A knife’s edge

At this time I am walking a delicate balance. Every semester I reach close to this point, feeling like I’m walking a knife’s edge between becoming completely unhinged and being able to keep it together long enough to end the semester. This semester seems worse, maybe because it’s my last semester. I have 37 days until graduation. I have five research papers, a presentation, and a project to do in that time.

Today I picked up my cap and gown and recorded my shout-out that will be played as my family and friends walk into the auditorium (really, arena).

Today it became that much clearer just how close I am to graduating and being done.

Today, for the first time all semester, my stress hit the highest point that it’s been since August and I was actually jittery – something that signals the beginning of a pattern.

Today I managed to piss off my internship professor so much that it appears she is just done with me, which is fine because I’m done with her and I have email record that she says I’ve done enough work to pass the class. She is, however, the director of my program so I’m hoping that it doesn’t bite me in the ass. Can she actually withhold my degree just because she doesn’t like me?

I walk a knife’s edge and I am trying not to fall off. I want to bury my head in the sand and just play video games all day but that isn’t an option. I have too much to do and not enough time but I have to try. I feel like I am angry all the time and I know it’s just a result of the stress, or at least I hope it is, but that doesn’t make it easier. I am on the knife’s edge between completely losing my shit and being okay. It won’t take much for me to fall off. Let’s hope there’s no wind.

Wits’ End

I have reached the end of my wits with the Boy. Dinner has been a battleground for over a year and I am so very tired of it. Just tired. Breakfast is not a battle. Lunch is not a battle. Dinner is always a battle, every single night. Food he loves, food he’s okay with, food he’s never had – doesn’t matter. Time of night doesn’t matter – 5pm? 6:30pm? 7pm? Doesn’t make a difference. It will take him upwards of 2 hours to eat dinner and that’s WITH us telling him every few minutes to take a bite. Bribes worked for a little over a month – telling him that if he ate all his dinner, he could have a gold dubloon (chocolate coins in the gold wrappers). Even that isn’t working any more. I have reached the end. I feel like I’m running out of options, except the ones I don’t like and I might have to go with those. I am TRYING to get that child to gain weight and it is NOT working. But if nothing else is working, I feel like I have two options left:

Give him a reasonable amount of time – maybe 45 minutes? – to eat his dinner. After that, I am taking it away. If he tells me he is hungry later, he can have his food back. I haven’t decided if I will bother to warm it up for him or not. Temperature doesn’t seem to matter to him either, although he periodically tells me something is too hot when it is barely lukewarm. I think that’s just a toddler thing though, another way to procrastinate. My parents took this route with me at some point, but I think I was older than he is now. They did it on the advice of my pediatrician. I don’t know what I think of this.

My other option that I see is simply to be all “alright, you’re done, you can go play but you get no food the rest of the evening”. The problem with that one is that sometimes we eat fairly early, like 5:00pm, and he doesn’t go to bed until 8:30pm and most mornings he doesn’t wake up until 7:00am or later. That’s nearly 15 hours without food, and that’s not really okay either. Sending him to bed essentially without dinner because he won’t eat turns my stomach.

In both cases I feel like I’m falling into the “he’ll eat when he’s hungry” camp and I don’t like it there. I refer to that as “starving my kid”. Why? Because he tells me a lot “I’m really hungry AGAIN” and then I give him food and he doesn’t eat it. That’s what he told us last night while Aaron was making dinner…and then he didn’t eat it. I don’t want food to be a battleground because I don’t want to instill a hatred of food (because it means fights and nagging and crying). By the same token, the child NEEDS TO EAT. If he doesn’t eat, he doesn’t gain weight. If he doesn’t gain weight, his clothes don’t fit. He’s currently in 3T because his 2T fell apart and they are a little tight…but the 3T are too big in waist AND they are too long, but there’s no point in getting him more 2T clothes that he’s going to grow out of soon (theoretically). I know that both of my nephews were 48# when they were 2 and they stayed at that weight until they were 5, but they were growing taller so it made sense. I don’t think the Boy is even growing taller at this point.

Do any of you have other options that I am not seeing? I know, all children have their battlegrounds. This is ours, but it’s one I’m no longer willing to fight. Food has actually been a big thing for us most of his life. I’m tired. Aaron is tired. We’re frustrated because we can’t solve this. I don’t want to be the parent who sends their child to bed without dinner – that seems harsh, and like it should be reserved for something bigger. I”m not making him a special meal – this child would live on mac and cheese if he could, and I know that I lived on balogna and cheese sandwiches for many months when I was his age, but it doesn’t seem HEALTHY to do that – just because he won’t eat. If he didn’t like it that would be one thing, but he does this even with foods he loves. I’m not convinced that he wouldn’t do this with the mac and cheese! Help!!!!


