Wrath of Mom

Brother Sister xmas

Holiday shopping always brings back memories. Some good, some bad. Waiting in long lines after aimlessly wandering around the store for hours trying to find just the right present for everyone on your list. Counting pennies from a budget you may not have. And frustration towards the shoppers that leave their carts in the middle of the aisle. This doesn’t scream, holiday cheer.

Faced with situations like this, I tend to people watch. During the Christmas season when the stores are filled with insane shoppers, you don’t always see parents bringing their children with them. Right? I mean, we’re shopping for them – so why bring them?

On this day, I was witnessing a mom who had no other choice but to bring her children to the store with her. A pair of blond-haired cuties. The boy looked older than the girl, not by much though. I’d have to say they were between 6 to 8 years old. The boy had a solid inch in height on his sister so possibly the older of the two.

They seemed well-behaved and dutifully walked behind their mom as she pushed the cart. Boredom overcame and as the mom stopped to look at some cloths, the boy, looking straight ahead, as if doing nothing wrong, lightly nudged his sister with his elbow. She pretended to ignore, thus causing the brother to nudge her again. Somewhat harder this time but nothing major.

Eyes burning, the sister whipped around and gave him the “You’re pissing me off” face. Having an older brother myself, I know the look when I see it. The mom paused in her price checking, because we all know, mom’s certainly command a sixth sense, the eyes in the back of their head type of thing.

The brother, of course, had to take it one step further, now that he’d been silently challenged by his sister. She was clever. I could tell by the way she planted her feet, she knew what she was doing. Sure enough, he’d fallen for the bait and pushed her shoulder at which point, Mom started to turn.

I was now invested, I couldn’t tear my eyes away even if I’d wanted to. In an exaggerated and dramatic fall to the floor, the sister started to wail. And the laugh escaped before I could stop myself. This girl was good. I mean the tears started instantly. She’d fallen on her butt, yet, she grabbed her knee as if in great pain.

I wished I’d had a recliner, popcorn and a cup of hot chocolate at this point in the show. She was selling it and by the look in her brother’s eyes, it wasn’t the first time. Jumping back, his hands up in the air, “I didn’t do it.”

I was no longer the only one watching and Mom could tell. Without a word, she bent and swiftly grabbed her daughters arm, bringing her to her feet. Giving the girl a quick once over, Mom turned to her son. Still, not a word from this woman.

A single finger point to her daughter, who I had to admit, stayed in character, had her limping to the front of the cart. The next finger pointed was at her son. That one indicated a spot directly in front of her. Hanging his head, knowing he was screwed, he slowly shuffled forward. Again, Mom had to say nothing. The eyes and finger were the only tools necessary for the two children to know exactly what she wanted.

With both kids corralled, Mom in a hushed tone, said something only they could hear. Shooting their mom the “pleading eyes” look in which they received a chilly stare down. Shoulders slumping in defeat, they reached into the cart and each pulled out a single item. They placed them on a clothing shelf closest to them and with a spiteful “I hate you” glare shot between brother and sister, they all moved on.

Being a mom myself, I would often bribe my son with a single item he would choose himself. If he behaved while shopping, he would get the item. I assumed this could possibly be the same.

You may be asking yourselves, “Why is she writing about this?” Well, three reasons. One – it was funny as all hell! Two – if you have a sibling or you are a parent raising siblings, you’ve been here. Three – It made me think about and miss my mom. These two kids were a mirror image of what my older brother and I had been like. And the reaction from the mom was spot on.

In my defense, as I know my brother will read this. The only time I faked injury was to get back at you for the times you’d convinced me NOT to tell Mom when you did something mean.

For example, telling me that a wooly bear caterpillar was a Tootsie roll and I should take a bite. Or, possibly the time you made me grab the electric fence, which knocked me on my ass. Wait, no. I can’t use that one as Mom heard the loud “oomph” grunt sound that travelled all the way to the house.

