Monthly Archives: June 2011

“Mawwage is what bwings us togwether today….”

In memory of my (not dead) husband:

Mawwage is awesome.  Some of the time.  Most of the time. Am I right?

via dailymail.co.uk

It’s been a year and a half.  I still consider us a pair of newlyweds.  I’m still madly in love and surprised at how in love you could be with someone you want to kill a few times a week.

I reckon since this blog is about being recently married and how to deal with so many changes all at once, it was due time to talk about man versus women.

If you’ve kept up with my mini-saga or read the bio, I’ve mentioned how immediately after marriage I – we- began to deal with serious health problems.  This causes a lot of conflict and confusion for a couple who is supposed to be  locked in the bedroom, high on endorphins and in honeymoon stage.  Even during the honeymoon, we had to make modifications due to my escalating symptoms.  Coming home to a surreal reality of problems is not for the weak.  While a women feels, “Thank God I have a good strong man to help me through this rough time”, a man is most likely feeling, “This is not fair! We’re supposed to be having the time of our lives.”  Though a wife still acknowledges the unfairness of it all, a man’s need to fix something he cannot can really test him, especially early in a marriage before either one has settled themselves into a role of new responsibilities.

This is not limited to couples with illness though.  Even before I got married, I was fascinated by the psychological relationship between husband and wife.  Being a naive and arrogant little girl, when I read books like Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus (for fun, yes, I’m a nerd), I thought, “Why don’t people just say what they’re feeling? Then they would both understand each other!!! It’s so simple.” Haha. Hahahahaha. Hahahahaaa.

There are delicate balances in a loving relationship, or a non-loving one.  There are so many fine lines that it feels more like a tight rope when having to express needs, wants, and emotions.  God forbid you overuse that word: f-e-e-l-i-n-g-s.

However, I’m proud to say that through hard work and application I’ve found the strength to be patient and found a man who in his limited-emotional male vocabulary, and has been patient with me as well.  Better said, we have been patient with the life we’ve been handed and managed to breakthrough to all the little surprises that life shoots at the fan and that all the poo that will continually be flying down on us just to keep us on our game.  Disease, unemployment, cars breaking down, Verizon rape bills…… I gotta give a round of applause for a man who deserves more than a break; and I appreciate him not breaking down on me like that damn Ford Focus he spent six months to pimp out for my anniversary gift.

He has proven to be made of that good tough material.  He still hasn’t learned to make me a gluten-free vegan meal to save his life, but he tucks me in when my body is swollen and takes out the cat poop for me. More so, he trusts that there’s still a little firecracker in me, even when I’m stuck on the couch.  My hero!

For all the other new brides out there, and by new I mean at least up to two years (so says one of my favorite books listed below), the “struggle” is normal no matter what difficulties arise.  Men are a different species and us wifeys have a hard time not swatting our men over their heads when times get tough or when inappropriate fart jokes are made.  But we must be patient for them.  We’re the ones who have to figure it out before they do because they’re not designed to read up or ask their girl friends for relationship advice.  Weepy and naggy women, no matter what how much we deserve to whine, can distance a man or make him recoil into passive aggressiveness, closing the door to certain intimacies.  We have to put our big girl thongs on and learn how to control the situation while making them think they’re the ones in control.  It takes developing a strong measure of common sense and sass, if we haven’t learned it already by the time we’re ball and chain’d.  We’re more scientifically gifted and versed in communication, so it’s our burden and privilege to set the tone, the mood, to let them feel relaxed enough to take the reins.

Men can reach their husband potential relatively quickly if we support their individual needs;  all throughout keeping ourselves together during our times of needs when they’re too stressed to cater to us.  They were not created to wait on our hand and foot to our every want, and even need.  As a matter of fact, we are their complement.  Some men will be very helpful while learning to love after the lust period, but it will not always come natural to them and we have to buck up during this process.  I will admit that some husbands can just turn out a dud altogether sometimes, but that’s a whole other story.  But personally, I think, the ones who are honestly committed,  deserve a wife who can make them feel just as safe and secure during rough times, as they can to us.

So, here’s what has helped me through times when we’re both stumped, tired, annoyed, stressed, you name it….

