About Me

Decent wife. Good Enough Mom. (I think, but you’d have to ask my kids.) Sporadic blogger. Crazy person. Chaos Manager. Finder of stray socks and missing shoes. Loves to cook, wishes it wasn’t demanded of her daily. Runs on caffeine.

Monday, May 25, 2020

MicroBlog Monday’s: I’m alive

Hi Friends. I’m alive. I think somewhere along the line I have gone into survival mode. I still read your blogs, even though I’ve been quiet...most days I don’t have the mental energy left to write anything meaningful , although thank you to all who have been writing, because your words have all touched me or helped me in some way.

Working as a first line frontline healthcare worked has been...crazy. Exhausting, mentally more than physically. Watching family members and friends having to drop their sick ones off at the door is gut-wrenching to witness. It’s all so sad and scary. Before this had all started I extended my days/work hours, and I wish I had waited. It’s SO hard right now. And then coming home and trying to be all the things to everyone in my household, and keep us stocked and fed, and entertained, and also trying to teach?! Whoa.

Real life is so different...every aspect is stressful. It’s very hard to find enough peace and quiet to de-stress. I’ve ended up staying up til all hours of the morning and then being tired the next day and it’s a whole cycle.

One amazing thing to come out of all this time together is that my husband and I have never had a stronger, better relationship than we do now. Super fitting for our 20th anniversary coming up and our 21st year together. He has truly been my anchor the past few months. I’m just so very thankful for him and our marriage. Because we’ve definitely had our share of hard years.

I’m going to end this here for now. Picture post to come soonish about things we’ve been up to. I hope you are all well and staying as sane as possible and are finding ways to take care of yourselves. Please remember we are all doing the best we can here. Whatever you are doing...just know it’s enough. Stay safe. Wishing you all peace. Until next time.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The big bad C word used to be Cunt.

This is a speech-to-text style spoken diary edition. It is poorly edited, and long, so I hope all your out there are pretty good at deciphering through speech to text. This is probably as inside my head as you'll ever get. This documents the first full week of the pandemic, but does jump around to just before all hell broke lose as needed for story telling purposes.

So it’s been exactly one week into a pandemic of the coronavirus or Covid 19 as we call it in healthcare, at least for me since I was working the very first weekend that everything sort of started so I wasn’t cooped up with my kids until a week ago Monday. And I shouldn’t say cooped up except for the first day Monday which of course was a nice day out but we had three people in the yard so we couldn’t let dogs nor kids out to play which was sort of crazy and away because we had a lot more I’ll try to kiss and I wanna everybody was sort of cranky And done with things by the end of that day. I can’t remember Tuesday or Wednesday as a sort of plan together but I decided to throw myself into something and start baking from a book called bread baking for beginners.

But before I get too far in the last week let me go back in entire week from that the week before the pandemic really started in school started closing. Before that I had largely ignored all of the talk of the coronavirus and the pandemic like I avoided the news I didn’t talk about it I didn’t learn much about it and I didn’t think much about it mainly because of my anxiety I didn’t need something else to get ramped up on but also I tend not to jump on the bandwagon when people start first posting things and sharing through Facebook it’s sort of drives me nuts. Anyway around the same time the Sunday Monday time frame of a week before the pandemic or the week of the ramp up of the pit is my son my son who is 14 and growing by the second was complaining that there wasn’t any good food and snacks to eat since especially on the weekends he likes to stay up late and eat it all random hours and he likes to make things that are hot and not just eat you know crap out of the cabinet so I have literally made a $600 Walmart pick up order with like every snack imaginable they make it really easy with the click click click to check off the boxes of stuff you might need our stuff in the same area so I was already stocked up I set my teenager the next day on Monday to pick it up I believe it was Monday evening and they filled up her entire car with groceries and she was like oh my God mom what did you do she called me yelling at me it was really really funny. So we were already really stocked and then all of a sudden Tuesday Wednesday Thursday came school started closing things went crazy in three hours I had like 36 emails from all the various schools and teachers and organizations were part of with all the cancellations and people started going crazy at the stores luckily I had most of what I needed so we were good there and I went to work on the weekend just prepping for the upcoming pandemic laughing about the fact that I did a grocery order when I had no idea I was gonna need one.

