Take a Deep Breath – It’s 2018

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Happy New Years! It’s already 2018, I can’t believe how fast this last year flew by. It seems like it was just Christmas 2016.. and then I blinked and it was Spring 2017.. and then I blinked again and it was Summer and Noodles birthday.. then I blinked again and it was New Years.

Time really got away from me, that’s for sure. I remember being a little girl, even younger than Noodle is now, and it seemed like time simply crawled. It took forever for a week to pass, much less for a month to pass, or god forbid a birthday or a holiday to arrive. Summers seemed to last forever, almost to the point where I looked forward to school at the end of August. Now? I don’t know how, but time just seems to slip right through my fingers.

I am glad it’s a new year though, 2017 was a rough one, it really was. I mean, I guess they all have been, at least for the last decade or so. We had some issues with Jon’s ex, I had some health issues (when do I not?) and Jon was unemployed for a bit while he searched for a job that was the right fit. It was definitely a bumpy road. Towards the end of the year it smoothed out a little bit though, enough to give me hope for this year.

So I have a new specialist now, a neurologist who studies autonomic disorders. I went and had all of the autonomic testing run right before Christmas, and it turns out that the majority of my symptoms are because of autonomic neuropathy. Almost everything can be related to it: Crohns symptoms (even though I’m near-remission), headaches & migraines, tachycardia/POTS, insomnia, tingling & numbness, you name it and it can be tied to it. Pretty interesting actually. He’s leaning more towards it being kicked off because of my Crohns or it being a genetic thing I got from my mom. It’s an answer, and just having an answer makes me feel a bit better. Now to start the roundabout of meds (again) to try and put the brakes on and slow down my heart.

Jon found a new management job that he likes quite a bit too. Very similar hours to mine which really rocks. His previous job was almost like a swing shift between third and first, so it was a bit odd with me working full first shift. He seems to be enjoying the challenge, and it’s a load off of my shoulders to have two incomes in the household again. It was definitely hard on me to support the house on top of my health issues (because of course, when it rains, it pours). Just having him working for the past handful of weeks has lifted a lot of the stress off.

Noodle is doing great, she’s shot up like a weed over this last year. I swear, she looks like a teenager already. Sometimes when she and I sit down and talk, she blows me away with how smart she is. She’s definitely got an old soul, she’s a brilliant, caring young girl, that I’m proud to say is my own.

On that note.. she’s also mastered her “metal scream”.. and really enjoys alternating screaming her chicken nugget song and making her pterodactyl sound and scaring the ever living crap out of me.

She definitely an interesting child, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. I can’t believe she’s almost done with 5th grade, it really blows my mind how fast time has flown by. I love my little nerdling.

Beyond all that, it’s the same shit, same struggle, same work, same house. Not a whole lot has changed. Life is always a fight, but I’ve learned from the past few years to surround myself with good people and that is what makes it worth living. I’ve got someone I can’t stand that I can’t avoid in my work-life, but beyond that I love the majority of the people I work with, both in the office and out.. so that makes the office that much more enjoyable. I’ve got my beer-girlfriend, a good boyfriend, and great kid. Life is good despite the everyday shit. Huzzah.

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Fatigue & Stfu

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I am exhausted, I feel like I haven’t slept in days. It’s reminiscent of my rambunctious teenage years, where I’d go out drinking cheap beer and staying up all night, but still some how make it to work the next morning and survive.  That’s what it feels like anyway, even though I slept almost 24 hours since Saturday Night.

My eyes burn, my head is woozy, my muscles feel like I just got done running a marathon (add in that my fatass doesn’t run). I’m so tired, so out of it, than when I went to stand up earlier at work, I almost blacked out. (BP dropped too fast) Almost everyone I have seen or talked to today, in and out of work, asked me if I was okay. Apparently I look like death despite my jet black winged eyeliner.

