Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Days like this...

Test my strength. I try not to complain, I try to be accepting, even grateful and for the most part I am. Some days are just tougher than others. Physically, the last few days have been difficult. I have been experiencing terrible back pain, complete with spasms and knots and headaches. I have noticed that when my body is especially stressed it is often accompanied by a headache. Which makes sense if you think about it.
Today is an especially difficult day. In addition to the afore mentioned struggles, there are other issues today. The muscles in my stomach area are tight and unable to relax. In addition to the discomfort that this causes, my stomach is distended and it is difficult to stand without a certain amount of pain. Standing completely upright at this point is not an option. According to my doctor, the independant research that I have conducted and other 'Myotonics', this is not
unusual and in fact, I do deal with this on a fairly regular basis. What bothers me the most about these times is that I am no longer able to remain anonymous. I am noticed as being different. My struggle has become public and open to scrutiny, debate, criticism and pity. Really.
So what do I do? How do I deal with this? The answer for me has not come without its own amount of struggle. But here it is. When I feel especially burdened I take time to dirty my knees. Yes, I pray. I don't pray for healing, or to be free from pain or hurt. I don't pray for research, or a cure, or a magic pill. I don't pray for anonimity. I pray for strenth. Strength to witness in the face of adversity. Strength to trust in He who has chosen me for this journey. And most of strength that I can grow to become a better Christian. That is perhaps the most difficult of all. I try to give honor and glory to my God each day, in word or deed. To be kinder, to be less judgemental, to help someone in need, and to look closer at my neighbors' struggles. But I am not perfect, I am flawed, I am human. And I know that I could do a better job. I pray that I will. There is something that I can do, that I should do. I can feel it, but I have yet to grasp it. I am on the precipice, so close but still so far away.
Easy to say, but so much tougher to do. What am I meant to do? What is in store for me? How can I have been chosen, yet be so unworthy? Do you know? Do you ever feel that way?
Maybe someday the answers will be made clear to me. But I fear that that may be too much to pray for.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of Kindergarden

Today is Isabella's first day of kindergarden. The kids here have a staggered start for Kindergarden with one third of the kids going on Monday, one third on Tuesday and one third of Wednesday and then all of them the remainder of the week. Bella started today. Here she is getting ready to head out the door, little miss attitude!

Michelle walked her to school and Bella was chattering all the way. She had packed her lunch last night-had to be healthy. (Peanut Butter & Jelly, Yogurt, Juice Box and a miniature Peppermint Patty. ) She reviewed all her sight words, picked out her clothes and went to bed early. She was ready! On the way there she found the shell of a bird egg, so she brought that with her. When they got to the school the excitement level rose, she couldn't wait to get in. Then they went inside and Michelle went to say goodbye and that's when it happened. The little lip went out and began to quiver. She was nervous. (Bella too!) Michelle told her she'd be fine and that she'd be back to pick her up and she left. Once outside the school she called me and said "Well, I dropped her off." I asked Michelle how she was and her voice cracked.. "She's not a baby anymore."
Remember those days? I am sure that my Mom remembers my first day of kindergarden. She may still have the marks on her neck to prove it! I had to be pried from my mother's arms. Oh, how I cried! I couldn't wait to get home, to make sure that Mom was still there. She was. Still is. Always has been there for me, for us all. We all made it through many firsts, Bella and Michelle have been too, and have many more ahead of them.
Last night Bella asked Michelle about her 'Daddy'. She said "Remember him, his name was M_____ moved away from him." Michelle said that yes, they did. Then Bella asked her when she could get a Daddy and gave Michelle some lame excuse about why she wanted one. Finally she looked at Michelle and said that she would 'tell her the truth', tell her why she wanted a Daddy. She said that she really just wanted Michelle to get married so she could get a baby brother or sister. (Preferably one of each at the same time.) Kids are so funny!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday, Monday...

As much as I love Friday's, I hate Mondays! I know, people say fresh start to the week, clean slate, all that stuff. Me, not so much. And this Monday is worse than most. Just complainin' but I hurt all over, and no particular reason why. I just hurt. And it stinks!

So, this will be a short post. I just wanted to get some opinions on a couple of things that I made over the weekend. The first is a card box. This was a collaborative effort. I came up with the idea and design and when I showed it to Michelle she suggested that I add dividers for each month of the year with a calendar grid on it, so I did. It also comes with a matching birthday card! What do you think?

