Posted in This & That

Dealing With Chronic Pain

Hello, Dear Bloggites.  Have you ever had or known a friend or family member who struggles with Chronic Pain?  Have you ever questioned if their pain is truly as severe as they claim it is?  I am going to let you know the answer to this question in this blog.

I live with chronic pain.  My pain was forced on me when a man decided to drive his company truck pulling a 20-foot trailer carrying an excavator on back high on Ecstasy back in 2005.  I was heading to work early on the morning of September 1st.  I only remember seeing the headlights heading toward me on a curve.  I did not think anything of that because it is not unusual for it to seem like a car is heading toward you on a curve in the dark.

Unfortunately, those headlights were heading toward me.  There were two other vehicles that were affected by this man.  The first one was a truck whose sides were damaged some.  The second was a young fireman in a truck who was decapitated when the driver of the truck over corrected his driving.  The last was me.

When the driver that was high on Ecstasy corrected his driving again, he peeled away the left side of my entire car.  The EMTs were expecting two fatalities from that accident, however, by the grace of God, I was alive and pinned in my car.  The accident caused me to get Compartment Syndrome in my left leg which caused pressure and bleeding to damage my nerves and muscles and prevent oxygen to circulate in my leg.

In order for the EMTs to relieve the pressure, they had to slice my leg open on each side to prevent me from losing my lower left leg.  I remember waking up in the ambulance pissed off because I was being strapped in and could not get up to go to work.  My next memory was three days later and three or four surgeries later.

I don’t remember most of the time in the hospital except the pain.  This pain made me want to rip my skin off my body just to get relief.  I had to stay severely drugged up just to be able to speak to anyone.  I had conversations with friends and family that I don’t even remember when they state we had long talks about certain subjects.

Can you believe the fear and confusion I lived with in the first year of my recovery and even now?  My doctors told me that I may never walk again because of the damage to my pelvic bone and lower spinal area.  I was in a wheelchair!  I could not understand that my life as I knew it was over.  I was the ultimate outdoor chick.  I rock climbed, dreamt of climbing K2 one day.  I hiked with my kids and friends.  I camped out with the Boy Scouts for many years with my kids and dog.  And now I was wheelchair bound, possibly for life!

On top of the damaged pelvic bone, the suffering of Compartment Syndrome that caused doctors to have to do a skin graft on my upper left leg to fully seal my lower left leg because they were unable to close the swollen damaged leg; my left Tibia and Fibula were broken.  The final issue was a shattered left hip.  I had to have a metal hip put in me to replace the shattered hip which has now caused me to have Osteoarthritis at 35 years of age.

Because of the wheelchair, my broken leg was never set properly and when I overcame the damaged pelvic bone and began to walk, my left leg was 3 inches shorter than my right leg.  I had to have another surgery to rebreak the left leg, cut off two sections of it, and have a titanium rod put inside my leg to match the length of my right leg.

I was one of the fortunate ones from that fateful day.  However, that accident has forever affected my life.   I live with chronic pain and although I was able to start walking again, I still suffer with pain in my pelvic bone, my leg, and my hip.  This chronic pain rules my life no matter how much I fight to regain the control.

I am unable to go to many activities with my friends or family because I am paralyzed with the pain throughout my body from the damage to my left leg and nerves.  My nerves will forever misfire throughout my body causing the inability to use my hands to do simple tasks and even walk or talk at times due to the pain.  My friends try to understand, so does my family, but I am sure many of them ask the same question you ask of your friend or family, “Are they really in pain or are they exaggerating it?”.

I promise you, if your family or friend says they are in pain, it is not fake.  No one wants to live with chronic pain, and no one wants to have their life out of control due to the pain.  Chronic pain sufferers cannot fully express the feelings of what they are experiencing to help anyone truly understand what they are going through.  That is the constant fight we suffer with chronic pain.  We cannot control it and we cannot fully express the feeling to help the people we know, and love, understand the suffering we have.

So next time you question the true feelings of pain your friend or family member is feeling, you need to first ask yourself if you are willing to accept and love them even if you cannot understand their suffering.  We will never be able to express the chronic pain in words for you to understand, but I hope those we love and who loves us, will accept it and still support the sufferer because that, in itself, is what gets us through the pain day by day.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in This & That

Mind Over Matter

As I sit here hanging with my GrandKiddo, I realize that these are the times that I most enjoy.  People get so busy doing things that they really do not allow time to just be in the moment.  I am guilty of this as well.  I prefer to be busy most of the day because if I am not doing something, I get very bored and sleepy.

Sleep is a rare thing for me.  I have been an insomniac for most of my life and I do good falling asleep and sleeping for an hour or two before waking throughout the night.  I have accepted that this is my life and as I get older and my body prefers getting up Uber Early every day now, sleep becomes more elusive.

