Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Project

So I have decided to tackle a new project. I know I am so successful at completing what I start. Yeah, Yeah. I have accepted my ADHD nature and well I am working on it, ok.

So anyway I couldn't sleep again last night. It's become quite the habit of late, and my body is  definitely feeling the effects. I got this hair-brained idea to start mapping out the Byrne's family tree starting with me and seeing just how big it grows.

I was already working on my own family tree, but this is different. I want to start with me and start heading backwards, following ALL the the DIRECT threads. By that I mean following the Byrne name wherever it takes me and down each "leg" of the family. Instead of just following back through my grandparents I want to explore my way through all of their brothers and sisters as well! That is a huge thing I know and could take years but will see what happens.

Part of what made this idea POP into my little brain was that I connect back to the Byrne name not just on my Paternal grandfather side but on my Paternal Grandmother side as well. Which explains a lot actually!!!! It's not wonder when honeymooning in Ireland people stopped me to ask for directions, I do look native. It becomes apparent that I am American when I open my mouth and that wonderful lilting Irish brogue is not there though. It also explains why I have such a deep connection to my Irish heritage, Ireland really is in my blood!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Do you know what you were doing exactly 4 years ago right this moment?

I do I was giving that final push to deliver my first born child into this world. My sweet little boy whose not so little anymore! Was finally making his way into this world and I was about to get to hold him for the very first time. He was born at 12:59am on April the 2nd, 2006. He waited 59 minutes just so everyone would know he was no one's fool LOL!

He has been the light of my life and watching him grow into such an amzing little boy has been my most joyful, humbling, awesome things I have ever been blessed to witness and be apart of.

Colby Scott thank you for being my son, I love you so much and I am so proud to be allowed to get to be your Mommy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Healthcare Plans of Mice(the idiots who illeagly pushed this through) and Me.....wait I think I insulted the mice let me apologize to them!

It's getting pretty funny to hear some of the arguments about the New Health Care Bill, but I still want to know what the plan is fellas. So for a lark I came up with my own plan and my own ideas. So read the following and have a few laughs and maybe you'll like an idea or two. Maybe not like I said this is just stuff that bubbled into my brain......and I do get a lot of interesting ideas floating around in there so it is what it is......

So one thing I keep hearing a lot about is now the insurance companies can't bully us. Really because I didn't see anything in there regarding private insurance companies. I mean the government cannot set their prices because that would be unconstitutional in the extreme. So good luck with that, in fact how could it not affect the premiums of private companies when some business decide to cut insurance from their benefits packages, sending their employee's to the 'governments' plan (which I still don't see just what their plan consists of? coverage options? prices? when this will take effect?). If they lose thousands of customers and their bottom line begins to shrink you bet your bottom, it's your wallets that will help fill that gaping hole! In reality the insurance companies are not the biggest problem in the equation of Healthcare Reform.

Why do insurance companies need to charge us an arm and a leg? Well if you have ever asked for an itemized bill for a visit to your doctor's office some of that might start to make sense. $10 of a wooden tongue depressor (a popsicle stick basically), $15 for a band aid but it will have a more important sounding name on the bill (when you call and ask they tell you it's a band-aid though), or how about $275 just for the doctor to walk in the room and say hello to you. I am not kidding this actually happened to me in my hometown in Wisconsin. I can only imagine what it would be like out here in Seattle where everything seems to be 3 times more expensive! If you look at your statements from the insurance companies you'll see that the doctor requested say $500 for services rendered but your insurance company will have already prearranged for lesser rates so you'll see that they give the doctor $325 for services rendered. Sometimes the discrepancy is more sometimes less I am sure they have a formula for this stuff.

So then does that mean it's the doctors and hospitals that are the problem. Yeah they are a part of it too just like the insurance companies are. Not only are doctors/hospitals looking at their own bottom lines, they also are having to deal with inflated malpractice insurance. This has become such a problem in this country that fewer men and women are training to become Obstetricians/Gynecologists, and many current doctor's of the specialty are leaving the practice because it is too expensive to work in the field. I am sure there are other specialties being affected as well but this is the one I have personal knowledge of. I lost 3 OBGYN's in the space of 2 years due to this very problem. Thankfully I have a wonderful doctor now, and if she moves or leaves the practice I will seriously be screwed because finding a good Primary Care Doctor is hard enough, finding a good OBGYN anymore is a miracle! So are doctors just so terrible these days that it's causing malpractice insurance to skyrocket?

