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tmciriani

:@#*%::scared::yikes::pounding-headache::dumb::tantrum::feeling-blue::insane::crazy::no-way::#@</!!::frustrated::help::yikes::crazy::getting-sick::sick:

Lemme just get all the emotions out at once. I've been pretty terrible lately. It is definitely time to see my shrink. Thank the Lord its Thursday. Let me go through my new range of crazy. I'm depressed, my anxiety gets so high I feel like I will burst, panic attacks almost daily, seeing things, hearing things, scared because I don't know if I am seeing things or hearing things, sense of utter doom Bad Bad Bad, the crickets made me have a panic attack, I keep hearing thunder rumbles but feel to my bones that something horrible is coming...plus I'm not even sure I actually hear thunder but it's there, I have been barricaded in my room 75% of the time lately, sleeping as much as I can, I don't want to be awake, chronic headaches, neck pain...Oh yeah I have that mass on the side of my neck, crying, crying, crying, hyperventilating, completely paranoid, obsessed with trying to find answers on the internet which makes it worse, feel like throwing up a lot, obsessively sanitizing, obsessive in general, oh did I say terrified at times? I think there is more but I'm too tired to write it. So what has happened? Ok so I found out my disability hearing is October 25th good right? My dad was diagnosed with stage 1 non small cell adenocarcinoma of the lungs 'm about a month ago. He has been doing radiation for 2 weeks now and started chemo today. He has a 85% cure rate...another pretty positive note. My extremely narcissist ex boyfriend of 10 years that I left a year ago because he replaced me with a 24 year old 30 years his junior has contacted me twice in the past month. My stepmom is neurotic and a clean hoarder ( I still live with my dad and stepmom for now). I found out today that my dad should be putting the toilet seat down and flushing twice when he uses the restroom. He NEVER flushes pee. He is diabetic, has COPD but in the last month has quit smoking and drinking, has beginning stage kidney disease and now has cancer and has to have poison given to him...radiation M-F...chemo every Monday. He checks his sugar, takes insulin, all without applying alcohol to any place a needle goes and hasn't changed his Lancet in forever. I've been sanitizing as much of where my dad touches as I can because he is overly susceptible to infection plus it is a safety factor for myself and my stepmom. I asked him to flush with the potty seat down tonight (I can flush the 2nd time before I go). He yelled at me and said I am not a Dr. and that the next person can flush after he goes and if they don't like it they can go outside and then told my stepmom they needed to get me a dog outhouse. I am thinking of his exposure or extra exposure as well as mine and my stepmom's. I think he feels ostracized and that I am a reason for that. Sighs....maybe I am. I don't know. I've had to call my mom every night to be talked down including tonight cause I can feel my heart racing and beating so hard. I couldn't get in touch with my daughter for a few days...her phone was cut off and it took a few days to have enough money to turn it on again. I was extremely stressed about it and worried something had happened. Yes this is a total pity cry, pooh blog, or whatever else it can be labeled. It is my reality though at least for the past 3 weeks. Can somebody say thorazine please. :cheers:I am going to go watch YouTube vvideos of kittens now. Night.

tmciriani

Tomorrow my dad gets his first dose of radiation for his lung cancer. We are all just in a weird wondering mood. My dad is in good spirits which I am so glad. The very next day he gets his first dose of chemotherapy. I pray it is kind to him or at the very least that he is able to be ok with it physically. I know if the chemo is too much that he can just raise a white flag and the Oncologist is really supportive of this. Just praying for whatever he goes through.

 

Tomorrow I go to my PCP to hopefully get some answers about the lump on the side of my neck. My ENT wants me to go ahead and see Dr. Coil because it will be quicker than waiting for an opening there. The therapist said he may send me right back to my ENT and that was ok but he can do initial research into what it is. I have just kept it off my mind...kept my thoughts on my dad and try to give him positive vibes. So keep us in your thoughts and prayers and send an extra prayer for my dad. Thanks guys.

tmciriani

I have found out some more info about my dad and his cancer diagnosis. He has non small cell adenocarcinoma, it is extremely near to his esophagus and because of that inoperable. He will be starting radiation treatments on the 30th of this month. They will be lower dose than usual but for a longer time so as not to injure his esophagus. They did find 2 lymph nodes that are near and seem to be somewhat enlarged but they scanned him last week and there is no cancer metastasis. So it is still in stage 1 but like stage 1b because it ha increased in size since May. Non small cell carcinoma is good because it is much slower growing and has a much higher rate of beating it. We found out today that he will also have chemotherapy starting on the 1st of August. His odds are 80% with radiation only and 85% with radiation and chemo but it was the Dr.'s decision whether he could have both. The oncologist he spoke with today said that they have a lot better ways to relieve side effects today and he would have a choice to discontinue the chemo at any time if he felt he could not take it. My dad said today that he already feels better just knowing....it took so long to get answers and it gave him pretty bad anxiety. All in all I think we/he has had the best scenario there could be and we are all thinking positive.

