Stress: It’ll Make or Break You. (Hint: Make isn’t fun either.)

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There’s always another curve-ball it seems like. It’s always one thing after another, or at least that’s what it seems like this week. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep a brave face on, to keep the smile going. ¬†It feels like I’ve been asking for a break from the Universe for years now, but that’s how it goes.

After my surgery, I was positive that things would get a bit easier. ¬†I mean, hell, I wouldn’t be admitted for sleepovers at my favorite hospital every month.. so that would be a bonus? While that’s absolutely true, I haven’t had more than a couple bad days with my Crohn’s Disease since, life just throws one more thing at me after another.

So surgery happened, and then the headaches/migraines started. MRIs (and the different variations of that I had done) showed nothing. The doctor ran all the neurological tests, and nothing. Tried some pills, and after a month and change, I occasionally get a day where I only get a headache for part of it.

I finally start getting used to the headaches, and learn how to “head them off” when they start, and start altering my lifestyle to maybe get rid of them all together. Stress makes everything worse, so why not lower stress in addition to exercise (hello weight gain from new headache medicine) and eating better. Things are looking up!

Until my car takes a big giant shit on that plan. My transmission hates me, so after it started slipping gears, I took it to my mechanic, who despite my insistence that I just had one done, blew $150 and gave my transmission a flush. That didn’t work, so I took it to a well-known transmission joint. They kept it for a week, changed out the valve body and a couple of other things.. and nada. So I took it back again, and for the tune of $1500 to $1800, they are fixing it. They said it would be a week… that was more than two weeks ago.

We rented a car for the first week and a half, but after running dangerously short on money (and hello beginning of the month, also known as *ding* your mortgage is due) we returned it.. after being told, oh, it’ll be done by Monday at the latest. Well, that was this past Monday.

While all of this is going on, Ryan’s job runs out of work. So when we need the money the most, we’re relying on my income and side jobs. It kind of works out, I was able to drive his truck to work this week a bit, but of course the side jobs come out of the woodwork on days I have to work.. so I was out of luck. Thankfully Ryan’s brother lent me his car, which was a life saver. Lets just say I was having an anxiety attack before he offered.

It doesn’t help that the guy snaps on me whenever I call for an update (because they have YET to call me to let me know what’s going on). So after a long day at work, where my office is SEVERELY understaffed temporarily (of course, while all of this is going on.. seriously, I must have some bad karma or something) and I’m running at stressed-the-fuck-out, I get to call this guy, and get snapped on, when I’m just looking for an update on when my life might get easier.

Then add into that, my daughter’s school is nothing but a pain. School starts on Tuesday, and of course, they have yet to send out ANYTHING about transportation or, I don’t know, school supplies or even her teacher. I’ve been trying to arrange a bus to pick her up from daycare, and it’s a major pain in the ass. Meet and Greet is on Monday (and I have no idea who her teacher is) and I promise this right now, if I go in, and they don’t have transportation set up, I will have a melt down.

All of this is going on, and it takes a toll on you. Ryan and I have been fighting like cats and dogs over the stupidest shit, just because we’re both so stressed out. It’s hard to remember that the other person didn’t cause this. Then, I find myself snapping on Noodle over stuff I normally let slide.. and then apologizing to her and beating myself up over it for days. It’s not easy, and I’m just waiting for a call that something else has gone wrong.

I’m trying to focus on the good things. ¬†Like we both *do* have incomes, and mine is stable. Noodle got to go to the summer camp at her daycare, so instead of dealing with me being stressed out, she got to go mini golfing, to the water park and beach and to a festival. While I beat myself up about this being a stressful summer, I have to remind myself, Noodle’s had a pretty good one! I have to remember, I have my house, which thankfully didn’t incur any damage in that tornado that plowed through town last week. As of now, my car is being fixed, even if it’s a major inconvenience at the moment, in the years past, we didn’t have cars, or relied on one. Of course, even though my body isn’t completely okay, my Crohn’s is damn near in remission for the first time in just under a decade.

I’ve got to remind myself, while things are stressful right now, I’m damned lucky to be sitting at home, writing, with a cup of tea, a sleeping child, and my dogs (and asshole cat) lounging on the couch. They could be a lot worse, they have been a lot worse. We are lucky.

