Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pushing Along

It appears life is a struggle of pushing along. No matter what happens, you push along through the day. If you're healthy, keep going!

Even when you're not healthy, you have to push yourself through each day no matter what may come. I'm in extreme pain every day of my life. It is a struggle to do day to day things like wash dishes, push a vacuum, even take a shower. What most people take for granted, I'm thankful for the smallest thing I can accomplish.

Yesterday I stepped outside my enclosed lonely world and went to Lexington with a friend. It was raining and cold and the pain was intense. I had to sit down quite a bit to relieve the pain in my spine (thanks spinal stenosis!). But I needed to get out, to talk to a friend, to get past the prison of four walls. Today the pain is extreme in my back and legs, but I'm thankful I pushed along yesterday. I'm also thankful for chairs!

It is still a bit cold here which means my apartment is freezing. Some spring temps are coming the first part of the week even though the cold is not gone yet. No matter how freezing cold it is in my apartment, I'm so thankful for an electric blanket. I've spent many days underneath it this winter. Much has gone to the wayside because the cold has held me prisoner, but I'm looking forward to the few days ahead where I can open the windows a bit.

As each day passes in my life, I learn to be thankful for the small things: daffodils and tulips growing around me, birds, a touch of warm sun from time to time, a roof over my head, the kindness of animals, and opportunities even though they are very rare these days.

Life is one day at a time now. Whatever I can accomplish sitting down, I accomplish. On days I cannot function due to extreme pain, I stop, release the worry of not being able to do anything and rest.

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For those who are still undecided about seeing the movie, "Noah," I'm sharing this synopsis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_(film)

When they said "Loosely based on the Bible," they weren't kidding! I'm glad I decided NOT to see it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oh The Pain!!

Snow came through yesterday. It snowed then melted then snowed again. Beautiful! I LOVE snow, but the cold is really getting to me. With my heating bill being so high last month, I turned off the heat a couple of weeks ago and just turned to blankets. Last night the temp fell to 15 degrees. It was brutal inside!

My apartment is freezing cold. The only way to survive it is to put layers on and wear gloves. It is colder inside than it is outside. The weather report says it will be 15 degrees tonight and 28 degrees tomorrow night. Spring is trying hard to plant its feet in KY. It just keeps falling back ten steps for every two it springs forward.

With the cost of my medications going up, my fixed income went down. Add the bitter winter weather to the mix. I'm tapped out. So do I freeze to death or die from lack of medication? Do I live on ramen noodles or do without altogether? When you have a chronic illness with multiple physical issues, it does come down to choices: buy food, pay for heat or pay for medications. Which one do you eliminate?

I'm in extreme pain today due to the slide in weather. One extreme to the other. It has been hard to walk a few steps from my bedroom to the kitchen to the bathroom. I find myself swimming in worry once again. Will I make it to the end of the month? Even if I do, the income next month is still fixed.

So I put on my gloves, wear layers, and wrap up in blankets. I put a blanket over my cat to keep him warm. Then I pray for help, miracles, and warmer weather.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How To Type With a Cat in Your Lap and Other Thoughts

He must have radar. Every time I start writing an entry, here comes Rascal! Plenty of room for him to sit, but he has to sit on my lap. The computer get side swiped. Many times I have to take off the random letters he adds to the mix. Don't you know cats have to touch the keyboard while you type?

This morning a beautiful little calico cat showed up on my doorstep. A real chatterbox! He ate for an hour. He's take a moment to rub my legs and talk and then return to the bowl. This poor kitty was starving. I can't help but wonder why people don't care enough to share food with an animal.

I am then reminded most people don't care about other people let alone a starving little cat. Lack of action shows this. Lord, please don't ever let me be guilty of not helping another person or animal in need.

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And now I come to "Noah," the movie coming to theaters this weekend. Big debate on whether to support it or not. This morning I heard a news segment that said God is not mentioned in the entire movie. He's referred to creator a couple of times. Considering the fact that God spoke to Noah, guided him in building the Ark, and told him what to do, it is a shame they left Him out of the story.

As for me, I do not want to see a film that takes God out of the account and was written and directed by an atheist. Simply a ploy to make money. You have to stand up for your beliefs or you fall for anything. Going along with the crowd just won't do it. Am I a minority in this? Probably, but I will not support a film telling an account from the Bible while they leave God out of it.

