Stress and Autoimmune Flares

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We’ve all heard about the link between stress and flare with autoimmune issues. I can personally attest to getting more frequent flares when I’m stressed, but how do you combat stress? I mean, we all have it. Life is messy. Many of us have families. Marriages are hard. Money issues. Family issues. Being stresses about your autoimmune issues… There is stress everywhere.

So how do you avoid it? I’ve made no secret that I’ve tried essential oils and I think I’ve found some relief in them. I won’t push one company over another, especially when I only diffuse them and like the scent. There are some really nice blends out there that just plain make me feel good.

There’s also a hot bath. Some people like exercise. I recently started walking 5-6 nights a week on a new paved walkway in our town that’s about 4 miles. In all honesty I wouldn’t go if I didn’t have a friend that I go with and keeps me on track. Some nights I don’t feel like it and I get the text saying “7pm?” and I feel the guilt. But, I also do feel somewhat better afterward.

The problem with exercise, as anyone with fibromyalgia or RA can tell you is it’s damn hard when you’re hurting. My first three days of walking were horrendous. I didn’t feel like I could make it back the first night, and when I got home I was walking like a 90 year old person. It wasn’t pretty.

It has gotten easier now that I’m almost 3 weeks in (and I haven’t lost a damn pound but that’s a whole other discussion). But, there are days when it’s really hard to talk myself into going when I’m sore from fibro or my joints are stiff or swollen from RA.

I had the fabulous idea to race my 10 year old one evening and about 20 strides in I felt a stabbing pain in my hip so bad that I thought I was going to fall on the ground. I’m not even sure what happened but that took almost a month to feel better. It sucks to realize I can’t do stupid things like run with my daughter without completely hurting myself, but I’m managing to walk.

My other remedy is one that people in my life don’t approve of…Xanax. But since last summer I’ve suffered from terrible anxiety. I don’t always know why it hits or if it’s something in particular that brings it on. I mean, I’m sure it’s stress, but there isn’t always a specific reason. I’m not embarrassed to say I need to use Xanax to help when it gets bad.

If anyone can figure out how to be completely less free so they can have less flares, can they clue me in on their secret? I have yet to figure it out even with everything I’m currently trying.

 

Genetic Testing…Here We Go

I suppose it should be enough having rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I suppose that added extras of Raynaud’s, migraines, insomnia, and hyper mobility are just things I’ve gotten used to. But when I went for my yearly gynecological exam this year, I was prepared when my doctor thought it was time for me to have a generic counseling session.

I had asked years ago about an elective hysterectomy since my mother died at age 43 of ovarian cancer, but I was told they usually wait until menopause. But for some reason when I mentioned that I was nervous this year because I just surpassed my mother’s life span it prompted her to want me to go.

So what do I do after making the appointment…it’s me…I research the hell out of everything. I thought they were testing from the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 gene mutations which are linked to ovarian and breast cancer. I had my meltdown. Not because I was afraid of a hysterectomy. I think I’ve always kind of been ready for that after I was done having kids, but when I started reading how many people were going the whole Angelina Jolie route and also having the double mastectomy as a preventative surgery.

I don’t have breast cancer in the family, but the genetic counselor did say that usually by the time ovarian shows up on an ultrasound, it’s stage 2 cancer and aggressive. I’m okay with the hysterectomy. What I hadn’t thought about is that there is a 50% chance that if I have the gene, that I passed it on to my kids.

As a mom, you feel you can take on anything, but not my kids. The thought of my kids getting sick, or not being able to have babies is devastating. I know that even by then there will more advancements but I’m scared.

I had my blood drawn on Monday and they said it would take about 5 weeks. It usually takes 3, but since I have primary and secondary insurance it would take a little longer. I’m trying to focus on the good in my life and not the possibility of surgery.

I just had a clear mammogram and my pelvic ultrasound showed a cyst on my left ovary which isn’t a new thing. With PCOS, it’s a common thing, actually. They’ll recheck it in a month.

