Tag Archives: newlywed

“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

The Murder of Two Silver Hairs

Dying hair is not considered much in terms of long-term safety, more so about how long can you go before you drench your hair in paint again.  I certainly viewed it this way the few times I’ve dyed my hair and required follow-up maintenance.  But times have changed and the collective group of women willing to be educated are aware of the chemicals dangers in existence and on the rise.  Last night, I had the responsibility of considering whether I will dye with my mane with Naturint Permanent Hair Color, claiming to be safer than regular dyes (already purchased), or skip the vanity and leave as is, or experiment with Henna dye.

The following article about the risks , although very neutral, had me in a stupefied state.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0820/is_n253/ai_21034492/


I don’t dye my hair frequently and I don’t want to anymore. As a matter of fact, I’ve sprouted two “gray” hairs more akin to a silvery snow that I’ve grown fond of.  I don’t care to see them go.  But from my last ventures into hair color, I have slight discoloration. It’s only visible in the sun from my natural dark brown/black hair, but its there.  I was even going to name my two strands of wisdom but if I’m going to darken them out, there is no point in becoming attached.

Growing up, I had an uber-conservative mom when it came to beauty.  She never died her hair, barely wore make-up, and other practical fixins considered to be normal in society for a lady.  She grew up a poor and humble country girl where these things were not needed for survival.  She once told me if I ever dyed my hair, I would not be her daughter.  Being raised in Miami where the masses all have the same sun-bleached brain, there was no way I could not join the sheep herd and dye my woolen hair.  But the peer pressure and curiosity got the best of me.  Against momma’s will,  my best friend and a Loreal bottle  colored my hair into the color of a rusty trumpet.

Mom remained in smoldering silence when she saw the hot mess.  Of course, money had to spent on salvaging my straw mop head.  The chemicals must have reached portions of my brain because I can’t remember who footed the rescue bill, but I do know she let me remain her baby girl.  As usual, my dear ‘ol momma was right.  We just have an innate preference for the natural in my family, whether its the way we were brought up or our indifference to popular opinion.  I want my God-given hair to stay as it is.  At this point in adolescence, I went back to black.

Naturally, an unwritten ethos from a whimsical spaz is easy to forsake in times if fashion kicks and identity switches.  I dyed it for my wedding with some lighter and with some golden tones to catch and glimmer in the sun’s reflection.  A year later, I’m back to my natural kick and want it dark again.  And I’m apprehensive.  Should I leave it and wait a few years until it grows back all dark, or hasten the restoration of balance?

We can’t protect ourselves from all every and all chemicals. “Every year 1700 new chemicals are approved — that’s an average of five a day.” (The Autoimmune Epidemic).  We can buy a water filter for our kitchen faucet and still have residual chemicals, or drink bottled water that’s been leaching plastic particles in the overheated truck its being shipped in.  I’m doing a full on detox, but when the pain is insufferable I must take some man-tinkered pill. We can use everything organic, but we step outside and we’re breathing smog.  But I can make a decision for my next move whether to invite a risk that’s I’m suddenly painfully aware of.  Where is the balance?

I was feeling the stress of all the tiny decisions that come with having a hypersensitive, body begging nature to overpower my faulty immune,  whilst living in a highly toxic city and society.  Considering I was going to dye my hair anyway with regular dye, using a healthier one will not kill me today.  Just like we can’t prevent your kids from every stupid decision that comes across their head, like trying to give yourself blond highlights without a pro in the room, I cannot prevent myself from every dirty little compound that might affect me.  I’ve learned how to read one more label and to research even deeper before purchasing products that we’re never much of a concern before.

My hair is a solid chestnut brown and is looking pretty healthy.  The product itself was great and I would recommend it to anyone who colors their locks regularly and would like a healthier option.  But the paranoia I went through about scabbing, follicles rejecting my hair, and a Lupus flare-up: not worth it.  Not to mention my friend’s dad was talking to me about cancer half the time.  Next time  I go with the henna. Or grow it out. I already miss the two little testaments of time that were trying to make a point.

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What It’s Like

Following is an article my sister found for me the same week I diagnosed.  What a wonderful creature who cared enough to want to understand what it meant for me to be told I have a chronic illness.  I knew I was having a hard time but for all the communication skills that I claim to possess, I was still unable to articulate simple symptoms, daily aches, frustrations, limitations and alien happenings in my body.  I felt like a gassy child  who couldn’t say the the word ‘toot’, so it cries it’s chubby little face pink and fuchsia while all the other humans scramble around you to try and guess what kind of appeasing you need.

