Tag Archives: Heart Attack

The Blog-Where It’s Going and Where The Hell I’ve Been

I started the blog in 2011 and it’s been my baby ever since. I don’t do things half assed and would absolutely panic if I couldn’t monitor the blog and reply to comments even for one day.

Now I don’t even remember the last time I was here and I feel awful about it and want to bring everyone up to date.

I am hesitant to post about it because I know my ex reads the blog and I know he would get great pleasure from hearing I am not doing well. But to hell with him, I really don’t care what he thinks.

New people to the blog probably don’t know about my health issues and well, even my Facebook friends don’t know the full story.

I had my first heart attack in 2011. I felt great afterwards, went straight back to work and didn’t take my meds or follow any doctor’s orders. I had a business to run, bills to pay, a life to put back together. When I left my ex I left with $5, my dog and my truck. That was it.

I ended up living in a holiday trailer with no running water, no sewer and an extension cord for power. The dogs water dish froze inside the trailer and I slept with my parka and boots on. I didn’t have the facilities to cook proper meals and ate fast food and precooked meals, all high in sodium.

My ex had sabotaged my truck to the point I broke myself trying to fix it. I got a job offer and jumped on it. A couple of months after getting the job I went into heart failure. My ex was making anonymous calls to my boss trying to get me fired and the strata where I lived trying to get me evicted. That was 2013.

This time I was told in no uncertain terms to quit work, take my meds and eat properly etc. I had no choice. By the time I had driven myself to the emergency ward I was so far into heart failure I would have been dead in 24 hours, my lungs were filling with fluid and I was literally drowning.

I had worked long enough to qualify for sick benefits for 4-5 months and then got an office job. I got enough time in there to qualify for unemployment benefits when that company went bankrupt. I had put the last of my retirement funds into purchasing a small cabin and lost that when I could no longer work and was denied disability benefits.

From there I lived in my car for awhile, bought a trailer cheap and fixed it up (had another heart attack while fixing that up) and couldn’t even afford the cost of a campsite for the trailer. Back into my car I went.

In 2016 the cardiologist told me I had to get a pacemaker defibrillator implant and he quadrupled my heart med (carvidelol) . The pacemaker was supposed to take 45 minutes to implant. Four hours later and 3 heart surgeons attempts they could not get the pacemaker wire hooked up and had cut one of my ventricles. I was sent home to heal and they would try again.

That was last winter and I was in horrible pain and was horribly sick for over 6 months. No doctor seemed to take me seriously and I just wanted to die.

I have always told the doctors that my quality of life is more important to me than quantity of life.

Struggling to get by on $610 a month welfare, in excruciating pain that was only bareable if I was laying flat on my stomach.

I went to 5 chiropractors trying to find relief for the pain in my ribs and ended up taking pain med that were bad for my heart and they didn’t even work.

I started to research carvidelol on my own and discovered it can be a miracle drug for some and a death sentence for others. If not properly monitored it can actually damage the heart and cause heart failure.

They tried to hook up the pacemaker again and AGAIN it took 3 cardiologists 4 hours and they still didn’t get it hooked up.

I complained to the doctors at VGH where they did the procedure about my pain and horrible side effects and all they said was it couldn’t possibly be due to anything they had done. Yet I had come out of the anesthetic while they were still working on me and the doctor was pushing on my chest so hard and I was in such pain I tried to climb off the table. They gave me another shot and I was out but now knew how rough they treated me.

They said they wouldn’t try to hook up the wire that way again, there was another, more invasive way they would try next time. One where they go through my ribcage and recovery is 4 times longer.

I told them no one was touching me ever again! ! Any mention of another attempt to hook up that wire literally gives me an anxiety attack.

I finally found a chiropractor (thank God!!) Who was able to get rid of pain. It turns out I have an extra rib and in their attempts to hook up the wire they had moved one of my ribs and irritated an old whiplash injury.

Although I was out of pain I still had terrible side effects and decided to cut back on my carvidilol myself. So what of it was “saving my life” it was a life not worth living.

I had to go to VGH to have the defibrillator checked and mentioned to the technician how horrible I had been feeling and the angel went and got the head of the UBC Heart Function Clinic to come talk to me. It was the first time I felt listened to and he spoke with my mom and I for an hour. I left with the first hope I had felt in over a year.

Long story short; the UBC Heart Function took on my case, changed my meds and I was feeling pretty good. I tried working and collapsed on night last summer while letting Stella out for a pee. Well actually she had woken me up and I assumed she had to pee but in retrospect I think she sensed something was wrong. My defibrillator shocked me and brought me back.

I lost my drivers license for 6 months because of it. UBC read my defibrillator printout and I had 84 “episodes”, 4 shocks, and 1 major heart attack in 6 months.

I am positive that being on the wrong meds and being in such horrible pain for so long has damaged my heart.

My meds were adjusted and I was hopeful. Tried to keep myself positive.

I found a cheap place to live and been here a year but it is just a basement; no kitchen, no real privacy. The owner snoops whenever I go out, and has made a play for me. He’s 20 years my senior!

I have a hot plate to cook on and a bar size fridge, no kitchen sink, a mattress on the floor and it is located in a really hilly area but they allow Stella and the rent is doable. I can’t walk Stella because of the hills and can’t cook proper meals or buy cheap food in quantities because I don’t have a proper fridge.

I have just applied for disability for the 4th time.

I have a partial plate and just before Christmas a tooth in the front broke off. The dentist said I need to have all my teeth extracted and my gums are all infected. Welfare only pays a portion and I can’t afford to pay the difference. Welfare doesn’t care that it is a strain on my heart to fight the infection.

