Posts Tagged ‘pain’

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.

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A Short Reunion

June 24, 2014

As a result of my slide, I have become reacquainted with my cane.  It took a little practice, but I’m doing pretty well, not tripping over it so much.  It has been hard to walk since Friday afternoon and the cane has helped.  It was not my fondest wish to have this reunion, on the other hand, I am glad the cane is there.  I have had it in my car trunk for the past two years, occasionally I use it if I am not sure of the  of the terrain or if there will be a lot of people.

Black_Cane_T_HandleIt’s not a fancy cane, I bought it at Rite Aid for not too much.  I made sure it was adjustable and during out-patient rehab I asked the therapist how to measure to make sure it is the right height.

I haven’t done a lot of exercising, though Saturday I  went in a couple of places.  I was tired when we came home, so I had a lie down.  Eddie wanted to walk by the river in Renton so he could check out the flight line for the 737’s – I was quite happy sitting in the car reading.  Then we went to Panera for coffee, about the extent of walking.  Yesterday I went to see Cheryl, my chiropractor.  I explained what happened and how it had been feeling, so she worked on different places that connect with the knees.   I had an Apple One To One at 11 to work on my book.  I seem to have found something that seems to stump them a bit.  Both Larry and I learned a lot about iBooks Author – says he likes a challenge.  I told him I was ready to forget the whole thing because it has driven me crazy – but I am not about to let technology win.  I decided to go home, have something to eat and have a lie down – sometimes it is smart to do that after an adjustment.  I am glad I did because I was a bit more tired than I realized.

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One of the aspects of  RA and pain is how varied it is – with this situation at the moment, the pain has been different every day.  Friday it was sharp pain in the outside of my knee, yet Saturday it felt as if I had a tight clamp below my knee.  Sunday the clamp was in the middle of the knee and at times there was a sharper pain in the middle of the knee.  Yesterday the clamp was around the knee and today the clamp is mostly gone but the outside of the knee feels as if someone is hitting my knee each time I bend it.  That is one thing that really baffles me about RA – it is never the same from one day to the next.

Today is doctor morning, I am going to see my primary doc for a check up – he has been pleased with my progress, but not sure what he will say about this latest incident.  I don’t plan to do any “running around”, just buy some cookies for Mom for tomorrow.  She was alert and doing well last Friday, though I noticed she was in the wheel chair.  Apparently her knee was bothering her, so they use the chair.  Otherwise they make sure she uses the walker so she won’t forget how to walk.

LATER

I saw the doc and he was pleased with me – not necessarily the slide but my blood work, blood pressure, etc.  Unfortunately he weighed me and I am 15 pounds heavier – Ye God’s and Little Fishes!!!!  I suddenly realized the weight gain a week or two ago – I can’t believe I let it happen so easily.  I have spent a lot of the last few months  working a lot at the computer and not getting very much exercise; now the knee as well.  Yet I have noticed I don’t eat as much because I get full much faster and I opt for fruit for dessert at night.

I went to the store for Mom’s double stuffed Oreos and came home – I am noticing my knee is now on the side, a little below the joint and it feels like badly bruised bones.  Cheryl always says it takes some time for the body to integrate whatever happens and the next day may be uncomfortable.  I have an open house at Breakfast Club – I am hoping things will be more comfortable in the morning.  Afterward I will go see Mom.  This is not the time to put up a facade of “I’m doing fine” because I’m not.  It has worn me out and I am dragged out tired and not always sleeping well; I have trouble finding a comfortable position at night and walking is not particularly comfortable either.

I know I will come through this eventually and be more comfortable – it gets old very quickly to be hampered like this.  I have a quiet week and don’t have much on the calendar because I know rest is important.  I dealt with many other times like this one, though it doesn’t get easier and I haven’t “gotten used to it” either.   However, it doesn’t last forever, just often feels as if it does.

THIS TOO WILL PASS.

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.

The 2nd Day

September 1, 2013

I planned to write this on Monday or Tuesday, amazing how things get away from me.  I had two order from clients and 3 others I am working on – I don’t remember a time when I had this many projects.  That’s where I have spent my time as well and creating the design for Eddie’s Round Up.  Then seeing Mom twice a week, doc and infusion morning Thursday and meeting a client for lunch afterwards to sign the order form.

