Friday, February 28, 2014

Pain Lessons for One and for All

Pain doesn't just show up in our lives for no reason. It is a sign that something in our lives need to change.
Agree or Disagree? I read this yesterday and it made me think for a minute on it. This is what I came up with.

There was a time when I would have agreed. I would think that every time something bad happened or if someone else was in pain or suffering from health issues maybe there was a reason. I still believe that but now it takes on a much different view for me. My so called lense on life and suffering has become much clearer as I look out from my view. When I view others who suffer I cannot look at them and think there has to be a lesson for you to learn, mostly because I don't believe I have learned mine yet. How can I judge another when I can't even figure my pain out? It use to be easy to say there is a lesson in this or that when I was healthy but now it all seems more blurred and cloudy. Yes, I do see good coming from bad all the time. I believe becoming ill has helped me be more compassionate towards others, if that was even possible. I look around and watch people suffer in their own pain I wonder how in the world can I compare my outlook to theirs? Some become depressed so that means what? Their lesson is? My heart aches for these people I watch and at times it is easier to stay away from their pain because it radiates into my heart and I begin to suffer too. Selfish? Maybe. It is hard to explain to the real world. The world that lives on without a thought to what it would be like to live in pain or never feel well. The world that tells the chronically ill you are crazy or there is no way you can feel sick or be in pain all the time. When I read things that say, pain doesn't just show up in our lives for no reason. It is a sign that something in our lives need to change, I have to believe a perfectly healthy person wrote that because on weeks like this when my pain has been at a high level I cannot believe I would ever write something like that.  Pain has a way of bringing you down and at times making you very angry. You want to blame anyone or anything and for me reading this lit some sort of fire in my soul. Who knows maybe the person who wrote this is ill and is at a place in time where they are feeling good. It is always easier to write and even believe in something like this quote in the good times but what about the bad times. I am wondering how my quote, and others, would read when they are in pain. I don't even want to try to write a sentence when I have weeks like this because I wouldn't even know where to start. Pain=shards of glass grinding my knees. Pain= shooting from other joints which make sitting unbearable. Pain= just plain sucks. I don't give a care about a lesson right now because I can hardly think beyond trying to get some relief. A lesson? How about I learned I am tired, tired from being in pain. Hows that for a lesson? I can hardly go on from there but then I think to myself, tomorrow or next Tuesday or Friday just maybe a lesson will be learned it somehow makes it a little easier, I think. Keep hope. I'm not trying to be negative here I am being realistic. It all seems so easy to everyone until it hits them. I hate to see people sick and suffering but on the other hand it brings me some sort of sick and twisted joy when I hear people say I don't know how you live the way you do everyday. I hate writing that because my core hates to watch and even know people are ill in any way shape or form. It's all so complicated and hard to put into words. One thing I will say is that, no matter what, I will not stop living or fighting. Yes there are the days you wouldn't mind it all ending but you go on. You fight. You look forward to getting out and trying to be normal in the world that doesn't understand. I am a slow learner. I will fight the pain and stay away from taking meds but then there are the days, sometimes many in a row,  I have to give in. Yesterday I fought it all day and last night it hit me to take something. Its all like a big mind game that you are not even aware you are playing until you say to yourself dahhhhh. Today I will try to ponder on what I have to change because of the pain but I'm almost sure not much will come to mind. The day goes on as well as life goes on not just for me but for many who suffer. I hope in writing this the person who suffers doesn't feel so alone in this big world and on the other hand I hope the healthy can find it in their heart to understand, even if it is for just a moment.

God Bless!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The World I Know

There is a song called The World I Know by Collective Soul. If you have never heard it you should youtube it and listen. It is so powerful. I have no idea why but as I sat on the couch last night trying to blur out the noise of the tv and the noise of life this song came to my mind. I was thinking about a lyric and all I could think of was the world I know. It took me a few minutes to find the song in my music head files but after a few minutes with my eyes closed and repeating the words the world I know it finally came to me. I couldn't think of the group that sang it but even that came after a few minutes. Collective soul quite an interesting name. Then I remembered the video that went along with the song. I ran to my ipod yes I am still ancient and use my ipod. Searched the group and wala there it was. If you know me and music I couldn't get to the song fast enough. I popped in the ear buds and pushed play. As soon as it began the lump in my throat formed and tears came to my eyes. Funny how powerful music, and many times the videos that go along with them, can do that to you. Music is my release. When I am feeling down I find a song. When I am feeling good I find a song. When I am sentimental I find a song. It never ends for me. I go to bed with music on my mind, wake in the middle of the night with music on my mind, and awaken with music on my mind. There are so many songs that connect me to people, places, and things I can never get enough. There are those songs when I hear them that make me think of a certain friend because of a memory and it always makes me laugh or at times cry depending on what person it is. I just plain love music and I know that is why it has such a powerful impact on my thoughts and my life.

