It’s Been Hard

I am struggling. I wish I could say that everything is all peachy and that California is perfect. It’s not. It is amazing in its own way and I love being here. I do love Woodland, but I fear that we will have to move some place else eventually because I am not sure if it is big enough for us all. Life for me has lost the color and texture it normally has. I am fighting every single day to just get up and take care of the kids. I am so tired at the end of the day and when M comes home from class early I rejoice inside because I can sleep. I really wish that I could say that I am sleeping more because the time change is hurting me, but we all know that would be a lie. 

I am not sure why I am struggling so much right now, but I have been. M is still looking for work. I have doctors for the kids, they are all amazing. I am really seriously blessed in that their primary care doctor is uber amazing and understanding. I was really worried about that. I have a great doctor myself and I see her Thursday. I think I know what she will say and honestly I dread it but at the same time, I am looking forward to it also. 

There is a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes that I can not yet talk about. I just wanted you all to know I am not dead yet. Just struggling to get every day done. I am hoping to be back normally soon, but I am not sure what toll this will take on me yet. 

-Ciao!

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Enter No Pain Relief…

Most of the people I have known for longer than 5 minutes know that I have suffered from horrible, painful, sometimes debilitating migraines. For those of you who do not suffer from these horrible things, I would not wish them on you ever. I finally got M to quit saying he has a migraine when all he has is a headache. He never understood the difference, he thought, like many do that migraines are just bad headaches. They are not. Migraine is a neurological disease. I am new to this concept myself.

I switched meds recently after a phone call from my neurologist on last Tuesday. He called on a day where I had a level 10 migraine. I could not focus on our conversation. I forgot what I had already said to him and repeated myself several times in the span of a five minute conversation. So, much so he wants me to get an MRI done to find out why my migraines have changed so drastically after the birth of my daughter, Charlotte.

Some days my pain is manageable. Of course my manageable and yours might be slightly different. I am able to function with pain up to a level of about 8.5 or so. Now, that does not mean I am doing things well. I am not, I am just barely able to get things done. When I am at this level of pain, my brain is in a severe fog and I will forget what I am supposed to do or even what I have done already. Even if it has been only about five minutes. For me, the brain fog is the worst thing ever because I pride myself on my memory and the ability to know what I need to get done. Some days, honestly, I can not remember my own address or phone number.

Some of my other symptoms of my migraines are: sensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and even it can hurt to touch me. Lately, I have been dropping things more than usual as well. Which kind of is a bad thing when you have an infant who can not get from one place to another without me picking her up and moving her. Those times, I take it nice and easy making sure I have her wrapped in my arms and not in my hands. I also have been more clumsy than usual , tripping over my own two feet more than normal, tripping over small things that normally would not bother me, and tripping over nothing essentially.

There are days that I make it through the day okay and I seem okay and then there are those days that I made it through the day and wonder how on Earth I made it through. We are supposed to go grocery shopping this evening, doing that for me depends on where my pain level is at that point. It is not unusual for me to not go at the last minute because my head hurts so bad I can not take it. Sometimes, I force myself to go anyway and those days are horrible.

I feel bad for my kids because most days I am not the fun mom. My kids are too young to understand what is going on with me. My two year old does know that sometimes mommy is in pain and he will rub my head to make me feel better, which makes my heart melt and breaks it all at the same time. Today I have to wash the comforters on the bed. It has been a while since I have done that. The problem is that the wash cycle is forty-five minutes long and I will forget what I was doing and it will sit and get all icky smelling.. so I have to try and focus on that. It is hard to do when you have two small kids needing stuff all the time..

Laundry is calling.

-Ciao!

Those Kinds of Days

I was reading a blog post over at Joy of Mom today and she wrote about a day that she was about to give up. It made me realize I have those kinds of days more than I care to admit. Especially with a toddler and a baby in the house. Don’t get me wrong, I adore and love my kids to the moon and back but some days I want to throw my hands up and yell at the top of my lungs that I quit.

