Another Friendship Lost…

I don’t know what feels worse today…me or my broken heart.

I have had a low-grade fever every day since Sunday. Yesterday I called to let the doctor know that I had forgotten to tell him about it at my appointment on Monday, but at the time it was high too. Just now when I checked it was 99.8. That is actually a little higher than it seems because my normal temp is 97.whatever instead of 98.whatever. I thought about driving to the doctor, but with my head spinning, that probably isn’t a good idea. I don’t know what is going on. All I know is that this is unusual for me.

I sent an email yesterday to an old friend of mine. Actually, she is the one that I got my two girl dogs from. A short time ago she made a leap of faith and took a job in Boston without knowing anyone there or having a place to stay. She has made stranger things happen, so I convinced her that it was a chance worth taking. She is now in a great job there and as far as I know doing well. She has texted me a couple of times, but never an email although I have pleaded for her to write me and let me know, well, how things have been for her since she moved. She is either too busy working or at one point even said to wait until she had internet at her new apartment because she didn’t want to write an email on the phone. So, yesterday, since Bailey is back home and healthy I figured it was time for us to catch up. Even if she didn’t have much to say to me, she could at least read the email. I put the subject line as “Bailey” but I told her about my two surgeries and how I was doing better. I told her about this blog (although to be completely honest I never figured she would take the time to read it, but I hoped she would).

She wrote me back today

“Not gonna lie. I’m having a difficult time even reading this. Due to the subject line. I can’t handle any more bad news so I’m gonna pretend I didn’t get it until another day. I love you.”

Really?  The subject line?  We haven’t spoke in like 6 months and she refuses to even read the email. I burst out in tears. I understand that for whatever reason she is going through a hard time (probably work) but who doesn’t read an email from a good friend. A friend who took your dogs when you decided to travel the world so that the shelter wouldn’t put them down. A friend who let you stay at their house for over two weeks wiping your tears because you were having family and job problems until you decided that it was time to spend 3 months in Brazil. A friend who is sick and at home and just might need you. That is the “friend”‘s email that you refuse to read? So, I wrote her back saying this:

“You know, H***, I guess with all your new friends there, you don’t care about the old, sick ones here. I have been needing to talk to you for a while, but you were busy or couldn’t write an email on your new phone…I get it. Bailey WAS sick but is FINE now. I’m the one who is STILL sick and friendless. Do me a favor and don’t read the email. I put that as the subject line hoping that you would take some time out of your busy schedule to read it…guess I was wrong. It’s a mistake I won’t make again.”

So, chalk another friendship lost to chronic illness. You would think that I would be used to it now, but I’ve never had anyone be so blunt. They just slowly stopped calling or visiting or writing. I guess it is my own fault, but you know, with friends like that who needs enemies? Oh, no, I had forgotten about one. When I finally got up the courage to write something on Facebook about being sick, I did get a few replies from some old friends. When I posted “The Spoon Theory” in Spanish for M-‘s family (who I call my family) do you know that not one person responded? A few asked him about it, but not one of my “family” had the decency to respond. I think I will stick with my WordPress family. You guys always understand and almost always comment. At least I don’t feel so alone.

 

The Bathroom Floor Incident….

The Bathroom Floor Incident…

 

This is the best description of what doing chores is like for people with chronic pain. I laughed and then I almost cried…now that I think about it, I do the same thing myself when I’m having to do a chore I’ve put off. I laugh at how ridiculous I’ve been to put it off and at myself as I’m doing it. The tears come later…always later…

Another Fibro Gal…

My baby Bailey finally came home today from the vet…along with an $800 vet bill.  I really can’t complain, I mean, that is for surgery, boarding for a week, X-rays, medicine, and food.  Not to mention I have the best veterinary clinic in the world and they let you make payments.  Their first priority is the animal, not the money, and that’s how it’s supposed to be

I had to go to the doctor today also.  I have this crazy rash across the knuckles on both hands, but the left hand is worse.  It’s dry and cracked almost to the point of bleeding.  This has happened before, but usually at the end of a very dry winter, not at the beginning of fall.  Also, everything I have tried to put on it with the exception of vaseline causes it to burn like the dickens.  So, the doc was able to get me in same day and during our discussion, I learned a couple of things, but I also forgot to tell him some things. I hope it’s not important.

