Hanging By A Very Fine Thread


I think what little is left of my sanity snapped Thursday afternoon when I received word that my brother will likely need open heart surgery, providing he is a viable candidate. If that is not an option, he will require a heart transplant. These are the kinds of words that make you want to sink into the earth.

During his last physical his doctor said his heart was healthy and strong, she was very pleased with the results from all of his tests, so I’m asking myself how things got so bad, so quickly. In turn, it’s making me wonder if my heart is a ticking time bomb, despite being told that I “have the heart of an 18 year old”. What does that even mean to doctors?! How can you trust them? Much like lawyers, I’m starting to suspect they’re all in it for the money, minus the few good doctors I do know who are caring, kind, and give 110% to their patients. Why help people when you can simply get paid?! Thank GOD I did not become a doctor or a lawyer. I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror in either profession. 😦

I have been advised to begin genetic testing to find out “what’s in my future” due to this occurrence. I’m much more inclined to look into a crystal ball.. The fact of the matter is, we all inherit good and bad genes. All of us, no one is genetically perfect. I do not want to play G-d with myself. I can understand if I showed signs of something questionable, but I don’t, so the subject matter makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I have already had to tell a family member, more than once, to back off with the know-it-all crap. All I want and need at the moment is emotional support.

My move is temporarily postponed until I know what is happening and exactly how things will proceed. I can’t, in good faith, leave my brother behind in a hospital bed and say “See ya!” That’s not who I am. I know some people would do precisely that, and I am sure someone, somewhere will think that I am a moron for staying behind to take care of him, but I’m not heartless. Surgery will require approximately six months of healing time post-op, and he will need someone to be here for him, even though I won’t be able to do every single thing he might need. If immediate surgery is not the option he & his doctors choose, if things turn to a different type of surgery, like a transplant, I honestly don’t know what I will do.

I can’t spend even 30 minutes inside a hospital. They make me sick and drive me insane. I spent years taking care of my parents when they were ill, and I would not have been able to move or do any of the things I wanted to do at the time knowing that they were sick and needed me. I would have been too far away in an emergency, so this poses a problem for me now as well. I feel bad that I am not with him 24/7. Unfortunately, it did start a fight as to whether or not I “care”. 😦 He does not seem to realize or understand my true value in his life. I have done everything I can to support him through this and be a good sister. I’ve never not been a good sister, I’m not about to start now, but I’m not going to take crap from someone simply because they’re lonely, grouchy, and going through nicotine withdrawal.

When he was in recovery Thursday afternoon at a new hospital he was transferred to, a nurse came to tell him that I had called and was “very worried about him” and that he needed to call me back “right away”. When he asked me about that later on I said “I did not say that.” I hadn’t. I simply tried tracking him down and it took forever once we got disconnected since cell reception in that portion of the hospital is damn near nonexistent. He looked at her when she said it and immediately thought “That doesn’t sound like MY sister. She wouldn’t say that.” I might not verbalize the worry, but obviously I’m not okay about this situation. It’s upsetting and disturbing on more levels than I care to discuss. Who the hell would be okay with it?!

In situations like this, technology is a wonderful thing, though I don’t think I need all the hospital selfies, but I promise to put them in a photo album to show all his future girlfriends. 😉 No, he doesn’t read this.

I realized Friday morning, when he threw me out of bed after less than two hours of sleep because he was finally awake, bored, lonely, and obscenely chatty, that I can’t sit for three plus hours on the phone every single night because he’s awake, though I am glad he is finally resting. Every time my phone buzzes, I jump like I’ve been bitten by a snake. I have the ringer off on the landline because every sound it makes is horrible to my ears. Precisely who makes ringtones for landlines? I want to know. My cell phone isn’t much better. It’s not my personal ringtone choices that bother me, it’s the noise itself. Unless I’m out in public, my phone is always on vibrate. Last night I decided to turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature on my phone and allow myself to sleep, even if it wasn’t a full night. I knew I needed the silence as I try handling a migraine that has lasted for over two days and the stress of this past week. Up until the last second, he was still arguing with me via text. I cannot deal with that level of crazy. I have my limits.

And yet, it is eerily quiet when my brother is not around talking to Cat and Kitten, slamming my doors, inspecting my refrigerator and cabinets for goodies, blasting baseball or football, asking ridiculous questions, etc. He is the person people see nine times out of ten because I am often in too much pain to do anything outside beyond walking to and from the car.

