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Archive for the ‘Lisa’s Freak Outs’ Category

My Peeps are AWESOME!

You know, it’s difficult putting yourself out there like this…….talking about my weaknesses……but it’s easier to do here than any other place…..I don’t really like to talk about it……because it makes me feel like one of those “whiners” I hate….you know who I am talking about….those people you regret asking “How are you today?” because they go on and on about how horrible their life is……so I prefer to put on my positive face and deal with people one on one in that manner……

But here I can let it all go…….

And the response from my friends has been overwhelming……people have shared their own struggles and fears and experiences with anxiety attacks. All kinds of support and suggestions came in and I was so surprised to hear how many women experienced the same thing…..and how brave they are to tell me I am not alone in this……

The biggest reason for this blog has been for someone else……in case any other woman going through the same thing would just trip over this and see she wasn’t alone……that she isn’t going crazy……and that she isn’t the only one out there to be dealing with Ampullary Cancer in her 40’s……and that is a driving force behind sharing all these feelings and experiences……

But I guess sometimes this blog is just for ME……..

Thank you my friends from the bottom of my heart….for sharing your personal stories with me and helping me see I am not “losing it”! I LOVE you all! XOXOXO

 

Anxiety Attacks? Seriously?

Well, I think I am having panic attacks or anxiety attacks or whatever you want to call them……great…….what else……

We had an incident at the theatre this weekend that resulted in name calling and hurt feelings…..and that seemed to catapult me into this thing…..I wasn’t even sure WHAT it was…..but the next day I started thinking about what happened then it snowballed into “what do these people even KNOW about pain and suffering” then before I know it I am a hysterical mess wondering how I even got to this point in my life…..and how unfair all this is…..and how we go to these appointments and everyone in the waiting room is old….except us…..and that makes it all the more apparent how “I am not even supposed to be here!” (“Clerks” reference!)

I know I am getting wound up because on Thursday they are going to start pumping poison into my husband in order to save his life…..we are at the starting gate once again to another difficult chapter in this cancer saga……so Paul and I are both confident that is the source……

So I spent Memorial Day with a slight Valium buzz…….I hate taking them……but Paul insists that is what they are there for……but it makes me feel weak….and a little doped up……but I shouldn’t fight it so much….it’s better that bursting out in tears for no apparent reason…..

And I have a lot of anger…..that’s in there too…..that became VERY apparent this weekend……..I mean, I am pretty pissed…..but at what? ……..God? no……..I have “been there and done that” and THAT isn’t it at all….heck, He CARRIES me through this so that’s not it…..the circumstances of my life? Well I guess…….I mean….I feel like such a baby…..crying about how unfair all this is and how I just wish I could wake UP from this nightmare…….

……but I never do…….

But they don’t last very long…….and I shake it off and move on……but I feel a little better knowing what they are……that they have a name…….and that I am not going crazy……

Anxiety attacks and their symptoms

Anxiety attacks, known as panic attacks in mental health circles, ­are episodes of intense panic or fear. Anxiety attacks usually occur suddenly and without warning. Sometimes there’s an obvious trigger— getting stuck in an elevator, for example, or thinking about the big speech you’re giving in a few hours—but in other cases, the attacks come out of the blue.

Anxiety attacks usually peak within ten minutes, and they rarely last more than a half hour. But during that short time, the terror can be so severe that you feel as if you’re about to die or totally lose control. The physical symptoms are themselves so frightening that many people believe they’re having a heart attack. After an anxiety attack is over, you may be worried about having another one, particularly in a public place where help isn’t available or you can’t easily escape.

Symptoms of an anxiety attack include:

  • Surge of overwhelming panic
  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Feeling like you’re going to pass out
  • Trouble breathing or choking sensation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Feeling detached or unreal

Is This The Plight of the Caregiver?

I don’t want to talk about it……I CAN’T talk about it……it’s like sticking your finger in the dam and more holes keep opening up…..or you are blockading yourself in a house during the zombie apocolypse…..ANYTHING to keep from being overwhelmed……and I see myself just shoving back….desperately…….but I feel like I am starting to lose this battle……

I don’t want to think of anyone reading this…..I don’t want to think of anyone even KNOWING I feel this way……hell I don’t even want to acknowledge it…….this overwhelming amount of pressure…..but my therapist has health problems and keeps canceling my appointments so I guess this blog will have to do…..it’s my way of preserving my sanity.

