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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Better

I'm feeling marginally better now.

I was able to get shit done today.  The weather is gorgeous so I took to the outdoors to paint.  I painted the front porch.  The back steps.  The picnic table.  Most of the trim around the windows (until I ran out of paint.  Plus my ladder wasn't tall enough.  And despite Charlie's mad spider monkey skills, there is no easy way to reach the top of the second story windows without a tall enough ladder.   Cause I ain't about to be hanging out of a window with a bed sheet tied around my waist and a bed frame or some such craziness.  Though I will admit that the thought crossed my mind...Charles did come home to find me on the roof of the entryway to the basement so really not too far of a stretch...)  I then came inside and started to paint the living room.  I chose the wall with the big window on it, mostly so I can get my curtains hanging back up because by God, I want to be able to parade around naked in my living room without being the peep show for the whole neighborhood.  At least the free peep show.  Perhaps if there was a $5 cover charge...

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 Ignore all of the crap on the couch.  Normally it would be hanging up, but I had to take the hooks down to paint.  Eh, who am I kidding?  That couch will still look like that even after I hang the hooks back up because it apparently takes way too much effort to hook a book bag on a hook...


I did miss going to see a friend who was in the state, but that was because my van is an asshole and decided to need new brakes.  Not like they were metal on metal or anything.  Next thing you know the fucker is going to demand gasoline because it is SO NEEDY like my children who demand things like food and immunizations and absolutely refuse to get gainfully employed.  Slackers.

Basically, I got my to-do list done today (that is now on my iPhone vs my desktop; gotta love technology).  Very different from last weekend when I was dying.

Granted, my fingers are as swollen and stiff as can be.  I am sure I will be sore as hell tomorrow from all of the squatting and bending over and reaching from the painting.  My house is currently in shambles from moving shit around so I can paint coupled with my children's complete inability to put anything away, ever.

But I got shit done.  And I was able to spend time with the two little girls, at least (Elizabeth of course wants nothing to do with me as I am the devil.)  We spent a fair amount of time outside.  Alexis played on the trampoline and helped me paint while Charlie napped.  Charlie then woke up and did whatever secret op stuff the government has her doing currently, then came out to play with Alexis. (She can't tell me or she'd have to kill me.  And I'm pretty sure she carries a shank strapped to her ankle so I'm not pushing the issue.)  They actually got along for once so I am assuming the mission went well...(so I definitely decided to make a blog post tonight so I'd have record of this.)  It was a good day.

This is how it goes with me.  I am at the mercy of what my body decides to do.  If it is going to be nice, then great!  Shit gets done.  If it decides to be an asshole...then I'm dying.  I would swear I was bipolar if I knew that I didn't get the wonderful benefits of being manic like not needing much sleep.  Perhaps my body is bipolar.  Can one diagnose one's body with a mental illness but not oneself?   And if that is the case, can I then involuntarily commit my body to a really nice mental institution?  Preferably one with a gourmet chef and a private whirlpool....


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Body

I currently hate my body.

Not in the "OMG I am so fat and society hates me!" (though I am not going to deny there is some of that going on as well...)  It is more in the whole Sjogren's Disease is taking over my body kind of way.

Charlie was recently so nice as to share a stomach bug with me.  Sweet, huh?  It was a 24 hour deal for her.  And for my mother-in-law, with whom she also shared.  It took me twice as long to recover.  Hell, I am still not fully recovered but I am pretending that I am because if I don't I will just break down and cry.  Again.

I hate my body.

I hate complaining about my body.  But by God, I almost never do so I am going to do so now before I lose my fucking mind.

I hate that the medications that I take to keep my immune system from attacking my body are the same ones that lower my immune system so that I can't fight off illnesses as effectively.

I hate the judgement that I get from my boss every time that I call off because I am fucking sick.  Again.  Getting points, and possibly written up.  Again.

I hate that I now have to, at the ripe old age of 33, get FMLA papers filled out for a health condition.

I hate that I go into work when I shouldn't, that I push myself beyond what I should, and pay the price later, because that judgement does not just come from her but from others around me and people think I am whining when I describe the throbbing joint pain.  The unrelenting fatigue.  The stomach that occasionally will decide to throw a fit and rebel against everything that I eat, even in the absence of micro-organisms that cause this.  The not being able to eat much gluten because it makes it that much worse.  And do you know how many things have gluten in them?   The irritated, dry eyes that never really feel like the sand comes out of them.  The dry mouth that makes the three hours I am at the jail for work, where I am not allowed to have anything to drink to relieve it, sometimes a unique hell of its own (aside from the whole, hey I am locked in the jail at the mercy of the officers to let me out thing.) The dry skin, and, ahem, other areas.  The tingling and numbness and coldness that comes with Reynaud's, that is secondary to the Sjogren's.  The fear of getting a blood clot, again, related to a condition secondary to Sjogren's.  The very real fear that no matter how well I take care of my teeth, that some day I might lose them.  The very real fear that the next time I go back to the rheumatologist, this is going to be the time she tells me I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Or Lupus.  Or some other kind of autoimmune disease, because let's just see how many I can acquire because I apparently have nothing more to do than to add to my list of diagnoses and medications...

The very real fear that some day I might die like my father did,  drowning in the fluids from the lungs.  I joke about my cat-like fear of water; it is quite ironic that this could realistically be the way I died some day.

I hate the fact that to complicate all of this, I am now having some problems with my reproductive system and am losing, at certain times of the month, the equivalent of two+ pints of blood over the course of a week (and yes, I am able to quantify this.  Diva Cup)  Totally helpful for the fatigue.  Oh, and the calling off sick thing because I have had to leave work because I was bleeding so much that the front and back of my pants were soaked through.

