Bright Lights, Big City

Migraines suck. It is a special kind of hell.

Before I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC) and fibromyalgia, I was just sick. No one could tell me what was wrong, just that I wasn’t dying. I couldn’t leave the house and hardly left the sofa. That went on for months until I just happened to come across an article on IC as well as a treatment (hydroxyzine). Finally I was free from the bounds of my living room and bathroom!

Fibro is awful enough on its own, but at least I was able to knit, watch tv, drive to appointments, and sometimes even meet a friend for a movie. When I’m flared I can be stuck on the sofa for days but I feel confident that the flare will end and I’ll get back to what I consider normal. As I’ve had fibro since I was 14, I was able to figure out how to still have a life.

With migraines, it’s just not possible. Not only do I have noise and light sensitivity, I have other, weirder symptoms. Some are easier to live with than others; smelling marshmallows or baked cookies is much nicer than feeling dizzy and nauseated. Driving means I have to turn my head from side to side, not to mention I can see the road whizzing by me, all of which makes my head spin. It’s like being rather drunk and that light feeling you get when you shake your head.

I spent three days this week trapped in my bed because I didn’t feel safe being alone in the house and walking around. Twice in the last week, I have blacked out and fallen. The first time took out my right knee when I landed on it. The second time I just got a bruise on my leg. But I’m terrified that I could hit my head and if there is no one home, I’m screwed.

Sometimes I can’t even watch tv because I have an auditory version of blurry vision; I can hear sounds but can’t translate those sounds into speech. It just sounds like garbled noise. That means I can’t have a conversation with my husband. I get nauseous and shaky. It’s hard to knit when you don’t have much fine motor control. It’s difficult to concentrate when you’re worried you’re going to heave, not to mention dealing with the blinding pain.

While fibro is debilitating, it is nothing compared to chronic migraines. I never thought I’d long for the days of “just” having fibromyalgia. If I had a doctor’s appointment, I could suck it up for an hour, knowing I could come home and go back to bed. With a migraine, things get cancelled. I don’t know 24 hours ahead how I will feel; I could feel perfectly fine ten minutes before needing to leave to go somewhere then get hit with blinding pain and nausea and not be able to leave my bed let alone my house. As much as I hate to pay $40 for a missed visit, it’s much cheaper than dealing with a car accident. I wouldn’t drive while drunk so I’m certainly not going to drive while migrainous.

I am incredibly lucky because my family is sympathetic. My husband gets (bad for him) migraines and has to just sleep through them so he knows somewhat how I feel. My daughter gets aura without migraine, so she realizes just how awful all the accompanying symptoms are. That means dinner still gets made, floors are still swept, and laundry still done even when I’m out.

About the only thing I’ve found that is a useful preventive is cranial sacral massage. While it’s not a good rescue solution, it can prevent or abort an attack. I can easily lie on a table and let someone massage my head and neck as long as I don’t have a raging migraine. Of course then I end up with crazy Einstein hair, also known as the post-fornication look. I’m sure all the shops around the massage therapy school think that people are having mad sex in the parking lot as I’m not the only one walking around with crazed hair and a satiated glazed look in my eye.

I have hope that I’ll eventually get this figured out. It took me years with fibro before I figured out how to still have a life. It’s only been seven months since the chronic migraines started; I’m still learning what the question is so I can’t be expected to know the answer yet.

Meanwhile, I have set up a nest on my bed. I have my computer, phone, knitting, and tissue all within hand’s reach. My mp3 player is loaded with cello music as I’ve also learned that low frequency music works with my rescue meds to shorten an attack.

Ugh. Even as I type this, I can feel a migraine wavering in the background. My left eye feels tender and pressurized while my left brain has a dull ache. I already know that our plans to go out for dinner are not going to happen. Like I said, migraines suck.

 

 

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Mrs. Pinocci’s Guitar

Ever since I wrote the fantasy post on Monday, I’ve been in an oddly discontented mood; restless, distracted, disconnected, and completely disinterested in physical contact. While it seems to have finally passed, I had to wonder at why this mood reared up in the first place.

After my breakthroughs with the unfillable void, the unattainable person, and how the unattainable person cannot fill the unfillable void, I’ve felt an internal peace that I’ve never had before. All that energy and thought that I constantly put forth to try to attain the unattainable has been freed to think about and do other things. Of course, now I have to find other things to fill my time and this week I was mostly successful at that.

