Much has happened to me this past year. Looking back, I don't remember things that have occurred which scares me. I don't want to let fear rule my life yet in a lot of ways it does. I'm afraid to try getting another job because my body isn't reliable and it doesn't work the way that it should. Both my rheumatologist and oncologist have left the clinic I used to go to. Back in November I went in for food sensitivity testing. I could almost laugh now because one of my fears was that the test would come back negative only no answer would have been an answer, maybe a better answer than the one that did come back. Eliminating 64 foods from an already restricted diet hasn't been easy. I cheated a little at Christmas so I stayed up late not feeling well but at least now I have more definitive answers although I have to admit I've been through the typical rage, grief, denial, acceptance stages more than a few times.

Christmas is typically not a holiday I enjoy. This year I spent Christmas Eve sitting on the couch playing checkers on my phone. The girls were on the computer and computer time is okay as long as it is balanced with play, exercise, cleaning your room and other activities. My circulatory system doesn't work right so my hands and feet are cold and clothing helps only to a certain extent. I have some nerve damage which makes slight temperature changes almost unbearable. People make fun of me because I dress in three or four layers. This is a defense system because my thermostat is broken and I wouldn't wish this on anyone else but sometimes I wish people could feel what I feel for a day so things that I do would be more understood. During my upbeat times I look back and see that I little by little I have improved in many ways. Then on my bad days or times like this I think that life is not fair even though no one said it was going to be.

A few days ago a guy I know went in to the ER complaining of chest pain. Today he underwent bypass surgery. He has not had a healthy lifestyle, he's a bit older than I am, forty or so, and it scares me because some of the diseases I have can affect my organs without me being able to do anything about it. So when others are grabbing another handful of chips or I watch other people eating fluffy scrambled eggs I have to remind myself that those things are going to hurt instead of help. I'm frustrated because I don't know what is going on with the company from California. The other day I talked to my sister about going back to school to be a dental assistant or hygienist. The pay is not bad, the schooling is relatively short and I have some of the classes I would need out of the way since I already have a four year degree.

The other day I drove past the sign an area dentist had posted and I wondered if God was trying to give me a sign by putting that in front of me. I did some research but I'm still in the decision making process. Despite the factors stacked against me dentistry, like podiatry, has always fascinated me and I really wish I had gone into that instead of acquiring a history degree that hasn't helped me land a job or advance in a career. Now that my children are older I could go back to school. I've always liked learning but I have to be very realistic about what I can do before my body gives out. My aunt and uncle had people over the day after Christmas. I ended up having to lie down over at their place because I get to the point where I literally don't have the energy to stand upright anymore.

My joints hurt, nerve pain is something I'm becoming accustomed to but it all wears you down without you really doing anything. I overdo it on the days when I feel good which also makes me mad since I have no one to blame but myself. Then, there are those rare precious moments when I feel okay. And the pain recedes and I can lie in bed or sit on the couch or do laundry or dishes without having to give my hands or arms or legs a break. Some good things that have happened recently: I cleaned the house and it has stayed relatively the same since we've been gone quite a bit. The other day I made my youngest lie down since she had been crabby the entire morning. After her sister went to bug her I made her lie down next to me and all three of us took a much needed nap. I got some money for Christmas. I have to use it to pay bills however I am grateful that I have it. I would like to buy a juicer but that will have to wait.

Having people over on Christmas Day was nice. I haven't hosted a party in years and I felt slightly like my old self for a few minutes. My neighbor brought cookies and bread over. I made quite a bit of food that went uneaten since my sister brought assorted chips but I felt good about what I accomplished. Some of the supplements I take have been helping. Being tired is a way of life for me so I start the morning with a double dose of B vitamins. Even foods I should be able to eat sometimes bother me since I don't produce enough stomach acid to break things down. My cabinet is full of pills but I have this regimen and if I follow it religiously things go better than if I skip doses. I've been reading up on some of my conditions. I'm encouraged at the progress I have made and I'm really proud of myself that I haven't put anything except my unexpected trip to Vegas on my credit card.

My hands look better than they have. I could possibly go back to school to become a dental assistant and it might not be my dream job however I would probably excel at it and it would be a good way to expose myself to a new set of people and information. Lately I've been going to church even if I have to take the girls by myself or go alone. The weather has been unseasonably warm for which I am very grateful. I wear hats, gloves, a scarf and many layers of clothes even indoors and people sometimes stare or question me about it. Telling them I have a disease that affects thermoregulation usually helps but I do find myself avoiding others since I get really tired of having to explain my strange behavior to people over and over again. I might sit down, stand up and be too dizzy to stay standing up. Most of the time we sit in the balcony at church.

