Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Pain In The (insert body part here)

The thing about pain is that it's relative to the person. Doctors have that little frowny face chart, but what is a 9 for some is a 5 for others. For instance, my frowny face chart only goes up to about a 7. Somewhere in the 8-9 range is a puking face, and 10 is a blackout.

Lately, I hover around the 6 range. A progressive degeneration of multiple conditions, most of which I'e been complaining about on here for years.  Add in an A1 titer, and I've been tested for everything from Shogren's to Lupus to cancer.

I have heard every comment.  You're the youngest old person I know.  You're too young to be falling apart like this. You should just try stretching more. And then there's the dreaded... Well, if you lost some weight. 

And if that wasn't enough, it messes with your head.  And soon you're cancelling things you used to love to do.  You don't try and meet up with friends. Depression sets in.  You start to debate whether it really is all in your head.  Every trip in and out of a store is carefully planned as to not spend any extra time on your feet.  Laundry is planned, time is scheduled for icing, elevating, stock is bought in Advil, and the house goes to hell in a hand basket. You ignore the sharp pain, shake it off. You get bitter. You rationalize.  You bargain.  You suck it up... power on. And eventually, you go to the doctor.

I scheduled specialists this time, based on my gut instincts, instead of doing the run around and simple answers route.

I went to the podiatrist.  After one look at the x-rays and he said, "That's not going away without surgery." Turns out four years of therapy exercises, cortisone, daily ice, and custom prosthetic insoles, none of it would have ever fixed the problem.

I went to a hand specialist.  He shot me full of cortisone, which was fabulous, and sent me to Boston University for further testing which revealed necessary surgery on both hands.

I went to an internal specialist. And after nearly passing out from the pain of the exam, turns out I need scar tissue removed, several cysts, and some biopsies done. Organs will be removed if necessary. That surgery has already been scheduled.

Two weeks later the left foot with be done.  I'll heal up after 2 months out of work, and once the hands are approved, go out for another month to have those done.  Then, just as the snow and ice move in, I'll have the right foot done and be out until, um, somewhere in March.  And while doing all this, I will be seeing a nutritional specialist, who will further test me for food insensitivity, so we can nail down the gastro stuff. Good times, really. I am not worrying that the paperwork will all get processed, or that I will have to go with out pay for months.  I am just going to be hopeful that it will all work out.

Because then... then, I'll be good.  Hopefully.

The husband will finally have the new and improved wife he's always wanted.

And I'll be healthy enough to chase him down and hit him for making the comment.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Good Man...

I find myself struggling lately not to pick apart every little thing.

I found myself this morning without a bathroom because the husband had taken the door off the bathroom to paint it, and all the wood work/trim. A project I started mind you, and he is finishing, at 8 am on Sunday morning.

He is a good man... even if I don't get to take a shower.

I wandered downstairs to start some laundry only to find that there were several baskets all over the floor.  All clean, needing to be folded, and brought up to their respective homes.


He is a good man for doing all the laundry, even if he didn't finish the job.

He helped me re-size the bookshelf in the bedroom, even though he had no idea what I was doing, why I was doing it, and I told him every five seconds what he was doing wrong. He even cut the hole for the outlet, so we wouldn't lose it behind the new built in. And he is still a good man, even though I will wait for what seems like an eternity for him to clean up the mess that is front of the other bookshelf so I can finish the project.

He is a good man for cleaning garage, despite my complaining that he buried all of my tools behind the wood I needed the tools for.

He is a good man for thinking of me on a random Tuesday when he brought home roses.

He is a good man for worrying about my health, despite how annoying I find it.

He is a good man for not hesitating once when my dad asked for help at 8 am Father's day to demo his back deck... only to find out we were throwing him a surprise 50th birthday party breakfast. He is also a good man for not blowing the surprise when he sensed there was something going on.

For not complaining about the bacon I made for breakfast, my setting off the fire alarm, or commenting that it wasn't very tasty.

For trying to help with every hair brained project I have going in this teeny house, even though he hates when I start a new one.

For supervising the annual burning of the school work that Youngest loves to do, and insisting I sit down and put me feet up while he tended the fire.

For pretending to understand why I put so much of myself into making the Boy Scout Troop a quality program for Youngest and all of the other boys.

