Because this blog is on Vacation until next wednesday!
I may just be crazy but I am okay with that. Mostly.
Friday we leave for Disney. YAY!
We are camping. In August. In Florida. Camping as in an actual tent. Not glamping.
There are many reasons why I do this. One of them being that Chronic illness and pain have taken many things from me, but it won’t stop me sharing my love of camping with my daughter. I may need an air matress now to survive it but dammit I am still camping. Hiking the appalachian trail and camping off the trail is no longer an option but this camping I can do. Camping that has a pool and jacuzzi near by.
Most of the time I go see my doctor a week before. He is very understanding and normally gives me a week of pain killers and muscle relaxers. Last year, I did this. Last year I forgot just how strong the lowest dose of those things are. I had been off them for over a year.
This year I am only taking Ultracur and Natural calm. Natural pain killer and a natural muscle relaxer, not prescriptions. I didn’t even ask for them this year. Ultracur has completely erased my need for NSAIDS and I only take a small dose of Tylenol to get to sleep at night. I probably take more pills than I did three years ago but they are mostly supplements and natural remedies.
I am not without illusions though. I know for a fact I will flare. I am hoping to keep it off until we get back monday afternoon.
I have been eating a mostly anti-inflamatory diet, drinking tons of kombucha to get as much of a cleanse as possible. Kombucha is great for clearing out sugar. I have been drinking water like it is the best most tastiest drink out there. I have ct back my soda intake this past week. Due to rainy weather I have not gotten as many walks in but I do plan on going on one tomorrow.
Expect a full report of how I survived, I probably will survive-pretty sure I will anyway ; next wednesday.
As a parent you know there are going to be big conversations. Some big major sit down at the table conversations. What no one tells you is that most of the time it’s not planned.
I happened to mention that I needed to stop at the store for Tampons before going on our walk.
“What are Tampons?”
“Well remember when Mommy told you about how women bleed once a month, that it’s part of their cycle?”
“Well Tampons are something you use during your cycle.”
“Oh. So what happens if you don’t get it?” She asks.
“Well if you have had sex and you don’t get it you are most likely pregnant but if you have not had sex it could mean there is something wrong.”
“Oh. Well I saw sex on my show one time and I don’t think K and I would like to do that.” K is her best friend and she is sure they are going to get married.
“Wait you saw it on your show?” She watches only channels we allow and I thought I knew what shows she was watching. What the heck was Disney showing these days anyway?
“Yeah they were naked and kinda moving around under some blankets.” Oh okay I can totally handle you seeing that.
” Well, actually I guess if it was with K that would be a bit different then what you saw with a boy and a girl sex.”
” oh. well we don’t even know if we want babies.”
“Well you know two women can’t make a baby by themselves. Remember you need a sperm to fertilize the egg?”
“Oh yeah so how do two women have a baby? i know they do but how?”
“Well they can adopt a baby or they can go to a Doctor who helps them get pregnant.”
“So the Doctor gets them pregnant?”
Um wait. What? No! Well, kind of. As I try to figure out how to more clearly explain this.
“Well not exactly. You know how some women have babies and they are adopted? Sometimes people also donate their egg or sperm to help others who want to have a baby. The Doctor helps make that happen.NOT that he gets them pregnant.”
So the moral of this story is. Don’t ever mention you ran out of tampons. It can lead to things. It can lead to conversations you have not even thought about discussing with your almost ten year old daughter.
This is about the time that I start to really wonder about my sanity. We are leaving in exactly one week for Disney. We are Camping. IN a tent. In August. In Florida. We are just not right in the head. ANYWAY I have almost recovered my groove and I am so thankful for that.
Lately I have felt very thankful for my husband and my marriage. It is not easy this marriage thing. Its hard work. It is good though. I have had several friends who have or are currently going through divorce and while my heart hurts for them, it also makes me realize how thankful I am for my marriage. My husband is amazing in what he does for us and even when we only see each other for a few minutes that day we still communicate and we still snuggle even if we are somewhat comatose at the time.
