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My body is a mofo part the millionth and how to get that pool of blood to look just right.

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It really sucks balls when I am too sick to blog or even spend time with the interwebs for more than a few minutes. I don’t have enough readers to float the notion of guest posters and such so my blog lies dormant. I have words, so many words, but I sit here muttering them to myself because the notion of getting out the laptop or iPad and sitting and concentrating so that I don’t prattle on and embarrass myself, well….

My body’s decided to issue a resounding fuck you, evidently it felt that all of the ongoing fuck yous were not sufficient. At my GP visit last week we were told that my most recent blood tests showed a further (significant) drop in my white cell count. Now my platelet is down too. I don’t know if that explains all of the shit my body is serving up but it might. Maybe not everything, the fact that I am getting virus after virus and that I seem to need to sleep and sleep and sleep, almost certainly.

Ordinarily I can do an hour or two of normal everyday activity before I have to rest, sometimes more on a really good day. Although that’s not ideal it means that I can kind of maintain the illusion of being functional, mostly for myself but also for my family. Do you know how it feels to have your kids watch you lie around and do nothing? To fail them in every little thing that you used to think made you a really good Mum. I tell myself now that all of the love is what matters, that they’ll know I tried and I wished for it to be different, that they’ll understand. There’s always that little bit of my brain that reminds me of my evil Nana (my Dad’s mum), Mum telling me how she took to her bed for a couple of years and did nothing. That tone of disapproval in her voice. Not that my Mum would win any awards for her mothering but that’s something else all together.

At the moment a walk to the bathroom leaves me exhausted and sore in more places than I can count. Regardless of how I feel I have to keep functioning to a certain extent, so my body and I are fighting. It tries to make me fall asleep at inopportune moments and makes sure I injure myself in carrying out the least demanding of tasks. Which is kind of normal but this is normal times a million.

This week, it’s Skunky’s birthday on Friday and we are having a party on Saturday. He decided not to have a school friends party so we just invited a couple of friends and grandparents, aunties and uncles along with a bit of my extended family. At the very least there will be 9 kids and 12 adults including our family. There may end up being more. I tried to keep it small. Clearly I failed. Have I mentioned that our house, especially the living space, is tiny. Ti. Ny.

When you mix together the fact that I have been sick & the house is a sty, the fact that I have promised Skunky a red velvet zombie head on a plate cake (no school friends to offend) and the fact that I can’t have a party unless everything is clean & pretty & the food is awesome, put in a bowl and then bake it for a half an hour in a moderate oven you end up with steaming shit pie.

My pain levels have been going up. I ran out of the super strong anti-inflammatories about a month ago and I keep forgetting to get another script from the GP (she hasn’t asked because Rheum usually prescribes it). I think that’s having a pretty big impact but it isn’t a relief to know that without them I am in as much pain as ever. Why am I taking these toxic drugs that are killing my immune system if I’m still just as bad? Beefy and I talked about it tonight, I’ve decided to tell the docs that I’m stopping. I’m not convinced that the drugs are helping at all, I’m not convinced I have a reliable diagnosis, even though Rheum swears by it. I don’t know what IS wrong with me but there are things that still aren’t covered by my current diagnosis. I am looking into it.

Anyway, enough of my whining, I must save my energy for making meringue brains and for figuring out what to use to get the jelly to set into a convincing pool of blood around the zombie head. I shall keep you abreast of developments.

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Ponying Up – also, as an aside, winter sucks and can go away now

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I had a Rheum appointment today. Went well, for the most part. She went through with me exactly why she KNOWS I do have arthritis, no matter what my blood tests might say. She gave me some ammunition to fire at any health professionals who seem to think my arthritis is in my mind. I may not have mentioned but I am seeing the physio who I originally met through the PMU and she holds to their assessment that there is no physiological cause for my pain. My first session with her was mostly a stressful update interview where she implied (heavily) that I should be seeing a psychiatrist and commented that it was good that I now had a proper diagnosis (FMS). Cue conversation that consisted of me almost shouting at her that I DO in fact have arthritis (I may have been getting a bit tetchy by that point) and her offering the condescending query as to whether my “arthritis” is showing up in blood tests now? I have decided that free physio is worth me steeling myself to her annoying attitude. I don’t really mind that she believes I am just in pain because I haven’t been exercising enough but it will proceed more smoothly if I feel strong enough to tell her to shove it (politely of course).

Anyway back to the Rheum, god, have I mentioned I love her? She’s just a darling. Beefy was there to add his two cents. I am a crappy patient, I tend to get all meek and not say any of the things I planned, he has no qualms about saying what he thinks and that can be a big help. She’s going to research some meds he suggested for muscle spasm and forward her suggestions to the GP.

