Archive | January 2013

Content…

contentment

Driving home from the latest medical appointment today, I was contemplating how the rest of my day would go…generally the very way it does most days. I will get home, and walk thru the door to the dogs all barking their heads off, I will let them outside as I trip over the three of them walking to the door. I will unload whatever items I may have from store, then head to jump into my pajamas.

I wash my face, then straigten up the house so I can relax. Let the dogs in, prepare their dinner and serve. Then decide if my body will tolerate something more substantial then Ensure, which it usually will not, so drink my dinner then hit the sofa and turn on the computer and tv. Yep, both will be on somedays…usually a news or documentary type program on television or Netflix and just email, facebook or blog stuff on the computer. I’m doing cancer research for a family member, as well as researching my own illnesses, so I’m on the computer alot.

The dogs and cat are usually on the sofa with me, keeping my legs warm! The fireplace is flickering and heating up the room…I’m trying to learn crochet, so I may have the yarn and hooks out with the magazine and maybe a YouTube tutorial. I will usually talk to my mom and grandmother by phone at some point.

If the pain is really bad I don’t do much of anything other than lay on couch and focus on breathing gently so I don’t aggravate the issue…usually try to keep from crying, as that just makes it that much worse. As the evening goes on I get myself a cup of chamomille tea…with too much sugar and maybe a couple of Saltines. Play with the animals and brush the dogs…

Then it’s time to pick Jess up from work and she tells me about her day at work on the ride home, then we get in and she gets comfy while I empty her lunchbox. Then she gets a snack and we sit on the couch and watch something we have on the DVR, like tonight it will be American Idol…then later after Jim gets home, he and I go to bed and watch Days of Our Lives…yes, we are both hooked on it, for about two-years now I think! I personally LOVE EJ and I think Jim has a crush on Nikki (so would I if I was a guy!) lol.

After the show is over, Jim goes to sleep and I read until I am able to pass out, usually around 3am or so. Then I’m usually the first one up anymore, didn’t used to be, but am lately…get the fireplace on, fix our tea, let dogs out, then Jim gets up. Someone cooks so they can have dinner before leaving…after they go to work, I clean the house up, maybe go visit my grandparents, go to doc appointments, and maybe the store if I’m able to that day, but most days the pain keeps me pretty pinned down.

On Jessies nights off, she and I watch Gossip Girl or some Lifetime movie and chat. If I’m up to it, we might even get to go to the theatre or shop a little bit…same for Jims days off…usually as a family we go see a show or sit home watching Netflix. Sometimes the whole family gets together for dinners on Sundays or for birthdays and holidays. And now on Sundays I’ve been going to church with friends.

So, there you have it. My life in a nutshell…condensed of course, I left out mundane tasks of daily life for the most part…or is my whole life mundane? lol

But as I was driving home, thinkin bout my evening…I felt happy. Felt like I was looking forward to my routine. Since my whole life changed with these illnesses, it’s even more boring than it used to be…not that I was ever too exciting, but not being able to work, and not having young children at home anymore…leaves me with little to do. But somehow the days still speed by me and I can never figure out where the time goes!

It’s a quiet life. Yes, it’s filled with many, many extremely painful hours and lots of frustration over my whole digestive system and the medical communities inability to do much for me…but I like my life! I look forward to talking with my family members about their days at work, watching shows with them, laughing with them and joking with them…teasing each other and playing with the animals…it’s a good life for me.

Some people probably couldn’t imagine living the way that I do, day after day. The ones who are always on the go…always going somewhere, making plans for something, or working outside the home…but it’s working for me. It sounds cheesy, but every morning that I wake up, before I roll over to take my meds, I thank God for giving me another day here on Earth with my family…whether filled with pain or not, its also filled with joy…and I am CONTENT.

 

That’s pretty much my life

Advertisements

Who are you?

liverightnowjustbeyourself_zpsf278e001

Have you ever had the opportunity or time to reflect on who you are? Or about who the people you think you know are? How well do we know ourselves? How well do we know others?

