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…
Bzzzzzzzz the anxiety is high today. Bzzzzzzz It rings in my ears, vibrates through my bones, reverberates through my skin and echoes through my lungs as my chest tightens in around itself like a nervous armadillo. Bzzzzzz my eyes lose focus and my train of thought ceases. Bzzzzzzz I forget how to breath and here comes the tears. It’s getting dark. It’s a panic attack.
This is how I started my morning. The last few days I’ve been physically and mentally exhausted. I’m wide awake all night long and unable to fall asleep until almost lunchtime. I get a few hours of snooze and then I’m up again. Not quite awake but not asleep, I’ve been drifting through the last few days like a ghost.
I’ve had a lot of pain in my wrist/arm which I am now convinced is broken but I loathe hospitals and rarely have a drive so I haven’t gone and gotten it checked out. What the hell am I gonna do with a cast on my arm? I got shit to do. I usually have to feel like I’m physically dying to justify going to the Emergency room. With all the pain in my wrist, back and neck, the only way I’m comfortable is lying down. I’ve gotten nothing done around the house, I haven’t blogged or been on Social Media, other than brief lurking and Gif viewing.
I’m just tired.
Tomorrow, we travel home to Nova Scotia for Christmas. We have to take the ferry. It wouldn’t be as bad if we had a car but lugging all our suitcases and my little dog and standing outside in the weather until boarding time then all the walking you have to do once you board just kills my body. I have to drop my dog off at the kennels and then go up stairs to find a place to perch. It’s the holidays so I’m guessing the boat will be packed with people. Ugh. It’s usually cold on the boat so I’ll have to bring a blanket. The whole thing is a pain in the ass. I look forward to the day when we can just pack up our car and drive there, avoiding all the noise, hassle, pain and cold of the ferry. I usually need a day or so to recover from the travel. It’s embarrassing.
It’s a week of visiting and dinners and family and friends and food I’m not supposed to eat. I’ve mentioned before how I’m not in the Christmas spirit at all this year, so it’ll be a week of acting, watching my language and making sure my dog doesn’t poop anywhere in the house. My mother in law’s house is really large so it’s a lot of walking and stairs. At some point, my legs will go out and I’ll be stuck in the basement for a day crying out of frustration and humiliation.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my in laws. They’re wonderful people and they’ve been very kind to me. I love to see them and the little nieces. It’s just me. My body doesn’t always cooperate. I get tired fast. I just run out of spoons. It both depresses and frightens me so I cry. I’m peri menopausal so I cry. I’m grateful for their kindness so I cry. I cry over everything these days. It’s embarrassing and I don’t want them to think less of me.
I’m a bumbling, Pajama wearing mess.
But I have to try to be normal for a week.
I have a ton of shit to do today to prepare for our trip, I just want to crawl back in to a warm bed and sleep.
How do you handle all the activity during the holiday season?
What do you do when you just don’t have enough spoons?
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We’re an indulgent society aren’t we? We binge eat, binge drink, binge watch ourselves in to addiction, obesity, diabetes, loneliness and isolation. When it comes to indulgence, we don’t do anything half-assed. We save the sloppy for the big things, the things that really matter. Things like personal relationships, jobs/careers and responsibilities will often get thrown by the wayside to make room for some of our dark indulgences..
I’m going to tell you about one of mine…
A few years back… wait… it’s been a decade. Where does the time go? Anyway, a decade ago, my aunt gave me 2 dozen homemade shortbread cookies. It was Christmas, and she knew they were my favorite. Christmas Eve I found my self watching the old 1951 black and white A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim, alone, an annual tradition of mine- when I realize I’ve eaten all 2 dozen cookies. I had purchased some shortbreads from the store earlier not realizing I would get these homemade ones, so I found those and I ate them too.
This was not, and wouldn’t be my last rodeo battling shortbread addiction.
Years prior, I visited my mother in Ontario for the holidays. In anticipation of my arrival, she baked 4 dozen shortbread cookies. I ate them all. Myself. True story. I couldn’t shit for a week. Since the counter on which they enticingly sat was a mere foot step and a hop away from the bathroom door, I would grab one or 2 on my way. Each time I passed that alluring plate, I would grab 1 or 2. I would wake up in the morning with ghost crumbs on my face and pillow without recollection of having eaten cookies.
This remains a battle to this day. Every holiday season I simply MUST have shortbread cookies. I’ve seen myself counting coins out at home only to rush to the store to buy the in-store baked shortbreads. They’re not as good. Must be missing the love. They’re made with minimum wage resentment instead of love. Not the same at all.
My lust for the sweets doesn’t end there. It also extends to cakes, pies, loaves, donuts, flaky pastries, cupcakes and squares. (I like to eat)
I’ve baked and iced chocolate cakes only to eat the entire thing myself in 2 days.
My inner “Sweets Whore” has no personal time clock. She will covet a slice of that chocolate cake your sister in law made at 3 am. She doesn’t care if everyone’s asleep. She will make you eat cheesecake in your underwear over the sink at midnight like some kind of sugar fiending Gollum. No shame.
