Thanksgiving, What a Nightmare

I can't say I had the worst Thanksgiving EVER, but I'm unsure when I've had a worse Thanksgiving. 

I don't spend any time with people on my side of the family, and it makes me very lonely around the holidays.  I wish I had people in my family to love, to miss, who knew me from when I was little, or even when they were little who are blood relatives that I was close to.  I just don't, and it makes me very sad.  What I've tried to do instead is to make new traditions for the holidays with Mark and myself, such as Thanksgiving.  I make a whole meal for us, and I've done this every year for awhile now.

So I bought everything, and then all of a sudden Mark starts informing me he doesn't want a Thanksgiving meal.  All of a sudden he HATES turkey.  He HATES mashed potatoes.  He HATES stuffing.  He hates everything and doesn't want it.  I didn't understand, we have done this for several years, why was he being so spiteful?  Why was he almost angry at the whole thing?  He loves deviled eggs and I had forgotten to get the stuff for them, so we went to the store and when I told him why I was there, he said "had I known that I NEVER would have come here".  I mean really, what the F?  It really, REALLY hurt my feelings.  I mean sincerely, I was very hurt.

It may have been passive aggressive, but at this point, I don't even know if I care why.  I had surgery a week ago for my sinuses.  It wasn't a life or death type thing, it was more of an elective surgery.  I have bad sinus infections several times a year and when I went to have my hearing checked because Mark asked me to in counseling, the ENT wanted to do surgery on my sinuses.  I was unsure if I wanted to do it or not, and told Mark that, but he said it was up to me.  I thought and thought about it, and decided to do it - because the next time I got a bad sinus infection which give me horrible headaches which medication doesn't help, I knew I'd regret it if I didn't have it done.

So the doctor told me it would be about $225 to have it done, paid to his office.  I asked if there would be any other charges, like to the surgery center, and they said no.  Of course, this is not in writing, only the amount I owe them is.  So Mark went with me (remember, he left the decision up to me) to surgery, and when we went to give them my information, she told me we owed them $1700.  I told her no one had told me that, that I was told I wouldn't owe anything.  She said they tried to call me, but they had called me on my home phone number, which is weird, because they also called my cell the same day to tell me not to eat after midnight, etc., so why would I check my home messages for their call?

So Mark was furious with me.  As I was in my gown and an IV was in my arm, I was laying in the hospital bed crying telling him how sorry I was, and he just had this horrible attitude, I could tell how mad he was at me.  But I didn't know, I kept telling him that over and over.  So here I am, scared to death about going under anesthesia, crying to my husband because he's mad at me, nurses coming and going with me crying, I just felt so little support from him.  I needed him to be strong for me, to comfort me, to tell me everything was going to be okay, and he just gave me attitude and anger.  And I didn't do anything!  I didn't know that was going to happen!

So it seems like that's when his whole Thanksgiving meal fit happened.  He can be so meanly passive aggressive, I absolutely HATE that about him.  And here's this holiday, very emotional for me, a real depression trigger that I try my best every year to just get through without falling apart, and he's attacking me. 

So I get up early-ish Thursday morning to start the turkey, regardless of all his little nasty comments, and he was starting to wake up, and I asked him what he wanted for breakfast because I was going to run out and grab something quickly before I started.  He snapped at me before I left, and as I was gone, I just started thinking, you know, this whole situation is BULLSHIT.  Here I am, I go to counseling, I come out with all these to-do's, ways for me to change myself in to being the person he wants me to be every time we go, and I try to be this person every day, and this is the shit I have to put up with?  I had just HAD IT by the time I got home, gave him his food, and I honestly don't remember everything that was said.  HE said he apologized for snapping at me, and I said I wasn't going to his parents with him on Friday for Thanksgiving, and then he said fine, he wasn't going to eat my Thanksgiving dinner.

What the hell?  I'm cooking HIM a dinner and he has the audacity to tell me he isn't going to eat it?  Really?  I'm doing something nice for him and that's what he does?  So I just went to bed, I cried, I planned to stay there the rest of the day, not to punish him, just because the day was ruined and I didn't want to do anything with anybody, see anybody, go anywhere, do anything, I just wanted to be left alone.  Only he couldn't leave me alone.  He kept coming in and out, yelling at me.  At one point he told me I had to get out, and I had ONE DAY.  Yes, he really said that.  I'm still so hurt by that, I can't even tell you.

