18 years ago

18 years ago I got pregnant. But I didn't know it right away. I had recently had a miscarriage, and had just stated birth control pills. I was 22, not married, had recently broken up with the guy who had asked me to marry him after dating for less than 6 months. I was a mess. I was not ready to be a mom to anyone, I still needed my own mom.
My family was going on a vacation to see my relatives (family reunion) in South Dakota. So I tagged along. I had no job, nothing. I had quit smoking, I was trying to figure myself out. But it felt like I was always doing that.
During the reunion I got really sick, like everything made me want to throw up. Water with lemon? Gag. But my little brother was also sick, so I thought nothing of it. That drive home from South Dakota to Arizona was the longest car ride ever. We stopped and visited people, I tried not to throw up.
After we got home, nothing made my stomach feel better. One day I was sitting at my good friend's house, she was 6 months pregnant, and mentioned that maybe I was.
We went to the store and bought a pregnancy test. The second line appeared almost immediately. I was excited, scared, worried.  My mom and dad were so supportive. They helped me get insurance (through the state, because I was too old to be on theirs) payed for a few college courses so I wasn't sitting at home feeling miserable all day. I don't know what would have happened to me if they hadn't been so supportive.

As for the father? Well, we emailed a bit. We met once while I was pregnant. It was all so awkward, because I was a mess and he was afraid. He wasn't with me through the pregnancy, or even the birth. I regret not inviting him to important appointments, like the anatomy scan where we found out baby was a girl. But soon after she was born, we started dating again, and went on to get married and have 3 more beautiful daughters.

You never really know what path you'll take. Even if you have a clear idea of what your life will look like. But that journey is what makes you the person you are, who pay attention along the way, and enjoy your life.



I can feel it again, the swirling feeling, like I'm sinking. I want to be numb because I don't want to feel.

Depression is an evil mistress. She lies and lies. She makes you think things that are completely untrue. She whispers these untruths in your ear softly, you barely hear then at first, but they get louder and louder and louder until it sounds like screaming, drowning out all of the good voices, pushing them down.

Depression is hard to fight. And she often brings along her good friend Anxiety. Anxiety is really no one's friend,  but he whispers half truths, and statistics, and makes everything so overwhelming until you can't even function.

Together they tag team you until you are a shell of a person. A ghost of your former self.

And it isn't this fault. It isn't your fault that these demons lie. Because it's a chemical imbalance in your brain. It isn't your fault. No one chooses to feel this way. No one wants those demons talking all that smack and manning them feel less than. 

And getting help, doing something to change that imbalance? Is OK. It's good for you. It's important.  Because people love you, when though the demons say they don't. Because people want you to be around, even when you hear whispers saying they don't.

You are important to someone. Your life is worth living.


Pars Defect

It's been nearly a year since I posted. I'm still dealing with daily back pain. I'm tired, and every part of me is distracting because of it.

The only thing that isn't suffering, is my marriage. We've renewed our love for one another and things have never been better. But I digress.

I have a pars defect, a place where I either had a birth defect or a break in my lower vertebrae, that was ok, until I started running. The jarring motion caused me pain in my back and numbness in the nerves running down my right leg. So I've seen multiple doctors about it and had many scans. I'm going in for another MRI soon, so see if there is any change from the one i had on April of 2017.

I have three choices at this point-
1. Live with the pain, and be very careful.
2. Pain management (medicines that can help block the nerve pain).
3. Surgery- a fusion of the L5-S1 vertebra.

I've been living with the pain for 18 months now. It's depressing,  I want to be active but I have to be really careful, and I CAN NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES- RUN. Because every time I do it flares and takes weeks to get back to me being able to move without pain and without having that shooting burning, numb, weird nerve pain.

I am reluctant to try pain management. I researched it and anti depressants are commonly used to treat nerve pain, or anti convulsants.  Or opioids to dull the pain. I have Tylenol 3, from my bunion surgery, it does little to relieve any pain. Neither does tramadol (another narcotic that I have from the very beginning of this, it was prescribed by my primary care doctor the first time I went in for back pain.)

Terrifying. Mainly because the doctor said that if I choose surgery, it will cause the vertebrae above the fusion to start taking on the impact and they will wear out faster, increasing my likelihood of needing further surgeries by 10-20% in the future. Plus, surgery hurts, an the recovery would not be fun. But it was a high rate of success since my main complaint is the nerve pain.

