Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Summer Planning

It is that time of year again. June is just around the corner, and people are looking to which planner they are going to use. Do you want or need an academic planner? Are your children all grown up (like mine), but you are looking for stickers to keep your life on track? What are you going to do during summer vacation?


Clipartion
Here is the link to all the sticker printables I have already posted: Labels, Signs, and Stickers

Here is the link to my planner/life coaching skills page, which has the links to related previous posts: Life Skills Coaching

Here is the link for summer vacation crafts, journaling, reading, etc.: Summer Vacation Ideas

Coming soon: A 2016-17 Academic Calendar!

-Amelia

Sunday, May 15, 2016

I Highly Recommend Downsizing

As written about in previous posts, I am moving soon and to a smaller apartment. Even so, with all the medical challenges I have, I am limited as to how much I can do on my own.

Son #1 lives 1200 miles away, so he is unable to help me; son #2 lives here, and helps when he can, but he has a job and his own projects; son #3 lives about 250 miles away - he and his wife came Friday and took away a couple of big items, two boxes of books, and some smalls, which really helped a lot.


Son #2 told me to pack the boxes, but do not move them - he will move them when he is here. Yesterday, he took the boxes out of the kitchen and put them closer to where they will be put on the van from. He also brought some items close to my work space to make it easier for me to handle. I am so thankful for any help he gives me, especially since he is tall and very strong.

Another friend took away some furniture and a lot of tea making more room. 


There is still some furniture to sell and donations to make, but it is coming along. It has to; I only have 12 more days to get ready. My goal is still two boxes a day, so I am happy for any help I get.

A woman I met in a class about 14 years ago volunteered to give me some time. I accepted, and I am very glad I did. I prepped nine boxes a few days ago, and we filled them in about an hour. She did all the climbing and handing me items. She is giving me several more hours before the move, something I am incredibly grateful for. And I got rid of a few boxes of fabric!

Another friend is a librarian here, and I donated 11 or 12 boxes of books to the library - some will go into the children's area, some will go in the adult section, some have already been sold from a special fundraising corner of the library, and the rest will be sold at the semi-annual book sale.

Since I am unable to work, I no longer have use of my college textbooks. Those I donated to the local community college for students' research purposes. I have already put together one bag of clothes to donate, but I have more to go through. I am giving away small appliances that I either have not used or rarely used in the last 10 years.

I am beginning to think this move is the best thing that could have happened to me. Like the tiny house movement, I am having to decide what is important for me to keep, and what is not. And some of what I am keeping is for me, not necessarily what is useful, but for my enjoyment. 

And that is important. And that is why I highly recommend downsizing - even if it is only downsizing the contents of your abode.

-Amelia

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fibromyalgia Awareness

May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month and May 12th is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. 


Searching for the Happiness
For more information, see this Being Fibro Mom blog post.

Check out this website, too: National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association

And more Fibromyalgia Awareness information:

May 12 is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day Pinterest board

Fibromyalgia Awareness and Aggravating Conditions

Fibromyalgia Awareness Community on Facebook

Find Fibromyalgia Awareness gifts on Zazzle

I am a middle-aged woman with fibromyalgia who is attempting to share information with other people with the illness. Please be aware that I am sharing information from my own research and knowledge as a fellow fibro person.

-Amelia

P.S. My ADHD Life has now had over 100,000 pageviews. Thank you all for visiting here.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Moving with Fibromyalgia (and ADHD) - Part 2 (With Tips)

I received my moving estimate. I will not post the amount, but it was a lot more than I had expected. I have moved with this company twice before, and this was definitely the highest estimate I have received from them. It is also the least amount of stuff I am moving: 

2400 sq ft house to 1000 sq ft, including the storage space; 1000 sq ft to 660 sq ft including storage sheds; 660 sq ft to 400 sq ft. Needless to say, downsizing my possessions is a necessity.


