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Posts Tagged ‘Single Parenting’

My Big Fat Life – Dating Men

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2015 at 5:45 am

Dating men.

Years ago when I used to date men my friends would find my dating stories entertaining. Not because they were good, but because my dates were bad. Very bad. From the guy who came up behind me and grabbed my hips while thrusting into me (I had innocently bent over a display in the store… yes, he did this is public) to the guy who tried to convince me that God didn’t want him masturbating so he needed me to give him a hand job. It seemed my dates were more set ready for a comedy tour than to set the stage for a successful relationship. For the record both of those were first dates.

Dating women seemed to be easier in a lot of ways because we communicated in a very personal way. We would spend the first hour of a conversation learning about each other. Our favorite colors, band, movie, where we grew up and all of that basic information we talk to people we are interested in getting to know better. Men, however, have proved to be a different experience.

Since I started to date men again, I’ve been on a few dates.  A sad majority of them have been listening to people tell me what a rotten awful person their ex is, and/or how they are just looking for a good time. One guy spent an hour telling me how wonderful he was, and another showed up looking NOTHING like his profile photo (this is also the guy who also informed me in the middle of dinner that he was too distracted by my breasts while looking at me, to even look me in the eyes while talking). Since a majority do seem to want to talk about their ex, I’ve I considered starting my own mobile dating crisis counseling service. Possibly setting up an app that allows guys to book a date with me. Payment in form of dinner, and random compliment not related to my breasts.

*make note to invest in tacky shirt that says “My other eyes are green” *

Now… I am not trying to make men seem shallow. I don’t believe they all are. I just simply have had some pretty bad experiences. In part because I guess I expect men to communicate the same way I would if I were interested in getting to know someone. I know I wouldn’t spend time starting at their chest, and I certainly wouldn’t spent the first 45 minutes of being in their presence talking about how awful my ex is. I just wanna know what your favorite pizza is, and if you can tell some stellar jokes.

I’ve made a big change in dating, and I expected it would be a learning curve. I’ve gotten to sharpen up my listening skills, and that’s always a good thing, right?  I guess a part of me is still just confused about the communication piece. Or maybe I’m not, and I still don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to take the time to get to know me as a person or involve in a two way conversation over dinner. Is it really that hard to ask someone what their favorite color is?

Green.

So here I am on this adventure changing my whole way of life. So far it’s been interesting, and not exactly in the best way. But I guess it is all how you look at it, so maybe I will start writing a comedy sketch or shopping around for reality shows that might want to follow an out of the closet heterosexual, who is raising 4 boys on her own as we weave our way through the medical journey of one. TLC might be in the market now that Honey Boo Boo is off the air.

I know the differences between how men and women communicate is usually pretty different. I get that. Despite knowing this, I am still holding to my desire that someone might find me fascinating enough to want to know what my favorite flower is. If I don’t, I may start to ask people to sign releases and my dating life may soon be coming to a stage near you.

I’ll call it the Diaries of Dating: A One Woman Show. It’ll tour for one date only. I’ll whine about my ex for the first 45 minutes of a set, and then get too distracted by my own breasts to continue talking while looking at the audience.

I think I have the perfect shirt to wear for this.

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My Big Fat Life – Jesus Take The Wheel (but let me press the gas pedal)

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Gabriel had another seizure the weekend before last. It was one of those grand mal seizures, and scared the crap out of me. This makes three now.

The second seizure he had was something called a “partial”, and it was after that the Dr ordered an EEG. The day before he had this last one he had the EEG done at the hospital he was transferred to, so the ER Dr. was able to speak to the neurologist, who spoke to someone who then spoke to the neurologist, when then spoke to he ER Dr., who then spoke to me. Yeah, I know.. confusing, isn’t it?

The initial impression they have from the EEG is the same one the neurologist spoke to me about when we met her for the first time, last week. Gabriel has Benign Rolandic Epilepsy. He may outgrow it, but the onset of it has come a bit later than usual, so it all really remains to be seen. He will stay on medications for 2 years, and they will do another EEG to see what that looks like. If it’s clear, then he will go off the medication.

From what I have read, the children don’t typically need medication, but because he has had so many in such a short amount of time, they put him on it.

