Archive for the ‘Questions’ Category

Always New Questions

October 2, 2016

Why is it, during the week I have all kinds of ideas for this blog; but when I sit down to write it, my mind is a blank.  After such a long silence, I thought I would have all kinds of things to say.  One thing I do remember thinking was how much my questions have changed.   I think I did a post about questions a while ago – asking what is the gift and blessing in this situation rather than wailing “Why does this happen to me?”.  Then again, why not me?  Do I think I should be exempt from challenging situations?  Recently I was listening to alternative talk radio and this quote came up – “The Universe is doing it for you, not to you”.

I have to then ask myself what messages have I been sending through thoughts, words and actions?  Yes, the old childhood programs are running, the difference is I am more aware of them.  I was thinking last night before I went to sleep that I have survived, overcome, came through – whatever term one wants to use – the things and situations  in my life over the past almost 70 years.Ye Gods and Little Fishes!  70 in January – how did that happen?  Must have happened when I wasn’t looking.  I don’t feel any particular age, I just am.  When I think about being 70 soon, I feel as though my time is shorter than I thought.

Lately I have been smacked in the face with the results of long-term effects of RA and meds.  It never occurred to me that I would have trouble with edema in my lower legs, then lead to wounds that need to be wrapped to heal them.  My skin has always been tender because it is pale – I sunburn very easily.  Now it is fragile and that concerns me, I run aground on things but I don’t remember when or how, I only notice I have broken the skin.  Everything takes longer to heal because of biologic and immunosuppressant – some days I feel I am between a rock and hard place.

I would have whinged and complained about it before; now I am wondering what I can learn from it and what can I do or think differently.  It is much easier to write it than it is to do.  I suspect the whinge is the first response and I have to consciously change gears to see it differently.  I also was smacked in the face with realizing that when people see me, they see the deformity of my hands.  I am looking at a different angle and know they aren’t  as they used to be.  But I don’t really noticed it.  I think I saw my hands in a mirror and realized I don’t have to say anything for someone to know I have RA – the hands tell it all.

I am grateful about how much my hands can do – I can do a lot of the things I want and need to do – at times strength and flexibility aren’t there, but I have been able to find other ways around it.  My body has made it possible to do things, go places, explore and travel.  I had also been thinking about the question of “What need does RA meet?”.  I had a thought the other day about that – I have often felt there was nothing special about me, but RA is a way to be special and different.  People have often said they don’t know I do all that I do with RA.  I will admit I haven’t been doing a whole lot lately except recover.  A friend recently said she remembers when I was always going and going.  I realize my life has been a lot more sedentary the past couple or 3 years.  Time to put on my walking shoes and walk more.

Now I need to think in terms of how am I special without RA?  Everyone is special in his or her own way, but society says there are only certain ways to be that way.  But is being famous or well-known the most important way to do it?  Suppose each of us recognized what is special about us and worked within our circles of friends, colleagues and acquaintances?   There would be all these circles that would overlap and who knows what could be accomplished.  We all want to be special and recognized, finding that specialness is not always easy – one of those “think outside the box” type situations.

Then there is the question “What keeps me from feeling special?”.   “What makes me think I am not special?”.  Is it childhood programs or feedback from peers, etc.?  Or is it Madison Avenue telling us over the years if we don’t fit the mold, we aren’t acceptable?  Now at this age I am considered old and discounted as not worth advertising to – only those 18 – 34 are important.  I don’t feel old, I don’t feel unworthy or any of that, I am at my best now than when I was in my 20’s and 30’s.  I am smarter and realize what is really important as well as finally understanding so many things that were so confusing.

I feel as if I am on the threshold of a new life, I need to be clear on what I want it to be and begin to create it.  Simple, right?

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Another Mile Marker

November 29, 2015

Sometime this month is when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I don’t quite think of it as an anniversary, last year I used Mile Post 44.  I found a couple of things to use this year, as soon as iPhoto shows them, I can put them in the post.  Sometimes it takes a day or 3 for them to be visible – sometimes I feel defeated by technology, other times it works well for me.  So, I have decided to go with the flow and do this post a little later.

I never did find the sign posts in iPhoto, so I just did them again, only this time in Pictures – it might be easier to find them.

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That worked so much easier – I will try it  on other photos and see how it works.

