Sunday, April 11, 2010
I want to share a brief update to my recent frustrations and a story that a dear friend sent to me. I have now kept my son off of the computer since Thursday. He isn't talking to me much, simply to answer a question if I get him nearby. I was surprised to get 4 forwarded emails from him today--it turns out that his friend who lives in Sin gapore forwarded them. He gave her his password to do so. They are from the online college he was signing up for, which is another thing he has done without sharing with any of us. I asked him about the emails and then I told him that it was time he created his schedule because the only way I would let him use the computer for that was if he was sitting next to me so I could supervise what he was doing. That was the end of the conversation, still no schedule or anything--and we took the computers with us to church today. It's not convenient, but if it helps me to doas I need for his well-being, I can definitely do so. Everyone is working on projects and shores right now and If I can get a bit a day out of them, I will be more than content.
We had a wonderful church service today. The kids who did solos for music contests shared their work--and my 14 year old daughter was awesome. Her voice is so beautiful--a friend told me that whenever she sings, she sounds like an angel. I know that I cry when I hear her sing, it is so moving--and she is so young to have that control and range. There was also a baptism and the family provided a luncheon for everyone. It was really nice, I had some fruit and a half of a roll with ham. They also had chips, a fluff type side dish, garden salad and a cake that looked so yummy with a cream/pudding filling between the layers. I no longer eat sweets, but it certainly was tempting.
My number of fitness minutes dropped a bit this week (from 745 to 695), but I still lost 1.1 pounds, so I am happy. I had my workout at the pool today. The kids and others there talked about how "dead" it was, I thought it was pleasant and relaxing. I had plenty of time for a good sit in the sauna as well as to condition my hair along with my shower. I think it should always be that way--there were several kids there, they just weren't crazy, wild, and loud.
On to the story my friend sent me...there were no sources or anything, but I am guessing it has been passed around for a while...
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours while the farmer tried to figure out what to do.
Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the
donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
I think the moral to this story sums up the work I am doing to become more healthy and the work I am doing as a parent. I intend to keep shaking off the dirt that is dumped on me and using it to my advantage to get what I need most. It's a really good plan and puts all of the negatives to very good use.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Thanks for the support with the big problems I shared yesterday. I had such a hard night that I fell asleep early and didn't get back to many of my friends here, but I know that you all understand. I should still be asleep now, but I rarely sleep all night through and I get my sleep the same way I get my exercise--part here and part there. My back continues to be rough, but I am over the extreme hurdle after the bone scan. I finally felt that ease off when I was at the pool this afternoon. I went early in the day because it is simply better for me to go then. I cannot always be the one to take our youngest son, there are plenty of others here who can do that.
As a matter of fact, that is the root of much of my grief. I do not need to do everything and I should not have to beg or cry to get help with bigger tasks. The somewhat harsh reality is that I am physically disabled and that others have to take up where my ability to do things drop off. I am not trying to complain because some of my family really gives their all to help keep things going, but sdome of them do not. They have busy lives between jobs and school, yet that doesn't resolve them of responsibilities. After the having the meltdown I knew was coming, I laid that our for people yesterday and it seems that most of them understand and are pitching in. I have been trying to get some minor repairs and spring cleaning completed since January, budgeting and purchasing items that are needed for these tasks out of our limited budget these days. It is ludicrous that some of these materials are sitting around and things aren't moving forward. I promised everyone that until things were moving in the right direction that each and every one of them are "grounded" to our home without TV, computers, video games. Threatening them and carrying through is a tough thing to do, but it got their attention and a lot of good things are happening now.
