Family


My father’s anger issues are something that I’ve mentioned a few times over the years. Whatever is causing the dementia/memory issues seems to have made those issues even more prevalent. Any time that my mom opens her mouth, he yells at her. She could be talking to me and he will snipe at her. He’s thrown things. He is mad over everything and convinced that the world is out to get him. I can’t talk him down. I used to be able to be the voice of reason between the two of them, but his rage gets worse when I try. That rage has had ongoing consequences for me. He grabbed my right wrist months ago and I had some pretty bad bruising; it’s still weak and painful, and it pops when I move it. I told my therapist, but I refuse to get it checked out by a doctor because I know that they might have to report it to cops.1  My mom told me that it would be better if, when he’s acting out, I didn’t say anything to him about it. If he does something, we don’t confront him because the blame falls on us–even if it doesn’t involve us in any way. I thought he was scary before all of this, but I never knew just how bad he could get. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do. I keep making excuses for him because I know that even though he’s always had anger issues that something else is making him like this. This isn’t my dad. This is like my grandfather and I don’t want my dad to be like that man. I want my dad to be himself again. I want him to talk to his doctors about what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling; and I want him to be honest about his symptoms. He has lied to them and that’s impeding his treatment. I want him to let one or both of us talk to his doctors. How are they going to know about the rage? How will they know about the anxiety attacks he has every week when he goes to the grocery store with my mom?2 How will they figure out what’s going on in his head if he won’t tell them? Mom tried to ask him what she could do because she’s trying to figure out how they can get along. He doesn’t want her to try because he doesn’t think that anything will make their relationship better. In other words, he wants to be angry with her and take out all of his anxiety & aggression on her. This isn’t healthy and it isn’t right. I just want things to be better. The code of ethics for a social worker prevents her from sharing the information. ↩He won’t let her go with me instead of him. ↩

Tales from the Angry Side


Today was my last daily injection of Vitamin B-12. Now I’m going to weekly injections. Eight weeks from tonight, I’ll be back on monthly injections. So far I can’t tell that the shots have done anything. I only know that every time I give myself a shot, I feel more exhausted. It’s a paradoxical effect, but it’s one I’ve always had with B-12. My breathing is still crappy. My heart rate is through the roof. My dizziness and tendency toward disorientation has gotten worse. I was dizzy for about 3 hours last night after hearing a cowbell effect on a Mississippi State sports story; I wasn’t dizzy before the effect played. Sounds have often thrown me off a bit, but never quite that bad. I still have a couple of weeks before I’m supposed to go to the pulmonologist. Keep your fingers crossed that it won’t get worse. Speaking of appointments, tomorrow is dad’s appointment for the neurologist. Since his MRI, EEG, Doppler, and standard memory tests all came back normal, he’s convinced that he’s not got dementia. He thinks it is all just regular age-related memory loss. I’m afraid the doctor will feed into that. I don’t think he’s told him how dizzy he gets or about his headaches. I don’t know if he’s told him just how bad his memory loss has been. I don’t know if he’s told him how angry he’s gotten. I know that there is something wrong with him and I don’t know what it is. And I have this horrible feeling that it’s only going to get worse.  

A Bruising Hiatus



I was going to call the hematologist today & chickened out. I think I may be putting it off because I’m afraid of moving up the infusions. They actually do kinda scare me—well, the killer headache aspect. But I know I need to go through with them.  I also need to get my hip checked out, which I’ve been saying for months. I don’t know if that would involve going to just the family doctor or the family doctor plus physical therapy and/or an orthopedist. I don’t even know if I would be seeing the same orthopedist. And I don’t know if anything could really be done. It’s either a subluxation or tendinitis. Treatment for either would probably suck, and, until I get the anemia situation under control, I don’t really have the energy to deal with it.  Dad got a letter from the neurologist saying his MRI was normal. To him, that means nothing is wrong and this is all normal age-related stuff.1 But he doesn’t understand that a person can have a 100% normal MRI & still have dementia—even though he and I have gone over that. This week. I don’t know if he has forgotten it or is in denial. I know he doesn’t want the diagnosis to be real, none of us do, but the family doctor and the psychiatrist have both said all signs point to dementia. But we have to accept it because there is nothing that can change that fact.  And since it’s October I’ve started worrying about other things. Ridiculous things. Like that now that Nana is no longer living on her own, and is in the nursing home, do my parents & I have a place to go on Thanksgiving & Christmas? Or do those become just another day for us. I mean technically Christmas has been that way for years—when you don’t have presents & don’t put up decorations, holidays kinda lose their magic. But I don’t know what will happen this year, if my aunt will host, if we’re invited if she does, if we’re going to the nursing home that day, if I try to get everyone in my house to stay awake long enough to watch parades or anything. I just don’t know.  And it’s stupid that I cry about that a lot lately. But I just want one or two good, non-stressful days. I want life to make some kind of sense again.  I just feel lost.  His EEG and Doppler were yesterday and may take a few more days to get results. ↩

