This is my life and I am not ashamed


Currently I should be getting things done… housework, birthday plans (the boy turns 5 on Monday!), writing, organizing – you know doing whatever it is you need to do. Note I said I should be but at the moment I am not!

No I am still vegging out after another lovely procedure and fortunately not another mis-procedure!

I love how people can look at me and think, “Gee she must be lazy! She looks fine!” Oh thank you so for the backhanded compliment. Why yes, yes I do look quite fine. In fact, for someone with my medical challenges I think I look fabulous!

For a while I have been back and forth with writing about my personal medical challenges.

I follow several amazing bloggers who share their journeys through their blogs (The Tube Fed Wife and The Respiratory Therapist who needed help breathing are two off the top of my head who are damn inspiring.). But because I write about so many topics I wasn’t sure what writing about my own personal issues, then I realized I am not alone. Other people suffer from similar or worse problems. People don’t like to hear about anyone’s suffering or pain. People like me, with chronic pain issues are expected to somewhat “keep it to ourselves” or “don’t share that it’s personal”. Yes it is. Very personal and this is My Blog. So why shouldn’t I talk about something personal to me? Something that affects me on a daily basis?

I am an active crazy mama. I am 44 with an almost 5 year old boy child. I work, clean, cook, play, live. I go as much as I can and often push myself further than I probably should most days. I have pretty severe back issues and just recently was told I need to think about hip replacements. Emphasis on the “s” as in both hips.

I have had back problems since I was 13 and broke my back/tailbone. At the time, it was thought 6 weeks of “rest” and “taking it easy” with aspirin, cold and heat and a bit of “physical therapy” would be just fine. First of all it was summer. One of the last weekends in June there was no way I was going to “rest up” all summer. I took the aspirin, did the heat/cold therapy and went on with my life. I stayed busy for the next several years in sports, gymnastics, tennis, cheerleading, water skiing, soft ball and general activities as per usual for me.

When I was 17 I was diagnosed with migraines. In the late 80’s there weren’t many option for folks who had migraines. There were some heavy duty pain meds and then there were injections. I remember my aunt coming over and showing my mom and I how to inject a needle into an orange over and over. I reminded myself that others had to inject themselves daily and I could do this. The migraines were awful and a few years later they were so bad that I considered going into some sort of program to help with my migraines. Extensive testing showed I was allergic to nearly everything, I mean the results were like a small book of things I should “stay away from” and/or that I was allergic to. I thought of the bubble boy movie. I was not going to let this keep me down. Slowly but surely I took out a large chunk of items that set off my migraines. I could do nothing about the great outdoors or the weather, but I could control the things that tended to make my migraines worse. Having that milkshake during allergy season or when the barometric pressure was no longer an option. It was combinations of items I had to systematically cut back or remove as well. I couldn’t control my hormones no matter how many vitamins, natural teas and supplements I took.

I continued to push my body. I moved so many times I was better than a service for packing, unpacking and lifting. I could pack up a moving truck or van with an efficiency that would make Martha Stewart proud. I moved all over Alabama, then decided to move beyond the borders of my home state. I moved to Florida, Georgia, California, back to Georgia then Tennessee. It was in Tennessee that my boy was born. By then I had been going for 4 years to a specialist for my numerous aches and pains in my back, hips and front. I loved, not, hearing the term “advanced maternal age” while I was carrying the boy. I wasn’t 40 yet come on! I was just thrilled I was having a bebe as I was told I couldn’t get pregnant.

It wasn’t without wear and tear on my body though. Wear and tear I would do 10 times over because life with him is beyond worth it and I will do any and everything within my power to keep moving, keep going and keep up with him!

When I made the decision to move back to Alabama it was not taken lightly. I have family here and the boy’s dad does too. I would be closer to my doctor in GA and my friends too.

It was during my packing that I got the call that my father’s condition had gotten worse. I packed up my jeep and the boy and headed home. I was scheduled to move in a month to help my parents but I knew I was going to see my daddy for the last time. I stayed for 10 days before returning. I buried my father during that time as well.

Once back in Tennessee I continued to work and pack up my home. My close friends, my cousin and her husband helped me get all my belongings loaded up and we managed to move it to Alabama. It took two trips of the big stuff and the final trip a few weeks later but I finally moved back “home”.

