Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Just getting over a nasty stomach virus. It starts out two days of extreme tiredness — seriously, how does the world function on 8 hours of sleep a night plus naps? — then nausea, then non-stop vomiting for like 10 hours, then exhaustion again from excorcising the thing. I am feeling much better, but am still not at 100%. I am taking it easy on the coffee and spicy meals.

Now DH has it. Ugh. What’s up with you?

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About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

53 thoughts on “Friday Morning Open Thread

  1. I live in fear of the stomach bug, so much so that I actually had a dream about it last night. I keep reading things from people who have gotten it. I hope we don’t! Feel better soon Elisa & family!

    I saw this column last night by a British mother (and reality TV star? I’m not sure about that part) who wants her kids to hang out with the “right” sort of children. It’s like an Onion article, except in real life.

    “I am convinced that my tactics are paying off. Recently I asked India [age 8] which children she liked to play with. ‘The children who come to school on time and wear proper school uniforms are the nicest and the most fun,’ she told me. ‘If children don’t put any effort in, I don’t want to play with them.'”

  2. Just updating for those who are not on FB but DH ended up in surgery again yesterday because doctors decided it was an abscess causing his fevers and site infection after the surgery. It was 2 weeks after his initial surgery and incidentally the long end of the estimate on how long he would be hospitalized (7-14 days) I still don’t know when he’ll be out. Maybe another week.

    I took the kids to see him and our van overheated twice. Once on the first day of the trip and again on our way home. There are a lot of other things wrong with it too but we got it to a service station and they were able to get us home. Luckily the hotel had a pool and the kids were able to make it to see Daddy on Tues and Wed. We crammed all of our fun things, a trip to Fort McHenry and the Baltimore Aquarium into Wednesday and my daughter was exhausted and whiny by the end of that as we completely wore her out. Not the trip I imagined but we did OK.

    I’m really not OK. More and more I’m feeling like the good years are over. The permanent affects of the surgery are going to lead to far more frequent visits to an array of doctors and an ever present risk of kidney infection as well as a greatly reduced quality of life for DH. I am really, really struggling to just be happy that he made it and keep everyone moving on but it is so hard right now.

    • lovey… I know you will say you don’t have time, and maybe you don’t right now , but eventually I think you should try to find a good qualified counselor, therapist to work through this with… you’re rightfully grieving the golden years you had envisioned for your family and the way life was supposed to be.. and you are 100% entitled to do that. but someone qualified in counseling people through these kind of life changing situations would be a blessing to you now, don’t try to do it all and keep it all together… that’s just a recipe for disaster…

      and tell me how I can help…

    • Oh, honey. I am so so sorry for the never ending-stress. You don’t have to be ok. I don’t have words to say, but praying for strength for you to get through the day.

    • Honey, this sucks so bad. You are entitled to grieve for the life you were expecting. I second Katie, please find someone you can talk to.

      But in the meantime, please keep talking to all your friends who live in the computer.

    • I am so so sorry that you are having to deal with all this. It’s been a lot, especially with having to manage with a hospital that isn’t in your town. The van, the kids, the in laws, PLUS DH and the after effects of his illness and then the surgery. It’s a ton to think and worry about.

      I want to triple agree with what Katie said about finding a therapist. You have shock, sadness, grief, adjustment issues, maybe ptsd. SO MUCH to deal with. I probably have shared this nugget of wisdom from my pastor multiple times here before, but it bears repeating. We don’t think rape victims should just suck it up and be happy they didn’t die, right? We understand that they have suffered trauma and will need some help to get back to normal life. Same with you and DH. Eventually, you will find a nice and normal life that is different than the one you used to have and you will be ok and happy. DH’s medical realities will eventually just become part of life and will eventually not seem overwhelming. Getting a professional to guide you through the process between now and that point would be really helpful.

