When people speak of the joy of kids, they talk of the "little footprints they leave on your heart". People talk openly about giving birth, or adopting the child they were meant to love. You hear people talk about the "perfect" family they hope to have one day. I remember talking with my friends about how many babies I would give birth to, and how many babies I would adopt, after I married the perfect husband that God had been crafting just for me. We would all live happily-ever-after.
I married my first husband at the age of 24, and when I did, I gained my first daughter. Jasmin was 2 years old when I met her dad, and 4 years old when I married them. I had my happy little family, through non-traditional means. We would continue to grow our family when I gave birth to Jasmin's 2 little sisters. Happily-ever-after was not meant to be for all of us as ONE family, however.
When I became Jasmin's Bonus-Mom there were struggles. Family members struggles with my new role in her life. There was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders to others now, not just to Jasmin and her dad. I was 24 years old with no bio children. While I jumped right in to the parent role with ease (preschool pick-up and drop-off, play dates, clothes shopping, bedtime stories, kissing boos, holding barf buckets, etc.) there were the emotions which I was not prepared for. There isn't a book on how to be the most amazing step-parent. I hate the word "Step".
No one tells you that you will become the cement that holds EVERYTHING together if you are open and willing to be. You become the parent that makes the plans to bring all the parents together. You have your step-daughter's mother there for holidays. You buy her bio-mom flowers on Mother's Day, and gifts on holidays, yet you are the mother that is often overlooked, and you have to be OK with that. You have to be OK with handing over your "Step child" on Mother's Day to their Bio Mom, then spending the whole day with a hole in your heart. No one prepares you for that.
When others do not treat your bonus child/step child as if they are equal to your bio children, it hurts you, because you know it hurts them, and because you see all of your children as YOURS. Jasmin kept her distance from Joe's family, because she instantly felt that if I remarried, a new family would not accept her as my child. She didn't want to get attached, to feel a desire to be a part of a family, and then not feel the same amount of love in return. She has heard others in the past speak of her sisters as "my daughters" leaving her off the list. Nothing hurts more than knowing your child is feeling pain, and feeling fear. Joe and I have made it clear, that she is my daughter, and always will be. When asked about our children, she is always the first on the list.
She struggles with explaining who I am in her life. I am one of the mothers who raised her, but am no longer married to her dad. I am her Bonus Mom. I feel guilty that she has so much weight on her shoulders.
I went through my divorce from my daughters' father. The first year after, Jasmin lived with me (not her dad, or birth mother, but me). I felt happy and I felt balanced having all 3 of my girls under my roof. Jasmin made the decision to try living with her father when I moved from one town, to the town in which I now live with my husband Joe. Jasmin choosing to live 20 minutes away with her dad has been extremely difficult. Jasmin became very busy with cheer, with dance, with work, and with volunteering. She would miss weekends with me, and then months with me. I felt a big part of me dying inside.
When you love a child as if they were your own, and then suddenly they are not there to cuddle with every night at bedtime, your heart begins to break. Joe continues to hold me at night, when I breakdown, when I can no longer hold back the tears, and the pain takes over. I do not know how to explain the pain. People will tell me to just hang on, because in a few years, when she has coplete freedom, I will be there parent she comes to. They don't understand how much it hurts to be missing these past 2 years. A family vacation does not feel like a vacation with her not there. You constantly think, "Jasmin would love this" or you are thinking in that back of your mind how much you miss her. Life is not complete without Jasmin.
I was the mom that planned the play dates. I was the one who knew everything first. I was the parent that drove her to events, and made sure she had spending money in her pocket. Now I am the mom that knows nothing. I am the last person to know anything happening in her life. It feels like continuous stab wounds to the heart. At times it feels as if someone is crushing your chest. You find yourself sobbing until there are no more tears, and you feel as if you are going to vomit.
When Jasmin is here, I still tuck her in. She is 17 years old, and a senior in high school, but she still gets goodnight hugs and kisses. She is never here enough. I pray that the hours will drag on, and that she will never leave these four walls. I pray for another hour to talk to her. I pray for more cuddles on the couch. I pray for one more sniff of her hair. I want to breathe her in.
Now I also have Joseph in my world. He is my step-son, sandwiched right between my two younger daughters in age. I am once again the parent that keeps communication flowing, inviting his bio mom to holidays, and his mom's parents to birthday dinners (his mom and her parents are not communicating at this time). I am the one that is there to offer a "hello hug" to Joseph's mom, making sure she feels welcome. I am the one that has to watch as her only boy walks out the door on Mother's Day to spend the day with the woman who gave birth to him, but I still love him just as much as she does. I am the parent that will buy and wash the clothes that he will pack to take on trips with his bio mom.
I hide the tears I shed when it comes to Joseph. At times I do not want Joe to know my pain. I came into Joseph's life when he was at an older age than Jasmin was when I came in to hers. The "I Love You's" don't flow as easily from a young man's mouth. There are moments when he doesn't mean to hurt me, but he does. There are moments when wish there was a way to get him to understand that I realize he was a victim of his parent's divorce, but I was not the cause, nor am I the enemy. He love me. But as long as I am in the picture, in his mind, there is no hope of his parents EVER getting back together again. I am a wall. When he hurts me I go off and I cry alone. It isn't Joseph's fault he has so many pent up feelings.
