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Getting Back On The Horse

So much to catch up on. I don’t even know where to begin.
When I started working on LHR again, I let my personal writing fall by the wayside a bit. There’s only so many hours in the day and less time to write than I’d like. As it is, I do most of my writing in the middle of the night instead of, you know, actually sleeping, because with two active kids hone full time right now, it’s the only quiet, “spare” time I’ve got.
Then time issues became health issues. Things in that department took a turn for the worst for awhile there.
Back in November, I started what I’ll refer to as puke-fest 2011. After far too many rounds of musical ness and musical doctors, I ended up in a place where I’d hurl the second ANYTHING hit my stomach. Now, I’ve had bouts like this before, it’s par for the course with pancreatitis. But this was extreme. It started with a family rendition of the stomach flu, as brought home by the elementary school carrier monkey child. Of course, we all got sick, one right after another, and the baby and I were in the hospital together at one point. But then, everyone else recovered, and I just went right on hurling.
Three months, 8 emergency room visits, two hospital admissions and several doctors later, and it turns out it was one of my meds. (Seriously? My faith in doctors is pretty low right now.)

Once that was resolved, I started pushing another issue. The thing is-My abdominal symptoms get worse every month, around THAT time of the month, and during the weeks leading up to that time. I’d told doctors this before, but since most of my Drs are specialists, they want nothing to do with areas of the body that are outside of their area of expertise. Especially “womens issues.”. I know hoo-has are scary and all, but why aren’t there any doctors left who actually look at the WHOLE person?

Eventually I grew tired of the doctors blowing this off and went to an obgyn. After ruling everything else out with another series of fun, invasive and painful tests, she informed me that all that was left was endometriosis. The second I googled it, I went, “Holy shit! I have THAT!”
It took switching doctors a few more times, but to make a long story short- I’ve definitely got endometriosis. I’ve had it since puberty, and the only thing that saved it from being much worse was the fact that I started having kids young and basically spent four years pregnant. It doesn’t grow when you are pregnant, you see, and it wasn’t until after I had my youngest daughter that I started having all of this undiagnosed abdominal pain. (Yeah, over six years ago.) I’m trying not to dwell on the fact ghat had they figured it out THEN, I probably wouldn’t have incurred the damage to my pancreas during all those un-necessary procedures. Nothing I can do about it now, I suppose.
Anyhow I found an amazing doctor who cut me open and scraped all of the nasty crap off my insides. He also made it so I could perform normal bodily functions without the use of a syringe, rubber gloves, a tube and a shit ton of ex-lax. Oh, oh! And they removed a floating staple that fell off something gall bladder related and lodged itself in my “Pouch of Douglas”. (yeah, i didn’t know what that was either until very recently, and i don’t recommend putting sharp random staples there-particularly if you’d like to enjoy sex again, ever.)
So yeah. Now I’m on continuous birth control now to help slow it’s regrowth-but generally it does grow back and I’ll need to be cleaned out periodically. There’s also a possibility I’ll end up losing all of my internal womanly parts, (Which has really put my desire for one last baby into hyperdrive.)
Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I had a lovely 5mm kidney stone decide to get stuck in my ureter so I also got to go under and have that shoved back into my left kidney, (Which is also deformed, as it turns out. I already knew righty had duplicate lobes and tubes.) Incidentally, I’ve got a random tumor in my bladder as well, but the biopsy says it’s just another random, strange “me” thing.

Some advice? If anyone ever offers you a uretral stent, for the love of the gods, say NO.

What’s that you ask?

Oh, just a tube that they leave in place that extends from your kidney ALL the way on down… and…out. Let’s just say I preferred the kidney stone itself to the feeling of the stent, and leave it at that.

So, to summarize, I’ve now got endometriosis, chronic pancreatitis, and rheumatoid(?) arthritis. Whee.

Add to that an insane ex who has decided to blog stalk me for his own sick amusement. (Go back a few posts.) And his mother and her crusade to prove the kids issues are somehow All. My. Fault. (As usual) And throw in a baby who has taken to stripping naked and pooping on everything EXCEPT the toilet when he feels the urge.

See why I’ve been in hiding?

But the surgeries are done (for now,) the meds have been adjusted, the baby isn’t allowed to wear anything other than backwards feety jammies 24/7, and my ex and his mommy can spout all the lies, hatred, filth and random crap they want. All anyone has to do to see what kind of parent I really am is look at the two children we have raised. (And compare them to the two he has “raised”.)

