Anniversaries

This month brings two important anniversaries for me.  June 24, 1987, I graduated from High School, making this year the 30th Anniversary.  It is also 8 years since I nearly died at the hand of my ex husband.  It is hard to believe how fast life passes you by.

I have very few people that I still speak to from high school, only those who have been life long friends.  I have even fewer from the time when I left the panhandle who I still communicate with.  It’s hard to believe those who believed the lies of an abuser over the woman who nearly died at his hands.  <shrug> It is what it is.  Can’t change the world or those who have eyes that can’t see.

My son & I are preparing to head North on Saturday to visit an old friend from my USMC days.  So excited.  A whole lot of catching up will be had and a whole lot of laughing, singing, dancing and foolishness.  I haven’t even begun to pack.  I figure tomorrow is soon enough.

I am one week post surgery on my throat and still feeling a bit of pain; but what can you expect when you have something shoved down your throat to remove a cyst.  It’s healing according to the doctor.

Currently reading three books.  One is on Ruth and breaks down her life with Naomi and how she abandoned her life in Moab to go with her mother-in-law, to Judah, and worship the one true King.  The 2nd is a Max Lucado study on Jesus at the Cross.  It is broken down into the tiniest of details of that day.  My 3rd is by Anne Graham Lotz called “The Daniel Prayer”.  It is how to make your prayer life as powerful as Daniel prayed to the Lord and finally freed the Israelites’ from their 75 year imprisonment by Babylon.  It’s a follow along study with Videos on her site.

I bought the movie, “The Shack” on Tuesday and my son & I watched it that night.  Such a powerful movie and had me in tears again.  Love that movie so much.  The lessons it brings are simply beautiful and give such hope.

 

May is Lupus Awareness Month!

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I’ve been battling this disease for a long time and I must say that it sucks!  Prednisone sucks!  Pain sucks!  Your body killing itself sucks!

SLE or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus  can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.  Symptoms vary but can include fatigue, joint pain, rash, and fever. These can periodically get worse (flare-up) and then improve.

While there’s no cure for lupus, current treatments focus on improving quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimizing flare-ups. This begins with lifestyle modifications, including sun protection and diet. Further disease management includes medications, such as anti-inflammatories and steroids.

I have Lupus (SLE) and it has given me problems with my Kidneys, Heart and Lungs.  I also get the neuropathy in my hands and feet, as well as skin rashes, photo sensitivity

The side effects of the Prednisone is almost as bad as the disease itself.  From the weight gain, blood sugar increase and rage, you look like a chipmunk with a cheek full of nuts!

So, what do you do when your body produces antibodies that should kill off infection instead attack your organs?  You pray, a LOT!  You beg to feel better.  You hope for a cure and you have a stronger faith in God that you will make it until the next day.

Most people who have Lupus also have another disease that effects them as well.  Mine is Fibromyalgia, which is equally sucky.

This disease effects each person differently and is hard to diagnosis.   Only 20 years ago, Lupus was a death sentence with only about 4 in 10 people surviving.

Some people require chemo therapy to combat Lupus, shutting down the immune system so that it doesn’t continue to attack the major organs.  It’s hard to believe that we have to shut down our immune system to combat our internal death.  Nothing like your body hating you so much that it wants to kill you.  Ha, ha.

I’m on kidney medication for the rest of my life; because Lupus causes me to get infections as well as blood in the urine.  I have chest pains due to swelling of the lining of my heart and lungs.  I have to be careful around those who are sick; because I am 75% more likely to get what they have, only worse.  I’m more susceptible to bronchitis and pneumonia.

Skin rashes are quite common for me, especially if I have been out in the sun for long periods of time.  It’s why I always try to wear a hat and my sunglasses when I go out.  It’s not unusual for me to have that “butterfly” rash on my face, to run a fever and hurt.

Put On Purple!!!!  May 10th is World Lupus Day.  As purple is the ribbon color for Lupus, I encourage people to wear purple on the 10th in support of the need of more research, awareness and knowledge for this autoimmune disease.