The other day, however, I got to thinking. We want to know as parents that our kids realize how much we love them. We want them to look back and see all that we did for them, because we love them. And while Joseph and Jasmin have not always openly said it, I know they feel my love. How?
When Jasmin has been put in tough spots, the moments when she really really needs her parent, I am the one she calls. When Jasmin is scared, she calls me. When Jasmin is not feeling safe, and she needs to be picked-up, she has always called me first. She knows I will be there. This tells me that she feels my love for her. She knows she is a priority in my life.
As for Joseph, there was a little moment that got me thinking. You see, last week Joseph needed binder dividers for school. Joseph came to me. It was just, "Elisa, I need 8 binder dividers for school", but it held so much more than that. It was,"you are the parent that I can go to for this". I am not able to move mountains for him. I am not able to be a huge role in many parts of his life, but I am able to do the little things moms do. I am able to buy him new pants when he has grown. I am able to buy him the new shirts he really, really wants for the summer. I am the one who can cook him his favorite meal for dinner, remembering the stuffing as a side. I am the one he can explain a situation to, before he talks to his dad, helping him find the right words. I am the one that tucks him in each and every night in the exact same manner that I tuck in each of our daughters. I am the one that refers to him as my son, when I could very easily say "step son", but I feel that there is no "step" in our family.
I am the one that will teach him to use wrenches and socket wrenches to work on the handle of the lawn mower. I am also the parent that just spent the last few days with Joseph, gathering poster boards for his project for school, printing off pictures of him with his mother (and the rest of us), and discussing the outline for the project. He has had this assignment for over a week. I also am the parent that stood there smiling, as he described the project to his mother, as she forgot about it ( it is a collage about him), and she said, "let's go home and think about how WE want to do it. Let's go to Walmart and look at all the photos that are on my phone". It made me feel insignificant once again, but I am the parent that will swallow it down, and step back. I am the Bonus parent.
I am the "over looked parent" but I am also a parent my kids know they can depend on. I am a parent that will always be there when they need me, whether it be for something as small as sewing on a button, or something as large as running across the country to rescue them if something were to ever happen to them in the future. I am the parent that says "There is no STEP in our family description", and I mean it. I give it my all to all of them every day. Just as Joe gives his all to our daughters and son.
Being the Bonus Parent is the hardest job there is!! I will never step back from my Bonus Children. With me, they have a life long parent they can depend on, even if I didn't grow them in my tummy. I grew all of my children in my heart.
I have to take baby steps with my Bonus Children, sometimes walking on egg shells, and always thinking before I speak.
I may have missed their first steps, and their first words (We wont even get in to how much it hurts to not have those moments and memories with them) but the moments we have now, leave big footprints on my heart.
Joe and I with out blended family. Est. August 2016.
Many people ask why God allows bad things to happen. He has reason for all that he does, even if we do not understand it at the time. This is why we must have Faith, and Trust. Challenges help us grow, and they create empathy in us. If no struggles existed we wouldn't have an appreciation for others, for gifts, for kindness. We wouldn't have a need for God, or Faith. God allows us to journey down our own path in life, knowing that we need experiences. We make choices, whether good or bad.
As for my health struggles, I trust God to lead me to the right surgeons, and doctors. God gave the gifts to those individuals so that they could heal sickness, so they could mend broken bones, or remove harmful things from our bodies. This is one way that God heals... he has gifted others with a talent for helping others medically.
I get asked, "Did you get a second opinion?" I want to bang my head against a wall. I have gotten second opinions, third opinions, fourth opinions... I have seen doctors in different specialties to rule out everything. I have left no stone unturned.
I had a less invasive surgery, and my issues became worse. I saw a different surgeon, and she ran new tests. She said, "Ileostomy, and no you will not be able to have the procedure Joe had. A J-pouch will not work for you. Your diagnoses is muscular, and the problem will only come back with a J-pouch. You will have a bag, for the rest of your life". I went home, and I cried with Joe. He left work early, and met me at home. He met me on the basement stairs, and I was still holding it together. The moment he wrapped his arms around me, the first sob escaped my body. I broke down. It was 5 days before our wedding. How could he still want to marry me knowing I would be facing such a surgery, such a physical change? We didn't take her opinion as the answer. We went with a different surgeon, and no ileostomy. We thought the less invasive surgery must be the answer. We were wrong.
I have been spending the past year post-op in agony. I have missed so much of my life. I lost days with my children and husband. I have missed almost every social event. I have lost time on the ice curling, and trying to improve... instead taking steps backwards. I am not sure that anyone would even want me on their curling team now. I have suffered financially. I lost my JOB as a nurse in a doctor's office, because I was spending so much time in the ED or unable to get out of bed, or I couldn't stop vomiting. I had to hire a lawyer to go to court in order to receive disability, so it will be at least 2 years before I see any of the disability money I qualify for. There is a horrible feeling that comes with the inability to afford copays. You need to see the doctor to get better (so you can work and earn a living again) but you cannot afford the copay demanded at the time of the visit, so you must pick and choose which doctor to see and when. If I had just lost my job (got fired or laid-off), I would receive unemployment, but since I am disabled (my doctor has documented such) I must prove it through a court hearing before I can get any disability payments. There is a 2 year wait for such hearings. My lawyer said most people lose their homes before they see a check, so they attempt to go back to work, and then get worse, and lose the job, and it continues in a cycle.
