Archive for the ‘Life on pause’ Category

WAITING

Do you ever feel like…in the midst of silence….or relaxation…that you are waiting….Waiting on something …something to happen….or something to …end…

Of course- there is the waiting in line, waiting on the telephone…waiting on a friend…But there is that silent “waiting”…As the earth continues to spin, as night becomes day and day becomes night, we wait.

I feel like I am …waiting sometimes. I am not sure for what though. I am not quite sure what, but I have always felt like I could have a short life. I sure hope not and plan to be around for awhile – but I know that isn’t entirely my decision- only one person knows when that day will come. But even as a child, I wasn’t someone who had big dreams of weddings or families. Don’t get me wrong – I like little kids and I love family events and I love my family dearly. But there was a class in my high school where you would form together your own “Wedding Booklet.” That idea seemed foreign to me…. I didn’t take that class for that reason actually…While it is great to have relationships in life, family and friends – I wanted something deeper in life….relationships can indeed be deep and meaningful – but these “kite dreams,” – seemed…unnecessary to me. I used to watch those TLC wedding shows and thought that they were insane for spending huge amounts of money on weddings – after-all – they have the rest of their life ahead of them…waiting…to be experienced… Again….waiting.

I can sit in the stone of silence….and feel as if I am waiting…. My whole life I have felt like I am waiting for something – but I am just not sure what….as I grow older, that feeling intensifies…. Am I waiting for that deeper experience? Am I looking for a piece of ancient article for the meaning of life?… Am I waiting for that booming voice to talk to me and say…”yes, my child!…” ..What am I waiting for? In the mean-time, I will continue to live life the best I can and conqueror the trials and tribulations…. and wait… to see what is in store.

CHANGE

Isaiah 43:18-19

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

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I posted that scripture in our weekly church email where I work today … But it also has some meaning to me… I did a search in Google for scriptures about “trying new things,” and that is one of the verses that caught my attention…

Yet again, I have been diagnosed with another health issue ( I already have IBS, Diverticulitis, Asthma and Diabetes)… For over a month, I’ve had some pretty terrible back and side aches (flank pain) along with pretty frequent trips to the restroom. It felt like a bad UTI – but when I was tested – there was no bacteria. I was first told it was a bladder infection, on the way to the ER one day – I was told I had appendicitis and then after that, I was told I had cysts on my ovaries – But all of those diagnosis were WRONG- but I continued to be in pain. So I bugged my doctor some more until she finally said she couldn’t quite figure it out and referred me to a urologist…Just a couple days ago, I found out I have Interstitial Cystitis or “Painful Bladder Syndrome.” (you can find more information about it here).

I will be receiving treatments once a week for the next month and then I’ll have an evaluation after the month to see if I need continued treatments or just maintenance.Along with that, I also will need to change my diet. I have to cut out caffeine, a lot of fruits and some vegetables, spicy foods and basically – anything with acid. With IC, your bladder lining is inflamed and irritated – so basically all of these acids are irritating your bladder – which causes the pain and frequent urination.  While there is no cure, the symptoms can be treated – and sometimes, it can go away … (With proper changes to your diet and treatment)… It really depends on the severity of the disease…

… So I will be trying a new diet and a new way to eat…. As I have already done before with my IBS, diverticulitis and Diabetes…. I often ask myself why I have to keep dealing with all these little health issues along the way – but then I realize – my situation could be much worse… I am a very motivated person…and right now – I am very motivated to not be in pain… But sometimes I feel like I just keep being told…”you can’t eat this….you can’t eat that…and nope – I am sorry – that is good food – but you just can’t have it.”

Of course, there is much more to life than food – but it is a necessity for living…. I am just going to have to learn to eat more natural and homemade things, a lot of fish and chicken and drink a lot of water and milk…Thank goodness I can still have ice cream! (as long as it isn’t chocolate or has problematic fruits)…. 

So maybe this change in diet – can be a good thing – maybe I will feel better or even healthier…While I can remember how the old days used to be – I can travel through this “wilderness” and embrace a better and hopefully healthier, less painful life…

Sometimes – God brings new things to our life for the better…even if we may not like it – there usually is a reason for it – There is always a reason for everything in life… It might be stressful – but I was told by a friend – He never gives us more than we can handle – and well – I have dealt with my share of things in life – …. He must think I am pretty strong…I may not feel strong on some days…but I keep on this journey- wondering where it all is going to take me… 

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It has been a bit since I have posted to this particular blog series…I’ve been busy with life things: work, trying to relax, scheduling events to promote my book, finishing other poetry collections, creating postcards to sell in a nearby store ….and…trying to live in the present….that is what most PTSD survivors spend every day trying to do…and evidently – I have been somewhat successful.