I came up with a few tips during the moves that might help others:
  • Used different colors of duct tape to mark boxes according to where they were going - storage, apartment, personal car. When using movers, certain materials cannot be placed in the van. 
  • Have the van loaded according to where it is being unloaded if there is more than one location. Which space do you want unloaded to first? Have those items put into the truck last. (If this makes sense to you, it confused the movers until they saw it in action.)
  • Have a floor plan in mind before arrival. If possible, use actual dimensions to create one so you can see how the pieces will fit. 
  • Keep in mind doorways, outlets, and windows. Cable and land-line placement, too, if these will be installed where you are moving.
  • When selecting packing materials (if you are pre-packing), how will you dispose of them once you have unpacked? You may need to separate out cardboard, paper, and bubble wrap/packing peanuts.
  • Decide whether or not to get the extra insurance on your goods. With a different mover, I had three items get broken - two were repairable by them, one needed to be replaced.
  • If you are doing much of your own packing, decide whether you will purchase your own supplies or buy them from the moving company. It can be cheaper if buying them yourself. 
    • For example, the company was planning to charge me $139.75 for 43 medium size boxes. These are not all the boxes listed. Yesterday, I bought 75 medium boxes, 10 large boxes, three rolls of packing tape, and a roll of packing paper for $131.50.

So, this is move #5 in six years. I am using the first moving company again. The estimate is higher than my other two moves, even though I am moving so much less stuff; some of the added expense came in when I planned to have the company do the packing for me.

Estimate included $35/hour/person for a total of 30 hours over three days. In addition, there are the van usage amount and the packing materials cost. The additional insurance was not included in the estimate.


As I said in last week's post, I am doing the packing myself. This is to save the costs of one day of moving-company employees, plus the van and packing materials cost. I have, indeed, limited my boxes of books to six. Most of the boxes I am using having handles, which will make it easier for me to carry them. 

My goal is a minimum of two boxes each day, and I have been able to stick to this. Until today. This is the first day I have been too sore for this. I am hoping I will be able to do this before bed, though.

-Amelia

Friday, April 22, 2016

Moving with Fibromyalgia (and ADHD)

When I moved out of my house almost six years ago, I moved 60 boxes of books with me. Now, to be fair, they were small boxes so I could lift them myself. Many were wine boxes obtained from the local liquor store. A couple of years later, I moved again and brought about 40 boxes with me - I donated a lot to a local thrift store that raised money for the ASPCA. 

After unpacking here, I still had quite a few boxes that I did not have room to unpack. A friend of mine is the children's librarian in town, so I called her - she took some, the adult section took some, and the rest were donated for the biennial book sale. I still had 10 boxes I did not unpack.

Well, I have to move again.  I am determined to move only six boxes of books with me, so that means going through all my boxes and my bookcases. 

I have a number of problems with my back, so I am limited to 10 pounds at a time. Books are heavy, so I only work through a small stack at a time. At this point, my muscles are yelling at me! For some reason, my quadriceps are very upset with me. Probably because I am near the bottom shelves of the bookcase. 

I have to take it very slow thanks to the fibromyalgia, but I really think having ADHD is helping me to not overdo it too much. I look at a book title that reminds me of something else, and I am off to the other thing. It often means getting online and looking something up. 

In my opinion, it is necessary to limit how many spoons are spent on the packing task each day, since there are other things that need spoons, too. (If you do not know what I mean, look up "Spoon Theory" online.) 


After two weeks, I actually have more than 11 boxes worth to donate, but I need to get more boxes for the loose ones. I also have a couple of piles of books I am not sure of - it depends on where I am with the six-box limit. 

I spoke to the local community college, and it is taking my textbooks for their library. Because I went through to a Master's degree, the college feels they will make good resources. I also have two brown paper bags of paper recycling, and I still have some more school papers to dispose of. Since I cannot work, there is no reason to hang onto them.

Three more shelves to go. I am so glad my next task is packing my yarn.

-Amelia

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Body Has Betrayed Me!

Do you ever feel that way? It just seems like one thing and/or another is always bothering you? 

I feel that way often. I think I am too young to have my body acting the way it is, but then I think of people a lot younger than I am that are going through the same things, or worse. 

A few days ago, I was diagnosed with the start of a cataract in my left eye and was told the one in my right eye has gotten bigger. 

I am dealing with a lot of "ghosting" with printing. If you are not familiar with this effect, it is like when making a 3-D image of a box. It is not enough to be debilitating - yet - but it is annoying. 

I would credit the source, but I cannot read the fine print at the top left.
Thankfully, mine is not as bad as in this picture, but it only started a few months ago, so who knows what will happen as the cataracts grow. And, yes, I had to get a new prescription.

