Friday, January 23, 2015


Daughter sent me a text in the middle of the night Wednesday, complaining because staff was telling her she had to stop walking around her room rearranging things.  She was making too much noise.  She was outraged, because she was trying to be quiet. 

When she called me in the morning, she was still unhappy.  She was even less happy when I supported staff.  She informed me that she wouldn't be coming to the church and hung up on me.  I was talking to Sister when she called back the first time.  "I know you need me, so I guess I'll come."  "That's alright, you can stay home, we can manage without you." 

I told Sister she would call back shortly and tell me she wanted to come to the church for her volunteer work and apologize.  She did.  I agreed to pick her up. 

When I picked her up, I reminded her of how she had complained when the staff member in the bedroom next to her had had her TV on all night.  I reminded her that she said she didn't mean to disturb her, but it did.  Daughter did not like that.  When she started whining and complaining, I told her to stop.  She was silent a minute, and then complained, "I can't believe the devil has gotten to my own mother." 

I took her back home.  She was fighting tears as she went back into the house, and I'm sure became hysterical once inside.  Hopefully she learned something.  I informed her she had to apologize to the staff member, and she told me she had yesterday evening. 

I won't see her again until Thursday, as I have our big planning meeting tomorrow.  She said Home Owner reminded staff that when Daughter is up in the middle of the night, they should give her her sleeping pill.  I hope they do, and I also hope she becomes more respectful.  She now knows I am willing to make a u-turn and take her back home.  That's good. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015


This was one of those Sundays when a number of things went wrong, and I just felt off all morning.  Today we were installing officers, and one of our women was supposed to be lay leader and participate in the installation.  She emailed me last night.  She was sick, and couldn't find a sub.  So I got to church and had to find someone to take her place. 

Then the choir was late.  The clock in the choir room was 10 minutes slow, and it was time for worship to begin and they were no where to  be found.  Someone had to go get them, and so worship was late starting. 

When I got up to preach, there was something wrong with my microphone.  It is one that I wear over my ear.  I love it.  But it was full of static this morning.  I turned it off and the sound people gave me a cordless handheld (I pace when I'm leading worship).  I then had to juggle the microphone and the remote to control the Power Point, which requires coordination and multi-tasking skills that I don't possess.

The result:  I wasn't happy with the way worship went this morning.  It all felt off.  Fortunately, it doesn't happen very often.  Next Sunday I'm off on a personal retreat day.  We have the big planning meeting Saturday, and I use Sunday to pray and reflect on what has been discussed an plan for my priorities.  I'm glad I have it off-- I think I need it.  It will be a busy week. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Daughter continues to have her ups and downs, and rationality seems beyond her right now.  She is unwilling to take responsibility for her life, and doesn't recognize how contradictory her statements can be. 

This morning she was complaining because we are pushing her too hard to fast.  Yesterday we were holding her back. 

She wants to live with a nurse, and she will pay her nurse out of her paycheck ($3 for the last 2 weeks).  She can't handle living in group homes.  There are too many people and it's too overwhelming.  She wants to live in a larger group home because she'll be happy there. 

I have stopped locking food up, and she is responding by getting up and eating during the night.  I remind her she can't have any more freedom until she can control her eating. 

She can't handle a painting class at Painting with a Twist because the verbal instructions are too overwhelming.  She wants me to help her enroll in nursing school. 

She has a new boyfriend, but it's okay because if they get married he won't force her to have sex. 

She wants a  better job.  Her volunteer job at the church is too much work. 

I am disengaging from the turmoil.  I occasionally point out the contradictions, but for the most part I let her talk and just nod. 

She wanted to come help me this weekend, so she is now pouting on the sofa under a blanket.  It's amazing we both don't have whiplash. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Life has been busy.  After Christmas I'm always exhausted, and then we had a death while I was on vacation.  I gave up 3 days of vacation to plan and lead the memorial service.  The widow was mad at me for not getting up to the hospital.  The report I had was that they were going to re-evaluate him on Monday and see about sending him to a nursing home.  He died Sunday.  If I'd known he was that sick, I would have been there.  If they had called and asked me to come, I would have been there. 

