Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Put your right arm in, pull your right arm out....

There’s something growing in my arm. Yup, something according to the doctor. Could be a tumor, could be nothing. I have to go for more testing to find out.

This you ask was from three months ago.

I’m afraid to go back to the doctor.

I’ve had tests run on it, x-rays, cortisone shots…my arm has been pulled on, massaged, man handled, you name it. And still, three months later it’s got something in there that is as hard as a rock.

After a painful episode last night, I thought I would call my doctor this morning.

But yup, I’m still afraid. I’ve never been afraid of anything like this in my life. I’m always on top of my health. Not this time. I DO NOT want any kind of surgery on my arm.

It’s the right arm. How does one live without the use of their right arm? How will I do my rats nest I call hair? How will I shave my legs? Hello! I’m all girl here!

So today, my hand hurts because my arm hurts (it’s the part of the arm between the hand and the elbow that is injured). My shoulder hurts because my arm hurts. The pain is so unbelievable, yet I continue to live with it day in and day out. It wasn’t until last night that LW realized it’s still a problem. You could see how much bigger it has gotten. Frightening.

I need no convincing to call the doctor, I just need strength. I’m super afraid of the unknown at the moment.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Crystal

Here's a birthday shout out to my friend Crystal! 36 isn't that bad right? I mean for me it's not been too bad. Every now and then I find a spider vein in my leg that wasn't there before, but hey who's counting? And those wrinkles on my forehead...holy cow, where did they come from?

And when did I become self conscious about the length of my eye lashes (insert laughter here as this goes back to a post from Linda Lou)? And why have my boobs now practically found the empty space between what was my bust line and my waist? And where in the world did cleavege sweat come from?

Sooner or later something is bound to fall off. I can't be this 'perky' forever.

Oh wait, this wasn't a post about me!!!

Crystal, may your birthday be filled with much love and happiness. Thank you for being a friend!!! I'm so glad we met. Without you the boring days at work would be impossible to get through.

I would insert a picture here of you, but wouldn't you know it, I don't have a picture of you on my work computer.

More to come sista. I took some funny Chicago pictures. Will update this weekend, so you better watch out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toby

Toby is a black lab that circles the 2nd floor of the hospital where I volunteer. He's a service dog volunteer. He has to be the most adorable thing ever. Every Tuesday I watch as Toby enters into a room, slides his head upon the bed and waits for the touch of a sick patient...a healing touch...a touch that emotionally tells the patient that they can fight whatever it is that ails them.

Toby brings happiness.

I walk past the rooms where Toby has been and you can hear the patients and their families talk about how 'cute that dog was'. The smiles on the each patient's face is priceless. You can't ask for anything better to heal the saddness that comes with being cooped up in a hospital bed. Many of these patients will spend days if not weeks in the hospital, so Toby's sweet face reminds them that there is hope.

I've never personally met Toby. I see Toby. I hear Toby's claws hit the floor as he walks down the hall. I see Toby's tail wag as a patient reaches out their hand to touch his soft fur. I see the happiness on the faces of the volunteer's who take Toby around, because the very reason we volunteer is to help those that can't help themselves.

What a great world it is when we can help people forget their pain, even if it is only for a moment.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

Yesterday I went with two friends to watch the movie “My Sister’s Keeper”. I won’t spoil it here, but just incase you haven’t read the book first….DO NOT GO WATCH THE MOVIE! The book is so much better and the movie leaves out the most critical part in the whole book. Read the book, then watch the movie. If you watch the movie first you will not get the full picture.

Trust me!

So I got to thinking during the movie; as movies with people dying from cancer tend to stir up the pain from watching my own mother die from cancer; how much I miss my mom. If you’ve never lost someone you love to cancer or some terrible disease that lingers on, you can’t possibly understand the ups and downs of their treatment. One day cancer patients are on top of the world, the next day their heads are buried in a hospital basin tossing their cookies. It’s a sad thing to watch.

During the movie yesterday I was about ready to convulse with tears. I don’t know if Crystal could feel the seat move or not, but I was ready to let the flood gates go. Some days are harder than others still as I’m cruely reminded that I don’t have a mother. Case in point. Yesterday the gentleman taking our tickets at the theater asked me if I was old enough to watch a PG-13 movie (God I love him) and I wanted to say, ‘Let me call my mother”. But I couldn’t and I stumbled to say something about calling my father. Why is it we always, as women I think, tend to want to call our mom’s? In times of need, or comfort, we lean on the strongest woman we know…our mothers. It’s tough to admit somedays that my mom isn’t here. And then there are those days where I accept it wholly.