Also this time of year I often find myself reflecting on how thankful I am we finally had a sucessful pregnancy and birth. How thankful I am that although she has had health issues they have been mild and easily fixed. I follow some other bloggers who have not had it so easy with their kids. I follow a few who have lost their children. Some to cancer. My heart breaks for them as I just can’t imagine. One in particular that always strikes me is Donna she was two weeks older than my daughter is, you can read more about Donna’s story and learn how you can help out here.
Phew those were some pretty heavy thankfuls. I am gonna say that they count for at least five. Lets do some lighter things.
I am thankful that we have a mall nearby. I am thankful that I forced myself to get up and go walk around the mall for my walk since it was raining outside. We made it three miles which is fine as we are going on a hike tomorrow so it will even out. No rain and lightening are gonna stop me from walking.
Thankful that even though I gave in to the kid and we went to starbucks I got a tea/lemonade mix and an omega three protein box. Healthy choices for the win!
Thankful that my daughter got into an amazing music camp on scholarship and has throughly enjoyed herself the last two weeks. The concert was amazing. Thankful that we found a black skirt and white shirt and black shoes at goodwill, nice socks at walmart and a hair tie to tie it all together at the dollar store. Whole thing was under fifteen dollars.
(which if they were going to have them wear t-shirts what was the point of having a white shirt and black bottoms after all. anyway we have her performance outfit for this year now)
Thankful for my weekly lunch with a friend that has continued mostly unhindered this summer. I really need that and I have even sucessfully ditched the kid a few times.
Thankful for the farmers market , not only for nice produce and fruit but cheap ice cream. Just walking to the parking lot is enough to burn the calories off with this humidity.
Lately I have struggled and some of my favorite misconceptions about chronic illness have come out of the woodwork. I know most are well-meaning.
1. Well you went off all those prescriptions you must be getting better
While I have left a lot of symptoms that were actually side effects of medications I was taking, it means by no means that everything is gone. There was a reason why I was put on those medications. There are always side effects and you know that going in. Many times I had tried natural remedies. The thing is, it is hard to wait for natural remedies to kick in. They also often won’t be as helpful if you are on other medications. Yes, I dropped a lot of prescriptions. I take a lot of pills. I don’t need that pointed out. I have enough issues with the amount of pills I take. However more and more now are supplements. It is a balance that people with chronic illness have to walk. I know I got on so many because I was just so tired of reading side effects. I didn’t care, I just wanted it to stop.
2. You are looking better you must be feeling better
Better is a relative term when you are dealing with chronic illness. Some days I can eat and drink the same things and feel fine. Some days the same exact things leave me in bed. If you want to say something just say you are looking better, leave it at that. It takes a lot of effort to look the way I do each day. Some days I hide it better, some days not so much.
3. You did it before, you can do it again
Oh how this frustrates me, on so many many levels. On a personal level because I freaking know I did it before. Sometimes my body cooperates with me. Some days what my brain says we get done that day we actually get done. Some days though, they fail to communicate. There is just something missing. Perhaps that day my leg muscles were feeling fine, maybe today they are giving me hell. My favorite is when they play this game that they are to short for the space they are in. Fetal position sound familiar? Now imagine your muscle frozen there and didn’t want to elongate again.
4. If it hurts why do you keep doing it.
Because I can do it. If I stop because it hurts I will lose the ability to do it. Whatever, it happens to be. MY favorite one is crossing my legs. Yes it hurts, yes it pisses my hips off. but I can still do it most of the time. I do it because sometimes on my worst days I can’t do it and it frustrates and saddens me. Some days I do it and the next day that spot my ankle rested on is so angry. Like someone just sat there punching it instead of just an ankle sitting there.
5. It’s okay to take time for yourself but maybe you are taking too much
It is a constant inner struggle I deal with. Taking time for me, staying in bed resting, taking a walk just by myself. I fight to take it and I fight my gut instinct to rest. Sometimes I pay more for that. If I am taking time to myself, I really need it. It maybe I need it mentally or physically but the point is I need it. Please don’t question how much time I am taking.
