Irrational Fear

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I don’t know whether it’s listening to all the news stories or terrorism, hate, and violence, but I’m becoming more and fearful of even normal things. I’m not sure it’s at the “I need a psychiatrist STAT” mode, but it’s enough that I check in with my kids a lot, I look around nervously when we’re in a crowd, and I lie in bed at need creating terrible scenarios in my head.

I guess I’m wondering how many people are dealing with similar issues. I don’t think I’m alone. These are scary times. I don’t want to get into a political debate but the current turmoil in our country is not helping.

If you take one look at Facebook you’ll scroll past people bashing President Trump followed by people saying horrendous things about “Libtards.” I’m wondering where we want wrong that the two sides are so far apart that we don’t even listen anymore.

I’m of the believe that 15% of the people on each side are extreme and the other 70% of us fall somewhere in the middle. While we may not agree or like Trump, we’re not pretending he isn’t president. Or while we may have strong beliefs about abortion, that doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground on other issues.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not seeing any of that at all. There’s not much in between, even at a local level. I have previously discussed the nightmare of politics in my small town. I won’t rehash it all as it’s been two years but when I attended a meeting this past week and realized things haven’t changed all that much.If thing scan’t change in a small town with so many people working for the betterment of schools and the community, how can we do it on a larger scale in the country?

But it’s not just politics that are causing my fear. I’ll be driving down the road and fear one of my cats got out and eaten by a bobcat. Or I get a strong feeling on our boat that it’s going to crash.

At the moment, I’m not stopping myself from doing things, but I’m also pretty okay staying home if I don’t need to go anywhere. I guess one could say these are irrational fears, but then I start to think, are they? There are people murdered every day. There is human trafficking, kidnapping, and so many other horrifying things going on and I’m here in my bubble.

I know enough psychology to know that my fears stem from losing people I love early in life and then again when I was a grown up. I’m afraid that something will happen to my kids and I won’t be there to protect them. How do you balance letting them grow up and holding on for dear life.

My kids are my everything. They are three very different little (not so little) human beings. My son is starting high school and I keep thinking I only have 4 more years with him at home. I’m NOT ready!

I’m not going to be a good empty-nester. I’ll be one of those women with 30 cats an a few dogs. I need to mother something! In the meantime, I need to find a way to push back the irrational (or even rational) fears standing in my way. I’m not afraid to say I’m scared. I just need to figure out some sort of plan of action (other than Xanax) when I’m a mess.

I’ll work on that. If you have better ideas, I’m happy to hear them!

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Girl Drama

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My older daughter is turning 12 in two weeks. For those of you that have been there you probably know the signs. Going from 0 to 10 on the freaking out scale for no reason. Stomping around her room because she has “no clothes,” and sometime I’m just waiting for her head to spin.

Honestly, I’m pretty lucky. For the most part she is an even keel kid with a good head on her shoulders. I think being a child with dyslexia has made her work hard for her grades and in turn she knows that hard work will get her where she needs to be.

She has had the same core group of friends since kindergarten or first grade. I feel blessed that they are good kids. But now it’s middle school and life is changing. I’m proud of her for standing up for her friends when people are unkind, and in general she really hasn’t had any girl drama…until now.

My daughter is a quiet kid. She is busy with ballet several hours a week and spends several hours studying to keep up with her peers due to her disability (which we never refer to as a disability in this house).

In the past few weeks there is a girl that has gotten upset if she doesn’t have enough of my daughter’s attention. For example, my daughter was talking to her friend abut something that happened on the bus and this girl cried because they were leaving her out. This girl cried when my daughter’s friend offered her some potato chips, and then decided they were no longer friends and she wasn’t going to talk to my daughter again.

My daughter came home upset but we talked about it and I tried to explain that there are girls like this at 12 and there are women like this at 40. If someone brings drama into a friendship, it’s not worth your time. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. She seemed good with that talk, until she heard from other friends that this girl was telling mutual friends my daughter was bullying her.

Now I don’t live in a glass house and my children are not perfect. Every person who knows my daughter has burst out laughing at this, because she is one of the kindest souls you could meet. My two other children struggle a bit socially and if they feel hurt, they have been known to come back with some not so nice things…we are working on that. Again, not a perfect family, but my shy middle child is not a bully.

I let it go because my daughter knows she’s not a bully. She has friends that know she’s not a bully and I believe that we need to let our kids try and solve their problems as much as possible. That was working well for me until today when I found out the mother is telling people my daughter is a bully and mean.

