It has been quite a while.
414 days to be exact – that’s a lot of days.
And, in that time, a lot has changed.
Let’s catch up, shall we?
When last we sat down together, I was happy to share that things had progressed nicely with Brother One. And I am happy to relay that things are wonderful. We mended our relationship beautifully, and have created a really great support system for the two little ones – bestest cousins, as they tell us. And it’s important to all involved that they stay that way. People say having children (and I do not mean physically birthing them, but raising them) changes you…and it does. It teaches you true value. Or it should.
Brother One has formed a really special bond with my little guy too. It makes me so happy to know that he has another person in his corner. We all need people to count on, to turn to…no one goes it alone. And, with all that 2016 had in store for me, to know that my wee one has a real solid, awesome uncle he can count on, brought me a lot of comfort. Brother One also started the process of reconciliation with our father. Something we have all been quite pleased about.
Brother Two remained stand-offish until it was announced that he would be a father (my kiddo – sadly – had the best response, “well, that’s one cousin I’ll never get to meet!”). That got our parents’ wheels turning…and so a family party/baby shower was in the works. But what does that mean? Well, it meant months of back-and-forth emails. A few misunderstandings. And, ended with me and Brother Two sitting opposite each other as his pregnant partner opened the gifts family members brought. I made several attempts to speak with him (as our father had requested civility), and was shot down. So much so, the tension became palpable. More than one guest asked me what was going on, and I even offered to remove myself and my family from the party. My mother said that wasn’t necessary, so I embraced the awkwardness and made the most of the day. When it came time for leaving, we all walked over to bid farewell and good luck to the soon-to-be parents. Brother Two basically ignored us. Would not even make eye-contact with my son (who made a point of saying something about it within earshot of everyone, gosh I love him!). However, his partner was pleasant. That could not have been an easy situation for her.
Brother Three is still up north somewhere not talking to anyone really.
So, when it comes to The Brothers, One is amazing and we see him and my niece frequently; Two and Three are merely people out there in the world, who I receive updates about occasionally from my folks. Whether I ask or not.
Since November 2015 my health has been scrutinized. More than it normally is. And not just by ignorant strangers, family members and co-workers, though they did a number on me too (I seriously contemplated leaving my job because of it). I made the decision to do better, diabetically-speaking. I wanted to embark on the journey to get a pump. Offered in an overly-complicated way by our government. To qualify, I must attend a series of classes (done!), I am required to undergo a constant series of tests, tracking and logging numbers and food intake, and appear at regular doctor’s appointments. Other things too, and I get it – the machine, the pump, that I want can cost upwards of $10, 000 – but once again, it is up to a bunch of strangers (not even my doctors) to determine how well I am managing my Diabetes.
With the wheels in motion, I was slated to have my pump (or as I call it, Fancy New External Pancreas!) for my birthday in October of 2016. It would be a year’s worth of work, and so totally worth it.
But it didn’t happen.
I wish I could tell you that I am sitting here, pump in and Diabetes under control.
But I can’t.
In July 2015, I went for my regular physical. But my results from tests done were anything but…and that became a slow moving train running in the background. Primed and ready to derail it all.
And so, in January 2016, I went in for more tests. Hopeful for better results. No luck. Worse than the previous tests, and that meant I would be heading in for a procedure. Followed by two more procedures. Only to find out that none of those worked.
So surgery it would be. But no pump. Worried it would all be too much (and we quite agreed), my pump process was put on hold until my surgical woes were completed – thankfully, they removed all of the lingering bad stuff, but found cause for concern in another area and so did more biopsies. Recovery was brutal. I was off work for nearly a month, immobile for almost half that time. AND, it was going to take almost 6 weeks to get all the results. Ah, back in my favourite place…the valley of more questions than answers.
We received good news at the end of October. All clear. No new issues. Back in six months for a test. Just to be sure.
So we skipped out of there, hearts and shoulders a lot lighter. I was excited to be deemed healthy, and done with procedures and surgeries (for now); and, ready to reinvigorate my journey to Pumpdom!
Not so fast…I experienced three weeks of good health before the cold/flu season attacked with PNEUMONIA. Yep, pneumonia. And it was bad. Several trips to the doctor/hospital. Numerous antibiotics, and a few horrific side-effects and reactions, some puffers and a boodle of chest x-rays. And three weeks off work, right before the holiday season. It really did a number on me, and though I returned to work feeling okay, it would be 5 full weeks before the pneumonia was completely cleared.
Oh, and I should mention, I missed out on Stevie Nicks (again! – I had to sell our Fleetwood Mac tickets when our son got pneumonia in 2014) with Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders. *sigh*
WHAT WAS GAINED?
Beyond family stuff and health issues, 2016 was an ass-kicker of a year. And if anyone even whispers that which doesn’t kill you…I will do unspeakable things to them!
I can handle just about anything. I can tolerate and endure in the most extreme of circumstances, but do not question my moral standing. 2016 started with health troubles, and the end of a friendship. One I was happy to have rekindled after losing contact upon graduation from high school. But it wasn’t meant to be. I was accused of things I would never do. I was accused of being dishonest for my own gains. After weeks of back-and-forth, between me, the accuser and the DS company we worked for – thankfully, reason won out and I was cleared of any wrong doing. Sadly, the friendship did not survive, and the whole event created very complicated seas for future navigation.
If you’ve followed along here at all, then you will know of our plumbing woes. A whole whackadoodle of woes since May 2014. And, while we thought we were finished, it turned out we had a few more challenges to get to the other side of before we were out of the woods. This job would require the upheaval of our home, once again. Worse than all the times before, and almost worse than them all combined. They worked inside and outside…what a freaking mess! And it brought us to our knees financially. We were done – no more savings. Every penny we had pinched, every buck we had stored. All the future plans. GONE. But we love our home, and believe we made the absolute right decision.
Things got complicated again, when my husband was discriminated against at work. His superiors felt the few days off he requested, for one of my procedures, rendered him no longer worthy of full time hours. Hours we had come to rely on, especially after exhausting our savings. We couldn’t prove it, and he was never contracted as full time, so we couldn’t fight it. He was reduced to about 4 hours a week towards the end of the spring. Because we needed someone to watch our little guy during the summer months, we decided that hubby would do it. Things became increasingly difficult financially, so he picked up a second part-time job. Hired with the promise of enough hours to bridge our financial gap…but promises can only be kept by those who make them.
That is a lesson hard learned. Mostly because we want people to keep them. Because we are counting on them to keep. Because we cannot make them keep them…
My husband didn’t keep his promises, and he knows it. That made 2016 even more complicated, and he knows it. We’ve been through a lot together. A. LOT. But 2016 was rough, and emotional. It broke us. We are broken. And yet, we still function. Which means we exist in the valley of more questions than answers. And that means we are going to have to re-examine everything.
But that’s okay. Because I learned that things are never just so…our resilience is based on our ability to evolve. To be ever-changing.
And I think I may have needed that reminder.