Chronic illness doesn’t go on vacation

I am 4 days from the beach…

Ahhhh….I can’t wait.

I’m am incredibly fortunate that my mom has invited me and Sunshine to a “Mother’s-Daughter’s Weekend” to the beach with her friend and friend’s daughter.

The beach has always been restorative for me. I don’t know what it is, I wasn’t born near the beach, but for as long as I can remember, that has been my preferred vacation spot.

Living in Pittsburgh, the city on the wrong side of the state for an ocean, my family would trek to the Jersey shore, Virginia Beach or Myrtle Beach (that’s in South Carolina). More of the latter rather than the former….and a full 12 hour car ride away.

Now living in Texas, the beach is 4-5 hours away. It is entirely possible to leave on a Friday night, find a hotel on the fly, and then drive back on Sunday. Not so when I was growing up.

But this time we are trying something new…Florida.

My only concern is of course, my health.

I have been able to stagger the methotrexate doses so that I won’t be injecting while on vacation, but in my poor planning (as in I just looked yesterday) I don’t have enough Lyrica. And due to the prohibitive cost, I am in the Pfizer patient assistance program. Not sure if it will be here by Wednesday. So I’m rationing the pills, going to reorder and have it delivered for while I’m gone.

I’m also concerned about medication side effects. Apparently, methotrexate increases sun sensitivity. I went to an event at Sunshine’s school two weeks ago and got burned. And I never burn. I’m Latina.

It didn’t look like a “real” burn either. More like scalded skin. It only hurt a little, and it faded in two days, but this was Texas sun in April, nor Florida sun in May.

I am bringing a TON of sunscreen, my mom is letting me borrow a hat, and I will be under an umbrella at the beach.

I’m also concerned about the drive. I’m not driving (my driving is now pretty much nonexistent these days) but I will be in the car for 8 hours. I also get horrible motion sickness, so I can’t read in the car and I’m hoping I can download some audiobooks in the next few days.

Traveling with chronic illness is like travelling with a baby.

I have to remember to pack every single medication I take daily, every medication for associated symptoms that I could possibly encounter, comfort items, etc. In addition to packing for Sunshine…

Other than that, I’m pretty excited. Looking forward to relaxation, the ocean, getting out of the house.

Next on the travel list? I will be going (going) back (back) to Pittsburgh (to Pittsburgh)…

Emotional exhaustion

© Pablorock | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Pablorock | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Some people aren’t aware that intensely emotional situations can completely drain someone physically.

I learned from a wonderful doctor years and years ago that for me, there is a very limited amount of “emotional energy” in my tank.  And that I can choose what situations to invest that emotional energy on.

This was prior to the fibro diagnosis, when I was relatively healthy (with only the migraines).

Since that time, this idea of emotional energy has proven true time and time again.

And today it was extremely prevalent.

I’m on E about now.  Dealing with the emotional side of this never-ending illness, hearing my husband and my mom talk about me like I am a child, difficulty with Sunshine and her issues with her bio dad, all of this has just emptied the tank.

I have been reluctant to apply for disability.  I know I will get denied the first one or two times based on my age and the nebulous nature of my condition.  I know that I cannot do any sort of work right now that requires thinking, moving, or talking (because I sound out of it all the time).  But I have been holding out hope that I will wake up tomorrow completely healthy.  Or healthier.

That isn’t happening.  In fact, its going the other way.  But part of me doesn’t view myself as disabled.

I continue to look through want-ads, hoping to find a job that can accompany the limited hours I could work, the unpredictable nature of my symptoms, the brain fog from the meds and the exhaustion from all of it.

So far, no dice.

After a particularly emotional exchange with my mother, with the words “we will not help you anymore until you apply for disability” uttered, I launched an online application for disability.

Apparently doing even that from the comfort of my couch is kind of like a full time job.

I was finally persuaded to finish halfway through and save it for another day when Sunshine had a meltdown.

Sunshine’s sperm donor has elected to officially sever his ties with her.  In a very nasty Facebook message, he said extremely vile things that only reinforced the reasons why I left him.

Although this is generally a positive thing, from my perspective, because he can no longer play yo-yo dad, Sunshine sees it completely different.

