5 days

My dress doesn’t fit. When I first tried the dress on at the bridal store it was a good fit albeit a little snug in some places. I decided to order the size up just to be on the safe side. If anything it seemed like I was more apt to gain weight than lose it. The dress I ordered was a little too big. It was also too long, but I was expecting that. The dress has small sleeves off the shoulder. It was too big in that area so Angel’s future MIL did alterations for a tighter fit in the shoulder area. In doing so she also brought up the chest and now the cups are way too high. I’m hoping it will be an easy fix.

Needless to say, Angel and I are both going back this evening for alterations. Angel is a nervous wreck. I have been anxious too, but it doesn’t even compare to my daughter’s anxiety over the upcoming wedding. I’ve had some rather strange worries too. I’ve been worried about my brother Matt. The other day I even asked my mom if he was okay. It just came out of the blue a premonition he was sick and going to die. I wonder if my daughter’s upcoming wedding triggered in me some memories from my own wedding when we feared my brother could die because he was really sick. That’s the only thing I can think of. I can’t recall feeling this way towards him since I got married. How utterly bizarre.

Other than that, I feel good today. I feel confident in how I look. I have confidence in my immune system. I reminded myself that I was only sick once this year (with COVID) even after being around other sick people. I reminded myself that before I got COVID, I can’t even remember the last time I was really sick. I think it was 8 years ago when I had walking pneumonia. I exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins, drink a lot of water, and don’t do anything fun. I’ve been avoiding groups of people. I’ve taken precautions and the extra steps to strengthen my immune system to the best of my ability. What more can I do? Angel is doing the same yet she worries. Maybe she is more like me than I even thought.

One good thing is I will have a preview of Angel in her dress tonight. I really don’t want to cry at the wedding when I see her in her dress and be a big pile of snot with raccoon eyes. Angel said she wrote me a letter to be read right before the ceremony with the photographer taking my picture. Why?? Oh, why?

I can’t believe we only have 5 days left.

1 week

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe the wedding is a week away. I feel the anxiety. There is a fine line between anxiety and excitement. My mind creeps over to worrying about the things I can’t control. What if I get sick? I worry about Angel and Dan getting sick. Angel who was always the one to get sick right before a big performance. The anxiety burns her body out and runs her right down. But the anxiety cannot be controlled either.

I have been trying to stay healthy. One of the biggest things I’ve been trying to do is drink more water. I started taking more vitamin D. I try to make healthy food choices and exercise every day even if it’s just a walk around the block. It’s been hard to give up sugar, not because I crave it but because it is in everything. Look at labels and you will be surprised. Pinto beans? Seriously, there is sugar in canned beans. What I miss most is sweetened coffee creamer. But I realize I could do everything right and still get sick. Maybe I’m being anxious thinking if I carry around some sort of rabbit’s foot I’ll have good luck. If I try extra hard to be healthy I won’t get sick.

I also wanted to lose a few pounds. The overweight comment by the doctor a few months back really stung. I feel old now. I felt really good up until 45. That was the year everything happened with my dad. Then right after that was when my daughter attempted suicide. Followed by COVID a couple months after that. Then I started having health problems. Maybe it would’ve happened anyway. It’s hard to say but no doubt the stress probably didn’t help.

I’ve aged a lot over the past 3 years. I stopped coloring my hair. It’s been two years now and no color remains. I haven’t had my hair cut since January and have no plans of cutting or coloring it soon. Angel says she likes my gray hair. I have to say the color is very unique, a sandy blondish brownish gray.

Nobody says I need to lose weight for the wedding. No one really cares but me. I just don’t feel like me anymore. Maybe I just want to feel young again. Today I went to the pet store and bought a 20lb box of cat litter. The young lady that checked me out called me ma’am and asked if I needed assistance carrying the cat litter to my car. Three years ago I ran a 50k and now I look feeble enough to need help carrying something to my car?

I swear I am trapped in someone else’s body. What really scares me is that I see my dad in myself as I age. He never exercised a day in his life, is obese, and has a lot of aches and pains. He is everything I don’t want to be, yet I find myself like him in some ways.

