Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Post 200 starts with an order...

TO STOP! It's happened again, my friends. Three people have come together, without even coordinating it, to land me $175 - enough to get me through to the third of next month.

Now I just need to recover from the events of Monday. I'll start with the post I made on GitP.

There comes a time when one wonders what on Earth one is fighting for. Wouldn't it just be easier to surrender and be done with it?

My brother drove up to visit my father last week, and I called my father to find out how the visit went. What started out as a nice conversation rapidly turned into a shouting match, when my father decided to say, "There is something I have to talk to you about, and that's your mother." (My biological mother lives very near to Stu.) "If you don't behave yourself around her, you're going to find yourself out on the street."

Well, isn't that just great. I haven't even moved there, and already I'm receiving threats about "my behavior." It's like these people whom I call family don't even know me. Of everyone I'm related to, I'm "the nice guy." My youngest brother, Barry, is a complete bigot, and my middle brother, Stu, is as apathetic as one can get. And when my father started placing threats over my head, the tears started to flow. Just when I thought I was making a move toward something better in my life, he felt the absolute need to sour it by trying to intimidate me. And as he heard me starting to cry, he responded by trying to shame me. "Oh, don't give me tears over this."

Every ounce of control I hang on to with both hands - white-knuckled - went out the window. I shouted to the point of tearing up my voice. He attempted to use the claim that "I'm the father, and I get to say these things," I shouted, "And I'm the son, and I get to remind you that that woman, of whom I'm ashamed to be the son, is neither human nor humane. She was the same CREATURE who came home to find me overdosed on drugs and my left arm caked with blood, only to tell me that I should 'get up, clean up, pack up, and get out.' I shouldn't DARE die in her home; I should die alone and on the street. And now you think I'd actually WANT any kind of contact with that THING?!?"

"Oh, that's right! You don't understand that your eldest son is mentally ill! You only understand diabetes, which can be represented with x-rays and blood tests. You don't think about how many times I've been hospitalized for mental illness, because you just don't get it. And I can try to explain until I'm blue in the face, and all you see is the failure and responsibility that I've become. No one wants me around. I'm just some unwanted piece of crap that people think they HAVE TO keep around because they don't know what else to do with me."

Mind you, that was ALL shouted, and my father tried several times to talk over me. There was also quite a bit of "colorful NY language" from the both of us. The above tirade was written to conform to forum rules.

But I was absolutely hysterical, and my poor step-mom tried to take over and talk to me. Unfortunately, things had gone too far. By the time she tried talking to me, I was having a full-blown panic attack, complete with chest pains. I told her as much and hung up, then immediately grabbed my anti-anxiety meds and popped a pill to calm me.

But the tears are still flowing. I'm not even wearing my glasses to see the screen right now, because tears keep dripping onto the lenses. I lean forward and squint to seen what I'm writing, then check the keyboard for tears that have landed on it.

The people who should care, don't. The people who don't have to care, do. Foolishly, I asked about how I'm going to ship my computer to TN, and my father acted as though I'd asked him to send me $10,000. And to use his airline miles to get me to TN also seems like a drastic burden, even though it boils down to him spending no money whatsoever.

I'm fighting for so long, so hard. I've been the nice guy for years, now, trying not to let the darker parts of my personality come to the fore. And in the span of five minutes, I've been left with little else but to wonder why. So I can be the thoroughly unproductive human being that I apparently am? So I can be the perpetual burden to friends and family? So I can live a life of panic and fear? So I can live a life beneath poverty and "revel" in that claim?

No...this isn't living. The is existing in the worst way. The only step lower would be to become utterly homeless, and that's apparently the next step if my father has things play out the way he imagines them. I've been hanging on to my life by mere threads, and the people who SHOULD love me are making every effort to cut the threads I'm grasping.

Despite these "wonderful" thoughts, I'm off to see my podiatrist. G-d knows I should have healthy, well-groomed feet for when I come back and continue to have my mental breakdown.

