Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up

Well, it has been one of those weeks.  You know, the kind that seem to take forever and things keep happening where you think the world is going to come to an end, but then you get to the end of the week and look back, thinking, why was that such a big deal at the time?  Yea.  It was that kind of week.

If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that I have been having issues with my team in class and things finally blew up, literally, on Monday night.  Nothing like a good ol' fashion screaming match almost turned throw down in the middle of class to wake you up.  Ultimately, the problem child was removed from our team and replaced with someone else who seems to get along with us much better.  At the time though, I seriously hoped that the earth would just open up and swallow me so I wouldn't have to deal with the drama.

Then came the medical issues.  I finally got to have the MRI done that was supposed to find the cause of my neuropathy that I had over two weeks ago.  Guess what.  No herniated disks, no pinched nerves.  A whole lotta nothing.  Well, except for the crapload of arthritis that has invaded my back apparently.  Yippee skippy!  So now I need a follow up with the Rheumatologist.  Anyway, I am attributing the "whole lotta nothing" to the fact that the Chiropractor I have been seeing has made all the pain go away so obviously whatever is wrong is no longer "wrong."  Ha!  Right.

Then came the all mighty, all powerful MIGRAINE.  Oh freaking Lord.  Three days of head throbbing, light blinding, murderous pain.  Ever had to wear sunglasses at night?  Like had to wear them.  Yea, that was me.  By the time it finally went away yesterday afternoon, I was ready to throttle someone. 

But there was one really interesting part of the whole week.  Aside from Monday's blowup with Mr. Fantastical Douche Canoe in class, the week really wasn't that bad.  Usually I was in a pretty good mood.  I mean, why shouldn't I be?  I can get out of bed every morning on my own.  I can drive myself to my appointments.  I can shower myself and feed myself.  I can breathe, feel, and function.  And every night, I get to lay down next to the man of my dreams.  How can anything be truly horrible when I have all that?


Monday, July 19, 2010

Back away from the cream cheese

Have you ever had a roommate before?  And I don't mean your husband or wife.  I mean someone whom you do not have any romantic interest with, whether a stranger or a friend.  I have had a roommate a few times now.  Whether by choice or by necessity, you never know what you are going to get when entering a roommate situation.  Even if you have known the person for years and years, you may be surprised with how they live once you move in together.

Over the years, I have found there are several different types of roommates.  The seemingly neat and organized person at school or work could be a total slob in their own house (my first roommate).  Sometimes worse than a slob, they could be even more of a perfectionist when they get home.  Like OCD perfection.  God forbid you should move their coaster half an inch to the left (my second roommate).  Then you have what I call "The Cave Dweller."  This is the one who may or may not be perfectly sociable in public, but once they come home, they go in their room, shut the door, and you don't see them again until they leave for work the next day.  Again, this could be good or bad.  Then you have what I call "The Clingon."  This is the person who simply cannot get enough of you.  Perhaps they are needy for human interaction, perhaps they are just bored, but whatever the reason, they find it necessary to talk to you incessantly until you want to stab your eardrums with a dull pencil. Then there is the roommate that is perfectly fit for you (my beloved third roommate).  Yes, this creature really does exist, though it is rare.  Usually they come in the form of a best friend, or the former roommate of a best friend. 

My current roommate really doesn't fit into any of the categories above.  He is some kind of mix between "The Cave Dweller" and "The Clingon."  I guess it depends on his mood.  Some days, he will hide in his room all day watching TV, only emerging for food and the restroom.  Other days, he needs someone to talk to almost incessantly.  Of course, I can be the same way sometimes.  Then there are the days that he is trying to navigate the web in an effort to find a job.  Bless his heart, he is a sweet man and tries not to ask me too many questions.  He really has improved his internet skills.  However, there is one aspect that is new in this roommate experience.

In all my previous roommate experiences, for one reason or another, my roommate and I have kept separate food.  I cook for myself (and my husband since I have been married), and my roommate cooks their own food.  We shopped separately, we ate separately, we stored food separately.  With this current roommate, we decided it would be easier to combine all this since my husband and I almost always cook too much food.  Shopping and cooking-wise, it makes complete sense.  Logistically, it doesn't always work out.  There is nothing worse than having a plan for dinner, already have the mouth watering, then go to make it and an ingredient is missing.  Talk about a let down.  Luckily, it hasn't happened with any of the "important" stuff yet.  So the roomie and I had to sit down and have a little talk to prevent the next World War from happening.  I recommended to him, as a health safety measure, that he never, ever drink the last of the orange juice, drink the last of the red wine, or eat the last of the popcorn.  These three items are evictable offenses and body harm may occur.  Anything else, I can deal with.  There might be some disappointment or even a little crabbiness over the absence of cream cheese for my freshly toasted bagel or the last of the ice cream missing for the midnight snack, but overall, it is something I will get over fairly quickly - especially if I can replace that feeling with the love of my orange juice, red wine, or popcorn.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

What are you thankful for?

What was your first thought getting out of bed this morning?  Was it something like "Ugh, time to get the kids ready for school." or was it something like "Awesome!  I woke up to another day!  Let's see what fun it brings?"

