Monday, September 18, 2017

Being A Little Bit Crazy Is Like Being A Little Bit Pregnant

I have the Habit of saying that the antics of those I'm Caregiving for often makes me a little bit Crazy.  In reality being a little bit Crazy is like being a little bit Pregnant, you're either Preggy or you're NOT... ergo it's made me Crazy or NOT... I'm leaning towards the former and not the latter.  *LOL*  I think many of you Suspected that anyway so that's no great revelation on my part...

This is direct Evidence so it cannot be refuted... after another entire grueling day at the VA Hospital getting The Man his first Acupuncture treatments for Pain Management... I bought a dozen Wig Mannequins at the Goodwill as Retail Therapy!!!  *LMAO*   I actually hit the Motherlode of them and got very excited, believe it or not I only bought a small fraction of the cache' they had!  A Wig Shop must have gone out of business, these are the better quality ones that Sell easily.  One has Ear damage, she's practically the only one with Ears actually!  *LOL* 

The Margins will be Awesome on the resale of most of these, some that I will Keep will Display my Vintage Hat Collections.   But The G-Kid Force, seeing them en mass in the Hallway... and in the Truck in the back seat with him when I picked The Young Prince up from School... must have thought I'd totally Lost It this time?!?  *Winks*  The Young Prince actually said nothing... his expression said it all, and with a knowing grin when he entered the Truck Cab and saw these taking up half of it.... Mannequin Hoard!  Why!???! *Bwahahahahaha!!!*

Princess T merely deadpanned, "That's a lot of Heads..."   I'm Sure, when they're grown, they will regale their Friends, or their Therapists, with the Stories of how they were Raised by a Crazy Woman!?!???!  *LOL*   But here's a Sampling of what COULD HAVE made me this way... in the realm of a Day In The Life Of Caregiving!!!   I don't think you can get thru it without going a "Little Bit Crazy" actually!!!??!?

The Man has had acupuncture before at my Chinese Doctor and gotten excellent proven results, but our Insurance won't pay for it as Alternative Medicine, since they consider over 2,600 years of Eastern Medical Practices to apparently still be 'experimental'!  *Le Sigh*  So when the VA Hospital here in Phoenix was one of the first to get Acupuncture Treatments for it's Veterans with chronic pain, I immediately got him pre-qualified and signed up.   Today was the Class and first Treatment, his first experience with Auricular Acupuncture, using Ear Needles you wear Home and which can provide benefit for a Week until they fall out Naturally.

They are Cute, like tiny Pinhead sized Gold Studs... The Force thought it was way Cool, since we dig Piercings and Grandpa was the only one not yet to get some.  *Smiles*  You stimulate them daily with a Magnet and for Maximum benefit leave them in until they Naturally fall out on their own.  Can I remind you The Man has Traumatic Brain Injury, he Forgets.   So... he involuntarily screwed up Maximum benefit within 4 hours of having them installed by forgetting and scratching and rubbing his Ear knocking eight of them out!   Dammit and Le Sigh since he only confessed this when I went to stimulate them for THE FIRST TIME at Home!

He HAD nine, stimulating several areas he has chronic pain... now I can only see one... and we're hunting for the rest of them he scratched out before Princess T finds any of them and puts them in the Ears of her LPS or Barbies!!?!?? *LOL* In the TWO HOUR Orientation Class before installation, they warned you that if you had Kids or Pets, account for any that fall out.  It was an Older Group again... the rest only had to worry about their Dogs... we were the only ones who still had Kids in the house... that's how it usually is, we're always the anomaly Seniors still raising Young-Uns.

To say that I was a little disappointed, exasperated and upset after having spent all day at the VA expending precious time and energy to get him limited Services again would be an understatement.   His cooperation is sometimes marginal at best with the TBI impairment, I go over things patiently and gently with him as to his accountability and cooperation... I'm usually wasting my breath.  But we need to Manage his Care as best we can anyway to Maintain or Improve his Health and not have it go in a Negative direction again.   We're all Invested in this, when he declines the quality of Life for us all declines right along with it.

 He is All In with acupuncture since he gets almost immediate positive results from it, he got immediate results again which was SO encouraging!  But new and unfamiliar things he resists, this was new and unfamiliar in the Procedure and Style of the form of acupuncture.  So he was fussy about having to leave with anything still attached to him and not fussing with it even tho' it didn't really hurt!  I could tell the presence of nine tiny Studs he couldn't even see and could barely feel was becoming a fixation with him!  I think we'll have to go with the alternate method of Pins under adhesive rounds next time so they might possibly stay in longer to Maximize benefit?!?

So after crawling around on the living room floor around his recliner trying to find and account for eight pinhead sized Needles at Night in the one room of the Home that has crappy Evening Lighting... is it any Wonder I have a Hoard of Mannequin Heads in my Hallway?   I think NOT!   I didn't want to be upset with him... but keeping it 100% real... I wasn't thrilled either, I was in fact aggravated!!!   He's going to be doing this Weekly for Months, which cramming that into our insane schedule is stressful beyond belief, so I want his complete cooperation if that is even possible?

 This is the most Holistic non-habit forming Method of Pain Management that does no Harm... we've exhausted all the others that don't work and do cause Harm, like Opioids... which are the Devil and are a current Crisis in this Country!  We've been that route, with pain med backlash... I can't go thru all that again.  He does need Relief from the chronic pain, tension and stress of it, so Managing it all appropriately and intelligently is crucial and unavoidable.  You don't like to see Loved Ones suffering if anything might help alleviate some of it.