At my most recent session with my counselor, she decided we could start moving our sessions to every other week instead of weekly – “Congratulations!” she says… I know this is a good thing but a part of me feels somewhat uncertain… She says it is kind of like graduation….and they try not to get clients to use counseling as a “habit.”…. So, honestly, yes, I am a little uncertain because it has been a pretty regular thing for quite awhile (although, there has been a few times, I went two weeks without a session – and I survived)… I need to learn this little thing called…”Faith.” I need to have “Faith” in myself again…Maybe this is where I learn it.

While I am busy trying to move on and make plans for the future, I can’t say that every day for me is a piece of cake… Silly me – Since I thought I was moving to do my sessions every other week now – maybe I was strong enough to look through old past photos…. Most people, when they leave a relationship -I notice how they remove those photos. Well I kept mine in my profile and in storage. Those memories are a part of me and a part of my life- even if I delete those photos – that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist….

I tried going back 9 or 10 years ago and looking through those memories and photos and it was very difficult….Deep down, I still sometimes blame myself for what happened and the break-down of our family and I am still searching for forgiveness… Maybe it is just that I need to forgive myself. But… I am not strong enough to take that trip down memory lane….not yet….But I am strong enough to deal with the “normal things” in life right now… Which is what my counselor told me I was doing… I am close to “normal”…But in my world – nothing is normal…. And I am definitely not “normal.” I thrive to be unique…always have….

So…for now… I will deal with the “normal things.” And see how I deal with this new schedule…Maybe it’s a good thing – I just need to have faith.

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Every now and then, we all experience pains…and this time – I am talking literal…not figurative for once.

I like to think I am still relatively young but I am certainly not getting any younger-which I find that hard to accept at times… I am young at heart and plan to stay that way – even though many have told me I am like an old soul too..

I’ve been in pain for almost two weeks over something I guess the doctors can’t seem to figure out. Two Fridays ago, I went to a nearby walk-in clinic after experiencing some really bad pains in my right side…. The doctor there told me it was possibly a UTI ….and then appendicitis…then she said she didn’t know “what the hell it was,” but go to the ER. So then, I went to the ER.

At the ER, they said it was not appendicitis. After being there for 4 hours, taking blood tests, doing a CT scan, being given fluids and pain medicine, they sent me home diagnosing me with a bladder infection…

A few days later, I still wasn’t feeling better- even after taking antibiotics. Then I had an appointment with my primary doctor. She stated that there were ovarian cysts that were found during my CT scan (which the ER failed to tell me). My dr told me to stop taking the antibiotics – that I did not have a bladder infection. She prescribed some pain medicine and scheduled for me to have an ultrasound to look at the cysts…

Today, I received  a phone call from my dr.’s office… They told me that I did not have ovarian cysts and everything looked fine. I told them I was still in pain – even after trying to go off the pain meds…Without the pain meds, I end up in such excruciating pain that I even find it difficult to walk. So they said they would speak with my doctor and call me back.

Later this afternoon, I got a phone call. I am told that I might have Interstitial cystitis- inflammation of the bladder- (http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/interstitial-cystitis). Seems that is difficult to diagnose and treat …..They said they would set me up an appointment with a urologist.

Meanwhile, I log into my patient portal of my hospital where we can read results of tests, see drug allergies, pay our bills, etc. On the radiology report of my ultrasound – it read that there were cysts found on my left ovary – AFTER my doctor’s office told me the ultrasound was CLEAR!

So now, I am even more confused. I will be calling my doctor in the next day to find out why my radiology report read something different from what they told me…

I’ve been in pain for almost 2 weeks, and still have not really been given a definite answer. I really don’t want to have to rely on pain medicines to function every day either… All I know is that I haven’t felt the same or much like myself… I get tired easily and find myself having to take pills throughout the day so that I don’t end up to the point to where I can’t even walk….

I guess all I can do for now is take it easy, be patient and pray that someone will figure out what this mystery is that is causing all this pain…

Normally, I am not one to complain and try to wait it out and see if it will clear up by itself…but this time, whatever it is, has interrupted my life…I kept waiting for it to go away, but it just got worse….Perhaps this is a lesson for me – not to wait so long next time….

Sometimes the pains in our lives – the literal ones…can really be a wake up call –to take things slow, and take it easy…. and BE PATIENT. 

 

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At some point or another, many of us will or have faced some type of trauma in our lives… We all have had to face fears or witness something we really wish we hadn’t… Things happen in our life and we really don’t know why – but we try to take them all as lessons or stepping stones to get across those deep rivers that we like to call – life…

Some individuals will get through the stress and anxiety of trauma within either days, weeks or maybe a month – but for some… it can last longer. It can depend on the severity of the trauma, the length of time the person was exposed -or  number of many other factors. We all have our way in dealing with pain and how we heal…

But when the anxiety, stress and memories hang on for months – it can begin to interfere with parts of a person’s life… Which can often turn into PTSD or generalized anxiety… With the right type of coping skills and tools though, a person can begin to learn to deal with unwanted memories, intrusive thoughts and the emotions and stress that come with generalized anxiety and PTSD….There are some things you should know if you have a friend, family member or know someone who is healing from trauma and has been diagnosed….