Or has a new trend developed in this country in the last 20ish years. Has our nation become 'sue happy' and gone a little overboard. Every time you turn on the TV for any length of time you'll see at least one ad for a personal injury lawyer promising you a payment for your suffering. The new kitch is they don't get paid unless you get paid, yeah but what many people don't realize is; yeah they want you to get a big fat settlement because they'll take at least 40% of it. In the end your settlement really turns out to be not a hell of a lot. Looking at it in a lot of cases does it stop your suffering? If the it was a loss of life or permanent injury it sure won't change that. We have cases of malpractice that are legitimate and the doctor who made the mistake probably needs to be sanctioned, fined, and or lose their license and even in some cases should probably be put in jail. But with all of superfluous cases clogging an already overwhelmed judicial system is there really any true justice being found, and are the true horrors being brought to light.

So how the heck do we fix this cycle of waste, and system wide of healthcare inadequacy to an efficient and affordable one. I think that would be an easy answer....everything in this world needs a solid foundation.

Mindy's Health Care Plan:

A solid foundation....let's look at the base of what keeps causing health care costs to rise. We are paying high fees to insurance companies (or for those without insurance to hospitals/doctors), who are in turn paying exuberant fees for services rendered by doctors, hospitals and its subsidiaries who keep raising their rates but for the inflation of medical malpractice insurance.

So the bottom of the equation here is first how do we REFORM Medical Malpractice insurance.

I believe first and foremost that Americans on a whole need to step back and remember that doctors are human's too. Tell me that you haven't made a mistake at your job. Now before people start thinking I am barbaric and unfeeling, keep reading. Yes there needs to be a checks and balances to make sure grievous errors are not being committed by the people who are supposed to be trained to keep us healthy. For example if a doctor comes to work intoxicated and it causes a patient to die, yes that doctor should be brought up on charges and owes restitution to that family for the loss of their loved one. However if a doctor makes a misdiagnosis that causes or results because of a good faith error and not because of negligence or misconduct then why should lawyers get to shred him professionally and financially. Instead of fining Americans for not caring health insurance how about striping down the Medical malpractice insurance costs to affordable rates, and only allowing suits against this insurance in cases where the doctors misconduct or negligence was the cause of a death or permanent injury resulting in the patients lifelong disability. As for the other cases where a doctor may need to be reprimanded, censured, or warned by the Medical Board for actions inappropriate or harmful in his job or oath as a healer then set up a system of fines based on the severity of the problem, number of times, etc just like you would say for the Traffic laws. The first time you are caught speeding you get a fine, get caught x amount of times and you lose your license. Use the Medical Boards already in place to oversee the propriety of each state to help set up, implement and enforce The Patient Protection Task force or create jobs, for a special group within the state Medical Boards. Also there could be other incentives placed in with the penalties and not just fines. Doctor X has been fined $1500 for repeatedly making errors in charting resulting in 2 patients needing extra care for his mistake, neither instance resulted in permanent harm. However he can reduce his fine by 50% if he gives 5 hours a week for the next 4 months to such and such free health clinic in his area. Oh and that intoxicated doctor who was charged for killing a patient because of his misconduct, how about he gets the option to earn his keep in prison as the prisons physician for his entire sentence with daily piss tests to prove he is sober.

How about making people actually do something to make a difference in the world when they have made a mistake.

Okay so we have the cost of Insurance down for the doctors and as long as they do their job and don't make negligent or misconduct errors, life will be heck of a lot easier on their pocket books. Now it's their turn to pull back on those prices they are charging us. How about instead of that piece of wood you just shoved in my mouth costing me $10, we say it costs you 3 cents to buy one (I think that's way generous) so how about you charge me 10 cents. And that band-aid come on......let's be reasonable here. I get that you need to cover your bills and yes you have a right to make a profit. I know that economically if say you look at all of your costs and say okay it costs us this much to break even......say that 3 cent piece of wood would need to be billed to the patient at 6 cents per really a 4 cent per unit profit that bad on the grand scheme of things.

