Real Books

I’m just a simple person, not as in simpleton but as in I like things to be simple, not complicated, fancy, or extravagant. I’m technically challenged, directionally challenged as well but that’s another story. I don’t know how to fancy up this site nor do I feel I need to, I’m probably the only one it.

I’m not writing every day, every week, sometimes not even in a month, there is way too much going on in my life all the time. Some days I just don’t want to deal with anything so I dive into a book and disappear until the end. I live someone else’s life or become a fly on the wall in the character’s existence. It allows me to forget my own problems, pains, dramas, and chaos and melt into someone else’s.

I’ve always been an avid reader. I have read horror (my first one was The Exorcist and I kept the light on for months after) fantasy, historical, romance, mystery, Christian fiction, etc. I don’t have a favorite, I love it all.  If I am not hooked in the first chapter I’m done. I toss it in the donate box and grab something new but I give everything a chance.

I have learned a lot from reading biographies and memoirs. I learned there are people out there that had worse lives than I’ve lived, comforting for me but I expect not for them. They put themselves out there though and even if it only helped one person, they were victorious. I hope I can be when I write mine. I’ve been wanting to do it for years but keep putting it off. I just turned fifty-five and I don’t think I should wait anymore. My short term memory is already a joke I better not wait for the long term to go.

I did start my manuscript on another laptop but I broke the screen, now I have to get it fixed so I can get the pages on a flash drive and keep going on it. Like I said technically-challenged, I should have used a flash drive back then. Anyway, back to my original thought. Why do people feel the need to read on a Kindle or tablet when you can hold the actual book, smell the pages, feel the paper? I don’t get it. I’m afraid of the day when paper, print books are extinct. I have started keeping a copy of each of my favorite books to share and hand down to the next generation. I just have to believe they will enjoy them as much, if not more than I do.

I think this generation relies way too much on technology. They should put down the electronics and go old-school with a book. My grandchildren are gifted with a new book for every occasion, sometimes for no occasion. They all love to have a story read and the oldest is reading himself now. I also have a collection of children’s books at my house for when they visit. They love to pick a book and have me read to them before bed. The best thing to give a child is a story. I hope when I’m gone they will always remember my love of the written word.

What am I doing?

Just after I published this, I noticed I had already written about this whole thing!!! This goes to show you how out of it I have been the last few days. I can barely remember my own name! So it’s a repeat of my last post with a few more details I guess. Sorry.

 

I’m feeling horrible today. I’m weak, shaky, dizzy and can’t eat again. About a month ago I went to a Naturopathic Doctor to get a second opinion on my Fibromyalgia diagnosis. This was after months of begging my GP to get me a second opinion with a specialist. I won’t knock him because he did try but once you are labelled with “Fibro” no one wants to see you, you are the medical mystery no one can decipher. I have been getting worse every year and having to leave a family function early, on my grandson’s birthday, was the last straw for me. I have always been able to tough it out no matter how much pain I was in or how exhausted I felt, my family is everything. That day marked the day I decided I would do whatever it took to feel better and get my life back, now I wonder if I did the right thing.

I went to the new Doctor and we discussed my medical issues, the clinical depression, degenerative disc disease, arthritis and the Fibro diagnosis. She asked if I had been tested for Lyme disease, I wasn’t sure because I’ve had so many blood tests over so many years I stopped asking what they were for. She said that all the symptoms for Fibro are also symptoms of Lyme disease especially the neck pain and pain in my feet. The blood test had to be sent out to a lab in Germany because they don’t do the same testing in Canada. The blood test in Canada is usually done after a rash shows up after a tick bite but a lot of people don’t get the rash or don’t know they have been bitten at all. (there is a big debate over this in the medical communities) The test cost me $725 but I was willing just to get answers. She also put me on three a.m. herbal vitamin and mineral capsules and three p.m. capsules. That cost over $80 for the two. Then she suggested I see a nutritionist and go on a whole food, high nutrient, anti-inflammatory diet, I just did the research and figured it out on my own as I also have high-cholesterol and high-blood pressure so there are some foods I can’t eat on this diet. I had to wait a week for the test results and go back.

The results came back as a “weak” positive. The other blood work showed low white blood cell count and my NK cells (natural killer) were very low. She said this meant that my body had been fighting a severe disease for a long time. Even though the Lyme test was a weak positive, the other blood work confirmed the Lyme disease. She got the last years worth of blood test results from my doctor and confirmed that my white cell count has been consistently low for the last year, which tells her that I am fighting a disease. She suggested started IV therapy and gave me a link to purchase a natural anti-inflammatory to take with Berberis formula in the mornings. I take two of each on an empty stomach, one hour before I eat or have coffee. She gave me the option of starting that day or talking over the results with my husband. I jumped right in and started that day, I knew my husband would agree, not with the cost but with trying to get better.

The treatments consist of draining my blood into a bag of saline and ozone via IV, then returning into my body. When that is done, it usually takes 45 min. to an hour, they run a small bag of Artesunate that takes about 10 min. then I am done. It costs $200 a treatment and I am doing two a week. Our insurance covered $500 but that was gone the first week. It’s costing us a fortune but if it makes me better we are going to cut corners and sacrifice other things to get it done. I have not had any bad reactions or side effects up until now. Just a bad headache after the first treatment and I need a nap after each one, as I feel really tired.

