Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oops we did it again.

We took in yet another stray cat.

Her name is Gabrielle. She is about three months old and as big as Madison. LOL. She's part Bengal, so she's going to be a big girl.

Took her to the vet today and made sure nothing serious is going on with her (she was rescued last night). So she's my birthday kitten. LOL

Yes, I am the crazy cat lady.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

stupid blogger

I can't comment on anyones blogs! it gives me some crap about "account not being authorized to post on this page" - huh??

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cry, baby.

I've never been a "crier". I HATE crying, and the most humiliating thing I can think of (other than being naked in public) is crying in public.

I didn't grow up in a very demonstrative household (unless being cracked upside the head is demonstrative - lol), and when I met hubby I initially had a really hard time with the amount of physical contact that both he and his children were comfortable with. It took me some time to get used to holding hands in public, or accepting a peck in public or what have you.

Anyway. Work has been extremely challenging, and I got really really nasty and hateful email from my mother last week. I had a major (and I mean MAJOR) fibro flare brought on by the stress there and the stress of being away from home. I don't travel well these days, and being in the car, sleeping in a new place with new smells and new sounds and a new bed was really hard on me, and sleep was elusive. I had a migraine the day before we left, and it carried through Saturday, and I was wiped the entire beach trip.

This made me really ANGRY and one of the ways I express major anger is to, yep, cry. Hubby was a champion and listened to me rant and rave and hate my fibro and worry I'll never make it to Europe (Paris is the one dream I've had my whole life) if I can't even take a 3 hour car ride to the next state etc. So I sprung a major leak.

I came back to work Tuesday, worked half a day, and then couldn't get up Wednesday. Like I slept for 15 hours straight, and then hubby woke me up cause he was worried. I could hardly walk, the muscles in the back of my legs would not work.

I came to work yesterday (Thursday) and barely made it through. I have an office roommate now (maybe only for another month or two - supposed to get more office space soon) and she's a nice person, but being a sales person she is loud. As are the scents of her lotion, her phone, her laugh, her friends that visit all day long etc. I close the door, she opens it. I can't THINK at all when I'm in a deep fibro fog and she's laughing on the phone or something 4 feet from me. I totally, completely, sensory overloaded melted down yesterday.

I bailed out of the office before I started crying, and found one of my friends here (receptionist) and asked her where my other friend (and HR person - there are 4 of them) was - she was out. And my friend asked me if I was ok, and then it just started.

I blubbered and ranted and raved and cried and she hugged me and she cried a little too and then she put me back together again.

Friends that you can do this with are RARE, and I am so blessed to have a few of these kinds of friends. Being able to talk it out with her, and acknowledge it with her understanding, was incredibly healing. I am sick to death of people that don't "get" fibro - the "oh it's all in your head" or "it's all the pills you take" (mom's latest barb involved these) and that "oh, well I'm tired too". There is tired and then there is FIBRO tired, the I can't fucking move or I will cry type of sore. Think of the worst flu you ever had. Remove the puking, and BOOM you have an idea of what it feels like to be in a bad fibro flare. Although I have been known to puke from intense pain, so maybe you can keep that in. I digress.

Anyway, I was a super crab yesterday when I got home, I was mad at work, I was mad at myself for crying and feeling like giving up. Hubby loved me through it and I slept really really well last night.

And today I feel great.

Obviously, that release was what I needed - I needed to throw a mini "its not fair" tantrum and get some of it out. Because yeah, it's NOT fair. I spent the first three decades of my life being a Type A Achiever, simultaneouly going to school and working full time, taking care of my dad, figuring out how to divorce an abuser, being self sufficient. It all hit at once. No one helped put me through school. I did it. I pay these loans. No one paid my rent. I did it, since I was 17 and my mom kicked me out.

And then comes fibro... who made me slow down. Forced me to stop and rest, or I will pay for days and days. I am learning not to take things so seriously. Everything in my house doesn't need to be perfect. I don't lust for $3000 handbags anymore. I have learned the simple pleasure of tuning out to the TV when I am to fogged up to read or knit. Everything has changed.