[ And just think of what could happen in this country if OMG other companies start to say wow let's really take a look at our profit margins. Maybe we could actually shoot out of this recession into a time of prosperity once more. And dare I say it.......the dollar could actually become competitive again!!!! Think about the possible ripple effect, countries wanting our goods because we can give them the price!!!]

Now that we have some foundation poured down we can go to those insurance companies and reform their policies. Our government can now take a look at state programs for those that fall below the poverty line. The one I am most familiar with is Badgercare in Wisconsin. I will be honest I don't know how it works exactly, except that I know a few people on it who have some of the best freaking insurance that it actually makes some of those with jobs jealous. So our government officials take this plan into their hands and study it, how does it work, why does it work? What is Wisconsin doing right? Look at other states with similar successful programs? Then put together a plan or implement a badgercare program in each state for those who are not working. Then go another step to help the 'working poor' which are not helped in your current plan by allowing them into the state program at set levels of affordable monthly rates. If you fall into tax bracket A it will cost you $50 a month or whatever, you get the picture.

Oh and here is my little tidbit for those who consistently on government programs and spend more than 1year without a job due to disability or extenuating circumstance approved by the courts. To receive your 'free' benefits after 1 year you would be required to do 4 hours of community service a month or else all benefits will be terminated. It's time some of the people in this country remember that nothing will be GIVEN to you and everyone has a duty to be a productive member of society. If you can't work for your keep then maybe you can spend some time cleaning up our roadways, teaching a child to read, or giving your time to a soup kitchen. Many of us fall on hard times at one point or another in our lives, it's the true measure of the person who strives to overcome those difficulties and to improve themselves into a better person.

There is so much work that can be done to make this country amazing once again. However instead of fixing what we already have floating around out there either draining us of funds or not being funded for whatever reason. My government and some of my fellow American's want me to accept a flawed and fruitless plan that's very existence at this point is unconstitutional, my only response and my avenue of action is to keep shouting NO!

This is not right and this will only further serve to push us further and further into a pit.


The above is just a bunch of hypothetical views based on my opinions and concepts, however this is the core of the problem.......

(k to get this right you need to picture me with my hand raised and all but bouncing out of my seat......hahaha)



Monday, March 22, 2010

Goodbye Democracy, Hello Socialism

Good Morning, to my fellow residents of the "New" United Socialistic States of America. For those of you who went to bed before the news broke....the Democrats of our nation slammed through the National Health Care Bill. Many would be supporters are shouting and dancing in celebration at such a monumental victory. Thinking that this will HELP those less fortunate in our country who cannot afford health care, and you must never have known someone or been without health care to boo such a wonderful plan.

I thought St. Paddy's day was last Wednesday not today, quick check the calendar because the malarkey and baloney is flowing faster than the green beer was! I was once one of the "poor" who didn't have a lick of healthcare to save my soul. Even then with a plan like this I would have gladly told the government what they could use the paper they had so copiously used to spread their propaganda on for, toilet tissue anyone! This pile of garbage is just that, and it's going to create one hell of a stinking mess for all of us the longer we leave it sit around. Let me show you some general 'RED FLAGS.' And I can pretty much bet my blog won't cover all of them.

1. First and foremost this 'bill' wasn't required to gain the requisite Supermajority of votes required by our wonderful Constitution that was drafted and served us fairly well for over 250 years. Instead they call it a health care reform and manage to pass it with a 220-211 vote with not one single Republican voting yes and 34 Democrats taking no part in their parties little train wreck. Okay there is voting party lines and then there is the reality that the Dems couldn't convince 1 single solitary Republican that this was a good plan. Something there should scream....this is way more than party politics. And of course you have the brilliant Politian's such as my very own Representative from District 9 here in Washington State, Mr. Adam Smith who states to us his constituents, "it's a flawed and broken plan but it's a plan." Yeah I can't believe I voted for you, I won't be in the next election and if you run unopposed...... hell I'll run myself just to give people someone who will actually LISTEN to them and not have their vote purchased. You do not deserve your seat and I hope someone else out there steps up and kicks you out of it for the next election because if you are not going to help fix this nation then you are just part of the problem so move over.

2. Healthcare had to be piggybacked onto Federal Grant Reform, yeah so you couldn't make this stand up on its own. So you paired it with something that desperately needed to be reformed, since it's been in the stone age for decades.

