JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Another Migraine, a Drugged Night, and No More Occupational Therapy

I've been fighting off a migraine for almost a week now. I've had these wierd pains moving around on each side of my head, my neck, my shoulders. And I went to acupunture and have been avoiding triggering foods. I even got *A* to rub stuff on to my back before bed. Still, I woke up at 5am with some of the most intense pain I've ever felt on the left side of my head. I took 2 advil, but it didn't help, so I went downstairs and took 2 aspirin and an Imitrex. It was the first time that I've taken that. I passed out shortly afterwards.

Then, at 6am, my cell phone rings. Then, I hear notification that a voicemail was left, and then another phone call. I was so annoyed, but worried maybe someone had died or something.

It was someone from Mom's occupational therapy company pleading with me to help. Dad cancelled it because there was an error and something was being sent to Mom's facility. She said that they really think that the occupational therapy is helping her, so if we won't go with her company to go somewhere else, but also that they've rectified the situation.

So this morning, I call Dad to see what the story is and he's beligerent - no more occupational therapy because he doesn't see that it helps and he doesn't want to deal with this company anymore. And no more chinese moss either.

I am so angry with him and just upset that he is so unwilling to try things to help Mom. But, on an up note, my migraine has gone away completely.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I've Come a Long Way

I met with my research team this morning, then my therapist, then a workout, then lunch with *A*. I realized that I really have come a long way. Six months ago, I was barely functioning, I was so overcome with PTSD. And now, I have this whole new perspective on things. Don't get me wrong, it is still a very hard time. But, I feel like I've most past the surviving phase, and I'm slowly but surely learning how to live again.

Here's my healthy new perspective/my intention: I want to be able to enjoy the blessings of the here and now and not get lost in my/my family suffering. I want to work on being connected to others (instead of losing my focus on how unconnected we are). I want to progress with my work and my research. I want to be clear about boundaries with *A*. I don't want to overanalyze everything or put myself under so much pressure to do things perfectly.

Of course, there are always bumps in the road: Tonight at dinner (my friend took me to my favorite sushi place for my birthday), there was a super super crazy woman who went and stood right next to my car. She had tin foil on her head; a very (untreated) schizophrenic looking woman. And since my neighbor was murdered by a schizophrenic last January, this freaked me out. THEN when I drove home, a white truck drove by really fast just like the murder drove.

But, I feel comforted that *A* is (attemptedly, but I think not helped by my loud typing) sleeping upstairs. And, I went to a coffee shop after dinner and worked on my thesis for an hour. Plus, and I know this is trite, but it is so comforting to have navigation in my car; at the end of the day, I say "home" and the car gives me instructions to go home. Of course, I know the way here; it is just comforting.

Side note: my sister is so appauling. She is blowing my father off completely it seems for Yom Kippur when she and I made a deal that I would take him for Rosh Hashana if she would for Yom Kippur. So, now he'll be totally alone. AND, she had the chutzpah to ask Dad again to take Mom's car, especially when she knows that I need this to take care of Mom in December. AND, she calls me up all upset like because the nurse I hired couldn't make it to Mom's tonight. For some reason, even though my sis agreed to take Mom Friday and Saturdays only, now all of sudden she shows up. (My brother-in-law gave me some spiel before I left town that I'm supposed to move back to KC.) Anyway, oyoyoyoyoy. Dad said to me on the phone: I've never depended on your sister, and I don't think that I ever will.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Need To Ask For What I Need

What a whirlwind. I am back home now after throwing all of my stuff together and flying my sedated dog with me. *A* came to pick us up at the airport, and we took the scenic way home which took twice as long, but was a beautiful drive along the coast. But, I ended up eating chile rellenos for lunch, which I love but are full of cheese which both really upsets my stomach and can trigger a migraine. And then, I ate dinner really late when I wasn't hungry, but *A* was, and I don't know why I subconsciously try to be so easy to get along with and erase my own needs instead of acknowledging to myself and to others what my needs are and then trying to be compromising.