In recent years, I have been diagnosed with a wheat/gluten intolerance. Now when I eat baked goods I inflame. I swell in my hands, eyes, feet and legs. I get eczema patches and rashes all over my body and face, particularly my eyes. I get furiously tired, unfocused and scatterbrained.
Well played God. Well played.
I think you’ve had enough cookies my child.
What about pie?
It’s going to be challenging going home this year for Christmas. There’s always delicious food and homemade things everywhere. I have to stay away because I can’t take the consequences anymore. It’s hard to really enjoy that cake when you know that the next day, you’re going to fully understand why dogs bum scoot on carpets.. Yeah… that’s a symptom of wheat allergy/gluten intolerance.
I must stay strong. I can do this.
Are you addicted to sweets?
Do you have a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance?
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…
So my partner “C” has never seen the original 1966 How the Grinch Stole Christmas. First, how one goes 35 years without ever having experienced this animated Holiday masterpiece is beyond me. Secondly, how old AM I? I’ve literally watched it every single year of my TV watching life. When I was young, it got marked on the calendar when it would air so I wouldn’t miss it. It just completes Christmas for me annually. I still love cartoons, I make no apologies. I think if I had kids no one would even question it but I can’t play the it’s for my kid card.
For your viewing pleasure:
Infact, earlier today while I was catching up on my favorite bloggers, I came across a post by one of favorites A Fractured Faith. It’s a husband and wife team. They’re great and a must follow. Their 11 year old daughter, an aspiring blogger herself, shared her report on C.S Lewis and I was suddenly reminded me of how much I enjoyed the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a kid. Whenever the 1979 animated version aired, I HAD to watch it. I did a quick search on YouTube and there it was. I watched it while doing laundry.
Other old Christmas cartoon favorites for me include A Garfield Christmas Special (which we plan on watching next); A Charlie Brown Christmas, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman and the 1964 stop motion animated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Even though I’m all B’ah Humbug this year, I still enjoy watching my old Christmas favorites, not just limited to cartoons. My all time favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story, followed closely by National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. I watch these every year.
Having a moment of being more awake than asleep, I thought I’d pop on to WordPress to write a little blurb since I’ve been absent more than I’d like as of late. The last post I wrote was a week ago, Substitute Gifts & Crying 8 Year Olds . Chronic Fatigue is a bitch and my wrist/hand is still giving me the gears.
I went shopping the other day with my good friend Ocean Hayward from OHWords trying to find winter apparel for a reasonable price. Lord I hate shopping but Ocean is really good at finding deals and thanks to her patience and determination, I was able to find both boots AND a jacket for less than $100. Now I won’t freeze my arse off when I take my dog out for her pees, and I won’t teeter on the ice, ultimately falling with my grippy new waterproof boots.
I fell on the ice last year and it was both painful and embarrassing. You know you’re getting old when you fall in public. When you’re young and fall, people will often laugh and snicker at your misfortune but no harm no foul. As you age, falling makes people gasp and rush to your side “OMG, are you OK?!” like I’m in danger of breaking a hip now, which of course I am but that’s neither here nor there.
So I am winter ready now.
On our excursion, we came across this great little Thrift store, I found a couple of coats that I would love to have just for the hell of it. One was this long black suede coat that made me feel like Stevie Nicks, the other coat I coveted was this old fur that reminds me of Little Edie from Grey Gardens. (I’m obsessed with that documentary and Little Edie) I had to try it on.
If I had $60 to blow on nothing, I would have bought it. I really want to dress up as Little Edie for a Halloween. The other black coat, I would have just wore, but it wasn’t quite warm enough to justify buying it.
The only drawback is that shopping for a couple of hours and walking around, trying on boots and such in 9 different stores completely wiped me out. Within an hour of getting home, I was virtually immobile. Muscle spasms and extreme fatigue has kept me couch and bed bound the last 2 days. Why do I have to pay so harshly for every bit of activity I partake in? It’s frustrating.
When the fatigue is pumped up, I can’t write as I can’t focus. I avoid social media because I find it overwhelming. It’s like walking into a room where hundreds of people are all talking at once. I just want peace and quiet.
I have neglected my household chores the past 2 days so I have a pile of laundry to do, all I really want to do is crawl back in to bed and binge watch Doctor Who.
How do you handle Chronic Fatigue/Chronic Pain?
Are you a Social Media “avoider” as well?
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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…
My parents (now divorced) were not wealthy by any means. I grew up in a trailer on a plot of land owned by my father’s side of the family. My father, an auto mechanic, earned a less than modest wage and my mother was a homemaker and stay at home Mom. I know now that she suffered from anxiety and crippling depression, but back then I just remember her reading a lot of books. Come Christmas time, the books would be set aside for holiday baking and decorating and the wrapping of the gifts.
I wasn’t much of a snooper because I enjoyed the surprise. I’ve always been a lousy liar so trying to feign surprise or gratitude was beyond my kid skills. Honesty is the best policy, an adage I still believe in.
