Water, water everywhere!

oakbeach

 

This is where I was yesterday afternoon…Oak Beach, NY.  While this water is definitely not the prettiest or the bluest, to me it was a lifesaver.  I sent out an SOS yesterday to a friend and needed to get out of my apartment and change my scenery.

Since a week ago, I have been down and just out of sorts.  It all started when I met a friend of mine for lunch at the coffee shop on the corner.  The routine usually is my friend will pick me up in front of my apt, drop me at the front of the restaurant and then go find a parking spot.  The same routine is usually done in reverse on the way home, but this time I wanted to try something new.  I wanted to see if I’ve made any progress with my physical stamina and when it was time to go home, after a very nice lunch, I said I’m going to walk home.

Now to anyone else but me, this would seem like a normal sentence, but to me this was monumental.  The restaurant is on my corner, my building is in the middle of the block, piece of cake you say!  NOT.

I walked very, very slowly, even cut some steps out by walking in the middle of the street, but by the time I got to my apartment, my body was shaking, my legs felt like jelly and they couldn’t support my body weight.  To bed I went and in bed I stayed for the rest of the day.

Now was this worth, definitely not in hindsight, but I was hoping for a much different body response and the one I got really put me in a downward spiral.  How could I not have progressed any since last spring?  Will it be 10 more years before I am physically able to walk to my corner?  What goes on in my body that causes this and why can’t any medical doctor figure this out?

So since this incident, I just have been completely out of sorts and just uninspired to try to do anything because I was afraid of getting the same response.  But the weather has been so beautiful these last few days and yesterday I just couldn’t take it any more and needed to be by water.  So I was lucky that my friend was available and was able to spend the afternoon with me, surrounded by nature and peace and quiet.

It did me a world of good and I came back home in a much better mental state.  Although I am tired today, because I was out for many more hours than I usually venture out, the physical tiredness is worth it today because I feel good mentally and I know my spirit and determination are back.

Today, I wish I was able to do more than gaze out my window and view the life outside, but I am content again and at peace with myself and that’s all that matters to me this afternoon.

Happy Birthday to You

happybheaven

The first week of April used to be a very a happy time for me.  I had 4 birthdays in a row of people in my life, but now 3 of these people are gone.  2 were family by blood (cousin and father) and 1 was a dear friend I grew up with and stayed friends with.  I’m sorry to say my cousin and I didn’t have a good relationship when she past, but my friend and my dad were very much in my every day life .  I lost both of them within a few months of each other and neither died an easy painless death.  Both suffered for a long time before the end came.

My mom and I are going to visit my dad today and it’s always a solemn day.  We know he is in a better place, but it would be nice to wish him Happy Birthday in person and tell him the we love him.  I am so glad that I did all that I could for my dad in the last few months he was alive, even though it came at a cost for me as I was very ill when he was slipping away from us.  I have no guilt or any feelings of “what if”.  I did what I could and he knew I was extending myself for him, just like he extended himself for me when he was able to.

My mom and my dad grew up in low to middle class families.  Neither went to college but they both worked very hard to make sure my sister and I were taken care of.  We lived in a very small 2 bedroom house and they gave us the master bedroom and my parents slept on a high riser in the small second bedroom.  They both worked 2 or 3 jobs and didn’t complain about anything.  This was just what you did.  And when I did all that I did for my dad, I had the same mentality.  This is just what you do for someone you love who is dying.

Many people are often riddled with guilt and regrets when a loved one dies and I am lucky that I don’t have those regrets.  Even with my close friend, I talked to her every single day for an hour or more when she was in the hospital for months on end.  I would stay on the phone with her when the nurses where in her room trying to clean her wounds and she would scream in pain.  I was there for her, even though I couldn’t be in the room with her physically, I was there.

So even though this is a sad week, I know they both are together having a good birthday.  My friends parents were also my father’s good friends, so we all knew each other in life and I know they are with each other in death.

I don’t want to say I am rushing the time away until I meet up with them again because I have a lot of things I want to accomplish while I am still alive.  Although I may be slower and tire more easily these days, I still have goals and dreams and I will not give them up, as long as I am able to move forward, even at a snails pace.