The doc verified what we all had been thinking (well, I have been thinking…no, I KNEW) and I guess you, my loyal readers have just come along for the ride.  I had way too many symptoms in common with my Fibromyalgia friends, not to mention a gut feeling telling me that that is probably why the fatigue has been so bad this past year.  He did the trigger point test last time I saw him, but withheld comment until after I was seen by the psychiatrist (I still don’t understand that one).  Anyway, so since I have now been to the psychiatrist, I reminded him that the topic had come up before.  I told him that I knew that I was already on the best treatments that are available at the time, and also that I didn’t want him to think that I “wanted” another illness.  However, when I am asked to fill out paperwork (like the tons that I did for my surgeries) and the paper says check next to symptoms/ syndromes/diseases  and fibromyalgia is on that list, I said “all I want to know is if I need to be checking that box”.  So he looked at me with these eyes…I can’t think of a better word to describe his eyes at that point other than ‘wise’ (maybe pitiful?) and he said as he looked at me with these wise eyes and strange (smile?) and said that I should probably go ahead and check the box.

Anytime you get a new diagnosis, it’s a very bittersweet moment. You have the moment of gratitude (for the recognition and validation of your ailments, but also, that moment when you think “SHIT…something else to worry about…something else to suck my energy and ruin my relationships.”  The doc is supposed to order some occupational therapy to help make sure that what I do around the house (now that I’m feeling a bit better)won’t hurt me more than I already am and also to make sure that I don’t need any type of special accommodations (whatever that means).

What I forgot to tell him was about the low-grade fever night before. It got up to 99.3. It probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but after leaving the doctors office today I got another one. I don’t know what it got up to because by the time I got home it had gone back down. See, my temp runs low just like my blood pressure. 97 is my norm, not 98 just like 100-110/ 60-70 is my norm for blood pressure. At the doctors office, it was already up to 98.5 after leaving the doctors office I had an errand to run before going to the pharmacy. My face got bright red, I was hot and cold at the same, and I had chills. By the time I got home it was 99.8. I don’t know if that is important as far as the rash on my hands is concerned, but I think I’ll call him anyway. I hope that it’s nothing and will clear up soon.

Oh, and I have another appointment at the pain clinic on Thursday. That should be fun lol! I will be sure to let you know how it goes…Goodnight all!

Bad Office Visit

Thursday’s post part II…

Health-wise, I am doing better.  Physical therapy is finally starting to help (it always takes a while for you to get over the soreness) and I am feeling stronger.  Last Thursday I went to the pain specialist.  That is a story in itself….I’m trying to decide if I want to tell it…ok, you pulled my leg.

So, at my pain clinic, a “Comprehensive Pain Clinic” (meaning that everyone works together to make sure that you receive the best health care possible…) the doctors see you on the initial visit, set up a ‘plan of action’ and if procedures such as nerve blocks are involved, they perform those.  During the monthly ‘check-up’ visits, you are usually seen by a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant.  Well, I have formed a very good relationship with one of the nurse practitioners.  She listens to what I say, takes into account the medicine’s effectiveness against the side effects, and (a very rare quality for someone in the medical profession to have) she realizes that I KNOW MY BODY.  I know when something just isn’t right or when things start to get better.  Well, last time I went to my appointment, I was seen by a physician’s assistant that I didn’t know instead of my nurse practitioner (haha notice how I say ‘my nurse practitioner’…I would almost rather see her than the doctor…she’s great!).  Anyway, I was seen by someone else who put me on the max dose of Lyrica (which is almost enough to put an elephant to sleep) and when I got my discharge summary for that visit, I noticed LOTS of errors.