I was telling my rheumatologist about last Saturday at the Tournament and how pleased to find the after effects weren’t very bad.  I have noticed over the years that when I have done something major (sometimes not having done anything at all) I find the day after is often pretty good – I have even had ones that were wonderful.  But there is something about the 2nd day that I have been known to crash, to be stiff, sore and miserable.  What is it about that 2nd day?  Maybe lactic acid has built up in my muscles.  What I do know is I have to wait to see how I am 2 days after the event to see how well I am doing.

I was pleased to find I was doing  pretty well Sunday – well enough to start trimming the little forsythia by the ding room window.  It had been trimmed when John and his crew took out the wisteria, sticker bush  and a few other things.  It has since sent out long branches that got to a point that I couldn’t see out the window very well.  I was careful where I stepped and did quite well, though the lower back wasn’t all that happy.  Eddie came out a little later with the big clippers for the thicker branches – together we did a good job of trimming it back.

Monday was the 2nd day and I was doing rather well.    A little stiff and sore, good thing I had an adjustment with Cheryl and a massage with Debye that day.  So I did well after seeing the two of them and just had to see how the 2nd day of the forsythia trimming would go the next day.  I was pretty good, a bit stiff in the shoulders but otherwise better than I hoped.

I remember the last weekend of Ike Pono, Saturday was Warrior Games.  I knew I had a choice to participate or just use RA as an excuse not to do anything.  I decided it was go full tilt or nothing and deal with any consequences afterwards.  I went full tilt and I was stiff and sore the next day – it does happen that way sometimes.  I was a little late on Sunday and not moving too well – I explained I decided to go full tilt and deal with repercussions later.  I had a really nice compliment from Bruce – he told me “You are someone I want in my fox hole because I know you will have my back”.

The most frustrating time is when I haven’t really done much, just taking care of myself and suddenly I am hurting and miserable.  What happened?  Did I do something?  I will admit I have not quite figured it out yet.  I do remember the first summer I was in New Jersey – my first experience with humidity.  We did have a couple of window air conditioners so it wasn’t too bad, but I was still uncomfortable.  Then in September it cooled down and was very pleasant and comfortable.  Then the 1st of October it suddenly went humid again and I felt as if I had been run over by a train.  A clue that RA and humidity don’t get along very well in my body.

I can look back now and see it in a slightly different light and wonder – what was I focusing on and was it just one of my oh-poor-me-osis times or was there actually a trigger that put all that in motion?  It is certainly easier to look back than to be in the moment feeling everything and wondering what  I did wrong.  I suspect I will continue to wonder how what I do will feel on the 2nd day, but look at it a little differently, maybe with curiosity, interest and wonder rather than feeling a victim and someone or something is out to get me.

My rheumatologist was pleased with me on thursday, my sed rate was down 2 points and I am feeling better.  Still waiting for the surge of energy, but my joints seem to be doing better and since the sed rate is down, I will go for my infusion in 4 weeks but not see her until the following one 8 weeks later.  Any time the doc spreads out the time between appointments, I know I am doing well.

These pictures have nothing to do with topic, I just thought they were adorable.  Candy took them at Lake Radnor – such a variety of things and animals to see there.

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I think this was taken in the Spring not too long after the birth.

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They are so well camouflaged you would have to be up close to see them.

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Such an adorable face!

Thank you so much Candy, they are a pleasure to see.

A Bright Spot In The Week

March 3, 2013

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We are having a lovely sunny day after yesterday when the sun fought valiantly to come out of the clouds – unfortunately it lost and it began to rain.  But today is gorgeous and clear – though at some point this afternoon the clouds will be back.  So I am enjoying the times when the sun comes out for however long and I am grateful for it.

A couple of days ago I saw a small clump of primroses out and the first crocus – it may only be the beginning of march but they have decided it is spring.  Suddenly we have a bed with purple, lavender and white with purple stripes coming up and blooming.  The pictures I took I can’t get off my phone, so I need to figure out how to do it.  So I check Google and found some that are close to what mine are.  It has been a mild winter for us – some very nippy days and nights and even a dusting of snow 2 days in a row.  Last year spring didn’t cone until Junuary because it was so cold and rainy for so long.

