Guest Blogger!!!

I have not been able to write for this blog nearly as often as I would like to. Here is a blogger I follow regularly however, her stuff is raw and honest and either tragic or hilarious. Here is her latest! Give her a read!

http://stefunnysoundsaboutright.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-princesses-who-taught-me-what-royal.html

 

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Who Wants to Complain?

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I have shared about the issues I have been going through with seemingly no end (other than my end), clearly in sight. To top it off, last weekend my daughter was kind enough to share with me the head cold she obtained from a friend. So now I have been on high alert to stifle any type of cough or sneeze that will make my body tense up quickly and unexpectedly. I’m like an unlucky penny; heads or tails is a loss right now! I haven’t looked sick from my already ongoing health issues, and the head cold mixed with some PMS just relegates my face to that of most women my age with families and a lack of proper sleep and nutrition. I have not felt great on the inside though and there were a couple of days this week I could barely drag myself to do all that I had to, but it is evident that not many others can tell. I don’t want to complain. I don’t want to whine. I don’t think most people want to seem like they are whining or complaining, (except for those who are chronic complainers of any topic in life, and we all know who they are…if only they knew who they are). This lack of a desire to complain and seem weak to others, or ungrateful that things are not any worse,  keeps us from openly sharing a lot of things about our lives that are hard for us to deal with alone. So we put on our masks and act like nothing is wrong even though other people can tell something is not right.

I have been fully aware for a long time, but recently I have been more astutely aware, of the many sufferers of silent diseases. Lately, as I have been walking through life with a new private pain and suffering, I have been thinking more and more about how many of us humans are walking around in silent suffering as we take our daily steps through life and interacting with so many others who do not see our pain. A friend sent me a lovely story to read a few weeks ago when I was having a difficult day. It was about a couple who were so down on their luck and the poor woman/wife in the story was so tired of explaining their lives away in effort to not be judged based on the assumptions of others. It was a great story about how we all have our own personal issues, but sometimes we are so tired of being misunderstood or having people assume the worst of us when we are in actuality experiencing what feels like the worst life can hand us that we want to post exactly what is wrong on a billboard, or hang a sign around our necks. Boy could I relate to that desire! My signs would say something like; “Not to complain but….”, “I had a four year old sleeping on top of me, literally, since three am”, “This head cold is just annoying enough to make me really cranky and tired”, “My ass is like a match, it burns”, and finally; “I am hungrier than Angelina Jolie”. 

Last week I was getting coffee at a place on my regularly scheduled route. I had heard the morning employee recently telling another friendly-customer about a lot of illnesses in her life, specifically an ailing mother and something with her teenage daughter. When I got a cup of coffee the other day I asked her how everything was going. She shared that her daughter was finally seeing some specialists to find out why she was throwing up once a day for seemingly no reason, feels so awful she has only been to three days of school this year so far, and has lost ten pounds she didn’t need to lose as an already young and thin girl. I told her that I could assure her specialists were worth their time and that I would pray for her. She thanked me and I will undoubtedly see her again before too long and be able to get an update. I’ll bet to a lot of people she sometimes seems like a “cranky” coffee-lady because of the extreme stress and fatigue that show on her face from caring for an ailing and elderly parent who is struggling through rehabilitation from a major surgery, and trying to get one of her children’s health problems figured out. There is another woman who is a sales-clerk in another store on my errands route who is similar in presentation. Friendly and courteous but obviously wearing a mask over pain and struggles. I’ve had conversation with her asking how she is etc…and she has shared things are a struggle but she literally told me once, “I hate to complain because someone always has it worse”. I assured her that whatever her struggles are, they are hers and she has a right to however she feels about them. I pray for her too, this woman who is a familiar stranger in my life. I don’t even know what her actual situation is, but I know that she is doing her best and probably being mostly unrecognized for whatever she is carrying. I know the burdens of my closest family and friends as well as the burdens of some of their family and friends. I try to be there for whom I am able and pray for those who I am not. That is all we can do after all and yet one of the most important things we are supposed to do for one another. “Do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” So freaking hard sometimes!!