Next up, a Christmas Card and Letter holder. I saw this little toolbox thing and thought that it might be a nice way to hold all those cards and letters without actually 'displaying' them. (I don't know why the pictures aren't loading the way I want them to!) Anyway, tell me what you think, I'd love to get your opinions.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I love Fridays!

I guess it is just the thought of the weekend, the knowledge that I can sleep in and lay around if I choose to that gets me. I have never been much of a sleeper, up early in the mornings and never napped-probably afraid that I might miss something. But, times change. I've changed and I am not afraid to admit that I am now a napper. I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line my body told me to slow down. So, I do. A little bit anyway. Whenever I can I like to lie down-just for a bit. (At least that is my expectation.) Often, I fall asleep and I can sleep anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple of hours. And boy, do I love it! I wake up and after my initial feeling of disorientation, I feel refreshed. I don't know if it is an age thing, but I suspect not. Especially if I use my Mother as my marker, she never stops going! Perhaps it is more related to health and well-being. I don't usually wake in the morning feeling refreshed. I feel tired. I struggle to get out of bed and sometimes Jim will reach out and give me a little push to help me. I think about sleeping now, never used to do that either. I often feel an overwhelming sense of fatigue. It's a bummer. Sometimes, I don't even have the energy to get out of my chair. I don't like this feeling and I fight it. I struggle with the thought that my body is betraying me. I want to run and play and have boundless energy, but I don't. I asked my doctor about it once and she told me that it is one of the major complaints that she hears from her Muscular Dystrophy patients. So, she gave me a pill. It is supposed to make me feel like the 'Energizer Bunny', but it doesn't. It does give me the ability to make it through the day without crashing. Still, I long for a nap. The chance to lay my head down and rest.
Whenever I mention to my friend Durinda that I am tired, she always says "It's no wonder!" She will then go on to list all that I do in the course of a week or a day and then I feel a bit better. Maybe justified is a better way to describe it. Like I somehow need an excuse to feel tired. I think of what I would like to accomplish in a day and feel that if I don't get it all done that I have somehow lost. Lost what? I don't know, and I don't know why I feel that way.
Timmy teases me and tells me that if I go out and stay out past 10:00 on Friday night that it takes me the rest of the weekend to recover. But, he's right.
Not that I ever was much of a night owl. Just ask my sister Susan. She can tell you some stories...on second thought-Don't ask her!
Those of you who know me well might also know that I sometimes talk in my sleep. I always have from what I understand. But now I've refined it to an art form. Jim often threatens to keep a tape recorder by the side of the bed so that he can record some of my late night ramblings. And in recent years it has gotten much worse! I don't only talk, I yell, scream, cry and wimper in my sleep as well. I hold conversations! Jim and the kids think it is fun to ask me questions when I'm sleeping and see if I'll respond. Often, I do. When I go away on cropping weekends with my friends, they hope I'll keep them entertained. You never know where my mind will go. It's reallly strange when you think about it. Even at night I can't relax. No wonder I wake up tired!
Now, if I can just convince my company to put in a nap room, I'd be set!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A LONG and Busy Couple of Days

We last left off that I might get grumpy, well I got more than grumpy! As the day progressed I got a headache that led to a full blown migraine. I went home and laid down and then began my prep at four o'clock. That was pleasant. Not! But honestly, the migraine was worse. Between that and the prep I hardly slept at all. By the time I got in for the procedure I couldn't wait to be knocked out! The good news is that when I woke up I felt pretty good. The headache was gone and I was re-hydrated. While I am still laying down on the bed after just being woken up in recovery, the dr. comes in to talk to me. He says that they found dyverticulosis, but that is normal in-are you ready- 'old women'. Jim had the good sense to glare at him and tell him that I am not an old lady. He quickly rephrased that to 'middle aged women'. I guess I have to take into account the fact that he wasn't looking at my face, rather my other end. And I would have to assume that you can't tell a person's age by the condition of their colon. I mean, it doesn't have rings that you can count like a tree trunk or anything right? But old woman-really?! Hmpf! The worst part is that he didn't find the source of the blood loss so I have to have another procedure. I am really beginning to hate this doctor!

Saturday, I kept it pretty low key for the most part. Then in the evening we took Isabella to see High School Musical 2 at the Weinberg Center. It was a production put on by a local dance company with kids ranging in age from 6-15. By the look of things, we were probably the only people there not related to or friends with one of the performers. It was not my idea of a great time, but Isabella loved it! It was fun just to watch her watch it! Sunday I worked on some cards and crafts, and then Monday we went to Hersheypark. We left the house about 7:30 a.m. and returned home at around 10:30 p.m. -we were beat! It was HOT as blazes. The sun just seemed to scorch my skin and I am red today. I was in no way ready to get up for work today, but I am glad that we went. The pictures above are from yesterday.
Oh, and Bella lost that other tooth on Sunday! She is now missing the two top and the two bottom teeth in the front!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I may get grumpy...