For more information:  http://www.lupus.org

 

Frustrations

This past week has been full of some ups; but mostly downs.  I spent 3 days in an unease state.  I could not escape the feeling of dread, uneasy and fear.  I can’t explain it; but it had me very low.  There was a lot of crying, yelling and prayers.  It culminated with a Friday out with my son that ended abruptly when I just couldn’t stop crying and we just headed home.  The poor kid, he didn’t know what to do and I explained to him, that for the first time in 17 years, he has no buffer in his life between us that blocked out my depression from him.  Having PTSD sucks some days.

This is truly the first time that I had a major meltdown with it in a long time. Nothing I did could bring me out of it.  I went to bed early each night.  I took some sleep aids and slept it off like a bad hang over.  Yesterday, we completed the shopping I couldn’t and  ended our evening with church, sandwiches and smiles.  Came on hard and fast and left the same way, as if it never happened.  SMH.

I’ve been doing a home bible study as well as my weekly with my girlfriends.  I’ve got my nose in a few books, too.  One of which is called “Eve” by Wm. Paul Young, the man who wrote “The Shack”.  So far, it’s really good.  I’m only a few chapters in, though.  My home study is another Max Lucado called, “He Still Moves Stones” which is amazing.  I’m burying myself in God’s word, worship and singing to Him.  One of my daily devotionals comes from a site that also sells books and I got an incredible deal on some good ones.  I purchased several of Max’s books for only $5 each.  I’m looking forward to reading each one.

On Thursday, I stopped at Staples on my way to physical therapy and while crossing in the crosswalk, a stopped car proceeded to drive and hit me.  He clipped my knee.  I am not hurt, more outraged by the incident.  It was a Senior Citizen and being me, I am sure that he couldn’t have missed seeing me.  SMH He never stopped, even after he heard my knee hit the car.  Just kept on going.

My son got his learners permit.  Still doesn’t want to drive the car.  LOL!  After our vacation in June, I’m going to hire a driving school for him to take lessons.  Who knows?  Maybe my dad will take him out.  You never can tell with that man.

Today I’ve made two loaves of homemade banana bread and my wings are cooking up for dinner.  Sometimes, I wish I had more people to cook for.  I miss cooking for large quantities of people.  I remember the times I’d invite my co-workers over for dinner and how much I enjoyed cooking for them.  Since it is just the kid and me, I haven’t cooked big in a while.  😦  Heck, I haven’t made a roast in so long, I almost forget how to do it. LOL!.

I’m still waiting on God’s promise.  I am not being very patient.  I am ashamed of my impatience.  I’m trying.  I’m not good at it at all.  I guess that is why God is still making me wait.  <sigh>  I’m jealous of the time others get to spend with him.  I am looking for an acknowledgement of some kind.  A sign that I’m not a fool.  I ask so much of God and I still don’t know how He is putting up with my crazy or how He’s going to make it happen.  I pray a LOT!

PT is going as well as PT can go.  Pain in my shoulder is reduced.  THANK GOD!  I am getting more movement in my shoulder and they use the tens machine on it as well as they put a pain patch on me afterwards.  It’s a steroid with a battery operated pump that pushes the meds through the skin.  I wear it for 3 hours.  I think it’s supposed to help break down the calcium deposits in the area.  Only 4 more weeks to go.

Can hardly wait for June to get here.  Heading up to Virginia to visit a friend and am super excited.  He lives in Staunton, so I’m thinking I might also head to see friends in KY and TN as well, since I’ll be there. 😀 We shall see.

Life is certainly interesting.

Prompt….

I’ve been doing some guided journaling with prompts in my personal journals and one of the prompts was to describe something that is happening with my body, without emotions, but the physical manifestation only.  Suggestions were sex, work, etc.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do until my head started twinging and I knew what was coming.

MIGRAINE!!!