Back to last week and days two and three and four of the kids being home from school I pulled out my bread book for beginners and decided on the Monday after the first day home that I was going to do a sour bread sourdough bread starter well it’s the master recipe of a print book for beginners book that the office is Jenna Fischer has recommended and document it on her Instagram how she started from page 1 of the book all the way through because you build on techniques and recipes and stuff like that as you go in the book and my dumbass opens to the master sourdough recipe and probably start it which I was supposed to be starting sourdough bread tonight which is next Monday night however that’s not happening. On Tuesday I finally managed to get sourdough starter started I also this week and like I said it all runs together made a Challah bread it’s my first ever bread I’ve ever attempted and of course apparently I inadvertently picked up bread that was an enriched dough which is supposedly harder to make. It came out pretty good and nobody in my household has had Challah bread before so we googled what we it was supposed to taste like and it matched what my middle daughter said it tasted like so that was a win. I also did some special adult baking...

By Thursday I realized I probably needed to get out of the house for a couple hours so I found a couple little errands to run that kept me away from the public. I dropped off some homemade treats to friends and hung out a little bit. I’m glad I did that because after being at work for only a short time this weekend I realized that I couldn’t have gone from being kind of home all day long baking in my own little world with my kids and family to the real world of what was actually going on around me.

Friday night we all just kind of hung out here it was super warm so we played outside lake all day long I even broke the rules on Mondays play inside of the one van that has all the seats tucked in to the floor it’s the older van it’s inside is real dirty so it’s not like they’ll Hurt much. Course of course I’m washing them very carefully. Well aware that my son is for those how to start one of the vans by putting in the key and turning the ignition. Which she did right in front of me with me standing right next to him. So yes I watch my kids super super carefully because I know what they are capable of.

All week long I had kept checking my work email for updates on what was going on. If you think you were confused about what was going on by just being a regular average citizen with a regular normal job then we had healthcare were like five times as confused because even though we had some inside information the situation was so fluid by the time orders from the top trickle down things were already changing. So I knew it walking into work on Saturday was going to be a big crapshoot I had no idea what to expect or who was going to be there. I have been texting on and off with my supervisor all week about the situation And was making sure I stayed in her thoughts because they tend to forget about us on the weekend. I kind of demanded what I thought we might need and reminded her to take things seriously especially when she was trying to cut hours on the weekend at first right before all this blew up and I demanded that we needed the help in a certain time and that I didn’t agree with what she was doing and she shouldn’t do it I speak up to her all the time and we butt heads a lot we don’t really get along we’re not the same people I haven’t trusted her since the first time I met her at work my very first impression will be the one that always sticks with me and make sure I keep I keep her in a certain distance and no her game but I’m also not afraid to call her out on her stuff. So I managed to make it to work about 15 minutes early Saturday morning which was great because I was really kind of dreading going in the first place I wish I could just be like a regular ordinary person I got to stay home all weekend with the kids I know grass is always greener but it just felt like I shouldn’t be there they goodness I had my good eye crew with me and during breakfast one of our other girls called to talk and we’ve all been keeping in touch.
anyway work at a hospital in the middle of a pandemic is interesting it’s something I can’t say I’ve ever done before really. I mean I used to work in trauma so if there was like some big accident or something locally we would be the first people to get it so we were kind of on the not the front lines but definitely like the second lions. Space but this feels totally different there’s a lot more chaos than I ever anticipated I always assumed that something like that There was a cop or something like this like the world health organization or the state and local governments has some sort of like master disaster plan for something like this cause that’s sort of what it is it’s a mass crisis like where is all the protocols why is everything so insane crazy and nobody knows anything other countries I’ve been dealing with this for weeks now why are we following with air doing it’s also confusing. Crazier to think that like my mom who is in her small early 70s has never seen anything like this like in almost 3/4 of a century nobody has seen anything like this it’s just unbelievable the phrase I keep using to describe this is these are weird times and they really really are so throughout work on Saturday it was a little nuts. Lots of sweet passages you Jean but then lots of periods of time in between patients was this year he sort of silence because the visitor policy is locked down you can’t even take a Doula or any support staff with you and do the labor room to have your baby you can have like the baby daddy or a support partner of yours and that’s it I’ve heard the doors are using FaceTime to help their patients through labor which is wonderful but horrible at the same time so throughout the day I started noticing things that were bothering me about the way we were running things with the way things were going and I saw quickly some improvements that can be made. But I’m just a tech knowledge so I don’t have a say I’m not a supervisor officially or a paid supervisor so I do not make the decisions so lo and behold I did talk to a couple of managers that day which was nice that they were calling to check on us but what really surprised me was the text I got at about 845 Saturday night after I’ve been home for like maybe an hour to my boss immediately above me I guess my supervisor who asked me how the day went and I had been relaxing and I had taken my relaxation medicine andI ended up texting her but I thought that needed to be made and she asked me to put it in an email and then so I did on Sunday morning and when she got the email I asked her what she thought because my other boss her said they totally agreed with me and this particular supervisor told me that my email was “extremely opinionated just as I suspected it would be “ . So I had to laugh at that but I have my other managers agree with me made me feel really good. So that brings us to Sunday which was another crazy chaotic day with more of the same. The busyness and flurry at one time and then the long laws of Erie quiet both days I felt my anxiety building during those walls I don’t know why. Sunday night when I finally got home I made a huge list of reminders for today Monday. One I knew was to my doctors because not only was I do up in a few days for a refill of my one anxiety medicine but I knew I was starting to have more issues with anxiety cropping up over all of this.