I'm just warning you! I can't eat anything all day-and I like to eat! I have to go in tomorrow for a colonoscopy and the prep for this thing is just no fun. Not that I would classify having pictures taken of the inside of my colon as 'fun', but I'll be unconcious for that part of it. So for today, nothing but clear liquids and coffee does not classify as clear according to my doctor. At four I get to spice up my diet with a few Dulcolax tablets and I can follow that with a Gatorade/Miralax shooter. (A 32 oz. shooter!) Sound like fun, huh? The worst part is that I can have nothing by mouth after midnight tonight and the test isn't until 12:30 tomorrow. Sounds like a good time to start that diet I keep meaning to start. Ha! So that's my fun and excitement for the day.

The dr. will be looking for something specific and if he doesn't find it then he said that the next step would be going in and taking a look at my stomach. I asked if that would be done after the colonoscopy after all, I'll be out and my stomach will be empty. No, they'd have to do that at another time. Of course, I should have known. Anyway, I'm hungry! Enough of that.

Yesterday Bella informed me that next Friday will be the end of summer-in her book anyway. She said "What's up with that?" Then she will start Kindergarten. It is all day here, no nap. Could be quite an adjustment period for her. She is excited though, can't wait to read and do real math! She is always adding things and then asking if that is math. She loves it! Definitely did not inherit that gene from me. As you may or may not know, I do my best to avoid math at all costs. It doesn't like me. I can never figure out why I still have checks left if there is no money left. I loved school and got good grades until ALGEBRA! Boy how I hated that class. I did fine in Algebra I but that, unfortunately, was followed by Algebra II. That was the bain of my high school existence! I hated that class. Mr. Poploski was my teacher. He was nice enough and I'm sure a very fine teacher, but I just couldn't make sense of the whole making a number from a letter and finding the value of x. I didn't care and I didn't get it! Ask my Dad, he'll tell you. He is a math wiz, his mind just works that way. He would spend hours at the dining room table with me trying to get me to understand to make sense of it all. You have to understand that I was used to getting good grades. More importantly, my parents expected good grades. I remember once getting my report card in middle school and bursting out into tears. My friends asked to take a look and when I showed them they were confused. I'd gotten all A's and B's, with one C. But I got grounded for that C, they knew I could do better. And I did. So when after tutoring me all semester, I got a D in Algebra my Dad wasn't mad. He knew I did the best I could. Ha! A D, my one and only might I add. And aside from not being able to help my kids with their homework, I have never needed Algebra.

Yesterday I asked my sister if she had seen my blog. She said that no, she didn't know I had one. She said that if she had known she would have read it because she likes to listen to me ramble. Now I know what she means!

Anyway, here is some random cuteness! I hope it made you feel better, I know it did me!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend Recap

So I know that you are just dying to know if I kept to my resolve and cleaned my scrapatorium over the weekend and the answer is yes and no. One of the things that I had planned on doing was purchasing a unit that I had seen at AC Moore for my paper. It is only 15" wide and holds several (maybe 8) boxes that can hold paper or other items. I had my 40% off coupon in hand and went to pick it up on Saturday but they were sold out. So, in terms of re-organizing, I wasn't able to accomplish that feat, but I was able to at least clean up the mess, sweep the floor and find a few things. I even got in there yesterday and made a set of cards. I'll post them soon, they are so cute! I made them with a new stamp set that I got from Papertrey Ink called Everyday Button Bits and it is just adorable-love it! I also picked up another stamp set from them called In Bloom that I have yet to play with and Michelle got me one called Teacher's Apple which I know will come in handy for all of those teachers' gifts and cards that I see in our future!
Again, we had a very busy weekend! We all went to Adventure Park in New Market, which was a first for me. We played miniature golf, and Bella went on several rides, and then Bella and Michelle teamed up against me in the Bumper Boats and I lost! I was soaked to the skin! But it was well worth it as we had a blast. Michelle and I went back to school shopping for Isabella, and that was so much fun. Bella is truly a diva and loves new clothes and all of the accessories!
Then we went to church on Sunday, and relaxed the rest of the day. So it was a good weekend.
I have busy week at work this week, lots going on that I will need to take care of.
And I am going to admit this here in public for all to see, but I am addicted to Big Brother! I can't wait for its return each season. And this year I have even gotten to see some of Big Brother After Dark and it is truly amazing. Don't these people have parents? The things that they will do on camera, well let me just say I learn new things every time I tune in. So every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday you can find me and Michelle anxiously awaiting the start of the show. And this is what I think-I hate Jesse!! Why BB brought this arrogant, self centered, egotistical idiot back for another season in beyond me. He is just awful! He treats women like they are put on this earth for his amusement and refers to them as V- g ---s! Hopefully this week will bring his reign of terror and intimidation to an end! But I LOVE Jeff! First of all, he is adorable, just great eye candy. And he seems so nice, really making his mamma proud I'm sure. Love to see him win it all! So those of you who keep up with it log in and let me know what you think.
That's all for now!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday-at last!