I’m sitting in church, listening to the sermon, under the florescent lights and it begins.  I feel a twinge over my brow.  It is always like this under the bright, white lights. I take a deep breath and try to concentrate.  It isn’t easy, I know what is coming.  I glance at my watch and wonder how much longer I can sit here.  A small pulsing begins to take form in my head and I know it won’t be long until it spreads.

I feel the pain inching its way across my forehead.  UGH!  Not now.  I try to listen to what the Pastor is saying; but it is a lost cause.  I am trapped in the ugliness.  Time ticks by second by second.  I can almost feel the second hand on my watch moving slowly around the dial.

Breathe.

Slow, steady breaths, in and out.  Trying to hold it together until the last Amen.  My stomach begins to turn.  Great, the nausea is starting.  I pray to God that I won’t throw up.  I stand up for the benediction and quickly escape to the exit.  I leave so as not to have to talk to anyone.  So I do not have to stay another second under those lights.

The car ride home is a blur as I am lost in my body.  It takes all that I have within me to make it to the front door.  Pain lashes my head, spreading rapidly, outward and inward.  I’ve squinted my eyes from the harsh lights.  I have no music on; because the thought of a noise will make me implode.  Breathing in and out.

The car air freshener is making the nausea worse.  I want to throw it out the window; but I don’t; because the effort is way too much.

HOME!!!

I pull in the driveway and stumble to the door.  I go inside, grateful I can lay down.  I pop 3 Excedrin, go to my room, strip out of my clothes, climb in bed and pray for relief. It is pitch black in here.  Perfect.

I lay on the bed, not moving a muscle.  If I move, the pain will shift and lance through me once again.  I do what I hate to do in these times…..I concentrate on the pain.  Each beat of my heart has the pain pulsing through my head.  My hair hurts.  I am paralyzed by my thoughts as my focus is intently on the crushing, violent stabbing going on inside my body.

I’m sweating. I shiver.  My stomach is rolling.  I can hear noise in the distance, as if a thousand buzzing flies are somewhere close by.  Don’t concentrate on the pain.  It’s too much to handle.  Let me black out.  Time is my enemy as the seconds turn to minutes.  I feel each one of them as they slowly drone on.

Zap.  Stab.  Throb.  Pain so crushing I think my head will cave in, my sight will disappear and my stomach will empty its contents all over the place.

Praying, praying, praying.  “God, help me through this pain.”  I say it over and over and over again.  Nothing seems to help.  The meds take too long to kick in.  The internal struggle is torture.  It is days like this that I hate my body.

I finally drift away in oblivion. I pray rest will restore my body.  I am so weak. Migraine hang over will soon encompass me and I hate that almost as much as the Migraine itself.

Ortho today

I went to the Orthopedic doctor today and NO SURGERY!!!  YEAH!  So grateful to God for this blessing.  I’ll be in Physical Therapy; but no cutting.  I was a wreck going into this appointment.  I listened to all the cousins tell me how horrible it was going to be.  How painful it was going to be and how long I’d be down; but turns out, I was making a mountain out of a molehill.  😀

I prayed to God about how I didn’t want to have surgery.  I just can’t be down for that kind of time or that kind of pain when I can only take Tylenol.  The doctor, however, was very impressed with my tolerance for pain.  After explaining the original injury in 2009 and how I first had the EMT put it back in place and then put it back in place myself by slamming my shoulder into the wall, he was even more baffled.  He told me he was impressed with my tolerance, especially since he used to be a sports medicine doctor for MLB and has seen the same injuries on the field with a lot less tolerance.  I left the office in high spirits and praising God for His mercy!!

I just took a personality test on  http://www.16personalities.com  that identified me as INFJ or Introverts, Initiatives, Feelers, & Judges, I have to say that once I saw the results it all makes sense.  I often wondered why I am so often misunderstood.  Why I feel things so much more than others.  Why I’m so different to others and why I can write things far better than I can verbally communicate things.  Anyway, I got a better understanding of the way I am vs the universe and I have to say it is nice to know that I am not as unusual as I think I am.  I’m part of the 2% of woman and 1% of men who fall into this category.