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Easter for the Non-Religious

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It’s already Easter, March just flew by! ¬†It seems I was just bitching about it only being¬†February¬†and BAM! Tomorrow’s the first day of April. ¬†Easter weekend isn’t anything too special for my family, I haven’t been particularly¬†religious¬†since I was a kid. ¬†Basically after the trauma of losing my Mother when I was in 5th grade, Christianity just morphed into “being a good person”. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God, I just don’t believe in organized religion or practicing my faith with in a church. ¬†What it comes down to for my family and I is regardless of what you believe, try and be a good person. ¬†I guess I’ll find out if that’s the wrong answer at the end of my life. ¬†*Shrugs*

Easter as a kid was a big production for our family. ¬†We’d all go (were dragged) to church in the morning after raiding our Easter baskets. ¬†After church we’d head to my grandparents house for an Easter Egg hunt and dinner. ¬†It was usually my grandparents, my parents, my sister and I, my Aunt and her daughter. ¬†Definitely some fond memories there.

Like I already said, my family isn’t too religious. ¬†I intend on teaching Nood about¬†Christianity (and other religions once she gets a little older) so she can make the decision for herself. ¬†So our house is pretty tame on Easter. ¬†Of course we do Easter baskets and egg hunts, and most years we go to my parent’s house where they do an egg hunt for Nood. ¬†This year we’re postponing it until next weekend.

One of the wonderful things about this Easter is that I had Good Friday off.  So hurrah for three day weekends!  Nood had a costume party at school on Friday, so I gave her the option of staying home with me or school, and she chose home.  So we hung out all day and relaxed.  Saturdays are always filled with errands here, so it was mostly shopping and cleaning, which we got a lot done.  Today though, today was extra nice.

Ry had to go help his sister move, so we did the Easter Baskets/Egg hunt first thing and then I dropped him off at the train. ¬†Noodle and I came back and hung out for a couple of hours this morning and then cooked lunch together. ¬†She helped make grilled cheese (with swiss on everything bread!!) and tomato soup. ¬†Lunch together today was different. ¬†There was no whining about food or any of that, she actually talked. ¬†Like told me her “great ideas” and what she wanted to do this summer. ¬†She’s a very vocal child as it is, meals are usually just punctuated with complaints since she’s the pickiest eater alive. ¬†So it was definitely nice.

After lunch it was finally in the 50’s outside and the sun was shining. ¬†We headed out in the backyard for a few hours, I got some writing in and Nood ran around like crazy alternating between the trampoline and swing set. ¬†I think the sun did both of us some good. ¬†Afterwards she helped me shell all of our coloured eggs and make Deviled Eggs. ¬†I even got her to try one. ¬†She tried so hard to eat it without making faces or complaining. ¬†I had to laugh and let up on her. ¬†Ha.

It was just really nice. ¬†I’ve picked up Ry already, and Nood got some bike riding time in on her new bike with the neighbor boy so everyone’s pretty content. ¬†I’ve sent Ry out to grill the skirt steaks I stuck in a marinade earlier, and for now it’s¬†eerily quiet as the kid relaxes.

I was a little bummed about moving Easter Dinner at my parent’s to next weekend at first, but I ended up having a blast with my kid. ¬†I wouldn’t trade today for anything. ¬†Besides, next weekend is a double whammy. ¬†My birthday (I’m growing down now) and Easter. ¬†Fuck yes, I’m going to eat everything and drink too much wine. ¬†:)

 

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend too regardless of whether you celebrate or not.  Happy Spring!

Painting and Splurging

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For those of you who have been to my house or have been keeping up on my blog for the past couple of years or so, you’d know that I’ve been slowly remodeling my house. ¬†When I moved in, it had cheap crappy carpet, shoddy drywall job, and anything that could have been ghetto rigged, was.

I bought this house from a guy who used to flip houses for a living. ¬†He apparently had like 3 going at a time, he’d buy the crappy foreclosures (mine was owned by drug addicts, yay!) and flip them to sell. ¬†Well, he bought my house. ¬†Started the work…. and the economy tanked. ¬†His other houses weren’t selling, and he didn’t have much money to put in on this one. ¬†Hence, the cheap price I picked it up at.

So at first (after the divorce settled down) I started doing little things. ¬†Just basic repairs, then my (then) 2 year old went through a phase which involved dumping syrup on my carpet. ¬†I dealt with it for as long as possible, then decided to tear it up. ¬†My dad and I spent an evening tearing up all the carpet in the front room and hallways and chucking it. ¬†He brought over some laminate “wood” tiles. You lay them just like you would with real wood, but with an adhesive. ¬†Super easy, and it looks pretty damn close to real since you lay them in planks. ¬†Best $300 investment ever (and I even have some left over!!).