I don’t know if anyone reading the blog has been through the genetic testing or a complete hysterectomy. But any insight into recovery is appreciated. Feel free to message me through the blog if you are uncomfortable commenting publicly. I just want to know how long I’m going to be down with a laporospic surgery. I have a lot of reading to do in 5 weeks but nothing beats a first hand story.

I actually thought I was walking around doing really well ignoring my wait for the results until my phone just rang and I saw the genetic counselor on the Caller ID. My heart dropped thinking if she was calling this soon it was bad, but instead she needed another number off my insurance card that was messed up on her copy. Way to give a girl a heart attack.

This is going to be a long five weeks.

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!

Ending a Migraine

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As per my usual M.O., I got a horrendous migraine after I calmed down about my dad. When I saw him on Wednesday, he looked so good and all my stress seemed to fade. It was about 7pm and I was watching a show with my daughter when I lost my vision in one eye.

This one came on fierce. I took migraine meds and muscle relaxers. I used ice and had my TENS unit going trying to loose up the tight bands in my neck. It was one of the worst I’ve had in a while.

I slept a lot yesterday so I would feel well enough to go out to dinner for my daughter’s birthday. She had a wonderful birthday and was thrilled with her presents and going out to eat. She got a lot of presents, which is unusual for us for a birthday, but most of the things she wanted were tiny. Anyway, she was thrilled.

In stead of telling you how much I binged today and strayed from my diet, I thought I’d discuss Kanye West. What was he thinking? My guess would be that he doesn’t think anyone other than he or Beyonce deserve awards. Now I won’t sit here and say I’m familiar with any of Beck’s music, other than the Loser song from a while back, but he played 14 instruments on his album. He also wrote all his songs.

To insult him for winning album of the year was just plain wrong. I got jumped on when I posted that I thought he was racist on my Facebook page. Yes, I’m well aware that he married a white woman, but I can’t stand the way he talks about other artists. He just a very odd dude.

There is also the Brian Williams fiasco with his lies about being shot down in Iraq. I was disappointed because I like Brian Williams. It’s like that story that keeps growing and growing each time it was told. He got so much attention from it, the lie took on a mind of it’s own. I give him credit for explaining it and I do hope that people forgive the mistake and move forward.

I am still searching for a puppy. Actually I found one, but the shelter hasn’t gotten back to me. I fond a few puppies that were for sale that were so adorable, but I really prefer to adopt. We’ll see what happens. I’m thinking maybe that would make my birthday more tolerable this year since I’ve been dreading turning 43, the age my mother died.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and we are getting yet another snow storm. I’m praying it ends early on Sunday because my daughter’s birthday is at 2pm. I was so stressed that no one could come, but now she has about 5 friends and her cousins, and of course her brother and sister.

I’ve never been a big Valentine’s Day person.¬† I once had a boyfriend that showed up at my work with roses and chocolates out of the blue…we had just started seeing each other. Then I went back to his place to get dressed to go out to dinner and he had more flowers there, perfume, and some lingerie. That’s about the most romance I’ve ever had. It was a complete shock and I guess that’s why I liked it so much.

Since there will be a snow storm and it’s going to be like 0 degrees out, we’re going to have dinner at home with the kids. I need to go on Pinterest and find something to make.

 

 

 

 

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

Stress, Snow, and Sleep Issues

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I don’t think my kids have been to school on a Monday in the last three or four weeks. Again, we have a decent storm last night and this morning so my little cherubs were home, and arguing all day. They argued over XBox controllers. They argued over which character they were using. They argued over lots of mundane issues.

We already have a two-hour delay for tomorrow so of course no one wanted to go to bed on time. My son is still awake at 11:30PM, but I think he’s worried about me. My dad is having major heart surgery tomorrow morning. I was doing okay until I spoke with him tonight. We don’t do emotions well, my Dad and I. We love each other very much, but it’s just not him to say it a lot. I told him I loved him and that I knew everything would be okay. It was difficult to hear him say he was scared. I’m scared, too.

I’ve been so worried about me dying at 43 that I hadn’t given much thought to losing someone else in my life, like my only other living parent. I’m not ready. I just pray that it all goes well, and if you are the praying type, please say a few for my dad.

