Friday, January 25, 2013

With a heavy heart

Tonight, as I sit here and write to my blog, my diary, my venting as it were... I feel drained.  Not only do I feel bad on a physical level, but also on an emotional level...
There are so many things I am going to say.  I'm going to get it off of my chest...
I'm going to tell it like it is. 
I'm not going to care.
 Nor do I care who else cares. 
I'm talking about someone.  Someone who I used to be so close to.  Someone who I've reached out to on numerous occasions.  Someone who is supposed to love me (and I her) unconditionally. 
But she is the reason why my heart is so heavy. 
She is the reason why I'm so down. 
I am having a hard time liking her right now. 
I will always love her, but there are many times when I really don't like her. 
She and I don't agree on much.  We have two totally different parenting styles.  We listen to totally different music.  We run in very different circles of friends.   I know she does things because she likes people to see her in a "certain" light.  She strives for that "perfect magazine" cover look, not just in her home, but in the way she speaks, in the way she picks out people to converse with, in the way she even picks her freakin' doctor.
I'm not saying she's wrong.  I'm just saying I don't like it.  I don't agree with it.  I think it's hypocritical. 
But, she never wants to do anything about it.  She just hates doing things for others.  I mean, she will do things for others, but for totally wrong reasons.  Like I said, she does things so others will see her in a certain light.  And I'm certainly not the only other person who has seen this.  It's not like it's a big secret. 
It's not a revelation. 
It's not something that just happened either. 
It's been going on for years, and I'm so tried of it. 
The things I've been struggling with lately... oh so many life altering things... but, she hasn't bothered to pick up the phone to see how I am.  Not once has she even asked me how it's going.  She doesn't want to be bothered with me.  She thinks I'm to blame for all my health issues. 
I know she thinks I gave myself diabetes.  She thinks that if I lost a bit of weight, that my diabetes will just disappear.  LOL!!! 
She's so ignorant to the two major types of diabetes. 
I am a type 1 diabetic.
 My pancreas stopped producing insulin at age 19.  I wasn't what I weigh now when I was first diagnosed with this horrible disease.  In fact, I was pregnant.  And two weeks after I found I was pregnant, I found out I was diabetic.  And not the gestational kind either... the type 1 kind.  The kind that is INCURABLE.  The kind that is more rare.  It isn't the kind that everyone on the news talks about- the kind that's "killing our nation"... that kind is type 2 diabetes.  Type 2 diabetics can (most of the time) get rid of their diabetes, with diet and exercise (and a little will power).  Type 1's, like me, don't bring it on themselves.  We just wake up one day, feel sick, drink loads of water without quench of thirst, and when we can't take it anymore, we end up at the doctor's office. 
And because of my type 1 diabetes, and I mean as a direct result of my disease, I have neuropathy.  I have pain in my body, all over my body that will never go away.  My eyes are being affected by my disease.  My bowel movements are even affected.  My kidneys are starting to fail...  
So, no. 
Didn't cause this myself.
Didn't ask for it.
Don't like it.  And can't really do more than what I'm currently doing to take care of myself. 
I know she talks about me to her friends.  And I really don't care what she or her friends think.  They weren't there when I was diagnosed.  They weren't there when I had the two C-peptide tests to confirm my type 1 diabetes.
 I know she thinks she knows what she's talking about.  But, she doesn't.  She's ignorant.  She needs to Google type 1 diabetes and brush up on it before she opens her mouth. 
 It's like she thinks it's all my fault that I am suffering physically.  Like I can control my very broken body.  Like I asked for it. 
Of course, she'll never admit to being this way.  She doesn't need to.  It's evident in the way she chooses to ignore me.  And it's so clear that she hates me.  Or at least, she doesn't like me.  And I don't know how to fix it. 
I have done things in the past that I'm really NOT proud of.  I've said things to her that I can never un-say.  I've done things to her that can never be undone.  But, I have apologized time and time again.  And I've reached out time and time again. 
Always with a "I'll have to think about what you said." or "I had no idea you felt that way." 
I'm not perfect.  I am far from it.  I have made many, many, many mistakes.  Some that are irreversible.  Some that have changed the way I see things.  I had to grow up quicker than most.  And I know it's my own doing that has caused that.  I know it's because of the mistakes, some small and some large, that I've made. 
I guess I'm crazy.  Crazy for expecting more.  Crazy for thinking things would be better.  Crazy for wanting more.  Crazy for thinking I could get more. 
I think it's time I let go.  Let go of all the "grudge".  Let go of  all my expectations.  Let go of my anger.  Let go of my need to have everyone like me. 
It'll never happen. 
Can't please everyone.
But, my life is in such upheaval right now, that I can't even see straight. 

