9/16/17– UPDATE (sort of):
G does not have leukemia. We don’t know exactly what IS wrong, but we do know (for now) it is not terminal. He has been diagnosed with ANA (anti-nuclear antibodies). Basically, G’s cells are attacking his own tissues, particularly his muscle tissues. He can’t build muscle to support his body structure and growth. He grows but his muscles don’t grow with him, and he can’t maintain or gain weight. He is so, so thin. It’s incredibly sad to watch. Of course they are concerned about his heart because it’s a muscle and muscle is the main tissue affected. He has been through more tests than any of my clients who all have permanent debilitating disabilities. He has been such a trooper through all of it, and we are talking 100’s of tubes of blood at this point. He did an EKG and stress test a couple of weeks ago. My mom said he got through it like it was nothing.
Mom has been going along to all of his appointments, per his request. My sister hates her going because Mom is a nurse and tends to “hijack” the appointments. It really shouldn’t matter what my sister wants. Her very sick son wants his Nana with him as he goes through the scariest thing he will likely ever face in his life. There is nothing wrong with that. She needs to suck it up for her son, but alas, she doesn’t. This thing with G has definitely increased the strain on the relationship between my mother and sister, which wasn’t good to begin with.
To understand their relationship you first need to understand something about my mother. Mom has OCD. A lot of people think that means she is a “neat freak” or germophobe. Not quite. In fact, hoarders have a form of OCD. You can do your own research on what Obsessive Cumpulsive Disorder really is, but let me say this – if you are the subject of one of my mother’s obsessions, you’re just screwed. That’s part of why I keep my distance. She just can’t deal with everything not having a “place”, and things must be “clean” – to her standards. The “place” has to be specific but not tidy. Her dishes and laundry are always done and put away. Her house is always clean, but it also harbors little cubbies of clutter, piles of “order”, organized chaos. You get my point. She’s not gross, just weird. My sister, however, can be a little gross. I hate saying that but it’s kind of true. This, of course, makes my mom absolutely nuts. In response, my mom tries to guilt and bully my sister into cleaning her house – not just cleaning it but cleaning it to “Mom standards”. And OF COURSE this means everything has its PLACE!!! And what batter way to be sure it gets done than to “help” my sister do it. By help, I mean show up unannounced and start bulldozing through your daughter’s house and shouting at her to help you, all the while telling her what a terrible mother she is. Do you understand why I live two towns away?
Side note: I hope you don’t think my family is some white trash, redneck, country idiots who belong on Dr. Phil. My mom (and maybe my sister too) has a mental illness. She can’t help it, and my sister can’t cope with it.
Well, my sister finally had enough. She kicked my mom out of her house and stopped asking her to babysit. She had her boss change her work schedule so that Mom never needs to watch the boys for her, and she changed the locks on the house so Mom’s key no longer works. When Mom did show up one day and wouldn’t leave until my sister allowed her to “help” clean, my sister threatened to call the police and have her removed. My mom feels like she has lost her grandchildren, and my sister has most certainly lost her mother – whatever relationship they had left. But honestly, they’re both adults and I don’t give a shit how this affects them – not near as much as I know it affects G. Thank God his little brother is too young to understand, but G needs my mom. He wants her to be there for him, and their juvenile and irrational behavior is causing him to go without the support he needs. That’s the real tragedy here. I have tried mediating but it causes too much stress for me, and I am 9 weeks pregnant. I can’t afford to lose my only chance at having my own family because two adults can’t get their shit together for a child who desperately needs them to grow up.
So, my dirty secret is out. My family is nuts, and dysfunctional. I moved away because I can’t deal, and at a time when my nephews and I REALLY need my mom, she’s too broken. She’s broken by the OCD, and by my sister’s inability to understand and accept her illness. Please send us some good vibes – especially G, his little brother, and my little Sweet Pea.
I don’t talk about my family much, but there is one family member who is my absolute favorite soul, my nephew, G. I know all parents think their kid is the most unique, the cutest, the sweetest, etc. People think it’s weird I am so obsessed with G, but I absolutely adore him. I would help raise him and spend time with him every day for the rest of my life if I could. Our bond is special, and I can’t imagine anything bad (truly bad) happening to him.
My family is complicated and it would take too much blogspace to bore you with it. However, to understand my relationship with G you probably need to know this… G spent the majority of his first 3 years living with me and my ex-husband. He called my in-laws “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. I helped raise him. I continued to care for him 3-4 days a week after my divorce, until the grandmother I lived with became terminally ill and eventually passed away. I moved two towns away and I only see G a few times a month now. It breaks my heart not seeing him.
My mom called last night and told me G is sick. Honestly, that’s not unusual. He was born with GERD and was a sick baby. He also has Asperger’s Spectrum Disorder. (Basically, he is socially awkward and is really good at music and art.) My point is he always has some kind of ailment. This is not a cold or the flu. It’s something more. G has always been pretty pale, but lately his skin is almost transparent. He’s had a lot of stomach trouble. He doesn’t sleep much and he’s always tired. He’s cranky and whiny and he’s had some bruises that were taking a long time to heal. Off to the children’s hospital for labs. It took 6 weeks to get the results. As it turns out, he likely has one (or more) serious illness from a list of about 10 things that could be wrong with him. Most of them are treatable, and most likely survivable, (but all can be terminal). That doesn’t make it feel any better, especially when one of them is luekemia.
I’m terrified. I’m angry, sad, and feeling quite helpless. I can’t imagine how my sister feels. I can’t understand why this is happening to a nine-year-old, particularly the one nine-year-old I love more than any human being on this planet. I spent all night crying. I cried myself to sleep. I keep praying over and over, “Please, not him. He can’t be sick.”