Thursday, September 6, 2012

In which I have not actually died or even given up completely

What have we learned since May?  Let's try a brief list and see how it goes.  It may be the only way to get self blogging regularly again.  

a) Humira never really kicked in.
b) Orencia is hideously expensive and my insurance hates me
c) narcotics are my friend despite swearing I'd never go to that length
d) My son still doesn't give a fuck about his grades, but he's great at Halo.  He's also a great kid and one of my sole sources of joy lately.  He just doesn't care if he finishes high school.  GAH!
e) My mother-in-law is never, ever leaving and you have no idea how depressing that thought is
f) I will always be broke
g) the phrase "embrace your pain" makes me want to whack peaceful meditation consultants in the head with a large and heavy blunt object
h) Housekeeping was always overrated, but has become completely superfluous
i) I want to do and say mean things to the husband of my dearest friend.  I used to think this man was a real gem.  Not anymore.
j) my blood pressure is astronomically high
k) my mother is still alive and struggling a lot less than I thought she would be by this time
l) my husband is completely fed up with my RA and wants his regular wife back - she's gone
m) Everything hurts and nobody gets it
n) I can't knit anymore
o) acupuncture hasn't helped yet, but the nice rest on the table is probably worth the $5 co-pay
p) I need sleep.  See the previous list item under "m"

Monday, May 14, 2012

The fine art of self loathing

I'm going to wallow in self-pity here.  It's not a crisis.  I'm venting.

Humira isn't kicking in.  How long does this take?  I know, it's only been a week and that it can take months, but I've been being treated by a good rheumatologist for six months now and nothing is working.  Is it me?  Am I going to be one of the 30 to 40% who respond to absolutely no drugs for RA?  Is he wrong?  Is there something else wrong with me?  I know there are blood markers, etc. that are supposed to verify my illness, and I know that some of mine are exceedingly high, but I've never asked which ones or what they mean.  I've trusted him completely.  Maybe he's wrong, though.  Maybe there's something else wrong with me and I'm taking all these scary drugs for nothing.  Is it heresy to doubt your nice rheumatologist?

He wants me to try Actemra if this doesn't work.  He gave me spiffy pamphlet on it.  I don't want to do IV drugs.  I'm not that sick.  Or I sure as hell don't want to be.  Plus, the common side effects include a rise in blood pressure, which I can't afford.  My blood pressure has been a struggle for months.  If I let him hose this drug into my vein and it has a half-life, what the hell happens if my blood pressure shoots up?  Yes, it's pretty clear I need to make a list of questions for Dr. L and ask them at my next appointment.  I just want to go to a doctor and be FIXED!!  I don't like all this complicated medical crap.  I need a straightforward minor infection that can be healed with antibiotics, not all this rheumatoid arthritis garbage.  Where do I apply for a change in illness?

My son is driving me nuts.  B has always been such an excellent young man.  He still is.  Absolutely wonderful. Well behaved.  Sweet and kind and caring.  He just doesn't give a flying fuck about his grades at school these days.  He's 16 and needs to get his poop in a group.  I wonder if he's afraid of growing up.

Same lovely son as in previous paragraph has a band concert tomorrow night.  They will be performing one of HIS compositions.  That's right.  My brilliantly talented boy has composed a piece for symphonic band that will be played by his school - and the kids like it.  How amazing is that?  I think it's extremely impressive and I'm intensely proud of him, yet I'm still wondering why the hell he can't pass history.  Oh, he can pass it.  He just doesn't care!

Diablo III comes out at midnight tonight.  This is one of the best games ever, and I was an early player of the first two versions, many MANY years ago.  I'm thrilled to have this one coming out, and I'm dying to play it.  I beta tested for it, and what little I played had me itching for more.  But get this:  I am such a crappy human being that I'm resentful I can't spend all night awake playing video games because I have to get my son to school and go to work and be a responsible adult the next day.  I probably won't get to play much until the weekend.  (And I wonder why my kid doesn't give a crap about being a grownup?  Hush.)  I'm really not crazy about being a responsible adult lately.  I'm tired of it, in fact.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Will to Fight

Hello there, poor nearly-abandoned blog!  I really didn't mean to do this to you.  I had the best of intentions.

