Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Reflections of Me

For just over a month now, my life has been in limbo...but it's starting to settle down.
While I hate this whole situation, and the prospect of divorce, I cherish what I've learned this month.
Mainly...I have friends...They're willing to help me...and they're there for me.  
On June 27, 2015, my life as I know it changed.  It all started with a text message from my husband telling me he was in an accident.  As most wives do, I tried to get information, I tried to find out anything, only to find out that (surprise) we "were in the middle of a divorce" and the he doesn't want me to know anything.  

Thus began the tornado that I now call my life.  While I didn't want to file for divorce, I am.  While I didn't want to be single, I am.  But, I am also enjoying my life.  I'm doing things I wasn't allowed to do for the past eight years and it's wonderful.  

I get to take pictures all the time.  I get to post about MY LIFE and the people in it WITHOUT getting yelled at because I shared something they didn't like.  And, I get to go places that I would have automatically said NO to at the beginning of the summer.  Things that were automatically out of the question, are suddenly doable.  

Yes, going out on my own is scary.  I have to rethink things when I go to the store so I don't get things for my husband, and it can be lonely.  But you know what?
I was lonely at home.
I was alone most of the time anyway.
I was abused by him...something that I hid very well, but I don't need to hide anymore.
(And, yes, there are police reports)
I was controlled by him.
I was unhappy.

I tried very hard to make my marriage work.  I hid the fact that I was an abused wife.  I supported him through school and through doctors appointments.  I was the one that was there with him when he didn't feel well.  I was the one that drove him to every appointment.  I was the one that got yelled at when he couldn't understand Algebra.  

So, while I'm moving from limbo to permanent and it's really scary, 
But...new beginnings and not so happy endings.  
This is no longer my home and it's time to acknowledge that.  While I've had many happy and wonderful times there, it's time to move on.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Surprise?!?

First off, I have to say that a post about Chicago is coming up soon.  Right now, I feel that another post needs to be written.

In the past two weeks, I have seen the best of people and the worst of people.  I have been betrayed by family, and found support in the unlikeliest of places.  I have also come to have a deeper understanding of my own strength.  
P.S. You never know how strong you are until you are put through the test...I think God likes it this way.

Last Saturday, I explored Chicago, and had lunch with a great friend...again...later post.
I went back to the hotel and got ready for the awards program for PBL.  I was having a good time, taking pictures of all the Texas people, etc.  Then about halfway through, I got this text.

As you can see, Mike was a little disoriented and confused.  Now, here's the kicker...the hospital let him invoke HIPPA, and make himself Non-Disclosure...even though he was altered and went in with a brain injury.

I was frantic, and scared.  I found out that Monster was OK, but that was only the beginning of this nightmare.  Since Mike was confused and disoriented, I asked to speak with a nurse, none in there.  I asked to speak with a doctor, someone, anyone...to find out how my husband was doing.  No one was around, but he did say that his brothers were there at the hospital.  So, I called Stacy, since it was the only number I had.  

I found out from Stacy that they were waiting on the neurosurgeon.  I asked him to call me if anyone came out to talk with him about Mike.  I never got that call.  Instead, I called the ER to find out about my husband and found out that he made himself non-disclosure and that we were supposedly in the middle of a divorce.  (This was news to me)  I then told the nurse that I'm not sure he could have invoked HIPPA because he was confused and disoriented, and apparently if they're awake and alert, and at least know who they are, where they are, and what day it is, they can invoke it.  Personally, I think he was told where he was and what day it was because he didn't remember anything.

So, on Sunday, I flew home.  And I drove straight from the airport to the hospital.  Before they remembered that he was non-disclosure I found out that he had a sub arachnoid hemorrhage and also that he was transferred that morning.  I was in the process of finding out when the unit clerk remembered that he did invoke HIPPA.  

Oh wait....it gets better. When I got through with the hospital, I went to the house.  And found out that my husband had emptied it of everything of any sort of value.  After about an hour of crying, I called the police.  At least I could try to find my son.  When the police came, he was apparently shown old papers from CPS because he wouldn't file missing persons OR let me see my son.  

Sunday night, I decided to try to use the Wi-Fi at Whataburger.  First off, I put my keys down somewhere and forgot where I put them.  Now, when things like this happens, I stop and thank God because he wants me to see/hear/find something particular.  After about 10 minutes, I found my keys and went on my way.  There was a group of teens there that overheard me talking to my mom and asked me if they could pray over me.  Of course I agreed and  felt a little more at peace.  THEN, this same group of teens told me they didn't have much but they opened their walled and gave me every penny they had..  

