Blogging Is Hard

wonka

 

I’ve written about 10 blogs since my last post. Most were about how hellish it was waiting for my genetic testing results. I decided they were all too boring and never posted them because I was whining. They told me the tests would take 3–5 weeks and I tried to be optimistic, which is not my strong point. I told myself I’d get the call in 3 weeks…then 4…then 5. Then I called to see if there was a problem, but nope. They just weren’t back yet.

Seven weeks later I got the call while I was teaching a class but I saw it was the hospital and answered it anyway. Happily I can report that my genetic testing is fine. I did not have the BRCA gene mutations or any of the other mutations they tested for. This was a HUGE relief.

I attributed my horrific anxiety to the waiting. Though I can’t say it was on my mind all the time, I figure subconsciously it was adding stress. I was waking up with panic attacks and that panic feeling would last all day unless I took a Xanax. I tried everything. Running (well as much as a girl with rheumatoid arthritis can run) did help.

I have one of those Couch to 5K apps and though I’m at a point where the running intervals are too long for me, I still keep going , or at least I was until the last two weeks. We’ve had temperatures over 90 every day and running doesn’t even remotely sound like fun. Instead, I spend 30 minutes swimming laps (again…RA girl, not a strong swimmer, sometimes with a damn pool noodle but kicking my legs the whole time and moving my arms). It’s enough to get my heart rate up and I’m doing something.

Even with that and the relief of my genetic testing news, I’m still struggling with my anxiety. I’ll hear the smallest thing and that will be it. Or sometimes it’s nothing specific and it will just come on out of nowhere.

I’ve been into my essential oils. I don’t want any of my doTerra friends to jump on me here because I love my doTerra oils, but I’m a broke girl…I found a few blends online that I have been diffusing that I think have really helped with my anxiety and they are like $4. I do think there is a correlation between scent and the mind. It doesn’t take the anxiety away, but it helps me.

My vent of the evening is probably one most people have at the moment. Have you had enough of people arguing politics on Facebook, Twitter, etc.? I try to stay out of it. Our country is in a scary place right now and I try and listen with an open mind when people talk. I can’t stand people who are so far in either direction that they can’t have a conversation and listen to someone else’s views. If that’s you, you are part of the problem. We need to get back to being able to listen and disagree without all hell breaking loose.

The Internet changed that for us. Memes changed that for us. We never had Bush/Clinton?Perot memes, but boy some of those would have been funny.

I have one Facebook friend who endlessly posts anti-Muslim things. I try to understand where it’s coming from and it’s a place of fear. She’s afraid for herself, her family, her country. I understand the fear. I don’t understand blaming an entire religion when we have many Muslim Americans fighting in our military against ISIS.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been political on this blog. I’ll probably get a slew of mean comments, and I guess that’s okay. People have their strong beliefs on what needs to be done. I’m one of those people that is somewhere in the middle. I think we have two crappy choices and need to decide who will be the lesser of the evils.

Maybe they are both great people. I am just not sure I think someone who gets into a 7 or tweet Twitter war with a celebrity in charge of when we declare war. On the flip side, there are huge trust issues with Hillary and I’m not sure she brings the kind of strong arm protection we need as a country right now.

What I’m trying to say is I have no freakin idea and I’m going to watch each and every debate. But anyone who thinks they are changing someone’s opinion with a meme on Facebook, I’m sorry. You are making yourself feel better about your decisions. That’s all.

So RA? How’s that? Well me sed rate is down. My C reactive protein is down so all that is good. Overall I feel well. It’s the summer. I do better in the warmth. I can swim, which helps. I have had a few days of stiffness and pain where I’ve needed some pain medication, but very little more than muscle relaxers and Alleve. I’m counting my blessings and taking the reprieve from the intense pain for as long as I can.

I hope my autoimmune friends are all doing well too!

 

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Motherhood: The Perpetual State of PMS

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Well, ok motherhood doesn’t come with bloating, but the emotional highs and lows of being a mom closely resemble my hormonal change during the month. I won’t lie. I’ve always been that person that gets overcome with emotion and cries thinking about a moment. What someone put into something; what it must feel like; etc.

My children mock me because I cry at every one of their events from First Communions to dance recitals, to football banquets. It’s jut a known family fact that if my kids are doing something special, in all likelihood I will cry. I tell them it’s my God-given right as a mother.

