Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Good Karma

Tomorrow, I embark on what will be one of the hardest things I ever have to do in my life.  Tomorrow, I am taking Merit in to be euthanized.  I've been a mess for over a week now, knowing it's time.  Her arthritis is bad.  Three kinds of pain pills bad.  And she still has good and bad days.  Even with the pain pills.  This week the bad days have outnumbered the good.  And the good haven't been good enough.  I think, she's ready.  I know she's ready not to hurt anymore.  But, I'd be lying if I tried to claim I could ever be ready for this.  I knew, when I adopted her, or really, when she rescued me, that this day would come.  We've had 15 wonderful years together.  Next week, March 21, will be her 15th "Gotcha Day." But, I'm not going to allow her to hurt any longer than necessary, just to meet a day that is special in my mind.  I wish, I was eloquent enough to write a eulogy that was even half as worthy of her.  I know, that whatever I write, it will fall way short of describing the love and friendship she has bestowed on me.  We all have pets that are part of the family.  Our furbabies.  For me, Merit is the baby, by which all dogs shall be measured.  It's not really fair to our other pets, but it's the truth.
Merit has been with me for all the major experiences in my adult life; our engagement, our wedding, several home purchases, two babies... Things won't be the same without her.  When I adopted Merit, I was reading, "The Art of Happiness," by the Dali Lama.  In the book, he described the "good karma" that follows you from life to life.   He said the closest word we had for that in English, was "merit."  When I read that, I knew.  Merit is my good karma.  I believe that whatever happens to us after this life, that we are reunited with our furbabies.  Heaven wouldn't be heaven unless my pups are there.  But it is going to be a very long time until I get to see her again.  I am going to miss her so very, very much.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Status: Health, Winter 2016

I think I'm writing again.  (Lord knows I need to do something different.  What I'm currently doing isn't working.)

I feel like  I've been more or less on the brink of a nervous breakdown since before Thanksgiving. (Dramatic much, why yes, how did you know?)  Little things are helping keep it at bay, but they're sandbags and the levy wall really, really wants to break.  If that happens, I'm not sure I can do much to keep the flood out of the house.  If you know what I mean.

For the first time in 3 years, I'm actually doing pretty well physically, for winter.  A real surprise considering we're in an El Nino year.  What with me being the delicate flower I am, and the damp & cold that El Nino waters bring I would've predicted major walking issues.  So far, I'm holding it together.  I'm not thriving by any stretch, but I'm walking on my own & my family's existence seems to be flowing fairly well.  Most would call that a big win. Considering how low I've set the bar, you would think, I would be part of that most; but there's a lot of things conspiring to push me down & it's hard to manage it all.  In Other Words, I'm feel like I'm losing the battle.

DaddySpeak started a new job last year.  He was at his last place of work for almost 10 years.  That's an eternity in Silicon Valley.  Because his company is considered one of the best places to work, (in the world,) no one asks, "What's wrong with you?  Why have you been there so long?" which is how ambition is typically determined here in Silicon Valley.  It was an enviable position to be in, in my opinion.  But he'd more or less maxed out there.  If he wanted his job to evolve he needed to leave.  At least for a while.  (It's also not uncommon here to leave so you can get the title you aspire to, and eventually go back to your previous company.  They couldn't promote you title wise because of BLAH, BLAH, BLAH... but now that you have experience at that level we can hire you back in that position or above.  Yeah, I know makes tons of sense. Lame, I agree, but a relatively common practice.)  So, our insurance changed for the first time in 10 years.  Most of my doctors were not on this new insurance.  We always sign up for the PPO plan so that if a doctor or two I've been going to isn't on the plan, I don't have to change up everything all at once.  Which explains why I suddenly had to change up ALL my doctors at once.  The short version is; I spent months trying to get new doctors in line.  And now that I've done that, they changed to OUR OLD PROVIDER. I kid you not.  In the meantime, I just finally got set up at this pain clinic.  I was actually super excited because I felt like these doctors were way more in line with my approach to getting better. Not just managing my Fibro. (The Fibro doctor I've been going to keeps me in drugs.  He isn't open to anything that isn't traditional Western Medicine.  I think I can do better, but was nervous to leave him. I felt like the timing was actually good.  This was the universe telling me it was time to move on.)   However, I've since found that I can't seem to get evaluated to get that treatment at this new place.  Seriously.  It took me 4 months to get all my forms, files, them.  And this clinic won't talk to you until they have your past history in place.  Finally, all shored up.  Got into my first visit with the main doc.  Looks good, going to be evaluated by several people in house to access my current needs; and BAM.  Red light. They were supposed to call me & never did.  I called them.  They'll get back to me with the doctor's orders.  Nothing.  I made a couple more calls and then I was back in for my follow up with the main doctor again.  (Scheduled at the end of my last appointment, but a different desk/person in the clinic.)  He apologized.  Said he took responsibility for the misconnect & that we'd get moving now.  Still in the same boat.   I can NOT seem to get on the phone with the scheduler.  I've been playing phone tag with her for literally 4 weeks now.  So much for pain management.  In the meantime, as expected during the winter, I've been gradually getting worse. I'm at the place where I've started to get migraines again. That's when I know things are bad.  My sleep is crap.  I can't seem to follow asleep till 3:00/4:00 AM.  I will sleep a good 7 hours once asleep, so that's progress.  The problem is that most of the people around me, are NOT functioning on Hawaiian time in California.  So I'm on swing shift.  I sleep for 3 hours, get up, get the kids off to school, go back to bed.  I don't get much done, but I do get rest.  I've learned through the years, to grab the sleep I can, when I can.  If I don't sleep while they're at school, I'm a mess around 4:00 PM.  You know, right in the thick of carpool.  That's safe, NOT.  So, yeah.

