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  1. #1
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    Default Roughest Week Ever

    Man, I have never been so glad to see the weekend coming. This week in my life has been horrible on an epic scale.

    Sunday morning, my wife decided she no longer wanted to take her antidepressants. As you can imagine, she's quite unbearable now. She is one of those people that absolutely needs the help, but she hates thinking that everyone thinks she's crazy since she takes antidepressants. I have shown her all the evidence that shows I am in the minority for not having to take them, but she doesn't care. So we've been fighting pretty much non-stop, after having not really had a fight in a couple of years.

    Sunday afternoon, we got word that a very close and longtime family friend, and my 10 year old daughter's favorite buddy in the world died in his sleep at age 73 from a massive stroke. It was the first time someone she really had a relationship with died, and she has been taking it very hard.

    Monday afternoon, my best friend called me in tears to let me know her father was in the hospital after suffering a massive heart attack. He was in the Navy for 25 years, and physically looked to be in peak shape and didn't drink or smoke. But he eats a lot of fast food. They did quadruple bypass, and said all but one of his arteries was nearly 100% blocked. The one that wasn't was 90% blocked. They keep saying he'll be ok and go home in a few more days, but she's devastated over it and a nervous wreck.

    This morning, a friend of mine who is only 26 years old was diagnosed with stage 3 non-hodgkins lymphoma. He has to get a bone marrow transplant, and suffer through chemo and radiation, and the doctor said he doesn't see a reason to believe yet that he can make it more than a couple of years.

    An hour ago, my mother called to let me know that her day didn't go as planned. She has been dating her boyfriend for 4 years now, and they adore each other and spend every waking moment together when they aren't working. They never fight, they always have a good time together, etc. Today, he said he had something major he wanted to talk to her about. She had herself convinced he was going to propose, which is what everyone was thinking. Instead, he tells her he's getting back with his ex wife, and swears he's never cheated on her. Scumbag prick.

    Tomorrow at 2:15, I have a doctor's appointment. Some people know, a lot of people don't, that Parkinson's Disease runs on both sides of my family. Over the years, I showed very minor instances of what could have been symptoms, but very rarely. In the past couple of weeks, I have had a major increase in more pronounced symptoms. I go tomorrow to get an evaluation, get some tests run, and get a catscan. Gee, I wonder how that's gonna go. FML. I hate stress. To be dealing with this week, and I still haven't caved and started drinking again, I am easily a lot stronger than I once thought.

    Maybe tomorrow I will get the good news I need to end this rut on a high note, so keep your fingers crossed.

    Sorry if I rambled too much and aired a bunch of private stuff out, but I had to let it out. As you can see from the above, I have very few places I can turn right now, and it's become maddening.

    Suddenly, that Michael J. Fox earthquake pic I posted isn't looking too funny anymore. Who am I kidding, I'm sick, that **** is still hilarious. Just potentially the most ironically ****ed up bad timing I have ever had.
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  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear all of this. All of it is very real, very hard stuff to deal with all at once. Best wishes.

    Perhaps, if you do need meds to treat Parkinsons you can use it as an equivalence with your wife on her meds. Maybe, it will be easier for her if you need to take something for your problem and she needs to with hers. You could try the argument at least.

    Regardless, my sympathies on a terrible week and my condolences for your losses.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you for that, and I appreciate the suggestion about the medicine. That might actually work.
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  4. #4
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    Nothing anyone can say to make it all go away, my frined, but know there are people out here keeping a good thought for you and yours. Life can be a harsh mistress sometimes. Hang in there and let her come back around. She always does.
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  5. #5
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    Just got back from the doctor. She told me there are really only three possibilities - a severe calcium and magnesium deficiency, spinal stenosis, or Parkinson's. Since a deficiency would be the easiest fix, I had blood drawn to eliminate the simplest fix first, and she said the reults would be back by Monday. In the meantime, they did an xray to check for spinal stenosis and said it definitely wasn't that.

    She said if the blood test comes back normal, she will be referring me to a neurologist to run a battery of tests and scans to test me for Parkinson's.

    The deficiency would obviously be a wonderful diagnosis, but because of certain dietary restrictions I have had for years, I am absolutely positive I get enough calcium and magnesium, because they are two of the things I have had to make a point of having plenty of in my diet for years. If I do have a deficiency, I would just have to take supplements for it and be fine. Based on what I eat though, she is as confident as me it won't be that, but it never hurts to check and hope for the best.

