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Saturday, August 23, 2008

100 things you may not know about me

1. My name is Nancy Lynne.
2. I hate the name Nancy. It rhymes with fancy and dancy.
3. When I was 16 I insisted that my name be changed to Nanci and even got a cheesy gold nameplate that said that.
4. I was happy when I got married and my last name moved from a V to a D.
5. I refused to name any of my kids with a Y at the end of their name so it didnt rhyme with our last name, which rhymes with cooley.
6. I do all of my own stunts.
7. I eloped when I was 18.
8. I didnt tell anyone until 6 months later.
9. I hate my hair.
10. It is naturally curly
11. Until my neck surgery I secretly got perms.
12. I denied it all the time.
13. I think my husband is adopted.
14. I am sure my brother in law is in the CIA.
15. I am ridiculously afraid of alligators.
16. Like I think one might be in my backyard now.
17. I lived in Jacksonville Florida for a year and a half.
18. I lived in Boston and Salem, New Hampshire too.
19. When I lived in Florida an alligator ate a little girl named Daughter #1 and I have been petrified of them ever since.
20. I am secretly in love with Kid Rock.
21. If you know me its not a secret.
22. I have been to three of his concerts.
23. If he knocked on my door right now I would leave my family for him.
24. I hate Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Sting, and Tom Petty.
25. Hubbys favorite bands are Neil Young and the Police.
26. I was born in Durham, North Carolina.
27. I tell people that but neglect to tell them that I only lived there for 18 days.
28. My parents were high school sweethearts.
29. My hubby and I were high school sweethearts.
30. My sister and her husband were high school sweethearts.
31. I am doubting whether there are 100 things you may not know about me.
32. I love coffee.
33. I would drink it all day long if I could.
34. I still love all my kids names.
35. My favorite sport is professional basketball.
36. I dont believe that their can ever be a reason for child abuse.
37. My favorite movie is The Way We Were.
38. I love all the cheesy 80s movies like, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, One Crazy Summer, Better off Dead, Pretty in Pink and lots more.
39. I love big flashdance shirts and leggings and wish they would come back again.
40. I always thought I was lying about my height until my father measured me a few weeks ago and I really am 5'6".
41. I was in therapy for 5 years.
42. I really do think it helped me.
43. I hate confrontation and will avoid it at all costs.
44. I dont look like anyone in my family.
45. I have been married for 22 years.
46. I have four daughters.
47. I always wanted 6 kids.
48. I never wanted a son.
49. I think boys are stupid.
50. Not all of them but most of them.
51. I could not possibly name my favorite food because I love all kinds of food.
52. Ok I'll try...steak, cheeseburgers from Good Steer, chocolate, ben and jerrys new york superfudge chunk.
53. My favorite group is probably Led Zeppelin even though I am in love with Kid Rock.
54. My favorite song of all time is Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin.
55. I hate Mount Sinai School District.
56. I have had 4 dogs in my life.
57. Two when I was a kid and two when I had my own family.
58. I love my dog now but my Goldie was my best dog ever.
59. Hubby and I cried hysterically when we had to put her to sleep.
60. It was one of the only times I ever saw him cry.
61. I am watching I am Legend right now.
62. I think the Notebook is the cruelest movie ever made.
63. I love Will Smith.
64. I believe in God.
65. I am Jewish but my dad is Catholic and so is my husband.
66. I used to pray but my prayers were never answered so I stopped.
67. I respect the right of every person to have their own beliefs.
68. As long as they dont try to convince me that my beliefs are wrong.
69. I hate racial and religious prejudice but I dont mind hating stupid people.
70. I laugh at inappropriate jokes.
71. I laugh at anything even remotely resembling bathroom humor.
72. I am afraid I am Legend may be my new most hated movie of all time.
73. I havent slept through the night in 20 years.
74. You are saying Yeah Right but I have never slept through the night from nighttime to morning in 20 years. Probably 21 and a half actually.
75. I love to be alone.
76. I am not afraid of bugs.
77. Although I hate crickets.
78. I cannot stand the sound of toenails clipping, people slurping hot beverages, bags rustling at Broadway Shows and any other noise when I am dozing off.
79. I love dogs.
80. I hate cats.
81. I hate rodents.
82. I never eat breakfast.
83. I make up for it at lunch.
84. I have worked in a coatroom at two different places.
85. I one time put on a blonde wig and called a place I was afraid to quit.
86. Yes I realize this makes me a psycho.
87. I worked for the 2000 census.
88. I used to work in banking before I had my kids.
89. My cousin was killed by a drunk driver on Thanksgiving in 1987.
90. His sister was like my sister until she stopped talking to me because I had neck surgery during the week of her daughters Bat Mitzvah.
91. I have been operated on 3 times in my life.
92. I had no pain killers during the birth of daughter number 3.
93. I lost so much fluid and blood I almost died after she was born.
94. Not really but my blood pressure dropped so low the nurse ran screaming from the room.
95. I think I am a doctor.
96. I frequently diagnose other people and even prescribe medicine that I then dispense from my personal stash.
97. I was addicted to drugs after my surgery and detoxed by myself over 3 days.
98. I will never take another drug because of that.
99. I cant believe I ever doubted my ability to tell you 100 things about me.
100. And now I cant stop at 100.
101. My favorite thing to do is talk and eat.
102. My favorite candy is Peppermint Patties or Mounds.
103. My favorite color is pink.
104. I want to be a princess, yet I cant stop myself from doing manly home repairs and yard work when i want something done.
105. I obviously have no self control because I said I was doing 100 things and am already on 106.
106. I will probably do this again in the future if I change so much there is more you need to know about me.
107. I need to devote my attention to I am legend because it seems scary and sad.

