I didn't know if we had staff meeting or not today so I came in to work. This makes two weeks in a row that I have been here when I didn't need to be. Last time I started work early. This time I'm not.
It's Tuesday! Yay! At the end of today we will have conquered another month and will have survived through another pay period.
That's what it feels like for me... living for the weekend... living for the next paycheck... and I don't mean to wish my life away. You can like the life you're living or you can live the life you like. I think I do the first one. I could change a lot of things... if I wanted... but there are a lot of things I can't change and I don't stress over them too much.
My kid is a solid C student. Could I pressure him and punish him into being an A student. maybe. I doubt it. I celebrate the good stuff he does and encourage him to do better.
I've been incredibly weak this past week. I napped twice on Sunday. Two long naps. Then went to bed before nine. And was still tired yesterday... although I didn't nap any.
I've been sitting at my desk for seven minutes and my back already hurts. That's how long it takes to undo 4 days of rest: seven minutes. So frustrating. My friend Cyndi commented the other day about me applying for disability. I can't even imagine living off disability... or being approved for it. Of course... I've got a dozen different diagnosis' so... maybe one of them would be a winner. I'm just not ready to be that person yet.
Austin's best cousin, Devyn, graduated from high school on Friday. We didn't get an invitation but we wouldn't have gone anyways... Austin has no patience or appreciation for those kind of obligatory ceremonies and my back couldn't handle it.
Our office sure is stuffy and hot this morning.
Ok... reasons to love Tuesday...
1. It's not Monday
2. I had a good long 4 day weekend
3. This is a four day work week
4. Tomorrow is payday
5. It's hot outside but the a/c works great. Probably.
6. In ten short hours I will be curled up in my nest.
7. Big Brother starts in a month or so.
8. I've got a snacky picnic packed for lunch: grapes, yogurt, hummus, crackers, walnuts. Hopefully I'll find a cool shady spot.
Gonna post this and ... do something. Fifteen more minutes until time to start working.
Love and hugs
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I didn't know if we had staff meeting or not today so I came in to work. This makes two weeks in a row that I have been here when I didn't need to be. Last time I started work early. This time I'm not.
Posted by Heather at 8:02 AM
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Yesterday we went over the mountain to grandma's house for dinner and a show. My sweet little grandma lives only an hour away but it's a perilous, nauseating drive over the mountains with hairpin curves and dizzying elevations. I would love to spend more time with her but literally, there is a mountain between us.
Posted by Heather at 2:11 PM
Friday, May 27, 2011
I started my day realllllllly sick. Living in the bathroom sick. Grateful that my (dirty) bathroom floor is cool sick. Crampy stomach sick. It was what my daddy would call "the green apple trots".
Posted by Heather at 1:23 PM
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I'm only slightly bummed about Scotty winning American Idol. He's a sweet kid - seems to be, anyways. And I think both he and Lauren will have careers in music.
I missed the show last night. I was sound asleep at 7:30. I have no words to explain the state of complete exhaustion that I've been living with lately. Even now... sitting in my recliner, exerting no effort except to hold the laptop in my lap and.. breathe... I am worn out. After sleeping nine hours last night... I am worn out. I have been so tired at night that I don't have the energy to eat... I had a baked potato for dinner last night...
I have been spending my lunch break taking naps. Doesn't help. Afternoons at work are long and difficult. I'm exhausted. My back hurts. And one thing more... it's a delicate subject so if you want to avoid too much Heather information, skip the rest of this paragraph. I can't pee. I mean... I can... but it's hard to get started. I have to bend to a certain (painful) angle and press on my bladder and really, really concentrate on those muscles. I can't feel when I have to go to the bathroom, I've just maintained my normal "every hour or so" potty breaks and so far, I haven't had an accident. I told my regular doctor last week and she said it could be because of the neurontin... so she changed me to lyrica and it's the same.
The fatigue, I'm told, is a side effect of the meds to stop the rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure. The rapid heartbeat also causes fatigue so it's sort of a "danged if I do, danged if I don't". Or it could be the suspected fibromyalgia. Or a combination of these things. At any rate... all I want to do is sleep... but there are two more work days in this week... Saturday I'm going to my grandma's and we're going to see a play. I'm very excited to spend time with her... she's very excited to spend time with me... and it will likely wear me out, but it's a three day weekend so I have time to recuperate. She's 87... how many more times will I have the chance to go to the theatre with her?
These tornado outbreaks are so frightening... random... destructive... my heart breaks for those who are dealing with them and I worry that it could happen here. You just never know.
It's thankful Thursday and I am thankful. In spite of the struggle I've had to keep going... I've been able to keep going. I thank God that He made me stubborn. I thank God for how amazing Austin has been lately. He may not make the honor roll... he may not be squeaky clean... but he finally *gets it* as far as understanding how important it is for him to help around the house and he has done a wonderful job over the past two weeks or so. I know that many people are praying for me and it makes a huge difference. I realize that I am being carried on the wings of prayer and that apart from God's grace, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed. I am thankful for what He has taught me through this struggle and I'm thankful that I have been able to maintain my job, my dignity, my home... despite having made less money this year due to many days off work and due to many medical expenses. God is taking good care of me and I am determined to never take that for granted. To God be the glory...