      • Exactly…. as I once said to a friend of mine who was struggling in the early stages of getting sober.. “we don’t tell breast cancer patients that they brought it on themselves…” you have a disease and you’re getting treatment just like a cancer patient is.. .

        and just like you would be one of the first to urge anyone who had been through serious trauma to get themselves the help they need…so to have you and you need someone who is solely there to listen to and support YOU..


      • Especially hold on to this part of what Sheri says:

        “you will be ok and happy.”

        Remember that honey. Cling to it like a life preserver. It’s true- but it’s going to take some time and it won’t be what you wanted but you will be happy again. You’ll laugh and joke and beam with pride again. This is not the end of your story- not by a long shot.

    • Aw, C, I’m so sorry you are feeling hopeless about the future. When my mom woke up from her surgery to remove uterine cancer, she found out she’d lost her colon, too, and had a colostomy bag. She was 48, and single, and I know that aside from the logistical issues that we all know about, she was really down about being young and felt hopeless that she’d ever find a partner again. All that to say I’m glad you and DH have each other to get through this sucky, sucky time.

      As everyone above said, I hope there is a way for you to find resources to get through this on your own, too — you can’t be the strong one forever. If it helps to know this, most of my prayers have been going to you. I believe that God is with all of us at all times, but most of the time (or none of the time) we don’t feel it, and so I’ve been praying that you FEEL him with you every day.

    • C, you all have been through so much, and there’s barely been space or time for you to process all of it. You’ve worked so hard to be “the strong one”, I’d imagine that this week and for the time being you’ll feel it hit you all at once. Be gentle to yourself, and definitely find a place and time to let things OUT and to get support.

      And…seconding the rec to find a counselor.

      Wishing you eventual peace and happiness

    • Oh, C. Please find some time to grieve. You can’t be Superwoman and truly, no one expects you to be. And do talk to someone who can help with more than empathy. Do you have access to a counselor, maybe through an EAP on your insurance or DH’s workplace? Can DH’s medical team refer you to someone?

      There will come a “new normal” and it will be OK, but this sucks right now.

    • Oh, hugs, hugs hugs. I agree with what everyone else said .. you don’t have to be OK. You can be pissed off, depressed and worried about the future. This is a rational and understandable response to everything you have been through.

      It will get better, though, it will. It won’t be the future you imagined but when is it ever? Just like we can never predict the nasty shit life has in store for us, we can’t see the million great things that will happen for us in the future, either. Hang in there, find a therapist, and *take time for yourself* even if it seems impossible.

    • I’m so sorry that you have to face so much right now, C. Please be gentle to yourself and allow yourself to grieve the loss of the future you had envisioned. You will find a new normal eventually, but for now it is perfectly OK to have a hard time with all that has changed. Meanwhile, we will be here for you to support you in whatever way we can. And if there is anything you can think of, please do not hesitate to let us know. I’ve been thiknking of all of you a lot and am sending lots of good vibes your way. And hugs, lots of hugs for you!

    • I don’t have anything to add–especially since I am just speechless over everything your family is going through. It really does seem like it’s just one thing after another. Big hugs. Hope things get easier soon.

    • I will echo everyone else’s good thoughts and suggestions. You have been through a lot and you have carried a lot of other people on your back along the way. You are exhausted, depleted, and in that state everything looks pretty grim.

      I will add that, as someone with a chronic illness that was diagnosed after I was married, it looks a LOT worse from where you are right now than it will end up being. I can almost guarantee that. Yes, life will be different and no, it’s not what you signed up for, but it’s still possible to accommodate the changes and have a happy life. You probably can’t believe that right now so you will have to take our word for it.

      It will be different than you imagined and some parts of it will suck. That would have been true without A’s illness; the sucky parts will just be different. And there will be regular, unexpected things to enjoy and celebrate, too. It’s really hard to see them right now, but trust me on this.

      You are having to adjust to so many things at a speed we’re not built for. It will take time for everything to filter through and for you to feel normal again. I’m sending all my hugs to Syracuse and I hope you can feel the embrace of all of us. We love you and are pulling for you.