I feel like crap this morning. I slept badly having skipped my night time routine because *A* was already ready to go to bed and again I just erased my own needs. And my digestive system is all out of whack. And there are crises at work. And, I'm just disoriented altogether. I know that I had planned to hit the ground running and try to get a draft of my thesis out, but I think I may have to re-prioritize again and put some serious time into taking care of myself again.

I did the same thing also last week with my friend, Kathy. When I thought she was blowing me off, instead of just saying it and that I wanted to see her, I tried to pretend like there wasn't an issue and erased my needs. In the end, I got angry when she was waiting for me to call her to tell her where to meet.

I think that I do this because I just assume that my needs aren't going to get met. So, when I care about something, I try not to need it too much because I try to prepare to lose it. I get lost in my attachment to people, to feelings, etc. instead of being able to enjoy them in the present moment. The Jewish part of me that just gets neurotic about this stuff needs to be balanced out with the Buddhist parts of me that practice finding happiness in the present moment.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saying Goodbye, Going Away

I had tried to plan another visit for Mom with her Mom today, but I couldn't get my sister or anyone else to help me. So, I went to Grandma's finally by myself and brought my dog. Grandma was sleeping, but the nurse said that maybe I should wake her since they need to wake her soon anyway.

She was facing the wall though, so even though I woke her, I couldn't really talk to her. And, then when I got them to move her, there wasn't room to put the dog on the bed. I tried but Grandma certainly didn't appreciate the dog on her, even though the dog gave her kisses on her hand. Grandma was just muttering and moaning.

Then, I called the Alzheimer's Association to ask a few questions. I asked how long Grandma would go on like this, and the guy on the hotline said that since hospice has been ordered, probably she'll die within 6 months, but it could go much quicker, it is hard to say. Then, he said something like my mom could live for another 10 years if she were on medication, which broke my heard. I wish he wouldn't have said. He seemed to be a volunteer though, and his mom has Alzheimer's too, so I appreciate his generocity of time.

When I told Mom again that I have to go back home tomorrow, she said "to study right?" I was proud that she remembers this about me. She seemed very calm about the whole thing. When I tucked her into bed though, I told her that I wouldn't see her for a little while because I'm flying out tomorrow, I could see that her eyes were a little red, like she was holding back tears. I told her that there would be someone there to tuck her in tomorrow night though.

I cried all the way home, driving horribly, but here I am trying to not cry in front of my dad even though I'm tempted to just yell at him for not keeping Mom at least on the chinese moss, not to mention at least try some of the medications she's been prescribed, and maybe think about something she could take to help with her anxiety level. But, I'm going to get myself together and finish packing and drag my sorry tuchus and my dog's onto the plane tomorrow to go home.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me: Its Nice To Be Appreciated

Since its my birthday, I'm getting of all these little cards and tokens from friends and family, and it makes me feel very special.

Here's what my dad wrote in the card he gave me today: "Your mother and I are very proud of you. We always know that we can depend on you which is very comforting. Thank you for being there for us in our hour of need. Love, Mom and Dad." It is kind of sweet that he thought about her while writing the card, and interesting that he signs her name when clearly she never even saw this card. His birthday is in a couple of weeks, and I think that maybe I should get a card for him from Mom and have her sign it.

My sister on the other hand, asked me last night to have Mom try on this outfit while I was there tucking her. I don't think she realizes how much work that is, especially because it will confuse Mom to put on clothes and then take them right off. Then, she has the chutzpah to call me this morning and leave a message saying "I didn't hear back from you last night. Did you get to do it?" She doesn't even acknowledge its my birthday. But she is making brisket tonight for us all and a birthday cake (my niece insisted!).


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Got Help For Mom in Evenings

So, I've been pretty nervous about what will happen to Mom when I leave. The social worker who I brought in for help (without cost) referred me to her organization's homecare department, and I set up to have someone hired to take over some of the things that I do for Mom.