I have been battling issues with my back, hips and front pain for so many years the pain is like an old friend. Earlier this year I finally had a total hysterectomy in the hopes of alleviating some of my pain. I feel like it did help. It also set my body into some kind of weird tail spin back and forth. I never know what normal or new pain is now.

I try not to show it. I know I overdo it but my thoughts are do it while I can.

I go at least 4 times a year to “get a tune up” and overhaul my spine and hips. I am in year 8 of this so getting told “think about replacing your hips” truly shouldn’t come as a shock, but it does. I should not be surprised I was given the paper work for a handicap placard but I don’t know if I am ready to do that yet. I mean I still have many good days. I also have days where when I drive to the store and wait for a closer parking spot so I don’t have to walk so far.

I know my battles and my journey isn’t over yet. I know that I won’t give up. I know that every post I write won’t feature the daily challenges I have. Trust me even I don’t like to think about it all the time much less write about it. However, I did feel the urge to share, and apparently share I have.

I hope this shows people that no matter what anyone looks like, acts like you can’t always tell how someone feels on the inside.

I also hope it shows others you aren’t alone. You may not be able to be as active as you want to be but know you are still breathing and still here.

Never forget to keep hope alive and never give up.

Stay fabulous my friends!

 

 

 

 

9/11/01 – I can never forget


never forget 9 11 01

As I started to write my post I remembered the date. September 11, 2015.
It’s Friday. I usually write about happy Friday randomness or whatever strikes my fancy to let flow.
However, I can’t Not acknowledge what this date means to me. How my life and my perspective on life change that fateful day, September 11, 2001, as I am sure it did for countless others.
I have/do write in journals. I keep all of my journals from the past 15ish years close by me and read them randomly. Sometimes they call to me to re-read certain time periods or situations. I feel it is so I can reflect and maybe even learn from them. Or maybe I am to share them.
In January of 2001 I moved to California, specifically the Berkeley area. I lived with my then husband and several friends as it wasn’t cheap living out there, but it seemed so much more “free” in many ways than living in the south. I can’t explain it. I was 30 years old and felt like I needed a new adventure in my life. We had friends out there so why not just go? So we packed up our home, put it in storage and took a tiny trailer and our cat and moved to California. I have read and re-read that journal so many times the cover is starting to fall apart. So many experiences of life and seeing things through a different perspective. Also reading it now 14 years later still blows my mind. One of my favorite books I read that year was the “Tibetan Art of Parenting”. I was into trying to find out who I was and praying for a child. I was also writing but only in my journal. I was stepping outside of my comfort zone, trying new things, meeting new people.
Three days before the fateful events of 9/11/01 I had written in my journal about truly living life and that many things of this world were an illusion. How time is valuable but we don’t always notice it until there is a time limit placed on your life to force you to get on with things.
Direct excerpts from my journal 9/11/01 – please forgive the fragmented sentences:
“AM – west coast – the World Trade Center is no more. Part of the Pentagon has collapsed, terror attack on the U.S. – can’t even think of going into work. No one is. Always knowing your country wasn’t “secure” yet being told it was… I don’t like being right. It’s getting later, almost 11AM here, and nothing as of yet on the west coast. Will there be? Questions. Everyone is jumpy and edgy. News of joy over what happened to the US in Gaza. Now we know what it is like for them.
This has happened before, it will happen again unless we do something.
A dream fragment from being ripped awake this morning by roomie, “weird stuff going on I am sorry you need to get up”.
Flash of a plane, a man of maybe middle eastern decent screaming with “important brass& Showing the world.” Time wasn’t there.
Later – I finally talked to several friends and family on the east coast and everyone is freaked. Fragments of this day pass through my mind. This tragedy of Armageddon is bringing folks together. Over 10,000 dead they are saying… that is horror. Life continues but change has happened. I am drained. I have cried off and on all day. I cannot imagine what it is like for others. The death and destruction. The United States of American has been shaken to the core. I am freaked out, but not terrorized because I cannot let them have my faith, my soul. I am touched by the humanity shown all over the US. The fact we were “impenetrable” was just an illusion. Maybe this was needed. We are far from blemish free.”
Today I feel that no words can articulate how I feel yet I know that I can say 9/11/01 We will NEVER forget.
I know for me the course of my life changed. I know that my prayers and dreams of being a mother finally happened. I know that I was able to do the things in the following pages, “apologize to your parents, send letters and call friends and family and tell them you love them, never give up on your dreams, keep in touch with those you love, never forget 9/11/01 and always keep hope alive.” I know that my dream of writing is happening now. I know I can remind you to never forget.
Sending out thoughts of peace, hope and tranquility,
I remain the Fabulously Graceless Lady Maos

9 11 remember childs hand

Quiet time, me time and missing the noise


I remember growing up we did not have all of the technology and all of the options we do today.

