pressing forward…the bike


So I’ve been trying to be more active. I’ve gone with my hubby to the bike shop uptown to ride trainers. Of course, that’s HUGE for me at this point in my life. I thought I’d lay the background for why in the world I even have a nice-ish road bike.

We both signed up for a ride, The Red Bud, coming up in April. Hubby and my eldest son did the ride last year, the 26 mile portion, shortly after Hubby got his bike. I didn’t even have a bike at the time.

He’d never ridden anywhere near 26 miles, so it was a MAJOR accomplishment for him. I was so proud of him, of course, then again, he can do ANY. THING. he sets his mind to. The man is determined if nothing else.

So, he got me into riding. I really enjoy it, but it’s a real task to get me out and going. I enjoy seeing the landscape and honestly, we live in an area with some of the most beautiful riding country in the nation. The Red Bud Ride garners participants from all over the world. I mean, seriously! That’s some “big time” cred! LOL!

Now, I have actually done approximately 25 miles before. Once you get conditioned even slightly, you can do many more miles than you’d imagine. The Hubbs is very VERY goal oriented and he has signed up for what they call The Century Challenge. A “century” is, obviously, a 100-mile ride. The challenge is to do four of them in a season. I’m not sure where each of them are and I think there’s about 5 or 6 of them, so you can choose. There’s no cost to register for the challenge, but there’s a cost for each ride, so theoretically, you can “drop out”. I am kinda dreading this as these rides can take up to 8 hours or more to complete! The farther ones I think he will probably be attending with some other people from the cycling club we’ve become part of because I can’t imagine waiting that long for him to finish. I kinda dread him having that “thing” that I’m not part of, because the Hubby tends to get a little obsessive about things and honestly, I love him, but I get really tired of trying to keep up with his many & varied obsessions.

ANYhow, so the bicycling is one way I’m trying to be more active. There are these crazy things called “cycling shoes” or “clips” that are basically insane contraptions that attach you to the bike pedals by your shoes!! When Hubby got his, I told him he was a loon. I understood his repeated explanation of why they were beneficial, but I just didn’t want to even attempt them… besides the fact that they are NOT cheap. Just so you know, I mean, in case you WANT to know, haha, here is the science and reason behind cycling shoes.

Okay, and so…the Hubbs found a pair of cycling shoes in my size on clearance and yep, he ordered them. I really REALLY wasn’t happy. I just wasn’t interested in having clips. I finally tried them and was SO proud of myself for being able to ride about 3 miles without falling. Then, I decided I would attempt a horrific hill just up the road from our house. I think I could’ve done it, although it would have been TOUGH, I think I could’ve made it if not for those stupid clips.

We hadn’t had time to adjust them, the tightness or how easily they would clip and unclip. And so once I got to the very steepest part of the hill, I tried to unclip….and fell. I just toppled over, as you might imagine would happen with someone attached by the pedals to their stinkin’ bike. I was SO upset, but determined at that point to do it. So, right there in the very steepest part of the hill, I tried to take off again.

First of all, it’s HARD to take off on a steep incline without being clipped in, so that was my first mistake. As you might have guessed, I fell again. Harder this time.

And that made me mad. I don’t normally react that way. But somehow I was on this I-Can-Conquer-The-World kick and I’ll never know where it came from. So I got back on the bike.

And I fell AGAIN! This time, it was much worse. That’s when I jammed my straight handlebars into my chest. It felt like I ripped off my left boob. I thought sure it was bleeding. My right knee was pouring blood and Hubby had not made it down the hill yet.

Now after that fall, I was beyond angry. I was FURIOUS! Once Hubby got down to where he could see me, I started yelling. I had already kicked the bike away from me. I was SO mad, mad that I had tried so hard and failed, mad that he had forced me into doing something I didn’t really want to do in the first place. I demanded that he ride home (which was less than a quarter-mile away) and come pick me up in the truck. I wasn’t about to get back in those stupid clips.

About two months later, we did a local ride called The Thriller. Obviously, I did that one withOUT those blasted shoes.

This was in late September. It was cool and rainy. There was a fairly steady mist the entire time we rode. We were doing the 26 mile portion. It went right past our house, so it was on a route we ride all the time.

I was SO tempted to just stop at the house on the way back instead of riding back to the finish in the middle of town. But once we got to our driveway I decided to keep my big girl bloomers on and ride on in.

There’s a mid-sized downhill just before you get on the next-to-last road before getting to the finish. I’ve been down it dozens of times. It’s one of my favorite downhills. There’s a fairly sharp left at the bottom that runs into a mild incline, so it’s best to keep your momentum going so you can coast up the next little hill. That’s what I thought I was doing.

I headed down the hill at a pretty good speed, like always. The mist had stopped falling, but the roadway was still wet. As I got to the middle of the decline, I realized I probably should not have powered into it so hard and I tapped my back brake. I immediately started to fishtail, so I got off the brake and coasted the rest of the way. As I came into the turn, I could feel the bike hydroplaning. I tried turning slightly to avert my steady path toward the raised sidewalk to my right. That didn’t work, so I tried leaning to move myself toward the center of the road.

No luck with that either. I knew I was going to go down. At the same time, I saw an SUV coming toward me in the left lane. About that time, I hit the edge of that sidewalk and was slammed over onto my right side and slid about 12 feet down the sidewalk before coming to a stop in a very inglorious lump.

