Long Time No Blog
We sold our house and moved from the suburbs to acreage in the country, not too far from our extended family. We absolutely love it here. Our neighbors are all farmers and we are surrounded by cattle, horses, pigs and poultry.
We've added chickens, coturnix quail and midget white turkeys to our menagerie, as well as three mouse-hunting cats (one old black cat that had been a stray and stayed with the house when we moved in, and two sweet blue kittens). We still have rabbits, which we raise and show, and our sweet dog, who loves living on a farm and makes it her responsibility to make sure all the other animals are safe.
Not a week passes that one of us doesn't say aloud how much we love living here. It's so wonderful.
I've become a 4-H leader and am loving helping kids learn about rabbits. We have a really great group of kids.
DH is still working at the same job; computer programmer and general computer guru.
We're still attending the same church, and are involved in various small groups and ministries.
This year and last year, the kids have been in a hybrid program where they attend school half of the week and do their assignments at home the other half. It's been a fabulous fit for our family. DH takes the girls to school the mornings they have school, which allows me to sleep in, and usually I pick them up in the afternoon. The extra rest really makes a difference for me, and I'm able to be more functional.
My health issues are still there, and still fluctuate, but are a constant challenge. I'm still far better than I was a few years ago, though, and am still able to do quite a lot as long as I pace myself and plan for the inevitable resting up and recuperating time before and after any activity.
My sister saw a geneticist who specializes in connective tissue disorders, and was diagnosed with a hereditary connective tissue disorder. Probably some version of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or something very similar, though the tests to verify which version don't yet exist (it's not one of the few very serious types that tests have been developed for).
A hereditary issue makes so much sense, considering that both of my siblings and several of our extended family members all suffer from the same kinds of health issues. We're not quite sure whether that diagnosis is instead of or in addition to the FMS/CFIDS stuff, and are still learning about this and what it means.
Largely it makes me a little more careful and aware about overextending myself. While the chance of something like a rupture of a major organ is very small (we don't have the vascular version which carries a life expectancy in the mid-30s due to the high chance of heart or lung rupture), with this type of issue the connective tissue in skin, muscle and joints can suffer permanent damage or wear out preliminarily. From what I understand, any sort of overextension or straining could hasten or worsen issues that could cause more serious long-term disability. Limiting myself in that way is difficult for me with my personality, and I don't always succeed, but I'm trying. :)
My main concern, of course, is for our children and whether they will suffer from it or not. One of our kids is definitely hypermobile, which is one of the big indicators of the disease, but at this point all of the kids are healthy, happy and doing fabulously.
In addition to school, 4-H, AWANA and church activities, the kids are each taking lessons--M&M and Ebee are doing gymnastics (M&M, in particular, is an amazing athlete), and AJ did a couple of sessions of Christian Youth Theater and is now taking dance classes.
Overall, life is good and we feel very blessed.