And today? Today I can handle stupid fibro. I'm strong enough. Thanks to the help of my friends.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I knew it couldn't stay quiet forever.

My mother contacted me again. She sent me an email telling me I was a horrible person just like my father, and accusing me of lying about something that happened like a year ago (my kid apparently told her she was a drunk - and I never told him that, but she claims she could "tell by my face" when she told me that that I did it) and all of these other horrible things - why hasn't she seen the kids, and she wonders what I told them about all of this (answer: nothing).

So I sent her an email basically telling her it is sad she doesn't know me at all, and if she really thinks all that about me then yes, I don't blame her for not wanting to stay away. I would stay away from a person like that too. The thing is though, I know I am NOT that person. My friends (and chosen family) know I am not that person. Someone that gave me half of my DNA should know that too, but her need to be 'right' at all costs is blocking her inability to see really who I am.

I also told her I think she really needs grief counseling, as she hasn't been ok since my uncle died, and that I wish her the best and love her no matter what, as she's my mom. I told her I was done trying to get her to love and accept me, and that I was done trying to save her. I've tried to save her my whole life, from being her emotional spouse to giving her a place to live temporarily when her husband lost his job, to paying her mortgage for her (as a loan) when she was about to lose her house. I did these things out of love for her, and to try to help her. It obviously means nothing.

She of course moved here "because of me" instead of because stepdad burned thru all the job opps in their smaller city. Sigh. She really has demonized me, and I really think she's convinced herself the all of this is true. It's hurtful, but more than that it's sad. It shows me that so many of her relationships likely lack authenticity, as she shows a facet of herself, and then can turn on you completely when things happen that she doesn't like, and completely can alienate herself.

I think our relationship is irreparably damaged. So I feel like I've lost both of my parents, one to death, and one to this. Maybe there can be some neutral interactions if she decides she wants to see the kids, but I can't forsee anything else coming.

The stress interacting with her causes me is bad for my health. Unless she can honestly try to see what's happened in an objective way and let the past be the past there is no way we can move in to the future. I won't allow myself to be attacked like that, not for anyone.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Independence Day

My mother is still not speaking to me. I decided, since we "broke up" to give her some space, and hopefully we would work things out like we have in the past when she's decided to cut me out of her life. So far she is holding steadfast. I have attempted to comment/talk to her on facebook and received no response. I won't beg her to love me, so it is what it is.

My mom is a hairstylist, and I've been fortunate enough to have her style my hair for most of my life. We have often argued about my hair - typically with me wanting it shorter, and she telling me my face is to round or fat or whatever to handle it. Always in my best interest, of course.

Well, I got my hair cut yesterday. Short. REAL short, how I've always wanted it, and it totally felt like freedom, like Independence Day. My new hair girl (recommended by a girl at work) listened to me totally, I liked her a lot. And my hair is amazing... it feels like ME. As I left there yesterday, with my Jennifer Goodwin inspired pixie cut, I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. It sounds ridiculous, but it was so empowering. And Dave says it's adorable, and I have to say - even cute when I just let it air dry.

Today I was feeling real sick- I couldn't get out of bed, I could hardly walk, my knee wasn't working (I almost took a header at work the other day when the knee just totally went out when I was going up stairs, and it hasn't been the same since - should have had my cane, damnit), and I was exhausted. The kids left, and I woke up just before 2. We watched some DVR'd things (Gloria Steinem documentary on HBO - awesome!) and knit. I chilled out, and it was awesome. I just wish that I felt better.

Here's the Doc/TMI warning -

So I got a bunch of bloodwork and tests done last week. Testing for lupus basically. 2 of the 3 tests came back normal, and the third has been sent to another lab and should be back in 2-3 weeks, but it's looking good that it's not lupus. Anyway, they took urine too to check kidneys. Turns out I had a raging UTI, and had no idea. I have had a lot of pelvic pain, but just figured it was the stupid fibro. Normally in the past when I had a UTI I knew it right away. This time I had no idea. I wish that everyone that said fibro isn't real (cough cough, mom) could know something like this. I have another friend with fibro that just had an abcessed tooth - and again, had no idea. When you live with chronic pain, you just live with it. I don't complain to anyone but my husband, my fibro sisters, and well, this blog. Complaining doesn't help it, and I refuse to be "defined" by a stupid disease.