I don’t always do such a good job when I receive a lack of courteous customer service or someone takes their day out on me at an intersection or in a parking lot. I recognize that I am friendlier than most people in general and I do my best not to expect certain behaviors other than what most people are capable of exhibiting. However, it is hard sometimes to remember that the behaviors of some people are merely a symptom of something they are silently suffering through. A victim of abuse, a beholder of a painful illness (and maybe one that is not even socially acceptable to talk about), cancer and the horrible treatments needed for healing, a dying loved one, a lost loved one, a lost beloved pet, financial destitution, a bad diagnosis, loneliness; the list can go on and on. There are so many hidden and personal painful truths of everyone we interact with and we often do not stop and think there might be another possible and completely understandable reason for another person not being their best self other than just thinking they are a big jerk. I know there are days where I am not super friendly and could probably even be capable of homicide, (vehicular or with my bare hands depending on the day and the situation). There are days where I am out and about and just getting through the check-out line without bursting into tears is an accomplishment. I am certain I do not seem like my ‘true self’ in these situations and I would sure hate to be judged the way I can be capable of doing to others at times.

I appreciate the people in my life who know the labels to my worries and pains. I do my best to know the labels of what the others in my life are carrying as well as I am able. Sometimes, even when we are not able to do much for another person just the simple act of recognizing that they are hurting or struggling can be the greatest gift we can give another. So next time someone is being a bit snappy or short with you as you are out and about in your life, or even as you are in and surrounded by your own loved ones, try something I do (when I am in a good place to be my best self), and just quietly and sincerely ask them; “Are you having a rough day?” Chances are, they are.

P.S. If they are really just a jerk, asking this question is when you will find out and then you are free to judge them as such! 😉

But of course, try not to!

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The Doctor(s) Will See You Now

Do you ever sitdoctor in coat around at ten p.m. and wonder how the hell you used to not even go out until that time of night when you were in your  twenties? Oh my gosh, I want to go to bed so badly but I just got my daughter to bed a little over an hour ago and the guys are watching football and it’s boring me so I figured I would blog something. It’s been a slow getting out of the gate to write any posts for this blog and all because I have simply been too busy!

To continue on the health issues I shared about in the first post ; I’ve been consumed with doctor’s appointments. None of them have been very pleasant things to deal with at all, but at least I finally found out what was wrong with my booty; a fissure. Look it up – that’s the same way the doctor found it too. Boy was that an experience I did not ever imagine having! A colon-rectal specialist. Not only was I waiting before the exam in a waiting room full of old men and golf magazines, but the actual exam room was just chock full of horrifying looking equipment and the only one I’ll share was these absurdly huge q-tips that looked like they were made for a giant’s ears. Before the doctor ever came in to the exam room  I had myself going mental from anxiety and on all of the recommended medications I had read about in the waiting room, wearing a colostomy bag due to a botched surgery, and learned all the parts of the digestive system in effort to stop looking at those huge q-tips! And did I mention how absolutely horrified I was to be examined after the circus act at the E.R.? When the nurse told me to drop my panties and kneel to bend over the examining table, in my head she sounded like an angry fellow inmate who had just bought me for a pack of smokes. I asked her if it was going to hurt and she looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Well, you’re not going to like it”. I actually began to cry. Thankfully the Super Doctor only needed a ‘peek in the cheeks’ and when he said “That’s it!”, I stood up and told him he was worth every specialist penny he made in comparison to E.R. Residents! He actually cracked up and thanked me. Hopefully the magical tube of ointment I was given will prevent any surgical procedures from being necessary because this whole situation has been quite unpleasant, to say the least. It sure has given the phrase “I’m gonna tear you a new asshole”, a new meaning for me. Yowsers! Anyway, I got that figured out thanks to the Super-Doc and am at least finally  feeling hopeful I may actually heal.

Then in the midst of trying figure out how to put all these painful issues “behind” me (hahaha), I went and saw my OBGYN for my annual exam and she gave me an early birthday gift; a prescription for a mammogram. Oh thaaaanks! A reminder that I am going to turn forty in a few months and that means I have to get my boobs squished by some torture device labeled as medical equipment so they can get away with using it. Then she warns me that since it is going to be my first time I may have to get it done twice because they have nothing to compare it to. WHAAAAAT? A likely two-fer? Now listen, go get your mammograms ladies. Do it. Early detection is key and saves lives. But why can’t there be another way to check our boobies out? Is squishing them as flat as possible and stretching them doing any of us forty-plus broads any favors in the already rapidly waning “fullness” department? It’s not enough that many of us have had children hanging from us for nourishment and of course gravity could maybe grip all of us a bit less tightly to the ground, just a bit. Never mind the emotional stress that hits us all as we wait for the results. We focus so much on the discomfort of the exam because I think the fear of the possible results terrify all of us as women. Breast cancer, I would bet it has touched all of our lives. Oh well, it’s gotta be done. So do it. Get squished. I left with my papers on self-breast exams, my birthday gift script, and went immediately to my next appointment with a Gastrointestinal Specialist.