Finally we made up, he got all nice, he convinced me to make a Thanksgiving meal, and then all through dinner he kept commenting how good everything was.  But I felt it wasn't sincere, and told him so.  He had already said he hated everything, why should I believe that all of a sudden he thought it was all so good?  It just seemed so fake.  I'm sure I sat there with a pity party look on my face, I really didn't mean to sulk, and I wasn't, I was just very unhappy with the whole situation.  I didn't care how I was cooking the turkey, I didn't care how the mashed potatoes turned out, I didn't care about any of it.  I did it just to do it and get it over with.  Usually I find it a lot of fun, but not this time.

I couldn't sleep that night, so I got up and applied for about 10 part time jobs.  Come to find out, part time jobs pay CRAP.  And I mean CRAP.  But great, I saw lots of awesome Recruiting jobs are available now, not that I haven't done that in three years.  Where were they all three years ago when I needed a job?  They'd never hire me now after being out of the business for so long.

There is one job I saw at school that would be perfect for me.  Writing transcripts and getting paid for it.  I could practice my steno (like I should be doing anyway) and get paid for it.  I'm still waiting to talk to the school job placement counselor on that one, though.  She might have more info about it before I send my resume to them.

Mark made an interesting statement when we were fighting.  He was talking about something and said "now that we're being ourselves...", and I said "Really?  Because I thought we were becoming the person the other person wanted us to be."  Strange how our perceptions are so different on what we're getting out of counseling.

I'm realizing how bitter I'm becoming.  I'm tired of not doing anything and him getting mad at me.  I honestly think he's mad over money, and everything else I do is getting on his nerves because of it.  What else can I do besides get a part time job?  I think he feels taken advantage of because he's the only provider, but he's always the freaking martyr.  Work doesn't appreciate him, I don't appreciate him, and the list goes on.  He works so hard for everyone and no one gives him what he deserves.  He has a sense of entitlement, he doesn't do things because he WANTS to do them, he does them thinking he'll get something OUT of whatever he does.  He's just that kind of person.  Everything has an ulterior motive.  Think Ayn Rand.  Selfishness.  I'm not bashing Ayn Rand, but giving for giving's sake was never her strong suit.  It's always about "what's in it for me".  That's him.  He's always got to know what's in it for him, and if there's nothing, what's the point?

Yes, he's often very kind to me, but I always wonder, how long will this last until he gets bitter about being mad because I haven't done what he's expecting me to do from his being nice.  He hasn't achieved the results he was expecting by his actions, when the truth is, I never knew results were expected, I just expect people to be nice to each other because that's the right thing to do.  I'm nice to him and do nice things for him because I love him and I'm a nice person, not expecting anything out of it.  But if I tell him, after he says I don't do anything for him, of the things I've done for him, he declares them all invalid because they aren't important to him and mean nothing to him.  The fact that I tried is insignificant, trivial.

By the way, I did NOT go to his parent's house with him today.  He went alone to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.  I didn't not want to see his sister, who is even more passive aggressively hateful than he is.  I unfriended her on Facebook early in the year over a stupid argument, and I just don't want to face her.  I'm sure she knows why I didn't come, that it's because of her, and good, so she'll know how much disdain I have for her, that I don't even want to be in her presence.  She annoys me, her kids annoy me, and it just makes me wish I had my own family to spend the holidays with.

We have a counseling appointment on Monday, I don't know if I can handle Mark rattling off more changes I need to make to make him happy.  I think I'll probably break down in the counselor's office.       

Allergy and Possible Job?

Somehow I've developed a hydrocodone allergy from the time I took it last year to this year.  I obsessively itch and have a rash, especially on my face, which is rather odd.  I don't know why my body chemistry would have changed from then until now, but it has.  I'm still taking it after my sinus surgery when I need it because it's better than not taking it, it still has a pain relief effect.  I would call my ENT doctor and ask for something else, but it's the weekend, and I don't need it all the time.  It's just so strange.  It's impossible to go to sleep when all you do is lie there itching.  I foolishly took an allergy pill for the itching and then realized, oh...this will dry up my sinuses!  This has turned into a semi-nightmare, but it could have been so much worse.