This is the worst my fatigue has been in a decade, since I was first sick with (undiagnosed) Crohn’s Disease. I’m usually a trooper when it comes to toughing it out, coping, and getting through work, but it was enough that I called off work yesterday. It’s just rough. I’m trying to cover everything, you know, up my teas, oils, supplements, and eating, all the way to getting enough sunlight. It’s a task just to get out of bed these past few days, not because of the pain, but because my lack of energy. I can deal with the pain, just not having the energy to sit up in bed is what’s kicking my ass. I’ll either figure it out, or it’ll eventually pass, but… I’m having a hard time.

I don’t particularly like bringing attention to myself at work when I’m sick either. It’s really nice when people ask how I am, but I get really aggravated when it’s followed up with a typical “I know how you feel, I had…” statement. One girl at work really is bad at it, and I’ve been trying for years at this point to not snap at her. This morning it went like this:

Her: “How are you feeling?” Me: Not great.. Her: “Oh, I know how you feel! I’ve been tired lately and this weather has been giving me a headache!!”.

I smile, and go back to work, but in my head I just scream “a booze headache and lack of sleep isn’t the same as being sick for a decade!” The worst is when the other girl at the office says “Well, if you feel that bad, just go home!” I’m sorry, I can’t. If I went home every time I felt like shit, I’d maybe make it to the office once a week, I have to support myself, I don’t have any other choice.

Yes, it’s a bit of a pity party, but I’m tired of it. I’m not going to say anything nasty, but you bet that I’m strangling them in my head when I’m smiling on the outside.

I’m just frustrated.

 

I hope I start feeling more like myself soon.

 

No Respect

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Disrespect

One of the things I try to really get into my daughter’s brain is to respect people, at least enough to be civil. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like them, don’t agree with them, or whatever, unless they are disrespectful to you.. BE CIVIL.

So far she seems to get it. I’m pretty sure that’s a thing that most parents try to teach, but it’s pretty apparent with my generation, and the half generation before me, it didn’t stick.

For the past year, I’ve been dealing with someone who is for lack of better words.. a bitch. Which I get, I mean, I’m not the most friendly person ever. However, that is something I’ve been working on for a handful of years.

I’ve been forcing myself to be nice, respectful and trying my best to have patience. I still get the odd ball complaint, usually about something I’ve written via email, message, facebook post or whatever, but not nearly as much as I used to.

So this chick, has been disrespectful from day one. She’ll ask me a question and then get huffy at the answer. She’ll snap at me if I ask for something, and just generally cop an attitude with me for existing. It honestly reminds me of the high school cliques. One day it’s fine, next day, it’s nasty looks and whispering behind my back. Just straight up disrespectful. (I still can’t get over the irony of ME trying to be nicer.)

The sad part is, even though I’ve said something about it, several times now, nothing changes. My brain just went into acceptance mode, you know.. I just got used to it.

Until it really got on my nerves the other day, and I snapped back. Oh lord, did she rain hellfire down on me, you woulda figured I hit her car with a baseball bat with the way she reacted. It really just proved what I had already known, she’s used to pushing people around and bending the rules to make it work for her.

No. Fucking. Thank. You.

If it was just some bitch working at my gas station or something, that would be one thing, but someone I have to talk to every single day? Not so much. If she doesn’t want to change her behavior, and no one else wants to correct her, then I’m at least going to stand up for myself.

No one should have to deal with disrespect on a daily basis, much less one single occurrence. It’s enough. Time to force some changes.

United States of America 2017 Edition: Nazis and Fascism.

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Fuck. 

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck. What the fuck. God damn fucking Nazis. 

I thought I was appalled last night when the baby Nazis marched at the college.

Nazi March

(from wn.com) – I am so proud of those college kids, so much for this generation being fragile snowflakes eh?

I thought that would be the worst of the “Unite the Right” bullshit, I thought the worst we’d deal with today was some overweight KKK members and god damn Nazis running around.

I was wrong.

(I am having a very hard time actually writing my thoughts out on this one.. I am. My brain is just screaming FUCK!)

The posts/notifications started flooding in this morning, counter-protesters and the goddamn Nazis were clashing. Well. Yeah, I expected that. I just monitored what was going on and was impressed with the amount of antifa protesters that were out there.

