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barefut impressions


I'm Back Again!

Posted by barefut , 06 November 2009 · 862 views

Home with a sick kid today, fever, vomiting - hope it's not piggy flu!  Just got a call from my boss that they received the revised FMLA paperwork from my rheumatologist supporting my request for reduced work hours.  I never saw a copy of what my doctor wrote but the letter from my employer said 4 - 6 hours a day 5 days/week.  I was told not to come in on Monday until 2:30pm (weird) and I would get my revised work schedule then.

I'm kind of dreading that because I asked for 8:30 - 3:30, and my boss and coworkers were not happy about that. I know my hours will probably be something like 12:00pm to 6:15pm, defeating the whole purpose of asking for reduced hours in the first place - so I could get home before 7:00pm, prepare dinner for my kids, help with homework and get them to bed at a decent hour, not to mention eliminate the whole childcare problem of no facilities being open after 6:00pm.  It's not like I am asking for time off early so I can hit the tavern for happy hour (no matter how good that sounds some days).

Man it seems like nobody has a heart, or it's like, "Well I don't get any breaks so neither should you."  I'm broaching on a whole 'nother blog right now so I'd better save it.

I will keep y'all posted on what my new work schedule will be.....
I feel like I've won the battle but will ultimately lose the war.


I'm Back!

Posted by barefut , 30 September 2009 · 905 views

Yet I never really left. I haven't blogged for awhile not because I haven't had anything to blog about but rather the opposite really. Too, too much stuff. Topics swim around in my head as I go about my blurry days. Some of them get jotted down on little scraps of paper and stuffed into my purse/briefcase/lunchbag/first aid kit/pharmacy, only to get thrown out at the weekly purging.

If you looked in my waste basket you would find:

(Just to name a few...)
Surviving myself
You know you're lonely when...
Camp Concussion
Lost Dog
Grandpa's girlfriend
My (imaginary) boyfriend
"G'pa dawg"
Football again
Coaching style or personality defect?
When did 12 become the new 18?
Get your own husband
Sleep Study
I'm a dork
My neck
The Lake

I'd love to elaborate on just one of these tonight but that muscle relaxer is finally kicking in and although the headache from my twisted neck is subsiding, now I must choose sleep before sleep chooses me.

Be Healthy Happy Safe and Warm!!!



Posted by barefut , 31 August 2009 · 929 views

"No one realises, even myself sometimes, how much of an impact a chronic disease can have upon a person." - Barb Lowe

I was going to blog about what I had been up to this past month but after reading Barb's blog this morning, I have another agenda.

You said it sister! Sneaky, insidious, scleroderma. I think that should be the official diagnoses - SIS. Barb talked about how she puts on a good show of hiding her visible symptoms. I want to talk about the impact of invisible symptoms. When people don't see anything wrong with you, they can't help but wonder, "What is her problem?" Boy isn't she: a whiner, lazy, helpless, sympathy monger, slob, careless, unproductive, slow learner, stupid, clumsy, forgetful....All things no one wants the reputation of being.

And so we have a choice. We can give up and pretend not to care what others think about us or we can fight against it, (as well as our pain) and try to prove that we are not these things. That we are "normal", that we can 'compete' with the healthy people and also have a nice yard, a clean house, a sharp mind, motivation, ambition, strength, endurance, and have energy left over to help others.

My first choice is the latter and when I exhaust myself from pretending I am 'normal' then I choose to pretend not to care. Pretending has apparently become a way of life and therefore it really does feel like living a lie.


Can't Sleep Either! Grrr!

Posted by barefut , 20 July 2009 · 889 views

Wow. This sleepless near Seattle thing is getting old. Today will be fun at work - and THE boss will be there all day - quizzing us. Boy I can't wait for the sleep deprivation hangover to start. The thick headed, brain fog and headache, the burning, swollen, bloodshot eyes, bumping into walls and spilling my coffee, the extra loud ringing in my ears, dizziness and nausea, the looking like a ditzy idiot to everyone. Oh! And evaluations are this week too. Yessiree, can't wait for all that fun to begin.

