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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day As I Know It

This isn't one of those posts that I'm spinning.  I'm kind of raw--letting it all flop out there.  It's supposed to be therapeutic to write, but I wonder if it really just showcases what a basket case I can be.  For Mother's Day this year, it might be worth my kids' while to just circumvent the whole process and put me in a home now.  Kind of my gift to them and theirs to me.  You know--Halloween was supposed to be fun but has turned into yet another holiday in which I have to "perform":  for the kids, for the teacher, for the neighbor kids.  And it is no longer sufficient to just give out crappy candy--it must be the good stuff with really awesome costumes instead of the ones you found in your Mom's closet.  And lets not forget the horrible images that have turned from fun to downright evil feeling.  So that's kind of what Mother's Day has become to me.  It's my all-time "hate" holiday.  It's a big serving of guilt (mine) followed by hysterics (not mine).

I'm not just a "normal" mom.  I'm mom to children who have been hurt.  The process of choosing to adopt and grieving (not mutually exclusive nor inclusive activities), your personal life on display, and the endless parade of "you should's" that are given to you come with the territory of adoption.  I'd choose it again, of course.  But it gives rise to the endless guilt.  Guilt about what I should be doing.  Guilt about not being there in the beginning.  Guilt about your shortcomings.  Guilt because you're just tired and you missed it.  Guilt for not seeing it.  Guilt for not finding the answers to it.  Guilt for feeling hurt by the entity of the fantasy parent.  Most of all--guilt for not being perfect and the possibility that you might have added to their pain.

The hysterics come because Mother's Day is hell for a child who has been hurt.  Who wouldn't be feel that way?  A holiday to celebrate the woman who pinch hits for the one who should have been there.  No matter how much I love my kids--I get that I am always second best.  Not second rate, but second best.  First best being bio Mom and Dad keeping it together and being great parents to their children.  I know that there are plenty of women out there who have lovingly placed their children for adoption.  I have been the beneficiary of their selflessness.  Frankly, I think most of my parents are selfless to some degree or another.  At any point, there was always abortion.  Instead, they gave birth to a life that I celebrate.  Make no mistake--my kids are all amazing--but unless I'm ok with second best, they aren't ok with sharing their thoughts and dreams and wonder at the people and world from which they came.

But if I tell the truth, and I promised to on this blog, I'm tired.  My very soul is tired and pained.  I've got PTSD and insomnia and a host of other labels, I'm sure.  I've a special kind of pessimism born of sleepless nights wondering if my child has a roof over their head, if they are safe, if they have food, if they are even alive--and yet optimism, because I still see the miracles that they are and the person they can become.  It's an exhaustion that cannot be appeased by sleep.  Its a fear that rises in your throat every time the phone rings or someone comes to the door that you do not know.  It makes you afraid to pick up the phone, yet you are too afraid not to and sleep with it under your pillow. It is giving your health, peace, wellness, safety and every dime you will ever have to a child who cannot love you back.  I ache and cry with and for them.  I beg God to take away their pain and protect them.  It's a knowing when that call comes from the hospital and you already know what the answer to your "Hello?" is.  I ask Him for strength just to keep breathing and to look--at e-mails, texts, or facebook--hoping you will see and hoping you will not.  Its the shearing of the soul and knowing that one small puff of wind might be the small gasp that makes you fall.  And yet...

Tomorrow I will get up and look again.  I will try and find another answer, another program, another therapist, another doctor.  I will look for answers where I am told they do not exist.  I will tell my child that I love them enough for both of us when their voices spew violence and hatred, yet their souls cry for love and healing.  I will continue to thank my Heavenly Father for the gift each one of them is.  I will tell them I love them, knowing I will not hear back.  I will keep breathing because I simply do not know how to quit. Once upon a time, I was told that God knew he could depend on me.  That means I cannot stop.  Most of all, I will keep seeing them:  separate from what they do, whole and shining for I know their souls.  Someday, those chains that bind the heart will fall away when He heals them, and they will stand beautiful and holy and magnificent.  And I will know that I was blessed to know them that way all along.