The World I Know
Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don't know why
Are we listening
To hymns of offering?
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?
All the words that I've been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding into one
Into one
So I walk up on high and I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself while the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know, it's the world I know
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don't know why, I don't know why
So I walk up on high and I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself while the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know, it's the world I know
Yeah, I walk up on high and I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself while the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know, it's the world I know

I played and replayed the song/video a few times and the thoughts that came to my mind were almost overwhelming for me at the moment. As I sat there deep in my thoughts with no form of the real world around me, just my mind, I wondered. Has all the kindness gone from the world? I know it hasn't as I watch around me all the good that goes on but I am talking about the real kind of kindness. The kind that has no strings. The kind we don't have to brag about to everyone. The kind that isn't just for the small circle of people we come in contact with, you know our own comfort zone so to speak. We humans have a way of doing that you know. It's almost as if we forget about the needs out there and focus only on the close at heart but is that really what it is all about? I don't believe so. But then who am I? Just a drop in the muddy waters of life. A nothing to most people even to the ones who should care about me but don't. It's all irrelevent anyways. I stopped trying to figure all that out a long time ago and as the song says "Hope still lingers on."
Are we listening to Hymns of offering? Humm that one made me ponder for a few minutes. Hymns that we sing and often do not live. I wonder about this a lot. It makes no sense to me. Well, some carry them out in that small circle but I am once again talking about that BIG picture of all that surrounds us. Carrying them out when no one is looking and we just walk away after them. The kind that are between maybe the two people who were involved. The ones that make hearts sing with joy just for the sake of love. Hummmmm.

I wonder how many of us feel like the man in the video. I know I do. The times I look around and feel sad when I see what I see. Zombies in our own little worlds. Humm again. Then I wondered do I look like that when I am out in the world? Worse yet am I like that when I am at home alone doing nothing for anyone else. Walking in the dark cold world not seeing any color. The best part is when I get to that point where I am walking on the edge of not understanding someone something or someone helps me to see the good in the world. The color comes back and I have hope. Hope in a brighter future filled with love for all and no hatred for those who are different from us or for those who do not believe as we do. Sometimes that hatred makes me utterly crazy. I try to keep my eye on the colorful world even when all I see is the darkness closing in. When I have the darkness closing in on me I try to do something nice for someone who is not in my circle. I believe those little things matter in life so much more than doing something for the people you are always doing all those little things for. The times I see someone else do something nice for someone who needs it are the times that make me realize the color is always there I just forget to see it at times. It's funny how the realness of people shows the longer you get to know them. The ones who are genuine and doing things from their hearts vs the ones who try to impress everyone or maybe impress themselves? I don't know. We all get lost in the manatiny of life at times and begin to see the darkness, we are human we can't help it, but when we get to the edge that's the time! The time to make the color come back for someone else and surprisingly enough the color will come back to your life too and just maybe even brighter than you ever thought possible. Keep the hope!

God Bless!


Monday, February 17, 2014

True Beauty

Above is the link to the actual article. I wanted to make sure to give credit where credit was due. Below I copied the link and pasted here for you to read.

