I've been banished to the blog penalty box this past week. I've been bad. And grumpy. On the verge of a breakdown really. These hives are driving me nuts!! I've vowed to keep it real around here and for the most part I do. I also always try to see the silver lining on every cloud so as not to get swept away in the fog of feeling down. Then if I ever get so down in the dumps that I can't think of anything nice to say, I usually try to keep it to myself or at least to my immediately family (unfortunately they do hear it from time to time) which is where I've been venting my frustrations for the past several days.
They say "when it rains, it pours", but sometimes I wonder if it ever really stops. These past couple of years have been a kind-of permanent rainy season for us. Now, hear me out.....That's not all bad because when you have a lot of rain you also get a lot of rainbows too. (See, silver lining here folks). I can honestly say we've grown a lot and have become very grateful for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE that we have in our lives. With that being said, this past couple of month's flash floods of troubles has had me completely swamped.
Since Kevin's spinal cord injury, which was troubling all by itself. Trust me, that's news you never want to hear from a doctor coming out of the operating room. His two hour outpatient procedure turned into a seven week stay in the neorological rehab center. Thank goodness we have good medical insurance! Things went okay in he hospital, but then Kevin had to come home and learn to live with his injury in the real world. That has been interesting to say he least. Then when Kevin started having all those bladder infection that landed him in the hospital every time I began to get really worried about how I was going to care for him and work full-time too. Thank goodness he has only had one this entire year so far so I am beginning to feel like there is hope and we will be fine. I'm sure each day will bring different things and we will cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, I am learning to deal with the added responsibilities and remaining grateful that I still have my husband. It's easier, of course, to see the blessings now that Kevin is not suffering from a bladder infection. For a while there, I had a hard time seeing the blessings. My vision was clouded.
To add insult to injury, my health has been causing me all kinds of issues lately. As many of you know, I've gone round and round with doctors trying to figure this out and months later I still don't have any answers. So, I set up the allergy testing for myself next week. Then if that doesn't show anything that might be causing my hives I'll make an appointment with an endocrinologist to first have my thyroid tested. I read someplace that excessive hives and hypothyroidism (which I have) could mean I have Hashimoto Disease. Which is just another way of saying a problem with your thyroid. If that doesn't come back with anything then I'm going to be tested for other autoimmune diseases. I also read someplace that excessive hives was a warning sign for someone who was later diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The hives got them in for early treatment and allowed that person to live another five years. I'm still holding out for some kind of allergy because all this other stuff sounds awful! All in all, we have been blessed throughout these past two years. I'm lucky enough to have a great job and live in a day and age where FMLA is available. That has been such a blessing. Sure, my paychecks have only been about 60% of what they are normally, but at least something is still coming in. I can also see now how the blessings far outweigh the troubles, but it has taken a little while to get here, that's for sure!
For several months after Kevin came home from the hospital, and pretty much right up until a couple of months ago, I have been stuck in the middle of a major pity party. It didn't feel fair that we have to struggle so much while people all around us have it so easy. (I know that that's not true - everyone has their struggles - but when you're in the midst of a pity party, you put blinders on to those truths). I was angry, bitter, and really, really unpleasant. I hate feeling that way, but I couldn't rise above it. I didn't want to recognize all the great things that had happened in the same span of time. At the time, it was easier to be angry and sad.
Of course it didn't help that I was feeling physically ill at the same time. My skin hurting, with these hives feeling like my skin is on fire, and if I did anything very strenuous, I'd start hacking and coughing and get shaky and sweaty and feel awful. (I don't know how people suffering from asthma all their life do it every day). I've spent days and days laying on the couch doing very little, which gave me a lot of time to feel a lot sorry for myself.
Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and out an end to the pity party. You know just quit cold turkey. I have had to force myself to say a prayer of gratitude for a blessing in my life every single time a negative thought crosses my mind. I've had to force myself to carry on with my family and work responsibilities as if nothing were wrong. (You know, the ol' fake it til you make it mentality). I've also had to let people step in and help with things that were too big for me to do on my own, and recognize how blessed I am that there are plenty of people who want to help. I've had people who have no idea what's going on in my life (or in my head) call out of the blue and offer to take on some of my responsibilities, and then call again to thank me for letting them do it. If that is not evidence of a loving Heavenly Father working through righteous people to take care of his child, I don't know what is.
Things seem a lot brighter today. I'm still covered in hives, but they don't burn now. I do feel better physically and emotionally. Hopefully, I'll get some fun things posted this weekend and the first part of next week. Thanks for hanging in there with me!
Blessings I've seen:
1). Curtis came home and mowed the lawn for me yesterday. It still needs to be edged, but he will do that this weekend once we get some twine for the edger.
2). I swept half of the pool late last night. (I needed some thing to keep me busy so I wouldn't fall asleep right away). Kyle swept the rest and will vacuum the pool tomorrow.
3). I used my first EpiPen last night. I'm so glad the doctor prescribed it.
4). The allergist I will be seeing is one of the first to offer sublingual drops instead of shots for allergies. His website also mentioned that after a couple of months 90% of his patients see a drastic improvement with their allergies and even their asthma. So, that sounds hopeful. I'm so glad I made that appointment. If this doesn't work, then I will schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist to have my thyroid tested and also check for other autoimmune diseases.
5). Curtis is a good little brother. I've watched him set aside his wants or desires this week in order to let his big brother step forward into the limelight a little. It's made a big difference in all kinds of things so far. Here's hoping things keep improving.
6). I got a frantic text message from a co-worker this morning telling me her daughter was taken to the hospital the day before and had an emergency appendectomy. Then she had an infection. She had a couple questions for me about a few things unrelated to her daughter. I'm so glad they got her in to the hospital right away. Mom literally saved her daughter's life. An infected appendix is nothing to mess around with. I'm so glad they got the help they needed and that my friend was there to help.
Well, that's all I have for you today. Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.