I was told at the beginning the treatments may make me feel worse at first, flu-like symptoms with muscle/bone aches, headache, nausea and fatigue. I had my fourth treatment two days ago and have another one today and I feel horrible. I came home and napped for two hours after the last one but could not sleep that night. Yesterday I felt like I had been run over by a logging truck, my body was in agony and I was weak and dizzy. My husband came home for lunch and ran me a hot bath with Epsom salt, I stayed in there for an hour then tried to sleep but couldn’t. I took two Oxycodone tablets and still couldn’t sleep. It was terrible.

I ate a huge bowl of spaghetti and some garlic toast (pasta and white bread are no-no’s on my diet but hubby made the meal) it was the first thing I was able to eat all day. I got super tired after and went to bed at 8:30pm  I was shocked when I looked at the clock this morning and it was 9:30am I got up took, my supplements, fed the birds and the dogs and took a shower. Halfway through my shower, I felt like my legs were going to give out and I got very dizzy. I made tried to eat a piece of sprouted grain bread with all natural peanut butter and have my coffee, I ate half and then had to spit out what was in my mouth I couldn’t swallow it. I became very sluggish and felt like I was going to cry so I thought I should write it out, to get this all off my mind.

I saw my GP last week and gave him my test results. As I said above there is a lot of debate on the Lyme disease front between the family Doctors and the Naturopathic Doctors. His first response was kind, he said if I thought it would work he would not dissuade me but he was going to try to get me in to see a Rheumatologist (which he has tried over and over and failed) and if he couldn’t he would get me to see an Internist. He said his big thing was why could a lab in Germany do blood tests that could not be done in Canada? I told him that I was told that the blood test for Lyme in Canada is not detailed enough and is only accurate when the disease is in its beginning stages, I have been sick for five years so it is considered chronic Lyme disease.  He seemed very sceptical but did not want to tell me not to do it, he knows how hard it’s been for me for the last year. So I’m waiting to hear from his office but I am not holding my breath.

In the meantime, I am wondering if I am doing the right thing or just wasting our money. I have noticed some days I have more energy to get things done and my pain is slowly lessening, I still take something at least once a day but until today I thought it was working. I guess there will be ups and downs to any treatment but I feel very sceptical today for some reason. I will ask a few more questions when I go in today. She did tell me I would feel worse before I felt better so maybe this is just the hump I have to get over to reach the goal.

Rant of the day

It’s been a hard few months. Physically, emotionally, financially, now I am trying to just get thru. We had to cancel our wedding for the second time, due to family obligations. The best part of our wedding was going to be having all the children and grandchildren involved, unfortunate circumstances changed that, so we decided to cancel for the second time. We also just moved to a new home. The packing and organizing were done alone, like all the other times, and took so much out of me. The day we were to move found us unprepared and scrambling to have everything out of the house.

We never should have rented from family but at the time it was our only option. We never should have offered to have family move into the basement and share the rent but my soft heart insisted. We ended up paying the price of no privacy and unending issues with mess and disrespect. This new generation does not understand or see that the things they do affect others. In the end, we had to fight thru the day, me crying as I’m being assaulted with accusations that we did not try hard enough, we had plenty of time, we are dirty and we were given such a gift by this family why did we not appreciate it. I once again had to explain to people that I have an illness, you may not see it but it’s there. I was alone while my husband was at work and left to do all the packing, organizing and cleaning myself.

We did pick up the keys for the new place two weeks early so we could move in slowly, so when he was able my husband would load the pick-up and drive the thirty minutes to the new house, unload the truck and I would unpack what I could. We did this five times before the day were to leave. The rest of the time I was on my own. I can’t lift anything heavy and I can only be physical for twenty to thirty minutes at a time then I have to rest and cool down. My body is in pain constantly, I overheat very easily and if I push past a certain point I get dizzy and vomit. Some days if I did too much I was in too much pain to do anything the next day. Working like this does not make a move work in two weeks when you are basically alone. To top it all off the “friend” who was going to bring his truck and help us could not be found on the day we needed him. So two people and a pick-up can only do so much in a day.

Having another family yelling and belittling you over your shoulder as you are trying your best to get it all done is not helpful. Nor is them moving their own belongings from downstairs to upstairs at the same time going to get things done faster. Then having a professional carpet cleaning company come in with all their hoses and cords running through the door you are trying to move out of is not ideal. I’m so thankful that the day is over. Obviously, I am still upset but I will get over it, and I will never take an offer like that from family again, I’d rather be homeless.

We have been in the new place for two weeks as of tomorrow. I have managed to get the kitchen, living room and both bathrooms unpacked, organized and decorated. The master bedroom is almost done but the two spare rooms are waiting for now. I was feeling good the last two days so I did too much as usual and today am paying for it. I have been in a bad flare since the week before we moved, so those two days of milder pain levels felt amazing. Every chronic pain patient does the same thing, you have a good day and try to make the most of it and do things you’ve been wanting to do for so long. It feels great for your sense of being, looking at all you accomplished but waking to the agony afterward is defeating.

