Thursday, January 21, 2010

3 Months Later

Hello everyone . . .

So here I am, 3 months later, looking at the date from my last post and thinking, "Where the hell did 3 months go?" Time flies when you are sleeping. :) I would like to say thanks to everyone for keeping me in their thoughts over the last few months and continuously checking in. Please know that it made me feel so good, every time I checked my email and saw one of your little notes. Definitely brightened my days! THANK YOU.

I guess you could say that quite a bit has happened in the last 3 months, but realistically, nothing that is very earth shattering. We made it through Halloween, Eldest Cherub's 15th Birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and bringing in the New Year (hopefully a much better one than previously passed) in one piece and only a little worse for wear. We have started our weekly treks north for Cherubs to get their ski fix, and on a very bright note, Mr. P has started skiing again. I know that some of you were not reading my blog at the very start, so a quick synopsis is as follows:

I actually started blogging as a place to vent in 2008, right after Mr. P had a horrific, near fatal skiing accident. To make a VERY long story short, his injuries included, but are not limited to:

1. A tibia broken in half and 1 other spot, a fibula broken in half and 1 other spot, a completely shattered ankle and foot - this particular combo of injuries resulted in complete reconstruction of his left leg from the knee down.

2. A broken right hip

3. 2 severed and 1 cracked and hanging transverse processes - these are the wings on the sides of your vertebrae and amazingly enough have healed in Mr. P

4. Last but not least, various and sundry damage to soft tissue, muscle and nerves which still bothers him to this day

I bring this up, because not only did Mr. P finally get back on skis, but he did this on the 2nd anniversary of his accident. You see, his accident happened on Martin Luther King weekend of 2008, and a very long 2 years later, exactly 2 years later, Mr. P has skiied. I have NEVER seen him so happy or excited. Yay, Mr. P - Happy Anniversary!

I am still plugging along with my sleep issues since my last post. I am happy to say that I am no longer taking any medication. No Adderall, No Herbs. Nothing, Nada, Zilch! I have some really good days, some OK days, and some really bad days, but am getting used to reading the signs of when I am going to crash in a big way. Not the ideal way to live, but it beats a lifetime of meds, and leaves me hopeful that maybe, someday, there will be a time that I actually feel good. I mean, I never thought I'd get this far. I really thought that by now, I'd be back to my Adderall induced, pill popping ways. But I'm not. And that my friends is HUGE. (sound of applause here)

So anyway, as I can't really promise that I'm actually back and blogging, I can say that I will try. And If you don't hear from me, just consider it as minor blogging sabbaticals. But at least you know that I'm OK and appreciate all the heartfelt emails over the past few months regarding my health status - it's nice to know that even though I'm gone sometimes, I'm not forgotten. Thank You.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Reason Why . . .

As you've all probably been well aware, my posts have become VERY infrequent. I know that it is probably not on the top of questions that must be answered list as to why, for all my bloggy friends out there, but still, I feel the need to at least "briefly" explain.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy. You know, the sleeping disorder that is stigmatized with people who drop to the floor and sleep in the middle of every day activities. . . I do not have that kind of narcolepsy. Apparently, the kind I do have is the more common type in people diagnosed with this "disorder?".

I am VERY tired. ALL. OF. THE. TIME. There are days when I have to leave work or wherever I might be and get home as quickly as possible, for I know that soon I will need to sleep. It is not a sudden onset of falling asleep, just a slow impending feeling of all types of functioning trickling away, until I just can't go on for another second. I. MUST. SLEEP.

I'm sure that many of you have, at one point or another, felt that tiredness and sluggishness in which you just hit a wall and can not continue with anything. No cleaning or cooking. No speaking or thinking. Nothing . . . You simply need to be prone and do nothing but exist, which in and of itself is also no small feat. That is how I feel frequently. Almost every, single day.

