Why Raynaud’s Sucks!

Raynaud’s is a disease that is signified by reduced blood flow to fingers, toes and sometime other areas too causing them to get very cold and discolored. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raynaud’s_phenomenon for more details.) In my case it is mainly my feet that are affected and at times my fingers and hands get cold too. As I just started developing symptoms at the end of last winter season and was just diagnosed last spring this has only been part of my life for a year or so now and I have come to realize how things have changed so much in 1 year.  Below is a list of reason why suffering from Raynaud’s sucks!!

– first and foremost the COLDbeing so cold that your bones feel like they are made of ice is painful and annoying.

– literally feeling like you are freezing from the inside out.

– feeling like I have an ice cube permanently inside the middle of my left foot sucks – just imagine being warm all over then having 1 spot frozen and no matter what you do it won’t warm up for more than a minute or two.

– sometimes I get so cold that my body literally shakes and my teeth chatter.

there are times it hurts so much all you want to do is to cry and maybe crawl into a fire to heat up.

– having to wear socks and layers of clothing sucks for some one used to being barefoot all the time and hot almost all the time. I used to be the person that people asked “Aren’t you cold dressed like that?” Now I’m the one who is wearing many layers and shivering.

– last year during the winter months my house was a cosy 71 degrees. We’d raise it to 72-73 degrees when a storm was headed our way incase the power went out so during the storm and I’d be sweating and hot wearing shorts and t-shirts – no socks!  This winter, I am a frozen popsicle wearing extra layers of clothes and socks all the time and the temperature in the house is set to 74-78 degrees. (And yes, all the floors have radiant heat too.) My kids are walking around in shorts and I am all bundled up – extremely frustrating!

– in the past I’d wash my hair whenever I felt like it… now I have to plan it out making sure  I am warm enough, making sure the weather is not too cold and that I don’t need to be near any open doors when it is still wet as I let it air dry.

– speaking of open doors – just the simple act of letting the dogs out can freeze me for hours at a time… last year I could stand in the doorway and call the dogs to come in dressed in shorts. This year, I am all bundled up and waving treats to make them run in faster.

– last year I’d tuck my kids into bed with a hug and a kiss… this year I also place my hands on their backs so I can use their body warmth to warm up my hands. (They also offer up their backs and their breath to blow on my hands when they are cold).

– last year I could stick my hands in the freezer and not have them feel like they were frozen solid, this year they freeze every time I open the freezer and on bad days the refrigerator too.  (The only good thing is that once in awhile it saves me from buying food that might not be cool enough – as one of the supermarkets I frequent sometimes has issues with their freezers and if my hands don’t get cold it is more likely that the food in that freezer has freezer burn so I don’t buy it).

– just imagine… every time you touch something cold that that cold transfers to you and freezes you down to the bones – kind of like Elsa freezing things in the movie Frozen.

– last year I could play in snow in the backyard with my boys, this year I could not. Though I did manage to take them sledding today as I was having a good day and the sun was very strong today.

– last year I’d know right away when I got a cut on my foot or hands… now I don’t realize I hurt myself until I see blood and look for where it came from.

– last year I’d heal quickly when cut or bruised… this year it seems to take much longer to heal.

These are just a few ways in which my life has changed in the last year due to the disease… I know others with this disease suffer much more than I do and for that I am grateful that so far I have not had it as bad as they do, but I also know that will change and that I can be in their shoes at any time.  I know my inaugural winter with Raynaud’s has been an unusually harsh one and so I hope that next year will be better and that spring will come soon. But that has not stopped me from thinking about moving to a warmer climate in search of some relief if this keeps up.

 

 

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Last minute visitation cancellations

Like lots of single moms out there my alone time is very scarce. That’s why when my ex cancels on taking the kids at the last minute I am not a happy camper. This weekend was supposed to be my weekend off – not that I would get much rest, as I had planned on getting a lot done before next weekend and our first real vacation ever – but instead I am still on duty. Why you ask? Well at 4:26pm on Friday I got a text from the ex saying his back went out and he has been dealing with it all week but he cannot take the kids as the pain shot he got the day before did not help.

Huh? Wait a moment here… the jerk knew since at least Monday or Tuesday that his back may keep him from taking care of the kids this weekend and he waits until an hour before we were going to leave for his place to say  guess what I can’t take them this weekend? Is that really fair? What am I supposed to say “tough shit deal with it, they’re yours this weekend!” Nah! I suck it up and text back “k”. Do I get to drop the kids off with him when I am hurt or sick –  NO! I have to suck it up and deal with it. But hey, I love my kids and I love spending time with them so here I am on a Saturday getting ready to take 2 of the 3 to a birthday party while scrambling to get someone to watch the 3rd kid. I also got up early this morning to take my son to his acting class (dragging the other two along for the ride and quality Pokemon 3DS playtime in the car) rathe than sleep in on the one day I had to sleep in in over 2 weeks.

And the best part of all this is, tomorrow is my oldest son’s birthday. He turns 9. While he was devastated not to get to go to dad’s this weekend and to get any gifts dad may have for him, he is thrilled (and so am I) that we get to spend all day tomorrow together rather than just the evening.