Watching the movie brought back a flood of memories…my Mom’s diagnosis, her reaction, and her tears. I also thought about the days we had to force feed her, the yogurt the nurse brought into the room the day my Mom died, the pastor administering last rights, signing the DNR, rubbing my Mom’s feet the night before she died and wishing I could have stayed longer, laughing with her over seeing broccoli on TV (the drugs they gave her made her do and say strange things), answering my nieces and nephew questions on ‘Is Grandma going to die?”, and the speech I gave at her funeral.

It’s a lot to think about and I couldn’t believe one movie about a little girl dying of cancer could make me feel those things. I suppose it’s the first movie I have seen in that context since my Mother died. It’s amazing what we bury deep inside of us only to have it realized at the most awkward time.

If you’re a mom, hug your babies tight. If you have a mother, be sure she knows every.single.day how much you love her. And if you’re like me, mother-less, remember just because your mom is gone, does not mean that you are forgotten. We must remember that while they are in heaven they miss us just as much as we miss them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I got the best night sleep EVER last night.

I think the combination of my blogging about sleep, being so sleep deprived I could fall asleep at any given moment, and one tasty Advil PM, put me in such a state of euphoria that I slept with little or no movement ALL.NIGHT.LONG.

I didn't even get up to tinkle!

HOLY COW

I'm refreshed today. Alive, awake and can't wait to bust my hiney at the gym tonight. Even LW commented this morning on how refreshed I looked and how much happier I seemed. One night's rest really made a difference? Imagine if I had several nights of great rest in a row? I'd no longer be a Gemini. You know us Gem's have dual personalities. We can be sweet as pie one minute, and grouchy the next minute.

I'm hoping that I can sleep like that at least the rest of the weekend. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to sleep a full night and get up and not be such a complete grouch the next day? I wish this trend would continue, although sadly I doubt it will, as this has happened before. I get all stoked the first few days, then I crash and burn into the pit of sleepless nights where people like me linger in our dreams hoping and praying sleep finds us but instead counting sheep because there's nothing better to do.

1 sheep, 2 sheep, oh Hello Mr. Rogers, 3 sheep, shit, 1 sheep, 2 sheep......

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The joys of a non-sleeper.

I’m so tired I think my head could spin right off and I wouldn’t even notice. I’m sleep deprived beyond comprehension. I’m so tired that I could have easily closed my eyes on the way to work and fell asleep at the wheel.

I’ve always had sleep issues. As I get older, they get worse. I’m not worried about my relationship because that is good. I’m not worried about Kassidy because that is going fine. I just can’t sleep. But because I’m so sleep deprived I think right now I could sleep for days.

I can only pin point that I am suffering from some kind of anxiety. I’m always always on the go. I never relax or sit in front of the TV for hours corrupting my brain with senseless TV shows. I’m reading, cleaning, scrapbooking (which I haven’t done in a while), out with friends or family, working in the yard, volunteering, working, cleaning some more, talking on the phone, working on the computer, shopping at Target…. I.CAN’T.SIT.STILL and it’s killing me.

I grieve the loss of my Mom, but that’s not keeping me up at night anymore. It is what it is. She’s gone and her memory lives on inside of me. LW and I, while we are communicating better, there are still issues, but nothing that keeps me up worrying at night. He is who he is and he loves me and I love him. So why God, why won’t you let me sleep a full night with uninterrupted sleep? Please just once let me wake up in the same position I fell asleep in. Please let me sleep so peacefully that I don’t have to wake up four and five times a night to tinkle and I call it tinkle because it’s not an all out shower of pee when I haven’t drank anything!

I’m not on any medication that would cause me to not sleep. I’m always hot so the air is turned up high, when clearly in Ohio it’s not much needed right now with the weather as nice as it has been. My bed is fluffy and comfy. My sheets are clean. The TV is off. The room is dark. I exercise on a fairly regular basis. I don’t drink caffeine past a certain time of the day. WTH?

I think if I could, I’d crawl under my desk right now and sleep. I’m THAT tired. My eyes are swollen, my head hurts and no amount of caffeine is gonna snap me back into reality.

Anyone else have similar issues or have tips and tricks they use to fall asleep? Just ask my friend Crystal, she experienced my inability to sleep while we were in Chicago.

Ah the joys of a non-sleeper. Think its heredity?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Going back to school.

I’m taking the plunge and going back to school.

I said it!

I’m waiting on my advisor to call me back so I can start scheduling my classes for the fall or winter. It won’t be a heavy load.

I’m going to be working on a subsequent bachelors degree in Business Forensics. I *think* I need about 6-8 classes (will know more after my meeting), which isn’t bad and if I take the 6 week courses I’ll be done in no time.

I need and want out of IT. It’s time for a change. And I am the only person who can want to change my future.

LW is super supportive, which is so helpful.

