military family life · Musing

Moving Day!

Think Elsa’s Coronation day only way hotter and less Duke of Weasleton. But just as much upheaval.

But there was a gas leak? Fire trucks and police, 3 block radius perimeter and full gear, official B&E by the officials into our former home. We decided we had already overstayed our welcome anyway and fled the scene!

Skadoosh! We rolled out as they broke in. I found out later from the local milso page that it was a gas leak.

Gotta love the milso page. The one stop shop for news, rumors and gossip. Much easier to see my house pictured and surrounded by emergency personnel when it’s no longer home.

Home is an interesting concept. Most people can readily and easily define it. It’s where the heart is. It’s where you hang your hat. Hell, it’s even where you kick your boots off. 

Little harder to define home as a military family. Is home my hometown? Is home my children’s hometowns? Maybe it’s where I got married or where I launched my craft based business. Honestly, for the longest time, I thought it was where my other half was. Deployments and multiple month long training trips have taught me the errors of such sentimentalities.

Home is where the billing address says you are. Home is the zipcode the gas pump asks you for. Home is where Amazon Prime can readily locate you for sweet, sweet free shipping.

Is home really so shallow as a shipping/billing address?

Yes. Yes it is. So make the best of it. Be here, wherever it is. Right now. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Go to the museums. Play at the parks. Walk the dog. Eat at the diner, their biscuits and gravy is probably delicious but the potatoes have a 50-50 chance. 

The next duty station is around the corner. Make a friend. Make 5. One of them, if you’re lucky, will hang out with you on your last day. They’ll entertain your kids, or do some heavy lifting. The truly amazing ones bring coffee. They’ll prove you can make a true friend in this crazy gig, despite careers, busy schedules, schooling, age, branch of service and a variety of other odds and ends. Friends can be found anywhere. Keep them. Love them. Stay in touch. It’s worth it. 

So we are 2 and 1/2 hours from the new home. Stopped for the night. First PCS ever without a horrible sense of urgency for the drive. Or maybe it’s just the shortest drive. Either way we are spending 3 days to go 530 miles and it’s been downright pleasant. Storms and staggering heat indexes and humidity aside, the kids and animals have been solid, the hotels have been less than roachy and the gas is under 3 bucks a gallon. That’s a win in my book. Home is 40 hours away.


Mild Panic

Why does anyone leave anything for the last minute?

I’d like to preamble this with admitting I was the queen of last minute papers and such in school, but these things bored me and required little if any effort and As were always maintained.

Moving is another matter! Life stuff is another matter. These matters matter! Matter. Matter. Matter. My grey matter is scattered. I can’t tell if it’s time for coffee or wine but clearly a beverage would do nicely. 

6 days til we have the truck. 

2 helpers for sure to load said truck.

8 days til we vacate this house.

11 days til new house.

12 days until truck goes back.

15 days til he goes back to work.

Holy expletives Batman! 


Witty title etc

It’s been awhile.

We, and by we I mean me and my laundry list of medical issues, we have gone from damaged organs and an awkward trip to the ER to back off all meds and doing fantastic (considering) to full blown flare. 

Full. Blown. Flare. 

I’m too exhausted to even stress the move that much. The move, to another state, in 9 days. 9 days.

Independence day was nice. The SO was home this year and we didn’t have any crazy plans. First time that’s happened in ages. Last year he was in Iwo Jima, the year before we were at the Whitehouse and the year before that he was in Afghanistan. We could have bbq’d and we should have packed and there were social obligations we could have attended but we went out for Mexican food and saw Wonder Woman on the big screen. It was laid back. No big fireworks were seen in person but we did sparklers with the girls out in the back yard and watched a Capitol Fourth on PBS. 

When I meet anyone else dealing with fatigue or fibro or anything chronic and painful I preach the importance of naps. Naps are the difference between managing from day to day and utter collapse of your personal world. No exaggerations. Sleep deprivation is heinous and destructive for a healthy person. Deprive someone of sleep for too long when they are dealing with chronic illness and it’s a recipe for disaster. Nap when you can. 

I napped after coffee, before the movie, after the movie and before sparklers. 4 naps. Four naps. That’s a record. Naps are a litmus test for how badly I’m flaring. This one is probably setting records. I should log symptoms. Logging symptoms is a good idea for identifying foods and activities that increase your symptoms. 