The most ironic part of all this is that not commonly known, a lot of times with Narcolepsy - nights are riddled with Insomnia. Sheer exhaustion, but no sleep. And if sleep does prevail for some small portion of the night. It is a REM riddled sleep and the restorative phase of the sleep cycle never happens. This, in turn, makes you wake in the morning feeling less rested than when you went to bed. It's horrible and truly exhausting.

Over the last few years, I have been through trial and error with multitudes of different stimulants, sleep aids, anti-depressants and who knows what else. I was told that there is no cure, but only this type of treatment for Narcolepsy. After many "this isn't working" conversations with my "team" of specialists, I came to rest upon taking Adderall XR every day. I have now been on it for almost 3 years. I have increased the dose a few times and honestly, I think I may have developed an addiction. On the days I don't take it, the tenseness and irritability are unexplainable, and even on the days I do take it, many times, I still need to nap. I don't want to be on this for the rest of my life. I hate it.

So anyway, a while back, I started seeing an acupuncturist, herbalist, holistic practitioner/life coach - whatever you would like to call him. I went for my consultation with a two page laundry list of things I wanted to fix . . . after confirming the true loon that I am, we set to work with a plan. I started acupuncture twice weekly and have since weaned my way to only once weekly and it has definitely helped in many facets of my life - although I am disheartened to say that it has not helped with the sleep disorder.

I have dramatically changed my diet and eating habits. Although I am still a junk food junkie, which is (Thank The Dear Lord) OK, I have added certain warming/cooling foods, etc. into my diet at particular times during the day. I can not even begin to express the wonders it has done for my digestive tract :) A few months ago, I weaned myself off of the Adderall in hopes that I could start an herbal/mineral based regimen that would "naturally" help with the Narcolepsy and lethargy of my life. I have had to go back and forth between the two regimens a few times, in order to make it through certain days and times in our busy life, but for the most part, I have faithfully stuck to my natural plan. It is not working.

In frustration and desperation, I went back to my "team" of specialists and discussed my new regimen with my life coach. Unfortunately, I was not met with unanimous approval of going the holistic route. I could honestly say that I was even met with a little disdain and scourn. After a lot of discussion and argument, everyone decided that it was time to regroup, but, of course, on their terms.

So, as I still continue trying to battle this naturally and in my own way, my "team" has done extensive research and I guess have had quite a few intriguing discussions regarding my case. Recently, I was greeted with the good and not so good news of their findings. The not so good news is that they are 95% sure (whatever that means) that the problem lies within my Hypothalamus. They believe that at some point it suffered some sort of trauma and is now damaged. Unfortunately, once damaged, the Hypothalamus will not recover or heal. Basically, I was left with "It is what it is, get used to it". Nice. If it is not that, it might possibly be a small benign tumor sitting and putting pressure on the Hypothalamus, but they don't really think this is the case. Then why tell me, I ask?

The good news is that it is nothing fatal or life threatening or that cannot be controlled with the right medication, modifications, etc. etc. etc. blah, blah, blah. And as I said before, I DO NOT WANT TO BE ON MEDICATION FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! I just want to feel "normal". But, alas, this does not seem to be in the cards for me, at least not right now. I think I have a lot of regrouping to do myself. But until then, I will continue to plug along and try to nourish my body and brain (including my lovely little Hypothalamus) naturally and herbally and holistically. And when I can't, I can't . . . I will just sleep.

So there you have it my friends. My "brief" (haha) explanation of why I am so scattered with my posting. I just don't seem to have it in me most of the time lately. So if you don't hear from me, I haven't disappeared from the face of the earth. I'm still here and OK. I'm just napping.

Until next time . . .

Monday, October 19, 2009

A VERY Generous Offer and a Great Place To Shop Too

So although I have been the very bad blogger as of late, I have still browsed the internet occasionally - I mean, come on, a shopper needs to shop, even if it is just perusing her fave shopping spots for a quick minute or two.

