I got lost!

Flying Brain by Pixelnase
Flying Brain – photo from deviantArt.com created by Pixelnase

Throughout my journey having chronic illnesses I’ve fought hard to not allow my illnesses to define me.  Yes they are a part of me, but they aren’t all of me.  I worked hard to keep some sense of normalcy in my life…and to try my best to keep true to me.

I feel after everything that happened this past year….and not all of them had to do with my illnesses…I lost myself.  I became the sick person.  I stopped trying to be me.  I stopped posting regularly, I stopped doing my art, I stopped cooking (partially because I had a dizzy spell while cooking and almost hurt myself, but I’ve been to scared to start back)….I’ve been living in fear and self loathing.

2012 was one of the hardest years I’ve lived through, (topped only by 1993, the year my mother died).  I had 2 new chronic diagnoses, my dearest friend and constant companion of 19 years died (yes I am talking about Sandy), I had contact from someone I’ve loved unconditionally who I haven’t heard from in years and the correspondence was filled with hatred….just true and deep rooted hatred.  It would be hard enough for me to deal with anyone hating me, but this person….well the wound cut deep.  It’s so hard to explain.  I don’t remember a lot of my life before I got my bipolar stable, and I’ve changed so much since I met and married my husband, and since I’ve been sick.  I love me…me as a person.

But me as a person was lost.  I didn’t realize it until we came to Tucson and I got so sick.  Not just my normal chronic illnesses, but more and more.  I had a cough that wouldn’t go away…I’m still coughing some.  I finally saw the doctor, and I had bronchitis and Asthma.  I was born with Asthma, so I’ve known it was there, but supposedly I’d “grown out of it”.  I would have an attack if I got around someone with perfume on, or someone smoking, or around things I’m allergic to.  But now, I’m dealing with it every day.  And unfortunately, I had more vertigo attacks in November than I had the entire year combined.  I’ve also been having a huge problem with my GI system.  I know my food issues and I’m careful, but things sneak in….and I had no idea….still I’m having bowel issues.  And I’m gaining weight.  I’m back to being 5 pounds from my largest weight.  And that’s way too much for my short body.

It has just been too much.  More illnesses.  More conflicts to deal with.  More being stuck in bed.  I got lost and didn’t even know it.

I was lying in bed recently and realized how much I hate me.  No, I don’t hate me as a person, I actually like the person I’ve become.  Adversity really does create good people.  (and I think I am a good person)  But, me…my body….I hate it.  I’m larger than I want to be, or should be.  I have no energy, I’m sick ALL THE TIME!  I feel my body betrayed me. And I don’t want anyone to see me when I’m ill.  When I do actually get to see someone, I try my best to look my best.  I know this probably causes a bit of confusion for people, I don’t look sick when they see me, so how can I be so very sick.  I remember one day when  friend came to visit with her 2 children.  I loved seeing them, but I started to feel very worn out and dizzy before they left.  I tried so hard not to let them see.  Soon it was time for them to leave, Stuart and I walked them to the door, arm in arm….and when the door was closed, I collapsed.  But I couldn’t let her see.  I think I’m afraid if people see how sick I am they will shun me, and I will lose all my friends.  But really, I think I’ve lost most of them anyway.  I’ve hidden away.  And I don’t think I could stand for someone to see me really sick.  I’d rather be with just Stuart than for others to feel uncomfortable because I’m sick.  Gaining weight hasn’t helped.  People expect sick people to be underweight.  Instead I’ve gained about  60 pounds.

So, now that I know what has been happening to me, I am determined to get me back.  The inner me.   My blog was very important to me, but I allowed someone to scare me away from it.  I can’t do that.  I have to write and reach out to those who can help me and those whom I may be able to help.  This is such an important part of me.  My art has been an important part.  I wanted to have something I did consistently….but I’ve failed…I need to get that back.  I need to do something that is productive and useful.  I’ve felt like a useless burden for too long.  I found out about a few charities in my area who knit or crochet blankets, scarves….ect….for needy.  One charity that really spoke to me is one that donates to foster children, so they will have something special that was made just for them.  (as many of you may know, Stuart and I had planned to be foster parents but ended up not being able to because my illness got so much worse).  Foster children hold a special place in our hearts.  The charity I found makes items for foster children in a neighboring county, at some point I would like to see the same type of charity started for the county we live in.

