New Years Resolutions when your health is in the toilet

I don’t do New Year resolutions.  I have never done them, I think they only set people up for failure.  And when you have a lovely, uncertain, chronic health condition such as I, the typical resolutions of “lose 15 lbs by Valentine’s Day” are probably unrealistic.

So I’ll just write some broad, long-term goals.  I have actually been starting to do a few of these in the past few weeks, but an arbitrary date, such as the New Year, is a good time to write them down.  Here goes:

1)  Keep better track of my health.  Right now I’m sort of “winging it”.  I haven’t been keeping track of what meds I take when. I’ve actually weaned myself off of some of my meds in a haphazard fashion due to cost issues.  I should have kept better track of that.  And I need to organize my health information and records in a more coherent way (other than the messy pile they are currently in).

2)  I want to look into more holistic health options.  I was seeing a naturopath when I started getting sicker.  Since I have had lack of funds, I have stopped all my herbals and vitamins.  But I know there are cheaper and better ways to care for my body other than traditional western medicine.  I just need to find the right balance between western medicine and complementary medicine.

3) Eat healthier. I won’t put “lose weight” as a goal, because I know that taking long term steroids seriously puts that goal in jeopardy.  But “eating healthy” means getting more fruits and vegetables and drinking more water.  I can do that.

4) More movement.  Again, I won’t set out a goal to do a set number of exercise each day.  But with a goal of “more movement” I can feel satisfied if I stretch once a day, if I took a 10 minute walk.

5) Better sleep hygiene.  Since I stopped taking some of my meds due to cost, namely my Lyrica (which I had been on for years), I have been having more issues sleeping.  Some nights during the past few weeks I have had 2-3 hours of sleep at the most.  That is unacceptable and it has to get better.  I know what to do, I just have to do it.  Set bedtime, set a routine, take something if I need to BEFORE midnight.  I know that I can do this if I set my mind to it.

6) Look into every available option of insurance, funds, and help for my condition.  I know help is out there.  I have to find it.

So that’s it.  I hope to be working on this and blogging around these issues.  It is evident that I’m stuck with this crap for the long term.  I have to find a better way to live than popping my meds and laying on the couch.

Goodbye 2012

I am very happy to see this year end.  

This year started on a very sad note, my grandfather passed away last December 28, and last year at this time we were in the middle of funeral arrangements.  I did the eulogy.

The remainder of winter/spring and early summer I worked my butt off to pay for our wedding.  I failed to notice how my health was being affected, and I just chocked it up to working more.

June 8, the eye balls started acting up and it hasn’t been the same since.

So at year’s end, I am 40lbs heavier, with poorer vision, increased pain, more fatigue and taking chemotherapy.  I am basically out of a job, out of insurance, and receiving assistance.

My mother in law passed away suddenly and my father in law attempted to follow her in quick succession.

No, I am not sad at all to put this year behind me.

I am again forcing myself to look at the positive:

I celebrated 15 years of friendship with the most amazing man by marrying him.  Our wedding was wonderful.  Everything I hoped and wanted it to be.  In the six trying, frustrating, emotional months since our nuptials, we have only gotten stronger each day.  He stands by me, he cares for me.  We have so much fun just being with each other.  I am truly blessed to have him in my life.

I gained a fantastic bonus son.  He looks just like his Daddy and he is is so polite, smart, and fun.  I truly enjoy having him around and wish he could spend more time with us.  He is wonderful to my daughter and I am so happy that he accepts me as a bonus mom.  I love the conversations I have with him and I love watching him grow into a young man.

Due in part to my illness and being home ALL THE TIME, I have a stronger bond with my daughter.  I am now a stay-at-home mom.  Towards the end of the summer, when my husband was sorting out the aftermath of his mother’s sudden passing up north, my daughter and I had six weeks of just us.  Mommy and baby time we call it.  Yes, we butt heads.  She is as strong-willed and dramatic as I was at that age.  But I’m not sure I would have gained this level of closeness with her if I continued to work at the pace I was working.  I get to put her on the bus every morning, I’m here when she gets back.  I get to help her with her school work, volunteer at her school (if I’m feeling up to it), and I get a front row seat to watching her grow.  For that I am eternally grateful.