I got my CT scan and blood work back.  It seems that I am in the beginning stages of kidney disease.  That my type 1 diabetes has done some "undoable" damage to my kidneys. 
All the doctor's have told me that I need to go on the insulin pump.  That the pump will probably make my blood sugars a little more stable.  And that stability in itself should right some of the wrongs in my body.  It's a long and hard process - going over to the pump.  It's something I'll have to wear day and night - 24/7 (unless I'm in the shower or swimming).  Something that I have to learn how to operate.  Something that's going to give me lots of little shots of insulin throughout the day, instead of me giving myself 6 or 7 large injections throughout the day.  There's so much to learn, in fact, because I have to go to three insulin pump training classes just to learn how to use it.  Thank the good Lord that John is around.  He's going with me to all the classes.  And I'll need his extra set of ears...
So, after I start the pump, I'm told to report back to my new family physician.  (oh and he's so nice! and so soft -spoken!  and such good bedside manner)  If my diarrhea doesn't go away after being on the pump for sometime, he's sending me to a  gastroenterologist to see if there's not something maybe a little more serious going on. 
great.  a new specialist.  wonder-freakin-ful. 
Olivia's labs came back really funky...
If  I am reading them correctly (and I've seen 100's of lab work, so I'm guessing I am) she has Lyme's disease.  And her thyroid is acting up again, according to the lab report. 
double sigh...
Things I guess could be worse.  I know I could be dealing with much harder illnesses.  But, while I'm going through these phases of "un health" I'm just not seeing the good in any of it. 
It's a frustrating situation.  Not being able to walk without a cane.  Not being able to shower (at times) without aid.  Not being able to live the life I once knew and loved.  I feel as though I'm just muttering through life.  I'm certainly just waiting for tomorrow.  That's all I've been doing.  Waiting.  Waiting for the next day to arrive.  Waiting for the blood work to come back.  Waiting to hear back from the doctor.  Waiting to see a new doctor.  Waiting for the pain to subside.  Waiting.
 Just ...
John is so good to me.  I couldn't ever go through this without him.  He's so supportive, so sweet, such an amazing help to me.  He'll do the dishes.  He'll fold the laundry.  He changes the bed sheets.  He vacuums the floors.  He does all the girl scout things with Olivia.  He does all of these things without complaint and still while working in the freezing cold at his day job. 
He's such a great husband.  I'm so lucky to have him, to lean on him, to depend on him. 
So, I guess that's about it...
Wait, one more thing...
I've (finally) started my book.  The one that tells all about how John and I met, fell in love, gave a baby up for adoption, and yet stayed together... It's going to be a tell all.  Not going to hold anything back... I want to write it before my health gets so bad that I cannot do it any more.  I'm told that dialysis is probably in my future if my blood sugars stay on their present course.  So, I want to get it done before I can't get it done. 
Till next time, my dear readers...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January Camping