In my heart, if I was to describe who I was, I would say this: I’m a kind, caring, empathetic, sympathetic, honest, reliable, concerned, intelligent, organized, animal loving, book loving, information loving, family oriented homebody who is learning to live with multiple debilitating chronic illnesses that are life threatening, while trying to do anything I can to remain a decent mother, wife, daughter and granddaughter for my family. I can be short tempered when I’m having a high-pain day. I get frustrated with myself easily when I can’t do simple tasks with the ease everyone else can. I am a people pleaser and try to do things to make other people happy. I feel things rather deeply and used to think everyone did. I used to enjoy getting dressed in a cute outfit and going out once in awhile, I still love clothes and purses. I don’t have a problem with being alone, but I do feel lonely. I’m trying to find my purpose in life. I struggle everyday with feelings of being a burden to others. I worry too much. I am a bit ocd with certain aspects of cleaning or how and where things should be. I love to laugh, laughing til I cried used to be my favorite feeling and I love the color pink.  That would be my view of me, that is how I would think others would describe me…but in reality, we never know how we look to others on the outside do we? Maybe someone else might describe me something like this:

A lazy, sickly, boring, nerdy, nosey, irritating, grouchy, cranky, worry wortish, neurotic, book-wormish, opinionated, snobbish, hermit, animal freak, know-it-all, anal bitch.

I don’t know. It’s like sometimes you think you think you know someone…and then they do or say things that totally make you wonder if you ever knew them? Then you begin to question your ability to really know people? You wonder if your judgement is that off? I’ve had instances where I would have a relationship with someone, whether romantic, friendly or familial, where I felt really close and connected with someone. Felt I really, really knew them. Felt I understood our feelings for each other. Only to have things come crashing in on me. Where it felt like one big sham. The person I thought I knew, turns out to be someone I didn’t know at all. Just as I’m sure people may have had similar experiences with me.

Sometimes these instances are more of a shock than others. Some people you really feel close to, like you know them or have known them your whole life. Then when they do something or say something to you or about you that hurts you, it really wrecks you deep in your soul.

It maybe just me, but I always thought that being close friends with people, meant you were in frequent contact, dropped in for coffee, sat and watched movies together, talked about things you wouldn’t discuss with others, told secrets to, stuck up for, loved and cared about, didn’t backstab or tell lies about and felt comfortable hanging out with. But sometimes it turns out that people just want these superficial type of friendships, where everything is more of a fake, let’s pretend everything is perfect, laugh and have a good time kind of relationship. Maybe they don’t want that other type of closeness for some reason, and that’s fine, I’m just saying to me…that’s what I want in close friendships. I may not even be good at it myself, it’s just my ideal.

It’s the same for me with family. The above type of relationship, but magnified even further. With family you should always feel comfortable being yourself. You should never feel you have to watch your back with family. You should always feel you can relax around family, like you can trust each other implicitly. But not all families are like that. Some are just, again…superficial. They treat each other almost like business acquaintances…it’s all nicey nice, aren’t things great type of meaningless banter.

I’ve always felt my family was tighter than most. Closer than most. Crazier than most. Even during very hard times, we are always there for each other. We see each other at our best and at our worst. We laugh, cry and yell with and at each other. But we’re real.

Again…just my ideals and thoughts. No matter how I perceive things, these perceptions can be ripped to shreds in a blink of an eye. How would one react if everything they thought they knew was in fact, nothing more than some fake experience? That the people we thought we were closest to, didn’t think of us in the same way at all?

We all are living beside each other, everyday, having the same or similar experiences with the same places, people and things…yet we all see, feel or hear it differently. We all take things in a way that suits us best. If you want to see the best in people you will, but if you’re looking to see the worst, you definitely will.

