9.19.2016

Monday Rant

I woke up in a bad mood.
Like....six days ago.
And I'm still in a bad mood.

For the past week fibro has been kicking my ass. I'm irritable. I'm pissed off. My shoulders hurt. My elbows hurt. My collarbones hurt which means it hurts to breathe. I have no appetite because I'm nauseous.

Oh, and I'm FAT.

Yeah.
That's right.
Just in case I wasn't aware of this fact...my doctor decided to tell me as much today. 

Today I had my yearly OB/Gyn appointment today and when the doctor FINALLY came into the room (45 minute late) she asked how I was doing.

Me: Not great. I've had a few bad days where fibro is concerned.
Doctor: Have you thought about losing weight to help you feel better?

NO I HAVEN'T THOUGHT OF THAT.
HOW ABSOLUTELY F*CKING STUPID OF ME.

What I wanted to say was something along the lines of: Are you f*cking kidding me at this very moment? I'm sitting here totally effing NAKED under this piece of shit GIANT "gown" with a sheet of paper covering me from the waist down and you want to talk about how overweight I am? Do you think I'm not aware of the fact that I need to lose like 70 pounds? 

Instead I said something like "yes I know I need to lose weight and I'm trying but nothing works."

To which she suggested I consider "weight loss shots."
And no, she didn't mean fun "shots" at the bar.
She's talking about some every-day-kind-of-injection that tricks my brain into thinking I'm full.

Um. NO.

Look, I know I'm overweight. I have been for like 10 years ever since Emma was born. But since I started taking a certain medication to help me sleep (because of f*cking fibro) I cannot lose any weight.

In fact, I've gained weight.

Hey, this pill will help you sleep better but you'll also gain weight just thinking about food. 
Yay. 

I could literally NOT EAT for days and I probably wouldn't lose any weight right now.

And YES. I do fully realize that if I lose weight I might feel better when it comes to fibro but it is not a f*cking cure because there is no cure. And I'm quite certain that there are skinny people with fibro who feel just as shitty as I do on some days.

And in case anyone out there is wondering...when everything hurts - like it has for the past few days - the LAST thing I want to do is MOVE. I want to take a nap even though I know I need to move. I don't need people telling me to do something. And I sure as shit don't need a doctor to tell me I'm fat. I can look in a damn mirror and see that.

I'm so pissed off right now that I'm really just venting in this post. I know I need to lose weight. I don't need people telling me that or giving me advice on what THEY think will help.

Anyway.
There it is.

Update: So, I've had a good 24 hours to think about what happened yesterday and I've reached a few conclusions.

1. No one should ever be allowed to make me (or anyone else) feel "less-than" for being overweight. And that's what my doctor did. She made me feel fat and ugly and worthless because I need to lose weight.

2. When a patient is sitting in an exam room - wearing JUST a "gown" and a sheet of paper over their girl parts - and she's CRYING because she (1) is so frustrated about how fibro makes her feel and (2) she is totally humiliated that you just told her she needs to lose weight ... what is the proper reaction? Let me give you a hint: it isn't standing on the opposite side of the exam room with a look of total disinterest on your face.

3. I am fully convinced that my OB falls into the category of morons people who don't believe that fibro is real. Trust me. It is real. It is really f*cking real. And no matter what the scale says I'm still going to have fibro.

4. Mean people suck.

9.12.2016

Much Ado About Pneumonia

Did you hear that Hillary Clinton has pneumonia?

If you've been watching ANY of the 24-hour news networks today I'm sure you already know that.

Why this is news is really beyond comprehension.

MSNBC actually posted an online poll asking if the fact that Hillary has pneumonia disqualifies her from being president?

W.T.A.F.?

Are we serious right now? We less than two months out from the presidential election, Drumpf and his supporters want to build a damn wall and ban an entire religion from entering and/or staying in this country (and apparently his supporters in South Carolina want to do even worse than that) but apparently having pneumonia is potentially disqualifying?

You have got to be f*cking kidding me right now.

This whole "OMG Hillary has pneumonia!!!!" news cycle is beyond sexist. If Drumpf suddenly came down with influenza or pneumonia would the media jump all over it and spend an entire news cycle on it?