Sunshine Blogger Award, Part 2

sunshineWe’ll I’m finally getting around to finish what is required when getting the Sunshine Blogger Award.  Since I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Kim Gosselin who blogs at Chronic Conditions & Life Lessons, I still have to nominate the bloggers that inspire me.   Please be sure to visit Kim’s blog at http://kimgosselinblog.com/ because even though I can’t nominate her, as she nominated me, her blog is very inspiring.

The rules for accepting this  award are as follows:

1.  Display the Award on your Blog.

2.  Announce your win with a post and a link back to the Blogger who awarded you.

3.  Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award-who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.

4.  Link your awardees in your post and let them know that they are being awarded.

5.  Write 10 interesting things about you.

 

The deserving blogs I will nominate are:

The Gift

thegift

Last week someone who I used to work with contacted me and asked how I was doing and if I was well enough to meet her for lunch in NYC. Unfortunately the answer was no and I explained that the fatigue and pain still prevent me from taking public transportation into the city. She understood and at the end of her email she wrote, “Health is a precious gift.”

How true is that statement and it is not often that a healthy person realizes that.  My previous coworker is enlightened and gets that health is the most important thing of all.  How come none of my other friends realize that concept?

Yesterday I was speaking with my oldest friend (Ms. E).  We grew up together, were college roommates, our parents were best friends and we have seen each other through many of lives triumphs and tragedies.   I said my oldest friend and not my closest friend as our lives have taken very different paths and we really haven’t been all that close lately.  Since I’ve been ill, my friend hasn’t visited me once (except when we saw each other at 2 funerals).  She lives about 60 miles from me, so I understand that she can’t casually drop by for a few minutes, but it is a little hurtful that in 5 years she hasn’t been able to visit me.  We do talk and text, but sometimes you expect more from some people.

While we were speaking yesterday on the phone, the instant she said hello, I knew something was very wrong with her.  Her voice sounded weird, had no life, no spirit, no personality.  It sounded dead and depressed.  In the 40 years that I have known Ms. E, I never heard her sound like this before.  I asked a few times what was wrong and at first she said nothing is wrong, but before the end of the conversation she told me she is very depressed and is currently taking 3 different medicines, prescribed by her psychiatrist.

Now I was concerned because she sounded out of it and was driving alone on a highway.  She assured me she was alright to drive and that she’s just been very emotional lately and they haven’t figured out the right dosage of her medications yet.

That made me feel  somewhat better, but then my mind starting churning.  While I was very, very sad that my friend was in so much pain, I couldn’t help but wonder what could Ms. E be so depressed about that 3 medications were required?  She has been married for 25 years, has 4 healthy children, her and her husband are physically healthy, she lives in a beautiful house and is wealthy beyond my wildest dreams.

Here I am ill for the past 5 years,  divorced, no children, rent a one bedroom apartment and I’m not depressed.  I don’t get what people expect out of life.  Maybe I’m becoming cynical or hardened but what does it take for someone to realize that when they have their HEALTH, the greatest gift of all, they have everything they need.

Sunshine Blogger Award

I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Kim Gosselin who blogs at Chronic Conditions & Life Lessons.  Please be sure to visit Kim’s blog at http://kimgosselinblog.com/

I would like to thank Kim for this award as she finds my writing inspiring and from someone who writes as a profession, I take that as a big complement.  I wish I was able to write more often but hopefully that will happen.

The rules for accepting this lovely award are as follows:

1.  Display the Award on your Blog.

2.  Announce your win with a post and a link back to the Blogger who awarded you.

3.  Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award-who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.

4.  Link your awardees in your post and let them know that they are being awarded.

5.  Write 10 interesting things about you.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Ten Hopefully Interesting Things About Me

1.  I have been blogging for less than a year and find it to be an extremely therapeutic and rewarding experience.

2.  I would love to take a cruise to Alaska and explore that vast territory and see some penguins.

3.  I have great intuition and a keen instinct.

4.  I am half Canadian, but can’t speak or understand a word of French.

5.  I’ve held and shot a gun once in my life, while I was on a trip to Cody, Wyoming.

6.  I talk with my hands and holding a pistol was a dangerous thing for those around me!!

7.  My most favorite place in the United States is Sedona, Arizona

8. I love the color purple and the smell of coffee.

9.  I went to art school for 5 years when I was young, but haven’t drawn or painted since.

10.  My birthday is in August and I’ll turn 55 on my next birthday.

Now on to the next part of accepting the award.  I need to nominate 10 Bloggers.  I promise to do that in a followup post.

