Friday, February 26, 2010

Midnight (Insomnia)


Late night whispers of 
leave their breath on my fingertips while I 
{try to} sleep

Their moist breath 
only for a moment before they flee

Leaving me 
In the morning when I wake
Only echoes of words 

Dance in my early morning blur
And laugh
At my silence.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Quick Rant...

My Twitter followers already know I had a rough morning today.

I am now in bed encased in duvets and as many heat bags as I can stand trying to recover from it.  I'll recap it briefly for those of you who are curious...

I've been in a bad fibro flare since Sunday, and so even though I normally take the subway when I have to go downtown for doctor's appointments, this time D was supposed to drive me.  This was the appointment for the doctor that my Fertility Doctor reffered me to back in November, for some emotional/mental health support for women who just found out about their infertility and were having trouble coping.
I had a really bad case of depression at the time, brought on by the Clomid I think.

But anyways, this morning I kinda had a bad feeling about it 'cuz the appointment was 'early' (9am, so we had to get up at 7am to be there on time with traffic, parking and what not).   Generally speaking when I need to be somewhere early and D has to drive me there is always some attitude and negativity when we're leaving the house.  (Not something I really like to talk openly about because it makes me question stuff that I'm not ready to question.... maybe in a future post. I don't know. )

This morning was no different.  But I had a shorter fuse than usual because of the intense pain in my back and legs, so instead of putting up with his loudness and ignorance I left alone.  The last straw was when he tried to tell me to CANCEL an appointment that I have been waiting for since November, just because he didn't want to get up and thought I was too sore to go on my own on the subway.

Well, I showed him!

And kinda showed myself too. Cuz I even though I fainted on the subway half way there,  and got to the appointment 1/2 hour late I did it, I didn't give up when he discouraged me, and the appointment went well.

*sidenote* the people in Toronto really really suck! (excluding the wonderful one's I've met on Twitter who may or may not be reading this post)... but, yeah, the people in Toronto are ASSHOLES!  I was at a busy subway station (Yonge & Eglinton) when I fainted, and sat on the floor crying for 20 minutes after I came too ( I wasn't out long)  and NOT ONE PERSON INCLUDING THE 2 TTC (Toronto Transit Commision) WORKERS CAME TO SEE IF I WAS OK OR NEEDED HELP GETTING UP.  Not one person. *

Ahem. Back to the point. 

The doctor seems AWESOME, very understanding,  and I'm really looking forward to the next appointment on March 5th.   I scheduled that one for the afternoon so that in case I'm not well enough to take the subway it won't be so dramatic to get D to drive me.

It really sucks that he acts this way, but ultimately I think this new therapy and the new doctor will be able to help me deal with not only my infertility issues, but also some of these kinds of problems that D and I have in our relationship. 

Please comment - hearing from you makes me happy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

People Love Me!

I'm so flattered - I have recieved not one, but TWO awards recently.

The lovely Holly at Ready To Be A Mom  graciously gave me the Happy 101 Award.
The Rules are:  I have to tell you the 10 things that make my day, and then nominate 10 other bloggers for the award. 

 But I also got another award from sweet Cara over at My Life with PCOS - the "You're going places" award.  The Rules for this one are:   Tell your blog readers where you want to be in 10 years and then nominate 10 other bloggers for the award.

So, here I go.... For the 10 things that make my day...

1. Waking up not sore, not achy, and not at 3am.
2. Being able to do morning Yoga on the days where I wake up not sore, not achy and not at 3am.
3. My cat, Sess,  being happy to see me every time I come out of the bedroom into the living room.
4. My cat, Topper, following me around all day and sleeping by my shoulder at night cuz he's so attached to me. 
5. Getting blog comments from my readers
6. Having a bunch of @'s or DM's on my twitter in the morning when I get up, even if I hadn't tweeted much the day before.
7. This one is rare, but.... when D wakes up before me and cleans off the coffee table and makes tea/coffee for me.
8. The fact that I can work from home (sometimes) makes my day.
9. Getting a cheque from a customer I've been hounding for months.
10. (also rare...)Finding a new Ani song/ video on YouTube that I haven't ever heard or seen before.

AND NOW - where would I like to be in 10 years?
Well, many of you have already read my  Utopia  post but if you haven't that would be a good place to start. It pretty much sums up the answer to this question. But basically,  I'd like to have children (duh!), and be happily hippied away on our commune, growing food, making clothes, working on being totally self-sufficient and eco-friendly. 

and now... 10 bloggers that I nominate for the awards... (yes, I am kind of cheating, I should be nominating 20 people for the two awards combined, but since I'm amalgamating the awards into one post, I figured I'd get away with it :P)  I'm giving you all both awards, cuz you're all so fab, but don't feel pressure - you can accept one or both, it's up to you :D

Drum Roll Please..........