    Thank you for your kind words Om, it really means a lot to me.
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  6. #6
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    Sorry to hear, and we're all hoping with you.

    I reccomend patientslikeme.com if you discover you have parkinsons and want to look at disease progression and how people actually react (positive and negative) to different meds and procedures. It's a fantastic resource.

    Strong at the Broken Places is also a great book for anyone with serious long term medical conditions.
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    Stay in the fight Extreme. Things will get better. They always do.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbear View Post
    Sorry to hear, and we're all hoping with you.

    I reccomend patientslikeme.com if you discover you have parkinsons and want to look at disease progression and how people actually react (positive and negative) to different meds and procedures. It's a fantastic resource.

    Strong at the Broken Places is also a great book for anyone with serious long term medical conditions.
    Thank you for the info. If it ends up being Parkinson's, I will definitely need some sort of support group, or I will end up being a fall down drunk again. I am one of the most mentally tough people I know, but there's only so much you can take before it starts taking its toll.

    Unfortunately for me, all of the people that got it in my family got it when they were young too, which is another reason I'm worried. I have no idea how it has progressed with age in the family, because most of those that had it died fairly young. Before my father, nobody on his side of the family had ever lived to see 50. Various cancers and diabetes wiped them all out. Then my dad's generation came along, and him and all of his cousins are in their late 50s/early 60s, and other than my dad's hep c and very stable diabetes, they are relatively healthy.

    The biggest worry I have if it is Parkinson's, is the very real possibility of deteriorating mental function that usually goes along with it. I have obsessively read and watched the news, done various types of puzzles and brain games, wrote and created things, fixed things, etc. since I was a little kid. My mind is always going, and I have constantly kept it busy as much as humanly possible ever since I could remember.

    From a young age, I made it a point to learn something new every day, and learn how to do something new at least once a year. It is because of this that I can carry on conversations with just about anyone on just about any topic, because I have made it a point to learn as much as I can possibly learn. The doctor said that doing this so obsessively could be a huge advantage to me as far as staying mentally healthy if I do have Parkinson's, but I can't help but worry that not being able to do the brain things I've always done could drive me nuts.

    But like my wife says, I will be cautious for now and not worry until I have a reason to worry.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by McD5 View Post
    Stay in the fight Extreme. Things will get better. They always do.
    You're right, they do seem to generally work out over time, but I really can't recall ever being at such a low point in my life before. The one thing all my friends and family are thankful for is the fact that in spite of how I come across sometimes on here, I am about as mentally stable as you can get. I have never been depressed, I have never hated life, I would never in a trillion years even consider suicide, etc. There is no chance at all of me ever losing it, my family just worries I might start drinking again since that's how I handled serious issues in the past. I like being sober though, so I don't have any plans to go back to those days at all.

    I guess the best way to put it is that I'm worried, slightly pissed off, but I'm not unstable in the slightest bit. Just wondering why I go out of my way to help so many people all the time, bust my ass to get ahead, raise my kids to be the best people they can be, make it a point to be a better husband each and every day, etc. and it just seems like nothing ever goes my way. it's always been like that, I just can't ever seem to catch a break. But it's gotta get better.

    Maybe you have to stand in the bottom of the valley before you can reach the top of the mountain.
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  10. #10
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    Extreme,
    I know what it's like to question if things will ever be "right" again. If the outcome is Parkinsons like you fear, let yourself be upset. If possible try to remember what your are really upset about and then get to really know the disease. I know when I was being diagnosed with MS, there were things which really bothered me like tracks in the underwear the day before I get a cold. Thing is, I'm hardly the first person to ever have that issue, and others before me have come up with solutions or ways to mitigate them. I was told in a Men's MS group, "Until you can joke about a symptom, it owns you. The moment the symptom is just another laugh line, it loses all its power to make you feel small or less than you once were. You own it." It's advice I've taken to heart, and not just about MS symptoms.

    I know it's a semi trite thing these days, but bucket lists are great for realizing both how much you can still do and also how lukcy you are to have an opportunity to do some. Then reassess.

    Let your family be upset too. One of the hardest times I've had with MS is recognizing the pain I cause them, and it's not about toughing it out. It's about dreams and plans they may have had to put on "wait and see." It's about knowing on any given day, I may just say "I need a break," and it about all the days I should have said those same words.

