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Showing posts with label #LupusLife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #LupusLife. Show all posts

Friday, May 6, 2016

~ Learning Lupus

There's a line between TMI and keepin' it 100. 

As with many lines in life (having fun/getting arrested... boozin'/throwing up...  working hard/not playin' enough...  eating one cookie/eating.  All.  The.  Cookies.)  I, like everyone, sometimes struggle to find the balance.  While I'm pretty sure this may cross the line and violate HIPPA rules.  (Joke.  HIPPA only applies to others, not self disclosure.) I don't know another way, so here we are--

I told ya I'd share what I know about Lupus, and I don't like to be a liar.  Plus if it sheds a lil' light on what the fuck Lupus is for those fortunate enough to be ignorant of it, win/win.

Me:  One month hospital free.
February marked the first month since November (the month I was diagnosed with Lupus, aka: The Loop) that I hadn't been sent to the hospital.  I was stoked.  ...Look at meeeeee, bein' a healthy girl again...  #Hubris  Also, I was chuffed because I already knew I'd be hospitalized in March, so, yeah, a month in a row was in fact a big deal.  I had been scheduled for surgery on March 28.  The kind you can't walk up steps for 2-3 weeks, or pick something up when you inevitably drop it on the floor, or lift anything heavier than 10 lbs.  With that in mind I decided it was time for gettin' *surgery strong* (Yes.  I sloganed my own slicin' open.)  so I could recover and not be a pain in anyone else's ass be independent 'ol me as fast as humanly possible.   I started by upping my walking.  I was routinely hitting 2, 3, 4, (a few times) 5 thousand steps, heading towards the 10,000 steps per day ''they' recommend 'cause I'm a badass.  (I know 2 - 5k doesn't sound like a lot to some, but it wasn't that long ago that if I was walkin' 100 steps I was feeling like a marathon winner, so, suck it.)

It was awesome.  I felt like I was gettin' stronger and healthier and, well, normal-ier.  As in the BBG norm of, I do what I want, bitches.  (Instead of, I by a fib of omission, went to the grocery store but didn't mention it to anyone because it would have been considered too much and/or unreasonable.)  Physically, for the first time in months I felt like I could breathe deeper (not 'normal-normal' [aka: a full and/or pain free breath], but more so than I had been capable of) and without the amount and frequency of pain that had accompanied oxygenating since November.  It's hard to describe what it's like to have breathing be painful.  Even as someone who's had asthma since I was young, it's a sensation that is practically indefinable.  Imagine being given the rules of not hyperventilating while at the same time not being able to take any level of a deep breath for the next six months with the threat of bein' hit with a cattle prod if you do.  That's kinda what it's like.  They were heady and exhilarating days, my friend.

Until I started having chest pain.  I wouldn't have admitted it at the time, because I didn't, but it was pretty substantial-ish pain.  And that's said by a girl who once slid  --a term I may be using in it's loosest possible definition--  into second, collided with the second baseperson hurting my knee, back and wrist, decided the pain wasn't enough to not play the next two innings.  As catcher.  'Cause knees, backs and wrists are not integral to that position.  And then determined that driving a manual transmission'd car to the hospital to get looked at was a viable, nay, reasonable option.  (Result:  Broken wrist and one funny ass story.)  Naturally, I assumed I'd pulled a muscle.  (I assume everything that doesn't have a direct [A-to-B] cause 'n effect is probably just a pulled muscle.  Like.  Always.  It's my patented go-to move.  [...Now if you need medical advice?  I'm wickedly awesome at my layperson triaging and recommendation givin'.  Like so good I could provide references.])  The feeling between my heart and shoulder was very specific and pinpoint-y.  The feeling in my chest made me feel like I had to hold my breath to lie down or bend over as a coping mechanism.  Mom ordered me to cool my jets.  And while I don't generally respond well to bein' told what to do I recognized that this was sound and probably, even though I hated to admit it, reasonable orders from my RN (ICU experienced) mother.  Guess what?  After several days?  A week?  I'm bad with time.  The pain in my chest lessened, dramatically.  

By this time Mom had me reporting in my vital signs on the reg.  My heart rate was higher than my norm (in the 120's [at times in the 130's and 150's/beats per minute] when my usual is 70-80 bpm) while my blood pressure was lower than it historically runs (120 - 110's over 80 - 70's, my usual, became 89/52 type pressure) those clues concerned her.  Not me.  I was still convinced I was fine and the newly abnormally trending numbers were flukes and I'd be ready to climb Mt. Everest any old day now.   (The power of the mind to skew is undeniable.) 