This is the simple yet succinct personal account of a woman who has been a through parallel life with the wolf disease.  The sobbing was more like hiccuping as I latched on to each word, finally knowing that someone else mirrored such similar events and that she understood what it’s like.  Every case is uniquely different, but this was the one I related to the most.  Weeks later I read it to my husband. I remember I was weak that evening and halfway through the pages I was out of breath and having chest pain (that I didn’t admit to, of course).  I hadn’t cried since the last time I read it, and the waterworks opened up once more.

I forget that I’m sick, because my mind feels healthy. It’s only my body that causes conflict.  I had learned to push through pain and exhaustion as if it was normal.  It was second nature to ignore that something was very wrong and would tell myself I was just being a wimp.  He finally understood so much better since I had a comparison that helped me explain where I was struggling the most.  Since I didn’t look sick, it would puzzle us why I was out of commission so often.  We’re still a long way from really understanding the full spectrum of effects that having of having to mind physical health for every step really means (the details that go unspoken and unimagined until that moment actually arrives), but I can’t thank my sister enough for finding this for me.  I go back and re-read it often when I just don’t know how to explain what the heck I feel.

Thanks Nana. You are my favorite.

The Watchtower 1990 5/8 20-24

How I Live With Lupus

The scene is always the same. The doctor walks into the examining room and seats himself across from me. With a warm smile, pen in hand, he asks, “Well, Robin, how are you doing?” As I try to recall in detail the past four weeks of sheer misery, he nods his head and rapidly jots down my symptoms. The reason for these visits? I am one of many thousands who suffer from an autoimmune disorder called lupus. Are you wondering what that is? If so, let me tell you my story.

LOOKING back, I guess I could say I had a fairly normal childhood as a girl. Born in 1958 and raised as an only child by my parents, I grew up in the northwestern United States. At an early age, my mother instilled in me one definite idea: I should always serve the Creator, Jehovah God, in whatever capacity I could.

After graduating from school in 1975, I chose part-time employment in order to devote more time to the ministry of preaching God’s Word. I was content with my way of life and had no plans to change it. Unfortunately, there was going to be a turn of events that would change things for me.

A Turn for the Worse

At age 21, my health began taking a turn for the worse. I started developing medical problems first in one part of my body and then in another. Some were located by doctors and eliminated by surgery. Others remained a mystery, causing the doctors to question not only their reality but my mental and emotional stability as well. Infections seemed to find the road to my body an easy one. Frustration and anxiety ran high—I was continually searching for a doctor who could pinpoint an answer to my health problem.

During one of my better health periods, I met Jack, and we were married in 1983. I felt that once the stress and strain of the wedding and marital adjustment had passed and my life was calmer, my health would eventually improve as well.

I remember waking up one February morning with plans to spend the day taking care of household errands. But my muscles felt so strange, as if they didn’t want to cooperate with one another. I felt a trembling inside, and whenever I tried to pick up anything, I would drop it. ‘Maybe I am just overly tired,’ I comforted myself.

As the day progressed, the feelings became even more bizarre. Cold, numbing sensations alternating with inflammatory aches ran down my neck, arms, and legs. In fact, the symptoms made me so miserable that I went to bed until Jack came home from work. By early evening I was running a low-grade fever and was so weak and light-headed I was barely able to crawl back into bed. We didn’t know what to attribute it to except the flu. That seemed reasonable enough, since there was an influenza epidemic in the area where we lived.

When I woke up the next day, I felt better, at least for the first couple of minutes. But soon the aching started again, particularly down my legs and ankles. My fever was down, but I still felt extremely weak. Flu-type symptoms would alternate with those of a more peculiar nature. I remember thinking over and over to myself, ‘Can this really be just a strain of flu?’ As days passed, there were times when I thought I was getting better; then there were other times when I was so sick I could hardly lift my head off the pillow.

The Search for Help

Two weeks later and eight pounds [4 kg] lighter, I decided it was time to see a doctor. The day of my appointment was the worst I had experienced yet. The pain was so severe that I felt as though someone was pulling my muscles apart and jabbing me with hot knives all at the same time. Added to all of this was a veil of depression weighing heavily upon me. I just sat on the edge of the bed crying.

The first trip to the doctor brought no immediate answer. Different blood tests were run, checking for various types of infectious diseases. Only one came back positive, showing a high degree of inflammation present in the body. Several weeks later, still with no improvement, I consulted another doctor in the same clinic. Again, tests were taken, and again, only one came back abnormal, the same one that had previously been abnormal. Neither doctor had any conclusion other than thinking that it was just a bad virus.