The thing is, my mother wound up hospitalized last week, and there was a lot to deal with.  It seems she went into a-fib and didn't know it until a routine doctor's appointment last Monday the 30th.  Her GP heard the heartbeat, pushed her into a wheelchair, and took her across the street to the hospital where she stayed until Friday at 6:00pm.  They can't get her heart back into its normal rhythm.  She's constantly in a-fib and is now on coumadin (which is also used for rat poison, did you know that?) to help prevent her from throwing a clot to her brain.  She has congestive heart failure, which probably won't kill her before her COPD does.  They can't shock her back into a normal rhythm because her COPD couldn't withstand it.

She's a complicated health case, most of it because she has a long history of smoking.  She's 75 years old, which isn't as old as it once was, but seems to be getting pretty close her limit.  I'm trying to adjust to that concept, so pardon me if I sound cavalier about it.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It's just that I need to be able to say it until I can accept it.  This is my mommy.  My sister, my children, and myself will never be ready to let her go, but we are learning to accept that she does not want any sort of extraordinary measures taken to save her.  We spent hours with various doctors before her release going over the what-if situations and filling in all of her living will and medical directive stuff.  She doesn't even want CPR because of the diminishing returns in people with COPD - odds are she wouldn't survive it, and if she did, her quality of life would be minimal.

How long does she have?  No one knows exactly.  The cardiologist and pulmonologist both say "she has a good while.  Probably a few years.  Who knows?"  She looks small, pale, and tired.  In spite of that, she's her feisty self, which is good.  She's fighting with my sister about lawn sprinklers, so she's healthy enough to do battle.

How am I?  Well, the notion that my RA might respond negatively to stress has certainly been proven.  I can barely walk.  Can't get closed toe shoes on to save my soul.  My hands are stiff and sore, my ankles feel like knives are being driven into them, and my feet are just horrendously painful.  No one else gets it, though.  There are way too many other things to be concerned about, so I suck it up and soldier on and try not to complain because what good is it really going to do?  I see Dr. L on Wednesday.  Twice weekly Enbrel isn't getting it, but would anything when I'm this stressed out?

I've missed too much work to stay home and wallow in self-pity.  It's raining and would have liked to stay in bed and read or knit.  Not today.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

oh dear

It's been the better part of a month and I've blogged absolutely nothing.  Wow.  If you recall my previous blog, I used to post something nearly every day.  I can't even claim I've been too busy or too flare-y from the RA.  I've been too lazy and had nothing much constructive to say, I guess.

Rheumatoid Arthritis seems to be moving through my system like wildfire, and the Enbrel doesn't seem to be having much effect.  I've heard various frightening things about diminishing returns - if you start on one biologic and it doesn't do you any good, you're not going to get much better on another.  My rheumatologist seems to think he can still get me comfortable and functional.  I like the man, but I'm starting to lose faith.

My husband is tired of the RA and pretty much just wants the old wife I used to be.  He doesn't like this version.  She's got too many problems and doesn't do as much.  I think my son feels pretty much the same.

Oh, lord.  I'm wallowing in self-pity.  I really don't feel that badly right now.  Just a bit discouraged.

I've been talking to one of my dearest friends during my commute in the morning through the miracles of cell phone and Skype.  I can't tell you how much that improves my days!  She and I have a long and colorful history, and I miss her so terribly.  The sound of her voice and her recent company have been enormously helpful.

My family of origin, however?  Batshit crazy as always.  I talked to my sister the other night and found myself laughing (aloud and quite inappropriately) at her complaints.  It never ceases to amaze me that my family can turn a garden hose into a major international incident without an real provocation.  I love them, though.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Still not dead...

Whoops!  Sorry about the blogging hiatus there.  It was totally unintended.  Things got very hectic at work, in the personal life, and with the RA.  The combination completely prevented a few minutes of quiet time to sit down and blog a bit.

My son turned 16 yesterday on Easter.  My baby.  Strangely, it wasn't as emotional as 15 was last year.  I have no idea why, but 15 nearly broke my heart, but 16 was just a very happy birthday.  Yes, the driver's license will be procured later this week.  He's very responsible, so I don't particularly worry about him doing something stupid.  It's other drivers I worry about.