I started to try to run a temperature.  In my mind, nothing of a big deal, 101.7, two afternoons in a row.  I took two Tylenol each day and my temp went away.  Problem solved.  ...Or so I thought.  (And then I learned something new about the Loop)  Apparently, being on 'roids (steroids to try to control the Loop) means your temperature is artificially kept low so running any degree of higher than 98.6 is a bad sign for Loop-ies.  Seven months ago a fever would have meant nothing to me, now a few tenths of one-hundreds is the sign that something may be trying to kill me.  A quick morning trip to my GP (general practitioner) and I was dispatched to the ER.

They found that I had a good amount of fluid around my heart and lungs (heart = pericardial effusion, lung = pleural effusion *).  For some reason I'd imagine lots of folks think, 'oh, fat girl, of course you have heart problems', but the truth is I've never had such issues (nor high cholesterol or blood pressure).  Aside from allergies, asthma, a congenital kidney defect and subsequent problems, and bein' generally klutzy, I've always been as healthy and as strong as an ox.  I started my campaign angling to go home from the moment I arrived, trying to finesse each doctor as they entered my room, assuring them that I was fine.  That the pain had been much greater before when I was increasing my activity (before being told to cool my jets) than it was currently.  And each time, as if they deduct points from physicians if patients die on their watch they all essentially laughed at me as they scribbled 'do not pass go, send to cardiac care unit'.   

( *  Funny.  I don't look any medical shit up.  But I do look it up so you can have the proper explanation and not my half assed BBG version.  [You're welcome]  There hasn't been one thing [condition, ailment or symptom I've experienced] included in this or my first post about the Loop life that the cause of the ta-doin's hasn't been attributed to
one thing;  lupus.  Lupus is evil, y'all.)

So.  There.  I.  Was.  Honestly?  Feeling like everyone was going overboard.  It seemed like a lot of fuss over something that didn't seem dire (less than 'ideal', yes, but 'oh, holy fuck?'  Nope.).  Looking back I suppose I should have been quicker on the uptake considering how many and how often baby Docs (interns, residents, fellows [and 'real' doctors]--  it's Big 10 teaching hospital) were brought 'round to see the sights learn from my weirdo complicated case.  But I didn't.  So I was surprised the first time one of 'em told me I was having a Lupus flare.  Mainly, because when I was diagnosed it was (aside from the splenic infarct and my blood tryin' to kill me) all about hot, swollen and difficult to use joints.  My reference point for what having a flare was that I would always be tipped off by my joints.  (When I was diagnosed I entered the ER having somewhere between 'trouble' and 'great difficulty' using my walkin' joints [knees, hips, ankles].  Within 3 hours of my arrival I could no longer walk unaided.)  That would be my hint.  Reality?  Wrong.   As I learn more about it, I can not count on joints for signaling things are goin' off the fuckin' rails, apparently my hint may also be hey, you're heart is tryin' to kill you.  ...So that's reassuring.

Oddly, I feel like I could do anything (another false lead by the 'roids).  But actually doing things ends up with increased chest pain.  (Fucked up fact:  Due to Lupus damaging my heart I can now hear my tricuspid valve.  It makes an audible [to me.  Me!  Which is, ya know, unsettling and super not fuckin' cool.]  'click' when I'm doin' less than stellar.)
Fact:  'Roid rage is real, yo.

After about a week I had been given a massive enough amount of 'roids to move enough fluid off my heart and lungs to reliably not die (and it not be some Docs direct fault  [Dear Doctors,  I love you.  But I am on to you.  ~ BBG]) and released from the CCU.  In the span of literally a couple of days the 'roids increased my weight by 16 lbs and turned my face from a place with cheekbones to a big, puffy, round, circle space.  (Yes.  'Round' aaaannnnnd 'circle' seem redundant in one sentence.  THAT's how 'roid-y routund my face is currently.  It requires multiple descriptors.)  I know it sounds vain to even mention such a side effect in the midst of tryin' to stay alive.  Noted.  But the speed of such noticeable and demonstrative changes has been (Sorry, Not Sorry Pun Alert:) in-yo-face disconcerting in a way that the secret shit happening inside isn't.  Perhaps, it's not vanity, but the fact that it's such an substantial (and honestly, jarring) sign that things aren't goin' great, which is generally in direct opposition to how I prefer to live, and be seen in life, that makes it even a blip on my radar, ya know? 

