Missing You…

I look outside every day and every night, my eyes scanning the porch to see if maybe they might have come back. window3  First there was Tuxie, a small mama cat that wearily walked as if the world was on her shoulders. A hard life she led. Then she disappeared. Coal was her baby who was so loving and sweet. He had a teeny tiny meow and when he called for me, my heart melted. The day I was first able to pick him up, my heart soared. Then we brought him in but he was too lively for my 67 year old husband and me so we sent him to live with someone who would be better suited to handle a baby kitten. Then along came Hoagie….such a sweet boy who had some type of injury that caused a neurological problem. He warmed up to us right away and we were talking about bringing him in…and then one day, he stopped coming. We watched and watched for him, but he was gone. The food & water bowls were not touched. All my babies disappeared. Sadly, we brought the bowls inside, and finally after a month, we gave up. But I still look outside. 8babee1199879f186c63f5c6b101d4d1 Searching for those warm bodies, those beautiful eyes, sweet innocents trying to survive. I doubt I will ever put food out for strays & ferals again. I can’t take the emotional pain when winter comes, when they stop coming…the wondering what happened to them. It hurts my heart too much. And for anyone who wonders why I didn’t bring them in, you have to understand….I have many chronic illnesses as does my husband and we are not equipped to handle new pets at this point. I can barely handle taking care of myself and my husband. With that said, I carry a lot of guilt and regret, but I did what I could and hopefully I gave them enough food, water and love to extend their lives a little bit. I miss them so much.

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Learning Mindfulness While In The Midst of Suffering

Everyone seeks peace, whether they realize it or not. In this world, peace can be so elusive. Everything is so fast paced, crazy-making, anger-producing. We all want peace.

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Recently I became interested in meditation, and Buddhism. I was first attracted to the Buddha statues you see here and there, like in Pier One Imports and in people’s zen gardens. I liked how beautifully serene the faces of the Buddhas are….I found myself wishing that I could attain peace like that. So I bought some statues, some incense, some candles and books on the subjects of Buddhism and the practice of meditation.

I began, in my own haphazard way, to do a little meditating, and started to read some of the books. Some of the books were very simple and some were extremely complex. I thought, wow, I don’t know if I can do this or not. One of the books even said, meditation is simple but it’s not easy. They were referring to the practice of keeping your mind centered in the “here and now”,  and keeping it from drifting off course into the future or the past. Boy, were they right.

I am a 35 year survivor of chronic pain of various sorts. I have fibromyalgia, RA, and I had endometriosis, thyroid disease. I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I have osteoarthritis. Also several other illnesses that interfere with my daily life.

Just as I was beginning to seek out this meditation as a way to cope with my long-time chronic pain issues, another thing popped up. It seems I now have a partial rotator cuff tear in my shoulder, which for the past couple weeks has been extremely painful and really causing a lot of trouble for me.

Since this started, I am finding it more difficult to continue on my meditation journey. I am not sure why but I think it’s because it’s harder to concentrate when the pain and the anxiety are crushing me. I not only am dealing with my shoulder pain, but all the other chronic pain as well. Pain makes it very hard to learn something new. It makes it hard to practice something new, when of course, now the doctor wants me to start practicing new exercises for my shoulder. It’s like all my attention is now focused on my shoulder and I can’t deal with anything else.

But I really need to meditate. Even though I haven’t really learned the basics, I want and need to meditate especially right now. I’m not sure how to proceed.

I guess I’ll just try to pick up these books and read and absorb the teachings as best I can, and try to meditate the best I can. Because I need the peace more than ever now. I’ll let you know how it goes. I really want this in my life. Everything else I’ve tried has not worked out well for me. So I’m going to put forth as much effort as I am able to, in order to find the peace that I so desperately need.

