Main

May 27, 2009

A Picture is Worth How Many Words?

I've been reminiscing of late.  Going through old pictures, old memories in my mind, times and people from the past.  Mostly I've come to terms with those I've lost to death.  Their pictures now bring me comfort and smiles of good times, as they should.  Don't get me wrong, I still feel that pang of sadness from their passing, but I've come to that place where I like to see the pictures now.  I like to have that visual to reinforce the visions in my own head.  It reinforces the memories I have, and keeps them closer to me.

Life is now going by so quickly having kids of my own, that I am beginning to cherish those memories all the more.  Cherish all of the silly things the kids do that I can't tell those particular loved ones.  Seeing the pictures that captured their personalities helps me remain close to them.  It helps me tell my own kids about all the wonderful people that they will never know.  I imagine, probably quite accurately, what their responses and reactions would be to the things I wish I could call to share with them.  I love the pictures!

But unfortunately, there are other pictures I come across that literally rip my heart into shreds.  I won't elaborate here because I want to respect their privacy, but I'm just going to say this much along with the picture.  This picture is worth so many words that I want to say, that I should say, but that I ALREADY have said.  This picture was taken on such a happy day and it literally kills me to think of fast forwarding a mere 4 years down the road and how much life would be different.  Different for everyone.  And the ever stupid optimistic soul that I am, I'm still hoping for some sort of similar picture down the road. 

No matter now, this picture makes me cry *every* time.  Oh, the thousand words I could say.

Better Times

[ Yahoo! ] options

April 08, 2009

Eviction Notice

Dear Wasp Colony Living SOMEWHERE in my House,

With all due respect, you are not welcome here.  Outside the house, I will tolerate you in very small doses, as long as you are a safe distance from my kids and do not build your nests on my property.  Inside my house, all bets are off.  You must leave.  You must find the way out of here quickly.  I have put up with enough of you at this point to know that our relationship must end promptly.  You have me right now, as I feel all buggy all the time.  Ickky.  Creepy crawly.

Why?  Because there you were.  With your evil, horrible body with all of its stripes and stinger perched upon things in my bathroom of all places.  I touch a towel to find, OMG, there you are!  I close the blinds to find, OMG, there you are!  I see the kleenex box and OMG, there you are!  Then how the hell did you find yourself (and some others) all the way downstairs?  I go to let the dog out, and OMG, there you are!  Not ok by a long shot.

YOU MUST LEAVE, my fellow living creatures.  You are very much not welcome inside my house where I must protect my own family.  Get the hell out.  Stop making me bring in people to put chemicals up my vents.  Stop giving me nightmares about being stung repeatedly, as I have those nightmares often enough on my own, thankyouverymuch.  Find somebody else to bother.  You have stung enough of us in the past and you are just not ever welcome INSIDE my house.

Please, GET THE F**K OUT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

Sincerely,

Me (who will do whatever the hell it takes to vacate you if I must)

[ Yahoo! ] options

March 24, 2009

Sleep Deprivation

So we just got back from Mexico, and something was made blatantly clear to me while away: I am seriously sleep deprived.  The first night there, I slept about 7 hours straight and when I woke up, I couldn't believe it.  I hadn't remembered feeling like that in ages.  My mind was clear, I was in a good mood, and ready to get up to face the day.  Then I realized that after a solid four months of having an atrocious cough that had people taking a step away from me, I stopped coughing.  I had been on medicine after medicine trying to feel better, but nothing was working.

I knew I was really tired, but now that I've taken a step back, I can really understand just how tired.  Tired enough to make - and keep - me physically sick is troublesome.  It's troublesome because the source of my sleep deprivation is a 3 1/2 year old, and I don't know how to fix this situation.

When the trio were babies, we were slaves to the schedule, because it worked.  When it was time to sleep, the kids knew it and it was never any trouble.  They are still awesome sleepers to this day.  My little one, well, we kept to a schedule but it didn't govern our life as before.  She never slept as well, and it was really ok when she was a baby because there was only one of her.  After she moved to her big bed from the crib, she would wake up now and then but it wasn't crazy.  Now she's up in the middle of the night more than not, and she always requires me to snuggle her and to have a drink of milk.  I let her have a pacifier longer than I wanted and that is really the only thing I can pinpoint that could be different.  She's still got her other things she likes to sleep with, but they must not soothe her the way her pacifier did.

I just can't figure out how she functions so well with this sleeplessness!

My nightly slumber is nothing more than a series of naps.  People need a solid chunk of sleep in order to function.  Your body and mind must be allowed to reset itself.

