Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tired.

I am tired. I am tired of drama. I am tired of Facebook. I am tired of misunderstandings. I am tired of rude people. I am tired of people throwing me away as if I were a piece of trash. I am tired of words getting interpreted wrong. I am tired of assumptions. I am tired of lies. I am tired of always staying strong. I am tired of people not taking responsibility for their actions. I am tired of childlike behavior. I am tired of feeling sick. I am tired of waiting for hope that I will feel healthy once again. I am tired of homework. I am tired of not being able to express myself freely without someone having a problem with it. I am tired of rude drivers. I am tired of not getting enough sleep. I am tired of anxiety. I am tired of always having to make contact first with loved ones. I am tired of excuses. I am tired of not being able to have a date night with my husband. I am tired of the silent treatment. I am tired of taking meds. I am tired about not being able to enjoy food. I am tired of having to explain my faith. I am tired of judgement. In general I am just plain tired.



Another update.

Hello to all of my blog readers (all 10 of you)! Ha ha!!  I thought I would write another update since I suck at this blogging thing and can't find the time to actually blog on a regular basis.
What an interesting year it's been so far.  Only four months into the year and already a lot has happened and changed.

First off, I am happy to say that I am almost done with another semester of school and I made the Honor's program and Phi Theta Kappa.  I didn't know I was such a nerd. Honestly, I am determined now to maintain my 3.9 GPA.  I am taking a much needed break during the summer off from school and will start back up in Fall.  My kids and my husband miss me and it's really hard trying to juggle full time classes with everything else.


The most exciting news I have to share is that we are buying a house!  We have spent the past five years making sure that our credit is perfect and saving so we can buy again.  The housing crash hit so many people and affected so many lives.  I am happy to say that even at our worst when we had to foreclose on our home, had no jobs, and didn't know what our future held, that we kept our faith.  I think things work out for a reason, even if during the crappy times in your life, you ask yourself "why me?"

We went back and forth on where to buy.  We thought about buying over by Matt's work since his office moved but we were not sure we wanted to buy an older block home and take over projects that may have came along with owning an older home.  We then focused our search in Buckeye, mainly in Verrado.  We know the schools are good out there and we liked the feel of the community, but at the end of the day, with the high HOA, private water, and commute it just didn't seem to make sense to buy in Verrado.  We also didn't really want to lose Kyle's school.  One day driving back home from Verrado, we drive into our community and see a Open House sign and decide, why not go check it out for kicks.  We stumbled upon a 2200 square foot home on the golf course of our community.  Split floor plan with 4 beds, 2 bath, and a living and family room.  We instantly loved it.  The home is owned by a corporation and has new flooring, paint, and windows.  It turned out to all work out, we got a great price and the seller is even paying all closing costs.  Nothing detrimental was found on the inspection report and after the appraisal we are going into a home with $7k equity.  We eventually want to rip out the carpet and put in wood flooring and we are even thinking about putting in a spa.  Oh and we may be living without some furniture in the front room for awhile since we don't currently have enough furniture to fill the house.  The kitchen may need an overhaul eventually too.  But it's such a great home!  Great price, in our same neighborhood and we can keep the kids at Legacy!

So I am going on my 5th month of Humira.  I am definitely 75% better than I was last year.  BUT, I still have this feeling like I'm pumping crap into my body that suppresses my immune system and I should be at least 90% better.  Still dealing with a small flare after three years is mentally and physically draining on the body.  It's better than nothing and I am glad that I seem to feel more normal but it's not a cure and I'm still dealing with issues.  I am going to a new GI doctor and seeing what else I can do to help try to maintain remission.  Right now I am looking into alternative ways to treat my disease.  I am still fighting to keep my colon and avoid surgery.