I knew I was going to have to step up…..I knew that as soon as Paul was diagnosed…..but this total loss of my identity has surprised me. Those that know me well know I am an “all in’ kind of girl. I don’t half ass anything…work, personal, love, family…..it’s all the way with me…..so the role of “caregiver” has become my new identity. My entire life revolves around my husband and his health……what is he eating….is he resting enough……how does he feel…..is he getting a fever?…..it’s INSANE the amount of energy I spend worrying about him……and it’s not even a conscious thing anymore, like it was when he was first diagnosed……it’s more like “daily monitoring”….I don’t know……I don’t know what I am doing or how any of this is supposed to work…..

And it just seems to be getting worse…….chemo is coming on Thursday so that may be the source of this new round of anxiety…….honestly though, I don’t think that’s it. Actually, I KNOW that isn’t it……God this just kills me to say this but the stress of our financial situation is starting to take its toll.  Paul’s unemployment recently ran out……and let’s face it….who is going to hire him now? I sure as hell wouldn’t hire a man about to start chemo and radiation….no matter HOW talented he is…..it just isn’t going to happen……Fortunately my unemployment is still in place but we now need to replace that $1000 a month. A part-time job that we were SURE was a lock didn’t happen……so that has definitely thrown me into this funk……where I feel like it’s all on me……but it was our own fault really….we broke the Team Klemm Rule #1….NEVER count a sale until it’s in writing…..NEVER bank on a deal until it’s done…..and we did. We thought it was a sure thing….all done except dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s……so when he came home and said it wasn’t going to happen I was crushed….seriously…..I freaked…..

We have talked about my getting a “regular job” but the fact is my unemployment is MORE than what I can get with a regular job. I don’t want to take a pay cut to work some shit job somewhere. Part of the problem is I have the “stink of sales” on me. What does that mean? When you go through your life as a successful salesman, companies don’t WANT you to work in their back office or anywhere else for that matter….they see you can SELL and that is where they want you…..so as much as I want to stay off the floor they won’t allow it…..so my successful sales career has pretty much screwed me…..so YES, I could go sell cars…..but I would HATE it, the hours would suck and I wouldn’t make that much more than we are making right now so what’s the point?

There is only ONE option and that’s to make Little Dog Entertainment work. I had to almost completely cut bait on LolaBelle’s in order to put all that time and energy into LDE. The booking agency just delivers more “bang for my buck”. I can make a lot more $$ with it than I can expending the same amount of energy on LolaBelle’s so onto the back burner goes the dog treats and it’s make or break time with the booking agency.

Don’t get me wrong….I LOVE working the booking agency……but right now I am the ONLY one working the booking agency…..Paul is so consumed with re-working the score for The Producers there is no TIME to help me with the business….and there hasn’t been….for like 2 MONTHS……but I have to give him kudos because he COMMITTED to doing this score and really didn’t have any idea how difficult or time-consuming it would be….after all, he did the same thing with the score for Cabaret right?…..um, NO……this thing is HUGE…..but Paul isn’t a quitter and so he marches on….several hours a day….with his nose in a musical score and computer software…..for HOURS at a time……and it’s all pro bono work…….

I just hate the pressure of it……..it’s been a while since I worked a kitchen table and closed a deal…..so I am rusty to begin with….but when you walk in you have to make sure you don’t reek of despiration….that’s where lesser salesmen screw up…..clients can sense desperation when you are trying to close a sale…….and I am not sure I have ever been more desperate……so I will have to really “bring it” next week when I meet with funeral directors, retirement home directors and event planners next week…..