Yes, this has been an extremely trying year.  Physically, mentally and emotionally.  But I can’t ignore the personal, interpersonal, emotional growth that has taken place.

So I am happy to see you go, 2012, but thanks for the memories 🙂

 

“Easy Bake Oven” is a misnomer

Sunshine is six.  Topping her Christmas list this year was an “Easy Bake Oven”.

The results

The results

Here is some background:  prior to this illness keeping me tethered to my apartment, I didn’t know how to cook.  My entire cooking skills consisted of pressing buttons on the microwave.  Yes, I’m smart, yes, I’m 30.  But growing up, my feminist mother insisted that I be educated and focus on “learning how to feed my face, so that if you marry an asshole, you can leave him and still take care of your kids”.  And that is exactly what happened.  And I was able to do so.

As a child, I had no interest in baking, cooking, etc.  I never wanted an Easy Bake Oven.  I didn’t even like Barbies too much, come to think of it.  I liked science and books.

Ok, back to Sunshine.  Since I have been sick and bored and needing to keep my brain occupied, I have been baking.  And cooking.  And Sunshine has been helping.  Prompting this “Easy Bake” fiasco.

So Santa saw to it that she received it, despite the fact that it is clearly labeled for those ages “8 and up”.  And despite a lengthy conversation that I had with Santa discussing the pros and cons of spending the money on such a device, when it would be better spend on REAL baking items that she can make REAL food with (i.e. more cookie cutters, bowels, cooling rack).

At 6:30 this morning, I heard a tiny voice “Mama, can we make cookies in my Easy Bake Oven?”

Let the fun begin.  The oven comes with cookie mix, cupcake mix, frosting mix and rainbow sprinkles.  It needs to preheat for 20 minutes.  To make the “dough” it is just a teaspoon of water with the mix.  And it turns into this thick, pasty goo that mostly ends up on your hands instead of shaped into perfect little balls as pictured in the directions.  Sunshine managed to spill the first tray of cookies on the floor, so we were left with the cupcakes.

The cupcake batter was stickier than the cookie batter, but less granular, and it had the little cupcake shaped tin with it that you could smear the batter into.  After shoving the pan into the oven with the little device, it was another 10 minutes to bake, and another 5 to cool.  There is no timer on the actual oven, and Sunshine kept on leaving the procedure to play with her Barbies.

Then the frosting.  And the sprinkles.

Oh, and use copious amounts of cooking spray.  I had to chisel the cupcakes out of the tin with a butter knife.

Oh and red velvet batter now covers the inside and outside of the oven.

But they were edible, Sunshine was pleased, and even though it was mainly me doing all the “baking”, she had a ball.

Now to shell out more money to make more cookies and cupcakes…

Christmas at 30.

I guess, technically it’s my 31st Christmas.  But who’s counting?

It is amazing how, through the years, your perspective on this time of the year changes.

As a child, if you are Christian and in America, it’s about magic elves and toys and candy and having off from school.  If you are Catholic, you have the real “reason for the season” drilled in to your head along with a healthy dose of guilt that you got presents for Baby Jesus’ birthday and all he got 33 years later was crucified.

As a teenager, its about having nearly two weeks off from school, being dragged around to see your relatives who ask you nosy questions like “why don’t you have a boyfriend yet?” and hopefully spending your free time with your friends.

As a nurse, you are usually working.

I always thought at this age I would have the house, the dog, the 2.5 kids, two full time incomes.  I thought that my husband and I (and at 22 I thought my husband would be Sunshine’s dad) would be providing all the presents and maybe one day hosting my extended family for the holiday.  And all of this would be taking place in Pittsburgh.

Wrong.  Texas.  Cat.  One full time child, one 3 months out of the year.  Apartment that wouldn’t fit my family.  And he’s not Sunshine’s dad (but he is a much much better alternative).

My mom always says “you want to make God laugh?  Tell him your plans.”  And she is so right.

Given that I have been on medical leave for half of the year, Christmas was very lean around here.  My parents were incredible and took care of Sunshine.  She received everything she wanted, mostly (Santa drew the line at a cotton candy maker).  My husband and I found out two days before Christmas that we would have it in the budget to buy small gifts for each other.  But it wasn’t the usual spend-a-thon that it had been in the past.

