Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Need to Relax. In Austin and Boston.

Dear friends, I've been absent.  I've been preoccupied.  I've had a lot on my plate lately, and most of it isn't really blog worthy.  It's been life at it's busiest, and most hectic, and has included lots of frustrations and low points.  Nothing that each one of you hasn't experienced over and over again yourselves.  It's just hard to write when your mind is so preoccupied.
I saw my rheumatologist a couple of weeks ago.  I haven't been feeling all that well, and I thought that maybe a change in medications was due.  There was one seemingly ineffective med I was taking about 3 years ago.  I'd taken it for a couple of years and it didn't seem to do anything, and since it was a mild form of a chemotherapy drug I (being the amateur MD) decided to stop taking it.  No ill effects.  Not a one.  I was fairly symptom free for a long time.  And then I wasn't, and it's been harder and harder to manage lately.  At the time I stopped taking it, my doc didn't bat an eye - he just let me go off doing what I wanted to, but on this visit he suggested that maybe I should try taking it again, and that it would help the other medications to work better.   *sigh*  It's kind of a cumulative thing, so it's probably going to take awhile, and I've gone from swelling in my knee to such a sore neck it's hard to turn my head sometimes.  And my hands and wrists ache in the morning.  But it's incentive to fire up the laptop and start typing, as it really loosens them up!  That'll teach me to self diagnose...
My nephew got married this past weekend and my youngest brother and his family came from Utah for the occasion.  There was a pre-wedding dinner on Friday night, the wedding on Saturday, a reception Saturday night (which we didn't end up going to) and then another family gathering on Sunday.  It was all great, but it involved lots of dressing up and worrying what to wear, and wearing makeup every day.  It wore me out, I tell you.  But my nephew and his beautiful bride were lovely and happy and glowing. They were married in the LDS temple in Newport Beach, and after the ceremony it was a lazy walk across the large parking lot to the regular church next door where the In 'n Out truck came and served hamburgers and sodas to the hungry wedding group.  If you've never had In 'n Out hamburgers, you haven't lived, and it was just the thing on a hot September afternoon.  It was nice to sit with family and relax after the rush rush of the wedding.  The bride and groom drove away on a Vespa.  So cute.
My dad was having a tough time.  He's had 3 chemo sessions so far, and it's starting to have effects.  His lovely white hair is thinning, and the little that is still growing is growing in a little bit curly.  He looks tired, and his energy is lower.  My brother had to rush him to the doctor once on Friday with a minor emergency.  But he was a trooper and attended the Friday night party and the wedding.  When we came out of the temple after the ceremony and had to stand for a few pictures I thought I would die.  The temperature was in the 90s - full sun - and we were all very damp and shiny. I think that's what did my dad in.  He trooped across the way and had his hamburger and soda but didn't feel well after that and needed to go home and rest.  And drink about a gallon of water.  Both he and mom were a little worn out from the activity and the heat.

L and I headed home as well, only to discover that while we'd been down in Newport Beach celebrating out air conditioning had gone out.  Not good.  I called my cousin, who is our A/C guru, and he said he'd come over and check it out, which he did.  After about 3 hours.  But hey - it was a Saturday, and he works cheap, and I am NOT complaining.
He diagnosed the problem and said he would pick up the parts and bring them back on Monday evening.  That meant getting through a hot Sunday and even hotter Monday.  Yes, folks, Monday reached a high of 101 degrees, and there I sat in my hot little house working away.  All day.  No point in trying to fix my hair or put on makeup - it would have just slid right off my face.
L came home from work and wanted to heat up some leftover pizza in the oven and I almost started crying.  Jeff (my cousin) finally came (after a very long work day himself) at around 8:00.  I plied him with many Diet Cokes and within a few minutes our A/C sprang to life and cool air was circulating.  Heaven.
So that's it.  For some reason it doesn't sound so bad when it's written out, but lately I've just felt overwhelmed.  I'm worried about Dad.  I'm trying to reassure Mom, who is worried and scared.  I have an aunt who is having a tough time, and I've been working with her.  It's been frustrating as she doesn't want to admit she needs help, and is usually very cantankerous and stubborn.  I've made mental notes to myself to remember to be gracious when I'm old.  I have my own health issues that have flared up.  And I miss the kids.  Badly.  I broached the subject of a visit tonight to L.  He didn't say much, but I know he's mulling it over.  It's just very expensive to fly around the holidays, so there's no getting around that.  I'd like to visit Texas with L for Thanksgiving, and then fly to Boston by myself after the first of the year and see Katie and the girls.  If I go on my own we can do all of the fun girl things we love to do, and I won't have to worry that L is bored.  I think that getting back into routine, having the weather cool down (which it will by the end of the week) and maybe the possibility of visiting the kids will do wonders for me.  I just need to chill.  And then I need to see these two :