While I am very upset about missing my “me time” this weekend I am always happy to get to spend quality time with my kids.  I just wish the ex would care enough about the kids to at least give us a heads up about these things. I also wish he would learn to suck it up and deal with it as he is not the only one in physical pain – try dealing with pain from a slipped disc, possible gall bladder stones, hernia, acid re-flux, asthma attack and the residual affects of the flu all while caring for 3 young kids. Am I laying in bed feeling sorry for myself… NO WAY! I’m off to 2 ice skating birthday parties! WooHoo! Why you ask? Cause I’m SUPER MOMMY!!! 

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Appearances can be deceiving

Appearances can be deceiving… Just because someone looks like they have it all they may not. Don’t assume that because they live in a “nice” house they must be “rich”. Don’t assume because they go on a “family trip” they have a lot of disposable income. Don’t assume someone is happy or content with their lives just because they don’t complain about the negatives in their lives and promote the positives instead.

To most of the world I seem like a woman who has it all, a great house, 3 great kids, and no   “real” job at the moment. But the appearances are far from the reality I live in. As a single mom struggling to make ends meet I know most of my friends have no idea how much I am suffering on a daily basis. How I stay up late at night worrying how I will get the bills paid this week. Will I be able to afford new clothes for my kids who grow through about 2 or more sizes a year? When will I finally have time to by myself any new clothing (something I have not done in 8+ years)? Will my car, which is as old as my oldest son, last another year before it dies and if it dies can I afford a new one? How I hope and pray I can sell my house before I get in trouble with the bank. How I hope once I sell it I can afford to stay in the school district for my kids sake. How I worry about what job I can find to pay the bills and still have the flexibility to be there for my kids when they need me.

Yes, we did go on a family trip this year, but it took a lot of planning and a lot of skimping and scraping to do. It was something we all needed and everyone needs to try to get a break from reality every so often if humanly possible. What nobody knows is that we took a lot of our own food, snacks and beverages along to save money. That when we bought food I only ate the leftovers after the kids had their fill. That yes, we did “buy” things on the trip, but coupons and promotions were used and every activity that cost money was thought out and planned carefully in order to save money without letting the kids know money was a big issue.

As for me, I just sometimes wish that people will look past the appearances, see what is really going on and be there to support me emotionally when I need them. But overall, I am very happy and content with my life. I love my kids, my dogs and my life in general. I try to stay positive and that is what most people see. To them I seem to have it all, but the reality is a bit different.

SO remember, just because someone seems to have it all it does not mean that they do. There is more to every story than you think. Unless you take the time to really get to know someone you will never know if they truly have it all – as you may think – or not.

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Abuse has many forms

Abuse comes in many different forms. In the case of spousal abuse that is doubly troubling as when there is limited physical or no physical aspect to it people tend to ignore the warning signs. I know I did. I was in an abusive relationship for years and never realized it until the very end when the physical abuse kicked in from time to time. Only then did all the pieces come together for me and I then realized I needed to get us both into therapy to deal with the problem. Unfortunately I never had the chance to do that as my ex walked out on us to be with his mistress before that could happen.

So what were those signs I missed… First off, he was controlling. His comments about some of my friends cost me those friendships. When the man you love says he can’t stand so-and-so and you want to be with your man for the long haul and not annoy him with your friend you slowly do less and less with that person until the friendship dies off. This happened to me with a few of my friends. My ex claimed not to like them (probably because they saw him for what he truly was) and did his best to discourage me from seeing my friends and spending any time with them. Eventually, the relationships changed and now while I am still friends with a few of these people the closeness and ability to count on one another no matter what is no longer there. He so isolated me from everyone that I used to be friends with so that I now have to rebuild friendships or make new ones to take their place.

My ex also controlled my life in other ways. Since he never valued me for me he never put me first in anything. We always did what he wanted to do and rarely did anything I really wanted to do. If he needed or wanted something I took care of it because I loved him and cared for him. If on the other hand I needed something or wanted something I had to get it for myself or live without. We basically had a one sided relationship that I had never realized was so one sided until we were apart. When one partner decides that their needs take constant precedence over the other partners needs to the point of suppressing their partners needs it is a form of abuse.

I also never realized how oppressed I was by him. I never realized the weight on my shoulders every day wondering who would be coming in the door today, the loving husband, the cranky assed husband, the loving father, the indifferent father, the angry annoyed husband, the helpful partner, the recluse, or simply the jerk I married. Yes there were times he was a good husband and father but those times were few and did not last long before reverting to indifference or anger or just plain sleeping all day and ignoring us all.

So why did I a smart woman put up with all this? Well, at first I did not realize it was happening because it all happened slowly over time. And when you love someone, really love them with all your heart, you want to please them and make them happy. My problem was I didn’t realize until it was too late that I was not happy. I was too busy taking care of everyone else that I did not take care of myself. It was only when he left that I realized how oppressed my life was and how much happier I was without him there.

So for all you women out there who find themselves oppressed and working hard to please a partner who does not care enough to treat them with respect. Remember this, you are an abused spouse just as I was. Please reach out to whomever you can and get the help you need. You deserve better! We all do!

