Well, this has been one hell of a week let me tell you. In the last two weeks, our amicable roommate situation turned sour. We were are getting along just fine. Until the mange chihuahua.
Now, anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE DOGS. I love cats, birds, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, pygmy goats, you get the picture. I love animals. The issue was that we were already allergic to the existing chihuahua that lives here, Annie. Annie barks incessantly, all day, every day. it’s something we’ve learned to live with simply because she was here before us. I also have a dog. A miniature dachshund named Lucy. Lucy is wire/long hair. I have to cut her hair regularly. She is, for the most part, hypoallergenic.
The roommate sends us a message one day on our shared group chat explaining that she will be adopting this dog. Another barking chihuahua…
Father’s Day. This day brings up a whole host of emotions.
My parents and I have no relationship. They never took the time to get to know me as a person, after they divorced when I was 12.
My father doesn’t believe I am ill. Instead, he believes I am merely lazy. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not lazy, but I do have physical limitations, that for whatever reason, my father chooses to ignore.
This post is for the man I call my “father”. The man that has bailed on me each and everytime I have needed him.
The man that belittled me so much as a teenager, I tried to take my own life at 18, and have suffered a lifetime of low self esteem, no self worth.
The man that upon walking into his workplace of 10 years for the first time, his co workers didn’t even know he had a daughter. They knew he had a (step) son, but no daughter.
The man that referred to me as “It” growing up.
The man that refused to spend ANY time with me, but took my stepbrother fishing the first opportunity he had, despite me begging my father to take me fishing for a decade.
The man that made me drive myself to the hospital during an asthma attack because he was too busy. Drinking.
The man that made me go for 3 days over Christmas one year unable to breath, eat dinner, didn’t care to open presents. I was told the hospital was closed, and he kept drinking.
The man who has forgotten my birthday on numerous occasions.
The man that treated me more like a burden than family.
The man that used to like to kick me in my butt and genitals when he was mad, after punching holes in my bedroom door.
The man that when I was being physically abused by an ex boyfriend, told me to call the police and wouldn’t come to get me out of there. I was almost choked to death that night.
The man who has sat back and watched me struggle and literally starve while he shops for motorcycles.
The man that upon telling him I had cervical cancer, simply changed the subject to talk about motorcycles.
The man that never grew up, and despite all the help he received from his own parents, never thought to pay that forward to his only biological child.
The man that laughed at me when I told him I wanted to go to University.
The man that has literally hurt me more than anyone on this earth.
The man that for whatever reason, I still adored, despite everything he has said and done to me.
The man who’s last words to me were, “I don’t want to hear about your illness, or see your face.” Because I was unable to keep up on payments on a decade old line of credit he co signed for me. Literally one of the ONLY things he’s ever done for me. The man’s stuff and his motorcycles have always been more important than me.
Today, going through my newsfeed, I see all these awesome dads, and the many good wishes bestowed upon them, and it makes me sad.
I’m glad there are great dads out there, I know they exist, I’ve seen them in action. This just hasn’t been my experience.
I bet if you asked my father about me, he wouldn’t know where to start because he doesn’t know me as a human.
The man I have completely cut ties with to stop the lifelong mental, physical and emotional abuse.
If you are blessed with a great father, hug him extra hard today for me.
Pain changes who you are. It breaks you down into individual little scarred shards of who you once were.
At one time you were active. You have memories of running. You can still hear the sound in your mind of feet hitting the ground. Intense, fast paced, everything’s a blur around you because you’re in that zone of Zen. All that matters is your breathing as you cut the wind in front of you with your face. Ultimate freedom.
You remember these things, both fondly and sadly. You’re not that person anymore. You lie in a limbo of wait.
Waiting for symptoms to subside, waiting for medical treatment, waiting for a moment of normalcy. You wait for people who were once your friends to return a text, much less a phone call. Who has time for that anymore? Waiting for any type of job opportunity that you may be able to physically perform, and then waiting for the recovery after completing any opportunity you have been able to physically perform and complete.
You wait for family to maybe understand that you’re facing a lot of challenges and you need them, but sometimes they simply don’t listen. They don’t ask how you are, if you need help, or food, hell, sometimes they just cut you out completely.
Some people basically go through life without any love or support from family. Lord knows I’ve spent a good chunk of my life waiting for love from my family. It’s grandparents that often step in and show you that unconditional love. God bless the grandparents of this world. The sad part is that we don’t get enough time with them.
