Category Archives: Family Matters

Getting Out from Postpartum Depression

Translated…

Upon hearing recently, that a woman committed suicide due to postpartum depression, after work, my husband inquired, if I’d felt okay lately?  If something’s up, I needed to let him know.

Compared to three years ago when my firstborn got here, my husband had metamorphosed from that self-centered big boy, into a man who puts his family first.  That year, my first child came, my husband’s “living life his way” made me feel so very helpless and alone, the “active participations” from my in-laws made me feel even MORE pressures; plus the economical burdens, I’d washed my face with my tears every single day.

Even after my month long recuperation is up, the anxieties, the self-mutilations, even the thought of taking my child with me to suicide, still circled around my mind again and again.  I’d told my husband of it, and, he’d blamed me for being too anal.  What’s most impressive was, when I’d told him I’d wanted to get professional medical help, he’d replied, “You should go to Africa instead, fighting to survive there every single day, that’ll keep your mind away from feeling depressed!”

Whether or not it was a joke, I’d still can’t believe, that someone who’d educated as he, a dentist, graduated from a public university, can say something so awful.  And, if my husband, who had medical trainings behaved as such, then, what trials must the other women who are also dealing with postpartum depression be faced with, would they be able to, receive the understandings of their separate families?

Thankfully, I have a supportive group of church friends, they’d helped take care of my child, took me to the free counseling sessions offered by the church; the counselor, after knowing my situation, encouraged me to see a professional.  In the seeing of the psychiatrist, I’d found, that other than the medications, the national health insurances also covered the talk therapy sessions as well.

Through the talking therapy session, I’d slowly felt better, learned to introspect and gotten some techniques to help me get along better with my husband.  From the three to four times fight a day, to one fight every three to four months, and now, we have two babies, and are expecting a third.  My friends joked about how intimate I must be getting with my husband, driving us to have so many children.  Yeah, certainly, compared to the postpartum depression experiences, we are now, interacting, so much better.  Postpartum depression may be a crisis of a marriage, but it can also be a chance, to better your interactions with your partners too.

And so, this woman worked, very hard, to get herself OUT of her own postpartum troubles, and, postpartum depression is still NOT a myth, you LOSERS, it’s real, and so, the next time your separate ladies start showing signs after they gave birth to YOUR young, DO show us some kindness!

Leave a comment

Filed under Awareness, Bad Behaviors, Being Alone, Family Matters, Healing Process, Life, Loneliness/Solitude, Obstacles in a Relationship, Postpartum Depression/Postpartum Psychosis & Other Problems from After Birth, Properties of Life

My Turn to Take Care of You This Time

From the mind of a son, translated…

The year that I’d interned at the emergency room, I’d always feared that my father would become one of the patients, every time I’d heard on the announcement system, that there was an unknown male patient, I’d always gone to check.  My father had been ill a long time, one morning, he had a stroke, was found by a neighbor, to be lying at the park, having a seizure, but after being treated, he’d gotten stabilized, and can now, live on his own.

I can’t believe, that my father who’d always been so strong, how he’d missed the signs of him growing weaker, back then, I’d spent all of my waking hours on my post, learned to ask the patients what was the matter, and how to treat their difficulties, and, in this busyness, I’d gotten a call, as I’d dialed back, it was, a stranger, telling me about my father’s conditions, how ironic!  My heart became twitched and tangled, I’d immediately rushed to the other hospital, saw my father, panting hard, at a corner of the emergency room; what’s worse was, I’d worked through the days and the nights, and neglected to ask him how he was, and was completely clueless about his mental and physical health.

I should’ve known, that my father had concealed his condition from me, because he didn’t want me to worry, I should’ve gotten that something wasn’t right from how fatigued he looked, all those knowledge I’d learned from medical school allowed me to look at every patient’s situations subjectively, but, I couldn’t see clearly what was going on with those I loved………I’d started doubting my love toward my father now, compared to those who’d kept me up all night long, thinking over their conditions, I don’t even know when was the last time my dad went to his doctor’s appointment, must there be a give and take between a greater kind of love and the love you have for those who are close to you?

There was a time, when I’d gotten trapped in the emotions of self-blame, before my father’s bed, I’d looked over his charts hard, trying to find a way, to make this love I have for him complete; but, what surfaced into my mind was not the medical knowledge, but the days my father and I spent together.  The tears of regrets stained my white robe, and, it was, as if my father heard my helpless cries, he’d worked hard, opened up his eyes, and told me, to not worry so much, word by word.

