Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Summertime Blues

I have been reading several bloggers who have mentioned summer being a tough time in their childhood (Beauty & Cassie to name two). It was in mine too. Summer is when the bad abuse happened (as if there is any good abuse?) Summer means so many things to abuse survivors - often not good things.

Summer means a change in routine. Routine is important. I timed my alarm clock specifically to awaken at a certain time when I knew I could run through the shower quickly. If my sister and I conflicted over the shower, then a fight arose, which caused Mom or Toilet (or both) to start knocking on bathroom doors and turning off water - which was majorly triggering. In a normal house, we might have left the door unlocked and Sister and I shared. For many years I woke at 5:30 to shower and then went back to bed for another hour.

Summer means the pool and sunbathing. It means never getting to fully relax in the sun. Having to be on guard with eyes half slit to see who might be coming home or watching. I relished the trips to the Lake because I could truly relax in the sun and on the water, with nothing more sinister to worry about than a cousin who might splash water on me.

Summer means shorts and short sleeves. These mean access. 'Nough said.

Summer means no school. It means being at home more. Toilet was a truck driver most of the time. A school bus driver other times. Summer meant being at home with him, often alone.

Summer means beer. Not sure why that is. But summer means drinking more beer. More beer means less control means more abuse.

Summer means hot weather. We often didn't have the money to turn on the AC. So you couldn't bundle up or be under covers. And you either left the bedroom door open and window open, or sweltered. I often sweltered. Summer means the windows are open. Which means conversations normally held in private can be overheard by lurkers at the window.

On the other hand, summer also meant going to the lake. Being able to structure my day around Toilet's schedule. Being able to stay outside when he was home and sleep when he was gone. Summer meant being able to live at friends' houses without regard for schooling. It meant being able to spend the day in the woods, reading books and being safe. It meant camping trips, which I enjoyed. When I was older, it meant having a job and not being home.

Even though there were some positives, the big issue is that summer means a change in routine. That was a big deal as a child.

Now summer also means changes in routine. I don't do well with routine disruptions. Munchkin was to play T-ball. I got my mind around that and the effect on our schedule. Then she broke her foot which means no T-ball. Husband typically plays church softball but is not this year - he's playing basketball at the church instead. Basketball is on Tuesdays which is typically my free night, instead of Monday which is his. We have the windows open which means different noises. Then we shut them and have the AC on, which is a different noise. The attic fan cuts on and is loud. It makes me jump. There are new wardrobes. New chores - I have to accomodate Husband mowing. He has to accomodate me taking care of the flowers. This being the first year with Bugaboo means we have to adjust again. It's the little things like this that throw me for a loop.

Monday, April 27, 2009

General Update - Random Thoughts

Lack of sleep is making me not think coherently so a bulleted, general update seems best.

  • I spent three days last week at a conference. Learned a lot, drove a lot, missed a lot of sleep.

  • Five year old "Munchkin" is getting around quite well on her cast. It is very difficult to keep her calm and still. She's missing a birthday party this week because there is no way I'll be able to keep her off the indoor play yard. I am letting her go to the outdoor birthday party.

  • Baby "Bugaboo" is up far too often. He was up at 8, 9, 10:30 and 1:30 last night before I handed him off to my husband. Husband says he was up at 1:30, 3:30 and then he brought him back at 4:30. Something has to give.

  • I've had a ton of emails asking why we have $10,000 in medical bills if we have insurance. It was an estimate, but it figures like this -

Having the baby (sept - my ins) - $750 deductible + our 10% up to $3,500 maximum = $3,750

Baby in hospital (Oct - Husband's ins) - $500 deductible + our 10% up to $1,500 maximum = $2,000

New Year = new deductibles and out of pocket maximums

Baby's latest illness - $300.00 (because haven't met deductible yet) plus $50 in medications and nebulizer.

My kidney stone (ER visit - old ins) - $400.00 to purchase continuing insurance between old and new job + $750 deductible + 10% up to maximum = $4,100

My kidney surgery - (new insurance) - $500.00 copay plus 10% out of pocket maximum up to $2,000 = $2,500

Daughter's leg - (husband's insurance) - $500.00 deductible plus 10% up to out of pocket maximum for x-rays - probably will be $500.00. Cast not covered - $25.00 is our portion. Three separate doctors visits - $20, 20, and 30. We have several follow up visits and at least one more cast. Praying no surgery is required.

Then we have the kindergarten physical (20), the 6 month shots visit (20), ear infection follow up (20) and second shots visit (20). Plus $40 in medications. And my physical ($20) which is required for work or they deduct $20 a week from my paycheck.

Daughter and I both need eye exams. Her for Kindergarten entrance and me because it's been 2 years and I'm out of contacts. She is scheduled to have cavities filled, which we pay in advance and then get refunded a portion. And I need a crown (not happening any time soon) and two filings.

  • Despite money issues, I have a guy coming over to see about installing a ceiling fan in bedroom. I think the cost will be offset by the savings on our air conditioning bill.

  • It's April and I have the air conditioner on already. Ridiculous! But it was 86 in the house on Saturday night.

  • The same guy is going to give me an estimate on installing a light in our basement stairwell. My husband was supposed to do that a year ago.

