Why am I even here right now? Here, on this blog? I have things to do...

...but I'm so tired. And I hurt. And I'm tired of hurting and being tired.

I feel like I just can't get it together.

God, I'm just so sick of living this way!

Sorry, sorry... I'm just worn out and tired and frustrated right now.

It's not even like I'm hurting that much, relatively. It's that intense background pain that's annoying and draining, but not painful enough to really cause a limp or make you feel justified in being frustrated... Then again, it's all relative, these days. I don't even have a pain scale anymore. There is no "on a scale of one to ten...", because I'm always hurting. I'm always in pain, goddammit! And it wears me out, it tears me down, and it feels like even though I'm doing everything I can to fight and to claw my way out of this razor-lined pit, nothing is happening. My hands are bloody, my sides are heaving, and I'm still no closer to the light than I was before.

I'm draining my family's resources, and for what? So I can sit here on the couch, covered in sweat and tears, and just be frustrated and ruined?

I never asked for this, you know. Who the hell would?

And I'm tired of crying to C. I feel like I'm dragging him down, you know? I depend on him so much, and I feel like that's totally not fair. But I don't have anyone else that I feel I can lean on like that, not here anyway. I've got a few friends, but... in truth, I feel very isolated and alone.

I've got my online friends and support groups, and I've got my bestie, and I've got my family, but they're all so far away. Who is here to share C's burden, the burden that I put on him? Hardly a one. There's C, who helps me clean my house, which is amazing, but she's got her own dad to take care of, plus she's trying to keep her head above water with school. I feel like I'm asking so much of her just by accepting her help. There's D, my brother in law, but we don't have the kind of relationship where I can go crying to him... He will help where he can, bringing me food when I'm sick and all, but... we just don't have a "feely" kind of relationship. Maybe the years will change that, but for now... yeah.

There's D, my almost-sorta-mother-in-law, but again... I don't know if we have the sort of relationship where I can go crying to her. Also, I'm not sure she understands the whole chronic illness/pain thing. Last time we discussed my health problems, she launched into suggestion mode. I appreciate her intent, but I'm already trying to fix myself, and I'm frustrated enough with what I'm doing. No more cures, please!!

There's my grandparents, but they live half an hour away, so it's a trek to go out there and see them, one that wears me out. There's E, but she is constantly frazzled and stressed to the max, so there's no way in hell I'm going to add anything to her burdens. I know she understands, because she has chronic pain herself with her arthritis, but I don't want to go to her because she has troubles enough of her own. There's BJ, but... well, I already went over what happens when we talk about my illnesses. It doesn't seem to end well.

And I know that I'm so lucky to have so many people in my support network, both near and far. I am. I know this. But I wish... I mean... I just...

I miss the S's. I miss J, my mentor. I miss H. Those are the kind of people that I wish I had around me, here and now. The kind of people that will hug me and hold me while I cry, understand without trying to fix me, and then make me laugh when all the tears are out. Maybe make some tea together, or go for a drive along the Selway. Watch a movie. I dunno. But I know they're like that because they did the exact thing for me while I was tromping through the raw battleground of my abuse and dark baggage from the past. This feels a lot like that, and I wish that I had them here with me.

But they're not. I have C, but man... I feel like I'm draining the life out of him, squeezing around him like our snake and crushing his bones. I know he feels helpless-- what can he do? How can he help? I'm still in pain when it's all said and done.

So I'll sit here alone, face streaked with tears and sobs racking my body... waiting for yet another pain killer to kick in and the heating pad to do its work.

I hate this existence so much. Fibromyalgia, UCTD, hypothyroidism, and food allergies... I hate your guts. You stole my fucking life, and I want it back.

I understand right now the appeal of a deity, a personal one... you know, the whole "Jesus is always with you" kind of thing? I get it. I really do. It's the cry of a tired and lonely heart that needs someone to just be there, to understand, someone who you can't overburden or burn out. Got it. But you know... nahhhh. I won't go there. Not right now.

So, I guess I'm done ranting. The tears and sobs have kinda dried up. The table is covered in wadded used tissues, and my cup of tea is probably cold. No, wait... there are still some tears back there.... but that's okay. They'll come, and I'll let them, but I'm done typing. The pain is getting worse. I'm done.

That's pretty much the summary of my life this evening, or how I feel about it anyway.

I'm done.
As the title says, I'm effing dying.

Well, actually, I'm sitting up and eating rice, which is an improvement.

I've been sleeping a lot, which is a blessing, because then I don't feel sick or in pain. (Well, actually, I do, but I don't have to deal with it, because I'm sleeping.)

The infection symptoms are aggravating my fibro symptoms, so I get to be sick and in a flare. Or maybe the infection symptoms are just so similar to my flare symptoms that I'm confused. Who knows. Either way, this suuuuuuucks.

But I've had a fun time distracting myself by browsing through Chronic Illness Cat memes. I think only those who've been there will understand and/or find it funny, but I've been wrong before.

Here are some of the ones I found especially funny...

This one is funny to me, because I also know my pharmacy techs by name!

And that's why I'm eating rice. I actually wasn't sure I had enough spoons to get the rice cooker going... but I did! Celebrate! Aaaaand... collapse. ;)

So I'm actually hungry right now. This is good. I'm going to go eat more rice. Maybe put a movie on. Try to stay conscious until D brings me water and bananas. I have such a nice brother in law.
They say that a silent blog is the sign of a full life. I suppose that's true. I've had a few big things come up for me in this last week, not all of which were good...

My boss and I decided that I need to learn how to write grants, so I'll begin learning how to do that this coming week (if I'm not too sick to work). The best part is that I get a cut of the grant if it's accepted, so that means that I could potentially grab some pretty big (to me) chunks of money here in a while, which would be greatly appreciated. I'm closer to maxing out my credit card than I'm comfortable with, and I don't really have a way of paying it down, other than my weekly $40 that I throw at it.

I got my handicap parking placard, which means that I now have access to all the best spots. Go on. Admit you're jealous. It's a temporary placard, which means that I'll be up for re-evaluation in 6 months. By then, I hope to not need it any more! I don't know if that's foolish optimism or a realistic goal, but I'm going for it anyway.

I took my car to the mechanic because of a leak and possibly an ABS problem and found out that it's basically going to die on me at any time. The transmission is shot (which is what I thought was the ABS problem), my water pump is leaking, and there's a possibility my intake is leaking as well. So that was great news... But the guy was honest and told it to me straight, which I greatly appreciated. I could pay to get it all fixed, which would come out to about $2,500, but that's more than the car itself is worth. Also, since it's an older car, this is about the time that stuff is going to be wearing out and breaking down... so the best option at this point is to get a "new" car. New to me, that is. So I'm scouring Craigslist at the moment, and waiting to hear back from the people I've contacted already.

We moved more stuff into the new house. C decided to part with his beloved green couch set, and I hauled the boxes of wedding stuff over to my craft room. The spare bedroom in the apartment isn't empty yet, but it's far emptier than it was before!

Also, I went to a wine tasting with S. It was totally spur of the moment, but it was a great deal of fun, and he took me out to dinner afterward. I felt so sophisticated and high class! I learned that I really don't like wine, but I do like how it makes me feel. I don't know why people drink it for pleasure, because it really doesn't taste good at all. Well, I take that back. There was one out of the six that I mostly enjoyed, and that was a super sweet dessert wine. It still had that sharp rubbing-alcohol bite to it, though, and that spoiled it. I think I'll take Martinelli's over alcoholic drinks any day, thank you! But we did have a lot of fun. Our catchphrase for the night was, "I'm drunk. What's your excuse?" Hehe. And it was really good that S came over and hung out for a while before we went off on our wine tasting adventure, because I was depressed and sad. The whole car thing refocused my attention on how I cannot, at this point, contribute to our finances in any significant way, and that totally makes me feel like a burden. Especially when spendy stuff like this comes up. So I was feeling very down and very unworthy and despondent and angry with myself and my situation, but having a friend over helped me to sort of shift mental gears and get back to real life. It was good.

