Apr 30, 2007
28 months. 121 weeks. 850 days. 20,400 hours. 1,224,000 minutes. No matter how you do the math, it was entirely too long.
Last night, Patrick and I went to the house to make sure everything had been removed. We went into our old bedroom and laid on the floor like we used to when our bed was in there. I looked up at the ceiling fan like I did every night - I thought about all we have been through in these past couple of years as we tried to sell the house. I turned to him and told him what I didn't have the heart to tell him before. I told him how hard this has been on me - especially the past 6 months or so. I told him that there were days I never thought we would sell the house. There were moments when I could do nothing but cry. There were times when I felt like I couldn't breathe - each time I made that mortgage payment it felt as if whatever it was that had a grip of my lungs would squeeze tighter and tighter. It was constricting my breath. I was suffocating.
But it's over now. It's finally over. I walked out of the attorney's office and I exhaled. An enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders and off my mind. I can breathe again. I can live again. I am weightless.
Apr 29, 2007
I am feeling anxious and excited about tomorrow. It is a huge day for Patrick and me and I cannot wait to share our good news. I know that it is only slightly over 24 hours away, but I just can't get myself to say it (or type it) because what if something went wrong? I couldn't stand to see that happen. So I must wait.
I want to sit and enjoy the morning, but there are things I need to accomplish - mostly everything I didn't get done yesterday. By the way, I did finally choose the book - Ella Minnow Pea. I initially chose to re-read the Kundera book, but I felt like it was too emotionally-laden for me at this time. I do want to read it again, but I think maybe at another point in my life. However, I guess I was more tired than I thought because I read two pages of the new book and could feel myself falling asleep. I think I'll try again tonight - if I can contain my excitement about tomorrow...
Apr 28, 2007
I knew that I was going to be spending the day and evening alone, so I made a bunch of plans - Target, grocery shopping, organizing the computer desk, going to the library, etc. I did none of that. I woke up with a killer migraine and while I was able to get rid of the pain within a few hours, I was left with the physical and emotional hangover. So, basically, I watched some TV (flipped between the NFL draft and the Cubs/Cards game). I did go to the grocery store, but only for a few emergency items.
I'm feeling much more awake now, so I ate dinner and decided to make some new plans. I went to the bookshelves (since I didn't make it to the library) and tried to pick out a new book to read. I'm torn between two - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a book I read my freshman year of college and Ella Minnow Pea, a book I received as a birthday gift a few years ago. I love re-reading books from many years ago - it's amazing to see how differently you can interpret things at different points in your life. I was only 19 years old when I first read the Kundera book. I was in love. I was naive. I was curious about the world. I wanted to experience new things. I wonder if I would interpret it differently today. This book represents such an amazing time in my life, so part of me is hesitant to re-read the book. I guess I'm afraid that if I do read it again, I will lose that feeling of innocence and wonderment from that first year in college.
I think I will make up my mind this evening as I get into bed. I have no idea how I am going to decide which book to read - it most likely will depend on my mood. Whichever one I choose, I plan to stay up and read in bed for a while. It seems like forever since I've done that.
So what started out as a relatively crappy day has turned into a nice evening. Alone.
Apr 27, 2007
I spoke with my mom this afternoon and she told me that my grandmother felt dizzy last night and fell. My mom and cousin (who basically are her caretakers) took her to the doctor who gave them the following diagnosis: severe dementia and Alzheimer's.
This shouldn't come as a complete surprise to me, but for some reason it did. Hearing the words made it so much more real.
Despite everything that has happened, I feel sorry for her. She hasn't been very kind and loving to my mom over the years and at times, has been downright mean. This makes it difficult to feel sympathy for her, to hug her and tell her I love her (which I still do).
I'm still processing this and don't really know how to respond just yet. I know that deep down my grandma is a sweet and kind woman. I know that she has been through so much in her life - widowed at a young age, had her home robbed twice, survived a house fire, and lost her daughter to cancer. But there is another side to her - the tough Italian woman who doesn't acknowledge that she is sad or that she has experienced significant losses in her life. She doesn't let herself cry and doesn't like it when other people cry. She doesn't acknowledge all that my mom and cousin do for her. She doesn't thank them, but expects them to care for her.
I miss the grandma that used to chase me through the backyard. I miss the grandma that would cook homemade "macaroni" and biscotti for us and shout "Mangia! Mangia!" I miss the grandma that would teach us how to swear and insult people in Italian. I am proud to be able to say the following in Italian: shut-up, shit, fuck, whore/slut, stupid, slob, piss. You have no idea how handy this can be...