I got the flu on Dec 27th, 2017 which turned into pneumonia and I was flat out on the couch the whole month of January.

The first week of February I went for a checkup at UBC Heart Function Clinic and was told that they have done all they can for me, my only option is a heart transplant. I refuse a heart transplant because I see no point in prolonging a life not worth living. I really don’t want to sound negative and some people want to live no matter what. But living on welfare, always struggling, always broke, not able to eat properly, rotten teeth, living in substandard conditions; is not a life worth prolonging in my mind.

I am hopeful my application for disability will be approved this time. My heart is functioning at below 20%, according to the Nurse Practitioner, “which is barely enough to keep your organs functioning, how much blood and oxygen do they think is getting to your brain in order for you to hold down a job?”

The Heart clinic is transferring my records close to home because they have done all they can.

So…… that is what I have been doing lately. I had to take time to digest the fact that I am not going to be around much longer. I around not afraid of dying and don’t really have any regrets. I have led a pretty great life over all. I have a fantastic son and grand daughter but it is hard to really accept the facts.

I have made arrangements for Stella because she will be lost without me and I really worry about her. My son is grown but I know he’ll miss his momma.

I turn 60 in April and I just feel it’s all gone by too fast! Realistically I know that no one has any guarantees about how long they will live.

I must admit though that I have spent a lot of time staring into space, awake at night, thinking. As much as I tell myself I need to visit the blog, or wash dishes, or get dressed I can waste a day watching mindless TV or on Facebook.

The only way I can describe how I feel is this;

After 10 years with my ex and 8 years trying to recover (5 of which he stalked me and tried everything he could think of to destroy me). Eight years of doctors not listening to me, welfare not listening, always struggling I feel like I am floating in a huge ocean. The ship has gone down, I am alone and panic but tell myself “You can do this. Hang in there. Someone will come along to rescue you.” So I manage to tread water for awhile. A piece of wood floats by so I hang onto it for awhile and don’t have to swim so hard. But eventually it breaks apart and I am treading water again. I see a ship in the distance but it never comes. I get more and more discouraged and hopeless.

I am tired, but I don’t want to spend what time I have left, just treading water. I am going to make some changes to the format of the blog and start to write my book. More on that to come.

Please keep me and Stella in your prayers and if you can see clear to make a donation I would truly appreciate any help I can get towards my dental work.

Talk to you all soon.

Love and hugs 💞❤💕

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How I Turned Conflict Into A Positive Experience

I know, what you are thinking. “How could conflict ever be positive?” I have always felt the same way myself but I am an Aries and push come to shove I could be provoked. But with James I tried to avoid conflict at all costs, even at the cost of my health.

I am not going to go into the whole story because it is far too long but this week I learned another valuable lesson and I am going to share it with you.

There is a woman here, well several women (women can be so catty can’t they? I always get along better with men it seems and that pisses off the catty women even more) who rule the dock and have not especially liked me right from the start. If you recall when I first moved in one of the women didn’t like that a single woman moved in across from her because she worked nights and thought her hubby might sleep walk into my bed, so she filed a complaint about Stella barking. I let it go, didn’t want to create conflict by confronting her on it, failing to see that it would not have been me creating conflict but her because she filed the bogus complaint.

Well, I have butted heads with another one of the clique over my dog not being on a leash. I have tried to appease them and kept Stella on a leash until we are off the dock but it has not been enough. One of the women has a dog that she doesn’t keep on a leash and the bitch (excuse my language but it is going to get worse as the post goes on so if swearing offends you stop reading now) had the audacity to say, “If you don’t keep Stella on a leash we will all have to keep our dogs on a leash.”

I looked at her in astonishment and blinked, “Do you even listen to yourself speak?” I laughed and said, “I am not getting into this with you today.” and walked away.

I knew I had started a feud but I can not stand stupid people who say things that don’t even make sense. I did try to accommodate her but it never failed that whenever Stella was off leash this bitch saw her.

The other thing that started was:

The women started asking me what I was hauling down and up from the boat. As you know I make money by fixing things up, selling the odd thing I get in scrap and my painted stuff and lately I was selling stuff from my mother’s basement. Stuff my step dad had kept for the boat he was some day going to rebuild and never did. I sold everything to people who live at the dock and I donated what I had left to a bunch of young people who formed a nonprofit to research the island of plastic in the Pacific. They were fixing their boat getting ready for an expedition. (side note* I had this feeling I should ask them if they needed a depth sounder. I had a 30 year old one, totally out of date and useless but this tiny voice kept saying “Ask them” so I did. They lit up, their depth sounder had been acting up. I told them it was right here in the car and pulled it out. it was exactly the same as theirs! I gave it to them. They were thrilled!!! I also gave them a big fishing net and down rigger for fishing and they couldn’t thank me enough. The look on their faces was enough thanks for me).

The husband of one of the women cut me off one day as I walked past with a wheelbarrow full of my groceries, got right in my face and asked what was in the wheelbarrow.
I sighed, looked him in the eyes, “My groceries.” and went to walk passed but he stood in my way.
“Groceries eh? you sure haul a lot of stuff down to your boat.”
Me: “Yes I do, do you have a problem with that?”