I think I've found a job I want while I'm in school.  They always have posters and postings at school for part time jobs, but one caught my eye finally.  It's writing transcripts from home.  It would be perfect!  I could practice on my steno machine for school, and get paid to do it!  What better motivation would there be to practice than to not only get through school faster, but get paid for it??  I read all of the qualifications, and I have all of them, I just need help updating my resume with my school time gap.  I know how to write a good resume from being a recruiter, but I've never had to write one for anyone who was looking for work while attending school, and without current job experience.  The last time I worked was in November, 2008.  We should have a job placement recruiter at school who can help me with my resume, but since I've only been at this new school about 6 weeks, I don't know anything about it yet.  This company obviously wants court reporting students to fill their positions, or they wouldn't be advertising at our school!  It doesn't really matter how much it pays, just the fact that I'm getting paid to practice would be awesome!  Not only to practice on the steno machine, but my editing skills, etc.  I've taken Court Reporting English which teaches you how to punctuate for transcripts, so really, I think I'm the perfect candidate.  But then again, I guess we all are at school.  The question is - how many people will notice the poster and want the job(s)?  The posting said I would have to complete 2-3 transcripts to be considered for hire, if, of course, they like my resume and they're still hiring, so we'll see how it goes. 

That would be awesome to get a job - to feel like I'm contributing again.  It's an AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL feeling for me to be so dependent on someone financially.  I really hate it.  I've been able to take care of myself financially since I was 18, so these last few years have been particularly hard.  I know we're married and everything, and it's not that I want a back up plan in case we break up, I would just feel more comfortable if I were contributing financially and I wouldn't feel like I was spending someone else's money all the time, that it was my money, too.  And, even more so, we could use the extra money.  We were a two income family before I lost my job.  My husband can pay the bills very well, but I was doing pretty well myself, so it was quite a drastic loss when my salary went away.  We didn't cut back on anything, but there's not much wiggle room.  For my surgery, our portion was $1700, plus the doctor's fees, plus whatever the anesthesiologist will charge when we get his bill, and it's just all of those unexpected expenses that really add up.  It seems like there's something like that every single month.  If I still had my old job, it wouldn't have even been a bump in the road.  Oh well, eventually I'll graduate and all will be back to normal hopefully!  If I get that job and start practicing like crazy because I'm so money motivated, I'll graduate much sooner rather than later! : )

Surgery and Bipolar Venting

My sinus surgery was this afternoon (well, technically yesterday afternoon,), and it went well except for waking up in a lot of pain.  I didn't think it would ever go away.  The nurse called the anesthesiologist to see what more she could give me for pain, but it didn't help.  They finally called Mark to the recovery room, and he convinced me to eat something so I could take pain pills.  That eventually helped.  I've been fine ever since, but have been taking hydrocodone as soon as it's time to take the next dosage.  Even though I'm not in pain, I don't want to start.  When I was being released, the only wheelchair available at the time was a bariatric wheelchair.  Oh my gosh!  I slid over to one side of it, and both Mark and I could have easily fit together in it.  The nurse wheeled me up to the double sliding doors, and it fit just perfectly to go between both doors.  The nurse said there are people who have to squeeze to get into the wheelchair!  Suddenly I didn't feel so bad about my weight - ha!  When we were waiting for Mark, she was telling me that some adult patients wake up in recovery, talking in a childlike voice, saying "I want my Mommy/Daddy."  I mean, I know you're out of it, but come on, let's not be freaky.  I woke up saying "Oh my God, I'm in so much pain!", at least that's the first thing I remember.  Who knows the real first thing I said.  I'm pretty certain it wasn't "I want my Mommy/Daddy." 

I won't know if the surgery was successful until I've gone for a period of time without a sinus infection, which can be very, very often.!  When I get up tomorrow morning, I'm not taking any more hydrocodone  unless I start feeling pain again.  I know this is very boring entry, just recording it for future reference. 

