Jonathan’s Ring and the Wedding Dress

Here is Jonathan’s wedding ring. Yes, it’s inexpensive. Jonathan is a carpenter and destroys jewelry. Instead of getting a tungsten carbide or titanium ring which could cause him to have a finger amputated if his hand is injured, I went with safer stainless steel.

Here is my wedding dress. It’s blue lace and perfect for a courthouse wedding. Did I mention I never wear light colors? No? Well, I never wear pastels or white in “real” life. It’s just not my thing. My favorite color is black followed by dark blue and/or purple.

I need to decide if I have time to make fancy hair accessories. I need to get shoes for Luke and Oliver….I need to alter Jonathan’s and Oliver’s suits. I need to determine how to make a wedding appointment at the courthouse (because they can’t just put than info on their website or answer my question via phone – that would be too simple!). So, yeah, still plenty to do.

Luke’s Giant Tantrum

As we packed books in boxes Luke (the 11yr old formerly known as “L”) looked up at me and asked, “When you marry daddy, that means I won’t have to see mommy anymore, right? That will make you my mom.”

“It doesn’t exactly work that way. Your mom is always your mom.”

“Oh…I wish you were my mom. I don’t want to see mommy any more.”

Jonathan had just dropped Luke off at my house on his way to work. Luke was supposed to go with his mother for her 24hrs of weekly custody, however he refused to go. First he locked himself in the car, then he bolted from the car running off into traffic when Jonathan opened the door. The frustrated Jonathan had to finish a tiling job on a tight timeline so he dropped off a very angry, red faced, Luke.

The above question from Luke was the first crack in his silent streak. We talked about a lot of things. His behavior. His mother. How his mom has been slapping, spanking, and constantly yelling at him but not at his younger brother Oliver.  I explained that telling people about what happens at his mother’s is acceptable behavior. Locking himself in the car and running off is unacceptable behavior that will lead to being grounded.

“I wish I could never see mommy again.”

“I understand, Luke. It really stinks to spend time with a person who yells at you and hits you. The problem is that the court system won’t let you just stop seeing your mother. We have to come up with some kind of compromise so you, daddy, and I don’t get in trouble with the court. I’ll do everything I can to make this better, but you have to do your best to cooperate with us.”

I really do feel for Luke. His mother reminds me of my mother and that churns my gut.

Rubber Bands, the Dress, and a 3hr nap

Today, I’m breathing much better. I can walk around without feeling winded and elephants-are-sitting-on-my-chest feeling has been reduced to a rubber-bands-are-wrapped-around-my-lungs feeling. Of course, this improvement came at the price of an antihistamine induced, 3hr nap. I may not be productive but at least I’m not miserable.

The wedding dress arrived today. I haven’t tried it on yet seeing as I was too busy napping to do so, but it will be tried on tomorrow morning. The boys tried on their suits today too. L’s fit well, but O’s is going to require alterations. Jonathan’s suit requires alterations. My dress will likely require alterations…I guess I’ll have a sewing day in the near future.

Yawn! Off to bed…again. I’ll write something interesting/something that doesn’t involve being constantly sick sometime in the near future. Really, I will.

Asthma, Asthma, and More Asthma

Day 3 of antihistamines. Day 7 of the steroid inhaler. Does anyone else feel extremely drowsy after taking “non-drowsy” antihistamines like Zyrtec or Claritin? Maybe I’m a weirdo, but, even though I should take an antihistamine every day, I just can’t manage the crushing fatigue.

Since my immune system is busy destroying my joints, I often feel worn out anyway. Adding a medication which causes drowsiness on top of the grinding fatigue is more than I care to tolerate. I work full time. I live alone. I have a house to maintain, pets to care for, work to go to, and occasionally a social life. I don’t want to spend the only bits of free time I am afforded sleeping.

However, I also don’t want to spend every waking moment feeling like cinderblocks are piled on my chest slowly squeezing the oxygen from my lungs. Asthma causes fatigue as well. Obviously, if you’re not getting enough oxygen, you’re going to feel tired…and cold. The icicle extremities are particularly annoying. “Oh, I feel fine.”, I say when coworkers ask…except my hands and feet feel like they may completely freeze off, I’m exhausted, and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest.

Still short of breath

Well, I’m still having shortness of breath. Doing simple things like walking around the house or carrying a laundry basket makes me winded. Asthma is so frustrating.

Another irritating asthma symptom I experience is freezing cold hands and feet. I understand that not getting enough oxygen causes extremities to be cold, but it’s annoying none the less. Sometimes my hands get so cold at work that my fingers go numb while I’m typing.

Today I took a zyrtec, 2 puffs of steroid, and had to use my rescue inhaler 2x today. I’ll be excited when I can cut back on the steroid inhaler because it tastes like burning plastic.

My wheezy self is off to bed, I guess.

Adventures in Autoimmune Disease: Asthma

I can’t breathe. Asthma, I’m sure. Always allergies, asthma or pain…I haven’t been taking an antihistamine because it makes me feel so tired. Guess it’s time to deal with the antihistamine fatigue on top of the fibro-fatigue so I can suck in enough oxygen again.