Now I will say things here with unnamed people that I would never say to people I know, but this mom should really spend more time paying attention to her daughter’s needs and cries for help than worrying about my daughter. When her child is texting girls at a party that she is going to kill herself because she wasn’t invited and the party host’s mom calls the mom worried…and the girl’s mom laughs it off, that’s a fucking problem.

Sometimes we need to look at our own situations before we start casting blame. I’ve done it with my own son. My son has pushed away friends because he doesn’t know how to fit in and when he feels hurt, I’ve wanted to blame the other kids, but I do know my son is very much responsible for his actions.

That’s not to say I’d ever condone a child being mean. But when this girl tells two other girls at a party that the song they are singing sucks, and my daughter tells her that is rude and that makes her cry, I’m sorry…that doesn’t make my kid mean.

And for heaven’s sake if you have a problem with my kid how do you think going to other moms to talk about her is going to help? Are you trying to enlist other children against her? Because that’s super mature.

I’m sleeping well tonight because at the end of the day, my daughter has at least three friends she knows she can trust and count on. She knows they like her for who she is and she like them just they way they are.

If I’ve done anything right through this it’s that my usually shy and sensitive child really understands this isn’t about her as much as it’s about the other girl’s insecurities. I told her she could ask the girl what it is that she did that made the girl not like her, but I doubt she’d get a straight answer. I left that up to her whether it’s worth doing.

At 44, I don’t do dramatic people who suck energy out of you if you aren’t paying enough attention to them. She might feel differently at 12. We all have to learn out own way.

 

 

Blogging Is Hard

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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!

 

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.

Explaining Things to Kids…

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I didn’t expect to have a heart to heart with my youngest daughter tonight. Actually, all I really wanted to do was come home and go to bed. Yesterday was my birthday and somewhere around 3pm my headache went from bad to horrific. Since my new insurance decided they weren’t going to cover the only medication that has ever worked for me (Maxalt/rizatriptan) I was forced to try a new medicine.

As any migraine sufferer knows, once you find something that works, the last thing in the world you want to do is try anything else so this came as quite a blow. But, here I was about to try my new medicine. At first I didn’t think it was doing much, but we went out for sandwiches about 40 minutes later before bringing the kids all over God’s creation for their activities and I thought I was doing okay. Then I got in the car and it all went to hell from there.

I got clammy and nauseous and had a plastic bag ready in case I needed to throw up. I laid in the car while my daughter was at gymnastics, just trying not to puke. I managed to keep everything down until we got home and then there was just no stopping it. I felt awful. The pain from my headache seemed to subside, but I was nauseous and vomiting terribly.

Fast forward to today, which I spent in bed because a night of puking does wonders for a person with an autoimmune disease. I was shot and all I could do was rest. We had told the kids that we’d go to dinner, though, since we really didn’t get to celebrate the night before.

Let me start by saying my kids need to work on their table manners. They drove me nuts at dinner. On the way home my daughters driven the car with my and my youngest loves to hear stories from when she was a baby and when all of them were little. She asked who was the first person to hold her and I said that she was my only baby that the doctor immediately handed to me without the nurses taking to weigh and clean off, etc.

In hindsight, this is probably why she was my best breastfeeder because she started from right away. My daughter asked if it was the same for the other two kids and I explained that no, daddy held them and then the nurse took them to weigh and do a screening right there in front of us and then I got to hold them.

She asked why she was different and I guess I thought we’d been through it before and it shouldn’t be anything new. I don’t lie to my kids so I explained that my doctor knew how worried I was about her because her legs and feet were very twisted and we didn’t know if she’d walk or the extent of what was wrong.

I didn’t tell her I was afraid to look at her, but I was. I was petrified to see how bad it was, but I have the most wonderful doctor who had been with me through several miscarriages and three hellish pregnancies. She knew me. She knew I was afraid to see her, so she didn’t even let the nurse touch her. She handed her to me as she was, a little bloody and messy, but so so beautiful. I told my daughter that as soon as I saw her I wouldn’t let anyone else hold her and didn’t want to let her go.

I looked at her and she had tears in her eyes as she asked why her legs weren’t normal. While I don’t lie to my kids, I also don’t tell them things they don’t need to know at 9 years old. She doesn’t need to know that she had a twin that died and that she was crushed in utero. How would that help her? That would only leave her with questions and sadness. I explained that the way she was positioned in my tummy left her very cramped and her legs didn’t have room.

