering was cancelled was a sad one but as with all things in life, things happen for a reason. My grandfather is getting old and has grown quite ill with his Parkinsons and neuropathy over the past few years, especially the past year. My mother and her siblings cannot agree on how to best care for him so they mostly choose just to ignore each other. It was for these reasons that Thanksgiving was held at my parents house with only a few of us in attendance. We all fit at one table and no one was forced to eat out in the garage where I spent many a Thanksgiving as my grandmother felt this was the only appropriate spot for children to graze over their holiday dinner. Bad decision on her part because it usually ended in a food fight. There was no finer way to piss off a grandmother than to disrespect the food she had spent all day preparing. Then it was off to Kenneth's family and we had a good time there as well (and possibly 1 too many drinks). These holidays were not rushed and being spared the usual dysfunction was so refreshing. The only crappy part was that I didn't get to see my sister thanks to the good old US Army. I shopped some with mom today. We were not looking for black Friday crap and in fact didn't even begin shopping until well after noon. Anna's BD party is on Sunday though so we had to get some things accomplished. I heard of someone dying in Long Island because they were trampled at Wal-Mart. Merry Freakin Christmas!! I thought long and hard about his one and could not find one single item or combined number of items that are worth hurting someone over. Perhaps their insurance company cut off their meds too- I hope there is some logical explanation but I fear it is just one more example of how messed up our society has become. On an interesting note did you know that motel and Patel really are synonymous? I was reading that in the last 25 years, Indians (dot not feather) have acquired some 20,000 motels in America. That is roughly 50% of economy motels and 40% of all motel/hotels in America. Of those 20,000 Indian owned motels, 70% of them are owned by Indians named "Patel." That means 1/3 off all hotels and motels in America are truly owned by Patels. Maybe next week I'll research the 7-11s...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks Early

Well, Thanksgiving is coming up and I may not have another free moment until then to list the things I am thankful for so I think I'll do it now. I am thankful for:

1. Jesus Christ and the fact that he died on the cross so that I may live freely.
2. My country and those who have fought and even died so that I can live freely and worship my God in this country
3. My husband. Wow, how do I sum this one up? He has been with me through some pretty nasty stuff and there have been times it would really have been easier to just pack up and go. When those times come he is willing to reprioritize his life and get things in order again. He loves me unconditionally and makes our home a place I can come to and just be me, no matter what that means at the time. He loves me for me and loves our kids and believes that God is the head of this house. He believes I am the only woman he needs in his life to be happy and reminds me of this frequently. He tells me I am beautiful even when I look like hell and says it like he means it. He is my knight in shining armor. He is all of the things I told God I wanted in a man and he is the things I didn't even know I wanted in a man but that God knew.
4. My kids. They can make me laugh and cry all in one moment and for so many reasons. They have changed my life for the better and enriched it in ways I never knew were possible. They make me want to be a better person so that they may always have a good example to live by of what a wife, mother, sister, friend, etc. should be.
5. The rest of my family for their love and friendship.
6. My friends- each of them for different reasons.
7. My job. I love it sometimes and loathe it at other times but in this unsure economy I am so thankful to have a job.
8. The last year- although it has not been easy it has been full of lessons I would not have learned otherwise.

I could go on forever but these are the biggies...

Friday, November 21, 2008


I bet lots of people in my life are enjoying me right now...I lost my voice. I squeak here and there but that's about it. I get this crap every time the seasons change so I guess winter is officially here. I am off on Thanksgiving this year and am so glad to get to spend it with my family. I spent it last year with the hospital staff but it wasn't because I was working. It is funny how your mind has a way of freaking out when you get close to anniversary dates of bad things. I can remember back after Anthony beat the shit out of me that every year about that time I would have a freak out week and after a few days of it I would realize it was near that anniversary date. It has been 10 years now since that happened in 1998 and the pain is gone. I think the pain mostly went away when I finally came to a point of forgiveness. I did not forgive him because he needed me to, I forgave him because I needed me to. It released the power he had over me and allowed me to move on. (BTW, although Anthony was never convicted in the rape and assault trials he later ended up doing time for child abuse. I wish the court would have listened to Mindy and I and I hate it for that poor child but I am glad he finally got what was coming to him.) I can remember being afraid to go anywhere without my protective order and now I couldn't find a copy of it if I wanted to. I suppose it is still in effect, who knows? I wonder if forgiveness still counts if we do it for selfish reasons. Anyway, I was in the hospital at this time last year and I have cried more about it lately than I think I did when I was going through it last year. I know that a lot of people probably think I really need to move on and get over it but I just can't. I know the preeclampsia experience itself is over but the lasting effects I am afraid will never go away. My heart breaks for the loss of a dream- the dream of another pregnancy, a healthy one, where my baby comes out okay in the end. I thought I was over this but it just keeps coming back. Yeah, I've thought about and talked about and toyed with the idea of visiting a high risk doctor and seeing what my odds are but then I have to get realistic- the dream is over. It's too much of a crap shoot- I could have a healthy pregnancy and baby but it is unlikely and the truth is it would probably be worse and the next baby could make our journey with Anna look like cake walk. I love being a mommy though and I have so much to give and I so badly want to be able to give that. I have screwed up a lot of things in my life but I am a good mother and I enjoy doing the things I am good at. I am excited for Anna's birthday to be here in a couple of weeks but I am also afraid I will fall apart. I wonder if this pain will be gone in ten years also- that seems like a lifetime away...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Dreaded Shots