So here’s the beginnings of a plan for me.  Begin doing something that will make me feel more like I’m a contributing member of society, learn to love my body no matter what size it is or how sick it is, stop listening to old ghost from the past and hope they can move past their hate and find a happy life, learn more about dealing with my new diagnoses, and learn American sign language.

I didn’t mention, I haven’t been able to hear out of my right ear…with my hearing aid…for about a month.  So we really need to learn ASL.  We will be starting a class here in Tucson next week.  It is a beginning conversation ASL class.  We will miss the last couple of classes, but feel it will be worth while.  This is through a Hard of Hearing and Deaf group, many of the members are deaf or severely hard of hearing, so I shouldn’t have a problem with not being able to hear in class.  (Stuart talked to the teacher and she assured him it wouldn’t be a problem, and many people who have Cochlear Implants are members there too.

 

Advertisements

Hard to Get Started Again…

I miss blogging, I miss my blogging friends….but it’s hard to get started again.

Now I think of things that have happened since I’ve been away that you don’t know about, and things that are going to happen….so much to talk about I’m overwhelmed.   Eh….maybe not so much.  My life really isn’t that exciting.

I went through a bout of depression, that knocked me off my feet.  By that I mean, I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I’d wake up and think, what reason to I have to get up?  I couldn’t think of a reason, and the sleeping side effect was not helping!

Vancouver Sunrise by Lauazee from DeviantART http://fav.me/d32s7vm

I know part of the depression started when Sandy died.  But the biggest problem is a bit strange….at least to me, my therapist says it’s normal.  I’ve been feeling better.  The Meniere’s isn’t bothering much at all since the surgery in December.  The Intracranial Hypertension (High CSF), is minor and under control with medication.  My migraines are not as painful, but they are causing vertigo often!  So much so that there is no way I’ll ever be able to drive again.  The Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV) gives me NO warning.  I wouldn’t even be able to pull over to the side of the road, the world just goes crazy immediately.  I can’t even walk around the block by myself, or do things in the yard.  I tried one day, and it did not end up good.  So I’m stuck in our house, unless I have someone with me (meaning Stuart).  I know there is plenty I could do in the house, but when you can’t do things you want….well everything else kind of falls flat.

But I’m better.  Really.  It’s kind of funny.  I was watching Sponge Bob Square Pants and he was singing, “I’ve got an attitude of gratitude….”  And I realized I used to every day think about things I’m grateful for, and I hadn’t been lately.  So I started thinking about it, and I felt better.  Also we’ve been talking about fostering a dog, or perhaps adopting.  Sandy was a rescue dog, and we’ve been thinking that taking care of another dog who needs rescuing would honor her.  This has made me feel better about things, I really miss Sandy, and do NOT want to replace her, but the thought of honoring her by helping another dog….that makes me feel better inside.

Now that the sleeping has gotten back to normal, I’m feeling better about other things too.

We went to see the audiologist on Wednesday.  I picked out all the options for the Cochlear Implant (CI) that I want!  We expected to have heard from the insurance by now, but it’s seems to be a big old pain in the butt.  And all I can do is, wait patiently.   I’m not the most patient person!

Now, I’m started… let’s see if I can’t make a habit of this!

Mother’s Day is very hard for some people

image from farmhousecountrystyle.blogspot.com

Every year since my mother died Mother’s Day has been bitter-sweet.  Everywhere I look people are telling you to get in touch with your mother, let her know how much you appreciate her, and how much you love her.  I’m sure there are many people who have lost their mother or perhaps lost a child, or for those who have mother’s who are not someone you really want to thank….you know they are out there….and this holiday is very, very hard for them.  Just as it is for me.

This year, Mother’s Day is especially hard for me.  This year, I expected to be a mother, a foster-mother yes, but a mother non-the-less.  That dream was taken from me this past year, and it won’t be coming back.  I’m okay with this decision, but it stings right now.

Mother’s Day is also very hard this year because I lost my little baby girl….yes, I’m talking about Sandy.  I know many won’t understand because she was a dog, but she was my baby for 19 years.  She was more of a constant in my life than any human.  And yes, it may sound silly, but most Mother’s Days I got a card from her and Max.  (yes, I’m not delusional, I know Stuart sent the cards, but her little paw print signed it….and I was her mommy.)   Stuart would joke around and make a special breakfast for me saying that our children insisted that he do so.  Yes, this Mother’s Day will be very hard.

