My friends Jen and Sonja are throwing a baby shower for us. Since we have so many family members and friends scattered across the US (and friends in other countries as well) they set up a website and are doing an online baby shower. Johnny and I are working on our registry, and Jen asked me to get the info out there since there are things to coordinate and she needs to get contact information from those who are interested in taking part! Her email address is jenifervanriper@gmail.com, the website for the shower can be found here and there is also a facebook group.
Thank you to Jen and Sonja for the support through all of this and for the shower! Thanks to all my readers for all the support through all of this. Please don’t feel obligated to take part, we just want to spread the info for those who are interested!

Or as our son says (and would probably say if he were he here with us and saw the title of this post) “Am I in Mario Land?” (because he LOVES mario games, and makes art of all sorts of Mario characters)..

Hopefully my hands are up to this task! I have other posts running around still, this is the one that is pushing to get out, so I guess I’d better let it.

This isn’t a complaint, rather the opposite in fact, it’s just surprising and amazing and incredible to me.

My friends are once again showing how incredible they are. This is not to say they aren’t always incredible, but a couple of friends have recently touched me in ways I can’t begin to describe. A lot of the people who actively chat with me over my facebook page or who keep in touch with me in other ways or read my blog or what have you are kindred spirits in the health/IF realm. Not all of them are, but a lot are. So they understand what I’m talking about, even if they don’t feel exactly how I do physically or about things, they generally have experienced similar things. My friends who haven’t faced these struggles (especially IF, where there are a TON of acronyms and things to get confused on) get left behind a lot with the conversations. One friend has been awesome about asking questions, both about the situation, about what we are thinking of doing if the current treatment plan doesn’t work out, about adoption, etc, and really listening and wanting to learn! Another friend sent me a message last night letting me know that she is seriously considering being an egg donor. With it being National Infertility Awareness Week, and with my struggles, she thought I’d like to know. I’ve shared links to other infertiles blogs, and shared my own story on facebook (semi-extensively) and it’s nice to see that this is becoming a more talked about topic, and that people who aren’t “one of us” want to know more and help. I’ve also had a couple of friends who have offered to be surrogates for me if it were to come to that (and if we had the money and so on)…. it’s been incredible.

Ladies (and gentlemen though you haven’t been very vocal) I want to thank you all so much for all the support, all the questions asked, all the interest in learning about all of this that you have given! It means the world to me, and to others out there dealing with fertility issues I’m sure!

Also known as “Love, Sex, and Chronic Illness” (Thanks for that title Sonja)

So Sonja, Johnny and I had a conversation a couple of ours ago that Sonja and I decided should be a blog post… I can’t take credit for the whole post, it was a threeway effort! 😛

I’m just going to copy and paste our conversation… when it’s one of the things I said and I have quotes around it that means it’s something Johnny said that I typed for him.

Oh, something I need to explain before I share the conversation – the reason we tease Johnny about having an “endo fetish” is because Duckling and Gamer’s mom has endo and obviously so do I. And the reason he joked about a sickie fetish is because the ex between Duckling and Gamer’s mom and him ending up with me isn’t healthy either. I suspect endometriosis (she was a friend of mine, as well as my ex sister in law, so I know about her issues, and the fact that it runs in her family) but no one actually knows what was going on with her, and she also just isn’t the healthiest girl ever…

Sonja says:
i think my boobs are getting bigger
(.)(.) are now ( . ) ( . )
lol

Jenny says:
LOL!

Sonja says:
alex was weirded out

Jenny says:
mine have been too, but not that much

Sonja says:
after my shower i was like “do they look bigger to you?”
wtf mom? ewwwwwww

Jenny says:
LOL!!!
Johnny says the breast fairy visited while you were sleeping and gave you an enlargement
and “The only thing the cat worries about is if tuna comes out of them”

Sonja says:
LOL!
and you’re ok with Johnny thinking about my tits?
that’s right!
my endo is back!
it’s his fetish!

Jenny says:
He’s shaking his head at you
“Must be huh?”