  1. Don’t tell them to just “get over it.” Believe me – they are trying – more than anything, they want to get over it…but certain triggers – which can be either physical, emotional or even mental – will bring back memories, flashbacks or even emotions that the person may have been experiencing at that time. Telling them to “get over it,” will only make them more frustrated.
  2. Telling them, “it’s in past…” ..Well – obviously.… The person with generalized anxiety or PTSD wants the past to be over… It’s not the person not wanting to let go of the past – it’s the past not letting go of them.
  3. Allow them to talk about it – even if it’s over…and over again. Talking is great therapy and allows them to observe the situation now that they are in a safe place.
  4. They might be moody on occasion.  Getting lost within your own mind and its thoughts-especially those you don’t want can get quite tiresome… And frustrating. A person with anxiety or PTSD will have intrusive thoughts and not being able to always to control those can be stressful… Eventually, with the right tools, intrusive thoughts can become less or be managed.
  5. They need plenty of downtime….self-care. Healing takes time and self care and having down-time is a great way to de-stress … Offer to go on a walk, watch a funny movie, plan a day trip – or something that they enjoy… Just being there with them is all they may need. Sometimes- they may want alone time – so giving them space is good sometimes too.
  6. Zoning out happens…sometimes. A person with PTSD can be triggered…and may zone out – they may feel as if they are reliving a stressful situation or even experiencing the emotions from an event – all over again… They might need help being brought back to “reality” -You can say their name, maybe lightly touch them or talk them through – to let them know that they are safe and in the present…Those who are experiencing emotions – may just need helped being grounded – while they may not be reliving the scene-their body is re-experiencing the feelings…
  7. Let them know you care. Just knowing that you care and are there for them to talk means the world… It is hard for someone to come to terms with their mental health…The world looks at mental health as taboo at times – they need to know that they are normal and human… and that they will too heal – at their own pace and time.

 

 

 

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So I started this “Life on Pause” blog series for a few reasons …. 

#1. It is a journal for me to track my progress to see how far I’ve come… Nobody ever said healing was easy… Writing is my way to heal.

#2. I hope that my experiences can help others.  I have been a part of internet groups with individuals who have endured similar relationship situations as me. There are so many people who have encountered trauma within their relationships…. My goal- to help those who are going through trauma not to feel alone – and that perhaps my stories – can help them in some way.

Now … I am sure there are plenty of people who think I am sharing my experiences for other reasons… These ARE NOT THE reasons that I am sharing my story:

#1. Sympathy.... I don’t want sympathy. I need friends to listen and be there – but I don’t need anyone nor want anyone to say “you poor thing.” I already feel stupid enough for getting myself into the situation I was in… I am not writing this for attention.

#2. To get back at the people who hurt me.  No – my “Life on Pause” is not for revenge or to air dirty laundry. I am not a person who seeks revenge. I am already trying to learn to forgive – revenge will only set me back.

#3. I want to be famousSeriously? – do I want my trauma story to make me famous and be aired all over media? No – I think not. I only want my stories to help others.

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This is just an FYI… for anyone who wanted to know.

 

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…It is amazing just how many ridiculous things I have forgotten from my previous relationship until a trigger or memory brings up something.. When you are in the midst of trauma – you don’t realize how bad the situation is – or exactly what is going on – because to you – It is your normal – you know no different…(sad, but true).

Tonight, I had another one of those memories… I have been participating in a Lenten study at a church in my area, and we have been discussing the last 24 hours of Jesus’s life and all that he endured… Tonight we were at the scene where Jesus had to carry his cross, and was flogged and humiliated… A question was asked if any of us had seen, “Passion of the Christ.” … I was the only one who had. But it wasn’t by choice. I was forced to go see it – because if I hadn’t seen it – then according to my then spouse – I wasn’t a real Christian.

See – at that time- I felt the need to prove that I was a Christian. My commitment and dedication to Christ was constantly questioned.  At that time, I was told – that I “needed” to see Passion of the Christ – to see what Jesus endured for us. I was well aware what Jesus endured – and for that – I am quite thankful – …Jesus was a humble teacher who loved everyone – he sacrificed himself for us… I am well aware…. But I was told that I needed to see this movie. I sat in the very front row….and winced during the scene of his flogging – I tried to turn away – the scene broke my heart to its core… As I began to turn away … I was told..”You need to see this! – why are you looking away?!” …. I was told that I was weak for looking away….

Seeing such a scene was horrific. I am a very empathetic person… So – this was just way more than your normal “double whammy…”

It seemed like my faith was constantly on the line and in question…

… It’s too bad it has taken me this long to learn – that I don’t need to prove my faith to anyone. Honestly – my faith – that is between God and I…. I know where I stand… He knows where I stand. That is all that matters. And in this world – we are to be humble and not to brag about the good deeds that we do…. Sure we want to share the love that we have for Jesus – but there is no need to prove it…And if you are married to someone who constantly questions your faith – then is that relationship really good for your spirit or soul?