This week Sandy’s memorial bench arrived. It’s sitting on our front porch, but we haven’t been able to inter her remains yet.  Yes, that will probably happen this weekend.  Her ashes are in a little box, this will be sealed in her special box (where we kept her stuff), with her special blanket, sweater, collar, just little things we think she would have like to have.   All of these things will be sealed in an airtight container, then sealed in the bench.    In our will we have a provision, when we die we plan to have our ashes mixed, Sandy’s ashes will also be mixed with ours.  (Max’s too, but since he is still alive, I don’t want to say things like that.)

Are we strange for caring so much about how our dog is cared for after death?  Are we the only ones like this.  I hope not.

But I’ve wandered away from the point of this post.   For all of those who find holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and even Christmas hard, you are not alone.  For all of you who now someone who has a hard time during these holidays, reach out.  Everyone needs to feel a little love.

I Keep Writing Because…. #HAWMC Day 24

Bonus Prompt: I keep writing because… Start your post with this sentence and, as the title says, keep writing. Free write for 15 minutes without stopping and see where it takes you.

(today’s original prompt was to post a Health Mascot.  My dog Sandy is my mascot, but I couldn’t right about that today.  She died April 18th, one day I’ll write about what a brave, and wonderful dog she was, how many health issues she had and over came, how she was as the vet often called her, “a Wonder Dog”.  But not today.)

photo from Flicker Sharing by earthunderheaven (to find more of their work click on the photo.)

I keep writing because…recently I keep writing because I am determined to finish this challenge.

Actually, I’ve begun to wonder, why I keep writing.  I know why I started, I know I have made some good contacts, friends, and my heart has been here. This blog has really helped me through some tough times when I felt no one else was listening.  I’d write, just to write, and I found there were others out there, others who felt like I did, others who needed to have that contact too.  Now, I’m hurting so much.  I’ve had so much loss this past year.  I felt I dealt with each one, I was strong, and positive.  I was told I was the most positive person someone knew.  I was proud of myself and how I was looking at life.

Then another diagnosis came earlier this year, and it has been hard to deal with.  I couldn’t be that positive about it.  I’m still a bit in shock from it, and simply not sure how to look on things positively.  I’m larger than I’ve ever been, and the doctors just seem to be ignoring it, yet they tell me my triglycerides are high, and I’m borderline high blood pressure….ect….but they all say, don’t worry about the weight right now, you have to focus on this.  I’m afraid I’m on my way to diabetes.  I read all these books on nutrition, cut out soda, all High Fructose Corn Syrup, snack on nuts, cheese, fruit, veggies, eat at home more, cut out gluten….all these will help you lose weight…but I do all of that.  so why can’t I lose weight?  I need help, I’ve been to a nutritionist, no help.  Most don’t even know what fructose intolerance is….I know more than most of the “professionals”.  I’m grieving for the loss of what I used to be, what I used to look like.  I now have no energy, can’t exercise because it will raise my CSF pressure, I can’t walk for long because of my hips, I can’t even enjoy sex.

I’m grieving because I lost everything that I gained early last year.  I can’t drive again…but I have a cute little car.  I can’t be a foster parent, even though we went through all the classes had all the references…everything…but no, I can’t because it wouldn’t be fair with my health issues to bring a child into this.  And frankly I don’t think I’d pass the physical now.

and worst of all I lost my best friend, my little baby dog.  A HUGE part of me died with her.  I have to find a way to make that part live again.  To put the pieces of my life back together, even if some of the pieces are missing

Why do I write? Because I need to.

But I also need to take a break.

I may write sporadically for a while to let you know what is going on, but I need to take a break from the internet.  I won’t be reading other people’s blogs as much or commenting as much.  I need to take some time to focus on me.  I may write about it, I may not.  right now I’m simply trying to figure out how to get past all the grief of things I’ve lost this year, or how to grieve without losing myself.  I need to focus more on the spiritual side of me.  I need to make some huge decisions.  My husband and I need to grieve over our Sandy together, and figure out how we will carry on with our family now that such a huge part of it is gone.  We may end up moving.  As I said a lot of decisions….and a lot of needs.

But yes I will write again.  Because I must.

End 15 minutes…plus a little to put in the photo.  : )

Quick update…well, perhaps not so quick..

Thought I'd share a sketch from my journal I drew last week. She looks a little sad doesn't she?

I planned for this to be just a quick update…because I know you are all just sitting at the edge of your seat. haha
but I got carried away…*sarcasm coming*…but that’s just so rare. : )

Stuart had his second interview today, and he had to take a test {shudder}, should know something very soon. (Hopefully today, but no later than tomorrow I would think.)