Let’s just say it has not been a stellar or comfortable week.  I woke up on Monday morning with the most painful shoulder and neck – I don’t know if I slept wrong or something happened I wasn’t aware of at the time or afterwards.  At that moment, the cause was not on the top of my agenda, the knives and ice picks were clamoring for attention.  Thank goodness I had an appointment that morning with Dr. Cheryl, my chiropractor.  She helped some and then had me rest a bit while she adjusted another client.  Then she came back to me and did a bit more work.  I really appreciated the extra time.

She suggested I rest and eat lightly, tea and/or broth, and just relax.  So I did.  It was still uncomfortable but a little better, at least I could turn my neck again.  I had a lie down and probably rested, maybe slept for about 50 minutes.  Then the phone rang.  I got up and answered it – it was Mom’s doc at the Center.

She had seen Mom at the Center that day and noticed the lump in her breast had gotten bigger since her first exam in August.  She wanted my permission to schedule a mammogram to make sure  exactly what’s going on.  I have had fluid filled cysts several times myself, so I wonder if it is that or something else.  I could have said No since she is 94, but it is better to find out what is happening.  They will let me know in about 2 weeks when the appointment will be.  The part I am concerned about is the mammogram, I don’t think Mom has ever had one and at this point I am not sure how she will perceive it.  The doc wanted to know if I would be there and I said “Absolutely”!

I am glad to report I was feeling a lot better on Tuesday morning, though there were still knives and ice picks.  I went to see Mom in the afternoon and took her the baby doll I had arranged for in September for her birthday.  At the time she didn’t quite know what to make of it.  This time she was very pleased with the baby girl in pink.  My friend Charlotte gave me one of her Lee Middleton dolls, I was overwhelmed.  As I watch  Mom hold the baby, she smiled and was delighted.  She wanted to show her off to everyone.

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The baby on the left looks like Mom’s, she has blonde hair and blue eyes.  She is in a pink bunting of thin pink and white strips and a lovely lace edging.  She also has a pink fleece sleeper like the one on the right, but with the same lace edging around it.

I bought a small oval basket as a bed for the baby and it fit in the open shelf of her nightstand.  As I was leaving, she kept asking “where’s my baby?”, “where’s my baby?”, “where’s my baby?”.    Friday she didn’t mention her baby, so I think it is like most things now – they come and go.  We’ll see how this works out before adding anything else.

Things at the house have changed, John moved out with his cat and now there is another man in his room. I am not sure how old he is, probably looks older with the long grey mustache and beard.  I saw him on Friday but since he was fast asleep in his chair, I didn’t say hello.  Also Jennifer left, she is now in a nursing home right near her sister.  The new person for her room was due to move in Friday night or Saturday morning.  I may see her when I go on Tuesday.

Funny, I feel as if I have spent  a lot of time at home resting, yet it feels as if I have ben tooing and froing when I write about my week.  I a working on another post but have gotten stymied, not sure where it will go.  It took quite a while to finish “Woo Woo, Goofballs and Hocus Pocus Water”; one of these days this one will tell me where to take it.  The fun of writing a blog.

RA Consequences of the Move

October 21, 2012

When I wrote the post yesterday, it was mainly about the move, Mom and  the aftermath.  I can’t believe I forgot to mention that I was miserable because my right side was so painful in the neck and shoulder.  It was as bad as last year after I spent so much time on the computer doing quotes for a client.  I didn’t do much in the way of lifting or doing things, though I suppose not wearing my collar while I worked on the inventory lists on the computer might have done it.  At times it was like an icepick in my shoulder, I couldn’t move any way that wasn’t uncomfortable – even the hot tub at the spa didn’t really do it.  My knees were also very unhappy – they have been uncomfortable for awhile – could it be The Preparation from my Tai Chi lesson?  I was really hurting when I was taking stuff to the garage to put in the car.

So not only have I been exhausted, I have been in pain as well – let’s face it, that doesn’t help with energy.  Stress causes difficulty and flare ups; that means the body is using all her energy to fight the RA and flare up.  Not much energy left for anything else.  I have done the things I have to, some things for myself – like Olympus Spa – and on Monday I went to see Dr. Cheryl, my chiropractor.  She was able to take most of the icepick out of my shoulder, so I was more comfortable.  I saw Debye for my massage and learned I have some emotions stuck in my abdomen.  People have told me there is a lot of emotion connected with this move and the whole situation – so far I haven’t really identified it.  At the moment I am not ready to go there – though I was in the bathroom a few days ago and had a knowing there is more emotion below the surface than just the feelings of frustration, resentment, anger, etc, from the past few months and years.

