Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pain, Pain, Go Away...So I Can Have a Clean House!

Yep...I'm in pain again. I apologize for this post being very long, very whiny and very bitchy. Extreme pain does
this to me, and if you skip this post, I'll not blame you one bit. My husband has to listen to me bitch, but you don't.

You know, I thought the trigeminal neuralgia was bad when I only got maybe a dozen or so attacks per year. But this, this every day crap for the last six months...I had no idea how bad it could be.

The latest thorn in my side is lack of sleep. I can FALL asleep, I just can't STAY asleep. I wake up every two to three hours at most...sometimes, I wake up 20 min. to an hour after I fall asleep. This goes on all night.

I'm shaky all over, and have a dull headache, from lack of sleep. I'm so exhausted, all I can think about is sleep: how wonderful it feels to crawl under the covers in my freezing-cold bedroom, snuggle up against my body pillow, and drift off to dreamland...and mostly importantly, STAY there for a good eight hours.

It doesn't help that the pills I take to keep the pain at bay make you incredibly drowsy. I suspect the heat is an issue here as well...heat like this is enough to make anyone sleepy, let alone someone with heat-reactive MS. Another factor is that the pain is so bad these days, I can only sleep flat on my back...probably my least favorite sleep position. Jonathan asked me why this is so the other day...and I wanted to smack him. I have G-cup boobs, for crying out loud. YOU try to sleep with a 20 pound sack of potatoes on your chest, and then we'll talk.

I'm not getting anything accomplished, because I'm just too tired. My kitchen is a disaster area. The laundry pile is large enough to need its own zip code. Jonathan is helping out the best he can, but he's working a lot of overtime because of all the people on vacation. There's only so much he can do.

I have tried, Lord knows I have, to not let the housework get to me. I know that as a person with MS, I have to pick my battles. Sometimes a lot will get done, sometimes a little...and sometimes, nothing. But I just can't get over feeling lazy for not having EVERYTHING done.

This goes back to my father and former stepmonster. My dad is a neat freak. When I was a kid, we could not go to school until our bed was made and the breakfast dishes were done. Dirty rooms were not tolerated. Laundry had to be put away the very second it was done: nothing made him angrier than clothing left in a dryer for even a few minutes. Even on Christmas morning, we couldn't open our presents until the breakfast dishes were washed and the kitchen and dining area clean
(talk about torture for a little kid, lol). It was impossible as an adolescent to be discrete about menstration: my father absolutely forbade any sanitary items to be discarded in his home. You could not flush tampons, nor even throw away the wrappers from maxi pads inside the house. Day or night, they had to be taken to the garbage can outside. An unexpected side-effect of my dad's period phobia was that when I went through my teenage rebellious stage, it was very easy to hide weed: I simply took a tampon carefully out of its wrapper and out of the cardboard and put the joints inside. Even though he searched our rooms on a fairly regular basis, he never found them there...a firing squad couldn't force that man to open a box of tampons.

My father often made fun of my mother, who was much more laid back about housecleaning
(she once confided in me that it was a rebellion of sorts on her part, after having been married

to Mr. Hospital Corners for ten years). My stepsister-in-law was also a target for namecalling by my dad and stepmonster; now, granted, her house was filthy. But they were downright cruel to her about it.

The real rub in this was that although my stepmonster loudly proclaimed her pride in her clean home, and how very difficult it was to keep it that way...I never in 18 years saw her wash a dish or sweep a floor. I saw her sit on her giant backside and watch a lot of soap operas
(what a stereotype in action she was), but run the vacuum? You've got to be kidding. That's what kids were for. And with ten kids in the house, there were more than enough hands to do all the chores. I think I saw her do laundry a few times...when we had company. But other than that...it was all us. Our chore lists were a mile long. And I resented the hell out of it when I was a kid.

Part of our "chores" was caring for my stepsister, "Lori." Lori had very severe cerebral palsy. She couldn't walk, talk or see. She was prone to seizures as well. She was very much like a baby. A baby my stepmonster couldn't be bothered with to care for herself.