Another reason acting surprised was a challenge was because my parents… well, my mother, I mean let’s be honest, my father NEVER shops for other people. He gets everyone around him to shop for him so he never has to set foot in a store OR you just get some crumpled twenties in a card. My mother was solely responsible for making my Christmas a success. The only problems were that a) She had extreme anxiety and HATED shopping or going out in public in general and b) She only had the money my father gave her to buy my presents.
I first learned my mother was a Substitute gifter when I asked for my first real Barbie at age 5. All I had were those flimsy soft plastic dolls that kind of resembled Barbies but clearly weren’t. They were like Barbie’s ugly cousin from the valley. Remember those? Somebody would squeeze a leg and that was it, the leg would stay that way like some kind of deflated sucked in, fucked up amputee. I never had a Ken doll either. My parents seemed to think that Ken would be anatomically correct and that was something I didn’t need to see. a) I’m gay. That would NOT have been a problem. b) Most people realize that Barbie and Ken dolls do not have genitalia. They just have bumps and lines where genitalia should be. I had a Tony Doll. Tony’s whole body was made of that crappy collapsible plastic that the valley whore “Barbies” are made from. My cousin used to squeeze his head until it flattened out and stayed that way. Eventually, Tony came apart at the waist so Barbies would fight over who would date Torso Tony, complete with head, and who would date Legs Tony ultimately making him 2 separate entities. Fuck Tony.
Then I wanted the Barbie camper. Boy for a lesbian, you sure liked Barbies. Yes. Yes I did. I made up Soap Opera like stories that sometimes played out for days just like in my mom’s Soaps. One Barbie would be gay, another would kill herself over a lost child or ruined career. Tony would come apart and love 2 women at the same time. I was a little dramatic, and again, I watched my mother’s Soaps a little too frequently.
When Christmas arrived that year I was beyond stoked! Oh man I wanted that camper complete with tiny barbecue and little steaks and a picnic table and chairs and a shower inside.. It was SOOO COOOOL. It was all I talked about for months. Christmas day came, I opened the very last present with all my hopes tied in that bow I carefully (my mother reused the bows) removed and placed aside. The box didn’t seem big enough though. Maybe it has to be put together I wishfully thought to myself secretly praying. Here it comes…. It was a horse. The Barbie horse. Not the cool Palomino with the jointed legs either. Just like, a plastic horse statue of sorts .. I did not ask for this horse. Why Mom? That year, my cousin got the Barbie camper. I cried in my bedroom when I got home from visiting her.
The next painful lesson I learned was when I asked for the Lego Space set. I’ve always been in to space, astronomy, Star Trek and Lego so the Space Set looked like it was for me and the commercials were awesome! I planted my seeds and eagerly awaited the 25th.
Unwrapping all my gifts, I saw no Lego set. There was one more. A huge heavy box. Oh Snap! This must be it. Tearing back the paper… I saw… horses. More fucking horses! It was a Loc Blocs Medieval Castle. Jesus, they didn’t even get the time frame right! Going back in to history when I wanted to go where no woman has gone before. I couldn’t hide my disdain. “But.. this isn’t Lego Space at all..” My mother assured me that this had way more pieces and would be more fun. “Look, it has a drawbridge“, she persisted. I didn’t care about the drawbridge, the smug little faces on the Loc Blocs knights’ stupid faces. I wanted to build a damn space ship.
I came home the first day back to school after Christmas vacation to find my Loc Blocs castle fully assembled, working drawbridge and all, and my parents tipsy. To this day, I’m not crazy about horses.
Do you give your kids substitute gifts? Don’t you love your kids? Why would you do that to them? Did you get substitutes as a kid? #KidsRemember
After blogging for 5 years and developing this site and The Blog Broad, I really want to go .com. Limited resources have prevented me from doing so thus far but I’m hoping I can do that soon. I am confused though.
A lot of my blogger pals are .coms so I thought I’d put out a few questions if anyone can answer these for me I’d really appreciate it.
Do I just “upgrade” my WordPress account? And if I do so, is my writing MY property or is it owned by WordPress?
I’ve heard that you should back up your site? What does that even mean? Back it up to where? What?
Do all my posts automatically carry over to the upgraded site?
I see things like Blue Host and I’ve tried to read and watch videos about it but.. I don’t understand why I need that? Can anyone clarify this shit for me?
What’s the advantage of going to an outside host? Is it just cost?
What’s the simplest way for me to get a .com AND access to new themes and fonts to make my site more visually appealing?
How much do YOU pay annually for your blog.com? I’m Canadian so, include where you’re from so I can convert. (It’s usually double plus a poutine)
I’ve watched several videos on changing hosts, using WordPress etc, but I need someone to break it down like I’m a novice because I have a 43 year old ME/CFS brain and a lot of these tutorials are hosted by seemingly scientists and wizards. Any recommendations?
Can you recommend any other reading/viewing material that I might find helpful, useful or humorous? (I could use a chuckle)
I want it to be a clear, simple transition and I want to do it right. I want to be able to take advantage of the SEO plugin thingy as well. That seems to be a buzzword going around. Do you use that? Does it cost extra?
I thank you for your time, comments and suggestions
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