I've been having health problems again. (Uh, still, that is?) My lower back has been spasming almost constantly since Wednesday, and it's agonizing. My uterus was cramping for a couple of days, too, and I was wondering what was up. It's still several weeks until menstruation, so I don't know what the deal is. My body just randomly freaks out. Maybe I'm pregnant. Wouldn't that be funny? It would be nuts if we got married, bought a house, bought a car, and got pregnant, all at once! It's still pretty nuts, even without a baby.

Then, on top of the regular fibro problems like the spasming back and fatigue, I caught the influenza that's going around. Well, that's not entirely accurate. Because my immune system is all whacked out, I don't actually catch colds or influenza or stuff like that. Oh no. I get respiratory infections. Every. single. freaking. time. I got hit with a sore, swollen throat and the beginnings of a sinus infection Friday night, and I immediately began flushing my sinuses with warm salt water every few hours to get the infection gunk out. I thought that maybe I could control it that way, and it looked like it was working most of Saturday, but by evening it had started settling into my lungs and I knew I was in trouble. After part of a long, achy, restless night full of tissues and hacking, I finally moved to the couch so I wouldn't disturb C any longer. Talking to my friends on a fb support group for autoimmune diseases/chronic illnesses convinced me to head to the walk-in clinic this morning for antibiotics.

Usually, I don't take antibiotics. (I almost said, "Usually, I don't take meds." Then I caught myself and laughed, because that's a total lie! I'm on, like, 6 different medications right now. Heh.) Some people take them at the slightest provocation, and I disagree with that method. That's what creates super resistant bugs that get people really sick. So I avoid antibiotics whenever possible, especially because they can throw off your good bacteria. This time, however, I realized the wisdom of it. I could keep trying natural remedies, sure, but I'm thinking that they kind of lose their effectiveness when your immune system doesn't work like a normal person's. Not to mention the fact that I'm on a med for one of my autoimmune diseases that sort of suppresses the immune system. Also, I really don't want this to linger on the way the infections usually do when I'm self-treating. And thirdly, this infection is aggravating my fibro and bringing on a flare, which sucks!

So I went to the walk-in clinic and saw a nice doctor man, and he gave me some prescriptions, which I was supremely grateful for. Because of the fever and fibro pain combined with the fatigue, I had to use my walker, and I was shuffling along like a frail old lady. It was pretty funny, in retrospect.

I don't know if it's the antibiotics kicking in already or the Claritin that I took to dry up all that mucous, but I am feeling better. Oh, it could also be the Tramadol. Heh. At least my raging headache is gone, thank goodness. I feel halfway like a human being again, until I stand up. Then I remember why I wanted to be euthanized this morning.

So, one day at a time. Life will continue to bring surprises and interesting things, and I will continue to (try to) take them all in stride.

Now... back to being an immobile lump.
I've been feeling better since Wednesday. Stronger. More able to handle the pain, and even to push myself and feel my muscles burn with exertion. It's been a while since I dared to do anything like that. It would have sent me straight to bed in spasms of muscle agony and the groaning torment of severe "fibro flu". Who wants that? Not I.

I did a lot (to me) of packing and moving this weekend. I picked up boxes and carried them out to my car and into the new house. I scrubbed shelves and mopped floors. I wiped down bathtubs and swept the whole house. I hung shower curtains and ate sushi cross-legged on the bare tile floor.

It was a good weekend. I enjoyed feeling stronger than I have in... who can remember how long? When your days are filled with pain and sickness, they tend to blur together. You forget the last time you had a good day, unless it was extraordinarily memorable. I remember my wedding day, but that was not a good day, health wise. It was actually a very bad day, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

So that makes me think that the acupuncture is actually, finally helping. I feel like I've been gradually slipping down a flight of stairs, and each step is a lower level of functioning than the last. But, at last, I feel like I've taken a step back up that flight of stairs.

Granted, the fatigue was a bit of a bitch today, but I fought it. I did good, but today, combined with the weekend, may have been a bit much. I think I got over-excited about feeling better, 'cause now I'm feeling pretty gross. Not much in the way of pain today, actually. Surprisingly. I don't really know what to do with myself when I'm not actively in the throes of affliction, so I was at a bit of a loss...

While I was waiting in the bank to change my name last week, I picked up a National Parks magazine and read an interesting article about a woman and her husband who started as seasonal Park workers in Glacier. The article was about how they worked Denali for a season or two as seasonal employees, but then they chose to stay there year-round, and how that experience has changed them for the better. It was a good, interesting story. I'd like to see if I can find it online somewhere... Oh! Found it!

Here. Read this. It's great.

Anyway, it really struck a chord with me, as ever since I started really talking to D I've had this intense desire to visit Alaska... maybe even stay for a while. I can't now, 'cause of the dumb fibro (cold affects me very, very negatively in that regard)... and that is what got me thinking, and grieving.

I'm grieving for the Life That Could Have Been.

If I were not sick, what kind of life would I have led?

Realistically, my health has been compromised almost my whole life. I've had fibromyalgia since I was 9, at least, and the fatigue and other things that accompany it really impacted me growing up. I never had much physical stamina, not to mention the exercise induced asthma that I inherited from my biological dad. (Thanks, T!) Maybe I had the thyroid and adrenal issues way back then, too. I don't know. All I know is that the older I've gotten, the sicker I've gotten.

But if I were healthy, what kind of life would I have chosen?

I used to love to roam the desert and go hiking as a kid. On Sabbath afternoons I'd be over at the D's house, and after lunch we'd decide to go for a hike in the desert. I'd borrow some of their son's clothes and shoes, and we'd be off on an adventure. J and I would leave the adults behind and skip up the mountains like little goats-- he was always ahead of me, because of the stamina/asthma thing, but I trucked right along. When I lived in ID, I had a fierce longing to work for the Forest Service, and I was SO jealous when K got the opportunity.

If I had not been sick, that is the kind of life I would have chosen for myself. I would have joined up with the Forest Service, or the National Parks, clearing trails or patrolling the backwoods or whatever was necessary. I'd cross-country ski through the woods in winter, and I'd hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim. I'd camp out at Denali, and I'd hike McKinley at least once. I'd sleep under the stars at the Arches, and I'd walk the Appalachian Trail, a pack on my back and a dog at my side.

Would I have a husband by my side as well? I don't know. I do know that, were I living the life that my soul dreams of, I would have married someone very different from C, someone more like B or D, or even W, my sister's fiance.

But the thing is... I was born into this broken body, a body that limits me in so many ways... and I will never get to live that life. I had a taste of it, a beautiful, refreshing taste when I lived up north. But now... now I celebrate walking around the block. My body does not do the things that I desperately, sincerely wish that it would and could. And I must accept the fact that it may never do those things. Truly, it will never do all the things that I wish it could, and that's okay. I know that I am more "frail" than some of the rugged individuals out there (I'm looking at you, Miss R, and your man J!), but I still want to work up to doing what I can.

I want to go backpacking again. I want to go camping again.