Turned out the people in the SUV was a guy from the cycling club and his wife. Hubby was far enough behind me that he didn’t see the incident, so he thought I had hit my brake and caused the wreck. He didn’t see me get slammed and go sliding. Thankfully, the Club Guy saw it. He and his wife parked in a lot across the road and came running over and got to me about same time Hubby did.

I thought sure I’d killed myself. But no. I was able to get up and walk to Club Guy’s SUV. He put my poor bike on the carrier and his wife drove me on in to our truck at the finish.

I have a nice scar on my right elbow to commemorate.

I’m not sure why I expounded on all this bike stuff. But I guess you should prepare for more. I’m doing the training so that I can get back in shape for the Redbud and so that I can hopefully whittle down this horrid pouch on my midsection.

Geannie, going for a ride!

That’s the most horrid thing about riding… the feeling of my upper legs hitting my saggy gut as I pedal. I hate being overweight but have never been able to get rid of it since my thyroid blew up on me.

Lord willing, my energy levels will go up and I’ll get more into riding again, ’cause right now? It takes a WHOLE lot to get me out to ride.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 — “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”


a li’l progress


It’s not major, but guys, I have just tackled a mountain of laundry. I have been doing a little laundry now and then, but the most I have done is get it moved out of the dryer. I haven’t been able to make myself go any farther.

My poor husband has been running around the house naked searching for underwear and socks. He’s been terribly magnanimous about it all. Love his heart, as blunt and non-subtle as he can be sometimes, he’s been trying to overlook my inability to do even the most basic of housekeeping for months…

For anyone who doesn’t struggle with depression, you might not be able to comprehend how huge this is. My loveseat was COVERED, and I mean HEAPING, with clean laundry that had been piled there from various areas… like the kitchen chair, the top of the dryer, the foot of the bed.

Yep, I’m telling you it’s been bad around here for months. So anyway, I have gotten all those clothes folded and stacked & some of them even put away. Lord willing, I might even get them all put away. I have another load going in the washer, so woo-hoo for me!

For your normal functioning person, this seems so trivial and stupid. For anyone who is OCD/super-organized, it’s probably gross, but for anyone who’s ever experienced major depression, this is a gigantic step of progress.

As minor as it may seem to you, I am trying to use this blog to document my progress.

As far as appointments, I go Friday to get the new mammogram to check on this lump. I need to make a trip to town (which I have not been able to bring myself to do yet, but must by tomorrow!) to pick up the films from the scan I had done in December to take to the new place.

I hope this is not a waste, but I also hope it’s nothing. If it IS from a bruise (I jammed the handlebars of my bike into my boob in a fall sometime in October/early November) then it won’t show on a mammogram. I’m not sure what they do from there. I don’t know if they will do another test or of they will just diagnose it as a bruise. ?? We shall see I guess.

My next appointment with the therapist is February 6 and a friend has offered to ride to Richmond with me, so I’m looking forward to spending the day with her. We share depression in common, so she’s been a big supporter and I’m so thankful for her company and prayers.

So, I guess I’ll get myself off here and back to my progress. I hope I might be able to make a little headway in the kitchen as well! Praise God!


the nether regions of my mind


So I’ve decided that since no one reads this, or at least not many people I know IRL (In Real Life) even know about this blog, I will write about this deeply personal issue here.  I feel as if the future is going to bring healing, that God is orchestrating things for my good through the events of the past few weeks and that perhaps, through my sharing, someone else might benefit.

And besides, I think it will help me to verbalize things if I actually write them out here.  I am looking forward to and expecting some major healing in a lot of areas of my life through the huge steps I’ve taken in the past couple days.

Let’s start by saying I am now seeing a therapist for my depression.  That is a biggie for me.  I saw a “counselor” very briefly about 20 years ago and the whole experience was abysmal!!  The woman happened to be the lady my mother had hired some 12 years earlier to photograph my wedding!!  And she didn’t do a great job at that.  It was just too much to try talking to this woman.  She seemed to me to be even less suited to counselling than she was to photography.  I hope she finally found something she could succeed at, or maybe she got a LOT better with counselling??

ANYway, my kids were small back then and it was just such a waste of time to me to go talk to someone I didn’t know and frankly, didn’t respect about things they couldn’t fix anyway. I might have gone twice and the last time she asked me something about how I felt about coming to counselling. I told her all I could think about was all the stuff I needed to be doing at home and how much this was costing us. That seemed to shock her so I have the feeling she probably didn’t stick with that for too long either. *sigh*

Fast forward to now:: For the past several months I’ve been slowly slipping into a deep depression. I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. Being a Type 1 diabetic is, of course, a cause of depression, but I believe my parents both struggle with it and most likely so did at least my grandmothers on both sides. So for years, until I was about 25, I just thought “this” is the way things are.