This year I had two requests, keeping in mind that my parents had helped us stay afloat most of the year, and that my husband could not afford either of my requests.  If possible, I wanted a new Kindle (with all the bells and whistles), and my wedding pictures freed from photographer purgatory.

As I got sick right before my wedding, the money budgeted to paying for the pictures the photographer took at the ceremony evaporated rather quickly.  And we haven’t had the means to get back on our feet to get them.

My parents came through on both accounts.

I will be making the arrangements soon to meet with the photographer to pick the shots we want printed.  Looking at those pictures is sort of bittersweet.  I was diagnosed the week of my wedding with this autoimmune disorder.  I was 40lbs lighter.  I was practically glowing in a custom purple ombre wedding dress.  I felt like a goddess.  And I walked with my daughter to a stone chapel on a hill and married my best friend.

I hope to return to how I looked on that day.  As much as I know that he loves me for me, it still nags at me.  I know I didn’t do this on purpose, I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to eat everything in sight.  Being on massive amounts of steroids for months at a time contributed greatly.  But I want to be so beautiful for him.  I want to be the me that is in those pictures.

One of my unexpected gifts will go a long way to at least making me feel beautiful.  We do a secret Santa in our family.  And my cousin’s wife picked the exact gift I need right now.  A luxurious bath set in “warm vanilla sugar” scent.

Now, I still try to take great care of my skin.  But with methotrexate and steroids and erratic diet, my skin is dried out, it easily scratches and just looks awful.  I don’t remember the last time I actually splurged on good bath stuff that I couldn’t get at the local grocery store.

So getting a box full of bubble bath, sugar scrub and body butter was so welcomed.

I spend 3-4 days a week either in bed or on the couch.  Sometimes my husband has to help me in and out of the shower.  My appearance has gone downhill a bit.  I was one who never had “naked toes”, meaning, I always painted my toenails.  But I have even let that go.

Today, I spent an hour taking care of myself.  I relaxed in the tub, sugared, painted my toenails, and slathered on lotion.  I feel good, my skin feels like velvet and I smell good.  And I know that it shows.

Christmas at 30 was not what I expected.  I never expected to get a handheld device that can do everything.  Or to get pictures of me marrying someone I had a crush on since I was 15.  And I never expected that one of my most cherished gifts of the year would be something as simple as bubble bath.

It’s the little things…

 

The apocalypse is nigh…

Right now, there is a doggie sweater fashion show on ABC.  That is how you know the world is ending…

I really don’t believe this 12-21-12 Mayan prophesy thing.  The end of the world has been predicted thousands of times by religious zealots over the last few centuries.  But who knows?

If the world does end tomorrow, I will have no regrets.  I married my best friend.  I have an amazing daughter.  I am truly happy when it comes down to it.  Yes, we are struggling.  Yes, I have extreme health issues right now.  But day to day, I wake up happy.  I go to sleep (when I can), happy.

I am the person I always wanted to be.  I am strong, independent.  I have been through so much in 30 years on this earth and I have come through it fortified to take on more.  I can offer comfort and solace to friends in need.  I am educated, when I was working, I excelled in my profession.  I am a good mom.  My baby girl is growing up to also be strong and independent.

I have grown out of the traits I didn’t like in myself when I was younger.  I am no longer as dramatic as I used to be.  No longer as selfish, thanks to the arrival of my daughter.  I am more at peace.  I can calmly look at a situation, examine it, take it in, mull it over, and then make a rational decision rather than react in a knee-jerk fashion.

I’m not perfect, but thanks to my husband and daughter, I try to be the best person I can be.  And that’s all I can ask for.

So if the world does end tomorrow, I’ll be happy, at peace, in love.

Squeezing Sunshine

She will hop off the bus in an hour.  She will look up toward our balcony, to where I am usually perched, expecting to wave at me.  But I won’t be there.

I will be within arms length, waiting to squeeze her and hold her close.

She is in kindergarten.  She doesn’t understand much of the way of the world.  She won’t know why her Mama will have tears in her eyes, or why she won’t let go.

