The Things I Miss The Most…

If you’ve been following my blog for much time, you’ll know that I suffer from chronic pain and mobility issues. I’m in pain 24/7 and if it wasn’t for my pain meds I’d be climbing the walls for certain. Without pain medication to “take the edge off” I wouldn’t be able to function at all. I’m thankful that I can still do a little, even though it’s not a lot.

I was thinking last night about all of the things I used to do and how much I miss doing them. It’s terribly depressing. I can’t believe I’m in this predicament at only 56 years old. I am thankful for what I have and what I can still do, but I do miss all the fun things I used to do just 15 short years ago.

Most people take things for granted, as I did. I never thought I’d be in this shape. I never had to think about what I couldn’t do because I could do anything I wanted to do, if I chose to do so.

These are some of the things I miss the most:

  1. Walking & Hiking – I used to be a cross-country backpacker and had put that on the back burner while I raised my children. I still took walks and when we moved here to SW Missouri, we established some trails and I started walking them every day. NowI’m lucky to walk to the bathroom. I have to think about every step and every movement because if I step wrong I could fall. If I fall, I could suffer an injury that would reduce my mobility even more.
  2. Cooking – I used to love cooking. I was damn good at it, too. I have many cookbooks and I always enjoyed trying new recipes and switching them up a bit to accommodate my family. I’m barely able to throw a frozen dinner in the microwave these days. I know that’s a simple task, but there’s still the movement around the kitchen collecting silverware, napkins, plates, etc., and pulling the fixings out of the refrigerator for salad or some other side dish.
  3. Cleaning & Organizing – Yes, I said cleaning. You don’t know how much you miss such a mundane chore until you can’t do it anymore. My house was never immaculate. I had kids and pets. Shit gets dirty. I didn’t stress over it but I cleaned the house once a week. My house used to be organized. Everything had its place. I even packed away the kids’ summer clothes in the winter and winter clothes in the summer. These days, I can’t clean weekly. What most people do each week is what I do once a month. I do a little each day. That’s all I can do. My house is horribly unorganized these days. I have boxes shoved in closets and I don’t even know what’s in them! I’ve started going through things but that’s going to take me the rest of the year to get done! If I’m lucky!
  4. Going to the Movies – Oh, how I love seeing a movie on the big screen! I used to take the kids to the movies a couple times a month. I’d grab my “movie” purse, which is huge, and I’d smuggle in candy so all we had to pay for was popcorn and drinks. Those were the good ol’ days! Now, going to the movies is painful and awkward. I walk very slow and I feel like I’m going to get trampled. I only have one hand available because I have a cane in my right hand. Someone always has to carry my drink or popcorn. I try to grab seats where other people aren’t going to walk over me to get to other seats. The last time I went to see a movie, people were walking over me and kicking my feet in the process, which causes excruciating pain up and down my legs. I was in tears. We were in the very back row of the theater, too!
  5. Shopping – Yes, even grocery shopping! It’s exhausting, even in a scooter, trying to maneuver around idiots who have to have a stinkin’ family reunion in the middle of the aisle. It’s hard to reach things, even things that aren’t really that high. It’s hard to reach down and get something that might be back a little too far on the bottom shelf. Last Fall, I had the bright idea of going to the Mall and I thought I was going to die. I had my rollator with me so I could walk a little and then sit and rest a little. It was still too much. Any shopping is something I have to work up the courage to do. You just don’t understand unless you’ve experienced chronic pain.
  6. My Home Business – I made my own bath & body products; soaps, bath salts, lotions, body sprays, etc. I loved it! I started with tried and true recipes and then through research and trial and error, came up with my own recipes. I had managed to create a base of repeat customers and was hopeful about the future of my business. I had to close in 2010 because like cooking, it’s a lot of movement in the kitchen that I just can’t do anymore.
  7. Restorative Sleep – I used to sleep good and hard every single night. These days, I’m lucky to get 5 hours of sleep. Not restorative, restful sleep either. It takes me a long time to fall asleep because I can’t find a position that’s comfortable. Between the pain and not being able to relax, it takes me sometimes 2 hours to fall asleep. Then, I’ll sleep for 45 minutes to an hour or so and wake up again. I do this all night long.
  8. Exercise – I always hated exercise when I was younger, aside from walking. Now I wish I could do any exercise without excruciating pain! I bought a recumbent bike a few years ago thinking I might be able to do it but that was a big fat NOPE. I have a glider that I do on occasion and the only reason I can do it at all is that you don’t have to bend your knees to do it! It’s still painful and I push through, but sure wish I could do it more and without pain.
  9. Playing on the Floor with The Littles – The fun of having grandkids is being able to play with them. I used to get down on the floor and play Legos with my son. My daughter and I used to sit on the floor and do puzzles on the coffee table. Nowadays, if I get down on the floor it’s because I’ve fallen and I won’t be able to get up.
  10. Taking The Littles to the Park or Zoo – The last time I went to the zoo was when I was in charge of my grand daughter’s preschooling. Boy, we had a grand time! She learned a lot that day about animals and their habitats. My legs had just started bothering me so I had a little trouble but not like today. If I tried today, I would have to have a scooter or be pushed in a wheelchair.
  11. Hanging Photos – I used to switch up photos of my kids, nieces, and nephews all the time. I just don’t have it in me anymore to hang new ones, and now I have grandkids and tons more photos!!
  12. Gardening and Yard Work – Our yard used to be the nicest one for miles. Total strangers would stop to tell us how nice our yard looked! I loved working in the yard and in the garden. I even helped Dad with the mowing. It was peaceful on that riding mower. Therapeutic in a way. I can’t mow these days because the vibration reverberates through my body and THAT is painful as hell. We always had a nice garden with all kinds of vegetables, from Anaheim Peppers to Zucchini. I had tulips, irises, roses, and lilacs in flower beds around the house. Now, I can’t do the work. I miss the veggies and I miss the flowers. My lilac bush is still alive and the irises are growing wild…but so are the weeds. I hate it.

