Being a fibro mom and fibro parent is intriguing and interesting. With our large family of seven, we never know what’s going to happen day to day. I’ve decided to share our activities, meals, and books read in hopes of giving you ideas and inspiration. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately with our All in a Week update for July 8-14, 2018.
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All in a Week
With all these knew mysterious symptoms I’ve been experiencing since March, I’ve been feeling down and out. This Summer has been disappointing for the entire family, and it doesn’t help that I know I’m partly the cause of it. All the plans we had and activities we’ve wanted to do has been postponed indefinitely. We have no idea when we’ll be able to do any of it because my health is so unreliable right now.
Our kids haven’t complained once about this summer being a bust, but the guilt still weighs on me from time to time. Tim knows this and does what he can to lift all of our moods. One of the things he did this week was work on the flower bed outside my office window. I forgot to take a before picture of it, but here’s a photo of when we bought the house in 2015 and a couple from this year’s July Fourth celebration. My office is to the right of the front door when looking at the house.
We ripped up the old landscaping fabric, prepped the soil, laid the edging, planted the flowers, and then placed the mulch. There’s a lot of clay and cement under the soil, so we dug up as much as we could and added fresh, organic soil so the plants can thrive. Tim also installed some blinds in the front windows for added privacy, and it did wonders for the overall look.
Last Summer I bought several colorful pots and never used them. So while getting mulch at our local Lowe’s, I found some flowers on the clearance racks to put on the porch. Seriously, those plants are the best to get. I always get the discarded plants and they have always done well. Why pay full price when the ones in the back need love and attention, too? A neighbor was giving away a set of red outdoor furniture, and the red chairs made the porch pop with the added bursts of colors.
Monday and Tuesday
Tuesday I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy, so Monday was a clear liquid diet. Around 3pm, I had to drink a gallon of the Colyte prep, but it really wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. The worst part for me was the no eating solid foods. It gave a whole new meaning to the word ‘hangry’, that’s for sure. I slept the entire night before my procedure despite the heightened anxiety and hunger.
After the procedure I was extremely tired, but I had to get some blood work done to check for Celiac disease. I still managed to cook dinner even though Tim told me not to. Look, I was hungry and was determined to eat what I wanted even if it meant cooking a meal in the arms of exhaustion. It was worth every mouthful of food!
One of the tips for the colonoscopy was to plan nothing the following day. That’s what I intended to do; however, a situation came up and my help was needed. We were told a cat, Tobin, was left without food and water for nearly five days and we didn’t know when the owner was returning. I was granted permission by the owner to enter the home and check on the cat. Once the situation was confirmed, I let the owner know that the cat could no longer stay and be neglected.
It’s a long story, but the quick one is this: Tobin was a stray we unofficially adopted this past Winter. Last month, one of Tim’s coworker overheard Tim saying we were going to have to find a new home for Tobin (the reason is the long story part). He offered to take Tobin and see if it would work out. After a week or so, we were told the cat wouldn’t come out of the cabinet and would sit by the window and meow when we did. My husband and I were thinking it was time to bring Tobin back home, but the reasons we found a new home remained the same. We were stuck. However, when this situation came up, we were forced to take him back and figure out a new solution. We still haven’t, but we are making it work for now.
Thursday I was given an opportunity to write for The Unchargeables, and was thrilled to be accepted onto their team! The Unchargeables was founded by Natalie, and is ran by many other members. The website consists of articles about various chronic illnesses, a shop, support group, and more. I like the variety of writing and how everyone works together to create an amazing chronic illness community!
By the end of the week I was exhausted. Friday was a busy day with a mini project, but I managed to finalize my article Learning to Cope with the Negative Feelings of Chronic Pain. This article was one I thoroughly enjoyed writing because of how much I learned from the entire experience. With so many recent illnesses, my feelings were spiraling out of control and it wasn’t easy to cope. It’s a work in progress, but like I said, I learned a lot and was thrilled to share it with others.
The mini project was painting the half wall between our kitchen and sunroom with my oldest daughter, Madison. With five kiddos, the fridge is not big enough to hold all of their creations, so I use this wall. Originally, it was a brown color and I hated it. So dark and the room needed to be brightened up. We had a little bit of ‘Mermaid Song’ paint leftover, but not enough for this mini project. Tim suggested adding some of the ‘Cotton’ paint to make enough. It worked out perfectly! Again, I forgot to snap a few before photos, but I managed to find one from earlier this year.
While Madison and I worked on the painting, my youngest two kids, Aiden and Abby, created a ‘cave’ in our sunroom. They added walls, doors, and carpeting to it, and even had tunnels going between the cave walls (crawling between the couches and walls). I served them lunch in their cave and they had a ‘raging beast’ tamed in there, too. All in all, they had a great adventure!
Saturday morning was full of errands, but we managed to steal a few minutes at Lowe’s to find some more flowers on the discarded racks. We found four of them and I couldn’t wait to get them in their new pots of fresh soil. My kiddos repainted some of their old clay pots, and then we planted our new flowers in them. They require full sun, so we placed them under the recently installed blinds in our dining room. During our morning errands, I also found some little wooden frames on a clearance rack for 75 cents. They really bring out the windowsill decor.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading this Summer. Usually the books I get to read come from the local book sale (fill a bag for $5) or from our community’s Little Free Library. However, during one of my recent visits to the emergency room, the nurse and I struck up a conversation about reading. She told me all about Book of the Month, and how I can get a newly published hardcover book for $14.99 a month (that includes shipping). If I don’t see a book I like, I can skip it for the month. I’ll still get charged, but I will get a credit for the next month. No harm in trying, I figured.
When I signed up, I used a friend’s referral code to get a free book and the code FIREWORKS to get an additional free book. I could add a book to my box for $9.99, so I did. I ended up getting three books for July at a total of $9.99. I received the books on Monday, July 9 and the books’ official publishing date was July 10. How cool is that?!
This week I read…
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
A few weeks ago, I purchased Amy Myers’ cookbook The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook. I’ve been trying out the recipes and it’s been successful for the most part. It’s also available on the Kindle. Whenever I use one of her recipes, I’ll annotate it with an asterisk (*).
When I cook using a recipe, it’s usually something I’ve printed online which is easy to tape to one of my cabinets while I cook (it’s easier to read and won’t get dirty or wet on the counter this way). With an actual cookbook, it’s cumbersome to stand without it falling down or the pages turning. I found a cookbook stand from Amazon that folds and collapses for easy storage because I don’t like a whole lot of stuff on my counters.
- Chicken nuggets*
- Tangy coleslaw*
- Steamed broccoli
- Frozen pizza (Colonoscopy prep for me, so dinner was just Tim and the kids which is why they had pizza. haha)
- Cabbage, potato and leek soup
- Tangy coleslaw (leftover from Sunday)
- Spaghetti squash topped with No-Mato sauce*
- Salad using Betty’s Italian Dressing*
- Bison Chili*
- Mississippi Pot Roast*
- Steamed corn
- Baked Sweet Potato and Lemon Leg Quarters*
- Brussels Sprouts and Red Cabbage Salad*