Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Archive for May, 2015


Today we drove to my parents to meet up and drive up to my sister’s house. 

I felt nervous and anxious….I was not sure what to expect.  Who would know what would happen?  Who has experienced a personal loss like this??

The drive up was a bit nerve wracking. I felt knots in my stomach….my body was all ready giving me fits!  

We took time. We spent time in each room….we gathered a few items.  There are many things that will be boxed for us to go through later.  Now…is not the time. It is all so incredibly overwhelming!

I just want this to be a bad dream!  I want to wake up! I want my Sis!

A Visitation

We had the opportunity to go and shoot pheasants with friends of ours.  It was a day that I had some strength….my hubby had it planned that I could sit and shoot for a short period.  He had hoped it wouldn’t wear me out too much.

It turned out to be a HUGE blessing!  The friends we met up with had a young toddler son….about 2 years of age. When sitting and watching the kids shoot, this wonderful blond, curly haired toddler came over to me with a HUGE smile!  

I was immediately taken back….taken back in time when my baby sis was that age.  Two years old….curly blond (almost white) hair…..smiling…those big blue eyes!  She would follow me everywhere!

Our routine on weekdays……she would come into my bedroom….take a stuffed animal or doll off my animal pole in my bedroom…..and sit on my bed and play…..I would then do my homework……

I also remember that beautiful little girl, sitting in my lap…..asking me to read the “Nursery Rhyme” book!  Welll!  Let me tell you!   This “Nursery Rhyme” book was an encyclopedia of all the Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes!  I found a way to ad lib…..to abbreviate the book….because my baby sis would NEVER let me miss a page!

Of course…this came back to haunt me!  I had to ad lib the same way EVERY time!  She would correct me if I ever repeated any of the pages wrong!  She knew the words I would say…..she knew when I would turn the page.  She would be SO UNHAPPY with me when I said the wrong word or turned a page too quickly!

At that time I knew Carrie was special…..what other 2-3 year-old could tell the difference when reading through the ENTIRE collection of Mother Goose fairy tale poems and stories!  To be able to expect the EXACT same words, the EXACT same page turns….absolutely EVERY time…..yes….that was my Baby Sis…..my “CareBare”……sitting next to me…..or in my lap….as we read…….with her correcting anything that I said wrong! 

I must smile now!  Yes!  That little 2-year-old would stop me!  She would correct me if I said ONE WRONG word!  I had to remember the way I abbreviated EVERY SINGLE poem/story in that encyclopedia!  It HAD to be the SAME way each time!

……I would give everything to go back to that time…..to that moment…….sitting so close to my baby sis, reading to her at night! 

This is not to be!  I have the most precious memories!  The most wonderful moments!  A lot of which…honestly…I know that Carrie….truly did not really remember….because she was TOO young. 

We have many shared memories that is true!  She remembers that book!  She “trained” me to read it the way she wanted!  I read it to her the same way…..day after day…..month after month….She did remember my animal pole….she remembered my special baby doll…..remembered by stuffed animals.

Thank you, Carrie!  You are…..and always will be….my wonderful….my beautiful….Baby Sis!


I find myself in a strange place….a strange plane of existence…..I am here…my husband and son….my brothers and their wives….our parents…

Absent is my sister’s voice…her laugh…her direct impact on all those around. 

I reach for my phone….no use!  I cannot call her…..she cannot answer…I can look to the sky….I can close my eyes and feel her presence!

No longer present in the physical realm.  Yet….we left behind can only reach out and touch physically!  

I want to talk with my sis….I want to give her a huge hug….to tell her again that I love her!

I can only close my eyes and see in my minds eye out last interaction….her laugh….her eyes aglow!  Full of life!  The hugs and I Love You’s! 

Now so strange. I have my wonderful husband and son by my side….yet there is an emptiness that will not be filled….that part of me that was lost when you were taken from us!

I know I am going through the “normal” cycle of grief.  I bet though….no one considers themselves “normal” when working through the new reality of life….the reality that our precious loved one is no longer with us in the physical present.  

We have the precious memories…the life and events that we shared….we do not have the future. 

We look to our faith to keep us together…to join our today and our tomorrow with our loved one that has departed!

Reality of Fibro/IBS and Grief

After dealing with the last few weeks, the overwhelming numbness…..doing what needed to be done for my dear sis, Carrie……my body began giving way the day of the funeral and then again at the Memorial.

