Friday, November 8, 2013

Little By Little


In April of 2012 I wrote about my many doctor appointments and labs. I haven’t bothered to write a follow-up post which is partly due to the fact that nothing and everything have changed at the same time. The appointments and labs in 2013 continued to be plentiful (I am, however, finishing my last round of labs for the year today!) and while answers were found, I am not feeling any better about the situation. It genuinely sucks that I am in constant pain, have to read every single label on what I am eating/drinking, my hair is the thinnest it has ever been, and most notably there is no fix.

After visiting the Endocrinologist last year, the PCOS was re-confirmed. She didn’t know if my hair would grow back, she didn’t know if I would be able to have children and she didn’t know if I would have complications with diabetes later on. She put me on Spironolactone, a medicine I have been on before, and I had great results. Spironolactone is an androgen blocker. For someone with PCOS, the testosterone in the body is unusually high and that elevated hormone level causes hair loss. It also helps me with abdominal throbbing and stabbing pains.

One thing that accompanies PCOS is insulin-resistance. It appears this doesn’t affect everyone the way I am affected by it. I’m learning that a lot of PCOS patients don’t experience the same things or with the same ease/severity. Like facial hair; some women experience hair growth, and I don’t have that at all…THANKFULLY! Over the past year I have struggled with my fear of diabetes and what it means while trying to eat well and be healthy and stay active in the gym. Fortunately, I was introduced to Paleo which is the perfect fit as it eliminates added sugar, wheat, gluten and grains. People always wonder why I try to follow Paleo. It’s not because I think wheat is bad. How can it be bad, it makes lasagna and bread! It’s absolutely a health reason that has been medically encouraged for me and one that my CrossFit coaches absolutely endorse and help me with. This summer I had my blood tested again and the Endocrinologist said it looked good and that I could try to get pregnant if I wanted to. I told her no. I didn’t want to go back off of my medications and lose more hair and have my skin go wild with cystic acne again.

Within a couple of weeks Patrick and I had talked it over and made a decision that if the doctor was behind it, we would go ahead and try. I emailed her to ask about trying to get pregnant. I stopped the Spironolactone and started Metformin to help with ovulation since I don’t on my own. I’ve never been so sick in my entire life. I spent a month and a half on medication that my body was having an increasingly horrid reaction to as the weeks went on. My hair fell out in chunks in the shower when we were on vacation in Jackson Hole. My braid was literally half as thick overnight. I made him take the trash out to the dumpster after I’d cleaned it all up – I didn’t want the cleaning people at the condo to see it. I stood in the mirror and sobbed.

We were on vacation and I could barely get out of bed. I was physically weak, had zero appetite and was constantly nauseous and had only really told Patrick, a couple that are close family friends and my boss what I was going through up until this point. Nobody knew. Even my mom wouldn’t know about this for another 3 weeks when I called her on the way to work and cried about how awful I still felt. I tend to blindside her with information. She’s learned to roll with it. I stopped taking the medication while in Jackson, but it has taken a long time to get all of it out of my body. While taking the Metformin I stopped going to the gym for 6 weeks, and I wasn’t at work very much either. Between not being able to get up in the morning and feeling terrible all day long, I was typically sent home by the most understanding person on the planet.

When I started telling people what was going on, I didn’t tell them the whole story. I told them that the Metformin was to help control my sugars. That’s also what it’s prescribed for (it is referred to as an anti-diabetic drug), and having an elevated risk of diabetes nobody questioned it. I just wasn’t ready for anyone to know what I was struggling with.

During the Metformin cycle, I went to an OB that I was referred to by my Endocrinologist and talked to her. She almost immediately offered to refer me to an infertility specialist for an IVF consult after learning I am a 32-year old PCOS patient. I had to choke back tears. I still have to choke back tears. She reminded me to stay away from all things sugary and inflammatory. There was also some scary test she wanted to do that I wasn’t on board with, so I asked if she would be offended if I got a 2nd opinion. Of course she said no, so I set up an appointment with a new doctor.