If this director/writer had come to know God is real through this experience, I'm glad for him. Otherwise it is merely an attempt to pull Christians and their money into their blockbuster pocket.

 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Great Movie and MORE THOUGHTS

Saw "God is Not Dead" Friday night. Fantastic! I encourage everyone to see this film whether you're a Christian or not. It will open your mind to how God uses every moment, decision, and opportunity in your life. It isn't about religion. It is about faith, God and your right to defend what you believe.

Here's the website:
http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/

Review: MovieGuide.org: ”There are a lot of stories in GOD’S NOT DEAD, but they work because they end up in the same place. The direction and acting are very good. The ending is terrific. GOD’S NOT DEAD is a powerful evangelistic movie. Even better, the entertainment value transcends the message. Viewers won’t be bored. They will be enlightened and inspired by GOD’S NOT DEAD.” - See more at: http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/blog/#sthash.Sw4DCO5A.dpuf

As the movie closed and the credits ran across the screen, the lights came up and I watched people start leaving, I realized this theater was filled mostly with people who claimed to be Christians. I can't see someone's heart, but am pretty sure of this fact. At that moment in time, I wondered why people were willing to go out and support a movie, go to church every week, and yet will ignore someone suffering on the street, abandoned by the very people they need the most. I wondered how many people were in my shoes: alone, no family, confined to home most of the time and rarely saw people when they are sick. If the amount of people that filled the theater would reach out to one person hurting or in physical need, now that would make a difference.

It seems that I'm more sensitive to suffering. I guess it is because I've been in so many "suffering" situations: losing my family to death, burying each one, suffering with illnesses that continue to destroy my body and to some extent my mind. It makes an impact on me when I see so many people look through those who are a lone, lonely and hurting as if they aren't there. I've been in those shoes so many times. It tears your soul apart.

When I moved back to Wilmore, I noticed a very thin man walking past my door every day. Turns out he walked all over town every day. Just to look at him made me wary only because I had come from a town where you had to look over your shoulder to keep safe.

As time passed, I learned this man's name was Glen and he had Lou Gehrig's disease. Glen was dying, but he kept going every day. Soon Glen became an inspiration to me to never give up no matter what. If he could walk all over Wilmore every day, surely I could make it out my door and walk a block.

Glen was homeless, but was given an opportunity to live at someone's house in Wilmore. I learned this lady had opened her door to help those in dire need. He was blessed to have a place to rest his head at night.

Glen would sit on the bench in front of the IGA to rest. Many people learned his name, talked to him and some bought him lunch. It was an opportunity to put action behind words of faith. All of this encouraged me and reminded me God still uses people to make a difference in the lives around them.

As the disease progressed with Glen, he became unable to swallow or speak clearly enough to understand his speech. He had the appearance of someone homeless in that he rarely wore clean clothes or bathed. I'm sure the suffering he did was too much and he did what he could. Then word spread my way that the local barber did not want him sitting or standing in front of his business because he ran customers away. So the businesses asked Glen not to sit in front of their establishment. How that must have broken his heart! It broke mine. They knew Glen was dying and instead of using the opportunity to help him, they rejected him for financial gain. It hurt me because Wilmore had always been a kind, loving, helping community, not a judgemental selfish place.

We will all answer for our actions, words and lack of actions one day. I'm sure whoever made decisions to turn away a dying man will have more to answer for when they pass away.

Glen died last November from Lou Gehrig's disease. He was given a funeral in a local church and buried in the Wilmore graveyard. Yet I cannot forget how people treated him the last days of his life. The man who encouraged me by just walking past my door had been condemned by a Christian community.

Somewhere down the line, they may be in Glen's shoes one day. We don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do believe God's words: "You reap what you sow."

I am always amazed at how people are so fast to label people who have a disability, illness, etc., and reject them. I, too, have been labeled so hard that I can barely recognize myself anymore because of all the labels people have attached to me. It is then I am reminded I cannot do anything about someone who gossips, spreads lies, or passes judgement on me. I can only change the way I accept it. Then I have to remind myself I'm a child of God and no matter how many people tear me down, try to destroy my humanity, or set out to hurt me. It is then I peel off the labels that have accumulated and toss them in the trash. I see the light underneath and the hope that is still there. I thank God for pulling me up once again and rest in His arms.