This past weekend, a weekend in January, the forecast for my area of Pennsylvania was a balmy and "spring like" 62 degrees.  John was already going camping that weekend with one of his buddies and long time friend, Mike.  With a forecast like the one the weatherman was talking about, I asked him if I could tag along too... Ya know, just to get out of the house for awhile.  Since I became disabled,  way back in August of 2011, I feel like I've been staring at the same walls for freakin' ever...  A chance to spend some time outdoors, without the threat of spiders and mosquitos, seemed like a terrific idea. 
So, John said, "Of course.  We'll bring the big tent and our cots."
It seemed set;  just had to get a sitter for my pre-teen because oddly enough, pre-teens and time with the folks (In the GREAT OUTDOORS! AGH! and with no WIFI???!!! DOUBLE AGH!)  camping don't mix. 
So, we got a sitter, made the reservations online and with each passing hour, I grew more and more excited.  The time sort of alone with my best friend and hubby of over 13 years and our good friend Mike, the smell of a campfire, the relaxing atmosphere - just thinking about it made me giggly with anticipation. 
The morning of Saturday came and we were busy packing up the car with various items we couldn't live without while camping... We were going camping at a pet friendly site so even our dog Molson could join us as well.
We got to the campground - about 10 miles away or so - from our home.  And the weather on Saturday was a just a bit nippy, but otherwise, partly sunny and comfortable for mid January.  And with the forecast supposedly reaching the mid 60's the next day, we set up in damp, but certainly doable conditions with hope for even better weather to be had.
The first night we were there, the temperatures plummeted.  In no time, my feet started feeling quite cold, and my hands shortly thereafter.  I couldn't stop chattering my teeth.  Even sitting by the roaring fire I was freezing.  At one point, I went to my tent, stepped in (for some reason, I was expecting a whoof of warm air to hit my face) and after feeling the "just-as-extreme-as-outside" coldness in there, started to feel my first twinges of doubt and sorrow that I just didn't stay home. 
Brushing off my doubts and killing my inner voices, I bravely got my extra sweatshirt, threw it on and "robbled" back to the campfire. 
By this time, our dog, who we were so thrilled to let tag along was being a complete "scaredy-cat"... all the time whimpering, whining, and just not relaxing.  So, John decided to take him home.  I was going to set by the fire with Mike and just listen to the radio and chill-ax for a bit. 
Before he left, I gave John several orders on what to bring back with him - since we had an electric site, I requested a space heater and an extension cord - that way we could warm up the tent and still charge a cell phone or two.  I think I even asked him for my heavy coat and gloves. 
So, after he got back, I started getting sleepy - this was around 8ish... I wanted to take my night time medicines and my long acting insulin shot and then get comfy with my cot, blanket, three pillows and my portable DVD player - with my Anne of Green Gables DVD already queued up inside of it. 
I got comfortable, John and Mike continued their fire poking and small talk and I drifted off into sleep,  just to be woken up a few hours later listening to rain outside.  And it poured.  Or at least that's what it sounded like from inside our tent.  Just raining cats and dogs.  So, as the night wore on, I was up off an on throughout the evening, sometimes uncomfortable or in pain, sometimes because the rain was so heavy that all I could think about was the misery of packing up a wet tent in less than 24 hours time.  And I believe I also thought about writing a very nasty email to the head meteorologist of our local news department.  As the dawn approached, it began to look like he was more wrong by the minute.  It certainly wasn't 62 degrees and "spring like" out there.  It was wet, damp, cold, foggy and quite miserable out there.
Around 7 am or so, the need to pee was quite present and I kind of rolled over to look at John and he was obviously feeling the same need.  We were up, and not really going to go back to sleep... After each of us did our "business" we sort of crawled back into our cots and each of us rolled onto our sides so we could face each other.  As usual, he was cracking some jokes and we got to talking about the rest of the day.  We had to go back to our house to let our dog outside so he could also pee and I forgot bowls to have my cereal in, so a hot breakfast at McDonald's seemed to be in our future as well.  Off we went.  When we pulled up to the house, I started regretting not having brought my supplies from the campground.  The house looked warm, inviting, and ever so cozy...
We walked in, John leashed up Molson and I hopped onto the computer right away.  What is it about being away from the computer or TV?  I don't know what it is, but they were shouting my name and I wasn't about to let them go unanswered.  I soaked in some TV - albeit about 20 minutes - but long enough for me to get my fix.  The computer time was much needed.  I signed onto Facebook for a little, played one of my games for about 10 minutes and then it was time to go back.  To the campground.  During our TV time, we did manage to catch the local weather.  They were stating that the thick, dense fog would lift in the next hour or so, and that the sun would come back.  Yippee!!!    With those thoughts rolling around in our heads, we hit up McDonald's and then back to the campground. 
By the time we got back to the campground, it was around 9 or 10 o'clock.  We started a fire and I got back to the point of camping - relaxing. 
Well, as the day wore on, hour passing by hour, the fog never lifted.  The sun never made it's triumphant return.  The rain/drizzle never let up.  My feet again started turning cold and my hands could barley hold my cup-of-noodles lunch in them. 
That was it.
I stayed as long as I could muster, started crying and announced how bad I physically felt and that I just couldn't do it anymore.  John looked at me, and said, "I'm surprised you made it this far" and then he helped me load up my car with my pillows, medications, portable DVD player, and blanket.  With parting words of "Go home and take a pain killer and relax" followed by an "I love you and call me when you get home",  I left.
I know he wanted me to stay, but he also loved me enough to know that I couldn't.  He sees how I manage on days that I don't have to leave the comfort of home - he sees the pain I endure day after day - and while there was a tiny bit of me that wanted to also stay, I knew that I couldn't. 
Thank the good Lord that I made it home when I did.  I could barely feel anything below my waist when I pulled into my parking spot.  I was so numb with cold and also in quite a bit of pain.  I was all to eager to throw up my feet, turn up the heat, and sit down with a treat...
So, that's it.  My most recent camping escapade.  I'm a little sad I couldn't make it all 2 1/2 days, but, I did what I could.  And what more can you ask of someone than that??

