Friday, September 14, 2012

Middle Age Crazy

I found a post I wrote last year but never published.  I'm publishing it, below, because I like having a record of what was happening when.
Reading this, I could see that we have made progress in the last year.
-D graduated from Boulder High, had a job this summer, and is planning on going to Fort Lewis College in Durango in January. That feels huge.
-I started Gilenya, a drug which has rather unexpectedly really improved some of my MS symptoms.  I'm also taking some supplements specifically for energy and overall I am doing a little better.
-A is attending school in the morning and doing online school at other times.  The jury is still out, but it has a possibility of working and getting him caught up to where he needs to be.  He successfully completed the WINSi program.  It was a bit disappointing, in that we didn't feel it lived up to the cost, in terms of the psychological help he needed.  But there were some good things that came out of doing it.
-O is working and even though it isn't the job he wanted, I think it's good.  And there is still the possibility that he can get something more along the lines of what he wants.
Overall, A's anxiety has been better.  Actually going to school is still a problem.  The idea of going to school works for him, but in practice he has a very hard time getting there. We met with the online school guy at the school district today.  That went pretty well.  I'm still concerned it will be too many hours for him to handle but he's getting the chance to try it out.  It would be great if it can work.
Yesterday I had an appointment with Joe Cohen, who was the ob/gyn who helped deliver A.  He was very good.  He is now in the 9-to-5 MMJ and wellness business.  I went to get my card renewed.  I primarily use it to help me sleep and it works very well.  What we talked about for most of the appointment was MS, autoimmune problems, and his take that the hybrid wheat that is grown in the US is the cause of gluten sensitivity, which leads to the autoimmune issues, which ends up getting diagnosed as MS, Crohn's, Lyme, CFS, Fibro, etc.  He said that it would be wise to help my kids understand that going gluten-free would be a smart move, since this stuff runs in the family. "Make your household gluten-free", he said.  I made myself gluten-free four years ago or something, but I didn't get rid of all of it.  And, GMO-free, he said.
For various reasons, the discussion had a big impact on me. It fits with so much of what I've learned over years and years of life.  I told him that I feel at my best when I don't eat anything or at least very much.  He said that totally makes sense to him - when you start going down the path, your body reacts to more and more things that are taken in to it.  Now, I've done a pretty good job managing it to some degree.  I am going to do a little more research on what I can tweak to help my digestive system strengthen itself. 
I think the thing that hit me hard was understanding that I never stood a chance with the Standard American Diet.  I intuitively suspected that from the time I was still a teenager, but I didn't have the skills to really implement what I needed to do.  So I could do it for, say, six months at a time, but then would have another six months of screwing up.  I kind of suspect that the series of six month periods that I DID avoid the problem foods might have helped me stay as functional as I am.  I was already bubbling about some of this stuff for A after reading this article in the New York Times about inflammation and autism, and how the problems can start in the womb. Shit, no wonder A has been sick for much of his life. D has done better; I suspect the four year difference meant my body was a lot worse off by the time I was carrying Adrian. 
Luckily for me, I like having a mission. :-)
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Written around 12/1/2011
Sometimes I just feel like writing, though I'm not sure what I want to be writing about.  I think it's usually when there is some vague, dissatified or fearful emotion inside me, politiely asking to be expressed.  I ignore it and hope that it will go away.  Which is a great way to set up a huge overreaction a week later.  So writing is a good way for me to express those kinds of things.
I'm worried about A's weight.  I need to weigh him, and I'm pretty sure he needs to eat more calories, which he won't want to.  I really don't want to have conflict over it, but it is inevitable.
I'm very worried about A and Winsi.  I just think it is going to be hell getting him there everyday.  But that's what it is all about.  Again, I don't want to have conflict over it.  To some degree, it seems that life IS conflict.  Being conflict-averse is pretty dysfunctional, but then thriving on conflict is also dysfunctional. 
I feel like I need to spend a few days in my house, getting it straightened out.  It would make me feel better.  I really wish A and O weren 't going to Aspen.  I think I need to go over to Nina's tonight. 
I also need some face time with O, without kids.  Again, I don't want there to be conflict, but I need him to step up more.  He's talking about going to Hawaii but doing it in a kind of underhanded way, which I don't like.  The Abilify did not kick up my sex drive this time around, so I feel I am failing him there. 
I suspect a midlife crisis is brought on by unrealistic expectations earlier in life.  The non-celebrity, non-wealthy woman is going to have to accept losing her youth, whatever looks she had and deal with it.  It's harsh, but that is mostly because you (I) probably relied too much on needing to look good to feel ok.  Then there's the question - what does it mean to be a near-menopausal woman?  Does it mean I won't be attractive to my husband anymore?  To myself?  Will my marriage fall apart?  Will my family fall apart? 
I think coffee is making my stomach hurt again.
I was looking out the window and saw two little children playing out in front of Regent Hall.  They might have been 3 or 4 years old.  I smiled because I was thinking of D when she was little, and how different it is now.  All of a sudden, the song 'Sunrise, Sunset' pops into my head and I actually start quivering with emotion.  I'm not exactly happy with how things are and I am going to have to figure out what needs to change.  Or what I can change.  Order in the house feels like #1.  Some kind of weekly dinner feels like another thing.  Start taking peppermint gels again.  Maybe we have a family dessert, to encourage consumption on A's part?  Oh great, now I am hatching a plan that involves me eating more so A will eat more.  It might be a decent plan, though..
Something about me is that I do really honor the career I've had.  I'm not quite ready to be done, though.  What I'm doing for FA now is not interesting and sometimes tedious, but for this period of time that Adrian is hopefully getting resettled, I guess it is where I'm at.  But right now, I am at a bad point in my family life.  I'm just not sure we've done the best we could. I was surprised when Maurice Sendak said he would never have had kids, as they were far too much work.  You can do that? I thought.
But another thought I had today was about thinking more compassionately.  About myself and my family.  Was I a careless parent for taking A out of school?  Well, the kid was starving, sick and in misery.  He needed help, and I was trying to give it to him.  What I learned from the WINSi evaluation is that he probably never stood a chance anyway, with his anxiety problems.  I am afraid of not having the energy I am going to need to be successful with WINSi.  But I've got to. 
My idea about changing working to 3 hours a day is very appealing.  How could I supplement the 4 or 5 hundred dollars a month difference?

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