I feel that as a mom I do not write about these days as much as I should. There are days that I am in tears for most of the day. With a 3 month old daughter who has more medical issues at the moment than I can shake a stick at, it is at best difficult and at worst very depressing most days. We have a ton of appointments to get to and every two weeks I have to people stick my daughter multiple times to get an IV in veins that are too tiny and fragile to handle this. All of that so she can get a blood transfusion that keeps her semi-healthy so she can gain weight like she is supposed to. On those days I know I am doing what needs to be done for her good, but as I listen to her screams and see her tears I feel like the worst mother of all.

Then there is Jeff, my perfectly healthy, active. crazy little boy. I know he gets bored being at home with us and not some place where he can run and let the energy out. Honestly, most days I do not have 1/100 of the energy that he has. I feel like I am not doing enough for him or with him. His tantrums are sometimes well deserved in my eyes. Sometimes not. I get tired of the hitting and head butting, which I thought we had left in the past, but it is coming back as is the biting sometimes. I know his life changed so much the day his sister was born and the fact she is not totally healthy means he gets less attention than I want to give him.

Most days something has to give and honestly it is me. I have damaged my shoulder some how and I was supposed to go to the hospital last weekend, but I had a horrible two day migraine. When I have those kinds of days I can barely move, but because I am a mom I keep going through the pain, misery, nausea, and everything else that comes with those kinds of headaches.  I have no idea how I get through those days at all. I know I am not giving my best, but honestly, I am amazed those days I even make it through.

I am not saying that M does not help because he does. A lot. Eventually he will have to return to work and I will be on my own with the kids all day long. Right now, my daughter mostly wants to be held all day, which with my shoulder is a challenge. My son wants to play and when I have my arms full of Charlie it is hard to play with him. We do play ball but his attention span is short as it is with all 2 year olds. I feel like I am letting them both down which leads to me feeling like crap and wanting to curl up.

I am barely running on little sleep, guilt, and caffeine. I know this will get better eventually, but right now eventually does not seem all that soon or close. Ugh. Well, off to play ball and stop the melt down that is brewing.

-Ciao!

Possibly A Turning Point

So, I have been not posting because honestly getting Charlie to the point where she is sleeping well enough so that the rest of the house can sleep too has been a full time job around here. We are all exhausted, finally I broke down and got her a HALO swaddle sleep sack and it finally came yesterday. The hospital uses them in the NICU and in the neonatal nursery. I put it on her yesterday as soon as I opened it and it calmed her little bootie right down and she slept really well for the first time since we brought her home.

We also changed her formula to soy, and finally seeing a decrease in the gas she has had. It was pretty bad until yesterday, so maybe we have hit a turning point with her. I sure hope so because honestly this no sleep thing is wearing on us all around here. As I write this, she is swaddled all snug as a bug in a rug and sleeping in her bouncy seat. That is another thing that has helped me out a lot! I was constantly holding  her before we got her a bouncy seat and this one vibrates and will let her sit in it until she is 40 pounds, so for a good long while!

Jeff of course has been out of sorts since we brought his baby sister home and he is still acting out a little bit, but we are trying to give him as much one on one time as we can while the other has Charlie and we are constantly praising him for being a good big brother. He loves to kiss her and help us with her. Sometimes to the point of being more of a hindrance than helpful, but we let him help anyway and move forward. He is slowly getting  used to her and having her here, so I am hoping that he will settle down soon. He is getting to be such a big boy, he is learning to eat with a fork on his own. Yeah, it gets messy sometimes but the look on his face when he accomplishes it is priceless. We are definitely running the vacuum more these days. LOL.

I went for my post partum check and ended up with a side trip to the hospital for my trouble. Ugh. I had some swelling start a few days ago in my feet and legs, at first I thought maybe I was eating too much salt, so I backed off the salt and the swelling went away but was back the next day even worst than it was. So, I showed my doctor and they were concerned enough to send me to the hospital for an ultrasound on my legs to rule out any blood clots. Which I did not have, thank God. So they recommended that I try and sit with my feet up. Um, I have a newborn and toddler, not happening! LOL. I do try and get my feet up when I can, which is not very often.

I have an appointment with a neurologist in May for my migraines. They are getting way worse and more frequent and it is time I saw a specialist about them and get a game plan working for myself. Right now I have had a migraine every single day since Charlie was born. Ugh. I have tried Firocet but I did not like that it gave me a ‘rebound’ headache so I stopped taking it after one dose. Also it is a controlled substance and honestly I do not want to take that for ever, so hopefully we can find a medicine that will help me but not make me sleepy. Or give me rebound headaches.

