Thursday, December 11, 2014
No one told me once you hit 45 that everything was going to fall apart...I mean literally. Body parts seem to start malfunctioning or squeaking or literally falling off, much to your freaked-out dismay. You try to go have them fixed or glued back together, or if you have two of them, you just tell them to go ahead and take it out if it's giving you too much of a fuss. I've come to the point where I just tell the docs, "It's okay, I've got a spare, just yank it out of there..." and I go back to chewing my gum and reading my magazine. I suppose that's why God gave us two of alot of things.
Let's see, I'm legally blind in my LEFT eye. I'm deaf in my LEFT ear. I have a mitral valve that doesn't work. My LEFT kidney works half the time and the other spits out rocks just to see how loud I can scream ("Oh, I see you're enjoying a nice, relaxing time of rest. Here, let me play you the song of my people!") and you begin shrieking in tongues. I was able to keep my wisdom teeth until a few years ago with no problem then suddenly, out of the blue, they got drunk and started harassing the others. (And they decided to do so two weeks after kidney surgery so I was in a really, really bad mood for a little while. A REALLY bad mood.) And we're not EVEN going to mention my lupus. That %#$@#&%.
I'm not telling you this to get you to feel even the least little bit sorry for me. Lord knows, there are so many people worse off than I am. I am thankful for the things that I have and the many things that I don't have. I have the ability to walk and talk and be mobile, for the ability to breath and live without the assortment of cancers and diseases that afflict so many out there. I am thankful for each and every day that God has allowed me to walk upon this earth and be there for the people around me. Sometimes I think He gives us trials and tribulations to humble us so we may feel empathy for those who AREN'T as fortunate. It's like my mother always said, "There is always someone worse off than you. So straighten up and clean your room."
Oh, now don't get me wrong...as many people will tell you, I've jumped aboard the Self Pity Train many times. Probably more times than I should or care to admit. I'm only human. We ALL do it. Sometimes we hold it in until the smallest things happen, too. We can pat ourselves on the back and say, "Wow, I've been so strong through this!" until we stub our toes on the legs of the dining room table. That is enough to make us start swinging an axe and curse EVERYTHING that has gotten under our skin. We wouldn't be normal if we didn't look in the mirror at times and ask the question, "Why ME?" Funny thing is, it is the RIGHT question to ask. Always.
Why you? Because God has given our burdens, our pain, our misfortunes to us to make us stronger. Cliche, I know. But true. If we were given everything on a silver platter we would not grow to appreciate them. We would all just be running around touting our goods and showing off our longevity shamelessly. We wouldn't appreciate our good days because we wouldn't have any bad to compare them to. I worked with a wise young man a few years ago who told me how he believed life worked. Twenty-three years old, he looked me dead in the eye during one of my flare-ups and said, "You should be telling God 'thank you' for this." I looked at him, thinking he was being sarcastic, but he was looking at me with critical scrutiny...
"If you can imagine an imaginary line. At the beginning of that line is the worst thing that can happen. At the end of the line is the best thing that can happen. In the middle of the line is you. For every bad thing that happens, there is an equal distance to something that is good. I know you are in pain but for this day there is a day when this has passed and you feel wonderful. Just focus on getting there, okay? And when you are there, thank God for that day, too."
I thought those were pretty wise words from someone so young. (A little while later I caught him wrapping plastic wrap around a fellow employee and screaming, "I'm Spiderman!" but that's beside the point.)
The lesson here is for me. Although I've been ill and dealing with the usual aches and pains from my faulty autoimmune disorder and walking around with a stone the size of a football stuck in my LEFT ureter, I need to take a few moments and realize it could be alot worse. I need to stop being so grumpy and focus on the body parts that are working quite well. Yes, I am going to have surgery to have the football removed and I'm going to endure a few days of ridiculous discomfort, but it could be worse. ALOT worse. (I'm HOPING it can wait until I finish school and I know I'm probably being ridiculous but I REALLY want to finish my program with perfect attendance!!)
