Recovery

Recovery is never owned. It is always rented; And the rent is due everyday.

I speak from experience and of a place where recovery in each of these aspects were bleak for some time. Hopeless.

Recovery from anything is badass. Try, try again, if we must, but let’s not stop trying. Eventually the pain lessons. I’m not speaking of physical pain as that isn’t always possible. Many illnesses, progress. The mental pain, anguish, depression and despair that often comes with, can.

Recovery

I can hardly describe the level of “worn” I had become.

I kept on keeping on though. Trying.

The many years of being a pain patient advocate helped restore purpose from prior years of being bed bound. My Spinal Cord Stimulator permanent implant in 2006 gave me extra life to do so. It may not have been a lot, but it was a lot to me and I was grateful.

The last couple of years I’ve been learning to live without it. I had its benefit for a decade.

Imagine suddenly revising the bit of life it offered to no more or very little once more. That was an ouch on my mental health and I had to recover myself from that loss. I think I’ve mentioned a few times before its still implanted, non working. This year will be 15 years since it first became apart of my body.

For the longest time I found myself adjusting my body to the stimulation that wasn’t on. Habit. I was mindful that it was time to charge my internal battery, yet it wasn’t.

These things may seem odd, but it had been routine for so long.

I’m currently attempting to recover from weight gain. I was doing low carbs in late 2019 when my ankle broke. I fell off that as I was laid up from it for a time being. CoVid emerged and when people were buying and hoarding toilet paper, our only staple became rice. Anything goes with rice. We didn’t have stocked cupboards or pantries full of backup food items. We had rice! The carbohydrates flourished.

I’ve been back on low carbs for about 11 weeks.

Addictions and habits come in many forms. Not all are alcohol or drug related. I know a lot of people with severe sugar addiction. They can’t give it up. In comparison to booze or substances its the same, differently. It creates diabetes and heart disease.

Have you ever heard someone say “at least they’re not on drugs? At least they’re not a alcoholic? I have! Numerous times.

My husband can’t give up his sugar and he has both. He’s had a quadruple open heart surgery and 4 heart attacks. First heart attack at 37 years old and his 4th in 2018 at 51.

Each time he tried and fell back into unhealthy habits.

Is an alcoholic or drug addiction worse than a sugar addiction? I don’t believe so anymore. It’s easy to toss on the stigma for certain groups and minimize the same problem in others, yet sugar kills too. Any bad habit is harmful.

I’m also recovering from his choice to have his snacks. I didn’t want him to. I want him to live. In my own healing, I realized I can’t make him choose better. Only he can do that.

We all, every one of us, has something we do to cope. We all vary. Even Workaholics are consumed by an addiction. I could go on and on.

We have to find our road to recovery within ourselves.

The only person who could help me, or make me stop consuming alcohol was me. You can’t guilt shame people into stopping a bad habit. You know what you really do for them with shaming? Nudge them toward another shot of booze or into reaching for their problem of choice, perhaps a cookie binge.

I use to feel, like many patient advocates had and still do, that drug addicts were the reason that I, an incurable non opioid addict, was denied pain care. That’s not true to me anymore, and it hasn’t been for a few years now.

These people didn’t do this to me. It’s the politics, anti opioid crusaders, PROP, physicians running scared, illicit narcotics, and so forth.

I am still bothered by lack of personal responsibility though. Becoming an addict, misusing, or abusing, isn’t solely everyone else’s fault.

Choice and consequence.

Pain is pain and it’s all semantics anyway.

If you’re sober today, I’m proud of you. If you’re not, I’m praying for you.

Forward in faith,

Journey on.

29 Months Alcohol Free

Next Friday, the 18th, I’ll be 29 months alcohol free.

I used alcohol in order to cope with chronic illness, comorbidities, intense intractable pain. I did this especially when pain and associated symptoms were out of control, when medication management was denied or delayed by Worker’s Compensation, and ultimately when I was dropped from pain management of 12 years in early 2016. 

I can hardly believe I’ve existed since.

I haven’t blogged in some time. If you’ve followed me throughout the years you know that I was also suicidal in 2016-17 and attempts were made.

2016 is when booze came on board for me with more than a few drinks. In 2017, I had backed off from it again, and towards the end of 2018, I was struggling extra without any health related care or management of pain.

January 2021 was also the 20th year of CRPS 2 and the work injuries that caused it.

By this time though, I reached 2 years of sobriety. (January 18, 2019 is when this part of my journey to abstain begun)

My son gifted me this coin. It’s a heart felt reminder of overlapping emotions, the deepest was letting go.