Not having the ileostomy surgery a year ago was my choice. It was not God's doing. So all of the bad that has taken place are results of my actions, not unanswered prayers by God.
What if I had the surgery a year ago? I don't know that answer. The answer may be that all of that time spent on my knees praying for relief was met with an answer, and answer I brushed off. I instead chose my own path, not God's. My dad had said, "I do not believe that an ileostomy is God's plan for you." My husband was worried about my strength of handling the after effects and body image of an ileostomy. I believe that God thought I was strong enough. He may need to use me to help others through this. Now that I am facing this possible surgery, I am not keeping quiet.
Maybe it wasn't that I was not strong enough for such a surgery. Perhaps, those around me were not strong enough. My parents were scared. My fiance, and then husband, was scared. My friends were mortified by the thought of my having an ostomy. My fist thought in the doctor's office, when she told me, was "I can do this." After talking to others, I became less and less sure. I started worrying more and more about what others would think.
I started thinking about all of the things others would think when that saw my stomach. I thought, "My bikini wearing days are over". Why are they over? I will most likely lose all of the weight I gained since my first surgery 3 years ago, and more! I will probably be back down to my pre-baby weight. The reason I would avoid a bikini would be to avoid offending others with my bag and scars. I even thought, "Will my husband take pleasure in seeing my tummy ever again". I researched what lingerie ostomy patients wore. I looked up the ways women made their bags seem less distracting, creating bag covers by buying and extra pair of panties with their new lingerie, and then going home and sewing one pair in to a matching "bag cover". There are also "bling covers" for your stoma caps. Women try to hide their stomas and bags. I thought about how people will hate seeing my stomach. I thought about the fact that I could never bring myself to change in a locker room. I have heard comments from other women when you even mention bodily functions, imagine if they accidentally see my bag. Is this the right way of thinking? That bag may save my life, allow me to be me again, allow me to feel like a human again, instead of living every day in constant pain and discomfort. Will I have the strength to embrace it? Each day I see that as a possibility. The people who judge me should be ashamed, not me, but I still am.
As for that bag... I am already looking at ways to get rid of it. Not out of shame. That external bag would make it difficult for me to do some of the activities I loved in the past, like Tough Mudder. A BCIR procedure would get rid of the external bag and allow me to move freely without having to worry about jarring a bag loose and facing a "Poop Catastrophe". Yet again, I thought, "still no bikini". I thought about the GIANT scar that would cover my belly as a result of this surgery. The small scars that would dot the remainder. I thought of the little two inch button hole that would be left behind on my side, and while it would be less appalling that a bag, it still would leave me abnormal. Yet each day I am able to accept and embrace this idea more and more. This would be my new normal.
I fight back tears when I think that I will be hideous to my husband. I then pray. I leave it in God's hands. He brought Joe to me, in a new light, for a reason. He put this friend before me: one that had also dealt with colon issues, one who was also going through a divorce, one who also felt insignificant at times, one who had mutual friends with me, one who has known me for over 20 years, and opened my eyes to him. I looked at him and truly saw him that day. I saw his face, and for the first time wanted to trace his jaw with my finger tips. I had to turn away from his deep brown eyes, because the feelings I had were sudden, intense , and confusing. God was working on my heart that day. I must trust that God has a path laid out before me that will lead me to great things. That he is able to help my husband to see beauty in all of my scars. Joe tells me every day that I am beautiful, and that my scars tell my story, and do not make me less beautiful. I need to Trust.
I need to allow God's plan to play out. He is going to use me for greater things.
I am seeking ways to help others through my experiences. I believe God wants me to be a light to others, and use my story to connect with others. I am looking in to having the rest of my journey documented. So many people see this as a forbidden topic. EVERY BODY in this world has a body that gets rid of waste. Why oh why have "urine" and "bowel movement" become swear words to so many people. Every body poops. Every body urinates. Every one has vomited at least once in their lifetime. Why make people with health concerns feel so ashamed? I did not ask to live like this. People ask what is wrong with my health, and when I tell them, they turn away disgusted. I then turn away and hang my head. I cry when no one is watching.
I would choose to be "normal" and whole if I could. Yet every moment of every day I must have thought in the back of my mind about what is going on with my body. Every twinge, every pain, every feeling of faintness. I have to calculate whether it is safe to eat that piece of candy, "Is my stomach feeling the least bit funny?" and I must calculate every choice to be social. Every few breaths I get pains in my side. I have to keep track of days (the last time I did this, or that) and then decided whether what I am feeling that day aligns with what my body has been doing daily, weekly and monthly. I am ALWAYS think about things that no one else ever thinks about, (muscle contractions, peristalsis, breathing, etc) just to get through a day. I know that out there, there are others struggling daily, just as I am. How can I help them?
Every day God listens to our prayers. There will be times you will think that he is not listening, or perhaps that he does not care. The truth is, just because you did not get the answer YOU wanted does not mean he did not answer your prayer. He answered it in a way that will guide you to the path he had laid before you, the one that you will often begin to wander away from. It is time for me to listen, and get back on that path.
I smile through tears.
I laugh through tears.
I survive through tears.
I hope through tears.
I heal through tears.
Day after day, more bad news. Today broke me.
What does one do when every time they dream their dreams are proven impossible?
