2011 in 12 Sentences

HERE’S HOPING FOR A BETTER 2012

old house

January 2011, I’m so damn cold, I can’t get warm.

February 2011, I’m still so friggin cold and I hate the ice.

March 2011, Weeping because my son is graduating High School

April 2011, Stress in the family, college stress, grandma stress, she feels poorly

May 2011, A two-week vacation in Spain with my husband, heaven (except for the pick pocketing incident)

June 2011, My son graduates, more tears, but he got into a good college and he is happy, he works at his old camp, away the whole summer.

July 2011, Husband and I are stressed because daughter is not working

August 2011 Husband breaks Achilles tendon, needs surgery, I drive alone to bring son to college. We plan for a new kitchen and instead our house falls apart, termites, carpenter acts, wood rot, deception. We have to move and share one room with daughter and dog in a hotel. (For over 3 months.) Daughter starts to look at colleges. Husband is out of commission for over three months, on crutches.

September 2011 It cost us financially, emotionally and physically, we are all depressed.

October 2011 My birthday sucked, August September, October sucked, most friends forgot about us, broken promises, “out of sight, out of mind?”

November 2011 Life still sucks.

December 2011 Still in hotel for first half of the month, back home in second half. No money for Christmas presents. The house is still a construction site; but at least we’re home. Gratitude and love for those who helped us and invited us, never will be forgotten.

Can’t wait to say good-bye to 2011.

Can you blame me?!

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Home, Sweet, Allergic, Home

Drywall

We’re keeping a friendly distance from each other, now that we are home and back from the one room we shared in the hotel. Two parents, one teenage daughter and our dog. I think the dog, Callie, misses the ginger snaps that she got lovingly from the lobby of the hotel by her admirers. I bought ginger snaps but she doesn’t have the same lust for them as she did when one of her loyal servants held up a treat and told her to “sit.”

Yesterday, my husband was on the computer as I was trying to sleep and so I reminded him, ever so gently, that we were home now and we really could spread out a little, hint hint.  You get used to something you have done every day for over three months. He finally moved from the bed and went to his office, it’s all a matter of habit.

I can’t find anything in the house, no coffee makers, sponges, clean towels, clothes, sheets. We still use plastic utensils because we have no idea where our knives and forks and spoons are vacationing. We have a new bathtub that I believe I am too short to use. No, seriously. For my Fibromyalagia and chronic pain we ordered a bathtub with jets, like a jacuzzi. The problem is I am so stiff and sore so often, I can barely lift my leg to get into the tub. I see a step stool in my future, like the one I had as a baby, it was painted a bright red and had a painting of a bunny on it. It’s name of course was, Bunny. I see a new Bunny in my not too distant future.

I’m overwhelmed with tiredness, trying to do things I need to do. “Pace yourself” my friends will say but I just shake my head and point to this teeny house with clutter in every room and I don’t see how I can rest and relax with the sheer amount of work ahead. Twenty loads of laundry await me, no, now it’s twenty-two. I need to unload books and papers, clothing and pretty much everything we all own.

The worst part of all is this is that the WORK IS NOT FINISHED. After we paid a large amount of money to have the house cleaned professionally by industrial cleaners from all the toxic chemicals that were sprayed to destroy termites and carpenter ants, the contractor and his helpers neglected to tell us that the work would still go on for several weeks. WTH?  Why on earth did we pay money for a clean house when I am sneezing and wheezing from the piles of sawdust and sheet rock leftovers ALL OVER THE HOUSE?

I’m tired, I better go to sleep. Work starts, at 8am every morning, including Saturdays. The buzz saw seemingly goes straight through my head, that is how I awaken to another new day. I’ll celebrate when they start to paint. In the meantime, I miss my friends at the hotel; I was lucky to run into one of them today at my favorite store, Target. That felt more like home, than home does.  To all the people who were so genuinely nice to us when we were displaced: Wags and Whiskers, Marina and Mike, Dana and Bill, Stephanie at Dr. Kaufman’s Office, my friends at the Holiday Inn, especially, Ashley and Leanne, and Anthony, we say THANK YOU SO MUCH. It’s amazing what you learn about your friends and neighbors when times are really tough AND what unexpected treasures you find in the people with the extra kind hearts; thanks also to the Sterns who welcomed us back with a bottle of wine! It meant so much to us.

Warm wishes for a Happy Holiday Season!

