So the Diet…

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I had my checkup today. There is good news and bad. The good news is that my bloodwork came back decent this time around. A few months ago my kidney function was off and it had me stressed out, but that was back to normal. My doctor reminded me that I really need to be diligent about drinking my water.

The bad news…I did 6 weeks of food coaching and I’m fatter. I thought I lost weight. I’m in a smaller size of jeans! So I was mildly devastated. I know this past week has not been my best. I ate rice pudding twice at the hospital. I had a scone and a blueberry muffin. I had pizza. We were eating out of the hospital cafeteria and I could have made better choices.

I definitely have not made time to exercise and quite honestly, making time for my kids and sleep are higher on the list right now. I need to try and get back on track despite everything that’s going on.

Then there is the RA piece. At my physical this afternoon, I told my doctor that my RA has really been okay. Now a few hours later my hips are killing me. They are really stiff. I haven’t had this in a long time. I’m sure the stress is adding to it, but I’m going to see how it is tomorrow before I take an Alleve.

Who knew at 47 I’d have all these health issues. My health coach wanted me to start thinking more positively, or even less negatively. She said I don’t have to lie to myself, but I need to stop being mean to myself, too. I am disappointed that I didn’t lose weight, but I’ll start from here and I think I need to weigh myself daily. I hate seeing the number, but maybe it will keep me from gaining more. Maybe I’ll think twice before eating something delicious HAHA.

And…my German Shepherd ate a half a tray of lasagna tonight so I don’t have to worry about finishing that. I love him, but he is a jackass today.

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Taking Care of Everyone But Yourself

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We all do it. I think it’s a mom thing. We make sure everyone we love is taken care of. We are there to support other people. But, somewhere in the midst of caring for everyone else, we often forget to take care of ourselves.

I’m realizing I’m at that point right now, but that doesn’t mean I know how to change it. As I mentioned in my previous post, my step-mother is dying. I’ve spent most of the last week at the hospital with my dad. I worry that he might not hear something the nurse or doctor says. I worry that he’s not eating enough. And, I worry that his world is crumbling around him and there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.

Then there are my kids. My son talked to me tonight completely not understanding the fact that if the cancer is at a point where it’s too bad, it’s not worth it to continue treatment and we will just help her be comfortable. He said that’s like we are choosing to have her die. He just can’t see the part that the cancer is killing her no matter what we try to do to slow it down.

My son is 15. He’s a typical teen. He can be a real jackass sometimes when I have to yell at him to get off the Xbox or clean his room. But, he is so full of heart. He cares so deeply for my dad and step-mother. He sees them more than any of the other grandchildren because he’ll just go down and watch basketball and they take him golfing all the time.

My girls are aware of what’s going on. My older daughter asks a lot. I think my younger daughter is in denial and afraid to ask.

So, as a family, we are going to the oncologist’s office to talk on Friday. I get the sense that my dad would rather that the doctor explains everything, which means it’s bad. So in the midst of making a lasagna as soon as I got home so I can make sure my dad is eating, and trying to talk my son through his feelings, I’m exhausted. I’m emotionally drained, but I have to keep going. Somehow we find strength when we need to.

My plan for right now is a Xanax so I can help shut down my thoughts tonight and get some rest. I miss my pets. I miss my kids. But right now, my dad needs me and I’m not sure he’s ever needed me in his life. He’s never asked for help. That’s what makes this even more difficult.

I’m waiting for my rheumatoid arthritis to flare. There is only so much stress my body can take before it starts fighting itself for no reason. Autoimmune diseases are so odd that way. It’s like “ok, you’re going through a lot, it’s time to attack your joints and make it even more fun.”

I’ll keep reminding myself that I’ll get through it.

 

 

Grieving Is a Process

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Do you start grieving after someone has died? Or, do you start grieving the moment you know you are going to lose them? Do you start feeling the pangs of sadness wondering what it will be like when you can’t just pick up the phone and call them? They won’t be at holidays and birthdays, dance recitals and football games. Some people live for every moment they have left and don’t think about what’s around the corner. I envy those people.

I’ve had a lot of loss in my life. My mom had cancer for the first time when I was 11. I look at my daughter who just turned 12 and only now do I see what a baby I really was. She died when I was 14, the age of my older daughter. You never get over the loss of your mother. I mean, you replace the intense pain with good memories, but there are times that it hits you like a ton of bricks and simply paralyzes you. Then there are other times where you can talk and laugh about your memories, finding comfort in them.

I lost my step-father a few years ago. In fact, he was in my life longer than my mother. They were married about 9 years but he remained in my life until I was 45. He was my rock and once again, I was devastated.  In between the two, I lost my grandmother, which felt like losing a mother all over again.

