Footloose, NOT Fancy or Free

I haven’t been able to do a blog lately. This week or two has been plum pitiful. On all fronts.  IMG_4311.JPG
I think the last time I wrote I was writing about bleacher butt and I told ya’ll about how my son tore his UCL. Well, he has been doing therapy and is getting much much better. The first week of therapy was last week.
Last week started off with the entire Hallman clan coming down with what I thought was a stomach virus on Monday. By Tuesday everyone else felt okay and Bryant, my youngest, was worse. He started running a fever that would not respond to Tylenol or ibuprofen. So off to the ER we go with him. They thought it may be strep, but he didn’t test positive, so that was ruled out. So we get a breathing treatment in the hospital along with antibiotics and steroids. We get sent home with the same. He is supposed to be able to return to school on Thursday but he wasn’t because he hadn’t yet been 24 hours without a fever.
So, it’s Thursday and things are looking up because he is back to his somewhat normal self and plans to go to school tomorrow. Over the course of everyone being sick and me off and on convincing myself that I too am sick I have lost a considerable amount of much needed hours of work. Not only is it much needed because I am getting behind on my daily basic job duties but because I am also missing out on hours I need to be paid.

stuntin
As you know I work from home. I also have chronic pain that I deal with all of the time. This week was no different than any other week when it comes to pain level. I had a makeshift desk set up in the recliner in my room which I would sit in with my little lap desk and peck away on this laptop until I decided it was time for a break. Well, for whatever reason, that day I felt like setting this lap desk on the floor in front of my bed and it would be fine. For most people, it would have. IMG_4348
For my extremely forgetful, excessively clumsy self, it was a recipe for destruction. Sometime after Greys Anatomy was over I decided to hop out of bed and high tale it over towards the closet. To this day, I have no idea what I was going to look for. Not one. All I do know is that after my left foot hit that lap desk and bent in places feet are not meant to bend I blacked out and when I came to I hurt all over. Mostly my left foot which is already riddled with rheumatoid arthritis and bunions and traits that make me look like I am walking on Leggo’s for the first few steps that I go anywhere after sitting for a while.
This same left foot has made its debut on my blog before for its ability to turn green when it isn’t the perfect degree of not too hot, not too cold. This foot has now taken on a different color. Black, blue, and a little red, oh, and A LOT swollen.IMG_4347

I can’t imagine what my whole falling incident looked like to my husband who was sitting on the bed at the time of tumble, but I guess it was a laughable moment for him. I will laugh about that now, but at the time, it was a lot of things but funny wasn’t one of them.  If I could’ve gotten up, I would’ve knocked him out.
But see, it’s hard to get up when A) Your left foot doesn’t work at all, B) Your three loving (obviously more than my husband at this time) dogs are worried about you and they are all crowding around you trying to help. C) The throbbing and constant pain you are in combined with the disgust you have for yourself for being clumsy enough to allow this to happen causes you to hyperventilate. Full on, sweat, can’t breathe, can’t-do` anything! I was finally able to get myself up from the floor with the help of my husband and lie down on the bed while he took a shower and I tried to calm myself down.
It was at this time that I knew that the only thing that would help me was a prescription drug of some sort to take the edge off of the pain. So back to the ER goes another Hallman.

IMG_4305
After a shot of Toradol I was sent to x-ray and when I told the ER doc that I have MCTD and RA with the worst of the RA being in my feet he came back into the room and gave me a shot of Morphine. He tells me that he believes I have a Lisfranc tear and I need to see ortho first thing in the morning.
So by the time I get home and bathe and try to find any sort of comfortable position to sleep I have almost been awake now long enough to watch the sun come up. Finally, I slept. I got up Friday and got into the ortho who told me that I have two places that are clean breaks and another that is cracked. He’s worried about my Lisfranc and possibly a ligament in my ankle but can’t even attempt to check on them until my bones have somewhat healed.

th
Each passing day deems my foot blacker and blacker and my body wore and worse.

There is NO relief to be found. There is no comfortable position. I am mad, sad, aggravated that along with all the other BS I go through daily with regards to pain, I still needed to bust my butt and add to that pain with some more pain.