Not blogging about the idiocy that goes on at work is harder than you might think.  We have lots and lots of idiocy in this place, but I just don't know how to tell some of these stories without completely giving away everything about this place which could be detrimental on many levels.  Just remember, boys and girls, that you cannot take a drug test until you pass it.  It's a one time thing.  So make sure you're clean when you take it and remember that the artificial pee sold in the back of "Stoner" magazine is detectable by a good lab no matter how long you strap it to your leg. OK?

Well, I finally let the rheumatologist break out the big guns.  I had a nasty flare last week that had me crying for mercy, and I called the amazing Dr. L.  He calls me back himself, notices when I have a new haircut, and is generally one of the nicest guys I've ever met.  I may have to leave my husband for him if he can actually fix this whole RA thing.  No, not really, but he can certainly have my first born.  (No one wants a grad student anyway. Too expensive!)  Anyhow, I finally agreed to take some Vicodin for the pain.  Yes, I am a complete wimp and realized that it's paracetamol and sold over the counter to some of my foreign friends, but I do not like codeine in any form.  It tends to make me drowsy and barfy.  Not a good combination at all.  My blood pressure was still up, even with the addition of other BP meds (three now!) and the pain was intense without the NSAIDS.  The inflammation was skyrocketing and the Enbrel seems to be failing.  (Sigh)  As a stop-gap sort of measure, he prescribed Hydrocodone to see if he could break the cycle of pain pushing blood pressure pushing pain because we're both quite leery of hitting me with even very lose doses of prednisone right now.

Two pills (plus and anti-nausea med) and twenty minutes later, I was singing Pink Floyd songs and feeling just dandy.  My feet still hurt, but I really didn't give a crap.  It was great.  Which is one of the reasons I don't like that stuff.  It makes me want more of it, which is not a good plan.  My feet are currently hurting a bit less, but I've got some peripheral neuropathy that's making me NUTS.  I see the amazing Dr. L again on the 18th, so I'll bring it up with him.

Meanwhile, a well meaning friend continues to send me all sort of information about anti-inflammatory diets, miracle cures for RA, my need for exercise, and lots of other advice.  Look, I fully realize that doctors and pharmaceutical companies are making a freaking fortune treating rheumatoid arthritis.  Maybe my friend is right and there's no incentive for them to find a cure.  I just know that the very kind and helpful Dr. L says 99% of what's written about RA cures is pure, unadulterated bullshit and that he will help me to the best of his ability.  He seems like a better bet that a friend with no medical degree and lots of books and healy-feely cures, right?  Maybe I'm doing all the wrong things.  How do you know?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Husband wins

I've learned this week that feeling horrible can actually pay off!  If not in fun, at least it appears to be paying in material goods when my beleaguered and infinitely patient husband feels I need cheering.  Dear friends, I became the proud parent of a New iPad last Friday evening.  I didn't ask for it.  I have never owned one of these delightful little toys before.  While it is very much an overgrown iPhone, it's also beautiful, slick, fun, and very cheering indeed.  He really shouldn't have done that, but I'm enjoying it a great deal.  Yes, he will get a whole lot of mileage out of that one.  I can't get mad at him for at least three weeks.  Maybe longer.  Actually, it's pretty rare for us to argue anymore.  It just wastes time and really doesn't solve anything, so we don't bother much anymore. When we do, it's really ugly.

I know I said the blog wasn't going to become an RA blog because it's already well covered, but screw it.  I'm going to bitch about it some more anyhow.

NSAIDs cause your blood pressure to rise.  Or they can.  And mine has been hovering right around 165/90 which isn't quite gasket-blowing level, but mighty damned close.  I've been treated for high blood pressure for nearly a decade, but my cholesterol is normal and always has been, so I've taken the meds and not given it much thought until recently when I could feel it getting out of control --  Headaches, jangled and anxious feeling, you know how it goes.  Or maybe you don't.  Anyhow, I went to the regular PCP about it, and was told to stop taking the NSAIDs and triple my 10mg dose of lisinopril until it falls back into a normal range.  It's not going down and the sudden withdrawal of the NSAIDs is causing pain and swelling, not to mention extraordinary fussiness and fear imminent stroke.  I suppose I need to call the doctor's office again.  