The Actual Difference Between Women Who Are Hot And Who Are Beautiful

The Actual Difference Between Women Who Are Hot And Who Are Beautiful
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Women. We’re curvy, skinny, hood, pretty, cute, ethnic, bad, dime pieces, unicorns, babes, pieces of tail, juicy, fine, sexy, foxes, sultry, voluptuous… The list goes on.
When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman with an adjective that isn’t dripping in sexual innuendos and defaming premises? When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman by something that compliments her soul and her inherent elegance? When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman as beautiful?
There’s been a loss of respect when it comes to admiring women, shifting towards describing us as objects, rather than people. Men look at women as pieces of tail, “things” to be conquered, rather than appreciating women for their individuality.
A large portion of today’s men are momentarily allured by hair extensions, large chests, big bottoms and stilettos. They think sexuality comes in the form of bronzed skin, bikini waxes and fake eyelashes. They’ve been programmed to believe that any woman with a sculpted body and perky breasts is attractive.
What about the women who don’t want to indulge in the male fantasy? What about the women who just want to wear comfortable sweaters and flats? What about the women who don’t dress to impress the opposite sex, but instead, to just feel good in their own skin? Isn’t there attractiveness in that? Isn’t there an appeal to that sense of confidence?
When did women become forced to acquiesce to this standard, or otherwise get lost in the crowd? When did getting a man mean painting on layers of makeup and investing in mini skirts?
There is a certain type of man that continually defames women, judging us solely on sex appeal, they fail to see the actual grandeur of a woman. They miss the rare moments of natural beauty and uniqueness.
They don’t recognize that “hotness” doesn’t last past midnight, when the makeup has smudged onto the pillow and the hair extensions have been taken out. It doesn’t last when the spray tans have washed away and the tight dresses have come off.
It’s not real; it’s an illusion that’s been forcing women to conform to unhealthy habits for too many years.
It’s time these men are reminded of the difference between hot and beautiful. It’s time men realize that women have more to offer than just a body.
Women are stunning creatures, with assets and traits both unique and enchanting to each one of us, and it’s time we started showcasing our individuality and stop giving in to the illusion of sexy created by man. Beauty isn’t about wanting to f*ck her; it’s about wanting to be with her.
Hot is admired from afar; beauty is to be held.
Hot is perception; beauty is appreciation.
Hot is smokey-eyed; beautiful is bare-faced.
Hot is an appearance; beautiful is more than skin deep.
Hot is the way she moans; beautiful is the way she speaks.
Hot is a strong appeal; beautiful is strong mind.
Hot is youthful; beautiful is ageless.
Hot is conventional; beauty is unique.
Hot is a one-night stand; beautiful is sleepless nights.
Hot is a state of being; beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Hot is devious; beautiful is innocent.
Hot is bending her over; beautiful is baking her blueberry pancakes.
Hot is sultry; beautiful is wholesome.
Hot is her curves; beauty is her nerves.
Hot is a text message; beautiful is a love letter.
Hot is a facade; beautiful is a woman.
Top Photo Courtesy: We Heart It

I read this on a friends facebook -page today and it hit me at home, right in my heart. I never understood and never will understand why people spend so much money on beauty to either get, keep, or whatever for a man. I think if you are yourself, the same person you were when you met someone, it can last a lifetime. Good article either way and makes you think a little. Too bad not many men will take the time to read it but I'm pretty sure the women will.

This hit me because the other night Rich and I went to dinner at our go to restaurant, The Grand Villa for our usual burritos and chips and salsa. When we got there Rich dropped me off at the door like he always does, such a gentleman. I went in and what a surprise a table was ready. It was Valentines Day so we wondered but then again it was 5:00pm so um ya. We always joke our date night is almost always The Villa and a trip to Costco, every two weeks whether we want to go or not and early like two old people trying to get the early bird special. It is our thing and we both love it neither one of us would change it for anything! Anyways back to being seated. I told the young lady 2 of us in a booth over by the bar please and she grabbed the menus and took me over there while my mind was telling me to wait for Rich but I figured he would find me. I sat there and sat there watching for him, nothing. Of course my anxiety kicked in, what if, what if, what if? I do not like public if he isn't by my side unless I am grocery shopping and then I am on an in and out mission. I could never live without this man. After what seemed like an eternity sitting there he was walking towards me with that big smile on his face while he unzipped his coat and sat down. In my usual fashion I told him I was getting worried because it took so long. I figure after so many years together you are able to say whatever comes to mind no matter what the situation. This tends to get me into trouble in so many situation but oh well I'm fifty now so deal with it. I'm not sure what excuse I used all the other years but I like saying I'm fifty for some reason. Then I asked him how he found me and he said in the most common voice ever, "I just told the lady I was with the beautiful blonde." Ahhhhh brownie points for at least a week with that one and he was going to be a happy man when we got home. Hahaha! That is too funny. Believe me it isn't like he doesn't tell me he thinks I am beautiful all the time but this was different. I looked at him and smiled and told him, "Oh my gosh you did not!!!" He was just like, "What?? Yes I did!" beaming from ear to ear. I don't know why it sounded different this time. Was it because it is winter and cooped up in Steph and Vinnie's basement is driving me bonkers? Could be but not sure all I know is I needed to hear that at that moment.