I think my brother will agree. We’d give anything to see Mom again. Even if that meant travelling back in time and facing the “Wrath of Mom”.

Happy Holiday’s Everyone!

B

Heart Matters

beth&kip2-218

Everyone wants to know why love is so complicated?  Love can keep us from sleeping, either with joy or sadness.  Our eyes will weep and our hearts will soar or break.  Inevitably, people usually find their way back to love.

You ask, “How can she say this?”  Simple, I’ve been there.  This is a story about love, it may hold truth for some people and it might be fiction for others.  As a writer, I understand that writing is subjective, right?  I can spill my guts, tell my stories, everyone will take them differently.

I’ve been called, stubborn, independent to a fault, pig-headed and someone who doesn’t like to be told what to do.  Now don’t get offended, I’m a firm believer that every woman has her moments and can be a bitch.  If you’re honest with yourself, if pushed or pulled in a certain emotional direction, you know it can happen.  I also believe that every man, at times can be a bastard.  Call it what you’d like, we’re all capable.  I’ve never lived under the illusion that I was perfect and I’ve never expected others to be either.

I’ve had a good life for the most part.  Being abused as a small child had an impact on me.  Being bullied and having low self-esteem tormented me as well.  Luckily, I had a mom who was even more stubborn than I was.  Her solution was tough love.  For my friends and family that read this and knew my mom, you know this to be true.

When I’d worked up the courage to finally tell my mom what had happened to me early on in my life, she made me realize it wasn’t my fault.  Her response was first rage, then hate (towards the person who’d hurt me) and finally, understanding of what I’d been through.  I knew she loved me, and would help me in only the way a mother could.

After the hugs, kisses and her reassurance that it was NOT my fault, she took me by the shoulders and said, “It happened.  I can’t change it and neither can you.  Are you going to let that bastard win and control your life forever, or are you going to fight to make your life what you want it to be?”  I chose the latter.  It wasn’t easy, I hated myself for so long, just to let that all go, was the most difficult thing I’d ever done in my life.

As life progressed, I fell in love, and then married someone when I was all of nineteen years old.  The man was older than I, had two young children from a previous marriage that I adored, and I thought, what an amazing guy.

After being married for almost twenty-one years, watching my step children grow into incredible adults, as well as having a son of my own, I thought life was good.  Not great mind you, but good.

We had a nice home, new cars, and we both worked very hard to be where we ended up.  Just like any marriage, we had our ups and downs but always pulled through.  When I learned that he was seeing someone behind my back, I asked myself, “how long had I been fooling myself, that everything was okay, we could make it through anything?”  I knew we couldn’t make it past this!  The worst day of my life, was not when the person I’d thought was my one true love left me, it was the day that person sat our son down, told him what he’d done and why he was leaving.

Mind you, I’d never dated, never lived on my own, and even though I’d always prided myself for my strong will and independence.  It all went up in flames.  Divorce, bankruptcy, and humiliation of what he’d done to me, to our family.  It was the true definition of feeling like shit! 

It took me a while, with reminders from my mother, bless her heart, whose health was now failing.  Her message was the same, “Are you going to let him take control of your life?”   If it hadn’t been for my son, brother and sister-in-law along with my best friend, I’d have crawled into a hole and let him take control.

Instead, I moved on.  When I heard about the lies he was telling people, as to why our marriage ended, I ignored them.  The only person who needed to know the truth was my son.  Since he had been told by his father himself that was all that mattered to me.  Others, could think what they wanted.

Where is the love part of my story?  I promise, I’m almost there.

I moved closer to my brother and sister-in-law, put my son in a better school system, and I worked on becoming the person I’d always wanted to be.  Independent, strong-willed, smart and on my way to becoming, hopefully, a mom her son could look up to and be proud of.  The only thing broken, besides my heart, was my belief that true love existed.  I knew, that I could never give myself to another person with my mangled and jaded heart.