All I am saying is give peace a chance...

I am sitting peacefully in my backyard at 9am on a Saturday morning. It is the crack of dawn in my house so everyone else is still sleeping.

I love these moments of quiet when I am alone. I should be doing my homework but I felt the need to talk about the peace while it was still surrounding me before anyone else gets up and breaks into my silent world.

Soon the morning quiet will be gone. In a week and a half school will start again and I will go back to driving 40 miles each way to bring daughter #3 to the Long Island High School for the Arts which she attends in the mornings in Syosset.

I have had a really nice summer. I know that sounds odd considering I did absolutely nothing this summer except work and eat. No trips to exotic places, not even a trip to a not so exotic place like Virginia or Washington DC which we normally do.

It was just like Groundhog Day, did you ever see that movie where the same thing happens everyday?? The point of the movie was that he needed to learn to fix his mistakes before the day would finally end. Everyday he woke up to the same day with the possibility of learning something important and he couldnt have a new day until he figured it all out.

That is how this summer was. Calm, no drama, same thing everyday and for me, in my life where drama has been a four letter word for years, it was perfect. I learned something new everyday.

I work at a place that I love, with very special people. Like Ms. Abracadabra, Skim McNibble and of course Ellen. Ellen is my favorite though. She is much more "real" than the others. Of course these arent their real names. I have changed their names to protect the innocent. I talk to Mike on the phone a lot, although he is like Charlie from Charlies Angels, I have never actually seen him. He just calls with instructions and we begin our mission.

We have in depth conversations about things that really matter. Some of them there though are so quiet and "stuffed". You know? We spend a lot of our day fielding problems about things that dont quite measure up (sometimes things dont but come up to ma knees), or missing items that are always there, the customers just lie and say they arent. We have had so many of these, we had to post names of the liars on a "Wall", similar to a facebook wall only bigger. Sometimes we deal with bigger issues, like when large "cats" maul our clients babies. They call and leave pathetic messages. It is hard to deal with but somehow we make it through without too much emotion.

We laugh and cry, and laugh until we cry. We cry for real though, like this week when our kids are leaving for college. It is a new chapter for some of us, while others just sit there and be still, hiding behind their little cubicles we call "buckets".

I learned a lot this summer though and that is why my ground hog days are starting to change. I am allowed to move on.

I learned that I can use a table saw without cutting off any fingers. One person missing fingers in this house is enough. I learned that I can grout a bathroom and that although I thought it could be done in just 1 hour it really did take 3. I learned that if you offer daughter #4 a slurpee she will do just about anything. And if you offer her unlimited slurpees she will eventually get sick and not do anything. I learned that although I always believed I was a good mother (actually I thought I was a great mother) some of my kids dont have that same opinion of me and maybe no one ever understands how much a mother sacrifices for her kids until you become a mother yourself. Maybe not even then. I learned how to make fried rice. Although I havent been able to make it the same way twice. I learned that hubby will do anything to win a contest. Actually I have always known this. It isnt new.

I learned that boring has such an appeal to me now and excitement is reserved for younger, skinnier people. Excitement for me is when the end of the day comes and no one has collapsed catastrophically.

Well the peace has been broken. The phone has rang three times and daughters 3 and 4 are awake. The day has just begun and I have already learned that if you answer the 800 numbers that call, they arent all creditors looking for money. Some of them are just looking to sell you stuff.

So I guess tomorrow will be a new day with more things to learn and another day closer to the busy September life style we lead. Sports and music lessons and work and dieting.