This is what I don't understand about men. The superficial kind. They complain they never get any or can never find a nice woman but they never take that minute to say a couple simple words like, "You are beautiful" or "I'm the luckiest guy in the whole world." Little words that carry so much weight in starting a relationship or keeping it going in an ongoing love affair. Believe me things are not perfect between Rich and I but we have a healthy appreciation for one another which allows those little words to roll off our tongues once in a while and keep the fires burning. So when I read this article today it hit a high note with me and I hope other people will take a minute to read between the lines. Men like to hear they are special too so don't forget that women!

God Bless!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Am I the Winner or the Loser?

Congratulations you are the proud owner of Osteopenia, high blood pressure, and trigger finger. It is always so much fun to add to my list of ailments. I'm only 51 for gosh sakes- really? I look around at friends of mine and when I do I know they have issues too, after all everyone suffers from something, but for me when I look around at others my observations are much different than most others who look around in their world. Well, unless they are suffering from one pain in the butt to another. I compare myself to  others my age or older and I am not at all like them. Physically speaking. I can't do the things other people my age can and it can be painful watching others live the life I should be living but can't.
I had a physical last November with a new doctor who is very, very on top of things. She has taken such good care of me so far that I am wondering about all those wasted years of seeing doctors who would look at me and ask, "What do you think it is?" Or "What do you want to do?" Really? I'm my own doctor? On the other hand I have had a couple of wonderful doctors too so it is unfair to stick them all into the same huddle but as I recall there are only two other really good ones. The good news it that I am officially off all arthritis meds and therefore no longer need to see on of my faves Dr. Key. I have also decided to stop seeing the other great doc, my Neuro Dr. Glisson. I feel since I am trying to manage illness on my own I don't really need to waste their time or mine and that means there will be extra appointments open for those who need to get in. Of course I know I can call either of them anytime and have been told that on several occasions. I hope I won't need to!

The new plan. What is that? I'm really not sure yet and just in the beginning stages of researching what I am planning to do. I have begun to take Viactive chews for my calcium/bone loss in hopes that I do not lose anymore bone mass. Weight bearing exercise which is hard for me but I am trying to keep upright and will begin to walk more when it warms up outside. I am unable to walk now because of the icy roads and my tendency to fall almost every time I step outside. I am laughing wondering if Steph and Vinnie's neighbors are chuckling at the show every time I go away. Ha I laugh too. What else are you gonna do cry? Nah it isn't worth it. High BP, started a med and hoping when I start to walk it will go down and I can get off that too. Bad part for me is it runs in the fam and my mom has Afib so doc is worried about that. Understandable. Trigger finger? Ouch! Might need to go get a steroid shot to relieve the pain and in hopes it doesn't get worse. I'm still dealing with foot issues and the tennis elbow but those have almost become a way of life. Other joint pains that plague me but its all okay.  I still cannot believe how you adjust to pain. I already use my mind and breathing at times to control pain because I hate taking pain meds and avoid them at all cost. I stopped drinking coffee which for me was bad. I used more cream and sugar then coffee and I am shocked that I have lost ten pounds just by that one little change. I have switched to tea with honey. I have got back to taking my multi vitamin and I also added B complex to that. I am checking on other supplements as well like tumerac but I have not done enough research to just start them on a whim. The way I look at it is that if I make small changes now one at a time they will all add up to one large change eventually. Hopefully.

I must confess even with as much relief that I got from the meds by being on them I am now feeling much better benefits by being off them. The biggest thing is that my head is clearer. I can think better and I don't feel like my head is in the clouds. I am still fatigued but at least not as bad as I was, I think? My hope is to get this unbearable fatigue to go away. Pain, I can take, fatigue not so much. Side effects from the meds were awful and now that I am off them I keep asking myself why do I want to take something that helps the pain but makes me sick? You can believe it or not but since I went off the meds last August I have not had one migraine headache. Lord please do not let this bite me in the butt tomorrow! Why do I want to put poison in my body that does that to me? ME! Yes ME! I am not writing this for anyone else to feel bad about taking drugs we all need to do what we need to do. I feel fortunate I am where I am. When I first decided to go off the drugs I wondered how much worse my life was going to be but never really thought about how much better it could be. Why do we do that to ourselves? Right now, today, I am good. I feel like I can win this battle and I hope and pray I can. If not who knows what the future brings we all have to live one day at a time anyways so for now I live in this moment. Point is I am trying. I am finally taking charge instead of allowing other people to be in charge for me. It feels so good! I have a long road ahead of me but I know I can do it one step at a time! I will be the winner at this game!