But tonight, I am tired. I will crack with the whisper of a breeze.  I am worn.  I am awake.  Still searching.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Updates--The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

It's been awhile.  I've been thinking about updating, but haven't known where to start--and getting a request to do so seems like the obvious.  I want to report that everything is perfect on this journey, because then I would have beat it.  But....people still offer all kinds of answers.  I have learned the truth.  There is no cure.  I'm going to live with this for the rest of my life.  But I can learn and grow and have amazing experiences and have a great quality of life.  I'll take it.  So here we go!  In reverse order.

The Ugly - My hair is still only half there but with a LOT of good hair spray and other "Big Sexy Hair" products, unless I'm directly in the sun and you can see through the razzle dazzle, I can fake it.  My finger nails still crack and bleed down into the nail beds, so I have gone to fake nails.  Which I hate.  I hate the maintenance, I hate trying to do things with my hands, and I hate typing. the alternative.  My feet still hurt every day and crack and bleed into my shoes--when I wear them.  I still have bags under my eyes I could bring groceries home in.  I still get asked how much older I am than all my sisters--certainly not a reflection on them, but definitely not the thing you want to hear.  They have awesome genetics.  It's not the being older question that bothers me--its the "how much" older.  How much are we talking here?!  I'm still battling my weight.  At times the schleroderma is bad enough in my esophagus that I eat a liquid diet.  I try and eat all whole foods, mostly raw, but getting enough calories turns out to be a chore.  And if you don't get enough, your body thinks its kinda the same thing as eating too much.  Really--these are all superficial things I don't care that much about, except they are indicative of what's happening underneath.

The Bad - I still have MCTD and though when you have MCTD you don't have all the individual diseases--they're all lumped into that diagnosis--I have schleroderma, reynauds, lupus, fibromalgia, degenerative diseases of the muscles and joints (various), arthritis, lung issues...  I could probably pull out a few more, but what's the point?  I still have MCTD.  That kinda' sums it up.  It still hurts.  Terribly.  It still exhausts me.  Endlessly.  It still robs me of my days and many of my nights.  The "Crash and Burn" has to be planned for after every full day, event, or trip.  It still requires me to work at it and to schedule around it.  I still have MCTD.

The Good - I am learning how to live.  And I have been blessed.  I have found nutritional help.  I have found natural medicine help.  I have learned to prioritize.  I have learned to be ok with less than perfect...sometimes.  But most of all, I have learned to rely on my Heavenly Father and His spirit.  I have learned to be ok with what is.  My Dad's definition of a miracle:  It is the response of a loving Heavenly Father to one of his children in need.   I have learned to be grateful because even in the darkest moments, there are miracles everywhere.  And I have learned to serve--no matter the situation, no matter the circumstances, I can serve.  And that, in itself, is a miracle.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Day Is It? (and other stress-induced questions...)

Where did the time go?  It's nearly Thanksgiving.  How do I know this?  Because the assisted living facility where my daughter called to arrange transportation this weekend for my daughter to come home.  Really?  I actually thought it was Friday...last week.  Then I was on a conference call I am on every single workday, and I jotted down my notes as usual under the date.  While idly making notes and doodling, I realized that I had been writing the dates as "May" for...wait for it...ten days.  And never noticed.  Either I am really out of touch or...ok, I'm just out of touch.

Every article I've ever read on autoimmune diseases warn about the dangers of stress.  Stress is a killer, no matter what you do (or don't) deal with.  It can cause all sorts of problems in the body from the inflammation it causes.  In my case, its something I get to live with every day.  So what do I do?  Stress myself out until I literally boil over with cold sores across my lips, down my throat, and a few zits thrown in for good measure.  As long as I can remember, the cold sores on my lips signified the amount of stress in my body.  This time I decided they weren't going to be as bad and I got right on them with essential oils.  And it worked.  They immediately stopped growing--at which point I promptly forgot to continue my treatment and three days later--yup.  All across, around, and in between.