The following week found me in a deep, profound Fibro fog!  So hard to describe…..like mind absent from the body.  Going through the day….wondering “how did I get to work?”  By the Grace of God, I was able to process payroll.  Each day the exhaustion in my body became more and more overwhelming!  

By the end of the week, the knots were back in my tummy…..just completely overwhelmed!

The exhaustion I experienced was beyond what words can say! Such effort to keep eyes open…..sleep……sleep.  Naps and early bedtime!  The simplest of meals fixed for my family.

Now today…..the exhaustion has released its grip!  My joints are so painful…….each and every one…..there is a huge knot behind my left shoulder blade……a hot soaking bath helped to lessen its grip.

Today will be another slow and careful day……more rest……gentle stretches……I know I just have to wait…..to allow my  body to release the stress of grief……made all the more complicated by my conditions!

A Tribute

My dearest sister, Carrie, you are missed more than words can express! I know you are now in a better place…I know that you are looking down upon us….watching and praying!

Yet….I find it so hard! I want to speak to you…to share my frustrations of the day…to banter….to hear your voice!  That voice which I will only now hear when I close my eyes….never again to embrace you….to never again hear your voice with my own ears!

I always thought I would go first…Afterall, I am the oldest!  I should have gone first!  

I do not understand….

I am exhausted…brain-fried!  I have no energy left! I cannot express the emptiness…the black space that is poised on my shoulder…

God has his plan. I would never underestimate it. I know my Sis touched so many lives….many more than most.  I do take relief in knowing that she accomplished SO much in her short life!

Yet…I must admit…I am guilty of wanting another day….another week….another month…..another year!  

Selfishly I would will her to be here…with us…..

Yet….I know that she has brought us together! Those that she touched are now bound!  She has united us all…from various backgrounds….we share her…..SHE has united us. 

My arms ache….I want to hold my Sis…..to hold her close…..

I must wait!  I must push forward….press onward…..continue to support and strengthen those left behind….

IBS/Fibro and Grief

I am so glad my body had held up as well as it has during this very stressful time!

My baby Sis, Carrie, died suddenly….tragically. I arranged for the transport of her body from hospital to funeral home, and assisted with setting up the graveside and Memorial services. I just kept thinking that “she would do this for me”!

Of course it has been difficult to eat….appetite has been nonexistent…I eat a little as I know I need too. 

The funeral and Memorial were last weekend. 

Now this week, I can tell that my body is succumbing to the emotional exertion….each day I find myself more exhausted….my Fibromyalgia and Polyarthralgia flaring….that nasty “Fibro Fog” blending with the overwhelming grief…..

No focus! Not for lack of want or will! Just the fact that all energy has been expended for the utmost honor….that of taking care of my Sis!

Today my legs were so hard to move! Walking 20 steps felt like miles….muscles in my left leg were knotted….completely unforgiving….my back was spasming! My brain was operating in a heavy fog. 

Today my IBS finally flared too!  The knots in my gut!  Those nasty painful knots….the horrific pressure against my stoma!  Feeling like I would explode!

Also dealing with those nasty phantom pains!  Yes! The anus and rectum that no longer exist…..I can feel the pain as if it was still there!  How is this possible ?!?! The brain is amazing!  I just wish there was an “erase” button!

Now  to rest….time to allow my body to catch up with my exhausted brain! To just take in all the emotions, the effort exerted to make it these last few weeks!


It is hard to express in words the loss of someone so close….the loss of a “baby sister”.

As the oldest, I have always felt that it was my responsibility to protect my siblings….especially my sister who was the youngest.

I felt responsible the weekend she died. I wanted her to spend time with her boyfriend….Afterall I said “Tell her Big Sis says it’s her turn”!

I know that either way….it would have been her time. The “good” is that we were the closest.  God knew that I could handle it….that I could look upon my Baby Sis immediately after the crash that took her life. 

For me…and my husband…the time we spent with my sis in the hospital morgue was precious….I did not see anything but my beautiful sister….when I kissed her forehead, I heard her laugh….I felt her hug!

Life will never be the same.  There is a huge gaping hole…..there are more connections….more precious people in our lives now thanks to her. 

I ache for all who have suddenly lost a loved one!  It is overwhelming….it is unbelievable….we are in shock.  

There has been no preparation….no set up….we are jolted into a sudden, new reality!

I know that my Sis is in a beautiful space…that she is in Heaven with the Angels now looking down upon us!

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