The kiddos are doing great. We are still in the process of potty training Hailey.  That has not been fun.  She will go when SHE wants to go but if I insist on her going it just turns into a battle and frankly I have learned to pick my battles.  Other than potty training, Hailey is awesome and is a very smart little cookie!  Kyle just turned 8 years old last Saturday.  How did 8 years go by so fast?  Oh my goodness.  Kyle is just as sweet as ever, but he's starting to really ask questions about life and death and I am preparing myself to tackle all of these questions.   My kids give me strength when I need it and they love me unconditionally even when I feel like I've failed as a mom.  There truly is a special bond between a mother and child.  Love them little boogers!
Kyle's Birthday Party



Matt is still doing good. He's working so much that I don't get to see him a lot and when he is home at night, I am doing homework.  We definitely need a night out just the two of us.  It has been 6 months since our last date night.  Boo!  We will also be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this year.  I can't believe 10 years flew by that fast.  I can't convince him to go out of town for our anniversary so we may just be booking a hotel stay in town.  As long as we are together, it doesn't matter where we are at.

I suffered with some depression at the beginning of the year.  That was not fun.  I am new to the whole depression thing.  It wasn't really becoming and I didn't like it.  I ended up getting into a fight with one of my close friends that ended with me being unfriended from her on Facebook and basically there has been no communication between us since late January.  I don't want to use depression as an excuse as to why we got into a disagreement, fight, whatever you want to call it, but I think when we experience things in our life such as depression we are not the best versions of ourselves and we don't mean to push people away but it happens.  My only wish is that we could have talked through it all in person and not through email because words often get taken in a different context than what you mean and there is no eye contact.  It is also so impersonal and I think things could have turned out differently if we were able to hash it out and been more willing to understand where each of us was coming from.  It is what it is I guess.  Friendships do go through ups and downs  and I guess if a person really means a lot to you then you work it out.  I am not one to just give up on people but I also can't expect people to feel the same way I do.





Life has a way of bringing people into your life for many different reasons. I also feel this way when people leave your life.  There is always a lesson to be learned.  I have been really focused on my own family unit lately.  I get comfort and love from my family and that warms me.  I am also realizing that a small handful of friends is better than a large amount of friends.  I want people in my life who realize that I won't always be the best version of myself and that can forgive me when I do falter.  True friendships tend to reveal themselves.  I feel blessed with a handful of some really awesome friendships that I believe are God inspired.  To any of my friends that I may have let down, I am sorry.  It's been a busy start of the year and I know I have probably irritated a few people in my life.  I hope to be able to plan some more nights with my close friends instead of only seeing them once or twice a year.  That is something I am definitely working on.

I have a couple of family members and some friends that are going through some hard times right now.  I want them all to know that I have them in my thoughts and prayers.  I love them bunches and I hope they can find strength right now.  That's my update for now.  Until next time...









Monday, January 20, 2014

3 weeks into 2014...

So it's three weeks into 2014 and I wouldn't say anything has really changed.  As most of you know, I don't do new year's resolutions.  I just try to be a better version of myself from day to day.


My UC is still being a pain in my ass (no pun intended).  Because of this long three year battle, I've slowly developed anxiety and a little bit of depression.  Oh joy of joys.  I'm trying my best to keep a positive frame of mind and to not focus on the negatives in life.  My body hurts everyday and I finally had to cave in and start taking Prednisone again.  Not one of my finest moments caving in to that nasty drug, but it's the only thing that allows me to function halfway normally and allows me to get out of my house without worrying.

I also had a bunch of blood work done.  Come to find out that my triglycerides are high and my iron is really low.  So basically I have to take meds now for my triglycerides and iron supplements so I can avoid iron injections.  I'm also still taking Humira injections bi-weekly but that may change to weekly doses.

Other than the UC battle, I started school again. I'm super happy to be working my mind.  Feels good to be productive and to learn.  I love learning.  I'm back to being busy again with school work.  I work a little on it every night and then most weekends.  Luckily my first two classes are only 11 weeks long so I'll be done with them in March.  I am happy about the accelerated classes but it does come with a lot of weekly work.