This month’s visit (Last Thursday) I was seen by yet another PA (physician’s assistant).  She didn’t seem to want to worry with the discharge summary that I brought back from my last visit full of highlighted areas where I had found errors.  I had to repeat 3 times the types of surgeries that I had just had and the dates.  She asked about trigger point injections (which my ob/gyn-specialist in pelvic pain – gives me…and always has).  I gave her the dates of my trigger point injections.  Then I start to tell her how the Lyrica is just not working out for me.  I have to continue to take it per the neurologist, but not at the dose they had me on.  I wanted to go back to the dose the neurologist had me on.  Then I asked her what type of procedure/nerve block/etc. they had in mind for me since I was done with my surgeries and the last one didn’t work.  (Let me stop a minute and explain that the ‘plan of action’ was to get me to a point where I no longer had to take narcotic pain medication.  That is why we have been trying different nerve blocks and other procedures.)  So, the PA is completely confused as to why I would want another procedure done if I had just gotten trigger point injections done.  Well, she asked.  So I tried to explain to her that my adhesions are so bad that there is actually muscle involvement which is why we do regular trigger point injections for the stiff and sore muscles, but that it has nothing to do with my normal “adhesion pain”.  Well, I guess she decided that she wasn’t going to receive lessons from a patient, so she stands up, yells “I know what adhesions are thank you very much” walks out of the room and slams the door….(crickets chirping…)  I was speechless.  I could not believe that a medical professional could be so childish and rude to a patient.  I sat there for a few long moments trying to convince myself that what happened was real.  I considered writing a letter to the medical board.  I considered not doing anything (and if you believe that one, you still don’t know me very well, do you?).  I opened the door, walked out of the room and right up to the ‘check out’ lady (she just happened to be the closest employee to me).  I informed her that I was going to continue to sit right there in that room until one of the five or six doctors who work there or my nurse practitioner were able to come in and perform a cordial visit.  I informed her that the lady who had just left my room was incompetent as far as my medical needs were concerned and instead of leaving and asking for help, she yelled at me, left, and slammed the door behind her (I think the ‘check out’ lady actually heard/saw her slam the door, because she was right in front of the door, so I guess that corroborated my story).  I did not wait for an answer, I turned around, went back in my room, and sat waiting for someone to come in.

It took about 10 minutes for the clinic manager (who, by the way, is not a doctor, but a business man in charge of making sure that professionalism is maintained).  The clinic manager asked me to explain what had happened.  After telling him, he apologized like five times wanting to make sure that I understood that this was not the norm there and (after I mentioned looking for another doctor) he said that the last thing that they wanted was for me to find a new clinic.  He left me his card so that if anything further happens I am able to get in touch with him directly.  That was nice of him and I must say, completely unexpected.

Next, my nurse practitioner came in.  I told them both (the manager was still there) that I have a complex history.  If the PA or NP is only given 5 or 10 minutes per patient, that time needs to be spent discussing treatment options and compliance.  If I have to see a new person each time, then that time is spent on a medical history that absolutely can not be told in 10 minutes, leaving no time to discuss the treatment plan, side effects, or possible changes in medication.  I told them that if they wanted me to continue to go there, then they were just going to have to schedule me for when I can be seen by the doctor or the nurse practitioner.  Both agreed.  The manager left, and the NP and I were able to discuss my goals and priorities and which ones were and were not being met.  We discussed side effects and possible new treatments that would reduce the side effects of the other medication and get me to where I need to be to reach some of those goals.

After having a “normal” visit, they sent in a girl to go through my chart and correct all of the discrepancies that had been found.  We went slowly and made sure that medicine dosages were correct, that diagnosis codes were correct and that diagnosis that should be listed were and ones that shouldn’t were taken off.  Right before she left (by this point I had been there over 4 hours and the clinic was about to close) my doctor (the one I saw on intake and right before they put me nighty-night during procedures) actually came in the room to also apologize for the rudeness I had experienced and for the discrepancies in my chart.  He assured me that all diagnosis would be checked and corrected and that I will be provided with the copy of my medical record since my first visit there at no charge to me.  Well yeah, that’s the least they could do…