Letting go of fighting for care was major. I’m not chasing or begging anyone, anymore, ever.

I’ve already done that and it killed me inside to be abandoned and discarded in such pain.

Here I am still, over 5 years later, no medications, no treatments, under no physician care whatsoever, with a broken spinal cord stimulator, progression, and…. alcohol free.

How? Jesus Only Jesus.

Christmastime and the New Year

Its hard to even describe anymore all that it is physically.

I spent the Saturday before Christmas with my son Ozra, daughter in law, Samantha, and 2 of my grandson’s.

It was our Christmas time together.

Originally, I was just going to go, as is. I decided to dress in Christmas colors and present decently.

December 19, 2020

There’s no affects or filters on this. The sun coming through the window behind me and my table top tree captured a natural moment.

The smile is real as my son was about to pick me up so that I could be with my Grands.

I’m often quite sloppy. I live in pajamas or sweats. Physically it’s a chore. Constant exertion from painful weight bearing.

Sadly, if I dressed each day, dinner and actual chores wouldn’t get done and often times it’s an achievement to have dinner ready at all, dishes done, dogs fed, and the toilet swooshed.

Some might call that lazy, if it was laziness I’d have an opportunity to change that. I don’t know how to change this.

My grandson Ezekiel is their first son, and my grandson De’Mantai (‘Tai) is my daughter Kharisma’s oldest son.

There was goodness in that day.

And then I went low (depression) and that became heightened by other worries.

When the agony hits the mind becomes frail, too.

I didn’t reveal this as it was occurring.

I thought that while we should be able to reach out to one another, and at times I wanted to, some become bothered by us and to those people we’re just complaining.

That’s why so many feel alone.

The stigma is real.

My low is leveling out. I feel more secure in sharing now.

I know that no one could tell at all. I’ve worked hard to face it to make it, yet I suppose fake it to make it still applies at times, at least outwardly. We don’t want to dampen other people’s mood. I don’t want to effect their own mental health.

I had plans to spend New Years Eve with my son, as well.

It breaks my heart that I couldn’t.

His going away party is in 8 days. They move to Arizona later this month.

CRPS has robbed us all of so much.

I do continue to try to focus on what we do have, what I can do, what we have done rather than the pain in it all.

I helped myself through this sending love and prayers around to others and focusing on good things.

For those who can relate, I see you and feel you more than you’ll ever know.

❌⭕❌⭕

52 – God, Thank you.

Monday, I’ll be celebrating 52 years of life.

It’s been a good year despite a few things.

2 new grandsons born 10 weeks apart. Those are blessings.

Ezekiel will be 16 weeks old in 2 weeks and Zy’Aire will be 6 weeks.

Ezekiel
Zy’Aire

Our oldest grandson De’Mantai will be 15 in less than 4 months.

De’Mantai and I

My 3 loves.

I’ll be spending a little time with Zeke (Ezekiel) on Saturday and very much looking forward to being with him.

My son Ozra is moving to Casa Grande, Arizona in a few months. While my heart aches over it, he has my full blessing to start this new journey with his wife and baby.

My husband is making a birthday dinner for me on Sunday. He tried to take Friday or Monday off, but someone requested those days sooner.

Sunday is just fine. 🥰

Here’s to 52, God, thank you!

Overcoming a Meltdown

It’s been one flare after another. From CRPS to my spine. Back and forth, up and down. Head to toe.

Little relief in any of it. Nights are worse and while I’ve worked hard on trying to get to sleep at a decent time and rise earlier again I couldn’t get in any position so far tonight, which is now this morning, that hasn’t caused additional full body strain and pain.

At the moment, I’m tolerating.

Currently, I’m sitting up, pillows propped behind me and at my sides. I’ve taken every supplement on hand. I’ve had to discontinue Ibuprofen and similar NSAIDS. It tore my stomach up this week. Back to Tylenol.

The last time I had a meltdown was late 2018.

So that there’s no misunderstanding my last suicidal episode was January 2017.

This wasn’t any of that.

I’ve been managing RSD/CRPS, clinical depression/Major Depressive Disorder, anxiety, and other chronic illnesses on my own for years now. I’m still adapting to not having use of my Spinal Cord Stimulator. Non working, still implanted.

Life piles on more than I can handle at times. I know I’m not alone in that. If I’m in a flare when something happens, for example, my husbands 4th heart attack in 2018, my ability to take on both the physical and emotional traumas together can cause each to worsen drastically. In 2018, I picked up the booze again for a couple of months.

This recent meltdown just a couple of days ago was better than previous ones because I didn’t think about ending my life, nor did I consider alcohol.