Then I had my second child and ended up at the doctor’s office for another sinus infection. He almost casually mentioned that I seemed depressed, then informed me that almost anyone with diabetes becomes depressed to some extent. I was flabbergasted. I had no clue, had never heard such a thing or even had it mentioned to me before. The next several months, maybe a year, were spent trying various anti-depressants to find one that would finally work for me. I ended up on one that I can’t remember the name of. Even back then, it was an older medicine but it seemed to help more than the newer stuff I had tried. Those would work for a couple of weeks, then BOOM! I’d feel myself back under the black cloud, sometimes even worse than to begin with. So, we settled on this older med, which was cheaper, so I was glad of that. But it made me gain a lot of weight and along with the things that would soon happen (being diagnosed with a thyroid disease and having my thyroid basically destroyed with radiation) I gained more weight with those medical procedures, so I ended up in a very deep hole. I no longer felt like myself, my body was uncomfortable, none of my clothes fit and I had a much harder time taking care of my kids.

It was not a good time in my life, but I don’t recall a lot of details simply because life WAS just SO busy and I hope my boys didn’t suffer too much from my state of mind and body at the time… but I do worry about that.

So, over the years, I tried various medications for depression. I have been on Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, and a host of others that I can’t recall. None of them seemed to work for me until Wellbutrin XL. It seemed to be the magic bullet and I took it successfully for over 10 years. Then, something happened with either my insurance or it just went up and it started to be hard to afford.

Then, one fabulous day, it became a generic, so I was hopeful that I could now stop worrying about affording my meds. But alas, the generic did not work for me and I spent some time trying to recover from the “experiment”.

Just lemme say, there’s nothing I despise more than messing with my meds when they are really working for me. So, I went back to the brand name. Sometime later, I was actually able to use the generic. Odd, I thought, but I tried not to think about it. I was just glad to afford my meds, ya know? However, it seemed the Wellbutrin was not working as well and I could feel myself sliding down the slope again.

Eventually, I decided I wanted to get off anything I could. I got tired of the side effects, worrying about affording it all, having to choose which meds to get, ya know? And yeah, I just stopped them cold-turkey. They say you’re not supposed to do that, but honestly, I didn’t have an immediate response to it. It took a few weeks before I felt yucky again, and it was a slow decline into really feeling “in the hole”.

I have now been off anti-depressants for about a year. Honestly, I was coping pretty well until the conflict with my new daughter-in-law happened. Well, let me clarify… there have been numerous conflicts and tension with her.

It’s more a matter of having quite different personalities between us because I love her to pieces. I actually introduced her to my son! However, she tends to get hurt over things that are NOT meant to be hurtful, she tends to over analyze things and is much more dramatic and outgoing than I am, so things are said and feelings are hurt pretty easily. All that to say, this is not some huge thing, but this last incident seemed to push me over the edge with the depression.

And it was combined with other things, other situations… I got the flu and was horribly sick; it was right after the holidays, which are a little depressing for me anyway. So, there were a lot of other factors and soon I found myself avoiding friends, staying home to the point of running out of EVERYthing because I didn’t want to go to the store, missing get-togethers with friends because I just couldn’t make myself go. Couldn’t make myself want to go even.

So after just withdrawing from my kids because my daughter-in-law was mad at me, because she blocked me on Facebook, which I felt was over-the-top anger .. I was just so crushed, I just shut down. So this went on for weeks. And they live just up the hill from us, so I could see them passing every time they went anywhere. But on the day that I decided I would just apologize for whatever it was she was upset about and try to extend an olive branch and even begin to fix things, I had printed out the note and planned to have my husband stick it in their mailbox the next day. And our daughter-in-law called my husband. They have always been pretty close and she doesn’t tend to be as “prodding” or “jabbing” with her words toward him as me, so…they talked on the phone for a bit. At some point, hubby decided to come home…

I could tell something was up. His expression was telling. He said he was worried about me, wanted to help me… then he dropped the bomb (that’s what it felt like to me!) and said our daughter-in-law was on her way to the house. The house that was a horrific mess because I didn’t care, and there I was in a t-shirt and panties because I didn’t feel like getting dressed, with my hair two days past washing and a nasty mess. I felt a bit betrayed, but what was I going to do?

She came and we all talked. Turns out hubby had taken off work for the rest of the day. I did not talk a whole lot, but some… I just felt so hurt over the mess with my daughter-in-law that I was to the point I was afraid to say much. I was afraid I’d say something that would make her mad again. But some things about my son, my baby son, were revealed that I had had no clue about. Some serious, painful things that as a mother, broke my heart in a million pieces.

At some point, I said that I was going to have to get some help with the depression and the next thing I knew, Hubby was on the internet searching for a place, then he was on the phone, making an appointment for me with a therapist.

*insert totally shocked face here*

After he got off the phone, after I’d spoken with someone to make the appointment, it came out from my daughter-in-law that she, my other daughter-in-law and my boys had actually got together at some point and decided that my older son was going to speak with us and try to get us, both my husband and me, into therapy.

Wow. Yeah, the revelations were rampant that day, but it was a breakthrough.

A couple days ago, I went to see this therapist. I dreaded it horribly, but along with my hubby, we talked to her and I left feeling better. She asked me about my physical health, which of course, opened up a whole big can of mess, and she suggested that I see about getting these things fixed or at least seen about. She said something like, “We can talk all day about how you feel, but until you address these physical things that make you feel bad, it’s not going to do a lot of good.”

One of the things I needed to get checked, or rather, re-checked, was the fact that I have always had some degree of pain with intercourse. This is obviously a huge part of my depression and we had, about 20 years ago, seen several different doctors looking for help, without finding any. So we gave up. We learned to deal with it.