I want to do those things without fear of falling wretchedly, desperately ill as a consequence of enjoying myself, of pushing myself. It's ironic that physical exertion can make me so, so sick... because getting exercise is supposed to be so super healthy for you! I feel like a leper sometimes. A misunderstood leper.

And so I grieve. I grieve the Life That Could Have Been, the life that would have been, had I been born into a healthy body.

Anyone reading this with a body that follows your commands and obeys your wishes without committing mutiny... I hope that you walk away from this grateful. I mean it. How often do we think about the little things that our body does for us, without even thinking? Washing the dishes. Bending down to pick toys up off of the floor. Rising from a seated position. Chewing food.

These are things that, some days, are difficult or nigh impossible for me to do. Some of my chronic illness friends find these things absolutely impossible on a regular basis. I'm better off than a lot of them, and it's humbling.

If you have health, don't take it for granted. I certainly don't, not anymore. And yes, while I am grieving, I am also celebrating. I am celebrating the health that I have, whether I feel awful or not. I have safe food to eat, I have medicines to take, I have health treatments that are paid for and not putting me in the poor house or driving me to extreme measures to pay for. I have a supportive network of friends and family that both believe me and believe in me. I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me in a zillion little ways, and who wanted to marry me despite the trip down the stairs I've been taking. He has wanted to marry me for years and years... and his love did not dim a whit while I was off doing what I thought was best for both of us. How many people can say that?

Sure, it's rocky. Sure, I'm in pain. Sure, I'm fighting hard against a body that is literally trying to attack and kill itself. But man... I have so much to celebrate, so much to be incredibly grateful for. And it's those tough things that make me appreciate the nice things so. much. For example... I have a new house! And I was able to clean it!! All by myself!!!

I love my life. So while I do grieve the Life That Could Have Been, I don't know if I could or would ever give up the Life That Is. It's just too rich and too wonderful, and I love all the pieces of it... even the hard ones.
Remind me that there are a couple of topics that I want to explore and sift through... ones that have been surfacing and resurfacing in my mind of late.

I just have to be in the right mood, with the right amount of time, and the right amount of energy to work through things like that. The emotional posts are easy, 'cause I just ride the wave. Thought processes... they take effort.

So remind me to work through a.) the life that could have been, and b.) not owing my choices to anyone/being an adult.

I'll get back to those. I will. Because they're important to me.
Ok, so I know it's dumb, but...

Remember that post I did over on FighterZine? Well there's this lady that has commented twice, and both times she's like "Oh, I wouldn't focus so much on the fibro. Just worry about wedding planning and being happy and forget about it!"

And that makes me feel super invalidated.

Which is dumb, because I know that everyone has a different experience with fibro and other chronic illnesses, and everyone has a different perspective on how to handle situations. I am actively focusing on remembering that and taking it into account. I'm not mad at her or wishing her ill or anything.

I guess I'm just annoyed that, clearly, she didn't read the part where I talked about how I have to use walkers and sticks and stuff, or the part where I was in ridiculous amounts of pain and dealing with mad fatigue. It's like, why would you even comment about that when I'm clearly coming at this from the angle of someone who has to take fibro into account in her daily activities?  Whoopee for you that you don't, but don't hassle me because I have to.

And really? You don't have to take any of the advice you read on the internet. If it doesn't apply to you, then move on. It will apply to someone else, and that's great. Don't poke at me just because it doesn't fit your situation.

Seriously. Anyone with common sense would know that I'm not advocating focusing all of your wedding planning energies on your sickness, just as spending every waking hour thinking about fibro is foolishness. It's depressing. It's draining. It's unhealthy. The intent of the post was to share what I found helpful as I took the fibro into consideration while planning a large event. Did it eclipse my focus? No. And I don't really think that I should have to spell that out.

So this lady just kind of annoyed me, is all. She's not a troll, I don't think. I'm just still so new to writing and dealing with my chronic illnesses that I'm sensitive to all manner of criticism regarding either of those topics... so when I'm criticized about my writing that has to do with my chronic illnesses, it's like a huge Self Conscious Fest in my brain.

Aaaaaaand... I'm over it. Back to packing. :)


Also, because it's necessary... (I hope I'm not repeating some from the past!)

So I've discovered that I absolutely despise buckwheat hot cereal.

I hated it the first time I had it the other day, but I thought, "Hey, maybe I did it wrong. I'll give it another shot before I condemn it."

Alas, no. It is intrinsically gross. The only good thing about that bowl of buckwheat cereal I choked down was the butter and maple syrup I put into it. It was kind of like a really disgusting liquid pancake. When I do the butter and syrup thing with rice grits, it tastes like a liquid pancake-- pure heaven! I have to be careful how much butter I put in, though, because apparently I'm secretly either Southern or French and it's really easy for me to just load it in there.

In other news, I carted a bunch of stuff over to the new house, and I cleaned it all up so it's now move-in ready. Next move is packing boxes full of the things that we aren't using and taking those over. I need to stop being so picky about organizing everything before I begin to pack it, because that's just spending extra time. I should organize and sort while I pack, then I'm getting two birds with one stone! And as far as packing materials go, we don't have any newspaper or such... but we do have an abundance of towels, and I just picked up a couple sets of sheets, so I'll just use those. Then, when we unpack everything, I can just store the towels and sheets on the shelves I'm going to put up above the washer and dryer. We have no cupboards or linen closet for that, so I had to get a little creative.

I'm excited to be nesting and settling down in my little house. Apparently C took his brother and some others over to the house last week to show it off, so it would seem that he's excited, too.

More than just the house itself, I'm excited about what it symbolizes for me. To me, it symbolizes the life that C and I are building together, the solid foundation of "us" that we're working from that can weather any storm. Our life together has not been what we thought it would be, but it is better than I could have imagined. I love that man so very much, and I'm so happy and proud to be setting up the house that I will be sharing with him for many days (and years?) to come.

I have requested (and C agreed) that we have a celebratory barbecue once the house is all moved and settled into... Kind of like a housewarming party in reverse. Like, "here, let us give you food and show you how grateful we are for all the support you've given us... and for helping us move." 'Cause the guys are totally going to help us move the furniture, that's just a given.
I don't know if I mentioned before that I joined a team of bloggers for an e-zine blog focused on FMS and chronic pain, but I did. I was waiting until after the wedding, when things calmed down a bit, to begin contributing, and...

I put up my first post last night. Check it out, if you so desire.

Planning a Fibro Wedding
My, oh my, do I just feel trampled by good ol' fibro.

Yesterday was actually a good day. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they do still exist! I was in pain, to be sure, but I felt strong and happy despite it. (Strong being a relative term lol) The fatigue was at bay, and I felt like a semblance of a normal human being again. You know, one who does more than one "thing" a day?

So I went window shopping in a favorite store yesterday morning after dealing with medical insurance issues, where a kind sales lady asked if I would like her to hold my staff up at the front until I was done shopping. She mistakenly thought that it was an item the store was selling! We both laughed once we realized what had happened, and I was allowed to keep my stick. Fortunately for me, my initials are engraved in silver above the leather wrapping, so it's proof that I'm not shoplifting. That kind of mistake has happened a couple of times lately. I guess people aren't used to someone walking around with a staff.

I kicked butt in yoga class, though I did make sure to listen to my body, honoring my practice. I rested when I needed to and modified what moves I needed to, but I was also able to push myself a bit, and I felt stronger for it. Instead of barely making it through, I felt as though I actually moved forward a bit, if that makes sense.