He looked in the wheelbarrow and could tell all I had was groceries.
I said, “If you are wondering what I hauled up to my car earlier, it was saw horse ends that I found while walking Stella, there was a pallet of them with a sign that said, “Free Help Yourself” so I called my son who happens to be in construction and asked if he wanted some. He said sure. So I went and loaded a bunch of them into my car and brought them here. I wasn’t going to see him for a couple of weeks so I hauled them all the way down to my boat. Now I am going to see him tomorrow so I hauled them back up to my car. What a good mom I am eh?
I went on “and his favorite supper is Shepperd’s Pie and he hasn’t been feeling well so I promised I would bring his favorite supper, soooooooo I went and bought GROCERIES” and I pointed at the wheelbarrow. “so I could do that. What a good mom I am eh?” and he nodded his head.
I said, “Excuse me” and went to my boat quietly simmering. The nerve!! I calmed myself down and let it go.

I was unloading the car after coming back from my son’s when the same jerk came up and started rummaging through the wheelbarrow pulling stuff out and looking at it.
Me: “That is MY stuff.”
I had done some landscaping while at my son’s and was unloading my gardening tools, he grabbed a brand new edging tool I had bought a few days earlier and said, “This looks brand new.”
I said, “It should, I just bought it.”
Then he starts looking through my trunk. I was getting very annoyed and said, “I understand that some people are suspicious of what I take down to the boat and I don’t owe any one an explanation but I will tell you and I proceeded to tell him my situation as briefly as possible. About how I make some extra money by painting things etc. Then his wife called him to come and he obeyed.

My gut was telling me there was big trouble brewing but what was I to do?

Within two days, last Friday to be exact; my brother received a formal complaint, not just about Stella being off leash but accusing me of selling stolen property, saying the traffic of undesirables coming and going from my boat at all hours day and night “could” be responsible for recent thefts from boats and at the very least was disturbing my neighbors and if it continued they would have to terminate his lease. Of course he knew it was all bullshit (now is when the swearing really getting started) but he phoned me to see what the hell was going on. I told him I have had one visitor since I moved in and that was our mom. He had already told the woman in the office that the stuff I was selling was from our step dad. He said he understood the dog being off leash, he said, “If anyone ever tells me I have to put my dogs on a leash I tell them to go Fuck Themselves. but maybe you will have to keep her on leash while she is on the dock to appease them.”
I told him I have and filled him in on what had been going on with this one bitch and her team of supporters. He said to let it go, it was Friday, not to worry about it and talk to the office Monday, he said whatever you do don’t confront anyone this weekend.

He called back to say, “If you do decide you can’t handle it and just have to throw the bitch in the river, give me a heads up so I can find a place to move the boat.” Gotta love my little bro’

I was very upset though, VERY. I immediately felt powerless, I was feeling like I had done something wrong but knew I hadn’t, I was feeling victimized again. And everyone, even the ones not involved in the complaint knew what had happened and were uncomfortable. It was so reminiscent of James I felt somehow he must be responsible, even though logic told me there was no way. I was amazed at how quickly I reverted to victim mode.

My son called to tell me how much he had enjoyed the night I came up for supper and how we had some really good laughs and he just wanted me to know he had really enjoyed our time together and he loved me. It was just what I needed to hear. Then he asked how I was doing and I told him. While I was telling him I started to cry. He said, “Please don’t cry mom, don’t let the bastards get you down.”

I tried to explain what I was feeling, “James took everything from me but as hard as he tried he couldn’t take my good reputation. No matter what, I have managed to always hang onto that and to have that jeopardized by a bunch of petty bitches is so unfair.”

He said, “Mom do you remember what you said to me years ago when I was being picked on at school and wanted to change schools?” I said no I didn’t.

“You told me that I could switch schools but that there would always be assholes in the world no matter where I went and I was going to have to learn to deal with them because there is no running away from them. They are every where.

Go tell them to keep their fucking mouths shut and if they don’t I am only 2 hours away and I will come down there and throw the bitch in the river. No one makes my mom cry!”

I had to laugh through my tears, “I appreciate the sentiment honey but you don’t have to do that. I was a pretty smart mom years ago. I can deal with it.”

We talked a bit longer and I laughed when, before he got off the phone he said, “Remember mom I’m only 2 hours away. I was the one who was supposed to be living on the boat, if I was living there I would have the music blasting every night and my dog would NOT be on a leash, I don’t even own a fucking leash and if anyone told me to put her on a fucking leash I would tell them to Go Fuck Themselves!! and if anyone dug through my stuff I would punch them in the head! they don’t know how lucky they are.”

I got off the phone and thought about it and he was right. If I was a man that guy would not have gotten away with what he did, for one thing he probably would not have even tried it for fear of getting punched in the head. But he felt like the big man intimidating a woman. They had all treated me with disrespect repeatedly and I had taken it. And now it was stealing my peace of mind and I was allowing it because I didn’t want to look like a bitch and I was trying to avoid conflict when I was NOT the one causing conflict, THEY were causing conflict and they had no problem with it.

I had shoulder pains all night,(for months before I had heart failure and just before my first heart attack I had what I thought was a knotted muscle behind my right shoulder blade, but in fact it was my heart) my heart was beating so hard when I went to bed that night my whole body shook with every beat. I thought I was going to have a heart attack for sure. The next day I wrote a 7 page letter to the “instigators of the witch hunt” and dropped it off to who I thought was the leader of the pack and said, “Now keep your fucking mouth shut.”
She jumped up and said, “Are you threatening me in front of all these people?” I thought she was going to attack me.

I turned and when I looked at her I think she saw by my face I was not to be messed with, “I did not threaten you, I told you to keep your fucking mouth shut, the letter explains it all, I suggest you read it.” and I walked away. I was vibrating, at what level I don’t know; but definitely vibrating.