In honor of my grandma, Lucy Lily, here's the most recent picture I have of her (along with my cousin, Kelley) - taken in March 2007:
Apr 26, 2007
For the first time in a while I actually am at a loss for words. I hope this doesn't affect the grantwriting I need to get back to...
I hope the headaches stop soon - this is getting to be too much.
Apr 24, 2007
Believe me, it's probably not what you're thinking.
Just a few more days and I'll be able to tell the world (or just the people who read this).
Apr 23, 2007
- I am avoiding all the work I need to accomplish in the next two weeks
- I am avoiding working on my book
- I am avoiding mopping the kitchen floor
- I am avoiding washing a few large pots & pans I used last night
- I am avoiding getting dinner started
- I am avoiding making an appointment with my neurologist
- I am avoiding having a conversation with my husband that we started two days ago but never finished
Apr 22, 2007
A couple of hours ago, the wind picked up and I noticed that some clouds rolled in - gone was the warm sun and clear sky. I didn't mind it as it seemed to be a nice change and a good way to end a weekend. Is it somehow symbolic of my upcoming week at work?
As I stood in front of the kitchen window I could smell the rain before it had even started to fall, and for some reason it was so intense that it brought me back to a day when I was a little girl. I'm not sure how old I was - maybe 7 or 8 years old. It was a late spring Saturday afternoon. My family had no major plans, so we all kind of did our own thing - my mom probably was doing something "crafty" like painting or drawing, my father most likely was reading, and my sister...I'm not sure what she did when she was 11 years old. She takes after my mom and was probably involved in something artistic. In my bedroom, I had a small table and chairs that sat in front of my window. I liked to sit there and color or read - sometimes play with my dolls. On this specific day it was raining - the same kind of gentle rain as today. My window was open and I could smell the rain and see the clouds darken as they moved closer. They were various shades of gray with a little green mixed throughout. There was something about the way the clouds looked that made me feel so safe - it was as if they were closing in on me, enveloping me the way someone's arms do when you're young and frightened. I went to my bookshelf and grabbed my favorite books. I sat at my table in front of the window and read all day.
I can't help but feel sad when I think about this, but I'm not exactly sure why. I don't want to be a little girl again, but I wouldn't mind feeling that safe. I guess as an adult it's our job to make others feel safe - especially our children - but I wish I could feel that way again. I wish I wasn't so afraid of the future. I wish I didn't have to face such uncertainty. I wish I could put aside all my problems and worries, sit at that tiny table and read all day...
Apr 20, 2007
This whole thing is weird as I have never had such bad migraines for so many straight days. Um, especially when I'm not supposed to be getting them (wink, wink). This, of course, has prompted my insane husband to ask if I possibly had a "bun in the oven". Yes, he used this phrase, which made me roll my eyes and made him laugh because he knew he had annoyed me. Yeah, right. Me pregnant? I don't think so. I mean, I couldn't be, right? I'm 99% sure I'm not. Maybe 95% sure. How about 90%?
The migraine situation has me a bit concerned as it has never happened before. So many migraines. Such bad migraines. Migraines that have been resistant to medication - even the strong stuff. I'm having other issues/symptoms, too, which I really don't want to get in to because I just know I'm not pregnant, and it would be silly to bring all this up. Well, the only one I will bring up is the bizarre episode of me making turkey meatloaf and my inability to stop myself from gagging at the smell of it. No one else could smell it but me. I couldn't even eat it because the smell was so strong - I tried covering it with a napkin but it didn't help. Once again my husband said, "Maybe you're pregnant!" I hate when he does this. Sometimes people are just sensitive to smells.
The issue is that we're both on the fence about having children. Well, I am more on the fence than he is. He has always said, "I don't want to have a baby when I'm 40 years old." Guess what, hon? Two months from Sunday you're turning the big "four-oh". My issues stem from potential migraines with no medication and a general fear of the unknown.
Let me reiterate that I really don't think I'm pregnant - probably just some random symptoms that just so happen to be occurring at the same time. It's probably just a fluke that I'm having so many migraines. I'm positive that I'm not pregnant...almost positive.
Apr 19, 2007
I just took my third painkiller in I don't know how many hours - I don't even read the instructions any more. Sometimes I take more than I should, but I really don't want to end up at the ER with an IV of painkillers.
