Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Did It!

The people who read my blog all the time know that I have had a struggle with the current doctors office I have been using. It has been a huge struggle for me as I really like my doctor a lot. I have been going back and forth for a long time as to whether I should leave the office or not. The struggle I have is not with my doctor, I really liked her, it is with the help in the office. I have had what I would call nothing less than terrible customer/patient service from them, with the exception of my Rheumatologist's MA I must add. From the others I have been treated like an idiot, I have been told I am fine when I'm not, and I have witnesses staff gossiping and in the waiting room, the list could go on. I finally had it yesterday when I called and was diagnosed over the phone by the MA, once again, and knowing that they never even talked to my doctor. I can't take it anymore! I finally decided it is time to leave that office. They are so busy you can never get in even if you need to be seen it is impossible. I have been told time after time go to Urgent Care, which to me is a total waste of time when they have no idea your history. Unbeknownst to me today became the day, "I DID IT."

I went up to the office a few miles from home where I get my labs done every three months. I saw the cards with the two doctors who work in the office sitting on a ledge. I picked up the woman doctors card and thought to myself I really should check up on this doctor,  it would be so convenient to have my office only a few miles from my home instead of a half hour drive away. Sitting there waiting for the girl to call me to come back to get my blood drawn I thought to myself, Self, you can drill the MA about this doctor. So, when we sat down I asked the nice young girl about the nice looking young doctor. I figure if I get a young doctor she will be around until I die, and she is young. After I asked the MA all the questions I had she told me she thought I might be able to actually meet the doctor right now. I was thrilled and horrified at the same time. I looked like a piece of trash. I had stretchy pants on, a t-shirt that says, Grandma is Love, and I was sparse on the makeup with my hair twisted up in the back held by a few bobby pins. Believe me, it wasn't a pretty sight but at this point I was so excited I didn't even think about how I looked.
The MA left and came back to tell me, Yes, the doctor can meet with you now if you would like. I was thrilled. I liked her from the get go. Very personable, willing take me on with all my issues, told me I could get in anytime I needed if I have something come up, and she is there everyday of the week. I wanted to scream where can I sign on the dotted line? This is too good to be true. I know for most a doc is no big deal but for me my doc is like a lifeline on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Needless to say I came home, took my insurance card out, went to the website of my provider and now I am happy to announce I finally, after months and months of angst, have a new doctor! I am happy and relieved beyond what anyone would ever be able to understand. I won't have to feel like a common criminal anymore when I call the office if need be. This is a huge relief. Now if I do not feel better by July 1 I will be able to call my new doc and get in to see her. She understood the special needs of a immunosuppressed patient and that helps me to feel more comfortable too. Granted she has not seen my chart yet and when she does I am sure she will have a small heart attack but being so young I am sure she will have a quick recovery. You know how young people bounce back faster than us older folk.
It is done. I am happy I can finally say, "I DID IT," and move on from here.

God Bless!


Monday, June 18, 2012

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I was driving to the post office this morning flipping through radio stations as I stumbled upon the Rolling Stones singing, You Can't Always Get What You Want. It made me smile at first thinking of some sweet memories of my teenage years and the crazy people I use to hang out with. We sure had a lot of fun I must admit. When this song played back then neither I or my friends would have never thought about the words or were actually saying to us, we would just wait for the chorus so we could blurt out, You can't Always Get What You Want, from the top of our lungs laughing at the end. I would say that about most songs back then, if it didn't rock we would change the station or put in a eight track tape to find our favorite we could sing and rock to.

When my memories subsided and I came back to the reality slapped out of my 1980 memory, the part of the song that I heard was, But You Get What You Need. Back then I know we never thought about that part of the song, But You Get What You Need. We were carefree and clueless as to what the real world was back then. Now as the years have flown by and life has changed these words take on a whole new meaning, not just for me but I am sure for you also if you think about it. You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need. Think about it for a few minutes as to how these words pertain to you and your life. Listen to the song if you have to.