But that is what life is, isnt it? A collection of experiences and moments and even when they arent all pleasant they all have a purpose and we should try to learn something from every one of them. Maybe tomorrow I should get up a little earlier to have more time to find out what I need to learn.

maybe not.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Money can't buy me love....

When we are together as a family, it is magical. Loud, crazy, yelling, bickering, laughing whatever. Just so much energy. It happens so fast, we dont even know it.

I mostly notice it when there are other people around. I start to notice the look on their face that says " Are these people nuts?" " Are they speaking their own language?"

We are very rarely all together anymore. The two older girls are at college and the times when it is all 6 of us are few and far between.

We all talk at once yet we hear whats going on with everyone. We feed each other straight lines and laugh until we cant breathe when our punchline is returned. We make fun of each other relentlessly, not to say that it doesnt hurt sometimes, but we move on to something else so fast it is often forgotten. We are inappropriate and disgusting. I have been accused of having the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy.

It has taken me a long time to recognize how special our family is.

I always say you dont know what you dont know. Profound I know...

What I mean is that, yeah I should have known that there was a girls sporting goods Nazi who controlled the inventory and didnt allow anyone other than Port Jeff Sports to purchase pink batting helmets even though they didnt want them, BUT how could I even think for a minute there was such a thing if I couldnt even fathom such a thing occurring. You get my drift? There are things in the world that we could never explain if you didnt know it was possible. Do you think the Bushman in the forests of Africa would be worrying that an ipod would disturb the herding of the buffalo. ???? No because they never even knew an Ipod could exist in the world.

People dont know that this is what a family can be. It truly can.

For most people I think their family life is something like the family they grew up in. I know people think teenagers should be rude and bad and that terrible twos is a definitive moment and not just a suggestion.

I wanted to defy this. For selfish reasons mostly. I wanted to enjoy my kids and have fun with them and be able to talk to them instead of scream. I dont think its a rite of passage to drink when you are in 9th grade or be fresh to your parents at 12 years old. It is not written in the stars that way.

It is just bad parenting.

And I totally believe that Yes... children are born with different types of personalities but that is why each child needs to be raised individually. Rules and guidelines must be established and then adjusted as life goes on.

Most people are overwhelmed in our presence. Either that or they cant get enough of it. I think most of daughter #1's friends appreciate us way more than daugther #2's friends. They come from normal 2 parent households. They have always hung out, quietly observing, not sure if they should or could join in. They mostly just sat by and watched. It was way too scary to jump into the ring with Mike Tyson. He may bite your ear off.

We are our own table at weddings and parties and its not that we dont want to socialize with others, its just not a neccessity. We are our own team.

At the beach, we would be building a sand castle and that lonely only child would come over and want to join in. Daughter #4 was usually the most welcoming to this because she never had a younger sibling to boss around. But they never lasted long because we have an unspoken language among us. Mind powers, daughter #3 calls it. I say ok dont bring this up at this party or whatever and she is like "send it to me with your mind powers". It is intimidating to outsiders.

That is how we won a game last week, when she made one move to act out the clue and I screamed " EASY BAKE OVEN ". It was the mind powers.

I digress.

My point is that we may never have had a lot of money, but that didnt stop us from enjoying each other and having a lot of great times. Hubbys cancer changed our outlook on money. And left us with hundreds of thousands of dollars of bills and debt, because we charged the mortgage and our food so we could eat.

At some point in 2000, I went back to work and things were good for awhile. We had 30,000 dollars in the bank and I weighed about 138 lbs. Wow things were good. But then hubby was laid off in February 2001 the day before his 35th birthday.

And we started from scratch again.
With bills and debt and uncertainty.

It would be cliche for me to say, well we still had each other, but until you have gone through cancer like we did, you will never understand. We really did have each other. And when we couldnt go on vacation like the other families, hubby would take a day off of work and we would go bowling in the morning, eat at mcdonalds for lunch, go to the movies in the afternoon, play miniature golf and then have ice cream sundaes for dinner. It was fun. Realy enjoyable fun.

Those moments are some of the best in my memory. It didnt take a lot of money to have fun and enjoy each others company. We did that at our kitchen table which is the center of our home. We sit around it for hours and laugh and debate and of course, you know, eat. We have game playing marathons of cards or on the really long days Monopoly. And then we eat again.

I have worked really hard to make up for the fact that we certainly arent wealthy. At certain points in our life we have had more money than we do now but I have tried to just keep living like we always do. Just getting by with what we need and realizing the rest is just designer crap and empty "trophies".