Now that I have been through all the  balderdash, it’s time to get to the meat of this post.   I haven’t really found any term for this yearly milestone that completely describes it.  I have admit to being amazed it has been 45 years since the diagnosis, seems such a long time.  I realize there has been quite a history with it, so much I can’t remember all of it.  That may be a good thing.  There are the experiences I written about in this blog; there are the volumes I have of my journal for quite a few years and my medical history.  It is harder to remember my medical history when I see a new doc and they want to know everything.  I realize now I would have been smart to copy the records I took with me each time I moved – I’d have a better history than my  memories.

As the years have gone by, I realize my questions have changed – sometimes 180.  In the beginning it was “Why me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”; “If this is payback for a past life, I better have had one hell of a good time!”.  Because doctors are taught about drugs and surgery in med school, that is all they know.  I have had my share of drugs, 7 years looking for a drug to work, some that did nothing, others that help a little and some that really did help – for a time.  Let’s call it what it is – a victim mentality.  I was an innocent victim sideswiped by RA for no reason.  It has brought anger, resentment and hurt and I kept asking “Why?”.

I started asking “How?” after a  while – “How do I get rid of this crap?”.   I just wanted it to go away and leave me alone forever – enough already!  I have been in that negative territory for a long time, I couldn’t see any benefit to having RA, just all the pain and disadvantage.  I heard and read about “Embracing it”  which seemed counterintuitive to me, accepting it and loving it.

When I moved back to Seattle, I began to hear and read about other ways to see and think about RA.  Maybe I was so ready to fight my way out of the negativity.  When I started this blog, I started with the premise there is a gift in RA.  I wasn’t sure how that was possible but I was willing to entertain the idea.  I had to look at it and me from a different perspective.  I have found that is a difficult maneuver for me – maybe because I spent so many decades in the negative.  For the past few years my questions have changed – I will admit to having “Why” moments now and again.  Now I am concentrating on the gifts of RA.  As a matter of fact, I wrote a post about it in March 2011.  I went back to read it and found I had not really done such a good job in defining the gifts as I thought.

What I have noticed is my questions – they are different.  One is “What need is being met with RA?”.  I was reminded the other week about this – we create attitudes, ways of being, etc. to meet a need in that moment.  It works for a while but not in the long-term.  However, the program is still running because we forgot about it, yet it isn’t working any more.  I realized there is another question, “What do I believe about myself and RA?”.

Some other questions come to mind. “What will it take to create new positive and empowering thought patterns?”.  “What else is possible?”.  ‘What needs to happen to make the changes?”.  “What am I holding on to that no longer serves me?”.  “What does the Universe want me know?”.  “How much is my energy and how much is other people’s energy?”.  “What is the Universe doing for me, rather than to me?”.  “In what ways can I use my knowledge and experience to be of use and service to others?”.  “What can I learn from others, especially the ones that bug me the most?”.

So my questions have changed over the past few years.  I know some people have all the answers, I’m still working on the questions.  I know I will have more questions for the rest of my life, I want to be sure they are the questions that matter and help me create a positive, loving and empowering attitude and life.

As everyone else is, I am a work in progress.

 

What Day Is This?

November 9, 2014

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Bunny doesn’t have anything to do with the subject, she is comforting and we have been spending a lot of time together lately.

Lately, I have been feeling very mixed up, the days don’t feel the same any more.  Yesterday I was home all day while Eddie was working – but it was Saturday.  Felt odd.  Today is his usual Sunday at the LeMay Car Museum, that’s feeling a little more normal.  Then again, what’s normal?  I had a rocky start to last week, the result of a small tumble that I was able to get myself upright again without outside help.  Then I had an intuitive reading and that brought more after effects, so I was feeling  out of sync on several levels.  Then Eddie took Tuesday off and had a meeting; not a typical Tuesday so I lost track of my day.  That part is on me.  As the week progressed I felt better and had a really good day Thursday.  Unfortunately, I could not go to sleep that night, so Friday I was dragging.

I slept very well Friday night and pretty well last night – wish I knew what causes me to not be able to sleep.  It has gotten so I don’t quite know what day it feels and what the actual day is.  I haven’t been looking at my calendar much, that may contribute to the situation.  Maybe it is just a matter of finding my footing again, things have been in rather an upheaval since Mom’s passing.

I also have a tendency to overanalyze things instead of “going with flow” and letting things be what they are at that moment.  Plus, I need to give myself a break and not think in terms of what I am “supposed” to do or “should” do.  It is an old set of patterns that I choose to replace with knowing I am simply in this moment and all is well.  I am now old enough to do and say what I want because I am less and less concerned about other people’s opinions.  It doesn’t mean I’m rude, simply that if I disagree, I will say so.