Now, once again, whenever we had company, Stepmonster made a big show of feeding and caring for Lori. But it was just a show. Feeding, bathing, dressing, putting to bed and even changing her diapers were all on our chore lists. Basically, we took turns: every day it was someone else's job to "handle" Lori. My younger sister especially grew to resent Lori deeply for this. Now, I could understand resenting Stepmonster for pawning off her kid on us...but Lori was an innocent. But that logic was beyond my younger sister, who just simply hated Lori and couldn't be disuaded otherwise.

Now that I am an adult with a special-needs child of my own...I am really sickened by the fact that Stepmonster had little kids taking care of Lori. If Lori cried, Stepmonster would get irritated and yell for whoever's turn it was to care for Lori to do something about it. She wouldn't actually budge herself. Granted, it must take a lot of effort for someone that fucking fat to move a couple of feet
(Stepmonster was easily 450 pounds; she had her stomach stapled three times and burst the staples each time within weeks), but come on. Not to mention the fact that at 10 years old (the youngest age that my parents deemed capable of beginning to "do our share" with Lori), we were absolutely not qualified to care for this child: we were powerless if she started to choke or have a seizure, we could barely lift her to change her diapers, bathe her and carry her to bed...and we certainly had no business giving her medicine (yep...that too was on the chore list). And yet...this continued until my stepsister became so very sick, my father and stepmonster were forced to hire in-home nursing care for her. I think only my youngest brother was living at home at the time.

In their defense: Stepmonster and my father made sure that Lori had the best doctors, the best schools, the best adaptive equipment available. And they made sure everyone who would listen knew about it, too. And while as a kid I had a sneaky suspicion that using young children as aides for a kid with cerebral palsy wasn't the best idea...as an adult, with a disability of my own and a child with disabilities...I am shocked and horrified when I think back on it. Then again, I'm shocked and horrified when I think about a lot of things that happened to me as a kid.

I miss Lori. When my father and stepmonster divorced, she refused to allow Dad to see Lori anymore. And because Lori is officially an adult now, she can do that. Even though when my dad met the fucking bitch, Lori was wearing dish towels for diapers and her life expectancy was six years old, tops. My dad wouldn't take that as an answer, and did everything he could, saw every specialist in the Midwest, to keep Lori healthy and alive. She turns 27 in three days. I do miss her. I love how she would get so happy when she heard my voice, and how much she loved the sound of babies near her. But Stepmonster and I had a falling out, and visits are now out of the question.

What was the falling out over, you ask? Well, I attempted to keep the line of communication open between myself and Stepmonster after the divorce, for Lori's sake. Without Lori in the picture, I would have just written the nasty bitch off completely. To say she made my childhood miserable is an understatement. She is one of those people who never smiles, unless it's at someone else's misfortune. An example: one of her favorite things to do when I was very young was to pretend to befriend me for a short time. She'd take me out to eat, go to the salon and get our nails done, that sort of thing. This would go on for days, until she would get your confidence. She'd tell you that your secrets were safe with her...and then she'd immediately tell my father, often blowing it way out of proportion to make him even angrier. A regular Linda Tripp. What's worse, if you didn't tell her anything she could use...she'd just make something up. Linda Tripp meets Dan Rather, I guess.

Anyway, believe it or not, this vicious cuntbug is a registered nurse. God help her victims, I mean, patients. She's the kind of evil skank who would put IV's in the most painful spots just to watch you suffer. Getting back to the point: about four or five months after the breakup, she calls me in the middle of the night from the hospital she works at, telling me my elderly maternal grandfather
(he'll be 96 at the end of this month) is there and not expected to survive. I should get on a plane ASAP, she tells me. Grandpa is dying.

Horrified, I call my grandfather's only living child, my aunt "Betsy." She is none too happy to be awakened so late...especially as Grandpa is most certainly NOT dying. A part in his pacemaker was recalled, and because of his age the doctor felt it was best for him to spend the night after having it replaced. He was scheduled to be released in the morning. Have no fear, Betsy assured me: she'd have called if it were anything serious.