Although the visit started off horrendously, it ended on a good note.  They made sure to correct all mistakes and to make sure that I got the medical attention that I deserved.  Since that visit, I have felt much better.  They lowered the dose of Lyrica, which allows me to stay awake during the day and to sleep better at night.  I also started a long-acting medication to see how I would tolerate it.  So far, it’s doing great.  I will go back in two weeks (well, one week now) to discuss the results of the medication change and to see what I think about completely changing to it.  Also, they will be doing a second caudal (nerve block on my tail bone…I broke my tail bone at the beginning of the year and they did one then that helped so much it was like night and day).  But recently I have been having trouble sitting down and my hips have been giving me a lot of trouble.  By doing the caudal block again, we will be able to see how much of the pain is from my tailbone and how much is from my hips.  That way if I still have trouble, they can send me to a rheumatologist to find out what is going on with my hips.

See, this is exactly what I was talking about in my post Be Your Own Advocate.  You have to stand up for yourself and demand that you get the service you deserve.  My clinic was fast to make amends and correct the problems.  Why?  Because they know that I can go somewhere else.  If I go somewhere else, my money goes with me…and they want to keep that money there.  Also, there is the small matter of the medical board.  If you are treated disrespectfully, and the doctor is unwilling to make amends, you should report him (or the clinic, whichever the case may be) to the medical board in your state.  If we don’t speak up about mistreatment, then no one knows that it’s happening.  You have to be strong and speak up for yourself.  Everyone (but especially a person with a chronic illness) deserves to be respected and treated to the best of the doctor’s ability.  If the doctor is unable to treat the patient, then they should be referred elsewhere, but the patient should NEVER be disrespected.  NEVER EVER!  Be strong my friends.  I know that when you are dealing with a chronic issue, you lose faith in the medical profession and sometimes even in yourself…but don’t.  Because YOU ARE WORTH IT!  You deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and you should demand it.  BE STRONG!

 

 

 

Bailey’s Surgery

IMG_0506

Mama’s girl

I haven’t written a post in quite a while.  That leaves a lot of “living, loving, hope,” and writing to be done.  Why the reference to breast cancer month?  Because I love October and Breast Cancer Awareness.  Since pink just happens to be my favorite color, October and I usually get along pretty well.  Also, the weather starts to change and I LOVE fall/autumn.  I am going to write this post in two parts because it ended up being REALLY long when I put it together.  So, here is Thursday part one.

I do have one thorn in my heart right now that I will tell you about.  My dog Bailey started having trouble on Saturday night using the bathroom until by Sunday, she was unable to urinate at all.  I called the vet on Sunday, but I took her first thing Monday morning.  After some x-rays were done, they said that she did not have any bladder stones (I guess like kidney stones in humans) but that the size of her bladder was stretched to double regular size. The doctor did this procedure where he drained everything out of her bladder and then kind of ‘rinsed it out’.  He said that she had so many crystals in her bladder/urine that he couldn’t believe that none had completely formed yet.  He also said that with 35 years experience as a vet he had never seen a dog’s bladder stretched as bad as hers was and with so many crystals.  So, like Mother, like Daughter.  Doctors have never seen adhesions as bad as I have and now, doctors have never seen a bladder like Bailey’s.  Poor Bailey.  I know she must have been in so much pain.  Whenever my bladder fills up, the room it takes up and the adhesions that it pulls as it expands is usually what wakes me up every night.  I can only as bad as it hurts, though, I can only imagine how bad my baby was hurting.  I called this morning to see if she could go home, and they told me that yes, she could go home because she had been able to urinate on her own, but that the doc would want to talk to me.  So, I went to physical therapy and when I got out I went to pick up my baby girl!  They put me in a room, though because

Bailey last year for Halloween as a Lion

Bailey last year for Halloween as a Lion

the doctor wanted to talk to me.  When he came in he said that although he had seen her use the bathroom that morning, he had decided to do an x-ray to check just in case.  It turns out that she was not emptying her bladder…there was still a blockage.  So, his recommendation was to go ahead and do surgery.  He would go in and clean out her bladder and then she would be catheterized for a few days to allow the muscles around the bladder to rest and to hopefully shrink the bladder back down to size.  So, I agreed (this veterinary office has been the best I’ve ever used and they offer to let you make payments, therefore making the animal more important than the cash) and Bailey had surgery yesterday afternoon.  When I called later, they said that she got through the surgery just fine, but that it will be Monday before I can bring her home.  It breaks my heart that she’s not here, but I’m glad that she is being taken care of.