I also turned 37.  Really?  Where did the time go?  Most days my body feels like I'm 37 (or heck, sometimes 67) but mentally I don't feel like I'm a day older than 27.  It was a very low key birthday.  Honestly, I didn't do a damn thing.  Went to lunch.  That's about it.  Sat at home in my pajamas.  Didn't even get any birthday gifts except for a card and some money from my parents.  My bday gift from Matt and the kids was "pick something out that you want."  I still haven't done that yet. I should get on that!  LOL!

My 37 year old self

The kiddos are doing great.  Little boogers keep me busy and on my toes but I wouldn't trade them for anything.  I haven't been very social lately.  So I'm telling all of my friends and family that if you want to know what's going on with me, then you need to contact me.  Fighting a small depression doesn't make me want to be very social and really I've been kinda self absorbed in my own self pity on some days.  Ha ha ha!  I just have to laugh because it's really kind of silly.

I have some things to clarify.  Some people have suggested I need to control my stress and I'll feel better.  Yes, I know this. However, I am not super stressed.  Just discouraged about my state of health.  After three years, it can wear even the strongest person down.  That does not make me weak!  That makes me human. And I'm praying every night to be strong and to continue to fight.

I have also been observed as being June Cleaver living in a happy little world where I am kind of a nerd.  And I'm okay with that.  I don't believe that is really me, but so be it if you think it.



And I'm not boring or don't know how to have fun because I don't drink.  Here is the reality.  Alcohol is not good for me since I am on immune suppressants. Those already compromise my system, so if I can save my liver a little bit, then I will cut out alcohol if I need to.  Between the Humira and the numerous meds I am on, why would I risk it?  So don't make fun of me if I don't drink and stay off my ass about it.


I have also tried every diet, meditation, and other numerous methods out there to help with my UC.  I don't need anymore advice and I really don't mean that to sound bitchy, but I know my body.  The second pregnancy really messed things up for me and I'm still recovering.  It is an auto immune disease which basically means my body is attacking itself.  Sure stress and food can trigger or make symptoms worse, but if I'm magically happy and stress free that doesn't guarantee instant relief and a cure from my disease.  I am just glad that for now I still seem to be able to save my colon from being ripped out.

I am a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, a friend.  I am a mother, a wife, and a student.  I am a young girl and a grown woman.  I am confident and scared.  Terrified and excited.  I am loving and caring.  Thoughtful and hopeful.  I am sick and tired.  I am shy and friendly.  Careful and careless.  I am hardworking and determined.  I am broken and whole. I am misunderstood, misguided, and mislead.  I am a little scared on the inside.  I wish on stars and dream my dreams.  I pray to God and cry my tears.  I smile on the outside even on the days when I feel I'm dying on the inside. I listen to others who don't listen to me.  I walk on eggshells sometimes and I also walk on fire.  I believe in passion and I strive for happiness and harmony in my life.







Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013


Happy Thanksgiving Family and Friends :)


Today I am thankful for many things and it is my goal to keep remembering all of these things I am thankful for throughout the year, especially on the days where I need the refresher :)

I am thankful for my husband.  He is my better half and he keeps me grounded when I am almost at my breaking point.  He reassures me that I am winning, on the days where I feel like I've failed.  He keeps me from giving up when I feel stressed.  He works his butt off for our family and hardly ever complains.  He has a drive that is unstoppable in most anything he does which is admirable.  He loves me at my best and at my worst and he encourages me not to give up and cave into surgery on my most awful days dealing with my auto immune disease.


I am thankful for my children. My two beautiful children that light up my world.  They keep me on my toes and keep me very busy but the love they give me is such a blessing that I couldn't ask for anything more.  I am thankful that I was able to have both of them because with my disease it was hard for me to get pregnant with both but I was blessed with two healthy pregnancies.  I am thankful that they are both happy and healthy.  Hailey is head strong, has an opinion of her own on most things, is super smart, loves everything girly, has a vocabulary of a kindergartener, and amazes me everyday.  Kyle is confident, has a gentle spirit, is competitive but not in an arrogant way, has his mom's love of music, is smart, and is cooler than I ever imagined he would be.


