Emotions

I have been trying to write all week. I just can’t seem to focus. I’m feeling overwhelmed with grief, sadness, depression, worry, gratefulness, and so many other emotions lately. It’s hard to concentrate when so many things are going through your mind, constantly.

Depression is probably my biggest enemy this week. Since my pain level has been so high, I’ve had a hard time getting around. It seems that it won’t be long and I won’t be able to walk at all. Then what happens? I try not to think about it. It doesn’t seem to matter to the doctors I’ve seen. They just don’t seem to understand the gravity of my situation. They see my situation on paper, Xrays, MRI’s, etc., but they don’t see ME.

I am still grieving the life I once had. The life that I should have had after my kids were grown has changed into a life of chronic pain, depression, and mobility issues. Not too long ago, I started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I was finally going to get some help. That idea was shattered like always.

I do have things in my life to be happy about and wonderful things to be grateful for. It’s hard to see those things sometimes because when you’re in constant pain, it over-rides everything. Your world seems to be THE PAIN. Everything you do revolves around THE PAIN. Getting groceries, going out with friends, hanging out with family, spending time with the grandkids….all revolve around the pain level of the day.

I’m very grateful to my friends and family who are praying for me. My circle is small but at least I know who my real friends are. Some of those friends are people I have never met but I trust them more than most people. They are not just friends; they are family and very close to my heart.

Only my friends and family who have chronic illnesses truly understand how difficult life can be. They understand how sadness can overcome you. They understand how much you want to do something and they know why you can’t. Those who do not suffer from a chronic illness have no idea how hard it is to stay positive — but yet they tell me to “Stay positive” all the time. Maybe it’s because they don’t know what else to say, but I wish they wouldn’t say anything at all. I know they mean well, so I don’t hold it against them.

All I can do at the moment is hope that next week is better.

Throwback Thursday

I was thinking about my mother last night and again this morning. Then I remembered writing about how stubborn she was. In 2011, I wrote about her fatal car accident and it still elicits such sadness, anger, and horror when I think about it. I still wonder what she must have been thinking the moment of the crash.

Click here to read Reliving A Nightmare

At The End of The Day

Feeling tired and sad tonight, as I sit and think about what’s coming on Monday. This will be the third kitty I have had to put down.

Smokie has kidney disease, just as the first two did. Kidney disease does awful things to kitties. They start losing weight and then have ferocious appetites. It’s the body’s way of maintaining the rapidly decreasing body weight. They urinate often and in very large quantities. They drink a LOT of water.

Since cats have their own distinct personalities, this disease causes their behavior to change in different ways. Fuzzy used to splash water out of the water dishes all the time and was very vocal (extremely loud) about being hungry. Korn stopped grooming himself and was a big matted mess that I couldn’t keep up with. He also stepped in his own pee clumps and got litter on his feet, which hardened later. He was a mess. About a year ago, Smokie decided she wasn’t going to pee in the litter box anymore. She would go outside the box; I mean right outside the box! She pooped in the box just fine. She also started using various places in the house to pee. We have had to put puppy pads in those places and around the litter box.

She is 15 1/2 years old. She’s not had the best life, but she was loved. I called her my “Franken Kitty” for a long time because of her accident. She was just a couple years old when it happened, but she either got hit by a car or kicked by a cow (or horse) but her jaw had been broken and had to be wired for a short time. The trauma to her head messed up her eyesight. She hasn’t been able to see much except shadows ever since. I guess I should have just put her down then… I couldn’t bear it then any more than I can now, but it has to be done. She’s not going to get better and I won’t watch her suffer.

She was the favorite of the litter when she was born. Her coloring was unique (I thought at the time but have seen many cats with that coloring since) and she was a sweetheart. She would catch mice and throw them around in the snow, which was a hilarious sight! She loved the snow. Even after her accident, she wanted to go outside, but she could only go out with supervision and sometimes she’d follow me on my walks. I remember one time, her momma brought her a mouse. I think momma knew there was something wrong with her.

A couple of years ago, we were able to build an enclosure for the cats. I call it the “catio.” The cats, including Smokie, can come and go as they please through the cat door. She loves that freedom. They all do. They spend more time out there than they do in the house. I love that they can go out and be safe.

Smokie will be missed, just as Fuzz and Korn are. I will be left with 4 kitties; Alice, Jack, Honey, & Kitty. Kitty is 12 this year and I hope she has at least 3 or 4 good years left. My heart needs time to heal. I will be taking a few days off from blogging, Facebooking, etc., to grieve. I hope to be back mid-week.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your support and understanding.

The Withdrawal, Oops.

I’ve had some sleep problems this past couple of months. It became evident to me just 2 days ago (because apparently, I’m a bit slow) that my sleeplessness was a result of medication withdrawal. I had been taking a medication for nerve pain twice a day and decided that I would go off of it because I really didn’t think it was helping much. I didn’t just stop cold turkey. I knew to reduce slowly. I Started taking it once a day instead of twice and did that for about 2 months. Had some restlessness at night. Had a bit of itchiness. It never occurred to me that it was the medication, or rather the lack of…

Then Tuesday night before bed, I was lazy and didn’t take one at all. I figured what the heck. It’s just one night and I want to stop taking it anyway.

That night I was awake all night. I itched all night long. I felt like I had bugs. I never fell asleep at all! I was up at 5am. At this point, I had been awake since Monday morning. I tried to take a nap. Nothing happened. I was tired and I needed to sleep but something was preventing me from sleeping.

Late Wednesday night, before bed, I remembered I hadn’t taken that medication Tuesday night. I looked up the symptoms of withdrawal. Bingo. Duh me.

Sleep disturbances and frantic itching. (Among other very serious symptoms, so I was lucky.)

I made sure to take the medication when I went to bed Wednesday night. I slept well, with no itching. I took it again in the morning. Back to twice a day now, and I think I’ll stay ON the medication because my pain level has improved a bit already. I guess it WAS helping after all.

Slept like a baby last night….without the bedwetting, of course!

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Sleep Eludes Me

5am. I’m up. I can’t say that I’ve awakened because I never went to sleep.

It’s bad enough I have chronic pain that keeps me from doing the things I have enjoyed all of my life. To grieve that loss is depressing but to now have restful slumber taken away is almost unbearable. My only solace is that I can take a 2 or 3-hour nap this afternoon.

It’s getting old. Night after night. I go to bed when I’m sleepy. Some nights I’m sleepy at midnight, some nights it doesn’t come until 1 or 2am. I STILL toss and turn (not really, mobility issues and all) until nearly 5am before I fall asleep. Not this morning. I was so sick and tired of lying there, not sleeping… I just threw the covers back and got out of bed.

I have tried over-the-counter sleep aids, teas specifically for sleep, breathing exercises and meditation, and multiple other little things to help me get my restful night. Nothing seems to freakin’ help. My body and mind alike need to rest!

My therapist says that during our lifetime, our sleep patterns change and perhaps we won’t always need 8 hours of sleep each night. I can accept that. I would be happy with just 5 hours of restful and restorative sleep, but to not have any sleep at all? It’s just nuts.

My days are long and boring the way it is since I can’t do the things I’d really like to do. I’m in pain and pain is exhausting! Sleep has always been my refuge. When asleep, I didn’t have to think about the pain. There was no depression. Sleep was an escape from the reality of my life.

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What do you do when you can’t sleep?