Now, comes Monday.  Mike gets out of the hospital and tells me that he was in Tyler.  He also asked me to pay the electric bill, but I can't with no money.  Then came the subject of the empty house.  Apparently, Mike got it in his head to leave me while I was in Chicago.  He had emptied the house and then disappeared.  He was also with Weldon, and Weldon always convinces Mike to drink.  Then I found out where Monster was and it was a race to see who got to him first.  Needless to say, they did.  So, I haven't been able to see or talk to my son all week.  And, even though I'm talking to Mike, I feel that it is going nowhere.  He won't even come up here to meet with me and have a meal.  He said yesterday that he didn't want to meet with an angry person.  BUT, I'm not angry or upset...I feel betrayed more than anything.  This may sound harsh, but I am giving Mike until tonight to meet with me and straighten some things out.  I DO NOT WANT A DIVORCE.  

On Monday evening, when it was apparent that I lost Monster, I could only think of one place to go, and that was The Wesley Foundation house.  Never did I imagine the kind of help I would get there.  There was a girl there that was told of my situation and offered me to use their spare room until the end of July when their roommate comes back.  I never imagined that my friends would reach out and help me.  I've always thought that they were just friends, and not close friends.  

On Wednesday, I went to go see the car.  Seeing it, I'm surprised that my husband is still alive.  (Again, another blog post about this)  Because of the kindness of acquaintances I have a roof over my head until the end of June.  I still need to find an apartment, and I still need to come up with the funds for a deposit, and enough to pay rent until I get an income every month.

I'm still working on things...but I also have to protect myself from future actions.  I told Mike yesterday that I may be getting a divorce because I need to protect myself from future actions like this.  I don't know what the future holds for me, but I do know I'm on the right track.  So, that's why I haven't been online much lately.  I'm not sure if I"m going to  come back.  Before I close this one, here's a couple pictures of the truck:






Friday, June 26, 2015

Rainy night in Chicago

There is nothing like a rainy night to get you down...a little.
Well, maybe that and getting left behind.
I have tried my best to keep up all week, but today my arm was hurting like crazy.
I've been trying to ignore it, still with a smile on my face, but man...gritting my teeth while smiling is hard.
And, most of it is to blame on the carpet in this hotel.
  
Why do they have to carpet EVERYTHING?
And with super THICK carpet?  
I mean, yes, I know you want to give off the feeling of luxury...
but...seriously...
a better way would be to let us use the refrigerators in the room WITHOUT the $25 fee!!!

Don't get me wrong, this is an awesome hotel, and I'm enjoying sitting on the skywalk while writing this...
But, I don't think I ever want to come back to this hotel...there's just too much carpet.

Oh yeah, and have I mentioned it sux not being able to keep up with your peers.  
Go for a walk to get pizza...yeah sure...oh wait...I have to roll so much extra to avoid the steps and cracks in the sidewalk.  By then, I've been left behind again.

I have to say, Chicago is not the friendliest city for being in a wheelchair.  

So, this was a quick update. 
I will upload pictures when I can get them off the camera...did I mention that I dislike this chromebook?
And, tomorrow, I think I'm going to try my first vlog.  Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Swag Code Extravaganza

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Monday, May 25, 2015

A Day for Remembering

Memorial Day is more than a three day weekend.
For those that have lost a loved one in the service, it's a day to mourn, and remember.

This day is for Jesse Mizener, and all the soldiers like him, who never came home.
We are the shoulders for their families to cry on today, and we're the ones that know the pain.

We don't hold a BBQ.  We don't have a picnic.  We sit at home, and provide comfort for each other, and our friends.

Because one young man died on January 7, 2004, my family has an extended family.  We have become friends with his wife, his brother, and his mom.  We watch his son grow, and his son has many fathers, even though none of them can replace Jesse.  Most of the unit still keeps in touch.  And we take care of our family.

Being in contact with his family has brought healing to them, and us.  It has helped some in his unit to heal also.  I don't know the entire story, and I probably never will, but I know that my husband feels guilt every day because he couldn't bring all of his soldiers home.  I also know that Jesse's family goes through a lot every day.  Time doesn't heal the wounds, it just hurts a little less.

Please, think of Jesse Mizener today, and all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  And remember why we have Memorial Day.
PFC Jesse Mizener KIA 7 Jan 2004

Proud daddy.
Jesse and his brother Brian, as kids, and then as adults.  Brian is now my family.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SoapBox Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Thanks to Influenster, I got to try SoapBox Shampoo and Conditioner. 
I was reluctant to try it with my freaky frizzy hair, but it was great.
I tried it twice to make sure that it wasn't a fluke.