There are so many things I miss from my “old life” but I try to be thankful for what I can do now. It’s hard to stay focused on the good when there’s so much negativity all the time. It does cause some depression but, like I said, I am thankful for the things I can still do.

Oh No! I’m Stuck!

Oh no! There I was. Stuck in the tub. I wondered, how the hell am I going to get out of here?

Let me explain.

A few weeks ago, I was in my therapist’s office. We were talking about how nice soaking in the tub would be…if only I could get in the tub. She told me that she receives donations from people who go to estate sales and she was given a bath chair lift. It sits in your tub and you use a remote to lower yourself into the water and then back up again when done.  She said it needed to be cleaned up but if I waited a few minutes she would run home and get it. I wasn’t even sure if it would fit in my car at that point. I waited and she went home and brought it back. It did fit in my car so I took it home and cleaned it up.

71r6kyB5+uL._SY355_

Photo from Amazon

It needed a charger, so I did my research and bought a charger. OMG, It was awesome to actually be able to take a bath again! (When you have really bad knees and mobility issues, it tends to be difficult getting up and down….and in my case, impossible.) I took several long soaks in the tub and was so very thankful… My therapist went above and beyond to help me and I could never express how grateful I truly am.

Anyway, a few nights ago I decided on a nice long soak with peppermint oil and Epsom salts. I lowered myself down into the nice hot water. I was relaxing quite nicely. The hot water, essential oil and salts were helping my pain level go down a bit. When I was ready to get out, I pushed the button to raise the chair….and nothing happened! OMG!! I pushed the button again! Nothing. I had just recharged the battery the night before so I knew it had a full charge! When I researched the lift, I read that if the chair doesn’t have enough power to lift you up then it won’t lower you down in the first place. What the heck was going on with this thing? I almost panicked. I sat there for a minute, trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get out of the damn tub! I didn’t want Dad to have to come help me — good grief. How strange would that be? I don’t think he would have been able to help me anyway. I didn’t want to have to call 911 because how embarrassing would that be? Especially since I know some of the EMT’s. So, I tried the button again.

Thankfully, the chair started moving upward, as it was supposed to. Boy, was I relieved!

Now I need to have a plan in place, just in case I ever do get stuck in the tub!

15 Things About Me You May or May Not Know…. Do You Really Want To Know??

I am reluctant to write this post for fear off coming off as arrogant. It just feels odd to write a personal “about me” post. But, my therapist has told me time and time again to step out of my comfort zone! So here I am and here’s my list of 15 things you may or may not know about me.