So this therapist recommended we try again. She said there were places that dealt specifically with pelvic pain and she recommended a women’s health center. I called them once we were out of that first appointment and was told they had a cancellation that afternoon! So, we hung out in Lexington for a few hours so we could go to this second appointment.

I was a little irritated at the wait time, but once the doctor, a lady this time!, came in, she did a pap smear and a breast exam (because I have a lump that wasn’t picked up in a scan and had not been examined by a doctor), then we discussed the pain. She did some checking and found a thickened spot. She asked me about any injuries and the only one I could recall was when I was about 6-8, I had climbed up on the kitchen counter for something and fell off right straddle of an open cabinet door. It was never checked, but I remembered that it did bleed some.

So ANYway, she then tells me that I should go see a pelvic physical therapist!! Yeah, I didn’t know there even was such a thing either! That place, called a “Pelvic Health” practice, called to set up my appointments. Yes, multiple. And it turns out that there is a LONG wait for this kind of thing. The first new patient appointment they had was late April!!! SERIOUSLY!?? Seems they only have the one therapist, who spends an hour with each patient. I asked about getting a cancellation when I was told that there were seldom any cancellations and since long-term patients had visits scheduled a full year in advance, any cancellation went to an established patient first. *insert wide-eyed, mouth-agape look here*

Yeah, who know?!?! So, I set up appointments through June since I don’t know what she will find once she examines me, but til then, I have weekly appointments. Lord Jesus, please let gas prices stay low!! That’s at least once a week to Lexington & bi-weekly to Richmond for therapy sessions.

Thankfully these are nothing like going to see the endo. Hopefully, I won’t need a ton of sessions with the pelvic place and once I can see the PA (in the therapist’s practice) to see about getting on some meds, maybe I won’t have to see her as often either.

I am just feeling a lot more encouraged and hopeful than I have in a LONG time. If there’s some way to “fix me” so that being with my husband isn’t painful??? I dunno… we may have to go on an extended honeymoon. That’s something I’ve never considered or even slightly wanted, but perhaps??

I just don’t know, but here’s to a better future!! God’s so good!!


lungs…


in keeping with yesterday’s title.  Haha.  I awoke last night, or rather this morning, around 2am with a slightly tight feeling in my chest and a nagging, dry cough.

When I got up today, it’s still with me and I dare not treat with any oils.  So I have rubbed some Vick’s salve on my chest (did that at 2 this morning in the dead of the night) and dug out my nebulizer and albuterol today.  Thankfully, that has helped some.  I don’t have a sore throat, thank God, but my head is really hurting.

I really hope I can whip this out on my own.  I really don’t want to go back to my regular doctor.  Like, ever!  and I don’t want to go searching for a new doc while I’m sick like this.  After my doctor telling me if I’d just keep my sugars in control, I wouldn’t have this months-long rash in my arm pits?  I am done with his idiotic ideas and blaming my diabetes, or rather the way I control (or don’t!) it, for everything that’s wrong with me.

He acts like his infrequent blood glucose tests are the full and final indicator of where my sugars stay all the time.  That is the most moronic thing I have ever heard!  And I once considered this man to be fairly intelligent.  I appreciated that he was not a “symptom treater” who would just prescribe something for all the symptoms I had but instead he’d look for the cause.  I guess that got to be too much trouble for him or something??  I don’t know, but it really upsets me to run into so-called medical professionals that don’t know (or don’t act like it) any better than that.

Just because my sugar was above 200 that split second in your office last week, don’t have your nurse call and tell me my sugar is “high” and I need to come back tomorrow as if you are going to fix it somehow.  When I get there “tomorrow”, my sugar will not be that number anymore.  It might be a lot lower, but frankly, as long as I have to wait, sometimes while I’m in pain, for you to show up for the appointment I had a couple hours ago, there’s no wonder my sugar is high!!  In case you haven’t heard, stress does weird things to a type 1 diabetic’s sugar levels.

Hmph.  This post is becoming more about my utter disdain for this doctor instead of this bronchial thing I currently have.

I’m worried about it, frankly.  I had been going here and yon to try and find a cure for this awful rash under my arms and had stopped going to my regular doctor every 3 months after he blew me off about it, so I didn’t get my flu shot like I usually do in early fall.  I didn’t remember that I forgot to get my shot, though and when my endo asked about it, I told him I’d got it at the other guy’s office.

Sheesh!  Then, when planning a get together with some friends and we had to cancel when the hostess’s husband came down with the flu, it suddenly dawned on me that there was no way I could have gotten my flu shot because I had not been to my gp’s office in half a year!

So… I have been being super careful about keeping the germies at bay.  And that shouldn’t be a big problem since I’m pretty much always at home.  We are so close to broke, I don’t go out except the occasional pharmacy or grocery run and church.  And now, I’m so afraid to use anything on my skin, I don’t quite know what to do for this cough.

The Vick’s didn’t seem to bother me, but I didn’t use much.  Not nearly as much as usual, so after the small amount of oils in my bath scalding me the other day, I’m just really scared of that happening again.

Ugh.

Oh well.  Sorry for such a boring post.  Such is my life today!

skin…


I have made it to another New Year, so that’s a plus &  something to be thankful for.  With all my rashy-itch-ness of late, it’s been hard to keep up with things OR to know if I would make it to 2015 with any hair left on my head.