Which brings me to the next thing I know about stress.  My memory goes.  And not just wondering what day it is--I mean as in I started to dial the number of a conference call yesterday and by the time I finished dialing, I had already forgotten and then forgot the call altogether.  The other day I went to the grocery store and when I reached the checkout, I realized I had become what you swore you wouldn't as a child--THE Mom in the store with the slippers.  Wouldn't you think I would have noticed or remembered BEFORE I left for the store?  Or how about the food I put in the oven, burned, replaced, then burned again?

Next up on the signs of the stress-o-meter--lack of focus.  Which kind of goes with memory.  And forgetting what day it is.  But truly deserves a mention all its own.  For example, while typing this, I have been distracted no less than five or six times and so this short little ditty started early in the morning is still getting written at 3 pm in the afternoon.  In fact, after I wrote the first sentence of this paragraph, I had to check my e-mail on my phone.  Just in case I missed the latest spam on how to enlarge my very absent piece of male anatomy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I hate to admit it...but...

Gosh!  Where do I start?  With the vacation that wasn't one?  Or with the changes since then?  Our vacation turned out to be more "tion" than "vaca."  I think we may have missed the whole concept of vacation somewhere.  No less than four children had major crisis while we were gone.  Perhaps they were waiting for us to get "there".  On the way home, my husband was rear ended on the freeway, by a semi truck--and walked away.  He will tell you proudly that the semi truck had more damage than he did, but the truth is it totaled all of his business equipment.  Fortunately, the semi's insurance company is liable.  Unfortunately, it will be a long time before they pay out.  Fortunately, my husband is fine!

For a year or more a friend of mine has been telling me about essential oils.  For the most part, I let it in one ear and out the other.  I'm a little scientific, I guess, but when someone starts throwing testimonials and stories at me as proof a product works, I am not too excited about it.  In fact, truth be told, it makes me want to run with all speed in the opposite direction.  I want SCIENCE.  This friend showed up with a little science when she came to Texas back in February, so I was more interested and thought about giving it a try.  I duly trotted myself down to the grocery store's "health food aisle" and checked out the oils there.  They were so expensive, but that wasn't the worst part--they did not smell like hers.  In fact, one of them was so bad I figured if I used it by my boys when they were passing gas, no one would even know.  I went home and figured I had done my due diligence.  And frankly, I did not want my friend to be right.  Because at that point, I was still waiting for what was going to happen "to" me next.

Fast forward to the tion-no-vaca.   My dear sweet little guy struggles through life so much.  He had reached the point where I knew he was going to end up back in the hospital if I didn't find a solution.  So to doTERRA I schlepped because I figured at this point, I had nothing to lose.  To borrow my sister's phrase, I bought enough oils to slick my way back to Texas and started using them on him.  And they worked.  He has had one PRN since that day and he was using 2-3 a day.  Then I started using them on me.  And they are working.  Then I decided to start diffusing them into the air in the house.  And there was a noticeable difference in my boys level of activity (code for with four boys at once....) And then I spent two weeks swallowing crow and chewing on it while I figured out that I had been a bit of a stupid idiot.  This actually, is not a new concept.  I figured the final proof was when the repairman came yesterday to fix the washer.  He smelled like he lived in the room in the airport where all the smokers go after an eight hour flight.  When he left, I decided to go look for the kids who had disappeared.  They had started the diffuser and were all huddled around sucking in the mist as hard and as fast as they could.  If the kids are doing it, it must work.  They balk at anything that isn't 95% fat, sugar, preservatives, or all three.

It made me wonder, though.  How many things in my life have I decided weren't worth my time that could have been a blessing in my life?  It pains me to think about how stubborn I can be.  It also made me wonder how many times God has to keep sending the same messages to me because I can't seem to see the neon sign blinking in my face.  And lastly, it just might be that this disease that I felt was slowly sucking the life out of me has started to actually teach me how to live.  Boy howdy, would I hate to admit that.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Who Made This Up?!