P.S.  I am not meditating to try to relieve my chronic pain. I am meditating to try and find some peace in the midst of the storm. If by some miracle, my pain is lessened as I meditate, that would be great. But I’ll be happy just to exchange my anxiety and restlessness for some serenity.pexels-photo-551655.jpeg

 

Posted in Alternatives, anxiety, Arthritis, Best Self, Books, Challenges, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Clear Mind, Clinical Depression, Emotions, Endometriosis, Fear, Fibromyalgia, Hope, Inner Peace, Isolation, Life Journey, Meditation, Mindfulness, New Horizons, Peace, Self Love, Sensory Overload | 2 Comments

Why I Am The Way I Am…

I will not be made to feel small by the judgements of other people. There are reasons I am the way I am. If that doesn’t measure up to the high standards you’ve set for me then I apologize. I have some shit going on in my own life and it’s very very heavy. I can NOT be everything to all people. I am mostly just trying to survive and do what I need to do. Yes I am flawed and yes I have issues. I fail miserably at many things. I spend the major part of my life in bed or wishing I could be in bed due to severe pain that no one can see because I hide it well when I’m out, or around other people. I don’t broadcast it or moan or scream or cry or wear a sad face. After 33 years I am a great actress, so if you see me outside of the house you would never guess what is going on under the facade. Most people will never understand the depth or severity of what I deal with on a daily basis. Some see me on a good day, running an errand or eating at a restaurant with my husband or doing something else and consider, Well she can’t be hurting that bad or She is lying or She doesn’t look like she is in that much pain to me. Some wonder why I spend 95% of my time alone in my house while hubby is at work. They might think I’m lazy or just sitting around watching tv and eating bon bons, or whatever. No. I am hurting THAT BAD. Bad enough that my life and my world has become very very SMALL. Most of the time I just try to make it to the next pain pill….try to read a book…..or if the pain is too much and I can’t concentrate on reading, then I just lay on my bed with my eyes closed and ride the pain out.

When a good day comes I try to balance my activity so I don’t do too much (which is hard) because if I do just a little too much then I’m back in bed for another day or another week or another month. Now since my 4 herniated disks have happened, I have new pain to learn to deal with. Along with getting older. I’ll be 61 this year and I’m feelin it. My body is not user-friendly. It has been my prison, my enemy. I have tried so many things to make myself better but nothing ever seems to work. The only respite I have found are the opioids. They block the pain for a few hours, not completely but enough so that I don’t lose my sanity. Unrelenting pain for over 30 years is not easy to take. Many times I have felt like I’m losing my grip. I am strong, but the pain that resides in my body is WAY stronger than me.

So if you look at me and wonder why I am the way I am…..consider what I’ve just said, and try to understand. If the pain had not invaded my life, everything…..EVERYTHING…..would be different. This is not the way I’d planned it. This is not how I’d hoped my life would turn out to be. But it is what it is. If you wish things had been different, trust me, so do I.

Posted in Aging, Anger, Arthritis, Bitterness, Challenges, Changes, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Compassion, Depression, Despair, Diagnosis, Discouragement, Emotions, Endometriosis, Endurance, Escape, Fear, Fibromyalgia, Flare Up, Health, Hope, Hopelessness, Inner Strength, Irritability, Isolation, Life Journey, Life Path, Medication, Narcotics, Opiates, Opioids, Osteoarthritis, Pain Medication, Pain Scale, Past Experiences, Peace, Plantar Fasciitis, Reading, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sadness, Self Hate, Self Image, Self Love, Self Protection, Sensory Overload, Sharing, Stigma, Survival, Tendinitis | Leave a comment

Suicide attempts in chronic pain patients

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Suicide attempts in chronic pain patients. A register-based study | Jan 2014

Background

There are several studies about the relationship between depression and chronic non-malignant pain. These studies have shown that up to 50% of chronic pain patients are suffering from depression.

It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that pain patients would also have an increased risk of suicidal behaviour. This problem is not well studied.  

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Come See The Best In Country Primitives From The Heart of the Country!

For those of you who don’t know, I have been selling country primitive antiques for 20 years. If you’ve never visited my online shop, please follow the link below, and come on in and have a look around. The collage of items shown below is a small gathering of stuff I offer for sale. I usually have around 200 items in stock, most of which are primitive antiques and collectibles from the heart of the country. If you have any questions, please click the “email” button on any item page and I’ll be happy to answer them for you! Thanks so much.

http://www.rubylane.com/shop/hannahshouseantiques

March31,2016

Posted in antiques, Collectibles, Country, Country Antiques, Early Antiques, History, joyful living, Life Journey, Online Sales, Primitives, Ruby Lane, Sales | Leave a comment

Chronic Pain Suicide of NY Times Reporter at 49

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Sarah Kershaw, Former Times Reporter, Dies at 49 – The New York Times – Feb. 26, 2016

Sarah Kershaw, a former reporter for The New York Times who covered real estate, the Pacific Northwest and New York City schools, died on Monday. She was 49.