6. It must be nice to take a nap
No. Most of the time it isn’t. Most of the time when I take a nap it is unintentional. Most of the time when I wake up I feel worse not better. If I end up taking a nap I know there will be little to no functioning that day. If I feel I need a nap, chances are I won’t be able to fall asleep. I could be yawning so much my eyes are watering, I won’t sleep. Please don’t tell me that is in my head. I have spent hours laying in bed with my eyes closed yawing and eyes watering and still didn’t sleep. Then there are days that I was just going to lay down for fifteen minutes, just long enough to get the muscles to stop protesting. The next thing I know its forty-five minutes later and I feel horrid.
7. If you ate a better diet you would feel better
Chances are if I am eating junk food or drinking soda, it’s the only thing keeping me going that day. I do believe food is healing. I do believe eating healthy is where it is at. I do that for the most part. I am particular about our meals being balanced. We all have our vices, mine happens to be mountain dew. It could also be that you caught me during my cycle or right before it when I crave sweets and salts. What isn’t obvious is I try really hard to limit those to that one week. It’s a form of choosing your battles wisely.
8. If you dressed for the weather you might be more comfortable.
This is one that always gets people. I wear jeans 99 percent of the time. Things brushing my shins hurts. It can even just be air or wind. It doesn’t feel good.It’s like that electrical shock feeling that leaves you on edge. Sometimes, on really fun days, I feel that all over. If a little extra sweat will make that pain bearable, that is what I am gonna do.
9. You pushed through it before why is it different now?
No two flares are the same.If its a flare just brought on by the illness itself its one thing to push through. If it is a flare from pushing through to get something done,probably not going to be able to push through it again. This is the same thing as number three. Sometimes I am so extra lucky that I get a flare and recover and then flare again! How freaking great is that.
10. Aren’t you taking something for that?
Chances are, yes. Actually I am probably taking or doing multiple things for “that”. Unless you have found a magic pill that makes everything go away, let’s just skip that whole comment okay?
Growing up I was told boys loving boys was wrong. Girls loving girls was wrong. Thinking you were a boy when you had girl parts was wrong and vis versa. I was told you don’t question God.God didn’t make mistakes. I never really gave it much thought until a friend came out as a lesbian. Now what do I do? I like her as a person. She is a great friend. According to the religion I was part of at the time, I was not to associate with her anymore. She was openly admitting to a “sin” and not trying to change. When I turned to the church for guidance , I came away feeling like I had done something wrong. I had such immense guilt for wanting to keep the friendship I had. To turn someone away for being who they were was just not part of me.
It took me a long time to work out how I felt about love being love. I had to work past these stumbling blocks I didn’t even know I had. It was not to be talked about so I found myself stumbling. I was lucky to have a friend who was willing and open to let me stutter it out and really dissect how I ,personally felt. I felt a openess and acceptance that I had not felt when I turned to the church. There was a lot of back and forth. Was she born this way? Was it a choice? I saw her dating guys was she faking it? How did she see me? Was she attracted to me? What was her type? Did she have a type? Is this something she was trying out? Didn’t she want babies? She not only explained most of it calmly and openly but she also questioned me back. Are you sure it’s what you believe or is that just what you have been led to believe? It wasn’t easy and there was definitely squirming in our seats on both sides. We were both works in progress, still are.
It made our friendship stronger. I like to think it made us stronger as individuals as well. However, that was not the end of it. Later I found out that she was holding things back. She told me, Saying that I don’t approve of your choices but it’s your life isn’t acceptance. It is not compassionate. In fact it made her feel guilty, like she couldn’t share everything with me. She wanted to have girl talk and relationship discussions but when she did she felt very judged. Here I thought I was being so helpful. I was making it worse, which was the opposite of what I wanted to do. The opposite of what I thought I was doing. I had put conditions on my acceptance and thus our relationship.It wasn’t all one-sided. We had an open and honest enough relationship that she told me about some choices I had made that she didn’t agree with. It was shocking to me that she actually didn’t approve of some of my decisions. I had not felt any disapproval from her.I never felt judged. She always seemed genuinely happy with whatever decision I made. That was when I realized she was mixing compassion with her acceptance. I am glad she was openly honest with me about her sexual preference. I am glad she was unapologetic about it. It really made me think. It was easy to say no it is a sin and not acceptable when it wasn’t personal. I didn’t have to think much about it. I realize now how unusual that was for someone to be able to openly and unapologetically say this is who I am take it or leave it. It wasn’t easy for her but she had gone through her own storms to come to the point she was at. We are no longer such close friends. It had nothing to do with her sexual preference. Sometimes you just drift apart. I am forever thankful for the friendship we did have. The learning and growing I went through. Perhaps those lessons were the whole reason she was in my life to begin with.