I am almost certain I scared the crap out of a neighbor when I went outside to bring my garbage can and recycling bin in so that neither of them would go rolling down the street due to the wind. I saw him and his dog coming toward me, he did not see me walking down the driveway, and by the time he looked up, I thought he was going to have a heart attack. As per usual, 99% of the neighbors do not speak to me, and he was no different. They live in the house that drove me nuts for months with the incredibly noisy add-on. On the plus side, the dog didn’t jump on me or bark, always a sign of good training. I honestly didn’t know anyone on the street close enough to me had a dog any more, that’s how quiet this one is. Or perhaps he was simply happy to be out on a walk. I later learned from my brother that he sees this guy walking the dog “at all hours”. He then proceeded to tell me that I’d know who he was if I was not a hermit. LOL. Sue me for minding my own fucking business!

This weekend I am going to attempt to tackle a few things. One, get my brother’s car from the first hospital’s parking lot. Two, try to get over to the hospital with some clean clothes so he will stop bitching (Don’t ask me when I became a maid, because I can assure you that the “pay” on this “job” sucks dishwater.). Three, get groceries. It took me about an hour to realize that the “Shop From Home” app is a piece of shit. I suppose it works fine if you buy the same things every single time you shop, but if you can’t offer me fresh vegetables & fruit with accuracy unless they’re on sale in your current ad, that doesn’t work for me. There is a long list of things you can’t purchase unless it’s in the ad or listed on the site, and it could take longer to compose a list for delivery than it would to simply go and shop myself. An on-line list should not take two hours. Call me crazy, but it should be easier to navigate. I certainly don’t need to pay anyone $20, before a tip, to put an order together and deliver it to me from five minutes up the road. That’s wasteful beyond words.

Everything I need to do should be simple enough, but it isn’t. I am enlisting one of his friends for some help because I’m not superwoman at the moment. If someone can pitch in and throw me a bone to make things easier, that will make a huge difference in my eyes. I hate asking for help, but my brother has driven me insane this week and I’m on my last nerve. I can’t deal with any more of his crankiness. All I can do is my best, if he doesn’t like it, tough titty said the kitty.

I’ve been so stressed and distracted that I damn near forgot it was Halloween. Enjoy trick-or-treating with your kiddos or simply enjoy the holiday aspect for yourself. I know plenty of people who love giving out sweets to everyone that comes knocking tonight. I spare myself the aggravation (I used to really be into it, and perhaps that will happen next year when I am feeling more in the spirit of things.), and I truly have more important things to focus on tonight, but I still hope it is happy and safe for everyone partaking.

If you need me, I’ll be running around like a chicken without its head, but I swear, it’s not a blood ritual of any kind. It’s mere insanity.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

I don’t bother filtering. I use the word “asshole”.

If You Look Into…

Happy Caturday!
Happy Caturday!

I thought I’d instill a bit of humor into this morning since I woke up in extraordinary pain and can’t really find my “inner peace” at the moment. Having a sense of humor helps. 🙂 I wish I could just curl up with cat and kitten until the pain passes. Alas, kitten tried throwing me out of bed at 5:15. I wasn’t swayed. I’m pretty sure there’s a photo of me next to the word “grumpy”. Bleh!

May you all have a peaceful, relaxing, pain-free weekend.

As A Direct Result

It’s also an evil life-destroyer.

I’ve decided that today is going to be a work-free day.

I went to bed this morning sick as a dog. I suspect my brief time out yesterday affected me more severely than it ought to. Within a few hours of coming home, I got my fourth migraine of the week. I took a brief nap and I wasn’t entirely okay afterward, but now? UGH!

Sadly, with migraines, you often question whether you did something wrong, ate the wrong thing, etc. All I did was go out in tremendous heat for an hour and a half and come home. It wasn’t a lot of physical exertion, but my body says otherwise. I had a mild headache upon returning, but it wasn’t until I actually felt pain in my head that I took something for it. By 7:30, as my neighbors attempted to power wash something right near my bedroom window, I contemplated outright murder. My ears simply cannot bear the noise, and what are they up to at this precise moment? Yard work. At 9:23 a.m. On a Saturday. When it’s already 85 degrees and a heat advisory has been issued for the entire area, AGAIN. Schools actually closed early yesterday, if they opened at all, because it was over 100 degrees with the humidity and people were experiencing breathing problems. But hey, dumb & dumbest need to make noise on a yard that requires no work at all this week. This is where I would like to point out that I refrained from putting #TheyNeedToBeShot. I’m not a violent person…just don’t make noise when I’m sick or on any day ending in a y.

