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Monthly Archives: March 2014

In-law anger

I feel like I’ve written this blog before. Oh yeah, so I have.

I feel like my in-laws try to be good people…to everyone but their son, my husband. They are ungrateful, they are selfish, they are unconcerned about his feelings. There are four children who were a part of Hub’s growing up years. Initially, after a divorce between Hub’s biological parents, there was only Hub and his younger sister. Then, years later, there was a marriage that brought in another child (a step-sister, who lived with her mother most of the time), and then shortly thereafter came a baby. THE baby of the family, who is still treated as such despite the fact that he is coming up on thirty-years-old soon. Despite the fact that he enlisted in the military, went overseas, came home with a wife and a baby on the way. He’s still the baby and he’s still coddled and taken care of. For the first years of his marriage–with subsequent child–he and his wife lived with his parents (Hub’s parents)…where all his needs were taken care of, along with the wife’s needs and the baby’s needs. Even though his housing would have been subsidized by the military (he kept that money and spent it on himself, of course), he lived with his parents for at least a year before they moved out into subsidized military housing. And at that point? His mother (Hub’s mother) took care of the baby at least five days a week, full-time with the baby living with her grandma (Hub’s mother). Prior to this, after Hub and I got married, the baby of the family was all his mother and step-father focused on…his needs, his life, his extra-curricular activities…etc. Hub was pretty much forgotten, and there was hardly any time for him in their lives.

Even when Baby Boy was overseas, Hub’s parents were too busy taking care of their own needs and traveling to see BB to spend any time with Hub. They traveled to vacation destinations, they spent time with their other children, they ignored Hub. And he so desperately wants to be important to them that it kills me how they treat him. Now, with BB living in the states full-time–with a wife who barely speaks English and now TWO children to care for–Hub’s mother basically spends all her time catering to her youngest child and her grandchildren (who are basically living with her 4-5 days a week). We’ve never been able to go out to dinner with them and/or spend any time with them without the grandchildren in tow. Which means Hub’s mother is focused on the kids and never on Hub. Even on Hub’s birthday, the kids end up going out to dinner with us and if they’re not screaming or demanding attention from Hub’s mother, then she’s showering them with affection for being “such good babies.” Hub has never gotten the attention and affection that she gives those kids–her grand-kids–in his entire life. Growing up pre-second marriage, his mother was focused on taking care of him and his sister and everyone around them from relatives to strangers to other people’s kids. Hub was always so low on the totem pole that he was invisible. And that never seemed to change.

So we went to dinner with the in-laws (and the grand-kids of course) for Hub’s birthday. to a local restaurant that is never busy. Guess what? It was busy…and so we had trouble getting a table that would work with the kids, one of which required a high chair. Said high chair was acquired, but the child was in a crappy mood and screamed his head off. The other one? The older one…she just kept hanging all over her grandmother, making it difficult for Hub’s mom to pay attention to anyone but her…or the screaming child. Ended up with dinner with Hub trying to keep screaming child busy and not screaming while squeezed into a booth that was too small for all of us (as we are all abundant in the stomach areas). And screaming child preferred to throw his toys to the floor and yell “Sorry!” repeatedly. Problem is, retrieving the toys was nearly impossible because of said squeezing into booth…but loss of toys made screaming child scream even more. *sigh*

It was a crappy dinner…one among many that I just now assume will always be crappy because this is how dinner with them goes. But the worst part is that we get out to the car and Hub gets in behind the steering wheel and then just looks at me. And there’s such pain and hurt in his eyes because this is the only time he ever gets to spend with his mother…and she spends all her time taking care of the kids. And she’s always with the kids. And she never realizes that all he wants is just a little of her focus…her time, her attention. On him. Just him. And then he tells me he feels horribly selfish for wanting that, but I can’t convince him that he is entitled to feel selfish about spending time with his mother. The only time he can see her without the kids (but never without the step-father, oddly) is if he goes out to lunch with her during the week. I am not sure in my entire relationship with him (22 years) that I’ve seen him get to spend time alone with his mother. EVER. It’s the saddest thing, because all he really wants is to know that he has her love and her complete attention. Even on the telephone she is always talking to her husband or one of the grand-kids or someone else in the background.