  1. I despise people who claim to be Christian but are actually very hypocritical and self-righteous. They present themselves as good and honest but yet they say and do exactly the opposite of what Jesus would do. If you’re going to “talk the talk” then you’d better “walk the walk” is what I say, and very few actually practice what they preach.
  2. I am opinionated, but if I research something or someone helps me to see something I hadn’t seen before, I can and do sometimes change my mind. I tend to form opinions using common sense and logic, rather than political party, religious affiliation or anything else.
  3. I try to be honest and treat people with kindness even when they may not deserve it. I was raised to be respectful of other people, but sometimes when I’m disrespected I let ’em have it!
  4. I swear like a sailor. It relieves frustration. I do have class, though. I don’t just go around blurting out my favorite “F” word in public, on the internet, or if I have guests, although I have slipped a time or two especially when provoked.
  5. I have chronic pain and mobility issues. Many people don’t understand what people with chronic illnesses go through on a daily basis. Everything is a struggle; everything is exhausting. Research “The Spoon Theory” and you will find a very understandable explanation of what it’s like to live with chronic pain.
  6. I have two grown children, male and female, ages 27 and 30 respectively. I have 3 grandchildren, two boys, and one girl.
  7. I use to love to cook and I still would if it weren’t for my pain and mobility issues. I love Mexican food, Italian food and pretty much anything that is spicy!
  8. I live in the Bible Belt of SW Missouri and I don’t fit in. I have more Pagan views than anything else. Most people here are Christians.
  9. I try not to judge people. Everyone has a different journey; everyone has to make different choices in their lives. While I try really hard to NOT be judgmental, I can be at times and not over the things you might think. I don’t care about sexual orientation, religion, or color of skin. (A person’s character is more important to me.) What I will judge someone on is, if they leave a small child in a car (hot or otherwise) for 2 hours. Things like that tell me that a person is a worthless POS and doesn’t deserve children. HOW on EARTH can anyone forget their child is in the car?? I will damn right judge you if you don’t put your children first, all the time!
  10. I listen to hard rock, metal, classic rock, and Celtic music. I almost always have music playing. Music can change my mood from shitty to happy in an instant. Music brings back many memories; some memories I’d like to forget, but past experiences (good and bad) make me who I am. I may not like ME sometimes, but what else can I do but carry on?
  11. My favorite sounds in the world are babies (or small children) laughing, and cats purring!
  12. I am contemplating writing a cookbook, but I have so many recipes it’s rather overwhelming!
  13. I love Medieval History and castles, especially the castles of Scotland!
  14. I love to write although I don’t think I’m particularly good at it.
  15. I have 6 cats and would have more if it weren’t for my disability. It’s difficult the way it is taking care of the 6 I have.

So, I don’t know how any of this sounds to an outsider. I may sound like a complete a**hole. I don’t know. If you want to know more about me, then feel free to ask in the comments and I will do my best to answer!

10 Things On My Mind Today, Sunday

Just a few things on my mind tonight. It’s been a rough week.

1. My state of mind. I hope this improves over the next week because I can’t stand it when I’m depressed and feeling sorry for myself. I have felt so damn alone this past week. It really bites when you have chronic pain and mobility issues and you feel like a burden to everyone. I don’t like asking for help but sometimes when I do, I feel like I have just demanded someone’s first born child or stolen their soul for all of eternity.

2. My dad’s leg. He has cellulitis. I had been after him for weeks, if not months, to go to the doctor and have the rash on his leg looked at. His reply? “I have a doctor’s appointment in December!” When I took him to his Lifeline screening on Thursday, he was informed that the skin on his leg felt hot to the touch and that he should go to the doctor because it could be infected. Then, and ONLY then, did he allow me to take him to urgent care and have it checked out. Good grief. Stubborn man.

3. Hurricane Harvey. Oh, the damage you have done. Thanks to all of the rescue workers, paid and volunteer, who have helped save so many lives. Praying for Texas tonight.

4. My neighbor. She has spent the last couple of years caring for her mother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. She lost her mom this week. She was a nice lady and had an awesome sense of humor. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. It rips families into pieces…their hearts, that is. Prayers to the family.

5. The stray cat that I have been caring for, for the last month and a half. She needs much more care than I can give her due to my pain and mobility issues. She is long haired and I am still fighting the matted fur she arrived with. I am trying to find her a good loving home. She’s sweet, well-mannered, and has been spayed and received distemper shot. I hope I can find someone who will love her with their whole heart.

6. Still working on my weight loss but it’s not easy trying to get back on track. I’ll never get my knee surgery if I don’t snap out of this slump!

7. Chocolate. Always craving chocolate. Gimme some.

8. I hope I get some sleep tonight. Sick and tired of tossing and turning….if you can call it that. I can barely move; repositioning is terribly painful.

9. What’s for lunch tomorrow? Dinner? Planning my meals for the week. Ugh.

10. What can I watch on Netflix? Need stuff to watch because I can’t go to bed early…because I can’t sleep. Ugh.