      • This. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say this but mamacita put it so well. I’ll just add that you’re at a particularly difficult point right now, because you were given an outside estimate of 2 weeks for this step. You’ve been able to tell yourself “I just have to hang on this long”, and when that goalpost was moved you were left hanging. That messes with your head something fierce and you are not in a place to have your head messed with.

        The happy days are not over, they’re just going to look different than you’d envisioned. Long term you’ll adjust to the new normal; short term, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The thing that will pull you through is your kids. You’ll be as strong as your kids need you to be, because somehow we always are. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend joining online patient support groups.

  3. I’m at the new house today, secretly picking out toys from Dd’s birthday to give away. She opened them so fast at the party and we dropped them off here and she hasn’t seen them since. So I’m thinning the herd. So wrong, maybe, but it feels so so right.

    My sis in law also is on a buying binge right now and keeps bringing over endless crap for the kids. That’s all going to Goodwill too. Oh yes.

      • I’m on a purging high! Just unloaded a box of cloth diapers with Velcro that didn’t work anymore! I don’t have time to repair them and I have plenty already. Buh bye!

        Oh and I also said no to someone (sis in laws neighbor) who wanted me to take engagement phots but was a bit dodgy about wanting to actually PAY me. Um no. Find someone else with a “really nice camera.” I have her the name of my friend’s biz but I know she wants a freebie.

  4. Lucy and I spent like 2 hours out in the snow this morning. I was mostly shoveling, but took a break to make a snow princess and she was mostly playing (with a teeny tiny bit of helping me). We ended up getting a bit more than 8 inches, so it actually was quite a job to shovel, but it was nice because the sun is out and it’s not too cold. I actually enjoy shoveling. I like being out in the fresh air and getting the exercise, and I think it appeals to the control freak in me. The only part I don’t like is cleaning off the cars and then shoveling around them. Kinda makes me wish we had a nice big 2+ car garage, but those are pretty few and far between in the city. DH went in to work for a few hours, so I’m being lazy with Lucy while Clara naps. I should make her read or get a craft or a board game or something for us to do, but right now we’re both having screen time.

        • We’re full day here, too! 9:05-3:55. I can’t imagine how we’d have dealt with half days. Whenever people say, “oh, that’s a long day,” I remind her that in preschool/daycare, she was there 8:30-5:30 or 6 most days. The days she gets to come home at 3:55 instead of 6 are bonus!

          • I hated the half days. Could not possibly have been more inconvenient.

            9:05 is kind of tough too actually since you might easily have a work meeting that starts at 9. Although maybe in the Land That Has School Buses that might not be such a big problem.

            • I can drop her off at 8:40 at the earliest, which usually works out fine with my schedule. We also have kids club before and after care at school that we can use on an as needed basis. It’s only 3.25 an hour and Lucy often goes there for an hour or two 2-3 after school a week. It’s quite humane, actually. Except for all the extra days off they have!!!

            • I can drop her off at 8:40 at the earliest, which usually works out fine with my schedule. We also have kids club before and after care at school that we can use on an as needed basis. It’s only 3.25 an hour and Lucy often goes there for an hour or two 2-3 after school a week. It’s quite humane, actually. Except for all the extra days off they have!!!

  5. Basic-math fail: I am finally doing my household-employer taxes (late) and miscalculated by two decimal places. So I apparently owe the state a couple of dollars, not a couple hundred dollars, for the privilege of having a babysitter. Why the state wants all that paperwork for an extra two bucks for the year, I have no idea. Just let me pay the $200 and buy some school supplies or something ….sheesh!

  6. Went by to see my Grandma this evening. Her kidney function is at 15% and she struggling to breath. This is one of the few times I’ve wished she weren’t fully coherent. She knows she’s coming to the end and there’s not much we can do to help her feel better. She’s not quite ready for hospice (our hospice requires you to stop receiving treatment and she’s not ready for that yet- the treatments she gets actually make her feel better for a while), but she’s pretty uncomfortable My poor mom and dad are having a tough time too- no matter how you slice it, it sucks.

    Sucky sucky sucky

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