I opened up My friends blog today (“Pharmacist Steve”). It is Steve Ariens Blog; and I saw a story of torture. There is torture going on in America! I’m seeing it every day now on the Internet! More & more chronic pain patients are being treated like common criminals! This is despicable! My God, are we living in North Korea, Afghanistan or in some 3rd world country (whos people , by the way; don’t deserve this kind of treatment any more than we don’t!!)?
How can the news media @Foxnews.com, @CNN, @MSNBC and all of the rest, be so one sided? Please, I implore you @POTUS, @GovChristie @PetersforMichigan (Senator Gary Peters), @NYGovCuomo (Governor Andrew Cuomo), @onetoughnerd (Governor Rick Snyder of MI). I implore you to think of the forgotten legitimate chronic pain patients. People are now living with daily chronic pain and receiving no treatment at all. They being totally forgotten & considered collateral damage of this “fake war on drugs” ! It’s a war against the chronic pain community; because they’re the ones who are dying. The pain community is stuck with zero semblance of a life as all of this is crashing down around them/us! The posted video is not just sad, it’s torturous to listen to. It’s terrible to watch. But it’s true and it’s happening all over the United States Of America! This is a story about a young mother, wife and daughter; who’s going through sheer bloody hell in Albany New York Trauma Center!
“Amy” Amy’s story of Human Torture in a NY hospital! is a young woman who just went through a painful stomach surgery and her stomach ruptured as well! The contents are therefore spreading throughout her body inside and this causes not only sepsis, but horrible excruciating pain! My husband went through it years ago, but they gave him a Morphine pump while in the hospital for several days following surgery. He was given pain relief, as any HUMAN BEING or any living, breathing animal should have!!
This is torturous and despicable treatment of anyone in a hospital, or any patient care facility; let alone, following a stomach surgery! How can the Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, allow their patient to be treated in such an inhumane manner??? The behavior of the nurses who pledge also, to “care for the sick” and to “do no harm”; is unforgivable! This sort of treatment to other human beings deserves termination. Those so called patient care employees need to be fired and they should never be allowed to not care for another patient! This woman, who has a name, a face, a husband & a family; is living through hell!
You know what though? This is entirely preventable! She is not a prisoner of War! This is a young woman who’d much prefer to have a “normal” life! This young woman has a name, and that name is “AMY”! She has a young child and a husband. I’m guessing that her husband had to leave her to go home and take care of their little one! He had to do that and he thought he’d left his wife in the care of a reputable hospital facility!! Obviously, he was mistaken and that’s really sad!
What if Amy was unable to show us this video? What if she was incapacitated and couldn’t tell anyone what’s happening to her? Please share this video and Amy’s story. Write to your legislators and put a name and a face to all of our stories. Nothing can change if we cannot be brave and do something to help ourselves and to help Amy!
Our government leaders, the news media agencies and society need to as many faces and hear as many stories as possible about us! The chronic pain community being left behind and treated as though we are just collateral damage in the war on drugs! This has taken a turn for the worse. It’s gone from a “war” against illicit drugs to a war against the legitimate chronic pain patients. We will lose & continue to lose if not for people being brave like “Amy”.
Please speak out and tell everyone your story and the stories like this one! Get the word out about how chronic pain patients are not drug addicts. We are not addicted at all! Ask them if they can remember a time when they had lived through their worst pain imaginable? Then ask them to think about that pain never ceasing! Tell them this is what it’s like for us, for you!
Please pass this story around. Know that I received Amy’s video & story from Pharmacist Steve Arians Blog, at: PharmacistSteve.com….. It is posted in several places on Facebook. He asked if we could “please make this video go viral”?
Thank you for your help! Please…. let’s all help Amy & all of the other “Amy’s”! Thank you Steve Ariens too!
You know…I’ve been sitting here thinking about all of the dance competitions we went to and how much fun they were. They were lots of work, loads of driving, packing, bun making etc….but very fun and so fulfilling to see my child gain so much and learn a lot from the experience! I’m also thinking about all of the swim meets. They were twice weekly during swim season, for several years. I was always sitting in the stands cheering her on. I had to buy her the right warmup suit, swim suit and those T-shirts with the team name. We were always there supporting our children!
I also have been thinking about all of the tea parties, sleepovers and birthday parties that I’ve put on. I’m thinking about the nights that I was up rocking my sick babies. I’m reminiscing about the trips to my daughters’ school to take forgotten homework and lunches, after I’d already started work. I’m thinking of the annual “night before the first day of school” at home manicures and curlers in their hair. I always got them new outfits & I paid for extra dance lessons so that my older daughter could try out for Dance Team/Pom.
I’m daydreaming about First Communion prayers, parties and the way I taught them certain special prayers. I’m thinking about how I helped my girls with their homework. I always got involved in their projects and book reports without the use of the internet or a computer! I remember my 2 daughters at their different stages. I spent many hours reading books aloud to them while at the same time teaching them values, and instilling good ethics and integrity. I gave direction to their lives as opportunities arose and used everyday experiences to instruct them in the ways of the world and trying to do the right thing.
I found groups to join, such as the YMCA “Indian Guides”; in order to give them happy experiences and good memories. Most of all to spend more time with them! I always put the beginning and final touches on their birthday cakes while sometimes arranging “picnics in the living room” on rainy days! We would drive all the way to the Toledo zoo because it felt nicer than the zoo that is a bit closer to us and I wanted to give them the best experiences. My daughters and even sometimes their BFF’s, were dressed alike in matching animal outfits with little hats and glasses.
I tried to work a few less hours so that I could visit my children’s school and help out as a “room mother” and even pop popcorn with the PTA moms!! We’ve driven over 1800 miles one way, to take my daughter to visit someone; when I didn’t have to…. and we did that more than once! I was the one reading, singing and telling stories night after night! I enjoyed it and found such fulfillment in loving my girls more than anything or anyone else. They were always my number one priority as was their happiness and safety.