I thought I had finally published my new website for my radio show findingthegiftsshow.com on Monday, only to find it wasn’t online after all.  So I have been in website hell for several days trying to figure out  why it isn’t online, why I can’t arrange an email and if I can upload shows for an archive.  I also figured out that to listen live to my show, I have to  put it this way 1150kknw.com/listen.  I am still frustrated about my archives, can’t seem to download the shows to my computer – another trip to Apple to find the answer.  Maybe by then, Larry will have figured out how to make a podcast for iTunes.  This is definitely a learning experience!

Thursday I did Chat with the website group to see what the problem was.  It turns out I have Builder but not the right combination of things to make it work properly.  There was a very nice young man named Jonathan who helped me so much, was very patient and got my site up and online.  then he sent me info on creating an email and also how to upload audio.  I created the email but my computer says it has no app for the download of the audio – now I have to figure out where it needs to go on my computer.  Another learning experience.

You have no idea how happy I was to see that website working!  I created it myself, I know it still needs a lot of work, the point was have something for people to check out and see who I am and what I do.  I still have a list of things I need to add, the main part was to have it up and running.   I felt I was in website hell for quite a while, once I can have proper archives, I will feel a whole lot better.

The week was physically uncomfortable, the end of the week was mentally uncomfortable.  That’s not to say I didn’t have comfortable and happy moments, I mostly remember the uncomfortable ones.  Now there is a program for you – I’ve spent so much of my life looking at the negative side, I forget how many gifts there were in the week.  Not always big, momentous ones, often small, delightful ones.  As I look at this post, I realize I mostly wrote about things that were uncomfortable this week – either it was just the telling of a story or a way of releasing a lot of the stress of the week.

Now it is time to start looking at the gifts in the week, does anyone want to read about my difficulties, even if I put humor in it?  The old patterns are hard to recognize and to replace with positives, it means I need to notice and observe to see them.

Why Do I Have RA?

April 20, 2014

That’s a very good question, one I haven’t quite  understood after 43 years.  I talked to a medical intuitive a while back and she told me it was only my energy; I was hoping there was also someone else’s energy that could be cleared.  So it is all me – wonder what caused me to decide to experience it in this lifetime.

There is a quotation “Things are not done TO you, but FOR you”.  Well, that one takes some pondering – something I have spent a long time doing but not  really reaching any conclusions or answers.  Does that mean it is karma in some form, balancing out something from a past life?  I believe I have had past lives, though so far I haven’t remembered them myself.  Am I supposed to – is it necessary for this time on earth?  Sometime s I feel I have more questions than answers.

Is there something about my life that is overwhelming and I don’t know how to deal with it?Am I reluctant to take responsibility for things?  What things would that be?  Or is it for protection so I don’t have to deal with certain things “because I have RA”?  I realize I look at everything in terms of RA.  I see things I would like to do, but then see the physical obstacles that could prevent me because my joints aren’t always flexible.  I felt that way about riding the Duck, the steps were a little steep and somewhat difficult to navigate, but I went up and then back down.  Sometimes I am afraid to try – in case I fail and can’t actually do it.

Oh my, I can see I set myself up to fail by not giving something a try.  Part of it comes from feeling clumsy and awkward; I would rather not put myself in that position.  I also realize I am limiting myself – that I have put those limitations on myself.  I have felt clumsy and awkward most of my life, I was the overweight (not that much but enough) middle child between two slender sisters.  I don’t really know how it feels to be thinner.  I lost about 35 pounds when I was in junior college; now I realize I didn’t really believe it or feel it was really me.

Enough about that – it is the past and no longer something I want to focus my energy.  What just occurred to me is that RA may be possibly part of my Life Lesson and Life Purpose.  Maybe these are things I want to heal in this lifetime.  I was about to say “I think”  instead of stating it because I have always been like that.  One of my Life Lessons is standing up for myself, speaking my truth – at this point there isn’t an “I think” about it.  Another is taking back my power – what a wonderful discovery to realize I do have power when I always thought before that I didn’t have any.  What a concept!