1.  (PlaiduhPus) at Duck, Duck, PlaiduhPus
2.  (ahmymarriedlife) at Ah... My Married Life
3. (afterthealter) at After the Alter
4. (HopefulMamaHack) at Creating HackSpawn
5. (ShortJewish) at Shorty's Adventure
6. (WaitingLisa) at Waiting Lisa
7. (FertilityChick) at Fertility Chick
8. (TTC_Queen) at Liberal Granola Girl's Blog
9. (Amaprincess) at The Road to Happily Ever After
10. (FertilityGuy) at In the Name of the Father

So there you have it... my nominations.

I'm so grateful to have found such wonderful people online. These blog awards are a fun way to share the love!  (and also gave me a post idea this morning, for which I was very grateful since I'm still stuck in a writer's block rut)

Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'M ANGRY!!! please love me.... NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!

I've been having a bit of a mood crisis in the last couple of days.

It's not something new, it's a demon I've been living with for pretty much my whole life.  It appears, it disappears, it appears, it disappears - it's starting to seem like my own misery gets sick of me and goes for a vacation from time to time.

This time, this crisis of mood  is coming at inopportune timing.   Generally when this feeling creeps in and starts to take over my (attempt at a) zen-ish brain I immediately start doing stuff.
Stuff to distract me from the growing unease, the unexplained anger, the darkness.
New stuff - signing up for classes at the local college, joining a new gym or class at the old  gym, trying to meet new musical com-padres to collaborate with on my vocal ventures and experiments...

This time I'm having issues doing those things.  Any of them - all of them.  None of them are getting me anywhere because I am simply too achy or down in the dumps and thus lacking the motivation required for diving into something new.

And thus I'm here, talking to you, my tweeps and blogles, whining in a most unbecoming way, which is starting to seem like an (unattractive) habit.

In a blatant attempt to try and make my misery (anger?) seem more interesting, something that someone would want to read about, and also to try to identify with someone other than a past version of myself, I am once again reaching out to Ani for inspiration, comfort and a l'il bit of good ol' venting.

And there, in an angry outburst of carefully planned melodies and words, is how I feel.

Pretty much to a 't'.

So now, the question that I'm mulling on, and now throwing out into the universe...

How do I switch it off? If I'm too physically stuck(sick?) to be able to vacate the area  (and generally by vacating I am thus shoving my negative feelings and emotional baggage under the carpet in my living room)...what am I to do?
Has anyone else been in this kind of predicament?  

Insight will be greatly appreciated, and good insight will be revered.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Writers Block

Well, I've got writer's block again.  I thought to myself - what do my Tweeps & blogles wanna read? I'm really not sure! I thought the Ani stuff would be big... but alas, only 4 comments on those two posts combined so far...

Then I thought... I'll do a zoo post! But ya'll already know what pets I have.
And it just doesn't seem that interesting right now. Plus, I'd have to dig out pictures. And it's only fair to show ya'll some of the crazy animals we've had in the past as well - so that'll be a post for another day on which I am a bit more inspired.

So, instead, here I am, babbling away, blogging about writer's block.

What are your techniques for battling the dreaded "empty head" syndrome?
Do you get down-in-the-dumps like I do when you can't think of a good blog posting?

(my train of thought when this happens... "I must be useless. I must be boring! Why am I even bothering? I should go back to bed.)

But THEN.... THEN my dear tweets & blogles.... I remember all of you. And I realize... I can't be THAT boring... there are people following me! And reading my randomness! So I pull myself out of my self-pitying duvet-encased cave and write.

And today, I am writing about nothing.

Nothing, nothing nothing.

Sorry to disappoint you, my tweets &blogles.  Even the insanely-sane NaVe has brain farts.
And, occasionally, like this morning, an empty head. 

Please comment - hearing from you makes me happy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Customise your iPhone Ringtones

Thought I'd do a little blurb about my favourite ringtone maker for iPhone.

Your iPhone DOES NOT have to be jb (though mine happens to be, and I love it  by the way, no problems that weren't there before I did it... and everything is reversible anyways.  If you're interested in learning how to do it it's super easy, look it up on YouTube. Just make sure you check the update - mine is still running on 3.1.2.  Not sure it works on 3.1.3 but you can always restore the phone so it doesn't really matter...)

But I digress... back to ringtones...

It's super easy - you can either choose from the TONS of ringtones they already have online,or you can create your own using your own mp3's.

Click HERE to go to their website - but read below first.... I learned a few things along the way I can share with you to make your experience a little quicker than mine was.

1. Think of your fave song and search to see if it's there before you upload it from your computer.  It probably will be - even Ani DiFranco has many many songs uploaded already.
2. If you don't like the section of the song that they have uploaded, check below and many times there are a bunch of different choices of sections from the same song.
3. If you really don't find what you want, go ahead and upload your song and choose the section you would like as your ringtone. This doesn't really take that long, just a little faster to get one that's already there....
4. Click "download ringtone for iTunes". This will put it into your ringtones list on your iTunes.  You won't have this list yet unless you have already downloaded/paid for ringtones. It'll just appear there once you start downloading em. Make sure to SAVE FILE not OPEN AS.   If you OPEN AS it will NOT sync to your iTunes/iPhone - it'll only PLAY through your iTunes, and will not store/save.