Okay, finally, the love part.  I’ve been divorced for many years now.  I eventually began to date, realizing it would be frightful, but I would not be a coward and close myself off.  I was fortunate and found a man who drove me crazy, he is just as stubborn, if not more than I am.  Yet, I’ve never met anyone with a heart as genuine or tender!

His smile is what first drew me in, and what’s now close to six years, his dazzling grin is something I can’t wait to see every night when he comes home.  He gave me time to heal, being a friend first, and understanding when I said “There is no such thing as soul mates” and even worse, “I’ll never get married again!”

Once I remembered to love myself, falling in love with him was easy.  He’d also made it impossible to stay away, with his kindness and full heart, he offered it with no strings.  Sitting down together, and then with my son, making sure he agreed as well, we moved in together.

My son told me, before he left for college, that where we live now is his true home.  Where he had been born, and raised for ten years, he considered, a stepping stone to our happiness.  His stepfather, not only made his mom happy but he’d made us a family again.

Our first date was on Saturday, January 26, 2013.  He proposed to me on Monday, December 28, 2015 and I married the man of my dreams on Friday, October 28, 2016.  We recently celebrated our second anniversary, and on this day, I could still look into his eyes, and know I’d made the right choice.

He can still make my heart flutter, I’m still at the mercy to his damn smile, and I can finally admit, I’ve found my soul mate.

Hearts can heal, we just have to let them.

B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mind over BMI

How many of us look into a mirror and feel that the image glaring back at us is a stranger?  Someone that others just can’t see?

What about those of us who refuse to look into a mirror at all?  Knowing that who we see will disappoint us.  Possibly throw us into a bad mood or even a depressive state of mind.  We’re overwhelmed, tired with the knowledge, that one image will create an internal struggle and make us feel as if we’ve failed.

Then there are some of us who can look at ourselves and truly see what lies beneath!  A real person is peering back at us, someone we like.  No matter what our appearance, we’re happy.  Even if, in our reflections we see imperfections, we still feel complete.

Go ahead, try it!  Put yourself in front of a full mirror and ask yourself what you see?  I can honestly say, I’ve seen all of the above.

I was at the gym the other day with my trainer who is helping me to overcome my arthritis issues.  She’s a wonderful and patient woman, who is pushing me to become stronger.  And we’re succeeding.  She asked me if I’d gone to the water aerobics class we’d discussed.  Feeling that I could be honest with her, I explained it was mind over matter, or in my case, mind over BMI.  Even if I put on a swimsuit that covers everything, I know I’ll still be uncomfortable.  She understood.

As she put me through my reps, I started recounting my ups and downs throughout the years, with my weight and the different issues.  With her response to my story I decided to share it with everyone.  I promise it won’t take long!

My parents divorced when I was about seven years old.  My mom, took my brother and myself away from our abusive father.  We left the only home and school I’d ever known.  It was tough, I was only in the second grade and losing all of my friends hurt.  The only upside, was that I no longer had to face the monster that I’d been forced to call dad.  The events that followed, I feel are what made me into the person I am today and for that, I’m thankful.

We moved a lot, I changed schools each and every year from third to fifth grade.  The school I’d been attending from pre-school to second grade wasn’t very large, small compared to most.  Kindergarten through sixth, was on one side of the building and the other side, was the high school.  Small potatoes, or so I thought.

Upon entering third grade, I was placed in a one room schoolhouse where there was, you guessed it… the third grade.  We’re talking Little House on the Prairie here people.

The school I transferred to for the fourth grade, was at least kindergarten through sixth grade.  Still, making new friends wasn’t easy, as I was always being seen as the new kid.

Our last and final move, my mom promised me I wouldn’t have to switch schools again.  I was eleven, and so excited for the new school knowing that I could stay.  It was located right in town and three stories high.  I was hopeful, that there would be at least one other kid like me.