No.
Why?
Because he's not a woman.

You can feel free to disagree with that statement, but it's true. Throughout this entire election the media has been soft on Drumpf, apparently because he's "new" to politics (total crap but totally different blog rant post).

I'm also quite certain that if Bernie had won the nomination and he came down with pneumonia it wouldn't be turned in an entire news cycle.

Why? Because he's a man.

This entire day of "news" has been beyond sexist and demeaning.
Pneumonia would not be "newsworthy" if we weren't talking about a woman candidate. 

Let's get something straight right now - whether you like Hillary or not, she's tough and she works harder than any of those talking heads on the news shows. And when you have pneumonia that isn't the best route to getting healthy. But I totally get why she pressed on and insisted on working.

I live with a chronic illness. On any given day I work through pain levels that many people would find unbearable. But I have to do it. I have young kids, I have a job, I have a household to take care of. But sometimes I literally can't. And I have to take a nap. Like today. Today I took an hour-long nap because I felt like total shit. Thankfully I work from home and have that luxury.

And pneumonia? That isn't chronic. It goes away after a few days on antibiotics + rest. So for the love of all that is holy please stop making this a bigger deal than it really is.

Yeah, her campaign should have sent out a report on Friday that she had pneumonia but they didn't. So. Freaking. What.

There are so many more important and relevant things to talk about in this election.

9.11.2016

15

Today is the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.


The girls are at the age where they're both asking questions about what happened on 9/11. We talked a little about it at breakfast yesterday, and Emma watched a documentary with me.

"Mommy why are the terrorists so mean? Why did they do that?"

15 years later and I still don't have an answer.

Emma was full of questions all night - why did they do that? who were the bad men? what happened to the people at the top of the Twin Towers? can we visit where the plane crashed in Pennsylvania?

Olivia said they were able to watch CNN for Kids at school on Friday and the footage they saw was of the second plane hitting the tower.

I've tried to explain to both girls what it was like to watch the events of that day - the planes hitting the towers, the fear everyone felt, how the airlines were shut down.

A few years ago we visited the 9/11 site and saw the footprints of the buildings that are now fountain memorials. It was as sobering a sight as when I first saw the site back in 2003 when it was just a huge hole in the ground.

15 years later and I still can't get through a 9/11 documentary without crying.

It's not that I knew anyone who died that day. But I remember watching it as every event unfolded. I remember walking outside that night and how eerily quiet the sky was. I remember waking up on September 12 wondering if something else might happen.

I think this blog post I wrote three years ago says all I can say about it. 

15 years later and we will STILL never forget.

9.08.2016

11 Years

So apparently, my blog turned 11 years old on September 6.

That's right. I've been doing this blogging thing for 11 years. Interesting.

I used to blog a lot more - but I'm gonna admit that when you spend your day writing for a living, on most nights the last thing I want to do is sit down and blog.

That sounds awful I suppose, but I figure this is my blog and if I don't want to write for a while I can get away with that. What is my blog going to do, fire me? ;)

Anyway...I suppose I'm writing more lately and that's the whole point of my Tuesday Thoughts series - at least I know I'll blog on Tuesdays.

So if you're still coming to the Fishbowl to read what I'm writing...thanks. Here's to another 11 years.

9.06.2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Are You Sure It Isn't Monday?

A friend posted this on Facebook today and it is SO accurate:

Seriously. I despise Monday holidays because of the Tuesday that happens afterward.

Sure it was nice to sleep in yesterday - even though I slept on the couch Sunday night because of (1) insomnia and (2) pain. But whatever.

Today?
Today is totally the Mondayest Tuesday ever.

I feel like crap - I believe I'm coming down with my annual September cold/bronchitis magic. Which is great because it's also going to be 100 degree heat index for the next 3 days which means my fibro will be super special all week too.

Basically I'd like to crawl into bed today and hibernate until Friday.

But I can't.
I have to work.
And Olivia starts ballet tonight.
And Emma starts volleyball.
And tomorrow I have to be a PTO officer (save me) and pretend I like people.
This week, I don't like people.

