My Mom and I :)

My Mom and I :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Frustrated is Thy Name !

It's not a big secret that I am on social assistance right now. I have been since my ex and I split up, a year ago. I have made a lot of sacrifices in this year, and have still tried to come out on top. 

When my daughter was born, I filed for child support from my ex, so that I could get help financially from him.  Well social assistance takes that child support, dollar for dollar.  My ex was in the process of catching up on the support, which meant that one month I got almost $1100.  That also meant that I would not be getting a social assistance check, because that $1100 is more than I get monthly from the government. 

I claimed my child support, like I always do, this time it was lower, which means that I should have gotten something for my monthly check... nope, did not even get a dime.  Last month I got less child support, but they somehow believe I was given more, and I wasn't.. but, you can't fight them. "They" are always right. You go to fight them on something, and will always come out on the bottom.. you will not win.

So two months in a row now, I have had barely any money.  I still managed to scrape by enough to pay my bills and get my car insurance, get some gas for the car, and buy crappy food, because we still need to eat.  

I haven't had a good nights sleep in a very long time because I am so stressed out about it.

I mentioned it on facebook a week or two ago, about how I am struggling financially right now, and things are tough... and one of my brothers had the balls to try to talk to me about priorities.  Seriously !
I gave up my cellphone, I gave up cable, I lowered my internet speed, I barely eat because I need the food for the kids, we don't eat out anymore (except once a month), we don't go anywhere that costs money to do, my son can't go to birthday parties because we can't afford a present for them.  My daughters birthday is coming up in 2 weeks and I can't get her anything except maybe something small.  

You want to talk to me about priorities ?!!?  There is nothing else that I can take away from the kids and myself, unless I want to have us live outside. I don't have anything else to give up.  I am sorry I don't make a lot of money. I am sorry my back is so fucked up that I am unable to work. I live in constant pain, every fucking hour of every fucking day, and it is only going to get worse as I get older.  There is no cure for it, they can't fix it.  

I am sorry I don't have a perfect fucking life like you do. 

You try living my life, and having my worries everyday.  You try it, and then talk to me about priorities. Don't ever speak to me about that again. You don't have any right to talk to me like that. You have no fucking clue about my priorities in life. 

So this month, I will continue to be hungry, so that my kids can eat the food. I will go no where in the car, except to the school and home. I will stay home, in pain, wishing life would just give me a break. Or take me. I will sit and just wait, like I have done, and I will hope and pray, like I always do, that maybe next month, will be a bit better.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sick baby, stressed Mommy

Things suck.  They really do.  
It seems like we have not been able to catch a break, this last year or so. I know things will get better, and I know it takes time, so here I am, waiting patiently.

Olivia cut open her foot a couple days ago, on a transition strip, on our floor.  I was upstairs in the bathroom, getting changed.  I had her downstairs, and had the baby gate up on the bottom step, so she could not try and climb the stairs.  We have done this every day since she learned to crawl.  There was nothing new about it.  My house is clean, there is nothing that she can get in to, or hurt herself with.  Or so I thought.

I was getting changed, and I heard her cry out.  This was the same little cry she would do when she was learning to crawl (backwards) and she would get stuck somewhere.  It wasn't an urgent kind of cry.  So I didn't rush downstairs.  I finished changing, brushed my teeth, tied my hair back.  Went to my son's room and told him that lunch is ready, and to come down stairs.  He should me something on the Xbox 360, and then we headed downstairs.  He saw it first. A big puddle of blood at the bottom of the stairs. He said "what's that ??" and I immediately said "OMG, it's blood ! OMG, where's the baby ??" and started calling out for Livi.  I followed the blood trail, large amounts of blood all over the floor, she had crawled into the kitchen. She was bleeding heavily from her foot.  We tried to stop the blood, but could not, so I put her and my son in the car, and we went to the hospital.  They were able to stop it, and sent us home.

The next day, she gets a high fever.  She was fine in the morning, then she woke up from her nap, and I put her in the highchair so she could have her lunch.  It seriously looked like she had forgotten how to eat. She could not hold her own bottle, she was not interested in drinking. She didn't want her applesauce. She was just super fussy.  After struggling with trying to get her to eat (still not knowing anything was wrong with her), I brought her to the living room to get ready to go out to the grocery store before having to pick up Daniel from school.  She felt warm, so I took her temperature.  She had a fever.  

Things only got worse from there. She got in to see the doctor that afternoon and she said that it could be viral, she doesn't think it is her foot causing it... so we went home.  Livi suffered all night long. She slept for not even 2 hours all night long. Fevered all night. Her highest fever was 102.9 and the lowest I got it to was just over 99.  In the morning she was the same, but not wanting to eat at all. I took her to the hospital because she was getting worse.  Her vitals were taken right away. Her heart rate was 175 and her oxygen level was 92.  Really low. They said it meant her body has an infection somewhere.  Olivia had to have blood taken, medicine given, a pee bag strapped to her in hopes to collect urine for a sample. She would not pee. The blood showed that her white cells are high, which indicate infection. The doctor said that he hopes the urine would show an infection, because if it didn't, then it could be her foot infected, even though it does not look infected.  The nurse had to give her a catheter because she would not urinate.  They were able to test it, and it shows an infection.  I will find out today if it is accurate or not, as they sent away the sample. Olivia screamed and cried for 5 hours straight at the hospital. She did not want me to sit down with her, I had to stand and rock her for 5 hours straight.  Any thing for my baby.