Today my whole body hurts, the dull aching pain of the flu with added sharp, stabbing pain in my shoulders and arms (lifting what I should not have).  So here I am in bed with heating pads, pillows to lift and support, my computer, pain killers and my two faithful dogs, who always sense when the day is not good. Here is where I will be for one to who knows how many days, it’s always different. My husband is away for work and won’t be home for another eight days, so I suck it up and deal with it the best I can.

I just needed to rant today. Funny because yesterday I was talking to a good friend, a pain patient as well, about how I was spending more time with God and asking him to help me be more positive and joyful where I am in my life. If I could get back on my knees I would but nothing is stopping me from praying from the bed. Here’s to all my fellow pain warriors, may we all get through the day, one second at a time.

Help

Somedays I hate life in general. Today is one of those days. I’ve had the worst insomnia I’ve had in years. I don’t fall asleep until four or five a.m. most days. I’ve tried listening to the guided meditation/talk down for sleep, hypnosis for sleep and sleep music but none of those have worked even though they have in the past. I’m feeling weak and exhausted and that brings on the higher pain levels with my Fibro. It also brings on my depression, where I start to second guess everything in my life and that just starts the whole cycle of self-doubt, worry, and fear. I really wish I could get a grip on it all but the more I think, the more I fall into the pit.

I have a man who loves me for who I am, all the craziness and baggage I bring to the relationship, and who stands by me no matter what. We have been together eight years this month and engaged for six of those. We went through more in our first year together than most people go through in a lifetime but he didn’t run. He is my best friend, my rock, my sounding board and one of the best people I have ever known. I don’t deserve him and I sometimes treat him like shit. I’m hard to live with. I’m moody and have days where I don’t want to be touched or even talked to. I snap at small things, a lot and can be very mean to him and I rarely say I’m sorry. I nag him about things, I tell him he’s a procrastinator, I am constantly on him about his weight, about spending money foolishly, even though I do the same and worst of all we have no intimacy in our life.

Sex is a big part of a relationship and I know he misses that part. When we were first together as with all the relationships I’ve had in the past, sex was a big part. Slowly, as the relationship progresses I stop wanting this. Not just with him but with all my relationships, sex becomes a chore, something I feel obligated to do. I cringe when I have to even think about it. I know this is not normal but I don’t know how to change it. My skin crawls when I think of it. I think the only reason I have been able to continue the sexual part of relationships is that I was drinking, I would get drunk to make it through the experience. I would find it so much easier that way but I don’t drink anymore, I don’t do drugs anymore, I don’t have a crutch anymore and now I’m stuck. I have no idea what to do about this now. I know it has to do with my past and all the sexual trauma I’ve had. I’ve been through all the therapy, counseling etc. but none of it has helped me to be able to have a normal intimate relationship.

Now here I am about to get married and I can’t even think about sex without being repulsed. Why does he still want to want to marry me? Why would anyone want to be with me? If I haven’t been fixed by now will I ever be? I know I love him and he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me but if I can’t give him what he needs why am I going to marry him? He could do so much better than me and have a normal adult relationship, why am I taking that away from him? Why is he letting me? Should I walk away, set him free so to speak? I know it would devastate him and it would me as well but who am I to keep him tied down to someone who cannot be intimate with him? I don’t think it’s fair or right of me to do this but I’m afraid of life without him too. He keeps me grounded when I feel I am going to fall apart, he makes me feel safe and loved, he tells me everything is going to be ok even when I think everything is falling apart. He is my other half, the stronger one, the one who keeps me from staying in the dark. I feel so selfish about going ahead with our plans. God, please help me.

“Just try”

I just finished watching a very deep and disturbing episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It seemed to have triggered some emotions in me I thought were gone. I have been through trauma counseling, rape counseling, marriage counseling, and nothing seems to make it better. When I think I’m over the things in my past it sometimes takes one small comment, a smell, a look, a story, and it all comes back like a bomb to make me feel scared, alone, afraid. At the end of the episode, Meredith Grey’s voice said, “we can tell our truth, whenever we’re ready.” So I guess I’m ready.

I was sixteen, out with my boyfriend and some friends for the night, he was leaving the next morning for the East coast, moving with his brother. Of course, I thought I was in love and very upset that he was leaving me but happy I got to spend the night with him. We were drinking, smoking pot and listening to music. At midnight he had to leave to go home, he had an early flight. We said our goodbyes alone outside, I cried, he promised to write to me and send for me when he could, I believed him. I went back inside and asked if someone would walk me to the bus stop. One of his friends said he would and we set out. We stopped at a park for a cigarette when he made a move on me. I was horrified and told him so. He said that my boyfriend was leaving and he won’t be coming back and we should get together. I told him what an asshole he was and walked away.