I am supposed to attend a half day seminar tomorrow morning - "Bridges Out of Poverty". I was really looking forward to it and I pray that I do not feel like this in the morning because this is how I feel right now:
I want to remove my head from my body until the pain subsides, but I don't know if it ever will...
Apr 18, 2007
That sounds horrible, so let me say that I am a liberal feminist and I did not marry a man who thinks I should be "barefoot and pregnant" and hanging out in the kitchen. I love to cook. It's therapeutic and challenging for me.
Apr 17, 2007
The truth is that I brought them on myself. In 1998, at the urging of my physician, I started on birth control pills for medical purposes. They helped immensely and I was finally "back to normal" with my health. Looking back to the morning after I took that first pill, I can recall very clearly that I experienced a headache different from any other I had ever experienced at that point in my life. I had never been plagued by headaches as a child or teenager. I would have the occasional tension headache, or the headache if I waited too long to eat, but nothing that an Advil wouldn't take away rather quickly. I wasn't really alarmed by this new headache, and it wasn't all that bad. Besides, my doctor said that I could experience some symptoms similar to the early stages of pregnancy - I had a hint of nausea and well, let's just say I could give Pamela Anderson a run for her money. So, this headache was just another one of those symptoms. I had this headache for the next three days. Can you feel the foreshadowing?
The headaches increased over the next couple of years, but never once did I think "migraine". I didn't even really know what they were. I remember one particular day at work when I felt like I couldn't take it any more - I wanted to cry, I wanted to crawl under my desk and pray for a quick death. That is when I went to my doctor. I tried Imitrex and then Maxalt. After that she finally told me that I needed to see a specialist.
In comes Dr. Homer - so popular and so amazing that I had to wait three months to get an appointment. I even made the trek to Northwestern University to see him (and I still do!). We talked for a long time and he determined that I suffered from menstrual migraines brought on by my use of birth control pills. So I had done this to myself. He asked if I was willing to stop taking the pill, but at that point in my life, I said no. He said it was OK and that there were new ways to treat these migraines, which are the most difficult migraines to treat. Being a neurologist on the cutting edge of new medicine, he put me on a treatment plan that had yet to be approved by the FDA.
It worked, but only for a while. At my next visit he told me that sometimes this happens. I cried and tried another treatment. I have been seeing Dr. Homer for 6 years and each time I see him, he offers another treatment option. Well, last summer I had enough and made the decision to stop taking the pill. Well, I stopped taking the combination pill - I moved to the "mini pill". The chances of getting pregnant are somewhat higher, but that chance was worth the possibility of stopping my headaches.
However, they haven't stopped. I thought this would be the magic "cure" and I would be all better. My doctor was right - sometimes our bodies learn patterns, and obviously after so many years, mine did. I sit here angry - angry at myself even though I never knew this was a possibility of taking the pill. I feel like my body is rebelling against itself and I hate it.
My doctor tells me that menopause might bring some relief, but I am only 34 years old. I don't know if I ever will have children because the chances of getting a migraine while pregnant might just be too much for me to handle. Dr. Homer has told me that it is a gamble - they could get better, stay the same, and in some cases get worse. I feel like I have significantly decreased my chances of ever having biological children. I feel like it is my fault if that is the outcome.
I have asked what I could take if I ever was to become pregnant and suffer from a migraine. No migraine meds are allowed, so my choices are Tylenol and Demerol. No in between.
I am very sad when I think about the choice I made so many years ago and the place it has led me today. What did I do to myself?
Apr 15, 2007
At last year's walk, my mom asked me to write the dedication - she didn't think she could do it herself. Here is what I wrote:
- A kind and generous soul
- A warm heart
- A fighting spirit
We are so proud of your strength, your courage, and your ability to have fought this disease with a sense of humor. We love you and we miss you more and more with each passing day.
We would walk a million miles just to have you back.
All our love,
Donna, Mike, and “The Girls” (Kristie & Tracy)
I am seeking donations to help support the Society's mission - Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Please visit my personal web page to see how you can help - http://www.active.com/donate/ltnDesMo1/2258_tmoore2406
Apr 13, 2007
They simply crack me up...
I'm a third-generation Cubs fan, so it doesn't really matter. I'll be back watching the next game tomorrow. And I will always hold out hope for that World Series Championship.
It could happen, people.
Apr 11, 2007
"Will I ever get married? I know I'm still young (26), but I can't even picture it. It feels so far away - like it will happen in another lifetime. Who knows, maybe it will. There is no guarantee that I will ever fall in love again, or find that person who I'll spend the rest of my life with. There's no guarantee that I will have the opportunity to grow old with someone I love, and raise children and grandchildren. I want these things - all of them, and I don't believe that I'm selfish for it. I guess that lately I've been feeling rather hopeless when it comes to men and relationships. I feel as though I'll never meet someone.
