Isolation

b&w couchI’ve been such a hermit since I had that episode and missed five weeks of work and all. Well, now I’ve got some meds managing the anxiety pretty well and I feel like I am ready to re-enter the social world…. but what to do?

I am on this stupid graveyard shift and it is SO isolating. While I’m awake and working, the rest of the world is asleep– then I sleep away all the daylight hours. When I do wake up to get ready for work, I usually message with the Duke a bit… and today was a bit rough.

We are both in lonely places and wishing we were closer, but a myriad of circumstances prevents that. Still, sometimes he paints a picture of something like laying on a blanket in his arms under a tree… and I can’t help but picture it. Unfortunately, I think this just makes things harder. It was a lonely day today.

Thank God for my dog… I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have that fuzzy little love bug following me around to snuggle with me every second I’m home.

I miss the company of a man. I miss having strong arms around me and the strength in his personality. I miss touches, hugs, caresses and kisses. I miss companionship, talking for hours on end, and sex… boy do I miss sex.

I figured out today that I have gone for more than a year in my state of voluntary celibacy. I could break the pact. If I’m so in need of the company of a man and all that, there are places I could go and people I could see…. but I’m not just looking for someone. I’m looking for THE one.

Published in: on March 21, 2013 at 9:00 am  Comments (9)  
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Communications Resume with The Ambassador

couchWell, he’s reappeared again… The Ambassador of Ambiguity. It’s been 10 months since he moved away and are things any different? I don’t know, but I’m different. I don’t feel scared to say what I really feel anymore and I’m committed to doing that on a regular basis. I have told him I love him and miss him and I don’t think we ever should have broken up in the first place.

He still hates it down in the city and misses our little town. His best buddy is still here… and me, of course.

He’s been flirtatious and sweet… and started making plans to drive the two hours up here and take me to dinner.

The first time he tried that, it seemed like every force in the universe was trying to prevent it. Both my kids stayed home sick, my babysitter bailed, and then it started snowing.

Where I live, when it snows, there is crash after crash, there are chains required, and freeways closed. So… the deal was off.

When he did make it in to town the next week and stopped by we had a terrific visit. I was lying around on the couch with a raging headache but I was glad to see him none the less. We sat together on the couch for a while… I laid my aching head in his lap. There were tons of lingering hugs, and he fixed the stereo he gave me so long ago.

We made loose plans for the next visit, and he started talking about a wedding he is going to and the subsequent vacation days he’ll be taking.

It was a fantastic visit. I went to work smiling like the Cheshire cat. I felt like “Ahh.. he’s my guy!”

Maybe I was just high on hugs. I don’t know, but we’ve been talking nearly every day since.

He sent me his vacation days and talked about going to the coast but didn’t out right invite me. We just sort of flirted back and forth about it. So, we shall see what comes of it, if anything.

I was pretty jazzed at first, but he seems quieter since that last conversation. I’m not holding my breath. I’m doing what I can to get well, and get my own life in order and take care of my great kids.

God is going to send the one who is meant for me… Maybe it’s The Ambassador, maybe it’s not. Just moving forward and doing my best to stay positive.

Published in: on March 19, 2013 at 9:00 am  Comments (3)  
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The Duke Has Been Deployed

deployed
It’s been about 2 and a half months now since The Duke climbed on to a military plane and flew halfway around the world for a year long deployment.

If you remember my earlier story about Duke, then you know that we met when we first joined the Marines and he was dating a friend of mine. Then he served a year in Japan where they had broken up and when he returned I went to see him. We had a pretty romantic night together, but minus the hanky panky.. Still one of the absolutely most memorable nights of my life.

Duke and I lost touch for a long time… about 15 years in fact. Then he found me on facebook and we started talking again and haven’t stopped since.

We were good friends back then and now fit back in to each other lives so naturally. We know each ohers core. We respect and care about each other and have managed to share all sorts of secrets honestly and without judgement.

We have been getting closer over this last year to year and a half… however long it has been, texting often and talking on the phone. We poured out our hearts and our tears and all our frustrations with daily life, as well as trying to balance our careers, and relationships.

In so many ways, he’s just what a man should be. Strong and passionate, romantic and protective and he’s crazy about me.

So, all this would be very exciting except that The Duke is married. I’ve been hearing since day one how things are miserable and terrible and awful at home but he hasn’t left her, has he?

We have been messaging pretty much every day and feeling as close as ever… In fact, today the conversation really turned romantic and I had to put the brakes on.