God Bless!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chicken Scratch

I was laying in bed last night around 8:30 pm and as usual the creative juices were flowing. Ever since we welcomed Ella into our dorm/home/lives our schedule has changed drastically off to bed at 8:00pm up at 5:00am. We are both deciding that dogs are not so great for intimacy. It is like a race but we wouldn't trade the joy we get from both of them for more sleep, plus we know it will get better because pups are just like that. Back to laying in bed waiting for my slumber to arrive. I don't know why but when I am in bed, in the dark, with no pencil or paper in sight, that is when I think of so many great blog entries telling myself oh ya I will remember that. Morning comes and guess what? Nope they are gone from my memory. I try to think of a word that I can associate with in the morning to bring back at least some of what I was dreaming up in my subconscious mind but most times it just doesn't happen. Which reminds me I had a really good one the other night but...Well, guess what? It finally happened this morning. Of all the words I could put together to remember my brain ranting on and on at me last night- Chicken Scratch. Crazy! But when I got up I thought to myself that was some good stuff now what was that word? Oh ya Chicken Scratch. What the heck can a person come up with from those two simple words? Glad you asked and even if you didn't here it is.

I was laying there thinking about life as I always do. I thought about one of the most special people I have ever met in my life and a past Pastor from the church we use to be very involved in. He had surgery Monday for colon cancer and we found out last night the cancer was one tumor and he was NOT going to need any further surgery. Best news ever! I was thanking God for that! I have never met a more selfless family than the Weber's. Dave goes out of his way for everyone many times driving hours to meet someone in a hospital that is a ten hour drive away only to turn around and head back home after a short visit. How can people like that not be blessed with good health? So ya, my heart is still weak and tears well in my eyes as I am thankful he doesn't have to face more than he already has to with recovery!
Then I thought about Valentines Day. Stupidest so called holiday ever. I hate even writing holiday after Valentines Day. Watching the stupid commercials on how we have to buy something. I even heard the average a person spends on their lover is like $225. Seriously I would be so mad if Rich wasted that kind of money on something so stupid. I beg of him not to waste money on flowers or anything else for that matter. Love is all I need. Stuff is just stuff. Chicken Scratch so to speak. I mean really, you get it, whatever it is, and in a few weeks the flowers die, the chocolate is gone, the item breaks or gets shoved in a drawer and then what? Chicken Scratch. But love? Ahhh that stays forever in the heart. I thought about all the other Chicken Scratches of the world as my mind whirled on and on. The senseless arguing with people. Why do we do it? Why do we hang or allow ourselves to hang with people who only bring us down when we can have good people who lift us up? Why? I believe the older you get you don't have time for horse shit oh whoops I mean Chicken Scratch and after time you really don't care anymore. Sad but true sometimes letting the Chicken Scratch go is the best thing you can do for yourself!

I never feel good that is common knowledge to most people who know me. I don't hide it and why should I? It is hard to pretend so why not just let all the Chicken Scratch go and live it. I live it every minute of everyday. It is always something. It never ends and I am to the point that it is my life. I make the best of what I have been given and I try to avoid the Chicken Scratch and push on the best I can. I don't understand why when we are sick or chronically ill we have to pretend we are so strong to the world. What is that? I am strong but when it comes to pain and knowing I have to live like this forever it can be very taxing. When I got to this point in my thinking last night I drifted off to sleep. It is funny how your brain knows when it has had enough and how it knows how to shut off. I believe it is because the unknown is too much to try to decipher so the Chicken Scratch switch turns off and says that is enough for today. I'm sure, and I know for a fact, that is not the first time or the last time I will try to figure it all out. I am happy I am learning to live with never feeling well it just makes life so much easier accepting it is what it is. The older I get I understand more and more that part of being chronically ill, the accepting part. I understand we have to try as hard as we can to let the Chicken Scratch go and holding on only makes life harder and many times unbearable. Then I think of Dave laying in a hospital recovering from a very serious surgery and then it all begins to come in even a little clearer for me. I kind of thought to myself much of life is Chicken Scratch and we must learn to let some of it go in order to live in the present moment and just be happy.