3. You want to help those that currently don't have health insurance be able to attain quality affordable healthcare. Then why will you be fining anyone who doesn't have healthcare? You logic is a little flawed there. They are too poor to afford healthcare so now let's make it illegal to NOT have it. Yeah that's really cool, again this is where I would tell you to stick your plan.

4. We have over 11 million illegal immigrants known to be living in the US, who are not contributing to our tax base of revenue. Now Congress and Mr. President will you be scooping them up and sending them back to the countries they snuck in here from, or will we be paying out more tax dollars to care for them as well? Or is this plan strictly for LEGAL immigrants and then well they get out of paying those fines and they continue to suck at our economy don't they.

So other than making it so pre-existing conditions are guaranteed to be covered, which is about the only good thing I can find in your HR 4872. What exactly have you accomplished with this supposed great victory for change in America. The changes I see coming scare this blogger to thinking about what other country might just be better to live in when it all blows up here. I see the freedoms that made this country something amazing and a place that all Americans could take pride in, believe in, fight for and die for; quickly sliding down a slippery slope straight into socialism. Democracy the very foundation of this great nation is being eroded and our founders are probably trying to figure out how to come back to kick us out for screwing this place up so bad. I imagine if I were to go sit at any National Cemetery or the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I would hear the tears of our fallen soldiers as they weep having given their lives to defend Democracy and Freedom only to see it dying. President Obama get a special tomb ready because I and millions of other Americans would like to mourn the death of Democracy.

I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I refuse to vote in my states Primary because I will not vote party lines or sign either Party's Oath. I am an American, I owe my allegiance to NO party, just my country, my fellow citizens, my friends, and my family. I will continue to vote based on the issues and beliefs on individual issues, I will vote for the person who can best do the job not the initial of the party they represent. I will vote for PEOPLE who want to make America strong, beautiful and vibrant once more. I will not vote for you if you are part of the problem. President Obama you spoke with such passion but you fail to execute on so many levels. I for one do NOT want your brand of change. I want an America where the American Dream still lives, "the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness." No one said they would just GIVE it to me......I always knew I would have to WORK for it. And finally some quotes from people smarter than I...........

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.-- Thomas Jefferson

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” - -Martin Luther King Jr.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. --C. S. LEWIS

We have learned to say that the good must be extended to all of society before it can be held secure by any one person or any one class. But we have not yet learned to add to that statement, that unless all [people] and all classes contribute to a good, we cannot even be sure that it is worth having. --JANE ADDAMS


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Next time make a better plan!!!!

So right now I am losing my mind. I know, I know you're all laughing and saying, "Mindy it was never there to begin with, so how could you lose it?" Well haha, ya'll need to come up with some new material.

Today was it, my big day to quit smoking. I was nervous when I woke up so I went and did some shopping for my trip to Vegas this weekend. Yes I am a shopaholic, we can work on that addiction at a later date, much later.....maybe never.....we shall see. Not making any promises, that I definitely can't keep. Okay...okay one thing at a time people. Now back to the Brand Spankin NEW NON-Smokin Mindy!!!!

I went to my appointment, stood outside smoking my last cigarette(s), yes it took 2. I was shaking like a leaf so I called my husband, one of my best friends, and emailed another very good friend with a few tears rolling down my cheek asking how the heck I could actually do this. I even posted the fact that I was scared to death as my Facebook poured in. I finally put out that final cigarette and put one foot in front of the other until I was checking in. Officially final cigarette was 3-10-10 at 2:13pm!

Turns out that today's session was mainly prep for tomorrow. Oh Crap.....shoulda waited till tomorrow, nope gonna stick to my plan. So after talking to my Hypnotist and doing some prep work I feel confident that she is going to help me meet my goals. I felt comfortable and at ease in her presence, and I look forward to the work we do tomorrow!

Now funny thing is that the cravings really are not there, I mean I do get that twinge every now and then but she is right they go away within 3 minutes. That really isn't the big deal. What is killing me is this little voice in me that keeps taunting me!