The infusion on Tuesday wasn’t too bad. I am resigned to having to do them, so I’m glad it wasn’t horrid. They actually managed to get a vein, although it was my “best” vein. I only have the one that cooperates. The rest are either flat, sink, roll, flash, or plain old refuse to show up for the performance. It’s always been this way. When I was 17 I had the 5-hour glucose test and they ended up poking me 9 times in 5 hours. My veins simply refused to cooperate. I now warn people but it doesn’t always work. My *favorite* people are the ones who get overly cocky and are like “psh, I’m a master at this, you’ll be no problem because I do this all the time” and then my veins are like “fuck you, asshole, I refuse and you can’t make me”. I end up going “I told you..” I was 12 weeks along in this photo, which is 2 weeks after I went to the hospital for pains and they tried to get an IV. You see that bruise? Yeah, that’s from a trainee EMT trying to put in an IV. I warned him, he insisted, and that one flashed him. (No, I wasn’t that big at 12 weeks clearly – if you look, you can see the fake tummy from the store. I was using it to see how the shirts would look and if the pants would fit…but I got bigger than that by the end.)IMG_0124

Anyways, back to the infusion. She listened to me, found a vein, and off we went. They gave me some ben.adryl which made me hella sleepy. I probably slept for a little over an hour during it. It was, however, absolutely freezing in that room. I’ve worked in call centers that were warmer! They offer blankets but it wasn’t nearly enough. I will probably drag my own next time AND use one of theirs. And I know to dress even warmer, although I’m not sure how I’m going to do that. I don’t want to wear anything that is long sleeved because they have to get that IV up near my elbow. I don’t have a lot of warm things that I can just pull up. Maybe wear a tshirt and a flannel, then just either unbutton the sleeve and pull it up or pull that arm out? And wear gloves. My fingernails were purple!

I go back in about a week and a half. Then four weeks later. And then every six weeks. I hope that it stays the same as it is now and my single cooperative vein doesn’t give up the ghost. It already gets poked every 10 weeks and I’m always concerned that the next time it won’t work anymore. The good news is that they will be taking my blood at the same time they do these infusions, so it’s not infusion every 6 and blood draw every 10. Apparently now, in addition to checking my liver and kidney, they have to seriously keep track of my WBC because this is a biological, which means it suppresses my immune system. The en.brel did that too, but this one is different and stronger, and there’s a very real risk that they will suppress it too far. I remain concerned that I am now on three drugs that are harsh on my kidneys and liver. I am concerned that this long term harshness is going to cause problems down the road by doing damage that my body can’t recover from…but what is my other choice? Not take the meds and be in lots of pain and not be able to do things with my son because I can barely move? If I don’t take the meds, the inflammation gets worse and rages out of control. The constant inflammation is bad on the joints and, left unchecked, the AS can fuse my spine. Or take them and continue to risk damage and have my liver and/or my kidneys give out later? I feel like I have naught but bad choices in front of me and it makes me want to cry and/or rage. Fuck my body for doing this. Fuck it for making me have to make these choices. Fuck it. Fuck it all.

Year Six

I will talk about my infusion another day.


Today is the sixth anniversary of mom’s death. This is still my favorite picture of her ever, and that will likely never change. viewerIf you want to see something that embarrassed me at the time but now amuses the hell out of me and goes to show how fun my mom could be, this is it: Mom 7-6-02That was taken at my friend Amy’s wedding, which took place on July 6th that year. My mom had dyed her hair red, white, and blue for the 4th of July. I was absolutely mortified that my mom was going to a wedding for my friends with wonky colored hair. I was around 23, and my mom still had the ability to embarrass me. I wish now that I had her guts, that I was comfortable dying my hair like that. I’m always too worried about being professional, even though I don’t have a job. Maybe some day I’ll be able to embarrass my son in the same manner.

As is my usual coping response to today, I am staying away from most of my media. I am taking my son to daycare, even though I am not going to my classes, because I am in no emotional state to handle him today and he doesn’t deserve to have a mama who is just overly sensitive and angry. It’s not his fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. Cancer is such a bitch. I spent last week actually learning about cancer in one of my classes. I had planned to miss that class but I’m glad I didn’t. I am also really glad it wasn’t this week because I sure as shit couldn’t have handled it. Nope. My poor professor who was teaching the aforementioned class was teaching the cancer section the day before the fifth anniversary of her dad’s death from cancer, and she’d just lost her uncle a week and a half before. We both made it through that class without crying…I don’t know how close she was, but I was shaking with emotion after sharing a teensy bit about mom and her cancers, and after we discussed the fact that you don’t usually die of breast cancer, you die from the effects of it because it often goes to the brain…which is how my mom’s mom died. My mom was only 17. I think her mom was only 42. That’s only five years from now for me. I only remember because mom was freaked out until she passed that age marker.