Gratitude (Chronic Babe Blog Carnival) November

Heart bokeh 2

Most everyone in our caring Chronic Pain community knows that the last three months has found my family renting a small room in a small hotel having been harshly betrayed and ousted from our house by termites, carpenter ants, and completely rotted wood. Everywhere. What started as a simple kitchen renovation became the nightmare you would imagine in a horror movie. That horror show was mine. At the very same time, my husband ruptured his Achilles Tendon while running to catch a train. It’s like one of those scary novels some people read so when you are finished reading you can clap the book shut and be thankful that the book is over and you can return to your own life. Not this time.

Facing emotional, physical and possible financial ruin for the house (no, insurance did not pay a dime) I had to adjust to our new circumstances and yes, I did cry a lot. But, in order to maintain my sanity and hold it together I decided, with a lot of pushing and prodding, that I needed to focus on something, anything positive. I was grateful that we didn’t have life-threatening diseases to deal with in a hospital. Truly, I gave thanks for that every day, sometimes every hour because while the situation we were in was uncomfortable and sad and draining, no one would die because of it (although we all felt terribly violated). I felt bad for my daughter, a senior in high school, who had to room with her parents on an uncomfortable cot in the same room. I felt bad for my husband, on crutches, non weight-bearing, hobbling around the room. I even felt bad for myself who got the brunt of everyone’s dissatisfaction. I managed. I even found the strength to drive my son to his first day of college and back, all by myself; I even felt proud ( because if you knew my sense or lack of sense of direction I’m lucky to be back home now.) IF I HAD TO, I COULD DO ANYTHING; a great lesson to learn.

Of course I wept, and I was cranky and felt sorry for us but that wouldn’t do me any good for three months, nor would it help my family, especially my husband who was bed -ridden or on crutches for most of the time, unable to work. I needed to know that, despite my own intense pain and flare-ups from Fibromyalgia and an auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) I could do what I HAD to do. I was grateful I could do it even if I paid for it later on. It didn’t matter. When my husband had to be pushed up a hill in a transport, I was the one who did it. I don’t know where I got the strength but my mind and my guts and my determination became my strength and my shaking knees and shoulders made me even more determined to get up that hill. I managed and it felt good, my husband smiled and was impressed and I was happy too. All that talk about doing things for others? It is so right on.

I was grateful that I could help my husband, he who has always, ALWAYS helped me. I wanted to show him  that I could help him too. I’m not saying it was easy, it wasn’t. But, it was well worth the effort for the internal strength I got from within. It was worth seeing the smile on his face, the kindness of strangers who helped me manage the steps. It is a person that has heart and knows kindness. I’m convinced now more than ever, you either have it or you don’t.  You don’t necessarily need to know people for a very long time to know who they are. They will show themselves to you, very quickly, just watch and listen.

That new study that showed people had their own friends and considered Facebook Friends, also friends for support and trust? I am totally grateful for all my different types of friends because they can not be grouped, in just one group. My Facebook Friends, they are a special bunch, very dear to my heart. I hope I have told them enough times that they truly believe it. Gratitude? It comes from within. I sprinkle bits of my heart in my e-mails to my Facebook friends. From mine to yours and back. I’m grateful.

I’m Done, I’m Stuck, Help Me

Help, I'm Stuck

Image by Martin Cathrae via Flickr

Help I'm Trapped In Here

Image by duncan via Flickr

snowing

Image by jam343 via Flickr

I’ve had it. I have said it jokingly before but now I mean it. I’m disgusted with everything and every person. There are a few exceptions like my kids (especially the one away at college) and my dog. My dog is exempt ALL of the time, my husband? Not so much. Today, he could not make a rational, DECISIVE decision and he flip-flopped like a newly caught fish. He changed his mind twelve times in under two minutes, a record. Sometimes a girl/woman/wife/mother/person just has to say “what the eff?” Here’s to you, my hero, Ferris Bueller.

I’m also feeling the teeny tiniest bit of crazy and it’s all coming out on paper, now. After the anger came out I felt scared and stuck, trapped and hopeless, also hungry. This has been going on way too long, three months too long.

Today did not start with a resounding, positive spin. We woke up to snow, yes SNOW. Heavy, dreadful, snow that started in the morning and will continue until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. It’s OCTOBER people, October. You know, the time of year where we gasp from the brilliant artistry of the naturally changing leaves, bright streaks of red, amber, different shades of green, all colors holding hands, clasping each other, on one fiery tree. It’s beautiful, well, it was beginning to get beautiful… In past years it was a slow and steady sign of seasons changing, temperatures starting to decline not a nor’easter punching us in the face coming out of nowhere.