In alternate news, I am utterly fascinated by this website of cool, overpriced South Korean things, and clearly need the Rabbit Toilet Paper Case because it would be so very useful.  I actually love the purse organizers, but they're absurdly priced.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Things I've recently learned

Here's a list of random things I've learned recently - because one must never stop learning, right?

1)  People who say "Oh, I have a little bit of that in my knee," about rheumatoid arthritis make me alternate between the desire to educate them and the desire to whack them in the head with a blunt instrument.  I've learned to smile and walk away.
2)  Fake mustaches can be purchased in six packs at our local Hobby Lobby.
3)  My mother-in-law thinks that any nice thing I say about my husband is a direct compliment to her for having raised him.  It's not necessary to enlighten her regarding the truth.
4)  It is expensive when the head gasket in a car needs to be replaced.
5)  I might like to live (alone) in a place like this. (No, I'm not leaving home and family.  It's just that I sometimes crave solitude and the concept of living more simply is quite appealing to someone raised by a packrat.)
6)  There are eighteen different animal shapes in a standard box of Barnum's animal crackers.
7)  Enbrel:  that shit burns like crazy when injected.
8)  I want the new iPad - the first two versions didn't interest me that much, but I'm suddenly smitten with an inexplicable burst of consumerism and desperately want one.
9)  Cat pee glows when exposed to a black light
10) I really don't give a crap about March Madness or brackets.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm a golf pro!

You've doubtlessly seen all the ads on TV for drugs that treat rheumatoid arthritis.  They make things look like one dose of this stuff will make your entire life so much better that people want to take it even if they've never had RA.  Then they give you all the warnings about the dreadful things that might happen if you take it.  Then they list the side effects which always seem to include seizures, coma, and death.

At this point, I'm willing to take all those risks and let my very nice rheumatologist run me over with his drug train.  Phil Mickelson takes Enbrel, so this means I should now be able to golf, right?  No, I've never had a lesson, but I'm pretty sure that if he can do it on these drugs, I should be able to as well.  Being a golf pro will certainly help out the family budget.  When do I go on tour?  Are they letting women into Augusta yet?

We'll see if this stuff helps.  Something has to.  The steroids are telling me to eat everything that comes within a grabbing radius and kill my mother-in-law, so I have to quit taking them.

I really thought I'd be blogging more, didn't you?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Nothing new here, move along...

OK, no more leftover chili in the microwave at work.  No matter what I do, it explodes.  Yes, I put a vented lid on it, but the instant I turn my back to grab a napkin, there's a soft thump and everyone else in the breakroom looks up to see whose lunch exploded.  It's often mine, although I've seen the product of some pretty spectacular messes others have left behind.  How can people just walk away from that sort of mess?  This doesn't count as blogging about work, by the way.  It's merely remarking upon my Dilbert-like workplace and its denizens in a generic way.  Totally different.

My darling Buddhist daughter has recommended an audiobook of guided meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn to see if meditation can help me deal with RA.  I could quite possibly be the very worst candidate on earth for mindfulness meditation, but at this point I'm willing to try anything.  G wanted me to take a meditation class, but I can't quite see myself twitching and twisting and trying to get comfortable with a roomful of...well...anyone right now.  (My irritability is at an all-time high thanks to the pain, and I'm just not fit for polite company.)  I listened to part of it last night, and the man has a pleasant voice and some very good points as well as an amazing track record at helping others, so I'll give him a shot.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Seriously Dude?

Every morning , on my way to work, I drop B off at the high school.  We stop on our way to school and pick up his best friend, Chris.  B usually drives, since he's working towards a license in the spring.

This morning, Chris got into the back seat and said, "Dude! Where were you last night?  Why weren't you at rehearsal?"

"Dude!  Seriously? Rehearsal?" my mildly sleepy son repeated.

"Dude!" Chris admonished him, "Band practice!  Seriously!  For the concert tonight?  Where were you?"

"Dude!" said B, "I thought that was next week.  Oh crap!  Mom, we seriously have a concert tonight!"

I sighed as I recalled the old Rosanne Barr bit about some animals eating their young.  "What time do you need to be there tonight?" I asked them.


"I dunno, Dude," Chris said.  "We'll check at school today.  Prolly around 6:30."

"I hope Mr. P isn't too pissed off at me for missing rehearsal, Dude," said B.

