It’s Already Over…

I wake up every morning to a “standard” level of pain. It can waiver slightly, but it pretty much stays the same. I think about waking up next to someone and having them see me fumble my way to my bathroom. I imagine them realizing that I am going to be some level of ill at all times. For the rest of my life. I can’t help but to think:

“It’s already over.”

Chatting. Laughing. Having a great time, when suddenly a pain shoots through my side, causing me to pause and slouch over in pain. Visceral hypersensitivity has decided laughing is over.

“It’s already over.”

Eating. Sharing. Getting to know one another, when suddenly my spoon drops from my hand, causing soup to splatter all over my front. My hand lost grip due to my arthritis.

“It’s already over.”

Outside. Walking. Holding hands. Sweet nothings, when suddenly I slouch over and need to find a bathroom! My IBS is acting up, and it is urgent!

“It’s already over.”

Couple walking in feild I am often referred to as a man hater due to my very strong opinions about women’s rights, and protecting us from the fear of rape and abuse. Calling a woman a man hater over her fighting for her gender’s rights is simply ridiculous. Not one day goes by where something doesn’t happen that is hurtful or abusive towards me from a man. We are taught to ignore it. To walk away. To let it go. Some also think that since I meet and talk to so many men online, that I must just be a man hating slut. This can’t be furthest from the truth.

The reality is that I am ill. I have met men in the past I liked, however my body was out of order. Trying to date someone is so hard when you have so much going on inside. So much going on in your body.. and in your mind. In my mind. I know that the more I think, the worse it gets. Maybe not the illness, but the fear. The thought that once I come out with all of my ailments, the first thing they will do is run. They will want to run as far away from me as possible, and never return. Each time I see a face react to a moment of clarity. A moment of realization. Each time I can’t help but to think:

“It’s already over.”

But is it? Is it really over, or is it all in my head? Do they want to stick around? Do they want to talk about it, learn about it, and even one day accept it? I have no idea, but I figure that if this is the case, one day it will simply happen. Someone will educate themselves. They will take the initiative. They will see the value in me that still exists, and base what develops off of that. I may be the one standing in my way, but it has nothing to do with my feminism. It has everything to do with my self sabotage. My fears. My pains. My hurt and anger still lingering because I am ill. It’s possible that it really is already over, long before it begins.


You’re Not Preferred..

So here I sit. It is past 2am, I am in desperate need for a shower, and my mind is racing a million miles per hour.

My leg is almost healed, and though I am supposed to be going to physical therapy twice a week, I have yet to do so. I want to get my car back down to me (it is getting registered by my lovely mom right now since I work the hours to get it done) and then make the appointments. My ankle is still achy, and feels tight. My toes are half numb all the time, but apparently that is normal with this kind of break. Could take years to get the feeling back, if ever. I am still wearing my boot to work, but wear an athletic brace at home. I am still very inactive, and because of this I have gotten even FATTER! I am not really concerned about how I look right now, as I am more worried about getting my health back on track. I eat decently healthy most of the time, but am VERY inactive due to the illnesses/flares I have endured lately as well as the broken leg. I haven’t been this fat in over 10 years. SO strange to have my clothes not fit me again. To be the fat one waddling around the office. I am not really self conscious, because once again, I am more worried about other things. The time will come when I can be more active, and my useless piled on weight will start to fall off again. Now is not that time.. but I have been thinking a bit..

When I was thinner, just about 18 months ago, I actually looked pretty good. I was larger than I wanted by about 20 lbs, but I looked great for having 4 kids. I was then, as I am now, pretty confident in myself. There was only one problem: Him. Jeff. I remember feeling so good about myself, and often times very sexy. I would walk the halls at work, and know I was attractive. I would go home, let my hair down, wash my face and STILL feel so beautiful and attractive. Then the conversation would come up, and I would be reminded that he wanted me thinner. man-checking-out-other-woman He was interested in thinner women. I was LARGER than he preferred, “but he loved me anyway”. I have never understood the ‘love you anyway’ concept in a relationship. If you love someone, you love them how they are. You do not prefer a better version of them. Especially a version you have never seen, or maybe they have never been!! Knowing your sexual and emotional partner prefers someone who is smaller than you are, especially when going through health issues (I was two years into my dilemma) is incredibly hurtful. I remember standing in front of the mirror, tears streaming down my face, as I poked at the soft spots I knew he was referring to. I had given birth to, and fed 4 babies with my body. I was going through the worst pain and misery I had in my entire life with my health, and I wasn’t good enough in his eyes.

“I prefer…” – This can be such a crushing moment for anyone. Male or female. A woman tells a man she prefers men who are hairless; to her wolf like mate. “I prefer hairless men… but I love you anyway.” – This stands that there is STILL a preference, a BETTER version, if you will, of the person standing before them. “I prefer women with larger breasts… but I love you anyway.” – Here stands a crushed woman, knowing that he would much prefer her body be so different, instead of cherishing and loving every inch. We all have “preferences” of the kind of mate we go after, but if you are pursuing a person who does not fit your most wanted qualities, what are you doing? Now, that is not always the case. Sometimes someone is not your type, and yet you fall madly for them for the wonderful person they are. What then? Do you inform them of your preferences and let them know you “love them” despite them being somewhat unattractive to you? I know it is such a fine line to cross, but it is one that in a relationship you do not want to barge through. It has been over 15 months since we split, and here I am, still wounded knowing a man I was with did not accept my body as it was. Nor did the man before him post baby. I can’t help but to wonder what kind of men I get myself involved with that would be so unaccepting and unloving of such a beautiful thing as a mother’s body.