I'm waiting to make any concrete choices until my  MRI. If there of any measurable change, then surgery is an easy answer. I don't want this to get worse! But if it's exactly the same, maybe I can live with it, at least for another year. At which point Bee will be in 1st grade and I won't need to meet her at the bus stop every day.

I wish there was an easy answer. I had hoped that  wearing a brace would help (no) the epidural steroid shots would help (minimally, but they also have side effects that I didn't like), it would go away on its own (I've had issues go away before!) Alas, none of those are really the answer.

So, I keep waiting, like I've been doing for 18 months.


Back in the fall I decided I was going to get in shape. I started running a little and doing mad amounts of squats. Then I added in planks and crunches.

At some point my back started to hurt. It started to ache when I lay down at night. I would lay there whimpering until it relaxed and I could sleep. I took medicine to deal.

I stopped working out and hoped if I rested it I would get better. It didn't.

I finally saw my doctor about it. An x-ray and MRI later I was sent to a neurosurgeon. He also did an x-ray. At this point I've been in pain for nearly 6 months.

I hurt my back, I have to take it easy. I am going to get a steroid injection in a month to see if it helps. Until then?

Ibuprofen and rest.

It sucks. I was so happy with my body.

And since I'm down for the count, I'm going to get my bunion taken care of, because that's also causing me more passion these days.

Getting old blows.


I am trying to avoid the dark places. I am trying to stay positive in our world even surrounded by awful things happening.
Just a few days ago, on the 2nd, a man was riding his dirt bike at dusk , just before 6pm, and collided with a Chevy SUV, the neighborhood came out and attempted to save his life, keeping the road clear, waiting on the ambulance, talking to him, telling him to hang on as he lay in the road bleeding.

In the end, it wasn't enough, and he passed away at the hospital (though likely was only kept alive by CPR on the way). He died, directly in front of my house, his blood, the fluids from his dirt bike, still stain the pavement. His family and friends put up a memorial for him. My heart breaks thinking about his children, especially his son, who was in a car accident a few weeks before where one of the passengers, a 16 year old, perished. My heart aches for the woman who was driving the SUV, because she didn't see his dirt bike, because it had no light. Forever she will feel the way her vehicle felt when the dirt bike hit it. I will forever remember that loud bang pop sound. The way I could ALMOST feel it. I have cried for him, for his kids, for his friends and family. The more I learn about him, the more I know he will be missed.

I mourn that loss of innocence my kids have, knowing that a man died there. And I can still see the EMTs working on him for so long, taking turns, trying to bring him back. Even though they knew that he was gone. I wish I could have done something. Anything.

But there is nothing.

And eventually I hope I feel better.



The way I feel these days.
My emotions are far too close to the surface and too easily changed.


The ripped open feeling that starts in my gut and rises to my chest and into my throat.



Strength is a good thing,
until it is not enough.
I feel like I am not enough.
I am not enough.
I am not good enough.

I have no control over my life.
I have no control over anything in my life.
not my emotions,
not my children,
not my husband.
not my parents and their health.
 I have no control.

Instead of  being able to deal,
I am breaking.
my walls, carefully built over years,
crumbling unable to support
unable to calm
unable to protect.

and I am
left vulnerable
vulnerable to thoughts
ideas and pictures
and I am not
in a good place at all.

The Darkness envelopes me,
covers my soul
lying, smoothly in my ear
whispering evil thoughts
and making me believe things
things a few months ago I would never have thought.
and I'm left with the Darkness's lies.
I tell myself they are simply lies,
I can't believe myself because the Darkness
it lies so well that I believe it.
I believe it.
I believe
the lies.


Dark places

I can't even describe the place I'm in other than to call it dark.

I feel lost, unsure, afraid, unhappy, overwhelmed. I have this huge rock in the pit of my stomach that's just growing every day. I regularly feel like I'm about to break.

I feel broken through, cracked, shattered.

I can't pull myself out of this, and I'm unable to turn to the one I want to.

Sometimes I am afraid of how I feel. I've felt this before, right before the life i was living ended, changed. There's so much hurt and fear. And most of it is just spiraling out of control.

The very worst part of all of this is that I think it's made up, messed up thoughts in my head. Crazy fears that I have no reason to truly believe. Stupid thoughts that swirl around because I just can't stop them.