Things are a little better in that, the girls make their own lunches at night & are responsible for themselves in the AM.  That doesn't mean it isn't chaotic, it just means I don't have to actually leave the house with them most days.  (That's a win in my book.)  When I do, I usually throw sweats over my PJs & then back to bed.  Girls are also responsible for dishes, dogs & laundry these days.  We're still working on that, but even when they just do a bit, it helps.

So that's where I'm at in my current medical journey.  No where really.  Fibro is maintaining. Hashi's is maintaining.  (Still gaining weight, slowly, but surely.  That's another post for another day.)  And mostly, we're all holding our breath, hoping there isn't some major catastrophe that puts me back into a completely overwhelming downward spiral from which I need to get more serious help for.

More later.  I hope.

Well Hello There....

I've been thinking about writing again.  I just read my last post. February two years ago & I had an almost identical conversation with my shrink today. And to be honest, it's almost more than I can take.  The reason I have for writing isn't about me or my kids.  But reading that post & realizing the spiral I've been on for YEARS now? I just want to make it all go away. You know.

I'm not sleeping.  Surprise!
Little is still dealing w/the same mean girls. Surprise!
I'm back to being depressed. Surprise.

I just learned that a fellow mom blogger has been diagnosed w/stage IV lung cancer.  It's moved into other parts of her body already.  She will not recover from this, she can manage it.  I'm not good friends with this blogger.  I'm not even FaceBook (FB) friends with her.  I probably read some of her stuff back in the day when I was at my blogging high point.  (i.e.-had a lot of readers  And, apparently, enough time to read blogs.  I really had no idea how busy this mom gig could get, damn!)  It just hit me so hard.  She's a single mom.  Dad is around.  But she can't work now & a mutual  (mom blogger,) friend is organizing fundraisers for her. I'm not naming her because 1) it's not my story and 2) her kids don't know yet.

Her kids.

Her story, right now, is every, single mothers' worst nightmare.

I'm sure it's because of my lack of sleep & depression (& a medical procedure I had this week, that I'm still "recovering" from,) so I'm feeling sensitive to this type of thing in particular.  I just can't right now.  All I know is that I'm hurting for her.  And for her kids.  I feel guilt for bitching when nothing I'm dealing with is terminal.  For having the audacity to complain at all about my health.  No, I don't look sick.  (And FAT or overweight doesn't look sick.  Regardless if it is the way you happen to look sick.  Obviously, this is still how I look sick & it bothers me a lot, still.)  No, I'm NOT going to die from this stuff, (at least not as a direct result, in the near future.)

How dare I complain about the way in which I get to participate in my kids' lives.
How dare I bitch about money issues or lack of energy or sleep or my weight.
All of those things mean I'm still here & I'm still participating.  For better or worse, my kids know I'm here & doing my best to raise them into the best adults I know how to help them be.

I'm sorry.  Do me a favor.  Pray for her.  And for all the other friends I have in my feed who are dealing with cancer.  Pray for their families.  And pray that they can find peace.   Isn't that what we all really need, peace?

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Dark Clouds, Silver-ish Linings

It's been crazy, as usual.  But new crazy.  I've been struggling with sleep since Thanksgiving.  Yeah, 3 months now.  I don't sleep AT ALL for 2-3 nights, then on the 3rd or 4th night I pass out exhausted.  So that's been a bit draining.  (Ya think?)  My endocrinologist is messing with my drug cocktail.  We've established that both the T4 & T3 hormones for Hashimoto's actually do help me.  I'll be back on both as of tomorrow, so I've got a week of build up until we can try something else.  In other words, same shit, different day.  *sigh*

Things with Little have been rough.

