Friday, February 26, 2016

The Most Wanted

By the time I was born my mother already had one son, and he was the apple of her eye - and was till the day she died. No one else ever mattered among my siblings but him. So I knew from the get go that I was just another kid to her, nothing was more important than he was. This is how I remember my place in the family. And even though I was the first daughter that made no difference. Now I know this sounds like I'm jealous and carrying a grudge, but seriously that couldn't be further from the truth, my older brother was THE only child our mother ever had! Let me tell you what I know: Mother was a paranoid schizophrenic, so her ability to create normal, healthy relationships was severely impaired. Of course as a child I didn't know what was wrong, I just knew things weren't right.
Therefore I can truthfully say that I am NEVER found smiling in any of my early photographs EVER. In my early photos I am very somber even as a baby. I'm fairly certain I knew where things stood with my mother even then. It wasn't until I was about 14 years old that I realized she was mentally ill. By the time I was 17 she had been in and out of the mental hospital so many times I couldn't count them. Yet she continued having babies, finally arriving at the number 8 by the time she finished. At the age of 15 I delivered her last child because she was so manic she refused to call for the doctor. I didn't call him until she had already delivered.
This - is - how - my life was ... chaotic!
My mother's parents both knew she was "off" even as a young girl. It appears from everything I've ever heard (from those who knew her best), that she was what people in those days called, "A handful."
My mother was physically one of THE most beautiful women I've every known. She was able to maintain her figure till the day she died. From what I remember she always dieted and exercised to maintain her figure. I can even remember as a young girl that she hand-made her own makeup because she didn't like the colors available to her. People used to mistake her for my sister, and I was proud of that!
Left - Ann Kirkpatrick Lindgren - My Mother
Now, even though my life was chaotic there were also good things that happened to me as a child. Like cousins! I'm still in touch with many of the cousins that I grew up with, and they are still very important to me.
Sadly I am no longer in contact with my siblings. That will be addressed in another part later.
Till tomorrow then. . .

Thursday, February 25, 2016


The picture is of Ida Elisabeth Swensson Lindgren, who was/is my paternal great-grandmother, and who I resemble most in my family.
I have decided to return to blogging as a form of therapy. Ha! I really need to hone my writing skills and use them properly, as in writing my family history. Which history I have promised to my family for years. So within the next few weeks I have committed myself to spend time each day (time permitting) writing little snippets of my memories.
For years I have been plagued by the thought of criticism from my family, especially my birth family. But as I am no longer associated with them I am going to choose to do it my way and write things the way I perceived them, without discretion.
I shall tell my story, my way.
If you happen to come across this blog post - wish me luck, unless you are a disaffected family member, then I advise you to write your own history your own way and let the readers attempt to judge who was right.
Here's to tomorrow's post! Cheers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another Doctor Visit

So this time my primary doctor referred me to a surgeon.  I saw him today and he made it very clear to me that he would not be willing to perform a hernia repair on me because I am too high risk since I have had more than five hernia repair surgeries.  He said only under life-threatening circumstances (i.e. A strangulated bowel) would he consider surgery.  He said I am too fat, have hypertension and I have exhausted all surgical options for my health.  Basically I am screwed.  Death is my only option now!  Are any of you listening?  This is MediCare in action, or to be precise, ObamaCare!  Forget death panels, they now just consign you to extreme suffering and death and have done with you!

And for you who think I am being overly dramatic - my husband was with me this time.  He heard it all.

While it's true that I am everything he stated, I still believe I should have an assurance that should I have another episode of a strangulated hernia, as I did six weeks ago, that I should have options.  Whatever happened to laparoscopic surgery?  That's the least invasive method.

I decided this afternoon that I will go on and live my life in the best way I know how and let the chips fall where they may!  I am not giving up!  I want to live!  I will not just lay down and die!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Health

Here I am sick again.  Another bout with a bowel obstruction.  Makes me sad.  This time I was blessed not to have surgery, but I was in hospital for three days with an NG tube down my throat into my stomach.  No food or water for those three days either.  Just Potassium Chloride, straight Potassium and two different antibiotics all being pumped into me rapidly.  I was dehydrated within just a few hours after the attack started.  Tony was with me every minute of the day except at night while I was sleeping.  I am so grateful for that - it was really hard to be in hospital this time.  I was given so much morphine and it didn't even touch the pain!  And what did I get in return?   A freaking major headache! Then the nurse wants me to take Tylenol and puts it in gelatin and tells me to eat it - gelatin melts, but the dry crushed Tylenol sticks to the NG tube and rubs against the side of my throat - ack - such pain!

Plus I'm not allowed to sip water to get the offending junk down!  Oy!  I choke and choke till I almost die!!  So if you think I look bad in the picture, you're right.

On Thursday night when I went to the ER I thought the pain from the strangulated bowel was horrible, but then after having two injections of Morphine I sat bolt upright on the gurney because the pain had moved to my chest and back and was so excruciating that I couldn't breathe.  I felt as though I was going die, I couldn't scream or cry because the pain was so bad.  The nurses performed two EKGs on me, which showed I wasn't having a heart attack, however my blood pressure was sky high and remained so until the pain subsided.  This was when the ER nurse/practitioner told the nurses to prep me for major surgery and called the surgeon.  But when the surgeon came he said no to any surgery until he ran some tests.  First a CAT scan was performed, which confirmed the bowel was strangulated.  The pain was still horrible as I was taken to radiology to get a complete set of X-rays with dye of my entire digestive system.  When the radiology tech rolled my gurney down the hallway to get the X-rays he left me alone in the hallway where i writhed in pain and was moaning, hospital personnel just kept passing me by, not even looking at me,  not even asking me why I was lying there all alone. A very unpleasant experience while suffering the tortures of the damned!  And scared to death.  Then finally, after a long time the technician came for me.