My husband is my rock. He has weathered this like a champ, when I know many men would have bailed, he stepped up to the plate and has helped me adjust to this the best he can, and he's so understanding... when I say I need to sleep, he makes sure I can sleep. When I say I need something, he's on it. I am so so lucky. I knew I was lucky before to have married my best friend, but this whole "sickness and in health" thing really has come in to play, and I'm thankful for him every day.

I am also thankful that my BFF was able to get her mom to let us stay at her beach house for three days next week. This will be our vacation for the year, period, #1 due to finances, and #2 this is the one week of the year we are kid free (they will be with their bio mom for a week). I have to think of something nice I can do for BFF's mom to thank her for her generosity. I am so looking forward to this - I am sure it will be "chill" - I look forward to some knitting, reading, cuddling with my hubby, and having that amazing salt air heal my soul. YAY BEACH!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

From "If You Had Controlling Parents"

1. You aren't responsible for what your parents did to you, they are.

2. You are responsible for what you do with your life now, your parents aren't.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Life is always interesting. Purge post.

Since I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I've been doing a lot of reading, a lot of talking, a lot of sharing with online support groups, etc. The more I read about the mind-body-spirit connection, and learn about it from therapists the more I end up delving back into my childhood.

The other day a post in an online Fibro group on facebook, that I thought was "Closed", wasn't. The post was about how some of us have family members that aren't supportive with our needs. Those of you on facebook know that if you post something to someone's "Wall" it will say something like "X person posted on X's wall" and you can click on it.

Well, apparently (because she has to absolutely know everything) my mother clicked on this link to a post I made. Which said that she was a narcissist, toxic, and that she wasn't supportive, along with some specifics in the way that she's not supportive.

I received a phone call, where she had that tone of voice, that sing-songey "you're busted" voice that I remember from being a kid, and says "Hi. What are you doing?" I tell her that I'm reading. She then proceeds to tell me she saw what I posted and because it could "affect her business" (she is a hair stylist, and we have several mutual friends that are clients of hers) she demanded I deleted it. I said "Ok, sorry." She hung up on me.

I went and deleted the post, and let the admin for the group (who is also an in real life friend) know that it wasn't "locked down" and what happened.

Well, of course my mother sent me a long email about how I am a horrible person, vicious, a liar etc. I sent a message back not apologizing for the content of the post (because it was absolutely TRUE) but for the delivery (I would not have used such harsh words with her if we were discussing in person, the fact that it was public, which I didn't intend) and that it wasn't the way I wanted to discuss this issue with her.

She then sent back another email (which I waited a "cool off day") to read, about how it's "sad" and I'm full of lies, and she and my stepdad are disappointed and that I should just stay away from her and stop blaming other people for my problems.

Ok, I can stay away.

Again, even her responses to this were about how she could be "seen" by other people - the "me me me" of the narcissism.

1. She had no right to read my venting on a support group, for a disease that she claims is all in my head. This is not a new issue, as she continually read my diary when I was a kid, snooped in my room, listened in to my phone calls, etc. She never let me have any privacy. She would barge into the bathroom when I was in there if she needed something.

2. The kind of narcissism she struggles with is entanglement - she sees me as an extension of her. I only exist to her as a reflection of her, not as my own being. When I ran away to get married at 18 she sent me a 20+ page letter about how I was shaming my family, and letting them all down. It has never been about my feelings.

3. She was abusive when I was a kid. I was grounded for stupid stuff (like grounded for a week for leaving toothpaste on the bathroom counter). She would leave me at home while she was out gallavanting with whatever boyfriend she had (usually significantly younger than she). She would take off for Reno for the weekend and call drunk, making sure I was still at home, "grounded." If I ever stood up for myself or argued I'd get a crack across my face. Sometimes I deserved it, but sometimes I didn't. She has pulled my hair, slapped me so hard I had bruises (I mouthed off to her when I was busted sneaking out), she has hit me multiple times with a broom, hairbrush, whatever she had in her hand. There were times she got that rage in her eyes I really thought she might kill me.