Come on you know you want a cigarette. Just one more. It will help with the headache your getting.....stuff like that. Then there is the times I catch myself just robotically flowing into my routine!! Pushing away my computer and starting to get up to head out on my back deck to have a smoke just taking a break from surfing the net. Pulling my jacket on, slipping a lighter in the pocket, making sure to slip on shoes before grabbing my cell to head upstairs to have dinner with my Hubby. Wait don't need my jacket, lighter or shoes because I don't have to go outside I don't smoke anymore. Heck I could run around naked if I wanted to (sorry my sweet husband we have kids, neighbors, and well yeah no) because I don't have to be ready to get up to walk outside to light up.

So as hard as I am finding tonight I still believe that this is going to work and that I am doing what is best for me. I can do this and I have a great support system behind me.

Thank you all for the support and well wishes you have sent my way.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Saying GOODBYE to one of my oldest Friends.........

So first off I am sorry, I know it's been a long time since I have blogged. I have neglected this poor blog for so long, guess I am happy it's still here haha. Frankly I don't even have an excuse for not doing my blog. It's not like work or anything else was getting in my way. And anyone whose known me well they will tell you it's rare for me to be at a loss for words.

So here is a quick health update. I have been diagnosed with ADHD, (something that doesn't seem to shock those around me but took me by surprise, why am I always the last to know everything!) and put on a medication that surprise, surprise brought my brain back home! Super cool, it also has brought down my daily pain just a bit more and given me back a bit of energy to boot. Then there is the fact that my doctor has been very concerned with my extremely high pulse and blood pressure, so I have been on BP meds that I haven't responded to so they did a Kidney study and found out my right one is having a bit of an issue. Seems the artery that leads into the kidney is smaller than it should be, something I may have been born with so I get to add another specialist to my list in April. Yay me. Long explanation made short, the blood isn't getting into the kidney fast enough because of the small artery, so it could be/probably is the reason for my out of control Blood pressure. This can be fixed by surgery we'll figure that out after meeting the specialist. Other than that the Fibro is what it is and I continue to overdo it because well I am a dork. Can't seem to help myself!!!

Okay so now on to the big news, what this Blog is all about today. As of 2:30pm tomorrow I plan to obtain the goal of being a brand new non-smoker! Yes that is right you heard me I am getting rid of those nasty little cigarettes that some of ya'll have been yelling at me about for years. I started smoking when I was 15 years old. My smoking habit has been like my longest friend ever, well almost except for a few girls who recently found me on Facebook again! The ones who started smoking with me haha.

It's time, time to say goodbye to an unhealthy habit. 16 years is a long time to smoke, and to smoke almost a pack a day. Right now when the doctors listen to my lungs or do Xrays they are shocked that I am a smoker because the look and sound great still, I want to keep it that way. My children, sweet and adorable Colby and Brynna have started to pretend to smoke like Mommy. Yikes, definitely not something I want for them. The cost keeps rising and rising and rising. Plus it's freaking hard work to smoke. I can't smoke indoors anywhere anymore, gotta haul my butt outside, and then when I do get out there I get the snotties who glare at me for polluting their precious air. So I get all cranky and defensive wanting to defend my "rights" so there goes the relaxing calming effect I was looking for from that smoke in the first place. Plus with everything else that is out of MY control with my health this one thing I can control. I can say NO and make the healthier change, and make a little bit of a difference in my health. This won't get rid of the other things going haywire with me, it won't make me unbroken, or fix me I know that but even this small change can have greater impacts over the next 5-50 years.

I am going to accomplish this goal of becoming a Non-Smoker with the help of the Positive Changes Hypnosis Center.( They have a really good success rate and I have even talked with people who have succeeded with their help. As I go through this I plan to blog about it each day and let you know how it goes, how it works, and let you know if I am successful.

They asked me to name 5 reasons I want to quit smoking and here they are:

1. This is in my Control it's my CHOICE to make for a healthier me.

2. My Children. For too many reasons to list!

3. The Cost, there are more important/fun things our family can do with the savings.

4. The inconvenient time and effort it takes to smoke.

5. For my Papa George.

I will admit I am not only apprehensive about my first hypnosis session tomorrow (I really am you would think they were going to stick me in a tank of spiders as nervous as I am!), but the thing that give me great hope is that I am excited to quit smoking. I went to the gas station today and bought my last pack of cigarettes, even announced to the clerk "this is my very last pack ever, I am quitting tomorrow." He asked me for how long and I replied with a great big smile, "Forever." He wished me good luck and said good for me. And the two people behind me in line actually gave me a little clap. I was beat red blushing a ripe red tommato! Then I heard the guy behind me who had just clapped ask for his cigarettes and then say "man I really need to quit too." Which made my smile get just that much bigger!