I continue to hope, day after day. I am choosing not to live each day with "Woe is Me". I smile. I laugh. I am warm to new people I meet. I welcome everyone, and I assist anyone I can. My heart is still screaming, "When will it be my turn?" when no one is watching.
I have been called a Black Cloud, Jinxed, Bad Luck.
My husband calls me a survivor, and strong. I feel as if I just barely survive through the every day.
My psychologist is helping me through my past. The things I blog about may amount to PTSD... we will see. I am having anxiety and depression now. My continued health condition has brought up the BAD from the past, and has exposed me to new traumas. My psychologist tells me what a positive outlook I have.
My doctor said, "You smile when you are nervous" as we discussed treatment options and surgery.
I feel lost on some days. I wear so many masks.
A couple of days ago someone backed their pick-up truck into our parked van. The sliding door will need to be replaced. That can be easily fixed & I stay positive.
A few weeks ago letter came in the mail to deny my disability claim. This was expected. We knew we may need to hire a lawyer. So once again I stay positive.
Yesterday Joe and I met with our disability claims lawyer. I started to feel my heavy heart grow heavier. I received the news that hearings for disability take about 2 years to get a date for. That for 2 years, even though I am disabled (cannot work more than part-time hours, and my physical abilities are limited), that we will have to find a way to survive without my benefits. I am already shelling out extraordinary amounts in co-pays. The last visit to the Cleveland Clinic had cost us around $1000 out of pocket. Every time I see a doctor it is another $50. Our out-of-pocket monthly payment for health insurance in the first place is very high. The lawyer said that the court does not seem to care that those who truly deserve and need disability benefits end up in a state of destitute. They only speed up the process if you attempt suicide or homicide. They may (but not usually) attempt to schedule you sooner if you become completely homeless.
Any one who has spent a full week with me sees how I struggle to make it through the day-to-day. I may have a great morning, but it will be followed by a horrible evening. I may be able to visit with friends one night, but be vomiting and in too much pain to function hours later.
Joe and I look at each other, and determine that we will find a way. There has to be a way. We sign the paperwork, and we are letting the attorneys do what they do. This is our only option.
Today though... today added insult to injury.
I had been reaching out to the BCIR clinic in Florida. I wanted to have BCIR surgery immediately, instead of having an ileostomy, and then the BCIR surgery later as a second surgery. They are both long and complicated surgeries, with a lot of healing time involved. With an ileostomy bag I am not going to be able to be as physical as I was before all of these health complications flared-up. I want to be able to do Tough Mudder. I want to be able to be a nurse. I want to be able to be rough and tumble, and physical.
With the BCIR surgery done first I would be able to get there faster. I would be more "me" again sooner. I would have no concerns about a bag leaking or getting ripped off. I would have no concerns about my skin breaking down. That is actually a huge concern of mine. Band-aids leave me with rashes and scars that last for a year or more at times. I would have an appliance attached to me with adhesive ever single day.
The BCIR clinic called today to let me know that they had come to a conclusion about my treatment course. They want me to have an ileostomy bag first, as my bowels are in such a bad place. If the ileostomy bag works, then the BCIR will work later. I am going to have to have the bag for 6 months before they approve BCIR surgery.
Extra scars. I already have so many. We are now talking many, many more. Most likely opening me up from just below the rib cage, straight down, and ending at my pubic scar, sectioning my stomach in two halves. Not equal halves however, as the curve around the belly button.
I now have to find a doctor to do an ileostomy surgery. I then will have to care for an ileostomy for 6 months. If all goes well, they will decide how soon to schedule a BCIR procedure which I will then fly to Florida for. I will remain in the hospital there for about 20 days.
Every time I see another doctor it involved waiting 1-3 months to actually get in to see them, and then months of tests being repeated. They surgery gets scheduled out (because OR schedules are scheduled the month prior, and it is first come first serve) and you usually have to wait 2 months or more to be scheduled. We are looking at about 6 more months before I even get an ileostomy.
I need to feel better.
Will the madness ever end?
How will my husband feel when he sees the ileostomy bag attached to me? Will my kids be too scared to touch me?
When is it my turn for a day of pure bliss? I am starting to lose hope, and lose faith.
Today I shed my tears in private, and then I continue to smile through the tears that remain.
At times I have to ask myself, "What were you thinking?" This morning was one of those moments. Perhaps I have good intentions, but those good intentions go terribly wrong at times. A big "Oh Poopy!" or maybe "Aw Sugar!" are common phrases to come from my mouth, but this morning, I had to hit my knees in prayer after the scene that unfolded. I begged God for forgiveness over the profanities that exited my mouth.
I usually go to my amazing waxer M.E. to get my brazilian waxes. With the way I have been feeling, getting out of the house to do so has been an issue. Not to mention the added expense while I am out of work is a burden.
Funny thing. Men seem to love brazilians. I also LOVE having my brazilian waxes. I have a high pain tolerance, and I really do not think they hurt. It is quick, easy, and so clean and fresh. It lasts a long time, and it makes me feel confident.
When you can't get a brazilian, you have two choices: Let it grow, or mow (shave). This puts you in a "hairy" situation. Letting it grow is not ideal for summer (or at all for me). I tend to shave my legs daily because I hate the feel of hair, even in the winter. Yet shaving, that brings about its own issues.
