Category Archives: Housekeeping

Another random, lame update

It’s Wednesday. I had a great visit with my neurologist this morning. It was nice to be able to tell her about all of the positive changes I’ve been making and my lack of MS symptoms. However, I did bring up my concerns with brain fog. A friend shared a really great article the other day about this, and it very eloquently listed what people with chronic illness experience. Sadly, it’s not just limited to people with MS. I am walking great, I have no fatigue, no pain (unless you count the occasional headache), and I’m overall feeling really fantastic. However, every day, throughout the days, I have issues with short term memory loss and cognitive function. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked up the stairs and forgotten why I was there. I will often use a wrong word or name when talking with people, and not realize it. Sometimes even, I’ll forget what I’m talking about mid-sentence. And friends and family will encourage me that this is just a normal part of aging and that they experience it too. Which is nice, and appreciated for sure, but I really don’t believe that they experience this phenomenon with the frequency I do. So I told my neurologist about this and she said it may or not be MS, but there are ways to check, starting with testing my blood to see if some of my levels are out of whack. If that’s the case, I suppose it’s a simple fix with supplements. If not, there is always the option of memory testing and exercises. I had no idea that sort of thing existed, so it gave me some hope that this is a problem that has been addressed by the medical community, and I’m not coming in with some sort of weird cognitive mystery.

In other news, I slacked on laundry for one measly day and it magically piled up and threatened to take over my bedroom. I folded (and put away!) five loads of laundry today and now I would love to nap but I need to stay awake so I can answer questions for my grocery shopper, and then be up when she delivers my groceries. I LOVE grocery delivery, people. Love it.

So I think I’m going to make a glass of sweet tea and read a book or do some crocheting while I wait.

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What’s Going On?!?!

So, sooo much you guys. It feels like it’s all going a little too fast for me and I can’t believe I’m keeping up. Am I keeping up? I guess I am. I mean, I’m still here, aren’t I? Let’s break this down for my right brain, okay?

  1. The son is in baseball. The hubby is coaching the baseball. Sometimes the girls go and watch. I love the game of baseball. I used to really love watching. I’m learning to enjoy it differently now. I can’t see the plays, but I can share in the cheering and I get to converse with the other parents when I ask what happened, or who did what on the field.
  2. The girl was in a dance. Ballet, to be more specific. She performed in a recital and she nailed it. She was stunning and graceful and she brought some people to tears. And when I picked her up afterwards she ran to me, beaming with pride. I had not seen that level of joy coming from her in quite awhile. It was truly magical.
  3. And then she got sick. She woke up the next day with a super high temperature, that just wouldn’t go away. We took her to the doctor, received a semi-firm diagnosis and a prescription for antibiotics, and now it’s just the waiting game. She has little energy which is fine because her body needs the rest in order to heal and fight, and I’m happy to be waiting on her hand and foot. Because after all, she will always be my baby girl.
  4. I’ve been running. A lot. And apparently I’m becoming one who loves to run. Seriously. I woke up this morning at 5:30, couldn’t fall back asleep. All I could think about was getting outside and running while the sun rose. So guess what? I did! And it was wonderful. A bit of a chill still left in the air, birds chirping to greet the day, and the sunrise. Oh how I love a good sunrise. It was a really great way to start the day.
  5. I’m still seeing a therapist. I tried to get out of going by pretending all was fine already, but she reminded me of a few comments I had made that made it pretty clear I could still use the help. The depression is gone, and I am grateful for that. The anxiety, however, is a bit more challenging. Challenging, but not impossible to overcome. The therapist is giving me tools and I’m using them, and it’s helping. I still think everyone should see a therapist at least once in their life. It’s just been extremely USEFUL.
  6. I’ve been working at developing daily habits. Intentionally. As in, deciding what I want to be sure to do every day, and then keeping track to be sure I’m doing it. There are so many awesome apps for my phone for stuff like this, it took a few days to decide on just one. My list of daily habits is currently: taking medicine, devotional, prayer, meditation, exercise, and laundry. Because laundry always needs to be done, but in taking a different approach to it, I find I dread it less. It’s just become something I do every day, so it doesn’t build up, and if I miss a day, I just pick up the next day where I left off. This seems so trivial to be blogging about laundry but it feels like a huge victory in my little world, so there. I’m trying to work this mindshift magic with vacuuming but it hasn’t quite worked yet.
  7. I’m doing a lot of crocheting. I finished an afghan for my oldest nephew and started one for my oldest niece. I’m going to make one for each of the nieces and nephews, oldest to youngest. There are twelve total, assuming my youngest sister is done having babies. So, one down, eleven to go. The blanket I make is a very relaxing pattern and works up really nice. I just hope the cousins appreciate having something warm and cozy and handmade with love by their Aunt Mindy.
  8. Food. I still eat it, I just don’t think about it constantly. I think this is a positive development for me. I’m finding so many other things to focus my time and energy on, and in between I eat yummy food. So there. Life is good.