All of this brings me to now. My step-mother (my dad’s wife) has cancer. She had cancer a few years ago but it came back. It’s bad. She had a procedure a few weeks ago for a blood clot and shortly after it was like she had dementia. My dad can’t really leave her alone. They missed my daughter’s birthday. I knew it was bad. I pretended they called while she was out.

I went to the house the next day so my dad could go to his own doctor’s appointment. I’ll admit, I was really scared. I didn’t know what I’d feel like if she didn’t remember me. What if she brought up memories of when I was a teenager and we hated each other. We’ve grown to love each other so much since then. She’s been the most amazing grandmother to my kids. But none of that happened. She slept the entire time I was there.

My dad stopped by today with my daughter’s birthday gift. We talked for a bit in the driveway. He wanted to know all about my son’s golf tryouts. My dad and step-mother are big golfers, and they were the ones who got my son into golf. They take him golfing every summer to their golf club. I offered to go stay with my step-mother if my dad needed to get out because he mentioned that she turned the shower on and didn’t remember doing it. It was then that he told us their friends were coming over on Wednesday so he could go clean out their lockers at the golf club. They would not be joining this year. He told my son that his grandmother wasn’t well enough and he said, “And me, well…” and he fought back tears. Then he quickly left.

I should have done so many things. I should have grabbed my dad and hugged him. I should have said something but in that moment I didn’t know what to do. I looked at my kids who were blindsided by this news. They knew their grandmother had cancer, but I hadn’t told them about the dementia because we hoped it might be temporary after the procedure.

My dad and I are terrible communicators with each other. My dad isn’t a communicator. I think that’s probably why my mom and dad got divorced in the first place. My dad loves me more than the world, but he doesn’t always say the words. We don’t always say the words. I need to figure out what to do to help him, other than just bring food over and offer to let him get out for a few hours.

I need to help my kids and I don’t know where to begin. My son is 15 and he thinks the world of his grandmother. My parents think the world of their grandchildren, but my son goes down there and hangs out with them. They golf together. They watch basketball together. They are very close. He just kept saying, “She’s going to be okay, Mom. She’s strong. She’s going to get through this.” Only she’s not.

And so I’m grieving. I’m grieving what I’m going to lose. I’m grieving what kids are going to lose. I’m scared for my dad. I guess I’m at the age where we start taking care of our parents. My dad is fine physically and mentally. He’s in good shape for the most part, but soon I have to think of him alone. Soon I’ll have to have conversations about him living alone…maybe getting a house with an in-law apartment (he’ll hate that idea). He’ll hate the idea of a life alert thing. Luckily, I’m 1/4 mile away and I can stop by, but our relationship will change a lot. I don’t know that either one of us are ready for this. I don’t know where to start. But seeing my dad cry was awful. Knowing that he’s hurting and losing the love of his life…if we could only have more time.

 

Don’t take time for granted. I think I’d do things differently. I wonder if I tell her how much I loved her right know if she’ll really know. And I pray for my children’s sake that she can have a good visit and remember them, even if she’s not totally herself. They want to hug her and tell her they love her.

I’m a downer tonight but I needed to get this out. I’m sorry 😦

 

Turning 14

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It should be another birthday, another year to celebrate, but when my daughter turned 14 last week it hit me really hard. I was 14 when my mother died of ovarian cancer. So, there was a flood of feelings I just wasn’t expecting. I thought about my relationship with my daughter. We are very close. If I were to die tomorrow, would she have enough memories for the rest of her life? Would she have enough things to remember me by? Would I have taught her enough? Could she possibly know how much I love her?

Now, God willing, I have a lot longer to live. But, when you lose a parent at a young age, you learn quickly that anything can be taken from you. Nothing lasts forever. I have friends who have both parents and their grandparents. I’m so envious of the time they’ve had. I wonder what my life would be like if I still had my mom. I wish she knew my kids, or could have given me advice during some dark times in my 20s.

I’m not my mother. And, I pray that I live long enough to see all three of my children get married and have children. But today as I went out shopping to Target and Home Goods with my daughter, I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed with emotion.

I’m sure this is likely compounded at the moment because my step-mother is not doing well. She has cancer and I know our time is limited. I don’t know how to talk to my kids about it. They know she’s sick. They know it’s not good. I just can’t get the words out to tell them how I feel. I don’t suppose there are people who are great at dealing with death, but I’m someone who sucks at it. I’m scared for her die. My kids are close to her and I love her very much.