Finally, I was beaming at being called “awesome” by my youngest and her fiance, this past Holiday Season. It was because the grooms parents were not happy with switching the whole wedding to have it 6 months earlier than planned!! Suddenly I was rearranging everything so it could all happen in just 3 or 4 weeks time instead of the original 6 or 7 months! Speaking of the wedding, we drove around without even thinking anything of it; and we happily did much of the “legwork”. I made the bridal party gifts; the Swarovski crystal heart earrings that the Maid of Honor and bridesmaid wore at the wedding. For the Bridal shower, I made all of the food, decorated the house and I ordered a beautiful photo cake. I had originally bought little gold bags to fill with 3 colors of M & M’s for wedding favors. Then the wedding colors changed and so I bought two more colors of little mesh bags to fill with the colored M & M’s. My husband and I filled and tied each little bag, while sitting on the floor the night prior to the wedding. I had even bought some adorable personalized mini tags that I had found online. These tags had the bride and grooms names, wedding date, and the words “thank you for coming” printed on them! I found and bought the Unity candle and arranged the Scottish Highland dancers to come and do the traditional dances; welcoming the groom to our family. I called around to find a florist that could get some Scottish Heather, the traditional flowers of Scotland. We also spent a couple of hours with another florist, picking out flowers, arrangements, colors, ribbons and whether we wanted the Silver sparkle leaf or a green one? My daughter left the important flower order decisions, regarding all of the wedding flowers in our hands. My BFF had offered to pay for them as her gift to the bride and groom, so she met us at the florist as well.
I set up the nail appointments, hair appointments and the professional make up artist appointments for my daughter and the girls in the wedding party, because she asked me to do it. I had more time because she was working. While I was with the girls the day of the wedding, my husband drove to get the wedding cake. After picking up the wedding cake, he also drove to the hotel about 20-25 miles away and checked the Newlyweds into their room. He did this so that later when they arrived exhausted; they could just go straight to their room! They would not have to worry about going to the front desk and getting a key, checking in and all of that! I bought a 5 lb box of chocolates and some sparkling grape juice, which my husband put in a bucket with ice so that the newlyweds would be surprised as they entered their room and they could have a special toast to their awesome day! The toast was to be made with a pair of special wine glasses that I painted the words “bride” and “groom” on! The wedding was on January 11th, 2014!
This post started out by discussing my role or roles in making memories for my girls lives. I discuss the time during the lives of my two daughters, when they were young and growing up with a single mother, for the most part. Then I wrote about the time leading up to my younger daughters wedding in January 2014. Now it is May 2014…..four months later, and “Mother’s Day” came and “Mothers Day” went. I did not get a phone call. I did not even receive a card this year. I cried. It is the one day we get honored annually, for giving birth to our children and for raising, loving, giving, teaching and sacrificing our lives for them . It’s not about the one day, it’s about an entire lifetime of giving and loving, and sacrificing etc. I couldn’t wish my mother a “Happy Mother’s Day” but it is because she past away in 2012 of colon cancer. Try to remember all that your mother has done for you. It’s a cumulative thing, not just a short time period, or one day. If you get upset with her about something, try to still let her know that you really do love and appreciate her and all that she’s done. Because like I’ve said, Mothers’ Day is not about just that one day, it is thanking her for giving you life and all that she’s done for you and the love that she’s shown.
Hello Luvs, This is just an updated version of a Facebook note from about 5 or 6 years ago. I wanted to just update the info a little and my age etc. I don’t think I’d ever written just a short and simple version of my RSD/CRPSII journey. I’ve written about other things and ailments and such….but this is just a re-copy of a simple note from an old Facebook page of mine. So here it is and I’m just sharing it with you. …Now, remember…it’s not a well written or even well planned out or well thought about “blog ” post, but just a Facebook note from ages ago. I only wanted to share because I just realized that some people don’t really know how I got the RSD/CRPSII. So here you go…I hope it’s not too boring..
My name is Suzanne and I am 52 years old. I have written other “notes” before but they all included other things that have happened to me in my lifetime and not “just” the RSD/CRPS journey. I thought I would just write a note about my journey with RSD/CRPS and not any of the other things going on medically or regarding the horrible car accident that I was in when a man ran a red light on August 11,2002. The accident changed my life completely so I do have to give an introduction about it and then I’ll stick to the RSD/CRPSII. I’ve had 12 surgeries & suffered an MTBI with brain injury rehab for 3 yrs, Worsened Dysautonomia/POTS/NCS with a pacemaker. I’ve got: nerve damage, degenerative disc disease, leg braces/AFO’s. I was in wheelchair then walker and now I usually use a cane but still keep the wheelchair always with us in the car. I have a motorized scooter for long distances…Oh there is so much more..I just wanted to give you a little insight is to the things that were bad enough and then in 2007, April; I had surgery on my right foot. It was going to be my last surgery for awhile and then in June 2007 after it wouldn’t stop hurting, burning and burning and being “on fire” and being “purple” and “hot” etc…I got the “news” from the foot surgeon that did the surgery. She told me I had RSD/CRPS or “Reflex sympathetic dystrophy”. I hadn’t ever heard of it before. She offered me “lyrica” and some lidoderm patches. I couldn’t take the Lyrica but I did try the patches, they didn’t work at all. I was already on mega pain medication from the chronic pain from the car accident in 2002. The pain Dr already had tried everything on me BEFORE I even got the RSD! He wanted me to get an intrathecal pain pump. They set up an appointment with my husband and I and talked about all of it with us. I decided that although I didn’t really want another piece of metal (as big as a hockey puck and I’m only a tiny woman), bigger than my pacemaker and I had screws in my shoulder already also. I would let them set up the pump “trials” just to see if it would work. I am always willing to try things to make sure I’ve exhausted all options.