My father couldn’t control his drool, and, it’d slowly overflowed from the corner of his lips, I’d wiped it up lightly, I didn’t want someone else to look after him again, even as my father ushered me to head back to work, I’d still told him no.  This time, I want to, keep watch over my father, as his son.

And this, is how someone had become too focused on his job, that he’d forgotten about how important family is, but gladly, he’d gotten that wake up call just in time.

2 Comments

Filed under Despair, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, On Death & Dying, Parent-Child Interactions, Professional Opinions, Properties of Life, Socialization

My Father & the Symphony of Life

On death, translated…

A few minutes later, the workers flipped my father’s still limp body to the side, he was like a well-behaved child, asleep, not moving at all.

My father had never allowed anybody to do him like this ever, he’d been a serviceman his whole life, he was the forward when he was younger when he’d played basketball, before he’d retired from the army, he worked as a head of a certain department too, a very respected man by all, I suppose.

After he’d gotten out of the services, he’d started making his own way, volunteered for a Hakka magazine, and, when he was asked along, to perform the traditional Hakka skills, he’d gone, as he pleased, NEVER followed anybody’s requests………

But this time, it was, out of his hands, we saw how our father, whose body was weakened by the cancer cells, got lifted onto a gurney………

Pushed, toward the morgue………

Outside of the ICU, the doctor handed me several forms, said, my father was actually kept alive by the machines, that they’d needed the agreements from the families, in order to pull the plug on him, I, being his eldest son, if I agree, then, I should sign on the forms, later on, the medical staff would unplug him, and, allow his heart to stop on its own.

All of a sudden, I felt this heaviness on the pen that I was holding, it’d become, as heavy as a steel blade………

Like the judges of the ancient times, I’d imagined, that if I’d pushed the pen across the “verdict”, and, immediately, I will hear the sounds of sharpened cries from all around.

Every word I’d spoken to the medical staff was like coughing up blood for me, I’d pleaded to the paramedics: to up the dosage, but don’t do CPR on him, I feared, that his ribs may get broken, and my father who can’t speak anymore would have to weather through even more pains.

That was, passed the autumn season, into the winter of 2013.  The Northern Hemisphere was either covered with yellowed leaves, or covered in the first layers of snow.

On an afternoon in the bottom of November, I’d gotten an emergency call from overseas from my younger sister, said that my father’s heart had stopped in his sleep, and the nurses asked her if she wanted to keep him alive

Considering that she’d wanted me to see my father again, she’d signed the papers to resuscitate, which was very difficult for her to make.

And just like so, my father’s heart resumed beating again……

And, I’d immediately bought a non-transfer flight back to Taipei that very night, with the mindset of how the world is covered with the first layer of snow…

Knowing that that was, the last time I’d touched my father’s body, I’d known, that there was still, an old soul, hanging on, because he’d miss us, and I just wanted to feel the last heat from that soul, to this body, because, the snow had gotten thicker, and heavier!

My father had been troubled by gout for a very long time, from the year before, when he was diagnosed with fourth stage lung cancer, his gout came over, back then, there were stones, growing inside of the joints of both his hands, I’d rushed back to visit with him, other than eating his meals, he’d spent his entire days in bed.

Recalling once, as my father sat up, to change into clean underwear, he couldn’t lift his arms up, so the clothes could fit onto him, he’d sighed, “There’s nothing I can do.”

As I’d helped him, I’d consoled with him, “You’re no longer young anymore, dad!”

Actually, I felt very fake, my father’s getting weakened, was the result of the attacks of his cancer cells and his gout combined!

If taking away the cancer and the gout, my father is pretty healthy, he’s already eighty years old, and was still reporting the news for the Hakka magazines, I saw him several times, with a camera in front of him, with a notebook in hand, riding to the place where he was interviewing someone, looked like he was really enjoying himself, and, his son who works in the reporting industry, I just couldn’t say anything, he’d told me proudly several times, “my reporting abilities don’t pale by comparison to you, younger generations at all.”

I’d smiled and nodded, “You get better with time!”

He’d smiled, and gloated even more, “Must have been all the running on the courts when I was younger!”

At the start of this year, my gout started, the doctor saw how my right elbow swelled up like a volleyball, he’d managed to drain a lot of yellow fluid from my joints, and found that my white blood count was over, worried I might be infected, and didn’t know if I had a bone fracture, so, he’d done a complete CT scan on me.