So I ask of you my friends, family, readers, and random person who happens to stumble across my ramblings to please keep me in your prayers that my heart and mind be wide open to the hypnosis so that I may succeed with this endeavor with God's help, your support and good vibes coming my way, and all the love I feel around me. (For those of you who don't pray or call your higher being God just to let you know that's awesome in my book. I am a come as you are, believe your beliefs, worship as you worship kind of girl. I do not judge by any means no matter what your beliefs on any topic are!!!)

Thank you all for taking the time to read my drivel and sorry for the hiatus. Please take this journey to becoming smoke free with me!



Thursday, December 3, 2009

New adventures and a whole lot of pain.....(it's a long one)

Sorry it's been a while since I last blogged, I got caught up in the goings on with Thanksgiving and then found my creative side, LOL!

So Thanksgiving with my Hubby and children was a blast! Colby came in to our room and had us up at 6am even though Casey and I tried to convince him to go back to sleep. Instead we ended up tickling each other and receiving and giving lots of morning kisses as we lazed about in Mommy and Daddy's bed. This went on until Brynna woke up at 7am, then we finally made our way upstairs. Casey ran out and picked up a Thanksgiving paper and a Mocha for Mommy (I am an addict when it comes to my coffee!), my husband is so awesome. We all sat down to a very yummy breakfast of French toast and bacon made by Casey (did I mention my husband can cook and it's all so delicious!!!).

After breakfast it was just about time for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, so we all settled in to watch. I made my few quick calls to family back in Wisconsin to wish them all a Happy Thanksgiving, and finished up just as the parade came on. Colby and Brynna were fascinated some of the parade, other parts of it they could care less for at this age LOL. Brynna showed us that she is definitely going to be our little dancer, as every time any of the Broadway shows did their numbers she was trying to copy the choreography Casey and I of course gave each other the Holy Crap look, and Casey said, "I guess she won't have a problem with choreography when she gets older!" (We love the show So You Think You Can Dance.) When the Rockettes came on we had to rewind it 3 times for them to watch the girls dance. Brynna was even attempting the high kicks, and well I think Colby might be a leg man like his father LOL! Brynna at one point said "Dance with me Mommy." Of course I had to oblige her so I was up dancing with my children.

Soon it was time for me to hit the shower and get us ready to go to dinner at Aunt Terry's Mom's house. We all got dressed up and headed down. The meal was fantastic and huge! I think Miss Sandy made enough food to feed the Marine Corps, and that was after we were done eating LOL! There was a beef roast, a ham, a pork roast, a turkey (of course), 20 pounds of mashed potatoes, a variety of 4 or more "salads", veggies, stuffing, rolls, cranberries, olives, pickles, green bean casserole, and candied yams! Mind you that doesn't even cover desert which was pumpkin pies, pecan pie, apple pie, and brownies. I was so full, yes I at way too much food. It's an unwritten law that you must stuff yourself on Thanksgiving isn't it? By the time we got home I literally passed out on our love seat. I laid down and was so sound asleep in minutes that Casey couldn't even wake me to say goodnight to the kids at 7pm. After he put the kids to bed he managed to rouse me enough to get me to walk into our bedroom, which I don't remember at all. I woke up at 8:30 and asked him how the heck I had gotten into our room. I was completely wiped out. Wow, I couldn't believe how fully drained I was and my only thought was how am I going to survive Christmas if Thanksgiving did this to me LOL!!!

So that weekend we decorated the house, by which I mean Casey and the kids did most of the decorating. I just mainly sat there and watched them because I was still low on energy and my pain was elevated slightly. End result our house looks gorgeous for the Christmas season. Oh and we did do shopping both Saturday and Sunday for decorations only, I wouldn't get near the mall craziness!!!