IMG_4311.JPG

I’m Good, How are You?

I’m Good, How are You?

It is something we all say every day. Someone asks, “how are you doing?” And I almost always say, “I’m good, how are you?” And as those words are coming out of my mouth I always think to myself, why are you saying this. You aren’t good, you’re a wreck. You hurt ALL the time, the medicine sucks, you want to do things that you can’t, you’re down on yourself because of that, you don’t sleep good, you’re just plain out not good.howudoing

 

So why do we ask people? Why do we take their reply of “good” as truth? Most of the time the questioner already knows you are involved in some type of battle if you indeed are. But when we say we are good the conversation moves on. Or if it is brief in nature a simple “good, so nice seeing you”. And you both move on.

 

Sometimes I change my reply up because I am simply sick of telling people that I am fine when I am NOT.  Let me tell you when you unload all of the details of why you’re not fine the look on the other persons face is always like a deer in the headlights. The result of this is that we feel like raging idiots for having just dropped all of that out of our mouths.

 

I think we need to try to get out of our feelings one minute and the next I want to shout it from the highest building. Silent sufferers be silent no more. Enough is enough, ROAR!!! We should do that but we don’t.

 

painInstead, we turn to WordPress or the like and become avid writers in hopes to get some things off of our chest. We also want to search for someone else who is suffering the same way that you are. We want validation that we aren’t crazy. This is another side effect of disease or medications.

I think it is a great way to do this. But even then, times get low. Your readers aren’t reading, you have no new followers, you aren’t even interesting anymore. -Maybe. Or maybe life just gets in the way.

This past week has been filled with life getting in the way of writing. Work, being Mom and caring for my son who has injured his arm. He pulled his UCL. It is torn slap in two.

 

As of now, he won’t require surgery. They say that because he isn’t a pitcher or a quarterback, he won’t need his UCL. He is going to do rehab to learn to use the other muscles to compensate for the broken ligament.

 

I understand what they are saying. I realize surgery usually causes more damage in the long run. I have had ligaments repaired myself. I don’t wish that pain on anyone, especially my son. But don’t tell me that because he isn’t the QB or a pitcher he doesn’t need it.

 

He needs the dang ligament or it wouldn’t be there, thank you very much. And he isn’t less important because of the position he does or doesn’t play on a football field. He is one of the most important people to ME!  He may not be using that arm to toss balls around, but he has already signed with the Army. I am pretty sure his service there will be more beneficial to everyone than throwing a darn ball around would.wolffelling

 

So this is the rant I have for the week. I am dealing with a ton more pain than usual as well. Swelling everywhere, pain everywhere. And toughening up my outside so that I can hide this pain like a champ and not unload on anyone who asks me “how are you doing”. The art of hiding this is a job in itself.

But I’m doing good, how are you?

 

 

 

Bleacher Butt

footballmomAs I posted last week, and a lot of you may know, FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE! Our 3rd game is tomorrow. I have searched every nook and cranny of the world wide web for the perfect bleacher seat and I am at a loss. The ones that look appealing also look far too heavy to haul around from car to field. I have already dropped the purse. It was just too much to carry around and no matter how much I would try to lighten the load, random, heavy, usually of no use to me, items kept collecting in it.

 

I guess a case of bleacher butt is something I will soon miss. My boys are growing up so fast. I know it beats the alternative, but it is sad.  I can remember not so long ago when all of my elders would tell me to enjoy them while they’re little. They grow up way too fast they would say. I would uncontrollably roll my eyes.

 

I thought I was miserable. I thought they needed to hurry up and grow up and get out. I thought my elders didn’t know what they were talking about. I thought I was a terrible mom for thinking this. I thought and I thought and I thought WRONG. They’re not even gone yet and I already miss them. I miss the time that they actually liked me. I miss the sweet hugs and the freak out now, laugh later accidents they would make. Be it their pants or a spill. I miss it all. How am I going to feel when they are gone?

