Cha-cha-changes…

Mini-Me got married Friday night in spite of what seemed like one problem after

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Mini-Me’s Wedding 6-9-17

another.  Nearly everything that could go wrong did, and yet we still managed to pull off a wonderful wedding for her somehow.

 

I even ended up getting ordained again so that I could officiate their wedding.  I had to let Chicklet perform the actual ceremony though because I could not stop crying.

They spent their honeymoon at Lake Keowee State Park.  A beautiful place and their campsite had a lovely view.

We spent some of our Sunday there after having the grandbaby all weekend so that Mini-Me and The Pain could have some alone-time.  When we got there, they told us they had rented the site for an extra night and offered it to us.

We weren’t able to stay overnight due to the fact that the air mattress they’d taken sprung a leak Friday night and wouldn’t stay inflated and we didn’t have 19059601_1882819108639446_5566190478237499836_ntime before dark Sunday to see if we could find the leak.  We stayed until late, a few hours after the kids all left, and it was soothing to both of us after all of the stress we’ve been under lately.

We sat in the pitch black dark by a dying fire with the sounds of the water lapping at the shore and talked about things we’ve been needing to say for a long time and contemplated how easy it is for two people who love each other more than their next breaths, to lose sight of each other in the stress and hustle and bustle of adulting.  We reconnected in a way that I’d become uncertain that we ever would again and it was amazing.  Rediscovering each other was almost as wonder as when we first found each other nearly 21 years ago.

The hard reality is, we’ve been in trouble for a while.  Somewhere along the way, we lost19059081_1881714075416616_866955883426286232_n each other and forgot exactly what it was that brought us together.  The “D” word has even been mentioned, although no one took any steps in that direction and I honestly didn’t want either of us to.  Neither did he, but we’d also both reached a point where it was starting to look kind of hopeless.  It seemed like the harder we tried to fix it, the worse things got.

A lot of things can be said in the dark that can’t be said in the light, I suppose, and I’ve had some of my most profound conversations in the dark, I just never thought we’d one day need the dark to be able to communicate with each other.  Adulting is hard, ya’ll.

Monday was kind of an easy and playful day.  We both knew that since we’d finally broken through the communication barrier, that there were other things we needed to talk over, but neither of us wanted to then.  Instead, we waited until Tuesday and spent the day talking while we did things around the house to recover from the wedding/weekend with a grandbaby/day at the lake.

I also spent a fair amount of time Tuesday working on organization and overhauling my budget, calendar, routines, etc.  With all of the stuff that’s been going on the last few months as we tried to start pulling everything together for Mini-Me’s wedding, everything got out of whack.  The bills, my ability to feel like I was getting any of my “regular” stuff done and even my ability to find time to eat and rest properly.

I’ve barely eaten or slept more than three hours at a time in what feels like months and it was really starting to take its toll on my mental and emotional state, which was taking its toll on every other part of my life.

I’m a creature of habit.  Routines are good for me and always have been.  Getting too far away from them causes total chaos in my life.  That’s one of the reasons the FlyLady system fit me so perfectly.

So, it’s been crazy.  Really crazy.  I’m going to try to find time to start writing again regularly.  I’ve had people tell me for years that I needed to write some of my memories and experiences down and I’ve been thinking about that very thing lately.  I’ve especially been thinking about writing down mine and Draco’s story the last few days as I’ve fought to get my life back under control.

At any rate, I’ll leave you with a pic of me and my girls from Friday, right before we all went out for the wedding…

 

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Left to right:  Chicklet, Lizzy, Me and Mini-Me

 

 

 

 

SOC Sunday ~ Week in Review

This week has been busy.  Mini-Me is attempting to plan a wedding that is now just over a month away and has now turned into a wedding in my front yard.

The transmission went out in Chicklet’s truck, so I had to go help get her and her truck home and now we’re sharing my truck or I’m running her if I have to have it, too.

I’ve been staying so busy with family that I’ve been having a hard time getting things done around here when they’re supposed to be getting done and by the end of the day, I can barely stand up.

My allergies have been raging out of control as well.  All the pollen.  Everything looks beautiful blooming out there, but it’s wreaking havoc on my sinuses.

Paul and I have also been trying to sort out some things between us.  It’s still a work in progress, but at least we’re trying.

Because I feel so crappy, today’s post will be short.  I hope you all had a beautiful weekend!