And, it was, a white elderly person who was in front of me.

Because I only had to get my one arm scanned, it was over very quickly.

As I came out, I saw the white elderly man lying in the bed, waiting for the staff to finish filling out his forms, then push him back to his room.  I’d needed to wait for my results from the CT scan, and so, I sat down next to him, and struck up a conversation with him.

I’d asked him, what he had?

“Cancer of the larynx!”, he’d replied in a light voice

“Oh!”, I’d become stumped, didn’t DARE ask him for the stage.

Then, I’d asked him, “How old are you?”

“Eighty-one.”

“Are you scared?”, I thought, at his age, he’s probably not afraid of dying.

“Yes!”, his voice was shaking, which shocked me, “I love life very much, I fear leaving those I love behind.  If cancer is only painful to me, and I won’t die from it, then, I’m more than willing to put up with it, because, I love this world way too much, I can’t let go of my loved ones, those whom I love and love me.”

A very good friend of mine, fell ill, and started going in and out of the hospitals a lot.

The very first night he was admitted, his heartrate and pulse had stopped, for over twenty minutes, and was found by the orderly who was checking the rooms, they’d performed emergency resuscitation on him, and he didn’t die.

That day, I’d gone to the hospital to visit with him, and we’d held a very lighthearted conversation.

I was very curious of the time his heart had stopped for around half an hour, I’d asked him, if he’d had the near-death experiences like in the movies, seeing how his life flashed before his eyes, how his deceased loved ones smiled at him, and a lighted path………

He shook his head, smiled and told me, “It was like I was in a deep sleep, no feelings at all.  When I woke up, I saw the doctors and my wife by my side.”

“So, that was, a sort of an outer body experience?”

He’d nodded:

I know, that if I’d died, I will bring so much pains to my loved ones.  But, in that condition, it’s just, no joy, no sorrow, no ecstasies, no worries……then………life, had finished, one more cycle.

My father’s body and his coffin were, pushed in, and we stood outside the walls, hearing the fires roar, like hearing the fourth movement of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, silently, stared at the black smoke outside the chimney, coming out, rushing, toward the skies.

I saw, my father, smiling at us, through the rising of the smokes, it though……

And, it was like, I didn’t, see anything, at all!

And so, this, is someone’s final passage of life, to the moment that he’d died, and, the families are still the ones, left with the pieces to pick up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awareness, Family Matters, Life, Loss, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Properties of Life

The Dry-Erase Board Used for Reminders, on How We Interact with One Another

Translated…

A very long time ago, my friend dropped a white board off at my place, I’d hung it on the walls of my living room, can’t think of a use for it right away though.

Back then, my five-year-old son was very intrigued with the cartoon, “The Sea Thief King”, and, I’d often busied myself about the house that I’d forget to remind him to watch it.  Later on, I’d drawn a picture of a clock on the dry-erase board, with the minute-hand on the time when the cartoon starts, told my son, whenever he sees the time on the dry-erase board corresponds with the time on the clock on the wall, then, it’s time for his cartoon.  With the reminder of the white board, he’d never missed an episode again.

Back then, I’d thumbed across an issue that the whole family shouldn’t miss, but, there was no way to get everybody here at the same time to tell my family members, and fearing that I may have missed someone, I’d taped the newspaper to the dry-erase board, and wrote the words of warnings.  For instance, a while ago, the drinks were placed in bad plastic cups, I’d put down, “For the sakes of your own health, don’t drink the drinks anymore.”, with the newspaper clipping as the evidence, it’d become more persuasive, my children and my husband rarely buys those drinks now.

A while ago, my son was prepping for his examinations, I didn’t want to nag him to spend less time on Facebook, I’d written down on the dry-erase board, “My dear son, you must put everything into your examinations, and just focus, I hope you will perform well on it!”, not long thereafter, he saw the words on the board, he’d erased it, and I knew, that he’d received my care and concerns.

One evening, my husband placed a paper box in the kitchen, told me, “this box is for you to place the items that don’t need to be refrigerated and the larger fruits.” I told him, “I don’t want too much clutter on the floors, it’s hard, to wipe the floors clean.”  After he’d heard, he’d told me angrily, “I can’t do anything that fits you, can I?” I was stunned, quickly ran to the front of the white board, wrote the words, “the smaller matters the wife decide, the bigger issues, the husband’s calls”.  A little while later, my husband passed by the dry-erase board, I’d called out to him, “Honey, did you see what I wrote?”, he’d started laughing, “Yes, my beauty, I saw it!”