It's been a long week. The days have just dragged on at work and I hate that. I guess that everyone does. Yesterday I found out that I will be moving, and I am a little bummed about that. I currently work on the second floor of our 3 floor building, the executive floor. I'm not an executive, but I work with them. I have a small (and I mean tiny) office, but it has a door and I can shut it whenever I want to. So why am I moving? Well on Wednesday, I was given more responsibility and with that responsibility came binders and books. Several of them. And I have other binders and books in my office already and no where to put them all. So, my boss and I were talking and one of our co-workers was supposed to have ordered me a bookcase and I asked if she had done that. My boss said that she'd look into it and if it hadn't been ordered that I should just buy one for myself. She then went on to say that my office was too small, that I needed more space, etc. So yesterday she says not to buy the bookcase because I'm moving. Upstairs. To a cube! Hello, Dilbert! The cube is bigger than my office and has more space to put stuff, but it's a cube. No door! I feel like Charlie Brown must have when Lucy pulled the ball away when he would try to kick it. UGH! It'll be okay, I just keep telling myself that...
Anyway, the weekend is nearly upon us. I have plans, as usual. One of the things that I am planning on doing is cleaning my Scrapatorium. Boy does it need it! I can hardly walk across the floor as it is like a field mine. Stuff everywhere. So much so, that I can't find anything. Last night it took me nearly 35 minutes to find a particular piece of paper. By the time I found it I had forgotten what I wanted to do with it! I can visualize how I want it to be all I want, but when I get home-it is still a mess. So, I have no choice. I have to do it. Part of my problem is that I keep getting things to help me be organized and then I can't find anything and it takes so long to go through everything. Maybe I should better label things. Anyway, I hope to start on it this evening. By writing it down here I am kind of committing myself to doing it. Ha! We'll see.
In other news, last night as Bella was getting ready to go to bed some music came on and I started dancing a bit. She said 'GaGa, don't shake your hiney!' I said that she did it, why couldn't I. Her reply? 'When I do it I'm dancing, when you do it you're just shakin' your hiney.' Maybe she had a point.
Then this, overheard as she said her prayers: 'Hi God, I try to give a little of myself to you every day. Please pray for...' then she went on to list everyone and finished up with this 'and God, please pray for my GaGa, that's my Grandmother [I love how she has to explain this to God] because she loves my Grandaddy soooo much.' I wonder what she meant by that?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Mother's Warning Realized

