My best friends birthday

It’s my best friend’s birthday! A post I wrote two years ago with updates.

Running Forward...My Way

Today is my best friends birthday. I won’t share how many years she has but it is more than me.

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With the exception for three months where I lived in Indiana, we have always lived a plane ride away.  So we don’t get to see each other nearly as often as we like.

But as a birthday challenge of sorts, I wanted to see if I could reconstruct all the times we have seen each other.

2006

We first met in April of 2006 at the Young Republican Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.  More specifically, she was sitting in front of me on the shuttle to the hotel from the Romanian Embassy.

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We saw each other again at the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) Cleveland Board Meeting but we weren’t really friends yet.

It would be at the YRNF Fall 2006 Board Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.  This…

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Quarantine Ponderings #2: Privilege

I am still working on that blog post.  I hope I am not overselling it.  I am just very limited on time with work and homeschool and I don’t want to rush it.

But I also said I was going to write my ponderings when they came to me.

So I am going to leave you with this nugget that is on my mind.

I see people complaining about those who want to stay at home.  Some of those people are worried about their health.  They may have co-morbid conditions.

If you disagree with those people’s stance, then you may be in a position of privilege where you are in good health.  Please take a moment to be grateful that you have the privilege of having good health.

I see people complaining about those who protest and want to go back to work.  Some of those people are worried about their livelihoods.

If you disagree with those people stance, then you may be in a position of privilege where you don’t need to worry about your finances or your job.  People take a moment to be grateful that you have the privilege of not worrying about your financial situation.

I am not telling your what to think.  I just ask that you try to see where the other side of coming.  Be kind.

Quarantine Brain

When I became pregnant with my daughter, I became flighty.  I blamed it on “Pregnancy Brain”.

When I was engaged and planning my wedding, I became forgetful.  I blamed it on “Wedding Brain”.

When I was going through Widow Fog (which is 100% real), I blamed it on “Widow Brain”.

And now I realize that I am afflicted again…with Quarantine Brain.

It makes sense.  I am working 40 hours a week from home (which I am grateful) and I am homeschooling my kindergarten daughter.

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To be truthful, I am envious of those who are having a restful quarantine because between work and home school…I am exhausted.

Add in all the news.  Lots of news.  Press conferences.  I have hit my limit.

And all the opinions.  Everyone is an expert.

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My brain is on overload.  I haven’t had time to read much or write and I have thought about writing many times.  But the thoughts are so jumbled right now.

I have done some cooking and some trips to the shore.  We are allowed to go to the beaches here, we just need to remain socially distant.

Quarantine got the best of my daughter.  She gave herself bangs.  (insert facepalm emoji)

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So I wanted to do a quick check in?  How are you feeling during this quarantine?  What are you thinking about?  Have you cooked?  Have you given yourself bangs?  How are you dealing?

Coronavirus, Vaccines, PTSD and Sepsis…Oh My!

Almost four years ago, my husband had a simple weight loss surgery and it lead to complications. Those complications led to sepsis which lead to septic shock. The septic shock was so bad that it lead to multi-organ system failure.

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To say my world crashed down around me would be an understatement. I felt like the ground was being taken out from under my feet.
After several weeks in a medically induced coma and a month on dialysis, his kidneys started functioning again.
Then he caught C. Difficile.
(Though you don’t really catch C Diff. C-Diff is a harmful bacteria that resides in us all the time but is kept in check by the good bacteria within our bodies. However, antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria and C Diff takes advantage of the situation and grows and then turns into an infection)
He was treated with Flagyl and Vancomycin so it shouldn’t be too surprising that he developed VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci).
And he was pretty much a constant state of pneumonia.
He couldn’t eat. All his nutrition came from an IV. It was called Total Parenteral Nutrition, or TPN. However, his body was having trouble absorbing the TPN. He always had a thick head of hair and most of it fell out.
He couldn’t talk because he had a tracheotomy. He was the one person who always would reassure me that everything would be okay and he couldn’t. Though it would have been a lie because everything clearly wasn’t okay.
He was always a man of great strength and I watch him become so weak he could barely lift his thumb.
And then came staph. And he went into septic shock again. His kidneys failed again. He had to go back on dialysis.
At this point I completely lost my faith in God because, as a Cradle Catholic, I was taught God was a loving God and there is no way a loving God could have done that to Bryon and to my daughter. Please don’t take this as a plea that I need to be saved. I’m okay and doing just fine.
In a period of 5 months I watched him cling to his life. I watched his body become resistant to antibiotics. I watched him move up the antibiotic chain until he got to the end of the line.
Yes…there actually are specific antibiotics called “End of the line antibiotics.”
For 5 months I lived off adrenaline. I don’t think I can express how helpless and desperate I felt.
Sadly this story didn’t end the way I wanted it to.
I can tell you that there is some residual PTSD. Trust me…when my daughter gets a cut, Mom puts neosporin on it right away. Also any fever over 100.4 puts me in a panic and will always include a trip to peds urgent care.
Currently the United States is on the eve of a severe new disease that we don’t know much about.
Also, on Tuesday Maine has an important vaccine vote.