I think back to the beginning of my illness at its worse, realizing at this moment it is coming up on six years since my real struggles began. I can think about the words of this song in such a different way then ever thought possible when I think back to that time. I am specifically remembering six months after my actual diagnosis of Inflammatory Arthritis. Drugs were begun and in my system it was at that very time I started seeing a Neurologist for my muscle weakness and vision problems. It was a horrible time from a doctor appointments standpoint but it is also when the blessings in disguise began. Right at that specific time was when Dave and Katie told us we were going to be grandparents. It wasn't easy at first but now as I look back I can say with confidence, "You really do get what you need and at just the right time." I truly believe God sent Hunter as a true gift at a time that was very hard for all of us. Test after test, doctor appointment after doctor appointment, but knowing that our life would be blessed with a child gave us all hope. Hope for that brighter tomorrow. Hunter has blessed our life more than anything or anyone ever could, well he and Addison too. When she came along it was just another blessing stacked on top of the other!

You can ask for many things in life. Material wise or people wise, but you must believe you really are given what you need at just the right time. Yes, sometimes what you are given isn't good, but you must always try to find at least one little glimmer of hope and goodness in every situation, good or bad. If you are unable to do that then what is the reason you are here? It really is true when you are going through a hard time that many of those times you are unable to see why you have to struggle but many years down the road as you look back, you will find there really was a reason and you really do, get what you need. So remember, You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need. What a great thought to ponder on for today!

God Bless!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Clock On The Wall

This morning as I awoke with yet another migraine, and called out to Rich who was at the kitchen table to bring me some meds, I thought to myself are you kidding me? The minute I called to him he came running up the steps before he even knew what was wrong. I tell you when that happens it rips my heart out, migraine or no migraine. He is so worried about me all the time that just the quiet voice of me calling his name sends him into some sort of a marathon racer trying to get the the finish line of a race. Like I wrote many times, it is very painful for me and almost worse than the migraine or whatever else I may be suffering on any given day. I will tell you I keep a lot of stuff to myself for just that reason. I cannot bare to see him suffer almost more than I do.

Rich got my meds, brought them up to me and I tried to go back to sleep but it was impossible so I decided to drink the usual cup of caffeine to see if that would help. It did and I am better. When I was sitting on the couch drinking the coffee with my eyes closed, I noticed how loud the small clock on the wall was. TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK. Seriously? You never notice how loud anything is or how bright things are until you are in the middle of the hell of a migraine, on normal days I cannot even hear that clock. I was thinking about that stupid loud clock and I wanted to it pull off the wall and chuck out the front door, but decided I should just try to block it from my highly sensitive hearing. I started thinking about time instead, not the time on the clock but how fast time passes. Then I thought about the years that Rich has had to live with chronic illness right along with me. I have watched him suffer much more than I do. I am sure, unless you are ill, you can not understand that at all but living with a chronically ill person is no fun. I watch him suffer in trying to make life easier for me. Jumping up if I need something, doing anything, and I mean anything, to help me get better. Just last week as I was waiting for my new pillow to come in he said, "If I have to I'll drive to Australia to pick that pillow up just find out where it is and I'll go," and he was serious, very serious. Is he perfect? No. I know I make him out to be but none of us are. I'm not (I can be a real pain in the butt), you're not, but as time goes by we need to realize how precious life is and how precious our relationships are and that time is passing by rapidly.

When I got up and was so sick I didn't even wish Rich a Happy Father's Day, but as the pain started to get better I said, Happy Father's Day." Of course his response was, "I'm not your father." I said, "No you're not you are more like my daddy." Then I thought about that, you are a daddy who will do anything for his child. A daddy who will jump up to save his child from harm or make a run to the store in the middle of the night to get whatever may be needed to calm their child. I realized this relationship has to be a hard one for him, but he never falters or complains. He only tells me, "I love taking care of you and I'll do anything for you because I love you." It breaks my heart when he says that because I just think loving me cannot be easy for him but he makes it look so easy. In the past few years and in that moment today as I wished him a Happy Father's Day I realized he really truly is like my daddy. When I told him that he said, Ya, I'm your Sugar Daddy," and we both laughed. I like that even though his and my sense of his sugar daddy statement meant something much different than what most people would think.

