/**/    <!--Can't find substitution for tag [blog.Loripalooza]-->   

Thursday, August 17, 2017

She's Back!

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.

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.’).

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 for my entertainment. (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. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Loripalooza Rocks Your Inbox

For all of my previous email subscribers who were used to getting blog updates sent directly to you, please know that I am in the process of switching over to a new subscription host. 

In the meantime you can still see my new blog posts at the URL http://loripalooza.com.

Go ahead and bookmark it if you haven't already.

As soon as I get my i's dotted and my t's crossed I will resume my invasion of your inbox!



Friday, April 4, 2014

Brantley-isms (Because It's Been A While Since My Husband Said Something This Stupid)

I was getting ready to head to the grocery store when Brantley (my husband) and I finished up a conversation about a girlfriend of mine. We'll call her Stacey. Stacey has been through a lot lately- the loss of a loved one, a bad breakup, and a serious health crisis. Despite all of the things going on in her life Stacey always remains upbeat and concerned with others. She's the kind of friend that remembers your Mother's birthday. Who does that?

I finished double checking the grocery list and headed toward the door when I heard Brantley say, "Wow, she's a stronger woman than I am."

I didn't think it was appropriate to chastise him at the time, so I just kept walking. 

However, now feels right. 

By looking at this photo taken last Easter it's readily apparent that my husband was a much stronger woman just one year ago. 

What happened?


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Kid Expects More From Me (Spoiler Alert! He's In For A Let Down)

I've been getting telltale signs over the last week that Luke (5) is raising his expectations of me. This is quite a conundrum because I am proud to be a champion of mediocrity and yet there I am, time and time again, encouraging him to improve on everything he does. 

Last Friday I helped him pick out his clothes and as he started getting dressed I headed for my closet. 

"I'm going to pick out my clothes now," I told him.

"Okaaaay," he said in a sing-song voice. "Do not EVEN tell me what it is. I can't wait to be amaaaazed."

I stopped dead in my tracks. Since when have I ever come out of my closet wearing something that amazed him, or anyone else for that matter? I wear sweat pants every day and I'm pretty sure he was four-years-old before he ever saw me in a dress. I'll never forget his surprise. "Mom, YOU have a princess suit?"

Afraid he was getting his hopes up for something that was not to be, I told him, "It's going to be running pants (I hesitated) and a T-shirt."

"Are you going running?"

"No." (Slightly annoyed)

"Ohhh, all right then. Dad runs in his."

With that twist of the knife I went into my closet, closed the door behind me and mumbled under my breath, "At least I can tie my own shoes."

Then, this morning after hitting snooze on my alarm for the third time I heard his big, flat feet hit the floor as he got out of his bed and headed for my room. The first thing out of his mouth was, "Really, Mom? Free times?" 

He climbed into my bed and we snuggled for a while before having to get him ready for school. Per our usual routine, we argued about the direction he combs his hair and his disdain for blue jeans. Before I knew it he was out the door and headed to school. He will only be there for three hours, but I miss him already. 

What I don't miss, however, is having my outfit critiqued. 

Billie Jean King is a handsome woman, dammit and I'm not one bit ashamed of copying her swagger. 

This brings me back to my conundrum, though. Is it right for me to expect him to strive for perfection at everything he does while I sleep late and, from time to time, sleep in the outfit I'm going to wear the next day? (Shut up. You know its brilliant.)

Yes, of course it is. 

He's five-years-old and therefore still crappy at everything!! That may sound harsh, but before judging me try making a resume for your five-year-old. You can't. It's hysterical. They can't do anything. 


Parental win. End conundrum.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Study Shows Routine Tonsillectomies ARE Harder Than Pulling Teeth

In the last four weeks Luke has lost two tonsils, two adenoids and two front teeth. That's a lot of loss for one little guy. One thing he hasn't lost, however, is his spunk. He had some complications from the surgery that kept him out of school (and in bed) longer than he would like to have been. This was a result of the ENT accidentally cauterizing (burning) a fairly large portion of his tongue AND sending us home with no mention of it. So on day three, or four of his post-operative recovery instead of starting to feel better, he developed a mass on his tongue so large that he could barely swallow liquids. 

Other than being furious, we were concerned the trauma to his tongue would affect his speech. 

During a follow-up appointment with his ENT, the doctor asked Luke to try saying some different words. 

ENT: "Can you say 'puppy?'"

Luke: "Arf, arf!"

ENT: "No, I'm asking if you can say the word puppy?"

Luke: "Of course I can. Don't be ridiculous."

It was clear to the doctor at that point that Luke still held a grudge and who was I to blame him. When he finished the exam and opened the door to exit the room Luke said loudly, "Mom, I still fink he should go to jail."

A few days before his surgery, Luke let Brantley pull his extremely loose tooth, but it required a good deal of bribery. So we were very surprised when just a few days ago Luke came running into our bedroom. 

"Mom and Dad, I pulled my own toof," he said handing to me. 

"But Luke," I said. "It wasn't even that loose. How did you get it out so quickly?"

He placed his hands on his hips in the way he does when preparing to give us a dissertation.

"Welllll, I bited a heavy pillow, of course. Then, I shook my head around like a dog and it just fell out."

Of course he did. 

Maybe they should change the analogous reference of something being difficult from "It's like pulling teeth" to "It's like being an ENT when a five-year-old makes you look like an ass."


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Just Want To Be Alone!

Luke: "Mom, will you help me make a sign for my bedroom door?"
Me: "If I can coordinate the colors to match your bedroom and mount it on card stock?"
Luke: "What does that mean."
Me: "It means I'll help you if you let me make it pretty."
Luke: "No!"
Me: "Then, no. I won't help you."
Luke: "Ok, fine. But, not too pretty."
Me: "Deal."

I didn't realized at the time that I had just agreed to make a sign that had the sole purpose and intent of keeping ME out of his bedroom. However, I didn't fret over it for too long because truth be told, I appreciate space and privacy just as much as my five-year-old son. Maybe more...

This is one of many examples of why I am delighted to be a contributing author in the soon to be released book, I Just Want To Be Alone.

Jen of People I Want To Punch In The Throat is a blogger that people love to love and love to hate, depending on who's receiving the aforementioned throat punch. Last year, she released the wildly successful precursor to this book- a hilarious view of motherhood entitled I Just Want To Pee Alone. However, when Jen asked who would like to take part in a second volume which was to include the topic of husbands I raised both hands and a foot. 

You may have read the bit of husband bashing I wrote about in "You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth" last year, but something tells me you'll have my back once again after reading my chapter, "Rehearsal Dinner Roofie."