Friday, February 03, 2012
Some people refer to their memory as a vault; capable of retaining important information for decades, ready to be neatly opened to reveal valuable information like some sort of certificate.
They can remember key points of a speech someone gave in the past, or what time that ridiculous train arrives into Boston if it left the New York train station 3 hours earlier at maximum speed (ugghhhhh, somebody kill me!).
I remember the odd, useless stuff. I can tell you what color of socks you were wearing when I ran into you on the street 3 years ago, and likely what color they were the time before that (yes, really). If I noticed you picking the olives out of your enchilada dinner and pushing them into a little pile on your plate (looking like a stack of Hot Wheels tires), then I will forever remember to keep olives far far away from you. I cannot seem to forget my Junior high locker combination from 20+ years ago (18-36-24), no matter how hard I want to let it go.
My memory seems more like an elevator, not a vault.
I would like to think that we all want to excel in life, or get to the next level. At least out of the lobby area, right?
Come take a ride with me...
'Second floor please'
I read articles and books about how to better myself a times. I often try to apply that to my life:
Being confident in my work skills, and how to effectively ask for a raise (I can impress you).
How to stay engaged in a conversation and keep eye contact with someone while speaking to them (I want to show you respect).
How to make a savory chicken soup by not only reading the recipe, but feeling talented enough to color outside of the recipe lines a bit (I want to nourish you).
But when it comes to my behavior when I am in pain, no matter how much I read, I don't retain enough of the necessary tools for that critical moment. When my bodily pain starts to creak and moan and squeeze out all positive feelings from mere moments earlier, I seem lost.
The elevator in my mind has then slammed the shiny steel doors and sent the car to 'P' (Parking level), and for the life of me, I cannot remember where I parked my memory!!!
And then there is my denial about it: "what the heck?! I pushed the 5th floor, NOT 'P'! Who's driving this thing anyway???"
We all start off at the Lobby Level in life, right? No one wants to go below that floor. There's NOTHING fun at the 'B' level (Basement), trust me. I'm well aware (after many years of stubbornness and denial), that I cannot expect to graduate to the higher levels of life (err, floors), by attempting to skip over important steps. Nope, not even if you pry open that emergency door hatch in the elevator car, trying to scramble out and up a few floors on your own (believe me, I have tried).
I can try to blame the switchboard all I want to, but it is not faulty wiring. The used piece of gum smooshed into the 'Open Door' button is not to blame. Do you want to know why? Because I keep pushing the 'B' (Basement) button with my eyes closed, SO SURE that I am pressing '2' the whole time, and expecting to move upward in my life.
Insanity is exhibiting the same behavior over and over again and expecting different results right? Ouch. So true...
I know what I need to do, and I am certain that you know what you need to do in life as well. The fine details are individual, sure, but the framework is the same:
Set some goals
Devise a solid plan
Get a support team lined up and USE it
Slap on some tunnel vision
Create a back up plan
Add some grace for the inevitable hiccups along the way
(perhaps a bumper sticker for some laughs).
I can't cry all of the time as a result of my pain, and I can't blame anyone for it (unless that elevator door has closed on my fingers, and then it is sooooooo your fault!! Yowsers!).
In all reality, my health will continue to get worse, and my well of tears will dry up at this pace (and snot is not cute).
I can however, acknowledge that my ailments are mean and nasty, but NOT react in a way that is mean and nasty to my body. I can stop pretending that I don't need to listen my pain when it calls on me to pull that red Emergency Stop button.
I am so thankful for those of you on this ride with me. I appreciate your advice, your virtual shoulder, and those thumps in the head when I need it.
Don't worry, I won't push the 'Close Door' button on you as you gallup toward the elevator car, headed to higher floors of satisfaction in health and in life. I need you there with me!
Besides, it's WAY more fun to jump in the air just before the elevator car comes to a stop with someone next to you, right?
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Am I alone in saying that popcorn not only makes me happy, but also makes me INSANE at times?
I try to reserve it for the weekend, since I tend to turn into a poppie freak, and need some ample recovery time to flood my body with water and lemon slices to leech out the sodium and what not that I assaulted it with the night prior.
