My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Just Another Day In Paradise

My parents are at church and the dogs and cats are sleeping. Oscar, the nervous little dachshund, has severe separation anxiety and usually whines and cries when my mom is not nearby. Occasionally he will snuggle beside me and remain calm which makes me feel like the Dog Whisperer or something. Today he's "calm Oscar" which is nice.

I'm watching Rick Steves. My dream trip is a tour of Europe with him... although we know this will never happen.... I do good managing a tour of the grocery store. Plus there's that whole financial piece. I also feel like you shouldn't travel outside of the U.S. until you've taken advantage of seeing the U.S.  I expanded my travel resume quite a bit in the past ten years but there's still so much more I'd love to see and places I'd love to see again. Mainly, though, my goal is to be able to go see my kid in Pennsylvania. I have to manage my anxiety about not being able to deal with pain while traveling. Sitting, walking, standing, carrying heavy things,  all cause pain.

I've started packing up clothes to take with us when we go to the mountains this week. Our tentative return date is tomorrow but mom may have to visit the doctor first as she has been having shoulder pain all week. (Partly because she, like my dad, refuses to acknowledge her mortality and insists on doing things that she shouldn't do, like weed-eat.)  My biggest concern is returning before Austin runs out of groceries and being able to travel in day-light and outside of rush hour, especially since we're traveling with the aforementioned extra pet this time (Stubby).

Being sort of in limbo between the two houses is a bit unsettling. It's not just the houses... it's the process of disability, the feeling that Austin is in need of guidance... just the feeling of transition... having a tiptoe in two different worlds but not really having a foot in either one. It's having only an "out-go" instead of an "in-come".  I'm somewhere between relief at not having to suffer the pain of working and the anxiety of NOT WORKING. It's quite a bi-polar feeling. At the same time, I feel so incredibly blessed that it seems wrong for me to not appreciate this stage of life.

I'm afraid that this attempt at blogging every day will lead to some really boring, repetitive entries but I'm HOPEFUL that I'll articulate things that are interesting to somebody besides me. I have lived my life with the understanding that everything I go through enables me to offer encouragement to someone who follows that same path. It's not lost on me that my Steel Magnolia went through two trying marriages... had loves and heartaches along the way... struggled financially... didn't always have things turn out the way she hoped... and yet, those who know her will tell you that she is one of the most optimistic people you will ever meet. That's not entirely who she is, we all have a part of ourselves that is only seen by those closest to us, but even being able to give the appearance of complete optimism is a great achievement in my book.

In my case, I just hope to show others that being less-abled doesn't mean that life ends. The story doesn't look like what I had anticipated of my life but that's probably the one great consistency in my life, that it never turns out as I had thought it would... yet it always turns out ok. And as I told my sister-in-law last week, I can look back now and see how God transformed me from a social butterfly to a person who is completely comfortable as a homebody. That was no accident. If I was trying to go and do and be all that I wanted - or once wanted - I would be suffering so much more. I'm very content and I think that goes a long way toward my emotional well-being.

My goal is to maintain my pain with as little pharmaceutical intervention as possible and that would be impossible if I was trying to do more than I should do. I'm very dependent on muscle relaxers. That's probably the most annoying, out of control issue, these blasted muscle spasms that make life difficult. But as far as pain is concerned, I take tramadol (ultram) every day but as long as I'm kind to my spine, I rarely need anything stronger to be comfortable. Every time I take one of the stronger pain meds I count how many are left and recalculate how often I'm using them. It's very important to me to not develop an addiction to those things and so I try to never take them two days in a row or more than twice a week, if possible.

Today is the day I absolutely have to make sure I'm ready to answer the questions for the disability attorney tomorrow which mainly is just a matter of making sure I have my dates and addresses correct. I'm indulging myself in some Kar-trashian watching... have a few interesting things on C-Span3 that I'm eager to watch... and I'm doing my usual gaming, blog-reading and genealogy research. I'm absolutely CRAVING ice cream but not enough to go out and buy some. It's just another day in Paradise-South.

Hope that wherever you are and whatever you're doing that you're feeling fulfilled and content! Love and hugs!