I hope as time goes on and when you hear the tick tock of the clock on the wall you are able to remember time is short. The clock is always ticking taking time away from you and I. People are everything. Whether you are a care giver of a chronically ill person or a healthy person trying to get by day to day, enjoy every second of that clock ticking because what you do today is what you will leave behind tomorrow. I am so happy I have received so much love from my family to store in my heart forever, it keeps me going, I hope I do the same for them and I hope you are able to do the same for the ones you love!

God Bless!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coraggio? Me?

Most of you know from my past blog entries I am a huge fan of Lisa K. Gigliotti, J.D. Lisa wrote the book, Coraggio! Lessons for Living From an Italian Grandmother Despite Illness, Pain & Loss. Lisa has a website to connect you with how you can order her inspirational books, www.withcourageican and you can like her site on facebook, Coraggio - Lessons for Living from an Italian Grandmother.
I hope that your are able to read all of her books one day, but if not, at least the first one. It will bring you to tears, bring you joy, make you think about life and mostly about how fortunate you are. It will also make you realize there really is someone who has it worse than you do but, and this is a BIG BUT, you can take what you are given and always do better no matter what the circumstances are. I do not want to give you too many details because I really want to encourage you to take the journey with Lisa as she has a story that almost seems to unreal for one person to endure.

I have been blessed to hear Lisa speak about the Coraggio her Grandmother and others taught her on her journey called life. Lisa journey is a long one. You see, Lisa has not only one autoimmune disease but two. On the occasions that I have had the honor to listen to Lisa's story in person it has brought me to tears. Just watching her and seeing how her hands are gnarled by the arthritis that has eaten away at her joints gives me courage. It gives my heart a sense of selfish thankfulness that I can still use my hands. I drop a lot of things, I have pain and stiffness, but to see Lisa I realize am blessed. You really want to know what the best part of listening and watching Lisa speak is, for me at least? Her smile. I cannot tell you about her smile, there is always one her face, every time I see her. Her compassion for people, all people makes her even more special. She is one of those people who has the energy that eludes from her body. You know that when she asks you how you are doing she really wants to know, how you are doing? She listens with her eyes. I have never met a person with such a caring heart nor have I became attached to someone as I have with Lisa. There is not a day that goes by I do not think of her. On my bad days I ask myself, "What would Lisa think of you today?" I tell myself, "If Lisa can do this you can!" I tell myself, a lot, to "knock it off." I would never say I feel sorry for myself but I feel bad for my circumstances, then I think of Lisa who still works full time as a Judge in East Lansing. Yes, you read that right, a Judge, and I sit here and think I am unable to get a job. Seriously? All I know is because of Lisa and her courage I tell myself that one day I will get a job. I do not know what it will be but someday it will happen.

A few weeks ago I received a message on my answering machine when I was gone. It was from Suzi the Director of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation Great Lakes Chapter. She called to inform me that I am receiving the Coraggio award this year from the chapter. This award was started last year through the chapter by Lisa for those who have courage as they face the daily obstacles of living with chronic illness. Last year Lisa was the first recipient of the award as she is the true warrior of living with Coraggio, this year it is I. I am honored beyond any words I could write, or anything thoughts that may wonder through my mind. There is no way I come close to deserving such an award. I watch other people who struggle much more than I but for some reason Lisa and the chapter feel I am worthy. If I have even half the Coraggio that Lisa has I have won the fight. The funny part is that I have been struggling so much lately with not watching the grand babies anymore and trying to find my new place in the world this may have come at just the right time for me. I needed some encouragement at this time and receiving this award helps me to realize I can and will find something. I will remember Lisa always. Her courage will give me courage and strength to face each day as it come. It always amazes me how God knows what you need just when you need it. On behalf of Lisa I will accept the Coraggio award and I will make her proud as I push on as she has.