Anyway, I have discovered a GREAT jewelry sight (handmade of course). Not only does she have some great pieces, but you absolutely MUST check out her prices!!! Lu Shae Jewelry is having a VERY generous Giveaway . . . They are giving away $200 cash. Yes, cash. You don't have to use it at their site, it is cash to do with what you please. And in today's economy, who couldn't use an extra $200? They are giving away $200 EVERY month, so you have plenty of chances to win. And to top it off, when you enter, they will email a code to you so you can get a 15% discount on their jewelry. Great to pass on to hubs or boyfriend for the holiday season, or just to treat yourself. And the best part is, you won't go broke and will definitely find some amazing pieces you will just have to add to your collection. . .

In perusing the site, I'd love to share some of my favorite pieces, which were very hard to find, because everything looked so great. They have something for everyone - yellow gold, white gold, every kind of stone imaginable and the site is so user-friendly, it is very easy to peruse all of their merchandise quickly and easily - they even have the actually measurements shown for their products, so no guessing is involved! Check out these great items and be sure to check out their site as well, as I'm sure you'll find even more pieces to love.
Crafted Circle Pendant - On Sale $67.00
This is definitely one of my favorites. So simple, yet elegant. Can be worn with EVERYTHING, from jeans and a T to your best formal dress.

Ice Twist - On Sale $63.00
I just thought this piece was so cool.
Different than what you normally see.

Leafed Tahitian Pearl - On Sale $65.00

And who could resist the ring that matches so perfectly?

Mystic Anniversary Ring - On Sale $66.00

This Tanzanite ring is yet another of my favorites - Love the crown shape and the color is amazing.

Tanazanite Crown Ring - On Sale $64.00

And for all my fellow Preppy Ladies, I couldn't resist throwing this one in.
Princess Cut Pink Ice 7mm studs - On Sale $66.00

I guess that's enough for today, although I could probably post most of the pieces I've seen on this site. Definitely worth a looksie - check it out and let me know if you find anything you love - would love to see what everyone is getting. Gotta run - MUST SEND LINK TO MR. P!
Happy Shopping!

Friday, September 18, 2009

In A Nutshell

I know I have not been very good about keeping up with not only posting, but the giveaways link as well. I don't really know what it is that I have been so busy doing, but I feel like I just can't get out of my own way lately. I think I just need a break from all the social obligations, facebooking, blogging, coupon searching, form filling, child toting ways of my life for a bit.

Anyway, until I am feeling a bit more like myself, I decided to do the bulleted, pared down version of the goings-on in my life:

Kids started school - NO SUMMER AT ALL IN RI - we had maybe 3 decent weeks

Went to Open House for both kids this week - suffice to say, my son is screwed (more on that later when I feel like posting)

Started an accupuncture regimen once a week for various and sundry reasons (also more on that later)

Hubby's biz is still slow, so I've been semi-searching for part-time work (few jobs available, pretty much all the part time ones aren't even worth the effort - what to do?)

Been busy chasing my own tail - in case you are wondering, I haven't caught it yet . . .

Getting ready for my big 4 . . . 0 . . . in about a week - maybe that's why I'm so out of sorts? Hmmmmm . . .

Till Later

Monday, August 31, 2009

She Has To Be One Of The Coolest Bloggers EVER!

So, if you have been perusing the Great Giveaways link on my sidebar at all (and yes, I know I have to get with it on posting - I have been VERY behind the eight ball this summer) then you probably noticed the link for Peachy King's Lauren Nicole Badge Reel Giveaway.

Lauren Nicole has got to be one of my favorite places to shop in the first place and I have to admit that I have bought quite a few of the badge reels for gifts for a lot of my nursing friends. They are ALWAYS a hit.

Anyway, I was going through the Giveaway links just now, don't even know why, because usually, you get an email or something if you win, but for some reason decided to check the links anyway and get this, Peachy King's winners announcement went a little like this -

"Because I love the Monogrammed Badge Reels from Lauren Nicole sooooooo much-I have decided to extend my love to EVERYONE (I mean, everyone) that left a post. Y'all are all winners!! =) YYYAAAYYY (I am literally jumping up and down for all of you)!!"