New glasses and new short haircut
-Amelia

Friday, April 8, 2016

14 Aid Programs for the Disabled

Please note that I am writing this as an American, so this will vary depending on where you live. 

It is an unfortunate fact of life that disability can severely affect your financial position. Below is  a variety of financial aid programs I found available and may vary depending on your state, county, and/or town.

If you have not worked enough you cannot get Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) unless were born disabled.

This clipping from the Social Security Disability Benefits brochure shows the general number of work years required to receive SSDI.

Source: Social Security Administration
If you do not qualify for SSDI, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Below are two clippings from the SSI Benefits brochure:


Source: Social Security Administration
As you can see, you must be pretty broke to get SSI. Note that it says among the things not counted "Your car (usually)" [emphasis mine]. I suppose it depends on the value of your car. The car I am driving is 10+ years old. It is a Toyota, so it will probably run for years to come, but what happens when it does not. (I am getting a new wheel bearing as of this writing.)

You may qualify for benefits from your state's program. It is through the Department of Health and Human Services where I currently reside. These benefits include money, Medicaid, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly "food stamps").

Housing assistance for the disabled or senior citizens. Many of these places are income based; some charge 30% of your income, which changes as your income changes.

Fuel assistance depends on income and housing expense. All programs are not available in all states. Some programs I found are:
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
  • Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program
  • Joe-4 Oil Heat Program - One free delivery of 100 gallons of oil in a heating season.
  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) 
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
In addition to the above, weather-proofing assistance is available to add weather stripping and insulation. Check with the  U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). 

Other aid I found available is Community Assistance Programs, local utility companies, and your town. 

I realize that many disabled people are house-bound. Sometimes, isolation occurs, so ways to connect with the outside world are key. Below are some ways to save money to do so.

  • SafeLink Wireless - free cell phones with free talk and text. The minutes vary by state. You may purchase additional airtime is desired/ needed - mine offers triple minutes with purchase of additional minutes.
  • Century Link helps low-income individuals/ families with their phone and internet bills.
  • Contact cable/internet providers. Do not be ashamed to explain your situation. Most will work with you to find a package you can afford. If you get a pushy representative who tries to "up-sell" you, either ask to speak to another representative (supervisor works well) or hanging up and calling back usually gets you another representative.
After writing all this, I discovered Disability.gov. This is "an "information and referral" website." 

I hope this blog post helps you find programs that will aid your quality of life while being disabled.

-Amelia

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

More Random ADHD-Inspired Thoughts

  • I watch the tiny home shows and think I could do that. Then I look around my 600-sq. ft. apartment and realize I have storage sheds outdoors, besides using one bedroom for storage-like things - fabric, yarn, books, etc.
Source: Global Avenue
  • I made instant oatmeal, using hot chai latte instead of milk or water. YUM!!
  • Why do some people lie about others? How can you prove something is not true when you do not know who is saying it? What is their payoff? What is the motive for doing so?
  • In my opinion, Tom Hanks has maintained his good looks better than John Travolta. I thought Paul Newman maintained his better than Robert Redford. Again, only my opinion.
-Amelia

Friday, March 25, 2016

I Would Rather be Working

I had an appointment the other day that centered on my health. I was asked what medical conditions, "with specificity," made it so I could not work at least part-time. Four typed pages in Arial #10 font gave very specific explanations of health problems I have. The response I received was along the lines of, "How could anyone expect you to work with all this?" 

Source: Classroom Clipart
Like many people with a chronic condition, it seems like a new health problem comes along all too regularly. It would be awesome to get through one year with nothing new added to the list. I would much rather be working. 

I have met a number of people who have had to quit working due to health conditions. Without fail, each would rather be working than have whatever chronic illness they are dealing with. 

Median 2014 income for a woman my age was $41,080 per year. The disability benefits I receive is currently less than $12,000 per year. I would be crazy to want to be disabled.


I do not understand why people keep asking me if I cannot work at least part-time. I have been to more doctors and health practitioners for evaluation in the last few years than I probably have dealt with before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. And that is the total for 45 years versus the last three years. 

I have been poked, prodded, had MRI's, a C-T scan, and a pulmonary function test (PFT). Pictures are taken of my retinas yearly. I see my doctor for follow-ups many times each year, plus more visits for new problems. I have had my head examined by several doctors and therapists - they all come up with the same diagnoses. 