So now we have answers.. more answers. It’s been a bit overwhelming at times, and I have gone back to spending time with tears. I have learned to be a heart parent this past year, and now I need to learn how to see a grand mal seizure without freaking out, but all in all I remain greatly blessed. I do wish that my Gabriel could just have a time where life wasn’t throwing something new out at him, and he could focus more on the things teens worry about instead of worrying about having something happen.

Anyways, I kinda feel like I am telling God to take the wheel, but keeping my foot on the gas pedal trying to control the speed of things where I want them to be. I know I can only do what I can, but it sure would be nice to feel I have some control in this situation where I feel helpless at times.

 

 

 

My Big Fat Life – Last Pill

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm

June 11th was supposed to be the last day of prednisone, but apparently I counted the days wrong, and it was this morning. This day has been a dreaded coming.

When I was putting his pills in his medication dispenser a few days a go, I started tearing up. The forced reality that this is it, really hit me. This is the last time the Doctors are putting Gabriel on prednisone as a treatment for his condition, and we are cautiously hoping the colchicine works.

Tomorrow marks the last day of school for him and his brothers, so I’m pushing the homework to get the boys finished. It’s been a really stressful week around here preparing for the end of school, and the end of Gabriel’s prednisone treatment. I am looking forward to school being over for a few months while we get Gabriel’s health sorted out. I was really hoping to do something fun for the kids after school released, but I have no clue what I can do that will keep us close to home just in case Gabriel gets sick again. I also need to start looking at the fact that I need to move. The boys and I have been cramped in this stupid apartment that the ex and I moved into as transitional housing until a home was purchased for us to live in, but we have outgrown it and honestly I would love to have a washer and dryer of my own, instead of using the laundry room. The money I am spending to live here and pay to do laundry, isn’t really putting my money to work to help a single parent who needs every penny possible, to feed 4 boys. If you are reading this and know of available housing, please feel free to email me. You can reach me at lesbian_spaghetti@yahoo.com.

So here we are, and here we go…

#FeelsLikeAWeekOfMonday

(Gabriel on the morning of surgery 8/8/2013 and 5/2014. Less than a year difference and you can see how prednisone and this illness has taken it’s toll)

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My Big Fat Life – It Came In On a Dark Horse Comic

In Uncategorized on May 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Gabriel, he started a new taper to his prednisone yesterday (the Dr. had him do it a day late, since we typically do it on a Monday) and he is holding on this dose until he sees the Dr. again on the 12th. Other than some random pains that haven’t amounted to anything, he seems to be tolerating the taper pretty well, though the taper has never been the problem. It’s when he goes off the prednisone completely, that we seem to run into trouble.

This first week of May was pretty busy. On the 1rst, Dark Horse Comics made a special allowance, and invited Gabriel into their offices for a private tour. He and his brothers got to sit at the conference table, where some pretty cool things happen in the world of graphic novels and comic books. They were given a demonstration on how the art comes to life, and given some of the coolest goodie bags afterwards. Right before they left the conference room though, Aub (PR guy) let Gabriel keep a copy of the graphic R.I.P.D. which was displayed on the wall of the conference room. Since this is one of Gabriel’s favorite movies, he was pretty stoked. I hadn’t heard him let out a victory whoop like that, in months. Aub was pretty much my personal hero that day.

I don’t typically post things I have written prior to posting, because everything I post is something I am writing I the moment. However, I wanted to share something I wrote on April 30th, knowing that May is going to be the month we most likely find out if the Colchicine works. As the time draws closer, I panic a little more and try to find the good in all I can, in the moment.

April 30th 2014
It’s 2:38am. I’m exhausted, and quite possibly too tired to sleep. I’m sitting on my kitchen table, with the patio door open, and listening to the wind gently blow against the leaves like a perfectly written symphony. Boys and dog sleeping, the faint lights of planes as they fly over, and me. Just me. It was just me and a spoonful of whipped cream, but that’s done, and now it’s just me and a naked spoon. If I believed time could give hugs, this is what I imagine it would feel like. If I believed time could kick ass, April is what I imgine it would it bruise like. But if time truly does heal, then the future is what I hope it looks like. #Peace #Hope #BuyMoreWhippedCreamLaterToday

One week down.