I spent time with friends all week long. Tuesday I met Rob for coffee and knitting. Wednesday, I went to the yarn shop for a trunk show and knitted for a while with Laura and Wendy. Thursday, I met Laura for coffee and knitting in the morning, then Cyndi for dinner and more knitting. Friday, I met up with Rob again for dinner. I missed spending time with my friends, as my major depressive episode kept me trapped in the house for months, so I’m happy to be back to “normal.” When I spend time with my knitting friends, I am inspired to knit myself. It soothes my anxiety and eases my depression. Being with them is a good thing.

So this pervasive feeling of disconnected discontent didn’t make any sense. My husband is as wonderful as always, my children are doing well, my pain level is under control since I’m swimming again; yet there it hung, a cloud of gray coloring even the best of times.

I believe that is exactly what’s wrong, though. My life is extremely level, no up and down roller coaster ride of emotional drama. My psyche just doesn’t know what to do with itself, so it’s attempting to manufacture drama where there is none. The difference is that now I am aware of it. I know there is nothing wrong, and I realize that this is purely a figment of my imagination.

Living a drama-free life is unfamiliar. Having boundaries is equally unfamiliar. Taking care of myself is awkward and takes a conscious effort. I’ve bought makeup for the first time in forever, I spend time thinking about my clothes, I attempt to look put together when I leave my house.

Being on this side of things makes me realize how and why poverty and trauma affect people’s ability to be successful. If I had all this free time and thought when I was in college, I likely would have done better, learned more, went further. I am frustrated at all the effort wasted on things and people that just don’t matter. I literally spent years pining for relationships that were never going to work; I look at my life now and know that I am so much better off without those people I thought I couldn’t live without.

I’ve also spent years longing to play the guitar. I played in high school and was decent, although never fantastic. I could accompany my singing and that was about it, but it satisfied my musically creative side. I can’t play the guitar anymore, though. My fibromyalgia severely affects my fingertips, making them ultra sensitive. Pressing down on a thin wire with the tip of my finger is impossibly painful.

Last night, I realized that Matt’s piano is just sitting in the playhouse, collecting dust. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano. I mean, I do read music since I played the violin for nine years and was in choir for most of my primary and secondary education. Knitting has helped me learn to coordinate my left and right hand to do different things at the same time. Piano keys are smooth and a digital piano requires little pressure to make the keys go down. If I put forth even a fraction of the effort and time that I have been wasting on things that don’t matter, I could master the basics in a few months.

I fell asleep listening to music and dreaming of playing some of my favorite songs. On Monday I’m going to the local sheet music store to buy whatever “Piano for Dummies” type book they recommend. I am going to focus all this excess….emotion…into something tangible that matters to me. Something that will create rather than destroy, which is exactly what manufactured drama does. It destroys marriages, friendships, and can even affect employment. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to build something that will last.

Today, the feeling of discontent appears to have lifted. I’ve got something to look forward to that will expand my mind and challenge me in a different way. I spent most of my adult life thinking I was too old to learn the piano, as everyone I knew who played had done so for decades. But in the back of my mind, I could always hear Cheryl Wheeler talk about Mrs. Pinocci picking up the guitar at age 57 and how she’d now been playing for twenty years.

Better late than never, I guess.

Negative and Positive

As a reader commented the other day regarding her experience, this low carb diet seems to be positively affecting my fibro. I am decidedly less sore and the few nights I’ve managed to sleep, I’ve gotten a straight five hours. I still have ridiculous insomnia and my mental confusion is worse, but my pain is less. This morning, I came across a random article talking about a ketogenic diet being used to treat certain types of epilepsy. Hm. Fibro is treated with epilepsy medication and is considered a neurological condition. So why isn’t anyone studying ketogenic diets as a treatment for fibro? I will happily never eat another potato again if it means I don’t writhe on the bed in pain.

Indeed, the mental confusion does seem to be the worst part of this whole experiment. So far I’ve been baffled by a can opener, the television remote, and my knitting needles. While I can live without tuna, and my daughter can turn on the tv for me, the whole knitting thing is kinda pissing me off. Fortunately, if I divert my attention for a few minutes, the confusion passes and I can go back to doing what I was doing, but I’m really glad I’m not in charge of a nuclear reactor or something. I’m seriously hoping that as I increase my carbs each week, I’ll eventually find a happy medium where I am still ketogenic but not so confused.

