Friday, April 10, 2015

A Wobbly Safety Bar

Life is like a roller coaster.
You have ups, you have downs.
Sometimes it's super fun! Weeeeeee!!
Other times it can be extremely stressful or scary.
Lately I've been on the latter track, the stressful and scary one.  It's felt kind of like the safety bar is faulty and I feel like I'm slipping out of the seat and I'm going to go flying off of the ride.

When your mom dies from a disease (Pulmonary Fibrosis) that you know she has but the doctors failed to tell you is fatal in 3-5 years and then her brother dies from the same thing three months later you get a little paranoid. Especially when it can be hereditary.  My sister had a dry cough for a long time and that is one of the symptoms of PF, so she was rightly concerned that she may have it so she was tested.  Thankfully the test came back negative.  She did, however find out some other information about her health which, while good for her to know, still wasn't the best of news.

Then I started getting sick.  Basically it felt like a cold but it hung around too long so I went into the doctor who started me on antibiotics. The first two rounds didn't do anything so I thought maybe it was viral and I tried treating things with OTC meds which helped a little but I just wasn't getting better. I had a cough and my lungs felt really tight so I went back in to see my doctor.  He  put me on some steroids and the heaviest hitting antibiotic he had.  I felt better for about three days and then we were back to round one where I was feeling tired and out of breath and just plain yucky.  When my doctor learned that I still wasn't feeling well he was concerned because he said that the antibiotic that he put me on "kills everything".  And a little voice in the back of my head said "What if it's Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

My doctor and I have had this conversation before and I have had x-rays on my chest that had said that I didn't have it.  But I was still nervous and really, the best way to screen for PF is an MRI.  After we chatted my doctor agreed that I should have an MRI done to see if that might be what was going on.  I didn't say anything about it on Facebook or social media because, in all honesty, I was really, really scared.  I was coming home from work exhausted and passing out on the couch, I was out of breath just singing a song.

It felt like that safety bar was very, very wobbly.

Ty and I went to the temple the day before I had the MRI. I  needed to find peace and maybe some answers to what the future might hold.  As we went into the celestial room of the Mt. Timpanogos Temple I looked into the mirrors that are there, and I received my answers.

You are eternal.  No matter what happens you will go on. And I felt peace.

I went in for the MRI on Thursday afternoon at 4:40 and Friday at about 7:15 I got the call from the doctor with the results.  Thankfully there is no Pulmonary Fibrosis.  However it did show that I have fluid around my heart.  In medical terms it's called Pericardial Effusion.  I was informed that the amount of fluid around my heart was minimal and not to be too concerned about it. I was told to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluid and to exercise.

The safety bar feels a little less wobbly now.  Still not locked in place but definitely less wobbly.

I am still tired. It's still hard to catch my breath some days.   I get as much rest as I can but with having to work (thankfully it's not a physically difficult job), trying to get our house ready to sell, having four kids three who have varying degrees of crises whirling around them (who would have thought that my son with autism would be the one that I have the least amount of worry for?), selling my mom's house and getting ready to chaperon a bunch of high school choir kids in California... rest really isn't easy to come by.  Nor is exercise.  Fluids I can do.

Anyway, I just want to say that in spite of everything.
I am so very grateful to be on this ride.
I am thankful for the highs and the lows.
I am surrounded by amazing people who are on this ride that we call life with me.
I am blessed beyond measure with the best seat partner anyone could ask for.
And even though that darn safety bar still feels wiggly....

Everything will be okay.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The one where I ramble

I've been binge watching Friends on Netflix.

 (Does the blog title give it away?)

Can you imagine if Joey were president?

I am thinking about getting my hair cut, really short.  Not because I think I would look cute with that cut but because "wash and go" is super enticing right now, anything to make life simpler.  Because life really hasn't been that simple lately.

Ross is exceptionally annoying
and whiny most of the time.
Except when he is wearing leather pants.

Losing my mom, two uncles and a grandmother in six months, interspersed with kids dealing with depression, suicide attempts, trips to therapy, life and family changing revelations, some worrisome weight loss, and three of four children now with jobs, are all things that tend to lend to complications.

Not exaggerating. I wish I was exaggerating, but nope.

Phoebe cracks me up
and I love her outlook on life.
Sometimes I wish I could be more like her.

I get up and go to work, come home and all I want to do is nothing.  I've made it through "The Gilmore Girls" on Netflix.

Side note: How cool would it be if the writers of that show would write dialog for me?
That would be amazing.