Yesterday I knew what to do with blush.  Today I can't even find my cheekbones.

It's becoming obvious that 'how I prefer to live and be seen in life' are whimsical luxuries of days past.  The priority now is morphing into simply staying alive.  Which sounds overly dramatic until your cardiologist tells ya the Lupus has permanently damaged the sack around your heart with scar tissue that doesn't pose a 'fill' problem, but does cause a 'pump' problem. ...Oh.  Ok.     

We have 22 internal organs keepin' us alive.  Lupus is already attempting to pick off 2 of 'em.  So the future looks bright.  One of which has happened whilst under pretty extreme medical oversight and treatment.  How extreme?  I've had more than 40 doctors (medical tests, lab work, et al) appointments in the 63 week (working) days since the beginning of the year, that means on average I haven't gone 2 (week) days in a row without a medical appointment in 2016 (and that doesn't even include hospitalizations factored in). 

Funnily enough with all of that I still have to actively remind myself that I'm not well.  Again, the power of the mind to shape one's reality...  I've been forced by circumstances to adapt to certain aspects of not being healthy.  No boo hoo-ing.  We're all forced to adapt to the sack of shit we each must carry in life. 

(Sack of Shit Definition:  Shittay stuff that befalls us that we have the choice to either let kill us/drag us down/fuck us up/steal your youness, or adapt to. 

What differentiates this shit that's happening from one's sack of shit is that usually shit that's happening allows for ya to change its course, reverse it, alter its outcome or mitigate its severity or life impact--  stuff that depending on things in our control might/likely provide you with an opportunity to sit that shit down, move on from, ignore, overcome, put behind ya, etc., whereas one's sack of shit is a permanent, unchangeable, and no matter what you do can never be put down or improved.  It's always with you, like an invisible weight.  Everyone carries a sack of shit.  You might not see it or know what it is, but it's there.)



I'm adapting to the fact that I have to change my, 'it's probably just a pulled muscle' inclinations, and that my SOP of walk it off/suck it up mindset is no longer pragmatic, or in my best interest.  I wish I could report that realizing that it's easily lethal makes it an easier change to make.  It does not.  But I'm tryin' to get right with making the mental switch that everything isn't an acquiescence towards hypochondria but a step towards stayin' alive in the new norm.  Having to acclimate to paying attention to what I'd normally consider non-acknowledgement worthy minute health changes, feelings or statistics is hard.  But when the prize is not losing an organ, or your life, it's a game who's rules I must learn to abide by in lieu of the standard BBG rules.  (Apologies.  That was probably more of a reminder for me than a learning about Lupus for you.)    

I'm discovering that the Loop requires a lot of adaptation, concessions and yielding.  Frankly, waaaaaay more than I'm comfortable with.  ...Not that what I'm comfortable with matters one flyin' fuck in this situation...  Acknowledged.  (Life never promised to be 'comfortable'.)  Like it has insidiously impacted my innards I notice it impacting almost every aspect of my life.  More on that on a different day.  (There's only so much Debbie Downer-ing I can involve myself in on one day.  Today I only have it in me to detail the physical impact.)

Before I conclude this episode of Shit You Probably Didn't Know About Lupus, I'll leave you with a couple of last who-knew's?...

Fun Facts:  Another tip off to a Lupus flare I can tell ya about is hair loss.  (Yeah, that happens too.  Not to a bald-y degree, but enough that I thought I'd noticed that there was an overabundance of hair in my brush each time I used it [like the pulled muscle thing?  I just continued on by workin' with the;  I'm sure I'm just bein' hyperaware of something therefore it seems like more is coming out than normal than when I'm 100% not paying any amount of attention to how much/little hair is in my brush, ya know?  [...Again, power of the mind to position things so that you don't have to go on a murder spree...] , and that my Mom unprompted asked if my hair was fallin' out.  So, noticeable enough.) 

You can kill me.  Because of the drugs used to try to fight the Lupus, which in my case means the attempt to keep the Loop from jackin' up the rest of my organs, ya know, the other 20 that have yet to stage a coup and try to kill me, I'm now immunocompromised.  The med is also given to organ transplant patients so that they won't reject their transplanted organ(s) and lowers one's immune system to the point that kinda everything*, including (yep) you poses a danger.   