Hope you can take a few minutes today to see God in your journey as well... to realize how He carries you... and I hope you will share with someone.... how blessed you are.
love and hugs, y'all.
Posted by Heather at 6:24 AM
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I'm starting to realize that my needs are simple. A nice cup of coffee in the morning... a cooperative teenager who gets up for school without argument... a car that starts... a good day at work... a peaceful picnic lunch... a sense of accomplishment... a fully stocked fridge... a small dinner... a clean kitchen... and a good night's sleep. Simple, right?
Posted by Heather at 6:27 AM
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
It's warm outside and cool inside. Thank God for a/c. Wish I didn't have to use it in May.
Posted by Heather at 5:24 AM
Monday, May 23, 2011
I'm well rested but have a horrible headache this morning. It's the kind of migraine that makes you want to throw up...
Posted by Heather at 5:16 AM
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Just a few pictures from yesterday with a spring "happy day" picture of me tossed in for good measure. Sarabeth sat beside me during the graduation and I enjoyed getting to love on her for a bit. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love these girls... they are such an incredible blessing to me. I'm so grateful to be close enough to share these special days with them and I pray that I can get this back pain under control so that I am able to spend more time with them this summer.
How sweet is my Jamie-gurl? Eyes are a little puffy because of her allergies, bless her little heart. It was a precious little graduation and I'm so proud of my nieces... both of them...
Pictures of the actual "ceremony" are a bit grainy because I have a very basic digital camera that can't capture things at a distance but you can still get the gist of what's happening...
Posted by Heather at 1:03 PM
Friday, May 20, 2011
Is it possible this was really a year ago?
Is it really Friday? This week has flown by... the school year has flown by... LIFE is flying by!
Today is the last day of school for Sarabeth and Jamie. Jamie's kindergarten graduation is this morning and I'm going... dreading the hard wooden benches in the gym but wouldn't miss this for the world. And... since it's Friday... no matter how bad my back hurts today, I'll have two days to recover.
Still no child support. Monday will be 30 days so if I don't get something over the weekend, I'll take the time Monday to go down and file for criminal abandonment. I can't afford to file a civil suit and it takes longer. If I had heard anything at all from him during this time it might be different... just much of the same attitude that he's always had... the kids are my problem.
Although... Austin hasn't been a problem this week. IF anything, I feel like we've had a major breakthrough. He has organized cabinets and closets. He has gone above and beyond what I've asked him to do. He has been PROACTIVE in cleaning before he's asked.
I told him that this was what I have wanted all along was for him to be able to look at a room and understand what needs to be done. He gets it. I'm praying this new perspective sticks.
I went back to my "regular" doctor yesterday for a recheck on the blood pressure and tachycardia. Blood pressure still high. Heart rate still too high. She changed my meds. I have to go back next week for another check. This was the same doctor who originally thought the back pain was just a kidney infection. Of course... hindsight being 20/20... we now know that the spinal stenosis impedes my ability to go to the bathroom... and the bulging discs and spondylolisthesis cause muscle spasms in my lower left back and side... and the inability to go to the bathroom causes my interstitial cystitis to flare up... so all of that mimics a kidney situation when it's not.
Yesterday was exactly 4 months after that first visit. As soon as she saw me she asked, "how's the back problem?" and when I told her it was just as bad... if not worse... than it was at the beginning... she started reviewing with me everything that had been tried so far. She said, "we are likely never going to be able to completely make the pain go away but you should at least have some quality of life". I told her that I've gotten to the point of work and nest and really nothing else... too painful... I'm too tired... and she agrees with the possibility of fibromyalgia but thinks the meds that the pain doctor had me on were not the best combo for that diagnosis and thinks the combination of meds is contributing to my overwhelming fatigue. Plus the high blood pressure and the fact that my heart is beating too fast.
She couldn't believe that the Pain Clinic did blood work on me three weeks ago and haven't called to give me the results. She said that at minimum, you should get something in the mail after lab work advising the findings. So she changed me from the neurontin/cymbalta combination to a lyrica/cymbalta combination and she prescribed ultram for additional pain relief. She was really concerned about the connection of pain and my increased bp and heart rate since it was always fine before this back issue... and it changes the situation from one of me being uncomfortable to a situation where I'm at risk for far more serious complications.
Anyways... it was a good visit. I felt like I was heard... probably for the first time throughout this whole process. What a crazy journey this has been.
I'm super excited about the American Idol final two... Lauren and Scotty ..they're my two favorites and the two that I'm most likely to buy a cd from. I don't even care which one wins.
My grammar feels awkward this morning. I am still out of coffee... forgot to pick some up yesterday in between working, going to the doctor and... I guess that's all I did. Anyways. It seemed like a lot. The end result is that we're still out of coffee and paper towels.
I've never liked Obama. No secret of that here. But his remarks yesterday about Israel are simply ignorant. I don't know a lot about global politics but I do know this: you don't screw with the Jews. Israel is our ally. They are surrounded on all sides by people who want to wipe them off the face of the earth. Taking land away from Israel will not bring peace in the Middle East.
But... I will say this... unrest in the Middle East is prophesied in the Bible.
Still think Swarzenegger (still misspelled) is pond scum.
That french guy... also pond scum.