OK, so maybe it went A LOT like that, or maybe it was VERBATIM . . . my point is, everyone who left a comment won! Who does that? What an amazing Giveaway! Peachy King's has just moved up the ranks in my Cool Giveaways Book . . .

So even if you didn't enter the Giveaway, definitely stop on by and check her out . . . just click this link or find her under my Good Reads.

What a Totally Cool Chick!

The Family Photos are In

As you all know, Mr. P has quite a large family. The funny thing is, the people within the family always seem to be changing. Who is married, divorced, had babies, new step-children, etc. etc. etc.

For this reason, Mom-In-Law requests a new family photo every so often. And this year was one of those years. As well as a large family photo, she always has 2 other requests. The first is that each immediate family wear a different color, this way, when showing her friends, she does not need to explain who belongs to who. And that each individual family have their own photo done for her to display in her Florida home.

Below are a few of the photos. I actually think that my immediate family photo actually came out pretty well this year (and you will notice that yes, Miss B is in it. Although, she wasn't allowed to be in the large group photo)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We're Back and I Need A Vacation

Have you ever noticed that when you take a vacation, you always need a vacation when you get back? It doesn't matter where you go, who you go with, or what you do . . . You are always tired, stressed and just plain strung out when you arrive upon your doorstep. So, I will be spending the next few weeks regrouping, doing laundry and reorganizing from our little trek to "The Rock". Not to mention, I STILL have yet to do the back to school shopping - clothes, supplies, food, you name it - I don't have it yet. And to think that in exactly 13 days, Dear Cherubs will be back to school. Uuuuggghhhhhh! Where did the summer go?

Anyway, thought I'd share some photos of our little jaunt. I guess in my last post I forgot to mention that this time around, we went for Mr. P's annual party. He and his 3 brothers throw a big party every summer. And when I say big, I mean big . . . Minimum of 150 people, many of whom spend the entire weekend. I have to say, this year was a raging success! The weather cooperated (for once), the kids behaved (most of the time) and everyone had a great time.

Vacation has started!
Mr. P can finally unwind with a beer.
Wednesday - Early Evening

Time to get the groceries!
Mr. P, Eldest Cherub and a few others head to the local Warehouse Store
150 mouths are a lot to feed.
This is what they got . . .
This was only the first boat load.
I think there were 3.

As people arrive, they vie for the best location to set up their homes.
Waterfront property does not come cheap!
And this was only Thursday night.

Eldest Cherub, Mr. P's BF and Little Miss B needed to take a little break to relax.
Lugging all that food up the twisty-turny dock is VERY hard work.

Thursday night and all is done.
Time to light the fire, watch the world go by,
. . . and wait for the rest of the party people to show . . .

Saturday morning.
Everyone seems to have found their favorite spot.
Many of them did not move ALL day.

The kids had a ball!
Some went sailing, others jumped off the boats and dock or went tubing and waterskiing and still others just "hung" out together - LITERALLY

All in All - yes, a RAGING success!
Good times, Good fun, Great Friends

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Going To The Rock

We are heading to Prudence Island for a little while
Or as I like to refer to it, "The Rock".
You see, there is nothing there but houses.
No stores, no restaurants, no bars, nothing, nada, zilch.
Sometimes it will drive you batty - others - just what the Dr. ordered.

Arriving can get a little frazzling - you see, the only way to get there is by boat, and if the seas are not cooperating, it can be quite a rough adventure.

Then, upon actual arrival, with many, many, many bags and food and kids and liquor and coolers and dog in tow (did I mention there are no stores on the island?) we must navigate the gazillion mile, upward slanted dock . . . with twists and turns and . . .

Then it's time to unpack and unload and set up house.
Everyone has a chore and helps out, even Little Miss B.

When all the unpacking and unloading is done, we can finally have some fun.
Maybe take a ride on the jetskis . . .

Or swing on the swings . . .

Mr. P likes to go clamming and do a little fishing . . .

And at the end of it all, it's time to just plain, old RELAX and enjoy the views . . .

. . . And the Setting Sun . . .

