Is It Depression or a Funk

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It could be a bout of depression. It could be a funk, but it also could be that I’m irritated. I have been feeling better. My wrist is a lot better than it was the other day, and my pain level is very low. All in all, health-wise, I’m doing okay. I’m just still so tired. I fell asleep on a webinar last night and then heard them call my name and ask me to do tell the group about myself. Luckily, I wasn’t so far asleep that I didn’t hear my name, but it took me a moment to snap to it and answer.

The irritation comes in because yesterday someone asked me some questions about autism. I explained that it’s a very wide spectrum and while low-functioning, non-verbal children would likely stand out in a crown, there are so many kids with Asperger’s or that are high functioning ASD that the average person might not even be able to tell. I should know better than to discuss disabilities with this person, and I’m not even sure what prompted his question, but he responded with, “Don’t you think some parents just don’t want to admit that their kids are stupid?”

First of all, I’d never call any child stupid. I think there are plenty of stupid adults. Adults know what they are doing when they make stupid choices (or at least most of them do).¬† Mu thought was what kind of asshole asks a question like that. I responded with, “Well, there are neurologists and neuropsychologists that diagnose autism, but it’s possible you know more than them.”

Working with families that have children with all sorts of special needs, I hear many stories. No two children are alike even with the same disability. Two of my own children have dyslexia and they learn in completed different way. My son has difficulty with comprehension, and my daughter has trouble decoding. It is technically the same disability, but they couldn’t be more different.

So that set me off. But today is a new day and I just went for my last day of bloodwork. I took the steroid last night and this morning’s test for for the cortisol level. I’m just praying that they find some answers. The next hurdle is that I have to wait until my appointment on November 4th for some answers. That just plain sucks. I think that’s what has gotten me down the most. I just want so freakin answers. It’s frustrating to have different specialists disagree on my autoimmune diagnosis, and now it seems that after taking the more cautionary route of diagnosing me, my newer rheumatologist agrees that I not only have fibromyalgia but rheumatoid arthritis.

I really had my hopes up that it was a thyroid issue because that may have even changed the fibro and RA diagnosis because one of the big symptoms with thyroid issues is muscle and joint pain. Of course I ran with that and diagnosed myself with hypothyroid. It’s dumb I know…but if you had one shred of hope that you didn’t have RA, wouldn’t you at least dream about how great that would be. It was a bit of a reality check that these autoimmune issues aren’t going anywhere forever.

There won’t be a winter where my hands don’t turn white and blueish from Raynaud’s. There won’t be a day where I don’t have more than the average ache or pain. It sucks. But right now, I need to focus on some kind of PCOS diagnosis, as I already knew I had that from my days with infertility, but I just never saw it being an issue in my life again after conceiving. It’s just one more thing to add to the list, and that one isn’t even under the umbrella of autoimmune. I take a look at myself and this, holy crap is this 42? What am I going to be like at 52 or 72?

I’ll cheer up eventually. Perhaps stopping at Starbucks on the way home for an iced green tea will make everything better. It can’t hurt!

 

 

Stupid Hands

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I shouldn’t say hands…it’s really only one hand that I’m calling stupid tonight. I’ve been in terrible pain through my right wrist for the past few hours, so much so that I was sitting here in tears and broke down and took something for pain. I’ve actually never taken pain medicine for my hand/wrist pain. What causes me to take a pain pill is usually hip and low back pain that just affects one whole side of my body. So for me to take medicine for a wrist/hand, it’s bad. I suppose I should admit that I’m partially to blame.

Last night my girls wanted me to sit down and watch a movie with them and I hate sitting still. I thought it would be a good time to knit while I was watching Pitch Perfect. I love my knitting. I’m not very good. I made scarves. I don’t really want to learn to knit anything crazy or difficult because I find knitting very relaxing. If I have to follow a difficult pattern or learn crazy stitches, it loses some of the fun. I have mastered quite a few really pretty patterns and I look for new ones that are within my capability, but it’s just something that I like to sit and do. I knit throughout the movie and that may be why I’m hurting so badly today. I hate to think that two hours of knitting sent me over the edge because that doesn’t bode well for my relaxing past-time.

Yesterday was rainy and cold, and I’m hoping that the weather and damp cold are factoring into my pain level. Today the weather was really beautiful; it could have been about ten degrees warmer, but the sky was a deep blue and I had an hour to sit outside with my youngest daughter while my older daughter was in a dance rehearsal. We just sat outside and talked, and enjoyed the sunshine. I don’t do that enough. Don’t get me wrong…I sit and rest as much as my body tells me to because the alternate sucks and I’ve learned that the hard way, but I don’t always sit outside. It was nice.

I had a bit of drama last night and today with my former friend. I find it even too exhausting to get into (although it would probably be a good read). I just am at the point where I think he needs professional help. I was told a very in-depth story last night that I just find too many holes in. I hate to not believe in people, but then this morning he also mentioned that his new love broke up with him. SO…I think he was at a very low point and needed a reason to be validated for feeling as low as he did.

