Healthy resources for chronic illnesses

Last week I shared, my list of Not your Typical Blogger Awards recommendations.  I mentioned in the post that I also had recommendations for chronic illness bloggers that were inspirational and motivating that I would share if requested.

As I continued to reread posts from February of last year, I realized that I had completely forgotten that not only did I actually write a little about MS in February, but I also made a video about being newly diagnosed> I was also fortunate enough to have some of those very same inspirational and motivational bloggers do guest posts on my blog.  Their names and links to their blogs can be found here.

I would like to add a few of the chronic illness bloggers that I have also begun following since that post was written that I also find very motivating and helpful.

First is Terri, from Reclaiming Hope.   Terri lives with Fibromyalgia, and offers great tips on total wellness, sharing advice on complete wellness encompassing emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, intellectual, financial, and physical aspects.  Whether or not, you suffer from a chronic illiness, I think you may find a lot to gain by visiting her site.

Next up is Heather and Dizzy from Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS.  Heather was diagnosed with MS a only a couple of years ago, but you would think she had been living with MS for a long time, based on the amount of information she shares.  Heather shares information about the OMS program, many exercising techniques, and relaxation techniques through her stories with her Donkey Dizzy.  She has also begun a podcast featuring two herself and two other MS bloggers from the UK.  If you have a minute, potter over  to her page, again you will not be disappointed!

Also from the UK is Caz, the author of Invisibly Me.  For a quick glimpse at her personality, check out her post, This and That.  As with most invisible illnesses, you wouldn’t know that anything is “wrong” with Caz, by looking at her, but she takes this one step further by sharing tips on how she continues to fight and rise above the trials she faces.  I especially like her post, What my invisible illness(es) have taught me. If you have another moment, (while you are in the UK :P) take a few steps over to her page.  About once a month she will share frugal finds for things she has found that help beat the heat and work on relaxation.

While I’m taking you around the world (well yah the internet is) I’d like to take a moment to visit Vancouver and talk about Amanda from Walk a Myelin* My shoes Not only does Amanda talk about the realities of living with Chronic Illness on her blog, but she is in the process of writing a book, and often talks about the other side ( caregivers and support people for those of us living with an invisible or chronic illness). To keep in line with the subject I wrote about earlier with being newly diagnosed, I would like to share this post written by Amanda as a place to start.

It is so easy to fall in with “the bad crowd” of people living with chronic illness.  By “bad crowd”, I don’t mean bad people, I mean people that spend more time succumbing to  their diagnosis and limitations than they do focusing on the positives in their life or are resigned to let the disease consume them.  (I think we may all go there from time to time.) Personally, I find it so much more helpful to spend time with people that while maybe struggling, continue to fight each day.

I hope you can take some time to visit the above mentioned websites, and that you find them as helpful as I do!

I have showed you mine, will you show me yours?

Do you have any websites or bloggers that you follow that share tips for dealing with chronic illness?  I would love to hear your thoughts

Maybe you can share some recommendations that you have?

 

I hit Einstein with the car

True story!

and not once but twice!!

I know it sounds terrible and it probably is, but now it is something we try to laugh about.  Maybe the story will make you fear me, but I truly hope you will chuckle instead, since no one was ever actually hurt.

Back in January, I talked about almost hitting Einstein with a car for the 3rd time.

Fortunately it never happened.  Well THAT time it didn’t happen, but on one occasion, almost 30 years ago, I intentionally hit him with a car.  That’s the only time I did it intentionally, but it was not my intention to kill him, or even hurt him seriously, it was to make him go away and to stop hurting me.  Other than to say there was alcohol, bad decisions, and police involved, I’m going to leave that story there.

Several years later, when I dropped our then teenage daughter off with him for visitation, she was wearing a bright red Tshirt, like the one pictured above.  I found it funny, he didn’t.