Do you remember you mother warning you not to frown too often because your face would freeze that way or you would develop wrinkles or frown lines? Mine did, though admitidly not ofter. I guess that I didn't take her warnings too seriously though. Recently, in the last 6 months or so, I have noticed an increase in a particular facial twitch that I have. The left side of my mouth is drawn up towards my eye and my face is temporarily 'frozen'. Try as I might, I cannot make unfurl my lip. It's an annoyance. So, the last time that I visited my doctor I told her about this latest development. She assured me that it was relatively normal and that several of her 'myotonics' have a similar problem. (That's how she refers to her DMD patients-myotonics, I'm not sure how I feel about that.) She said that if it became more pronounced or bothered me that there is a treatment for it, botox. And with that, she handed me my slip for my blood work and went about her way. Now, me being -well, me I thought about that all the way home that day. And I have thought about that treatment each time that my face decides to do a bad Elvis impersonation. Botox. So, I Googled it and what do you know? This is what I found: "Botulinum toxin is a medication and a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is the most toxic protein known[1][2] with an LD50 of roughly 0.005-0.05 µg/kg. Botulinum toxin is used in minute doses to treat muscle spasms in some parts of the world despite its inherent toxicity."
Now, a few things jump out at me immediately upon reading this. The first is that is it neurotoxic. Now I am no scientist, but by definition that neurotoxic means poisonous. Specifically poisonous to the nerves or nerve cells. The second was that it is in fact used to treat muscle spasms despite its inherent toxicity. So let me get this straight. This is a toxic protein, the most toxic protein known and despite that terminology some people use this to get rid of frown lines? Small wrinkles? I read a little further and found this: "Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about three to four months. Side effects can include pain at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, headache and upset stomach. Injections in the face can also cause drooping eyelids." Interesting.
Let's review my options shall we? I can walk around looking like someone placed and invisible fish hook in my lip and is pulling on it from above, OR risk the side effects including toxicity? Those don't sound like the best odds to me. What do you think? Would you do it? Are we that vain that we risk our health for a few smoothed out lines, a temporary fix to the inevidible wrinkles that naturally come with age. My mother was telling me just yesterday that when my 7 year old niece Molly was visiting my Mother she looked at her and asked 'Grandma, will I get wrinkles on my face too?' Mom told her that yes, she probably would get wrinkles when she got older. To which Molly replied with not a little sarcasm 'OH, GREAT!'. So, that's where we are that a 7 year old is worried about wrinkles? As for me, when I next visit my doctor and she asks me if that twitch is still bothering me, I know how I'll reply. Yes, yes it is. And now it's on both sides of my face!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We inturrupt this life...

My Get up and go, Got up and went! Its an old joke, but it sure does justice to the way that I feel sometimes. And those times are now. I have been sore. Achingly, throbbingly, painfully sore. And it's no fun. I try not to complain, but sometimes I've got to. Often, mostly in the evenings, I want to run into the backyard and scream. I want someone to help me, to make it easier, to ease my pain and my worries. And someone does. Not in the conventional way that you might think, not with medication or exercise, but inside. I feel better knowing that I have the comfort of my home to rely on, some don't. I feel better knowing that I have the love and support of my family and friends. some don't. I feel better knowing that I am capable of having my legs take me where I want to go, even if it hurts, some don't. I could go on, but I won't. You get the picture, you know where I go to find that comfort, that sense of being well, that sense of gratitude. And I go there. I also take a break and drop my sore and aching self into this bubbling fountain of youth, pictured above. Now don't judge me, because we really couldn't afford this plunge. But we got it anyway. Why? Because when I am able to immerse myself in the warm, wonderful, wetness of water-I am temporarily set free. I am buoyant. I am weightless. I am young. I am free.
That feeling, that sense of being in control of my own self, my own body doesn't come without a price. Because you see, I have to get out. Sometimes it takes a while before reality rears its ugly head again, and sometimes it is just minutes away. But it is a reprieve.
And sometimes that is enough.

Monday, August 3, 2009

On Friday I knew that a migraine was going to hit me-I woke up feeling fuzzy and not quite steady on my feet. Luckily, I had a short day at work and was able to get home by 1:30. We had a terrible storm hit a short while later and I laid down on the couch to close my eyes and listen to the rain. I woke up at 6:00-the next morning! Talk about loosing time! I have suffered with migraines for most of my life. I have tried just about everything from chiropractic care, accupuncture, pharmaceuticals and herbal remidies, all with varying results. None that were a cure. I had some good results with Imitrex shots, but I developed an allergy to the drug and had to discontinue use. Anyway, it is a royal pain in the tail. Luckily they are not nearly as frequent as they used to be, but when I do get one it's a doozy.

Saturday I woke up feeling quite refreshed and was able to get a few things done. My dear friend Kathy P., and I had been trying to schedule a time to get together either with or without our husbands for dinner and Saturday night the four of us were finally able to meet at Gladchuck's for dinner. It was so nice to be able spend time with them. We have known them since our boys were seven I think and they are both now 23. Their son Bryan is getting married in October and we talked about the wedding plans, their first home and just caught up on each other's lives. It is terrible to say, but they live less than 5 miles away and we so rarely see each other! Anyway, it was great to see them both and I can't wait to see them, and the rest of our "A Team" again.

Right before we were getting to leave, Isabella was eating dinner when she yelled 'It fell, Mom. It fell right out!' She jumped up and ran to show everyone the small tooth that had fallen out of her mouth. The first to 'fall' out. She had to have 2 extracted due to an accident that she had where she did a face plant into a concrete sidewalk. She has decided it's better to loose them naturally.
And lastly, lest you think I have been totally slacking I was able to complete a set of cards and 2 clothespins on Sunday afternoon. Here is the proof.
aren at 4:45 AM