Thursday, May 11, 2006
Improvement is always good
7:30 – I seem to be much better this morning than I was yesterday. No headache and the brain is working at an 8 on the Bob scale. I love it when I don’t have to look at the keys to type and these fingers dance on the board.
Last night Cherie worked with me on the Love Story. It is so strange to not remember key events in my life. Fact is some of it Cherie had a hard time remembering also. One of the areas we are both unsure of is the year I fell from a tree, breaking my neck, back, and sustaining the brain injury that caused the personality change leading to our divorce. I was amazed when Cherie told me we had been planning to move back to Texas. That was why we had let go of our apartment (Which I also didn’t remember) and moved in with her grandparents.
One of the other things I changed was not due to a lack of memory. We all have a tendency to tell a story that puts us in the best light or works to justify an action. This I did. When you tell a story one way for a period of time it becomes the truth to you, at least in your mind. I corrected that in this story. I have been placing all the blame for my second divorce on the second wife. The truth of the matter is I was no better than she was when it came to infidelity, in fact I was worse.
Honesty and truthfulness have no favorites and often reveal things one would like to keep hidden. It is not hard to tell the truth about someone else despite it revealing unpleasant things about them. However to shine that spotlight of the truth on yourself can be equally unpleasant. When I woke up from my coma and spent the next year determining the philosophy and principles I would live by, being honest and straightforward was high on the list. That has caused many problems and I have been learning how to temper that. If I think someone’s clothes are ugly I won’t rush to tell them as I perhaps would have. This is the Social Skills area that was damaged with my TBI. It is not uncommon with Traumatic Brain Injury survivors to have this problem and makes things hard for them when those around them do not understand this.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the Love Story will be finished and published on both of my blogs soon. It will be honest and one of the most fantastic love stories that you have heard. The kind of story fiction writers come up with only it is real and still going on. Yeah I know, I am biased but that’s OK. I get to live a dream that you could only find in romance novels and chick flicks. Works for me and Cherie too.
As you can tell I am doing well this morning. How can you tell? Cause I run on and write much more prolifically. I suppose I should take advantage of this time of lucidity and get some stuff done. Breakfast would be a good start. The last few days all I ate was dinner cause I didn’t think of eating or if I did I promptly forgot. So good morning folks. Stay tuned for more action in the fascinating life of Bob. (yeah I know I’m delusional but it sounds good. There’s not really much “action”)
Today I take Wayne to the monthly MS luncheon. That is always good for him and I enjoy it too. Not only does it help me understand better how to help Wayne but I am accepted there. Being accepted is nice, especially after the pain of being rejected by the good, compassionate, loving Christians at the Cedar Creek church. (Sarcasm intended) If you don’t practice what you preach I don’t have much for you.
After that Wayne goes for day two of his infusion therapy for his MS. We must watch his blood sugar closely on this. He is worrying about this and expects the worst. Hard to keep him positive. I should call him this morning to see how he is doing.
1:40 – I am now at MUO with Wayne. He is still worrying about these infusions. His blood sugar did go up to 375 which is close to the limit. Wayne complained incessantly about having to pee every twenty minutes and not being able to sleep. He would repeat what he said again and again despite my asking him to find something else to talk about. He would be quiet for a while and start back in on it.
I got him to the MS luncheon a few minutes late. All the chairs were full so everyone slid over to make room for us. The MS luncheon was pretty good. It has grown and I suspect will continue to. They covered several subjects from how friends and family shy away from you to depression. Someone asked Denise if she could get E mail and she said her computer was messed up. I offered to look at it and she seemed surprised someone would do that.
Later Denise had to get up and leave. At first Wayne thought she wanted to go out and smoke a cigarette but I could tell she was bothered. She didn’t bring her walker in so I told her to go ahead and take Wayne’s and I would bring it back in. She didn’t so that was OK. Janet or one of the other women who is involved with the MS group went out after Denise did. She came back in and looking at me said to everyone “When you leave talk to Denise. She is having a hard time and is crying. She doesn’t think she can cry in front of all of us. That’s what we’re here for”.
Here is Denise and Wayne at last years Christmas party for those who attend the MS luncheon support group This definitely caught my attention. Denise is the lady who has impressed me with her spirit in the face of her advanced MS. Her tremors make it almost impossible for her to do some basic tasks such as drinking out of a cup. I have admired and made note of her bravery in this journal but this brings up the deep pain and despair she hides with that bravery.
It was getting close to the time we had to leave in order for Wayne to make his appointment at MUO. As we went out the door Denise was sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette. Wayne started to try and joke with her but that was definitely not working. I sat down next to her and asked a question that made it easy for her to open up. It didn’t take much.
Denise just started balling and when she tried to stop from embarrassment I put my arm around her shoulder and told her “It’s OK Denise, it’s good to cry, it will help”. I listened as she revealed her pains. How her husband had told her to get the F out because she had MS, how she had tried to commit suicide, how she was 42 years old and living at home with her parents. There was much more inside that she will need time to get out. Her pain is deep, her hope is gone, her life has no value, at least in her view. There is much need here and my heart goes out, it is touched as I shared her pain and felt the anguish that overwhelms her soul.