THE RASH

I have dealt with this awful itchy, peeling, cyclic rash-of-a-thing in my arm pits since last spring!!  Been to about 4 different docs at least 6 times for relief.  No one, not even the two dermatologists I saw, seemed to know what it was nor how to treat it.  I was first told it was yeast and in all honesty, I believe that it had grown some yeast at that first appointment with the ARNP.  But a week’s worth of Diflucan did not get rid of it, so obviously, it wasn’t JUST yeast in there.

Let me back up & say it all started when I decided that I wanted to eliminate as many chemical products as I could from my life.  No particular reason other than just a way to avoid as much harmful stuff as possible.  So okay, I started by switching to homemade deodorant.

My maternal grandfather had Alzheimer’s disease.  If you’ve read anything about this, it’s a horrible disease that studies have shown could be linked to aluminum deposits in the brain.  The main ingredient in any off-the-shelf antiperspirant  is aluminum!  I also hate the gunky build up that antiperspirant leaves on my skin, so I thought Perfect place to start! and I promptly looked up your basic homemade deodorant recipe.

Mine used baking soda, corn starch, coconut oil & a few drops of tea tree oil.  Easy-peasy to make & SHOCK—it really worked well!  Let me also inject here that I have used tea tree & peppermint essential oils for YEARS.  I wasn’t necessarily an oiler (LOL… that’s someone who tries to use essential oils to treat most things & to clean with), but I soon became one.

As I said in an earlier post, I’ve gone off my anti-depressant meds, and I was researching and using oils to help with that.  As of right now, I have a moderate assortment of oils ranging from my standbys, tea tree & peppermint, to clary sage, cedarwood, bergamot & clove.  I was really loving using them too & of course, when the itching would get SO bad in my pits, I’d try various oils to relieve (& hopefully cure!) that too…  Some of the menthol-ish oils helped temporarily with the itching, but nothing seemed to really be getting rid of the rash & it continued to cycle… red, rough, bumpy itchy, then the skin would turn dark brown & then in a few days would begin to peel or slough off.  Over & over it had done that from May til about November.

Yes, I was miserable!!  There’s not a whole lot you can do to keep from touching your pit area, or to keep anything else from touching it unless you go naked.  I was almost to that point wearing only a large scarf tied around me while I was at home… and I STAYED home as much as I could.  It was just unbearable to have to wear a bra & shirt for more than an hour or so.  🙁

So fast-forward to late November, when I FINALLY have gotten through to my endo’s office that I need him to call the derma-pathologist he recommended to get me in because he is not accepting new patients.  At last I had an appointment with this guy & he looks at the many photos I’ve taken of this awful rash (because you know how it goes… you can’t get in with a doctor while it looks its worst, so I take pix!) and I tell him how now, after all these months of being pretty localized to my arm pit area, it’s started to spread across my chest.  He nods the whole time, not in a condescending way (that I had gotten before from my GP) but in a knowing way, and without any of the hesitation or “it could be” prefaces that I’d gotten from the other two dermatologists he tells me it’s contact dermatitis.

WHAT?!?  I had decided it MUST be internal because by the time I got in to see this guy, I had been using NOTHING on my pits besides water.  NO deodorants, NO soaps, NO lotions or powders.  NOTHING.  He tells me that it is like when you have poison ivy (which I’ve never had, btw!  LOL!) —you touch it & in a couple hours to maybe a couple days, you get the itching & blisters, it stays with you for about 21 days and if you don’t touch the ivy again, it will go away.  But if you touch it again or let it spread from one area to another, it starts the process all over.

He asked what laundry detergent I used & I told him it was Melaleuca brand liquid.  And that’s when the light came on that I had started using that stuff shortly before the whole mess started… I just never thought about it being that since I had also switched my deodorant at about the same time.

He told me that Melaleuca was one of the worst for producing allergic responses and told me to switch to something “free”… I’d used All Free before, so I went back to that.  He also gave me a steroid ointment that he said I would think is magic, but he told me, it should make you feel a lot better, but we still have to determine what is causing this.

So, I proceeded to use the ointment as directed and sure enough, the itching improved drastically!  Of the two or three ointments/creams I’d been given previously, this worked like a charm & I have NO CLUE why none of the other doctors didn’t prescribe it, but anyhow…  I started trying to rewash much of my clothes in the “free” detergent & was doing well, obviously feeling a lot better since I wasn’t in misery from constant itching.

Then I got a slight yeast infection.  If you know anything about diabetes, you know that those of us who have it tend to get frequent yeast infections.  I felt this one coming on & didn’t want it to get worse.  That’s all I needed, my nether regions to be itching as well, ya know?  So, since I had used clove & lemongrass oils together successfully to treat yeast before, I put a small amount of those in a tub of water thinking I’d keep the yeast from getting worse and I wouldn’t be getting my upper body in the water, so I wasn’t going against doctor’s orders to not use anything but the ointment on the itchy areas.

I felt a slight stinging when I got in the water but thought that I had probably gotten the water a little too hot.  When I got out, it looked like I’d been scalded.  I dried off & got dressed, but soon I realized that something was terribly wrong.  I was itching & my skin felt literally burned & pin-prickly everywhere I’d been in the water.

