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Up Shit’s Creek Without A Paddle.

My cat has conjunctivitis.

I feel like leaving this post just at that sentence alone, because that’s just the overall tone of my week. Everyone is laying around sick trying to give what they have to the next person (or cat). The lethargy in this house is epic. Ken and I have been sprawled out in bean bag chairs in the basement, pretty much just drooling, looking at the TV and willing there to be a magic fairy that would bring us food. And that fairy must know what we want, because we sure as hell didn’t.

I was shown the way into some totally free college courses by major universities this week as well and I’m pretty excited about the prospect, but to be honest, I don’t know how much I can handle at this present moment. I have registered for two classes, and I’m checking out two archived ones, but the commitment terrifies me even though its totally self paced. I haven’t been able to sign on but one night this week and only for like 30 min because of all the sick going around. But I want to share this resource for anyone interested in learning just to continue learning. Some of the programs will give you legit completion certificates at the end, and they will grade you and take your assignments serious as a college course should be taken for an extra small fee. edX.org is the website.

Also I have taken up some stress relieving meditative art. I’m getting into zentangle, which is kinda like creative pattern doodling, where you just make patterns and go with it, creating this wonderful masterpiece as you go. Mine are still on the new and crude side, but the really good ones are truly beautiful works of art.

I really need some stress relief in my life because financial relief isn’t coming soon enough. Ken has been going on interviews and there is good interest shown, but the hiring process potentially takes so long we are drowning in the meantime and have been turned down for every state assistance I have been able to apply for. Losing round 1 of my SSDI case was really a huge blow even though it was a long shot to begin with and I STILL have to appeal that. I don’t know if I have the strength to move on and do it, I’m just broke down right now really. The last thing I want is a legal battle. Just like the last thing I want is an eviction. And both of those are on the table it seems, when you are disabled and no one has any income coming in or help to offer. Things were supposed to get better. College degrees open doors right?

I feel like such a failure at life.

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My First Zentangle

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Aside

Are We There Yet?

It’s been awhile eh? (i’m feeling Canadian in honor of my friend Laurie today.)

Move 2014 has been successfully executed. This is mine and Ken’s 8th move since we have been married in all of 5 short years. Between Army duties, deployments, moving, school, health issues and regular marital stuff, our marriage is really really exhausting. I feel like its been an uphill battle the entire 5 years, and I’m with a partner who loves me and who grins the whole way. This move was no different. He put up with my neuroses of starting to pack 6 weeks ahead of time. Though color coding and labeling all the boxes. He helped me purge the extra items for a 15 box donation to Purple Heart. On move day our pep talks went a little like this:

Him: “Deep breaths, we will make it. We are already there!”

Me: “Please don’t punch my dad when he says/does something infuriating.”

Outcome? I didn’t die, and he didn’t punch my dad.

Of course over all the people that came to help were pretty extraordinary to move all our shit that fast and pretty cheerfully at that. I am thankful. After everyone left Ken and I still made another couple truck runs for last min stuff and to clean the house, before we were able to fall down and do nothing last night and survey the disaster that is the new house.

My hips ache. I can barely keep my eyes open and the nausea is pretty constant, and the fibro fog is getting the better of me, but other than that, I came out in one piece. This is going to be a pretty short blog because I am passing out at the computer as I’m typing. I just don’t have it in me to bust out some Pulitzer Prize stuff right now.

(Wo)Man In the Mirror

I have a confession. On this lovely blog here, I have been pretty open about some things. In my other social media sites though, not so much. I have a really bad habit of molding myself into this compliant person that doesn’t want to lose friends or family in the internets simply because I have opinions or thoughts of my own. Yet I sit here every single day and be accosted by the opinions of everyone else I chose to be online connected with, without a word most of the time. It feels unfair. So let’s set the record straight shall we?

I’m a bleeding heart liberal. I believe in gay marriage (gasp) and that the LBGTQ community deserves EVERYTHING everyone else is entitled to. It is NOT a lifestyle choice, and it’s not against nature to love whoever you chose to love. And no, it’s not going to divulge into pedophilia or bestiality. These are ridiculous arguments, for neither party can give consent, quit being dumb and bringing them up. Also, the Christian church does not hold the patent on marriage, people were getting married 1000’s of years before Christianity was even a twinkle of an idea.