I am thankful for my parents.  They are always by my side without question.  They may have opinions of their own, but they never turn their backs on me even if they disagree with me.  They are wonderful grandparents and they are important figures in my children's lives.  I understand now being a mom, how hard it is to be a parent and so my respect for them has definitely increased.

I am thankful for my brother.  He know's me and just "gets" me when sometimes other people don't.  We have a lot in common and it's nice to chat weekly and talk about life, current events, our OCD (ha ha), and anything else that is on our minds.  He is also a great uncle!

I am thankful for my friends.  I honestly have the best friends.  Even if I don't see them all the time, I know that they are always there for me.  I haven't been the most social friend this year and haven't had time to really stay in touch with them besides text, email, and Facebook, but I know they know I love them to death and if they needed anything at all, I would be there.  Throughout the years I've started to put more emphasis on "real" friendships instead of the quantity of friends and I'm blessed for those "real" friends who feel like my family.




I am thankful for my health.  Yes, I said health.  Besides my battle with UC, I am pretty healthy overall.    I am thankful that my UC isn't as bad as others I know that suffer with IBD.  I am thankful that I have medicine to help control my symptoms.  It may not work perfectly and I may have bad days, but I am thankful that I at least have options.  I am thankful that I have still been able to avoid surgery.  I know my chances of cancer have increased not only because of my UC, but because of my pre-cancerous polyps, however I'm hopeful for new ways to treat IBD.

I am thankful for the roof over my head.  Many people don't have the luxury of a nice house.  Matt and I have been so obsessed with trying to find a home to buy that I think we've forgot that home is where your family is.

I am thankful for the food I have to eat, the clothes on my back, and the car I have to drive.  I am rich not by the material items I have, but by the family and friends I have around me.


I hope everyone has a blessed Holiday Season!



Friday, November 8, 2013

Update on what seems like forever since I last posted.  I know, I know...I am a horrible blogger.  I just can't seem to find the time to fit in daily blog posts.  Let's see, where do I even begin?

I guess I will break it out into topics.

My battle with UC:
So I had another yearly exam.  I hate those.  Got the scare of my life when during the procedure, my doctor had to call in another colleague for advice.  My doctor was in the process of trying to remove a polyp but was afraid that if he removed it completely that it would cause bleeding and that wasn't a good thing.  When the other doctor walked in and looked at the screen, he said aloud "She needs a total colectomy."  I was in tears.  Those are not the words you ever want to hear.  Luckily, the polyps that were removed and biopsied were of the non precancerous kind.  However it still left me with two choices, go on biologicals or surgery.  My doctor is an advocate for surgery, he's like "it's totally fine, they will remove your colon, you'll get a temporary bag and then go back in for a reversal and you'll be able to go normally again, just more frequent."  Yes doctor, that sounds so easy and lovely.  Thank you but I want to hold onto my colon for awhile.  The ugly truth with auto immune diseases, like ulcerative colitis, is that they don't know why our bodies are attacking themselves and so when all options run out, they just resort to ripping body parts out.  That isn't a cure.  And if I ever have to go that route (Please God don't ever let that happen), then I will just have a new set of issues.  We need more research and treatments, or even a cure.
So, I had to bite the bullet and start Humira.  Don't look at the side effects if you don't want to be completely freaked out.  I've only been on it for a month, my next shot is tomorrow.  I don't see many improvements yet, but they say it can take up to 12 weeks or longer just to start noticing a difference.  Humira is an immune suppressant.  Basically an immunosuppressant weakens the immune system hoping to decrease the inflammation of the bad organs.  It also means that my body becomes less resistant to infection and any infections that develop will be more difficult to treat.  It's kinda like Russian Roulette.  I can't look at the negative because I already have a lot of negative with the disease itself.  I don't have a normal immune system.  And please for the love of all that is holy, no special diet or homeopathic remedy is going to "cure" me.  End.Of.Story.  I'm still on prednisone, the worst drug ever.  I have weight gain because of it and it doesn't matter if I don't eat, I still can't lose the damn weight.  I also have a pretty nifty moon face that makes me look like I have five double chins.  That's pretty cool.  And my mood swings are also pretty impressive.  Living the dream people...living the dream.  I have my good and bad days. I miss what feeling "normal" is like.  I hate waking up in the morning wondering if I'm going to be in pain.  I hate trying to figure out what kinds of foods will be okay to eat.  I've tried the SCD diet, a Paleo diet, cutting out carbs and sugars and all processed foods and for the most part I feel better, but none of those have taken away my inflammation.  So I have a food journal and I keep track of what are "trigger" foods and try to avoid them.  There are days though where I can eat nice steamed veggies like a good girl and the next day I will be in horrible pain.  That is when I get to thinking "what the hell?"  So I will eat bread or potatoes and the next day I feel great...even though some people say those are the worse foods to consume.  Whatever.  I know my body and what works and doesn't work.  We are all unique and we all respond differently to food, stress, meds, etc...
For now, I am going to rely on the Humira, hope that it works and that I can eventually join the "it's been a miracle drug for me"club!  I will continue to watch what I eat, take my vitamins, probiotics, reduce and keep my stress levels down and pray that God will save me from resorting to surgery.  I pray everyday and have come to the realization that God must think I am pretty bad ass because I feel like I am a warrior with some of my life struggles that I have had to either overcome or learn to live with.
I'm documenting my fat moon prednisone face :)