Anyways... big day ahead... Jamie's graduation. I've got a big fish on the hook for a car loan that will hopefully close today... gotta pull on my big girl drawers and deal with whatever the world has in store for me today. In twelve hours, Lord willing, I'll be back here in the nest.
love and hugs and happy Friday!
Posted by Heather at 5:42 AM
Thursday, May 19, 2011
we're out of paper towels and coffee
Austin voluntarily cleaned out the living room closet yesterday.
we had chinese takeout for dinner - i had pot stickers and austin had beef fried rice
i went to bed early...
pain level today is high
my faux niece Stasha got engaged yesterday
i think Arnold Swarzen-however you spell it - is pond scum
i have a doctors appointment this afternoon to see if my blood pressure is better
and the whole tachycardia thing - got to check on that
a gay guy dumped glitter on Newt Gingrich and that makes me giggle
glitter makes everything better
my laptop cord is going wonky and if it goes out on me, i won't be able to get another until we get child support or until the next payday... bills are paid right now, though, so that's a blessing
austin left my fortune cookie on my laptop since i forgot to eat it last night
it was empty, i kid you not!
what does it mean when you have no fortune?
makes me wonder...
i'm tired already today
there's a lady gaga promotion going on in farmville. i'm playing along but i don't like it.
she disturbs me
i can't remember if i washed my hair yesterday
the neighbor has bumped our shared wall three times since 4am
must be having a bad dream
i woke up at midnight... was wide awake for an hour... then went back to sleep
i missed idol last night
it's thankful Thursday and I am.
and that's about all for now.
love and hugs, y'all.
Posted by Heather at 6:13 AM
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
It's a Wonderful Wednesday here in the nest! I've made it through two full days of work already this week... hitting my stride... gaining traction... "we're gonna make it after alllllll"...
Truly... every day is a blessing. I'm still dealing with just as much pain as I was on day one - maybe more. I'm fighting the tachycardia that makes me feel like at any minute I'm going to end up in the back of an ambulance. I've had headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds... obviously my blood pressure is still high and... still, every day is a blessing. (don't worry, I go back to the doctor tomorrow)
Every day that I get to the end of the work day and manage to drag my tired bones home... and manage to interact with a kid who isn't always sociable... and manage to give the poor three legged kitty a little bit of attention... and eat a little something or other... those days are a blessing because I keep finding the courage, strength, energy, determination, chutzpah - whatever you want to call it - to keep on going.
Every day that I am able to add in random necessities of life such as remembering to pay the bills, put gas in the car, keep food in the house... makes me feel ten feet tall and bullet proof.
Every day that goes by without child support (today is day 25) that I manage to spread my little bit of loaves and fishes out far enough to feed a growing teenager... every day that Austin cooperates and goes to school... every day that he does the chores I ask him to... every day (like yesterday) that he volunteers and goes above and beyond what I ask him to... every funny story we share with each other... every moment we spend together... I thank God for allowing me to be a mommy and I thank Him even more for allowing me to be the mommy to the kids He gave me. They were my purpose for living... still are.
Every morning I wake up able to go to work. Every time the car starts. Every time I fill up the gas tank. Every meal. Every sunrise. Every sunset. Every patch of honeysuckle. Every magnolia tree in full bloom... I know that I am living a charmed life. I know that I am blessed. I know that every challenge is a reminder that I need God's help for my daily bread... and I know that every ounce of beauty that fills my life is a reminder that He's doing what He promised.
The destination is unknown to me but the journey is amazing!
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!
Posted by Heather at 6:22 AM
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
It's a good thing I blog... it helps me go back and remember what symptoms I've had on which day. I surely never intended for this to be a medical journal... it was supposed to be a weight loss blog... but it is what it is... I'm sorry if I'm redundant. I imagine this is really boring.
Yesterday was a good day pain wise. I didn't have any episodes of tachycardia. But the exhaustion was remarkable... by the time I got off work and ran by the grocery store, it was all I could do to change clothes and climb into bed. Austin made me a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner and brought it to me.... I was THAT tired. I crashed... woke up at 2am thinking it must be time for work...
I got a list via email yesterday of camps that are available for special needs kids in Georgia. Some of the names were amusing... not to make fun of the kids that go to these camps or anything but... Camp No Limb-itations for kids who are amputees? Really? and Camp Twitch and Shout for kids with tourettes? When I read these to Austin he cracked up.
Then... we saw a commercial by Autism Speaks... something to the effect of "it's closer than you think"... and Austin got really aggravated. He said, "what's wrong with having autism? it's not a big deal... it's not contagious or anything". Definitely we've had our challenges based on how he responds and reacts in certain situations but most of the time, the fact that he is "differently-abled" is a blessing. He has no filters... for the most part he says what he thinks.
Isn't this the key to happiness? Accepting the things you can't change? Or is that part of the 12 step program? I forget. For me... lately... life has been about accepting that I'm not ten feet tall and bullet proof. Learning to rest when I'm tired or in pain and not feeling guilty about it. Choosing to spend my limited resources of time, energy and money on the things that matter most, even if that means the floor doesn't get swept and the dishes don't get washed. And Austin is showing a measure of acceptance himself by lowering his expectations of me, cooperating, offering to cook dinner.