Here are the links to a couple of posts from earlier in the week, just in case you missed them.

This one is about the FlyLady System that I follow in my own home (usually).

This one was my 52-week blog challenge post for this week.

And here is the one I did about using up the left-over shampoo, soap and conditioner you might have lying around the house.

Frugal Living ~ Using Things Up

So, I was working in my bedroom recently and noticed a plastic tub that had gotten set on the bottom of a shelf and forgotten about.  As I looked through this tub, I realized that there were many partial bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotions and the like hiding in there.  Some of it is from where we moved a couple months ago and things just kind of got shoved here and there and I haven’t had a chance to organize things yet

As I looked through this tub, I realized that there were many partial bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotions and the like hiding in there.  Some of it is from where we moved a couple months ago and things just kind of got shoved here and there and I haven’t had a chance to organize things yet (it’s a much slower process when you’re disabled and have to take things in chunks).

Mostly, it’s where I tried using different brands of things and decided I didn’t care for it or where the shampoo outlived the conditioner and I bought a set of a different fragrance and put up the last little bit for “another time” that sometimes never comes.

Now, the FlyLady says “You can’t organize clutter”, and I agree with her, but I am also a very frugal person and it’s hard for me to throw away something that I know there’s nothing really wrong with if I can find a way to repurpose it.

So, here are a few ideas for using those bits and blobs of shampoo and conditioner that you have sitting around:

  1. Use old shampoo for cleaning.  The FlyLady also says, “Soap is soap”, and that’s something I agree with.  Those little bits of shampoo can be used to clean your sink, tub, toilet, etc.
    • One great idea is to put a little shampoo or body wash in the bottom of your toilet brush holder.  Whenever you pull it out for “Swish and Swipe”, there’s already soap on the brush!
  2. Use leftover conditioner to shave your legs instead of shaving cream.
  3. Use leftover conditioner to make homemade fabric softener.

I may come back and add to this post at a later date after I get some of the household cleaner recipes I personally use posted, but these are some ideas to get you started.

Do you use those bits and blobs of leftover hair and body products for something else?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

What’s a FlyBaby and why I follow this system?

Just a note:  I am not affiliated with FlyLady or her website in any way.  I do not get paid for anything to do with her or her system.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not associated with any type of monetary gain, I just think she’s awesome!  🙂 


So, what’s a FlyBaby?  A FlyBaby is a term coined by The Original FlyLady, Marla Cilley, to describe the people who follow the FlyLady system.  It’s a term of endearment she uses when speaking to her “FlyBabies”.

I first found The FlyLady about 10 years ago thanks to my sister-of-the-heart, TimberLeaves.  I was a young mother, Mini-Me was about 13 years old and had just come to live with me full-time.  My entire life was in an uproar, but my house was in C.H.A.O.S., or Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrom.  (This is also a term coined by The FlyLady which basically means that my house was a mess and I was embarrassed for anyone to come over beyond one friend who’s house was in worse shape than mine.)

I was just over 30 and that was one of those milestone ages for me.  I was so stressed over my weight, my home, my life, my marriage, everything.  I was helping one of my best friends, SweetPea, raise her three special-needs teens as well.  Then my teenage daughter who had lived with my first husband for 10 years suddenly decided she wanted to live with us.  To say my life was a literal madhouse would be an understatement.

Although I’d been raised by a woman who I distinctly recall on her hands and knees in six-inch heels and a dress, cleaning the corners of the kitchen floor with a toothbrush when I was very young (my mother was very OCD and a clean-freak), it seemed that I had not gotten that gene, a fact that greatly disturbed my mother and caused us many problems throughout my life.

Dust coated everything in my house.  Clutter was everywhere.  Mt. Washmore was climbing the walls.  Paul had a very bad habit of sticking dirty dishes in the oven and not telling me they were there and I was too unorganized to remember to check myself.  My refrigerator was a science project unto itself.

I was disorganized and overwhelmed, something that it seemed like I always was.  It seemed like the only good habits I’d developed as an adult were meal planning, frugal shopping and keeping the pantry organized.

Truth be told, when I first found FlyLady, all I did was “flutter”, another term used by The FlyLady to describe FlyBabies who tried to follow the system but couldn’t quite stick with it.  It helped, but I was still prone to Emergency Cleaning whenever my mother would call to say she was coming over and I was still in a constant state of stress 99% of the time.