So I feel a little better…..thank you Dr. Blog…..send me your bill…….Oh wait, on second thought….DON’T! I can’t pay it anyway! ha ha ha! But seriously, I can feel the tension is somewhat gone……and I can move on with my day and make it productive now….instead of dealing with all this anxiety….which is now on these pages and out of my system……and there is no solution other than “work harder Lisa”……that is the only way out of this mess……but taking my fears and dumping them here on my blog allows me to do that……

So send us some prayers and good thoughts my friends! I know I am REALLY needing it right now……

Mother’s Day Was a Drag

I am going to keep this short and sweet…’cause I hate whiners…..but my Mother’s Day pretty much sucked….church was nice, we went early and by 10 am I was laying in the sun….something I NEVER do but I have been craving sunshine and outdoors….too much hospital/doctor office air I guess…..anyway, the day just went on and on and there was nothing…..I made my own lunch…..Paul cooked dinner, like he does several times a week, chicken on the grill….like we have on a regular basis…..nothing special…..

at 6:30 my daughter strolls in with her grandma…..with whom she spent saturday night and all day Sunday with…..she did have a cute make up bag for me which I really appreciated…..but the day was pretty much over by then……and the bottom line is she spent Mother’s Day with everyone BUT her mom…..so that conjures up awful feeling of how I am the inferior STEP mother and she really wishes she was living with her grandma anyway….blah, blah, blah……I have raised this child for 7 years……so yea…….that hurt…..

And my son…..he spent the day just like any other…..glued to the TV……and my husband spent it like any other day….glued to the computer……that boy should know better…..I will say, he offers to help me around the house every day….and that is the part that surprises me……I can’t believe he didn’t think to himself, “I’ll clean the house for mom” or wash her car or make her a card or SOMETHING…..but he didn’t……and he isn’t a baby anymore…..and that hurt….a lot…..

And it’s too late now……I sure as hell don’t want to see even a damn daisy at this point…….sometimes you don’t get a second chance and THIS is one of those times……

But I can’t stay mad at Paul…..the kids, yes……Paul, no…….he is always so sincere when he apologizes to me and he never makes excuses and he just takes all the blame…..how can you stay mad at that? And that’s the thing about my husband…..no one knows me so perfectly…..he may screw up from time to time….and it’s RARE let me tell you…..but he isn’t perfect of course…..but when he does screw up he handles it just perfectly…..he knows just the right things to say to make all my anger and hurt go away……and NO ONE has ever been able to do that with me……

So we came close to our first fight last night but no dice…….that just isn’t in our nature….and let’s face it….Paul is WAY too smart to get into a fight with ME!

Dreams….and Fears……

I didn’t sleep well last night……restless……waking up a lot……and dreaming….of my husbands funeral…….

I am still waging my battle against my “Death Thing”. I am not sure if I even blogged about this before but my “Death Thing” is a piece of my baggage…..we all have our “baggage” but one of my Designer pieces has a name….My Death Thing……and I have toted it around with me since my early 20’s……

When I first received this baggage it was HUGE……I could hardly drag it along with me. In fact, it slowed me down so much I enlisted the help of a professional who showed me how to make it much smaller…….so I lugged the “carry on” version for a very long time…….it was hardly noticable…..it would bang around every now and again….just to let me know it was there…..but it wasn’t much of a burden anymore……

Then God showed me it was ok to just set it down……I didn’t have to carry that baggage anymore……and I put all my faith in Him and I have never felt so free……

But I have to confess….this cancer diagnosis has brought it back…..in full force…….It’s not as bad as before……but it’s still there….this Thing in the background that tries to steal my pleasant thoughts and replace them with terrifying ones…..the Thing that creeps into my head and says things like “This is the beginning of the end”……the Thing that has me dreaming of a funeral…..

Some days it’s as small as a make up bag….others it’s a wheeled carry on…..but it will never be that massive piece of baggage I started with…..my Faith won’t allow it to ever grow that big again…..and my Faith is what makes it smaller…..

But sometimes it doesn’t make it small enough…..it still rears its ugly head with images floating by of memorial services and arrangements and what’s going to happen with my kids? and oh my God am I going to have to spend the second half of my life without my soul mate? and Are people going to be telling me next year how great he was doing and how shocking his death is? and I can’t even BELIEVE this is happening to us and I just want to WAKE UP from this NIGHTMARE!……………

Bt then God interferes and sends me support in a phone call….or a hug….or an “I understand” …….or a scripture reading…..and it subsides………and my Death Thing becomes a scrap of lint in my pocket…

………….for now…..

Why am I so ANGRY??

I almost didn’t write this….I have labored for days trying to decide because #1 I don’t like to bitch….it really isn’t my nature….#2 I hate to bitch publicly about my family……I don’t air dirty laundry…PERIOD…..ask my mother, she will tell you! My divorce from my first husband caught everyone off guard because they had no idea anything was wrong…..because I just deal with it in my own house….and I am a pretty private person these days…..and I can’t stand people who just go on and on and on about how miserable their life is…..so I tend to go the other direction and not go into much detail at all….