4. She blames all of my problems on my father leaving at age 11. Yes, that was horrible, and it created abandonment issues and a whole lot of other issues. I dealt with that through intensive counseling (years) and also worked through a lot of that when my dad was sick. The one that was abandoned took in the abandoner. That was healing in a lot of ways.

But talk about abandonment - my senior year in high school she moved into my (then future) stepdad's house, with him and his kid (who hated me). Initially she left me in the apartment we lived in. But it's ok, because she would leave a check for groceries. Eventually I had to move out to my stepdad's house. She then spent all of her time with my stepbrother - who rejected her in the end. I was invisible to her for an entire year. Until the night of graduation, when I told her I was going to stay up and out all night with all of my friends at a sleepover. She said if I didn't come home that night, not to come home at all. She meant it. I was kicked out, I moved in with my boyfriend, and then yep, got married. She refused to acknowledge this wedding, she didn't come, she didn't do anything except send me that 20+ page letter. We didn't talk for almost a year.

5. From the time I was born I always, ALWAYS, had to be perfect, had to be the best. She took great pride in telling anyone who would listen that I was potty trained by 2, reading by 3, knew my right from left foot when I was still in the crib. She used me as her own personal doll. I was a tomboy - I wanted to catch tadpoles, play in the dirt, play in the garage with my dad. She wanted the princess. She bought me a canopy bed, and I asked if I could swing from the bars. She dressed me in frilly girly stuff I hated, and yelled at me when I got dirty, and changed my clothes multiple times. She criticised my school pictures for having messy hair, or something unkempt about me. If I got all A's and a B she would complain that I was "so close" to all A's. If I did what she wanted, I felt loved. If I did what I wanted to do, I felt rejected. Therapists call this "lack of voice."

6. She always, ALWAYS has to be the center of attention. 80% of her friends are significantly younger than she is, and she always points this out, about how fun and young she is. She is obsessed with her appearance. She would not go out to get the mail without her makeup and hair done. She is the most vain person I have ever encountered. She is obsessed with looking young, and constantly wants reinforcement about how young she looks compared to so & so. She always tells me I need to change my appearance - wear more colors (I gravitate towards black), get a tan (it would make me look THINNER) etc etc.

7. She has treated me as her emotional spouse/savior my entire life. She expects me to help her with her problems, solve them for her. I have recently learned it is not my job to save her. Yet, if I confide in her, and just want her to listen, she will be full of unsolicited advice about what I should do. She doesn't think I can solve problems on my own, that I am incompetent. She also continually talks behind everyone's back - so in so must be anorexic, so in so's husband is a creep, so in so must be bipolar - and these are her so called friends...

8. She has criticised my parenting, undermined my marriage, told me (in a "supportive move" of course) that I can come and live with her and my stepfather if I ever feel trapped and want to leave. I don't want an escape hatch on my marriage, and if something did happen, her home is the last place I would go! I am 34 years old for God's sake!

9. She is incapable of seeing any of this. She also has denied things that have happened (I "imagined" it), minimized, exaggerated, and I really think she BELIEVES her lies. She just can't see how she is.

So yeah, ok... I guess I broke up with my mom. And I got back my voice.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Monday was a nightmare. As in took me 5 minutes to get 12 feet to the bathroom to pee nightmare. As in all day in bed nightmare. As in stumble out to the kitchen weeping, looking for your husband, who tries to help you by rubbing your pounding head until you go back to the bathroom to lie on the floor, throw up multiple times, and cry. As in take 30 minutes to get anything down your throat (toast? FAIL. Pop Tart? Ok... just take small bites...)

Migraine meds didn't work. They made me dizzy however, and I ran into a few walls, and the toilet etc, and felt drunk (in a bad way) but the headache raged on.

I was really scared for the first time on Monday. I don't even know if hubby knew how scared.

My right arm was tingly/numb (you know, like you hit your funny bone?) off and on all day yesterday. Tried to avoid thinking about what that could mean. Still had the f*cking headache. Made it to work until 2.