Today my oldest daughter, who is 11, had a recital with her vocal coach. She is my shy kid. It’s not easy for her to get up in front of people and she panics. When she panics, I panic for her. I decided in the car the other day that I’m like an empath. I take on other people’s feelings. I’ll get back to that in a moment.

Last year was the first year she sang alone and she did fantastic. She completely broke down during intermission and didn’t think she could do it, which then had me on edge wondering if she was truly going to be able to do it and what we’d do if she ran off or it didn’t go well. I wasn’t going to let her back out because I knew she could do it, and I knew she had the talent. There is no way I’d force her to sing in front of an audience if she wasn’t really ready to do so.

This year she shocked me and chose a song that was really hard. It switched keys in the beginning and switched octaves later on. The good news was she was singing BEFORE intermission this time. She would get it over with and not have to panic for the entire recital.

I dropped her off to warm up and my younger daughter and I went to a few stores to kill some time. I ended up buying my daughter a bracelet that says, “She Believed She Could, So She Did.” It’s a struggle to get my daughter to believe in herself. I wanted to get her something to remind herself that she needs to remember she has the strength inside to do whatever she sets her mind to.

As I stood in the store choosing the bracelet in tears (again), my younger daughter who does not sugar coat said, “Mom, pull yourself together.” (She’s 9.) I was blessed with my youngest daughter for a reason. She challenges me a lot and will likely be the cause of all of my gray hair, but she make me laugh like no one else can, and she says exactly what she thinks which is mighty refreshing.

I popped a half a Xanax when we got to the concert, don’t judge. I did okay through her groups numbers, but the solo killed me and I cried the whole time. Oh I tried to cry quietly, but apparently I made everyone in the rows across from me cry because they were watching me cry. But, my daughter sang beautifully and I was so proud.

Later we went to dinner and once again my kids were asking why I cry so much at events and I think my son was wondering if I cry in particular at his events. I’ll admit I don’t cry during football at this point. I cried the first time his name was announced. I cry at the banquets when the coach is speaking about him, but he doesn’t always catch those moments. My son has been struggling to find his place in the world of sports. He desperately wants to be a great baseball and football player and maybe he will be, but right now he’s just okay. But when it comes to golf, the kid is amazing.

I turned the subject to golf and said, “Well someday when you’re playing at the Master’s, I’ll be at the side of the putting green sobbing while you’re trying to make a very important putt.” I also asked if he’d wear pants with flamingos on them if he was going to be a professional golfer but I was completely shot down on that.

My kids are all kind of finding their own way and it’s a good thing, but they are getting big and it’s just a new phase for us. My son does baseball, football and golf. My oldest daughter was just offered a spot on a dance team, and my youngest has moved away from dance and found a great love of gymnastics. Honestly, I could care less what they pursue as long as they are active and happy.

Back to the empath issue. When I was driving the other day I was thinking about a friend that was going through a difficult situation. Immediately I can put myself into her shoes (as much as possible) and feel that devastation to the point of almost a depression. It can also go the other way. When a friend has a wonderful success, my feeling of happiness and joy for them is very intense, like I can feel the joy they have inside. I decided I’m an empath and that’s not a good thing.

It causes me to have some highs and lows that really have nothing to do with me. Do I sound crazy enough yet? Eh…it’s a blog. If I’m crazy, I’m crazy. At least I’m honest about it.

In other news, I’m down 20lbs. I still look terrible and heavy, but I’m down two pant sizes. I need to be down two more before I’ll really celebrate, but it’s a start. I was gaining 2-3 pounds per week with the medicines I was on for chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety and birth control.

I am off meds for chronic pain, and yes…I’m in pain. No Alleve doesn’t fix it, but moving often helps. I hate when people tell me that, but for me it has helped. My neck has been pretty bad lately and that’s been tough, but other than that I’ve really been okay. As I mentioned in a previous blog the anxiety has been rough.

My new combo of meds is allowing me to lose some weight, though. So for that I’m thrilled. I have a lot of work to do, but I’ll just keep walking/moving/jogging and cutting down on late night eating, which is darn hard when you’re an insomniac. I get hungry at 2AM!

So I’m going to try and sleep before I get up and eat something.

 

 

Working Out and Feeling Bad

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Usually I feel good after a workout, but I started working out harder yesterday and today. I’m paying for it now. I used heavier weights than usual, and my trapezius muscles are as tight as a drum and I feel a headache coming on. I’ve had a long few weeks. Work has been very busy. I have to honestly say that I love my job. Being able to help families of children with special needs is a blessing. I find that I get as much out of it as they do.