Bigger school also meant more bullies, and they didn’t fall short here.  The girls were brutal, if you didn’t fall within their “click” then you were picked on and ridiculed for anything they could think of.  The larger school however, ended up being my way of blending into the background and trying to fade out.

We didn’t have a lot of money, poor in some ways, yet wealthy in others.  As mom explained, we had a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs.  That didn’t matter in the eyes of a bully.  My mom and step dad knew they couldn’t afford to give my brother or me fancy things.  Instead, they gave so much more.  Their love guided us through, they taught us right from wrong.  How working hard wasn’t something to be ashamed of, it was something to be proud of.  We were united as a family.

I was an easy target for the bigger kids in school.  To say I was short is being kind!  I started listening to mom when she said, “Don’t take the crap that others hand out, as you’ll only end up smelling like shit”.  Her unique lessons and life stories gave me a new determination and she started to call me “Scrappy”.  If you look up the definition in the dictionary it shows, “having an aggressive and determined spirit: feisty”.  This was me.

Once seventh grade came along I was moved into the high school with the other kids from fifth and sixth grade.  I’d made one friend who was as rough and tough as myself.  She’s still one of my best friends, some thirty years later.

Even with her friendship the bullies still came after me, just not as much!  Probably on account that she was more popular, prettier and much taller than myself.  Despite her friendship, I was given the nickname, “Chubb’s” by a snobbish bitch who was a year ahead of me in school.  Her parents had bought her a VW convertible, she was blond had boobs and everyone loved her.  Why she chose me to go after, I never knew!

It didn’t take long before everyone was calling me Chubb’s.  When I looked in a mirror, I didn’t see myself.  I saw a short, chubby loser that didn’t have cool cloths or a big house to live in.  That’s when I started to hate how I looked on the outside.

In this picture below, you can see the unhappiness on my face!  I didn’t want any pictures taken of me the way I looked.  The person in the mirror said I was chubby, ugly and far from pretty.  When I look at this picture now, I see a thin kid!  I also see someone, who knew how to put on one hell of a “Resting Bitch Face” and tune the whole world out.

teenage years

In the tenth grade, my best friend left to go to another school.  I was devastated, angry and beyond the reach of my mom’s words when she’d tell me that I was tough and everything would be alright.  With my friends exit, the bullying became unbearable, to the point that I went to my mom and said I wanted to drop out.  I was sixteen after all, I could make my own decisions.  Mom set me straight on my slight miscalculation, of telling her I could do what I wanted.

Luckily, Mom listened and heard what I was saying about my pain and internal struggles.  I’d learned about an adult education night class that was provided in the same school, but simply took place at night.  If I did well, then I would be able to graduate and still walk with the class I was leaving.  This was the only acceptable solution and one I’m forever grateful that my mom let me do.

Starting full-time work during the day and school at night the next two years flew by!  On graduation day I didn’t want to go.  I was self-conscious about how I looked.  Even though I was eighteen and had accomplished so much more than the losers I’d left behind, I still saw that same girl in the mirror.  The stranger that they’d called “Chubb’s”.

Mom convinced me that they would be winning if I didn’t walk with my class.  She built up my spirits enough so I could receive my diploma as well as an outstanding student award!  For the first time in a very long time, I felt happy!

Fast forward to several years later after having my son.  I looked at pictures from his fifth birthday and I was horrified to see how large I’d become!  No surprise really, I hadn’t looked at myself for years in a full mirror.  No pictures, as I was intentionally always the one behind the lens.  This was my coping mechanism, I knew how fat I was getting.  The doctor reminded me that I couldn’t ignore my BMI, it was off the charts.  I wore a size twenty-two and at five feet tall that was putting my health in danger.  I decided, I didn’t want to die fat before forty!

I forced myself to get onto a scale and I even made myself look into a mirror every morning and every night.  I did what my doctor said, I ate better and exercised more.  Before long, I was running three to five miles a day and impressing everyone with my size four figure!  BMI was back to normal baby!  You’d think that would be enough, right?