So here I sit, 2:30am on a Monday morning. I need to be up for work in 6 hours, and I still haven’t showered. Thinking on what my body means to me and to others. I look at my swollen belly, my oversized arms, and my “thunder thighs” and can’t help but to think what a mess they would think me to be. How judged I would be by those who I have shared my bed with. How they would likely scowl and make jokes of my current health problems.

art-SHE-fat-20130606193605324870-620x349 “She’s gotten so fat!”

“Wow! I really dodged a bullet there!”

“Ew! Look at that! Good thing I am not with her anymore! DAMN!”

“No wonder she is still single! GROSS!”

Once again, looking over my body, I can’t help to see what I am. A tough girl. A very, very tough woman. I am what I am right now, and I accept what I am. I prefer to look over myself and think:

“I live through this pain every day. My body carries a heavy weight right now, both physically and emotionally. My body is strong in all it’s weakness. I am amazing. I am beautiful. Each and every inch of me is perfect just as I am right now. One day at a time.”

I don’t look in the mirror and see my fat. The rolls on me even seem foreign and strange to me some days. What I see is beautiful me. I see a strong woman who is fighting with all that she has for herself, and her family. For her health and her love. Getting my life as collected as possible, all while fighting a painful and hard battle. I do not see someone who needs to change. I see what I am today made by my decisions thus far. I do not see someone who is unattractive and unwanted. I see a beautiful, strong woman who can take anything that is thrown her way! Anything that tries to knock her down is thwarted, and she rises. The pounds on the scale do not bother me like they did when I was with him. I weighed myself multiple times a week when we were together. I measured, sucked in, cried… sobbed even… and felt awful about myself almost daily. I was “not enough” – “not preferred” but tolerated. Waiting for me to change into the women he thought I should be, while I accepted him (Not gracefully, I must admit. I suck at relationships) just as he was. There was no “preferred” him I wanted. There was just… him. As much as he thought otherwise, I assume from his want for me to be different, I loved him as he was. Every inch, pound, hair, and big nose on him. Perhaps that is why his words of hurt have lingered for so long… but perhaps it is part of why I am what I am today. Why I can look in the mirror now and say, “Fuck that dude. You are awesome!” – And poke myself in my jiggly belly, because I know that tomorrow is another day, and everything about me today is perfect. Every flaw. Every stretch mark. Every little imperfection anyone else would see. I am me, and I am awesome.

I got this…

Clumsiness. Such a bad thing when it comes to people who are easily injured. I happen to be entirely clumsy, and often end up stepping on things, dropping things, and best of all… falling down. On Sunday while I was out to breakfast with Rain and my girls, I had a fight with a rock. No.. not a rock. A pebble. I am ashamed to say that I literally stepped on a small pebble, which took my down to my knees and caused a small tear in my left ankle ligament. How brilliant am I? It was not only painful, but so very embarrassing for me for Rain to have to come and help me up. I writhed in pain, and held back tears (which come on, I am SO used to pain I could hold back tears for days!) while we headed back to my house.

46-woman-wrapping-sprained-ankle-lgn-91242505 Rain had come over the night before, and we had a lovely evening. He came over a bit early so we could prevent as much “curiosity” peeking from the girls by him meeting them and hanging around for a bit. They adore him. This both makes me nervous, but is also comforting at the same time. I have had many friends, both male and female, who have come and spent quite a bit of time and then faded out. People come and go out of your lives, and though I have been so protective over my lovelies hearts, I feel at this point it is better for them to see that engaging with the opposite sex is not just for boyfriend/girlfriend situations. Rain and I have known each other for almost a month, so we are not even fully acquainted yet… though… we did get “acquainted” with each other that night. Quite acquainted. And it was fantastic.

During the drive home, Rain rolled down the windows to let some fresh air in because, though I was holding back tears, I was not doing such a good job at not breathing fast and heavy. The cool air felt great on my fingertips, and distracted me from my ankle. That was.. until he rolled them up. Without me noticing. Until it was too late! I was able to pull my hand in without scathing, except my poor little pinky finger. So here I am, ankle swelling and throbbing in pain, and now my pinky is bleeding. What a lovely end to a lovely date. The look on Rain’s face was nothing short of magical guilt. He insisted that he cancel all his plans and take care of the poor sick girl. I was quite tempted to just send him on his way, take care of myself, and wallow in self pity. While he was getting an icepack, getting my ankle propped up, and ensuring I was comfortable I considered the reasons to say no. Pride. That was it. Pride would prevent me from allowing him to take care of me. Guilt. The guilt of needing someone to take care of me, and being so very fragile at this point that it can be almost a requirement. I wanted to just sit on my couch and cry. I always feel so vulnerable and weak when these things happen to me. 200167732-002 I have always been a bit clumsy, and this is probably the 3rd time I have torn those same ligaments since I was a teenager, but I could take care of myself back then. I did not need someone to help me, because I could hop on one foot all I needed. Crutches didn’t ache in my armpits, and cause my hands to swell. My hips didn’t throb, and my whole body didn’t flare up. I knew I was going to end up fully exhausted, miserable, and in pain for the next few days simply because I was hurt. Why shouldn’t I let a caring, affectionate, worried man take care of me? No realistic reason. I reluctantly agreed, and hoped that it didn’t end up scaring him away. Chronic illness is serious, and having things shoved in your face can frighten anyone. Especially someone I barely know.