I can only imagine how proud Lisa's mother and grandmother are of her as they look down on her from heaven. I am sure the angels are singing right next to them as they can rest in peace knowing they have left behind a real angel here on earth. A person who has a heart. A person who really loves people for who they are and encourages them along the way. A person I am fortunate to have crossed paths with, award or no award. Thank you Lisa you give us all Coraggio!

God Bless!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Kill them With Kindness

You have heard it before I am sure, Kill them With Kindness. I never really thought to much about this saying because I never felt I had people in my life that this little quote/sentence would pertain to. The older I get and the more time has gone on I realize, I do, I always have I just was to naive to notice. I usually just avoid the energy sucking people who are rude, inconsiderate, selfish, and play favorites with people's lives, but the older I get I just can't do it anymore. The worst part is when the people that fit into this description are people that you cannot get a way from and you are stuck with them forever and there is no way out. I heard many years ago, or was it I who made it up, "You can mess with me all you want but when you mess with my children that is where it ends." Favorites to me in any form is something that absolutely drives me in sane, bonkers, etc. If you want to know the truth on this one just ask my kids. If we did anything, I don't care what it was, it was always fair. My parents taught me this. If we had a pile of m & m's I would divide them into three piles and they would all three of our children get the same amount, if there was one over I would eat it to even out the number. It was just the way I rolled with everything. I surely did not want one of my children growing up thinking that they were any better or anymore loved than the other, that still applies to this day. The same principle applies when I observe how other people treat my children and sometimes I watch as one is put above the other. It can make steam roll out of my ears. Yes, I can be a hot head at times. Most people do not know that about me. I am a very nice person, I would do anything for anyone. People treat me like shit and I always crawl back for more. It is just the type of person I am. Always do good for everyone else and suck it up but in the wings there is this devil woman who can lash out and let me tell you, it ain't pretty when I do. I feel I am reaching that point with a certain situation in my life. I am over the top to put it mildly. Over the past few years as the illness has sucked the life out of me I have learned that I do not need to play the "games" anymore. Yes, I do still have to be nice. Yes, there are people I have no choice about dealing with in my life, but if I did, believe me they would be no part of it. I wouldn't allow a stranger to treat me that way so why I have to allow certain others do it? The answer is that it is out of a love I have for a certain someone. You just have to do it for another person sometimes, and when you are dealing with people who sweep everything under the rug and never say it like it is, it makes it very hard.

This morning as I awoke and was making may coffee and drugging up the first thing that came to my mind, besides the song Don't Let it End by Styx, was Kill Them With Kindness. Humm, it just struck me funny that song would be in my head and this saying would come to mind. It has to be God telling me to knock it off. That I must continue to kill them with kindness, not that it matters or ever will. "But God (screaming) I am tired. You know how tired I am. it is a full time job just staying afloat these days and I am always the one who has to be the kind one?" "Yes my child you do", is all I always hear. "But, I am sick of people who are damaged goods always blaming the good people for their own problems." "My child, that isn't how it works, you are here to do good even to those people who treat you like a common front door mat." I hear this over and over, especially for the past ten years or so. I feel like I can no longer hold up to the standards God is always asking me to. I have people who do not care one way or another about me or my family, who should by the way, but I am suppose to listen to them complain and talk only of themselves. I am tired, I am sick, I am wore out and not one of them care or even take the time to ask, "How are you doing?" How can people just not care? I don't get it, never have, never will. The only answer I have is selfishness. There is no other answer.