EI came out today. They were so pleased with Anna's progress. I had cancelled her last appointment because it was on the same day she got tubes in her ears so they had not seen her in awhile. They were so proud to see her up walking and actually with a little hair on her head. Our next step is to work on communication. They still think she is a bit behind but since she probably couldn't hear through all of that crap in her ears that is not unexpected. The bad news- to get her to make more noise we are supposed to only give her a pacifier when she is going to sleep. That may not be so easy but I am willing to give it a try. I have to pick Carly up from school in a little bit and take her to ballet. She does not know we will be making a pit stop to get her flu shot and second Hep A shot. I am not looking forward to it and I am sure when she figures it out she won't be either. She cracked me up the other day- she told Kenneth that DeeDee (her stuffed dog) was very tired because she didn't get any sleep because of Kenneth's snoring. Score 1 for Carly!! Yesterday was a sad day at work- there was a relatively young woman whose death was imminent- we had already coded her a few times and her life was nearing its end. She has 2 sons, 16 & 18 years old who have no father and no other real support system. The mother had lost her job and subsequently her home. She and her sons were living in a motel paid for by their church. The boys know who their fathers are but their fathers have never been in their lives. These boys were awesome- honor students with college scholarships who attend school full time and work 30+ hours a week. Since the 18 year old was the "next of kin" he had to make all of the decisions regarding his mother's medical care. I cannot imagine being 18 and trying to decide whether to take my mom off of the ventilator and let her go and then knowing I would be left with a brother to care for with no money, no home, etc. My heart broke for those poor boys. I just wanted to bring them home with me. If you are the praying type please include these boys in your prayers, they're going to need them. Well, off to gets the shots. Wish me luck!!!
P.S. 1. The patient died shortly after my shift ended yesterday. 2. Carly needs 5 additional shots, grrrrrr.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anna's Freakin Ears!!!

I am feeling so much better- thank God!! I am again a normal human being and hoping to stay that way for a long time to come. I am working 5 shifts this week so I am staying busy fo sho!! Christmas is coming and the bills never stop coming so it is necessary. I've had the fortune of mostly nice patients lately so that has helped. I am excited to see what my check will look like- I've never worked this much in one pay period before. Anyway, since I have and will be gone so much this week I kept Carly home today so we could spend some quality time together. We baked cookies which is one of her favorite things to do. They actually turned out pretty good. I made myself sick eating them. She was so good all day today, I really enjoyed our time together. There are days when I swear she hates me but luckily today was one of those days when I was in her good graces. Anna is walking all over the place. She basically walks if she needs to carry something and crawls if she needs to get somewhere fast. She is cutting 2 or 3 more teeth and becoming more of a kid every day. I cannot believe she is about to be a year old. It is bittersweet. She has another freakin ear infection so we restarted the ear drops today. She is waking up every 2 or 3 hours again in pain and Kenneth and I are doing our best to let each other rest when we can. It is exhausting. I think I can count on one hand the number of times she has slept through the night since her birth. My cousin's wife had a baby in August and she is already taking 8 oz of milk at bedtime and sleeping all night. Anna takes 3-4 ounces and sleeps 2-3 hours at a time. On a happier note, I found a place to order Anna's Elecare for almost $100 cheaper per case (6 cans). This will save us at least $150-200/month which I find pretty exciting. We are supposed to have her allergy tested at one year to recheck for milk/soy allergy. If she doesn't react we are free to switch to cow's milk at that time. If she does react to milk we can use soy but if she reacts to milk and soy we will pretty much be stuck with Elecare. Dr. Ogunmola said we could switch to rice milk at some point if we can find an alternate protein source because apparently rice milk has very little protein. Well, both of the kids are in bed and asleep for this moment so I think I had better get to bed now also, 5am will come early...

