Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

I Am Blown Away!!!

June 29, 2014

This is my 257th blog post – with 4 drafts – and what is more amazing are the 102 followers I now have.  That is so amazing!  I was so pleased with 25 followers and now it is 4 times that amount.   I am very grateful for all of my followers, I appreciate the comments and to know there are people who are interested in my blog.

On the slight downside, I was getting a lot more spam, but I know they just want me to approve their comment so it will show up in better stats for them.  It all gets deleted, so they have wasted all that time and energy for nothing.  Recently it has slowed down to only a few at a time – I am not interested in house appraisals and inspections in Maryland, any more than all the ones from people selling cars.  Give me a break!  I don’t write anything about any of those.

As I look back over all the posts since February 2010, I started out with mostly writing about RA; then wrote at times about Ike Pono and what I was learning about myself.  Later on I wrote about my Mom and dealing with dementia and about some things going on that have nothing to do with any of the other things.   Yet, all of it affects RA and my state of mind; how can it not?  I also have learned that it is important to find the funny side of things – if I don’t laugh about it, I go nuts.

I started thinking about all the years I have had RA, all the drugs, tests, studies, procedures I have had.  When I am in the situation, odd thoughts come to me that are a bit funny.  It isn’t as though I sat there and said to myself “What’s funny here? or what does this remind me of in the past?”.   Things just came to me.  The times I have been in the hospital, I would keep a pad with me to write down my experiences.  I wrote a journal for several years and I had requests to be put on my list to send it to them.  I realized that writing helps clear things out, help me see things a bit more clearly and there is something that compels me to write things down.

Before I came back to Seattle to live, I traveled a lot with my husband and also by myself.  I would keep my journal going and at one point, I started recording it on a cassette tape.  I found someone to type those tapes out for me – when I read the typed piece, I realized I had left out things.  I may have been a little more conscious of editing because I knew someone else would see it.  People used to tell me I had such an interesting life – reading my journals didn’t have the times of pain, depression, frustration, etc. I had at the time.  I didn’t whinge because I was tired enough of it myself, I didn’t want to write about it.  Besides, who wants to read that?

When I started this blog, one thing that was important to me was not to whinge (moan and complain) because I wanted this to be a positive blog.  I’ve read other RA blogs and they tend to talk more about how they are feeling, what isn’t working, what is – I wanted to have more ideas and solutions.  I know this kind of blogs work for some and I am glad they do.  It’s just me.  I started with the Connecticut Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation doing a support group.  When I was having problems, it was good to have other people understand.  But it felt too focused on me and how I felt, I wanted to do more with people and turn outward than continually inward.

I was asked to be the Speaker’s Bureau Coordinator and later a Self Help Course  instructor and trainer.  I really enjoyed those because I interacted with people, found confidence in speaking before people and seeing something positive happening.  I usually talked about the basic fact of Arthritis – like all things, it was personal rather than just cut and dried facts.  When there wasn’t a lot of time, my stories were the first to go.  I received so much positive feedback and it made me feel so good when someone told me I had helped them so much.  I had felt things were just negative about having RA, here was such an opposite view that surprised and pleased me.

It has not only been with the Arthritis Foundation this has happened.  I have had several people tell me I am their hero.  WOW!  I was and am just being me, yet something spoke to them.  I often wonder how many  I have helped and will never know about it – but I have decided it doesn’t matter, I’m not supposed to know.  I think we all inspire people as we go along our daily life without knowing it.  To me, that is when we are most effective.  I used to think if somebody didn’t mention it, no one noticed what was happening.  But I would remember how many times I noticed something but didn’t say anything to the person.

So, to all my followers, you are the best and I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

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.

I Swear, There Is A Funny Side

July 17, 2012

I know I have written about the frustrations, fears, etc. about being here for my Mom with her dementia and macular degeneration – those who are dealing with it know that only too well.  But it also has its funny side, sometimes Mom comes out with the oddest things, some from so far in left field I wonder where it comes from.  I keep reminding myself to just see it as normal rather than overreacting.  As someone in my caregivers; group said, sometimes it is a bit macabre humor.