That would be 94% fat free detoxing baby!
And if I am emotional, I get weak in the knees for those kernels, which let's face it, if you have read my blogs you KNOW that is often (I stockpile those kleenex cool touch tissues like gold lately. SO soft! SO cool! My nostrils are happy!)
Perhaps it's the way I prepare my poppies:
First you need to pour some popcorn in the bottom of the popcorn bowl.
Pay attention here:
Poppies, then a spoonful of crumbled goat cheese.
Next a dusting of freeze dried strawberries from Trader J's.
Then you keep layering see....
Poppies, crumbles, bright red fairy dust, etc.
Think like you're making a trifle... : )
Finally, a zazzle of kosher salt on top.
I'll usually grab a napkin the size of a table cloth (oh wait, is IS my tablecloth), and place that over my chest, since strawberry 'fairy dust' on the chest is not attractive.
I am then set for watching a great movie at home.
I didn't always like popcorn, so this obsession kind of surprises me (and my husband!).
Food intolerances decided to complicate my life along with my other ailments around the same time. One of my doctors tried to explain it as if all of my body systems were 'off', so that opened the door for other fun stuff to come on in and party hard on my organs. Comprende?
I was suddenly gluten free and lactose intolerant about 7 years ago (along with numerous other foods that I used to love). My point being, that until I had to cross over to the dark side of the gluten free / lactose free void that is now the menu for my life's meals, i ate grahams and cake, and real honest to goodness whole wheat bread. My mind was not consumed with what I could not enjoy anymore.
Insert lightbulb moment here (actually an energy saving LED bulb).
Maybe typing this blog for myself and the few Sparkly peeps who read this just helped me work through the source of this fiber filled obsession?
Am I decorating my gluten free popcorn like a 4 year old in one of those Toddlers and Tiara's shows to satiate my desire for the foods I miss?
I just might be.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
First off, get your mind outta the gutter!
I saw my neurologist yesterday and proudly made a fist with my right hand. Something I have not been able to do entirely for 8 weeks. 8 WEEKS.
I have had a painful nerve flare in my hand, affecting 3 fingers with no relief until recently. Perhaps the drug cocktail is working.
My neurolofgists reply was more of "meh". I guess he was worried that this was only short lived.
Hey, I am happy to be able to move it right NOW!
So for today:
1) I flossed correctly and efficiently. Have you ever tried to floss one handed? I know that they have those funny flossers with the little handle on 'em, but they weren't working for me (since I am right handed and looked like I was a fish caught on a hook at each attempt).
2) I put my hair in a ponytail. This was HUGE. Just try to get your mane into a pony tail with one hand. Go on, I dare you. Ain't happening (but was highly entertaining to watch, just like when I tried to put on my black tights with one hand - sexy!)
3) I put on my make up with intent and purpose, and not haphazardly (just powder-bombing blush on my cheeks and eyes like tear gas).
Can I just go on a mini-rant here, and tell you how having Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is likely harder for a woman to fight daily than a man? Let me plead my case. If you wear make up, earrings, nylons, perfume (or basically anything flirty and girly), and CRPS decides to take over a certain appendage (or 3), your glam days are put to a screeching halt. Why I actually bought a pair of fake eyelashes 2 weeks ago was just completely ridiculous, since I was not even able to hold a fork like and adult. Back to my list...
4) I HELD A FORK LIKE AN ADULT!
5) I grabbed a pen and wrote my name. Yep, my penmanship still leaves little to be desired, but it didn't look like I was a kindergarten child attempting to keep my letters grouped together.
My hand as of this morning (1/5/12):
Does my hand still hurt? Oh yes. Lots. Is it fully functioning? Nope. But is IS functioning. Does it look normal? Ummm, nope, but it's not as frightening to look at as it was recently.
What would that be, gross but not grossly disgusting? HA!
Here's what my hand looked like a few weeks ago:
It is truly amazing what we take for granted. Even when you think your world is already small by your limitations, your emotional issues, your addictions, or your circumstances, it actually CAN get even smaller.
So hold the hand of the person you adore. Lift some weights (!). Reach for the stars!!!
Just because you can.