I am dealing with all that. Not to mention everything family related. ughhh, I will update that all later. Lets just say that my family needs help. ugh !

I will update this again later with some pictures of Livi's owie !  I have to get them off of the camera.  And no, I did not take pictures of the blood trail ! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

For every death, there is a birth...

Cancer has taken my Mom from me. It has taken her from my beautiful children, who loved her very much. It has taken her from the rest of our family. Cancer is is horrible, terrible disease. I will never truly get over losing my Mom.

Mom passed away on December 2, 2011, while her family surrounded her bedside in the palliative care unit in the hospital.  One month before she passed away, she had an appointment at the pain clinic in the hospital, to be assessed and hopefully have her pain medications changed so that she could be more comfortable. Mom was always bad for not telling the doctors every thing that is going on, or how she is truly feeling. She liked to pretend she was doing better than she actually was.  I told her that I was going to speak up for her, like I did at all her other appointments. 

This appointment was going fine for her, and we had found out that she could come off of some of her medications, and he was going to try her on Methadone for pain, instead of the short acting Dilaudid she was taking.  He asked her how she is doing at home and what her days look like. She then told him that things are going well and that she is able to do somethings around the house.  I spoke up and told the doctor that what she said is not true, as she has spent the last month in bed, sleeping all day long, barely able to eat anything, and not being able to care for herself.  Things changed from there really fast.

The doctor then informed us that Mom is no longer allowed to live on her own (whereas a few minutes before he was getting ready to send us back home, and her back to being on her own) and that she must come live with me.  I had just moved to a 2 floor, 3 bedroom townhouse, so I had room for her, if I put the baby in my room.  We had redcross come and bring the hospital bed and things for around the house to make it easier for her while she was here.

Mom lasted one day here.

The evening that she got here, she was very weak. It took her almost 20 minutes to go up the 14 stairs to the second floor, with me behind her, arms out towards her back, ready to help push her up the stairs if need be. In the morning, I got up, went about my morning routines, went to the pharmacy, went to Tim Hortons and got 3 bagels, 2 coffees and a hot chocolate, and came home. It was around 11 am when I got home, and found that Mom was not yet awake.  I brought her breakfast upstairs and knocked on the door.  I opened it up and she was laying on the bed, half uncovered.  It looked like she was trying to get out of bed.  She had peed all over herself and the bed as well :(   I talked to her for a few minutes, and helped her get up to go to the bathroom.  She was very wobbly, but insisted that she get up and go pee, so I let her.  I went back down stairs and talked to my son, made sure he was eating his breakfast.  Then we both heard it. This very faint cry for help.  we looked at each other, and could not figure out where it was coming from.  Wandered up the stairs and realised it was Mom calling for us.

She had fallen while she was in the bathroom.  She had gone in, locked the door, and taken a step towards the toilet. She must have gotten dizzy and stumbled towards the toilet and bathtub. She said she hit the toilet, fell between the toilet and tub , and rolled into the tub. I did not find that out until a few days later.  All I knew at this point was that the door was locked, my Mom was hurt, and she could not get up, or get out of the bathroom alone.  We tried kicking in the door, we tried unlocking it with whatever we could find, nothing was working.  Mom was whimpering in pain.  I called her friend and had her come over to see if she could help us get Mom out of the bathroom.  She was able to get the door opened !  Mom was in the tub, sitting there, backwards, but yet as if she were having a bath.  She had peed again.  Mom said she hit her head, and that her leg was really painful too.  Her friend tried to move her, but Mom was in too much pain.  

We called 911, and had them come at help us.  They took Mom to the hospital, after we told them she has terminal cancer, and does not have much longer to live, and that a fall in a bathroom may not seem serious, but in this situation, it is.  They took her to the hospital in the ambulance.  I got myself and the kids ready, grabbed extra bottles and things for Olivia, and we went down to the hospital.  Sat there for hours, in the emergency department.  We had a social worker come in and talk to us about how we are feeling, and to see about Mom going home (with outside help and interventions) .. I told them that I was not comfortable for her to go home, and because I was "in charge" of her, I had to think of what was best.  I know Mom, she was my best friend, and I would like to think that I knew what was best for her.

