Monthly Archives: February 2013

This urban myth called Sleep.

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   I have heard rumors that people sleep at night. Not this sleep and wake up every hour to two hours but, actually sleep. Like eight hours at a time kind of sleep. Its been at least nine years since I was able to sleep like that. First I was pregnant, and that’s a different kind of sleep and I don’t remember sleeping that long after the first trimester. The first trimester I slept like twelve hours at a time. Growing people is exhausting. At the time I was a tummy sleeper…as you can imagine after the first trimester that sooooo wasn’t happening. By the third trimester…..need I say more.
   I didn’t start getting sick til my daughter was a year and half. Actually thats probably not entirely true but that was when I noticed it. It suddenly dawned on me that she was sleeping longer and longer and I still felt like a brand new mom.Yeah something might be wrong there.

   Some nights I sleep four hours straight some nights I am lucky to get thirty minutes at a time. They call this a disruptive sleep cycle. I just call it sleep deprived. I like the nights that I sleep four hours at a time. Those nights I know why I woke up. Its a four letter word called…..PAIN. My body can’t stay in one position for that long. Oh yeah did I mention that sometimes just the need to change position wakes me up? I have taken many different sleep aids…None work. Well thats not entirely true. They work great the first night, possibly the second night too. After that I was getting four hours of sleep with them. We tried combining them with other things that caused sleepiness….I got to five hours once. 

   For the most part now, this is just the way it is. Sleep? Ha whats that? It makes life more entertaining to be sleep deprived. Like the other day when I was in Verizon and told the saleman my kid was four. She is seven and half. 

So all that to say, I am convinced this eight hours of sleep a night that people talk about….is actually an urban myth. It doesn’t exist. It especially doesn’t exist if you are balancing chronic illness issues with parenting. Oil and water people oil and water.

         If I am not awaken by the kid then its me. It could also be one of our pets. Did I mention we have three cats and two dogs? One of our cats is still in young cathood. Like under two…..think hell on wheels. He is the first cat we have had that likes to burrow under the covers. Cute when you are not sleeping…..because lets face it….even if you know in your brain you have cats…..at two am….You still wake up screaming when he brushes your bare leg. He also likes to bite toes…..not so bad when he is on top of the covers…….I will let you fill in the other .

    This is why coffee is god in the morning and mid afternoon Mountain dew rules the roost.

The Guilt Chronic Illness brings……..

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So today was a really bad flare day for me…I couldn’t sleep much last night so when my daughter woke up, i grabbed my morning handful of pills and tried to wake up. This normally works fairly well. Today I just kept waiting and waiting. The more I thought about I should get up the heavier my body seemed to get. The task just seemed to much for my muscles to handle.

We take the dogs on their morning walk and I end up having to cut it short, didn’t have the energy. Okay boys, pee poop, sniff…lets get it done. We came back home and because I was so flared, I allowed my daughter to watch tv in her room. I laid down on the bed, planning on resting before I did anything more and sip some coffee.

Its now about eleven am and I have yet to be out of bed for more than five minutes at a time.I text a friend who kinda gets chronic pain. After complaining of the cement that is my muscles and lack of sleep and general just blah feeling. I force myself to get up. Pity parties are short lived here.

I may complain but I do get up and do it. What drives me most is what is my daughter going to remember about her childhood? I also then think of people who have far less mobility than myself and how they must feel. Deep breaths …. I can do this.

I look back on when I was working a fulltime job plus a commute and wonder how I did it all. Yes, I know, Pharmaceuticals! I still take some meds but not nearly as many as I was. I felt disconnected from my family. It was so hard at first to take that step back because I didn’t want to look at any one problem too closely. I am pretty good at staying in denial until it slaps me across the face……oh fine lets deal with you now.

We tried for four and half long years to get pregnant. We wanted this child with every fiber of our being. I had all these ideas of the kind of mother I would be. I would be super patient and be able to explain all her questions and allay all her fears. Her room would be just so and she would dress just so…… Okay so the kid popped some of those bubbles by just being her own person. Which I do love! But never did I think oh yes by the time she is seven I wont be able to bend over without having something to help me get back up. Never did I think I would beat her to bed just from pure exhaustion of day to day things and a side order of pain and achey joints. Never did I think I would be a stay at home Mom. I would continue to have a fullfilling career and be a fantastic wife and mother as well. Then pain came in and decided not to leave.

Most days I just solider on, and lament that this is NOT THE LIFE I ORDERED.  I use sarcasm, dry humor and wacky humor and sometimes just a bit weird. I get lost in my shows and I love a good book. I never realized how helpful the distraction of a good show or a good book can be.

