"Paging Dr. Duh…Dr. Duh, to real life, please…"

“You should lower your stress levels.”

I’ve gotten it from friends, family and even my doctor piped in with a resounding, “You know, if you had any other job, I’d write you “off” for a year.”

I’d love to be funny about it… whimsically humourous or even, on a “good” day, be witty and clever about it.

I’m not quite sure people have actually thought this thought through (Whoa. Say that 10 times fast!). It’d be similar to hopping into the pilot’s seat halfway through a flight and then realizing, “Oh shit, I’m not 100% certain I’ve learned how to land one of these…”

When I say I have a “made-for-tv-movie” kind of life, this is not an unrealistic exaggeration.

Five children, one who makes less than oh-so-stellar choices in the pit stops along the road of life (referred to as boy #1), one with behavioural difficulties and a chemical imbalance (boy #2), and a set of four year-old twins. I also work. I also have to run the finances. I also have to manage the household. I also have to fulfill my duties as Treasurer in my Kindred. I also have to fulfill my duties as President of my Condo Board for the next three years. I also have a wedding to plan and finalize. I also have to remember to remember to remind myself (yes, that is written the way I wanted it) to look and make sure I’ve got a grip on pizza days, doctor’s appointments, who needs new shoes, which bills get paid when and by how much, and where I was in the mountain of laundry that propagates faster than a yard full of rabbits.

*takes a deep breath*

I have to remember any number of eleventy-billion things at any given time. It is a critical (and by critical, I mean like how important it is to have oxygen in the air we breathe) component to ensuring that a household of this magnitude continues to run like a well-oiled machine.

So.

So, I need to figure out HOW to simplify this and/or make “alterations” to the workload I’ve got going at any given time.

Thus, riddle me this: Since my official diagnosis in November of 2010 of system erythematosus lupus, of fibromyalgia this past spring with secondary Sjogren’s syndrome….and NOW…

[enter drumroll, stage right]

…confirmation today of secondary Raynaud’s phenomemon…(which I’ll get to in 2.2 minutes)…

I ask myself, “Why in the blue hell has only THREE THINGS changed in my life?”

In February of this year, I “downsized” my daycare (ya, did I mention that’s what I did after staying home post-twins? Yup. I also wonder why a raven is like a writing desk…) to only after-school children. Two. Sisters. No prob.

Clearly, in my ever-present brainfog, I did NOT anticipate the upcoming “not just afterschool” issue of summer break. Back to working 10 hour days. I cry just typing this…

In April, my oldest son went to stay temporarily with his grandmother and step-grandfather to allow him and I to “heal” and re-group with each other. We’re talking anything from yelling to calling the police on him. It was horrible. More than horrible. Soul breaking.

Then, just at the beginning of June, my second boy went to live with his father. I have “guilt” and all of it’s associated unrealistic thought processes. It is, however, the best environment for him to practice all of the skills I fought to get him into for the past four years. His dad’s turn now. *cries*

Very positive changes. Very heartbreaking changes. Both within two months of each other. Why make such a personal thing public? Because I want people to know the extent to which I will go take care of my family. And yet I still feel like I am bearing the weight of the world!!

So, you know what I did? Not too long ago? For the whopping second time in my 37 years? I asked for help…correction…”assistance”. Yup. Just right gone and done it.

[enter chirping crickets, stage left]

So, clearly I’m faced with two realizations.

One: people love to talk about assisting, but when they clue in that you don’t just have a head cold or are just recovering from surgery and will be better in a couple of weeks…they’re like kids in the classroom when the teacher asks a question they don’t know the answer to…[eyes to the floor] “Don’t pick me…please don’t pick me!!” And, two, I’m just going to have to do this myself.

“I’ll take, ‘What’s behind door number 3?, for $100, Alex.’ “

Simplify. How in the freakin’ h-e-double toothpicks am *I* supposed to SIMPLIFY?

I do not live in a two/three/four person household. No, the dishes cannot wait until tomorrow, I’ve children and a daycare I need to use them for! I do not live in a two/three/four person household. No, the laundry cannot wait until tomorrow…we’ve been living out of baskets for weeks and necessity dictates either wash them, or go buy new clothes.

**how many of you have done that…truly…socks? Underwear?**

I do not live in a two/three/four person household. No, the garbage cannot wait until tomorrow to be taken out because it fills up every blimey day and stinks and I can’t fit today’s garbage in it. I do not live in a two/three/four person household. No, the groceries cannot wait until it stops raining because I’ve already put it off for three days trying to shake this damned flare!

I seriously could continue. But I shan’t. I also had had the “not” capitalized each time, but decided it looked like I was yelling. I’m not yelling. I’m disappointed. I’m dejected. I’m just…I’m just sad. They don’t have a font option for sad.

What IS the point of this seriously delusional rant I’ve got going today?!?!?

Because apparently stress is one of THE most prevalent factors in whether I can shake my flares faster, lessen their severity or….in the land before time….perhaps even assist in preventing them.

