Sunday, December 18, 2011


Isn't this a pretty sight?

It is hard to tell, but this is a pile of 12 cleaning rags after tackling another portion of the attic floor.  The sponge mop head died after just three sessions and a very small segment of the attic floor.  I have grave doubts that the washing machine can get these clean, though I did rinse them out for about 10 minutes before putting them in for a wash.

I am wondering: would it be cheaper to just buy more rags or buy more mop heads?  The mop head was $8.73.  It is in pieces in the trash as I type this.  Some of the pieces are still up in the attic. Of course with the rags, there is the cost of cleaning them if I didn't buy enough to just toss them afterward.  I truly believe I am tackling 92 years of dirt here.  However, I do not think it is altogether crazy of me to want to be able to walk about my beautiful attic space without coming away with blackened clothing and puppy dog hair.

I was thinking, perhaps I shall not do the section of the floor beneath the one large rug I left up there if I can vacuum the rug some more?  And...........maybe..............not do the sections underneath the boxes and the carpet remnants for now? goal..........for now.............just just be the sections either I or Amos would walk upon.  Then, after recovering and reducing some more, I could tackle the last bits beneath the boxes.  Maybe leave the part beneath the rug for the next owner?  Would that be wicked of me?

After much Googling, I learned I should finish off the cleaning with Orange oil or something likewise.  I have already used 1/2 a spray bottle on the small sections I have done.  So, I shall need about two more bottles, I think.  The good news is that one of the things I have kept for a few years was a small pile of mechanic shop paper towels--the REALLY thick ones use for wiping grease--that someone gave me.  I have been using them with the orange oil stuff I have and have only used 1 and 1/2 towels.  I might just have enough for the entire floor, if I skip the section beneath the rug.  You know, for a raw attic floor, the wood is really beautiful. If I had them refinished, they would be stunning.

Yesterday was my first full day hormone free on this second pack. I ate enough small meals that my blood sugar was not a problem, but I had the worst headache thus far. I honestly believe it was because I had made great strides in the nausea and headache side effects department.  I was thinking that if it got better when I start the hormones again, my theory might valid.  I did not sleep until around 6:00 this morning, working very hard on a mind-over-matter approach to the headache.  Today, it has abated somewhat, but not gone.

Amos, being the ever loving little guy, actually woke me up for a nap to do his major business out of doors.  I thought that was mighty kind of him since just four days ago he had an accident inside without any warning whatsoever.

I was also quite ill all Thursday night and Friday. It was as if my entire mid-section was twisting into knots, riding roller coasters, and imploding all at once.  Personally, I wonder if my foe has felt he needed to change up his tactics since tears, emotional storms, and constant anxiety have all been essentially lost as a weapon against me.

Seriously, I am in love with both the makers of Loestrin and the first doctor to actually read my records and look at me from a physical standpoint, rather than see all the tears and basically ignore my ongoing physical struggles by just writing them off as stress and mental weakness.  Aside from the end of being imprisoned by emotions, I also no longer have daily bleeding, unbearable cramps, bad acne, hair loss, and problems with my plumbing during my cycle.  All of that healing from just one tiny pill!  One by one, the symptoms appeared and overwhelmed me and yet all of it was "just stress."

I hope that one of the things I do not forget is the moment the surgeon interrupted me and said, "Wait a minute.  Are you telling me you bleed nearly every day?"  When I nodded, she said, "That is not normal and that is not stress.  That is a physical problem, and I can certainly help you with physical problems.  I want to help you." Since I had been trying to get help for this for years, I told her I was concerned about my health insurance ending next July.  She look at me and very bluntly said, "If you are still having these problems next July, I shouldn't be allowed to practice medicine anymore."

Maybe I cannot really describe what her words meant and still mean to me.  It is difficult to put into words how it feels to know that you are being dismissed or even ignored medically because assumptions are being made simply because of your tears or anxiety or your past.  In a way, it is as if I have been screaming, only to have no one listen...or worse simply to be labeled the crazy one.

