Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Apologies

This has not been the most fun blog to read lately, I know. I apologize for that--life has just been a bit challenging and this is where I go to spew about it. (Well gee, now that I wrote it as spewing, I am sure you're more eager than ever to read it. . . )

My doctor's appointment is in 90 minutes (finally). I have my list ready. Heaven knows, I am ready.

I am a frustrated woman, I must admit. The ankle and foot pain HAS improved, thank goodness, but honestly, last night it took me almost two hours to get to sleep because I would lay there, and one by one, my joints would hurt. First one ankle, then the other. First one shoulder and then the other. And my back and hips ached terribly. If I tried to roll over, I would gasp the whole time. I dread having to get up to go to the bathroom. I just want to fall into bed and shut down for some hours. Joseph and I's bed is a sanctuary . . . a place to go to for refuge, relaxation, comfort, security. In recent weeks, I feel my worst in bed, struggling to find a comfortable position to sleep in and then STAY THERE until morning. I am sure I am sleeping about 4-5 hours a night tops, which helps nothing of course. I find myself being bitchy during the day. Yesterday, I went upstairs, laid down on the bed with a heat pack, and just CHILLED (yes, I know heat--cold, I get it.) I felt like I would snap otherwise.

So yeah, I'm ready. I'm ready to be able to work all day without having to work around pain. I am ready to tackle the new year with energy and hope and confidence.

Gee, that poor doctor has no idea what she is in for when she walks into the room today.  Poor woman.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Back to the Grind . . .

Oh gosh, did I love having three days off. Truly a gift for the holidays! I wish I had felt better so I could have made better use of the time, of course. I didn't make the cards I'd planned or finish all the books I'm reading (although I did finish two and hit my reading goal for the year!). I did a lot of swearing and limping and sitting on the couch, but I got to be with my guys, and I had long talks and video chats with my girl.

Now, it's back to reality. Dead lines. Due dates. Sigh.

Sure, we have a short week thanks to New Year's, and I am grateful for that, truly. I plan to take off New Year's Day and hopefully feel so great, I will spend it doing all of those other things I didn't do this past week.

Update on the whole foot/ankle thing. . . I suspect it wasn't gout as the meds made no difference at all. The foot is still very swollen and I have little motion, but the pain level has backed off. This is good because on Thursday, yes, Christmas morning, it was so bad, I began asking Joseph to go out and buy me an axe and put it under the tree. We even ended up renting a wheelchair. Sheeeeeeesh. Doctor's appointment is Tuesday. List is ready. Questions are written down. Wish me luck. This girl needs some answers.

Oh, and more time off. I like that a bunch!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Warning! Warning! Pity Party

How awful am I to post a pity party on Christmas Eve? Sheeeeeeesh. Please, don't read it now. Wait until the presents and parties and time off and fun is over. It's just me whining, cuz I need a place to whine.

Gout hurts.
I know it sounds like an old person's disease and is easy to dismiss with stuff like bursitis and arthritis. But  . . . I am utterly humbled by this pain. It is as intense as kidney stones, but does not send me pacing or throwing up. Instead it keeps me up all night long, despite two of the strongest pain pills I have, in too much pain to read or watch tv or write letters because I simply cannot get past the pain enough to focus. It is like having multiple bones in my foot and ankle broken, and then set on fire. I have no motion in the toes at all and limited in the ankle so I have to walk "funny".

Today, I have ONE MORE assignment to get done and turned in before my days off begin. It will take all I have to push through, but the reward will be worth it. I've been using two canes and this morning, once Joseph is up, I will have him bring in my walker (remember Pippin?) and that might help me get around the house a bit better.

I truly  have cried more in the last 24 hours than in last six months. I cried from pain countless times. I cried because decorating the tree, despite the loving efforts of my men, is just not the same without Nicole. Every time I picked up one of her ornaments, I cried again. When the boys still decorated themselves in garland, a family tradition since they were tiny, they did it for me, and I cried more.  Shoot, I am crying as I write this. I guess my tear ducts are in good shape, eh?

Certainly people out there have it a million times worse. They are in tears because they miss people who are truly gone, not just on the other side of the globe. They are in tears because they have a terminal illness that there is no recovery from, and I have something that will be gone in 3-4 days (otherwise amputation is my chosen method for a cure). I am home, safe, loved, and about to share a wonderful couple of days off with my wonderful sons and a husband I adore.

I. am. lucky.
But DAMN, gout hurts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I Have Enough Character, Right?

Woke this morning to blinding pain in my right ankle.

REALLY? REALLY! Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

Red? Swollen? No. But it feels like I took a huge fall and really sprained it. (Maybe I am channeling Joseph . . . he fell last night and really banged up his shin. Sympathetic pain?) I can barely walk on it and it was the GOOD LEG. So now I am hobbling around the house with a cane, swearing nonstop as I do, and vacillating between crying because it really, really hurts and laughing because this is just so STUPID.

Honestly, I have enough character now. I don't need to be tested any more. I have survived four gout attacks, a grand mal seizure, four, yes, FOUR episodes of kidney stones--I think that is enough to prove I'm tough.

I'm considering becoming a grizzley bear and going into a cave and hibernating. I will grab a few books, my slippers, some coconut water, and I'm good. I shall emerge in the spring, thinner, rested, and ready to take on the world.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Too Much

Too much work.
Too many responsibilities.
Too little time.