Sonja says:
hehehehe
i’m horrible

Jenny says:
yes

Jenny says:
I’m now teasing him about his endo fetish

Sonja says:
lol

Jenny says:
he said “no, it must be a sicky fetish” and we’re joking back and forth

Sonja says:
lol

Jenny says:
of course I had to make sure he knows I’m teasing him too

Sonja says:
yeah

Jenny says:
that could be one hell of a sensitive topic
I know it’s not, but it could be

Sonja says:
S&M in your guys’ case stans for sick and medicated
right

Jenny says:
LOL!
I’m eating, my mouth is full I can’t read it to him right now (mac and cheese)

Sonja says:
awww

Jenny says:
“Indeed”
I started laughing and couldn’t explain

Sonja says:
lol

Jenny says:
“And the b&d would be bedded and disoriented?”

Sonja says:
LOL yep!
lol jeez

Jenny says:
maybe I should turn on the webcam and we can all discuss this lol

Sonja says:
lol oh god no

Jenny says:
LOL!

Sonja says:
i can’t get hot and bothered yet
i’m thinking this could be a great blog post for you tho

Jenny says:
“That’s horrible”
and I am thinking so!

Sonja says:
and yes, it is horrible
lortab def makes me a little more demented. like my filters are just gone lol

Jenny says:
LOL!
I know the feeling!

Sonja says:
“Love, Sex, and Chronic Illness” or something
i’d totally link to it too

Jenny says:
LOL! I was going with I love my husband and friends (because I was going to mention a conversation with sara as well)

Sonja says:
that works too!

Jenny says:
But I like your title better since I can’t find the one with sara

Sonja says:
ah
if we don’t laugh, we cry right?

So I take part in a few different online support groups… my primary ones being weareendo.org and wearelupus.org … I’m working on becoming more active on them again, I had been, but between being busy with the kids during the summer and the miscarriages and how my mental stuff was post miscarriages I closed in on myself. So I’m taking part more again. I also have an email group I’m in (a yahoo group, I get it delivered to me) and know of some forums. My friend Jen is currently looking for some online support groups for fibro and I sent her to wearefibro and to the forums from But You Don’t Look Sick and Chronic Babe but I wanted to get other suggestions for her as well. She is in the process of being diagnosed with fibro, and having a full rheum panel run (she’s on the way to the rheum soon hopefully) and she could really use support. So we’d both appreciate suggestions (you can comment on both of our blogs, I’d love to hear the suggestions, and I know she’s appreciate having them given directly to her as well) on that end. And since the topic came up I thought I’d ask my readers what your favorite support groups are, for any illness you may deal with. It doesn’t have to be fibro, or anything I deal with, I’m just curious what good support groups are out there for different illnesses! So if you want to talk about support groups please leave me a comment with any of them! 🙂

Grrr….. so I hate the thought of cutting people out of my life. I want to say that first and foremost. There are a lot of reasons I feel that way, including if I were to cut out everyone who ever irritates me I’d be pretty damn lonely and I know it. However, I also know I need to take care of me, and the stress some people bring just makes me worse. There are some people who either never seem to know the right thing to say or who just don’t even try. I realize I’m not going to have everyone’s support 100% of the time. I also realize that I need to try not to complain too much, I also realize people have other things going on in their lives. However, getting angry at me when I express that I’m hurting, or when I’m not cheery 100% of the time… that’s a bit ridiculous. I’ve been trying to stay positive, even while throwing up from the pain and getting very little relief from my pain pills… but I can’t control my attitude 100% of the time… and when I’m in pain and/or tired it’s even harder. And all of this pain also has the pain from the miscarriage tied up in it, because although the lupus pain may not be tied to the hormones, you can bet the endo pain (and the fact my endo is definitely worse) is directly related to my miscarriages. Lately I’ve done a pretty good job staying positive in spite of everything. And there are a lot of other things going on in our personal life that I can’t go into on here. So I’d say I’ve done an extremely good job with handling things… though I know a lot of it hasn’t shown on my blog, as it’s been spur of the moment comments and such on social media sites that I update a lot more often. I guess basically I’m tired of being torn down each time something happens and I stop being quite so happy. Over all I’m still managing to stay positive, if more whiny. There are just some people who rub me the wrong way, and who I rub the wrong way, which is a big part of the problem… we overreact to each other. And we either need to figure out how to stop overreacting or else I need to cut them out of my life. But that is such a hard thing for me, for multiple reasons, including that I don’t have any close friends (other than E) in this area, I cherish the friends I do have even if we don’t do the best job communicating all the time, and I’m really sentimental about the people in my life… I still miss friends I knew in Kindergarten and who I haven’t seen since elementary school. I also believe in second (and third, and so on) chances, though I know my ex husband would try to tell you differently. I hope people will change, and keep hoping. Or that they’ll start to understand, which I guess is what I was trying to say with the hoping people will change. Some of these people seem understanding, but then out of nowhere it’s like their whole attitude and all the compassion just go out the window. And the worst part about it is when they are people who have been there, but suddenly your (emotional/physical/mental) pain is less than theirs. Of course, I know I can act the same way sometimes (especially with the pain thing) so I try to give more chances because maybe it was just a bad day or whatever else. But it just reaches a point where it gets too exhausting, and where things are obviously just getting worse and worse. And at that point I still have to fight myself over whether or not to cut the people out, which seems ridiculous because obviously they are just making the situations, and my health, even worse. So I’m really struggling here about a couple different people as far as what I should even do. And I know no one can tell me what to do, but maybe some stories of how others have dealt with these (general) situations would help? I know two people I’ve talked to, who have been in my shoes, have told me to cut the people out of my life, and that it made their lives better when they did, even if it was painful for awhile. I just keep hoping these people will suddenly realize how they are acting though. 😦