I. KNOW. THIS.

I am NOT purposefully ignoring your advice. Truly. But I implore that you kindly stop assuming that I’m a bloody idiot. I’ve got two diplomas and an Associate Degree. All with high honours. I GET it. I am starting to take offence to the advice given (especially when unsolicited…I asked for specific things in my query for assistance…) and I would like to state, for the record, that hearing things that are clearly oh-so-very-obvious are more insulting and hurtful than by not getting any assistance at all.

I know it is made with well-intention. I’m just saying it’s a little degrading.

Moving on.

Raynaud’s. Phenomenon. Of the secondary variety. What is it? It’s annoying.

In medicine, Raynaud’s phenomenon (pronounced /reɪˈnoʊz/, US dict: rā·nōz′) is a vasospastic disorder causing discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas. This condition can also cause nails to become brittle with longitudinal ridges. Named for French physicianMaurice Raynaud (1834–1881), the phenomenon is believed to be the result of vasospasms that decrease blood supply to the respective regions. Emotional stress and cold are classic triggers of the phenomenon.~~ as taken from Wikipedia.

I highlighted the “emotional stress” part myself. And bold-ed it. Yup. Bold-ed.

New word. Give it a go.

So, my fingers and toes turn bluish. It’s been occurring more and more frequently. I should make a chainmail bracelet to match. Stylish.

Now comes the time to seriously take stock of all that really matters. Time to eliminate people that do not add value to me or my family. Being chronically ill really sucks ass, imagine having to still bear the brunt of the world at the same time. Can’t I go into a “remission”, of sorts? Well, yes…yes I can…if I’m not left holding the weight of the world.

I’ve only got two hands. Genetic defect.

*Clip & Copy postcard can be found at: http://www.sickhumorpostcards.com I am in no way affiliated with them, but give them huge ‘props’ for this!!*

4 responses to “"Paging Dr. Duh…Dr. Duh, to real life, please…"

  1. Welcome, my medico-sister, to the 7th level of hell. I finally won disability retirement because I have 10 monsters to deal with (and each monster has it's own specialist). It is a rough life no matter how you cut it. RANT to release your stress. RAVE when things go right. I have no fixes for you, and I can't help you with your burdens, but do know that I am here to listen. You are not alone. Gentle hugs!

  2. I am serious in my offer to do anything that you need me to do. You will have to let me know what you need though love as I can be very dense at times even though my heart is in the right place.

  3. I am just me. Well and a dog, but I even have joint custody of her which is a god send for someone with lupus/fibro/raynaulds (and now possibly Addisons too). I have no. freaking. clue. how you do it. I clearly have no advice to give- at most I have lived with two different boyfriends after being diagnosed and all that did for me was highlight how difficult it is for me to relinquish control of anything to anyone. But I do agree that you need to rant and rave and CAPITALIZE whenever you need to. Listening is what I can do. And tell you again, what you are handling is amazing, you are amazing for not crawling under the bed and hiding. Definitely eliminate- I chose three good friends over trying to keep up with a large circle (that always had something to say when I cancelled plans or left early or whatnot). Ask for help in other places maybe? I refused for years but recently met with two people from my local lupus org- holy heck did they have great resources and ideas for me (I'd kick myself for not going earlier but my knees hurt to much to do it). When you ask for help be very specific. And I think that is all the advice I have.
    Oh and don't stress—– just kidding.

  4. My comment shall be two fold… because i knew what i was going to say until i read about the raynauld's syndrom.

    First one: I am NOT purposefully ignoring your advice. Truly. But I implore that you kindly stop assuming that I'm a bloody idiot. I've got two diplomas and an Associate Degree. All with high honours. I GET it. I am starting to take offence to the advice given (especially when unsolicited…I asked for specific things in my query for assistance…) and I would like to state, for the record, that hearing things that are clearly oh-so-very-obvious are more insulting and hurtful than by not getting any assistance at all.

    I like a lot of people get what you're saying here, nothing makes me more pissed as when someone suggests something to 'help you cope' that is so freakin obvious you just want to stab them in the head for thinking you're such an idiot. "Ohh why dont you take it easy today?" OH CAN I!!!! I was waiting for you to tell me i could do that! *BIG SIGH* you life saver :D:D:D Then i whip out my butcher knife, and such start my life in the slammer.

    The second… about the Raynauld's syndrom, i kind of had a lightbulb moment reading about that because i for ever have blue toes/finger tips and even lips as well. I always just choked it up to bad circulation, and my Uncle/Drs never pointed it out so i assumed it was just well… normal. I'm going to ask them about it next time i see them, perhaps I can have another disease to add to my ever growing list (big big sarcastic yaaaaay).

    Well, i must say, you're the strongest woman I know, and i really admire you. I wish i could invite you to my apartment for a social dilaudid and some good conversation. I'm not well, Im not one to just say something to butter you up or make you feel better, i really have never met lady as strong as you. If you ever need help, and help that a gay kid on vancouver island can give you, even just chatting on aim or whatever, ping me. We only have lupus and a few other things in common, but im an awesome listner. Have a good evening 🙂

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