I got on my bus which was empty except for this guy around my age. We started talking and decided to get off the bus for coffee at an all-night diner near home.  We had coffee and talked, I had noticed an old friend and her new clique across the diner, she came by and said hi. I was going to ask them for a ride as she lived up the street from me but I was too afraid to ask because we really didn’t have a close friendship anymore. The boy decided it was time to leave so we paid our bill. He was going the opposite direction so we split up outside. I started walking, as I had done many times from this place. It was a long walk, maybe forty-five minutes in good shoes but of course, I was wearing my black stilettos, only the best for the good-bye party. So I started my jaunt home.

I had just turned the first corner when I heard a loud motor start. I looked down the street to my left and saw a red Toyota sized pick-up back out of a driveway. It was about six-fifteen in the morning and was just getting light out. I kept walking and saw the truck drive by me but it pulled over about a block down. When I got closer it drove another block down and pulled over. It thought it was weird and it looked like a truck that a girl at school’s boyfriend drove. I wondered if it was him and he was trying to freak me out. So I kept walking.

When I got close he drove off again and I saw him go into the parking lot at the recreation center where I was going to turn left. I heard the motor shut off as I turned onto the street. There was a forested section at the back of the center, it had a jogging trail through it. We would cut through there when we walked to the ice-rink. As I was coming close to this area I thought I saw some movement in the trees and brush. I was thinking of cutting across the street and pretending to go into a house when this guy ran out of the trees and grabbed me. He put a knife to my throat and said, “don’t scream and I won’t hurt you.”  My heart started pounding and I felt sick to my stomach. He dragged me into the trees and threw me down on the dirt and wet leaves. He started trying to open my jeans but I struggled to push him off. He was stocky and heavy and I couldn’t get him off me. He managed to pull my jeans and panties down to my ankles, like a rope around them so I couldn’t run, he left them there. He was trying to climb on top of me but I kept struggling the best I could. He asked me how old I was, I was too afraid to think so I told him the truth, I was sixteen. He climbed on me again and said, “Just try.” I said no and pretended to vomit, that made him jump off me, so I kept doing it. (this came into my mind from a talk a policeman gave in the sixth grade. Do anything you have to, to get out of the situation, even pretend to vomit)  He just knelt in front of me and started to masturbate. I reached in my purse for the bottle of Vodka I still had in there, I thought to smash it over his head but he finished what he was doing and flicked the remnants beside me in the dirt.

He got up and did up his pants as I scrambled to get mine back on. He asked if I had been drinking and I said yes as I threw the bottle behind me. He started to walk away and said, “sorry, you were just there.” I took off my shoes and started to run, I ran so fast the rocks on the sidewalk cut into my feet and I didn’t care. I ran like I had never run before, I started to cry half-way home and still didn’t stop. When I got home I struggle to get my keys out of my purse to open the door. I started screaming at the top of my lungs and running for the phone. My intention was to call the police and tell them what happened, I could take them right to the door of where that red truck had pulled out and followed me. I could get this guy so he would never hurt anyone else.

My mother came out of the bedroom and started yelling at me, “what are you doing?” my dad followed her out telling me to “shut up.” I told them through my tears and panic what had happened and that I needed to call the police. My mother grabbed the phone out of my hand and slammed it down. “You are not calling anyone you lying slut!” My dad told me to go to my room and let everyone sleep. I kept begging them to let me call the police but they would not listen. I was late coming home and they knew I was only saying all of this because I was trying to get out of trouble. I was losing control, I pulled my pants down and showed them the dirt and leaves still in my pants. I sat down and showed them my bleeding feet from running home and my mother said, “You probably fucked the football team last night.” and walked away. My heart sank and I knew I was going to get nowhere with them. I got up and said, “I’m taking a shower.” My dad grabbed my arm and dragged me to my room, “no you aren’t.” He shoved me in and slammed the door.

I started to cry hysterically and heard him yell at me to, “shut the fuck up!”  I crawled to the corner of my room, curled up in a ball and cried as silently as I could. I couldn’t get into my bed with all that filth on me. I was sure some of his “remnants” had tarnished my jeans. I cried until my body was dried of fluid. Then I just laid there, waiting for everyone to get up and leave. I honestly don’t remember anything else that happened that day. I don’t remember taking a shower, anyone talking to me or even leaving my room.

The next memory I have is of my mother telling me that we were going to family counseling that night. We all drove to the office building together, sat in a room of chairs facing each other with a female counselor. She asked why we were there and my mother said it was because of me, I was out of control and they had no peace in their house because of me. I felt like someone stabbed me in the gut, I didn’t know what to think. The counselor asked me if it was true and I said no. I told her I was attacked at knifepoint and sexually assaulted and that my parents wouldn’t let me call the police. My dad is an alcoholic who treats everyone like shit and my mom calls me every name in the book and blames everything wrong in her life on me. At the end of our first “family” counseling session, my whole family had thrown me under the bus and determined they didn’t need help but I did.

