Saturday, February 28, 2009

Extreme Breastfeeding

Ok, did you hear about the mom who was breastfeeding while driving? I am a HUGE fan of the BFing. I was blessed to be able to do this for both of my children and while I know it's not for everyone I probably would've tried just about anything to make it work for both my girls. However, even when I was a pro (baby #2) the best I could do was walk w/very small baby in sling and nurse. But that was only when the situation dictated! But really DRIVING? And talking on the phone???

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back at it!

I know, enough w/the back jokes. It's been a while so here's my status (which I know you're just dying for.)

After a BIG scare last week (leg went numb again) everything is back in working order and seems to actually be on the mend. Week before last I went into the doctor for my 6 week follow up. He made me bend, squat, roll over, sit and beg....anyway, he checked my mobility. My ankle is still w/out a reflex and I'm still a mess whenever I have an appointment like that; all that movement F's me up really bad. But more or less I'm ploding along at an expected rate. Dr. gave me a prescription for physical therapy & steroids (to move the healing along a bit more.) Last Thursday was the last day of taking steroids (and I was feeling that they really were starting to help,) I woke up w/a numb foot. Uh oh. A few hours later & the numbness was working it's way up my leg and by 11 I had no feeling in my leg left at all. After a phone call to the doctor, he set me up for a 2nd round of steroids and told me to start Physical Therapy (PT). If I still have numbness in a week, then another scan will be scheduled. The PT thought I probably was building scar tissue which was pushing on the nerve again. She worked it out for me and I haven't had any notiable numbness since. Whew!

Ultimately, I'm frustrated. It has been very slow going, or maybe it hasn't. I've had this problem for so long now (2 years) maybe the length of time this is taking is to be expected. I'm finding that I do feel better for periods of time, but then I do something (like go out to dinner w/my hubby for his b-day) and find that it was too much. The bigest problem I have is that when I'm overdoing it, my back doesn't let me know. I find out after the fact that it was too much, and spend the next day in bed. I find it really hard to stop myself from doing things if it doesn't actively hurt, especially if it's related to the girls. I feel so guilty about how much I'm saying no to them already that if I don't know it will bother me for sure I tend to do it, and pay later.

I'm also frustrated w/other things; I've gained quite a bit of weight during this down time (15 lbs) and I get really, really tired. We took the girls to the park for a couple hours today and all I did was sit and watch, but I was wiped out from it. I slept for 3 hours after. I'm tired of being tired is all. I try not to focus on the extrainious stuff (like my weight) hoping that it will take care of it's self once I'm moving again.
Hang w/me Internet. I know I'm crabby and bitchy & I'm trying to be nice, but feel free to call me on it. I just want to be me again, you know.

Monday, February 09, 2009

My First Best Friend (3) --Part 2

So it looks like there may be a new chapter in our dusty book. Well, maybe.

You see, in the last several month my old high school buddies have gotten very active on Facebook. I went to the reunion last year, and had a blast. Re-acquainted w/several old friends and now, because of Facebook we're all keeping in touch in ways we never dreamed. Don't think I haven't looked for her over the years. First on classmates, especially as we got closer to the reunion. Nothing. I more or less resigned myself that, that was it. As much as I hate to admit it, and small part of me might always hope, we probably would never be friends again. I'm sure it's for the best as far as my heart is concerned, but there will always be a part of me that hopes. There's still a small part of me that hopes some day she'll want to reconnect. I hate that. I hate feeling so vulnerable, still.

Guess who's on Facebook?

There's a bunch of meme's that have been going around our high school group. They've actually been a lot of fun, a quick way to catch up with each other on mundane things. She was linked on someone's this week. Like myself, she used her married name instead of including her maiden, so I had to check her pix to be sure, but it's her. She looks the same. She even has the same haircut from our freshman year, it is back in style. I'm on Facebook ALL. THE. TIME. because I'm still in recovery mode. I know she's had to have seen my pix linked to several of these memes. So I know, she knows I'm on. But she never sent a friend request. Do I send her one?

OMG! It's high school dating all over again!!!
After a couple days of debating I sent her a friend request, I was too curious not to. So this evening she accepted it. No message accompanying it, just hit the button and moved on. I included a quick note in my request of my maiden name (so she'd know who I was, but I hear I look the same, I happen to know I look better ;-) & the standard, "what have you been up to?" So now, I've checked out her profile & pix; married, still in the town where we went to college, 3 kids. Do I write her? Do I dare put myself out there to be ignored again? Do I still care that much?

This, my friends, is where our or I guess I should say MY current chapter lies. For all I know, she hasn't given me a second thought over the past 20 years. Jeez, I wasn't this stressed about reconnecting w/old flames, but then I don't care about them anymore. Not in the "I wish we could still be friends" sort of way. I do know this; even after 20 years, there's still a hole in my heart from her. I haven'd decided what I'm going to do yet. What do you think?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

My First Best Friend (2) --part 1

I'll bet you thought it was part 1 cause I'm splitting the story up. Surprise! It's because there's a recent new chapter in this story, but we'll get to that....

If you just got here, the beginning of the story starts here.