So in the midst of “14,” I have a lot of other things going on. My migraines have been horrendous. I’ve had them for two to three days at a time every other week. I’m working like a maniac and I feel like I’m not getting enough done. Tomorrow I need to make a calendar so I can start to plan my week better. This winging it isn’t working for me.

I need to make some changes to the things I can control. We shall see how this works out.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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It’s been a long weekend. My older daughter had a dance competition both Friday and Saturday night. Today, I went grocery shopping and did some cleaning. My daughter has a friend sleeping over because tomorrow is a snow day. It seemed to be a nice evening and then all hell broke loose. We asked my son to get off the XBox so his sister and her friend could use the tv. He had been on it for a few hours and enough was enough. He stalled and was rude about it.

My husband told him to get off of it and my son went into his room, slamming the door. That didn’t sit well with my husband who went in there screaming. I’m trying to shut everyone up because we had company. It turned into my husband wanting to shut my son’s phone off for life, my son wanting to call 911 because my husband shoved him into our bedroom to talk (because he didn’t want to be yelling in the hallway). They both over-reacted. I don’t know how to fix their relationship. I actually don’t even think I can.

Was my son rude? Absolutely! Should he have a consequence? Definitely! Would I handle things the way my husband does? Probably not. We are very different people. The two of them are oil and water. My son takes everything my husband says and twists it around into my husband picking on him and hating him. It crushes my husband inside. My husband is a terrible communicator. I know he tries his best, but he doesn’t do emotion that well. My son is like me. He’s over-emotional. I wish I knew what to do. I backed my husband up because my son was definitely wrong and no matter how many times he said that he didn’t mean to slam the door, I don’t buy it.

On another note, I’m blowing my diet. I was doing really well and then yesterday at the competition I saw a photo of myself. I wanted to cry. It was like all my hard work and the fact that my clothes were feeling loose didn’t matter. All I saw was huge. Today I ate like 10 coconut clusters. I don’t even want to admit this to my health coach. I should, though. I’m a damn failure at everything. The only good news is that I ate everything between 12-8 so at least I stuck to that.

I just wanted something sweet and then I couldn’t stop. I guess that’s sugar addiction. I just need to stop sugar all together. I think that’s the only way this will work. I have to pick up the pieces and keep trying. My doctor’s appointment is a month from today and I wanted to be 140 or lower. I need to do this. I will re-group and start again tomorrow. Send prayers. I need all the help I can get. And, if anyone has any parenting suggestions, I’ll take them!

 

Weight Loss Coaching

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I don’t know what I’ve done! I’ve signed up for 6 weeks of weight loss coaching. My friend looks amazing and she said it really helped how she looks at food. I figured nothing else has worked for me so let me give it a try. Today was my first session. We talked about me having too much on my plate, figuratively and literally.

She wants me to keep a food diary for the next few days and try and cut out sugar (she said flour, too, but let’s not get crazy. A girl needs to live.) I am doing the intermittent fasting and only eating between 12-8.  She asked me to try to keep it to two meals with no snacking. Say what??? I was working on eating carrots and celery for snacking and keeping the cookies to two a day. This could be tough.

But, I need to try. So…I need stop thinking about any kind of enjoyment from food (HAHA) and just think about it as something I need to live. I’m sure that’ll work. I also started a meditation series, actually two. One on mindful eating and one on cravings. I kind of like those. They make me happy. It’s all about recognizing when you are having cravings, but not acting quickly on them. Accepting that yes, I’d love 24 cannoli right now, but that might not be the best decision.

So here I am. I’m starting a food diary tomorrow. I’m a little afraid I’ll fail at something again, but what I noticed in speaking with her was that I’m sad. She asked why I wanted to put my energy into this goal and I said that I wanted to cry when I see myself in a mirror. I mean, I’m okay when I do my hair, but when I see a photo or a full-length mirror I want to cry.

I think I might be sad in more aspects of my life than I realized. I never expected that I’d have an autoimmune disease. Heck, I never thought twice about have one. I was teaching many step and conditioning classes each week. I need to turn this around. But then I think, I’ve said this before…a lot. And it hasn’t happened. I need to make this happen. For me. I want to be happier.

Wish me luck. I’m going to have to write down birthday cake in that damn diary. My daughter’s birthday is next Tuesday and we are celebrating with my family on Sunday. One day of sugar a week is what I’m telling myself is okay. Because come on. To say that I’m never going to eat sugar again is stupid. I’ll fail at that.

 

Bloodwork Is a Mess Again

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I haven’t blogged in a while because I suck. But, mostly because I work too much. I have a super fun new job where I get to write about all sorts of things for an education company. I absolutely love it, but it doesn’t leave a lot of time for me to do other things.