I know she had seem pictures of herself in casts. Maybe it was so long ago that she had forgotten but she had casts from her toes to her upper thigh from 3 days old to 6 weeks, that were changed weekly, each time adjusting her feet to turn a bit more.

I said to her as a mommy I was scared. I didn’t know that she’d grow up to be able to do all the wonderful things she can do now. She’s my kid that never stops moving. Currently her latest obsession is gymnastics and it’s all she wants to do and talk about. For the kid who our 20 week ultrasound we were told “many people years ago would have aborted for this because it often goes along with neurological issues” to my funny, crazy, spitfire who is always running, jumping and dancing…it’s been an interesting road.

I was sad, though, that she didn’t remember or that it felt like she didn’t know this. I have never hid anything, but at 9, it’s just not a huge part of our life anymore. She still sees the orthopedic doctor every so often because she has hyper mobility and they keep telling me as she gains muscle that will help (so far she’s still able to bend like a pretzel).

It just broke my heart to see tears in her eyes that she was born perfect. First, no one is perfect and though she knows that, she didn’t get that there was something really wrong. It led to a long talk about my relationship with her as a baby and how I kind of became overprotective and a bit of a baby-hog. I was so convinced she needed to be protected (don’t even ask me for what, looking back I’m sure I had some kind of postpartum depression) that I just wanted to hold her and love her.

My other two kids were amazing with her. They loved her from day one and wanted to help. I was so blessed because I didn’t have the whole sibling rivalry on top of everything else. In fact, they mostly fought over who was going to help get her a diaper or hold her, etc.

We are very lucky that my daughter is okay, though I get very stressed for each orthopedic appointment that they will tell me she’s going to need some kind of surgery. Our next appointment is in June and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Even though I wanted to go to bed, my conversation with my daughter was so important because I know she went to bed knowing how much she was wanted and loved and that from the very moment I saw her, I loved her with all my heart and never wanted to let her go. It doesn’t hurt that she also feels a little special that she’s the only baby the nurse didn’t insist on weighing, etc. before handing them to me. That bonding moment is something I’ll never forget.

I miss having babies. My kids send my over the edge on a daily basis, but there aren’t even words to describe the intense love I have for them. They are my everything. They are what I’m most proud of; what I’d do anything for.

So not really an autoimmune blog tonight, but this situation really hit me hard. Someday I know I need to tell her she had a twin…mostly because her siblings know and I don’t want her to hear it from them, but I worry that she’ll start feeling like a part of her is missing 😦

These things keep me up at night.

Aside from still being nauseous, my joints are not the best today, but still not horrid. It’s like they are just saying…hello, we just want to remind you we’re here and we could start casing pain at any given moment. I know. I know. I’m taking it easy!

 

** Disclaimer: the pic above is not my daughter, but another baby that needed the same Ponseti Method of casting. My daughter’s legs were a tiny bit more severe in terms of the beginning stage, BUT…they were deemed not to be what is considered “clubbed feet” which is what can often go along with neurological issues. Hers were positional based on being crushed be her twin in utero. The pic was just to give an idea because it’s hard to describe.

 

 

 

 

Anxiety Sucks

My past few weeks have been filled with a lot of panic attacks and anxiety. Actually I’m not sure they are panic attacks, but they are what I’d consider panic attacks. I get this feeling  of anxiety, a little tightness in my chest, I feel like my heart rate is fast, but it isn’t, and I just find myself unable to calm down even with deep breathing.

Kind of sounds like a heart attack when I write it out that way, but at the moment I need to stay off WebMD. I know it’s anxiety. I have had a lot on my plate. I worry a lot in general. I stick my foot in my mouth quite often and deal with the repercussions, which require a significant amount of my time stressing about how to deal with things.

I worry about my kids. Am I doing enough? Am i doing too much? What am I doing wrong? My son has been downright nasty lately. Maybe you can say it’s that he’s almost 13 and that’s typical, but dear lord. He walks in the house and immediately starts being nasty to my youngest daughter. He goes out of his way to be mean.

He argues with me constantly because clearly it’s my fault that he’s in special education for a reading disability and he wants me to tell the school he doesn’t need to go anymore. And he just won’t let things go. EVER! He will talk about something until you want to give in…that’s the plan, I think. But I don’t fall for it.