It bothers me that so few doctors recommend dietary changes. It’s much easier to write a prescription than it is to talk about various diets. I’m incredibly grateful to my rheumatologist, as she is the one who suggested a diet change to battle the yeast. She recommended the Mediterranean Diet as a way to change my gut flora, but I think my yeast was a little more dug in than that. While my current low carb eating definitely has aspects of the Med Diet, the Med Diet is still pretty high carb in comparison.

While it may or may not be diet related, I went into a deep depressive funk for three days this week. Like “stay in the same nightgown and don’t shower” funk. I just wallowed in my misery in various spots around the house and whined at my husband that I hate my life. I don’t really hate my life (generally speaking), and even with my overall depression, it rarely gets this bad. Finally, in desperation for something to cheer me up, I cheated and weighed in a day early. When I saw that I lost 4.5 pounds, it was like an instant happiness injection! I jumped in the shower, scrubbed off three days of grime, and cooked dinner with my husband.

That puts me at a total of 23 pounds lost. Essentially, I’ve had three babies in the last month. While I still have twice that left to go, I’m a third of the way to where I want to be. What’s different this time is that I don’t have any cravings. When Aubrey and I went to Wingstop for lunch, I had iced tea and original hot wings while she had BBQ wings, french fries, and root beer. The entire time we were eating, the french fries were in the center of the table and I didn’t have a single one.

Last night, we had baked chicken for dinner, and I thought I would splurge 4 grams of carbs on a tablespoon of BBQ sauce. But when I read the label, high fructose corn syrup was listed as a sub-ingredient of three other ingredients. I just couldn’t eat it. Instead, I opted for a glass of wine. It was definitely the better choice, although even my dry white wine tasted overly sweet after not having any sugar for so long

Another thing I’ve noticed that absolutely has to be diet related is my Keratosis Pilaris is GONE. My arms, face, and butt are all baby smooth and soft. That has NEVER EVER happened before, even when I was sugar free for a year. Keratosis Pilaris is commonly known as “chicken skin” and looks like goose bumps, usually on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. I’ve had it my entire memorable life and tried everything to get rid of it, to no avail. I feel a little like a supermodel now, all polished and smooth! The only downside is that at the moment, the cellulite on my ass is soooooo ridiculously visible, I want to cry.

Last but not least, losing 23 pounds has most definitely affected my sex life in a positive way. I’m sure it’s mostly because I just feel better about being naked, but I was noticing a few issues previously that are no longer issues. So yeah, I highly recommend dietary changes as a first run fix for sexual dysfunction in women.

The end of my fourth week is only three days away, so I’m almost done with the one month experiment to see if this would combat my yeast dilemma. I have to say yes, it has. Enough so that I’m willing to stay sugar free and extreme low carb for another month. While I don’t expect to lose another 23 pounds in one month, I do expect I’ll drop another ten or so. I know the weight loss will slow down as I have less and less to lose, but I have plenty of hoarded clothes that haven’t fit in a long time to keep me motivated and on track.

 

Feel Me Up, Tie Me Down

Swimming for the amount of time that I do takes a lot of effort. I don’t mean the time in the water, I mean getting my ass up off the chair and into the pool. It’s worth it, of course, especially now. I have something I haven’t had in a really long time…muscles! I expected the arm and shoulder muscles, but it’s the other ones that have me obsessed.

My glutes, obliques, and upper and lower abdominals are starting to emerge. There is still a layer of fat over everything, and likely will be for a few more months, but underneath, there is a hardness that wasn’t there before. I was squishy and jiggly. Now I’m mostly jiggly and only moderately squishy. While lying in bed, I poked and prodded at my body, amazed at how quickly it is changing. I still have grandma wings under my arms, but they are noticeably less noticeable.

Last night, I was only slightly teasing when I told Ron he needed to start exercising or he wouldn’t be able to keep up with me. While the soreness slows me down and I’m sleeping about 12 hours a day, when I’m awake I’m full of energy. The best part is that the crazy awful pain in my left shoulder blade has decreased to a mostly tolerable level and is staying even. That’s better results than steroid shots, without the yeast overload that they cause.

This morning I shopped for swimsuits and had to laugh at the ridiculously poor photoshop job from the Walmart web guys. I despise shopping at Walmart, but they are the only ones that carry Catalina, which is the best suit I’ve ever had. No binding, easy on and off, and it’s held up really well. I need a couple more so I can rotate through and have one to wear while I wash the rest. A good suit for athletic swimming doesn’t have cutesy ties, ruffles, or frilly skirts. I found two that weren’t hideous or just for show, and they were only $16 each. Paired with bike shorts (2 for $12!), I am good to go.