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You never know

You never know what’s going on in someone else’s life… Sometimes I wonder if anyone really knows anyone else. We all have so much going on that we rarely know what’s really going on in our friends lives. I know I rarely let anyone in to my world and let them know what is really going on with me and I wonder how may others do the same.

Now that the holiday season is upon us it is even harder to reach out and find the time for a serious chat with each other about our lives. To vent about what we need to vent about and even ask for help if we need it.

Do you know that that woman you talk to a few times a week, the one that seems like she has it all together could actually use a hand – both physically and emotionally. Do you know that her ex was abusive? Do you know that she worries about her kids wanting things she cannot provide? Do you know she has to sell her house because she can’t afford it and that both she and her kids are devastated by this? Do you know that she is in physical pain each and every day, but has no time to go to the doctor? Do you know that she worries how she will make ends meet because her ex refuses to pay for things for the children and that what little support he does pay he purposely pays late? No you don’t know all this because she hides it too well.

What about the elderly lady down the street? Do you know her? Do you know she is lonely and has no family living nearby? That she sees her family maybe once a year? That both her husband and her best friend died last year? That you are the only person she has talked to all day? That she is worried she may have to move to an assisted living facility? No you don’t know all this because she seems cheerful and happy every time you see her.

How many people like this do you know? Do you ever reach out to them? Do you offer your support and help?

Unless we take the time to really connect with each other we will never know what is going on with those we know. During this holiday season please take the time to remember that a little love and caring for your fellow man can be better than any gift you can give. So Reach out to the single moms you know, the elderly neighbor down the street, the harried married mom (or dad) in your child’s class or after school activity and offer a helping hand or lend an ear. For it is only once you know what is really going on in someones life that you can truly help them.

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Mommy time… Does it exist?

Every mom out there needs some “mommy time”, as in “this is mommy’s time now, please go play somewhere else and keep it down”. But do we get it, rarely if at all. I can’t speak for you married mommies or those with partners or other live-in type help, but for me and most of the single moms I know the time we have to ourselves is precious and happens very rarely.

Why is it so hard to get some time to ourselves? Even when my kids are with their dad for the weekend half of my “me time” is spent cleaning, dealing with that ever present laundry pile (be it washing, folding or putting it away), shopping for things my boys need, or getting things ready for the following week. Of course I could just say f**k this and let it all slide, but trust me that would make my week much more crazy, long and stressful so it is just not worth skipping getting all these chores out of the way.

For now I’ll be happy if I can just go to the bathroom for a moment without someone yelling “MOMMY!!!“. Really guys, is it that hard to give mommy a minute or 2 to herself? And why is it that you guys can be quiet and well behaved for a long period of time, but the moment my butt touches that toilet seat you start fighting and/or calling for me? And on a similar note… why is it that you need mommy the moment she starts talking on the phone to someone?

So I sit here with my fingers crossed that this will be the week I will get an hour to myself to just sit and rest, and by sitting and resting I mean before 10 or 11 pm when I get to start to unwind from my day. So please wish me and all the other single mom’s out there that this will be our week to finally get some mommy time!

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Buy my house… please!

kitchen02_1200

While I rather not have to sell my house circumstances beyond my control have forced me to put my dream home, the house I  thought I’d raise my kids in, the house I’d celebrate fun times with family and friends, the house I’d live in until the day I died on the market. (And from much much less than what it cost me to build a few years ago).

So please check this link out and buy my house so my kids and I can move on with our lives.

The house has the following features and is in a great school district (in Nassau County) on Long Island, NY:

  • modern design w/large open floor plan
  • floor to ceiling windows – lots of natural light (even in the basement – we rarely put the lights on during the day)
  • electric shades
  • dramatic lighting
  • radiant heat on all 3 floors
  • 2 large fireplaces (1 in the master bedroom)
  • built in cabinetry from Italy
  • Arclinea kitchen with 14 foot long island, Kuppersbush 5 gas burners, 2 sinks, 2 Miele dishwashers, 1 large Subzero fridge, 1 large Subzero freezer, 1 under-the-counter Subzero fridge, 2 large Miele ovens, 1 smaller Miele oven/microwave.
  • 2 Jerusalem stone patios
  • Jerusalem stone walkways
  • 6 bedrooms
  • 4 full bathrooms/2 half-baths
  • bedrooms wired with ethernet
  • balcony off the master bedroom
  • large master bath with 6 foot long tub and large separate steam shower
  • large 2 car garage (yes I can park my huge SUV there easily)
  • large finished basement
  • 5 zones of AC/heat
  • server room
  • home office
  • fish tank room
  • fenced in yard
  • playset in the backyard with protective flooring underneath for the kids

I really wish I would get a winning lottery ticket so I could keep the house as my boys wish we could do (so if you have a winning ticket for me please let me know), but for now because of my divorce I cannot afford to keep it. Sadly, I need to sell it and move on with my life. Hopefully to someplace where my kids and I can live happily with our dogs.

So please help me get the word out about my house… tell anyone you know who maybe looking to check out this great home in a great school district!

Thank you and please help me sell my house!!!

 

 

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