Going to the 2nd OB wasn’t any more promising. I had an ultrasound that revealed the source of my abdominal pain and no good news followed. Too many follicles on the ovaries. I asked if this is good or bad – what do I know? I thought I had kidney failure when I read one of my own lab reports last year – she hesitated a bit and then said quietly “it is not good”. They counted 50-60 immature follicles. I asked what was normal. One. One follicle is normal. Again, I was reminded of the sugar and inflammatory foods and offered a referral to a fertility specialist. Again, I was disappointed and choked back tears. Patrick and I have always drawn the line at IVF, for many reasons, and I’m also not up for the cycles of shots that come with fertility treatments.

So now here I am. Still withholding information from most of the people closest, and not so close, to me. And here I am with so much to bear, suffering in almost complete silence.

I’ve tried to talk to a couple of my friends about it. One has also been diagnosed with PCOS and when I asked her if it was okay to ask questions about what she’s been through she said yes and we traded a few messages back and forth; then I received a very cold “I’m sorry you’re going through this” and radio silence followed. Another friend told me diabetes/insulin-resistance was “no big deal” and that her “whole family is diabetic”. Based on these responses, I stopped telling anyone because it seemed people didn’t understand what I was going through and more importantly they didn’t want to.

My mom is helpful and adds levity to the situation. She told me not to fear the possibility of IVF and that I can live with her until the triplets go to college. This laughter and the funny thought of me and my mom under the same roof again regularly makes me laugh to myself…. but is quickly cut short when my sister Jennifer wants to know if I have boys if they will play hockey since Patrick and I love it so much. Um….

Outside of my close family friends, Patrick and my Mom (whom I’d sworn to secrecy because I didn’t want anyone to know), I had cut out my largest support system until the past couple of weeks. My friends that own the gym now know. I had to tell them. I had been sick and gone for 6 weeks and hadn’t told them anything. Then I told them I was trying to get pregnant and then I told them this wasn’t going to happen. They were right there with me for the entire emotional rollercoaster. Another friend and I went for a walk and I told her everything; after some teary eyes and chatting, she knew the whole story too. Very supporting people – these are the same people that have completely changed my life in a few very short years and continue to do so!

Outside of that, I haven’t spoken about it. I have never told Patrick that I got ahead of myself and looked at furniture for a nursery (even while thinking to myself that it was too early and nothing was guaranteed) or looked completely forward to hanging out with our friends with a new baby more than normal because the baby was the most wonderful baby I’d ever met. As for everyone else, I simply told people I wasn’t feeling well and left it at that, keeping all of the heartache to myself. Most people don’t press for information, which is good because I just wasn’t comfortable opening up. I tend to be private until the time is right for me, then I will share.

Patrick and I won’t pursue pregnancy further or consult with the fertility specialist. A decision so final is absolutely heartbreaking; I just wanted this to be so much easier. 'Wanting this to be easier'...this is a thought that rolls around my head frequently with the sound of total exhaustion and defeat. I don’t have the emotional fortitude to continue with doctor’s appointments and labs, and quite frankly I don’t know that I have the physical endurance either.

One question we have received is whether or not we would consider an egg donor. That answer is no, and I don’t care to elaborate. We have also been asked about surrogacy. That answer is also no, we will not pursue that option either. The next question is whether we will explore adoption. This, I don’t know. I don’t know where we sit with that, and right now that topic is off-limits for public sharing/commentary.

This is a tough road, and one which I have largely chosen to travel alone…until now.  I stopped writing last year after I received negative feedback mocking one of my posts. It caused me to question sharing things that are very personal to me and also the things that make me a total nut. Be kind, everyone is fighting their own battles that nobody knows anything about.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Girls are Super, Girls are Terrific, Boys Stink!

The title was painted on a beach towel that hung in my room growing up.  My mother was a genius! The alternate title to this post was "Letting Go".

3 blog posts were started last night. None were finished today, and here’s why: 

Anyone who knows me, and knows me well, knows I am a highly-emotional being. I am very in touch with my emotions and have no problem expressing or sharing them. I get frustrated when emotional conversations aren’t reciprocated or when another person fails to show or discuss theirs.