Some year I’ll be okay with this, right? It won’t always leave me raw and angry and in tears and generally miserable when the anniversary rolls around, right? It does get better? Because I’d really like it to be. Grief is a bitch and I would like it to go away and leave me alone.

All the things!

Tomorrow I start a new medication for the ankylosing spondylitis that I’ve been dealing with for years. Aaron suspects I’ve had it for a VERY long time, but it’s only gotten bad enough for it to be diagnosed in the last two years or so. Which is not unrealistic, looking at the symptoms and comparing it to my timeline. The fibro just ramps up the pain of the AS, according to my rheumatologist. At any rate, I’ve been on En.brel for nearly a year and it’s no longer working. I’ve had to have three steroid shots in the past 30 weeks (at each of my last three appointments), which leads the rheum to believe that it’s not working properly. So now? Now I switch to Remi.cade. It’s an infusion. I get to go in tomorrow and sit in a chair for about three hours with an IV. Have I ever mentioned that I have TERRIBLE veins? Because I do. When I was 17, I had a five hour blood test for my blood sugars. The same test you take for the gestational diabetes, actually. Drink a super sugary drink – the first one was orange and to this day I can’t drink orange soda or really think about it with gagging – and then get your blood tested once an hour for five hours. They actually had to poke me nine times for that because my veins wouldn’t cooperate. I’ve had a colonoscopy and they tried 12 times to get an IV in before they finally found one in my FOOT that they could use. I get a blood test every 10 weeks at the rheum’s office, and I have one functioning vein. Tomorrow I have an IV infusion, then two weeks later I have another, and then four weeks after that I have a third, and then finally every six weeks I will be getting one. Assuming this works, at any rate. And in the middle of that, I will be having my every 10 weeks blood draw! I have pity on my poor, poor vein.

I have six weeks until graduation. There is SO much to do. So many due dates, exams, projects, papers, etc. But! On December 19, assuming that I pass my capstone class, I will graduate and then I get to look for a job. But graduate! I will be out of school and I will have a Bachelor’s degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies and a minor in Psychology! Exciting stuff!! Stressful stuff! Go go stress flares, whee!

Halloween was a lot of fun. The Boy dressed up like a Minion, I threw together a pirate outfit, and Aaron threw together a Neo outfit. The Boy got SO MUCH CANDY!

My little minion

My little minion

Other than that, I’m no longer fighting with my dad. I think. We got into a big fight about politics, as usual. I told him several years ago that I didn’t want to discuss politics with him. We are, and always will be, on different sides of nearly all issues and I don’t want it to tear us apart. It finally did, about 8 weeks ago. Yes, near the beginning of the semester. I called him while I was driving to say hi, update him on a few things, etc. I do this often. He decided to start discussing politics and economy and I told him I didn’t want to have the convo but he kept going and I finally got so pissed that I was seeing red, told him I loved him but I was not talking about this any more, and hung up. I called him two weeks later to update him on The Boy’s ear thing and he was really distant. I called him again last week – which put us at about six weeks – and we finally hashed it out. I made it clear once more that I did not want to discuss politics with him directly because I didn’t want to tear us apart. He got upset because I put political stuff on my FB – and I pointed out that there are RARELY discussions on those posts – and I clearly don’t care about his opinion. I do…if he would state it as an opinion and not try to convince me that I am wrong for having my own. If we could do this civilly, I would have no problem. But we can’t, and I don’t want to, and he refuses to respect that. I told him that I was done talking politics, and if he thought that was all we had to talk about, then I was sorry because I can’t do anything about how he feels on that. That’s his choice, and I am leaving it up to him. He butt dialed me on Halloween, so I called him back (using the excuse that he called but we must have had a weird connection…) and we actually talked for 20 minutes without him bringing up politics. Turns out he’s had a lot of medical stuff going on that he hasn’t bothered to tell me about because he was mad at me about politics. (sigh) He’s actually been up here in the middle of this month and didn’t bother fucking telling me. I HATE it when he holds grudges like this. It’s ridiculous. He’s going to withhold information AND essentially punish his grandson – who has been asking about his poppa and telling me he misses him repeatedly – because he’s mad about politics. Childlike, I’d even say. Yes, I am STILL mad at him for holding a grudge and being ridiculous…but I still wouldn’t withhold his grandson from him. At least he’s planning on coming up for my graduation. *eyeroll*

And with that, you are all caught up on what’s going on in my world. I have to run because school and late and crap. :) As always, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It brightens my day a little to know I’m heard.