So much of your life is spent waiting it becomes the new normal. Waiting to eat because you can’t quite get up and prepare something yet because balance, mobility and dexterity is an issue. Waiting to perform a household chore because pain is a little too intense at the moment. People often confuse waiting with laziness. Huge misconception. Personally, I need breathers in between tasks, that’s just the way it is.
The next element of waiting comes in the form of coming to terms with life with chronic illness and pain. There’s a grieving period for every step. You grieve not being able to do the things you once could. You grieve your old life, job, loss of paychecks, loss of each individual person that you get close to that leaves your life because you’re ill, and let’s face it, not worth the bother.
Not worth a decent job opportunity where you don’t get fired every time you’re in a flare up. That makes you grieve some more .
Pain eventually makes you distance yourself from others. You don’t want to be a bother, a burden, and let’s be honest, most people have their own problems to be bothered dealing with yours. It’s a lonely life.
It’s funny the things you take for granted. A good support system, a good social circle, working, even paying bills. You take for granted having a car, mobility, independence, being able to just get up and go somewhere.
I’ve actually had people say things like, “you’re statuses and blogs are pathetic.” Or “you’re just pity seeking”, like it’s some kind of mortal sin to talk about it. So in addition to pain and loneliness, we’re not even supposed to talk about it, to seek understanding. That’s what we want. Just get it and stop telling me what I can and cannot say because frankly, my voice is all I’ve got left. My voice and some semblance of writing to maybe make it easier for someone else. Someone else who may feel that constant waiting, that grief, that loss, that pain, that loneliness.
This piece is for you.
There are others like us. An entire community of supportive strangers. People who do get it and understand.
Find some groups on Facebook, make some Twitter friends. It helps. If you’re a person of faith, lean into it. Pray often, read your scripture. If you have a different faith, immerse yourself in it. Stay supported. To build a bridge to mental and physical health we need supports. All bridges need support.
I hope today finds you well. Living life with passion, and feeling strong. And if not, that’s ok too. Nobody is 100% strong 100% of the time. I hope you live your life with gratitude for every lovely moment, for every bit of help and support you receive.
It’s hard to not get depressed from time to time living with chronic pain and illness, but just wait a bit more. Wait for that next thing to be grateful for.
I’m in menopause. Full blown menopause. I’m 44 so it’s early onset from a prior medical incident following emergency surgery for Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease that not a lot of people know about or understand but lemme tell you, it affects A LOT of women. Roughly 10-20% of women in North America suffer from Endometriosis which affects everything menstrual cycles, mood swings, pain. So much pain. You see get these cysts that develop from hormone levels; environmental things like the foods we eat, or the chemicals we are exposed to as fetuses and young developing women. These cysts over time multiply and multiply. They sometimes rupture which, depending on the size and location of the cyst can result in not only toxic material flowing in to your body which can cause sepsis. It can result in many emergency room visits, and Ladies, don’t you dare think this isn’t ambulance worthy- it is. It will be the most excruciating thing you will ever experience next to childbirth. Truth, and I don’t have children, but fuck me- that looks mighty painful. These cysts then go on to form colonies of cysts that can fuse your organs together. My ENTIRE endocrine system is fused in these cysts. That means my ovaries, well I only had one partially working one anyway, my bladder, bowel and uterus are fused. I was unable to carry children. I got pregnant once and I had miscarriage. After an emergency surgery, as my body was in sepsis I was placed on a drug called Lupron which medically induced menopause. After that, I was prescribed Depo Provera for 6 months before getting the Mirena IUD which completely stopped my periods for 7 years. I started experiencing the premenopausal symptoms around age 39 then full blown Menopause this year. It’s been well over a year and a half since my last period.
I don’t have anyone to talk about this with. I mean, you don’t talk about menopause, it’s something old ladies get. Right? So we often suffer in silence with all these symptoms because, it’s embarassing. Why? I’m not sure. I don’t have a mom or a step mom to talk to, and I seem to be the first one of my friends going through this, that I know of anyway. While I am recovering from pneumonia (I’m so hopped up on meds and this relentless cough) I decided to write a blog post about this.
First thing you need to understand ladies: You’re NOT GOING CRAZY. It’s a fact of life and the end of a natural cycle in a woman’s life. Some of us will have it sooner than later, some of us will have it harder than others. It’s not gross. Periods were gross. I won’t get in to the gory details, men can’t handle this talk, and it’s my hope a few men will read this so they can understand their partners a little better.
