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decisions

After years of having this blog, I am now faced with possibly having to move it due to an unfortunate circumstance with an online stalking situation.  I’m still mulling it over.  If you’re a follower and are interested in getting the info on the new name, please let me know.  Otherwise, stay tuned….

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Little old lady (me) and the flu (them).

A former coworker/friend of mine declared that she considers her birthday her actual “New Year”.  She said that every year on her birthday she takes stock of her life, sets some goals, and makes some changes.  She also takes some time for self care and to celebrate another year.  I wondered why she did this on her birthday as opposed to the standard January 1st, but I surmise it’s because in a sense, a birthday is a bit more of a personal day.  The more I thought about her practice of her birthday New Year, the more I liked the positive atmosphere that surrounded it.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  My 44th birthday to be precise.  And it’s such a weird damned birthday.

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For starters, I have two kids currently suffering from the flu and I feel like we are just trying to make it through each day this week. That flu is no joke.  It’s spreading like wildfire and I had been hopeful we’d make it through unscathed, but I was wrong.  It’s been a rough few weeks.  The brakes went on our car, and the check engine light was on.  We got all that fixed, just to then get a screw in the tire and the check engine light came back on.  Car taxes are due, car emissions is due (can’t get it done with the check engine light on!) and of course money is extra tight because we both missed work after my surgery.  Add to that issues with an  bpd stalker, and other nonsense, and it’s all…well, exhausting.  Oh yes, and my house is a wreck, but that’s par for the course.

I’m tired, y’all.  I’m just tired of it all.

Yet I know that this too shall pass.  Well, except the messy house part, because let’s be real honest….it hasn’t had much improvement since I started this blog.  I have two kids, two pets, work full time and I work opposite hours from my spouse.  This is how it’s gonna be if I’m honest.  The kids asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  “Well, I’d like to get a massage or something relaxing, come home to a tidy house, and eat cake with you guys”.  Their response? “we’re going to apologize right now.  cake and a massage may happen but you’re out of luck on the house bit.”

It’s funny.  I don’t feel 44.  Not even a bit.  Well, at least not mentally.  The husband and I were talking tonight and we agreed neither of us feel this old.  We talked about how things were when we were 34, and how did 10 years slip by so darned quickly?  My theory was that we had kids, we had the lives of parents of 2 kids, and life moves FAST.  Maybe we were too busy to see those 10 years fly by us. We see other people at 44 and we don’t feel we quite look that old yet.  Vain assholes, aren’t we? For real, though.  How many of you have seen someone you thought was way older than you and you find out they are in fact younger than you?  Happens to me quite a bit.  Sometimes I wonder if I look far older than the person I see in the mirror.  Perhaps my increasingly poor eyesite is fooling me into thinking I look half decent, only to live as a swamp beast in the real world. Well, I comfort myself with “at least I can’t see what a travesty I may look like”. As a friend put it today, “I still feel like a 15 year old.  A 15 year old that gets beat up everyday, but a 15 year old nonetheless.”

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Of course with all the crappo stuff going on, it doesn’t feel very birthday-y.  In fact, it feels a bit like I want to skip the day altogether.  The extra layer of suck that’s lingering over my head is that honestly, I miss my mom.  She’s been gone almost 12 years and I still miss her daily.  I think she was almost more excited about my birthdays that I was.  After all, it was also her day too in a sense.  She always went big for birthdays.  Any birthday was a big deal to celebrate in her eyes.  Birthdays=life=worth some cake and some fun!  With her gone, somehow things sparkle a little less.

By the same token, I am happy to have this birthday.  Happy for another day.  Many people won’t get that tomorrow.  One of my best friends, who was my age, didn’t get to see 43, and he won’t see 44 either.  It does make you appreciate a birthday when you look at it that way.

So tomorrow is the first day of another age for me.  How will I spend it? Working, at least for part of it.  My husband is sending me out for some “me” time, whether it be a massage or a pedicure, or going to see a movie.  Then tomorrow evening it’s back to hang out with my favorite sickies for some cake and laughs.  I haven’t had much thought towards goals for this year.  Perhaps tomorrow when I have some quiet time I’ll give it some thought.  All I know for now is it’s time to take stock of what is working and what isn’t, and move accordingly.  Right now, I’m in a swing of bad luck, but in the grand scheme of things, life’s really quite awesome.  I have always found that life is a series of elevators.  What goes up, must come down, and even when things are down, they typically go right back up again.  Life is always moving. Sometimes people are on the ride with you, and sometimes not.