She just wants to know why he doesn’t want to talk to her.  She thinks its her fault.  She is grieving the IDEA of a father that she never had.

The child has only seen this man four times in four years.  He has disappeared and reappeared in her life so often, only to disappear again.  I think that when she says she misses him, she misses the IDEA of someone who helped create her and who is actively participating in her life.

We have had dozens of conversations with her reiterating that it is not her fault.  That even though my husband didn’t make her, he loves her just as much as he loves his own child.  My husband does special activities with her, Daddy-Daughter dances, taking her to the park.  This week they have a Daddy-daughter day with the Girl Scouts.  But for someone reason there is this hole inside of her.

It literally kills me to see the pain in her eyes.  Literally makes me choke up.  I have no idea how someone can just do this to their child.  I am reasonably sure that he is mentally ill, and his recent behavior is evidence of that.  But a kindergartner doesn’t understand that.

Her world is so small and sheltered.  She has never had to endure anything this difficult in her young life.   I am trying to give her the tools to express her emotions, but much of the time she just collapses into sobs.

I spent a good part of this afternoon just holding her in the rocking chair I used to rock her in when she was a baby.

Despite his treatment of her, I refuse to reduce myself to name-calling, to trashing him to her.  In private, that is another matter.  There will be a time when I can be candid about the reasons I left and my theories on why he is doing this, but not now.

I think that is what makes this so difficult.  I spent so much time encouraging a relationship between them after I left because I believed I was doing the right thing.  She was a toddler when I left and she has no recollection of ever living with him as a full time parent.

Physically all of this has had the cumulative effect of intense fatigue.  I mean, the-limbs-are-very-heavy, difficult to do any sort of movement, forget about recalling your own name type of fatigue.

And I still have to do the chemo tomorrow night.

Any sort of positive thoughts, prayer, chanting, burning of candles is appreciated.  I need all the help I can get right now..

SPRING BREAK!!!

Ah, yes.  A wonderful time of year.  Here in Texas (at least in the area I live in) all the school districts have a similar calendar.  Including the colleges.  So both Sunshine and my husband are off this coming week.  My mom teaches as well, so she is off.  And its my birthday this week.  Oh and SXSW is going on.

I would have loved for something like this to occur when I was growing up.  “Spring Break” referred to the two days I got off from school right before Easter.  But if it was a bad winter, most of those days were “make up” days so that the school district could get 180 days of school in before June 30th (as per law).

Sunshine had an entire week off for Thanksgiving, nearly two and a half weeks off for Christmas, and now spring break.

She is already enjoying it.  She has been outside most of the day today.  And she came back from my parents house with shoes that were still oozing mud.

I just hope my health can improve so that I can do things with her this week.

I’m still couch bound.  But that’s an improvement from bed-bound, which is how I spent my morning.  With my legs elevated.  My blood pressure bottomed out.

I understand that medications (especially in my body) are pretty potent.  I just don’t like the blood pressure yo-yo.  I feel awful.

I have been through childbirth (assisted with an epidural).  I have fibromyalgia.  I have a 17 year history of migraines.  But nothing was like that wicked headache I had last week as a result of my blood pressure.  That was such intense pain.  Not in my usual migraine areas.  I swear I still feel the effects of it.

Its like a never ending loop.  I feel awful so I can barely navigate through my apartment, let alone exercise.  I gain weight as a result of the meds.  I also have lovely side effects like tachycardia and hypertension.  But in order to (naturally) deal with those issues, I have to exercise.  And lose weight.  Grrr!!

Ok.  Positive thinking.  Sunshine.  Just watching her interact with her friends, with my husband…its such a treat.  She is quite a mighty little human, and she will definitely be a force to be reckoned with as she grows.

The things that come out of her mouth are priceless.  Just seeing the way she thinks, how she goes about solving problems or analyzing a situation is incredible.

She blows me away almost every day with her intellect, her sense of humor and her zest for life.  I am truly blessed to be her Mama.

My goal this spring break is to relax and have fun with my family.  I’m sad that I will probably have to skip SXSW because of my health.  But maybe I’ll get a boost of health later in the week and I’ll be able to at least wander downtown and find some great music to listen to.

And I’m grateful there is no snow on the ground 🙂

Under pressure

© Krzysiek_z_poczty | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Krzysiek_z_poczty | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

I just can’t win. Yesterday (and most of the day before) were absolutely awful.

