- It’s been one of those weeks and I’m glad it is over. Nothing major, but sometimes it’s the little things. My son got his exhaust fixed on his car and a few days later the exhaust is loud again and a headlight burnt out. But I’m thankful that all my kids have vehicles that for the most part work so I don’t have to take them to work or school.
- Honestly, I’m grateful that the census job is almost over. It’s been stressful lately. I’ve been going to rough neighborhoods that I have been having difficulty closing cases in. Yesterday as I was walking through a neighborhood a man yelled at me to leave. I’ve been feeling quite anxious lately and I think an overall sense of not being safe is adding to that. It bothers me to see the living conditions of the children. Filthy apartment complexes with signs on the doors saying its recently been sprayed for roaches. Garbage littering, broken beer bottles shattered, and a haze of stale cigarette and pot smoke lingering in worn apartment hallways. Today as I was working several young unattended children came up to me and asked me if I had any quarters for them. It’s really quite heartbreaking. I also saw a woman walking around on a busy street in a bathrobe. Oh, all the stories I will write about the things I saw that will change my life.
- I’m grateful though for all the wonderful people I met through the census job. It gives me hope that humanity is not totally screwed despite people having to live through tough circumstances.
- I’m grateful that despite windy conditions Paul and I were able to take my cousin and her husband sailing. We haven’t seen each other in about 5 years at the family Christmas party. Even then we really didn’t have the chance to catch up and visit. Plus she works in the editing field and wants me to reach out when I am ready to publish my book.
- My daughter is moving home at the end of the week!
- Paul’s birthday is this week and it is the 25th anniversary of the day we met. I am renting a really nice hotel room where my daughter lives to celebrate then the next day we are moving her home.
- We are supposed to get some warm weather within the next couple of days. It’s been so chilly here that I’ve heard some people put on their heat. Not me! But I did break down and briefly wore my winter jacket outside.
- I am feeling a lot better. I had a couple of bad days of stomach cramps and nausea. I was worried that I might end up really sick with colitis again. I felt pretty miserable. Miserable enough to ask God to just let me die. Please Lord take my life because I can’t take it anymore. I still managed to somehow stumble to work. As I was getting ready for work, Paul came in to tell me he was having chest pains that radiated down his arm. What a sad lot we are! He figured out he wasn’t having the big one but just pulled a muscle. When I asked God to take away my life I didn’t mean Paul. In that moment I felt really grateful for Paul because who really knows how much time we have left. That’s the scary part about getting older. Someday all of this is going to end. We are starting to get reminders of that.
- I’m grateful I managed to find the time to finish the book I was reading. It was probably one of the most depressing pieces of fictional family drama that I ever read. Everything fell apart but in the end everyone and everything miraculously came back together. All broken relationships were mended. I found the book to be rather triggering. It made me think of the book I’m writing. There are plenty of messes that don’t seem to be resolving themselves. It was so sad reading it that I wondered what people would think reading my book. Too bad I couldn’t just write it with a happy ending. I want the feel good book of the year. I want people to feel good about what I write. But is that real life? Does it give hope when things magically come together? Or does it give more hope that we can handle things when they don’t?
- I got some good test results back this past week and I am meeting with the wellness nurse this week. Despite a couple days of setback, I am hoping that my path forward will include better health.
It’s funny but one of the things I miss most is not wearing lip gloss. Shiny sparkly lips covered by a mask is not possible anymore. It’s messy and it smears.
Life is like that sometimes, messy.
I don’t even want to leave the house anymore. The last time you saw me I was beautiful and strong. Since then I’ve let my hair go gray. My strength left behind me with my last run at the gym before its doors closed along with my youthful blonde locks.
I’m ashamed of myself. I’ve tried to put myself back out there but I’ve been much too weak to run. Perhaps it’s over. I’ve had to let myself go. Instead of outrunning I’ve been overrun.
Do you know how much work it takes to run a 50k? Or maybe a marathon? I used to be a great runner. But now I can barely walk a couple miles without feeling winded. How will I get it back? Everything I built gone in one swift blow to my health. I just can’t seem to do it anymore. Maybe my toned athletic body will turn into a blob of sludge.
I will never be what I was.