After a conversation with my mom last night, I got to wondering how many of us wallow in the mundane or bad things in our life.  I know I used to only see the bad.  When you have as many medical issues as I do, with more coming up every day, sometimes it can be hard to see past the pain, discomfort, and disability.  Every day I would wake up thinking how much it sucked that I had to go to work that day, or how horrible my body ached from my RA.  Before my husband, I might think how much I wanted and deserved to have a good guy laying in bed next to me every morning.  Waking up alone sucked.  And when the bipolar gripped me in a major depression, I would curse that fact that I even woke up at all.

But then a few wonderful things happened to me.  I met my husband.  He lit up my world.  The problems didn't go away, in fact some of them got worse, but he always made me laugh no matter how bad I hurt (mentally and physically).  The negative mornings became fewer, but even then I still had days where I would wake up looking at only the bad things, though it happened less often. 

Then another person came into my life.  Or rather, became a part of my life since I had already been working with her for several years.  We became close friends when her husband ended up in ICU and was in the hospital for months.  She changed my perspective as I watched her always have hope while her husband teetered on the edge of life and death.  No matter how scared or frightened she was, she always had hope.  And then there was the joy and love when he finally got to go home.  Going through that experience with her, being there for her and with her, changed me.  It taught me to value life more.  It taught me to value every day, every moment I have on this earth because it could all come to an end unexpectedly. 

Now when I wake up in the morning, it is rarely with disappointment or a negative thought.  I am by no means perfect and do still have my cranky mornings, but they are now few and far between and usually only when severe physical pain is involved. 

This morning my first thought as I felt my arm throbbing in pain was "I am so lucky that I have a husband and roommate that are supporting me through this painful time."  They help me accomplish the daily tasks and chores that need to be done and they make me laugh.  This morning, I was truly grateful to be alive.

So tell me, what are you thankful for today?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If only I could make my kitchen into a bedroom.

So a friend of mine sent me an interesting YouTube video the other day.  It is about an apartment in Hong Kong.

Really, the concept is pretty cool.  I mean, who really wants to have a large, sprawling house when you can turn your kitchen into a bedroom with a simple slide of a wall.  Certainly not any U.S. American I know.  *snickers* But what is really interesting to me is the storage possibilities.  Can you imagine how many bodies zombies you could fit into a closet behind one of those panels? 


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Learning to Accept Help

In November, I was just starting to get into the blog-o-shere.  I stepped into the shallow end of the pool by reading just one blog, who still remains my favorite, The Bloggess.  I know I talk about her all the time, but I immediately fell in love because she shared my sarcastic, witty, and sometimes demented sense of humor.  It wasn't long before she had me reading all her blogs, including her advice column and satirical sex blog.  Every now and then, my beloved Jenny posts something serious though, and that is how I was introduced to a beautiful family who had gone through so much misfortune, the Mayhews. 

She may not know it, but Anissa and her husband, Peter, have somewhat become idols for me.  For me, it started on their Hope For Peyton blog that turned into a quasi "Hope for Anissa" blog when she had two massive strokes in November.  Jenny had posted the event on her blog and I have been following the Mayhews ever since.  Their strength and love as a family gripped me, and though I never comment much, I love hearing their story because it gives me hope when I am in the pits of mine.  It is because of Peter that I decided to start my own blog.  He needed somewhere he could put his thoughts down and reach out to people as he waited for news on Anissa.  I needed a place to put my thoughts down as I wait for bouts of depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis to pass.  His words inspired me in the beginning, and now his wife inspires me today. 

As I sit here, unable to use my right arm due to extreme pain from RA and feeling useless and handicapped, I pull up Anissa's Blog and I think, if this amazing woman can come back from two major strokes that should have killed her (according to doctors), and still get up every day for the last 4 months to take care of her three beautiful kids and keep pushing every day to get better, then who the hell am I to sit here and feel sorry for myself because I have been down and non-functional for a whole 3 freaking days. 

But this is the worst flareup I have ever had and I thought I knew some of Anissa's frustration from my past health issues.  Not exactly, but I thought I could understand some of it.  Boy was I wrong.  The pain of the last 3 days have brought on a whole new meaning for me of handicapped and useless.  As I have had to ask my husband to open the milk for me, refill my water bottle, wash my hair, or turn a doorknob because I couldn't grasp it, a new meaning formed.  As I lost use of my right arm because any movement at all, even typing, cause too much pain, a new meaning formed.  As I spend hours typing with one hand, and then lay completely still in bed watching reruns because it's the only thing I can do where I am semi-comfortable, a new meaning formed.  As I burst into tears because I was stupid enough to try reaching behind me to unclasp my own bra, a new meaning formed.  And with this new, deeper meaning of what it is feel handicapped and useless, I bet I still don't even scratch the surface of what so many others go through.

So I will stop feeling sorry for myself, but I will accept my limitations right now.  I can never heal if I don't give my body the break it wants/needs.  I will ask for help unclasping my bra, turning on the shower, washing my hair, and making breakfast.  I will ask for help picking up the laptop so I can write my next blog one-handed or surf Facebook.  But what I most recently learned from Anissa, I will ask for comfort when the reality of the situation overwhelms me and I feel like my world is crashing down.  I will reach out to my friends and family and ask for that gentle hug and "poor baby" to get me through the next minute, hour, or day.  Because sometimes, comfort is the most important help you need.