I’m going to be honest about something else. I have five kids and all of them are home except for the oldest who is in an out because she works but three of them are school-age. And I really haven’t enforced any schoolwork really over the past week. For one there was so much going on every single day so much changing so fast so much stuff with my work and my husband’s work and the kids and groceries and just craziness and just trying to keep all these people under one roof with not a lot to do. Well not a lot to do with the dramatic and very overstated I guess what I mean is to have everybody all the sudden halt all of their activities and everything going on and have those entire schedule basically disrupted. We allowed some later night boys and some lazier mornings for everybody and in general it’s not been too terrible. I mean I’ve kind of set the bar really low for myself during all of this especially considering my anxiety is up. I really need to pick and choose my battles and not try to be a super mom. A good enough mom is good enough for me. At least right now. Faking it till I make it we’re all just trying the best we can however that is. I included my kids and crafts and baking and I went on an Amazon shopping spree for a bunch of inexpensive do you were different crafts and puzzles that we haven’t used or tried for all of us thank goodness for Jeff Bezos what a smart smart rich rich man. Of course my husband is much more patient and has a different way with the kids so he was able to get some schoolwork done over the weekend while I was working. I was also jealous they got to go to the reservoir and throw rocks but he took them to a different spot and I know which is cool because then I have a spot that I take them special and he has a spot that he takes them I’m hoping we get a good day this week that I can take them because it’s really good for all of us. And I told my husband I might not have done traditional schooling with the kids but we did a lot of different things my middle daughter has been doing baking and experimenting because she had just started foods class at school which was like basically cooking class.Of course my husband is much more patient and has a different way with the kids so he was able to get some schoolwork done over the weekend while I was working. I was also jealous they got to go to the reservoir and throw rocks but he took him to a different spot than I know which is cool because then I have a spot that I take them special and he has a spot that he did some I’m hoping we get a good day this week that I can take them because it’s really good are all of us. And I told my husband I might not have done traditional schooling with the kids but we did a lot of different things my middle daughter has been doing baking and experimenting because she had just started a Foos class at school which was like basically cooking class. 14-year-old son is getting a lesson in humanitarian arts because on Tuesday Wednesday I don’t know I can’t remember now but one day last week I had to go and check on all of the neighbors and the people that we knew and just see if they needed anything and chat with people and we spent a couple evenings that were nice last week chatting with neighbors from my driveways and letting the kids sort of play near each other I’m just discussing what we thought and what was next.