I kept going back though.  Her system seemed like it should be so simple, yet I was having the hardest time with it and I couldn’t understand why.

Truth be told, it took me years to understand what I was doing wrong and a few more years to start to break the habits that were keeping me chained to my stress.  Looking back now, I realize part of the problem was that I was still young myself, but the biggest problem that was holding me back was perfectionism from being raised by an OCD mother that rarely did anything but clean and who constantly made me feel that my efforts at cleaning were not good enough.

When I would start back on FlyLady’s system, I was forgetting some of the principals her system is founded on.  No whining allowed. You can’t clean clutter.  You’re not behind, just jump in where you are.  And my favorite, Cleaning done imperfectly still blesses your family.

I was like my mom in that I was a housekeeping martyr.  When I did clean, I did Emergency Cleaning to the point that while I was happier with how the house looked, I was completely exhausted mentally and emotionally, then I guilt-tripped my family for all that I had done, and their part in letting it get that way, and was too tired, stressed and overwhelmed to keep up with it.

Before the accident, I felt that I had finally figured out the system and how to keep myself on track with it.  My house was reasonably clean at all times, I didn’t mind if someone stopped by unexpectedly, and I’d finally stopped stressing and obsessing over all the little details.  I stayed busy, but not so much so that I couldn’t get up and do it again the next day.

Then we had the accident.  We couldn’t go home for nearly 6 months because of my wheelchair and then my walker.  When we finally did go home, I was still in incredible pain, barely able to walk and unable to stand for more than a few minutes at a time.  Paul tried to help, bless his heart, but he’s no housewife, lol.

Eventually, I sent him back to work and then he didn’t have time to help.  I was improving my physical abilities, but it was still so hard.  I fell back into the old habits of guilt-tripping myself for all I wasn’t doing.

We moved in with Chicklet a few months ago, and I was overwhelmed by the state of her house, too.  An ex-girlfriend and some family that had lived with her had not done anything to help around the house and it had fallen into pretty bad shape while she worked insane hours and tried to have some kind of a social life.  Again with the bad habits, I busted my ass trying to do everything at once and burned myself out again physically, mentally and emotionally.

I was keeping up with the day-to-day stuff, but just barely and I realized I was entering that martyr mindset again.

Then this morning, I got up to dishes everywhere, clean laundry climbing out of a laundry basket, boxes all over my living room from trying to go through things that had just been shoved here and there when we moved, and the thing that sent me over the edge, Paul had to go into work and didn’t have clean work pants.

I had to shuffle clean clothes from basket to basket to get an empty basket to gather up the dirty clothes that were piled up on my bedroom floor.  I saw my unmade bed and realized that although I’d washed our sheets over a week ago, I never got them back on the bed.  I very nearly sat down and cried.

Instead, I put the clothes in the washer, made a cup of coffee and sat to down to evaluate what was happening and what I needed to do about it, a new habit I’ve been working on to try to manage my stress and anxiety.

I realized that while I thought I was following the FlyLady system, I really wasn’t.  I was missing the main principals again and was about to run head-first into a crisis cleaning that was only going to make me hurt again.

You’re not behind, just jump in where you are, right?  And while you’re at it, No Whining!

So far, I’ve gotten the dirty clothes washed, all the clean clothes folded, hung and put away including what I washed this morning.  I got dressed and fixed my hair.  I swished and swiped the bathroom and gathered all the dirty towels and rags to be changed out and started gathering trash from the small trash cans around the house.

In between when I sit down to rest, I’ve been writing this blog post and feel like I’m finally overcoming that weird kind of writer’s block I mentioned in my post about not sleeping and suffering from mild exhaustion.

It also helps that I have managed to sleep better the last two nights than I was for nine days straight.

It’s not even quite noon yet and already I feel like I’ve got a game plan, a healthy attitude and have made progress on the house.

Now, I’m off into the rest of my day.  Time to think about what’s for dinner and get something laid out and wash the dishes so I can shine my sink.  🙂


If you’re not familiar with The FlyLady, hop over to her website and check her out.  I also found a wonderful lady on YouTube named FlyLady Kat that follows the FlyLady system and she helps break things down and explains some of the steps in her videos!

SOC Sunday ~ Week in Review 4-23

Where pain and sleep were concerned, it was a rough week.  Read about it here.