Two government agencies, plus my doctors, have all concluded that I am 100% disabled. So why is it so hard for friends and relatives to accept what I have had to come to terms with. 

I would much rather be working than be disabled. I would much rather be using my hard-earned education being an accountant than trying to figure out how to balance my budget. I would much rather make a presentation in front of a room full of strangers than undergo another medical test.

I would bet that 99.9% of all disabled people would rather be working. 

-Amelia

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's Going to be Different for Me

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I had gone to the doctor's thinking I was having knee problems. I was surprised that what was hurting were trigger points inside my knees. I also learned I had 13 out of 18 painful to the touch.

Source: Mayo Clinic
At this time, I had a friend, Katherine, who also had fibro. However, she had waited until she was unable to get out of bed for a year before going to see a doctor. Her husband had to carry her to the bathroom. She did not think I could have fibro, because I was not in as much pain (yet) as she was.

I was going to be different. I was diagnosed early on, and I was willing to take medication to manage the symptoms. My friend had decided to treat it by eating a macrobiotic diet and using homeopathic remedies, such as ginger plasters. 

Now, I understand what my friend meant when she did not think I had fibro. It is a very different animal today than it was when I was diagnosed in July 2005. I understand when she had to plan carefully if we were making a shopping trip to the city. 

Fifteen months later, I started going through a very stressful time, and I was managing my symptoms. They were increasing, and the pain medication dosage was increasing, too, but I was still managing.

I am speaking about my friend in the past tense because she passed away in June 2009, just 20 days after our last shopping trip. It was unexpected, and I was so glad we had that last trip together. It had been months because I was in college then. 

Katherine has a special place in my heart. She always had such a sweet disposition, and no one would have guessed she was in constant pain. She and her home had such a calming presence, it was a pleasure to go share a cup of tea and chat with her.

And, it is not different for me. Now, I spend my days in pain - my triceps are very painful today, making typing this difficult. It seems like one thing after another is going wrong in my body. (If you are interested in learning more about that, type "fibromyalgia" in my search box.)  

Like her, I cannot work, and I need it calm. Taking a shopping trip is a major chore that has to be carefully planned. Like her, I rarely leave my sanctuary, because it is so tiring. Saying that, I understand why my triceps are screaming at me today - I went out and about the last three days.

One of the places I went to. I highly recommend it!
It is hard to accept, because I want it to be the way it used to be. I want to be able to do all the things I used to do. 

What about you? Has your life changed since you were diagnosed?

-Amelia

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

ADHD-Inspired Random Thoughts

  • Parenting is hard. About the time I thought I figured it out, my kids were adults. Hindsight is 20/20. 
  • My teeth have shifted. I have a bicuspid that is especially pointed. With the shifting, I keep biting my tongue with that sharp bicuspid, which swells, which causes me to bite it more.
  • Space between paragraphs makes reading blog posts easier.
  • If I am not sure about my spelling and grammar, I copy and paste into my Word program and review it. I find it catches most of my mistakes. Too many years of editing college papers makes it hard for me to write anything, including journal entries, without worrying, "Did I do it right?" (Including that last sentence, too.)
  • Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days are harder when you no longer have anyone living at home. They are for me, anyway. 
  • I, somehow, have ended up with two Google+ accounts and cannot figure out how to delete the one that I do not use. I get notifications from Google that I have missed Google+ postings from myself. It always seems strange when it happens.
  • How does medication "know" where it is supposed to go? The same pills that take away a headache will not take away a sinus headache. I have to take specific sinus medication for that. 
  • Oh! ADHD is all in my head, too. Silly me!
Source: clipartion.com
-Amelia

Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Fibro Fog" - Will I Ever Think Clearly Again?

My kids used to say I should try out for "Jeopardy!," which was nightly viewing at our house. I gave up watching it, because I am afraid to see how much I have lost. I suppose I should not sell myself short - I can still solve the "Wheel of Fortune" puzzles and do Sudoku. 

Drawing by SethAllen623 - Public Domain Image

When your "brain fog" hits hard, do you ever wonder if you will be able to think clearly again? I received an important phone call and did not remember that the person was returning my call. I forgot I had called her in the first place. Thankfully, I had written down some of the information before I made the initial call.