By Sunday night though I was thoroughly stressed out. I was so sick of hearing all about the coronavirus I was scaring about press conferences I was sick of hearing about closures and just all of it being at the hospital all those hours this weekend just in the chaos really stressed me out. I kept saying that I think once the system is in place and everybody is doing the same thing and all the units are doing the same thing that it’ll be easier even though will probably have a lot more patience and the load will be heavier just because it will be more of an organized chaos versus just mad chaos.I was thoroughly stressed out. I was so sick of hearing all about the coronavirus I was scaring about press conferences I was sick of hearing about closures and just all of it being at the hospital all those hours this weekend just in the chaos really stressed me out. I kept saying that I think once a system is in place and everybody is doing the same thing and all the units are doing the same thing that it’ll be easier even though will probably have a lot more patience and the load will be heavier just because it will be more of an organized chaos versus just mad chaos

Monday morning I got to sleep in just a smidge which was great I was able to not get anything done because my boys were crazy funny enough my husband said they were great all weekend and he had a feeling my four-year-old was going to be hell on wheels the next day because he had to really really good days in a row and he started to really show his stubborn personality lately. So they were wild and it was really super crazy around here. I did get to convince my six-year-old to do a “science experiment “ Putting some yeast in warm water and the sugar and the song I am in the flower and we mix everything together and made like a ball of dough and then we did the rising to risings and then he got to play with it it was an adult I mean it was edible but it was an edible and he didn’t like the dog color he wanted food coloring so fun mommy lets him put food coloring all over the Dow and he played with it. We also got big canvases out and made big plates of paint and rainbow fashion and let the kids just paint anything they wanted I think I still have some handprints in my bathroom don’t worry it’s all washable. We also looked at toys on Amazon not toys like you’re going to get toys like puzzles and things like that and I showed him some things that I picked up. I ordered some cool new stuff that I’m excited about I’ve been therapeutic shopping I don’t know if I mentioned that earlier I probably did but I have lots of Amazon packages I’ve gotten several new shirts I’m going to try to post pictures of everything before I in this post so there’s lots to look at.

So I was able to get a few phone calls made And I have a an appointment scheduled for 315 with my doctor it was a virtual will call through the website that you use. So that was interesting I jump in the shower about 15 minutes before my phone call was supposed to start hurried up and got dressed tried to take a couple sexy pictures for my husband (so that’s a post for another time but needless to say our intimacy and sex has been off the charts lately so I do stuff like this for him now because it’s for both of us, really.!!)

During my virtual chat with my doctor it was cool it was basically FaceTime. I keep asking people I know if they’ve tried it and nobody has but I highly recommend it. I was honest with her and I support her how I was struggling with the anxiety over the weekend and I talk to her about a lot of reasons. I actually apologized to her for using her like my therapist explained that I understood she wasn’t my therapist but That I really appreciated her listening. So she upped my dose of medicine by 10 mg and I’m going to check in with her in a few weeks. It wasn’t all bad stressful stuff though I did tell her a lot of good things and how good I was feeling right up until like this pandemic started like a week and a half ago. But I also told her that feeling better myself and wanting to talk more has helped me talk to my family more so one of the things my extended family with my sister and all of her kids and my sister side of the family have done is make a Family Quarantine Chat send information because We are all in different areas and we’re trying to keep each other in check and check on people. I also went through my phone and started texting people that I’ve owed a text to and I haven’t talk to you in a while and checked on them. And it’s opened up some new conversations I am really just reminded everybody that we’re all in this together we’re not alone. And it’s really been great to be closer to my family and like talk to my sister every day again we used to talk every day for years and years and years. So Monday tonight marks a week of being in a sort of hibernation. Lockdown doesn’t sound right because we’re not like forced to stay in doors and we have quite a bit of freedom considering. My coworker friend and I decided since we’ve been around each other we may as well try to meet up and go to the store so tomorrow Tuesday morning we are meeting up we are going to do a Trader Joe’s quick Sleep through the store and he’ll be out in 20 to 30 minutes and then go around the corner to the Costco and see what we can get there for our families and parents. And then be done and not go out again.
My middle daughter and I are watching the show Zoe‘s extraordinary playlist. It comes on NBC and it’s an amazing show. We watch it together it records on Sunday nights so we were able to watch it tonight.
Another really great thing is that my nephew who is like 28 years old and completely crazy in the best way possible takes these mental health check in videos he post them to Facebook and YouTube if you’re curious I think his YouTube is Mr. JT slide MRJSlide.. he’s really goofy but these mental health check and videos are priceless. They crack me up I’ve shared them with my friends and coworkers it’s just one of the best things. What we’ve decided is that we just need to laugh through it and support each other through it and pray or meditate or exam good vibes out or whatever your thing is just do it. For goodness sake stay inside and listen to your authorities because we all matter and we need to get through this together.