Now I've moved on to "Friends".  Maybe I'll follow that up with "Lost".

I need Monica to live next door and be my friend.
(except for that whole being a massive competitor thing)
That way she can come and clean my house...
She totally would want to.

My house isn't a total wreck but it sure isn't clean.  Monica would have a heyday.  Dishes and laundry are never ending, as usual, but I can't seem to find the energy to keep on top of it.  (Not that I was super good at that before the complications.)

Mom's house still needs to be cleaned and put on the market. The garages still need to be gone through. I still have things of hers that need to be delivered to my siblings, things that have been sitting in my house for months.  I can do things in fits and spurts but any prolonged ability to cope with more than what title to watch next is pretty much non-existent.

Chanandlar Bong cracks me up but sometimes...
his humor can be mean.
And he's slightly homophobic.

I used to make dinner on a regular basis. Now? Not so much.  And I feel bad about that. In fact one doctor asked if we were eating healthy and I had to laugh.
 Eating?  Yes.
 Healthy? No.
Trying to get figure out what to have for dinner and have the energy to fix that as soon as I walk in the door from work? That just isn't happening.  I dread hearing the phrase "What's for dinner?" It takes all I have not to go completely ballistic on the person who is unlucky enough to utter those three dreaded words.

I don't have a whole lot to say about Rachel.
She is pretty focused on herself.

But Tom Seleck? Those dimples.
He is fine.  Still is at 70.
How is he 27 years older than me?

I have gained back the weight that I lost (no the concerning weight loss isn't mine).  And it's making itself known through lovely plantar faciitis, heartburn and heart palpitations.  I need to exercise.  My head knows this.  My body is basically yelling at me to get moving.  I know that when I do exercise I am happier.

I need to view exercise as my anti-depressant pill because, it truly is.  I know I am depressed.  I just have to read through this post to convince me, if nothing else will. But actually dragging myself out of bed at 5 a.m. to get to the rec center???

A gratitude journal would probably be helpful as well and yet I don't write things down.  Why?  Because I feel like the things that I have to be grateful for aren't as great as what other people have to be grateful for.

How lame is that?
Super lame, I tell ya.

And usually I'm not about comparing myself with others but for some reason in that area I am.
I am looking into why that is...kind of.

What I really love about Friends
is that they are SO good about being there for each other.
And when they fall short they own up to it.
And then they forgive one another and they move on,
and they remain friends.

Also they really make me laugh.
Especially  Phoebe and Joey.

I know that everyone has things that they are going through.  Other people have lost loved ones, spouses.  There are those out there who are battling their own demons.   Some have debilitating diseases both mental and physical.  Some have children who are fighting to survive, others have lost children.   There are marriages out there that are crumbling and couples that are doing their best to keep it together.  Some of those marriages are no longer.  People are out of work and hungry.
There is SO much happening, to everyone.

And again that "comparison" comes creeping in and so I share some, but not all of what is going on and I put on a "Good Face" because that's what I do. I love this poem by Shel Silverstein.  He puts it perfectly...

I need to say that the people in my life are wonderful.  My husband, my kids, my family and my friends have been truly supportive and I am so thankful for them, for putting up with me and loving me through all of this.  I don't know where I would be without them.

Probably in a much worse place than sitting on the couch binge watching "Friends".

Friday, November 14, 2014


The struggle is real. That's a phrase that kids (at least my kids) are throwing around these days.  This last little while it's been pretty true to life for me.

The struggle is real.

I have been struggling with a deep down sadness.  A feeling that is relatively foreign to me.  In general I am, or have been, a fairly upbeat, happy person and I have noticed over the past few years a steady decline in my outlook on life.  And I am unsure why.

I don't even really want to write about it but who knows, maybe it will help to put some of it out there.

Wednesday was a pretty low day.  We have been considering selling our house and moving to a larger home.  I had even begun packing up the "craft/junk" room.  We also had our house and a storage shed painted, and were looking to do some other "fix it up" projects in preparation to sell.

To be honest with you I never thought we would move.  I grew up a block and a half away from where we live now.  We did have plans to build on to our home when my mom moved in with us.  It looked like we would be adding on to our home fairly quickly and that would make things more comfortable for everyone.  We planned on installing a walk-in tub for my mom and I had "drawn up" some plans of what I felt would work to give us the extra space that we would need.  After getting excited about the prospect of this happening sooner rather than later, we found that financially it would be better for us to do it later rather than sooner.  Plans for an addition were pushed four years out.