Some people make it hard to know them. They are actors thru and thru. They will say what you want to hear at the time, they will do the same with others. They will pretend to be one person with you and another with me. They will talk badly about me to you, and talk badly about you to me. They will present themselves one way today and another way tomorrow. How do you know these people? Really know them?

Humans need close relationships. We need bonding. We need to feel loved and understood. But how can you ever feel you’re understood or known, if people are themselves determining who you are, rather than truly getting to know you?

Who am I? I’m a confused and known only to a few.

 

 

Worry…

lettinggotobefreeI am a worrier. I was born to a worrier, as was my mother and her mother. I’ve always liked the saying that worrying is like a rocking chair…it will keep you busy but get you nowhere.

I worry about my kids every minute of every day…I worry about my family, my husband, my pets, my home, myself…my mind never quits.

I worry I won’t live long enough to get my family situated…but I also worry that my existence keeps them from getting there. Somedays I beg the Lord to let me live and other days I beg him to call me home.

Serious and continuous pain screws with your mind for sure. I want to live so badly, to watch my family grow…to be here to support them and guide them…I pray constantly to be able to be a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter…a person. Today has been a day where I dont know what to pray for.

Why does the pain have to fight to get past the 10 scale? Isn’t it enough to stay a steady 5 or 6? Why must it have moments where it rips right thru my soul? Makes me hate everything? I don’t like ME when the pain goes off the charts… I keep to myself so as not to bite anyones head off, if I can. I live in fear that all my days will be full of this increasing pain, yet I think I would prefer it to death, or would I? I’m sure the constant worry about others and myself just increases my minds perception of the pain.

Worrying is really such a wasted energy. The people you’re worrying about don’t benefit from it. The worrier doesn’t benefit from it. It won’t stop any catastrophe from occurring. So why is it such a strong urge in some people? For me, it’s out of such intense love and caring for my family. I always feel if I could worry in advance I could somehow stop something bad from happening…as insane as that is. It’s out of some crazy thought that if I worry about them, I can keep them from being hurt or disappointed or…something.

But in reality, worrying doesn’t help them and it doesn’t help me. Worry and stress can literally kill a person…lowers the immunity…drives you slowly insane. In my opinion worry is tied to intense love for the people you worry about. Also, being chronically ill gives a person more time to sit and fret over things. I guess I’m too sensitive, I feel too intensely…love and care too deep. It feeds the worry monster.

There is one worry, that just this week I’ve come to feel I can stop. I always worried about being here for my family…to raise them and guide them thru life. I no longer feel they need me here to do that. They are grown and manage okay on their own. So it’s a prayer God granted me…keeping me here long enough to get my kids grown. I am grateful for that. I wish worrying had an on/off switch. But, it doesn’t, so us worriers just have to try to focus that energy elsewhere.

I envy the laid back people in the world. The ones who don’t worry. Who just let things go as they may. Leave it all up to the universe. The old saying “Ignorance is bliss” really has to be true. The happiest people seem to be the ones who don’t worry, who have few responsibilities, who don’t try to look into the future and stop some possible calamity.

So, tonite I think I will pray for ignorance. Ignorance to all the bad things that can happen in the world or to the people I love. Until that prayer is answered, I’m afraid I will keep….Worrying….about trying NOT to worry!

Am I Here?

She sat in the car. Feeling numb and sluggish. Thoughts floating in and out of her mind. How did it come to this? How had her life ended up here? She was a young girl once, with dreams and ideals. She had goals for her life. Ending up a useless, sick middle-aged nobody wasn’t one of them.

Growing up was hard. Her parents weren’t ready for such a monumental job as parenting. They were young and immature, but it’s not their fault her life went nowhere. Yes, there was the almost constant physical and emotional abuse in the house thru the years, but she had good coping skills. She was a people pleaser, always trying to do the right thing, be the “good girl”, the “good student” the “good” everything. She didn’t always succeed, but more often than not, she did.

