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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Friday, October 14, 2005

I have no words

My friend "I" called me this afternoon to report even more bad news about her family. She went in for a routine mammogram on Wed. and was asked to come back for more films today. She went back today, they did a bunch more films, and then an ultrasound, and then scheduled her for a needle biopsy on Monday. They also told her to call her surgeon and make an appointment.

Now, this is shocking news in and of itself, but it's only the beginning. Sometimes I believe that a family or a person is marked for nothing but tsuris, and unfortunately I's family is one of those that has been singled out for trouble and more trouble. I'm beside myself I'm so sad for her. This is the second time she's had this experience, and in and of itself, whilst a frightening experience, it is nothing compared to what else she's got to deal with every single day.

I is married to J, and J has stage 4 colon cancer. He's in his 4th year with this diagnosis, his father died of colon cancer 3 years ago, and there is a genetic marker for this. J isn't the easiest person to get along with when he's well, and since he's been sick he's had a real personality change and it isn't for the better. To say he's harsh and impatient and angry would be underselling it. So I is living with a man that doesn't treat her very well, in a marriage with almost no communication and little intimacy. She's unhappy much of the time, sometimes too depressed to function well. You would think that this is enough of a burden for one family to have, but wait...there's more.

I has a son A who is 15 and has the diagnosis of ADHD/PDD-NOS/Aspergers. Through a series of unfortunate experiences, A wasn't diagnosed until he was 9 years old, and very violent and volatile. He goes to a special school for kids with behavioral issues, and the school has worked wonders, but his homelife is inconsistant with his school life, and his father is less than patient with his behavior. A takes out much of his frustrations on his mother, yelling, kicking and hitting. He's about 5'8" tall and maybe 160 lbs, and he hurts her when he attacks her. He has almost no social skills at all, has no friends outside of school, and is extremely immature socially. Because of his behavior issues, they rarely take him out so his social skills have little chance to mature. He's not a bad kid, he's just a kid that got so lost in a family with so much trouble that they never got to put him at the top of the list.

I also has a daughter who is 11 and in the throes of pre-puberty tantrumming. She's a great kid and much like my own Girl, so I have been cluing I in on what to expect, but it is shocking when your beloved daughter turns into Emily Rose spewing forth expletives and venom. She's got ADHD, but is really great much of the time, just a bit on the spacy side and a terribly picky eater. The eating is something that these parents don't agree upon and there is a lot of tension over mealtimes.

I and J both work full time, and have not been able to slow down much, even with the family leave act. J has just had another surgery to remove a large part of one lung, because his cancer has spread to the lung and liver. He's going back to work on Monday after 5 weeks recuperation. Meanwhile, I has to go for her needle biopsy on Monday.

I feel so helpless. I don't know how to help this family anymore. They have food delivered from the synagogue several times a week, they have their house cleaned weekly, so those kinds of things are out. I've cooked many dinners for them, even going so far as to transport both a Thanksgiving and Passover seder to their home ready to eat. But food isn't enough anymore. When your friends are so in need, what can you do? How can you help them? Why is this happening to them?

I is a warm, loving woman with a life nobody would want. She doesn't deserve one minute of the life she's living. I tell her all the time that I don't know how she can get up in the morning and keep on going. Honestly, every time I think how much my life sucks, I snap out of it because I'm watching a train wreck in the making right across town. My poor friend. She needs to much to bolster her and support her. This SO SUCKS.
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