After the memorial service I got hit hard by a virus.  I spent a day in bed.  Daughter was wonderful, preparing food for me and tending to my needs.  I hadn't recovered from the virus when we had another death and another funeral. 

The church system has a great deal of anxiety in it right now.  People are grouchy and blowing minor things out of proportion.  In addition to planning for our big January planning meeting, I'm also dealing with a woman who has decided to stop treatment for her cancer.  I don't anticipate her living long.  She's in her 50's, and people are upset about her illness.  Every time someone visits her, they call me to process their feelings, which is fine, but takes time and emotional energy.

Daughter is still all over the place, desperately trying to escape the chaos in her own mind.  Her plans are all totally unrealistic, but she isn't able to see that.  When she went back to the house after Christmas, there was a new live-in staff member.  She hasn't handled that change well.  I'm back to hanging up on her.  The good news is that Home Owner has finally decided I know what I'm talking about.  It's nice to have her respecting me and seeking my input.  Administrative Assistant's comment:  "It's about time."

We still haven't had our family Christmas.  It's now been moved 4 times do to illness or scheduling conflicts.  We are now planning at celebrating at Sister's on February 14.  Daughter things that's totally inappropriate because it's Valentine's Day.  Too bad. 

I think I have finally recovered from my virus, and I now have a plan for the big planning meeting.  Hopefully I will be able to update more frequently now. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Daughter has been with me since Tuesday evening.  She was very helpful yesterday in the office.  We got everything one we wanted to get done, and I'm grateful.  Our Christmas miracle:  we ran out of toner for the printer right after we finished the last bulletin.  We didn't have a spare. 

We had children involved in yesterday evening's service, and that was nice.  One major frustration.  Psychiatrist increase Daughter's anti psychotic from 160 mg to 180 mg by adding a 20 mg pill to to the two 80 mg pills.  Staff apparently wasn't told the plan-- they dropped the two 80 mg pills and just gave her the 20 mg.  I'm going to get her up to the proper dosage, but gradually. 

Saturday I've made us reservations to go paint a winter scene.  Daughter is excited.  I'm looking forward to it, too.  So far, she's doing well.  She told me she'd been looking forward to spending this time with me.  That's nice to hear.  I'm working on Sunday, and next Friday we'll have our family Christmas celebration.  The rest of the time I'm off.  I am tired, and need this time off.   We slept in a bit today, and hopefully will sleep in a bit longer tomorrow. 

I hope all of you are having a merry Christmas.  May this coming year bring you many blessings. 

Monday, December 22, 2014


Yesterday morning I woke up with a headache.  I don't get headaches very often, and I'm grateful.  Yesterday's headache was bad.   I had some nausea and dizziness with it.  When I got to church, there were people with questions.  I referred them all to Administrative Assistant.  I thought once worship started I did pretty well.  I had to catch myself a couple of times and I struggled with balance, but I thought I covered pretty well. 

I took Daughter to lunch and then dropped her off at her house.  I then came home and did nothing for the rest of the day.  I got comfortable in bed and did some reading and played some computer games.  This morning I woke up headache free.  (I had it all day yesterday.)  I actually got to the church before AA this morning, and it was a productive day. 

I had announced yesterday in worship that people could bring their poinsettias in today or tomorrow, and they could wave and stay hi as they went by the office, but not hang around, as we'd be busy.  The congregation laughed, and for the most part respected that request today.  One man stopped by in the afternoon.  He walked over to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Are you okay?"  I hadn't spoken to him yesterday, though I know he was in worship.  I assured him I was fine, and headache free.  He told me he'd been worried about my yesterday, and wondered if I'd make it through the service.  Once he knew I was okay, he left.  I guess I didn't do that good a job of covering my discomfort.

