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 This & That

Did You Miss Me?

May 9, 2018.  That was the last time I posted here Dear Bloggites.  Seven long months of silence.  I am sorry for that.  I was dealing with stuff and things called Life and Life Choices.  It sounds better “stuff and things” because “life and life choices” sounds so beat down and serious!

Let me give you a rundown of what my seven months looked like in a quick eggshell – staring off into the distance 

June 2018 – Business was struggling and I had to make a choice to find a job working for “The Man” again.  Let me tell you it was a rough decision to make because I have had my own business since 2012 and basically did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and had to answer to no one.

July 2018 – “The Man” found me and offered me a job working from home (good), decent pay (also good), and mega bonuses (great!).  I was basically doing the same stuff I did when I worked at Mid-Ohio Field Services as a Reginal Manage but in this job I was just an Account Manager and worked the new client for Radius Property Services.  This client was growing like weeds and the company found a need for someone to just manage that account, enter Peggy (Me).

August 2018 – Still worked for “The Man” but I found myself very miserable.  I loved the work, the contractors, and the client, but the people I answered to for my job were in a tug of war over handling me.  The one boss/owner who hired me loved me to death and I could do no wrong.  This was great except his brought-on partner felt threatened.  So anytime she heard praise from him about me, she went out of her way to try and make me look bad, thus causing him to question my ability to do the job.

September 2018 – Still the pawn in the sick tug of war between owners.  I was able to add my sister, 4 of 7 (need clarity on this name read A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Twist), as a part-time processor because we were so busy with the client I managed.  The micro-managing started with the owners and the work I was doing.  Yeah, if you know me, I do not do micro-managing – I don’t do it and I don’t tolerate it being done to me.

October 2018 – The fast-growing company I managed announced that they were closing their doors.  Not uncommon in the industry of Property Preservation (which is why I hate the industry), so this left my boss at a quandary.  You know how I was able to hire 4 of 7? Yeah, had to let her go and I told her that unless the company I worked for was picked up as a contractor by the new company that bought out my current account, my time was limited as well.

November 2018 – My statement to 4 of 7 came true and I was laid off in the middle of October by “The Man”.  There was not enough work within the company to blend me in plus they were paying a good chunk of money for me AND the threatened boss took the opportunity to get rid of me.  It was all for the good, I was miserable and hated the job.  While I needed to go look for another job, I had money squirreled away to give me a cushion and take my time to find a job.  This decision to take it easy was apparently my body’s queue to make me sick – ALL MONTH LONG!

December 2018 – Hidey-Ho, we are now back to the future – returning from staring off into the distance – I am no longer sick, Thank GOD!  I started a new part-time job yesterday, December 13, 2018.  I will be working as a caregiver for home bound clients trying to stay in their homes during their twilight years.

As many of you know, there are three things near and dear to my heart: the homeless, the elderly, and the ability to build up others on a daily basis.  So, this job will allow me to care for the elderly while still having time to work on my writing, blogging (EGADS – I SAID IT! or wrote it…) and building out my YouTube Channel into something that will allow me to work on the other two things: the homeless and building up others on a daily basis.

Well, that is it for now.  I have another blog post coming out about one of my favorite group of Monkeys in my Tribal Circus right after this one.  Hope you are ready to hear from me more regularly, heck, I hope I am finally ready to communicate more regularly. 🙂 Smooches!!!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in This & That

Reading + Writing Vortex = My Addiction

Hello, Dear Bloggites!  How many of you ever find yourself so immersed in an activity that you are ‘sucked into’ the vortex?  Hands? Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Oh, HEY!  There is one…oh, wait, that’s mine…

Ever since I was a kid, I have had this ability to tone everything around me out and become one with an activity.  This is a very strong super power of mine when it comes to reading or writing.

I will pick up a book with the intent of reading just one chapter and then hours later shake the imagination monkeys from my brain and return back to the real world to find the one chapter turned into ten or twenty or an entire novel! 😀

Yep, it is a wonderful super power, indeed.

The reason behind my reading vortex is simply the enjoyment of finding a new world to bring into my life.  Whether it is a scary story, funny story, romance, or biography, I love meeting new and interesting characters and learning about their lives and the world they live in.  I walk away from a story with new friends and a satisfaction so grand that I cannot wait for the next great adventure!

Queue in my other addiction of choice: writing.  I am working on my first novel and have written many poems and short stories in my life but the writing vortex I fall into willingly while writing my novel…man, no words can describe it!  I usually start off with a refresher of where I left off last and as soon as I start reading, my vortex engine begins to rev and then it is off I go!