Your hormones are battling it out for sheer dominance at every given moment of the day. Your emotions will become hijacked, your mind will race with thoughts of anger, frustration, sadness, hunger, remorse, guilt, fatigue. This can take place over the course of an hour. It’s kind of like developing Borderline Personality Disorder.
My food tastes have changed dramatically. I don’t crave the sugar and the salt like I once did. Because of other health issues, immune system disorders, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Fibromyalgia & Osteoarthritis) I eat a fairly clean diet. I reduced my animal proteins and increased plant proteins, I avoid gluten and dairy as much as I can. I eat as organic as I can, I don’t consume alcohol* so this combined with fairly regular low impact exercise I have kept my weight down but it’s not uncommon that women gain weight during this time.
The Crying. Oh God, the crying. Unless you’re a stern, or staunch woman, you will experience bouts of tears that appear out of nowhere. You will cry from anything ranging to past memories, to things you are grateful for. My friend bought me a book that I wanted – BOOM- crying. Someone letting you cut in a line when you’re in a hurry- BOOM- crying. An elderly person wins the big prize on The Price is Right- BOOM-crying. So help you God if they win BOTH showcases! It’s an emotional roller coaster. I recommend maybe a COSTCO membership just to save on Kleenex and chocolate.
WHY AM I ON FIRE? Is this what spontaneous human combustion feels like? I think this is what spontaneous human combustion feels like. I NEED TO GET THIS BLOODY SHIRT OFF!!!! All that needed to be bolded because this is how it will go through your mind when a hot flash kicks in. BUY HANDHELD FANS IN BULK. Those bitches break. Mine just broke this past week and I tell you what.. scream .. I need that fucking thing and they are APPARENTLY fucking seasonal so you can’t find one goddamn hand held and/or power fan in this Godless city. Sorry for the cursing. THAT’S gonna happen a lot more too. Thanks to the rage of a hundred angry, hungry, fighting dogs that has now set up pit in your head, frequent shows, all access, anyone can view for free! Be sure to include children because Lord are they little shits now. It’s not their fault. I blame the internet and handheld devices. It’s commercialism’s fault. They’ve fried your brain a bit as a parent and as developing youth because…. what’s on Facebook/Pinterest/ Twitter/YouTube/Netflix……?” It’s not your fault, society has changed us for the worse. We’re all just slightly bigger dicks for it.
Hot flashes will begin in your chest area and sweep up your neck and face until, unless you have a fan, you will literally pour water from your body. You’ll sweat more. It’s gross. I can’t often wear make up because of it. What’s the point without a fan your make up is no match for a hot flash. Oooh! Cosmetic companies: Create makeup for hot flash women. Wait, it would probably include some carcinogen and cause cancer. Fuck. Scrap that. Wear light layers and go with my bulk handheld fan recommendation. Get a small power fan and keep one next to where you sit in the daytime, in the evening time, and next to your bed. Drink LOTS of water. If you don’t you’ll get A LOT of headaches. It’s because of the hot flashes and all the sweating. A good way to tell if you’re dehydrated is the color of your pee. The darker it is, the more water you should pound. It should increasingly get lighter then clear. If it doesn’t, you may have an infection. (bladder, urinary tract, kidney) Go see a doctor for God sake what’s wrong with you?
There are some natural things out there you can take in supplement form you can find at any pharmacy or nutrition store. Black Cohosh, flax seed, Calcium, Vitamin D, Wild Yam, Ginseng, DHEA, Dong Quai, Soy (if you’re not allergic of course) Currently I have no access to these right now so I’m going on nothing.
You’ll want to keep a towel nearby to cover up the sopping wet mess you will constantly leave on your sheets and pillow cases. Trust me, lay that towel down on the wet spot and go to sleep because Girl, you’re tired and you a’int got time to wash sheets in the middle of the damn night what are you doing?? You’re just gonna be in the same boat tomorrow. But you will need to frequent up your sheet changing regime. Keep a change of clothes nearby and change them if you are wet, I think this could be why I got pneumonia.
It’s like going through puberty all over again I’ve noticed my anxiety has kicked up several notches. You’ll probably experience bouts of insomnia simply because you can’t shut your brain off. I also went through some adult acne. I think my voice is even deeper than it was. Keep to a healthy diet and exercise the way you want to, it can help and it’s just common sense. You may get some unexpected unflattering hair growth as well. Tweezers and good depilatory creams will become a must.