Going to leave you one last thought. It’s about hugs. It’s been a topic of conversation lately between my husband and I and I’ve included some of my kids too. But I come from an affectionate family and we hug and kiss and I don’t know probably way longer than it’s appropriate but I am we’re Italian and that’s what we do and even my mom side of the family everybody’s very huggy and what not and she’s an Irish might mix so yes I am Sicilian and Irish. Anyway my coworkers and I are all very close and we also affection and we all hug and I have a work husband and I take care of all the guys and I hug people male and female whatever we hug. But I come from an affectionate family we hug and kiss and I’m in a probably way longer than it’s appropriate but I am we’re Italian and that’s what we do and even my mom side of the family everybody’s very huggy and what not and she’s an Irish might mix so yes I am Sicilian and Irish. Anyway my coworkers and I are all very close and we also affection and we all hug and I have a work husband I took care of all the guys and I hope people male-female whatever we hug. And ever since I can remember I have always love getting hugs like big strong bear hug and when I got older I started liking when you hug somebody so tight and you pressure whole body into them and they just envelop you in the hug. I don’t know it just always made me feel so safe and protected. So that’s the way I have people now and I always get a good reaction from people and I hold a hug for a few extra seconds I’m really just squeeze the other person and kind of transfer the luck. This may sound crazy probably is but this is how I think. And my husband is a foot and a half taller than me and so hugging me like that isn’t super possible and in general he is not as much of an affectionate person as I am and I have to kind of nuts him to remind him to give you know our kids like really good hugs showed him with my daughter as my middle daughter and Hunter and showed him how to give a really good hug. And I have a few coworkers are dummy that my hug is the best part of their day. Not in a sexual way but just in a feel good way. And there’s tons of science around you no touch in the kangaroo and we all know that we know the benefits of it. But here’s my proof.

Today Monday, 23 March my boys were being exceptionally crazy and by 1115 1130 I realized that my four-year-old was seeming like he needed a nap just overly whiny cranky couldn’t get him to do any one thing a lot of like pouting from him a lot of tears when he would start playing for lots of nonsense. He had been snacking all morning so I know and he ate a good breakfast so I know he was most likely just tired because yes we’ve also been frantically checking everybody’s fevers at home do you know most of us have been quarantined at home for a week now. By about 1215 1230 when I decided I was going to start making lunch I realize he was just falling apart way too much so I got my middle daughter to come down and hang out with six-year-old and I took my little four-year-old upstairs and he kept crying that he followed me up the steps but he kept crying that he didn’t want to sleep and I said we were just going to cuddle we’re just gonna cut or just gonna cut a little bit and sure enough after he let me pick him up and lay down with him in the bed which is getting hard to do because he’s kind of thick is he calm down his breathing changed he settle down and me he held my hand He never truly fell asleep but his whole physiology changed. Same with my oldest she’s 19 but she had a hard day last week a whole lot of things just came crashing down one day and she just was a mess my middle daughter saw her run to the basement to her room and said what is wrong with her and I said I know what she needs and I went and laid down and I cuddled with her and she fell asleep on my arm and she was breathing exactly the way she did when she was a baby and she would fall asleep with her leg she expressed together in our lips open he never truly fell asleep but his whole physiology changed. Same with my oldest she’s 19 but she had a hard day last week a whole Lotta things just came crashing down one day and she just was a mess my middle daughter saw her run to the basement to her room and said what is wrong with her and I said I know what she needs and I went and laid down and I cuddled with her and she fell asleep on my arm and she was breathing exactly the way she did when she was a baby and she would fall asleep with her leg she expressed together and her lips open. But her whole physiology changed too.

So my point is hug the people you love hug them very tight look out for one another right now like Alan says behind there’s an end to this I don’t know what it is yet but there is an end. Let’s just see what tomorrow brings.


And now, for pictures...