I met last night for the first time with the homecare worker assigned to me by Jewish Family Services to work with my Mom. She was fabulous. She has a lot of experience, was very nice and relatable to Mom. She has a little dog that she'll bring in to visit with Mom, and she likes to give hand and foot massages to her clients. It'll cost me $18/hour, but since I'll only have her come in for a few hours Sunday - Thursday and only until we move Mom into the new place in December, it really is worth it! My sister said that she'll take Mom Friday and Saturday nights, and I hope that she'll actually do this.

Last night, she went through the whole routine with me, and I just feel so releaved. Mom seemed very comfortable with her and with me going back home on Sunday. Despite that my Dad insists that Mom'll go off the chinese moss altogether when I leave unless he sees a significant decline immediately afterwards. It makes me really frustrated because I think that this has really stablized Mom, and if she declines, there's no turning back.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Relationships: Do They Have to Be So Gendered?

I've been having this ridiculous argument with my friend on his myspace blog about how relationships are gendered. He claims that men generally don't verbally communicate and aren't emotionally available and that women should just accept that this is the way that men; all that we can do is provide positive reinforcement when they take baby steps toward being a full partner in a healthy relationship. I've been claiming that the goal should be an equal partnership, which is only possible with healthy, open, and honest communication.

And then yesterday, my therapist starts talking about how relationships are gendered, and that if I don't want to put up with men being insensitive and not communicating, then I just shouldn't be in a relationship for awhile. She also referred me to the book "If Men Could Talk" (

Is this really it? If I want a heterosexual, romantic relationship, then I have to be treated badly with the hopes that I can eventually "train" the guy?

Here's my question to you, all of my fabulous blog readers out there: Are you (or have you ever been) in a relationship that didn't follow this? Give a girl a better model!


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Inspiration: Took Mom to See Grandma

Last night, my friend Kathy took me out to dinner, somewhat spontaneously, at one of the nicest places in town. It is a place that my grandmother and I used to frequent when I was taking care of her, and being there reminded me of being with her, especially when we ordered this dessert that she and I used to share, a creme bruele trio (vanilla, chocolate, almond amaratto). Kathy is quiting smoking, and I'm so inspired by her drive to take better care of herself and to be constantly making steps forward to grow in her life.

So, when I left, I was inspired to do something that I thought I wouldn't ever do again. I went to visit Grandma. I almost gave up before getting in because a bunch of the doors were locked because it was after 6pm. But, I finally got in and went down to see her. Even though she was in her pajamas in bed and the lights were out, she responded to me this time, not out of fear, but relating to me as another human being. I don't think that she recognized me, although there were some inclings that maybe she did: she kept trying to tell me things that I couldn't make out - like something about books and that she wants to be together and something about a baby (she used to confuse me with my sister, who has a toddler). And when I told her that I was going to see her daughter, she really responded. I can't quite explain what it was, but I could tell that this meant something to her.

When I got back to the car, I called my sister and asked her if she wanted to help me bring Mom to see Grandma. She gave me a hard time about it at first, telling me that she thinks she may have a bit of a cold. I told her that lots of residents at Mom's have colds and that she does fine,
and that if Grandma got sick, it might be a blessing.

"What do you mean by that?" my sister angrily responded. I wanted to say firmly that um, hello, Grandma is in end stage of Alzheimer's, that she's suffering, that she is clearly going to die sometime soon (well could take up to a couple years). I told Julie to just tell me if she was in or not, and she said she'd call me back.

She finally calls when I'm walking on to Mom's floor to tell me that she's in. I tell her to go to Grandma's, get her hearing aids in, turn on the light, move the mattress thing that is next to her bed in case she falls out (even though there's a bar up, I think Grandma wails around a lot).