Your chances of having a child, or another child is done now. You may need to process this. Cry it out, that is how you process things. You have to allow yourself to feel things in order to move past it. This is true with any traumatic event we encounter. Think about it, cry about it, pray about it, have some inner dialogue about it, eat some dairy free ice cream and you’ll probably move on and feel better.
Your sex drive will probably decrease Our bodies use sex to procreate mainly so once the need to procreate ends you will probably feel the urge a little less. You may have to put in a little more effort with your partner during this time. That effort would include finding things to stimulate your desires, discussing things with them so they don’t think it’s them, which can leave them feeling a little neglected. We should always show love to our partners- when they deserve it. Those assholes.
You should experience some emotional growth as well as some confidence during this time With maturity comes an understanding that shit just is what it is. You can’t control or change everything. You are not Superwoman. You are not a unique snowflake. You don’t have to have the body of a 25 year old because, Surprise Bitch! You’re NOT 25. I for example, am just a broad. Just a broad getting through day by day through the Grace of God.
It’s not all bad. It can be pretty freeing to not give a fuck anymore.
I really hope this post has prepared you a little bit. Maybe you’ll learn what to expect and can prepare. Share this with your lady friends, share this with partners. Because Menopause is a family event. It will affect your loved ones, your friends, your work, your energy levels and it IS a big deal because of all these things.. I often wonder, if men experienced menopause would there be paid leaves and loads of information out there for them. Possibly a national holiday in honor of it. National Men’s Awareness Month. They can have March, no one likes March. Look how much research has gone into extending erections.
Why can’t we just talk about it?
*update: (June 2019) I have begun drinking again. Because fuck menopause, and a little alcohol seems to help with the hot flashes.
First, let me start off noting how much of a terrible blogger I am. Since February, wifey and I have been doing a Monday to Friday live radio show on Higher Living Wellness Radio, an internet radio station. I also write a blog for them. It surrounds medical cannabis, cannabis news and reviews from a Canadian perspective. We also play music to medicate by. A lot of harder rock, alternative and metal. That keeps me pretty busy. After the show, I’m usually over stimulated from constant web surfing, tweeting and interacting on several social media platforms all whilst listening to metal music. This has resulted in my reluctant absence from my blog. I mean, I want to blog. I’m just too damn tired. One thing I do often have energy for is reading random web comments on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit posts. I’m a bit of a lurker. If you ever want a snapshot of a microcosm that amplifies ALL that is wrong in our society, read some internet comments, but not for TOO long, as you will quickly lose all faith in humanity leading you to the conclusion that we are all doomed as humans. People are rude. Not just rude, but outright savages with one another. It’s amazing how people seem to feel free and entitled to unleash the most obscene, vulgar, hatred upon another person. It pops up in the most unexpected places too. For example, today, I was scrolling through my news feed when I saw a post on one of the (far too) many dachshund groups I belong to. Someone needed help to pay for an expensive surgery for their dog and right away someone felt the need to judge this person for paying a lot of money to save her companion. First of all, most people think of their dogs as family, many people only have their dogs and no one else, and if something happens to your family- you take care of it. Is it a lot of money? Yes? But who am I to judge? I’d do it too if my Lucy got sick and I was able to raise the funds to make her better. This simple post turned into a hate fest, begun by one person. Things often escalate quickly in the comments section of an internet post. It can go from “Stuff it” to “I will peel the skin from your face and turn it in to a soup to feed you with” in literally seconds. The problem with spending too much time reading comments is that it ultimately leads you to the temptation to participate in the discussion. “Well, I don’t like THAT, here’s MY opinion.” Why do we feel the need to do this? Who does it serve really? Yeah, you might get off some quick witted zingers to your satisfaction but who cares? Why contribute? When I saw all the strife this post caused I eventually DID comment. I commented with the fact that statements like this individual’s are meant to incite anger to create fights online. Some people have very little in their lives, some people can’t process things, some people are just having a bad day and some people are just plain mentally ill. You can’t reason with these people. The best thing to do is ignore responses like that. Don’t give that person any attention, after all, this is what they seek so denying them the satisfaction is like snuffing out a candle. It can stop there if you want it to. Just don’t engage. The original poster of the offensive statement attempted to initiate an argument with me. I responded with a simple, “Nope- not engaging, sorry- have a nice day” with a big smiley face. There is so much wrong with our world I can’t even begin to write about it, but the thing I see most frequently, is how terrible we treat one another. How quickly we can verbally assault or attack someone online from the comforts of our home and the protective barrier of a computer screen. It’s disparaging. The lack of respect we show to other human beings is overwhelming at times. Where do comments like this come from? One word. Pride. People have over inflated senses of who they are now with the popularity of social media. Everything is about ego and making one’s self appear “better” than what one truly is. We need to step back and take a lesson in humility. Learn to be humble. Resist taking part in these types of negative engagements online because it only spreads negativity. Why let some random person you’ll never meet have the power to sour YOUR day? Exercise restraint, scroll past and move on. I feel like we all need to start BEING the changes we want to see in our world.