I’ve been working a lot on my journaling this week.  Just trying to get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper.  I’m using journal prompts to get it out there and it’s interesting some of the prompts I’ve come across.

I’m getting ready to send out some additional RAK’s for this month since I wasn’t able to do so while I was down with the shoulder.  I also made a painting, inspired by our trip to the Ringling Bros. Museum. 20170316_203717

God Bless! ❤

Life’s Lemons

For the last 24 years, I’ve been in pain 24/7 for 365.  This is a fact, not a whine.  This new pain is bringing me down low.  Just when I think this is going to be my year, life kicks me in the gut.  I don’t think I’ll ever catch a break.  I truly hate to complain about the pain; but it is so bad that I am back to vomiting over it.  UGH!

I finally decided that wearing a button down shirt is my best option.  It is the “least” painful thing to wear when you have to go from one outfit to another.  It is still painful; but I’m not having to lift my arm as much as when I wear a pull over.

The pain is radiating from the fingers up to my neck.  It is excruciating and I want to scream all the time.  I’m not; but I want to do so.

I sometimes feel like God is playing a joke on me.  That I am the butt of all of his jokes.  “Hey, look what I can do to this gal” and the next disaster strikes.  I take it all in and smile while I’m doing it because I know He’s got my back and won’t let me flounder.  Boy am I a fool.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love God with all my heart and soul. It is just that I feel so lost and alone.  For every step or two I take, I am kicked back a mile.  I haven’t been able to do anything outside of the house in almost a week.  I just drove my kid to and from school and a small trip to the grocery store; but that was exhausting to me.

I haven’t even made dinner in three days.  No, my kid won’t starve; but I’ve always made sure to make him a meal and I just can’t do it.  I’m so wiped out.  I can’t even brush my hair.  It’s a raccoon’s nest on steroids!!!  I look like holy hell.

If this is supposed to teach me something, I certainly would love to know what.  I also feel that I could have learned the lesson without the pain.

My MRI is on the 16th and ortho appt. is on the 22nd.  I can hardly wait to see what happens.  I just want to move forward.

Sometimes Life Sucks

In 2009, when my ex tried to kill me, he managed to dislocate my left shoulder.  It has not been the same since.  It took me several months to get it to stop popping out and having to put it back in place by slapping it into the wall.  Not fun.

Well, this past week, I lifted my arm and BOOM!  It is ruined!  I’m in an immobilizer sling right now and awaiting an MRI on Thursday and follow up with an Orthopedic dr.  UGH!!! I can’t believe this is happening.  I can never seem to catch a break!

The pain is immense.  It has been so bad that today is the first day I haven’t sat up and vomited.  I’m taking Tylenol for the pain.  Yup, that’s it.  Nothing more.  Thank you body for hating me so much that I can’t take anything stronger.

At present, I am cursing the universe for this one.  I’m also cursing the ex for it as well.  I can’t brush my hair.  I can’t lift my arm so I can only imagine when I’ll be able to wash it and going to the bathroom is murder!  I never knew how hard it was to pull up the panties one handed until now.  OH and the dance I have to do to accomplish it is too funny.

I cannot even begin to tell you the pain this thing has caused me over the last 8 years; but I never expected it to turn out like this.  I even kept my kid out of school to help me; because I am useless.  UGH!

Now, I await test results and doctor inquiries.  I am not happy about this at all.  No I Am NOT!  It’s times like this, I wish I had someone who could take care of me.  Alas, I do not, so I will figure out how to do it all on my own.  That’s how I usually do things anyway, so why should this be any different.

Any movement is painful.  I have cried more than I care to admit from the pain.  Sleeping is hard.  Changing clothes is hard.  I changed into this nightgown and I will not be out of it anytime soon.  IT HURT!!!!

Time is crawling by slowly.  I’m trying not to borrow trouble; but I guess I need to just pray and hope.  It is all I can do at this point.

