Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ramblings and Observations

So if any of you have heard Johnny Cash sing, The Beast in Me, you understand what I am about to say...if you have not heard it...go listen!

We all have a beast...even though we don't always want to face it, admit it or knock it down. I myself have several...yikes...so hard to admit. The beast of RA and Fibromyalgia that has struck me all the way down today.  But more 'bout that later, because the fun stuff is so much better!

Two of my dearest friends Brad and Shirley came to Albuquerque from Amarillo on the Goldwing. (a NICE bike!)  We stayed at the Drury Hotel, which is a great place with TONS of extras. 

I tend to be a people watcher, and one observation I noticed this weekend is that 99% of the people staying in a hotel are generally happy.  On one of my morning smoke breaks, I noticed that everyone would tell each other "good morning" or some other kind of general humanistic statement.  It reminded me of the 2 weeks prior to Christmas; everyone gets cheerful and joyful.  Shirley and I decided to bring back the good ole days and we laid out in the sunshine, which brought on even more cheerful thoughts.  I LOVE to give Brad a hard time and tease the heck out of him.  We are great at bantering back and forth at each other.  One thing I have to say is just how much I love and respect Brad as a husband to Shirley.  He was so patient with us girls being goofy and taking forever at everything we did!  (I am SURE he wanted to choke at least one of us a time or two over the course of the weekend!)   My respect grew even more as I watched Brad open the car door for Shirley in such a loving way.  Brad, you rock the male world!

I am enjoying my new status of a divorced woman.  This has been a huge issue for me to "deal" with, but now that I am, I am so happy to have that chapter of my life over and done.  Now, I can really learn who I am in my little casita and just enjoy the rest of my God given life.  Mack enjoys it too!

Even though it was a very relaxing and calm weekend, the ugly head of my beast reared its ugly head this morning.  The brain fog is as if I had just awoke from a deep coma. My knees, ankles and back are killing me!  I called my rheumatologist this morning to see if I could get my infusion.  This is another sore spot with me right now.  Medicare will not approve Rituxan until I am in a full-blown flair.  WTF??!!  It has been 6 months since my last infusion, and now I have to wait until the pain is visible to the naked eye of Medicare.  I started taking Methotrexate again to try to relieve some of the destruction going on in the joints.  I do not like to take it, as the side effects are wicked, and it makes me so sick. 

My ramblings and observations for this post have made me tired.  So,I will put all stress and feelings of lazy guilt aside; and enjoy some quiet time reading and enjoying a beautiful summer day.
Cheers to the world and have a hummer of a day!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to my bible reading...I learned SO much!

So everyday, I open the bible and read the verse I see first; much like one would open the newspaper and head straight to their astrological sign. Anyway, my bible opened to Isaiah 65, and my eyes fell upon verse 20. This was very profound to me, because for the last 5 1/2 years I have been in turmoil, anger and pain since my son, Raymond, died. Not only did I question God why he took my only child, I questioned why he did not "allow" me to have any other children. This has been a huge source of contention and misery to me for such a long time. I received my answer today. Whew, it took so long, but my time is NOT God's time.

I am not going to quote the verse, because I would like you to look it up. Isaiah 65:20.
You may be saying what does a bible verse have to do with my blog. Well, let me tell ya!

As I read this verse, it made me realize that this can pertain to my RA and Fibro as well. These diseases are terrible, and wreak havoc on everyday life. Most of the time we are in EXTREME pain (99% of the time, us RA'ers will tell you that we hurt, but that we are doing ok). We do not want pity form those of you who do not have the disease. We want understanding.

It drives us RA’ers CRAZY when we tell someone that we have Rheumatoid Arthritis and they say, “Oh, I have arthritis in my pinky and knee.” The two are as different as the north and south poles.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease and the best way to describe it is our military fighting America instead of the enemy. Sounds ridiculous right? That is what an RA and Fibro body does, constantly fights and destroys the new and fresh blood pumping through our veins.

The fatigue is debilitating beyond compare. I am still in a severe fatigue over a 2-day yard sale a week ago. Everything that we RA'ers and FMS sufferers do has to be in little "spurts of time". That can make those of us, who enjoyed life in a much different fashion prior to our disease, feel lazy and not worthy. We beat ourselves up enough to last a lifetime of flogging!