The effects of my rest are quickly rubbing off.  Five nights of sleep can't make up for the huge sleep debt I've got going, especially since my first two nights back have been once again nothing but a series of naps.  I really, really REALLY don't want to get sick again, especially since I have to have surgery in the next couple of weeks.  I want nothing more than just to go to bed at night, and wake up refreshed in the morning...at least more nights than the alternative.  Is that really too much to ask?

[ Yahoo! ] options

November 03, 2008

The Trust Factor

When you are a child, you are born with the innate ability to trust others. It is a natural response to rely on those stronger than you.  As you get older, you start to believe you are so independent and indestructable, and start testing your boundaries.  You trust your own superpowers to get you through.  It is a very natural and necessary part of life.

That's all fine and dandy, until you become a mom.  Moms know the world is full of hurt and pain, and they would give their own lives to prevent others those very things.  But where would we be if we didn't know the good that comes with the bad?  The consequences to bad decisions?  The wrong from the right?

My 7 year old made a bad decision.  He knew he shouldn't have jumped that distance, yet the kid can usually do it without any issue.  I have heard his regret at doing it over and over, and how he wishes he could go back in time.  I have heard his siblings tell me the same through their own tears, and how they wish their brother wasn't in so much pain.  I have heard their friends talk about so-and-so getting hurt and so-and-so having a cast.  I have watched the pain radiate over my son's body and watched him almost vomit from the intensity.  I promised him time and time again that he was worrying worse than the situation, and that I'd make sure he'd be ok.  I felt every single second of a two hour surgery (that ultimately lasted 3+ hours) as if they were draining every bit of my own blood.  I answered every single person who asked what I wanted during that time with a simple, "I just want my son."  I didn't need one single thing other than my son to emerge from surgery ok.  That's it.  I just wanted my son to be ok.

I had to put my son's life into the hands of many people I'd never even met.  I could see his injury and I could see the complications it caused, but there I was...at a brand new hospital, without my own doctor...without anyone else other than my phone...and making a decision for him.  I felt myself in the place he was hours earlier...up in the air about to take a giant leap...of faith, or courage, or whatever.  I tried to convince myself that I had enough knowledge to make the jump, and nobody would land broken as a result.

Luckily for us, he is ok.  I do feel it was the right decision, and I don't second guess anything that happened.  It is still early on, but he's made amazing strides as only a 7 year old can.  Of course, he will heal.  I am optimistic that all will be ok, and it will be a matter of keeping him reminded of his arm and making sure he doesn't re-injure it.  He had his unfaltering trust in me, that I would make the right decisions for him and keep him safe.  I do feel I did just that, and didn't let him down.  Now the trust factor must shift to me, I suppose.  I'll have to remember my own superpowers to see him (and myself) through.

[ Yahoo! ] options

June 13, 2008

Personality Flaws

So I'll admit to you, Internet, I have a pretty significant personality flaw.

I like happy people.

I like to see people happy, I like to try and make them happy, and in fact, just pure happiness can bring me out of any bad mood.  Something as easy as a 2 year old shaking their booty just to get a laugh out of anyone watching...or a bubble that lands smack on someone's head but doesn't pop...or even an out of place fart!  Just something unplanned, something that exibits that special "I'm really laughing" laugh. 

Or to be an adult for a moment, cooking something for friends/family and watching them truly enjoy what they are eating.  After all, good eating should be an art - something to enjoy - not just something to do.  Yep, when I win the lotto (ha ha), I won't hire a chef, I will become one.  There is real satisfaction for me to take the time to make something healthy and yummy that also tastes good...and ultimately, makes people happy.

Unfortunately, such a "happy" thought comes with many consequences.  Everyone is unique, and quite honestly, it's goddamn hard to make anyone happy!  I've learned to deal with most of this the best I could over the years, as well as trying to use this 'flaw' to my advantage.  That comes with a lot of internal discipline: best said very hard, and at times, impossible.  It's especially difficult now that I am a parent.  You cannot possibly be a good parent while also keeping your children with a constant smile on their faces.  With that, I'm fine.  I am actually pretty good about drawing the line and plenty stubborn enough to stick with my guns.  I know the importance of saying what you mean and mean what you say.  But DAMN if that doesn't tear me up sometimes.

And every age is a challenge.  I wonder what if I only had one 7 year old?  Would there be the same energy and crazy-feeding-off-of-the-sibling action that we have?  Some days it's just clear - they just feed off of each other.  So why is that a bad thing?  They have a bond like we'll never understand.  That is a special thing for them.  Sometimes I think back to Star Trek and they are 1-of-3, 2-of-3, 3-of-3 for sure.  That does make me happy that they have each other that way.

