Choose Happy

When I worked, I dropped the kids off at the school’s before care. I noticed by the sign in sheet is a small metal bucket filled with mints. A note on the front reads “CHOOSE HAPPY.”

Every time I’d pop a mint after signing in the kids and head to my car, a smile on my face.

It really is a choice, isn’t it?

Every day I wake up I have a choice.

  • I can be pissy that I hurt and that it takes a good 20 minutes for all my joints to warm up.
  • I can be glad that I woke up to another day.

Either way, I still have the pain and stiffness. The only thing I can change is my attitude and my outlook. I’ve done the “pissy” bit. Not fun. It’s also exhausting, and I really couldn’t stand myself that way.

From now on I’m choosing happy. Continue reading “Choose Happy”

Mother’s Little Helper, Pt. 2: Moving the Elephant

A couple of months ago, I asked my doctor for a prescription to help the awful anxiety that began to crush me. The Xanax helps immensely, but it’s not a good long term option.

Last month I had my yearly well woman exam. After talking with my therapist and nephrologist about safe options, I ran it past my gynecologist. All of them agreed Effexor would be a safe option for me to try with the fewest side effects. My fantastic gyno called in the prescription for the generic extended release version. Due to my poor kidney function and slow med clearance, I wanted to try the lowest dose possible. 37.5 mg capsules, here I come. Continue reading “Mother’s Little Helper, Pt. 2: Moving the Elephant”

Suck-a-versary

This week is a milestone for me, and it’s kind of hitting me hard. On June 12, 2017, I spent the entire day at Barnes Jewish Hospital knocking out all of the testing and meetings for my pre-transplant evaluation. They usually do it over two separate days, but then I still worked full time, so they agreed to do it in one day to minimize time taken off.

Continue reading “Suck-a-versary”

Making it “Normal”

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had some great conversations in person and online with other spoonies about illness, particularly invisible illness, and interacting in public. What’s normal?

I’ve noticed the reactions when I go out since I’ve had the broken foot. I feel like I take up a considerable amount of space and time Continue reading “Making it “Normal””

Lessons from The Dead Lawn

It’s finally spring, and my lawn (particularly the front lawn) is about half dead. It’s particularly jarring since I live right in the middle of several retired gardeners with lush green everywhere.

The crappy lawn really got to me last week. I’ve become That Neighbor. I remember living next to That Neighbor. Yuck. Despite friends telling me not to worry, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It took me a few days to figure out why this bothered me so.

The lawn is a visual reminder of how drastically my life has changed in the last year. Continue reading “Lessons from The Dead Lawn”

I’m Okay, You’re Okay

People will often ask me, “How are you?” For a spoonie on the kidney transplant list, that’s a loaded question. How do I answer?

I could spew the whole unvarnished truth. “Well, you know, I’m exhausted. I’m short of breath, various parts hurt, I’m worried about how my health is impacting my marriage/kids/finances/career, I have to choose my wardrobe based on what the day’s symptoms are, the meds cause wild weight fluctuations, and sometimes the renal diet is a regular bummer. Potatoes, amirite? How are you?”

Yeah, no one wants to hear that.

The alternative is, “Fine, and you?” That’s not very truthful. I’m not fine.

I’m learning that as I get sicker and navigate what my new normal is, not being everyone else’s version of okay is really okay. Continue reading “I’m Okay, You’re Okay”

Finding My “New Normal”

My body isn’t behaving the way I want it or expect it to, and that’s a real struggle.

A prime example is what happened Saturday. I worked a short (and mercifully easy) shift, then came home and changed my clothes. The goal was to get my kids out of the house for a few hours and to give my husband a break. The boys and I loaded into my car and drove to a playground. To my joy, they had painted hopscotch boards.

Back in middle school I was a hopscotch queen. I’d spend all recess with my girlfriends playing. I could hop a board in no time flat.

Well, now I’m 41. And then there’s the added nastiness of my kidney failure and the breath stealing anemia. I temporarily forgot how sick I was, until I completed half my turn. My kids were watching, and I had to finish, but I did it while gasping for breath. Continue reading “Finding My “New Normal””