Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Moment Life Changes Served on a Silver Platter

Last night as I was sitting thinking about a couple of dear friends who are facing serious health issues. I thought about how a moment in time can change your life forever. There are those times, good times, that change your life forever too. When you think of them they bring a smile to your face and even if you are alone that smile is there. You might not notice it, sort of like those times you catch yourself laughing out loud about a thought or a good memory. I have to laugh at this because Rich always says he loves to watch me when I am not aware he is because he says the faces, smiles, expressions I make in turn make him smile. It really is true about the little things affecting others. I believe it is just because he is so in love with me that almost anything I do makes him smile. Well, almost everything.

There good times that change us like having children, falling in love, having a pet, the list could go on but what about the bad things that happen that change us forever? The moment you get the news that you have cancer and your life is spinning out of control. The times people are told they have an incurable disease of some other sort. What then? Cancer, yes you can beat it and so many people do these days but something happens deep inside you that changes you. Surgeries that don't go as planned but you are going to be okay, eventually. You don't want to have to struggle with these life changing moments but you are forced into them. No choice. It's almost like the doctor carries a silver platter into the exam room and serves you up what you never ordered. The past few months one of our friends had a surgery that didn't go according to plan. The turmoil of a few month recovery more than likely turning into a many month recovery. The pain for his wife. She has to be the strong one in all of this she is the one who is positive and encouraging all the while falling apart inside. The moment that changed her life as well. The other friend who is waiting on news of a cancer he and his family and friends must face. Surely it can't be that bad. Our minds have a funny way of blocking it all out because we just can't handle all the what if's that come along with that life changing moment. We pray.

The times that life sucks in those life changing moments but at the same time something odd also happens. You don't want it but you learn so much about yourself and life. You learn who your friends and family are, yes, but aside from that what happens to the person and what happens to the close few around them is the odd part. There is goodness in it. I am sure many people who never had any huge life changing moments wonder how the heck that can be. In my heart I am happy there are some people who don't know what I am writing about because it means they have never had their spirit crushed. They have never had to question and ask why? Why the good people, but then again when I think about it aren't we all good people in our own way, have to get sick? We think everyone should be like us and when they aren't we think humm not a good person but really? I'm sure I have people in my life like that in fact I know I do. The ones who think I don't do enough for them. Does that make me a bad person? No. You see what I am talking about? That moment when your life changes it ends up changing you too. You begin to look around and you learn things you were too busy to ever face before. You begin to learn you aren't as strong as you once thought you were and you learn that the things that only happen to other people can also happen to you. You struggle emotionally and mentally but at the same time you realize how strong you really are just to get through each and everyday even if you didn't accomplish much that day. You learn you are a fighter and if you were told a year ago you would be fighting such a battle you would laugh and blow it off. Then it hits, that moment when it all changes. The other part you learn that is so very important is you can identify deeply with the other people who get their life changing moment served up to them. Your heart bleeds for them because you know. You know what they are thinking and you know what their family and close friends are suffering through. Like I always tell Rich I am a much better patient than caregiver. It is so painful to see others suffer when you suffer yourself you just want to take their pain and add it to your life because it is such a part of your life and you have become so use to and you do not want that for anyone else. You learn to live with it not because you want to but because you have to. This is it until your death so you may as well make the best of it. I almost don't know what to do for someone else who suffers because the pain I feel for them is so real it hurts. In the end I must believe that it is a good lesson for me to watch someone else suffer and use it to learn I am not alone and maybe that is why God made us friends. It is hard to put into words.

All I know is we take what we get served to us on that silver platter. What other choice do we have? When the doc walks in with that platter you can't slap it up in the air out of his hands and say. "I didn't order that, take it back." Life doesn't work like that. We are given our platter, all of us at one time or another in our life so we take it and we devour whatever is given. We fight tooth and nail and vow we will never give up. It's called hope. We pray for ourselves and others for God to give us the strength we need to handle our platter. Some of us win and some of us lose but if you think about it we are all eventually are going to lose whether it is this platter or another so make the best of each day. Love those around you. Thank the people who stand by your side and when they need you by theirs- do something. Anything. A card. A meal. A phone call. Anything! It doesn't matter because in the end what matters is that you took the time to care when that silver platter moment comes for someone else.