Allergies are a common condition for people with autoimmune patients. Our immune systems are crazy.

Adventures in Autoimmune Disease: Cortisone Shots

Rheumatoid arthritis has decided to take up residence in my hips over the past few months. Yesterday I went to the rheumatologist for cortisone shots after almost 2 months of constant, sleep interrupting, pain. Yes, I’ve woken up more than 2x each night for the past 7 weeks because I’m experiencing hip, knee, or back pain.

I’m so tired I feel like I could sleep for days. The cortisone shots themselves aren’t painful. The day after the injection sites are quite sore, however. Tonight I’m lying on a heating pad waiting for the pain to decrease enough to fall asleep.

People with autoimmune diseases aren’t lazy. It’s hard to understand the fatigue we experience sometimes when it seems like we are spending enough time in bed to get a restful sleep. The problem is that our sleep is often disturbed. Couple sleep disturbances with an energy zapping, over active, immune system destroying our tissue and it’s a recipe for exhaustion.


Super Secret Ninja Wedding Plans

The blue lace dress has been ordered. I know, I know. Everyone liked the white lace dress better but it’s sold out.  Jonathan and I decided blue was completely acceptable for a bride to wear to her second wedding.

Also, in “real” (non-wedding) life, I never wear white. My clothes tend to be black with occasional blue, grey, purple, and green. Wearing any light or pastel color causes my friends to immediately raise and eyebrow and ask if something’s wrong. Since I have massive hooters, I ordered a size larger due to bust measurement. This means I need to either alter the dress myself or have the dress altered for it to fit properly. I’ll see if this is something I can do myself once the dress arrives. I’m not sure how the lace attaches to the dress from the photo.  And, yes, there is a backup plan if the blue dress is a disaster.

I’m sure everyone says this, but I’m in awe of how fast the wedding date is approaching. Just under 1 month and Jonathan and I will be married. Wow…

So far, I’ve kept the courthouse elopement plans secret from everyone but a few close friends and a couple members of Jonathan’s family. If I “go public” by posting on Facebook my family will discover my plans and attempt to start a huge fight. I wouldn’t put it past certain family members to show up at the courthouse and make asses of themselves.  This is especially true of my mother. She’s the type of person to tell the courts that I’m still married to my ex Adam *just* because I didn’t include her in the plans.

The secrecy is exciting. Knowing something big is going to happen and getting to announce it to everyone with a huge “Surprise!”.  On the other hand, I wish my family were the type of people who behaved like…well…family. Sometimes I feel pangs of guilt for keeping the secret, but I know those pangs are based on how I wish we got along rather than how we actually get along. These are the people who screamed at me, hit me, had me arrested for lies as a teenager, and left me homeless at 17. These are the people who don’t include me in their life plans but expect to be included in mine. The reality is the family I wish I had and the family I actually have don’t have much in common.

Is Therapy the Right Choice for My Child?

L.’s grades are slipping. He’s only in 5th grade but he simply doesn’t care to complete his homework. He’s completely disinterested in school. When we attempt to help him with his homework, he whines then refuses to complete assignments. L. has had several anxiety attacks lately. He cries that is brain won’t let him do things like take a shower. It seems to be a compulsive thought like what an OCD sufferer experiences and L. can’t overcome the thought for quite some time.

Jonathan and I talked about L.’s issues today while we were working on the house. Once Jonathan and I are married and L. is on my insurance, we will take L. to see a counselor. L.’s anxiety completely overwhelms him and we don’t know how to help him cope. Nothing we have tried so far has worked and I’m worried he may need medication. Last night he proclaimed he didn’t want to be alive any more.

We will take him to a counselor I know so he won’t be traumatized like I was. My first counselor/therapist/psyc doctor was completely disinterested in me. He thought I was lying about the abuse at home, however my mother poisoned the well telling him I was a compulsive liar prior to our session. My mother told everyone I was a manipulative, nasty, little liar. It was her way to keep other adults for discovering the truth: she was abusing my brother, sister, and I. The Doc prescribed a high dose of antidepressant which made me feel drugged, light headed, foggy, and sick. After several weeks I refused to take the antidepressants because I felt so ill. The next thing I remember was my mother screaming at me in front of the therapist as I stared blankly at the pattern on the chair across the room; red and gold leaves. I was so accustomed to being screamed at by my mother that I would just space out. I don’t recall what she screamed about that day. I do, however, recall looking up at the therapist and knowing he realized what was really happening at home. My mother canceled all future therapy appointments.

I desperately want L. to know that we care for him and are here for him no matter what sort of anxiety he’s going through. I want someone to believe him. Someone with experience that can give him advice on how to calm his unrelenting thoughts. We want him to do well in school he is too young to fall so far behind. Like all parents, I hope therapy is the right choice for L.  It was a very long time before I was willing to find the right therapist for myself because I first met so many of the wrong therapists.