I find myself celebrating little victories, things that I'm able to accomplish. Yesterday I had several errands that really needed to be run during my lunch hour and my instinct was to slack off and only run part of them... but I pushed myself and on my way back to the office I felt soooo much better about things. Ditto with stopping by the grocery store after work. I made a small grocery run on Saturday but since we hadn't gotten child support (today is day 24) I couldn't get everything we needed. Since yesterday was payday, I could afford to get the rest of the things we needed and... it was hard... I was dragging myself through the store... but I did it and it felt really good to get that off of my list.
And then Austin met me in the carport and unloaded and put away the groceries which was HUGE for me. I'm trying to make a really big deal of being grateful for the things he does. It's almost as if a light has come on for him and he realizes that he is a partner in the responsibility of running this household.
Anyways... so that's the news from the nest... as I overheard someone say recently, "same stuff, different diaper"... that's about the gist of it. Hope you have a great Tuesday!
Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 5:25 AM
Monday, May 16, 2011
Here we are again... back at Monday. Yippee.
I wouldn't mind the work week so much if it didn't hurt so bad. Otherwise, I rather enjoy what I do. We've got a great "team" right now... very little drama... we genuinely enjoy each other... pleasant working environment (other than being painful for me)... it's a job I'm comfortable and confident performing... we've got a good book of business... small town feel... nice office...
Pretty much, I could say that other than being uncomfortable most of the time, I've got a good life.
Other than the fact that it's been 23 days since I last got any child support. Which, seems to be the way it happens for me. I get caught up on things... the kids' dad pulls a disappearing act... and it takes me months to catch up. Makes me think (once again) that I should sue for back child support. I've allowed him to pay about 60% of what he's supposed to pay all these years... I don't know. I don't really have the energy to initiate a legal process with him but if I have to...
I spent the weekend in pjs, as usual. Got my errands run on Saturday morning... Austin helped, cheerfully. Since then it's been round the clock reality tv.
I think watching the freak shows makes me feel better about my life:
I may not be exactly who I want to be but I'm not getting a sex change.
I may not be the best housekeeper but I'm not a hoarder.
I may have had financial problems but I'm not one of those fools trying to fight with a repo man in the street.
I'm not one of those cracked out folks running from COPS.
I'm not in prison for some skanky fight with my baby daddy.
I don't have 19 kids.
I'm overweight but I'm not half a ton.
I may not have made the best marital choices but I didn't marry a rock star.
Matter of fact... there's not much in my life that would be reality tv worthy and I think that's my ultimate goal in life... I don't have to be the best at anything, i just have to maintain enough dignity to not be a freak show. Stay out of the news, that's my goal in life.
I don't mind hanging out with freaks... as a matter of fact... I think I've been "freak adjacent" for much of my life... and very comfortable allowing them to have the spotlight while I run around backstage keeping their props in order.
At any rate... it's time for my "reasons to love Monday"...
1. Jamie Gant is graduating from kindergarten on Friday!
2. Most of the laundry got done this weekend. None of it got put away but... at least it's clean.
3. It's cool and crisp this morning.
4. I'm about as well rested as a person can be. If I were any more rested, you'd have to resuscitate me.
5. Austin is demonstrating a new maturity... he's cooperative... voluntarily helping out. His attitude has been good. I hope this is the start of a new stage for him.
6. My car is running, I've got a job to go to, today is payday... all good things.
That's it for today... must get started on the glam routine... staff meeting at 8. Hope you all find reasons to love Monday this week!
Posted by Heather at 5:40 AM
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Happy Weekend... haven't had anything particularly blogworthy to write about over the past few days. So much of the same old same old... but there are a few new things...
we have ants. every time I see one my skin begins to crawl and I have imaginary ants on me for hours.
there was a spider in my office yesterday. Duane wasn't there and Kevin was with a customer... so I trapped it under a vase until a brave customer volunteered to kill it for me.
obviously, I have issues with bugs.
Austin was in the local newspaper for his participation in the National Day of Prayer event. I'll scan it in and post it on Monday. I told him that I figured if he ever got in the newspaper it would be a report of some law he had broken or some "really bad idea" he had gotten. Nope... he's got his sweet little head bowed in prayer. Gotta love it.
My pain has gotten worse... I'm completely exhausted... I've been sleeping as much as possible and have lost my appetite. So... physically, I'm falling apart. I've had several episodes of the tachycardia along with dizziness so I'll be calling the doctor on Monday about that.
Mentally, emotionally, spiritually... I'm feeling fine. Austin has been very cooperative and that helps. He's doing really poorly in school but ... he has to live with the consequences for his lack of initiative in school. If that means it takes him longer to graduate... so be it. I keep reminding myself that he's very close to being a legal adult and I can no longer try to shield him from himself. He'll find his way. He's got a huge heart and he's smarter than he lets on. He has really stepped up at home, though, and really seems to understand how important it is for him to do as much of the housework as he can so that I am able to work. Most of the mess is his anyways...
Anyways... so that's my ho-hum Saturday. Didn't want anyone to worry... I'm fine... just... well, the same.
Love and hugs, y'all.
Posted by Heather at 3:13 PM
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I can hardly believe it's Thursday already. I've slept so much of this week away... I'd be lying if I told ya I hated it... I mean, yeah, I wish I had more energy and I wish I wasn't dragging so bad and I wish I wasn't hurting but... mmmm... I love a good nap and I've had one almost every day this week. I love a good early bedtime and I've had one of those every single day this week. I've missed all my regular prime time shows because I was asleep before 8pm every night and... I like it... I don't care what the blog trolls think... to me, it's simple: if you're tired, go to bed.
