Irrational Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

 

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.

 

 

Town Politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoping you all had a pain-free day.

Still Dieting

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It’s day 4 of my Ideal Shape diet. Yesterday was easy, but today I had to go to brunch for a family event. I probably ate more at that one meal than I would have if I were home, but I skipped an extra meal today and only had four. I’m probably not supposed to do that, but I really wasn’t hungry.

Interestingly, what is the most difficult is getting all the water in. That’s a LOT of water, definitely way more than I’m used to drinking. I’m wondering if my headaches will improve a bit with all the extra water. My brother-in-law is a neurologist and he always said dehydration is a major cause for headaches.

I got to go to dinner last night with an old friend and that was good therapy for me. She is one of my oldest friends. We met in kindergarten. I think I needed the therapy session with someone who knew my mother. We went through a lot around the same time, first with my mother being sick and dying of cancer, and then she had her own family issues a year or two later.

When you’ve known someone that long, inevitably you have a lot to reminisce and laugh about. It was a good night.

We are now expecting a huge snow storm. Depending on who you listen to, it’s either starting tomorrow morning or after 5pm. They keep moving it up…and increasing the amount of snow we’re supposed to get. I stopped listening when the amounts were over 18 inches.

I braved the grocery store with all the nuts getting their bread and milk this evening. I like to cook when we’re snowed in, so I bought a roast and snacks for the kids. And, I stocked up on cat treats for the furry children. Heaven forbid they go without.

I don’t mind the snow when I have nowhere to go. It’s kind of nice being snowed in, as long as we don’t lose power. Our electric company has already sent a robocall about power outages. So basically, people are going insane.

Typically we don’t lose power that often. We survived Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickers, but everyone else on our road was out for over a week. We’re on a different power circuit (that’s about as technical as I get). We do have a wood stove, so that will help should we lose power. I have my crocheting, board games, cards, etc. We’ll keep busy.

I just signed up for Netflix. I might possibly be the only person that hasn’t joined until now. I’m hoping that will be something the kids and I can do tomorrow. I was looking all over for the movie West Side Story to show it to my daughter. She’s all into musicals and I know she’d love it.

So that’s the plan for Snowpacalyse. Stay tuned. Hopefully I can survive baking cookies, etc. with my diet!

 

Diet: Day 2

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I survived another day. Some good news to report: the Ideal Shape vanilla shake was just as good as the chocolate one. They actually are quite filling, but today I was hungry around 4pm-5pm. You are supposed to weight 3 hours between meals, and that was a little tough tonight, but I did it. Hopefully it will get easier.

I’ve been chugging water all day as well. On Fridays I tutor a man with autism at an office for a nonprofit that works with people with disabilities. I’ve never left him alone before. I walk him to the bathroom and back, etc. With all the water I’ve been drinking, I had to get him started on a word search just so I could run to pee. I thought my stomach was going to burst.

I did forget to weigh myself today, but I’ll try and remember tomorrow. I need a starting point so I can feel encouraged if I lose some weight.

I got some tough news about my dad today. He is going in for open heart surgery to replace a valve on February 10th. It’s major surgery and he’ll be in ICU for 2 days and then in the hospital for 5 days. My dad isn’t a talker. He’s not Mr. Emotional, so it’s tough. We all got an email from my step-mother, who also included that they found another spot on her lung that they are watching. She had lung cancer a few years ago and went through surgery and chemo.

Sometimes I get upset with my family because I wish we were closer. We see each other. We love each other, but we don’t talk about emotions. My mother was the emotion person. She just exuded love and you never needed her to tell you she loved you because it was obvious, but she told you all the time anyway. I’m like that with my kids. You can never tell them you love them too much.

So I’m stressed about that. If you’re the praying type and you could spare a prayer for my dad, I’d sure appreciate it.

I had my son’s PPT today and it went very well. They are going to test him again for Auditory Processing Disorder. He had testing done three years ago, and at the time, they just told me he didn’t have it and we could rule that out, but the speech pathologist at his middle school explained today that you need to fail in two categories to get diagnosed with APD. My son failed in one category and in a second category he passed by two points, so she had concerns that this might be what’s going on.

Three years ago I researched APD and diagnosed my son with it (I’m a total Internet doctor). So when they completely ruled it out, I went in another direction, which was that he is dyslexic. His father and aunt are dyslexic, and I still think he is, but he is so in line with APD. I’m actually eager for them to do the testing. This means I’ll likely throw myself into another round of APD research.

We’re getting snow tomorrow. It’s getting a lot colder tonight. My hands are a mess. Even after 30 minutes on the heating pad, my fingertips are still ice cold. Raynaud’s is no joke. Hopefully, after I get some cleaning done, I’ll have a relaxing day of going nowhere. I can get back to my crochet blanket or some other craft project.