I may be a little old lady at 44.  I love my early nights, my heating pad, and yes, I wish people would sometimes get off my lawn.   Sure, we may be in a sea of humidifiers, vicks, tylenol, essential oils, tamiflu, car problems, money issues, and other stuff, but we’ll find out way through. I’m determined to get us all through what life throws at us.  That being said, I guess I am looking forward to another year.  Things have been pretty fabulous so far.

Follow up on the minefield…it’s blowing up

So in my last post, I went over why good deeds sometimes go punished.  Well, since that post there have been some developments.

What I am going to say, I will refer to as “allegedly”.  Everything about this post from here on out, should be construed as “allegedly”.  Got it?  Gotta cover your bases and your ass, you know?

So about a week and a half ago, I get a call from someone who has been involved with he situation from the beginning.  One of the silent few who were helpers from the get go without any public recognition. They tell me the “off” woman (from here on I’ll call her Ann) had checked the ill woman (I’ll refer to her as Sue) out of the hospital promising 24 hour care, stayed a day, and left.  Poor Sue was home, unable to access her antibiotics, and got an infection which caused all sorts of issues.  Another woman, who had been by Sue’s side since the very first few days of hospitalization, but who had been ill herself and not around for a week or so, showed up to find poor Sue in a bad way.  Sue ends up back in hospital.  Next thing you know, an investigation by the state is in process, police are being called by all sides, and wars are waged on Facebook. It’s a big ol’ mess, y’all.

In the middle of hearing how tragic and awful all of this got, I went to visit Sue.  She apologized profusely to me for believing things Ann had said about me and accused me of.   I felt a little bad, too.  Yes, she can be a bit difficult, and yes, she may not always understand how to deal with people, but Sue was nice. She is who she is, I respect that good and bad, and I wish her well.  We had a frank discussion about things, and I left feeling better for going.  I think we both felt better for having met.

Sue ended up posting a rant about what Ann had done on FB (there’s a lot involved but I am not going to go into it here).  Ann responded by attacking Sue and having all of her friends, including a guy, attack Sue and call her all sorts of names.   People who have no inside knowledge of what happened are attacking Sue. People are blindly defending Ann. The cat turds were nothing compared to the shitstorm this all turned into.  Honestly, I’d clean cat turds every single day over dealing with the people side of this bullshit.

With all the investigations, both state, police etc, I am leaving the situation be unless needed. I trust that people will do their jobs and me commenting isn’t going to help. That’s a tough pill to swallow, because I hate injustice, but I trust they will sort it all and get to the bottom of things. Frankly, I am queen of the screenshot because I have learned people are not always what they seem, so I have proof of who people are.

Sue is doing a lot better than she was when she went to hospital the second time, and is getting cared for.

I am left so sad and frustrated though that all these people bound together to do kindness and now the end result is so ugly.  The world we live in often feels cold and hopeless.  Kindness could make all the difference. I often wonder what the world would be like if we all started getting involved in being kind to people. The hardest part is keeping things like this from stopping me helping people in the future. It won’t though.  I have kids to raise and I have to show them that kindness is important, even if it doesn’t work out the way you hope.

 

Mission Possible, and Turd Minefields

I know, it’s been  ages since I wrote. Then all of a sudden you get 2 posts!  Life gets in the way, and with a husband, two kids, a full time job, kids activities, the holidays and all the PEOPLE-ING, this introvert is spent.  That being said,a few weeks ago was Christmas, which means more chaos, money, and stress than usual.  So, it’s been a little hectic, to say the least.  Especially because in true fashion, I gave myself extra jobs, one of which being to try to be less of an asshole, and to teach my kids how not to be assholes.