As time went on, some of my Facebook groups started alerting about brawls breaking out. I started paying more attention, how could I not? Video, Audio, and frantic FB/Twitter posts were flying, Fights. Nazis jumping protesters, college kids, anyone. Assault locations, and safe streets/alley ways to meet and get into a group.

Then, the video. You know what video I’m talking about. I’m not going to link to it at this point, because:

  • Three people died in that incident, and their family and friends should not have to see the crash repeatedly, so I won’t contribute.
  • The Alt-Right (aka: God Damn Nazis) are already disputing what has happened, and at this rate I’m not going to argue with anyone over it.
  • BECAUSE FUCK THIS! WHY THE FUCK AM I EVEN HAVING TO WRITE ABOUT THIS SHIT IN 2017!!

I hoped onto my Facebook groups and was immediately accosted with several cell phone videos of the accident. After watching/reading about Nazis marching, swastika flags waving, Spencer getting maced (yay), I watched a car plow through a packed street, through people in my own country.

I read through Trump’s (FUCKTRUMP) statement. Our “President” refusing to even ACKNOWLEDGE that Nazis were marching, that swastika flags were waiving in Charlottesville, that we had a TERROR ATTACK on our own soil.

I scrolled through pictures of wounded men and women being treated by EMTs, I scrolled past the (soon to be) iconic picture of the Black Police Officer guarding the KKK. I scrolled past tears, dead, and god damn nazi’s chanting. I scrolled past posts from stormfront applauding the president. I scrolled past men marching with quotes from Hitler on their jackets/shirts and swazis on their arm bands.

IN MY OWN COUNTRY. HERE.

Racism has never gone away, I’m not sure it ever will. I had honestly never expected that large of a KKK/Alt-Right rally in my lifetime… much less .. all of it. Everything. This is the kind of thing that’s not supposed to happen anymore.

So I’m stuck. In my suburban haven above Chicago. Explaining Nazis to my 10 year old, and worrying about my grandchildren reading about how much of a failure our generation has become in their history books. I’m stuck, wanting to help, wanting to do anything at all, wanting to make a stand. Lace up my grinders, and march, fight. Yet.. I’m here. With my family, far away from anything. Talk about feeling useless.

Those of us who have families to protect, and logistical issues.. we CAN do something. We can educate, we can fight back with intelligence. We can fight back with facts and exposure. We can TEACH our children how horrible racism is, and help them see past color and hate and violence, and embrace each other so maybe some day this will be a distant memory, never to happen again on our soil.

We can show everyone what’s happening. There are plenty of people on my friend’s list alone, followers of this blog and many others, who are simply putting their heads into the proverbial sand and pretending this isn’t happening. We can make the United States and the POTUS face what our country has become. This is not something to be ignored, racism, Nazis, HATE must be stopped.

So those of us at home, those of us who can’t march, we can inform. We can move forward. We will make the world change, one child, one person at a time.

Fuck Racism, Fuck Nazis, Fuck the KKK, Fuck the Alt-Right, and FUCK THIS SHIT.

NOT HERE.

Step-Parenting: Working as a Team

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I don’t think anyone really sets out to be a single parent. I know I didn’t. I had delusions of a wonderful husband, 2.5 kids, and white picket fence.. unfortunately the man who I chose to be my husband was actually too full of himself to treat my daughter and I right. So here I am, or was, a single parent.

As a mom, my kid comes first. She comes before me, she comes before my boyfriend, friends, wants and even needs. I will and have burned bridges for her, and have made sure she was cared for and happy even in my sickest days. My daughter is even the type to like to be tucked in at night, so even when I was in the hospital (if she wasn’t with me), I’d call just to say goodnight and sweet dreams. She is my first thought upon waking up, and last thought upon going to bed. I would cross the world for her, because, that’s what mother’s do!

So when I meet a man I’d like to have a relationship with, I make it known that my kid comes first. I make it damn well known that we are a packaged deal, and if he doesn’t want responsibility down the line, or to forge a relationship with my girl, then he knows to take a hike. I’m very up front about it.