So on this thankful Thursday, I'm thankful for my cozy nest, my comfy bed, my soft sheets, my pile of pillows and for the ability to sleep, deep, delicious restorative sleep.
Yesterday at work I had three different customers tell me how much they appreciate ME... not just the company, not just our agency but ME, my efforts, the things I help them do. One even said, "Heather, you're just an angel"... *straightening my halo*... I'm not sure I'm exactly an angel but I can be fairly creative when it comes to making payments affordable when people are struggling. Sometimes I think that I was allowed to live on a tight budget so that I could empathize with others who are similarly situated.
I also had a super creepy guy come in... this guy has asked me out several times and I always *gently* turn him down. This time he came in rambling and not making any kind of sense... saying things like "if anyone tells you I've got a kid, they're lying... I wanna see the dna evidence" and then he said something about "I wouldn't ever date anyone who was still married because that's just asking for trouble"... and then he said, "I better get some good life insurance because I've got better insurance on my truck than anyone else"... trust me, I figured if he was in the mood for life insurance, I'd better sell him some... but when I started quoting it, he was talking out of his head about with all that insurance on his truck it better pay to bury him too. It honestly shook me up... oh, and he said, "I can help you out with things around your house if you give me your address" and when I told him that we were fine, that the landlord takes care of things he said, "yeah, you have to be careful because if you give a man your address he might come by and do things you don't want him to do"... Totally freaked me out. He would start to leave and then think of something else and come back. Really bizarre.
Like the woman who bought insurance from me last week and fell asleep sitting at my desk. TWICE! Apparently my sales pitch is boring... although Holly said she had been behind the lady at a stoplight and she fell asleep there too. You just never know what kind of folks you're going to come across. Keeps things interesting. I'm definitely thankful for my job... sometimes it's painful sitting there ... and sometimes I get stressed out... but for the most part, it's rewarding and entertaining!
Today I'm thankful for... friends who check in on me to make sure I'm ok... my awesome strong coffee... my laptop... my satellite... my cozy nest... my comfy bed... peanut butter and banana sandwiches... good hair days... spring time... sunshine... my car that is almost paid off and still running... and so much more...
Must start the glam routine... love and hugs, y'all!
Posted by Heather at 6:21 AM
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I am going to work today. I'm determined. I'll take something soft to sit on do the best I can for as long as I can. I'm going stir crazy in the house and I need to do something constructive. Besides... if I see one more add for class action lawsuits for random malpractice incidents I'm going to lose my mind.
I've been watching the Jury selection process for the Casey Anthony trial. It's kinda funny listening to the excuses people have for not being able to be sequestered for 6-8 weeks. One guy had seven dogs and couldn't afford to board them for that length of time. One of the attorneys objected to that being a legitimate reason... the judge said, "do you want to take care of his dogs?" It was kinda funny. Another lady said she thought Casey was guilty... she was excused. That seems to be the easiest way out (mental note in case this is needed in the future).
I think I'd enjoy being on a long term jury... I mean, the sitting might be rough on my back but other than that... living in a hotel... room service... I could do it. Wonder if they let you play Farmville... I could see me spelling out in crops, "guilty". LOL.
So... Austin got back his results from the graduation tests. Currently in Georgia kids have to take a test in each of the major subjects and prove proficiency in order to graduate. They begin testing in 11th grade. Austin just got his first set of results back and he only passed one of the four subjects. He's failing at least two classes currently... so it looks like he may not be class of 2012. I've explained to him that at this stage of the game nobody can do it for him. I can't get him the grades he needs... I can't turn in his work for him... he either does it or doesn't. Teachers tell me he sleeps in class and doesn't come prepared... it's obvious that he doesn't care.
The old high school where Cody graduated and... if we hadn't moved from the trailer five years ago, the school where Austin would be right now... was on the news last night for a major food fight and gambling ring that police had to come and break up. As difficult as our roundabout journey to this place was... I'm glad Austin's not having to go to school there. It was a rocky road out of that situation but the end result makes it all worth it.
I can say that about every trial I've ever faced in my life... while difficult at the time, the end results for me have always been amazing.... so I trust that this new little hiccup, the back pain, will end in something beautiful as well. That's my hope... my faith... my sustenance. That's how I get through the day knowing that something miraculous is being worked out in my life.
Today I'm uncomfortable but not as bad as it has been over the past few days. I'm tired but not exhausted. I can tell that my blood pressure and pulse are lower. I believe I can do this.
And my coffee is so good today... it's an omen... a great cup of coffee is a sign of a good day ahead. Right?
Hope you all have a Wonderful Wednesday... love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 5:44 AM
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
This has been, so far, a very unproductive week. Just when I think I'm settling into status quo and learning to live with the back pain... it decides to change on me. It's different... it's a more intense, more debilitating pain and I've been unable to do much of anything over the past three days.
I'm bummed out. No way to sugar coat it. The old pain was something that I could sort of arrange myself around and get relief if I was just in the right position... it hurt to sit in the same position for any length of time... but I could get relief. This new pain... no relief.
