My vegetarian adventure is going on an indefinite hiatus. This is a disappointing decision for me, but as physical symptoms of stress have manifested themselves in the form of shingles (woohoo!), I took a step back to examine what all is going on. It has only been two and a half months since the move to Minnesota, and in about six weeks, we’ll be moving to another house in a different town (not so earth-shattering, it’s a town about seven miles from where we are now to a place we frequently visit. The house we are renting now has been sold, and the new place better suits our needs and Zach’s future needs). All of the kids have been sick at least once, teeth have been lost, teeth have been cut, potty training has not been going well, Josh has been stressed, the Lincoln house hasn’t been rented, and I could go on. I’ve been running on fumes for a while. I’ve had a few moments where I’ve caught my breath, but as soon as my batteries are charged, they get drained again. One hope I had with this vegetarian adventure would be to feel my energy go up, but that has not been the case. Not due to vegetarianism, but because of a yearning I’ve had for the familiar. Many of my vegetarian food choices were junky. While trying to adjust, changing too many things at once isn’t always the best idea. It’s better to take the time to adjust and keep some of the familiar around.
When I was able to properly plan and shop, I would do well. Right now we aren’t in a place where that is easy. We are still in a state of flux, and haven’t felt at home in this house or in this town, and all of that will be changing again. We’re aware that it takes time to settle in, but we are impatient. I chose the wrong time to partake in this adventure, a decision that was made months before I knew moving was a possibility.
On Monday, an itchy patch of what I thought was eczema turned into a 3×4 inch rectangle of welts. I thought they were bug bites until I had Josh look at them. His reaction: uh, you might want to have that checked out. Those aren’t bug bites. So I checked out WebMD and Dr. Mom, and I suspected it was shingles. I read the description of symptoms and the onset, and it was textbook. Made it into the doctor the same day, and she confirmed my suspicion.
Let me tell you, these little effers HURT and they ITCH. It takes me back to my almost eight year old self who got chicken pox the day before my birthday party (at the skating rink, the coolest place to EVER have a birthday party), which was cancelled. I was heartbroken. It didn’t matter, because all of my friends had them too and had been calling for days to say they couldn’t be there. That was the night too when our family was supposed to go to a big birthday dinner with my Dad’s side of the family. Things don’t always happen at the best times. I stayed home with my sister Jenny, and my dad brought me a happy meal so my mom could go to the dinner, and I got to open my birthday present from Grandma and Grandpa Tonjes early–ET. It was awesome. The chicken pox were not.
As my doctor told me, my immune system is stressed because I am stressed, which brought on the shingles. The chicken pox virus rests dormant in the nerves until an opportunity arises for them to reappear. Usually at a bad time. Of course. So I’m taking this as the final sign that I’m doing something wrong. I’m not doing the things I need to be doing, and not the way they need to be done. I’m taking a step back to simple and get things back on track. Step one, get healthy. I don’t know how long it will take for the shingles to go away, my doc was hopeful that they would only last a week since it was caught early and I got on meds right away. But, she said, it could last as long as three or more weeks, and I could have lingering pain. Fortunately, they haven’t spread, so I’m thinking I’ll be on the shorter end of things. They are driving me nuts. It’s not that the itching or pain itself is so bad, but the mere fact that it lingers on and on and on and on that is so irritating. I have swollen lymph nodes in my under arm, and it feels like I have a porcupine stuck in there. I assured my cousin (female) Stephanie that I have shaved my armpit and that is not the problem (funny how she is in France and wondering that).
My husband is taking good care of me. He has taken over cooking for the week, which is another reason the veggie plan is off. I don’t expect him to take on my duties along with the added task of making my meals meatless. While he is doing a good job, it would be like me taking on our car maintenance long term. Just not a good idea. But I really need to recoup this time. Oh yeah, and I’m still breastfeeding Zach, which makes all of this SOO much easier. So I’m taking it easy, the house isn’t very clean, the laundry isn’t getting folded, there are dishes piled in the sink, and there isn’t much food in the fridge. And I don’t care. And it would do Josh good to learn not to care too much either. Hit the grocery store every couple of days, do a load of dishes when possible, and pull clean clothes out of the laundry baskets. To those of you who know him, I’ll wait until you stop laughing.
So again, step one, get healthy. Once I get there, I’ll figure out what step two is.
And don’t worry, Mom, I’m doing better than you think. Try not to worry (yeah right).