I’m afraid my arthritis will be acting up and I’ll end up sitting in a chair all night and not cutting up the dance floor. I’ve found that having arthritis is a delicate balance between not overdoing it and not doing anything at all. Today I would do anything just to be able to go running again like I used to.

I’m going to try to relax and not freak out so much about everything. But that is easier said than done. I was invited to a party tonight but opted not to go to avoid being in groups right before the wedding. Gotta stay healthy. The funny thing is I didn’t want to go anyway so it’s not much of a sacrifice. Why would I feel guilty skipping a party I didn’t really want to go to anyway? Am I obligated to go if I have nothing else going on?

Yesterday Arabella found out she has mono. In the last month she has had COVID, an ear infection, and now mono. She is sick all the time and her immune system is garbage. But she does nothing to take care of herself.

I just have to keep telling myself that regardless of what happens, Angel is marrying the right guy. It’s not about who gets sick or stays healthy. It’s not about whether or not my dress is a little tight around the waist. It’s not about whether the day is cold and rainy or if snow flurries fall. It’s not about how much I get out on the dance floor.

One week left, I have to stay focused on what really matters.

My daughter is sick. But I am not?

It started this morning. A shifting in my mind like a veil torn away. A new anxiety replaces an old. Like no longer worrying about becoming impregnated once you are, but fearing what it will do. It doesn’t belong yet it’s a part of you.

The lines on the window appear darker, crisper, blunt while other ones smear bleak and blurry. It seems kind of funny somehow that what once was unchanging can look so different today.

My body aches. It lingers shortly then circles around. My knees. My head. My eyes. My back. Maybe I worked out too hard yesterday.

I’m so tired I could rest forever but there are things to do.

My temperature fluctuates between normal and a little warm. Maybe from sitting in the hot sun I console myself but don’t believe it to be true.

I sniffle, I sneeze, I cough. Just allergies, perhaps?

I decide to get tested. My daughter is sick. But I am not?

Why do I deny the truth? Is it the truth? I’ll know for sure in a couple of days.

Gratitude week 17

The past week has been very rough. I guess I’ve been saying that a lot lately.

I am now on day 6 of being sick. I haven’t slept much because I am up multiple times a night to use the bathroom. I am not well. I’ve had to take all my goals, dreams, and hopes for the future and put them on a shelf. Or maybe I have to give them up forever. I’m starting to grieve that my old life is probably over.

There have been times I’ve curled up in pain in a fetal position on the floor tears cascading from my eyes. I’ve had a fever off and on and I feel it starting to climb back. I don’t know how I am going to make it through the prep tonight for my procedure. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, death. Sometimes it feels so close that everything still left inside me tells me to prepare.

I don’t have much time to talk, nor much energy. So, that being said, here are my ten things I’m grateful for this week.

  1. Soon maybe I’ll finally have the answers for what is wrong with me.
  2.  I reached over 750 followers on my blog. I am thankful for you my readers and friends who are supportive of me telling my story.
  3.  I am thankful for my husband. He is the best man I could ever ask for. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers because he is really having a hard time with this.
  4.  I am grateful especially for my children, my mom, my brothers, my aunt Jan, and my best friend Cindy. They have been checking in on me so much that I can barely get any rest.
  5.  I am thankful for my pets, especially my cat. He follows me around everywhere.
  6.  I am thankful for the deer that grace my yard. Watching nature keeps my mind off my pain.
  7.  I am thankful for finally getting some weather that makes us think of spring.
  8.  I am grateful I tested negative for COVID-19.
  9.  I’m grateful I’m not missing much because I’ve been stuck inside sick.
  10.  I’m grateful that my procedure is very early tomorrow morning. I don’t have to wait much longer to hopefully get some relief.

I need to take some more Tylenol and eat some chicken broth. Prep starts in less than 2 hours. I will try to update you in the next couple days. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

inflamed

I’m sick again. This time it is worse and it hasn’t gone away.