The first time, I blow dried my hair and it was silky soft all day.
The next day it was still silky soft and I was surprised.  
The shampoo had a lot of lather, and the conditioner went a long way.
It's not often that I have a shampoo and conditioner that makes my hair soft AND manageable.


So, I decided to use my normal shampoo and conditioner, and use the SoapBox again a couple days later.  Again, my hair was softer and silkier than with my normal shampoo.  I'm impressed.

The other thing that is awesome about SoapBox, is that there are codes on the back of the bottles that you can enter on their website and each code entered provides a month of clean water in countries that need it.  My codes went to Cambodia and Ethiopia.  
This is what the screen will look like when you enter your codes:


Overall, I'm impressed with this shampoo and conditioner and will continue to use them.  

*Disclaimer: I received this product from Influenster for the purpose of review, however, all opinions are my own.*

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day to the Not Mom's

I have to admit, I stole the "Not" something from one of my friends when she said yesterday that she was "not" dating her not boyfriend, for exactly six months.

Many of us bask in the cards and flowers.  Then I have a few friends that have joined a club that we shouldn't be a member of.  We've lost a little one and on this day, our arms are empty, and our soul is hurting.  

My friend Zita, who lost her daughter to a head injury, is facing her first Mother's Day without her daughter, and my heart hurts for her.  And my friend Espy, who never even got to take her son home from the hospital, my heart cries for her.  Two friends that have lost a child.  They joined a club that is exclusive but no one wants to join it.  

Then there are those mom's who lost a child they never knew.  These moms have lost their little ones before they had a chance to enjoy the pregnancy.  This has happened to me TEN times.  This is why I cling to my children so hard.

And, there is the small group of mom's that do what's best for their children.  I made that choice with my oldest child, and was forced into with my daughter.  Until last week, I didn't even know what my daughter looked like.  I wonder if she even knows that I'm alive, or what I look like?  I wonder if she thinks about me?  

So, for all my friends that are Mom's, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!  For those that have Angel Babies, I'm thinking about you on this hard day and know that my heart hurts for you.  For those that are not mom yet, you will have a chance someday.  And for those that have made the sacrifice, either voluntarily or involuntarily, you are not alone.  

To the daddy's and grandparents also, Happy Mother's Day.  

Me, I'm going to be up at the school helping other's with Geology, Analytic Geometry, and Archaeology.  Yes...tutoring 4 people in three subjects.  Someday, I will get paid for this!! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Life with my new chair

It's been two months since I got my wheelchair.
And, I must say...why haven't I done this sooner!!!
I've lived with this pain for 20 years...
TWENTY YEARS!
I've been on Vicodin for most of those twenty years and I don't exactly like taking it.

I'm not in as much pain everyday, though it's still there. 
It's easier for me to get around. 
I can carry my own plate in the cafeteria.

I'm also getting really good at wheeling.  
I've gone down a curb, and around campus...
even without the Smart Drive...
And, now that I can get places without so much pain, I'm taking care of more business.

BUT...
My doctor wants me in a power chair because my hands are continuing to go numb.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, but right now I'm trying to make the best of a bad situation.
I'm able to be mobile, though not very well.  My hands are going numb, and there is pain.  Different form when I used the crutches, but still there.  
I've been trying to work out in the mornings, but lately it's been exams, quizzes, and papers.

The biggest thing I need right now is a decent cushion, though that is around $350 and hubby is still upset about the funds I spent for the copay for the chair.  It seems we will never catch up again.
And, if anyone is feeling particularly nice, this is the cushion that I would like: 
So, there it is.  I'm enjoying life again, and now need a cushion. LOL

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

SFA Mourns the Loss of Two of our Own

On Monday afternoon, one of our students, Qudus Olatunde Jacobs was headed to a job interview.  With him was Kosolu Ughanze.  

As a small school, we all mourn this loss.  The only words of comfort that I have are that they are with God now and that everything happens for a reason.  I've known deep loss like this, and nothing hurts more than the loss of a child or dear friend.  My heart goes out to their families and friends.

Qudus was a student in the Nelson Rusche College of Business.  Kosulu was a student in the Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing.  

Please, everyone, as you are driving anywhere, please be careful and think about these two wonderful students that were taken from this world too soon.

Please, also remember that if you do go to SFA and need someone to talk to, there is counseling in the Rusk Building on the third floor in the Student Affairs Counseling Center.  