During the “blast music and lay floor” fiasco, I met Ryan. ¬†Who I honestly think fell in love with fixing my house as much as he did with me. ¬†With in a few months, he was painting my living room, hallways, bathroom and bedroom. ¬†Just a bit of caulk, spackle and paint made it look ten times better. ¬†The “flipper” had used a flat paint that was sooo cheap, if you tried to scrub it (like when a toddler draws on the wall) all of the paint would come off… so a bit of extra money went into the quality of the paint.

Over the summer, we built a shed, spent too much time in the garden, and besides replacing the water heater and fixtures in the bathroom, it all kind of stalled. ¬†(I guess you can’t really say stalled but whatever.) ¬†I think now that spring is in the air, Ryan’s got the urge to be Mr. Fix it again. ¬†Him and Noodle are now re-painting the kitchen and Ryan spent a handful of hours designing a bigger shed for the backyard. ¬†We’re trying to decide on the size of a deck and the placement of the front fence (which looks like eta of 2014 summer). ¬†While he’s at all his man stuff, I spend time planning my garden, coming up with new ways to organize and be cost effective.

Lets just say it’s working. ¬†The house is looking great, and (even though I’ve been putting off pricing siding) with the money saved just from improvements (energy wise) and DIY instead of contracting, I’m treating my little painters to a greasy lunch. ¬†Italian Beefs, Chicken Strips, Buffalo Wings and fries are coming by delivery… and they have no idea.
What a great way to end a weekend. :)

I’m still here and so are you.

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If there is nothing else I’ve learned in this relationship I’m in, in this life I’ve lived, it’s to appreciate the small things. ¬†Life is a soul sucking cunt bag, and will deal out some low ass blows. ¬†Sometimes life is shitty, as most of you know my history, and sometimes you just get so run down you don’t notice the little “happy things” anymore.

On the flipside. ¬†Sometimes life evens out. ¬†The bad things go away, life gets a bandaid and you start to heal. ¬†You start to settle into the new direction life is taking. ¬†You start to be happy. ¬†Then. ¬†Then,¬†you stop noticing the “happy things”. ¬†You start getting annoyed at simple things you never worried about before. ¬†There’s nothing exploding in your world, so there’s that¬†thing¬†your kid does,¬†that¬†tone¬†the boyfriend takes. ¬†You spend time getting annoyed with that and forget.

I hate to include this in my writing, but it’s what got me thinking in the first place. ¬†A good friend of mine is currently fighting with his girlfriend. ¬†The whole fight was put on facebook to see, and it rolled around in the back of my brain today. ¬†This guy’s been a long time friend of mine, he’s a great guy and it leave my head that he’s having problems. ¬†So it stuck with me.

Noodle, Ry and I packed up and ran errands earlier today. ¬†Just simple stuff, stopped at the Sprint store, his haircut, and the craft store for me. ¬†It was honestly a good day, we had made a huge breakfast and hung out all morning, so a trip to the craft store made my day. ¬†While we were there I became aggravated at all of the people, I’m not a crowd person surprisingly, and Ry picked that inopportune time to chime in with questions. ¬†I snapped a bit, became more aggravated and walked away to calm down.

As I browsed through glitter, beads and wire, I remembered my friend. ¬†I remembered how upset him and his lady must be feeling. ¬†I remembered some of our bad fights. ¬†I thought about how petty my little outburst was. ¬†As I picked through the glass beads, scoffing at the prices, I realized how good we do have it. ¬†I realized that I had been taking things for granted again, just because things weren’t hectic.

So on the way home, I apologized and we talked about the small things, the “happy things” we take for granted. ¬†The tiff was over, the fight avoided, and things are the same, but better. ¬†Sometimes it takes an outside look, a reminder, and some ass-kicking annoyance to realize how good things are. ¬†How lucky we can be.

 

The things I hate about you… and by you I mean Crohns.

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I feel a bit blah today.  I know why too, and I hate it.  Just like I did last time.  Prednisone.  The oh so wonderful steroid that helps so many of us Crohnies, kicks my ass.  Yes, it helps with the fistula and it helps push my disease closer to remission, but good god do the side effects suck.

I’m not sure what it is about this time, but the side effects have popped up in half the amount of time. ¬†I’ve only been on a heavy dose of steroids for just over a week and I feel like I did three weeks into steroids last time. ¬†My body aches, my joints sting, and my skin hurts, especially around my face and shoulders. ¬†My brain is foggy too, which was a huge complaint of mine last time around.