tmciriani

Part of my problems after stroke are psychiatric in nature. It really upsets me to be so strongly affected by every little thing. It is an emotional rollercoaster even without any physical stuff at a moment. As I said before I haven't been feeling well and have been really tired on top of post stroke fatigue that never went away. My dad woke me up screaming this morning around 6am that my cat had puked a lake on the floor and I had better get up and clean it up. I told him I would clean it but was still half asleep and fell back to sleep. I had my alarm set for 9 this morning and I got up and put some clothes on to drive and meet my step dad for a moment. It was while I was dressing that I heard the angry scream from my dad to get in there. So I took some carpet spray and a handful of paper towels with me as I headed for the back door. Just as I was about to clean up the spot he told me that the next time I don't get up when he calls me that he was throwing my cat outside that he wasn't living in filth. So sometimes my mouth says what my thought is before I can make a judgement whether to say it or not. My stepmom is a (clean) hoarder. She won't throw anything away or donate anything except food and truly gross stuff. So I said " You already live in filth everyday." Then told him again I was sorry and that I hadn't felt well. He screamed well I don't feel good either (my dad just found out he has lung cancer). I told him I knew he didn't and I had not said a word to him to fuss about anything. So I finished cleaning the spot and threw away the dirty paper towels and then headed for the door upon which he screamed "Now where are you going". I let him know I had to meet my step dad and would be back in a few minutes and left. Of Course the tears start falling as soon as I shut the door. I cried all the way to the grocery store. My step dad said he was sorry my dad cans I wore fighting. He also said that October is not that far away (my disability hearing). But then said you are going to have to get yourself together and only you can do that. I hope you get good results from your hearing but if not then you'll have to do what you need to do and work and get out on my own. I just told him I know. I wonder why I see my Psychiatrist every 2 months and still have panic attacks. Or why I take depression meds, anxiety meds and ADD meds everyday. I just need to get it together. Right? Right. Invisible. No matter how hard I try. Can't help but feel that way sometimes.

tmciriani

For the last 2 nights I have fallen asleep around 7pm and woke up for about 30 minutes before going back to sleep. Each night sleeping 11 hours. I had a Dr. Appointment yesterday due to some chronic hoarseness I have been experiencing since January. She poked all around my larynx area (painful) and I showed her a lump I have on my neck (wasn't sure it was there but she says yes it is and the Dr. needs to know)(she is a voice therapist-part of my treatment). Anyways, I'm thinking great. Now we go forward to last night around 12 and I woke up feeling sick...neck pain, muscle aches and joint pain, headache, sore throat, general Ill feeling. I was also extremely tired so I went back to sleep until 8 this morning. Today my sister's step girls are here while she and their dad are at work and my patience is low. My stepmom is at the dentist having 6 teeth pulled and a lower denture plate placed in. My dad now with his diagnosis of cancer tells me to help my stepmom today and complains about the girls warning their ego waffles in the toaster. The nurse calls from the ENT office and tells me to make an appointment with my PCP first about my neck and then we'll go from there. I have already cleaned the kitchen because I do that. My stepmom left a bag of dirty clothes next to the downstairs door and that means wash them. I am nauseous and my fingers feel swollen and I feel like crap. I just want/need to lay down and rest. Oh and I have to take the trash out. Lord please give me the energy and the patience to get through the day. :screaming:

tmciriani

I also wanted to share with you all that my dad is going through some health issues right now. Some scary ones. He has already been diagnosed with COPD 2-3 years ago and a recent chest scan showed 2 suspicious spots on his lungs....one new and one that they had noted before but it has grown. Last week my Dad had a biopsy on the new one. He had to be put to sleep and it was done through endoscopy within his bronchial tubes. He is so blessed to have a negative biopsy and no cancer found in the first spot. This past Monday he had a second biopsy where they went straight through his chest into the lung (he had to be awake because he had to control his breathing for the test). His physician just called this morning and told my dad he would make an appointment for him and my step mom both (she is out of state due to a family wedding) to come in for results consultation. I didn't say a word but I felt inside that it doesn't sound good. I really don't know though. The Dr. told my dad and sister last week that he is 97-98% positive that it is cancer but he has to find out what kind...that will determine treatment. I am just trying to be positive and present with my father while my step mom is not here so it won't trigger his anxiety. Please keep my dad and my family in your prayers and thank you so much if you do. Hugs.

