family


       I am sitting here listening to nothing but the hum of the modem next to me. The dog is sleeping and Mark has just said he was going to bed. I am tired, yet not feeling like I can get to bed quite yet. These last 4 months have been anything but easy for me or for Mark either. He has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder for a long time. I am trying to pinpoint the actual diagnosis and I think it was around 2004. Before the diagnosis, there were times of extreme energy, and extreme “insight”, extreme anger, enlightening, followed by significant depression and paranoia sometimes on both sides of the spectrum.

  After the diagnosis, as we looked in the rearview mirror of our life, we realized that the times of behaviors that were not his normal self-were most likely  cycling through mania or depressions, and we could pretty much pinpoint the cycling was once every 4-5 yrs, and through the years it became more frequent, cyclical and seemed to be certain months/seasons each year.  After the diagnosis and medical treatment, 3 hospitalizations, and after trying a few types of medications, the docs for the meds that worked for him. Meds that helped to control the highs from getting too high and the lows from getting too low.

Well, this last manic episode, the current one, has been going on for 4 months, and it has been probably the most fluctuating, and high energy one yet. There have been quick decisions, fast changes, to the point that from one moment to the next it can feel like the direction changed  360 degrees. Now I am not saying the changes (as I step back and look are bad, )they are just rapid, and for a non-manic person, it is really exhausting.  I am doing my best to keep up with the latest changes, and I think when everything settles down, we won’t regret the changes, but he will be looking at it like he ran a 1000 mile marathon, and with his disabilities, that would be an impossible feat.      (20180314_193806.jpg  This photo represents the speed and number of thoughts and changes these last 4 months have been like )

Everything he has done, he has learned, he has made happen has been with the best of intention. To secure our future, our kids future, and their kids future. It has been 4 months of very little sleep, learning about how investing works, evaluating and adjusting our vehicle situation, thinking about where we live and where we may want to live in years to come, reaching out to family he had not spoken to in a very long time, realizing life is precious, and analyzing every nook and cranny of our life. He has not meant to, but cannot stop talking at times, assuming how an interaction will go that has not yet happened and having conversations with that person before the event even materializes ( if it ever will)

So that is why I am here typing,  the silence right now is priceless. I love him to pieces, and I am sure he has no idea how many words he can say in a short period of time, or how all the things that make sense to him, are hard to process for me, as his mouth cannot keep up with his mind or his thoughts. I read an article on being in a marriage with a Bipolar spouse, and one of the things mentioned is to deep breathe, well I have been a deep breather for a long time, but I have taken it to new levels, my lungs have got to be the clearest they have ever been.  All of the symptoms mentioned he has displayed, and FINALLY, I feel we are starting to calm the symptoms down. It has got to do a number on his body, the non stop everything, the emotions from ecstatic to such anger and rage, the lack of sleep, the continuing fast pace of his brain, and feeling like he is in a fog at times, that all has to take a toll on one’s body.

  HE tries frequently to take off for a bit to give me a break, and even though it is nice he does that, the mania can contribute to more new ideas, more changes. He will take his kindle and cell phone and head off to the library, or Dunkin Donuts and work on things he is doing there.

His doctor just doubled his one medication, and that is slowly working so he can sleep through the night. Last night was the first night he slept more than 2-3 hrs. Yeah, I think he actually slept for 7 hrs last night. I too was sleeping, as it has been a ride and a half. He said he does not feel as scattered or spinning as he has been. He tries to appreciate my needs during the day, but it is not easy for him.    I have learned many times over that Bipolar is not able to be managed without professional care. That med management or therapy might each work, but for the best care, you need both. The therapist should be one who understands bipolar disorder and also how it affects people in different phases of their life. As a person ages, the disorder takes on different characteristics, at least that is what I am witnessing.

 The internet is such a wealth of information, and there are forums and support groups for anything you can think of, BUT I do feel the internet can also be a trigger for the mania to be refed as it is trying to slow down. There is so much coming at us from all kinds of areas, it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

So as I sit here in silence, I am thankful he can sleep, I am spending some time praying, talking to God, I am trying to gather my thoughts and I am thankful for all the positive things that have happened and also thankful for the support of our family members who have been there through all of this. It has not been easy, not for me, or for him. Thank God for our children, for our grandkids, for his mom, for our children’s spouses, for our friends who understand and for our church.