And heck, put on some fake eyelashes if you feel like it...
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I was quite naughty with food recently. Let’s just say that my body is still angry at me for the contents flowing within it…
Post face stuffing, I played back the details of it all. Not only disgusted with myself, but fighting off feelings of worthlessness and guilt. Interlaced between all of that emotional goo, was a sort of soundtrack that I strangely recognized from past months (even years).
I envisioned a concert hall in my mind, and I was about to give a performance – to protest the emotional eating to come after receiving more depressing news about my health earlier that day. I started to raise my voice to plead my case: to love my body and not give in, but thoughts of eating for comfort kept interrupting me, and causing me to lose focus.
That temptation was not about to take a bow and exit stage left. In fact, it started to screech and yell and stamp its virtual foot, in the center stage of my life, taunting me.
Last year when my emotional eating was at its worst, I swear that there was a full house in the audience chairs, bumping up to the stage, cheering on the binge performer to come.
“It’s just 2 cookies!”, they roared.
“It’s only a heaping bowl of sugary cereal!”, echoed back.
“It’s ONLY ½ the cake!”
Wait, ½ the cake?!?!
I shook my head in shame.
The positive reinforcement and encouragement that that I gain here at SP has added some shimmy and shake to my life, and I ‘want’ for new things and experiences.
I want ultimate health – throw some jump into my step.
I want emotional rebirth and support – sing a new song, and sing it loud!
I want more friendships and laughter – things I had been low on, but have received more of both. It’s time to dance!
Have my fiery stressors that trigger my desire to devour and annihilate the pantry contents faded into a tiny bic lighter flame, swaying to the sweet melody? No.
But I have decided to change the tune.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Yesterday I went back to the Pain Center at the hospital for another nerve block procedure to try to take the edge off some of this ridiculous pain. With it being the holidays, only the skeleton crew seemed to be working, and my regular doctor was on vacation. A new doctor was assigned my case, and was trying to get himself familiar with the plethora of paperwork in my file.
This was the first time I had actually seen my entire file. I had only been a patient there for 6 months, but sheesh that file was a fatty.
Visualize a foot long hoagie type of thickness - a healthy hoagie of course : ).
The doctor was about1/2 way through that hoagie (what would that be, at about the pickle layer?), and there it was. A thank u card I had written to the surgical team months ago.
I'm a big believer in thank you cards. The real ones, sent via snail mail. Because once in a while it's nice to get something other than bills, right?
Anyway, there it was.
I was pretty sure that my card would have been tossed within moments of opening.
They really keep these things? Who knew?
I perched myself at the edge of the chair in the procedure room and waited patiently for the doctor to find the current 'cocktail' of drugs for the procedure.
A few minutes later, one of the doctor’s who removed my spinal cord stimulator last week stopped in to see how I was doing. Soon after that, a nurse from when I was there 2 weeks ago came in to say hello. She wanted to thank me for the bag of oranges I brought in for the crew instead of Christmas cookies and fudge-y goo.
It was not my plan to get to know these people so well, believe me.
You don’t want to become a frequent guest at the Pain Center like you would accrue Starwood Hotels points - since I always need to be awake and present for my various procedures = no mint on my pillow. No frequent flier miles here - unless I was being administered a lot of heavy drugs, and THEN I would feel like a frequent flier, right? Ack!
I would have preferred to be in a dress and heels, out with my wonderful husband, enjoying each other’s company and enjoying a glass of wine. Not worrying about the looooong list of details that need to come into play perfectly (and I do mean perfectly) for me to look and behave like a mostly normal, healthy person for even a short amount of time. But for now, this is my lot in life.
But this blog isn't supposed to be about me me me.
There are so many people from the medical community who truly deserve a thank you (or a bag of oranges) for caring for myself (and likely you) at a time of two in 2011.
So I ask, have you thanked your medical professional(s)?
If you have had your teeth cleaned, saw a specialist about a hand injury (AAACK I mean you, feel better!), met with a registered nutritionist about re-vamping your diet, or shoot, even (gasp) survived your annual physical, be sure to thank the medical professionals involved in your life. Sometimes they really appreciate it : )
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