In the course of 24-hours, I went from having the single-most amazing supporter in my corner to having someone who refuses to respond to me. This has happened once before – and it doesn't hurt any less the second time around. When someone just sort of stops responding and there is no gradual decline in the relationship or even a huge blowout, just one big ignore, there is no closure. Of course, nothing about this is made any easier by the fact that he is a man and I am a woman.

The first time this happened, I lost my best friend because he got engaged and is too immature to be friends with anyone pre-engagement (or maybe this was her request), so in my infinite hurt and anger, I sent a simple “go fuck yourself” text message.  Perhaps not the most adult approach, but it was my emotional hurt and frustration and disappointment all wrapped into 3 little words.

I have worked through my own 12-step program today; it is irrational, a bit nutty and a lot crazy (and subject to change), but it is mine and, as usual, I totally own it.

Conversation from previous evening seemed normal.
Next day:

Step 1.  
Send funny text message.

Step 2.
Send sarcastic text message a few hours later.

Step 3.
Repeat step 1 a few hours after step 2. 

Step 4.
Facebook stalk and realize this person is checking theirs. Debate crying over realizing you really are being ignored.

Step 5.
Instantly send private message and hold your breath.

Step 6.
Wait for step five to be marked as read and send two more. (The second of which was the utterly irrational and pointless, “Seriously? You’re not going to answer me?”)

Step 7.
Let your heart sink as you realize that no messages, text or otherwise, are going to be replied to. Cry.

Step 8.
Debate calling said person, only to come to the conclusion it will only go to voice mail.

Step 9a.
Get angry. Debate leaving ranting voicemail demanding answers, only to realize you don’t know how to delete it if you forget something and know you refuse to send a 2nd voicemail or leave any points untouched. Writing notes before calling seems too rehearsed because you know you’d list off the bullet points.

Step 9b.
Quickly debate leaving softer-toned voicemail requesting a call back so you can work through whatever the problem is, only to realize they still won’t be responding. Continue sobbing.

Step 10.
Get Angry. Debate un-friending said person on Facebook. That will show them that you will not be ignored and that you don’t even care if they are a part of your life anymore.

Step 11.
Understand that un-friending them is not even remotely close to what you want - Facebook or in real life. It is too final and too drastic since, after all, you don’t actually know why they’re ignoring you to begin with, so you change all of your privacy settings to leave them out of your proverbial Facebook loop.

Step 12.
Cry. Again. And realize that you absolutely DO NOT want to lose this person, that you want to get to the bottom of the problem, apologize profusely (and genuinely mean it) and fix it. Change privacy settings to include this person and hope that they eventually get back to you.

Okay, fine. I get it. I’m the creator of my own misery and this is self-torture. I also understand there’s nothing I can do about it. It blows. In a panic that I shouldn’t be in – I typically feel that if someone wants to bow out, you ought to let them. I don’t want to this time. Silently whisper, “Please don’t bow out.”

Pandora knows I’m going through a rough time. It is playing lots of Mariah Carey and Boys II Men…. “End of the Road”. Great. Oh and Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call me Maybe”. Then I listened to “Some Nights” by Fun. BTW the lead singer sings my new favorite duet with P!nk!! Now Lady Gaga is singing about a poker face. I have no poker face. Here is my equivalent: here is my table, here are my cards. Your turn. Readdddddy? GO!

Unfortunately the other person doesn’t give a shit…and it feels lonely here with my cards, table and apology ready for the giving.  Hopefully it works out. If not, well, I’ll move on. That’s the point of all of this, right? To move on, one way or another?

There is a secret step 13. Talk to someone you've been friends with since elementary school, nobody knows you better, and lay it all on the line. Cry a little. Laugh a lot. Get over it. Realize the 12 other steps don't matter, what will happen will happen. Let it go.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Writing as Therapy

I haven’t been watching much TV lately. Now that it is summer, there isn’t much on – I did, however, catch Ryan and Tatum O’Neal’s show today. That is a relationship that has had many highs and many lows. Though I have not read Tatum’s first book, I do understand why Ryan was hurt by it. Even more so, I understand why Tatum wrote it and that writing is highly therapeutic.