About me…heck, I just don’t know. Hearing is way down. Not hearing from left ear…although the tinnitus sounding like static woke me up! Don’t you hate that???
Even my right ear is down a bit.
Not having vertigo, but feel off, light-headed. Often feel like I’m about to have a vertigo attack, take meds and it goes away.
Pain is minimal now. The LP site is still tender and has a small welt, but I know that’s because I had 2 within a week.
Still not feeling like I can do much. Mostly in bed. (rolling eyes here…oh, don’t do that..you dizzy headed girl!)
Went to the store, just one mile from our house, day before yesterday. To get one thing. Got home and collapsed, did not feel good at all.
Yesterday I had a couple of visitors for a few hours. It was so nice. A friend and her 1 year old came for a visit. While they were here, I just pushed everything aside, and enjoyed the moment. That child is such a happy kid! It meant a lot to me, I don’t have many visitors.
It wore me out a bit, but it was magical while they were here.
I am so not in the loop with my “friends” any longer. I didn’t know one is pregnant. (well, really I’m not friends with her, but her husband used to be close to us, before they got married…it’s strange) She’s due in February.
I didn’t know another couple had their child last week. Are these people really my friends any more? I just don’t know….

I hate to admit it, but I’ve been pretty depressed lately. I keep telling myself that I’ll take things as they come, and just roll with it. If life isn’t what I expected, change my expectations. But having the hope…the reprieve from all of this for months, and then it all coming back…well, it’s hard. I’m grieving, I know it. Does that mean I’m giving up? I just don’t know.

Those who have been reading my blog for a while know all the major plans I had when I was better. I really thought things would stay that way! I bought a car!! The cutest car in the world. Now, I can’t even drive it. I stated gardening, and it mostly died because I couldn’t keep it up. I was going to be a Mom. Now I won’t.

I wasn’t going to talk about all of this. I’m still hoping things will get better, but some of these things won’t change. No matter how much better I feel again, I will not pursue getting a foster child. I cannot take the chance it will happen again. I’m not even sure I’ll commit to a garden again. Too much expense, time, and effort to just watch it die.

The hearing loss, do I move on and find a way to live in the non-hearing world. I’ve joined an email group that is composed of people with severe or total hearing loss from Meniere’s. They all seem so well adjusted. But some things are so hard to hear. Most have no friends from before their hearing loss, only friends that they’ve met afterward. I simply don’t want to be to the point that all I hear is this damn noise in my head!
The other day i laughed, I had been all teary about things I can’t hear, like the cricket and things chirping on a summer night…then I realized, I hear that sound a lot, even when they aren’t around. I had to laugh. It’s the only way sometimes.

I was able to connect with my Psych today via email. I told him how I felt about things. How depressed I am, and all that stuff. He doesn’t normally use email because of the lack of confidentiality. Yeah, I don’t care who knows about me and my stuff. I know it’s ethical, and he should be that way, but certain concessions must be made for the hearing impaired! Dang-it! We’ll see how this turns out.

Once again, I’ve bared my soul.

thank you all for listening.

How my life has changed….and the straw that made the camel’s back snap.

First, I’m feeling a bit better physically today.  Not as much pain, and not having that weird feeling you get after being sedated.

This is the first time after having this procedure that I do feel like I had surgery.  (I may have mentioned that yesterday.  Forgive me if I did.)

Over the past couple of years my life had changed A LOT!

My biggest health problem went from being my hip, to the Meniere’s.

Almost everything in my life has changed dramatically starting in the winter of 2009.  That’s when the Meniere’s came back full force, and I went bi-lateral.  By April of 2010, I was getting the Endolymphatic Shunt Surgery in my worst ear to stop the attacks from happening every day.

It worked, for a while.  By October of 2010, I was ready to talk about the surgery for my left ear, the attacks had returned, happening many days per week.  That’s when I was asked if I’d be interested in the research study.

And if you’ve been following this blog you know the rest.

But just how has all of this changed my life?