The highlight of my day right now - the potential for a Pumpkin Spice Latte this afternoon. That will surely help fight off this cold/bronchitis nonsense.

Here's hoping you all make it through this Tuesday that feels like a Monday.

8.30.2016

Tuesday Thoughts: When You Wake Up and Everything Hurts

This whole fibromyalgia thing is a real pain in the ... EVERYTHING.

Seriously.

Last week was a craptastic week in FibroLand. My shoulder blades were screaming for DAYS ... it literally hurt to breathe. Think about that for a second.

It.
Hurt.
To.
Breathe.

I took a nap last Monday. And last Tuesday. And last Wednesday. By Thursday the shoulder blade pain had subsided quite a bit and I felt ... OK.

But here's the thing that you might not understand.
My "OK" is not like your "OK."

When I say I'm feeling OK it means my daily pain is a dull ache - and yes, it is daily. Every single day I am in pain to some level. Some days it's a dull ache. Other days my joints feel like bone on bone. Those are the days when I'm not "OK."

Last week I was not OK for most of the week.

But I had an OK weekend. I might have been out in the heat a bit too much on Sunday but we had a lovely family day at the lakeshore so it was worth the pain.

Yesterday was a busy day and it didn't end until almost 9 p.m. when I came home from Olivia's 7th grade open house. When I went to bed I could feel it - the pain was coming back. I woke up throughout the night in various states of discomfort - my hips, shoulders, and wrists were the culprits this time.

Today I woke up and - everything hurt. Everywhere. My back. My hips. My shoulders. My elbows. My wrists. I can feel that the weather is changing. I can feel the humidity and the rain that is on its way tonight.

When I put any sort of pressure on my hips it HURTS.
My shoulders HURT.
My elbows HURT and I can't rest them on the arm rests of my office chair.
Also, the tip of my left index finger hurts.
It's a thing. It's weird.
And, several of my fingers are "asleep."
Oh, and my entire body is tingling. Has been all day. 

I don't feel like this every day.
But some days are worse than others.

And that my friends is my new normal.

8.28.2016

Summer Days on the Shores of Lake Erie

I've lived in Northwest Ohio my entire life (well, except for those 18 months when I lived in Florida and the six months I'd rather forget in Pennsylvania).

But it wasn't until I had kids that I really started to appreciate the Lake Erie Shores and Islands and all the family fun they have to offer.

Sure, I visited Cedar Point every year when I was a kid, but honestly since I'm not a big coaster fan, I don't feel the need to visit that amusement park every year. Or every 3 years.

However, I do love to take a day and head to Put-in-Bay or Marblehead.

I'm going to admit - I never went to Put-in-Bay when I was "younger" - which means I never visited the island to drink. (I went to Ohio University...I had enough to drink there. ha!). The first time I visited PIB was when we took the kids ... about seven years ago.

Now we like to make it an annual summer day trip. We hop on the Miller Ferry and rent a golf cart on the island and spend the day driving around, soaking up "island life." And we did just that a few weeks ago.


If you are making plans to visit PIB I strongly suggest (1) reserving a golf cart before you arrive OR (2) arrive before noon if you don't make a reservation. On busy summer weekends the golf carts go quickly and believe me, you don't want to walk from one end of the island to the other. (There are buses near the Miller Ferry dock that will take you "downtown"...if you can't get a golf cart).

This year's visit was fun - even if Liv was nursing what would end up being a chipped bone in her foot. We arrived early, drove around for a while, and decided to stop at the Perry Monument. Sadly, the monument had been struck by lightning the day before so we couldn't take the elevator to the top.

The rest of our day consisted of lunch (PERCH!) at The Keys, a new-to-us place with a cool Jimmy Buffet vibe; traveling down to Perry's Cave at the Family Fun Center; a stop at the Heineman Winery; and ice cream!


People always seems surprised when I say I take my kids to PIB. I don't understand why - it's not like we're bar hopping with the kids. ;-)

The island is full of fun, family-friendly things to do. I always recommend visiting PIB during the summer and/or early fall - our favorite time is actually AFTER Labor Day when most of the boats and weekenders have gone and the weather is cooler. One of the best visits we've had was a few years ago when we went in mid-September. It was perfection.