He took care of me. He kissed my face, played with my hair, and snuggled me. He listened to my body when it negatively reacted, and also when it positively reacted. He kept me safe from my over excited, crazy little minions; ensuring that they stayed away from my leg while I napped, but also teasing me about my law mower snore. RUDE! I didn’t know I snored so bad, but I am sure that it was the swelling of my insides in general from the injuries, not to mention the allergies of spring. He stayed for over 6 hours, doting to my every need and taking SUCH great care of me. When he left I was sad, but so pleased that he had been so good to me. He took an awful thing and turned my day back around. I am fond of Rain.

This week has also been rough. My body has been flaring due to the accident, and I have been so stressed. I had updates left and right with clients. Escalations all over the place, not to mention taking care of my own random client upsets. I was half awake, my mind has been working in slow motion, and my body was fighting itself off. By Tuesday afternoon I was so worn out that I accidentally double dosed myself on my mood stabilizer instead of my gabapentin. woman-medication-worried-200x300 In my defense, the bottles look almost identical and I was on the phone with a client. I was distracted, and I hurt myself. I only noticed about 10 minutes later when I went to reach for my inhaler and realized that my limictal bottle was at the top of my purse and not the gabapentin. Faaaaantastic. I quickly Googled the effects of what would happen at the dosage I had taken, and saw that I could quickly lose control of my cognitive function, as well as my hand eye coordination. I banged my head on my desk and considered my options. It was about 3:55pm, and I get off at 5. By that time I could have lost all control over my basic functions, and will likely not be able to drive, let alone walk. I kicked myself mentally over and over again for about 5 minutes, and then I left work. I informed my babysitter I was coming, and to have my girls ready. Let my boss know I had drugged myself, and would put myself in danger if I did not leave for home. I felt like such an idiot, but it was what it was, and I just need to remember that I rarely do that. I think this is only the 3rd time in 3 years. Not too bad of a track record, right?

Tuesday was my Rheumatologist appointment, and I was so scared! I was worried about the pain it would put me through, and the results he would find. I want him to find and help with every bit of me that is wrong, but I also don’t want to find something that is not fixable. I was also terrified that he would tell me I was crazy, and send me on my way. This did not happen at all, which was a huge relief. I would like to write a post that goes through my first appointment all on it’s own, so I am going to skip including it in this post. Let’s just say it was painful, but it also went well.

Today is Friday, and tonight I am spending the evening with my lovely Kindred Spirit, and her babies. I am so excited, I can barely contain it. She recently had a beautiful baby girl (about 3 months ago), and has two others. We have known my KS for about 6 years, and she is such a wonderful addition to my life. I wish I saw her more, but we are both full time working moms, I have my illness, and she has her new baby. We were pregnant together when I had my last minion, and our babies have been friends their whole lives. They hear each others names and go bizerk! She is coming with her lovely family, and a bottle of wine. We are all going to snuggle in front of the TV for my weekly ritual (over 4 years now) of movie night Friday and watch Frozen. The kids will pile up on each other on the blanket, my teenager will coo over baby P, while KS and I catch up and laugh the same way we always do. Sunday is Easter, and I get to spend the morning and afternoon with my babies, and then have a date with Rain while my kids go to their grandma’s. I am hoping this week brings nothing but happiness, and I am able to rest my poor body. I have many joyous things in my life right now. Many things to love and smile over. It was just a tough week… but I am a tough girl.

I got this.

The Enemy of All Things Good…

Anxiety. This is the enemy of all things good. Feeling anxious about anything can lead to a domino effect of anxiety beyond control! Today my anxiety is high. I have been so sick recently, and I have been trying to ignore it. I wonder if it is all in my head like some people are trying to convince me it is. Does my mind create this pain because I think it is there, or does my brain create it on it’s own and I am just responding? I can’t tell what is causing this flare, or what it is really effecting. I want to sleep for days, but I am in too much pain to wind down. If I take pain meds, my body is still buzzing from the nerves, and I can’t relax. I must move. Adjust. Change position and get comfortable. My hands hurt. Feet. Now it’s my knees. My elbows. New nodules in my hand. Only things that I notice, and people don’t see any difference. These are not my hands. These are not my feet. This is not how my body looks. This is a completely foreign place I live, and it continues to change without warning.

Due to the feelings I have been having, and the flare that seems to just be spreading through my entire form, I finally made an appointment with a Rheumatologist. 42-23789836_rf-d-ar2 (1) I am both hopeful, but anxious as hell. What if he doesn’t believe me? What if he tells me the same thing I have been told all along and he can’t help me? I am so afraid of what will happen. Recently I went back to my gyno due to severe cramps and other menstrual issues. Ultrasound. Blood work. Anxiety. What did we find? Small cysts on both ovaries, and a slightly thicker endometrium than normal. ALMOST endometriosis. Nothing they can do for now except put me on small bursts of birth control and hope it helps. I have issues with birth control. I have EVERY side effect, and even went into early menopause because of one. My hair started falling out at age 27. I was not happy. I am NOT doing that again. So what can we do at this time? Nothing.

On top of all this stress, my children are ALL going through new phases. My 7 year old has become a klepto. My 13 year old is teenage drama up the WAZOO! My 4 year old is going through a hitting and kicking phase. That kid can kick some ASS. None of any of this is good. This results in extra work from my already exhausted body and mind. I am all alone, with nobody to help me teach babies what they should and should not do. I am doing the best I can, but the results are slower. All the while I am getting meetings with the junior high. Returning items and making the child apologize. Reports from the babysitter on the violent actions of my giant toddler. In short, it is rough.

two-girls-whisperingThere has been whispers going on all around me. Whispers about my illness, how I handle my kids, my life, my SEX life. I made the mistake of sleeping with a coworker a few weeks ago. (Sorry, this man is sexy as fack) He made the mistake of telling the biggest mouth in the office, who then went to my friend and informed her he knew. The chatter isn’t bad, but I hate it. To have people look me straight in the eye and then turn around and talk about what I do and do not do in my spare time is beyond annoying. I kinda wanna punch the world in the face right now. Then cry. And hide. Be alone, but somehow snuggled at the same time. Do they make adult sized swaddle blankets soaked in men’s cologne. Instead of a heartbeat, just a soothing voice saying, “It’s ok! You can do this. Shhhhhh… don’t worry. This too shall pass. You are loved.”