Even when I was a size four, I would look into the mirror and still see the imperfections.  I couldn’t seem to do enough!  I wanted to feel like the sexy women in the movies or the models in magazines.  In my mind, I still saw the chubby girl that everyone picked on.

Two years ago I was diagnosed with severe arthritis in my right hip and mild in my left.  Both have gotten worse with time and of course the first thing I was told to do, get my BMI down.

I walk with a cane, can’t stand for long periods of time, I can’t sit for long periods of time and exercise is extremely painful.  I was told I wouldn’t be running again and even walking isn’t advised.  I was also told that my bones are weak with not only the arthritis but because I’ve had to take medications for several years due to my epilepsy.  These pills can cause osteoporosis which is just making things worse.

I can now see myself in the mirror for who and what I am.  I’m definitely much smaller than I was at my son’s fifth birthday, but definitely, far from a size four.  I still hate for my picture to be taken but I don’t hide any longer.

I understand that when I look and see the extra weight it’s not an imperfection, it’s me.  Me!  I’m the one who chooses my lifestyle and how I look.  I’ve proven that I have the power to change things if that’s what I want to do.  No one will do it for me.

The lessons I’d learned from my mom way back when, I try to apply today.  However, I don’t use those lessons as my life jacket any long, like I did as a teenager.  I believe in myself as a woman and a human being!  I’m not perfect, I’ll have ups and downs and there will always be self-doubt when it comes to my appearance.

I put my own spin on Mom’s advice!  I’ve learned that it’s the crap I feed myself that makes me feel like shit!  Not what people say about me!

B

 

 

 

 

Empty Nest

The Boy

Since the beginning of time, I’m going to say there have been parents out there who suffer from “Empty Nest Syndrome”, right?  If there weren’t so many of us then why the hell would they come up with a name for it!!

I ordered myself to wait at least a month after my son had left for college before writing about it.  I wanted the feeling to sink in and cement itself into my heart before I self diagnosed myself with ENS.

Understand, my son and I are extremely close.  We’re very much alike in many ways, which should have been our downfall but turned out to be our saving grace.  We’re both, as he says, “chill people” and we can usually look for the good in most bad situations. After his father and I divorced when he was around ten years old, our bond became even stronger.

When my son was in ninth grade, we made the move from a small town to Beantown where he flourished.  I mean BAM! This kid took off, making honor roll every report card for all four years. A large circle of amazing friends, something he’d never had before!  His social calendar always full as he was involved in the performing arts, building stage sets, doing improv and working after school and on the weekends as well.  Do I sound proud?

The time flew by and before I knew it my son, his step-father and I were looking at college campuses to tour.  I encouraged him to look at any school he wanted and then we would go from there, hoping for as many scholarships as possible and financial aid.  

Now, I don’t know if this helped me or not.  Since I knew his leaving was inevitable, if I found myself alone or with my husband and the thought of his leaving crept into my brain, I would let myself cry!  I would silently think about how much I’d miss dropping him off every day at school, how quickly he’d grown up and how I’d feel alone. This way I’d be all cried out come the day he actually left the nest!  It mostly worked. The other thing that helped, we got a dog!

I had talked to other parents who’d already gone through the experience and I have to say, opinions varied!  There were some mom’s out there that couldn’t wait for the day that their kids were gone. Freedom from driving kids everywhere.  Attending all sporting, theatrical or musical performances. They were done! Don’t get me wrong, they love their kids very much, but the ease of responsibility is alluring to us all!  

Graduation time was eventful, emotional and exhausting.  One other thing, it was also the time I started to count down the days until he would be leaving.  I tried to sneak in as much time with my son as possible and it was a great summer. But as the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end”.