So as I mentioned, Marie and I had been the very best of friends for over 9 years by this time. As was typical of us we joined different social groups, but still hung out together & just introduced each other to all our new friends. One of the groups Marie joined was Young Life. It's a Christian based Youth Group. We had a very large group at our high school and we were both members. I'm pretty sure I'm the one who dragged her to it to begin with, the chapter at our school was so large that we had student leaders and I was one of them. That first semester of college I was doing my best to just stay in school, so I wasn't joining anything. But like I said, I went to the parties at Marie's complex and with the small group of friends I'd made in the dorms. My room mate and I could not have been more different. At this point we were still more or less on speaking terms, but by December it was clear we would never be friends. (Another story for another time.) By the end of that semester I had become pretty good friends with one girl in particular in the dorms, Louise. At the start of second semester Louise and I had decided to rush a little sister program to one of the fraternities. We had some good guy friends in that fraternity and thought it would be fun. And we were right, it was fun. Marie wasn't interested, she was busy enough w/our friends from the complex and her Young Life group. I didn't think much of it at the time. But, it was around this time that we started to grow apart. There were two guys in the complex that we had become very good friends with, Don and Liam. Don and I were such good friends that we got our ears pierced together (I still can't believe he hasn't come out of the closet, but he swears he's not gay, just metro. Last I talked to him he was married w/a couple of kids, so who knows.) I thought Don and her were friends like this also, but later I found that they were more along the lines of "Friends w/Benefits." When things between her and Don went South is when she really started to pull away. She got a lot more involved w/her Young Life group and I understood, we'd both had serious boyfriends in high school and dealt with type of stuff before. In the past, the other had stayed friends w/the guy if they were already friends and once the "mourning period" was over it was fine. And if the other asked, we'd have dropped the guy friend in a heartbeat, but neither of us had ever asked that of each other. This time something had changed. She stopped hanging out with anyone not in the Young Life group. I would go to parties at her next door neighbors and she wouldn't, it was kind of weird. I tried going to the Young Life meetings and such, but this particular group was heavy on the religion and the judgment, and I wasn't looking for that. I was honestly surprised she liked hanging around this group, but you know to each their own. I tried going to the church w/her, but it was very New Age-y and I wasn't into that at all. (I'm Catholic Lite, I'm all about guilt and exercise during my mass. I went to one service w/her when people were getting up sharing their family's personal problems. It was group therapy w/a religious theme. Growing up Catholic it weirded me out. But my point is that I tried.) I was getting pretty involved with the little sister group I was pledging and wasn't exactly sitting on my duff waiting for her phone call either. By the end of the year it became apparent she didn't want to be friends anymore. I'd call her to do stuff; go to the mall, a party, etc...she wasn't interested. Ever. The friendship became very one-sided and pretty soon, she just stopped returning my phone calls. If we had gone to different colleges it would've been a normal progression, but we didn't. It was very hard for me to come to grips with it. I think I would've understood it, if it had happened our first semester, but we'd weathered that and our friendship had been as strong as ever. Then all the sudden, bam! Nothing. And there didn't seem to be a good reason for it. Every time we'd be on break, if I talked to anyone from our old group of high school friends, the first thing they'd ask is if I'd talked to her. They just couldn't believe after all this time that she'd dropped me too. But she had. My parents would run into hers as the years went by and she'd gotten very, very religious. She didn't really want to have much to do with anyone who wasn't part of her church, including her parents. It was so weird. It wasn't like I was anti-religion, I just wasn't into her church, that had never been an issue for us before. Somehow, this group she was with convinced her that if she was hanging w/people who weren't practicing their faith in the same way then she was going to hell with us, so she dropped us. (I know this is NOT typical of a Young Life group and was the result of individuals w/in that group at that time. I do also know that, that group of people is where this start from.) We both finished college in the same major, so yes, we did see each other for the next four years on a fairly regular basis, but you'd never know the kind of friends we'd been. We even had a lecture class together, she came in after me and chose to sit in the back somewhere else. Point taken.

During that time I took that stance that I didn't need that kind of friend anyway. She'd changed, and not for the better. I had plenty of friends on my own and didn't need to go chase her down if she wasn't interested. The truth was that I was injured beyond belief. My heart was broken and I didn't know how to fix it. No one talks about broken hearts from your best friend dropping you, only boyfriends. If you think about it, I was in a 9 year relationship and now she was indifferent. How does that happen??? I "refused to dwell on it," so I didn't really deal with it and I let it fester for years. All of my good girl friendships were measured by this one, and tempered by it. There was a part of me that didn't want to get too close to anyone again. I didn't ever want to be hurt by indifference again. And it still hurts now, after 20 years.

I've made some good friends over the years, but none like Marie. I don't think I've idealized our friendship, I just think, in some ways, we were more mature about our friendships when we were younger. The bottom line is I've never gotten over her. I've never had a best girl friend since Marie. Our 20 year reunion was last year, she didn't show and no one seemed to know where she'd ended up for sure. I didn't dwell on it too much, but several people at the reunion did bring it up. I guess I figured that was pretty much the end of it. This was the extent of closure I'm going to get from this situation. It sucks, but that's real life. If it were a Lifetime Network movie, she would've shown up at the reunion, music would've played and all the years would've melted away.