Then it was off to work, which was fine, and after that Spanish class. I did start feeling a little punky during that class; a little feverish, definitely some pains and aches, some brain fog. It wasn't too bad, though, and I made it through class in good spirits. When I got home, I managed to do the dishes and make the bed before realizing that I had done enough and I was at the limit. I was very tired, so I took a quick little nap before C got home.

So yes, it was a good day. Sure, there was pain, but I'm used to that now, right? I didn't have to take more than my allotted share of pain killers, so that's always a good thing. If I had gone to bed early (like when I took my nap), I would even have taken less than usual.

Today, though, I am soooooo tired. I just am dragging, man. I want to stay in bed and sleep, all day. Of course I won't. I have stuff to do. But good grief...

It's interesting, though... It's been a while since something took the forefront over the pain. Yes, I'm achy and painful, but that's not what's bothering me the most today. And that feels unusual to me. Just goes to show what we get used to :)

I do think the acupuncture is helping, despite the hellish "healing responses" that I've been going through. Yesterday and this morning my rib cage was very painful, so much so that it hurt every time I breathed. She addressed that in today's session, and after I've woken up from the nap I took, the ribcage pain is gone. Very cool. I like being able to breathe without it hurting.

I'm optimistic about my process of recovery. Now that we know what's aggravating the fibro and are addressing it, I sincerely believe that it will die down to a manageable level. I mean, sure, it'll always be there and I have to be careful not to flare it, but I won't have to live like this anymore!

You have NO idea how much I'm looking forward to that. It would be like a miracle in my life.
The past few days have proven interesting.

Sunday, I went ahead and super-medicated myself. I don't know how many painkillers I took that day, because I wasn't even counting. (It wasn't an inordinate amount, but I'm pretty sure it was more than normal. I think. Again, I don't know.) So while Saturday was a day full of pain and despair, I was pretty much walking on clouds the next day... or walking through a haze. Whatever you want to call it.

I'm still dealing with this bout of depression, and all I really wanted to do Sunday morning when I got up was sit around and mope. Fortunately for me, that didn't happen, as C needed some emergency help with her English class. She came over and we worked on it for many, many hours. After she left and I'd taken a short nap, I started the process of streamlining our possessions as preparation for the move. I think I got rid of fully 1/3 of my wardrobe that night, at least! I'm happy about that. I don't like it when I've accumulated so many things...

That morning, Mom called me about K. She had... news.

While I don't mind sharing my own personal details here on this blog, I do recognize that it's not fully a personal blog any longer. There are people who read this on a fairly routine basis, which is all great and fine. I think that's awesome. When it comes to details about other people, though, I find myself hesitant to bare all, because it's not my news to talk about, you know?

So, we shall simply say that K went through a horrific experience unbeknownst to us all, but it finally came out in the open and she's getting the help she needs. Also, knowing about this experience and some of the consequences makes a whole lot of sense out of some things that didn't make much sense before.

My heart is breaking for her, though. I cried when Mom told me what had happened... and it just made me so much more grateful for the life that I have, the life that C and I are building together. We're breaking cycles and changing the future for our progeny. I'm proud of that.

Monday wasn't much of anything, just yoga class and grocery shopping. I did go a little crazy with the impulse buys at the store, though... I spent $60 more than I was intending to! Oops. I know I'll pay it off eventually, and I know that most people wouldn't consider that to be a great sum of money, but that's an entire week's worth of gas and food for me. That's more than I get in a single paycheck. So to me, it's a large sum of money. I don't regret it, but I am going to be more disciplined in the future. (Don't go shopping alone while you're hungry and depressed, unless you've got money to burn, a'ight?)

Today, I had a rheumatologist appointment, and I feel as though we've made a big step forward.

Yes, I got another med, but that's not the point. (The doctor totally supports my decision to get off of my meds in the future, but we both recognize that right now I just need to get this under control. Once it's manageable, then we can talk about dropping meds.) I also got another diagnosis to go with that new med. Or is it the other way around?

In any event, the doctor completely agreed with my suspicion that an autoimmune cause is at the root of the aggravation of my fibro, and she pointed out that I already have two autoimmune diseases under my belt right now. Fibro doesn't count, btw, but it is significant that many of the autoimmune diseases of the type that we're looking at tend to run concurrently with fibromyalgia.

Yours truly has Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. Good news? Less than 20% of patients with UCTD progress to a "well-defined" connective tissue disease, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, etc. Bad news? It's still a systemic autoimmune disease with no cure. Other good news? This changes... nothing. Except for adding a new med, and one that has little to no side effects at that.

So while I've got yet another Big Thing to process, it's helpful that I now have "real disease" label to slap on things, because FMS is still in the shady area for most people. You know, they consider it all curable if only you try hard enough... I keep getting that, "You'll be fine/you'll kick it/it'll get better because I/my auntie/my friend from church has/had fibro and they're all better now!" Hmph.

Also, I've decided to hold off on applying for disability after consulting with my rheumie. We're going to keep trying to get this under control, and if it comes to the point where it's just not manageable after all then I'll pursue disability. Apparently, going on disability at such a young age tends to encourage a "slump" or a worsening of effects. I guess it's a mental thing, like they kinda give up. She wants to avoid that for me if at all possible. I'm all for that. I just hope we can get this under control so I can have at least part of my life back.

And now, I'm off to a hot shower to try to relieve some of this pervasive pain. Ughhhhh. Acupuncture was gentle today, but I seem to be having a very difficult time with healing responses. My body just don't like being helped! :) (But, oh, the massage after every session is fabulous... Again, always very gentle and soothing, no pressure at all, but it feels so nice...)
I've only been awake for a few minutes, but I'm better today. I was better last night. Please don't be alarmed.

Still worn out, but still fighting... 'cause what else can you do?

I stayed up with C until the wee hours of the morning, watching anime, eating chips, drinking tea, and surfing/poring over/scouring the internet for products to fit my ideas and inspirations for our new home. That all helped to lift me out of the darkest depths of my funk.

So... today. Onward!
... and then C brought me home chips (which I'd been vocal about craving all day) and a green tea, and fetched me a banana from the kitchen. All as a surprise, to help me feel better.

Good heavens, that man loves me.

My word, I love that man.

A dark place

This evening, I've had the urge to take every single painkiller that I have... just to see if it'll make a difference.

Of course, C says that I'm not allowed to die before him, so...

...that's kind of the only thing stopping me at this particular moment in time. C, that is, and the knowledge of what it would do to him for me to end so abruptly this little life we're building together. Because it would be really nice to be dead, for a change. No more pain.

I don't like being in this frame of mind, and I'm trying (half-heartedly) to resist it. But I just don't feel like I can do this anymore.

I don't want to hurt anymore. I don't understand why it won't stop, it never stops, it never ever freaking just stops!

Maybe if I had a reason, some sort of... something. But there is no reason, no rhyme, no cause other than "my body hates me".

I am tired. I am tired deep inside, in the very marrow of my bones, in the crevices of my soul and the nooks of my brain.

I am tired of hurting. I'm tired of being nauseous. I'm tired of being feverish and battling hot/cold flashes. I'm tired of this damned-if-I-do-damned-if-I-don't situation with eating. I'm tired of headaches. I'm tired of pills and thyroid problems and adrenal fluctuations and fatigue, fatigue, fatigue. (What I wouldn't give to go back to my pre-fibro levels of fatigue! I don't even want "normal" at this point, I just want what I used to have...) I'm tired of not being able to eat a damn thing. I am tired of giving up my life, inch by inch, to this monster that seems to have possessed my body. I am tired of using a walking stick. I am tired of needing a walker, tie-dye awesomeness though it may be. I am tired of having to explain myself over and over again. I am tired of doctor's offices and blood draws and medical bills. I'm tired of asking my dad for money, day in and day out. I'm tired of asking C to massage various parts of my body. (Wait, no-- what am I thinking?! That's a silly one.)