TMI?  Probably.  But I am describing that to describe the hell that it has been to be me lately.  I don't want my children to remember me as being sick. Or my employer.  Or anyone. I don't want to be sick.  I did not ask for my body to turn on itself.  For my uterus to decide to turn the crimson tide into the crimson tsunami.  For my life to be run by physical limitations that only I can feel.

I want to go back to the time where I could abuse my body and know it would spring back.  Where I had unlimited, boundless energy.  Hell, I want to go back two months ago when things were somewhat under control.

I can wish in one hand and shit in another.  Wonder what will fill first?


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fundraising

It's getting to be that dreaded time of year.  The catalogs start coming home.  Brightly colored, glossy pages filled with crap that you are paying 100 times what it cost to make so your school can get 40 cents from the sale.  Order forms that come in triplicate and dripping with guilt and shame if you do not sell.  Calling in favors from coworkers, relatives, and neighbors to "support the schools" when in reality their money would be better spent buying a lottery ticket.

Fundraising.

That dirty little 11 letter word.

It is a necessary evil, I know.  Schools are underfunded.  Teachers are spending their own money on classroom supplies.  "Extras" like art, music, and gym are being cut because teachers have to teach to the tests given and their raises, which will go towards supplies for the classrooms that are underfunded anyways, do not make up for having to deal with my little *ahem* angels all day long.

Fuck.  If I could get a three month vacation from my children, you better believe I would be all over that.  Totally don't blame them at all.  Of course, I am the opposite of an educator, so maybe there are people who feel differently.  And I am also a pretty crappy parent, so there may be other parents who feel differently as well.

(Who am I kidding.  I might make it a week.)

Anyways.

Supporting our schools.  Yes.  Why does it always have to be with shit made in China?  With wrapping paper that you will be lucky to be able to wrap a ring box?  With a 6 oz box of chocolates that you spent the equivalent of a 12 pack of really good beer on?

There is an idea.  Alcohol.  Evenings away from children.  Adult conversation.  I would support the hell out of my school, and any other in the area, if we could provide that as a fundraiser.  Grown up things.  A chance to remember that I am a person outside of a parent of school aged children.

Or chocolate.  Give me a box of candy bars and I could sell the crap out of them.  We need to market to the vices to benefit our children, dammit.  Haven't the schools learned anything from Vegas?  Life lessons, bitchez.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Quickly

Last weekend, Charles and I took the little girls on a bike ride.  It was the first time that we were able to do this with Charlie, as she has really progressed nicely with riding her bike without riding it into a telephone pole (i.e., she is able to look up while pedaling).  Elizabeth was working, like she has pretty much all summer because her employer has a pretty flagrant disregard for things like child labor laws, so it was just the four of us.

We were riding through the streets of our town, and Alexis asked to decide which way we turned.  I had an intense flashback to riding the bike with Elizabeth, before Alexis was born, and even after with her in the trailer.  I remember the thrill, the freedom, that a child experiences with riding a bike.  I remember the sheer innocence of getting pleasure out of such a simple activity written all over her face the way it was Alexis's and Charlie's.  Those twilight rides, taken in that sweet time between the end of summer and the beginning of fall, are some of my favorite memories, with all of my girls.

It struck me how it seems like just a few summers ago that we were doing this with Elizabeth.  It does not seem possible that she is 16, going on 17 in a few short months.  I am keenly aware that soon she will not be living with us; that she will be moving on in life to start her own.

It really highlights the struggle that I have with having a family with such a drastic age difference.  It was part of why I was OK with Charlie being our last.  That 13 year age difference is a lot.  Elizabeth no longer enjoys the bike rides with her parents.  Hell, she avoids her parents as much as she can, except when she needs something signed or money.  And that is OK.  That is the way it is supposed to be.  Parenthood is working yourself out of a job, or at least a full time job.  You never really retire from parenthood, just semi-retire.  And when people tell you to enjoy it, you simultaneously roll your eyes because, quite frankly, we all retain a little bit of adolescent attitude and don't want to listen to our elders.  And because you know.  The baby comes home from the hospital, and all of a sudden they don't fit into their newborn clothes.  Overnight.  (Or in the case of the gargantuan babies I birth, the 0-3 months clothes...)  It does go so quickly, yet you are suffering from no sleep and the house never being clean enough and never having time to yourself and never pooping alone and planning dates around nap times and soccer games and sex what the hell is that...?  And hearing that is not what you want because you have so much guilt anyways that you aren't enjoying it enough.

I want to hold on to those memories, though, even as I have to let go.  I want to remember that little girl who called Charles Spike.  The girl who used to fight naps like they would kill her.  The preteen with the braces, who then moved onto the requisite heavy black eyeliner that almost every girl does at least once in her life.  The woman who stood before me in her prom dress and made me cry. (Four times.  This will happen four times because she will be going to prom all four years in high school...)   I want to remember all of this as I see the absolutely amazing woman that my daughter is becoming.  I am sure she does not feel amazing.  16 sucks.  It is a swirling shitstorm of emotions and insecurity and a stunning combination of naivete and wisdom, all wrapped into a body that is likely to be the best you have ever had in your life.

Every parent says they are proud of their child.  And every parent is.  I strongly feel that it is a testament to who Elizabeth is as a person that she is not completely fucked up, given the crazy that is her mother.  It will be a testament to Alexis, and to Charlie, that they managed to survive in spite of my best efforts to emotionally scar them.  I consider less than ten years of therapy apiece to be a success story.

So far, they are all at least smart enough to hide the bodies.  It's the small things, really.