Being bored will make me sleepy and depending on my pain level, I may fall asleep on occasion, but normally, I stay awake and think of what I can do to pass the time.  I have many videos and shows I like to watch and of course, there is always a book ready for me to read at the tip of my fingers that help pass the time.  But just hanging out with my GrandKiddo or GrandKiddos, or family, or friends, THOSE are the best things to alleviate the boredom and sleepiness.

I know I may be rambling and not really on topic of Mind Over Matter as this blog is titled, but it all ties in together.  I promise, Dear Bloggites. 🙂  We have all heard the phrase mind over matter.  The all-encompassing “If you don’t mind, it don’t matter” attitude that many take when they don’t really feel like getting into the nitty-gritty of life with other people.  This is their way of dismissing someone’s feelings while sounding supportive.

That statement is really not a nice statement.  It tells someone that if they can just accept what is happening to them without questioning it, then the feeling they are having is unnecessary and unimportant.  How sad is that?  When did it become okay to dismiss our feelings?  Now, I know what you are thinking, everyone has extreme feelings in this day and age, but really, it is just extreme because they have been conditioned to dismiss how they feel and so when their feelings get so overwhelming from being ignored, they explode.

I think I am going to go back to allowing myself to feel every moment and to appreciate what I am feeling.  When I appreciate what I feel, it helps me to become more appreciative of the world and people around me.  I said in my blog a couple of days ago or so that I was done trying to be who I used to be.  Embracing the emotions, I feel in the moment is a big step for me to let go of the past and the ME BEFORE.

No more hiding my emotions from others but also no more of the extreme blow ups of feelings.  Now, if you know me, you all know that I don’t show my emotions so you may be a bit confused by my statements here, but I do feel emotions, but I have also learned to hide them from others because I have to be the strong one.  The decision maker.

I will still be the strong one and the decision maker because that is truly how I am built, but the decision to not hide my emotions is really a decision for myself.  I will see my emotions now and not ignore them with the mind over matter facts.  I will allow myself to feel the nitty-gritty of the emotions washing over me and I will smile every time.

Because really, at the end of our lifetime, you should mind because it does matter. Smiling and embracing ourselves in a positive way is the best way to be true to yourself and feeling your emotions is the truest way you can ever be you.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in This & That

2020 Already?

January 14, 2019.  That was the date of my last blog post.  I blinked, and now I am at the dawning of 2020, January 1st to be exact.  Where did the year go?  What was I doing?  When did time get so fleeting?

When I woke up this morning (afternoon…don’t judge me), I woke up happy and in minimal pain.  That doesn’t happen often in my life now.  Since that fateful day on September 1, 2005, my life has never really been mine and I have just been on this downward spiral of pain, misery, self-destruction, and darkness.

No one tells you after something that drastically changes your ENTIRE LIFE and life views that you will never find the you that you used to be BEFORE!  I have tried for the past 15 years to find ME, the ME I was that everyone loves and misses, to no avail.  Nothing can bring ME back, I am finally accepting that, but I do wish my friends and family would accept it, too.

Don’t get me wrong, my friends and family love me, always have, but every once in a while I will hear the “you used to never be like that” comment and, although I know the people who say it don’t mean anything by it (or even think about what they are saying), that shit hurts me to my core!

I have tried to find ME, the me who I was BEFORE, but keep failing because that ME died in that fateful car accident right along with the poor fireman who lost his life.  My body lived, but the essence of ME died.  I still carry on.  I have tried to find ME for 15 years to no avail and I am now ready to accept I never will.  Life ripped me a new one that fateful day and I am done trying to go back.

This year is going to mark a rite of passage for me and my Bestest Friend the whole wide world, Tracy.  We are turning the big 5 0!  We are going to be HALF A CENTURY OLD!!!  Tracy, who has always called herself many years older than she actually was, is going to mark this day by doing something she always dreamed of doing: going on a cruise with her closest and dearest friends (BTW, I am one of them peoples…LOL).

Her decision, while money has always been a struggle, was something she committed to doing and by Jove, Tracy is going to see this decision come to fruition on the first week of February.  Her actual birthday is January 31st (give her a SHOUT OUT!!!), but the cruise she wants to go on is available a week later and she took it.  I am so PROUD of her for following her dream and desire until it happened (happens?)!  This realization of her following her dream has given me pause to really think about what my dream is for my life.

You know what, Dear Bloggites, when I thought about what my dream is for my life, I came up with nothing!  Nada!  Zip!  Zero and Zilch!  See, what dreams and goals I was striving for were destroyed just as my car and body were back in 2005.  Everything I was working toward for my life was killed.  EVERYTHING!