The night before the pump trials, the Insurace company called and ….well, no …wait…actually the pain Dr’s office called and told me the auto insurance company called them and denied the pump totally! They said they no longer could help me because they’ve tried everything they could. Now remember this was BEFORE I ever got the RSD! So the pain Dr did continue for awhile to call my GP and they’d discuss pain meds and what I should do and finally I just let my GP be the “eye in the middle of the storm” for me. He’s helped me so much and I owe him for that, he is a wonderful GP. Soooo…then came that day in June 2007 when I was given the diagnosis of “RSD” along with the lidoderm patch’s and sent on my way! I had no idea what RSD was and didnt have a clue at all and she didn’t tell me either. I decided NOT to look it up online because whenever I used to do that, I would get scared and make myself worry and so I just didnt do anything for awhile. The pain in my foot got worse and redder and more purple and it was as if someone poured gasoline on my foot and set me on fire! I put an ice pad, a soft pad that is cold from physical therapy on it and wrapped it in that sometimes. I swear I could almost hear a “ssssssstttttt” or sizzling sound coming from the cold hitting the heat! It did help a bit and then I found out that you are not supposed to use “ice” for RSD or it can spread or make it worse. Well, I don’t consider this “ice” but just a cold pad, so I used it and I still do.
Then I went back a few months later crying to the GP and crying to the foot surgeon so they sent me to a foot/ankle orthopedic DR. He came into the room and I already had my socks and shoes off. He said first thing to me “This is classic RSD on your right foot”! Oh my gosh!!! How did he do that? So he also noticed that my foot drop was worse and I got ordered prescriptions for 2 foot/ankle orthotic braces or “AFO’s” to help my foot not drag. They also got me some different than the ones I wore the first few years after the car accident. These ones didn’t touch the top of my foot which was essential due to the pain!
I then had an appointment with a Neurologist and a Rheumatologist for other reasons and then they told me that I had “RSD or CRPS” also! So I had several Dr’s tell me that I have it and the foot/ankle orthopedic Dr did give me a brochure or a copy of some written material on RSD and it blew my mind! As time went on, I started noticing my other foot was turning purple, burning too. Not quite as bad as the other and not 100% of the time, but if I walked any amount of time, it would be so awful later on that day or evening. Then the left knee that I had surgery in prior to the diagnosis of RSD, but due to injuries from that car accident; then it started to burn and swell and turn purple! I didn’t know what was going on and at the same time, I had gotten somehow an infection of some sort in my mouth and then the RSD went to my mouth and now i have to be careful when it flares and I have prescription toothpaste and trays for my teeth made special for me . The dentist made these and i put flouride gel in them for 5 mins each time (supposed to be twice a day but I cant do that so i do it when i can) and it helps my teeth not decay b/c I have a hard time brushing even though I still do anyways. The RSD has since gone to my upper back and no one can rub it or when I shower it feels like bullets pelting my back and the nice,soft towel feels like sandpaper! Then the worst part besides the right foot being the worst part, was this past April 2009. One evening my head hit the desk soooo hard that it felt as if someone had come up behind me and pushed it down as hard as possible onto the desk. I didnt actually “feel” a person or a hand or anything, but my head just went “plunk” down onto the desk. I started to cry because it hurt more than anything. I was terribly bruised, black eye and huge bump. I am on Coumadin already (a blood thinner for a problem with my heart called “atrial fibrillation) so it bruised something awful and hurt even worse than it looked. Since that day things started a downward spiral again. My eye on the right side won’t blink but 20% and the left only 80%. MY eyes look very strange when looking at me when I’m talking now because one eye blinks and the other one doesn’t. I have certain days where the eye(s) flare up and get all swollen and red and hurt and burn and stab with pain. The pain in my eyes (right worse) is very strong and burns, burns, burns!! Guess what? I have been to an Opthymologist, neurologist again, my GP and now they’re sending me to a Neuro-Opthymologist next week. The first three Dr’s seem to agree with me ,that RSD has now spread to my eyes. Though the new neurologist told me that “RSD spreads very rarely..hmmm” ..I’m not sure where he got that from , but I’ve done my own research and it does spread 70% of the time according to the things that I have read and the people i know who have it! Now I’m getting sores on my lower legs that won’t heal and finding out that is also part of RSD. I have ulcers on my right foot that won’t heal and I have cream after cream to soothe it for 5 minutes,but that’s about it.
I have a great GP and I am on a moderately good pain regiment now. I have good days and bad days. I have lost so much I lost my cousin who used to go with me to breakfast and shopping and things. After the car accident she said to me :”I can’t see you anymore”….I asked her “why not? what did I do?”…she said “seeing you in pain like this makes me sad, when I’m sad it brings me down and when I’m down it brings my family down so I cant see you anymore”….I’ve run into her at a few family outings and funerals. I’ve tried to “apologize” for whatever I don’t even know what I did?? I tried to email and talk to her. She still won’t talk to me to this day and I never ever said or did anything to her ever that was not kind.
So there you have it..this is my journey with RSD/CRPS. I had to mention the car accident because it does have its place with all of this. I got a Traumatic brain injury and something called “Dysautonamia” from the car accident/brain injury. I also found out that a large percentage of people who have RSD , also have “Dysautonamia”. It is when your Autonamic nervous system shuts down and doesn’t work anymore. It includes : memory,vision, heart rate/blood pressure, gut, motility, many other bodily functions! I had to see a Neuro-Cardiologist, a world renowned Dr in Toledo,OH at the University of Toledo Medical Center and had to get a pacemaker etc…
I’m very lucky to have a wonderful team of Dr’s and a wonderful husband,Craig, of 17 years now. It’s not the quantity of people in your life that matters, but the quality. I have a great GP and some others. But I have the kindest, most loving husband who is gentle and helpful and wonderful. I am blessed to have him and some dear friends that are always as near as a phone call. We just had a beautiful wedding for my youngest daughter and I had a bridal shower for her and she married a really nice guy. They are so cute together. They are busy and live an hour and half away, but they have their young lives to live right now.. I pray for the day that my other daughter & I can be mended in our hearts and be even better than what we once had been!. She has never left my mind, my heart or my soul for a moment!
