Monthly Archives: September 2010

WTH: Pills, pills pills

I’m feeling like House nowadays.

Why, you may ask?

Well, you see, I am now taking 18 pills a day. And two drops. And two creams. And another 2-4 pills if I’m having trouble falling asleep.

This would be more OK if I didn’t HATE, with every fiber of my body, swallowing pills. HATE. I have a really strong gag reflex to big pills (that I better get over). If you remember, that is much of why I stopped taking an anti-depressant. I hated swallowing a big ol’ pill every day.

Now I’m taking 18+. Ick.

It’s a short term regiment that, in theory, could help my chronic fatigue. I have 5x the normal levels of mono stuff in my body that someone whose had mono should have, and that could be responsible for at least some of the chronic fatiuge. And if it is, this could help that.

You know. Maybe.

Oh, plus my Vitamin D is low (though not dangerously, like before).

Yeah. What the hell is wrong with my body? And please, let whatever the hell it is be fixed by this insane regiment!

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Filed under Life, What the Hell Wednesday

Running Tired

I am tired.

All.the.time.

And probably will be the rest of my life.

So I need to just fucking deal with it.

(Sorry if language offends you. I try to minimize it. But it’s my blog.)

I’ve been talking with my husband about my lack of…doing….anything. Anything at all.

I feel purposeless. And it’s because I’m doing nothing. Or at least, nothing I can really be proud of. I’m not bringing in much money at all. I’m not a mom. I’m not being a good homekeeper. Those are about the three ways a woman can contribute to a family that I see. I feel like I’m not earning my keep (in addition to a bunch of other feelings).

I quit my job a few months ago. I did it so I could get healthy and be happier. Part of the deal was I’d keep working a little to bring in some money, and that I’d clean the house better.

I’ve more or less kept up with the first part of that deal. But the second part? Not so much.

I just don’t care. It’s always dirty. Before long I’ll have kids, and it’ll be always dirty again, because they’ll be making a mess of everything! If I clean, it just gets dirty again the next day. Or week. Or hour. Why bother?

It’s like making the bed. When I got married, I really wanted to keep our bed  made. It just felt good to me to have it made, and I loved coming back to it each night. But we have a giant king bed that is a pain to walk around and make alone. And I was trying to get out the door to work. And hubby was still in the bed when I left half the time. So I just gave up on it. Why keep doing it? It’s not worth the time and energy when it’s just gonna get unmade 14 hours later. So I stopped making it. And I stopped caring.

I think the stopping-caring has spread. It’s just not worth the energy to clean the house, until it gets really bad. So I don’t do it.

And yes, I’ve heard the “if you clean every day, it’s like no work at all!” Bullshit. It’s still work. It’s just work every effing day! And wiping out your sink when it’s clean does not take much less time than wiping out your sink when it’s dirty. Etc. So don’t try that with me.

Anyway.

It was part of the deal that I’d clean more. And…I haven’t. I feel like I’m still busy all the time, and just grabbing relaxation where I can find it…….but then I also feel like I’m getting nothing done.

I quit my job. I should have lots more time on my hands. So why don’t I spend a small portion of that time cleaning?

I think it’s like a time from my school, in reverse.

It was my sophomore year. I had a big, giant sophomore engineering design project due in a few days. I was in the computer lab, stressing about how on earth I would be able to get it done. Finish my presentation and my report. Do all my other homework. I felt like there was no way I could get it all done. I was worrying I’d have to pull an all-nighter.

Then I got a call that my hubby (then boyfriend) was in the ER, because he’d vomited up blood and had major abdominal pain all day.

Suddenly, the homework was nothing.

I spent the next couple days at the hospital, waiting with him for a diagnosis, running home during his emergency apendectomy to finish my report/presentation in 20 minutes, grab a change of clothes and toothbrush and hitching a ride back to the hospital (no car, you see, travel was not easy), and waiting with him while he recovered. I got a ride back to school in time to give my presentation, and promptly left to return to the hospital to accompany him when he was discharged.

And it all turned out fine. I got a good enough grade. The world did not end.

A few days previous, I’d been wondering how on earth I would ever finish all I had to do, thinking I’d be pulling an all-nighter. Then something came up, and all my time disappeared. And somehow, it all still got done, and done well enough.

I’m living that in reverse, now. Working at my old job, for me, was like going through my insane school schedule with my hubby in the hospital. I didn’t have enough time for anything but that one main thing, and kind of crammed in everything else on the side.

Then I left my job, and it was life as if my hubby wasn’t in the hospital. But I still have my “insane school schedule,” which keeps me feeling busy and wondering how I can get it all done, and if I’ll have to pull an all-nighter to keep up.

