I feel like I’ve not been writing enough and I don’t want to let myself go too long without an update, so here goes.
First, I think a lot of my absence here is a result of not having quite adjusted to my new routine, and also not having a quiet, comfortable place to sit and write. I prefer writing with my laptop, but I rarely open it nowadays unless it’s for work related purposes. I have a corner in my living room that used to hold my laptop and crochet projects, and this is where I would unwind and tap out my thoughts on the blog. But now that corner is cluttered with work things, so I guess you could say my happy place is tainted. So what I decided to do is to untaint it. I’m decluttering my bedroom upstairs, where I have a charming secretary hutch and filing cabinet. So that area will now be my work space, and the living room corner will soon be restored to its peaceful, inspiring state.
Our dog, Piper, was sick this week. She had peed in the house a couple times, on carpeting, which she never does. She’s been known to piddle a little on linoleum when she’s excited, but this was different. Then we also noticed her tail was bent downwards, when it’s normally fully up and wagging. Dr. Google informed us that the tail was likely a sign that she was in pain. We called the vet and they said she probably had a urinary tract infection and to make sure she’s getting lots of fresh, clean water, and it would likely clear up on its own. Sure enough, within a day of monitoring her water quality and intake, she was back to her old self again. I just felt so bad that she was in pain. I’ve had UTIs before and the pain is no joke. She turns 5 tomorrow and we’re just happy she won’t be spending her birthday in misery. Because she knows it’s a special day, of course.
Life is slowing down some but I expect it will pick back up soon enough. I have lots more to update but I’ll probably do that once the office space shuffling is complete and I can sit and type on a normal keyboard. This phone typing I’m doing right now is annoying.
I hope you are having a lovely day and we’ll chat again soon!!
This story is coming a week or so late, and I do want to post about yesterday’s half marathon, but I just finished reading this book and I want to get this story posted while it’s still fresh in my mind.
After my last infusion a couple weeks ago I sat on the bench in front of the infusion center reading my latest library find, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. As I’m reading, the woman next to me asks me for the time. She too, is waiting for a ride home from our local paratransit service. I notice she has a slight accent and I ask her where she’s from. She’s from Latvia, she tells me, and asks me if I know it. I regrettable do not, as geography was never my strong subject. She proceeds to tell me all the surrounding areas, and I ask her more about her story, what brought her here to America. This opened up a big can of worms.
The woman was happy to share, not at all shy, about her experience. She lived through World War II. Her family was driven from their home in Latvia because her father owned land and the Germans wanted it. My dad tells me this was common during the war. This woman sitting next to me told me how she worked in slave camps during her teen years, until her family was able to escape to a refugee camp in Sweden. She came to America in 1950 and she’s been here ever since.
As we were talking, the paratransit van arrived and it turned out we were on the same van because we lived near each other. Our conversation continued until we arrived at her home.
It was incredible to talk with her, and I just wished we had longer together. But even in that short time we were given I learned that she is a survivor, though she was quick to deny it. She has PTSD from her experience. And because she subsisted much of that time on soy beans, she still can’t eat anything with soy. She smiles as she tells me that even soy sauce is unbearable. Those odors bring back horrific memories that she can’t bear, even all these years later. I tell her she is a survivor because she kept going when many others did not. She keeps going even now, as she suffers the residual effects of the trauma she lived through.
Her name is Mitsy. She has a precious cat who loves to greet her at the door and she looks fabulous in her big floppy red hat. Mitsy is a survivor. Living, breathing history. I thank God that I had the privilege of that brief ride home with her. It was an encounter that left an indelible mark on my heart.
When I saw my primary doctor about my knee I asked her if it would be safe to stop taking my anti-depressant. I had started on a higher dose, but since have gone down to the smallest dose because it was making me too numb. But now that I’ve been feeling so good, physically and mentally, I thought it would be worth a shot at stopping it altogether. She said I was on a low enough dose that I could just stop taking it and wouldn’t have any adverse effects. So, I stopped.
Here’s how I know it was leaving my system. Last week I turned on the tv and caught a few minutes of Wife Swap. The husband did something really nice and thoughtful for the wife, and I got a little choked up. Almost shed a tear. Then, a few days later I was watching a video on Facebook of a man playing the saxophone for a herd of cows, and I kid you not, they all came to the fence to listen. Again with the lump in the throat.
Then there was the time we went up in the carousel at Cedar Point and I almost had a panic attack. It was at that moment I remembered that I was off my meds and in order to cope I had to do what I had learned to do – which is to breath slowly and tell myself what was real and true. I had to tell myself that the likelihood of anything bad happening was very minimal, or else they wouldn’t have let us on the ride in the first place. And then keep breathing, slowly, in and out.
So, these sorts of things keep happening, and it tells me that the anti-depressant that was artificially numbing my emotions is out of my system. That makes me so happy, I could *literally* cry (Sometimes people say literally when they don’t mean literally. I am not those people.). This is such a good thing. I was taking the anti-depressant because I was having anxiety attacks, but I never did like that it seemed to dull my emotions all together. You can’t pick and choose with these drugs, I guess. The upside is that while I now feel sad emotions more vibrantly, I’m also feeling the happy ones too. I’m FEELing all the FEELS. You feel me?