No. So, anxiety is high today. My hope is low. I want to go home, yet I have 4 more hours here and then the chaos that is my family. Love. Nothing but love for them.. but what about love for me? When is it my turn?

You Should…

“That’s still going on?”

“Have you tried…?”

“Have you seen a Dr?”

“You should talk to your Dr about that.”

When you have a chronic illness, you have heard these remarks, and they get old fast. We have all held our tongues; smiled, nodded, and agreed. Even thanked people for their help and input. None of these are helpful in the slightest, as I know my body, and when things are wrong I will go see my Dr. A low grade fever for three days is not a Doctorable offense. New liquid filled cysts, and lumps in uncomfortable places is not something to rush to the nearest ER about. Ever woken up in a pool of your own blood? I sure have, and did I rush off to my Dr? No. Because the color, consistency, and amount did not qualify as something that I personally need to rush off and spend my hard earned money on another, “Just keep taking your meds, and try not to push yourself that hard again. If the bleeding blah blah blah blah!” Heard it all.

This has been another rough week for me, as I am sure you could have guessed by my last blog post. I have run fevers, thrown up, bled from every possible orifice that can bleed without threatening death, and woke up in so much pain, it took all my might not to scream at the top of my lungs. I have left epsom salt bath water black, had less than 20 hours sleep in the last 6 days, and have been popping pain meds left and right. massage-picture-fibro I called in an emergency 90 minute massage due to my muscles being SO tight, I could barely turn my head. I was an hour late to a date, which did not go so well. (He was religious, had no kids and wanted some. I am none of the above.) I have been late to work every day this week. Missed appointments. Forgotten about trainings. Etc. I can’t help but feel like such a failure some weeks, and though I am STILL going strong, I do feel a bit like a failure.

This week I got into the worst fight I have ever had with any of my siblings. My sister, who we will refer to as Delusional Hippy, got on my very last nerve. She has been poking at me for awhile, and I finally had enough. The worst part is that she doesn’t realize she is doing it. She comments on my photos, statuses, and other such social media outlets with such cruel implications hidden in innocent text. She recently implied that in order for me not to end up alone I need to lower my expectations and standards for a potential spouse. Also, there is a possibility that I will never find someone and will end up alone. She told me I needed to be ok with the possibility that there isn’t someone out there for me. O_o She said, “You seem to think you are incomplete without a man.” – Now, keep in mind that this is my sister who is married to a convicted felon who used to harass me about having sex with him. He pursued me for about 8 years, starting when I was about 13. Not a big fan of this man. He is currently in prison for the 3rd time. DH has not dated much, and is often described as ‘homely’. I am not going to toot my own horn, but even with the extra weight, skin problems, and chronic illnesses, I am still quite the looker. It is hard for me to even fathom that there isn’t someone out there who wants what I want. There is nothing wrong with wanting a family, and that doesn’t make me desperate or incomplete. I have a goal of sharing the love I have, and making a life for me and my girls. My sister and I had a blowout. With-physical-pain-you-can-pinpoint-a-problem-and-seek-the-appropriate-treatment-as-with-a-wound-or-a-broken-bone-but-it-is-vastly-more-difficult-to-pinpoint-the-cause-of-emotional-pain. I blocked her on 3 facebook accounts before she went to texting. One thing anyone who knows me understands is that if I want to be left alone, you back off. You let me be. She knew this, and pushed me to my brink. I snapped, and I tore into her like there was no tomorrow. It did not go well, and I have been sick ever since. Extra sick.

People tend to forget that emotional turmoil is also going to have a negative effect for the chronically ill. Stress causes so much pain, it is ridiculous. I broke out with 17 cysts, ranging from the size of a pea to silver dollar. Arm pits, face, neck, legs, etc. They are everywhere. Here I am emotionally and physically ill over something as silly as me being alone and sad. Being judged by a woman who is neglectful of her children, and needs of everyone but herself and her husband. She is inconsiderate, and rude, however I have always brushed it off as her personality. She is who she is and you take it with a grain of salt. I have always loved and supporter her in all her decisions. Want to marry a felon I am not really fond of? Ok. Still love you, keeping my mouth shut. If he makes you happy, and you are confident in your decision, who am I to tell you otherwise? Want to ignore the fact that your children only snack all day, every day and do not have a full nutritional diet at home? Ok. I expressed my concerns, she brushed them off. I watch my niece and nephews, and make sure they are properly dressed for the weather and eat when at my house. She is not physically abusive, and her children love her. I will express my concerns when they seem applicable, otherwise I will respect her parenting ways. It is not my direct business, and she is allowed to run her home as she pleases, just as I am. But when you step in and tell me that because of my VALUES, and my STANDARDS, I am going to be alone. As if someone of that caliber would never have interest in someone like me. How dare you?

