wisdom


       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.

 

 

One of the things that the boys faamily reunion 2013 (2)did was come over to our site and use sidewalk chalk and draw on our driveway. We moved our truck down to give them room and kind of create a boundary line form the park road.

They decided to draw emergency vehicles… the top big one is a police car, the middle was an ambulance and the bottom one became a fire truck.

a little later on I needed to move the truck back up in the driveway about 5 feet. Then I was going to go in the camper and get stuff ready for dinner . The boys wanted to join me. Being the truck is pretty high up in the air, I told the boys they had to get in the truck and I would move it. ( That way I did not have to worry they were in the driveway as I moved it.)

From LONG ago— if I had a kid in a vehicle, before I closed the door I would say—“Hands on heads” ( that way the fingers were not going to be in the door frame… ) So I had the boys pop up in the truck on the passengers side and I said “Hands on heads..” I saw they were both doing that and I closed the door. faamily reunion 2013 (55)I moved quickly to the drivers side and opened the door…I had to laugh as Brandon said “ Gamma how long do we have to hold our heads?”

After taking the photo, I released them from position !!

Camping is a time to remember that you have places things go, and they need to get back in their place when you are done with them. You want to make sure what ever it is, that you have what you need and know where it is…

Like the shower stuff goes in a tote bag, you go to the shower, almost methodically take things out in a certain order, and put them back after. I was a little anal with the shower, wanting to make sure it was clean when I got in and clean for the next person. So on the tote bag, in a pocket was a spray bottle of Mr Clean and a squeegee. I really did not mind spraying it before and after, and felt that I was helping somewhat to make it more comfortable.

Now that I am on the other side of this rather weird experience… I can laugh …so here goes…..  on Weds….it was hot and humid, so I decided to wear capri pants that day. Well I  wanted to get my A.M shower and thought that I should shave my legs, so I  made sure I packed the razor—along with all the other stuff… I went over and cleaned the shower, turned on the HOT water..ahhh…. got the razor out and went about my business, when all of the sudden I felt a stinging… I cut my leg !! ( I had not done that since I was 13 !!!) So here I am… all I have is my soap, a scrunggie, shampoo, Mr Clean, clean clothes, my dirty clothes, a white towel and a squeegee. So I am frantically spraying the shower , trying to hold my leg up in mid air and press on the area, as hot water is pouring down on me, wondering how the heck I am going to get from the shower to the camper. I still had to wash my hair—so I did that on one leg- the other kinda swinging back and forth in the air, my body swaying with it…. occasionally needing to grip the wall and I am envisioning me totally loosing my balance and falling out of the shower with my less than taut wet body slapping on the floor..and who knows who would be standing there looking at me… fortunately that did not happen- . But I was still in a predicament – see if I lowered my leg it was going to bleed- so I am trying to maneuver around in this rather precarious position. I knew no one in there..and was thinking ( my mind was like a slot machine –tick tick ticking..) I am looking at my clothes, my white towel and finally came up with tying my slightly used underwear around my leg like a tourniquet and hobbling faamily reunion 2013 (16)back to the camper.  I was relieved to see I had not brought my capris there—for the underwear would have been showing as it soaked up the blood… as I walked back. It was a definite Girl Scout move !!.   I slowly dried off my body, quickly towel dried my hair, did the Mr Clean squeegee process—all as I wobbled on one leg…. then back to the camper.. Oh I can assure you that I carefully stepped ..as I did not my make shift tourniquet to fall off on the pathway… I got in the camper—and put on a rather tight band aid, shared my experience with Mark… and chuckled at the what could have beens as I rinsed out the blood…

Looking at my leg today- I am amazed my process kept it from bleeding—I did not nick it.. I skinned it about 1 1/2 inches long !!. dang !! No wonder it stung… HA.. the joys if improvising..the joys of camping…I love camping… but think my bath bag will now include band aids.. LOL.. Have a great night..more family reunion thoughts to come again soon… 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

I read a book a few weeks ago and it has created all sorts of emotions and thoughts. The book was written by a survivor of child abuse. This is the cover of the book… img-thing[1]

I kid you not, it was VERY hard to read, but I was not going to stop. WHY?? Because this poor little boy..who miraculously made it through years of torture to become a man—well he could not quit from what his life was.

As I read this, my heart ached, I was so darn angry with social services and the mother… with the brothers and step dad…. 