Weeks passed, but time brought no real improvement. Finally, two months after the onset of my illness, I went to see another doctor in the clinic, one who had treated me for various minor illnesses when I was a child. I felt confident that he would pinpoint this mysterious affliction.

Much to my dismay, this doctor did not give me the treatment I was expecting. Instead of sincerely listening to my unusual symptoms, he quickly brushed me off as being a neurotic, implying that my strange complaints arose from my being newly married. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing as I tried to choke back my tears of anger and hurt. However, he did agree to repeat that “positive” test. I will always be grateful for that test!After leaving the clinic, I cried for two hours. I knew there was something definitely wrong with me physically, but it seemed as though no one wanted to take me seriously. The next afternoon, I received a call from the doctor’s office telling me that my blood test came back abnormal once again. I was referred to a rheumatologist (one who specializes in arthritic diseases). I was relieved that finally someone realized that there was an actual problem, but why a rheumatologist? How could arthritis make me feel like this?

An Unwelcome Diagnosis

Two weeks later I found myself sitting in the specialist’s office with Jack beside me. After the initial formalities, I began my story. Much to my surprise, his conclusion was immediate, but definitely not what we were expecting. We were stunned when he said that I was suffering from a connective tissue disease, more modernly known as an autoimmune disease, and that he suspected systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus for short). Was this to become my lot in life? The thought of always being this sick scared me.

The doctor went on to explain that although physicians are able to diagnose diseases of this nature more readily than in the past, they still know relatively little about the cause and therefore have no cure. We also learned that through some breakdown in the immune system, the body is no longer able to distinguish foreign invaders from itself. Therefore, the immune system is constantly manufacturing antibodies against body tissues. It is as if the body rejects itself. These antibodies attack and break down connective tissues as well as wage war with major organs. Unless the disease goes into complete remission, these antibodies are almost always causing symptoms of pain and discomfort throughout the system.

Because of the nature of the disease, the symptoms vary and often differ from person to person. Among the ones that plague me are muscle and joint pain, skin inflammation, rapid or intense heartbeat, shortness of breath, pleurisy pains, nausea, bladder pain and pressure, dizziness, loss of balance, and severe headaches, with subtle effects on the central nervous system resulting in decreased concentration, mood changes, and depression. There are many, many days when my whole body from head to toe feels raw and sore from internal inflammation.

Overwhelming fatigue accompanies this disease as well. Sometimes it is so severe that I wake up in the morning unable to get out of bed. Other times it will grip my body when I least expect it. The feeling is that every ounce of strength drains out of my body, making the slightest exertion, such as twisting the cap off the toothpaste tube, beyond my ability. One thing that can make my fatigue and other symptoms worse is exposure to ultraviolet light in sunlight.

New Adjustments

I had not been able to attend any congregation meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses for two months, so my first endeavor was to try to build up enough strength so that I once again could meet with my spiritual brothers and sisters. Although it took great effort and discipline, I forced myself to exercise. Finally, with Jack’s help I was able to attend at least some of the meetings. As time went on, my endurance increased to the point where I was able to care for part of the household chores and also to engage in the Kingdom-preaching activity once again. I was excited with the progress of my health and kept trying to do more and more. Unfortunately, that was a big mistake, for I found out the hard way that pushing myself beyond my limit meant going into a flare-up.

Stress is probably the worst enemy I have, and avoiding it is an absolute necessity. I have to say that learning to pace myself has been one of the more difficult adjustments I’ve had to make. Since I like to be very active, I have to set my priorities and remember that going past my limit means complete exhaustion, irritability, depression, and crying spells. I try to have set days for certain chores, but it is virtually impossible to follow a schedule when I am up one day and down the next. Even on good days, I have to rest between major jobs. I now leave certain housekeeping chores for Jack to do. It’s another part of the adjustment for both of us.

How Others Can Help

True friends can also give comfort when one is ill. Feeling that they understand the situation can greatly lessen the stress. But people, imperfect as we are, aren’t always discerning as to what the ill person wants to hear. What sounds like a compliment or word of encouragement to the giver may seem just the opposite to the person not feeling well. When people come up and ask me how I’m feeling, they almost always say something like, “Well, you sure are looking good!” Comments like this tend to make me feel that they are doubting the genuineness of my illness or that because I look good on the outside, I should be feeling good on the inside. Unfortunately, with lupus, outward appearances can be very deceiving. Victims oftentimes look healthy; especially is this the case with women if they have their hair styled and make-up applied.

I remember someone approaching me one evening after one of the congregation meetings and saying: “It’s so nice to see you. I know it’s not always easy for you to come, but we’re glad to see you here tonight.” Words like this make me feel that people understand the situation to a degree.