It started Wednesday morning. I woke up having to run to the bathroom. I felt nauseous too but didn’t throw up. I was tired and had to lie down to rest in the morning. By the afternoon, I had a horrible stomachache and muscle cramps. Sorry Jillian Michaels but I was cursing your name. The day before I did a new workout video, or should I say tried to. It was so difficult I could barely do it. My whole body ached. I would’ve run outside but we are back to winter in Wisconsin, so yeah.

I also blamed it on the night before. I ate chili and a fake grilled cheese sandwich for supper. I tried to keep my portions small because I am allergic to tomatoes, eggs, and baker’s yeast (bread). Plus a lot of chili beans are a no-no for my SIBO diet. My diet is so limited it is hard to eat with my family. Or maybe it was food poisoning or stomach flu, although I was the only one sick.

By the afternoon, I rated my stomach and body ache pain at a 7. I decided to take my temperature and discovered I had a fever. Everyone was freaking out because of the coronavirus and told me I needed to call the doctor. I decided to wait until the next morning because it was after office hours and maybe I would feel better the next day. Even during the night I was up every hour or two to run to the bathroom. I’m not going to lie, this has been miserable.

I called the doctor’s office and after being screened by the nurse scheduled an appointment with another doctor for later that morning. I struggled to take a shower and get dressed. I wanted to let you know how I felt at my worst but I couldn’t even sit up to do my puzzle because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t think either.

Paul has been wonderful and took me to my appointment but I would not allow him to go in with me. He is over 50 with high blood pressure and I did not want him to risk his health for mine. Outside of the clinic there was a tent set up for COVID testing. There was someone standing outside the door to the clinic in full protective gear with a clipboard who allowed me in when I told her my name. It was like I was famous getting VIP access to a club.

I entered an empty clinic, checked in, and was called back right away. Everyone at the clinic wore scrubs and a mask with a full face visor over it. It was hard at times to understand what they were saying. There were signs on the door that said dirty room or clean room. The room I went in had nothing on the door. I heard people coughing. On the way out I saw several sick and scared looking people.

I had a whole array of tests done. I was even tested for COVID although the doctor did not think I had it. They took a large cotton swab which they swirled back inside of each nostril. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I just got my blood drawn and was more anxious about that.

It’s day three now and I’m still sick. I do feel better than I did on day 1 or day 2. Thankfully my COVID test came back negative. But several tests came back showing inflammation. The doctor now thinks I might have colitis or Crohn’s. I have all of the symptoms. So Tuesday I go in for my first colonoscopy.

I know it sounds crazy, but I probably wouldn’t have called the doctor if it wasn’t for the coronavirus. I was worried about getting other people sick. I probably would have dismissed it as the stomach flu or food poisoning like I’ve done before although no one else in my house ever gets sick. I struggled with lifelong stomach/GI issues that I brushed off as normal for me.

It seems worse this time. Maybe the SIBO and parasitic inflammation that the antibiotics killed was masking other problems. I don’t know. But hopefully next week I will get some answers. It’s hard not feeling well and not knowing what is wrong.

 

 

Still waiting for answers

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?

Waiting…

Cloudy with a chance of stalking

I will be leaving shortly. As you are reading this, I am probably on the road. I will be driving 2 hours to meet up with my daughter Angel who will also be driving 2 hours to meet me. Tomorrow she has a vocal competition at the midway point’s college.

We weren’t even sure she would be competing. She was sick with a fever off and on the last couple of weeks. She has been to the doctor 3 times in the past month and is currently getting over tonsillitis…which isn’t the best for a singer. In the meantime, my husband will be staying at home taking care of the business and kids.

On Friday, Paul is taking our son and his girlfriend to meet up with the family of the people whose cabin they had a party at this past summer. Quick recap, the daughter offered her family cabin for an underage drinking party, ended up getting busted by her parents, didn’t go but told the others to go without her. Twenty kids showed up and trashed the place. They want to talk to our son because we were one of the few parents that made their kid apologize and offered to help pay for damages. I have a bad feeling that the meeting is not going to go very well.