“You are always sick. You seem sad.” – Of course I am sad! Being sick is sad!

article-2218035-1583EAED000005DC-685_634x423 “You know that a man won’t fix your illness.” – I am aware of this. Nothing can ‘fix’ my illness. But I want to share what I can with someone, and show my girls that love can blossom out of the worst of situations. Also, I think that it would be a lot easier to make it up my stairs when I am super sick if I had some nice big arms assisting me in my journey.

“You need to understand that marriage has ups and downs. It’s not all good.” – What. In. The. Good. Hell? Are you kidding me? Please.. just… I am not even going to address this one, as this is just a joke that as a divorced 29 yr old woman who has been in MORE of a married relationship in the last 2 years with a man I never lived with than she has.

So, here I am…. sick, tired, and getting unwanted advice on not only my health, but also my love life. Basically feeling like those around me feel I am unable to properly determine when I need to see a Dr, or how to care for my own broken body. Nor am I capable of creating a happy marriage one day because I have high standards, and I am too sick to expect someone of that caliber to be interested in me. Perhaps I should lower my expectations and marry a felon. Seems like someone like that might ACTUALLY be interested in me, and fill that empty part of me that is ‘incomplete without a man’. Because, you know.. I am not complete without a penis, but I should probably accept that it is likely I will never find one that will put up with my shitty life.

Umm.. I may or may not be bitter this week, and angry. Sitting at the front desk in such pain I am thinking it would be better to be numb from the neck down. My head is throbbing on the right side, vision is blurry, and my right index finger is swelling. I am not sure if the emotions caused the flare, or the flare caused the emotions, but either way it is shitty. Either way this week was awful. I can’t take the pain meds that would kill this pain, as they will knock me out. I am beat, and I have an entirely full weekend ahead of me. This is not a good mix…

I apologize for this blog. It is crazy, all over the place, but I needed to vent. Thank you for not judging the crap out of me.

I Will Go Down With This Ship…

Warning: Another silly post about my “Dead Horse” and my ridiculous undying love for him. Don’t read on if you are bored easily by silly girl love.

I can’t deny that every time a start to get close to having feelings for a man, they start to piddle off into nothing again. Yes, I love to be kissed, and held just as everyone else does and I do cave from time to time and allow someone to feed my desires. Especially with being as sick as I have become, and continue to be, it is wonderful to be held, even if it is only by someone who wants you for one thing. I know that my heart belongs to another, and as much as I have tried endlessly to get over him and move on, I can’t. This is not due to a lack of suitors, as my friends often tease me about my “slew of men” I have pining after me (which I don’t see why at this point) but due to the fact that I feel pain and sometimes even guilt when I am with another. I see him in my head. I see every Infinity that drives past me, or is parked anywhere in eye sight. I am such a silly and stupid girl for doing what I did to him, and even though I know I never would have made him happy, I wish he was still mine. I will always be his, and I am having the hardest time coming to terms with it.

sad-contemplative-korean-woman-lying-in-bedI dream of him often. I have dreamt of him every day for the last week. I wake up feeling melancholy and remorseful. I feel both comfort and pain knowing that someone else can be for him what I was not able to be. I miss his children, and I often wonder how they are. Did they ever test his youngest for autism? How are his middle child’s teeth? Is his daughter still in choir? How are her headaches doing? Do they miss me, too? I don’t know, because I was so emotionally afraid of admitting that I loved them all so much for fear of them being taken from me. Now I feel that pain always, and as much as I try not to think about it, my sleeping self refuses to let me convince myself I have let them all go. I miss movie night, with all of the children cuddled up watching Disney movies. I miss camping with them. I miss seeing their faces, and hearing their silly little jokes. I miss them telling me adorable little stories. I miss him brushing my hair out of my face, and looking deep into my eyes. I was afraid of the feelings he stirred in me, and I pushed them all down, and him away. Now they have risen inside me in their absence, and I am all too familiar with the feeling. I can never go back to that family. I caused far too much destruction in my exit, that I feel I can never be forgiven. I don’t know if I deserve it. I have many struggles in life right now, but I can say that the pain I feel from messing up my chance with him.. with them.. is far more painful than any flare I have.

This morning a song came to mind that can describe how I am feeling right now. I know that I will always love them, and nothing can change that. I expect nothing in return ever again, but I will go down with this ship. Here are the lyrics, with the official music video below. Despite my dramatic connection to this song, it is lovely in general. Dido is one of my favorite singers. Enjoy.

“White Flag” – Lyrics provided by A to Z Lyrics.

I know you think that I shouldn’t still love you,
Or tell you that.
But if I didn’t say it, well I’d still have felt it
where’s the sense in that?

I promise I’m not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

I know I left too much mess and
destruction to come back again
And I caused nothing but trouble
I understand if you can’t talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of “it’s over”
then I’m sure that that makes sense

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

And when we meet
Which I’m sure we will
All that was there
Will be there still
I’ll let it pass
And hold my tongue
And you will think
That I’ve moved on….

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

The Lake Went Dry…

A few years ago I went on a drive up to a lake with some of my family. Once we arrived, we saw that it had gone dry during the drought that Southern Utah was experiencing at that time. I started spouting off random dramatic sonnets, when I realized that it actually applied to many things. Here is what I came up with. Enjoy.

