I’m back, some assembly required…

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The last few weeks have been scary and stressful around here. It’s kind of a long story, so I’ll try to condense it as much as I possibly can.

I haven’t been feeling well on and off for at least the last couple of years. I had almost no appetite, had on and off bouts of horrible back pain among other issues. A few times the pain had gotten so bad I had sought help at the local emergency room. Needless to say the doctors blew me off, and even treated me like someone trolling for pain pills. They did no testing, gave me a dose of Tylenol and sent me home, repeatedly.

Last month I predictably came down with another bout of pain, this one even worse than before. Again I went to the ER to try and get help, and I expected the whole lather, rinse, repeat. Luckily for me, instead of the regular ER doctor on call I ended up with a very lovely young intern who actually not only examined me properly, she asked me questions. The first one being…Do you still have your gallbladder?

One ultrasound later, it was confirmed that I had gallstones, likely the cause of a lot of my health issues for the last few years…

A couple of days and one more ER trip later I was referred to a surgeon, and put on a 6 week waiting list for surgery to have my gallbladder removed, or so we thought….

I made it not even a week without another couple of ER trips before the surgeon on call decided to admit me and get it over with. The next day they informed me that it was a good thing they’ gotten to me when they did, or it probably wouldn’t have been long before I’d have suffered not only liver issues, but my gallbladder may have burst.

The moral of the story?

Trust your gut if you really feel that something is wrong. If your doctor won’t listen, find one who will, even if they are only running the tests to humor  you. It upsets me that I was in pain needlessly for I know at least well over a year.

Sure surgery is scary, but I woke up in less pain after than before, and am thankful that someone finally listened to me, and took the time to find what the cause of my pain and illness really was. In my case it took a different doctor and a different hospital. Don’t be afraid to make waves, and be the figurative squeaky wheel that needs greasing.

The life you save may be your own.

You know the place…


I think everyone has been here at one time or another. The problem being, sometimes I swear I live there, and have for some time. Our present living situation seems to be at last coming to a head. trying to decide where to go, or not go from here, feels more like trying to choose between three potential evils, and trying to figure out which is the least of them.

Stay or leave? The worst part is not knowing where the money is going to come from to do either. Is there any such thing as winning, let alone getting ahead? All this constant anxiety and worry isn’t doing anything for my health physically or mentally.

Are the things I am praying for all that much to ask for? All I want is a safe and affordable home for my family to live in. I don’t wanna worry about doing without here, or putting ourselves in an even worse situation if we leave here. We sadly may not have a choice if we don’t find a way to remedy our present situation within the next couple of weeks. Trying to stay busy is all that’s keeping me from curling up in a ball and crying sometimes. Who am I kidding…a lot of the time.

I know people will offer to pray for you, but sometimes I wish someone would offer to do more for us than pray. We are sinking fast, and no one seems to be able to tell us where to turn, let alone help us find the help we really do need. I’m so tired of going through my cell phone minutes, only to be given the run around and asked to call yet another agency that can’t help us either. I’m not going into details, because I don’t know who’s reading who might be waiting to twist this to use against us, in the rumor mill, or worse given the chance.

Is it too much to hope for to keep my family together?

Hope and fear

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Optimism is hard for me, the last few years especially, when it comes to dealing with the ongoing situation with my daughter. I’ve wanted nothing more than to have her home, and I make sure I tell her frequently. Unfortunately every time I thought there was a ghost of a chance of it actually happening, I’ve pretty much had my hopes dashed to pieces.

There is another hearing coming up next week. I feel an obligation to be there, but part of me is also nearly paralyzed by knowing that my efforts would be all but futile. Deep inside I know that the outcome would be the same in my presence or without it. It’s as much my own state of mind that I am worried for. Should I go and go through the motions and attend a hearing that has already all but been decided, or should I just stay away and let them do the inevitable without me?

Is there hope of this ending any other way?

Should I really be spending a couple of hundred dollars we don’t really have right now for bus tickets and hotel rooms, when I know almost for sure that I will be coming back home alone with nothing to show for it but depression it may take weeks to shake myself out of?

Would I be a horrible person and mother if I just threw my hands up in the air and told them all that I just can’t do this?

Is it time to let my daughter go, and hope she will be happy with whatever life they can help her build for herself? All I can do is keep reminding her that my door is always open, and she always has a place here, even if the decisions on her future are out of my hands.