I guess I never realized that it is hard for my kids growing up in a place where some of the kids get Hummers on their 16th birthday. We chose to live here because we wrongly thought the school district was a great place to raise kids. It is a safe, healthy environment and that is what we wanted for our kids.

yeah we could have had a pimped out camaro for each of our kids if we lived in Selden where we grew up. ( although sadly hubby and I were the poor kids in that town too) But we wanted to be able to leave our door unlocked and not worry about our car being stolen out of our driveway. Twice. ( long story for another time)

I charge things. I have been known to charge lots of things. Although when we get the 30% off Kohls coupon I choose to look at it like not how much I charged but how much I saved. ( we saved over 200 dollars on our last visit) hopefully you are not good at math and are not sitting there thinking, crap, if you saved 200 how much did you spend. Never Mind!!

I will be paying off charge cards probably for the rest of my life, whether that is 40 years or 40 days. It doesnt really matter.

You cant charge memories and enjoy them later when it is more convenient. It just doesnt happen that way. So if I insist that we all participate in something it is because that memory is worth more to me than getting a half of a percent interest if that money was sitting in the bank.

And you dont learn that when you are 13 or 15 or even in your 20's because life is uncertain. And at your age you think it will be here forever. And I hope it is, but you never know when a wrench is thrown into your life plan. Life is short... a borrowed dollar today may be the only thing you have in your memory bank for tomorrow.

Hubby was laid off in February 2001. Prior to his being laid off from that company, every Tuesday morning he had a meeting at the World Trade Center. At 9 am.

September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday. And at 8:50am lots of people lost their lives. do you think it mattered one bit to their families if they had charge cards that they needed to pay off?? I doubt it one bit. The memories they had were all that was left. Most didnt even have bodies to bury.

Things happen for a reason and you can never be sure when this might be your moment to make one last memory. Money is paper and metal and can never buy me what I treasure most in this world. It may have been important to me once.

I will never make that mistake again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Its a Girl March 1987

Breathe in............................................

Breathe out...............................................

Great! Now do you feel capable of passing an 8 and 1/2 lb bowling ball through a hole about the size of a dime?

Yeah thats what I thought. Wait breathe again... let me cut off a finger or yank out a tooth.

It doesnt even make sense.

I found out I was pregnant on July 2 1986. Hubby's ship had just been dry docked in Boston and we had found an apartment and moved in together at the end of May.

I know you are thinking... what took so long to get pregnant? We hadnt seen each other since ... you know I cant remember. We were married in December, went on our honeymoon in florida and I cant remember if I saw him again before May.

In any case... We had a little apartment in an Italian Ghetto in East Boston. I started a job on June 30th and I found out I was pregnant at some dumpy little clinic on July 2nd with a Navy wife that I had just met.

We had military insurance which was not easy to use in Boston. Near any base south of the mason dixon line it would have been fine, but in the Northern suburb of Boston, not so much.

I went to Brigham and Womens Hospital which I have since found out was a very well known place. What did I know? I was 18, pregnant and in a new city.

anyway.. the doctor there said I had a urinary tract infection. I said " I am allergic to every sulfa drug used to treat urinary tract infections" he said not macrodantin, no one is allergic to that.

No one is allergic to that!!! As always I am a medical miracle. An anomaly. I should donate my body to science so they could figure it out. Maybe I should wait until I am dead.

I am at my new job talking to my new boss and I dont even realize that I am scratching my hands. I felt like my feet were swelling out of my shoes but what did I know, I was pregnant with my first child. Horns could have grown out of my nose and I would have been like Oh is this what happens when you have a baby??

My new boss is like Nancy why are you scratching and I am like I dont know I am so itchy. Whatever....it never occurs to me that the medication I am on is making me itchy.

I have a 45 minute drive home from work. I come in and I am itching like crazy, my hands, my feet, my legs, my face...It is driving me nuts. So I begin to LOOK at why I am itchy and I see I am covered in hives. Giant ones, one on top of each other. And they are multiplying quickly.

I never think of calling my doctor. I dont know why. I just never did. Its probably because even back then I thought I was a doctor. I just figured I would take care of it by myself.

One little catch... these are the days before debit cards, the only credit card we had was a Macys card and we have about 7 dollars in cash.

I guess eventually we did call some doctor or emergency clinic and they tell me to take Benadryl. Bendadryl has just gone over the counter. It used to be prescription. It costs 16 dollars. We have 7.

Hubby goes to the drugstore and begs for just 1 Bendadryl. They are like NO way... buy the package or dont. No deals. He is frantic, I am so itchy. We are hoping this isnt permanently damaging the baby.

The only thing we can afford is Aveeno Bath. I think there was enough for 3 baths. I get into the bath and the itching starts to go away. Ok I can do this.

