Doctor’s Orders

Hello my loves!

I don’t blog nearly as much as I used to. I miss you guys.

The reason I’ve been more silent has a lot to do with my general content. I tend to use my blog as a sort of group therapy session. I purge the feelings, and so love to talk with people who are going through, or dealing with, similar situations.

Y’all keep me sane, basically.

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The end of last year was a nightmare and a half. And you amazing, wonderful, glorious people saddled up and rode the the rescue of my family. Which we will never, ever forget, nor stop appreciating.

I was so humbled by the absolute flood of support. I still don’t have words for how you all saved the day.

What I wanted to do was come back to blogging and say how great things were going, to show you that your hard work and generosity had fixed all our ills, and I’d be back with stories of shenanigans and hilarity.

Alas, that’s not how the year has played out.

And as much as I wanted to come here and purge, as is my wont, I didn’t want to keep showing this WOE IS MEEEEEEEEEEEE side to everyone. I didn’t want people to see the dumpster fire that is life.

Which makes me feel guilty. I take pride in the honesty I put online. And I love when some bizarre thing I’m dealing with ends up being something a reader is dealing with and we e-hug and squeal and talk each other through the rough stuff.

Those kinds of things mean the world to me.

But the idea of being known as a perpetual train wreck didn’t seem like a fun idea.

So, for the last six months or so, I’ve been isolating myself more and more. I don’t blog. I don’t do live-Tweet movies anymore. I don’t talk to close friends but rarely.

My life for the last year has basically been keeping things fantastic and functional for my kids, keeping my husband alive and assisting his recovery as much as possible, helping out my parents with their own health issues and household necessities, working on my book, and so on.

But, while all that was happening, I also broke my ankle in January and had to wear a god awful boot and use crutches for three months. I couldn’t even drive which was balls.

In March, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, psoriatic arthritis, and started weekly chemo to manage it.

My dad nearly died in April because he’s a stubborn fool of a man and waited until he was circling the drain to tell anyone he felt bad. Turned out his kidneys were infected and he’d gone septic and also had pneumonia because weeeeeeee.

In the last two weeks alone, I had an attack of ovarian cysts, a horrible internal ultrasound to pinpoint those cysts, my daughter broke her arm falling off her scooter, my son had a horrible reaction to a vaccine he needed for school and was sicker than I’ve ever seen either of my kids be, I re-injured the ankle I broke by falling in a bunny hole, our beloved family guinea piggy died, my aunt died, I got switched to chemo injections because the pills weren’t working, and hubs rushed me to Urgent Care where I was promptly transferred to an ER where they discovered I’d recently passed a kidney stone, and have ulcers in my stomach, and they’ve spread to that tube that leads out of the stomach.

I’ve just accepted my life is a comedy of errors and I’m rolling with it.

But today, my therapist put her foot down: I need to slow the fuck down. Like, full stop.

I like taking care of people. It pleases me to do so. It’s kind of what I live for.

And people need the care. My kids. My husband. My parents. My friends.

So, through all the new dramatics, I trudge through, insisting I can totally still handle all my responsibilities, all their responsibilities, and still manage to be sane in the process.

In my mind, I’m spry and capable. I am dedicated and determined.

But now my body is all LOLFUCKNOPE.

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My body is not the same as it was a year ago. It just isn’t. Psoriatic arthritis isn’t something I can just positive think my way out of. There are days I can’t drive because my hands hurt too much to grip the steering wheel. Sometimes my joints are so flared up, I can’t walk out of my bedroom.

The chemo makes me so ill I’m out of service for about 24-36 hours every week. My immune system has completely tanked.

But I ignore all of this and keep flouncing on, pretending I am Wonder Woman and twirl my lasso with a sassy wink, all the while I’m in so much pain I may actually puke on whomever I am assisting.

As my therapist put it, ever so delicately, “You’re killing yourself. Literally. If you don’t put yourself first, you are going to die.”

That was soothing.

She’s not wrong.

D’ya know, when they told me I’d passed a kidney stone, I was like, how the hell did I not know?

But when I stopped to think back, I remember exactly when it happened.