This was the point in my life that everything changed. I went from a rebel to someone who just didn’t care about life anymore. I went to those counseling sessions because I was forced to but I just sat and chain-smoked cigarettes until my time was up. Why should I talk to this woman? Why should I tell her anything about my life, when she heard what my parents had done and did nothing to stop them? There was no help for me, I was on my own. I turned to drugs and alcohol, I was trying to self-medicate to be able to face every day. I didn’t care what anyone thought of me because the people who brought me into this world and were supposed to love and care for me obviously didn’t so why should anyone else, or myself for that matter, give a shit?

There is so much more to my truth but it would take years to get it all on paper. I have wanted to write a memoir to get it all out, a purge of sorts, to help anyone else that has gone through the trauma I have. Maybe that will happen, maybe this is the start, time will tell. For now, this is my truth.

 

Lost

I am feeling so overwhelmed today. I just returned from a two-week trip to see my kids and grandkids for birthday parties and dress shopping. I am getting married in June, yes after a six-year engagement we are finally doing it. It sounded like a great idea at the time, get all our family and close friends together and have a short ceremony and celebration but now I feel like I’m never going to have it all done in time.

We decided to have the ceremony and reception at a beautiful heritage school-house, it has everything we need, even a garden in back that we could have the ceremony outside if the weather is good. We are going with a vintage theme and the school house is perfect for our ideas. We have booked the school, bartending service and the photographer but still need to find a caterer that will be able to deal with our vegans, celiac and dairy allergies. I need to find bridesmaid dresses for our two daughters, dresses for my granddaughters who will be flower-girls and outfits for my grandsons. My hubby will be dealing with suiting up himself and our two sons. We are incorporating the whole family into the ceremony. My daughter is the maid of honor and will walk down the aisle with my two granddaughters. Then my step-daughter will walk down the isle with two of our grandsons, one who is ring-bearer and the other is still a baby so she will carry him and hand off to daddy in the front row. Finally, it will be my son and grandson walking me down the isle and giving me away. It will be so special for everyone and the pictures will be beautiful, we will finally have all the kids and grandchildren in one place at one time for one big family photo.

We are trying to keep the cost minimal so my girls and I will be doing the decorating and table settings ourselves. I have collected a lot of sterling silver trays, tea pots and even a cake stand, vintage, crocheted table runners and doilies, candle holders, tea cups and books. We will incorporate all of these with flowers and fake pearls on the tables, each will have a different centerpiece. We are borrowing my mom’s vintage, metal birdcage she gave to my son and his wife for their wedding, for a different take on the guest book. We will have paper and pens and ask guests to leave wishes for the “love birds” that they can drop into the bird-cage. I’m doing a display of old wedding/couple photos of relatives that are not with us anymore with a sign saying, “we know you would be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away”.  We have everything we need for a photo booth, backdrop, props etc. and some toys and activities for the kids.

I still have to find table runners in our colors of blush and grayed jade, I may have to make them myself. We also need a backdrop or some kind of arch for the ceremony, someone to handle music, ask someone to MC the reception, a marriage commissioner, cake and desserts, shoes for everyone, make the favors, book rooms at the hotel, arrange a cleanup crew for the end of the night. There is probably even more that I haven’t thought of yet too. I’m starting to feel like I will never get it all done, it’s very overwhelming.

We could easily have run off to Vegas and done it but the kids really wanted to be a part of it and I really want to have the memories in photos. I guess I thought it would be easier as it is a small group of forty to fifty people in total but it’s not. It will be great to see everyone in one place again, our family used to have a reunion every December twenty-sixth for my grandma’s birthday but since she’s been gone we rarely get together anymore, I thought this would be a great opportunity for everyone to come together for a happy occasion. I just hope it all goes off without a hitch.

My hubby has gone back to work full-time today, so he is gone for the next two weeks. I am on my own finishing off my last few physio-therapy appointments from our accident in December. Then we have to get everything prepared and sent off to the lawyers to start our lawsuit. We are looking for somewhere to buy or rent as soon as possible because we are going insane with our nephew living downstairs, sharing a house with a messy person is not good for the stress levels. We drained our savings account during the last three months while Terry was on short-term disability from the accident. So now every payday we pay the bills and put down another deposit on something for the wedding and try to stretch the money for two weeks. We never anticipated being broke before the wedding either. They say that money, getting married and moving are the three most stressful things in life and we end up dealing with all of them at once!

Stress exacerbates my Fibromyalgia so of course I’m in a flare right now and have been suffering with the latest cold virus going around, for the last week and a half. My mind and body are exhausted and I just need a vacation from life. Nothing can be easy. I have been focused on trying to get my body in shape for June and it’s been hard with all the snow the last two months, I can’t go out and walk nor can I afford a gym, the snow is finally melting so I can start taking the dogs for a walk every night, boy do those porkers need it too. I don’t know, maybe I am just putting too much on my plate at one time as usual but I’m going to delegate as much as I can when I can and just pray this all goes smoothly.

Here I go again

     This summer was a hard one. I travelled a lot via air and long distance driving. My body has taken a beating and I’m taking longer and longer to recover after each trip. My pain has gotten so much worse the last few months and I’ve been so exhausted I fall asleep sitting up. I spent so much time with my grandchildren this summer which I loved but it sure took a lot out of me. I’m only 54, this should not be happening like this. My last trip was to my son’s for eleven days, to be there for my grandsons sixth birthday. This was one week after arriving home from my daughters for a week to help prepare for my granddaughters second birthday. I don’t think I had enough time to recover from that trip before I went on the next. I will never regret doing things for the kids and grandkids, it’s always worth the extra pain but I have never been hit this hard in the past.