God Bless!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Eye of Change

I painted this picture over the past seven months or so only working on it a total of three times. There were days I thought to myself I should get that out but when you paint you have to be in the right mood. Plus by the time you set everything up and decide on colors you must make sure you have enough energy to actually do the painting which yes is an issue for me. This painting was actually inspired by another painting I saw on Pinterest but as usual when I got started to began to turn into something totally different. The first time I worked on it I did the upper right hand corner down to the brown part. The second time I worked on the lover bottom of the right side and the third time, which was yesterday, I worked on the whole left side. When I got it out yesterday it felt so right and with Rich being gone most of the day I thought what a perfect time to finish this thing. While I painted yesterday I got to thinking what a shame it was that I had only painted three times in the past seven months. It is something that I love and why do I wait so long in between projects? I then began to think about the past eight months with moving and all we have been through with that whole trip and a half. The brush kind of took over at that point. You see, The big brown/black circle in the middle was actually a brown and white circle that looked nothing like it did when I finished yesterday. As I painted I thought about the Wizard of Oz and how the tornado was spinning around and around while Dorothy was sucked up into it. I thought about how our life has seemed like that for the past few months as I am sure many other people have weathered their own storms and can relate. Almost out of control like the storm was never going to end we all just continued to swirl and swirl. This was the point where the brown and white turned to the brown and black with a big white eye in the middle. As the brush took over I thought how life can be funny like that where you feel out of control but when you think about it there is always that white center. God. Your soul. The people in your life who help ground you when you can't do it for yourself. The answers for the white eye can go on and on and I imagine it is different for everyone. Then the brush continued to darken the tail of that brown/black circle and as it did I thought about how life has a way of pulling you out of that tunnel and flipping you off its tail into the other parts of the painting. Sometimes into bright beautiful colors and other times into some darker colors and shapes. The unknown. The known. We all experience it all. I often think of how alike we are, all of us. We all hurt, we all love, we all cry, we all laugh, we all experience troubles in this life. We really are one in so many ways I just don't think we ever take the time to realize it because we are so busy chasing after whatever it is we chase after in this world. When I finished I had a huge moment that struck me. Through the tornadoes, through the sunshine, though the flipping in and out of good and bad there is one very important lesson in it all. In order to continue on in goodness we must always come back to the white part. The center. Our center. Focus on that center and not allow the little things in life to suck us dry. Feed your center so you can give to the world and help make life easier for another person. Life is life and we must do the best we can to foster goodness and share love even if other people don't we can't allow them to put out our fire. Then ask yourself why else am I here.

God Bless!


Friday, January 17, 2014


Reality:  The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them or The state or quality of having existence or substance.

Reality. Humm the word somehow reminds me of the word normal in so many ways. As my son in law says, "Normal is based on your surroundings." Is that also true for the word reality? My reality, at least in my head, is much different than most people I know. Our reality has changed a lot over the past several months and forced us into that new normal that we are trying so hard to adjust to as a couple. My/our reality change even more oh so many years ago when my body decided it would determine what I/we could do and when. I don't need pity at all it is just the way it is. I try my best not to hold Rich back from his life but for some odd reason I can't understand he is always by my side telling me it is okay if we can't go somewhere because he would rather be home with me anyway. This is a huge statement coming from a very social person who has been forced to find his reality of my being ill. He does it so well but I wonder how really hard it is for him and if he ever dreams of the normal reality most people are able to live. It kills me that I have taken that from him but I also know it is beyond my control to do anything about it. It's just our reality. You know how it is when you are living it you don't really think about it but then when you are out in the world you notice how small your world is and how it has shrunk.

For some reason I feel like I may have written about the reality of illness in one of my past blogs but it came to mind as I was heading over to meet the builder last night. Rich was on his way from work so meeting me there meant that I had to drive. I was tired. Bone tired but as usual I still went. I needed something to look forward to and looking at our house plans always brightens me up. I thought how the moving has been brutal on the both of us not only emotionally but mentally. I slept really well the night before so I thought it was going to be a really good day when I got up yesterday. The morning progressed on and I had intense pain all day. Why? The reality of all the studies tells the chronically ill that sleep is the best thing for you so if you sleep enough you will feel better. Nope, sorry slept good still screamed and moaned from pain most of the day. Reality? It reminded me of the diet aspect of being ill. Eat right feel fabulous. Don't get me wrong I know eating right helps but magically makes it all disappear? Nope, sorry it doesn't work for my reality anyways. I know there are people who would stab my eyes out telling me the diet is a cure but I have yet to believe it or experience it fully, but then again that is my reality not theirs. I am happy for anyone who gets relief anyway they can get it and who am I to argue with their reality? Just as I would never argue with them about their reality I expect the same. Move more. Yes I know exercise helps with pain and keeps everything lubricated and moving freely but for me exercise is not a cure. I have times where I exercise and I become worse and pay dearly. Once again I think it is up to each person to find their own exercise reality. I can join a exercise group but I can't keep up. I have tried many and the real world exercise causes me much more pain. I try to keep up with the group and there again pay dearly later. No one could ever understand this because all the studies say there is no way you can't feel better but my reality and pain tells me different. I become weak and can hardly get through a whole class is that a reality to most? I doubt it. My reality.