Meanwhile, I will be out of town with Angel. We will be at the college of her ex-boyfriend Mitch. This is problematic. A few years back, Angel befriended a guy named Jeremy while she was on a school music department trip. Angel liked the guy as a friend and Jeremy liked her more than that. At the time, Mitch and Angel were dating.

Jeremy started stalking Angel. He hacked into Mitch’s facebook account. He sent her threatening messages from random numbers on her phone…one of them said that he would rape her. Then Jeremy punched Mitch on the campus we will be visiting this weekend.

Wait, there is more…After Mitch and Angel broke up, Angel confided in me that she thought that Mitch could have been posing as Jeremy all along. Either way, it doesn’t matter…they both go to the college we will be at tomorrow. Chances are we might run into one of them and things could get dicey. We have no idea who the guilty party is…that makes it really hard to know what could happen.

I am going to the college to support my daughter and also as a bodyguard so to say. I don’t think that either guy would be willing to give her grief in front of her mother. In my mind, I think I could take them on. A karate chop to certain body parts. Hiyyyaaahhh! Realistically, an athletic woman in her 40’s probably doesn’t stand a chance fighting a couch potato 20 year old male. But it would be very entertaining.

I am happy to have some time to spend alone with Angel. I haven’t seen her for a month. She hasn’t been home since August and is starting to feel homesick for the first time. It is hard to be sick away from home without a mother to give you chicken noodle soup. Not to mention not having a doctor and having no clue what to even do.

AAAAGGHHHH!!

Then after all this is all said and done, I will be turning around and heading back to the same college campus for a college tour with my son next week…

Will the insanity ever end?????

Inoculation

Today I got inoculated. I like the word inoculation, it sounds so much better than shots, immunizations, or vaccinations. I just don’t like the action.

Since Paul and I are going to Thailand in a few months, we decided to book an appointment with the travel nurse. I only ended up getting 2 shots, Hepatitis A and the flu shot. What happens if you have to sit next to someone for 20 hours on a plane that has the flu? A ruined vacation..

We got a prescription for typhoid pills that we can’t take with alcohol…so no drinking for 10 days. I’m already going to use that as an excuse to not attend a party that I really don’t want to go to.

The Wisconsin immunization registry pretty much pulled up a blank on us. It registered our Tetanus shots from 2012, that’s all.

We both had chicken pox. My mom said I got it really bad in 4th grade. I had chicken pox in my mouth. My eyes swelled shut. I still have a few scars. I think that Paul even had a small pox shot.

I don’t think I had my last MMR shot. There was that couple years that I didn’t attend school. I vaguely remember needing to have a booster and telling my mom I didn’t want it, so I didn’t get it. That is how I remember it, but I’ll admit my memory of my high school years is a bit hazy now.

My mom suspected that the MMR shot caused my brother’s autism back then. Of course, that is not saying much. She questioned every little thing she did and didn’t do back then.

I have always been on the fence about shots myself. This is the first time I’ve ever had a flu shot. I don’t like taking medicine. I wanted a totally natural childbirth. To tell you the truth though, if it was as natural as I wanted it to be, I probably would’ve died. I hate taking medicine unless it is absolutely necessary.

The whole vaccination autism scare came out in full force when my oldest child was born. What was I to do? What if it did cause my brother’s autism?? What information do I trust?? Do I trust the huge pharmaceutical companies?? Do I trust the doctors that are supposedly getting big kickbacks from the drug companies for pushing vaccinations??

What do I do when it affects my family??

To tell you the truth, I really don’t have an opinion whether or not vaccinations cause autism. It didn’t even matter to me. What mattered was that if there was even an iota of a chance, I felt that it would be prudent to be cautious. My children received all of their necessary vaccinations, but on my timeline.

Some people looked down on me for the decision I made.

Did I know that I was hurting my children??

Did you know what it was like living day to day with a violently autistic brother?? Did you see how this tormented our family?? No, because I never bothered to tell you…

It was the late 90’s and early 2000’s…we didn’t know. We still don’t know. I didn’t want anything happening to my children. I didn’t want them to get autism. I didn’t want them to get measles.