  • My husband has "off" from work on Thursday because they are doing inventory at his job. He is going to paint the hallway - it's had the "test" colors up for over 1 year. Little does he know that I'm rescheduling Baby's doctor's appt so he can do it. That way I don't have to miss work.

  • I have to spend at least two hours on the phone today fighting with medical billing. My insurance showed up as lapsed because my continuing insurance hadn't kicked in yet. And no provider understands that I have two different policies for the kidney stuff.

  • I have to spend another several hours inquiring about refinancing our mortgage. Rates are low enough that we need to do it. Plus we need the money. Husband won't do it. So I have too. I get really resentful about having to do this type of stuff. But I am planning to borrow a bit extra if I can still get our payment down, and do some stuff around the house that Husband promised to do and hasn't. Top of my list is replacement windows. We have old windows that are super drafty and two are broken.

  • I'm getting resentful at all the stuff Husband hasn't done. He promised to do certain things if we bought this house. Some of it is due to the pregnancy happening right after we moved. But baby is now here and 7 months old, so I've been quite patient.

  • I am going to have to rearrange work to do at least one pick up or drop off each day. I'm missing too much info from daycare about what is going on. Husband can't seem to remember to get it.

  • Husband has great difficulty remembering little details - like getting agendas out of cubbys at daycare, remembering to ask all the right questions (even if I help him write them out) when calling for rate quotes, dealing with medical billing. Yes it is frustrating and annoying - but one of us has to suffer through it. He thinks it is too much trouble to make all these calls. But it has to be done. Why shouldn't you do your share?

  • I'm pissed off at my brother-in-law. I want to slap the shit out of him. My husband does too. And we're not usually on the same page. BIL is lucky we don't live closer......

  • I'm disappointed Daughter can't play T-ball. I was looking forward to it. Although, the schedule would have been hectic.

  • My 10 year wedding anniversary is this summer. I have a work conference at the beach that week. Wondering if I should just make the plans and then invite Husband to come along. We could tack on a few extra days and make it a long weekend. We'd have to take the kids though. I can't leave the Baby that many overnights. And Husband would whine about the required socialization. I KNOW he hates socializing and mixers. They aren't my favorite either. But they are part of my job.

  • Mother's Day is coming up. I hate mother's day. This time of year is crazy anyway. Sister and MIL's birthdays. Mother's day. Husband's birthday. FIL's birthday. Father's Day. Our anniversary.

  • Kindergarten orientation is this week. I'm not ready for my baby girl to start school.

  • I'm really in a pissy mood. Good thing I can rant here before I go home and blow my top. Husband and I are in the same pattern we slip back into - I plan everything and do everything because it is easier to do it myself than tell him how to do it and wait for him to do it. He has stopped thinking about what needs to be done and doing it. He needs to do more. But I need to calm down before we have that discussion.

  • Husband better learn how to say "NO" to someone other than me, and learn PDQ. But that discussion has to wait until I'm calmer too. I am not spending the next 10 weekends running around crazy because you can't say No.

  • I need to get a grip and figure out how much of my pissy mood is my issue (hormones, whatever) and how much is legitimate (overworked, overstressed and underslept) and then what to do about it (besides going postal).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

She's Definitely My Daughter


This is my 5 year old's foot. On Monday I received a call at work from her preschool. She and another boy were both running for the same caterpillar. They collided and she fell. She landed on her foot funny. She favored it a bit. They iced it and had her lay down for a nap with the other kids. She woke up still limping so they called.


We took her home and iced it. It was swollen a bit. Yesterday morning she woke up and was still walking only on the edge of her foot. So I decided better safe than sorry, and called the doctor. I picked her up early and headed to the pediatrician. They sent us to the hospital for x-rays. Then they called - broken...in two places. So of to the orthopedist we went. They asked her favorite color - pink of course. So now she has a hard pink cast. Since 5 year olds aren't quite up to managing crutches, she has a walking boot. She'll be in a cast for 6 weeks. So no T-ball - which she is upset over. I did splurge for the more expensive waterproof cover, so she can bathe and even swim. We're praying it heals well and no surgery is necessary.

My back is killing me. Carrying a 44 pound, five year old all over town, from doctor to doctor is rough. She's a real trooper though. Insisted I paint her toenails tonight, alternating pink and blue. Pink to match the cast and blue to match the boot.

She's definitely my daughter - because only someone who has inherited my clutzy tendencies can collide on a playground and break her foot in two places.

If anyone has some good luck pixie dust, send it my way. We've spent about $10,000 in medical bills since the Baby was born. And now are broke.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Depersonalization Disorder --- DID

I’ve had a few friends and blog readers ask me over the years about the possibility of my having DID. My Sister, who knows me probably better than anyone, even questioned it at one time. At first I outright rejected the thought. ~I~ didn’t have that. ~I~ function just fine, thank you. ~I~ certainly don’t have inner parts or anything like that.

Then, as I began to read more blogs like Beauty, Ethereal Highway, Austin and JIP, I realized that they weren’t crazy – just different. They functioned quite well. They didn’t walk around with their heads spinning in circles like the girl on The Exorcist. In fact, many of their friends and family didn’t know they had DID. The symptoms and events they wrote about began to seem vaguely familiar and I found myself identifying with some of their experiences.


