So, What’s Next?

I am so sick of hearing people say, “Stay positive,” or “Have you tried x, y, or z?” No one understands the limitations of chronic pain unless they actually live it themselves. They think they’re being helpful with the positive outlook remarks and suggestions to cure my ailment. I know they mean well but they don’t understand. Those with chronic pain don’t want to be depressed. They don’t want to be sad. They don’t like staying home. When you’ve been trying to get help for over 10 years, you kind of lose hope and you lose yourself along the way too.

I’m nothing like the person I once was! I was a cross-country backpacker, worked with special ed kids, cleaned houses and started my own home Day Care for kids. I did volunteer work, worked as a Med Tech, started my own home business…and now I can’t do any of those things. I was a very independent young woman, with a great sense of humor. I was bubbly and always saw the humor in things. A great example is the time a co-worker and I were helping an elderly lady to the bathroom at the nursing home where we worked. We didn’t get her there in time and I ended up with “splatters of a yucky nature” all over my shoes. All I could do was laugh – not at the elderly lady – but at the situation. What else could I do? That’s just how I was. I had co-workers tell me they loved working with me because the day was enjoyable and went by faster. Don’t get me wrong; I still laugh a lot! I still try to find humor in my life daily, but that doesn’t mean I’m ok with being ‘stuck’ in this rut….and STUCK I am!

This chapter of my life is a most difficult one. I try to stay positive and focus on the things that I can do instead of the things that I can’t but do you know how difficult that really is? There is so much I can’t do! 

So, how do I create Deb 2.0? How can I reinvent myself when there’s so much I can’t do? My physical abilities limit the things I can do to actually change my life, myself. My bestie says that reinventing myself implies there’s something wrong with me in the first place. She’s right. There IS something wrong with me. I’m disabled. How does a disabled person change his/her life?

I would love to change my physical health but alas, that won’t happen until doctors decide they will help. I like who I am otherwise. I like my personality. I like my sense of humor. I am a strong, intelligent, creative, and compassionate person. So, how do I change this chapter of my life into something that I can be happy with?

 

Old Before My Time

I’ve not been writing much lately. Seems there’s always something that causes me problems of some sort. I’ve been thinking in particular about my appointment with the eye doctor a couple of weeks ago. My entire body seems to be falling apart! My eyes are just the latest body part to decide to give me something else to worry about. I had noticed a change in my eyesight for the last few months. My eye doc confirmed that it was not my imagination. It appears that I have a cataract forming in my right eye. Yippee….and if that’s not enough he noticed also that I may have the early signs of macular degeneration. Isn’t that peachy.

So, I was wondering….considering all of the problems I have with my legs, knees, hips, back, hands…and now my eyes….is it possible that I have worn out my body parts from all of the activity in my life? I mean, I’ve never been much of an athlete but I was always very active.

Was it the endless hours on my roller skates when I was a kid? Was it the miles upon miles I put on my bicycle or my countless falls? Was it the hours I spent in the pool in the summer? Did those things put too much wear and tear on my body?

What about as I got older…. Did I do too much hiking and backpacking? Did I carry too much weight in my backpack? Did I watch too many sunsets or sunrises? Did I spend too much time on nature walks? Did I stare too long at the waves on lakes as I diligently watched my fishing line, waiting for a trout to bite? Was the bird watching with binoculars too much for my eyes?

As a young adult, did I spend too much time with children; playing games and entertaining them? Did I put too much energy into my home Day Care? Did my children keep me too active? Did I try too hard to teach my kids (and my Day Care kids) too much in one day, as if there wasn’t enough time to do it all? Did I take them to too many parks, museums, and fairs?

Did I utilize the ladies’ gym with too much zeal? Did I walk to work too many times? Did I read too many novels over the years? Did I crochet too many afghans? Did I use too much black yarn? (That shit is hard to see!)

When I worked as a Med Tech and CNA, did I lift too many patients? Did I put too much strain on my back and legs being on my feet all day long? When I had my own home business, did I spend too many hours on the computer, teaching myself code and building my own business website? Did I stand too long in the kitchen, creating my own bath & body products? What about the countless hours since the age of 20 that I spent cooking every meal from scratch so my family didn’t have to eat processed crap?

What about the hours and hours I spent with my kids on after-school activities? There was boy scouts, girl scouts, t-ball, baseball, soccer, football, ceramics class, guitar lessons, and surely there was more….

Have I done too much? Is this what has caused my body to wear out too soon? It’s not like I have climbed Mount Everest or scaled the Grand Canyon. I’ve never participated in races of any kind, never played professional sports, or been a gymnast. Surely I’ve not put my body through any more than anyone else.

Whatever the reason, I am old before my time. I must persevere, endure, and maintain as much mobility and independence as I possibly can.

Stupid body….

EDIT: Just so y’all know, this post was not completely serious. Yes, I have many physical problems but this was written with sarcasm intended. I know I didn’t wear my body out with activity!! 

 

 

 

The Ex-Files – Installment #4

I was 8 months pregnant with my son. I was running a Day Care in our home to make money to keep food on the table and the electricity on. Oh and then there was the rent. We were always behind but I had to do what I could to keep the landlord from evicting us. He was very understanding, more than he should have been.

CP was in one of his ruts where he was laid off from a job and not getting off his ass to find another. He seemed to think the food was going to magically appear and that the electricity fairies were going to keep the power on. He always said something stupid like, “We don’t need electricity.” WHAT?! Seriously, you may be wondering? Yes. I’m serious. What did he think was keeping his damn beer cold and making his coffee every day? What did he think I was going to do with the 7 kids I had in my house every day with no power? That meant no Sesame Street, no cooking meals, no lights, no freezer and refrigerator to keep our food, no cold milk for cereal, and many other things. I wish I knew what the hell was wrong with him!