I told myself on his move-in day that he was a quick three-hour airplane ride away.  That his being midway across the country from us would be fine! Hey, I sucked it up, put on my “big girl panties” as my husband likes to say and kept going.  I’d already made my son promise me a once a week face-to-face conversation on the computer and text messages if necessary.

I had watched his father break into a crying fit when he said his goodbye and I thought to myself, “Don’t be a wuss!” and prayed I wouldn’t do the same!  So I stalled and kept asking things like, “Do you have everything you need?” or “Do you want me to get you anything?” He even declined food when I offered. Instead of getting frustrated with me, he patiently smiled down at me and I knew it was time.

At this point, my voice was lost...I have no idea where it went but my throat tightened and it was of no use!  My eyes were starting to overflow as my son gave me a hug and said, “Love ya Mom, I’ll be okay.”   Giving him a squeeze back, all I could manage at this point was a thumbs up! My wonderful husband took over, pulling on my arm, making me move away so he could hug the boy and tell his step son things that I simply couldn’t say!  He assured him that he’d take care of me, that everything would be great!  Reminded him to be safe and to stay smart.  In parting, my husband told him he was about to have the time of his life!

Since then, my son has kept his word.  Once a week face-to-face discussions, sometimes texting but that’s mostly me sending pictures of the dog waiting at the window watching for him to come home.  Each day is hard but everyday does get easier.  PAPI WAITING

If you search the internet, you’ll find that the empty nest syndrome, (ENS) is an actual thing!  The only comforting thing I found was that it’s considered a feeling and not considered to be a clinical condition.  I was worried there for a second!

I received permission today from my now eighteen-year-old son to use his picture for my post.  This of course took me on a search, going through many years of memories trying to pick the right one. During this time, I’ll admit to shedding a tear or two and then counting the days on the calendar until he’s home on break.  

My discovery for today though, is that I can now see through the weaving of my nest that I spent eighteen years building and I can honestly say, “I hope he’s having the time of his life”! P.S. While getting good grades too!!!

Forever a Mom!

B

 

Grumpy Dad’s

Mimi bday 2013 015

 

 

 

 

My father, whom I love dearly, is a true Vermonter!  Officially he’s my stepfather but to me he’s my dad!  He’s in his early seventies, saying that he’s set in his ways is putting it mildly, setting aside his abrasive nature and you’ll discover the lovable and generous man he truly is.  Like most cuddly teddy bears though, he’s got a bite!  He’s been known to snap on occasion, if he’s pissed off the grumpiness takes over.  My mom passed away in March 2015 and he’s felt the burden of loneliness ever since.  I live a few hours away but I call him everyday so we can talk.

Taking care of his health hasn’t been his top priority, this was proven when he had his heart attack two years ago.  Since then he’s been placed on blood thinners and a number of other medications to help with blood pressure, etc… you get the point.  Recently, his doctor told him he needed a sleep study.  Well, Hells Bells!  I’ve been telling him he needs a sleep study for years, but who am I?  Oh, just a daughter who’s worked in sleep clinics for eleven years.  What do I know though?

When it came time for his study, I asked him a few questions.  I wanted to make sure his study went well, and he was prepared for it.  He was having the study at a clinic where I had worked for over seven years, I kinda knew what might happen.  Of course that didn’t go over well as he didn’t think I knew what his study would be like.

My first question was, “Do they know you sleep in a recliner at night and use oxygen?” His response was, “Why the hell do they need to know that?” I explained that if they know in advance, they’ll be prepared and have a recliner in his room as well as oxygen and things would go easier.  Again, I’m crazy and know nothing about the subject. The next question I asked, after he had a sufficient hissy fit was, “Are you going to take your nighttime as well as morning meds with you?”  This, he at least conceded to agree with and admit he hadn’t thought of that.  Oh, I was making strides now and nothing was stopping me!