If I shave, my crotch screams in anger! I cannot wear a swimsuit for days, let alone underwear. Shaving my bikini area instead of waxing leaves me going commando for about a week. I get rashy. Not just a little rashy, but bloody & raw rashy. It is extremely painful. Here is part of the issue... If I shave, it will make my man happy because it is more appealing. If I shave, it will also leave him sad, because he would have to hear the words I never, ever choose to say: DO NOT TOUCH ME! I am in so much pain from shaving if I do so.
I haven't been able to get to my esthetician for my brazilian, She does not make house calls (I am beginning to wonder if I can bribe her), and I really needed to feel pretty and ready for anything. Who knows, maybe we will get a rain-free day this summer, and I can spend one of my days relaxing in a swimsuit while my kids play in some body of water lined with sand. MAYBE...
I purchased wax. Back in the day, before children, I used hard wax and easily took care of the pesky bikini zone. I mean, in college, when funds were limited, waxing at home in the bathroom was common. I could do this. RIGHT? On the shelf at the store I noticed the hard wax I was use to (but only used to do a bikini wax and not a full brazilian), and a little bit more expensive wax (same brand name) that states it is perfect for brazilians, also labeled "hard wax". I grabbed that one. BIG MISTAKE. Today I opened the package.
I am sitting in the bathroom, setting up my work area. My robe is on. I open the wax. DAMN IT! This wax is not completely hard, but not quite a sugar wax either. It needs to be microwaved, but is just soft enough to stick to the cap, and leave residue every where. It leaves a long train from canister to cap, which I twist and twist trying to break it free. What a mess. I succeed. I have yet to put on my rubber gloves.
I go down to the kitchen, stick it in the microwave for 40 seconds, and grab some olive oil. I quickly use the olive oil over the kitchen sink to remove the waxy residue from my fingers and plop on some gloves. I grab the wax from the microwave and dash upstairs.
I should mention that I am trying to be stealthy. You see, my in-laws stay with us during the summer. This makes personal things like this that much more difficult. Imagine if my father-in-law is curious about what's in the microwave. Or I truly get in some sort of awkward situation... There is no walking around in underpants for months at a time and when I get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water, I have to put on my Pjs. Privacy is limited. So, if I truly make some sort of sticky mess, and let's say, drop the wax on the floor, there is a lot of embarrassment and explaining involved with the clean-up.
I open the bathroom door to enter. It is at this moment that my 10 month old cat dashes in to the bathroom. He loves the bathroom and drinking from the sink. He jumps right on to the counter where the lid covered in wax sits. I quickly grab him with my gloved hands. There is already was residue on the gloves. As I toss him out of the bathroom his fur is left behind in clumps on my gloves. I never, ever use this word, but today, it is all that I could think of... This was NOT the PUSSY I had intended on waxing. Please forgive the vulgarness of that statement, but seriously, Can it get any more ridiculous?!
I peel off of my gloves, and I put on the spare pair that were in my robe pocket. I then go to work. So far, so good. The wax works amazing! Smooth skin is showing. NICE! But the wax is a hot mess, and difficult to use. I get one side close to being done, and my gloves are covered with a sticky mess. If I get close to anything it instantly sticks to my gloves. I have more gloves, but idiot me left them in the bedroom. I am really using my brain this morning. I have a few choices. Put on my robe, get it all sticky, and ruin it in order to retrieve more gloves. Make a mad naked dash into the bedroom, praying no one suddenly appears and sees me (it is only next door). Or attempt to continue as I am. I chose to continue.
I start on the left side now. I never hurt while getting waxed, but gosh darn it all, this HURTS! I notice I am left with a dime size bruise as I rip away one of the papers. It successfully removed the hair, but also is destroying my flesh. I look at it thinking, it is a good thing my husband knows what a hot mess I am, because that certainly looks like a hickey. This is when I notice that there are little blood spots that have formed on the right side. I have NEVER had this happen with waxing before.
I decide that I must be getting old. There is something about having a house full of children and many more responsibilities than you had in your college years, that make simple beauty tasks turn in to the equivalent of chasing a greased pig around a muddy sty. The whole time I am trying to keep my voice down, not allowing my in-laws or children to hear my cursing.
I then realize: This is why I am willing to pay $65 for a brazilian wax!! This is exactly why. I then think of M.E. and the books she has written about the funny things people say while being waxed, and her comedy show. I then slap my forehead, realizing, I am now most likely going to become "one of those women" that she writes and jokes about. I had yet to be one.
By the Way: You can purchase one of her books by clicking on the image:
When I get waxed M.E. and I carry on normal conversations. we talk about work, family, and recreation. We also talk about my past trauma, and how she feels I should write a book. You see, M.E. is the author of romance novels and more, not just her funny books about waxing ladies and men. She loves an idea for a good book. I have never been a funny story in one of her books yet. This has all changed today. That is when I notice that my gloved palm is stuck to my forehead. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME TODAY????
This hurts like hell. I am sticking to everything. I am not even done yet.
I look down to survey my work. I have the center strip left to go. It is not a straight and pretty strip. It looks like an overgrown yard that had the mower die midway through the job. I QUIT right then and there. I would not be able to get to the middle. I think of all of the things that can still go wrong. I can picture getting my cheeks stuck together and having to try to sit in a tub of oil to try to loosed them and dissolve the wax. This would ultimately lead me to slip in the tub, falling, cracking my skull, or breaking a bone. I am home with my kids and in-laws, so my in-laws would have to come rescue me. I cannot even imagine. The hairy strips. The wax. The oil. The cat fur covered rubber gloves in the garbage. The wax covered sticks used to spread the wax. The scene was not pretty.