I was LIVID with Stepmonster. How dare she put me through that, so soon after losing my mother! What kind of sick beast does that to people?!?

The corpulent douchebag called me back an hour after I had first spoken to her, and about a half-hour after I'd hung up with Betsy. She actually wanted to know what time my flight was coming in, as she'd be more than happy to pick me up at the airport and drive me to my grandfather's "deathbed."

I let her have it, and for the first time in my life, I really let the creep know how I felt about her and her twisted fucking mindgames. I'd argued with her before, but nothing like this. I was pissed beyond reason, and said some things you can't really go back on. She said some things to me in the same vein.

And thus...she won't let me see Lori. I don't even know if Lori is alive or not...she was pretty close to the end the last time I saw her, which was six or so years ago.

The last I heard about Stepmonster from the rumor mill, she was wanting to reconcile with Dad. But Dad would have none of it. Which thrills me to no end. I can take these Internet hoes...but Stepmonster? No thanks.

So to get back to the original point...thanks to Dad and Stepmonster, I feel incredibly lazy if my house isn't Donna Reed clean. I know its silly, I do. And I try to tell myself that I have MS and trigeminal neuralgia. I have three kids: one with special needs and one a toddler, not to mention a preteen who has to be cojoled into doing chores when he'd rather be skateboarding. I keep saying to myself, no one expects your house to be spik-and-span. The fact that you can still see the floor in the kids' rooms should be comfort enough.

I used to really drive Jonathan crazy by doing housework when I was not in the shape to do it, and thus, making myself sicker. He'd beg, threaten and bribe me to NOT clean the house. And I've finally gotten to the point where I am listening. If I'm sick, I won't risk my health because I want the rugs shampooed. It's not worth it.

But I can't get over the little voice in my head, my Dad's voice, teasing me for being lazy, for being dirty, for living in a pig sty. I'm working on it. Like my house, I'm a work in progress.

One of the things that has helped is a little poem I've put up on my kitchen wall, that I'd like to share with y'all now, and I'll quit my whining for one night:


Come on in, but don't expect to find
the dishes done, the floors ashine
we've crumpled rugs & toys galore
cluttering the yard & living room floor
the little ones we shelter here
don't thrive on a spotless atmosphere
they're more inclined to disarray
with carefree, even mess play
some future day, they'll fly the nest
and we'll have time to tackle the mess
but until then, what matters more
happy children, or a polished floor?

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At 12:10 AM, Blogger Angel said...

:::Sigh:::: I understand. I think I should be a Certified Dustbunny Breeder by now.

Words can't express how sorry I am that you were treated like that. You're one amazing woman to become the loving mother you are now.

At 4:13 PM, Blogger AGFH said...

From this and some earlier posts I can see that you had what seems like a terrible childhood. That's not fair. No child should be treated like a slave.

My heart goes out to you.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Pixie LaRouge said...

Did you know you're amazing? Really, really incredible. I know people who had perfect childhoods, perfect parents, happy teen years and a lovely college experience who don't have half your grit, determination, compassion, out-going friendliness, and all those other wonderful traits that make you YOU.

Whine, complain and bitch all you want. You still come off sounding like someone I'd love to have over for coffee and a few hours of idle conversation :)

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

I hope you're feeling better soon, Angel. I'm amazed every time I read a new entry about your children at how wonderfully you turned out. I think you're great (and very wise ;) )

At 1:58 PM, Blogger exfbonnie said...

Zan Angel baby -I got a great fuckign laugh out of this post! Yu are wonderful. Really, i cant beleive how amzing and incredible you are for having to put wiht Mr. Clean and the evil fucking wicked stepmonster.

Im sorry you are in so much pain. Really, i couldnt fathom the pain you suffer, but I do have a relative who is also in constant pain and had a million diagnosis. I understand how debilitating this can be. Give it up, give it to God, the great creator of this universe and allow it to be, as is.



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