I did find a pretty good community of people on migraine.com and they have some very helpful articles and blog posts.. So I am enjoying that. Well, I have to run..

-Ciao!

Migraines Are Not Good For Childhood

I was diagnosed with migraines when I was like 15 years old. So, I have been dealing with them for many, many years and tried a lot of different medications with some horrible side effects to get some kind of relief. Sadly, some would work for a while and quit and some would just plain not work at all. At once point there was a medication where you would take 2 pills at the onset of a migraine and wait for about an hour and if it is not gone you take another pill every hour until it is. Honestly, I was up to 15 or 16 pills. It was crazy!

I have not taken a prescription migraine med in about 5 years, mainly because well, I would just lay down in a dark, cool room and go to sleep and most of the time this helped. Of course this is pre kids. But now I am back to meds for relief because I can not just lay down when I need to and sleep.

I do have some requests in case a pharmaceutical company accidentally stumbles across my blog and actually reads this entry ( far fetched, I know!).  Please Mr. Pharma could you make a migraine med that will not put me to sleep. Yes, I know there are some that say that they are non drowsy but when I take them I am out like a light! Also, the last med I tried made me tired, have severe nausea , dizziness, and other assorted side effects. Could we leave those out too? See, I am a mom to a 1 year old boy who does not understand migraines. He wants to play and laugh and squeal with delight and when mom has a headache, she can not handle those things very well.

I know that these requests are long shots because medication affects us all differently. I get that, but honestly I am so tired of suffering with these migraines. Yes,  I have heard of the botox treatment for migraines and honestly that scares me to death! Putting a toxic substance in my body for relief of migraines and it does not even work on every one. No, thank you.

Excedrin Migraine works about 60% of the time if I catch the migraine in time, but if I wake up with a full blown one, my day is pretty much shot. Like yesterday. I had a bad one. Horrible headache, dizziness, light and sound sensitivities, nausea, the whole nine yards it seemed! I am a very lucky girl that I have a husband who understands and he took care of dinner last night for us.

I hate losing days like these because my son gets one childhood and I do not want him to look back and remember that mommy had migraines. So I am trying everything I can to fight back and get some relief! I am much better today, I can at least function. I still have the nagging low grade migraine, but I think it is mostly weather related.

Oh yeah, that is another thing, the triggers. Ugh. I do not have many and I am pretty good at staying away from those that I can control such as certain types of foods, smells, etc… My biggest and worst trigger is something that I absolutely have no control over what so ever. The Weather. I cringe when I see a rapid change in temperatures coming or the barometric pressure changing rapidly from one day to another. I know these things will bring on a migraine for sure. I do everything I can to avoid them, the weather is one thing I can not avoid.

I am hoping on my newest doctor appointment that we will be able to work towards a plan that will help me beat these horrible headaches at least for a little while.

-Ciao!

Time Slips Away

IMG_0308 I can’t believe it is the end of April already! For those wondering, we got through the three day training okay. A couple of nights were rough but when M got home all was right again and Jeff of course was thrilled to see his dad! The weather here has certainly been crazy and today it is storming at the moment. I am not complaining because rain means less pollen in the air and better for me. M has a lot of stuff coming up in the next month with medical appointments and such for his med board. I am beyond grateful for the staff handling this because they are really communicative on what will happen, what needs to happen, etc… Makes it less stressful for us all.

Got some great news yesterday! M has been selected for conversion by Amazon! Only a few people got the paperwork and he did. So we will be working on that this week! So excited for this! He really does deserve it though. He works hard without complaining and is reliable.

Jeff and I are well, we are getting through most days as painless as possible. Last week was a little bit touch and go. He is getting to be very hard headed in the things he wants to do. Most of those things are off limits and tests me and some days I pass and others I fail. But I always try again. He is growing by leaps and bounds! I am thinking we need to move into 12 month PJs now for him because some of the 9 month old stuff is getting small!