It wasn’t until I started trying to think compassionately about others decisions that I realized how wrong I had been. Acceptance needs compassion to take the sting out of differences of opinion. Without it acceptance doesn’t mean nearly as much. As much as we say we do not care what others think, we do. On some level we do. We may not even be conscience of it. The point is, I realized that in order to be accepting of others, compassion is integral. Compassion for myself as I explored what I really truly believed. Compassion for what she was going through and her feelings. True acceptance of someone for who they are is wrapped and entwined with compassion. As you go through the journey you realize sometimes acceptance is leading and sometimes compassion is leading. At some point you realize they are no longer entwined, they have become one. In the end though there is just love. Love for a friend. Love for another human being. In order to accept that love is love no matter what circumstance requires acceptance at every turn and a blanket of compassion.
Join us as we spread warm fuzzy feelings across the interwebs every twentieth to drowned out the sad and horror and bad stuff that bombards us every day. Write and link up, read, comment, share, it all matters. We are not looking to make big huge ripples. Little ripples are much more effective and they can amaze us with their power.
Well I feel like I have made progress from last week. Really slow and painstakingly slow but progress. Might have gotten three rungs up the latter out of the pit of depression.
Normally I am the one cracking the whip at Lizzi and I did but then I fell asleep before really getting my post done. Something about that whip is so much more fun than writting last night.
So Number One is for Friends that encourage my small itty bitty steps.I was really struggling to get some housework done. The fatigue has been horrid and the weather this past week has not helped. Somehow just her being there spurred me on to get cleaning done. Plus she helped out cleaning too!
So thankful that harp camp has started and I have three and a half hours to get stuff done, or just take me time while the kid is gone. I love having her home but I also need some time just to myself.
Thankful that even though it didn’t look perfect out we went to the beach anyway. There is something so powerful about the beach with an approaching storm.
Thankful that I have my one cleaning job and that I have had seven Nanny postings to apply to.
Thankful I have friends who know food is a good motivation to get me to stay sane through meetings. Two words: Waffle fries
Thankful for time with SQUISH. Even if he did bite me and steal my baguette!
Thankful for really wonderful comments on Instagram that really helped me this week.
Thankful for a kid who eats just about anything. Yes she is eating raw kelp noodles and stir fry and drinking water kefir. Although they didn’t make the water kefir flavor quite right so then I kinda felt bad for telling her she had to drink it. I drank some and it was a bit off from normal. It normally has a mojito flavor. It was a tad too heavy on the mint this time.
Wild virtual dancing for the Seven Guard Virgins who according to the Secret Book of Rules say that a dance will suffice to finish the rest of a Ten Things of Thankful Post.
Really I am sure there is so much more that I could find but this week has had its trials and issues and I am thankful I got this far. See what I did there.
Vacationing with Chronic illness and chronic pain isn’t easy.It takes some prep work to really enjoy yourself. This is our third year doing this trip and each year I have put more and more effort into preparing myself. It has paid off each time.
This time around I am getting back into my routine of walking four miles two times a week. Disney has a lot of walking! Normally this is not something I do during the summer as it is too freaking hot. I am not nearly dedicated to get up early enough to beat the heat. We got up at six thirty this morning and it was already a real feel of 91 and 87% humidity. I was like yeah not going to happen. I went back to sleep, which only lasted about an hour. This time I said well let’s do this then. I need to get this piece of crap body up to par. It helped that the kid had been ready to go on a bike ride since six thirty, wearing her helmet and all. Most of the time I bring her bike, I walk she rides. I was seriously wondering if I was going to make it to the two-mile point. By this time the kid was bored. She had started riding circles around me. Go on ahead, I tell her. Go to the bridge. The bridge is the two-mile point and where we turn around at. It wasn’t until she was way way way ahead of me that it dawned on me. If I didn’t want to walk all the way there I was screwed for getting her back. I knew this because I also knew that there was a flock of butterflies that were all over the firebush by the bench. She was not going to come back looking for me any time soon. I wish I was devious enough that I had planned it this way. As a type of motivation for making it to the two mile point. I wasn’t. I was just a pestered mom trying to take a freaking walk.
