Dear Facebook..

Visceral hypersensitivity. I was told about 6 weeks ago I have this. It is directly related to IBS, and is easier for me to just call it severe IBS. Technically it isn’t.

Link below.

http://gut.bmj.com/content/48/1/125.full

Read.

Learn.

Understand.

I have this. It is very much related to everything else I deal with. I still have the other stuff. That did not go away either. I am treating them. Working on them. Dealing with them daily. I am glad I am feeling better than I was before. That being said…

It pretty much will control my life until I get it under control. Even then, it will control nearly everything I do. What I eat. Where I go. WHEN I go. What I do when I am there.

woman-frustrated-frustration-angry-argh-laptop-notebook-600x400 There is no quick or easy fix. For any of these. It takes time. Healing. Finding the right diet balance. Maybe the right medication. Maybe a nice mix of both.

Elimination. Additions. Testing. Food journals. Successes. Failures. Relapses. Anger. Frustrations. None of this is easy, or fun. I know I am no longer fun either. I can see it in your face. Hear it in your voice. Notice it in your absences.

How will I get back to normal? I won’t know until I get there…

I am not asking for you to be sorry for me, just to understand me. If you don’t want to know how I am, don’t ask. I will tell you. Sometimes I politely say “Fine” because I know that is what you want to hear.. but I would prefer you just don’t ask me. We can still talk and hang out, but understand that if I don’t come, I am not rejecting your invites to be a jerk. Why stop inviting me? Because I am no longer fun.

I want to go. I want to be fun. I want to be there. My wants don’t control my body anymore. You think it is a choice? You think I do this to myself? No. Educate yourself.

So…

Quit being a jerk to me about it. If you can’t handle it, then don’t pretend to still be interested in my friendship. Walk away. I would rather lose you than think you are on my side, when really you are behind my back mocking me. Talking about me. Saying those terrible things that just aren’t true because you are ignorant to what is happening. Just walk away. Walk away and stop being fake. You’re not doing anyone a favor. Not me, and not you.

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Middle Child Syndrome…

Middle child syndrome. As a middle child, I guess I should really understand how this works, and perhaps I had this and just can’t remember. The idea is that in a family of three you should be giving your time evenly to all of the children; Obviously breaking down to 33% each. As the middle child, they often feel left out due to the perks of being both older, and younger. The older child is able to do many things that the middle child is not. They seem to be able to be given more privileges, freedom, and all around the middle child envies the abilities that the older child has. (Keep in mind in my home, my oldest child is 13, while my middle is 7) Then there is the youngest. They are treated as the baby, and are seen as getting more attention, and possibly love, than the middle child. The baby gets away with things the middle child no longer can, and there is also an odd sense of freedom. Child feeling left out. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown. The middle child is too old to do what the baby does, and too young to do what the oldest does. Here they are stuck in the middle, feeling left out and unloved as the other children ‘run free’ and get away with possibly everything they can!

My child has this to a T. Severely. Not only is she the middle child, but I am mothering three girls. The oldest is 6 1/2 years older, and the youngest is 3 years younger. My oldest and youngest are both tall for their age, while my middle is quite small. Standing only approx 3 inches taller than her 4 year old sister, she is often paired with her when it comes to activities. Though they are both incredibly adorable, my middle child’s intellect is beyond compare. She is not only logical, but critical and also moody. She is quick to upset, and even faster to scold you. Due to being bossed around by her older sister, she is extra bossy with her younger sister. The only problem with this is, yet again, she is barely taller than this sibling. Therefore when a fight breaks out between the two, it is often her who is left in tears, because my littlest girl has no qualms against fighting dirty. She will pinch, pull, kick and punch. Needless to say, this is not fun for the mommy.

So here I am, a single mother working to support three kids on my own, all the while suffering through multiple autoimmune diseases, and dealing with my lovely little middle child. overwhelm_life2 Who is suffering through her own battle of angry self pity, and with the intellect to understand what is going on around her, she is becoming a bitter little blond soldier of war. War on the peace at home, and anyone else who she can possibly get away with mistreating. There is little hope for peace, and she is nowhere near willing to raise the white flag and give up on her middle child temper tantrums. Her adorable little face, big blue eyes, and almost white blond hair is quickly changed from a beautiful little cherub into a cringing almost demon like glare. She can scrunch her face up with the best of them, and will stare you down with no remorse. Should you refuse to give into this battle, she will cry out in a piercing scream of anger, stomping her way to her “castle”, causing as much destruction she can get away with on her way, and cursing your very existence. This will be followed by a slamming of doors, and silence. Now and then she will make her presence and anger known by stomping around in her bedroom, which causes our kitchen lights to flicker. I think I have made my point when it comes to my child’s behavior. Some days she can suffer through many ‘unfair’ events, while others she is finished upon the first. It is a never ending roller coaster of middle child syndrome.