We have moved Jeff into the world of table food and oh man has he just loved it! He loves yogurt (strawberry, strawberry/banana, peach, and caramel are some of his faves), he loves pretty much anything potato at this point, he loves chicken nuggets, pretzels, Cheez-Its, he tried and liked vegetable soup, saltine crackers, fresh fruit ( strawberries, bananas, cantaloupe, and I can not wait for him to try watermelon!).

So we went from a kid who would not eat any kind of baby food who will eat what ever I am eating that is not tied down on my plate basically! Tonight we are having burgers and fries, so he gets his own little burger cooked well done of course! It will be his first, so I am looking forward to that! He loves cheese ( like his dad!) and wants to grab my tacos but because of the seasonings and the taco sauce I use, I can not let him have any.

He is amazing! He is also trying too. We are working on using our inside voices when we are excited. Sometimes it works and well sometimes I get a migraine! He is still giving momma kisses like crazy and has now started to add sucking while kissing me on the cheek!

He truly does have a red head temperament, but I am learning to work with that. Not always easy and some days I just want to crawl into the nearest corner and cry, but we keep moving forward! I made a doctor appointment to have my checked out because my migraines are getting worse some days and it seems like I have them for days on end. Hoping to find a medicine that will give me some small amount of relief without some horrible side effects. Not sure it is possible, but trying.

Anyway, I had changed my Primary Care Physician (PCP) because the one I had was only in the office on Fridays and I needed more than that! So, I called the new one, after waiting for my new cards to arrive and made an appointment. She scheduled me for May 25th. I was thinking, why does that date mean something to me?? I looked and it is Memorial Day. SO I called them back today and mentioned that my appointment was on May 25th and it was Memorial Day, were they really open then? The lady I spoke to started laughing and was like, well I won’t be here!! Apparently they had a WHOLE day of patients scheduled and did not realize until I mentioned it. So, now they will be making some phone calls to reschedule. She did thank me though and I could not help but laugh too.

So, that is the news from our corner of the world! Hope all is well with all of you!

-Ciao!

I Failed My Son

Wednesday was supposed to be a day like any other, yet it was not. See, I have not been sleeping like I should some nights. Which of course affects me the next day. Tuesday night we got to bed early, well early for me, which is before midnight. I laid down and honestly I did fall asleep pretty quick. I woke up Wednesday morning about about before 7am, hubby had already left for work, so it was just Jeff and I like most mornings. He was still sleeping at this point and I had to get up to do the usual things, bathroom, something to drink and then back into bed hoping for a couple more hours of sleep. Jeff woke.

I got him a bottle and changed him. Put on his favorite Scooby-Doo DVD and he went back to sleep, so did I. until Jeff woke at 10 am. I know what you are thinking, 10 am , I so wish my kids would sleep until then! I woke up feeling as if I had not slept at all. I was trying to negotiate with Jeff for another hour of sleep but of course as with negotiating with a 1 year old, it did not work. So, I got up and got him another bottle, changed him, restarted the DVD and was trying to muster enough energy to start the day.

I was so tired I was in the worst mood ever. See, normally I am patient, kind, and I do not take the things my kid does personally, because well, he is 1. However, this day, I apparently forgot these things and let me tell you, my son got a horribly cranky, annoyed, generally mad at the world momma that day. I was so tired that I could not see straight. I could not understand how I could be so tired!

When he went down for a nap, I did too. I was so tired I could not even eat, so on top of being horribly cranky I was starving too and no wonder I had no energy! I took a small nap with him and when I woke I felt better, not great but better than I had all day long. I at least felt like I could finish out the day without being cranky momma.

Let me tell you, I felt so horrible for snapping at Jeff. It was not his fault but I could not help myself. See, M’s parents and family live across the country from us. My family, well, yeah. A long painful story. We have few friends here in Lexington. So basically we are on our own. There is enough money for bills and and barely food most weeks, so money for babysitters to help out is just impossible.

I did apologize to Jeff that evening, not that he knew what was being said. I did that for me. I am trying to do better by him. I am trying to make sure I get some kind of sleep and if I can’t then I get to eat at least in the mornings so I have some energy to face the start of the day with him. I know I will most likely fail him again, and it tears my heart out knowing that. I want to be the best mom I can be and honestly that is not easy.