I started to wonder if I had aphasia or "mild" dementia since the fibro fog sometimes seems similar to the brain fog experienced in the other conditions. Doing a search on the term "brain fog," I was surprised to see how many different conditions have some sort of "brain cramps" as part of it. 

I get a big whammy, because I have ADHD, fibromyalgia, and hypothyroidism. I was relieved, though, to find out I am not losing my memory; it is just harder to retrieve information than it used to be.

What about you? Do you have some sort of brain fog? 

-Amelia

Friday, March 4, 2016

Is Fibromyalgia an Autoimmune Disorder?

I started to wonder this when I was diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis the other day. I normally look like this photo taken a few months ago:


A couple of weeks ago, I used the same camera and looked like this:


Not very attractive and extremely uncomfortable. My scalp, face, and ears broke out with a rash that looks like a combination of measles and acne. The rash on my nose makes wearing glasses painful.

Naturally, I went to the doctor to see what it was and what could be done about it. Selsun Blue for my scalp and hydrocortisone cream for my face and ears. I am not quite back to the top photo, but I am looking a lot better than the bottom photo. I am extremely grateful that it can be treated, even though it can take a long time to go away completely.

Is seborrheic dermatitis an autoimmune disorder or related to fibromyalgia? The answer is neither, but people with a weakened immune system increase the risk of getting it. So can obese people and people with depression, and I am a depressed, obese person.

So, what is an autoimmune disorder?
NIH: U.S. National Library of Medicine



According to the NLM, autoimmune disorders can affect muscles and connective tissues. Some of the symptoms are: fatigue, fever, and joint pain.

If you have fibromyalgia, you might recognize those symptoms and definitely have muscle aches. 
Mayo Clinic


In an autoimmune disorder/disease, the healthy cells come under attack by the antibodies which normally defend them. In other words, the body attacks itself. These disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes.

People with RA and lupus can also get diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but fibromyalgia is not a condition where the healthy cells come under attack by the body's antibodies. Therefore, fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disorder.

-Amelia


Friday, February 26, 2016

Getting Things Done When You Have a Chronic Illness

If you are like me, you rarely have energy to do much of anything. The day is over, and your to-do list does not have much of anything crossed off. It can be frustrating and disheartening.

I no longer make daily to-do lists. Instead, I have created a chart in my bullet journal (bujo) and a list of routine things.

Used colored pencils, so lighter than usual.
(If you follow me on Instagram, this is the 6th iteration of the graph. I will make further changes as I discover what is working, not working, or missing.)

I added "Weather" and "Sleep" to see if either, or both, are affecting what I do in a day. The chart is on the right-hand page – I note any appointments or other information on the left-hand page.

Example of a left-hand page
I created a bookmark list of signifiers to use with the chart. As I accomplish a task, I put an “x” or the initial(s) in the appropriate column. (Now that it is as perfect as I need it to be, I will laminate it to keep it clean and tidy.)

This graph paper is from a Passion Planner.
Since using this method for the last five weeks, I am less stressed over what I am not doing, because I can see what I am getting done.

Note: I am using a Miquel Rius quad-ruled 600-page notebook. I really like using graph paper, but I will change brands when this notebook is finished – the paper is too thin and I am getting a lot of bleed-through.  

