Memory Lane

Shall I stop off there today?

Sometimes it is a good visit when I take a stroll down that old road I found un-expectantly a few years back.

Other times, I turn back the way I’ve come running as fast as I can only to find that the road seems to have gotten longer than when I had calmly strolled in with good intentions.

That is the problem with this street called Memory Lane. You never know if the memories with be good, bad, happy, sad, or a mix of everything. Sometimes, they come fast as you travel down the lane; one rapidly coming in succession one in front of the next. Other times, they linger and you can feel them just like they are happening in present day.

It is a strange road and not many people know about it. I am one who likes to keep the magic to myself. I mean, who would believe you if you told them that you can walk down a road and remember things from the past? Hmmmmm….

I think I will make that trip today after all.

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Book Review Time! “My Husband’s Wife”

Such an odd title for a book until you get to the very end of the novel and then it all makes perfect sense.

I highly recommend this read. Anyone that has ever told a little white lie that has snowballed into something huge can relate to any of the characters in this book. Most people have secrets that they keep in the closet hidden away from even those whom they are closest to. It is only after we let out all of our secrets and deal with our issues out in the open that we can truly be set free.

Such a lovable main character who is full of flaws that I can completely relate to. Yet again I found another one that I just couldn’t put down.

31 Days of Gratitude Photo Challenge-Day 29

LIFE

Flowers! I love them! I love growing them and their abundance reminds me that life is beautiful.

This picture is one of a bouquet that a dear friend brought me last year at work, but I used to grow my own gorgeous flowers. Digging in the damp earth, planting, watering, caring for them, watching them grow….giving them life. In return, they bring so much beauty to the world.

I haven’t physically been able to plant any flowers for a couple of years. I barely manage to keep all of my low-maintenance house plants alive and well. My goal for this summer is to grow some beautiful flowers, to nourish them and bring them life. However, if I am still not well enough to do so, I will still be grateful for all of the beauty of other people’s flower beds that I see.

Explanations

So, this is it!

I have finally out what drives me crazy and what every situation and every person I encounter has in common. I need to give an explanation for everything since I have been sick.

  • Shawn- I’m constantly explaining why I can’t accomplish things or how I feel. Every day, all day long I try to put into words this assault on my body.
  • Doctors- At every new appointment and with every new doctor or professional, going back through everything from the beginning. Back through my history, my symptoms, for no reasons, for no relief I feel.
  • People in Public- The dreaded people and blank stares after the questions and my lame answers. I explain to deaf ears it seems.

Over and over….

Explanation after explanation….

I never have a “normal” conversation anymore it seems. I long for the days of small talk about the salon or how someone wants a change in their hair…or how the kids are doing…anything besides the sickness…the looming doom that is the dark cloud over my entire life.

My week is composed solely of physical therapy, counseling, doctor’s appointments, specialist’s appointments, testing….I long to be back at work…back behind my chair making people look and feel beautiful, talking about the weather, their kids, their remodeling projects, their vacations….focusing on others instead of trying yet again to explain this mysterious illness that came out of nowhere and swept away my life.

31 Days of Gratitude Photo Challenge-Day 28

TECHNOLOGY

I’m so grateful for my phone. It is my only link to the outside world most days. Sometimes I don’t want to be a part of the outside world, but it is very important for my mental health to know that there are other people that deal with the same issues that I do.

I do not partake in any social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter anymore because they only bring me down. I choose to limit my interactions to blogging with like minded people and occasionally scrolling through Pinterest. My true friends are not my Facebook friends and it took me a long time to figure that out. I have about 3-5 true friends and I don’t need Facebook to interact with them. We can share pictures and funny memes through text messages.

Technology is a blessing but it can also be a curse. I have learned through the years how to best use it to optimize my life without bringing me down.

Things I Wish I Knew About Insomnia Before It Became My Life

I cannot remember the last time I got more than 3-4 hours of sleep at a time. I walk around like a zombie. There are some things that I wish I would have known to better prepare myself for this adventure before it became my new normal.

1. The fairy tale of having a long night snuggling your boyfriend and waking up next to each other is over. He will get annoyed because you are waking him up in the middle of the night moving around to either try to go back to sleep or get up and go downstairs.

2. You will lay there trying to fall back asleep and start to think about every mistake you have ever made in your life. Then, try to figure out if the mistake led to something positive and if you learned anything from it, how much of an idiot you were/are, asking yourself why you did that, driving yourself crazy essentially.

3. When the mistakes run out or your brain just gets tired of them, the complicated math problems start. It may just start innocently as a bill that you are trying to remember if you paid. You may start balancing the checkbook in your mind, trying to figure out if you got the best deal at the grocery store or some other sort of numbers game. Next thing you know, complicated math problems are tumbling around in your mind and you are actually contemplating turning on the lamp and grabbing some scrap paper. What? This is absurd!

4. The pain that keeps you up is unending at night. It seems worse at night than during the day. This is probably due to the fact that you take more medications at bedtime that make you drowsy, so you are in a state of fatigue that is unmatchable than the rest of the time yet you can’t sleep. This feeling makes it hard to do any pain distracting activities. Also, you want to sleep, so waking yourself up more is not an option. 5. You will be more tired than you have ever been in your life, yet you can not fall back asleep. Your brain just won’t allow it. It is keeping your body awake no matter what. Sleep is the only 100% relief from the pain and it is illusive.

6. All day long, you will walk around like a zombie waiting for your moment to be able to get a nap in. You can just feel the small amount of energy that you started the day off with being sucked away fast.

