Posted 10/20/2010 7:28 AM (GMT -7)
I should mention the fact, I feel very strongly that my Mother has Münchausen syndrome. She has been to almost every doctor in the area for one reason or another. One doc will tell her there is nothing wrong, so she will self diagnose and go to another doctor for treatment. She has taken it to the extreme most recently, by complaining about her blood pressure. She has been on meds for years with excellent blood pressure control, but discovered by reading the handy facts that come with the rx, that bp meds can cause renal problems. She then proceeded to work with three doctors who frequently changed meds and dosages, and about 6 months ago her kidneys shut down, and she began dialysis three days a week. She loves going, as the wonderful people at the dialysis center treat her so special. She was able to take disability retirement, and leave her job a few years early, which made everyone at the school where she worked incredibly sad (she was the BEST head cook any school could ask for, and they will never be able to find another like her - no joke) and the community came together and held a benefit dinner for her, again making her feel special. Her condition stems from my older sister who was born with severe club feet, and underwent an incredible number of surgeries from the time she was an infant well into adulthood. Finally about 7 years ago, she opted to have her left leg amputated just below the knee, there was not enough bone left for any more reconstructive surgeries and the pain was overwhelming. She still has pain, but a different kind, and much more bearable, she leads a healthy and very active life, asking for no sympathy or special treatment. But even with that, people have always fussed over her, done special things for her, and tried to help her in ways that she would accept, and my Mother was always jealous or tried to share that limelight. I was always just the one in the corner, healthy happy and whole. I tried to never complain about anything, as my family would just get upset with me and scold me for expressing feelings, telling me to just look at what my sister went through everyday, that my life is so easy. (My appendix ruptured when I was 17, because they didn't want to hear that I has a strange pain in my side.)
So with that said, you think that I would be used to this kind of treatment. Used to people telling me to shut up and suck it up. My family is the reason I joined the Marine Corps, it was the fasted way to get away from them and find myself. I have always been able to tell myself, no matter how much they degraded me, I could stand up tall knowing I was worth something. I have taught people life saving skills, fought in combat, and generally made a great name for myself through hard work and discipline. Now I try to stand up tall, and it just hurts. I cannot go out and run a 5K to remind myself I am strong, I cannot walk into a classroom and tell young people what a great opportunity awaits by joining the elite, the few and the proud. I cannot even walk my son into his kindergarten class without being in immense pain, and crying for 10 minutes when I get back to the car. Today when I dropped him off, he told me "its okay mommy, I can walk all by myself, I know it is too hard for you..." It completely broke my heart. I am at my lowest low, I am praying for this trial to do something for me, I may only get 40-50% relief, but that would be enough to not let my baby down, to make him proud to be my son, to take him to the park and push him on the swing, to take fewer, and not so strong of pain meds, so that I may be able to stay awake to snuggle him at night... He's only going to be little once, and I don't want to miss out. My ex-husband ran off with his new little wifey so I am all my boy has, I cannot let him down.
12 years in the Marine Corps, and 2 as a deputy don't even compare to 5 1/2 years as a Mom...