It was also quite an enlightening examination. She pointed out that she can press much harder on my joints. Not something I’d ever thought about but she’s right. There are still parts of me that react to a feather-light touch as though I’ve copped a punch from a heavyweight boxer but overall, I’d say that my stupid overactive nerves seem to be chilling out a bit. I reluctantly have to concur with the FMS diagnosis now.

We’re gearing up for a certain 2-year-old’s birthday on Saturday, I am in complete denial about her turning 3. I still call her “the baby” by default. I have a feeling she’ll still be “the baby” when she’s 21. Actually I once knew some parents who couldn’t agree on their daughter’s name. They chose the Dad’s favourite for her first name and the Mum’s for her middle name. The thing was, because they both hated each other’s naming choices they called her “Bubba”. Fine when she’s a baby, even a toddler. Unfortunately she stayed “Bubba” a lot longer, I think they chose a name to call her when she was about 7. That’s just crazy, I’m totally not like that.

So, birthday. I’m really too tired for a birthday celebration at the moment. We’ve had the flu one after the other for the last fortnight. The two little ones went down hardest with nearly a week of 40 degree temps each. I was literally wading through snot and vomit. Beefy and I are on the mend but both big kids are home from school sick now. Ordinarily we throw a party but I just couldn’t face a proper one so we decided on just the grandparents and my sister, her husband and kids for cake. Now, recently my mother has been moving on with her life. This is a fabulous and happy development and I am thrilled but she’s kind of physically moving on without addressing any of the psychological baggage. Again, this is fine because it’s her life and all but she’s sometimes a leeeetle bit stressful to spend time with. My sister and I spend our time consoling each other and trying to find ways to gently suggest (not all that viable with my natural flair for sledgehammer subtlety) that she needs to think through her behaviour. So, she’s bringing the new man, he’s lovely, he’s straightforward and together and responsible and gentle. All of the things that my father wasn’t (isn’t). I am really happy for her to bring him but I know it’s going to be one of those occasions where I’ll be longing for wine. I called a friend today and she reorganised her life so that she and her hubby and kids could join us and she could act as a buffer. She’s a good buffer, she’s played the role for me before and knows just how to keep me from rocking in the corner with a bottle of vodka.

Beefy and I raced around today getting all of the birthday essentials. I was even able to grab a cheap pair of jeans for myself. I have been rapidly shrinking out of my clothes. Ill is the best diet. It’s been about ten years since I was this small. To be honest I was a little bit shocked with the size I ended up with. I think the weight loss can stop now. I feature a naturally pancake flat bum and I fear any more and I will end up with concave buttocks. Not pretty.

We managed to get everything we needed – presents, cake makings (My little Pony- Pinkie Pie cake, stay tuned for how well I mangle that one!) but by the end I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other. When we got home I managed to get myself inside and into bed but after that I was gone. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain and I was struggling to so much as lift an arm. I HATE that my body does this. If I do too much I have no choice. I can’t push through it like I used to, I have to rest. I am unable to even get myself to the toilet. I am not handling it that well, I just want to be me again. The new meds have helped, honestly they’ve helped enormously but I am at the maximum dose and I am not magically me again. Beefcake had to go and fill a script for the opiate pain meds that I had been off for six days. I was doing so well but there was just no choice. Bugger.

Anyhoo, exhausted now. Have to save my strength for tomorrow is cake baking, construction and crumb coat. I can’t flake out on that because there is no way for beefy to manage it alone, we are ambitious with our birthday cakes in these parts. Wish me luck.

Just ticking along, hopefully, I think

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What is it with me and the temptation to just pull away from everything that makes me happy when I’m having trouble?

I stop blogging first. Fair enough, when you’re going through “stuff” sometimes you just need to keep yourself to yourself*. The next thing to go is reading other people’s posts – I don’t want to comment because that would be like talking to people and we all know that’s the last thing that will help when things are going wrong in your life. So, no commenting means no reading because if I read I will want to comment and I can’t even wrap my head around what other people are doing right now so really it’s best if I just leave my feedreader right alone. Now, because I can’t read blogs, it’s better not open my laptop because if I do I will read blogs. I mean, that’s what the internet’s for, right? I can’t imagine what else people might use the internet for (with the exception of obsessive googling of course, but I can do that from my phone or Beefy’s my ipad. Also, I can’t email bloggy people, even those who have specifically offered their shoulder to cry on. Not because I’d have to open the laptop but because that falls into the category of INTERACTION.

Before you know it I’m just collapsing in on myself from all sides, making myself small so that nobody can see me. If they can’t see me they won’t try to interact with me. It all works really well. Awesomely, in fact, if you want to lose your mind.

