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The Glistening Ray

Looking out the window

I watch the leaves dance

In the gentle breeze…

Moving to and fro

The shades of color shift

From dark to light and back again…

The sun’s rays make the leaves glow

Reflecting the rays like colored mirrors

The radiance adding depth to the color…

The rays permeate the trees

Cascading through the leaves

To dissipate into the depths…

My eyes are drawn back

To those top most leaves

Dancing with the rays of the sun…

Mindfulness

My Clinical Psychologist introduced me to a powerful tool to add to my arsenal. It is called “mindfulness”:

“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

She walked me through a breathing exercise…complete focus on the breath itself…feeling the cooled air entering my nose…feeling it hit the back of the throat…feeling the rise in my chest as the air enters the lungs…feeling a second, subtle rise of the chest before exhaling…feeling the warmth of the air as it leaves the body.

I was then read a short story about washing dishes, from “The Miracle of Mindfulness”….I will share just one paragraph that sums up the idea of mindfulness very well…

“…If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not ‘washing the dishes to wash the dishes.’ What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future — and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.”

I applied this during my walk outside this morning. I took the time to not just see the sun…but to, really, “see” it! I felt its warmth…the rays touching my skin…the brightness shining…the reflection on the leaves. I felt the slight breeze…ever so gently twisting and turning the leaves in the trees…the slight movement of my shirt being pressed against my skin…the movement of the hairs on my arms…

It was truly amazing!! My focus was dramatically shifted…momentarily transported into the present time…fully embracing and experiencing what was happening around and to me.

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Patience

As day nine post pain pump surgery begins, it strikes me that my pain specialist really did a great job in preparing me for this! I truly was ready to be homebound for the first two weeks. I was mentally ready to be patient with the process! What a thought!!

My thoughts are still muddled at times…very hard to keep on track. Yet…I can just smile and breath deeply…there is nothing that I have to do…except allow my body the time to heal….allow the scar tissue to build near the pain pump and the catheter.

I am able to step outside now…slowly and carefully with my walker. I do not venture very far…it is just a few steps to feel the touch of the sun on my skin…feel the slight breeze…see the brilliant colors! This is a treat that I enjoy once a day…in the mid morning. It is perfectly timed between rest breaks.

I am thankful that I am able to listen to my body…to sleep when I need to…to relax in my recliner (sitting in the chair…cannot put the foot rest up yet).  My chair is just high and firm enough that I can get to a standing position with my walker as support. I know that I am not yet ready to sit or lie down on the couch.

I am getting anxious for my follow up appointment…I am excited to hear the plan my pain specialist has in mind…it will be interesting to see just how easy it is to remain patient! : )

Discouragement

It is inevitable during our battle with chronic pain that we face discouragement. After all, we are battling on so many fronts!

We find ourselves struggling with the guilt that our longterm illness/conditions cause…as we watch our finances depleted and debts grow…knowing that we are helpless to do anything about it!

You may be fighting for social security disability like I am…finding that each time we get close to scheduling a hearing…that the “backlog” has pushed our case out yet another two to four months…

Add another layer.. .that with insurance changes that placed me into forced withdrawal as I awaited my prescription to be approved…

I could go on and on…the important point is to understand that we we will have ups and downs…no matter how positive we try to be.  Remember that our projecting a positive front wears on us as well! Our limited “spoons” are often used before we can get out of our bedroom in the morning!

Allow yourself a time out…a day to sleep…a day to watch your favorite movies…the time will help you to “reset”. Our struggles will still be there but our spirit will have been strengthened.

Renewal

A new year approaches

Hopes and opportunities abound…

As the current year comes to an end

We look back at the many twists and turns…

The struggles that have made us stronger

The events that have brought us closer…

What will the new year bring?

No one knows for sure…

Yet our hearts are filled with hope

With light hearts and open eyes…

We embrace the start

Of a year not yet written…

It is a renewal of sorts

To take place on another stage…

The paths that will open before us

The mountains we will climb…

The challenges that await us

Along with the joys and laughter…

Our illnesses and conditions

Will continue to be with us…

As we continue our battle

Our eyes more alert, our resolve strengthened…

Let us take advantage of this new year

To choose to be positive…

To resolve to appreciate those dear to us

To take every opportunity to say “Thank You…

To embrace our loved ones and friends

To say “I love you” with sincerity…

To refrain from anger

Instead breath deeply and count to ten…

To really listen to what is being said

Rather than thinking of what we will say…

To pray with our entire being

Instead of uttering memorized words…

To share smiles and laughter

To not allow pain to be our master…

To be thankful for our life

To embrace each door opened by Heavenly Father…

Knowing that He is with us

Every step of our journey…

Remembering the scripture, Isaiah 40:31 KJV:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

We may not be able to walk far

We may be confined to our bed…

We may find ourselves fatigued

Unable to keep our eyes open…

Know that our spirit is renewed

Granted strength from Heavenly Father…

We can pray for those around us

We can lose ourself in reading the scriptures…

We can remember the trials of Job

And know that we are never alone…

So as this new year approaches

Let us each take pause…

 

To awake each day

With a thankful heart…

Let’s Be Real! Honest That Is!

No one dreams of being diagnosed with an illness/condition that is so obscure…one that some medical professionals still do not “believe” in…

No one wants to be labeled a “freak”….yet…those of us with Fibro or its associated conditions feels like!

I am suffering…dealing each day with pain that is beyond words…

Symptoms can include: body on fire, being stabbed repeatedly with ice picks, throbbing pain, knives that are stabbing or cutting, feeling of ants under skin, wanting to peel ones skin off because of the overwhelming sensations!!

Now add the inability to sit still…plus not remembering if you brushed your teeth or showered!!

Welcome to Fibromyalgia!

It is not pleasant….quite frankly, it SUCKS!!! 

Words cannot encompass the horrific feeling of living day to day with a body completely out of control! 

When clothing hurts so much that you want to scream! You want to rip every cloth…yet you know even just the feeling of air against your skin is enough to make you cry….to scream…to wish the sensations would stop!

Those of us with Fibro feel an immediate kindred spirit with other Fibro sufferers! We do not have to use words…looks or actions tell the entire story!

We Fibro sufferers understand the nuances…the subtle shift with hand or head…

We are gifted to see each other!

Therein lies our strength!

The Path of Grief

IMG_3181 Looking through photos as I sit in my chair….

This picture was taken the last time I saw my Sis….the last time that I was able to give her a HUGE hug!  The day that she was SO excited about her new motorcycle helmet!  She even let me hold it!

She and her boyfriend came over to see us while our son was participating in a Youth Day put on at the Gun Club in Myrtle Point, OR.  (It was a surprise for him!  And a great opportunity to visit with my Mother-in-law!)

She was full of smiles!  Loving life and SO happy!  It was the happiest that I had ever seen her!  And I knew that it was “love”….you could see it written all over her!  I was so excited for her!

My Sis always took time for her nephews and niece!  She was ALWAYS there for them….she doted on them!  She was always there for their special days…..birthdays, baptisms, confirmations!

It is crazy to view these pics….to think back….to feel the sunshine of that day…..

(This was the day before she was taken from us all!!!)

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