I think that I made the best decision with the information I had available to me. I am still hesitant to trust other people when they try to tell me what is best for my children.

All these thoughts whirled through my head as I was nervously waiting to be inoculated…

 

Torn linoleum, bed bugs, and a touch of poison ivy

Remember last year when I told you about our worst return home from a family vacation to Florida??

Just a quick recap…we pulled into our snow covered driveway to find our pet sitter stuck in a snow bank…our house was covered in dog piss, feces, and vomit. There was wet pee covered towels shoved in under clean, dry towels…and someone went rummaging through everything in my bedroom..

This return home from Florida was up there with the worst.

We had a great time in Disney…then Paul and I stayed a few days for a conference..At the conference things started to fall apart. I was having a hard time sleeping and got a head cold. I had to force myself to stay awake for the seminars and was too tired to do a lot of the fun stuff afterwards. Great!

The kids spent the weekend at a camp up north for a family reunion with my mom.

The first problem came on Saturday afternoon when the new pet sitter arrived. She noticed that the dog got locked in our bathroom. I usually leave the bathroom door closed. But since I wasn’t there, it was left open. Upon leaving, I am always the last one to leave the house to make sure the oven is turned off, etc…to make sure these types of things don’t happen.

This is what I came home to:

Someone left the door open and the dog trapped himself inside. Our dog tried to scratch his way out of the bathroom. He tore the linoleum and clawed up the door and trim pretty good. To think that all of my worry scenarios involved teenagers trashing my house, not a geriatric dog!! Seriously!!!

Great! Good thing my son had that flooring job for the summer.

The following day, my son contacted me about bites all over his body. My mom thought it could be poison ivy since he walked near some. My son thought it was bed bugs.

The next day, he was covered in a rash.

I blew off some sessions to make a doctor appointment. Then I had to stay on hold to give parental consent since he is 17, under legal age.

The doctor didn’t know what was causing the rash…she told my son to thoroughly clean his room. That was the best advice a doctor ever gave my kid.

My son bagged his bedding and vacuumed his mattress. He thought he saw bugs, but wasn’t sure.

Meanwhile, my mom called the camp they stayed at for the weekend to ask about bed bugs in his cabin. This prompted a visit to the camp from the health department with no signs of bed bugs there.

Then I blew off some more sessions to contact my friend who works for an exterminator. To make a long story short, tomorrow I have an appointment set up with someone that does canine inspections for bed bugs. I really hope it is poison ivy or spiders. Yes, I am starting to like spiders even more..

At least this time I knew what I was coming home to. Although that did not make it easier..

I felt so miserable being sick. I felt stressed out about everything at home. I wanted to take a nice long walk…at nighton the freeway…but instead I literally cursed my luck with a few 4 letter words..

Why me?? Why??

I have a feeling this workation is going to be a lot more expensive than we had planned. It already cost what little was left of my sanity…

 

Why worry?? Why?

I really shouldn’t be here talking to you right now. I simply don’t have the time. But if I don’t tell you what has been going on the last few days I will go absolutely crazy! Oops…sorry…CRAZIER..

My daughter Angel is home for spring break…it has been absolutely freezing out by the way..It all started Tuesday…I was going to leave work for an early lunch to go train. The plan was to swim and then bike 20 miles. When I stopped at home, Angel said that her ears hurt and she needed to see the doctor. I set up the doctor appointment…there went my work out over lunch..

Technically, I didn’t need to accompany Angel to the doctor since she is an adult. But her brother is being treated the second time for a bacterial colitis he picked up from being on antibiotics while visiting his dying grandma. Seeking treatment meant the possibility of catching something a lot worse. Plus she didn’t have a car.

How could my day get worse??

Then Paul told me that he was coughing up blood. Since his mother died last month from lung cancer, I told him to get it checked out. I am terrified that he is going to work really hard and die before he sees the fruit of his labors. Lately I have been telling him that I don’t want to retire and walk the beach hand-in-hand with someone else. Harsh, I know. Although he is also a runner, he has the tendency to drink and eat too much under stress. A couple weeks back he wolfed down a whole bag of chips.