School:
I am back in school. Again.  Yes people who know me, I am a lifer.  HA! I'm in my second semester.  This Fall semester has kicked my ass. I got a little ego when I passed my last semester with almost a 4.0 GPA so I thought I would be able to handle a full class schedule.  I'm a stay at home mom, how hard can it be?  WOW!  I need to realize that being a stay at home mom is a 24 hr, 7 day a week, 365 days a year job.  I don't have breaks, a lunch hour, or even a commute.  And I have an almost three year old little girl who is extremely active and stopped taking naps.  This means most of my homework has to be done either after the kids are in bed or very early in the morning.  I have three classes right now and they say to average 12 hours a week per class.  There is no way I have 36 hours a week to devote to classwork.  Needless to say, it's taken it's toll.  I am maintaining an A in two classes and a B in another. I am okay with this B considering at the beginning of the semester when I wanted to drop the class I was at a D.  Next semester I am taking two classes.  That I can handle.  I've been giving up nights with Matt.  I feel like we never really see each other.  And of course the kids are feeling the effects too.  Hailey will pretend sometimes she is doing homework by getting on the computer and saying "mommy hold on a minute I have some homework to do."  Kyle asks me daily, "mom, do you have a break from school today?"  I try to explain to them that it's a small sacrifice and that it's only temporary and will be great for me and for our family in the long run.  I had to also switch my major.  It was a total bummer and I had a good cry but I think it is for the best.  When I first started my major was Elementary Education with a minor in Special Ed.  Then I found out that I would have to be on biologicals the rest of my life.  Having a weakened immune system and teaching a class of 30 kids who may have many different viruses from time to time is not a good situation to be in.  So I honestly wasn't indecisive this time.  I switched to Family and Human Development.  I may be working as a counselor for a retirement home, a substance abuse center, a domestic violence shelter, possibly a case manager for CPS.  I don't know where this degree will take me, but I feel good about it and I'm confident.  I think I was born to help people and I know I will.