But really, just about any weekend during the summer and early fall is a good time to visit. And you can always check out the upcoming events to see what kind of fun stuff is going on!

Another favorite spot to visit is Marblehead, Ohio. We hadn't driven out there in about three years, so today we packed a picnic lunch and hopped in the car for a nice day trip.

On our way to Marblehead we stopped at Cheesehaven. I'm going to put this out there: if you love cheese (like I love cheese) you MUST stop at Cheesehaven. This fun store has 100's of kinds of cheese, cheese spreads, and some really fun retro candy (gum cigarettes, anyone?). They also have a nice selection of wines - many from the island wineries. [Also? You can sample many of the cheese spreads. Seriously. Sample them! Except for maybe the Ghost Chili cheese. Or the chocolate and walnut cheese spread.]

The lighthouse was open for tours to the top, but we opted out of that part (Liv is STILL in a walking boot). We walked the rocky shoreline, took some photos, and tried to have a picnic lunch. The bees had other ideas so we opted for eating in the car instead. Plus, A/C is always nice at a picnic. ;)


After a couple hours in Marblehead we decided to take the "scenic route" home, driving through Port Clinton and then home on Route 2. (Not my favorite route home, but I did it for the kids).

All-in-all we've had two great Sundays visiting the Lake Erie Shores and Islands this month. If you're ever looking for a fun day trip or even a short "staycation" you should check out the Shores and Islands - there is something for everyone. We even found a few things we want to do next year at PIB, but we're going to visit on a weekday this time!

Disclosure: Miller Ferry Line provided me and my family with round-trip tickets on the Miller Ferry, a golf cart rental, and a family fun pack for Perry's Cave. All opinions in this post are mine. Miller Ferry did not ask me to write about my experiences.

8.23.2016

Tuesday Thoughts ... Internet Birthday Edition

It's Tuesday. Again.
Let's hope today is better than Monday.
It started out with the contact lenses going into the correct eyes, so I already have a leg up today. ;)

So what are my thought today?
One thing: social media.

In particular how much I dislike some aspects of social media on any given day.
(This seems appropriate since today IS the 25th anniversary of the ol' internet).

I don't hate social media all the time. Some days I really like it. But on some days...I really, REALLY dislike social media. Like yesterday. When I asked for positive energy and got crap.

Here's the thing:
I am 43 years old.
I've been a parent for 12 1/2 years.
I know what is best for my child.

And...
I didn't ask for anyone's opinion.

What I asked for were (1) good thoughts and (2) good vibes for Olivia who is nursing a not-too-serious but rather painful foot injury.

Good vibes, people.

That.
Is.
It.

I don't know what Olivia's foot will feel like in a few weeks. I don't know how she will feel about putting on her ballet shoes when the time comes. But that is a decision that we'll make together - me, Olivia, and her dad.

Right now my job is to keep Olivia as unstressed as humanly possible so that we don't have another cycle of alopecia.Yeah, that's right. I don't want to stress out my kid about her foot and ballet and auditions because I don't want her hair to fucking fall out. Again.

Yeah. Keep reading.

We're finally (knock on wood) to the point where all of her bald spots are almost filled in with new hair. And if I told her today that there was no way on God's Green Earth that she would be able to audition in 26 days that would UNDOUBTEDLY cause her a lot of fucking stress and unhappiness.

Which could very easily lead to a new cycle of alopecia.
And no one wants that right now. 

But I get it.
Everyone wants to pass out advice on Facebook even when they aren't asked to do so.
Everyone is an expert in everything on social media.

I'm not a doctor but I play one on Facebook.
I'm not a parenting expert but let me tell YOU how to raise your kids. 
I know you didn't ASK for my opinion but let me give it to you anyway.  

The funny thing is: when I did post something later last night asking for good vibes for Olivia (after deleting the initial post because I JUST CAN'T RIGHT NOW), only a few (very wonderful and thoughtful) people posted positive thoughts.

Which leads me to wonder: is it just that much easier to hand out unsolicited advice and/or negative comments than it is to write out positive thoughts? Are we to a point on social media where you can't just hit "like" and say "good luck"?

