She’s Not Herself – Book Review

She's Not Herself

She’s Not Herself

By Linda Appleman Shapiro

A Psychotherapists’ Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness

 

Review by Sandy Keathley – just read and enjoyed although rather sad – it is true.

Having been diagnosed as clinically depressed in my 20’s I found this book to be very informative and very thankful for the new age of medication we have now to help people with this problem. My depression and anxiety is kept in check as long as I take my medications. Only recently seeing what can happen when I take myself off of them for a week.

Linda write honestly about her experiences as the daughter of an immigrant mother with mental illness…coping with the confusion of mood swings, her struggles to understand and the stress of keeping it all a secret.

As a child she is born to help her mom “feel better” but it is not the cure her mother had hoped to make her happy and her “demons” go away. Linda is the guardian of her mom from childhood to adulthood. Never really understanding what is wrong with her mom and no one tells her.

It is a compelling story of self-preservation; and  a child that has no childhood; she has to be a caretaker of her mother. An excellent read for anyone who suffers with depression or had a parent in the 1940’s or 1950’s when electric therapy was used for treatment.

Site changes

I have updated my blog so that there are MENU’s on top. You can chose what you want to read by clicking on the topic you want to read. I hope this makes it easier to chose a topic without having to read through all the blogs.

I have a family recipe book which I am going to start sharing recipes with you. I don’t have photos of the recipes but I know they are great as I have ate them growing up. Some I have not tried but I am sure they are good. God blessed my family with great cooking abilities – he just forgot to give them to me! ha

I have a lot to write since I have been quiet for so long……. those will be coming.

Beautiful Fall Weather

Sunrise in Estes Park looks like fire on the Mountain.

A photographer sent this to me on Facebook. I agree with him, it totally looks like fire on the mountain when it is really a sunrise. Such beauty can be found in the mountains at any time.

Erik Stensland Fine Art Photography is the photographer. He has a calendar for sell for 2015 of many of his shots. Go to his studio if you are interested. I can’t wait to get mine. That way I can enjoy CO all year.
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What have I been up too? I have been reading. A LOT.

Karen Kingsbury

  1. The Redemption Series has five books (done)
  2. The Firstborn Series has four books (done)
  3. Sunrise Series has four books (done)
  4. Above the Line Series has four books (on the fourth book)
  5. Bailey Flanigan Series has four
  6. and the Coming Home is a stand alone

22 books all together. My husband asks me if I get a prize for finishing them. I said yes, I had the joy of ready good clean Christian books that inspired and uplifted me. They are all wonderful. I have her newest book called “Angels Walking” to read when I finish these. If you have never read her you might want to pick one up. I am sending these to my mom as I finish them.

If you are an American Idol or any of the reality shows of singers you might want to read FIFTEEN MINUTES – this is an eye-opening book to how these shows change people. What they expect of the contestants and how they lie and get rumors going even when they aren’t true. It would be a good Christmas gift from any parent who has a child that wants to go to Hollywood or any of these talent shows.

Fifteen Minutes

My Aunt is on Facebook now – she ask me the other day about what POKED meant and what it was. I really don’t think this photo would help her, do you? I told her it is just when someone didn’t write but just wants to say “Hey – I haven’t forgotten you”.

Poked

My son and his wife were here this weekend to go to a wedding in Winfield. I don’t know why they didn’t leave sooner but they got to the wedding 10 minutes late and didn’t get to go in. Coming from Shawnee KS to Winfield was a long trip but they did enjoy the reception.

wedding

They looked very nice. We had our grand dogs for the weekend also. Maybe I am getting older but I was worn out when they left Sunday. That is a lot of movement with four dogs, five adults running around. (My daughter came and went to dinner with us also.) I think they have only been home one weekend since they moved. We have yet to see their house. IKEA is five minutes from them – HELLO, I need to get up there.

My daughter-in-law LOVES to sleep – well so does my daughter, I found this t-shirt that I had to post on her Facebook page. I hope she found it funny, I wasn’t trying to be mean.