As she told me how they had broke down the door of her bathroom after she had taken all the pills she could find and drunk them down with a bottle of booze she said “Why did they have to do that? It was so peaceful. Why did they have to bring me back”. Her anguish was overwhelming and the despair wept out of her voice. I talked with Denise as I searched for what to say. I told her “Denise, one of the things that has helped me is to help others. It gives my life meaning. It gives it value. I will come to see you Friday to look at your computer and talk with you for a bit”. She was grateful and said “Really? You’d do that? That would be good”.
Others started coming out of the luncheon then. They would give hugs to Denise as they walked by. Bill, the Harley rider, stopped to talk to me about his Social Security claim. Evidently the lawyer in Kentucky has some health problems that are making it hard for her to do her job. This is not good news as she is the same lawyer I got for Wayne. I need to check on that. So much.
Getting in the car Wayne looked at me and said “How are you going to go to Texas when so many people need you?” That is a hard question. As I work to insure those I care for are not going to be neglected when we leave more come in whom I can have an impact on. It is hard for me to walk by someone with a need when I can help them. It’s like seeing someone drowning and not throwing them the life preserver that is on the railing next to you. Many can do this but I can’t. It’s not in me. My life is a gift and if I keep that to myself the gift becomes a curse.
I think I will stop writing for a while and ponder all of this.
8:00 – I was pretty tired by the time I got home. Wayne was feeling better about his steroid infusion because he talked to some at the MS luncheon who had been through it. They conveyed how it helped give them energy and reduced their pain. After he got done I stopped at Kroger and ran in to pick up a couple dozen eggs for him on the way to his apartment.
I have been sharp all day long which I am always grateful for. Fred called me when I got home and asked me to please come down to see him. What is it now I thought cause I could hear his frustration in his voice. He had called Wells Fargo about his not having a payment book. This is the same thing he had talked to the finance manager at Ed Schmidt. Now he is all worked up. “Look at this number” he told me pointing to the ten or twelve digit account number he had written across his pad with the last numbers trailing down the side because he ran out of room. “Can you believe that? They told me they don’t have payment books. She said they would send out a monthly statement. I’m going to have to make two payments in one month. Their going to mess up my bank statement” Fred ran on.
“Great” I thought “How do I settle him down?”. That was the magic question. My tolerance had reached its limit earlier while I was taking Wayne home. He had gotten on his “I feel bad I inconvenience you. I wish I could pay you for what you do. I’m such a burden” thing that always drives me up a wall. If it wasn’t constant it wouldn’t be so bad but Wayne just doesn’t get it no matter how many times I tell him. I stopped the car at a stop sign and just sat there listening to him run on and on with his “I’m not worth it” pity party. He didn’t figure it out till after about five minutes of sitting in the car and not moving I said “Wayne, I’m not moving till you shut the F… up. We’ve gone through this before. I told you I help because I want to and enjoy it so let it go”. Wayne got the message.
Now I have to deal with Fred. Fred is a very different situation but it was hard for me to not let my frustration show. I tried to explain the same thing the finance manager at Ed Schmidt did with little luck. Fred went on about how he gets his bank statement on the seventeenth and he was going to be late with his payment. “I’m never late. I pay all my bills on the first of the month, you know that” he stressed. “Fred, the payment isn’t due till the 29th and that’s twenty days away” I started but he let me know it was nineteen days not twenty. “Fred just pretend it’s the first of the month. It will work out just the same. One day will not make a difference and Wells Fargo isn’t worried”. That didn’t work either. Finally I told him “Fred I know you don’t like it but this is the way it is. You have to live with it. It works out Fred. You make one payment a month”. He said he would go to Ed Schmidt and give them a piece of his mind so I gave up. I told him that wouldn’t change anything. “Just let me know when your statement comes in and I will check it over for you to make sure it is right. Yes, I’ll print up some mailing labels for you when it comes” I said as I escaped through his door.
Cherie came home and warmed up some of the Mexican lasagna I invented. Fred called while we were eating. He wanted to set up a time to take him somewhere Monday. “Sure Fred, that days clear. Where do you need to go?” I asked. He said that Barb was still having problems with her Cricket cell phone so he wanted to go there and straighten them out. You regular readers will remember the several adventures we have had down there. For the rest of you just type in Cricket in the search engine at the top of this blog. One of the entries Cherie wrote because she had the privilege of accompanying me on one of these jaunts. It is hilarious and worth going back to read. I have to wonder about this and what Barb might be up to. She said she was missing calls but I have had no problem at all reaching her so something is up. At this point I will drive them there but not get involved as I did before, just stay in the background and let them deal with it. Sounds good but I’m sure they’ll drag me in.
I have a headache on the way. The new medicine the VA prescribed for this just came in. It’s says it has 100 mg of caffeine and 1 mg of something called Ergotamine. That seems strange to me. Hope it doesn’t keep me up all night. I just took two like the directions said so will find out. The VA is known to try all the cheapest medication they can to avoid having to give out the good stuff. I don’t care if it’s cheap, just want it to work. I’ll let you know.
I think I will call it a night. The brain stayed sharp all day and other than being tired I am still doing well. Night all.
I checked my E mail when I went to post this and there was one from my son Bruce. He has always been close about what goes on there and gave the impression that there was little danger. I had ended my last E mail with I love you, stay safe. His reply said that he was trying but “Incoming made it difficult”. That and the fact that the little girl, who’s picture is on an earlier post, perhaps yesterday, was hit by shrapnel from a mortar attack on the compound reveals a little of what goes on. I am sure he will be more open when he comes home but I have to respect his not wanting to worry us stateside. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if he is discouraged from talking about it as well.