PS. I lied I do hope like heck Rich brings me some good milk choclate home but it sure doesn't have to be tomorrow :)

God Bless!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Remembering the Good

I woke up this morning with a very creative mind. If you don't understand creative minds you will never understand this statement but if you do then you know how it is.You must do something to release that creativity. It doesn't matter what it is but you must unleash it or you will go crazy. I thought my release today was going to be a project I saw on Pinterest, where else? It was more of a preserving of something two very dear friends of mine gave me years ago. Peacock feathers. Yes real ones! Our friends had peacocks in their backyard and one time they gave me a bunch of feathers and I kept those things for all these years. I am guessing it was around twenty years ago Possibly? I cherished those things and every time I looked at them I remember where they came from, from people who have the biggest hearts and would do anything for anyone. I love people like that! I love them!  Well, long story short my attempt at being creative on canvas failed miserably today according to Steph, my middle daughter, who is so brutally honest. Yesterday she loved the idea I threw her way but today when she saw what I did with the feathers all I got was a, "Ya I guess I don't want one after all." Seriously? It's a good thing I have thick skin when it comes to her comments because shheww she can really through those pitches to me. But then again I do the same to her so I guess we are even, almost. Pretty sure I have damaged her much more than she will ever damage me, I am fifty one so the skin gets thicker every year. I must say that is one of the things I just love about her. I can ask her her opinion and it will be the truth without any sugar coating. Unlike Rich who, even when he doesn't like something always says, "I like it."

This has nothing to do with what I started this blog about it is just something that came to mind the other night and I have thought about it since but I can imagine it will all intertwine in someway by the time I am done. I was watching the old game show Match Game a few days ago. Remember that one? A panel of six goof balls have to match an answer with the contestant to try to get the win to go for the five thousand dollars. I'm pretty sure back in the seventies five thousand dollars was enough to buy a car, these days not so much. This show was one of my all time favorites of the best era's to grow up in. I sat there and laughed out loud a lot. The so called stars of that time who were on the panel were nut jobs. The things they did that made them all laugh cracked me up too. It wasn't like today where people looked for fun, it just happened. Slapstick to some degree and sheer stupidity at times. Then it struck me really, really funny when Richard Dawson took a drag off his smoke and then Fanny Flag did the same. Oh those were the days when you could do what you wanted without being put down or told something was wrong with you. If I recall it seems they even had clear glasses with a light brown substance in them at times unless that was tea, ya I doubt it. Now all we can show is sex on tv none of that other really bad stuff that can kill you. Really? I sat there after the show was done still laughing and thinking about all the crap nowadays that I just don't understand. I wish we could all be left alone to make our own decisions without someone there to judge us even before we are done with one sentence. The negativity that is out there pushes me more and more into my own solitude and my own comfort zone. The show made me think of our old friends, the ones we have been friends with for years, and how they are always the ones who are there for you the minute they hear you have something going on. The same happens to them, with us, if we hear they are struggling. You may not see each other as often as you use to but when you do nothing changes. No hard feeling, no rude comments about where have you been, just love and joy of old times and the moment you are spending with them at that moment. You savor them much more because you don't know how long it will be until you meet again. You catch up, you laugh, you pick at one another, and you leave with a joy in your heart. We are truly blessed with so many of these friends.

I like to try to connect my blogs to living with a chronic illness in some way each time I write them. I was wondering how I could relate this one and it just came to me. Simple but so huge for me. This past weekend Rich went to a friends cottage for the guys weekend away. They do this every year and it is something he looks so forward to. Me? Not so much in my own selfishness but I am happy for him. Friday my friend Julie called, the same one who gave us the peacock feathers, and told me she was having craft night with the girls on Saturday night if I wanted to come. I told her I would see, my answer to most invitations. I woke up yesterday not feeling great and decided to stay home plus it started snowing again and the driving would wear me out. I sent her a text to tell her I wasn't coming and as usual she was fine with it. I told her not to quit asking and she said don't worry she will never quit asking. I'm pretty sure to the healthy world a little sentence like I will never quit asking is not a biggy but to me it is monumental just as all the little things in life have become. My pain worsened as the day went on and by evening my knees were painful and swollen. I tried to figure out if this was some kind of a form of torture for saying no to going with the girls or if it was my way of feeling good about saying no. It has been over seven years of having to say no and disappointing people and I still struggle with it. There are people who understand, my true friends, and there are people who don't. I know who's on what side by now. I am grateful to each and everyone of those people who support me in my journey of illness. The good days and the bad but most of all I thank them for understanding and still loving and supporting me without taking it personally!

God Bless!