It's no coincidence that everything happens on my LEFT side, by the way.
It's because I'm always RIGHT. (Lol?)
I pray the remainder of the week goes well for all of you, and I pray if you are feeling down or under the weather that you feel better soon. For every day that is gloomy or crummy there are better days to come.
Thank you all so much for your concern and prayers the last few days, too. I could feel my spirit healing with each well-wish I received. Words DO matter...
You are loved. Very, very much. :) God bless...
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
There was a sheet of ice on my front porch steps this morning. Looking down at them, holding five textbooks, an umbrella, my lunch box, my keys and my purse, I realized I had several options:
a) Attempt to nonchalantly go down them and just hope for the best.
b) Call the school and tell them I wouldn't be in today.
c) Go back inside and get the salt.
d) Whine like a girl. (Ok, so I did. A little.)
e) Call my husband on his cell and tell him to come out and carry me down them.
f) Place the crap down, jump off the porch to safety, then retrieve my crap once I gained sure footing.
I chose "f."
What I failed to take into consideration was the fact that the same sheet of ice that was on the steps was also on the sidewalk.
Upon my landing, my left leg went to the right and my right leg went to the left. In mid twirl, my back arched inward, my stomach arched outward and the neighbor passing by caught a glimpse of my mouth open three times its normal size. My arms lurched forward in hopes that he could cover over 100 feet of distance in 1.2 seconds to rescue me from the ensuing pain...and embarrassment. Didn't happen. But he waved right before stepping on the accelerator.
Going down, I can remember thinking, "Why don't I ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER, think things through????"
I wanted to go back into the house and go back to bed. But no. I just sat up, gathered my marbles, and tentatively stood up, grabbed my books and bags and made my way to the car. I solemnly drove to school and pulled into the parking lot, checked my makeup in the mirror and opened the door. Stepping out, I didn't pay attention to the puddle beside my car. But...it wasn't a puddle.
It was a frozen circle of ice.
My left leg went left. My right leg went right. My books went airborne and I gave in to fate midway down. A fellow classmate just getting out of HER car witnessed the whole thing. I looked back at her and screamed, "OH!MY!GOD!!" She laughed, I laughed. It was all fun and games and I explained to her what had happened earlier. Then she said, "You should really try to be careful! People your age have brittle bones, don't they? Like, hip injuries?? We learned that in class, remember?? Have you had a bone density test lately??" I really wanted to wup her. Like, seriously? But I smiled. And patted her on the head.
It couldn't get any worse, right??
If you don't count the kidney stone I passed in the bathroom a few hours later, I guess not. I'm thinking the falls may have lodged it loose. Either way, there's nothing like holding in screams and clawing the walls of the stall while you're med term teacher is humming in the next cubby hole over. HUMMING. HAPPILY. "Silent Night."
Forty-five minutes later, I emerged looking like I just wrestled a large grizzly bear to its poor little death.
I made my way back to coding class and plopped heavily into my seat. Rummaging loudly in my purse for my ibuprofen, I spilled out several pills on the table top and bent down and stuck my tongue on them, curling them into my mouth. I. Did. Not. Care. Opening the screw top to my diet Dew, it "splished" loudly and I took several gigantic gulps, sighing heavily.
Several faces turned toward me and I managed to muster the most sarcastic grin I have ever given. Did they want a piece of me? I would have been happy to oblige but I think I left most of my pieces in the bathroom.
I have coding homework (a buttload) to do before next Monday. A big test to study for Thursday. A presentation to work on for next week. But tonight I am not doing anything. I've been beat to death today and had most of my insides ripped out by an object the size of a grain of salt. Sounds kinda wimpy when you say it like that but until you pass one, you will never understand. This is like having a baby...but out of the wrong part of your anatomy. Once it arrives, though, the last thing you want to do is hug it, kiss it and call it "Angel."
Okay, Tuesday. I give. You win.