“Dad, you will need to bring some PJ’s with you.”  He didn’t think that was necessary as he was going to be in a hospital and they would give him, “The nightgown that shows your ass in the back.”  I assured him that he wasn’t in a hospital room, they want him to sleep in what he normally sleeps in and his room would be more like a hotel room than a hospital room.

“Well, that’s stupid!  How are they doing a test on me if I’m not in a hospital?”  I could hear his frustration mounting and knew I only had a moment left before he would tell me, “Let’s talk about something else.” and the topic would be pushed far under the rug where I wouldn’t be able to drag it out again.

I changed tactics to not sound like a nag, “You know the tech that is setting you up might be a hot chick?”  That got his attention and his mood suddenly brightened.  “I know the girls that work there (desperately hoping he’d get one of the female tech’s and not a male) and they’ll take great care of you!”  His response was “Of Boy!” in an excited rumble.

I went on to explain that he would be spending a lot of time with her while she was getting him ready and then she’d be able to see him during the night as they would record his sleep pattern.  “You need to be on your best behavior!”

The hot looking woman had caught his attention but I could sense I was losing him again when his reply was, “Don’t you just never mind, I’ll be just fine and I can take care of the woman.”  “You’d better” I said, “I know them all and if you’re a dick, they will tell me.” Ha! I had him where I wanted him!  He and I both know the clinic has his written consent for me to speak with them, he knew I would find out.

“Yup, well, I gotta go.  Talk to you tomorrow.  Love ya.” Before I could respond, he hung up on me.  Not how I’d wanted that conversation to go. I sighed in resignation, hoping he’d heard some of what I had to say and listened to me.

The moral of the story.  It doesn’t matter whether your my dad or the next-door neighbor.  When you schedule a sleep study, write down what your normal bedtime/wake up time routine is.  Make sure you confirm where you’re going and ask what to bring with you.  Ask the person scheduling your appointment what type of room you’ll be sleeping in, are the beds normal or hospital beds?  If you need to sleep in a recliner, don’t be shy, ask for one!  It’s your health, with this information the odds that things will go right are in your favor and the chances of your having to do a repeat study go down.

Let me know if you have any questions about sleep studies or how to navigate having them.  Plus, making sure your insurance pays for the study!

Sleep Well!!

    

 

 

Love and Laugh

When I was a little girl, before the age of seven I knew where love existed in my life and where it didn’t.  The process of elimination was simple back then!  It wasn’t until I became older that the definition of love became a bit harder to determine.

How do we define love?  There are many different variations of love.  The type of love a parent feels towards their child is totally different from the feelings of love that the parents have towards each other, right?  Same as the love of a child towards their parents is different from the love they might feel towards their siblings.

Let’s start with parents!  My mom would tell me how she felt lucky and blessed to have created something so special!  I thought that I was unequivocally her favorite and most precious person on the planet.  Then, I overheard her saying something similar to my older brother and even at a young age I was confused at how she could say the same thing about that jerk!  Later in life I  learned it was her way of saying she loved us both the same.  Come on though, my brother – special?  Not in my universe!  We’ll come back to him later.

As for my father.  My biological father isn’t worth the thoughts or words that appear on the screen of my laptop.  I received one thing from the scum bag, he taught me what the opposite of love looked like.

Now, let’s conclude today with siblings by combining love with laugh.

One incident that comes to mind is how he “accidentally” ran over me with his go-cart when we were young.  We were using the backyard as a race track, ripping up the grass as we zipped in circles around our red, white and blue metal swing set.  The go-cart was a two-seater, low to the ground, with a stinky gas smelling motor behind us.  Top speed which was possibly five miles per hour, (maybe more like three).  Yet I always thought we were travelling much faster as I could feel the summer wind whip through my short tomboy cut hair.  My job, as co-pilot was to drop and then pick up orange traffic cones as we drove by.  At the rapid speed we were going I wasn’t able to pick up the cones the way my brother was ordering, so he pushed and out I went.