He wants to make a pact that when he returns from deployment, if I am not with anyone and he and the wife break up, we’ll be together. I am hesitant to make any kind of pact. I don’t want to be a factor in anyone’s marriage breaking up. A divorce is such a nightmare. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and I have talked to the Duke about this. I don’t think he realizes how much he’s giving up. Not just financially but also in not having his every days with his son anymore.

Still, I have love for this man and have for a long time. We were always close friends, anytime we’ve been in each other’s lives but we are talking about a family here.

I do believe that sometimes a marriage becomes so bad, and one partner refuses to try to make the marriage any better– the only option left is to go your own way.

Still, once again, I don’t want to be a factor in that situation at all. If it all happened that way, of course I would give it a go with The Duke… but even that has it’s risks. I mean, even though we have been close emotionally, there are so many things he doesn’t know about me… Like I’m messy and really a homebody– while he is not. He has such a BIG life with his career and his non-profit organization and publicity events. My life is simple and small.

I don’t know that our lifestyles are compatible, not to mention I am not leaving this really small town, so he’d have to come here and there is no work. Of course he’ll be retired then with a decent pention, but his ex-wife would be drawing half of that, not to mention half of the rest of his assets.

Just things bouncing around in my head. For now that plan is to just keep talking… being friends… and to keep praying.

Published in: on March 14, 2013 at 9:00 am  Comments (7)  
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Loss of a Loyal Furry Friend

Wiggles

Wiggles

About 2 months ago, before I got sick… I lost one of my dearest friends. I’ve never been one to go overboard with pets like some. Spoiling them with ridiculous bling and carrying them around like accessories. I mean, come on!

I also don’t think people should adopt pets and then leave them alone trapped in the back yard or on a chain either. They are animals… but they are also members of the family. I guess I am kinda middle of the road on things like that.

I got my girl, Wiggles, just after my separation from the ex-husband. She was my friend and companion. I was really struggling living on my own half the time (when sharing custody), the first time not living with another adult human EVER.

Wiggles was my friend. She followed where ever I went. She was sweet and compliant… her only indulgence was chasing my cats and scaring the bejesus out of them. She was a smooth fox terrier and just had that pursuit gene wired in to her brain.

She especially enjoyed this pastime in the middle of the night. I can’t tell you how many nights I was startled awake and jumping out of bed to find her running like a maniac through my apartment. Took a little time to break her of that. In fact, she had to spend a few nights out in the yard to accomplish it.

She was a quiet little portly black and white smooth fox terrier with a heart-shaped black spot on her back. She was about 10 years old when we got her, and started out very timid when we met her at the shelter. Yet, as we loved on her and helped her feel more secure and comfortable, she warmed up.

She spent much time prancing around with red polish on her toe nails. She always walked like she was wearing high heels and her long nails clip clopped and sounded just like them.

When we brought our second dog in to the family… a Chihuahua-Doxie mix puppy, Wiggles really came alive. She mothered on him and played with him and seemed delighted to have a furry companion of her own. She stayed that way until just a couple of days before she died.

About 6 months ago, we had a scare in the middle of the night. We were sleeping in bed, and she started to get up and move around some. Then, in the darkness, I thought she had accidentally fallen off the bed. The sound was odd though. I didn’t hear her scramble to her feet, but I did hear an odd rhythmic sound. I jumped out of bed and saw my girl in a full on seizure. Thank God the kids weren’t home.

I did my best to comfort her. Afterward, she was dizzy and disoriented and I gave her loads of attention and put her to bed. The next day we visited the vet.

He ran all kinds of tests and determined that she was fine, but the seizure could have been caused by a slow-growing brain tumor. She had a couple other fatty tumors on her torso, so he thought it was a possibility. He also said it could have been just a fluke and she might never had another seizure again.

She never did have another seizure, but as time went on I thought I heard some labored breathing from time to time and then came the day when she woke up dizzy.

She was shaking her head and unsure about hopping off the bed in the morning. I was thinking she was getting old and started looking up possibilities that could cause it.

When I returned from work, she was more wobbly… in fact I had to help her out to the bathroom. Thats when I called to see about the vet… Still, before I could get her in she was gone.

It was a huge shock. In a couple of days she went from her fine and fun and playful self, to not being able to walk. That’s when I realized she wouldn’t make it through the night.

As I held her, I was sure the brain tumor had paralyzed her. She was awake and alert but her body was completely relaxed. She was always a funny sort, and never liked to be picked up or held. If you picked her up, she went all stiff and her legs shot straight out. Not today… Today she was like a newborn baby in my arms molding to my body.