Yeah.

I win.

Unfortunately, my two older children are the ones who are really losing in all of this, since they are stuck being raised by soulless, evil compulsive liars instead of in a stable, loving family where they belong. Sigh.

The point is, life isn’t going to stop me from writing. I won’t be abused and controlled by that family anymore, and I’m not at the mercy of my diseases. And by the gods, the boy WILL crap IN the toilet one of these days!
(Right? Please tell me he will? Everyone I’ve spoken to about potty training boys has just shaken their heads, given me a sympathetic look, and muttered something about boys being “hard”.)
Sigh. Bad Baby.

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Dance

I took my youngest daughter to her first concert on Wednesday as an early birthday gift. She had an amazing time, and as much as I twitched at the fact that her first concert was none other than Britney Spears, I’ll admit: it wasn’t that bad.
The show itself was very theatrical. I have to give the woman some credit, it can’t be that easy to dance and sing and change clothes twelve times for two hours straight.
But, more importantly, so did my daughter. Well, without the changing clothes part. (Excepting shoes. But at least we weren’t the only ones limping and holding our shoes by the end of the night.)
She began the night the same way she ended it~

Dancing:

I spent more of the night watching her watch the show than I did watching it myself and I confess, I was moved to tears more than once. My girl is growing up, and shes growing up well. I couldn’t help but feel a swell of pride in my heart as I watched her. We started the night outside with a local radio stations promotional booth and, as you can see, my daughter danced with un-self-conscious abandon on the side of the road.

The radio station took tons of pictures of her for their website. She spoke to them articulately and when we moved to the line, shed already amassed a group of admirers. (Admittedly they were mostly in the form of young gay men)

When she was born, I was full of fear for her. At the time, I was alone, and I worried about what kind of life I would give her. Doubts and worries kept me up many a night. But seeing her now, confident and happy, smart and amazing, I’m damn proud.

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Hi, My Name Is…

Hi.

My name is Eryn and I was once a blogger. I once had the ability to write interesting -to me, anyway- and sometimes even amusing or informative blog posts. I read other blogs, even interacted with the world by commenting and conversing on a regular basis. Then, I kind of, well, stopped.

And, so…Today, I’m going to go on a long explanation/rant/confession spree, complete with several f-bombs, ’cause it’s just been that kind of week- so brace yourself, or click away.

So, here’s where I’ve been: First, as you probably know already, (since like, only my mom is still reading this,) I got sick. Well, sicker. And while I was getting sicker,  I started to realize that most of what I was writing was, well, shit. Sometimes literally. And so I thought- “No one really wants to hear about how I got so sick I shit myself in the shower here.” Or, um on Facebook for that matter. (Again, sorry about that, Mother-in-Law, and great-grandpa.)

So, I decided to stop writing here until I had something less depressing to say. Something witty, or informative or… Whatever. Something less shit-related. I figured I’d come up with something good for you eventually. Contrary to popular belief, my life isn’t ALL about the shit.

Required Cute Baby Picture Here.

Though, granted, there IS a LOT of shit involved with the care of that one too. But he is cute, so it is okay.

Anyway… the plan was to write more when I had constructive things to write about that were not about my shitty healthy and my shitty shower escapades. And I fully intended to get right on that.
But then we moved.
And I got new doctors. New doctors that decided that since I’m in chronic pain I MUST be depressed, and therefore started playing a six-month game of what I like to call “musical meds” with me.
I’m no stranger to depression. I was your typical depressed teen for quite some time back in the day. (Fuck, I’m old now too. When did that happen?) Anyhow, I know what it feels like. I know the symptoms. I know when I need help. And I know when to ask for it.

And after I had Elijah and got diagnosed with maybe-probably-whofuckingknowsanymore-RA, I DID need help. When we went in for his month check up and the family doctor asked how *I* was doing, and I burst into tears, we put me on some meds.

The plan was six months of meds, while the PPD hormone storm calmed and I’d adjusted to the new pain level.
And then I’d go off, because really, the last thing I need is a sixteenth medication to add to the pile of toxic shit I have to ingest on a daily basis. Honestly-As long as my pain is controlled, I’m actually NOT depressed much. Sure, I have days, but EVERYONE does. That’s life. I have a wonderful husband, awesome kids, and things really are… GOOD other than MY health. Which I’m coping with.