I made the four miles, came home and took a nap. I have planned it all out. Thursday I will walk again and then on Saturday as well. Monday we will probably go to the beach and then Tuesday walk , Wednesday beach, thursday walk. I will probably then take about four days off to just rest and recover a bit. Then I will walk again Tuesday and Thursday. Then friday packing and driving to Disney.
Mixing in all of this I will be focusing more and more on anti-inflamatory eating for my diet. I will be cutting back on my vice of soda and drinking more and more water. I will write more later on what I am eating and what I am juicing for preparation of our trip. It seems like a lot to do for a four-day vacation. However, when we first started doing these vacations it was three days. It was enough it took a week to recover from. The added day actually makes it easier to rest and relax and still not miss out.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I repeat I am not a doctor. I don’t even want to be one. This is what I have learned while tortureing myself. I also would only use this for a max of three days and if you are not 100 percent better GO TO THE DOCTOR. Although I am not sure his Tardis will pick you up. You will need to see a doctor.
I can’t believe it, well actually I can. Anyway people have actually asked for the recipie for the nasty juice I use in replace of antibiotics.
There is nothing pleasent about this juice mix. NOTHING. It’s gross. It goes down like acid and feels like hellfire and brimstone for at least five minutes. Sometimes I chicken out and instead of keep drinking water I eat a tums or two. Lets face it when you are drinking this three times a day, a chicken out is gonna happen.
Let’s first dissect why I use what I use for this juice.
Ginger: It may be spicey and weird looking but it actually has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic. I am fairly certain it just burns it away. It is also an anti-inflamatory. Inflamation is a bugger boo to get rid of and if you battle chronic illness’s its not normally irradicated easily. Not to mention it does wonders for your GI tract, although probably after its absorbed not while its burning a path way through! This is not an exhaustive list of the benefits. This is just the benefits I am concerned about and have read about in these produces.
Turmeric: oh Turmeric, what don’t you do is more the question here. Its pretty much a superstar. It does the whole antioxidant thing, the whole anti-inflamatory thing too. Oh it boosts that immune system that is constantly rebelling. They keep finding more and more about this, Anti-cancer, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor. Its been around thousands of years and it seems they have only scratched the surface of what it can do.
Red Onion: I admit I like cooked onions. I don’t mind cutting them, but raw has never been my thing. THen I found out they do so much, heart and bone health. They also can pass on some anti-histimanie benefits as well. They do stuff for your gut track too and they are also helpful for keeing that skin youthful. A little ball of a fountain of youth.
Lemon: Lemon is mostly for detoxing effect it can have. I don’t want whatever crud the above just burned out to hang out somewhere else. Please let me just get rid of that and move on! Then it also has its own antioxidant properties plus it does so much more. Insomnia, losing weight, gives energy and helps lift the fog. Not too shabby mr. Lemon not too shabby at all. Plus it helps fight off scurvy so there is that too.
Garlic: It has all kinds of good nutrition in it. Its good for your heart. It likes to lower your blood pressure which is good since we are at high summer and the kid and I are butting heads more. Detox pops up again here but its best for detoxing metals. It also good for bone health.
Cucumber: Ah cucumber. Remember when I bought three a week and they rotted. Yeah. Now I blink and they are gone. I use the cucumber to try and cool down the juice. It may or may not help. I don’t know. It gets the last of the stuff out of the juicer so I know I got all the above stuff. They help with your brain. They are hard at work fighting inflamation. They are good for your digestive system and support heart health.
if the infection seems bad or I feel especially horrid I add a twig or two of Basil. Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and is full of minerals and stuff your body needs, vitamin A, C, K, Manganese copper, Iron calcium magnesium to name a few. Its good for treating a cold. Its helpful in upset stomachs and acne and headaches too. It also rocks for oral health. Oh alright its also good for your eyes too.
For each 2.5 oz container.