Mental break down.
How can I manage.
How can I keep up with what's going on in my head.
How can I keep the kids from being effected by my mental break?
What happens now?
What happens next?
What am I doing?
How long will this last?
What is wrong with me?
What. Is. Wrong. With. Me?



She woke up Wednesday morning to tell me that she was having bowel problems. Her expression embarrassed, and also in pain. I told her to see if she felt better by the time school started, instead within an hour she was vomiting in the bathroom.
She spent the next 24 hours puking and moaning. She told me her stomach hurt, and wanted a hot pack. Rice in a sock, microwaved provided some relief. She couldn't keep anything down.
Thursday was the same. She slept fitfully, watch TV, wandered around the house, puked, showered, and repeated this over and over trying to find relief. But nothing really helped.
8pm, the younger girls were asleep (or at least in bed) and she came and sat on the couch to watch TV with us. We talked about her symptoms and noticed she was pointing mainly to the lower right side of her abdomen. We looked up appendicitis and after some discussion I headed to the emergency room with her 9:30.
10 pm we arrived and got checked in. The ride was miserable because every bump caused her to wince and grimace in pain.
Since she hadn't eaten or kept anything down in days, they almost immediately got her started on fluids as well as morphine and zofran. The doctor discussed her symptoms and agreed with appendicitis. It would just take a miserable ultrasound (since she's very thin) to show an enlarged angry appendix.
Antibiotics were started and we waited for a room in the children's hospital. We didn't get taken up until 3:30am.
At 7 the surgeon came and talked to us. At this point she was nearly at a 10 as far as pain. The medicine they'd given her was barely taking the edge off of the excruciating pain.
Daddy arrived around 8:20. And about 9 they took her down to the OR.
Her surgery took longer than we thought it would because when they got in to her the appendix had ruptured and was leaking into her back. There is a term for it, but I can't remember, basically her appendix was located behind her colon so it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it was more than we hoped.
My mom and dad arrived while she was surgery, they were going to watch Abi, Natalie and Gwen so that Ray and i could be present at the hospital for Rhayn.
When she came out of surgery i chose to go home and shower and nap a little. Knowing that Ray was there for her and that she would be quite drugged for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
I came back to the hospital in time to bring Ray supper and talk to Rhayn a little. Before going home for the night.
This morning I got back to the hospital at about 8:30. Brought Ray breakfast but the smell made Rhayn nauseated so we ate in the parents lounge.
We were able get Rhayn up to walk around the room a little, but she is still in a lot of pain. She also hasn't eaten and they still haven't let her have anything by mouth.
In order for her to get to go home she needs to eating and drinking (in order to take her antibiotics by mouth) as well as able to get out of bed.
Right now she can barely get out of bed.

All of this was made more complicated by her having a cold and her lung function is a little compromised. But she's a healthy young girl and in a few weeks I am sure she'll be back to normal.


Less Fear, More Joy

Maybe I have too much time with my own thoughts.
Too much time to think about things that I don't need to think about. To worry about things. To ponder every relationship I have.

Maybe I regret too much. I regret the crap place my relationship with my husband is in. Wondering how in the world we got here, and how to get out of this hole.

I'm terrified that we won't make it to the other side of this rut together. I'm scared that he thinks it's not worth it to wait for me, while I'm picking up pieces of myself because I've shattered all over the place, like a dropped wine glass.
He always seems to put together and I feel like a giant mess. I used to be a fun person, now I'm not. I have withered, into a bitter, sad person.
I still see the good in those around me, but the weight of the world is crushing me.
For so many years, I've been touched out and now I feel like I need more. More hand holding, more snuggles, I can't get enough simple hugs. My body aches for it, lonely feeling. Sad. Sad. Sad.
I don't like myself, unhappy, unlikeable, unable to get out of my funk. It's affecting my kids, because I don't want to leave the house, I make plans but break them. I try to be someone I'm not, fake it till you make it. Bull shit. I can't carry on like this.
Stupid depression.
Stupid anxiety .
Stupid sadness.
Stupid messed up mental health.

Not that I expect every day to be sunshine and roses, you know. I just want more days to feel happy, and less days that feel like my heart is pounding too fast, my brain is making up scary scenarios of doom and gloom. Less fear, more joy.
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