A Come Back And A Confession

I realize it has been a long time since most of you heard from me. Too long. For many years I enjoyed being honest and transparent with my readers as I gave you a glimpse into my ridiculous world. However, I don’t just consider you my readers. You’re more than that and you deserve more than that. I want to apologize for having kept you in the dark regarding my health journey over these past months. You are my supporters, my kindred spirits, and my back up when I’m in a jam. Your loyalty means the world to me.

So here goes.

I woke up one Saturday morning in September 2015 feeling very strange. I had a fever, swollen joints, and severe fatigue. This day was very different from the get-go and would turn out to be the first Saturday in a long time that I didn’t begin with a seven-mile run.

When my symptoms didn’t go away I was referred to a specialist and diagnosed as having an autoimmune disease. I started treatment right away despite the fact that my doctors were going back and forth trying to determine what specific autoimmune disease I had. Treatment was rough. Without going into too many specifics, I was placed on several medications to suppress my immune system.

Immunosuppression, while necessary to treat my disease, put me in a position where I had to avoid crowds and people with known illnesses. The reason for this was simple. I didn’t (and still don’t) have the ability to fight off the simplest of infections. When Lucas got a cold I caught it, as well. A few days later when he was better my condition had progressed to pneumonia. You get the gist of it. Immunosuppression causes little illnesses to become bigger and more difficult to treat illnesses.

This forced me to lead a somewhat solitary life for my own well-being. For a social person like myself it wasn’t easy. Not only was I dealing with how rotten I felt from the disease and the treatment, but I was also lonely from the isolation it involved.

There were lots of times when I wanted to blog. I really missed the interaction with my readers. However, I felt I couldn’t write anything without addressing what I was going through and I was NOT ready to talk about it. I’m actually still not sure I’ll even have the balls to publish this. There are two things I cannot stand- vulnerability and whining. My desire to avoid both of those things played a major role in my continued absence. However, to be honest I didn’t need much more motivation to continue the radio silence that had become Loripalooza. It’s hard to write humor when the last thing you feel like doing is laughing.

I still find myself getting angry with God, or the world from time to time. I miss a lot of things I can no longer do, or attend. I miss work. I miss running. I miss how good I used to feel before I got sick. I miss the body I used to have before treatment wreaked havoc on me. Mostly I miss the kind of fun I used to have.

I’m learning to adjust to a new normal. I’m not one of those people who believe that everything happens for a reason. I think that sometimes in life shitty things just happen and we have to learn to deal with them. I’m lucky to have a strong support system. Family and loyal friendships mean everything to me. I enjoyed several weeks of remission in spring/early summer and had some amazing, quality family time.

A Come Back And A Confession

My family- amazing and attractive

 

A Come Back And A Confession

We love when Aunt Heather visits from Scotland!

If you hang around me for very long you’ll hear me tell you, “I’m not a great person, but I am a great friend.” It’s true. In the past when I’ve had friends in crisis I’ve dropped everything, driven for hours, crossed state lines, and even hopped on a last minute flight so I could be present during whatever they were going through.

I bring this up because there’s nothing like a chronic illness to help shine a light on the people you surround yourself with. That light will either make them scatter like roaches, or it will illuminate their love for you. It wasn’t a fun lesson to learn, but I’m a lot better off knowing whom I can and cannot trust. My illness has definitely taught me to make better choices regarding the company I keep. I’m thankful for that and the realization that I deserve friends like me.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of where I’ve been (hospitals & doctor’s offices), what I’ve been up to (no good), and you have a glimpse of what I deal with day to day. I’m not dying by any means (but I’m not afraid of dying either and when I do my tombstone will read ‘Great friend. Nice rack.’).

 

A Come Back And A Confession

The Puddin’ Master laying down a fresh track

We’re the same normal family we’ve always been. Lucas is still passionate about freestyle rapping and spends most nights sleeping in a cardboard box in his bedroom. Brantley still doesn’t know how to relax. If he isn’t at the office, then he’s under the house fixing something he just broke (probably on purpose). He’s still my moral compass and the only reason I’ve never been to jail. Knock on wood. When I’m not contracting Giardia from our dog I’m jumping (figuratively) from one little project to the next. In fact, I’m currently working on a project that involves me water ballooning as many people as I can while they stand outside looking at the sun a few days from now. I didn’t create the easy targets, but if they’re there I’m definitely going to utilize them. (FYI: the moral compass doesn’t know about that particular project because he can be a buzz kill if you let him.) And like a lot of you I still just have the one parenting goal. I don’t care what Lucas does as long as he doesn’t become a scream sneezer.

You know? Just regular ol’ family stuff.

Now that you’re up to speed on all things Wescott I’m going to try and go back to business as usual. That means being present for all of you and not leaving you hanging without something to laugh about. It’s good to be back.