So, anybody have a secret remedy for restless legs? I am about ready to try a sledge hammer. Kidding of course!!! Had a totally sleepless night last week and had to leave work early to go take a nap. It was too dangerous for me to even try to drive home so I tried sleeping in the car but those legs started up again so I went straight to my doctor's office. He didn't want to treat until after my sleep study. He modified the study protocol to include my legs. I have only mentioned my RLS to my rheumatologist once and back then it wasn't so bad. Wonder why it's getting more often and more severe? Sometimes I'll take a pain reliever (PM kind) or two and that helps me to sleep better but then I can't snap out of it the morning. There's got to be a happy solution.

Went online shopping for a new mattress tonight (this morning!) I have an inexpensive memory foam but when I do fall asleep, I wake up with my hips, shoulders and elbows in agony and I can hardly move. I am going to try a 5" topper of good old fashioned foam. I sleep better on my couch (when it wasn't sagging). I have been done with prednisone for over a month. It ought to be something to celebrate. Who feels like celebrating when you can't move? Again, there's got to be a happy solution!

I had my sleep study consult last Friday. The ARNP seems pretty convinced that I have apnea just based on my symptoms. My first slumber party is in a month. I fantasize that a C-pap machine will miraculously solve all my ailments. If it does, I'll buy stock and go on the road selling door to door.

Well, it's time for my 3:45am nap.


My Crete

Posted by barefut , 22 June 2009 · 927 views

My Crete is a lake an hour and a half's drive from here. Just got back from 3 blissful sunny days and 2 sleep filled nights in 'my' time share cabin on the lake -- well it's sort of mine, although I have to share it with the rest of the world. Except instead of paying a big chunk of change for ownership or a monthly fee or mortgage, I just reserve it for whenever it's available and only pay for the nights that I stay there. I have a staff that keeps it clean and well maintained so it's all ready for me when it's my turn to stay. National Parks rock!

I feel good. Rejuvenated. Pain free! I could live in that little cabin on the water everyday for the rest of my life and be completely content. I don't need anything else. No TV, no phone, no computer, no cars. I'd even trade in chocolate.

Now it's back to reality. Back to the rest of the summer -- just working. That's it for my vacation. But you can bet that I will be spending as many sunny Sundays up there as I can squeeze in.


Get Well Soon

Posted by barefut , 18 June 2009 · 852 views

Dear Friend ~

I forget that you're fragile
Cuz you're just so tough
Fearlessly taking on my boys
Proves you've got the right stuff

Now use that stuff right
To get yourself well
Cuz I know hospitals
Can be, uh, less than perfect.

The nurses (bless them) wake you every hour
And all you want is to take a shower
The food 'aint good and TV is bad
The boredom and restlessness can drive you mad

So enjoy this small care package
To help pass the time
And accept my apologies
For this terrible rhyme

And know we are thinking of you everyday
Sending strength and best wishes
For a SHORT hospital stay!


My dear sweet friend has made a remarkable recovery and hopes to come home Friday!!!


Dear Friend

Posted by barefut , 12 June 2009 · 889 views

Came home tonight after the season ending baseball jamboree to news that our dear sweet friend is in the hospital fighting another infection and fighting for her life again. She has become part of our family this past year, caring for the boys, playing referee, chauffeur, chef, pet sitter, helping with homework, hurt feelings, little one's dramatic sports 'injuries' and generally being mom when I could not be there.

I am sick with worry and feeling a bit responsible for her condition since my boys have been sick with fevers and croup. I should have not let her near little one after big one was sick. Of course he was carrying the crud, contagious after being around his brother and then got the fever about the same time she started feeling unwell. Oh, I feel so responsible! I spoke to her the day she went into the hospital and she said she was stabilized and felt better and was hoping to come home today. I told her I thought she got sick from my boys. She told me not to worry and said that if she did, she would never enter a grocery store. I felt better for only a second. Now instead of coming home today, her family was called to her side.

My dear, dear, sweet, precious, kind hearted friend, please come home to us. We aren't done spending time with you yet. You must come over and let me cook for you like you cooked for me and the boys. We have to go to the drive in this summer and walk the beach with the dogs. You must let me be there for you like you have been there for us. So, we will see you home soon dear friend because we are not done.