To those who say I shouldn’t be cranky, I say “Tough.” I am cranky, I deserve to be cranky and I have every right to feel cranky.”  I know there are worse things in the world and indeed I am incredibly grateful that we are not suffering from life threatening illnesses but I swear, my mind is going, going, soon to be gone. Yes, maybe tomorrow I will breathe as deeply as I possibly can and I will repeat the mantra of safety but today, I am not doing it. I don’t WANT to be calm today. I’m sorry what? Yes, I said it: No interest in being calm today.” THE FRIGGIN SNOW OF OCTOBER 29th 2011 put an end to that.

I have lasted an entire paragraph without mentioning my old, destructive and defective house but trust me I’m so there now. The little house from hell with termites, carpenter ants, rotten and decayed wood, that had electrical problems now has heating problems too. So, my genius husband (sorry hubby, it’s been a really bad day) decides (without consulting me, of course) that he would leave two portable heaters on over night, plugged in, “on low,” when nobody was home. That is all kinds of wrong; I just couldn’t take it. Thank goodness for my sister who rightfully said: “this is from the man who insists that I, as a grown woman, put on my seat belt when I sit in the back of the car?” Yes, Sis, the same person. I asked him to ask a neighbor, one of several we could ask to please unplug the fire hazards but no, he didn’t want to do that. So, now he is on his way back in the snow to turn them off himself. What IS IT about men and asking favors? I don’t get it.  Smokey the Bear, on behalf of my husband, I apologize. Deeply.

Peeps, you don’t need to bother to read this post if you don’t want to because I am VENTING and sometimes venting is useful because my chest has become less painful and I am breathing evenly. Sometimes it is more than okay to say “I’m furious” instead of meditating your anger away. I’m CRANKY, I’ve lived with this stress, tension and emotional and financial ruin for three months now, cramped in one tiny hotel room. I have every right to vent and I am glad I did. So there.

9 And A Half Minutes

Shark

For those of you who are new to my blog (welcome)  I want you to know that I occasionally write a blog post called 9 and a half minutes. It’s basically a shorter, nicer version of Andy Rooney on 60 minutes. I do complain, wonder, question and kvetch ( to be disgruntled or complain) but not in an insolent, condescending way. In no particular order here are today’s topics:

My one true love is the ocean, now I am concerned with sharks and jellyfish and scary biting fish. Now people are dying because they swam in the lake. Did I hear correctly that the news said “brain eating amoeba”in the same sentence? I love water, a pool has lots of chlorine and to me, it is not as much fun. Soon just soaking in a tub will be off-limits.

I can no longer watch the news because it puts me in a depression or I feel hyped up with craziness and worry. There are too many atrocious things happening: bombs, terrorists, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, tragic accidents, cancer and hundreds of thousands of other diseases. There are perfectly innocent and beautiful sick children, children who die from one second to the next with no explanation. What kind of fair is that? I know someone whose son, age 6, passed away and they still haven’t gotten the autopsy report and it’s been three months. That is just plain wrong.

I am cranky, disgusted and fat. My chronic pain illness is getting worse and it’s an effort for me to get out of bed, walk downstairs and feel stiff and in pain all the time. I’m getting worse, not better. Doctors are putting chronic pain patients in chronic hell because now doctors don’t write out a prescription for medication WHEN YOU ARE SUFFERING AND NEED IT. Dear Doctors: we have no intention or interest of becoming drug addicts, we just want medication when we hurt so much we want to scream and throw plates at the walls. I know a doctor who prescribes vicodin by the mouthful but when it doesn’t help and the patient would prefer something less strong, he won’t do it. Does that make any sense?

What’s next? Going out in the sun of course can produce melanoma. Sitting inside during the winter can produce SAD, (Seasonal Affective Disorder) that makes you depressed. Go out for a walk, just be careful that there are no bears in the neighborhood or coyotes who swoop our precious little dogs and eat them for dessert. I will not let my dog become a wolf’s brownie.

Lastly, my baby tooth (I know, I know) has a chip and a cavity and will eventually have to be replaced with some expensive artificial tooth, I miss Gray’s Anatomy and I don’t think I will ever get over losing Oprah in her time slot. I actually miss Oprah too much to even try watching OWN. I’m trying to eat dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate bu, to me,t there is no comparison and it is a complete stretch. Meanwhile mosquitos are french kissing my skin and I am scratching at my arms in desperation looking like a coke addict.

Tomorrow the workers come back with their little demolition derby and our four-day respite will be over. It’s Sunday night and I have always hated Sunday nights. I need to love my dinner on Sunday nights which includes dessert. When we came home tonight I was eagerly looking forward to tasting the cake batter ice cream that I bought for the family. There was none left, my son ate it all today. So much for a pleasant Sunday night, I’m already dreading Monday. Truly.