You know that song that goes, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down…” Well what if the rainy day is also a Monday? AND, you’ve been sneaking too much dairy cuz that ranch dressing was so delicious and it caught up with you and your fatigue is through the roof? That makes for a pretty dreary day, let me tell you. But I managed to get some bills paid for the church, and I washed some dishes, and I fed myself.
My new discovery: roasted garlic cauliflower and brussels sprouts (Grammar Girl says I don’t have to capitalize the brussels lol). Oh my gosh, so yummy. I’ll be making that for the next few days, for sure. It was some serious comfort food, and I took a wicked nap after I ate it. So the day wasn’t all bad. On to the next!
I bought an electric toothbrush last weekend and the first time I used it I made the mistake of leaving the bathroom door open. The thing is noisy. My husband said it sounded like a Peter Frampton song and I laughed so hard I spit toothpaste all over myself. So now that’s what I think of every time I clean my teeth.
It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Michigan! And finally: Sandal Weather! You GUYS – said in my best Yankee accent – my feet are so happy right now. SPRING ON, MICHIGAN!
I’m not big on resolutions, so I don’t make them. However, I’ve been hemming and hawing the last couple weeks about rejoining CrossFit. I stopped going a couple months ago to cut back on our expenses, but I think that was a bad move. I’ve since been sliding slowly toward depression, and have stopped running as well. It’s time someone gave me a swift butt-kicking to get me back in gear. So maybe I make this decision, to rejoin CrossFit and resume running regularly, and maybe it just happens to be the new year. So you could call it a New Year’s Resolution, or you could just call it coincidental timing.
So I’m just poking my head up to share that. I’m still here, and I’m doing fine. I’m just hibernating. I’ve been hunkered down at home, enjoying quality time with the family, and secretly looking forward to the kids going back to school so I can find a routine I can stick with. We’ve had a really great Christmas break so far, and we still have several days of it left. I pray you are all enjoying yourselves around these holidays and I wish you all a blessed and memorable 2019.
I’m frustrated today. Frustrated and grumpy. It’s not anything specific, really. Just more of a general feeling. I was trying to crochet but it’s a challenging basket weave pattern and I just didn’t feel like messing with it anymore. This frustration makes me very unpleasant to be around because I’m a major grump. So I’m upstairs with a beer and a laptop, and I’m hashing it out on the keyboard. I was working on my book for awhile, with my cochlear implant volumes turned way down, and my son came into the room and scared the living daylights out of me. I didn’t hear him come in!! It’s a good thing I wasn’t holding my beer at the time. I was at a stuck point with the book anyway so the distraction was nice. He read some parts of the book and then we got to talking about what he remembered from when I first lost my hearing. It’s always interesting to hear it from my kids’ perspectives.
I think what I’ve learned today, or was reminded of, is that writing calms me. That frustrated feeling has almost completely left me, and I don’t feel like such a grump anymore. And I appreciate that you are willing to read all the silly things I write. So thank you, reader. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
It’s December. My 40th December on this planet, so I am not so surprised anymore when I get all gloomy and just want to stay holed up in my cocoon (i.e. blankets, sweaters, recliner). I’m reading through my old journals as I’m trying to write my book and I’m noticing a common theme: I nap a lot. I don’t remember ever being much of a napper, and was always a little envious of people like my husband who could nap with ease. But now I feel like I’ve really mastered the art. Seriously. Y’all, I nap like it’s my JOB.
And that’s all I have to say for now, because, of course, it’s time to go back to bed.
It’s been a week, and my fatigue is finally lifting. I’m back on the vegan diet, I’ve pushed through to get a couple good runs in this week, and I’ve been napping a lot. All of that, combined, seems to make a big difference. I also have my next Tysabri infusion on Monday so that should help as well. The fog is lifting! Hooray!
So, what have I been up to? I think I already mentioned I’m leading a Financial Peace University class at church. We are three weeks in and it’s going pretty well! Every one is really excited to be there and we have great discussions every week. I’m really hoping this class becomes a regular thing, because I know there are people who expressed interest in the class but weren’t able to sign up for this one.
I made homemade granola bars the other day, for the first time ever in my life, and I was really surprised at how good they turned out! I have a couple ideas to tweak the recipe, but nothing major. I didn’t measure anything as I was just going from memory of a recipe I had read earlier in the day. Oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. I was surprised at how easy they were to make and how many bars it yielded. So much cheaper than the store bought ones, by far. I’ll have to remember this and make another batch soon. Aside from the honey, these are all ingredients I almost always have on hand, so it would be nice to be able to throw a batch together to have snacks to feed the family for when we are running around and don’t have time for proper meals.
I’ve also been doing this weekly Bible study and we are currently reading the book of Joshua. The Old Testament has always been a bit difficult for me and while it’s a challenge, it’s nice to be able to tackle that challenge with other ladies who are usually equally confused. I’m learning a lot and that’s always a good thing.
Alright, now I’ve typed a bunch of things and I still feel like I’m forgetting something. I’ll go back to my crocheting, or my Farmville, and maybe it will come to me. Or not.