I'm tired of fighting. I can't do this anymore... yet I have no choice.

Tomorrow comes, inevitably... and odds are I'll be around to endure it. What I am dealing with is not fatal, unfortunately.

I don't want to do this anymore. I really don't. I'm ready to throw in the towel and hand this off to someone else. Anyone else.

The worst part is... no one can do a damned thing, including me. I'm already doing everything I can... and it's not helping.

Poor C. I cried all over him again, spilling all this junk about how I can't do this anymore, I'm not strong enough, I'm tired, I can't keep fighting, I don't want to keep fighting, why does it hurt so much, why won't it stop, I'm so tired of hurting, etc. etc.

All he could do was hold me and rub my back.

No words. Just an embrace.

All I needed.

And yet, I still cry.

There's a lot of despair bottled up in there.

For those who think I'm always cheerful... welcome to the dark side.

There are no cookies.
May or may not have had a meltdown with C today.

Okay, definitely may.

Fiiiiine... definitely did.

It's just... I've been in so much pain lately, and my fatigue has been thoroughly ridiculous. I'm really not even sure how I managed the honeymoon. I mean, how did I walk around at Sea World and Balboa Park all day? (Well, okay, I didn't. C pushed me around for a good chunk of the day, that's how.) It's nothing short of a miracle.

But I've basically been living in a giant flare hell-hole since the wedding, with a few brief surfacings for air and sanity. I actually had an entire 20 minutes without pain while I was on the acupuncture table the other day. Twenty minutes, y'all. I cannot remember the last time that I was not at least at a 3 on the pain scale for twenty minutes, and I got to be a zero. A ZERO! Yeah, it was pretty freakin' fantastic. I was very sorry when the flood roared back in.

So the past few days it's gotten to the point where just one painkiller doesn't take it down to a manageable level anymore. I can be on two at a time and I'm still floating around a 5 somewhere, barely hanging on to "I can function, I can function, I can... who am I kidding, I'm gonna lay down with my heating pad now."

I'm trying not to be poppin the pills constantly, I really am. I take baths, I stretch, I have the heating pad,  I get C to rub the affected area... and sometimes it helps a little, sometimes it helps some, and every once in a while it makes a noticeable dent for a little while. But always, always... the pain comes back, gnawing at my sanity, my patience, and my optimism. (Also, apparently my guts are back at the point where I'm not allowed to eat without pain, especially protein of any sort. Or fiber. Or... well...)

So today I went to pick up an over the toilet organizer rack dealie, because the new house (which we got the keys to yesterday!) has very little storage space. I mean, like none. No pantry, one cabinet in each bathroom, no linen closet... The only saving grace is that there's a closet in each bedroom and a coat closet in the living room. Oh, and a closet for the washer and dryer to reside in. So we have very limited storage, and I'm gonna have to get creative... and go through all my stuff again and be ruthless in getting rid of non-essentials.

Yes, so, back to the toilet rack. I borrowed C's truck and went to go pick it up. I got it home just fine (it's quite light), and even got it up to the apartment myself, despite, of course, being in bunches of pain and limping and all that... but I was so proud of myself for getting the rack up to the door myself without asking for anyone's help!

That's what did it for me. When I realized that I am now proud to have carried a 5 pound object all of fifty feet.... I pretty much just lost it. Because, really, that's something that I would not even have thought about in my "other life". I would have just grabbed that sucker and carried it inside, gone on with my day, and that's that. But now? Now I'm all like, "Look at me! I carried something! By myself! From the truck to our apartment! Yaaaaaay!"

It's the same feeling of accomplishment I get when I shower. When I shower.

Really? Really?!

So I dissolved into tears, because what kind of a life is this? A life where my accomplishments have been reduced to things so... so pitiful...

And I tearfully told C that I needed a hug, and he came over and wrapped me up in his arms and let me cry, and listened to my sobbed explanation of how sad I was, and how I feel like so much of my life has been stolen from me, and then he wiped away my tears and patted my hand and told me to lay down. So I did. And he sat back down at the computer and proceeded to remind me that I am so much more than just my sickness... I am a person, and being sick is just a little part of my life and who I am. Not only that, but I'm doing the very best that I can, so I just have to remember that, keep doing my best, and not worry about anything else. So I took that and ran with it and kinda pep talked myself back into feeling sort of okay with myself and the world again... and that's where I'm at right now.

I'm still sad, it's true. I'm grieving the life that was... I'm grieving the Saturday that could have been, had I not been sick. There are so many things I'd love to do with today... but I can't. I really just can't.

But there are things I can do. I can spend time with my husband. I can write a blog post. I can continue to plan and plot for our new house. I can go for a (short, very short) walk, and that's what I'm going to do right now.

I'm taking the stick, though.
I figure it's high time I wrote about the wedding and the surrounding events, before the rapid pace of life whirls me too far away to remember anything that happened.

The weeks leading up to the wedding were fairly peaceful. C insisted that I pace myself, learn to "rest" and "relax", whatever that means. (It meant I did a lot of sitting around, bored out of my mind, is what it meant!) As the wedding drew closer, though, I became very grateful for those rest periods, because the heat started turning up.

I knew that I wouldn't be able to handle a ton of stress, so I deliberately planned my wedding tasks in such a way that by the time the week before the wedding came, I would have practically nothing to do. I am certainly glad that I did, because last minute tasks cropped up by the dozen! In addition to finishing up last minute details, my family arrived a few days before the wedding. Of course, I wanted to spend time with them, plus I still had school to attend to, so I was bouncing all over the place, trying to keep my bases covered. Fortunately for me, C had the week before the wedding completely off of work, which was a huge blessing. He was able to help me accomplish tasks and even take care of things that I was unable to handle myself. (Like the day he did my laundry for me, because I had to be out at work/school all day and knew I'd be exhausted by the time I made it home.) I could really get used to having him around more often, I tell you...

The week before the wedding was a blur. Those extended rest periods? Gone by the wayside. My family was in town, I was working, going to school, trying to coordinate a bunch of people and recover from our weekend trip out of town, all at the same time. I really don't remember much of it, frankly, except that I was tired a lot, and I was in pain a lot. I do remember taking R with me to my acupuncturist so that he could see and understand for himself what we're trying to accomplish, and so that she could explain the necessity for such intense and prolonged (and expensive!) treatment to him firsthand.

The Thursday before the wedding, we met with our officiant to go over the ceremony and make sure that we were all on the same page. The S's and H were scheduled to get in that day, somewhat late I thought. Turns out they showed up while we were with our officiant, so we had to run over there and settle them into the house they'd be staying at. It was empty at the time, because I was housesitting for the owners, so having people there full time really took a burden off my mind. Plus they fed the dogs for me! After getting them squared away, C and I went back to our errands.

When I walked out the door that Thursday morning, I had a plan of attack in my mind, and I knew just how the day was going to go. Cash a check, go shopping for a last minute "thank you" gift with my mom and the girls in the morning, hit my acupuncture appointment, meet our officiant, rest a bit, then welcome the girls to their "new home". Yeah, not so much... I walked outside to find that my car had a completely flat tire! And then, on top of that, Mom was running about an hour late. (Not abnormal at all.) We just had time to pick up what I needed before we had to race back to make my appointment on time. Then came the officiant's meeting, followed by the mad dash to let the girls in, and then a trip to get my tire fixed. That took a good chunk of time, and after that I had to stop by the pharmacy and get my prescription straightened out, which also took a good hour or so. By the time we made it home, I'd been going for like, 8 hours straight, and I was a zombie. I had run out of spoons hours before, but I forced myself to keep going, because what else can you do?

