Monthly Archives: October 2022

The Bible Say What?

At the end of August, something clicked. It was a slow click. It was a gradual build up of years past that aligned in such a way that I stopped many habits over the last two months. I just had enough with my current state of life, and stopped.

I stopped following/watching certain things on social media, I stopped scrolling through dating apps, I stopped letting my thoughts get the best of me, I stopped letting old perspectives halt new ones from coming in.

I started appreciating my life and family more, I started realizing I’m doing the best I can and giving myself a break, I started reading the Bible, I started going to church, I started raising my standards.

I’ve never really been into reading the Bible before. I had all the reasons: It’s too long, it’s too complicated, it’s been translated so many times over the years, etc. One day I had a question on my mind about the Ten Commandments, so I randomly googled the books of the Bible where the Ten Commandments appeared. Exodus and Deuteronomy. I flipped to Exodus 20 and read it. The next thing I know, I read the entire book of Exodus.

After that I didn’t touch the Bible for weeks. It’s like I was slowly digesting everything that I’d read. This month, I picked up the Bible and back-tracked to Genesis. I’m halfway done. I can’t get enough. My thirst for more Bible knowledge has completely replaced all of my old habits. It’s the greatest history book of all time.

I’m a little confused, but pleased, with whatever is happening to my brain, and my being. I’ve been sleeping better and thinking more clearly. I feel more sure of myself – I’m not sure why exactly. I’m a little sad I didn’t start this path sooner, but I guess some people go their whole lives and never open a Bible, better now than never.

I’m in learning mode. And I’ve learned enough that I can’t go back now. I can’t go back.

Stifle Me Not

The Pits of October

October used to be my favorite month, but now it bothers me. Five years ago this week marks the beginning of the end with my ex-husband. It’s the month my ex-husband and I met (in 2000), the month we were engaged (in 2006), the month we got married (in 2007), and it is also the month when everything ended (in 2017). Here we are again in October. I hate October. This October brought my teenage daughter having surgery, spending entirely too much shared space with my ex, having a horrible reaction to poison ivy, and ending up on prescription steroids (only to experience all the side effects that go along with that).

I’m sensitive to my surroundings – who I associate with, the food I eat, what I drink, and the medications I take. I know this and I live my life accordingly so I can feel my best each day. I avoid sweets (including sugary drinks) and fast food, I usually work out regularly, and I limit medication I take because, from past experience, it doesn’t end well when I have too much of anything. My medicine intake is limited to seasonal allergy medicine, occasional ibuprofen (for a headache), and a daily probiotic. If I don’t pay attention to what goes into my guts, I always pay the price.

I desperately needed to destress after spending consecutive days with my ex as our daughter recovered from surgery. I took care of her as she recovered at home, worked at home, cared for my son, and took care of my ongoing awful poison ivy reaction. The stress of being around my ex was enough to make me not feel well, let alone all of the other variables mixed in. I found myself slipping back into my old ways. I was disassociating – going through the motions, where I’m there but not fully there. I was walking on eggshells – watching what I said so I didn’t invoke a negative response from him. It was hard to go back to that “place”.

I was finally looking forward to a calm weekend on my own. Both kids went with their dad over the weekend since my daughter was finally feeling strong enough to travel in a car. Once I dropped my kids off for the weekend, I picked up some Indian food and headed home to stuff my face in peace while I caught up on some shows on HULU. I was going to sleep in and simply relax for the weekend without worrying about anyone else.

That Friday evening, free of all responsibilities, I happily ate my spicy Indian food and started watching an episode of a show. The food was so satisfying. I finished the whole plate. Toward the end of my hour-long show, my stomach started to make noises.

Oh no.

I made the unavoidable trip to the bathroom, with stomach pains so intense I wasn’t sure what kind of sick was going to be. I was in there for a very very long time. I’d exit the bathroom, and turn right around and go back in. Apparently, eating Indian food after lots of stress and being on new steroid medication was not the best idea. It was miserable. On top of it all, I was still itchy from the poison ivy rash. My nerves were shot. My stomach was shot. My hope for feeling good ever again was just shot.

The next day was a slow start. I didn’t make it to the shower until about 2 pm. Everything I tried to do was a challenge. I laid on the couch for the majority of the day. Somehow I mustered up the energy around 5 pm to go to Target since I needed so many little healthcare-related things. After Target, I was starving. I had barely eaten all day. I decided that chicken noodle soup and a Mediterranean bowl from Panera should be okay. I picked it up as carry out.

It wasn’t okay.

It was like deja vu from the night before. Not long after I finished my meal, I was howling in pain in the bathroom again. Thank God I was all alone. This time it was clear that the spice from the Indian food had exited and burnt the literal shit out of my rear end. I was mortified, winded, and feeling more hopeless than the night before.

This was not a relaxing weekend. Not at all.

That night was the first night I slept through the night without constant itching. Hurrah, I was less itchy from the poison ivy rash, but the downside was my stomach hated me and I was going to have raging hemorrhoids for the foreseeable future.