My afternoon ended with me shutting him down as to restarting our friendship. I left things nicely. I just truly hate drama, but I can’t open my life back up to someone who contacts me when everyone else shuts him out, or uses me as a punching bag when he’s at his depressive lows. I have my own full plate. Anyone who knows me well knows this is not an easy thing for me. I have the terrible habit of listening to people’s issues and being a good sounding board. It’s not really a bad thing, but it sometimes becomes one sided and that’s not fun.

The other thing is I’m learning to really put myself more toward the front of my own line. My kids will always come first, but if I’m not okay and healthy, I can’t take care of them, so I need to also take care of me. This means cutting back on people who annoy me and not being anyone’s punching bag and accepting a simple “I’m sorry” the next day. We ALL have those moments where we say more than we should have or something comes out wrong. I am not saying I’ve never made a mistake and apologized for it. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about someone who uses your insecurities to make you feel horrible and then says they are sorry.

Anyway, I’m content with how it all went down. I wasn’t mean, but at the end of the day, I still like me and the decisions I made.

In my “spare time” I’ve been deep into my research of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I also learned that low vitamin D (my only strange result of my last bloodwork) is also a very common symptom of PCOS. I feel like we may be on the right track, but what sucked the most is when the endocrinologist point blankly said that my RA diagnosis wasn’t going to change. I suppose I knew that, but when I was researching thyroid issues there is the symptom of joint and muscle pain, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the tiniest bit hopeful. So now, I may be looking at an autoimmune disease and a hormonal one, that has a high link to heart disease and cancer.

I just want and need confirmation so I can start dealing with it. I need to know. I’m going to have my blood drawn on two separate days this week, but my next appointment isn’t until November 4th. I really want to call way before that and find out my test results. Would you do that? I mean how hard is it for the nurse to call me back after the doctor has seen the results? Why should I wait until November to start treatment if my hormones are way out of whack and if my insulin resistance is off…or if my cortisol level is off.

I never thought I’d be a fucking medical nightmare at 42. It’s depressing. My mind has so much it wants to body and my body can’t freakin keep up. I’m hoping tomorrow is better because I have to switch out bins of winter clothes and pack away the summer ones. It’s one of my least favorite things to do. I also plan to de-clutter the girls’ room, but that might go better on Tuesday when they aren’t around. We’ll see what the morning brings.

As always…thanks for reading!

And Here We Go Down Another Path…PCOS

Ovarian Cyst

Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome. Those are words I haven’t thought about for more than 12 years. When I was struggling to get and stay pregnant, I read every possible thing I could get my hands on trying to figure out what was going wrong, why I wasn’t getting pregnant, why I kept miscarrying, etc. With my degree in WedMD in hand, I marched into my brand new reproductive endocrinologist’s office and told him that I diagnosed myself with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I expected an argument. People with PCOS are overweight. I weighed 95 pounds. He spent some time reading my records, then looked at me and said, I agree with you, but I’d like to hear why you think so.

I went through all of my symptoms. I never had a regular period from the beginning. I’d go 6 or 8 months without getting one at all. I have always had issues with what I consider excessive hair. You know…those stray hairs on your chin or the female mustache. I get them on my chin all the time, and it’s the one thing that I can remember being made fun of in high school and I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I have darker patches of skin on my under arms, and of course highly cystic ovaries.

What I didn’t have was the obesity and the insulin resistance, but this doctor focused more on my ovaries than anything else. My ovaries never completed a cycle. Instead of maturing an egg and ovulating, my body would “overcook” it and it would turn into a cyst the size of an orange, or sometimes even a grapefruit before it would painfully burst. Once we realized this, and took the control of ovulation away from my body and instead induced it with a shot, I conceived on the first try with all three babies that I have.

So why am I telling you this? The endocrinologist today said he was going to redo the thyroid tests, but that 95% of the cases, the ones that I already had done would be accurate and diagnose hypothyroidism. Just in case, he is doing the Free T3 and Free T4 to see if I’m in that 5%. He also said the previous test that I did to see if my body was producing too much cortisol was basically useless. In order for the test to be accurate, I need to take some sort of steroid at 11pm the night before the blood test, and then fast before the test. That was not done before the last one.

On a separate day, he’s testing all my male hormones, or androgens. When we discussed my hair loss, he mumbled something about male pattern baldness and I almost cried. I think because it’s along the front? I have no idea, but that was not fun to hear. I go back in 3 weeks to discuss all of this testing. I wish I could say that I felt good right now. I feel like shit. I haven’t thought about my PCOS in a very long time and he mentioned that perhaps because I’m on such a very low dose birth control, it’s not suppressing the male hormones enough. He did say there were options and things to do if any of these tests come back showing a problem. That was the one silver lining of the appointment. It wasn’t left as, “well, you just need to eat less.”

He was a very nice doctor and did seem to listen that I really am doing everything I can. I’m going to work on cutting out excess sugar. I could never cut out fruit or stuff like that, but I don’t need to have a KitKat now and then or the Ferrero Rochers that I love. I think the more I have that stuff, the more I crave it. I just hope these tests give me some answers…any answers.