I’m not sure why I need to learn this lesson over and over again. I need to blog and I need to interact.

I’m pretty pleased with myself though, I actually talked to my very dearest soul-mate friend about “things” and before you think that’s easy, it’s not. When I dropped out of my career 6 years ago to have Skunky she kept working. She now has a million and five things (including Ph.D- can you tell I’m proud of her?) happening and lives far, far away and between my four kids and her two and everything else, we have to schedule getting together (or even a long phone call) with military precision. When you add in my strong tendency to keep things to myself it’s really something to be proud of.

Then I got forced, literally forced, to be on the laptop. Beefy put a new operating system on for me and after a couple of false starts I LOVE IT. It’s all bright and shiny and new and he didn’t set anything up for me so that I could play and put things the way I want them and, and I can make it pretty. And it’s cool. And pretty. So I have to blog now because I can only play with it for so long. I have a short attention span.

Anyway, things are ever so slowly getting a bit better. It’s still not wonderful but I can go whole days without crying (much) and I can now believe that we might eventually return to the normal state of things at some point.

I’m not sure how things are going with my badly behaved and ornery body. The new pain med seems to be helping a bit but we will have to up the dose if I am ever going to function. I bent down for five minutes or so to pull a couple of weeds out of the vege patch on Friday and something in my back (pelvis) went “clunk”, which spelled three days of not being able to walk (really, Beefy had to carry me to the toilet, not fun). I keep saying to my Rheum and GP that things will click in and out and cause surrounding muscles to spasm. Everyone acknowledges that my body does things it shouldn’t but they don’t seem to be able to process how much the muscles spasming all over the place contribute to pain. You just can’t mask that sort of pain, you have to stop the muscles from spasming.

I feel like I’m at a dead-end. I know we’re not quite there with understanding what’s going on with the bod but I can’t seem to push them to see that too.

We went back and checked my diary to see of there’s any pattern to things. Every month just before my period I put my back out, that can’t be a coincidence, can it? I read something the other day that said that the increased relaxin levels in women at that time of the month can cause problems for those that have had pelvic instability during pregnancy. I’m wondering how much difference it might have made if I had seen that orthopaedic surgeon at a different time.

Maybe I just overanalyse anything. I can’t help it, I’m just looking for something that will make everything make sense.

Somebody needs to put me in a google-free environment so I don’t keep searching for answers. It’s an obsession.

Finally, thank you to everyone who contacted me, either privately or through comments. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to people, I just couldn’t, I’m sure you understand.

* Yes, I’m aware that I did blog about it. That particular post is gone now, for the time being, maybe. That’s probably wrong or not sharing things warts and all, not being truthful, whatever. I can’t bear to have it looking me in the eye when I come here.

In which I am not good at being a basket case

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I’ve been seeing a psychologist to try and “discuss” how my pain is making me feeeeeeel.

The thing is. I don’t think I’m very good at it.

I think – and this is just a guess here people, correct me if I am wrong- that I am supposed to tell her stuff and it will help me feel better and I will gain a deeper understanding of my inner workings. The thing is. I think I am just too private a person  (says she airing her innermost for strangers on the internet) to make it work.

First of all. I spend half of the session consciously forcing myself to make eye contact with her. I am really bad at eye contact in this sort of situation. I want to crawl into a hole. So I am there trying to make myself look at her and internally debating with myself that it’s probably okay not to make eye contact all of the time and then realising I’ve stared at the table leg too long.

Then I can’t decide what I am supposed to say to her. I mean she asks questions and things but they are so open ended and I could go in any one of a billion directions with it and half the time I find myself meandering off in some unrelated direction and having to somehow swing it back to something remotely related to what she was trying to get at. Then I am sure I have done it wrong and then I have to pretend that what we have been talking about has somehow deepened my self-understanding and given me things to think about. What I am actually thinking is, oh my god, how am I going to think of things to say for the next forty-five minutes?

It doesn’t help at all that I am actually emotionally fragile at the moment. Look at me the wrong way and I will either cry  or in the case of Beefcake cry and attack with the nearest sharp object. I probably do need to “talk” to someone about “things” but I just don’t think I am going to be able to really be open and honest with a complete stranger.

I mean, I say stuff. I have plenty of juicy and significant life history to share, all very meaning-laden and important BUT I’m pretty lazy* really. I can’t be bothered rehashing stuff, or maybe I don’t want to think too deeply on things, I don’t know.

Either way I think I am done with it. We have talked about some things which have helped in a way. We have talked about how I am, by nature, not kind to myself. We have talked about the fact that this is not good. I have cried a lot but as I previously noted, that’s not really a feat at the moment. I saw her today and left utterly exhausted. I feel so on my guard while I am there that it’s completely draining.