Wake up

I know HALLOWEEN is coming up. Other then the tiny kids I believe it to be the tackiest holiday here is.  I did find one photo that I thought was the BEST:
Pumpkin
Until later! Have a safe Halloween and take the little girls note to heart. Don’t forget to turn you clock back on Saturday night so you won’t be early for church. If you like my blogs please leave a comment, I would love to hear what you think. Thanks!

Training to Kennel; Estes Park CO

We are trying to get our two dogs to kennel. We would like to be able to take them on trips.

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Buster on the top has never been kenneled and he is nine years old.

Nicky on the bottom was kenneled when she was small until she became completely house broken.

Now we are trying to get them to sleep in their kennels. Last night was NOT a good night.

Remember when you brought a new born baby home and he cried endlessly. Yep, that is what happened last night. I got up and yelled at Nicky to be quiet at 2:30 AM; then Buster barked until he almost lost his voice. Finally at 4:00 AM I got up and let them out. They went outside then zoomed to their beds in our bedroom. Not another peep until this morning.

We went and bought another wire kennel for Buster hoping that if he can see out more he might calm down. We will try again tonight. As with a baby, I believe we are in for some long sleepless nights until they are trained again. If you have any tricks please let us know!

We did go on a vacation a few weeks ago. I know, everyone says how can you go on a vacation when you are retired. A vacation is AWAY from home. Somewhere different. We spent our first night in Loveland, CO. Because of the floods of last year the 36 Hywy is not open yet so we had to take 34 Hywy from Loveland.

The next morning when we woke up to leave; someone had backed into my car. The desk clerk saw it happen and took the gentleman in and got his insurance and copy of his driver’s license. The insurance was canceled. Long story short they found him and he says he has new insurance. I pray he does so I can get my $240.00 copay back for having my bumper replaced.

We had a wonderful time. I wanted to see the Elk and got to see many of them. Listening to their bulging for their harem and watching the bulls practice their fighting. It is amazing how they get right in the front yards of houses and walk right down town and into the lake area.

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We drove up into the Rocky Mtn. National Forest Park and got a lot of beautiful shots of mountains and the fall trees. The photo of the orange mountain I caused by the sun rising. I got a beautiful photo when we went to the meadows one morning to see the Elk herds.

My photos are on my laptop and I have not transferred them to my desktop yet.  The photos below are not mine, they are put on Facebook by artist and Estes Park. They say to share them so I have. Makes you want to go up doesn’t it?

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We drove to our hotel one day and seen a black bear in broad daylight in the trash can outside our room. He was about 200 lbs. Beautiful. Didn’t get a photo but I wanted to hug him! ha ha

The weekend we went to CO my son and his wife moved to Kansas City. It is really strange to not be able to drive to Park City and see them. We have yet to go see their new home. Wish is why we are trying to get the dogs trained. They have two dogs and two cats. So it would be a pretty full house if they aren’t kennel trained!

Have a great week.

You may lose friends, but family is forever.

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In the last two weeks I have lost both of my friends (in photo). I grew up with Barry and his family.  When Billie started coming to our church years ago I got to know her. She had a laugh that would literally put you on the floor laughing with her. They were God loving people with two wonderful sons and grandchildren. Although Billie had Stage 4 Cancer; Barry left this world about 13 days before her. They are now together again.

When you stop to think about all the friends you have had in your life – how many do you get with now? How many have turned their backs on you for whatever reason?

My husband and I have lost several friends to death. I don’t mean to view death as “forever” because I believe we will see them again when our time is up and what a REUNION that will be.

Listening to Dr. David Jeremiah on Sunday he too talked about how former friends are no longer friends because of differences in beliefs. How sad it is that if one doesn’t believe exactly like you then you can no longer be with them. We all serve the same God and he never preached to walk away except for certain reasons. The only reason I know that is biblical is if one turns their back on God and blasphemes Him. I know I have not done that.