The other thing that’s bothering me today (other than feeling like crap about the way I look) is that this morning, after all three of my kids missed their buses, my husband snapped that all I do is lay in bed. At 7:45 in the morning, I’m not at my best. It really helps me to sit with my heating pad and allow my body time to loosen up. And frankly, I had about ten more minutes before I had to get into the shower and be at the gym. He can drive the girls to school. Who drives them to dance, football, and picks them up when they need to stay after school? Who runs to the store when they need more pencils or a dumbass poster board that they tell me about the night before a project is do? ME! So yes, you can get off your ass and drive them to school…so he did. Did I feel guilty? Nope! Not in the least. I stayed in bed for 5 more minutes then got in the shower.

So that’s my endocrinology update. It’s a different direction than I thought we were going. I don’t know if it’s a direction at all. I’m just feeling a little lost at the moment. Hoping to regroup by tomorrow. I’ll really somehow and study up on PCOS again.

Tomorrow Is Endocrinologist Day

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Tomorrow is the day. I’ve waited about two and a half months for this appointment and I’m stressing myself out. I don’t mind meeting new doctors or anything like that, but I am afraid of not being taken seriously or one more person saying they just don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m tired of dead ends. I have every damn symptom of hypothyroidism, including a family history, with the exception of it showing up in my TSH.

Being me, I have spent the evening researching testing for hypothyroidism and there are other tests. Someone else told me the only way to test for Hashimoto’s is by a biopsy? I’m not finding that online though. If anyone wants to weigh in, please do. I’m creating my list so I don’t forget anything. I feel like I should have come up with this much sooner. I went through years of infertility, recurrent miscarriage, had extreme hair loss after each baby, etc. The symptoms were there but I never reported them. I was always underweight growing up. I think it wasn’t until I started blowing up that I starting putting all the symptoms together.

Maybe my hair isn’t falling out from the medicine. Maybe my skin is so dry for a reason. Things add up if you look at the whole picture, but I need a doctor that’s going to take the time to look at the whole picture and not just rule things out with one blood test.

On another note, it’s not even mid-October and I’m freezing. I went to work at the pediatrician’s office today and was sitting in my little room, grasping my cup of tea just trying to warm my hands. I came home in the afternoon and fell asleep and my hip, knee, feet and hands were completely stiff. My saving grace is my new hated throw. Right now I have it on full blast and the only things cold are my fingers and toes.

In random news, tonight I had to send an email that was difficult for me to send. I sought advice from a friend that I can trust before sending it, but the problem is I know the person on the receiving end is not going to take it well. In my work editing books, I get to know a lot of my clients pretty well…some more than others. I have a former client that I have never met in person, but that feels a connection to me as his good friend. He’s really going through a tough time, and I’m concerned not only about him, but about the connection that he feels to me. Sure, I share a lot of crap in an anonymous blog, but I’m not a big sharer with my clients. I have met some really interesting and intriguing authors and I have become friendly with some of them. Editing a book is a huge process. I’m asking someone to make changes to something they put their heart and soul into. I have people that I’d love to work with again, and others not so much.

This particular client was not bad to work with. My only issue was that I’d send something back with edits and he’d add two additional chapters in the middle of the book that changed everything. For those of you that aren’t authors, or even those who aspire to be authors, you never do that! You send your editor over the edge. It’s never easy to suggest someone that they speak to a therapist, but I truly feel this is what he needs with all he has gone through. I don’t want to give advice and then encourage his thinking that we’re BFFs.

Okay, I’m getting tired, so wish me luck and hopefully I’ll have more to say other than the new doctor took 12 vials of blood. Ugh…that’s probably my only update :(

A Day of Reflection

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First I’d like to say I was pretty crotchedy in my last post. Yes, my former friend was immature, but I need to grow up and not let things bother me. The following day as we were walking into Nutcracker practice we literally ran into each other and were pretty much forced to say hello. We did so, politely, and moved on. I guess that’s all I wanted. It’s just so much easier to be nice than it is to go out of your way to ignore someone or be an ass. Just my opinion.

I spent yesterday running around like a crazy person from Nutcracker rehearsal to football game and back to another Nutcracker rehearsal. By the time I was driving home, I had a full-blown migraine and was losing vision in my left eye. Despite how messy my house was, I walked inside, told the girls they could watch a movie and went into my room to lie down.

I’m trying to understand the difference between tension headaches and migraines because lately my headaches are all starting with neck tension and tight muscles rather than my usual ocular symptoms. The headaches always involve ocular symptoms, but it’s the way that they are starting that’s new. I’m just wondering if I’m getting tension headaches or if there is a huge difference at this point. The muscles in top of my shoulders and up through my neck are always ridiculously tight, but when I get a headache you can feel an actual band of tightness stemming from the base of my skull to my shoulder. When I stretch the area, the pain is enough to make me want to jump through the roof.

I felt a lot better by this afternoon. I think my body was just reminding me that I have an autoimmune disease and it’s not going to let me do everything I need to get done without one part or another crying uncle…or in my case locking up and not moving. It sucks, but that’s what I have to deal with. The good news is that I did make it out onto the track this evening with my son and I was able to even jog a little bit. I felt pretty good about that.