Yes my mom talked on the phone, but it was attached to a cord and plugged into the wall. If you wanted privacy, you went to another room or she told us kids to go outside or in our rooms.

Our rooms held our dearest treasures and outside held fun and adventures.

We lived on a cul-de-sac when I from the time I was 18 months old until I was 8. That would be the time when we acquired my younger brother!

We then moved to a newer subdivision from the time I was 8 until around 18 in which I met my best friend/sister and where the majority of my teenage years played out.

When my parents moved again, it was so my brother could go to a different school since I was graduating and he was about to go to high school.

No matter where we lived, we were required to “be creative” and let my parents have peace during the days of summer and school breaks.

We always did many things together as a family such as dinner each night, church on Sundays, vacations, family gatherings, parties – you get the idea.

But we also had “quiet times” and somehow I always treasured those times.

I don’t require “background” noise like a lot of people do.

And let me be clear, I do like to put on the radio or TV on occasion and have noise happening when I am alone, but I really do cherish quiet time. Nor am I a huge fan of TV every night.

I remember one of the first times when I was a teenager and my parents went away overnight and my younger brother went to my grandparents house.

My parents were trusting me to be an adult and not have a party or anyone over, plus there were plenty of people in the neighborhood that could “watch” our house and back then, there wasn’t all of the dangers we have today. No Facebook and smart phones to instantly update the world on your location and what you are doing. Not a lot of traffic in our area and less crime than there is now.

I did, of course, invite my best friend/sister across the street over for a little while but all we did was make a few calls to boys and watch the cable channels we normally were “limited” to watch.

Cable was the “new” thing as were microwaves! Yep, I am that old!

After she left I remember thinking “It is so Quiet.”

I could hear the house creaking and making noise, I could hear the dog outside but that was it. No TV, no one talking, walking around or making any noise.

It was Bliss!

I went up to my room and read and wrote in my journal.

I slept late because my parents weren’t coming home until later that day.

I enjoyed the peace and quite of a house alone for the first time in my life.

As the years moved forward and I grew up and moved out of my parents home, for the first time haha, I enjoyed having roommates but enjoyed the times when I was alone at home.

The quiet can be so peaceful!

I later married we and moved around a lot. Florida, Georgia, California and back to Georgia.

Many years later we divorced and at first I was living with friends, but I realized I wanted to get my “own” place.

I wanted the option of “quiet time” all the time because I had never had that.

So I got my own apartment and I reveled in being the only one who made noise, other than neighbors, which I had experienced before being an apartment dweller.

However, after a year-ish I realized I am a very social creature. I had already adopted two cats but I missed living with someone.

I set out to find a roommate. And I was “picky”! I wish I had the original ad I posted on “need a roommate” sites due to it’s “what I don’t want” content!

I finally found one person I felt “good” about meeting and happily she was the only person that came to “check out the place” and also became a friend for life!

She, like me, loved her quiet time but wanted someone semi-normal to live with. She had been in a bad relationship, moved in with family and now wanted to be free of the familial judgment and irritation that can come with it!

We both dated, but often joked we would probably end up being old lady roommates with cats and dogs when we moved into our 3rd residence together.

We had a house with a yard, cats, dogs and she was as OCD about cleaning as I was.

We both respected each other about our “quiet time” but would call each other out if we stayed on the couch for too long (like over a week and you aren’t dying from flu, allergies, stomach bug, surgery or anything else of the like) to touch base and generally keep each other sane.

After a few years  my gypsy spirit kicked in and I decided to move yet again.

This time my adventures led me to the state of Tennessee.

I had some wonderful roommates that I love dearly and are still wonderful friends with to this day.

I married again and had my miracle boy.

It was all so crazy and seem to happen so fast!

I had made peace, to a degree, that I wasn’t able to have children.

My friend, then later husband, and I talked about fertility treatments but honestly I wasn’t sure if I could afford the emotional blow it would cause if we paid out all that money and it didn’t work.

Then a miracle happened. I was pregnant.

We got married and I left my wonderful friends and moved in with him. It may not have been the smartest thing to do since we were such good friends but we thought we could pull it off.