(Jon’s and my first conversation went like this – on both sides: Hi, I have kid(s) and a chronic illness. If that’s a deal breaker.. bye.)

Now days, well, we’ve been dating for almost a year I think? We work as a team. He relies on me to help with his daughter, and I rely on him to help with mine. We may be step-parents to each other’s children, but we work as a team.  Our end goal, is two happy, well-adjusted kids in a stable home. Now that’s not to say that a child can’t live in a stable home and be happy with a single parent, (she did, trust me) that’s just our goal since we’re living together.

We’re a team in our love life, so we’re a team in our family life as well. The point of bringing someone into your home, is to envelope them into your family, so we both raise both children.

This came up recently because someone we know doesn’t feel that way. She’s in a long term relationship with someone, and she also has 2 kids with another on the way. She doesn’t feel like it’s responsibility to help care for the kids since he didn’t father them (oddly enough, she has another guy paying child support for a kid that isn’t his.. so that doesn’t make much sense to me). That baffles me, you have someone that you love and supposedly loves you back, that is living with you and your children, and you don’t expect him to help out with your kids? You don’t have your boyfriend care for them? Does he not pick them up from school? Comfort them when they have a fever? Does he not love your children as part of you? If not, then why be with him?

That baffles me. As a mother, I try to be there as much as possible, but with working full time, I’m not. What I can’t fit into my day, Jon does. He cooks meals, drives her places, picks her up, and has basically taken on a fatherly role for her. The love between those two makes me so happy it’s ridiculous. I know he would go to the end of the earth for not just his daughter, but for mine. I am so proud to have him in our lives, he’s a great dad (Noodle doesn’t call him dad, just Jon FYI).

To think that there is a child out there, with a step-“parent” that can’t be troubled to pick his girlfriend’s daughter up while she’s indisposed… disgusts me to be honest. It just continues the horrible step-parent stereotype! “That’s not my kid, so I’m not doing it”. The worst part is? It shows the child that she isn’t loved, it shows her an unhealthy relationship, which of course she will model as she gets older.

I don’t know, it just really confuses me. Why create a family with a man, but exempt your previous children from it? Why be with someone who you don’t trust to care for your kids, or who doesn’t WANT to? Why fail your children like that?

I’m just confused and disgusted.

 

I’m also grateful for the man I have, and that he and his daughter are part of my family. I will kick some ass for that little girl of his, she deserves the world, just like my Noodle.

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We are a Team, We are a Family.

Headaches and Headache Balm

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Most of you know I’m pretty science based. Hell, when you have a chronic illness, you kind of have to be with all of the treatments you have to endure. I’m the first one to throat punch a person who tells me to stop my meds and eat some raw foods to cure my Crohns, or take a walk instead of take my antidepressants. I don’t particularly believe in god, though I tend to swing more towards agnostic rather than militant atheist these days. (Fuck organized religion though!)

However, over the last year or so, I’ve surprised myself by being a bit.. holistic? I’m not even sure that’s the right word I’m looking for. I started using essential oils to treat my anxiety and headaches among other things.

It all started back when my heart started acting up. (Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, although as time goes by, it seems closer to POTS, but I don’t have the funds to see a different EP for a second opinion.) I had always been a very anxiety-ridden person, and having a racing heart that occasionally needed to be medically stopped, shot my anxiety through the roof. So a friend of mine gave me some essential oils to try for my new-much-more-hard-core panic attacks. They seemed to work.

So I started investigating different kinds of oils and what people use them for. Now, I’m not one to say “Oh, try ingesting 3 drops of this oil, twice a day and you’ll be cured of this ailment!!”, because that’s crap, and we all know it, but I do think that certain scents are calming, and certain herbs have been proven to work as anti-inflammatory (and disproved – I’m looking at you Turmeric.) Over the past year, I started diffusing certain scents that help me calm myself down when I’m overly stressed or anxious, or help me (or my daughter) sleep when a bout of insomnia strikes.

