28 July 2011

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Not a lot of people understand this syndrome, and scoff at it.  I look fine, I look normal and most of the time I can function like a normal person.  I have episodes.  Not everyone with CFS has episodes, there are many people who struggle with it for most of their lives, on a day to day basis.  I am in the middle of an episode right now.  There is no warning on when it will strike, or how long it will last or how bad it will be.  There are many different symptoms for CFS also, but the most common factor is the fatigue.  This isn't the normal, I haven't slept much so I'm tired, fatigue.  The fatigue I feel is not just physical but mental also.  I feel like I've been awake and function for days, if not a week or more with very little to no sleep at all.  Which isn't true.  I've been going to bed for the past week around 10:30-11pm and waking up around 7-7:30am.  I have been sleeping long enough, but for whatever reason my body is not responding to that sleep the way it's supposed to.  I made dinner last night, lasagna.  It took me 3 hours to make it.  I'll probably be paying for it for days for even attempting standing for that long, and certainly for the brain power of watching hulu, and trying to cook at the same time.

I was diagnosed with CFS at the age of 15 years old.  I got sick, I think it was the end of October of my freshman year of high school.  I couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes or I would get light headed and dizzy.  I would have nausea accompanied by migraines at least 3 days a week.I was poked, prodded, scanned, examined and no one could come up with anything.  One neurologist even tried to tell my Mom that I was making it all up.  My pediatrician finally managed to accumulate all my symptoms and found that I fit CFS almost perfectly, and thus I was diagnosed. That I believe was in January.  I was not better though, I struggled every day, my bones felt tired, moving around, just to walk to the bathroom was exhausting.  I sleep a lot those months, and honestly most of it was a blur, and I would wake up exhausted.  Sleeping took too much energy it seemed.  I didn't go out, except to go to church, and I did school with the county over the telephone.  I broke up with my husband, who I had been dating for a few months because it didn't seem fair to him to have a girlfriend he couldn't actually go out with.

By the summer I could do a little more.  CFS is easier to deal with, and improves easier if you're young than if it strikes while you're older.  I have only had a few episodes of it since that time, and I was affected by it for about 8 months.  My later episodes really only lasted about a month or two.  Nothing helps it, and I just have to try and do my best during the day.  It's a very frustrating feeling knowing that you're unable to move your body, or do things with your kids because of the exhaustion.  People call you lazy, and they don't believe that you're really affected by anything.  However, waking up exhausted, after sleeping for 9 hours, is NOT normal, and when it happens day after day, it's starts to really take it's toll on you.

This affliction affects many people who may not even know it, and it's hard.  I hope I can bring some understanding to people who may have had no idea about this syndrome, or who have maybe heard of it, but knew nothing about it.

26 July 2011

My conservative stance

I am a Republican.  I'm proud to be, I like the ideals that most (notice I didn't say all) of them stand for.

Taking from the GOP website itself, I'll address the issues, and explain what my personal opinion is.

1. National Defense-I'm not a fan of war, especially since it tends to take my husband away from me, however I am a supporter of a strong military force, putting money into the defense of our nation, and not backing down if a threat arises (ie we're attacked).  

2. Health Care-the website itself doesn't give a solution, and I have a feeling that's because there are many ideas out there to help fix the healthcare solution.  Government run healthcare is not a common sense solution to health care.  Our country is bankrupt, adding to it by making the country pay for everyone's healthcare is ludicrous.  I believe in a free market.  I think that if we had torn down state borders for insurance companies, and put doctor's/offices themselves as competition we may have seen prices for procedures go down and health insurance itself improve.  However we need to remember that some of those high tech machines cost a lot of money and experience to run and so we can't expect everything for free.  However, if doctors offices had to compete with each other, and insurance companies also with them, for those people who would pay out of pocket for services, prices would go down to be competitive.  Happens every time.

3. Energy issues.  I think the entire country can agree that oil is not the best source of energy, not only is it finite, but it can cause many problems, however, at the moment that IS the only main energy source we have.  To put restrictions on the drilling of oil is insane when we have no alternative sources.  We should be looking for other solutions of course, but I support oil drilling until those other solutions can be found.  I do have hope that one day we can remove ourselves from oil dependency, but until that day we should invest in what we have.  Not only will using our own oil lessen our dependency on the east, but it will lower gas prices, which I'm sure would make a lot of Americans feel better.