What does the Bible say about pride and humility?
Jeremiah 9:23 This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves
Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Proverbs 21:24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name— behaves with insolent fury.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up
Be better than the comments you read. Be that change.
I met Jane online. She wanted to remain anonymous.
Jane was in high school when she first experimented with cannabis, hallucinogens, pills and cocaine. She admits that when she was in elementary school she looked forward to doing the very drugs she was warned about in her fifth grade DARE class.
“I think I already had it in me” when she talks about engaging in risky behavior as a teen. After high school she moved on to using MDMA and used it heavily for several months. She then enjoyed a brief period of sobriety from hard drugs. Cannabis remained a constant.
At 21, Jane broke up with her boyfriend and moved back home. Her mother had been diagnosed with MS, leaving Jane with ready access to Fentanyl patches and Oxycontin of varying strengths.
“This is how I got hooked on opiates. I was looking in the medicine…
Jeff had a major skiing accident. An avid skier and mountain biker, Jeff took on Red Ski Mountain, BC whenever he had the chance. In April 2000 he had a bad accident. During his fall, his belt buckle wedged in to his ribs essentially pushing them in. Doctors said they had pushed ribs back into place before but had never pulled them out. So, they left it. He also found out he had bruising around his heart. He complained to doctors about the constant pain in his ribs. They eventually healed but not properly.
Taking months to heal, Jeff got back on his mountain bike and then his skis. In 2003 he had another skiing accident. “When my ribs healed all crooked, it ended up throwing my lower back out.” Jeff’s medical report indicates 2 spinal injuries.
Five years ago, Roger had to leave his job as an inter provincial auto technician. His hip was giving out and causing him a great deal of pain. He had an unsuccessful hip surgery on one side and it impacted the other side from compensating for the weaker hip. He had to wait 3 1/2 years for surgery. Residing in New Brunswick, doctor wait lists and surgical wait times can be lengthy as is often the case in Eastern Canada.
July 2016, Roger had been involved in a dog attack resulting in severe right shoulder damage and nerve damage in his neck. He is currently waiting on MRI results.
Prior to that, Roger had been involved in a motocross racing accident as a teenager that ended up crushing the bottom vertebrae in his lower spine. Doctors told him that he could expect to be in a wheelchair by age…
Rick, originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the father of Jessica. He worked various jobs but the last 10 years, he worked in addictions recovery programs and various homelessness projects. July of 2014, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He underwent 25 radiation therapy treatments and 5 rounds of chemotherapy before the doctors were satisfied the tumor had shrunk.
He underwent 2 subsequent surgeries after that in November 2014 and January 2015 before doctors seemed confident they had gotten all the cancerous tissue out. The surgical process for treating esophageal cancer can involve removing a section of your esophagus, the upper portion of your stomach as well as the lymph nodes. The remaining esophagus is then reattached to the remaining stomach. Doctors had to open up his rib cage and make an 8 inch incision on his right side. After his surgeries, Rick found himself in miserable pain. So bad…
Three years ago, Jessica started to not feel well. She was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain and nausea. A tumor had formed in her small intestine. It took a while to diagnose and find as tumors rarely grow in the small intestine being that’s it’s predominantly cartilage and it requires Endoscopic ultrasounds and scopes to detect. The symptoms it causes includes weight loss, bleeding if it becomes ulcerated, nausea and possible bowel obstruction. It took four scopes and surgery and 8 months to locate the tumor and remove it.
During her ordeal, Jessica was finding herself full of anxiety and was subsequently diagnosed with depression and Fibromyalgia. Anti depressants and Ativan were added to her already existing regimen of Morphine and Tramacet (an opioid analgesic combining acetaminophen and Tramadol) prescriptions.
One of the many negative side effects of opiates is stomach and bowel issues. Jessica was finding herself in…