Somehow I found myself asked many questions by several Tadpoles today via email.
I appreciate that anyone...ANYONE...thinks enough of my opinion to ask me anything.
I am actually quite flattered.
I don't feel flattered very often.
Flattened? Yeah, life has thrown me on my ass this year so - absolutely, but rarely do I experience the other word with the R in it. See how close they are?
Yeah, I am not so special.
I am going to be honest. I thought the "30 Days of Truth" would pull it out of me - but I realized in responding to all of the wonderful emails today you guys don't realize what a day for me is like. You are getting the "Good Skippy", the "Happy Skippy" - the "Breathing Skippy". [The last one is my favorite if you didn't know.] Breathing trumps good and happy all day long.
It isn't always the case. Life can suck.
Anyone care to know what my day is actually like? Well - regardless of who wants to know - here goes.
5:00 am - I have slept tilted up because I can't breathe lying down. I can't roll over this morning because the pain in my shoulders, elbows, hands and knees keep me motionless for a few minutes. I start to count "1, 2, 3..." and flip over until I think I can sit up. I make it almost to the edge of the bed. I am trying to be quiet because my husband doesn't have to be up for a few more hours, nor does my daughter who is asleep across the hall.
5:15 - I manage to swing my legs off the bed, still counting because I figure if I can count to a 5 I am good. 10 would be bad and I try to move faster. I think it hurts less to do it in 5 instead of 10. I play mind games with myself.
5:20 - I stand up. Three steps in front of me is our Master Bathroom. I can lean towards the door and grasp the handle and hold on. Then the huffing starts. I need to get into the bathroom for - well potty - but my lungs are so filled I have to huff for air to do this. I actually make the noise. I say the words, out loud "Huff, huff, huff" just to get the air in my lungs. I am quiet though. Not because it would bother Pooldad but because there is nothing he can do if I wake him up. He can't clear my lungs or help me with my stumbling - I have to do those things. Better he sleeps.
5:30 - I come back to the bed and I have to decide. I am so thirsty I want to be in the kitchen now, but do I go downstairs in my pajamas or do I attempt to get dressed in clothes for the day. If I go downstairs in my pajamas there is a good chance I won't get another trip up the stairs to actually be in day clothing, but if I decide to get dressed I might end up back in bed because I can't breathe. Leaning over a dresser or walking into the closet and grabbing something exhausts me.
I have to decide quick. I need a glass of water. I pick blue jeans and a sweatshirt. Pulling off my pajamas makes me yelp because my left side is so tender. I am still huffing out loud and then there comes the coughing. Cough, cough, cough. I need to get downstairs now.
5:40 - I try and navigate my left leg into my jeans and stumble to the left almost hitting the nightstand. Curse. Cough. Huff, huff, huff...breath Skippy. Get that foot in and sit down. Breathe. Hard. Stick the right leg in. Stand up. Sit back down. Cough. Breath. Cough. Breath. Stand up and pull my jeans up. Look at the sweatshirt I considered - I think "Bad idea" because my arm hurts too bad and grab an oversized button up shirt of Pooldad's that is draped over the end of our bed. I can do the buttons in the kitchen when I get down there. I sit back down and start to cough. Now I know I am going to be sick and I have to get downstairs. I grab a handful of tissues and spit out what is in my mouth. The congestion is suffocating, but I need to get downstairs. I have to sit. Huff, huff, huff. Cough.
6:00 - Yes that took me 20 minutes to put on clothes. There are 18 steps to navigate to the middle floor. Going down is no better than coming up, my pain and the fact my hands are incapable of holding on requires me to use balance I don't have. The stairs are my greatest nemesis. They scare me the most. I put my right hand onto the wall and take one step at a time. Huff, huff, huff...and the pain is there - so in between a huff I am saying "1, 2, 3....."
I need to get to the kitchen NOW. Keep walking.