However, because I am very out of tune with my real self, I went back and forth. Were these episodes really me? Or me trying to be who I thought I was to be? Or the me that others made me as a child? Or was I just copying someone else in an attempt to fit in? I was very confused, and pretty soon I thought my head would spin right around like the Exorcist.

So, as is typical with me, I turned to intellectual analysis. I began to read anything I could about DID. Some of what I read paralleled my experiences. But other parts did not fit. I discussed the issue briefly in therapy and my therapist didn’t seem to think it was an issue While I do have dissociative tendencies, it’s not quite severe enough on the scale to be DID. I’ve never been aware of more than one personality/alter, for example.

A DID diagnosis requires “The presence of two or more distinct identity or personality states, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self” and “At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person's behavior.” I don’t have that. So I put DID out of my mind. Didn't worry about it. Wasn't an issue.......

Then, recently Beauty wrote a post in which she mentioned Depersonalization Disorder. I am going to have to watch the movie she referenced because many things in her post hit home for me. Once again, I went the intellectual route and began researching. I tried the Dissociative Experiences Scale test – I scored between 40 and 50 depending on the day. The remarks said –

Your answers to this Dissociative Identity Disorder screening test fall into the range with a higher association with DID. . . . High scores on the DES do not prove that a person has a dissociative disorder; they only suggest that clinical assessment for dissociation is warranted.”

I read more about this
Depersonalization Disorder, in particular. It is a dissociative disorder, of the milder type. This is what it said –

Depersonalization disorder is classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, text Revision, also known as the DSM-IV-TR as one of the dissociative disorders. These are mental disorders in which the normally well-integrated functions of memory, identity, perception, and consciousness are separated (dissociated). The dissociative disorders are usually associated with trauma in the recent or distant past, or with an intense internal conflict that forces the mind to separate incompatible or unacceptable knowledge, information, or feelings. In depersonalization disorder, the patient's self-perception is disrupted. Patients feel as if they are external observers of their own lives, or that they are detached from their own bodies. Depersonalization disorder is sometimes called "depersonalization neurosis."

Depersonalization as a symptom may occur in panic disorder, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder, or another dissociative disorder. The patient is not given the diagnosis of depersonalization disorder if the episodes of depersonalization occur only during panic attacks or following a traumatic stressor.”

A simpler definition says this -


Depersonalization disorder is marked by periods of feeling disconnected or detached from one’s body and thoughts (depersonalization). The disorder is sometimes described as feeling like you are observing yourself from outside your body or like being in a dream. However, people with this disorder do not lose contact with reality; they realize that things are not as they appear. An episode of depersonalization can last anywhere from a few minutes to many years **
The bolded red parts are what I most identify with. I am constantly feeling as if I am watching myself, typically from a position just over my right shoulder. The first time I'm aware of this happening is during one of the abuse episodes - in the car. When remembering my past, I do not feel connected at all. It's a very intense numbness. I used to think it was just a coping mechanism. But it's really more than that. I have trouble really figuring out where reality begins and ends.

I blamed my lack of connectivity on the fact that I had to be so many different people. There were a lot of different expectations depending on who I was around, and lots of different stories to keep straight. It got to where I couldn't remember what really happened and what didn't. However, this problem continued over into all areas of life. I often have difficulty figuring out what really happened and what I just thought might happen. Did I really do something? Or just plan to do it? Did I really have a conversation out loud? Or just in my head?

In intense situations, I detach - watch myself from afar. My "floating self" yells at my "body self," telling it what to say and how to act. Then later, I can't remember which is real.

Self-injury was my way of bringing the pieces together. The pain made me snap back into place. It was if the giant rubber band that was stretched out, comes back together. But I gave up SI.

I'll often ask my husband - Did I do this yet? Or, did I tell you this? I also accuse him of telling me something different, when really I was just replaying things in my head and testing out different reactions. Then I can't remember which was real and which was not.

So why do I care? What is the effect? If I have this depersonalization disorder or not? Does it matter? Will someone saying, "yes Enola you have this diagnosis," have any bearing on me? I'm not sure. There's the intellectual, rigid part of me that wants to know everything for sure - wants answers. But from a practical standpoint, I'm not sure it matters. It's not really affecting me severely enough to impact my life. Sure, people think I'm crazy sometimes when I insist something happened one way instead of another, or I get lost in "la-la land" or stare off into space, or talk to myself or someone else that isn't there. But that's been going on for years and I've learned my own little ways of coping. So for now, I'm not going to rush out and try to prove this one way or the other. I'm just going to let the knowledge sit and say "yeah, could be a possibility - I relate to some of that."

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has information on Depersonalization disorder - diagnosis, treatment, etc.

** Information from here and here.



Friday, April 17, 2009

Blog Carnival & Child Abuse Awareness Day

Wow! Mike is an early bird. The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse is up. Check it out here.

Are you wearing Blue today? Or a Blue ribbon? I have to confess that my blue is more of a purplish-blue, but not for lack of trying. I was mucho late today. I went through my closet and all the boxed up clothes trying to find some navy blue that was (1) appropriate for work, and (2) in my still-haven't-lost-the-baby-weight size. I'm now on the hunt for a blue ribbon. I'm sure to find one in the child protective services unit when they arrive.