* A few 'everything' examples;
  • Plants/flowers/mulch - they carry microorganisms that can cause infections 
  • Foods (a surprising number of foods)
  • H20 water (when unfiltered or unbottled) and ice.  As an added bonus swimming in standing water (lakes, ponds, hot tubs)
  • People who have had live vaccines (MMR, rotavirus, flu (nasal spray), chickenpox, shingles, smallpox, typhoid [oral only] and yellow fever) or are experiencing colds, infections (skin, respiratory, strep, etc.,) or are in any manner contagious
  • The actual fuckin' sun (As a extra special perk, also indoor lighting)
  • Crowds, buffets/salad bars, mani's/pedi's, public gyms
  • ......in short if it poses a threat to someone being treated for cancer or someone undergoing a bone marrow or organ transplant, it's now something I must be cognizant to avoid for the rest of my life.
  • Johns Hopkins recommendations for the immunocompromised

Generally, I don't discuss the details of other people, but to underscore the importance of the danger I know someone with Lupus who got what at the time was thought to be a super minor infection.  Within a day or two was sent to the hospital, that day was operated on for necrotizing fasciitis (nec fasc) and spent weeks in the ICU trying to save their life.  More than a month was spent in the hospital once the flesh eating-ness had been stopped due to the havoc wreaked on their overall tenuous Loopie health.  It then took more than two years (yes, 2 YEARS) for the wound left from the margins needed to be cut (to stop the nec fasc from spreading) off to heal.  The person nearly died and the event stole more than two solid years from their life.  They still have complications due to that super minor infection after several years that have passed that dictate how time and energy life gets spent and still necessitates numerous doctors appointments and medical oversight to manage.   

If you're beginning to get the impression that Lupus isn't just a funny sounding disease, you're right. 



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Monday, December 21, 2015

~ I Didn't Shit The Table & Other Real Tales Of Lupus

There are few things I loathe more than whining.  Other than weakness.  Correction:  Self weakness.  I blame it partially on my Dad who weaned me on The Guns of Navarone, The Big Red One, and Dirty Harry movies.  Between that and bein' raised by a couple of the strongest chicks I've ever met in my life (my Mom and Nana [the first female police officer in our city and the first woman and person o' color Asst. Finance Director of my hometown, respectively, in an era when either reality would squarely situate that happening between improbable and impossible.  #Word])  wasting time whining wasn't exactly a part of the daily protocol of my formative years.

Some folks pride themselves on the material things they possess or public achievements they can cite.  I pride that I know how to nut the fuck up.  I'm not makin' a moral judgment, just explaining what I value.  In my mind I believe I can outlast, out smart, out crafty, out tenacious, outfox or out ass kick most situations in life.   BBGConfession:  More frequently than I enjoy I am, in fact, proved wrong.  Fuck you fractions and baking.  But it's my natural approach to most shit in life.  (Here's a table I outfoxed decided I could make, based on my experience of having never built anything ever in my life.)   

For better, or worse, it is how I'm wired. 

On one hand, the following is something I'd almost never make a public peep about.  Under any circumstances.  (You'll know that because until now you've never heard a peep about this and this disclosure comes as a complete 'n utter surprise.)  On the other hand, I value keepin' it real, enough so that I feel like to continue to not mention it starts shifting into fib-dom.  Plus, keeping it as close to 100% as I can manage is not only beneficial to me, but also to those around me, albeit in ways I could never accurately predict. 

I remember a friend who had (at the time) recently had her first child.  She told me
this awful story about pooping on the delivery table.  In front of her hubby.  I had never heard any delivery tale as real as what she provided.  Being unfamiliar with the process in anything other than an awkward overview by the gym/health teacher kinda way, I found myself impressed by her honesty.  And that when she had to chance to avoid personal embarrassment at the cost of letting a friend stay ignorant of the realities of a situation she didn't.  I always admired her for that.  Lesson?  Only a true friend shares the real less than ideal details of life.  

...I also value bein' a true friend.   So here are the real details as I know 'em about things I'm finding out about: 

One day Mom mentions that it looks like I've lost weight.  This comes as a surprise to me, I hop on the measuring device (or, scale as I believe it's commonly called) and sure enough I'm down 40 or so.  Again, a complete surprise to me as I was vacillating between summer dresses and fall/winter leggings and yoga pants.  (aka:  The Official 3 items you can never gauge your weigh by.  Evidently.)  A couple of years ago when my Mom was pretty sick one of her doctors said he was giving me credit for two years of medical school based on my involvement in her care.  Naturally, I used my fake medical degree to self diagnose.  Initially I self diagnosed as kidney stones.  I was right.  That I'd regrown a benign tumor they'd sliced outta me a few years back.  I was right.  And that I had Lupus.  Guess who won one of the most shittastic trifectas you've heard about in a while? 

