my dad went back to see his gastroenterologist today. he has UC and he had recently had a kolonoskopy to check where things were at with it.
Unfortunately the news wasnt good. she told him his bowel is chronically inflamed. she said there is no cancer there which is a positive, but during the last two kolonoskopys he’s had polyps removed. she said the form of UC he has is very rare and very severe.
they arentsure what treatment to put him on. she said he’d have to go for another sorta scan, a sorta x-ray and scan done at the same time, to monitor his bowel motions. that wont be happening for a month though. in the meantime she gave him another laxative to try. He also has to go for a liver ultrasound in september.
she said there are injections he can go on every two weeks to reduce the inflamation but they have terrible side effects including breaking down his immune system and they can also cause skin cancer and other forms of cancer. so they are waiting to see what the scan shows before thinking about putting him on the injections.
he also has to have physio to retrain his bowel. there was talk of them operating on him to fit a stoma bag but now he thinks that isnt going to be happening, she wants to try every other form of treatment first.
Its a worrying time for all of us. My dad is a little depressed and his mood is fluctuating up and down and he is taking things out on the rest of the family. I suppose that is to be expected but its not nice and he is not pleasant to be around right now.
feelings of grief and sadness overwhelm me. hearing my mom bio mom play with my sisters kids, our littles are so jealous of her giving them all that attention. they want the attention for themselves. but it will never be that way because our mom will only ever see the adult body in front of her. she wont ever see that child, those inner kids, those little parts. that makes me incredibly sad, and it makes them even sadder. it also makes me incredibly grief stricken. thinking i’ve lost so much, so so much of my childhood, to abuse, a mom who wasnt there emotionally, a dad who never cared and always put alcohol before his kids, and yeah, he’s a little better now, but sometimes now is not good enough, sometimes its too late and you cant go back even when you desperately want to go back in time, redo things, i think of eileen as a mom, she isnt though, she cant be, she is only ever going to be my therapist, and no matter what we do that isnt going to change. i feel crushed. overwhelm threatens to engulf me. i’m even feeling a little bit suicidal. i think i feel suicidal at the loss of my childhood to all the trauma, yeah, thats it, all the fucking trauma, and boy was there a lot of it. i hate ptsd. i hate having did some days, like today, having parts is so much work, its so much work to just survive, and i hate just surviving, i want to live, live or die, one or the other.
well its been a busy morning! kristen came and took me to my gp’s surgery where i was seeing the nurse to get the blood pressure monitor off. my arm is all bruised from it. honest, there is a huge big bruise on it. i never knew it would leave marks! anyway she took it off and got my results up on the computer, she said they looked off so she was going to ask the doctor to look at them. he did and he said that my blood pressure was very low. there is no treatment for low blood pressure, other than staying hydrated and being careful when you stand up not to stand up too fast. she said though that its safer to have low blood pressure than high, because with high you could be at risk of a stroke. so that was that. i left and went grocery shopping. i had a list and was going from that, but when i got up to the counter to pay it cost more than i’d expected. i had enough money on me but was a bit disappointed that i had to pay extra. it meant i couldnt go to the basement club today because if i went there then i wouldnt have enough money for the taxi to dr. barrys tomorrow and thats more important. so i stayed home and didnt go. after grocery shopping we came home put away all the groceries and then kristen made me eggs and toast. i was starving. i had tried to get a smoothy at the grocery store but the smoothy bar was closed. so i ate my eggs and toast and then kristen did a little housework before she left to go to her next client. she stayed about 20 minutes over her time which i was really grateful to her for. not all pa’s would do that. so now i’m just pottering around the house listening to the radio, and burning dvd’s onto mhycomputer. it feels good to relax and chill out. i talked to mom on the phone and she said that my dad is preparing for his kolonoskopy which is tomorrow morning. i’m glad i’m not there because he’ll be cranky since he cant eat anything until its over. mom was babysitting for my sister. so how are you guys doing? how has your day been going?
i’m so conflicted. i have so many feelings surrounding our dad. his drinking. his behaviour towards us. his outbursts. his denial of his UC. on the one hand i want to support him, be supportive, help him to come to terms with the fact that he has this condition for life now. but every time i make any attempts to be supportive he throws it back in my face, tells me to shut up, i dont know what i am talking about, i’m not a doctor, no, i’ not a doctor but I do read, and I’ve read a lot about his condition. if he doesnt start doing what the doctor tells him he’s going to really suffer. he was told to stay away from certain foods like brown bread, fruit and veg with skins on, tc. but is he d oing it? noooo he’s not. and then he wonders why he’s on the loo for most of the day. honestly, he’s like a baby. moaning, with the pain. i did feel sorry for him at first, because pain is pain and who likes to be i n pain? but when he wont listen, and continues to do things to harm his body, my sympathy for him lessens. his drinking, thats the second thing. he’s constantly drinking. every night he’ll drink about 5 or 6 cans of beer. some times during the day he’ll go to the local bar and have 3 pints. then come home eat dinner and sleep for an hour and then have the 5 or 6 cans at night. when he drinks, his anger comes out. uncontrolled anger. he’s mean, nasty, calls me names, degrades me, degrades my mom, it really upsets me and gets to me. i try to love him. i want to love him and part of me does. ijust dont love is alcoholism. you’d think after he got sorosis of the liver in 02007 that he’d have said ok i’ll stop for good. he did stop for 5 years. but then he went to a friends sons wedding and that is when he started back up again drinking. and its gone downhill from there. mom uses the excuse that he cant drink as much as he did years ago. and i’m like so what? he still drinks, he’s still an alcoholic. she knows that. she just hates admitting it. and so does my sister. there is also the OCD traits my dad shows. my dad was abused as a kid. he was in an industrial school here in ireland. for 8 years. so i do get it that he was institutionalised and things are done a special way in institutions. i know that from being in one myself growing up. i wish he’d get some help. he refuses to go to counselling. he refuses to take meds for psych issues. he refuses to take a sleeping pill yet he wakes every hour and is always tired. honestly? i dont know what to do about all of it. i think a good chat to eileen is in order tomorrow to try and process some of it. i thought i’d write while i was up thinking at 2 AM. i’ve an apt with my gp at 10:15 to get the blood pressure 24 hour monitor on. why does life and family have to be so stressful? its not like i dont have enough to be dealing with.