Here are the questions: Is it appropriate for a member of a family to write condemning things about another member, and is it alright to air dirty laundry publicly? On the other hand: Why shouldn’t someone share their life and the good and bad experiences they have had? Watching these two try and work through their relationship has awoken a few things within me that I deliberately buried and purposely chose to forget where.

My own father and I had a tumultuous relationship, and he would deny everything if I wrote it all down for the world to see. This is mostly because he has an extremely warped memory and sense of blame, ownership, fault, reality and truth. He would tell me how none of those things ever happened, what a terrible daughter I am, explain how stupid I am and ask who brainwashed me. Just for reference: that’s how each of my conversations with him has ended….and it’s also why I haven’t spoken to him in almost 10 years.

Why is it more acceptable to write and share stories about people who have outstanding success and are well-loved than to write and share stories about men who were so belligerent to their children that those children will never speak to their father again? I, for one, don’t see a problem putting it all out there.  We are all owners of everything about us….good or bad, and whether you want to be or not. At the end of the day, things that happen make us who we are. Why not share those things? It’s not about my father, it’s about me and how I felt and feel about closing the door on my relationship with him and coming to terms with the fact that our relationship was our relationship. It was never going to change. It would never magically become what I had hoped for it to be. It was what it was. Take it or leave it…when I couldn’t take it anymore, I left it. I wasn’t forced out of it; I chose to give it up. I am the owner of that choice, and I absolutely do not regret it.

So, back to the first question – is it appropriate for a member of a family to write about other members? I say go for it. They can choose to accept it or not. I don’t think people should live their lives in fear of doing something so terrible it becomes worthy of being written about - nor should they strive for such notable greatness – but I do think people should own up to things they have done and take credit for it. If my father had been a knight in shining armor opposed to a jerk wrapped in tin foil, that would have definitely been noteworthy. If my father had any ability to take credit for the relationships with his children being what they were, that would have been great and equally noteworthy: stepping up to the plate, correcting wrongs, moving forward.

New question: does it matter when someone takes ownership? That's where there are hangups. There are many relationships, that if the other person called or reached out in any way, shape or form, I would let everything go and move forward without questioning it. If my father called me tomorrow and apologized for things that he has said and done, it wouldn’t prompt me to run into his arms telling him how much I missed him. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t answer the phone. That ship has sailed.

Is that fair? Maybe it is dependent upon how many times a relationship has been tried and failed for various reasons. Is there a scale – what is the weight of the damage done? Does it matter who caused the damage: friends vs. family?  

What it boils down to is this: relationships and their dynamics are ever-changing between any two people. Even they may have opposing opinions of their own relationship. Sometimes you just can't worry about it anymore and have to let it go, whether that process is in print or not.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Waiting...

Things have definitely been busy. Work stuff, of course, has no place in a public forum….but my health, that’s not off-limits. People don’t talk about this stuff. There is no discussion of problems, diagnosis, treatment or side effects. Only the aftermath, the end result, how they got through it. Well, I, for one, have no issue with sharing the problems, diagnosis or treatment and side effects. We all have a process, and this is how I will get through it.