My Awards Ceremony Continues…

Well, obviously I had to break them down into two posts, but I am proud to have been able to accept four awards in one day (well, two if you count my homework…writing questions, picking new nominees).  I just wish I had gotten to get all dressed up or something 😉 …I am having a good day today. I guess that’s what counts.  Besides, when I feel great and decide to get all dressed up for one reason or another, these posts can always be updated with pictures.  🙂

Speaking of pictures, I was terrified to put a photo to my blog at the beginning because it was supposed to be an anonymous blog. Of course we have been through that subject and I am slowly starting to share my illness with the world. I had a couple of friends on Facebook that just said ‘oh, so that’s why you’ve been hiding away from us’…and it was. Who wants to ‘shop talk’ bodily functions? I mean really?   But, that is exactly what I have found here on WordPress. I have found people who COMPLETELY understand what I’m going through when NO ONE in my real life understands (except maybe doctors, but they don’t count). I have met a new group of people who are not only willing to listen to me but who understand what I am going through and don’t judge me. That is why this first award means so much to me.  I was nominated for this award by Tammy @ Walk with me on my journey of illness to the road of happiness and a life of fulfillment.   She has truly become one of my family.  We talk every day by email (health permitting) and usually during the weekend or if something really important has happened during the week, we speak by phone.  She has become my best friend.  And as much of a wildcat as she is, surprisingly I am not too far behind.  She is my “adhesion sister”, and I love her. We can somehow gently glide from “shop talk” to family issues to what we had for dinner…she is so easy to talk to and, like I said, my best friend.

She is not the only one that I have found myself talking “touchy subjects” with.  These illnesses have brought us all together on this site and made us a family.  A family of “misunderstood”  and often (emotionally) hurting people who benefit from having others who truly “get” what they’re saying.

More information about this award can be found on this page here.  The rules are simple:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your wordpress experience and family
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them
5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

In honor of receiving the ‘I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award’, I am finally going to link my Facebook page to my blog.  You will all be able to know more about who I am (although I’m warning you I’m not on Facebook that much) but since you have become my family, I will share those things with you same as I do my own family.

(Update: Facebook won’t let me share my ‘regular’ page..it has to be a fan page or something.  So, you should be able to find me at http://facebook.com/joy.streetman.  please mention your WordPress “name” so that I will know who you are. If you find that this link doesn’t work, please let me know so that I can figure out why!)

So, without further ado, ten other people who have made me feel completely at home here from day one would be the following people:

1.  I Am Awake Now Thank You VERY MUCH

2.  Spicyt’s Blog

3.   MySexyEndo

4.  Ememelle

5.  Living Bendy

6. The Never Ending Headache

7.  The Nocternal Laundress

8.  Midnightdemons7

9.  Painful Hilarity

10.  PEACE. PURPOSE. PONDERING.

 

Next…

I hate to put this in the same post, but guys, it has been a VERY long day.  The last award that I have been nominated for is The Versatile Blogger Award.  This was also given to me  by Ms. Tammy @Walk with me on my journey of illness to the road of happiness and a life of fulfillment.

The rules for this one are as follows:

1. Display the Award on your Blog.
2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who nominated you.
3. Present 15 deserving Bloggers with the Award.
4. Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.
5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself

So, I suppose I will start with the 7 interesting things about myself.

1)  I love the color pink.  October is one of my favorite months because the weather is just starting to cool down in Alabama and I have the best excuse EVER (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) to wear as much pink as I want to and not look childish.  Oh, and they light up the courthouse with pink lightbulbs also.  Pretty cool.

2)  I love the Rocky (Smoky) Mountains.  As a child, we used to take all of our vacations there with the end point being Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  We always drove through the mountains just to look at their beauty.

