Yesterday when my hubby came home from work in the morning I looked and felt terrible. I asked him to take me to buy vitamins. I took one. Hubby went to bed, and I pulled out some papers my doctor gave me at my last visit. I looked over the list of therapists and I looked over my Medicare benefits. Medicare would pay once treatment started, providing a diagnosis needing treatment was made by a physician. In other words, just as with the Chiropractor, I would be dinged for the full price of the initial visit, or consultation. I read the specialties of each doctor. A few dealt with grief, and of those, only one made it their goal to use non-medication means of treatment. Great. I already have a bottle of "happy" pills I'm not taking.
The vitamins have helped. I don't know why, but in the past, if I became particularly moody, a good multivitamin helped me turn the corner. So I will take one every day. I'm supposed to anyway, but I ran out.
Yesterday, about the time hubby woke up in the afternoon, the hot, humid air dropped away, leaving a beautiful fresh breeze. I turned off the air conditioning and opened the windows. We spent some precious time together outside before he had to leave for work. I contacted a friend on chat, and she and I talked while I sat outside on the porch and watched the sun set. After it set the mosquitoes came out, so I went inside. We talked some more, and then said good night. Once it is dark outside, my mood is better. I can turn to watching something on the internet. Last night I chose Masterpiece Theater. It was a good choice. It occupied me until bedtime.
So, let me explain that statement, "Once it is dark outside, my mood is better." It's something that has always happened to me. I cannot miss the sunset, I don't want to look at a TV or a computer, I just want to see it. I feel moody when I see it, a combination of wonder, artistic inspiration, intent on photographing it, desire to experience it, and some degree of sadness. Once the sunset is done and it's dark out, I'm fine. I can look at a computer or TV or the dishes or the stove or the food I'm cooking, whatever. It's interesting that years ago, when my mom was living with me and my first hubby, she told me the same thing, "Sunsets make me sad."
So I Googled it, just now. Apparently I'm not alone, but there appears to be no answer. SAD was mentioned. Yes, I have that, but that's a seasonal thing, not a sunset thing. Some people mentioned anxiety at sunset brought on by some childhood trauma. Nope, doesn't apply. Another person mentioned the brain releasing Dopamine at sunset. I have no idea. In any case, I have a whole history of emotions tied to they sky, sun and what I see out the window. Too much to write here, I will save it for the next post.
So, today continues to be a better day. It is cloudy, cool, dry, and the breeze is fresh. Hubby is sleeping, and I'm ok. I might have actually turned the corner onto the path of recovery. My heart is not feeling like a lead weight being compressed in a vice grip, I can breathe, and I'm not crying.
Reminding myself that I survived the loss of my mother helps. I called her and wrote to her for years through my married life, from 1969 until she moved to Indiana in 1992 (I think it was). After that, I would call her and buy her gifts, take her places, you name it. Loosing my Mom was a big loss in my life. I regretted having to put her in a nursing home, but my husband could not deal with her dementia nor her incontinence. He would not allow me to call in outside help.
Loosing my husband was different. His cancer was advanced. The treatment was aggressive. The side effects were horrible. I insisted on caring for him myself even though the doctors recommended a nursing home. My husband refused in-home care, and I refused to go through the guilt of putting him in a nursing home as I had my mom. When at last he passed I was at peace about it because I gave 110%. Then I found another husband.
I could not, nor did I expect to find another mother. Missing her is a part of my life. At least after a great deal of time I was able to talk about her without crying. I miss her when I have news I normally would have called her up or wrote her about. I think that may be a normal and lifelong reaction.
Loosing my daughter was the worst thing that ever happened in my life. Finding her was horribly traumatic. Trying to accept she was gone and not coming back was the hardest realization I ever had to face. She and I were always close. She wasn't much of a rebellious teen. When she started working and was still living at home she would take me shopping and buy me things. When she moved out she would pick me up and we would go places, or I would spend the weekend with her. She was my best friend. When she moved to Australia it was a tremendous heartbreak for me, but I didn't let her know, because she needed to have her own life. Having her move to Wisconsin and living so close was such a joy. My best friend was back! We shopped together. She took me places. I knew her budget was tight, so I bought things for her. We took nature walks together. We took pictures of the same clouds, the same lakes, the same flowers.
When she died I spiraled down into a horrible guilt trip of "If only." We all did. There were so many unanswered questions. Why didn't she ask for help. Why didn't she get medical help in Australia when she had such excellent insurance and care options. From early adulthood she assumed she had PCOS, which may have been the start of the giant ovarian cyst they found at autopsy. When she lived in Australia she told me her (then) husband and she had talked about her going to the doctor because of that. It's obvious she never went, something he confirmed after she passed. Her second husband also had insurance, as she did. He had surgery and the remaining bill (after insurance) was excused because of limited income. Surely she could have taken that as an example of what could be available to her. However, by that time her PCOS symptoms were going away. Another issue was her thyroid. I told her many times how important tests and treatment are because everyone on my mom's side of the family is on thyroid medicine. I talked to her about my own thyroid medicine and how it helped me feel better and loose weight.
Finances were another issue. In the past she bought a car that was too expensive. Car dealerships are real scumbags. They help you find a car you like and get approved for a loan for the price of the car. Then when they write up the deal they tack on all kinds of crap, plus taxes, that raise the cost of the loan. It happened 17 years ago and it happened again last year. I pleaded with my daughter to take action, to have the extra things she was paying extra for taken off. I told her I would go with her. Nothing worked. She insisted she could handle it. After she passed I discovered she was behind in everything except her car payments and rent.
I had pretty much guessed that things were hard for her. She expressed concerns over the fact that in August her rent and internet were going up. Hubby and I had been planning to buy a house, so we decided to include her in the plan. She could pay a much smaller amount and we could share many costs. It was a win-win proposition. We had trouble finding a suitable house. We needed three bedrooms and an extra bathroom, and in decent shape. We had roadblocks at every turn. We finally found one in another town. We had an appointment to see it on Saturday. She died on Thursday.
Sometime after the funeral, after we came home, one of my daughter's former coworkers came over. She told me my daughter didn't show any alarming signs. She did say she was tired, more than normal, and she didn't know why. Her friend suggested she see a doctor, to which my daughter responded, "It's too expensive."
I think she didn't know how serious she was. She told me there was a flower show and sale here in Hartford on June 3rd and she wanted to go. The night before she died she was making plans to visit a dear friend in Illinois after the 4th of July. She, my hubby and I were all pretty sure we would find a house this summer and we told her we would help her when her rent and internet went up in August. I'm sure she must have know that if she needed to take time off from work for any reason we would be there to help her.
As for the PCOS, my older daughter had symptoms as well. Neither of my daughters were ever able to get pregnant. But my older daughter has been seen by doctors. She has had tests and been checked out. Her health is excellent. She does need a light dose of thyroid medicine, but other than that, her heart and vitals are fine. Knowing that, and seeing my younger daughter look good, loosing weight and seeming fine when she moved here just lulled us all into complacency I guess.
I have pretty much worked through the pain of every picture I see of her, every place we went, everything we did together. I had to forgive myself for not taking her up on the offer to go out to eat together on May 29th. It still bothers me. Darn "if onlies". I still cry, but not as much, and for a lot shorter period of time. I loved her, do love her, so very, very much. I miss her so very, very much. She left a void in my life that cannot be filled, just dusted over, maybe a carpet thrown over. It is a hole I'm sure I will continue to fall in for the rest of my life, but over time the bruising and pain will lessen, as I pick myself up, dust myself off, and go on without my Angel.