Politics: Tearing Relationships Apart

 

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It’s no secret that this country is the most divided it’s been in my lifetime. Frankly, I’m not sure how we’re going to fix that and I’m the first to admit, I have no ideas.

I’m a middle of the road kind of person. My social views are liberal so if the fact that I’m pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro- some kind of stronger background checks for guns, then I will understand if you want to stop reading. The difference I’m finding is, I have a deep respect for pro-life people. I see their side and do see where they are coming from. I don’t think a woman ever enters that decision easily.

I have two daughters and perhaps that has crafted out my view on the subject. If my daughter was raped and didn’t  Is want to have that baby, I would respect her decision and stand by her. If she chose to have the baby, I’d stand by her and help her in any way. Why? Because I love my daughter and I want her to make the best decision for her.

But I don’t think we’re really arguing about abortion and gun control at this point. I mean, those issues are on the table, but they aren’t the great divide. I think the great divide comes from not being able to listen to each other’s opinions.

I just had a rather large argument with my husband over the president’s decision to exclude some media outlets from his press conference. To me, that goes against everything America stands for. When we take away Freedom of the Press and the right to criticize the government, we start to move toward a scary path of dictatorship where we are told what news we can watch.

I don’t like that. My husband’s point was that Trump kicked them out because they aren’t reporting the truth. Is there media bias? Of course there is. But did Fox have anti-Obama stuff going on a loop over and over all day…yep! And that is their right to do. I wish we were back in a time where a reporter’s job was to report the news and not put their spin on it, but we’re not there.

In some ways it’s good that people have become passionate about what is going on in their country and some have learned how to contact senators, etc. But how do we get to a point where there is a compromise and we can work together?

I don’t think this current president will get us there. Whether he intended to or not, he incited a feeling that it was okay to want people of different race and religion out of the country. It gave white supremacists that had probably otherwise held their meetings in secret, a platform that it was not okay to speak.

In the next town over from where we live a Swastika was painted on a family’s house. While we  are Catholic (yeah, I’m a pro-choice Catholic, that’s between God and I), this incident bothered me a great deal. A friend of mine told me a story of when she was a little girl and the morning of Halloween she woke up to a Swastika painted on her door. She said it was the first time in her life she was afraid because of who she was and even embarrassed.

The newspaper did not release the name of the family but many in our community wanted to surround them with kindness and know that it’s a very few that that kind of hate. I do believe there is far more kindness than hate in the world.

Another issue I tried to bring up with my husband was President Trump’s decision to repeal something Obama put in place where people who were not able to take care of their own finances (another person had their financial guardianship because they were not capable of doing it) could now purchase guns again.

I think I mentioned before that we live minutes from Sandy Hook. My friend lost her daughter that day and my niece lost 11 friends. I don’t want to take guns away from responsible gun owners, but if a person isn’t capable of taking care of themselves how is it okay for them to own a firearm?

This is one issue my husband and I agree on. We actually both feel HIPAA should be thrown out the window if a person owning a firearm is admitting to a psychiatric facility, we think there should be a red flag if they are a gun owner. You can agree or not agree, but we have one side blaming guns and one side blaming mental health. We need to address both.

So what now… other than I’m sleeping in my daughter’s room while she’s at a sleepover and I’m too mad at my husband to talk to him. Do you think we can get back together as a country or are the conservatives and liberals so far apart at this point that it’s not going to happen?

One thing I really hate is seeing posts that start with “You stupid liberals…” as if all people with liberal views feel exactly the same on every issue. Have you ever met anyone that you agreed with on every single issue? I haven’t, but maybe that’s because I’m crabby and don’t like many people 😉

The hate between the two sides needs to subside before a real change can be made. If I had a clue how to make that happen I’d suggest it, but I don’t. I will say Trump supporters posting Anti-Muslim videos and Democrats posting anti-Trump everything isn’t helping. Kellyanne Conway…also not helping. Hello?? We’re concerned abut fake news and yet you have that woman go on the news shows and make shit up? Not helping.

The American people want the truth. They wanted an Education Secretary that has a clue about education. As someone who works as an advocate for children with special needs, Betsy DeVos frightens me. She has the potential to do a lot of damage. I think, in my eyes, if Trump had some cabinet choices that appealed to a wider range of people maybe it would be easier to come together. But hey, she donated a hell of a lot of money to the Republican party so who gives a shit that she knows nothing about public education?

I’d feel better about the president if he chose someone qualified.

I don’t know where we go from here, but it’s not getting better any time soon. Oh sure, my husband and I will talk at some point tomorrow when he stops being an ass and realizes that other people can have different opinions…but when is the rest of country going to catch n to that?

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

God Is Good

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Truth be told, I’m not overly religious. I believe in God. I don’t debate with non-believers. I accept people whatever they choose to believe. But in times of need even those of us that aren’t very religious (I mean I go to church…some Sundays, but mornings are not easy with RA) even turn to God and pray.

I did that this week. For the past year my friend has been dying. Her kidneys were failing and her only option to live was a transplant. Many, many people were tested for to be a live donor, but my friend is a very rare match.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with her on Facebook. In the middle of our conversation she got the call that there was a kidney match and that she was second in line. If the first in line could not take the kidney for whatever reason, she would need to be prepared for surgery. I spent so much time praying, not just for my friend, but thinking of the poor family that was likely approached by a nurse of a doctor after the loss of a loved one regrind organ donation. I prayed for them, that somehow the organ donation, at some point, would give them some sort of peace that a part of their child lived on in someone else.

It wasn’t my friend’s miracle that night. The first person in line accepted the kidney. That was how it was meant to be.

Fast forward to Thursday night when I got a message from a mutual friend that she was on the way to the hospital. A kidney match was on its way. This was it. Somehow as much as I had prayed for it, it just happened so fast and it sounds so stupid but I wasn’t ready. Lord knows, it didn’t matter if I was ready for anything, but I was in a complete panic not knowing if I’d hear from her before the surgery; if I’d get to tell her I knew she was going to be fine and that I love her.

There were five of us on a group chat of Facebook and we were all in the same boat. Hoping. Praying. I didn’t sleep much but when I did wake up Friday morning she was in the hospital waiting on the kidney. I believe the first update was that it would be there at noon.

I did get to chat with her, which meant the world to me. I just needed to hear she was doing ok, though I’m sure she wasn’t. She’s so strong and I admire her strength so much. She handled all of this with grace and humor, but I know she was terrified, just as we were for her.

Later we got another update that the kidney would be there around 5pm. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Maybe I watched too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, but I assumed there would be a chopper flying the kidney in. (We’re talking across a state not across a country.) To ease our own stress, the five of us friends in waiting joked that perhaps a kid on a bike was bringing it in, or maybe it was coming by carrier pigeon. You’d be surprised what makes you laugh when you’re stressed out.

We received word that along with the kidney, another organ was coming for a different patient and that took priority so that surgery would go first and my friend’s would be immediately following. With no timeline, we were just told “later.”

I’m not sure what time it was that I randomly checked in but at that moment she said she was going in right then and needed to call her kids. What that phone call was like I can only imagine, but it was at this point that I broke down. I had been praying the whole time, but I had a serious talk with God.

My friend is a mom of two wonderful kids. They need her. She does so much for other people and she has so much living left to do. I prayed that God would not take her so soon. It was not her time.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. I needed two Xanax to calm down and sleep. It wasn’t pretty and I knew I’d be up all night. She said the surgery would be about 4-5 hours. So I slept.

The first thing I saw when I checked my phone was a picture of her stomach. She said the surgery was a success and the kidney was chugging along and working great. Relief! Happiness! I can’t even find the right words. There was my friend with her miracle.

It sounds silly after just saying I had a mini breakdown and needed Xanax, but deep down I knew she’d be okay. She was in great hands. I think it was the sheer magnitude of what was going on more so than the fear that she wouldn’t survive. I mean, of course there is always that fear as well, but I just wasn’t thinking that.

I spent so long praying that she’d get this miracle and when it finally happened and she was going in, I think every emotion hit me at once. So this blog isn’t about me today. It’s about my friend and it’s about God.

I may not be an every Sunday church-goer but I do pray. I talk to God, good or bad about how things are. I don’t think you need to go into a church to have a relationship with God, but I do believe he listens. He heard my prayers, and the prayers of many others last night and my friend has a second chance at life.

She is not out of the woods. She still needs prayers that her body doesn’t reject the new kidney and that she heals well, etc. But I have faith that she will be fine. It’s funny, someone can move many states away and you can just chat online all the time, but they can still mean so much to you. I hope she knows how much her friendship means to me.

 

 

 

 

Another Tough Week with a Happy Ending

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Overall this has not been a great week for me. I’ve had horrific migraines, to the point where I had to pull over with my kids in the car because my vision was to blurry to drive. My stupid insurance only covers 4 generic pills (Maxalt) per month. It’s the only thing that truly helps me, and I used all four this week.

I have a feeling part of it is that they changed my birth control pill and my hormones are all over the place, but there was one point Tuesday night where I thought my head was going to explode.

In all honesty, it was a very stressful week for me. As I mentioned, we were adopting a puppy. I had asked and asked for an updated picture and when I finally got one on Sunday night, the dog looked nothing like I thought. I agonized over this. The point of me getting my midlife crisis dog was fulfill the lifelong dream of having a German Shepherd. Now I went through hell to rescue and he wasn’t a shepherd.

I sat the kids down to talk and no one was on the same page as me, as expected. They had their heart set on him. But the next day they agreed to look at pictures of German Shepherd puppies that were available this week. We all agreed that I needed to contact the rescue, allow them to keep the money as a donation, and get the dog I was dreaming about.

.I shed a lot of tears figuring out what was the best decision, and I’m sure that didn’t help my migraines. When it came down to it, the whole dream of getting one was out the window if I took a dog that really wasn’t what I wanted. But then I struggled with being a horrible person who agreed to rescue and changed her mind.

I’ve never bought a pup without meeting it, and ultimately I felt meeting a dog first was so important. So…we found pups in Pennsylvania that were 8 weeks old and ready to go to homes. We drove 4 hours one way…did I mention I have three kids?

When we” got to the farm house, my kids asked what this cart was in the yard and I had to explain before we got out of the car that they apparently were an Amish family. I hoped our little talk would help keep the comments to a minimum, but my son doesn’t always take social cues so well. The first thing he said when he saw the woman with her hair in a cap and the man with the long beard was: “Why are they dressed like that?”

Anyway, we met 9 puppies that all looked alike and it was no easy decision, but I watched one little guy go up to each of my kids and play so I chose him as our new baby. Even after 8+ hours in the car (with the last 4 in constant dispute over who was going to hold the puppy), I can tell you we made the right decision for us. He’s a lovey and I’m saying that at 2AM after he just woke me up to go outside.

He is not a big fan of his crate. He lived in a barn with cows and had never even been inside the house. I worried how my pets would react, but so far they’ve all amazed me. Our dog didn’t seem upset or dominant and the cats have slowly been checking him out. He should totally be back in the crate right now, but he’s asleep on my lap.

I love him and he was worth the week of hell. I feel like complete crap right now. My hands are swollen. My body is completely stiff from the car ride, but somehow I know it is all the way it was supposed to be. I mean, look at his picture. How could you not love him?

Glad That Migraine Is Over

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Last night sucked. I had a horrible migraine on and off since Saturday. Yesterday was bad enough that I used one of my rationed Maxalt. Even the generic is so expensive because my insurance has a rider on migraine meds for me. I hate them for it. Just throwing that out there.

I was up until 4AM, mostly playing online Words with Friends and Dice with Friends. I’ve been doing a lot of donation requesting from companies for an online auction that the nonprofit I work for is doing in May. I don’t mind doing the requests by email, but I’m definitely not someone who will go into businesses and solicit donations in person. I hear that yields great results, though.

While the Maxalt helped for a few hours, the migraine came back in full force by last night. I had to cancel plans to go to the Capitol today for Special Education Day. It just wasn’t going to happen with blurry vision in one eye and a pounding head.

I’m doing a lot better now, but even though it’s been a long day. I hardly got out of bed until like 1:30PM. I hate when that happens, but I have to accept that there was no way of getting around it today. My body was not having it. Even though the weather is warming up to a balmy 40 degrees, my hands are still swollen  and sore in the morning. Today was just all around crap.

We have 12 more days until the puppy arrives. I can hardly stand the wait. We just want him here! He would have arrived today if they let him go on my friend’s transport, but the 28th will come soon enough.

I’m going to try to go to sleep early, despite the fact that I slept all day. I just feel like I’m fighting something and I can’t tell whether it’s the beginning of a rheumatoid or fibro flare. I often feel like I’m getting the flu when I get a flare…that almost sore throat, achy body feeling.

I hope you’re all have a better day than I am.

Too Busy to Blog???

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I really don’t have a great excuse as to why I haven’t written a blog lately. I’ve been really busy in the evenings doing a few editing projects. I also have been feeling like crap. Yesterday my vision started getting blurry during my session with my tutoring client and that turned into a really horrific migraine.

In all my stupidity, I didn’t want to cancel bringing my daughters to a Christmas dance shown that is put on by the company that they dance with. In some ways, I think they are shunned a bit for not doing the company Christmas show, and instead auditioning for the Nutcracker, which is a huge production that includes dancers from all the surrounding towns and into New York.

We had promised some of the girls’ friends that we’d go, and I bought the tickets ahead of time. I napped as long as possible prior to the show and off we went. It was a very nice show–more like a variety show, with singing and dancing. I made it through the first act okay, but during the second act I was counting songs from the program and estimating the time before I could go home and take a stronger medicine.

I drove home with one eye open and when I got back I took a Maxalt, which is something I only take in extreme cases. It’s just super expensive, like $100 for four pills, so I use them sparingly, but dear lord, last night I needed one. I went to bed with ice packs on my neck and over my eyes.

Luckily, I woke up and the headache was gone. I had plans to do some shopping today, and that went south when I hit a park in a department store parking lot. It was a little fender bender. My car has a scratch on the bumper and the man’s car had a small dent. You know that feeling right after an accident. That crunch sound and the “oh my god, this is going to  be a fortune feeling.” I had that. The man was an older war veteran and he could not have been nicer. He wanted to make sure my girls were okay, etc. We were all fine, and that’s what I tried to focus on. You can always replace a car, not the people in it.

After that happened, I lost interest in going to Kohls. I decided to shop online. I actually got a lot accomplished tonight. My biggest issue #1 is that my youngest daughter wants the Lalaloopy Diaper Surprise doll. Don’t know it? Oh it’s this doll that you give a bottle too, and she POOPS charms. You read that correctly. She poops out charms for a bracelet. I’ve tried to talk her out of it, but it was at the top of her list.

Feel free to have a laugh and check out the commercial for it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXexeL3IQbI

I have yet to decide what to do about that request. She has so many dolls on her list, I am going to have her narrow it down tomorrow. Another dilemma is that she wants the Baby Elsa and Baby Anna dolls from Frozen. Good luck finding those!

My second large issue is that my son wants a phone. Last year we told him if he made the honor roll, he could get one. That worked well. Then he lost it. He’s been without it for about 4 months. My argument is to replace the phone because I’m not spending $200 on an iPod Touch when he already has an older one and a Kindle Fire. My thought is, he is in middle school. The school has after school activities that he can just show up for. He could send me a text.

It’s no that I feel he 100% needs a phone. I just think the alternatives are all going to be only used until he gets a phone. I don’t know. He has just about saved up the money to replace the phone from chores and cat sitting for my parents. I just don’t want to get him a bunch of crap. I did find some fun things for him, but they are all fairly small. I got him a practice football jersey with our last name on it—he’s going to flip!

I also got him an indoor putting thing because he plays golf. There just isn’t that one main gift for him. I’ll figure it out. His dad doesn’t think he should get another phone, but I think people deserve a second chance. Plus that’s something he cares about it, so all I have to do is threaten to take it away, or take it away and have him think about the way he’s acting, etc.

My journey with my health is at a standstill. My step mother, who is a nurse, thinks I should go to NYC or to Yale for a second opinion on the thyroid issue. I’m going the no sugar route tomorrow. We’ll see how long I last, but my weight is a huge problem. It’s really depressing for me because I’ve always been super thin up until these last two years. I hate seeing myself in pictures or even a mirror. I look terrible.

My friend keeps pushing me to try one of those 30-day cleanses, but that sounds so overwhelming. There are four days in the month where you fast. You take a supplement and a full glass of water each hour for two days. I mean, people in her group are posting amazing results, but that is not an easy plan to follow.

Tomorrow I’m going to pretend like I’m back teaching step aerobics and do my thing downstairs. There is a fine line between working it and pushing it thought. I have crazy tech week for the Nutcracker. I can’t be out of commission with joint pain.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. I’d like to be down 10lbs by Christmas. Fingers crossed.

I’m Dreadful Today

4369149503_845e22b820_mThat’s right…I said dreadful! Doesn’t that sound dramatic? Well, I feel dramatic. Today sucked. My kids were not on their best behavior at times. Have you ever just had a day where you feel like wherever you go you’re just being snubbed? I was totally snubbed this evening and I shouldn’t care. I know I shouldn’t care what people think of me, but I used to be friendly with some of these women so it caught me off guard.

My son’s football team is practicing at the town high school so there are a lot of people, myself included, who use the hours of practice time to walk the track. Tonight I only had an hour before I had to leave for Wizard of Oz (I’ll get to that hell in a moment) but I wanted to get in a quick walk. I was walking with my daughter and she decided she was going to sit and watch practice, which was fine with me because she was cranky as hell. In the process of saying goodbye to her and telling her to be good a few friends came onto the track and wished me a happy anniversary.

At the same time, another girl who was walking approached and everyone said hello. We all started walking and it became clear that I was not included in their walk. It was the oddest thing. Truthfully, I’m a loner and I like to listen to my music so I’m not sure why it’s bothering me so much, but I think maybe it was the way it was done. The four of us were walking in a line and then they just started walking faster, so I slowed down to make life easier.

I have felt a bit of a cold shoulder from the one I’ll refer to as the “main” girl since football began and I’m not sure why. She’s always been nice to me and she’s very funny. I have nothing but nice things to say about her, but I get the feeling that’s not mutual. So now I’m sitting here like a high school kid wondering why people hate me. I’m 42…someone tell me to grow up! But do we ever really stop letting stupid things like this hurt our feelings? I mean, to a point I stopped caring what people think of me a long time ago. I don’t seek out people’s approval. I stopped trying to get my in-laws to like me years ago.

So now I’m bothered about why this is bothering me! This girl is not a close friend so it’s not that. I think it’s that I don’t know what I did. I’ve made the decision, though, to write this blog about it and then let it go because I don’t have time to worry about it. I think it just sucks to be ostracized.

I went from that fun to The Wizard of Oz and it was not fun tonight. I’m starting to really not like about 6 of the kids. Actually it’s 3, but 6 were bad tonight. They were awful! They wouldn’t be quiet backstage. A few of them jumped on stage before their scene, while others were busy playing with the set or each other’s hats during the performance. There is this one girl that was holding a large lollipop that’s used in the Lollipop Guild part of the Munchkin scene and she was waving it in front of this guy’s face. I told her about 7 times to knock it off, and I took it away from her twice. She kept going back and getting a different one. I actually asked her if she thought I was stupid tonight. Let’s just say my patience was not at an all-time high this evening.

I just took a half an Ambien because I knew I’d have no chance of getting any sleep. I don’t like my husband. I hardly got a phone call, let alone flowers for our anniversary. Oh but supposedly he told my son to have me call when I got home from Wizard of Oz. I sent him a text thanking him for acknowledging the day…passive aggressive and unkind…okay, yes. But dammit, I’ve been through a lot of hell during these 15 years. We’re not really gift people. I don’t need anything. I’m not a jewelry person, but I thought since he was away he’d at least send flowers, but no. Would you like to know who showed up with flowers? My mother-in-law! She said, “Since Joe isn’t here to get you flowers, I wanted to come by with some.” I’m telling you she’s really been shocking me lately. Even 4 years ago that never would have happened. When I was going through infertility treatments and all my miscarriages, I remember at one point my husband asked her to reach out to me because I don’t have my own mom here to help me through it. My mother-in-law called me once to talk, and I think she tried to listen but kept relating things to when she worked at a gynecologist’s office 30 years earlier. It wasn’t an easy conversation because she doesn’t listen well, but it meant something to me that she reached out (even if she was asked to). I thought maybe that’s the beginning of her being there for me. She never called again to talk and they really just never asked about it.

Now I know having gone through several miscarriages that people don’t know whether to bring it up or not. They worry to ask about it and don’t want to further upset you. I get it, and there are days that there is no right answer, but I think as long as you show that you care and you are there and interested, that’s all anyone could want.

I did take my kids out to lunch today. They wanted to go to Olive Garden. We did have a nice lunch, with the exception of my youngest, who wasn’t thrilled with her mac & cheese, but she seemed off today. She was pretty cranky. She even turned down dessert. The other two enjoyed their meals and we talked about my wedding and family. I try and talk to them a lot about my mother and how much she’d have loved them. They like to hear stories from when I was growing up. Despite some bickering in the car, we really did have a nice lunch. There is nothing more important that has come out of my marriage than my children. They are so different. They all have their our quirks and needs, and abilities, but I couldn’t be more proud of them. None of them have an easy road ahead. I have two with reading issues, two with social issues, and one that’s very shy (yes some have more than one issue). But they have me, and I don’t intend to let them down. My job is to build them up (realistically) because there are enough people in life that are ready to tear you down.

On to my RA. Really all I’ve been doing other than my class is walking and my hip flexor muscles (the ones along the front of the hips) are really sore. The good news is that I just started so hopefully they’ll get better. Also, I just bought heat for the pool so once it is warm enough, I’ll be able to exercise in that more. It’s just been too cold here. It doesn’t even feel like summer. I was out tonight in a sweatshirt and I was freezing. It’s August 7th! It should not be this cold already. Where the heck is our heat wave? I’m still waiting!!

Anyway, this blog is getting long again so I should probably end it before my Ambien kicks in and I start shopping. I didn’t get anything for my anniversary and that would tend to mean I’d buy something for the cats. They’d benefit from my loss. Tomorrow is another day.

I hope your day was better than mine!

 

Blogging from Work…with People

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Here I am at work! It’s my first official day at the pediatric office. I don’t work for the office. I still work for the non-profit organization, and I can tell some of the doctors are still a little confused as to what I do. The last one who came in had the most background in special education. She promised to keep me busy with a lot of clients and seemed really happy to have me on board.

It’s a huge deal for me to be here. The fact that I have nothing to do kind of sucks, but apparently they thought I was starting next week, and it’s also going to take a little time to build up some referrals. Everyone has been really nice, so I guess I can call this a success. I made it through the door. I didn’t need a Xanax, and I’ve been pleasant to everyone.

My cold/strep/sinus thing seems a bit better today. Today is day 3 on the antibiotics. I’m still coughing, but I don’t feel like I got hit by a truck anymore, so that’s a definite plus.

I’m gearing up for a long few nights of Wizard of Oz. We have two nights of dress rehearsals, and then opening night is Friday. We are going to watch the play Friday, and I’m volunteering backstage on a few of the other nights. My plan is to go home and nap after my few hours here, and then hopefully be in good shape to volunteer tonight.

My daughter doesn’t seem overly thrilled about it. She was placed on the second tier of the stage and secretly I was happy because she is tiny and I couldn’t see her at all, but she’s kind of bummed because she doesn’t get to do as much bopping around. I am just happy she’s doing it!

My rheumatoid arthritis seems to have calmed down quite a bit. My legs aren’t as sore, and my feet aren’t swollen anymore. My fingers still look a little bit swollen, but I’m not in as much pain overall. I still feel achy, but the intense joint pain has subsided. I guess I have a new plan of action should I ever go to Disney again. I need a scooter every other day. I think that would really cut out all the fatigue and swelling.

My new fear is that I’m hitting menopause. It’s been really hot out and I keep getting sweaty…of course this subsides if I turn the air conditioning on, but I won’t pay attention to that kind of reasoning. The weight gain, the “hot flashes,”—it could be!

I have two big appointments coming up. One with my gynecologist and one with my rheumatologist. I’ll be honest and say I’m pretty nervous about seeing my gyno this time. My mom died of ovarian cancer at 43. I’m 42 and I’m bloated and I can’t lose weight. I just want to hear that I’m okay, and then I want to discuss elective ovarian removal. I’m not sure I can afford it, or if somehow, we can make it medically necessary since I’m so prone to cysts, but I live in constant fear that  I’m going to get this type of cancer and die. I just want to get rid of those parts.

The next appointment with the rheumatologist is really to discuss what’s not working. I still get the neuropathy symptoms and I intend to discuss going on gabapentin with my doctor. I also want to discuss something other than Flexeril because I just don’t feel like that is doing anything at all.

Perhaps I’ll spend a little time looking up different muscle relaxers since apparently I have some time to kill. Don’t get me wrong. I can already tell (even though I’m sitting here writing a blog) that this is going to be a great opportunity. The doctors are excited and seem to already have families in mind that they can refer to me. I think my first few weeks will be boring. As the office manager said, everyone is cramming in check-ups for sports and back-to-school. They aren’t thinking about their educational services or developmental delays for the most part over the summer.

I tend to agree, but instead of using that as an excuse not to come, I need to keep showing up and letting them all get to know me. I just need to bring things to do. Next week I’ll work on the newsletter or something. I’ll figure it out.

Since I’m bored and I have time, I might as well let you in on what’s been going on with my “friend” who deleted me from Facebook–the one who told me this blog was a terrible idea. While I was on vacation he sent me a very nice email, to the effect of, I know we’re in a bad place, but I want you to know that I give you a lot of credit for the man I am today and thank you for helping my children and me through some very tough times.

While this caught me off-guard, there were signs that he was trying to be friendly. He had sent a text or two and he unblocked my cat from Facebook (yes, my cat has his own Facebook page and yours should, too!). I don’t know if he unblocked me, because I made the decision to block him to take the control away from him because he has friended and unfriended and blocked and unblocked me more times than I can count.

I responded to his email thanking him for his kind words, and assuring him that he and his kids would always have a special place in my heart and that I was so happy for them that they finally had their own home (he just bought a house). The next night, he texted me a total a 20 times wanting to talk and just chatting. I wasn’t sure how to handle that. I haven’t been rude to him, but I haven’t wanted to engage as friends either.

He told me about dating someone and it didn’t work out and that he doesn’t want to date any more..ding ding ding. He needs a friend. It’s tough because I choose to see a lot of good in him, but he continues to do and say things (I may have him blocked on FB, but I still hear when he say awful things) that I just wouldn’t want a friend to say Or maybe I said that wrong…I wouldn’t hand out with someone as callous. He is critical and cruel to other people, and I just don’t need it.

The other day he said to a friend of mine that she talks about her illness all the time and that just hit home with me. First of all, I think my friend has been very private about the details of what she’s going through. If he does know the details, she certainly hasn’t discussed it over and over with him, and that’s just what he’d do with me. It just reaffirmed why we aren’t friends.

He thought this blog would be a source of negativity for me, and it’s been anything but. Sure, I can freely vent, but I’ve also connected with and reached so many people struggling with invisible illnesses. It’s been a good thing.

Anyway, I’m explaining all that because for a moment it was nice to catch up with him, and that moment faded quickly. He actually told me he was upset that I blocked him. Um…hello! He said “two wrongs don’t make a right.” That might be true, but taking that control away from him was the right thing for me to do.

Ok, that’s long enough for one blog. Enjoy your day and I’m sorry about any typos. I don’t like this keyboard.

 

 

 

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