I’ve also started using Headache Balm (which is essentially peppermint and beeswax) which delivers a cooling sensation when applied to the neck and temples. Combine that with breathing and some Excedrin, I can battle my way through a tension headache or migraine without having to use my injections or head into the ER for IV medication.

Last night/today was a prime example. I went out to have drinks with a friend of mine, but a couple hours after leaving the house, I got that twinge in my head that signaled a migraine coming on. I borrowed some of her headache balm and called my boyfriend for a ride. I came home and was able to get some sleep with more balm and a lot of Tylenol.

Woke up this morning, and it was still there. It was miserable. Jon massaged my head with balm and I took a Zofran to battle the nausea that came with it. I also used some oils to keep my anxiety down (which I always get once I get nauseated or am faced with using my very expensive medicine that I can’t afford). By mid-day, it was finally subsiding, with no real damage beyond time lost, so I came home to nap.

Now, I’m enjoying my Saturday night, curled up in my bed (with a a bit of a Crohns flare, been bothering me for a few weeks) and my diffuser going to help me stay relaxed.

The way I figure it, is if the balm and oils has a placebo effect, than great! I’m all for placebo effects! If they don’t work! Then my house smells great and I’m moisturized! I’m not delusional enough to think that some ginger oil is going to cure my crohns, but I do think that some lavender oil helps me sleep, and some lime and geranium picks me up. No matter what, patchouli has always helped me stay grounded. So why not give it a try?

People. Hermit crabs. I want to be a hermit crab.

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So wow. It’s um.. June. Apparently I’ve slacked off on the blog, but I’ve been keeping busy in my physical journals, so it’s all good. Honestly, I’ve been struggling with writer’s block for the last few months, and I can’t seem to break through. Most of my journaling has become diary-esque entries, just to empty my brain.

I haven’t really wanted to write anything political on here. Well, because it’s too easy. Has anyone seen the state of our government or current administration? Red or Blue, it’s basically a shit show, and nothing I say is going to change anything at the moment anyway. I’ve stuck to picking fights on facebook posts to amuse my political side.

Other than that, everything is pretty good. Jon’s daughter is here for the summer, she’s a few years younger than Noodle, but they get along well enough. No blood has been shed anyway, and they both have someone to play with if they want. Definitely a cool little squirt though, can see a lot of her Dad in her. Although there is some issues with her mother, Jon’s been trying to get a hold of her about some things he wants to discuss regarding their child, and she hasn’t been answering for almost a month now. I’m willing to bet that this is going to go the same way my past relationships have re: lazy baby mamas. Joy. Whatever though, thanks to the last two major relationships, I have enough experiences with boyfriend’s exes to tide me over for a lifetime and a half.

Jon is home for the summer too, switching jobs currently, looking at working at a local PD. So while he tests/trains for that, he gets to hang with the kids (which is also a bonus because we avoid childcare then). Plus, I think it’d be nice for him to get to spend the summer with his squirt, who knows what shift he’ll be working next.

However, with the kids being home all summer, I’m definitely not minding going into work nearly as much as I normally do.

I jest.

Kind of.

Beyond that, the garden is in and thriving. We’ve got 3 different pepper plants (one of which is bearing fruit), 4 different tomato plants (including, cherry, roma and an heirloom). 2 different kinds of lettuce, carrots, green onions, green beans, cucumbers.. and my blueberry bushes are actually producing this year! I’m thrilled.

My health is actually okay. I still have some bad days with the headaches, crohns and IST, but it’s much more manageable now. When I have a flare up or episode, it’s more of an annoyance instead of a do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200-go-straight-to-bed.

Noodle is doing great too! 10 years old now, she just had a birthday a couple weeks ago and a family party at the house. Spoiled kid got even more spoiled. She’s been having fun this year riding her bicycle and little dirtbike, now she’s got roller blades to learn. She’s definitely growing up so fast, and I’m more than proud of the lady she’s growing into.

Well other than all of that nonsense, it’s business as usual here. Thought I’d pop in and write a little. Hope everyone is having a great summer.