  • Prayers. I mean, heartfelt, all out, near-accusation-kneeling-supplications, to the Big Guy upstairs.
  • Good and Selective Advice.  Limited to family, and one or two blood-tight friends (don’t want to air business out to everyone), and wise/older/successful couples.  To them, I am forever grateful for their honesty.
  • It’s a Guy Thing – It’s next to my bed.  Looove this book.  A look into the feminine and masculine balance and why men have to scratch and burp while we wonder where our flowers are.
  • What No One Tells the Bride – This book, with collective realizations from different types of new brides, allows women to ease into the violent shock of living in a committed relationship with a penis carrier, especially the independent women.  It takes two years for the average woman to feel like a settled wife.  And we all fear becoming our mothers.  This alone will settle a girl.
  • Why Mars and Venus Collide – I read this one before getting married. The knowledge carried through to the big plummeting vows was priceless.  Out of all the Mars and Venus books, this one seemed most relevant in its insight into times of high stress.  An reasonable  look into why men and women can’t help the way they are and communicate, why it clashes even though its biologically designed to complement each other, and why modern stresses affect the natural balance.
  • Feeling Good – This book is not about marraige.  It’s actually about depression.  I never wanted to read it because at the time I did, I was not depressed.  But for anyone who is highly emotional and reactive, (which marriage can highlight this part of our psyche) this doctor can lead you into enlightenment about why we have certain emotional thoughts and  behaviors and how to find the root of controlling ourselves.  Knowing thyself.  The downside is that you can catch when everyone else is behaving irrationally too and you have to resist the urge of calling them out.  If we can command ourselves, we can deal with others better.
  • Holy Scriptures – Oh yes, I’m serious. And I don’t mean the Ephesians where we’re all told who we are to submit to and that’s that.  Proverbs 31:10-31.  It talks about the capable wife.  Every time I feel lazy, whimpish, resentful, or needy…I read this over and over and imagine a Middle-Eastern prowess of ancient times, taking care of business, and being honored by her hard working husband.  This woman is energetic, spiritual, a real go-getter, a community socialite, runs her house like a tight ship, earns the trust and respect of her husband by being proactive, and earns the praise of her God.  Highly inspirational and more motivating than any of the other books I have in my library.
Have I got it all figured out? I don’t think so.  There are many more obstacles and adventures to come before we croak and we’re released from our sacred vows.  However, when you start with hardship, but constantly come out winning from each test, I swear it only gets better.
If children are involved, please disregard everything I’ve said and please find another source on advice.  I know nothing about dynamics with little ones and I’m no where near ready to know or comment on.  I would dare to say keep the scriptures attached to your foreheads like the Jews used to do.

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Filed under Housewifing, Picture of Health, Post A Week, Random, Under the Weather

Little Victories : Discovering Awesome Household products

Today I bought medical gloves to wear for house chores.  Specifically for any use of beach products or cat duties/doodies.  I slapped on the green nitrile gloves, got inside our bathtub and sprinkled Comet all over and started scrubbing away.  I got really into it.  Within about two minutes of finishing, the bottoms of my feet had slightly swelled, my legs had feathery currents running up and down up from toes to knees, I was sick to my stomach, nauseous, my head was pounding.  The chemicals had seeped up my bare feet, paying no mind to the hand protection I wore, and penetrated its way up.

Our bodies absorb everything and our feet are no exception.  To most people, these chemicals and toxins build up over time and your immune system will start figuring out what it is and find out by what process to get rid of them.  If too much builds up you will get sick, down the road.  With an autoimmune disease progressing in my body, it immediately acknowledged unlawful entry and planned an attack toward my own body.  I’ve known for a while I must go natural on home cleaning products, but I doubted they’re effectiveness.

But it’s a good day.  I really didn’t have much faith that homemade cleaning products could be any good, but I figured it was still something I had to look into being at how transparent my pores could be to anything around me and honestly, the tub was in dire need of a serious scrubbin’.  Remembering back on my favorite book on domestication, No Hassle Housecleaning, I had learned about cleaning with tea tree oil, a natural powerful antiseptic big corporations are slapping the sticker their flammable liquids.   Additionally, I now have cat babies and they’re the ones closer to the floors we clean with toxic materials; a reason many pets are also getting diseases in this modern world.  Oh yes, your dog may have lupus too. Inconceivable!

I bought a few ingredients for very low prices, some I already had, once my Target floor cleaner had been used up.  I looked up a recipe online and found this wonderful blog article and recipe:

BEST FLOOR CLEANER EVER

  • white distilled vinegar
  • distilled water
  • tea tree essential oil
  • baking soda
  • spray bottle
  • Optional – essential oil for fragrance – peppermint, grapefruit, eucalyptus, lavender, etc.

Obviously, sharing the recipe isn’t my method of persuasion.  But I promise it was better than the expensive natural cleaners my mop was chugging through.  So, what are the hang-ups you might have?