This took me about 45 min. to figure out.  Yeah....

It was 5 am ok? I hadn't had any coffee yet.  No making fun! At least I'm letting you know about it so you don't have to go through the aggravation.

and finally....

5. Sync your ringtones to your phone using your iTunes, the same way you would sync music/photos etc.! You can add a whole bunch to use for different contacts too.  They will appear above the stock ringtones in your settings/sounds/ringtone section on your phone.  


Wasn't that easy?

If you have any questions about this, or about jb your phone then hit me up on Twitter, or leave a comment below!

Please comment - hearing from you makes me happy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Please comment - hearing from you makes me happy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FINALLY! Some forward movement!

The calls came in!
At long last!
I have a plan!

Sorry for the exclamations but I'm so excited. This could mean a lot of new things for me (and D... us!)  As many of you know I was less than pleased with the way things were going at my fertility clinic.  I felt like a piece of meat - handled indelicately and poked and prodded at will. I barely saw my doctor, other than when she did my laproscopy, the results of which were discussed with me only moments after waking up and then never again. Not to mention the distinct impression that I was being treated as if I was a hypochondriac with every question I asked.

BUT, I'm not going to delve too far into complaining about her though because I'm hoping that today's news means I don't have to go back there ever again.

 The first appointment that I was expected was actually a referral made by above mentioned fertility doctor.  I have been waiting since November for it.  I was pretty much in crisis mode when the referal was made, and now I'm not really in that place anymore, which is making me a bit nervous for the appointment.  It's for counseling services for infertiles provided by a Woman Centered Hospital. Sounds great right? I'm hoping it will pan out to be great.  I'm not in crisis anymore but as it was very Clomid related I'm hoping that if I put a safety net into action now  then I won't have to find myself in that dark hole again. ( I went into a deep dark depression, remnants of which are still visible in my earlier blogs) That appointment is on February 24th at 9am.

The second appointment was the referral that the gyno that I saw a couple of weeks ago.  I am VERY excited for this one! It is a doctor who specializes in Endometriosis and PCOS and he has scheduled off 50 min for me!  I don't think I have spoken with my fertility doctor for 50 min. in TOTAL counting all the times I have been to that clinic! So I am pretty stoked for that one - hoping to get some answers finally! Let's get the ball rolling! That appointment is on March 15th at 10am.

So I'm excited! It's going to be good! Things will get going again, and I can have my baby-focus back :D

Please comment - hearing from you makes me happy!


D and I have always had the same vision of our ideal future.

 Our Utopia.

The ideal place for raising children, living organically, and spreading peace and love to those who we meet.

This mutual dream has held us together during some pretty rough patches. I think it's so important to have the same vision for the future, and while our present seems to indicate that we are quite opposite, our shared vision always manages to prove to me that our differences now will become our strengths then.

Obviously, having children is a big part of our mutual hope and dream for our future.

But we have other some very specific desires as well.

Right now we reside in the concrete jungle that is Toronto, Ontario.   And while we live outside of the downtown core, and thus we have more trees and grass up here, we still can't look around us without seeing towering apartment and condo buildings.

And we hate it. H.A.T.E.
We hate the traffic and the noise and the ignorance and rudeness.
We hate the rush and the bustle.

Our Utopia?
We hope to buy a parcel of land - SOON.
It's pretty expensive, even further out from the city, to get a decent parcel with a fair amount of acreage , but we are saving up and also keeping our eye on foreclosures/land auctions etc.

Once we have said parcel of land, we will probably be completely broke, thus having to start saving again to build our home on it.  I'm kind of excited to be "land poor" though - we plan to buy a trailer (and use my interior deco skills and D's handyman skills to supe it up so it's the coolest trailer you everdidsee) to live in until we can build what we want. We haven't fully agreed on what style of home we'd like to live in, but treehouses, log homes, and underground bunkers have all been discussed.

We will plant seeds, have *some* farm animals, for milk and eggs (working on D to become a veggie. Almost there).  

I'm also thinking I may like  to be able to homeschool my kids.  This is not something I am 100% decided on though. I feel that social interaction is absolutely vital and would not like to take that away from my children however if our plan goes as we hope, we would have not just our family living on our land.

We would also open our land up to like minded individuals and ideally have a co-op/commune/kibbutz type environment going.  All of us working to sustain ourselves and our happy, peaceful lifestyle.  Away from violence, away from hatred, away from intolerance.

Anyone interested? 

I know, I know. We should've been hippies. Man, we would've made great hippies...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Overlaping on Valentine's Day

 So, today is Valentine's Day.