My husband is a good man. He takes care of me, he helps me take care of my parents and brothers, he takes care of his parents and siblings when they need him. He is attentive to all the people he cares about. He works hard to take care of everyone, he deserves to have that in return. I do my best, but it drives me absolutely insane to see how they treat him. This is his mother, it’s not right that she takes him for granted, and that she won’t give him just a little of her time.

It just pains me so much to see him with them, because he doesn’t act like the person I know…he’s actively seeking attention by being a tool. It’s like seeing a teenager acting out to get attention. He’s SO not that person…except when he’s with his mother and she’s overlooking him in favor of everyone else in the room. And he KNOWS he’s acting like a jerk, but he says he can’t seem to stop himself…and that, too, aggravates him. If it were up to me, I’d never go out to another dinner with them just to keep Hub from being hurt like this. I just don’t think I can convince him of that…

 

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2014 in angry, anxiety, family, hub, judgement, love

 

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Travel me this…

We went and done did the vacation. And now we’re back, to which my entire body says woohoo.

The drive to the lake was completely uneventful, save for the climb in elevation that made our ears pop over and over again. We made a quick stop at a farm on the way to the lake so we could take a tour that they offered. After that, it was onward to the lake area. I was nervous about the hotel we were going to be staying in, despite the fact that I did lots and lots of research. I knew it was going to look old on the outside, but that the rooms had been renovated recently on the inside. And that is exactly what we ended up seeing.

Unfortunately, the first room we were assigned to had some problems, so they moved us to an adjacent, identical room. Not a big deal considering it was off-season and we were one of three rooms rented in the whole place. And although the rooms were very clean and very nicely decorated, they also turned out to be pretty small. I thought I had remembered that there was a small couch in the room, but that was not to be. The room had a bed, a place to set your keys under the wall-mounted flat screen tv, and a very shallow/small desk with a straight chair. There was no closet to hang our winter coats, no place to put our suitcases except directly on the floor, and no mirror in the room. No place to put our clothes in drawers if we had wanted to. The bathroom was very very small, with no counter top space for our toiletries. Again, the bathroom was spotless and clearly updated, but almost claustrophic-small. There was a teeny tiny refrigerator and a microscopic microwave, both crammed into an alcove that probably could have been laid out better. If they had put the fridge on the floor (in the space that seemed provided for it) and the microwave above, they could have used the higher space for a small closet or just open hanging space.

We had a very small private deck off the back that led down to an open grassy area, that then led directly to a finger of the lake. It was lovely, though slightly marred by all the docks that were pulled up onto the grass, and the not-so-attractive facility across the lake. The people who were running the hotel were very nice. I have no qualms about any of what we had, with the exception of overall space (which is my fault for not paying better attention, I guess, when I was researching the rooms).

The major issue? The bed was horrible. Horrible in the manner of we both slept fitfully the two nights we were there, waking up in the morning sore and exhausted. There was not a stitch of padding on the bed…all you felt was hard surface and the springs below. I actually tried to put the comforter underneath me as padding and slept with just a sheet the first night, but the comforter did absolutely no good. We were both so body-sore in the mornings that it was a pretty big black mark on the weekend.

We found several restaurants that offered gluten-free options, so I was able to eat pretty comfortably all weekend. We did a little shopping, then did our sight-seeing thing. It was nice to spend time with Hub away from the dogs and away from everyday responsibilities. The drive home was fine, too. We both slept so poorly the night before that we were both awake by 7am and we were on the road home by 9am. Checkout was 11am, but we were tired and sore and only wanted to be done at that point. It was very unfortunate.

My parents seemed to do okay with our dogs. I’m told everything went fine, but I did hear a couple of times (from my mom) that Butthead barked a lot at night. I tried to warn them, but I guess they didn’t realize… But they survived the weekend with the dogs, and the dogs survived a weekend with my parents (and brother), so all is well.