I get out of the bath. Itching comes back. Worse than before. The hives are so bad. I think it was a Friday because my mother was coming up the next day to visit. One hive on top of another one on top of another one. I guess I sleep.

I wake up and my mother comes and they do not let me look in the mirror. I am itching and swelling and I am pretty sure I am starting to breathe funny and feel itchy in my throat.

Did I mention that I am still taking the Macrodantin because it never occurs to me that thats what causing the itching?

finally my mother is like you have to go to the hospital. we think we should go to the hospital where I first saw the doctor.
When we get there they are like are you taking any medicine??

Oh yeah... I am... the doctor said no one could ever be allergic to this medicine.

I get a shot of adrenaline. I start to feel better.

We go home. My mother and Hubby told me later that I looked like the elephant man. My face was covered in hives and so distorted, I looked like one of those scary people on the TLC channel. " when faces fall off, or when uti drugs go bad"

I got better and just a few weeks later started throwing up everything I ate.

So I think I must get to the doctor, something must be wrong.

No...Nothing Wrong... because not only do you pass a watermelon from between your legs but vomiting your taco flavored doritos at a Flea market is apparently normal.

That pregnancy was difficult. I was hospitalized at 4 months for non stop vomiting. I never threw up once in the hospital.

I did however watch the semifinals of the world series when the mets played the houston astros and every game went 12-15 innings. Hubby sat with me until visiting hours were over and I cryed when he left. Alone in a hospital in New Hampshire.

I couldnt go back to work because I literally threw up everything I ate. Every ounce of every food. I learned not to eat sharp things like my favorite taco flavored doritos because they hurt coming back up.

My doctor wanted to know how I could be throwing up everything I ate and still gain 30 lbs. I said i guess the calories are staying in. He was old fashioned and didnt think I was amusing at all. I knew all my food ended up in the toilet.

I think that maybe implies a difference of opinion..

Does he play a doctor on TV? No probably not. He is just some hillbilly doctor from the woods in Derry, NH who thought women should have their babies in the cotton fields and then go cook dinner for their man.

I threw up for nine months every day, I threw up in labor. I carried a bucket with my IV pole and threw up while I was walking the halls waiting to give birth. I was nauseous all the time.

I was in labor for 39 hours,No kidding really. I had my first contraction at 1120pm on Thursday night and she was born at 227pm on Saturday afternoon.

its time for me to sleep, I am exhausted and feel like I did way back when in 1987 when my beautiful first baby was born.

I can go to sleep in peace though knowing no one will be crying for me in the middle of the night. At least until they have kids of their own.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

i'm gonna obsess about this for just one more blog...I promise

I dont know why I cant stop talking about this. My friend and I have a rule about obsessing and you are only allowed to do it for one day. We rant and rave and bring every conversation back to what we are obsessing about and then we are done.

I havent thought about my trip to Reno in quite some time. Maybe that is why I havent been able to finish the blog, or stop obsessing about it.

I guess I have successfully to this point blocked it out. It has taken awhile and now its back. Maybe putting it on paper (blog) will get it out of my system. Maybe not.

So Tizzy is broken. Bad. We bring him back to NY and he is basically institutionalized. This story is way too sad to repeat. All I will say is that Southside Hospital abused him so bad it was criminal. They are to blame for so many of his present problems.

We finally insist that he is let out. We go to a meeting of all his doctors and therapists. They dont reccommend we bring him home. They dont feel that he is ready. We just need to get him out of there. He is regressing, not getting better.

When we left Reno he was almost walking on his own. When we got to Southside they put him in a wheel chair. He was using the bathroom on his own in Reno, in Southside he was watched by a woman who was abusive who stood in the bathroom with him and humiliated him.

He became paranoid and angry. We needed to take him home.

My parents moved in with them. Merry had to go back to work. My parents did his therapy with him every day. They took him for outpatient therapy and to every doctor appointment. They were overwhelmed I think with the level of care he needed. He needed to be watched around the clock. He would try to get up during the night and my sister needed to sleep being 8 months pregnant. My parents cooked and cleaned and cared for him. They were as patient as they could be.

We just didnt understand the injury. He started looking better although he lost sight in his eye and needed to wear special glasses. He lost the hearing in his left ear and got a hearing aid which he hated to wear. He became anorexic, thanks Southside, and wouldnt eat anything except for cookies and ice cream.

He was like a little boy who needed constant care. He was so lost and so sad. I would do anything to help him.