The letter had explained my whole situation, James, why I was not working and I provided names and numbers of people who could back my story. I was not apologizing, I was not ashamed or fearful, I was proud of what I have accomplished and angry yes…. very angry but not afraid of conflict any more. Trying to avoid conflict had done me no good and now they could bring it on because I knew I was right and I was not going to back down even if it killed me.

And it almost did, I had neck pain, shoulder pain and chest pains for 3 days, my hair has even been falling out by the handfuls (what happened after my last heart attack). I won’t put the whole letter here but these are a couple of excerpts:

I have answered questions honestly and you all chose to disregard the truth and make up blatant lies, so now I must repeat myself because idle minds in this place have nothing better to do that make trouble in my life. You really all should thank your lucky stars that your lives are so uneventful that you have to make up drama to entertain yourselves.

I refuse to be disrespected any longer and I have nothing to say to anyone and don’t want any platitudes or apologies. Go to the office and tell the truth or go to hell.

As for people coming and going from the boat at all hours day and night. Bullshit! I have had one visitor since I moved in, my mother, once! Anyone else was sent down by my brother to either fix the boat or list it for sale. If there is someone around my boat at night, please CALL THE COPS, it might be my ex!! I have told you all that I have an abusive ex but you prefer to make up lies to suit your wild imaginations.

I also spend 7 days a week on my blog which has had almost 1,500,000 (that is a million and ½ for those not good at math) and has almost 1900 followers. I have attached just a fraction of the messages of gratitude I have received.

It is nothing short of a miracle that I am alive, healthy and happy because I overcame obstacles that would bring most people to their knees. I work tirelessly to help victims of abuse and will until the day I die. What have you done today?

Do you even think before you engage your vicious mouths? You all should be ashamed of yourselves, I am disgusted.

I included my resume, about 100 testimonials from people I have helped on the blog and I refuted their lies one by one. Stuff I had already told them but they refused to believe.

I just have to interrupt myself here because one of my neighbors just stopped to pat Stella who is sitting on the dock outside the boat. I said that Stella loves the attention and the woman said, “We all really enjoy giving her a pet. She has a good soul.”  I think we enjoy having Stella more than she enjoys the pets. She is good for us and puts smiles on people’s faces.   I agree.

Stella in her leash at the step outside the boat. Who could not love those eyes. It is like you can see into her soul. How lucky I am to have a son who gave me such a priceless gift called Stella.

Stella in her leash at the step outside the boat. Who could not love those eyes. It is like you can see into her soul. How lucky I am to have a son who gave me such a priceless gift called Stella.

Anyway, I heard from my brother Monday morning and the woman in the office said it was all a misunderstanding, they weren’t accusing me of stealing and no one said anyone was visiting my boat. He said that she mentioned my 7 page letter and that there was no witch hunt going on. funny how on Friday it was a different story which he has in writing but I guess my letter had the desired effect and I got what I wanted. I have stuck to my word, not gone to the office and just stay out of everyone’s way. I am sure that fellow digging through my stuff and cornering me is bordering on being illegal.

When you have a bad heart, the stressful situation may go away the effects still linger and I was having really bad pains last night and was exhausted all day yesterday. I kept thinking, “What would I do with Stella if I had to go to the hospital? My brother is leaving for a month on his boat, my son is at least 2 hours away, and my mom couldn’t take her. I must have had 6 naps and still went to bed at 11. I slept until 7, a full 8 hours without waking which is rare for me. When I woke up my neck felt so much better and the heaviness around my chest was gone.

I walked up to the shower and my neighbor, a nice lady with an equally nice husband ; who have both been nothing but neighborly and friendly to me and Stella; said Good Morning and asked how I was. I said my usual “Fine thanks” and she called me over and said, “You know my hubby and I were talking and if you ever need to go somewhere for an extended period of time we would be happy to take Stella, we both love her. You know where we are and stop by for a drink sometime too.” I thanked her very much. There is no way they would have known I was concerned about Stella.

All day everyone keeps coming by to pet Stella and the guy across the way gave me a salmon steak and all the trimmings to Stella who followed him around like a shadow while he cleaned the salmon he had caught. The fellow in the sail boat in front of me knocked on the sliding glass door and said he had cooked a tenderloin steak and couldn’t eat it all and handed me the leftovers for Stella. I have not said anything to anyone, haven’t tried to get people on “my side” in my mind it is done and I would have carried on if everyone would have joined forces against me because I know I am right because I know I am not doing anything wrong or illegal.

I feel a switch went off this week, all part of the learning process and the growing pains on this journey to be the best I can be.

You see I did for myself what I have done for people I love my whole life. Even people I didn’t know; I have always stood up for people when I felt they were being treated unjustly and I used to defend myself also. But after a year with James I stopped because I didn’t want to be called a bitch. I never used to be worried about being called a bitch when it came to fighting against an injustice.

Not one part of that letter contained fear, shame, guilt or even anger; it told the truth in a fearless and confident way, not as a victim.

Being “nice” does not always attract good things to a person, being “nice” does not guarantee you peace and joy because the world is full of assholes and you had better learn to deal with them because there is no where to hide. I gave that advice to my son over 20 years ago and you know what? I was a pretty smart woman back then, and I still am.

The really neat thing about all of this is; I am not the least bit angry because I can understand it may look suspicious that I haul a lot of stuff down to my boat and I understand that people’s imaginations can get away on them. I think probably I am the only one who learned anything from this though because shallow people never admit they might be wrong.

Stella off leash down at the boat launch chewing on one of her sticks. She collects them, all sticks belong to Stella and she keeps them in one spot, until the tide comes in and packs them away and then she is very upset until she finds more. She is such a puppy.