Happy Friday. And please spread the word about Child Abuse. Together we can make a difference.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Free to Be Me - a re-birth of sorts

I am in love with this song Free to Be Me by Francesca Batistelli. It has a great beat, but also great words.

These lyrics really spoke to me -

"I got a couple dents in my fender

got a couple rips in my jeans

Try to fit the pieces together

But perfection is my enemy.

And on my own I'm so clumsy

But on Your shoulders I can see

I'm free to be me"


As survivors, most of us were not free to be anything other than what our abusers wanted us to be and/or made us be. We were "groomed." I hate that word. But it's a good description of what happens. Child grooming refers to "actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, in order to lower the child's inhibitions in preparation for sexual abuse."

First, abuse victims are groomed to accept the abuse. Then victims are groomed into the type of victim the abuser wants - whether that be someone that is feisty and fights back - or is silent and cries. Whether that means passivity or involvement. Some of us were expected to be perfect. The little lady (or gentleman) of the house. Many of us were expected to be slaves of sorts.

But grooming doesn't stop with the abuser's wishes. There are also the demands of the accomplices - usually the other parent-type. My mother expected me to "forgive and forget." To "put the past behind me." There was no working through issues. I was the all-controlling, perfectly fine, well-adjusted mini-adult. It was "put your game face on" every day with her.

Then there are the faces we wear with others to try to hide the abuse. The ones you wear with teachers, doctors, friends and others. The people who want you to hide the abuse because they are uncomfortable dealing with it or hearing about it.

When my parents divorced, I became many different people. Not in a DID type of way. But in a "different face for different place" sort of way. When with my dad, I was the surrogate wife. Not in a sexual way. But in a take care of the house, cook, clean, be the hostess at parties, type of manner. He expected me to take care of him. Plan the meals, cook the meals, clean up. When he found a girlfriend to do that stuff, I became the "show child." I was expected to be the best at everything so he could brag and show me off. Success was the name of the game.

At my mom's house I was her confidant. Her co-equal. I was expected to be the mother to my sister and fix all my mother's problems. I was also expected to perform wifely duties for her boyfriend (later husband).

My abuser wanted me to fight back in words. To argue with him. To debate. I know it made me wonder why I could hold my own in a verbal argument with him, but go silent when faced with his creepy roaming hands. I was also his conspirator. I was to team up with him in trying to get Mom to quit smoking. I was the one he laughed with when buying XXX rated items at stores. I was the one he held lingerie up to in stores so he could see how it would look on mom.

When I tried to talk to peers about things at home, I quickly learned that my way of life was not normal. So I had a different persona I wore outside the house. At school I was the nerd, the overachiever. At work, I was the overly responsible one. With peers, I was the party girl - the one who'd do anything once.

Then I went to college and joined a Christian movement. I went from one extreme to another and tried to be Little Miss Perfect. That didn't work so well either.

I dated a guy for several years in college. I thought he was Mr. Perfectly Goody-two-shoes. The kind of guy I was "supposed" to be with. I conformed to how I thought I was "supposed" to act. Problem is that I'd slip up and go wild sometimes. Or I'd slip up and talk about my home life. Those sorts of things didn't go over well with his June and Ward Cleaver family.

When we broke up, I found myself saying, "but I always...." or "but he wants me to ....." A good friend told me to quit being what I thought everyone else wanted me to be and have my own opinion.

Have an opinion? Me? About something other than an intellectual idea? See I was great at arguing and debating (hence my current career) so people thought I was really opinionated. They didn't see that choosing chocolate or vanilla was difficult for me. I didn't know what I wanted. I couldn't get away from the "what am I supposed to want" analysis.

I started small. Choosing to pull my hair up because I liked it that way, instead of leaving it long because he had liked it that way. Drinking diet coke because I preferred it instead of pepsi like my mom. Voting Republican instead of Democrat just because my family was liberal.

It's still hard. I catch myself indicating an opinion and back-tracking in the face of confrontation. In the courthouse, I'm the bulldog - will latch onto an opinion/position and go with it. But personally, you can trip me up with a simple "what do you want to do?"

I recognize most of the time when I'm struggling with things that don't matter. Like whether to wear the blue shirt or red shirt, choose chocolate or vanilla, drink coke or pepsi. It's the bigger choices I struggle with overanalyzing. I'm making progress though. I even act silly sometimes by dancing in the rain, singing loudly in my living room and other uniquely me things.

I'd encourage everyone to keep trying. Celebrate your freedom. Stay in your pajamas all day, dye your hair purple, dance around crazy, do something to make you, really you. Who are you? Be that person - even if just for a moment.

I'm still learning how to be Free to Be Me. My bumper is not only dented, but has fallen completely off a few times. My pants are not only ripped, but have been shredded and patched a hundred times over. Perfection (and a tendency to be a control freak) are my enemies. But I am free - and it's getting better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wear Blue on Friday - Child Abuse Awareness Month



April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and this Friday is "Wear Blue to Work" day. So wear blue wherever you go and whatever you do - whether you are working as an executive, machinist, stay-at-home parent - wherever you go and whatever you are doing. (Thanks to Cornnut for this reminder.)