After I grabbed the coffee and downed the drugs I came to the computer and searched the saying, Kill them With Kindness. One of the stories in the small article I read said even in a traffic dispute wave if someone is flipping you off or mad at you, it will kill them. just smile and wave. The main part that interested me and was more true for my situation, be as nice as you can in all situations. Smile, that'll drive em crazy. Nod in agreement even if you want to bash them in the face. Keep eye contact, as hard as that is, all the time keeping that smile. So that is suppose to drive themmmm crazy? Is it suppose to drive me crazy at the same time? Cause it does! And what about the people that ignore you? Look you in the eye and cannot even say hi to you? What is that? It doesn't say anything about those inconsiderate selfish people in the article. Smile, that is the answer, just smile. I do and I did. The article even says go beyond that and do nice things for these people, little gifts, and things like that. For me, that is pushing it a little to far I think I will stick to the smile and only when I a forced to do so, after all I have busted my ass in the past for them and have been used enough, there has to be an end to that, at least for me. I feel I am at a point in my life where illness has striped so much from me. I need to be nice, yes I do, but I do not need to keep playing games. I'll be nice when I need to and avoid all the meaningless crap that just wears me down even more. I will continue to kill people with kindness even when I know they don't give a shit one way or another I will t hank God for his grace because I sure do need it right now.

God Bless!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Still Believe

Yup, I'm back again. You know how it is, when things are going good there isn't much to write about, but when things aren't going so good there are many things to write about.

I was awaken this morning once again by a migraine at 4 am. Only difference this time as soon as I turned over and it struck I took the meds and got up and drank a cup of coffee to help ward off another all morning attack like I has the other day. it seems to have worked except for the hangover I now have from the headache. Its okay I can handle it knowing I didn't have to battle that severe pain all morning.

I decided to go back to bed and finally laid back down at 7:00 am. The song, I still believe by Jeremy Camp started to blare through my head. It struck me just like that and the tune kept running through my head, I still believe over and over as I tried to think of the other words to the song all I could hear was I still believe. I laid there and just allowed the words to run over and over in my head like a broken record. You see, when I feel as bad as I have been feeling, as I have said many times before, I ask myself why in the world am I here? Only to suffer? I got the answer this week and more this morning as the tune played on and as I listen to it as I write this.

It is a miracle to me that this song was the one that God decided to put in my head this morning because I have been doing a lot of reading up on the disciples lately. I have learned that these twelve men were ordinary just like you and I. Yes, I knew that but they were much more ordinary than we all might think. I don't know why I always thought of them as holy men who did no wrong. I am learning more and more about their character and I must admit, as I read on I am learning, I am just like them. I am a believer but I still doubt. Don't get me wrong I believe in God but I doubt that a loving God could allow someone to suffer so much. I don't understand it. I cry out to God that this isn't fair. I question him all the time, but more on weeks like this. He sent me an answer this week as I was reading the book, Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur on page 112, the chapter on John. The Apostle of Love. John is the only Apostle who was not killed for his belief and teaching and the only one who lived a long life, albeit alone on a island along with much suffering he endured for his belief.

There it was in black and white as the author writes, "It is my conviction that when we see Christ's glory fully unveiled we will finally understand why the glory of Christ is the greatest reward of all in Heaven. One glimpse of Jesus in the fullness of His glory will be worth all the pain and suffering and sorrow we have endured here on earth. Participation in Christ's glory is there fore a fitting desire for every child of God.
But if we desire to partake in heavenly glory we must also be willing to partake of earthy sufferings.
Philippians 3:10 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
Paul wasn't saying he had a masochistic lust for pain; he was simply recognizing that glory and suffering are inseperable. Those who desire the reward of glory must be willing to desire the suffering. Suffering is the price of glory with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:17.
Matthew 16:24-25, John 12:24-25.
Suffering is a prelude to glory. Our suffering as believers is the assurance of the glory that is yet to come. 1Peter 1:6-7- The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18. Meanwhile for those who thirst for glory must balance desire with a willingness to serve."

For me this added some comfort to my suffering, especially the parts that said, One glimpse of Jesus in the fullness of His glory will be worth all the pain and suffering and sorrow we have endured here on earth. And the part that says our sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
I need to hear that and I need to read it everyday, whether it is a good day or a bad day. It is the only thing that helps get me through this hell on earth. It reminds me of all the people I know right now who are suffering. It makes me want to pray for them to at least feel better even though some of them will not be healed. It gives me strength to face the day. It helps to know how much the disciples suffered and were willing to give up for Jesus and for their faith. It humbles me to want to be a better person. Saint? No way. Sinner? Hell yes! For that is the reason I personally need Jesus and why I need to pray. The reason I am able to go on when all I want is for it to all end. It is the hope I have for a better ending than what I am living in now. I am grateful for the messages God has sent me this week as I suffer knowing I will have good days again and I surely will go back to taking it all for granted while I wait for the next bomb to drop.