Several more years later, the three of us were looking through Thing One’s old photo albums and found a picture of her wearing said Tshirt.  Neither of us laughed at that point.  Actually we both got quiet, quiet enough that Thing One gave us a questioning look for an explanation.  We revisited that bad time with her briefly reminding her that good people make bad decisions, and that we had both changed and had many regrets from our past.  She shrugged it off, because she fortunately had never been witness to that part of our lives.

Maybe seven? years ago, Einstein had to take his car into Discount Tire, and asked me to meet him there to pick him up.  This was the “alleged” or 2nd time I “hit him” w/the car.

sherwin drawing

When I pulled into the cul-de-sac ( my path in blue) Einstein walked from the store to stand approximately where the red X is.  As he was walking out, I continued past him and did a U-turn in the culdesac.  Before I stopped completely, HE WALKED into the front of my car.  He says I ran into him, I say he walked into the car.  (Contact was at Two miles an hour and bumper to pant leg…not even touching skin).  We both stopped dead in our tracks and stared at each other.  What the hell just happened?!??! 

“Why did you keep walking?”, I shouted.

“Why didn’t you stop sooner?”, he retorted.

I don’t think either one of us said anything for many minutes.

My phone started ringing and I answered over the Bluetooth in my car.  It was our daughter, Thing One.  Before she could say anything, I said, ” OMG, Thing ONE, I just hit your dad with the car”.  Her response was………wait for it…… “again?!?!?”  Einstein exclaimed, “Seriously kiddo, that’s all I get?  Not a is Dad ok? Why did you do it?!?!?, really just AGAIN?!?!?”  She laughed and said, “Well you know how mom drives, and if she did actually hit you, you probably deserved it”.

Please be chuckling at this part!!!!

I know that it’s not a FUNNY story, but it is true.

At the beginning of this post, I said that I ALMOST hit him for a third time.  Here is another picture.

parking drawing

So back in January, Einstein needed to do some work on his car, that he kept putting off, because he had my car to use as a back up, or me to drive him to and from work.

Usually, I got there 15 minutes before he got off work and sat in the parking lot waiting, but as I explained in my earlier post, MScog fog,slump week, and grieving, I had overslept.

When I arrived in the parking lot, (again me in blue and Einstein in Red) we both just stopped.  Neither one of us moved for a few moments, until I moved the car along the green path and parked.

This time when he got in the car, we both said, “It really shouldn’t be this hard.”

The following month I moved out.

At the time I moved out, I foolishly thought that would be the end of US…whatever US was.  At the end of the post I wrote in February, The Elephant in the room, I stated, “Can I please get off this roller coaster now?”

Moving out was the best thing I could have done.  It did allow me to get off that particular roller coaster of emotions and start focusing on myself.  But I didn’t leave the “theme park” entirely.  Our daughter’s wedding, the upcoming birth of our grandchildren, the death of Einstein’s best friend, and many other things have brought us together again repeatedly, with the most recent being my needing help after my surgery.

Why am I writing about this?    For many reasons.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote that it had been almost a year since I started blogging.  I decided to take this time to reflect on how I survived last year, which areas I needed to improve on, and what goals I wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year.  Einstein has been a big factor of my life for many years.

Living apart has been beneficial to us both.  We no longer rely on or depend on each other.  When we choose to spend time together, it is because we choose to, not because we have to.  I am comfortable with that.

I really feels good to say I am comfortable.  I am not looking at the future with or without him, I am just letting things be and for us, for me… THAT is progress.  I am focusing on me.  Focusing on improving my health both mentally and physically, FOR ME!

As I have spent the last couple of week rereading posts, one thing that continually proves itself is that I have found a wonderfully supportive group of friends in the blogging world and words alone can not convey my gratitude.  In fact, if you have another minute I want those of you that have stuck around and keep coming back to know… You are one of the “resources” that keeps me going.   THANK YOU!!!!

( Remember this part in the upcoming weeks)

Conflicting Emotions

Have you ever felt emotions that were complete polar opposites at the exact same time?

Last week, I wrote  One Step forward, two steps back.   I saw the surgeon this morning.  I should be happy that he was able to see me so quickly, and that they will be getting me in for surgery soonish.  I AM happy…kind of.