Yep its fathers day. despite my dads recent behaviour and despite what my thoughts are on it, i spent it with him and the rest of my family. the weather here today was hot and sunny and so we spent the day outside in my parents back garden. it was a really nice day, and everything went off ok today which felt so good. i gave our dad a card with some money in it and some lottery tickets and he won 10 euro on the lottery tickets, I also played a request on our local radio for him. He seemed to like that I did that, he got a kick out of it.
yesterday during therapy me and eileen talked about my dad and his alcoholism. it has been bothering me for a few days now, so i brought it into the therapy room. eileen thinks it would be a good idea for me to read up on alcoholism and its effects on the family. i told her i find it really difficult to talk about it and that is why i havent read much on the subject. i told her that i would try looking up some stuff on it. she gave me a few resources and names of people who have written extensively on the subject. its so hard for me to do this. it means i have to admit to myself that there is a problem. i know there is, i know my dads an addict, but i always thought i could change him somehow. i could make things better. eileen said i need to look after me and my own mental health. she said if i fall into the trap of allowing my dad to control me or lie to me that I’m finished. because addicts will do that, they lie, they manipulate, they will do anything to shift the blame from themselves to someone else. deep down i know this is true. it all just makes me so sad. but for years my dad has been this way. the fact that he lied to me and my sister last week, telling us that if he drinks by day he doesnt drink by night, that is a sure sign that he knows he’s doing wrong, and he knows he has a problem. I was telling eileen how he is so controlling, he’s like OCD about everything, everything has to be a certain way, everything has to be just so, he has to do things a certain way, all routine, and if it isnt his way, he gets really mad and angry and starts verbally being mean, putting us down etc. for years now I’ve been the scape goat of our family. I’ve been the problem. He uses my mental illness as being the problem. Saying that I am the one with the issue, because I see a therapist, I go to a psychiatrist, I take meds. Eileen said this has to stop. I have to start putting myself first. I said I try to avoid him now if I fear he is going to start anything. Even our mom told me not to answer him if he’s arguing, eileen said she is giving us good advice there, and its obvious she’s found ways of coping, of looking after herself. I told eileen that maybe my mom could come over to my house more, so that I wouldnt have to go to my parents house as much. because my dads drinking and lack of taking care of himself is really really effecting me more than I’d like to admit. And its something I havent really discussed a lot with eileen, I’m embarrassed that its like that. I’m feeling bad that this addiction is in our family. It just adds more disfunction to the already disfunctional family dynamics. I will do the reading though and try to educate myself more about the addiction and the process of what having this addiction does to the person and to the rest of the family. Talking about it yesterday did help me a lot. I felt lighter after the session.
i just had my phone check in with eileen. i thanked her for responding to allie’s email the other day. she said she realised she broke her own rule of no replying to email, but that she really just wanted us to know she was ok so that we wouldnt be worrying. i appreciated that she broke her rule for us. we talked about the two weeks she was away. i told her it felt like an eternity. i told her about my dads UC and my moms results and how i’d been trying to be there for both of them to support them. she asked me who was supporting me? i jokingly said you are but really that isnt far from the truth. i told her my dad is in a lot of denial about his UC and he is drinking non stop. if i say something nice he loses it with me, if i say nothing at all he still loses it and starts arguing with me. last week he tried to convince me he’s not drinking that much, but in reality he is drinking every day. eileen said i am not going to change him, which i kind of know but hearing it really brought it home for me. she said you cant change another person, he will have to want to change himself, but he doesnt want to do that. he wants to go against all the advice his doctors are giving him and therefore make his UC worse. I told eileen I’d been isolating a lot these past two weeks. She encouraged me to go out to the basement club tomorrow. She said sometimes when we isolate we can stay in our heads. I agree this is so true. But I feel like I cant face anyone I really just want to hide. I’m not even going to my parents this weekend because I dont want to be around my dad. I told mom I’d come on sunday for dinner and go home again that evening. Eileen said to just see how i feel but that I am to look after myself and keep myself well. Think of myself now and put myself first. I know she’s right. So why then is it so hard for me to do it? I told her about last week and how I never went to see dr. Barry because I had a panick attack and my ptsd symptoms got very bad. So bad that I just had to go back to bed. She was really understanding and it felt so good to be able to connect with her and talk to her. I feel secure in the knowledge that she will look out for me and be there for me when I am unable to look out for myself.