A woman stopped me in the locker room to ask where I bought my swimsuit with the long legs. She couldn’t tell that they were bike shorts underneath my suit. Most bike shorts are made of the same lycra spandex that suits are made from, so they are fine for the pool. They keep me from worrying about my bikini line, plus they also keep my thighs from chafing while I swim.

Swimming gives fast results, especially when one does it for an hour and a half, three or four times a week. You can either spend twenty or thirty minutes using a few muscles here and there, or 90 minutes using EVERY muscle. One swim is not just equivalent to three gym sessions, it exceeds it. In the gym, most people alternate upper and lower body. That means at three times a week, you will only work one part once a week. Results increase motivation, too. One is much more likely to continue when effort is worth it.

Then there’s the injury aspect. While swim injuries do occur (I pulled an oblique the other day while reaching for the wall), they are much more rare than gym injuries. With severe fibromyalgia, the gym is just pain waiting to happen. The pool is pure relief.

Almost any doctor will recommend exercise for people with fibro, which is always a laugh. It hurts too much to even get started! A pool is the solution. It is zero impact, so no weight stress on joints, bones, or muscles. The water is supportive, so it holds you up until you can hold yourself up, and it gives your body a chance to completely relax most muscles without any pressure on any tender points.

More than anything, though, swimming just puts me in a deliriously happy place. It’s meditative, breathing in and out and counting the lap in my head over and over so I don’t forget where I am. It’s relaxing, listening to my favorite music without interruption. It releases endorphins, increases seratonin production, and spurs brain cell generation. Yep, swimming can make you smarter!! Some doctors believe it is more effective than anti-depressants. Considering I can’t take any SSRIs because they make me vomit uncontrollably, swimming is a triple win for me: weight loss, stress reduction/anti-depressant/anxiolitic, and body sculpting. Yeah, that 90 minutes is totally worth it.

What Love Is

I have a cold. There’s not much in this world that is worse than a summer cold in Texas, except for having a summer cold in Texas on top of fibromyalgia. My head feels like a thousand pounds, my neck and shoulders ache, and everything in my body hurts. On top of all that, I somehow ended up in an interstitial cystitis flare that makes that whole Texas cold thing seem like a longed for Christmas gift.

IC is a chronic inflammation of the bladder. When I first started researching for treatments, one doctor at Tufts University was using hydroxyzine pamoate in a clinical trial. The brand name is Vistaril, and although it is technically an antihistamine, it’s mainly used to treat anxiety. His theory is that IC is caused by an overgrowth of mast cells; in other words, it’s like an overblown allergic reaction in the bladder. At the time, everyone thought he was pretty crazy and no one outside of Boston was following the protocol. He got the last laugh though, because it’s now one of the standard meds for IC.

Recently, I added benadryl to my regimen along with the hydroxyzine because it just wasn’t cutting it alone anymore. The benadryl seemed to be working fine, and when I ran out of my hydroxyzine, I upped the benadry to make up for it, and I didn’t have any problems…until Tuesday night.

I’m almost positive that my cold has screwed with my bladder, considering a cold sets off a histamine reaction in the body (hence the sneezing and runny nose). It’s not like that stuff decides to just screw with your nasal passages and sinuses. It attacks everywhere. By Tuesday night, I was hurting, but it wasn’t unbearable. I took some pain meds, an extra benadryl, and drank a bunch of water to clear out my bladder, then went to bed.

I got about an hour or so of sleep before the nightmare started. I woke up to my entire urinary tract spasming. If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you’ve got a vague idea. Now imagine that you are trying to give birth through your urethra. It feels like a combination of desperately having to pee while having excruciating labor pains. Except labor pains come in waves with at least a minute between them. IC spasms just keep going. and going. and going.

I got out of bed to take more benadryl, and added in a couple of other pain meds. Then I laid in bed and rocked. I sat in bed and rocked. I sat on the edge of the bed and rocked and tried not to scream. I stood up next to the bed and cussed under my breath so I wouldn’t wake up Ron. I rocked and cried and finally, I took one of my knock-out pills in an attempt to just sleep through the pain.

The next morning, I told Ron about my miserable night and he said, “Why didn’t you take any AZO?” AUGH! Why *didn’t* I take any AZO? I could have sent Matt to get some hours before. I told him we didn’t have any, but I would wake Matt up and send him. Ron was running late for work, but by the time I got Matt up, Ron had already texted him to say he had the AZO and was on his way back home.