I held her and rocked her. I cried desperately and told her what a good dog she was and what a wonderful friend and part of our family she had been. Then I laid her on her bed, and called for the kids from their Dads so they had a chance to say good-bye to her.

We cried and cried and petted her and slathered her with love… Wrapped her in our favorite softest blanket we had and told her all the wonderful things our hearts could hold.

I took the kids back to their fathers for the night and came home to be with my wonderful dear friend. I turned down the lights and laid on the couch watching her. Just a few minutes after I turned down the lights and the whole world got quiet, she vomited and I heard her agonal breathing start.

My soul was aching and I was sobbing and praying to God to take her fast… “If you are going to take her, God, please take her fast.” Then I stroked her and talked quietly to her until her spirit left her body. Then I sat and stared for the longest time, breathing in the silence.

Then I realized I needed to bury her. I felt all numb. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do without a partner. It was pouring down rain and she’d gone down hill so fast that I hadn’t planned where I would put her.

I considered calling my Pastor or another friend from church to help me but it was the middle of the night and they all have their own families to take care of… So, in my grief, I put on my rain coat and boots, marched out to her favorite spot in the back yard and just started to dig.

I was emotional to the point of vomiting but I managed to lay her to rest. I don’t know why I needed to go through all that alone, but I do know God was there with me… wetting the ground with the rain to make my task just a little lighter.

I love you Wiggles girl… You are sorely sorely missed.

Published in: on March 12, 2013 at 9:00 am  Comments (12)  
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Getting Some Answers

docSo I met with the Fantastic Eastern-Western medicine Doc the other day. I was surprised as I stepped in to her office. It was so modest. Just a tiny little two room place with an office, a tiny file room with a receptionist smashed in it, a patient room and a restroom. Nothing fancy about it at all… and buddhist flags strung all around.

She’s definitely my kind of Doctor. I heard her telling the patient before you “When you die, I want you to be happy because you have done ALL the things you wanted to do.” And that’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it?

It was amazing to get some answers. She was so crazy smart she was talking at about 100 miles and hour and although I am pretty sharp, I could barely follow her. What I did pick up, though, was that my issue is most likely a combination of a thyroid condition and imbalance of my female hormones.

Even though we sat in her office during the entire visit, she did the most thorough exam I’ve had since this thing started. In fact, I am sure she is the only Doc that actually felt my thyroid… Which seemed somewhat off to her. Bumpy, I guess. Not a good sign, but I was right about that being an issue.

She also said that my hormones estrogen and progesterone were very low… in fact, what she said as that I had barely any at all. That’s funny… all the other Docs said I was “with in normal range”.

Balance. It sounds fairly simple, but unfortunately, I doubt that will be the case. I have some more tests to do for her but I am optimistic. We are headed in the right direction.

She also noticed my iron level was extremely high. It was supposed to be within a range with like 140 at the highest, and mine was 400!!

The most distressing thing about it was that she was reading blood test that another care provider had run, and NO ONE had ever said anything to me about it. So, now the incredible Doctor is also on a mission to find the cause and resolve the iron issue as well.

*Exhale* I can’t explain the relief I felt talking to a Doctor of the mindset… anxiety is not a diagnosis, and it’s definitely not a natural state for the body to be in. There has got to be a reason.

Published in: on March 8, 2013 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Back on Track

cp1_cp2_0115002253I am back at work tonight… FINALLY. I would say I’m thrilled except I’m assigned to graveyard shifts again. ugh… Still, it feels damn good to be able to function better.

Even though my primary care giver has found me no answers yet, she did get me on some meds to help with some of the anxiety and mood swing symptoms. It took several weeks to get here but I am glad to be somewhat productive again.

I love my job, and I am so incredibly blessed to work for an agency that doles out the time off like it’s going out of style. I used up all my sick time and then some but it was still only about a third of the time off I have saved up over the last 2 1/2 years.

If this had happened in my last job managing a Radio Shack, I’d probably be fired, broke and losing my house at this point. SO many things to be thankful for… All the dispatchers on my team have been covering my shifts without one negative word. They are calling to check in on me and hoping I’m getting better. No pressure on me to come back until I was ready and today was the day. **exhale**

Hopefully the level of calm I am experiencing today continues. I am almost half way through my 12 hour shift, it’s about 1am and I am sooo tired but also smiling. I jumped right back in without even forgetting a password.

Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 9:00 am  Comments (9)  
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Super Surprise Phone Call After a Bummer of a Day

phone callIt all started out pretty good. I had an appointment with an incredible Doctor in a town about 35 minutes away. She is a magical diagnostician and certified in internal medicine. I have also heard from many that she is one the very few and elite brand of caregivers who actually cares about you. I was excited to see…

Well, maybe I was more nervous than excited. My son was out of school sick and going to go with me. I took my chill pills plenty of time in advance, and we walked out the door even a little early.