Friday came, full of lounging by my parent's hotel room pool, putting together favors, and just generally having a pretty good time. It was nice, and we got most of the last minute stuff squared away. I sucked it up and asked for help from my minions, since they were all so eager to make sure that I was resting and relaxing and not wearing myself ragged. (Pride. It's hard for me to ask for help, since I "should" be able to do some of these things myself, right?) J baked our special cupcakes, K cleaned my bathroom, and H worked on wedding stuff.

Saturday was the day before the wedding, and the stress was back on. Mom came over after church to play around with my hair and makeup, and we baaaaarely got me figured out before it was time to dash over to the park for the rehearsal. I was fine, up until we had to actually go through the motions and say the words that we'd be saying the next day. I felt like I was going to throw up, or pass out, or any combination of the two. I really, really did not want to be getting married the next day. (The photographers noted in later conversation that they could tell, because apparently the expressions on my face mirrored my inside emotions. Greaaaaaat. I really want that recorded for posterity!)

As we were pulling into the park for the rehearsal, I got a phone call from the bakery. The nice baker lady was calling to inquire if I'd be coming to pick up my cake, since they were closing for the weekend in half an hour. Needless to say, I died a little inside, but I assured the nice baker lady that someone was supposed to be in charge of picking up the cake, and I was sure she was on her way. I then hung up and put it out of my mind, since there was absolutely nothing I could do about the situation. If we didn't have cake, we didn't have cake. Oh well.

After the rehearsal, C and I headed out to dinner with some of his family, and I really enjoyed myself. I was able to find something to order straight off of the menu, with no alterations or substitutions! WOW.  That, like, never happens. I was pretty thrilled, and it turned out to be delicious... if not entirely healthy. (Chicken wrapped in bacon and topped with melted cheese? No?) While we were out to dinner, my minions were at my place, frosting cupcakes. Mom was there doing something too, but I can't remember what.

I was surprised that I was able to sleep at all the night before the wedding, but C and I cuddled right up to each other and I drifted off with remarkable ease.

The wedding day is a whole entire post on its own, so I'll stop here.

I will say, however, that I was thrilled to have as many family and friends be able to make it for my wedding as did. There was so much emotional rollercoastering going on in the weeks and months prior to the wedding as I found out that certain beloved folks could/could not come... I finally just went numb and accepted that whatever was going to happen was going to happen and I just couldn't spare the emotions for it anymore.

Spending time with my family and the girls was definitely a highlight of the days leading up to the wedding, for sure. I guess that, no matter how far away I move, I'll always be a homebody of sorts at heart.
Things have changed for me a little since I developed full-blown fibromyalgia. There are a few things that I do now that I consider part of my "fibro life" that weren't a part of my life before. I find them a little funny, frankly...

For instance, Fibro Life Confession #1 would be this: I have 3 specific songs that I listen to, sing along with, and dance to every time I take a shower. I don't listen to these songs any other time, really, but during shower time. These are my "eff yeah, I'm a WARRIOR!" songs that get me jazzed about going another round with fibro, and the warmth of the shower that eases some of the aches and pains gives me the freedom to get my groove on in a way that I can't any other time.

I usually start out with "Try" by Pink, move on to "Part of Me" by Katy Perry, and finish up with the cancer survivor music video version of "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. If I've got time, or if I'm in the mood, I'll also toss "Shine" by Owl City in there, or "Shadows" by Lindsey Stirling. But without fail, I listen to my three warrior songs. (They also help me get up the energy and motivation that I need to make it through a shower. It's something fun to look forward to in something that I otherwise kind of dread these days.)

Remember what I was saying yesterday, about marriage actually turning out to be a good thing, and then listing all the little reasons that have convinced me?

Well, this post over at A Practical Wedding seems like someone was reading my mind... like I had a conversation with someone who understands my fears and trepidations, had faced them herself, and then poured the advice that comes from years more experience into a letter and handed it to me.

Seriously. You gotta read it.

How To Be In Love. (Emphasis on the "be".)
My biggest fear, the thing that brought waves of panic during the countdown to the wedding and an overwhelming sense of dread, anxiety, and nausea during the wedding rehearsal was that getting married would change everything. To be more specific, I was terrified that getting married would ruin our relationship. I mean, everything was so great, so healthy... but most of the marriages I've seen are anything but those two adjectives. They don't even remotely apply... and I was scared. If that's what marriage does to a relationship, I don't want it!

I am relieved to report that this has been far from true. My greatest fear has gone unrealized... and I am so relieved. Honestly, it's basically the same as it was before, but somehow a little better. There's no concrete "this is how being married has changed things", but it's really just a bunch of little moments all stacked together that make me think that being married just might be worth it.

Silly mock-fights in the kitchen as he tries to hang a spoon on the end of my nose, and I retaliate by flinging water at him.

Working in seamless tandem to put away groceries, pack up laundry, and zip through the grocery store.

Him automatically handing me my stick when we exit his truck.

Bringing him a glass of juice from the kitchen, because I'm in there anyway.

Him waking me up from a nap with a big fat kiss on the mouth, and gentle kisses on my forehead.

Curling up against each other in the deep hours of the night, and knowing each other's sleep patterns intimately.

Him kissing the back of my hand and calling me "scrumptious" or "little wifey", or my scratching his back while he sits at his desk and realizing that this is my husband.

Just little things like that. They're nice things, fun things. But there are the hard things, too, that help me realize it's worth it.

When I'm tossing and moaning with fever and intense pain, and he brings me water, turns on the fan, brings me pain killers, whatever I need.

When we're discussing tight finances and he includes me in his decision as to which funds to allocate where.

When I decide to postpone my dream for a year because of health reasons, and he supports me completely because I've talked through my reasons with him and he believes in me and trusts me.

When flashbacks strike and I'm crying, shaking in fear or anger, and he talks me down from the pinnacle of my distress.

So in answer to all those people all asking the same question... Yes. I am enjoying the married life. I think it was a good decision, and I'm really, really glad that I was wrong. (So far. Heh. Gotta leave room for eventualities, right?)
I am enough.

I matter.

I am important.

I am a beautiful light.

There is hope.
Okay, I'm definitely better after some sleep... and a couple of inspirational posts by fellow chronic illness bloggers.

I'm actually not up for the day, but I woke up because my bladder was screaming at me, and my stomach was hollering for food. So I'm up for quick snack, but it's back to bed with me in a few minutes.

Look for wedding posts coming up soon, but I did want to make a couple of quick notes of little things that I'll forget if I don't record.

First, and most notably, C and I had all kinds of fun, introspective conversation snatches during the honeymoon itself, and the ride back home. I learned a few things.

  • C genuinely thinks that I'm attractive and beautiful. (Right, it's one of those things that you already know, but it's nice to learn it again and again.)
  • He considers me the type who doesn't get easily offended over things.
  • I am not a nagger by nature. I really have to try to nag in order to get it right.
  • Unless I change as a person (i.e. becoming super Christian again and trying to force that upon C), he cannot conceive of a scenario where he would regret marrying me. He said that even if I become super ill, bedridden and unable to take care of myself, he would still not regret marrying me. He would be sad at what happened to me, but he would not regret marrying me at all.
  • C is happy that we are building a life together as well, he just is not giddily happy about it as I am. He is reserving judgment on the whole scenario until the "honeymoon phase" passes-- about 6 months in. (This is similar to him refusing to be excited/happy about the house until he's got the front door key in his hand.)
  • C has no expectations for married life. He considered marriage to be more of a goal, like a box on a checklist. He has been working towards marriage because that's just what you do: grow up, get a job, move out, get married, have a family. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Another thing is that guys will get all kinds of goofy in the head, evidenced by big goofy smiles, when you step outside your comfort zone to do something fun and sexy for them, no matter how nervous you are.