The presentation of how things were on the outside of the house, in no way were really what was happening behind closed doors.

As I read it, I thought that most kids probably never grow up to share what they went through, to show they survived… No , I am thinking most kids would have died in the torture. The mom put on a front that the child was evil, the child was aggressive, the child was mean, the child had problems, the child was mute… AND it was easier for those on the outside to label the child instead of trying to figure out what made the child act the way he did…

I think we  do that in society.. we tend to take the easy way out. This got me to think about Riley… our dog. Riley comes home 6-29-2012 028She had such lost sad eyes when we brought her home that day from the kennel…..… She cowered when you called her, she shook and trembled if she thought she was in trouble, she had a sense of fear to her…

She had horrible separation anxiety, she panicked, she hyperventilated, she literally freaked out if we left the house.

We made comments about “That is why her previous owners abandoned her” and “She has issues.” ///But ya know what—we did not give up on her…( We almost did !!)fortunately we got thinking and  we did not just accept the way she was as a final.. That breaks my heart at the thought that we almost gave up on her.

After her 2 weeks in early winter at the K9 training camp—2 weeks of not seeing her, of her being treated well, but like a dog… she is okay now. We can leave her in the house, no crate or cage….  and go out for up to 6 hrs..she is fine. We do not have to limit her access to rooms.. she is a calmer dog…. , and seems more controlled  now.. It was what her previous owners did to her that made her how she was… not that she was bad.

She is a sweetheart… she loves to be with us,she is GREAT with people and the grandkids….. she is playful….  but now it is ok when we leave. She goes to doggie playcare 1 day a week, and they say she darts around for the entire time, frolicking, running.. non stop.

How many kids…. how many pets… have we as a society let down? Why… because it was easier to say they had the problem… than to figure out what made the behavior….. easier than to try to fix it…

yep, that book will live with me for a very long time… And Joe Peters’…. wherever you are…. I am so sorry for the let down you must have felt over and over again.and thank you for sharing this …. it really opened my eyes…

Love to all… Mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_4383 - CopyI read something today..it kind of has locked itself in the front of my mind. It is about retirement and it said that retirement is when we stop living for work..and we work on living. I read that and thought wow.. We do live for work!!! for most of our lives. Alarm clocks, clothes to wear, appropriate answers to give, dodging traffic, commuting, paying tolls and in many peoples cases paying extra auto insurance because of distances driven. We look forward to Friday nights because Saturdays are not work days, and than hustle on Sunday evenings to get ready to go back to work.

When I worked on the hospital floor my “Saturdays and Sundays” were any day of the week. But it was the same. A breath of ahhh ..to know a day was off..and than a time of hustle bustling around because work is about to start again.

I am having trouble imagining what life would be like without work. For me, I totally love what I do at work, yet I do wish there were more hours in each day so I could do stuff with the grandkids, take the dog to the dog park, camp more. So maybe that means I am beginning to evolve into the retirement mind set… so maybe by the time I am ready to retire, I will be thinking in that direction.

Retirement to me seems scary. Having bills, and health needs, and insurances, and fuel… having taxes, and unknowns… yes that seems scary without any working  income coming in. Social Security for over 65 yr olds is not great, and in our days of youth..there was not savings accounts created for the retirement years. SO ti will be winging it.

I laughed tonight as I was eating a bowl of cereal for dinner and thinking this might end up being dinner when I am retired!.

A good friend of mine is retiring this Friday. She told me she was scared. I guess as I try to personalize it for me… I would be scared too.I have years to go, but she has days. Some day my years will be changed to days. What will life be like than> What will the future hold? Unknowns….and I know I am not independently wealthy, so I know it will be tight. It just is not what I thought getting older would be like.

First I thought I would feel old.. I DO NOT>>>

I thought I would feel wise…. I DO NOT>>>>

I thought I would be like my mom was to me when she was my age… but I do not feel that way. I still feel like I wish my mom and dad were here..hmmm. I wonder now…. if they felt this way..but I never knew it.

I hope this finds you well, I am off to get ready for bed and play a few words with friends on facebook. Smile Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_0320

My life… I sat on the floor in the corner of this room, looking for something specific. And to my surprise I found much more than I intended to. The bottom two shelves are the photos and music of my life….