I’m mourning the loss of me. Aren’t I too old to have to find myself again?
Or is that just a part of life? Do we ever realize ahead of time when things are ending or even beginning?
Is this the end? I don’t know anymore.
If I had known it was going to be over, I would’ve enjoyed it more. I would’ve held on longer before it slipped through my hands.
But isn’t that what we always tell ourselves when we realize we just said our last good-bye? The guilt of not making the most out of our last time never seems to leave. I would’ve tried harder.
I have to let it go if it is truly over…but right now it hurts to even think it might be.
I turned 45 this past weekend. Apparently I am now at the age where I can start to have long conversations with people about my declining health.
I had big plans for my birthday. I mean you only turn 45 once, as if I didn’t turn 29 or 44 once. Okay, I guess I did turn 29 a couple times.
Anyway, on Saturday the sailing club was having a pub crawl cruise. What a perfect way to celebrate my birthday. After all, I love craft beer, sailing, music festivals, great weather, and fun people. We were going to sail into town, go to a few breweries, and listen to live music. Perfect for a birthday weekend. Right?
But there was one problem, my stomach. I had a huge late lunch at our first pub stop along with everyone else and ordered a beer flight. I have to follow a perfect algorithm if I don’t want to be in pain. My stomach can’t be totally empty, but I can’t eat too much either especially paired with drinking. I couldn’t take my time because everyone wanted to head off to the next spot. Taking Tums for me is like putting a tiny bandage on a gushing spurting head wound.
I ended up in a great deal of stomach pain again like I have been off and on since I stopped taking Prilosec. I ordered nothing at the next pub and kept quietly to myself since I was in a lot of pain. Everyone asked me if I was feeling okay. I had to go through the whole health explanation that I went in to be scoped and was waiting for the results of my Celiac test. It was awful. I was hoping not to have to mention the health issues I was having and just have a fun time.
Then we walked a block to the music festival. I was asked if I would be able to walk the whole block to the festival. I am a marathon runner. I felt very sick and thought if I couldn’t find a place to sit I would lie down on the ground. People kept asking me over and over if I was okay. It was humiliating, I just wanted to be left alone. There were people everywhere. I decided to go back to the boat and lie down.
At one point even a homeless man came up to me and asked if I was alright. I know people were genuinely concerned, but it was really wrecking my tough girl persona. I don’t know what hurt worse, my stomach or my pride.
So this is how it has been. I have not been feeling well and have been waiting for answers to figure out how I can feel better again.
I had friends over on Sunday. I felt a little better because I was at home and could eat and drink at my leisure. We went swimming but spent most of the day sitting around talking and laughing.
Paul tried really hard to make the weekend special for me. He cooked my favorite foods and entertained with his music. I realized that I don’t share my music with other people. A majority of the songs I like, although good, are incredibly depressing or angry. Kind of like me I guess.
I’m still waiting for answers. The doctor’s office said that I would most likely get a call on Friday, Monday at the latest. Here it is Tuesday evening. Don’t they understand how frustrating it can be for patients to tell them they would have answers sooner than provided especially if they are not feeling well?
To be honest with myself, I haven’t been feeling well for quite some time.
I noticed it several months ago when I transitioned from running on the treadmill inside to running outside again. I seemed more tired than usual. I didn’t have my regular stamina. Was it normal for my endurance to drop so drastically? I could run 6 miles without stopping relatively easily. Then I started needing walking breaks.
I chalked it up to aging. After all, I will be 45 in a few weeks.
Maybe I just wasn’t used to all the hills? Peri-menopause perhaps? Seasonal allergies? The cool rainy weather? Maybe it is normal to be sluggish at this age.
I doubt I could run a 50k with the shape I’m in today. I have two months to go until the race. How am I going to run further than I’ve ever run if I can’t even run 6 miles without stopping?
This week I had a physical with my new doctor. It didn’t go well. I complained about the fatigue. But what middle aged person is not tired? A couple nights a week I have insomnia, but it wasn’t anything new to me.
The doctor ran some extra tests. The results show that I am slightly anemic which does explain some of the symptoms I’ve been having.