Thirdly, people treat you all kinds of nice when they find out you're a newlywed. How long does the newlywed status apply, anyway? Like, really, how long can I milk this? ;)

I'm still not anxious to return to "normal life". Vacation was nice, I won't lie. And having a vacation with someone else? It's so different than taking off on a trip or adventure of my own! Especially when that someone else pays for everything! ^_^ Truthfully, though, we did spend a few hundred less dollars than he was anticipating. We used less gas than C thought we would (all the attractions were within a five minute drive of the hotel), we ate out less, and the Sea World tickets were already paid for, so...

We did pick up one souvenir, besides the stamped pennies that I collected everywhere we went. We got a blown glass paperweight thingy, an elongated circle with a flat bottom. It has a white jellyfish inside that glows in the dark. Very cool. It was between that or a Sea World t-shirt. Um, no contest! I plan to use the four or five pennies as part of a commemorative windchime (seashells and pennies, anyone?), and I kept the maps and tickets and stuff to scrapbook along with our wedding photos.

We didn't take many photos, but here's a random bonus photo, just for fun. (He said he was smiling. Hmm.)

I don't really wanna be back home.

Being on a honeymoon was nice, because I could pretty much say, "Eff you, world, you don't exist to me right now!"

People call me? I ignore them. I don't feel like talking.

Emails? They can wait.

Texts? Eh... I answered some from J, but that was it.

And I still want to be able to do that. I think I'm just worn out, but... I don't want to care about anything right now. I feel so super-apathetic... and still so tired. Tired in the very core of me.

Don't want to do school.

Don't want to do work.

Don't want to sort and store wedding stuff.

Don't want to talk to anyone.

Don't want to answer the SAME questions over and over again... (it wouldn't be so bad if I weren't so "meh", I think.)

Yes, I'm enjoying being married. Actually, it's pretty much exactly the same as before, except now I have to answer a bunch of questions, act enthused, and remember a new name. That's why it keeps hitting me in sporadic, giddy bursts that I'm actually married now, because it all just feels so... the same.

It's like having a birthday. People keep asking you, "So how does it feel to be ____?" And you're like, "Uh, the same. I didn't wake up with a magical shift in life purpose and meaning. I don't feel any different than I did the day before my birthday, sooooo... yeah."

Yes, I'm enjoying my honeymoon... or I would be, if you'd leave me alone! lol.

I think I just need to go to bed! I'm cranky. It was probably the traveling. It wore me out. (And all the walking from the past few days... and all the being-super-sick the week before, and all the wedding crazy from the week before that...)

So. Back to regular life. No more lounging in a hotel room or soaking in a nice deep tub/jacuzzi. No more ignoring phone calls and homework. I gotta get back to being a responsible chick.

How boring.
Packing for the honeymoon! ^_^

C came up with the idea to create and install footrests on my walker, so that if/when I get too fatigued to walk around anymore at our destinations, I can sit on the seat and he'll push me around. He's also the one that reminded me to bring a pillow to sit on. That man takes such good care of me! (Also, side note: apparently adult strollers are a thing. C joked about it, I googled it, and sure enough... they're basically wheelchairs with more framing and some straps.)

Got a new prescription for an increased amount of painkillers today, which relieves my fear of running out of painkillers on the honeymoon. I had to go in and talk to the receptionist to make it happen, but that's a very small price to pay.

I wired "my portion" of the house funds (the money given to me by others and accumulated in my bank account) into C's escrow account this morning. The lady that "helped" us was singularly unhelpful and frustrating, but we got it done anyway. This means that we have enough to cover our end of closing costs. Hallelujah! We're getting a house! And such a neat little house it is, too... Maybe I'm just biased, because it's my first house.

The guys are moving a new couch set into the apartment right now, except it's a giant sectional and too big for the front door's sharp angle into the house... so they are having to walk it all the way around the apartment complex and take it in through the porch's sliding glass door. Poor guys. But it's a nice couch, and we're getting it for free from one of the guys' parents, so SCORE! It'll do nicely in our new home.

I started growing my hair out over a year ago as a challenge to myself, because it hadn't been long in so very long. Then, when I got engaged, I knew for certain that I wanted long hair on my wedding day. Well, the thing is that when I do the same thing for lengths of time, I get antsy. The same goes for my hairstyle. It hadn't really changed in over a year, except to get longer and get trimmed and such. As the wedding approached, I found myself wanting to do something new, something different. I (barely) forced myself to wait until after the wedding, but now...

...a brunette bob! J says I look tired in this pic, and I probably do, but I thought I looked pretty good! :) Considering the flare I've been in, I look better here than I have since the wedding day.

Anyway, off to pack some more. I got to rest a bit while writing this, so it's back to the grindstone I go.
I came to a decision this morning.

Sure, it's fast, but I'm a pretty fast decision maker as a generality. I like things to happen now!

Anyway, I may go into this more later (I'm hurtin' right now, and not really in zee blogging mood), but I have decided that I will, in fact, postpone the massage therapy program for a year.

I'm postponing, not quitting. And it's a mature, thought-out decision, not a failure.

I just don't want to make a bunch of progress towards getting my health straightened back out and then go into a big ol' relapse because I pushed it too hard, too soon. I'm trying to look more at the long-term, and I think that this is the best decision I can make for myself right now.

I talked to C this morning about my thoughts last night, and the possible options, and all that stuff. He's behind me no matter what I choose, but the big epiphany for me was realizing that even if I'm "just" a housewife, he's fine with that. I have the freedom to choose what's best for me, and he's okay with whatever I decide. That is very freeing. To know that he will neither think less of me nor resent me for not "pitching in"... that allows me to make a decision based on what is really the best, rather than a decision motivated by the fear of rejection or other emotions.

Also... this means I can go to J's wedding! I would be lying if I didn't say that this was a slight motivating factor in my plans... But now we can combine the "let's go get my cat and the rest of my stuff" trip with J's wedding, so that's perfect. I'm starting to save up already.

I have other things I can focus on to keep me occupied while I really work on getting myself to a healthy place. It reminds me of what I went through in Id with the S's... I kinda dinked around and kept myself occupied with work of various sorts while I put a lot of focused energy into healing emotionally and mentally from the past abuse. Now that I've advanced much further emotionally, it's time to focus on advancing physically.

Honestly, I do feel relieved having come to an actual decision. This question of "but can you do the massage program?" has been brought up to me many times through the past few months by many different people. I brushed them off as party poopers, determined to charge headfirst into the challenge and prove myself a Mighty Fibromyalgia Warrior. However... I'm thinking at this point that maybe discretion is the better part of valor. I'm still a Warrior... but taking a different tack.

The best part? I feel good about this decision. I believe I'm doing the right thing, and I feel peaceful and settled. I can see that my reasons are good ones, and that I am doing this for good reasons, so I am not afraid. (Much.) Also? It's my life, and it doesn't matter if anyone else agrees or disagrees, frankly. As long as I (and C, since he has a stake in this now) am okay with it and believe I'm on the right path, well... that's what really matters.
If I were still shoulding myself, I would say that because I just got married, I should be deliriously happy, right? That my blog should be bursting with pictures and stories and fun little things, because life rocks right now, right?