After the tests were over the surgeon told me he wasn't going to perform surgery because he was concerned after seeing my test results.  He said my insides are complicated and that even though this will happen again that it is best for now to just take one day at a time.  So I am.

What does that mean?  I just go on with my life as usual and wait for the next attack.  Limbo...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Post Mission to Cyprus

Here we are - home again. WOW! Can we say, "Culture shock?" The adjustments are just beginning. We have been mostly resting and sorting our belongings, trying to find a place to store things.
We went to COSTCO the second day we were home as there was no food in the house at all. We gave Ramona and Dan and family almost all of our food storage when we left, so we barely had anything available. We stocked up on canned goods since we hadn't been able to grow a garden in the past two and a half years.
Unbelievable! We sold our BIG house in Los Angeles, CA, moved to a small one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood and divided our time between LA and our new home in Lancaster. Mainly refurbishing and painting and cleaning. We didn't really live here until about a month before we left on our mission. So now everything old is new again! Ha!
Not hearing Greek spoken or reading any street signs in Greek has been a shock! I keep translating everything from English into Greek, how funny is that?
I'm certain we will settle in/down fairly soon. The sleep deprivation we experienced while on our mission has taken it's toll on both of us, and we are trying to keep from having any meltdowns in the interrum, until we have recovered.
We have already eaten a steak dinner at Black Angus and had In N Out Burgers too! The steak dinner tasted like it was made in Heaven! We haven't had any decent beef since we left home, only pork, chicken and fish. Cyprus is the island of pork! And yet they do not have decent hams or bacon at all.
The fourth night we were home I set out to prepare a lovely enchilada dinner, with rice and beans and salad, but whilst I was toasting the rice in my rice pot it suddenly for no reason EXPLODED! Yes it did! It blew up rice and oil in my face, which also flew all about the kitchen and family room. SCARY! Tony cleaned it all up while I sat on the sofa in a daze. Later I realized I was in shock. My upper body ached so badly from the tension and adrenalin rush I experienced. I am recovered today (the next day), and am a little apprehensive about cooking. Of course today we will go to Walmart and get new pots and pans - I will NEVER use my old ones again! Lesson learned.

Monday, December 23, 2013

We Are Leaving for Home!

Not exactly - that is - leaving for home. We are taking a circuitous route via Israel and England! But we have only four more days till we do leave. A year and-a-half certainly goes by quickly! And we leave with mixed emotions of the highest degree!
We love our mission, and especially the Young Single Adults (YSAs) we have had the opportunity to serve. And we also love the Nicosia Branch members we have had the opportunity to serve! So we are very torn about leaving all those whom we love.
On the other hand, we have waited all our married lives to get the opportunity to go to Israel and we are really ready to go there! Our dream of a lifetime is soon to come true!
So let the celebrating begin, we are on our way home! Somebody tell Caroline we are on our way! Goodbye Cyprus.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Downward Spiral

Well folks - here we go on the downward spiral! We will be in Israel three days after Christmas! All our plane tickets and hotel reservations are confirmed for the two week tour(s) of Israel and England. We have now officially decided we can get "trunky"! Ha! That's the Mormon missionary term for, "I cannot wait, I am going home!" We have so many plans of things to do after we get home:
1. See all our kids and grandkids!
2. Go to Cholo's to eat.
3. Go to COSTCO! Ha!
4. Go to Disneyland!
Gosh! There are so many things we want to do - I'd be really challenged to write them all down!
At any rate we are winding down with our duties here in Cyprus, and saying our 'goodbyes' to all. This is going to be hard, because as all missionaries do - we have become so attached to the people here!
We can now see that we will never have time to do all we wanted before we depart for Israel. There are so many events scheduled for December.
First - Our final CES/YSA Conference here in Cyprus, December 2-5. We will be hosting the CES/YSA couple from Athens, Greece and our Area CES Director as well. We will be finishing up all the CES business here on the Island and for Athens too. Neither couple are being replaced. Instead the church is sending one YSA couple to do the work both in Athens and Cyprus. Interesting idea. We'll see how it works out.
Second - The Nicosia Branch Christmas Party, December 14th. Lots of food and fun at the Nicosia Chapel.
Third - The Nicosia District Zone Christmas Party, December 20th. Again, food, fun and a trip to the retirement center to sing Christmas Carols and read to the residents. Always a lovely party!
Fourth - The Nicosia Branch Christmas Program and Farewell to President and Sister Vargas. A beautiful program with lots of Scripture reading and Christmas hymns and songs.
Fifth - The Nicosia Cyprus Branch Missionaries all get together for three days of celebrating. There will be delicious food, games, movies and memories to be made! Maybe a trip to the Troodos Mountains if there is any snow.
Then on December 28th at 10:30 PM our flight leaves from Larnaca, Cyprus to go to Tel Aviv, Israel! Where we will stay 10 days, then off to England to visit Sister Michelle Wu in Leeds, England, and the Nicholls family in London, England. After five days we will return home on January 11th to LAX Airport via Heathrow Airport in England.

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