There are a few things that I have tried to simmer down the middle child, and though things have worked in the past, recently her behavior has escalated. Child-Discipline-200x300 I have no doubt that this has to do with the fact that the smallest child has been ill with the flu, hence getting more attention from the oldest and me. She has not been able to play with middle child, thus leaving her lost as to what to do with her spare time. She has such an active mind, and requires so much interaction to keep her pleased, that the lack of having a ‘lacky’ has recently left her alone. Older child was suspended (long story, but nothing serious) therefore home with the little one for two days, while I worked and recovered from a week’s worth of bronchitis. At the end of the day, oldest was exhausted from the needy baby, I was exhausted from the extra work load I acquired this week as well as the struggle my illness was putting on my body. This week middle child has been so incredibly neglected, she has been nothing short of awful to everyone. I have tried putting her in her place with times outs, extra chores, and talks. I have also tried snuggling, talking, and spending extra time at home with her, however it is always interrupted with the other two and she ends up storming off in her overly dramatic manner. This mother is at a loss.

So, I am trying one last thing before I throw my hands in the air and give up on treating my beautiful little girl’s MCS. Tonight I am taking her to see Frozen, just her and I, and then to the Village Inn, which is her favorite place to eat. I have high hopes that by the end of the night she feels extra love, and that implementing mommy/daughter dates with my MC will resolve some of the issues she has. I have to say that at this time, having the MCS happening is causing so much stress on me that I am immediately tense whenever she approaches. This, no doubt, is felt by her and likely exacerbates the situation and the tension in the home. Hopefully my plan will work, we will have a lovely time together, and tomorrow the screaming, stomping and anger will be significantly less. Wish me luck! As a single mother, an autoimmune sufferer, and an all around stressed out person.

Lets do this, Middle Child!

Inside Out…

Tonight is one of those nights that I am feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. It was my youngest’s birthday, however we had her party over the weekend, so nothing truly special went on. She got to pick what we watched before bed, and I let her have cake for dinner. Four year olds love cake for dinner. I let it slide. However, that is not why I am feeling low. I feel down due to another reminder of my painful reality. The reality that is inside me, that controls the world around me. The broken, damaged, and corrupt inside.

I had little to eat today, as I had over done it over the weekend and caused myself so much intestinal pain I could barely move yesterday. I ended up with intestinal bleeding again, and this meant for multiple trips to the bathroom. There is something so depressing about such abnormal things becoming such a normal thing in my life. Excessive bleeding from any orifice should (and would) be alarming to the average person, but to me it has become a common thing. This has been happening more and more with me, and any time I over do it in any way, I begin to bleed. Work. Playing around with my kids. Lifting, moving things. Anything that involves exerting myself causes my to bleed. This is nothing short of depressing, and I can tell you that tonight I am feeling it.

This morning I was not only bleeding, but I was also quite swollen. My eyes were puffy, my fingers the size of sausages, and my arms were splotchy from the pressure of the edema. I noticed a new cyst on my nose, and the remains of the cold sore that broke out over night, and took over what feels like my entire bottom lip. It hurts to move, to eat, to even speak, but off to work I went. sleep_disorder I did consider not going into work for a few minutes, but reminding myself that the woman who runs the Human Resources has an odd vendetta against me and without hitting my 40 hours in a week, she wouldn’t think twice about pulling my insurance out from under me. SNAP! My impression of that awful woman yanking away the only thing keeping me afloat at this point. I understand that it is a technicality, and she isn’t completely responsible, but she is a very cold and harsh woman, thus causing the very thought of missing work and having to deal with her more unbearable than dealing with the pain. Put on a smile, and get out the door! A little extra makeup will cover the bags under your eyes, and the new hair color will mask any other possible changes that are noticeable.

I was right. Nobody noticed, and it is not as if I want them to. I know I am a downer when I talk about my illnesses. I know I am a downer when my 10 bottles of pills fall out of my purse at work, or I have to take my pills at my desk. I know people look at me and think, “What a hypochondriac.” I don’t think people realize what it takes to get up every day and do this. To put a smile on my face. To get myself, and two other people prepared to face the world each morning; To get in my car and actually make it to the three locations I must hit before work. I don’t exactly want them to, but I also don’t want them to look at me and think that I am ok. I don’t want either. I don’t want to be looked at differently, but I don’t want my struggles to be brushed off.

