Why am I here?

I was asked how I found this place.

I don't remember. I remember why I stayed -- there's so much to read. So much insight, so many stories, I will never find the end of it all. 

And I wanted to write.

It's how I speak.

How I live.

It's how I stay sane. I'm not very good any the other methods. I once heard about a guy who did little found-piece boxes, and people said it was the only thing keeping him sane. I'm not that crazy, but sometimes I wonder if that's a lie.

I've written elsewhere, many pieces, scads of writing. But I guess I'm here, specifically, because here is genuine criticism. Elsewhere is echo chambers. Elsewhere I have no idea if what I'm saying affects people, or makes them think. I have no idea if what I'm saying makes any sense.

So the writing from those places kind of sucks.

I came here to become better.

And, hopefully, entertain you, and challenge you, and if you feel the need to challenge me, maybe I've done something right for once.

Last Friday my youngest daughter went out to eat for lunch. I wasn't there, but when I offered her supper on Friday, she didn't want anything to eat. She told me that she had eaten so much at lunch that day that she thought she was going to throw up, the feeling went away, but she wasn't hungry Friday evening. Saturday morning she had a soccer game. I told her that she had to eat something. She picked at breakfast, ate a few bites and went to get ready for soccer. On the way to her match she was crying because her stomach hurt so badly. She said she didn't feel as if she was going to vomit, but she was in quite a bit of pain.

Jane scored the first goal for her soccer team. Her coach later told me that he thought she would be the MVP, but later there were two girls who each scored more goals than Jane did. During the last part of the second half, Jane fell, she had to be carried off the field due to a knee injury so I let her sit on the couch to watch TV after we got home. Later on she was crying, when I asked what was wrong, she told me that she wasn't sure if she should tell me or not. The secret that she was guarding was a problem with loose stools. Jane is a private person when it comes to her bowel movements as are many people, especially when something is abnormal.

Sunday I had a birthday party for my youngest sister. My oldest sister got into a fight with my mom. Jane was crying on the couch, sipping on her electrolyte replacement drink, and having to run to the bathroom quite frequently. I kept Jane home from school on Monday. She seemed better on Tuesday, so I sent her to school, and made her go to soccer practice. The next day I kept her home from school again. Yesterday, I called to make an appointment for Jane to see her pediatrician. While we were there, we were given a stool collection kit, and instructions to push fluids.

As of yesterday, Jane was down two pounds from her July weight. Presumably, she has gained weight since then, so her actual weight loss is unknown, but estimated to be greater than two pounds. At her last checkup, Jane was in the fourth percentile for both height and weight among girls her age. Her pediatrician said this was not necessarily alarming since Jane was following a consistent growth curve, meaning that she's always been short and slight. After nibbling on some pancakes for breakfast on Thursday, Jane went to lie down. I made her an appointment to see her doctor after she vomited, wondering if she had taken a turn for the worst.

At the appointment yesterday, Jane's pediatrician said that she was more concerned about urine output than she was actual ounces of fluid consumed. She said that Jane should be drinking at least 64 ounces of fluid per day, this is considered a minimum, and is generally a rule of thumb to follow for children who are not losing fluids. Right now, I'm concerned. I have a child who has had diarrhea for a week, she didn't have the weight to lose in the first place, and I'm not worried that she's going to die, but I am taking this seriously.

When I'm scared, I want someone to acknowledge that my fears exist, and that they are real to me. I'm not feeling well, my throat is very sore, my joints hurt, I'm tired, and it would be really nice if someone would come over, put me and Jane to bed, clean my house, and figure out a supper plan for my oldest daughter. I'm really tired of fighting for what I believe are minimum standards of safety, health, and nutrition. I don't really want or need someone challenging my decisions as a parent. I don't care if I am over reacting to Jane's illness. I know that her urine output is scant, and that her body needs some extra fluids.

Jane could have had an IV yesterday. She was allowed to return home because she was termed a borderline case. This morning, I had to listen to a call from Jane's pediatrician's office that I didn't take. So far, Jane has had less than twenty ounces of fluid, her extremities are cold, her lips are dry, and her energy level and appetite are good, but she still has sunken eyes, and her coloring is not good either. Right now my mother is upset because my children are not going camping with her this weekend. Jill is not being allowed to go because she was suspended from school, Jane is ill, and I don't think that hiking at Devil's Lake is in her best interests.

As a token of fan appreciation, two men who play for the Brewers bought up five thousand tickets to give away to fans. I bought four of the free tickets, the cost being $2 for a handling fee. I love baseball, I'm excited about the game, and I felt that the cost was reasonable even after factoring in parking, and fuel to drive there. I've had a terrible week, I was planning on going camping as well, and I was kind of hoping that my family could go to the game together.

Identifying a problem doesn't always bring you closer to a solution. My husband told me that Jane is fine and she will get better because that's what people do. He also told me that putting my oldest in counseling will not do any good because her environment needs to change before her grades and behavior improve. He sees her distratedness and inability to complete homework in a timely, quality fashion as something that he went through, and she'll just have to figure out.

My aunt told me that being on the same page as parents is very important. Jill was suspended because she lied to her teacher repeatedly about a minor incident. My husband said that Jill does not lie to him. He cited the Mafia as an example of a group of people who lie to the government, yet maintain a strict code of honor among thieves. I let the argument go at the time, since there's no way to prove or disprove him, and I did not really care for the analogy. I divide people into liars and people who tell the truth. I believe that, and there can be exceptions to every rule, if you lie, you lie to most of the people you interact with, and if you tell the truth, you tell people you speak with the truth.