tmciriani

I just want to share with all of you that I received wonderful news in the mail yesterday. My disability hearing was scheduled!!!!!! :bouncing-for-joy::happy-dance:The day is October the 25th!!!! Months before I expected. I spoke with my lawyer today and he had really good things to say. He said he was just thrilled at the judge I got. He is really fair, really has concern for others (empathy), is not swayed by age of the person trying for disability (my lawyer says that there are a lot of judges that really look over some because they are younger...under 50), and he is very caring about mental health issues. He said I really have a good chance just because of that. Everything he said was positive. He told me he will be in touch with me at the end of July and we will work on making sure they have all the health records or anything new and that my file is complete. I am really emotional but in a happy way...it is just overwhelming that I feel some positive and I couldn't wait to share my good news with all of you. I pray and dream about the ability to have my own home and to be on my own. I sometimes try to look at home stuff I like and plan and imagine just being on my own and can make my own decisions. Just crying lol. Any positive thoughts and prayers would be so wonderful. :tantrum::happy:

tmciriani

I've been visiting my sister since July 4 and I've really enjoyed it. Today is Saturday and I will be going home at some point today...it's about an hour away. My brother-in-law has 4 children and they are here every other week...this week. I really enjoy being around them but they all can be disrespectful and mouthy to their dad and my sister so I know at times things get a little rowdy. Today is a day that they all use to clean and work on projects. The girls (I keep them every other week) were particularly irritating and didn't want to do anything. I never have this problem with them and my sister had surgery earlier this week so I took it upon myself to try to turn the table and get cooperation. Well I am not a screamer and I have a different way obviously of parenting (I have to remember I am not their parents) and my help wasn't taken as helpful I guess so I was shooed away from their room. So I began to vacuum the wood floor upset already even though I didn't need to be. But I could hear my sister and her husband screaming their demands and disapproval to the girls and I couldn't stop the anxiety from taking over. I turned off the vacuum and went outside because I was pouring tears and just felt my whole body so uneasy. My sister came out and said are you trying to get some peace and quiet and then noticed I was uncontrollably crying. She immediately said you don't have to vacuum. I told her I liked vacuuming and then she said it's ok Murrey was just telling Miller to brush her hair and she doesn't like it and then went back inside. She doesn't understand why I lose control and for me it's not ok. It's taken me roughly an hour to get myself calm and I feel like I have run a marathon. I just prayed and swayed...Please Lord help me to not have this reaction in front of all these family members. It is embarrassing and I don't like it at all. I really hate that I am not in control. It scares the kids. It confuses my sister and her husband. I just want to go to my room and close the door and shut down...but I am not home. This too shall pass.

tmciriani

I hate that I can leave a positive post one day and then am miserable and need to let it out (though it may be negative) the next day. My moods and emotions go from one extreme to the other even though I see my Psychiatrist every 2 months and am medicated with what has worked the best so far. I still can't control it at times. Ughhhh anger/frustration/depression/feeling alone/feeling like nobody...and I think to myself why do I let something so simple so nothing sometimes to affect me. It just does...whether I am aware or do things to prevent or control it...whether I try coping skills or positive self talk. I can just end up in a blubbering mess of lonely tears. Here is an example: My dad is finally selling an older model Monte Carlo that sits under the two car carport and never moves to my nephew. I was shocked and utterly excited. I was so happy that nose I could park under the carport because the birds use my car as a bullseye or their lavatory in other words and I have difficulty finding the energy or coordination to wash it myself...oh and I am unemployed and broke always (still working diligently on disability). That means no car wash places for me. Ok back again to the parking situation. If you don't already know let me explain that I live with my dad while I am going through the disability process. Anyways, I was so thrilled that I could park under cover. My step mom smiled and spoke loudly to my father (he can't hear a thing) about my excitement and he promptly said noooo you put your suv under there. My stepmom has 2 vehicles but doesn't use her suv. His reaction hit me like a ton of bricks which I think is crazy on my part. I immediately welled up with tears and felt so alone so invisible. I finished cleaning the dishes in the kitchen where I stood and then scurried to my bed to log on and release this yucky. I'm probably taking a nap in a few moments to refuel. Again this is me using my blog as purgatory. Maybe in a couple of hours I will do something fun.

tmciriani

Tonight I went to a special stroke support meeting where a stroke trained Neurolgist was our guest speaker. Even after all I have read and been through it was really an enlightening experience. As I listened to some statistics it made me feel so sad inside. I truly wanted to cry for myself and the many many thousands that experience stroke each year. That doesn't even include the many many thousands who are just affected by someone they know or love having a stroke. Did you know that 795,000 Americans will have a new or recurrent stroke this year. This only includes Americans!!!! Stroke is the #5 cause of death in the US, killing more than 133,000 per year. That is 1 in 20 deaths. More than 690,000 per year of US strokes are  caused when a clot cuts off blood flow to a part of the brain. IV-alteplase can be administered in select patients within 4.5 hours of stroke onset. Mechanical thrombectomy (much newer and the newest research and procedure) can be performed up to 24 hours after stroke begins in select patients. Learn and share the warning signs of strokes (not all but most kinds fit this). Spot a stroke F.A.S.T. F~face drooping...A~arm weakness...S~speech difficulty...T~time to call 911. Don't wait remember the T.

 

I encourage you to visit www.stroke.org and click Menu and then Understand Stroke. Be sure to open all the blue subjects with arrows beside them and refresh what you probably have read before. Even though, it is still staggering. Like I said before these statistics are only for the US. Well I know so many of you who are from other countries. The magnitude of this realization is unexplainable for me. The impact is mind blowing. In the US, stroke is #5 cause of death and #1 cause of long term disability. Speechless.