Side note,,, when hubby had cancer it was tizzy who would come over my mothers and walk daughter 3 around and try to feed her. She was 7 weeks old and nursing and didnt want to take a bottle. He would rock her and sing to her and cuddle with her and get her to eat. He would then play with daughter 1 and 2. Games, cartoons, anything they wanted to do,,, he did it. He was amazing.

I spent alot of time with Tizzy. Eventually I drove him to therapy and took him to the mall for lunch. We had deep, serious conversations about so many things. I love him and he always loved me.

Until one moment that changed it all.

I had surgery. A little over a year ago. Scary surgery. Surgery that killed my other brother in law not just 2 years before.

And my sister was no where to be found.

I guess she didnt need me anymore.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Long and Winding Road...

The road back from a coma is an endless one.

We were in Disney from January 9th until January 18th. We flew home in a snowstorm and when we arrived in NY we discovered our limo driver left us a message that said, the weather is too bad so I am not picking you up.

We found a van that was going our way and we piled in at 10pm. The ride home was long and freezing and treacherous but we made it home before midnight.
I walked in the door, unpacked my bag into the washing machine, washed my clothes, repacked them and waited at the door by 3:30am.

I got on a 6am flight pack to Reno. I was so anxious to get back to the hospital, back to my sister and my Tizzy.

So I fly back to Reno with the kabillionaire boss and two friends of Tizzys. The doctor suggested anyone who could come should. He thought the stimulation would be good for Tizzy. At least that is what he said. I think he thought Tizzy wasnt ever coming out of the coma and he wanted people to say goodbye.

I get to the airport after we change flights, I think in Chicago. We arrive in Reno about 10am Reno time. I rent a car and drive back to the medical center.

Thank god you are here my mother says to me. We really need you. I knew they did which is why I had to come back.

After 1o days, Tizzy is still in a coma. He has opened his eyes once or twice. The nurses were so amazing. They took my sister out for smoothies and held her hand every step of the way. Every hour on the hour they came in and pinched Tizzy on the chest and said " Tizzy if you can hear me squeeze my finger, can you hear me Tizzy, Merry is here with the baby and you have to come back to us.

Every hour, 24/7 for the entire time he was in ICU. It probably made the difference.

I think this all sounds so confusing. I am trying to put this into some sort of organizational pattern so you can see how this all went down.

Tizzy was in the accident. We fly out. He is in a coma. I leave for Disney, I come back from Disney. He is still in a coma.

The nursed physically move him from place to place, I guess for lots of reasons, to keep his muscles from atrophying. They sit him in a chair. It is painful and pathetic to watch.

He sits there, eyes closed. They hand him a brush and say "Tizzy brush your hair" He sits there. They pick up his hand and make him brush his hair. My sister cries, is he ever going to get better.

This goes on and on and honestly I do not remember the exact moment when things got better. But they did. They got better and he opened his eyes and he couldnt speak. He couldnt feed himself. He was completely helpless.

The doctors said he was a medical miracle. He shouldnt be alive. We wondered if he would ever be the same. They didnt know.

So began the long recovery. He couldnt speak but when my sister sang him a song from their wedding from Aida, he sang back the next line. ????
He cried all the time and then at some point started cursing inappropriately. I would hold up my keys and say what is this. He would make a motion to put the keys in the ignition and then say "pencil".

His brain was damaged. It was the first time we ever heard the term Traumatic Brain Injury. We wanted to take him back to NY because my sister was getting too pregnant to fly and we wrongly thought he would get better care in NY than in Reno.

Physically he was improving everyday. His atrophied legs were getting better with physical therapy. He was learning to hold a fork and to change the TV with the remote. He relearned to use the bathroom on his own. This was extremely painful for my sister and his dad would often help him and then scream "yeah, tizzy took a dump on the terlet" It was the most excrutiating weeks of my life.

Mentally, things were bad. I would show him pictures of my kids everyday and say who are they. He would say "those are my kids" and I would say, you have kids? and he would say "well they are like my kids"

He retold bizarre stories as they came into his head. One terrible day, my sister and I arrived at the hospital and the aid in the room said, did he have a brother who drowned in his backyard pool?? Tizzy looked up at Merry and said, Merry, my little brother Donald died. It was like he was reliving the moment just as it may have happened over 23 years before. His 3 year old brother drowned in their backyard pool. this family has had more trauma than you could ever imagine.

My sisters company hired a plane to take us back to NY. We flew back with an appointment to take him straight to the Traumatic Brain Injury ward at Southside hospital.

You know what ? I cant do this anymore. Right now I need to take a break from this. I am tired and overwhelmed and I need to talk about something else. I will come back to this eventually but I must go now.