     I feel like my pain, exhaustion and brain fog are getting worse as time goes by. I told my family Doctor that the pain was getting worse and that I’m having a harder time managing. I guess he couldn’t talk the rheumatologist into seeing me for my second opinion on the fibromyalgia diagnosis so he said there was nothing more he could do for me but give me pain medication. So he added 10 mg oxycodone to my 600 mg ibuprofen. I can take one to two every six hours if needed. I’m not happy about it but it’s all the help I can get anymore. Most every day I take at least one dose, on bad days up to six (if I have to take two at a time) My Doctor said, and I quote, “you are on a very minimal dose so the skies the limit with the oxycodone.” But is this what I want to do the rest of my life? Just continue jacking up the dose of a narcotic? I think not.

As I was lying in bed crying in pain, I decided I can’t take much more of living like this. It is making me anxious and depressed and I can’t let myself get down for too long or I will be in trouble. First I thought maybe I should go talk to a therapist to work through my feelings and fears about living like this the rest of my life. Then I thought, NO, I need to take this into my own hands because it’s obvious the medical community has washed their hands of me. I know there is something going on in my body, I know it has to be more than fibromyalgia. I have tried every treatment offered to me and have not got any better, maybe a few weeks or a month but nothing long-term. It’s been one disappointment after another and some of the treatments are as painful as the agony I am in daily but I tried them anyway.

I started researching natural therapies and naturopathic Doctors. I found one close to our home so I called and made an appointment for a consultation. Thank God for great extended medical insurance that covers up to $500 per year towards this as it can get expensive. I had my appointment yesterday. I went in thirty minutes early to fill out papers about my medical history and what has been going on with me. The Doctor asked a lot more questions when I got in her office. We talked about when my symptoms started, what I was doing in my life at that point and after, she was very thorough.

She asked if I had been tested for Lyme disease, as far as I know, I have not. She said that she would think Lyme right off the bat. She said that Lyme disease can be misdiagnosed as MS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, even fibromyalgia as they have so many of the same symptoms. She told me that the generic test for Lyme disease that most Doctors use will only come back positive if they catch it right away but seeing how long my problems have been going on it would come back negative by now. The test they use at her clinic is very expensive, they send the blood work to a clinic in the UK that specializes in Lyme disease. She said that even if it comes back negative for Lyme it can week out any other infections, inflammation and immune issues and help us get closer to a remedy. The test is approximately $800 give or take a few dollars depending on the currency exchange and is not covered by our insurance. I said I would talk to my husband and let her know either way. She said if I chose not to do it, she wanted to see me again in three weeks, otherwise come back next Monday to do the test, they send them all out on Mondays and have the results back in one to two weeks.

She also gave me the name of a nutritionist I need to call and make an appointment with to help me plan a new diet. With all my health issues it’s too hard to figure it out on my own. Each medical issue calls for a different diet, what you can eat for one problem you aren’t supposed to eat for the other etc. It’s mind-boggling. She also told me to stop taking my cholesterol medication as the side effects of that are MUSCLE AND JOINT PAIN. Why would my family Doctor not mention that? So helpful. I have also been taking 800 IU a day of Vitamin E and it wasn’t the good kind it was synthetic garbage, which has not helped my problems, so that is off the list as well. She put me on a.m. and p.m. supplements I take with breakfast and dinner, a curcumin supplement that I take two of with breakfast and dinner, a Magnesium powder I mix into my water at bedtime and upped my Vitamin D to 50000 IU a day. This is to help get the inflammation under control until the test results are back. We decided it was best to just pay for the test and try to get this pain behind me so we are coming back early on Monday so I can get it done. I’m feeling confident that this Doctor is going to help me and I feel better about taking a natural route instead of all the narcotics.

There are so many things I want to do with my life that I can’t even begin to plan until I get some kind of relief from this agony.  We want to buy our own house next Spring. We are looking at acreage so we can have animals and gardens. We want to live in the country where it’s quiet, peaceful and the air is clean. I want to rescue goats, pigs, horses and chickens. I want my grandkids to be able to spend time with us in the summers and holidays in a place they can be with animals and nature. I want to be able to work on our land and take care of the animals and grow our own food. I want to refinish vintage furniture and paint things that my hubby will make in his workshop. I want to write and maybe start the book I’ve always wanted to publish. At this point and time in my life, I can’t do any of this and it makes me sad. I want to enjoy the rest of my life, I’m already half-way through, I can’t imagine being stuck in this body as it is now for the rest of my days.

I know there are many people out there that can’t do what I am, that don’t have access to medical insurance, extended medical insurance and the ability to keep seeing Doctor after Doctor to get their health back. I feel for these people and have to remember that I am very blessed. I’m hoping that whatever happens next is moving me forward towards my goals I don’t even want to consider this will be another dead-end. Positive thoughts only.

