Who Rhoda is & Where she’s from
I am feeling a bit low right now after having a molar pulled that has been broken in two since Christmas, yea, I put that off a bit too long! But I thought tonight I’d write a little bit about who I am and how I came to be writing this.
I am a Japanese/Cherokee woman with a touch of Dutch in me, from Houston, Texas although I have been living in Nebraska for most of the last twenty years. I married a man named Jim when I was 18 and we had one daughter together, Jami, before I divorced him after a year when I found out he was shooting up Meth. I remarried him a year later when he swore off Meth only to divorce him again after finding out he was still using. I married again a few years later and had two more daughters, Jeanette and Jessica 16 months apart. We moved from Houston to Iowa when my youngest was 18 months and then to Omah, Nebraska seven years later where I still live. That marriage lasted 22 years and I thought it was a beautiful thing until one day he left for cigarettes and never came home. He had been giving me large amounts of Elavil with my regular medications for Grave’s Disease and Fibromyalgia to keep me unaware of his plans which, on top of the way he left, left me barely functional for eight months only coming out of that first catatonic state watching the news coverage of 911. I lost everything after he left and moved into an upstairs room with my youngest daughter’s boyfriend where I stayed for eight months swearing to myself that I refused to live in bitterness and that I would overcome all that had happened without bitterness or not at all. I succeeded and survived. But the Elavil in combination with the medicine I took for Fibromyalgia had damaged me physically. I was told that I could die within the next two years from a variety of things and I came very close exactly two years later when my appendix ruptured requiring removal and a bowel re-sect, and a month later my gal bladder had to be removed, and then a week later I went into liver failure requiring many blood transfusions. Before each surgery I signed a Do Not Resuscitate and when I survived it all I decided I was here for a purpose and began looking for it.
I worked a variety of jobs during my life and started my own fireproofing business in Omaha in 1991 that was moderately successful for five years until I turned the business over to my husband and he tried to change it and ended up closing it down. Shortly after that, a friend of mine in Houston called to tell me that she was dying from Squamous Cell Carcinoma which started me on a four year search for a cure while studying herbal remedies as well as many other alternative forms of medicine. I gave that up with everything else after losing my husband and never thought I would even be able mentally to do anything in the medical field or anywhere else again. I filed for disability and won it after a four year battle in December of 2005 for Fibromyalgia, Interstitial Cystitis, Bipolar and Severe Depression. Even though I won I cried when the judge read the list of reasons I was considered to no longer be a viable part of society and I vowed to get better. And I did, mentally at least, spending two years in intensive therapy and then forcing myself back into the world. I met a wonderful man shortly after rejoining life and we are still together. I thoroughly believe that whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger as I feel I am living proof and I still feel myself growing stronger every day.
My oldest daughter ran away to live with her father when she was 16, of the age to take the decision out of my hands with no proof of his drug use, and she is now also addicted to Meth, and he has Hepatitis C and she has MRSA as a result. I’m pretty sure he has MRSA, too, although he denies it. My middle daughter, Jeanette, is married and has two children and perhaps lives the most “normal” life of any of us. My youngest, my baby!, is Jessica and I lived with her and her boyfriend and their little girl, Jessalynn, until I could get us our own place after winning my disability. Jessica is also Bipolar and typically very artistic and creative as well as a model for Miller Beer after two years of odd modeling jobs. She and Jeanette were scared straight pretty much from watching Jami’s life on Meth for the last 12 years or so.
When I found out that Jami had CA MRSA I was terrified and couldn’t think what to do, frozen like a deer caught in the headlights, until a good friend, Bev, urged me to get moving and save Jami. Bless her heart, Bev seemed to have no doubt that I could do what needed to be done even knowing all that is wrong with me and I give her credit for all the research and everything I have tried to do for those with MRSA in the last six months. If any good comes of this blog or anything else I do it will be because I had a good friend to prod me forward.
I am returning to studying alternative medicine while trying to save my daughter and in the midst of this tragedy I am finding myself again. I was kicked to the curb and beaten down in every way but firmly believe it was all to give me the strength for the fight ahead and I give thanks for everything I have suffered to survive to fight this fight. I don’t believe in coincidence but that every second of life has purpose that will work for the good of those who have faith and don’t give up. I understand that I can lose my daughter to the Meth and MRSA but believe I will have the strength from all I’ve live and through and with all those who love me to do all I can for her without faltering and carry on for others with MRSA even if I lose her. BUT I totally plan to win.
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