Now that’s not to say I don’t have people I can talk to…..my mother has been my ROCK through this entire thing. Sadly, she went through the same experience with my beloved step-father almost 20 years ago….so she has “been there and done that” ……and I visit with a therapist through my church Methodist Health Ministries….it’s a good place for me to go and say all those things that you CAN’T say to someone you ‘know”…you know? ……

But even with all that…….I have been “bent out of shape” since Paul came home…….actually, I take that back……it didn’t start until late last week…..when things got “back to normal” for the children……that’s when things start to lax around here…..made a specific request “feed the dogs, now please” as I walked out the door Saturday night….come home several HOURS later…dogs fed? Of course not…..assign someone a load of towels…they wash them, dry them then leave them in the basket in the middle of the laundry room. Seriously, I want to CHOKE them…..

I mean, my kids aren’t BABIES….they are 17 and almost 13 for crying out loud! Am I expecting too much when I look at a destroyed kitchen and say to myself “no one could take 10 minutes to load this MESS into an empty dishwasher?” I sure as hell NEVER would have left something like that for my mother……

And it isn’t just that……it isn’t just the kids……a lot of it is me…..my stress level is through the roof and I just want everyone to sit down and shut the hell up so I can take care of my husband…..that’s all I want……just BEHAVE for Christ’s sake……Keep your GRADES up….I am spending $150 a MONTH on ADHD meds for 3 F’s…..yea, that makes mom pretty happy…..

And we just lost Paul’s unemployment benefits……so yea……we are really under a lot of pressure to get Little Dog Entertainment back up and running.  That’s a whole other blog post in itself…..the downsizing of LolaBelle’s Treats and pouring our energies into LDE. But again….pressure…..Pressure…..PRESSURE>>>>>>>>>>

I suppose all of this is normal……but damn……it’s intense…….

____________________________________________________________________

NEXT DAY-

So after I wrote this blog post I had a sit down with the kids and they seemed to get it…..there were lots of offers to help….a few excuses…which I made very clear I don’t want to hear anymore…..and a general “let’s all work together” feel to the entire thing. Hopefully that will get them back on track otherwise I made it clear I was going to “shut their shit down” (that translates to: Mom will TAKE your COOL STUFF like your stereo and video games unless…)

I hate to admit it but I have gone almost militant around here. I don’t give them 50 million things to do but the 2 or three chores I DO assign I expect to be done…..and not done half ass either……

The bottom line is if I want this house to continue to run smoothly….I am going to have to do it…..manage it I mean…..I don’t want Paul worrying about anything other than getting better……

How Much MORE Can I TAKE??

Sometimes I feel like I am having a mental breakown….I lie in the jacuzzi tub and think to myself…Am I going crazy? Then I remind myself if you THINK you are going crazy that means you really aren’t…..that IS true right?? ha ha ha! But really, I have like a MILLION worries banging around in my head and there seems to be MORE added every day!!

I mean….lets take some inventory here…..both un/self employed, no health insurance, serious financial troubles, car repairs and kid trouble…….we got some of that resolved…..counceling for ALL my friends!….thank God for Methodist Health Services!……. then we throw in a cancer diagnosis……now here comes some ex husband drama…..’cause what’s a little more right?? maybe if I am lucky he will throw in a petition for custody ’cause I have all the time and money in the world to fly to Indiana to defend my parental rights in a court of law…..

so now I have a giant man-child hanging off my like a 3 year old……I can thank my ex for that…….’course, we AREN’T DONE HERE! …….now my other teen feels this is the PERFECT time to get involved with a boy she previously dated and dumped her……FANTASTIC!…….’cause you know…..things are pretty BORING around here……

UGH I just don’t NEED THIS! Why can’t everyone just sit down and STFU until I get my HUSBAND through his CANCER SURGERY??!! Is that asking SO MUCH? REALLY?

…………………………………………sigh……………………………………………………………

i don’t know whatever made me think everything in the world would STOP………..just because my love is sick…….

maybe because everything in MY world has stopped……..

……..and I just wish everything else in my life would just “behave”…you know?….for just a little while……..

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