Damn this is hard…

It’s *bleeping* cold outside!

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This is the second day here with below 0 temperatures. Needless to say we haven’t left the house. (except for when John took the trash out to the curb, just in case by some miracle they do decide to collect it in the morning) It is a little boring here with not much to do but the internet, and frustrating dealing with a stir crazy baby who very badly wants his daily bye bye, and doesn’t understand why he can’t have it.

I’m also frustrated with not being able to work on my novel. It isn’t a matter of lacking ideas this time, but more just not having quiet time to work on it before I’m too exhausted at night to think clearly. My computer unfortunately sits in the middle of the living room in front of the fireplace mantel, the only place in the whole apartment there was room to put it. It’s good that I have a desk, and a computer, but it makes it extremely difficult to work without distraction when I am stuck out here right in the middle of it all.

Before I would always write when my daughter was in school, and my desk was usually set up in my bedroom, or off in a quiet room away from the main room. I don’t work well with noise or with people moving around nearby, and especially don’t work well with people peering over my shoulder.

I miss having a laptop to work on, at least then I’d have the possibility of going in my room and shutting the door for awhile, even if trying to work from bed hurts my back something awful after awhile. Then again, I know what would happen. I’d get settled in, and finally be making progress, and BAM…they’d just follow me in there.

Sometimes I wonder how I am going to hold on until spring. Our search for a new apartment is still going dismally. Even applying anywhere is expensive, and we recently lost $120 in application fees only to be turned down yet again, even with my mother in law willing to co-sign.

Staying positive is really hard right now. It’s especially hard when you can’t even get something basic like an affordable place for your family to live. I worry about even the rent here going up to more than we can afford even with the roommate. My nerves are wound so tight I’m barely sleeping sometimes, and when I do I’m getting a lot of nightmares. I haven’t been able to eat properly in months now for a lot of the same reasons.

I wish I had a way of knowing that it would all be alright, but I don’t. I’m doing what I can but no one is going to beat a path to our door to help us. It’s no wonder that so many disabled people end up on the streets. If you are under 62 years old, there is no help with housing available, period, end of story. If the waiting list for help isn’t closed, it is over 10 years long.

It’s hard to write here without complaining, mainly because this is the only place in the world I have to vent.

I can’t wave a magic wand and make myself well, or John not deaf anymore, so what hope is there of our situation getting better short of a miracle? I wish I knew, I really wish I knew.

A mommy question

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I don’t usually go asking for “mommy advice.” This being my 4th child, I am usually not surprised by much, but as he’s gotten older, and now toward the toddler stage, Thor seems to be determined to be a horse of a different color, even more so than he has been all along.

To clarify, my son is very much a creature of habit, he has never, since birth, been a big fan of change. This extends not only to his routine, but other things like his toys, what music he finds comforting, and other things. Maybe you get the picture.

When things upset his “routine” or he is feeling insecure it’s not a happy time around here until he is secure again. Usually the thing that upsets him the most in that regard, are his immunizations. Usually those can throw him for a loop, and it seems we get him settled down, only for it to soon be time for the next set.

Eating is where we are having a lot of the problems I haven’t run into before. He doesn’t seem to want to transition to table food, even though he has been plenty old enough for awhile now. The texture of table food seems to bother him. He absolutely refuses to eat anything that isn’t the consistency of “baby food. If something is thicker, or the least big chunky, he will flatly refuse to eat it. Not even mashed potatoes please him.

John and I always offer him bites of what we are eating, but it is rare that he will try one bite, if at all, even if he otherwise seems to be hungry. I know part of the issue may be that he still only has only his four front teeth, and even biting is a new thing for him.

The only table foods he doesn’t seem to mind so far are vanilla yogurt, plain hummus, pita bread and pita chips. I have no idea how to get him to eat a wider variety beyond what he is already eating table food wise, except offering him tastes of our dinner as we already are. Meanwhile we are still making sure he gets the baby foods he will eat, and making sure he gets a bit of formula every day along with the whole milk until he is eating enough to make sure he doesn’t get anemic. He’s not quite capable of chewing meat yet with just 4 teeth I think.