As soon on to the freeway, it all changed. I was so tense you’d have thought I a woman of steel. Every exit we passed, I wanted to get OFF. All I could think about was how I was getting further and further away from home and the longer I drove, the longer it would take to get back home.

My little 8-year-old son was being terrific. He’s such a great kid.
Making conversation, and acting like he didn’t notice that I was completely distracted by my own racing thoughts as my hands gripped the wheel with deadly force.

Eventually, after going as far as I felt I could roll with the tightness in my chest, so I finally exited and started to tell my little man I had to turn around and miss the appointment.

He replied “Oh, don’t turn around Mommy, you made a plan.”

I looked at him and said “You’re right.. I’ll tell you what, there’s another exit up here a ways. We keep going but if I am still feeling this way by the time we get there, I’ll have to turn around.”

He agreed, and off we went, back on to the damn freeway. The anxiety did not subside, and I ended up turning around. So proud of my little boy being so patient, and encouraging with me.

I made only about half way to the town where my appointment was scheduled, but I swear sometimes I have so much damn anxiety it feels like I can’t get enough anti-anxiety meds in to my body to calm the hell down.

I was disappointed and kind of kicking myself… even a little embarrassed but I called the office and told them honestly what had happened. Part of what’s going on with me is that I am having some intense anxiety, and I let them know I could only make it half way and had to turn around.

They were kind and declined to charge me the cancellation fee, even though I offered to gladly pay it. Unfortunately this amazing Doctor is very busy through February and traveling to China to see her parents. I couldn’t get another appointment until March.

I sighed, and said “ok, God, I guess that’s what is supposed to happen.”

Shockingly, about an hour later the Doctor herself called me up. She said she’s concerned about me since she wouldn’t be able to see me for such a long time and I have been having this extreme anxiety.

She asked me a few questions, called the lab where I had recently had work done and got all that information. She wanted to make sure that they were looking for the right things. She is apparently the wizard if lab work. Then she wrote up orders for more blood tests, looking for the right things I guess, and mailed them off to me.

I was so impressed and feelings so blessed. This woman is surely just as amazing as all the other people who’ve recommended her said she was. I’m excited to work with her.

So far, previous blood tests have yielded no answers, and I am fairly certain my primary caregiver was encouraging me to just give up looking… of course thinking it’s “just anxiety”… but I call BS. Something is going on and she’s not looking in the right place yet. She ran a second round of tests, adding things I don’t know why she didn’t just run in the first damn place.

My nurse friend is convinced it’s either thyroid, hormones, or adrenals… easy as that. AND if there is something there.. this new Doc will find it.

These days I’m fairly convinced I have a thyroid condition… specifically over active thyroid, since it’s caused me to lose like 15 lbs in 1 month. That’s put me at a frail 90 lbs. Seriously, I don’t look well. I lost something like 14% of my already slim body weight in one month! It’s a little frightening. Plus, the tachycardia and any number of other symptoms that I won’t bore you with.

All these issues have obviously put a cramp in my dating life. Not that I had much going on in that department lately, anyway. Still, when you get sick like this… to the point where you can’t function in your daily life, like go to work, or pop in to the grocery store with any level of comfort. It shakes up your priorities a bit.

Still, with everything that’s going on… even with my failure to make it to that appointment– Today was a GOOD day!

Thank God for extraordinary people.

Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 9:00 am  Comments (8)  
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Off The Map

Hey readers, and blogger friends. I just wanted to check in. I realize I’ve pulled a Houdini the last few weeks… I had, sort of, a medical complication.

I was at working, working the radio while my shift partner was in the restroom, when suddenly I felt like my blood was boiling and I thought maybe I might vomit… Still, the most disturbing symptoms was what felt like SEVERE panic and shortness of breath.

I yelled to the Supervisor and took off, heading for the bathroom just outside the communications center. I don’t know how long I was in there but I know I was using every energy cell in my body to keep breathing and try to calm the fuck down.

Since then I had several episodes like this. I went to our local walk in clinic, and even the local ER but I was getting the blow off. They just thought I had a run of the mill panic attack… but I know something was wrong. I’m quite experienced with run of the mill panic attack.

They doled out some benzos without even taking my pulse, then sent me on my way.

Next a whole slew of symptoms hit me… lack of appetite, rapid weight loss, intolerance to hot and cold and crazed anxiety, among other things. I couldn’t go back to work and then depression hit me like speeding bullet train. I have been unable to function in my own life for weeks now.