Seems like there have been a few more days lately when I am discouraged.  This morning I was unable to get up until 10:00 am.  I showered, then fell back in bed because my arms and legs were shaking so hard I couldn't hold myself up.  They are propped up on pillows so I can type.  This breaks my heart--but I had a busy day yesterday, and so today, tomorrow, and possibly Sunday, I will be recovering.  Its kind of how it works.  Had I paced myself better, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be laying here ready to cry.

It kind of makes me think about life in general.  I'm thinking out loud on this one, so to speak.  We have this whole set of expectations of things that we're supposed to be and supposed to be doing.  Who decided that exactly?  Who decided that to be a good mother I had to be a Domestic Goddess, Chauffeur to Many Good Activities, be a Molly Mormon at church, a Sexy Siren to my husband and whatever else I'm "supposed" to do perfectly?  When did I buy into that?  Really--they aren't happening and certainly not all at once.  I know people who are these things--but that ship sailed for me years ago; which had absolutely nothing to do with being sick.  I just wasn't.  And the secret truth is--I don't want to be.  Since autoimmune diseases are made worse by stress, I think its a pretty safe bet that my body has just decided to quit.  And there's not a thing I can do about it except do my best on whatever level that is.

I started thinking about this differently for the first time years ago when my older sister said "You know--you can have a perfectly clean home or you can have happy kids--you can't have both."  Later, my Mom came to visit.  She said "Honey--you are the best housekeeper out of all the girls."  I was so proud till I thought about it.  The best housekeeper?  That's what I was known for?  Not a great Mom or wife, or a fun person, or even for my brain (seriously a stretch, but you get my point).  A good housekeeper.  I started changing a little at a time, but I have never mastered that.  Later on, that same sister told me I was such a fun Mom--and she wished she could be more like that.  If she only knew.  I'm not like that naturally.  I have to think "if I were a fun Mom, what would I do?"  Because really, my natural Mom instinct is to ask them to rub my feet, very, very silently and then sit in time out.  Fun for me.  For them--not so much.

The most serious side effect of being LDS (a Mormon) with a Jewish heritage is that when I don't do all these things, I must have Guilt.  Guilt is cellular.  It's inherited by my Jewish roots and perfected by my LDS religion.  NO ONE does Guilt better than this combo.  Its an art, really.  A thing of beauty to be proud of.  There's an old story about a nice Jewish Mama who buys her son two ties for his birthday. He comes dressed ready to go in one of them to honor her.  She looks at him and says "what's the matter--you didn't like the other one?"  To be truly great, Guilt should have added as an aside, and sighing to no one in particular "see how I suffer?"

My sisters and I laugh about Guilt and apply this type liberally.  But there is another Guilt.  The one that eats away at your insides because you aren't pretty enough, smart enough, spiritual enough, sexy enough, nurturing enough, Anything enough.   Added to this is the list of sins.  I swear (really, I grew up milking cows.  Find me someone who did that who doesn't).  I yell at my children on occasion.  I do not have a marriage where my kids have never heard me fight.  Granted, its more like bickering, but still not like my parents.  I forget family prayer, family home evening, scripture reading and other things I'm never supposed to forget.  We owe money to people (we will repay) because we lost everything we had--more than once--and I can't stop thinking about how that affects their lives.  I once told a huge lie in high school I have never forgiven myself for.  Never mind that I'm probably the only one who remembers it.  Once a respite kid told me she hated me and no one liked me.  I told her no one liked her either, but that didn't stop us from caring.  Who says that?!  I called a lady in the grocery store a B#$@& for making racial comments about my son.  OK, part of me is unrepentant on that one since she was in fact, acting like the aforementioned label but no excuse for my response.  I don't take my kids to every activity at church, school or in the community.  I haven't taught the younger ones to work like I did the older ones.  Part of that is their abilities; part of it is I'm tired.  And the one I'm still the most ashamed of--I told my sister where to go once when we were growing up.  I cringe every time I think of that.  Guilt.  Eating away for sins I committed years ago.  For things I do now.  It's like acid to your soul.

