This past year has been a completely different kind of year for me. It saw a lot of turmoil, health issue’s, heart breaks and angels I never knew we’re watching over me. I started out the year knowing I had to have surgery, and knowing before I even went in that I would be putting in my notice at work because several doctors were pretty much screaming at me to quit my high stress job and concentrate on my health or I’d be dead in a year. I was already terrified of my boss’s wrath and to have to a) tell him I’d need at least 6 to 8 weeks off to recover and b) knowing that after I left for the surgery after some time I’d have to put my notice in had me in a state of unbelievable stress. If you know me then you know that I am a worker and the thought of not working was/is terrifying for me, and you’d also know that despite my hardened shell I truly do not like confrontation. I’ve had to fight my whole life.. I’m kinda tired of fighting.
I had my first surgery of the year on Jan 23. The doctors believed that I had a twist in my intestines and had to go manually check all 5000 feet of intestines… okay okay, I am sure it’s not 5000 feet but I know it’s a lot! It was a very painful recovery period and for the first time ever I actually took the needed time to recover. Before this surgery I had had 3 abdominal surgeries in less then 4 yrs and ALWAYS went back to work within a few days (totally against doctors orders.. but hey my boss wouldn’t allow the time off w/o find a reason to fire me and we needed the money) so I did what I had to do, and that was work. After my surgery the first few weeks were not overly stressful as I was in a great deal of pain and wasn’t thinking about the mounting bills and looming reaming from my boss when I put in my notice, that was until after the second week off and I quickly discovered that asshole was not going to pay me medical leave. He is the owner of a small business so the “rules” don’t apply the same way as if you worked for say Verizon. He doesn’t have to pay medical leave, he doesn’t have to have a valid reason to fire anyone and he’s a spoiled little rich kid whose never had to work for anything so he doesn’t know the meaning of the word struggle.
By April my anxieties had gone through the roof. Not only was I going out of my mind not working, watching the bills pile up but I was still having issue’s with my stomach/intestines. My surgeon had been removed from the clinic and put in the teaching part of the hospital so I had to see a new surgeon and pretty much start over again! I already had severe issue’s with my left arm/shoulder. I have been fighting frozen shoulder for 3 yrs, plus a bulging disc in my neck and Ulnar Nerve Damage. Now my left leg was having problems and my left hip was killing me. So it was off to more doctors, more clinics, more tests. Long story short I now have Poly Nueropathy in my left leg, no reflexes in my left ankle and arthritis in my hip plus something is going on w/ my sciatic nerve area. I had a spinal injection to help w/ the pain but it did no good so I’ve been in physical therapy for month. I’m scheduled for another injection in January to see if this will help. This one isn’t a spinal injection and it’s for the muscle over the sciatic nerve to see if that’s the problem. If it doesn’t work I’ll be going to a Spine Doctor (which is what my PT wants me to do)
By September I had to have another abdominal surgery where they removed a mass that had been bothering me for some time (I referred to it as my alien) and fixed an “indented” scar that I had. I will say I have to giggle when I think of my first few encounters with the new surgeon. The first time she saw me I had a cup of coffee in my hand. Well she just laid into me saying Gastric Bypass patients aren’t supposed to be drinking coffee. After a few minutes of listening to her rant about the dangers and evils of coffee I finally said “If we aren’t supposed to have coffee, then please explain to me why it is that every time I am a guest here at this hospital I’m not only asked if I’d like a cup of coffee but it’s actually on the Bariatric menu?” she of course could only reply with “Oh.. I didn’t realize it was on the menu”. So after that every time I had to go see her I had to wear one of my many coffee shirts and have a coffee in my hand. She finally gave up! I’m a red head.. don’t argue with me.
After the second surgery in September, the spinal injection in October the holidays were here and just stressing me out beyond belief. How was I going to do anything for my kids? We were barely making ends meet (and even they weren’t all meeting.. some things have not been paid in months). How was I going to be able to buy all the stuff for the Thanksgiving meal, the Christmas meal? My kids have been denied a lot in their lives, love never being one of them but still, every parent wishes they could buy their kids things and not have to tell them no every time they walk into a store. My son who is 18 and recently graduated High School had finally found a job and honestly did not want much for Christmas because he understood that we are struggling, but the now 13 yr old just doesn’t grasp it yet. I know she will one day, I hope she never has to live this way when she goes off into the world and lives her life but I know that when she is out there she will be armed with the knowledge of how to stretch a dollar.