(Gabriel sitting at the conference table at Dark Horse Comics 5/1/2014)

Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

My Big Fat Life – Gabriel & Day One

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2014 at 11:13 am

Gabriel took his first colchicine pill this morning. It’s a little purple pill. It’s weird to think how much hinges on that little thing producing huge results. It reminds me of something Gabriel shouted out once, while trying to wrestle with his older (and much bigger) brother, Ben. Keep in mind this was before I knew he had a heart defect. I probably would have offered him a coloring book on the history of non aggressive play, with some soft and non threatening crayolas, had I known before they tried to do all of that play wrestling that brothers do. But I remember it so clearly when Gabriel was standing up and trying to get Ben into a mock head lock. Both boys were laughing so hard, and through the laughter Gabriel shouted out ” I may be small, but I am much bigger than my size!”. Those words were so big to say, as Gabriel has always been much smaller than his older brother despite how close in age they are.  I am hoping that is the case with this  little purple pill as well. I am hoping it is much bigger than its size, because it has a heck of job ahead. I am pretty sure Ben let Gabriel win that day, and I hope that little pill helps Gabriel win again.

When the Rheumatologist first told me about the colchicine, he told me that he had used it in only two other children with pericarditis, and without good results. He went on the state that he had just recently read an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, that says colchicine had showed promising results from preventing/reducing recurrence when used with Prednisone. What they are doing, is keeping Gabriel on the prednisone, and starting colchicine at the same time. He will taper off the prednisone over the course of weeks, until he is on colchicine only. Then we wait. Typically Gabriel starts to get sick within 2 1/2 weeks after stopping prednisone. If he can maintain on the colchicine, then that little pill is doing great big things. If not, then.. well, surgery.

When the Rheumatologist told me about the drug, he gave me a choice between that or methotrexate. The pros of colchicine are that it works much quicker, and Gabriel really needs to start getting better sooner than later. I was concerned that he hadn’t seen promising results though, and I needed more answers. Someone forwarded the report to me, and I was able to find some more after I Googled the study. I had questions about the study, so I emailed one of the investigating physicians in Italy, and asked a heap of questions. I was really worried he might not email me back, but within the day, he answered.

We exchanged emails back and forth for a few days, and he was able to answer my concerns. I started asking as many questions to cover all the basis I could. I wanted to know how many were teenagers, how many had underlying health issues, and so on. Things I felt I needed to know to help me make the most educated choice for Gabriel and might give him the best chance at feeling better, and avoiding surgery. The investigating physician stated that colchicine is worthy of adding to his prednisone treatment, so this seemed to be looking like this might be the medication worthy of a try. Even though the Rheumatologist hadn’t had promising results in the past, we all know Gabriel doesn’t seem to respond typically to a lot of things, so maybe he is the one patient that will turn this around. That is my hope, anyways.

So here is to little, but big things, today.

 

(Gabriel and I, 4-2014. I have no clue why he is squinting. When I asked him why he was, he couldn’t remember either)

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My Big Fat Life – Gabriel and His MRI Results

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I got the call tonight. I will spare you the round about details and lack of planning (or even that the cardiologist yawned during the conversation), and get right to the point.

The pericardium sac is thick and stuck to places on Gabriels heart. What does this mean? Well, as it was explained to me, the sac gets thick and starts to adhere to the heart, much like a spider web. That is not supposed to happen, and this is what is happening to Gabriel. I am calling his regular Cardiologist tomorrow to set up a game plan, and speak to the Rheumatologist to discuss medications. There is one, Colchicine, that might help. If it doesn’t, and the sac gets even thicker and adheres more to the heart, then they will have to operate and remove the sac from his heart.

The cardiologist that I spoke to tonight, is the one who did the MRI and I’m not a huge fan. Up until recently, he has questioned every time I have taken Gabriel in, as to whether or not Gabriel is even having problems. I am hoping the MRI has now convinced him that Gabriel is indeed not well, and now we need to get super proactive to figure out what to do from this point.

So… here were a few of my questions for him tonight, followed by his answers:

Will the medication unstick the portion of the heart that is already adhered? He doesn’t think so.
Will it adhere more? Possibly.
Can the sac completely adhere to the heart and constrict it? Yes.
What will they be doing to monitor his progress? Just wait to see if the medication helps and prevent another relapse.
Will they know if it’s adhering to the heart more, based on symptoms? No.
So then why won’t you be doing a test to keep a check on things? (No definite answer given).
Why did his ANA levels test positive? (This can indicate Lupus) Not sure, it can mean a lot of different disorders so we need to talk to the Rheumatologist.
Have you talked to the Rheumatologist? No.