It’s also easy for a person battling a disease to feel excluded socially because of the up-and-down periods. The unpredictableness and surprise of new symptoms popping up means most plans have to be made tentatively. The disease changes so much that oftentimes plans made only two hours ahead of time may need to be canceled at the last minute. Consequently, much of my life is spent with apprehension and anxiety.

How I Cope

You may wonder how I cope with an illness that plays havoc with my emotions and puts many restrictions on my life. Well, needless to say, it can be very trialsome, not only for me but for Jack as well. Not being able to engage in a lot of the activities other people may consider normal, I have really learned to appreciate the simplest of pleasures, such as preparing a special meal for Jack, spending time with my family, or just sitting and cuddling my kitty. (I love this part)

Because of my sensitivity to sunlight, I have to take protective measures when I engage in the preaching activity. People can always spot me; I’m the one holding a colorful parasol. I avoid being outdoors on really hot days, as the heat makes me very weak. Also, having a limited amount of energy to expend in door-to-door witnessing, I look for other avenues to talk to people about the hope for the future that is found in the Bible.

Trying to focus my attention on the positive things in life as opposed to the negative has helped to ward off the “poor me” syndrome. My biggest struggle is learning not to put excessive demands on myself and then berating myself for falling short. But even with a good outlook, depression, frustration, and the shedding of many tears do occur. When I’m having a really bad day and the veil of gloom seems to hover over me, I try to remember that it will pass, and with extra reliance on God, I’ll get through it.

I have truly come to appreciate Jehovah God’s qualities of compassion and mercy, remembering often the words at Job 34:28: ‘And so he hears the cry of the afflicted one.’ Yes, mankind is sick, in more ways than one. We need help that even the most skilled physicians are unable to give. I believe that soon Jehovah will fulfill the first scripture I learned as a child. Then it will be said of all people: “No resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” (Isaiah 33:24) Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It does to me!

—As told by Robin Kanstul.

[Box on page 21] What Is Lupus?

Lupus is a recurring and currently incurable inflammatory disease. It is an autoimmune disorder that turns antibodies against all the body’s vital organs. However, lupus is not infectious, contagious, or cancerous. How serious can it be? From mild to life-threatening. Its name comes from the Latin word for “wolf,” since many patients have a red face-rash in a shape similar to the facial markings of a wolf. Its cause remains unknown.

(The mention of God and religious practice was not a sneaky underhanded attempt to preach to the reader. It was part of an article and so it completes a story. This blog is not meant to be about religion, but faith does come up every so often.)

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Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Under the Weather

It’s Definitely Maybeline

Don’t get me wrong.  When I wrote this little ethos (Because You’re Worth It), I meant every word.  It’s a guideline to survive by. But so long as I’m writing about confessions, I confess that sometimes you just have to swallow your own tasty words with your tail between your legs.  Realistically, it won’t always be followed to the letter and I knew this then.  This isn’t Mean Girls where you get kicked out of the lunch table if you break a fashion rule.  It’s impossible to perfectly keep up with a daily regime without developing or intensifying some form of neurosis. A cheer for all you women who make it seem effortless to be mascara’d and flawless every single day, rain or shine.  But ‘fess up!  There lies a midget psycho in you that tries to escape every day right? Don’t worry, the twitching eye will stop.

In my case, there still exists a pair of floppy sweatpants or two that need to be replaced.  I’m sure Husband would appreciate more matching unmentionables.  There’s been a bit of haircut and styling postponing.  I ate gluten in a bowl.

But I do have good updates. Since putting it on paper (and by paper I mean a web page), it’s been a reinforcement and motivator to keep up with my own suggestions a lot better. I’ve been putting on my face more often. With the exception of yesterday’s man-scale exceeding the average, the Minimalist Look with a Morning Dew is becoming a quick and easy look.   The Well-Rested concealer from Bare Minerals and nude-colored eyeshadow (two items I thought were irrelevant when I was a spring chicken) are as faithful as a BFF.  When the really achy and slow awakenings don’t give me time to slap it on, I lug around my little 2nd chance bag for later.  If I haven’t been able to keep up, I at least throw on the moisturizer and lip gloss.

via cuppycake fiend at Flickr

One of my recently developed habits, on days that I look disastrous because of these difficult mornings that spite me and/or creeping age, is that I come home from work straight to shower, puff some foundation on my face and pretty-it-up, even if I’m just in sexy-house-sweatpants.  I make-up for the ugly day I had.  When I feel that I look better, I get more done and with more spunk.  Yes, I have been known to put eyeliner on to do the dishes.