NOW for more fun stuff!

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My only grandson just turned seventeen and has entered his Senior year! Wow, how can that possibly be? His mom took him to the KC and Vikings football game this past weekend. It didn’t matter to him which one won as he is a big fan of both. This photo makes him look like he has ear rings but he doesn’t. Must have been whatever he was standing in front of. Jennifer and he had a wonderful time in KC messing around.

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This is a photo she sent me on Facebook of them being at the California Pizza Kitchen when he was younger and then now. As any teenage boy can do he could probably eat the whole pizza by himself this time! ha

The Family of Jesus

I just finished reading The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury. It would be great for a Bible Study or Book Club. It has extra studies in the back of it.

Fifteen Minutes

I JUST finished this one; Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury. If you follow American Idol, or any of the talent shows this is a wonderful book to read. It tells what goes on behind the scenes and how the show works to it’s ratings advantage. I would recommend it to anyone. Karen Kingsbury is a Christian writer so you don’t have to worry about any bad language or stuff you would rather not read.

My son and his wife are moving to Shawnee, KS on Sept. 13th. He has already been up there working for almost a month. They found a house and she has found a job – at least for now. I am excited for them, yet sad because they won’t be as close. A mom never wants her kinds to move away but they do sometimes. I imagine once my grandson goes to college his mom will leave Wichita also. Will have to wait and see.

Have a great week everyone!

It is Thursday! Throw back photos.

Since I retired I keep forgetting what day it is. I invited my kids to meet us at Cracker Barrel last night for dinner only to find out it was Wednesday! I wanted the “Turkey” dinner that is a Thursday special. I was rather disappointed. Yet, each week holds a Thursday so I will go another time.

Reception

Here is a “Thursday” throw back photo for you. Bob and I got married on a Thursday (March 13, 1969). He was in the Air Force. I was 18 and he was 20. Boy was that a long time ago! Would love to be THAT THIN again. lol

Dad and I

Here is another one of the same day with my daddy. I remember he told me; “Now sis, when we go through that door, you can either turn right and go out the front door and I will take care of everything here. Or you can turn left and get married. The decision is up to you.” I miss him so much, he was my dad, counselor, friend and the most wonderful man I have ever known. I love this photo of us.

Sandy w 1970 VW Bug

This is a photo of me at our second apartment with our 1969 “bug”. As you can notice Bob “flared” the back finders and put larger tires on the rear. After that other people started doing it also. I loved that bug. I drove it all the way to California from Kansas by myself – not knowing it would not heat up I did not use the A/C in the desert. It was one long hot ride. lol

Jeremy and Jennifer on trip to Disneyland CA

Jeremy and Jennifer on trip to Disneyland CA

This is a photo of our twins, about 8 years old when we took them to Disneyland in California. They picked out the clothes they wanted to wear. I never dressed my twins alike accept for photos. I knew they were individuals and did not want to dress them alike. Besides the fact they were boy and girl they were mirror twins. Jennifer is right handed and Jeremy is left handed. If she was cold he was hot. They look alike but are totally opposite of each other. They are now 36 and have always been best friends.

Caroline

This is a photo of my sister, Caroline. She was 3 years older than I am. We were never best friends like my kids were. Yet, I miss her everyday. She left us in 2010, seven months before my dad passed.

Sandy and Claude - 1968

This is my graduation dinner photo. My date was Claude. I have no idea where he is now. I did not get to go to my high school prom but our church had a Senior Graduation Dinner for us. Love my BIG hair and gloves! Yeah 1968!

1965 Fastback Mustang

This was our 1965 Mustang Fastback. Sure which I had that car now. This photo was taken in California at my husbands parents house (Garden Grove, CA) in 1969. On the way there we stayed in AZ over night and watched the first man set foot on the moon. Will never forget that.

