Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A review of 2008...

How original. It's even taken me 19 days into the year to say something and, as always, it's reading other people's blogs that makes me sign in here and try to say something clever or profound.

I think what I'll do is forget about trying to be clever or funny or even profound and I'll just share what's in my head....just like the title says, except now it will be a YEAR in the life. Then maybe I won't feel so bad if I don't write every day. I KNOW I can write at least once a YEAR! :)

When I look back to review 2008, I find that it wasn't a very eventful year, but there were several events towards the latter part of the year that might make 2009 more challenging.

First though, January 2008 became the last time I spoke with my Mother until November 2008. No, she didn't die but she did make it clear that she doesn't consider me a daughter to be proud of. I was so stunned when I recieved an email after I broke our silence to find out if she was ok (a trip to the hospital). I thought maybe we could at least get back to talking on a regular basis, but I guess she felt she had to say something to clarify her feelings. This was just part of her email: "I have watched you sit on your butt and eke out a very scant living for yourself, while you were able, physically and intellectually, to get out and get a job, plus do your computer work to supplement your real-job income. Your web site abilities are commendable. But, all you did was sit at home so you could watch your soaps and Oprah every afternoon."

This is my mother's opinion of what I have done with Minnie Pauz (www.minniepauz.com) in the past 12 years. This did it for me....I can't find any further reason to make an effort to repair our relationship. It's sad but it's been going on for several years and I feel I've exhausted every pathway of recovery. I do feel better knowing the mother/daughter relationship is a problem for so many women so I don't feel like some kind of freak who can't get along with her mother. I didn't respond to the letter/email, rather I haven't MAILED my response. It does help to write as if I was going to send it though. The tough part is that this has also affected my relationship with my sister and I haven't quite come to terms with losing this also. It's been a year now and I just don't feel the same trust we've always had. I'm going to let it go for now, but if anyone wants to get into a discussion about it, let me know with your comments and we'll do an entire thread.

The other outcomes of 2008 have to do with my health. For the first time in 10 years I'm fortunate enough to have healthcare coverage through St. Joe's Mercy Hospital. They have a program for people who are employed but still have a low income...well, menopausal cartoons don't really bring in that much so I qualified! :) Now I have discovered that I have high blood pressure, severe psoriasis, severe sleep apnea and psoriatic arthritis. Most of it is not news, but the progression of the arthritis has been a bit troubling. It has helped me make the decision to take Humira, which hopefully will slow the progression AND clear the skin at the same time. Since all of these meds work differently on each person, I can only hope it will work for me without any of the scary side effects that go along with this powerful drug.

After 3 1/2 years of dealing with psoriasis, I'm really looking forward to seeing clear skin!! It's hard to explain something that has bothered you (in various ways) every day, every minute for so long. The itching, the scratching,the flaking, the cracking skin, the bleeding, the burning, the pain and yes, the heartbreak of psoriasis is real. It's been embarrassing and altogether tiring. I hope the Humira does it's best work on me!! I would like to hear from anyone with experience with P and also with Humira.

Then there's the sleep apnea....I'm trying to find a donated bi-pap machine since the program I'm on does not cover this. The cheapest I've seen one is for $400 which is out of the question right now.

One thing I forgot to mention was that I discovered I had a skin cancer (on my leg) right before Christmas. How much more am I to deal with? :) The blessing is that I have the healthcare program that took care of the surgery. I learned some new words through all this: cutaneous horn and squamas carcinoma. I'm thankful it wasn't a melonoma!!

So, I'm heading into 2009 with a few challenges and a change in my family structure and I'm looking forward to whatever lies ahead as I always do. Can't help myself. I've always been a curious person and basically a positive thinker so there's a lot of life to live. I turned 60 in 2008 so I'm figuring on at least another 30 yrs!

Today, as Barack Obama is inaugurated, I believe there's hope for us all if we take the responsibility to make whatever changes we can to make our world work. Here's wishing all of you a happy and prosperous and healthy new year!!