I typically have a hard time on V-Day - always have.  When I was in high school I never got a "Valentine-o-gram" like everyone else (the boys and girls schools would have booths set up the week leading up to v-day and you could buy these little packages for guys at your brother school and vice versa).

My boyfriends have always seemed to be really nonchalant about Valentine's Day as well - I don't know how a romantic sap like me keeps winding up with men who don't have a romantic bone in their bodies.

But this year I have made up my mind. I will have a good Valentine's Day. And, as my post from yesterday reminded me, I looked to Ani to refresh my romantic feelings and lovey-dovey ness towards D.

There are a bunch of Ani songs that I identify with this relationship of mine.  Some when I'm in an angry mood, some if I'm sad, and a lot when I'm happy too.  This one in particular rings really true to me. It's the ringtone on my cell when D calls. It's the song I listen to when I have qualms/fears/doubts about why I'm still here.

Here are the lyrics:


I search your profile
for a translation
I study the conversation
like a map
'cause I know there is strength
in the differences between us
and I know there is comfort
where we overlap

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your sillouette
I hope
you have got all night
'cause I'm not done looking,
no, I'm not done looking yet

each one of us
wants a piece of the action
you can hear it in what we say
you can see it in what we do
we negotiate with chaos
for some sense of satisfaction
if you won't give it to me
at least give me a better view

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your sillouette
I hope
you have got all night
'cause I'm not done looking
I'm not done looking yet

I build each one of my songs
out of glass
so you can see me inside of them
I suppose
or you could just leave the image of me
in the backround, I guess
and watch your own reflection superimposed

I build each one of my days out of hope
and I give that hope your name
and I don't know you that well
but it don't take much to tell
either you don't have the balls
or you don't feel the same

come here
stand in front of the light
stand still
so I can see your sillouette
I hope
you have got all night
'cause I'm not done looking
no, I'm not done looking yet

I seach your profile for a translation
I study the conversation like a map
'cause I know there is strength
in the differences between us
and I know there is comfort
where we overlap

Here's a video with a recorded version of the song...

Here's an amazing video - same song but live.  She's better live than on CD I think. I always feel so connected to her when I'm in her audience. Sorry for the repetition, but she's so amazing live, and I love the casual way this video begins.

I hope you enjoyed, and I wish you all a very very Happy Valentine's Day!
For my single readers - one thing I like about Valentine's Day is that you can have more than one Valentine when you're single! Valentine it up today! Make your BFF your Valentine. Or find one of those "lock&key" Valentine parties at a club & live it up! :D

Please comment - hearing from you makes me happy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My solution to most any issue in my life - - including writer's block!

We draw inspiration from all around us, from imagery, nature, books, movies - all these things allow our minds to create and imagine.

For me, a major source of inspiration is music, and in particular the music of Ani Difranco.

I started listening to Ani (yes, we are on a first name basis - in my mind anyways) a LOOOOONGG time ago.  I was in the 6th grade, and despite the fact that back then I didn't really understand what many of her lyrics meant, the ones that I did shook me to my core.  They were so powerful, but so simple.  They rolled off my tongue so simply, as if I had written them myself.

When I started teaching myself to play the guitar, originally I had planned to be able to play Ani songs - which I quickly realized was just NOT going to happen.  Such talent! I am awestruck by the sounds that she creates with her voice, her body and her guitar - and try as I might I have not been able to grasp the unique method in which she plays.  Only a few songs are 'easy' enough for me to manage, and even those (that I have played a million times over) escape me after months of not practicing.

I was pondering, not so patiently, about what to base my next post on when Ani's voice came to me through my laptop speakers...

"I was blessed with a birth and a death, and I guess I just want some say in between.
don't you understand? in the day to day and the face to face -
I have to act just as strong as I can just to preserve a place where I can be who I am.
so if you still know how talk to me now." 
Ani DiFranco (her first album, despite what it says on Amazon it was put out in 1990)

Isn't she amazing?

 As I said, I started listening to Ani about 17  (1993/94) years ago.  She came out with her first album "Ani Difranco" in 1990 but I quickly caught up - she had already come out with 5 CD's by 1993 and once I had purchased my first Ani CD, Like I said, I was hooked and bought the previous 4 the next day.

Ani was there for me during my darkest times.  And this morning while faced with a completely blank mind she reached out and reminded me of an old habit that I have let go despite the fact that I think it's probably the healthiest habit I have ever taught myself. 

When I was in despair I always, without fail or falter, turned to Ani for answers.   I would literally talk to her - as she instructs me to in the song I shared with you above.   And everytime I did I came out more level headed, confident and self-aware. 

So now, my dear readers, I am want to share my inspriational idol...
the woman that I aspire to be "when I grow up"....

I was originally going to do a whole series of  "Ani" posts but now, after having written this one, I'm realizing that the power of Ani is best sprinkled in, appropriately and carefully - the same way she sprinkles her music with intellectuality, romance, romance-gone-wrong, politics and universal love. 