 

I had several questions for the Neurologist concerning my own type of stroke in the posterior region of brain blood flow. I had a cerebellar stroke (2% of all strokes and probably less % for mine which was bilateral). Just as I have found within the medical community the cerebellum is the least known about part of the brain. For more than 20 years there has been much research into the higher learning affects cerebellar damage can cause. I was diagnosed with Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome during my second year post stroke by my Neuropsychologist. This syndrome is a much studied and debated subject. Many physicians are either unaware of new findings or fail to accept and follow the progression of research. This makes it really difficult for someone like me to get consistent up to date care...the Neurologist acknowledged my concern as truth. I was emotionally overwhelmed at the moment. Validation is life changing sometimes for a stroke survivor. I personally thanked him after the seminar and he gave me some Medical contacts that could be truly beneficial for my issues and background. This was a most informative, and truthfully enlightening seminar. I just had to share.

tmciriani

It's been a different spring into summer this year. Things are just different. It's been a year since I moved from Nashville and away from who I thought I would be with forever at one time. I see my Psychiatrist every two months and tell him every time that my dreams haunt me. I dream about Adrian almost every night...not the "I want to be with you" dreams but dreams that don't feel good. I can't explain...My dreams can be scary real feeling since my stroke many times I have to wake up well before I realize it's not real. They can also color my mood for the day. I also have unavoidable thoughts of him constantly. Again not the "I want to be with you" thoughts but just in my mind thoughts. I physically try to stop them. My Dr. says it's called rumination and a part of my anxiety disorder. He told me when I get my disability and insurance happens we are going to get me into cognitive therapy which will help me cope better. I guess that is another thought that goes through my mind constantly...Will my disability hearing be positive. I am scared. I hate to admit that but I am. Today I started watching my two nieces every other week for the summer. They are good kids and if they get a little rowdy I just talk to them about how it affects me and they are always eager to make the moment better. I have to admit though that even though we relaxed and had a calm day I am still blah. It means that I feel more exhausted than usual, have a headache, stuttering, dizzy, just good old brain fog and have had to lay down just to rest...still need dinner and meds and getting ready for bedtime before sleeping. It's been super hot this year...It seems more hot than I remember for a good while. My body does not like it. Fibromyalgia...heat, stress, weather, getting sick, and a plethora of other things can set off a flare. For those that have this....My shoulders, neck, back, hips, elbows, knees, stomach are all unhappy the past few days. I am tired of my whining lol...oh well at least my blog doesn't have to be for everyone sometimes just for me. I have fallen down the stairs again...but I have to do laundry (it's downstairs) lol thankfully no tumbling just missed a step. One great thing is that I have slept through the night for the past 4 days! This is a fantastic achievement because my sleep cycle has been way off for 6 months now. I'm stoked! It should only get better from here since I will need to be ready for the girls by 7:30am at least every other week. This blog is so random...My apologies. I've had so much on my mind lately and been a bit moody so I just have to let it out. My dad has to get a biopsy on his lung (a spot on) next week. Already had a PET scan and it's suspicious. The wonderful thing is that he hasn't smoked in 5-6 days! That is major because he has smoked since he was a teen and he just turned 75...even after a heart attack and 5 bypasses he still wouldn't quit. I'm praying this will last. Not only does my father need a biopsy for lung cancer but also has COPD now and is on oxygen. I'm trying to tell him and myself that there is nothing we can do right now and worry will be useless but that is easier said than done. I just pray. As for my summer may I find some time and energy for fun...make some new memories.

tmciriani

Boy, I have read back through some of my replies lately and wow I have had a lot to say. I am going to call it passionate response. I am so happy that I have an outlet with Strokenet and now another with my local stroke group. I have a lot to say and have a lot of thoughts that I can be really passionate about. I sometimes want to do more...educate others...help improve medical therapies...bring light to subjects about stroke that seem to be put on the back burner. I know I am extra passionate about the type of stroke I had. Also that I am 45 (42 when I stroked) and looked over because of my age which played a part in not being diagnosed until 2 months later. Statistics say that in a research group of 2000 consecutive cerebellar stroke patients (1987) had a mortality rate (23%) almost twice that of cerebral strokes (12.5%) and brainstem strokes (17%). These of course may be different now 20 years later. But it shows you that cerebellar stroke is no joke. Part of the problem is the difference in cerebellar stroke symptoms and the problem with missed diagnosis. I think about this when I think back to my missed diagnosis. I was sent home in less than 48 hours of having a massive stroke. In cerebellar stroke the days after the stroke (1st week) are the most dangerous. The swelling in this area due to tissue death and damage can lead to serious and deadly impacts. Swelling and edema in this area can lead to herniation of the cerebellar brain tissue up or down, can obstruct the 4th ventricle causing direct brainstem compression. This can lead to deadly herniation of the cerebellar tonsils into the foramen Magnus. All in all this can lead to death. Phew...I need to shop. 😡