The reason for the title of today’s post is because I learned on Facebook that my uncle passed away today. There are just some things you wish you didn’t hear through social media. This was my mother’s step-brother, and since my grandmother passed away about 6 years ago, we have not had much contact, but when my mother was alive, we’d see them regularly. My mother was the glue on her side of the family. Everyone loved her and confided in her, even though they all could barely stand each other. I wasn’t close to my uncle, but I sat there for a while this afternoon with my memories and couldn’t help but feel sad.

I’m mainly sad that their whole family cut everyone off and has chosen to live with so much anger and hate. Long before I was born my maternal grandfather passed away and my grandmother remarried the only grandfather I ever knew. He had two sons and they were Jewish. My family is Catholic. We were quite the mix on Christmas Eve, but somehow it all worked out, or at least in the eyes of a child it all seemed happy, but my uncle and his wife were constantly feeling like the other brother, and my mom’s brother got everything and that they got nothing. They felt that they were always last.

I suppose this is where I get my ease of listening to other people without badmouthing the other party. My mom always did that really well. Even when she agreed that the person was being an ass or making things difficult, she just had a way of saying it where no one was upset with her. I haven’t quite inherited that part, but I do feel like I’m a decent listener. As I have said before, when it comes to my mom’s family, I’m the only one who talks to everyone.

I’m sad for his family as when I saw some of the posts from his kids it was clear there was strife in his own immediate family. I guess what I’m saying is, count your blessings. Say I love you to people, and don’t walk away angry unless you are really prepared to leave things that way. Life can be short. I don’t have regrets with my uncle, as we were on good terms, but it’s always sad to lose someone.

While I’m on the subject of keeping peace, I’m patting myself on the back for not flipping out that my mother-in-law called me all excited today that my daughter’s First Communion is on May 2nd. Let me explain. Apparently she booked the country club for that date weeks ago (nope, no thought of asking me) and was hoping that the First Communion would be on the first weekend in May as my other daughter’s was. She has been calling the church each week for updates. Did I know this? Nope. Does she go to our church? Nope.

And it gets even better because my niece is also making her First Communion so apparently it’s going to be one big shin-dig at the country club. I know she means well, and it’s not even that I wouldn’t have agreed to have a party there. I knew there would be no chance of not doing something with my sister-in-law as she changed churches so we could “share” this event. We had to have a joint Baptism, too. God help us all if they suggest a double wedding!

Anyway, I appreciate, that my mother-in-law would like to throw a party. Is it wrong for me to want to be involved, or even asked about what I’d like to do? Am I wrong to think it’s completely inappropriate for her to be calling the church to check on my child’s First Communion? Am I being a bitch? Tell it to me straight. She has no idea that I’m irritated because she caught me off-guard this afternoon when she called to celebrate that the communion was on the day she pre-booked the club. When I asked my sister-in-law if her mother asked her before booking the club she said no. I was pretty snotty when I said, “well from here on out, I’d really like to be included in the planning of my daughter’s party.”

That was bitchy, and I’m okay with it. It could have been worse, knowing me.

My Friend Bashing Post

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I’m irritated this evening, and I know I shouldn’t let stupid things bother me, but eh…sometimes they do. Tonight was our big Nutcracker meeting. They entire cast gets together for a two hours meeting with the director, choreographers, seamstresses, stagehands, etc. The kids get to see who got what role, like who is play Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy, etc. My girls are fairly young, so I can’t say we really know any of the older girls in the large roles, but some of them look familiar from previous years.

Remember my idiot friend who hated my blog? Well, his daughter does the Nutcracker, too. Remind me to kick myself for mentioning it a few years ago. Anyway, he walks in, looks at me and walks the other way. Are we 12? I carried on my conversation, because I have gotten to know a lot of the moms over the past few years and I’ve met a lot of really nice people. A few minutes later his daughter came up to my girls and I to talk. Of course, I was nothing but nice to her. She drives me nuts, but she’s a child and it’s not her fault both her parents are idiots and don’t happen to be teaching her proper behavior or manners.

She told me she was going to ask for a second role and as any motherly figure would, I encouraged her to do so. I took these kids under my wing several years ago, and I do still care about them, though it’s very different now that they are older and their behavior is really bad (especially the girl). She then went on to say she was confused as to why my two girls got two roles and she didn’t. I just politely shrugged that off.

During the meeting, my former friend sat on the complete opposite side of the auditorium by himself. Even when his daughter came over to sit with me again, he didn’t even turn to glance my way. If that’s how he wants to play it, so be it, but what a complete ass. I fully intended on saying a polite hello this evening, and not having things be ugly. I had no intentions of sitting with him or starting up a conversation, but I’m not in high school, I wasn’t going to ignore him. Jackass! So for a little perspective, I sent my friend an IM…she agreed that he was a jackass and mentioned that he posted something about finding “the one” on Facebook, so it made further sense because I’m really only needed when he needs a friend. If he’s got a girlfriend, he doesn’t need advice on the kids, or help from me. And good luck to her! As sarcastic as that sounds, I truly only wish him well, but a person who says things as cruel as he does to other people (not talking about me here, just talking about his every day FB life) isn’t really a happy person on the inside. Finding a wonderful person can make you feel awesome for a long time, but sooner or later, the fact that you’re a miserable person on the inside comes out…unless she’s a psychotherapist or something :)