I THOUGHT I was ahead of the game this year.  I started shopping in November, got the kids’ main gifts ordered and ready, and was trucking along.  After all, I had shows or trips planned every weekend through December, so I knew I had to plan ahead.  I could not procrastinate.  (Yeah, right). Things were going seemingly on schedule.  Then about 3-4 days before Christmas I got a call from a young woman I had met last year.  When I met her last year, I met her through facebook.  She had posted on a local tag sale facebook page that she and her long term boyfriend had both lost their jobs right before Christmas.  She was struggling to put together a Christmas for her kids, and asked if anyone had any gently used toys they could donate.  I saw the post and my usually cold little heart cracked a little.  I rounded up some toys, got a gift card from a store so she could pick out an item or two, and took them to her.  A few days later, my husband and I picked up one of the kids’ big Santa wishes, and we were able to give her son a bike.  She was beyond grateful and thanked us profusely.  For me, seeing a picture of her kids opening their presents and knowing those parents had one less stress, if just for a moment? Well, that’s what made MY Christmas special.  We became facebook friends, and while I didn’t see her in person again, I did see that they both got jobs after the holiday.  The kids were growing up, they were getting back on their feet.  It made me happy.  Then, a few weeks ago, right before Christmas, I saw on facebook she was hospitalized for over a week.

When she messaged me a few days before Christmas this year, she did so to ask if I knew of any organizations who would still accept families in need of toys etc for Christmas.  I didn’t know any, but as a mom, her question pierced my heart.  I told her to leave it with me.  I would see what I could find out.  I also found out she and the kids were currently in a women’s shelter after losing their apartment.  That made my heart break more.  She had worked so hard, come so far, only to have it slip away.  I got to work.

In a couple of days, between friends, family, some strangers, and ourselves, we were able to provide toys and needed items for the kids, gift cards for the grocery store and walmart, and some cash.  I had jumped into coordination mode, and thanks to the generosity of others, we made some magic happen.  The relief on her face was so evident, that after we hugged and I left, I cried for quite a while.  I saw pics later of her Christmas morning,  The kids had smiling faces, but I think my smile may have been even bigger for knowing that perhaps I had lightened another mom’s load just a little bit.

They say giving is often better than receiving, and I was on a high from the above.  Mainly because I try hard to show the kids about doing kind acts.  This is what moms are supposed to do, right? So I jumped into my second round of kindness, only it didn’t go as planned.  In fact, it went completely the opposite way.

So, I love Facebook.  Let me rephrase, I love Facebook, yet I think Facebook is the killer of person to person socializing. Maybe it’s because I am an introvert, but I love being able to keep up with friends and family from anywhere.  Anywho, I was on Facebook one day, and saw a post on our town’s women’s page from a woman who had had a medical issue and been rushed to the hospital.  She was in her 60’s, and said she had no friends or family.  Now being the cynical person I am, I thought “nobody?  perhaps she is a tiny bit of an asshole”.  Now I know that sounds harsh.  It is.  But if you’re 90 and you have nobody, I assume everyone you had died off at some point.  But 60’s seems too young for that.  She mentioned she had 2 cats, and that she was worried about them.  Her neighbor was feeding them, but hated cats.  She also mentioned she was worried about the litter boxes, as she had been hospitalized for a couple of days and therefore the boxes must be in pretty bad shape.  There was talk that she may have a tumor.  Cancer was mentioned.

Part of me felt like….something about this makes me feel like maybe I shouldn’t get involved.   But Cancer.  Cancer will get me every time.  Every Time.  I figured I could go change a litter box.  It would ease her worry.  I could show kindness.  So I volunteered.

Off I go.  I get the key from the neighbor.  Before I go into the house, the neighbor asks me to call the woman.  She wants to tell me a few things.  So, I call.  I learn the boxes are in the basement and that there are boxes of latex gloves, liners, and litter there. I think, great. Annnndddd that’s when she tells me she is not so good with the boxes. She plans to get better at it.  She tells me she has physical limitations and that there is  YEARS WORTH OF USED KITTY LITTER IN GARBAGE BAGS IN THE BASEMENT.   She also tells me that if she hasn’t changed the boxes in a bit the cats will go on the floor, but that there is a broom and dustpans to clean it up.  If you could have seen my face.

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But I’m locked in.  I said I would do it, right?  So I tell her not to worry, and I hang up and enter the house.