Shortly after my January post I started to not feel well. Burning upset stomach, constant heartburn, no sleep and an ulcer diagnosis shortly after. I only went to the doctor once I hadn’t slept in almost a week. She wanted to have my labs done because apparently I looked like shit – my description, not hers. She was nice. Asked if I had been sleeping and said I looked a little more pale and tired than she anticipated.
In the meantime, she loaded me up with antacids and a list of foods to stay away from and sent me on the trip to New Orleans for Patrick’s ½ Marathon. (He did very well and the trip was great!) Upon our return, I had the labs done. The Phlebotomist  looked a bit surprised at the many pages the doctor wanted results of.
Told her (the Phlebotomist) that I’m a fainter. Asked her for a room to lie down in since all I saw from the waiting room were open doors to rooms with adult high chairs in them. She rolled her eyes at me and took my insurance card. She’s a real gem. Called me back, sat me in a room and then rolled her eyes at me when I sat across the room in the little chair…reminded her I’m a fainter and we can do this on the floor or on one of the little patient beds…but we would NOT be doing this in the high chair. What I didn’t tell her is that I’ve fallen from those more than once by someone wanting to be a hero and thinking they could draw my blood without incident. Without saying another word she took me to another room, pointed to the little bed, grabbed my arm and took the blood – was all done and over with within a couple of minutes. She had me bandaged up before I even knew what happened and she was back to the front desk.
Here’s what I didn’t know: stressing out over having labs done and whether or not I’d rather faint (again) was the least of my issues.
A week later the labs came back with a note from my doctor requesting a follow-up appointment. They never request a follow-up appointment from me. Crap. And how do you even read those lab results anyway? I was convinced I had kidney failure. According to my doctor, my kidneys are fine. Other parts…well…not so much.
I’m deficient in quite a few things, so now I’m on prescription strength vitamins for 3 months when we will retest. We are also testing for Celiac at that time. I’m not worried about that. If my labs come back low again, I do the same thing I’ve been doing for 3 more months and retest. If I’m still deficient and there is no Celiac or absorption issue, I continue on these vitamins forever and move on.
The labs also revealed something else: I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Ok, fine. This isn’t exactly a big reveal. I’m not shocked. I’m also not alone – fortunately and unfortunately, it is really common. What I am is really pissed and a disappointed.
Seven years ago, I went to the doctor that I had at the time with issues; after a few appointments, she wanted to remove my ovaries….I never really knew the diagnosis - just that I had cyst issues. I was 23, what did I know!?  The specialist she consulted said no, that wasn’t necessary, so we did nothing. Nothing! All the while I could have been given options. There are several options to help control the symptoms and side effects. I’ve been in hell for 7 years not knowing what was really wrong or why I was in the pain I was in....and left totally in the dark about possibilities to make it all go away. I just thought this is how it was for me. My new doctors along the way haven’t seemed alarmed or bothered that I had cyst issues and I had no clue any of this was indicative of PCOS. I hadn’t been told I had PCOS, so I figured I didn’t have to worry about it.
Now I’m 30 and have been told that I may not be able to have children. Okay. Fine. I can handle that. I’m not necessarily convinced I was put on this earth for the sole purpose of being somebody’s mother. There are other risks though associated with this though. My body processes insulin differently, that means a higher risk for diabetes. Also, a higher risk for cancer, cholesterol, excessive weight gain…. All things that I could have been looking after more closely for 7 years. Okay, I get it, I was in my 20’s, and for some reason 20-year old people don’t have the same troubles 30-year old people do. But I was never not at risk; it was just lower.
It is swimsuit season. There are visible side effects – a weight I have never been before, for starters. Horrific cysts covering my back that leave God-awful scars. I have them treated with laser beams. Hurts like hell.  The doctor has to numb my back with Lidocaine shots in the cysts and surrounding area then applies 2-3 layers of topical numbing cream before she can get started – then the laser hits my skin 100 times. I can feel most of it, even with it numbed. The first time, I cried throughout the whole appointment. I cried again when I tried on a swimsuit last weekend; it’s a mess and I don’t want anyone to see. We have 2 upcoming weekends with friends, and they will see it. I am mortified. They will understand, and I will survive.
A few of the internal treatments for all of this seem viable – they really are solid treatments to get the PCOS under control. One of them, on the other hand, sounds awful – Ovarian Drilling. I will so not be doing that! Ever. I’d rather have them removed – they’re causing nothing but hate and discontent – but don’t drill into them!
This is not a woe is me moment. It is however, a lot for me to deal with. I can’t get in to the specialist until the middle of June. That’s 3 whole months of waiting. My doctor doesn’t see the big deal because I’ve "had this for 10-15 years, so there’s no rush".  True. But, really, I’d just like to feel better, especially now that 'it' has a name and potential treatments.
So…here I am…waiting…trying to find humor, and failing miserably, in my needle phobia, getting shot up with Lidocaine once a month to make it through the laser treatment, having labs done every 3 months, taking a plethora of pills and thinking Ovarian Drilling sounds like the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Don't Judge a Book....

I haven’t written in oh, so long, and, unfortunately, this first post in quite some time isn't funny, and it isn’t light-hearted.  