4. Schools.  Republicans support parental choice in schools.  I also support parental choice, however I think the public school system needs a major overhaul.  I think that all schools should be encouraged to do better than they have in the past, and that all students and teachers should be held accountable.  I think that homeschooling in every state should be supported, and be seen as a valid alternative choice for schooling.

5. Economy.  This is always a fun subject.  I'm spot on with the GOP.  A free market works.  It really does.  The economy is failing because the government has slowly been tearing away at the free market system, however, during the Reaganadministration, when the free market had its chance to flourish, it did. Yes, some regulations are needed, just like some laws, and some rules should always apply for things to be orderly but business should not be stifled by over-bearing regulations that put them out of business. I believe in lower taxes, and I believe in a straight across the board tax.  I think we should abolish tax brackets altogether.  Obviously, if we're all paying the same percentage of tax, those of us who make less will pay less, and those of us who pay more will pay more.  I also do not support most tax incentives or tax breaks.  I don't think the government should be allowed to use those to encourage behavior.

6. Courts. I believe in this branch of the government as professionals who are trained to know and be able to interpret the law, but not to make up their own laws as some have in the past and decide that what is in the constitution doesn't actually count because they personally disagree with it.

As a republican I believe in the right to pursue happiness; I do not believe that you have the right to happiness, you have the right to work hard to get there. It's not your right to be handed everything just because you were born.  You don't have the right to health insurance, a house, or money to pay your bills with.  Those are not basic human rights; your basic human rights are said best in the bill of rights.  Last time I checked, it said nothing about your right to receive a welfare check, or that the government has to take care of you.  The government should be there to protect us as citizens and guarantee us our rights.

I believe that all people should have a choice on who they marry, where they want to live, where they want to send (or not send) their children to school, how they want to parent, and to own what they are capable of owning within their budget.  I think the government should not have a say in these things.  

I am a realist however; I know that there are times when the government should step in and make new laws, or regulations (in a perfect world there would be no bad people), but we should still continue to strive to have a small government.  One that does not tell us where and when and how to live.

I honestly could never be a liberal, because I enjoy my rights too much.

21 July 2011

Almost Done

Right as we speak I'm doing school with James.  It's almost time for lunch, but for this morning we'll have managed to finish 2 whole lessons.  I'll be watching the boys from next door later, so we'll be doing school until then.  James only has 3 lessons after this until he's done, so I am actually hoping to get done with it all today.  We'll see though.  I'm very proud of all he's accomplished this year.

Jade is still only half way through 1st grade, and we're taking it slower.  She's capable of having finished 1st grade with James, but was unwilling to do all the schoolwork.  Seeing as how she's still only 5, turning 6 in November, I'm not worried about this, although it seems a little frustrating to me, knowing her potential, and what she could do with her intelligence, and not taking advantage of it.  I have to keep reminding myself that I had that potential too, but I didn't take advantage either.  Of course, there lies my frustration.  I want better for my daughter, but I have to allow her to make her own way.  This isn't something that would be detrimental to her life.

Steven also has done well with his school work.  He's proficient in shapes, recognizing the alphabet, numbers 1-10.  He also understands the concepts of addition and subtraction, although I haven't really worked with him on that.  I had debated on starting him on K4, but I have decided that even though he'll be 4 this year, I don't think he's ready for that type of regular instruction, so we'll be working this coming school year on pencil hold, and creating lines and curves to prepare him for K4.

Willow is very interested in school time now, and I have no doubt that in the 12-13 school year she'll be very ready for preschool work!  Right now we're working on basic signs, and learning to talk!  She knows so many words already, and I have a feeling she'll be a non-stop talker just like James!

05 July 2011

Nestle Boycott

I know I'm known as quite the boob nazi, and honestly while the nazi part is a little extreme when it comes to the title, I gladly and proudly hold the title for breastfeeding supporter and encourager!  Yep, I do believe breast is best, although I can see the need for formula I will never consider it to be the first choice, that should always be breastfeeding.