But I will know.

I will know how lucky I am to be having my child come home today.  How lucky I am to not receive a text message or a phone call or to be ushered into a fire hall to hear the news that every parent dreads to hear.

Children are innocents.  They don’t deserve this. They don’t deserve to witness this, to experience this.

Whatever the motive, keep others out of it.

I will hold her close tonight.  More than I do so every night.  Hopefully she will know nothing of these events.  Ever.

I’m not very religious, but I will think of those affected, and send them positive and healing thoughts, that they will make it through this tragedy.

Winter is not my friend

Yes, I know, Texas doesn’t have a real “winter”.

Growing up in Pittsburgh for 25 years, I am acquainted with real “winter”, and that is why I despise it.

I know people with autoimmune, chronic pain, osteopathic conditions are usually cold intolerant.  And I am no different.

I guess it began in high school.  I went to school in a “modern” building with a closed in plan.  It was build in 1970.  Basically, no windows except for these 1 foot in width, floor to ceiling “windows” that could be tilted to “open”.  The walls were cinder block.  The heat regulation in that building was terrible.  I remember wearing my winter coat, gloves and a hat in class.  Sometimes you could even see your breath.  In chemistry class we would light the Bunsen burners for added heat. On other days it would be a tropical jungle, although those days were few and far between.  We would complain to the office, but they would say that they couldn’t do anything about it.

We also had to take swimming class.  In winter.  In that building.  I wonder if my gym teacher ever looked into the veracity of my excuses of having my period, everyday, for a month.

The house I grew up in was very old, build at the turn of the 20th century.  Very poor insulation and drafty.  So I am well acquainted with freezing all winter.

I remember visiting Texas once December.  I was flabbergasted that my cousins were wearing shorts one day.  In December.  Completely foreign to me.  In Pittsburgh, all shorts, short sleeves, bathing suits (unless you were doomed for gym class) were packed away in September.  But apparently in central Texas, you can pull those out year round!

In my late teens, early 20s I noticed the cold intolerance thing getting worse.  Even out of high school, I was always cold.  Its just the way I was.  I always needed an extra blanket on the bed, warm socks, warm pjs.  And I do get this way in the summer too, if the a/c is blasting.

What does it actually do?  It makes me hurt more.  My joints ache.  They are stiff and sore.  I’m slower.  My feet and hands and fingers won’t work properly.  It normally takes me awhile to get warmed up anyway, so if I do go out, I have to come in and get under blankets to physically warm my body and joints.

So with my diagnoses, my history, I have been miserable the past few days.  Yesterday had a low of 25 and a high of 59 (that is in *F).  Ick.

My husband loves it.  Says its “invigorating”.  Right.  If you’re a polar bear.  Give me my snuggie.

Insomnia…how I hate thee…

I found this gem on my computer screen this morning…when Sunshine woke me up.  In front of the laptop.  On the uncomfortable couch.  Looks like I found my cure. Enjoy!!

 

It’s 3 a.m…..and I will not bust into a Matchbox Twenty song..

Kudos to those of you who got the joke..

My sleep cycles have been off.  I have been “crashing” lately, meaning having those sleep spells on the weekends where I just fall asleep for three to four hours out of the blue.  So that leads to me staying up later at night.

And then I had the recent 15 hours sleep-a-thon, so that must have thrown me off.

I went steroid free for a week around 10 days ago due to lack of funds.  Because I am waking up later in the day (or at least getting out of bed later in the day) I have been taking my 3 mg of prednisone later in the day as well.

I have been screwing with the dosages of my medications, trying to take Lyrica every other day, cutting my topamax dosage.  So I know my body is pissed off that I’m screwing with its neurotransmitters.

Combine this with a plethora of thrilling, page turning reading material and it is no wonder that I am battling insomnia right now.

I guess I have the “luxury” of having insomnia.  Short of having to get Sunshine out the door, I really have no plans for tomorrow, other than breakfast with my parents.  I know I should make myself stay awake tomorrow, and hopefully get in to a more established rhythm, but I’m guessing that won’t work.