I am not a person who preaches to anyone and I am not doing that here. I live my faith which for me speaks much louder than preaching it. I accept people where they are. I truly love everyone. Just as Jesus did when he walked on this earth. I am not the judge or the jury, I am sure you are able to do that for yourself.  I am no better than any believer, non-believer, or otherwise. I am human that is why I need something/someone bigger than myself to guide me through this hell until I can reach my final destination. Serenity, peace, pure love, no pain, bliss, need I go on? As for today, I still believe, and will continue to lean on that belief until the end.

God Bless!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Does Wednesday Look Like To You? This Is How Mine Looks

Wednesday's sure do roll around fast. I am almost positive if I had a job, out in the real world, I would love Wednesday's. The work week would be half done, for most people at least, and Friday would only be a few days away. On Wednesday's I wake up like everyone else, well almost like everyone else as far as the getting out of bed at some point part. We all must do it, wake up, but for me Wednesday's are different. There are those Wednesday's I get up and do not remember it is the day I must inject myself with a chemo drug, a very low dose, but still the same poison. Other Wednesday's I will remember it is shot day as soon as I lay my feet on the wood floors. I quickly push the thought out of my head and put the reminder on a shelf until later in the day. It is just another one of the many games you play when you are chronically ill. If you don't think about it, it doesn't exist. Other Wednesday's I do not think of it until bedtime and realize I forgot all about the dreaded shot. I have been doing my injections at bedtime for the past few weeks to help with the side effects that sometimes plague me after the shot such as headache, extreme fatigue, along with a not feeling well all over feeling. These effects usually last for about 24 hours and then I am better for the weekend. I usually have enough energy to have some good quality family time until Monday when the cycle of going downhill starts all over once again. Wednesday is waiting in the wings once again and rolls around fast. In the meantime I depend on the steroids to help hinder some of the symptoms I encounter on a daily basis.
The reason I put a picture on this entry is because I hope that people who complain about their jobs and their busy lives can understand a different side of life. The side of life that is unable to complain about all those wonderful busy moments you take for granted. You have a special gift if you are reading this and are busy. You have your health, something that without it you would suffer a different kind of busy. A illness busy, a medication busy, a doctor busy, a feeling ill busy 24/7, a faking the smile busy, a busy that I hope you or anyone else reading this never has to face. It is no fun. It is exhausting to say the least,but it is life for me and many of my friends. All my heroes who struggle daily but continue to live. Live a somewhat small life but still live. I love each and everyone of you. I love all of you whether you are busy because of life or busy because of illness. We all must make our life count!
Time to sign off and go shoot myself up and hopefully in 24 hours be better than I am today!

God Bless!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Regrets vs No Regrets

The other day I was watching the video of Susan Boyle on Britian's Got Talent, I watch this often and it always makes me think deeply as I watch it. I begin to pick it apart and analyze it as I do with most situations in life. The beginning of the video makes me realize how we all, no matter where we are from, judge a book by it's cover. If you watch this video on You Tube within a matter of seconds you can see what I mean, it makes me sick/sad every time I watch. Next, as the judges ask her questions they are all rolling their eyes and making faces that honestly should have made her leave the stage. As the music starts it gets a little quiet and all the sudden a beautiful voice comes out of Susan's mouth. You can see the faces of, not only the audience, but the judges light up. I think Simon can only see dollar signs where I think others are truly touched by Susan's beautiful voice. When I watch the video I become outraged at the actions of everyone and how they could treat someone with such disrespect before giving her a change. By the end of the video everyone loves Susan and she is a success. Yay we love you, you are amazing, on and on. It seems to me she was all of these things before she stepped onto the stage, wasn't she? I have to tell myself that this had to be staged. I hope the judges and the audience were told she was amazing and that they wanted them all to act like she is going to be a big disappointment just so everyone could turn on a dime. It has to be the show set up, right? The scheme to get ratings. I hope anyways because stuff like that turns me off within seconds. My brain has to try to make sense of it in order to believe this world isn't really that cruel.