I am not trying to get your sympathy over this, I am just sharing with you my realization that since 2005, my life has been spiraling out of control.  I have been riding on that downward spiral that was filled with pain, adjustments, pain, disappointments, pain, loss, pain and on and on.  Nothing I did or tried to do has been able to stop the spiral; and worst even, I really did not know I was spiraling downward!  I had no clue-until now.

It has taken me 15 years to realize this but waking up this morning HAPPY and in MINIMAL PAIN suddenly brought that spiral to an abrupt stop and the silence and stillness was heard loud and clear.  I was happy, but I wept.  I wept into my pillow and onto my dog, Ragonk’s, back.  I snotted and snorted tears of happiness over the silence and stillness.  I am not pain free, but my GOD, today was the first day since September 1, 2005 that I felt HAPPY waking up and even better, ALMOST PAIN FREE!

 My life has been an unending blur for 15 years.  I am sure I will still have rare days like today, but I want everyone to know that I am no longer going to try to be the ME I used to be. *bow our heads in silence for the death of ME

I am broken.  I am damaged.  I am scarred.  But that is me now.  I will never been who I was, but you know what?  I think I am okay with who I am becoming now.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Choices

All of my life I have been faced with decision after decision and making choices one way or the other.  I am sure, Dear Bloggites, that you have all been in this situation, it is called LIFE.  Throughout my life, every active choice I made had a specific reaction to it.  As my boys were growing up (and now my GrandKiddos), I always said this phrase, “For every action you make, there is a reaction, be it good or bad.” to remind them that their choices in life affect many things and not just one thing they are deciding on.

I have made plenty of bad choices in my lifetime but not all the bad choices had bad outcomes.  Both my boys were from choices I made when I was younger, and I do not regret those decisions in the least bit.  My life has been so enriched by my sons and will continue to be enriched for as long as I live.  I thank God every day for my boys and how well they turned out in spite of who raised them (me).

I have also made plenty of good choices in my lifetime and I continue to reap the benefits from those daily.  One of the greatest choices I made in my lifetime was to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior.  He has always seen me through, even when I had not accepted Him, and He continues to see me through daily.  Now, I still struggle with my timing verses His timing, but in the end, what is meant to happen, happens according to His plan for my life.

I am faced with some choices right now.  I do not know the current outcome because I have not made any decisions, but knowing the result of some of the decisions, I have put contingency plans into place.  That is something I recommend everyone doing, always have a contingency plan.  While one of my favorite phrases is the “For every action there is a reaction, be it good or bad” my ultimate phrase that I say and do is, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

choicesHoping for the best is a no brainer, everyone has hope the best, ultimate outcome will happen, unfortunately, the ‘best’ outcome is usually some form of happy ending in their life, but that is not always the case.  Sometimes the ‘best’ outcome is having to say good-bye to someone or something you love because you know it is for the best.  The best-case scenario I had to face was when my Dad was dying of Cancer.  I did not want to see him pass away, but I KNEW he would be better off if he did die.  This may sound heartless to some of you, but he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and I knew if my Dad died here on Earth, he would be in heaven celebrating a new body that will never give out on him.

Preparing for the worst is the hard part on my ultimate phrase of “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” because no one wants to face or deal with the worst-case scenario.  The death of a loved one, to many, is the worst-case scenario.  But preparing for the worst-case scenario forces you to think of all the possible outcomes of a situation and decide on which choice would be best to take if faced with the worst-case situation.  I am at that point right now.

I have many choices to make in the next couple of months.  These choices have good and bad outcomes, but I still have to make them.  In order for me to move forward in life for myself, my Autistic son, and my dog, I have to decide which choice to do so when and if I am faced with the worst case scenario, I will have my contingency plan in place and make that decision when the time comes.

I challenge you, Dear Bloggites, think about the choices you have made in your past and all the different possible outcomes that could have happened if the current one you are in did not take place.  Then, think about your life and what you want in the future.  Make some choices and plan the contingency plans to follow and then run with the results.  You only have one life to live, make it the best life you deserve and want!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Back Into The Swing Of Things

This year has started off at a run.  After being sick and suffering from anxiety and chronic pain, I am finally finding my way again, Dear Bloggites.  I still have many, many things to start doing again, but today, I was able to check off one of those items I have missed – Writers Anonymous Monthly Meetings.

Today was our first one for the year and, having the days changed to the second week like it used to be, we had a good size group show up today.  It could be the new year, resolutions and all that, but I hope it is because people are realizing their worth and that the story they have inside them needs to get out and they need to share it with the world.

pencil with ideasI am still struggling with the daily writing thing (obviously), but I am still writing on a more consistent basis than I did last year.  And that is something!  I have not started back on my novel that I have shelved for a couple of years.  I started it the year my Dad died, and I am still working through the psychological issues of remembering his struggle at the end each time I sit to write this novel.