3)  I love Dolly Parton.  Ok, I know that sounded a little strange, but she has a theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee called Dollywood.  Besides learning about “the good old days”, listening to some of the best gospel music you’ll ever hear, and riding the rides, I met Dolly Parton on a couple of occasions.  She was always quick to give a hug and get her picture made with you.  I also love the sound of her voice.  A lot of people aren’t as fond of her voice as I am, but I love it. I remember having a friend in school, and one of the first things we found we had in common was being Dolly Parton fans (which was just not ‘cool’ at the time. Oh yeah, instant friends.

4)  I am a total foodie.  I love to cook and if I had unlimited means, would probably have a professional kitchen put in my house.  Cooking relaxes me and the food at the end isn’t too bad either 🙂  It’s one of the things that I miss the most right now and one that is high on my list of priorities as far as getting better goes.  I want to be able to cook a full meal again.  I am hoping that by Thanksgiving or Christmas I will be able to cook the meal without having to lie down to rest afterwards or being in so much pain that I’m nauseated and can’t  enjoy the food with everyone else.

5) My mother was my best friend growing up (yes, I had other best friends too, geez).  What I mean is that we were very close.  This December 27 will be the 10th anniversary of her death.  I expect it will be pretty hard on me.  I would like to be able to do something special to celebrate.  I just haven’t decided what. (Any suggestions? Remember I’m on a limited budget.)

6)  I was always an overweight child.  Obesity runs in my family, so at 18 1/2 years old I had gastric bypass surgery.  I did really, really well with it (maybe because I was so young).  I weighed 299 the day of surgery and my normal weight now is 150.  At the moment I am a little over at 160, but I am still happy.  The reason it worked for me was because I was mentally prepared for it.  I knew it wasn’t an easy fix and that it would change my life forever.  I think that is why so many GB surgeries fail.  The patient isn’t prepared for the physical or emotional changes that come with gastric bypass surgery.  They think it is a quick fix and then they will be thin and life will be perfect…it’s nothing like that.

7) Last but not least…I know this sort of hits on number 3, but I am a diehard country music fan.  I grew up listening to the greats like Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, and the Oak Ridge Boys.  I still love country music.  Boy has it changed, but no other music can tell a story, or touch your soul, the way country music can.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t like other music.  My other favorite is Latino Pop.  i bet you weren’t expecting that one, huh?

Ok, my 15 deserving bloggers are as follows:

1.  I Am Awake Now Thank You VERY MUCH

2.  Spicyt’s Blog

3.   MySexyEndo

4.  Ememelle

5.  Living Bendy

6. The Never Ending Headache

7.  The Nocternal Laundress

8.  Midnightdemons7

9.  Painful Hilarity

10.  PEACE. PURPOSE. PONDERING.

11.  StoryShucker

12. BoredSick

13. Just Another F-bomb

14. EDS Info (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)

15. RachelMankowitz

My Leibster Awards Ceremony

AWARD NUMBER ONE:

I have surprisingly just been (quite a few days ago, but I’ve been busy, guys) nominated for my first award, the Liebster Award. I was nominated by Tammy  one of the sweetest people I know, , a wonderful woman who also suffers with adhesions and a whole host of other illnesses. She, her battle and her spunk 😉 inspire me every day.

As far as receiving this award goes, it was definitely a surprise. Who knew that my ramblings would one day warrant an award? I am grateful and somewhat humbled. Maybe people are paying attention and if nothing else, they know more about adhesions than they did before.

I copied (SHAME ON ME!) this information about the Leibster Award from one of the best I’ve seen:
Info About the “Liebster Award”

 

The Liebster Award, or “the favorite blog award”, is an internet-based award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. In Germany, the word “liebster” has the same meaning as “favorite, beloved, or dearest.” This award is primarily given to blogs that have less than 200 followers. That way, it helps the blogger with being more known to the world as well as giving the blogger the opportunity to learn about more amazing bloggers.

As part of this award, I have been asked to answer ten questions, so here goes:

1. If you had $1,000,000, what would you do?
If I had a million dollars, I would probably cry about it first (I know me). After that, I would do the basic, buy a small house (who wants a big one they’re too hard to clean…maybe a condo, then), buy a car, and probably do the same for my sister. I would try to start a non-profit to raise awareness for adhesions (all though I have no idea how one would go about doing that, I guess I would figure it out because it is desperately needed), and the rest would go in the bank to pay my bills for the rest of my life :).