The G.I. doctor was recommended to me by a friend whose opinion I trust, and I immediately appreciated the referral. The office staff was stellar and the doctor was as well. This was my favorite visit so far because I never even had to take my clothes off, let alone my panties! We just talked. It was like the guy your mom wants you to date. He asked a bunch of questions to get to know me and my belly and he really listened, even to my belly…with his stethoscope. He figured out I am a Type-A personality and have most likely always suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I was given some heavy duty probiotics, a bunch of samples of that little purple pill and then had to make appointments for: an upper g.i. ultrasound, some type of breath test for lactose issues where I have to breathe into bags but apparently it takes so long I’m supposed to bring a book, and some blood-work to check for food allergies and celiac issues. I was also given a list of foods to eat and to avoid and my menu selections became even smaller than they have been and I shed a few tears wondering how in the world can I have a  body where avocado should be avoided? Cookies and big bowls of pasta in Alfredo sauce, fine, but avocado??? I might have to rebel on a few items on that list and just swallow that purple pill. Much more dietary restriction and I could go on Survivor and win just from being used to starving. Good grief.

Being Type-A I appreciate thoroughness so I do not mind all of the appointments. I also am super-blessed to have great health insurance coverage and a low co-pay which I do not ever take for granted. I’m grateful for finally meeting the people who are able to help me on this “crappy” journey and I am feeling better already and hopeful for healing. And hey- it turns out cutting the bad foods from your diet, eating a bunch of vegetables, and drinking water non-stop really does work for health and weight-loss. My skin is glowing and I lost over ten pounds already! I haven’t been able to exercise strenuously because of the fissure, but I have been able to start up my yoga practice again. Even better than the hope for full healing without surgery, a doctor who will finally after almost forty years figure out why my guts are so difficult to get along with, and the weight-loss and restored health and fitness I have been fighting to re-attain for over four years now; I have a fair understanding of why this all happened and why I have had to suffer. I may tell you that another time but for now just know that whatever your current struggles are there is a reason you are going through them, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel- if you just keep digging long enough.

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To Fly? Or to Lie…..down?

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It is late afternoon and I am still sitting/lying around on my couch in my underwear and a tank top (yup, not even pants), with my pillow and a favorite fleece blanket. My daughter is still in her pajamas too, well at least the top part as she lost her shorts after an underwear changing incident earlier this morning. At least she put underwear back on once I reminded her. She woke me up around insane-am by standing next to my bed and asking me to wake up and come sleep in her bed with her. I groggily looked at her and said she was welcome to sleep in my bed and then realized I had to pee as immediately as possible. I got out of bed and told her I was only going to the bathroom and then coming back to my bed, but we both knew she had won thanks to my bladder and the insane amounts of water I am consuming in effort to help my body and its “issues”. I was way too tired to argue and I knew that a massive meltdown on her part would likely ensue if I resisted, so I followed her to her bedroom and crawled into bed beside her. She has a full-sized bed due to the acrobatics she typically performs on most nights during her sleep and for safety she sleeps primarily in the middle with a bunch of pillows around her. A full-sized bed with a still-sleeping child may be restful for some sleepers, but I wouldn’t know about that. I clung to the edge of the mattress on half of a pillow sham with a tiny quilt draped across my arms to warm myself from the breeze of the ceiling fan. I slept off and on as little legs and arms came into contact with my body throughout the night and I realized I was not dreaming about football because of the game I had watched.