The first thing I notice is that the basement light does not work.  Now, I went there the day after Christmas, and my husband had gotten me an Apple watch.  My phone was suffering from Apple’s battery issue, and as soon as I tried to turn on the flashlight, it died.  I find myself then going “hey siri, turn on a flashlight!” Nothing.  I am trying to get some sort of beacon of light to shine from this Apple watch and I have nothing.  I haven’t learned how to work it yet.  I glance into the basement darkness.  I feel like I am descending into murder.  Unsuccessful at finding any light source, I brave it down the stairs. I make it to the bottom, find another light that goes to an adjacent room, and flick the switch.

Behold, a turd minefield awaited.   Turds, everywhere.  The room had turd mines all over the floor.  The litter boxes had pee above the litter they were so soaked.  This wasn’t a case of the boxes not being cleaned for 5 days.  These boxes hadn’t been cleaned in a month and a half (as evidenced by the sticky note detailing the date I later noticed in the kitchen.)  Hork.

Part of me went “Oh hell NAW!”

And part of me said “you gave your word you would do it, now just do it”.

So I cleaned it all.  I cleaned the turds, I cleaned the floor.  I cleaned the boxes, and made everything nice.  I found one of the cats and coaxed it out of hiding and petted it for a while.  Then I went home and wanted to light myself on fire.

Now somehow, some way, and I’m not sure how, I got roped into daily cat duty.  There was a small group of women from town who banded together and worked magic.  I took over most of the cat duties, with another lady checking in once or twice to assist.  I shoveled her drive and deck in a snowstorm.  I got all the garbage bags of used listter removed from the house.  Another lady started a gofund me and raised enough money to fix the ill woman’s furnace and fill her oil tank (she had been living without heat for some time and it was BRUTALLY cold out.)  She had the furnace fixed and the house now had heat.  Another woman who has a cleaning agency came in and cleaned the house.  These women worked MAGIC, all while this woman was in the hospital. One lady started a meal train, where people in town would sign up to cook and bring meals to the woman (we’ll call her Sue) when she came home from hospital.  I was so happy.  My kids thought all this was so awesome and we were all warm and fuzzy from watching all the random acts of kindness!

And then, it turned.  Oh, did it turn.

A late night FB post by Sue, (the ill woman) about the meal train.  Saying she really ate fresh fish and veggies, all this fancy stuff, and that if people were going to cook meals they should cater specifically to her tastes otherwise it wasn’t really giving freely.  The post was so…..demanding and full of expectation.  I blinked.  I read it twice.  The line where she mentions she doesn’t eat a lot of pasta, I almost choked on.  Her garbage can was in her pantry and I had seen shelves of pasta in there where tossing out used paper towels etc.  I was shocked by the entitlement.  Was this due to her meds?  Nope, apparently it wasn’t.   This was her.  I found out later she is a bit of a “give an inch and she expects a mile” type of person.  People were furious at her posts.  The help dwindled and offers to help started to drop off immediately.  The meal train? Well, thanks to the recipient, it DERAILED.  I was still going to the house daily, often multiple times, looking after her cats.  The woman then messaged me saying “what a shame the cats aren’t up to date on their shots, or you could bring them to visit me in the hospital every day!  They also need their nails trimmed, here’s the name of my vet.”

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I had to politely tell her no.  The cats were clearly frightened and while they would come out for me, would not appreciate being put in carriers and hoisted around town.  Not only that but I didn’t have the funds to pay her vet bill.

The issue I faced, however, was that my surgery was looming and I needed to find a replacement.  I had to leave the situation, and even though this woman was quickly alienating people, I didn’t want her cats to suffer. There was a small group of the women who were in a chat about the cats.  All were in rescue but me.  I told them we needed to find a replacement.  One posted on her rescue page looking for someone to volunteer, and two people did.  One seemed nice, although other people were iffy, and the other one seemed off to me.  There was a third person and the “off” woman went above and beyond to tell us all we should not pick the 3rd person as she was “too eager to get in the house” and too controlling.  The fact is, I needed someone, so I agreed to meet the two women at the house and show them in.  I showed them where the small group of us that had been in the house hid the key, I showed them the food donations, where the litter was, the cats’ favorite hiding spaces were.  The “off” one was rushing me saying she had to get home.  I left feeling even more uncomfortable about her.  I preferred the other woman.  Before they left, I told them women I would stop by over the weekend, to check the cats, say goodbye to them (I had grown very fond of the cats) and see if any shoveling needed to be done (a storm was coming). Everyone was fine with this.