I’ve been… reconnecting with some friends recently.  Some friends I’ve not kept in contact with very well (though that applies to basically everyone in my life I suppose, an issue of having all the health problems and living in a completely different state and time zone), partially due to my health, and partially because of how life gets. 
One of my friends reacted to my health in a way I would never have expected, partially due to how our conversations have gone in the past.  It  was very nice to have the offer to call any time I need or want to talk, especially with how busy said friends life is.  She and I had a very frank conversation about how some of the issues with my health have been affecting me, and I think she understands why I seem so distant at times a bit better now. 
Another friend and I haven’t kept in close contact, I’m  not sure why.  We’ve had our close moments, we’ve also had a lot of time where we have kept in touch but we just would message each other out of the blue, it wasn’t a steady or extremely close friendship, as the friendship I mentioned before has been on and off for years.  She saw a message I sent out crying about my hair, and replied to me, and we’ve been talking back and forth since.  As I said we haven’t been close, so it surprised me to get the message from  her, but at the same time, she’s one of the most caring people I know, so I’m not surprised. 
It’s been nice to get the support, and to be able to open up a bit more with some people who haven’t been as involved with my health. 
I also called and spoke with my mom earlier, and had a great conversation, she helped me out a lot.  We have had… a rocky relationship at some times (and what mother and daughter haven’t?!) but I can still call her and talk to her when I need to, even if it’s while she’s at her office working, and I’m crying about my hair.  After I told her what was going on, and how upset I was about it, she said she’d call me back, she was going to call her hair dresser and ask her for suggestions.  When Mom called back, not only had she called her hair dresser (who gave a suggestion on a brand of shampoo and conditioner) but she had called the local health food store and gave me some ideas from them.  It was great to have that support over the phone, it was also nice to receive the help and suggestions.  On top of that, she could sympathize, as she’s going through some of this as well. 
E has unfortunately been sick, and on top of that he was supposed to work tonight, so I wanted to let him sleep when that stuff happened, but when he woke up enough to talk, he gave me a huge hug and helped me a lot, not that his actions are out of the ordinary (other than the being sick and not being able to go to work) but it just reminded me of how much he means to me and how much I appreciate him. 
Another of my friends who I’ve had some contact with over the last couple months and I had a …. misunderstanding.  It has since been cleared up (I hope at least – are we clear Shadow?  I think you read this) and although we haven’t been able to talk since the clear up due to how I’ve been, she has been amazing since realizing just how much she didn’t know about what was going on with me, and about helping.  I just wish we’d have a chance to talk more again soon.  I know I can call her any time, but… it’s hard to do so, knowing she’s got the job she does and I never know quite when she’ll be home, or awake, or not working. 
I think (and hope) I’m starting to find that balance of letting people know what’s going on with me, but not letting it be my only focus (other than here and with specific people with whom it’s the normal topic of conversation) in conversation, or otherwise.  Hopefully I continue to remember this balance, and fine tune it more, as I don’t want to be “that sick girl” or something, but I want (and  probably need) people to know what’s going on with me, so that there is an understanding of my life, and why I may be distant, or that sort of thing.