I began to think clean up. The tiny bottle of wax remover was not going to cut it. I stood in the tub and splashed my nether region with baby oil and began removing wax. It was every where! I thought about how this was not a sexy use for baby oil. I quickly washed it away, scrubbing the floor of the tub at the same time, trying to prevent a slipping accident. So much could still go wrong.
I remember telling my husband last week that I was going to try waxing again, but waiting until he was home for assistance. THIS IS WHY! Seriously. Last week I was using my brain. What happened to it today?
I have come to the conclusion. M.E. will be the only one to do my brazilian waxes in the future. This morning had not turned out like I had hoped. I also must hang my head in shame. I now must make an appointment with M.E. and get the job finished. I don't care how sick or disabled I am. I will have to find a time when someone can drive me. I must get this done. However, this also means I must tell her my story of this morning. I will become the next chapter in her book, and I am not thinking that is necessarily a good thing. It must be done though, because this today, is NOT a "Happy Hoo-Ha".
I feel about as sexy as this cat:
If you are looking for a great place to get waxed in Rochester, NY feel free to visit Mark & M.E. I highly recommend it.
Visit my site: www.paparazziaccessories.com/85483
Amazing quality jewelry and accessories. Lead-free. Nickel free. Every piece is only $5 each (bracelets, rings, earrings, hair accessories, necklaces). All necklaces come with a pair of free earrings. So many beautiful statement pieces. Contact me to learn how to join my VIP Facebook sales page. ONLY $5! Like it? Buy it. Love it? Book a party. Love it? Join my team. Shippping available.
Businesses are not just about the money.
Visit my website to order items I may not have on hand: www.paparazziaccessories.com/85483
Visit my VIP page to purchase items I have in my inventory (on hand): www.facebook.com/groups/elisaenergizedVIP
I have failed over and over again at different aspect of life that seemed so easy for other people. I have felt discouraged and lost. Starting a new business seemed daunting. Who I be successful? Who would be my customer? Could I possibly do the things I see other women do with their businesses? I placed the business concept in front of husband, and he said "I think it is a good idea".
I didn't start my business immediately. I did additional research. I talked to other women. I waited.
When I did decide to start my business, and the first shipment of inventory arrived, I felt relief. I went straight to work. I made sales and immediately started to grow my business. I felt more relief! This is really happening! I stood in front of a camera and spoke to an audience, and my anxiety did not rule my actions. I know there may be bumps along the road to success, and I am accepting of that fact.
Today my health took a toll on my body. I was unable to do the sale I had planned. I wasn't able to network as I had planned. I realize, however, that tomorrow is another day, and my business will still be there. We will try again tomorrow. I have a business that I can work hard when I am able, or take a breath from when I need to.
Elisa Energized $5 only Paparazzi Accessories. Lead Free. Nickel Free.
I decided to do something very scary for me. I am taking a leap, and starting my own business as an Independent Consultant for Paparazzi Accessories.
In the past I have been shy, and have felt like I could not possibly succeed at such. I am in the position where I cannot work outside of my home due to my health, and I need to do something. Watching other inspiring women promote their businesses has been an encouragement, it has made me feel as if I am capable of succeeding. So here I am... I am selling Jewelry and Accessories for $5 each! And it feels Amazing!
I hope to EMPOWER other women!
Here is to feeling beautiful strong,capable, energetic, and empowered! GO BE the WONDER WOMAN YOU ARE!
My husband, Joe, is the co-owner of a small business, 12th End Sports Network (TESN.US). His business partner is Brian.
My husband is a curler. He had me learn to curl a few years ago also, as he loves it so much. It has become a family sport. He and one of his curling friends created 12th End Sports Network. They webcast curling events, and have created a way for curling clubs to webcast their leagues weekly, both through live viewing and archiving the games. They have brought U.S.A. Curling Nationals in to the homes of viewers across the country, and my husband has been "the voice" of the webcast as he commentates the events.
The hardest part of my year is when he walks out the door to spend more than a week away from me. His business requires that he travels to where the event are taking place. It seems when he is gone for those 10 or more days, that everything that can go wrong does... and I am here holding down the fort. It is not an easy role, and it is one I fought against every being put in. It is one of the reasons I didn't tell him I had feeling for him the moment I realized I did. I spoke to him about my feelings prior to my first "I Love You". I had told him that I couldn't be in a relationship that would require my husband to spend long periods of time away from me. The fact that my heart already LOVED him won out.
It hurts my heart every time he leaves. I suffer from anxiety, and as we are planning for his trip, I can feel the anxiety increase more and more. It doesn't help that my husband is an insulin dependent diabetic, and he is not the best at eating right. My grandfather passed away due to this. It is scary knowing he is so far away, and I cannot care for him.