tmciriani

The last 2-2.5 months I've been dealing with a throat issue. Chronic hoarseness, ear pain, and my throat stinging. A couple of weeks ago I went to an ENT who looked in my throat and at my vocal cords. He seems to think my vocal cords have thrush from my asthma inhaler so he had me take a 2 week course of Diflucan. A month ago I filled out paperwork for financial assistance at Vanderbilt for this procedure and any ongoing appointments or therapy I may have. I got the letter today telling me I have been denied. I had a pretty quick response and welled up with tears. This just reminds me that I have no insurance because I can't work and am still going through the disability process. I've been dealing with some depression over the past 4 months and I am trying to get on top of it. Today just hit the wrong way and makes me feel more depressed and upset. I feel like I am feeling sorry for myself or whining. It's just been such a long disability process and I have been through some pretty rough things the past year. It adds up....especially since the stroke. I just feel so tired. I'm sleeping more and more I think. Just want to be asleep. So that's where I am today and I'm hoping I can turn these feelings around soon. 

tmciriani

I did something I wish I had not yesterday. It started with a Dr. appointment to an ENT due to chronic hoarseness, ear, and throat pain I have been having since January. Seems my asthma inhaler (has a steroid in it) has caused a yeast infection(thrush) on my vocal cords and folds and will probably only need a script for Diflucan. Then I got in my car and drove to where I used to live last year. I got out of the car...knocked on the door...and Adrian answered and invited me in. For those of you that don't know Adrian was the man I had lived with and loved for 10 years until May 18, 2017. Adrian began seeing a girl 30 years his junior, I freaked and had moved out that same week, the next day she moved in, and I have been recovering and mourning since. Today I know in my heart that it is over for the best. But I Drove there. We chatted for about 15 minutes and I said goodbye and left. I have been in a state of confusion since. Emotions washing over me. I don't know why I went. I feel like I have walked backwards a bit. This life is about me...that is where I have wanted it since I left. My insides are nauseous. I am disappointed in myself. I am worthy of someone truly loving me. I deserve no less.  I can make it by myself. I should love me first. I know these realities are true even if I am telling myself again.

 

I also noticed somethings today not connected wit the words above. I am dizzy...all the time...I have learned very well how to mask this even to myself. I go into a store and I am working non stop to go through the motions and never acknowledging that I am dizzy. It exhausts me...it changes me for the rest of my day. I can honestly feel not dizzy when I am sitting in a quiet familiar place or lying down. I can't look up, around, far away, down, at moving people...things, lights flickering or moving, walk up or down any stairs alternating feet or without holding a handrail, be or walk in open spaces or large spaces and many many more without vertigo/dizziness, sometimes nausea, many times wit an altered since of stability, feeling my brain slow, lull, get heavier as well as my eyes. It's so constant that I have learned over time how to cope and get through it. It's not the same plane I used to be on. It's alternate, changed, hard work... Depressing. I can't change it. I can't avoid it. I can't escape it. I have learned to be in it. For my sanity as well as for others. I felt it today. It's the loneliest feeling...like I'm separated from my world by glass. I can see and sense all past the glass but no one else can see in. Alone is scary. Do any of you ever feel this disconnect or something similar?

tmciriani

I am sick yet again. In the hospital for 4 days at New Years which took me a month to regain my strength. (Steroids during) My back went out in February and on steroids again. Diagnosed with Diabetes 2 during hospital stay. Chronic harshness, throat pain and ear ache but not really sick since mid February. I have to see an ENT on the 23rd to figure out what's wrong. Then Sunday get an extremely sore throat and coughing, now stuffy nose, ear aches, headache, phlegm :getting-sick:. I feel like poop. Another round of steroids which will make my blood sugar out of site once again. I am just whining but dang. What is happening?

tmciriani

It's been a while since I've written a blog and been really active on the site. First of all I miss those of you I know here but I have been sort of recovering and regrouping after leaving Adrian and moving back into my Dad's house. There has been a lot of positive...my anxiety has been less, I have my own transportation, I am still waiting for the second round of disability decisions, I am close to family, my daughter is doing wonderful and is so good to me sending me $50 every other week to help me, I've been making my own choices, I even have my sleep so much better now getting to bed between 8:30 and 10. So many good things. Something has happened though 4 different times which I need to get off my chest. My Dad and I get along most of the time but he is a huge trigger at times and can evoke a pretty big anxiety attack in me at times. Once because he told me not to put my hair up in a pony tail anymore that my step mom had cut my hair and "the pony tail looked like *beep*". It was an immediate trigger and I couldn't stop the attack. I finally got to my room took my anxiety medication and finally fell asleep. A second time was him telling me "If that guy called right now I bet you would go back to him because you are stupid.". He wouldn't stop even when I begged him. I ended up half blindly driving to where my step mom is staying at my Grandmother's so I could calm down. Both of the other 2 times have been about my weight. I have gained 50 pounds since my stroke. I joined a gym a week ago so I can be healthier which hopefully will help my weight as well. He has called me fat, told me I don't care about how I look, told me he wouldn't leave me alone, to go ahead and cry until I can't cry anymore because he doesn't care, more times that I am stupid. I can't stay at the house when he gets like that because he won't stop and the anxiety attack just gets worse and worse. Each time I have gone to my Grandmother's...each time right in the middle of a pretty severe anxiety attack. It's wearing on me. I find myself just silent and to myself more and more. My Psychiatrist is concerned...he made the statement "You fell from the frying pan onto the stove.". He shows more compassion and care than any Doctor I have ever had and we talk about what my future plans are and he encourages me. I just needed to get this off my chest. My hope is that in the future I will live by myself and make all my choices and be free of the hot spots. It won't be perfect but I think I would feel so much better.