I also realize I have had a very negative view of RA – it was done TO me.  I was an innocent victim sideswiped by RA – don’t think I can see it that way any more.  I have been writing about the gifts in RA, a much more positive view than in the beginning.  Anything to do with past lives, Spirit, etc. was not talked about because people who did were weird.  Heavy duty hocus pocus, woo woo and goofball stuff.  Yet that goofball stuff has really helped me, to understand a little better and also to take personal responsibility rather than continue seeing myself as a victim.

This seems a collection of random thoughts to me – I’m not sure it has logic or continuity to it.  As I write, thoughts come to me and I write them down.  It is one of those t imps where I am not sure where it is leading.  I admit to having to stop and wonder what to write next, then a thought comes and I start writing again.

I just thought of Louise Hay and what she wrote in her book “You Can Heal Your Life”.  She said that when you truly love yourself, things will sort themselves out – my words.  I have been focusing on two major things for quite a while – Loving Myself and Life Purpose.  So much of what goes on is a result of my thoughts and as she says “It’s just a thought and a thought can be changed”.   Also I have read and heard that what I am experiencing now is from thoughts not very long ago.  The problem I am having is recognizing what those thoughts are that continue RA and what the positives are to replace them.  I know a lot of those negative thoughts have been there for a very long time and it is hard to recognize them.

What surprises me is that my Mom’s dementia has brought some of the programs into the light so I can recognize them.  Then I realize how I have been operating with them all my life without knowing it.  I may not know yet the “Why” but I am learning ways to see what has been happening all my life; plus what and how I can change thoughts that once served me but are now invalid.  I am slowly creating new positive thoughts and patterns for this stage of my life.

Is It Really “No Big Deal”?

April 6, 2014

Deep tissue massage with Debye has once again been an eye opener for me this week.  She has been my cheering section for these many months and she hasn’t understood why I don’t pat myself on the back and be proud of what I have accomplished.  I have realized I have only seen “big” things as accomplishments to be acknowledged; the little ones seemed to be no big deal, they were just things I needed to do.  As an example, no pat on the back for keeping my body straight all week, the courage to keep going and digging down deeper and deeper, becoming more and more aware or asking and trusting my Angels for help.

I was surprised when she told me how much progress I have made, my body is much more flexible than when I started last June.  Plus she is so amazed at how much more aware I am than when I started as well.  From inside me, I feel I am not very far along – only because I am comparing myself to Debye and Monty.  They have studied and had different life experiences than I have had, plus they have healing abilities and sight I have always felt I didn’t have.  I have an automatic response to look outside myself and compare  to someone who is farther advanced, travelled more than I have or has an advanced degree.  I tend to discount what I have done, where I have been and most especially who I am – it’s no big deal.  Pat on the back for recognizing it!

Is it childhood programs and training; society and what it values; not knowing who I am what my gifts are or just a matter of not having confidence in myself.  Maybe it is something else entirely – I don’t quite know at this point.   I tend to compare myself (usually unfavorably) to people who have achieved things of note, made a name for themselves and support themselves very well financially.  Or to people with wonderful gifts that they were either born with or became aware as a result of a near death experience or catastrophic accident.

Over the past 40 years or so, people have often said how positive I am while having RA; how I do so much or that I am an inspiration.  I have a tendency to discount it, not seeing myself as others do but as myself doing what I have to about RA and living my life.  I realize some of that is childhood programs of not thinking well of myself because that is boasting or bragging.  So seeing small accomplishments only as one more thing to do and big accomplishments as something to keep to myself or I will be boasting.  How many kids have grown up with that same refrain?

It didn’t help to have a very talent older sister with great artistic talent.  (I know she will read this and I’ll bet she will discount herself a bit – why is it so easy to see in others but not myself?)  It isn’t anything to do with fault or anything like that – she has a talent and she worked hard to develop and refine it to the wonderful work it is now.  I admire her so much and love to see her work.  She is also a talented musician.

Then at the other end is my younger sister who sings,  writes lyrics and music, as well as books and other things as well.  Being in the middle sometimes feels as if I am out in left field without my own place.  However, I know that is my perception, my feeling of not having anything special to offer or be.  That is lack of confidence and insecurity – as an adult I have a lot better perspective.  I see I have always tried to define myself as an artist of some kind, as if that is the only area to look towards.  Looking back, I think I would have gone to the reference section of the library and start at the beginning and explore what was available, seeing what is out there and what piqued my interest.