I was hit with one of the most intense headaches I have ever experienced. And this is very meaningful because I have had migraines for the past 17 years and have been to the ER plenty of times to deal with the pain.

This one was different. My migraines are usually left-sided. Its usually an intermittent to constant pain that I can identify pretty quickly and take the appropriate medication (Treximet). They haven’t been getting to the “point of no return” lately because I have a good supply of the meds right now and don’t feel I need to ration them.

Well, Tuesday, I was hit with a severe headache that I really couldn’t identify. The pain was across my forehead, down the middle of my skull (I call it a skunk headache) and then across the back of my head and neck. The pain came on quickly and was absolutely intense. I’m talking 9/10 on the pain scale. I was literally lying in bed, pulling my hair because that sort of distracted from the intense pain I was experiencing.

I did check my vitals (like any good nurse) and my bp was 150/100.

The pain was intense. I mean, teeth grinding, grab on to the closest thing and scream pain. I didn’t go to the ER because I have no health insurance and I’m already in over my head as far as medical bills go. I took the Treximet which helped, but not as quickly and not as completely.

I finally fell asleep (with a pillow over my head, vicks vapo rub coating my face and biofreeze coating my shoulders) around 8:30 p.m. I woke up at midnight, absolutely exhausted. But still in pain (it was about a 3 at that point). I again took my Treximet and went back to sleep.

I got up with Sunshine at 6 and still had the pain. My blood pressure was still high (112/98) so I did the entire routine over again. This time I could barely move. I mean, I was so dizzy that I had to “furniture surf” so I didn’t fall. I had nausea, I couldn’t think straight. But Sunshine got on that bus. She was clean, fed and happy.

I woke up to my mom taking my pulse. I had sent her a text earlier in the morning telling her what was going on. She tried to get in touch with me (I had my phone on silent) and when she didn’t get a response she just came over.

I am so happy that she did. My blood pressure at this point was 112/100 and the pain wasn’t as severe, but still present. My mom made me call my primary care doc and she drove me to and from the appointment (and she paid for it).

My husband was basically clueless. He also has high blood pressure (usually 140/90) but he has never had any symptoms. He was at a loss for what to do for me. He had good intentions, but just didn’t know what to do.

So I went to see my PCP. The doc thinks the headache is from the blood pressure, or that my migraines are getting more intense because of the blood pressure. I already knew that I was drug sensitive. I had no clue I was blood pressure sensitive as well.

For perspective, a blood pressure like 112/100 is concerning. But some people are able to function with consistently high blood pressure without any sort of symptoms. I have seen people with bp as high as 200/120 and not feel it. That is why it is called “the silent killer”.

I have never had any problems with my blood pressure before. It actually runs low. Normal for me would be 98/70.

The doc is also very concerned about the associated symptoms (headache and dizziness). She actually wants me to use a walker.

So, she started me on a blood pressure medication. Fantastic. I am to call if the pain gets worse, if my bp doesn’t drop or if I have any more problems.

I am calling her this morning because the pain is still present. Maybe 3-4/10. But I’m concerned with taking more Treximet, as it is a vasoconstrictor and can increase blood pressure. I’m hoping she can help with something else for the pain.

I am heading back to bed now. Doc thinks it may take a few days to settle down.

I still don’t know why this happened. It could be the steroids. Or the weight gain. Or stress. Or something completely different.

Grrr!! Can’t something go right for once??

What is in a name?

© Strelok | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Strelok | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

With my first marriage, at the naive age of 22, I quickly changed my name.  I had two reasons for doing so, 1) my maiden name was constantly butchered by the tongues of the northeast, not being used to seeing Hispanic last names 2) I guess I was still in the “rebellion from the parents” stage and wanted a new identity and 3) My former husband was very vocal about the change of my name in the event that we had kids.

When I got divorced at age 27, I couldn’t wait to change it back.  1) I hated the daily reminder of my failed marriage every time I signed my name on nursing notes and 2) no one in Texas knows how to pronounce a French sounding last name.

When my husband proposed to me in 2011, I was again faced with the name change dilemma.  What would I do after the wedding?