In short, I left my job. So I have more time. But that doesn’t mean that life is now easy and full of time. It just means I’m out of minimum-necessary-for-survival-and-not-totally-screwing-my-future mode. I’m still in that place where I don’t know how I’ll get it all done. I just have a lot more time to feel that way.

But I feel awful for that! Because I DO have more time! So why can’t I get it done?

In part it may be that I don’t have enough spoons. But in part, it may just be that I’m lazy.

I mean, the biggest thorn in our side is the lack of housework getting done. It still looks bad around here. I’m getting better. I recently spent an hour scrubbing out our shower, with a brush, on my hands and knees. Thanks to my roomba, the floor is regularly vacuumed. But it’s still bad.

As I said above, I don’t like doing housework. If it was bothering me more, I’m sure I’d be more likely to do it. But, partly as a survival mechanism, I stopped caring.

And that’s the kicker.

How do I separate the chronic fatigue from the plain-ol’ not wanting to?

How can I tell if it’s a lack of spoons, or a still-crazy “school schedule,” or simple irresponsibility?

The former is a valid excuse. The latter is no excuse.

How the hell do I tell? What is fair to ask of myself? How hard should I be pushing?

I hate invisible illnesses. Give me a broken leg any day.

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Filed under Invisible Illnesses, Life

My newest crush

Parker’s arrival has gone smoother than I could have dreamed….except for one small giant thing.

Toby’s bathroom habits have slipped.

I think it’s a combination of me being gone/busy more and more, and stress from having Parker around, but Toby has started using my library, and the hall outside of it, as a bathroom. Not a lot, and mainly when we either don’t notice he wants to go out or he’s home alone and can’t go out, but enough that it’s driving.me.crazy!

Especially since that is also our guest room.

Now, as a dog trainer, I know there are things I can do. But, as I always tell my clients, there is no magic bullet for housebreaking. It is the single most unnatural thing we teach our dogs to do. And the only way to teach it is to put in a lot of work.

I’m trying to decide exactly what I want to do. But one thing has to happen.

The carpet has to get clean.

If it smells like urine, it is a bathroom. And I can’t blame him for peeing there when all signs say it’s a bathroom!

Even when he was housetraining, there weren’t many accidents, and I kept up with them with Nature’s Miracle and elbow-grease. But now, there are more stains, and I’m having a harder time keeping up, or catching back up to neutral! Also, the stains tend to be more set-in, since I’m not keeping such an eye on him and noticing instantly (which is one thing I could do, yes.)

Which brings me to my new crush:

The Bissel Little Green Multi-Purpose Compact Earth-Friendly Deep Cleaner.

I remember having a spot carpet cleaner as a kid. And it. was. amazing.

I want one.

Anyone have one? Any advice on types/brands/styles? Think they’re a waste of money? I’d love to hear from you!

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Spin Cycle: Former Catholic Speaks Out

I’ve always watched the spin cycle occur over at Sprite’s Keeper, a great blog I love to read, but I’ve never participated. I want to…but the topics are so great and broad I never find the time to write on them.

This week, the topic is religion. And I just can’t stay silent. ’cause that’s been a big topic in my life!

Growing up, my mom was a cradle Catholic and my dad was..nothing. Not agnostic, not atheist, not Catholic, just didn’t know and didn’t put a lot of thought into it. So we were raised Catholic…but not really. It was kind of a silent, background thing. We went to religious education, we usually went to church, but other than that, it wasn’t really discussed.

In late junior high, I started to embrace my faith as my own. There was a Protestant that I went to (public) school with, and we spent several months worth of lunches in friendly debate about the differences between our two churches and if the differences were legitimate or heretical. I learned a lot about Catholicism in order to answer his questions, and started to really take it on as more of an adult, rather than just what my mom thought.

I went to private, Catholic high school, and we had religion classes there. Let me mention that I grew up in Idaho, a very conservative state, and so the Catholicism taught at this school was pretty darn conservative (by “conservative” I mean “lined up with what the Vatican has consistently taught rather than popular American Catholicism”). And yet, I would get into debates with my religion teachers over tenets they were teaching, with me coming down on the more conservative side. Things like, was Mary a perpetual virgin/did Jesus have siblings? I went with the Church position of no, my teachers often thought yes.

My junior year of high school I took an ethics class, like all other students. I was very pro-life, arguing that even in the case of ectopic pregnancy, a woman should not have an “abortion,” because it is a life. God could step in and save them both, and the woman should not take that opportunity away. I was very anti-gay-marriage/lifestyle (though there wasn’t much discussion of this at that time and in my area), very anti-contraception (as is the official Church teaching), thought that a woman should stay home with her children, generally very, very conservative in morality. I would argue these positions whole-heartedly, and really took them as my own.