 One of the MANY things that have been accomplished in a very short period of time, is he signed up for a domain name and will have a website up and running hopefully in a few weeks. We need to take time to dedicate solely to that, to design the web pages and have the platform for him, for me, for others to post on and for him to share some of his thoughts, some of his experiences, some of him that is what makes him the incredible person that he is. So be watching for his blogs to start on his very own website in weeks to come.  There will be things written, that come from his mind through his hands and end up as words on the screen, things that I do not know, things that show what makes him who he is.      So thanks for reading this, thanks for your time. Say a prayer that the meds will continue to slow him down a bit so he can see the world,  so he can stop and hear things being said, so he can stop and see all the gifts God gives us every single minute, every single breath, every single day.

Until later….                                     Mrs Justa  is signing off.

 

 

Advertisements

After we came back from the first family reunion,100_1023 which was my side of the family,3 weeks later  we went to a camp site North East of Lockport NY and had our family reunion with our kids and our kids kids.

This is the 2nd year we have done this and it is really nice to do it.

We can focus on one another and being less people it is a great way for the cousins to play together and our kids to spend time together.

Life is so darn short, life is so darn busy, we just do not get together enough. We were there for 2 full days, leaving on the third day in the morning. 100_1065As I look back at the time I think I was most moved by just watching the interactions and realizing that all of this could not have been possible without Marks and my children. Adrianne and her kids came out on the 1st full day we were there for an afternoon and evening, her husband unfortunately was not feeling good and could not make it. She said maybe next year she will plan to camp the full time too… It was awesome to spend time with them.

The other part that was special to me was 100_1061some one on one time I was able to spend with Emily. Emily is now 16 and being a teen is not easy ever, I think it is tougher in 2013 than it was when I was a teen. Emily is a smart young lady and she has a pretty good sense of humor. I just like spending time with her. That was special.

I also love time with our kids and their spouses, it is so neat to watch them interact, like they just saw each other the day before, we did miss Josh though. The time separated seems to disappear. And their kids – our grandkids are funny to watch. Jeff and Amanda’s kids are 3 and almost 5 and Adrianne and Josh’s kids are almost 2 and 4. 100_1053So they go right up the totem pole of toddler ages. They walked around, they rode bikes, they watched as we tried to fly kites, they played until they dropped with exhaustion. The magic of the fire, the wonder of the sunset, the toasting of s’mores, the memories are priceless.

I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I look back at all the bumps in the road, the hills of life climbed, the slopes sometimes slipped on—they all led us to here. And ya know what— every tear, every smile, every wonder, every pray— it was all worth it. 100_1114

Until the next post…. hang on to the blessings that come before you..watch for the simplest things that mean so much. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

family reunion 2013 077 (7)

Well another year has past for our family reunion. I am from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, one sister has died and our parents are both deceased. We live in various parts of the country and we try really hard to get together. This year there were some of us, not all of us. This year we went back to the State Park my mom had chosen so many years ago. It was really not bad, we got heavy rain one evening, but the base of the fire was strong enough to withstand the rain and light up some more logs. It was neat to see the cousins spend time together. family reunion 2013 077 (15)Wish my brothers who could not make it had… it was strange not to have them and their families there. We were missing some nieces and nephews and their kids….

We had no cell phone coverage, we had electric on the sites and public bathrooms. Some people tented, some had trailers, some hoteled it….  all seemed to have a good time.

As we entered the weekend and started to observe things, we came to realize there was a passing of the baton so to speak. When we started to go to this part- we were in our 30s and our kids were 7 . Now we are some  of the elders and our kids have kids of their own. Jeff and Amanda became the dinner site- we all gather together for dinner, a dish to pass and eat our family reunion 2013 077 (21)meals, talk, laugh and end it with a nice campfire and s’mores and memories being created.

Adrianne has not been to a reunion for years- but I bet she would like to sometime in the future.. she had mentioned tenting it at some point with her family… and heck if they are more on the line of hotel people, there are some people who do stay in hotels. One year we rented a cabin off site and one year we rented a cabin in a town near by….—that is an option too,.….their kids will be a better age next year… hmmm….maybe they will come too.

The transition was subtle at first, but became more apparent as the clock ticked to 10 PM and Mark and I were headed to the camper to call it a night… leaving behind the 30 something year olds and the younger cousins. Yikes.. we were the “older relatives” who went to bed early…

The kids seemed to totally love the camping experience, and I have to admit I soaked in watching their smiles, there sense of adventure, and looking at how totally exhausted they got from being outdoors, faamily reunion 2013 (89)from going “creeking” and from building sand castles.

I thought about all the electronic devices and the automation we have in our homes- and even though they are nice… … (as Mark says to the boys… _)

“this is living… it doesn’t get any better than this !”

And ya know what he is right!. Regardless of our various challenges in life,

regardless of our stressors our hectic sometimes lives… when we got here—the waters smoothed, the days were peaceful, the experience was something I am so glad we got to share…the only regrets are the people who could not be there…. but than again –we do have next year !!.