I know that doesn't seem like a long time, four years, big deal!  But for me, it was. I have wanted to add on for a long time and Tyran never really was on board, finally he was.  Mom was moving in our house is small on space as it is.  I was very angry and sad and I cried.

It ended up being a good thing because we would have been in the middle of everything, or at least at the very beginning when my mom passed away.

With the death of my mom I felt something shift inside.  Something that said "It's time to move on." So I suggested to Ty that we look into buying something bigger instead of doing the addition. I was both excited and scared at this prospect, but more excited.  Our home isn't very large and I was looking forward to getting into a larger place. So were the kids (I haven't had the chance to tell them yet and I am not looking forward to it.)

It wasn't like we were thinking of moving far away.  We still wanted to stay in town so that the kids wouldn't have their lives totally disrupted. On Wednesday Ty messaged me saying that the price of our home on Zillow had dropped and had been dropping for some time and that he didn't think that we should move any time soon.

That message was so hard to read.  It felt like before with the pushing back of the timeline on the remodel.  Like I had been offered something amazing only to have it snatched away just as I reached for it.

And I feel guilty.  Guilty for feeling this way. Our home is a nice home and I am thankful for it.

And I miss my mom, she feels further away now.  And I miss my dad.  And I miss my sister.

And the holidays are coming up.  People are asking about family traditions and every time that discussion comes up my heart just breaks and the tears start to flow.

And there's just so much more going on that is too personal to really put out here.

 I feel so overwhelmed by every. little. thing.

Wednesday night was also our Relief Society Holiday dinner.  I was feeling pretty down heading to the dinner after getting the information about us not moving.  In fact, after the opening announcements I was trying to come up with a way to make an early exit in the most gracious way that I could so I wouldn't have a break down and have to leave in a flurry of tears. And then I was asked to give the closing prayer and I said yes.  Heaven knows why I said yes, but I did.

We had a wonderful speaker who spoke to us about being strong and positive and using our challenges to grow and learn.  She spoke to us about things that she had been through, breast cancer, a radical mastectomy loss of her husband's job, running for a council office and trying to push through some sensitive legislation.  All of these things combining at the same time for her "Perfect Storm".  As I sat and listened to her I knew what she was saying was good advice.  Wise words from someone who had been through her storm and come through the other side...

You are strong.
You can control your attitude.
You can choose to be happy.
It's takes more work to be miserable than it does to be joyful.
Be grateful for what you have.
Gratitude will make things easier.

I know all of these things, I try to practice all of these. On Wednesday, however, I felt that I was failing miserably at all of those things.  I said the closing prayer thanking Heavenly Father for the message that was shared and asking that we would be able to take it and bring it into our hearts and our lives. I helped with the clean up, drove home, got ready for bed and knelt down to pray and I cried.  Cried out to my Father in Heaven. Then I climbed into bed with my husband and he asked me what I was thinking.

All I could say, in between sobs, was that I was sad.  And that I felt guilty and ungrateful for feeling this way.

Thursday, wasn't as bad as Wednesday, although I was very tired and did not feel really well.  I came home from work, made dinner and went to my bed to pass out so I could drive Ty up to the airport later on that night.  He is in Florida for the next ten days.

Today is a little bit better.  I had the morning off work to take George to a Dr.'s appointment and so I went and played volleyball after I dropped him off at school.  I had a very real struggle even getting there.  There are so many things that need to be done at the house that I almost didn't go. Walking into that "craft/junk" room and not knowing where to begin putting things back gave me such anxiety that I almost crawled back into bed and pulled the covers over my head until it was time for me to go back into work.

I was struggling. Hard.  But I didn't give in. Even when I (still) couldn't find both of my knee pads, and even when I had to search a good ten minutes to find my workout pants (that almost sent me over the edge). I didn't give in.  I made it to play volleyball with a great group of strong women, who had no idea how much they helped me. And the sadness subsided for a couple of hours.  Though towards the end I could feel it working its way back to the surface.

I know that I am not alone in this.  Everyone of us has something in their lives that is a struggle.  It may be sadness, anxiety, loneliness, dealing with the loss of a loved one, illness, relationship problems, problems with children and a million and one other things.

And I guess I just want you to know that you are not alone. It does and will get better even if it seems like the "better" is infinitesimal, it is still "better".

It is a struggle.

And, as my daughter says...

The struggle is real.