Sometimes I have visions of myself falling over but those are mental fears that I have to get over. My weight goes up and down, when people tell me I look good and they wish they had my diet I don't think they know what I've gone through or what it's like to not be able to feel the tips of your fingers tapping at the keyboard. For a while I was into a new fictional series. That was a lot of fun because I was so into the characters and their lives that I forgot they weren't real. The only problem is I realized I needed to start at the beginning instead of the middle so I had to set that project aside for a new one. I've been having more trouble with the new people since I don't know them as well and they are less dynamic than some other people I've written about in the past. This past midterm my children both came home with better grades than they had the previous midterm. Hopefully every parent believes that their children are beautiful, wonderful miracles that they've been blessed (and cursed) with. Since the girls have gone gluten and dairy free I've seen improvements across the board however others deny that the improvement exists or that there were issues before.

My three sisters are generally supportive even if they don't always agree with the things I believe in or do. My niece's father has been asking to see her more however in the past he's been an unreliable and disinterested parent. He's exactly my age, his birthday is six days before mine and you'd hope that someone who is now pushing forty would be more mature. It breaks my heart to have to watch my niece get excited and then disappointed and upset when she realizes that once again her father isn't showing up for an event he promised he would be at. I write about the things I love that interest me however it is difficult for me to write about my children not because I don't care but because I care too much. I didn't think my life would be like this or I'm not sure I would have passed any of my genetic defects along to another generation. Another upsetting thing that others have addressed is the sale of E2. I want this site to work when I open up a draft. I'm tired of losing work and I've probably written more than I have all year recently but without a reliable connection to the site it's hard to draft, edit or proof anything.

Another nice thing I couldn't have predicted was how fun it was to win a prize after the Iron Noder Challenge. I would encourage anyone who wants to improve their writing skills to write as frequently as they can and to enter even silly contests because the more you do something the better you're going to get. No one sitting on a pile of writeups gets worse with each post. You get faster, new ideas crop up and sometimes seeing what you did wrong is just as valuable as getting some upvotes or even a ching. Something I do whenever I participate in Iron Noder is post pieces I wouldn't normally because I'm afraid of what kind of reception they might get. This is essentially a consequence free environment for your well done work and the downvotes mean that there is still room for your work to improve. And sometimes you don't know how population noderville will react to a piece or series.

I wish E2 was more supportive of the actual writing process however I feel incredibly blessed to have stumbled onto this site. Recently some people have moved on, over the years I've told myself that I might leave one day but I'm going to decide when and I certainly am not going to let anyone threaten, bully or intimidate me. People who succeed at life keep getting back on the horse that threw them and you can sit and feel sorry for yourself however there are always people who have it worse just as there are those people you want to be jealous of even though you realize that they have problems you wouldn't want either. For now I'm in love with the idea that things are going to get better and all it takes is me appreciating what I have instead of focusing on what I have not.

I went to Zach's funeral today. He was the son of a co-worker, and died at the ripe young age of 278 days. Most of those were spent in the hospital. Zach underwent nine operations and probably spent less then one of his nine months at home. They played a montage of pictures and it seemed that in half of them the boy had some kind of tube inserted and there was some kind of life monitor in the background. Zach's life was short and interesting.

If you want to make an argument for rationing care, Zach's your centerpiece. I can't imagine what nine operations and 250 days of hospital care cost. More then my co-worker is likely to make in their lifetime. A million bucks? Who knows? But then I remember how excited Jim was when Zach got through each operation, and how hopeful they were that he'd one day come home. How much they wanted that baby and hoped he'd get through this and grow up to be someone special. How do you tell someone their child is a bad investment? How do you not come up with the money to try?

Jim and his wife are religious and attend a fundamentalist church. The service struck me as impersonal, with neither pastor sharing any personal observations of the boy, but how many anecdotes does a child create in a mere nine months? At least the service stressed separation and moving on, which struck me as appropriate. No one tried to attribute the boy's short life as "God's will". Quite the opposite. I'm not sure I believe in Heaven. But I think that ultimate home served a purpose in this context. Zach's life was a difficult one, with relatively few moments of joy. If there is a Heaven, he is in a better place, with time to grow and learn with people who love him. Heaven is a comforting thought, one that makes the loss easier to bear. I hope it helps.

I think yesterday was by far the laziest day of my life. Reading and attending sessions/meetings in office (as there was nothing worthwhile to do). But then I realized that even though these probably appear to be the easiest of tasks to do, you can easily get distracted and fall asleep - I know I do.

When there is a meeting my thoughts go haywire into thinking things that are least connected with the agenda at hand. I start looking at things and people around me. I kinda build my own world which is completely detached from the session which I am supposed to pay attention to. It is like some kind of an alternate universe where I rule with absolute authority. I then slowly start dreaming about all that I have created. This universe then feeds upon itself till it gets too big for my sleepy head to comprehend. That is when I am startled out of my sleep and my universe. And just like it was created out of thin air, it vanishes into it.

All I long for then are those two little magic words taught in the school - Thank You! (signifying the end of the meeting)

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