Writing it down, and most notably, sharing my Beauty Belief with everyone was just an extra push to live harder by it.  It’s like Weight Watchers, when you have people expecting you not eat hamburgers every time you have an emotional crisis, you are further encouraged by your teammates to fight the call of dead meat and cholesterol! Even if you slip up once or twice. Even if you skip a week and the girls don’t really give mind to your every ingested meal, you know the universe knows and it will tell on you if you give up on your self-made values.  Thankfully, they understand the downward spiral, but the gals get down because the power of the united cosmic fight requires more energy to be kept to standard for women all over the world.  I’ve never been to Weight Watchers, but I imagine it’s something dramatic like this.

I’m even thinking  of writing another guideline, this one about abstinence.  Vows of Food Abstinence to be clear. Because it doesn’t matter how organic the half box of whole grain chocolate chip cookies that I ate were, they were still loaded with gluten (note that I’m gluten sensitive).  I ended up with a guilty conscience, throbbing knees, and enough anxiety to become a Wall Street stockbroker in our economy.  This area needs tidying up.  It’s my livelihood we’re talking about here.

The point is, we all have a set of rules we should stick to that help up stay on the mark.  Unless we have obsessive compulsive disorder, we end up breaking our rules to prevent from exploding estrogen all over the walls when things get tough and disheveled.  And if there’s anything that I share to you worth a rat’s patootie (I’m saying patootie until I write a age-and sensitivity appropriate disclaimer for my site), is that you should write down the things that matter to you and inner-confidence and check yourself against it every once in a while.   As silly as it sounds, sharing it with someone adds a seal of authenticity.  Depending on the frequency in which you break your own rules, you’ll know how frazzled you really are and that you need to readjust your wacky chi.

So on a day that you didn’t forget pick up the dry-cleaning, are wearing your shirt inside out and backward (true story), ran out of cat food, burned dinner, gained 4 stress pounds, forgot to pay the light bill, and you find yourself eating a snickers bar in the middle of your living room staring at your great masterpiece, not caring…take a breather.  Take out paper and pen and number of bullet a list of things that will help you either prevent or take care of yourself before things like this happen.  Type it up and laminate it.*

But IF there is splippage, don’t beat yourself up. There is always the clause section.  Not loophole section: clause section. And you can only have those amended if reviewed and approved by an official notary to prevent your sneaky alter-ego from changing your creed when momentary lapses occur. And they will. No matter what kind of sugar empowering high you’re on when you write the ethos.

Just keep checking against it to see how you’re keeping up by your own standards.  No one else’s.

 

via Janny Brocken @ Flickr

*No, I haven’t laminated mine. It’s typed neatly online.

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Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Picture of Health

Ands, Ifs, and Butts.

My aim is to post every day. Something new and interesting; and realistically, sometimes boring and incoherent. And it would even make sense if I chose to adhere only to business days, excluding the weekends.  I reckon there might even come a time where I can’t post for a week or so because that’s life in all its realistic glory.  But as I’ve mentioned before, I do work full time, have a home to keep up, and I do have a crippling disease*.

*This is me: milkin it.

Being chronically ill, I get get-out-of-jail free cards.  As exciting as being in prison might (free cable, free meals, free health care, free college education), no one wants to have to need the freebie cards (except narcissists, and that’s a topic for a day of exceptionally high tolerance).  I would give my arm tit to have my health back, but as long as I have a debilitating tribulation in front of me, behind me, and nagging all around me, I’m going to find – not the positive aspects (I think it’s unnatural and cheap cognitive dissonance to say there is anything positive about having an illness)- but the ‘beneficial’ aspects.  The pros.  Because there are some.

This weekend, I had a few epiphanous moments where I realized I have a new power.   It could be used for the sheer goodness of truth.  Or for a very practical evil. Mwahahaha.

Yes, there will be plenty of exaggeration and exploiting of delicate situations here. Don’t get soft of me.

And just cause I don’t look sick, doesn’t mean I’m not feeling bad, so if you ever catch yourself wondering if I’m really experiencing shortness of breath or  jumping on a trampoline while you phone me on the celly, you’ll just have to take my word for it.  But how will you ever know? You just won’t. Insert mischievous grin here.

(All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. The purpose of this piece is solely to entertain.  Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

-To the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles who dispenses handicapped parking.  (I don’t know if I’m eligible but I really want one.):

“The doctor said my knees need maximized rest or it’ll aggravate the inflammation.”  Whispering to self, “And the closer I park to Sephora, the more chances I have of cleaning them out of their limited edition color pallets.”

-To friends on theme nights:

“I would love to dress up as Chewbacca to complete your cast, but to be honest, that nylon material will break me out in hives.”