Chicken Janet


Dad had his MRI about twelve hours ago. His other dementia-related tests are next week. I guess this was his first MRI because he had to tell me all about the machine. He asked if I’d ever had one,1 which threw me since he’s driven me to most (if not all) the ones I’ve had.2 But I guess I have to get used to that. He might remember them fine tomorrow or next week. I never really know what he will remember or when he will remember it.  He and mom also had to stop by Legal Aid to get help with another attempt at a garnishment by Bank of America of their Wells Fargo account. This time by the wonderful lawyers at Spina and LaVelle. I guess they don’t realize that it’s still against the law to garnish Social Security payments. Also, they left the writ in the mailbox (in an unmarked, unstamped, unmailed envelope)—which breaks a few federal laws. I don’t think the judge will be pleased with them.  I know I’ve had at least four. I think I’ve had five or six. ↩Since I can’t remember, I guess I shouldn’t judge. ↩

What’s In Your Head



Seriously, this year has been so unpleasant, and not just because Donald Trump is running for President. With Nana going in the hospital, then the nursing home, dad’s health decline, everyone dying (Connie, Jay, Andrea, Joey), my depression coming out to play, the anemia rearing its ugly head, etc., it’s just been quite yucky.1 But it’s had decent moments. I almost had a paid article on xoJane, which encouraged me to submit more pitches & to start entering my poetry in literary magazines. That hasn’t resulted in any publications yet, but I just started. Besides, I know that most writers get a lot of rejections before they get their first acceptance. My time will come.  I’m sorry I haven’t been writing more. I just feel like shit a lot of the time lately. And it’s hard to encourage yourself to talk about how you feel like shit when you’re feeling that way. I also have started feeling like I’m too self-centered and don’t really give enough attention to the people I care about. I will try to do better.  Sometimes the most childish word is the best. ↩

Ready for This Year to Be Over


I set up new crowd-funding pages to raise money for home repairs and replacing my dad’s car. We’ll be getting some money from selling my grandmother’s house, so we’ll be able to cover some of the costs with that. I actually set up fundraising pages on three different sites (GiveForward, GoFundMe, YouCaring) because I know some people either don’t have accounts on those sites or they are boycotting them; and if you would rather just go through PayPal or Square, those options are also available. I just thought giving people more options might help raise the money faster, which will speed up the ability to get the repairs done, replace dad’s car, and get insurance on our house again. So far I’ve raised $20 which will definitely help. And I’m incredibly grateful for that donation. This is the description/explanation that I put up on the pages: My parents and I are on disability, which puts us on a very fixed income. Unfortunately, that fixed income makes it difficult for us to afford to do needed repairs on our house and to afford to replace the vehicle we’d used to go to doctor appointments. The house needs a lot of repairs. It needs to be more accessible for my mom who has a severe Vitamin D deficiency (my whole family has this deficiency) that has progressed to a point where she’s developed osteopenia, a condition has caused her to break bones almost every time that she falls. The fracture risk is even higher for her because she, like me, also has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which increases a person’s likelihood of developing fractures and other injuries involving connective tissues. She’s on special supplements for kidney failure patients who are Vitamin D deficient, but the deficiency continues. The entrances to the house need to have permanent steps added in or a permanent ramp to make it easier for my mom to enter the house. This is especially important considering that her last fracture, hospitalization, and surgery (a surgery that the orthopedist thought would end in an amputation of the lower leg), as well as her ongoing treatments for blood clots and infections, were due to a fall because height difference between the porch and door. Our home is also in need of plumbing and electrical repairs. (We have aluminum wiring; that wiring caused a pretty bad fire for us about 20 years ago.) We also need our roof and siding replaced, doors replaced, flooring replaced–in most rooms, the “floor” solely consists of the concrete slab laid as the foundation, some broken windows fixed, and cracks in the walls repaired. We need the wiring fixed so that we can get the dryer working again. We need most of our plumbing replaced or repaired to prevent/end leaks. (Every sink leaks, the toilets leak, the bathtub has a crack.) Our dishwasher hasn’t worked since at least 2012–it floods the kitchen if you attempt to use it–and needs to be replaced as well. Our stove needs to be replaced. We had to disable the back two eyes after they both “shocked” me while I was cooking. The oven itself doesn’t work properly either. We lost our home insurance policy in 2012 because the roof needed to be replaced and we couldn’t afford to get that done. We will not be able to get a new policy until we have fixed the roof and most of the other issues. If all of that wasn’t enough, my parents were in a car crash on August 23, 2016. A teenager ran a red light and hit the driver’s side of my dad’s car, then the driver’s side of the car in the next lane. Dad’s car was 17-18 years old, so it would have cost the insurance company more to repair the car than to declare it totaled. We have my grandmother’s car, which is even older and has had a few weird issues of its own over the years. We need to raise money to replace the old car to make sure that we have a car to drive to doctor appointments & other places. There’s plenty to be done and not enough to do it with, so if you could help in anyway, it would be awesome. If you can’t afford to donate, please consider passing the link along or, if you happen to know of an agency or group that does these repairs or provides other services for people on fixed incomes, please pass that on to me. If you’re able to help, I would appreciate it. If you can’t donate, but can share the link, I would appreciate that as well. If you know of any organizations that could help, then I would love that. And if you have any questions, then I’ll answer them.