DLB2“I went to the lake that day, but it had gone dry. As I stared at the sandy bottom I thought to myself….. it seems even my pleasures had dried up with my dreams. Take myself out for a day of fun, but fun doesn’t seem to live here anymore. As I walked the path that used to lead me to cool refreshment I pondered how I had gotten here. What had I done to make my lake dry? What steps had I taken to drain my fountain of youth, and what will it take to make the waters flow freely again? I picked up a rock and threw it as hard as I could. As I squinted my eyes in the glare of the sun, I lost sight of my rock but only for a moment. As the pebble came crashing down into the earth, just as it seems my life had, I turned to leave…. but I stopped. If I leave this place and return to the desert that is my home, what have I accomplished? I saw this place as what I had lost, what I no longer had… But maybe it was the view and not the actual place that brought such sorrows. Perhaps if I look at it in another light, things would not seem so grim. As I looked to my feet, I saw glorious sparkles of light. Just beneath the sand, protruding slightly, was a coin. I picked up the coin, flipping it over in my hand… rolling it between my fingers. It was beautiful. I went to the lake that day, and I discovered wondrous things the water had kept hidden. I went home with many treasures that day.”

The Little Accomplishments…

Energy! It was a miracle that I woke up with any, let alone the amount I was able to find this morning. I planned ahead what I was going to do this morning, and how I was going to make it to work on time. The head of our department was coming into the office today for a few reviews, and I had a trainee starting that needed to be ready for clients by Monday. Of course, I was informed of this transfer just before the work day ended last night, so there was little prep. Luckily this person had already worked in two departments, one of which he worked with me for quite some time. He is a quick learner, knows the industry, and will be able to figure things out in no time. But adding his training on top of my audit schedule, my clients, the THREE new accounts I have set up in the last week and everything else I am doing was a bit overwhelming to think of. Luckily I woke up with energy! Oh, sweet baby Jesus! ENERGY!!!

Was I swollen? Of course. Did my hip still hurt? Knee still ache? Pffft, YES! Tingly and a bit numb? Always in the mornings, regardless, but I had some actual energy. download I was able to walk down the stairs to the kitchen, make coffee, back to the living room, helped my little ones get dressed, up the stairs, and it didn’t stop there. I didn’t even FEEL like I was close to using my spoons. All these actions, and I didn’t even feel as though I had used a single one. Fantastic! This was great, but we have all had days after a flare starts to lift that we feel almost.. magical. Anyone else feeling the way I felt this morning would be moping and complaining about how sick they felt. “I think I am coming down with something” feeling is the easiest way to express it to those who do not have chronic illness/pain. I ALWAYS feel like I am at least ‘coming down with something’. As great as I felt, I knew I had spoons that would eventually run out. It would be foolish of me to run (at all) and jump for joy, singing of the lifted pain! Let’s face it, it only felt so good because of how bad I have been feeling. Regardless, it still felt good!

Still running a bit late, as I always seen to do lately, I rushed off to work making sure I arrived as soon as possible. Arrived, and clocked in exactly one minute past eight. SWEET! One minute late is not a problem, considering I was over 60 minutes late yesterday, and a no show the day before. A quick look over my emails, a run down of the things I NEEDED to do, ensuring my tasks for others today were complete. Sweet! Everything looks very attainable and easy to accomplish today. I got this! My new hire arrived shortly after, and post getting him set up in his temporary location, we begun the training. I didn’t need to educate him on algorithms, websites, or anything of that nature as (I mentioned before) he was already educated. We went over the basics of the custom platform we use, where tasks are located. How to create, note, and close tasks for each client. Where to look for one. How to add billing info, website data, urls, keywords, request custom work, etc, etc, etc. I was feeling pretty good about today, and then it hit.


That is the easiest way I can describe the sounds that started coming from inside me. We had been training for over two hours, and my insides had suddenly decided to protest. It was like my body wanted to remind me that though I was feeling quite awesome, we are still sick, and sick people get sick. Randomly. For no other reason other than to be sick. Awesome. Luckily he wanted a break for a moment as well, and had enough to review that I could slip out for a bit. The only issue was that during the time I was off to the bathroom was the time of day we were to “buckle down and crunch through as much work as possible”. We are directed to take as LITTLE time (if any) away from our desk from the hours of 10am-12pm. ZONE IN! WORK! Which is usually no issue, except when it is 10:23am and your body has decided that your lower intestines need to evacuate every last thing that you have left inside your body all at once. Awesome. Off I wandered towards the restroom, unable to avoid the ever watching eye of “The Jackhole”.

I have never mentioned The Jackhole before, so let’s dive into this for a very brief moment. The Jackhole is a ‘man’ (I use that term LOSELY) that I work with who thinks that he is the boss of everything, and everyone. If you ask him, he is the BEST at everything. His job. My job. Everyone’s job. He tends to ‘disagree’ with everything most anyone says that is different than his personal or ‘professional’ opinion, and has this horrible condescending laugh that just makes me feel ALMOST like it is worth getting fired over kicking his as hard as I possible can in his junk. I mean MULTIPLE times. stapler He has yelled at me multiple times about my reminder alarms for my meds, which I take TWICE during work hours, as well as debate with fellow coworkers (including but not limited to MY team members) about whether or not I am actually sick on days I am unable to come into work. UGH! He’s one of THEM! One of THOSE people who will never understand, nor does he want to because he is ABOVE all of this. He watches me like a hawk, and tattles to my boss (who is AMAZING, and is very understanding while still professional about my illness) about everything that I do. I can’t sneeze without him going to our boss and trying to say it was some kind of mistake, and I should be reprimanded. This man is the BANE of my existence! The worst part? He is overweight, unattractive, and almost completely useless as an adult. I understand and LOVE playing video games in my spare time from time to time, but this man plays them DAILY! He spends thousands of dollars a year on MAGIC cards. A children’s game. I am not one to usually judge and talk down on someone for their past times, but I cannot help but be FURIOUS with this man some days. Here I am working my ass off in daily pain, struggling to support my family while dealing with a crippling illness and he is questioning MY work ethic and honesty while he wastes his health away playing games. CHILDREN’S GAMES!!! Ugh… There is one in every office, and mine is not free of this slimy, disgusting Jackhole of a human being.. but I digress.