I was getting out of the shower to dry myself one morning and Mom came to the doorway.  First she had to find out if it was me or someone else, but that was quickly established.  However, her next question was so unexpected – she wanted to know if I was a man or a woman.  I know she has macular degeneration, but she was only about 3 feet from me.  Go figure.

The other morning she was up when I was making breakfast, so I made her breakfast too.  As we were eating, she wanted to know if it was all right for me to do it,  Would I get in trouble for doing it?  I told her there was no problem, the Breakfast Police don’t come to our house.

One evening a few weeks ago, Eddie went through the living room to go into our office.  Mom saw him go by and knew his name is Eddie, but she asked what his last name was.  I said it was Kaplanian – to which she replied “They’re all Kaplanians!”.

She has mentioned several times her first husband – I thought my Dad was her first and only one, the one with whom she had three daughters.  Unfortunately she isn’t able to really describe him, so it is a mystery to me.  Then the other night my older sister called to talk with Mom, but later Mom said she talked with a male cousin whom she had spoken to in a long time.  Then she said she spoke with her son, someone she has mentioned before – could he be the son with the first husband?

She thinks there are men living downstairs, sometimes women are in the house.  Lately she asks about the little girls, if they have gone to school – I think that maybe my  sisters and I when we were growing up.  Now there is an older man – he’s not very nice – and a young boy whom she really likes.  When she asks me if I have seen any of these people, I can honestly say I haven’t.  There are times when the house is beginning to get a little crowded.

When I come home and am going into my office, Mom is standing 3 feet from me and asks “Are you here?” – I don’t quite know what to answer.  I would have thought it was obvious because I was right there in front of her.  The other question she keeps asking is “Are you all right?”.  I have learned to tell her I am doing very well because apparently she has been worried about me since I broke my hip – except she has asked that question over and over for as long as I can remmember.

The other night I swear we were in a pinball machine and someone pulled the handle so Mom went from me to Eddie and back again several times.  I was talking to my sister in the kitchen while Eddie was watching tv in the bedroom – she may have even done  a couple of trips into the office to see who was there.  It’s a strange world she lives in and a wild ride at times – they say life is the journey, not the destination and to enjoy the ride.  Hmm, I don’t like roller coasters and there are times when it feels like I am riding one.

Some days it is easy to laugh things off and just be; other times it is very very difficult to deal with it – plus all the other times in between.  At leas there are things that happen or are said that strike me funny – though I do have an oddball sense of humor.  Plus, I would rather laugh than be irritated and tear my hair out.  I will continue to keep track of the funny side of dementia and give you more examples as they come up.

If I don’t laugh about this or any of the other things I am dealing with, I would go nuts.  I don’t fancy a padded room any time soon.

Big Thank You/Huge Apology

June 19, 2011

The past few weeks have been so frustrating because I have not been able to much of anything because of my neck and shoulders. I send you a huge apology for not keeping to my once a week blog writing and a very big Thank You for sticking with me through this time.

This will be a short one because although I am finally doing better, I am not back to my usual ability to do things. I have had so many ideas for this blog, wanted to write in my journal and of course make sure I am able to conduct business as well. Not being able to do any of those things has brought anger, frustration and anything else you can think of in the way of being upset. But there has been a gift in it – not what I expected but something I needed and was ready to hear.

I have had this ice pick in the shoulder blade before, usually with rest and standing with my shoulders back, it has passed. But 4 straight, intense days doing quotes for a client for her board meeting was more than I have ever done in one sitting – not a smart move. I figured it would right itself, especially since I didn’t think anything could be done. NEWS FLASH TO SELF: All you had to do was ask the massage therapist and/or the chiropractor you know and you wouldn’t have had to go through all this balderdash. I did talk to the massage therapist and she knew exactly what was going on – triggers.

So I have had 4 deep tissue massages, deeper than I thought I could do with RA and it also surprised Debye. What I learned is a lot of it is stuffed and suppressed energy and emotions lodged in my shoulders – people carry it in different places in the body. When I went the second time, all of a sudden at one point I was bawling my eyes out – I had finally let some of it out. The third session it didn’t happen but this Wednesday’s session I really let a lot out. I am much better but I know there is a lot more crap to release and expel. Lord only knows what is stored in my knees!