My sweet, sweet, wonderful husband (who is NEVER late to work) stopped at the store just to get the AZO and brought it to me right away, just so I wouldn’t be in pain any longer than necessary. Pay attention people. This is what love is.

Today I’m sore and achey, but it’s not excruciating. I feel like someone kicked me in the abdomen with steel toed boots, and I still feel like I have to pee every second, but I’ll take the small favors.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Yesterday at the bookstore, Leigh and I were giggling over some silly thing and I started thinking about a post from one of my favorite blogs, Moms Who Drink And Swear. In “Making A New McFriend At The Play Place“, Nicole Knepper describes meeting a mom while watching her kid play in the tubes; “More cracking up. I noticed we were both wearing pajama pants. I wondered if she hadn’t brushed her teeth either. I was falling in love with her. Not in the sexual, I want to jump her mom bones way, but in the-OH MY GOD I LOVE THE WAY THIS BITCH THINKS-way. Know what I mean?”

Yes, Nikki, I do know what you mean. My BFF lives across the freakin’ country from me, and I fly up here every chance I get, but it would be really nice to have a friend at home. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some wonderful friends at home, and I love every one of them. But I’m talking about the kind of friend where she’d rather come over an hour early so you can have more time doing things together than have you waste an hour cleaning the house before she’s allowed in. The kind of friend that has you doubled over in the aisle at Michaels because you both hate Martha Stewart with unbridled passion. That friend who calls you at 10pm, desperate because she’s determined to make pith helmets out of glue and cheese cloth for every kid invited to her kid’s birthday party at 10am the next morning, and rather than talk her down, you fucking drive to her house and stay up all night making pith helmets from glue and cheese cloth. Yes, that really happened; no, I was not the one who decided to make them, I was the friend who showed up to help; no, they did not turn out like pith helmets because they didn’t dry in time, but we laughed our asses off about it for ages; no, that was not my friend Leigh, it was someone with whom I am no longer friends, and while I don’t miss her, I miss the quality of friendship that we had while it lasted. That friendship was over at least 20 years ago, and I have yet to find another one like it, besides Leigh.

I did try putting an ad in craigslist, and I did manage to find someone that I thought would be a great friend, but it turned out that she was super high maintenance, and kinda expected me to be on-call, even while recovering from my hysterectomy. Trust me, if we’d been friends for more than three weeks, I would have totally been all over it, but we weren’t there yet. I gave up after that point.

I read a lot of chick-lit, and I KNOW these things are fiction, because dammit, these awesome women are as fucking elusive as fairies. Obviously, Nikki Knepper is a real person, and Leigh and I are real people, but where are the rest of us? Chick-lit flies off the shelves; surely I am not the only woman who is so desperate to find a like-minded friend, we read about them just so we can have them in our lives for 90 minutes. Smart, sarcastic, bitterly funny but not bitter, Starbucks-guzzling, pro-reproductive rights but not militant women.

I’m sure a large majority of my problem is that I live in Texas. The other problem is that in my head, I’m still 18-22. I read young adult fiction, and I don’t just mean Harry Potter and Twilight. I don’t have any urge to go clubbing, but it would be nice to have a friend who likes karaoke every now and again, and who doesn’t mind helping me drink a bottle of wine while we do something crafty. It doesn’t even have to be the same craft; I’m not picky! And while I don’t expect this person to have fibromyalgia, nor do I expect them to listen to me whine about it constantly (I am not a whiner, but I will bitch about being pissed at my body betraying me), I at least expect them to respect that fibro is a real disease. On those days when I feel like crap, it would be awesome to have a friend to come over and sit with me while I’m stuck in bed, and distract me with stupid stories about stupid people.

Which is why my daughter is my BFF at home. Aubrey is/does all those things. But I want her to have her own life, not be tied to mine. I want her to have her own crazy friends her own physical age, and eventually, her own insanely idiotic failed adventures making party favors for a four year old.

I know that in the past, I’ve lost friends because I was a bad friend. I’ve also lost friends because *they* were bad friends. And of course, I’ve lost friends because our lives just went in different directions and we didn’t have anything in common anymore. But for the life of me, I can’t remember how to make a friend, or even where to start.

Short of moving to Chicago and begging Nikki Knepper to be my friend or spending a fortune in flying to Leigh’s three or four times a year, I’m not sure quite what to do. I really hope 2014 is the year I can figure it out.