Her speech and learning issues are giving her some trouble.  She's okay, but she's having to work really hard to be okay. She brings stuff home and I help her.  Ultimately she's fine, she just needs extra help getting started or staying focused.  And if she perceives she can't do it, it's meltdown city.  I then spend a lot of time walking her through the work.  This will be for multiple assignments until her confidence has been restored.  So that's school work.

The really hard part has been that she's being bullied.  The bullying is mean girl stuff.  It's manipulative, under the radar, nastiness being done by girls who are supposedly her friends.  Every day she comes home and declares if she had a "good day or a bad day."  That report is directly related to how these girls have treated her that day.  On a positive note, she's gotten very skilled in what to do in negative social situations. Probably more skilled than a lot of adults.  That's the only positive thing I can say about it. Things are so bad, that when she goes off & does other activities during recess, like kickball, they will give her a hard time for doing something else! They'll hassle her because she was playing kickball instead of being abused hanging out with them.  It's bad. It's like, she moves away from them because they're jerks to her, but then they seek her out, SO THEY CAN BE JERKS TO HER, about her staying away! Her frustration and meltdowns are high, (mine too, can you tell?) By the end of the week her fuse is so short, you can pretty much get a meltdown from walking into the same room as her.  Honestly, she's doing an amazing job in a really hard situation.  All of her meltdowns are at home.  She holds it together in pubic.  No one knows about the girl she can be at home.  In relation to this, we started her in a 'social group' at her therapy group week before last.  It's with other girls like her; similar issues with sensory, flexible thinking, etc...  They work on how to deal with social conflicts.  They've giving the girls a virtual tool box to draw from when they're feeling bad. (Colors/codes to identify how they feel.  Things to do when feeling that way.)  Couple nights ago,  she built a "real" box of tools.  She did this because she was trying to chill from what we think is an anxiety attack.  (Yeah, it's that bad.)  So, she's embracing the ideas they're giving her and really trying.  She likes it, and the girls a lot, so at least it's something that's making her happy, right?

Lastly, I've got the school testing her for her learning disabilities.  It's becoming obvious that many of these things are not going to be "resolved."  At least, not any time soon.  I'm concerned that she will run into a teacher who isn't supportive of what (extra things,) she needs in her environment to be successful.  Beside the fact that the school should be paying for some of these services, I want them to have their own documentation on her.  If we do run into that educator, the one who isn't inclined to support her extra needs, I don't want to be starting from scratch with them, on getting her help.  We have an official IEP meeting scheduled for March. I'm terrified. IEP is the real deal.  I'm scared they're going to say she doesn't have needs that I know she has and then refuse to help her. I'm scared, I'll piss off the wrong person, (or already have, knowing me,) and that will impact how they treat her.  And a part of me is scared of hearing of the things she does have, giving a real name to them.  It's like her sensory defensiveness, we knew she had a sensory issue, we just didn't realize it was a full blown thing.  We chalked a lot up to personality.  When I learned it had a name & symptoms that she quite obviously fell into, I could not have felt more guilty.  There were tools and techniques we could have been using to help her, and we hadn't even considered them.  I suspect, there is more of that on the horizon for us.

Alright, that's enough of an update for now.  I've been putting off putting this stuff into words.  The bullying & my ongoing health issues drain me enough.  Writing about & thus reliving them, doesn't improve that.  It's not all doom & gloom.  Little is still Little, there's no holding that kid back. She has lots of high points too.  She fun and funny and crazy, like always.   And Big is in her 5th grade year.  Last year of elementary school.  (Also, I don't want to talk about, because I'm in denial  that she's so freaking OLD already!) There's been a lot of great, fun things going on with her too.  I'll try to get back on here in the next week to give you all some more of the positive stuff.  (And hopefully report that I'm sleeping again.)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

More, (or less,) of the Same

So a super quick update.

Right after I last posted, my energy level Tanked! Plus lots of symptoms: low BP, (90/60,)  very low body temp, (around 90. Yes, i am a real life zombie.  Who knew?) Hot flashes & night sweats, (while being only 90,) extremely dry skin, hair loss, loss of appetite.... I think you get the idea.  Took a month to get in for blood work & my numbers are still good.  Of course they are. My doctor & I did discuss what could be done if this were the case & are trying a new protocol. I think it's helping, but I've been so busy, that I can't tell if I'm tired from busy or because I'm having issues. Have to give it another week or two to be sure. I suspect my symptoms were going to continue to get worse, as they had been all month. And they seemed to have improved somewhat. At least, I know better what to look for & ask about', right? (I'm working on finding things to be grateful for in every situation. I know that's not possible, but I think I can be happier, with what I have, if I can do this. Plus, great way to teach that lesson to the girls. BONUS!)

More later & sooner. No really. While a Twitter post is a bit too short, I should be able to update more if I can keep it more like this one.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Return of the Mommy (Speak)

Nothing like a little free publicity to get one off her arce & write. So, thanks to & Sherri Kuhn for kicking my arce to get back on the horse again. (Even if you didn't realize you were providing that service.)