When I write, the characters and their story drive my fingers and words.  I may start out with a concept or intent for a story line but as the characters are developed their life takes over and they become the driving force behind my writing.  Many times I realize at the end of a chapter or scene that it did not resemble my initial intent when I sat down to start writing.  This feeling is so Amazing and Otherworldly to me that I feel like my world is the imaginary world while the novel’s world is reality.

It is hard to try and express what this feels like because it is just that: a feeling; a sensation of images and thoughts.  It is my addiction.  A very good addiction at that.  It does not hurt anyone or mess up my life other than to take me to a new when instead of my when.  Other writers can probably express it better than I can because all I can come up with is my writing vortex…LOL

Reading & writing are so important to me, and for me, that they become something I need on a daily basis to live.  My Neanderthal friends will never get how or why I am so into reading or writing, but my Bibliophile friends are reading these words and shaking their heads yes while adding their own feelings to this. 🙂

See you on the flip side!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in This & That

15 Minutes of Fame-Revisited

Above is a picture I took a few years ago.  It received some national coverage due to an incident that had happened at the beginning of the Baseball Season that year.  My friend, John, Tweeted the picture with a little blub to a few known sports writers as well as blogged about it on his blog site, Goin’ To The John.  I enjoyed my 15-minutes of fame and would like to share that memory with you, Dear Bloggites.  Never give up your dreams, your 15-minutes can happen at any moment, too…

Two years ago today, I had my 15 minutes of fame, my viral moment, in this social media driven world. We are probably all destined for one, at least according to Andy Warhol, and he made that claim before Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube existed – let alone the concept of the internet. Or the “information […]

via Cut Flowers — Goin’ To The John

Posted in This & That

Arthur Murray: Where Everyone Knows My Name

Have you ever wished for a place like Cheers?  How many people have watched the beloved sitcom and thought, “Man, I wish I had a place to go where everyone knew my name?”  Come on, we all have at one point or another in our life.

I have several places in my life where everyone knows my name, but my MOST LOVED and FAVORITE place of all is with my Arthur Murray Fort Worth Family.  I started dancing at AMFW back in 2006 a couple of months after they had their grand opening.

There were not many students, but we all got along and the dance teachers made all of us feel wonderful about ourselves and our abilities to dance, or future abilities to dance if you had minimal experience.

I have always dreamed of taking dance lessons, ever since I was a kid of 7 years old and watched Gene Kelly tap across the floor, or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance cheek to cheek in the movie “Top Hat” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrCsyN-fZ94).

I was in love immediately with dancing and watching the dancers on TV and later in life, on the big screen when I was older.  I always asked my parents for lessons but being Seven of Seven in a family with a single income, the answer was no, as it should have been.  The Parental Units were doing all they could for their unit of seven children.

I promised myself that when I got older, I was going to take dance lessons and would be the next Ginger Rogers, but like most adults, life got in the way and it never happened until I almost lost my life in 2005 and I was hell-bent on never putting off what I wanted to do anymore.

For a year, I had eyeballed the Arthur Murray Studios in Plano and Dallas, but did not want to make the drive and then one day, I found Arthur Murray Fort Worth had opened up and it was as if a grand halo of shining white light rained down on me and the planets aligned for me to finally see my dream come to fruition…I was so THERE!

I was a broken, half bodied cyborg walking with a slight limp into the studio and met Douglas and Britt, the owners.  I watched a demo of all the different dances and levels and signed up for an intro lesson and I was hooked.  All the staff at the studio helped shape my broken ugly duckling body into the proverbial swan over the next year.

My body, mind, and soul was purged and renewed and life was beautiful!  Then health issues struck.  My dreams were halted after a botched gall bladder surgery and I became hit and miss on my lessons and eventually, life events took me away from my haven I found at Arthur Murray.  The family I built there were always on my mind and in my heart and I longed to return but was unable.

Years go by, fast forward to 2015, nine years after I started at Arthur Murray, four and a half years since I danced last, and three and a half years since I even stepped foot into the studio.  I walked into my home away from home, my haven, my love, my dream, my family yesterday and it was as if I never left.  Sure, there were new faces: a LOT of new students, a LOT of new teachers, but there were some of the faces that started with me on my journey so many years ago.  People I love, people who love me, even the newbies (to me) knew who I was!  I had so many teachers come up to me and say, “YOU”RE the Famous Peggy!” or “Peggy? I know all about you!”  It was a great ego stroke for me, a much needed ego stroke with the things I have been dealing with of late, but it made me pause and say, “THIS is my Cheers.  This is my place where everyone knows my name.”

That is a good thought to have and you know what, Arthur Murray Fort Worth is still my family in all sense of the word.  Time changed nothing and I am so grateful for that!

~4-Ever, P