Arms: Bruises in the
front, bruises in the back.
Lupus.  Or, the Loop as I have christened it, is the most ridiculous sounding of the things going on, but as it has back burnered every other health condition poppin' off is the most serious.  And the least well known of 'em.  Well, for most folks, my friends included.  I've kinda always known about Lupus.  My Mom's only sister died from Lupus as a 13 year old just before I was born.  My Mom was diagnosed with Lupus several years ago.  (Actually, I diagnosed her before her doc at the time did.  ...My history of bein' right is strong, yo.)  Occasionally folks are aware that the Loop is an autoimmune disease, which to the best of my knowledge is Latin for--  your body is tryin' to kill ya.  That of course, is the H.S. health class overview of the situation.  The keepin' it real version?  The real friend version?  My experience, at least?

Yesterday I sat in the recliner chair for the first time in 6-8 weeks.  Until then the pain in my knees 'n hips was too great and my actual ability to get up from such a low starting point was too small.  Thanks, Loop.

To a couple of people I've referred to myself as 'Bruise-y McGee'. 

The other day I recognized I was 'doin' better' by the fact that I hadn't had to worry about whether my glass of water was too big/heavy to reasonably manage in the past several hours.  Fact:  When a beverages weight is a valid concern?  Things aren't goin' great.

I've become overly very concerned that if I pass out whilst gettin' my mail or sumthin' equally as random and the squad gets called they'll roll up my sleeves and give me Narcan as they will 100% for fuckin' sure assume I'm a heroin addict.  Frequent lab work is giving me tracks... 

Currently I'm apt to let out a somewhat startling 'hoooooo' from time to time like I'm some sorta mother fuckin' owl.  ....Oh, that?  That's just me tryin' not to let my legs buckle from the breath I'm in the midst of taking.  Or what is also funnily called, pleurisy.  My last full, deep and pain free breathe was around Halloween.  I've notice it has changed my laugh to a shallow ha-ha.  So, at least Lupus has made me seem more ladylike from my usual full on guffaw and/or straight up cackle'n ass.  ...So, I guess there's that.  (eye roll) 

Actual Lupus Facts:
  • At least 15M Americans have Lupus.  (Q:  Why 'At Least'?  Often Lupus is misdiagnosed as other issues.)  16K new cases are diagnosed annually.
  • Lupus generally appears between 15-44, mostly in women and particularly in chicks o' color (who are 3x more likely to pop Lupus positive than caucasians)
(Source:  Lupus Foundation of America)

Lupus is actively tryin' to murder my spleen.  (BBGConfession:  I feel like between my tonsils and appendix I've given up as many organs as I'm comfortable with.  ...Seriously?  On who's scale is that not enough??   Apologies.  That almost sounded like whining.)  Apparently it's a medical rarity, as I picked up each time my Hematology Dr. turned the phrase 'unusual and rare' (which somehow each time in my mind was translated into [in Oprah's voice]...and you get a crown and shash!  FYI, my raging case of self amusement-itus pre-dates the Loop diagnosis.) when she mentioned my Splenic Infarction, which is like a MI (heart attack) for your spleen that in my instance has caused a good chunk of the spleen to die off.     

Excess fluid 'round the heart?  Check.  Again, merci, Loop.

Kidneys?  What about the kidneys?  Oh, don't worry, they've been invited to the Lupus luau too.

I am off the cane, but there was a period of time that I was incapable of walking any distance without it, both from a stability and sheer pain standpoint.  While it's embarrassingly ridiculous true that just the other day I tumbled head, clavicle and arm first into the corner of a wall, I'm blaming that on sticky footwear rather than the Loop.  (I try to be fair with it's on/off hookiness.)  ...In that vein I suppose I'm obliged to give Loop it's due as an effective diet aid.  As it keeps me queasy both before and after I eat, unless I pop eight pills of anti-hurl meds per day.  ...Which is exxxxxactly as much fun as it sounds.  Also, not very helpful on that front is that my jaw joints reacted by not opening very much. 