He’s not picky about food, except when it comes to texture. He eats almost anything jarred we sit in front of him, and so far only has one mild food allergy. (apples)

I am kind of stumped as to how to approach this. All of my older kids were off baby food and eating table food just fine by the first birthday. I have no idea what the hangup may be here, other than he seems to have far less teeth than they did at the same age.

Christmas Eve Thoughts

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“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”

   – Erma Bombeck

Holidays are never easy, especially far away from a lot of the people I care for and nearly everything I have ever known for the longest portion of my life. I am not from Pennsylvania, where my husband and I presently live with our son. I am, however, originally from a rather small town in central Ohio, one I have lived in my entire childhood and all but a handful of years out of my adult life. Being here isn’t easy sometimes, especially at holidays. It’s lonely, and depressing, even when I keep trying to tell myself it shouldn’t be with John and Thor here with me.

The rest of my surviving family is all meeting at my grandma’s house this evening to open presents, eat ham salad sandwiches, and fight over the last black olive like we always did. This is our first Christmas without my grandfather. I didn’t make it there last year to see him, or bring him his gift before he passed away a week later. I still regret that.

What sort of things do I remember about Christmas?

Grandma and Grandpa always hung our stockings on the side of the stair rails, not the fireplace, they looked like santa bloomers for the girls, and santa overalls for the boys. Every year we had to line up behind our stockings to get a group picture taken before we could open them. We always got them last, after we had unwrapped the rest of the presents on Christmas Eve.

I remember the year my dad stepped outside with a shotgun, fired a shot into the air and said he’d shot Rudolph.

I remember the year I was 10 years old and my dad was out of work, and all we got for Christmas that year was a wiener dog puppy. Truthfully, a new dog was all we had really wanted anyway, after someone had poisoned our beautiful white German Shepherd the summer before. We named her Daisy Mae after the girl on Dukes Of Hazard. Best dog ever.

I remember going caroling one year with a group of kids from the church, and pestering the group leader for us to stop at Uncle Louie’s house so we could sing for him, even though he wasn’t on their list of stops. I think it may have been one of the last handful of times I got to see him before he passed. I miss Uncle Louie a lot, he was a kind and gentle person, with a great booming bass voice when he sang, and a whole back yard full of heirloom chickens.

I could keep listing, but right now it just isn’t helping. In a way it’s just making me feel even more lonely. Even good memories hurt sometimes. Cherish your friends and family, not only during the holidays but every day. You never know what a small oddball thing that seems meaningless now, will mean to your loved ones far into the future.

Thinking Turkey Thoughts

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Holidays aren’t easy for me. I know that statement will be hard to explain to some people. Life hasn’t been easy for a long time, years now, even decades. I was a child the last time I really have good memories to look back on, even related to holidays.

I know some people joke about wondering how long it will take during the holidays for the police to be called, but in my family it’s a distinct possibility. The last time I remember spending Christmas with my family two fights broke out, and that was just christmas eve. I haven’t eaten a thanksgiving dinner I haven’t cooked myself in so many years that I can’t even remember when the last one I ate with my family was. I do however remember it was horrible and not much worth writing about food wise.

Being just me and my oldest daughter for years on the holidays, I never did the whole big turkey and all that, not that I ever could have afforded to anyway. Usually Thanksgiving for us meant pork chops and stuffing with mashed potatoes at home, and eating in front of the tv still in our pajamas. It was always just the two of us, or at least on most years.

Last year I think I made a half-effort at making a little bit of turkey, but not a whole one. It came out mostly ok, even if the veggies ended up a shriveled mess and not exactly edible. Cue this year’s second attempt, which I will be trying in a crock pot instead of the oven, because the oven will be occupied by my roommate’s god awful tofurkey. Just the thought of tofurkey makes me shudder with revulsion.

Holidays are hard, and the funk they leave me in is hard to shake myself from. All I usually end up thinking of is how much I envy people with close and loving families, and how I’d give almost anything to be part of a family like that. Yes, I have a husband and kids, and memories to build there, but thinking of the past and the mess that is the rest of my family, still hurts to no end, and probably always will. I see how it is even affecting my kids now and it upsets me so badly I could scream. Three generations of this family have been completely ruined by all this dysfunction and drama my mother and aunt just can’t seem to bury the hatchet over.