Fast forward two days, and I messaged them I was planning to head over to the house at some point that day.  The off one replies that it’s fine, however I need to be “escorted” into the house now that they have taken over.  I was told by the other that they didn’t want a hassle if anyone were to “steal” anything.  They told me they had made copies of the key, took the original, and had removed it, so i would need an escort in the house to enter it.    Really?  Funny that I hadn’t needed an escort to go in and look after the cats for weeks.  Funny that I hadn’t needed an escort to clean boxes of piss and a minefield of turds (while wearing my favorite boots, may I add!) out of the basement.  I also hadn’t needed an escort to remove 15 -20 bags of used cat litter out of the house.  Yet suddenly, here we were.  I told them I was offended by the implication and that I suddenly needed an “escort” when I had looked after the house and cats for weeks. For me, it wasn’t about getting into the house, as honestly, I couldn’t care less.  It was about the principle of the matter and being treated like I was shady.  My response of being offended must have triggered her, because I got a long response that included phrases that she had taken over and “was in charge” now, and then it took a very accusatory turn where she indicated I might have ill intentions.  I was left pretty much like this:

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Annnnd, I told her to eff off.  To which she responded she was “calling the police” on me.  Really?  It’s a sentiment, not a crime.   Sure, it’s not my prettiest of words, but to know me is to know I have a mouth like a sailor.  So after she sent me nasty messages back and then taunted me about going in for a hysterectomy, she blocked me.  Turns out, the next day, she posts on the town page acting like she has been doing all the work all along.  That’s when people who know me, who knew all the work I had done, completely under the radar, went ballistic.  (My friends are awesome, just sayin’)  I was getting screen shots (since she blocked me I couldn’t see the original post) but what I also got was some really awesome messages from women around town, who learned I had been helping under the radar and thought it was nice. I got to meet some new people, so that was pretty cool.

Turns out, the “off” woman ended up starting a bunch of trouble on the town page and getting blocked.  Apparently she has a bit of a dark side herself.   She is now Sue’s bestie, although if I’m honest I think she has an underlying motive in all of this.  I wish Sue all the best.  Yes, she can be demanding, entitled, and she’s a little different, but I worry about what this woman’s intentions to her may be.    I still hope she is ok and will be alright.  I miss her kitties. They were sweet and gentle.

When all this went down, I had to explain to the kids a bit of what happened and that I wouldn’t be going to the house.  They had come with me a few times and had coaxed the cats out of hiding and played with them.  The cats took to them right away and vice versa.  I am not sure the cats had seen children before.  They were bummed.  They knew the work I had done, and that my message to them was to do kind things for other, to help out other people if they could, and all those good mom messages.  Their end take of the experience?  “being kind isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be”.

So…….that didn’t work out quite as planned.

 

 

 

 

Gutted Like a Fish…The Aftermath

So, I needed some parts removed.

(WARNING: this may be a bit TMI for some!) To catch you up if you haven’t read that post, I have suffered with bad periods my whole life.  I even started on birth control pills at a young age to try to curb my periods and make them more manageable.  After having my two kids, I decided I wanted to stay off the pills, and went back to a life of periods.  I soon realized that it was going to be a pretty miserable time for me.

Every month, my periods would show up nice and light for a day or so.  “No biggie” I would think to myself. Oh, how wrong I was.  Within 3 days, I was a walking crime scene.  I began buying ultra Tampax and giant pads.  Have you seen an Ultra Tampax?  That thing is NO JOKE.  This is the biggest size they have and I would go through them in under a half an hour.  It was HORRIBLE.  I was told I have fibroids, and combined with an already heavy period, the situation wasn’t going to improve.  I also notice my PMS was getting worse.  I would become RAGE-Y.  Like, all out rage would consume me every month.  I have yet to determine if this was in fact PMS or just dealing with idiots.  I suspect perhaps my tolerance levels for stupidity were just lower.  Either way, I wasn’t feeling like myself anymore.  Off to the doctor I went.  I had a biopsy, and another test, where they found I also have a polyp.  My uterus must have been a magic garden for growing babies, fibroids, polyps, etc.  After all was said and done, my doctor walked into my follow up appointment and asked me “so how do you feel about a hysterectomy?”