6:10 - I am in the kitchen and shuffling to the kitchen sink. My nose is full, my chest is screaming and I am heaving. Dry heaves. I don't get my drink of water because I am bent over the stainless steel sink heaving, nothing, into the sink. I turn the water on to drown out the sound that I make while vomitting into the sink [It doesn't work, ask my family, but it is the best I can do.] After a few tries I am able to cough or blow out the congestion. It is all the water that has settled in my lungs during the night. My ribcage is tender, my throat is killing me and I am considering whether that glass of water I wanted is a good idea. Is that going to come back up too. I decide against it. I wash my face and go sit in front of my computer.
6:45 - I have been awake for an hour and 45 minutes and want to go back to my bed, except that requires stairs and my baby is getting ready for school. She needs company and a lunch. Right.
I sit for a good while. Check my email and then finally rise to make her lunch. She doesn't expect it and she will do it gladly, but it is the one thing I can do. So I do. I have learned some tricks though that would've surprised me a few years back. I leave the fridge door open the whole time [gasp! the energy waste!] because it is a huge effort to open and close it. It wears me out. How weird is that. No one points out my hypocrisy - they just let me be. If it is easier for Mom then they are fine with it.
It takes me 25 minutes to make her lunch. I have to stop constantly to hold onto the counter or lean over and breathe. The whole time I am saying "huff, huff, huff" under my breath. I sound like the lame ass train in the room. The one that isn't making it over the mountain. I sometimes wonder if this is what my kids and Pooldad are going to remember. I can't really care. It helps me breathe. So be it.
My girl leaves at 7:45 and I collapse into my chair. And sit. Sometimes I cry. Because I hurt, or I am so tired of throwing up. Or that I couldn't breathe.
Around 10 or 11 am: Now comes the better part of my day. Having cleared the congestion I get the benefit of actually being able to breathe [almost] normally. I have an occasional huff, but nothing like what the first part of my morning brings me.
I have a few hours of this. I get to play on the computer [Hey! Tadpoles!] but I am incapable to do much else. That drives me nuts.
[Things that I have done in the past - laundry, walking the dogs have fallen to the wayside. Most of my days are what I have just described. It takes a great amount of effort, time and coddling of me to get me to JMU or the movies. When I am able to do that I will brag about it. Seems simple to everyone else, but it is the entire world to me. I do pay the price to have those joys in my life though. I have just never told you all. I am now.]
So back to my day - Around noon or 1 pm I need a nap. Here comes the quandry. If I go to take a nap I will have to go back up the stairs. 18 stairs. Up. Once there I will be huffing for about an hour to clear the congestion that my heart has conjured up because it worked so hard to get me to my bed. I do take naps, I do go up there. Here is the backside though - if I sleep for any amount of time [one hour or more] I am so congested I am repeating the morning. I have to cough out everything that settles in my lungs. I am dry heaving to clear the congestion. But I am so tired I need that nap. When my daughter and husband come home I might be awake, but I will coughing, huffing and in pain, just like the morning.
My greatest fear is the nighttime. Everyone has gone to bed and I know when I make my way back up the 18 steps it will be another hour before I can breathe and lay down. Then I have to figure out how to lay down/propped up because one side of my body hurts more or that hand can't lay this way or I have to be this elevated to be able to breathe.
When I do finally fall asleep I toss, turn and reposition myself. The crackling in my chest makes me realize at 1 am or 2 am that I need to sit up and cough. I do. For 15 minutes. I lay back down, exhausted, knowing that I will be up again at 3 am doing the same thing. And 5 am is just a short time from then. Sometimes I just choose not to go to sleep because I won't feel the suffocation and pain. Tonight [this morning] is one of those times.
I just realized I started this blog two years ago yesterday. Little did I know that life was going to throw these things at me in such a short period of time. I have always been Skippy - I will always be Skippy - but sometimes I can't bring my A game. I suck.
I am trying here Tadpoles but there are some days even I can't do it.