22 December 2014

The simplest solution.

The laundry. The laundry is absolutely astounding when you're washing for nine people.

I have been at my wit's end with a laundry pile that often reaches three feet high, baskets of clean laundry that I can't navigate and clothes that never get put away.

Until now.

I belong to a Catholic Large Family board on facebook and the question of laundry comes up constantly. Several people mentioned that every family member has their own basket and loads are only done when that basket is full. I liked that idea, but my people are small and they often run out of clothes in their closet before the load in the basket is big enough to run, what with their clothes being small. So I worked it out and decided to do this:

6ft table, eight baskets:

Household linens
Kitchen and dining

Under the table are two large baskets. Dirty clothes go there. When I have enough to run a load (like I ever have to wait), I wash and dry the load and sort into the baskets. Because I went with small, handled baskets, the girls can carry their clothes to their drawers and put them away without a problem.

The kitchen and dining basket is a HUGE lifesaver, because rooting through loads of laundry to find dish towels and napkins is enough to make a woman batty.

I am happy to report that the 3 ft pile hasn't been seen in over a week. It's pretty much a flawless system, and I'm running three loads a day without breaking a sweat.

I have arrived.

21 December 2014

Untitled and maybe temporary.

I don't want to cry and whine to my friends, but I need to cry and whine to someone, so you, Dear Blog, will be my someone. 

The Remicade is working fantastically. No ulcers, no Crohn's, no colitis, feeling fantastic. I think I just had my 6th infusion and there's no trace of disease. Huzzah! 

However, since March I've gained 20 pounds. After much research, I've learned that weight gain on remicade is actually pretty normal for Crohn's patients, some people gain as much as 60 pounds. 

I can't. I can't even. I can't think of that without crying. I feel so unlike myself. I feel like a blob. My clothes don't fit, I can't look at pictures of myself without melting down, I don't even recognize myself when I look in the mirror. The thought of another 40 pounds or even another five has me in knots. I am pretty much falling apart, because I am not a fat person. Well, the real me isn't. I'm active all day. I don't eat much in the way of extras. I'm not binging on ice cream or eating my feelings. I stay hydrated and I am trying so damn hard to keep this in perspective, but I'm failing. After every infusion, my weight jumps five pounds, and as the remicade leaves my system over the subsequent eight weeks, I start to lose a few pounds, only to gain it back plus a couple pounds once I'm infused again. 

I don't know what to do. If I quit the remicade, I could end up sick again. If I stay on the remicade, I'll continue to spiral emotionally. I'm not in a good place and I feel like all I'm doing is trying to hold it together in the midst of complete sorrow. I want to enjoy the holidays, but I'm not enjoying anything these days, feeling like I'm trapped in a stranger's body. 

That was depressing, I know. But I feel like I can't possibly say what I'm feeling out loud, because I can't draw more attention to the elephant in the room. (Heh. Don't tell me you didn't see that coming.) I feel ashamed every time I put a bite of anything in my mouth, because I obsess over what anyone around me must be thinking. How vain is that? I am gaining plenty of insight into a world I reached through a rabbit hole, a place I never, ever wanted to go. Now I understand why fat people end up with eating disorders. I'm a wreck, here. 

I've never been the skinniest girl in the room, but I've always been healthy. Now, nine months into what should be the best nine months in my life, recovering as I am, I feel completely helpless and tired. Sleep? Forget it. I spend bedtime recounting in my head everything I've put in my mouth all day, trying to decide if I'm feeling positive or downright bummed. And while the kids seem to think extra-fluffy mommy is great, I can't help but feel so ugly and sad when Andrew puts his arms around me only to find More of me than there has ever been before. 

I'll probably delete this tomorrow, but for tonight, I need to send it all out there, somewhere. I'm sure it'll all seem brighter in the morning. Self-pity isn't usually my jam, but I guess everyone needs to have a little rant every so often.