It’s funny, I have always liked writing, but I felt stymied trying to think up characters and situations.  I finally realized I like essays and opinions, what I am thinking and feeling or what is happening in my life.  maybe I just feel comfortable because I just write down what is going on, I don’t have to think about.  There are times when it is a serious piece, other times I like to write about either the funny things that happen or describe it in a more humorous way.  I am learning I am a writer because I write – not because I have published anything that is a big seller.

Today I am more able and willing to pat myself on the back , whether it is for recognizing I am beginning to spiral down or that I have had the light bulb go on full tilt about I didn’t quite understand before or for an accomplishment, no matter the “size”.  Too much ego and her negative ideas for so long – it is getting so much easier to see the positive in myself.

 

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LET’S HEAR IT FOR A PAT ON THE BACK!

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YOU ARE A BIG DEAL!!!

 

Is There A gift In Cold/flu?

January 25, 2014

I started this blog with the intention of looking for the gift in  having RA – like the little girl digging through the manure, convinced there is a pony in there somewhere.  I have found some gifts since I began, what I didn’t think about was gifts in the rest of my life.  I wrote yesterday about how I have been feeling and dealing with this flu/cold stuff; later I began to realize there have been some benefits to it as well.

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Me during the balderdash!

Something I have noticed lately is that when I have this kind of stuff, the RA behaves itself and doesn’t give me problems.  I have not been stiff or really uncomfortable with it – probably because so much other stuff has been miserable and uncomfortable.  I’ve come to the conclusion I have my mind on the stuff rather than RA; is that secret it to it?  To keep my mind busy with other things so I am not focusing on the RA?  I’m not quite clear on how that works and how to use it consciously to distract myself.  I notice that I am not coughing for a bit – then I am coughing a lot.  Too bad I noticed it.

Later – much later!    It’s been 5 weeks of this balderdash and yesterday I finally felt more myself.  I had energy and interest in doing things – something that has been missing for a while.  Now that I am feeling better, I can look at the whole experience with more objectivity than when I was in the middle of it.  Yers, still some cough, but so much better.

I went to see my acupuncturist for 6 visits, plus took Chinese herbs and a supplement for my immune system.  It really helped with congestion in my sinuses and slowly helped with the cough.  I also found out that when I have that “coming down with something” feeling, I need to go see her to nip it in the bud.  Too bad I didn’t know that a long time ago.

I’ve had to rest more, have lie downs or naps, especially when I wasn’t sleeping well at night.  Since I wasn’t feeling all that great, many times it wasn’t a chore to have a lie down.  As I got better, I found myself running out of energy quickly, all I wanted to do is lie down and close my eyes.  Last Friday I was feeling restless and frustrated – I wanted to do things but wasn’t quite ready yet.

I didn’t see my Mom for a couple of weeks because I didn’t feel well and I didn’t want to give the balderdash to her or anyone in the house.  I have since been to see her and she has been sleepy but enjoyed chocolate and cookies.  I read to her today, though I probably messed up my voice.  She was more awake today and she seemed to enjoy the book.  We’ve been having a lot of fog, so it is more comfortable and warm to sit in the recliner with her throw over her.  I have arranged a haircut for her next Thursday, long overdue.

What other gifts have I received because of this stuff?

I’m not sure it is a gift, more an oddball observation.  I usually think in terms of a tickle in my throat before I cough – this time it was an itch.  Is there such a thing as an itchy throat?

Something to think about another time.

happy-woman-Me feeling so much better!

Past Data

October 17, 2013

I was just in the shower and it hit me – I associate walking with pain.  I went with Eddie to the Car Show yesterday, he always likes looking at cars and always goes back to Volvos.  All I thought was “I really don’t want to go but I will do it for Eddie.  There is a lot of walking and I still I run out of energy  quickly”.  As I had my shower, I realized that part of it was I don’t really enjoy the Car Show and want to wander all around.  I am interested in how comfortable a car is, can I reach, pull, push or adjust what I need to with ease?  Is it comfortable to sit in it and easy for me to drive – make and model are not a big factor.

I realize the interest factor isn’t there for me as it is for him.  I will admit that I can walk around one grocery store on Saturday and then another later after a chance to rest.  I realized that when I think about physical movement, I have programmed myself to expect pain and discomfort.  Can’t blame anyone else for this one – it is all on me.

I have been reading Neale Donald Walsh’s book “When Everything Changes, Change Everything”.   It has had a lot of insights and “aha’s” for me, but at the end of the first part, he sums it up that when you experience something, it isn’t  what’s in the moment.  It is all the past experiences the mind and ego bring up to explain it.