I was grocery shopping and got hit with these stabbing, ungodly pains in my abdomen that went straight through to my back. They were so strong I would yelp and double over and it sucked the air right out of my lungs. For two hours straight this pain kept punching me right in the gut.

I told myself it was probably just a cyst, or if it kept up, I’d go to the doc the next day or similar. The pain was at OMG CALL 911 levels, but I kept on keeping on.

Why? Because I was grocery shopping. And if I didn’t get back in time, I wouldn’t be able to get dinner started for the family, and we’d promised the kids a cookout in the backyard. This was a redo of the one we had to postpone when our son got knocked out by the vaccine.

I didn’t want to let them down.

And I look back, thinking of how I kept a death grip on my cart at Target, gasping through the pain, dropping down to the floor to try and catch my breath, and the whole time, I’m telling myself it’s totally probably fine, and if I waste everyone’s time by going to Urgent Care at that moment, it’d be nothing at all and I’d cock up everyone’s day.

Like. Guys. I thought pain that was literally dropping me to the ground WAS PROBABLY FINE.

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I am STRESSED THE FUCK OUT OKAY.

I take a rescue remedy kind of medicine for my OCD when needed. Last week, I realized things have been building up more than I’m comfortable with, so I went to my doc to get back on a daily medication as well. Even that was before the ER/ulcer visit.

But even with that help, which I’m thrilled to have, the therapist is right. I need to slow my roll in a big way.

My homework for the week is to put myself first. Even over my kids. (GOD THAT FEELS WRONG GUH)

I have until Thursday to see if my ulcers respond to meds or I have to go in for an endoscope and all the other horrors.

And so, it’s Mom’s Week Off. I’ve been ordered to do nothing but focus on resting, healing, writing if it brings me joy, and more resting.

This is so, so unbelievably hard for me. I’m a lousy patient.

Related segue: I’ve never seen any part of Downton Abbey except for the scene where some dude’s ulcer bursts at the dinner table and starts spraying blood and he dies. It was not a pleasant viewing experience.

And today, when I was running an errand I shouldn’t have been running but I seriously never learn, and trying not to hurl in the dairy section of the supermarket, I kept thinking of that blood-spewing scene.

I don’t wanna die spewing blood, guys. I just really don’t. You have no idea how much this scares me.

So, I’m writing this from bed, watching Parks and Rec, sipping ginger ale, and accepting the fact that life is going to have to carry on around me for a few days. Sometimes the kids may get toast and yogurt and apples for dinner because the hubs has only mastered that and boxed mac and cheese. Which is TOTALLY FINE.

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But, like, for real totally fine. Not in the Summer-is-passing-a-kidney-stone-and-has-multiple-ulcers-and-needs-to-get-her-ass-in-check kind of totally fine.

People need time off. We need breaks. Desperately. I see so many people, myself included, preaching how important self-care is, and I see people I love, and my own damn self, completely ignoring that sage advice.

And, as hard as it is to accept, having an autoimmune disease means I’m not going to be able to do all the things I want to do anymore. I have to adjust my life whether I want to or not.

I have to listen to the cues my body is screaming at me, and I need to bloody well act on them.

My apologies in advance for all the balls I’m going to drop this week. My children will definitely not have matched socks. The laundry will pile up. There won’t be a magical shopping trip followed by gourmet dinners. There will be errands forgotten. All social media that doesn’t involve kittens and rainbows will ignored.

It’s not because I don’t care, or I don’t want to participate, or I’m being silent because I suck as a human, because I WANT TO BE IN THE REAL WORLD.

I’m doing it so I can heal the hell up so when I rejoin that real world, I’ll be able to physically withstand it.

Also, as this is not the first or second or even third time I’ve had a serious health crisis that I ignored until Emergency Rooms are involved, FEEL FREE TO YELL AT ME IF YOU SEE ME DOING ANYTHING OTHER THAN FLOATING ON A LILY PAD SIPPING A SOOTHING BEVERAGE.

SERIOUSLY. YELL AT ME A LOT.

But also in a calm way because I’m supposed to be finding my inner mellow so I don’t die or something.

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I hope you all are magical and magnificent!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Doctor’s Orders

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