My doctor's appointment, which I have literally been counting the hours until because I am so eager, was today. Not tomorrow when I had remembered. Not tomorrow when I had planned for. This morning. So I missed it. And I will get over it--I will. But right now I just want to go upstairs, crawl under the covers, pull them up and cry for a little while.

I won't do it.
I'll sit here and keep writing and hitting those deadlines.

But . . . too much. Just . . .too much.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

On Tuesday

In a couple of days I am going to the doctor for a much overdue visit. The reasons for not going before now are long and boring, so we will skip those. I have a long list I am taking with me so I don't forget to say something I need to. I am pretty darn sure she will immediately refer me out for either a MRI or CAT scan--both of which are expensive, so I may wait until 2015 when insurance kicks in .  . . we will see.

I made a list of all of my primary symptoms last night and this morning I put them into a search box. It came up with a condition that every single symptom fit. . . . Hmmmmmmm. It's not a common condition, it's hard to pinpoint, most of the main causes do not apply to me, and there's little to be done about it  overall (well yahoo), but if I had a NAME for it, there would be tremendous relief in that alone. I've been in significant pain since August, so I would be thrilled with just some answers.

I am fortunate that I have finally, finally, FINALLY found a doctor who (1) listens without her eyes glazing over, (2) doesn't get upset that I've done my own medical research on the topic and (3) doesn't treat me like whatever is wrong with me is MY fault. (Because what is pain without a load of guilt thrown in, right?!)

So, send prayers, hugs, dance with chickens, read the tarot cards, think good thoughts, whatever you personally do and I will happily take it. I just want some answers. It's been a bit challenging to keep up with everything and deal with this much discomfort. Answers would sure help.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

In a Mere Six Hours

Trying to really make the most of every minute today in the fervent hope I can take off Dec. 24, 25 and 26. To that end, welcome to what I have done between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.:

1. Ordered a Christmas present for Joseph.
2. Looked in vain for a Christmas present for the boys.
3. Answered 44--yes, really--44 emails.
4. Got three job offers. Accepted one, said maybe to one and no to one.
5. Wrote a passage on how to become a professional bicycle rider.
6. Wrote a passage on useless inventions.
7. Got interviewed by phone with a new company about working for them.
8. Finished a letter and got it in the mailbox.
9. Taped up a present for a friend and got it ready to go to the P.O.
10. Went out for coffee, doing errands on the way back.
11. Cleaned up (okay, only a LITTLE, but it still counts, right?)
12. Had lunch with Cas and Joseph.
13. Researched sinkholes.
14. Repeatedly contemplated a nap.

Not too bad for the first six hours of the day. Of course, until I stop working about 9 or 10 pm tonight (7-8 hours from now), I still plan to:

1. Write a Power Point lesson on accidental inventions
2. Write the sidebars for a book on sinkholes
3. Research Bangladesh floating schools for a passage I am writing tomorrow
4. Finish a letter that is half way done
5. Flesh out the list of what is going into the holiday letter (which has turned in to an end of the year letter rather than Christmas because I am so far behind--thank you, Nicole)
6. Tape up the last set of boxes of gifts to send to the post office (trip #4)
7. Talk to Nicole before she goes to work, or after, or on break or whenever she can call
8. IM with Susan after she gets home tonight
9. Clean up more (ok, maybe not this one . . . .)
10. Have dinner

Fall into bed, try to read, can't keep eyes open, cue end of day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hard Days

Why is life harder some days than others? I have tried analyzing it, and am coming up pretty blank.  I often find myself in that trap of "if only I was _________" (fill in the blank--richer, younger, thinner, etc.), "I would be happy." I know that is not true. I have had none of those things and been happy; I've had all of those things and NOT been happy, and everything in between.

I know, on a conscious level, that everything is good for me right now. I have a wonderful husband and amazing kids. I have a great job. I love where I live. We are fine money wise. And yet, for the past week, each day I go through periods of such sadness and frustration that I get MAD at myself for being sad and frustrated. Ha, how intelligent is that?

I find myself missing people a great deal right now. I miss my parents so very, very much. I feel like I can relate to them more than ever, yet I can't pick up the phone and discuss it. I miss being someone's daughter.

I have one daughter I hold in my heart even though I've not had contact with her in a long time. I dream of her often and we are always friends again in those dreams. I wake with tears, missing her deeply.  I have one daughter who is on the other side of the planet and is truly my best friend, and having her happy in the Land Down Under is wonderful, but oh how I miss her. Christmas without her is just . . . incomprehensible.  I have two wonderful sons who are handsome and funny and smart and doing so well. Caspian leaves in two weeks for his internship, so I am already missing him. Coryn is itching to travel and is putting plans in place for the spring. They are happy, healthy and thriving. But the house keeps getting quieter and emptier.

I have a doctor's appointment in a few days that I both anticipate and dread. I suspect I will never get through it without crying. I fear that, even though she is such a patient woman, she will stop listening when I am only half way through trying to explain what is going on. I fear that she will insist on a scad of expensive medical tests that will just deepen our debt load, and reveal little to nothing. And while nothing sounds good, when you are in pain every single day and rarely going anywhere without a walker or a cane, you want them to find SOMETHING. Please!

I will get out of this funk. I will have a wonderful Christmas. I will meet these endless deadlines. I will smile and laugh and be happy. But it isn't going to be easy. Why can't we burn calories by concentrating, pushing through, and accomplishing? At least that would be a nice bonus.

Yeah, hard days.