Friday, May 31, 2013

Physical vs Mental Health

Funny how quickly we can get in a rut.  Little by little we omit new things and stick with the old tried and true.  It becomes the new normal and the easy way of getting through the day.  If someone offers us a change of pace, we shrink back for fear of not being able to keep up or of not fitting in.  We no longer fear not being normal.  We totally embrace it. 

Fear begins to ease its way into all new things making them too scary to try.  What if I fail?  What if they laugh?  What if I’m hurt?  What if…….?

Fear can be so strong it paralyses the muscles, makes the stomach queasy and numbs the brain.  Everything around us fades and our focus is totally on that one thing.  Fear can eat one alive.  The person you are becomes the person you were.

Fear leads to solitude.  People call, but you don’t answer.  After hearing the message they leave you just put it aside for another day.  Answering the call would make one have to interact with someone else and fear puts up a warning signal that causes a further shrinking into one’s self.

Fear can cause one to lose all thoughts of entering into a relationship with the outside world.  Having to be with others means that we might be the one that can’t do what they are doing and become “that” person.  You know the one…………people always look sideways at that person…………..people always walk around that person………..people whisper about that person…….people treat that person like they are no longer a part of society……..  people wish they did not have to realize that that person exists.

Fear can take away all feeling of self-worth.  One can’t talk like they once could, walk like they once could, think like they once could or act like they once could.  One no longer feels that they are worth anything so what is the point of going out of the safety of one’s home.

Fear talks all pretence away.  The neighbor’s daughter wearing a too revealing outfit isn’t important.  The new car your friend bought is fine, but not worth spending time discussing.  The tomatoes coming up in the garden does not cause excitement in you.  The birth of a new baby in the family is wonderful, but “can’t they just discuss it when you are not around”?

There is also good fear.  Being careful how you walk and doing your best not to fall for fear of getting hurt is good.  Taking your time eating so as not to swallow is good fear.  Thinking through things before doing them so as not to have to waste energy doing them again is good fear.  Being flexible about social engagements is good fear so as not to stay disappointed when you are too ill to go out.  There are many good fears to have for safety and mental health reasons.

Disappointment is a hard thing to come to grips with.  All of us with diseases that hinder our lives have either got to learn to deal with it or allow it to swallow us up.  Disappointment and depression go hand in hand.  When our disappointments begin to overwhelm us, disappointment is close at hand.  Between the two of them is where most of us find our biggest hurdles to overcome.

I am trying to learn that disappointment, fear and depression are not “those diseases” that are to be hidden in the closet and swept under the rug.  To try and ignore them only makes them worse.   Facing them head-on is hard but something that we have to learn to do a little at a time.

Most of my depression has been the result of disappointments and fears.  I fear not “having a life” in the near future.  I get very disappointed when I am too ill to go out places that we have planned on going with others.  I have a hard time sometimes just letting life go on and adjusting to it.  I guess I feel guilty about others having to adjust their lives because of me.  Guilt is another thing that is hard to come to terms with.

I guess what I am trying to say is that although we face hardships every day with our disease, our mental state can cause us as much problems as our physical one.  I remember a commercial for an antidepressant saying that being healthy mentally can help us stay healthier physically.  I know for a fact that is true.

So (lifting my glass of tea, which is off limits on my crohn’s diet!) here’s to all of us who battle both physical and mental disease every day……………..and to those of you who do not……… are not invited to this party!!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bits and Pieces

A friend of mine had a thing on her Facebook today that said: “My brain is like the Bermuda Triangle.  Information goes in and then its never found again.”  Sounds familiar to most of us.  I thought it was well put.

We took Mother to her psychiatrist this morning.  She convinced him that the last medicine he prescribed for her was giving her diarrhea, took her appetite away and dried up her vagina.  Was I embarrassed by this?  No.  She has told everyone she talks to this.  She also never fails to want to pull up her blouse and show people the shingles on her breast.  It is getting to be old hat.  The only problem I have with the appointment was that he took her off this medicine and put her on some vitamins.  Now I ask you, how are vitamins going to calm her like an antidepressant does?  She was finally beginning to get to a state where we could deal with her fairly well.  I guess now we will start over.  I do not look forward to this.

We usually get together with Howard’s youngest brother and his wife on the weekend and play cards.  This week he is working Friday night so that will not happen.  It is one of the fun things that we look forward to all week.  Since Mother is afraid to be here alone at night, they come over and we play here.  It is always fun to be with them and it is medicine to us and gives us some relief from the strain of the week.   Maybe next week…………

I will have a little respite this Saturday morning.  The girls and I are having lunch together and celebrating four birthdays.  It is always so great to see everyone and laugh and just relax.  I am sure the ladies at the Two For Tea room will wonder what in the world is happening when we all come in with loads of presents.

Howard will probably go over to the old house Saturday morning and make sure everything is OK and the guy comes to mow the yard.  It will give him a little time away, too.  I will be so glad when the house sells.  Trying to make sure it is looked after and not vandalized and pay bills there and here takes a lot of effort.  It will be nice to have that over with.

I finally learned how to work “on demand” on the TV.  I know it is not hard but it took me a while to get the hang of it.  I have really enjoyed it.  There are lots of shows I like on the alternative networks but don’t really know the schedule for them.  This way I can just watch them when I want to or have the time.  I would still love to have popcorn to watch them with, but Crohn’s will not allow it.