I believe in this country helping the downtrodden and those in need, and everyone lending a helping hand for those who are willing to try to rise out of their own situations and make themselves a better life. I believe there are men and women that serve this country under good intentions, and while their orders my not always be what we agree with its our responsibility to recognize they are not to blame for doing a job none of us will willing to sign up for. I want better healthcare for our nation. I’m sick of the disabled being cast aside, and the less fortunate being buried under medical bills no normal person could afford. I’m tired of having my uterus legislated. If Obamacare is what we have right now to ease some of that, I intend to give it a chance.

And now religion. I’m an atheist. For those who need a clear definition of that, it means I reject the idea that a god of any sort exists. It’s not a religion, there is no dogma and I’m not some scary person that eats babies in my spare time. I recognize evolution as fact and I rely on science and logic and reason to expand the knowledge I have, not a book that cannot be proven to be real, but ultimately taken on faith alone. I do not feel like organized religion is very healthy, nor do I agree with it’s practice as a whole. I understand that this is my opinion, and there it is, and I’m always willing to talk, but never there to “preach” or “convert.”

These are things I don’t discuss a lot except with a few close friends. But that is about change. If I support these things, I should walk the walk after all shouldn’t I?

We’re Still Having Fun, And You’re Still the One.

Five years ago today woke up next to my best friend. We got dressed, ate breakfast with my roommate, she went to work like it was just another day. It wasn’t for us however. We proceeded to do the scariest thing I’ve ever done. We went downtown and got married. Yup, just like that. There was a moment of cold feet in the courthouse elevator but other than that the story was short and sweet.

In five years, we have moved 8 times, were separated the first 4 months of our marriage, been though the countless struggles and issues with my illness, craziness of the military, spent almost 3 years as a poor college couple and survived a deployment. I came to realize that though all of this, we have never fought, REALLY fought not even once. Mind blowing. I was raised in an environment where knock down blow out fighting was the norm, and taught that early on and throughout a marriage it was to be expected and for 5 years I’ve been waiting for that ball to drop. I realize now, this warped expectation of relationships has caused me great anxiety when really I have the healthiest relationship right in front of me. We are being our own example and I didn’t even know it.

So, today, I’m still waking up next to my best friend. And we are going to get dressed, eat breakfast, and celebrate today the best thing we ever did in finding each other. Committing to it long term.

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Some of you may remember this, but for those who missed it, here is my wedding story.

I feel like we are that couple that no one ever knows quite what to do with. It’s marvelous. He’s this super nerdy nice guy who’d jump in front of a train for a total stranger…..or a puppy. I’m a headstrong sometimes bitch who will cut you if you dare abuse the niceness of my husband, or try to legislate my uterus, whichever. We were brought together during such outwardly mundane circumstances (work). He was a small town boy (LIVIN’ IN A LONELY WORLD….sing with me!) who joined the military and ran into me, a city girl (WHO TOOK THE MIDNIGHT TRAIN GOING ANY-WHERE!), working at the Pentagon. We clicked, and that’s all she wrote.

Actually, that’s not “all she wrote.” We actually have one hell of a story of an evolving friendship and quite a backstory to go with it that’s led to this incredible thing we rightly and proudly call a not so traditional marriage we have today. (DON’T WORRY INTERNET, IT’S TOTALLY LEGAL AND NOT PERVERSE, AND THERE ARE NO ANIMALS INVOLVED, RAND PAUL).

What I love the most about our story is this: IT’S OURS. Some people know the abbreviated version of events. Our closer friends know more of the intimate details. However, there are only two people on the planet that know some of the most important memories of all involving how everything came to be when we started legally sharing the last name of Woodland, and that’s Ken and I. I intend to keep it that way, because I’m complicated like that.

But I’ll tell you this. Our original wedding rings were purchased by hopping off the Red Line of the Metro at Union station and bought from a street jewelry vendor. We took a cab to the courthouse in Arlington and were legally married in a law office underneath a Jerry’s Subs and Pizza. No one mentioned God, nor did we bear any vows to a religious nature. (Gasp! No! Those Atheists have gone and ruined the sanctity of marriage!) We promptly had 5 shots of Jameson at an Irish bar to celebrate after. There were no witnesses. And I was married in my sneakers. Hell yes. I love the city.

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Letters From Quarantine

It’s been 5 days since the quarantine at House Woodland began. We arrived home on Sunday with Ken feeling pretty bad, sore throat and congestion. After a terrible sleepless night, for me, due to his snoring and angry retorts when I tried to move him he was full on sick the next day. We managed to attend a doctor’s appointment and head to the grocery store for what would be the last time in the near future.