So I am off…. kinda chilling tonight…. reminiscing …feeling blessed. Love to all… Mrs Justa alias Cindy,

June 2013 029Well it has been a very long while since I popped over here to this home of my thoughts. Life seems to be a little chaotic, a lot busy and sometimes full of unpredictable things.

Work is good, it is never ever boring, and very fast pace. Changes within the government on healthcare reform, changes in medical treatments and advances in current treatments and medications, it is always an opportunity to learn more new stuff.

Mark and I will occasionally go to Oswego and watch the sun set. It is so darn peaceful up there, and a place to kind of put life in a temporary hold pattern. Sunsets and the time just before them is a favorite time of day for both of us.

It is a time when the world slowly changes yet I feel I can stop.

It is a time to reflect on the day passing behind us, and planning for the day that is yet to be.

It almost feels like no matter what happened- it is a closing of a chapter and an opportunity to start a new chapter- fresh.

It is a time to relax and June 2013 042know that the bed is not too many hours away.

My days are busy, I really love my job, and the people I work with are good people. So all that together makes an environment where a day is something to look forward to doing. Have you ever been in a situation you hated? Boy the day drags, the clock seems like a minute is an hour.

I am so thankful that I have the days that fly by!.However, as the days fly by, that means the years fly by.

Our grand children are growing fast, our 1005886_10201429826646558_1989262251_n[1]little guy Brandon just had pre-k graduation! We were able to get to it, the school had it in the evening.  It was so cool to see how hard the class worked for this.They sang a variety of songs, choreographed, and one with even sign language too.

Wow next year kindergarten.

 

And this weekend our niece is graduating from high school. Gee whiz… time flies.

But fortunately as time flies, we learn lessons, we learn that things in life do not always have to matter, we learn that life is short, we learn that there is a reason for everything, sometimes it takes a lifetime to try to figure it out.

This weekend is the “Strawberry Moon” as it was referred to in the news article today. Tomorrow it is supposed to be the best night to see it. I can not wait. For somewhere in the child part of my brain, many many year ago, I found comfort in believing those who had died , those who meant something to me, that they could sit on the moon and watch over me. I refuse to let that comfort go. Tomorrow night- I will be watching the moon, waving to my mom, dad, sister and grandparents…. making loving faces to our dogs and cats…. and trying to capture the moment on film. I hope you too can see it….what ever it will look like. Lots of love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

weekend with the grandsons July 27-29 2012 001

Today is a “feel good” type  of weekend. The kind that is good to stop, sit, absorb life…. The sun is out, a few clouds roaming past, a slight breeze, lush green grass, laundry going, got to get some stuff done at work, visited Jeff Amanda and the boys last evening and stayed at Jeff and Amanda’s till almost 11!!! We must have felt like the house visitors that would NEVER leave. We were in conversation and all of the sudden it was 10:45!. We went to Wal Mart got a few groceries at 11:15…( HA we were the oldest shoppers in the store !!)  and got up early to have breakfast with our friends.

Tomorrow is looking like another beautiful day and I plan to get the flower area around our sign all ready for Spring time.

We have come to learn the HARD way that things on line, in commercials are not normally as they seem. Last years it was the “eggies” OHH we thought this was the cats meow… yeah… ya crack each egg and empty it into an eggie before cooking for “Perfect hard boiled eggs without the hassle of peeling shells”

 

 

WELLL we no longer have our eggies… because when you go to cook the eggs, well they leak out of the ol eggie and into the water… what a MESS!!!                                                                                                                          THIS YEAR IT IS THE FLEXIBLE HOSE>>>>    

Yeah..this is the one.. Buy one get one free. You have to get the free one the same size as the purchased one, so we did the 2 75 foot ones. We got it hooked up, two together, got the sprayer on the end…and as you put the water on the hose stretches… if you want it to shrink up, you have to take the hose prayer off in the end. Now doing this is rather a wet task, as you need to keep the pressure in the stretched out hose as you unscrew the nozzle. Needless to say—DO NOT DO THIS is heavy clothes… probably butt naked would be better ( but your neighbors would probably complain!) So after it was unscrewed—the threaded plastic fitting on the end of the hose came off… this meant the flexible stretched our rubber inside the green material shrank to size.. but the material was a full 75 feet. Oh we tried different things , but it would not reattach. SO I called the company… This guy answered the phone in a VERY noisy call center… sounded like it was in the public transportation center in India at rush hour. He kept asking me what we did,  what we tried to do to try to reattach it, he asked OVER AND OVER>>> “ are you sure you tried to fix it/” Finally I asked for his supervisor or manager… SOMEONE who would get past that question and move to the next. In the end… he never gave me his supervisor, he sent us a mailing label for a box and told us to return it..and then they would send us a replacement. DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!