My husband is Italian.  Second generation Italian.  His entire name is extremely ethnic Italian, not just the last name.  So ethnic that he goes by a nickname in his day to day life.  I am sure that most of our friends do not know his “legal” name.

We have been married for 8 months and I still have not changed my name.

My second husband could care less that I share his last name.  It is just a non issue.  To him, it doesn’t reflect my commitment to him and our family.  If we ever have kids,which I hope we will, they will obviously have his last name.

Since I live in Texas now, there are several (hundred, thousand?) people with my last name, obviously most of my extended family.  I was amazed in the first few months after changing back to my maiden name that no one butchered it.  White, Asian, Hispanic, all colors of the rainbow seemed to understand the correct pronunciation.  It helps that there is a chain of eateries in the local area that is owned by a very distant cousin who shares my last name.

Again, for me, changing my last name means changing my nursing license.  Going to the Social Security office, going to DPS, going to the bank and making copious copies of the marriage license and SS card to prove the change to every other entity that is in my name.

At the pharmacy, they refuse to change my name back to my maiden name because I filled prescriptions there under the pre-divorce name.  So if I change my name AGAIN, I will now have a very long and multi-ethnic name attached to my medications.

Also, my husband’s ex wife, and mother of his child, still uses his last name.

That just feels icky to me.  There shouldn’t be two Mrs. _____ who care for my bonus child.  Confusing as hell.  And I wouldn’t put it past her to attempt to impersonate me to get information that she should not have access to.  Of note, my husband’s mother (also Mrs.____) passed away last summer.

But, the major problem with being married and retaining my maiden name is that people who are trying to be polite, call me “Mrs. insert maiden name here”.  That effectively makes me my mother and my grandmother.  Both wonderful women, but quite awkward to hear.

However, recent events regarding my daughter (who obviously has my ex-husband’s last name) might push me toward the name change.

Her sperm donor consented to termination of his parental rights toward her.  In order for that to occur, my husband needs to adopt her.  And we will presumably change HER last name.

I can either change my name with her, and all parties in this household will be under the same last name, including the cat, or she can just change it and I’ll be the odd (wo)man out.

Or I can hyphenate.  This is the most attractive to me.  I can hyphenate the maiden and married last names.  I would still use my maiden name for any writings I produce.

I want to do SOMETHING to signify the legal adoption and “official” sanction of my husband as my daughter’s father.  But am I ready to give up the last name I have used for 25 of my 30 years?  And fought so hard to get back?

I have time.  My goal is to have the adoption completed by the end of the year.  Maybe I’ll put it to a family vote.

Captain Tripps

© Spartak | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Spartak | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Despite all my efforts to stay relatively virus free for the past 8 months, the inevitable happened.

I believe I have the flu.

Yes, I got my flu shot. Yes, all my family members got their flu shots. I even got the pneumonia shot.

But from what I have been reading, this years flu shot isn’t “matched” very well. The “flu shot” combines three strains of influenza virus that the CDC anticipates seeing during the next flu season. They start the formulation six months BEFORE the vaccine hits shelves. Occasionally, they guess wrong.

The CDC (and doctors) always say “if you get the flu shot, and subsequently get the flu, you will probably have less severe symptoms”. Still doesn’t make me feel any better. Although I could imagine needing to be hospitalized if I didn’t get the flu shot. I’m still able to type, and that, to me, means that I’m not severely ill.

I do want to clarify that I received the flu shot in October of last year. And that the flu SHOT (which is a killed virus) cannot GIVE someone the flu. The flu mist, on the other hand, is a live virus and can infect someone with the flu if they have a lowered immune system or other illnesses.

I am very good about hand-washing in this household, because of my lowered immune system. I guess I am just shocked that I got it, even with all of my precautions.

The last time I had the flu was in 2009. I contracted H1N1 two weeks before the vaccines came out. That was a doozy. I literally laid in bed for two weeks. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything. I’m surprised I didn’t land in the hospital. But I had a ton of first hand experiences to share with my patients (after I got well, of course).

This one doesn’t feel like H1N1. I just feel awful. Body aches, low grade fever, nasal congestion and cough.  Chills too, can’t forget that one.

I do have a call in to the doc to see if I need to do anything else.