After what seemed like hours of non-sleep I heard my husband as he woke up to get ready for work and came down the stairs and into the hallway outside of her door. If she is not awake in the morning, she likes him to wake her up in order to have breakfast with her daddy before he goes to work for the day. I laid there trying desperately to send him a telepathic message to NOT OPEN THE DOOR, AND LET HER SLEEP! Even if I was going to be tired for the day ahead, there is nothing worse than dealing with a child who is exhausted when you are as well. He must have gotten my message because he crept silently away and went about his morning routine. I was awake however, and my body was giving me signals that it was time for my morning cry in the bathroom and so I got out of bed and resigned myself to the day ahead. I crept quietly out of my daughter’s bed and room and closed the door behind me. I went about my morning routine of hell and then sat with my husband as he watched the morning sports news and the super happy coverage of his favorite team winning the game the night before. I thought about how tired I was and wondered how I am ever going to get on an early morning running routine when I cannot get consistent sleep or avoid pain first thing in my day. My little girl came rolling out of her room with sweet hugs, messy hair, and plenty of energy, and was able to begin her breakfast before her daddy left for the day. I tried to nap (with a four-year old present), through several peaceful morning kid-shows (with a four-year old present), and thanks to one entrancing and colorful cartoon with soothing music that holds a special place in my heart for its ability to entrance my daughter, I was finally able to semi-sleep for about an hour. I’ll take it.

Yesterday I was a rock-star mom/wife. The kitchen was cleaned, including sink and stove scrubbed, before ten am. My daughter and I baked and iced a cake to celebrate the first football game of the season, and prepared the stuffed potato skins and barbeque chicken for dinner. I vacuumed the house, got a few loads of laundry done and did some errands around town. I read books to my daughter and spent a more than an adequate amount of time talking to her imaginary characters around us, as well as letting her “help” me with the cooking and baking. I stayed calm throughout several massive outbursts and we had a fairly pleasant day. I even had us both cleaned up and looking pretty cute before we went out and about, (which I may say so myself because this is my blog)

My entire family was actually home for dinner, and to watch a football game, for one of less than a handful of evenings since we have moved into the new house, and we had a nice night together.  And then before today even began, as she loomed above me in the darkness of the night, I realized I was not going to be a rock star mom/wife today.

I am not going to be too hard on myself. What is the deal with the insane pressure to be a perfect mother and homemaker anymore? My daughter seems tired today too. We had a busy weekend and Monday. She stayed up late and then obviously did not sleep that well either. I still got the kitchen cleaned up and some laundry done and folded. I decided the laundry can stay in the baskets since it is all folded, and really that is the same thing as being in a drawer except it is not hidden. (Why is each step of laundry like a different form of torture to us privileged American women? It’s not like I had to haul that basket down to a river for crying out loud.) My daughter has been played with, albeit sleepily and halfheartedly, but fully attended to. I filled out some looming health history questionnaires for an upcoming doctor’s visit and I made a few necessary calls to schedule appointments. I’ll somehow have dinner made at a reasonable hour and I have to run out in a little while to pick up a prescription which will force my daughter and me to put pants on and leave the comforts of our little resting space. No, we did not do any crafts I found online such as mosaic a hop-scotch onto the patio before hours of shared happy skipping and jumping. We did not hand-squeeze lemons and mix up a batch of home-made all-natural popsicles or do number or letter flashcards. I did let her watch Sesame Street which is basically an hour of learning geared towards attention deficit aged children with minds like sponges and just happens to be taught mainly by puppets, if you ask me. They can represent the number and letter of the day like no other. I should send them a donation. 

I think all women are super, and especially moms. We do a lot of stuff for others and it often goes unnoticed and is seemingly unappreciated. We are nurturing creatures who do so much to put the comfort and safety and well-being of our loved ones before ourselves that we often get worn down in the process. I highly recommend getting your personal super-woman cape in a comfy and cozy fabric rather than something more flashy and figure-flattering so when you have days where you feel worn down and not so super, you can take it off and use it as a blanket. 

 

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A Big Pain in the @$$!!

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I recently made a bazillion intentional personal life changes. Maybe that number is a slight exaggeration but it has been a major self-overhaul. The introductory part of a life overhaul anyway. The funniest, or most ironic part of most of my recent behavioral changes is that I have reverted to old habits, gone back to my old ways. This time is admittedly even a step up from my former habits. I took pretty good care of my body for a most of my life and in spite of many emotionally and physically trying times, because I took care of my body it took care of me. Overall I mean. My body and I have had a long running feud at the same time.