I worry…He drinks..

For Lent, Paul decided to give up drinking during the week. He said that he wants to be more self-disciplined like me. I want him to be healthier. That is when I decided to give up worrying, or should I say excessive worrying because I want to be more carefree and positive like him.

So far it is not working out as well for me as it is for him..

Paul made a doctor appointment for the following day.

How could my day get worse?? Then my mom sent me a text saying that my aunt had a stroke and is unresponsive. Perfect!

After Angel’s doctor appointment, I decided to swing by work to take care of a few things that I needed to do before hitting the gym. There was a big problem with a new large client that I ended up getting sucked into. I missed the open swimming time. I barely had enough time to squeeze in 20 miles of biking.

I missed my last scheduled run on Saturday. The kids had solo and ensemble. My son was one of the few kids to make it to state for a very difficult band solo. We realized for the first time how gifted he is in music. I have 2 kids that are extremely talented at music and one that is not. Arabella did a vocal trio. One of the girls didn’t show up and it didn’t go well. All of Arabella’s friends from the theater watched her and she was mortified.

I had planned to go to the gym when I got home Saturday afternoon. I got back later then expected and had been battling a cold for a few days. Instead, I fell asleep for an hour and a half. Paul said that maybe I should give up all my racing and just be like everyone else since I seem to be having such a hard time finding balance in my life.

After my 20 mile bike ride, I left the gym and drove 40 minutes in the opposite direction to pick up Arabella from her after school activities. She played her music really loud on her cell phone. I told her to turn it down. She said that I was annoying and that is why she hates me which was frustrating.

This all transpired on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning I awake to a text from Arabella’s coach saying that her drama team is going to make it to state. The top two teams competing in each challenge make it to state. There are only two teams competing, so they automatically go to state. This wouldn’t be a problem except that they changed the date of state this year because of Easter and moved it to the weekend that we are going to be performing in a musical. Of course, I didn’t find out about this until a commitment was made to both events. So I am faced with either pulling her out of the musical last minute for one or two shows OR have the team go to state without her and having to rewrite the whole script without her in it last minute.

Maybe things will be better at work…When I get to work, I drop my keys between the seat and the console. They wrap around under the seat and I can’t fit my hands in to get them out. I spend the first half an hour of my work day trying to dislodge my keys. I cut up my hand and get blood everywhere but can’t find bandages. I also lost my key charm in the fight, but got my keys out.

Work is the busiest I have seen it this year. We had to hire a new employee and if it doesn’t slow down we might have to hire a few more. This is all wonderful, but stressful especially since one of the employees called in sick yesterday.

The doctor said Paul has an upper respiratory virus. He came into work with a fever. I need him to pick up the slack from the employee that called in. Then I am faced with the decision to either stay at work late or go with my mom and uncle to visit my ailing great aunt. I walk away from a big pile of work and choose family.

After I drive my mom and uncle over an hour to visit my aunt at the nursing home, we get there 15 minutes too late. She already passed away. We walk in through the closed door to find the nuns and nurses anointing Aunt Doll’s head with holy water. They put water on my finger to anoint her too. Then we sing Amazing Grace over her body. We cry. Enough of the death and dying already!

The most horrifying part was that it wasn’t the stroke that killed her. I found out last night that it was a genetic lung condition that killed her. The same lung condition that claimed the life of my oldest aunt. One or two of my mother’s cousins are also afflicted with this disease that renders them wheelchair bound and hooked up to oxygen. Oh my!

Is everything that I am doing right now in vain?? All of this eating healthy and working out…Will I be like them? I don’t think I could handle it. Will I have to watch my mother die this way?? My daughters?? It seems to present itself in females more than males.

Last night before going to sleep, I said my nightly prayers…as I was praying to God I could hear my dog puking outside my bedroom door…

God, I can’t take this anymore..