Kids:
My kids are awesome!  They won't stop growing though :)  Hailey is almost three (how did that happen?) going on 13.  She has a huge personality and she is super duper smart.  I mean really smart and her vocabulary is amazing.  She is a ton of fun, but she is definitely feisty and can hold her own.  Our next big step is potty training.  She currently doesn't tell me when she needs to go so that is making it difficult.  However, she is not 3 yet, so we still have some time.  Kyle is in 2nd grade.  I can't even believe that.  He is doing great and has already made honor roll twice.  He is reading a lot better this year and his spelling has improved immensely from last year.  He is changing too.  He is becoming more of a leader. He just had his first speaking part in his 2nd grade choral concert last night.  He was one of only 14 kids who were picked out of about 120 students to have solo parts. I am very proud of him.  They both keep me on my toes and they are pretty hands on which can get stressful but I keep telling myself that there will be days ahead where I will wish they wanted to be around me all the time.





Matt and marriage life:
Hubby is good.  He got a huge raise at his job!  I'm so proud of him and I am so grateful for his hard work that allows me to stay home and be with the kids and go to school.  We have ups and downs and sometimes he is a real pain in the ass but I am sure I can be annoying too.  For the most part, he seems content but from time to time I know that he stresses from being the main financial provider.  He puts on a good front but I don't feel totally convinced that he is absolutely 100% content with everything.  I find that is probably pretty normal with married couples who have a lot on their plate and two young kids.  Our lives seem to revolve around the kids and we need breaks together every now and then to just be a couple.  Nobody wants to feel like their relationship is more like a roommate situation.  Thankfully, we've been able to have some mini stay-cations which have been wonderful.  A big high five goes to my mom and dad for watching the kiddos so we were able to do these overnight getaways.  Those allowed us to unwind and regroup.  Hopefully we will be able to have one more before the year is over :)

Friends:
I miss my friends.  I haven't had a lot of time this year to see hardly anyone.  It's kinda sucked actually.  I think I've only seen about 6 friends this year and have only gone out maybe 3 times. (yes, you read that right, only three).  That's about once every four months :(  Trying to plan get togethers have been rough because it seems like everyone has a different schedule.  I've also had so much school work that most of my weekends are dedicated to doing the work I can't get done during the week.  I probably haven't been the best friend lately either and that makes me sad, but I try my best and hope that my friends understand.  Between school and my issues with UC it's just hard to plan anything.  Thank goodness for my annual cookie exchange. I think if I didn't have my party every year, I don't know if I would see anyone or vice versa.  I wasn't going to have my cookie exchange this year but knew it would feel like something was missing.  I have about a month to plan it.  I haven't obsessed about it at all this year, which is very abnormal for me. Usually I am either bugging my parents, Matt, or my friends about what I should do for food, games, etc.  And I am sure they are all secretly thankful. HA!  But this year, I just haven't had the time to stress about it.  That is a good thing.  I know for sure I am having lots of stuffed olives, cocktail meatballs, fruit dip, a buffalo chicken dip, and I'm still undecided on the rest.  I'm so excited to see everyone!  I want to make sure next year I make more of an effort to keep in touch with my close friends.  Thank goodness for Facebook.  As much as I loathe social media sometimes, at least I know what's going on with people through Facebook, and that just sounds pretty pathetic.  Have we really become a society where friendships are internet based instead of real life based?  I wonder sometimes.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...they all make it too easy for people to disconnect from face to face interactions and rely solely on staying in touch via social media.





What else?  Oh, the house situation.  Matt and I have been plagued with trying to figure out if we should buy a new home next year or continue to rent again for another couple of years until Hailey is in school and I'm back working.  The market just seems a little iffy right now and we're not sure if buying next year is the right thing to do, plus we really don't want to settle on a home just because we can buy. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you should.  We really miss owning because let's face it, renting can be a bitch sometimes, but our landlord loves us (we take good care of his home) and we've been here going on almost five years.  We also can't decide what part of town to buy in.  So, we're probably going to stay put for another year or two.  I feel like I'm trapped lately inside and I'm getting cabin fever.  I'm really ready for this semester to be over and get about a month break before classes start up again.  I'm ready for some "me" time. I don't really get any of that.  I miss my friends.  I feel stressed frequently, but I think overall I keep things in check.  Thanks for reading and I hope I've caught everyone up :)