Here are pictures that were obtained from twitter, and I hope it's OK to use them.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Life with TBI

You know...I've said this before, and I will say it again...
Life with a person that has a TBI is not fun. 
Yes, there are good days, but lately the bad days outnumber the good.
We have just been coming off of a bad MONTH!!!
And, I got my usual (estimated) 4 hours of sleep last night and was woken up by someone laughing really loud...we won't say who. (wink)
So, what have I been doing?  Well, homework for one.
And, scrolling Facebook (that's a whole other post).

While scrolling, I came across this particular post from BrainLine.org about Trust.
You see, since DH had his surgery, and we found out that there was brain damage, it has been a battle for us.  Lately, there is no trust.  He has taken to password protecting all of his gadgets, and of course deleting text messages etc.  All my life it's been hard for me to trust people to begin with.  It is a very precious commodity that I do not give out often.  

The man that I fell in Love with is gone.  What is left is a person that is angry all the time, usually at me.  I live in a small town where there are no support groups that I know of.  And usually, when I turn to my friends, they say to leave him.  How can you leave someone when you KNOW THAT THE PROBLEM IS THE INJURY AND NOT YOUR SPOUSE?  

I know that he regrets yelling at me, most of the time.  I know that he is having a hard time understanding his feelings.  And to top all that off, is the added stress of graduating college (I'm so proud of him) and not being able to find a job.  It takes all of my strength to talk him down from a rage.  And, when Abby from BrainLine.org mentioned that there was "a look in his eyes" that she had never seen.  I KNOW THAT LOOK!!! I've experienced it.  And it is dangerous at times.  

When DH looks at me like that, I KNOW that it's not him, his eyes literally narrow.  It is a scary look, but I've learned to cope with it.  Yes, my marriage isn't perfect and I know I'm not the easiest person to get along with...but I also know that it takes strength to stay in the marriage.  Everyone tells me to leave, but I can't leave, because I know that there are times when the old hubby will filter through to the surface, and he will laugh and make jokes about me.  And those times are what keeps me going...however hard it can be.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The birth of my Rogue from Ki Mobility

Since I've been trying really hard to raise the funds for the copay for this wheelchair, I figured I would share a little about the birth of it.  

When I went to Texas Mobility to get the whole process started, I had no clue what to do, what to pick or anything.  All I knew was that my doctor ordered a custom wheelchair with the Smart Drive.  Mary from the Tyler store was wonderful.  She got with me and suggested the Rogue from Ki Mobility.  It's a small company, but totally awesome.  When we measured me for my wheelchair, I had no idea what to do or how to order anything.  

So, I (of course) picked purple, and started doing research on the Rogue and Ki Mobility.  I would go several times to the website and look at my future chair and hope I could get it soon.
My gofundme wasn't going very much, even with the rewards I offered, so I made the decision to use my financial aid from school and pay for it, which caused a lot of problems at home.  
(So, please consider donating if you haven't, or even sharing the page to help deflect the costs)

After it was ordered, the waiting began.  I would go around on campus and tell myself...3 weeks...2 weeks...next week...and then 1 day.  I was counting down the days until it would be easier for me to get around.  

So, without further adieu, here are some pictures of the birth of RoadRunner (which is what Becca and I named my wheelchair).  

Here is the chair being cut and welded:






The excitement was building...then I got these pictures:





The color was AWESOME!!
And then I got these pictures:




This is what my chair (mostly) looks like.  And then they fit that sucker into this itty bitty box:


So, this is the birth of my wheelchair.  And then...the first full day using it:
It is so much easier to get around campus, and I'm building a LOT of arm muscles!  I've made my backpack lighter, and got rid of the umbrella (LOL).  Basically...I'm getting used to my chair.  Look for more posts of my wheelchair antics and follow me through this journey or learning how to use it, and enjoying getting around a LOT more!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why? You ask. Do I need a wheelchair?

Since I've been on this quest for the copay for my wheelchair, I've had people...some that have known me for years) ask me why now? Those that don't know me at all ask me why? So...I've decided to explain why I do need a wheelchair, and why I don't just "walk" all the time.

I've had what's know as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy for 20 years.  A lot of people that know this disease know that the time period itself is a big thing.  Throughout the years I've fought to NOT wear my AFO and to sometimes be able to wear heels.  I would work really hard and be able to wear pretty shoes for a couple months, and then my ankle would start hurting and I would have to wear my AFO again...it's a vicious cycle.  When my ankle was first injured, I spent a year on crutches.  The doctor finally diagnosed me with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and put me in the AFO.  I was never told exactly what it was.  I was given pain medicine and a brace and sent on my way.  It's been that way for the past twenty years.