 The 10 Bloggers I Award the Sunshine Blogger Award to are as follows:

 To be continued….

 

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

serene

I, like many other people who suffer with chronic conditions, go through decent periods, tough periods and horrendous periods and I have just been through a tough one (won’t say horrendous, cause it always can be worse). My pain has been intense, my fatigue has been high and the weather is not warming up.   This winter is just not leaving and even though it’s spring on the calendar, the weather in the northeast USA is cold.  I have been holed up inside for months and while I did get a lot of rest, I really haven’t had much social interaction.  I spoke on the phone and texted and emailed people, but haven’t really seen many people in person for months.

Yet throughout all this isolation, I still find that I am at peace.  I am at peace with myself, even though everything around me is in disarray.  My future, my living situation, my job outlook and my health outlook are all up in the air.  Nothing is stable and probably won’t be for a long time, yet I AM STABLE.  I am even keeled, positive and at peace.

Even before I got sick, I was alright when I was by myself.  Some of my friends couldn’t stand the silence and the emptiness of being alone in their apartment.  One of my friends would never sleep in her bed if her boyfriend wasn’t home or if she was between boyfriends.  She would always be busy making places and double booking, just in case someone backed out because she dreaded being alone.  I always thought she didn’t like herself.  This was a friend I grew up with and so I knew her for a long time.  But 6 years ago I made another friend, who also hates being alone.  At 50, you’d think she’d be used to it but I guess some people never will get used to it or be comfortable being by themselves or with there own thoughts.

Someone who isn’t comfortable with  who they are, can’t be alone for long periods of time (at least that’s my observation).  I like myself and I like the person I am.  So while I may enjoy being around other people, I know I will be fine when I’m alone too.

Missing InAction

 

missing

 

I have been Missing InAction for the past week and I haven’t been able to do much.  My mind has been like mush and I haven’t been able to formulate a thought, or rather a logical thought.  These episodes hit us like bricks and we are like zombies walking around in the world yet not participating.  This past episode has been a long one, maybe not as dire as past ones, but longer.  I am finally starting to emerge from this state, but still feel empty and uninspired.

Yesterday I made it to a doctor’s appointment, it was a new doctor and with a new doctor comes all the anxieties of will he believe me,  will he treat me with respect.  kindness and understanding and will he have anything new to offer me.

I am happy to say that I can answer yes to all of the above uncertainties.  The doctor was gentle, gave me a thorough examination and talked to me with respect.  Even though he did seem a bit rushed, I didn’t feel neglected.  We went through a history of my illness and symptoms and he asked a bunch of questions about previous medications and then he offered me a medicine I have not taken before.

He wrote me a prescription for Savella, which is the 3rd approved medication of it’s kind for Fibromyalgia.  I have previously tried Lyrica and Cymbalta, with no improvement in my symptoms.  These medications only made me feel worse with their side effects.  So now the big question is, “Do I try Savella”?

I have been researching the medication and its side effects, some of which scare me.  I am sitting here staring at the prescription and I just don’t know what to do.  At first I was so excited that I was offered something new to try and help me and I was going to rush to the pharmacy, but now I really am unsure.  This doctor spent 15 minutes with me and did he hear that I currently have palpitations due to some minor heart issue, or did he hear that I get dizzy at times.  These are 2 side effects of the drug that I am not sure I want to encounter.

The dilemma I feel right now is faced by many people dealing with illness.  Do I try something that could make me feel worse in the short term, but perhaps a little better in the long term?  Do I try something that I likely will have to be on for the rest of my life, if I feel it helps, only to find out in 5 years that the drug can cause cancer or some other fatal ailment?

These situations and many others that I deal with on a day to day basis escape the healthy individual.  Sometimes I just wish I could shake my healthy friends and make them realize how lucky they are.  If I have to hear one more story about how a friend is upset because she had to miss her nail appointment or that she has 2 parties to attend in one day and just doesn’t know what to do, I THINK I WILL SCREAM.

So for today, I will sit and mull over what to do.  I know once I make the decision, I will be alright with it and that will be that.