Other than that the meeting was fine and my older daughter had her first practice today. She had a blast. My younger one starts tomorrow morning and then they have a practice together in the afternoon and somewhere in the middle I have to be at a football game for my son. This is the time of year where having an autoimmune disease and being a mom is really tough. I want to do everything and be everywhere for my kids. I love everything about my kids’ activities and I love being there to support them in whatever they do. I won’t lie, though, when I looked at the Nutcracker schedule for October with both girls having two roles and one of the dance buildings not being open yet for the year…I’m nervous. There are days when I have practices in two different towns a few hours apart, and I know I have my son’s stuff to do in between there, too. Or even worse, i I have to drag him along to Nutcracker, he is not a happy camper!

I am looking forward to going to the endocrinologist this week and hopefully digging a bit deeper into what’s going on with me. If I can tackle the hair loss, the exhaustion, and the weight gain, that would be a huge start. Heck, I’d even just start with let’s take on the exhaustion! I know I’m running on adrenaline today. I’m excited for my kids and that does factor in. I’m going to crash on Mondays, which I suppose is the best day of the week that could happen on, as I don’t have to leave the house on Mondays.

I have also been fighting a tension headache/migraine for the past few days. Between the ice and the muscle relaxers, I’m keeping it at bay, but I’m definitely not at 100%. Today it was pouring rain and cold, which meant hip, foot, and hand pain. I really notice it in my legs after I’ve been sitting for a while. I just can’t get up and start walking like a normal person. Standing up and beginning to walk is more of a process now. Getting out of the car is difficult. There is the moving one leg at a time and the the actual getting up.

I like my car better because it’s an SUV and I short, so I’m getting down out of the car. When I have to take the other family car it’s not exactly my style. It’s a Mercedes coup and it’s small and low. I suppose I should like it. First and foremost, it was free. Free is good. It was my father-in-laws car before he passed away and when my husband took over his business (I won’t even get started on that ordeal because it is book-worthy) he needed a better car to get him to all the buildings that the family owns. It sounds like we’re doing super doesn’t it? On paper we are…just not in our check book. We have tenants that haven’t paid rent in months but the commercial space is so large we can’t get anyone else to take it. It’s more drama than I need to share at this point. I’ll save that for a day when I’m upset with my in-laws :)

My point was, when I drive the Mercedes, I have a tough time getting out of the car. And you’re thinking, cry me a river, bitch! I know. I have a car, I’m lucky enough to have a roof over my head and three beautiful kids. Despite having special needs, they could be more perfect to me and nothing makes me more proud than being their mom. So yes, I have my issues. Some sound silly when I write them out in a blog post, but still I’m a person in pain and that sucks. It sucks not knowing how I’m going to feel tomorrow or the next day.

I have to wake up early for church tomorrow to bring my kids to CCD. I’m not even tired, But I’m hoping Beverly Hills, 90210 will put me to sleep. Good night all!

 

 

 

Insomnia Again

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I should be sleeping. If you’re reading this shortly after it’s posted, you should be sleeping, too! Not being able to sleep just plain sucks. I took 10mg of melatonin a few hours ago along with a xanax. Usually that combination is enough to make me tired by 11-11:30PM, but tonight it’s not doing the trick–not even close. I can’t even say there is something bothering me that’s keeping me awake. Today was relatively uneventful.

I went into the pediatrician’s office and it was my slowest day there in weeks. I was actually able to catch up on a few other things. My pain level is low and I’m not feeling bad at all. So why the hell am I wide awake? I have no idea. I’m one of those people that has a very tough time shutting down for the night. Sure, I hear you saying, turn the computer off. Turn the television off and it will be easier to sleep, but it’s not like I haven’t tried that. I find that to be even more frustrating because then it’s just me alone with my thoughts, and sometimes that’s not a great thing. I tend to overthink things when I have spare time.

I can almost laugh at the idea of spare time. What mom of three with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Raynaud’s has spare time? My spare time is usually spent napping during the day whenever I can catch a few minutes of alone time. My house is a complete disaster, yet my nap comes first and I’ve learned to be okay with that. There are days I wish I was a neat freak, but I also know it would put a lot more stress on my body if I didn’t stop and rest when I need to.

Lately I’ve been really trying to listen to my own body and let that dictate what I can and can’t do. I didn’t get to my cardio workout today, mostly because it was rainy and cold and I couldn’t walk outside. Tomorrow there will be no excuses. My calves and shins with be much better by tomorrow so after my class, I’m walking or getting on the stupid elliptical. At least I can say I haven’t been eating too many snacks. I’ve been stick to regular meals and not having snacks unless I am really hungry.

I did get some rather bad news today about my uncle. He’s my mom’s step-brother and that family tree has a lot of crooked and broken branches since my mother’s death. In the years since my mom passed away, this uncle cut ties with the rest of the family except me. My mom was the family peace maker and I somehow took over that role, mostly because I’m kind to all of them. I don’t talk about any of them badly, and I really do try and understand each of their side.