So, that was the plan and I was ok with it.

And then we moved.

Yes, it always comes back to that.

Moving fucked me. No, really…Moving was awesome in so many ways, but totally set my medical progress back a year, at least.

We got here and the new doctors all had different opinions on what I have/don’t have and should/shouldn’t be on and I swear to the gods they are going to end up fucking killing me or making me kill myself  or somemotherfucker is getting a spork in the eye if they don’t all get on the samegoddamnnedpage soon.
(Hmmn. Perhaps statements like that one are why they keep forcing meds on me?)
Pardon, I um, digress.
The point:
In all seriousness, I didn’t even realize something was seriously wrong in my head until I had a pregnancy scare and stopped taking the happy meds the latest quack decided I must need. (Sidebar: Apparently not eating for three months can cause you to have a 31-day late period. Who knew? Well, bulimics, probably)
Anyway, without the brain meds I suddenly realized that my mind had been gone for, like at least the last six-months. And I didn’t even realize it. I was walking and talking and acting like a normal human, but inside? I wasn’t home. I didn’t CARE about anything. No passion, no real emotion. So why would I write about anything?
And that, my friends, is, pardon the term: Fucking Scary.

Pretty much the instant that I came off of the antidepressants, I WANTED to write again. I want to leave the house again.(working on that one still) I want to…Participate in these global conversations again. Live my damn life again. ( Disclaimer: Some people DO WONDERFUL ON THEM AND NEED THEM. Some people actually have chemical imbalances or other issues, like, perhaps actually BEING depressed. I am NOT advocating anyone stopping any meds here, just sharing MY personal experience. So don’t sue me, assholes.)

During all of this, I had yet another revelation. I realized that I truly don’t give a fuck if I sound whiny or bitchy or have to many health problems for my, um three-ish readers that are still here. This is my personal blog, uncensored and agenda free. If you don’t like it, go read Dooce or something. Cause I ain’t PC, I say “fuck” entirely too much, I won’t sponsor ads or promote horrendous shit you don’t need to buy on my personal blog. I don’t care that you know I’m a Pagan who has spanked my kids bottoms from time to time and really really hates your stupid bumper stickers. I don’t even care if you think so-called-mommyblogging is exploiting our children.
That’s crap, by the way. (Since I somehow got to THIS subject from um… wherever the hell I was in that last paragraph, I’m just going to go with it) MOST of us writers who happen to also be parents, we do this, not to make a buck, or embarrass our kids,or be attention whores. ( Note the most I had to throw in there) We do this because we have to. If we didn’t,I truly think we’d all be insane. Because parenthood, and LIFE for that matter, can be an isolating, fucking terrifying thing. And the “blogosphere” (Have they come up with a better term yet? I really hate that word.) is a community. We may not all agree on working/staying home, breast/bottle spank/no spank, but so fucking what? I’ve seen what can happen when we all work together and it’s an amazing, awesome thing. Lives have been changed for the better. Motrin has been humiliated.  People’s minds have been expanded and enriched. And we gain comfort, in knowing that we are not alone.  So, I, my friends am here to stay. In my mind, in my life, and yes, in the “blogosphere” (gag)

My other project, now THAT has an agenda, an awesome one, at that, but here?

Here I’m just myself. Fuck it.

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So, to answer your unasked questions, no, I have not vanished off of the face of the earth. Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. The Bermuda triangle did not claim me and I have not run away to Cozumel with bob the pest control specialist.

Instead, I survived a summer with four energetic children which included moveing halfway across the country in a car alone with said energetic children and two energetic dogs and lots and lots of inappropriate music and snacks to placate the masses. Then I survived a holiday season that included a plane flight to Buffalo in December with a walking baby who wasnt in the mood to be restrained for five hours, a seven year old whos voice has no off button, and a severe plane phobia. And most recently, I survived three months of subsisting entirely on Coke and nicotine. (The beverage, that is.) as such things will tend to do, this eventually landed me in the hospital where I spent last weekend comfortably pressing the go button on my morphine pump every ten minutes and rewarching the first twenty episodes of Veronica Mars.
Needless to say, I’m still alive and have expanded my gastronomic repiortoire to include such things as “meat” and “fruit” and “medication” once again.
I’ll be back soon with some summer and holiday tales, posts that have been written in my head for months but which I have failed, for some reason to be able to find the will to actually sit down and write. Retrospectively, I think perhaps I was isolating myself a bit, after the let downs of real life, I think I couldn’t bear the thought of you, dear Internet, letting me down as well. But I am back and here to stay. I promise. I’ve missed you greatly.