Someone once referred to this tent as the Olley Castle
It's freakin' huge inside of this tent...
Easily fits 3 cots, with plenty of room to spare,
and you can fully stand inside of it...

John and me... and fog, of course

John goofing around with his main
camping tool... :)


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The definition of Robble

It's a very late 10:12 in the AM...  John and I had slept in today, on a freakin' Tuesday.  Very unlike us.  But, today we had plans to renew our driver's licenses and to go to one of my doctor's appointments.  And since John is partially unemployed and has like 4 weeks of paid vacation, he decided to just take the day off.
I did stumble out of bed somewhere around the 6:45 am time, just in time to see what Olivia was up to before she left the house to wait for the school bus.  I took one look at her, decided what she was wearing was an "ok"  choice for school, I insisted that I put her hair up (she does have gym today) and I asked her if she ate breakfast here, or if she had planned on getting it at school.  One question is all she can manage to answer in the mornings, so she told me that she would get it at school. 
I had to run to the bathroom so I kissed her and hugged her goodbye and "robbled" to the bathroom.
Oh, I'm sorry.  You don't know what the word "robble" means.  It's John's word.  He made it up one day as I was hurrying to beat him the coffee pot before he could take the last of it.  It's "running" and "hobbling" at the same time.  You see, I walk with a cane most of the time.  And running is out of the question, but I do still try to do it... Therefore, a new word will be added to the dictionary as soon as Webster picks up on it, and wham - Robble.   It'll be a verb, of course. 
Anywho, I ended up (like many mornings) waking up with a freakin' headache.  This one is not a migraine, although, I've waken up with those too.  No, this was just a bad headache.  I took three of my prescription pills for them and fell back to sleep.  Only to wake up at 10:00 and I still have my headache, but now I realize that it's too late to do the things we need to do and still make it home in time for Olivia  off the bus. 
I already cancelled my dr's appointment.  I really didn't wanna go anyway.  It was going to be an utterly useless waste of my time and gas in my car.  It was a follow up to a pain management appointment I had a month ago.  And while I was happy at my first appointment with them, they ended up sending me to a jerk of a physical therapist.  And they refused to call me back after I complained and requested to see a new physical therapist. I must've called 3 different times.  So, fuck 'em.  I ain't going back there.  I'll get my family doctor to send me to a new physical therapist. 
I put on some fresh caffeine and can hear it brewing.  I think I'll have a cup of joe and see if I can manage to make my headache go away. 
Tata for now people!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Woes of Woman-hood