As for my 20 year old son...he was still at work when I left for work yesterday morning. He got home when I was at work and then when I got home, he was sleeping. I had taken 2 of our laptops to work with me and the other one was hidden. When he got up, he came right to me and wanted to know "What's the deal with the computers?" I told him that he had an addiction to the internet and that because he couldn't get past that, he was now completely banned from using computers in our home. He was very angry and said some awful, awful things to me. My husband and my 19 and 25 year old sons came right to the scene and he left the room, saying nothing else after that ten minutes of swearing, denying, promising to get his own, telling me that I couldn't do that, etc... Of course, he doesn't have to work tonight and he is watching TV in another room right now. I don't know where this is going yet, I expected anger and he almost gave in far easiert han I expected. I reiterated his 3 choices for life and told him that not making a choice meant that he was choosing to leave, since the other two (contributing around our home or paying rent) both require cooperation and that he has to cooperate to be here. I haven't ever had a conversation like this with any of our kids--he is #4 in the age range, but none of the others have went down his path. I know that he really needs to get back into treatment for the AD/HD he was diagnosed with at age 3 and he doesn't want to do that. My prayer is that he might suggest that as a bargaining chip to get back on the internet. My plan, albeit dishonest, is to take him up on that except he is not getting back online. He really has an addiction and cannot go back there. This is way in its infancy right now and I suspect there will be more trouble before things are honestly on the right track, but as we all know, it takes hard work that can be rugged to make something good and worthwhile happen. I have to stand firm on this, no matter how hard and unpleasant it is.
I had one big disappointment today as well (besides yet another flat tire on that stupid Suzuki, grr-rr. We are spending a small fortune on tires for that car, there is some flaw in the design and I also had a temper tantrum over that. i told my husband for a car that is not quite 2 years old, it should be under warranty for some type of repair work. He hasn't done anything because our local Suzuki dealer sold out and left and we have to travel now to get service or anything. He has chosen to do our own work. ENOUGH already. We end up purchasing a tire for this car every one to two weeks, two this past week and I have never experienced anything like this. It is the first car we have. I have ever owned that wasn't from one of the major American auto companies and I don't know if that is the issue. All I know is that this is wrong and I am sick of it. It eats up money and time, and causes us to have to change plans way too often. I told him to find the nearest dealer--whether they are an hour to two hours away, call them and get the thing in for attention.) Anyway, I found out at the same time that my husband's employer (He's a civilian employee of the US Army.) has changed their mind from Wednesday and now, he does have to work on Sunday after all. It was the final let down--except for a couple of major holidays a year, he has worked 7 days a week for over 6 years now. He wants to do everything he can to support us financially, yet it is so that this overtime has pushed us into a higher tax bracket and with what it has done toour time, costs as much as it gives us. I need hs help and support with everything going on here, and he has been MIA for a long time. He is a wonderful, caring, decent guy--but he doesn't quite "get this" either. Anyway, I was disappointed that they changed their minds and after having one day of expecting to have him home on Sunday, it has been snatched right out from under me.
I realize that part of this sounds like "Part 2" of the whining I did last night, but these big issues can't quite get solved overnight. I have taken actiona nd have things moving. It's been a tough day, but I feel a tiny bit of satisfaction having the issues out in the open and having a plan. I can do this, just like I am doing several other important things. It is comforting to have support. You are true friends!
Friday, April 09, 2010
It has been a difficult day in a lot of minor ways that have all totaled up to gang up on me. It started with my bone scan. I went to the hospital and what was supposed to take 15 minutes to start with was more like 30 minutes...We got stuck in road construction on the way to the hospital and on the way back--I worked around the bone scan today to give my students the advantage of having my lessons. They (the hospital staff) were very sweet--but I had to climb on the table for initial pictures as they injected the dye in my vein. I sleep in a recliner because I cannot lie down flat and the little hard table is torture, but they put pillows under my knees and helped me ease down. When I came back 3 hours later for the real pictures, I went in and got myself lying down on the table and after 15 minutes of that, they had me get up and go to another machine in another room because it wasn't working or taking pictures. It took another 40 minutes for the test--they put some band around my feet to hold me totally still and we took the pictures. By the time they were finished, the tears in my eyes had made my face and eyes swell up. It was so hard to get back up and then to walk again. (Another thing that I have yet to learn how to deal with is how other people react when I am walking. It is hard for me and I am very slow, but I do my best and go for as long as I can. Everyone, especially people in medical offices, seems to be in a big hurry and they seem impatient with me, often wanting to get me a wheel chair. It hurts my feelings that it is so hard on them to wait for me to get where we are going, I need to walk and am doing my best.)