  • I wasn’t working when this started because of my hip, but planned to go back to work at least part time.  That isn’t going to happen.
  • I had a little reprieve from my symptoms earlier this year.  For 4 months.  I was almost normal.  I took it for granted, and keep looking for the magic button they pushed to make it better again.
  • I’ve lost a good part of my hearing.  I can’t hear in my left ear, and even with my hearing aid it’s a bit off on the right side.
  • I don’t know how to be a friend to my old friends any longer.  We did things, went places, … you know things you do with friends.  I can’t do most of these things now.  Even when I am feeling better, my hearing is so off, I find it very difficult to spend time with people unless it’s one on one.  Restaurants are horrible, Malls…no way, parties are often torture.  Even just having one person, if they aren’t in front of me talking straight at me, it’s hard.
  • A friend recently told me that she was hurt that I didn’t put more effort into our friendship especially during my good period.  I look back and realize, I didn’t do much with any of my friends, I tried a couple of times, but my hearing was still such an issue.   And people were very busy because, life went on without me, and I was crazy busy, because, life was restarting for me.  It was difficult to get back in the swing of things, by the time I finally felt I was finding my footing….it all came crashing down again.  I look back and think…if I had known this would happen, I would have spent that 4 months much differently.  (certainly not spending most of it trying to become foster parents!  That’s not going to happen now…but I didn’t expect to only feel better for 4 months.  So most of that time, we spent wrapped up in trying to be parents.)
  • So I realized, I don’t know how to be a real friend to the people who were my friends prior to my illness.  I try hard not to have my illness be my life, but in a big way it is.  I have to think about everything I do….how will it affect me, and my illness.  How much will it take out of me.
  • When I do see my friends I try to look better.  I get out of bed, if they come over, put on something decent (even a bra!) and at least make it to the couch.  Lately, that’s a very big deal.
  • When I was feeling better and driving, and would try to meet my friends, I was scared.  I hadn’t been spending time with most people for a while, and I was uncomfortable, talking with them, trying not to talk too much about me.  But my life was changing so much, that was hard.  And now, my life is static, and it’s even harder.
  • Many of my friends don’t like to email, text, or IM…and right now that’s the only way I can communicate.  So it’s hard.
  • I can’t keep my house as clean as I’d like.  We decided to get cleaners to come in, but that might not happen again….(more about that later).
  • I feel like I really needed some time away from here..away from this house…..just a change of scenery.  I was scared about seeing my friends in Tucson, how they might react to my hearing, and health issues.  But we’ve been emailing and texting…so I don’t think it would that big of a deal.  My best friend there is Japanese, so she has a hard time communicating too, I think that makes her more understanding about my communication issues.  But, the trip isn’t going to happen.  (again, more of that later.)

I’ve been feeling like I couldn’t post a lot of things lately.  Things that have really been weighing heavily on me. (like not knowing how to be a friend….I don’t want to be just the “sick friend” people tolerate.  If I’m your friend, I want to be more than that.  And right now, I don’t know how.  I can still listen and try to give advice (if you are willing to “talk” with me by writing.)  But it does seem to take a lot of the personalization out of the situation and I know that’s hard.  I realize how hard these things are for my friends, but I wonder how many know how hard it is for me.

They have their busy lives…I get to watch the world go by without really being able to join in…they can work, exercise, have children, go to dinner parties, go shopping….things normal people do.  I can’t.  And it hurts…down deep inside…that I just can’t.  I don’t fit in.  And I don’t want to be pitied.

Oh, and our house is only 4 years old, and we have to get a new toilet.  For the master bathroom.  They said it would be cheaper than fixing it.  It broke where the tank and the seat are connected.  So one night I went downstairs, and found water everywhere.  So I’m worried about possible mold problems.  I’m being shrugged off about it.  Just put a little Kilz on it….on the ceiling downstairs, yes…but what about between the upstairs floor and the ceiling downstairs?  We had to move from a rented house once because of mold…I don’t want that to happen with this house.

Another straw landed on this Camel’s back today….I think I heard it snap!

Stuart was told his job will end in one month.  They’ve decided they can’t afford him.  *sigh*

He has an interview tomorrow.  But this breaks my heart.  I feel like he will feel he has to take the first thing he finds that pays anywhere near enough, just so we can survive.  I can’t help.  I can’t do anything to bring in some income.  I really want to do something.

This sucks.

But surely, it will get better from here.

Things have to go up from here.

I feel like I’m one of those old cartoons that have been flattened by an anvil…..now just peel me up and pop me out…and things will be better!!

Oh heck, we’ve been through a lot, we’ll get through this.

Life is changing again.

Perhaps it’ll be fun.

“We Have to Wait and See if…”

I started writing this post a few different times, but nothing I say seems to come out right.

I don’t want to sound all pessimistic.  I’m not…I’m hopeful…but I’m tired….and a bit frustrated.

I saw the audiologist, had a hearing test, and saw my Oto. , Dr. Kaylie, on Tuesday.  (August 6th)  It was a very emotional day, and I feel like all the answers I have are still…wait and see….

