Thursday, September 20, 2007

Attitude is EVERYTHING, so where are my happy pills?

I received an email today that I'll post below. I've been feeling pretty motivated and energized since Saturday. Yesterday I hit a brick wall, but today I'm better. Still feeling pretty weepy, but that will probably last until November or until I can score a wicked good prescription to give me that excellent feeling called "numbness." Can I do it gracefully without pills? Of course I can! Do I want to try? No, I don't!

People who think you should feel what you're feeling while you're feeling it are usually miserable people and are missing out on the joy of going through hell while being able to remain calm and functional for their loved ones. I've been feeling the worry and anxiety for quite a while now and I've got it down. It's been memorized. I'm ready for the pills that can make me chillax and take it all in stride. The day of surgery I expect I'll be bombarded with well-meaning people full of stupid advice about how I should relax and not worry. I plan on beating them to the punch if at all possible and swallowing a tiny portion of a pill that will prevent me from slashing their chests open while cheerfully telling them not to worry. I used to have access (cough* cough*) to a little pill that would mellow me out without making me a zombie. I'm going for it. Don't judge me. It's not in the bag yet, but my people are working on it. Thanks to the mental health system in my town, it's a five month wait to get into a psychiatrist. I'm having to find alternative methods.

Until then, here's a great little story of a woman who never existed . But it's nice to receive these things at a time like this so I can beat my head on the wall and wonder why I can't have a cheerful and overwhelmingly positive attitude about it all.


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today?" So she did and she had a wonderful day. Xanex

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "H-M-M," she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today?" So she did and she had a grand day. marijuana

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, "today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had a fun, fun day. crack

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "YEA!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Attitude is everything. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly....... Leave the rest to God. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain .


The story doesn't mention that she thought those things either before or after crying buckets. I guess no one will ever write little emails about me to forward since I don't have a happy-go-lucky attitude, so maybe I'll make one up myself:

One day a woman took her daughter to the doctor and found out she had a congenital heart defect. She said, "That's okay! We always knew she danced to a different beat!" HA HA!

Time passed and the woman found out her 3 year old daughter would need open heart surgery. She sighed but knew it would be a great time traveling to the metroplex area. Her children would get to see a hospital!

Finally, the surgery was over on October 2. She giggled as she looked at the long incision down her daughter's chest. "Guess who's gonna be Frankenstein for Halloween this year!"

Everybody loved her because she had such a merry attitude. Emails were forwarded from office to office. Attitude is everything! Be happy!

The end.


  • I wish everyone would stop telling you how to feel. Do I think you guys are going to get through this? Yes, I do. Do I think that means you shouldn't worry about it? Ah, no. Feel how you want and tell everyone to eff off.

    However, the frankenstein thing? That cracked me up.

    By Anonymous Karly, at Thu Sep 20, 02:25:00 PM  

  • i think that email forward should be started!

    5 months to see a psych? freaking ridiculous.

    i owe you an email.

    praying for you!

    By Blogger Ladybug, at Thu Sep 20, 03:26:00 PM  

  • Hey girl ... (((big hug)))

    I'm so sorry you're having to go thru this living hell .....

    it just sucks the big wally ... and there's just no getting around it.

    I thought I was going to be a mess during Matthew's surgery...

    but.. after I met the heart surgeon....he was so calm... cool ... and confident ...(and very handsome, too)

    a wave of peace and tranquility came over us...

    we were all calm as cucumbers...

    it was the most amazing and shocking thing ever ...
    I'm never calm BTW

    My sister and I did manage to polish off 1 1/2 pound box of hand picked chocolates from See's Candies....

    that's my drug of choice...
    See's Bordeaux

    By Blogger Terri@SteelMagnolia, at Thu Sep 20, 03:34:00 PM  

  • Jenny, you are the sarcasticist ever! I love your email. People who pass around this motivational crap ought to be beaten. Let me know if you need anyone beaten*.

    *All beatees must be approved in advance. Young and strapping people are exempted from this offer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 20, 05:46:00 PM  

  • I shouldn't have laughed at your version of attitude is everything, but damn girl it was funny. Speaking of being numbed I know what you want and I have it, e-mail me.