 

littleParenting is a roller coaster of feelings. Sometimes there are days that I am so ticked off at my kids. There are days that I just wish they would give me a rest. There are days when I feel sorry for them because I remember how hard being a teenager was.  Thinking you knew and could do anything in the world, not wise enough to realize that Mom and Dad are right. Not knowing if what you wear will cause people to look at you differently or thinking that name brands were all that is important and feeling sorry for yourself because you didn’t have as much as the next kid, only growing up to find out how ridiculous that was and feeling bad for putting your parents through all of that wasted money.

 

I get it. I just don’t want my kids to already be going through it. I want them little. I want to preserve them that way. I want this, but I won’t get it and that is a good thing. I just hope that one day these little boys understand how much I do love them even though we seem to argue daily. I know they will because for the most part, hopefully, I am raising them right and they will have values when they are fully grown. Fully grown is something I am likely to never consider them being, I must admit.

 

So with that, I guess I just want to say, to any of you young parents, enjoy them while they’re little. Let them be little. I know it sucks sometimes. But It is seriously going to be gone very soon. Even if you can’t see it. From one eye rolling parent to the other, ENJOY it. Laugh at the accidents. Love on them and steal hugs excessively. They won’t make up for the ones you aren’t going to receive in just a few years, but at least you will know you tried.

It’s Football Season Ya’ll

lovebamaMy favorite time of year is finally here. I have to admit, I hibernated at the end of last years football season.  I take Alabama football seriously.  And by seriously I mean, insanely so.  I have a selection of lucky shirts, socks, pants, blanket, underwear, and even where I choose to sit and in what position is of great significance to whether The Crimson Tide wins or loses.  If the combination of attire and position isn’t working and we are doing badly in a game I have to change something, if not everything. I get mad at anyone else who isn’t playing along with my mind games too. Alabama performed badly for an entire half of one game last year and ya’ll, it was entirely my husband’s fault. He wore the wrong hat.

tidecomingI am fully aware that all of these shenanigans are insane. I don’t care. It is something that I have done for as long as I can remember.  And I know I’m not the only one who does this stupid stuff. I mean one of the things that my husband and I really hit it off on when we first started dating was Alabama football and our silly rituals. One of us got stuck watching the remainder of a game in the bathroom.

So, this year I am in the market for a new “lucky” Alabama shirt. I am guessing the luck wore off of all of the other ones in the final game of the year last season. The national championship game. The cause of my hibernation for a little while. I guess I am a sore loser. Alabama fans, myself included, have become spoiled. God bless Nick Saban. I don’t know what we will do if he decides to retire anytime soon. Being a hard core Bama fan has had it’s up’s and downs. Prior to Nick, we had several Mikes to enter and be ran out of the Alabama family. None of them would ever add up to Bear Bryant.  We had some good coaches and we came through every now and then, but not enough to make National Championship t-shirts and memorabilia expire.  Our 1992 National Championship car decals and shirts were good for 17 years. (mine weren’t due to size issues)bamacrew

If you are a football fan then you either love Alabama or you love to hate Alabama. That is part of the deal that comes with being legendary. I am good with it. What I am not good with is losing and knowing we should have, could have, would have won a game that we lost. The BIG game. The one that determines who is the best.  It was decided last year that Alabama was not the best. And that chip on the shoulder of those big boys will shine this year. It won’t (I hope) happen again! But I must do my part. I must find the winning combination attire.

alabamaweekAlabama football is not the only favorite of mine. My Choctaws started their season with a win Friday.  My teenage boys both play. They didn’t play this game. The youngest is having to pay his dues as a youngster on the Varsity team and the oldest hurt his shoulder in a scrimmage game week before last. He is okay, he will play this week. So, I have a dilemma… Alabama’s first game is against FSU. FSU and my Choctaws have the same tomahawk chop and chant. I know that if I partake in this Friday night, my luck significantly changes for Saturday night.  OH MY GOODNESS, I AM CRAZY!

flareflareIn other news, I feel like crap. T-Total, poo. I guess I am having a flare. The pain associated with these abbreviations is constant. It’s hard to tell if the pain is just getting on my nerves or if I am having a flare which is more painful than the constant pain I experience. Last night, winter came. I have been waiting on winter for 7 seasons now. It finally came, and now we have to wait an entire season to see what else winter does.  And guess what fellow Game of Thrones fans. Now that winter is here and leaving us hanging for an entire season, we now know that the next season will be the last. What the what? I realize the budget for a show such as this can get pricey. I realize the actors now demand better pay. I understand every drawback HBO seems to have. But what I don’t understand is the business decision to end the best show HBO has ever produced. I guarantee they have gained more subscriptions solely because of this show. I know that HBO is NOT cheap. I know they’re making money and significantly more because of GOT!

