Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chapter 18

Gary all of a sudden seemed to have more energy.  He was planning all kinds of projects and he was up after I went to bed and sometimes up before me!  Despite all this new found energy his boss and teachers at the school started complaining about his work, it was sloppy and not being finished at times.

One evening the phone rang and it was Pastor Benson.  He asked me if I had noticed Gary behaving strangely.  All at once everything fell into place and I saw what was happening.  Sometimes a person is to close to a situation to see it clearly! The Pastor went on to tell me that Gary had been calling various men in the church at all hours of the night with weird plans that he wanted implemented at the church!

The next morning I called Gary's doctor and he was admitted once again to the Mental Hospital.  This time he was diagnosed with bi-polar.  He had experienced several depressive bouts over the years but this was a manic stage and what was needed to definitely declare him bi-polar.  Different medications were started and he was released a week later.

His behavior changed again.  No change was ever for the better, it always saw the worsening of existing symptoms and behaviors and the starting of new.

The next two years were very hard.  He was only able to work part-time and was extremely hard to get along with.  The teachers, principal and other people at the school were constantly submitting complaints about him to the school board.  He was surly, paranoid, pushy and thought that everyone was against him.  I found myself constantly trying to calm him down.  There was one situation that arose in the school that resulted in the union's lawyer representing him at a meeting of school employee's.  Not long after that he was placed on long-term disability and no longer had a job.

This threw me into a depression.  The one thing I had looked forward to each day was having him at work.  It gave me time to catch my breath, let my guard down and relax for a few hours.  Now he was home 24/7, there were no more breaks.  Most of the time he was ranting about how unfair the school board was.  I was always trying to calm him down and sooth him.  Somehow in his mind all his problems were in some way my fault.  He was constantly telling me that I was never there to help when he needed me, that I should know what he needed without him having to ask me.  I should be able to fix things!  With homeschooling, babysitting and everything else hellish going on I was being pushed to the limit myself.

We had 3 months before the first disability cheque.  Again our dear friends at church came to our aid with groceries and gifts of money.  David and Jessie even went so far as to pay our power bill for those months.  With his loss of work we also loss our medical coverage.  We ended up having to go to Social Services and get medical through them.  That was a hard day for me.

Having a diagnoses of bi-polar seemed to make him think that there was a valid excuse now for the perverse things he liked.  My doctor knew something was up and after an annual pap test sat me down, looked me in the eye and asked me what was going on.  I didn't answer him, just teared up.  He leaned in close to me, took my hand and said that if I ever decided I wanted help he would always be there for me to come to.  I looked at this very kind gentle man, smiled and thanked him.  But I felt trapped, that there was no way out without the judgement of God falling on me.  Life, which I had thought couldn't get worse was proving me wrong. 

When Elizabeth entered grade 7 and Josiah grade 10 I had no choice but to put them back into public school.  I hated to do that, homeschooling was something I had dearly loved.  But I was smart enough to realize that there were some things I couldn't do, and Josiah's math was it.  I couldn't hurt their futures by not providing what they needed in their education.  I decided if Josiah was going back so would Elizabeth, and that was mainly because of Gary.  He was demanding more and more of me. 

It was around this time that Gary was diagnosed with Parkinson's.  Some of the medication that he had been on for the bi-polar had triggered Parkinson's.  Since his bi-polar medication interacted with the Parkinson's medication and the Parkinson's medication interacted with the bi-polar medication, it took a long time to find the correct balance.  He started having panic attacks and wanted me with him at all times.  Since he didn't trust me out without him and he didn't like going out because of these attacks I became like a prisoner in my own home.  If there was a need for groceries or anything I had to go after midnight when he figured there were less people around for me to have contact with and he could just stay home and go to bed!

I didn't have Ben anymore, his parents had been transferred.  I still had sweet Gabby and now another little girl named Emma who came to me when she was 5 months old.  They both loved Josiah and Elizabeth and would get so excited to see them come home from school.  Josiah and Elizabeth viewed them as little sisters and spent time playing with them everyday.  I loved these two little girls so much.

One day I started noticing that my left hip was beginning to pain more than usual and as the week went on the pain got worse and worse.  Finally one night the pain became so intense that I couldn't move.  An ambulance was called and I was taken to the hospital.  I was admitted and put on morphine but I couldn't move.

The next day a specialist (and I use that term loosely) came in to see me.  He pulled back the covers to look at my hip and said in a very hateful voice, "Good god, you're so fat!"  I was stunned that he would say something like that to me.  He examined me very roughly and then left the room.  I burst into tears and my roommate called for a nurse.  When the nurse came in my roommate, who had heard everything, told her what had happened.  The nurse came around the curtain, sat on the edge of my bed and just hugged me.  Another nurse came in to see what was going on.  It wasn't long before the whole floor was buzzing with what had transpired.  One nurse told me to pay him no mind, he treated everyone like that and no one, not even staff liked him.  I told her that I wished I didn't have to see him again.  Another nurse spoke up and said that I did not have to.  They immediately put it in my chart and on my door that he wasn't permitted in my room again.  That evening the hospital director came to see me.  He was disgusted at what had occurred and said that it was not the first time they'd had trouble regarding this doctor.  He told me that I had several avenues of action I could take.  I could go through the hospital disciplinary board or through the provincial disciplinary board.  I opted for the latter and with letters supporting my case from my roommate and several nurses a formal complaint was filed against him.  Not even a reprimand was issued to him as a result of all this.  Again I was at the mercy of someone who judged me on my appearance.

Another doctor was called in who diagnosed me with bursitis in my hip.  After two weeks I was up and around with the help of a walker and discharged home.

Once home I tried to pick up my responsibilities and continue on but I was still in tremendous pain.  It got to the point where I could hardly move again.  I got a commode because I couldn't get to the bathroom.  Gary wouldn't empty it so poor Josiah and Elizabeth had to do that disgusting job for their mother!  Even dear little Gabby tried to help.  She was back but Emma wasn't as she still needed more care then I could provide at that time.  Josiah and Elizabeth would bring me potatoes and veggies which I would peel and cut up while in bed.  I then would tell them how to make the suppers.  They learned to do alot during this time. 

One day I was trying to get from the bedroom to the livingroom when the pain became so intense I ended up screaming.  Josiah and Elizabeth were in school.  Gary gave me the commode to sit on while I waited for yet another pain prescription to arrive.  I sat and tried to contain the tears and screams but the pain was about the worse I had ever suffered.  Dear little Gabby...bless her heart, I looked up to see her trying to push the big recliner out of the livingroom to where I was in the hallway.  She thought I would be more comfortable in the chair waiting!  I can see her yet, struggling with that big chair!  Thankfully these new pills worked and a couple of weeks later I was back on my feet like nothing had ever happened!

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