                                                               my witches brew butter

                                                                        little helper.
                                             special apocalypse cookies before and after


                                           funny things from amazon that keep me laughing

                                              my ridiculous nephew and his crazy videos


                                 my moms banana cake recipe i made with lots of ripe bananas
                                                Day 1 of my very first sourdough starter
                      My first Enriched bread. Challah Bread. Actually, my first bread ever.

                  a sneak peak of my new tattoo, a work of love. story and unedited pic to come.
                                my sister's amazing breakfast she shared on our family chat.
                                                   someone else makng corned beef,

                                        my nephew's survival tex-mex dinner. not a joke. lol

                   a couple funny memes that have come through my family chat this week.


                                                          falling gas prices in the US
                                                    trying to fall asleep one night.
                                                             more amazon shenanigans
                 the first baked Foccoccia attempt. good but adjustments being made for next try.
                                                              local stores wiped out
                            a makeshift menu so as not to waste leftovers and utilize frozen foods,
                                one of my Apocalypse PB cookies I shared with some friends.
                                   my first try at Foccoccia since my Dad has been gone.




Monday, March 9, 2020

PCOS

My oldest daughter, who is 19, has been having cycle issues for a while now. What started as a short cycle recently has turned into weeks of bleeding, even through a round of Progesterone. She had recently lost some weight and started running again, which always messes up her cycle, but it’s usually amenorrhea, not excessive bleeding. She’s having hot flashes and cries a lot and is just feeling pretty crappy in general.

Blood testing resulted in the PCOS diagnosis. We have an appointment scheduled with a GYN but it’s a month away. I don’t know if I should look into an endocrinologist or RE for her yet or what. I don’t know really what to do for her. We had a long talk last night before knowing this diagnosis so I’m hoping that is helping her today, as she got the news while at work.

My heart breaks for her, knowing how this is going to be a lifelong thing she has to deal with. Knowing how hard it could make it for her to have kids one day. They sure don’t give you any tips is parenting books about this...I wish there was a manual. I’m trying to hide my worry from her so that she doesn’t get too upset or worry. I told her when she gets home we will talk about it. But man, guys, this is hard. I know what IF and miscarriage did to me and so many of my friends and all of you out there. Thinking my kid might have to know the same pain just kills me.

If anyone who has pcos, especially if you were diagnosed pretty young, or lease leave me some advice on how to help her and things that helped you manage it or get through it. I’ll take all the help I can get right now.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

weighing my options

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. I’ve just been taking time to heal myself. I am in a really good place...the meds are all working as they should and my anxiety is mostly under control. My moods are stabilized, my relationship with my kids has greatly improved. My marriage had reaped the benefits and we are in a really good place, too. Spending lots of quality time together, going in pretty regular date nights, and just sort of rediscovering each other in a new way as we get ready to celebrate our 20 years of marriage this summer. And I’ve managed to drop 30lbs, thanks to anxiety, but I’ll take it.

What has been in my mind a lot lately, though, is that every time I get to a good place, it all falls apart. Currently I’m taking several medications that are not conducive to pregnancy, and would really affect me in a negative way if I had to suddenly go off of them. Which has made me think really hard about the need to do something to prevent any chance of that happening. My cycles are wonky and unpredictable; I don’t think I’m ovulating quite as regularly anymore, and a lot of the signs of ovulation I don’t get consistently enough to be able to time anything. Plus, who wants to do that?!

I am frustrated that most choices for women are hormonal or otherwise invasive. I don’t mind condoms at all but my husband has a big problem with it. And yeah, I can understand that because after 20 years who really wants to start using condoms. I mean, really. So I started looking into getting a tubal ligation. But that is major surgery. And a big risk factor is that I have had 7 abdominal surgeries previously which could lead to complications during and after the procedure. I know a vasectomy is a much easier and less invasive procedure but honestly I don’t want to put my husband through that, even though he is willing. I would rather take on the operation myself before having him do that.

And then there is the whole emotional aspect of it. If I go through with that, everything would be final final. No going back. It sounds so silly because of my age and history, but I can’t help but feel like I might regret it, or come out being upset and mentally and emotionally affected by it in a negative way. It feels like a totally different thing vs letting nature run its course. And of course it seems silly given my history that I would even worry about accidentally getting pregnant right now...but whenever my life feels settled something always happens to throw a wrench into it, and I wouldn’t put it past the universe to throw me that curve ball right now.