But what really concerned the doctor was that I have been taking two Prilosec a day for GERD for several years without ever being scoped. She said that wasn’t normal for someone of my age and health. She asked several more questions, then said she would like me to get scoped and tested for Celiac which is an autoimmune disease. The only treatment of Celiac is a strict gluten free diet. I think 2 of my brothers already have undiagnosed Celiac.
I looked up Celiac when I got home. I have almost all of the symptoms and have had several of them since I was a child. I hope the doctor’s suspicion is wrong, but I think I see the writing on the wall. Even anemia is a symptom because Celiac prevents your body from absorbing nutrients. Otherwise it makes no sense since I am already taking a multi-vitamin with iron.
Today I bought donuts. I bought chicken patties to eat on big hamburger buns. I bought my favorite food, macaroni and cheese. I bought my very favorite craft beers. I am going to go to Arby’s to eat a big roast beef sandwich with mozzarella sticks on the side. I am starting to think of state fair cream puffs. I want to eat my favorite foods before I can never have them again. I almost started crying in the craft beer section.
I am feeling very down about this. I was told this was the best time in history to be gluten free. But that doesn’t make me feel any better at the thought of giving up my favorite foods and drinks forever.
I think it would be hard to even go grocery shopping. I don’t think I would want to go out to eat with friends and family. Forget parties. Maybe I won’t leave the house.
I need to stop taking Prilosec as well. I am down to one pill a day. I bought a big bottle of Tums and liquid antacid for the pain I will be in. It’s already started. This morning I felt nauseous. The acid burn in my throat is back, so is the burping.
But it will be good to have answers.
I have been feeling so tired, weak, and depressed lately. I have been having a hard time thinking. I am very organized and meticulously detail oriented. In the last couple weeks, I’ve forgotten things that were on my grocery shopping list. Today I went running and got lost on a trail I have been running for years. I can’t seem to keep a thought in my mind for long. I forget what I am going to say sometimes mid-sentence. That’s scary!
I am afraid.
I will have more answers soon and hopefully I’ll start feeling better. It just might not be the answer I want.
I’m at the period in my life when I’m feeling the most hormonal.
It’s crazy like the very beginning, without the excitement of what is yet to come.
I’m getting older, midlife.
My body aches.
My skin itches.
My stomach bloats.
I feel ugly and fat.
My clothes don’t fit right.
Lights seem glaringly brighter.
Sounds normally tolerated scratch like nails on a chalkboard.
I feel irritated and angry.
Like PMS on steroids.
What sounds like my normal voice to me comes across as an attack to them.
They ask why I’m being so rude.
But I respond in my regular tone.
What do you mean?
I cry at the slightest provocation.
My eyes are red and puffy wrapped in dark circles.
I want to be left alone, yet I don’t.
Laughter mixed with tears of sorrow.
Anxiety kicks in, marching in double time.
I am exhausted.
I can’t sleep.
I stare at the clock.
Is it too early to get up?
When sleep finally comes, I wake up soaking wet.
He is cold, but the room is on fire.
I feel hot, not in a good way.
I feel stinky, gritty, grimy, and gross.
My body seems to have forgotten how to regulate itself right.
I want to wish time away so this will be over.
But I don’t have extra time to spare.
I know in a few days I’ll feel better.
Then the whole cycle starts again.
Today my mom and I went to see Matt for his birthday. He spends the day at a program for autistic children and adults. While we were there, Matt’s caregiver asked him to tell us about his special morning in a high pitched sing song voice reserved for a small child. Everyone was optimistic and cheerful, except me.
I felt such sadness I could cry. My brother should be meeting up with his friends for his birthday, or maybe going out to eat with his wife and children after driving home from a long day of work. His normal isn’t right.
I feel such grief every time I see someone with a developmental disability, especially my brother, that I don’t want to be there. I feel guilty for visiting out of obligation. Visiting makes me think about the families and all of their lost dreams. He shouldn’t be putting stickers on a chart for good behavior, he is a grown man. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.
I feel tired today. I slept good last night. But the night before was restless with nightmares. I was triggered by the developmentally disabled girl backstage. I heard people ask her sister what was wrong with her. I remembered all the times I was asked that about my brother. I got sick of explaining after awhile. They never asked about me.