Stella off leash down at the boat launch chewing on one of her sticks. She collects them, all sticks belong to Stella and she keeps them in one spot, until the tide comes in and packs them away and then she is very upset until she finds more. She is such a puppy.

Oh!! and the woman with the dog, the one who started all this? I saw her with her dog on Monday; her dog was on a long rope trying to swim. She was trying to roll up the rope and it was all tangled. I took Stella to the boat launch like always, off leash. I never cared if that woman’s dog was off leash and now she has made such a big stink about my dog she has to keep her dog on a leash, just like she predicted. Funny, she caused her own grief. Who did she hurt? it seems to me, she is the only one suffering, but I am sure that is somehow my fault too.

What is that called??

KARMA?

Wasn’t I just talking about Karma? what do you know Karma is alive and well and living in a marina on the west coast of Canada.

You too can learn to take your power back without being considered a bitch, or if you are; you won’t care.

The workshop starts in a week, one person is signed up already. Oh did I mention; the price is now $30/ month. More to come later.

My Lap is No Longer My Own

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But that’s ok. My little girl hasn’t left my side since I got home 2 days ago. My big boy Kato is not as able to glue his chubby body to my side; besides Laila is a titch possessive of her momma and I have to make time and room for Kato to get his lovin’s. My poor babies.

Like I said,” I AM HOME!!”

THANKYOU !! To Cindy, Ellie and everyone who sent prayers and Cindy and Ellie for tracking down my number and calling. I was terribly disorientated when Cindy called and I’m not even sure what I said. I stopped answering my phone except for my son and mother because I was so tired. I do appreciate the calls and concern though! Immensely!! I cried when Cindy called, it meant so much to me that I meant that much to people here.

I haven’t posted or responded even though I have read everyone’s comments since I have been home. I’d start a comment or post and just get too tired to finish it. To be perfectly honest this took alot out of me; far more than when I had my heart attack.

After my heart attack I was back at work within 2 days of being released from the hospital but not this time I’m afraid.

Just to bring you all up to date; this time it was heart failure and I was told by the cardiac specialist that to put it in terms I might be able to understand it was equivelant to breast cancer that had matastisized; in other words I was really sick and it was affecting my other organs.

When you hear heart failure or heart attack, and you are still walking and breathing it is hard to fathom how serious it really is and I think people are so used to me bouncing back against all odds that this is going to surprise not only me but alot of people who know me.

Briefly, I drove myself to the hospital a week ago at 5 am after being unable to sleep for a week. Every time I laid down to sleep I woke up gasping for air, finally after a week I knew I wasn’t going to last until my Dr appointment 5 days away. I was very lucky; about 1/2 way to the hospital I blacked out and came to inches from the cement imbutment and was able to avoid crashing the car. I should not have been driving!!

When I got to the hospital and parked the car I sat in the car for a long time and almost left because I couldn’t remember why I drove myself to the hospital. I wandered in to emerg and sat at the receptionist’s desk. When she asked me why I was there I told her I was retaining water, was disorientated and oh yeah I had a heart attack last year.

They whipped me in and before I knew it I was in durectics, a heart monitor and IV’s. I lost over 10 lbs of water in the first 24 hours. I was drowning. Not all people need or should drink 8 + glasses of water a day!! With my heart condition I am to limit ALL fluid intake to less than 8 cups and that includes things like watermelon etc.

Here I was trying to flush the toxins from my system with water and cranberry juice and killing myself.

I am home with a bunch of meds; my mom has been a God send, taking my laundry, buying me groceries and making sure I take my meds.

I am home in my little cabin, the house deal didn’t go through but will go through next Saturday.

I have alot to catch up on here and thankful Cindy has been here to help anyone needing encouragement and support. I guess its time to take the moderation setting off.

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What my feet are supposed to look like!

I just want to say I am so grateful to be alive and for everyone who sent prayers and were concerned. It’s comforting to know your presense on this earth would be missed.  I have an even greater appreciation of life and what is truly important in life. Too bad it takes almost dying to realize what you have to live for.

Embrace life, don’t let the N steal one more minute of your precious life, not one more minute of your joy. You could die tomorrow and he would think nothing more of it than what he can milk it for. We all deserve to be loved for the caring people we are and not used and tossed aside like garbage.

Hugs and love to you all!!
Carrie

Posted by Carrie Reimer the Lady WithaTruck

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The Here and Now

I thought maybe it was time to give an update to where I am at as far as getting my life back on track, mentally, emotionally and financially.

I am disappointing myself lately; somewhere along the way I lost my “I’ll show them, no one can keep me down, F you all attitude” that has always gotten me through the tough times in my life. Does a person run out of that sort of resource? I literally look for it, try to will it back, but nope, not even a morsel of it anywhere. More times than not I just feel beaten down and like I am flailing in a huge ocean and no one is throwing me a life raft. All around me things are sinking, my business, people I thought cared, my health, and I am treading water helpless to stop it.

Where I live has alot to do with it,for me anyway, my home is my sanctuary and I always try to make where ever I live welcoming and a place I feel safe and secure at the end of a long hard day. I am ashamed of where I live. I know there are people who live in worse situations but it would be impossible to get too much worse without being homeless. I am thankful I am not homeless.

It isn’t the area; as much as not having phone reception, internet or TV is a pain in the ass; there are things that compensate. Like a few weeks ago I took little Laila for a walk to the corner store/gas station/restaurant /community meeting place. It was a warm summer morning, as we walked the only sound was the crunch of my feet on the gravel and the snorting of Laila (shar-pei’s sound like piglets). In the field beside us were people, some wearing big straw hats like they have in China, some draped in East Indian garb and one or two wearing baseball caps; picking blueberries.