Then enters Monday and I get an idea in my head that I just can't shake so guess where I find myself on Tuesday.....out shopping for materials. I had been looking for a nice Stationary gift boxed set, similar to what one of my friends gave me about 7 or 8 years ago. I scoured the net and came up with nothing, it seems the art of hand written correspondence is a dying. Somehow I stumbled across decoupage which is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and so on. Commonly an object like a small box or an item of furniture is covered by cutouts from magazines or from purpose-manufactured papers. Each layer is sealed with varnishes (often multiple coats) until the "stuck on" appearance disappears and the result looks like painting or inlay work. So I decide to make my own "writing box" and then I can fill it and decorate it to my liking anyway. Well I don't find the materials for my writing box and at first I contemplated building my own wooden box, then scratched that idea figuring that would be a little too over my head for now. (I have a really bad habit of going overboard and over my head, that whole jump without looking think hahaha) So I find this really simple unfinished cigar box and decided to make something out of it to test the waters of decoupage. I also didn't go crazy buying materials as I knew I had a bunch of things that would work from my failed foray into scrapbooking (and I man would it make my Hubby happy if I actually used them hehehe)!

So home I did trot with a determination I hadn't felt in ages, and an adrenaline rush to boot, plus my creative juices were flowing. I set myself up in the garage and set to work on my first piece. I started at about 4pm and was still working when my husband got home at 11pm that night! I was focused and happy creating this box. I loved it. I forgot while I was working that I was sitting in an uncomfortable metal folding chair, I forgot to go out and smoke for the most part (I only had two cigarettes in that time frame!!!), and I forgot about the pain for a little while. I was free for a while in unleashing my creativity. I was in heaven.

When I got up the next morning I was in pain but I ignored it and went to my therapy appointment, then to my friend Julie's. I had a great time there holding the baby for a little while, but I listened to my body and when my arms started to ache I put him in his swing. I tried to be helpful to their candy making efforts by policing the kids a bit. I even listen to my body when I could feel the energy waning in me and said my goodbyes gave hugs, headed home for that nap that my body was telling me I needed. But first I'll just swing by the craft store and pick up the stuff to finish off the box. Yeah an hour later I walk out with not just the stuff to finish my first box but more boxes as well! And that nap, somehow I was in the garage working on the box thinking I'll just get this first coat of paint done and then I'll nap while it dries, sure. And wouldn't you know it the second box 'magically' appeared in my hands and I was painting it while the paint dried on the first box. And that's where I was when the hubby got home at 5pm. I did put things away and went in the house shortly after he got home.

It didn't take long for the pain to set in either. It was horrible and it was bad. I could barely move, I was so stiff and the pain was so bad I was doing my 'old lady shuffle'. All I could think was crap, I haven't been this bad in a while. Casey made dinner and helped me up the stairs, so we shared our evening upstairs and then he helped me back down and we went to bed. I slept horrible, I couldn't get comfortable because of the pain. So when Casey was leaving for work and handing my morning meds, I asked for one of my pain pills. That says enough right there. For me to ask for a pain pill is huge, because I hate them. I hate the way they make me feel, and I usually fight taking them. I have had doctors argue with me to take my pain meds, because I hate them so much. I actually have a doctor who once said, "In today's world I usually have to worry about my patients taking too much of their pain meds, with you I'm having to police whether or not you are actually taking enough or any! You don't want to be in pain yet you won't take the meds that will help the pain at least a little bit! What am I going to do with you!" She just shook her head at me at that point.

I feel like I am not really doing much of anything, I mean what I have done in the last week is really not that much. I know I am not supposed to compare what I am capable of handling now versus what I could do even a year or two ago, but it is really hard not to. How else do I judge the efforts I am putting forth? Even as I write this it astounds me that just the small amount of things I did this last week was enough to send me into excruciating pain. Has my life been reduced to this really? I know that part of this melancholy today is the pain, and when I am hurting this bad I always start down the why me path, the it's not fair, and the this totally sucks path. I hate this disease. I hate what it has done to me, to my family, to every part of my life because there is nothing that has not been affected in some form or another by this.

I just want to end this on a positive note. I am thankful for everyone who reads this blog. I am thankful for my friends and family. I am thankful for Nanny De who has made our lives richer with her wisdom and easier because of her love and care for all of us. I am thankful for my husband who takes care of me and our family. I am thankful for two beautiful amazing children who make my world complete. I am thankful that God loves me and understands even when I get angry with him. I am thankful to have so many compassionate people in my life willing to help and support me through this never ending battle.