Do I really have to title this thing?

The day job wore me down this week, and last night I ended up in bed early thanks to a little help from my friend Nyquil. This morning some of my aches have lessened, but I otherwise still feel like crap. I’m glad it’s Friday. Because I’m fatigued as a general rule these days, so when I overexert myself—physically or mentally—I know I’m going to pay a price.

It started earlier in the week with swollen and tingling hands. The skin on my digits was tight and red and slick looking and I noticed tingling that bordered on numbness from my mid-forearm to the tips of my fingers. It seemed to get worse at night. As the days passed, I ended up with a fever and other flu-like symptoms. I also have a cold sore, which I seem to get more regularly than a woman on birth control gets her period.

Low grade fever? BAM! (As an aside, can you BE-LIEVE how expensive Abreva is?)

These things (with the exception of the swelling hands) have been happening to me for about a decade. I can remember my mom and I painting like mad women for a whole week in my mid-20s. I sat down to take a look at what we’d accomplished and within minutes the aches, fatigue, and cold sore had settled in.

I can also remember similar illness striking me when I was completing my last year of college and dealing with some pretty serious emotional trauma. “Maybe it’s PTSD,” I joked with Dan last night.

These symptoms my doctors refer to collectively as fibromyaliga are still hanging around too. You might remember that back in December I went back on an old medication and started feeling better. Well, that didn’t last. I guess I was just experiencing a few good days in a row.

So far I’m holding fast to my “no doctor appointments in 2016” rule. I do have to go to the lab in the next couple of weeks to have my thyroid and vitamin D levels checked, but I don’t have to explain anything to anyone or try to get someone to believe or understand me. That’s actually quite a relief. As long as I can remember my name and date of birth, I’m good.

 

Little Miss Unshine

I am no longer on course to have 1,000,000 steps in 2016, and I’ve pretty much given up the rocking chair. I’m doing my FitDesk again, because that’s what I can handle best at the moment. I’m mostly okay with doing what I’m able, when I’m able.

As a natural born planner, though, I have to work hard not to be jealous of people who can make plans and set long-term goals. I miss a lot of things, but scheduling trips and small adventures is a biggie. It’s not just about missing out on the fun stuff; it’s also about missing out on the “looking forward to” stage. Imagine spending most of your time doubting enjoyable things are possible, if you can.

Toward Normal

12801345_10102032636018194_7141380410222330028_n…Whatever that is.

Dan cooked tonight. Braised beef, buttered noodles, and cauliflower puree. I’m glad he felt up to it, because for the past week we’ve been surviving on packaged junk and fast food. You know how it is, trying to get by until life eases up a little.

I went back to work today and accomplished a lot, despite feeling unrefreshed. The trip to Milwaukee was hard on us both. Nine hours on the road with heavy hearts would be difficult for anyone.  But it’s especially hard for people with chronic illnesses. When we started our trek north on Saturday, I had an intense moment of motion sickness on the exit ramp from I-74 to I-57. (We’re talking like six minutes into the trip, people!) I thought I was going to lose the contents of my stomach, but held it together by closing my eyes and taking a few deep breaths.

Dizziness has been more of an issue the past week or so. I had what the doctors called dizzy spells when I was really little. I don’t recall much about that time, except that I was in the hospital for a little bit and I got to eat ice cream out of a plastic cup with a wooden stick. My parents tell me that they realized something was wrong when I kept asking them why the room was spinning. The doctors never found anything wrong with me. (Of course they didn’t.) They said I’d probably grow out of it, and I did. Maybe I’ll grow out of this too. Like most all of my symptoms, I have no idea if this is related to something or just coincidental.

I wish I could have been more present, for lack of a better word, while we were in Milwaukee, but… Having no energy for basic life stuff is just so hard. I can’t even write about it right now.

There is some good news to report. The condo was listed on Thursday, and we got our first offer yesterday. With any luck, this long, long nightmare will be over soon. Indianapolis is an okay city and Dan and I have some great memories there, but I have no desire to go back ever again unless I’m signing closing documents.

Untitled

For most of 2012 and a good chunk of 2013, I tried to land a job in Milwaukee. I never got any closer than a phone interview with an advertising firm in Brookfield, WI and an in-person interview with an insurance company in Green Bay. In both cases, the interviewers asked about my interest in relocating to Wisconsin. And my reply?

Family.

Things were already bad with my Indianapolis employer at the time. I was dutiful; I don’t mean to give the wrong impression. But the people in charge of that company were a bunch of miserable, unfeeling assholes, and it was bringing me down. My greatest fear was that if I didn’t get out soon, I’d become a miserable, unfeeling asshole too. Maybe even retire a miserable, unfeeling asshole.

Then, when Dan’s dad passed in July 2013 and my bosses and HR refused to grant me bereavement leave because Dan and I weren’t actually married (We were supposed to get married the next week, and I had the vacation time cleared!) I decided it was time to expand my search to the entire Midwest. I hated all of my superiors. All. Of. Them.

A short time after expanding my job search, I received an offer here in Urbana.

Urbana is closer to Milwaukee than Indianapolis is by something like 25 minutes. Not close enough to make travel for two sick people easily manageable. And not close enough to alleviate guilt or grief over being so far away.

Dan’s mom passed away in the wee hours this morning.

Her passing wasn’t completely out of the blue, but since when does knowing a loved one’s death is coming make it easier on anyone?

It’s like this. When I was eight and Angie M. was swinging her backpack around and around and around in huge circles at the bus stop, there were a few seconds there where I saw the damn thing coming straight at my stomach. But I promise you that noticing the bag’s trajectory ahead of time didn’t knock any less wind out of me.

We’re very sad here today. I emailed my current boss this morning to tell her that I wouldn’t be able to work today, and I braced myself. Out of habit I guess. But she offered her condolences, was compassionate, and told Dan and I to do what we needed to. (I am so relieved to work for humans again.)

So we’re taking the day to grieve. If you have a moment, send thoughts of peace and comfort into the universe for Dan and his family. 

Sts. Memaw and Pepaw

1001256_10100729116162434_650342582_nI’m on day three of a wicked problem with my right leg. Best guess is that some stupid muscle in my lower back or butt is putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. I dealt with similar discomfort before when I was a jogger, but never this severe for this long. It’s wearing me down.

Over the weekend at the condo, I continued standing up when my body was clearly telling me it was tired and wanted to sit down. That led to muscle strain and cramping, and then on Sunday I thought I’d be a tough girl and make the bed by myself. I’m not really in any shape to be lifting a king size mattress by myself, not even on a good day. But I wanted to be a bad ass. 

So here I am. Humbled again by my physical limitations.

I know all the exercises to do to ease the problem, but until the pain lessens I can’t even pretend I’m going to do them.

While this is going on, my parents are spending all week at the condo getting it fixed up. And, if all goes according to plan, we should have it listed with a Realtor by the end of the week. I’m looking forward to seeing it finished with new light fixtures, fresh paint, and new flooring. (There will definitely be a before and after post at some point.) My hope is that it sells high enough that I can pay my parents back all that they put in. I think any hope of profit from the sale at this point would be misguided, but their help has been worth about a bajillion dollars to me.

Without them, the stress would have likely led to my hospitalization. I’m not exaggerating.

So, positive vibes for the remainder of the week. This two-and-a-half-year condo nightmare might finally be ending.