I haven’t posted much in the last few months, even up to a year with a good reason. This year has been traumatic to say the least. It started out pretty uneventful, but this would change on January 13, 2017. I was getting ready to go to a party when I was talking to my mom and she had a seizure. She gets seizures often but this one was scary and I called 911. They brought an ambulance and sent her to the emergency room. I drove with my dad to the hospital. For two weeks I was on edge not knowing what would happen and the hospital didn’t know. In the meantime I started my new semester of school and became busy with that. They told us she was improving they thought, but not enough to be confident. As it turned out my birthday occurred on January 25 and instead of getting presents and a birthday dinner me and my dad went to the hospital. I was talking to her and she seemed to be listening and I thought she nodded. The social worker told us though that if there was no real improvement in the next few days we would have to move her to a nursing home to recover.
On January 26, I was up doing my homework when my dad called to tell me the hospital called him. Said my mom had a heart attack and to get there NOW. My dad flew down the expressway, and we got there in record time. We walked to the area where my mom was and I sensed something different. Several people walked towards us, including a priest and I knew. Turns out my mom died when they called but didn’t want to tell us until we got there. We said goodbyes to my mother and they called the funeral home in town to pick her up. The next day we had to go there and make the arrangements, which was difficult. The following Wednesday was her wake/funeral and the following day we drove to the cemetery where her cremains were buried. One thing about funerals is that you can see who is there for you and who is not. Several people I thought were decent not only didn’t show, they didn’t even email me condolences. In fact a few bashed my mom. Needless to say I’ll never talk to them again. Others were very kind, including people from the church and library. When my mother died my grandfather (her father) was still alive but in the latter stages of Alzheimers. It was agreed that we wouldn’t tell him. Three weeks later he passed away. Just a month ago my mom’s last blood aunt passed away at 105 (she has one aunt who is an aunt by marriage still living). This aunt was more like a grandmother as she helped raise both my grandmother (mom’s mom) when their parents died, but also my mom). So we had three deaths this year, but of course losing my mom was the worst because she was only 69.
Then the week before Ash Wednesday I got sick, really sick. I have been suffering from severe psoriasis for years and they put me on medicine that helped me go into remission. Life was great until I noticed both the psoriasis and the arthritis coming back, which was odd. I went to the dermatologist and discovered that I had a form of strep and with a serious disease the medicine makes it worse. That Friday I came home from working as a writing instructor and started to feel sick. I started throwing up and all weekend was sick. That Monday I was feeling a little bit better and helped decorate for the Beef dinner on Fat Tuesday at church. I get there and start running a fever and went home to sleep. The next day I couldn’t help at the event as my fever went to 102. I started actually hallucinating which was scary and prevented me from going to church on Ash Wednesday and work all week. By the following week I was feeling better and thought it was over, but nope.
I then got really sick again and went to my doctor. They immediately sent me to the hospital because I had Erythroderma. This is a severe skin disease that kills. I was severely dehydrated and throwing up. When I went to the emergency room they also found out I had a severe kidney infection. So for a month or so I couldn’t eat anything, was cold and couldn’t walk. Yes, on top of everything else my feet swelled and I was unable to walk. I literally had to have my dad help me with basic things like cleaning. Talk about feeling stupid. I slept most of the time or watched tv. So finally around April I started to feel better for about a week then got sick again. I went back to my doctor and he did some x-rays. He did various bloodwork and saw my liver was failing and so was my gall bladder. He told me it looked like I had stage 4 liver cancer but wanted to make sure. I have never been more afraid. Long story short, it was nasty flu that appeared to be causing liver and gall bladder problems. One of the reasons was because I was throwing up everything. He told me to eat oatmeal, which I did and my bloodwork came out okay. Eventually everything went back to normal, except my psoriasis and arthritis. I struggled with those until the fall. I lost over 40 pounds and my hair fell out on top of it. I have never been so sick. Luckily I recovered and everything is back to normal. I’ve even gone back to working out.
Then there is the issue with school. I went back to school to become an addictions counselor along with a licensed professional counseling. Even though I managed to maintain a 4.0 (when I was so sick I did my homework in my bed) they didn’t think I was qualified to be a counselor. Why? who knows, but probably because I said I didn’t want to work in bad areas (and if you follow the news then you know the south side of Chicago is bad). I also made it clear I wanted to work with veterans, and they didn’t like it. I’m checking into the doctorate program for counseling which will allow me to be a counselor and also be a professor.
I can’t wait for 2018. The rest of the year looks like a lot of activities, including going to see Star Wars tomorrow, Christmas Eve mass, Christmas with just my dad and maybe a party on New Years Eve. Then I can say goodbye to this horrible year.