 Please comment!  With this post I am especially curious about feedback. (not that I am not already becoming totally obsessed with the amount of comments I get on other posts :P)

Do you love her as much as I do? Do you already know all about her?
Please, if you are a fellow Ani-lover then let me know! We can share the love!
Also, if you have a particular song you would like to hear me explore/relate to/tell you my story about, I'd be so into that! Fuse my Muse =)

ps. in case you want to do some follow up on your own....

You can go to Ani's webiste here.
You can visit the record label she started (which will be a whole other post!) here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Shit. I'm 19 minutes late.
It's still Wednesday somewhere right?
Please forgive -photo choice was hard!

Man. I miss simplicity.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I have a story to tell you....

 Or rather, a series of short stories.

One of the ways that I am combating some of the feelings that I have about my uncle's condition and that whole complicated situation is by writing a blog that was inspired by his imagination and coping skills. 

One of the things that happened just before I stopped going to the hospital on a very regular (few times a week) basis was that my uncle started telling these stories.  Hilarious stories that he was making up involving these two teddy bears that someone brought him.  He would use the teddy bears to express his own fears/pains/concerns when it started getting harder for him to voice his problems.  One example: he had lost the ability to get up and go to the bathroom and had been put in adult diapers so he decided that he's find the humor in the situation and made up a story that his bear was feeling left out because he was the only one in the ward not wearing a diaper.  He asked my mom to get a little towel for him and he actually fastened the towel to the bear as if it were a diaper. To make the bear feel like it fit in.  At first I thought it was strange - a grown man, my uncle, playing with stuffed animals? But the more I listened to the stories the more I understood.
It was a coping mechanism for him - and a good one at that.  The stories brought (and still occasionaly bring) laughter to our family when really there is nothing to laugh at.

So I started writing them down. Not formally, just little notes here and there so that I would remember them long after he's gone.

When I started this blog I thought to myself, my uncle really wanted these stories to provide comfort to other families, especially families with children undergoing treatment for cancer. What better way at reaching out to the masses than a blog?

He is very adamant on creating good out of bad situations.  And also on the importance of having fun every day.  These stories have become his form of  fun - thinking up new adventures for the teddy bears. Now I'm making them my weekly fun - doing something nice to commemorate my uncle and  at the same time brushing up on something I love - writing, and in particular fictional stories for children.

I've been keeping the two blogs separate for pretty obvious reasons. Some of the things I talk about on So Crazy I'm Sane are just not.. umm... family friendly.  My parents are reading the stories about the bears, and they are sharing the blog site with many of their friends.  I didn't want the two connected - I didn't want their friends finding my blog - or even worse, having my parents find my blog.  But after much testing and studying of the intricacies of the blogger search engine and privacy settings I have decided to let Juri and the Bears out of their closet.  And if by doing this I am inadvertantly letting my alter ego, NaVe (read:the REAL me) out of the closet, then so be it. Que sera, sera. 

I invite you all to read along, comment if you would like, but PLEASE keep in mind that I'm leading a slightly twisted, convoluted double life and would be DEVASTATED if my two worlds came hurling together... so if you comment please help me maintain my anonymity.

There will be a new adventure once a week, I usually try to post on the weekend, so if you have a few extra minutes - there's only 3 chapters up so far so not too much to catch up on ;) 

Hope you all enjoy :) Pass the word along if you know ANYONE who you think may find comfort in a bit humor in a tragic situation.
Click here to visit Juri and the Bears                             

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Newest Creation

I was thinking...
It would be great if I could bring Topper with me to visit my uncle.
He'd provide a buffer, and everyone would love him off.


he's a cat.

And cat's don't really enjoy being put on a leash and paraded in front of people.
The few times I have taken him outside, the only reason he tolerated (mildly!) it all was because his buddies Bronx and Atilla were there, and they were attached to us by a thick string as well.  Wasn't so demeaning that way. (you can watch that video in my YouTube widget above by the way!)

But to take him to the hospital and display him like that? He would not have that. No way.
Only a creature who lives soley to please it's human would do that.
A.K.A.  - a dog.

Topper would make the coolest looking dog.
White with blond streaks and blue eyes.

Now if only I could figure out how to do it in real life and not just on photoshop.

I'll bet Paris Hilton would want one.

Too little to leave out... a post-post update.

I thought some of you who had been dedicated enough to read all three parts of Too Much for Words would like an update on today's visit....  and if you haven't read - you can read part one, part two and part three by clicking on em.

Today's visit was actually really good!

My uncle felt decent enough to be put into a chair so we wheeled him down to this atrium area in the hospital where there is a weekly concert on Sundays.
 He was tired but said he enjoyed the music and company.
No drama, no fuss.