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When it Rains, it Pours.

Or something like that.  If you follow me on Facebook, you are probably aware that I’ve had a bad few days week month.

But, in the style of our new project, Love Hate Review, I’ll start with

The Good:

Spring is here in full force

– which in Florida, means it went from 40 degrees to 90, but I’ll take it. Cold is not fun for the arthritic joints.

Anyway, with spring come dragonflies.

And pool parties.

My Baby is Unrealistically Cute.

See for yourself.

Have I Mentioned we Have an Awesome New Site?

I am having so much fun with it. Reviews and Giveaways, what could be better!

The Bad:

Vaccines are Tricky.

Elijah had his six-month appointment. (Newsflash-he’s huge, but proportionate. And cute) And he got shots that I had been putting off, well… because. Anyway, after the injection, the office has you wait in the waiting room for ten minutes. So I sat down and started feeding him. And as I was, I noticed his face starting to redden. Then his arms, and his chest. Within minutes, his entire body was covered in hives.

Of course, panic ensues.

After we ascertained that he was not in fact, going to go into shock and stop breathing too,  we watched him for a million-year-long hour and his hives started to slowly fade.

But now he can’t get conbo shots, everything has to be separated and he has to be monitored closely, because they have no idea what triggered it, and the next time, the reaction could be much more severe. As if I don’t have enough issues with shots as it is.

Too Much Bodily Fluid, Not Enough Valium.

Pretty much everything in this house has peed, pooped or puked on or near me this month.

Fords Suck.

Yes, we already know this, but Friday, mine completely blew up. Oil mysteriously disappeared and my engine seized. So, no car for two weeks while they replace the engine, and its going to cost eleventymillion dollars.

Arthritis Sucks.

‘Nuff said.

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Dear Ford, Again.

I’m writing this post to let you know why I will never be buying another Ford.

My experience with Ford started about three years ago.After going for an incredibly long time without my own vehicle, we took a trip to CarMax. Eventually, after some consideration, we picked out a Ford Explorer. I made this choice for many reasons. I needed a reliable family car, that would fit my three children and the fourth we were planning to eventually have. Also, I really did not want a minivan. And at the time, I was under the impression that Ford’s were decent, solid, American-Made cars. The Explorer was used, (a 2003 8 cylinder XLT model) but it had decent mileage and was in good condition. it has a third row that’s not too complicated to get to and can hold groceries and strollers and the myriad of crap a soccer-mom-of-four has to cart around on a daily basis. And more importantly, we wouldn’t have to strap the baby to the roof.

In the end, we paid too much for it, but we figured since CarMax was simple and easy, and since this vehicle was going to last awhile, being Ford Tough and all, it would work out fine.

So we brought it home and I was  thrilled. For about a month.

The day after CarMax’s 30 day warranty expired, I realized the CD player didn’t work. Oh well, no big deal, I thought.

A month after that, I rolled down a window and it never rolled back up. When I went to get it repaired, the mechanic showed me the insides. He explained how parts that used to be made of steel were now replaced with cheaper plastic and much more prone to break. I wasn’t thrilled about the mechanisms that hold my windows in being flimsy plastic, but what can you do? Right?

I few weeks later, I discovered that I could no longer roll down another window. Well, at least this one wasn’t stuck down, right? Unable to afford another three hundred bucks to have the door ripped apart and the flimsy parts replaced, I chose to leave it as it was.

Two months after that, the check engine light went on. Scared to find out something else was wrong, I waited until it was time to go in for my routine oil change and has the mechanic run tests to see why the light was on. Turns out, there’s something defective going on with the air filter, and it was actually recalled, but since my car isn’t under warranty anymore, Ford says they can’t replace the part unless I pay for labor. The mechanic told me that it wouldn’t make a difference in the way the car runs anyway, it was just a sensor that causes the check engine light to light up, so again, I let it go. And try to annoy the check engine light. Heaven forbid I really need to check my engine, because I’ll never know.