It was intense bouts of tears, fears, choking on air, snotty discharge, gasping for breath, pounding head ache, panic attacks,, my limbs locking,, and I couldn’t in those moments shut those emotions down by just wanting to. I wish it was that simple.

I prayed. Slowed my breathing, grabbed on to thoughts of good, and objects I could see, and eventually I came out of it. It wasn’t the only one this week. I was overwhelmed beyond description.

There was no anger to lash out in any way.

It’s taken 5 years to get this far.

I do remove myself now a days from many situations, but we can’t remove ourselves from everything. Some things require our attention more than others.

Some situations affect us more than others might especially when loved ones are concerned.

They will always be both my weakness and strength.

Today I’m 1 year, 8 months, and 1 week sober. 💯 percent.

Nope, not today Satan.

Small Wins

Small wins are worth celebrating too. Sometimes they’re the biggest wins of all.

This should remain a daily reminder in all of us who live with intractable pain and illnesses.

Depression has a tendency to latch on when physical pain and symptoms become more severe than average.

I have a hard time when a flare has me at an 8 or above on the pain scale. Mental health declines. I know I’m not alone in that and neither are you.

It feels alone though, doesn’t it?

Celebrate those things you’ve achieved in severity.

If you helped someone else laugh for a moment in their own unrelenting pain, despair and uncertainty take a moment within yourself to acknowledge that you did. Thats ok. It may have been all you could give or contribute.

That’s a win for both of you.

Our Thoughts

Our thoughts. They don’t choose us. We choose them.

Living with chronic illnesses and the secondary depression and anxiety disorders that came along with, I’ve often been caught up in my thoughts, emotions.

Today is a day that if I’m not mindful and aware that I could end up caught in one of those emotional traps.

Physical pain is debilitating. The inability to stand from a seated position without severity is overwhelming. I need my legs and feet to lift my back and I need my back to get to my feet.

Negative thoughts try to take advantage of my well-being.

I’m not trying hard enough, I’m not doing enough, I’m a failure. Guilt.

As I said, “try”. They are trying to, but I cannot allow them to. I’m in control.

It’s not true. I’m neither of those. The devil is a lie.

I couldn’t make our dinner yesterday, my husband did it for us.

Today is worse than yesterday. I don’t want him to go to work each day and then come home and feed us. It’s the one thing I do regularly. We don’t do take out, perhaps twice a year at best,, nearly everything here has to be prepared, cooked and served. That keeps me busy.

Did I mention my best friend? The Crockpot?

I got our food into the crockpot earlier. My main goal achieved. If I’m not able to serve it this evening, at least it’ll be ready for my husband to plate.

Team work! Attitude of gratitude.

When a negative thought sneaks in, I immediately replace it with a good one. This doesn’t do anything to relieve the physical, yet it does help to not fall into a major depressive episode and steer clear of suicidal ideation. So far, so good.

It’s a way for me to get by.

Stronger Than Pain

https://www.facebook.com/strongerthanpain

Forward in Faith

After Church on Sunday,, I managed to get a little sunshine. I didn’t spend long on the patio, and only minutes doing water PT. It was too difficult lowering and raising myself. Once in, I was able to lay back on my elbows some but wasn’t able to get up on my elbows from my belly. Bummer! That began another flare. My neck couldn’t take it, and my left arm and shoulder blade rippled with intense pain.

As I was drying off, I reflected on life, as it is. It is what it is no matter how much we rather it not to be. I’ve become as content as I can be with that.

1 Corinthians 2:5

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

I just recently started using a posture correcter to help even out my shoulders and hopefully offer relief to the cervical stenosis and other issues there. I swear I can feel my Levoscoliosis actually curve and pull.

My CRPS is weak yet strong. That only makes sense if one considers the toll it takes to endure. Those who have it, know.

#StrongerThanPain

Forward in faith.

Celebrating Life

Spent the night at our son and daughters last night. Wanted to help get a few things ready for our grandson’s sleep-over tonight. A mix of school friends and cousin’s. My girls have stayed in touch with their own childhood friends so ‘Tai has family he came up with regardless of blood.

He’s our only grandchild. Kharisma has never had anymore kids, and Rikki hasn’t ever had one. My daughters for some reason don’t have their “girl thing” but once or twice a year at best. Kind of funny in that all the doctors ask them why. How are they suppose to know?

I can still remember back to when I was going to have a baby for my aunt because she couldn’t conceive. We started planning that. It may have been the release of stress, or simply a blessing because once we did, she became pregnant. She did pass away when their only son was a young one.