I also finally understand what “Speak Your Truth” actually means. I thought it had to be some profound “Aha” moment, but it isn’t. It is simply saying what I am thinking and feeling – without judgment, no right or wrong, good or bad. As I was coming home, I felt an icepick stab and thought “What is this”? I thought back to that morning when I was getting ready to leave for my networking breakfast group and found my Mom didn’t know who I was. It isn’t the first time, she is 92 and not always with it the way she used to be. But as I was driving along with the windows down – a rare sunny, warm day – I said what I was feeling out loud in the wind, even yelled to express what was going on inside me. Then I realized the icepick was gone. Hmmmm, there is something to this after all.

I am now at a point where I need to quit or I will be in trouble again. I wanted to let you know what is happening and I needed to say it. Thank You for being interested in what I have to say, I am always interested in what you have to say – I have always thought of this as a conversation rather than just me writing what is going on in my life as I deal with RA.

Let’s hope it won’t be quite so long the next time I write.

Friday Mish Mash

May 13, 2011

I just looked back at my last post and realized how long ago it has been – it doesn’t seem that long since I wrote it. But looking back over the past few weeks, life definitely happened. I have been recovering from waaaaaaaaay too much computer for my business – a client needed quotes for a board meeting a few days away and I spent 4 very intense days creating them and giving them to her the day before the meeting. My right shoulder and my neck were not happy with me and they definitely let me know. I hurt so much and was so uncomfortable that I could barely do anything. I found it very hard not to use the computer, sometimes I feel we are surgically attached to each other. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay away from it enough to let things relax and heal, so I have prolonged the time I need. It is a whole lot better – except yesterday and the day before I had a couple of new clients ask for quotes and ideas. I am pacing myself more, I sent 2 lots to the new client and will work more slowly on the rest of her. The other was a present client and I was able to find something more in her budget since what she really wants is so over the budget it is out of sight. My shoulder and neck are telling me “Cut it out!” and I am listening.

I have been reading a very interesting book by a really cool woman named SARK. It’s called “Glad No Matter What”. It definitely isn’t a Pollyanna kind of book, but one that takes a good look at grief, loss and change to find the gift and opportunity in it. One of the things I came away with was to feel my feelings rather than stuff them down or distract myself with other things. The more I allow myself to feel them, the less they become. If I ignore them, they will come out in other, more uncomfortable ways. (Newsflash to Self – are you listening? Does this ring a bell?) When I read the beginning, she said to think about how you are feeling right now and go to that section; that was cool because she has Curious as one of them and that was what I was feeling at that moment. I skipped around because the one on Self Love was also attracting me – I have been working on loving myself for so long. I ended up reading it from beginning to end and will admit I was sorry to see it end. It is a book I would keep always as one to refer back to any time. She uses real life examples from her life and the losses and difficulties she has had to deal with over the years.

I also went to a Personal Development workshop on Saturday done by a friend. She brought Native American elements into it and it was quote an enjoyable, though at times uncomfortable. (NewsFlash to Self – that means you are growing!) It was a small group which made it even better. If there had been the 20 she had planned for, it would not have been as personal for each of us. It would have just been different and valuable. She had hand made bags for each and we were invited to add our own self promotion if we wanted. Well, I went a bit overboard but I am so glad I did. I had a large organza bag with two pens, business card, a small bag with Mardi Gras beads and a label on the bag that said “Life is a Celebration”. We all wore our beads through the workshop. I also put in a tube of bubbles and a label that said “Find the Fun in Whatever You Do”. And finally my Giraffe Moment button with a card that had my information on one side and an explanation. A bit of fun and a little shameless self promotion.
She also asked if I would do a survival kit for the workshop. I had told her about the ones I did for my networking breakfast group last fall that were fun . We had lunch together an I brought a few to show her – she saw the Real Estate one and wanted to show it to someone who is head of a real estate association who she thought would love it. So I gave it to her. This one was a bit different and the surprising part was finding that I had put in a lot of things that were in the workshop – I had no idea what would be in the material when I made them. However, the one constant in my survival kits is Chocolate because it makes everything better. I worked with my chocolate supplier and she sent prescription bars for the kits both times. I enjoyed doing them both times because I had fun, found my creativity flowing freely and they were personalized.