There’s just something about winning a war with a school district that doesn’t want to give a child appropriate services that makes me feel so good. It doesn’t always work out that way. I had a PPT end very badly two weeks ago with the school stating that autism was a medical diagnosis and was not impacting the child’s ability at school. But this week I had a mom who has really been put through the wringer.

I am happy to say we left that PPT happier than I expected. When things like that happen, it makes me feel that I’m truly making a difference for these kids. It’s also a good break from my own life and my chronic illnesses.

I’m in a lot of pain tonight. Some of it is from my workout. That’s the good pain. The rest is my fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis…that is bad pain. My sacro-illiac joint is so painful right now I could scream. I took some Alleve and I’m hoping it helps. I also have one of those heat patches on my neck/shoulders to try and loosen them up.

I’ve also been having the strangest pain in my inner thigh. Of course my mind jumps straight to blood clot, though I’m sure it’s no big deal. I just feel like I’m falling apart. I look the worst I’ve ever looked and it’s depressing. I have the puppy, who encourages me to walk more, but when we did our long walk with the hills, my back, hip, and feet took two days to recover. Here’s the problem…everyone is saying that if I do it more often it won’t hurt as much. But is that really true?

I have worked out several days in a row and then my pain gets worse, not better. My body needs time to recover. So I am doing my Beachbody videos and walking, but I’m alternating the videos so as not to work out in the same way each day. I’m also going to try and do a little more yoga for my SI joint. Stretching is the only thing that helps, though it’s terribly painful.

The bright spot in my week is my puppy. Oh my goodness, he’s adorable. We had our first socialization class tonight and let’s just say he’s social. He was romping around trying to play with the other puppies and then he and one other lab puppy really seemed to enjoy playing together. I’m trying to be conscious of training with this guy, because our other dog really hates men and barks a lot at people. My kids were so young when we got here, I didn’t have the time for socialization like this…and I hadn’t done a whole hell of a lot of reading on it.

She’s not a bad dog, but she does have some issues. My little guy was one of the youngest in the class and the biggest puppy there. I don’t think I realized how big he was until I saw him playing with a black lab that was a week older than him. His feet looked so huge compared to hers.

I have the kids home all week next week for spring break. I’m trying to plan a few things so I’m not going nuts. I still have to work on Wednesday and Friday and my daughter is having a re-do of her birthday sleep over this Sunday. I need to get some rest before that, but luckily the quietest of the girls are able to come. The two wild ones are away for spring break…darn.

I’m hoping that tomorrow is a better day in terms of pain level. it’s so bad i didn’t even know which part to use the heat patch on. My wrist is also terrible. I feel like I’m 90 years old. I will stick to an easy walk tomorrow if it’s not raining. I’m sure the cold and rain aren’t helping things. Still waiting for spring to arrive. At this rate I’ll be using my heated blanket until July.

It’s a Full On Flare

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I went to bed with a stiff lower back and woke up with it, too. The problem is it got worse and worse as the day went on. I was at a tutoring session with my client who has autism and my feet were throbbing and my hands were in so much pain.

By the time I got home, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the couch while my kids amused themselves and took care of the pup. By 6pm my feet were so swollen I retired to the couch where I have been planning my Easter meal ever since. I’m having all of my in-laws over. There were years where that would stress me out terribly, but sometime around 4 or 5 years ago, I stopped caring so much.

I’m not mean, in fact, I’d go out of my way to help any of them, but I don’t think they truly like me that much. We’re at least at a point where spending an afternoon together is no longer my personal hell. They were rough…to the point where my husband’s best friends told me I had the worst in-laws they had ever seen. Yay me!!

My husband has two sisters and he was the first to get married. Strike one was that I’m not Irish…not even a tiny bit Irish. And, I won’t even get into the whole wedding fiasco and aftermath. There was a time where my mother-in-law was very hurtful to me, whether she truly intended it or not. But, in the past few years we’ve done a lot (both of us) to get along. It’s a much nicer relationship.

One of my sister-in-laws drives me a bit over the edge. She relies on my 11-year-old son to watch her 4-year-old boys. They are very political…at least he is and she follows. I’m more of a liberal when it comes to social issues. I believe gay people should be able to get married, I’m pro-choice, I believe in gun control, though I do appreciate the second amendment.