Last night, winter came. I have been waiting on winter for 7 seasons even though the raven and John Snow can go back and forth from Winterfell in one episode. It finally came, and now we have to wait an entire season to see what else the slow walking, dead winter does.  And guess what fellow Game of Thrones fans. Now that winter is here and leaving us hanging for an entire season, we now know that the next season will be the last. What THE wha—-at?

I realize the budget for a show such as this can get pricey. I realize the actors now demand better pay. I understand every drawback HBO seems to have. But what I don’t understand is the business decision to end the best show HBO has ever produced. I guarantee they have gained more subscriptions solely because of this show. I know that HBO is NOT cheap. I know they’re making money and significantly more because of GOT!

They better have some huge, expensive tricks up their sleeves to appease the humongous fan base for their final season. HBO, you have been warned. got

Homie’s Jewels

spay-neuter-2Well, today is a good day. The past 7 days have been something. If you are following my blog you know about my best friend, my Homie, my dog.  You know that I have expressed that I will lose my marbles if anything were to ever happen to him. Well, I lost them last weekend. I need to explain.

Homie is a wanderer. He will slip off if he is left outside unattended. He’s an escape artist who can smell a woman’s musk from miles and miles away.  He is a ladies man. I don’t have a fenced in yard. I have wanted one, but I honestly do not think there is a fence around that would keep him in. Boxers jump. HIGH.  They also dig deep if need be. So to have a fence which would be large enough to hold him in and give him plenty of room to run would be outrageous. He loves to run circles around our house and he needs that. He is so full of energy. And I am so unenergetic and unable to take him for runs like he needs. I am just very vigilant when it comes to him. When we go out, multiple times a day, I have to watch his every move. He can not get out of my eyesight. And he knows he can’t and things are okay.

Saturday I was working in my bedroom and I asked the kids to take him out because he had been begging to go. They did and he came right back in. I assume he didn’t have enough time to do whatever it was he needed to do. At some point, later on, he slipped out with one of the many kids or their friends.  It wasn’t until nearly 4:00 pm that I took a break from working and decided to take the dogs outside. I quickly noticed Homie wasn’t home. I panicked. I went up and down the roads in our neighborhood and the neighborhood beside us screaming, “Homie” out of the window. This went on and on and on until after 11 pm. I just knew that this time was different. This time he was gone. This time I had lost my best friend.

I cried, and cried, and cried. Ugly cried. I cried so much that my eyeballs stung. They hurt. I didn’t want to take my night time meds because I was afraid there may be a small chance he would come back and I would be asleep and unable to let him in. I felt like I was to blame for his leaving. I should have had him neutered a long time ago. I should have checked to see where he was earlier in the day. I should have done this. I should have done that. It is, and always will be, my fault. Then I found myself also feeling as if no one else in this house cared about things that I value. Nobody else noticed my best friend was missing. How is it that they have lost him? They must not even love me. These are the erratic things that go through your brain when you are losing your mind. And I was losing mine rapidly and on a grand scale.  At one point I was even mad at my other two dogs for not consoling me during my breakdown. Homie would have been all up in my grits during a fit like that. He would have been there for me. Why aren’t they?

I had planned for this. I knew that this day would come. I just didn’t think it would be this soon while he was still so young.  I’m not sure if other people keep the loss of their pets in the back of their mind the way that I do. I have lost a lot of good dogs in my lifetime. And the loss of them has always been so overwhelmingly miserable for me. I think that because of this I seemingly try to prepare myself in hopes that it won’t hurt as bad. I know that isn’t going to work but, irrationally, I do this anyway.

Finally, around 3:45 am, I decided to take my Ambien. I decided to call it a night. I decided he was really gone. And I laid down on the living room couch to cry uncontrollably one last time before I went to bed. When I got up to go to bed I decided to check the back door one last time.  To my surprise, Homie was there!!! I couldn’t even get on to him for having left. I was over the moon. He stunk, he was muddy, he was slobbering and panting something fierce yet all I could do is hug him and tell him how much I love him.

