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

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 Book Review

Book Review: It Tickled The Whiskers Of My Soul by Rebecca Rose

“It took me a long time to learn that not all pain is pointless.” ~Rebecca Rose (in It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul)

It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul by Rebecca RoseHello, Dear Bloggites!  I know, I was supposed to make a post yesterday, but I intentionally delayed it for today because I am bringing you a special book review.  The author, Rebecca Rose, emailed me offering her latest book for free if I was willing to give an honest review of it after I was finished.  Of course, I do my best to never turn down a request for a review, but this one was extra special because I “met” Rebecca via email when she published her first book, I’ll Be Fine, and requested a review.

I loved that story so much, that I talk about it to this day!  So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to read her newest release, It Tickled the Whiskers of My Soul.  This is the author’s third book but second published under her name.  This book is a story of what the author has learned over time about life, belief, and self.  The book is formatted into a separate “love letter” for each topic.

This book was written in a loving, intimate style that made you feel as if you were sitting with the author while she explained what she has learned from life.  The pictures are a joy and will bring a smile to your face even if you think you are the grumpiest person alive.  Each letter has a theme in it and the author goes into detail about what journey she took to realized that specific theme i.e. true self, fear, laws of attraction, intention, etc.

I loved that even though this book is on spirituality, it is not preachy or skewed to one view or another, so it is written for all to read.  I enjoyed reading how the author found her way through situations and time.  So many people do not view “bad” or “hard” times as a learning experience and I think this book would help people realize that even though the situation may be less than optimal, it is always better in the end.

I give It Tickled The Whiskers Of My Soul by Rebecca Rose 5 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Great read for people looking for ways to deal with life. 🙂

P.S.  THANK YOU, Rebecca, for the Honor of reviewing your book! 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Easter Musings

Happy Easter, Ya’ll! 🙂  Today was a rare day and a glorious one.

I will start on the rare day first:

Today was a rare day because work was actually closed all day!  Last time we closed was on Christmas Day, so I decided we were off on Easter Sunday.  It was really nice to not have to get up and load the computer and start processing orders.  I was able to turn off my regular alarm, lazily wake up, and then have cuddle time with my dog, Ragonk.  I went to Bible Study class, then spent the afternoon with family.  It was wonderful!  I truly believe the mind and body need rest and with the industry that my business is in, it prevents that ability due to being a seven-day a week industry.  I feel the pressure of working seven days.  I am trying to create boundaries to allow my mind and body to get the needed rest and today was a first step on that journey. 🙂

What do you do to get the rest for your mind and body, Dear Bloggite?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now, onto the glorious one:

Being a Christian, today I celebrated the Risen Christ after His crucifixion and three-days in the tomb.  Today reminds believers that Christ is alive and well and He has overcome death.  I have many friends who are Christians and many who are not, and one of the biggest differences I see in these two types of friends is the fear of death.  When you are not a believer in Christ, you view death as an ending with nothingness after.  When you are a believer in Christ, death is just the beginning of a life everlasting with Christ.  As a believer, I do not fear death, I welcome it when it is my time to go because I know I will go to a better place than this Earth.  That knowledge is so refreshing and having that knowledge, I rejoice in the life people lived after they pass and rejoice in their life everlasting if they are a believer.  It is amazing to be free of the fear of death and I wish everyone could feel that. 😀

What do you believe in, Dear Bloggites?  Do you celebrate life and death, or do you live with the fear of death each day of your life?  Share your belief in the comments below.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Cane River by Lalita Tademy

“Sometimes, while you wait for what you think is better, what is good enough slips away.” ~Philomene (in Lalita Tademy’s novel Cane River)

Woo Hooo!!! I am impressed I have been blogging consistently for a week or so, Dear Bloggites!  Go ME!  Okay, enough self-celebrating.  Today’s blog is over March’s Books & Broads Book Club book choice.  This month (YES, you read that right, I am caught up!), the book club chose to read Cane River by Lalita Tademy.

Cane River by Lalita TademyThe premise of this historic novel is about five different generations of a slave family, specifically, the women-folk, and how they were treated by their plantation owners and white people in general just because of their skin color.  This book was INTENSE!  The time-frame is from the 1830s to the 1930s.  The backdrop was in Louisiana on a medium-sized Creole plantation owned by a family named Derbanne.  The four main women in the book were Elisabeth, Suzette, Philomene, and Emily.

The author, Lalita Tademy, created this work of fiction based on stories she heard about her great, great, great, great grandmother, who happened to be the girl in the fifth generation in the book.  While the time and experiences shared in the book were based on historical facts, the story line itself was a work of fiction created from the author’s own mind on how life might have been like for her great, great, great, great grandmother.

I normally do not like reading books like this, however, I found myself enjoying the dynamics of each complex character and how the women found a way to overcome what life threw at them no matter how the dice rolled against them.  I found this a very emotional read and enjoyed the book until the end.  The end pissed me off so much that I threw the book across the room.  It ended with one of the female characters “Rosa Park”-ing the bus.  No flack against Rosa Park and no jab meant to that movement, I just felt that it was wrong to end the book in that manner.

I give Cane River by Lalita Tademy 3 out of 5 Bookmarks.  I only recommend this book to avid readers that love the history of the Civil War time.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Here’s What I know; Here’s What I Believe

Here is what I know: People Suck

We as a human race are so self-centered and self-focused on what “I want” and what’s “In it for me?” and what “I am entitled to” and on and on and on.

GET OVER YOURSELF!!!

The “I, I, I” and “Me, Me, Me” mentality is so over the top!  And I grew up in the 80s – the most materialistic era of “Beautiful People”!

Here is what I believe: People are Amazing

Every individual is amazingly unique and provides something worth knowing – no matter how small.

EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUENESS!!!

I believe every person out there has a desire to spread happiness and/or joyful encouragement.  I mean, Everyone really wants World Peace! 🙂

I love to meet people where they are in their life journey and then continue with them onto the next level of self together.

Here is what I live: Rule #32 – Appreciate the Little Things in Life

I live each day with a purpose and one thought in mind when I wake up – make a difference for just one person.

DO YOU, BABY!!!

I wake up every morning believing I make a difference no matter what.  Each action, each word, each gesture I make has an impact.  Even if all I do in a day is to organize the haphazard shopping carts in the cart zone, I believe that random act made a difference for the employee responsible for collecting all the carts because I helped them for a moment in their life on the job.

Here is what I find: It Is Not Easy

I suffer from chronic pain daily and many times I wake up to a rebellious broken body that the thought of simply moving is the last thing I want to do.

I HAVE TO CHOOSE!!!

I choose to make a point of making a difference, especially on those pain filled days, I especially need to intentionally follow Rule #32 because I believe that when a simple act is done, it creates a ripple – as if a single rain drop lands on a still pond – that ripple spreads.  As it spreads, I know it will return back to me in such an amazing way that for a moment, I forget People Suck and I remember Each Person is Unique and they provide something worth knowing – no matter how small.

My Challenge to you, Dear Bloggites, is this: Take today and intentionally do a random act of kindness, no matter how small, because it is how we all can Appreciate the Little Things in Life #Rule32. 🙂

~4-Ever, P