Thanks for the PR dry-erase board at my house, helping us all with communications, without the fuses, adding more fun!

And so, this, would be a great way to interact with your families, after all, you all don’t share the exact same schedules, and, writing it on a board once, beats having to repeat to your families over, over, over, AND over again, plus, NO one likes a N-A-G!

Leave a comment

Filed under Communications, Expectations, Family Matters, Parent-Child Interactions

The Parents Took Care of Earning the Incomes During the Summers, Leaving the Kids Without Smiles During Their Summer Vacations

Summers are hitting the children, especially hard here!!!  From the Front Page Sections, translated…

The Child Welfare League conducted a research on the cases that social workers followed up on since last December from January 6 to February 27, toward the families whom the social workers had followed for three months.  The findings showed, that as the summer vacation started, without the nutritious meals provided by the schools, nearly forty-percent of school age kids didn’t get their lunches every day, and, even if they had lunches daily, thirty-seven percent of the kids didn’t have enough nutrition, twelve percent of the children are eating leftovers every single day.

On top of that, nearly sixty percent of the children needed to help out around the house, thirty-one percent had to work as nannies, to help babysit the younger siblings, twenty-two percent needed to work outside the home, to help make money for the household, to to get one’s own tuition for next semester.  Fifty-seven percent of the children don’t have adult supervision at home this summer, twelve percent of the kids didn’t see their parents as they headed off to bed, nearly thirty percent of these children only saw their parents once per week.

“Happy” who is in the fourth grade lost his mother when he was real young, his father was diagnosed with stomach cancer six years ago, the family economics are hounding down on him, every single summer, he’d gone to the fields to work in the scorching sun, and, his tiny arms are filled with wounds from the cuts from the grass, but, to help lessen the load on his cancer-prone father, he’d never made a single complaint; recently, his grandmother had a stroke, toward the summer that’s coming, Happy told, that he just wanted to work harder in the fields, so he could help make more money for his family.

“Sunny”, who’s also in the fourth grade, lived in the distant regions, there are four members of his family, and because there were no pipes in his house, he and his family had to use the underground water for cleaning and drinking, and, if the weather got cold, the family would burn wood, to heat up the water for use.  Sunny’s father is ill, the family lived off of the migrated mother’s less than $20,000N.T. pay from the factory, in order to take care of his mildly retarded younger brother, he’d bathed him, fed him, took care of his own younger brother’s daily living, without a word of complaint.  When the reporters asked him about his wish for the summer, Sunny said, “It would be wonderful, if my family and I can travel some place for a day!”

These wishes, seemed so simple to us all, but, they are all, distant and hard-to-reach dreams for these kids, because they were born, into difficult situations, and yet, they still all faced the challenges in their separate lives, with a positive attitude, and that, is something we can all take from.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awareness, Childhood, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Family Matters, Growing Up Too Fast, Life, Maturation, Observations, Properties of Life, Social Issues, Values, White Picket Fence

We Thought She Had Died Already…a Mother Who’s Left Home for Thirty-Eight Years Showed Back Up, the Six Children Felt a Mixture of Emotions

So, now you show up, after disappearing OFF of your kids’ radars for so long, I wonder WHY that is…from the Front Page Sections, translated…

A grandmother aged woman, Yun almost eighty, thirty-eight years ago, had enough with her husband’s bad temper, so she left home, found her home in Tainan, where she worked as a nurse’s aide, the family looked for her for a decade’s time without any success, asked the courts to issue a certificate of confirmed death.  At the start of this year, as she’d filed for the low income elderly sustenance from the government, she’d learned that she’d been “deceased” for twenty-six years.

The Bei-Men District’s Family Welfare Service Center received a call from members of the public said that an elderly woman wanted to apply for elderly low household income help, but because she’d been “declared dead”, she couldn’t file the papers.  As the social worker went to get her story, she’d learned of the twists and turns of “Yun’s” past.

The Social Welfare Department stated, that the elderly woman who’s registry was in Taipei, back in 1977, could no longer put up with her husband’s temperament, so she’d left home, went to Tainan to work as a nurse’s aide, and lost contact with her families completely since.  The family searched for her for over a decade, and couldn’t find her anywhere, so, in 1989, they’d filed for the notice of her death with the courts.