I did go to my rheumatologist a week ago and had blood work. My kidney function is once again off. My doctor told me this is my norm and that it has happened a few times and then goes back to normal. I need to stay more hydrated and take as little Alleve as I can. I’ve been soooo much better with the Alleve. And, there are days where I’m freakin amazing with my water drinking. Then there are days like today where I’m pretty sure I only had one glass of water! I need one of those light up water bottles, but instead of just lighting up, I need it to flat out yell at me!

So, I have until the beginning of April to fix it. I’m also trying to drop 10-15 pounds by then. I can’t stand looking at myself anymore. I’ve been doing yoga a few times a week and I really like it. I’m just doing videos at home. With three kids in all sorts of activities, it’s what I can fit in right now, and it’s a tough workout. That’s all I care about.

So there are goals. There are cut up vegetables and protein balls in the refrigerator. I’m off to a good start. But then there is stress…did I mention we are renovating a bathroom? I may lose my mind before the end of the week and it’s absolutely freezing out so I’m going to do the math for you. Freezing temps + open walls and ceilings = my cats coming into the bedroom and dropping a dead mouse on my purse this morning. They were so proud until I screamed like a maniac and dropped all sorts of f bombs. My daughters didn’t know what was going on. HAHA! It was not the best start to a day!

With the freezing temps also comes stiff joints and RA pain. My hands have the worst of it. I’ve been doing a project for a book and I’m sending a million emails. My pointer finger just locked up last night. It was very painful. It comes with the territory of winter. It could be worse. I think it’s Michigan or Missouri that it’s like -30. I’m trying not to complain with 10 degrees. (Okay, I’m complaining, but I feel awful for anyone that’s in those frigid temps!).

The wonderful update is after 6 years of denying me, my insurance finally approved my migraine medicine. My doctor’s office appealed it (again) saying I tried three different meds and nothing worked. It took weeks, but I got 10 pills of Maxalt, the only thing that’s ever worked for me. December was hellish with migraines. I had one Christmas and was in bed the entire next day, then had another two-day migraine a few days later. All I’ve been doing is ice. I’m so happy to be able to take something again. Praying it still works as well as it did.

So that’s my update for now. I still need to lose weight. Still not feeling overly pretty. Still have RA and I’m really hoping not to have kidney issues. More soon!

 

 

When Your Friend Is an Asshole

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So I had an argument with a friend about two weeks ago. It shouldn’t have been an argument, so I was caught off-guard. You see, my friend used the word “retard” in a text. I simply said that the word is really offensive. He said it was just a word and that he had no intention of not using it. So, I said that I respectfully asked for him to not use it around me.

It was around then that he lost his mind saying I let a word have too much power over me and I’m a snowflake. I believe I’m also a few other things. I could go back and look or maybe they’ll come to me as I write. The point is, he wouldn’t let it go. He said I should respect his right to use the word.

I said, great could you just not use it to me? Is it that important of a word to you, that you need to use it to me? Apparently, it IS that important to him. He said, “I want to use that word and you are asking me to censor my feelings.”

I stopped responding which was when he started in with calling me immature for being angry over a word and that I allow a word to have power over me. When I stop acting like a child, let him know. You get the idea. I wrote back that I respect myself enough to know when to walk away from a situation and that’s the last thing I said.

So why am I writing about it now? Honestly, it bothered me a LOT that night. Not the loss of the friendship so much. This person has drifted in and out of my life at his convenience. I wish him nothing but the best. I was upset that any person felt so strongly for their “right” to use a word that’s so hurtful to others. Like they need to use it. They have some sort of point to prove and that point was worth a friendship. It’s kind of sad, yet kind of interesting. People are odd.

Listen, I know there are racist people, prejudice people, unkind people, etc. I’m not naive. But usually, these people deny the fact that they are such things. I guess what I can say is he doesn’t pretend to be something he is not. But, I definitely don’t need to be around it.

 

Hitting an Emotional Wall

 

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It’s been a really long time since I have written a blog. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I have written a few and then deleted them because I thought they sucked or I thought I’d get myself into trouble for saying too much.

I don’t handle loss well. I mean, who really does? But I don’t feel emotionally equipped to handle another big loss in my life. I lost my mom when I was 14. I lost my grandmother, whom I was extremely close with when I was in my early thirties. I lost my step-father two years ago next month. I wasn’t expecting that loss. We didn’t know he was that sick. I think he didn’t want us to see him that sick and they also didn’t realize it was that bad. I saw him for the last real time, and knew he wasn’t going to be with us much longer. I was glad we had the chance to talk and I could tell him how much he meant to me. You see…he didn’t have to stay in my life after my mom died.  Years later he went on and married again and they didn’t need to include my brother in and I in their lives. But they did. Not once were we ever treated like we were anything less than his kids. I maintain a good relationship with his wife now. She’s one of the loveliest people you could know.