What does this story have to do with regrets? I wonder to myself about how many times Susan thought to herself, 'I am not good enough?' Or 'I can't sing well enough to use it to make the world a better place.' I have to believe she did say this many times as she states she is 47 years old. There had to be many times in her life that her love and joy of singing had to make her think she could make it. I wonder how many regrets she has that she never used that talent and shared it with more people earlier in her life. It seems to me unless we are encouraged by someone early in life to pursue one of or more of our passions we let them slip out of our hands and think to ourselves, 'I can never do that.' Later in life we think we are getting too old. Our life circumstances, finances, or other obstacles might hold us back. The voices in our head that we may have heard telling us, you can't do that, may haunt us so we just never do what we love. How sad this is.

I can remember as a younger child when I still went to Grand Rapids Public schools we had art class. I had a huge love and passion for art class. We had art once a week, it is all I thought about, art. I didn't care to learn anything else all I had in my head all week was that art class. When we walked down to art class I remember how excited I would get. I would enter the room and my heart would race. It was overwhelming for me. I would stand there and look around at all the station I wanted to go to. I would have to decide which station I would go to and it was like a kid in a candy store. You have to understand, it was only a half hour and it flew by. I remember I never wanted to leave that room. I loved the paints, the different color chalk, the easels, which at that time looked huge to me, the paper on the easel that you could rip off and start a new picture would make me dream of someday owning one of those. I basically loved everything about that room. If I could have, I would have loved to take art everyday, all day, and forgot about the other crap. You must understand back then art wasn't as big of a deal as it is now days and within time art classes were eliminated because of budget cuts. When we moved to Jenison there were no art classes so you can imagine how disappointed I was, very. I think that is where I left my passion for art, sitting at a desk in 4th grade at Bauerwood Elementary School. Sad! I was never encouraged, like Susan, to chase a dream, it just stopped. When you are in 4th grade you have no idea what a dream is for the future because you are living in the here and now, the future is a million miles away. My talent and passion died, to some degree. I remember how excited I would get when my own children would bring home a art project. they thought I was crazy, I thought I died and went to heaven. I kept it all. In fact right now I am looking at a head and a bowl Richie made me out of clay and I LOVE IT! I don't think they even knew why I would get so excited about their art projects.

It is somewhat ironic that years later I would become a hairdresser, a form of art. Truthfully my dream was really to become a nurse so I could help people, but that just wasn't in the cards for me. I was a hands on person, all the tests, paper writing, and memorizing for me would have been too much. I was not academically smart so I decided to use my art in a beauty salon. Now mind you, when you think of a hairdresser you think of getting your haircut or colored and that is isn't that big of a deal. Well, it is, being a hairdresser is a very hard job, not only physically but mentally. We had to learn a lot of stuff in beauty school. Chemicals, diseases, etc. I truthfully have no idea how I ever passed those tests but the only think I can think of is because both the instructors liked me and saw what I could do with a head of hair. In fact, one of the teachers would only let me cut her hair, so that encouraged me to do my best. Nurse? No. I can tell you this, being a hairdresser is way more than just doing hair. You become a therapist, listener, encourager, receptionist, and friend. People trust you and you form very close bonds with one another as you share your lives. I worked in a salon where all the clients came in week after week so we really became close. We shared so much and I will never forget my clients.

Today I read a quote and it said, "If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you dream it, you can become it." As I read this it made me think about becoming what I always dreamed of, an artist. I didn't. Do I regret it? In some ways yes, but in other ways when I think about it I did become an artist of a different kind. A people artist. I cherish my 20 years of being able to love people, of making people feel good when they left me. I am sure many of them do not even know how good they made me feel to as they would leave. I hope, just as Susan did, that you and I, if we have any long lost dreams we do not give up on them just because of our age. Just as the quote says, we really can imagine, create, and become our dream we just have to try. I have taken up my love of art over the past few years, it isn't great art, but it is my art. It is my heart, my soul, and it is my therapy. It takes me back to a time of innosense. It comforts me when I am down and out. I hope that if you have a long lost love of something you are able to do it and when you tell yourself you can't, think of Susan and be inspired to know you can!