My cousin posted on Facebook today that his father was entering a hospice facility. We haven’t spoken since my grandmother passed away a few years ago and there was a big fiasco with the will. This particular uncle wanted to hire a lawyer and sue another uncle. Long story short, my brother and I were told by my grandmother that her will was split two ways between her two children with half going to my mom’s biological brother and half to be split between my brother and I since my mother was no longer living. When the will was read, everything went to my mom’s brother. We knew my grandmother had opted to cut the two step-brothers out of the will, and I advised against it because of the drama it would cause afterward, little did I know, I’d be involved in the drama and my uncle would walk away with everything and send us a letter postmarked from France with a check for $5,000 that was portioned to us from the will. Suffice it to say, if the will was what my grandmother had told us, it would have been closer to $150,000.

I had a choice. Do I cut off everyone over my anger when I really have no other connection to my mom? I was hurt and pissed off, but I made the decision to not discuss it again with them and move forward. We know my uncle convinced her to change the will, but there is nothing we can do to change it. It’s my mom’s brother and I needed to let go of my anger. That didn’t happen over night, but it did happen (not that I don’t have my moments).

Anyway, I haven’t seen my mom’s step-brother since my grandmother’s funeral. They live in another state and hate my mom’s biological brother. Are you following this? Is every family this crazy? To be honest, individually, I think they are all good people. They just have a grudge against each other stemming from childhood. Their arguments go back to silly things like a typewriter my grandmother gave to one grandkid at Christmas. Ridiculous things! I guess I’m just wondering at the end of my uncle’s life if he’s thinking of some of those moments and realizing how truly unimportant they were in the whole scheme of things. He hasn’t really spoken to his own biological brother in years (and yes, I talk to him, too).

I don’t know. If nothing else today I realized that though I have made many mistakes in my life, I think I’ve always put my kids first. I’ve always let my family know that I love them, and no matter how pissed I am, I try to find a way to work it out. Now that’s easy to say because my immediate family rarely does anything to piss me off. My biggest issue is not being invited to my niece’s Christening (I’m still not over that). I love my brother’s wife to pieces. She’s truly a wonderful person, but her family always comes first and they area¬† huge family. In an effort to cut down on the party size, she had the godparents and grandparents only. Um…I only have one brother and he’s all I have. That was the one and only time I ever have told them I’ve been upset…and I was hurt. I got the invite after I expressed my feelings and opted to go to the church and not the party as a matter of principle.

It’s now 12:45 and I’m no closer to sleep, just stalling trying to sleep by jabbering on about my family dynamic. Families are just so odd. My life would have been a lot different if my mom was alive because she was the glue of the family. She did all the holidays. She was the only person who talked to everyone in the family. That fell to my shoulders at 14. We stopped doing big holidays and no one invited my brother and I to their family get togethers. We celebrated stuff with my dad and step-mother after that and it wasn’t the warm, Italian event we were used to. Not bad, just different.

Anyway, it’s time for me to pretend like I’m tired. Too late for an Ambien. This means I’m definitely going to need a nap tomorrow.

Happy Children Equal Happy Mom

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Today is the day. The day I spent waiting for the phone to ring with our Nutcracker results. The call came in at 10:50 and like any neurotic mom, I answered on the first ring, trying to sound casual. The results were in! My older daughter is a Lead Angel (a newly created role) and a Ginger Clown, and my younger daughter is a Scurry Mouse and an Angel. My younger daughter got exactly what she was hoping for. My older daughter didn’t get the roles she was hoping for, but I had a feeling she was going to be excited because I knew the main thing was she wanted to be in something other than the Battle scene this year.

She was a soldier and an angel last year, so she was so excited to be named a lead angel, even though we have know idea what a lead angel does, and the ginger clowns get to run and be silly, and I have a feeling she got that because she did a really great cartwheel as her audition trick and a lot of the ginger clowns do cartwheels. So, thankfully, there was a lot of happiness and joy in my house this afternoon!

My niece is also a Scurry Mouse and an Angel, which is, well…I guess good. The girls are happy. I just think of the Nutcracker as my thing to do with my girls. I’m bitchy that way. The in-laws always hated the Nutcracker until my niece did it. My mother-in-law fell asleep during my older daughter’s first performance. I had to tell my husband to wake her up before my daughter went on stage.

I wish I can say I kept to my workout regimen and did some cardio today, but I did teach a really tough class with a lot of lunges. I just didn’t have the energy to do cardio today. I’ll get back on it tomorrow with a long walk, and possibly attempt the hills again since my shins seemed better today. I did a lot of shin warmups and stretches.

Tonight is significantly colder than it has been the past few nights. I bought myself a new heated throw blanket, but I haven’t put it on the bed yet. I have my heating pad in my low back, and I used it on my hands this morning. I’m managing. I just feel like I can’t stand saying that. I’m managing. Is that the way you get through the day, too? I mean, it’s not that I never have a good day. I have good days, but I don’t remember the last time I had a completely pain-free day. It comes down to whether the pain is manageable or not.