    By Blogger Deb, at Thu Sep 20, 07:03:00 PM  

  • Hey strong woman, been dark for a bit, but still reading you. I love your attitude, don't let anyone tell you any different.

    Big Prayers coming from S. Arlington.

    By Blogger amyerj, at Thu Sep 20, 08:25:00 PM  

  • That first one is quite possibly the DUMBEST email I have ever read. Literally. And whoever mindlessly forwarded it to you, DURING THIS TIME IN YOUR LIFE should really be deleted from your address book, and marked as a spammer. But before you do, please do a reply all to everyone they sent it to, with your version!

    By Blogger headless chicken, at Thu Sep 20, 08:59:00 PM  

  • That lady has a great attitude! She should be excited that she'll be learning all about the American health care system and meeting lots of interesting people with sick kids!

    p.s. Please send all the chillax pills you can spare.

    By Blogger Kurt, at Thu Sep 20, 09:27:00 PM  

  • On my walk tonight, all alone and in the dark, thoughts of you and what your family has been, is going and will be going through came rushing in....and I said a prayer. Keep venting even if not here and take some time for yourself.

    By Blogger LeRoy Dissing, at Fri Sep 21, 12:14:00 AM  

  • Fuck 'em all.

    Do what you have to do to get through this for you and for your girls.

    I've got your back.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 21, 07:14:00 AM  

  • Jenny Haha - It amazes me how many people think they're giving wonderful advice when they haven't got a clue as to what you're experiencing. Duh!
    Let 'em walk a mile in your shoes and they'll probably jump off a bridge. Good riddance!
    Your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Interesting aside - During WWII there was this British Lord Percial Hawley had been a Berlin correspondent for his father's newspaper, but was captured by Nazis when the war broke out. However, he came to be sympathetic to the Nazi cause and willingly worked for them as "Lord Ha-Ha," an obvious Englishman extorting British listeners to his radio broadcast to surrender to the Nazis.
    Just trying to take your mind off things.
    All the best to you and yours.

    By Blogger Morgan, at Fri Sep 21, 01:15:00 PM  

  • People just need to shut up about how you should feel.

    You feel as you feel. Its not any one's damned business. Nor should they try to cheer you up.

    The only think they should do is shut it and be there for what YOU need, not tell you what you need.

    hang in there kiddo.

    By Blogger carmachu, at Sun Sep 23, 05:25:00 AM  

  • You must be flustrated.

    By Anonymous Todd, at Sun Sep 23, 09:19:00 AM  

  • I thought mental health care in my neck of the woods sucked. Then again, my mom did just have to voluntarily check herself into a hospital mental ward for a week to get them to give her some medication that helped with her anxiety but didn't make her so sick she needed to go to the ER.

    Just lots and lots of hugs. I haven't been around here for a while, so I'm not up to speed on what is going on with you/your family, but I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Oh, and I'm moving my blog. Feel free to update your links (formerly Great Lakes State of Mind). You can now find me here:

    By Anonymous Sue, at Sun Sep 23, 08:24:00 PM  

  • 'Tude Schmude... you feel how you feel. You're doing great. You're dealing with things as the come, you're not stuffing down the harsh emotions, you're laughing, you're loving, you're living. You're ok. This situation S-U-C-K-S. You're dealing with a wretched ordeal in a gracious and healthy way. I recognize this as do most of your readers (from what I can tell). On a somewhat side note I just wanted to tell you that Lindley is constantly in my prayers. She and Gracie were/are my miracles that I held on to when we were trying so desperately to have Em & Roo. They paved the way. I knew it could happen because they are here. God's already used your children in powerful ways and the number of people that have been ministered to by Lindley's struggle and your own is too huge to count. It means something. I don't know exactly what, but this is strong and so is she and so is God.

    By Anonymous Christel, at Mon Sep 24, 10:25:00 AM  

  • The Frankenstein thing was funny...but the rest isn't.

    I agree with karly. You'll get through this - but not without some worry, tears and stress.

    And there's nothing wrong with that.

    Hang in there.

    By Blogger RWA, at Mon Sep 24, 11:25:00 AM  

  • Jennifer, I haven't had a chance to read your blog because I'm busy getting ready to take Jess to our local peds ICU unit. You left me a message on facebook and I thought I'd respond to you here.