When I first moved here to Lufkin, I was in a car accident.  (It wasn't my fault!!!) I was rear ended in the truck.  The lady did very little damage to our truck but totaled her car...I guess that shows how hard she hit me.  I went to the doctor and he did the MRI and I was diagnosed with 3 herniated discs in my neck.  It wasn't until the second MRI a year later that the tech noticed the syrinx, and sure enough they went back to the first MRI and it was missed.  My doctor explained that this was why my hands were going numb and gave me muscle relaxers and basically sent me on my way.  I was NEVER told what exactly the syrinx was or what it involved...everything I've learned has been through my own research.  Again, I was given a diagnosis and medicine and send on my way.

Last Spring, my ankle started getting a lot worse.  I had to start wearing my brace again, but this time my ankle didn't start feeling better after a while.  Then, last fall, when it was raining, my ankle was hurting so bad that my doctor suggested crutches full time.  It helped for short term walks etc, but my ankle has been getting worse.  Then...there was the Cowboy's game fiasco.  Long story short...a 15 minute walk for normal people turned into a 45 minute walk for me because I was in so much pain.  That is when my doctor decided that it was time for me to use a wheelchair on trips like that and at school.  For twenty years I've tried to deny that there was anything wrong with me.  I've tried to grit through the pain and ignore it, and there comes a time when you just have to say, OK...I see it your way...it's time to pay attention.

Now with school started, it's getting harder for me to walk around campus.  I'm still trying to raise the funds for the copay.  I'm pretty active on campus, and the one thing that a lot of people do know about me, is that I believe in Random Acts of Kindness, which I of course perform every week.  (I won't say how, that would ruin the fun) So, this is the rundown on why I need the wheelchair.  Here is the reason that the copay is so expensive  It's called a Smart Drive from Max Mobility.  This would help me push my wheelchair without hurting my hands much.  And the chair itself is going to be the Rogue from Ki Mobility.

Now, I also know that as Texans (most of us anyway), we have a big heart.  If you can't afford to donate anything on my gofundme, please just share it.  Every little bit helps, and it would make Marci a little less crabby!!!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Swagbucks New Year, New You Collector's Bills

Swagbucks' celebration of the New Year continues with a set of exclusive "New Year. New You" Collector's Bills. They're a set of five unique Swag Buck bills that you win exclusively through their Search feature. Starting January 12th and running through January 19th, if you win all five bills, you'll get a bonus of 15 Swag Bucks automatically added to your account.

 

 If you want to track which bills you've won, just go to the "My Swag Bucks" area of your account and click on the "Collector's Bills" tab. Quick tip: If you default your browser's search engine to Swagbucks, you won't miss any opportunities to earn those bills!

P.S.  I use SwagBucks all the time and this is one of the ways that I can get stuff for FREE!

 If you haven't joined Swagbucks yet, click here to start earning free gift cards.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Changes are coming

Yes, I've said this before and I will say it again, though I'm really going to try this time.  Changes are coming.  A lot of people want to know about the savings and deals that I get, so I will be posting more about those.  I will also continue with my TBI and PTSD advocacy, and also posting on here about some of my jewelry and everything else that I do.  Those that know me personally know that this is how I work...several things at a time.  The way I figure it, there's not many people that read my blog on a daily basis, and more people are interested in the coupons and freebies that I get.  So...this blog is going to be about EVERYTHING!  Hope you don't mind.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pampered Chef and Lilla Rose Fundraisers!!!

I love going to school.  I don't love the pain that it comes with because of all the walking I have to do.  I've had Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy for 20 years, and my doctor and I both decided that a wheelchair would best help decrease the pain of so much walking.  Everything has been approved by my insurance, but I still need to come up with my copayment of $1800.  I've started a gofundme page to try to raise money.  And after three days it still has a zero balance.  So, now I've got a Pampered Chef AND a Lilla Rose Fundraiser going on.  Here's the links to everything, and Please pass this around!!

Pampered Chef Fundraiser : http://tinyurl.com/MarcellaPamperedChef

This is the guest special for the month!!

Lilla Rose : http://www.lillarose.biz/parties/8562
January's Flexi of the Month is BEAUTIFUL!!! And the Flexi of the Month always sells out fast!

And here is the link for my gofundme page: http://www.gofundme.com/jb6iww
Any amount would help!! And this will help me with the amount of pain that I live with on a daily basis!  Thanks in advance!