I think about it a lot, though - meeting someone. I think about the first date, the first kiss, and even being in love again. I think about the mystery, excitement, and romance. Romance - I do miss it. Will I ever experience it again? Will someone ever reach for my hand again? Will someone ever hold my face in his hands and kiss me - so we both know that we're right together? Maybe I am overly romantic. Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe all that I want is only possible in my fantasies. But maybe, just maybe it will all happen exactly the way I imagine."
It is so strange to look back on your life like that. I can recall where I was when I wrote that and my state-of-mind (which is pretty obvious from reading that entry). I remember that summer and the frustration I felt when I would go on dates and they would be just that - dates. Nice, but nothing special - no connection. It would be over a year before I would feel that connection with someone...
The 2007 campaign has begun and our team is ready to break last year's record. We once again will walk in memory of my aunt who courageously battled non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for 8 months before passing away in June 2006. More information to follow on how you can help "Light the Night" with hope...
Apr 10, 2007
Apr 8, 2007
More to come once I've recovered from the fatigue and the family chaos...
Apr 6, 2007
I think it's time for me to go home...
I leave tomorrow for Chicago to see my family for the holiday. I'm looking forward to seeing my niece and nephew. I have a new digital camera, so I plan on taking lots of pictures of them so I can post them later.
On this Friday before Easter (Good Friday to be exact), I shouted the following on my way to work: "Jesus Fucking Christ!" The Catholic part of me thinks I should feel a bit bad about this, but I don't. The guy with the Texas license plate was driving like an ass.
Apr 5, 2007
So funny. So very, very funny...
This new friendship got me thinking about the varied and strange ways that certain people come into our lives (people that we would never meet otherwise) and how sometimes it feels as though you were destined to meet. I have people like this in my life. My friends Jason and Megan are this way to me. We all met at work (Megan and I worked in the same department; Jason and I started work on the same day and went through hours of orientation together). Despite Megan leaving her job in 2001 and me leaving in 2002, we've all remained close. Jason and I e-mail each other regularly and I can't imagine not knowing him for the rest of my life. Megan and I are so much alike it's kind of scary - we often talk for hours about our strange obsessions and anxiety, and Megan can make me laugh like not many people can.
Then there are people who I've had this connection with that no longer exist in my life. I had a friend from way back in high school who was just like me - except she had blond hair and was from England - but you know what I mean. We were inseparable for years and then all of a sudden things got strange. She became too involved in my life and my decisions. She interfered in potential relationships because she didn't want to be left "alone". We last spoke in 2001 at a friend's wedding, where she made an odd comment to me. It rubbed me the wrong way and we never really talked after that.
I also have people who come in and out of my life who, despite their occasional absence, will always be a part of me - part of the fabric that makes me who I am today. Time, distance, misunderstandings, and disappointment cannot break our bond. There is one particular person I am thinking of as I write this, but do not want to say any more.
Apr 4, 2007
I always used to hear that dreams are our way of processing things - stress, fear, anxiety, joy. There's got to be something to that theory.
Last night I had a series of strange dreams. Most of them felt like a bunch of brief moments all strung together - I was at my friend Megan's house, I was at the library with my niece, I was with some strange man that apparently I either liked or was dating. But then I had another dream that was separate from those others. In it my aunt was alive and she was riding her bicycle on the sidewalk in some suburban neighborhood I had never seen before. She had on a long blond wig, so I almost didn't recognize her, but she saw me and she stopped. I kept asking her what she was doing (because in my mind she had already died). "I'm really starting to feel better", she said. Her body looked different - like how she looked before she ever got sick. She wasn't sickly skinny any longer and her face was full again. She reached out to hug me and I treated her so gently - I didn't want to squeeze her too hard. She got back on her bike and started to leave. "Wait! Wait...come back!", I shouted. It was too late.
I woke up this morning feeling sad and empty. I cried a little before I got out of bed and I am crying now. I miss her. I wish I could hug her again.
This is not the first dream I've had of my aunt since she died. In those dreams I have told her how sorry I am that she got sick and I tell her I love her. I think I must finally be processing this loss.