The girls having a real Scottish TEA PARTY with their friends…at our house
My darling girls in matching outfits at the Toledo Zoo
Jessica, Goofy, Momma and Amy at Disneyworld Florida
Momma and her girls…Jessy 6 and Amy 4!!
Craig and Jessica Laughing with a goat at Disney Animal Kingdom!!
Craig doing the Pumpkin Carving with the girls! An Annual affair!!
My girls and me in Indian Guides at a Campout!! (My girls are on my lap!)
Amy and momma when Amy was on Jumprope team & Momma was coach!
I’ve been sitting here today reminiscing about my “mommy days”. I know that I’m still a “mommy” and that I’ll always be a “mommy”…but there were those “good old days” when I got to put my mommy-ing skills to work 24/7 and I loved every moment of it!! I loved it from the C-section (*well, OK maybe I didn’t really enjoy the surgical parts…LOL…but the outcome, I must say was pretty awesome)!
I did so much with my girls and for them that I cannot even remember all of it to write it down here. I just did what any Momma who always wanted to be “Momma” would have done! I really and truly tried to “make up” for the fact that their dad was in and out of their lives (mostly ‘Out’) and that he moved 1,000 miles away and told them the day before “Fathers day” at one of Jessica’s baseball games! OH Yes…I forgot…both girls played on T-ball, and girls softball at our church and/or at the Plymouth/Canton girls Softball league for several years running or about until the 3rd grade! After that it was dance lessons again and the other things I mentioned above. They always had CCD or “Religious Education Classes” on Tuesday nights! From Kindergarten through the 8th grade they did that and at the beginning I also taught Kindergarten CCD classes. Tuesday nights or “CCD” nights were fun because we didn’t have much money and that was the night I got them at daycare as quick as I could (but I always did that!!!) and we popped over to Wendy’s, McDonalds’s or Taco Bell!! Then I’d take them over to their Religous Ed. classes where they stayed until about 8:00 pm or so. After that, we went home and got ready for bed, watched a bit of TV in my bed together and then I’d read to them each together or separately (whatever they wished) and I sat on their toybox and sang songs to them nightly. Some of the songs that I sang were: “You are My Sunshine”, “Mockingbird”, “Daddy’s Whiskers”, Adelweiss and a few others! I loved it and lived for it actually!
After a long day working at the University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor, MI;*(about a 35 minute drive from our apartment in Canton, MI…) I would pick them up at day care and we would then go to our apartment just across the street. I would make dinner, eat dinner, clean up from dinner and never asked them to help really. I don’t know why? I should have taught them better and showed them how to be more helpful but I wanted them to be “kids” as long as possible. To me that meant having fun and doing their homework and not cleaning and/or helping me cook etc. They have plenty of time in their life for doing domestic services and I just wanted them to be happy and have a nice time after they finally did get to come “home”! I guess now I would do it differently if I had known then, what I know now! LOL….I should’ve taught them and showed them how much I had to do and that we were a “team” and we all should pitch in and help. I wish I’d done that and for that I admit that I was wrong! But still, that doesn’t make me a “bad” mother!! I tried to be the very best mother that I could be! I had to really be a mom and dad for many of those younger years.
It’s funny because I never liked carving a pumpkin so much. I enjoyed the experience of baking the pumpkin seeds and watching my girls have fun with it. I loved helping to draw the faces on the pumpkins, with the girls’ faces beaming! To me, that was the fun part of it but the total experience was a Fall tradition. I just always thought it was more of a “dad job”. My girls wouldn’t have been able to have the experience during those several years when their dad was nowhere to be found. They wouldn’t have been able to have that one Fall tradition that I just didn’t have the strength in my arms/hands to do…the one “dad thing” or single parent thing that I just could not do by myself! Luckily, I had a good friend, Jeff at the time. He was so kind to come over and carve a pumpkin with the girls at Halloween time! I still remember those times and I appreciated his help so much. Another thing that I had a hard time with was teaching the girls to ride their “two wheeler” bike! I would grab anyone and everyone to help me run behind them and along side of them because I was so afraid of them falling and knocking their teeth out or something! But we got through all of those times!! We even got through a couple of Christmas’s when I had hardly any money to buy them gifts and I couldn’t let them down!
What I did those years was really use my imagination; and it paid off in the end! They say those were some of their favorite Christmas childhood memories now! One year the church and the Domestic Violence Shelter gave me quite a few toys, dolls and games to give them under the tree. I was quite appreciative and tried to “pay back” the shelter especially, when I got re-married and re-established into a more normal lifestyle to where I could give back! Another year that I remember was when they wanted all “baby stuff” for their dolls for Christmas! How was I going to afford real baby seats, clothing and diapers etc?? They each had their favorite dolls. Jessy had “baby dear” and Amy had her “blonde baby dear” or her “Mary” doll. Here’s what I did: We came home from daycare/work one night in November and their favorite dolls were gone but a note from SANTA CLAUS was left for them! It said that He “had taken their dolls to the North Pole to fix them all up nicely and he would bring them back on Christmas eve”! They were filled with surprise and wild-eyed childlike excitement! It was spectacular! I was so hoping that they wouldn’t be upset or afraid that Santa had come into our home when it wasn’t Christmas eve. I had left such a *magical note with kind words from St. Nick telling them exactly what he was doing and that their baby dolls would be back, better than ever! They trusted Santa, of course. I made it a good thing and so they took it as just that!
When Christmas morning came it was the best ever! I had gone to the resale shop and gotten: bibs, bottles, baby seats (one for each) and baby diapers, blankets, booties etc.!!! They were in awe when they woke up and saw THEIR own dolls back from the North Pole from Santa’s House and workshop. Their baby dolls had new clothes and bonnets on their heads. They had their ears pierced (I had put little earrings in the dolls ears), some baby items and they were sitting in REAL baby seats!! Oh it was really special to watch their excitement. I feel excited and so happy right now just thinking about these memories! Thank you for allowing me to share them with you!