Living 5 minutes away from Sandy Hook school and the horrific mass shooting that occurred there, I have strong believes that high number magazine clips should be banned, as well as those types of assault weapons. If you are a hunter and you need those, you need to find another sport. I don’t have issues with people who own guns. I have friends and family that are very responsible gun owners and that is their right. I just wish that there were stricter guidelines and background checks.

Anyway, I never want to be political on this blog and I hope those of you who disagree with my views don’t stop reading. I never preach! I accept that all people have their own views. The problem I have is that my in-laws are so far to the right that they can’t see past themselves. You can’t have a conversation with people who don’t listen, so I always pray we can stay away from anything political.

I can already tell tomorrow is going to be rough for me. My house isn’t in horrible shape, but I need to clean and start cooking. It’s difficult to admit that those regular things take their toll. I’m already having a tough time with the fact that my long walk with the big hills last night maybe  contributing to my pain level.

I just feel like it’s a rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia flare. I have the pain and the exhaustion. I almost fell asleep working with my client this morning. My sleep has been interrupted a bit with the new puppy. He has done really well the past two nights and went to bed at 11pm and slept until 5AM. The disrupted sleep isn’t helping. That in itself is tough when you have an autoimmune disease!

So I’ll leave you with my latest symptom. I didn’t give it much thought until it started happening more frequently. I keep waking up with what looks like lipstick stains on my hand. The red marks don’t wash off and they stay for several hours. It’s not always the same spot. I have to say, I didn’t give it a lot of thought until my husband expressed concern and I put the pics on Facebook and everyone is telling me to go to the doctor.

I’m just wondering if anyone else has this happen. If anyone knows what this is, I’d love to know! Could it be related to my Raynaud’s?

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Happy Easter/Passover my autoimmune friends. I hope you’re evening has less pain than mine!

Back Pain, Stiffness and Being a New Mom

No I didn’t go and have another baby. Those days are long gone. My youngest child is 8 and that shop is closed. I am a new mom to my puppy, Dunkin, though. He is a love. Yes, I am exhausted and it’s not helping my autoimmune issues to get up in the middle of the night to walk him. It’s been a week since I’ve slept through the night, but I don’t care. He makes me so happy and that’s what it all was about.

Monday was my birthday and if you’ve been reading my blog you know it was a tough milestone for me. I reached the age that my mother was when she died…43. I’ve dreaded turning 43 since I was a teenager, but as tough as that milestone was, I realize I have way too much happiness right in front of me to stop living out of fear.

Getting a German Shepherd was on my bucket list since I was a kid. My other dog loves him and my cats are slowly coming around to the idea of a new intruder in their home. I spent my birthday alone with the animals during the day. It was a lazy day, but not a bad one. Once the kids got home it was a regular Monday complete with ballet and baseball lessons. No time to celebrate or be upset.

We did go to dinner on Tuesday, and that was fine. I just let the day pass without too much fuss. I don’t feel different than I did last week. I mean, how often do you really think about your exact age? Not too often.

For the past two days the weather has been nice. We took Dunkin on his first real walk last night and he did awesome. Today we did our long walk, which I haven’t done in a while. That last hill did me in and my lower back is pretty sore right now. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow so I’ll take the day off, but my plan is to get out and walk the dogs at least 5 or 6 days per week. If it’s not raining or snowing, I at least want to do a quick walk. Not only will it help me, but it might tire out the boundless energy of a puppy!

I’m feeling really crappy about my appearance. I just can’t lose weight. I need to stop all sugar. I serious think I’m addicted. I feel like I set all these goals for myself and nothing happens. I need to do better. I don’t want to be this heavy for summer. I also have to get dressed up for my youngest daughter’s First Communion that is a month away. Hoping to be able to lose 10lbs at least with the increased exercise and less sugar. I really still thing something is wrong, but I don’t know what other avenue to pursue.

Overall, I haven’t had as much pain and the migraines from last week have subsided. I do have a lot of stiffness in the morning and at night. My hands just feel tired. I try to open jars and things and there is no strength behind it. I can’t even close them tightly enough to grip the cap on a jar most of the time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this chronic illness stuff is really a pain in the ass. It more than sucks to get up in pain almost every day. It sucks to be in pain after a walk. I don’t know whether to push through or rest at times. It’s really hitting me tonight because I’ve had such a nice time with my kids on our walks the last two nights. My daughter wants to go every day, and I do, too. I don’t want to let them down by not being able to do it.