Ummm, yeah, it's not a movie, so that's that, right? Then I joined Facebook....

My First Best Friend--part 1

We were 10 years old in 5th grade when she came to our school. She had strawberry blond hair and was a little on the pudgy side; getting ready for that tween growth-spurt that was eminent for all of us. I don't remember if this was the exact day she started our school, but I do remember swinging on the monkey-bars with her at recess, and sticking up for her when some class bully was looking for her weak-link being that she was new and all. It was that recess when it became clear that we would be friends. Up until that point I had, had two good girl friends, both dictated by location more than anything else. When Marie moved in, I made my first real friend. We were friends by our choice. We didn't really live close to each other, and our folks were never what you would call "friends". In a lot of ways, your first true friend is like your first true love. We made a lot of mistakes in our friendship, but somehow we weathered them. None of them were such that I really remember any of the arguments very clearly.

During middle school our group of girlfriends grew to include 3 others and a fourth joined us in high school, and of course there were a few boys that hung with us too, but Marie and I were the best of friends within that group. We had very separate interests outside of school; she was on swim team; the result of a a doctor's prescription for bad knees and I was in dance. Instead of that pulling us apart it just included extras into our friendship. We tired to make sure we got classes together if we could, but we didn't try to influence the other's choices; she took Spanish & I took French. I went to her swim meets, she came to my dance recitals. We had, what I know now, was a very adult approach to our friendship. It was entirely based on the fact that we genuinely liked each other. No other reason then that.

I started out kindergarten w/our group of kids and knew everyone. She came in later, so when we started high school, and "shy" Marie decided she was going to run for class president, I have to admit to being a bit surprised. Our little gaggle of girls walked her around to every freshman in the class (330) and introduced her. She won. She was our class president for 3 years and was able to make everyone in our class feel included. Marie and I were even co-editors of the school newspaper together. I'm sure we drove our adviser crazy, but it was a lot of fun. Marie wasn't really all that shy. I knew that, but you had to get to know her in those early days to find that out. It was Marie who handed me my first cocktail our sophomore year of high school; 151 w/a splash of Coke for color. I'll tell you the story of that party later. The point is that we weathered all the usual friendship bumps without many issues. Our friendship was stronger than that.

All that being said, when it came time to apply for colleges no one in our group talked about where they were really applying to go to. There was some unwritten code that we would all let each other know where we were going, once we'd decided for sure. I guess we shouldn't have been all that surprised that Marie and I both applied to the same schools. We both wanted to go into journalism so it made sense. I don't think the rest of our friends really believed us about not talking about it before hand, but really we didn't. In the end, we both choose the same college. As our friendship had always gone we did decide not to room together in the dorms (meet more people this way, make more friends). Marie didn't get her form in or something and did not get a room in the dorms. Opps! She was able to get into an just off-campus apartment which operated like the dorms, pairing roommates together. It was for the best, we would know of all the fun parties on campus and off! We both moved in on the same day, a week before school started. Every day we'd lay by the pool and every night we knew where all the parties were, and we were at them. A few days before school started, I got very, very sick. It was Marie who knew me well enough to know it wasn't just too much partying and borrowed her room mate's car to get me to the hospital. I was dehydrated and went from 115 lbs to 100 lbs in 3 days (years later I would find out it was IBS from Fibromyalgia). I was sent home and missed that first week of college. I'm pretty sure my parents would've made me withdraw, except they knew Marie was there & would watch out for me. That first semester moved us along, more or less, like we always had. Missing the first week of school made it a bit harder for me to make friends, but I did. And, the kids at Marie's apartment complex were fun to hang out with anyway. It wasn't until the second semester when our relationship changed.

More later this week...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Gray like me.

I'm tired & cranky. I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it and I'm tired of talking about it. Tuesday I had my first truly pain free day since the surgery. I did stuff, but I didn't think I overdid anything. I woke up yesterday feeling just awful; two steps forward, one step back I guess. And I know I should be grateful that it's still a step forward, but somehow it just feels like I ought to feel better than I do. It doesn't help that my parents (read: mom) decided in the third week of my recovery that I was pretty much done needing help and bailed on me. Karma, being the great equalize that she is, promptly gave my mom a strained back when reaching for her purse in the car. Ha! Take that Mom! Now you know how crappy I feel. Except, I need her to feel ok and to help me with the kids. So Karma, I get it, but really dude, couldn't it have waited?

The kids have been really good, but their patience is wearing thin as well. Littlespeak is good as long as she's got someone dedicated to her. The second you have to divde your time with her, all bets are off. Yesterday we were back to multiple time outs, 3 in 30 minutes. I desperately called my parents for help and my mom put me down, "Cause it sounds like you can't handle taking care on your own kids right now." I can't, I'm not supposed to and the fact that I have been is probably a large reason as to the amount of pain I'm still having and what I'm assuming is going to be a prolonged recovery.

I'm so frustrated! Today has started out poorly. It's raining (which is good, we need rain here in CA), but mostly it's gray, like me.