I could just pass it all off as people are judgemental, unreliable, and really don't care, but there are so many who are not any of those things. They are the ones who make a difference.

"You are what you do, not what you say."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weather Beaten

With the temperatures going from one extreme to another, add on icy rain and snow, it feels like someone has beaten me with a hammer. Struggled with a headache for four days. Swollen joints and fevers.  I've been housebound for awhile not seeing another person. Thank goodness for my Rascal! I'd be lost without him.
The temps are heading back up slowly only to take another nose dive Monday night with chances of snow. We had some snow and icy rain this past Sunday night.

I try to sleep in between the pain. It is miserable! This has been a "want to unzip my body and crawl out" kinda week. Spring is coming and with it comes rain. Lots of rain. Painful rain.

My daffodils and tulips are just starting to come up from the ground. So looking forward to seeing flowers one day. I thought the only way I would get flowers was to grow them myself. Right now all I see are green sprouts.

It is the end of the month and I've started counting pennies again. Have to buy Rascal some food somehow. Luckily Buddy eats the leftovers. As for me, I opened a can of corn and green beans tonight. It is good when it is all you have left in the pantry!

So much to do around my apartment, but don't have the strength to do it right now. Was so thankful I could vacuum two days ago. When you're chronically sick, you're thankful for small things you can do each day.

Some days I wonder why I'm still on this earth. Then someone tells you your life made a difference in theirs and made it all worthwhile. Tell someone how much they mean to you tomorrow!

 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Article Posted

Had another article published this week. Thought I'd share:

http://thebolus.org/lifes-road-marys-story/

 
 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Painful Weekend

It has been a very painful weekend. Another attack to my abdomen with swelling, fevers and extensive pain. Not sure why this keeps happening, but wish a doctor would listen and search for the answer. When I went to my rheumatologist appointment a few weeks ago, I was having the same attack. I was suffering when I walked into the room, told her what was going on, and she did nothing. How I had hoped she would be different. My thoughts are this: if you don't know, send me to someone who might be able to figure it out. I've had this happen over the years and not one doctor checked it out. I had one doctor who asked me what I thought she should do. Ridiculous! I've ended up in the ER because of these attacks. They just gave me pain medication and fluids. Why bother going back? If it doesn't show up in a blood test, doctors don't go any further. Geesh!

It feels as though someone has kicked me in the stomach. Of course, I don't know personally how that feels, but it must feel similar. Pain radiates throughout my body. If anyone who reads this has experienced the same thing, please let me know.

For now I have to wait for whatever this is to move through my system. Just hard to endure yet again.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Updated Site

LUPUS ATTACK AND WINTER BLAST

We've had it all: rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow. Five inches of snow on top of 1/4 inch of ice. The temp is suppose to plummet to 2 degrees tonight with a much colder wind chill. With the weather taking such a nose dive, it has sent me reeling into another lupus flare. Rain does it every time!

Since I could not sleep last night, I stayed up and watched "The Oscars." Of course, when Kevin Spacey is presenting, I'm watching in support. Was worth it! :)

But now the pain and suffering has set in once again. Swollen joints, high fevers, etc. have caused me to be bed bound. The only thing I did today was take the trash to the end of the road for Tuesday pickup. It was a "slip sliding away" experience on the ice. Just thankful I didn't fall this time.

The worst part about being sick is being alone. No one to talk to, no one to get you something to drink if you need it, feed the cats, holding onto the wall as I go. Doesn't help my spirit to be alone and sick. Never in a million years did I think I would be in this position at this point of my life. I live in a Christian community, but rarely see the love and compassion being "Christ-like" brings.

Wanted to share my snow photos. Took them from the front door.




                                           Last photo: you can't see the road

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I'm SO Excited!!

Today I received an email from a friend who asked me to write an article about my experience as a patient. She said it was picked up by another website and The University of Wisconsin Med School admissions tweeted a comment:

"This story from shows why we look for compassion & empathy in our candidates Can you demonstrate this?
 
The other website posted it here:
 
 
And she said replies are being made to my original article post:
 
 
 
I just hope and pray those soon to be doctors will remember to keep their compassion and share it with their patients.