In a week I’ll be on only a single medication. Just 1. Nuvigil for Narcolepsy/sleep disorders. I’m not sure if I can let this one go. I love being awake, but I’m already asleep/wake even with it.

I’ve been trying to stay out of politics. Years ago I was active writing for the Independent Opinion on a variety of current event topics. I still have most of those old articles and am considering posting them.

Sometimes we fail to merge all of us, what we do or what we’ve done from one community to the other. For me, it’s time that it’s all okay to do so. There isn’t anything I’ve ever done wrong. I’m just diverse. And with that there isn’t any reason why I shouldn’t other than someone else’s perception of any given thing.

A week before I went to Tennessee my daughter gave me some pants. For about 14 of the 16 years with CRPS I didn’t wear anything denim anymore on my legs. I forced myself into changing that about 2 years or so ago. I did well enough, but I had to keep doing it to get there.

2 of the 3 pair she gave me fit. The other I left at her house because I couldn’t get them on comfortably. A few days after I asked my husband to grab them the next time he was over there, he did. My mom gave me some when we were together and I couldn’t get them on right. The one’s from Rikki are on now. Woot. This means in a couple of weeks the ones from mom will be too.

Of course there’s depression in knowing my body is curving (not the good curves) because I felt it doing so and being caught up in the CDC implementation of those Guidelines prevented healthcare from believing me. We were all just seekers or whiners. I’m trying to embrace it but the fact of the matter is I’m still pissed.

It doesn’t do a thing knowing that one day, after coming so far out of the trenches of pain and weakness that I’ll be there again.

Telling myself don’t go to bed, don’t sleep the rest of your life away, don’t isolate again because of something you’re not ready to handle, but instead get a grip on it for the here and now.

The hardest part I suppose is being better right now and thinking of when that time comes, I’ve let everyone down.

I feel like a wolf who’s been teased with a piece of meat, and if I can feel that way, my family will too when it’s taken away.

Today I’m celebrating life.

beliefs-heal-celebrating-life

 

 

Traveling in a Storm

Wow! It’s pretty crazy outside. Flooding expected in several areas.

Evacuations begin as Northern California storm moves in

http://www.sacbee.com/news/weather/article125210414.html

My you know is on fire and some of its corresponding parts. Not that one, the other one. lol

I’ve only slept a few hours off and on. I suppose I can be a zombie. Zombie’s aren’t that bad. Mostly only when they bite! 😛

Will be at the airport around noontime. I really have no idea about checking in, boarding, etc. Have always had someone with me for all that. I know what I’m suppose to do and that’s about it. Hm, well if I can’t figure something out, I’ll just flash a smile at someone and get a wee flirt on so that I can get the answers I need to find out what to do next. Ha!

im-in-a-good-mood-today-ill-be-flirting-with-you-all-shortly-df010

I hope my flight isn’t delayed as a result this storm. I’m taking a jump charger in case I drain my Kindle reading or clicking a game.

I’ll be missing our grandson’s first band recital on Wednesday, but I didn’t know until night before last it was even coming up. Glad they’ll be video taping it for me.

My reduction of Cymbalta is going well. Though I still have the 0 to get to. 3o mgs currently. Still thinking about whether I’ll do that 0 while away or wait until I get back home. Valerian is still helping.

I have my phone set to several alarms in case I doze from sleep disorders. I’m not taking my ASV machine or my SCS charger. I still haven’t turned that back on since October 24th I think it was.

Love my hair cut. It’s weird not being down my back though. Feels like something is missing. Oh wait! There is. 🙂 It was nice that I didn’t strangle myself with it in my sleep. It would get caught in car doors, under my arms, around my neck, in hands. The man can’t get a real good ravel on anymore, but there’s still enough for a good tug. ~laughs

I’ll give our lady who cut it a shout out next time. It’s her shop here in South Sacramento.

I’m most likely going get fondled going through security. I always do.That box in my butt cheek, those leads and all those electrodes in my body and all. Not using any assistive devices. I really need to do this on my own. Worse scenario is I don’t get up tomorrow because I played myself. 😀

Doubt I’ll get much blogging done in the next couple of weeks. Finger picking or using a stylus on my Kindle would take forever. I might put Periscope back on my phone and share a little of my new adventure. I’m not sure yet since I’d have to re-get the app for that.

I told my dog Independence I was leaving. He’s sort of pissed and won’t talk to me now. ~rme’s

It’s fun having fun. I kinda crack myself up.

I should have slept another hour or so and it’s time to get up now. oopsie doodle.

First stop Las Vegas

and then…