My hearing test was dismal.  My right ear is pretty steady, my left ear is now pretty useless.  Yes, even with the hearing aid.  It is hoped that it will come back, but it’s a wait and see kind of thing.  I scored 0% on the word recognition in my left ear.  This was my “good” ear before.  Now the volume is down like the right ear, but the sounds are so distorted I can’t understand them.  It’s heartbreaking really.

Finally, I asked Dr. Kaylie, “do you have any idea if I will continue to have relapses?”  He said no, “We’re in uncharted territory here.”  I was pretty sure that’s what he’d say.  But it still stung.

I explained that we were in the process of getting licensed to become foster parents, but without knowing, I just don’t see how we can.  Dr. Kaylie, looked very sympathetic, but he couldn’t say much.  He did say, since things improved so much before, he believes it will again.  That my pressure hasn’t stabilized yet.  He has every hope that my hearing will improve.   (for some reason, I’m not as hopeful.  I guess I’ve heard it before, with my right ear, and it didn’t get better, but at least it is stable now.)

If I take out my hearing aids, I can’t hear anything but very loud noises.  I can not make out speech.  Just a few months ago, I could still hear, and understand most words.  If I wear the left hearing aid, it’s just so I’ll have the volume control to work.  (button on right hearing aid is up, left is down)  There’s really no reason to wear it.  So did I waste $2000?  maybe…We have to wait and see if my hearing improves….

Will I be able to drive again?..We’ll have to wait and see if the disequilibrium gets better….

Headaches?….we’ll have to wait and see when your pressure levels out.

So I’m in waiting mode…..and I don’t like it!

I will post my hearing test for you to see soon.  (right now I can’t get it to come up on my computer…..I do have a love/hate relationship with technology.)  I will post the test from earlier this year, and the one from Tuesday.  You can see how much things have changed.

I posted a photo I created on my Create To Heal Blog, that I’d like to share here too.

Fractured Ear (Hearing)                                                                              by W. Holcombe all rights reserved.

During my hearing test I started to cry…just a little…I could tell things were very bad.  Then the audiologist tried to adjust my hearing aid to help…it didn’t work.  I held it together.  Until I got to the waiting room and saw Stuart, then I broke down.

I have to admit, I’m scared now.  More scared than I think I’ve been in a very long time.  If the hearing doesn’t change in my left ear, and if my right ear’s hearing diminishes…I won’t be able to hear.  It’s already so hard, just hearing parts of things.  Missing so much.  Dr. Kaylie says I’ll never be deaf, that he would give me a cochlear implant.  But, I’m scared.

And, now once again, I have to change my plans for my future.  I have to come to terms with the knowledge that, I will never be called Mom.  This is something that’s going to take me a bit more time to process.

So….We’ll Wait and See.

Please take the time to check out Kelly’s series on Fly with Hope this week.  Today, (August 8th) is my story.  “I want to live! But I don’t feel like I am!”

 

Also, take a minute to drop by Phylor’s blog and check out the playlist from other chronic bloggers.  A lot of great music, and a lot of inspiration!

And as always.  Thank you so much for all the support you give me!

 

The Challenges of Summer.

Phineas and Ferb courtesy of The Disney Channel

As Phineas and Ferb say:

There’s 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it…

Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve been in school and had a “summer vacation”, but I have always loved summer.  For as long as I can remember I’ve always felt better in the summer.  I hurt less, and I just want to get out and do more.  Longer Days and Warmer Nights…life is good.

The challenges of Summer?