So, I high tail Mom over there (it is about 20 minutes between Mom and Grandma's). I ask Mom if she'd like to visit her mother and explain that Grandma is getting old and that she hasn't been feeling well. Mom asks me what she should say to her mother and asks if Grandma knows that Mom is in this facility. I tell Mom that she can tell her Mom all about it when she sees her. Mom asks how long Grandma has been in her home, and I tell her "since she's been back from Florida (because Mom has very little sense of time, so she won't realize that Grandma doesn't live at her house anymore)." I try to keep everything honest, but easier to digest.

By this time, it is dark outside, and Mom is a little confused about what we're doing. Mom looks a little nervous when she sees that we're this hospital looking nursing home. But, she clearly wants to see her Mom. When she walks into Grandma's room, my sister is there with her 5 year old daughter. Mom walks up to Grandma and says "hi mom. Its [name]. I love you." She repeats "I love you" several times. It was so sweet to watch.

My sister was really good about doing a smoke and mirrors of everything's fine. She kept saying, "well Grandma looks pretty tired because its late, but I know she's really happy to see you." Grandma still talked a little bit, but was about ready to sleep at this point. I think it was good though to have that excuse that Grandma's not communicating well because its late and she's tired instead of because she no longer has the ability.

We didn't stay long. We all kissed Grandma goodbye. When Mom and I walked out, I asked her, "What do you think?" Mom said, "its hard to see her like that." But, she didn't cry; she took it pretty well. I suggested that we all go out for ice cream, in order to give Mom a happy memory in her head before bed.

Mom really enjoyed it; we got her key lime and macademia nut frozen custard (some of her favorite). When she finished, my sister said, "are you done"? Mom: "Just a minute." She took out the spoon and drank the last bit of melted custard.

When I took her back, she told one of the care managers that it was hard to see her mother. Mom didn't want to go to bed, even though it was past her regular bedtime. So, I put on a Barbara Streisand concert DVD, and we called my Dad so she could tell him hello.

Finally, I got her to bed around 10:30pm. Then, I went to find the med tech to get her melatonin, but he told me that there is no melatonin to give her because they ran out. He showed me a large pile of medications that had run out and said he didn't know when the pharmacy was going to get there to refill them. I asked, well is there some sort of other sleeping pill that we can give her? He gave me the run around, so finally I just went across the street to a 24 hour pharmacy and bought some. It was so ridiuclous, and I didn't want her to wake up and think about her Mom and be upset. But, I didn't get out of there until 11:00!

Mom didn't mind being woken up though. After I gave her the pill and kissed her goodnight, she said "aren't you forgetting something?" I said, "of course, I need to tuck you in." So, I ruffled her sheets and gave her a kiss and said "I love you. Have sweet dreams." Then, she went right to sleep.

Thanks Kathy, for your support and your inspiration. I'm so glad that I took Mom to see Grandma.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

At Least We Have This Time Together

I think part of why I've been so upset and emotional these last few days is that I realize that when I come back to KC in December to move to her to the new facility, who knows where she'll be in the disease: This might be my last time with my mom. Last night, I arrived particuarly early and we went for a walk in the part next to her facility.

I told her: "Mom, a week from Sunday I'm going back to California." Mom: "That's okay. At least we have this time together." It was so sweet; it makes me want to cry.

After telling me that she'd make it up to visit with Mom last night, my sister showed up with her husband and two kids last night 1/2 hour before Mom likes to get ready for bed. One of the care managers told me that she pointed out to my sister how this will be on mom and that she'll have to come up a lot too. It felt good that the staff was recognizing how much I put into Mom's care and acknowledging that its a good thing.

The people that I work for back at school are treating me like crap all of a sudden and throwing all of this work my way (because THEY are behind in what THEY're supposed to be doing, so I'm expected to just pick it up on top of everything else I do for them). That's my plan for the day :( but I'm trying to remember that I'm lucky to have this job and focus on that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How Can I Cope With All This?