I won’t get into that though my Facebook friends definitely know how I feel about the vote.
From what we know (if the numbers are correct- I’m looking at you CCP/China), 5% of the people who get the Novel Coronavirus COVID 19 will become critically ill…like, ICU ill. Of those 5%, half of them will likely die.
Now is not the time to take our healthcare system for granted. It is definitely not perfect. It will get overwhelmed. The healthcare system isn’t limitless.
Our healthcare providers are going to be busy.
Be wise with your healthcare choices. And you are your best advocate. Do whatever you can to prevent getting sick- eat right, sleep, was your hands, don’t touch your face or pick your nose. Stay home if you are sick.
As my late husband would say “Don’t be a Dick”.
Keep yourself and others from getting sick. (Yes I made the rhyme on purpose).
Sepsis, in short, is an inflammatory response where your body goes into overdrive when it’s fighting off an infection and starts to attack itself.
The reality is any infection or virus can potentially cause sepsis. A tooth infection…the flu…measles…an infected cut…step throat…pneumonia…the new Coronavirus…and many more can all potentially lead to sepsis.

I have seen people get hysterical about the Coronavirus. I have seen people mocking those who appear to be hysterical. I worry that there very few people are where they are supposed to be…vigilant and concerned.

I also worry about the people who spread lies about vaccines and that no one holds them accountable. There are many parents who are researching and trying to do what is best and anti-vaxxers prey on these people.

Make your own decisions but make sure you research the places you get your information.

You can ignore Science. You can run from Science. But Science will catch up with you eventually.
The worst case scenario can happen to you. It happened to my husband and my family. Don’t dismiss “worst case scenario” stories as scare tactics. My story actually happened and it was a nightmare. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
I don’t usually share that part of my story. Personally, it is painful and I wish I could forget it. But I can’t.

And now that story is apart of me.
But with these two important issues going on…the only thing I ask you is to educate yourself on sepsis and the symptoms of sepsis and seek medical care if you or a loved one exhibits these symptoms.
At the very least, please look at the FAQ section from the Sepsis Alliance website but also look around the website. There is a lot of valuable information.

Sepsis Alliance FAQ

Days 58 & 59: Putting Boundaries Around Other People’s Anxieties

This is from my blog friend Suzanne’s blog. Totally worth the read. A good reminder to stay in your lane.

https://atwistonlife.com/2020/02/29/days-58-59-putting-boundaries-around-other-peoples-anxieties/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=days-58-59-putting-boundaries-around-other-peoples-anxieties

The Beginning

Today my blog turns three. This is the blog post that started it all.

Running Forward...My Way

You could say that my story began on August 30, 1978 at 7:55 am at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston because that is when I entered this world.  It was the beginning of my childhood in the Boston area with my Irish-Catholic family.  My childhood was pretty ordinary, filled with bike rides, Barbies and games of tag and hide and go seek.  I had a strong sense of where I came from.  I was fortunate enough to know all four of my grandparents.  I also grew up around many aunts, uncles and cousins.  It was in my childhood that I developed my love for dogs, history, the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, hoodsies and fried clams.  I also developed a Boston accent that still manages to slip out when I am emotional or have been drinking.