Sleep has always been an issue.  Since I was a teenager.  Only recently have I been able to have periods of a full nights rest.  But I go through phases like this, where I’m battling insomnia, or even just “poor ” sleep.

Its like this: from what I understand, fibromyalgia has an underlying sleep disorder to it.  Something with alpha wave intrusion.  Now I have never been tested for it, I have never been subjected to a sleep study, or even a run of the mill EEG, but this makes sense to me.  Sometimes, especially when I am without the Lyrica, I can only achieve a light level of sleep.  It’s comparable to what most people get when dozing on the couch: you can hear the TV, feel the furniture, are aware of people in the vicinity.  Dreams, if any, are fuzzy, like static on a TV.  I can’t seem to sink deeper to where my mind turns off and I am unaware of my surroundings.  Those nights I feel like I have been awake all night.  Like last night.

I took Ambien for years to treat this phenomenon.  I never had an adverse reaction to it.  I never sleep walked, sleep drove, sleep ate.  The most was I would forget conversations or actions that took place around the time I took the medication.  And that kind of sleep is DEEP.  Like “who am I and where am I” when you wake up sort of sleep.  ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff           mrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre                                                                     c

It’s the most exhausting time of the year…

I am just exhausted right now.

Sunshine had a birthday.  Complete with Mama making a visit to school to deliver cookies (I also got caught in a fire drill, that was pleasant). And clown birthday party.  I. hate. clowns.

The clown was not my idea.  Nor was the party due to my low funds.  Sunshine has wonderful, wonderfully indulgent grandparents.  And somehow a recent visit to the circus turned into a carnival theme for her birthday party.

Ok, the clown didn’t have on full makeup.  So that made it better.  And she was wonderful with the kids and did balloons and magic and Sunshine loved it.  It was halfway through the party before one of my cousins pulled me aside and said “hey, does Sunshine have any female friends?”  I hadn’t even noticed that until then, all the little boys had shown up.  And yes, the little girls showed up later in the party.  But it cracked me up.  I’m happy that she is able to get along with both sexes.  She just doesn’t care.  A friend is a friend.

We finally put up the Christmas tree amid all of this party prep.  And it’s only half decorated.  By Sunshine.  So all of the ornaments are at the bottom.

This will be the fourth Christmas for my husband and myself to spend together.  Each year we spend Christmas Eve at my parents house and sleep over.  They usually play “Santa” anyway, due to their vastly larger financial resources, and vastly larger living arrangements.  Its easier to hide bigger gifts in a bigger space and no one has to drive around on Christmas Eve retrieving anything.  And its also easier to assemble said items with two male brains than just one.  And my dad has power tools.

On Christmas Eve we usually lounge around in Christmas pjs (yes, everyone…including my husband and my Dad) and watch Christmas movies.  Usually comedies like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  My mom is very welcoming to everyone, and when she learned a few years ago that a friend of ours had no family in the area to spend the holidays with, he was invited to the pj party.  This year he is bringing his girlfriend.

Its easier to wake up at my parent’s place than to wake up, get dressed, and then go over.  And its an easier cover story for Sunshine to say that I left a note for Santa at our place telling him where to leave her gifts.  If she gets any at all!  I think she just may get a little tiny lump of coal in her stocking as a little hint just like I did when I was her age.

Even though I have no money to shop with, and I’m still at a loss for any kind of presents for those closest to me, I’m in a better place than I thought I would be emotionally as this season wears on.

Yes, I am exhausted.  The tiny bit that I do involve myself in truly takes a huge amount of energy from me.  I slept for 15 hours straight after Sunshine’s party.

For the past few days, I have only checked my email a few times.  I have been so exhausted, I haven’t had the energy to even write this blog or even post to Facebook.

Somethings have mildly improved.  Sunshine has been approved for medicaid, I am still sending out documents to make it official, and we have been approved for some benefits to help with the severe financial situation we are in.

I still am awaiting short term disability.  That hasn’t changed.  But little bits of positive energy are coming through.

I don’t know if I’m learning to accept this fate, to accept these cycles of medication, climbing out from under its fog, and then having good days, but this week seems easier.  I seemed to fight the medication fog of the methotrexate less.  I didn’t feel this all encompassing need to try and “do things” while under the fog of the medication.  I’m less than 24 hours out from my last dose, and yes, my usual dose was cut slightly (immune issues again) but I didn’t actually cry in my husband’s arms this time.