Apr 3, 2007
I sit at home and write this while the wind gusts outside must be over 50 mph. The beautiful rain that started my day has ended and now we are left with a huge drop in the temperature and really high winds (the kind where you have difficulty inhaling when you're walking into the wind). I also have a cat nestled on my lap. Nellie (or as I like to call her "Boo Boo Kitty") has learned my daily patterns when I return home from work. Check the mail. Drink some water. Turn on the computer. She likes to sit on my lap while I read my e-mail and write my posts. The irony of this is that I am not a "cat person" but a "dog person". I married into a family with 2 cats. I have learned to love them and they will be the only cats I love. My theory is that they can sense my love for dogs and they are either a) trying to turn me into a cat person or b) rubbing it in my face that no dogs live in this house.
But I digress...
I stopped at the post office after work to pick up the certified letter that was sent to us by our real estate agency. I know it has to do with the whole earnest money situation, but I'm not sure of the specifics. So it just sits on the kitchen counter mocking me - taunting me to see if I will open it. I can't open it alone. The last time I did something like that was when that a-hole sent his letter demanding his money. I read that one by myself, got incredibly pissed, and then had to stew in my own anger until I could get a hold of someone. I just can't go through that again, so I'm waiting until my husband comes home. Unfortunately, that will be late as he has baseball practice tonight. Crap.
The other day my husband asked me if I really wanted to go through with this fight over the earnest money. I told him that it was up to him - I was tired of making the decisions and writing that stupid letter and just plain thinking about it. He said he would fight until the end, but that he was worried that it was getting to me - I was taking this too hard and it was affecting my moods. I guess that is true. It has been on my mind a lot and it bothers me - I don't want to fight over a few hundred dollars, but I also don't want this guy to get away with it, to think that he can do this to other people. My father always says, "Education is expensive", and I want this guy to learn this very important life lesson. So, we decided to continue to fight, but I could not do this alone. This might sound strange, but in my short 2 years of marriage, this is the first time that I ever felt like I truly needed my husband. I know that I could not fight this without him. I told him that he would have to be the strong one. He gladly accepted that role.
The storm left the house rather quiet and dark and all I could think about was how this was the perfect day to sit in the over sized, comfy chair near the window and read a book. Then I thought that it would be the perfect day to sit at my desk and write a book. That moment of inspiration was gone when I brought myself back to reality - I had to go to work and write grants in my incredibly warm office.
I hope I can get back that bit of inspiration I had this morning.
Apr 2, 2007
I am now overcome with the feeling that I should not have sent it. However, there's nothing I can do about it now, unless I feign some sort of mental illness that set in quite rapidly. Either that or claim it was an April Fool's Day joke.
But it wasn't. Everything I said in that message was the truth.
Today is opening day for the Cubs - only wish I could watch it at work, but at least I can listen to it. So in honor of the first day of what I predict will be a great season for Cubs fans, here's a bit of Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out To the Ballgame". Sorry, Jason. I know this probably makes you mad, but remember, I'm a desperate (and delusional) Cubs fan.
Apr 1, 2007
Lots of medication and things are still a bit foggy this afternoon. I went grocery shopping this morning - didn't want to, but HAD to - and I believe that I was still a bit high from the barbituates. I walked through the store very carefully (no idea why I thought I could manage on my new high-heeled boots), trying not to let on that I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully, I had a list with me and the store was relatively empty. The funny thing about these meds is that I am very aware that I get a high off them, but I don't want anyone else to know, so I end up overcompensating. Sometimes I have a hard time processing what people are saying to me - I really have to listen and focus. I found myself doing this to the guy who was bagging my groceries. He would ask me a question and I would just repeat everything VERY loudly, "Yes! I found everything I was looking for!!!" "Yes, I would like my orange juice in a bag!"I got some strange looks, but really didn't care.
Anyway, this post is not about my headache, but about the fact that I am trying to take baby steps to writing my novel.
I am running into a slight problem. I initially started a book a few months ago - a story that I have begun to sketch out. A few weeks ago, I realized that while I love this story idea, I felt like I was losing steam - I wasn't feeling as attached to it (and my characters) as I was before. I now have a new subject and characters that are running through my head. I feel very close to this story - it just seems to resonate with me, and I know that I could really write from the heart. So what do I do? Do I abandon the original story idea (maybe put it to the side for another day)? I still love this story idea, but it's losing its immediacy. I want to go with the original story because I've already started it, but this new idea is just so fresh in my mind and I think I could write it a lot more easily.
I intended to get something accomplished this weekend (relating to "the novel"), but it looks like not much is going to happen. At least I still have the desire to write.