-The invitees who want you to bring that signature dish that you can’t even eat:

“Nothing will make me more happy than bringing that 14-layer-dip that I always slave over for your parties, but I don’t know what’s up with the weather because my knuckles are like glass today.”

-To the ones who are STILL freakishly enthusiastic about the Electric Slide:

“No excitement allowed. Doctor’s orders.”

-Another purse,  jewelry, or tupperware party:

“I’m pretty sure I’m severely allergic to (cows)(precious stones)(colorful lids)(pick your own, be creative).  It’s best to be preventative.”

-When volunteers are called to help with after-event cleaning (this exception is actually increasingly true):

“All my limbs are on fire right now, but I will be more than glad to help you supervise the other laborers to make sure they’re not slacking!”

-To the bar buddies who insist you race them at Irish Car Bombs:

“It’s just be embarrassing for me to smoke you.  Anyway, I ended up in the hospital last time I beat the record.”

-To bosses expecting you to be highly ambitious about raising the bar, no matter what pay grade:

“Brain Fog. Go ahead, check WebMD.”

– To the husband:

Oh honey, not tonight. My hips are feeling a bit wonky.  (I was talking about moving the furniture around. Get your head out of the gutter!)

The truth of the matter is, I’m exhausted and have been longing bedtime since the moment my alarm blasted my eardrum off this morning.  I’m not a victim, we all have nights where we don’t regenerate new brain cells.  Thankfully, I had enough stamina to make dinner and for this I am grateful, because a lack of preparation when avoiding gluten means I had rice cakes for lunch.  It was either that, or zonking out at my desk.  Husband is back in town and probably more depleted than I am, but he’s helping with the cat litter, and other things that I would usually prefer to take care of, so he is Prince Charming tonight.

In regards to blogging, I’ve had a lot of scattered ideas and have saved many unfinished blog entries as drafts, hoping that my energy picks up sometime this week before its over, that I may wrap them up with a bow.  I had set out to write everyday because I truly do have many ideas, but damn this conflicting skeleton and its mushy contents, it’s resisting.

Some entries in the making:

– More helpful books for a nice, chemical-free home for the women who hate to clean but still prioritize cleanliness (I wouldn’t hate it if it didn’t wipe me out.  It’s quite the stress relief method).

-Two wonderful exercise regimes that will lift any butt and lengthen all arms for women who need to stay in line and hate exercise.  More importantly keep your blood flowing, brain active, and organs pumping.  (I miss the gym terribly but it is not an option right now, however, it is necessary find a way to move and claim body parts before gravity does.)

-How I feared becoming my Central American mother only to find that I absorbed many of her most useful (yet frightening) housewifing skills, extreme frugality, and basic recipes.  That has pretty much set the tone for me and Husband, aiding us in our beginning, my new-found food sensitivities, and the age old Mars vs. Venus dilemmas. It will include some of her recipes that have made dinnertime a delicious breeze. Mommas are amazing creatures. I will never be an amazing creature. Haha, Get it?

-Another page with detailed descriptions of the best blogs out there for a simpleton girl, trying to be a lady, a temptress, a savvy housewife, a friend, a sister, a little bit wiser and more accepting, more balanced, and just as ridiculous.

-The holistic treatment that is slowly, but surely helping me fight and control the wolf disease.

-One of my favorite cake recipes, modified. Because living without cake is not okay.

For tonight, I accept defeat and will use any remaining energies on tidying up the kitchen to a tolerable condition and get ready for early bed to make spoons.

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Filed under Housewifing, Random, Under the Weather

Gentrifying the Dining Table

When we first got married, our house was empty. We didn’t have a place to eat or sit on. We did everything on out carpet. And I mean everything. *wink* *sorry*

However, I was carrying on a full-time job. So was he, and he travels at really odd hours. We were exhausted and barely able to find 5 relaxing minutes together where we could talk about anything other than settling in our apartment. Also, my health was already mysteriously deteriorating, but I was pushing through it, pumping iron at the gym. This, of course, would dwindle with time. Making meals for two, and one extremely picky eater was new to me. Basically, there was no time to stop and think of fixing up our place to make it a home, not just sleep quarters and a messing area.

As I adapted, haphazardly and by trial and error rather than careful planning, the instinctual nature of any newlywed was kicking in. What’s next after tying the ball and chain? Fix your place up. Make it your own. We’re still working on it, piece by piece. Exhaustion and health bills keep us from the more focused approach to furnishing. These are some of the battles of chronic fatigue, swollen joints and limbs, inflammation headaches.