I don’t want to be that mom that can’t go for a walk because she’s so exhausted she can’t get up off the couch; or the mom that’s in too much pain to move. I can’t help that this is now who I am. It’s frustrating and difficult on me. People don’t get what it means when someone with fibro or rheumatoid arthritis  or other autoimmune disease say they are tired. It’s not “tired.” It’s more like if I don’t lay down now I’m going to fall over. I can’t keep my eyes open. I need a nap to get me through the hours of 4pm to 8pm when it’s the mad dash to activities, homework, dinner, showers, etc.

I need to keep it together, but some days I feel like I have no idea where I’m going, what I’m doing, etc. My focus for the rest of the weekend will be on hosting Easter. I need to clean tomorrow and Saturday and then do some cooking on Saturday as well. I am busy on Pinterest trying to find side dishes at the moment. I keep telling myself it will all work out…somehow.

Update on My Dad

I didn’t sleep much last night, even with the Ambien. I got the kids on the bus after their 2-hour delay, took a half of a xanax and went back to bed. I was really worried and I though if I could relax and have a nap, it would help.

Happily, I can report that around 1pm I heard that my dad was out of surgery and that it went well. It took a little more time than they thought because they almost needed to use a metal valve instead of a cow one, but in the end they got the cow one to work, which from what I understand, was the preferred option.

So what has this taught me? There’s a lesson in everything, right? It taught me that even though my dad doesn’t express emotion well, it does not mean that I should refrain from telling him I love him more often. Don’t get me wrong, my dad loves me and I’ve never doubted that, but he’s just not great at showing feelings.

Hearing him say he was scared last night was really difficult. Once again I was reminded that your parents are human, and I was deathly afraid of losing another one.

I knew the stress would bring on a flare, so I was prepared. It’s freezing cold here still, and the Raynaud’s was bad again today, but my hips, low back, and feet were also bothering me. Right now it’s mostly my hips.

The good news is that I still managed to do the stupid elliptical (I hate that thing) for about 10 minutes. I was planning on doing 20 minutes of abs after that, but with homework, kids going crazy, etc. It didn’t get done. That I will do tomorrow night.

We’re supposed to get another storm on Thursday afternoon. It’s my baby’s birthday. She so wants to go to school with her cupcakes and celebrate, so I’m hoping school isn’t canceled. She asked for so much for her birthday, but most of the things were around $6-$10. A large box came today and I could tell she really wanted to peek. She’s so funny.

As I mentioned in other blogs, my baby girl was a twin and we lost a twin about halfway through the pregnancy. My daughter was crushed in the uterus and they told me she had clubbed feet and they weren’t sure if she’d walk because of how mangled her legs were at the 20-week ultrasound.

She has defied the odds. She runs, jumps, and everything in between. Her coordination leaves a little to be desired, but she makes up for it with spunk. It was a tough pregnancy for me, but she makes me laugh every day. She has her own like unique outlook on life and I love her thought process. I can’t believe my baby is turning 8!

That brings me to my mid-life crisis. I’m 42. I have fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and Raynaud’s. All my life I have felt like I’d die at 43 because my mom died at that age. So here I am…I’m turning 43 at the end of March and I’m not ready.

I told everyone that I’d just prefer not to have any kind of birthday celebration this year. I mean, look, my kids will make me cards and that is enough. I just don’t want a big deal. I believe that’s why I’ve set my sights on a puppy. Of course, I don’t need one.

I have always wanted a German Shepherd puppy. It’s always been a dream. Maybe I’m feeling like I need to fulfill my dreams now before it’s too late. Morbid thinking, I know. Maybe just focusing on the faces of puppies is making me feel better.

Tomorrow is another day. I have a PPT for one child and a Valentine’s Day party for another one. Did I mention after all these snow days that my kids have winter break with no school Friday and Monday? Yay me!!!

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers for my Dad. Much appreciated.puppy-german-shepherd-mix-for-sale-img6231

Super Bowl, Snacks, and Snow

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I’m not a football fan…except when my son is playing. But, this Super Bowl was a darn good game to watch. The girls and I opted to not go to my sister-in-law’s house to watch the game, and instead we watched movies for most of the day and then watched the game.

I learned how to stream my movies through our XBox so I made the girls watch Grease for the first time ever, and we also watched Mamma Mia. They’ve really been into musicals, but I forgot about some of the scenes in Grease. I suppose I could have exposed them to worse.