  1. I over do it because I feel better, then I pay for it!
  2. I get over heated easily and don’t realize it because I love hot weather.  (although we lived in Palm Springs, CA for a while…it was too hot there!)
  3. I over extend myself.  I have a hard time saying “No”, I seem to think I can do anything during this time of year.
  4. I often end up eating things I shouldn’t, and get sick.  (I just don’t plan well.)
  5. Again, I get too hot before I realize it!
How I can over come these challenges?
  1. Well, this should be easy, just do less!  However, it’s often hard to tell when I might be over doing it.  I guess my best option here is to pay more attention to what my body is telling me.  And REST OFTEN.
  2. Limit the amount time I spend in the heat.  Don’t just trust that I can tell when I get too hot, or thirsty.  Set a time limit, and stick to it.  And DRINK A LOT of water!
  3. I need to remember, I can only do so much!  And sometimes, I can’t do anything.  I feel guilty when I tell people I will be somewhere and then I can’t show up.  I need to tell more people either, “No.”  Or “Maybe.”  If people don’t understand, then do I really want to be doing anything with them?
  4. Since I have gluten and fructose intolerance, there are a lot of things I can’t eat.  Too often I go out and don’t realize we may not be home when I get hungry.  I must plan better for this.  Make sure there will be food I can eat at parties.  The easiest way to do this is to bring something.  When we are going out and about I need to make sure we will be near places I can eat, or keep food with me.  I used to carry protein bars in my purse that were gluten free so I’d always have something.  Now, it’s more difficult.  I haven’t found a protein bar that doesn’t have things I can’t have because of the fructose.  I must find something!!
  5. I used to never get over heated.  I have a convertible, and I love to drive and feel the heat, and wind.  On Wednesday, I was on my way home and got stopped due to road work.  I was sitting still for about 20 minutes.  When I got home I felt sick, and dizzy.  I got way too hot.  How can I prevent this?  I have to keep WATER with me.  Not soda, WATER!  If I get stuck in traffic, I need put the top up and turn on the AC.
What do I want to accomplish this summer?
  1. Complete all the requirements for becoming a licensed foster parent.
  2. Perhaps take a vacation…something we haven’t done in a very long time.  Even a long weekend would be nice.  But traveling scares me…I’ll have to be prepared.  And we really don’t want to leave our dog.
  3. Take care of me.  (read *pamper* here)
  4. Read more books.  I really don’t know if this is possible, but I’ll give it a go.  (I love to read!)
  5. Enjoy my birthday!  (July 2nd)
  6. Spend time with hubby.  (I don’t really care what we do, just as long as we do it together.)
  7. Enjoy my pets.  Especially Sandy, on July 2010, the vet told us that Sandy had 6 months to a year to live.  I don’t think anyone told her!
  8. Enjoy driving.  (something I haven’t been able to do much for the last 2 years.)
  9. Enjoy our garden!  This is the first year we’ve tried growing a vegetable garden.  I keep looking at a friend’s garden and think…”Wow, why does their garden look so much better than mine?”   Oh yeah, they aren’t using all organic practices.  Let’s just say I now understand why organic produce cost so much more.
No matter what your plans for the summer, be sure to take care of yourself.  Keep things close to you that make you feel good.  For example: I take a bath every night right before I go to bed.  It really helps me get to sleep, feel more relaxed, and hurt much less.   I put lotion on every night, often my husband puts special peppermint lotion on my feet.  (My feet get hot at night and the peppermint makes them feel cool.)
Spend time with people who are good for you.  Avoid people who are toxic.  (you know who they are, you may feel like you have to spend time with them for some reason or another, maybe they are family, but you don’t.  Just say “NO”.  You can do it.  I know you can.)
Enjoy yourself.  That’s the most important thing.  Find ways to make your life easier, and more enjoyable.
Then pass it on.  Let other’s know what secrets you have found that make you feel better.
What’s your plans for the Summer?

Rainbow, Tears, and feeling Dizzy

I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but this was a beautiful rainbow, with a second rainbow right above it.

We had a nice rain on Friday.  Stuart went to leave the house and called me out to see this beautiful rainbow.  How fabulous.

Thursday was our last Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) class.  For the past week I’ve cried and cried.  I was grumpy, argumentative, and just plain scared.  I finally realized that I was letting what my father said get to me.  I read a lot between the lines.  He really didn’t say that much, but I could just hear the disapproval.

I’m venting here, so forgive me.

The classes ask you a lot about your relationships.  They ask about your support system.  They ask how your family will react to you having a foster child.  I knew how my father feels about African Americans.  I know he’s a bigot.  But I felt I needed to ask him.  After all, this is going to be my child, perhaps he would feel differently, perhaps he would support us.  (I know unrealistic dreams.)  When I told him it was highly likely that the child we would get would be an African American, and wanted to know if he could accept that.  He told me that I knew how he felt about things like that.  This hurt and I continued to think about it.  Finally, I felt I needed to ask more.  I asked him if he could accept any child that wasn’t white?  If he could accept a mixed race?  Anything?  This is the answer I got: “As for as your question
about the Foster care thing I don’t really know how to answer that because that is really up to you what you want to do.  I don’t think in the long run you will be happy with it but I am wrong a lot of the times.
So I am just saying do what ever you and Stuart want to do and don’t worry about what anyone thinks.”

Don’t worry about what anyone thinks.  That includes him.  And telling me that he doesn’t believe that I will be happy with this.  Yeah, Pop, thanks for the support.