Another reason my anxiety is heightened is because many people in my life have lost loved ones while their loved one was traveling away from home. I know it is an unusual number, and that in reality, my husband is fine. However, I still have the ones who passed away while RVing, traveling abroad, etc, in the back of my mind. I have memories of loved ones rushing to find a flight to go get their loved one who suffered a heart attack and is now in the hospital in another state. I have watched loved ones struggle to make arrangements to bring loved ones home. I sit there with the knowledge that I am home, not making any money, and I do not have a credit card (as my identity was stolen a few years ago), and I have health issues, so if something was to happen to Joe, I would have NO WAY to go to him. I have no control over the situation. I haven't met the people he works with while he is away, other than Brian, and I have no finances while he is gone. I feel trapped, and I am alone. Most of the time I cannot even talk to him. The lasy 2 years he has not even been able to Skype me once while away on his trips. It is a very scary situation to be in. I hate that I feel this way, and have tried to work through it, but his long trips away are never going to be easy. I hate them, and I feel the tears in my eyes, and my heart begins to race,and it is hard to swallow when I think of him leaving me again for another "business trip". It is even worse when I know he has left. That is when the full panic attack sets in. I get sweaty, my heart races, my stomach turns in knots, my hands shake, I feel like I could pass out, I get a funny taste in my mouth, I feel hot all over... and I have to breath through it until he returns.
That being said:
As a faithful and supportive wife I still encourage and support him. I pack goodie bags and care packages for Joe, and his business partners, and his volunteers. I do my part, even if I do it with tears in my eyes. My job, as his wife, is to love him, and to support his dreams. I want my husband to reach his goals and to make his dreams a reality. I plan surprises for him, and try to have surprises waiting for his return. I pack love notes and cards. I hide gifts in his bags. I wait for his phone calls.
Today I am reaching out to all of my AWESOME readers to help me show my husband support.
My husband is up for a Streaming Award for his webcast. The broadcast with the most votes will win an HD Camera, which would greatly benefit my husband's small business. I am asking for all of my readers to cast a vote for 12th End Sports Network by going to the link, selecting their business, voting by clicking "3", and filling in the few required boxes. I only takes a moment. It is quick. It is easy. And it would greatly benefit my husband, which is also a huge favor to me!!
My husband helped me to set-up this blog, to keep me from going stir-crazy while I am home with my disability. This blog is a way for me to tell my truth, to get my story out. I appreciate every one of my readers. I appreciate my husband for always supporting me. Please help my husband, vote TODAY!
Voting closes on June 30th. Thank You!
My children are amazing. I am a Bonus-Mom to Jasmin, A step-mom to Joseph,and Mom to Maya and Lorelei. All of my children have big hearts, and are filled with empathy. They want to help and love those around them. I am so blessed!
My daughter, Maya, is 11 yrs old and is in 6th grade. She likes to watch YouTube videos, and was watching one about sneakers. It was titled something along the lines of, $2500 sneakers vs $40 sneakers. At the end of the video the guy asked kids to write to him (a comment) and he would give a pair of the $2500 sneakers to someone he felt was deserving.
Maya wrote him. You have to understand, my kids are not kids that get everything they want. Last summer they got to a week long summer camp for the first time, and it was only a half day thing, we don't spend money on activity after activity. Sports are rare. New clothes that are not hand-me-downs are rare. I went through a divorce, was a single mom, then remarried a man who has also suffered through a divorce. Finances are tight. They don't get the biggest, shiniest, and best of everything. They get what we can afford. I always put my kids needs first, so they are always cleanly clothed, and well fed.
As I was saying... Maya wrote him in his comment section. She told him that she would really like a pair of those sneakers, not for herself, but for her mother. She went on to explain that I had been facing health issues and having multiple surgeries, and she didn't have money herself to surprise me, but if the shoes were sent they would be a surprise for me. She stated that she thinks I would be happy with such a surprise, and maybe the shoes would lift my spirits. She was a little girl begging for a chance to gift her mother with something she knew her mother could not afford, and even if she could, would never buy for herself.
This little girl could have asked for a pair for herself, but she asked for a pair for me, her mom. Let me explain what took place. You see, I monitor Maya's YouTube account, but hadn't been quite on top of it for a week. Maya does not know how often I check, and she knows she has to behave on the internet, and at any given moment her mom or Poppy (step-dad) will check what she has been up to. So, after Maya posted the comment of wanting the shoes for her mother she was then facing a week worth of replies from other people on YouTube before I saw because I had been so busy that I had neglected to snoop on her sooner.
I took Maya shopping for dress shoes during that week, knowing her chorus concert was in a few days, and knowing that her old shoes no longer fit. When we were at the store Maya kept saying, "Are you sure, Mommy? You aren't working right now, and you don't have to spend the money on me. I can wear my black boots. You need new clothes more." And I continued to reassure her that she should be getting new shoes, and not to worry about me. She thanked me with the biggest smile, hugs, and gratitude at the end of our shopping trip. Little did I know, my sweet, innocent child was holding a secret that was causing her pain.
The next day I did a "computer check" while she was at school and checked out her YouTube account. She had a few alerts. Maya's comment about wanting the sneakers for her sick mom was definitely noticed by other kids and teens on YouTube, and they were not kind. They all bashed Maya, telling her that her mom was an adult and should go and buy her own sneakers. They told Maya that she was lying, that her mom didn't have surgeries, and that her mom was fine. They stated one mean comment after another. Poor Maya then responded to their comments stating that I did have a recent surgery and it had something to do with my intestines. Maya went on to say that she was only 11 yrs old and did not know all of the details, but that her mom went to the Emergency Department frequently, and had a bunch of surgeries recently, and was now home from work. Maya kept defending herself time and time again. People said, "The shoes are mine" and then told Maya how she could "go fly a kite," basically.