I really hope someone brings my grandmother dinner tomorrow, I would if I had a car, and weren’t so far away. I hate the thought of her sitting in that house all alone, especially with this being the first Thanksgiving that my grandfather has been gone. I worry a lot for her now, but there’s only so much I can do living an entire state away. The rest of the family is too busy not speaking to one another to really care I think, as they have been every year for who knows how long. All I can do is call grandma tomorrow, and at least let her know she hasn’t been forgotten.

Turkey is all well and good, but what I’d really love to have someday is a family that acts like a family, at least long enough to make it through dinner.

Am I wrong to just keep wishing?

 

Swamped

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Another November and I don’t feel that I’ve gotten much accomplished, or at least not the things I had hoped to. The writing hasn’t been going so well, mostly because the demands of taking care of Thor, are just, well, demanding.

Right after his first birthday, any semblance of a sleep schedule we seemed to have Thor into went right out the window. Most nights now we are lucky to have him to sleep by 10 now instead of 8. Last night Thor was awake until midnight. For some odd unknown reason, however, when he falls asleep seems to have little to no effect on what time he wakes up in the morning.

Truth be told, by the time it’s quiet enough for me to get anything accomplished now that I am stuck at a desk in the living room, it is too late in the evening, and I am far too tired to write coherently. At least if my laptop were still working properly I could go back and hide in the bedroom at fleeting moments during the day. It’s annoying to be stuck here at this desk, especially when it’s out here in the middle of everything where it’s noisy and nearly impossible to avoid serious distractions.

I have suddenly remembered why I am really, really, not a desktop person.

Maybe someday soon I will be able to afford to get the laptop fixed, and use it strictly as a writing only computer. Thankfully all it needs seems to be a new cooling fan. The part won’t cost much, but the installation might be a bit pricier than I can afford to spring for right now.

I’d love to have a nice recliner to kick back in while I work on this novel, and not this half broken desk chair that is killing both my hind end and my back, sadly I have no such thing, just an old granny sofa that sits too far away from the screen for me to see to tell what I am typing from there, even if the new keyboard is wireless.

The rest of life outside of writing still has me feeling as if I am running in circles and getting nowhere, especially as it pertains to our housing situation. It seems we still keep hitting brick walls with almost anything we have tried, either financially, or just with finding anything in our price range in general.

I want to be in a place of our own so badly. I don’t think even John understands just how much stress still being here is putting me under. I want a home or apartment of my own so I can at least somewhat have control back over my own life. I don’t want to have to consult anyone about my choices. I am beyond sick and tired of feeling as if I am walking on eggshells trying to appease someone, who seems to live in a way directly opposed to my values just to spite me.

I was an independent and introverted person even before I came here, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. As much as I enjoy the company of people when I want to be around them, I am not a people person by any stretch of the imagination. I want to be around people when I want to be around them, at least outside of close loved ones. Having someone I don’t want to be living with in my face, every day, day in, and day out is a nightmare for me.

Life is stressful enough, and home is supposed to be your shelter from that. What happens when it isn’t? What do you do when home is sometimes feeling like the last place you want you or your family to be?

Just Duckie

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Yesterday we had a little bit of an adventure downtown, taking Thor out shopping, for his birthday presents, which he won’t remember once Thursday rolls around anyway, and to buy him a rubber duckie. Truthfully there was an ulterior motive behind the duckie part, as the giant rubber duckie was in town, and we wanted to take him to see it before it leaves for good tomorrow.

Thor seemed very excited about the duckie, and held it almost all the way down to the park, but eventually we had to rescue it before he accidentally dropped it and put it in a bag under the stroller so it wouldn’t get lost. Yes we are sappy parents when it comes to stuff like this. We bought him a t-shirt, and some stickers to put in his baby book.

I don’t know if Thor will remember anything about that day years from now. I don’t think many people do have many, if any memories at that age. I do hope he will look back on the photos, and his baby book, and know that we did our best to try and give him a fun day, even if it was a little early for his actual birthday.

Things are going a little better here thankfully in some ways, and my stress level has dropped if only a little. There’s been good news and bad news the last couple of weeks. The shutdown ended our chances at getting a mortgage for now, but the good news on that front is, they told us what we need to fix to better our chance when we reapply six months from now.

I’m presently trying to plan my next book for NaNoWriMo in a couple of weeks. Wish me luck I am going to need it.

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