We had Easter last Sunday.  I slept for 5 hours, the longest I’d slept in days, in the middle Easter 2017of when I was supposed to be getting ready for the Easter cookout.

In spite of that, fun was had by all.  The food got done and was good and Squishy had a good time.  Even my dad had a good time, although he had some pain issues of his own going on.

I didn’t sleep all week beyond an hour or two here and there and by yesterday, I was exhausted.

Still, it was DH’s birthday and the kids planned a cookout for him.  We had ribs that The Pain made and they were delicious! Here are a few pics from yesterday…

Me n Heidi on P's 44th44

Last night, I actually slept for like six hours.  Apparently, most of this was done without moving.  This morning, my back is killing me, but it was worth it to wake up knowing I’d had more than 2 hours of sleep at one time.

Not much else to say today, it was a slow week because of the lack of sleep.  Here’s hoping that last night was a turning point with my insomnia.

Have a great week!

 

Running on Empty

I’ve been MIA recently and missed some of my own deadlines here on the blog.  I’m still kicking, but the pain issues I mentioned in my last post lead into a horrible bout of insomnia which has left me suffering from mild exhaustion.

funny-sleeping-animal-memes-7I’m going into Day 9 of little to no sleep.  My mind has reached such a state of breakdown from lack of sleep that it’s been hard to even think of writing anything useful.  The ideas have evaporated along with any hope I have of sleeping more than two hours at a time.

The ideas seem to have evaporated along with any hope I have of sleeping more than two hours at a time.

The pain has finally started to ease some, at least back to where it feels tolerable again, but it has caused such a disruption to my sleep patterns that now I find myself unable to sleep like I normally do.  Granted, “normal” for me still isn’t great and hasn’t been for two years now, but it was better than this.

Easter Sunday, the one day I really needed to be up and accomplishing things, I slept for

Easter 2017
Squishy and Mini-Me hunting eggs.

around 5 hours consecutively in the middle of the day and ran late on our family cookout.  The cookout was still fun and the food was still good, but by the time we got outside to start the egg hunt portion of the day, we were losing light fast.

 

The cookout was still fun and the food was still good, but by the time we got outside to start the egg hunt portion of the day, we were losing light fast.

Squishy was still adorable in her Easter outfit and since she’s only three, I don’t think she really remembered her first two Easters well enough to be disappointed that we only got to hide the eggs once, which was a plus.  She still had a good time as well and racked up on Easter gifts, but it didn’t ease my guilt over everything coming together so late in the day.

I was more than a little disappointed in myself that everything felt so rushed at the beginning and that I spent the entire first hour or so everyone was here in the kitchen doing the things I’d intended to be doing while I slept for nearly 5 hours.

The lack of sleep is causing some kind of brain-fog where it’s hard to think straight 90% of the time.  I’m awake at all hours and when I do finally sleep for a couple of hours, it’s at weird times and I’m starting to have nightmares that are leaving me feeling like I haven’t actually slept at all and the exhaustion is leaving me without the motivation to do anything other than sit at my desk and stare at the screen.

It’s also caused a drastic increase in my anxiety.  Logically, I know that I’m beyond tired, that I’m actually suffering from mild exhaustion and that I shouldn’t let things get to me, but when you’re as tired as I am, it’s often hard to control the emotional side of things.

The brain-fog I feel like I’m trapped in has caused some sort of weird writer’s block when

Sleep Meme
I totally feel the way that monkey looks lately.

it comes to the kind of material I had hoped to be producing here.

 

The timing of starting a new blog and this happening couldn’t have been worse.

This morning, I felt compelled to share something, even if it was just to say that I’m practically not sleeping and can’t seem to form meaningful content at the moment.

I’m sure most of you have experienced issues of some sort with writing at some point or have had trouble sleeping for one reason or another to the point that you feel practically useless beyond the bare minimum.

So please, bear with me.  My life is a bit of a train-wreck at the moment.  I hope that it all straightens out soon.

Oh, and today is Paul’s birthday.  We’re going to Mini-Me and The Pain’s for a cookout later today to celebrate.  Maybe I’ll get some pics while we’re there if I can remember to charge my phone today, something I kept forgetting to do over and over yesterday.

 

Pain Management

I have felt like I needed to write all day, but because of my pain levels, it seems all that is rumbling around in my head right now is about pain, so let’s talk about it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have been permanently disabled for 2 years this June.  I was injured when the moped my husband and I were riding was struck from behind by a truck doing approximately 55 mph.