I went to see Mom on Tuesday, she was sleepy and not quite with it, so I wonder if this has tired her out a lot as well.  I saw her again on Friday and she was more alert and with it.  However, both times she asked why she is there and if she has to stay.  I told her it was her home now and she is safe as well as taken care of by the caregivers and Didi.  I have no answer for her other than that – I know I can put myself on a guilt trip and although I am not boarding that bus, I felt a foot or two on the step.  I know it has only been a week and a half, it does upset me to have her ask.  She keeps asking about her parents, if I have seen them.  Then she asks if they are dead – it seems as if it is the first time she heard it.  I tell her they are watching over her and preparing a place for her, they are waiting for her.  Then she wants to know how she can get there – all I can tell her is I don’t know, no one has come back to tell us how it all works.  I don’t know if that helps or not.  I am wondering if my visits are making harder or not.  Apparently she was asking about me and she was glad to see me.  She says it is a nightmare there, but they are good to her – how accurate are her perceptions?  I need to ask Didi what works for her about visits.

I know this is stress for me, not good for the body, mind or spirit.  Several people have told me I have done a wonderful job taking care of Mom as long as I have.  Here is that negative take coming up – I didn’t do it to the absolute nth degree, I have be irritable and have yelled at her – not patient enough.  I have to stop and tell myself taking care of her has come to affect my health and my marriage, I have to protect myself or I will be back in rehab (if I am lucky!)  For so much of my life I have felt responsible for the world, of making other people happy at the expense of myself.  Now I am learning to switch gears to take care of myself first so I will have overflow for others.  Are they childhood messages or the ways a middle child operates?  Probably some of both – my older sister Ellen would tell me “Ditch it, girl!” in no uncertain terms.

As a result of the shoulder and neck pain, I haven’t been able to really use the computer or pen to write about all of it – it really bugs me because it is one of the ways I can release and clear out a lot of stuff I don’t want to hold on to any more.  I also have projects I want to work on and there is my business that has languished for two years so that there isn’t much of it left.  I wonder how it will feel to be finally rested and have energy – it is been so long.  Certainly it is easier to do things with a lot of energy – I just cleaned the new bathroom, had to rest, now it is time to do the floor.  Imagine doing it all at once and not having trouble bending and reaching, plus have the strength and elbow grease for those places that really need it.  I am looking forward to that!

Not Just My Body

December 25, 2011

I have spent most of the last 41 years thinking about RA in terms of just my body – that is how most of the doctors I worked with viewed it.  It gave me a victim mentality, that it wasn’t my fault because I was an innocent bystander being sideswiped by it for no reason.  Therefore, I had no responsibility except to get treatment.  It never occurred to me it was the Universe trying to get my attention.  News Flash!!!

I had a note from the Universe the other day that was really cool:

Young souls use pain to learn how things are.

 Mature souls use pain to learn how else things might be.

 And old souls, Lee, use pain to learn how else they might be. 

 T-s-s-s-s-s-s,

The Universe

Of course, Lee, pain is only a choice, among many, for such learning. It just happens to be very popular.

It is only in recent years through personal development have I realized that it is mind, body and spirit.  Over the years it has been bits and bobs here and there, then last year I had it full in the face with Ike Pono.  This year has really been an eye opener since I have been working with Debye and deep tissue massage.  I went to see her to help with the shoulder and neck pain from way too much computer and also waiting too long to see what could be done to relieve it.  I finally “got it” that I was holding on to RA; at one of the last Ike Pono weekends Bruce asked me why I has still holding on to RA.  It must have been simmering on the back burner for several months because in one session Debye told me I was sending mixed messages about it.  That meant I had to look at what was going on inside of me – I realized my identity was all wrapped up in RA and I didn’t know anything about myself without it.

What I learned so forcefully was that I was stuffing down so many feeling of anger, resentment, fear, hurt and who knows what else – all somewhere in my body because I hadn’t expressed it.  The first session was just physical massage and boy, was that uncomfortable.  The second session I was so surprised to find myself crying – I remember saying out loud “I can’t take it any more!”.  Ever since then my sessions have been like that, I find myself crying without really knowing why but I have been expressing and releasing all that junk.  It has helped me learn more about myself and  who I truly am.  My goal for so long is to love all of myself deeply, completely and unconditionally.  I am a lot farther along than I was a few months ago.  All the things, the people, the techniques, everything I have done and learned has helped me over the years to come to this point.