I’m glad I go back to see E for physical therapy tomorrow. I’ve got a stinger going up my hip and to my back that is really hurting me. I’m guessing it was the crappy bed that did it. If we ever travel again, we’re going to have to bring our own bed.

(that’s a joke, because we’re never going to travel again) (hee hee)

Ooooh, I almost forgot to mention, one of the places we went sight-seeing included a hike in the woods. We weren’t particularly prepared for the length of the hike, but I did it! It was 30 degrees out and snowing, and there was a lot of ice on the path and the stairs along the path, but we did it. I didn’t panic when I got tired, and I didn’t panic when I thought about how deep into the woods we were and what might happen if one of us got hurt or one of us had a heart issue. On the way in we were enjoy the nature around us, and on the way back I was more thinking about how tired and cold I was, and wondering if I was going to make it out of the hike without just sagging to the ground. But hey, I did it, and I survived it without an attack. WOO!

Here are a couple of quick nature photos. Enjoy!

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You put one foot in, you take one foot out

I doubt highly I’ll be doing much shaking about. *sigh*

I had my follow-up with my orthopedic doctor today, post MRI of both of my knees. I’m not fond of the MRI process, but luckily this was an open MRI and the technician was very nice. I was uncomfortable–mostly because of my back–but I made it through without any real anxiety attacks or panic attacks. There were a couple of points where I was not thrilled, but I centered myself and kept myself in the moment…and I completed both knees and got myself out of there in tact.

Back to today’s follow-up. My regular ortho was apparently running late, so his colleague came in to get started talking to me. She brought up my MRI pictures and started pointing out good things…and bad things. Part way through the conversation, my ortho joined us.

Good news…no meniscus damage in either knee, and although both show normal meniscus wear, they are also considered to be in good shape. Yay. Bad news…I’ve got arthritis in both knees that are slightly more advanced than someone my age. Boo.

Good news…no surgery required to repair my right knee. Yay. Bad news…even PT is not going to resolve my pain or the glorious popping in my right knee. Boo.

Good news…nothing physical blocking my left leg from straightening all the way. Yay. Bad news…it may never straighten out, even with continued PT. Boo.

Good news…the doctor doesn’t want to see me back unless something changes that requires attention. Yay. Bad news…I have to continue to live with the pain and limitations that I have right now (and they might get worse). Boo.

So the appointment was mixed. And on top of that, he suggested that I could continue with PT to straighten my left leg, but only if I felt I could accomplish it without pain. He said he would be satisfied with the extension that I have now, but that it is my choice. The issue I have with staying as-is, is that I walk with a limp because the knee is bent slightly, which throws my entire body off-balance. I believe it is affecting my back and my neck, and really my whole system. I think it is responsible for some of the trigger points I have in the area, too. If I stay as-is, I continue to make my body cock-eyed. If I attempt to continue with PT, I could put myself in more pain for possibly no reward.

Muh.

Meanwhile, he did tell me that my right knee, the one with the major pop (which comes from a defect behind the knee cap or on the bone that rubs against the knee cap…I can’t rememember which), will always give me limitations on some movements. Like getting up from low chairs (check) and walking on inclines (check). He said if it came to a point, I could get a brace to help me with any major activities. He wants me to leave that as a last resort because he says it could become a crutch…and instead he wants me to continue to strengthen the muscles around the knee to act as a “natural” brace. I’m already on that path with PT, so that gets a check-mark, too.

And thus, my appointment with the ortho ends and I go home. And wonder WTF to do now.

 
 

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On traveling (pt 2)

So I started talking about the trip we’re going to take for Hub’s birthday. I said something always happens to screw up our trips, which is why we didn’t plan far in advance for this one. And I’m being so careful about what I’m doing and where I’m going and the energy I’m expending in advance of this trip. But hey, life happens, right?