She wanted to be a lawyer. She wanted to do family law, so she could help children from abusive homes, help women break away from controlling husbands. But as senior year came, the reality of needing either alot of money or huge scholarships, slapped her square in the face, and life happened instead.

She got married, to a controlling and abusive husband. Had three beautiful little boys, who she loved with all her heart. Not having a career, or a loving relationship, left her alot of time and energy to place all her love on those boys. They were her life. They are who she lived for.

She stood between them and her abusive husband when he wanted to instill harsh discipline. She made sure things stayed “just so” around the home to keep the peace. She made excuses for the boys when their rooms weren’t tidy or their grades weren’t stellar. She made sure to always scrape together enough money to give the boys wonderful birthdays and Christmases! Seeing them open their gifts or blow out birthday candles with the glow of pure innocent happiness…made all the bad things in life worth going thru.

The years passed, the boys grew. The older they got, the less they needed her. She still stayed the “buffer” between the kids and the rest of the cruel world. Sacrificed all she could to make sure they were happy. The oldest, Christopher, was the first to move out, at 21 he was in a serious relationship and moved in with his girlfriend. He was such a good kid growing up, much like his mother, he was a pleaser. She worried most about this one though, as he was just a tad on the “sensitive” side. He felt things deeply and and felt as though he was not the perfect person he thought everyone expected him to be. Much as she herself felt.

Her middle son left a year later, off to California to live with friends. This about ripped her heart out. The thought of not having her child within a car rides distance was almost too much to bear. But with texts, emails and Skype, she was learning to deal with this “bad” situation, much as she had to learn to deal with so many “bad” situations in her life.

At 18, her youngest Kyle was the last one at home with her. Her baby. He had become the closest to her emotionally of her children. Probably a bit more sheltered and fussed over, being the baby of the family. He seemed to really have the most empathy. He tried to look after his mom. He was the one who noticed when she started to lose weight and stay in bed somedays. He was worried about her, but he was leaving for the Army soon, his dad thought the Army would “toughen” him up. Kyle wasn’t interested in being tough, but felt he hadn’t many options but to join up.

Why get out of bed? She thought one morning around 10am…what’s the point? Would anyone even notice if she didn’t? Other than the dishes in the sink, that might be the one clue to anyone that she wasn’t around that day. What’s she going to do now? She has raised her children and now they are gone. They no longer needed her. Her husband only needed her to bring him his beer and keep his house clean.

The days dragged on and on…the only bright spots being the calls and visits from her sons. They weren’t very frequent though…they were busy with their own lives now. It hurts to feel you put all your love into these little lives, only to grow older and more alone with very little love in return. She felt fatigued more than anything really. Her whole body ached somedays, so she did the chores that couldn’t be ignored and that was it.

At Kyles insistence a year later, she saw her physician for the fatigue and weightloss. They drew blood and performed some other tests and she went back to her daily existence. A week later, she received a phone call. The doctor told her the news right on the phone,..the news wasn’t good, nope, not good at all.

Pancreatic cancer. Which equals “Death Sentence.” She was in a fog the first week after the diagnosis. Just stumbing thru her days, mostly in bed…even her uncaring husband didn’t ask anything of her. She didn’t want to tell the boys right away. She didn’t want to have to draw up the energy to console THEM.

She didn’t have much time left at all. Less than three months. How would she get everything ready in such a short time? Especially when the last month would be a mostly bedridden one? She went about making her own funeral arrangements and after a week, finally called her sons. But none of the three could seem to agree on a good day for them to come for a visit, they were all so busy, with work, relationships, vacations…she told them this was important. She needed them to come.

When they finally arrived, each grumbling about what a kink this visit was putting into their current schedules. She had worked all day on a big dinner. Glazed ham, garlic mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, white corn, homemade biscuits and gravy. By the time the table was set, she was in so much physical pain she could barely carry the meal to the table. With tears in her eyes, she began serving.