About 6 months in, my mother sensed  -like moms do- that I was having a hard time keeping up. She bought me a simple bouquet of fresh, blooming, bright yellow daisies. I previously believed this flower was too simplistic. However, it brightened up my house like I hadn’t imagined and I apologized to my new fabulous table center for being so short-sighted.  When I was single, I was the unromantic type who said flowers are overrated. So soon after being bound by law to man, my sexy husband picked up my newfound value for the lifting effect of nature’s little gifts (without my telling him, brownie points!) . The man who said he wasn’t the type to buy flowers was buying roses to a woman who said claimed they were cheesy.

Now, I long for my table to decorated with something alive. I’m much more plant minded.  This week I was buying veggies and fruits at our local produce shop across the street and saw they had a quaint purple gem I’d never seen before for $1.99! Hells yea.

Further now, it’s been a really rough week health-wise.  As a matter of fact, I was buying celery, parsley, and cucumber for an alkalanizing smoothie (I think I Sarah Palin’d that word and I’m not apologizing for it).  I barely had the energy to chop and blend my concoction. My hands were and still are kind of rubbery with swelling. My feets feel like boats. Piles of mail mixed with Husband’s projects seemed to be climbing higher on our table. The couch was collecting a Home Edition line of living accessories for my own planted butt. Ah, but this cute chrysanthemum could charm any home accumulating clutter.

See below the progression of inspiration from something humble sprung from the earth:

Progression No. 1

THE USUAL BAD WEEK SCENARIO

Progression No. 2

 

WILD LIFE OXYGENATING THE ROOM, BECOMING MORE MOBILE

 

Progression No. 3

 

FULL ON INSPIRED, ORGANIZATION ACHIEVED

 

I lie. It was not just pure beauty that led to my pro-activity. By No. 3 my Percocet had kicked in. Which I do not encourage even for Lupsters! I’m taking it temporarily for all the recent damage my frail organs went through and simply because otherwise I’ll lose my day job.  I’m not unaware of the dangers, not to mention potential addiction if usage is extended too long. Just setting up a disclaimer right now. However, I wrote a little song called “I love you Perky-cet”.

Moving right along, building up my home is a slow process in my condition.  Keeping neat and organized is hit or miss. When my husband is in town, he helps with the maintenance. Otherwise, it quickly amounts to a chaos that I’m learning to not be apologetic about anymore.  It’s not easy going to sleep knowing the dishes is working on hardening grit or wondering if I passed out before I closed all dangerous cat nooks.  But everyone once in a sucky day, something awesome and wonderful completely distracts me from pain (No, Perky-cet is not awesome and wonderful) and I can power through achy knees and make my apartment a neat, symmetrical dream home.

*P.S. Sorry about the picture quality.  I’ll be upgrading to stealing Husband’s camera soon.

 

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Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Under the Weather

Micturating and Celery Juice

When I began the great journal endeavor, I didn’t think it would so soon be talking about micturating (click and learn).  Of course, I often forget and assumed that life is kind if you throw good karma around. I must have killed a kitten in another life to deserve this.

Ok, we’ve talked about what Lupus is. An autoimmune disease that causes your own immune system to attack healthy tissue and/or organs.  Could be joint pain from joint tissue, rashes from skin tissue; and if more severe, vital organs.  I’ve been overconfident that “I got this”, almost to the point of denial, because I’ve chosen to treat my body with natural “alternative” medicine*.  It can help suppress many symptoms.

*Note: It’s funny -hilarious- that society calls healing products from the rich earth,  with no chemical alteration, alternative. Western medicine, man’s science experiment, has become the convention. Conventional medicine is often the culprit of chronic diseases.

My diagnosis was in December. Despite my freakish optimism that I can will myself to health, sadly, the disease has progressed and attacked my bladder. Despite not foreseeing this, can it get any more embarrassing?

It started when I expected married life to be a turn for the healthier.  As women know, a blushing bride transitioning into an “active” woman can shock the body, for better or worse.  I had bit of both, but a lot of pain.  Already having a weakened immune system from “reliable” pharmaceutical meds, I couldn’t fight foreign specimen. Not even the fun ones. It was bacterial galore in my nice-parts. Urinary Tract Infections.  I will not prattle on about the agonizing adventure that followed, but I will have you note that nothing, I mean NOTHING, would make it go away. Not antibiotics, not cranberry pills, not soaking in hot, then freezing, then scalding, then bubbles.  To this day, I’m not sure how I got periods of relief in between. I was advised to get a cystoscopy.  I was shrugged off and told this happens to all newlyweds.  I was led to some wild and unimaginable remedies that would lead you to judge me if you haven’t already.  So, I waited it out.