Wow, I Got Scammed

So, two weeks ago I was on Instagram looking at pictures and reading about what my grandkids were up to and there was a sponsored ad for some face cream.  Vita Silk face cream to be exact and Vita Silk eye serum, wow, I could look years younger and have glowing skin like the tween in the ad. (yes, I was this stupid) In all honesty I was on the market for a good moisturizer as my skin was getting really dry and nothing seemed to work. So when I read that I could get a sample of this fantastic, wonder cream for just the cost of shipping and handling of $4.95 I thought, why not?  So I pulled out the old Visa debit card and signed up.

One week later the product was in my mailbox. Wow, great service. I opened the box and started using the cream and eye serum that night. Nothing fancy and after two weeks my skin looks exactly the same only it feels sticky all the time. Hmmm, maybe it’s not that fantastic.

We had gone down to the coast to visit the kids and grandkids and had a great time. On our way home we stopped for gas and my husband checked the bank account while he was filling the tank, he does this a lot, when he noticed a charge of $119.95 So he asked me what “wowtmuscle.com” was, I had no idea what he was talking about, I’d never heard of it. So I looked it up on my iPhone. It was some muscle building supplement produced in Manchester England. At this point, I figured we must have had our banking information stolen and some muscle head was using our account. When we got home I checked the order confirmation I received from Vita Silk and at the very bottom on the outside portion of the colourful email was faded, tiny print stating:

You will have 14 days from your original order date to see if ProDiet+ is right for you. If you are unhappy with the product at any time during those 14 days, you must call us at +1 855 428 2388 to cancel your subscription. You are also required to ship back the remainder of the product in the bottle postmarked no later than the 14th day of your trial period to avoid being billed for the full cost of the product. If you are satisfied with our product, then do nothing – we will bill you CA$119.95 for your initial order, and every thirty days after your initial order we will send you a new 30-day supply of our product, and automatically bill you the low price of CA$119.95.

     Ok, now I’m really confused because I don’t know what ProDiet plus is either so I looked them up and they are a completely different diet supplement from the wowtmuscle crap. For starters, all I wanted was some freakin face cream and eye serum, the ones that I willingly ordered. I had no idea I was signing up for diet supplements, muscle supplements etc. So I called the bank and talked to someone manning the phone lines for the weekend and he said I had been scammed. I had to wait and call the bank on Monday morning and talk to the security division and call the company and try to cancel my so-called subscription with them and ask them to return my money, even though they probably would not give it back. Great, like we can afford to give away $120 to scammers.

That night I reported the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre so they could look into these companies or company that was ripping people off. Then I fired off three emails, one to each of these companies telling them I am reporting them to my bank, Visa, the CAFC and the Better Business Bureau. Not that it will stop them, I’m sure they will just change the names again and be back in business within a day. But I had to try anyway I was so angry.

Monday morning I called the security division at the bank and talked to a gentleman that told me it was indeed a scam and they cover themselves with pages and pages of terms & conditions that no one ever reads (maybe we should) and that it would be very hard for the bank to go after the money because it will turn out to be a valid charge in the long run. So we cancelled my card so they couldn’t use it to charge any more on my account. Then he told me to call the company and tell them I was not satisfied with the product and I want to cancel my subscription and return the product for a refund. He said it’s how you negotiate with them that will get you the money or not. I told him I tried to call the number but they kept me on hold with some southern sounding guy, periodically coming on and spouting random facts, I was scared it was one of those phone scams that keep you on the line while charging hundreds of dollars a minute. He told me never to use the numbers they advertise on the ads and gave me two numbers to try that were listed for the companies themselves.  He said if I couldn’t get anywhere with them to call back and they could try to dispute the charge but the bank rarely recovered money from these scammers. Wow, it’s insane how they can get away with this.

So I started with one of the numbers for wowtskin.com I was on hold with random fact guy for thirty minutes exactly before someone came on the line. I told him I had ordered this face cream and I was not satisfied and wanted my money back.  He told me he was sorry but we do not give refunds OR take back any products. I said, “well that’s not what it says on your website, that I’m looking at right this minute. It says; Returns: Before returning any items please make sure to call or email our support, as they need to be informed of the change in your subscription status. We will provide you with the address of the closest shipping centre in your region.  “Oh no ma’am, that is not on our website we don’t offer refunds or returns.”  I told him I was looking right at it on the wowtskin.com website. Then he tells me that is not their website. So I asked him if it wasn’t their website then how did wowtmuscle.com and wowtskin.com charge me the shipping and handling on my face cream and eye serum? Then he went on a speal about how many products they sell and that each has its own website and the Vitasilk website does not offer returns or refunds. Then I asked how he can say that when there is no Vitasilk website to be found. (if you try to look for an official site you won’t find it, only sites that review Vitasilk products) Then he rambles on again about the policies and slips up and tells me that the $119.95 was a valid charge as will the $115.95 charge today for the eye serum be. I just about lost it. I said, “what? You are going to charge me another $115.95 today?” And he said, “yes ma’am for the eye serum.”  I was losing here so I had to pull out all my guns and bring on the tears. I started crying and telling him I’m sick and can’t work, how am I going to pay for this…..sob…sob…sob.