Off the to restroom I went, perfectly aware that Jackhole was going to tattle on me, and also aware I was not going to be returning to my desk anytime soon. I text my dear friend Kendall (she is the assist to my boss) and let her know that if asked, I am sick in the bathroom and will be for awhile. I know I can trust her to have my back, as well as the majority of the other members in my office. I am getting more and more support as time goes on, and as people see the real struggle. Right now I am on a ‘make-up” strike, as yesterday Jackhole also made a stink about my absence the previous day and my tardiness. I decided that I am going to stop hiding my splotchy skin under makeup, and let the whole world see. I don’t wear much makeup, but I wear the good kind that takes a thin layer to block out redness. I LOVE my makeup, but my skin hasn’t been so happy lately, and since Jackhole wants to live up to his name, I decided I would let him bask in all the glory that is my bareface. I am not self conscious about my face, as I am comfortable with my features, but I usually wear makeup to avoid the ever daunting inquires of how I am feeling.

“You look awful!”

“Are you ok? You look sick! Do you need to sit down?”

“Oh honey! Go home! You look like death!”

Yes, I am aware I look like death. I also FEEL like death, but since I feel like death every day, I can either feel like death and support my family or feel like death at home. A home I will lose from sitting in and not going to work. WORK IT IS!
By noon I was back to feeling energized, and even got a few compliments on how I was looking thinner today. Parent_Talk_woman_giving_thumbs_up_iStock_000017066008Small_drbimages-615x409 I couldn’t help but laugh and think, Well, I just lost a week’s worth of intestinal bloat in 20 minutes, I bet I look MUCH better. I took a quick stroll over to the gas station to grab a quick bite and head back over to the office. Having celiac disease, there are slim pickings. Baked sour cream and onion chips and a string cheese. I am going to regret this later… Hanging around the front desk next to Kendall while she frantically tried to track down a package containing an OVERWHELMING $600 worth of cosmetic supplies, I skimmed through messages from random people I don’t know. My legs throbbed from the walk to and from the Chevron, which is LITERALLY closer to our office than the parking space I am usually able to find, and once again I was reminded of my spoons. I have to take it easy or I am going to regret it later. Oh how wise we are about our bodies.

At 5pm I packed up my things, made a few comments to my boss about the difficult client we are working with, and headed out the door. My hip ached, my my knee throbbed on my right side. This is nothing new. I climbed into my little car, put my foot on the clutch and turned the key; A shooting pain shoot through my left foot. Easing up on the clutch I was reminded of my little walk to and from the gas station. Hmmm… perhaps my left leg is beginning to feel the ill effects of supporting the right for the last few days. Putting my foot on the clutch, it ached and stinging pain trickled through it; But I put my car in reverse, and I drove. What choice do you have when you drive a standard, and you have to get home? I have a four year old to pick up from the sitters, and a family to feed tonight. My foot can scream at me all it wants, I have to use it.
Once I was home, I rested my body a bit. Ahhhh! Now you remember to count how many spoons you have left! my body taunted me. I sat thinking of all I had left to do for the night, and narrowed it down. My family hasn’t had a home cooked meal from me in quite some time, and with all the energy I have left, I am positive I can make something for them. I may be worn out and grumpy by bedtime, but dammit! It is worth it.

So here I am, post a baked garlic chicken and corn dinner, children in bed (not sleeping.. but in bed all the same), blogging away and feeling like I was quite productive today. I am perfectly aware that if you compare this day to the average day I had before I fell so ill it would look as though I had done nothing, but I am allowed to feel accomplished over even the littlest things I was able to do today that I was unable to to yesterday. Every day I make it through is another accomplishment and triumph I add to my book of living. It is hard and frustrating to have to feel that so little is so big, but I can’t really compare the me now to the me then. I have to celebrate me.

I have to celebrate the little accomplishments.

Self Comforting Damage Control

Gabapentin. Generic for Neurontin.

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is a pharmaceutical drug, specifically a GABA analog. It was originally developed to treat epilepsy, and currently is also used to relieve neuropathic pain.

Uses For Pain

Gabapentin provides significant pain relief in about a third of people who take it for fibromyalgia or chronic neuropathic pain; however, results in side effects in two thirds of people. It is effective in reducing narcotic usage post operatively and is helpful in neuropathic pain due to cancer. When used for neuropathic pain it does not appear superior to carbamazepine. It appears as effective as pregabalin and costs less. It does appear to provide some benefit for complex regional pain syndrome or to be useful for migraine prevention.

Since I have been using Gabapentin, my general functionality and mood has increased significantly. I still have slight joint pain in my hands, but the locking and general discomfort is subsiding. My knee pain, due to long term arthritis damage, has decreased, but is not even close to being gone. I have found that the general discomfort I had when walking has let up quite a bit, and I am left being able to walk almost normally nearly daily. Only during a full flare do I have issues, or after sitting in a way that puts strains on the damaged ligaments. This all being said, I still have general exhaustion, and without caffeine or sugars, I have a hard time staying awake for the needed period of time during the day. The problem with this is that caffeine AND sugar (especially artificial sweeteners) cause additional pain and exhaustion for patients with fibro, arthritis, etc. I have tried making it through the days without using either of these stimulants, however I have not been able to do so. Not only do I need it to stay awake, but I think I may have become emotionally attached to my coffee and sugar intake.