That being taken off my chest, the rest of the story. Isaiah 65:20. I know that there will come a time that the pain and fatigue fought by the military in my body will be no more.

That my friends, is the rest of the story!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How do we define happiness?

For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - Real Life.

But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first,
some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way.So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.  Happiness is a journey, not a destination!"

I have been really thinking about what defines happiness in one's life. 
When we think to ourselves, "am I happy", we think about our life over all...should we look at the small doses of smiles, eye contact, giving to others, touch, petting an animal, looking at the beauty of nature...and put it into a "whole picture of happiness"? 

I don't think that we can be happy 24/7 unless we take the small doses of life and make them to fit into our happiness cup.  According to Dalai Lama, the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. He also explains that none of this will produce happiness, if your mental attitude is negative.

John 16:33 says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  We will never know the first thing about God as a true and loving friend until we come to the full realization that He wants man to be happy. Many people blame God for the wars and diseases that ravage the human race. These are all the doings of man!

Having RA can cause me to have days of "unhappiness", yet...I am a happy person. 
Having divorce looming causes a great source of unhappiness, but no one can take away the memories and laughter that was shared, not even a piece of paper.

Sometimes the smile on my face hides the pain I feel inside

  • I define happiness when I make eye contact with a stranger, and they smile.

  • I define happiness when I sing to the top of my lungs at church.

  • I define happiness when I get to spend time with Andre.

  • I define happiness when there is a hug given in truth and honesty.

  • I define happiness when I know that I will see my son again.

  • I define happiness when I hear a big belly laugh from a friend or stranger.

  • I define happiness when I look at beautiful mountains and wide open sky.

  • I define happiness with love...this story to be continued..

  • I define happiness with working hard to avoid being co-dependent, it only hurts.

  • So how do YOU define happiness?

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    Happy Twenty Ten!!

    Last night, I reflected on the last 15 years of life, through my journals.  I laughed out loud and cried equally as much.   Now, I KNOW I am not alone when it comes to reflection of the past and the dreams of the future. 

    While reading my journals, I rediscovered that I am a very happy and joyful person all the way to the core of my inner soul.  I "thought" the prior statement was lost somewhere within me, hard to access like a scratched record.  In fact, it was never lost, nor hard to access.  I access it daily. 

    The major thing that I keep revisiting in my mind and through the journals, is called "CARE".   My counselor told me once, or five times, that I care too much.  What?!!  How could anyone not care too much for others and life in general?   Looking back on the journals...I told me one thing, yep, I care much, and love deeply.  I still don't think that is necessarily a "bad" thing, but I do know it was a source of unhappiness...especially in the last 2 years. 

    My personal opinion is that it's not the caring that causes unhappiness...it's the sense of not being able to immediately fix the things we care about. My own personal belief is that if we dedicate ourselves to handling our part we should be happy that we are making a difference (even if in just a small way) and accept that not every problem can or will be fixed by our efforts alone. We can hope, however, that our action might inspire others to do the same.

    I can't fix several things that I "wish" could be fixed
    • I can't fix the fact that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
    • I can't fix the broken marriage...lord knows I tried and wanted to(this has been a huge source of sadness over what might have been.  But neither of us were the perfect Virgo)
    • I can't fix the fact that my son died
    • I can't fix the past of myself or others
    Although, I WISH I could change all of the above things the fact is..."It is what it is."  and "it" is LIFE.  Say it outloud, Life is what Life is.  Profound, huh?!!

    I took this picture in September.  It had a very profound effect on me, because we can have things that can bind us in life, but we do not have to be bound by it to continue to bloom.

    What I Can do...

    • Put RA in the back pocket (although, I'd like to hock it!)  and accept the change.  I will not let it define me nor continue to tell me that I am "damaged goods

    • Allow others back in

    • Never lose who I am again

    • Soften my heart and let go of the learned fear to love again

    • Always, always remember the love, laughter and joy that a child can bring to life daily.  And TEACH them how to love and care for others by example

    So with a new year..."We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
    Edith Lovejoy Pierce.