I realize now how judgemental I was when I would see a disabled Mom caring for her kids. Never did I stop and think maybe she enjoys these small everyday moments more because she has gone without them a time or two from pain. Never did I stop to notice the small things and take pure enjoyment in them. A small walk where birds are chirping and maybe a butterfly passes by.

Finding acceptance is still a long way off….but contentment….yeah…I may just be there.

The Little things at the end of the day…..

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The dogs on our favorite walk

The dogs on our favorite walk

So it comes to the winding down part of our day. Its Wednesday both my husband and my brother in law are working. Dinner is just for my daughter and I. We walk into the house to be greeted by three dogs ready for their evening walk. Of course my lower back is screaming at me to sit down. The idea is to get things going then take them for their walk.

Take out the salmon from the fridge where it was defrosting. Line the baking pan with tin foil…fish on foil..squirt some lemon juice on it….cover it in poppy seed dressing. Realize I never turned the oven on to preheat. Huge Sigh. Turn oven on to preheat and off to next task.

Move stuff in washer to dryer, this is a relatively simple task. My lower back said, “Ha ha ha ha ha thats funny…NO.” Through the haze that is now my brain I have an ingenious idea. “Maggie get the step stool from the kitchen and bring it to the laundry room.” I then instruct her on how to move it along. I sit down. My lower back screams: ” Thank you! Its about time!”

We now are almost to the walking the dogs part. One quick side trip to now put the prepared fish in the oven. Out the door we go. Three very happy dogs out the door. This is normally one of my favorite times to spend with my daughter, Maggie.  After the initial rush to relieve the immediate need. The dogs are pretty much ready to walk. Maggie insist on taking Trooper even though he can be quiet stubborn. Of the three he is also the oldest coming in at 14 years old. The new neighbors pull up and wave. Then look to me and say ” You have your hands full.” Um….yeah.

So we are now on our way to our favorite sidewalk to take our walks. A nice evening stroll was not in the universes plans for us tonight. We get down one block. The two little dogs are out. I believe their names are Willie and Felix. Well this quickly became a dominance thing and all three of our over sixty pound dogs are snarling and snapping. Maggie is screaming at me and at the dogs. I now have all three dogs trying to pull them back from the fence. Jasper is the first to come back then Trooper, and after some convincing and some whining…Max comes back. My back and knees are so mad now.  I love how these little fluff balls of dogs are so determined they can take on these big dogs. Such tenaciousness!  Back to trying to take our walk. But No….Jasper decides in the middle of the road….He is going to poop. Yes! This is perfect! Only my dog!

Down the way almost to the sidewalk. We have time now to discuss the little things. Like how hard moving laundry from the washer to the dryer was. All I could think of is if anyone just walked into this conversation, they would be appalled. Yes, yes my mind was very much in the gutter. Even though it was my seven year old saying: “You have to put your hand in and pull it out and its hard so you have to pull on something else and sometimes your head goes in and then you have to pull it all out and put it into the other hole and sometimes it doesn’t fit and you have to push really hard.”

Finally at long last..we are here…The boys immediately start peeing on every blade of grass and trying to stick their heads in the others pee and yes, yes even licking the blades of grass.I try really hard to ignore this part!

Then we hear sirens and the little anxious voice in the back of my head says.” You left the oven on. With food in it! Its the house burning down.” I say back, ” NO it hasn’t been long enough for that…It takes at leas thirty minutes for that. We haven’t been gone even ten minutes.” and we keep walking. I decide to tune into what Maggie is doing. Skipping merrily along in front of me with Trooper. “Mommy where are all the little bunnies? I want to see the bunnies.!”  I say,” I don’t know but its even———” I get cut off. ” What about the Turtles that are not turtles but something else. I see their holes but I don’t see them.” Ah the Gopher Tortoises. ” Well maybe they are out looking for dinner.” I decide I have had enough of a walk and that the Celebrex commercial that says a body in motion stays in motion, is really a tricky lie. My body is totally not buying this right now. So we turn around. Which is much easier said then done with three large male dogs determined to sniff everything and possibly pee some more on it.

We turn around and head back. This part was quite enjoyable. We managed to avoid any other dog encounters. Our conversations were mostly mudane, like why didn’t Max poop on the walk? Because Jasper pooped in the road and Trooper pooped in the ditch off the sidewalk, He should poop shouldn’t he mommy.  “He probably should.”

We are home. I kinda limp up the three measly stairs and my first thought is check the fish! Its burning! You destroyed another dinner! But no it was fine….perfect actually.

And this is how the little things such as walking the dogs become this huge task when you have a kid and a body that is falling apart years before it should.