He recently went off his ADHD medicine and I’m beginning to think this was a bad decision. I feel like it’s adding to his behavior issues. I don’t want to be constantly arguing with him or telling him to calm down. He’s an amazing kid. One on one, he’s so awesome, but he’s so freakin selfish. I just don’t get it.

If his sister’s get to do anything, he gets angry and needs to do something better. He does a LOT! We may not be rich, but we do a lot for our kids to be able to do the sports they want and activities, etc. Out trip to Disney almost sent me over the edge. Any time his sisters wanted to go on a ride he didn’t want to go. If he wanted to go on something then the group could be happy and have fun, but if he was miserable, we all were miserable.

I need to talk to someone about it, or bring him back to therapy because I am at my wit’s end. It’s adding to my stress, but certainly not all of it.

I feel like in my 40s I shouldn’t be worrying about childish games that girls play, but some people never grow up. The gossip and nastiness never ends. It’s not one thing in particular, but rather a general feeling of no longer being included. There is a part of me that’s really okay because even I know I don’t fit in. I’m far from the cool kid, HAHA. But I guess it’s that I don’t know what I did that’s bugging me.

What I’ve decided is to handle it differently than usual. I need to look at people for who they are. I have a lot of really terrific people in my life. I may not be that person who goes out every weekend and posts pics all over FB drinking with my friends, but I have friends that make me laugh, smile, and that I know have my back as I have theirs.

So back to the anxiety…I think that with everything going on it’s this breaking point and at random points through the day my body just says, “ok I’m done, you need to stop now.” I don’t like medicine, but I have been taking a half of a Xanax when I need it. It helps takes that edge off and then I use my breathing and some essential oils. I won’t push those on anyone, but I’m starting to use them and I think for certain things they do help me.

I’m not crazy trying to cure everything with them, but headaches, relaxation, stress, sore muscles, etc., they work pretty well.

My only good news (other than my friend from my last blog is doing magnificent and is already home from the hospital) is that I think the change in medication has finally allowed me to start losing weight. I was gaining anywhere between 1-3 pounds per week for over a year. Nothing I did would stop it. I exercised like a maniac. Tried every diet plan…everything. I was eating under 1000 calories a day and wouldn’t lose a pound.

A few months after a medication switch I’m finally seeing the weight come off. I am down 20lbs since November, but 10lbs since February. This is huge for me. I couldn’t get the scale to move forever.

I’m also feeling well enough to lightly walk and jog on the treadmill. I’m slow as hell. I’m lucky is I can jog for 3 minutes, but I keep going and I feel pretty good. I was so diligent before we left for Disney and I need to get back to it. My FitBit was keeping me accountable. I’ll get back on track tomorrow, though I’m sure I’ll be going backward in stamina.

Anyway, this blog was all over the place. That’s how scattered I’ve been. Maybe I have ADHD. I’m old and crotchety and I think in my old age I am less tolerant of people who are fake. I don’t have time. I am working hard to surround myself with happy people. It’s not easy letting go of friends that have been around for a while, but let me tell you, Facebook has this new acquaintance feature. It’s fabulous!

You can list your friends as acquaintances and choose not to share things with acquaintances. I decided I didn’t need the people that I don’t really see or talk with to have access to my posts, pictures, etc. I’m not deleting them. They can see my comments, etc. just not every post. I LOVE that! It’s helping me not be an unfriending bitch while still keeping things private from those with whom I question their trust.

I’ll try not to be so scattered next time!!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Tech Week Doesn’t Stop for Arthritis

nutcracker

The show must go on is my motto this week. It’s tech week for The Nutcracker, and if you have no idea what that means, it is the prior to the show where they rehearse every night and are given directors notes. Basically I have enough time to feed the girls dinner, help with homework and run out the door to get to the rehearsal.

My girls each have two parts in the show this year. Translation, there is no leaving before the show is done. Tonight we got home around 9:30. That’s late for my kids.

I knew today wasn’t going to be my best after I tried to get up off my stool at the pediatrician’s office that I had been sitting on all morning. I could hardly stand, let alone stand up straight. I must have looked ridiculous walking hunched over in from of people I hardly know. I really only see people there on my way in. For the most part I’m in an office by myself either on the phone or seeing patients.

My back just continued to seize up and then my damn toe started with that weird cramp/locked feeling. My pinky and fourth to cramp together and I can’t separate them or straighten them. If that sounds fun, I assure you it’s hell. Hell meaning you can’t stand on the foot, or even let go of it. Try having that happen at a dance rehearsal. At one point I was sitting holding my toes and trying not to scream.