One person even told Maya that tons of people die every single day, so no one cares. No one cares why she would wanted the shoes, and no one would care if her mother died. My heart broke for my child. How could another child be so cruel to anyone? Who was raising this child to bash another child's dreams, and to tell a child that her mother was worthless, that the death of her mother would not matter. Death wasn't something my children thought about before, but now my daughter was questioning whether she would lose me. I signed on to YouTube, I defended Maya. I told everyone how special my daughter is for thinking about some one else first. I explained that Maya was extremely truthful, and that they were all cruel. I then had a talk with Maya....
I had to tell Maya to ignore the hatred and the online bullying. I told her not to respond any further to anyone on that thread, that she need not defend herself further, as we know the truth, and none of their words mattered in our real life. Joe and I told her how much we love her. We told her how proud we are of her.
Maya is an amazing little girl, getting High Honor Roll and always trying her best, even when faced with stress such as her parents' divorce, moving to a new town and school, and a mom with health concerns. It has not been easy for my kids. Maya keeps a sunny disposition through it all. She is so genuine and caring. When Maya smiles, her dimples get so deep that you just want to snuggle those cheeks, and you cannot help but smile too.
The fact that people are trying to break her makes me very upset. I must raise her to be strong, but not to lose her empathy for others. I am Raising three Wonder Women, and one Super Man. I teach them strength emotionally, and through fun physical activities, like Tough Mudder. More important, I am teaching them to LOVE with their whole heart, because this is true strength.
In raising my Maya as a Wonder Woman, I am teaching her to be sweet, yet strong. I want her to always hold on to a piece of that innocent side. People often tell me that I still seem innocent, or even choose to call me naive, though I am not. That innocent side will remain important throughout her life. It will make people feel safe, as she will seem approachable, and will shine a light that will draw others closer when they want to escape the dark. People will want to know more about that light, and she can show them how God has worked in her life, and how he works through her.
Maya's strength will not just show physically. Maya has already begun to turn the other cheek and walk away. Maya is learning that not everyone's opinion matters, and that she is stronger than words. When she is faced with an obstacle, in life or in Tough Mudder, her job is to conquer that obstacle. She can, and she will. She must not quit or back down. Someday, she will make every one of her dreams a reality.
While Maya is being sweet, and strong, her job is also to be caring and to build others up. This is what will make her a true Wonder Woman. As Maya is climbing and reaching her goals, and conquering obstacles, she will not be leaving others face down in her dust. No, Maya will be building steps for them to climb along beside her. Maya will be educating others in how to do what she has already accomplished. Maya will teach. Maya will Lead. Maya will succeed and help others do the same.
I am Raising Wonder Woman. I am her Mommy...
In the words of Dory, "Just keep swimming". It is my Every Day. One foot in front of the other... it is a daily struggle. Remaining hopeful is a lot of hard work. Keeping a positive attitude is ever more difficult. I hear, "You have such a positive attitude," and I think, "If they only knew". My husband and I both know it is not what it seems.
Just last night my husband had to once again dry my tears. I had a procedure done on Friday. It had only been 3 days since the procedure, but it was still so frustrating. The surgeon went in and looked at my sigmoid resection, and found then incision site to be intact and it healed well. So, it was ruled out as part of the problem. It looks to be all muscular. They injected Botox, the highest allowed dose, into my rectum and colon to try to relax the muscles. My abdominal pain has been extremely intense the last 2 days, and it hurts to sit.
I am feeling even more frustrated. Every time I have had to see a new doctor, a new surgeon, they repeat the same tests that I already had. They start from scratch. They want the tests run their way. On Friday, I met with my surgeon just before the procedure. That is when she informed me that she was leaving the practice and I will have to follow up with a different doctor, one of her colleagues. I may have to start over once again, and I have had nothing but set-backs. I am tired. I am frustrated. I am sad.
My kids, my husband, they are what keeps me going. I look at my amazing husband and think about how unfair this is to him. We have been married for such a short time, and in that short time, I decline more and more. The tears flow with this knowledge. He deserves endless happiness. Joe looks at me at times like I am a precious treasure, and I can't help but wonder, "Why?" because I feel like a huge burden. I don't feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for my husband, and for my children. I look at the handsome face of my amazing husband, and I think of how he deserves EVERYTHING! He deserves so much, and I feel as if I may be failing.
Everyone tells me what an awesome attitude I have, while I sit there and think about all of the ways I am not enough, and then have to battle those negative feelings. This wonderful, sweet, handsome, genuine, loyal, man loves ME! I am blessed beyond words to have this man in my world. Joe's arms calm me when I am feeling overwhelmed. Joe's touch, when he brushes hair off of my forehead, or strokes my neck, leaves me feeling safe and comforted. Joe is my safe place. I am not as always as positive as I seem. Very often I am loss.
I am looking in to BCIR surgery, to see if I can be a candidate. I feel like I am a puppet hanging from it's last frayed strings, and if this is not going to be a possibility I may break in to a heap on to the floor. The thought of spending the rest of my life this weak, and this broken... it is not who I am. I was the Tough Mudder. The mother that takes on the world, the one every one called Wonder Woman. Each day I slip further and further from the woman I use to be.