It got so bad that it started to resemble my bout with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome back in 1994.  When that happened, it was determined to be a severe reaction to taking Bactrim for an ear infection…I spent two weeks in the hospital on a morphine drip for pain, not sure if I would make it out alive.  My liver & kidneys began to show effects of it not to mention the fact that every inch of my skin broke into huge watery blisters that burst leaving raw, open skin behind.  The inside of my mouth & eyes blistered and peeled and my “insides” (read: vaginal) sloughed out from this awful condition.  I was contemplating going to the hospital.  I’d never heard of anyone ever surviving two episodes of SJS, so I was extremely worried.

I rushed to the pharmacy to get some Benedryl and kept myself dosed with it for a couple days and thankfully, the redness slowly faded and today, 3 days later, I am only slightly itchy and still taking minimal doses of Benedryl.

All that to say, I am still a physical mess as far as my skin goes.  I am so shocked that something I’d used without incident a few weeks ago would do that to my skin!!  There’s no question that it had to be those oils since the red, welted, itchy skin was only where I’d been in the water.  It’s just amazing how our bodies react to the environment.

Of course, that has me even more worried about ever finding out what’s going on with me.  I’m still using little to nothing on my skin, but it’s becoming really dry now as it is winter and we have blown-air heat.  I am going to try some organic coconut oil on my calves and see how that works.  If it helps and doesn’t break me out, I’ll try it on my torso and upper legs.

I have met people over the years who are extremely allergic to foods and such.  I often wondered how they coped with everyday life.  It seemed to me that it’d have to be such a burden to constantly wonder what was in or on something that might cause me to break out or become sick.  I am fighting the urge to feel sorry for myself.I mean, after all, I already have to count every carb that I put into my mouth and make sure I am dosing correctly for it, not to mention dealing with all the inconsistency that comes with diabetes.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter how closely you follow “the rules”, diabetes will do whatever it wants to do.  It doesn’t matter if you had “this” reaction to “that” dose of insulin yesterday.  Today, it might be completely different.  That’s just how it goes with T1D.  It is a nasty monster whose only predictable trait is its unpredictability.  So I feel irritated to be bothered with this uber-sensitive skin stuff too.  But what can you do?

Nothing.

Just pray for strength to deal with whatever comes and trust that God is doing SOMEthing in your life.  Even if you can’t figure out what it is.  *smile*

I can tell you one thing, though.  I’ll never take ,my skin for granted.  I thought I never would after the two years it took to recover from SJS… but I guess I have.  I didn’t mean to, but it is sure easy to forget that your skin is your largest organ and it provides a very important function!!

Off to try and accomplish a bit of SOMEthing in the house now.  Bless you if you made it all the way through that!  Ha ha!


out with the old


So, seeing as how this is THE LAST DAY OF THE YEAR 2014, I am hoping this is a new trend for 2015 and not just my desperate “hoorah” as 2014 winds down.

I feel so overwhelmed with thoughts about the year being over, about the fact that this is even the year two thousand fourteen!!  How in the world did it get to be TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN?  Wow.  My mind is still back in the 80’s and 90’s, when I was just getting married & having babies…

“They” are so right.  Time surely does fly and the longer it stands, the faster it goes.

How odd.  And won’t it be grand once we get to Heaven and can see time the way God does?  I imagine a giant, cataclysmic  “CLICK” when everything we’ve always wondered about will suddenly make sense.

Haha.  Am I the only one who thinks about things like that?

Probably.

Happy New Year and may two thousand fifteen be a year of “better” for us all.

uncertainty and desperation


That seems to be me these days.  Obviously, I have not posted a thing in ages.  I used to LOVE to blog.  It was my therapy, but somewhere along the way, it became harder to compose a comprehensible post, harder to put my thoughts into words.  I chalked it up to being an “aged diabetic”, too many brain cells spent in low blood glucose over the past decades maybe?  I just let it go.  I felt I had no choice.

At one time, I even had readers & followers of my blog.  Shoot, I even had my own domain name!  Haha.  Now that seems so distant.  Back then I was a youngish homeschooling mom who was active in her homeschool co-op, her church & always busy trying to keep up with two growing boys.

Now?  Well, now I’m just a stay-at-home wife with two grown sons, two beautiful daughters-in-law & two “grand-puppies” with no actual grandbabies in sight.  Ha.  I feel like I’m growing older by the moment and that life is passing me by.

At this particular time, I am struggling greatly with depression.  I’ve dealt with depression for years.  Probably most all my life.  I didn’t even know it had a name til after I had my second son and a doctor announced to me that I would probably benefit from being on anti-depressants.  That was in the mid-90’s!  I was put on several different medications at that time.  Each would seem to work great but within a couple weeks, I would feel myself right back under my black cloud.  Finally, after awhile, they found an older anti-depressant that seemed to work.  It didn’t make me feel like “my old self”, whatever that was, but it kept me functional & it didn’t stop working after a few weeks, so we went with it.

As time went on, I went off that prescription.  I don’t remember if it was to start a new one or not, I think it was just that I grew tired of feeling like I needed medication just to function and STILL not feel really “good”.  When I slowly sank back into the dark pit, I wound up back at the doctor, a different one than first diagnosed the depression and was put on another medication.

I went through the same thing again with meds working for a couple weeks then just suddenly stopping, til we tried Wellbutrin XL.  That seemed to really do the trick.  I started feeling better than I had in ages.  Life was pretty good for several years… like almost 10 years –that’s how long I took Wellbutrin XL.