I can see where people with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc. suffer from depression. It’s not easy feeling like crap day-in and day-out. I mean, I have days where I’m thinking, wow–I’m good enough to go for a long walk, but that doesn’t mean my hands aren’t hurting or my hip isn’t bothering me. It just means the pain isn’t so severe that I can’t do anything. I think that’s where most people get confused. First of all, it all goes back to the fact that people with autoimmune issues look fine, for the most part (unless I’m using my flamingo cane!). On the average day I may have a small limp, but it’s unlikely anyone would really notice.

I don’t discuss my RA, Raynaud’s or fibro 24/7. I blog here to get my autoimmune thoughts out, but I don’t discuss it all day. The real reason behind that is so few people really understand anyway. I have my Facebook support groups, and people that I know who are dealing with autoimmune issues, but other than that, people sympathize, but they don’t really get it.

I didn’t intend to have an autoimmune rant tonight, but that’s kind of what this has turned into. Sorry about that. Sometimes you just need to let it out. I think I was more let down by my own body yesterday when I wanted to jog and I could hardly walk the track. Tomorrow is a new day. I had a lot of positives today and I’m so thankful for that. Happy kids equal a very happy mom! It meant the world to see my girls so thrilled about their Nutcracker roles. Everything else was secondary.

Shin Splints, Fat, Nutcracker, Football and More

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I just couldn’t decide on a title. It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog so I have quite a bit to catch up on, though not that much news in terms of my health. I guess I’ll get that update done first. I’m huge. Enormous, even. That’s just not changing, so I can’t wait until next week when I finally have the appointment with the endocrinologist. I am a little afraid that he’s going to shrug me off because my initial blood work does not show a thyroid issue, but with a strong family history of hypothyroidism and the fact that I have every other symptom on the list, I’m at least hoping he’ll do more testing. I’m not eating enough to be this fat!

In similar news, I’m back trying cardio even though it’s not that easy. Yesterday I walked 3 miles in my neighborhood, and not the flat 3 miles. I walked the huge hill route, which I regretted on the way back to my house, which is all uphill. I was able to do it, and I’m not sure who was huffing and puffing more, my fat dog or me! In an effort to continue the cardio trend, I went to the track today in the hope that I could job a bit, but when I started I realized that I did too much yesterday with the hills and my shins were in terrible pain. I didn’t want to push myself further so I opted to walk the track (in pain) for a mile and a half.

It was a lot less than I wanted to do, but it was still something. Tomorrow I have to teach my class in the morning and then I will attempt to do my flat walk through the neighborhood or if my shins are really hurting, then I’ll do my boring elliptical instead. I’m trying…

Tomorrow is also the big day where we get the call about roles for the Nutcracker. My girls are so excited. I am in a panic at the moment. I know my younger daughter is fine. My older daughter would really be happy with any part that isn’t in the Battle scene, because she’s been both a mouse and a soldier, and she really wants to do a more ballet role. We put down that the role(s) she was hoping for were the party scene or a flower bud (the youngest of the flowers in the flower dance). I know she’d be great at either one, but I don’t know if she showed enough ballet. So here I am praying that tomorrow’s call goes well.

Last year when she got the role of a soldier she was devastated because “that’s a boy role.” She ended up seeing it through and having a good time. She even asked for a second role and got it. The thing is, she’s not this outgoing kid that stands out in an audition. She doesn’t jump to the front and raise her hand when they ask who can do something. She’s very shy, but getting better all the time. If you can spare some positive vibes for me tomorrow, please pray that I get a good phone call. To see her get a role that she really wants would be so awesome.

And now my football update. First of all, it’s not a newsflash that I’ve I’ve learned anything about football. I still don’t know anything. BUT…I did see my son make a tackle! It was in a play right after he did something wrong and I saw his dad shaking his head in frustration. He just doesn’t think my son has the drive to play football. He’s too afraid. Then he went into the next play and took the ball carrier down. Even I knew that was good! I got a picture of it, too. The best part of it was talking with my son later that night and hearing him say that he thought it was his best game ever because he felt like a valuable player. He was so proud of himself.

Oh…back to my rheumatoid arthritis for a moment, I’m still really suffering with stiffness and pain in my knees. I’ve decided to wait until after I see the endocrinologist before I call my rheumatologist to get in for an appointment. I’d like to see if the endo is really going to do anything for me before I discuss going back on the Plaquenil, but that seems to be where I’m headed. I don’t think I’m mentally ready for methatrexate. I think that’s the next step after Plaquenil. I believe I’d try the Plaquenil again before I’d try something different. I stopped it because my issues were really stemming around the fibromyalgia. The deep tissue muscle pain in my shoulders and under my head were bothering me terribly, but my joints (with the exception of my hands) were doing okay.

As the colder weather is starting, my hands are starting with the stiffness and swelling. My feet were pretty darn swollen after yesterday’s walk, too. But, what’s bothering me the most are my knees and hip because those hurt while I’m standing and walking. The pain and joint stiffness are just making things a lot more difficult. So, the decision is, that I’ll make another appointment with the rheumatologist after I speak with the endocrinologist. Do you ever feel like your life is seeing specialists?