I use my blog a lot to remember what happened to me and when.  I don't have a good memory, and I don't know why that is, if it's all the psychiatric drugs I've taken over the years or what the issue is.  I haven't discussed this with my psychiatrist because really, what can he do?  He can't bring my memories back or make my memory any better.  I always tell Mark that HE is my memory.  He tells me things all the time that happened to us that I simply can not recall.  It's a freakish feeling, and it makes me sad knowing there are all of these things that happened to me that I've forgotten.  Or I guess, perhaps, Mark has a freakishly good memory, and it makes me seem forgetful, not not short term, but long term. 

I can stress ENOUGH how much I hate telling nurses and doctors that I have bipolar disorder.  I would say "anybody", but I don't tell "anybody", just when it's required for me to tell someone.  No one knows except for Mark and people in the medical field that have to know for whatever reason.  Sometimes they will ask what medications I'm taking before I'm forced to tell them I'm bipolar, and they jump to the conclusion that I'm epileptic.  I don't want to be epileptic, but it doesn't have the stigma that being biplar does. 

I watched Shutter Island a few days ago, and it was really on my mind for awhile.  It's like I don't want to believe he was a psychiatric patient, he really was a Marshall.  And it reinforced what I've always known - if I were to witness a crime or have to testify about anything that happened in court, it would come up that I am bipolar - mentally ill - and my testimoy would lose credibility.  I don't know if this is true in all states, but I know in some states, if you've ever been involutarily commited to a psychiatric institution, you're not allowed to purchase a firearm.  Yes, I've been in a psychiatric institution, but I checked myself in.  Are people not allowed to have a moment of weakness, a time when your illness overtakes you, and then you get better?  I find it to be highly discriminatory.  Just because you were in some place like that ONCE doesn't mean you'll be that way forever.  Or that it will happen again.  What about other issues?  Being convicted for domestic abuse?  Assault?  Why are they able to purchase firearms?  They've proven to society that they are violent.  Someone commited to a psychiatric unit doesn't mean they have.  Sure, they might have, but that's assuming.  People who have committed violent misdemeanors have already proven that they're violent.  "But that's not fair" they would say.  And this is?  Why is society so discriminatory against people who are mentally ill?  Maybe because those that are highly functional do not tell people about their disease, so the only ones you hear about on the news, etc., are the ones who lost it, who "went off their meds" as they like to say.  Can't people just simply be psychopaths or sociopaths without it being blamed on that?  There really are bad people in the world. 

Guess I'll go back to bed and try to fall asleep again.  Mark had stopped snoring for a few weeks, but now it's back.  As far as I know, when nothing else works, the surgery snorers get is the one I just had.  I really wouldn't wish it on him.  I can suffer through snoring.  I *am* going to record it one day though, just so he can see how bad it really is. For example, I'm downstairs right now, and he's upstairs with the bedroom door shut, and I can faintly hear him snoring.  And I have hearing loss!

Approaching Holidays

Oh, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving.  I love the holiday, but hate meeting up with the people.  This year, like every year, we're going to Mark's parents the day after Thanksgiving.  I like his family "okay" except for his sister.  His sister is making me question if I'm actually going to go.  We got into a pretty big fight this year which led me to "unfriending" her on Facebook, and she got very upset about that.  I never did anything about it, and now it's Thanksgiving, and here we are.  The only person I've really talked to about it is my hairstylist (don't we tend to tell our hairstylist everything?), and he suggested sending her a message so it wouldn't be so awkward.  I told Mark and he wasn't so sure, he's not a big fan of his sister's either.  The thing is, I'm not sorry, I didn't do anything wrong, so I don't want to apologize, and I wouldn't have to.  I could just say, let's put this behind us or something, right?  I unfriended her, I kind of feel it's my place to mend the relationship.  Only...if we didn't have to see each other, I wouldn't want to.  In real life, I would NEVER be friends with her; actually, I'm not friends with her in family life either.  But then again, how many people are friends with their family anyway?  I know some are, but those are the lucky minority.

It is so freaking embarrassing to go the the doctor and fill out all the new patient forms, list all of your medications (all 500 of them), and list that you're "bipolar".  Then I always feel that nurses and doctors look at me weird at first, like they're trying to figure out if I'm going to freak out on them or not.  It could be all in my head, I don't know.  I went to the second ear doctor and he questioned me about my illness, asking if I was stable.  I should have acted like a lunatic and said "What do you mean, stable?".  Of course I'm stable!  And if I weren't, what would an ENT doctor do about that exactly?  I was there for my hearing, it's not like he was going to prescribe me medication, I don't understand why that question was relevant, except to make him look important, that he knew I could be "stable or unstable".  I mean really, what could he have done with that information?