Don’t get me wrong, we’re still on schedule for the trip. Earlier this week I kind of had a drinking problem. I wish I could say it was a fun night of imbibing on something delicious, but truthfully, I don’t drink alcohol. I have nothing against it, but I don’t really like the taste of most of it. What really happened is that I was attempting to drink water with my dinner, and I swallowed wrong, tried not to spit water all over the table, tried to gasp for air, and ended up inhaling a chunk of water down my wind-pipe. Now I’m sure we’ve all done this a time or two, but as it turns out I actually did inhale the water down my wind-pipe, unlike most times. Most times your muscles do their work and clamp your wind-pipe closed without forethought, and the water is blocked out of that pipe. But you cough and gag and gasp like it happened. But no, I can’t do anything halfway. Because I was unable to react quickly enough and take the glass of water away from my mouth, during the gasp for air, I tilted the water glass and ended up inhaling that water right down the old wind-pipe. And then I gagged and spit and gulped and spewed and…well, it was horrifying and terrifying at the same time. I spent the next half hour throwing up and crying and the next two days coughing and clearing my throat. Only today, this afternoon, has my throat started to recover and I’m not coughing and clearing my throat every four seconds. But the whole episode made me tired and feeling stressed, and Hub offered to reschedule our weekend. I said no right away, because I really want this to be a fun and happy weekend for him. We so rarely do something like this…

And in that vein…pretty much every activity that I’ve tried to put together for the weekend has fallen apart. I wanted to go on a sleigh ride or horseback riding, but I called today and the sleigh ride group quite rudely told me they had nothing available for Saturday (and are closed Sundays). I contacted the group who does horseback riding and they said the trails are too wet and muddy for rides. I did more research into the snow tubing but there are weight restrictions, and so that is out for me and Hub. There are lots of activities in this lovely area we are going to, but it’s really for in-season stuff. Summer and winter (warm or snow). We are kind of mid-way between the seasons and the options are pretty limited.

Hub says he’s okay with just seeing sights and being together. We’re looking at alternate options for things to do and/or places to go, but I’m not very hopeful. It seems that with the wet weather and the mid-season timing, we’re not going to have many options. I’ll bring my trusty camera, but I hope to spend the majority of the time enjoying the moment and not trying to take pictures, if that makes sense.

Meanwhile, someday spring will come…

Soon, my pretties!

Soon, my pretties!

(ignoring the fact that they are calling for snow again next week…)

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in anxiety, control, crying, hub, stress

 

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Hair raising appointment

I went to see the nutritionist so I could talk to her about where to go next, as she has been helping me heal my whole system. We were originally working on the heartburn and indigestion and stomach issues that I was having…especially after getting off Prilosec. When you go off one of those types of medication, you get unbelievable rebound symptoms that are basically worse than the original symptoms you had. It was not a pleasant time, but I made it through, and then we started on healing my stomach and digestive system. At this point, I feel that we have at least tackled the heartburn and GERD symptoms…much better than I really was on Prilosec. It leads me to believe that the nutritionist was right, that I didn’t have enough acid in my stomach, rather than too much (doctors always say you have too much stomach acid and then they put you on acid reducing medication, which only makes things worse).

So now that those symptoms have been addressed, I wanted to talk to the nutritionist about my weight gain and my carbohydrate sensitivities. I want to know what I should be focusing on to turn my weight gain around and get some more pressure off my knees. She, of course, sympathized that I’m putting on weight even while I’m upping my exercise and watching my food intake. But the thing is, if I even take so much as a small plate of carbs (like, say, white potatoes), my weight will go up. But if I don’t eat the carbs, I feel like crap and my mental and physical condition goes down. If I eat gelato as a snack (my fave!) in the evening or afternoon, I don’t put weight on. WTH? So she indicated that my system may be overly sensitive to carbs versus sugar. I’m not entirely sure how to handle that issue yet.

What I did get from the nutritionist was the trauma of watching her head toward me with a pair of scissors. Without any salon training, I might add.

