Arrival of the parental unit

Talk about bad timing. I got my period about two hours before my mom arrived. Granted, I knew I would be premenstrual and menstrual while she was here, what I didn’t expect is that this is the worst period I’ve had since January.

As most of you know if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time I have endometriosis. This is a condition that causes infertility and severe pain during menses and sometimes all month long. I’ve had two surgeries for it and it’s come back each time. When I was 16 before the surgeries I treated it with hormones to deleterious results. Hormones make me crazy.

Then when I was on Risperdal I got the side effect that causes the period to cease: amenorrhea—caused by the increased prolactin levels that Risperdal creates. I always considered that a blessing of sorts, though of course it was not a good thing for my body and now in spite of the pain I’m glad my body is doing what it is supposed to do—it’s unhealthy to have elevated prolactin levels.

In any case my period returned about three years ago once I got my Risperdal dosage down to 4 mg from 11 mg. I hadn’t had a period in 8 years. They started out painless but within a year the endometriosis was raging again.

I’ve left it untreated for now as anything I might do for it medically risks messing with my head. I could have another surgery, but don’t want to put my body through anesthesia while going through withdrawals. I plan to treat it along with my really nasty PMS with Chinese Medicine once I’m off psych meds, as I’ve had bad reactions with Chinese herbs due to contraindications with meds. However, I’ve talked to many women who have excellent results for hormonal problems with Chinese medicine. Much better results than I’ve ever heard someone get from a gynecologist or endocrinologist. But, alas, I have to wait for now and suffer the monthly pain until off all psych meds.

However happily enough,  for the last 5 months since January the pain has been much less severe since I started taking D-Phenylalanine, an amino acid that releases natural endorphins. The pain has simply been greatly diminished, but today it was not. I was back to debilitating pain and I had my mom here. I was completely out of it. Could barely sit up straight and hadn’t slept last night due to the pain so I was sleep deprived too and in a nasty ass mood—my PMS is worst the first two days of my period to make matters worse.

My mom came over at 9 am. She is staying in a hotel nearby because we don’t have an extra bedroom. I went back to bed at 11:30 and stayed in bed until 1:30.

My mom went out and did some shopping. I got up and lounged around with her but felt awful and inclined to try to take care or her in spite of my condition. She had made a healthy lunch so I ate that, but I insisted on making dinner. I was wandering around the kitchen doubled over in pain while I cooked—yes a bit nuts, but I told you I have this thing about being a good hostess.

I made coconut chicken (my own recipe) with brown rice and a salad. I retreated to my room to eat it while my mom and husband ate together. I simply had reached my limit in social capacity, which even at my best, in general these days is about 2 hours and I was with her a good 7 hours. If I hadn’t been in bed half the day it would have been worse.

She’s gone back to the hotel now and it’s 8:30. I was simply dying to write when she left. I’m laying down in pain still with the laptop in my lap. I’m  dreading tomorrow, but chances are I’ll be a bit better and by Thursday when we leave on the road trip I should be recovered.

God, I must have done something in a past life to deserve all this crap. The pain makes me sound drunk and I stumble about the house. I think I get an adverse reaction to the ibuprofen as well as it can cause dizziness and spaciness in some.  I was embarrassed. I know it’s my mom but I’m not really that close to her anymore and being that abjectly ill  in front of someone other than my husband is not something I allow in general. Or really ever, but I had no choice. She was sweet and accepting and like I said she did the shopping I needed done for dinner. I actually did need her help. And she is happy to provide it.

Like I said in my last post she would be happy to take over all house duties and she did clean the kitchen and do the shopping. I have a hard time letting anyone cook for me in my own house, so I didn’t. I collapsed in my bedroom when I was done to eat alone—I simply needed space.

In any case I got a lovely email from a friend advising me on how to be with my mom. To look to the things I love and not to put energy on the issues of how she annoys me and though I was not perfect at this today, especially since I was so ill, I did greatly appreciate her sweetness and caring.

Now if only I can look forward to the rest of her visit. Like I said, by Thursday when we take off on the road trip I will most likely be past this painful part of the month and I will do my best to look to the woman who loves me and wants only the best for me and who would sacrifice her life for me because all that is true.

