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. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

How Much?

It seems the last couple of weeks in the church office have been about seeing how much work we can cram into a week.  This week the worship committee met Monday night, I had a memorial service Tuesday night, a Blue Christmas service Wednesday night, and choir practice Thursday night.  We had to do 4 bulletins and a newsletter in the office. 

Monday-Wednesday I ate supper at the church.  Last night I took Daughter out for supper before choir.  Today is my day off, and I'm taking it.  Tomorrow I have a bell choir rehearsal at 10:00 for Sunday's concert, which is at 3:00.  I need to make some food for the reception following the concert.  This coming week should be easier-- I only have 3 nights at the church. 

Daughter decided to add some excitement to the week by claiming one of the men at her program was sexually harassing her.  She kept calling me, and I kept referring her back to the staff there.  Her case manager called and filled me in.  The man in question is heavily drugged, and during breaks stands by the lockers swaying and staring off into space.  Daughter claimed he was staring at her.  She had quite a story.  After talking to Case Manager, I was ready for Daughter's call.  She had worked on a plan with Home Owner about stopping the harassment, which she said included groping.  I informed her I had spoken to Case Manager and to cut it out.  I said staring off into space was not sexual harassment and if it bothered her, she should sit so she couldn't see him.  She texted Home Owner and told her to forget everything she had said. 

The next day Social Worker at program called me for advice on how to handle it.  I told her I suspected the problem had been solved by my conversation with her.  Home Owner had sent out an email about her conversation to everyone on the team but me.  I told her it was possible that he was behaving in a way that was triggering her PTSD, which could make her very reactive and lead to exaggerations.  I suggested that if she complained again, she tell Daughter she had talked to me and she would have to go to one of the other programs (away from her friends) until she felt safe.  Social Worker reported that Daughter had stopped complaining. 

Yesterday Daughter was at the church, and was very helpful and cooperative.  We gave her as much work as we could, and she did it all without complaining.  As I was driving to her house to pick up her supper time pills (which staff forgot to give her), she told me I looked tired.  I informed her I was tired and reminded her I'd been at the church every night that week.  She does not understand that I am working when she isn't with me.  She just can't seem to comprehend that. 

Today I'm being very lazy.  With my comfortable new adjustable bed, I have it adjusted so I'm sitting up and reading and spending time on the computer.  I'm warm and comfy.  It makes for a wonderful day off.  Unfortunately, I need to get up and get some of the chores done that I didn't get to through the week.