Anyway, I decided to go to the pool after all of that, thinking that being in the water would soothe my back and help me to feel better. I got to the fitness center, to be greeted with a sign saying the women's locker room was closed for repair. They have a "girls' family locker room" and it certainly is an alternative, but there are some amenities like the steam room and the swimsuit diffuser that I use every day. I tried to ask the gal at the desk about the time frame on the room being closed and she was rude to me. I got back to get dressed to swim and it turned out that my husband had forgotten to put my swim suit in my swim bag. (And someone had changed a baby or something on one of the 4 benches in this room and left poo on it, yuck!!!)I couldn't use my phone from the locker room (walls too thick??) and I had to redress and go out to the lobby to call him. He had to go home and get it and come back which took over a half an hour. In the meantime, I thought I could use a bottle of water and some pain meds, so I got out my nice new dollar bill and the machine just wouldn't take it. The guy at the desk (thank goodness rude lady had left) got me quarters--but the machine spit them out. I was feeling pretty frustrated at this point, but the guy at the desk went to another part of the center and got my bottle of water. I finally got my suit and got in the pool. When I finished, I asked about the locker room and the lifeguard told me that she had used it when she came and she didn't think there was any problem--it sure didn't seem that way because I used it too, closed or not.
I got finished in time for my appointment with my psychologist--a good day for that. I spent most of my time talking to him about issues with two of my sons--My son who is determined to go into the army as soon as he can enlist blew off making our appointment with the career army man we need to talk with. I am leary of doing so on my own because he is so busy with his school activities and his job and his girlfriend, but I am going to insist. Anyway, he needs some dental work done and is being a total pain in the rear-end about it and refused to go. I just don't get it--and all I can guess is that he must be afraid.
My 20year old son is a bigger issue and it is time to put the TOUGH into our love for him--and this hurts a lot. He has a job, works third shift at our grocery store--generally five days a week, eight hours a night, but they consider him to be part-time and he has no health insurance. He also seems to have an addiction to the internet and I am going to have to shut things down on him before he gets home from work. It is going to be ugly, but I have to help him make a shift in his way of life--he works, uses the computer and sleeps--nothing else. He has no money ever and I don't know what he is spending it on when he is online, but it has to stop. He has a girlfriend in Singapore that he met on facebook and he has met her twice. She came here last summer--she is 40 or 41 years old with a child his age. He went on a visit there that I didn't know how he afforded it until yesterday. She "loaned" him the money. It turns out that she is about to lose her visa to be in Singapore because her son has chosen to go to a college in the Phillipines and she is planning to come here and marry my son. He believes it is his responsibility to pay her way. WHOA!! He cannot afford anything, he is broke all of the time--he cannot afford to get married, set up a house, anything. She is not what he needs, he needs goals and a future. He needs to plan his education again--we helped him to get out of college after his first semester because he wasn't having success. He has AD/HD and hasn't taken meds or had therapy for a couple of years because he has no health insurance to cover these expensive costs, He should be eligible for a program that can help him--but he doesn't want to do all of that, he wants to do things on his own. GRR. I have given him 3 tasks to do and an ultimatum. He is to write a schedule that includes other things than the internet, to write a list of his expenses and bills, and to begin writing the goals he has for his life. He is to either start helping and contributing around here or to pay rent or to get out. I hate that third option, but his behavior is causing so much trouble for the other kids and well, all of us. This is breaking my heart, but I feel as if I have to do something because letting him live like this is not good for him either. I have an email address for his "girlfriend" and before I go to sleep tonight, I am going to send her a message and let her know he isn't going to be online anymore. I know they will use the phone--he ran up a $1500.00 phone bill for us talking to her--and I cannot let that happen either.
I am insisting that my husband help me deal with our son. I don't want him to leave and I don't think he has a place to go or can do it--but I have to be prepared for him to have that choice because refusing the other choices isn't an option. I cannot do this by myself, I've been trying for too long. (My husband has worked for 9 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 6 years--he hasn't had the time or the energy to help with a lot of parenting for a long time, but this will take us both and that is also that.) We have 8 kids and that is wonderful, but it is more than I can handle on my own all of the time.
I have ranted far too long, but it feels good to get this stuff out of my system. It is almost 1 AM and I am still hurting like crazy as a result of my bone scan. I hope we get something definitive from it--it will be fine if it is definitely my arthritis flaring, but I need to know why I have had so much pain for the past 2 months, day after day. Thanks for hanging in here with me...and if I am not here quite as much, it is because of the internet ban I am making happen for our son. It will be a tricky thing to do, because I cannot take it away from everyone else--it is too valuable in so many ways. I am expecting a lot of trouble over this. I am glad that I can pray about it all.