Small victories.  I’ll take them.

 

Bah, humbug!

When I was young, I loved Christmas.  I was into the “magic” of Christmas.  And even after I grew out of the “Santa” stage, I still loved to put on the show for my little brother and help my parents wrap his presents.  I grew up where the seasons changed, and I expected at least cold weather and maybe snow on Christmas.  We had the big family get together on Christmas Eve (where you dressed up) and sometimes we did the Midnight mass thing.  Christmas Day was again with my mom’s big family.  So I do have fond memories of the entire Christmas event.

That changed when I was 15.  Christmas no longer had that appeal.  I just wanted to get it over with.

The birth of Sunshine early one December changed all of that.  Suddenly I was “Santa”.  I was the one hiding toys around the house, buying separate wrapping paper, waking up at 4 a.m. on Christmas morning.

For the past 6 years, Christmastime had more meaning because of her.  I get to celebrate the greatest gift I have ever received in addition to the season.

This year is different.

The last six months haven’t been exactly kind to me and my small family.  We are in dire financial straits at the moment.  I cannot afford basic medication right now, let alone Christmas gifts.  I feel like I’m at the end of my rope with this situation.  It is very difficult to be happy and joyful when fighting exhaustion, pain and nausea.

I’m actually quite terrified at our situation.  I literally have a negative balance in my bank account.  My husband will be wiped out too after we are finally able to pay rent.  We are attempting to sell his car.  Money I was counting on from short term disability never came through.  I was turned down for Medicaid, as was my daughter.  We are screwed.

My health isn’t too fantastic right now.  I had to go cold turkey off the steroids due to a mix up at the pharmacy.  That is probably what is contributing to my emotional state, and to the increased pain and exhaustion.  My immune system is shot, the rash on my torso is back.  I’m afraid to call my doc because she will want to see me, and it will be a $150 office visit without insurance.  I’m considering pushing back my regularly scheduled visit with my rheumatologist anyway, so I can pay for the visit with any money I get for Christmas.

Its bad, really bad.

And I just can’t stand to hear Christmas music proclaiming it to be “the most wonderful time of the year” or “joy to the world”.  The Christmas commercials actually repulse me…too much commercialism.  Especially the ones for Lexus.  Really?  There are people out there that give luxury cars for Christmas?  Let me meet those people.  I have a few stories for them.  There are better things to spend your money on than a luxury car for Christmas.

Or the diamond commercials.  My engagement ring isn’t diamond.  Its alexandrite.  Lots of significance there.  And all of my jewelry is silver.  I’m just not that girl.  I don’t like the implication that “your man doesn’t love you unless he gives you jewelry…and it better be a diamond”.  Ewww.

And I’m glad I don’t have cable/dish right now.  The toy commercials!!  Prior to our service being cut off, Sunshine just had to have every single toy she saw.  And these ad men know what they are doing.  Repetitive commercials during all of the kiddie shows.  They make these crap toys look like the best stuff on earth.  You know what the best toy is that she has played with since she was 3…and has maintained its durability and appeal?  Wooden blocks.  She plays with them at least 3-5 times a week.  She builds entire galaxies out of blocks and it keeps her happy for hours.  Not Barbies, not the latest video gadget (although my Dad’s ipad is a close second), wooden blocks.

I really don’t mean to be a grinch, but with the economy the way it is, there has to be more people out there like me.  I can’t afford a birthday present for Sunshine.  My parents obviously are going to help, but I want to provide something for her on her birthday as well as for Christmas.  And I can’t do that.  Nevermind my husband.  It is our first married Christmas.  And I got nothing.

I am crafty, I can make Christmas presents.  But I can’t even afford the supplies to make my own presents at this point. Bah.

I know the positives.  I have my vision.  I do have food in my pantry (not much, but its there), I have a wonderful husband and he is healthy as well as my daughter.  I have good support from my parents (but that is waning).  I am alive.

My Christmas wish to the cosmos:  if I’m going to be this way, at least give me a way to provide for my family. Amen.