But other days....wow.  It's hard.  Most of the times it's great, so I'm just going to talk about the hard today because it does exist.  Both Aaron and I work, we don't have family that can help nearby, and we have a lot on our plates.  We have a lot to face every single day.  There is no coasting.  We do the best we can all 24 hours of 365 or 366 days of the year.  And the thing about us both - one key reason why we'll be celebrating 12 years of wedding bliss soon - is because we can both be human.  We both try so hard to do the best we can and keep everyone happy, but it's a lot of work.

It's a LOT OF WORK.

But I remain confident that it is all worth it.  And as ironically hard as it is to be happy, everyone should try that approach as often as you can.  It makes everything a bit easier.  Not saying any of it is easy, but hell, there have to be worse personality traits....

[ Yahoo! ] options

December 12, 2007

3 Months Later

The funny thing is I just now made the connection...three months ago to the day, I received the call telling me, and I quote, "your position has been eliminated."  The following day I received an envelope via FedEx with all the details.  Today, three months to the date later, I received a FedEx envelope as well.  However, this envelope only contained good news.  It was my official offer letter and associated paperwork for my new job.  My new career.  And I'm ready for it.

To try and describe the past three months would be impossible.  I have run the entire gamut of emotions.  I have gotten angry/petrified/depressed/stressed/relieved/optimistic/pessimistic, ah hell, like I said, I can't even tell you what it's been like.  There was no rhyme or reason.  I've been working since I was a young teen, and this was a real ego strike for me.  It hurt my feelings.  I took it too personally.  It was hard for me to get past that.  Truthfully, there may always be a teensy part of me that will always wonder 'why me?'

Ahem.  Not going down that road again.

Since the holiday season has arrived, I would remember how I had a lot of fun planning and orchestrating several very successful holiday parties for the former company.  I had even more to offer than just technical knowledge, yet at the end, it was still me to go.  I could go on and on, but it's over now.  It's officially behind me.

So here I am, exactly three months later and in a completely different place.  About to embark on a new career.  And for a company that has a ton of pluses going for them right off the bat.  I now have renewed faith.  All really didn't turn to crap in the world.  All really isn't that bad every place.  IT doesn't have to be the place for misery.

Three months ago, I wouldn't have believed it.  I'm finally able to say with complete confidence: thank you for setting me free.  The door opened, and here I am walking through!  The next adventure has begun.

(p.s. and yeah, I did get the shoes in black. yay for me.)

[ Yahoo! ] options

September 14, 2007

Unemployment

It's amazing how much your career becomes a part of your personal being.  You may realize that it's there, but you don't fully appreciate how intergral it has become until you lose it.  Personally, I worked very hard for my career, putting myself through college for both my Bachelor's and my Master's degrees.  I left a few positions for the pursuit of someplace better; somewhere I felt I 'fit.'  I had it for a while.  I liked the company, I liked my bosses, I liked my coworkers, and I liked the work itself.  I had established myself and it was enough to sustain me when I had an unexpected change in my life with the pregnancy of my fourth child.  They were able to help me out and keep me on board part time from home.  This was working really well for me, and I thought for them too.  My life was in complete balance.  I felt I was a good mom, around for my children, and also still keeping my foot in the door of my career.  I was still dedicated even though I was not regularly in the office, and put in my share of time and then some.  I felt I was probably under a more scrutinized eye being that I was working from home, so I wanted to make absolutely sure I was still being a good employee.  Things were getting tough for everyone with company changes and cutback after cutback, so I tried hard to ensure that I wouldn't be on the next 'list.'  Even though so many were unhappy and looking for different positions, I was content to remain doing well at my job for as long as I could.

With the impending buyout and two poor quarters in a row, I never felt safe.  I always worried about what I would do if I got the boot, but tried not to let it consume me.  I was trying to enjoy the balance my life was in, and take it day by day.

It's amazing how much it's consuming me now.

For lack of a better word, there is just something in you that dies when you are laid off from your job.  Especially one that you've worked hard at for 7 years.  As much as I am not completely surprised by the news given the state of the company, I still cannot make it hurt less.  I still go from shock to anger to overwhelming grief, almost as bad as if I lost someone.  But then I realize I did just that; I lost that part of myself that I had attached to my career.  I lost that part of me which was providing for my large family.  I lost the part of me always checking my email no matter what time of day or day of the week.  I lost that responsible part of my brain always checking in to make sure things were running ok, or if I had a conference call to jump on.  I've always been working at my house, but now my 'home office' is just a painful reminder of what is gone.  I can't avoid this part of my house as I could avoid going in to an office building.