I have had the worst day: I cancelled DSL at Dad's to replace with cable modem because the DSL isn't working properly, which took 1/2 hour and cost $100! Then, I had a 2 1/2 hour conference call where my research team decided that I should do an extra several hours of work because they were too lazy to do their work on schedule. Then, I sat for 2 hours without any other family members bothering to come at Mom's facility where this woman from the Alzheimer's Assn came to talk, and I had to sit across from the executive director, which just made my skin crawl. And, the whole time, I just kept thinking about how I am totally drained, and no longer have the energy to fight with them anymore. I haven't even heard from the ombudsman. And then, the guy I've been seeing totally blows me off, and I know that I didn't see it going anywhere, but I really was looking forward to just being able to feel attractive and alive for like 5 minutes.

How do people do this for years? I am completely exhausted. I feel completely out of balance. And, I have to get up tomorrow and work and tuck Mom into bed. Actually being with Mom I really look forward to. I'm actually really upset about having to leave her. I really cherish our time together, and I can't believe that I'm going to leave next week, and when I come back, who knows how much the disease will have progressed?

I know that I have this tendency to get hormonal and then take it out on the guy in my life, and that's not healthy and I need to stop it. But, I just feel so horrible tonight. It made me feel a little better to talk to my friend Kathy on the phone (thanks K). But, I just feel completely overwhelmed. And, I don't want to keep this ridiculous stress level up this high. I don't want my life to keep being like this. But, I don't see how to change it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Warning: Mom Could Get Kicked Out

The family coordinator from the Alzheimer's Association, who has been fabulously supportive, warned me that if I keep giving the executive director of Mom's facility a hard time, he can kick Mom out. And if that were to happen before the new facility opens, Mom could end up back at Dad's or having to be placed somewhere else in a really bad worst case scenario. She's coming to Mom's facility though on Thursday to talk to families of residents (although the facility has been hiding the publicity a little bit), in what I hope will be the beginning of some coordinated efforts. But, at the very least, she'll come meet Mom afterwards.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Too Much Stress: Another Migraine

The meeting yesterday stressed me out so much that combined with the weather changes (storms here) and probably my consumption of dairy, chocolate, and alcohol (I had a chocolate martini with my friend after tucking my mom into bed), I woke up with a migraine. And somehow today, I'm supposed to do all of this stuff including a conference call for work. I just want to lay down in a dark room and heat up my neck.

I really just can't take this much stress.

The director yesterday b.s.ed me through why all of the retaliation is just coincidental and/or doesn't really exist. Whatever. He also said he's going to call the state ombudsman and have him get involved, which I think is good actually.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

And The Attack

I just got a phone call from a very unhappy sounding executive director of my mom's facility. He says that he wants to meet with me TODAY about my complaints. So, I'm going in to meet with him in a few hours, and I am all of a sudden really nervous. What is he going to say to me? Especially since he wants to meet me without my father; I fear that he's going to try to attack and/or intimidate me. I know that I have to stay strong. I'm going to try to get myself to just write down whatever he says and not say too much because I know that he is really not interested in what happens on Mom's floor; he just wants to shut me up.

Its starting to thunder outside. Very appropriate timing. My life is too much like a movie sometimes.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Blow Off: Email from the Area Supervisor

I got an email reply from the area supervisor today just completely blowing me off by referring me back to the people at Mom's facility. Nothing is going to change. I did have Mom get her melatonin/sleeping pill (one of the problems that I pointed out) when I left - or at least the med tech who was so rude to me last week told me that if I ask for it (and only I) that Mom can get her pill when she goes to sleep and not exactly at 9:45pm. Whatever, this whole thing is so ridiculous. Clearly, she only said that because the area supervisor called and made a big deal about it. I'm so sick of all of this b.s.

I'm not sure if I should keep complaining to the higher ups or just let it go since Mom will be moving. If this continues, I'll almost be forced to file a complaint with the state because they just so openly lie and express that they don't care. It is almost like they're challenging me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

10 Your Assisted Living Facility Won't Tell You

Thanks to Keith at the Alz's Hub for posting this strong article by Stacey Bradford at on problems assisted living facilities. I've experienced many of the problems she listed. We must hold assisted living facilities accountable to take better care of their residents!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mom's Moving!