As a direct result of this migraine/heat/stomach agony, I’m trying to decompress this morning. I’d rather be asleep, but I desperately need to hit the grocery store. Not a fun task, I do not look forward to this, but I am going to try going once it cools down. There’s no point in making myself any sicker by attempting to do it early on in the day. Everyone and their grandmother will be there to capitalize on the digital coupon extravaganza, which has already turned into an epic fail because 9/4’s of the coupons don’t come off at the end of each order, which means customer service is inundated with questions as to why they didn’t work and precisely “Where are my savings? Are you going to give me my money back?” Actually, the store is set up to make sure you actually loaded the coupons on to your savings card in the first place. If you didn’t use the physical coupons that were also provided for the week, chances are you didn’t get the savings on those four items. I clipped all of my mine last night and will print up a few others later on. I’ve saved nearly $1000 this year alone in coupons at one store. That is a small accomplishment, but it feels good every single time I look at my receipt.

I’ve completed all of my work this week (though I am seemingly still loosely on the consulting job), except for the manuscript, which I will devote more daily time to next week in my attempt to complete it. I’m not looking forward to that, I’m simply tired of seeing it and knowing that it’s not complete. I do NOT relish the line of questioning that will come with the delivery, but since I stated in the contract how much time I will spend on answering questions before charging again for my time, I hope that will make the client aware that I mean business. It’s in black and white, how hard is it to follow guidelines?

Before I forget, I want to thank Writerstream for featuring my work this week, and I’d also like to give a huge shout out to the dozen or so new Twitter followers in the last 12 hours alone. (Special thanks to Lillian for encouraging me to join Twitter. Hugs sweet pea!) I never knew I’d grow to love it so much. To the friend that reads my Tweets and isn’t afraid to joke with me and laugh, I appreciate it. (You know who you are, doll!)

If you need me, I’ll be here for the next few hours. Drinking coconut water. Praying that it helps. If it doesn’t, I’m seriously considering an ER visit because this level of pain is out of control.

Have a great weekend everyone! And please, stay out of the heat and wear sunscreen.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


It’s Okay To Take It Easy

Caturday with the supremely relaxed and rested.
Caturday with the supremely relaxed and rested.

I intended to get some work done today. I am doing an editing job to help someone out from a writer’s group I previously belonged to. I am also doing an editing job because it’s my job to do so. However, with no set deadline, I found myself procrastinating on opening the file. I’ve already done several pages on it already and the author hasn’t stated when she wants or needs it back. Considering she’s just blown the last week, I don’t feel like I need to be putting in 10-12 hour days on it just yet. In turn, I feel no guilt whatsoever in taking it easy today.

I’ve answered almost all of my e-mails, no easy feat that. I’ve watched my British Bombay (a breed of solid black cat. The major difference between them and an American Bombay are the shape of their face, ears, and their eye color. Plus, she’s all mine and looks so sweet and innocent while curled up like a bum.) sleep in various positions in front of me. The little lamb chop purred all through her nail-clipping, as if she was being brushed instead of having her nails cut down by half. (It was long overdue. She’s been slippery in her methods of escaping me whenever she sees the handle of the special nail trimmer I have.) I tooled around with the new Twitter page for this platform, @PoisonPlatform. It’s not much at the moment, but it will get there, though it feels slightly pointless. And then, for actual fun, I watched Arrow, The Originals, and the last two episodes of Stalker, which I missed. Perhaps later I’ll watch something else. (Banshee, definitely Banshee.)

After more than a week of being the exact opposite of myself, I am thinking very sharply today and feeling next to no pain from the Fibromyalgia. A little back soreness, yes, but none of the severe pain from neck to toe that I feel every single day of my life. I’m sure it will return with a vengeance the second I think about it too much.

Monday is Imbolc/Groundhog Day. My one sign that Spring is around the corner is that the bunnies have returned to my backyard. They’re chewing away at the grass that has peeped up beneath the melting snow. Clearly they’ve been all over the yard, as the snow is chock full of bunny paw prints. CUTEST.THING.THIS.WEEK. The morning doves are also visiting regularly. The thought of fresh-cut grass sends me into a horrific sneezing fit, and yet I would welcome it over the somewhat Siberian temperatures. Siberia is in my blood, but knowing that it will be -10 with the wind chill doesn’t exactly do anything for me.

Originally I prepared a different post for today, but I want a few days to re-evaluate it (read: psychoanalyze it to death). It has the potential to make some people uncomfortable, which isn’t my intention, but philosophical and theological debates are quite interesting to me and I think it’s important to cover subject matter that is personally interesting, even if it might make a few people think a lot more closely than they normally do.

This is the first Super Bowl that I will probably miss. I’m a Patriots fan (and a New York Giants fan), but right now I’m about as interested in football as I am in watching snow melt. So long as everyone is safe, live and let live.


How are you spending your end-of-January/Super Bowl weekend? If it’s in Hawaii, do me a favor and skip the comments.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.