Crowd-Funding Home Repairs







Only four posts in and I’ve already touched a nerve. @janersm which literally most people do on a regular basis. And the fact you’re writing a 2500 essay on the wrongs of trump is biast — StopRaven (@stop_raven) July 26, 2016 It’s “biast” for me to express my own opinion. Oh my goodness. How dare someone have an actual opinion! So, if you didn’t read my first, second, or third set of 21 reasons to oppose Trump, consider reading those before you read the next 21 reasons. After today’s post, there will be 95 more posts. If they were bottles of beer, this could be a song. 64. Donald Trump lied about witnessing Muslims celebrating 9/11 on a rooftop in Jersey City, New Jersey. I’ve mentioned Trump’s mocking of Serge Kovaleski, but not how he earned the ire of Trump. Kovaleski had covered a story in 2001 that suggested that there were people in Jersey City partying on rooftops. Donald claimed to see thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on rooftops after the World Trade Centers collapsed. He claimed there was video of it on television all the time. When he was asked about it by George Stephanopolous, Trump said: “It was well covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don’t like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good.” Except it wasn’t, because it didn’t happen. The story was never about thousands of Muslims. There was no video. It’s all in Trump’s head. 65. Trump insulted Seventh-Day Adventists. While speaking to supporters at a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida in October 2015, Trump, after talking about how he’s a Presbyterian, said, “Boy, that’s down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about. I just don’t know about.” While Trump’s dig may not sound that vicious, it was meant to be very vicious. You seem, some Christians don’t believe that Seventh-day Adventists are even Christian. This is a group that also refuses to vote for non-Christians. This was a time when Trump was behind Ben Carson by 9 percentage points; Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist. It was personal. 66. Trump hired Manafort. When Donald Trump dumped Corey Lewandowski and replaced him with Paul Manafort, very few people in America knew of the background of Manafort. Most stories touted him as having ties to the Republican Party. A few brought up some recent jobs of of his. Manafort has ties to Viktor Yanukovych, who was the the prime minister of the Ukraine at the time, as well as an ally of Vladimir Putin. In 2010, Yanukovych became the president of Ukraine, but had to flee to Russia during the 2014 revolution. Manafort was also a consultant of Yanukovych, helping Yanukovych’s first run for the Ukrainian presidency in 2004. When Yanukovych hired him after the first results were invalidated, Manafort was meant to improve his images. He was unable to in the time given, but Manafort continued to work within Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. Manafort was still working with the administration when Yanukovych fled and continued working within Ukrainian politics after he’d fled, including his reported involvement in the 2015 election campaign of Vitali Klitschko, who ran for mayor in Kiev. Now, Manafort is working with Donald Trump and was even used on July 27th on CBS This Morning to argue that Donald Trump had no ties to Vladimir Putin’s regime, which may have ties to the hacking of the DNC by Russians and subsequent Wikileaks email release. 67. Trump called Hillary Clinton “shrill” at a rally. A lot of people don’t like Hillary Clinton, but most don’t call her “shrill” at campaign events. Actually, he didn’t just say it once, he said it twice–over-pronouncing it the second time. I guess he wanted to make sure that everyone at his half-empty rally heard him correctly. He tried to suggest he calls men shrill, but if he has, it hasn’t been on Twitter. And he should know that the term “shrill” is meant to shut women up. My guess is: that’s why he said it. Luckily, it didn’t work. 68. Trump mocked Fiorina’s physical appearance. No, really. He did and managed to do it while being interviewed by Rolling Stone. When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. “Look at that face!” he cries. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” When asked on Fox News if he really said something like that, he confirmed, saying, “Probably I did say something like that about Carly.” But he tried to walk it back with, “I’m talking about persona. I’m not talking about look.” Donald always has an excuse. 69. Donald Trump believes that John McCain shouldn’t be considered a war hero. While speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Trump said of McCain, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured.” 70. Donald Trump also stated that he doesn’t believe that people who are captured are war heroes. In his words, “I like people who weren’t captured.” He’s walked those comments back, because they didn’t go over very well, but they were still said. And his reframing of his comments (“If somebody’s a prisoner, I consider them a war hero.” and “If a person is captured, they’re a hero as far as I’m concerned. … But you have to do other things also.”) didn’t really explain the difference between McCain’s capture and the POWs who he actually sees as a war hero. 71. Trump comes up with childish and […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #64-84