Monday, November 10, 2008


Bitchy- check. Irritable-check. Headache-check. Nausea-check. Electrical shocks throughout the brain- check. Body aches- check. Crying a lot- check. Sad- check. Angry- check. This is miserable. I am taking the Effexor and Pristiq and I am not sure what is causing all of this- the new med or less of the old med. I am no fun to be around right now, I know that much. It is no secret that I did a lot of drugs earlier in my life during the college years. I guess I was never "addicted" to them because I have never in my life felt this bad coming off of something. I wish I could just go to sleep for a few weeks and sleep this off but I need time to stand still for everything else while I sleep so I don't miss my kids doing stuff, Kenneth, work, and stuff like that. Anna is taking 5 steps and if I sleep for 2 weeks she'll be running when I wake up. I hate this!! I took care of a schizophrenic lady at work yesterday and I see it could be much worse, I have not lost sight of that but I also know it could be better.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

No Cold Turkey For Me

Dear God,
Thank you so much for hearing my cries and answering my prayers.

Your Child

Do you ever wonder why I think my God is so great? Well, it's really simple- it is because he is. My prayers were answered in a strange way. I was at work today and got a phone call from a friend. She called to tell me she had some Effexor samples (the taper packs) that she no longer needs and would give them to me if I wanted them. She says she didn't like the way the medicine made her feel. I happily took the samples off of her hands and now I do not have to go through the hell of coming off the Effexor cold turkey. I am soooo happy!!! I started the Pristiq today and I am just trying to be positive and hopeful and believe that this will work for me!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I am so frustrated amd angry I could scream and before this madness is all over with I probably will. Let me give you a little history for those of you who don't know it. I have major depression and anxiety which started very early in my childhood. I was FINALLY put on medication at about 12 years old and have been on it since except for a few brief periods when I thought I didn't need it and learned very quickly why I did. It has taken many years of tinkering with the meds to get it right. I have seen many different doctors, all of which tried their cocktail of drugs for me. Since being started on meds I have taken Tofranil, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Depakote, Lithium, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Ativan, Concerta, Abilify, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Lamictal and Effexor XR. Some worked for a brief time and then quit, some never worked, some made me gain horrid amounts of weight, some gave me acne, some made my muscles rigid, some made my hair fall out a bit, some made me a raving bitch, some never helped, some ended me up in the ER with a hypertensive crisis... But there is one that works and has worked for years and makes me the normalish person I am today. People who don't know my history ask how I am so even tempered and laid back- it is not me, it is the Effexor. The drug has its side effects, don't get me wrong- it makes me sweat like crazy, keeps my B/P a bit elevated, and sometimes makes me nauseated and jittery. These side effects are mild and I am willing to trade them any day for the way I feel off of the medication. Off of this medication I can singlehandedly destroy relationships, my career, my finances, and anything else near and dear to me in a matter of minutes. My mood swings are unpredictable and my depression, anxiety, and anger are uncontrollable. I am not a nice person off of my meds and I am unpredictable as hell. I am not ashamed of these things, I was born this way. I really think that my depression has helped me to feel things deeper and therefore be much more compassionate than most. I used to be afraid to tell people I was on meds but over the years I have become confident of the fact that I had nothing to do with putting together my chemical makeup and its flaws so I have nothing to be afraid of. OK, so enough of the background- I think you get the point, I need the Effexor, this is not optional for me and never will be. Fast forward to today. I go to the pharmacy to pick up my Effexor just like I have every month for as long as I can remember and the pharmacist says, "That will be $135." Uh, no it won't. It has always been $35 so now why all of the sudden is it $135. He tries to run it again and gets the same price. I told him I would call the insurance company and have the mistake corrected and then come pick it up later. I call the insurance company and here is where it all went downhill. Our drug benefit is 70/30. They pay 70% and we pay 30% of whatever the drug cost is. They have never before chosen or cared which drug we chose- if we chose the more expensive drug that just meant our 30% was more money out of our pocket. After being hung up on by the first idiot (I had to explain my plan to her and she works for the insurance company) I got a very nice lady who explained that Effexor is "no longer covered." I talked at length with her and her supervisor who couldn't tell me why. I explained that we have never ever had a a drug rejected and that our plan does not have tiers- we can chose what drug we want. They said yes, but not this drug, we will no longer cover it at all. If you chose to stay on it you will have to pay the $135/month. They then proceed to tell me that I should try instead a new drug called Pristiq which is the "new Effexor." I can get it for $29/month. Here's the scoop- Effexor will be going generic soon so Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has come out with Pristiq which is the s-isomer of Effexor- that means it is supposed to have Effexor's good properties and eliminate the bad side effects. In theory that is splendid. For me, not so great. If you have ever taken Effexor and stopped it abruptly you will know that the withdrawal is unbearable (you should really google "Effexor withdrawal"). I am out of pills so here is where my withdrawal begins. I have done much reading and the Effexor should be tapered. The Pristiq is not the same as Effexor and thus will not stop the withdrawal. So back to the Wyeth thing- in an effort to not loose the billions of dollars they are making a year on Effexor when it looses its patent they are offering incentives for insurances, etc. to cover Pristiq and not Effexor so they continue to make their money after the Effexor is generic. So the withdrawal will happen, I cannot stop it. I am going to be sick and that is just how it is. I can deal with that but here's the real bitch of it all- what if the Pristiq doesn't work? If it takes about 4 weeks to get a good level in my system that is 4 weeks I could potentially be crazy. Then if it doesn't work and by some miracle the insurance says, "OK, you tried and failed the Pristiq, we will cover your Effexor" it will take 4 more weeks to build an Effexor level back up. Yep folks, won't the holidays be grand? If this crap doesn't work the devastation that will happen in my life will be unimaginable. I am scared shitless and just want my Effexor back... Please pray for me, my family, my friends, and my coworkers. I am not kidding, we will all need it. If you have ever had the misfortune of being around me off of medication you know I am serious. I am so angry with the insurance and the drug company- they are not just messing with meds, they are messing with my life. Seriously, if you are a drug company and you are going to jack with a patient population would you honestly choose the psych population to jack with- probably not a wise decision, eh?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wal-Martians and Donkeys?????