And I'm exhausted. My mother left a comment some time ago about fibromyalgia. Then the pain doctor mentioned it. I'm very afraid this may be the case simply because of the overwhelming exhaustion I've had over the past week or two. Never felt anything like this before...
So that's the news from the nest... in other news, my opinions on current events:
1. Dear Pakistan, you harbored a murderer... your handouts are over.
2. For that matter, rather than disappearing into deeper and deeper debt... let's end all handouts to foreign countries, U.S. companies, random incentives to people to do things like buy more ecologically friendly stuff.
3. Stop over-taxing the wealthy. They are the people who put other people to work. Institute a consumption tax so that each is taxed according to their spending habits.
4. Two new must see photos on the internet: one is rather gory, one of the guys in the raid with Osama Bin Laden who has a green plastic squirt gun underneath him in the photo. Second, if you google "grumpy flower girl" you'll find hundreds of pictures of the rather... um... homely little child with her hands over her ears from the Royal Wedding photoshopped into all kinds of other pictures. It's rather funny.
5. Did you know that Flo, the spokeswoman for *that other auto insurance company* was once a porn star? I'm jes' sayin'...
6. Helpful hint to Farmville players: if you "use" a bushel of the crop you are harvesting, it will double your mastery points and you will get your mastery sign quicker. If no one has a bushel of that crop offered, harvest until you get one yourself and then use it. It takes a minute to switch back and forth but it's worth it.
Back to the nest... I'm thinking of getting a small - very small - dog - who could be crate trained during the day. I think it would help me to have to get out and walk the dog ... I think it would be a good companion and... I don't know... I've never been a dog person but I so dearly loved Bitty and his companionship so much, I think I could really enjoy a dog.
I'm watching the jury selection for the Casey Anthony trial. It's rather funny listening to all these people giving reasons why they can't serve. The judge is a bit cross-eyed... not making fun... but he does look pretty odd.
Ok... so that's it for the day. Pray that I'm able to be back up and at 'em tomorrow. Love and hugs, y'all.
Posted by Heather at 9:05 AM
Monday, May 9, 2011
Third attempt at this post... keep losing my power connection. I think I need a new battery for my laptop.
Anyways... it's Monday and I'm just as wiped out as I was on Friday despite having spent the weekend resting.
There is a searing pain in my lower spine... it's different from the usual pain. Makes me wonder if something was exacerbated. The only thing strenuous I did was go shopping at Walmart on Saturday. I lifted a semi-heavy box...didn't feel any pain then...
Right now it's not looking like I'm going to be able to work today. I woke up at 4:30 and already had to take a break from sitting up - even in my recliner. So exhausted... and in so much pain today.
I need to follow up on the high blood pressure and tachycardia and I've been putting it off, not wanting to take more time away from work. I just feel like such a slacker... although, all things considered, it's fairly remarkable that I'm able to work at all.
So... reasons to love Monday... I think I'm gonna have to get back with you on that later. Right now I just want to go back to bed.
love and hugs...
Posted by Heather at 6:12 AM
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Happy Mother's Day y'all... I'm sure for me it will be a quiet one and I'm glad. The only thing on the old agenda today is to get Austin some shoes. We'll probably grab a bite to eat somewhere... depending on the crowds.
I have been so exhausted over the past week. I don't know if it's the blood pressure meds or the high blood pressure or the fact that I'm having these episodes of tachycardia or the cymbalta or the cumulative effect of four months of pain or ... who knows. I've been in bed before 8pm every night... dragging myself through the work day... barely able to function. Austin has been great... cooperative... not asking much of me. I feel bad for feeling bad but... it is what it is... and it's certainly not something I chose for myself.
I've also really lost my appetite which is TOTALLY unlike me. I'll call the doctor back on Monday to see what the blood tests from my birthday showed... if my white blood cells are still elevated like they were ten days before the last blood test. They said then that there was either infection somewhere or it was just the result of the steroid injections.
I got a great package in the mail yesterday (thanks Terri!) with two new books to read. I can't wait to get started on them...
I ran my errands early yesterday... had to make a walmart run because the toaster broke last week. I bought a toaster, a new can opener (which also broke last week) and a new set of glasses. We seem to never be able to keep glasses in this house... Austin... so I bought a cheap set. I also bought Austin a set of plastic cups. He's supposed to use only paper and plastic because things wind up lost when he uses them. Sad that at 17 he's still like that... but again, it is what it is.
I also stopped off at the grocery store to pick up a few things. I'm really just not cooking lately... I've been living off cereal and pb&j.... it's just easier. Austin prefers grilled chicken or grilled burgers on the George Foreman grill... which he fortunately makes for himself.
I've been so tired lately that I missed Jamie and Sarabeth's field day. Jamie had to leave, poor girlie, because she was sick. Her oxygen level was really low and she was just feeling horrible. I wanted to go for Sarabeth but you have to park so far away from where their field day activities are held... I knew that if I exhausted all that energy walking around to the back of the school that I would never make it through the rest of the work day. I hate feeling this way...
Wonder if I could get a B12 shot to perk me up?
At any rate... I was finished with my errands early - by 8am - and spent the rest of the day resting. I napped off and on all day. I'm thinking today will be much the same...
Hope you all have a beautiful mother's day.... whether you are a mother or have a mother or HAD a mother... take a few moments to reflect on the blessings that come from this most sacred role...
love and hugs, y'all.
