This has been a really sucky week. With the exception of two fun friend gatherings, everything else has been absolute crap.
It began on Monday when Shepard woke up for the third morning in a row with a mysterious migraine/fever – things that don’t usually go together. I was frustrated because I really needed to run errands, but obviously couldn’t send him to school or take him with me or leave him home alone. So he went back to bed for a couple of hours and woke up feeling completely fine. He was bouncing off the walls, so I decided to bring him to school around lunchtime. Then I rushed to Madison and did all my grocery shopping as quickly as I could before they got back home and I had to deal with more of Caden’s moaning and groaning about not wanting to go to Lego League. We still can’t understand why he hates it so much, other than that “it’s so boring!” It’s a small group and they depend on him participating, so we want him to see it through. But it’s causing some MAJOR strife around here. We also decided on Sunday night to try the week without video games. Not necessarily as a punishment, but to try and help them (mostly Caden) learn that life is not all about screen time. There ARE other things you can find to do with your time. Let’s just say it didn’t go over well. We had five straight days of hours of sobbing like his life was literally over. I’m not even trying to be flippant or joke about it – it was legitimately like he had nothing to live for. And as his parent, I just don’t know how to deal with that.
There was a Culver’s fundraiser that night for Shepard’s school and we were signed up to work at it. But we didn’t think that much stimulation, plus being around other people’s food, was the greatest idea, so we decided not to volunteer. But we did still go eat to support the school and Shepard was running rampant around Culver’s with his friends, which was not helping prove my case that he was too worn down to work!
On Tuesday we woke up to our first snowfall. And another fever/migraine. I sent Shepard back up to bed again and walked Caden to school. I assumed there was no way ice could actually be formed yet – it was October! I was wrong. I really was not prepared for the emotional stress of having snow this early in the year. We had a bunch more on Thursday. And we just had a bit today. I am having legit PTSD about walking outside. I actually think I was doing pretty well by last spring, but all the fear came flooding back this week. I’m so scared of falling again. Even if it’s not exactly icy – there are piles of leaves covering all the sidewalks. Wet leaf piles are very slippery! Walking on them with a crazy hyper dog does not help things! After two months of going on 2-3 good walks with Annie a day, I had to give it all up. Which has been really hard on both of us.
I was bummed, again, because I had lunch plans with my friend Laura that we’d had planned for weeks and I was really looking forward to. Shepard woke up feeling completely fine again, but I couldn’t exactly bring him to school midday for the second day in a row. Plus I couldn’t afford for him to be home again Wednesday morning, so he needed to stay home and get extra rest. Fortunately, Cindy was able to come over and sit with him for a few hours so I could still go to lunch. I really needed that time with a friend. And that food!
I finished up my second batch of little boy dolls on Tuesday night. They sold even faster than the first batch.
Wednesday is when everything really went downhill. I had that initial appointment with my new GI doctor. She was very kind and didn’t make me feel like this is all my fault, the way my internal doctor has in the past. But it still felt like a very discouraging visit. She is fairly certain that my mild fatty liver has gotten worse OR that I have autoimmune hepatitis. They did a fibroid scan right away to determine that I don’t have any scarring yet – which is a good thing! But I do have “a lot of fat in there.” Thanks. I had a humiliating breakdown in the middle of the visit when she started telling me how important intense exercise is to get rid of the fat that’s already in my liver. Between the fresh snow and ice (I was paralyzed with fear at the post office just that morning because their stupid marble steps were a complete sheet of ice and I couldn’t figure out how to get in or out of the building without risking my life!) plus the ankle pain I still have every single day – it was more than I could stand to hear. We did talk about diet changes, but she didn’t make them out to be as extreme as I’d been assuming. At least not to start with. And then she sent me down to the lab where they took a crazy amount of blood from me to run all kinds of tests.