You could say that my story really began early morning on…

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Stay In Your Own Lane

Alternate Title: Why I hate advice.

Do you ever feel like you live in a fish bowl?

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As a widow, I have felt like I live in a fishbowl.

I accept responsibility for part of that.  After all, I do put some of my most intimate thoughts on the internet because…therapy.

And I also felt called to create a space where other widows  (and other people who may be suffering from an emotional loss) may not feel so alone.  And I have made some cool friends from this blog so that’s a win.

Somewhere along the way, people started thinking it was okay to tell me how to live my life.

I got unsolicited advice on so many topics.

I got unsolicited advice on how to raise my child, how to manage my time, how to manage my money, when I should date again, what my physical and emotional boundaries should be and even on how to grieve and how to widow.

I do not need to be told how to grieve or how to widow.

I even had other widows tell me how to widow.  Yeah…my experience isn’t the same as yours, mmmmkay?

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Why do so many people feel the need to tell other people how to live their lives?

Why are so many people concerned with what everyone else is doing?

Why can’t people just stay in their own lanes?

Seriously.

If you are giving unsolicited advice- you must be an expert.

You must know everything about everything.

Maybe you have mastered Life.  Maybe your little plastic car is filled with kids and you have money and always spin a 10.

Your life must be perfect because you have nothing to improve so you are looking externally for something to occupy your mind.  Your life must be so perfect that there is no room for improvement.

Because you wouldn’t think of giving love advice if you can’t hold onto a relationship.

Nor would you give money advice if your credit score is in the toilet.

You wouldn’t give career advice if you are underpaid and hate your job, right?

I didn’t think so.

Before you give unsolicited advice, clean up your own life.

Stay in your own lane.

It’s none of your business how other people choose to live their lives.

Stay in your own lane.

What might work for you may not work for other people.  Because they are not you.

It is so easy to look at someone’s life and to have an opinion.

Keep that opinion to yourself.

It isn’t your life.

Most people just need time to figure their own shit out.

Sure, you can offer to help in a positive manner.

But keep your G-D opinion to yourself.

Give people the space to let them sort out their problems on their own timeline.

If they need your help, they will likely ask for it.

Stay in your own lane.

This also works in the reverse.

If you are living your life, sorting out your own shit and minding your own business and someone tries to offer you unsolicited advice, you don’t need to accept it.

Don’t let it distract you or upset you.

Don’t let doubts take hold.

Stay in your own lane.

Stay in your lane unless you make the decision to change lanes and do it when you feel safe to do so.  Not because someone is making you.

Weekly Gratitude #9: Focus on what can go right.

It has been a week.

We had sickness in the house.  Nothing major, just a low grade fever and a cold that seems to be going around but it still warranted a day off from school.

I also had my work computer malfunction.  It would not connect to my WiFi.  At first I blamed Spectrum but it turns out it was a Windows 10 issue.

Sorry, Spectrum!

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My company had to overnight a new computer to me.   in less than 24 hours.

I am grateful for my company’s IT department who spend hours on the phone with me trying to figure out the problem.

And to Fed Ex.  I am impressed that Fed-Ex got it about 2/3 across the country to my corner of the country

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I was able to get my computer up and running and finish my work week strong.

But while the computer was in transit, I spent many hours worrying that something was going to happen in transit.  I was stressing about not getting enough work done for our client.

And it was all for nothing.

Everything worked out okay.

I spent so much time worrying about what could go wrong when I should have been focused on what could go right.  I thought I had left that habit in my old life, but I still relapse sometime.

I don’t get too esoteric on this blog, but I will venture there today.

The spiritual gurus say that thoughts are powerful and that like attracts like.  If that is true, then why are so many of us negatives with our thoughts?

Why are we so many of us resistant to letting things work out the way they are supposed to? Or even better than they were supposed to?

Some of us have been conditioned to always expect the worst.  To keep our expectations low.  And while failures and mishaps can and will happen, I challenge everyone to ponder what would happen if we started to expect good things to happen.

At the very least, maybe you won’t feel fear and dread.  Those are such heavy emotions.

But maybe some good things will happen.