Over time, as usual, they came out with a generic, which was great since brand name meds are SO expensive, but I wasn’t able to take those first generics.  They didn’t work the same for me.  I had to go through this long process of getting the insurance to cover the brand name, et cetera.  Later though, I was able to take the generic, but once again, I went off those.  I get to a point where my prescriptions seem to be SO expensive… remember, I am a type 1 diabetic and diabetes supplies are NEVER cheap…it would seem as if I needed to choose between diabetes meds or other stuff… by this time I was on a low-dose blood pressure medicine to help protect my kidneys and thyroid medicine after treatment for Graves’ Disease destroyed my thyroid gland… those weren’t nearly as expensive as anti-depressants, so I thought I don’t feel all that great while taking this stuff, I might as well just go off them. and so, I quit them again.

This time, I went for about 3 years without any anti-depressant meds and nothing much seemed to change.  Maybe to the chronically depressed person, nothing ever seems to change except to get worse.  I honestly don’t know, but it seemed that suddenly, I was unbelievably sad again and nothing I did seemed to lift the despair I felt.

Maybe I should explain here that I am a Christian.  I have Jesus Christ as my Savior and I know that I have all hope in and through Him.  I KNOW better.  I KNOW that I have the Hope of the World living within me.  So it’s even harder to deal with it when depression seeps in and overtakes me.  It’s like a physical *coating* almost, like being covered with a thick oil that you can’t wipe or wash off.

Right now, even though I know/realize what set this episode off, what kicked the depression into overdrive (having a family member be mad at me over something I posted on Facebook!) I also know all the things that keep the depression hovering in the background.  All the things that have fed it over the years.

The times my children (not mentioning which ones) have shut me out of the most important day of their life, the off-hand comments from my parents when I was a child about how that friend didn’t really want me to come over, they were just being nice.  The preferential treatment that is SO obvious between me and my younger sister that has been “the norm” ever since we were children.  —I know.  I KNOW!  Those all seem like very petty things, don’t they?  I’m struggling not to go into details because it seems when I do, it causes all heck to break loose.  If I went into details, these things might not seem so petty.  I’ll just leave it at that.

So, here I am, floundering in all these things, all these emotions I try to keep buried, all these hurts that I have, maybe just in theory, forgiven, but they are still there & they sometimes rise out of the hole I bury them in to torment me.

I feel like a burden, like I do nothing but hurt those I love, like the ones I love the most hate me the worst.  Like I am unwanted, unloved and useless to my family.  And yes, I am to the point that I just wish God would take me out of this world.

But then, I get to thinking about that and I wonder, what in the world would He want with me?!?  No one else can stand me, I am useless, worthless, hopeless & helpless to everyone down here.  Why on earth would the God of the universe want to bring me to Him?

*sigh*

See?  I am a real mess right now.  I KNOW this.  And yes, the idea of going back on anti-depressants is heavy on my mind.  I’ve been off them for about 2 years again now.  I just don’t want to need them.  I don’t like worrying about how to afford them, I don’t like how some of them make me feel.  And the Wellbutrin that worked so well before?  After I went off them for a few years & tried to go back on them again, they don’t work for me now.

I guess that was inevitable, but it still stinks!  They put me on something called Viibryd, which seemed to work in low doses, but on the higher doses (you graduate up from 10mg, to 20mg then 40mg) it made me feel yucky.  So I tried, with samples (because the stuff is ungodly expensive) to use the 10mg doses & felt a little better.  But not enough better to justify the cost or the trouble it was to keep getting samples.  Samples run out eventually, anyway and besides, it really wasn’t helping that much.  If I’m going to take something for depression, it needs to make a considerable difference to me.  I just can’t stand taking something that barely keeps me from bursting into tears at random moments, ya know?  I might as well just deal with the pit on my own rather than taking something that just keeps me hovering over it all the time.

Yes, there’s really not that much difference in being in the pit and sitting on the edge of it struggling not to fall in.  At least not to me.  I just know I am driving my poor husband nuts, making my family question my sanity and pushing away the few friends that I have who would actually spend time with me because I don’t want them to know what a mess I am.

God, help me see clearly what You want me to do… what I need to do to get better.  Help me find a doctor who will help me with this.  You know how big a need that is, to have a trustworthy doctor!  I thank You for pulling me back from the edge, up out of the pit, over and over.  I pray You would give those around me understanding and patience while I figure this out.  Let me find joy, Lord.  That is such a foreign thought to me… to feel joy.  I know the scripture “the joy of the Lord is my strength”, but God, I can’t seem to find any joy these days.  I know what I have to be thankful for, I know that You are my Savior and Redeemer and that should be enough to make me smile.  What is wrong with me?  Please, PLEASE, heal me.  I am so desperate.

In Jesus’ name…. Amen.


being single isn’t for me


For those who don’t know, I’m married.  Not separated, not divorced.. just minus my man for a longer amount of time than I am used to the past couple weeks!  Normally, he doesn’t travel much at all for his work.  Maybe a couple days once or twice a year.

However, he’s been gone almost 2 weeks this time!!  It happened that two different conferences/seminars were happening back-to-back & they wanted him to attend both.