Then he started to panic and said, “don’t cry ma’am, just give me a minute to talk to my supervisor, don’t cry.” I was grinning to myself while I waited for him to come back. You want to play dirty, I will play dirty.  He came back right quick and said, “ok ma’am, I talked to my supervisor and she said we will cancel your subscription so you will not be charged any more money. We will not charge you for the eye serum, that is yours to keep. I will send you two email confirmations that your accounts have been cancelled and you will get no more charges to your bank. Ok, Ma’am?”  I answered him all weepy like, “ok,” sniff…snifff…” thank you.”  Then he throws in that the $119.95 was a valid charge and will not be returned. I threw out another loud sob and said, “ok, thank you.” And that was that.

So long story short, I’m out $119.95 for nothing but a hassle. Apparently, there are many people out there that were taken by these companies and others like it. They do not tell you that you are signing up for anything, paying a huge amount for a “sample” or “trial” offer 14 days after you get your so-called sample/trial product. They don’t use the same company when they charge your accounts. They don’t have phone numbers to call them that are valid and they will give you a complete runaround when you do finally find them. It’s disgusting that they can make millions of dollars a year screwing people over. I didn’t think I would ever get caught in a scam like this, I’m very aware of what I’m doing online and when I buy online, at least I thought I was. I will start reading terms and conditions now and all the small print before I decide to make a purchase. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. WOW, thanks wowtskin.com you got my $119.95 enjoy!

These are some of the companies that are scamming people out of their hard earned money, don’t let them get you:

wowtmuscle.com, wowtskin.com, Vitasilklabs.com, Agelessskincare, Youthskinforever, Prodietplus. These are only a  handful, there are plenty more out there. Before you buy anything on the internet do your research. Don’t end up like me.

 

 

There’s a storm coming

It amazes me how one day I can feel so good (as in I have only my usual 24/7 amount of pain) and the next I’m so sore I can barely move.  I had two good days in a row where I got things done. Tuesday I dusted and vacuumed the living room, did some laundry and unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and in the evening when the house wasn’t so hot I steam mopped the living room floor.   A normal person wouldn’t get why this made me feel like I had accomplished a great feat, other chronic pain sufferer’s would. I never thought I would be proud of myself for getting this much done in one day. In my old life I would clean the whole house, bathrooms included, and get laundry done. Not anymore.

Yesterday I felt fairly good again so I went into town and did some shopping I had been putting off. Some birthday gifts, cards and some groceries. I was gone about two hours when I got home my lower back was spasming and my feet were throbbing with burning pain. I put away my groceries, fed the dogs and went to bed with some pain-killers and a movie. This is my life now.

I have to pace myself and take breaks between each thing I do. I even have to rest after a shower. This is where the Spoon Theory comes into play, whoever thought of this to explain the way we have to live, is a genius. Check out this Theory at https://www.scarymommy.com/spoon-theory-chronic-illness/  It will explain to the “normal” person how we get through life now that we are ill. Some people still won’t get it and continue to belittle you and think you are full of crap, I deal with this a lot but have learned to tune those people out and get on with my life. This is a problem I hear about from others on my Facebook support groups. The only ones that truly understand are those that suffer along with you.

I am trying to save as many spoons as I can for my trip to see my grandchildren in one more week. We will be staying with my step-daughters family for the five-day visit, she has our youngest grandson who is one and is expecting our fifth grandchild (another boy) in November. One of those days we will spend with my daughter and granddaughter going on a day trip and a dinner to celebrate her birthday and mine. On the way home, we will stop to see my son and his family, just to take a break from the long trip and see our other two grandchildren.  The trip from Alberta to BC takes us about 12 hours with a few bathroom breaks and meal breaks. I have to take my heating pad, extra pillows and painkillers as my tailbone starts to ache after the first few hours, then I shift back and forth on my hips so those ache too. I try to adjust and get comfortable on pillows but the trip takes its toll on my body. What gets me through is the smiling faces and cuddles I get from all my little angels, they keep me motivated and wanting to get up every day. I love them so much. I know when I get home I will be laid up for a few days but it’s all worth it.

I’m starting to feel stiff and achy today, there is a storm coming, whenever that happens I can feel it in my muscles and bones. I am prepared for this though, I made some new bath salts with essential oils and Epsom salt yesterday.  I will read a book while I soak in those, plan my dinner, try to take a walk with the dogs and finish some laundry. I have been taking three drops of Cannabis CBD oil three times a day this week and have had an easier week pain wise so there might be something to this. I will continue and see if it is the common denominator before I order a new bottle. With only nine drops a day, the bottle should last over a month so cost wise it would be a good option as well. We have an awesome benefit plan and have 100% coverage on our prescriptions but I would feel better taking the oil than taking more Oxycodone. I actually went all day Tuesday with no prescription painkiller, that’s a first.

So that has been my week so far. I hope all you other Spoonies are faring well.