Cruelty

It’s been six months since my best friend died and after my last post, I’ve been reflecting on that relationship and how toxic it truly was. And yet, I took care of him until his dying breath.

We became friends thanks to our children and our exes.  Our children are still best friends.  Our exes destroyed our lives.  Two families ended because two people wanted to play games with our lives.

After my ex tried to kill me in 2009, I was able to relocate and since his ex was not allowing him access to his children, even though he did nothing wrong, he decided he, also needed a fresh start and decided to move with us.

We got a three bedroom house, decided to split living expenses and move away from the two people who were trying to hurt us the most.  He knew if he stayed she’d do something to either put him in jail or worse.  I knew when my ex got out of jail he’d taunt me and torment me for fun.  It was for the best.

My son & I got help.  We were in therapy for a long time.  We began to heal.  My best friend began to drink himself through the pain.  My divorce was final March 2010 and his September 2010.    It wasn’t long after that when we became lovers.  We loved each other; but not the way a man and wife would.  I think it was more convenience than anything else.  Being lovers ended when I had to force us apart when the destruction became too much for me to bear.

He had a mother f*cker in him that was on a crash course to the end.  The more he drank, the worse he became.  He moved into his own apartment in early 2012.  I couldn’t take his cruelty any longer.

We disagree.  He’d get angry and try to force the situation.  He’d destroy my property.  He would throw things around the house.  He’d dump icy cold water on me while I was in the shower.  He’d throw my things out in the yard.  He never paid a single bill, I had to pay for everything.  His check was his own to do with as he pleased.  He cut holes in my clothes.  He would pull meals out of the oven or off the stove and throw them in the trash, uneaten.  He destroyed two of my computers.

I would lock myself in my bedroom, only to have him pick the lock and come in to further torment me.  He would trap me with no escape route so that he could get in my face and tell me what a horrible person I was.  He always told me that my son didn’t love me and was just like his father, just using me.

I spent many nights on my knees in the closet, praying to God to end it.  I wanted to die and I wanted out and I wanted to be free and I wanted it to stop and I wanted it over.  And yet, it went on until I cried so many tears I didn’t think I’d ever cry another, but I did.

I am not innocent in all of this, believe me.  I screamed back at him.  I tried to defend myself.  No matter what I did, I was never good enough and he’d use my behavior as a weapon against me, even when all I was doing was defending myself.

Then, he’d calm down and apologize.  I walked around on eggshells most days.  I never knew what would set him off.  I tried to tell him to get help; but you can’t help someone who won’t help themselves.

In 2014, it was the beginning of the end for him.  He started to become really sick.  I stood by him.  He had no one else.  I took him to doctors.  I became his health care advocate.  I took him back into my home when he was so sick he couldn’t care for himself and I was there with him when he drew his last breath.

I helped him to reunite with his brother, whom he had not spoken to in over 30 years.  I took care of every intimate detail of his life.  He was saved and accepted Jesus as his Savior and I know he is in peace, in heaven, right now.

I’m not a saint.  I’m a sinner.  I never did to him the things he had done to me.  He’d push me and I’d push back; but his cruelty was sometimes more than I could bear.  I’d cry, he’d call me a titty baby.  He was good at name calling.  He was good at breaking a person.  But, through it all, I was his friend.

He told me constantly that he loved me.  If that is love, I want no part of it.  I loved him, too; but I wasn’t in love with him and that’s a big difference.  He was like a brother to me.  I never understood the demon on his back.  I have since made peace with God over all that transpired.  I would help him again.  No one should die alone and unloved.

I am not a monster.  I have seen my share of meanness.  I have looked death in the face.  I am at peace with who I am in this world, even if no one appreciates me or loves me.  Despite what people think of me or say about me, I know who I am and what I have done.  Cruelty is not in my DNA.  I’m a call it like I see it kind of person.