Posted by Heather at 9:13 AM
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Mother's Day is tomorrow. I doubt I'll see my mom... or grandma... or my kids... and that's ok. True love is knowing what you mean to each other even when you aren't with that person. I am a little sentimental, though, today, thinking about what it's meant to me to be a mother. It has been my greatest accomplishment, my most difficult challenge and no matter how hard it was (is) at times, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Although I wanted little girls... I can't imagine what my life would have been like without those three boys. I am so blessed.
I was also blessed to have a mother who devoted her life to her children. Our house was always clean, despite the fact that she didn't have dishwasher or a clothes dryer. She washed the clothes every morning and hung them on the line to dry... even the cloth diapers that all my little brothers wore. She didn't have a car - our family only had one - so she walked with us to school. She kept kids for extra money... and when I had my kids, she kept them, usually for free. She faithfully served in the nursery at church nearly every week even though she had kept kids all week. We ate almost every meal at home... she cooked... she grew a garden... she kept up the lawn... she was tireless. I could count on one hand the times she raised her voice at us.
Once she had grandchildren, she devoted her life to them. She took them to school, picked them up from school, took them to their extra-curricular activities... took them to the doctor... She was and still is, someone they know they can always count on. Her love is unconditional. Even now, she drives her granddaughter-in-law to her college classes every day. She sews dresses for her granddaughters. She crochets blankets for everyone.
I grew up in a home without dysfunction with two loving parents. And my children, although there has been PLENTY of dysfunction in my life, have always had their grandparents to lean on, to give them that last line of defense they need. I'm convinced that there is nothing my parents wouldn't do for their children and grandchildren. Few people can say that. Few people can have that kind of confidence, that kind of security. I'm sure that my faith comes, in part, from the understanding that my parents always are willing to stand in the gap for us.
We are not a perfect family. We have experienced our share of discord and disappointment. My mother's health isn't good. Lately, mine isn't either. We all have personality traits and characteristics that make us difficult to live with at times... but God has blessed our family and on this Mother's Day, I want to thank God for the mother He gave me.
Love and hugs, y'all
Posted by Heather at 8:17 AM
Thursday, May 5, 2011
It's thankful Thursday and I'm glad I've structured my blog in such a way that I have these recurring themes. It helps me get my attitude right... it may be a little boring for y'all... but it's what gets me through the week. And I am definitely thankful that we're more than halfway through the week.
I'm exhausted. One hundred percent barely able to function completely wiped out. I have worked every minute that I was scheduled to work this week (sad that that's remarkable but it is) and it has been a sheer battle of will and matter of prayer. I'm thankful that God has sustained me... carried me...
I haven't mentioned this yet because I worry about putting myself at risk but I got a little tax refund this year... emphasis on little... but it enabled me to catch up on a few things that I've been paying a little late and instead of the usual worry about what I have to pay before something gets cut off or taken away, I have a small amount of breathing room. I'm thankful for that little bit of peace.
I owe less than $500 on my car now... and it's only the fees I'm still paying for the whole fiasco a year ago... so close. I'm thankful... and prayerful that little car is gonna last me a lot longer.
I woke up this morning with red, itchy, runny eyes... I mini-panicked thinking it was a pink-eye attack... but it seems to just be a little allergy deal. I think. I will check carefully... I can go to work in pain but I can't go to work contagious. Common courtesy.
Today is the National Day of Prayer. I'm thankful for prayer. Prayer is my crutch. I'm thankful for how much I need prayer for myself because it reminds me to pray for others too. I'm thankful for the evidence of answered prayers in my life and in the lives of those around me.
Something else I'm really thankful for... I went through a time of truly aching for someone to share my life. I continually prayed that God would either bring that special someone into my life or change my mind about wanting someone. I'm not sure when it happened but someone asked the question the other day, "what's a pretty girl like you doing alone?" and I could honestly answer, "it's what God wants for me and it's what I want". And mean it. I have grown to love this life so much. I'm no longer envious of my coupled friends. I'm satisfied... content... at peace.
The weather is cool this morning - 37 degrees - and I'm thankful for a last blast of cool air before the hot sticky summer starts. It will be very hot very soon.
Hope you all have a great Thursday. Love and hugs!
Posted by Heather at 6:07 AM
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It's whiny Wednesday and I'm (for once) not in the mood for complaining...
I had a rough day yesterday (that's not a complaint). Blood pressure was up, I could feel my pulse throbbing in my temples. My pulse was racing. I was determined to make it through the day at work. There were a few times I had to go in the bathroom and just do some deep breathing to sort of chill out. It worked. I made it.
And cried tears of joy on the way home.
I've had an epiphany that this is my new normal. There was something in the realization over the past two weeks that this pain is not something that is going to go away... that it's nothing that a pill or surgery is going to instantly cure... this is what I have. My life. My cross to bear.
In a way... it's a relief. I was in such a state of activism ... trying to remember every pain and what position causes the most pain and what allows relief and what medicines give relief and what medicines ... what diagnosis I have and so on and so forth... trying to be my own health advocate was mentally exhausting.
Making excuses, apologizing for not being present, feeling guilty for being absolutely exhausted at the end of the day, waiting for the day that things would return to normal...
I've been on pins and needles for the past almost four months.