I haven’t updated the blog in a few days. My migraine was complete hell all the way until late Friday night. I attended the class that I was accepted to through the state of Connecticut, and I had to take muscle relaxers and two rounds of migraine medicine just to be able to function.

I was very nervous, but it was a good experience. I did my three-minute speech–even cracked a few jokes. I met some very nice people, as well. I would say half of the participants have some sort of disability and the other half are parents of children with a disability. It’s going to be a ton of work, and I still haven’t decided what my final project will be, but I need to figure it out this week.

The other issue I had is that after sitting from noon to 8:30PM in the same chair, I was a mess on Saturday. My body can no longer handle sitting in the same position for that long with only a few small breaks. Saturday’s class was really hard because my hips were so stiff and my back was really bothering me.

By last night I was hobbling around due to joint and muscle pain. When my husband asked why I was walking like I was dying, it really hit me that the rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia have really changed what I can and can’t do. You wouldn’t think sitting would be that big of a deal, but I was in a straight chair and it wasn’t that comfortable to begin with.

The fact that my body stiffens up so easily makes things really difficult. I didn’t have a lot of swelling, but I had a lot of join pain. The only good news was that my migraine finally let up on Saturday. It’s funny, I can suffer through my arthritis pain for the most part, but the migraine was horrid. At one point I was trying to pay attention and I could hardly see because my vision was getting so blurry.

The table of people that I sat with was very nice. I met some great people and made a lot of contacts. It’s funny though, whenever you tell people you are an editor (as I did in my three-minute speech), people want to tell you about a book they are writing. While I did talk to two people at length about editing, I was really focused on all the stuff they were teach about the Department of Developmental Disabilities.

The only issue with the training, other than the fact that I had to give a speech, was that the woman sitting next to me talked under her breath the entire time. I think I heard her snoring on Saturday morning, but I was trying not to look.

For a project for Saturday morning we each had to choose a disability from a given list that we would want over the others, and one we wouldn’t want. I’m not sure why alcoholism was listed as a disability, but it was on there. Anyway, we were supposed to go around the room and tell what we picked and why. The lady next to me chose to have alcoholism and when she got the microphone she just started going through her day of what she’d drink.

The group leader had to tell her to stop when she named her fifth or sixth alcohol. I chose deafness as the disability from the list that I’d take. My first major in school was interpreting for the deaf, so I know how strong the deaf community is. There is a lot of support and I think as much as I’d miss my music, I’d be much more afraid to lose my vision.

We’re also getting hit with another big snowstorm tonight. It just started snowing and they already closed schools again for tomorrow because we’re supposed to get between 12-18 inches of snow. So yay me!! The kids will be home again, and I won’t get much work done.

I’m not even sure what movie to rent tomorrow. I’m looking for something all three kids will enjoy. Hopefully, they can pick one without too much bickering.

 

 

Another Storm, Another Migraine

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I woke up with a migraine this morning, and it seemed to get a little better and then came back with a vengeance. My neck is so tight on the right side and my vision is blurred in the right eye.

I usually take a muscle relaxer at night for my fibromyalgia, but I took one around 6pm and then another one again at 8:30. I have the TENS unit going on high to try and loosen the area up, and I have to just say that I’m hardly feeling any relief.

I’m supposed to be practicing a speech I have to give for a class tomorrow, but I can’t even read it at the moment. I hate public speaking…I’m terrified. My two directors at the non-profit organization talked me into applying for this program that is run by the state of Connecticut. It’s called Partners in Policymaking and it’s once a month for 9 months. I go tomorrow at noon and won’t be home until Saturday evening.

This is the first session and I’m in a panic, which I’m sure isn’t helping the headache. It’s supposed to start snowing at some point tonight and stop around noon tomorrow. I’m supposed to be in Hartford at noon and that’s at least an hour away without snow.

I’m praying I don’t wake up with this headache tomorrow because I don’t know how I’ll do in two 8-hour study sessions. I can hardly function as a mom when I have a migraine, let alone take notes and get up and give a speech.

My other issue today was my hands. I know I’ve complained about my Raynaud’s numerous times, but it’s so odd to me how some days there is just nothing I can do to warm up my hands. I had a heated blanket over me for the majority of the day, and my core wasn’t cold, yet my fingertips were a bluish and freezing.

I haven’t had much swelling in my hands, but the pain and numbness is awful. I am packing my heating pad for tomorrow.