2. Are you more of a tea or coffee person?
You know it’s funny, I used to be more of a coffee person, but I have gotten to where I drink a lot of tea. Black teas are my favorite (I guess they remind me of coffee) but I have also began to drink green tea (I like the kind with flavors like dragon fruit and pomegranate. YUM!

3. What is your favorite Disney movie?
It’s a tie between The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. I loved them both. And I loved singing along.

4. What was your favorite childhood game?
I was always an “indoors” kind of girl. I liked to play school. If I had to pick an actual team sport, I really liked volleyball. I even tried out for the team as a freshman, but then quit when none of the uniforms fit me (I always had weight issues).

5. Who do you look up to and why?
I look(ed) up to my mother. I think that if I could be more like her, I would be a better person. I know that I am a lot like her, but I still strive for more. Never in my life have I known a love like hers…and I probably never will again. When she loved, she loved unconditionally.

6. What kind of color would you describe yourself as today?
Today I am pink.

7. If you could go to any country in the world, which country would it be?
I can’t pick just one. I want at least two. Spain and Ireland. I have always wanted to go to go to Europe, I figure the best countries to start in would be the ones where you can communicate

8. Think of one descriptive word about yourself that begins with the first letter in your name.
Jaded

9. What is your favorite food?
Right now, I am stuck on white rice, butter, salt, pepper, and a little chipotle sauce. I have always been one to get on food “kicks” and that is mine for now. Ask me again in another month and it’ll be something different. Actually, a BBQ sandwich sounds really good…

10. What type of exercise is your favorite?
Well, since I don’t really like to exercise (never have) and it has only become more difficult over the years, I am going to have to say yoga (or the stretches my PT gives me…which is pretty close to the same thing).

AWARD NUMBER TWO:
And wouldn’t you know that during this hiatus of mine (where honestly I’ve been procrastinating about receiving these awards) I received another Liebster Award.

This Liebster Award is from Leslie @ Just Another F-Bomb. I can’t say I know Leslie as personally as Tammy, but honestly when you read these blogs you truly feel like you come to know the other person. You feel their pains because you’ve felt them before, and they feel yours for the same reason.

Now, the ten questions that I must answer for Leslie are:

1. If you could live anywhere you wanted, where would it be?
I honestly have no idea. Wherever the weather is a constant 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit would probably be my answer.

2. What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
As an adult I haven’t had the luxury to vacation much. Just once in Mexico. And as much as I loved it there…now that I think about it, that is probably where I would want to live…my mind keeps going back to the vacation spot of my childhood. Every year (sometimes a couple of times a year) we would go to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I know that may seem boring to some of you, but I have never been anywhere more beautiful than there during these autumn months when the leaves turn almost every color in the rainbow. Plus, the memories I have from going there with my mother, uncle, and grandmother are priceless.

3. If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
When I was a kid, I wanted to work for the CDC. You know, in the laboratory in those funny-looking suits saving the world from diseases unknown. However, after careful consideration (and one hell of a long hospital stay) I decided the medical field just wasn’t for me. I enjoy languages and linguistics much more. I was studying Spanish linguistics when the adhesions finally grabbed hold too tight. I intended to translate (written documents) instead of teaching or interpreting.

4. Do you have a favorite teacher who inspired you?
Absolutely. One of my college professors, Belita Faki. She spoke five different languages fluently (as did her 11 yr. old daughter!). She pushed me much farther than I thought I could go. I still feel like I let her down in some way. I hope she doesn’t feel the same.

5. Why do you blog?
I decided to start blogging in order to meet other people with adhesions, but realized along the way that I was meant to meet so many more people than that. Now, I hope to bring attention to adhesions, “the medical community’s best kept secret” and help people to avoid them, or at least be able to have them diagnosed before they are too bad to be repaired like mine are.

6. If you had a magic wand, what would you use it to change?
I try not to have regrets…they cause more harm than they’re worth. With that said, I would have to change something from the future not the past…and since I’m not there yet, I don’t know what I would change.

