The ugliness of survivors guilt

I have survivors guilt. BIG TIME.

In 2011 my husband saved my life. He paid attention! He knew I was crashing, and constantly being hospitalized for bleeding episodes. He is not a Hematologist, but he is very smart, summa top class of his class smart. He worked the problem, and I am alive today to tell the story.

He loved me enough to go to any measures necessary to save my life. He rushed me to the hospital, he begged his partners, and about five different specialty doctors to evaluate me.

The result? A diagnosis. One that was long overdue. He didn’t know what it had done to me neurologically.

As of today, it has been 8 years, and three months. I have seen many specialists, a new hematologist at VCU, and a fantastic psychologist, that has helped my brain heal.  I have IV medication (Von Willebrand serum) on hand if I need it, and medication for the constant bruising, and I am better.  I kicked opioids in April of 2018.  Although they gave me some the evening of my Brother’s death (IV) because I was in the hospital, and had to return the next day.  I did not take a prescription home, and I will never ever take them again no matter how much pain I’m in. Those drugs make everything worse.  Furthermore, they were making me stupid!  We have to get these drugs off the streets, and Doctor’s really need to evaluate how long to give them after an episode.

What I do know, is when my Brother Corey passed, I thought it was my fault. I had the records that he gave me, and I also had the records that the Hepatologist had given my husband with my Brother’s consent. That was in May 2018. He died on September 9, 2018.

Why? My sweet Sister and my parents are convinced that it was his time. God had called upon him as their Angel, and it was simply his time. I want to believe this simple analogy. It’s easier to accept. I’m listening to the audible Bible and halfway through. John 11 gives the most comfort. I just won’t lie. Given this history in medicine, and now this new learning in religion, I’m still 50/50. Could I have done more to save him as was done to save me?

My husband says NO. He says one is truly hereditary, and medical (me) and one is bad luck, or maybe lifestyle. That still doesn’t make sense because he held the same job for 18 years!  he was so beloved by everyone he met.  He still hasn’t been replaced at his former job he was so smart. I am a Mom had almost always had the luxury of being my own boss.  Some really successful endeavors, and some just ok.  I just knew that I had no choice but to survive.  That’s difficult to do when you’re exhausted after 13 surgeries and 11 blood transfusions.  I will never forget my husband rushing me to the hospital the last time with a hemoglobin of 4, begging his Partners to help saying  I was crashing fast.  So many Doctor’s and nurses rushing around, and my husband was not about it let me die.  When things looked like I wasn’t going to make it, my husband called my parents.  They rushed to the hospital, and at this point, I was about to just give up.  I was so tired, and I was ready to call it quits.  At that moment, I saw my Mom rush into the room.  I felt so guilty that I had always worried them so with so much medical trauma, so many hospital stays. I remember looking up at my Mom and thinking I have to fight.  I have to survive.  I can’t quit.  Mostly because she probably would have killed me herself if I didn’t fight for myself! Suddenly, I could almost feel my arms and legs again, I was turning the corner to hold on, more blood was on its way and my surgeon was racing to the hospital for another emergency surgery to try and stop the bleeding.

It’s difficult to comprehend. It’s hard to know that my Brother was such a better person than me, kinder, gentler than me but due to economic circumstances I survived? So, guilt?  You think?  Yep.  I have been upsetting my family.  Not on purpose, but they really believe it was his time to go, and I need to just give it up to God.  They believe God needed another angel.  So, because I love them so much, I am going to do just that.  I’m still going to give back to charities, pay it forward, and start awkward conversations that are for the greater good, but I won’t make it personal.

From here until eternity. I am going to believe in my family, that loves me. A sister that makes me laugh at loud, a niece that fills my heart with joy, and my parents who need peace.   They deserve some peace. This is my last post about this.

The end.

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Xoxo,

The Mask of the Doctors wife

Pray for those that are hurt, love your friends, it is that simple.  Dedicated to Anne Moss Rogers – 

If I could do anything to take away the horrific pain of my friend, I would!  She is a charismatic, lovely, and wonderful friend.  She lost her son Charles to suicide.  He hung himself.  After a long road of mental illness, that lead to addiction – he wanted out of the pain so greatly that not even his Mothers love could save him.

When most others hear this story they are afraid for their children, they are moved to join her and make a difference by simply joining the fight of a conversation.

Will you join her in her fight of the conversation that no one really wants to have?  Are you strong enough to say, no more!
We are losing the battle against drugs of our youth. We need more self awareness, we need to make ourselves with armour of steel and awareness! Wake up! I know you have it in you. Join or contibutute to https://www.facebook.com/BeaconTreeFoundation/

Take that first painful step and make a difference. Do it for your children, your neighbor, or for a friend of a friend. Do it because it feels right.

It will not disappoint. 😇

Will you join the fight or simply continue to stumble around in the comfort of the darkness? Check out Anne Moss Rogers blog at http://www.annemoss.com!

For Anne Moss, you are not only my friend but know my conscience. I hope this post helps your cause some, and makes you happy that there are others willing to speak out, who are not afraid of the stigma our society places on these issues instead of the true awareness and compassion it deserves. Mostly, I hope it makes you smile. Fair weather friends come and go. Trust in the ones that stay no matter how uncomfortable it gets.❤️

xoxo, Stephanie Taylor, mask of the Doctors wife…

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Let’s talk about it!

I am humbly coming before you to talk about a taboo subject.

TEEN/YOUNG ADULT SUICIDE

This may appear as if  I have had “mudd on my face”.  On this very blog I have discussed the short cut of suicide, and how I felt it was selfish.  Wow.  Am I the biggest hypercritical person to head this conversation.  I thought people who did this were selfish, and wanted an easy way out without thinking about the loved ones left behind.

I was wrong.  I have a survivor mentality that could not understand giving up life due to my personal struggles, and my ability to overcome.  I never really understood people with active depression.  I haven’t.  I have always had someone to lift me up, someone to love me without judgement, someone who would stop whatever they were doing to simply LOVE me through it.  Not everyone is so lucky.  Not everyone has such inner strength.  I am now ready to admit, not everyone, even with the best support can still overcome adversity the way I did.  The only reason I can give is my children.  I had to be a Mother, I had to take care of them.  Not everyone is so lucky.

So, let’s talk.  Let’s have the conversation.  One of my best friends, recorded this –http://www.annemoss.com/2016/02/22/suicide-the-silent-serial-killer/

It seems to be the most humbling experience of my life.  I guess I have become so immune knowing medicine would eventually intervene?  It is almost impossible to be neutral because I was thinking we had a great healthcare system!  Boy was I wrong.   Did you know that if you go to the ER in a suicidal state a social worker will decide if you are serious or not?  They have to display a detailed plan and several other things to be taken seriously.  If they can’t?  Guess what they are discharged with a reccomendation to follow up with a psychologist.  Any guess how long that will take?  Usually three to four weeks.

Our system is broken, and it is up to us to fix it!  Let’s please all take a moment to “put our thinking caps on” and help put a stop to this needless loss of life.

-I was definitely wearing the mask!   So, bravely, it is off – Stephanie Carter Taylor