In reflection, I see that the people who don’t love me or like me or whatever; are the ones who have hurt me and didn’t like it when I treated them as they did me.  My father doesn’t like it that I stand up for myself.  My sister hates it that I no longer put up with her bull sh*t.  I call a spade a spade.  They think it was so much better when they walked all over me and I let them; but this gal learned to stand up and not take it any more.  I have worth.  I have value and I don’t deserve to be mistreated.

I may never be loved in this life; but that is okay.  I know who I am and so does God and that is all I need.

Fat Tuesday

I remember the first time I ever went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  I was a young Marine and had gone with 9 male Marines as back up.  We had a blast.  Nothing says fun like hanging in a strip club with your buddies. LOL!  Of course, being young and dumb, I was also intoxicated and took my shirt off to show the stripper how much better my breasts were than hers.  Needless to say, I was quickly escorted out of the club by my friends so we wouldn’t get arrested. LOL!

Many a Mardi Gras celebration was had when I lived in the Florida panhandle.  Yearly parades, jazz music and parties abounded.  King cakes and plastic babies, moonpies and  beads, masks and Beignets, Jambalaya and gumbo; the list goes on.  Of course, Hurricanes make the day even sweeter.  Fat Tuesday is the last day of decadence until Easter.

Tomorrow, Lent begins.  For the next 40 days, we await Holy week, in remembrance of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.  We usually give something up for Lent.  A vice that we probably shouldn’t have in the first place is a great thing to give up.

As for me and my house, we will serve you, Lord.  Each & Every DAY!

SVU

SPOILER ALERT if you watch SVU and haven’t seen it this week yet!

So, I just watched this week’s Law & Order SVU and it dealt with Domestic Violence.  A subject near & dear to my heart.  A young boy is playing on a youth hockey team sexually assaults another player for losing the game because his father tells him to do so.

The boy who is assaulted winds up dying due to complications with the injury.  The young boy leaves the locker room and then goes back into said locker room and assaults the other player with a hockey stick to the rectum, as per daddy’s orders.  As the case goes on, they discover that the father is abusing the entire family and they see that he’s got them under his thumb.  The older teen brother finally provokes the father and is assaulted and records the incident to try and assist his younger brother.  There is also an elementary school son that will eventually receive the same legacy if dad isn’t stopped.

Okay, why am I writing about this you ask?  It brought back the memories of what happened after my ex tried to kill me in 2009.  I was assaulted and nearly killed by him and afterwards, we relocated south and in October, 4 months after said incident, my son was showing signs of acting out and misbehavior.  I took him into the Children’s Advocacy Center here and got him enrolled into counseling.  Immediately, it came to light that his father was knocking him around, giving him beer and showing him pornography on the internet at the age of 8.  I was devastated.    He was told not to tell me.  His father was doing all of this behind my back.  I blame myself.  At that time in my life, my stress levels were out of control due to the ex and I was constantly down due to my Lupus.  Taking Prednisone, going in and out of the hospital, sick all the time, etc.

I hated myself when I found out.  I cried so many tears for my baby boy.  I wanted to kill the SOB.  My son & I worked hard to recover from this terror.  After the June assault, we had a permanent restraining order issued and the ex was not allowed to come near us at all.  I am grateful for that.  I also am grateful that the man has since passed away and can no longer hurt my boy.

At any rate, the show triggered this angry response from me about the whole Domestic Violence issue.  I stood my ground, went to court, wanted him to pay.  I’m not like other women who allow their spouses to have that control.  He hit me.  He hit my son.  He tried to kill us; because I know if he had killed me, he would have killed the boy, too.

My Lupus has been under control for the last two years.  My stress level is greatly reduced.  I am a much better person these days and my mental state is much improved.  I still have nightmares from my PTSD; but I am in control for the most part.  I am not a mess and we are living a great life.

I wish more women and  men who are abused by their significant others would stand up.  We need to eradicate this type of behavior.  No one should be allowed to hit, emotionally abuse, sexually abuse, cheat, etc. anyone.  It is horrible and needs to stop.

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