Have a great Friday--I am expecting mine to be better in several ways.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Today is a day for keeping at things. I waited until this evening to go to the pool, so my youngest son could join me. The pool was crazy, actually the entire fitness center was. People who speculate on such things thought it was because of the cold, rainy weather. The pool had lots and lots of kids and it wasn't easy to get in my exercise, but I did do so. (That was easier than any other choices I might have had.) It was completely different to yesterday when there were only adults in there in the afternoon.
The bone scan of my spine is tomorrow--that will make for a choppy morning and afternoon. I hope they find something that they can treat as they look at my back and the reasons for the pain I am having. I'm glad I got in the pool tonight and I know I'll get back there tomorrow. It feels so good to be doing the besdt things in taking care of myself.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
The title says what is on my mind. I remember getting an invitation from "My Points" to check this free program out to help with weight loss and healthy living. I clicked on the site as I often click on the ads from "My Points." I was totally surprised with what I found and I signed up. I don't think I was quite ready to make the shifts I needed at first because I played around a bit and didn't spend enough time to read the program or find out what was even here. I got to that point though--my health issues have taken a toll on me for a while and after one prescription after another along with so many doctor visits, I knew in my heart that I needed to do more for myself and I finally made my commitment. That was when I started really looking for all that SparkPeople had to offer...and everything I need is here!!
I am a lifetime member of WeightWatchers, yet after getting to my goal 2 different times, I still wasn't who I needed to be. I learned so much from WW and give them a high endorsement. Yet, it requires more than a weekly meeting for me to build the habits I need for the rest of my life. I can come here as many times in a day as I need or want...and if I am here, guess what thing I am not doing? (Thoughtless eating is my answer.) I can seek out information on health issues, recipes, and exercises with a few clicks on my keyboard.
I became active with my teams after making a commitment to myself...and that provided me with a base of new friends who I share the same issues or interests with. I found two smaller teams to add to the original ones that SP connected me with and there is some real cyber-intimacy that goes on in the smaller groups. I am still working with my friends at OA of the Lower Back and Basset Hound Dogs, and between these 2 teams, I get to discuss things that are part of my everyday life. I have met a friend on Basset Hound Dogs who helped me to add two more furbabies to our family and whenever I run across her, well it feels warm and comfortable. I belong to a few larger teams as well and have good friends there too--and those teams cover a gamut of topics. The way the teams and notices are sent out from SP, I get to go and meet new team members and we become good friends from the very beginning. That is an excellent way to meet people and make them feel welcome.
I have some of my best SparkFriends from these larger teams too. Each one of them is a s unique and special person who I am either getting to know or have come to know them well. My Spark Friends keep me going in so many ways. I blog and they comment, offering support or suggestions. They stop by to give me a boost or a congratulations when I need it. They share information with me that will help me with issues I am dealing with. They encourage me and keep me going--
Probably the biggest things I get from SP is the way I can record my nutrition, my exercise, and my goals and the way I can share my thoughts , ideas, and support with others. The latter idea is the most important. When I can give suggestions to my friends and share my thoughts with them, I am reinforcing the positives I am doing, my own understanding, and my commitment to myself as well. I don't know if you realize how important the things you tell others on SP really are--but they give you a foundation of your own beliefs to firm up and build upon. I don't know of any other activity that gives me a gift like that--that is also mentally stimulating and fun.
This is the best resource ever as far as helping someone to change the direction of their life into one that prioritizes healthy living, healthy eating, fitness, and healthy thinking. It gives us others in the same place we are--and others who have already achieved success to get information from. It gives us new friends and people full of hope who are just getting started. We are all part of a continuum here and we all have a place, with each of us being important to everyone else.
These things have been on my mind a lot lately, maybe because of the new "secrets" section, maybe because of the gifts of Easter that I am feeling so thankful for, maybe because whenever I open my computer up I have emails from my SparkFriends that let me know someone is thinking about me, and maybe because of all of the good things that I have accomplished and am still accomplishing. I have lost over 80 pounds with a lot of help here...I still have at least 40 more to go. I have went from being in a wheelchair to using my walker and from not even getting ten minutes of activity in to spending over an hour a day in the pool and walking. I am so pleased with what I am doing and I am excited to know where I am going.
Spark People--every minute of every single day, you are making a positive difference for all sorts of people. I am happy and proud to be one of them!
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