The walk in clinic dished out some antidepressants, with a total lack of interest… but I was not satisfied. I know my body and something more is going on here.

I finally got with a care provider who seemed to take me seriously. She was very thorough ordering tests for what seemed like everything she could think of that could be causing the symptoms. AND someone finally listened to my heart. Guess what- TACHYCARDIA. “You definitely have tachycardia,” she said “and I heard it change gears several times.”

All this medical stuff… all these symptoms, have kept me out of work for something like 3 or 4 weeks. Just been trying to get the symptoms under control. I feel like I have finally done that… Now tomorrow… test results.

What will they find?

Or possibly worse, what if they don’t find anything and just tell me “eh, it’s all in your head. You must have had a nervous break down.” Ughhhh.

Published in: on January 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm  Comments (9)  

Oh So Rugged!

Rugged... like this guy I stole off pintrest!

Rugged… like this guy I stole off pintrest!

Although my current state of mental, physical, psychological chaos leaves me with zero desire to be dating or anything… I do miss men. Big burly rugged men.

From the sidelines where I sit, I am witnessing the awe inspiring strength God put in to men. I don’t think I ever realized before how rugged they really are. They guy from my church that came by to bring me some wood (married dude) grew up in South Lake Tahoe. He was swinging an ax around like it’s made of plastic… whipping up kindling and flinging large arm fulls of oak in to my wood shed.

Wood is a very manly thing… and a common thing up here in the mountains where I live. We have loggers, men who work at factories, tow cars out of giant snow storms, repair power lines in raging blizzards, hunt and kill animals for fun, climb on horses and hike in to the wilderness to search and rescue people, even volunteer for local fire departments… lol. Think about all the crazy rough neck type jobs men do… work oil riggs and fishing boats… all kinds of crazy dangerous stuff. They are just rugged. God made them that way. Very different from me… from women, and yet meant to be together.

Another guy from church stopped by my place this week to help me fix a broken window. (married) He’s a retired road cop. Spent 20 years rescuing stranded motorists, or victims of traffic collisions… pulling people out of the snow banks. Believe it, folks– they do more than just write tickets. Now he’s talking about going back to logging as a second career. wow.

Also,I must say, he was 50 something and in his church clothes, he seemed to blend in to the pavement, but when he arrived at my house in his ‘work clothes’… 5 o’clock shadow, carharts jacket and logger boots looking oh so rugged, rough and ready… I definately took a second look, I won’t lie. (no worries though, still celibate. 9 months now. Anyway, I re-iterate, he’s married) Just sayin’ — Rugged = Doable, for sure.

I’m just in awe. Not only am I realizing how NOT rugged I am, (and that’s ok) but I am watching and thinking about how much I miss having that kind of strong, simple, rugged hero type in my life.

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 9:00 am  Comments (3)  
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Damn You WOOOOOD! And I don’t mean the fun kind!

Firewood is seriously driving me crazy. This year I decided to go with firewood only, since the heating fuel is super expensive and I was scared the heater would break again like it did last year.

Well, I was originally thrilled with the last cord of wood I bought cuz two guys name Jake delivered it and even stacked it in my wood shed. Woo-hooo! Until, later I realize I can not start a fire with it because they have split it in to giant supersized pie shaped logs.

Of course, I figure if I can stuff it in to the wood stove, it’ll work. Not so, my friends. Must have been hilarious watching me trying to start a fire with those gigantic pieces… Did manage to burn my hand pretty damn good in the process though. *eye roll*

So then I’ve got guys from church coming over to give me lessons on how to start a fire and bring smaller wood.

Well, today I attempted to put some of my lessons to work, and take a whack at splitting some of the enormous wood pieces. Sounds easy, right? Splitting wood. I even have a brand new ax, courtesy of The Ambassador when he was still around.

Well… Let me tell you… THIS is not so easy, and I have now decided… impossible. I just don’t have the upper body strength to do it. Also, I wanted to punch The Ambassador in the face for buying that stupid ax and making me think he’d be around to do things like chop wood… and then disappearing!

Apparently, I will have to continue getting my church peeps to bring me smaller wood to start the fires, then throwing the giant pieces in when it gets going good and hot.

I’ve also heard bbq lighter fluid works well… but I don’t want the kids to catch me doing that… Next things ya know, I go take the trash out and return to find my 8 year old holding a can of lighter fluid while standing next to my 10 year old with a lighter in her hand! Noooo bueno, dude.

Published in: on January 3, 2013 at 9:00 am  Comments (2)  
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