7. Besides chronic pain, insomnia is the most lonely and isolating burden you will deal with. It is another one of those problems that no one really understands unless they have been there. It is an all out attack on your body and you just hope that THIS will be the night that you will sleep through.

Your Ultimate Goal is 30%; Are you serious????

I’m completely heartbroken, pissed off at the world, disappointed beyond belief and just plain deflated. After everything I have been through with my health over the past few years, I finally thought I was looking at a breakthrough yesterday. I had been waiting almost five months to get into this pain clinic and yesterday was the day. Appointment day FINALLY!

So, for anyone that doesn’t know my “story”, here is the short version….I have been dealing with an intense amount of daily pain for over two years. I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia this past March. Of course I know that working out and walking does wonders for pain. I hear this all the time from all of my doctors. I wake up everyday with great intentions. As a person, I love to workout. I happen to be stuck in a body that isn’t functioning at a pain level that is allowing me to do even basic yoga at this point or walk on my treadmill without paying for it for days after unfortunately. No one seems to understand my situation apparently and they all just think hat I’m full of excuses or that is how they speak to me and make me feel. To top it all off, I have gained 45 pounds since March due to medication side effects and lack of exercise. I had to finally give up my career of 15 years at the beginning of August due to my health conditions and that was the worst blow yet.

Keeping all of this in mind, I was holding all my eggs in one basket that this pain clinic was holding the golden key to breaking the cycle that is stuck on repeat in my life.

My doctor kept saying that once I go see the pain doctor, things will get better. Let me tell you what happened at the pain doctor…..

He kept saying that I was so young to be having all of these problems. Yep, I know this. I’m 34 years old. I didn’t ask for this shit to come in and take over my life!

He also kept saying that all of my organs are in great health and he wants to keep them that way. Yes, again I know that I’m the picture of health on paper. If I felt like I looked on paper, I wouldn’t have ever been in his office. So, me being so young and in such great health led him to start talking about alternative treatments.

  • Physical Therapy- Yes, I just finished 3 times a week for 8 weeks on my neck and no change and I started therapy for my low back/left hip last week
  • TENS unit- Let’s get you one for Home. Yes, I have one and use it daily
  • Cervical Traction Pump- Let’s get you one for home. Sure, I guess if you think it will help
  • Exercise- yoga, walking, swimming. Yes, I try when I can, but my pain is usually too high for yoga and waking and when I do on a rare good day I have to spend 2-3 days in deep recovery.. What about swimming? The chlorine kills my eyes from afar even when I take my girls, so I don’t think that is a good option for me

After going over all of that bullshit and talking about nothing for an hour, he adds a low dose of Cymbalta to everything else I already take. Which, by the way, is another one that has weight gain as a number one side effect.

Then he tells me that his ultimate goal is to decrease my pain by 30% without increasing my fatigue anymore. Are you fucking kidding me????? 30%!!!! Not increasing my fatigue ANYMORE than the outrageous amount that it is right now!!!!! How am I ever going to get back into the workforce like this??? How am I going to be able to live a life???? But, don’t forget, I’ll have healthy organs!!!!!

I guess I’ll just rot on my recliner until I reach the age to where I can get some actual pain relief and not have to worry about my organs anymore!!!

Book Review Time!!! “Dragon Teeth” Takes You Back in Time!

“Dragon Teeth” by Michael Crichton isn’t the type of book that I normally read. It is set way back in the gold rush days in the time that dinosaur bones were first being discovered.

Hidden in these pages is the magnificent story of a young privileged man of 18 who learns really fast what it means to grow up and how evil humanity can be. His journey is one of bravery, strength, determination and courage way beyond his years. At the same time, he is completely naive in so many ways.

If you think this is just some old boring western, you would be wrong. It is a page-turner at its finest. Once you pick up a copy, it is nearly impossible to set down!

31 Days of Gratitude Photo Challenge-Day 27

SPONTANEOUS

Today I’m so grateful for a spontaneous act of kindness from not one but two women. The first one is pictured above, my daughter’s gymnastic’s instructor. I love this woman dressed in teal. I haven’t seen her since last spring and instead of asking me ridiculous questions, she simply came up to me tonight at observation and said that she feels like she she needs to give me a hug. Then, she asked how I have been. I said honestly not good and she just simply said that Kelly told her and she is so sorry. So grateful for her love and understanding.

The second blessing I had was earlier today at my yearly gynecologist appointment. Hard to find blessings there, but ones snuck in. The nurse told me that the doctor had a student working with her today and asked if it was okay if the student did my exam with guidance from my doctor. I didn’t really mind, so I agreed. In walks a friend of mine whom I had lost contact with over the years. I didn’t really know how I felt about the situation at that point, but it ended up being less awkward than I had initially thought it would have been. Through the background questions, she obviously found out about all of my current health struggles. After the exam, she came up and hugged me and told me that she would be praying for me. I almost broke down in tears.

God works in mysterious ways indeed.

31 Days of Gratitude Photo Challenge- Day 26

TRADITION


He dreaded first day of school photo. I’ve been taking these since preschool. This has become a tradition that I’m so grateful for in our family. Mia’s first day of preschool was on a different day, so she isn’t in this one. My two beauties starting out 10th and 7th grade this year say hat they dread the picture, but I know that hey secretly enjoy it. 

They love the traditions that make our little family what it is even though they won’t admit to it. If I didn’t busy out the camera, they would be disappointed for sure. When they get older they will love to go back through the photos and see their sense of style and how they grew just as I enjoy going back through them now. 

In an ever changing world, I am grateful for traditions that keep us grounded.