Noone noticed that she didn’t eat, just pushed food around on her plate. The men all carried on a boisterous conversation about current affairs, politics mostly…the one topic she couldn’t stand to talk about or even listen to.  They laughed with their father, joked with him, agreed with most of his views. Have they forgotten how this man behaved toward them growing up? Don’t they recall his tirades? Do they even remember their mom having to stick up for them or keep them from being harshly punished? Do they remember her staying up with them all night when they were ill? Or staying up to help with a last minute science project? Do they recall her holding them, rocking them or consoling them during each of their youthful “crisis” of the moment?

Do they see her as a person? As a woman? As a little girl who sat in the woods, dreaming of the day she would be in a court of law, sending some abusive man off to jail for the atrocities he had his family endure? No. No, they see her as mom. Nobody amazing or special. Just someone who was there whenever they wanted her to be, but who disappeared when they didn’t need her.

She was disposable. She was invisible. She, who had always tried to so carefully “control” her little piece of life…was nobody. But, she wasn’t going to let cancer control how she would die. This she really could control.

Of course the boys all cried and expressed their grief over the fact that she was indeed going to die. She patted their backs, and hugged them and dried their tears. She assured them that she was in no pain and that although she would be leaving them, she would always be in their hearts, and would be forever watching over them from Heaven. After a week of this, they all had to get back to their lives…and she got back to her “non” life.

But now, here in the car, with soft ocean sounds coming from her cd player, the engine quietly idling, she was once again dreaming. With her eyes closed she was once again that little girl, sitting on a stump in the woods…the sun shining down thru the leaves. The trickle of the nearby creek being the music then. She dreamed of the life she thought she’d have. She was important. She was “good”. She was needed.

To that she drifted off to sleep, in a heavily medicated fog, mixed with the carbon monoxide from being in the car…in the garage…for most of the day, without ever having been missed, by anybody.

 

I WAS Here

Being forgotten is worse then not being noticed.

See Me…by the “Crabby Old Man/Woman”…See them…

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte , Nebraska , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when th…e nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem.. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet..
 
Crabby Old Man:
 
 
 
What do you see nurses? . . . .. . What do you see? What are you thinking . . . . . When you’re looking at me? A crabby old man . . . . . Not very wise, Uncertain of habit . . . . . With faraway eyes? Who dribbles his food . . . . . And makes no reply. When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’ Who seems not to notice . . . . . The things that you do. And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe? Who, resisting or not . . . . .. Lets you do as you will, With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill? Is that what you’re thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see? Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . You’re not looking at me. I’ll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still, As I do at your bidding, . . . . . As I eat at your will. I’m a small child of Ten . .. . . . With a father and mother, Brothers and sisters . . . . . Who love one another. A young boy of Sixteen . . . . With wings on his feet.. Dreaming that soon now . . . . . A lover he’ll meet. A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . My heart gives a leap. Remembering, the vows . . . . .. That I promised to keep. At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own. Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home. A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast, Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last. At Forty, my young sons . . . . . Have grown and are gone, But my woman’s beside me . . . . . To see I don’t mourn. At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee, Again, we know children . . . .. . My loved one and me. Dark days are upon me . . . . . My wife is now dead. I look at the future . . . . . Shudder with dread. For my young are all rearing . . . . . Young of their own. And I think of the years . . . . . And the love that I’ve known. I’m now an old man . . . . . And nature is cruel. Tis jest to make old age . . . .. . Look like a fool. The body, it crumbles . . . . . Grace and vigor, depart. There is now a stone . .. . . Where I once had a heart. But inside this old carcass . . . . . A young guy still dwells, And now and again . . . . . My battered heart swells. I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain. And I’m loving and living . . . .. . Life over again. I think of the years, all too few . . . . . Gone too fast. And accept the stark fact . . . . That nothing can last. So open your eyes, people . . . . . Open and see. Not a crabby old man . . . Look closer . . . See ME!!
 
Remember this poem when you next meet An older person who you might brush aside Without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!
 
PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM The best and most beautiful things of This world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart