Blogging Is Hard

wonka

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope my autoimmune friends are all doing well too!

 

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Motherhood: The Perpetual State of PMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Dusting off the Blog

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I haven’t written a blog post in over a year. I think I lost my mojo for getting it done and it was hard finding things to talk about to keep it interesting. I thought about it and why does it have to be interesting? I’m not all that impressive! I’m just me. So this is just my blog.

So what’s happened over the past year…too much to recap. My kids seem to have aged so much. It’s going by too fast. It sounds so cliche. Everyone tells you to slow down and enjoy it, but when you are a freakin taxi driver taking kids to ballet, gymnastics, wrestling, baseball, etc., it’s hard to slow down.

My house is never perfect. I’m hardly ever organized, but I’m somehow holding it all together. Last year around this time I decided I was having a mid-life crisis. I was turning 43 last March and that was the age I had been dreading since I was a kid. My mom passed away from ovarian cancer than I was 14 and she was 43. I had always thought I, too, would die at 43.

Between my fear of dying and leaving my kids motherless, and realizing just how young my mother really was when she battled cancer and died, I was having a really tough time. I didn’t want anything to do with my birthday so instead I put all my energy into getting a puppy. For anyone who has read my previously, you know I already have a zoo with a dog, three cats, and a parrot, but since I was a little girl I’ve always wanted a German Shepherd.

For weeks, my life was searching rescue sites for the perfect puppy. It took over my life, which I think was what I needed at the time. We brought Dunkin home on March 26th of last year and my birthday is March 30th. It made my birthday less about me and more about enjoying the puppy.

My rheumatoid arthritis is still a pain in the ass among other places. Last winter was much more difficult than this winter. We’ve honestly had a fairly warm winter. And it doesn’t hurt that we were in Florida last week when it was -10 here and we missed that completely.

I felt like I wanted to write a blog tonight because people annoy me with they dumb comments! I don’t know why people say the dumbest things. I’d like to answer with sarcasm: Yes, I have RA because I don’t take care of myself. Yep, it feels JUST like the arthritis you have in your knee from playing tennis. No, I haven’t thought about trying Alleve! I’ll have to give that a try. Your mother’s cousin’s friend tried an herbal supplement that cured her of RA, oh yes please get me that info right away!

I’m back on Plaquenil and I am better on it than off. I tried Cymbalta for chronic pain and that did not go well at all. I was hell! All I did was scream at my kids. I also had even worse mood swings coming off of it. Needless to say, it was not the drug for me. It my help a lot of people with pain management, but the mood side effects for me were horrendous. I was angry…like really angry all the time.

Two weeks ago I tried the trigger point injections again because my rheumatologist talked me into it. Last time around it cause a multi-day migraine. I think it hit something, but what do I know. This time around I had no reaction and until today I haven’t had a headache. Today’s migraine was pretty intense, but between the Excedrin (my prescription meds are out) and the muscle relaxer I was able to get rid of it enough to function.

I was offered my old job back, kind of. I was laid off in 2010 in a really hurtful turn of events that just didn’t need to be handled in that manner. Fast forward 5 years and the company has gone under and new owners have resurrected it and they reached out to see if I’d be interested in producing the annual directories that I used to do. I’m not sure what the hell I was thinking when I accepted their timeline, but somehow I got it done (with help from some wonderful friends who wanted the work and did a great job).

They want to meet with me again this coming Friday to discuss doing them again for this year with a longer timeline, so that’s a good thing. As a freelancer, steady income is a plus. I work as an advocate but I work for a nonprofit. I’m never getting rich that way…heck I’m lucky if I can buy groceries for the month with that, but I love it and I love the families I get to work with…95% of them. I can’t vent about the other 5% but trust me when I say there are some stories there!!

Anyway, I intend to start venting more often because it’s healthy for me. There are far too many irritating people in the world and I just can’t keep it all in!

 

Working Out and Feeling Bad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back Pain, Stiffness and Being a New Mom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

Super Bowl, Snacks, and Snow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Okay, I’m back!

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I haven’t blogged in over a month. I have thought about it a few times, actually quite a few, but life gets in the way. I’ve been editing four novels and that’s certainly taken up a good chunk of my time. Put that together with extreme cold weather, aches and pain, swollen joints, and three kids with their various daily activities, if I’m being honest, most of the time I’m just sleeping when my kids aren’t here.

Okay, maybe not every day, but there have been quite a few since Christmas that I worked right from bed with my heated blanket on me all day long. My hands don’t deal well with the severe cold temperatures we’ve been having in Connecticut. I know it’s much worse in other places in the country, so I’m trying not to complain, but moving to Arizona sounds darn good right about now.

I’m not sure why I chose tonight for my blog comeback. It was a non-eventful day up until about 5pm when water started coming out of my wall. My guess was the a pipe burst, but after watching the hubs cut through the ceiling and under my sink, only to find no leaks, we have no idea what the heck is going on.

My husband is very handy. The only thing he won’t do is electrical work. He’s stumped. The water is coming in from the outside wall. Of course the big fear is that my pool is on that wall, but I’m choosing to pop a xanax and not think about that. When we shut the water off to the house, the leak stopped, so it clearly has to do with our water/pipes. So tomorrow, we’ll call a plumber. Good times!