The point of taking steroids this time is to get my body healthy enough for surgery, which I’m willing to do, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to complain about it. ¬†I feel hung over, even if I haven’t had a drink in longer than I can remember. ¬†I feel blah.

It definitely doesn’t help that this week was very busy, especially the last half of the week. ¬†We had two girls out, and I have been playing catch up on top of it after missing days for my hospital stay last week. ¬†Combined with the extra hours I picked up to help out and these stupid drugs I’m on, I’m exhausted.

I got a lot done this week. ¬†I feel like I’m caught up at work for the most part, and the house doesn’t look too shabby. ¬†Bills are paid and errands have been run. ¬†This week was hell, just like last week was, but at least it was productive. ¬†This weekend looks much better though. ¬†Ryan is going to be working a short day tomorrow, so that means lounging around the house until he gets off of work and then relaxing for the rest of the weekend, until my drive to clean and organize steps in anyway.

As always though, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, as I always do when I get sick. ¬†It seems like when you’re down and out with your health, your true support network shows through. ¬†As always, I am reminded how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life, and how happy they make me.

I’m lucky to have a job that I love and that¬†accommodates¬†me with my odd health schedule. ¬†I may want to torch the place half the time, and bury my coworkers in the back building, but hey, who doesn’t? ¬†I’m lucky to have coworkers who give a shit about how I feel and my overall health… even people I don’t work closely with every day have shown concern. ¬†From truck drivers to stores, every day someone new pops up and asks how I’m feeling and how I’m doing back at work.

Of course I’m extremely lucky to have my parents. ¬†My dad took Noodle for a couple of nights while I was in the hospital last week and spoiled her. ¬†My sister apparently took her to the zoo, but I wouldn’t know first hand, I heard from my Dad. ¬†I’m glad that I have such a lovely family who looks out for my kiddo and takes care of her so I can rest and heal. ¬†My friends have played a huge role, from my “cafe-mom” friends to Katie and Ingrid (Girls I grew up with). ¬†My neighbors even brought over a meal when I got home and have cut me some slack for my crap-mood. ¬†Yet again, I’m reminded that family is not just blood. ¬†Some times people who aren’t even related to you, step up more than blood does.

I am more than grateful for Ryan too. ¬†When we first got together, I was concerned about how he’d react to my Crohns Disease. ¬†I mean it sucks, some days I hurt too much to eat, or am feeling run down enough to just want to lay in bed. ¬†(Granted, I’m still more active than half the people I know haha). ¬†I worried what he’d think about my having to get Remicade Infusions, or when I’d end up in the hospital again (we actually started dating right after my last obstruction ~ cute note ~ he had offered to bring me a bag of books while I was in the hospital, it’s what peaked my interest to begin with. :)). ¬†I was concerned that he wouldn’t be happy with a girl who was sick, and who will be sick until there is a cure found.

At this point though, I’m extremely glad I met him. ¬†He has been by my side every step of the way. ¬† He comes to damn near every doctor’s appointment, and has only missed one infusion (due to work). ¬†He spoils me when I feel sick, and picks up the slack when I’m down. ¬†When I realized it was time to go to the hospital, he came with, helped me with Noodle (ie: getting my Dad to come get her, packed up her and my stuff, and took care of her for the first 8 hours we were there.) ¬†He listened to me bawl because of the pain, then again because of the heavy drugs (I don’t know, I’m a crier on pain meds). ¬†He listened to the pros and cons brought to us by the surgeons, and he met my doctors.

Most importantly, he sat there and held my hand, only leaving when I made him. ¬†I don’t know what I was so worried about. ¬†Crohns Disease hasn’t made me a worse girlfriend, just like with being a mother, it just made me a little more unique. ¬†Luckily for me, I found a man who loves me for who I am, even if my body is a bit off. ¬†It’s nice to know that I am not going through this alone, that Noodle is not going through this alone. ¬†Not only do we have the support of our family and friends but Ryan. ¬†We’re very lucky.

So worn down I feel today, but all in all I’m not in a horrible mood. ¬†I’m am looking forward to spending time with my kid and the boyfriend this weekend, and just enjoying snuggling in in the morning. ¬†My Crohns may be kicking my ass right now, but that’s not going to stop me from baking cookies with the kid, having a sci-fi marathon with the boyfriend, and enjoying my weekend. ¬†So for now, I’m going to drink this last bit of coffee and wait for dinner to finish. ¬†It smells awesome, and I’m sure since Noodle and Ryan cooked it, I’ll eat every bite.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoys this first couple of days with the Autumn chill and rain.  Happy Friday.