Across the street there’s a pasture with a dozen or so beautiful thoroughbred horses fattening up for winter, grazing. Laila was very interested in checking them out and as we stood watching them they realized we were there and started to walk in our direction. Then one of the biggest, a grey dappled stallion came galloping straight at us. There is no fence just a narrow ditch and for a moment I thought it was coming over it but he screeched to a stop right at the edge only feet from us and snorted, and gave us the “evil eye” with one eye. I swear I could feel his breath and Laila and I got the message loud and clear to keep moving.

The grey dapple and another horse can always be seen standing under the same tree, head to tail; swishing their tails to keep the flies off each others face. Cute.

As we carried on the crunch of my feet on the gravel startled the frogs in the high grass along the road and they gave a little shreak and then we could hear the plop of them hitting the water in the ditch. Aside from that there wasn’t a sound. I stopped and listened; to silence. We carried on and the high grass changed into bullrushes/cat tails, probably an acre of them and they opened up to a pond where ducks were swimming; momma and her brood; some of them with their little bums poking up wiggling as they fish for food under the waters surface. There were lily pads; some in bloom with yellow and pink flowers, and off to the side, standing so still I almost missed him was a crane on one leg waiting for his breakfast to swim past.

At the store there was a couple of Harleys parked and the two riders wearing black leathers were on the veranda having a smoke and coffee. The smell of bacon and eggs frying wafed from inside as did the lively conversation of the same 6 men that congregate there every day. They sit in the same corner, actually there is only one table in there, drink gallons of bitter coffee and solve the problems of the world. As I walked in I overheard one of the old timers say, “Yep, that’s when the world went in the crapper; that’s when it all started.” followed by the others mumbling their agreement. Then they fell silent and all looked at me as I smiled and got myself a coffee. I guess the tiny bell ringing as I walked through the door alerted the little chinaman that owns the place because he came running out of the kitchen. I told him I was just getting a coffee and he nodded his head, waved his hands in the direction of the coffee pots and scurried back to his eggs and bacon. I bought a paper and my coffee, nodded at the bikers as we passed and Laila and I made our way home. All in about 1/2 an hour; I can’t think of a better way to start a day. Doesn’t it sound like a little piece of the 1950’s was somehow forgotten? The twilight zone, the town that time forgot. It could be heaven on earth if I didn’t have to make money and if I had running water, sewer, and wasn’t living in a 23′ holiday trailer where I bang my head 15 times a day, the dogs have to be in bed when they are in it because there is no room to walk. It is a great holiday trailer; I can envision a family making memories to last a lifetime in a little trailer like it. But at the end of two weeks mom and dad would be longing for a nice hot shower and the luxury of laying on the couch, mindlessly watching tv and telling the kids to go outside and play in the traffic. And they would have had water and sewer.

I can not tell you what going to the bathroom in a bucket does to your self esteem, and I will spare you the details. But it doesn’t stop there because then you have to dispose of the bucket’s contents! I have to pack water, I finally started getting it from the river down the road instead of driving down the hill; it saves me $10 in fuel and an hour in time. I probably shouldn’t be drinking it but what the hell; live on the edge I say. I have to boil the water to do dishes, wash etc and some days I get home too late to get more water or I’m just too tired to lug it up the hill so I give what water I have to the dogs and do without. The holding tanks are full so when I fill the sink with water to wash it drains into the tub, so once a week or so I have to bucket out the moldy water from the tub. I made my little outside shower and it is better then sex when I can get it timed right to have a nice hot shower. Even a cold one is better than nothing; the theory behind the shower is that the person using it is on vacation and will be available when it reaches its desired temperature. If I get home after the sun sets I have missed my opportunity for a hot shower.
I feel like Ma on Little House on the Prairie; without Pa.

As for my health; I was working at getting my teeth fixed and I’m about 3/4 done, I have about 4 more teeth to get pulled and then I get my partials, but when the scrap prices dropped I stopped going into Surrey with my scrap because it was better prices locally (I will cover work in another post) my dentist is down there and I just didn’t have the money to throw into driving down there. PLUS I am a big chicken and the last time I went alone I was in tears as the receptionist held my head and he had both hands and a foot in my mouth pulling my tooth. Ok so I’m exaggerating a bit but I was traumatized ok?!

So anyway, now I have had an absessed tooth for over a week; my ear aches, my throat is sore, and I am having chest pain. (When I had my heart attack I had an absessed tooth.) I know they won’t pull it while its infected so I got some antibiotics; they looked familiar but I couldn’t remember why until I started taking them; I am allergic to them and they cause excruciating pain in my chest and yesterday I thought for sure I was having a heart attack, then I got a urinary infection and then it dawned on me; I can’t take those antibiotics, they made me violently ill last time. So now I am waiting for the effects of them to wear off. I have to work today to make enough money to pay for more antibiotics I can take.

Not going to Surrey has been a good thing and maybe that is why it happened that prices dropped, my truck broke down and it was better to stay local. I have gone to Surrey once in a while just to keep that door open and almost every time I’ve been in the area I have seen JC, one day 3 times. I know it was fluke, he didn’t even know what I was driving until he saw me that day and I could tell he was surprised. He was on his bike and pulled over; I don’t know if it was to talk to me but I kept going and then he passed me on the freeway going home. I know her dad lives out that way so he could have been heading over there and it was just a fluke he passes me again. Either way it is a nice feeling to know I am not going to run into him at any point in my day and I find myself getting way more tense and reminiscent when I have to go into Surrey. I actually dread having to go down there but I have work in the area and money wins every time.