Not having health insurance really changes the game when you are sick. I can’t just go in to the doctor’s office and have a rapid flu test done and get tamiflu. The office visit is near $80 and I don’t even want to know how much the tamiflu costs out of pocket.

So I will just vegetate in bed. I hope this doesn’t get worse from here on out. And that I don’t infect Sunshine.

I didn’t get this from the little petri dish that is my child. Nope. It came from the other petri dish, my husband. He works at a local community college as a tutor, so he is face to face with the public everyday. He is just finally feeling better after almost a week. And he is very, very healthy.

Ick. Now I’m hurting. Back to bed I go. Maybe I can sleep it off.

Adventures in Parenting

My parents have recently pointed out the notion of karma. What goes around, comes around.

freeimage-1835755

© Isky | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Sunshine has been “grounded” for the past two days.

On Tuesday, Sunshine woke up complaining of a headache. No fever, no nausea or vomiting, but she was very vocal that her head hurt and she “didn’t feel well”. I get migraines, and I know they are genetic, so I gave her Tylenol. When deciding whether If I should send her to school, she said “Mommy, I think I need to stay home. My head hurts bad”. I told her if she stays home from school, she doesn’t get to play outside with her friends. My Mama law is: if you are too sick to be at school, you are too sick to play outside.

She stayed home. And wouldn’t you know it, when the school bus passed by with her friends on it, she magically recovered and threw a fit because I wouldn’t let her play outside. Her friends came over and were asking to play with her, I had her answer them and tell them what was going on.

Then yesterday she was grounded as well. Her kindergarten teacher uses a “smiley face” system to indicate behavior in the classroom. In her folder yesterday, there was a note with a “straight” face that informed me that Sunshine misbehaved in class, was throwing things at other classmates and was very rude when a classmate fell.

Mama’s law with behavior? If you can’t behave at school (or in public in general), you do not deserve to play outside or with friends.

After about a 30 minute tantrum, she calmed down. I’m fairly surprised at myself, the whining, the crying, the flailing didn’t faze me at all. I calmly repeated what happened, and why she was being grounded. I then discussed with her the things she can do to modify her behavior. I reiterated that she isn’t “bad” that she just had a rough day, and she will get a chance to change her behavior tomorrow.

At the end of the evening, when we had “Mama-Baby time” (it refers to the time we have when my husband is at work, we usually lay in my bed and watch movies before bed), I asked Sunshine what she has learned in the past few days. She said “I will never lie to Mama, and I will behave in school”.

Its hard to know what to do. As a mom, I love my baby so much and I want to make the bad feelings go away. But at the same time, I am responsible for raising a child. Along with my husband, we are responsible for molding her into a good member of society. We are responsible for teaching her right from wrong, and that her actions have consequences.

I also have the added issue with the possibility of Sunshine acting out due to her inner turmoil regarding her biological father. She has never had a “bad report” from school until right after he missed her birthday.

I am taking her to see someone next week. Like I discuss in Bio Dad, I am her mom, I have no experience with what she is going through.  Despite my nursing background, I am not versed in child psychology. My parents are still together, and so were my in-laws (until my mother in law passed right after our wedding). Together, we might not have the skills to understand what she has going on in her head. But I am willing to discuss the situation with a professional, and working with them and Sunshine to help her through this time.

And back to the karma: my parents recently toasted to karma at dinner last night. They are tickled to see me dealing with Sunshine’s issues (not the dad thing, but the temper tantrums). Like they told me when I was younger “I hope you have a kid that is just like you”. And it happened. She is me and my brother mixed into one. And my brother is a hell-raiser.

Sunshine is due home in three hours, we will see if she managed to behave today.

Amazing Sunshine

freeimage-3227853Sunshine has been on a roll.

Wednesday she was named “Daisy of the week” for her good behavior at her Daisy meeting.

Thursday she took 2nd place in the science fair (I guess the judges noted that she did the vast majority of it by herself).

Friday she was named “Brilliant Brave”, which is basically a “student of the week” thing.

I am so proud of my little dynamo.

She is learning that her hard work does pay off.  That good behavior yields positive results.

And the best thing?  When I was talking to her teacher at length during the science fair, she mentioned something that Sunshine said this week.  Her teacher knows the situation with Sunshine’s dad.  Apparently one day last week Sunshine started talking about him.  She said “my daddy doesn’t call me anymore, but that is his problem.  It has nothing to do with me.  It is not my fault”.