If I decide to have the procedure, it wouldn’t be until the summer. So for now I am just taking some time to think on this. To listen to my head and my heart, and to come to a decision I know I can live with.

Monday, January 13, 2020

more of the same

Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes and thought and prayers and love on my last post. It is amazing the support of this community.

Good news is there is nothing *major* going on in my brain. Bad news is that I’m still having the migraines and dizziness issues. Some days it’s much better than other, but so far there’s been no clear trigger that I can pinpoint. Which leaves them to believe it may be hormone related, in which case those migraines are harder to treat because they just don’t respond to conventional treatments as well.  I’m still waiting to do the extensive hormone testing...I was hoping to start this cycle but my period showed up a full week early and I didn’t get the test kit in time, and then it turned out the lab sent me the wrong kit anyway so it wouldn’t have mattered. UGH.

I started an anxiety med a few days ago. Lowest dose for 2 weeks then a bump up. So far I am waiting to see improvements, which can take anywhere from 2-4+ weeks. My new doctor (who is female) is amazing. She is supportive and kind and smart and reassuring. She doesn’t make me feel crazy. She hugs me after each appointment. I trust her when she says anxiety is likely playing a part in all of this. I feel like I have a good person in my corner here.

Through all of this I have had a lot of realizations about myself come to light. I’ve been processing some very deep buried stuff about myself. Nothing that is bad or traumatic, just things I had forgotten or didn’t fully realize about myself. It’s been an interesting several weeks in that regard. I’m trying to shift some focus on how crap I have been feeling and add back in small things that make me really happy and that are just for me. I’m trying to fake it until I make it. I’m trying to let go of things I’ve lost...time I’ve lost feeling bad, things I missed out on and couldn’t enjoy fully. I’m trying to get out there and just breathe the air and just be.

This might sound crazy to a lot of people. But sometimes it feels like a chore to just exist...like getting out of PJs and leaving the house is a struggle. I do it of course, but it causes me so much turmoil some days. I’m forcing myself to do more...sign up for extra shifts on my non-usual work days, get tickets to a show I will go to alone, booked another cheap ticket to go back to Chicago in 6 weeks. Forcing myself to do things that make me feel a little uncomfortable if I think about it too long.

I have also been trying to make peace with the end of my “fertile” years. I’m trying hard to find other things to fill the void, to fill the sadness. But nothing really fills that baby shaped hole in my heart. I am not sure why I am having so much trouble letting go. When I sit and think too long about it it makes me incredibly sad. I am trying to find other things about my body to celebrate, but it is very hard when my body seems to be revolting against itself at every turn. I had to seek help to get my faith and Travis piercings back in  that I had to remove for my MRI (damn tiny tension balls) and so I decided to reclaim something for myself. I got my nipples re-pierced. I had taken them out 6 years ago but I have no reason now not to keep them. It is just one small thing in trying to shift my focus.

I don’t make resolutions but it seems 2020 is going to be a transitional year for me. I don’t know that I am really ready but like life it seems to be happening whether I am ready or not so I may as well try to embrace it and go with the flow as much as I can. Fighting it seems futile.

Monday, December 30, 2019

it’s been a while

I’ve been away from here for a while. So much has happened. We had a great Thanksgiving Holiday with my sister’s entire family, a frustrating but hilarious trek to a Christmas Tree Farm that resulted in the biggest tree we have ever had that literally didn’t fit in our house (if you are picturing the scene from Christmas Vacation, that is highly accurate.), and my girls and I took a fabulous, busy, albeit rainy trip to NYC 2 weeks ago. It was so great, so exhausting, and so fun.

And then...well, I haven’t been well since. What started as a migraine has led to 2 weeks of dizziness/nausea, headaches, anxiety, and some really high blood pressure. 3 emergency room visits, 2 head scans, and a lot of meds later and I am still no closer to figuring out what is wrong with me. I struggled to get through my oldest son’s birthday and doing all the things. Somehow I got everything done, but the holidays were filled with anxiety and stress and worry and my general upset-ness of how I am feeling and all the things I am missing, and how I can barely be a mom like this.