And to make it all worse--we compare.  We compare our worst to everyone else's best.  I come from a family of truly great people.  Who married truly great people.  Who do truly great things.  Not the things everyone knows about.  I'm talking about great providers, fathers, mothers, sisters and wives--the things that really matter.  I'm talking about people whose greatest sins are far less than mine.  It doesn't matter if they were in action bigger or smaller than mine--they have learned to forgive: themselves and others.  They truly are heroic to me.  Quietly living lives of goodness doing the most important things in life.  Why can't I learn this lesson of forgiveness and goodness?  Sometimes I think that goodness gene just skipped right on by.  I can guarantee you not one of my sisters ever called someone in the grocery store a name or told a kid they weren't particularly well liked.  I also don't think they dressed up like a tampon for Halloween.  (Note--I'm not saying I did that.  Really.)  I'm also pretty sure they are more humble-- truly humble, not debasing.  I'm still whacking and flailing away at life--like that chicken we butchered in the yard years ago that missed its head but didn't know it.  I really thought I'd be a better person with more figured out at this point in my life.  I remember my parents at my age--they seemed so much more together.  If I were completely honest, I'd have to say they were.  But if I focus on these things, I can't win.  Surely that's not how its supposed to be--to never be enough.

So who decided that to be a good person I had to do all those things?  Where is this written?  But we all do it and we all accept that this is how its supposed to be.  I think we're running around trying to be everything we can be to the point where we aren't doing the most important things.  Its not even bad choices between bad things--just between too many worthwhile.  Dallin H. Oaks said it best when he said we need to choose between "good, better and best."  (Good, Better, Best) What is my best?  Not my perfect, but my best use of the time, abilities and resources that I currently have.  I haven't gotten that down, obviously--I'm in bed writing this.  But I think its one of those little blessing lessons I can learn here.  I don't have to buy into that Super Achiever People Franchise.  I don't have to let others decide.  Distractions have got to be one of the most powerful weapons of the adversary today--if we are too busy, too important, too plugged in, how can we feel His spirit and the promptings that come?  How can we teach and love and notice those around us?  And when we buy into it, we let ourselves erode.

So now, I've come full circle, I guess.  I can't do it.  I can't do what others expect, and I certainly can't do what I expect.  I once had to reassess what it meant to be a good mother--it was a process that took a long time.  If I used the definitions I had used previously, in our unique family situation, I would surely be a failure.  I am sad because I am not a truly great person/mother/wife/sister/daughter, actually.  I remind myself of Scarlett O'Hara when she said "I always meant to be more like Mother."  You can fill in any name in place of "Mother" in that quote and it sums it up for me.  I think what gives me the most hope is this:  the Savior said that the two greatest commandments are to "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."  (Matthew 22: 37-39 KJV)  Later, is the story in the New Testament where Christ is speaking to Simon. Simon has his knickers in a knot because Christ is letting a woman, a well-known sinner (I totally get her), wash his feet with oil. He criticizes the Savior for allowing that--as if the Savior in true humility should elevate himself above others.  Christ tells him a story about two debtors whose debts are forgiven--one owes much more than the other (say me and my husband vs the US or Greece).  He asks Simon which one loves the creditor more and Simon, being a genius, answers that of course, the one who owed more money.  Personally, I think it might possibly be the other way around.  The one who owed less probably could afford less...but the Savior agrees with Simon the Lofty.  But then Christ tells Simon "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much:  but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." (Luke 7:47 KJV)  I put a lot of hope in that--my sins are many.  I don't get too many things right.  But I try to love and care about others.  And I hope the Savior will forgive me much because I loved much.  Regardless of whether or not I got much else right.

Its all Sliding...Downhill.