I was in shower a week or so ago and I could feel a sharp pain building in my left temple.  I am getting better at thinking “Hmmmm, this is interesting, I wonder what is happening”.  I am learning to look at it with curiosity and think “This is interesting, where is it coming from?”.  I started to remember Neale and thought about what does this trigger?  It hit me – it feels like a migraine coming on, bringing a miserable sharp pain in my temple, eye stinging and watering, stuffy nose and if it goes on too long, I feel and am sick to my stomach.  where’s my bomber?  Shit, I only have one left!

I remembered, that is Past Data from another time, it has nothing to do with right now.  I am not sure where this comes from or what it is, yet here I am thinking in terms of Past Data.  That certainly brought me up short!  I began to be curious about it and also set an intention to release, let go and clear out all that Past Data and fill the empty spaces with Divine Love.

I realized this current thing isn’t a migraine, I haven’t had them for quite a while.  Okay, so what is this pain?  I have been having more sinus headaches and study nose with a dry, scratchy throat – is it coming from sinus?  I still don’t quite know that this stuff is, it’s been hanging on for a long time.  What I noticed was the pain in my temple eased a lot – I have to remember to do this more often!

Lately, the other thing I have learned is to be with what hurts, seeing if I can describe it to myself.  It seems to lessen things a lot.  I know I have to come from curiosity and be neutral, otherwise it doesn’t work.  I also have to ask  myself “What is my body telling me?”.  Now that one is harder to do because I am still learning to listen and hear what she is telling me.  Sometimes it comes through intuition, sometimes I have to ask for help from someone I trust who is not as close to it as I am.  That usually involves more questions, but it helps quite a bit.

Now I have to look into the Past Data on walking or anything physical – my first thought is “Hell’s Bells!  I have had to deal with RA for 43 years, doesn’t that tell me!”.   But I know it is more than that and it means I will have to be more of a detective with a mountain of evidence to sift through before I will see my light bulb go on completely.  Right now it is a little dim, but I expect it will slowly brighten into full tilt with work.

I saved this draft and was ready to put it away to finish, then I realized I don’t have much more to write at the moment.  So I am sending it out and see what comes up next for me.  And since I don’t really have anything to illustrate it, I am going to add a photo my sister Ellen sent the other day.

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There was a Nor’easter earlier and this was how it looked afterward.

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She sent me this the next day.

Where Do I Start?

July 28, 2013

One good place to start is with a couple of adorable pictures from my sister Candy while cat sitting.

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      Kittyboy Litterfoot (Petey)      The Zen Purr Master (Emma)

I have been neglecting this blog for a while because of the kitchen remodel – haven’t been able to let those who like my post how much I appreciate it.  I am even more amazed and delighted to find I have almost 60 followers – that means quite a lot to me.

No doubt (or maybe not) you are wondering what I have been doing for the last few weeks.  There is my Mom and where she is at this point.  I have begun to visit her in the morning, not always easy, because after lunch she is ready for a lie down or a nap.  She is a bit more with it in the morning, we have a visit.  She is having trouble saying what she wants, she tends to mumble more and more that I don’t really understand  it.  There are times when she is with it a bit more and I tell her what I have been doing.  I haven’t told her about the kitchen remodel, I am not sure what she understands and I wonder if it would agitate her.  I tend to go with “If you aren’t sure, don’t”.  Maybe I am just chicken.

She is having trouble with arthritis in her knees, one especially.  She doesn’t like to walk or move because she knows it will hurt, though some days she is doing well and uses the walker.  If it is a bad day, they will have in a wheelchair.  They don’t want to make the wheelchair a habit or she will not walk again.  Last Wednesday was her evaluation with DSHS – I learned things I didn’t really know – or didn’t want to know.  Essentially she needs help with everything,  she can wash her face if they give her soap and washcloth ready to go and she can eat by herself but someone needs to be there to keep her on track.  Otherwise, she needs help or have it done for her in everything else.

I knew she had to have help with a lot, but I didn’t realize the extent – threw me for a loop.   I am still digesting it, I am not sure how I feel about it – I am not sure I feel anything at the moment.  I knew it would come to this and she would only go downhill, I am not sure I am ready for it.  Looks as if I will have to be ready for it.  One thing I have learned recently is to do something after I see Mom, even if it is just to go to Lowes for something for the house.  Or wander around somewhere just looking and seeing what’s there.  I am working on doing an errand after I see her, though I sometimes forget.  Then I go earthing on the Allen’s grass because it is softer and nicer than ours.