I went to a private, Catholic college…but one taught by Jesuits. The conservatives used to joke it wasn’t really Catholic, because Jesuits are infamous for being more liberal. I was in the Honors program, which meant we had colloquiums every year. The freshman year of colloquium I remember being shocked, because we would discuss a lot of morality (these were basically 3 hour discussions), and almost the entire class, including the priest in charge, was so “very liberal.” I still staunchly defended my position, and felt disgusted by the lack of official Catholic teaching at this “Catholic” college.

Then I had to start taking the pill.

I have always had really, really bad cramps. Debilitating. Curled up in a ball screaming in pain, unable to really move, for at least a day kind of cramps. I had a miracle drug…which was then removed from the market for being dangerous. For 2 years I went to 3 doctors and tried everything they could think of. Nothing helped. Or at least, not enough help that I could function for that day-plus every month.

So I went on the pill. And even though official Church teaching is that it’s OK to go on the pill if it is for medical reasons and the birth control aspect is only a side-effect and not an intention, and even though I was still a total and complete virgin so I wasn’t even using the birth control aspect, I felt guilty. Horribly guilty. Because birth control was wrong. Sex was intended by God to be wholly procreative and unitive, and thus every act had to be open to both of those possibilities. I knew I didn’t want kids the instant I got married, and so I worried that maybe the birth control aspect was more just than a side effect for me in my heart, and thus sinful.

Like I said, I was very conservative.

So I started looking into anti-birth-control writings, to reassure myself that birth control was wrong. Going on the pill threatened my stance, and I was looking for support in it. I wanted to understand it even better.

And the more I looked into writings that agreed with my stance, and delved into the arguments deeper…the less they made sense to me. I was desperately looking for justification of my position, that “artificial” birth control was wrong, but I couldn’t accept an argument that made no logical sense, just because I liked the conclusion.

So I kept looking. And looking. And looking.

And the more I looked, the less sense it made.

As luck would have it, around this time I was taking a Christian Marriage class (with my now-husband, actually) to meet a religion requirement. In the class, she passed out a lot of information about the Church’s stance on birth control, both for and against it. It was a very balanced, fair view, and justly presented the arguments I held.

But as I looked at the arguments for the other side…they made so much sense.

Sure, sex is intended to be unitive and procreative. But that doesn’t mean every.single.sex.act has to be both. It just means as a whole those requirements have to be met. And clearly, in our world, they are. There are times couples have sex when they are not feeling unified by it because they are trying to procreate, and they are most fertile at that moment. No one has a problem with that. So why is there a problem when couples have sex that is not intended to be procreative, but they are focusing on the unitive feeling that instance? As long as they are open to any child that may result from the union, why is that bad?

For over a year I was dragged, kicking and screaming, from my position that birth control was wrong, and finally I had to admit that I felt it was not sinful.

And that opened the floodgates.

I started to look at why women can’t be priests. And again, found no justification I could stand behind.

If each sex act didn’t have to be fully unitive and procreative, I had no more reason to stand against gay relationships/marriage.

And so on.

I no longer agreed with my Church on many ethical issues…but I still considered myself Catholic.

My senior year, I decided to write my Honors thesis on the history of the Church’s position on birth control. My thesis was that the teaching has NOT been constant in Tradition throughout time, the biggest argument as to why birth control is wrong in the higher-levels of the Church. While the same words have been said (Birth control is wrong), the reasons for the words have changed so dramatically that it cannot be argued consistent. If the early Church taught that birth control was wrong because the sole purpose of sex was procreation, and sex for any goal other than procreation was also wrong, then surely that could not be considered consistent with the current teaching that birth control is wrong because it denies one of two main aspects of sex: procreation and unitive, and that it is OK to focus on the unitive by avoiding sex when you know you are not fertile. Those two teachings are not only not identical, they are contradictory!

In writing this (100-page single-spaced) thesis, I read a lot of first-hand Church documents. A lot of the Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II, and other such things. A lot of documents that supported my former stance. I now found their arguments offensive and diminuative of women. Much of the Theology of the Body I found insulting, and I had a hard time reading it. I realized how much I disagreed with the Church’s view of how all women are, even though I agree that there are general differences between the sexes.

And I read Turning Point, a book which details the work of the Papal Birth Control Commission by people who were on it. The Papal Birth Control Commission was a group of people, called by multiple Popes, to get together and discuss the issue of birth control, and offer a ruling on whether it should be allowed by the Church or not. Despite the widely varied background of the members, after years of work, the Commission decided almost unanimously that birth control should be allowed. Then, the few dissentors, who were close to the Pope, met in private with him and disuaded him. They bragged about how it was their influence that changed his mind afterwards. And the Pope issued Humanae Vitae, a document which upheld the Church’s ban on birth control. This was a shocking blow to the Commission. The book is full of the politics and slimy tactics that are used in the Vatican. And I realized, why am I looking to those people to guide my morality? They are nothing but politicians, using dirty methods to get their agendas through. I was not going to defer to them. I would not look to them for my morality any more

That was the beginning of the end.