EFFECTIVENESS

Amazing! Stains that had been on our apartment floor since before we moved in were cleared out.  A bit of baking soda smooths grit and leaves a polished gleam.  It takes some tweaking -more oils for me, waaay less baking soda -but it leaves the floor (and counters) sparkling!   I couldn’t stop finding surfaces to clean.  I was so excited I almost sprayed Chev Chelios…the cat.

SCENT

Your house will not smell like salad dressing.  This was an important one to me because I DO NOT Like that acidic smell and am easily nauseous.  The good news is that the scent of vinegar fades and leaves behind the aromatic smells of the tea tree and/or the optional additional flavor you add on.  You must use the tea tree to clean and disinfect, the rest are just for additional aroma.  I had peppermint on the shelf so my house ended smelling fresh.  I did notice you have to shake up the bottle before each use or it’ll smell of the smell of vinegar takes longer to fade.  I wanted it to smell stronger of peppermint, stored in my pantry for fresh breath, digestion, and muscle pain, so I added double the drops it called for.  An added plus is that peppermint repels bugs,roaches, and other creepers.  Even without an additional oil though, there will be a clean overall feel about the place.

PRICE

The above ingredients are all you need.  If you have a home water filtration system you’re set in that department.  If not, buy…

  • Distilled Water – Free or by the gallon. $0.65 cents. $0.25 for refills.
  • Distilled White Vinegar, buy by the gallon about $2 or 3 dollars.  Will last a few months.
  • Baking Soda – $0.78 per box.
  • Spray Bottle – $0.98
  • Tea tree oil – Starting from $8.99 and up at Vitamin Shoppe if you can’t find a health food store. Will last forever.
  • Optional essential oil – $4.89 for Peppermint (good for repelling bugs and creepers

CONVENIENCE

  • You have a start-up fee of about $15 or less and don’t have to replace the oils for a long time.
  • The larger the sizes of vinegar and oils, the more you save.
  • It serves wonderfully as a floor, stove, surface, multipurpose cleaner.
  • It’s safe enough to eat off the floor.
  • The pets may feel free to lick the linoleum, if they’re into that.
  • Tie a red ribbon around it and it makes a cute homemade gift for all your “green” friends, ill family members, new moms, etc.
  • The oils for other purposes as well, like ailments, aromatic burners, base massage oils, and bath and foot soaks.
  • You can clean barefoot and not have to worry about dry yucky feet.
As you’ve read, I’ve been fighting my health issues since December, but it’s taken me this long to pull a simple recipe together.  However slow at it may be, start allowing the idea to simmer that chemical free is better, and nature has always been superior, without the side effects (and the side effects do come to stake their claim one way or another).  Maybe in a few months or a year you’ll be ready to try it too and love it as well.  I’m started to round up more ingredients already, like alcohol and borax, and see where that leads me.
Personally, I’m taking this experience as proof I can confidently venture into more homemade cleaning products, like bathtub, oven and glass cleaners that don’t require a Hazmat suit to have a sparkly smell-good home.  I just had to share.
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Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Under the Weather

The Long Winded Ugly Truth

It’s not that I forgot about my beloved blog, but I took a tiny hiatus to consolidate, arrange, and manage the numerous events I had going on.  Eat, Pray, Love would have us think that the best place to balance yourself is in Bali.  For the other 90% of us that can’t afford a trip and stay to the other side of the world, we can definitely meditate and reinvent ourselves at home. Being unemployed gave me plenty of room to relearn and prepare for this lifestyle shift that I had no say in executing before the next working phase started.

For all those out there with autoimmune and chronic fatigue, I’m beginning to feel you a bit more.  Trying to enjoy all my free time with so many limitations has become a real challenge.  My body is still always tired, even though unstressed from the duress of a full time job.  So without a structured day, I was able to veg out for hours with the excuse that I didn’t feel well.  Well, that doesn’t lead to anything productive, or fun.  Sedentary reading and  Supernintendo Zelda never led to recuperation.  As a matter of fact, I learnt that my fingers stiffen up even faster, up to my forearms, and down to my toes, if I played for too long.  Reading in the same position too long made my back swell.

With more time and less bosses around, I was able to clean and organize my house to completion.  But the hurdles were the same.  The floor is still cleaned a portion at a time.  A bathroom scrub here, a vacuuming there.  Sitting sessions in between everything.  At the end of the day, it felt I had cleaned all day and barely rested.  Muscles still get sore swiftly and blood literally feels intoxicated.  However, I didn’t have severe exhaustion as when I had the 9-5.  After about 3 weeks of being a full time housewife, I was able to think straight and started coming to terms with my limitations and new ways to handle things and healthy perspectives.