tmciriani

Today I am officially a member of a health club!! My daughter is the best! I went into this big bright workout space and toured Planet Fitness. I go back at 1:00 today to go over what I am looking for and to make goals. I can't wait! This will give me several things. 1st and foremost working on getting healthier and with that I hope to lose the weight I have put on since the stroke and maybe even more. This is also a way for me to spend some of my day. I need so much to 'get out'. I have time everyday to work on my goals and just enjoy a new atmosphere all at the same time. I am so excited I just wanted to share!

tmciriani

I am here forcing myself to write because I just haven't felt like it but it is good. The last month has been extraordinarily hard and lonely. It's funny how a person really takes on a companion's or spouse's likes and dislikes. Ok at least for me it is. I have pondered on who is Tracy many times this month and what do I like and what do I not like. For the most part I can tell that my partner and my daughter were my big triggers for panic attacks. I have really only had 2 which is better than it has been. My obsessive/compulsive thoughts are less than before I left. I still have fatigue, night time vision problems, a slight stutter, some balance issues, and headaches. 

 

So I will talk about the bad first. Before I moved from my home and from Adrian, my days were unpredictable and I wondered if we were good. I was paranoid about what he did all the time. I was compulsive, my moods were so up and down. I do know I loved Adrian...and I still do. Unfortunately, it doesn't just stop...go away. The first week of staying with my father were excruciating. Everything I had known and depended on everyday was gone, changed, instantly not the same. I felt odd, like I was in another body...all I could do was feel pain and cry. I contemplated calling him, pleading with him to go back to what we knew...what I knew. This was so difficult not to do. My emotional lability was affected more than ever, sometimes every minute. I think that is how I took steps too...it was minute by minute...hour by hour...day by day. I thought of nothing else. No car, living back with my father, alone, no hope or vision of the future.

 

Day by day I began to do things. Cook my dinner, wash my clothes, make my bed, decorate my planner, and I began to have a bit of a routine. There were less bouts of crying and hopelessness though this still happened every day. My cat was scared being in a new place and I could barely find her...she would hide. I missed her going to sleep with me each night and generally being there with me. This too got better...she finally felt she had 2 rooms she could feel safe in..the formal livingroom and my bedroom. Then one morning I woke with her laying sleeping by my head. I really almost cried. I still didn't have my own transportation for the first 3 and half weeks. My sister was so wonderful to let me take her 2nd car that she didn't use as my own. It was a nice SUV but had sat for about a year and it had problems now. My mom had it towed to her mechanic and he began working on it until finally one day my mom and step dad surprised me with it. Wow what a day! To feel a kind of freedom for myself meant so much!

 

I drove for two days before it broke down again and back to the mechanic it went. My mom and step dad were paying to have this vehicle fixed safe for me. I am truly blessed that I came here with 0 (NOTHING) and no way of attaining funds for myself. What a wonderful family I really do have...a place to live because of my father, a car because of my sister, and a working car and even some spending money because of my mom and step dad. I sat back and thought about each thing and how blessed I really am. I am still lonely and it feels hollow. I probably call my mother and step mother more times per week than any person should lol. So slowly and carefully I am emerging...each day is a little better. I am trying to choose the positive things I remember about Adrian and I. It seems like it would be so much easier to just forget everything but after ten years I don't think you can.

 

"Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Alfred Lord Tennyson

tmciriani

FIRE

 

Peering out from the darkness, the light grows stronger.

 

Reaching out to feel it's warmth.

 

My skin begins to glow.

 

First, my my arm like a golden diamond with a fire in it's belly.

 

The velvet light and warmth creeps further up my body until it envelopes all of me.

 

I feel weightless, like my body is lifted by the sun's arms.

 

Lifting my head, I drink in all of it's energy.

 

I can take a clear deep breath and the light fills every crevice of my being.

 

Slowly rising, burning brighter. Higher and higher.

 

I feel the rays beaming back out into the light.

 

My mouth falls open to release the glorious energy.

 

I am the diamond with my belly burning bright with fire. 

 

Reaching out to lighten all the shady corners.

 

This is my blessing.

 

Tracy Miller

05/30/2017

 

tmciriani

It's been a week and a half since I moved to my Dad's. For those not aware, my partner cheated on me and is now seeing a 24 year old employee. I had to go for my own sanity. This has been the hardest thing I have experienced since my stroke and is even harder than my divorce 11 years ago. I truly love Adrian but I do not know him anymore. I must be honest the first two days at my Dad's were awful and I spent my time crying and trying to figure out how to go back and everything be right. I even texted Adrian and told him I missed home.

