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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Home Home Sweet Home

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I am home. My heart rate and pain stabilized this morning and all the doctors agreed I could do the rest of my healing at home.

I am so happy to just be with my family and to snuggle in my own bed it’s amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever given the short kid and boyfriend so many hugs in such rapid succession. I missed the short kid most of all, and she missed me too despite getting the hell spoiled out of her by her favorite daycare teacher and grandpa.

I’m so glad I’m home. I’ve got a handful of appointments to schedule and have to work out something with her daycare for while I’m off (that way she won’t lose her spot in summer camp) but it’ll all work out.

Happy healing!

When I feel better…

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Anyone with a chronic illness can vouch for me here. Sometimes, more often than not, you’ll make plans or put something off until you feel “better”.

There’s always the argument that you can’t just waste your life waiting, which is promptly followed by put your health first! I end up doing a little bit of both and it’s just left me frustrated.

I can’t tell you how many things I’ve missed out on because I didn’t feel well and wanted to put myself first. I also can’t count how many times I’ve made myself even sicker by doing something so I didn’t let life pass me by. No matter what you choose, part of you always gets the short end of the stick.

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Well, hopefully things start to change here soon. I’m back in the hospital with another obstruction. I feel bad because this time Ashley got upset at school about it, however she’s now in sleepover heaven and “never wants to leave” haha, but still. I miss my monkey, I wish I was at home, but this time things might go a little differently.

So yeah, obstruction. Part 3 in 2015. Totally lame, it’s mostly caused by scar tissue at this point. After last month I went home and stuck to a low fiber or soft diet to make things easier on my insides. Both doctors (surgeon and gi) wanted to give Entyvio a chance to work before the big slice and dice.

So the second week out, I had what I think was a partial obstruction just from moving from soups to other foods. It passed though, although I figured out over the last weekend that I was on borrowed time. My stomach stayed acting up after eating fried eggs out of all things. By Tuesday, I knew I was pretty much screwed when lunch kicked my ass.

I had an MRI yesterday, while the good news is is that my fistula closed, the bad news is is that the scar tissue is so bad, nothing bigger than an eraser head on a pencil can get through.. on a good day. So I give.. surgery it is.

I’m tired of Crohns running my life. I was okay with having a couple of bad days a month but not being able to eat anything? To end up in the hospital more times in one 4 months than I do in a year? It’s impacting everything, my daughter (sadly, she’s almost used to it, which is almost worse, but she’s very helpful and sweet.), my relationship with Ry, my work, and quality of life. Enough is enough, slice and dice it is.. and bonus, I won’t lose time out of summer. I always hate being in the hospital when it’s warm out.

It’s really easy to get down on yourself when you’re sick. It can really make you feel like a burden on those around you, I know I really rely on a lot of people when I’m stuck in here. Jess really helps out with Noodle, which I’m eternally grateful for, Nood absolutely adores her. Given a chance I think she could spend forever there haha. I rely on my online friends to talk me out of the inevitable funk I fall into in the hospital. I rely on Ryan for pretty much everything else. Then of course my co-workers suffer. I feel like people will start to resent me but I’m thankful for the support net I have, however small. I don’t know what I’d do with out everyone.

Hopefully this surgery will really improve life, both my gi and surgeon think so. It should be just a basic bowel resection, and I’m meeting with my surgeon tomorrow to nail down whether it’s going to be next week or the week after. I’m going on steroids for a couple of days for sure, but we need to meet and talk about the pros and cons to waiting for steroids to work a bit or just jumping into it.

I’m just looking forward to getting some kind of normalcy back in my life. Wish me luck.

Smiling.

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Birthdays usually don’t go as planned for me. Not to say that they’re horrible, but more like I seem to have child-like expectations and the day seems to miss it’s mark.

I have to say that this year I was more than pleasantly surprised. We really had no concrete plans, but I enjoyed almost every moment of it. Now, at the end of the weekend, sitting here with my cup of tea, I am happy.

Ry, the kids, and I went up to the lake house to see my Dad. I love it up there, from the quiet (my aversion to people) to nature, to spending time with my family… I almost hate coming back. We spent some time outside, the kids got to go on a walk on the shore to collect shells, and ate some delicious food. Between spending time with my family and getting some quiet moments, it was perfect. Ry and the kids picked out a matching bracelet and ring set made from spoons and we did an Easter egg hunt for the kids.

After all of that, we made the trek home. While we were up north though, Zach and Ryan built me a tea case. From cutting, sanding to assembling.. it was all them.

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I absolutely adore it! I love handmade gifts, and the fact that both of them worked together on it makes me tear up. I love it.

So here I am, end of the day, kid in bed and tea in hand. It was a good birthday thanks to my family.

Is it Summer yet?