I have sinus surgery on Friday, that's what I got out of going to get my hearing checked, besides finding out I have mild to moderate hearing loss.  It's not life or death surgery, more a comfort of living thing.  I went back and forth about whether to do this or not, but in the end, I knew that next time I got a sinus infection and a bad headache, which is all the time, I would kick myself for not having it done, so I decided to move forward.  My surgery is scheduled for 12:30 in the freaking afternoon, so I have to be there at 11:00.  That means I can't eat or drink all morning before I go to the surgery center.  I was hoping for an earlier time.  I can eat and drink up until 3:00am, so Mark and I plan to stay up that late on Thursday/Friday and go to IHOP or somewhere and have breakfast.  It was his idea.  He's so regimented about his sleep, I was really surprised when he suggested it.  Sounds fun, though. : )

We're still going to counseling, our marriage has its up and downs.  Mostly ups, but sometimes intense downs.  We're still trying to figure each other out, after 14 years!  We go to counseling once a month now, our next appointment is after Thanksgiving.  It's like going to your teacher and getting your report card - how did you do last month?  Did you follow what we decided to do last time?  It's hard work, I don't look forward to going to her and saying "No, I didn't", and hearing how I'm not showing Mark love in the way he needs it.  So I do what we decide in counseling and have avoided it, not sure if I've done all we talked about this time.  Seems last time I was the only one to walk away with "to-do's".  She tried to get me to name something about Mark I would like changed, and he looked at me with a face that dared me to think of something, but at that moment I really couldn't think of anything.  He's tried to change in every way that I've asked him to, I had nothing to say.  But for me?  He said there were already so many things that I was working on, he thought it was unfair to give me more.  That made me mad.  So he wants to keep changing me into something I'm not?  Supposedly there are a lot of things that he has kept bottled up for years and years, especially with me being sick, and she's trying to get him to tell me what they are, but seriously?  Yes, I want him (us) to be happy, so I keep going to counseling and keep doing what we decide to do.  I HATE marriage counseling though.  Don't get me wrong, our marriage has greatly improved from it, but I hate going.

I guess I'm progressing in school.  Seems like I am.  I need to put more work into it.  Don't know when I'll pass 120 and be in 140.  Hopefully next quarter, I really hope so! 

Christmas is coming up too, yuck.  That means time to buy presents for Mark's ungrateful nieces and nephew.  I don't know why they have that rule in his family that we only buy presents for the kids, so that means Mark and I buy presents and receive none.  I guess because the parents of the kids (his sister, mainly), can't afford to by everyone presents, just their kids.  So that leaves them with only 3 kids to buy presents for that don't belong to them.  I'm not saying I want a bunch of junk from people that hardly know me, but it's the thought that counts, you know?  And there's no thought about us.  Mark and I, we are just expected to give, give, give, without a thought from his brothers and sister about how we might feel about it - that we're giving presents to their kids without them so much as sending us a thank you card.  That just seems so selfish to me, but maybe I am the one that seems selfish, I don't know.

Worst Ever Doctor Visit (for me)

My appointment at the ENT went so much worse than I ever could have imagined.

The ENT cleaned my ears out, and commented that the wax in them couldn't have been causing me much hearing loss, and sent me to the audiologist.  I then went through an extensive hearing test, but the weird thing was, my ears were ringing so loudly that I could hardly hear the sounds above the ringing.  The audiologist said several times "raise your hand even if you just THINK you hear a tone", and I kept saying okay, okay, like I didn't hear him the first or second time he said that? and I knew he must have been sending me tones through the earphones because there were long pauses when I didn't hear anything.

So finally the test was over, and I told him it was hard to hear anything over the loud ringing in my ears.  He asked if my ears rang very often, and I don't really know, it's never that silent around me as it was in that booth. 