I’m now blogging and pleased with my efforts because I’ve been awake for 5 consecutive hours and managed to wash dishes and laundry. Take those little accomplishments, no matter how small. My accomplishments today were small but still valid, but they took a monumental effort. 

A monumental effort to accomplish small deeds is the difference between a normal person and someone who is invisibly ill. 

If I weren’t so tired I might wonder if I am flaring right now because there’s another adult around (for once) and not everything rests on solely my shoulders or if I am flaring because the past 3 months have been chaotic with moving and single parenting. Maybe it’s the last 2 years of diagnosis chasing and pharmacy guinea pigging. I am exhausted. There’s no excuse or sugar coating that will change just how tired I feel. Exhausted.

My to do list is lengthy. Lists are a great way to prioritize when you can’t risk over doing it. So lengthy. There’s no possible way I can manage it all. Even with help it can’t all be done. But I can manage the most pressing tasks. What choice do I have, really? Being this deep into a flare when I can’t just drop everything, I can’t drop anything really, it all needs to find itself finished at some point quite soon. 

The truck will be ready to pack in 7 days and the keys to the place we occupy need to be returned in 9. 12 days until the new place. 13 until we return the moving truck. 

My body can’t quit for another 13 days. One day at a time.


Progress, mostly

I drove back to Virginia for the last time in a long time. The next trip to the new state will be a one way affair, with a moving truck and all our earthly possessions, vehicles, animals and mini people in tow.

So now the frantic prep work can finally begin. The packing, the cleaning, inspections, paperwork, medical, dental, school and veterinary records. Cleaning out the fridge, eating up what’s perishable. So many minute details. 

I sort of forgot what it was like having another adult around. It’s an adjustment, to be sure. He’s greatly missed my cooking. The cat is getting used to him and the dog is in heaven now her favorite person is home. 

Less than 3 full weeks now. 

Health stuff: Fibro and moving don’t play well together. IBS and eating fastfood on a long drive is horrid. Between the IBS and my celebrex induced ulcer, the doc thinks I might have celiac. Regardless, gluten is off the list. 

Eating out when you can’t have dairy, gluten and fried is tough. Thank goodness for fruit.  


Updating via novella

It’s been awhile.

Moving, adminning on 4 pages, the business, and health stuff has sort of eaten all my time and gumption for such things. I’ve found it hard to focus my thoughts, though I’ve tried enough times. 

Even now I’m feeling a bit lost on where to start and go with this blog. Life is a giant jumble and my writing is reflective of such. I feel bad subjecting others to it. 

Health stuff. It’s not Lupus! Thank Odin. I feel like a jerk for being so happy about that as I’ve made so many friends with Lupus lately. 

Turns out the meds I was on were producing a number of symptoms. Malar rash, joint swelling, sensitivity to light, headaches, crippling fatigue, anxiety, depression, hair loss, difficulty breathing and swallowing. It was horrible. On top of which, I had severe intestinal issues, constant tinnitus, racing heartbeat, visual disturbances, muscle spasms, ulcers and a near manic insomnia. 

 A trip to the ER later we determined I have IBS, ulcers, possible celiac disease and should avoid meds for fibromyalgia due to my likelihood of developing all the adverse side effects and nsaids due to my ulcers. I already knew to avoid dairy, msg and processed meat but now I am also avoiding gluten, anything fried, non lean meat, meat in general really. Sugar stopped tasting good along the way somewhere and alcohol has really bad side effects too. Swelling, rash, joint pain etc.

So now I’m one of those teetotaling, vegan, gluten free types: ordering coconut milk quad shot lattes at my locally owned coffee house. 

I’ve lost 15 pounds and I don’t feel like I’m dying a little more each day. My fatigue is gone unless I’m in a lot of pain. When I’m in a lot of pain, I meditate, do yoga and try to think happy thoughts because that’s pretty much all I’ve got left now. 

I’ve accepted this is it. I’m okay with that, not because others have it worse or because some deity is testing my mettle, but because I am making the best of this life, even if it hurts. It’s mine and I cherish what time I have here with those I care for. 

I’m trying to have the best possible attitude about it. I’m trying to share my abilities with others and ease suffering anywhere I can. I’m trying to raise empathic, respectful little humans with healthy backbones who won’t sit down and shut up when they see the injustices our world is plagued by. 

We are moving. I’ve packed much of the house and just scheduled the final walk through. The utilities are scheduled for shut off and a basic timeline for things to be done has been organized. I feel like I’ve got an incredible handle on things, considering all the other stuff happening. 