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I am home from the hospital, and currently relaxing on the couch with my two mutts, little one all tucked in for the night. I missed her quite a bit, even though I was only technically in the hospital for 3 days… she on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed her vacation from Mommy.  Usually if I have to go into the hospital she either goes with my Dad (where she is spoiled rotten) or she goes to one of her old teacher’s houses (a friend of mine who works at her daycare… who also spoils her rotten I’m convinced). When I got home I warned my friend, we’re chopped liver when she’s around, and to have fun prying her out of your house. Sure enough, she was a bit upset that her fun was over, but I got a super big hug and a kiss when she walked in the door.

Oddly enough, this little hospitalization timed itself perfectly as the munchkin’s got a bit of a head-cold and wouldn’t have been able to go to daycare anyway (spring break up here in the mid-west. So we got to spend the day lounging together and relaxing, with both of us asking each other how we’re feeling and if we the other needed anything.  Honestly, it was quite cute.  I don’t know what I’d do without my little minion, she’s one of a handful of things that keeps me moving, even when I don’t feel well or am down in the dumps.  Between her, the boyfriend, and all the pets, I get cuddles whenever I want and love, more than I can handle.

Sometimes though, it’s hard not to get down in the dumps. Especially in the winter, well, I guess now “Spring”. Lately in the mid-west, Spring has been colder than usual, so if you’re someone like me who gets the so-called “Winter Blues”, this time of year is wretched. Where we’ll get one warm day and then snow.  For instance, we already broke 70 degrees, and then it snowed about a week later. I’m definitely counting down until it starts to warm up. Hopefully my mood will improve on it’s own then.

Definitely looking forward to late Spring and Summer this year. We have a lot planned, from trips to the lake house, to farmer’s markets and such. The last few years were really busy, last summer especially with my working insane amounts of hours, both in the office and out. I feel like I missed out on a year, so I’m making sure that doesn’t happen again. The Short One has already been able to go roller skating outside and to ride her bike (she’s still doing great on it, although she still takes the occasional spill – the boyfriend taught her last summer) so pretty much anytime it’s warm enough to unzip your jacket just a tiiiiny bit, she’s asking to go outside. We can’t wait.

I know I’m probably looking at some health issues this summer, but hopefully we’ll be able to plan them out (surgery?) since Grandpa wants to take her if I do go in so they can do something fun together. To be completely honest though? I’m just looking forward to the kids all playing in the backyard and relaxing on the deck. Come on Summer! Get here already!

Well hello innards, can we stop trying to kill me today?

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Holy hell, yesterday was very hectic.  Work was okay, it’s the slow season so the office seems to calm down quite a bit.  I went out to eat with my two bosses, there’s a Mexican restaurant right down the street from us that has some fabulous food. After that, the afternoon went by kind of quickly.

A couple hours before it was time to clock out and head home, my stomach started cramping.  Honestly, I brushed it off.  The pain wasn’t horrible,and my Crohns Disease has been making itself known lately.

Either way, I skipped dinner at home purely because I wasn’t hungry.  I went to bed early, only to wake up an hour later severely nauseated.  It reminded me of being pregnant, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I had food poisoning from lunch… The mental image of my lunch plate sent me running to the bathroom. 

The vomiting didn’t stop and I was pretty convinced it was food poisoning so we all piled in the car to go to my ER.  Forwarding though all the hospitals make Sarah grumpy thing, I have another obstruction. An NG tube and some morphine later, I’m feeling a bit better.

Ryan and Noodle had left for a bit, but they came back for a little while before Noodle goes with one of her teachers for sleepovers. 

My kid’s a tough cookie, while that makes me happy, it still makes me a tiny teensy bit down. Sure she misses me if I get sick… But she also knows she gets to have sleepovers and be spoiled, which doesn’t happen much at our home.

So while she bounces out to have a great time, I miss her.  Ahh well, we’ll do something together in a couple of days when I’m back on my feet.

Tomorrow I get to sit down with my doctor and literally argue with him over what medications I will *not* be on. Hopefully that goes better than expected and I can go back to grumping about early morning blood draws. Either way I’m beat. Time to try and get some sleep.

Chai tea and Frustration

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It’s been an oddly relaxing few days, even despite a sick kid and lingering stress.  Snuggling on the couch and time with my family has really brought forward what I really want out of my life.  More or less, it drove home what really is important, and what’s a bigger priority. 

Sometimes you just need life to smack you in the face for you to get your head on straight.  I learned not to let others take advantage of my skill and of my time.  I learned that spending time with my family is important, and that my family is just important as everyone else’s family. The idea that I should schedule one day a week to spend with my family is absurd.  I learned that if I’m not careful, I’m going to miss my daughter’s childhood… and damage my relationship with my boyfriend.

It felt good to have some time to get my brain back on track and to discuss my options with the boyfriend.  I set new rules for my life and things are going to change, one way or another.

Here’s my overly cheesy end note: you make your life, only you can change it.