We decided that getting a hair analysis might be helpful to put me on the right path. The analysis would not only tell me if I’m missing vitamins and minerals, but also what kind of foods are best for my metabolism. But the sight of watching my nutritionist coming at me with those scissors…yikes! I mean, I knew we would be talking about the hair analysis option, but I pictured her yanking out a couple of strands from the root…from multiple spots on my head so they could have options. Instead, she plucked the scissors from her desk and told me that the lab needs hair that is close to the scalp. And that they need a bunch of it.

Whuh?

So she flipped my hair over (it’s a bit below shoulder length at the moment) and started hacking at my hair. She came up with a clump of it and put it onto a little paper scale thing, and then announced that it wasn’t enough! So she went back again to the same area! and hacked again. Unnnngh… To add insult to injury, she ended up snipping off the ends of the hair and only giving them the clump that came from the closest part of my scalp because they don’t use the “dead ends” part. Now I have these short fuzzy areas under my hair that are just making me nuts. Hub says you can’t tell from looking at the back of my head, but I can feel them. I just wish she had taken the two clumps from separate areas so that it wasn’t such a large area of semi-short-baldness.

When I go back to get my hair cut, the hairdresser is probably going to ask me WTH happened. I mean, you can’t miss the difference in length.

So the nutritionist said 2-3 weeks before we get the analysis back. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned!

Also, SNOW AGAIN!

Note dog snout print in the snow on the bench

Note dog snout print in the snow on the bench

March Snow Trees

 

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Weighting for the right time

Yeah, I know that doesn’t look right, but you’ll catch on quickly.

I’ve struggled with my weight since I was very very young. Though I don’t remember a ton about my childhood, I know I snuck food and ate hiding in my bedroom. If I close my eyes, I can picture the kitchen in my childhood home, and the exact location and drawer where the snacks were kept. I can remember how I learned to hide food wrappers in my trashcan, and sometimes in the trashcan in the kids’ shared bathroom. I remember the shame, but the feeling of urgent need to eat when I wanted to eat. Unfortunately, it was always snack-food that I ate. I’m not sure if I thought my mother kept less track of that food than what was in the refrigerator, I only remember thinking the fridge was off limits.

I don’t ever remembering “binge eating” as a child. I only remember eating junk food as often as I could find it and sneak off with it. Back then, there wasn’t this huge push to eat healthy, non-junk food type food. The snacks we had were cheap–because money was in short supply in our home–and plentiful. From memory, I would say that I always leaned toward sweet snacks, not salty ones. And my weight was always over the average for my age. Many times, I thought of how I weighed more than my older brothers. It sucked, but I was never able to get it under control.

In my pre-teen years, my parents sent me to fat camp. I hated it. It didn’t work. I continued to eat and gain weight. These days, I don’t suspect anyone would be surprised by that, as fat camps don’t work. Restricting a kid’s food for two weeks, a month, two months…it’s a waste of time and bound for rebound effects. As an adult just starting college, I joined a local gym and went for months. I enjoyed it, but probably because I went in the middle of the morning and the place was basically empty. I was able to walk on a track in a climate-controlled environment, listening to my walk-man, burning some mad calories. I used the weight equipment here and there, and I lost some weight. Later, when I was working full-time while I was part-time in college, I got a treadmill at home. I walked on that sucker, kept notes, and lost weight again. I was down to a weight that made me happy–to some extent. I was below 200lbs, and felt like I had curves–hips and boobs–that men would like. I met my now-husband at that point, and we started dating. I actually got sick with mono and strep throat at the same time, and landed myself in the hospital for the first time in my life. I got stuck in both hips, repeatedly, with Demerol for several days for pain relief while I was in the hospital. When I got home, they told me to take it easy, and my treadmill days went by the wayside. And boyfriend/hub and I went out to eat all the time. That poor guy…he was whip-thin when I met him. Not so much after we met. *sigh* <insert guilt ridden feelings here>

In my post Weight for it, I mentioned how I put on some weight after Butthead arrived. She changed my daily schedule, changed my regular routine, and I still have not recovered. And since she’s been here–and since that post–I’ve put on even more weight. It’s frustrating and upsetting, and I can’t seem to get back to where I was. I try to pay good attention to what I’m eating, but the obsession is difficult for me to handle. I can’t seem to moderate without going overboard. I’d like to figure this out, it’s not a fun place to be. I have a lot of stupid food issues.