Tonight I had high hopes for sleeping, but once again, I'm up.  I made the mistake of reaching behind me to pull my pillow into place and felt like my shoulder was wrenched out of place.  So now I'm trolling the Internet reading the news.  The biggest news is that my Source of Snark for the last week or so, Representative Anthony Weiner of New York, resigned.  Mr. Weiner has been an absolute blessing in my life (did I mention that before?) because really, with a name like that, it was almost predestined.  He has provided much entertainment over the last week.  I think it was rude of him to suddenly grow a conscience and quit. I'm going to have to find something else to parlay into what passes for entertainment.  I think my parting shot should be shared.  To the people who were enjoying so many jokes at his expense, I tweeted "I think you need to give him a break.  He is probably an upstanding citizen who is feeling very deflated right now. I think you need to give him time to rise above it."  Took two tweets, but it was a fitting burial.

Yesterday I swallowed my pride and allowed someone to come into my house and scrape off the top layer of scum in the kitchen.  It was a blessing and a total humiliation.  The woman who came was very sweet, but I wonder if she left thinking no one should have been eating in there for the last six months.  I can tell you.  It wasn't six months--only four.  The only room in the house that is spotless all the time is the bathroom.  I keep that pristine.  Mostly because I spend so much time in there and I am not emptying the contents of my stomach into something that makes me want to hurl further.  This means I have had to ban my son from my bathroom.  The problem is boys aren't too specific.  They figure as long as they hit something, they are doing fine.

I received a wonderful surprise package in the mail from a friend who sent all kinds of little odds and ends with cute notes attached to them. In the box was a hat to cover my head.  I had occasion to wear it today because another full chunk of hair came out in the shower.  I covered up with the hat and went to the psychiatrist anyway.  (The psychiatrist is not for me.  It is for my special needs kids.  However, I have had occasion to think that perhaps we are medicating the wrong person.)  I have never, not once in my entire life, gone out in public in a hat.  I am not a hat person.  Hat people have style and flair and a thin face.  My face as a usual course is as wide as it is tall and has been blessed with several chins in case the first one doesn't work out.  Then the meds have turned it into an advertisement for a solar eclipse.  As for style and flair, the only style I have is at least five years old and flairs because its completely stretched out and the elastic is shot.  But I put that hat on and went.  And my sainted husband told me I looked cute.  That reminds me--I need to make an appointment for him at the optometrist.

The pneumonia continues to haunt me.  I figured that since the antibiotics ran out a week ago, the pneumonia should have too.  However, it may have taken up permanent residence in my body.  My lungs are producing enough mucous to drown a horse.  The down side may be that its the MCTD increasing its hold on my lungs and not the pneumonia at all.   The plus side of this is that I'm going to learn to spit a loogie like the cool high school football guys do on all the sidewalks.

I also discovered something that I'm not sure I want to know more about.  I was playing word games with the kids in the car today and Shoshi pronounced one of wise statements ("Seriously, Jakob?!  I'm totally sure you didn't know that Hannah Montana wasn't real.  Really she's just wearing a wig and she was just PLAYING at being Hannah Montana so people would leave her alone.")  I started laughing and glanced in the rear view mirror.  And only half of my smile goes up.  One side of my face is just kind of...smirking.  I have had a lot of numbness on that side, but I have chalked it up to the same thing that makes my arms and legs go to sleep all the time (highly annoying--takes less than a minute and it is painful--something new and different).  My mouth and face gets numb on the right side.  Now its not paralyzed, but it definitely is lopsided.  So this really bothers me.  I have practiced over and over again trying to learn to raise one eyebrow.  That is just such a COOL Mom trick!!  Now I realize that my face has decided to cooperate, but in the wrong place.  Just once I wish I could get it all right.  I'm supposed to raise the eyebrow, lose weight in my butt and thighs (and not in the breastal area), and sleep at night.  Instead everything is sliding--my mouth, my boobs and my loogies.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Its the Mice--really...