Tonight I am feeling heavy. Sad. Fuck it, tonight I am really really sad and I very much hate this body I am living in. Tonight I can feel the pain all over. I can feel the sores, I can feel the muscle pain, I can feel my insides fighting against my entire body. I CAN FEEL THE DECAY.. and it is making me very sad. Very, very sad.

I am sad inside and out.

Save Me from Myself

Last night an old friend came over to catch up and give me a full body massage. We spent about an hour on the couch talking about our kids before I even remembered I needed the massage. He has an adorable toddler, and though we have been friends for such a long time, bonding over parenthood is a new thing for us and is quite fantastic. Hanging out with him helped IMMENSELY! Spending time with someone I was so comfortable with, and trusted to help me with my tension was so relaxing. He has issues with his joints and muscles as well, so it was good to feel not so alone in this. We talked about the difficulties of movement, the expectations of adults, and how misunderstood invisible illnesses are. I was up until about midnight, and was surprisingly ecstatic when I got a late night text from Josh. I didn’t expect to hear from him until he was done running drills this week, but it gave me silly little butterflies to know that at the end of the day he is thinking of me. I blushed… I don’t blush.

0001008433_20This morning I woke up later than I expected; about an hour. I started to get dressed and decided that my shower could wait until tonight. I had showered before my massage last night, so I decided that at least I was clean enough, though I smell oddly like strawberries. My massage oils smell good. As I was getting ready, my two little girls were fighting over random things that small children fight over, and I would holler for them to get ready. My three year old started to cry, and I walked into her room just in time to see her vomit all over her bed. Great. The fun times of being a single mom, I now must decide what to do with my flu ridden toddler. I can’t call into work sick again; I have to work 40 hours a week to keep my insurance, and I am already 8 hours behind!! This would be a time I would call on Jeff and see if he could help me out, but that isn’t an option anymore. I am 100% alone in this, and it is my job to take care of my own problems. Zero outside support.

I got her into the tub while I finished getting myself and my six year old ready, contemplating what I would do. I couldn’t justify taking her into the daycare and risking her getting other kids sick! If she had what I had, it was likely she was going to vomit a few more times, and then sleep it off. Reluctantly, I decided to leave her home with my 13 year old. I work only 10 minutes away now, and if there was an emergency we have plenty of resources. My sisters, my neighbors, etc. She wasn’t so happy to cancel her teenage plans, but I really had no choice. I would just warn my boss that I may have to step out in an emergency. I headed out to work.

Halfway to work, my stomach started to turn. I had decided on tea this morning instead of coffee. My stomach was still quite upset, and I was running a fever, but I had too much to do to justify another day at home. My body still aches, and it hurts to press the clutch and shift my little Saturn into gear. With each turn, I feel a bit more light headed and gross. Taking sips of my tea, I convince myself that I can at least make it to work before losing any of my morning doses of medication. I needed to let them sit for at least an hour, right? Absorb as much as I could…. today would be worse if I vomit up all of my meds. By the time I got to work, my body was stiff again, and getting out of my car was difficult. I wonder how many people see me struggling and think it is because I am chubby. Look at that chunky girl trying to get out of her little car. What a fatass! She needs to lose weight! Little do they know that I have barely been able to eat for three days, but somehow managed to gain back 5 of the 9 lbs I lost last week. Swelling? Joints? Intestinal? Who cares? I can’t even try to control it anymore. My size doesn’t matter right now! My ability to push myself to be the woman I need to be is what matters! Being the badass bitch I am! My looks will come back in good time.

Limping my way into the building, I was able to keep from throwing up. Once inside, I put all of my gear down, and headed to the bathroom.. just in case. I was fine. It’s funny how keeping your meds down in the morning can feel like such a huge accomplishment! I decided not to let this get me down, but be proud of myself for getting out of bed, and not only coming to work, but to do it without losing my “breakfast”. It’s the little accomplishments in life!