BUT, I am also pissed off.  I’m mad at the doctor who dismissed my foot pain and swelling as gout, but I’m even more upset with myself for letting him.  I should have fought harder for myself.  Three weeks have passed since my original visit to the doctor,. Three weeks before I couldn’t handle the pain anymore, and went to immediate care.  THREE weeks more damage to my foot because I continued to walk on it.  and NOW surgery.

The doctor is trying to get me in for surgery this week, but I have Medicare for insurance, and they don’t do anything quickly, so maybe not until next week.  I suppose I am to blame for this too, since I refuse to take pain meds, it can’t hurt that bad??!?!?!??!   I don’t refuse pain meds because I have a high pain tolerance, I refuse them because even one norco binds me up for at least a week and the mood swings are scary…. In hindsight, I will ask for them anyway.

While on the subject of being angry.  I am also mad that I bought another pack of cigarettes.  No one forced me to do that, and I know that recovering from surgery will take longer if I continue to smoke, yet I did it anyway……I have thrown the pack out 3x only to dig it back out of the trash….yes disgusting I know……

But did I mention yah surgery?…..smh

There are flashlights everywhere

Last week?  I think it was last week, I asked someone to hold the flashlight for me.  I don’t know why I was so surprised by the number of offers I received, but I  was genuinely and pleasantly surprised.  Thank YOU for that!

In my post I talked about how I don’t do “feelings” very well, and that I was going to take some time working on that.  What I have discovered is that I am not very nice to myself.  My ‘inner’ voice says the most atrocious things to myself.  I call myself fat.  I call myself lazy.  I call myself mean, and to be honest, I am very mean TO MYSELF.  “you should have done better , Why didn’t you try harder? You should have been able to fix that!!!”

Did I mention pretty fucking mean?  The thing is the things I say to myself, I would never say to another human being.  EVER!.  So why is it ok to say it to myself?!?!?  I’ve been spending the last week trying to find the answer to that question, and I have come up with…. IT’S NOT OKAY!

That’s as far as I have gotten with my observations.

I am very mean to myself and IT IS NOT OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have tried the whole stand in front of the mirror and telling myself that I am a warrior thing, which resulted in my spitting toothpaste on the mirror.  When I finished cleaning that up, I did realize that I was laughing.  I also came to the conclusion that laughing makes up two of my strengths.  1.  I have a good sense of humor.  AND 2.  I am able to laugh at myself.  Those are both good qualities to have.

A third “positive affirmation” that I was able to come up with, is that I am good at making people feel good about themselves.  It truly makes me happy to watch someone grow and stand taller.  I need to spend more time thinking about how I do that and apply it to myself.

Before I go, I want to thank you all for your comments and messages, it really does help to know that I’m not alone here in the dark.

Will you hold the flashlight?

So Yeah, I’m in a really dark place right now…. I chuckle as I say that because I think it almost goes without saying if you have talked with me recently, or read anything that I have written in the last month or so.

So now what?  What’s next?  What’s the plan?  How do I fix this?

I’m gonna stay right here for a little while and just be.  I am going to let myself FEEL each emotion GOOD, BAD, or UGLY and NOT judge them.  I am also not going to give myself a time limit on this.

I have mentioned before that I don’t “do feelings” well.  When I ‘mention’ it though, I say it offhandedly or in a joking matter, as I immediately begin looking for the next task or chore I am supposed to complete. (anything that I can do to “get out of my head”)

Over the last couple months, I have tried eating, drinking too much, smoking more, taking xanax and sleeping as much as possible.  If you have tried these things you know that they don’t really help, and are a temporary fix at best.  In fact, usually as in my case, they cause more problems.

So for now, I’m done running.  I need to sit in the dark a bit and just be, without a time limit.  I am, however, asking for someone to ‘hold the flashlight’ as I let my eyes adjust to the darkness that I have let consume me.

As I get ready to hit enter, I am acknowledging that I feel Fear.  I also feel vulnerable, and kind of weak at the moment.  I know these feelings will pass, but they are there.