The other day my mother's husband told my sister that I am not calling her out of any concern for her well being, I am calling because I want something from her. My sister and I had a laugh about that, but the fact remains that he is a divisive force between my mother, two of my sisters want a relationship with her, while the rest of us have written her off as she has not been there in the past, and at almost sixty years of age, is unlikely to be learning new tricks.

I have gotten a lot written since I went /chatteroff. A few people have sent kind messages my way. I appreciate them, but I've found myself pulling back from both Facebook and E2, with more of my time going to Twitter although I took a brief hiatus from that too. If you have a person in your life that loathes you, it's not your problem, it's theirs. So I have a problem that I need to be dealing with. I can do only what I can do with the resources I have. So here's a brief list of things that I have been working at lately.

Finances: I consolidated my credit card debt. Yay for credit limit increases that are more difficult to obtain than they were in the past. It's shocking that my credit was increased since I am not employed, but it worked to my advantage so I'm not going to complain. I was able to reduce the interest rate on my current balance, as well as negotiate a lower rate for my balance transfer. I'm down to four bills that I'm responsible for, last year at this time I had about ten so that's a step in the right direction.

Health: I discovered that I have a severe Vitamin A deficiency so I've been taking beta-carotene. I've also been taking magnesium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins so I take them with a spoon of either peanut butter or sunflower butter. The effects have been minimal, but I'm encouraged. I want to go see another practitioner, but I need to get rid of the medical bills I have first. On that front, I'm down to $1100 worth of debt that I owe to the hospital and a clinic. That might seem like a lot, but I initially owed more than twice that so this is progress in my book.

Some of you may have seen the piece on the Cy Young award that I wrote and returned to draft status. I was offered a position as a baseball blogger, but I turned it down for several reasons. I feel as if I made the right decision although that was hard to do at the time. I also quit my job as a volunteer at our YMCA. Training has been lacking, my boss does not communicate well, and again, I've made my peace with taking a position that I feel will ultimately be better for myself and my family. I called in sick yesterday, I had to deliver a stool sample, I also thought that Jane may need IV fluids, and she wanted her mom to stay at home with her.

Nutrition: I'm doing the best that I can for myself and the girls. Two Fridays ago, the girls and I picked organic tomatoes at a local farm. We poured milk from a holding tank into containers that we had brought from home. I came home with two bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, two pounds of grass fed hamburger meat, and I've been more vigilant than I have in the past. I rarely shop at any of the larger grocery stores in the area, I buy organic and local when I can, the girls and I had a lot of fun going to a teeny famer's market in a nearby town, and I was so happy that Jill is content to eat raw kohlrabi although Jane still turns up her nose at it.

Writing: this has been a high spot in my life recently. I don't really know what I'm doing. I have the final scene written, and after many rewrites, much frustration, and some critical peer review, I'm optimistic. This is my hobby, I don't care if I'm not great, it's fun, it's challenging, it's stimulating, I've made new friends through the process, and that's been neat as well. Pulling back from things I used to participate in has shown me who the people who really care are. I'm thankful that I have them as friends.

Church: I've made a lot of excuses here. This has been a low spot recently, although I've been praying more. After my daughter was suspended, I found a bag of clothes in her room. When I asked asked her about it, Jill told me that she wanted to run away. I asked why she didn't, I think that she said that she didn't know what she would do with her clothes which I thought was cute. Then she went into not knowing where she would go, and what she would do about food and money. When I met with her teacher and the principal of her school, the principal reminded me that sometimes, parents can really come down on children, and forget to remind their children that they are loved.

I gave Jill a hug, she sat on my lap for a while, even though she's getting big for that sort of thing, and we talked about how she was mad at herself. When I talked to an aunt of mine about the non-incident that could have been, she said that my grandfather said that many times children are not running to something, they're trying to get away from something. That resonated with me as I could remember times when I wanted to run away when things were not going well at home.

When I was in swimming lessons, I met an interesting woman who said that divorced couples have half the money to pay twice the bills. I'm not going to get away from anything if I get divorced. It may address some other issues, but it isn't going to solve any of my financial difficulties that I've gotten myself into. I can't remember the last purchase I made on my credit card, but I think it was several months ago. I didn't buy the girls any back to school clothes, part of my debt originated with me buying back to school shoes for the girls that I ended up not being able to afford later.

I still have quite a ways to go before I become the money manager that I would like to be, but I'm learning, through mistakes and that good feeling when I have money left over after I buy groceries and put gas in my car. Another category where I have slipped lately is exercise. The cold weather makes it hard for me to get moving. My girls were going to go to goalie practice one night. The coach never showed up, so I played soccer with the girls. My clogs are great walking shoes, but they perform poorly on the soccer pitch, so I set them aside and played in my socks. When I get old, and my children are grown, I hope they remember the night that we played barefoot soccer together.

At the end of the day, people aren't my friend because I drive a luxury car, they don't care if my jeans came from Goodwill or I eat foods that they find green. It's really about the people you meet, the stories they have, and the ways that you can touch the lives of others. That's why I write, that's why I'm more interested in daylogs lately, and it's why I'm struggling to find my way among people that I have a hard time interpreting, respecting, and dealing with.

Lately, I've been getting along better with the girls. I love them, I'm proud of them, I want the best for them, and that means that sometimes I have to step back and let them make their own mistakes. It's a hard lesson to learn, but nothing good comes easy. Only keep things that you are willing to fight for in your life, it's short, it's precious, and at the risk of supporting and distributing another internet meme: YOLO. Give it your best shot, you have nothing to lose except fear.

Update: Jane has cryptosporidium. Fluids seem to be staying down although there is blood in her stool now. It can take a while to clear up, there isn't any medication, it just has to run its course. Thanks to everyone who has sent positive words and encouragement. It helps.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.