My kids are not used to me going away. Even though it’s only for one night, they are kind of a mess. I’m hoping that they don’t have a snow day so we have to deal with a sad goodbye as I’m leaving. My youngest daughter just learned how to text through her iPod, so I know she’ll be contacting me often.

I have to finish editing a manuscript before I can go to bed, but the good news is that I’ve been through it several times and it’s very clean. This is one for middle-grade readers and while fantasy usually isn’t my thing, I really enjoyed it. She’s a very good writer. I’ll be reading with one eye open, though.

 

 

I Feel a Migraine Coming

headache

Those of you who get migraines know exactly what it means to feel one coming. While I know everyone is different, for me it starts with trails of light as I move my eyes. I don’t have the pain at this point, but I know it’s coming.

While we’ve had a little reprieve from the freezing cold weekend, we are getting a little bit of snow tonight and a lot more is coming our way on Saturday. While I can definitely relate my migraines to hormonal changes (period week is hell), I find that the pressure with storms really affects me.

The more I read about and talk to people with fibromyalgia, migraines are a common thread for many of us. While my fibro and rheumatoid arthritis cause me a lot of pain, nothing compares to a migraine. When it’s bad, I can’t function at all. I’m useless as a mom, editor, parent advocate, etc. Just plain useless.

I’m hoping to head this migraine off by taking some Excedrin. I don’t want to pull out the Maxalt just yet. I’m like a crazy person. I feel like I have to hoard those for horrific migraine days. I didn’t take Melatonin earlier tonight because I thought I’d be exhausted. I was up late editing last night, and I worked a full day at the office today. That means no time for a quick nap or a cuddle with my cats.

One new thing I’ve been trying is essential oils. I know there are a lot of great companies out there, but since I have no idea what I need or want, I bought a sample pack on Amazon. No idea even what brand they are, but I love them. I use the peppermint when I have a headache coming on, lemongrass just makes me feel happy, lavender to help sleep, and then there are a few others. I only bring this up because of the migraine issue. If you haven’t tried peppermint oil, it’s worth a shot.

While it doesn’t take the place of medication (sorry, I wish I could say it did), I do feel a noticeable difference when I put it on my temples. A friend just told me about a certain blend that is good for fibro. I’ll report back on that if I buy it. It’s from doTerra, which is supposed to have wonderful products, but they are pricey.

Why I’m a Crab Today

I think I’m crabby because even though it wasn’t a bad day, I just don’t feel great. I hate to complain when I know I have days where my pain level is far worse, but it’s exhausting just not feeling great. I can’t remember the last time I woke up and felt refreshed by a good night’s sleep. Heck, even on a great Ambien night of sleep I still wake up exhausted.

Maybe BLAH is a better word. I’m blah because I haven’t had a day without a freakin ache in so long. I’ve been under my heated blanket since 5:30pm and my fingers are still like icicles (thanks Raynaud’s). So there, that’s tonight’s post. I’m blah and I hate it.

Tomorrow begin my weight loss journey with Ideal Shape. I don’t want to bore anyone, but I feel like if I hold myself accountable on the blog, maybe I won’t eat a bag of cookies or chocolates. I’m actually excited even though I technically started smaller portions and cleaner eating on Monday (we are going to ignore the Pepperidge Farm cookies I scarfed down when I got home from work).

Worst case scenario, tomorrow night I’ll be reporting back that the shakes were horrid. Best case, I’ll like them and feel full between the shakes, snacks, and drinking way more water than usual. They want you to take your weight and divide it in half, and that is the amount of water you should be drinking each day.

Hopefully, I can do that! We’ll see. I just want this extra weight off in time for summer.

Oh and to finish up, I was invited by the women who work at the pediatrician’s office to see 50 Shades of Grey. What the hell was I thinking when I said yes. I didn’t even make it a quarter of the way through the book…they lost me at “butt plug” and the whole contract thing. I know I said I was making an effort to be more social, and they are all super nice, but dear lord…I wasn’t planning on seeing that one. Should be interesting. I’m either going to cancel for fear of not knowing anyone, or pop a half a Xanax and force myself to go!

Before I admit that the half an Ambien is kicking in, I just wanted to say hello and thank you for all the new blog followers. Thank you Goddess Simmons Drew for sharing the blog on your FB group. Connecting with people that understand what it’s like to have an autoimmune disease and the crazy roller coaster it is, has made a world of difference to me. We’re not alone.