She is here donating her time even though I can’t really stand being with her more than a couple of hours a day–at least not talking and interacting. We did spend about 8 or 10 hours in the same room, but much of that was in silence. I need alone time desperately these days. Even at my best, which is far from what I hope my best to be once I continue on in my recovery.

Okay: end of update. I’m so grateful I could write about this and feel moved to do so at the end of such a painful day. Writing has certainly proved to be a massive pain reliever and healing tool. As soon as my mom walked out the door I though, oh god, somehow I just have to write. And now I’m mildly energized, even if still in pain.

15 thoughts on “Arrival of the parental unit

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  1. Sounds so healthy and yummy. Brown rice, fruit and yogurt sounds kind of good actually too. You certainly fuel yourself for maximum performance; I’m impressed and hope to acheive those kinds of eating habits at some point. I won’t tell you that I just had 2 bowls of Fruit Loops for breakfast *grinning sheepishly* 😉

  2. Dear Gianna, i’m sorry you are suffering with so much pain. Enjoy the time with your mom, the time spent together will end up being a gift of memory for you in the future. PS–love love cold snap peas! actually your entire ice chest of food sounds yummy!

    Be well, I have enormous travel anxiety myself, I can barely pack a suitcase sometimes! once I arrive to the destination i’m ok.


  3. Susan,
    you are of course right! I still don’t feel comfortable having her buy everything while she’s here though….

    She does love me very much and I appreciate being reminded of it because sometimes, for whatever reason, the dynamic gets like it was when I was a teenager. I do think this is very common….to remember that she loves me is a very good thing to keep in mind, to avoid that sort of devolution.

    I think that perhaps your relationship with your mother was unusually close.

    It would be nice to achieve that with my mother…she is certainly a special woman.

  4. Gianna,
    I’m glad the lobby idea works. And let me tell you one thing from a mom’s perspective. I’m sure your mother doesn’t do what she does to “infantalize” you. It’s that you’re her daughter, and she loves you. I would accept the love because that’s the way she knows how to give it. Some people write poetry (that’s what my mom did), but some people buy things. I think by doing this, your mother is saying, “Gianna, I love you!”


  5. Susan,
    Yeah, let it go!! It’s the obvious thing to do, and yet she still annoys me. I’m trying really hard though.

    We had a fairly nice time out. I was still in pain but not nearly as bad as yesterday….I couldn’t go out at all yesterday.

    We had lunch at the health food store and then bought our groceries. I insisted on paying. She will pay for everything if I let her….

    She is taking us out to dinner which I greatly appreciate as we don’t go to fancy restaurants and she is taking us to a very fancy and organic restaurant that I’ve been dying to go to….

    And it makes her happy too. I can’t have her paying for all the groceries—it really feels infantalizing that she still tries to do that, but I do appreciate a fancy healthy meal out on the town!! that’s a nice treat.

    It was also fun dressing her up in my clothes for the dinner…her motel is out of the way so she needed some nicer clothes….

    And yeah, I can tell her I need time to write and be alone…hence here I am pre-dinner on the computer while she reads.

    I hadn’t thought about going to the lobby in the hotel though and felt nervous about being in her presence 24/7. That is a really good idea and I’ll be taking advantage of any lobby space with wireless!!


  6. Hi…
    So we went grocery shopping and I can tell you what I’m bringing in the ice chest Coco:

    I’m making a turkey meatloaf with oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs, also, lots of basil pesto, cheese and egg all mixed in there—that should last a couple of days—maybe even three if we plan on having dinner out.

    A BIG bag of snap peas–I munch on them raw.

    Baby carrots

    Boiled eggs.

    Some fruit.

    I will also bring brown rice, crackers and two varieties of goats cheese and goats milk yogurt.

    I eat cold brown rice with fruit and plain yogurt for breakfast! Sounds weird but it’s yummy. I toss in some milled flax seed too.

  7. Gianna,
    So sorry to hear you’ve been in so much pain. Sounds terrible. I’m wondering whether severe menstrual pain has anything to do with this illness. I had it when I was young and through my twenties, then didn’t for years, and I no longer get periods. My menopause lasted for about 10 minutes–I figured that was God’s way of apologizing for all the crap I had to deal with while I was on medication.

