Friend or Foe?

But I have to admit that if I had a friend who treated me the way my body does, it wouldn’t consider it a good friendship.

Hello dear reader,

Before you read this, I think I should put a ‘disclaimer’ of sorts. I promised you this blog would be honest and always open for discussion. I did not promise I would have all the answers. Those of you wanting a refund can get in line with the rest of the bill collectors. Now that we’ve cleared that up…onward!

I think most women have issues of some kind with their body. We wish we were thinner or curvier, shorter or taller, look younger, or had eyelashes it didn’t take a magnifying glass (or a tube of mascara) to find. Okay, that last one is probably just me, but you get the point. A lot of us try to meet unrealistic expectations.

I’m getting older, and that fact alone has changed my expectations. I’ll never look like I did at 20, or even 40. My body seems to have aged at least 20 years in the last five, which I think just plain sucks!

Appearance is only a piece of it. I can’t do the things I used to do. I raised four kids, kept a (reasonably) clean house, and if I slept more than five hours at night I was useless the next day. These days the kids are grown and live in their own homes, I need help to be able to keep my house even semi-clean, and I usually sleep ten hours a night and need a nap in the afternoon.

I’ve talked before about being gentle, loving, and kind to ourselves…like we would with a friend. But I have to admit that if I had a friend who treated me the way my body does, it wouldn’t consider it a very good friendship. I’m struggling with being loving toward a body that only works about 30% of the time, and hurts 75% of the time (I would say 100%, but there is all that sleeping to consider). What kind of friend is that?

There’s no life lesson in this post, I’m sorry to say. If I figure out an answer, you’ll be the first to know. If you have an answer, I’d be very grateful if you’d share it.

On another note, since I’m asking for advice anyway, I need a new name for this blog. It amazes me how naive I can be about some things, but apparently the word “chronic” is associated with marijuana, so the title is misleading. Who knew? Don’t answer that. So I need a name that makes people think about trying to live with chronic illness/pain, vs simply existing…and not about weed.

Until next time…

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Fur Therapy

They make me laugh whether I want to or not, and that’s super important!

Hello dear reader,

Today I’d like to introduce you to Daisy and Duke. They’re a big part of being glad to live.

Daisy is a terrier mix who will be 8 in May. She weighs about 15 pounds and will quickly let you know that she’s only little on the outside! We’ve been together since she was 3 months old. I’ve had her certified as a service dog. She let’s me know when something’s coming so I can get to a safe place. For example, my neck and shoulders going into spasms that come with a blinding headache is easier to deal with at home than while I’m driving or in the store. When she tells me it’s coming I usually have about an hour to try to get somewhere safe. When I’m down, whether it’s for hours, days, or weeks, she stays with me. When I get up to use the bathroom, she goes outside, grabs a bite of food, and gets back in bed when I do, sometimes still chewing!

She may get up when I’m sleeping, I don’t know. But she’s always there when I wake up.

Duke is a 5 1/2 year old shepherd/healer mix that we adopted when he was 9 months old. He had a really rough start. He was badly abused and starved. He was terrified of people. We had him for almost 3 months before he started wagging his tail.

He’s still cautious about meeting new people, and he’s become quite protective. He loves to play and nothing makes him happier than being told he’s a “good boy.” He’s a very sweet, loving, and well-behaved dog.
Duke is really Tim’s dog. He goes to work with him when weather and circumstances allow. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t sit beside me getting petted all day if I’d let him.

So there’s the fur therapists. They make me laugh whether I want to or not, and that’s super important!

Until next time…

The Party

Because I think people who deal with this need to know they aren’t alone…

Because tomorrow may be different and give someone hope…

Hello dear reader,

Today’s one of those days that I really struggle through. It’s been a rough few weeks, to be totally honest. When things go on for an extended period, my physical pain calls the mental pain and they throw a big party.

I’ve had this same headache for three weeks now. A little over a week ago, my oxygen levels and blood pressure decided they wanted to join in. Oxygen levels can be handled. I have a machine in my house, and I just drag tubing around behind me. The blood pressure? That’s a different deal. I have hypotension, which means my BP goes low. That’s something I just have to ride out unless it gets to the point that I have to go to the hospital.

The continuous headache makes my neck and shoulders spasm. That’s easy enough… take a muscle relaxer, right? But muscle relaxers lower your blood pressure and respiration, so which is worse?

When all this has gone on for a while, the final guest arrives… depression. It brings its own friends like “What’s the point?”, “This is never going away.” and “You’re useless.” They sap away any little bit of energy I have hidden away.

Tim left for work around 6 this morning and will get home around 5 this evening. He works hard all day. My big accomplishment today? I got dressed and crawled back into bed. I’ll have to text him soon and ask him to stop at the store and get a “quick fix” for dinner because I can’t stand up long enough to cook. He’ll say, “No problem honey.” and after working all day he’ll stand in line at the grocery store to get something he can just pop into the oven. He deserves so much better.

This has turned into a rant, which wasn’t my intention at all. So why post it?

Because I think people who deal with this need to know they aren’t alone…

Because tomorrow may be different and give someone hope…

Because it’s my truth…

Until next time…

Background

I’ll be blunt about things. There isn’t enough sugar to coat this mess.

Background

Hello Dear Reader,
It’s been a long time. I’m starting my blog again with a new name and a different perspective. I live with constant pain. The myriad of things that cause my pain are explained in the “About Me” page.
A couple years ago, I had been told I was terminal, had about a year left (from the COPD). After going through the nightmare of telling the people in my life, I was told it had been a mistake. I do have COPD, but it’s not nearly as advanced as they originally thought.
Everyone was very glad to hear that news, of course. Everyone, that was, except me. The last post I wrote was in October of 2016. You can read the post for yourself if you’d like, just click here…Trying to Live The Reader’s Digest” version is that I had been relieved to have an end in sight to the pain and it had been taken from me.
Sometimes I’m so thankful to be here and to have the life I do. I have a truly incredible husband. He told me many years ago that it was his mission to make sure I laughed every day, and he does. I have children and grandchildren that I love dearly, and the best friends anyone could ever wish for. I have a couple of dogs that are a never-ending source of love and entertainment. I live up in the Rocky mountains and the beauty around me still takes my breath away. I have everything anyone could ever want.
I also have the nightmare of never-ending pain. Sometimes I can push through it and actually accomplish things. Sometimes I can’t lift my head for days at a time. Sometimes I can’t get out of bed for weeks at a time.
So I’m starting a new blog called Chronic Living. The chronic pain isn’t going anywhere, but I don’t have to let it define my life.
Why blog about it? There are millions of other people in the same situation I’m in or worse. Maybe putting it out there, the good and the bad, the beauty and ugliness about it, the constant struggle to live, I might be able to help someone through a day. I might open their eyes to something they hadn’t seen before. All the people struggling with this situation also have people who love them and want to help them. Maybe they can get a little bit closer to understanding, or maybe feel a little less helpless.
I can’t make any promises about what this blog will do. I can, and do promise that I will give you complete honesty. I’ll be blunt about things. There isn’t enough sugar to coat this mess. I promise I’ll respect and try my best to answer any questions you ask. I’ll be open-minded and try to learn from you. I tend to go off on tangents and might follow a post about depression with one bout how to crochet a baby blanket.
I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me. Don’t know for sure where we’re going or how we’ll get there, but we can figure it out together.
Until next time…

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