I had to laugh this morning when I heard a woman say on a show that was on in the background of my morning routine. "There's nothing more powerful to change your mood than to change your shoes." Wow! Really? If I had only known this my whole life that changing my shoes would make life so much easier I would be a shoe freak. I just realized why I'm not. Reality? Shoes are going to make life great? Ha that cracks me up! I think we have way to many people studying way too many things without ever relating those studies to the single person, a real life person. The reality is that what is right for one person is not right for the other. Normal reality. Is there really such a thing? Maybe in some make believe world far far away there is but from my lense I experience life much differently than the world of all these studies. I live my own reality that no one else knows about and truthfully most people could give two-shits about. It's fine because my reality is filled with love and support from my immediate family whom without I would have no reality. Here's to my reality, here's to your reality. Live it well!

God Bless!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rock Bottom

Finally...I think I have hit rock bottom. I have never said or even thought that before in my entire life. I don't know what it is but I have some pretty good ideas. First and foremost is decreasing these steroids. I am now down to 3 mg and I am at an all time low for some reason. I know you must decrease steroids slowly because when you are on them for a long period of time your adrenal glands actually stop working. This is what your adrenal glands do if you do not know what they are: The adrenal glands are comprised of two separate glands (the cortex and medulla) that produce hormones (chemicals messengers that regulate body functions). The medulla, or inner part of the adrenal glands, produces the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine, which regulate the "fight or flight" response in the body, the body's reaction to stressful events. The cortex, the outer portion of the adrenal glands, produces several hormones that affect blood pressure and blood level levels, growth, as well as some sexual characteristics. Yes, I copied that bit so if I offend someone you can call and have me arrested. I would hate to be the police officer who came to the door though because the all of the above has turned me into a bitch, to put it mildly. Not to mention the fact that either being on to high a dose or tying to wean off a low dose of this evil drug it also has a way of trying to make you feel like you are going crazy. Forgetfulness, extreme fatigue, which when you are ill you have enough of, you are a able to eat everything in sight and still want to continue to eat so weight gain is a given, I could go on but I get too pissed when I have to remember all the horrible things about this drug. This is why I have decided to decrease and get off it.

Home Away from Home

Here I sit in our home away from home feeling almost lost and discombobulated. You would think that after preparing for this for the last six months it wouldn't be that big of a deal but it is almost brutal for someone who needs to take better care of themselves than most people even think about doing. Rest for me is huge in my daily struggles. Don't get me wrong I don't lay around all day and sleep or do nothing, quite the contrary. I have to keep moving or my joints freeze up and at times if I stay down to long I have a very hard time loosening up but my five to ten minute breaks of rest give me enough energy to do more. These past few weeks have left little room for that much needed rest. Plus, what kind of an idiot moves and three days later gets a puppy that needs constant attention and training? Yup, ME! Oh well you must understand as much as I thought about the rest I would have to give up in bringing a new pup home the goodness my soul has already received from her is worth all the minutes of rest I had to give up. I figure sitting on the floor playing with her and Eva is better than any time resting. She is a sheer pleasure.

On top of all that garble it has been an interesting month health wise beside the usual whatever it is I deal with on a daily basis. First off I saw a new doc whom I absolutely LOVE and that is huge for me. A doc who listens to me and cares. It might help that Katie was once her tech in her office in Allendale but I doubt it because she seems very good and through. She found a mole on my back she didn't like and biopsied it. All is good! No cancer cells. Then I had my mammogram and received a call a few days later that I had to go back for further diagnostic testing. All good there too! Shewww! When I saw her the day she did the biopsy I told her once again about my elbow still causing me such pain so she said we should get an x-ray just to be sure nothing is broken. Well, guess what? Radial head fracture. She sent me to an orthopedic who said it looked good and they don't set breaks in that area anyways. I also have tennis elbow from over use so double whammy. Ha cracks me up tennis elbow? Don't people who do things get that? I surely don't qualify but with moving over the past month my elbow must have went into some sort of shock and decided it didn't like all that activity. Cortisone injection has helped along with a night splint. Happy for much less pain! This whole broken bone thing leads to a bone density test and also getting an x-ray of my cervical spine once again to make sure no arthritis is attacking that area since I still experience pain at night and have to take a muscle relaxer. I am hoping and praying that is all fine because even thinking about more neck issues is very stressful.

Life goes on we all have our stuff that continues to haunt us but we muddle our way through like we always do, one day at a time. The medical issues for me are minor compared to all the love that surrounds me on a daily basis. A daughter and son in law that have so graciously opened their home to us is a blessing we can never repay. Tomorrow I am picking up Addi to come help me with the pup and Eva. She is so excited. Hunter? Not so much but I told him it will be his day another day. A husband who is way too good to me in so many ways I cannot even write them all down. It is so much easier now with the house selling. The stress of that is over and we can fully move on. We are both much more relaxed even though we miss having something to call ours. We have never depended on anyone for anything and now we are and it feels strange. All good though. We will wake up tomorrow, God willing, and see what the day brings but as for now we live and love today!

God Bless!