She can be very feisty sometimes, not wanting to shower, wash her hair or change her clothes.  However, Judy told me when she is having a good day, she is a darling.  I know it is the dementia that is causing a lot of this,  still hard to see it happen to Mom.  My sisters call her, but now it is hard for them and for Mom.    I had an email this morning from Candy, she had called Mom the other week and this was how she described it.

” I can tell that Mom is “disappearing” by our phone calls. She managed an “I love you, too” at the last phone call, but mostly it is a couple of minutes of me talking, and any answer she gives is so garbled it makes no sense. I tell her we are all fine. I tell her she’s been a wonderful mother and is free to leave, that we will be all right. I tell her I love her. I’m not sure she really knows who she’s talking to, though it is made clear at the beginning of the conversation that it’s her daughter from Nashville.”

A lot of other things have been going on as well, plenty of things for several posts.  I always hesitate to  publish things about my Mom, she is a very private person and she might be upset for the whole world to know.  Yet I also hope that writing about what is happening for our family can be of help and benefit to others dealing with a similar situation.  More early childhood training.

Where Did The Time Go?

June 29, 2013

P1140441Ellen sent a gorgeous hydrangea photo and I wanted to share it because I love it.

Once again I was spending a lot of time taking pictures this week, I missed some but no doubt overcompensated on others.  I now have a sink, water, disposal, dishwasher, stove and microwave/convection oven.  Oh yes, we do have the fridge, though still in the living room.  Amazing how things ebb and flow to and from places.  We haven’t used the stove yet, but we have dishes in the dishwasher, just have to read the directions to find out how all the appliances work.

When I wasn’t taking pictures I was working on an order for the new client.  Yesterday I received a tracking number for the first order, so they will have them for the Fly-In.  Now the shirts are in, though my group won’t receive it until Monday – it went in just after they left for the day.  That three hour difference can be frustrating at times.  Eddie told me that Barry said one of the guys  at the client’s said he could get t-shirts for $10.00 – Barry told him what we charged, a whole lot less.  That shut the guy up in a hurry.

I am working on something for another client, this one really bothers me because she is also a really good friend and I didn’t get her the item by her deadline.  That is the first time that has happened.  I had an idea and proposed it to my group, not sure anything is going to come of it because I haven’t had an answer.  Not the way I want to do things.

Wednesday morning when I left for Breakfast Club, I noticed the street was very tidy – someone had come by and cleaned up the wood from the fallen branch.  No idea who but wonder if it was the City, the Community Club or one of the neighbors who wanted firewood for the winter.  It’s nice to see it tidy again.

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This is a better angle of the other part of the tree that hangs over the street.  No idea if it too will come down or not.

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Now it is neat and tidy, even the Allen’s mulch pile as well.

Thursday I met Mom over at the Center, her new shoes arrived and Scott wanted to fit her.  She and he were late, but it worked out.  However Mom was agitated and a little cranky, not sure what kind of night she had.  I know she is confused about a lot that goes on and this would qualify.   She was not happy about walking in them with the aide, she told her to leave her alone.  She seemed to be willing to come back where we were sitting, maybe because I was there.  Anyway, a ter a bit she was better and said the shoes were “all right”.

We have been having wet, sticky weather – I don’t remember humidity here in the summer.  Usually when it rains it is cold and raw, but this week it was warm and humid.  Now the humidity was in the 60% range, not like the stuff we had on the East Coast or Fort Wayne.  For us spoiled Pacific Northwesterners,  it is humid and uncomfortable.  Yesterday it went up to 83 and by Monday or so it is supposed to reach into the 90’s.  I was concerned the house would be hot when we went to bed, but it was surprisingly comfortable.  The shades definitely make a difference.

Eddie’s computer has been a problem again.  Another virus made it impossible for him to connect to the internet.  Then there were other things, so I called Jon from Breakfast Club on Monday to see if he would look at it if I brought it on Wednesday.  He has just brought it back now – Eddie was not pleased because he wants to send his report out by the end of the month.  Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to figure out what to do with the Mac for his report, that means a One To One for both of us to see how it is done.

I have been learning new things on my computer as well, now I know how to select all the pictures and upload them to my blog library – I had been doing it one at a time and it takes a long time.  It still takes a while to upload to the library, but I can do other things while it is doing its thing.