If we are, that makes me sad.
Social media means you're supposed to be social. 

Anyway...happy 25th to the internet.
Sometimes you're the best thing ever.
And sometimes you really suck.

8.16.2016

Tuesday Thoughts - Back to School Edition

I'm in a mood today.
It's been a very long day.

My 'thoughts' today are rather scattered and whatnot....

Back to school!
Today Emma went back to school - 4th grade! (How in the world is THAT possible??)

Of course I had to take the "first day of school photo"....

Yes. Emma IS wearing cowboy boots with a dress. ;)
Fourth grade people.
Fourth grade.

Ballerina Foot Problems
We thought Olivia broke her big toe two weeks ago. At least that is what the pediatrician told us based on reading the X-rays. (Note to self: NEVER trust a pediatrician reading X-rays). The radiologist said nothing was broken - and that report was made TWO WEEKS AGO and NO ONE called to tell us.

Which means...we've been treating a non-broken toe for two freaking weeks when in reality the issue "might" be her tendon - as in a sprain or worse.


It should be noted that ballet starts on September 6 and auditions for The Nutcracker happen on September 17. To say I'm freaking out would be an understatement.

If Liv can't dance she is going to be CRUSHED.

And stress + Olivia = hair loss.
No one wants that.

Here's hoping that the ortho we're visiting on Monday can find a quick fix that will get her back in those dancing shoes STAT. 

8.09.2016

Tuesday Thoughts - Let's Try This Again

So remember waaaayyy back at the beginning of the year when I was all "let's blog more!" and I started that "Monday Musings" thing?

Yeah?
No?
Well whatever.
It didn't work.

January suddenly turned into June and life was crazy and now it's August and I haven't blogged (again) in weeks. That's not to say that I have nothing to write about.

I do. I'm just .... busy.

Yeah who isn't busy these days, right?
Lame excuse I know.

Plus, I don't like blogging on Mondays.
So, this week we'll try something new: Tuesday Thoughts.
We'll see how long I can keep this up.

Here's what's happening in my fishbowl lately....

Fibro still sucks. Not that I thought it was going to 'get better' ... because let's face it - it isn't getting better. Manageable, maybe. If the weather is right and my mood is fine and I've had enough sleep. Then I can manage with little to no pain/discomfort/annoyance. Two weeks ago I overdid it for two days in a row and woke up on Wednesday really sick. I'm talking 'I only ate a little bit of real food, two pieces of toast, and a lot of Coca Cola' sick. Yeah. It was a no good horrible very bad day all around. By contrast, I felt great yesterday - the weather was wonderful and I had almost no pain. Today? The humidity returned and I felt like crap as soon as I woke up this morning. I'm pretty sure that the rest of the week will be challenging as I'm pushing myself to do A CRAPTON OF STUFF between now and Friday.

School starts next week. I swear the girls JUST got out of school in May and then I blinked and it is now August and time to go back to class. I think they're ready. I KNOW I'm ready. I love my kids but they need to go back and learn something aside from how to use Snapchat. School supplies are organized, new clothes will be purchase this weekend. Let's do this.

The talk. Olivia and I had 'the talk' last night. NO. Not THAT talk. The "period talk." (also: if Olivia ever reads my blog she'll kill me). I figured she's starting 7th grade and it was about time to have some girl talk. She also told me she's ready to start shaving her legs. (hold me). So...it's time to buy a razor and set up an "emergency period kit" that she can take to school for WHEN that time arrives. (as a side note to the universe: please let IT happen at home and not at school. OKthanksbye). Oh. My. God. My oldest is going to be 13 in FIVE months.

Bullet journals: I've tried to start a bullet journal ... TWICE. I've "failed" (in my own mind) twice. So I'm starting over. I bought a new journal, some supplies, and I'm going to take some time next week when the kids are at school and I'm home alone and I'll get this journal thing started. Finally. I love the idea of a bullet journal .... I just need to take the time to really do it the way I want it done (and stop worrying about how other bullet journals look on Pinterest).

And there you have it...my first installment of Tuesday Thoughts. Maybe this time - with the help of my soon-to-be-created bullet journal - I'll actually get some real blogging done again. ;)