I’m nervous. I remember what it was like getting my first degree. It took me 15 years to graduate. I remember how I couldn’t WAIT to be finished. Once I finished (May 2006), my Mom got sick and about a year and a half later she died. Then 2008 rolled around and I was going through the grieving process when I met LW, so I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of going back to school. Now that 2009 is here and practically over, I’m settled comfortably into my relationship with LW and it’s time for me to take charge of my life and move forward.

I’m ready.

I’m excited.

I’m scared.

I can do it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chicago - Better Recap To Come

I was in Chicago early Fri morning through yesterday.

Had a great time. Crystal is the bestest eva.

Wish I lived there (again) - we lived there when I was little and I went to elementary school there).

I bought a lot of STUFF!!! Juicy purse, Bare Escentials make up, clothes, gifts for LW and Kassidy....Christmas stuff.

Went up in the Sears Tower, now called the Willis Tower.

Went to Navy Pier and rode the ferris wheel.

Ate at the best cup cake place in Chicago (that's what all of the articles said anyway per Crystal) and it was mighty good. I think it was called Momma B's or something like that. It's in Lincoln Park.

Ran smack dab into the Jonas Brothers (You know you know who they are! Admit it!) signing autographs for a gaggle of girls.

Was sad at the amount of homeless people I saw.

Frustrated with idiot drivers and pedistrians who think they own the street even when the sign tells you NOT to cross the street!!!!!!! Damn tourists!

Had some fun cabbies. The cabby from the airport to the hotel was singing right along with Crystal and I to some tunes. We had him laughing!

And who can forget the quickie mart Crystal and I went to after we had a drink at The Drake Hotel.....I think a bomb needs set off in that place....boy did it stink (and it wasn't me).

I'll try to post pictures later this week. You all know me. I'm a picture junky so I have a lot to sift through.

Happy Monday! Back to the grind.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy 4th of July and Happy Birthday Liz

On the 4th of July LW, Kassidy and myself headed to my oldest sister's house to watch my hometown parade with my family. It was so wonderful to be with my family because the last time we all watched the parade together, my mother was alive and she was actually in the parade. It felt nice to be with my family. Unfortunately I forgot my camera. BOO to me!

But after the parade and before we went to my friend Liz's house for her birthday slash 4th of July party we took some pictures outside of our home.





We had a great time at the party.

Isn't this little bugger cute? She's my friend's daughter and it seems she took a liking to Kassidy.





This is the birthday girl, Liz and her husband Brandon and their beautiful daughter Lexi.



And here we have my friend Crystal, her husband Darren and their beautiful daughter Chaya. The house was full of beautiful girls.





And of course more beautiful women: Liz, Rhiannon, Stephanie, Crystal and Adrianne and of course Miss Lexi.







I hope Liz had a great birthday. I know I had a great time visiting with everyone.

The guys were uncooperative, so this is the only picture I have of them.

Cricut

It’s all I can think about lately.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here.

I’m thinking about all of the things I want to make.

I’m thinking about how I can’t wait until the basement is finished so I can have my craft space built. I’ve scrapbooked for YEARS and have many albums completed but I’m stuck in 2007. The year my mom died. It’s hard to move on, but starting next week, I’ll be working my way through 2007.

I’m getting ready for a master bathroom overhaul and now wish I could spend the money on a craft area however I really do need my master bathroom re-done. I haven’t used the bathtub in 4 years (and yes I do take showers people!).

Thus the reason the Cricut is on my mind.

Liz and Rhiannon know what I’m talking about. I bet Liz can’t wait to get going on hers!

So my friend Crystal and I have come up with a way to ‘earn’ the Cricut. Both of us have a lot of crap we want to sell, thus here we come eBay and Craigslist!!! We’re on a mission! Wonder who can make the most money the fastest? Or who will break down and just buy the thing and forget about the whole eBay and Craigslist strategy?

Let the race begin….

Monday, July 6, 2009

Parenting a child that isn't mine.

I'm not a step parent. I'm a guardian.

I'm not good at it.

How do you parent a child that isn't yours? Her mom raises her one way, her dad another and both by my standards, are not how I would raise my child. I have ideas and goals for her, that neither of her parents do. I know LW wants her to have a good education, but why is it acceptable to sit around all day on a Sunday watching tv, when there are books she should be reading and computer exercises she should be doing?

Why won't she make her bed every day? Why doesn't LW enforce it? Why do I have to be the bad guy when I ask? Half the time she ignores me when I ask.

The ignoring has got to stop.

I OWN the house. I PAY the mortgage. I HAVE a say in what goes on in my house. So yesterday I turned into the bad guy.

I know it's the growing pains of me just learning how to do 'this' and her learning how to live some place other than her mom's house.

But for now, I'll have two shots of Vodka on the rocks please.