I loved hearing that.  It means that we are getting through to her.  That she understands that it is his problem and most definitely not her.

Where did I get such an intelligent, smart, well-adjusted child?

Bio Dad

© Squareplum | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Squareplum | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

I will write this post only once.  It is not a subject that I need to revisit consciously, although I frequently revisit it subconsciously.

I have posted before that my husband is not Sunshine’s biological father.  We split when she was 2, mainly because he “fell out of love with” me when I got sick the first time.  See my post about the issue of chronic illness and marriage here.  As our marriage continued to crumble, I began finding out more and more information that screamed to me “you have to leave, this is not a good situation for you or your child”.

I got on a plane to Texas with my toddler and never looked back.

Its years later, and to this day, I have no regrets.

It is now starting to affect my daughter, however.

After informing Sunshine’s Dad that I was not returning to the area, things got nasty.  Mainly over Sunshine.  He never once attempted to talk me into returning.  He wanted physical custody just to spite me.

After a few months, we did work out a custody agreement.  I began trying to be what I term “a good co-parent”.  I set up a Flickr account so he could see the copious amount of pictures that I take of Sunshine.  I set up a Skype account so he could talk to her “face to face”.  I would call or text any time she did something funny or adorable.  I tried to keep him in her life as much as possible.

So far, she has visited her biological father a total of three times since we left.  For a few days.  His choice.

My second husband has been in my daughter’s life since she was 3.  I have been friends with him since we were teenagers.  I was so concerned about letting another man in her life, but he has been amazing.  He is her dad.  He loves her like she is his own.  There is no difference in the way he treats her in comparison to his son.  And I reciprocate in kind with my bonus son.

Things were going pretty well this year with Sunshine and her “real” dad.  She visited him in the spring (I am tremendously lucky that my mother volunteers to take Sunshine back to Pittsburgh any time she returns to visit her parents).  She met all of her stepsisters (she has three stepsisters and one half sister).  She had a great visit.  We were planning out a second visit in August when he fell off the map.  Completely fell off the map.

It is now six months since I have had any contact with the man.  No texts, no email, no phone calls, no snail mail.  My daughter was physically in his area as planned, and he refused to answer my calls, emails or texts.  And I had to deal with her questions when she returned.  Trying to answer the question “why didn’t Daddy want to see me Mommy?” is something I have been dealing with ever since.

And as the months have rolled on, he has missed her first day of kindergarten, her birthday, and Christmas.  The questions are harder to answer.  She is growing and learning and figuring out the world and her relationship to it.  This situation is getting worse.  It is now affecting her school performance, as I received an email from her teacher this week.  Apparently Sunshine got into an argument at school with a girl in our apartment complex.

It arose from the other girl (who’s parents aren’t together as well) telling Sunshine that HER daddy was keeping her for the weekend.  When talking to Sunshine about this, my heart broke.  Sunshine is never one to make fun of people or to get into arguments, but this really hit home for her. When this other girl was discussing her plans for the weekend with HER “real” Dad, Sunshine got upset and started yelling at her, saying “I don’t like you anymore, I don’t want to be your friend”.  Her teacher was shocked and wrote “I have never heard her say she doesn’t like someone, she is always so friendly”.  Grrr.

My entire family tells her that its not her fault.  That her bio dad has made this decision and it has nothing to do with her.

His cell phone number has been disconnected, as is the one for his wife.  I have sent two snail mail letters via certified mail.  I know the man is alive.  His Facebook has also been updated recently.  I continue to get child support, but I think that is because he is on unemployment and it comes out automatically.

I’m angry.  It was bad enough what he did to me, but to do this to Sunshine?  She doesn’t understand.  She doesn’t know about the ways of adults.  All she knows is that she went up to visit him, and he didn’t want to see her.  And that he hasn’t wanted to talk to her in six months.

It is difficult to talk about anything pertaining to “Pittsburgh” or her being a little baby, because it makes her think of him.  We still have tons of family there, including her great grandparents and her uncle with which she has close relationships.