Then I dropped my mom off at home. I went in and said hi to my dad. He didn’t get many birthday cards or calls this year. I wonder if it will be his last. He looks so old and weak. He rarely leaves the house. No one really cares about him much anymore, certainly not my mother. I want to reach out and help him. But he was a very cruel father. Why should I care? Why is it so painful to see the consequences of his bad choices when I was one of the people he hurt?
I walked through the house. There are still clothes from the 1980’s hanging in the closets. Hoarders. Piles of mail on the table. The same linoleum lies on the floor from my childhood worn with holes in it. Bags full of food line the floor. Dirty dishes clutter the counters. Nothing must be thrown away, but much more to be collected.
I feel depressed. But writing about it makes me feel better. I am starting to process how I feel and why I feel the way I do. I feel sad that my family is broken and nothing I do can fix it.
On the way back home, I drove through town and did not avoid it by driving through the outskirts. I drove by my Aunt Grace and Uncle Harold’s house. I drove past the area where my grandparents lived. I remembered how the town looked when I was a child. It was alive then with parades and festivals. But now it is a ghost town. Small town businesses closed. New houses stand where old homes once stood.
Everything has changed. But I still remember how it used to be back when my aunt, uncle, and grandparents were still alive. The town was alive then and that’s how I want to remember it with my loved ones alive in it. But that is not how it is anymore.
That is what it is like going home. The broken things still have not been fixed. The town and relatives that made my life magical as a child are no longer there. Emptiness.
Writing helps me process the way I feel. I think I understand why it is so hard to go home. Maybe you would feel the same way.
I may have mentioned this before, but this year I want to go to Hell. There is a 50k ultra race in Hell. Then I would like to get my first tattoo…Outrunning my demons in Hell 50k.
I started this blog originally because I read a book created from a blog about someone training for their first marathon. I thought that blogging would be fun along with running my first marathon. Then I also started talking about my demons. It has been a great process. Since this all started, I finished my 4th marathon and slayed 2 demons.
Running has been a very therapeutic way of dealing with the stress in my life. But I want to do more. I want to run further. I want to be stronger in other areas as well. This week I started a strength training class. Once we get more snow, I want to go cross country skiing. I want to do Zumba just because it is fun. Now that I don’t have a job, I have more time to exercise. I want to exercise 5 days a week and spend one day a week just cleaning my house…so basically working out 6 days a week.
If I know one thing about myself, it’s that I love to keep busy. But I also know that if I push myself too hard I could hurt myself. I’m not sure how long I will be able to keep up this pace either as I continue on the path of aging.
I really wonder how many long distance endurance runners are outrunning their demons?? I fear someday I may have to face what I am running from.
I want to be strong enough that I could live without it if I have to. I don’t want exercise to control me either. But that is another goal altogether..
It has been a stressful week in the season of thankfulness. I was out and about yesterday and overheard people freaking out about the fast approach of the holiday season…and my sister is coming from CA and she is always judging my decisions… cooking… stress… family. It seems rather ironic that the things we are supposed to feel the most thankful for seems to stress us out the most…family…
I have been hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas since I was in my 20’s. I took the baton from my grandma after she was no longer able to. My brother Luke stepped in to help out several times over the years. Looking back I don’t know how we did it.
I always get depressed this time of year. It never fails. I don’t know if it is just a lack of sunlight or the added stress of the holiday season. But this is when it usually starts and pretty much lasts all winter into early spring. But I am a functional depressive. I get out of bed and get stuff done like I normally do.
I have been having a really hard time lately. Alex decided to skip school the day before Thanksgiving break. Although half of the school may have decided to do that, he can’t afford to with his failing grades. Alex read the student handbook and found a loophole that as an adult he can pre-excuse several of his absences. I received a call from the school saying that he intended to do that, so we stepped in and told Alex that if he skips school he would lose his car priviledges over break and won’t be allowed to have friends over.
He skipped school and now we have a battle on our hands. I told him that the boy with the face tattoo could not come over for Thanksgiving as originally planned or stay with us over break. The boy can eat his Thanksgiving dinner at the homeless shelter for all I care. I am angry. Never underestimate the rage of a peri-menopausal woman. Why that coincides with teenage boy angst I’ll never know. One minute I want to hold him close and the next minute I want to smash his crap with a baseball bat! Happy Thanksgiving, huh??