For so long I have just wanted to get rid of the pain so I could move comfortably and do what I want.  To me that is a cure, but there is the likelihood of it coming back because I didn’t get to the root of it.  But healing is understanding what brought it on in the first place, then  coming to terms with it and releasing it so it doesn’t come back.  I thought it was just in my physical body and once that was gone, I was fine.  Now I have come to understand there is so much more than the physical.  I’ve had several people see something in a past life that was not resolved and has been carried over into this life.  Not everyone goes along with the  idea of past lives – I am very open to it though I have not really had any glimpses of my own past lives.  It is very human to think this is the only life there is, on this planet in this time; that all this is just goofball, airy fairy, touchy feely woo woo stuff.  I have read and heard quite often that if something comes up 2 or 3 times- PAY ATTENTION!

After spending most of my life with a limited view of things, I am now open and receptive to all kinds of possibilities because limitation is too confining and I don’t feel I have anywhere I fit in the regular world.  I only know what is true for me and in no way would I ever try to convert or convince anyone of my view – in answer to Dr. Phil “It’s working pretty well for me”.  Looking at myself as a whole person with feelings, beliefs, attitudes, pains, deformities, physical limitations – the whole gamut of my life so far, all of it has had an effect on my body.  Is this a choice I made before I arrived here as a way to experience pain or to punish myself in some way for a past life?  I can’t say for sure at this moment but it does made things more understandable.  This past year especially has been uncomfortable, a revelation, satisfying, enlightening and instructive.   Going within can be uncomfortable and upsetting but the end result is definitely worth it.  I am learning to love myself and find out I  am an amazing woman, not the loser I have felt I was for so many years.

Baby Steps

September 19, 2011

It has been an enlightening week, some not so comfortable but also a lot of encouragement.  Since I had the very direct message about being ambivalent about having RA, it has been simmering on the back burner.  I had a picture in my mind of a large square with a teal green background; it was divided into 2 halves.  On the right side were all the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of having RA.  Yes, there are advantages, benefits and payoffs as well as the crappy stuff.  On the left side was pros & cons, advantages and disadvantages of not having it.  I found myself concentrating on the left side, with all the advantages and all the possibilities.  I am  now at a point where the print on the right side is fading, while the left side is being filled to overflowing with positive words and phrases.

On of the big items on the right side is Identity – I realize I have spent the last almost 41 years thinking RA is my identity rather than simply one part of me.  I have had a lot of confusion trying to understand what my identity is – most often it is associated with what one does for a living.  Well, I didn’t have a profession, so  RA was my substitute.  Now a big item on my left side is Identity, except I realize it means who I truly am.  I have come to understand that there are many parts to my identity, so emphasizing only one aspect seems counterproductive.  Without RA I can concentrate on other things and not obsess  about it with a capital “I”.

The other interesting thing was on Sunday, I spent a lot of time on the computer on a possible new project and was tired at the end of it.  My first thought was how sore and uncomfortable my shoulder and neck were going to be the next day.  Then it hit me, does it have to be that way?  Is it only a learned assumption from the past months that I have to be in pain the next day?  I had to think about that for a bit.  I decided the answer is no, I don’t have to be in pain.  Now I did put arnica gel on the places that usually are sore and did some massage while breathing through the pain before I went to bed.  How amazing to find the next morning I was doing rather well.  I have been doing pretty well this week, some bit and pieces of pain here and there but not the constant , miserable pain I have had for so long.    I realized I was choosing good health and well being rather than choosing RA and pain.

Another interesting discovery, I received some encouragement and validation that my angels, guides, spirits and master teachers are hearing me and helping.  I have been doing a conference call every Saturday with a small group of amazing women and last time Juanita posed a question.  If you were a seed, where would want to be planted and  what would you like to be?  As usual I knew it needed to simmer on the back burner as well as asking my angels for some help and guidance.  They have come through for me when I need an idea for something and I have had this knowing that they are there waiting to help me.  So after the call I asked them all to help me to know what seed I would be.  Now I was thinking literally and someone once called me a lotus – but that didn’t feel right.  So I just let it go and had other things to keep me involved.  As I was coming back from my massage I remembered about the seed, it was Friday and the call is on Saturday.  I was driving along with the windows open on a lovely sunny day, then it came to me – seed of Discovery.  I would be planted in the heart of one who is ready for it and I would bloom into understanding.  Then came a tug of war with ego – she kept saying I was being presumptuous and full of it while my positive mind said it was from the angels.  I decided it was from the angels, I have spent too much time listening to ego, so I told her “Thank You for sharing, I know you want to protect me but I’m not boarding that bus!”.  Debye was all smiles when I told her about it, she said they had asked her to ask me and they were all excited I “got it”.