Day 2, Ken had moved to the couch so I could get some rest, but it didn’t matter. Whatever this was, I succumbed to it anyway. Sore throat, nose at a full stop, and chest congestion out of nowhere. Migraine city had come for a visit too. I am glad now I withheld my Enbrel this week because that would have only suppressed my immune system more and this hell would have gone on a lot longer.

There was soup to be slurped and Netflix to be watched, and dual moaning was heard across the Woodland abode.

However in an effort to brighten our spirits we did make one kick ass french cut crusted rack of lamb for New Years dinner, that was hands down the best thing I have eaten all year. Being sick wasn’t going to suck ALL the joy out of New Years even if we did pass out by 10 and there was no toasting or kissing.

Stir crazy began to set in the next day and between coffee, naps and TV we proceeded to make one hell of a dent at purging the junk on our downstairs floor for our upcoming move. I’m more than proud of us, and doing it while sick? We are beasts. We are now slowly working on aspects of the second floor believe it or not.

Like previously stated, it’s now day 5. Symptoms have improved on both of us, but we are not ready to be released back into the world just yet. We gaze out the window longingly but the harsh freezing temperatures of the outside air would harm us should we venture out I’m sure. I hope we survive this. I’m writing to document our last days should we turn on each other and fail to successfully co inhabit this domicile any longer.

Peace out.

Don’t Mess With a Wife on A Mission.

I wish I even knew where to start with this mess of a blog these days. Life just keeps on ticking and by the time I turn around, I’m choosing sleep over blogging. For weeks now at a time. I love writing but the perfectionist in me wants to sit down and write some quality stuff from my brain, not just go through the motions.

I learned a lot the past two weeks about being the family member of a sick person. Ken has had some serious medical issues and I have spent two weeks at the hospital, biting my nails, waiting, and playing psycho patient advocate to make sure he only received the best care and a solid diagnosis. We are still working on that last one but I have made some real progress. It is SUPER frustrating to know enough about certain conditions because of being no stranger to chronic illness yourself, but not being taken seriously by doctors because they don’t want to hear the valuable information you may have to offer. Turns out after two weeks of craziness and one exploratory surgery, the doctor walks into Ken’s hospital room and declares its one of two things I have been pushing to get on the table for MONTHS now, like it was his idea all along. GGGGRRRRRR!!! Get the fuck out doc! Seriously? Because all this is certainly news to me….*snark*

Before all this mess, we did have a really good Thanksgiving in DC with my grandmother. She really is the stable force of family in my life, no matter what is going on, and when I come up, it makes me happy to do things for her…..even when it’s braving those horrendous Costco trips. It’s all worth it. I taught her to use a Keurig this trip so now, its K Cup parties up there too, and while Ken shakes his head, I notice he does not hesitate to have his several cups of coffee throughout the day. For the record, the Cinnabon K Cups, and BOTH Starbucks Holiday Blend and Christmas blend coffees this year are pretty damn awesome.

Also, why didn’t I know that Amazon Prime was so awesome before now? I now have kitty litter and toilet paper scheduled to show up at my door every other month (along with a few other things) through subscribe and save, so I never have to lug it home again. BECAUSE I HAVE NO SHAME IN GETTING MY TOILET PAPER DELIVERED. For free. This could get addicting. Plus more streaming video is pretty awesome. I’m really debating getting rid of all major cable at this point because I really think we could survive off the streaming video services we have. Except for HBO. HBO Go is a gift to myself this year (for half off.)

Fingers Crossed For Progress.

You know what’s cool? The Enbrel seems to be working! I’m in so much less pain, I’ve cut way back on the pain meds and my morning stamina is even up. I still have bouts of burning hands and feet, but this start is nothing short of amazing in my opinion so far. I’m still kinda on edge about being constantly immunocompromised and therefore easily able to get sick but so far so good.

My sleep cycles however are a totally different story. Since recovering from the accidental over saturation of sedatives on my liver, I’ve been able to recover from that but it’s brought back all my sleep issues. Namely, my body thinks it’s time to get up for the day at 3am no matter what, and my fatigue tends to get really bad after about noon. I’m going to be doing a sleep study soon to see if we can get some clarification on that because my sleep has been wildly out of control for one reason or another for over 10 years now.

I was also molded and folded and stuffed and fitted for a new bra this weekend for the upcoming bout of Army formal fun. My boobs hurt just thinking about that experience but there is an upside to this. Due to my recent weight loss of 60 lbs my dress has to be taken IN now! Sadly though, my boobs did not shrink. It was like hauling sandbags into a hammock. But I will be pretty damn it! Along with my hot husband in his brand spanking new service uniform, we will look good for once this year!