Well, the day didn't really improve after that. MY podiatrist, whom I affectionately called "Dr. Paul," had up and moved to Indiana. From what I hear, it happened rather suddenly. One week he was telling the staff he'd be leaving, and the next he was gone. So I ended up seeing the new doctor of the practice, and he had all the bedside manner of a cinder block. I asked for him to take x-rays to get the status quo inside my feet, what with me having Charcot's foot and all, and he ignored that. I told him the CAM walker relieved the pain of the severe arthritis, and his expression was a silent message of, "Oh...That's nice. Have anything to say that I might care about?" I explained the ulcer on my left ankle tended to open up by bumping it against virtually any surface. No, that wasn't very important to him, either. Then he looked at the sore that recently opened up on my left calf, and he decided that my putting Silverdine was enough. Finally, I held up the ancient, decrepit ace bandages I used to hold the gauze I use to tend my wounds and asked if he could spare replacements. Of the two filthy, overused bandages I displayed, he replaced one.

What's sad is that a nurse who's known me for years came in to chat with me and help redress my wounds, and she showed an infinite amount of more caring than Dr. Jackass. She went and grabbed another ace bandage for me. I also told her the abridged version of how I ended up with PTSD, which she didn't know about, and how I'd had the mother of all panic attacks just hours before the doctor's visit. Mind you, this is a great woman, who is also a cancer survivor. She knows what it's like to be a seriously ill patient of any sort, and empathized a lot more than the doctor.

Sitting and writing about it now, I don't know how this new doctor got the job. This podiatric practice has had three doctors since I started going there, and I've spoken at one time or another with all three doctors. Obviously they would have to find a replacement when Dr. Paul left...but why replace him with someone less personable? This new guy, whom I will now officially call "Dr. J," (not the basketball player of old), seemed offended when I used the phrase "glycated hemoglobin." It was like, "How DARE you know a medical term, you rank amateur? I was pre-med for four years, in med school for another four, and passed an exam that would make you cry...and you DARE to know one of our sacred medical terms?!? I should amputate your foot right here, right now, just out of spite!"

Really...You want to unnerve a doctor, start tossing around medical terminology. "What happened to my right foot? Well, I had osteomyelitis of the third metatarsal, which caused such a decrease of bone integrity that I ended up with a pathological fracture, and simply walking on it exacerbates the site years later. Thankfully, after 26 days in the hospital receiving vancomycin, they installed a Hickman catheter and I was able to do the IVs myself at home. Also, after they thought I had osteomyelitis again, I dealt with a Groshong catheter for 20 days." It scares doctors, because it sounds like you have experience with such things...too much experience. Alas, I can't tell you what bothers them more - that you're knowledgeable, or that you're going to slow them down with questions, when all they want to do is move on to the next patient so they can have more billable hours.

So...To the three friends who leapt to my aid, you have my most sincere thanks. You have relieved the panic when it comes to finances this month. Now I just have to figure out how I'm to deal with family. Honestly, I'd rather go a few months without having to talk to any of them, but I don't have that luxury. This move to TN, if it's still happening after yesterday's blowout, will be happening during those months I'd rather not talk to anyone of blood relation.

The irony is the birthday card I received from my father, bereft of anything more than the $50 I get monthly to afford my medications. It read, "Birthdays are the happiest celebrations - and having a wonderful son like you is the happiest feeling a parent could know...May these loving wishes warm your heart and remind you of how much you mean." Upon receiving it, I knew the entire message was a lie. Yesterday, my father confirmed what I thought when I opened the card. He doesn't think I'm a "wonderful son." I only mean as much as far as he deems me a burden. And had I received a blank card that simply said "Happy Birthday," it would have at least been true.


Gamer Hippie o' death said...

Dang family of yours. Are you sure it would be wise to move to TN?
I'm sure it would be both physicially and financially, but mentally?

Ps. I think this was post 198, not 200.

Rob Meadows said...

Hmmm...A little basic math and it would seem you're correct...except that the internal count, as can only be seen by the blogger, includes deleted posts...I think. The reason why I'm not sure about that is because I don't recall deleting any posts...plenty of drafts, but not posts.

I'll try to look at it like my birthday, in that I get to celebrate something twice. Unlike you "normal" people, I get to have two 200th posts.

AS for the wisdom of my move, I'm not even sure what's going on with that anymore. I know someone tried to call me last night while I was asleep, but "unavailable" could be anyone.