God Bless!


Friday, June 1, 2012

The 4th Came Early This Year

I have had a pretty good few weeks give and take a few hours of some of those days but I have to say good for me. Of course once I start to tell people that I have been doing better or I write that I am doing better the tables always begin to turn for some reason. I always blame it on my big mouth because for me I have to blame it on something. It helps me process it when I am not doing well.

This morning I woke up at 5:30am with a migraine. I told myself to go back to sleep and tried, but by 6:00am I had to get up and take some pain meds. I laid back down hoping it would work, nope. At 8:00 am I told myself just get up and drink a strong cup of coffee, I barfed it down. Yes, that is the same as barfing it up when you have a migraine. If you suffer from migraines you will understand what I am talking about. I was able to get half a cup down and went back to bed. by 9:30am I got back up and took two Excedrin Migraine, these usually work well but when you wait to long to take them sometimes they don't. I went back to bed and laid there trying to get back to sleep. Believe me when you have a migraine the pain is so intense that sleep is next to impossible.

For me I suffer with a symptoms many people do not suffer who have migraines. I have since learned it is because of an area of the brain called the hypothalamus that is the place my type of migraine is centered. I have read that this is the area of the brain that pleasure comes from too so I am not certain why it would cause the migraines too but I do enjoy my pleasurable times too. As far as how this affects migraines is that when I am in a dark room, eyes covered with a wash cloth, I have a fantastic light show going on. It is not any type of light show that I can explain except to say it is a black background with white lights flashing and shooting across the black canvas. When I have this symptom it makes it even harder to sleep because between the pain and the fireworks, as I call them, you are stuck in the middle of hell. I have finally learned to not fight it. I just lay there and entertain myself by the light show thinking that people would pay a lot of money to see a light show like this and I get it free. I am the designer and the audience all at the same time so why not enjoy. You must understand that I have to talk to myself like that because if I don't I lose. Lose a piece of myself to more of what chronic illness has already taken from me. I can't let it win, so I fight and make a game out of it. I should have known this was coming because yesterday my eyes were so blurry I could hardly see straight and when I went to bed last night I had a tiny bit of a light show going on and thought to myself, I sure hope this isn't a migraine coming on. Guess I need to listen to those trigger signs a little better next time.

Today as I finally rolled out of bed at 11:30am, half the day is gone. I feel like I have been through a twenty mile hike in a rain forest. I am exhausted to the core. I am sad, I am angry, I don't understand it. Even as I try to win at the chronic illness game I still question all of it and feel like a loser at times. Why me? Why this? Why that? Why when I am doing well and I slammed down, yet again, with something else. It never ends. All I can say is God knew I could handle it. He must have because I don't think most people could handle this. I don't know, but this is what I have to tell myself in order to stay on focus and stay positive. It is hard on days like these. Really hard. Even as I try to stay positive I am still human and I still get sad. I question everything. I question why am I here. I question why there are some really awful people in the world who have good health and are rotten to the core and why someone good, like myself, who does want to do good in the world, can't. It is painful and heartbreaking for me.

The best part is the part of me that continues to look forward to later today or even tomorrow when I know I will feel better. I know it will come. It always does. I will keep my focus on that as the tears roll down my face now, but that is okay. For me tears help me release the hurt, the pain, and anger of what the chronic illness has taken from me but they also give me hope. Hope of a better day tomorrow and the hope that one day this all will end. As for now I am going to take a hot steamy bath, get dressed and move on with my day. That would help anyone feel better. It always does for me for some reason. I hope you can make your day as good as possible and have nothing hold you back from using your life to better this world we live in.

God Bless!