They haven’t canceled my daughter’s audition class yet, but we did get an email saying not to leave in the morning without checking email to see if the class is on. I’m going to say it’s doubtful. The class is about 45 minutes north of me, and they are slated to get more snow up there.

Ok, I popped an Ambien and I just finished my last “meal” of the day–a gluten free rice cake with peanut butter. I have to say, as long as I can have peanut butter every day, I might just make it through this diet. So far so good.

I’m going to end the blog for the night before I get crazy. If you’re in my neck of the woods, stay safe tomorrow in the sleet and snow.

It Warmed Up Outside Today, Someone Alert my Body

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I can’t get warm. My hands, fingers and feet are so cold they get numb. I wasn’t this bad all day, but right now it’s out of control. I have a heated blanket and a heating pad on full force.

I ended up taking all three kids to see Into the Woods today. Good news, my 7-year-old wasn’t scared at all. Most of the bad parts really weren’t shown. I had read the page on IMDB so I knew what to expect, but it wasn’t as violent as some people said.

I love my musicals so I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say it was favorite ever, but it was cast well.

After that I had some running around to do before we ended up home around 7pm. My son is petrified to go to school tomorrow. He’s making a huge situation of a bad situations from last Friday. A boy, who my son thought is a good friend, asked him…no told him to go buy a snack for the boy.

Step #1 in the right direction, my son said no, rather than buy it so he can fit in. That’s a huge step. Well, when he said no, the boy got everyone else at the table to move, leaving my son alone. The issue is compounded because the dads are good friends and my son thinks the twins should be his best friends. They don’t see it that way.

He is afraid to take the bus and go to school, but we did some role playing on what he should say. I have him asking another boy on the bus to sit with him at lunch. I don’t like most of the kids he sits with anyway. It’s no skin off my back if he finds friends who treat him well. What more could I want for him

No one should feel like everyone hates them. I feel bad for him, but he does need to toughen up a little. He’s a deep thinker, but doesn’t always get when things are implied instead of said. He’s very literal. I just found out that I have a PPT for him this Friday. I need to go over all his testing to make sure they aren’t looking to drop him. Mamabear might need to come out a little.

I think they are afraid of me from last year. I’m very nice until I reach that point and then you need to step back. I’ve learned so much being a mommy to kids that are in special education programs. It could be a full-time job! I’m also lucky to help other families with these issues through a nonprofit. Being able to help families/children is the greatest feeling.

It’s week like this that I wish I could put my fibro and RA aside so I can get everything done, that would be awesome. It doesn’t work that way, though.

Anyway, tomorrow the kids are back to school. I have a morning conference call scheduled before my nap :). Then I have to finish editing a book, or hopefully two, but doubting I’ll get that far.

I hope you are enjoying a pain free evening.

 

Happy Children Equal Happy Mom

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Today is the day. The day I spent waiting for the phone to ring with our Nutcracker results. The call came in at 10:50 and like any neurotic mom, I answered on the first ring, trying to sound casual. The results were in! My older daughter is a Lead Angel (a newly created role) and a Ginger Clown, and my younger daughter is a Scurry Mouse and an Angel. My younger daughter got exactly what she was hoping for. My older daughter didn’t get the roles she was hoping for, but I had a feeling she was going to be excited because I knew the main thing was she wanted to be in something other than the Battle scene this year.

She was a soldier and an angel last year, so she was so excited to be named a lead angel, even though we have know idea what a lead angel does, and the ginger clowns get to run and be silly, and I have a feeling she got that because she did a really great cartwheel as her audition trick and a lot of the ginger clowns do cartwheels. So, thankfully, there was a lot of happiness and joy in my house this afternoon!

My niece is also a Scurry Mouse and an Angel, which is, well…I guess good. The girls are happy. I just think of the Nutcracker as my thing to do with my girls. I’m bitchy that way. The in-laws always hated the Nutcracker until my niece did it. My mother-in-law fell asleep during my older daughter’s first performance. I had to tell my husband to wake her up before my daughter went on stage.

I wish I can say I kept to my workout regimen and did some cardio today, but I did teach a really tough class with a lot of lunges. I just didn’t have the energy to do cardio today. I’ll get back on it tomorrow with a long walk, and possibly attempt the hills again since my shins seemed better today. I did a lot of shin warmups and stretches.

Tonight is significantly colder than it has been the past few nights. I bought myself a new heated throw blanket, but I haven’t put it on the bed yet. I have my heating pad in my low back, and I used it on my hands this morning. I’m managing. I just feel like I can’t stand saying that. I’m managing. Is that the way you get through the day, too? I mean, it’s not that I never have a good day. I have good days, but I don’t remember the last time I had a completely pain-free day. It comes down to whether the pain is manageable or not.