"Dude, he was like asking me where you were and stuff, and I was like I dunno Dude."

As B pulled up to the school, I asked them, "Can either of you use a sentence without DUDE in it?"

"Have a good day, Dude," my son told me with a self-satisfied smirk.  Apparently the answer to that question would be no, they can't.

(Please insert clever transition of subject here.  I can't think of one.}

If you Google Rheumatoid Arthritis (go ahead, you know you want to), you will get all kinds of crap, some very helpful information (mostly from the Mayo Clinic), lots of great blogs, and then a lot of propaganda-like misinformation from people who want to sell you supplements. The whole goal is managing your RA.  In fact, most of the articles you read are about how rheumatoid arthritis is managed.

I would like to know how one actually gets to the point of managing one's RA.  Mine is currently managing me, and I don't have it nearly as rough as some of the RA bloggers I read.  I can barely walk most of the time, and it hurts like hell when I do.  I smile and pretend I'm fine because it's too hard to explain to the other 300 people in our office who look at me strangely as I limp away.  But my hands, while stiff and swollen, still work.  I am still able to type fairly well, talk on the phone, attend meetings, and generally work all day even though I'm thoroughly and completely crispy fried to a crackly crunch at the end of it.  How long can I keep doing this?  I feel quite out of control with the physical manifestations of this disease.  RA decides how long it takes me to get ready in the morning.  It decides how early I go to bed at night.  It decides what's for dinner and even who is going to cook it.  RA decides if I'm going to attend a meeting or cancel it and reschedule and do that again four times before my boss thinks I'm avoiding a project.  RA stabs at me while in those meetings as it will jab me tonight at my son's band concert.  It will also decide if  I should sleep tonight and how well.  When and how do I get to the point of managing it instead of the other way around?

I know, I know.  It's a process.  I hear that a lot.  I'm just not enlightened enough for the "mindful journey" my lovely Buddhist daughter tells me this disease can be for me.  Have you ever tried to sit still and meditate when you're in a great deal of pain?  I know they say it can help, but it's hard for me to clear my mind of the "Ouch, oh crap, ouch," mantra that takes over the rest of my day.  I don't want to be mindful of my pain, thank you.  I'd rather have mindless oblivion, but I'm not going to get that while trying to function all day.  Dude!  Seriously?  How does this get managed?  My doc has been trying.  The meds are supposed to be kicking in.  But they aren't yet.

And my husband just let me know that he's going to leave work a couple of hours early and get a nap before the band concert.  He's really tired.  Dude!  Seriously?  I can't do that.  I am resentful and jealous as hell that he can not only leave work merely because he feels like napping, but that he's healthy and doesn't need one anywhere near as badly as I do right now.  See?  Failing at marriage #2...

Dude.  Seriously.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Creepy or just the age he's at?

My husband and I had a little talk with my son last night about the fine line between pining for a former love and being a stalker.  He's still upset that the Singing Valentine he'd sent to a former girlfriend through the school choir last week wasn't a hit.  He said she's been really friendly again lately and he'd like to have her back, but she appears to have a current boyfriend who was less than enthusiastic about B's very public attempt to win her back.  Fortunately, no students were harmed in the making of this drama. It seems, though, that B had approached her again at school yesterday and told her she was the only one for him, and she told him he was sweet, but needed to leave her alone.  He doesn't want to leave her alone.  He wanted help winning her over again.  "Please mom, what do girls really want?"

Oh my.

To begin with, I don't really know much about teenage boys.  I wasn't one.  And I have a sister.  No brothers.   Plus I was one of those annoying girls who giggled too much and made a complete idiot of herself when cute boys tried to talk to her.  Girls today seem to be much better at negotiating relationships on their own terms, I'll give them that.  But what do girls want at that age?  Social standing, mostly.  They want the cutest boyfriend, lots of attention, decent grades and pretty things.  They want to feel important.  But they don't want a guy they've rejected chasing them around making them feel guilty or weird and they certainly don't want him drawing negative attention to them.