So, anyway… I was busy with kids all day long and he was sitting around in my way. I was preparing meals for my Day Care kids, doing laundry, cleaning up messes, and doing activities with the kids. We had outside playtime, preschool activities, and I also had a few learning centers set up. I was busy so when the dryer buzzer went off this particular day, I ran to the dryer, threw the clothes in a basket and took the basket to my bedroom. I was thinking I’d get to it asap and just tossed the basket on my bed. It just happened to be on CP’s side of the bed. Big mistake.

He came home after a few hours of “shootin’ the shit” as he called it, with his cousins. I guess it was around 7:30 pm. He was tired and as per the norm, he went to bed with no dinner. Even though I cooked, from scratch, because anything less than that would have pissed him off. But I digress. He went to bed before 8:00 pm.

He never thought about ME. I still had our daughter to bathe and get to bed, bedtime stories to read, a kitchen to clean up, toys to put away….and my own shower and relaxation – HA. He was in bed because HE was tired, from NOT working, but from visiting with family. By 11:00 pm I was finally finished with MY chores, exhausted and went to bed.

Let’s not forget the very first line of this post. Go back and look. I’ll wait.

I got ready for bed and quietly entered my bedroom. I couldn’t turn on the light because CP was sleeping so when I got to my side of the bed I tripped. What did I trip over? The fucking laundry basket I sat on the bed earlier in the day. I nearly fell on my stomach (all 8 months of my son there) but thankfully I was able to catch my fall on the nightstand with my right arm, spraining my wrist in the process. I was so pissed off when I found out what it was I tripped over, I went to the living room with my pillow and slept on the couch.

In the morning I said angrily to CP, “Thanks for putting the laundry basket on the floor in the dark of the bedroom for me to trip over last night. I almost landed on my belly.” He replied, “Sorry, but you put the laundry basket on my side of the bed so I thought you did it for spite.” So apparently, since he thought I did it out of spite then it was ok for him to almost cause me and our unborn child serious injury???

I think that’s when I really started to hate him.

cc9d20fdd45e4ee26afefc881ade0130--relationship-mistake-quotes-decision-making-quotes

 

Roomis Igloomis

Remember that episode of Gilligan’s Island where Mary Ann thought she ate a poisonous mushroom? In her dream, the Professor was her doctor and he told her she had a severe case of Roomis Igloomis.

That’s what I had today. Roomis Igloomis. No, I didn’t eat any poisonous mushrooms or any mushrooms at all. I just felt yucky all day long. My stomach was rumbling and squeaking. Well, you don’t want to hear the details. Trust me, I had Roomis Igloomis. At least, that’s what I’m calling it.

 

Confusion

Last night I went to bed barely able to walk. I was in severe pain from the cleaning I did that day. I just bite off more than I can chew, every stinkin’ time. Anyway, I went to bed and fell asleep quickly.

This morning, Dad poked his head into my room and says “Hey it’s after 9:00.”

I rolled my head towards the door. I said, ” Oh shit,” and rubbed my eyes a little and asked him, “What time is my appointment?”

“It’s Saturday,” he responded after a brief pause. I’m pretty sure he was trying to decide if I was serious or just screwing with him.

“SHIT! I’m so confused!” I said, clearing my throat. This type of confusion usually only happens when I take a nap and have slept pretty hard. This is the first time it’s happened from a good night’s sleep – and I must have slept really hard!

Dad chuckled and went on to clatter the dishes in the kitchen as if to make sure I didn’t fall back asleep. It took me awhile to get my brain and my body acclimated. I wish I didn’t hurt so damn bad in the mornings! I was up and ready for our weekly outing to have lunch. Today, we were planning to have Italian food.

Later, I recalled another odd time that I had been severely confused but it was back in my 20’s. It was the middle of the night; 2:00 am actually. I was sound asleep, my now-ex next to me snoring his damn fool head off. The phone rang. It was on my side of the bed, so I answered it.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Debbie! How are you? Are you ready for this weekend?”

“Uhm. Yeah? Who is this?”

“Oh Debbie, wake up! It’s me, Phyllis.”

At this point, I was seriously trying to ‘wake up’ because I couldn’t remember who Phyliss was! I asked the caller, “Phyllis who?”

“Phyllis. Your hairdresser! Wake up, Debbie!!”

By now, I thought I had a prank caller on the line. I said in my snarkiest voice, “I think you have the wrong number, Phyllis, the hairdresser.” 

She replied back with my phone number and my full name…. I confirmed that WAS my number….AND my name…..

“I think you must have the wrong Debbie [last name] because I don’t know anyone named Phyllis and I don’t have a hairdresser! I cut my own hair!”

She was perturbed with me; I could hear the aggravation in her voice as she said, “Well, I’ll call you back tomorrow, Debbie….. after you’ve had a chance to wake up.”

I managed a quiet, “Whatever,” before hanging up and I rolled over and went back to sleep.

It was quite puzzling until the next day at work. I was congratulated several times by coworkers on my ‘pending nuptials’ which left me scratching my head. I just thanked them and went on with my day each time.

When I returned home, I grabbed the day’s newspaper and confirmed that I was to be married to a man named Dennis, whom I had never met. There were no photos, so that explained why everyone thought it was me. But Phyllis…..she must have opened the phone book and just assumed I was the one. She probably realized she had the wrong Debbie soon enough because she never called me back!