I can see where people with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc. suffer from depression. It’s not easy feeling like crap day-in and day-out. I mean, I have days where I’m thinking, wow–I’m good enough to go for a long walk, but that doesn’t mean my hands aren’t hurting or my hip isn’t bothering me. It just means the pain isn’t so severe that I can’t do anything. I think that’s where most people get confused. First of all, it all goes back to the fact that people with autoimmune issues look fine, for the most part (unless I’m using my flamingo cane!). On the average day I may have a small limp, but it’s unlikely anyone would really notice.

I don’t discuss my RA, Raynaud’s or fibro 24/7. I blog here to get my autoimmune thoughts out, but I don’t discuss it all day. The real reason behind that is so few people really understand anyway. I have my Facebook support groups, and people that I know who are dealing with autoimmune issues, but other than that, people sympathize, but they don’t really get it.

I didn’t intend to have an autoimmune rant tonight, but that’s kind of what this has turned into. Sorry about that. Sometimes you just need to let it out. I think I was more let down by my own body yesterday when I wanted to jog and I could hardly walk the track. Tomorrow is a new day. I had a lot of positives today and I’m so thankful for that. Happy kids equal a very happy mom! It meant the world to see my girls so thrilled about their Nutcracker roles. Everything else was secondary.

Pain Level 9

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I’m not going to lie. I’m in terrible pain at the moment. Every time I try and get up my knees are so stiff and it hurts to walk. This is fairly new for me. It’s usually my hip, hands, and feet. My knees have never been an issue, but wow, today just got worse as it went on. I suppose I should start by updating on yesterday in case anyone is on the edge of their seat about the Nutcracker auditions or my son’s self-planned birthday party.

Yesterday was stressful for me. I don’t know why I panic so badly. I think it’s that I know my girls get nervous, and I just get so excited and want them to do well. We got there ridiculously early. They looked adorable. They were warmed up and ready to go. My little one gave the director a huge high five when he got there, so she was feeling comfortable. They both did really well during the audition. My little one isn’t as graceful, but dammit, she’s freakin adorable. She looked like she was having a blast up there, and that’s what mattered.

The only drama happened when the kids were given optional time to get up alone and do a “trick” or anything they want to show a skill to the director. Both of my girls had something planned. My older daughter (age 9) really wants a more ballet role this year so she worked for the past few weeks on three different moves she was going to do. She was going to do a cartwheel, and two different ballet moves to show him she had the ballet skills. Well, she panicked. She was first in line and she did her cartwheel and then walked off the stage. She did a beautiful cartwheel, but she wanted to do more. She looked at me and I just smiled and gave her a thumbs up, trying to assure her it was okay. None of the other kids did a lot of moves. This would have just set her apart form the others, which is what we were going for, but she still rocked the audition.

When they were done on stage she came over to me and started crying. She asked if I was upset with her and I told her I couldn’t be more proud of both of them. Just getting up there in a situation like that is huge, especially for my older daughter who is shy. And she rocked the audition. She has beautiful lines in her dancing. I don’t know whether it will be enough to get her the role she is dreaming of, but to be honest, she didn’t get the role she wanted last year and she still had a great time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but my goal of last night was to assure her how proud I was of her and that I thought she was terrific. There were a lot of kids that didn’t even get up to do a special trick, and both of my girls did. They tried something and that in itself says something about them.

Now we have to wait for a week and a half to find out what parts they get. This is the stressful part for me. I can’t wait!!

My son had his sleepover and that went okay. I have big concerns about him, though. While this year seems to be going better than last, my son is so insecure and he embellishes stories to fit in. I don’t know what else to do. I’ve talked and talked to him about it. I’ve punished him, I’ve tried to explain that he just needs to be himself. I’m at my wits end with the fibbing. I get that he wants to fit in, but he doesn’t see that people see that he’s making crap up. This is causing me a lot of stress. I talked a lot to him tonight and I really hope I got through to him by being brutally honest about how another parent brought it up to me. I know he was very embarrassed, but he had to hear it. I mean he’s not saying he’s got a million dollars or anything crazy, but he’s embellishing his performance at football, etc. He’s saying he made the tackle, when he definitely helped, but he wasn’t the sole person making the play. That kind of thing. It really comes down to his insecurity about his ability in sports. He isn’t as good as his friends, and he tries so hard to fit in.

This parenting stuff is so hard. I see why he’s doing it, but I need to get through to him because he’s finally made some nice friends and gotten away from the kids that weren’t so nice to him last year.

Fast forward to today, and I think I was just completely exhausted from all the anxiety yesterday. I did manage to get a nap in the afternoon, but my legs, which were sore from my class on Thursday, just got worse as the day went on. My hamstrings were tight from me doing some deadlifts on Thursday morning. That isn’t the pain that’s the issue though. I was sitting on the floor watching some clips on the computer with my daughter and I went to get up and I couldn’t straighten my legs. My knees were so stiff and in so much pain, it took me a few minutes to get up off the floor. I’m 42! It’s very frustrating. This is the first time in a while that I’ve thought to myself that I need to call the rheumatologist and talk about going back on the plaquenil.