I try to write about a good variety of things on this blog. Some things about my life, my pain and things that I’ve done or am doing. Other times I try to write about upbeat, helpful “Life” stories, advice and /or help. Then again, sometimes I try to write about things that we can all relate to in one way or another. I’m sure there are some things that I choose to write about that you are not interested in and hopefully other times I may write something that will intrigue you. Today, I’ve decided to write about being a mother, a single mother, a re-married mother, a mother who lost her child and a grandmother who’s never had the chance to hold her first and only grandchild, a granddaughter (so far). It’s a journey that some of you may relate to on some level or another. Yet, there aren’t many that I’ve heard of or read about who’ve been surrounded most or all of their life by a family that they were born into, who actually get and have gotten “pleasure from their pain”. A family and 99% of that extended family that they were born into and another that they had married into and later divorced; all of whom have sought out to hurt and literally try to “kill” you without thinking a second thought. The reason being is that they are all Narcisisstic abusers! When you are just thrown into the” fire” to fend for yourself amongst these kinds people, who have all denied having any problems of their own, you actually realize why you’ve always felt so “bad” inside. I am talking about my life, my family and my ex husband,(father of my 2 children) and his family. I had always felt so powerless and small against them all! But once I decided to forgive them and realize that they can’t help themselves until or unless they realize that they want or need help. It took me years and years of going through a ton of horrible situations with verbal, physical, emotional and every other unimaginable abuse, before I was strong enough to say “STOP! NOT ME !!! ..and NOT EVER AGAIN!!” Sometimes it appears on the outside of things, to be very “lonely” when you take a stand to decide not to allow yourself to be abused anymore by anyone,not ever! But with God on my side, I will never truly be lonely. You may have your own higher power. I believe that all people are equal and that everyone has the right to believe in their own “higher power” and have their own personal spirituality. I feel that we need a sense of where we came from, how we arrived at where we are; and to what place we are going when this reality we know as “life” will end. I happen to be a Christian, born and raised a Catholic and went to Catholic schools all of my life. If I didn’t have my God in my heart, soul and my life, I would be totally lost. I would feel like a fish out of water flopping around with no air to breathe. I am thankful for God, for Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and the sins of others; for the Holy Spirit who came into my life and who has given me the power to persevere in the harshest of circumstances.
Today, my friends, I want to tell you about my eldest daughter. If you know me, then you know her name, but for the purpose of this blog and to respect her privacy, I will be calling or referring to her as my “Sunshine”. She was born in May of 1986, during a C-section that was planned because she was almost 9 lbs and in the breech position. I was scheduled for a C-section and then while having a cup of tea on the night prior to my scheduled delivery, I went into labor. We waited a little while to go to the hospital, but I was just really excited to have this baby, so we didn’t wait too long and we drove to the hospital about 10:00pm on a Wednesday night in May. I had had a previous miscarriage and my then husband, “Bully”, we’ll call him; had bonded together with my father and they tried to force me into having an abortion when we first found out I was pregnant again. Bully had lost his job at the Sheriff’s dept., or actually at that time he had “quit” that job to go into a business with his own father. We had no insurance for a short time. They sat me down and tried to actually talk me into making such a horrible decision as to just “throw away” my baby like it didn’t matter! ?? I would not hear of it. I would not listen to anything they were saying. I told them that if I had to “go it alone, I would”. They knew that it was early on and they knew I wasn’t changing my mind and so they got busy getting Bully to get rehired at his Sheriff’s dept. job, in the jail.
Fast forward now to the morning in May of 1986, when I was in labor and the OB Dr. came in and told me that there was an emergency in the other surgical room, with twins involved. He asked if I minded just waiting until morning at my scheduled C-section time of 8:00am. I wasn’t in “active” labor and never dilated, so I said I didn’t mind at all. I had some painful contractions, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. Besides, I was so excited to be a “Mommy”, that I could hardly contain myself! It’s something I’d always wanted and everything I’ve always wanted to be.
Finally, it was my turn! They put up a curtain, Bully put on his scrubs and I was in the O.R. having our baby! They gave me a bit too much in the “spinal” anesthetic and suddenly I didn’t care that I was having a baby, or even remember! I could not breathe! They’d given me too much numbing and my lungs were paralyzed! I couldn’t breath and they had to bring in a machine to breathe for me until the anesthesia wore itself off! WHEW!! That was scary! But at 7:17 am on that Thursday morning,suddenly I heard a baby screaming as though no one had fed it for a week! They showed me this most beautiful bright red, screaming loudly, little baby girl! They showed her to me and for the instant that I saw her, it will be etched in my mind forever! Her mouth was open, she was bright reddish purple and screaming very loudly. She was really mad at somebody for taking her out of her comfortable zone! That’s what I’m thinking! They finished me up and took the baby away to get weighed, measured and all of that stuff. I had a baby girl! At once she was whisked away to the NICU! I was so afraid because this was my little daughter and I couldn’t protect her like I could when she was inside of me! They told me that she had a high red blood cell count (that’s why she looked like a little American Indian Papoose baby!) She was so red faced and so beautiful!! Also she had a UTI that she was born with for some reason? Lastly, she was jaundice and had to stay inside of an incubator for a few days! After the feeling came back to my legs about 3 pm that day, May 22, 1986, the nurse had me try to stand and then the next day I could go down and see my baby in a wheelchair. When I went to the nursery, I looked around for my baby and they were all “preemies” and I couldn’t see mine anywhere. Finally, the nurse said to me “Oh your baby, she’s in the “bad girl swing”…she was crying and crying and they needed to soothe her so that they could tend to the other babies and the swing worked! She loved it! It was kinda funny to see an 8 lb 12 1/2 oz 21 1/2 inch baby girl among the preemies in the NICU! I knew she was OK so that was the best part, the worst part was that they had an IV in her poor little arm and it was taped onto a board! She had little blood test marks all over her poor little toes and even a bruise on her head where they had to put the IV for awhile for some reason?? She had chest EKG patches on and it is a very scary thing for a new parent to see their new little baby like that. Then on the 5th day, I got to go home and on the 6th day we got to go back and pick her up. It was the hardest thing to leave my newborn little girl at the NICU and go home without her. Though, again I will tell you that I was assured that she’d be fine and just needed a little time on the antibiotics and under the Biliruben lights. We went back to get her the next day ASAP! When we got home with her, I had a fever, a very high fever and I was vomiting and my skin was a yellowish/green color! We went to my PCP and he said “it was the flu” (although I didn’t get to see “MY” Dr., I saw an intern). I only got sicker and so we visited my OB/Gyn Dr. and she said my Blood pressure was like 200/140 or something like that! She put me in the hospital ASAP! I had to leave my husband and my newborn baby girl (although they could stay in the room with me, which helped a bit) just as soon as I had gotten her home! They said I had “Toxemia” and it was an “afterbirth Toximia” and I was in the hospital for a few days and then back home to recuperate from my C-Section! We were finally a family! I had everything I had ever wanted! I adored her and she was my “traveling baby”, as everyone used to say because I took her everywhere with me! We were shopping buddies and she never wanted to nap and possibly “miss” something! She did sleep at night pretty close to after the first month! I was very lucky. Although she wasn’t a great “napper”, she was so smart and so beautiful and so perfect! She was my “sunshine girl” and that became her nickname from me for her lifetime!