So we have packaged up the defective hose and off it will go to Ct. mailing address.. probably than shipped over seas… and who knows if we will every get it !.

I am about to go dust, try to beat Mark in words with friends, and do some more work but from home.

A nice weekend thus far. Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy life..IT IS THE ONLY LIFE WE HAVE!!Love to all, mrs Justa alias Cindy….

April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 009

Make your own pizza night. It was a fun evening, and really I was amazed how good the pizzas came out!.

I bought a mix for the pizza crust, it was the mix and 1/2 hot water..let it rise for 10 minutes and split it up and away we went.

The kids seemed to enjoy the tasks, but I am not sure if they enjoyed it more than we did LOL.April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 013

They each had left overs to bring home to share with mom and dad.

It is always so amazing how there are such changes in kids in a matter of weeks. Brandon does not take naps any more, so he went in for rest time . Preston is talking up a storm.

They both are very good together and can throw each other under the bus the next April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 002moment. But at the end of the day..they are brothers thru and thru.

I love listening to their laughs, and trying to work around their whines to turn them into laughs, and to watch them interact with one another.

I find it so hard to believe the now our grandkids are almost 5,4,3,2 . How the time flies.

This morning they were up at 7:00. They were hungry so we made frosted cinnamon rolls, small ones , to hold them over till mid morning. We ended the weekend visit with a mid morning brunch. Jeff and Amanda got here around 10:30, and we had an array of breakfast foods. Bacon, Sausage, French toast sticks, eggs scrambled, some cinnamon rolls and hash browns. And now… the house is quiet…. Riley is snoring quietly in the background in Preston’s bed…April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 001she loves when the kids are here, gets super excited when Jeff walks in—she becomes a hopping jumping overjoyed maniac when Jeff arrives..and we do have to warn Preston not to run..because he is just the right size –that Riley thinks he is a play mate and will run him over .

Yes I love the sounds of talking, laughter, squabbling, and giggles…. and when everyone is gone… and silence fills the house it reminds me that we are parents that have done our job , our kids are grown, they are all independent , and life turns to being us…. grandparents…. the silence is different… and deafening right after the people leave.

So off I go, so put way laundry, maybe go get grass seed, and maybe read a little. I think God for all we have… we are truly blessed. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_0510

I look at these buildings, they are very old buildings, and they were made by people with work ethic. They had to have strong ethic…To carry stones and blocks and mortar, to precisely lay each piece, to build a structure that withstands all seasons…. they worked hard and succeeded.

We have a niece and her husband who live in Vermont. She is a teacher, he works on s ski slope grooming trails in the winter at all kinds of weird hours , he does various things at the ski slope…. and they have a farm, and they run a co-op..they are 2 people who have learned work ethic. They live a full life , with many responsibilities, and seem to love life.

100_0499My husband has incredible work ethic. Before he was injured, he worked 6 days a week sometimes, driving a 18 wheeler around this country, on time for every load.. and he did it whether he was sick or healthy… he just did it.. and did it well.

I was watching some cams of doggie day cares at lunch today..and I saw a variety of people working at them. At some ..the dogs are just there… the places looked crammed, and plain…. the employees are just leaning against the wall..like they are holding the wall up. One guy was scratching his back, his belly…and acting super uninterested…The dogs all laying around, or sitting and staring. Like they are biding time until something happens. They actually look bored.

While other places the dogs  are playing,the places looks like they are fun… the dogs are  interacting with each other and with the people. The employees are bending down and petting the different dogs. They are mopping the floor if someone has an accident. They are walking with a spring in their step. These people have great work ethic.

I am always amazed when a person acts as if their work is their when it is convenient for their life… instead of their life needs to be at work—when they are supposed to be at work… and at home when they are not at work.

Some people believe they have a right to having their cell phones on, and their electronic devices on all day. I know of a teacher who states that all the kids have their cell phones on and do not feel they need to turn them off.They slouch and scuff as they walk, as if school is an inconvenience… . Can you believe it !!!.

… have you ever gone somewhere and the employee puts you on the back burner because they just got a personal call? 100_0494We need to teach our children, our grandchildren how to be responsible adults, How to know the they get out of life what they put into it. And they are not entitled to everything.

We need to smarten up folks… demonstrate what hard work is. And help to mold the youth of today into people who will succeed in the future.. People who learn to work with their hands and not to just reach out for others to put something in them. It is not too late….

Love to all,. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Next Page »