Dad met with the executive director of a soon to open new Sunrise facility, and he signed up for her to move in when it opens!!!! Finally, my nightmare of her current facility will end...and I can have this companion person that I'm hiring take care of things in the meantime. I feel so releaved.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Few Efforts, But Still A Bad Situation

Especially last night, Mom's facility is making efforts, but I feel like they're clearly trying to appease me and not to really make things better. This makes me worry that when I leave, things will go right back to where they were before. But, I don't know if I can prove this.

I haven't heard back from the area supervisor. I did get Dad to make an appointment to meet with the executive director of the facility that I'd like to move Mom to (only because I bribed him). At the family support group last night, I found out that the Alzheimer's Assoication is no longer recommending Mom's facility. The family coordinator social worker person wants to have a meeting with the administrators at Mom's place, but I don't know how to make that happen. I got a phone call from Mom's new "companion" wanting me to set her hours. I guess I should just go with every night instead of every once in awhile. I don't know what I'm supposed to do from here.

Last night, the lead care manager, who is responsible for Mom, asked if I wanted help getting Mom ready for bed. (I was tempted to say: you mean, do your job?) She was rushed and not overly friendly with Mom. She washed her face in the most ridiculous way possible, and then didn't give her any moisturizer. She didn't seem to know how to get Mom undressed (that Mom can find her own pajamas if you just ask her to, but she can't take off her bra). It is clear that this woman does this as her job and doesn't really care about the residents.

I could call the area supervisor for a third time. OR, I could call her supervisor. I really actually want to file a complaint with the state ombudsman before I leave town, but my friend pointed out last night that I'm leaving in 19 days, so time is running out.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Twelve Steps for Caregivers

I found this on I really like it and think the other caregivers out there might also:

Twelve Steps for Caregivers

1. Although I cannot control the disease process, I need to remember I can control many aspects of how it affects my relative.

2. I need to take care of myself so that I can continue doing the things that are most important.

3. I need to simplify my lifestyle so that my time and energy are available for things that are really important at this time.

4. I need to cultivate the gift of allowing others to help me, because caring for my relative is too big a job to be done by one person.

5. I need to take one day at a time rather than worry about what may or may not happen in the future.

6. I need to structure my day because a consistent schedule makes life easier for me and my relative.

7. I need to have a sense of humor because laughter helps to put things in a more positive perspective.

8. I need to remember that my relative is not being difficult on purpose; rather that his/her behavior and emotions are distorted by the illness.

9. I need to focus on and enjoy what my relative can still do rather than constantly lament over what is gone.

10. I need to increasingly depend upon other relationships for love and support.

11. I need to frequently remind myself that I am doing the best that I can at this very moment.

12. I need to draw upon the Higher Power, which I believe is available to me.

Source: The American Journal of Alzheimer's Care and Related Disorders & Research, Nov/Dec 1989


This Is What Really Scares Me

Check out "The Evil Within" by Keith at the Alzheimer's Hub for a frank story of how bad things can get at a Sunrise assisted living facility "memory care" unit like my mom's. Keith's story often drives me to be so vigilant at Mom's facility because now I know what COULD happen if I'm not. I'm greatful to Keith for taking the time to share his story with me and with the world.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Question: What Can Be Done About Bartholin's Gland Absesses?

Does anyone have any experience with alternative treatments for bartholin's gland absesses. I have suffered with this problem for years, and the only really possible medical treatment at this point would be to have them removed, but I've been told that this is dangerous and undesirable. They're starting to act up again, and I want to avoid having to have them drained in the ER again. One has been marsupulaized. Antiobiotics have never helped at all with this problem, and I do take sitz baths.

