Tag: Larry

Here we go again

Here we go again

Originally posted on

I think “Here We Go Again” is a title of an old song, can’t be sure though and it really doesn’t matter. In this sense it only means here I go, putting up another very late post.

I see it’s not been since January of this year that I visited here to write. I’m surprised! My my, where does the time go?

I’ve been active and there are many things that have happened around me. Perhaps no more than to the average bear but they were, of course, significant to me. Mostly it’s just life stuff.

One thing of note was that since my last post I’ve gone back on the ‘juice’. Now before you get all confused or concerned you must realize the ‘juice’ in this context is an anti-depression medication, in this case Citalopram. Last year I was on Mirtazapine but in my wisdom I chose to get off the meds and see how things turned out. Not too well evidently.

After stopping the Mirts I did not become suicidal or anything close to that self destructive, it was more a case of low moods and and a frequent sadness I couldn’t seem to avoid. In fact, as I told my doctor, I would often get very teary and emotional during commercials on tv. I short I was very often low. This didn’t happen immediately but became more pronounced over time. In a nutshell I was not better, more help was needed, but I persevered.

In January we went to Okotoks to our niece’s. That’s where we had gone to visit during our annual get-away and where I last posted  Typically we go somewhere away from our city to just be away, to regroup and recharge. January is the month our son died so since then, Jan. of 2000, we either take a week in our time-share or perhaps we go to visit kin. In this case the kin won. It was a nice visit, a good escape. I had no overt depression or anxiety but my sadness lingered.

During that same month my Mother moved out of our basement suite where she had lived for a 7 or so years. She and my step-Father had moved in when they found the challenges of living alone, away from town, a challenge. My step-Father Larry unfortunately passed away a few years ago just after his 80th birthday but my Mom stayed with us. Now, through a series of outside circumstance, she felt moving to Langley was the best choice for her and her siblings so she took on the challenge of moving and went to the big city. I supported her move and still do. It is her call and I think I can appreciate her reasons.

Since her move we have spent time refurbishing the suite in hopes of attracting another good tenant. I won’t belabour the point but all went quite well and in the end we gained my (ex) brother-in-law Jake as a new ‘person under the stairs’. I could likely write volumes about the dynamics of him and his wife (and her family) but I won’t. I would like cause you some disbelief and wonderment about how these kinds of relationships could even take place. Maybe not though, I guess they are on reality tv all the time.

But I digress. After our foray away and my Mom’s move I just reached the point where I knew a change was needed. Don’t misunderstand, my situation was neither caused nor exacerbated by either our trip, the timing, nor my Mom’s leaving. They were only pointers in time, the inevitable return to medication was evident by that point.

After our return home a visit to my doctor supported my diagnosis, he determined I was depressed and had a higher degree of anxiety than ‘normal’. A regime of anti-depressants were again prescribed. In consult with the doctor we decided to try the Citalopram as I felt the Mirtazapine did not hold up it’s end of the bargain and let me down after some time. This became more evident as I re-read my paper journal and saw a decline in my moods over time. Another reason I had chosen to stop the Mirts. The Citalopram would also apparently help with any anxiety.

At any rate here we are. After being on the Cital since Jan. 28th I feel better once again. Not so much something you may be able to see but more an even-ess and stability of mood. I have more motivation and am getting some things done. I do hope it continues. My sleep has improved and although I dream crazy dreams now it is more restful. A drawback to the Citalopram is a tiredness during mid morning but I may change when I take my dose to dinnertime and the drowsiness may abate.

So in that sense I hope the tagline “Here we go again” is a positive one and I don’t find myself regressing over time. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

p

I Saw an Old Man Walking

I Saw an Old Man Walking

I saw an old man walking today, poking along the roadside, meandering along his path with the appearance of looking for lost items, perhaps bottles and the such. He was dressed for the excursion with sturdy boots, a small pack, and the ever trusting walking stick. He reminded me of Larry.

Larry, my step-father, passed away a year ago March. I think of him often.

Larry would also often be seen strolling slowly down the streets near our home, his home too as he lived with us. He would stop frequently to chat with neighbors, children, or whoever had the time or inclination to visit with him. He was that kind of guy. he loved all, and was loved by all.

I think about him during times when I meet my Dad. They are/were about the same age and they had the distinct luxury of being married to my Mom. That is about where the similarity ends.

20120726-004343.jpgLarry was full of life, even if he had to search it out from the depths of his being. Toward the end it was a struggle for him, he was forgetful and struggled for words. Continuity of thought often eluded him, and he was terrified he was losing his mind, so worried he would get Alzheimer’s the way his first wife did.

He lived with her disease and raised their children while their mother declined. Finally she became too much of a danger to her family, and herself, and had to be hospitalized.

Despite that past, or perhaps because of it, he wanted to live and experience life. Especially he wanted to experience family. There was nothing more gratifying for him than to have all his children come together, nothing that meant more.