My new year’s resolutions involved yoga and random gifts and kind gestures to a cross section of people in my life. I planned to do 6. I’ve delivered 2 so far and a third is half finished. Not bad for all the other stuff on my plate. 

I’m on an etsy like page for crafters with chronic illness. I haven’t invested enough time on it to make it worthwhile yet. I need to work on that and launch on etsy too. There’s a toy store in the new area we’re moving to called Monkey’s Uncle. I am taking it as a sign of good things to come.  

I’ve been wonderfully productive and taking great steps in the right direction but for just now my neck is a hot mess and hurts horrifically. I’ve stretched it over a rolled towel and iced it. Now I’m using my 10s unit and blogging for distraction. Hopefully I can go back to kicking butt a bit later. 



Crochet Marathon?

A simple hobby has been molded into a side business and wouldn’t you know it, those customers I’ve been hoping for for years now finally looked my way. Mid flare, mid move, mid existential crisis. Not only do I not have the spoons for yarn or monkeys, I don’t have the spoons for moving. I can’t find the spoons to pay attention to the latest novel of a series I’m invested in. I hardly have the gumption to whine about my lack of gumption. Fuck.



I still haven’t decided if this is for me or the audience, if there’s an audience, sorry. 

The medical standard in my country is utter garbage. I’m not sure if it’s better elsewhere but here I can’t schedule an appointment for Tuesday until the Monday before. Today is Friday but they can’t schedule a mere 96 hours ahead. Even the veterinarian was able to pencil me in for June. My cat and dog have better providers than my children and I do. Seriously? Who plans this nonsense. At least my animals are covered. 

So I may have mentioned we are moving. I cleared book cases from a corner of the front room and replaced them with stacks of boxes. The packed bits are growing and spreading towards the rest of the house. I take down decorations and such as I radiate out from the corner of packed. It’s like watching a timelapse of someone painting a picture in reverse. 3 boxes were packed and a curtain rod came down today. I have so much more house to manage and just over a month. Can you say panic? Also it’s just me. I’m cut out for this work, meticulous, practiced and just ocd enough to almost enjoy boxing up an entire life for 4 people.

So that medical stuff. I almost feel like I should blog it out from the beginning. Again, audience, I’m sorry.

Rough and tumble childhood. Tom boy, fort building, river roaming, tree and rock climbing extraordinaire. A walking talking scraped up bruise. Those were the days! Couple of car accidents (car v. car and car v. bike) later and I make it to my teens in one piece. Huzzah! Que high school. Only I wasn’t like the other kids. Migraines, multiple ovarian cysts and some specialists later we find out I am hyper mobile, suffering whiplash induced migraines, prone to cysts, IBS, atopic dermatitis, follicular eczema, fibromyalgia and prone to joint dislocations. Because teen angst wasn’t already lame.

Fast forward 10 years. Lots of swimming and lifestyle changes later we are down to just hypermobile with the occasional fm flare. 

Fast forward 5 years, welcome to 30s. Fibro flares are never ending, started as an overuse injury, developed into nerve issues, some imaging later they find bone spurs and herniated discs in my c spine. Nerve conduction studies show cubital tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve entrapment and impingement plus my ulnar and radial nerves merge where theg should veer apart. Woo, neuropathy. 1 failed occipital nerve block and a lot of failed meds later I’ve developed hypersomnia on top of insomnia. I still have the overuse pain. I have nerve pain. My joints are breaking down from the inside out due to instability. My hands and feet swell randomly. I’m presenting with a malar rash and I’ve pursued the advice of numerous specialists. 

Blood work is all normal. No one wants to operate since I respond poorly to external stimuli and have inverse or extreme responses to medication. I’m a walking talking malpractice suit waiting to happen and they know I know. 

I’ve been going to physical therapy for a year and a half now. There’s literally nothing left. 

Yoga, diet, hobbies and caffeine are all that’s keeping me afloat. I’ve noticed a new sort of take on life recently. I’m trying for calm, paced and ready with a kind word for everyone on my path.  I’d like to think I’m pretty damned sage for my relatively short time here. 

Ironically, it’s hardest to turn that keen wit and observation on myself. It’s difficult to be kind and accepting of me. After all, I’m broken and then some. All my wisdom sounds cliche and tired.  My advice is contrived at best. I simply cannot convince myself or take any of my great advice. I wish I could. Stress literally translates into pain but I just can’t turn it off.