 

Last weekend I helped my parents to move my little sister into her new house (her husband and 3 boys all under 6). It is a beautiful house, a log house, and inside is so beautiful. Well instead of taking it all in I cried all weekend! After  this sad weekend I started to feel a little better...crying less, thinking about the future, and feeling more comfortable at my Dad's. I think living with my Dad has brought back these feelings of not being able to live on my own. I experienced these early in my life and after my stroke. Losing your independence as an adult is so difficult and can feel so helpless. I still have no vehicle to feel some freedom in but hopefully this week that will change that.

 

I finally felt in myself that I can do this. Trust me that was not the case a week ago. I felt so out of place. Everything felt so wrong. So I have gone from taking things hour by hour to day by day. I can breathe easier today. I've done my change of address and went through the process of changing my address with SNAP (food stamps) and am doing my best to feel better each day. The decision to leave has been scary...I have no income, no savings, and it feels yucky but I have wonderful family. Just that is irreplaceable and a blessing.

 

My wonderful sister invited me to her new River House for Memorial Day Weekend. I went Friday evening and just relaxed. The next day we boated even though it was cloudy all day. Can you believe I got a sunburn! Thankfully not bad at all but really unexpected. We had delicious pulled pork BBQ that cooked all day while we were out. It also was my sister's 50th birthday and I was so glad to be there and help celebrate. It was a great weekend. I came back on Sunday and was so glad to see my kitty. My heart has felt some warmth this week. My mom also took me shopping and bought me some new clothes and 2 pairs of yellow box flip flops (they are the best!)...It meant so much to me.

 

I've decided how I am going to spend this time recovering. I am going to join our local rec club and work on getting healthy, work on my tan, and make my life all about me. That's my secret it gotta be all about me. Time for me to be stingy and not feel guilty. The healing has begun.

tmciriani

Prey

This is poetry I wrote this morning. It is dark and not beautiful but this is how I express my heartache. Inspired by something happening in my life right now. Please close if you are bothered I will speak sunshine another day.

 

Prey

 

Round and round and round we go,

A cursed circle with no control.

Weaving a web as it moves around,

Looking for trusting hearts and souls to be found.

It spins with no effort and catches its' prey,

Waiting and lying and hiding each day.

Then it spins its' catch in a safe, warm cocoon,

Laughing as he relishes the next meal coming soon.

You lie helpless and warm not a worry not a care,

Because you have no idea that you are deep in his lair.

There he nourishes you and feeds you his warm meal of lies,

Keeping you safe and well serviced...His own plan he denies.

Building and growing a bond and a trust,

Filling your dreams with what seems magical dust.

Soon there is movement and the circle speeds up,

As he spins his web to catch a new unknowing pup.

He gingerly tucks her neat and trusting in a new fluffy bed,

Not knowing behind her the innocence will shed.

It's now that I open my eyes to peer out,

To see the light fading quickly,

And there is no way out. 

He rises and pierces the heart of his prey,

Excruciating, awareness no words can convey.

He devours every trust every dream and all that is good,

leaving you desperate for salvation but no one could.

Discarding the shell of who you once were,

He tip toes back and whispers to her.

 

Tracy Miller

4-23-2017

 

 

tmciriani

Believe it or not last I think I was more motivated to get out there and plant some things and really be a caretaker myself. This year I am still planning and I am going to do it again...just flowers and herbs. I have had to talk to myself more about it and remind myself how I loved it. I already got flat leaf parsley, rosemary and oregano and my strawberry plant from last year made it through the winter and has new growth even blooming a bit. My daughter has planned today to pick me up so we can go to the garden store and buy compost, mulch and flowers...maybe a couple more herbs. I'm excited!

 

It's been a beautiful spring...early this year but everything is almost all lush and green. It's easier to see the beauty around you at this time of year I think. I have been thinking about what I can do different this year. I have two very large pots that now will be beside each edge of the stairway up to the porch. Today I'll look for the thrill, fill, and spill fillers. That's how the "gardeners" say to do a potted flower garden and this is what I used last year. I definitely want to do something different this year. The only other color I already have coming up is light pink day lilies so I think my options are pretty large!

 

Now it's time to beautify my shrub area which I did last year as well. This year is easier...I'm just hand tilling laying down some compost and tilling it in and then covering with beautiful red mulch (I know they say red mulch is not the best but it looks beautiful and all i have in that area are shrubs and 2 day lilies. I did do something different for this year. I went to my local grocery store and asked if they could donate some paper bags to put down as my weed barrier and they were glad to. I have never done this but determined to this year! Wish me luck.