I also knew my enjoyment of “quiet time” was about to be interrupted for a while!

I am not dumb but to my credit I was happy about the arrival of the human I was blessed to help create and carry. I was terrified and happier than I had ever been.

Anyone who has children know from the moment they are born your life of peace and quiet is shattered!

It is not all bad, but that is the truth!

If you’re lucky in the first year, you get “quiet time” when the kid is sleeping and the whole “you nap when they nap” actually happens sometimes because you’re dead on your feet from doing your “normal” chores and work, even if you aren’t caught up on everything you take a nap even if you aren’t a “nap person”! At least I did on occasion!

So “quiet time” shifted but I could still find it.

Life moved on and the boy grew and his dad and I realized that we didn’t need to be married. We had issues with living together and clashed on too many things. We tried counseling and we truly worked on trying to stay together but finally realized we couldn’t stay together “for the sake of the child” because we were both miserable.

So I moved again into my own place right down the road.

My father was going through cancer treatments again and I was a wreck from the emotional strains of worrying about my son, my father and the impending divorce.

I found more “quiet time” than I wanted as my son shares time with his father, which I am grateful for as often times kids get the raw end of the deal when parents are divorcing, but that first few months was Hard.

My “quiet time” was torture to think of all the things going on I had no control over and I miss my son like crazy when he’s gone.

I finally learned to accept his nights and weekends away and to enjoy the precious alone time I had.

During our divorce negotiations and mediation, we ending up deciding to move back to our home state of Alabama as both sets of parents lived here as well as extended family and friends.

It’s funny how you think you won’t move somewhere then you have a child and your whole perspective changes!

I didn’t have a lot of “quiet time” per se due to life and the happenings going on.

My friend whom I had lived with in Georgia, moved in with me to my townhouse after a failed relationship. We were happy to be together again but a bit sad of the circumstances that brought us together. She was great with my son and I once again had my friend with me.

Sadly, she passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack in her sleep.

I was heartbroken and so was Blake.

My aunt had also passed away a few months before and now my son was again losing someone he loved.

I feared there would be more to come but I had no idea how much more.

As I was packing up to move at the beginning of last year I got the call I had been dreading.

Although I had been going back and forth from TN to AL pretty much every weekend, my father had taken a turn for the worse. I threw my bags together and the boy and I set out for the motherland.

We arrived on Friday and my father passed away with our family by his side on Sunday.

I stayed on another week with my mom, family and friends. Funeral arrangements, plans and grief were the world I was in.

I have no idea how my mom made it through with the grace she did, but she is one of the strongest women I know and I have so much love, respect and admiration for her.

Her partner of 45 years had passed and she was hurting like never before, but also shared her journey with my brother and I and our family. It’s never easy when one of the rocks of a family dies, however having the love and support of your family and friends makes it bearable.

I am so blessed to have wonderful friends who while I was gone took care of my animals and also helped pack up my home.

I moved back “home” and in with my mom 2 days shy of one month after my father passed.

5 days after moving back, my beloved fur bebe golden retriever, Jethro a.k.a. Big Love, passed away. See, it did get a bit worse.

We were already grieving and now we grieved another.

Neither mom nor I were sure how things would work out.

I was over 40 with a 3 year old and living with my mom!

Fortunately I was able to transfer with my job and mom and I found out that we not only could live together but enjoyed it in a way we never had before.

We help each other out and one of the things we share is enjoying our “quiet time” or “me time” and help each other find it.

The boy loves living at GiGi’s house with mommy and we talk about Pops, my dad, too. It’s still “their” home but now it’s ours too.

We talk about heaven a lot with the boy because how else are you going to explain so many losses to a 3, now 4 year old? He has Great Wink, Aunt Bicky, Pops and Jethro having parties in heaven and I tend to enjoy his view on it as it eases my sadness to see the world through his eyes.

I know I am fortunate, blessed and pretty darn lucky.

It isn’t always easy but mom and I know we have each other.

Recently she went on a little vacation and the boy went on vacation at the same time.

I forgot about how much I Need and Cherish “quiet time” and me time.

It’s nice to wake up on your schedule, eat cereal for dinner if you want and not have to worry about anyone else.

But you know what? I miss them both! I can’t wait until everyone’s “Home” and the chaos and noise is again filling the house up.

Because as much as I love the quiet time, I miss my family! Noise and all!

Have a fabulously graceless Friday my friends!