I bought the knobs for the cabinets, though I cleaned out Lowes in Southcenter.  They didn’t have enough, so I had to go to Kent the next day after my massage.  They are sitting in a white bucket under the table by Mom’s chair.  I think I have an extra and I want to put it on the old pantry door, that will make it so much easier to open.

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We had the most beautiful sunset the other day.  I almost didn’t take a picture, so I am very glad I did.  We have some gorgeous ones and it is such a pleasure to see it change color as the sun goes down.

What Have I Gained From RA

March 7, 2013

How strange to find myself posing a very different question from when I was first diagnosed.  In the beginning it was “Why do I have it?”, “What did I do to deserve this?” and any number of victim type questions.  Because as I have said before, I felt as if I was an innocent bystander suddenly sideswiped by RA for no reason.  For a long time it felt only negative, that there was nothing positive in it, just pain, deformity and frustration along with many bouts of crying.

The first time I felt something positive coming from RA was when I was Speaker’s Bureau Coordinator and also a Self Help Course instructor as well as training new instructors for the Connecticut Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.  The people in the Self Help classes were great and they often told me how much they were helped by the class and the information.  It was also gratifying when they said I had helped them too.  I would tell them I was just like them, the only difference was I had been  trained to run the class.  They also helped me and were a bright spot in the week.  I remember one particular day when I wasn’t feeling well and really didn’t want to go.  By the end of the class I was feeling better and was very glad I went.

As the Speaker’s Bureau Coordinator, I learned how to speak to groups and be fairly comfortable.  Often people would ask questions, plus say how much it meant to hear from someone who had a form of arthritis.  Speaking in front of people has always been an agony for me, but after I spoke a few times, I really loved doing it.  I injected humor and my own stories to keep it from being just straight facts – though if time was short, my stories were jettisoned because they came to hear the basic facts.

I realize I  personalize whatever I write; that made it difficult to write for business.  I decided at one point that I was going to have fun with my business because all that “Life is real, Life is earnest” stuff was stressing me out.  When I started writing this blog, I found such freedom to say whatever I wanted in the way I wanted.  I still have to check out my business websites and rewrite them so they sound like me.  Maybe it is just that I have found my voice.

Just as in my Mom’s dementia, I swear there is a funny side to RA – if I don’t laugh I will go nuts.  Sometimes it sound like sick humor to those who don’t have a chronic illness, but those who deal with one 24 hour a day understand.  What I have noticed as I look back at all the stuff I have dealt with is the odd bits that pop into my head – especially in hospital as well as outpatient tests.  Thank goodness I wrote them down when I was writing a journal, because for the life of me I can’t remember any of them.  Looks as if I will have to check through them and see if I was as clever as it seemed at the time.  (Another set of posts!)

I have acquired medical knowledge, though only as it pertains to me.  I am an expert about my experience and symptoms, not anyone else.  There are similarities but I would not presume to tell anyone else what they should do.  I have more knowledge than I ever wanted to know – so it has contributed to my education.

I learned how to conserve energy – mine.  I have also learned patience, not easy and there are lessons cropping up when I least expect them.  I am a late bloomer, though I didn’t realize some of the knowledge would take this long to make sense.  I can’t say I am always patience, I get antsy about things at times and wonder why I don’t “get it”.  I keep remembering that when I am ready, it will make sense to me and the less I agonized over it, the better.

Let’s face it, I get positive feedback from people – I have had 2 or 3 women tell me I am their hero and inspiration – rather heady stuff.  Often people say they admire me, they don’t know I do all that I have done.  Another comment is how positive I am while dealing with RA.  My first thought is they haven’t seen me in my oh-poor-me-osis days or my hurt-like-hell days and I am a whimpering mess.  What I feel is that I am of help and use to them in different ways – that feels so good.  I have also learned that I may never know when I have been of help as I am going about my life – I don’t have to have each one of those people tell me.  A little feedback once in a while is great.

Looks as if this is going to be Part 1 because there are a lot more things to write about that I have gained.  It just hit me that I am doing this blog because of RA.  It has been a great release for me and I so appreciate the people who comment, like and follow my blog and let me know they enjoyed what I wrote.  I didn’t expect to write it;  I had this urge pushing and pushing me until I started the blog and I have enjoyed it for the past 2 1/2 years.

Tell me what you think, I would really like to know.


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