On Sunday, it took me just as long to get moving as it did on Saturday. I finally got the strength to go to the grocery store and I bought as many sensitive-stomach-friendly foods as I could find. I came home and made ground turkey and rice for dinner. No more food indulgences for me, not until my body has recovered from all the built up stress and medication.

Today I returned to work after more than a week of caring for my family and myself. I feel slow and tired. The pits of October is halfway over and thank God for that.

Stifle Me Not

Sometimes Life Just Sucks

It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride the last few of weeks. On Wed, Sept 28th my daughter complained of her side hurting. Kids complain a lot. I’m used to dismissing most things as an ache or growing pain, and then it’s never talked about again. She persisted through the evening that it really hurt. I told her to put a heating pad on it, thinking it could be a pulled muscle. The next morning she said she couldn’t go to school because she was in too much pain, so I made her an appointment with her pediatrician. He ordered blood work and we waited. The results came in later that afternoon and all appeared normal. She woke up on Friday morning, doubled over in pain. I rushed her to the Emergency Room.

After 10 hours in the ER, she was diagnosed with having a large softball-sized cyst in the left side of her abdomen. Five days later, on Wed, Oct 5th, she had surgery to have it removed. Everything went well. They removed the large cyst, but it was also entangled in her left fallopian tube, so it had to be removed as well. Her ovary was untouched and able to remain. Her reproductive system will be fine. I was so relieved for her.

She ended up needing to stay two nights in the hospital. It was difficult, but necessary since she had a c-section type incision. She was such a trooper. I am so proud of her. She was discharged the afternoon of Fri., Oct 7th. The weekend was a good start to her recovery. She has been improving very well each day and can hopefully return to school next week.

In the midst of all this chaos, I was a bit of an anxious wreck, but I was taking it day by day. In between her ER visit and her surgery date, I did many things around the house and pre-planned for a change in our normal routine with my work and her brother’s schedule too. The weekend before her surgery, I did some much-needed yardwork and cleared out overgrown flower beds on one side of my house. It was a nice day and therapeutic to be outside, burning off some of the anxiety of the week to come. I showered immediately after doing yard work, happy to have another thing checked off my list.

On the day of my daughter’s surgery, I scratched at my forearm while in the waiting room. Then scratched again, pulled up my sleeve, and saw a small red rash. I was so stressed out from my daughter’s surgery and now having to hang out with her father for the next 3+ days, that I immediately thought I had some kind of stress rash. I wiped it off with some alcohol and put some hydrocortisone cream on it. For the next couple of days, that’s all I did with it. It did not become worse. A couple of people asked me if it could be poison ivy. Nah, it wasn’t very big and even though I did yardwork recently, it was 5 days ago.

Fast forward to Mon, Oct 10th, and I had a pus-filled golf ball-sized boil on my forearm as well as welts popping popping all over both of my arms and on the side of my face. WTF? I was itchy and in pain and the most uncomfortable I have been in a very long time. By this time I realized it probably was poison ivy, but I still wasn’t convinced since it had been so many days since I’d done yard work. It had been 10 days. I’m typically a research junkie about just about anything. But with everything going on, I never once looked up timeline information on poison ivy rash. Apparently it can start forming up to 5 days after being in contact with it, and it can continue popping up wherever you made contact with it and it can last up to a month. WHAT!?

On Tue, Oct 11th, I took myself to urgent care. It was the fastest urgent care visit I’ve ever had. They took one look at my miserable rash and prescribed me a topical cream and some prednisone to start the relief process. Little did I know that the rest of the week was going to be miserable with my best relief being cold water and ice packs, alcohol wipes, and hydrocortisone cream. My nerves are shot, I’m wired and tired at the same time.

I’ve been trying my best to work at home, care for my daughter, care for my son, and maintain some sort of functional comfort with this poison ivy rash, but it has been so difficult. I can’t sleep at night. I fall asleep quickly but wake up at 1 AM with my arms burning with itchiness. I spend the next two hours trying to relieve the itch and pain, only to wake up to my alarm to face another day of discomfort, work, and mom duties.

Somehow I managed to go to two nights of parent-teacher conferences in the middle of this week. Not ideal, but I had to get all of my daughter’s missed work, and I definitely had to keep tabs on my son’s behavior. Tinted moisturizer and mascara helped make me looked somewhat normal despite the red splotches covering the left side of my face. I slapped on a smile and got that mom crap done.

Last night I hit a breaking point after 1 and 1/2 weeks of nonstop stress. I went into the bathroom for my evening routine of running cold water over my rashy arms and hot tears rolled out of my eyes while I sobbed uncontrollably at the pure suckiness of life at the moment. I was so happy that my daughter has been recovering so well, but I personally felt like complete shit. I’ve had two babies, gone through a divorce, had my career crash (and rebuild), had to live at my parents, have had horrible dates this year, have put up with lice in my home, have experienced people dying in my life… and I’m letting a poison ivy rash break me?

That’s when I realized that it was PMS week, and just about anything was going to make me break. Haha!

October is half way over and has sucked the whole time. I guess sometimes life just sucks. Today is feeling better. I think the prednisone is finally starting to take effect after 4 days. I’m hoping for an upward swing for all of us.

Stifle Me Not