This girl is the one he went to Homecoming with more than a year ago and on whom he has had a crush for a very long time.  Well, more than a year, which is an eternity in teenager years.  It's a bit too much of a crush, though.  I gently explained to him that he needs to move on from the hurt that this girl caused him and find another girl.  He reminded me of the disastrous summer relationship that was supposed to help him move on but turned out to be Way Too Much when said replacement girl told him after a couple of weeks that all of her other current boyfriends bought her jewelry.  He was smart enough to recognize that particular racket when he saw it, which is a good sign.  But he went back to missing the first girl who had a name I've only ever heard used on TV as a stripper's stage name.

Mind you, B's dad has officially stalked me, broken into my home, and been charged with domestic violence in our not-distant-enough past.  Thus, any sign of obsessiveness in our son makes me rather nervous.  I knew that attempting to discuss this with his father would result in undesirable drama, so that wasn't an option.

Really Great Guy Husband to the rescue!  I am so glad I married this man.  (At least today.  He'll piss me off some time soon and I'll wonder what I was thinking, but for the most part, he's Really Great.)  He sat down next to me and said to B, "Dude, where do you find all these girls with stripper names anyway?  I would have killed for a girl like that in high school!"  I looked at him sharply.  " saying..." he corrected himself.  "Anyhow, B, it looks like there are LOTS of girls with stripper names in your high school.  You're in serious danger of looking completely lame if you keep following this one around.  You don't want to be that guy that everyone in the cafeteria points to and whispers about because his ex-girlfriend's parents had to get a restraining order.  That stuff is going to be really hard to live down at school.  Plus you never want law enforcement involved in your life."

B looked from RGG to me and sighed.  He mumbled something about the fact that he truly loved this young woman with the stripper name and always would.

"Well, of course!" my husband agreed.  "You always have a soft spot for your first love.  But it's the one that winds up being your LAST love that really counts.  I had to marry the wrong woman and go through a lot of crap before I found your mom.  It may take you a while to find the right one.  Just dedicate yourself to having a really great search.  Have some fun with it!  Plan on getting married around 30.  That's a logical time to settle down.  In the meanwhile, date all the girls you can!  Get to know them.  Figure out what you like and don't like in a girl and warn them that you aren't planning to get married until you're way old.  Then they'll try to get you to change your mind. It will work like a charm."

B seemed slightly cheered at that prospect and began discussing a girl from band and the relative merits of the trumpet, at which point I wandered off to let the guy talk really commence.

Think any of this will hold the stalker tendencies at bay?  Or will he turn out to be scary like his dad?  Only time will tell.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Ok, here comes the bitching about rheumatoid arthritis.  Don't say you weren't warned.  (This doesn't require advice or sympathy, and heaven help you if you try to offer it.  Just understand.  I just need to get this off my chest because everyone else is tired my moping and groaning.)

This whole diagnosis is really craptacular.  I'm not sure what I expected, but it wasn't this.  I knew a little bit about RA prior to getting that life sentence, but nothing like I know now.  I thought it would get better once it was diagnosed and treated.  Silly me!  I genuinely like the rheumatologist I've got.  He's sharp, he's kind, and he's not the least bit condescending.  He's also not FIXING it, and I really wanted him to.  I don't think he's failing me.  I just don't think my expectations were realistic.  My personal medical experience prior to all the crap that led up to this diagnosis consisted of giving birth twice without drugs and the usual flu/cold type stuff.  I was totally unprepared for constant pain that only appears to be getting worse rather than better with treatment.  He said it would take a while for the methotrexate to kick in, and that I needed to be patient.  OK, I've done that for several months.  I also started taking prescription NSAIDS.  When it gets really bad, I go on a burst of prednisone that slows down the needle-like stabs in my joints, but doesn't stop them altogether.  My hands are getting MORE stiff rather than less.  The pain that started out in the knuckles of my feet has spread upward into the small bones and ankles.  Do you know how many bones we have in our feet?  I'm pretty sure each and every one of those tiny joints is now flaring.  My feet are incredibly ugly, not that they were ever attractive.  They're feet, after all.  But is this really necessary?