It's been one week since I was diagnosed with pneumonia.  It is now obvious to me that my brain is still not getting it since I was just sure 48 hours of antibiotics and I'd be back on my way up.  Yes, as I was week later, and I'm still hacking up a lung and hugging the mattress.  Not only that, but I have a bladder infection from the antibiotics killing off what was left of the good stuff in my gut.  The fact that the cat found a mouse in our house is actually the issue, though.  I refuse to get out of bed until I am assured that all mice are gone.  At least that's the excuse I'm using.  It can't be that I am not setting superman records for recovery.

I read an entry and she showed pics of herself in bed with her computer.  That was seriously my favorite part.  I'm sure her words of wisdom were fabulous, too, but I suddenly felt much better about myself.  However, its a bit unfair because she looks GOOD in the photos and I...well... I'm sitting in bed in ratty old athletic shorts with my husband's t-shirt because its huge and worn in all the right places.  And they don't match.  My hair hasn't been done for a week (it's been cleaned, just not done) so all my bald spots are showing.  We won't even deal with the med face.  Then she has a clean night stand and what appears to be a clean room and matching sheets.  Confession.  Its been so long since I felt well, that the sheets aren't even on my bed properly.  And my nightstand?  There are approximately 15 vitamin/supplement bottles on it, stacks of books and various journals, water bottles, my wedding ring box (if I can't wear it, I at least want it where I can see it), and the floor in front is littered with the remains of 1/2 a box of Kleenex.  I have to admit though--my nightstand always looks like that.  I have straightened it up, but it only takes about a week and the books and journals have all reappeared.  Remember the scene from Sabrina (the Harrison Ford version) where the chauffeur's apartment has all the books stacked everywhere?  That's my room.  Back to the entry.  I still bless her for putting in the picture.  I have considered that maybe I need to break down and buy matching and cute pajamas.  Do they have a link for that online?  I can't actually go shopping because I can't get out of bed...the mouse and all...

In my search for a healthy treatment alternative, this week I ordered the first of what will probably be many, replacement products for my home.  I am trying to eliminate every toxin I can that my body comes in contact with on a regular basis.  So that means shampoo, conditioners, laundry soaps, toothpastes, make-up, the works.  It will probably take me a few months to accomplish this since it all costs money.  Which is really low of these companies.  They claim they want to help--helping would be free, right?   My criteria are that every ingredient in the product must be chemical free and all natural, and that I have to be able to pronounce the ingredients.  I'd like to say that I have narrowed it all down to one company, but I haven't.  I'm getting my vitamins and supplements from one company, my household goods and cleaning products from another, and my make-up and skin care from a third.  Mostly preference, I guess.  One of the things that just occurs to me is that I have always gotten a rash from fake metals (no cheap jewelry) and non-organic fabrics.  Preview of things to come for me?  Who knows.

I think the epiphanies I have are slower in coming to me than they are to others.  I have been congratulating myself all this time that my kidneys were not involved so I haven't given them a moments thought.  This week I also realized that if I want to keep them that way, given the propensity of this disease to hit there, I better start taking extra good care of them.  Maybe that's a life lesson anyone can take away from this.  If we want to survive life's physical battles, we better take care of what we have in case it gets called into action.  I also figure that if I die and its possible, I want someone to benefit from my body.  So I am an organ donor.  I would like to think my kidneys would be perfect so that one part of my body is.  I keep telling my kids that when I die, I don't want them wasting money on a casket, burial plot, etc.  Grind me up and throw me out.  I'm dead--I don't care.  But in the words of my daughter "uhm-no." I think its because they secretly want to get back at me by putting something heinous on my tombstone.  If they are going to do that, I want them to put "Oops!" on my my stone.  If they put "Love is Spoken Here" we will all know that they really hated me.

Lastly, since Apple is not dropping a coveted iPad on my doorstep, I have started saving money each month for one.  I have decided that I really don't care if the iPad is an all natural product with only pronounceable non-chemical ingredients.  For that, I'm willing to make an exception.  Because those stupid mice are going to keep me in bed for awhile, I think.