Bob and I with my Great Grandma Ghan and nephew Jimmie (pre twins)

Bob and I with my Great Grandma Ghan and nephew Jimmie
(pre twins)

Last one – this was before we had the twins. Bob, my Grandma Ghan, myself and my nephew Jimmie. Grandma had come to visit my mom and we took this photo in the back yard.

Hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane with me!

Is it wrong to question your doctor?

It is reverberatingly quiet in my house right now. I am so used to my fur babies making noise, wanting out or tackling and fussing with each other that when they are at Diva Dogs getting all cleaned up and pretty I don’t really know how to enjoy the peaceful, wondrous peace that is present.

I recently found a wonderful website called: http://www.halfpricebooks.com
While we were in California the books started rolling in. I ordered 18 books by Karen Kingsbury. I LOVE, LOVE her writing. Pictured below are just a few of them.

Kingsbury books

I also just ordered her newest release:

The Family of Jesus

This book will be good for individual reading, she also has a study guide and DVD’s that go with it for a church study group. She tells the story of Jesus in common everyday life as if we were there. I am so excited to get it. Hopefully this weekend. I may have to read it before I start on the other 18 books.

I know I have not written on my blog for almost a month. I need to explain that I have still been experiencing health problems – no, not serious but I just set and stare a lot, or just don’t have the energy to do ANYTHING. I can wake from a very good night’s sleep and an hour later I am ready for another 8 hours of sleep. I have ask my doctor for ages to do a TSH and T4 test on me for my thyroid but he felt that his normal CBC blood work was enough. It showed that my Thyroids levels were within range. I took it upon myself to go have my own blood work done at a Lab and see what it said. For the TSH the reference is 0.35-4.94. For the T4 the reference is 4.8-11.7

My TSH was 1.48 and my T4 was 5.9. Yes, they are within “range” but at the lower end. After telling doctor this he finally decided to try me on some Thyroid meds. Yesterday was a good day and it seems that today is also going well. My mind is clear and I am not so totally exhausted that all I want to do is sleep. I started the meds on July 4th and they say it takes up to 3 weeks to really so improvement. I am excited – I pray it continues to get better and better.

The symptoms I have been experiencing are:

  •  I am gaining weight inappropriately
  • I am constipated, sometimes severely
  • I have hypothermia/low body temperature (I feel cold when others feel hot, I need extra sweaters, etc.)
  • I feel fatigued, exhausted
  • Feeling run down, sluggish, lethargic
  • My skin is dry, scaly and very thin
  • I have a hoarse or gravely voice
  • I feel depressed
  • I have pains, aches in joints, hands and feet
  • I feel restless
  • My moods change easily
  • I have feelings of worthlessness
  • I have difficulty concentrating
  • I seem to be losing interest in normal daily activities
  • I have more feelings of sadness
  • I’m more forgetful lately
  • I can’t seem to remember things
  • My eyes feel gritty and dry
  • My eyes feel sensitive to light
  • I have tinnitus (ringing in ears) (although I believe I got mine from a fall)
  • I have vertigo
  • I feel some lightheadedness

These are the symptoms for Underactive Thyroid / hypothyroidism. Out of a list of 40 I have 22.

I feel that even if I am at the lower (within range) that doesn’t mean that everything is working correctly. My symptoms speak for themselves. My husband and children are glad I went ahead and took the blood test myself to find out what my levels are. Time will tell if this will help or not but I pray it does. My husband says he wants his Sandy back, and my kids say they want their mom back. The old mom who was fun, enjoyed doing things, felt like going places. This one doesn’t.

Are we wrong to question our doctors? No, I don’t believe we are. They have so much on their plates and we know our bodies better than anyone. I believe we have to follow our own hearts and find out what is going on.

Well, that is enough for today. I hope I didn’t depress you too much!

Oh, we finally got our basement shower fixed – there was a small peace of solder in the pipe. That simple! But now the shower has PLENTY of pressure.

Thank you for you reading my blog and babbling you are all great!

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