What will I do today?

Something occurred to me last night. I spent all day doing stuff. Stuff needed to be done, so I just did it. Without much thinking. Do you know what that means? Yesterday I was not fatigued. Not being fatigued means I can just get up and do things and not have to wrestle with myself about it. You just get up and do it.

I have to remember this feeling, this reality, for the days that I AM fatigued. Because those days are much more common, and those days I tend to beat myself up about it. I feel guilty on those days for not folding the laundry or vacuuming the floors or cooking good meals. I feel guilty about sleeping too much. Because some ridiculous little voice inside me tells me I’m lazy and not good for much. But that’s just not true, is it? Because the fatigue really does drag me down. I guess I live there so often I forget what non-fatigue feels like. Is this what it’s like for “normal” people? Is this what it was like for me pre-MS? It’s a wonderful feeling. Not being dragged down. The ease of standing up and walking to the other room. Deciding to put away the clean dishes and then immediately getting up and doing it. That’s something I know we take for granted. I know I did, before fatigue entered my life. But no longer. Now on days fatigue decides to step aside for awhile, I look around with awe, I breathe a little easier, and I ask myself… “What will I do today?”

Thunder bolts of lightning

Get this, I woke up with a pulled muscle in my neck, and it has me in such pain. I mean, searing, sharp, throbbing pains. I’m in such flippin’ agony I’ve been whining about it on Facebook all morning. If it was just one muscle, I could deal, but this thing is connected to all these other muscles, so every time I move something – an arm, a leg, whatever – I don’t know if it’s going to be okay or if it’s going to shoot fiery bolts of lightning up through my neck. It’s a crap shoot.

I slept on a heating pad for most of the morning and then managed to fix myself some lunch – baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon YUM – and now I’m chillin’ on the couch with a cup of coffee. Coffee on the right, because apparently I can’t reach from the left or the pain kills me, and then the coffee spills. We can’t have any of that happening, now can we?

I went upstairs to get something and by the time I got to the top of the steps, I forgot why I was up there, so I distracted myself with laundry until it came back to me. Managed to rotate some loads, with slow and careful movements of course, and sure enough, it came to me! Drugs, I went up for the drugs. Because I can’t really deal with this pain. I normally boast a high pain tolerance, mainly because surgery and needles don’t scare me, but when it gets in the way of getting things done, that pisses me off. So I took some Aleve, and hopefully that eases a little of the pressure. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to have the kids unload the dishwasher and take out the trash tonight.

Ok, I’m sorry, but that’s all I have for now. I’ve been a little neglectful of the blog so I really just wrote this to give you something, so as not to get out of the habit of writing. More will come. It always does.

The fruit go everywhere.

Have I mentioned I don’t multi-task well? Not that anyone does, really. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to do two things at the same time. So add in my clutz factor and you have a mess on your hands, literally. I was walking into the laundry room holding an empty laundry basket, a stack of clean towels, and a fruit smoothie. 

And then all of a sudden I wasn’t.

Piper was quick to lend a helping tongue.

I thought I had cleaned it all up, and even thought I had photographed the entire mess. I had not. When I proceeded to work on the laundry I discovered more fruit blend not just on the dryer to the left, but above and BEHIND it. How on earth I had managed such thorough coverage of the laundry room I’ll never know, but I’m guessing I looked like a total spaz trying to save my fruit smoothie and that image alone gave me quite a chuckle. 

I do hope I cleaned up the last of it. I guess if I didn’t, my nose will alert me sooner or later.