So I've had issues with balance. This is an issue, as there are stairs going into every entry in my house. My knees burn and want to give out, I catch myself on the railing if I am lucky, or stumble down the steps if I am unlucky - no total faceplant yet.

The gabapentin that seemed like a MIRACLE is more of a "meh" - I can tell when it's been about 6 hours as the pain comes back hardcore, so it is still working, kinda.

The emotions involved, with knowing I need some sort of "walking stick" (bullshit nice-coated words for CANE) at 34 years old to get up my damn house stairs without killing myself is just mind-numbing. Like, why? I need to get over myself though, the pride issue. So what. (Hence the name of this blog)

And the stupidest thing is I'm worried about how my mother (you know, the one who says my disease is not real?) will react to the cane. I alternately want to hide it from her, or wave it in her face and say "SEE? SEE? I am not a liar! This is real! I am not a hypochondriac!" but the fact that this is even a concern is ridiculous. What is it about that woman that can make me feel 10 years old again?

She's basically my only family left. My 85 year old grandma and some cousins I have rare contact with. It's not just in my head that she's begun to get more negative with me over time, but it just kills that little kid inside me and I don't know what I am supposed to do.

I post a funny cat video on my page, and she lets me know that "the poor thing is suffering with fleas, she can see". Like, just let me frigging laugh! The video was posted by an animal charity, so I doubt the cat was suffering, so whatever. That's just so HER though.

"I'm taking a day off because I don't feel well." Her: "I hope you don't get fired!" (I am on FMLA, so I CAN'T LEGALLY GET FIRED BECAUSE I AM SICK. I explain this to her four times and she still doesn't seem to believe me.

Wow, this got really off track and into a dumping of mommy-issues. Maybe she's right and I do need a shrink. ?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Two steps forward, one step back

I've got a raging case of bronchitis. LOL. It's always something... I do have antibiotics though, so life should be good soon. I've been sick a week now and missed 2 days of work, fun times. I'm officially out of sick time now, and vacation, so any more sickness is money out of the paycheck. Not good. So sucking it up has commenced.

Poor Dave has my crud now too - hopefully he won't get it as bad as I do.

I started the South Beach Diet on Monday. Holy crap it's hard. LOL. I don't remember it being this hard when I detoxed last time I did this. I did notice my urge is to comfort myself with junk when I don't feel good, so that is one thing I've already learned. He made the mistake of eating licorice in front of me and I freaked out last night. LOL.

The fact that it is this hard tells me that it's likely something that needed to be done. I know I definitely needed to get off of the processed sugar. I'm thinking about dropping the rest of the phase one (no fruit! AUGH!) and going into phase two (healthy carbs) so I don't completely fall off of the wagon. I know the weight drops slower, but I need to get into something that I don't feel so damn deprived on. This is why diets continue to fail me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's been a while.

Yep, it's me again - the long lost blogger. I haven't blogged in so long as I've had many things going on and zero leftover energy. I'm at a point now where I'm coming back to myself, and so here I am.

That whole feeling like hell every day of my life thing that was going on? It has a name now - Fibromyalgia.

In the interest of perhaps helping someone else who may be struggling, I'm going to get into the gory details.

After going through every test known to man, that's the diagnosis. It's a baffling and confusing disease, and it's a little bit different for everyone, but here's what mine looks like:

Constant fatigue
Pain - everywhere, everyday - making things like walking up a flight of stairs, or trying to brush my hair nearly impossible
Extra clumsiness - I had many unfortunate accidents with furniture and the like
Brain "fog" - aphasia, not remembering words that were at the tip of my tongue, multi-tasking was out the window
Migraines - oh the migraines -
Irritable Bowel Symptoms (fun fun)
Painful menstrual periods
Having to cancel plans CONSTANTLY because I literally couldn't get out of bed, putting major strain on friendships
Sensitivity to everything (light, odors, sounds, temperature - too hot, too cold)
Being so sore I don't even want to be touched/hugged
Sensitive to clothes, especially tags or anything with texture
Vicodin didn't work at ALL
and generally feeling completely worthless.