    In terms of your mother, I would agree that you should enjoy the good stuff. When I read your post the other day about how “crazy” it makes you feel when she won’t say what she likes doing, I thought, “Gianna, let it go.”

    Obviously, she’s spent her entire life trying to please others –your father included. Even though she’s got a different husband, having been in an abusive first marriage must have had its effect on her as well.

    And just as you are mourning the loss of your brother, she’s undoubtedly mourning that loss as well.

    So…I think you should try and find the things about her that you love and treasure. And perhaps, as an exercise, see what you can let her “do for you.” It would be good for both of you.

    And acknowledge to her that you need alone-time each day. Perhaps on your trip, you can explain that each day you like/need to write and that would be a good time to be alone. Can you go into the lobby of the motel or hotel to do that and leave her in the room or vice versa?

    Sometimes, I think that others will honor our wishes if only we express them.

    Hope you’re feeling better, and that your trip to your doctor is great!



  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I am sorry you have to go through pain each month. It sounds like this month has been a hard one for you. Take care! Annie

  9. Hi Gianna, I’m so sorry you have to deal with this pain on top of it all. It sounds like by the time you start on your roadtrip you and your mom will be a bit more settled in each others’ company, and your pain will be diminished. It must be so hard to let her see you like this; I’m impressed by the way you’re being vulnerable when it’s not comfortable for you to be so, and the fact that even though you’re making efforts that are beyond your ability right now (ie. cooking dinner!) that you’re also able to take the time you need alone. Hope your trip preparations go smoothly – what kind of foods will you pack?

  10. Hello everybody, thanks for the good wishes.
    I don’t have a lot of time to address everyone, but NG, I’m so sorry to hear about your pain as a mother and a daughter for that matter.

    I sorta wondered about the pain being worse because I was under stress too, because the last time I had a really really nasty period—much worse than this—was when my brother died.

    Maybe being stressed out makes the pain worse—it certainly stands to reason. But I always have bad periods to some degree—no escaping it…

    Jazz, I wonder if having kids made your bad periods go away…some people’s endometriosis goes away when they get pregnant—if they can get pregnant.

    Okay I’m off to town with my mom…I’m still in pain but not as bad and we’ve got to get food for an ice chest for the trip….don’t want to risk eating crap on the road!!

    I’ll probably check in later tonight.

    cheers everyone.

  11. Hi Gianna,

    I was just wondering about you and your mom’s visit this morning. I was wondering how you found time to write while entertaining her.

    Moms try to do what they think is best. I think that is the most important thing to remember. Gianna, I had some of your pain that you wrote about it your Motherhood Lost post, I had one child, but I was led to believe that I shouldn’t have more and I even gave up custody of my child because I believed I was defective.

    So to everyone reading these comments, just remember that most moms try their very best, they are just people like you and me, and from sounds of the comments previously posted on this blog, lots of women wish they could be moms.

    I used to be very, very close to my mom. But I am not as much anymore. That could be a whole story…on how my diagnosis changed the dynamics or our relationship…for the worst.

    I also used to get a heavy and or painful period (nothing like your problem, though) whenever I visited someone “significant,” so I wonder if this could be going on with you.

  12. Gianna–
    Oh, that sounds horrible, having to deal with all that pain every months. I used to get horrendous cramps when I was a teenager, so I can just imagine. I hope you’re feeling better soon…try to let go and relax and let her help! She probably gets a lot out of being able to take care of you, you know. If you think of it as giving her a chance to do something that gives her a good feeling, maybe that will help you to be more accepting of her help. (I have a hard time with that…I have this tendency to see an offer of help as a criticism that I’m not doing it right! I really need to get over that.)

  13. thinking of you, and sending warm energy your way during this difficult time. i have a big uterine fibroid that can flare up and cause agonizing pain occasionally, it’s hard to get through and i don’t think i could without advil. i’m happy you have the help you need available from your mother – i remember how challenging my own mother was when i actually spent large blocks of time with her. i had to constantly remind myself of what one of my spiritual teachers used to say “the difficult people in our lives are our greatest teachers” (even when i was ready to throw up my hands and say enough good lessons already!)

  14. My mother wouldn’t shut up! What are you giving her to stay quiet? (bad joke)

    Hope you get what you need out of the visit. I am glad you can get in a better place about things.

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