I hate to admit it, but his words made me doubt myself.  This isn’t unusual, but I thought I had grown past it.  I realize that I need to just back away from my immediate family, but this is very hard.  It’s hard to not want my family to support me.  However, I’m not surprised.  The only person in my family who ever supported me was my mother.   I miss her.

Now that I realize what was really going on inside of me, I’m feeling much better.  I’m very happy with my little family right here.

On Thursday I was having a lot of ear pain.  When we left our class that night I started feeling dizzy as we went down the elevator.  As we walked out to the car, I was scrambling for some Valium.  (can’t be too safe, right?)  When I got to the car, I took the Valium with some watered down warm diet Dr. Pepper that was in the car.  Yuck.  But it was wet, and it worked.  Don’t you hate it when you really need to take a pill, and you don’t have anything to drink?

The disequilibrium subsided, but the pain continued through that night.  The next day it was better.  Today is the last day of antibiotics for my ear infection.  I really hope it has knocked it out, and I won’t have to take any more.  I’m thinking the pain was mostly from all the tears.

The dizziness has been a bit scary.   I’m sure it’s because of the ear infection and the crying.

As another Meniere’s warrior said this week, “I am so utterly grateful and do not take one day of freedom from vertigo for granted.”   (Thanks Angelea for all the inspiration.)

I’ve been a Slacker.

I know I’ve been very slack at updating my blog lately.  I hope you haven’t given up on me.

Remember when I posted that I had a little dizzy feeling, not much, just a little off?  Well, it happened again during one of our classes.  I stood up during the break and the floor moved under me, this was pretty alarming considering we were on the 6th floor.  Then I realized that no one else noticed it, so that could only mean it was just me.  *sigh*  I was also having pain in my left ear.  I saw the audiologist for a follow-up on my hearing aids, and she said my ear drum was a little red, so I could be getting an ear infection.  This was on a Thursday, I had my physical scheduled for the next Tuesday so I decided to have my doctor look at it then.  On Tuesday, my doctor looked and said I had one of the worst classic ear infections she has seen.  I was told to not wear my hearing aid for a week or so.  It was very painful, and I was off-balance for about a week, but I’m so glad it was something that could be easily fixed.  And not a relapse.  Whew!

I was surprised to find out that my blood work, cholesterol and all that stuff, was better this year than it was last year, and I weigh about 40 pounds more now.  Go figure.  It seems that elevated triglycerides can be caused by fructose intolerance.  My triglycerides have been high for years…many years!  They are still a little high, but much lower than they have been in a long time!  Now if the weight would just start to come off.  I just don’t understand why I’m not loosing weight.  One step at a time I guess.

Fostering Classes have taught me so much.  Not just about becoming a foster parent, but also about myself.  I’ve been looking inside much more than I have in a long time.  The classes have been emotionally draining, but I feel I’m much more resourceful now.  I may need help, but now I feel that I’m more prepared at knowing where to get the help I will need.  I also know that no matter how much I learn, I will feel a bit lost when a child actually comes into our home.  Hands on is going to be much different from in a classroom.

I am so disappointed that we aren’t getting more support from our family and friends.  My father has hurt me to the extent that I am at a loss for what to do.  We haven’t ever been close, and I know that he is very prejudice.  Not only did he say that he could not accept it if we got a child of a different race.  He told me that he didn’t believe that I would be happy with this.  He is completely against it.  If it comes down to me choosing between my father and my child, my father will lose.  (but really, he lost me a long time ago)

My sister and I were estranged for many years.  This past year we started talking again.  She doesn’t say much.  A couple of sentences here and there, nothing of substance really.  I’ve mentioned to her about us fostering in 3 separate emails, and she hasn’t acknowledged it.  I’m certain she feels the same way my father does.

It’s hard feeling like I would be better off if I just didn’t have a family.  Since my mother died, I haven’t felt like I had a family at all.  I’ve remained in touch with my father and sister because it makes it easier if I want to see or even talk to anyone else in our family.  (like aunts, uncles, cousins..)  But recently, I’ve realized I haven’t had much contact with any of these people in years.  So why do I continue to try?  It’s so confusing.

One of the exercises in our classes we had to write down 5 things we were close to, that made us who we are.  Most people included their family.  I wrote: My husband, My pets, Art, Friends, and my Blog.  The friends I’ve made from my blog have been more supportive of me than my family, and most of my in person friends.  Thank you all.