I haven’t posted much for June, and I apologize. Things have shifted and changed around here with the seasons.
Our peonies came and went, huge fluffy pom poms of pink that were delicately soft for being so big.
I swore like a sailor when I found standardized testing “practice” workbooks in the usual end of the year backpack debris field. They were brand new, and I suspect the school wants us to use them. I growled, “I taught, if I believe that you sitting down to do these workbooks is more educational than the other things we plan to do this summer, we will do them. If I don’t, we won’t.” And so far we haven’t.
The boys and I have been very busy sitting in the grass, plucking little maple seedlings out of the lawn to see if the helicopter seeds are still attached.
There are thousands of them, confirming my belief that if we all abandoned our houses, this whole neighborhood would be a forest in just a few short years.
We planted a garden and rabbits managed to eat our parsley. However the basil, cucumbers, and a variety of heirloom tomato the boys picked out only for its name “Mr. Stripey” are doing just fine. Oh, and so are the yellow tomatoes we planted named, like a character out of West Side Story, “Lemon Boy”.
Other changes have happened with my health, negative at first, then positive. Near Memorial Day I realized that while I always feel tired, I was falling asleep more and more often right after eating. It would be a swoon, almost a faint, where my body felt like lead and I couldn’t hold myself upright a second longer. It looked more and more like reactive hypoglycemia, a problem my doctor had casually mentioned years ago in passing, and one that fit my patterns of fatigue and anxiety almost exactly. In this condition, if you eat too many sugars or carbs at one sitting without enough protein or fiber, your blood sugar spikes dramatically and too much insulin is sent in to deal with it. Consequently, your blood sugar then drops too low causing jitters, anxiety, extreme fatigue and sometimes a confusion that seemed suspiciously like when I would experience “fibro fog”. I’ve done crazier things for my health, so I didn’t hesitate long to try a hypoglycemic diet designed to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day. You eat every two to three hours with low carb, high protein, high fruit and vegetable but small meals. No sweets, no caffeine, no alcohol.
I feel a lot better. When eating perfectly balanced meals seven times a day is less of a hassle than the symptoms you were dealing with before, you know you may have really been sick. When spending a day of the week making a paleo egg breakfast casserole and roasting chicken and assembling salads and taking a short break to snack on hummus and carrots actually seems like it is a bargain for all the energy you’ve gotten back, maybe you really did have a blood sugar problem.
With this change, something else has happened since the seasons have changed that I never thought would. I have been able to take the boys to the pool, and parks, and to tennis courts, and for hikes around our ponds without the fear that it would be too much. That I would get so scared for them that I would limit what they were allowed to do. That I would become an emotional wreck and start yelling at them unnecessarily in public. That I would feel so sick that I would throw up, or need to collapse, or need to rush home. We’ve spent years, and years, doing not a lot because I just couldn’t.
While I tried to focus on all that I could do, that we could do, it wasn’t nearly as much as other families could. If we went to the zoo with you, or a splash park or a playground and I seemed breezy and happy-go-lucky and fine, some part of that was always a benign lie. Getting through that outing was usually a day or so of planning to make sure it went smoothly and weighing whether the time and energy it would require was worth it. The day after was spent in recuperation, getting either my anxiety back in check or my body, all the while having to tell the boys “no” over and over until I felt well enough to handle the process again. If we did make it, know that I had weighed that it was worth it, that the pain I might have gone through to have that experience was one I said “yes” to, and I absolutely meant it. That part was sincere, if it looked like it was a light and casual thing, that part was not.
Suddenly I have the summer as a stay-at-home mom I had always wanted to have with my boys.
I haven’t had to tell them “no” nearly as often. I have been able to say “yes” with just a moment’s notice, or “yes” to multiple outing in the same day. They are going to become spoiled rotten soon. I still have fibromyalgia, and still have unexplained pain. One evening I did have to tell them that I thought the water at the pool would be too cold for me, and that my muscles might cramp. They did, making it very painful to walk back to the car. But, the overwhelming fatigue is mostly gone and in a pain and fatigue disease, that is literally half the battle.
So, I haven’t written in a while because I have been finally busy just enjoying summer. And because I have suddenly become a hobbit, preparing and eating breakfast and second breakfast and elevensies and luncheon and afternoon tea and dinner and supper. I do find myself walking barefoot through the long soft summer grass more than ever before, and I have always been fairly short.