I hope Wednesday arrives on a better note. The ice has melted. I'm sore but still somewhat functional. And there are worse things that could happen. So, I'm optimistic that it will be a better day. But for tonight, I sit in my robe, watching The Weather Channel, sipping some chamomile tea. I shouldn't be doing that. Everytime I drink chamomile tea, I have weird dreams. Like being a cleaning lady at the auto mall. (I actually enjoyed that one. I woke up feeling like, "Yeah, I could do that!") And after today, I would DO IT for a reasonable salary.
Have a great week, guys...tomorrow is HUMP DAY! Halfway through! And thanks for listening, once again. Most of you who know me, know that I like to make fun of my situations. Lord knows, if I didn't, I would cry, lol. Big hugs for putting up with my malarky. But, most of all, big hugs because I love you all.
Goodnight...off to bed for me. Sweet dreams to you, too.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving, guys. :)
I may not get a chance to get back on here before the holiday goes full swing so I wanted to take advantage of the few moments I have now. I don't get much time these days to stomp around this neck of the forest and when I do, it's always a treat. It's like a little vacation in my heart to come back here. I am eternally grateful and thankful for finding this site. Back in 2009 I made my first profile page, STEELERCRAZY, and I began my journey of a rediscovery of self. I got lost somewhere along the way...literally...because I had to make a new page...but I found my way back. It wasn't because I liked all the bells and whistles of the site, no...
It was you guys.
Some people have come and gone. Many of you, from day one, have hung in there with me while I got into all sorts of trouble and have patiently put up with my shenanigans. Alot of you, although I haven't known you for years, I feel as though I have known you for an eternity in my heart. You EACH have touched my feelings in so many deep and meaningful ways. I just wish I could sit down with you all, one on one, and have a coffee with you. Or just hug you. I'm a big hugger. And I SQUEEEEZE. Sometimes I hug so hard I choke people. I don't mean to. But it happens. But it's out of love. That is my wish...maybe one that will never come true...but if I won the lottery, I would visit each and everyone of you and you would never doubt that I really care about YOU. And YOU. And YOU...and, yes, YOU.
I see all of your faces in my mind. (What a good lookin' bunch! I can really pick 'em!)
It's not often in life that I have come across so many people AT ONCE, who have helped to make my life better and taught me so many good lessons. You are truly cherished...
I wish you all the happiness in the world. I wish you the true wonder of this holiday season, a most MAGICAL Thanksgiving, with every bit of joy and contentment that you so much deserve. I wish for you a heart full of warmth and cherished moments...not only for Thanksgiving Day but for EVERY day of the year and the many years to come.
Thank God for you.
Happy Thanksgiving, guys.
You are loved. Bunches.
Monday, November 17, 2014
I think it was Forrest Gump who said, "I'm pretty tired. Think I'll go home now." Or something to that effect. Anyways, I know what he meant. You get tired of runnin'. For me, runnin' is trying to get everything done during the day or THINKING I'm done when I realize at 9 p.m. I didn't do the report for Med Term due the following day. Runnin' is an understatement when that happens. It is pure panic at the disco at that point and I'm sucking on the computer screen at 1:30 in the morning when my husband walks in from work.
"What are you doing??"
"Paper due in the morning."
"And you are just now..."
"YES! YES! YES! AND???"
"You had all night..."
"YES! YES! YES! AND???"
"What were you doing all night?"
"Dipping pine cones in glitter."
"YES! YES! YES! AND???"
It doesn't happen often, mismanagement of my time. I'm usually pretty good at balancing school and home life. It is the rare occasion that I forget there is "one more thing" to do and think for a rare moment that I have time to splurge on mindless wonders. Like dipping pine cones in glitter. I have learned now when that happens, to go over my notes, check every crevice of my textbooks, text a few of my classmates, just to make sure that I'm not missing something. I should have known better to sign up for the accelerated program. (We are cramming a two-year program into seven months.)
So I'm pretty tired. I'm longing for Thanksgiving Break with a vengeance, counting down the days and saying adios to each ticking second with small dolphin claps of victory. I'm such a sucker for downtime. And pumpkin pie.