At first, I was surprised.  I had expected her to mention a different type of procedure, or other options. What, exactly, I wasn’t sure.  What I wasn’t expecting was dismantling my insides.  I asked her about the recovery time.  “4-6 weeks” was her response.  Now look, if any of you are parents, you know that being down for 4-6 weeks is about the least optimal idea possible.  Not to mention my husband works opposite hours than I do, so I am basically alone with the kids every afternoon and night.  My husband is also self employed, meaning if he doesn’t go to work, he doesn’t get paid.  This would present a major issue.  How would we manage?  I must have looked dismayed, because she said “we could also try managing the issues with meds”.  So that was what we decided to do.

One month later, I was curled in a ball with such bad cramping I thought I might have to go to the hospital.  I had never felt anything like it.  The idea of going through that every month was not an option.  “Time to take out the parts” was my battle cry.  My Dr sent me for genetic testing.  Effectively, I have cancer throughout my family on both sides, and if I had a genetic issue for cancer, the doctor said she would take my ovaries.  Without, she wanted to leave them, as they help prevent against things like dementia, which also runs in my family.  “So I can get cancer or forget who I am?  Those are my options?” I said.  “pretty much.” she responded with a laugh.  Luckily, my genes are in good shape, so I got cleared for surgery.

I booked my surgery for the new year, so I would have some sick time to use.  My company has short term disability insurance, but it doesn’t kick in until the 8th day, so I would need some sick or paid time off to manage.  I booked it for January 10th.  I tried to make myself look forward to it.  All hell broke lose when my company switched insurance companies for the new year.  I was in a frantic panic trying to get an ID card from the new company and they were slow to get me into their system.  Luckily, at the 11th hour, all was set, and off to the hospital we went.

When I was waiting to go in, my dr came in and went over the procedure.  It would be a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy, taking my uterus and fallopian tubes, but leaving everything else. I got stern warnings not to have sex or put anything into the vagina for 6 weeks.  She mentioned that it can cause vaginal prolapse and mentioned something about the intestines coming out through the vagina.  Now I don’t know about you, but I heard about intestines falling out and must have looked HORRIFIED.  She tried to calm my fears but because I have a touch of OCD, that image and thought was burned into my brain.

Off to surgery I went.  I woke up (Yay!) after it was all over, not too sore, and not in more pain (post meds) than I could handle.  I even got a private room, which I was SUPER hoping for.  Now, full disclosure, I know that during this surgery, they put air in you to extend things, and what air goes in, must come out.  This means that it can leave you super farty, and no way in hell was I going to be comfortable blowing foghorn farts in front of  stranger.  I told my Dr these and she about fell over laughing.  “That’s what’s worrying you?” she asked.  My response “I have poop and fart shame.”  My husband looked at me with that “you don’t seem to be shameful at farting at home” look.

I stayed one night in the hospital.  Once I got into the room I slept a LOT.  I kept dozing in and out, and had super vivid dreams.  The next morning, I felt a bit better, and came home.  Once I got home, I spent about a week living the potato life.  I got up and walked around quite a bit, but I spent much of it in bed.  I watched the entire Downtown Abbey season in a week (marathon achievement unlocked!) I had a couple of days where I felt inexplicably weepy.  I know that some women feel depressed about hysterectomies.  This can be especially difficult for women who wanted children still, or those who mourned their loss of ability to have children suddenly.  For me, I had a few moments of questioning my decision.  Had I done wrong by removing and organ to stop the bleeding?

This troubled me for a day or so.  Then I began thinking of the day I was at the pediatricians office with my daughter, coughed, and realized that my jeans were suddenly soaked with blood.  Tons of blood. It was mortifying.  I remembered all the days I had needed to stay home because of the problematic periods.  I thought about the fibroids and now a polyp I was dealing with.  It seemed like things would only get worse.  I have decided for my quality of life, I made the right decision.