John and I knew that our precious baby girl - our little 3 pound Olivia would someday become a woman.  A lady.  We just didn't expect it to arrive so quickly. 
Well, I guess it's not at all that quickly, but it sure feels that way. 
For a little over a decade, we got to watch our little premature baby develop into an amazing kid.  She by far was the absolute cutest baby!!  And that's just not "proud momma" talking - I mean, everyone told us this.  From family to nurses, to complete strangers.  And her cuteness wasn't just cute.  I mean, she was cute as a button, giggly, sweet tempered, I-just-wanna-eat-her-up cute.  I remember one night - one of her many middle of the night feedings - I had on some soft music playing, Lullabies for Babies, the CD was called.  The moon was full and shining so gently through her Noah's Ark themed nursery window.  I was just feeding her her bottle and I couldn't stop staring at her.  She was just so perfect.
Well, I know what you're all thinking - babies are just that. " Babies.  They grow up eventually.  They become toddlers.  And there's not a toddler in the world that's perfect!"
Ha!  Shows what you know!
Olivia started to walk and yes, indeed, became a toddler.  But, she was so sweet mannered and polite!  Always a smile on her face.  Always a "please" and a "thank you".  Always just really well behaved. I'd like to take credit for that.  But, even the best intentioned parent can't raise a perfect toddler.  No, Olivia is just really, really that sweet.
So, then came kindergarten.  You'd think that this perfection I speak of surely can't last this long.  But, it did!  She was still the nicest, most well behaved child on the planet.  All her teachers thought so. 
But, by this time, we noticed her weight quickly dropping and her appetite increasing and her energy kind of gearing up.  The Christmas season was upon us... Christmas of '04.  She was three.  She was kind of helping me put some lights up in our living room, and she just happened to look up at the ceiling.  I noticed a huge lump in her throat.  I mean, this thing was very palpable and extremely noticeable.  In fact, I remember thinking, "How could've I missed this?"
I took her to the pediatrician's office the very next day.  As it turned out, she had Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  Or Grave's disease.  A form of hyperthyroidism.  She was sent out quickly to a specialist in Hershey, PA.  About an hour's drive from us.  She had to see this specialist several times a year.  She was put on medication and responded well to it. 
With that crisis under control, we move on to the grade school years.  Still a precious child.  Still as sweet as could be.  Sure, she had what I like to call "moments of slight insanity" - where she would throw a mini-fit, or she'd talk back, and sometimes told little "white lies".  But, her genuine sweet and caring personality was always there.  Very quick to apologize and very prompt to make up for her rarely seen bad moods.
She is an absolute animal lover.  All kinds of animals.  Always going on and on about how cute that is, or how she wants 10 of that type of animal when she grows up.  Her passion though, is in loving dogs.  Always been a HUGE dog lover.  She even has ambitions on becoming a veterinarian. 
She also enjoys jewelry making - again, kind of sticking to one particular thing in that arena - bracelets.  That girl could whip up a bracelet faster than you can say the word, "bracelet".  Throughout the years, she has easily made over 500 bracelets. 
And because of this passion, we thought it would behoove her to do something constructive with her talent.  She became a girl scout when she turned 10.  She joined the local girl scout troop, and blossomed even further.  Not only is she even more crafty, she also has taken several trips with the girl scouts and sold the beloved girl scout cookies.  She broke out of her "shy-to-strangers" shell and really has shown courage and responsible behavior since joining. 
Well, as her 12th birthday is next month, she is finally starting to become very emotional.  Not just emotional, I mean downright hormonal.
And we expected it.  I even took it several steps ahead of my own mom and purchased or borrowed all the right books about this time in her life.  About the "becoming a woman", about what to sort of expect once a month, even touched base on the "where babies really come from"  speech.  And while I got the "Oh mom, that so gross!" or the "Seriously?  I have to really do this??" and even the "Why couldn't have I been a boy???" - I could tell tonight, as she looked at me with tears in her questioning eyes, showing me the stains in her underwear - that she really loved the fact that I talked to her about it.  She knew there was nothing seriously wrong with her.  She knew she didn't need to be rushed to the hospital because she was (what Vata from the movie My Girl called) hemorrhaging.
So, while we are a little saddened about how quickly these last several years have gone by, we're also very proud of the woman she is starting to become.  I know it is just the beginning to one hell of a ride.  But, I also know that we can continue to raise a respectful and bright young lady.... 
Olivia at her girl scout bridging ceremony
Olivia at her girl scout bridging ceremony

Olivia and her favorite doggie of all time, our American bulldog, Molson

Olivia as a preschooler, a toddler

After our Olivia was born 2 months early