Can anyone else see my frustration? Tomorrow, I will be speaking to his Cardiologist and hopefully get a game plan going. I also plan on making some calls to other children’s hospitals to see if they have any experience in this condition. I’ve got to make sure I am not leaving any stones unturned, in trying to find answers to help my son.

On a better note, I feel much more grounded today after having a mental day yesterday. I am taking everything one step at a time, and choosing to address the things I can do something about, and let go of the shit I can’t. I am in a much better frame of mine today, to do just that. You would think with this news, I would be in a much worse place than I was yesterday, but I can’t help but feel that at least we have answers, even if we don’t know why it’s happening to him. At least we know what the result is, and can address it sooner than later. That perspective makes me feel better, and that is what I am trying to hold to.

(Gabriel while waiting for his MRI yesterday)

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My Big Fat Life – Gabriels Heart

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm

The Cardiologist spoke with me the day before yesterday, and after speaking with the surgeon, they  have finally decided to do a CT Scan or an MRI on Gabriel, to take a closer look at things and make sure they aren’t missing anything. I am both happy they are finally doing this, and terrified they might find something that will require another surgery. They are supposed to call me Monday to schedule this, so I will be sure to write an update soon.

In considering that they might have to do another surgery, I go into an instant mode of fear. I am really struggling with the fear of having to watch my son go through that whole process again. It just makes me so sad for him. I am trying really hard not to borrow that worry, but I have to prepare myself for the possibility that this could happen.

 

My Big Fat Life – Hallways

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Well… I write this as tears spill from my eyes. Gabriel is sick, again. We made it almost 3 weeks this time before the pain started. I took him to the cardiologist the day before yesterday, and an echo confirmed the fluid has started to build up around his heart again.

I can’t begin to describe how devastated I am.

Yesterday we saw the Rhuematoligist who put him immediately back onto Prednisone. He wants to add another medication to the mix, but is allowing me some time to research both of the ones he mentioned, since they will be a longer term treatment. One is a proven treatment (Methotrexate), though there is not a real traditional treatment for Postpericardiotonomy Syndrome. The other (Coholchicine) is showing some help in treatment though it is a fairly newly used drug for what Gabriel is dealing with. I am just at a loss trying to make sense of everything in the midst of feeling just so tired.

Yesterday the Rheumatologist started to talk about some longer term options, and I asked him if we could have that conversation in the hallway. As we stepped out into the hallway and he started telling me his thoughts, I realized that a majority of my conversations about Gabriel have taken place in a hallway. When the Dr first told me that Gabriel had something wrong with his heart, it was in the hallway at Doernbechers. When the news isn’t good, the conversations take place in the hallways outside the room of where my children are sitting. I can’t begin to count how many tears I have shed in the hallways between the hospitals and offices of the doctors he is seeing. When he had his echo this last time, when the Cardiologist said he saw fluid, I quickly excused myself and stepped into the hallway where I proceeded to lose my shit. The Dr stepped out and put his arms on my shoulders as he tried to comfort me in the moment, but even now I struggle with tears and how disappointed I am. I really, really wanted this to be his time to be healthy and not have to deal with anymore of this. I am trying to learn how to proceed with cautious hope, because each time I hope, I seem to really take it hard when things don’t work out.

Gabriel asked me if he was going to die. I can’t even begin to tell you just how hard it is to hear your child ask you such a big question. It just hurts to know he even considers this as a possibility. Yet, I have feared the same thing so many times.  Today he got tired of it all and asked me why he was given a difficult heart, and why God would do such a thing. How can I give answers to something I have asked God myself, so many times?

I need my son healthy. I want my son healthy. I want him to never have to worry or even think about his mortality at the age of 13. I need my child to have a childhood full of happy memories, and life. I need my son to have something positive  happen in his life right now. I need my child to smile.

I need some good news. I need kind words. I need hugs. I need people in my life to remember that I am not always as strong as they think I am, and sometimes I need it recognized that I have moments I feel very weak and vulnerable. I need to keep focusing on the positive and remember that there are people doing everything they can for my child. I need to feel protected right now.

Sweet Jesus…… I need to feel protected right now. I am not even sure what that looks like, but I know that is exactly what I need right now.

I need my son to heal.

I need answers.

I  need to spend less time in hallways.

Gabriel Echo 19

(Gabriel during his echo on March 19th, the one before last)