I blame myself.  Yes, I know they don't know what causes RA or how to cure it, but I must have done something to deserve this, right?  I didn't eat the right things, and I overeat.  I don't exercise enough.  I did too many stupid drugs in college that had probably been sprayed with atrazine.  I didn't say my prayers every night.  I was often a smartass as a kid, and I was rude to my parents.  I didn't appreciate better health when I had it. I did something six or seven lifetimes back that has me getting keel-hauled on the wheel of Samsara.  I wrote a bad check once, but it was an accident, and I paid the bank fees.  Or maybe I'm just possessed by demons.  Whatever the fuck it is, I'm truly sorry now.  Could the universe just accept my apology so that we can move on?  I am not the sort of person who is made stronger by terrible trials.  (Is anyone really, or do we just say that in a lame attempt to comfort ourselves and one another?)   I know I'm not made stronger by adversity.  I'm made a bit more cynical perhaps.  Sometimes I can even find some really dark humor in it all, but I don't need further character building.  I don't freaking have the strength or character required to deal with rheumatoid arthritis.  UNCLE!  I give!  I've had enough NOW LET ME UP!

Still not working, is it?  Sigh.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What fresh hell is this?

Once upon a time, I was a blogger.  If you go into the WayBack Machine and look for from 2003 through 2007, you'll find samples of some of my old posts.  I was blogging about my court/custody battles with my ex-husband, being a single working mom, and posting pictures of my knitting.  I was also working at a job I loved.  I had a small but deeply disturbed following of friends, fellow bloggers, and random people who stumbled across me on the internet.  If you knew me then, please say hi by one method or another.  If you know my real identity, please continue to keep it secret because I'm still massively paranoid.  Some things never change, do they?

So what am I doing here?  Great question, and one I've been trying to figure out my entire life. I guess what I'm doing here is exactly that.  I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing here.  I'm also trying to figure out a way to write this re-introductory post without sounding like one of those tacky annual Christmas letters you get from relatives who only contact you to impress you with the knowledge that they had the foresight to take a Santa hat for each member of the family when they went to the Bahamas so that they could put that photo on the card.

I used to spend a lot of time bitching blogging about my ex-husband and the crappy ways in which he manipulated our son, who was in elementary school at the time.  That kid (known only as B for Boy here in the blog world) is now a sophomore in high school trying to pass math so that he can get the good student insurance discount and get his driver's license.  His much older sister (known as G, obviously enough) is in a master's program at an expensive private university for Buddhists and beat poets.  (Yes, you and Google can probably figure that one out without much help.)  It wasn't anywhere near the places I thought she'd be going with her life and it's still baffling me a bit.  You'll see posts about that, I'm sure.

While I will probably still throw out the infrequent rant about X and his Evil Minion, he's causing far fewer issues these days.  Not that he's given up being a pain in the ass.  It's just that B is old enough to make his own decisions regarding visitation, and there's very little of it these days.

I remarried about three years ago, so there's a new husband who will probably provide plenty of blog fodder because all relationships can be difficult to navigate, and I'm a well documented failure at marriage.  In general, he's a Really Great Guy, but don't be surprised if you hear something about him from time to time.  That's also why I won't blog about my job.  I semi-loathe my job.  But I desperately need said job to pay bills, so there will be very little bitching about work here even though it is an untapped diamond mine of gems for blogging.

I'm very politically opinionated, although I am certainly not a political blogger. If I begin to discuss anything political, you will notice that my left knee begins to jerk and my heart begins to bleed.  I am a liberal.  Feel free to disagree with me, but remember that I am also the totalitarian queen of my own blog and might delete your right-wing crap in the comments section if I find is particularly intrusive.

You probably won't see much knitting anymore.  Oh, I still knit.  Just not nearly as frequently as I used to.  Yes, I do miss it, but I have less control over certain activities than I used to.  Knitting is just one of them.  You see, I began struggling with some health weirdness a while back and a misdiagnosis (thank you LabCorp, you idiots) turned out to be rheumatoid arthritis.  It sucks more than you can possibly realize unless you've got it.  There are some tremendous blogs out there that cover RA far better than I could ever hope to.  I'm not here to inform you about the disease or even crusade for more awareness, although that's an excellent thing.  I'm here to bitch about my personal experience with RA, and I will probably do a lot of it!  No, it's not a fatal disease, but it's chronic and I'm finding out just what that really means.

As a warning, I do not seek advice!  No, my self-absorbed attention whoring here is entirely for my own benefit.  If it entertains you or informs you, that's really great and I'm truly thrilled. I've made some great friends by blogging in the past and hope to make more.