I am so self-defeating aren’t I? Go on, I know you were thinking it. I think I shall try and leave it for a while and see if I can come back to it later. That sounds good, yes? Considering I have to spend days mentally preparing for any appointment with doctors or anyone really (or you know, working up to making a phone call) I think this is just one more health professional I don’t need to have to deal with at the moment.

I will have to convince Beefcake that I should be allowed to crawl into my little doona cocoon and hide from it all for a while longer. That will be easier said than done as he is all about the making me do things that I don’t want to do.

Bastard.

*Dingdingdingdingding – a word I am not supposed to say or think in relation to myself. This stumped me for a good while as I was supposed to think of a word that I should say/think whenever I say/think that I am lazy. That was really HARD.

So…………..Did you know I'm an idiot?

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Oh gawd. How embarrassing. I mean initially, it certainly looked as though I had the pox.

The thing is, I’m really quite doctor-phobic. I mean, I have to be really suffering to head to the doctor. I was content to convince myself that it was chicken pox. Until yesterday.

Yesterday the sores began to kind of grow and look weird. They were weepy beyond the length of time that Dr Google said they would be. They no longer looked as though they were healing and it just felt wrong. I told Beefcake that I no longer thought it was chicken pox. He didn’t agree. Dr google couldn’t tell us.

The only other candidate seemed to be impetigo. Very similar symptoms initially, similar description but the images that Dr Google provided didn’t match. AT ALL. Really.

This morning the symptoms were worse. Instead of healing the sores seemed to be growing. Consistent with the dreaded impetigo. I got up in a panic. I yelled at Beefy and told him that I was convinced bacteria was eating my face off even if it didn’t look like anything on google images. He wasn’t convinced but took me off to the doctor anyway.

As an aside, have you ever tried to hide ugly face sores with your hair in a room full of strangers without looking like a complete loon? I tried a magazine for a while but it wasn’t exactly natural to be holding it high in front of my face and turning it with me each time I turned to speak with Beefy.

The doctor confirmed what I had already guessed. Impetigo it is. Go on Google it, and give yourself a treat

I earned myself both antibiotic ointment and a course of oral antibiotics.

I don’t think it helped that I seem to have been fighting off Pudding’s chesty lurgy as well as a bout of gastro and one or the other of these have caused breathing problems, extreme dizzyness and a temperature.

It still doesn’t look like any of the pictures on the internet.

It looks pretty bloody awful though.

This is the most embarrassing blog post I have ever had to write.

Instead of some viral illness I am covered in festy bacteria. I disgust myself.

So, there you have it. This is me, admitting that I am a moron, again.

The end.

Looking for something to kill the romance in your relationship? Try chicken pox!

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So, um, yeah. I would post more pictures but I am unwilling to take the risk that someone may be eating or something. I look so diseased now that my husband won’t kiss me. Because he’s not shallow at all. Arsehole.

Admittedly there is a weeping pox sore just above my mouth but I have told him that I actually tolerate worse on a daily basis and I stand by that because boys are gross.

I do look like a rabid, oozing swamp creature. Really, I nearly made my Father-in-law leap away in fright. Not pretty.

Nobody else has been struck down as yet. We are just hanging in there to see if any of the kids break out all poxy. Pudding’s temp has come down today and he appears to be getting better so I am sure that is a sign that they are all going to be covered in pustules in the morning. It’s just the way these things work.

On the upside I seem to have stopped getting new spots and I actually think it’s kind of a mild case of pox. I have seen some photos of people literally covered from head to toe in pox so I think I’ve gotten away lightly. My only issue is that some of mine are so large or have kind of blended together with others and I just can’t imagine that they’ll heal very nicely. I’m going to look pretty interesting for the next couple of weeks. No amount of make-up is going to cover these babies.

Also, who knew that weepy, crusty, itchy, painful spots on your skin would be so uncomfortable? I mean, I guess I never really thought about it before but they really feel awful, actually. Along with my mild temp and slight breathing difficulties I think it’s safe to say I am NOT enjoying the chicken pox.

The outlaws delivered us some dinner tonight, which was nice. Kind of annoying though because if I am unwell then they just assume they should help out because naturally the poor widdle baby Beefcake could not handle cooking for the family while I’m sick, oh no. If he’s stricken with man-flu then they just leave me to it. Bastards. Still, hand delivered take-away dinner that we didn’t have to pay for – I am a moron for complaining.

P.S. When I told Beefcake that I told the whole internet that he wouldn’t kiss me he asked if I would change it if he came and kissed me now – I said I would add this post-script. How funny is that though – he is worried you will all judge him harshly. I’m sure that can be turned to my advantage…