Another milestone this week was our 42nd wedding anniversary. It is amazing to me we have been married this long, it doesn’t seem more than 25 or 30. I had to meet a client up north near where my other half works and it seemed silly to take 2 cars when the price of gas is so high. So we went together – I am not a big fan of getting up at 4 a.m. – and had time with him and a good time on my own before coming back to pick him up. it also was our actually anniversary, so that made it extra special. The next night we went out for a lovely dinner together. Definitely a glad time and one to remember when I am feeling less than glad at times.

Update (long overdue)

November 7, 2010

Life has been rather eventful lately, after falling and being laid up for a while, I seem to have lost track of my life.  NOTE TO SELF if you don’t write regularly, it’s not a blog.  I was so caught up in how much it hurt to walk that it was hard to think of anything else.  How could a small part of my body wreak such havoc?  I have finally gotten back into my life again and am able to walk almost as I had before the fall; feels as if I am playing catchup.  I spent 3 weeks of really difficult days barely making it to the bed, the chair and the bathroom – many times I wondered how long I could postpone getting up and trying to walk on the knee.  I was sorry for myself at times, kept wondering why I didn’t stick to my policy of watching where I am stepping rather than watching where I am going.  However, that is just beating myself up and what came out of that was negativity – I sometimes feel there is already an oversupply of that already.

The odd thing was, after a bit I began to wonder “What is the gift in this?  What can I learn from it?”.  Not my usual questions but Ike Pono has given me a different awareness now than I had before.  As my last post showed, I have been thinking in a different way, though so far I haven’t been able to answer the “Who am I” question to a point where I can say “I know that I know”.  One of these days.  But I have been looking at things differently and  have discovered a few other things that certainly bring more questions.  I realize now I choose to know the truth about myself, before I was saying I am willing to know the truth.  A subtle difference but now I am ready, rather than I think I am ready.  I have been thinking of other times in my life where I was in a similar situation and how I thought about it.  The  section in Ike Pono about there is an event, an emotion, a memory and then decision, followed by gathering evidence to prove you are right – as in the example of the kid who decided he was stupid.  I have been looking at the times when things happened and I once again confirmed I was unacceptable – this time as I remember them, I will write it down as it happened and then rewrite it in a positive way.  That may take some real practice because I realize when I think of those times, it is always the same feelings, pictures and words in my mind – it takes some doing because I have thought of it in one way for so long that a different view or interpretation seems a lot harder.  I figure the more I do it, the easier it will become with practice.

I had tea with a good friend the other week and she did an angel card reading for me – Yikes!  She was spot on!  There are two big things for me to work on, loving myself and my fear of being wrong.  Now I know loving myself has been a big challenge all my life, over the years I have done pretty well on that one and there is still a lot left to do.  The fear of being wrong was a hit in the face because I have realize I have been thinking and feeling it but never put it into specific words.  It just hit me that it is part of not feeling acceptable – I have spent a lot of my life looking for approval and validation from other people so I would know I was right or had made the right decision.  I realized a while ago that it was a gift from someone important in my life that I didn’t get the approval and validation I wanted so badly – it made me find it inside myself.   Then I would not be constantly looking for it from other people because if those people are gone, what would I do?  I would be constantly looking for someone to give approval.  I can see the things that gave me joy, the enthusiasm and exuberance I felt and expressed but was squelched, seemed bad or unacceptable and of course that meant I was unacceptable.  So if I made a “wrong” choice according to someone I craved approval from, once again I am not acceptable.  I can see this could go round and round in circles until I drive myself crazy.  Time to let it simmer on the back burner for a bit and see what comes up.  It is amazing how putting it in words on paper can help clear things up or bring out other parts of the same thing.

I find it fascinating how I start at one point and by the end of the entry I am in an entirely different place.  Oh my, I just realized my self-worth and loving myself is also tied up in all of this – like pulling a strand of a wadded up ball of tangled yarn and not knowing how it will all unravel.  The good news is that I now know that whatever I find in the deepest part of my essence, it will be positive and loving – that god awful bitch on wheels was never there, it was just my fear and perception about who I was deep down.  Ain’t that a kick in the head!


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