    I don't know if you've read my blog lately but Miss Jess is having life-threatening heart arrhythmias and we are going to try a medication which may or may not get her back into rhythm. Her heart disease is progressing and there's no way to stop it or to prolong her life... our main goal is to make her as comfortable as possible. There can be some pretty nasty side effects - hence her admission to PICU. We will be there at least 3 days - IF all goes well. Karl has taken the week off (starting tomorrow) and will be here with the boys and transporting them back and forth to the hospital and home, school, etc.

    I think about you all the time and pray for Lindley and her upcoming surgery. I pray for you too.

    Regarding insensitive relatives.... My MIL sent me a birthday card lecturing me to have more faith and put it in the Lord's hands... she also said that I needed to be happy and cheerful because that's what my boys need. She has no clue what I'm feeling, how much faith I have nor how I am behaving at home. I am still pretty upset about the lecture and her lack of compassion. We can have faith and still hurt while seeing our children in pain, can't we? I don't sit around crying and saying "poor me..." I joke around with my kids and try to be goofy to cheer Jessica up. Karl and I have sat everyone down and discussed what we are doing and how long Jessica will be in the hospital but we don't try to scare the kids. I have been telling Jessica to think about it as an adventure. I took her to the PICU on Friday for a tour so she would feel more comfortable. I am being pro-active and trying to prepare. In fact, have you thought of taking your family to your hospital for a tour of the PICU and the step-down unit? Does your hospital have a playroom? It has always been helpful to us to take tours the week before any surgery or big procedure. We try to find positive things about going there (specific toys in the playroom, movies they can watch, etc). See if there is a child-life specialist available to you and your family. Tim, our child-life specialist, is one person that Jessica always looks forward to seeing every time we go to the hospital - even just for a monitor placement. She always wants to go to the playroom and look for him. :-)

    Sorry that my message is so long. I'm trying to fit in 304956847 messages into one. haha! Anyway, Karl bought me a laptop for me for my birthday and hopefully I will be able to get set up online while at the hospital. Jess is going to be confined to her bed so it will be interesting to try to keep her entertained! But... I'm hoping I'll have some time to be online, update everyone and catch up on my blog reading.

    Keep in touch!

    By Blogger Nancy, at Mon Sep 24, 04:59:00 PM  

  • I'll be happy when this planet becomes peaceful and loving.

    I figure that I will have to wait for about another five hundred years.


    Oh, good luck.

    By Blogger BBC, at Mon Sep 24, 09:00:00 PM  

  • You need to feel how you need to feel. I wish you much luck getting through this.

    By Blogger Lisa, at Tue Sep 25, 05:38:00 PM  

  • I found you...from the wooden porch. I wish I had found you before all these hurtful "helps" have happened. I am sorry that other think they know what you need to feel better. When will people realize that only YOU know what you need, and what you need is right, right for you.
    I will be praying for you and your Lindley girl.

    By Blogger Corey~living and loving, at Tue Sep 25, 06:24:00 PM  

  • I am all about the happy pills!

    I will be praying for that precious Miss on the 2nd!

    I say...punch them in the face...and claim it was just the overwhelming anxiety of the day! Who could blame you!

    By Blogger Queen of the Mayhem, at Wed Sep 26, 06:04:00 AM  

  • nice job.

    By Blogger notfearingchange, at Wed Sep 26, 07:50:00 PM  

  • I pictured a woman with Homer Simpson's three hairs for that story. I'm really into this blog!

    You do what you have to do. Hope all goes well. And for the record, I think scars are super cool and badass.

    By Blogger H, at Wed Sep 26, 07:52:00 PM  

  • I know this is so wrong, but I realy and truly laughed. Stop thinking you have to be like the lady with three hairs. You are you. You are good/happy/resourceful/mommy enough.

    You are enough. Thank you for making me laugh.

    By Blogger Merry Mama, at Fri Sep 28, 12:44:00 AM  

  • Jenny babes - just holler if you need anything. I can get some really good chocolate to you in no time. And my offer for Ronald McDonald House stands. I'll cover the first week, longer if you need.

    Nancy, I hope I misread what you wrote about Miss Jess cuz that just sucks.