So flash forward to Monday morning. My first order of business was to call the vet and schedule him to be neutered. At some point during my fall apart my mom told me to make him an appointment when he got back to get him fixed. She would pay for it. Thank the Lord above for that. Because after all was said and done, it cost $364.30 for him to turn in his prized jewels.

IMG_3920

Homie’s last night with his manhood.

 

He went in Tuesday morning. He went happily. He is such a sweet dog. He had no idea what was about to go down. He just trotted his big self right back to the back with the vet tech with absolutely no worry. He thought we were going on an adventure I suppose. He spent the night there after his surgery so that they could give him pain medication for 24 hours. Wednesday morning when I got there to get him that same trot was not there. The vet wanted to explain to me all of the medication and wound care I needed to do for him in the coming week. She felt like I couldn’t hear her because of Homie’s loud overjoyed panting. So she asked the vet tech to go ahead and take him to my car so that I could hear her. I have never seen a dog stand his ground the way Homie then did. He was planted on my feet. He wouldn’t budge. As if he was saying, Nope, I’m not going on any more of your adventures, thank you very much, I have my mommy.

So, there you have it. That is what my week has been like. A roller coaster of events that were game changers for both Homie and me. Piper is scheduled to be spayed on September 5th. I will have all dogs accounted for at that time. I can not stress enough to people how important having your pets fixed is. There are so many unwanted puppies in the world and so many being euthanized. I am to blame for taking such a long time to have Homie fixed. I didn’t want to take his youth away from him. I felt like having him fixed would, in some way, make him a different dog. I see how stupid that was to think now. And if I had it to do all over again, I would’ve had his jewels removed as soon as they were able to be.

Today, as I said, is a good day. Homie is home and his balls are gone and he is on the mend. I hope you all have a great weekend.

1st Day of School – Oh Happy Day!

IMG_3852Well, the kids are at school and I have the house to myself again during the day. I hate to sound like I want to get rid of them, but it sure is nice and quiet.  Bryant, my youngest, walked himself into school this year. It was a sad and happy moment all at the same time. I fully expected him to want to be walked in so when he didn’t I was caught off guard.

 

When you are a mother of 5, the youngest is the one you want to stay little. He is our last. My sweet baby. But he is not a baby anymore and it makes things so clearly seem to fly by. It seems like just yesterday I was potty training him. Now he doesn’t even want to be walked into school. Having an incurable debilitating disease makes you view life a little differently. It is much more apparent than ever how short life truly is. I just hope that he continues to be my buddy a little while longer. IMG_3857

 

I’ve mentioned it before, how my teenagers think I’m not cool and that they know more about life than I. I don’t know if I have mentioned that, although it hurts, I don’t really want to be their buddy. I don’t care if I’m not cool. I don’t care if they hate me some days. I need to instill rules and consequences in their lives. I see so many these days who are more worried about what their kids think of them than they are actually raising them to be good grown-ups one day.  My kids wear name brand clothes, but they are resourceful in getting them. They either own just a few name brand things that they wear over and over again, or they use their birthday, grandparents, Christmas, or whatever other holiday or chore they can in order to attain their clothes. I also use a lot of second-hand shops for some of their items. They know the value of belongings. They don’t always show it, but they know. img_3860.jpg

 

Being the great mother that I am, I never get a group picture of the kids on the first day of school. Today, I didn’t even get a picture of my oldest at all. He has joined the trend of the man bun and he was still working on his hair, of all things, until the very last minute. This is his senior year and he has already signed with the Army for after he graduates. He will then have to say goodbye to his lovely locks. My husband can’t wait. He is not a fan of the bun.

 

Well, school is in so I am going to work today. I am going to work without interruption. That is something I haven’t been able to do since I began this work from home job. Hopefully, I will be more productive and able to get more hours and income.

 

I hope you all are having a nice week. My body still hurts, I am just tired of complaining about it so I won’t this week on my blog.