I had stressed myself to a point of fever blisters and sick to my stomach. I was completely dreading the next 3 months. My husband’s GI bill was running out in December and honestly that money was keeping our heads above water… All I’ve been able to focus on is Feb, Mar, Apr and all of 2016. With me not working and his GI bill out… will we be able to make it? Will we be living off Ramen Noodles? Can we pay rent? My stomach hurts pretty much daily now, my alien spot still bothers me and the injection didn’t work.. so yeah.. I’ve been pretty much bah humbugged for months. Then out of no where and beautiful angel contacted me asking me what my kids wanted for Christmas. She wasn’t going to take no for an answer, she wanted to help and she wanted to take some of the stress I’m under off my shoulders for awhile. It truly was a blessing as I could finally breath a little knowing my kids would have some stuff under the tree. Words cannot express the gratitude my heart feels for this angel. I hope to one day be at a point in life that I can do things like this to help others. To be a secret Santa and pay someone’s lay away off, or support a family for the holidays… one day.. maybe.
Now that Christmas is over and this long crappy year is over I find myself reflecting on what I’ve managed to make it through. I’ve survived 2 surgeries, multiple injections, it feels like hundreds of MRI’s and medical tests. I know I have a very long road of recovery in front of me and pray daily that it won’t take the “Up to 2 years” to get a court date for disability. I try to live day to day and not think about the coming months because honestly I can’t see how it will work and thinking about it all just kinda makes me shut down.
I have also thought on those I lost this year. I’m not talking about people who have died as I’ve been lucky and not lost a loved one this year to death.. but I have lost some in other ways. I had one person that I loved dearly.. looked forward to spending time with her and considered her a sister. We always laughed when were together and I would do anything for her. When we would see each other we would both light up with smiles and give each other big hugs…. we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas’s together, our families united together.. then suddenly, with no warning no nothing… it all stopped. She no longer calls or texts.. she makes no effort to speak to me… and the last time I saw her she said there was nothing in this county to keep her here… forgetting I guess that I am in this county. She’s moving soon, but she’s not even told me that she’s bought land and is building a house.. I am no longer in her life and I don’t know why. My heart is broken. I’ve cried over the loss of her friendship. The day she told me that my son was with me. When we got in the car he said “mom.. that was really mean.. but don’t worry.. I’ll be your friend and I’ll never leave you”…. yup.. the tears fell.
I’ve also realized that no matter what I’ve sacrificed and how much I’ve tried my step kids will never accept me, remember me or even think of me. So I am deleting them from my life too. I have to rid my life of stresses that are hurting me. I’m not saying that my husband can’t have a relationship with his kids, on the contrary I want him to have the best relationship he can possibly have with them.. I just can’t be a part of it. It just hurts to much when you know all you’ve given and given up for them and they can’t even remember to say Thank you for gifts bought, happy birthday, Merry Christmas.. nothing.. When you are just completely not thought of at all. I wish them well.. I know they have great lives and always have because we’ve sacrificed so that they would. May life bring them nothing but happiness and success… I just can’t fight to be a part of it.. if I’m not wanted I won’t fight to be there.
So 2016 will be the year I concentrate on myself and my family. My kids and those that bring positive vibes and love to the table and will be severing ties with those who think it’s okay to just throw my love and friendship away..only to be used when they want something. So if you are reading this and your first thought is “Oh no.. I hope she doesn’t delete me” then maybe you should think about why that was your first thought. I try very hard to not upset people, I don’t delete people and I let people live their lives.. but I’ve decided that doesn’t mean I have to be people’s 2nd or 3rd choice.. I don’t have to be their “Well I can’t find anyone else so I guess she’ll do” person or the “I never talk to her but I”m going to be nosy and find out what her status is about and whats going on in her life even though I never include her in my life”…. 2016 is about me and mine.. getting my health in order.. hopefully getting my back/hip and leg fixed so I no longer have to use a cane.. and showing the world that I am worth more then most people like to believe.
Sorry this was so long… but it’s thoughts I’ve had to get out for awhile. Life is to short to stay miserable because of other people. I have enough in my daily life to deal with, I don’t need to live with the pain of feeling like those I loved and cherished couldn’t even manage to find time to say hi to me in months. So to all those who’ve shown they care, know that I’m always there for you whenever you need me.. I love you all and I wish you all the very best in the coming year.