Wear Blue and wear a BIG BLUE RIBBON. So big that people can't help but notice and ask you about it. Look here to see how Missouri is doing it.

Check back here and on Mike's site too for the April edition of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I'll have a link up here (and now to work on my submission).




Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to Reality

It's Monday. I don't mind though. It is kind of nice to get back into a somewhat normal schedule after all the illness and everything. We're still trying to figure out how T-ball fits into our lives. Amazing how one simple activity can throw us for a loop. I think we decided that Husband will try to play basketball every Tuesday evening and work out every Thursday morning and maybe some Fridays at lunch. I'll work out when I can - the baby's nursing makes my schedule a bit more difficult to finagle. I am scheduled for two all day scrapbook events in the next two months. That makes me happy!

My sister and her clan came down late Thursday. Her oldest is turning 10 next week. Yikes! Makes me feel old. He is a whole new child after switching schools and getting away from a bully-situation. My sister and her husband are having to sacrifice a lot to pay for private school - even more when they move the other two over there. But it's so much better for the kids. The 8 year old girl and my little one played dolls. The 6 year old boy and my daughter ran around too. The baby just enjoyed being held all the time.

On Friday we all went for a hike through the jogging trail/park. It's a 2 mile paved path as wide as a one-lane road. It swirls around a hill. Off the road, there are trails where kids ride mountain bikes and such. We alternated between the paved path and trails. Probably walked 4 miles total. Let our 5 year old ride in the jogging stroller some while I carried Baby in a sling. Then he road in the stroller some too. At the end, the 6 year old was holding my 5 year old on his lap and we were pushing them.

Saturday we hiked down to the playground park. Walked some trails, fed some ducks and swang on the swings. That is the most exercise I've had since before I was pregnant. A long cry from the days we'd hike 10-15 miles in a weekend.

The Baby is better. Poor thing is on an oral steroid 2x a day, antibiotic 2x a day, allergy meds 1x a day, nebulizer 2-3 x a day. Plus laxative 2x a day as needed. And his tooth just popped through so he's needed tylenol as well. He is happy though. And chubby. Finally put on some cute chubbiness. He is rolling all over now and can keep himself sitting upright a bit.

Sister and her husband are having marital issues again. My husband and I made it through with only one disagreement - and it occurred after 2 sleepness nights at midnight with a screaming baby that had to be walked. We've decided those don't count. Anything said in the wee hours after no sleep is ignored!

We've decided the dog is overweight. Her hips are starting to bother her a lot. So we need to stop the people food scraps. Decided to throw the scraps into a bucket instead and try our hand at composting. I'm hoping I can start walking in the evenings some. I can take the baby - he enjoys looking at all the sights.

Nothing else much new here. Working on a post to submit to the blog carnival.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Update

Baby does not have RSV. He has a nasty bronchial/respiratory infection, ear infection and cold. We have oral steroids, an antiobiotic and breathing treatments. Best of all, he is HOME! My sister and her crew are here and we are enjoying ourselves. Starting with a 4 mile trek through the woods with the dogs. Fun Times! Tonight is the Easter play, starring my Daughter as a crowds-person. Tomorrow is the Easter egg hunt.

Happy Easter Everyone!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Throwing in the Towel

As I write this, I am watching Baby breathe. In..out..in...out... He has had a cough for two days. Husband called this afternoon and got an appointment for the AM. I put Baby in a steamy bathroom.

The breathing got worse. The wheezing got worse. He coughed and coughed. Panted. Then he stopped..... just as I reached for him, he coughed, caught his breath and started breathing again. I called the ped. Couldn't get through the on-call line. So headed to urgent care.

X-rays were clear. Oxygen levels weren't great. Wheezing. Rattling. Had a fever. The urgent care called the peds office and consulted. Debated hospitalization. Sent us home after an oral steroid/breathing treatment. Oh and an antibiotic too because he an ear infection.

Husband is in bed. I'll watch the Baby to be sure he continues to breathe. Then I'll tag off and get some sleep. Husband will take Baby to doc while I go to court and arrange coverage if needed.

I'm done - we have the NICU at birth; virus hospitalization at 6 weeks; RSV at Christmas; anal stenois; thyroid issues. Throw in daughter's general illness. Three stomach viruses among the family. One kidney stone and surgery for me. A new job - new insurance. No sick time. Miss 2 weeks of work. Miss 2 court dates (and maybe a third tomorrow). Met my deductible last year and out of pocket max. Met Baby's too. Paid COBRA. Met new insurance deductible. Soon to meet Baby's. Our savings account is down a whole lot. It will be gone soon.

Halloween was cut because Baby was in hospital. Christmas was cut short because of Baby's RSV. Now Easter is iffy. If it is RSV we can't have my sister and family here.

I am at my wit's end.

Not an Excuse, but an Explanation

I said yesterday that I'd try to explain a bit more what is going on. It took me awhile to write this because I don't have answers yet. I'm not entirely sure what is going on.

I was pretty out of it for two weeks with my kidney stone. I stayed heavily medicated. On Sunday I weaned down to half doses. It's Wednesday now and I've not had any pain meds since Sunday. Monday and Tuesday were really foggy. I was still feeling bruised and tired. I took it easy - took the elevator instead of the stairs and took extra time.