I will tell you later, about my second child because today is about My Sunshine girl and I just wanted to think about her today while I am writing. Both of my children are and have always been my everything. When she was only 6 months old, she could speak! Yes, it’s true! She could already say “Hi”, “Mama”, and “ubbu”(which is “I love you”). She could speak complete sentences by the time she was one year old and she knew the alphabet and the song and many many things by 18 mos. old! She was the most loved baby ever! I just know it in my heart. I couldn’t have loved her any more than I did and do! She went to Kindergarten and got off the bus on the first day and reprimanded us for following the bus! She wanted to ride the bus the first day of school and she wanted to walk to her teacher all by herself! Her teacher had called to tell us that she would be the one holding a “blue balloon” and “Sunshine girl” should go to her. She did well but was very sad those first few week of school, mostly because her father took me out to dinner on September 19, 1991. He told me to get all dressed up and that we were going to “Red Lobster”, one of our favorite, better places to eat. It was Homecoming night for the High school nearby. All the girls were dressed up in long gowns. I remember it very clearly. My ex told me after we’d just eaten dinner etc., that “he didn’t love me anymore”. He told me that “his mind was made up 100% and he wanted a divorce”. He told me he “had a girlfriend who was moving in with him”. He said this on a Saturday night and when we returned home, I offered to drive the babysitter home because I was pretty upset (inside) and crying. I wasn’t really surprised because I knew he’d cheated on me several times. I had women call and ask for him and then hang up on me when I answered the phone. I had been to the Police academy with my baby girl to show a cadet there that my “ex” had a family and a baby and she shouldn’t be “having lunches inside of his car with him”. He almost was kicked out of the Police Academy for being found in the car “making out” with another woman on his lunch hour. My own brother went through the academy with him and he almost got kicked out also, for trying to start a fight with my ex, regarding the girlfriend. My family decided NOT to tell me because I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter at the time and they thought I couldn’t and wouldn’t handle it well and my ex promised my brother that he would stop! It never stopped because my Sunshine girl was only 4 yrs old & one time told me that while I was at work,”a girl came over” and “she kissed Daddy and told him that she loved him”! When I asked him about it, he told me that “she was just a friend from work”. Then many nights while he worked afternoons and was supposed to come home at midnight, I would be alone in my bed and watching over two little ones under age 3, until about 3:00 am! Then one night I got tired of it and I called the dispatcher at the Sheriff’s dept. at 3:00 am, when he still wasn’t home! He told me “Suzanne, you are a nice lady and “Bully” is a jerk and he picked up a girl at the 7/11 store and went someplace with her, I’m so sorry! I just had to tell you because you are such a sweet lady and he doesn’t treat you right! We’ve nicknamed him “Rambo” because it takes him a good 20 minutes to take off all of his weapons and put them in the trunk of his car before going to work down in the jail!” That dispatcher said that my Bully had been “cheating on me for awhile; and he was very sorry”.
Bully told me he wanted a divorce on a Saturday and by Monday, I had landed a full time job Interpreting for the Deaf, at the High school in our town. I was worried about my Sunshine girl because she was so sad. She didn’t want our “family” to be broken up. I stayed a long time in an abusive situation towards me and towards our dog, “Bullet”; because I wanted to try and keep that “dream of being a family” alive for all of us. Somehow I didn’t realize that it was hurting my daughters as well. I didn’t want to have to make them move away from their friends, their own bedrooms, that were beautifully decorated, just for them. I didn’t want them to have to go to daycare!!!!! I had children so that I could raise them, not someone else! I had no choice in the matter. I will make sure to be fair and tell you “Bully’s” side of the story behind why he wanted to leave and get a divorce. Also, why he had several girlfriends already and this last time he was leaving me for an 18 yr. old waitress at a bar where he and his partner frequented on their shifts as Sheriff deputy’s. He and I both tried to lose the weight that we both gained during my pregnancy. He lost it even faster than I ! His co-workers actually asked him if he had “Aids”, because he’d gotten down so thin and had always had the nickname “refrigerator” because he was barrel chested and a bigger guy. Then when I lost the weight, I became “afraid” of food (that’s another long story from a history of abuse, starving, poisoning etc from my own family of origin!). I had fought “on” and “off” again an eating disorder called “Anorexia”, since age 13. That is another long story for another day, but I had only dieted here and there during our marriage and hadn’t had the eating problem until I “over dieted” and seemingly couldn’t stop. Mostly, because my life was out of my control and I was being cheated on and abused and couldn’t do anything about it at the time. I felt “stuck”. I could never and would never leave my girls and I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do or how I would make things work.