7. Do you dress up for Halloween?
Absolutely not…but I do dress up my dogs!

8. What was your most memorable day and why?
Man, these are hard questions! I have so many…

9. Kids or pets, which do you prefer?
My pets are my kids, so I don’t have much choice in the matter. I was dealt this health card at a pretty young age. At that time, I wasn’t ready for kids. Now that I would give anything to be able to have a child, I probably wouldn’t be able to even have one much less take care of it. My dogs suit me just fine.

10. How long did it take you to complete the Liebster “task”?
Too long! 🙂

Ok, as part of my accepting these awards, I must choose 10 nominees of my own and give them 10 questions to answer…here goes.

My nominees are:
1.) http://forwomenseyesonly.com
2.) http://boredsick.wordpress.com
3.) http://briannakateiam.wordpress.com
4.) http://chronicerrata.com
5.) http://edsinfo.wordpress.com
6.) http://theinvisiblef.com
7.) http://karennorrod.wordpress.com
8.) http://fighterzblog.wordpress.com
9.) http://disabilitysexy.wordpress.com
10.) http://livingbendy.com

 

Fear not, my friends! If you are nominated for the Liebster Award, these are the following steps you need to take in order to graciously accept your award…

1. Link back and recognize the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer ten questions given to you, by the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate ten other bloggers for the award.
4. Create ten questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Notify your nominees.

My ten questions for you  guys are:

1.  Are you a “foodie”

2.  Why did you decide to publish a blog instead of just journaling privately?

3.  What is your favorite pet i.e. cats, dogs, goldfish, and why?

4.  Do you feel less lonely since beginning to blog than you did before?

5.  Have you made many new friends in “Blogland”?

6.  If you could be any Disney character, which one would you be and why?

7.  If you were able, what would you volunteer your time doing?

8.  Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie?

9.  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

10.  I love to cook…what about you?  Are you able to cook or are you one of those that burns boiling water? 🙂

Last Night’s Tonglen Exercise

Last night I was having trouble going back to sleep after being woken up by pain. One of the exercises I remembered from the book “How to Be Sick” was the one on Tonglen. Basically, it is deep breathing like when you meditate, but instead of breathing in health and good feelings and breathing out your pain and suffering, it is just the opposite. You breathe in other’s pain and suffering and breathe out love and joy to ease that suffering. I don’t know why I felt the need to do this. Perhaps it was knowing that others are out there suffering just as much or worse than me. So, this is how it went:

(Remember first is the breath in, next is the breath out)

– For all of you who can’t sleep
– I wish you sweet dreams

– For all of you in pain
– I wish you relief

– For all of you who are suffering
– I wish you peace

– For all those who are lonely
– I am with you

– For all who need to be believed
– I believe you

– For those who need to be loved
– I love you

And that is the last I remember before falling asleep. I don’t know why I haven’t tried it before. I have always said that I have so much love to give. I love my dogs and they love me back unconditionally. I love M- and he doesn’t even want to talk to me half the time, so I sort of feel like that love is wasted. I don’t have a child, and never will, so there is another missed opportunity to share my love. So for some reason, I sent that love and understanding, the belief of symptoms, the peace from suffering, the relief from pain, and the wishes for sweet dreams that I don’t get to others who need them. And I suppose I sent those things to myself too, because somewhere in there I found the peace that I needed to fall back asleep.

I guess it’s a reminder that before someone can truly love you, you have to love yourself first. As long as I can learn to love myself with my illness and my defects then maybe I can receive love and understanding. It makes me realize how hard it must be for M-. He used to have someone he could go out with and have a good time. Now I just lie around in bed sometimes without the strength to even shower much less do things around the house. The woman he had is gone and just the sick shell of a person remains. Why should he love me? He should be running for the hills looking for someone worthy of his love. And then I am grateful that he is still here and giving me the chance to find that love for myself that I lost along the way. Once I find it I will be able to see that he does still love me, or if not, I will have the strength to send him on his way. Either way I will love myself again. Right now I don’t.