I overdid it today, and I wish I could say I ran a marathon or something. All I did was go food shopping and work on cleaning the house. I had a very emotional talk with my son tonight. He started asking me questions about when I found out my mom was sick, and if I knew she was going to die. He’s a very “deep” kid, so he asks a lot of questions. He wanted to know where I was when I found out she was going to die, where I was when she died, where she was, etc. It turned into a really long conversation and I was a bit emotional.

I remember not believing my mom was going to die. I was 14 and I did a whole lot of praying. I was telling my son that one memory that always stands out for me was when they had to call the ambulance for my mom for some reason. I heard her visiting nurse tell my step-father to make sure the kids said goodbye because she wasn’t sure if my mom would be coming home.

I spent that evening alone in my room crying. I don’t know why I didn’t call anyone. I had some wonderful friends. But I just remember feeling like I couldn’t talk.

Now I know what my son was getting at today. I have dreaded turning 43, the age my mom died, since I was 14. I assure him that I take care of myself and get all the necessary checkups, I think he knows that this year is hard for me. I’m turning the age that my mom was when she died. I’m outliving the years the my mom had. It’s a very strange feeling.

I’ve always been concerned that I’d die at 43 so I think I’m just not celebrating my birthday this year. I always love March and love my birthday, but this year will be low-key. Next year, God willing, I will have a celebration.

The conversation with my son was the first time in a really long time that I had really talked about what it was like for me when my mom was so sick. It’s funny that I’m 42 and I still can’t get through that without crying. Not crazy, hysterics, but tears. I miss my mom, and growing up without a mom during your teenage years sucks. Let alone not having her help me with my wedding or seeing her as a grandmother. All of that stuff gets me emotional.

Tonight’s blog photo, the four-leaf clover, is for my mom. My mom was one of the smartest and funniest people I ever met. She had this really weird ability of finding four leaf clovers. We’d be going for a walk and she’d just find one. We pressed them all into a photo album. I was just thinking about that and wishing I still had it.

So between being a bit emotionally drained, and having a lot of pain in my back and hip, I’m done for the day. There’s just one problem…I have an auction on eBay that ends at 12:20AM. It’s stupid and I don’t need it, but you know when you see something at a store and love it, but think…eh, I can’t do it today, maybe next time. Then you think about that thing and go back and it’s gone?

I collect crazy nutcrackers. Yes, I have a few soldiers, but the majority of them are silly like hockey players with blacked out teeth, a bagpiper, a leprechaun, etc. Anyway, I saw this sushi maker nutcracker with a tray of sushi a few years ago at Home Goods. Never, ever leave Home Goods without getting what you like because it likely won’t be there the next time you go (with the exception of my fantastic 4-foot iron flamingo).

I did a lot of Christmas shopping online, and so I put a saved search in eBay to see if one comes up. Well, much to my surprise, someone put one on for sale this week. Right now he’s at $20, but the same person increased their bid. I’m forcing myself to stay up until midnight (not like I really fall asleep before then, but Ambien is out of the question tonight). I must win the sushi guy!

Anyway, that’s a quick recap of my month. The last time I wrote something was during tech week for The Nutcracker, and both of my girls did so well. I was a super proud mama!

Stay tuned tomorrow for an update on my new weight loss quest. I’m researching plans. I need something idiot proof, so if anyone has a good recommendation, please share.

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!

Snow Is on the Way

thanksgiving

It’s been a while since I’ve wrote a blog. Like has gotten in the way a bit. I have two novel editing clients, and so many referrals for the non-profit that I work for. Top that off with a crazy Nutcracker schedule, my son ending his football season and beginning wrestling a day or two later. I’m doing what I can to hold it together and try and grab a nap when I can.

I’m tired, yet sleep still eludes me. I’ve been taking a half an Ambien to help, but tonight it doesn’t seem to be helping so much. I was kind of hoping that they wouldn’t cancel school tomorrow so I could at least have a few hours of rest and cleaning without all three of them home. Unfortunately, we already got the call that school is closed.

I think it’s supposed to start snowing early in the morning and we’re expecting 5-8 inches. Did I mention I hate winter? I just get so cold, it’s hard to work when my whole body is shivering. I’m expecting to have to shovel tomorrow, and I’m really okay with that. It was a good workout last year, and this year I bought those hand warmers that you can stick inside your gloves.

I’m not much for playing in the snow anymore, but I’m sure my kids will want to go outside. We’ll see what happens.

Tonight’s random rant is about Lorde (the singer). I watched her the other night on the AMAs and now she’s on Jimmy Fallon. Her dancing looks like she’s got some kind of tic.

I don’t have much else to report other than I’ve been advised to get a second opinion of someone who really specializes in thyroid issues. I’m going to make a call to Yale Hospital tomorrow and she if they have someone there that I can get another opinion with.

My step-mother was doing her own research and she said, that I have every one of the symptoms. Of course, I knew that, but my blood test for hypothyroid came back in the normal range. I will try and get a second opinion where I might be able to run everything by a different endocrinologist that specializes in thyroid issues…like someone at Yale. I guess I’m lucky to live so close to Yale and the NYC hospitals. I have options.

I hope you’re all doing something nice for Thanksgiving! Wishing everyone a pain free and peaceful day.

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