There is a disease as well as several “disorders” and “syndromes” that lurk within my body and have been fairly maintained over the years, but they finally had their chance to attack once again. Life became so insane and stressful over the past year, maybe even two really, that I “let myself go”. My weight went up and my depression increased. My desire to do much went down along with my ability to feel joy or energy for life. Then while I was struggling to get back into the realm of “maintaining myself”, we were hit with some big life whammies that took me out. I exercised and ate healthy foods through most of the initial storm and as the dust settled, so did I. I quit the gym for a plethora of reasons, had a new house to unpack and set-up as well as an emotionally unsettled family to assist, and exercise and eating right fell once again to the way-side. The problem this time was that the emotional and correlative physical backlash of all I had just gone through had barely begun to scratch the surface. So as I decreased in self-care the connection between my body and mind began to connect like a forest fire blazing through a mountain full of pine trees after a drought. The illnesses I already suffered from have now become the “normal” problems I wish to return to.

Gastrointestinal problems, fatigue that makes me think I understand hibernation, headaches, and finally some sort of hemorrhoid issue (that is apparently not really hemorrhoids and is waiting to be determined by a few specialists), but causes me insane pain that I cannot explain other than saying I think I can relate better to the character Andy’s pain during his jail time in the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. Every day I am in horrible pain and it has been consistent for over a month now. Nothing works as far as helping me not be in pain or to heal and so I carry through each day as I must, doing what I need to do and crying privately when I need to which has become much more frequent. It is awful and it is one more thing society refuses to admit is normal to talk about no matter how many people are plagued with the problem.

In real “normal” life I know that if you are hanging out with your friends or co-workers, or anyone for that matter, and they ask how you are doing it is understood to be  inappropriate (for some reason), to answer truthfully by saying, “Well, you know I am pretty exhausted and have been under so much insane stress that my intestines have been wrapping around themselves or having some sort of issues apparently and I have cut my diet down to basically nothing more than fruits and vegetables and water, but still every day I poop and end up screaming out and crying from the pain of a simple poo. Wait….where are you going? I didn’t tell you about the constant stabbing pain that I am left with all day long afterwards! Don’t you want to hear about what happened in the Emergency Room when I finally tried to seek medical help? It was HORRIBLE!!!” Nothing but dust from the speed of their shoes hitting the nearest path leading the farthest away from you.

Nope. Nobody wants to hear about it. Not even those closest to us. There are always some trusted and genuine friends that we can trust with anything we say and thank goodness for them! My own mother tried in her best way to be understanding and helpful and brought me a gift bag of products, including an inflatable  pillow, all intended to go “straight to my ass”.  I could have died. I mean, I appreciated the intent but I was unable to use most of the items as they did not really pertain to my actual issues. Once again, I am a medical anomaly and need “special” attention. 

I don’t want to have these issues. Nobody wants to have any kind of health issues, invisible or visible to others. People take their health for granted and have no idea what a blessing the simple gift of a healthy body truly is. I don’t want to be in pain and suffer from a potpourri of “invisible illnesses” that nobody knows about while I struggle to smile and nod through each day in place of screaming and crying as I wish. I want to be active and full of energy for my little girl and my own well-being. I miss food so much and my own little shelf of gluten-free/sugar-free/dairy-free/trans fat-free/soy-free/caffeine-free items is getting on my nerves. Never mind the extra cost of it all, including the specific produce items I am supposed to consume to fight inflammation.  It is really a bummer and I am not sure if I am more tired of dealing with it or pretending that I am not. 

Job had boils all over his body by the near end of his chapter and I am hoping and praying that this is the final painful burden I am being dealt. I am hoping that the doctors I am soon to meet are indeed masters in their fields and are able to help me as quickly and easily as possible. Because let me tell you- it is really a big pain in the @$$!

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September 5, 2013 · 10:02 pm

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This pretty much sums up what this blog is about. I am an eternal optimist plagued by incessant life “anvils” hence the name; Murphy Job.
Murphy (from Murphy’s Law), and Job (from the Bible- read just that chapter. Good Grief is right, Charlie Brown!) I am honest to a fault and you may be uncomfortable reading certain posts. If you are uncomfortable it is because you are fighting your own life demons and trying to pretend they do not exist. This is when they destroy you. Come, and face them with me. Then, CONQUER them with me. Life is not always pretty but sometimes it is really beautiful and it is always a gift.

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September 2, 2013 · 12:24 am