    From the crazy in need of perspective moments, I posted this about a time when I was dealing with MS, crazy personal issues, a hectic work life, and a daughter in the hospital recovering from major heart surgery. I still think about Michael on days like today with random pains.
    http://thelifewelllived.blogspot.com...rried-day.html
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbear View Post
    Extreme,
    I know what it's like to question if things will ever be "right" again. If the outcome is Parkinsons like you fear, let yourself be upset. If possible try to remember what your are really upset about and then get to really know the disease. I know when I was being diagnosed with MS, there were things which really bothered me like tracks in the underwear the day before I get a cold. Thing is, I'm hardly the first person to ever have that issue, and others before me have come up with solutions or ways to mitigate them. I was told in a Men's MS group, "Until you can joke about a symptom, it owns you. The moment the symptom is just another laugh line, it loses all its power to make you feel small or less than you once were. You own it." It's advice I've taken to heart, and not just about MS symptoms.

    I know it's a semi trite thing these days, but bucket lists are great for realizing both how much you can still do and also how lukcy you are to have an opportunity to do some. Then reassess.

    Let your family be upset too. One of the hardest times I've had with MS is recognizing the pain I cause them, and it's not about toughing it out. It's about dreams and plans they may have had to put on "wait and see." It's about knowing on any given day, I may just say "I need a break," and it about all the days I should have said those same words.

    From the crazy in need of perspective moments, I posted this about a time when I was dealing with MS, crazy personal issues, a hectic work life, and a daughter in the hospital recovering from major heart surgery. I still think about Michael on days like today with random pains.
    http://thelifewelllived.blogspot.com...rried-day.html
    I know exactly what you're saying, and humor is definitely something I have to my advantage, and have already embraced the possibility.

    I don't know if you ever saw the Michael J. Fox picture I posted after the earthquake, but it was a picture of him with a caption that said what earthquake. On facebook, I Already reposted the pic with myself in it. I also told all of my friends I have a right to be offended now when someone says shake on it. Humor in my life has always been a big part of what gets me through a lot of things anyway, so it won't change.

    I take comfort in the fact that major advances have been made in Parkinson's, so it's better to get it now than it would have been 20 years ago. As far as family support goes, that will be a big problem. Not because my family doesn't care or isn't sympathetic, but because the situation sucks. My brother almost died from Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome on his 18th birthday a decade ago. He had to have open heart surgery for it, and still has issues to this day with it, so I can't compare this to that. My mom and wife are useless for support, because while they don't have any major issues, they are the types that have to constantly have all the attention and sympathy, and the types where no matter what your problems are, theirs are worse - even though they never are. My dad has hepatitis c with advanced cirrhosis that he got from a blood transfusion. Never drank, did drugs, got tattooed, etc. and he stresses over waiting for a liver transplant every day. All of my other relatives care about nothing that isn't money, and since I'm not a millionaire like they are, I've always been pretty irrelevant to them anyway. As I wrote in my post earlier, my friends have way more severe things going on right now, so I don't expect much in support, but they are great people and will completely understand.

    Staying positive is easier said than done, as I am sure you have found out. I'm sure there will be good days and there will be horrible days. As long as I can stay mentally sharp, I can handle the tremors and stuff, since I have dealt with them in one form or another for a while now. I know there will be good days and bad days. Even though the possibility of having this disease sucks, I know there are way worse thing out there, so I need to be grateful for the hand I've been dealt.
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  12. #12
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    Wow, Ex - I had no idea things were so tough. The Parkinsons stuff has to be the worst, but all that other noise at the same time? Not fair.

    Well, definitely will be sending good wishes your way. I'm so sorry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dik Shuttle View Post
    Wow, Ex - I had no idea things were so tough. The Parkinsons stuff has to be the worst, but all that other noise at the same time? Not fair.

    Well, definitely will be sending good wishes your way. I'm so sorry.
    Thanks for the well wishes. I'm a pretty strong person mentally, so I can handle it, but it is a little much all at once. But I like to think positive - I'd rather get all the bad stuff out of the way at the same time, rather than have it happen one week after another and be in a year long slump.

    It's definitely a lot to deal with all at once, but I'll have to push through it. Things get tough sometimes, and they definitely won't get better by sitting around being depressed and having a pity party over. One thing at a time, I will get through all of this. Just gotta keep my head up.
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  14. #14
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    Odd timing, but I just came across this on a blog I follow:
    http://www.wheelchairkamikaze.com/20...-know-one.html

    It goes towards the denial we all go through during diagnosis and the coming to terms with a condition likely to change our lives.
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