What you see isn’t always what's there.
As I sit here and wrap Christmas presents for a family that I won’t see at Christmas, it dawns on me: people are not what they seem to be.
I am totally submerged in work and in my own household. I work for people that are family-focused. If they knew that the reason my parents in law don’t come visit is because we don’t have children and apparently my father-in-law is far too bored at my house to bother visiting at any point since Thanksgiving 2010, they, like me, would be mortified. They, like me, would wonder why my house isn't on the Christmas rotation list either.
It’sheartbreaking. Patrick is 'used to it'.  What sort of fucked-up family do you grow up in that this becomes no big deal? The norm? I am simply not okay with any of it.

Bored!? What kind of reason is that not to come? I live in Denver - the anti-bored! Are you freaking kidding me!?? And then they went to Fort Collins to see my brother and sister in law and niece every couple months or so over the past year and I got it...there are no children at my house, what could they possibly want here?

My mother in law is someone I absolultely adore! How could I not - she is fantastic! However, this is the same woman who, at a family friend's funeral, told another friend of hers that since Patrick and his brother live not far apart, the way she decides whose house to stay at is "the one with the grandchildren". I was standing right there. Not only was the funeral difficult enough, after being declared a Sumner just a few months prior, but now I wasn't good enough.  Patrick and I are not warranted a visit on our own merit, we need to have children. Wow - ok.....I don't know what to do with that information....and it was several years ago - still struggling and unable to write it off.

As a woman, the fact that we don’t have children may not be by choice, has anyone thought of that? I chalk it up to being “not my turn”, however, there could be serious issues concerning the child-having portion of my life. It certainly isn’t for lack of desire or trying or problem solving. So to be punished by family by not coming because you’re “going to go where the grandchildren are” is something I can't begin to comprehend.
So, there it is. I don’t know if we can have children and I feel greatly punished because of it; as if personal agony isn't quite enough.

Never once in my life have I done something that others wanted, it isn't my style and that's certainly not what this is about. I find it extremely absurd that, for whatever reason, we have been written off since children are criteria for whether or not you want to see me. Are you freaking kidding me?!?

Just this past September my sister in law made an off-handed comment, as she is known to do, that Jennifer (my niece) will most likely be an only grandchild on both sides.  You know what: F-You! If her sister and I, along with the people we are married to, had made conscious decisions to not have children that would be one thing.  She needs to remember that she was quite old by the time she had Jenny....much beyond her sister and I are now. Comments like that I can write off - as stupidity.

The pressure to have or to not have children is immense. Both self-induced and from outsiders.  Do not judge a book by it's cover - you have no idea what that book is up against.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Well-Adjusted

Well-adjusted. What does that even mean?!?! As described by the synonyms on Word: Stable. Normal. Happy. Secure.

How about simply 'adjusted'. Sometimes it is challenging, to say the least, to be or do things 'well' period, let alone 'well' hyphenated anything.

We go through life coping with things and adjusting to them, none of them 'well'. A little tweak here, a little tweak there, 180* turn to this and complete denial about that. All adjustments. Each should have a level of difficulty assigned to it. A technical rating. The smaller the tweak, the smaller the level of difficulty. The greater the denial - well, now we're talkin'!!


How many of us can really say we are adjusting 'well'? If it is thought that one is excelling at being a jerk, they will most likely succeed in upping the ante in denial. If it is thought that one is doing something fantastic and achieving their dreams and goals, they are most likely going to succeed at denial in not wanting to draw attention to themselves. I see a trend here.....

Why is it we can all see what we think and not what we know?

We think we aren't as awful as we can be and don't know we are as powerful as we are. Or for those that need to reel it in a bit: in constantly telling everyone how wonderful they think they are - it is thought that they are not.

I have no idea where I'm going with this. It's late. I can't sleep and the dogs are taking up 1/2 of the bed. Regrouping....

Being adjusted, or well-adjusted for that matter, has got to come from within. I figure this not from experience but because that seems logical. Look - as many people don't want to be like their parents for one reason or another, where else would learning to adjust come from but each individual?