My sister and her family came to Texas to visit last week. We started the week with a surprise Welcome Home Party as her husband's parent's house in Colleyville on Sunday. I was amazed that Anthony was actually surprised- most surprise parties don't seem to work that way. We had some awesome barbecue and good conversation and it was nice to see Anthony back on U.S. soil. On Monday they drove up to my parent's house and we spent a few days together there. The kids had so much fun together. We ate way too much food but enjoyed every bite. We all hated to see them leave, especially Carly who is "depressed because Ainsley left me." Oh, the abandonment issues never end. Our beloved Eeyore. Anna is taking 1-3 steps on her own now. I can't believe it. She continues to amaze us with her accomplishments and continues to reinforce that not knowing the word "can't" makes a huge difference. I am so glad that in the times we worried most about her and were afraid of what she would and would not be able to do that she was unaware of it all. Anna's ears- they apparently did not get the memo that the tubes were supposed to fix them. Since last Tuesday she has had pus running out of them off and on and is having fever and not sleeping again. She is back on antibiotics and antibiotic ear drops and she goes back to the ENT on Monday. The ENT's office is really beginning to frustrate me because they keep telling me to just give her Zyrtec. Hey dumb asses- Zyrtec is great for drying up snot, but not so sure it dries up pus. They are convinced it is just snot even though I have had my sister and her husband (both doctors), Dr. Klein, and Dr. Ogunmola all say it is pus. I am glad the tubes are in though, at least it is draining instead of being trapped in her ears. Still, it is nasty and it needs to be gone. She sleeps very little as it is- throw in runny ears, fever, and teething and I'm pretty sure we'd get no sleep at all. She did sleep 5 hours last night and I think we slept 3 the night before. When Kenneth got home today he graciously let me nap and what was supposed to be a little nap turned into a 6 hour one. I slept so good and woke up a zombie. I went to Wal-Mart with all of the other Wal-Martians who had just woken up from Sunday naps and I made a vow to never again return to that god forsaken place on Sunday. Seriously, it should have tipped me off to the population inside when the car parked next to me had Arkansas plates which proudly read "Donkeys." If you got personalized plates and were willing to pay the state extra money for them wouldn't you pick something to say besides "Donkeys?"