So that hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized it was not only losing him as a person, it was losing one more link to my mom. Right now my step-mother’s cancer has returned. I get so much anxiety that I don’t know how to ask. I’m afraid I’m going to react terribly and make things worse. I asked my dad tonight when he came to a cheer event for my daughter and he said the cancer is growing and they either want her to do chemo again, or a study at Yale, or both. I know it’s not good.

She hasn’t been coming to a lot of things because she’s not feeling great. I don’t know what to say. We’ve not always had an easy relationship. In fact, I’d classify the teen years as horrendous. But we’ve grown closer as I’ve gotten older. She’s a wonderful grandmother to my kids and someone that I can count on. She’s that person that when you’re really sick, you want them to take you to the ER because you know ou husband will just annoy you, LOL.

So as I sit here in tears I’m asking myself how does someone truly prepare to lose a loved one. I don’t think you can. I think the answer is to spend as much time as you can with them. Have those quality moments. But the bottom line is, I’ll never be ready to say goodbye.

 

Pain…On Purpose

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I’ve been feeling ugly a lot lately. Every time I see a photo I either cry that I’m fat or ugly. My smile has been getting to me. I had braces when I was a teen but I hadn’t worn a retainer since I graduated high school and everything shifted, especially in the last 15 years. I’ve been embarrassed. So I decided I’d do something about it.

I tried ordering one of those Smile Direct kits and was very excited as I did the molds and sent them back. Then they said I needed to do more. Then again. Then again. Then they said I couldn’t do any more and I needed to go to a “Smile Center” but there isn’t one anywhere close to me. Also within that time I panicked after reading reports that things can go wrong without an orthodontist checking your teeth.

I decided a higher power was telling me that since it wasn’t working out, I should try to do Invisalign through the orthodontist. They gave me a good price since my kids already go there and I decided I do this for myself. I was a little put off though yesterday to learn that I needed to have things stuck to my teeth for the liners to cling to. I was kind of hoping when I took them off it wouldn’t be noticeable. Again…going back to being embarrassed. But here I am. I’m all in.

It’s day 2. My gums hurt like freakin hell from the edge of the aligners. My teeth are sore, but the good news is every now and then I can take them out and have a break. They are supposed to be on for like 22 hours a day. The girl at the orthodontist said she wears hers for about 20. I’m shooting for 21. She promised me if I stuck it out the first week it would get easier. Lord, I hope she’s right. I hate having any kind of sore in my mouth and the inside of my cheek is cut and my gum. It hurts.

I guess it will be worth it in a year. I will keep reminding myself that I’m doing this for me. I just now need to stop eating like a pig and lose weight for me. I just have a lot of my mind and I’m eating from stress.

I applied for a writing job on Tuesday and had to do a 1.5 hour test, writing an article at am 8th grade level and then modifying it to 3rd grade level. Then they had me do an editing sample. It was a lot of 1.5 hours. I think I did okay but would have done a lot better with 2 hours.

So far for the last two night I have dreamt that I did not get it. Actually the first night I dreamt that someone else didn’t get the job and I was sad for them. Last night I dreamt that I go an email that I didn’t get it. So I’m less confident. It would be a really fun job to have though and it’s 20 hours a week.

In the meantime, I’m still applying. My book job is done on June 15th and I’m trying to line something else up. I feel like I want to write more than edit, which is different for me. The last job writing for the educational company really was so much fun. I found that I enjoyed the revision process and making it better.

I just need a chance. The woman that I do the books for is tough. Last year was not stellar and I accept responsibility for that. I was dealing with the fact that I might have breast cancer and trying to proof the book by myself because they cut my budget so much. I’m not sure they really understand the amount of work it takes to do these books. It’s tough to do with the current budget but it’s kind of a catch 22. I know I’m worth so much more. I know they don’t have anyone who knows how to do the database. I don’t think anyone would do it for that price. Yet, I don’t want to lose the work.

Is this why women get paid less? We don’t want to lose work we like? We would rather keep work that makes us happy than ask for more money and fear losing it altogether? I have tough many times about handing the files back in June and saying, if you’re interested in doing the next edition with me, let’s talk early because I have other projects I’m working on and will need to see if I can fit it in. I need them to know I have choices and then can say, it’s not enough. But I need to actually HAVE choices.

It’s not difficult work, though. I enjoy it and it’s very flexible. This is why I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I’d welcome any advice because I’ve been stuck here for the past 3 years unable to make a decision. Help!!

 

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