I voluntarily checked into an Eating disorder program at a local hospital and I was in and out of that program three times in one year. I had ONLY been struggling with the Anorexia for ONE year before he checked out and decided to stop trying and wanted to leave our almost 8 year marriage. I took care of the home, I worked part time, took care of two children and a nice 2 story home in a nice country area of Michigan. I went through 2 C-sections, and 10 hours of labor with my first and 43 hours of labor with my 2nd daughter! I didn’t have any extra money to buy “mommy/daughter” outfits and had always wanted that. We didn’t go on vacations or go anyplace together really. I took the girls to the zoo usually by myself and met a friend and her kids there.(**The first thing that “Bully” did after he moved out was that within 3 days he “had a girl in his bed”, when the girls went over to visit him in an apartment that was attached to one of his parents houses. They came home from that visit very very upset about that news and couldn’t wait to tell me through tears! That girl was an 18 yr old who 6 months later, before the divorce was even finalized, wore an Easter dress that matched my 2 daughters! My ex had bought them 3 dresses to match…something obviously ONLY intended to hurt me more, knowing that WE never had the money to do that; and I had always wanted to do it. What happened to marriage “for better or for worse”? For “sickeness and in health”? I stayed and I was trying; all the while living with a perverted abuser who later was found “guilty” by a jury, of “hurting another girl” besides me. But I got hold of my eating disorder and got a full time job right away! After that school year was over, I needed to have medical insurance so I had to get a better job with benefits that were more conducive to a single mother. I got a full time job at the University of Michigan Hospitals. I was a secretarial “float” and an Interpreter for the Deaf. I was happy to have the good job, but devastated to leave my girls all day someplace else, when my baby girl was only 3 and my oldest was 5 1/2.
This blog today was going to be about my “Sunshine girl”, but it sort of turned into my “story” of abuse, betrayal, divorce, illness and relocating…it is about a mom turned “single mom” overnight, with 2 young daughters 5 and under! I just couldn’t let this story today end, without telling you one more situation that occurred. A friend of mine had gotten a ride with “Bully” when she came to see me after I’d given birth to my 2nd daughter. They drove together to the hospital, came to visit me and he took her home. I never thought another thing about it. I did wonder why she never spoke to me again? I found her recently on Facebook! I “friended” her and said “hi” and told her about my life and she wrote me back and told me why she hadn’t spoken to me since then. **(See small photo of message I received from her on bottom left of this post). She explained that “Bully” had made crude/rude sexual remarks to her that night in the car when he drove her to see me in the hospital. She said he even “exposed himself” to her”! (Wow!! while his wife had just spent 43 hours in labor and then had a major surgery/a C-section!! To have HIS baby!!!). Well, no wonder she never spoke to me again (she was married and had a baby boy), who could? Later, “Bully” went on to be prosecuted and found “Guilty” by a jury of “Indecent Exposure and Obscene conduct” with another young girl. Needless to say, the judge in our divorce case found out about the “guilty” verdict. Then after “Bully” had threatened me in the courtroom (I have those court transcripts, by the way!), the judge sent my daughters and I to a Domestic Violence shelter for safety concerns. He told my ex that he could not see the girls without a court supervisor because of the nature of his conviction, and being an “ex Sheriff deputy” (he got forced to resign obviously and part of his punishment was that he was ordered to “never be allowed to be in law enforcement again”!). “Bully” didn’t like that idea and decided to “go away and find himself”. He maxed our credit cards, took our little bit of savings from the bank and left $15.00 on the kitchen counter! (I wouldn’t be getting my 1st check until 2 more weeks went by) I had to stand in line for over 3 hours with a 3 yr old and a 5 1/2 year old, to get emergency food stamps, ! The next day when I came home from work, the food that had been bought with the food stamps was mostly gone! He still had a key for awhile after he left and he came in and took the Peanut butter, cheese, cereal etc. right out of his children’s mouth’s!!! He rarely saw the girls and he moved away 1,000 miles to another state. He hardly ever called either, except to tell them that “they had a new stepmother” and a few other times. I went about my life and our lives, taking the girls to their day care, school, dance lessons, recitals etc. I brought their forgotten homework to them at times when I was at work and got a phone call that either one of them had forgotten an assignment!! I loved doing it all and I lived for doing it all and never minded at all, not once, not ever! I always wanted to be a mommy and I finally was!
But at age 18, my “Sunshine” moved out because I wouldn’t allow her to sleep over night at her boyfriend’s house. She was still in High school and living at home, and had a younger sister who looked up to her. She wanted to do illegal and immoral things and I had tried so hard to teach them right from wrong. I took them to church and to Religious education classes. I loved them both and still do, with all of my heart and soul. She wouldn’t speak to me again and blamed it on many things but the things she blamed it on mostly happened one night when we argued for hours and hours while I was in horrible horrible chronic intractable pain after a car accident. She went up the stairs to her bedroom to get another set of car keys (because I had taken her set) and clothes that she’d already had ready in a pile on her floor. She knew she was going whether I allowed it or not! On her way up the stairs, she started punching out my new husband. We’d already been married 7 years and she loved him a lot and both of my daughters wanted me to marry him! We all loved him so very much. He blocked her punches and she told people that “he punched her”! The thing is this: she stayed living in our home for 3 months after that. She told me that I “don’t know how to raise daughters”….that “she hated me”….she called my voice mail and must have found my “Carepages update” (I’m guessing, but this I’m not sure? It’s a place where I put updates on my health so that I don’t bother people and only people who want to know how I’m doing can go there to find out how I’m doing )…..she left a voice mail for me in 2008 “out of the blue” and it said “Suzanne, why do you think people care about you? They don’t!!” …it felt like a dagger in my heart, but it wasn’t those other words ….it was one word…the fact that she called me “Suzanne” instead of “Mom” or “Momma”…it still gives me a sadness like no other when I think of it.