And with that, coffee #3 is calling….

Fibromyalgia is a Bitch.

Lately I’ve been experiencing a major fibromyalgia crash, which is why I’m not blogging as much. This time it’s coming in the form of a crippling fatigue and exhaustion that’s making staying alive difficult, so things like writing have taken a back burner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m using the tiny bit of energy I have to cook a meal and love it, or get done the essentials of the day, but ANYTHING beyond that is out of the question. I can only drive my car when absolutely needed because I’m afraid of passing out behind the wheel. So I’m struggling right now, but my spirits are actually pretty good about it, my crazy meds, and my RA meds seem to be working a bit. Also, I just became one of those sad pill organizer people because the Fibro fog is so bad I keep forgetting and/or double taking my morning pills and it’s gotten out of control….sigh.

On the exciting news, to me anyway, we got a Keurig machine and it’s my new best friend. A friend of ours gave us an opportunity to get one for a super good deal and I’m already declaring it the best purchase of the year and I’m so thankful to her! It would appear I’ve fallen in love with the French Roast sample included in the pack. This could get dangerous.

Today is also day one of Ken and I finally using our complex’s gym. I’m trying to stay moving after ceasing my physical therapy, and Ken has to be able to pass his 2 mile run after recently coming off his profile he has been on for years for mild asthma. The importance is high because he just GOT PROMOTED, and we are determined and excited to make this work and keep on keeping on with this. The Army isn’t easy and we really don’t love it much but we are so close, that we are in it to win it at this point.

The Light at the End Of the Tunnel?

So things have been cooking over here at Casa Woodland. While the government is having its own crisis, we have been having our own financial crisis ourselves. It’s tough to write about, so there won’t be many details, but we are poor people living off of financial aid, grants and loans with a wee bit of military pay at the moment, and well, EVERYTHING went haywire and as things sometimes happen, the money wasn’t coming in on schedule. Imagine me first waiting by the window for the mailman like a dog. Progress that image to me fighting Ken in a race to the mail box every day to get to it first to see if “today was the day!” I could stop dying inside and pay the power company who I was sure were going to personally drive over with huge scissors and cut the power to our house. Now at the end of this ordeal, I was asking moral questions, like, “is it wrong to inflict violence on the mailman or others if no money comes? Should I put the weapons away, or look for more household items to wield into battle gear?” Seriously, it was getting all survivalist up in my head.

But FINALLY we got a break and in time we received relief. Which of course I promptly cried like a baby after paying all those bills I had been terrified over and watching that money quickly fade away, and the rest fall carefully into a budget that will once again require us to resort to some ramen eating days in order to be “fiscally frugal” until the spring semester.

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In other news, I woke up one day last week and felt that click in my head and KNEW my Welbutrin/Abilify combo had finally kicked in and my world was clearer than it had been in years. It was like a blanket was lifting off me finally and I can kinda see my way out from underneath. I don’t hate everything as much. It’s encouraging to know I might be on a path to stable. Panic is still a huge issue and we have decided to add a long term medication, Lexapro to see if we can knock that down to a functional level (I would LOVE to drive my car without it being the drama of the century in my head) and maybe make me all around a little happier too. I’ve still got my old benzo friends though for random onset attacks, and to help me sleep.

There is more…. But I’m pooped and written out. And I’m making navy bean and ham soup that needs attention. I’M COOKING AGAIN BITCHES!!!!!

At Times I’m Too Weird For Him.

Sometimes Ken comes in to check on me while I’m resting in bed from being out and about and my body needs downtime. Often he gets interactions like this:

Ken: “Whatcha doing? Need anything?” (Sweetest man ever)
Me: “Reading articles on debating objective vs subjective morality.”

Ken: “What the fuck? Most people are on YouTube, or Angry Birds or Facebook. Every time I come in you are reading “arguments in logical fallacy” or “social security disability judgement cases” or “history of some religion based something weirdness.”

Me: “Want to hear about it? Also, I’ve finally figured out how to explain the whole Egypt thing and its totally crazy. I have a chart.”
Ken: ” Absolutely not. I cannot handle that on top of preparing for my own college classes right now.”

I realize I’m supposed to be resting but this something catches my eye and off I go! Reading powers interested! I gotta be me! Ken always slowly backs out of the room shaking his head. Don’t worry, he always indulges me later. It’s why I married him. Ultimately he loves a good intellectual brain session as much as I do. He just wants that to be spaced out between sessions of Xbox like a normal person.

This is my poor husband when I’m feeling well enough to DO things.

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