No Fountain of Youth at the Beach

I have a public service announcement: THERE IS NO FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH IN PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL! At least, not that I found over the course of a week. Truth be told, this trip made me feel old. Older than I actually am. I spent 8 nights and days there and guess how many times my faulty body let me actually go down to the beach. 2 (two) visits to the sugar white sand. And two was all I could muster.


The first trip was during the day. I had no umbrella or pop up tent to block the rays from burning my pasty white skin. Mixed connective tissue disease means stay out of the sun. The medications I take for this disease all have warnings about sun exposure meaning stay out at ALL cost. So I loaded down with SPF 100 cream and I went for about one hour to the beach. I watched from afar as my 6-year-old and 37-year-old husband/kids played. Doing things I can not do any longer even though I really want to.
When you go on a trip like this, something we used to do all of the time with no problems what-so-ever, that whole spoon theory really comes into play.

My 6-year-old doesn’t understand it and I don’t expect him to. I don’t even want him to.  He persistently begged me to go to the beach with them every single day. He persistently begged me to go fishing at night at the beach with him every single night. My rationing of spoons told me that if I gave in and went to the beach tonight, I wouldn’t be able to move the next morning. Alternately, they told me that were I to go to the beach today, I won’t be worth a thing when we returned.

spoonisland

I felt like I was letting my son and my husband down. I felt like I was making my husband mad. I don’t know why I felt this way because he never made me feel like he was mad or anything. On the way down there we found this awesome radio station. It was a great mix of older country music and really old country music. Mostly, the music I grew up with. I am a music lover and I love all music. Rap, pop, rock, country, classic rock, punk, heavy metal, you name it, I love it. On the way down the song, “Different” by Kenny Chesney came on. It caught me off guard. I can’t begin to explain why, but it made me cry. And cry…and cry…

There I was, staring out of the window, hoping no one else realized I was balling crying. I couldn’t hide it well. My husband asked me “are you crying?” “What are you crying for?” I told him that I had no idea. And this did make him mad. But I still don’t know what made me cry like that.

Something about being told you have an incurable disease that may eventually lead to your early death makes you see your entire life different. It makes you see your entire future different for sure. It leaves you on an emotional roller coaster ride that you can’t get off of. I have always had a quirky reply to my kids when they say “that’s not fair”. I have always told them that the fair only comes once a year. You buy your tickets, you ride your rides, and that’s all the fair you’re going to get in this life.

Now, I’m getting my moneys worth out of this ticket to this lifelong roller coaster ride.  The highs are rare, the lows are frequent, the upside-down and twisting is constant. My roller coaster ride doesn’t have an attendant. There is no way to turn it off or make the ride end. The person in control of it is in God’s hands. It’s up to Him, me, doctors, and support. IMG_3737

One of the days we were down there my husband talked me into going to play putt putt golf. Side note: I despise putt putt golf. But we went and I have to admit I had a blast. When we got there I quickly realized we were into way more than I originally thought. This place had an arcade, two Farris wheels, bumper cars, bumper boats, and a crazy house, among other things. The golf was inside in black lights. I didn’t win, but I did in my heart. I was having fun. Fun is something that seems hard to attain when you’re in constant pain.  We had a blast. But the trip was much longer than I thought it would be. And my body started to fail me towards the end. My son wanted to ride the bumper boats one more time before we left. I had just started to dry out from the first ride, but you only live once. Something that is much more apparent to me these days.IMG_3745

He also had to go turn his tickets in for a prize at the arcade. I asked my husband if I could ride the roller coaster while they went and did that.  So I did. I rode that roller coaster by myself. And I felt so alive. I felt so free. I felt so content. The ride was fast and short, and rickety. I don’t know why this one ride made me worry I may get sick and lose my cotton candy. Another childish thing I had done that day. I haven’t eaten cotton candy in forever.  It was so good!

My take away from the beach is this: Live every day like you are a kid again if you are able. I’m not, so this rare day wore me out. I didn’t find my fountain of youth, but maybe I did find a sprinkle of it.

I was ready to come home and see my doggies. They missed me as much as I missed them. I felt so bad for leaving them. They don’t understand. But they’ve already forgiven me.  I wish I could forgive myself as quickly as they can.