Egads, but it’s been cah-ray-zee around here!!  He left the day after I got back from serving 3 days with Emmaus, so there was that.  Then he left that Tuesday for Alabama. (I’d just gotten back Monday night) He got back from there late Saturday night.  We dumped his clothes into the washer and then hit the hay.  We rushed to get to church the next morning, then ran home, finished his clothes, repacked them, adding some winter clothes since this time he was going north to Indianapolis and off he went at 1pm Sunday afternoon.  This is Thursday afternoon and he’s just now heading back home.

Thank God!!

I woke up kinda sick Monday morning & not wanting it to progress, I decided to go on to the doctor, which meant sitting there pretty much all day.  Turns out I had yet aNOTHER double ear infection and the beginnings of bronchitis.  AGAIN.  Ugh!  So they did the usual, two shots & a round of Omnicef.  I thought, great, I will beat this out before it gets any worse.

WRONG.

Woke up yesterday (Wed) morning feeling worse.  But I had an MK training that I really needed to go to, so I went.  I wasn’t out in the cold that much, just between the truck & my house, then to her house & back home again.  I went straight to bed soon as I got home,  hoping some sleep would somehow improve the condition.

I got home about 3:30 pm yesterday, so when the hubby called around 7 pm & woke me up, I quickly realized I was NOT better.  I was worse, if anything.  Very tight chest with barking cough & lots of congestion in my head.  Ugh!

So I finally went back to bed around 11 pm, exhausted so I fell back to sleep pretty quick.  Around 3 am I groggily woke up wondering if I had left my little poodle outside because I could hear distant barking.  But it was Samson, our chocolate lab, going crazy in his pen outside.

He never makes a fuss, so I was concerned, but didn’t have a clue what I should do.  I was now dealing with Tucker, the poodle who was doing his own loud barking now.  I texted Tommy because frankly, I just didn’t know what to do.

I looked out at the pen which is in a bit of light from the night-light across the street.  I could see him walking round & round his house, looking away from our house & just barking.  I couldn’t see anything or figure out any direction he was focusing on.  I thought maybe it was a skunk or a stray dog, but didn’t see a dog & didn’t smell a skunk.

I didn’t get a response from Tommy so I called him.  No answer.  I was desperate now to get Tucker to shut up (he doesn’t have an inside voice) so I turned on Pandora & laid back down with my bedside lamp on.  Tommy called me in a few minutes & I told him what was going on.  My head was SO full of gunk & I was trying to blow as much out as I could.. I felt purely miserable!

Then he tells me I need to take the shotgun & go let Samson out of his pen.

*SIIIIGH*   Really?

Ugh.

Did I mention I have this double-ear infection & bronchials from Hades right now?

So I muster up my courage, remind myself that God is always with me (seriously!), that fear is the enemy’s tool to make us lose focus of what God wants for us AND that I was really really tired & wouldn’t be getting any sleep til Samson shut up… and I stepped out into the dark.

Of course, everything was fine as best I could tell.  Sometimes we have coyotes around here, but I hadn’t heard any & it was kinda cold for them to just be roaming around.  I didn’t smell the first hint of a skunk & you KNOW when those suckers are causing trouble even if you never see them.  So I don’t know what Sam was so upset about.

I do know that when I came back in the house, I called Hubby back, as was the plan, *(to tell him I was still alive, I guess.  Haha!) that sleep did NOT just pounce on me like I’d hoped.  ImageAs sleepy & sick as I was, there was no sleep for me.  I propped my trusty .410 within quick reach right at the bedroom door & just stared at it while I waited for sleep to come.

I think it finally showed up about 5 that morning.  “You took your sweet time!”, I thought to myself.

Ahhh, so now my husband is home at last.  I am just not good alone.  Just NO GOOD at single.  And I guess, after almost 30 years of marriage, that’s probably a good thing!


Anot.Her neW tH.anG


So, I decided to become a Mary Kay Consultant.  I don’t know how this is going to go.  I’m excited, but also scared. My reasons for doing this?

Image

I love MK products!  I want to be able to buy them for half price.  I’d also not be disappointed to earn a little extra money.  And actually, I’m doing it to help with my depression.  I need to get outside myself.  Most of the ladies in this MK unit are Christians, many are from my church, so getting together with them is helpful.  It’s inspiring.  God has sent me some confirmations that this is “okay”, for me to go ahead with so.

So…. here I go!!


a whole new thang


Well, so much for the big blogging experiment. Apparently, the bloggy gene has diluted some over time. I just don’t quite have it in me anymore somehow.
However, I’m going to start a new era in my life. You know that infomercial about the extreme workout, P90X? Well, the hubby has gotten on the band wagon.
He ran into a friend of ours from high school through his work. He’s on his second round of P90X now and he just kept singing its praises. Seems he was in as bad a shape (his words, lol!) as Tommy before he started P90X and now? Sheesh! The guy is just ripped! He’s probably slimmer than he was in high school and he’s got muscles all over the place. It’s amazing!
So, he gave us his P90X to look over & we are convinced.
We’re gonna give it a whirl. Yes, even me. And no, I’d have NEVER thought about even attempting something like this if not for Tommy and Casey doing it too. (Yep, our son is going to do it too!)
So, in a few days we begin. The 27th will be Day One when we start with the X Stretch routine.
Pray, people. Pray!! 🙂