So he showed me the test, and said I have mild to moderate hearing loss, permanent loss in both ears.  I didn't have much to say, what do you say to that?  But then he started talking about hearing aids, and I was just SHOCKED.  I said "hearing aids, WHAT?"  And he said "but you told me you couldn't hear..." and I said "but we're having a conversation right now?"  I just couldn't imagine wearing hearing aids!  I mean, hearing aids??  Seriously?  So he said "your insurance covers them", but no, that wasn't the problem - the cost!  That never entered my mind for a second!  It was me - actually wearing hearing aids!  I guess my reaction was less than pleasant, I'm sure he's had patients that cried because they wanted hearing aids and couldn't afford them, I don't know, but he told me to think about it, and if I wanted to make an appointment with him to come back with someone (why do I need to bring someone?), and gave me his card. 

So the ENT.  He examined my sinuses, and I had told him I get about 6 sinus infections a year, even after having sinus surgery about 10 years ago, and after his examination decided I have turbinate hypertrophy and chronic sinusitis, and wants to schedule me for surgery.  I was like WHAT?  And then everything happened so fast - scheduling for the CAT scan, the surgery, everything.  I was just in shock, I didn't have time to process everything - I just went from one room to the other nodding and being polite, answering questions, signing forms, being handed packets of information.

I guess if I'm cured of sinus infections, that would be great.  Yay.  Kind of hard to be excited right now.  I have permanent hearing loss.  Explains so much, why I can't hear so many things that other people can. 

You know how it makes me feel?  Old.  Losing my hearing, hearing aids, the whole thing.  He doesn't know how it happened, he doesn't know if it will get worse, just to make sure to come in yearly to get my hearing checked from now on. 

I wish I had my Dad to talk to right now.  He was legally blind, so maybe he could understand how I feel - losing your hearing versus losing your sight.  But it's not like I lost it overnight, so I don't know what I'm missing, does that make sense?  I don't know if hearing aids would help me, but Mark said "of course they would".  Would they?  I would only know by trying them, but if I don't try them, then I don't know what I don't know.

I don't want to rely on little devices on my ears to hear.  I just got Lasik a few years ago and got rid of my glasses, this seems SO much worse.

Hearing - huh? what?

Yesterday in marriage counseling, Mark complained about my hearing.  Yes, I know he's complained about it for years - how he has to repeat things, how I ask him what people said in movies, on tv, etc.  Last year, a teacher singled me out in front of the class and told me to get my hearing checked out, that she thought I had some hearing loss.  But I've ignored all of this because I can hear, and what would I even tell a doctor?

So now, because we went to counseling, it's become an "actionable item", and I've made an appointment with an ENT for tomorrow.  On one hand, I think I just have a lot of built up earwax that needs to be cleaned out, that's happened for me since I was a little girl.  But on the other hand, for years?  If I do have some hearing loss, I can't imagine what would have caused it.  I'm so NOT looking forward to going to the doctor tomorrow.  I feel ridiculous - going to an ENT just to find out I have excessive earwax.  And they had to make sure they scheduled my appointment when an Audiologist would be available.  I mean really?  I'm not deaf, I don't need hearing aids.  I just can't hear when people whisper, and I say "what? huh?  excuse me?" a lot, and I find myself watching people's lips when they are talking quietly.  Built up earwax could totally do that I think, but I hate the process of cleaning out my ears at the doctor, it is SO unpleasant.  I hated it when I was younger, I can't imagine liking it now.  I hope that's all it is, I really can't imagine anything else.

I stayed home from school today, not feeling 100%.  I have a sinus headache or something, but since I'm seeing an ENT tomorrow, it's very convenient for me to bring it up 

Everyone always asks "who's your primary doctor?" when I call to make an appointment with a doctor.  I don't have one.  I always go straight to the specialist.  I suppose that's not good,  all of these doctors have different snapshots of what's wrong with me, no one has a full picture.  My psychiatrist, my counselor, my old ENT, my OB/GYN, my podiatrist, my dentist, my psychatrist, my dermatologist, my eye doctor - none of them has a record of all my ailments altogether. But why go to a general practioner who will just fumble around trying to figure out what's wrong with you when you can go straight to the source and save time, as long as you know what's wrong with you, of course.

Hopefully by this time tomorrow, my ears will be cleaned out, and I'll be hearing what I've been missing! 
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