I will be picking Daughter up tomorrow evening.  She will spend Wednesday folding bulletins.  AA 2 adult kids are home for Christmas and may get drafted, too.  I think we drafted them last year, too.  Things at the church are in pretty good shape.  My house is a mess.  Daughter promised she'd help me with cleaning when she gets here.  I'm grateful. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Three out of Five

Daughter saw Psychiatrist on Thursday.  Psychiatrist increased 3 of the 5 medications she has prescribed for Daughter.  I am cautiously optimistic.  When we left Psychiatrist's office, Daughter was sobbing.  She didn't understand what had been said and had misinterpreted much of it.  By the time we got back to the church (Thursday is her day volunteering in the office), I had calmed her down.  She went into my office and crashed, sleeping for a couple of hours.  Last night Daughter had a Christmas party.  She was out late, and was in a crowd with loud music.  When she called me last night, she was happy.  She had been able to handle the chaos.  She wouldn't have been able to do that a week ago. 

The last few weeks have been challenging to say the least.  They would have been more challenging if she'd been living with me.  She was manufacturing drama on a daily basis.  At one point, she had people convinced she had diabetic neuropathy in her feet.  I told them to tell her her feet would stop hurting if she would wear sensible shoes.  The nurse and case manager wanted to rush her off to an endocrinologist.  I informed them her physician had examined her feet for signs of diabetic neuropathy last month, and she had passed with flying colors.  I said it was her latest attempt to get attention, and that when I told her her feet were fine and to cut it out, she insisted that at that moment they had been bothering her. 

She was calling multiple times a day, each time with a new plan.  What was real was that she wasn't sleeping, and something had triggered her PTSD so that she didn't feel safe anyplace.  At one point I was in a meeting at the church in a room with no cell signal.  When she couldn't reach me, she was calling people to go to my house and check on me, as she was sure I was dead.  She was in a panic-- and she knew I had a meeting that evening. 

I've discovered that this congregation has the same tendency to act out in weird ways when Daughter is distracting me.  So I heard all about how we never sing familiar hymns, and the new ones we introduce occasionally all all horrible.  We've been singing a new response in worship, and I said it would continue until Christmas, at which point they said, "Oh, we like that one.  It's okay."  They were contradicting themselves all over the place.  The most frustrating part, though, is that only Daughter and one other person responded to our request for them to give us the names of hymns they wanted to sing-- and the insert was in the bulletin in the midst of their complaining.  So they hate all the new songs (except for the ones we like) and we never sing anything familiar (except for when we do) but they aren't going to tell us what they want to sing. 

They complain I don't visit the shut-ins enough.  I told them I'd take home communion to any who wanted it before Christmas, and told the care group to check with their people to see if they wanted it.  One shut-in wanted it, so her care person emailed everyone except me about her desire to have communion.  One of the people who did receive the email asked me about it.  I told her I hadn't received the email.  She promised to tell the care person she needed to contact me.  Of course, she hasn't.  I emailed her today.  We are running out of time before Christmas.  I understand she sent the email Tuesday, but I didn't hear about it until Thursday evening, and Friday was my day off, a day off I desperately needed.  Administrative Assistant thinks we are in pretty good shape with the work that needs to get done.  There are 4 more bulletins and a newsletter that need to get done in 3 days this week, so I hope she's right.  I also have 2 more sermons to finalize.  Beginning Christmas Day, I will have time off.  I will be leading worship on the 28th and the 4th, but the rest of the time I'll be able to relax.  I'm looking forward to it.  I'll jump back in to get ready for the board retreat on the 5th.  Hopefully, with Daughter more stable, some of the passive-aggressive stuff at the church will stop.  I should also be better able to handle it.  

Tuesday evening I'll pick up Daughter, and she'll be with me until January 4.  Psychiatrist told me how to get in contact with her if there is a problem.  I'm hoping there won't be.