Discomfort. Discomfort causes adjustment. Now we're getting somewhere and nowhere at the same time.

It comes in many forms and even more adjectives. Most recently for me it came in a very abrupt response to seeing a class schedule that involved 3 cadaver sessions. I don't think so! No way in Hell is somebody's aunt/uncle/mother/father/grandparent/child/sibling/cousin/neighbor going to be my science experiment. My discomfort, one of many, lies in death. Period. Being with a cadaver is not anywhere near my level of comfort or acceptance. I will order the plastic skeletons and muscle groups from the Internet. Thank you.

Apparently this makes me not well-adjusted by definition. However, I am adjusted. I have changed my course of action due to discomfort, however severe. The interest in the classes also comes from discomfort and wanting to proceed in a new direction. Even when there's a positive spin on the decision or adjustment, it is derived out of some level of discomfort.

The way I see it: recognize the discomfort and move with or around it until whatever it is works. That's got to be the key to being well-adjusted vs. simply adjusted.

That notion has faults, there are plenty of things and people I absolutely walk away from because I cannot tolerate the level of discomfort or figure out a way to make adjustments. But, then, maybe the part about being well-adjusted is knowing when something has run it's course and it's time to move on.

Presentation

It’s all about presentation.  Food. Drinks. Marketing. Dress codes. The way we say things.

I made a Facebook post asking for help looking for a certain type of chile, as it is that time of year.  Opposed to answering the question of ‘does anyone know how much a bushel is’ with a yes, no or an amount, I received, instead, other chile options.  One of them was suggested quite nicely and I think I’ll try that one.  One person simply questioned my choice and redirected me toward what he suggested in the “I’m-serious-but-this-winking-smiley-face-looks-like-I’m-kidding way”. (Actually, I totally love this guy, so I do think he was being funny!) A third person was genuine and simply gave me the name of a place to find what I was looking for.
Then there was a final post – this one clearly unhelpful, rude and totally lacking presentation. First of all, he described was I was looking for as “lousy” and posted “yuck!” and went on to tell me where to get them if I ‘must have them’. No further suggestion. Okay. I get it. You don’t like what I like – in all fairness, that’s perfectly acceptable.

What was I supposed to say? I know what I wanted to say – it was going to be just as presentation-lacking as, and coincidentally rhyming with, “yuck!” and would have ignored the small amount of grace and humility I have managed to acquire. So, instead, I wrote back that I was unsure how to respond to the insult but that I appreciated him for taking the time to reply. No F-Bomb dropped, grace and humility intact.
Still I go back to what isn’t acceptable: the way in which the reply was presented.  There were so many other options for a comment, the first one being none at all. The second one could have been a suggestion and perhaps a reason or two as to why the suggestion is preferred – it could have included why the original chile wasn’t preferred using something more articulate than “yuck” and “lousy”.

What is it that leads one to believe that a simple question calls for an insult for a response? I’m not his buddy, his pal, his sister….I’m some chick he went to high school with that I haven’t seen in 12 years and we happen to be Facebook 'friends'.

I’m not angry, irritated or annoyed by the reply. Instead, it is called into question for showing up on my radar as a lack of presentation by someone I don’t exactly know. In all fairness, he doesn’t know me either. No, this isn't where I attempt to have my attitude go from 10 to 1,000 in .00003 seconds in the form of “YOU don’t know ME!!”.  This simply questions the reply itself. If you don’t know your audience, it is simply better to be polite rather than insulting. The insult was uncalled for and really out of line with the question posed.

Perhaps I ask too much of people. Oh, who are we kidding? I set the bar so high there’s no possible way for others to not fail. You know it, I know it, and really, it should come as no surprise.  It isn’t something I strive for, but I'm not uncomfortable with it either. I can’t help but wonder what my reaction would be from someone I am close to. Would I take it as poor presentation? Would people that know me better not respond to a generic question with an insult to begin with?
As I did the final read-through of this post, I received another Facebook reply from him stating "not intended as an insult, just a comment :-)". Perhaps the original reply was meant as more of a comment opposed to an insult, but it didn't come across that way, and therein lies the problem.
It’s all about presentation.