It's hard.  I will assume that it will get easier with time, but so far it seems that it gets harder each day.  It's always there in my mind, so I have to figure out a way to let that part of me go.  Let it die.  Let it "sever" as the legal documents I have to sign indicate.  Quit thinking I'll wake up and it was all a bad dream.  Quit thinking the phone will ring and they will say it's all been a big mistake.  Quit taking it as a personal insult.  Quit wondering what I could have done differently.  Terminate.

And figure out what I will do next with my life, knowing that it directly affects 5 other people.  Praying that when one door closes, another one opens.  Continue saying my mantra: breathe in, breathe out, move on...

[ Yahoo! ] options

August 22, 2007

Endometriosis, Continued

It was really bizarre to set foot in the dr's office Monday.  I was seen there initially over 7 years ago to deal with infertility, and I have run the gamut of emotions within those walls.  It wasn't altogether different this visit, as I am in a bad place again because of how I feel.  Luckily for me, I was seeing someone who is an expert in the area of Endometriosis, and had more than one option for me to try.

I am not going to get into the specifics of them all.  In a nutshell, the prognosis is still overall frustrating.  With the exam, he found the free fluid behind my uterus has returned (and got a beautiful ultrasound picture of that), along with lesions that he could physically feel.  Without surgery to confirm it, his guess is that the Endo is back in Stage II, the same as it was previously.  Surgery to burn it off again is an option, but since the Endo didn't take all that long to return this badly, it will do the same again.  That's the part that gets me.  Not that it was a surprise to hear, it's just a really crappy feeling to know that no matter what you are willing to endure for relief, it will all be pointless in the end.  No cure.  I hate that.  I hate that so much.

On the good note, I am at least thankful that while this is incurable, it is not fatal.  I try to see the positive side of things, and while this may decrease the overall quality of my life, at least I still have a life.  It's just still hard.  Chronic pain and fatigue is enough to make you half-crazy.  Again, this is something that is difficult to convey.

So...my options are some techniques to try and control the pain.  I have a few options, more so than my regular OB had presented to me, so I have to decide which I want to try first.  All of the estrogen related options are out because of my adverse reactions.  That includes any of the pills, the patch, the implant, etc.  In other words, the easiest of the options.  However, there are some progesterone releasing options that stand a chance for some relief.  Especially encouraging is that some of my symptoms are indicative of low progesterone levels, so it could alleviate those problems as well as the pain.  There is a medical trial going on right now for which I qualify.  It sounds very interesting, but the main drawback to that one is that after the trial is over, even if the treatment was working perfectly for you, you would have to stop until the time when the treatment is FDA approved.  If not for that fact, I would probably participate.  That said, I believe I am leaning towards one of the options, and the dr seemed to agree it was probably the best choice (aside from the trial).  I am really, really hoping that the first try I get it right, and start to feel human once more.  Wish me luck. 

After learning more about the trial though, it does appear that in the next couple of years, there may be another option with even less side effects which is good news.  It would be even better news if they could just CURE it, but I guess I'll take what I can get at this point.

[ Yahoo! ] options

August 13, 2007

Endometriosis

When I was first diagnosed with Endometriosis, I was also being plagued by another incurable condition: PCOS.  I was prepared to hear PCOS, but was shocked to hear Endo, even though I should have suspected it given my history of unbearable monthly cycles.  After surgery to burn off the Endo and drill my ovaries for the PCOS, I felt better than I had in a long time.  Slowly but surely, and especially after the birth of my last child, the Endo has been rearing its ugly head once again.  It's finally gotten to the point of unbearable once more.

There is a certain about of sanity you start to lose when you are in continual pain.  For more of the month than not, I will have some degree of cramping or discomfort.  When it's really bad, it's better described as my insides being on fire.  I suppose there isn't much normal about bleeding internally, which is basically what happens with the Endo, and it's really hard to live with; especially hard when you have a household and four young children.  It's next to impossible to convey how it feels to be in pain for so much of your time.  It's not something people can see from the outside.  When the pain is so severe it has me reduced to tears, I can't point to something visible and say: "look, here is what is hurting so badly."  There is a certain amount of visual evidence I could produce, but that borders on the line between embarrassment and humility.  When I just feel completely wiped out and drained, no doubt from being on the anemic side, there isn't any accurate way I can convey how difficult it is to even function or form a thought.  Sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in my own little hell.  I mean, I look normal enough, how can I feel that crappy so much of the time?  I really can't make anyone understand, and it makes me feel so weak to have such a problem.