Luke-isms: Twerking

After a few hours of fishing yesterday Brantley, Lucas and I headed home tired and dirty. Our first order of business was, as always- a tick check. Lucas was used to the drill and readied himself by starting the process without even having to be told.

Strip down. Arms up. Turn around. Spread your cheeks.

However, when we got to the last part Lucas turned back and said with hesitation, “Mom, you said twerking was against the law. I don’t want to go to jail.”

I know what you’re thinking. Hang on. I can explain.

Flashback to three days earlier when Lucas walked into the kitchen and announced, “Dad just showed me how to twerk.”

“Excuse me?”

Brantley spoke up, “No. No. See. No. That’s not how it happened. He thought he knew what twerking was and in an effort to educate him, I showed him a video on YouTube of someone properly twerking.”

“Properly? That’s not ok,” I said. “What on earth? What kind of video did you let him watch?”

“It was just an instructional video. They were wearing pants. I swear. It was totally wholesome and I guarantee it was more benign than what he thought twerking really was.”

I was intrigued. “What did he think it was?”

Brantley rubbed his face. “It’s hard to describe. Lucas, show your Mom what you thought twerking was.”

I immediately regretted my question.

“Ok. Stop! That’s worse! That’s WAY worse! Lucas, where on earth? Never mind. Listen, don’t ever do that again, ok?.”

I could tell the wheels were turning in his seven-year-old brain. “Don’t do which one? The one in the video, or the other one?”

“Don’t do either. Ok. Got it?”

“Why, Mom?”

“Becaaaaause it is against the law.”

“What about if I do it in private?” he asked.

“Still illegal in most states.”

Luke-isms Twerking

Lawd, help me.

Where Have I Been? Kindergarten.

Kindergarten

I’ve been a naughty, absent blogger for the last couple of months and for that I’m sorry. It’s just that we’ve had some big changes in our household that have forced us into a new routine.

I had planned on working more outside the home when Luke started school. In my mind these two things would happen almost effortlessly, but I was in for a rude awakening. Kindergarten is hard, yo!  And I’m not even the one taking classes.

I did NOT expect there to be homework so early on. Now, everyday I dread unzipping Luke’s little backpack and finding our to-do list. What’s it going to be tonight, Teach?

“Instructions: Put two rhyming items into this ziplock baggie and return it in your child’s backpack tomorrow.”

Are you freaking kidding me?! Is this kindergarten or Harvard? 

Luke’s headfirst dive into the shallow end of kindergarten has been less than traumatic. However, I think once his teacher gets to know him she will have a better appreciation for what his previous teacher referred to as “his lovable quirks.”

One day last week he got off the bus and met me with a frown. My mind went immediately to the worst case scenario- three things that rhyme in a ziplock baggie. “Well,” he sighed. “I’ve got terrible news. I’m not allowed to tell jokes in school anymore.”

“Okay. Well, there’s probably a better time and place for telling jokes,” I said as I shook his backpack and listened for the sound of a ziplock baggie. No baggie. Sweet!

“Well, I’m not happy about it, Mom. I’m also not happy because I gotta go to the vet.”

“Why do you need to go to the vet?”

He flexed his bicep and lisped through his gappy grin.

“Because my pythons are sssss-thick.”

Luke-isms: An Unwelcome Tub-side Chat

Here is your latest installment of Luke-isms, as promised.

Luke-isms

It had been a particularly trying day as I attempted to get housework, writing, and Luke business taken care of. It was the kind of day that Brantley received a text message from me saying, “Have fun at the gym after work because when you get home, he’s all YOURS.”

Brantley got home that evening and I headed upstairs to take a bath.

“I just need ten minutes to myself,” I told him.

The tub had no sooner filled and I turned off the water to relax when I heard the door open. A familiar sound followed. It was the sound of Luke dragging his stool slowly across the bathroom floor. He parked it right next to the tub and sat down.

“WHAT are you doing? And where is your Dad? I’m trying to take a bath, Lucas. I just want some privacy.”

“It’s ok, Mom. I’ll just sit here and watch you quietly.”

“No. No. No! Brantley, where are you?” I shouted.

Brantley popped his head in the door. “Luke, leave Mom alone. She’s trying to take a bath.”

“Ok.” Luke said as he hopped off his stool. Then, he stopped. “Oh Mom, just one more fing. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I forgot. What happened to your penis, again?”

“Lucas Payne Wescott, girls don’t have penises…”

He interrupted, “Oh, that’s right. Baginas. Baginas. You have baginas.”

I wished for someone to hold my head under the water until I stopped struggling.

I wasn’t asking for the world. I just wanted ten minutes alone. With my baginas.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Luke-isms where Luke spanks himself as he shouts, “Don’t ask any questions, Mom. Just trust me. I deserve this.”