Friday, September 21, 2012


Tears again this morning when I saw that Mel had chosen my post for the Roundup. That was such a hard post to write. I have a whole bunch of posts partially written in my head, and several ideas jotted down in a draft, but I’ve been telling myself I need to write THIS post first. My readers are my friends, and I kind of feel like I’ve been lying by omission with posts about being exhausted and what a joy my daughter is (most of the time). Those things are true, but they aren’t a full picture.

Oh, I forgot to mention in my last post, re the suggestion about getting my vitamin D levels checked, I do get it checked somewhat regularly, but the comment was a good reminder to stay on top of it as the days get shorter and playground time dwindles.

Now maybe I can find the time to write about the “daddy” conversations Sunshine and I have been having, about still happily cosleeping with my toddler, about my minimalist attitude towards toys, about princesses and pretty, and so on. Any preferences as to what I should tackle first?

This morning Sunshine and I were watching a garbage truck from the window (are all toddlers somewhat fascinated by trucks?), when she gave me a big hug and said, “I love you so much, Mommy!” My back hurts, but my heart is full.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Your responses made me cry. Thank you so much for validating how I’m feeling. My family is somewhat nearby (about an hour by car), and they do help, but emotionally they are completely unsupportive. I should be used to it. Many years ago I had a chronic migraine problem. They would go on for weeks and months without a break. At one point I even had my dr try an inpatient treatment to break the headache cycle. I saw several top neurologists who specialized in headaches. Despite going to a few appointments with me at one point and having two different neuros tell my mother that, yes, they were migraines, and likely inherited from her side of the family, since they were not like the migraines she’d had, she didn’t believe me. When I told her about the possible fibro diagnosis, she said, “I doubt you have that. People with fibromyalgia are very fatigued.” I thought my head would explode. Seriously, what part of “I’m in a lot of pain, it hurts pretty much all over, and I’m exhausted,” did you not hear? Instead I’m admonished not to talk about my “aches and pains” in front of Sunshine. I am grateful for the help I get with Sunshine, but the emotional battering that comes with it is hard to take. And makes me a little paranoid about being taken seriously.

Regarding the info in the comments, again, THANK YOU! The dr I’m seeing now is a pain specialist (as was the last one I saw for this, the one who kept me waiting so long). The current dr did send me for autoimmune blood work a couple of months ago, which was negative. I also had a very thorough autoimmune workup with a hematologist both before I started IVF, and again during the first trimester of my pregnancy. So I’m not sure if it’s really necessary to see a rheumatologist right now. I will ask my dr about mobic, since two of you have suggested it. I take a LOT of ibuprofen these days. I’ve tried ce1ebrex in the past, and didn’t find it helpful, so I’m a little skeptical of a once a day anti-inflammatory, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

I need a vacation! It’s just not in the cards right now. I read about other SMCs going on vacations with their families, or getting invites to beach houses. To say a vacation with my family would be a disaster is an understatement. And we don’t have any friends with beach houses. As a city girl and a non-driver, the prospect of traveling with my toddler on my own is hugely daunting. At the moment, finances don’t permit anyway, but I keep joking that we’ll go on vacation when Sunshine is old enough to wheel her own luggage. Only I’m not really joking. I love to travel, and can’t wait to show Sunshine lots of wonderful places. But traveling with her right now sounds more stressful than staying home. It makes me sad, but on the other hand, as an older mom, I’ve already seen a lot of the world, so I don’t feel deprived in that way. And I don’t think Sunshine will grow up feeling deprived that she didn’t travel as a toddler. She enjoys plenty of cool local events and attractions. Now that I sometimes let her get out of her stroller in the subway, a subway ride is an awesome adventure.

Again, thanks for the support. I love you all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Single Motherhood At My Age: My Reality

I love, love, love being a mom. I become more enchanted with my little girl every day. But, man, this is hard! I’ve been putting off writing this for a long time. Mostly due to time and energy constraints, but also for emotional reasons. I don’t want to complain when I truly feel lucky in so many ways. I’m dealing with a lot of pain issues that I’ve been reluctant to blog about. Even though I know many younger people deal with chronic pain, it makes me feel old. And I am old. I’m 49 years old with a spirited toddler! I put in a 40 hour week, plus 10 hours a week commuting, and daycare is almost half my take home pay. It’s frustrating at this point in my life to feel like each month I’m slipping a little further behind financially. It adds greatly to my stress level, which adds to my pain levels.

I’m stressed and don’t feel like I’m handling it well, yet I’m not depressed. My anxiety level is through the roof right now, but I think I manage to be in the moment with Sunshine most of the time. Work is miserable. I mostly like the work I do, but my workplace is a very unhappy place right now. I don’t think I’ve ever posted about my job. I’m a graphic designer for a sales division of a big media company. I mostly design ads for tv and the web. There was an executive shake up at the end of last year and things are incredibly tense. Like coworkers in tears tense. Everyone is on edge, and the higher ups are demanding more productivity with less support. But in this economy, we know we’re lucky to have these jobs. Sucks, but just the idea of trying to find something else terrifies me.

Regarding the chronic pain, I’ve had some back problems for years, but it wasn’t too bad until my pregnancy. You may remember that I needed foot surgery while I was pregnant. It added to the lower back problems during and after the pregnancy. I have arthritis and bulging discs in my lower back. Also in my neck, although that hasn’t been causing consistent pain like the lower back. And my feet, even after surgery, are not so good. I also have some bursitis in my hips, likely also an aftereffect of the pregnancy. I was seeing a doctor for it last year who did some injections (facet blocks) with varying success, but decided not to go back to her, as I was not happy with how her practice was run. Last time I had an appointment with her I waited in the waiting room and exam room for an incredibly long time. I was at her office for over FOUR HOURS. The resident examined me and spoke with me some, then the doctor breezed in and out in about five minutes. I was furious! All these pain issues are connected, and without discussing pain other than my lower back, she was not getting a full picture. I recently went to someone new who gave me a tentative diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Apparently there are eighteen points on the body that are checked for tenderness if fibromyalgia is suspected. If there is pain or tenderness in at least eleven of those points, fibro is likely. I have pain in all eighteen points.

There are systemic treatments, but I’m not willing to experiment with the side effects while dealing with full time work and a toddler. So I’m trying to deal with areas that I can have treated, while hoping that if some areas feel better, my overall pain levels with go down. I had some cortisone injected in my hips last month and got some relief, but I think I’ll need another round in a few months to bring those levels down further. Next week I’m trying an epidural injection to try to get relief from the lower back pain. For the last few weeks my entire back has been tight with muscle spasms, but I suspect the mid and upper back pain is a muscular reaction to the lower back issues.

Oh, and let’s add in a little extra stress with an emergency visit to the ophthalmologist yesterday for what turned out to be a scratch on my cornea.

UGH! Can you see why I’ve been reluctant to post this? I feel like a whiner. I feel ancient. IT HURTS! It means I’m not always as patient with Sunshine as I’d like to be. It means I try to curb messy playing at home because I don’t have the energy to do the extra cleaning. It means I’m probably not performing as well as I should on my job, which scares me.

I have absolutely no regrets about becoming a single mother by choice, but when does it get easier?