2 weeks in, I feel pretty good.  The incision sites are a bit sore.  I had what felt like a ligament pain the other day on the right hand side.  I literally rolled over in bed and yelped in pain.  (It’s a sad state of affairs when you hurt yourself rolling over).  I was a bit concerned at first but I have my two week follow up appointment in two days, so I’ll ask the dr about it.  I can walk and move.  If I do too much, I get sore, and sometimes I get the dreaded “swelly belly” where my stomach gets bloated and I look a lil pregnant.  I think that’s one of the things I hate the most, is the bloated feeling.  I can’t eat as much as I used to, which hey, could be a great thing!  The first few days I felt a lot of pressure, probably as my organs shifted around and found their new spots.  One delightful new aspect is that my bladder seems bigger than before.  I’ve always had a “little tank” and it’s a bit of a joke I always had to pee constantly, but now I feel like I don’t have to go nearly as much, despite drinking a TON of fluids the past 2 weeks.

My husband took the first few days off to look after me, but since he went back on the 6th day after surgery, I have managed well.  He did leave work to pick the kids up from school, so I only just drove for the first time the other day.  I know, I know, I’m not supposed to drive yet, but I only drive a couple of blocks to get the kids or to the store in a pinch.

So there you have it.  I made it through, and honestly, it wasn’t too bad!

Chubby Malificient

Halloween is over.  Halloween is a massive holiday in my house, probably my husband’s favorite.  We decorate the house, pull out all the animatronics, and do it up.  We also dress up, have family dress up, and we haunt the neighborhood.  We typically get several hundred kids a year trick or treating.

This year, my “Descendants 2” obsessed daughter wanted to go as Mal, and asked me to go as Malificient.  Now, Malificient is one of my favorite movies, but I wasn’t really feeling it for Halloween.  That being said, my daughter is only a few years away from being mortified by my very existence, and I know this. She will head into the pre teens, embarrassed by me, as most kids are.  I know I have to soak up every moment of her being proud of me now, as I may need those memories to cling to later.

So I get myself a costume.  And to be fair, a lot of kids and parents liked it.  Some kids trick or treating  even asked me to take photos with them!  I felt rather honored. I felt pretty cute in my costume, and was pretty pleased with how it came out.

Then I saw the pictures.

Oof.

I looked HUGE. After they cancelled my aqua zumba class that I loved, I stopped going to the Y.  The kids’ activities were taking up 7 days a week and there was no time for me.  My weight loss from the “year of yes” has crept back since it’s been the summer of “I can’t my kids have practice”.  It’s not their fault, it all belongs squarely onto my shoulder, and chins, and I could go on but it’s depressing me……

Tomorrow is my 25th high school reunion.  I’m going, even though I had to leave sophmore year because we moved.  I went to middle school and high school with these folks, and I’d like to see them again. I am less, enthused, however, after seeing those pictures of myself.  How did I let myself go like this?  Granted, I haven’t gained 20 lbs over the summer, but it shows that I am not looking after myself properly.  I look tired, my skin looks drab, and I have thrown a few lbs back on.  I feel like I have lost my luster.  Add to that the medical stuff, and I feel so DRAINED.  I need to get back on track, and take better care of myself.

My daughter sees me only as Mommy.  The mommy who loves her unconditionally, the mommy who sings her awake every morning with silly songs.  I am the giver of hugs, the one who makes sure things are handled.  I am her soft place to land after a hard day.  I suppose I would like to be less physically soft..lol.  My decision to consider surgery in the next few months is based on trying to keep myself healthy for my kids and my husband.  It’s time I started making better choices, taking baby steps, and getting my butt in gear.  The first step is the hardest.

I don’t want to be chubby malificient.