I will get through it.  I feel the spark that has been missing when I think of writing.  I feel the tingling in my mind that is my story getting my attention and I feel the joy of watching the words appear on the blank page in front of me.  This is a good feeling and I am going to hang on to it because like the visitors to the meeting tonight, I too have a story that is inside and needs to be shared with the world. 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

What is the Meaning of Life?

We all ask this question at some point in life.  Even the ones who seem to have it all together have asked the question of “What is the meaning of life?”.  We, as people, desire to know what our purpose is in this journey we are on.  We work and work and ask and ask but most of us tend to find silence on the other end when it comes to this question.

How about I rephrase god's creations are perfectthe question: “What is the meaning you hope for out of life?”

Think about that one.  What do you hope for on a daily basis?  Acceptance, compassion, love, understanding?  Everyone works for something on a daily basis, even if that something is just embracing the fact that they woke up to another day.  I rarely ask myself the “meaning of life” question but I do find myself asking what I hope for out of the one life I am given.

I consider myself a renaissance woman. I am always learning new things and finding a revival or rebirth of other things I have previously done and loved doing.  Many would call this a life-long learner, and I like that, too.  In my life, I strive to always be a little better than I was the day before.  No matter how small or simple the action, I want to ensure it builds me as a person.

Finding the ‘Meaning of Life’ is a big search for a single person, however, finding the meaning you HOPE for out of life is easily worked towards on a daily basis by a single person.  We all have a purpose in life, God doesn’t make mistakes when He creates people.  Our fallen nature botches up His creation, but no matter how botched we may be, we still serve a purpose.  I know not everyone believes in God, but even those who do not believe, do believe their life serves a purpose.

One of the blogs I follow is Regie’s Blog and he posted a blog yesterday called REBIRTH… and he does a wonderful job breaking down why we embrace special days or special things like holidays and childbirth because we are always looking for a new “rebirth” or revival (my term) of our life.  If you want a great blog to follow, check out Regie’s Blog, he does a great job of voicing thoughts that most think.

Back to the Meaning of Life question.  I challenge you today to reword that question each time it pops into your head and instead of thinking, “What is the meaning of life?” think “What is the meaning I hope for out of life?”  I think when you change up the way the question is worded, you will be able to refocus your actions and intents on achieving what you feel should be or what you want your life to be in easier doses on a daily basis.

You just might finally be able to answer that question once you find what YOU want YOUR Meaning of Life to be, Dear Bloggites! 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

365 Opportunities

A few days ago, I noticed a comic posting on my Aunt’s Facebook page.  It made me pause and think.  I have started my blog posts each year with words or plans on how I want my year to be.  Each year, I have met some goals but also have failed in many others.  Especially in my writing life.

When I saw this post, it spoke to me on a very deep level.  I know, Dear Bloggites, you are thinking “comics affecting you on a deep level…uh huh…” but that is what it did!  This simple two frame comic gave me my word and my focus and my hope!

365 Opportunities
Be Happy Facebook Page-Creator Unknown

I am all about building others up and viewing life, no, not life, viewing A DAY as an opportunity to build someone up, no matter how small; I realized I would not only enrich my life but the life of others around me, even for just a moment when helping others build their life up.  But having that positive outlook for others when it comes to encouragement of actions in life, I realize I do not share that mindset for myself in my writing life.

No matter what I do, I seem to allow my writing goals fall to the wayside.  I hear people say all the time that if you really want something, it will be important, and you will make a point to get/do it as much as you can.  I agree with this, but I also disagree with this statement.  I love to write and can fall into the world I am creating and exist there for many hours when I am writing, but I realize that it is the sitting down and starting that is holding me back.

I freeze up just at the thought of writing something.  All the negative mental talk starts screaming in my head and it screams so loud that it drowns out the thought of writing and forces me to do something else.  I hate this!  I have self-love with my abilities and actions, but when it comes to writing, that self-love is so stifled that I question why I even bother to try to write anything.

That is the crux of writing for me.  I KNOW no one has my voice on subjects and I KNOW that whatever I write is mine and mine alone to share with the world as I see fit; however, the KNOWING is not enough to combat the negativity of “Who do YOU think you are to even believe YOU have anything to say to ANYONE that will IMPACT their life.  GET OVER YOURSELF!”

This negative self-talk is what creates the freeze factor for me at the thought of writing anything.  I am working on this and the comic strip above is going to be my help.  I am going to take it one day at a time and just make sure I write something even for just five minutes and then at the end of 2019, I can honestly say, “I DO have something to say to ANYONE willing to listen and I KNOW it will IMPACT their life, if only for the simple fact that it is something a person can relate to within their life when reading my words.

My word for this year is Opportunity.  I am going to take the 365 Opportunities to enrich as many people as I can, one day at a time AND enrich myself as much as I can with my words being penned to paper.  Happy New Year! Smooches!

~4-Ever, P