Fast forward to the present, one year later, a UTI lands me in the ER.  Crazy theories fly about, i.e. kidney stones, gallbladder, cancer, dementia. A mere $200-plus, antibiotics, Demerol, Percocet, and 2 weeks later, I’m still sitting on a pillow at work.  The antibiotics didn’t work, much to the surprise of the doctors who scoffed at me when I said, “Antibiotics don’t work on me”.  The infection was running rampant. I come to tell all you UTI sufferers I found a remedy that works better than any prescription a doctor can get kickbacks off of.  Take it from a girl who has done everything and spent shoe-money on peeing.

Bless this following website (also found on my blogroll to your right).

http://www.nutritionarticlesonline.com/bladder_bacterial_infection.html

Just send a friend or family member who doesn’t have to do the pipi dance every 15 minutes to the nearest Health Food store and have them pick up these easy-to-find teas.  Here is the remedy:

Herbal Bladder Flush Remedy

Fill a 2 quart stainless steel or glass pot with clean water. Bring the following herbs to a boil, then immediately simmer on low for 20-30 minutes;

  • 2 bags or 2 tsp Uva ursea (or corn silk)
  • 2 bags or 2 tsp Dandelion root (or Dandelion root powder, not roasted)
  • 1 bag or 1 tsp Golden Seal Root
  • 2 bags or 2 tsp Horsetail Herb
  • Optional; 1 bag or 1 tsp Stinging Nettles

Drink one cup of this Bladder Flush Tea every hour, two cups an hour if you’re close to a bathroom. This is a diuretic (makes you pee) as well as a powerful antibiotic (Golden Seal). Note, Golden Seal is also a powerful liver detoxifier, you may experience a head ache from this concoction if your liver is in need of cleansing. This will pass, drink extra water.

Worked like a charm. It was such a relief when the floodgates opened. Read up a bit more on extra supplements that help.

HOWEVER!!! For this particular anecdote, the account does not end here. It might begin here.

My pain continued, this time in a more puzzling and concerning manner. A few days later, I went to the general physician to pee in a cup and see if the infection was gone. It seemed as if it was flushed down the toilet, but -without detail- all kinds of pelvic pain and frequent urges persisted.  I also did one of a female favorites, pap smear, to rule out hidden cancer. Yes, I’m paranoid. I don’t want to die.

The doctor freaked out with me for having severe pain when she softly pressed down on that area.  She took out her cell phone, sat down, and raised hell with disgruntled Urologists’ receptionists until I had an immediate appointment. Do not go back to work.  Do not collect $200.  Spend more than you earn.   Go straight to a specialist.  Cutting to the point, the kind doctor that was able to make me feel comfortable in a very uncomfortable position suspects Interstitial Cystitis.  And guess what?

He said it has a higher prevalence in people with rheumatoid diseases. *The extra spacing is indicative of a dramatic pause.*

They want to raid my bladder with a perverted mircro-camera and see what the damage is so I may learn to deal with yet another chronic malignancy that is all thanks to the wolf disease.  I’m a bit shattered by the reality of this and the significance of what it is to live with more limitations.

No pity party here! They will try to medicate me to rebuild the lining of the delicate organ.  You know, one of those medicines with small print side effect warnings as long as the Bible.  I return to this wonderful site I just mentioned above, and restate another portion below:

Healing Interstitial Cystitis Naturally

http://www.nutritionarticlesonline.com/bladder_interstitial_cystitisIC.html

This brings me to the celery concoction from yesterday. After I miserably cheated with an acidic, dairy Oreo McFlurry (which I have preached no one on earth needs to have one), due to the emotional drama of my new ailment causing me to cave, damage control was in the works or havoc would ensue.  It also works like a charm :

Easy Alkalinizing Celery Juice:

  • One Cucumber
  • 4 Celery stalks
  • 3 sprigs of parsley
  • A few cubes of watermelon (my idea!)

I don’t remember which website I found this is on, so my apologies. The recipe calls for a juicer, but I don’t have one, so I use a blender. It’s more chunky! This is hard to swallow if you’re not used to veggie overload. On top of that, personally, I must always tread carefully around anything sugar, so I dare not put even Agave syrup until my healing factor is better, but you can definitely add honey, or Turbinado. Whatever. I chose to add watermelon for sweetener, adding little by little as to not overdo it and end up with more problems.

To sum up, I share with you:

– The fastest, safest, natural UTI cure I have ever found.

–  An alkalizing tip if you’re feeling too acidic.

– And a story of a piece of my travesty with you and how I deal.  Hope this can be of help to someone some day.

Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be fascinating updates after this.


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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Under the Weather