I have chronic back pain which may or may not fall under the umbrella of something else. That's what I have to deal with... no more mris, ct scans, xrays, emgs, nerve conductor tests... I'm done with the poking, prodding and nuking. No more needles in my back. This is who I am. I will do what I can when I can and I will not apologize for what I can't do. My priority is to do the best I can at work so that I can keep my job - and my insurance - and if that means that after an 8 hour work day I don't have the energy to sweep my kitchen floor, it won't get swept. If I leave my kid to cook his own dinner... he's capable. If I want to spend Saturday and Sunday in my pajamas restoring my strength and resting my back - I will. And I'm not sorry.
Yesterday I managed to remember to call in the refills for my prescriptions, pay the power bill and mail the rent check. That felt like an enormous victory for me.
Austin rallied and with a little financial incentive, he hung most of my clean laundry that has been piled up for... oh, about four months.
Today is my early release day from work and as always - I hope that I have the energy and strength to go to church for Bible Study but honestly... it hasn't been working out that way. It's ended up being the extra rest I need to get through the week... a time to do the errands that I don't have the energy to do during the work day.
I am not a backslider. I have had a closer walk with the Lord during this time than at any other time in my life that I can remember. I have pursued a ministry of encouragement through cards and letters... I have been faithful in prayer for those who are struggling.
I guess this is my Manifesto of sorts. I'm not sorry for what I'm not able to do. I'm not giving up, I'm being realistic. I refuse to grieve or apologize or feel guilt for things that are beyond my control. I have adjusted my expectations to accomodate my limitations and I am going to rejoice at every extra thing that I manage to do.
Like old Shamgar in the book of Judges... I'm gonna start where I am... use what I have and do what I can.
After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel. Judges 3:31
Have a Wonderful Wednesday, y'all!
Posted by Heather at 6:07 AM
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
- Lots of stuff in the news that has my interest: the Royal Wedding (yes, I know it's over... I'm still basking in the afterglow)... the storms that hit the southeast last Wednesday... the death of Osama Bin Laden.
- Not much has changed for me since last week... another year older... still dealing with random pain, incredible exhaustion, tachycardia, high blood pressure... still dragging myself thru the day and praying for strength to get in 8 hours at the office... and to be productive during those 8 hours.
- I got some awesome birthday gifts: $25 starbucks card, $25 check, the amazing coasters that Purple Michael made for me, a monogrammed lunch tote from www.thirtyonegifts.com and a sweet new coffee mug that says "Love bears all things"... all perfectly suited to me...
- I'm fascinated by the fact that Osama Bin Laden was taken out... 1. that it took so long, 2. that Obama had the guts to order such an operation 3. that we have such brave men in our military as those Navy Seals... makes me proud to be an American.
- But it makes me fearful as well... there will be repercussions. It's inevitable. And although I feel rather insulated in this remote little corner of the world... there are a lot of people I love who are in more vulnerable areas.
- It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world we live in... but the Bible tells us that there's nothing new under the sun... so I suppose these same wars, rumors of wars, politics, the pain of aging, the pain of loss...they are just the process of this generation relearning the lessons of the previous generations... we're pretty dumb, this human race
- Ecclesiates 1:9 says, "what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.
- SO... we're living a sort of groundhog day existence here on earth... each generation repeats the mistakes of the last generation... our dependence on foreign oil enslaves us to other countries in the same way that... oh, I don't know... dependence on tea forced dependence of the colonists on England. Seems like it would be easier to learn from the example of those who have gone before us. Seems like we would use our own natural resources instead of making things so complicated
- Will Kate Middleton make the same mistakes of Di and Fergie?
- Will a new Osama Bin Laden rise up and exact greater revenge?
- Will Austin turn in his history homework?
- Will I have the energy to make it through the day today?
- Will my estranged brother ever reach out to his family?
- The sun is rising in the east and the first light of day is breaking through... It's almost time for me to wake the sleeping teen and for us to begin our day.Will it be like yesterday? Better? Worse....?
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Have a great day, y'all!
Posted by Heather at 6:22 AM
Monday, May 2, 2011
Why haven't I posted this weekend? I don't know. I've just been too tired to be creative. I really slept away big chunks of the day on Saturday and Sunday. I'm really exhausted and I don't understand why.
I've also watched countless hours of programming on the Royal Wedding... recaps... biographies... over and over and over to the point where I've adapted a bit of a british accent.
They put me on a new medicine and I think it's what making me so sluggish. It's not narcotic but... something has sapped my small reserve of energy.
I'm amazed by the fact that we finally got Osama Bin Laden. I'm concerned about repercussions from it. God bless the USA.
I've been so tired this weekend that the extent of my cooking has been cereal. I'm living off raisin bran and frosted mini wheats. I've also lost my appetite which is bizarre. Welcome, but bizarre.
My blood pressure has been high, even when I'm not moving and am completely relaxed. Have to call the doctor about that today. That's probably a big part of why I'm so tired.
Our toaster broke and our can opener broke so i have to make a Walmart run today to replace them.
My birthday was busy... car tags, doctor appointment... blood work... dinner with Angie, Sarabeth and Jamie... after that I crashed... and I never really got back up and out other than to run Austin out to get a haircut and buy a few necessities.
It's been a good birthday weekend... Happy Monday... Happy May!
love and hugs...
Posted by Heather at 6:24 AM