I feel (physically) like ab-so-lute SHITE right now... lotsa walking/standing up...
but my heart feels happy.Well - happy-er anyways.

Guess this is what doing the "right" thing feels like.

ps. to those of you who read/commented on parts one, two or three,  thank you so much for reaching out!  You are the reason blogging (and tweeting) has become my new favourite hobby!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Too much for words - Part Three

OK - Here it comes.  The final chapter of this WAAAAYYY too long post.
For those of you just joining in the drama now, you can read part one here and part two here.  

I promise to be more upbeat in the next few posts to make up for these last few.

Thanks for reading & not unfollowing me during this rant :)
Here goes.

When I started to realize that I couldn't continue to live my life based on the doctor's (inaccurate)predictions for his life, I basically tried to have a little bit of my normal life (summer)back. But every time I did anything that was out of the city (D and I are big into camping and usually go on at least 5-6 trips per summer) I felt this horrible pit in my stomach like I should be by his side.  So I resolved to spend as much time there as I could.  I was not in the greatest state health wise myself, was waiting for my laproscopy in July, but I tried to get there at least 4-5 times a week.  I'd bring my guitar and play and sing for him.  At first he really seemed to like it.

Then I had to take several weeks off due to my laproscopy. And the pain didn't really get any better even after they removed the endo.  I started getting back into the habit of going there as often as possible, carrying my guitar on the bus despite the pain I was in.

And then he started expressing that he wasn't enjoying my little concerts anymore. And I started getting back the feelings of resentment that I had felt towards him in my youth.  Those feelings didn't just come from his criticism of me though.  I started realizing the my mother is pretty much not available to me EVER anymore because she stays by his side for 10-12 hours a day (despite the fact that she has MS and should be trying to preserve her energy).  She has become completely one track minded, and although I understand that he is her brother, and her baby brother at that, I just really think that she needs some perspective on the whole situation.

My mom got a little does of reality a few months ago.  One of her 'friends' decided to turn against her and started telling my uncle that my mother is trying to kill him (this was shortly after he was moved into palliative care). She caused a HUGE drama, which I won't get into, but I'll just say that my uncle basically spat on my parents, who had been his sole care-givers and his power of attorney since this all started, and said that he was revoking their rights, closed the accounts that my mom was using for funding his care, and accused my father (who lovingly shaved and fed him daily, and kept track of his finances, paid his bills etcetc) of stealing money from his account.

For a few weeks I was the rational one in the family, saying that he is sick and that's why he's so easily misled by this 'friend' of my mom's .  But deep down I thought that this separation was good.  My parents realized that they had been going waaaaayyy overboard, and that they needed to take a step back and start living their own lives again.   At one point during this time period I said to my mom,"Do you believe that if the situations were reversed that your brother would give up HIS WHOLE LIFE to stay by your bedside?"  She responded, "I know he would not."

She has literally given up on calling back her friends, going out for lunch with her daughter, rarely joins the family for meals, stopped talking to her daughter about anything other than his illness, stopped talking to anyone about anything other than his illness.  My father, who has his own bag of issues as well, spends all day at work and then shleps down to the hospital daily to feed him dinner.  Because my mother does not believe that the hospital can care for him adequately.  Nor does she believe that any of the caregivers they have interviewed can do a good enough job.

All that would be fine(ish), except for the fact that my mom pretty much expects me to feel the same way she does.   She makes me feel like I am a bad person because I'm continuing on with my life and not spending every minute thinking about this horribly bad and sad situation.  She appears to think that the pain that I have almost every day of my life is not justification enough to stay away.  And she also gives the perception that she feels I am being heartless, cold and invalid in my feelings about the past.

It may seem that way - and I'm the first to admit my flaws - but I really am having a hard time seeing a good outcome of me getting close to him now that he is on his death bed. The fact that he wants to become a good uncle now is a sweet sentiment, but unfortunately I'm too jaded. As usual. And I'm too scared to get close to him now as well.  I'm too scared of the feeling, the void, it will leave when he passes.

And so, I stay away.  I do a weekly visit, stay a short time, and allow D to deflect attention from me by monopolizing the conversation.  But the phone calls from my mom telling me about how he's sorry about the past etc etc, those are starting to get to me anyways.

I have never gotten along trendously well with my mom, but I miss the normal kind of not getting along.

This guilt-trip, overstressed, overtired, overworked kind of not getting along is too much for me.  And so I avoid.  Whenever I can.

That was my point - here comes the latest case:
This is what I wrote after the last time I went down there (last Sunday).

Yesterday I went down to see my uncle,  feeling like total shit, nauseous, dizzy, the whole works. D started complaining about the whole ordeal as well (I guess he's sick of being a deflector for me) and then we got there and there was no parking...

So I called my Dad to ask if my uncle was even awake, if I should shelp my ass from a  street parking spot on the other side of the world too come there. His cell was off.  I couldn't remember the extention # for the hospital room. So I called my mom.