Introducing: The Lost and Found

My son was driving me absolutely bonkers today. For the third summer in a row, I’ve enfoced the “No Screen Time Until…” rule. It’s a set of tasks that must be completed each day prior to getting any screen time (tv, tablet, etc.). This year I’ve been getting a lot of grumbling and whining about the whole thing, and this morning I had decided on-the-fly to make a rule (something I tend to do and then later regret) that the kids must always put their things away when they are not in use. For example, don’t leave your laptop on the couch when you’re off doing something else. If they were to leave said item in it’s inappropriate spot, unattended, for more than five minutes, then I would dispose of it.

Yes, in the trash it would go. Harsh, I know, but I was feeling kind of desperate.

So, my son left his laptop on the couch this morning and I graciously gave him a five minute warning. When two minutes went by and nothing and nobody had moved, I let him know that he had three minutes left to clear the item. I did not realize at this time that he was in the bathroom. But he did hear my warning, and when he came out, he immediately started arguing that the “timer” should stop if and when he had to use the restroom. Knowing he loves to argue – usually only for the sake of arguing – I was hearing none of this. Yet he continued to argue his case for extra time. Which is downright laughable, because with all the time he wasted arguing, he could have put the computer away and then gone and made himself a double decker sandwich.

Pretty shortly after all this happened, I received a call from one of my best friends. The great thing about best friends is that when they ask you how you are doing, you can tell them. So I told her how frustrated I was, and she empathized. She has two boys, one who is a couple years older than mine, so she totally understands this age and behavior. She had a really great suggestion for motivating the kids to pick up after themselves, one that is far less drastic, and probably more effective at teaching them responsibility. A win-win, right? Her idea was to have a box dedicated to those toys you find lying around. When you find them lying around, you put them in the box. Then, if and when they want their toy back, they have to do a chore to earn it.

I love, love, loved this idea and implemented it right away. Now it’s evening, it’s only been a half a day, but already I’m noticing a change in my son’s behavior. We came home from his baseball game and I noticed he left his cleats in the middle of the kitchen floor. I was tempted to put them straight into the lost and found box, but decided since this is still a new concept, I would give him a little warning. I simply told him I had noticed his cleats on the kitchen floor, and without a word he got right out of his seat and put them away!! I didn’t even have to tell him to, or remind him of the rule, he remembered all on his own! He understood that it would be a lot easier to just get up and put them away NOW, than it would be to have to do a chore later to get them back. Which is totally what I am trying to get through these children’s heads!

Putting things away, right away, makes your life so much easier in the long run. This is a habit I’ve developed for myself over the years, and I would be overjoyed if my kids grew up cultivating this same habit. Their future roommates and spouses will thank me, am I right?

Oh, the days

There are some days that I feel the need to  emotionally crawl back into my safe little cave. I kind of know why this happens ever so often, and I know it always passes eventually, so I’m not worried about it. I am thankful on days like these that I’m not responsible for anything urgent or super-important. Not exactly. My responsibilities involve feeding the people and keeping things clean-ish and supplies stocked. I generally give those responsibilities my 100% effort, but I’m sure we would all survive even if I gave half that.  So on days like these when I can only muster 70%, we’re doing just fine. I’m not sure anyone will even notice. In fact, when it means processed, frozen burritos for dinner instead of my homemade beef stew, the kids are actually thankful for my slacker status. They love those burritos.

My 5k race is coming up in three whole days! I don’t think I’m nervous. It’s my first race ever, so I don’t have many expectations. If I finish on my feet I’ll be happy. I heard a song awhile back come up on my Pandora station and while it’s not the best tempo for running, the lyrics gave me some motivation. Don’t judge; it was a song by Eminem. I’m trying to hit “like” on songs that sound good to my new ears, and my musical tastes have changed quite drastically. Everything just sounds so different to me now. So I guess New Mindy enjoys some Eminem and can tolerate the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anyhoo, the song that caught my ears is called “Till I Collapse”, and after reading the lyrics online, I can honestly apply a lot of the sentiment to my philosophy on this running thing. Of course Mr. Mathers was surely rapping about something else entirely, but the nice thing about music is you can make it what you want. What it means to you is just that – what it means to you. Here is the chorus to the song:

“‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak
And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that **** out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse”

What’s kind of funny to me is that the fear that kept me from running at first was the fear of falling flat on my face. And if I do, I do. Whatever. In the song he talks about inner strength, but my strength does not come from within. My strength comes from God. He gives me the strength I need, when I need it. So when I feel like quitting, that is where I turn.  I will look to my Savior to keep me going. He has never failed me, never left my side, and together we will run this race!