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My Biggest Grievance as an Iced Coffee Drink

I love Iced Coffee. 

It isn’t because I dislike hot coffee. I am usually just too thirsty to drink coffee hot.

I love Iced Coffee.

It is a joke that those of us from New England have Dunkin Iced coffee running through our veins.

I recently had a Dunkin Iced coffee and there was some plastic in it so I am turned off to Dunkin Iced at the moment. 

I recently visited another coffee establishment in town. It was later in the evening. I had ordered iced coffee from them at a late hour before with no incident.

The girl working was someone I did not recognize. (Some of the people working know my order right when I pull up).

I asked for my order. I was told that they did not have that type of iced coffee.

I asked what kind of Iced Coffee did they have and the girl working said House Blend and Dark Roast.

I opted for House Blend.

It took her a while to figure out how to ring my order into the register and then I gave her my money.

I wait.

I get my drink and it is warm. 

I inquired with the girl working why my iced coffee was warm.

She responds that it was hot coffee but it was okay because she added ice.

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I pointed out to her that iced coffee does not work that way.  All the hot coffee does is melt the ice and this drink will just be a watered-down, lukewarm coffee.

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I feel that someone who works in a coffee shop should know that iced coffee needs to be concentrated so when the ice melts, it still tastes like coffee.

I asked her why didn’t she tell me that she just didn’t have any iced coffee when I asked her what other types of iced coffee they had.

She looks at me with a dumbfounded expression.

She said she already dumbed the iced coffee because it was late.  She obviously didn’t understand the question.

I doubt she even drinks coffee.

I should have asked for a refund. I feel like this girl wouldn’t have known how to do that either. 

All I ended up was pissed, with a watered-down, lukewarm coffee that tasted like water and the flavored syrup.

My father always told me that I expect too much from people and maybe I do.

Maybe it’s the fact that I paid $3.51 for an iced coffee that was undrinkable.

Maybe 2020 will be the year that I start making iced coffee at home.

Or start drinking enough water that I am not too thirsty to drink hot coffee.

 

Festivus for the Rest of Us: Airing of Grievances

Happy Festivus!

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I admit that I am a “cherry-picker” when it comes to Festivus.  I do not have a Festivus pole (yet), or do Festivus dinner or Feats of Strength.

However, I do participate in the Airing of Grievances.

And here they are in no particular order.

  1. The fact that my throat chakra is always blocked.  Could it be because no one listens to me, especially my 5 year old who has selective hearing?   Could it be the fact that I have brought once up the truth to people who were important to my life at the time and they choose to believe the lie? Could it be the fact that I don’t speak my mind because I know people won’t understand and I don’t bother?
  2. The new Welcome to Maine sign.  It’s stupid and it was a complete waste of money.

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    The one that has been there forever needs to come back.

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  3. Negative People
  4. The fact that I am an empath and I absorb the energy of the aforementioned negative people.

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  5. The fact that there is not a decent Mexican or Italian restaurant in our town.
  6. The fact that our government is a circus
  7. The fact that so many people didn’t pay attention to their high school Civics class.
  8. Narcissists and Toxic people.  They need help but they won’t ever take responsibility for your actions and they will continue to hurt people for their own gain.  I am just grateful that I am getting better at recognizing those behaviors and I run.

    Difficult People

  9.  People who project onto other people.
  10. Hypocrisy
  11. People who are only religious to make a political statement.
  12. The fact that people can say insensitive stuff to people who are grieving and people tell the one who is grieving that they need to get over it.  Maybe other people need to be more sensitive?
  13. Potholes.  ( I stole that one from Amy in our most recent episode of Xennial Mom Podcast)
  14. Crowds
  15.  People who don’t look inside themselves and people who don’t do inner work.
  16. People who only listen to respond, not to understand.
  17. People who drive under the speed limit.
  18. The fact that I formatted this post with a space between each grievance and WordPress put all the text together when I previewed it.  I am sorry.  Blame WordPress.  (Squarespace is looking more appealing, but I don’t want to have to migrate my data).
  19. The fact I will think of more grievances after this.

Have a Happy Festivus and a Joyous Holiday Season.