She immediately started with attitude. I don't know why. She answered the phone sounding sweet and then switched to sour when she heard it was me. Great. Told her my dilemma.  Asked her to call Dad & tell him to call me.  She refused to even hear what I said and kept insisting that there must be parking and that I am just not looking hard enough.  Then told me I couldn't find parking because I "always insist on going there at the worst times". I was getting annoyed. I asked for the number myself so I could call. She spat it out at me and then hung up.  Great.

I called the room.  No answer.  No answer on Dad's cell still.  Called my mom again.
Her suggestion. 
"Why don't you ask D to drop you off and circle around until he finds parking".
"I'm dizzy mom. I don't want to walk alone through the hospital. I want him to be with me or even better push me in a chair." (I also don't wanna make him my hired chauffeur.)
"Hrmph... I see. "
I'm not feeling well. I don't know what else to say to her. I sit in silence.
"I know you can find parking. Just keep looking okay?"
"Fine. I'll look a while longer. If I can't find it I'm going home."
"Bye." Click. She hung up on my again.

So now, I just really really don't wanna go in at all. I want my bed. I want my duvet. I want to maintain my sanity.

BUT I try anyways.

"D? Can you drop me off at the door and then shlep back alone from the street parking spot on the other side of the world"  Cringe.
Squeeling tires out of store parking we were sitting in, and now pulling up beside  side door to hospital. I get up out of the car & as I stood up this bolt of lighting type pain hit my right ovary.  I puked all over myself, the sidewalk, and a bit onto an old lady's shoe.
Luckily I hadn't moved away from the van.  I plonked back down into my seat, pulled my pukey scarf off my neck & literally threw it in the garbage (D is a reflex puker. He sees/smells it, he pukes. I was so not in the mood for that)
And we came home.

What do you think my mom said this morning when I told her what happened and why I wasn't answer my phone all evening when they were obsessively calling and calling?
"Your father was looking all over for you. You should have called him or went to found him. He could have helped."

Helped what... helped me puke? I can handle that on my own thankyouverymuch.

Anyhow. That's the story. And the reason I 'wimped' out this time.

BUT  - Tomorrow is Sunday. I am going to try again.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Too much for words - Part two

Hello my faithful followers,
Here is part two.... for those of you who missed part one - you can read it here.

I'm new at this blogging thing, and am trying to make my posts "flow" together as well as possible, but this is my first time doing a multi-part post, so bare with me if it's a bit lumpy.

So I had just started telling you all about how my uncle and I were starting to get closer and realize some of our similarities in hobbies/talents.

We performed together at a tribute to Slovak Jewish Poetry (I sang, he played the guitar) I also tried to become a bit involved in the theater that he, my parents and their friends were involved in.  I started to loosen up around him.  I tried to help him decorate his new condo - even though my decorating guru's and teachers told me to never work for family (and they were right; that was a slightly trying experience... We spent 6 hours at IKEA picking out window treatments for his bedroom, only to have him return them the next day because they just weren't 'right'. Much more frustrating because I hadn't charged by the hour due to the fact that he is family)

He seemed to start trying too at this point.  He started living his life. His new condo was the first normal thing he had done in a long time.  Before, he had been living an eccentrically "bare" life. Void of ALL things material. Even though he had more than enough money (he's very intelligent and makes good money) he lived in a crappy apartment, never bought himself any 'luxury' items (ie. FURNITURE! A BED!?!?). Even to this day, his 'new'(8 months) condo has only a bed frame and mattress pad(I have NO clue how he slept like that) with some drawers & a dining room table & chairs. No couch. No rugs. Nothing on the walls.  And he seemed to really not mind. He began to reach out to my mom again, through the poetry and the theater, I got involved too and enjoyed working with him on his amazing songs.  I will upload some soon so you can hear.  It's not in english but still quite beautiful melodically. His poetry is unlike anything I have ever heard.  He's actually writing a song right now (about me... flattered but don't know how to handle the emotion, as usual).  The lyrics are amazing. His brain works a very interesting way, even now in his weakened state. He's a total free spirit and very spiritually gifted.  I have always (even through the hard times) admired that in him.

And here came the biggest fail our little family has experienced to date.  He was in Slovakia with the theater group preforming their latest production. This was the trip of a lifetime - him and his sister together in their homeland again. And they were also traveling to Israel together for the play. This was a huge deal for them all. My parents have not been back to Israel since the summer of 1968 when the Russians occupied Czechoslovakia while they were there on a summer student trip and they were not allowed to return home. (That story is actually what the play that they were there to perform was based on.) This was an amazing experience for them to share.  But tragedy struck - they were out for a group meal and he fainted.  He was taken to the hospital where they diagnosed him with Glioblastoma. Then he was flown home, and I was "the only family he had"(my mom's words) in Canada, so I tried to help organize his medical stuff.  But he pushed me away, and told me, not to visit him in the hospital.  I mostly ignored him and went anyways for the most part but it was hard.  The hospital had the audacity to send him home after a day or two of observation.  And he fainted again.  And this time he never got back up.