My Dad however sees no challenge in life. He is satisfied to sit, nap, watch tv, and take the occasional lunch break with me. He has no desire to build connections with his family or form attachments with his fellow residents of the “Village”. He has little knowledge of current affairs nor an interest in discussing them. Granted he is suffering early symptoms of dementia and has experienced a number of small strokes but these personality traits are not new. More exaggerated now perhaps but not new. Sometimes I’m so afraid because I’m more like him than Larry.

It would stand to reason of course, I am his blood, Larry was “only” my step father. I am sometimes saddened to say I felt more kinship to Larry as a father figure than my biological Dad. I feel somehow bad saying that. That too saddens me.

20120726-004106.jpgI went in to have lunch with Dad today. During our stroll from the car to the restaurant he said,

“You know who I saw in the mall the other day?”.

I answered,

“Who, Desmond?”,

Des was a co-worker of my Dads.

“No”

he said,

“I saw Larry and Ida”

I was dumbstruck……..Larry was my step father, now deceased, Ida was his first wife who died of Alzheimer’s about 25 years ago. Where on earth was Dad getting this? I didn’t really know what to say so we had some brief discussion about it and moved on. It troubled me.

So I saw an old man walking today. I miss Larry.

Children under the stairs, no more help with Dad

Children under the stairs, no more help with Dad

Mo and I had lunch with my Mom yesterday, Sunday being the day we typically try to get together with her, and both Larry and her before that. She does live in the basement, one of the original “children under the stairs”, but she has her space and we have ours so it’s not always that we see her, or get a chance to catch up. Unfortunately she is now the only “child under the stairs”, my stepfather having passed away in March.  I guess she’d not a child either but somehow the whole “under the stairs” thing was designated and has since stuck.

We asked her how her visit was with Dad earlier in the week.  The week prior she had actually offered to take him to lunch as she was going to be in Trail anyway and thought it would be nice.  Even though their marriage has been over for almost 30 years they are still civil and Mom has offered a number of times to help with Dad in any way she can.  Unfortunately that may be coming to an end.

It seems that Dad was not the most optimistic and upbeat lunch companion that we thought he might be.  Allegedly he complained about most of the food and even told the waitress he thought it was terrible.  Mom was embarrassed and as she said “very depressed” when she left.  “I won’t do that again” she said.  I can only hope she means she just won’t take him to lunch again.

He’s not always the most chipper guy when we’ve gone out but I don’t recall him being that vocal nor obviously unhappy with the meal.  It’s possible it was that bad, likely not though, and it’s possible it was more that he reacted that way in a restaurant that Mom and Larry favoured.  Unfortunately my inside voice said “Oh no, how I have to deal with him all alone again”.  I mentioned that I felt that way to Mo, about having to deal with him alone, and she said “We” will have to deal with him, not just me.  It’s yet to be seen.  Makes me sad.

My Father is Sick…should I go?

My Father is Sick…should I go?

I just heard from Mo that my dad has congestive heart failure.  I knew he had gone to the hospital the other day with supposed pneumonia and was kept for observation.  We had been trying to get through to them to confirm the diagnosis but until this morning had not been successful.

This news is causing me to examine some feelings I had looked at before but in a somewhat new light.  Should I rush down, perhaps to see him for the last time?  My plan at this point, without further clarifying info, is to wait for concrete information from the hospital as to his condition.  Mo said the hospital told her he is having heart tests right now and we should know something soon, how soon is soon??  Don’t know.

I heard from my sister Br last night when she texted me to find out if I had heard from Dad, she had tried to call but was not successful.  I told her what I knew at that time, which was little.  She will need to be updated once we know more.

Mo and I have discussed our plan should he pass unexpectedly and I still think we will not have a service for him when that time comes.  What’s left of his family is getting on and I don’t know if they would travel anyway.  Sad to say but I don’t think he has a wide circle of friends who would go either.

This happening so soon on the heels of Larrys passing will impact me for sure, how much is yet to be seen.

I Feel Happy

I Feel Happy

Well the weirdest thing happened to me on leaving work today, I walked out into the sun and ran into Ivan.  That wasn’t the strange thing, we began chatting and I actually felt happy.  Go figure.  I do recall feeling up before meds (I’m going to call it bm) but this was almost surreal, and I can’t really articulate what the difference was, I just felt “happy”.  Now I’m sure the sun had an effect, and I’m sure going on holidays in a few days also helps, but that be grand if that was real life?

So kind of a depressing talk last night about buying a truck. We just don’t have the money, and therein is the source of the sadness.  Certainly it is not debilitating but money talk  always brings me down.

Also a bit sad when I stopped in at BP on the way home, Jordon made a comment about my folks.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him about Larry. I really miss the old fart.  As an FYI he was my stepfather, who passed away untimely in March. Still hard to believe he’s gone -tears-.

Missing Larry

Missing Larry

I miss Larry, a lot.  I understand Dusty is also having some issues around this.  Perhaps Larry’s impact on the men in his family was more profound than we realize.

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