1/4 ich ginger
2 large fingers of Turmeric or four smaller ones.
two to three cloves garlic
a fourth of a lemon
an inch of cucumber
annd if you choose a twig or two of Basil
It may make more than 2.5 oz but I wouldn’t recommend trying to force more than that down at once. Have something light in your stomach and have a full 12 oz glass of water near by. You will need that water.
I add the basil about once a month at this point but I do this juice one day a week three times that day. I can honestly say it works to get rid of infections and quickly.
I don’t even know where to start. I haven’t written all week not because I didn’t have anything to say or to get out. I did. I just couldn’t make any of it make sense. It wasn’t even that I couldn’t focus long enough to put it in order, it just plain didn’t make sense. It all seemed so pointless. The sneaky thing about battling depression is it starts rising so quietly some times. I was taking my meds, I was taking time for self care. I was doing the right things. It was rising though and I didn’t see it. That is the other tricky part about depression. It is not always about being sad. I still don’t even know how to describe it, but probably best would be a total lack of motivation. A general feeling of not wanting to do anything at all. It didn’t help that it had started before I went off melatonin for a week. I do this so that I don’t build up a tolerance. I know its going to be a crappy week of sleep but it does honestly help. Add on top of that a building infection, still unsure if it was teeth or sinus. Once I realized that it was all kind of attacking at once, I started attacking back. That is the thing though, you have to realize it is rising. I couldn’t organize my thoughts but my thoughts were enough to make me realize what was going on. I can only be THANKFUL for Cognitive Behavior Therapy that I have done in the past that helped me realize what was going on. The frustration of my lack of motivation is what spurred me to really stop and do some CBT. I know others may be frustrated with my lack of desire to do anything but it pales in comparrison to the frustration I have for myself. I am working on that. I am a work in progress.
First, I tackled the infection. I juiced some fresh turmeric, garlic, ginger, lemon, basil and cucumber and red onion. Just imagine swallowing fire and brimstone and you won’t be far off. It was painful to get 2.5 oz of it down three times a day but I did it. I started feeling the difference. The fatigue was lifting. The body aches subsiding back to their normal dull roar. I prefer to do things this way. It doesn’t interrupt my birth control like an antibiotic can and honestly I think it works a lot faster. Plus I don’t have to re-battle my candida issue. THANKFUL for all I have learned about juicing and its benefits.
After eight days of no melatonin and one day of no benedryl either, I started having dreams I was in a boat. The boat was great, I was enjoying being out on the water. Then suddenly the boat was sinking. I could never find a hole. I could never find a reason. I found myself in this dream over and over. I would inspect the boat carefully, still it would sink. I even got down to a Johnny boat where I could inspect it out of the water. It still sank. I woke so congested that I think some of that sinking was signifying that I couldn’t breathe , not just the depression. Last night I took both and slept so so so so very good. Thankful!
Thankful that I had two interviews this week and several more respsonse to my applications. It seems most people have their summer nanny and are now looking for mid to late august. Not ideal but I will take it.
THankful I have friends who can and do help watch my daughter so that I can go on these interviews and even take some time for myself afterwards.
Thankful that Harp camp starts next week. We have definetely reached the part of the summer where we are both sick of each other, the kid and me.
Thankful for instagram. Yes I know it seems trite but it is true. I truly enjoy the photos and especially cherrish the #bereal ones. The ones that let me know that I am not the only one battling theses issues. I am not the only mother whith a kid who thinks she ruins everything one second and thinks she is the best mom ever the next. Lately I have also found some very helpful and inspirational quotes as well.
Thankful for my husband. He works tirelessly for our family and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Not only does it allow me to be here for our daughter who won’t always need me quite so much but it has also allowed me to work on my own health and recover from the damage medicating to work did to my body.
Thankful for my readers. I didn’t write this week. I honestly didn’t think anyone would notice. I so appreciate the people who took the time to email me or message me and ask if they missed a post. Just know that I am completely dedicated to Ten Things of Thankful so even if I hit another rough patch, I will always do a Ten Things of Thankful post. even if it is just to post one thing and use the SGV (seven guard virgins)dance to get out of the others or the SBOR(secret book of rules).