So I’m obviously not qualified to interpret my own test results, but I’ve been getting steady email updates Thursday, Friday, and even today, informing me of my results. Other than slightly low iron levels, everything has come back normal – except the two tests that are indicators of an autoimmune disease. Once again, I know I shouldn’t rely on google to diagnose myself. But things are NOT feeling very good. No, I don’t like being diagnosed with “fatty liver disease.” What fat person wants to also draw more attention to that by having a disease with the word “fatty” in it?! But according to the doctor, since I haven’t had scarring yet, the fatty liver is reversible. And preventable. If I have autoimmune hepatitis – it’s not. I know it’s not exactly a death sentence and things could clearly be so much worse. But at the moment, with all the uncertainty and no real answers and no idea when I’ll get the answers, it feels very overwhelming. She called me on Friday to tell me that we do need to go through with a liver biopsy to rule out (or in) the autoimmune stuff. But I haven’t heard from the hospital yet and heard that scheduling could be weeks to over a month away. And then another week for results. And in the meantime? I just stew and wonder and worry and research and totally freak myself out. As much as exercising my way out of this problem scares me, having a chronic condition that can shorten my lifespan and might eventually require a liver transplant, scares me a whole lot more.
After another meltdown in the clinic parking lot, I tried to cheer myself up by having lunch at Bartaco and going to a few fun stores. But I felt too drained to really enjoy it. I headed back home to try and have a restful evening, while also having one of those rare single parenting nights because Greg was with a friend. The boys were pretty good for me, but only because I let them use their chromebooks to type stories and code things. Screens, without really being screens – the ones they want anyway.
In the midst of all this stuff going on, I was REALLY looking forward to Thursday. Another rare day with nothing on the calendar. I decided not to try and fit in any more sewing before my trip, so I was going to take the day to just clean a bit, read a lot, take a long nap, relax. And then we woke up to a whole lot more snow. Again. And when Greg announced he was going to work at home I kind of just lost it. I wasn’t mad at him – clearly I didn’t want him to risk icy roads when he has the safer option of working at home. But I was FURIOUS at how little control I feel like I have over my life right now. For being a “work at home mom” I spend very little time actually at home lately. Or working, for that matter. And I’m almost never truly alone with all these random sick days my family members keep taking. And I NEED that total solitude or I lose my mind. But of course Greg was offended or hurt and went to work at his parents’ house for the day – and came back and got the boys and went back again for the night. So I got my way. At the expense of having him angry at me and not understanding why that silence is so important to me to refuel after one of the most draining and emotionally distraught weeks of my life. And also without the at home date night together that I was actually looking forward to.
Friday morning was actually really nice. I had a coffee gathering with a group of friends, celebrating two of their birthdays. It was a good turn out! And really nice to share a bit of what’s going on face to face with people who care. I made a lemon cake that turned out to be delicious! And I never, ever eat lemon things. My new pourover stuff also got quite a workout! It was a good time.
After another really rough afternoon and early evening, I asked my dad if he could stop by on his way home to help Greg bring the treadmill into the house. My parents decided to give me their old one when I was lamenting about finding a way to exercise throughout the winter. He brought it over on Wednesday – of course one of the totally rare nights Greg wasn’t home to help! We planned on putting it in the basement – the only place that really made sense. But then it seemed like they were going to die just getting it up a few stairs into the house and they were both unsure it would actually fit going down our narrow basement stairwell. So we decided to put it in the living room instead. And it works pretty well!! The seating area looks a bit weirder with the futon kind of in front of the fireplace, but it works better than I ever could have expected it to. And let’s be honest, I’m much more likely to actually use it when it’s in the same room I spend most of my time in every day. I stayed up last night rearranging a few things until the room felt perfect again. My sanity depends on this room feeling perfect. 🙂
And that’s been my week! I’m trying to fight the urge to sew and find a million things to do this weekend, just giving myself time to rest and process everything that’s been going on. My trip to North Carolina is coming up in a few days and I don’t want to go into it being completely run down and exhausted. I’d also like to stop having emotional meltdowns every few hours. This really hasn’t been a good week for any of us or done our familial relationships any favors. Trying to change your entire life around in just a few weeks’ time is really, really exhausting.