For pretending to understand what the hell I am talking about when I complain about work.

For being a dad to two more sons by choice, not obligation....

....He is a good man.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Year In The Making...

About a year ago, I decided I wanted a real bed.  Like, a real grown up bed, with an actual headboard and storage space underneath. Except we couldn't afford a new bed. or rather I'm too cheap to spend $500 on a headboard.  So I settled on a new mattress... a sleep number...and while I was sleeping better, I was still completely unsatisfied by our college dorm style decor. The Sleep number also has virtually no space under the bed, so I got to thinking...

...and thought some more...

...and procrastinated...

...and then went to Lowes for a completely unrelated project when I found these... the fence department.  They are the fancy, smachy, toppers for fence posts and sell for about $4 a piece.  I bought five (the odd one is for the center support), and spent... um... twenty bucks.  The brown things are the "feet" that come on every standard bed frame.

After my entire family thought I was crazy, and the husband thought I was stuck under the mattress for life, I emerged with all five "feet" and got to work attaching the two pieces together...

I found that pre-drilling the holes made it easier to get the screws into place. Feeling confident in my abilities, I then went to work hiking up all corners of the bed screaming for help and setting the feet back into place.

It was not long before I discovered that I would now need a ladder to get into bed or some of those old fashioned stairs from the 1600's. And that, quite simply, was not in the project specs.  So, I removed all the feet, cut them down about 3 inches, which made the finished height of the bed frame 22 inches from the floor and a lot less scary.

And let me tell you, you would not believe the storage I gained under there. Of course, now I needed a proper bed skirt since the old one was now 5 inches too short.

That took two months.  I had to find the fabric.  Then get around to it.  Then stop in the middle because I went through an entire spool of thread. So yeah... after a very unproductive few months, I ended up with a  nice, classic tailored bed skirt.

But that wasn't enough.  I needed a head board.  So I went right out and got plywood.  And it sat in the garage for two more months. One random Saturday, after the husband thought it was safe to relax, I dragged it all out and started cutting.  And gluing.  And there was a staple gun in there, lots of swearing, and some nailing of brass nail heads.  To produce this....

Which I was relatively happy with, considering anything close was $300 and up, and I was only in the hole about $35.

And yet, it still wasn't done... a few months later I found the bed spread to match....

... and I had just enough fabric left to make the valances....

I also found a giant X and an O wooden letters that have since filled the "holes" above the headboard (above and below the framed song lyrics) quite nicely.  Yip... it was all coming together... until I realized that lurking on the other side of the room was still 1992's dorm style hodgepodge of furniture.

Which got me thinking....

...for three months.

Now, all the wood is all in the garage.  We shall see what happens....

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It Seemed Like Such A Good Idea...

Seven years ago I started writing about trying to survive my children's antics.  I was single, broke, and tired.  Oldest was quirky, inquisitive, and insisted everything always be fair.  Youngest was wired different, had high anxiety, and a hot temper. Then, as if to mock me further, they ran in the opposite directions of each other knowing full well I could only chase one, or split myself in two.

There were times I thought I'd never make it out alive.

But here we are.  Seven years have brought me a bonus son, a husband, a decent job and two very well adjusted teenage boys.  Oldest is still quirky and inquisitive, but is quick to help out around the house when he's not glued to the computer.  And while Youngest is still wired different, he's more of an artful celebration than train wreck.

Over the last year I have lost my desire to write at Surviving Boys.  Google linked more things, my real life identity became more threatened, my domain name was sold off, and I just felt as if I had outgrown things there.

But I still wanted to write.

Because while the times have changed, I haven't.

I still say yes far more than I should.  I still want to be involved in their lives even when they fight fiercely for their independence.  I still do far more than I should around the house, get knee deep in projects I know nothing about, and run myself into the ground for people who don't care. I am over-scheduled, underpaid, and over involved. Work still takes full advantage of me, as evidenced by my now servicing 987 customers a day. I am volunteering in Youngest's Scout Troop to the tune of 15 to 20 hours per week and often stay to help out with community projects.

Which means there's still plenty to write about.

Because now a days, it's less about Surviving Boys, and more about Surviving Myself.