I considered myself Catholic for about another 6 months after my senior year. I was getting married in the Church, and attended pre-marital counseling. The awful, judgemental pre-marital counseling we were forced to undergo (and I had really been looking forward to!) was yet another turn-off to me to the Church, as was fighting the Church for ANY personalized touches in my wedding.

I wanted so badly to be Catholic. I always had been Catholic. It was a huge part of my identity.

But I no longer supported so much of what the Church taught. Especially what I considered the most important issues – morality. Stories of God and Jesus and how we get to heaven are well and good, but we cannot know if that makes a true difference at any point. Morality makes a difference now, and any God I would worship would care how we treated each other and lived our lives.

I tried to be Catholic. I really, really did. But I couldn’t go to Church without getting upset at so much of what was implied or flat-out said. Knowing more about the teachings behind the phrases, and the history behind the teachings, made it hard.

I tried being Protestant half-heartedly, but even that was too close.

And then I realized.

I didn’t care.

If there was a God, He did not care if I acknowledged Him. No God I could support and worship would condemn to hell someone who had never heard of Him. So I could not believe in a God who required worship as an entry pass into heaven.

If there was a God, He would judge me by my acts, by my morals, and by my behaviors.

And those actions were not going to be influenced one.tiny.bit by my religion. Catholic or not, Christian or not, it would not change one thing about how I lived my life day-to-day.

So I stopped caring. I stopped worrying about if there was a God. I stopped worrying about which religion was right. I stopped trying to feel part of a group which, in so many ways, I disagreed with.

And I was happy. And free.

And I have never felt more at peace, and more close to a deity, if one exists, than I do now that I am not obsessing about things I flat-out canNOT know.

We cannot understand the workings of an ant, who is so much simpler than us. How can we expect to understand, with full and sure knowledge, the workings of a God who created us?

We can’t. And I am no longer trying.

And I am finally at peace.

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Filed under Life, Spin Cycle

RTT: There really is no theme

I am very sleepy, and thus very random. Yay!

I want this house. Nice subdivision bordered by other subdivisions. Gorgeous tan walls with white trim. Beautiful kitchen with a pretty island. Master bathroom with it’s own stand-alone tub. *drool*

No, we’re not moving. Why do you ask?

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Toby and Parker have been tentatively playing. It’s adorable. Toby keeps rolling his ball to Parker, at which point Parker freaks out and bolts. Then, while Toby is distracted chewing on something, Parker comes up and bats at him. If Toby turns around, he bolts. His bolting is kind of a pattern.

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I just read the best analogy for what living with chronic fatigue is like. Go, read it. Seriously. I love it.

(One thing I’d add: every time your dysthymia gets stronger, your spoons all disappear. w00t.)

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Glee and House are back. It is going to be a good week :-D Once I pull them off my Tivo

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MY HUBBY IS BACK TOMORROW!!! He spent the weekend on a fun trip for himself, visiting a new city, old friends, and another ball park (he tries to see one every year). I am so happy for him when he goes…but I can’t wait to see him! I’ve missed him a lot.

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I had a(nother) grumpy start to my day. Then, I taught a fun class and two new people signed up for my next round of classes. Score! I never want to go to class anymore, but I always love it when I’m there! And now that I’m not trying to make Companions into a full-time thing, it’s far less stressful :-D

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Toby threw up twice last night, and Parker kept coming in to investigate since the hubby was gone. I’m hoping for a calmer night full of better sleep, since tomorrow is a full day!

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Filed under Companions, Life, Random Thoughts Tuesday

Awesome Deaf!

This is one of the coolest, most empowering things I’ve seen in awhile. I love it!!!

Thanks to Tulpen at Bad Words for sharing. She is a f***ing awesome mother to her Deaf son!!

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Thank goodness it’s not infertility

As you may have read, I want a baby. A whole damn lot wee bit.

For very good reasons, we are not ready to have one yet. Hopefully soon, but not yet. And I have no argument with that fact.

And still, every time I’m watching TV, and someone mentions, “We’re expecting a baby!” it makes my heart twinge. It can be done so casually, skipped by in passing among the other, “more important” events going on. There can be no warning, it just comes out mid-conversation. It always recaptures my full attention. And I always feel a pang of jealousy.

Every time I hear about my friends’ pregnancies, or upcoming domestic infant adoption, on Facebook, it pulls at my heart. I’m happy for them. I really am. But I can’t hold back the envy, the longing that accompanies that happiness.

And this is just because we’re choosing not to have a baby.

I can’t imagine how much worse this would be if it were due to infertility. Due to trying and working and aching to have a baby, and not being able to.

If you are battling that horrible problem, my heart goes out to you. Much love and strength in your battle.

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