Now when it comes to Nestle, I don't expect anyone else to read this and then suddenly decide that I'm saying you're a bad uncaring person because you buy nestle products.  Isn't it sad that I have to put all these disclaimers just in case I hurt someone's feelers?  Anyways, back to topic.  I heard about nestle from a friend, and I didn't immediately decide to boycott right then and there, although my friend is very passionate on this topic, like I'm not right?  I did my research first.  I looked into how valid the claim that nestle was marketing to women who are unable to afford formula, and live in condition where pure clean water is available, and pushing formula on these women.  Undermining breastfeeding, and essentially putting these infants in danger.  After looking into it I saw that it is completely a valid claim.  Nestle is unethically, and against WHO regulations, undermining breastfeeding in third world countries where breastfeeding NEEDS to happen for the babies health.  Breastmilk will always be sterile, but formula is unsterile as soon as it leaves the can.  Then add that some of the women who were given a ton of formula samples in the hospitals they delivered in, then sent home to their small villages with no running water, only a small river that everyone uses to bathe and wash things in, and it's a recipe for disaster.  The bottles are never fully clean, the water has soap, bacteria and who knows what else, and suddenly that formula really does become poison.  It's not the formula itself, but everything else that makes it dangerous.  Nestle is unconcerned with this though, as they just want to encourage sales.  These women area also dirt poor, and so not only are they using unsanitary bottles, nipples and water, but they also use less formula then they are supposed to in order to buy less formula.

So when you hear that 150,000 babies a year could be saved by breastfeeding, those are the babies we're talking about.  Yes, if you're in a developed country, have access to sterile water and ways to clean your bottles, you're probably not going to kill your baby by using formula, but not every woman who is told formula is just so awesome has those options.  Those women should be encouraged to breastfeed, supported in breastfeeding, and it's sad that these women are pressured to formula feed when it's so dangerous in those situations.

It really does make me want to cry.

This is why I boycott nestle.  It's also why I support breastfeeding, and it's why I want to see breastfeeding become normal again.

July will be busy!

July is my favorite month of the year, and mostly it's because it's got both the 4th of July and my son's birthday.  Which also happens to be my birthday, but I think it's a great idea to just leave the focus on him instead of me.  This month though we've got a lot going on.  This past weekend was the the 4th of July weekend and we went to the festival/fireworks thing they held on post.  They do it every year, and they have all these displays, lots of food, and crafts and rides and things.  It was a lot of fun.  This weekend I'll be driving down to Savannah to eat brunch with Tara and Jess and I'm really looking forward to that, especially since it'll be with NO kids! Well, I might bring Jade, but not sure yet.  Then the next weekend we're headed down to FL for a reunion with friends and then James will have his birthday party on Sunday.  The next weekend is James and my birthday weekend and we're going to head to Statesboro to go to the waterpark there.  The next weekend I'll be heading back to Savannah to watch my bestest friend Tara get baptized and confirmed into the Church.  I'm super excited about that!

Really the next several months will be busy, all of the birthdays in our family start now and continue until the end of the year.  Next month is Michael's, then September we'll be starting 2nd grade with James, and continuing 1st grade with Jade, and preschool with Steven.  I'll be starting to work more one on one with Willow to learn colors, and then shapes. At the end of September/beginning of October I also have my 10 year high school reunion, which is crazy that it's been that long since I graduated!  Then in October Willow turns 2, it's crazy how quickly the past 2 years have gone.  There may also be a wedding I'll be attending in October, and then there's also Halloween.  November not only contains Thanksgiving but my bestest friends birthday, my SIL's birthday, and Jade and Steven's birthdays.  We haven't figured out what we're doing for them yet. December seems far away but really it isn't, and that holds Christmas, and our last trip to FL for the year.

It's almost hard to believe how fast time is going by, it feels like Michael just came home, but he's been home for 3 months already.  I'm enjoying every second I get with him, because I know that it'll be way too short a time when that D word comes up again.  Michael and I do love (for the most part) this lifestyle but the separations are hard.  We're blessed though, Michael enjoys serving his country, and I'm proud of everything he's managed to accomplish in such a short time.  He really pushed himself and made his dreams come true.  I also had mine.  I married the man I fell in love with when I was 15, and we have a beautiful and happy family.