As far as James (that’s his name; I never called him JC) is concerned, I will cover more about him in another post also. For now I must boil some water to wash and go to work. Have a great day all. Hugs Carrie

Victor didn’t make it out of ICU in 10 days, he had complication after complication plus kidney failure and was on put on dialyses, then his bowels stopped working and he was given a colostomy. Eventually they did a tracheotomy which to me signified I was losing him; I had told myself as long as he didn’t have a tracheotomy he would be ok; it seemed as soon as any patient got a trach their condition worsened quickly and they would get pneumonia and often die. I saw so much death all around me every day.

My friends couldn’t keep passing Kristofer around so my folks helped out with babysitting expenses and I hired a woman who was good friends with my friend Teri, Marge who loved Kris to pieces and she couldn’t have children of her own. I got into a routine; barring Victor having any set backs, I would get up around 5 and Kris would wake up about 5:30-6, I would give him his morning bottle, change him and he would go back to sleep. I would be out of the house by 7, drop him at the sitters and be at the hospital by 9 am. I would stay with Victor until 1:30-2 sometimes as late as 3, but any later than 3 I would get stuck in rush hour traffic. If I left by 2 I would be back in Chilliwack by 3:30-4. I would pick Kristofer up from the sitters and have the evening with him, he would have his last bottle at 11 often times we would fall asleep together on the couch; I didn’t want to put him to bed and loved to have him sleep in my arms.

After I put him to bed I would have a glass of wine, write in my journal, clean the house do laundry, make formula, pack Kris’s bag for the next day and be in bed by about 1 am. Kris would usually sleep until 5:30 and then we would do it all again the next day. I stayed home one day and my dad went in my place, I baked chocolate chip cookies for the nurses and they were thrilled.

That’s another little trick I learned, if you want a family member in the hospital to get a lot of attention make sure you have a candy dish in their room; it works believe me.

I took a 1/2 day off to get some paper work done, like apply for sick benefits for Victor because his work benefits would run out soon I had to go to the unemployment office. The woman I was to meet with walked out and said,”Hi, I’m xxxxx xxxxxx,” and just stood there looking at me like she was waiting for a reaction. The name sounded familiar but I couldn’t place it so I said,” Hi, I’m Carrie Ouellette”. She led me into her office and closed the door; she said, “you don’t know who I am do you?” I shrugged and she said, “I am the woman who ran over your husband.” And she started to cry. “I am so sorry, I didn’t know, I thought he was a green garbage bag, but I knew when I ran over him…..” I thought I was going to throw up right there in her office and I must have gone ghostly white because I felt the blood drain from my face. Apparently she had been leaving the hospital just as I was going in the night of Victor’s accident, I remembered seeing her then. There were 3 women leaving the hospital as I walked in and they had looked at me and one of them had seemed like she wanted to say something and then the other women walked her outside. It had crossed my mind that maybe it was a woman Victor was seeing but I put it out of my mind; but it had been in the back of my mind ever since. She had also called the hospital to talk to me to offer for me the use of an apartment she had in Vancouver but I hadn’t taken her up on the offer because all my friends were in Chilliwack and with Kristofer I needed the help of my friends.

I assured her I didn’t blame her but it did make for an awkward meeting and then she had to tell me that I was cut off my EI Benefits because obviously if my husband was as sick as Victor was I couldn’t be looking for work.

With him on 60% of his wages and me not getting anything we were in dire straits financially, but his co-workers passed the hat twice and came over with a couple thousand dollars, the motorcycle club disbanded and gave us what the club had in the bank at the time which amounted to around $1300, like I said my friend Teri paid our mortgage once.

When I got back to the hospital the next day I walked in like I always did just in time to hear “Clear!!” and watch them using the paddles on Victor because he had gone into cardiac arrest.

I guess I got to be quite a bitch to deal with over time, I watched everything everyone did and didn’t do and had no problem speaking up for Victor. One nurse had decided to give him a shave and cut his mustache off; his mustache was Victor, he used to wax it when we got dressed up and because his nose had been broken so many times he had scars that the mustache hid. To me she had violated him and I was spitting mad. After that no one shaved him but me. He had been rubbing his head against the sheets and rubbed the back of his head almost bald. I asked why he would be doing that and the nurse said probably because he has gravel and blood and stuff in his hair. No one had washed his hair and he’d been in there a couple of weeks! So I found a tray for washing hair and I washed his hair, next thing I knew I was getting the tray for other wives and even washed the hair of the guy next to Victor.

I had taken to sleeping with Victor’s housecoat because it smelled like him. One night I got his housecoat and snuggled it around myself and realized it didn’t smell like him any more. I lost it and started to panic, I went and got one of his shirts, I ran around the house grabbing things and smelling them, nothing smelled like him. I called my girlfriend Teri hysterical babbling about nothing smelling like Victor. She called my mom and told her she needed to get over to me asap. My mom arrived in her pajama’s, I told her what was wrong and she went into the bathroom got Victor’s cologne. She asked for Victor’s housecoat, dabbed some of his cologne around the collar and handed it back to me. So simple.

They had used a metal cage to set Victor’s pelvis and it protruded quite a ways out of him, he kept trying to pull it out and would wrench it this way and that until they had to tie him down. He was in such excruciating pain they tried to put him in a drug induced coma but the drugs were just absorbed by the pain. They were supposed to take him to the o.r. to do his dressing changes and I found out they hadn’t been and had just given him Demerol and morphine and then 3 orderlies had to hold him down to change his bandages.