-Amelia

Saturday, February 20, 2016

16 Ways to Reduce Stress

At the end of last Friday's post, I promised this week I would write about ways to reduce stress, primarily to reduce fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms. And now I am late because I slept 14.5 hours on Friday. Not straight through, but I could not seem to wake up completely, so I went back to sleep. Has anyone else woken up to thinking someone was at your door? I swear, it has happened to me three times in the last six weeks.
So, let's get to it. Many of these can be Googled to find free sources to get started doing them.
  • Meditate. This is, admittedly, not something I do. Yet. I bought something to get started, though. Writing this might be the kick in the pants to doing so.
  • T'ai Chi. This gentle form of exercise and stretching also includes meditation. There is a great article, "Tai chi: A gentle way to fight stress" at mayoclinic.org (my favorite site for all things medical). 
  • Yoga. Another gentle stretching and meditation form of exercise. One benefit is becoming more flexible and move more fluidly. 
  • Shrugging. When I am in pain, I have a bad habit of tensing my shoulders, neck and upper back. A way to release the stress is shrugging. Here are two videos that demonstrate the technique I use: 
  • Music. "Musick hath charms to soothe a savage breast." - William Congreve (Yes, it's "breast," not "beast.") I listen to the Enya station on Pandora with my earbuds in. I live alone, so it is not necessary for quietude, but the earbuds are part of my process. 
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation. I did not know the name of it until now, but I have been doing this for more than 20 years. I could write it out for you, but I found a source that already has: Progressive Muscle Relaxation Script. I found this, aptly, at The Guided Meditation Site, where there are many meditation exercises and downloads.
  • Journal. Write it down! Get it out of your head! Whatever is bothering you, write about it. If desired, write solutions to whatever the problem is that is causing you stress.
  • SCREAM! If you are alone in your house, great; if not, go into your car, turn up the music, and let it out. (The music is to cover the scream in case someone is walking by and thinks they should call 9-1-1.)
  • Laugh. Watch funny movies, listen to comedians, find funny YouTube videos, etc.
  • Take a bubble bath. With or without wine, candles, or books. Tell your family members to use the bathroom before climbing into the nice, hot water, and then stay in there until the water is too cold or you are too prune-like.
  • Aromatherapy. Personally, I find the scent of lavender to be very calming. I have it in a lotion, combined with chamomile, which I rub on my chest and between my nose and upper lip.
  • Eat dark chocolate. It stimulates the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemical in the brain.  
  • Drink chamomile tea. This is a great herbal tea to drink before bedtime.
  • Get a massage. For some people with fibromyalgia, this would be torture, but for many, it helps reduce muscle tension. Every massage I have had has been accompanied by soothing music. I particularly like having aromatherapy oils used. The therapist can help you with the decision on which oils should be used. 
  • Read. A funny or romantic novel is probably better than a mystery or suspense book. 
  • Sleep. Easier said than done, right? Getting enough sleep helps ease stress, but stress impedes sleep. Reading in bed is better than watching television when it comes to sleep. There should not be any lights on, either - turn your digital alarm clock away from you so the glowing numbers do not disrupt your sleep.
I hope some, or all, of these methods of handling stress are helpful for you.

-Amelia

Monday, February 15, 2016

Male Menopause is Real

I hear a noise and think the garage door is opening, my husband is home. However, it clicks just as quickly that it is the heat, that he has not opened that garage door in almost nine years. That garage door does not belong to either one of us anymore.

Male menopause is real. Just like a woman's hormonal makeup changes, so does a man's. Yes, a man can continue to have children, but that does not mean there are not changes.

According to the Mayo Clinic:


If the man in your life, or you, has a personality change, starts to have mood swings, withdraws, gains weight or gets flabby quickly, or loses interest in things that had been of high interest, get him to a doctor. There are things that can be done: dietary changes, hormone-replacement therapy, and counseling. My ex has said if he had gotten counseling, we would still be together. (By the way, that makes it harder, not easier, to accept.)

The middle-aged men who leave their middle-aged wives for the much younger women is such a cliché. I never thought I would be one of the women left behind, but I was. It is still hard for me, but I think it is so hard because I never saw it coming.

Valentine's Day in 2007 was a horrible snowstorm where we lived, but that is the only reason he spent it with me. He could not pretend to go to work, but go spend the day with her instead. 

On St. Patrick's Day, he will be turning 60 - 10 years after his brain chemistry convinced his that his whole world was wrong. The wrong job, the wrong house, the wrong woman. None of those things are his anymore - he left the wife, the house has since been sold, and he lost the job. 

It is lucky(?) that my children were adults when it happened to us. Lucky, because it did not affect them financially. Lucky, because they did not have to see the destruction. Unlucky, because, it might have been easier if there was still the routine of going to games and plays, cooking them meals, etc.

I can honestly say that I hope turning 60 is easier for him than turning 50 was. Or the year when he was 29 and convinced himself he would be dead before his 30th birthday - he should never have watched "Logan's Run" with Michael York. The year he was 40 was life-changing in a different way - he had a new job in a new state, so a new house, we got new furniture and a dog. It was like starting over again, but with the same cast of characters.

 -Amelia

P.S. If you have a friend who has been through what I have been through, realize that holidays, her birthday, his birthday, and the date that was their anniversary can be difficult. Give them a card, send them a funny card, just something to let them know you care.