Okay, truth be told, I am very happy, and life does rock right now!

I kinda want to wait until the pictures come back before I start processing the wedding and telling stories. It's all too new and personal right now for me to reel it out, strand by strand, and lay it down here. I know this is my personal blog, but still... some things are too precious, even for this place. (Also, I'm a space cadet right now. Hehe.)

But right now, I find myself in a strange place. I'm a newlywed, a blushing bride-no-longer... and while it feels a little different, it's really not that different from before, except that I feel out of place on the wedding websites that I have come to frequent. I feel like that mom that tries to be cool with her teenage daughter's friends, but in reality is just awkwardly lurking. I'll probably get over that as I find new little niches on the web to hang out.

What I'm really here for today, though, is to spill my fears. Because really, I'm afraid... so very afraid. And sad. And not really sure what else...

...because I'm really sick. Again. As usual. The week before the wedding was the joy of another prolonged flare (sometimes it's just one day, sometimes it's a couple days, and sometimes it's a week... or more). I'm so glad that H was there to coordinate the wedding stuff for me, because by the time it rolled around, I just didn't care anymore. I didn't have it in me to care. My brain was not functioning well, and I kept getting asked to make all these last minute decisions (because, of course, things go wrong and then you have to roll with alternate plans), and I just really couldn't. And the day of? Don't even go there. I was as good as useless. Also, I was kinda cranky, because I hurt so much. If it hadn't been my wedding day, it would have been a "crawl into bed and never come back out" day. I just wanted to lay down and cry multiple times. But it was my wedding day, so I pushed forward... and it was great. I had a lot of fun, once the stuff actually got started. I've been paying for that day of fun, though.

The flare continued, and yesterday it was so so so bad. I got broadsided by a bad case of fibro flu... the kind of broadsided where all you can do is lay somewhere that is usually comfortable and twitch, groan, and pray for the end.

That brings me to why I'm here. Because I'm really sick. Again. As usual.

I hear other people with fibro talk about "good days" and "bad days". Yesterday was definitely a bad day. But even my "good days", well... they're bad. And that both pisses me off and frustrates me. I have had one day since early January where I have been able to function without taking a single prescription pain killer all day. One. And I can count on one hand the number of days since early January that I have been able to function with less than three prescription pain killers in a day.

Is it bad that I just really don't wanna do this anymore?

Because here I am, staring down my future, and wondering what the hell am I going to do? In four months, I'm supposed to start the intense massage therapy training program. I'm having a difficult time with the three classes I'm in now (and one of them is online!), and I expect to be able to pull that off?

I am in a treatment program that's supposed to give some pretty good results by July, but can I really pin my hopes on that? I just keep getting worse and worse, and so quickly... it scares me, y'all. I am frightened by the decline in my health.

It doesn't help when well meaning friends question me as to why I'm so sick, or how I declined so rapidly, or whatever. I don't know! If I knew, then maybe I could do something about it! As it is, it's like I've been thrown into a pool of icy water with my arms tied behind my back. I'm thrashing about, looking for purchase, but all the while I become weaker and weaker, sinking further and further...

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't have a lot of good in my life. C is amazing, and fully prepared to financially support us both in the event that I cannot contribute anything to the household income. In fact, he's planning it that way, and if I can help out then it's a pleasant surprise. I have a lot of good things in my life, but I am frightened, and I am tired, and I am hurting, and I just need to cry out once in a while.

I have a friend, C, who is an amazing lady. She is the one who cleaned my house for me before the wedding, and I asked if she would be willing to do so on a regular basis if I compensate her in some way. She waved aside the compensation and is going to be doing it out of the goodness of her heart. What a doll.

That, though, is a mixed blessing... for while it shows the awesome and wonderful people that are around me, supporting me and helping me cope with life in chronic pain... it also shows how far I've fallen. I can't even clean my own house anymore! And it seems so silly that something so small can send me into tears (I'm crying right now, actually), but it's just like... everything that used to be normal and familiar is gone. I don't know what to do with myself. I used to be so independent. I hate having to rely on others for so much, and I just feel so terribly useless.

The girl who hates to impose on others... is now brought to the point of needing help to clean her own apartment. It just makes me so sad... and so mad... because it's not like I asked for this. I didn't do anything. It just happened to me, and now I have to cope with this. It's like a giant cosmic prank, except there's no punchline or restitution... just the awful reality of a helpless, crippled life.

And this is what I'm staring down as I look four months into the future at this massage therapy program. If I am not capable of mopping my own floor without bringing paroxysms of pain and crippling fatigue upon myself for an undetermined period of time, how can I possibly hope to make it through this stressful, intense program? I know what stress does to me, and I know what physical overexertion does to my body...

...so maybe it's time to let that dream go?

It's hard for me to even consider that. I feel like a failure, a quitter, a flake, even contemplating it. After all this time, after all the noise I've made about becoming a massage therapist... how can I walk away from it? How many times am I going to have to quit something because of my poor health? This wouldn't be the first time. Am I just not trying hard enough? Am I not tough enough? Or will my life be a series of false starts and half finished projects? That's what it feels like when I walk away from something I've decided to do.

But maybe my path really does lie somewhere else. Maybe that dream's purpose was to bring me here, where I would meet C and work with the HJ and all the other stuff I've done. Maybe the purpose of the dream was not to be fulfilled, but to lead. Or maybe it's a "not yet" scenario. It will happen... but not yet.

So I'm starting to consider what else I can do with myself this fall besides school, besides the massage therapy program. Maybe that store I dream about. Maybe the HJ full time. Maybe something else entirely. I really don't know right now.

I would love to end this on a note of hope, because I do feel optimistic... I know that it will all work out, one way or another... but I also don't want to force cheerfulness. I am sad. I am confused. I am frightened. And that's okay. Because I'm also not giving up. I'll hang in there... one breath at a time. That's all I can do right now.
An unfortunate milestone today...

First time having to use a walking aide at home, to get from room to room.


It's okay, though. We're working on this. It may be getting worse, but it WILL get better! It will! (...Right?)

I Am A: True Neutral Human Ranger (4th Level)

Ability Scores:

True Neutral A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil-- after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Rangers are skilled stalkers and hunters who make their home in the woods. Their martial skill is nearly the equal of the fighter, but they lack the latter's dedication to the craft of fighting. Instead, the ranger focuses his skills and training on a specific enemy, a type of creature he bears a vengeful grudge against and hunts above all others. Rangers often accept the role of protector, aiding those who live in or travel through the woods. His skills allow him to move quietly and stick to the shadows, especially in natural settings, and he also has special knowledge of certain types of creatures. Finally, an experienced ranger has such a tie to nature that he can actually draw on natural power to cast divine spells, much as a druid does, and like a druid he is often accompanied by animal companions. A ranger's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Well, I done did it. I got weddinged yesterday!

We spent the night in a REALLY nice hotel room, and I'm glad. It was nice to basically just collapse, and the bed was super, super comfy. It was a good sleep, and I'm grateful.

I'll post more about the wedding and the getting ready for it and all that later.

Now? I'm basically totally lacking motivation and/or... motivation. lol. Really though, this past week took it out of me in a big way, especially the last few days. My brain was totally gone by yesterday.

Plus, tonight is the last night my family is in town, so I'm gonna chill with them for a while.

My husband (!) will probably just stay at home and play Starcraft-- his version of vegging and recuperating. To each their own...