followed by some future plans with this sweet one and her crazy little naked sister (Hayden is fond of "air baths")

And then we'll start all over next year planning trips to Denver, New York, and Utah.  It never ends...


  1. Hello, dear karen! Daily life seems overwhelming when you're not feeling well and only want to rest. Please ask your Rheumatologist about the treatment program of Simponi (sub-Q monthly self-injection) and Methotrexate. I've been doing remarkably well on that combination for years now: drastically reduced pain, stiffness and swelling and no end of month breakthrough pain. These meds just might make a big difference in your life. I hope you're feeling better this morning. Bless you, dear karen!

  2. I'm so sorry your Dad is having to go through the chemo. It is a butt kicker at times. I'm continuing to pray for him. BTW- you really look like him!

    I hope to do get to go to Austin and Boston soon. Very different places, but love awaits you at each place.

    I hear you about the heat. Where is fall???

  3. Sorry to hear about the RA flare up. A frustrating thing to deal with to be sure!

    Yes, you need some kid time. It does a Momma good!

  4. Hang in there with all that is going on. You are wise and have so many good things to surround you and be happy about. I really enjoy reading your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

    (Yes, flying during the holidays IS expensive!) I know. We made that commitment and I couldn't be more excited, but it is a little more pricey then but oh, so worth it.

    I miss my Hawaii family so much!

  5. All that worry and stress and business is sure to have the best of health people exhausted. I'm sorry you're not feeling well. I hope they can come up with a drug combo to help. I'm also sorry your Dad is going through this tough time. That stupid C word makes me so angry. Why a cure can't be found, when all the other miracles of this world happen, is beyond me. I'll keep you both in my prayers. I'm glad you were able to attend the wedding...that was a good thing among all the other "stuff". Hang in there.

  6. Yes Maa'm, your plate is full and spilling over! Sure hope you're feeling better very soon. Sometimes I diagnose and medicate myself, and yes, sometimes it can be a problem, so I "get" what your saying with the meds...I agree, seeing your sweeties via a trip would be a good thing for you!!

  7. Hi Karen,
    I would have cried about a day in that kind of weather too, especially if I was feeling pain on top of the heat. Ovens are off limits in our house usually for the entire summer, even with the a/c on. This week it's still hot and muggy here, but we did have a short break of cool rain. We celebrated by baking, lighting candles and wearing jammies.
    It was heaven. I have a similar challenge to visit my family in Michigan and Ohio. I miss them so much and can't often make the trip. Hope you're feeling better soon.

  8. Poor Gramps and Grams. He didn't look very good at the baptism and Grams did look worried. We've been praying for them. Wish I could have stayed for John's wedding! Though we ran into John and Jill at Deseret Book a couple days before! My mom was there to get their wedding present, and was quite surprised to see them!

  9. Being in pain can really get you down. Take care of yourself and do some things for YOU. Sounds like you take such good care of others. I do hope you feel better. I feel for you too as you go through this with your dad... not easy. Believe me when I say I understand. I hope the temperatures are cooling off too there in Cali. Supposed to be cooler this weekend in Austin. Yay! My daughgter had her first In and Out burger last weekend when she was in your neck of the woods for a wedding!! She liked it! Hope you have a good weekend.

  10. Do it! And if you are lucky, we may even have an air-matress so you guys can stay here. And thats not to mention the nice and clean bathroom/shower that you'll have all to yourselves (we have two now!) Hows that sound?! :)

  11. Yeah COME VISIT!!! Now we'll have a van so we'll all fit perfectly AND comfortably :) Miss you! Wish you could be here for Thanksgiving :(


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