For the past three days, I've felt jittery. As if I've had too much caffeine, when in reality I've not had any more than usual. It's sort of like a panic attack but instead of progressing, it just stays at a moderately severe level. I'm pretty dizzy too and not real steady on my feet. I feel like my head is bobbling off my neck.

Not sure if it's coming off the meds. Anyone else had a course of Ultram (aka vicodin), oxycotin and/or hydrocodone? Anything like this?

I chatted with my sister and she said to also be mindful that Baby is 6 months. That is the exact age my Daughter was when I couldn't deal with PPD issues any longer and first sought medication. Also, I have had a major disruption in my nursing schedule. So my body could very well be having hormone fluctuations, especially with all the skipped sessions - could be thinking there is some weaning going on.

Last night my husband threw me a wrench. He went to Tball training early and so was home when I arrived. He had dinner started but I wasn't really digging chicken nuggets and he suggested I go ahead to the store and pick something up there. So I went.

First trip - household goods, Easter basket stuff, present for nephew, and non-grocery stuff. Took that to car.

Second trip - groceries. Including extra for holiday weekend when we'll be at home more, including extra for 5 extra people, including special diet for my sister.

Close to $400 and 3 hours later, I was home. <<>>

Husband helped me drag the stuff in and then rushed off to play basketball - his buddy already had called to say they simply "needed" Husband to make even teams.

Of course he took my car (and my music). And of course the Baby woke up and screamed as soon as he walked out - before I managed to get supper or a shower. So I put in Baby Einstein DVD (aka Baby "crack") and stuck Baby in front of that. Raced through shower. Put Baby on my bed. Played peek-a-boo while semi-drying my hair. Ate while nursing and pumping (yes that takes talent). Rocked baby while reading a chapter in my book.

Had a real battle with SI. Nothing in house and good thing the urge was after I'd been to the store. Settled for what I guess is a moderate form...tweezer-ing. On the positive side, I have nice smooth eyebrows and skin.

Husband came home. We chit-chatted. I'm still wide-awake at 10:30 so take an ambien. Wake up this morning (forget the two nighttime nursing sessions) still groggy and feeling the same.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Do Over Day


Whew! My husband agreed to a "do over."

Husband went to sign up Daughter for Tball last week when I was sick. The registrar stressed how "desperate" they were for coaches. So husband, never one to say "no" agreed to assistant coach. No biggie. One of us has to take her and sit there (no way I'm dropping off a 5 year old and leaving her). What Husband didn't find out was the schedule - it's TWO times a week instead of one like he assumed. And he has to attend a training session and complete a background check.

Husband also forgot to update the scheduling calendar on the wall to note that he and Daughter had dress rehearsal for the play on Wed or that he wanted to play basketball at church on Tues (forget even putting it on the calendar in his assigned color [yes I have OCD] he didn't even put it on there at all). So I got it in my head that I'd go grocery shopping for our Easter guests on Wed, clean on Thursday and then go to my handbell performance Thurs night (which is on the calendar). Change of plans...............

I don't do well with last minute changes. Especially when they start with, "Well you KNOW I play basketball with the guys on Tuesday" (no I don't because you've only done it ONE time), progress to "Well you KNOW we always have dress rehearsal on Wed" (no, because they have it in the bulletin as on Friday) and finish with, "why can't you just take the kids with you to the grocery store."

It progressed from there. We resolved it. Decided I would pick kids up today and start supper. He'll go to T-ball orientation/training. He'll come home and tag out. I'll go to the grocery store (alone) and get the stuff for our guests, Easter, Easter baskets, nephew's party, Easter party at school and general groceries. I'll not rush but not dawdle either. When I get home, Husband can then go to basketball. On Wednesday I will come home where my husband will have bathed Daughter and gotten her ready for the play. I'll handle Baby and start the house cleaning. On Thursday, I'll pick up take out. We'll all scarf down food. Husband and Daughter will run to Tball practice. I'll take Baby to Maundy Thursday (which is a silent service, by the way) where I'll either pray they have childcare or beg some teenager who really wasn't interested in standing silent for 30 minutes anyway, to take Baby to the nursery.

Fast forward to this morning. Oh wait - between last night and this morning there was a certain NCAA basketball final game where the team he pulls for was playing. Husband stayed up late watching it. Baby was up 3 or 4 times. Husband and I did trade off caring for the Baby (who had a nasty sounding cough). All that to say - we were both tired.

I think it started this morning when our daughter refused to get dressed and told me "No." I know it continued with Daughter throwing her clothes at my Husband. He nicely told her to get dressed again. I firmly told her she wasn't to throw ANYTHING at ANYONE and especially not at her FATHER (yes, I'm the disciplinarian). Then it went to Husband arguing with Daughter over whether she could have a cupcake for breakfast (his suggestion) or Oreo cookies (her suggestion). Billy bad butt Mommy said "heck no, she can have cereal or a pop-tart" which denigrated into an argument between Husband and I over the relative nutritional values of a cupcake versus a poptart. It then progressed to my telling my husband he needed to learn how to tell Daughter "No" now on the little things before time flew by and she was wanting to do something like get a tattoo or smoke marijuana ........insert some ugly stuff here...........then it proceeded to his saying "well my parents let me eat candy for breakfast and I turned out fine - unlike what your parents let you do and what you did as a teen." My saying "yeah but you were fat in 6th grade and your brother is still morbidly fat. And I know that 'no' wasn't an option in my house and look at all the stuff that went on."