Totally inhumane!!I blew up!! I said I didn’t want him in pain and they said that if they took him to the o.r. He would be too doped up to visit with me. They said that most wives didn’t want their husbands doped up when they came to visit. I was incredulous; I would be so selfish that I would want the man I love to be in agony because I wanted to “visit”? I said, “I am not here to “visit”, I am here to make sure my husband is comfortable and taken care of, give him what ever it takes to make him comfortable.” They said they had given him enough to kill a horse and I said give him enough to kill an elephant then.

Like I said I was monitoring his vital signs and from my notes he was brewing an infection. It was a Sunday and I was going to stay home but something kept telling me I should be going to the hospital. My dad offered to go in my place but I felt I had to go myself. I got there and Victor was writhing in pain, his stomach was swollen like a poisoned puppy, so far that it was pressing against the bars of the brace that held his pelvis together and he smelled like a garbage can that had been left out in the sun. I checked his vital signs and it was obvious he had an infection somewhere. I went to the nurse and asked what was being done about it and she said nothing, there were no doctors on duty to deal with it. Victor had many doctors, the bone, internal, heart, etc and none of them would take responsibility for the infection. His main surgeon was the bone specialist and I demanded the nurse call him and she said he was golfing and couldn’t disturb him. I said, “you call him or I am going to drive to every fucking golf course until I find him and I will bring him in here myself; you are not leaving my husband to rot for 24 hrs because the surgeon doesn’t want his golf game disrupted!! Victor smells like a garbage can left out in the fucking sun; do something NOW!!”

I guess I caused quite a stir but I got action and within a couple of hours they were wheeling Victor to the OR. It was the bone specialist’s assistant that opened him up and he wasn’t too happy about being called in. After the surgery he called me to a private room and said when he opened Victor up he couldn’t believe his eyes, he had never seen anything like it in his career; there was a pocket of infection the size of a football inside Victor’s abdomen. It had started from a bedsore on his tailbone and encompassed his hip joint and whole abdomen; he said if it would have burst it would have killed him for sure.

The infection raged through Victor’s body for weeks, it was in his blood, he oozed infection from every opening on his body and none of the antibiotics were working. His veins started to collapse and they were having to put intravenous in his groin, feet and neck because he just didn’t have any good veins any more.

I thought he was telling me to kill him, and then my older foster brother went to the hospital with me to visit him and he left the room crying, he said, “He’s begging us to put him out of his misery.” He would take his hand and make like a gun to the side of his head and make like he pulled the trigger, he pleaded with his eyes.

Then the doctors pulled me into that private room again and I knew it was going to be bad news, they wanted to amputate Victor from the ribcage down. He would be a torso, I asked how he could live like that and they said it was possible. I knew he could never live like that and I refused to sign the consent form. They said they would get a court injunction and do it anyway, so I hired a lawyer to stop them. The doctors told me I was killing him by not letting them do the surgery and I told them, “Fine, so be it, I would be doing him a favor, you are not mutilating him any further, I know what Victor would want and he wouldn’t want to live with 1/2 his body.”

Being French Canadian of course Victor was Catholic and the Catholic priest from the prison wanted to give Victor his final rites. I refused. Some people may condemn me for that and I will defend my decision to this day. My reason for denying it was I didn’t want Victor waking up and realizing he was being given his final rites and give up the fight to live, I wanted him to believe he was going to live. They fought me so hard that they lied to get into to see Victor saying they were family but I was one step ahead of them and had informed the nurses that no one except me and my mom and dad were to visit Victor and they stopped them from getting in. The priest called me and said I was condemning Victor to hell and I said, “ I find it very hard to believe that because I am an ignorant bitch that denies him his final rites God would punish him, if anything he will punish me and I am prepared to answer for my decision.”

I started having horrible nightmares. I remember one especially terrifying dream where I am running with Kris in my arms and his legs and arms have been amputated and I am crying and telling him, “It’s ok, Mommy will take care of you, it will be ok, I won’t let them hurt you any more.” And I am running from “them”, I woke up sobbing uncontrollably.

The infection wasn’t responding to any of the antibiotics and they moved Victor into an isolation room. I had to gown up and disinfect myself every time I went in and out for fear I would take something in to him or out to Kristofer.

Victor had been in ICU for 9 weeks, lost 100 pounds, and seeing as AIDS had just been discovered they feared he had contracted AIDS through the many blood transfusions he had received. He was tested and it came back negative. They were at a loss as to what to do and then our biggest fear happened, the antibiotic started killing off his good blood cells, the medication was killing him.

I was taken in the private room again and asked what I wanted to do. they wanted to take him off everything but the pain meds and let him die. In trying to save him they were killing him and there was nothing more they could do; I agreed, as long as they promised to keep him as pain free as possible there was nothing left to do.

And then a miracle happened, when they took him off the respirator I held my breath and waited and then he took a breath, and another one, and another; he was breathing on his own. Three days later I walked in and he was sitting in a wheelchair, and the nurse said, “Victor has something he wants to say to you.” He started to cry and in a barely audible raspy whisper he said, “I love you.”

I cried.

Two days later I took Kristofer in to see his daddy (photo below) after 10 weeks in ICU Victor was moved to a ward.

I took Kris to visit Victor in the hospital, my dad came to help me with Kris.

I took Kris to visit Victor in the hospital, my dad came to help me with Kris.

Posted by Carrie the Lady Witha Truck