People Games

Posted by barefut , 04 June 2009 · 952 views

I hate people games. If you wanted to torture me, just make me watch any one of the reality TV shows that are so popular these days. What a monumental waste of time and energy and life itself to participate in and perpetuate trivial, foolish, petty, insolent, tattling, back stabbing, behavior which results in everybody's emotional angst. It is scary to me that this has become entertainment. Don't people get enough of this stuff in their own personal everyday lives? Does it make people feel better to see others suffer along too? I start to wonder...

I have always wondered about people. This may be why I was drawn to sociology in college. Sociology is the study of human social behavior. It would serve us all well to study a little human social behavior. Maybe that's what these shows are really all about? Everyone involved is actually part of a sociological experiment. I can see a room full of sociologists placing bets and laughing their heads off behind a 2 way mirror. I am reminded of the two old guys in the balcony criticizing the show during the TV series The Muppet Show. That's me. I think that's what these reality shows need - 2 old guys in the balcony criticizing the show. Now that would be entertaining! Now watch someone steal my idea and make a jillion dollars from it. Remember, you heard it first here folks!

I have never been one to jump on the band wagon no matter what was playing. In fact, I have always kind of enjoyed doing the opposite of the status quo. In high school when everyone else was wearing purple nail polish and mini skirts, I enjoyed wearing my flannel shirts and overalls. My own form of rebellion? Maybe. To this day, I find that I tend to behave in the opposite manner of what is normally expected of someone in a given situation. Examples? Let's see... when someone does something to me that would make most people angry, I laugh. Probably more for reasons of self-preservation in this instance than of rebellion because I have had more than my share of "angry" for one lifetime. In order for me to be able to do this, I have had to train myself to get past the knee-jerk, reactive, emotional response and consider the antagonistic source. How would I do in one of these reality shows? I would probably get beat up for not playing the game right.



Posted by barefut , 22 May 2009 · 899 views

Leave me alone. I can do it. I don't need any help.

(Help me!)

Don't you tell me I can't do it or that I am not doing it or that you think I need help.

I will tell you that I can do it and I am doing it and that I am dong just fine without anyone's help.

(And I will be lying.)

But you can't tell me I need help. I will tell you, when I am ready, that I need help, and with what.

And it will once again kill off a little piece of me. Like a cancer eating away my dignity and having my soul for dessert.


Adventures in Medical Transport (with no bridge)

Posted by barefut , 18 May 2009 · 812 views

Well, okay there's nothing (seriously) wrong with my brain and I have the MRI, and vascular studies to prove it now. So why the vertigo, dizziness, sudden extreme sleepiness and memory and concentration problems? And what was up with that throbbing pulsation in my neck and the pricklies in my left arm last Tuesday at work which sent me to a Seattle hospital for more testing all day Wednesday when I really wanted to be at my friend's Celebration of Life service? (How's that for a run-on sentence?)

I may never know the answer to that but at least I know that I'm not a ticking time bomb of embolisms ready to stroke out at any given minute. Whew! I really do have enough on my plate for now, thank you.

So, what was it like to travel to Seattle in an ambulance with no bridge? It was AWESOME! Well okay I exaggerate, but it was as awesome as it could be under the circumstances. I have to thank everyone involved in all the prior planning that it took in order for my transport to go so smoothly. It was like they had been doing it this way for years.

I left my local hospital in style -- lights, sirens and all. We arrived at the passenger water shuttle in no time. I was wheeled past a crowd of onlookers with very serious looks on their faces. I wanted to make them all laugh but my usual witty humor escaped into a thick brain fog. Suddenly very self-conscious, I tried to rearrange the blanket to cover my bare shoulders.

Once on board, I had my own private corner of the boat with a curtain all around and a flat screen TV. I can't say that it was luxurious but I can say that it was as comfortable as it could be under the circumstances. In looking around I noticed all the modifications made to the boat in order to accommodate me. They did a great job.

Thankfully it was smooth sailing and once on the other side, I was the last one off. Another transport was waiting for me there and then we were off to the big ferry. I inquired as to how I was to get back home and the EMT's informed me that there is a free hospital to hospital shuttle service for patients. Cool. I didn't end up using it but nice to know it's there.

I must apologize to friends and family for the scare. And thank them all for being there. The ER doctor didn't want to alarm but had to send me to avoid possible harm. Nothing serious is nice to find and gives me precious peace of mind.

Now I get to schedule a sleep study....

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