Have a wonderful week
I'll be catching up when we return . . . If we return . . .

Friday, August 7, 2009

Let The Secret Out

Last night I was invited to a dinner for the non-profit organization I used to work for. Because I was a part of a very special program, it is very close to my heart. I was very saddened to learn that things do not look good for our program in the little old state of RI as far as funding is going. I decided to write a letter to our local papers and magazines in hopes of spreading the word and rekindling some excitement about it. The article follows and I urge all you parents of tweens and teens to find out if this program exists in your state. It is definitely something worth looking into for your kids.

I am a parent. Some would say that I am a parent of the two worst kind of species . . . a tween and a teen. Although I must admit that my life’s adventure in this endeavor has become more of a roller coaster than a carousel as of late, I most often tend to disagree with this premise.
As I have entered this phase of parenthood, with a mixture of wonderment and anxiety, I find that my home has become the local gathering hole and my car the local mode of public transportation. I don’t mind this so much, because this way, I can stealthily keep an eye on the goings on of the local juveniles.
As the designated chauffeur to and fro for most of the outings for this group of moppets, I have heard many an interesting conversation. When driving a pack of kids around, if you stay quiet enough, they tend to forget you are there. I have heard some disconcerting information, some crazy conversations and some absolutely brilliant ideas. From a discussion on the blueprints of a toilet in a briefcase to world peace, this generation has some pretty innovative and interesting views and ideas about the world around them. I find that they are just a little lost and don’t have anyplace for their voices to be heard.
Enter Rhode Island Teen Institute. Rhode Island Teen Institute, now celebrating its 20th year anniversary, still seems to be a well-kept secret. This actually surprises me because in a state such as Rhode Island, people seem to know everything about every happening in the near vicinity. I have discovered that this is not so with RI Teen Institute. I don’t know how or why, but very few people have actually even heard of this amazing program.
As I stated earlier, I feel that the tweens and teens today are so much more than a video game/internet addicted generation. They are smart and innovative and are actually visionaries in every sense of the word. They have amazing plans for our future. RI Teen Institute is just the place that can help make these visions come true.
Touted as a leadership training program, with information and concrete encounters regarding substance abuse prevention, web, cell phone and internet safety, diversity, phobias, alternative lifestyles and so much more, RI Teen Institute is a potpourri of information, training and skill strengthening that gives our “lost generation” not only the ability, but the will to go forth and do what is so intrinsically a part of who they are. It helps these tweens and teens realize that they are not to blindly follow just because it is expected. It teaches them that they can be whoever and do whatever they choose in this world and that they actually have a much more profound impact on the world than they think. Their ideas, views and opinions need not be relegated to “mom’s backseat”.
If our wizened adults would stop to actually take the minute to listen, I am sure they would be so pleasantly surprised by how much our youngsters have to say. And that what they have to say actually makes a lot of sense. Sometimes, more sense than our actual leaders do. RI Teen Institute helps both adults and youth discover this premise and gives them the tools to allow this to happen.
It is quite hard to explicate on the many virtues of this amazing program. As I often do, I am finding that this is a time in which my words just simply do not suffice. It is an experience that one must live and love in order to understand. In simplest form, I could say that RI Teen Institute is a place that fosters the strengths, abilities and visions that are innate in so many of our youth today and it saddens me to see such an auspicious program go unrecognized.
So as a parent, a parent of two of the “worst species”, I urge others like me, you know who you are if you are living in the tween and teen world, to stop and find out more about this essential program and its dedicated staff. I know that you will be pleasantly surprised and maybe, just maybe, I will be joined in sharing this well-kept secret until it is no longer a secret at all. And maybe, just maybe, more of our youth will have the chance to show the world just how smart and proactive they can really be. And when this happens, I can assure you, adults of this world, buckle-up for safety, because you will see some surprising, shocking but totally awesome changes in our society as we know it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Please Excuse My Absence

Please excuse my absence as of late. It has just been a whirlwind of activity in our little corner of the universe. Will update soon.