She was found with a plastic bag tied over her head and pill bottles beside her,

Ms. Kershaw told friends that she planned to end her life because she suffered from a debilitating illness.  

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From Pain to Anger to Depression

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

From Pain to Anger to Depression

They say depression is anger turned inward, and especially with chronic pain, I believe this is true.

What else can I do with my anger at my broken body, a medical system that still has no answers, and a society determined to deprive me of the only pain relief I’ve been able to find over decades of experimentation?

What can I do with my anger over spending thousands of dollars on so many completely ineffective “complementary” pain treatments? The anger about losing my income? Having to give up so many of the activities I enjoy?

Every day is a painful reminder of my fate. Every day is a struggle not only with the pain, but with all the loss, grief, and depression that comes with it. 

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Suicide is Not About You – Pain Drives to Despair

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Suicide is Not About You | Then Everything Changed

Here’s a description of how suicidal thoughts and ideation take root when suffering from chronic pain.  This article is worth reading in its entirety.

The chronically ill suffer from severe depression, grief, loss, and a high suicide rate, but these symptoms are rarely openly discussed.

I am not only going to venture into this taboo subject, I am going to share my personal experience.

The mental deterioration due to my illness is a part of me, my experience, and thought process that I rarely speak of because it makes the people around me terribly uncomfortable.

When my body first began its rapid slide to the current disaster I approached it like everyone else; go to the doctor, find the problem, and fix it.

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“Antibiotic Seeker”

“So imagine you’re miserable with sinus headache and a hacking cough and a fever. You muster the strength to go to the doctor to get treatment so you can recover and go about your life.  woman-doctor1You wait for an hour to be seen. She diagnoses you with a sinus and bronchial infection.

But then she turns to you and says, “I think you’re an antibiotic seeker. I don’t feel comfortable with giving you a prescription. So I will just suggest plenty of fluids and some vitamin C. You can try some over the counter cold medicine.”  How would you feel?

This is what is happening to people with legitimate diagnosis that cause chronic pain. People are suffering needlessly because of the new guidelines for opioid prescriptions.   ???????????????????????????????????????? They suggest alternative treatments that rural areas don’t have access to, are illegal in most states, are not covered by insurance, are far too expensive for limited income or are proven ineffective before the patient even tried opioid medicine to begin with.

Opioid prescription in chronic illness needs to be looked at realistically and if you’re going to refuse patients the only option that works of the many they’ve tried, you better damn well figure out a better alternative that is effective, accessible and affordable.”

~ Trina M. (Patients Not Addicts)

Posted in Arthritis, Challenges, Choices, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Compassion, Dealing With Doctors, Diagnosis, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, Health, Hopelessness, Life Journey, Life Path, Medical Community, Medication, Narcotics, Opiates, Opioids, Osteoarthritis, Pain Medication, Pain Scale, Past Experiences, Plantar Fasciitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Stigma, Survival, Tendinitis | Leave a comment

Worst Things to Say to Someone Who’s Depressed

Some people trivialize depression (often unintentionally) by dropping a platitude on a depressed person as if that is the one thing they needed to hear.

While some of these thoughts have been helpful to some people (for example, some find that praying is very helpful), the context in which they are often said mitigates any intended benefit to the hearer.  cloud

Platitudes don’t cure depression.

Here is the list from contributors to a.s.d. (alt.support.depression):

0. “What’s *your* problem?”

1. “Will you stop that constant whining? What makes you think that anyone cares?”

2. “Have you gotten tired yet of all this me-me-me stuff?”

3. “You just need to give yourself a kick in the rear.”

4. “But it’s all in your mind.”

5. “I thought you were stronger than that.”

6. “No one ever said life was fair.”

7. “As you get stronger you won’t have to wallow in it as much.”

8. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

9. “Do you feel better now?”(Usually said following a five minute conversation in which the speaker has asked me “what’s wrong?” and “would you like to talk about it?” with the best of intentions, but absolutely no under-standing of depression as anything but an irrational sadness.)

10. “Why don’t you just grow up?”

11. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

12. “There are a lot of people worse off than you?”

13. “You have it so good, why aren’t you happy?”

14. “It’s a beautiful day!”

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15. “You have so many things to be thankful for, why are you depressed!”

16. “What do you have to be depressed about”.

17. “Happiness is a choice”

18. “You think *you’ve* got problems…”

19. “Well at least it’s not that bad.”