Yesterday and today were a lot cooler in temperature, but we’re talking 65-70. We’re not even talking frost yet, but Monday is the first day of autumn and I have to reconcile the fact that with the colder weather the pain is going to get worse, not better. If I remember correctly, the plaquenil took a few months to really kick in for me, so I really need to think about what the heck I’m doing. My plan was to wait until I saw the endocrinologist on October 9th before I made any changes, but I may change that plan. This is something else that I need to get used to. My “plan” might not stick, and my body will likely be dictating the plan from now on.

Did I mention that autoimmune diseases suck? Rheumatoid arthritis sucks! I have never understood what it’s like to have knee pain. I taught step aerobics for years and had a lot of people who had knee issues here and there, but I’ve never had stiffness there. It’s always been the hip for me. I did some light RA reading today and found that it does fluctuate and doesn’t always hurt the same joints. Oh joy! Surprise me RA…I am so excited to see what hurts tomorrow. I’m not going to let it ruin my day, though. I have my flamingo cane. I have to go to church for the first time in months because the kids start CCD, and then my son has a football game.

I need to participate in life, pain or not. It’s definitely easier to do without pain, though.

 

It’s an Insomnia Kind of Night

funny-graph-time-spent-cant-sleep

I haven’t had insomnia in a while. That’s mostly because I’ve been taking Melatonin around 8pm and by 11pm I’m pretty tired. If I forget, then I take a half an Ambien on some nights, but I try to only do that when necessary. I totally forgot tonight and I’m wide awake because I have a lot on my mind.

Tomorrow is my annual pelvic ultrasound (don’t be jealous). I get myself stressed out for this. In case you haven’t followed my blog for a while, my mother died of ovarian cancer, as did my grandmother, so these ultrasounds are done as a preventative measure because there really are no definitive signs for ovarian cancer. My doctor said “everything felt normal” at my yearly appointment, but until I have the ultrasound, I’m stressed. Add to that, I scheduled a mammogram for right afterward. I figure, let’s have all the fun in one day.

I do my monthly checks, but I know of about 5 people around the age of 40 who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, so that’s on my mind, too.

But, what’s really bugging the crap out of me is a conversation I had yesterday that I can’t get off my mind. In case I haven’t mentioned, I started speaking to my friend again–the one that dissed the idea of this blog. We don’t talk often. We are not Facebook friends, and I have no desire to get our friendship back, but we have texted and emailed back and forth.

I prefer to have things in a peaceful, resolved state than in an angry one, but at the moment, I’m angry again because he’s an asshole. As I have mentioned previously I work for a nonprofit that helps families of children with special needs. I also tutor a man with autism, who is 50 years old. The conversation I had with this friend was regarding my tutoring job with my autistic client. His position is that it is a waste of state funding to have me work with my client because he’s worthless to society and never going to get any better. My position is that while the goal has never been to cure his autism, it is the help him increase his verbalization so that he can express himself in an emergency or other situations when needed.

His mother set up this program and another woman and I have been working with him for over two years. I’m not going to sit here and say that every day with him is fabulous. It’s definitely hit or miss, but overall he has come a long way. I see some very important strides, and I don’t believe as a society we should give up on people because they are disabled. This is a man with a tremendous mind. If I give him a date, he can tell me what day of the week it was on. He can tell me what day a game show premiered on. His mind is fascinating.

Anyway, my point is, this conversation really pissed me off because it showed me this person’s whole way of thinking. That in his world he has more value than other people, and I just don’t see it that way. Needless to say, I don’t think we’re talking much again, and that’s fine with me. We’re very different and he insults my parenting. My son has high anxiety, and the way I deal with issues with my son is very different than they way he handles his kids. I made a choice a while ago to stop getting our kids together because it just causes problems. He treats his kids like mini-adults and I treat mine like kids.

So I’m annoyed and wide awake. The only good news I have is that my hopes from last night’s post came true. My son had a big play in today’s game. He recovered a fumble from the other team, and as Mother of the Year, I missed it! I was watching the cheerleaders! I suck. All of the sudden I saw the coaches and kids cheering for him and I looked around asking for anyone who knew what happened.

Luckily I found someone who explained it all to me so I could congratulate him at the end of the game. It was a huge deal for him. He looked so proud of himself, and that was all I really wanted. He needed that moment so badly. I’m so sorry I missed it, but I was so happy I saw the look on his face when his coaches and teammates were cheering him on. I was a huge deal!!

Wish me luck tomorrow.

 

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