I am so encouraged  that I really do have intuition and it is becoming a little stronger each day.  Part of it is clearing out a lot of the stuffed down feelings from all these years, now there is beginning to be room for intuition to bloom.

Mixed Messages

September 11, 2011

I will admit to having a rather crappy week after my realization on Sunday about Mom – now that I am willing to be aware (awareness sucks sometimes) I realize how often she would just ask me a question without using my name.  It has been more obvious when she struggles with whether I am her daughter or her sister.  When I went for my massage on Friday, I was able to release a lot of the feelings I didn’t want to acknowledge, much less know about.  It also brought out something else – I know it has been going around in my head for a long time but until then I didn’t really want to put it into words.  However, this time it was not hard and I was ready to admit it.

While Debye was working on me she said the spirits, guides and master teachers told her I am giving them mixed messages about RA.  On the one hand I want to have it healed but on the other I seem to want to keep it.  How can the Universe work with me when I am ambivalent?  It must be frustrating – or does the Universe get frustrated?  I have known without giving it voice that RA has been my identity for 40 years, so is the idea of knowing my true identity that scary that I will continue with this one?  I had to look at both to see what I truly want.

To continue with RA is to hide from the world and having to get a job.  It is receiving praise and admiration  – “I don’t know how you do everything you do while having RA”; “You are my inspiration”; “You are my hero”.  It is telling people I have it so they won’t expect much from me, then surprise them with how much I can do so well.  It is not having to compete, hiding behind RA.  It is also pain, little flexibility, meds, fatigue, medical costs, effects of meds on my body, low self esteem, not much flexibility, feeling powerless, dependent and helpless.  Is it worth the positive feedback I receive from having it?  It is very uncomfortable a lot of the time, but familiar. Plus, can I be of help if I don’t have it any more?  Is that a requirement, that without RA, do I have credibility?

On te other side, it is a bit scary to know another identity – my  true identity – than the one I have as someone with RA.  It’s new territory, instead of seeing it as scary (that scared feeling is the same as feeling excitement), why not think of it as an adventure and something to be excited about?  What else is there without RA?  Flexibility, energy, no pain, ability to do many things without painful consequences a day or two later; enthusiasm and vitality; joints and muscles that work properly, no meds and feeling free.  I feel there is something coming, don’t know what it is or how it will look, only that is is cool and fun and I can be myself.  So what would I like to do?  I have thought about that so a long time and usually the answer has always been “I don’t know”.  Suppose I think more about the elements and the feelings about it.

How will it feel?  There is energy, flexibility, sleep well, no meds, joy, exuberance, enthusiasm, excitement, more in touch with my intuition and energy center, truly loving myself exactly the way I am, being in tune with Spirit, my angels, guides and master teachers because it all comes from them – I just show up and get out of the way.  Being open, receptive, unlimited, allowing, and playing big (playing small so others feel secure just doesn’t work!) knowing whatever comes is something I can do.

It calls and fills my heart and soul, I am myself talking about what I have learned and the experiences I have had.  I want to write a book, possibly several books.  I want to help others, not as someone who has all the answers but who is just like them.  I would like to do presentations, seminar and workshops to groups, be a speaker and travel.  I would like a radio show that helps others in a wider area, with guests who I know do great work and help them expand as well.  I want to be a healer in a holistic practice.

I do know there are things the ego part of me wants to know – what exactly is it, how do I do it, where does the money come from, etc.  Plus those snarky thoughts of “Who do you think you are?  What makes you think you can do this?”, “Yeah sure, in your dreams!”.  She wants to protect me and I thank her for that, but I want to see where it leads, this or something better, rather than allow her to continue to control my life and make me afraid to step out and take risks and see what is out there for me.