SSSSSCCCCRRRREEEEEECCCHHHH

Yep - I threw out the fat card. Me who is still carrying 40 pounds above what I should be carrying. Besides the fact that it's not nice to throw that out either.

Yep - he threw out the "you have a nasty family tree" card. He knows better. He also knows that the apple can fall far from the tree when there is a will and good therapy. In other words, I'm not my family.

We stormed out of the house ---

After a crazy morning at work, I decided to call Husband and double check that I was still to pick up the kids. I suggested a "do over." We both agree to forget anything said by the other person last night or this morning. He agreed. I think it's a good time for a Do Over Day.
We also agreed to try really hard to address disagreements when we've had more sleep. Which is not any time soon. But it's worth a shot.

I don't have any excuse for my behavior. Well, okay I do have a reason - but it's not an excuse. I'll post about the reason tomorrow -- if it still exists.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Returning to Earth after a Long Flight


I'm back from my trip down LaLa Lane. For the past two weeks, I have been taking pain medication constantly. I've spent the time floating in LaLa Land. It was both good and bad.


Being sick reminds me of all the times I was sick growing up and ignored. Cramp-like pains are really bad. The remind me of the menstrual cramps I got at age 10 and 11. The ones that caused Toilet to "help" by bringing me a heating pad and rubbing my belly. So being tended to when sick is both good and bad.

It was nice that my husband helped out so much this time. I made sure to tell him repeatedly how much I appreciated all that he did, and especially his being there.

The pain medication makes me fuzzy headed. That is both good and bad too. I'm out of control which is bad. I am dizzy headed and things are less than clear. On the other hand, when I am triggered, escaping into fuzz land is welcome. So I go back and forth between fighting the fog and escaping into it. The result - I end up exhausted.

In the midst of everything I remembered I had xanax in my closet. And since I wasn't able to nurse on the pain meds anyway, I could go ahead and take a xanax. So I added xanax into the bunch of meds I was taking. I sure slept a lot !

I "like" taking pain meds because the pain itself is triggering. But I dislike it too because of the fuzz-head effect. And because I know the struggles I have had with other addiction behavior, and how very easily I could get addicted to pills.

I also found the depression much worse. Not sure if it was from being sick (I hate being sick), being stuck inside in bed for so long, or what. I'm keeping an eye on that to make sure it gets better.

Today is day 1 of back to work. It's also day 1 of being entirely off medication. I've been jittery all day. I feel as if I've drunk too much caffeine. Hoping this ends soon.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Rock


This has been a whirlwind of several months. First we have a new baby who has a health scare and is in the NICU for a day. Then he goes to a urologist for complications. Then hospitalized four days for a virus. Daughter gets the flu, despite having had the flu shot. I get an ear infection.

I finally get my braces off. Baby gets RSV and I'm out of work a week, having just gone back from maternity leave. Then I get a new job. Start new job. There one month when I get a stomach bug. Then the next day end up in the ER for a kidney stone. I am out of work a week. Try to go back but am in pain. Have surgery this week, the day after my insurance kicks in. Have some pain after but not too bad. I think the worst is over.

I had my follow up appt yesterday. They remove the stint. Then the doctor tells me that I will have some bleeding and menstrual-like cramping. When the doctor went in to get the stone, he put a tube (stint) from my kidney to my bladder and out. To keep the tube open and not have it swell shut. It made me feel like I had to use the bathroom all the time. It came out fairly easily. The doctor said that about 1 in 20 people will have severe cramping, much like the pain of the original kidney stone. I left the office and don't have to go back for 6 weeks.

I walk out and get in my car and double over in pain. I make it home and realize I am one of the 20. I take the pain meds. I start getting light-headed and sick. Take some phenegren to control the nausea. I am doubled over, crying. I give the pain meds 45 minutes to kick in. Then call the doctor to ask for stronger meds. Then call Husband who rushes home. He helps me get into the bathtub, thinking it might help me relax a bit. The doctor's office calls and the nurse explains that the pain is from the urethra and bladder spasming. The doctor can call in some drugs to stop the spasms. Husband helps me out of the tub and I collapse on the couch. He rushes to the pharmacy and picks up my meds. Comes home and I just ask him to sit with me. I lean on him and squeeze his hand. I ask him to tell me about his day - talk about anything to distract me. He does and the meds kick in and I drift off to sleep.

The doctor said this could take 24 - 48 hours. So I'll basically be drugged the whole weekend ....again. Not much fun for anyone. My in-laws called to check on me. I suggested Husband take the kids there tomorrow. That way I can lay around on the couch without having to push myself to play with the kids. I can moan to my hearts content. Sleep all day if I want. Daughter can run around and get out some of this energy. Baby can bed spoiled by Grammy and Pop-pop. I can't nurse on the amount of meds I'm taking right now. He takes bottles better from others, than from me. I'll miss them. I feel like I've not been "with it" enough to spend time with them at all much.