Everyone has their own forms of pain, and everyone has their own forms of comfort. It is not uncommon for people to develop emotional attachment to foods, items, shows, OCD tendencies, and/or drinks, etc to deal with emotional pain. Anyone who has had to deal with any type of chronic illness and/or pain will be able to tell you about the intense waves of emotional pain that comes along with it, and the different ways that they learn to cope. When you have a chronic problem, it is not uncommon for one to live in fear. Fear of another flare, fear of the pending pain. How hard it is going to hit you. Will I be able to function? Am I going to miss work? Can I take care of my children? Can I take care of myself? absweetpotatoes-3 Having these types of stress and worries put additional strain on your emotions, and can actually weaken the body, allowing your chronic illness to flare more often. It is a never ending process of emotional, physical, mental, and any other type of pain you can think of. It is really easy to fall into the pattern of comforting yourself with quick and unhealthy remedies. For me it is coffee, candy, and potatoes. Potatoes? Yes. Isn’t that strange? When I am feeling anxious and sick on the weekends I tend to make my comfort food: Any type of potato. Fried, baked, crisped.. anything. I love the taste, and I love the toppings I can put on top of them. All of which are TERRIBLE for both illnesses that I have. When you eat potatoes, carbohydrates increase insulin and lower your blood sugar. Carbohydrates with a “high glycemic load” breakdown into a tremendous amount of sugar within your body and should be avoided as they make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. I have also opted to stop eating meats, and plan to eventually eliminate most of the dairy that I consume. I don’t have an issue with breads, and other glutenous foods, as I have celiac, and cannot consume them regardless. The pain and discomfort I get from celiac is almost completely unbearable at times. This may be exacerbated by the fibro and/or arthritis. Needless to say, food is beginning to become my enemy.

Yet here I am, day in and day out needing to consume large amounts of caffeine both for energy and for comfort. The smell and feel of coffee settles any nerves I may have, emotionally puts me at ease, which increases my energy levels in general. Add the caffeine to that mix, and you have a very happy woman during the day. I am obviously very aware of the side effects, however lets take another look into my dilemma.

No caffeine: Extra fatigue, anxiety, discomfort, and general frustrations because of all of the above.

Caffeine: Relieved fatigue, relieved anxiety, emotional comfort, and relief of all systematic/emotional symptoms listed above.

However, by about 6 pm when I am winding down for the day, and it has been hours since my last consumption of sugars and caffeine, this is when I start to crash. Not only do all of my symptoms return, they return with a vengeance. My entire body aches (but lets clarify not NEARLY as bad as it did before the gabapentin), my fatigue returns, my joints ache to the point where I must rest my body in order to stay mentally functional. Basically, everything goes back downhill. This is obviously a problem, as that is the time I am now home with my family and they require me to be as attentive as possible. Should I have not consumed said sugars and caffeine, I would have not been able to fully function at work, and would still be fatigued and anxious when I got home. Perhaps even worse than I am when I crash, due to the emotionally and physical strain put on my body due to avoiding my energizing, comfort foods and drinks. Catch 22 if I ever heard of one. The fact that I have taken the time to research my situation, trying to find ways to avoid pain and treat myself as much as I can as well has brought me to the conclusion to do the following:

1. Avoid Potatoes. This has already been said, but it is the very first step in my fight to regain my life. I must avoid as many complex carbs as I can, avoiding the side effects previously listing. Believe it or not, this is actually very hard for me to do. Not only are potatoes delicious and comforting, they are cheap. As a single mom, this is a huge asset to keeping my grocery budget low. I am not sure I will even be feeding my kids potatoes, or even purchasing them again. I have half a bag in my pantry. I am avoiding temptation.

2. Eliminate red meats, and eventually all meats in general: This needs to be done for the same reasons potatoes needs to be eliminated from my diet as well. They have the same effect on the body, and cause the same problems. Though red meats can be very healthy, for someone with neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain, the benefits do NOT outweigh negatives. chocolate

3. Limit Candies/Sugars: Anyone who is trying to be healthy should be doing this regardless. We all know that the sugars, fats, and other damaging elements of candy is overall bad for you. As much as I would like to convince myself that a Snickers is good for me, it is not. Nor are Skittles or M&Ms. I wish this weren’t true.

4. Eliminate dairy: Dairy is a major protein, and many people that have fibromyalgia have a leaky gut. This means instead of having gaps between your cells and your intestines that look like this: mmmmmmm — the cells look like this: m n m n m n m. Casein is a major protein, and you can develop a food reaction to it – an allergy, if you will. When you eat casein, it inflames your body, it fires up your immune system, and all heck breaks loose. Especially when your immune system loves to attack your body. This means dairy is overall bad for me. Across the board.

So why is dairy last on my list? Because I am most addicted to dairy. I eat dairy every day, and I am going to have a very hard time stopping. I love the taste of milk. Yogurt. Sour cream. It is all very delicious, however my functionality and ability to be a good parent and employee needs to take presidence over any of my random addictions. After all of these steps are taken, I am sure that I am going to live a much more productive and meaningful life. I am just not sure how long it is going to take me to complete my short, yet complicated list. You may ask why coffee is not on this list, and it is simply because I am not ready to give up that addiction, and I am hoping the elimination of all other comfort foods that are bad for me will allow me to continue to have one guilty pleasure. Of which I am going to consume at this time. Because I love it.

In obvious conclusion, my current self comfort is part of what is causing my illness to still affect me. There are many things that I currently do (and think) that continue to hurt me, and cause self damaging issues. I am SO good at causing damage to myself, and those around me. The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Here is my admittance.

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