Being a skilled go-cart driver, my brother could do a donut on a dime, ergo coming back towards my face down in the dirt body very quickly.  Now kids on a farm in the extreme heat of summer back then often went without a lot of clothes.  Being maybe five years old at the time I remember feeling the burn on my bare back from the hot rubber, first the front tire and then the back.  As a little kid I’m not sure what went through my mind at that moment.  As an adult, the verbiage is probably something like, “Son of a Bitch!”

I remember jumping up and down, my back burning in pain.  Screams cut through the air between my uncontrollable sobs.  Mom, who was never far away heard me and came running.  When she asked my brother what happened, as apparently I was in a fit of hysteria and couldn’t speak, “Sissy fell out and I was trying to help her get back in”.

Turning me around in examination she saw the tire marks across my back.   Excitement started to break through the pain as I could see the fire that ignited in her eyes.  As she looked from me to my brother I knew he couldn’t fib his way out of this one.

To this day my brother and I will tell our different variations of what happened that day.  He tries to maintain his innocence so as to not look like a crappy brother, who I admit was only eight at the time.  My story remains true as we both know who received the butt spanking that day!

There are many stories of laughter from my youth and they mostly include my brother doing crappy things as most big brothers will do.  There are also new stories of a brother who is there for me today and whom I love very much!

Love and laugh my friends, love and laugh!

B

 

 

 

Catching Up

2014-11-24 20.35.54Sleep disorders are one of the most interesting medical issues.  I once worked with a well-known neurologist and I asked him why he chose sleep medicine as a specialty opposed to neurology.  His answer was that he could treat and sometimes even cure a person’s sleep disorder but he couldn’t cure a brain tumor.

There are several health issues that will arise in your body if you ignore your sleep disorders, more specific if you have sleep apnea.   Apnea or OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) can:

  • Raise your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.  If you already have either issue apnea can make the conditions worse
  • Higher risk of heart disease, stroke and atrial fibrillation (where your heartbeat is fast and flutters)
  • Obesity
  • Breathing issues like asthma
  • Acid reflux
  • Not to mention a high risk for car accidents

Many of the people I’ve seen come through a sleep clinic have some of  if not all of the issues listed above. The ones that have the car accidents usually fall asleep while driving.

Sometimes patients can go to bed, sleep for eight to ten hours and wake up feeling just as tired as when they went to bed.  Think how that affects your heart, lungs, brain and mood, right! It sucks, but the best part is that most of the time it can be treated and you’ll feel incredible afterwards.

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines can make a difference.  Once you have a sleep study to determine that you have apnea your sleep specialist can write a prescription for the machine.  Simple yet complicated. You have to show up for the sleep study, that’s the simple part. The complicated part is getting what you need after the study, follow through.  

Most people who use a CPAP machine have told me it’s the best night sleep they’ve had in a very long time.  Those same people won’t go a single night without it. Is it a pain, yes… but is it worth it, most definitely.  Just ask your doctor about it and they can help you understand based on your current medical condition how it can help make your life better.  

Now, how does love fit into this?  Has anyone ever told you that your snoring wakes them?  As I’ve told one of my friends, she snores louder than a freight train, no way I can sleep next to that.  Take into account that I’m partially deaf (husband says totally deaf but he’s being dramatic) when I remove my hearing aids at night and using ear plugs I was still unable to sleep.  It’s crazy how so much sound can come from one person.

Often times the spouse or significant other would try to make the sleep study appointment as they would explain how much the patients snoring and oftentimes gasping for air during the night would keep them awake.  They themselves now have a sleeping disorder but it’s one they can’t fix as it’s up to the patient to make this appointment. Some patients have told me that they’re made to sleep in a separate bedroom or even that their loved one moved out because the patient wouldn’t get the help needed.  Love comes into play big time when it involves our health and the health of someone we love! Everyone suffers!

Send me your questions or thoughts to see where you might be in this process.  

Good luck,

B