My kids saw me crying after I talked to him and they really stepped up. The older two were really consoling, but my youngest got very upset, too. I didn’t want that so I regrouped and focused on assuring them that the doctor said Grandpa is an excellent candidate for this surgery. He’s active and otherwise healthy. I just need him to be okay.

I took a half an Ambien because I knew I’d have a difficult time falling asleep. I took it an hour ago, and now I’m wondering whether I should have taken a full one. We can all sleep in a little bit tomorrow with the snow delay.

Other than the situation with my dad, I’ve been doing okay. The Raynaud’s is really tough on these cold days. My fingertips were so cold that when I got in a warm (not even hot) shower, they felt like they were on fire when the warm water hit them. It’s the oddest thing. Does anyone else have that?

I know that it’s normal for your hands to get very white or even bluish, but when they are returning to normal temperature, do you have pain? I just want to make sure I’m not a freak of nature.

I was able to get on my elliptical machine today for a workout. It felt good. I couldn’t last too long, but I took a break and did some pushups in the middle and then got back on. I’m going to really try to do 10 minutes a day for a few weeks. I know that sounds so lame, but I need to make a goal that I can keep. Once I’m used to doing it for two weeks, maybe I can up the time.

In my spare time, I’ve been looking at puppies online. I don’t need another animal. I have a dog, three cats, and a parrot. It’s just that I’ve always wanted a German Shepherd puppy. Now I’m not that person that wants to go to a breeder and AKC papers, I want to rescue a pup. It’s just that the timing has to be right, and I really want a young puppy in order to acclimate it into our menagerie.

Is the man of the house on board? Not yet, but I’m working on it. This may sound awful but I put up with so much bullshit that I don’t think he’d really say no. I think he’ll try and talk me out of it. If nothing else, it’s keeping me busy while I am worried about my dad.

Town Politics

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I don’t like politics. I have my views, and I don’t shove them on anyone else, and I hate when people shove theirs on me. But national politics are very different than local politics. I live in a fairly small town in New England. Living about 8 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, our lives were forever changed by the massacre that occurred on 12/14/12. It also changed the things that area schools do to protect our children.

Our town is in a first with our First Selectman over money needed for special education. For those that have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I work for a nonprofit doing special education advocacy. Let’s put it this way, a town cannot simply decide not to fund special education, Unless, of course, they are willing to take on the lawsuits that will result from that decision of doing something against the law.

Our town’s Board of Education requested a special appropriation of money because they are over budget due to the need for long terms subs and special education. Our First Selectman and Board of Finance turned the other way and ignored a 1000-person signed petition for a town meeting. I’m going to be blunt…I think he’s a schmuck. Funny that no one on either of those boards have a child in the district.

So all of this is on my mind today. It wasn’t an eventful day overall, but it’s one that’s fairly pain-free, so I’m thankful for that. I’m just finding that my patience is thin. I snapped a lot at my kids today, and I hate when I’m like that. I’m just tired of the bickering and nastiness toward each other. Do you ever just need a break from your kids?

Maybe I sound like a horrible mother saying that, but sometimes I just need a break. I have three kids, two of whom have learning issues, and two of whom (not the same two) have ADHD. Homework is not easy, nor fun. I’m just crabby today.

For the first time I’m hoping for a snow delay tomorrow. I’m overbooked and that would clear my schedule. Also, I cheated on my diet terribly today. I mean, not just a little cheat. I found chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels…ate way too many. And, I had an ice cream sandwich. I never crave ice cream. It’s not really my thing. I enjoy it when I have some, but it’s nothing I go out of my way for.

My youngest daughter begged for them in the grocery store today, and I didn’t expect to have one, but I’ll admit…her’s looked delicious. So it’s back on the wagon tomorrow and I will be stepping up the exercise. I also wasn’t great about drinking the crazy amount of water today, and believe it or not, I’m finding I feel better drinking all that water.

I have more energy and I think I have less headaches. So, it’s back measuring my water intake. I need to find more willpower. I’m going to force myself to write down everything I eat. Maybe that will help.

Hoping you all had a pain-free day.

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.

 

 

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