That is something that is hard about MS.  So often, you have wonky symptoms, things that can be debilitating, but that do not show up on standard tests.  Since the disease, though certainly marked by common elements, runs a different course in different people, you often spend a lifetime of being dismissed by doctors, searching for help you know is there.

This had nothing to do with MS, but it was the same experience.  Clearly, I needed hormones!  Clearly, I have needed them for several years now.  Clearly, this need has had a profound effect on my life.  But the treatment I needed was not given--dare I say was not even considered--because of assumptions made from seeing my tears and trembling and terror.

Don't get me wrong, I am still struggling with the effects of PTSD and still have many hard things to face, but the emotional storms are gone, as is the absolute desperation that accompanied any emotion and near constant anxiety.  The other day, the person helping me was noting the remarkable change in me over the past eight weeks, how even this week was better than the last, and observed that I have been battling such overwhelming and abnormal levels of emotions for so long that I do not know how to handle normal feelings, like being sad over giving Sam and Madeleine away, anymore.  In a sense, I have to learn about feelings all over again.

Thursday, I had my first real test of public frustration whilst on the hormones.  The bags from Africa that I use all the time to carry my things to appointments and church and such are being repaired.  Both had straps break.  They were to be ready on Wednesday, but I waited an extra day to pick them up.  Since it is a bit of a drive to the cobbler, I had asked to be called if there was some sort of delay and was assured that if that were the case I would surely get a call.  When I arrived, neither repair had even been started.  I was frustrated at both the lack of repair and the lack of a phone call to save me the long trip (and waste of gas).  There was no Dell or Verizon moment.  No yelling.  No weeping.  No raised voice.  No meltdown.  No shame.  I did have to take a breath and work to remain relatively calm (I certainly was no model of equanimity at that moment), but I did achieve that and did not find myself trapped in wild emotions then or later.

I suppose you could say, right now, the only true desperation I feel is over not being able to conquer the headaches enough to stay on the Loestrin long term.  Because I NEVER want to go back to that prison. I never want to be bound by those infernal emotional storms ever again. I never want to be trapped in my own body again. Never.

Fred and Ethel have been praying with me for grace in this.  I want to be able to stay on the medication, but I also want to be able to face the possibility that I may have to give it up. I wonder, to put it bluntly, if I do have to give up the medication and find myself back in that terrible place, knowing that it is a result of my body and not my mind will be enough of an edge to hold on to even a tiny measure of control.


Well, Firewood Man and his mate just left.  With this last load of wood, they also brought me several bundles of kindling they thought I might like and used these old wooden boxes that are nailed to the garage wall to store the kindling.  Such kindness!  So, I am off to build a fire and get in some serious snuggling time with Amos.  I shall watch a little football, work on a bit of writing, listen to some Sugarland, play a bit of Monopoly, pray the headache eases enough for an earlier slip into my daily spate of slumber, and continue to dance about in my heart for the freedom I currently have.

Truly, this freedom is what makes still battling other illness much, much, much more bearable.  For the moment, at least, I have a measure of victory.  That is yet another gift my Good Shepherd has given me with this move to the middle of nowhere.

I am far away from my best friend. I am alone in a town I still have not a clue how to navigate.  And I have not worked in more than a year.  However, I am living in a beautiful home I purchased the help of a realtor who has continued to "serve" me, with an incredibly affectionate puppy, in a town where I have found help on two fronts, physical and mental, with weather that has allowed me to enjoy more time outdoors than I have in well over a decade, Firewood Men who treat me so kindly, and a new friend who moved in a block away and who has, thus far, not found me too weird or too exhausting or too anything.  Heck, Sandra's promised to go with me to Chili's for a chocolate shake soon!

Oh, yes, I also have that beautiful pocket edition of my beloved Book of Concord Fred and Ethel gave me so that I might always have a copy on hand.  What more could a girl want?  Especially one who has a sufficient stock of Dr Pepper in her basement at the moment?

I am Yours, Lord.  Save me!  

1 comment:

ftwayne96 said...

"Aside from the end of being imprisoned by emotions, I also no longer have daily bleeding, unbearable cramps, bad acne, hair loss, and problems with my plumbing during my cycle."

Some people have all the fun!