20. “Maybe you should take vitamins for your stress.”

21. “There is always somebody worse off than you are.”

22. “Lighten up!”

23. “You should get off all those pills.”

24. “You are what you think.”

25. “Cheer up!”

26. “You’re always feeling sorry for yourself.”

27. “Why can’t you just be normal?”

28. “Things aren’t *that* bad, are they?”

29. “Have you been praying/reading the Bible?”

30. “You need to get out more.”

31. “We have to get together some time.” [Yeah, right!]

32. “Get a grip!”

33. “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

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34. “Take a hot bath. That’s what I always do when I’m upset.”

35. “Well, everyone gets depressed sometimes!”

36. “Get a job!”

37. “Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.”

38. “You don’t *look* depressed!”

39. “You’re so selfish!”

40. “You never think of anyone but yourself.”

41. “You’re just looking for attention.”

42. “Have you got PMS?”

43. “You’ll be a better person because of it!”

44. “Everybody has a bad day now and then.”

45. “You should buy nicer clothes to wear.”

46. “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

47. “Why don’t you smile more?”

48. “A person your age should be having the time of your life.”

49. “The only one you’re hurting is yourself.”

50. “You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it.”

51. “This is a place of BUSINESS, not a HOSPITAL”; after confiding to supervisor about my depression

52. “Depression is a symptom of your sin against God.”

53. “You brought it on yourself”

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54. “You can make the choice for depression and its effects, or against depression, it’s all in YOUR hands.”

55. “Get off your rear and do something.” -or- “Just do it!”

56. “Why should I care?”

57. “Snap out of it, will you?”

58. “You *want* to feel this way.”

59. “You have no reason to feel this way.”

60. “Its your own fault.”

61. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

62. “You’re always worried about *your* problems.”

63. “Your problems aren’t that big.”

64. “What are you worried about? You should be fine.”

65. “Just don’t think about it.”

66. “Go Away.”

67. “You don’t have the ability to do it.”

68. “Just wait a few weeks, it’ll be over soon.”

69. “Go out and have some fun!”

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70. “You’re making me depressed as well…”

71. “I just want to help you.”

72. “The world out there is not that bad…”

73. “Just try a little harder!”

74. “Believe me, I know how you feel. I was depressed once for several days.”

75. “You need a boy/girl-friend.”

76. “You need a hobby.”

77. “Just pull yourself together”

78. “You’d feel better if you went to church”

79. “I think your depression is a way of punishing us.” —My mother

80. “Sh*t or get off the pot.”

81. “So, you’re depressed. Aren’t you always?”

82. “What you need is some real tragedy in your life to give you perspective.”

83. “You’re a writer, aren’t you? Just think of all the good material you’re getting out of this.”

84. This one is best executed with an evangelical-style handshake, i.e. one of my hands is imprisoned by two belonging to a beefy person who thinks he has a lot more charisma than I do: “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” This has actually happened to me. Bitten-back response: “Who are ‘our’? And don’t do me any favors, schmuck.”

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85. “Have you tried camomile tea?”

86. “So, you’re depressed. Aren’t you always?”

87. “You will be ok, just hang in there, it will pass.” “This too shall pass.” – Ann Landers

88. “Oh, perk up!”

89. “Try not being so depressed.”

90. “Quit whining. Go out and help people and you won’t have time to brood…”

91. “Go out and get some fresh air… that always makes me feel better.”

92. “You have to take up your bed and carry on.”

93. “Why don’t you give up going to these quacks (ie doctors) and throw out those pills, then you’ll feel better.”

94. “Well, we all have our cross to bear.”

95. “You should join band or chorus or something. That way you won’t be thinking about yourself so much.”

96. “You change your mind.”

97. “You’re useless.”

98. “Nobody is responsible for your depression.”

99. “You don’t like feeling that way? So, change it.”

robinwilliams

Posted in Choices, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Clinical Depression, Depression, Despair, Diagnosis, Disbelief, Discouragement, Early Onset Alzheimer's, Emotions, Endurance, Escape, Fear, Fibromyalgia, Flare Up, Health, Hopelessness, Inner Strength, Irritability, Isolation, Life Is Short, Life Journey, Life Path, Medication, Memory Loss, Menopause, Osteoarthritis, Peace, Personality, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sadness, Seasons, Self Hate, Self Image, Self Love, Self Protection, Sharing, Stigma, suicide, Survival, Tendinitis | 2 Comments