It's been awhile, (February,) since I last posted. At that time, I was in a really dark place. In my defense, that last post was written during a time in which, I was weened from one set of meds, but not yet on the next group. Proof, that regardless of what I might think, they really do seem to be helping. Since then, things have improved dramatically. (That's the understatement of the year.) I've been meaning to update, but so much has happened that it felt overwhelming. I was also busy, trying to catch up on all the life I feel like I've been missing out on.

Long story short; in April I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's aka - hypothyroid.
Since then, I've lost 25 lbs, (still have at least 30 to go). I have long periods without pain. Yes, you read that correctly, without pain. I have energy to do stuff. Meaning, I'm not napping while kids are at school, just so I can get through the afternoon when they're home. Yeah, it is like I'm a different person. As you might imagine, a lot has happened, so I have find to tell you.  Most of that will have to wait. Right now, I just wanted to let you know I'm alive & doing REALLY WELL. And that I'm back.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


We're in Tahoe right now. Everyone went out to play this morning in the snow, while I laid on the couch on my side, trying to get my body to not hurt so badly. When you have chronic pain, going on vacation might seem like a good way to relax and manage your pain. Unfortunately, if you don't have a good bed, your usual and other potential problems tend to pop up, negating any benefits you might accrue from rest and relaxation. We are staying in a cabin, with my parents and my brother's family. Normally, I would prefer to lie down on the couch in the living area. If I'm in the living room, then I don't miss everything, even if I can't participate. But with the number of people we don't have enough room for me to lay on the couch. So I'm stuck up in the bedroom, listening to everyone else. The group just headed out to a sledding area, but my stomach problems have kicked in, so I'm staying at the cabin near a bathroom.  I am so tired, of living like this. This is not living this is surviving. I am missing so much of my girls and the things that they are doing. Sometimes, I wonder if it would be better if I wasn't here. I feel like I put a damper on everything we do. We are constantly accommodating my health needs. And even with those accommodations, there's still so much I don't seem able to do. It's extremely frustrating for me to live like this, I can't imagine how frustrating it must be, to be my family. I want so much to be able  to do normal things with my family. At this point, I'd be okay with just getting to take pictures,  but as time goes on, it seems like even that is becoming too much to ask for. I don't know how to fix this, but I do know that I'm broken. I don't want to live like this anymore.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Saw my rheumatologist this week.  It was disappointing in that he doesn't seem open to alternative medicine; acupuncture. I didn't bring up chiropractic with him. I'm torn on this, I'm not having good success w/acupuncture, but I know people who do, so I was hoping he'd have insight or referrals. Also, his response was so overwhelming negative it made me wonder if he's the best fit for me.  I want to be able to get meds to help when I need them; pain pills. But I don't want someone who just wants to throw pills at it & call it good either. So after he got done ripping apart that, he did decided to change up the prescriptions I am taking. So far, I'm not real happy about this. My sleep has been pretty sketchy lately anyway, this was enough to throw it completely off kilter. Below is what was supposed to be a text to my mom this morning. It got too long, so now it's an email & blog post. I know it rambles, that's what its like to be in my head right now.
Note: 3AM is the time I was up past last night. I've been averaging 2 AM pretty regularly this last week.

3AM.  & I was wired. 

I'm calling my dr. & telling him I'm backing off of the decrease in both drugs. I'm decreasing the P & changing over, but I'm not messing w/the E at the same time. 

I feel like I'm on adrenalin (not my energy level, more like my awake level,) & any second it's going wear off & I'm going to crash. My pain level is on it too. Not just my back, my neck & ankle feel worse than that, this morning. It's like they're amped up.  Actually, it would be more accurate to describe it like, I have crashed, & I'm in that space where you can see it, but you're waiting to see where you'll feel it. 

I know it's something w/the drugs, bc my inner voice (not the nice one,) has turned itself up. And it turns out it has a crazy evil twin. I'm not hearing voices, (now i do sound crazy,) it's more like those thoughts you have; doubting/worrying yourself, well they've amped up too. I'm feeling anxiety I guess. Not in the sense of a panic, more in the sense of non-rational thoughts slipping in here & there. I don't want to detail them, or you will think I'm crazy. I think them & then immediately wonder where the heck THAT came from. I know they're not rational, so that makes me not crazy. (Right?)

I need help w/the mundane. I'm not getting it all done & I'm stressed about it. I hate asking for help bc I'm not the only one w/issues, but I am on the cusp of that overwhelmed anxiety feeling. I hate this. So maybe I'm having panicky anxiety, I just can't see the forest for the trees or something. (& now I feel like this is rambling & all over the place. Probably bc it is) 

I'm going to try & sleep now, maybe my thoughts will be less rambling after a few more hours.