Just an end note to this. Merry and Tizzy are going to Disney in September. I hope they have a better time than I did the year we almost lost Tizzy. I am sure they will.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Comas and brain injuries and pregnant sisters Oh My....

This is the end of it. I swear.

I shouldnt swear because it may take longer than I have.

I left Reno on a Thursday night and took the redeye from Reno to Phoenix, change in Phoenix to NY. I also took a xanax that was given to me by Tizzys brother. He is 6'6" and about 280 lbs. I am 5'6" and at the time about 150 lbs.

Dont take it until you get to Phoenix he told me. You will pass out before that and not be able to change planes. I was afraid it wouldnt kick in in time for me to be able to sleep. So I took it as soon as I got to Phoenix. And I almost passed out in the airport when the flight was delayed. I think I fell asleep before take off. I dont remember much about that flight. Thankfully.

It was from hell. I was leaving my sister, flying alone, across the country, in bad weather, to get on another plane to go to Disneyworld, on vacation, while Tizzy lay dying.

There was talk about me flying straight to Florida from Reno but I wanted to, needed to be with the kids.

I left Reno about 7 or 8pm Reno time. I arrived in LaGuardia at 6 am NY time. My father dropped my mother off at Kennedy around 5:30am with Mrs. Tizzy and wife of kabillionaire boss. He dropped them off, swung around and picked me up. He drove me home, where my kids and my hubby were waiting with a limo to take us to the airport. I ran in the house, the kids had layed out all my clothes on my bed and I threw what I could in a bag and we got in the limo and left again for the airport. The kids and hubby packed themselves and I was a little scared but I was just so happy to be with them.

So we fly off to Disney and the kids are happy. They are such good kids I wish they never had to deal with this.

We check into the hotel, the pop culture, which was new at the time and soooo cool.

And the rest of the trip I was on the phone. Is Tizzy ok? Is my sister taking care of herself? How is my mother holding up in my place? How are the Tizzys behaving??

I vaguely remember someone saying that roaming charges were .69 cents a minute but I couldnt even think of that.

Tizzy was not ok. He almost died on Friday but they decided not to tell my sister because no one was there with her. I had left and my mother had yet to arrive.

I remember sitting outside the Rock N Rollercoaster when I talked to my sister and she was crying because things were just so bad.

The sooner you come out of a coma the more likely your recovery. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.... the days were going on and on and no sign of recovery. None.

He had the most amazing nurses. Sorry I am skipping ahead. This is about Disney.

So we are in Disney and how can you have fun when your sister is waiting to see if her husband will live or die.

And people are smiling and having fun and I couldnt stop crying. Every thing we did reminded me of Tizzy. Tizzy and Merrys wedding song was from Beauty and the Beast. Their dog is named Nala, from the Lion King. Tizzy bought Merry every Disney waterglobe when they were dating.

I cried at the Lion King show, especially when they sang, You'll be in my heart.

I cried when the fireworks were on and my kids said "Lets wish that Uncle Tizzy is ok on every firework that goes off"

I cried at the sports expo when my mother called and cried endlessly.

I cried everytime I got off the phone with my sister and found out that there was no change.

She started going to an obgyn there. We just had no idea how long he would be there.

I cried when on the 8th day we were there, we were in the movies, seeing Cheaper by the Dozen any my mother called and said "He blinked". Once.

It was something.

Ok so I have to go and get daughter #1 from the train so I will have to post now and finish later. I just dont trust the save as draft feature on the blog and one time writing this is enough. I dont want to do it again.


The Notebook

Ok I must digress for one blog. Then I will return to part 3 of Disney World is Hell on Earth.

Who the hell wrote the Notebook? And why do people watch it? I was once told by my kids that I should watch it, that it is sad, but in a good way.

Is that like saying Bambi was sad in a good way, because when Bambi was saying " Mother, Mother?" I wanted to thaw out Walt Disneys frozen head and dig his eyes out with ice picks.

The Notebook is devastating to me. Why?

For so many reasons. It is a love story. And it is a love that defies the odds.

I have a love like that. My life with hubby began when I was 16, married at 18, first child at 19. Health problems, financial problems, we have had it all.

We have been married for 22 years, 23 in December. And I love him just as much today as I did then.

He gets on my nerves some times, and I am sure I get on his although he never admits that. He wants to be the better person and I let him, by admitting he is annoying to me when he wont admit I am annoying to him.

I know that secretly makes me the better person. Thats how I am you know. Just so self sacrificing.

Back to the movie. If you have never seen it maybe you should. I guess as far as movies go its a good quality movie. I watched it last night. Just from the end.