Good Deeds and One Decision

Every now and again, I try to do a kind deed.  Whether it be buying coffee for the person behind me at Dunkin Donuts, or doing a little surprise for a stranger.  Usually I do it when I am having a horrible day, not because because I feel I will get repaid in any sort of way, but because the thought of making someone smile a little brings a little spark to an otherwise crapfest of a day.  Usually I do things where I won’t see the person’s reaction, and I’d like to think it’s a happy one.  I feel like when the world seems like it’s in chaos, a little kindness feels grounding.  Mr Roger’s said his mom told him to “look for the helpers”.  I’d like to be a helper.  My husband is a helper.  He sometimes gives money to panhandlers and when I have asked him why he gives knowing they are often scammers, he gave me an answer that stuck with me.  He said it’s your intent when you give a hand, not their intent.  He gives freely, with no expectations, with no judgement. He grew up volunteering at a homeless shelter.  Giving is in his nature.

Yesterday I dropped the kids off to school, and promptly saw the gas light was on in the car.  I headed over to the gas station, only to see that they couldn’t accept cards, so I went to the one across the street (why the put identical businesses across the street is beyond me, but yesterday I was rather thankful for it.  I went in my bag to get my card out and a face appeared at my window.  I won’t lie, it unnerved me.  I sat there, unsure what to do.  I cracked the window and the man started telling me his story.  Said his car had broke down near the highway and he needed a new serpentine belt.  Said his AAA wasn’t paid up, and that he needed $16 dollars to get a new one (he had taken the max atm withdrawal out. but was short.  It was a scam.  I knew he was bullshitting me.  At first I was afraid he wanted a ride and I said I was sorry, but no way could I put a stranger in my car.  He laughed and said no way would he expect that. He was just trying to raise $16 dollars.  He told me about his job, handed me his passport, which looked dogeared.  The name he gave me matched the passport, and the picture matched his face.   Even though I knew I was likely being lied to, I gave him the money.  He handed me a piece of paper with his email, and he left.  I went to put gas in the car, and as I did so, I watched him run across to the other gas station, grab a backpack, and hope on a white bike.  I watched him ride off.  I wasn’t sure what to think.  Clearly, his story was bogus if he had a bike nearby.  I felt sad.  Not for the fact I had been scammed, because I had surmised it was a scam all along.  I felt sad because he had needed to do it.  Normal people don’t go around scamming people.

Later than day, I pulled out the paper with the email address.  It was a name@gmail type of email, so I looked up the name.  My friends nicknamed me Angela Lansbury a few years ago because I could “find” or “locate” people.  I found it a relaxing hobby, and was able to find some long lost relatives for friends of mine.  In the age of computers, it’s not all that hard to do.  I found his facebook profile.

What I saw was a bit shocking. I saw he had been arrested a few times for trespassing and possession. That fell in line with the scam.  Then I sawwe  grew up in the same town.  He was clearly at some point quite affluent, as there were pictures of him on his boat, at a yacht club, and info about his business.  I also saw that he was facebook friends with some of my friends.  Interestingly, he was friends with my old ex, who wasn’t on my facebook page, but who I saw on his friends list.  It was utterly bizarre.  Was his story real after all?  He appeared to be much more affluent than I was.   I messaged one of our mutual friends who had ended up dating my ex for some time after he and I split.

She responded to me this morning.  Her story was an interesting one.  Apparently this guy had lived with her and my ex for a while.  They were really good friends.  Then over time he started acting off and got into drugs.  He left and struggled with addiction.  He would pull himself out of it, and then fall back in.  He had cleaned up for a while, gotten married, and then his wife passed.  She told me that I had done a kind thing, but that he had likely sunk back into drugs.  It seemed odd because recent facebook posts had him seemingly on the ok track.

I’m left saddened.  The fact is, I may have met him in my younger years.  We clearly hung around the same people.  He was obviously doing quite well for himself, and now is left asking a check to check mom of two for money.  I feel a bit foolish for giving it.  I feel like I may have enabled him, which makes me feel like my good deed fell to a bad one.  Mostly, I feel just sad.

I have always told people “you are always just one small decision from a whole new life”.  I have told my children this, and I believe it.  One small decision can change one’s whole path in life, either for the better, or for the worse.  I tell my children this so that they will be mindful of consequences, but also so that they know that no matter how bad life gets, a small decision can set you on a new path to a happier life.  In other words, you can always change your life if you aren’t happy. I wonder how some choices ended him up in that gas station parking lot.

Part of me wants to email him and just let him know that I hope he’ll be ok in life.  Part of feels like I need to let it go.