I woke up this morning to the nastiest, coldest wind coming in from the northwest. It was the kind that freezes the snot in your nose immediately and you want to crawl back into the house like a blubbering wimp. By the time I got to my car, the tears had frozen to my mascara and I made up five new curse words that I'm thinking of submitting to Webster's. Most of you who have known me for a few years know that I am incredible hater of winter. I'm sorry to all of you winter-lovers but seriously??? I can't EVEN. I blame it on my lupus, as my joints ache anyways, but the cold air is big, fat, fluffy icing on the cake and it just HURTS. So it was no surprise when halfway there on the highway and the snow started coming down, passersby looked over and saw a crazy woman talking to herself at the wheel. The state highway patrolman even knew better to pull me over this morning because I wasn't having ANY of his malarcky either.
And one more thing...
For those of you who don't know what CODING is, it is the numerical reference given to your condition when you reach the doctor's office, hospital, etc., so procedures and supplies can be properly billed to your insurance company. Lol. L.O.L. EL-OHH-ELLLLL!! I thought it was a simple little book that spells it all out for you. (Hey, I was a NURSE before, never on THIS side of the profession...) Let's just say there are THREE books, two and half inches thick each. Each full of four columns of small numbers so small that an ant would need bifocals to see them. So, L to the freaking O and L, this is going to be a interesting, to say the very least.
Ahhhh...venting feels good. Let me back up now and make sure I didn't miss anything...hmmm...no...got the forgotten report....the cold butt air...coding...looks like it's all there...OH! NOPE!!
I threw my back out of whack during the Ohio State game Saturday. Don't ask. I also choose not to explain.
But it's times like these that I need to remember to be thankful. It's so much easier to gripe and complain, but being thankful takes a conscious effort and that's truly why I am here. To remind myself that all those other things are just temporary and fleeting. I WILL graduate from school. I WILL see summer again. I WILL understand coding. I WILL probably forget another report or assignment...but it's not the end of the world.
When I look over at my husband sleeping peacefully in the recliner and I see the small lines that have formed on his face, but there is a tell-tell sign of a smile on his face, I cannot help but stare. The rhythmical rise and fall of his stomach means that he is HERE. With me. I catch myself crawling quietly beside him and draping his arm around my waist as I lay my head on his chest, listening to the steady beat of his heart. MY heart. MY husband. Mine. I am thankful that he has allowed me to be in his life.
When I think of all that we have created together, children, grandchildren, a home, all this love that keeps getting recycled and put into more things, it makes all of that complaining stuff so minor. The little arms of your grandchildren around your neck is there to warm you on these cold bitter days. The comforting tickle of your husband's breath on the back of your neck in bed after a hard day of work is enough to remind you that there are more things to smile about than frown over. It's the BIG PICTURE, people.
My challenge to you all is to find the silver lining in every situation. Go ahead and gripe but then remind yourself of something good that is in your life at this very moment. Tis the season to be thankful. (But shouldn't it ALWAYS be the season?? Shouldn't we always be thankful??)
Now, if you will excuse me, I forgot that I have a chapter in CIMO8 to do and thirty five questions to answer before tomorrow. DAAAAANG IT! Seriously???
I'm pretty tired....but at least I don't have this beard...YET.
God bless, Sparkies. You are loved.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Most people don't know that I had rhotacism as a child. And it definitely sounds alot worse than what it is, lol, but it is the inability to pronounce the letter "R." Looking back now, I prefer to believe that I sounded like someone from Boston with their quaint rugged accent ("Oh, look at those boids flying so high, so GOIGOUS!") but it was a definite struggle. I endured four years of speech therapy from grades one to four...most of you who have spoken with me over the phone know that I don't talk that way now...and I have been told that I speak very well. But anyways, this leads me into what has been weighing on my mind.