I need to go find my med chart. I'm having to write down what I take when because I can't remember - ultram alternated with vicodin, phenegren, and the spasm drugs. I also took a xanax. Had some left from pre-pregnancy. Since I'm not nursing, I figured it might help me relax. The doctor told me if I relaxed, I'd feel better. Plus the pain was so bad I was getting triggered.

Husband is truly my rock. Came rushing home and just did what I needed. Sat there and held me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Home

Thanks for everyone's well wishes and prayers. I'm home. More details later but I'm good. The surgery went well. I am in some pain now and need to rest.

Visit with mom went well. Daught was NOT into hugs and kisses. She goes through phases and Mom acted a bit huffy about it. Mom enjoyed the Baby, but she is easily irritated with 5 year olds and their attitudes. Noticed that with my Sister's kids and now with mine.

My sisters kids differentiate their grandparents by calling them Grandma and Grandpop (dad's side) and then the "Grandma without the Grandpop" for my mom. Well Daughter caught on and asked me if Grandma had a husband. I said yes. She asked why we don't visit. I replied that he was a "bad guy." That was nice and simple and age appropriate. That was awhile ago.

So as my mom was leaving, Daughter says, "Have fun with your bad guy husband." Oops! She wasn't being mean or sarcastic. She just said it like anything else. I said, "Daughter, shh" Mom laughed kind of sarcastically and kept walking out the door to leave. Husband bit his tongue and then laughed hysterically after she was gone. I initially thought of running after Mom or emailing and explaining but then I thought I wasn't going to do that. It is what it is. I'm not hiding the truth from my kids.

Okay drugs are kicking in finally. Night

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Awards - Fabulous - Love ya

Colleen was kind enough to bequeath me this award -

The rules for this award are -

1. Confess to 5 addictions.

2. Pass award to 5 deserving bloggers.

(you can check out Colleen's entry
here)


My addictions are -

1. Scrapbooking - I love to be creative. Unfortunately art and crafty stuff isn't a great skill of mine (case in point - see the "sewing for dummies" book that is still over my head). Scrapbooking is great because you can "scraplift" (i.e. borrow - AKA steal) ideas from other people.


2. Coffee and chocolate - preferably together.



3. Reading - I love to read. I read anything. I can not just sit still and do nothing. If in a waiting room, eating a meal alone, etc, I will pick up something to read - a cereal box, bottles, anything. Right now I'm working through a Karen Kingsbury series and I love it.



4. BlackBerry - this feeds my email, blogging, facebook and internet addictions.



5. Stupid internet games - hatchling on facebook, pizza palace on webkinz, elf bowling on yahoo.


My tag is below .....



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Cornnut bequeathed me an award too -





Here are the rules for this one -
The LOVE YA award:
“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."


(You can check out Cornnut's entry here)

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When doing my tag, I realized I would tag the same people. So if you are listed below, consider yourself tagged with both awards - because I love ya and you're fabulous! Some of these people won't "play along" and do the tags/awards/memes, but I wanted to direct my readers to these well-written blogs anyway, especially when the purpose of the one award is to those who are not self-aggrandizing.

1. Kim at Perfect - Kim and I are friends and I might be a bit biased in her favor, but I find her blog enlightening. She is a very talented writer with a knack for finding connections between thoughts, actions and past-events. So often I read her posts and think "hey me too. I never made that connection before."

2. DM at Heart to Heart - DM is the epitome of "non-self-aggrandizing." He's just a good 'ol country boy with a heart of gold. His blog is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes informative but always thought-provoking.

3. Tamara at Desire to Heal - Tamara started a new blog focus recently. Her most recent series is on Chakras - if your interested is piqued, check it out.

4. Erin at Erin Merryn - you might think that authors who need to publicize must be self-aggrandizing. Not so with Erin. Erin may publicize her own works, but it is for the purpose of drawing attention to a very important subject. So check out her blog and buy her books (and no she didn't ask or pay me to write this!)

5. Keepers Korner - KK is a non-profit ministry to help survivors of abuse, especially multiples. KK goes out of her way to help others. Check out her site for valuable information. You can also donate money to help the ministry.

6. JIP - JIP has been through a lot this past year. She is a true testament to overcoming adversity. Reading her blog is a lesson on perseverance. Not only has she overcome lots of personal issues, but she has done it all while being a wonderful mother to her large family.

7. Mike McBride - at Child Abuse Survivor - Mike is hosting the April Carnival against Child Abuse so be sure to check it out. Also check out his newly created Survivors site. If you are a survivor or support a survivor, you'll find great support here. Mike has worked hard on the survivors site and it is a great place to visit.

8. Marj at Survivors can Thrive - Marj's blog is always good. She is also the founder of the Carnival Against Child Abuse. I tagged Marj specifically because of this post. When you think of slave trade, you often think of the civil war era slave ships. Marj brings attention to the current slave war going on, and in particular sexual slavery.

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This concludes my awards. I hope you'll check out these worthwhile blogs. Thank you to Cornnut and Colleen for my awards.
Love ya ! Mean it :)