Does anyone know of any homeopathic remedies that might be helpful? With online research, I found suggestions for taking (both homeopathic) baryta carb 6c four times a day for up to 3 weeks OR taking belladonna (bell). They didnt' have the former at Wild Oats, but I did a little more research with a book they had there. I got Belladonna 6 and Silicea 6 and will take them both 4x/day and see what happens.

Any other treatments people know about that work for Bartholin's Gland problems?

I recommend the website created by someone who has suffered with this problem.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Treating and Preventing Migraines

I suffer from migraines now about once every two weeks or so, although they are getting somewhat better with the treatments that I've been using. Since I know so many people suffer from migraines and to help me remember what I'm doing that's working, here's a list of what's worked for me:

1. acupunture
2. chiropractor
3. non-drug: taking Petadolex (Butterbur)*, Feverfew, homeopathic rememdies, 5-HTP, and magnesium and calcium (take these two together). Except for the homeopathic remedies, I take these every day as a preventative.
4. migrastick: peppermint aromatherapy oils in general are supposed to help, but this involves rubbing peppermint and lavender oils on temples
5. avoid all alcohol during a migraine or when I feel one coming on, drinking a lot of water
6. Advil 200-400mg 4xs/day
7. lay down with my feet elevated
8. heat on my back
9. Stretch out my back, neck and shoulder muscles
10. Massage these muscles as much as I can -sometimes, I'll get a therapudic massage (during a migraine, cranio-sacrial techniques are best)
11. caffeine - I don't usually consume a lot, so I just make myself a cup of green tea

Still, if I get a migraine, it won't go away fully until I go to sleep.

*Petadolex is often given as a prescription by neurologists, but you can order this pretty cheaply from vitamin shops (try Swanson's).

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I'm Depressed

I feel so powerless against Sunrise, like I can't really make anything substantial change, and it just really makes me feel depressed. As I write this, I realize that I need to connect to other people going through the same thing - although quite frankly, the more that I learn about the system, the more powerless I feel. I can't believe that I'm hiring on my own a "companion" for my mom - firstly, that she would need this in a place that supposed to be taking care of her needs already and secondly that my Dad won't pay for it. I found someone through Jewish Family Services that has my same first name, so that'll be nice for Mom. She's supposed to be one of their best people.

Still, even though I had a really amazing night last night, I didn't have the energy to go out on this set-up date that I had planned. I feel this big crash from last night, like yeah, I can forget about things for a couple of hours, but eventually, I have to come back to hey this b.s. is my reality. I don't know if I'm really going to have the heart to leave in a couple of weeks. It isn't just my mom either - I've really become attached to a lot of the residents at the facility. In particular, Mom has made a new best friend, and I'm coming to adore this man who used to be a music teacher because it is just so easy to make him smile. The other night, I put on one of Mom's Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong CDs (one of her and my personal favorites), and after I went to bed, he just sat really close to the CD player with a big smile on his face and clutching on to the CD.

At least Mom is as cute as ever. She can't get her bra off; she ends up getting it just over her head (its a stretchy crop top) and stuck on her back. We just laugh. And, she always makes faces at me as she rinses her mouth after brushing her teeth. She's just silly and happy with me.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Along with my post, you can find all types of articles, creative writing, etc. about recovering from, learning more about, and eradicating sexual violence at the carnival against sexual violence.

Another interesting carnival has posted, along with one of my postings, interesting articles about progressive politics. It is the radical progressive carnival.

I'm just learning about carnivals, and honestly, I admit to going overboard yesterday submitting articles to carnivals all over the place. So, if you know of any other carnivals that have posted something from me, please let me know in the comments.


Changing the Culture of Long-Term Facilities for Adults

Thanks to Patty for referring me to this article: "Culture Change in Nursing Homes" by Stephen Shields and for reminding me that there is a movement of people trying to do the same thing that I am. I really should tap into this movement as much as possible. That led me to a website that has ratings of nursings homes. My mom's place is relatively new, so it isn't listed here. They do have some of the competetors, so i think that they're listing assisted living facilities.