I’ve worked myself up so much about all these worst case scenario things and that anxiety is contributing to the headaches/blood pressure issues. I have felt so much like a hot mess inside, not showing anyone how I am really feeling because I don’t need everyone around me to worry to. Fuck. I have too many people who need me, something can’t be seriously wrong with me. Yet I know how unfair life is.

Tonight I am supposed to go for an MRI to rule out all the really bad things. I’m going to need a truck tonight Xanax to get through it, and then the next few days until I know something. Playing into some of my anxiety is that 12 years ago on New Years Eve, we were told that my dad’s cancer was no longer treatable and that he would die. And I just think what a fucked up, bullshit coincidence.

Being a woman, there are so many more things it could be than if I was a man. I’m currently waiting for results of an extended thyroid panel as well as iron levels. I have a month-long hormone test I have to start next cycle, that will give me a broader picture of my current status. I have a visit with a cardiologist to figure out my blood pressure issues as well as a heart murmur I was born with. I need a sleep study because I have a deviated septum and I snore. Plus a consult with a neurologist. If everything with my head is negative then over to an ENT to assess my inner ear. Plus anti-anxiety meds because my doc believes anxiety is driving a lot of this.

Apparently, when I fall apart, I fall apart completely.

All the while my kids need me and have a million things, my puppy has a knee issue and needs surgery, which now has to wait until I get myself straightened out first. My husband has been pouty because I haven’t been around much as I am trying to go to bed early in case lack of sleep is making things worse. It’s just all been a lot and I feel like such a loser at life because of this.

Please don’t comment on what I might have or what you had with similar symptoms...none of that helps and my doctor has ordered me to stop googling and talking to people because it’s making my anxiety so much worse. But if you have prayers, love, good thoughts, healing vibes, those I will take.

I’m really, really scared guys. And I am SO damn emotional. And with all of this comes the reality that my baby-making days are over. And that’s a whole set of other emotions I can’t even touch right now.

Monday, November 18, 2019

New York

I have a love affair with New York City. It’s a city I have come to love so much. A city I feel so at home in, a city where I feel so much like myself in, where I feel like I belong. (I also feel that way about London, but that’s not as convenient to get to). And with the holidays approaching, I really started to miss the city, and started feeling quite sad that I would miss it this year. New York this time of year is magical. It’s unlike any other place I’ve ever been. And it is so soothing for my soul.

Actually, I will be honest here and say that mentally I’ve been struggling on the inside lately. Chicago was amazing and not a long enough trip (I’m planning to go back in March) but some small things happened (a dream where my dad came to visit me was the catalyst) and my anxiety has been really bad. And I feel antsy and uneasy in my own skin. And just very unsettled. And then I had a day where I was more manic and firing on all cylinders, and then 2 days later my period started unexpectedly and I went in a downward spiral. All in the inside. Except that I may have had a meltdown of crying on Friday that I couldn’t control or stop, and my 4 year old may have used wipes to wipe my tears, which made me cry harder. But then I got it together and went to work that night and have been ok ever since, just with anxiety sitting on the sidelines waiting to pounce.

Anyway. New York. So I realized that I had most of December with nothing planned, since I was leaving things open in case my niece graduated this semester so I could go. She’s not going to walk until May, so I had time and PTO that was now open. Discussed it with my husband (who isn’t big on traveling but doesn’t hold me back or hold it against me) and I got my girls on board for a day trip. And then, what was supposed to be a day trip turned into 2 days in the city, with tickets to see Phantom (my favorite, and their first) and the serendipitous find of an affordable hotel room on The UWS on Broadway. We are going to eat street food and Magnolia cupcakes and see a show that is my heart. And look at a giant Christmas tree in the cold and just be so damn thankful it exists in the first place.

Carpe Diem and life is short and YOLO and all of that.

But it works out because they are at the point where gift-wise there isn’t anything they need, so this will serve as an early Christmas present, and I guess now it’s just becoming our thing, New York, this city that makes me feel so me when I’m there.

****If you are feeling down this time of year, please reach out and talk to someone, or do something for yourself that’s just for you that makes you feel a bit better. You deserve to be happy. We all do.****