Trying to pick up my electric guitar and play - impossible. The pain brought me to my knees.

Exercise? HAH! I would stumble into bed as soon as humanely possible after work, IF I was able to go to work. Forget about motorcycle riding and standing for hours at concerts - you know, the things that put me in a state of bliss? The things that made me me? GONE.

So in the last six months I've been learning how to make peace with this chronic disease. At first I thought it was just the grief of losing my dad, and I was having a hard time. But soon it became clear that the things that have haunted me my whole life (tummy troubles and headaches, clumsiness) had been turned up to an 11 on the scale of 1-10, and something was wrong.

I finally made my way to a wonderful rheumatologist in March, who ruled out arthiritis (turns out I do have a bit in my hands, and with both parents having major issues with this, it is also in my future) and took one look at me, touched my "trigger points" (which about made me fly off of her table), and knew what was up. I was also diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome, which actually can affect yours arms too (as it does in me) Literally, thank God for her and her knowledge!!

She took my blood samples and I was dangerously deficient in magnesium, iron, and Vitamin D. So I get to take 50,000IU of Vit D a week now (don't try this at home kids), I take Magnesium Malate at 625mg daily, and am no longer a vegetarian.

Yeah, huge changes.

But the upside is, um, I really like bacon. HA I need to move into a more "low carb" lifestyle, to avoid insulin resistance, which is already an issue for me, and common also in Fibro.

As far as the med regimen, here's what that looks like:

Cymbalta 60mg (daily) - I was already on this dose for depression, turns out it helps fibromyalgia too

Flexeril - 5mg-10mg as needed - this is a muscle relaxer

Ultram - 50-100mg as needed - this is a pain killer, that is not an opiate like Vicodin, and it works BETTER for fibromyalgia than Vicodin

(Note: there is a risk of seizure with the combo of the above three meds, as they all increase serotonin, which can lead to serotonin syndrome - which has a very specific list of symptoms, and fortunately this has not been an issue with me)

and my new BEST FRIEND - the MIRACLE in my life - Gabapentin, 300mg, 3X a day - I've just contacted Doc to see if I can take this 4X a day, as I'm discovering between hour 5 and 6 it wears off and the pain starts stabbing into me again. The first dose I took it knocked me OUT cold and I woke up feeling like I was 15 again and high on pot. Dose two went much better (no pass out) and by dose three it was like I had my life back. I could have cried, but that just would have given me a headache. ;)

The downside is some people gain weight on it. I have noticed I want to eat, oh, everything in sight, and it's almost like the pot induced "munchies" so I do have to be careful here, as I don't need "help" in that department either...ugh

I am a bit "loopy" on the gabapentin, which I guess will fade in time with the gabapentin, but it's like a complete relief not having that constant agony. I can WORK. I can THINK better, not trying to grit my teeth through the pain and literally count the minutes until I can get out my clothes and into my soft, worn jammies and pass out.

So while everyone's chemistry is different, I thought I'd share my brand of Fibro cocktail.

Job is going well - I applied for FMLA when I got the fibro diagnosis, and was approved - so now that I'm basically out of sick and vacation time, I can have unpaid time due to the Fibro as needed and not get fired - which is a huge relief. It's hard, because I don't like being "sick" but at the same time I need to be open with friends/family/employer what's going on.

To top things off, my mother doesn't think Fibromyalgia is "real" - it's a hypochondriac disease. Yeah... that's why a med for nerve pain works miracles Ma, it's all in my head. Sigh. Unfortunately this stance of hers has alienated me somewhat from her and hurt my feelings, and we are a bit distanced at the time. I don't like it, but at the same time she can be toxic about things like this, and adapt a "know it all" attitude about things, and I do NOT need that right now.

Dave has been an absolute champion - picking up the slack when I'm too tired and sore to cook, clean, help with homework, etc - not getting pissed at me when I'm too sore to have sex, when I cry about how horrible I feel, when I am a huge blubbering mess. Thank God I married a good man.

I also have to give a shout out to diabetic socks - I could not handle the pain/pressure regular socks brought, and someone suggested this fix - and man, did that help!