Quick recap:

Endocrinologist-October 9th

Nutcracker decisions- tomorrow (I might need several Xanax)

Football-not as horrid as usual

Knees-suck

Have a good night everyone!

Pain Level 9

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I’m not going to lie. I’m in terrible pain at the moment. Every time I try and get up my knees are so stiff and it hurts to walk. This is fairly new for me. It’s usually my hip, hands, and feet. My knees have never been an issue, but wow, today just got worse as it went on. I suppose I should start by updating on yesterday in case anyone is on the edge of their seat about the Nutcracker auditions or my son’s self-planned birthday party.

Yesterday was stressful for me. I don’t know why I panic so badly. I think it’s that I know my girls get nervous, and I just get so excited and want them to do well. We got there ridiculously early. They looked adorable. They were warmed up and ready to go. My little one gave the director a huge high five when he got there, so she was feeling comfortable. They both did really well during the audition. My little one isn’t as graceful, but dammit, she’s freakin adorable. She looked like she was having a blast up there, and that’s what mattered.

The only drama happened when the kids were given optional time to get up alone and do a “trick” or anything they want to show a skill to the director. Both of my girls had something planned. My older daughter (age 9) really wants a more ballet role this year so she worked for the past few weeks on three different moves she was going to do. She was going to do a cartwheel, and two different ballet moves to show him she had the ballet skills. Well, she panicked. She was first in line and she did her cartwheel and then walked off the stage. She did a beautiful cartwheel, but she wanted to do more. She looked at me and I just smiled and gave her a thumbs up, trying to assure her it was okay. None of the other kids did a lot of moves. This would have just set her apart form the others, which is what we were going for, but she still rocked the audition.

When they were done on stage she came over to me and started crying. She asked if I was upset with her and I told her I couldn’t be more proud of both of them. Just getting up there in a situation like that is huge, especially for my older daughter who is shy. And she rocked the audition. She has beautiful lines in her dancing. I don’t know whether it will be enough to get her the role she is dreaming of, but to be honest, she didn’t get the role she wanted last year and she still had a great time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but my goal of last night was to assure her how proud I was of her and that I thought she was terrific. There were a lot of kids that didn’t even get up to do a special trick, and both of my girls did. They tried something and that in itself says something about them.

Now we have to wait for a week and a half to find out what parts they get. This is the stressful part for me. I can’t wait!!

My son had his sleepover and that went okay. I have big concerns about him, though. While this year seems to be going better than last, my son is so insecure and he embellishes stories to fit in. I don’t know what else to do. I’ve talked and talked to him about it. I’ve punished him, I’ve tried to explain that he just needs to be himself. I’m at my wits end with the fibbing. I get that he wants to fit in, but he doesn’t see that people see that he’s making crap up. This is causing me a lot of stress. I talked a lot to him tonight and I really hope I got through to him by being brutally honest about how another parent brought it up to me. I know he was very embarrassed, but he had to hear it. I mean he’s not saying he’s got a million dollars or anything crazy, but he’s embellishing his performance at football, etc. He’s saying he made the tackle, when he definitely helped, but he wasn’t the sole person making the play. That kind of thing. It really comes down to his insecurity about his ability in sports. He isn’t as good as his friends, and he tries so hard to fit in.

This parenting stuff is so hard. I see why he’s doing it, but I need to get through to him because he’s finally made some nice friends and gotten away from the kids that weren’t so nice to him last year.

Fast forward to today, and I think I was just completely exhausted from all the anxiety yesterday. I did manage to get a nap in the afternoon, but my legs, which were sore from my class on Thursday, just got worse as the day went on. My hamstrings were tight from me doing some deadlifts on Thursday morning. That isn’t the pain that’s the issue though. I was sitting on the floor watching some clips on the computer with my daughter and I went to get up and I couldn’t straighten my legs. My knees were so stiff and in so much pain, it took me a few minutes to get up off the floor. I’m 42! It’s very frustrating. This is the first time in a while that I’ve thought to myself that I need to call the rheumatologist and talk about going back on the plaquenil.

Yesterday and today were a lot cooler in temperature, but we’re talking 65-70. We’re not even talking frost yet, but Monday is the first day of autumn and I have to reconcile the fact that with the colder weather the pain is going to get worse, not better. If I remember correctly, the plaquenil took a few months to really kick in for me, so I really need to think about what the heck I’m doing. My plan was to wait until I saw the endocrinologist on October 9th before I made any changes, but I may change that plan. This is something else that I need to get used to. My “plan” might not stick, and my body will likely be dictating the plan from now on.

Did I mention that autoimmune diseases suck? Rheumatoid arthritis sucks! I have never understood what it’s like to have knee pain. I taught step aerobics for years and had a lot of people who had knee issues here and there, but I’ve never had stiffness there. It’s always been the hip for me. I did some light RA reading today and found that it does fluctuate and doesn’t always hurt the same joints. Oh joy! Surprise me RA…I am so excited to see what hurts tomorrow. I’m not going to let it ruin my day, though. I have my flamingo cane. I have to go to church for the first time in months because the kids start CCD, and then my son has a football game.

I need to participate in life, pain or not. It’s definitely easier to do without pain, though.

 

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