I was looking for a picture of a lady I work with. She is retiring in a couple of weeks and this photo was from when I met her, back in 1989. She oriented me to hospital nursing. She and I have had our paths cross for years on end, and then for a bit we may work in different places..but we never lost contact.. And times along the way we end up back in the same place again. She is a special lady. As I looked for this one photo I ran across my life. Things that have been pigeon holed in places in my mind.

It is funny how a photograph can bring you back to that year. It can make you remember a smell, or a breeze, or a sense of wonder . It brings back a feeling of being special, or discovering a place you had never been to before. It also can bring back a feeling of loss, or pain. It reminds you of relationships, of stages of youth, of people who have left this temporary home on earth to go to their destination. It kind of reminds us we are alive.

To relive these moments, to watch my little guy and Marks little girl grow up in photos. To  see their kids growing up… 100_3398

To realize that even thought it seems the years have flown by..those photo albums on the lower 2 shelves represent miles of life’s highway. The whale watches, the camping trips, the mini vacations Jeff and I took, the whale watches that Jeff ,Mark and I went on, the seemingly endless precious weekends that Jeff and Adrianne got to share with us, the evolving of my family from me being a baby to having all my brothers and sisters, smiles, reunions, marriages, births and deaths. All in-between sunsets and sunrises..each one different.

A100E0347nd as I soaked in the memories as they came to life.. I thought about how lucky we are to live in this country. The unrest in other parts of the world.. I wonder if these people have good memories. Have they stopped to see the beauty of the world? My heart says they have missed a lot of the soft sides of life… for they carry around such anger and hatred.

Yes … my journey through time that has been, it has  reminded me that I have been truly blessed. I thank God for that, over and over again.

I hope you have memories of your life captured somewhere. Stop and take a moment to remember. Good night all. Mrs Justa alais Cindy

100_0244This past weekend we were driving into Phoenix NY. It was Sunday and it was rather hot and humid out. As we drove towards the village there is a stretch of road with really nothing there. Overgrown edges to the road, street signs stating the speed limit is still 30 and warning folks not to park on the side of the road. And this morning something else….

an elderly woman, standing with a straight posture, holding onto the handle of a fairly good size Aqua suitcase on wheels and her purse laying on top of the suitcase. She stood at tis sign..just stood there. As Mark and I drove by her..well there was absolutely no sense why she was there. She did not look like she had been thrown out of a car, or was moving..just standing at this sing on the side of the road in a section of nothing.

So as soon as we could turn around, we did and pulled to the side of the road. I walked up to her and asked if she was okay? She smiled a rather pretty smile..and said “Oh yes dear, I am waiting for the bus to go the State Fair”  I told her the state fair bus stop is down towards the village..over the bigger bridge that goes over the river..just before the draw bridge for the Erie Canal. 100_0246She went on to tell us that she was living in her grandfathers house in Phoenix, helping to clean it out. And than she told us her grandfather was fighting in Iran. She said her father was in Afghanistan. She said she has been caring for 24 different refuges who come over to the states and spend time with her. She said she wanted the state fair bus because no other buses would be running, only the state fair one.

Mark asked her why she had her suitcase if she was going to the fair. She avoided the question 4 times and than said she was a teacher ad the suitcase was all her lecture material She used it with the refuges when they came. Her speech seemed to ramble at times, her eyes looked glassed over and empty at times. She did not want a ride and was heading to the bridge to go to the area where the bus came.

On our way passed her starting her walk, we stopped and let a Park Police know that we were concerned about her. She just did not seem totally coherent. And now… 3 days later.. I am wondering about her. Did she get on the bus? Did the police officer speak to her, maybe call for someone to come and assess her? Is she safe?

This world seems small at times.. I get so focused on what we have going on in our lives..and sometimes witnessing something like this..it makes it so apparent how the 100_0022world is massive. A person can get lost in the system, lost in the background. I believe this woman was suffering from a dementia disorder of some sort. It was almost like she was in a time in her mind 30 yrs prior. My goodness her grandfather in Iran would be in his 100s at least. People like this woman could fall , go into the river, hop on a bus and not know where she was going, …how many people in the world are going through things just like this?

She made my mind stop for a moment from worrying about what we had to do… she made me appreciate life. God bless this woman… and the man I wrote of a few posts ago..and so very many other who need strength and protection. Love to all Mrs Justa..

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