The accident broke multiple bones, both hips, split my pelvis in half and shattered the left side, separated my pelvis from my spine and I took a pretty bad hit on the head when I hit the road (yes, I know, not wearing a helmet was a very immature and a very bad decision and one I would never make again if I could ever ride anything smaller than a car again, which I can’t).  It also nicked my femoral artery on the right side and I very nearly bled to death.

The accident launched me up into the air and I landed in the road flat on my back from some distance up.

I spent an entire weekend in ICU, paralyzed all but my arms and head and most of it knocked out with the medications they were giving me to keep me sedated so I didn’t move too much.  They could not even attempt to put me back together over the weekend because my vitals kept crashing and would not stabilize.

I had surgery on Monday, with my vitals still not reacting well, and came out with almost the entire left side of my pelvis wired together with metal plates and pins.

I have extensive nerve damage on the left side as well as sciatica.  To say that pain is an everyday occurrence is an understatement.

Some days are worse than others, though.

What I experience is considered chronic pain, meaning that it never really stops, it’s more a matter of degrees of pain.

Lately, it’s been worse than usual, which is saying something because my average pain level is pretty high to start with.

I have been hurting pretty bad all day today, which is why I was putting off writing to start with, but then I fell.

Let me say here that I have always been clumsy by nature.  Never very stable on my feet to start with, always tripping and running into things and falling for no apparent reason.

After getting pregnant with Mini-Me, dizzy spells also became a common occurrence.

The head injury I sustained during the accident has made the dizzy spells more common as well.

Tonight didn’t really have anything to do with being dizzy, although clumsy and unsteady on my feet due to the damage on the left side played a part.

I was home alone, which I am most evenings because of DH and Chicklet both working nights, and we have six dogs that spend most of their time inside.  It was time to let them outside to use the bathroom and we kind of bottle-necked at the threshold between the living room and kitchen and I got tangled up with them and lost my balance.  I sat down hard, something that left hip and my lower back no longer deal with well.

I finally managed to get up on my own with the help of a nearby chair and let DH know I’d fallen.  He, of course, came home to check on me and found that my left hip was no longer seated properly in the joint, the bone in the very bottom of the back of my pelvis that broke when my pelvis shattered is a bone that will never heal (along with the break to the bone in the front of my pelvis that split in half) according to the doctors and from time to time, especially if I fall, that bone shifts somehow as well.

He, of course, came home to check on me and found that my left hip was no longer seated properly in the joint, the bone in the very bottom of the back of my pelvis that broke when my pelvis shattered is a bone that will never heal, (along with the break to the bone in the front of my pelvis that split in half) according to the doctors, and from time to time, especially if I fall, that bone shifts somehow as well.

He got my hip and that bone re-seated but I still had severe pain in my back and leg. Apparently, I had a nerve pinching in there somewhere as well.

Now, before I hear cries of emergency rooms and doctor’s appointments, let me say that I have already been told that there is little, if anything, that can be done for me at the hospital or doctor that the physical therapists and nurses didn’t teach my husband how to deal with at home.  All they can really do unless something breaks is give me medication and a hefty bill, which we can’t afford, so we deal with most things at home.


It’s been 2 days since I started this post, and while my pain levels have decreased from what they were when I started this post, they are still running higher than normal.  Yay me.  NOT.

Chronic Pain is often a day to day coping experience.  I never know when I go to bed at night what the next morning will bring.  Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s not.

I have barely slept since I fell.  The pain keeps waking me up.  I’m getting around and doing what has to be done, but it’s almost like performing a feat of strength and endurance to do it.  I’ve taken the last 2 days off from cooking and most of the cleaning beyond washing the dishes and keeping picked up.

I’ve taken the last 2 days off from cooking and most of the cleaning beyond washing the dishes and keeping picked up.  That’s about all I’ve managed.

I’ve also been dealing with high levels of anxiety and feel like I’m fighting off one of my depressive periods, which I hate.  The combination of them tends to make me non-functional in my life, which is what I’ve been dealing with the last few days.  I’ve been forcing myself to get up and do the things I have to do, that’s the only reason things are getting done.

Hopefully, my next post will be a little more upbeat, but I’ve promised myself that this blog will be nothing if not honest.  Coping with chronic pain and mental illness isn’t easy. Trying to stay functional through it is even harder.