Treatments for Endo are mostly geared towards the hormonal side.  Take one of the forms of hormonal birth control methods, which will regulate your monthly cycle and usually make things bearable.  This worked for me when they put me on the pill as a young girl.  I wasn't diagnosed back then, but since the pill helped make my symptoms more bearable, that was that.  I tried going back on the same exact pill that worked for 7 years, but my system had changed.  We tried every different hormone combination, but none of them were tolerable.  In short, they made me crazy.  Seriously affected my brain.  That was not a better solution.

I lost my doctor who specialized in Endometriosis due to insurance changes.  I've been trying to find a replacement, somebody who can help me.  My regular OB is out of options, and he wants to move to Lupron therapy which is riddled with side effects.  This isn't a good idea to me.  Endometriosis is still somewhat of an unknown; there still is no cure since they do not know what causes it.  Thankfully, with yet another insurance change, the old doctor is once more in the plan.  I have my appointment one week from today, and it can't come soon enough.  I cannot continue down this path any longer.  I am scared because I feel I've hit a wall, but relieved that I am seeing a doctor whom I trust, and one who specializes in this area.  At this point, if it means surgery number nine, I don't even care; I just need to feel human again.

When I first received word of this diagnosis, my biggest fear was being unable to have children.  Luckily for me, I have four healthy kids.  My family building efforts are complete.  Now my biggest fear is living the rest of my life in pain.  If you don't mind, please keep me in your thoughts next Monday afternoon.

[ Yahoo! ] options

May 16, 2007

Let me catch my breath...

Ok, ok, ok.  Since the last few entries, there have been a few significant changes.  In fact, if I wasn't still trying to catch my breath, something to do with changes would have instead been the title.  Who likes dealing with significant change?  It's hard?!?!  It's hard for anyone.  It's what I like to call an 'uncomfortable adjustment.'  To follow the so-called rules of blogging, I will not mention any company names or for that matter, the person affected; I will just spew out a bunch of changes that have gone down in the past week:

  • An employer (of someone we know) has agreed to be bought out by another
  • This is scary
  • Said employee affected is very, very worried
  • Part time work has always still equaled full time responsibility and thus, full time worry
  • Another has just changed positions within their employer
  • This is _____ (enter your adjective here; mine changes too frequently to commit to just one, but while you are reading, note my very correct use of the words "to and too," as well as commas - sorry, this is an unnecessary tangent)
  • Said employee affected is both excited and anxious...and the list continues from there
  • Where was I?
  • Oh, yes.  I couldn't get a picture, but merely THREE days after I took the photo of the gas prices, they shot up to $3.49 a gallon.  I immediately searched the news for some awful tragedy in the universe to provoke such a substantial rise, but found nothing.  Nothing.
  • Can I continue to complain about gas for a while, because it's really pissing me off?!
  • And job situations...gas prices....tummies to feed...limbs to clothe...bottoms to diaper...
  • Stay with me.  Life is so full of crazy and uncontrollable change all the time.  What can a person do?  Try our best, one day at a time is what I know.  Let's do a happier item.
  • My post on Motherhood is not the end all on that subject.  I have so much more to say on that topic.  Those particular thoughts were on my mind simply because I have two friends who have been battling with infertility for a while now, and conveniently, they are both expecting as I type.  I feel victorious for them.
  • I have re-read some of my past blog entries and am completely appalled at my use of the present vs past tense!
  • The future could hold something new.
  • Sigh........

Ok, that's it for this entry already.  I am not going to edit it any more because I am tired, and dammit, it's time for bed now.

Breathe in, breathe out..........

[ Yahoo! ] options

May 11, 2007

WTF?!?!

This picture is not photoshopped in any way whatsoever.  And it wasn't taken in the Loop either, so I know it could even be worse.  However, this is simply unacceptable:

Gas Prices

I mean seriously, WTF?!?!  What is going on here?  And why isn't anyone doing anything to stop it?  I wish I could do something.  I have a large family and there isn't much I can do about driving a Suburban, especially one that is paid off.  For crying out loud, this has got to stop.  There is little else right now that can invoke this much anger in me.  Does anyone have any ideas?  Why isn't this a huge deal to everyone else?  Can't we all figure out some plan to make this crap stop? 

Anyone? 

Buehler?

And completely unrelated, I can't stop looking at the Camel advertisement.  Who the heck smokes Camels?  $3.81 a pack?  Why don't we just up the price of those Camels to...say...$4.81 a pack and lower gas prices by a buck a gallon?  If people want to slowly kill themselves, make more money off of them rather than the rest of us who are just trying to get to the store to buy groceries!

Whew.

Got that off my chest. 

Sorry if anyone reading smokes and feels offended.  Me and lung cancer aren't real good buddies either...

[ Yahoo! ] options