Six years ago... after my boyfriend suffered a near fatal traumatic brain injury, I became a 24/7 caregiver. Five months later he became violent on a home visit. So much so, my son and I had to move from our home almost over night. We found a new home and were quickly installed with the help of many friends. Even with his brain injury he managed to wage a ruthless attack on my character. I was the one who stayed,who took care of him,his house,his dogs,his business...I was there with him every single day for five months. His son was there every night,all night. His friends tried to help,but all fell away after constant family drama. I suspect he is still under the guise of toxic family members.
He is recovered somewhat,only to become his own worst enemy. Being a caregiver is hard enough. I thought I was doing the right thing,the humane thing...instead my son and I suffered our own trauma.
It is an all too common and tragically sad story. On a regular basis the SBPD and other folks who work with TBI's will call and ask me,"what was your experience...what did you do here...here...here...how did you deal with this...this...this???"
To which I reply, "You cannot "reason" with a brain injury. You cannot talk it away...talk it down...talk is useless."
I have said repeatedly..."I did the best I could. Most importantly, be kind to nurses and healthcare proffesionals,help them,be there to help...and then...some times you simply have to know when to say "when"...when people become a danger to themselves and to others...you have to protect yourself,your children...it can break your heart if you let it...so be brave enough to take care of yourself...be brave enough to say,no."
I learned so much about advocating care for another and dealing with the insanity that can ensue within a family during such a tragedy...I could well...write a book!
I came away with a full tool box,a broken heart and a drained body.
(side bar)My son and I have a great life now,but it took hard work and lots of love! Love is after all... all around us!
It was months before this horrific period of my life ended. I was so tired and weak.
A wreck. But apparently not an uncommon wreck...
Is there a national "Caregivers Day" ? (read the next blog)
My adrenals crashed from the stress. Seems our (both genders) hormones can "prune" and dry up as a bi-product of extreme stress. Coupled with Gods little "dagger of love" in the feminine menopause. Which explained why I had become a fatigued wreck. Twenty pounds had mysteriously placed themselves on my buttocks and my arms. The arm thing is really rude of God, don't ya think? My arms looked like legs and my bum looked like a heliport. And it all happened rather suddenly and without mercy. I suffered from painful debilitating fatigue, migraines, hair-loss and a ruthless temper. I already have a disposition like Kate from the "Taming Of The Shrew", so for me to become more ruthless is the accurate description of a nebulous-fire-breathing-Jihad!
When my hair, my favorite physical feature and at times only selling point, started falling out by the handfuls:that was it! I had had it!
I went to see Dr. Van Valen. I love Dr. V. Here is a wonderful man. Laid back, honest, open and he knows a lot about hormones.
I know! Can you believe there is an MD after his name?
The Dr. before him had a rather inflated God complex. Insisting that I not call her by her first name but rather by her last name preceded by "Dr.".
Yepper! I know! I am in menopause but what is her excuse-craggy! I really hate mean women. I may be loud and bossy but I really try not to be mean spirited. She insisted I not have anything to do with my diagnosis and stated, "You have no right."
What the hell!
I have no right over my own body. So she's gone and now we are happily installed with Dr. V. Kind man:will even tell you where to fish.
After about five minutes in my first Appointment with Dr. V. he suggested my hormones were depleted, my thyroid and adrenals had crashed. He put me on Amour thyroid a bio-identical. Within twelve hours I felt more energy. When the results from the blood work came back, BINGO! I had no Estrogen to speak of, low Thyroid, low Progesterone:low everything.
He began to "stack" my bio-identical replacements. He was specific about the pharmacy to use for the Progesterone Cream. San Ysidro Pharmacy
( http://www.sanysidropharmacy.com ) has THE best compound mixer around. Many folks have their compounds shipped all over the world.
After a couple of weeks my hair,skin and temper improved. I began losing my "menopausal 20" and the fatigue is all but gone. I feel "juicy". I feel sexy. I feel girlish and not like a Georgia O'Keefe painting wilting in the dessert of my lost youth.
Sunshine and the "Sunny" D.
Get your D if you want be happy! Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body. You would have to drink ten glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless. Vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body's bones and nervous system. It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs. Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body's ability to activate circulating vitamin D. Be sure to lather on sunscreen after no more then 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure. That's all the direct vitamin D healing you'll need to reap the benefits. So get out there and soak up the vitamin D this summer.
A quick refresher is a trip to the sun bed. I like Unique Tan (www.uniquetan.com 805-965-9097 info) For about fifteen bucks a pop you can get your endorphins charged, your D tank filled and come out with a healthy glow. If you haven't tanned in a tanning bed, wear a good SPF, especially on your face-30+. Try five minutes straight and then apply SPF so you get a direct dose of D.
They sell some nice tanning enhancers, but they are not cheap.
I use the Nivea line of self-tanners. Sun-Kissed Firming Moisturizer ($7.00 at any drug store). Even if you tan easily, buy the "light-medium", it is less orange and gives you a nice glow.
Now with any self-tanner the proof is in the "scrubbing". If you do not scrub your hands, nails and in between your fingers, you will give yourself away.
I use a "brick". It is lightweight solid foam, scrubbing brick. You can get them at the Asian market by Kmart. The brand is PARIS/France. They cost about a buck-fifty and last for about six months. You can also use the brick if you over step your application of the tanner. It is like an eraser.
Lastly, I take beach walks. I am sea-glass hunter and the walk, the air, the sun and water will bring me back to life. The D is in the sunlight and salt-sea air. Early in the morning there is not as much of a need for sunscreen and getting direct sunlight gives you a higher dose of pure D. Try 30 minutes a day before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. trust me. Your bum and your brain will thank you. If you feel really ambitious grab two evenly weighted rocks (1 lb each) and use them as arm weights and when you are done with your walk, just re-deposit the rocks on the shore. How is that for a macrobiotic walk?
Face it, you cannot fight nature you must work with her. She is there in the sun,sea and in a well mixed bio-identical with a sunbed chaser! It is the best cocktail for the best happy hour...ever.Cheers!
**UPDATE: The beach is REALLY tarry at present. Wear your Keds and bring baby oil to clean the tar. Yesterday I was advising poor "black-footed" tourists.
Was there an oil spill?