The social worker stated, that Yun’s pays from her nursing job was cash, and so, she’d not paid the taxes, and, when she fell ill, she’d buy the over-the-counter medications, didn’t apply for a national health insurance card either, she had NO idea, that she’d been declared deceased by the court.  And now, she’s elderly and couldn’t work anymore, she’d spent up her savings, and, through the help of her friends, she’d inquired the social services department, that, was how she’d found out, that her family had filed for the death certificate for her.

The Family Welfare Center asked the land registry offices, to help search, found her six children, and the six of them heard that their mother is still living, they were all, very surprised.  In the assistance of the Legal Counsel Services Foundation, after Yun submitted her DNA, she’d finally, “come back to life again”.

At the opening of her court appeal, Yun saw her youngest daughter, whom she hadn’t seen in forty years, tears filled up her eyes, but, she didn’t dare hug her.  The youngest daughter told the press, that when her mother left, she was only one year old, and didn’t have any memories of her, “We’d met under these circumstances, and, there’s this mixture of emotions inside of me right now!”

Her other kids told, that they’re happy to see, that their mother is still living, but, because their mother had been missing from their lives for so long, they didn’t know how to interact with her for the time being.

Yun said, that she wouldn’t feel right, for her kids to care for her, and besides, she’d already established a social circle in Tainan, she wanted to keep staying there.  The Social Services Department had told, that they’d already filed for emergency assistance and meals-on-wheel on her behalf, and scheduled for the social workers to visit her regularly, hoped, to slowly, help Yun patch up the lost relationships she has with her children.

And so, this, is somewhat of a happy ending for the case, after all, the mother had gone missing from the children’s lives, and, so, naturally, they ARE, estranged from her, but, I’m sure, that with the social workers, stepping in, the relationship CAN be patched up, because this woman was trying to escape from her mistreatment by her husband.

Leave a comment

Filed under Abandonment of Children, Cost of Living, Family Matters, Loss, News Stories, Observations, Social Awareness, Social Issues

The Love that’s Not Taken Away by Dementia

From the mind of a caretaker, translated…

“Child, let me tell you, that last night, my bedroom was cramped with a ton of people.  And, nobody wanted to believe what I was telling them…”, every time I’d gone to see my father, he’d always pulled me, mysteriously, to the corners of his ward, and told me, he’d looked everywhere, and, there’s this fear, this sense of panic, in his gaze; although, I felt uneasy at the moment, I’d still worked hard, to calm him back down, back then, I had yet to understand what dementia was, and didn’t know, that hallucinations were a symptom of dementia.

What caused me to blame myself for so long was, before my father died, he’d forgotten everybody else but me, but, because I was too young, other than watching him suffer, I didn’t do a thing for him.

Many years later, my father-in-law who’d retired from a teaching post, was originally supposed to be enjoying his retirement, playing with the kids, but, dementia had, crept up on him.  At first, he’d become forgetful, lost his balance, tripped and fell a lot, then, he had difficulties swallowing, to the very end, he’d needed people to help him, with his daily living routines, this, was defeating, for a man who once had the world at his feet, as he stood on the podium, lecturing away; he’d become a balloon, with the air let out, he wasn’t talkative from before, he’d become even more silent now.  My father-in-law also started forgetting his family members one by one, but, he’d always remembered me, his daughter-in-law, and it’d reminded me of my own father, who was tortured by dementia before he died; the difference was, that this time, I’d used my words and actions, to show and tell my father-in-law, “Don’t be afraid, we will keep by your side.”

Dementia is torture for the elder, and, for the caretaker, it’s this sense of helplessness.  Seeing how the ones we loved, with the memories, getting away from them by the day, their souls seemed to have been, locked up, in the depth of the oceans, it’s truly, trying, for both the patients and the families.

For me, my father’s dementia had kept me in regret for a very long time, and so, when I took care of my father-in-law, I’d given the efforts, so I won’t have any regrets again.  In facing dementia, I’d learned to love, to accompany, and to show care and concerns, to keep us all, connected well together, even IF the world changes.  Because of love, we will, NEVER forget.

And so, this woman regretted not being understanding enough toward her own father, and so, she was able to gain that understanding, when her father-in-law became diagnosed too, and, this sort of understanding can only come with experience and aging.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Family Matters, Lessons, Properties of Life, Values