Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you all have had a good weekend. Ready to start the new week, with all it's challenges and unforeseen experiences? That is what scares me-is the unforeseen experiences- as you can't prepare for them. I'm the type of person that loves to pack ahead of time, so to speak, and prepare for what is going to happen next. I HATE surprises..most of them, anyway. I mean, birthday or anniversary surprises are one thing....I love those. The surprise of having my mom suddenly die while in San Antonio....that was ONE surprise I could have definitely lived without!!! Living with fibro is one big question mark over your head. You just don't know when the flare-up is going to come. You can't ever make good plans, for fear you will have to cancel because of a flare-up. I've had to do that so many times over the past 14 years that I'm so hesitant now to even make plans to do anything. Then you sit around the house being bored and you hate having fibro for one MORE reason....you can't ever plan anything!!
I've been in such a nostalgic mood lately. I've been looking at a lot of pictures of my mom and dad and when Frankie and I lived with them. I've also looked at pictures of my childhood and remembering times when they weren't so bad. My dad had a job and wasn't hooked on prescription drugs at that time. We had two cars and presents under the Christmas tree. We had a nice place to live in, one I wasn't so embarrassed of that I'd lie to my friends about where I lived. Actually, make that FRIEND. I only had one good friend in high school and her situation was kind of like mine. Her father was an alcoholic and her parents divorced and she lived with her mom not too far from where I lived. I may have had both of my parents, but there were lots of times I wondered if Mom would have been happier with her life if she and my dad divorced. Don't get me wrong-I love my dad, despite his addiction, but they just fought ALL THE TIME and that is not good for a relationship. The tension was so much in our house that you could cut it with a knife. My dad, for some reason, just quit looking for a job, so mom had to work extra hard and long at the job she had just to make ends meet. I volunteered many times to go out and flip burgers at the Burger King down the street, but she wouldn't hear of it. Especially when I was in nursing school. She kept saying, "I want you to study and work hard in school. Graduate and get a good job and get us out of here!" So that is what I did. I studied and graduated with honors and my dad would go around surrounding towns with his sister and look for "candy man" doctors who would write prescriptions for tranquilizers and pain killers. My mom would be working so much we never saw her too much.
I graduated from nursing school May of 1993. At that time, my mom's dad was suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and the plan would be I would go to Arizona and help out grandma as she was having a difficult time with him. I had to wait for three months, though, for my license (and to see if I even passed the boards!) My license came the last week of October and I flew out to Arizona. My grandpa died of complications following a stroke he had in July. I decided to still go along with the plan of going to Arizona because the job market was not good for RN's in Michigan at that time. They wanted LPN's, who they could pay less. That's what I was told, anyway. My grandma met me at the airport and my new life, as I knew it, was just starting. I was very excited, but scared, too. I never had been away from my parents like this. Being an only child, I was close to my parents and rather shy of new people.
My grandma lived in Yuma, AZ, which is a dusty border town to Mexico and California. You could almost be safe in saying that the primary language of Yuma is Spanish, and English second. When I was hired at the community hospital, I took care of lots of patients who only spoke Spanish. I'd have to have someone come and interpret for me or talk with little children who were learning English in school. I remember getting a consent for a colonoscopy through a five year old to his grandmother who was having the test! After awhile, I picked up words and phrases in Spanish and got better, but I certainly wouldn't call me fluent in Spanish!
My parents came out to Yuma in April of 1994. It was only then that I learned my dad was a nightmare while I was gone the whole time in AZ. He would be taking taxis all over town to urgent care facilities and ER's, in search of his medications of choice. He even took the car out (I saved enough of my checks so they could buy a car to come to AZ with) and he was really "high" and hit two parked cars and scraped the guard rail on the road he was on. He was on the police band radio as a "hit and run." When he showed up at mom's work, she didn't know what to do. He was obviously three sheets to the wind and in NO condition to drive. He suffers from seizures, so she called the police and told them that he must have had a seizure while driving. They dropped the charges. She did what she felt she had to do, but I don't think she did him any favors by covering up like that. Maybe if we both would have covered LESS for him, he might have realized how bad his drug problem really was. We'll never know.
I met my dear hubby online in 1995 and we traveled back and forth from Phoenix (where he lived) to Yuma (where I lived.) We did this for a year then decided to get married Nov. 16th, 1996. I chose to live in Phoenix after our wedding, to see how life in a big city was. I never lived in a big city, so this was very exciting. I had secured a job at Boswell hospital in Sun City that I really enjoyed. We'd go see my folks in Yuma on the weekends once or twice a month. We kept that up for about 8 months then my dad started calling me on the phone with really weird statements like, "your mom is trying to drown me in the bathtub." He had many other statements, but that was the weirdest one. Mom got on the phone, crying, saying she was NOT trying to kill him, although it wasn't a bad idea at the moment! I threw some clothes into a bag and Frankie and I made an emergency trip to Yuma.
Truth be told, we weren't doing so hot in Phoenix, either. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in Dec. of 1996 and felt horrible with joint and body aches, irritable bowel syndrome and my calves would get so hard I could barely stand on them. My body was reacting to the stress of worrying about Mom and we were sending them money on a monthly basis, so that was cutting in on OUR monthly bills. We were broke, too! So we decided to pool our checks together and live together. Frankie and I moved to Yuma a few weeks later and I got my job back at Yuma's community hospital. Frankie landed a job at a grocery store as a courtesy clerk, which he hated. He worked there for awhile, then landed a really good job with the City of Yuma as a mail courier. Life should have been better, right? One would think......
I'll continue my saga tomorrow, my friends. My hands are starting to get stiff and my back and legs are killing me. My feet are so numb, it's hard to move them. God, I love fibro and neuropathy! They make a person feel so good, don't they? Forgive me for cutting this short. I hope each and everyone of you are happy and well. Have a good week and I'll post again tomorrow.