I sound like Debbie Downer, but Tech Week is also a lot of fun. There is a cast of 240 children and teens with a full orchestra. It’s truly an amazing show and an incredible experience for the kids to see how a professional show is done. As any mom would, I can’t get enough of seeing my girls on stage dancing. My older daughter (9) is graceful and elegant. My younger daughter is not so graceful, but she’s a darn good actress. There’s no speaking roles, but her first role is a scurry mouse and she has to look angry, then scared, then cheer for the mice king, and then eventually leave the stage crying when he dies. I can’t stop laughing at my little drama queen up there waving her arms in the air and mouthing “WHY!” at the end. That kid belongs on the stage. I don’t know if she loves the dancing as much as her sister, but I think she’ll find something she likes on stage to do.

So it’s going to be a long few more days. I plan to nap tomorrow and I’m not sure I’ll get much done on Monday. I know my body well enough to know I’m running it too hard and something’s going to give. I’ve already started my immune support supplements and vitamin C to ward off a cold or something like that, but it’s my own body that I can’t avoid. When I push through to do the things I need or want to do, my body doesn’t always want to follow along.

I’m praying that I make it through the weekend without my cane, but I’m not going to miss any of it. I can’t. Moments like I’ll have this weekend are so important to me. Watching your child do something they love, whether it’s performing or doing a sport or art, there’s just nothing like seeing your baby excel.

Not to be left out, my son starting up wrestling again. This isn’t my favorite sport. I get nervous, though he did well last year. I missed his first two matches because of Nutcracker. I think he’ll be the most pleased when this week is over.

Anyway, I took a half an Ambien because even though I’m wiped out, I knew my head would hit the pillow and I’d be wide awake. Say a prayer that I can nap tomorrow. Even my cats miss me!

No New News; Just New Medicine

pills

My appointment with the endocrinologist went pretty much as expected. My bloodwork all came back in the normal range. As I sat there about to cry, I made a last ditch effort using the the research I did on Metformin being helpful for PCOS, and much to my surprise he agreed to try it. I didn’t see that coming. I was ready with my arguments, but he said that he has seen Metformin help with some patients even when their bloodwork did not show an excess of androgens (male hormones).

So here I am with my new prescription and I’m on the Facebook pages for PCOS reading the horror stories of side effects. It’s mostly stomach issues…people saying they couldn’t leave the bathroom for days. Sounds like a real joy! I opted to only take one pill yesterday as people were saying it was helpful to work up the dose.

I didn’t have any side effects at all, so I figured why not try both doses today. I took the second dose with dinner around 6:30 and I feel like I’m sitting here waiting for something to happen. Fingers crossed that I don’t have issues tonight. I have enough issues already.

Today was hectic. I had a team meeting about 45 minutes away and then sat in traffic for an extra 30 minutes on the way home. I wish I had more interesting things to say today, but at the moment I’m supposed to be editing a military fiction novel and I just can’t concentrate on it. I have another novel waiting to be edited so I need to force myself to get through it.

The novel itself is well-written. I don’t have a lot of work to do in terms of the editing itself, but I’m not familiar with all the military terms or places in Vietnam, so I’m spending a lot of time looking things up. I’m having a hard time focusing at all lately. I just have so many things going on. I know I’m trying to do too many things. What mom doesn’t? But it’s difficult to keep up.

Between Halloween and standing out in the freezing cold for 2 hours on Sunday to watch my son’s football game, I’m really feeling the effects of having an autoimmune disease. My feet were so swollen after walking around in my slippers on Halloween that I couldn’t fit in my shoes on Saturday. I squeezed into them (with my usual brilliance) thinking they’d loosen up, and within about 5 minutes my feet swelled so much that I had to turn around and go back home to get other shoes.

I want to be there for every special moment with my kids, and it’s just really hard when the after effects cripple me at times. It doesn’t mean I’m ever going to stop trying, though. It’s just frustrating.

I’m also learning that just because you care about someone doesn’t mean they deserve it. I guess I’m that person that always hold on to a little bit of the good in people. There are very few people in my life that I hate, if any. I just try and make peace with things and move forward. I’m frustrated because I’ve now had someone try and come in and out of my life as one of my friends is doing now. He’s not even my friend after all the crap he’s pulled. I guess I’m just confused as to how someone can be in a serious psychotic state and then a week or so later act like nothing happened. I am chalking it up to mental illness and trying to just cut off ties.

Okay, I have to get back to my editing.

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