As much as her bonus daddy bends over backwards to make it clear to her that she is loved, and that she has a Daddy, he just didn’t contribute genetically, she is too young for such sentiments.  I suppose in time she will understand, but the six year old Sunshine repeatedly asks me and her bonus Dad about her bio Dad.  She truly feels that she did something wrong to make him mad and not want to talk to her.

Resolution?  I just want an answer to this behavior.  If he wants to officially sever ties, then I’ll get the paperwork up to him ASAP.  It would be extremely difficult for him to decide now to start their relationship again.  My only hope is that this doesn’t have a lasting effect on Sunshine.  That she learns that blood bonds and behavior bonds are different.  That her bonus Dad loves her and always will.  That words are backed by actions, and the fact that her bonus Dad is there everyday for her means a hell of a lot more than what her bio Dad is currently doing.

My husband sat down with her today and said “I’m sorry that your Dad is being like this.  It is not your fault.  Me and your Mommy love you very much no matter what.  I’m not leaving, I’m not going anywhere”.

Hopefully that sinks in.  I just hate knowing that his (bio Dad) lack of interest is upsetting her.  That she probably thinks about it more than I will ever know.

I know I made the right decision.  I will never regret removing her from a toxic situation.  I have moved her down to a more healthy area of the country.  She is active, smart, thriving.  The schools are better, there is virtually no crime here, and we enjoy a higher standard of living in comparison to where we were living before.  Between her bonus Dad and my Dad, she has significant love and attention from the opposite gender.

However, when these issues arise, I will always feel a blast of anger.  I will always feel helpless to comfort my child.

I have tried to let her know that any feeling she has is ok.  And that it is ok for her to be angry with him.  But it is not ok to get into arguments with other children because their situation is different.

With 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, I know there are resources out there.  I might have to start looking into them if this continues.

Sorry for this rambling post.  I am just so angry right now and writing it down may help.  I just love this child so much and it kills me…literally kills me…to know that he is hurting her like he hurt me.

End of post pertaining to my ex.  He isn’t worth all this time and energy.  I will not post on this subject again except to update it, if that ever happens.

Thank you.

Under the lead blanket

© Nashekrashe | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Nashekrashe | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

The meds are hitting hard today. I’m not sure if it is because I’m taking a detox bath every week to help me feel better, but it is really sucking today.

Friday night is when I give myself a shot of methotrexate. I’m only on 10mg, but for some reason I am very drug sensitive to it.

As soon as I inject it, usually into my thighs because of the lovely rash currently encircling my abdomen, I start to feel a heaviness travel down my leg. It’s quick and soon envelopes my entire body. And for the next 24-48 hours I am a walking zombie. I frequently need my husband’s assistance in getting to the bathroom, into bed, etc.

I also experience nausea and sometimes experience dry heaves. Lovely.

Usually the next morning I feel slightly better. But today, it took an effort to even breathe. I almost fell a few times attempting to do things for myself. I hate being helpless as this fog envelopes my mind and my body.

Major effort to even type.

But, this medication is the only one that has stopped the inflammation so far. And not completely, I might add. And I have taken it since August, so this is as good as its gonna get.

I guess I’m not completely to the “acceptance” phase. With the fibro diagnosis 7 years ago, it was more secondary because I was also fighting a deadly infection. I went right from recovering from that infection to being pregnant (which was wonderful for my fibro, and I’m not being sarcastic. I felt fantastic when I was pregnant). And then from being pregnant, to practically being a single mother (despite the fact that I was married to her father). It was easier to accept the fibro because I was so busy caring for another person.

I (obviously) still care for her, but she is potty trained, can feed herself, and sleeps through the night. And most of the week she’s at school. And I have tremendous help from her bonus daddy (real daddy decided to cut her out of his life six months ago).

So I guess that I haven’t fully accepted that, in order to retain my sight, I have to take these meds. I have more time to think about it.

With the fibro it was more of a fatigue/pain thing. I was constantly tired, but I had another little tiny person to take care of. Now I have more time to dwell on what is going on. I’m bored. I can’t work (in the traditional sense).

With this med…it changes so much. I have gained weight, I can rarely exercise (on very good days I can take a 10 minute walk to the mailbox and back).

I’ll feel better by Monday. Hopefully. I’ll be able to participate in the household. But right now, I really can’t do anything but lay down and read.