The Kiddos did well in our long absence, The Young Prince wasn't thrilled about having to stay Home after School and look after his Sister when she got Home from School... so I resorted to bribes.  Yep, that's right, they already have excessive absences from their own Health and Mental Health Issues so I can't pull them out of School for Grandpa's too, so we adapt and improvise best we can.  Otherwise I'm quite sure I'd go completely Insane from the pressure of it all... and lack of absence of adequate Respite Care for him or the Kiddos!

Now that he's 17 he can babysit his little Sister or stay Home alone for brief periods of time successfully.  But he resists doing so about as much as The Man resists Change of any kind now... so it ALL requires bribes on my part.  How about a Tiger's Blood Milkshake from MacAlpines, suitable bribe... absolutely!  And those fake Candy Cigarettes, which I know are so NOT PC and I don't give a damn since I'm not encouraging her to Smoke the real thing... and some Pop Rocks Candy, for her cooperating at being Supervised by her Older Brother... Yep, that's suitable bribery too!  *Winks*

You see, in HER Mind she's the one actually Supervising The Show when they're Home alone together. *Smiles*  I'm just happy not to have to take The Show on the Road and try to entertain all three of them for hours on end at the VA Hospital Downtown and thru Rush Hour Traffic there and back!    The Man does not do Well in Rush Hour City Traffic, it gives him extreme Anxiety and heightened agitation... and if I had two Grands in the vehicle fussing too, well, we'd be wanting to do a Thelma and Louise now wouldn't we?!?  *LOL*

So, Yes, hadda bribe him too... with a delish Luncheon at MacAlpines after his acupuncture Class and Treatment, which had been three and a half hours of our Life we'd never get back... not to mention additional two hour commute there and back Home!  *LOL*   That's what Full Time Caregiving often looks like for Medical intervention and appointments... more time spent at Hospitals, Doctor's Offices and Treatments than at Home.   And a Calendar that looks Insane with no White Voids of 'Down Time' to be seen mid-week. 

Several people had brought their little Service Dogs, Bless their Hearts the little Dogs were equally not thrilled to spend so much time at the long Class or Appointments.   I felt rather like the little Dogs actually... just as restless... which was probably better than boring out and falling asleep, since I have to be the one to remember everything so that wouldn't be good.  *Smiles*  But it was a very good Class and Procedure, just done in Groups and that therefore takes TIME to process that many Veterans at once rather than individually.  But it's a Treatment in high demand with only a single Doctor and NP that can do it, so we're fortunate to get in while Funding is so limited. 

Patience really isn't one of my Virtues anyway, neither is sitting thru a Class... my ADHD kicks in and I just get too restless or distracted by almost anything and everything.   So Focus gets disrupted and if The Man is having trouble, I'm more Focused on getting him to take it all Seriously and not Zone Out into TBI Land where he's now fixated on anything but his Treatments and the benefits of them.  *Le Sigh*   Or an inclination to say the most outrageous things off the top of his Head, much like that Toddler who you never know what embellishment they'll pass off as factual since they can't discern yet!?

TBI can be like that, The Man will just make things up and think it's all True and you can't convince him otherwise.   So then you're offering explanation as to why he just conveyed something that either never happened or has been lavishly embellished in his telling of it!   I'm used to that with Children, I'm getting used to it with him and no longer argue the points of his made-up Stories or challenge him about them.  Since it's just upsetting to him because it's his memory and reality apparently and the line between real and imaginary is blurry and often mixed up still.

He'll sometimes have to turn to me for the answers to questions because he simply cannot recall or has no memory of it whatsoever, or his memory of it might not be at all accurate and he's sometimes aware of that.  It's very similar to Stroke, Dementia and Alzheimer damage to Memory when one has had a Traumatic Brain Injury and requires Memory Care.   His Brain is slowly re-routing and re-wiring itself quite Miraculously, but we've got some definite hiccups and lingering damage to Deal with.

Here's a strange fact about the Brain and how it relates Physically... after his Catastrophic Accident there was a long period of time when The Man Forgot all of his previous Pain and therefore felt none of it anymore!  Which was very Real Pain from numerous War related injuries and reconstructive surgeries.  He just didn't have it post Brain injury... appeared to be gone!  Which didn't Surprise me so much since a Friend who had a Stroke completely Forgot she used to be a Chain Smoker and never had an iota of Nicotine withdrawal Physically either, she just never Smoked again post Stroke!

But now, as his Brain continues along it's Healing Path to regain function, some of the chronic Pain is coming back again... strange indeed!  The Memory of it is returning... slowly... and the Process of Acupuncture is actually to re-route the Brain's Memory of Pain and to respond differently to it.  Training the Brain to bypass the Pain it used to feel and therefore got used to feeling on a regular basis.  This is why Phantom Pain can and does exist with amputated limbs.  Fascinating indeed, I really Geek Out about Brain function and all it's Mysteries!  And the Healing Properties of just our Thoughts, Beliefs and Brain Power!

And so that's my Thoughts for Today's Post... and why I feel just a little bit Crazy even tho' I know it isn't literal, because it can't be.  *Winks*


Blessings and Love from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. If more like-minded people would seek out acupuncture, maybe we wouldn't have quite as serious a problem with the opioids. Everyone I know who has had to take Oxycontin (and various other pain medications) for pain has had problems with weaning off it. And everyone I know who has had acupuncture treatments has said how great they feel from it. It really makes me wonder why it's not used more for pain management.

    1. Pharmaceutical Gain that's why, not as much money to be made keeping people Well and not dependent upon whatever it is you're selling them and getting them addicted to. Sad but true that the Drug Industry has too many influential people in their pockets.

    2. I know that you're totally right about this, Dawn. With addictions being a big factor of deaths in Ohio (and I know we're not alone here), there are several communities exploring the possibility of suing drug manufacturers. It's just one facet of the problem, but it clearly is contributing to some addictions.

  2. This is a really good idea that you have going on. manufacturing



A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

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