Some symptoms have worsened.  During this time I didn’t write.  I wasn’t avoiding the things I enjoy, but I was being forced to drastically give up a few more gifts we naturally have, into a Nazi type regimen. Rest and medicine, rinse, repeat.  That’s what it felt like anyway.  I had heard that people with Lupus should not receive sunlight. As usual, I thought I was the exception.  Although the heat had already started giving me hives, the sunlight didn’t seem to be the culprit.  However, the past few months had been spent indoors at work.  Now I was noticing that a short trip to the grocery store was inducing palpitations, a weird head stretchy feeling, mental fogginess, shallow breath, weakened and tingling muscles, and sobbing spells.  Basically, extreme fatigue.  So yes, I now cannot healthily tolerate the sun’s rays, which instigate my immune system to attack itself.  Instead of getting sad about it, I resisted at first, as I do with anything you tell me I cannot do.  I told myself it’s all in my head, I’m being dramatic, I’m being a wimp.  Then I found myself a blessing of a Colombian neighbor who also has Lupus and validated my new symptoms for me.  But all this free time, and I cannot sit at the pool, go to the beach, take a walk, or drive to the library in the day.  I’m still molding to this particular restriction but have worked out a more nocturnal lifestyle.  I still do plenty of these things and pay for them later, much like it happened with my diet.

On top of being laid off, I was so stressed about the toil and trouble of preparing gluten-free, vegan meals w/o nightshade vegetables, preservatives, additives, etc., that I would still “cheat” (what is otherwise healthy eating to others: a tomato, a lean steak, a whole wheat slice, oatmeal) about once a week.  I was hungry and too sore to make my scratch meals.  My habits didn’t change much at first either because I was in a celebratory mood and didn’t want to spend all my day cooking.  But after enough bladder spells from pizza sauce, inflamed colons from one cookie, and hair on the floor, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I’m avoiding all detrimental foods like no tomorrow.  I spend all day now cooking, sitting, cleaning, sitting, folding clothes, stretching.  By sitting, I don’t mean I sit and stare at the wall.  I pay bills, have friends visit, write letters, or just lightly walk around.  I actively rest, like hardcore strength trainers do.  I may not be able to work out, but I push myself like one would.

With a very unhealthy momma-in-law in the way, we both came to the epiphany that sometimes to be healthy, we need to focus on ourselves, and almost, but  selfishly tend to our needs.  Therein lies the reason I usually resist my next incremental phase in this disease, because I don’t want to focus on just health all day (says the girl who was previous a health nut anyway).  But the truth is, just like I would rather my ma-in-law to be selfish than sick, I surrender in saying the same goes for me.  I know that it’s better to fight for my health than try to keep living a life that wears down my body.  My husband would rather watching me suffer turning down stuffed waffles, than suffer washing my hair.  (Yes, it’s starting to get difficult to even include showers.)

To me, and all who have been through a similar path, it’s a victory.  I take pride it keeping my health and home.  I have not let my limited energies keep me from living a satisfactory lives, limit my amount to love others and do what I can for them.  I still continue on a path to health and in search of ways to halt this progression, because it can be controlled and maintained.  The proof is my neighbor who once tinted all her home windows, crawled to bathrooms, and her joints deformed.  Now she goes to the gym on a sunny day consecutively after cooking a meal from scratch.  I have high hopes, if not very ambitious goals.

In a few days, I begin bare minimum diet that helps heal the stomach through vegetables, grains, and juicing.  I added more natural things to control my pain and inflammation: Collagen, alpha lipoic acid, noni juice, aloe vera juice, liquid multivitamin, colon cleanse, chlorophyll…every day. Three times a day.  I will be adding flax oil as well.  These keep my body maintained and my skin almost looking like it did before I was ill.  I just received a juicer as a gift so that I’ll be able to add more nutrients into my bloodstream without slowing down my digestion which doesn’t work very well these days.  Oh yes, big plans in the works and I’ll be sharing some of the things I’ve learned or will learn along the way.

And lastly, I got a job.  Unfortunately, full time, but it will not be exhaustive.  If for any reason it does, I will selfishly start looking elsewhere again.  I’m on a mission to take care of myself (and be humble enough to ask help when I can’t do it myself); it might be expensive, tiring, frustrating, and outright stupid at times, but it ain’t nothing I can’t handle.

Anyway, that is the update.  The future still looks ultravioletly bright and I have a few things I can add to this here blog.  Thanks for reading!

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Filed under Loopy Lupus