My parents stayed to finish the rest of the theater's tour, and came home a few weeks later, and his condition got really bad for a while. My mom never saw him standing again after that.   For about 2 months the doctors were telling us he only had 24-48 hours to live.  It was really insane.  That went on for a while, but then he started to get more stable.

This was the start of the summer. His condition has since stabilized considerably.  Meaning, he is still dying, he is still completely paralyzed on the left side of his body, but there is no "deadline" now.
As horrible as it sounds, it is almost harder this way.  He is not living right now.  He's a beautiful mind stuck in a useless body. And he's starting to not realize that - his mind is refusing to admit that his body doesn't serve him anymore.

Part three coming tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Too much for words - Part one

Before you start reading this post, I ask that you please get into your most non-judgemental  state of mind.  I will be bringing up topics that are sensitive and hard for me to talk about and face. I actually wrote this three nights ago and have been battling with myself about posting it since then.  I have decided it's better to let things out than keep them in.

I have a really bad habit that I was hoping to break this year.

I avoid things that are too emotionally difficult for me.
Things that I should not be avoiding.
And I do it much more often lately because when I am physically sore I feel like I can't handle almost anything emotionally.
It makes me feel pathetic.

Because this is such a difficult (and long!) topic for me to write about, I'll split it up into parts over the next few days.

This post topic started with my feelings of  guilt surrounding my recent decline in visits to my uncle who has been in the hospital since June 2009.
He is dying of Stage 4 Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer).
He asks for me all the time (reported to me daily by my mom)

I thought it may help me to understand my recent reluctance to go there if I blogged about it (and got some advice from my readers?)

Before you decide that I'm heartless, judge me and sentence me to a life (and afterlife?)of living with guilt - I'll give you some background info.

My uncle moved to Canada when I was 11 years old.  Prior to this, I had been a happy-go-lucky girl, the revered (adopted)only child, and I think that at that point I still liked it. The world as I knew it revolved around me.  There were pleasant afternoons at the art gallery, zoo, harbourfront... But my little world changed drastically when my uncle came to live with us.  No longer was I the center of attention, and although I grew to appreciate the tiny bit of extra freedom that came with that, the arguments and disquiet that it brought to my home was not enough incentive to make it good.

My mom had raised him until he was around 10 or 11 years old and then she immigrated to Canada (from the former Czechoslovakia).She had been pretty much his sole care giver before leaving, as my grandma was sick and in the hospital or away for respite care for much of my uncle's young life.  My mom therefore has always kind of thought of my uncle as childlike, almost as if he and I were brother and sister, rather than uncle and niece.  Which meant, in theory, that I now had to share my mother with a much older (and comlpletely ADULT) brother - who, despite his age, acted like a sullen and resentful teen.

I am still not sure how I feel about that dynamic, but nonetheless, it is/was the way it is/ will be, and so I will explain my dilemmas in relation to that reality.

When I was growing up, in particular when he was first getting used to life in Canada, life was hectic.  There were arguments, there was resentment. There were a lot of things happening in my sheltered little life all of a sudden.  And then he disapeared for a few years. Completely gone from my life, from my mom's life, from our family's life.

And then he was back.
 (this part is all very abridged and vague, but I'm just trying to cover basics. If anyone, for whatever strange reason, is extremely intrigued by this dynamic leave me a comment and I'll write a post about that alone. It's too vast for this story. Which is already too long for it's own good.)

I love my uncle, but I have never really had a relationship with him. I mean, when I was really little and we were visiting Czechoslovakia he played with me and carried me around everywhere... but that was pre-immigration, and things changed so much during that time.

 We had just started getting to know one another before all of this tragic stuff started   If anything, I had once associated a lot of resentment and bitterness with him.  I was constantly reminded of all the times he asked if we could "move" a Jewish holiday because he already had plans with friends that night. Or move a birthday, aniversary, graduation celebration because it didn't fit in with his schedule. He missed countless birthdays, only putting a "sorry it's belated" card in the mail. In the mail. ( even though we live in the same city).And though there was always a little gift of money, and sometimes even a lot, I never felt a connection.  I felt he was doing it because my mother expected him to - not because he really cared.

As of late I have tried to get past all of these things because he's my uncle, because it is important to my mother, and because we seemed to in fact have some things in common. And I'm getting older and starting to really realize that in families sometimes the younger person winds up being the bigger, more mature person.

But lately I'm not doing so well at it.  And this time of need is exactly when I should be doing well at it and being there to support my mom.  But there are things holding me back.

Anyhow, I think that is enough for part one.  Check back tomorrow for part two.  I'll talk more about the time right before he got sick and explain some of my more recent discoveries about our similarities, differences and why I think I'm pulling back. 


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