Saturday, May 7, 2011

Candy, my sister

Candy came and stayed two days with us. I prayed that I would find a gentle way to bring up the subject. The first day she was not into talking about anything. She slept in late and when she was up she looked like a zombie. When she is like this it is hard to get her up as all she wants to do is sleep. I am pretty sure I know what is going on with her, but I need her to tell me. She went back to sleep in the late afternoon. I keep trying to get her up. This scares me to see her like this. It brings back a lot of memories from previous times she has been down and hospitalized.

On the afternoon of the second day, I started by asking her some more questions about herself. She is not one that shares much with others even me. As I kept asking her questions, she finally said "What are you my therapist?" I said "No, I am your sister and I love you very much." She told me the exact things she knew I wanted to hear. Point one, two and three, but with no commitment in her voice. She is smart in that she knows what people want her to say. So, I probe a little deeper. She finally tells me that she feels worthless. She is depressed again. She knows she needs help, but has a hard time asking for it. This started when her dobberman, Carmen, had to be put down because of the breast cancer. I was afraid it would affect her this way.

I ask her "What can I do to help you?" This is not the first time or even the second time I have helped her. In fact, I can't even count the times, but I have no choice, but to help her any way I can. She is hesitant to even ask and says she hated to ask because of all the times we have hepled. I told her I will always help her. It is not a problem for me. She tells me that she needs help with her garage sale (she has been trying to do this for a while now). I say I will help.

I ask her to make a list of what she needs. She verbally tells me what she needs. Two and a half years ago, I gave her DIL my stove, refrigerator for her aunt and uncle's house that flooded. I had a working dishwasher which was supposed to be for Candy. I firmly believe in 'pay it forward'. We agreed that they would install the dishwasher. Well, you guessed it, they have not done so. When I ask them about it , the DIL shrugs her shoulders with a blank look for the answer.

Candy bought their old car a year ago. She needs the title to get her own insurance. DIL has not followed through with the title. She needs her yard mowed no one helps her. Her son is the first to help his wife's family. They are healthy and ten years younger than Candy. I don't understand why they won't help her. They say they want to help her, but never follow through. I just don't get it. They are the new Christians and yet they don't help their mother? I thought charity starts in the home first.

I explain to Candy that she needs to tell them what she needs. We practice a few times. I play her son. She is too nice when she speaks. I tell her to look me in the eyes and tell me (her son) what she needs. Candy promises that she will make that list for her son.

Candy is going to see her family doctor on Monday to see if she can get of Cymbalta for her pain. She is also going to her therapist that afternoon. She has asked for a new therapist. Hopefully, she will start feeling better and will open up in therapy. She is in so much pain that it debilitates her. So depressed that she sleeps all the time. I think if she weren't in so much pain she would be able to get better.

Now back to the dishwasher, I ask her to go to Lowe's and find one. Doc and I will pay for it and have it installed. That is one problem solved. On to the next, the garage sale. I told her I would buy her dishwasher if she would call Goodwill and have them come and get all of her stuff. It would be worth it not to have to deal with all of her stuff. And with all of the stuff left, I told her to make her third bedroom into a storage place. Just somewhere she can put all of her things until she is able to go through them. That way, she could keep the rest of her house in order. I know we are a long way off before this will happen.

This is where we are at right now. We have a plan. I hope all goes according to the plan. Right now I will wait and see. Yesterday, her best friend, Candy and I met for lunch in Shreveport, La. Her friend knows what is going on with her. I know she will keep Candy accountable. We had a lovely lunch togther. We promised to have lunch again in June, when Candy goes to LSU for her well check.

That is about it right now. Please keep her in your prayers. I am not sure where this will take us, but I feel it is a good start for now. Thank you so much for listenting.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you.
Be blessed.


Mike Golch said...

prayers are being offered.

The Bear's Blog said...

Sweet Friend,

You are a wonderful sister to Candy, a true blessing.

One step at a time - be careful of your own health. One step at a time....

Praying for you both.


Finding Pam said...

Mike, thank you for your prayers. They are much appreciated.

Joyce, I could not live with myself if I didn't do everything with in my power to help her.

Love you, my sweet friend.

Wavy said...

Sending prayers, Pam. You are a wonderful sister. I hope she will follow through with the plan so that she can get started on the path to healing.


Finding Pam said...

Mimi,thank you so much. It may take her a while to get with the program. That's why she has me.

Mouse said...

Hi Pam, sorry I've been awol for some time but am back for the moment. It sounds like not only have I missed a lot, but that you've got a hellavu lot on your plate!!! As I'm coming to understand (very briefly from my college courses so far - which in no way touches on depression in depth), clinical depression is very hard to understand if you've not actually experienced it personally. Apparently it's kinda like a black well of nothingness, where you just don't feel or even think at times. It can even be hard to realise what reality is. I don't know what kind of therapy your sister has had so far, but my soon to be supervisor mentioned the other day that CBT is apparently really good at helping with clinical depression, though if she knows what answers are being sought, that wouldn't be so good. The hoarding can be a form of comfort and routine, as well as OCD - have you asked her how it makes her feel? Does she feel?

As has previously been said, remember to take care of you too. Because if you don't, you can't help her! And don't beat yourself up, you're a wonderful and supportive sister and Candy is lucky to have you there for her!

Finding Pam said...

Mouse, I appreciate your information on depression. Unfortunately, I know too much about it. My sister is bi-polar and she doesn't realize when she is not doing so good.

I am hoping changes in her medicines will help.

Xmichra said...

I think you did very well getting Candy to open up and to support her, and try to undersand how she must be feeling and get her to acknowledge how she feels. Honestly Pam, you did good.

Depression is a beast of an animal, and sometimes just having a person who beleives you and wants to see you be well is the biggest blessing you could have. I know in my heart that Candy felt improvement with your presence because of that. Hopefully this will help her endure while she is apart from you.

As for the son and DIL helping the other parents... well, I'd like to think it was for a reason that wasn't linked to greed but experience tells me it's not. They are likely "getting" something out of the helping (babysitting if they have kids, or perhaps pricey gifts or something as simple as dinner once a week...), and if they don't feel like they are "getting" as well as "giving" then they won't give. It's hard to help a person with depression ( I know first hand) and there isn't much for 'reward' in the process for some people. And those people should stay away because they will only make things worse anyway. Not giving excuses, just perhaps another perspective.

DeEtta said...

Prayers for your sister Candy, as well as yourself. You probably helped her more than you will ever know.

Take care of yourself and have a great Mother's Day

Finding Pam said...

Xmichra, I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and comments. You have given me something to think about regarding her son and his wife. Candy does a lot of baby sitting for them when she is able.

I really tried to be a help to her. I guess no one knows her like I do.

I think her son and DIL are just really close to her parents. I think they have a hard time understanding her illness.

DeEtta, thank you for the prayers. I am wishing you a Happy Mother's day as well.

Sandee said...

Big prayers honey. Shame on the son and DIL. Not christian one bit. I'm so glad that you are a good sister to Candy. Keep up the good work. It's all you can really do.

Have a terrific day and Happy Mother's day. :)

Rudee said...

Best of luck to all of you. Your sister is blessed to have you and I hope she allows the help.

Finding Pam said...

Sandee,I am not sure what the problem is with her son and DIL. My sister knows that I will help her. I hope she will take the help.

Rudee, all I want is for my sister to live her life to the fullest.

Melissa said...

I do not have a sister, but I did I would want her to be like you.

Finding Pam said...

Melissa, awh... that is so sweet of you to say.