1) Today in my Gender Studies class we are going to be discussing “Sexuality, Reproductive Rights, Contraception, and Abortion”. Oh lookie there, hot topics for me! Lets hope I can keep my yap shut. So far this class hasn’t gotten heated and everyone has been respectful but hot damn, reproductive rights, contraception, and abortion are all REALLY big soap box areas for me.

2) Have I mentioned I can’t get a grip on this semester to save my soul? Because I can’t. Everything feels like it’s piling up. For example: I have a mid-term today that I am not prepared for. I have a tabling event for my Service Learning on campus on Friday, and a card writing on Saturday (both of which I am taking The Boy to). I have a 6-8 page paper due next Monday that I haven’t even started on. I have my second psych exam that day between classes. I have a paper due next Thursday with my group for psychology…and I loathe one of the members so much that I don’t even want to do the work.

3) I think I mentioned that The Boy had ear surgery on the 22nd. The surgery went fine, although recovery was a bitch. I sobbed so hard that Aaron asked if I needed to leave the room! And all was fine…except that his left ear was leaking a LOT A LOT. Enough so that I had to call the doc and first they said it was fine, and a few days later they decided that no, it was not fine and now we have to put drops in his ears because apparently they suspect an ear infection. I think he has an appt this week to confirm but sonofabitch, I suspect that the patch failed. *sigh*

4) I am loving these microblog things. I realize this is probably longer than intended, but it’s getting me back here periodically…which can be nothing but good for me!

I’m not dead yet!

1) Mel is doing Microblog Mondays, so I’m hoping this will get me back into writing.
2) Cole is having a surgical procedure on his ears today because the holes from his tubes being taken out are not healing after 5 months. Please send us happy thoughts.
3) I’ve started drinking again. I know, I know. Not heavy, but when you start at zero, there’s only one way to go. Not that I’m stressed or anything…
4) I am in my final semester at school – YAY! I am taking 4 classes, two of which have service learning that is going to total 25 hours, and an internship at Cole’s preschool where I have to work for 45 hours.
5) One of my classes says that writing helps relieve stress. I know this is the case because I look back at how often I used to post when I was trying to get pregnant and going to school the first time and hot damn was I an angry mess. That’s part of why I don’t write anymore – I feel like all I do is bitch about things. I’ve even stepped away from 3/4 of my social media over the summer. Just can’t handle it.
6) If you’re reading this, thank you for sticking around. Thank you for checking in on me still or leaving me on your reader. I appreciate it!

Want to see who else is posting in Microblog Monday? Look here for today’s!

Is he or isn’t he?

A friend on FB posted this morning that her son, who is 7, got an ear infection last night and his eardrum ruptured. A few comment in, she posted “Pray for no permanent hearing loss” and I…well, I nearly became “that parent”. The one who says “You know, that’s not the worst that can happen. Permanent hearing loss is not a huge thing, in the scheme of things. Your kid is 7. His speech is fairly established. Getting a hearing aid is a fairly easy process and kids don’t mind them nearly as much as adults do.” Except I didn’t, because that would be callous of me and completely unfair.

It does, however, make me feel like I’m in a weird camp. Should The Boy’s hearing loss be a bigger deal than it is right now? Sure, it’s come with its fair share of struggles, like learning to talk and eating. It’s put him a bit behind the curve in some spots but he’s way ahead in others. Aaron says I panicked a lot in the initial diagnoses, but that’s sorta what I do – I panic, I fall apart, and then I pull myself together and figure out what we’re going to do about it. So no, it’s by far not the worst. There’s hearing loss but he’s not profoundly deaf…and if he was, well, we’d sort that out too. I took ASL classes the semester after we found out and he got his hearing aid, because I thought it might be needed. At that point he was becoming more verbal but he still wasn’t clear enough that others could understand him and he was so young that expressing himself was an issue too. Hell, he’s 3(!) now and we’re still working on articulation and how to express oneself.

