Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cozying Up

Yesterday was a long day and a long night. My DH worked a double shift and I could not manage to go to sleep alone in the house last night. (I think I was afraid I was "nod out" and not hear my alarm and forget to go pick him up. He insisted that I keep the car in case anything happened... like a 20 pound black and white dog running off into the night.

I did have a little bit of craziness last night. I reconnected with a girl friend from high school. We met on our freshman year and were very close for awhile. There was another girl that rode our bus and decided she wasn't going to let me have Mz. T as my friend. She drove a huge wedge between us and as I moved at the end of my sophomore year, we lost touch. I had thought of her over the years as her family had the adjoining acreage next to my Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Chet's 5 acre farmette. They moved at the end of the school year as well... to Montana.

We had reconnected back in the 90's somehow.... I don 't really remember. Anyway... along came social media and she friended me. We have briefly messaged each other and read and comment on posts. Last night I sat down, picked up the phone and dialed her up. We talked non-stop for 4 hours! It was wonderful, insightful, introspective and a great source of healing and reconnection. It was like when we were young girls, sitting and talking about life and our dreams.

Ms. T has struggled with health issues and suffers with some of the same maladies that I have, and she has other issues with back surgeries and fighting for mobility. Nobody said getting old was for sissies, that is for certain! She is also dealing with her mother having dementia and I was able to give her some insight and comfort in dealing with that issue.

Because of the phone call, I was not able to relax and sleep like I had hoped. I watched a couple of things on Net*flix.... and stayed awake. I went to get DH early, stopping to get him juice and breakfast. We cozied up to relax and snooze. I napped a couple of hours and DH is still sleeping. I will need to wake him soon so he will sleep tonight. The wind in howling and we are getting snow. I took Punky outside at noon and the cold was too much for her. She started to crash after she came back in, trying to warm up. I gave her honey and some snacks and food to bring her back to recognizing me, poor little dear.

As we ring the old year out and the new year in... we don't make resolutions in this household. We do discuss what we want to change and try to make a plan to carry that out. I am glad this year is over... glad to see some of my health issues improve and continue to work on others that need to improve. We are grateful to be able to have spent Grandma Jeanne's 95th birthday with her, and reconnect with DH's daughters. I am grateful for the wonderful husband and my Punky and Cooper dogs and how they are my essential spirit.

Happy New Year... and thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

What I Have Been Dealing With...

Life in the last several months has drastically changed for me. Over a year ago, at the request of my husband, I resigned from my position with a leading Fire Protection company, handling 1.5 million dollars on a monthly basis for a Florida market. It was stressful and my former peer and now supervisor was making my life miserable. The toll on my body was great and I was in a very unhealthy situation.

I worked with several doctors to get myself into a healthier place. During the last 6 months, I have had increased pain and mobility issues and a "so called cyst" that would not heal. Since then, I have had another surgery on the cyst, and the surgeon discovered that it was a fistula stemming from my very first cancer surgery in 1988. The doctors had placed several drains in my lower abdomen and stitched them in place, and one stitch was pulled through my mid-line fascia, causing years of drainage and issues that went undiagnosed. My surgeon was quite surprised when I told him of the date of the surgery and said I would always be remembered as one of the more surprising surgeries of his career.

As that surgery was healing, I was having issues with my joints and pain and stiffness in my hands. I went to see my husbands rheumatologist and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. I have it in my fingers on my left hand and recently began symptoms in a couple of fingers in my right hand. I also have it in my right foot with most of my toes... and of course fibromyalgia also presents across the ball of your foot inside and out. Let's just say it's hard to keep slippers on my feet when I am going up and down stairs. I have to rely on my husband to help me do shopping as of late, as I can't drive very well.

My husband has not been home very much this year. He clocked a total of 4000 (approximately) hours of work this year. The standard 40 hour work week totals 2080 per year. So, yeah, he's never here! We did see each other on Christmas eve and on Christmas Day. He should be off on New Years eve and New Years Day... so we will likely go see a movie and have dinner somewhere... depending on the weather.

I had a rough day the day after Christmas. I hadn't heard from my family on Christmas... from anyone. My husband went to work and by the evening, I was dealing with the crazy emotions of cancer and all that it has robbed of me through the years. The one thing that I have always wanted was to be a mother and a grandmother. Knowing that the rest of my family were busy with their own families and grand children  was very keening on my heart. (I know that I should be grateful for just having my life, but cancer has twice robbed me of things that I love.) It makes me angry to feel those losses at this time of year. Before I was married, I managed to stay busy... but it's very different now as we have moved so far from dear friends. I have a couple of dear friends here, but I have issues with intruding upon family time.

I am also dealing with the loss of a couple of friends... one from years ago and one who was my best friend at work. Since I have left, that friend has never picked up the phone and called me. I have called her, met her for dinner a few times, but it's always been me to make the contact. I don't know what I did... all I know is that it's hard for me to keep being the one who calls.

It's a strange phase of life for me... I am also facing a new doctor's appointment this year with a hematologist to discuss my new diagnosis of having a genetic mutation that is causing my to have very elevated hemocysteine levels. A very serious issue, along with having aortic stenosis and an aortic root aneurysm. I just had an aortic mri, which shows I am maintaining my moderate status.
It's always something.

That's a little bit of what I am dealing with... I'm trying not to be overwhelmed!
Thank you for reading!
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Time!

I have been busy preparing for Christmas for weeks now. But somewhere in all the busy-ness, I seemed to lose track of the days... I so need an extra one! Both DH and I thought we had an extra day. Yikes, there is still a bunch to do!

I did lose some time having an arthritic flare and DH's schedule going to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I have times where I need his assistance with things. He can also become quite a mess maker when he works so much and I find that I constantly have to clean behind him. And then there are the things I cannot do on my own, either because of health issues now or issues from past health issues... making it really all about my health. Which, it has improved from last year to this year.

That being said, I do have to deal with Fibromyalgia and the ever present back pain that radiates to my arms and down my legs. I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis in my hands and in my right foot. It makes it difficult to do certain things like load and unload the dishwasher and washing pots and pans. I drop a lot of stuff! I can no longer be barefoot in the kitchen to protect my feet. It took a while for me to adjust to as I love being barefooted. I have trouble with holding on to most anything, I have trouble with my right toes... my second and third toes are affected and sometimes I cannot curl my toes... and it makes it difficult to keep my slippers on my feet!

I'd love to be able to share my Christmas tree this year but my abilities to upload pictures is giving me trouble. My laptop has had issues ever since we bought it and my husband did have to replace the motherboard on it once. My power cord has become cracked and it's been taped up. My DH took my entire computer apart and fixed a couple of things... it was out of commission for about 2 weeks. I had to use his laptop for a few things, but mostly used my I-pad.

So, dealing with Fibro and R/A... has given me lots of fatigue and a ton of brain fog! I don't always remember things I should... forgetting to pay a bill or forgetting just how much money I've spent. DH loves me inspite of my screw ups! Time to go get busy in the kitchen again... making peppermint bark, cookies and dessert for our little gathering at my friend Janey's house! So excited to give her her Christmas gifts... both of which I made for her.

Thank you for reading... Marry Christmas!