 

Spring has started out with a big bang as we celebrated Easter at my moms house this past Sunday. It was so much fun watching the little ones hunt for eggs in the yard. I also helped my mom by making treats for the big day and they are super cute! We couldn't have asked for better weather...it was beautiful and not too hot all day!! I also got to show off my new car! I am still loving it so much. I went and visited my great grandmother, my step-mom, and my Daddy earlier in the day and we had an Easter lunch. All in all it really was a wonderful day! I'll add some pictures of the treats below.large.Chicks.jpg.079ac6314abd0288939e305cc5ea559c.jpglarge_Cars.jpg.a3c5d1fd642878850c9f6918bcf68b33.jpg

tmciriani

Changing Times

What can I say it has been a rough week. This week for some reason I fell depressed and anxious...to the point where I did nothing for 4 days or maybe 5. I did see my Psychiatrist and we discussed all of these issues. For the first time since I have seen Dr. Chalfant, I broke down in his office. I just couldn't stop it from coming and my answers seemed to all be "I don't know". Even on beautiful days getting out of bed or just not sleeping was a huge challenge. I have been doing a lot of thinking and reflection to try and give myself some possible answers so I can start that steep climb out.

 

One: time has changed figuratively and literally. The spring time change is usually very positive for me but this year it was harder than I can ever remember. Two: Hailey moved into her own apartment and she is really enjoying it but I think this is affecting me way more than I realize. Three: Adrian is working the longest hours every day and he is exhausted. His work week is like up at 4am...work til 6pm or 7pm...eat...have ice cream...and pass out (over and over and over). Four: The double whammy...because I am here by myself so much like all the time. Hailey is gone, Adrian is a visitor and I am lonely. 

 

I think these things have made me blue. I also do believe that my anxiety has been higher recently. I have had minor medication changes but anything even small can have its' effects. No matter, I have to climb out of this. It doesn't just disappear without my effort. So I have been trying to pay close attention to my daily schedule and make myself do things. Replacement is not always the answer but I have to start somewhere. I have been making myself get outside and do little things like pick up twigs, tidy the gardening things, put up a small bird feeder and trying to make plans for this years gardening projects.

 

Today I am feeling a bit better...more hopeful. I have reflected on how much improvement I have accomplished since the stroke happened. It's hard for me to remember but I am making a point to do so. I sometimes don't give myself enough thought or credit for the hurdles I have crossed. I went from the inability to walk except barely with a walker to a gardener, home cook, a driver, a walker on my own two feet, a blogger, a planner whether I get it all done or not. I have a lot of triumphs I can be proud of. My desire to improve is still there. My need to learn about myself is forefront and I stop to see the beautiful things that I once didn't think about. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. I believe that sometimes we need to do before we reap internal feeling. Push through...fight...believe all whether we see the positive or not. It will catch up and wash over you.

tmciriani

It has been a week since my daughter moved out of our house and into her own apartment. I never knew it would be so difficult LOL.

First she was having a lot of anxiety about packing and I helped her but she avoided this right until the last moment. This meant spending a long night up really late packing boxes that could have been done much earlier but we did it. It then meant the next morning we woke early and she went and got her keys and officially signed the lease and actually found out where she was and if it was 1st or 2nd floor. <- This was important because my step dad was coming to help and a lot of stairs would have been really hard not to mention I am a snail going up or down stairs and can't repeat over and over.

After loading up my step dad's truck, my car, and Hailey's boyfriend's car they took the first load to her new apartment. I stayed behind and worked on getting boxes to my livingroom so they could easily get to them. One more trip and we had everything! I went up the steps and by this time I had to just stay there while they unloaded. After this I took my daughter to buy her some groceries and some essentials she would need. We were both exhausted and at one point she just cried a little and said I just want to go home.

We walked into the new apt. and there was her boyfriend unpacking and putting things away! I was so surprised and thankful that he was so considerate and helped her. It was surreal driving back home knowing that my baby was not coming with me.

The first week has been quieter than I can ever remember. After a couple of good days of rest I began to move things into the spare room. We have a little house and al the things I didn't have space for just ended up behind a rocking chair or lining the walls. It was like I had so much more breathing room. I am still working on moving things but the difference has been phenominal. 

I waited a few days before I called her to let her get settled in. We spoke for the first time amicably in a long while. I told my mom it was really nice and now we can make plans and have lunch or do things together occasionally. I miss her though...I really miss her. I do already feel less stressed. It was time and a huge stepping stone in both our lives. I'm proud of her and she has surprised me with important decisions. This helps me feel better about setting her free in this big world. I pray that she soars!

tmciriani

How I See My World

I look all around and it's hard to believe,

That a broken mind has set me free.

There are no agendas in my sight,

No time crunches or policies I have to fight.

Less fuss, less scurry, less stress for me,

The world is quieter and calmer than I once believed.

The wind on my face and the rustle of leaves,

Is warmer and more magical than I once conceived.

Even the blinding lights have beauty to behold,

Starbursts and halos and rainbows to unfold.

Time has more meaning and more gifts to unwrap,

No lifeless moments or thoughtless traps.

I once thought this stroke of broken life was just pain,

but I have learned to look through it and see blessings the same.

So take what is bad and turn it around,

Because life is a blessing and serenity can be found.

 

Tracy

3/2/2017

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