I knew in grade school I had a problem. Maybe you can empathize with me when I say that I was terrified when I was given a speaking part in the first grade Christmas play. My mom worked with me, my sisters worked with me, to no exasperated avail. I went to my teacher, Mrs. Leach, and told her, through my tears, that I did not want to be in the play. I remember her looking at me sympathetically and then her face lit up...perhaps I could say ANOTHER line! What about, "And plum pudding!" I can't remember what the other student said that led into my line or the line that was to come after mine from another student, but to this day I remember MINE. I was so happy. No "Rs" and nothing to stop me from being embarrassed or ashamed!
I remember that morning. My classmates and I stood before the parents in their seats in that old school house and it was almost time for me to deliver. I was beside myself with giddiness and I was smiling from ear-to-ear. If there was ever a child so delirious with anticipation, it was me. And lo and behold, when it was my turn, I took a step forward, spread my little arms from side-to-side, looked toward the heavens and exclaimed, "AND PLUUUUUM PUDDING!!" I remember hearing the chuckling and seeing the smiles on the parent's faces. But the most beautiful thing I remember seeing is my mother, on the left, second row back, pulling her folded hands to her chest, tilting her head and smiling with pride.
But there were times after that I could not so easily "dodge" my "Rs." I was "forced" by my teachers and speech therapist to say them, slowly and methodically. Many times I was ridiculed by the other kids. Sometimes I would be upset, but most times it made me mad. So mad that I was determined to become the best "speaker" in the world. So for three and half years, three days after school, an hour at a time, I would work hard until finally...
"Rs" were conquered. They no longer controlled me. I controlled them. After that, I was in every school play, in the drama club and I was sought after to do plays in church, to sing, to testify...and now after so many presentations in college, I feel that I'm doing quite fine. But I never forgot that little girl who was terrified to do the first grade play. No, she is still in there, reminding me to keep pushing until I have mastered what it is I fear or feel that I cannot do. And this leads me to the next subject...
I was tempted to cry in the bathroom today at school. I was tempted to sign myself out and come home to a big bowl of ice cream to numb my feelings. But I didn't. This is why. Mrs. Wallace pulled me out of class this morning and spoke to me softly in her office. It was hard for her to tell me that I did not get the job at the school. She stated that it was not because I didn't deserve it, it was not because I didn't have what it takes, it was not because I could be "any better," but it was because a "heavy-hitter" with a degree in secretarial science walked in and woo-ed the superintendent right off his feet. I put my hand on her arm and thanked her for her belief in me. I thanked her for sticking her neck out for me. I thanked her for the opportunity. I smiled and told her that it meant the world to me that someone of her caliber, someone that I had the utmost respect for, wanted me to be beside her everyday. She told me to go before she cried. Then she hugged me. As I was turning to leave I heard her say, "I told him YOU were the one. You have the stuff." I thanked her again, blinked back my tears, and left to walk numbly back to class.
As I sat down silently at my chair in front of the computer, I suddenly remembered that little girl who proudly and loudly pronounced "And pluuuum pudding!" in front of the entire room.
Okay, so maybe I'm not ready to play with the "heavy-hitters" yet. Maybe I have to work towards that goal a little longer. Maybe I have to theoretically cross my "Ts" and dot my "Is" to get where I want to be, along with the other hard work that comes along with it. And just like Mrs. Leach, my first grade teacher, Mrs. Wallace saw something within me, a fire, a desire, to be the best at everything I wanted to be. I could run from the letdown, I could decide to slack off and become a mediocre student. OR I could be that little girl who turned a disappointment into a grand production. An Emmy. A Golden Globe. I could SHINE.
Straightening my back, I opened up my textbook and looked at my next assignment. As I wrestled with Microsoft concepts I felt a slight tap on my shoulder...
Mrs. High School?
"Would you be interested in doing a presentation for Medical Terminology class? I'm not asking."
Nodding, I smiled at her and asked her what she had in mind.
"A PowerPoint on the Endocrine System. Yes, it's a difficult chapter. But that's precisely why I want you to do it. The students respond well to you."
"Thank you. You speak so articulately. You are a joy to watch."
Plum pudding. Never had it.
But I OWN IT.
Have a beautiful Thursday evening, friends. You are loved.
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