Right now I feel it is preparation time, to clear out all the negative energy and stuffed feelings and emotions from the past , to create the space for new, positive and loving things to come in and multiply.  It is often uncomfortable and sometimes I don’t want to deal with it because of the pain and emotion – then again, isn’t that why they are all stuffed in my body?  I didn’t want to deal with it at the time.  Thankfully I don’t have deal with it alone, I have wonderful partners to help me through the process – even kick my butt with love when necessary.  It is easy to fall into feeling sorry for myself because of all of it (I have done victim very well these many years), so having objective and loving partners to keep me falling into that mode is such a great help.  I feel more ready to face it and deal with now.

An Uncomfortable Truth

September 6, 2011

I wrote this post a couple of days ago, not sure if whether to publish it or not since it isn’t just me involved.  I have decided it is part of my journey, a big part of my life at the moment and definitely has a bearing on RA.

I am realizing I am in denial sometimes – at times it feels as if I am the Queen of Denial.  this morning I realized that I thought my Mom’s dementia was occasional when she doesn’t remember who I am – big newsflash to me, it is a lot more often.  She seems to see me and Eddie as the man and woman who live here, not her daughter and son-in-law. I know in my head that it isn’t about me, it isn’t personal, that she is struggling through a fog and is probably scared and unsure.  The emotion in me feels a stab in the heart when it happens – some from my grown up self and some from my little girl, it hurts to know my mother doesn’t know who I am am.  I can usually go along and deal with it as it comes, but for some reason it really hit me this morning.  maybe because my husband told me about the conversation after I left to have a shower.  He was laughing about it and I told him it is no laughing matter, it hurts to know your mother doesn’t know who you are.  I had a cry in the shower and then visualized the blackness of negativity and hurt slowly draining out of my body, replaced with a bright irridescent white light of love filling the spaces the black left behind.  I have also  called on my angels, spirits, guides and master teachers to help and guide me to come to terms with it and resolve it;to help change my attitude to positive.  I asked them to work with me with whatever works and is for my highest good.  I am still feeling very emotional and can probably start crying again – I decided to write it out instead.

I suppose it started this morning because I had gone to the bathroom and Mom wanted to use it. So I finished and then she asked if I was going to take a shower.  I told her no because she complains a lot of the time I take all the hot water, so I  make sure she has the first shower unless I have to go out early.  Later she came in the kitchen and asked why I wasn’t having a shower, so I told her I was reading the paper.  She went back to get dressed and came in the kitchen to ask me why I wasn’t having a shower – I was drinking coffee that coffee and shower don’t mix well.  So I finished my coffee and said “If I have everyone’s approval and permission, I will go have my shower.  Then I am enjoying my shower and Eddie comes in to tell me about the conversation after I left.  Mom wanted to know why that woman was angry, what did he say to her?  Then he was laughing about it and it really hit me in the heart – she doesn’t know who I am most of the time, not just occasionally.  I told him it was no joking matter to not have your mother know who you are – it hurts!  He left and I was crying in the shower for a bit.  Then Mom comes in, calls my name and asks if I am in the shower.  I think she remembers for a bit after she is reminded, but it doesn’t last – I have been thinking it lasts longer than it does.  Yesterday Eddie and I went out and she was talking to my older sister Ellen on the phone, I said to tell her I said hello.  Mom didn’t know who to tell her , so I said “Your sister Elizabeth”.  Then she got it.

I have not really wanted to acknowledge what is happening fully.  Yes, I know she has lapses in memory and gets things confused, I think it was really brought home to me this morning how far into the thin places she goes.  It is so frustrating to answer her question only to have her ask it over and over again because she doesn’t remember.  It is as if it goes into black hole right after she hears it – where that black hole is could be anyone’s guess.  It is as if there is a cotton wool layer that everything goes through, little bits break off and are caught in the cotton wool, then attach themselves to something that comes through latter.  So by the time Mom talks about it, things that aren’t related are jumbled up with what she wants to say.  Then there are the times when she remembers something I wish she wouldn’t – like the little kid who tells embarrassing secrets Mom and Dad would rather not be made public.  In some ways I feel the parent now – I have no experience because I chose not to have children, so I have no clue how to do this.

I take it one incident at a time, it is always surprising what comes out, nothing I expect.  I am doing my best not to take it personally, to be objective about it because it is not about me, but there are those times when it really hits me.  Most of the time Eddie is such a great help and takes care of finances and so many other things – every once in awhile he drops a clanger, just as all of us do.  I certainly wouldn’t want to be doing this all alone.


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