Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Life Kind of Happened. Again.

So life got interesting for us. Again. As usual. The way it goes.

(This is going to be one of my chatty update posts but I have a bunch outlined on various political things happening in the good ole USA).

Last summer, H and I decided we wanted to make Athens our permanent home. We love it here. Our kids love it here. Canopy exists here.

 H took a job at a local Middle School (where's he loved and appreciated like you wouldn't believe). I decided at that point that I was too old and too tired to keep homeschooling the younger two. Jude is so curious and so bright and I really was failing her at homeschooling. She just needed more. Between my depression, anxiety, and burgeoning health issues (more on that later), I had nothing to give. I enrolled R first, then Jude, and then Piper decided she wanted to give it a go. What a year ya'll. R had an amazing year with about the best K teacher I could have picked for her. She loved school, loved riding the bus, loved making friends. Academically she took off going from barely writing her her name to reading at a second grade reading level by the end of K. Piper has a rocky start but once she settled she sailed through the year. She made friends, joined clubs and band, and got incredible grades.

Jude was...well a lesson in how far our district has to go. She started as do all three years with special needs in the Early Learning Center. Three days a week for three hours each day. Jude loved school. She got her backpack ready the day before, and waited eagerly for her bus. I had issues. Expectations were too low. They didn't want to give us a seat in the PreK program. On and on it went. We ended up with a compromise with Jude still being in a separate program that meets all day five days a week. I'm good with it because it's a small class with two aides. But I let them know up front that we would accept nothing less than a regular classroom for K. We'll see if they honor that request. If not...well we'll lawyer up.

I thought that being home without kids for a chunk of my day would mean so much writing. But no. I got this awful rejection last summer which put a huge hole in my confidence. I haven't really written anything since November. And even that I second guessed every word I put on paper. Mostly I read a lot of M/M romance. Some paranormal. Some not. I exercised a lot. Did lots of trapeze (including my first show in December). And I cataloged my body falling apart.

My body became the focus on my life. Or more accurately my body in pain became the focus of my life. I started running again in the spring of last year. I ran all summer until I was easily doing 5k three days per week. When I decided to improve my speed, my shins went so I stopped. When I started again, I developed intense pain in my heel that radiated up my ankles. I stopped running, did the stretches, the rolling etc. Nothing helped. The pain would go away sometimes for weeks and then return. The flare ups weren't predictable. When they hit I couldn't walk and sometimes couldn't even get up. Over Christmas, H had to pump shampoo and conditioner into my hand because I didn't have the strength to do it myself.  Dr visits were exercises in frustration. I was diagnosised with bursitis, plantar fascistic, gout.  Xrays on my hands which swelled up like balloons showed nothing. I mentioned RA a few times but was dismissed. I thought it was fibro but since steroids cleared up the pain it seemed unlikely.

Your life gets interesting when it centers around pain. Pain that is unpredictable wrecked havoc with my need to feel in control. It's hard to plan anything when you don't even know if you'll be able to walk. People don't believe you with either. Not just doctors but people around you. And when you're saddled with exhaustion and fatigue it's meet with even more disbelief. Sorry I can't do my kid's field trip like I promised but I'm so tired I literally can't get out of bed. Or maybe it's I feel like I'm walking on glass with every step I take. Mentally it's hard too because I live in this constant of anxiety that the pain will hit. I wake up in the morning not knowing if I'll be able to get up without help.

Last month, I had the worst flare up yet.  H and I went to Ikea even though I was having a fair amount of pain. I stopped to rest a lot but still it was bad by the time we finished. As we moved our furniture onto the van we rented, every step yielded excruciating pain. I foot felt broken. After the hour and half drive home, I couldn't even walk into the house without help. The joints were stiff, swollen, red, hot, unyielding. Nothing over the counter touched the pain. I lay in bed that night shivering with a low grade fever in agonizing pain. When I went to see the Dr. two days later for my establishment visit, both my ankles were still swollen. Luckily this Dr. took me seriously. So anyway it looks like I do have RA. I can't see the rhumey until October. Meanwhile the flare ups are coming monthly now and the pain is pretty constant no matter what I do or don't do. I'm still doing trapeze, still moving my body cause it I stop things get even worst.

I've got a lot to write about with this new stage of my life. It's scary. Daunting. I've had more than one melt down. But I think the activism I started with Jude makes a huge difference in how I see what's happening to my body. So I'm going to write about that as well as why the new healthcare bill scares the shit out of me as I look towards my future. And of course there will be stuff about trapeze, Jude, other beasties, and all the things you've come to love about the blog.