 

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while. I’ve been seriously slacking in my writing, but that’s soon about to change. I’m going to Connecticut for TWENTY glorious days in September. I always get a ton of writing done when I’m at Leigh’s, although we have a huge to-do list of technical things that she’d like me to tackle. She’s an early to bed, early to rise kind of person, so I’ll be able to write like a fiend after 9pm. I desperately need a vacation, and honestly, my being out of the house means Ron is kinda on vacation, too. I was thrilled that Leigh invited me to come up even though Aub’s not going to school this year, and that I was able to find really cheap tickets as long as I was willing to fly out of Austin (which I totally am if it means saving $250!).

However, this month I have been BUSY with swimming!!!  I swim three or four times a week, for two hours each time. That’s only a mile for me, but I’m going for strength and endurance, not speed. It seriously helps my fibromyalgia as it’s like I’m giving myself a full body massage. My muscles get warm and loose and I feel so much better afterwards, and that lasts for a day or two. It’s also nice to see my body starting to tone up; I have forearm muscles like you wouldn’t believe. I apparently also have muscles on my ribs that I never knew about, as they are sore as hell right now. I think that’s from the way that I turn at the end of a length, since I can’t quite do a flip turn yet. The one time I tried, I just about drowned myself. The lifeguard even stood up from her chair and was about to jump in. Fortunately, I was able to right myself. That would have been SOOO embarassing!

I think the juicing (I lost a total of 16 lbs and have kept off 13!), my contacts, new hairstyle, new clothes, makeup, and efforts to swim are a manifestation of my mid-life crisis. I can’t afford an overly expensive penis compensator (otherwise known as a convertible sports car), nor do I really want one. Instead of getting a red fiberglass body, I’m getting a new physical body. My ultimate goal is to have a pic decent enough to use as my fb profile pic. Crazy goal, huh?

car-red-sports-sleek

 

I’m not the only one suffering from a mid-life crisis, as several of my friends have also mentioned making changes “at this point” in their lives, both my male and female friends that are of my certain age. It’s a sure sign of our personality changes, as we attempt to fit our lives to our new dreams, wants, desires. We prioritize family over work, work at what we love vs. do what pays well, we divorce and remarry…We evolve.

For most of us, our kids are grown, or old enough to not need constant supervision. Some of us have grandkids, others of us are wishing for them. I’m still on the fence on that one…I would love a grandbaby, but I’m not ready for either of my kids to be parents. Matt turned 25 today, so he’s not even a real, whole person yet. Aubrey has a LONG way to go. I can’t believe I had an almost two year old by the time I was her age, and two kids by the time I was Matt’s age. Matt’s willing to commit to a kitten (although he can’t get one because the deposit is ridiculous at his apartment), but not willing to put labels on his relationship. Last night, Aubrey went on her first date in months, so she’s a million miles from kids (I hope!).

That is one thread that appears to be common among my female friends that had their kids around the same time as I did. We all look at our children (whether they are parents or single or whatnot) and lament that they are not as mature as we think we were at their age. Yesterday, Leigh and I were talking about all the stupid shit that we did when we were in our early 20s, and at the same time, we both blurted out that we MARRIED the stupid shit that we did in our 20s.  So yeah, I guess immaturity is a blessing, if it means my kids will have one less divorce under their belt by age 44.

I am really lucky that I adore Matt’s “friend who is a girl.” She’s sweet, very pretty, and knows how to maneuver around his emotional crap. I’ve heard her stand up to him and tell him that he’s not allowed to treat her a certain way…since in his formative years, Matt had an extremely poor role model in how to treat women, he needs someone who will stand up to him and call him out when he is being an ass. I hope this relationship lasts for a while, as she has managed to fill a large portion of the Isaac sized hole in my heart. I’m not ready to go through all the pain and loss again quite yet.

Another aspect of my mid-life crisis is the overwhelming desire for some kind of career. Being disabled is shriekingly hellish for me to deal with, as I tend to go more than a little cabin-crazy. I haven’t had a real “work outside the home” job since January, 2009. Ron constantly reminds me of my limitations as I list out things I’m qualified for. The worst problem is when I’m stressed, I can end up in a fibro flare that lasts for months. It sucks.

All of these new(ish) wants, needs, desires, and demands add up to one big thing; life is going to change. I mean, it changes all the time, but I feel like I’m riding a seismic shift. Fortunately, though, I can say that for the first time in a really long time, I’m in control. Well, I should say that Ron and I are in control, since he’s making changes with me. His career is moving forward, which is going to bring us new opportunities. Who knows where we’ll end up, but I strongly feel that we’ll end up there together. That’s a whole lot better than last year!