I am also stressed out because Paul went to the doctor this week. He needs to have some tests done. I am worried about his health. Maybe it is nothing, but what if it isn’t?? What if something happens to him?? I told him yesterday that I am unhappy because I have not experienced a lot of peace and joy in my life. But the few fleeting moments I have experienced have been with him. I started crying and then moments later started to yell at him. What a hormonal mess!
The stress of maybe losing a life partner is terrifying. I am probably worried about nothing, but that is what I do.
Add the stress of a wayward son and my husband possibly having health issues with feeling like I am getting sick, having family over tomorrow, trying to find time to cook, covering for an employee who took the week off, less hours of daylight, feeling depressed and tired, aging, my baby getting her temps, getting ready for the holiday season, extra play practices for the musical, a teen minor with a face tattoo always hanging around our house, and raging hormones…Whew!
I know, I know…I really should be counting my blessings! I have a lot of those too.
The winds of change swirl around me as I enter the fall season of my life pushing me towards something new and different.
Over the last few days I’ve had to prepare myself for a lot of change.
I am preparing for my son to graduate from high school and leave home within the next year.
Yesterday Angel told me that she is not planning on coming home from college next summer. Then when she graduates, she wants to go to graduate school in Boston. Her time at home has come to an end. I am happy that she knows what she wants to do with her life, but I am sad that she is leaving.
Then a couple of days ago, our youngest daughter Arabella told us that she wants to be a foreign exchange student. She wants to spend her whole junior year of high school in a foreign country.
By next year at this time, we might have an empty nest. I am excited, yet nervous of the change.
Something else changed too. My mom is starting to have health issues. She has to go to the hospital this week for tests. It is very likely that she is going to need surgery. She might need to move in with us for awhile if she has surgery. My dad is not in the greatest health, so he wouldn’t be able to take care of her since she takes care of him.
Everything and everyone is changing all around me. Yet here I am taking it all in. Letting go of summer and preparing for the winter. My house full of teenagers might soon be a geriatric ward.
I don’t like change very much, but I don’t have much control over the seasons.
I always thought that autumn is beautiful though. Its crisp cool air hits me like the truth. A warm blanket, a hot flash of flame, a crackling fire takes away the chill. The trees shine in brilliant color the beginning of fall, full of experience and nutrients. It is a time to sort and prepare. The end of the beginning, the beginning of the end. No longer volatile and stormy. No longer sunny and bright. But comfortable.
A noticeable change of seasons is in the air. The leaves are starting to change color. But as of right now, none of the leaves have fallen totally from the branches of my tree.
My daughter Arabella is currently taking health as a high school class. A week ago she had to take a longevity quiz and just for fun she asked Paul and I the questions as well.
Today I am sitting in the waiting room at the hospital waiting for Paul to complete an uncomfortable procedure that happens once a person reaches the magical age of 50. It gets one to think about life, and death.
At the beginning, I did very well on the longevity test. I smugly thought that I would be my family’s first centurion. I am doing a lot of things right. I eat my vegetables. I drink in moderation. I am not overweight or underweight. My parents are still alive. I take my vitamins. I go in for regular check ups. My cholesterol and blood pressure are low. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs.
Plus, I am a marathon runner. I mean, that should count for a lot more than exercising three times a week for a half an hour. Right??
I was feeling pretty good.
I am literally going to live forever. I probably won’t even die. I will be the only person to live forever without turning into a vampire first.
Then the questions took a bit of a negative turn…
Do you easily feel bored or depressed? Yes
Do you often feel stressed out? Yes
Do you always feel like you are in a hurry? Yes, yes, yes…
Do you listen to your body? No! When my body tells me to stop, my mind says push harder. Is that a problem??
Do you worry a lot? I am really starting to feel worried now.
My daughter said that according to the test, I am supposed to live to 85. Paul is supposed to live to 75 (with the average female living longer than the average male). So if her calculations are right, then I will outlive my husband by 16 years (he is 6 years older).
The procedure went fine without any issues.
We might not know how long we will live (even after taking the health class longevity quiz and going in for procedures). But what we can do is try to make the most of the years we have been given.