Around this time, my car started stalling at stop lights. Again, I take it in, and they can’t find the problem. It’s only intermittent, and it starts back up again right away, right?  And, that car didn’t actually hit me when I stalled in the middle of that intersection with all my kids in the car, so it’s all good. Right?

Another month, another issue. My car alarm goes off at 2 in the afternoon. I watch it from the window, doors locked, phone in hand, convinced I am being robbed. (No such luck.) I key the alarm off and write it off as a fluke. Maybe it was the wind.

Yeah, right.

Fast forward to 3 A.M.  And 3:45, and 5am. And the next day in Target when I am paged over the intercom because my alarm is going off. Another trip to the mechanic, where I am told, it is probably a faulty door sensor, registering an open door when there is none. But there is no way of knowing which door sensor without checking them all, and it could take untold hours to rip apart every door and check them. Which adds up to money we do not have.  And they are unable to simply disarm my alarm. If I lock my doors, the alarm goes off. Sometimes, it goes off anyway, just for fun. Also, since it intermittently thinks the doors are open, while you are driving the dashboard incessantly beeps a warning at you. And, as an added bonus, the interior lights, and sometimes headlights don’t go off. So I have to carry a car battery charger around wherever I go. And when I drive at night, I have to manually turn off the interior lights, which can’t be done without turning off the back lighting for the clock, radio, speedometer and gas gauge.

At this point, I can’t play my music, I can’t roll down my window, I can’t lock my doors or read my gas gauge, and I have to Flinstone run my 6 ton SUV full of kids off of train tracks when it stalls. But at least I have a car, right?

Then one morning, a year and a half ago, I go out to do some grocery shopping. As I go to put my earth friendly shopping bags out of the back, I am greeted with a lovely sight.

This, my friends, was what I saw.

Here I am, freaking out, trying to figure out what I did. Did I back into something? Did someone smack the back of my car? Did I slam the trunk too hard? Steve is going to kill me. Crap Crap, CRAP. I rack my brain, but can come up with nothing. A few weeks later, another crack appears, again, first thing in the morning, it is just there.

As near as we can figure, when it gets cold out, ( But not that cold, remember, we live in Florida.) the hardened Play-Doh or whatever the back is made out of, just… cracks.

Once it happened to me, I started noticing a funny thing. Seventeen other Ford Explorers in my neighborhood have the exact same cracks. What?

(Seriously, I am going to start a photo gallery of all the Fords with cracked rears that I come across. (If you have one, post a link to a pic in the comments!)

So then, last month, I’m driving my daughter home from school. I’m making a left turn, against traffic, because I don’t have a green arrow, and suddenly, my car doesn’t go. Oncoming traffic is speeding at us, and I’m standing on the gas pedal, and I’m barely moving. A light on the dash tells me “Conserving power,  because you are overheating.” or something to that effect. (I was a bit too panicked to write it down or commit it to memory.) Luckily the oncoming traffic managed to swerve and not kill us all, and I manage to putter into the gas station that was fortunately only 3 feet away.  Where it turns out, I was completely out of fluid.

There was NO warning.. just boom, out of fluid. Back to the mechanic, who can’t for the life of him figure out where exactly, it is going. There’s no visible leak, but my coolant is going…somewhere. Somewhere expensive, that’s probably going to require an engine replacement. Which we can’t afford, on a car that’s barely HALF paid for. So now I get to drive around with gallons of leaky antifreeze in the back of my kid and dog filled, safe family car.

Now, keep in mind, I regularly maintain my car. Change the oil, rotate the tires, get tune up’s. All the things you are supposed to do. None of these things are due, in any way, to anything I did. Every single thing is a manufacturing default. And you can’t tell me Ford doesn’t know about the problems, with as many other cracked-rear Explorers driving around as I have seen.

I’ve had it. This is ridiculous.

Why should we, as consumers, have to put up with this crap? Especially on the second most expensive thing we buy? We get better service in Victoria’s secret, and if a bra I buy from them falls apart after several washings, they will replace it. For free! We pay so much for our vehicles and they are apparently made to just fall apart. All this corner cutting and putting people in danger by making thirty-thousand dollar pieces of junk, and they wonder why the car industry needs bailing out? Wonder why people prefer to buy cars made in Germany and Japan? Hell, at this point, I would prefer a Toyota.

We should demand better service. We deserve better quality.

Please pass this on to anyone you know who is thinking of buying a car, and if you already have a Ford, please share your stories with me.

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A day in the life of me

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