I see my nutritionist tomorrow…the one who has helped me with my heartburn issues. I’m taking probiotics and digestive enzymes (which have their own “trauma” attached to them, sadly), which have worked a treat for the most part. But it has almost meant that I’ve been able to eat food more easily, which I’m sure has lead to some of the weight gain. I know I have an issue with carbs, as I tend to gain weight easily with carbs, but I can’t go carb-free because my body turns on me, physically and mentally. Here’s hoping the nutritionist will give me a path to get on that will keep me from obsessing over anything and helps me lose some of the weight.

Meanwhile, I’m biking for twenty five minutes, five days a week. And I’m biking at a good clip, too… and it’s made not one iota of difference with my weight. Which blows chunks. I don’t understand how that’s possible, which is partly why I’m hoping the nutritionist will be able to help me figure things out.

Also, it’s fucking cold outside. Just an FYI.

 
 

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Trigger point therapy

I have had trigger point therapy before. When I first got sick, I had a terrific massage therapist who used both East and West techniques for her clients. She was French, she did shiatsu, massage, physical therapy, accupuncture, accupressure, and probably more. I liked her a lot; she helped me very much over the course of eight months. But at the time, I was in so much pain overall and felt so crappy, I don’t recall how intense the trigger point release was. These last couple of weeks, E has been doing trigger point release for me, and it has hurt like hell.

I have two areas that E has been working on. E is incredibly adept at finding the trigger points, and every time she finds these particular ones, I end up clutching the table and attempting not to bawl (or scream). At least, not out loud. Today I had to wipe my eyes a couple of times because the pain was so intense. At one point, she was working hard on a trigger point that didn’t seem to want to give in (not a shocker for me, as my body is pretty stubborn), and she asked me how my weekend was. For once in our entire time working together, I was really only able to mutter that I couldn’t concentrate on our conversation because not only was the trigger point burning like a mo’fo, but the pain was referring up my back like smokey fingers burning pathways toward my neck. It was bad, ya’ll. E apologized, but didn’t let up, because the knot needed to be released. I just wish it didn’t hurt so damn much.

E went to a class over the weekend for a technique called “dry needling” for trigger points. She thought I might be a candidate for the technique, so she was excited to go to the training. However, when I saw her at my appointment today, she kind of nixed the idea. She told me that the technique was pretty painful…worse than the pain I was dealing with as we were talking (while she was releasing the trigger point in my thigh). She said she and her partner had to stop several times because it became so painful they couldn’t handle it. And they both have pretty good thresholds for pain. So I was just saying NO NO NO, keep those dry needles away from me! I couldn’t imagine the amount of pain they had gone through over a three day period of training. Yikes.

We aren’t even sure the knee pain I’m dealing with (on one side anyway) is from a trigger point or not. It actually came to me after she worked on the trigger point on my butt… I went to my big fancy book, The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies, and went searching for the pages I had marked previously. One of them was for the exact spot where the pain had been bothering me. I think I had guessed in the past that maybe it was a trigger point and had tried to release the trigger point myself, but hadn’t been successful. But hey, why not bring it up to E! So I brought my book with me to one of my appointments and she started working on the specific trigger point I had marked in the book, and I’m partly hopeful that it’s working. The thing is, immediately after the release, the pain has subsided. But it doesn’t seem to last long…which is disappointing. I’m not sure if we can pin the pain on the trigger point or not… (there’s a birthday game for you! Pin the therapist’s hands on the trigger point?) Then again, the trigger point on my butt is taking some time to work, too. But the relief from that one lasts longer…

Who the hell knows, right? And yet we persist…

Tomorrow? MRI of both of my knees. Two hours in the MRI = so much fun. NOT.

 

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