Side note, hubby just went and hooked up an extension cord so I could type outside in the backyard with my computer dying. I just mentioned that my computer was about to die. Things like that allow me to overlook the snoring. Its the little things... and the big things... and the huge things. But mostly its the little things.

ok ok ok... the movie.

From the part I saw last night, Noah and Alli reconnect after years apart and she is gonna marry someone else and he has always loved her and held out hope that she would come back. She isnt sure whether to pursue true love with Noah or security with the other guy. Money really. She comes back to spend some time with Noah to see if she really loves him.

The movie is going back and forth between then and now. In the now, they are old, she is in a nursing home and has alzheimers. She doesnt remember him... or their children... or anything about their life together. And he is lovingly, patiently reading to her from this notebook, oh you get it now right? this notebook that has their story written in it.

Kind of like a blog dont you think?
A blog that has to be written because about a year and a half ago I started having weird episodes of memory loss. I started forgetting things. Things like how to turn the shower off or how to put the key in the ignition of the car.

I poured apple juice into the jelly jar and tried to give it to my nephew. "Aunt Nancy, silly that is the jelly".

I had this sudden severe pain in my neck accompanied by that memory loss and I started to freak out a little. Being a part time hypochondriac and part time medical mystery I didnt know what to expect but with my WEBMD diagnosis, it didnt look good.

I weirdly already had a neurologist because of an episode a year before where I was in the emergency room and they thought I had a stroke. My neurologist was Eeyore, did I mention him yet?

So I go to the neurologist and he sends me for an MRI and I have the report sent to him and my regular doctor. My regular doctor calls and he is like "Oh my god, you have a brain tumor" He called me on my anniversary December 14, 2006. I was babysitting for my nephew and my mother had just stopped by and I was like "Oh my god, I knew it, I am gonna die"

He says "Call your neurologist right away" I cant get in touch with Eeyore. I am leaving messages like " I have a brain tumor please call me back". But I guess he was in the hundred acre wood that day probably looking for his tail.

He calls me back and is like, probably not a big deal, just a small tumor, inoperable but not harming anything.... i just hear brain tumor, brain tumor, brain tumor. And as far as I was concerned I had already begun having symptoms.

Back to my connection to the Notebook. I had to take loads of medicine for the pain in my neck, which by the way was not related to the brain tumor, just a coincidence that they started at the same time. Nerve blockers, controlled substances, mind altering drugs, lots of good stuff that kept me in a fog for like 5 months before my surgery.

Blurry vision, brain fog, forgetting things I have known all my life, stories, people, the sound of hubbys voice....

Was it the drugs, or some said it was because I turned 40. I still think its the tumor, from everything I have read. No medical personnel agree. I may not be a doctor but I do play one on TV.. or at least on WebMd.

I saw someone at Sloan Kettering who said it sounded more like ministrokes or seizures, not the tumor. I named her Little Bunny Foo Foo because I didnt like her attitude.

I have so many stories to tell of our life.

Alli, from the Notebook, wrote it all down in the notebook with an inscription that said, read this to me, the story of our life and i will always come back to you.

And he is trying in the movie, but she can only come back for short periods of time. Then she is gone again. And he never knows if that is the last time she will ever know him again.

They are having dinner together, as strangers and he is reading her the story or really just telling it from memory. He gets to the point in the story when she has to choose between Noah and her fiancee and he pauses. She says Tell me, Tell me who does she choose. And he is just silent. And she says "Oh I remember now, its us right, I chose you Noah" And he is so deliriously happy and they start to dance to I'll be seeing you in all the familiar places and then she is gone again.

And he is sobbing and she is scared of him and who the hell thinks this is entertainment?

She is drugged and taken back to her room and he has a heart attack and is taken to the hospital. They live in the same nursing home but they are in seperate rooms because she doesnt always remember.

He gets out of the hospital and goes to see her. She remembers him. And she knows she doesnt have long to remember.

She says to him "Can our love bring on a miracle." Of course he says. "Do you think we could move on together"she says.

Oh my god.. he gets into bed with her and they hold hands and they are still so in love.

Only while she remembers.

And they want to be together always... so they die together in each others arms. Clinging to their story, the one that he reads to her everyday because she doesnt always remember and he never forgets.

I guess its nice that they die together. But it is so sad that she was lost to him for so long before that. The pain that he and their kids had to go through... It sickens me.

I need to write our story down. One blog at a time, because Hubby will read me our story, everyday so that I can remember when he will never forget.

And I dont ever want to watch The Notebook again because maybe if I continue to forget things I will forget that movie and the tears it always brings me to that reminds me that I may forget. I may already have. And lose the love of a lifetime.

And that is a memory I would gladly forget.