A Day of Ups and Downs

sushi

If you read my post from last night, you know I was up late waiting for my eBay auction to end. I’m happy to say that I’m the proud owner of a sushi chef nutcracker (pictured above). So, my day started out on a high note.

My kids religion class was canceled this morning because the roads were very icy here in CT. People were posting on Facebook all day about accidents in town and nearby, so my plan was to stay in our jammies and watch television. My kids got a huge kick out of the Game Show Network. It was actually a really fun few hours until it got awkward when the questions on Family Feud included things like, “Name something that would be surprising for your husband to bring to bed on your honeymoon?”

Yep! When I yelled out “book” the kids all wanted to know why. I opted not to seize the moment and discuss what a man and a woman usually do in bed on their honeymoon.

My girls really wanted to go see Into the Woods this evening. I’ve been going back and forth about it because some people have said it’s too scary (they are almost 8 and almost 10). Others have said that the graphic stuff isn’t shown, so it would be fine. I don’t think they’ll pick up on the sexual things from the wolf (another reason not to prolong our Family Feud conversation), but I don’t want to pay all that money and have to leave because my youngest daughter is too scared.

When I finally got the urge to shower today, I went downstairs to grab something and water was pouring into my finished basement from two different spots. Last night we thought a bit of water was coming in from a pipe, but today it was clear that Mother Nature was to blame.

As I freaked out running back and forth to the two spots with the shop vac, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to keep that up for very long. My husband finally got home and began to build a trench leading the water from the crazy ice and rain away from the house.

Within about 30 minutes, the water slowed way down and it’s all but stopped now. It wasn’t what I planned on doing today, and it pretty much sucked. Despite sucking for the obvious reasons, add to that being on my hands and knees with the shop vac and that sent my joints into complete hell and subsequently canceled our movie plans. Actually, we also heard the roads still weren’t great, so that helped make my mind up to take the kids tomorrow. Praying that’s the right decision.

I’ve been researching weight loss plans to deal with the weight issues that having been, well, weighing me down for a while now. I need something that takes a lot of the guesswork out. I tried Take Shape for Life last year and I actually liked some of the food, but I didn’t do so well. I don’t know what to attribute my failure to. I think after the really tough first week and only losing three pounds, I was frustrated. People in the online support group were reporting 7-10lbs gone and I had a measly 3.

Anyway, I think I’m going to try another program that involves two shakes (or meal bars) per day and a healthy meal. They actually want you to eat every three hours. So what’s going to be different this time? I really wish I could answer that. The drive is there. I need to suck it up and do it. The programs I looked at included Ideal Shape, Shakeology, Isagenix (which a friend has been trying to get me to do) and 310.

Based on the ratings and the prices, I chose Ideal Shape. I’m going to give it my best shot. I hope to be able to order it on Tuesday. Up until yesterday I had my heart set on Isagenix. Two friends had great results, but it’s about $500 if I include the snack I’d need to get through the cleanse days. It also didn’t get rated as high as Ideal Shape in some categories.

Basically, the problem is me. I don’t feel that I’m eating enough to be this weight, but I’m going to give a serious two months to this program while I’m waiting for an appointment with another endocrinologist who specializes in endocrine issues other than diabetes. I tried taking the Metformin to treat the PCOS, but it made me nauseous and I didn’t have the insulin resistance that goes along with PCOS. I wanted to try something so bad, but I don’t want to be on a medication if I don’t truly need it…especially one that makes me nauseous.

This program also has some CDs to help me with self-hypnosis. Yep, I’m three shades of crazy, but I either have to be all in or not do it at all. I’m in. I want to look like myself this summer, not some fat version of me. The other thing is, losing weight has to help relieve the knee and ankle pain (I hope) from the rheumatoid arthritis. I also plan to chronicle my journey (even if it’s boring as hell) as a way to hold myself accountable.

I’ve also been going back and forth about going back on Plaquenil to deal with my arthritis pain. Also on my list to do this week would be finally going to get that blood test that my rheumatologist wanted me to get. I think it was called a Vectra blood test. It’s supposed to look deeper into the issue of RA, and once and for all have a definitive answer. Every specialist has something different to say.

Most agree that I have fibromyalgia. One thinks I have both fibro and RA. And let’s not forget the Raynaud’s. Can I just say that winter completely sucks with Raynaud’s? My fingers and toes are like painful icicles. As far as I know, though, there’s not much that can be done for it. That which does not kill us…oh whatever!

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