Anyway…this all happened long ago…all I can say is that I truly always did what I thought was the best for my kids. I put them first always and never cared if I had any other life than the one I had with them. Another time I will write about my daughter #2, who I call “My Joy”. BOTH of my girls are my life and without my eldest in my life, I ‘ve not felt like I have a full one because so much is gone without her in it. I have sent so many little “non-preaching” cards and little knick knacks and always sent birthday cards until the last few years. But still I sent one just last year again, in 2012. I wrote in it something like ” How can we fix this? I’m sorry for whatever you feel that I’ve done that hurt you in some way? What can we do, time is going so quickly??….” I don’t know what else to do or say because I am just guessing that since I’ve never gotten a card or heard from her in any kind way, that she doesn’t want me in her life ever. I was a mom who didn’t use any form of violence in words or actions ever ! I used explanations (too much…too many) and information and tons and tons of deep love to guide me in my parenting. Of course I’m not perfect, but any time I ever said something the wrong way or if I could’ve said it in a different way, I would always try to apologize and discuss things. I know that I tried hard without ever having the true love of a mother shown to me without sarcasm or meanness. I tried to do everything as I would have liked it done to me and tried to treat my girls how I would have liked to be treated. I never said “no” unless there was some kind of harm in a situation because I wanted them to have fun and do sleepovers and experience life.
I’m not sorry that I did everything for my daughter(s) that I did, while they were growing up. I never missed an event for them, I had to make sure someone (me) was there in the crowd to clap for them. I never wanted them to feel alone. I thought at least if I was one person who was a constant in their lives, they would be stable and know they are truly loved by one person unconditionally. One person who loves you like that, is better than 25 fake people who “use” you or hurt you etc. I made lunches with little notes and heart shaped sandwiches on Valentines day and other special times. I made green milk and bought green ribbons for their hair on St. Patricks day! I french braided, twisted, “princess pony-tailed” and fish tailed my girls long beautiful hair every day as long as they allowed me. I bought them special t-shirts, matching clothes and tried to do all that I could to make her/them happy. I tried to give them any and everything they wanted, needed and more, if I was able and if and when I wasn’t able to, then I tried explaining to them “why”! I brought pizza to the High school for my daughters 16th birthday while she sat with her friends. I brought enough for all of them. They even wondered how she could be so unkind to me regarding that day…you see, when I brought it, I hadn’t planned on staying or anything. I wanted just a few moments to see the fun and make sure she was having a good birthday. But as soon as I put the pizza on the table, she told me to “drop it off and leave “! I felt so empty and hurt that day, but I let it go and we kept going from there. I cannot and will not be specific about all of the things that happened continued to happen involving my Sunshine girl, from age 13 on up … I tried my very best to be 150% fair and treat the two girls equally and give them equal love. I tried so very hard to do the very best that I could with the cards I have been handed.
Lastly, I had a heart attack in 2005. The cardiologist said that I was his “first case of “broken heart syndrome”..he knew and had seen how much love I had/have for my daughters and how my heart was literally “broken” when I “lost” my sunshine girl. My husband did call to tell her, but we never told her what the Dr thought about how It happened. She never called back to see if I lived or died. Obviously she knows now..but ….then in 2006, I had a CVA or aka a stroke. In 2007, I acquired the MOST painful of all chronic pain diseases. It’s called “RSD/CRPS”. This is known as a progressive, horribly painful “Neuro-Autoimmune disease”; and it’s #42 on the McGill pain scale (Which is right up there with childbirth and Cancer pain!!). We never bothered to call her because I knew she didn’t care. That hurts so so very much….she still doesn’t care and it hurts so deeply; mostly because I was always there for her. I remember one time the dentist sent us to a gum Dr to fix a little extra thickness between her front teeth after her braces came off. They wanted to cut her gums and do a painful scale back of them. Another parent may have just blindly listened to that Dr. but I said “let’s wait and see what happens”. I could not let her be put in pain for something so unnecessary. I wanted to wait and see what happened and it went away by itself. I’ve had 10 surgeries since my MVA in 2002 and she never ever offered to help and she was 16 when it happened. She never even tried to do one small thing to help us, her family at a very difficult time. Instead she “ran with it”!! Sunshine girl used my pain as an excuse to be sneaky, lie to me and go on more “sleepovers” after that accident. I never felt any empathy whatsoever from her even as she got older; and then to hear her call me by my 1st name instead of “Momma” ,it broke my heart….I’ve lost her and it’s been so many years now..going on 9!
I’ve missed her engagement, her shower, her wedding . Her father walked her down the aisle, when I raised her without any help from him…I feel like I did all of the hard stuff and He gets the grown up daughter now and I’ve lost her. I still wouldn’t change anything because I got to have my baby girl for about 15 years or a little less, really. I didn’t even get to be a part of her pregnancy , baby shower and now the birth of my first grandchild, a baby girl (who’s already about 7 months old I’ve heard!). I didn’t even know she was pregnant or that she’d had a baby until I found out by accident one day.
I’m so so saddened by this and feel like I will never be fully happy again. I know the worst feeling for a parent is to “lose” their child. She will be my “child” until the day that I die; and she’ll always be my baby, too. Now that she has a baby girl, I wonder if her daughter comes to her when she’s 17 and in High school and tells her that she was going to spend the night at her boyfriends house, I just don’t think she’d respond with what her father told her; which was “We’ll adopt the baby if you get pregnant, don’t worry.” He also said to her that “this is what teenagers do” and he told her this is what he did when he was a teen. I honestly think if she reaches into her heart and soul, she would know that when her baby girl turns 17, and if she tells her that she is going to sleepover at a boyfriend’s house; I just cannot honestly believe that she would say what her own father said. I pray that having a daughter of her own will prove to her that there’s no “how to” book. I did the very best that I could and it came from my heart. Mommy’s who love their children also make mistakes… But I honestly did my best and there’s no one in the world who knows her inner heart and soul like I do! There’s no one who can take the place of a Mother’s love…. because I was her “Mommy” long before she lived in this outside world!
I love you “Sunshine girl”….please come “home” to my heart?? I’ve been waiting such a long long time. We may not forget but please… Let us start by forgiving and starting anew; both as adults now…” I love you forever, I’ll like you for always; as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be!”