    People tell you what they think you need to hear to pull you through a bad situation. I heard some of this same stuff when my daughter had a really bad case of pnuemonia... she's not gonna make it, one doctor told us. People said all kinds of stuff that I really did not want to hear.

    And I got real, Maine-ish cranky about it. Think Ethan Fromme in total black with absolutely no sense of humor. But she pulled through. And with the passing of time, I pretty much forgave the people who had pissed me off with what they thought were helpful words.

    People are meaning well, Jenny. In time you, too, will forgive most of them. But there is a special place in hell for the ignorant relations. Truly, there is.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 30, 10:19:00 PM  

  • Hey Miss Jenny! Thanks for your email you sent me the other day. We are home from the hospital and Miss Jess is doing better!

    Good luck with Lindley's surgery. Please update if you can... I'll be pacing in the global waiting room, hoping for good news! Praying for an uneventful surgery and a smooth recovery.

    BTW, I LOVE YOUR version of the email. I have to tell you that we have very sick sense of humors around here.... that is AFTER the crying is done.

    While in the PICU this last week, one monitor kept beeping. By now I pretty much know all about the monitors and told Jess that it was the pulse ox - it wasn't reading the monitor on her toe right then. Jessica asked, "Gee... does it think I'm dead?!" I said, "No... it just thinks your toe fell off." I heard laughter from the nurse just outside our room.

    I also joked that Jessica forgot her "hat" in the bathroom when we were on our way out of the hospital yesterday. Karl had just taken two loads of stuff out of her room to the car. He stopped short and was about to say something about having to go back to get it when the nurse realized what "hat" I was talking about. She started laughing and I offered to let Karl wear it. Finally Karl figured it out. Patients have a "hat" that sits on the toilet that they have to pee into so that the nurses can monitor their fluid out-put. We all started laughing at the thought that Karl would even touch that hat... much less wear it.

    So go and cry your heart out when you need to and joke about stupid stuff when you need to. Do what YOU need to do to get through these difficult times. Only cold people don't care enough to feel bad when someone they love has to have major surgery and will be in pain. YOU, my friend, are not that type of a person and I'm so glad you're not.

    (((hugs))) to you. I'll be thinking of you.

    By Blogger Nancy, at Mon Oct 01, 03:09:00 AM  

  • Meow (and anyone else interested),
    My daughter has been very ill her whole life. She was born with very complex heart & lung defects and has out-lived any other person with the exact same defects (where the pulmonary arteries were as bad as her's). We were told 12 years ago that she her CHD (congenital heart defects) would shorten her life and not to expect her to survive past her mid-teens.(she is now 19!) The doctors did not tell us this to be heartless, but to help prepare us. Miss Jess has come near death many times and we know that one day she won't pull through. We are more concerned about quality of life than anything else, really. Of course we know that we are going to miss her and that our hearts will be torn. What bugs me is that my in-laws seem to think that worrying and caring about someone and having faith are so different that if you have faith, then you won't worry. Over the years they have done and said some very hurtful things and I have tried to forgive them for the most part. I realize that it's just their way of coping... if they aren't here to see the pain and suffering then they won't hurt... but they don't truly know that's what they are doing. They are self-righteous and think that we should be able to not worry either. (See my last comment about cold people.) I do have to mention that my in-laws actually came to the hospital - TWICE! this last week. And the best thing... no lectures! I was amazed.

    I'm very glad that your daughter survived her pneumonia. I know how scary it is to watch your child stuggling to breathe... and to have the doctors trying to prepare you for the worst. When it's YOUR child going through it, you can't believe there could be anything worse. A loving parent would want to trade places with their child in a heartbeat and would do anything to help them. You do whatever you have to in order to get through it.

    Most people mean well but just don't know what to say. Even after doing the "chronically, seriously, terminally (choose your adjective) ill child" thing all these years, I have still put my foot into my mouth from time to time.

    One last thing... I'm all for the happy pills! I am able to deal better with all the difficulties in my life with the help of some meds. Too bad some people are ignorant as to how these meds work and that it's not a sign of weakness if we take them. I'm able to be a better ME with them. Nothing more... nothing less.

    By Blogger Nancy, at Mon Oct 01, 04:47:00 AM  

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