Finding What’s Lost

I’ve been feeling pretty lost lately.  I have no job and have had crappy luck finding one, though I’ve had several interviews.  My middle son has been having some pretty extreme behavior issues in school and at home again the last couple months after several months of doing better.  My finances are in ruin.  I haven’t been doing great with my diet and exercise, due to the stress, depression, and anxiety from everything else.  And a few other personal problems I am choosing not to discuss in my public blog.  I feel like I’ve been slowly losing myself over the course of the last few months… so what is a woman to do?

I have been distant from my spirituality for quite some time.  I have been overly skeptical and leaning away from anything spiritual, focusing more on the logical and scientific ways of thinking.  But I’ve gotta say, in tough times like these, science doesn’t bring me any peace of mind.  So I’ve decided to start back in with my spiritual studies.  A couple nights ago I asked my faithful tarot cards for guidance, and some wonderful wisdom came from them on all accounts of my current challenges.  Then last night I picked up a couple of my Laurie Cabot books and started reading her philosophies on Wicca/Paganism, and how she applies it to other faiths and walks of life.  I’ve gotta say, she is the person I left off with when I walked away from my spirituality, and she is the person reeling me back in and making me feel at home.

1016521_146840648841411_1015105813_nBasically the philosophy is, no matter what you believe in, or what terms you use for the Divine, it’s all the same.  You can put a name to it, you can call it God or Goddess, you can worship, meditate, pray to yourself or with others, but no matter what, you’re still calling on the energies of the earth and the Universe to aid in your needs, and the needs of others.  Even science confirms that directing energy with thought works.  So not only do I have the analytical part of my brain appeased, but I can get back into the spiritual side of me, where I find companionship with like-minded people, and comfort knowing the Universe has got my back.

I plan to start going to a women’s group I’ve been considering joining for about 2 years now.  I will start meditating when I can, and seeing my therapist again. And I’m going to take back control of my body for my own health and well-being as well.  I’ve been slacking in many ways of self-care, and it’s time I start taking care of me again, so I can be the best I can be for not only myself, but my family as well.

I believe once I get back on track, everything else will start to fall into place, just as it should.

Stir-Crazy

Due to my physical limitations with my hip dysplasia, my surgeries, and some family issues, I have been out of work for a little over 2 months.  For the last few weeks I haven’t been able to such as lift anything or exercise besides walking, and walking is limited due to my hips.  This is not a complaint, it is just fact.  But the complaint here is that it sucks!

ballexerciseOn Tuesday I get to go for a recheck with the surgeon who performed my Panniculectomy, and at that time I will most certainly be asking if I can resume exercise.  I know I have a weight restriction for at least 6 weeks of 10 pounds, so weight training isn’t an option yet.  But if I could go to the YMCA and ride a stationary bike, or walk a treadmill for short periods that I can handle, or do some other aerobic activity, that would be wonderful!  Plus I feel like I’m losing muscle mass.  I know I’m not gaining weight back, but I feel lazy and depressed.  I need activity.

I’d also like to be able to volunteer my time in the local shelter, or help a groomer with bathing dogs, or something of that sort.  I need to find things to do outside of my home, with other people, in some sort of social environment.  I miss my work so very much, but I don’t think I’d be capable of doing everything that being a veterinary assistant requires anymore, as sad as that makes me.  That was honestly my dream job.  I learned something new every day.  It made me think, and exercised my brain.

Blog-image-burchielI need to find more activities that do that for me.  I’m going stir-crazy in my home all the time.  I don’t know how I managed to be a stay-at-home mom for 12 years.  It’s no wonder I had social anxiety so bad, being cooped up and secluding myself from other people.  The social anxiety isn’t gone, but I certainly don’t want it getting worse again.  I need to push myself to do more.  I need to grow as a person, not take steps backwards.

Trending In My Life – April 2017

I haven’t done a “Trending In My Life” for quite some time I realized.  I got out of the habit of blogging or vlogging there for a few months.  So I thought I’d give a little update.  I don’t think I’ll try to do these monthly anymore, but I will try to do them periodically as things change.

Game: Going right back to THE SIMS with this one.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to play for any amount of time.  But since I recently sold my iPad Pro and purchased a decent laptop computer, I am able to get back to playing again.

TV Show: CW’s No Tomorrow, streaming on Netflix.  And Awake, also streaming on Netflix.  No Tomorrow is a very upbeat romantic comedy that makes you look at what you would do if the world was coming to an end in the very near future.  It helps you explore the possibilities of stepping outside your comfort zone and taking chances in your life to make your life more fulfilling.  A very fun adventure, and I’m sure hoping for a 2nd season!  Awake is about a man who got into a major car accident and is living 2 realities.  In one reality he lost his wife in the crash, and in the other he lost his son.  I’ve only gotten through the pilot plus a little more, but very intriguing so far, for sure.

YouTube: I’m no longer watching YouTube regularly, so the YouTuber section will now be discontinued.  For that matter I’m really no longer vlogging anymore either.  I enjoy writing a lot more than speaking into my camera.  I’ll still post the occasional video of things that we’ve been doing, concerts, etc.  But vlogging is on hold for now.

Music: I’m always looking for new music.  Recently some of the bands I’ve been listening to are Pop Evil, Highly Suspect, Red Sun Rising, and Twenty-One Pilots.  I’ve even seen 3 of those 4 in concert this year so far!

Interest: As always, I’m learning as much as I can about the Panniculectomy surgery I had and about the Breast Reduction I have coming up.  I tend to research medical things that are going on with me as much as possible so I can be prepared.  I do this by reading not only medical articles, but by trying to find patient testimonials as well.  I found a site RealSelf.com that has been helpful with finding other patients to network with.  And of course I’ve been trying to put as much info out there as possible too, for anyone looking for information from the patient point of view.