They kept her at the hospital over night, and the kids and I went home.  The next morning I went to the hospital, and found Mom in a room with 3 other people.  She barely even recognized me, and did not even acknowledge Olivia at all.  Right there I knew something was wrong. Mom wanted to go out for a smoke, but was told that she could only do so if she had a wheel chair. She was very unsteady on her feet, and they were not letting her risk falling again. Right there Mom hiked her hospital night gown up around her waist, and started taking her diaper off ... IN FRONT OF EVERYONE ! .. this was not my Mom !  She is not like that at all.  I tried explaining to her that I can not physically push her in a wheelchair, and push Olivia in the stroller, to take her outside for a smoke, unless I had someone else with me to help.  I told her I cannot take her outside for a smoke.  We got in a big argument about it, and I left, because things were getting heated between us.  (Afterwards she did not have any memory of any of that !)

I came back hours later and things were a bit better, she was being moved to another floor, and out of the emergency ward.

She spent awhile (I can't even remember how long exactly any more) on the next floor, and then was moved to another room.  She was showing improvement !  She was starting to be able to move around easier.  Walking outside for smokes alone (against doctors orders of course) and her memory was starting to improve as well.  The doctors said the confusion is getting better.  She was on the acute floor, and was not really in the right place.  The doctors had decided that with care, she could go home, as long as people were there to help her out.  

She got moved down to the Palliative Care ward, which was a huge blessing in disguise for her and for us.  It was to be short term, and the doctors and social workers even went out of their way to inform me that it is not long term and only for a few weeks to a few months, type of place.  They said that Mom is healthy enough to be at home, but because I am uncomfortable with it, they will work with her to get her completely ready.

Mom continued to make progress.  Started eating all her meals, plus extras throughout the day.  Going for short walks around the place. Had lots of visitors, and was up to seeing people.  Her memory was getting a lot better. We had a family meeting at the hospital, with doctors, social workers, and people who would get her house ready for when she went home.  The doctors decided that in 3 days she will be going home.  I told them again, that this is a bad idea.  Mom is going to get worse soon. I understood that they did not believe me, I understood that they believed she was getting better, but they did not see what was really happening. Mom knew.  I knew.  We talked about it a few times, after I brought it up.  She was in the stage of cancer, where you feel better for a week or so, and then things turn for the worse.  She said she had felt a change in her body and knew that things were starting to happen. That her time was limited.  I told her why I wasn't comfortable with her going home, but she was still adamant that she do so.  She wanted to die at home. She felt that it would be more comfortable for my brothers and I to be with her when she passed away, if it were in her house.  

Two days later I get a phone call from the doctor, saying that Mom has pneumonia, and will not be going home any time soon.  They did chest ex-rays and found that a lot of the ex-ray lit up, and they are not sure if it is from the pneumonia, or from the cancer, but that she is too unhealthy to go home.  She was put on antibiotics, oxygen and a nebulizer.  After over a week, she slowly started to feel a bit better.  I brought Daniel in, so that he could say good bye, as we knew it wasn't going to be much longer.  He had a nice talk with her. That is the last time he got to talk to her and have her respond.

One night I was just getting the food on the table for dinner, and Mom called me.  She was begging me to come to the hospital (I hadn't been there in over a week as I was really sick as well).  I went, and stayed until after midnight. We talked, and laughed, hugged, talked about the past, and talked about the future. Mom asked me to stay longer, not to leave, but I had to. She told me that she felt another change, and that things were definitely happening.  I told her that my brothers will be down here on Friday (This was Sunday) and she said that she will not be here on Friday. I talked to her for a bit more, and had to go home as it was really late and Daniel was home with Olivia. It was so hard to drive away from Mom. I watched in the rear view mirror until I could no longer see her. 

The next morning, she was in a coma type state. She never really recovered from that. My brothers came down earlier, and got to spend some time with her, talking to her, and telling her it is okay to go, that she did a good job in raising us, and that we will be okay.  That was the hardest thing I ever did. I lied to her. I told her it would be okay, and that we would be okay.  When all I wanted to do was tell her not to leave, to stay here with me forever.

Mom passed away at 7:02 am on Friday morning. She knew that she would not be here for Friday, and she was right. It was very hard to be there and watch her go through the process of dying.  She took her last breath when we were out of the room.  The nurse when in to turn her over (they were turning her over every hour or so to prevent sores), she was now facing the open window, and she took her last breath after she was turned. We went in after the nurse told us she was done, and my brother was the first to see that she was no longer with us. 

There were these bunnies that were outside that Mom would feed parts of her dinner to, like carrots and lettuce .. and she always talked about a white bunny (which I could never see) but I could see the black one.  When Mom passed, the black bunny was standing outside the window (we were on the ground floor) and all of a sudden, a white bunny appears.  They both stop and look at us through the window.  They stared at us, and we stared at them, for what seemed like forever.  Then they turned and hopped away.

Mom is in my thoughts all the time. I don't think there is a thing I do during the day, that I am not thinking about her. I know she is watching me, and looking out for me. I know that one day I will see her again, and in that I must hang on to, and carry on.  

 Last time that we had lunch together. A week before she passed away. 
I brought her some won ton soup, to the hospital, and we sat and 
ate our lunch together.  She only had a couple bites.

Last family picture that we had taken together.
We were at Pipers Lagoon, for a walk
in the summer time.