...Speaking of pills.  Two months ago my daily pill intake was zero.  Today it's 23.  My cell chimes 8 times each day to remind my ass to take sumthin' to prevent any Lupus-y aspect from worsening.  (Not a complaint.  A month ago I was in the hospital with people pokin' and a prodding me 67 times a day between being visited by teams of specialists as if I were an exhibit at ye' ol' medical zoo.  Again, just a keepin' it real...

Lupus by sight:
Top = not great, but not as
awful as the bottom pic.
Joints swell and get hot.
My joints are overall gettin' better.  I know because I can now turn my faucet on (of the pull up-y variety) using just one hand again.   My jaw joints are starting to loosen up so other than flat-ish foods and beverages are becoming options again.  Because my elbows are able to straighten yes, a few weeks ago I looked like a chicken with it's wings stuck out and bear any sorta weight I can pick up a glass using the one arm'd approach, as opposed to the two armed toddler method I had been relegated to employing.  Hell, I'm driving small distances, like a badass grownup. 

As mysteriously as Lupus flares come on  (mine was probably no Scooby-Doo worthy mystery, all seem pretty confident mine was spurred on from a kidney infection I brewed in October setting my body on a jihad against my own joints and organs)  they subside (to some greater or lesser degree, the bounds of which I really can't say as this is all new to me and I just don't have the cumulative experience with).  I can see it happening when I notice things once nearly imfuckingpossible excruciating--  I was forced to watch some bullshit one day because pushing the buttons on the TV remote was too painful vs. the pain of not bein' able to watch whatever the hell ya wanna, in 2015--  are now more easily do-able.  I can hear it happening when I realize I've just completed an action (sitting... standing...  doing anyfuckin'thing....) silently rather than realizing that seemingly no movement can happen without a guttural corresponding, and uncontrollable grunt like I'm a power lifter hoisting 1,200lbs, yeah pounds.  Not metrics.  ...USA!  USA!  USA!

So, there.  You know a bit about the real deal of Lupus.  My flavor, at least;  In addition to the Lupus in my family (which is disingenuous to say, Drs. tell us that Lupus is not hereditary.  Two sisters and a daughter is a fluke.  Uh-huh) there are three others in my circle of friends who have the Loop.  Every one of 'em is troubled in a different way and to various degrees of severity with vastly different cycles of ebbing and flowing (length of flares/time distances between them).  Sure there are some overlapping commonalities, but my Mom has aptly deemed it the Whack-A-Mole of Diseases (TM and Copyright pending).  One system goes crazy and when/if ya get it medically managed another organ pops up as a problem.  Whack it back down only to have the next Lupus driven issue to arise. 

Now.  Kindly indulge me a couple of well, shit, I can hardly say no now favors...

As a chick with the Loop, and this is just me, I'd ask ya not to get all, I'm sooo sorry.  I now realize that that sounds like a bitchy thing to say, but listen, I just read some story about a child with half a head, and I can name ya entirely too fuckin' many friends who are battling cancer for their actual lives-- to be alive next week, or next year.  This, while seriously shittastic isn't that.   I mean, don't be sorry 'cause life is happening, ya know?  The alternative sucks and is 6 feet sub terra firma.  Few, and extremely lucky are the peeps who get out of here without having to adjust to some health malady.  This is, afuckingparently, mine.  As I mentioned the other day to a friend, suckin' it up and dealing with it is the option.  There is no alternative magic Option B that is somehow better.  

If we all threw our problems in a pile
and saw everyone else's,
we'd grab ours back. 

And lastly, part of the truth and reality about #LupusLife that I've learned, that I want you to know is that a Looper knows how they feel right now.  Tomorrow could be 180 degrees different.  If one can't accurately anticipate how they'll be doing 24 hours from now it's impossible to say with any degree of certainty 'yes' to a commitment next month.  It's why I'm now qualifying that my making a plan with ya is predicated on if on that day I'm able.  Before I wrote that I knew it was shitty...  But it is the reality.  The irritating to you and me reality.  I'm not tryin' to be cagy or dodgy it's simply that I want to set the proper and realistic expectation, for both of our sakes.   

I'll keep you up on the new things I discover as I experience them from time to time.  Not for whining purposes, but because all it takes to prompt others into getting alright with their bag of crap is for one friend to be ok with theirs, and speak up about it instead of worrying about what someone else will think of 'em. 

Until next time, keep it real, my friend.  

~ BBG


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