Day One

Before Panniculectomy

Before Panniculectomy

I arrived at the hospital at 8 this morning. Jake brought me and has been with me all day.  I love this man.  Anyway, I first stopped at the lab for a routine pregnancy test, even though my tubes are tied, then we went to surgery waiting.  We waited for about an hour before they called me back for prep.  They had me sign papers, went over some more health history with me, and got IVs started.  Yes, plural IVs.  I had to have one in each hand, one for medications, fluids and anesthesia, and one for blood should I have needed a transfusion. Also, Dr. Kuiper came in to draw on me and make sure I was all marked and ready to go.

At that point they let Jake come in and keep me company while I waited for my turn in the OR.  A little after 10 they took me to the OR.  They got me up onto the operating table, had me lay on my back.  They were tying my arms down to the stands to each side of me and then told me I’d feel a little sleepy.  And that was the last thing I remember.

I woke up in the recovery room and shortly thereafter got moved to ICU to watch for bleeding during “fluid stabilization.”  Meaning my body is going to be trying to figure out what else it can pull fluids from when needed besides the 9 pound chunk of fat and skin that was removed.  For some reason the staff couldn’t find Jake though he had been in the same place since the surgeon updated him.  So he came in about 45 minutes after I got into my room, once they managed to find him.  Pain has been pretty well managed because they used a TAP block, which is a nerve block to the abdomen area that lasts about 72 hours.  I also have a pain pump that I control.

24 hours after surgery

However tonight has been rough.  I can’t seem to sleep more than about 30 minutes or so at a time, and I only got about 2-3 hours of sleep last night.  I’m exhausted.  But I cannot sleep on my back, and if i try to roll over onto my side, i can feel the staples on my hip and it pinches.  Plus my upper back is very painful from surgery 2 weeks ago still.  It feels like deep muscle aches.  So that’s not helping.

Tomorrow I will be moved into a regular hospital room and be allowed and encouraged to walk.  I’ve been told I will fatigue easily.  Then hopefully home on Saturday if all continues to go well.  And of course my love will be taking care of me at home too.  I don’t know what I’d do without him!

My Year of Transformation

I just logged on to share a few updates and noticed I hadn’t posted since November!  Wow, so much has happened since then that I haven’t been sharing much of at all.  So where to start….

At the end of November, my family and I moved to a small town about 20 miles away from work and school.  The house is wonderful!  Very spacious, plenty of room to spread out and relax instead of living with a cluttered home.  However, since then there have been plenty of downsides that I didn’t anticipate being quite as bad as it has felt.  We’re far enough away that not many people want to come out to visit.  Its not easy to just run to the store for a quick trip.  We have to get up quite a bit earlier just to get to work and school on time.  The boys don’t have a home to go to after school so they need to stay at a friends, which I have felt has been too much.  And if I want to do something in Newton or even further, I need someone to be with or check in on the kids, or I need to take them along.  Needless to say, I have been trying like hell to get a place back in Newton, but so far my efforts have been fruitless.  There is just nothing available big enough for the whole family.  I’m hoping since it’s tax season, people will have their refund money and start moving and free something up for us!
In December I had an MRI on a mass that had grown in my back, around my shoulder blades and just to the left of my spine.  They couldn’t identify it, but since it had been there for over 3 years, the doctors weren’t terribly concerned, but recommended getting it removed.  So in January I had it removed.  Pathology had to be transferred to Mayo Clinic because it still could not be identified.  It turned out to be a Myoepithelioma, which is a very rare tumor made of skin and muscle cells.  It is benign, but there is a chance of recurrence, and a change it could come back cancerous.  So now in a couple of weeks I have to have it opened back up and they will remove all the scar tissue and tissue around where the tumor was, just to make sure everything is out and margins are safe.  That surgery will be on March 9th.
In January, Jake and I took a trip to St. Augustine, Florida to deliver some belongings for friends that had moved there.  We hauled a U-Haul trailer behind my truck and drove it down there.  The journey was great, as we took the scenic route there and back.  We went through 13 states during our week-long trip.  I faced my fear of heights and climbed to the top of the lighthouse with Jake.  We got to play in the Atlantic Ocean, even though the temperatures in Florida were unusually cold.  And the trip home was the best… going through the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia.  It was a lot of fun to spend all that time just me and Jake.  I think it helped us connect on a deeper level, road-tripping together alone.
As many of my readers know, I have been on a weight loss journey since January of 2016.  To this date, I have lost 46 pounds.  I was losing fairly quickly until June 2016, and since then I have been stagnant on the weight loss.  So finally, rather than continue to stay the same and be stuck with the remnants of heavier times, I decided to go forward with skin removal surgery.  My insurance approved it right away since its been causing me lots of discomfort and other health issues.  Today I met with the surgeon so he could go over the procedure and answer my questions.  The surgery has been scheduled for March 23rd.  That one is going to be a long recovery, but worth it!  Then 6 months later I’ll be looking into getting a breast reduction as well.
Due to the worsening of my now-diagnosed hip dysplasia and worsening back pain, Parkview and I have decided to part ways.  It broke my heart to make that decision, but my work quality was really slipping and I was coming home every night absolutely drained of energy and in agony.  And my job performance was getting worse and worse.  Being a vet assistant/tech is something I have always wanted to do.  Its quite depressing that I am physically unable to do the job now.  But hopefully with my upcoming surgeries, physical therapy, and some way to control pain, I’ll be able to get out there and get another job somewhere in the companion animal field.
Moving, job changes, and surgeries…… 2017 is my year of transformation!