The majority of my day consisted of updating materials and doing phone interviews with potential employees. They had already passed the first round of interviews, and I was to judge them on their SEO knowledge, as well as their phone presence. I much enjoy doing these types of interviews, as I get to ask as many questions as I want, and really get people to open up. I love seeing what kind of personality they are willing to show over the phone, rather then feel awkward getting questioned by a tattooed pierced girl who stop writing every 15 seconds to put her pen down and shake her hands. I don’t have to explain my odd behavior that stems from RA when people can’t see me. Today a fellow coworker suggested that at the end of each of my interviews, I have them tell me a joke. This was SO fun! I found that the people who scored high on my questionnaire also had the best jokes. I would then turn around and tell the joke to the rest of my team, and we would scale their joke on how well they would fit in.

ut_ultimatefighter_1212~1During my random rounds of interviews, I started planning my date with a VERY persistent man; Hank. He has been pursuing me for about 6 weeks, but I have yet to feel comfortable enough to accept his advances. He is an MMA fighter, and after watching his BIO on youtube, I couldn’t figure out what he would want with a single mom with rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and so much emotional baggage that I need a freight train to carry it. I told him all of my ailments, and insisted that I was not the girl that he wanted to pursue. The woman in his bio (now his ex wife) was a thin blond with big (Obviously fake) breasts, and just looked so perky. If he married that kind of woman, I don’t have any idea what he would do with me. I am NONE of the above, and would never want to be. I expressed this to him, and he STILL insists that he must at least meet me. “You wanna go on a date?” he continued to send me, regardless of my response, until I finally said yes. We are both decently bust people, so it looks like it may need to wait until next week, but I finally agreed to it. What is the worst that can happen? We go on a date and he realizes I am everything that I said I am and he is no longer interested? Big deal. I expect this to happen in general and would not be hurt in any form.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It is not that I do not think that I am good enough for him. What gets me is that based on what I have found about him online (Come on, he’s an MMA fighter. There’s plenty to Google, and that IS him in the photo above, btw) I am not the type of girl he would be and is generally interested. He sends me random photos, and voice clips of him singing to me. He insists I am smart, and beautiful. That he is going to be ever impressed with me regardless of what I say! Ok.. I accept this. However, what does he want with a damaged girl, regardless of how smart I am? He has his own life to worry about, and career. He doesn’t need someone like me dragging him down, and I am not looking for a relationship. I would NOT be interested in having him be my “serial snuggle buddy” either, especially after he was so persistent. My hands ache as I text him, informing him that he should get more flattering pictures indexed in Google, and maybe a few on the MMA stats websites he is on. (Now he accuses ME of being the stalker. Funny, funny) I can’t help but think about how strong his body must be. I wonder if during his fights (30 wins vs 20 losses) if his pain compares to mine, or mine to his. Perhaps I could bond with someone who understands what pain really is, though his is just temporary? Is this what I want to do? I think I am over thinking it…

CaptureI put my phone down, and immediately get a text. Wow. That was fast! He must be really serious about this date! But it wasn’t him. My face lights up as I see it is a text from Josh. Ugh… why am I lighting up? Not only did I not expect to hear from him until Friday, but now he has text me twice in less than 24 hours? It’s a picture of him taking a break, obviously exhausted. My heart aches for his poor exhausted body, and I realized something. I might ACTUALLY have feelings for this guy. But I barely know him.. I guess we will see how I feel by Friday. I text him back telling him I was sorry he hurts. A few moments later he texts me again. Is he seriously taking his mid day break to talk to me? He even told me himself that I would not hear from him until at least Thursday night. Butterflies again. I find myself wanting to comfort him; snuggle up and kiss him affectionately. Dammit. Stupid feelings.

My thoughts go back to my illness. Josh knows about my illness, and even saw my pharmacy I have on the end table next to my bed. The first aid kit I keep on my lamp table for my random sores I get. My under cleaned and over crowded house. The fact that I have to shift every 15-20 minutes to keep my body from aching and going numb… and he didn’t care. He’s an attractive man, and I have NO doubt could get a date with many girls with much less baggage and problems than me. What was it that had him texting me, and wanting to talk to me at all hours of the night? I know that sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit, but after my failed relationship with Jeff I feel quite inadequate. He immediately went and found himself a FULL replacement for me, even acknowledging her as his girlfriend from the beginning, though he wouldn’t me. But again, that says a lot about him and not me, right? It takes a strong man to love a broken woman, and an even stronger woman to admit she is broken. Jeff wasn’t strong enough to be what I needed, and my trying to make myself into what he wanted me to be wore me out more than anything. But Josh.. He is coming in when I am at a very low point, and is still very interested in me. So is Hank.. and Joel.. and Joey. Are these men only out for one thing? Are they just trying to take advantage of a broken girl in a crappy situation? I feel like they would be better off and have better luck trying to get their kicks elsewhere. What is it about me that makes men so intrigued, and then want to run away after a few years? Do they expect everything that draws them in to go away? Do I attract the men with a hero complex? Do they want to save me? Save me from my life? Save me from myself?

Only I can save me from myself..

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