So is The Boy a special needs kid or not? I have services for him – Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and Blind, for starters, plus he’s in a language pre-school run by his speech therapist. He gets 30 minutes of dedicated, one-on-one speech therapy twice a week at the school, working on articulation. He’s also 10 months behind on average, according to the assessment I do about every 6 months with IESDB. He was 37 months at the last one and his age score for language comprehension is 27 months. He’s been 10 months behind the entire time. Granted, the number of areas in which he is behind have shrunk but he’s STILL behind by nearly a year. So special needs? Except that you can’t tell by looking at him, unless you can see his ear, that there’s anything different about him at all. I could probably not use IESDB at all, but I prefer to have them just in case. During the summer it lets him be exposed to other kids that are just like him…which puts us back in the first camp.

I am in no way upset that he might be – it’s just a label, after all – but it is yet another identity struggle for me. Do I try to jump into the special needs kids community? I can’t really identify with most of the parents other than “yeah it’s a struggle” but in all honesty, beyond that I have no experience and would only succeed in making an ass out of myself. Do I insist that he is not a special needs kid? That just makes me look like a judgmental ass. Where do we fit?

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Eventful times

The other day, I noticed water under the mat at my computer desk. I thought “that’s an odd place for water, just under my mat. How did it get THERE?” Aaron checked it before we went to bed Tuesday night because…yeah, odd. I didn’t see any water AROUND the desk, my water glass hadn’t tipped over, there was no water ON the mat…but there was enough under it to soak right through a towel and it STUNK. He discovered that the water went back, back under the desk, all the way to the wall. Dad came up on Wednesday for a test and he investigated too and…yup. There was none in the crawl space, the floorboards under the house weren’t wet, but the carpet was SOAKED.

We called up our insurance agent, who happens to be one of our really good friends (and if anyone needs an agent, even one non-local, let me know!) and said “um, dude, water and we don’t know where from or what to do and HALP!!” That was around 11:30 on Wednesday. Around 11:45, he called us back and said “call this guy – he’s who I’ve worked with in the past on stuff like this and he can tell you where it’s coming from and what we do”. We did, left a message, and he called around 1:00, came over at 2:30, and discovered that the drain pipe that goes from the sink down under the house had broken in the wall. All that water that had been going down the drain from the sink and the dishwasher, with all the food and pardon me while I GAG!, had been going into the floor and THAT’S where the water in the carpet was coming from. One side of the computer desk was molded and so is one edge of the entertainment center. We’re damn lucky it didn’t fry out the electrical equipment or the wall outlet that sits RIGHT THERE. Anyways, he called our agent back, who called the adjuster, who called US at 7:00 last night. He apparently trusts the restoration guy wholeheartedly and said if Brandon said to move on it, go ahead and they would cover it. Brandon called us at 7:15 and said “Do you want me to start tonight?” I mean seriously, that’s fast work! We had them come this morning because we still needed to move the furniture and stuff. Apparently if WE move it, we get money off our deductible. We won’t know yet what they’re going to do with the furniture because the adjuster has to come look at it and he’s in Colorado for a meeting.

Anyways, the guys came this morning to get started on it. They showed up around 9:30 and left around 4:30. They tried to pull up the carpet but ended up having to cut it to get it up, so we get new carpet. Yay, because light colored carpet + toddler do NOT mix. We put it in, but we didn’t have a child at that point and didn’t think we were going to get to have one, so it didn’t matter. New carpet, the wall has been torn out between back room and kitchen – it was paneling and rotten/molded, so we get to have drywall put up and have it painted. The kitchen cabinets had to be removed, along with the sink and the countertop. Those all came out fine, so they aren’t being replaced (drat! sorta). My dad is coming up on Monday to replace the drain line (he’s a plumber by trade, or was before we moved) but we’ll replace the stuff under the sink ourselves once the sink and everything is back into place.

At this point, we are probably looking at a few weeks to get everything put back into place. Hopefully. Maybe sooner but probably not. School? Oh yes, school. THAT starts on Tuesday. My kitchen has had 4 weeks to do this and it’s doing it the week before classes start. I hate this house sometimes. I’ll post pictures later, if I get a chance. I’m working off my laptop right now because my main computer isn’t hooked up, and my laptop doesn’t have dropbox installed on it (I don’t think – too tired to check). I haven’t slept well in a month and shit is hitting the fan and…yeah. The Boy flipped out for a good 30 minutes yesterday because we moved all his toys to the front room and as close as we can figure he thought we were taking them away – he’s not allowed free access to the front room. Only he will be now, because our plans for the summer got stepped up and he’ll be spending his time up here now. Still haven’t figured out what we’re going to do with everything else, but one step at a time. I think. I don’t know. My head hurts. I’m going to bed.

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