My heart is still heavy for the folks in Oklahoma.  I know, from going through a hurricane that devastated our town, that it will be a long process before anything even remotely looks familiar again.  My thoughts and prayers are with them.

 Mother has had two valves replaced in her heart.  She has to take Coumadin every day and have her blood checked weekly.  Today was her day to get it checked.  The lab called about five minutes after we had gotten back home.  The lady said we had to come back and have it taken again because when they put the tube in the spinner, it turned red.  Uh…..isn’t blood supposed to be red?  No, she told me.  It is supposed to get clear when they spin it or the machine cannot read what it need to in the blood.  Pardon me, shows how ignorant I am about such things.

Anyway, I am trying to keep away from complaining about the health problems I have today.  There are enough other kinds of problems to keep me occupied I am sure!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Wherever I go
Whatever I do
I’m making some plans
My dreams to pursue.
I probably won’t go
To England, France or Spain
But I can look at the stars
And walk in the rain.
I can read a good book
I can look at TV
I can look at the moon
I can be happy as can be.
Sometimes I cry
Over things I don’t have
Sometimes I laugh
Over things that I do.
If I count all the dreams
I have dreamt in my life
I would surely be stressed
I would be full of strive.
Most of my dreams
Seem so silly indeed
If they all had come true
What a life I would lead.
I know that God knew
When I asked Him for things
That a simple, sweet life
Would be just what I need.
So I’ll dream just a little
To say that I did
And be counting the stars
Like I did as a kid.
I’ll be happy I know
The people I do
And be thankful I have
All the things that I do.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Letter To My Shower

Dear Shower:

I really love taking a shower and appreciate all that you do for me.  Although my body does not like the weather to be hot, letting your water get really warm and heat up my back and legs really does feel good.  Even though I pay for it when I get out by being zapped of energy, it does help with the spasms for a while.  For this I am really grateful to you.

One thing I would like to discuss with you is the tub.  You have a nice garden tub that is really pretty.  I would love to stretch out in it and soak for a while.  Unfortunately, I cannot.  If I were to ever get settled down in there, it would take a bulldozer to get me out.  Every time I see it I dream of being in some nice warm water and relaxing.  So, I would love for you to just get rid of this temptation so I won’t have to think about it.

Another problem I have is the fact that I have to step so high to get in you.  I can grab the bar on the other side of the wall, but I still fear tripping and falling.  Not that I don’t love you, but you are really hard and it would hurt quite a bit to fall inside you.  I have the same problem stepping back out when I am through.  I was wondering if you think you might could soften yourself up a little so that if I do fall, it would not hurt so bad.  Don’t take this the wrong way, please.  I love you like you are, just making a suggestion to make our relationship better.

I like the little areas to sit on that you have.  They are really nice when I wash my legs and feet or just get tired and need to sit a moment.  I have been thinking that it would really be nice if there was a way to have a little seat in the shower where one could wash, rest and watch TV.  It takes such an effort to get in and out of you and it seems like I should have the option of doing something else while I was there.  Just an idea mind you……….

You are so wonderful when I am dirty and hurting.  It feels so good to get clean and smell good.  You waters run over my body and give my aches a little relief.  It is such a shame that it takes such an effort to use you.  There are no words to tell you how much I enjoy using you even though it often takes all of my strength to do so.  If there was some way to get around this, I would sure like to know.  If you have any thoughts on this please let me know.

There are so many of us with MS that would like to have a better experience with you, Ms Shower, so if you can think of any ways to help us, please let me know and I will pass it on.  Until then,  thank you for all the joyful times you have given me.



Thursday, May 23, 2013

If It’s Good Don’t Eat It

Most of the time I write this blog about my life with MS.  I also have another chronic illness – Crohn’s Disease.  The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America describes this disease as: Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the GI tract. While symptoms vary from patient to patient and some may be more common than others, the tell-tale symptoms of Crohn’s disease include: Persistent Diarrhea, Rectal bleeding, Urgent need to move bowels, Abdominal cramps, pain, Fever, Fatigue, Night sweats. The causes of Crohn’s Disease are not well understood. Diet and stress may aggravate Crohn’s Disease, but they do not cause the disease on their own. Recent research suggests hereditary, genetics, and/or environmental factors contribute to the development of Crohn’s Disease. The GI tract normally contains harmless bacteria, many of which aid in digestion. The immune system usually attacks and kills foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Under normal circumstances, the harmless bacteria in the intestines are protected from such an attack. In people with IBD, these bacteria are mistaken for harmful invaders and the immune system mounts a response. Cells travel out of the blood to the intestines and produce inflammation (a normal immune system response). However, the inflammation does not subside, leading to chronic inflammation, ulceration, thickening of the intestinal wall, and eventually causing patient symptoms.”

I subscribe to several sites that send recipes by email.  I love to cook and I love to eat.  As I am usually low on energy, I have to scour recipes in order to find something tasty that I will (hopefully) have the energy to prepare.  Looking at some of these made me really think about my Crohn’s. 

I am pretty easy to please when it comes to food.  There are very few things I dislike and many things I truly love.  Having been raised on Southern cooking, a lot of the dishes I love include frying something, gravy and dessert.  I lived on the Gulf of Mexico for 20 years and became really fond of seafood.  I love salads and all kinds of vegetables.  I guess meat is my least favorite food, but I do enjoy it for the most part.

I love watching a good movie and eating popcorn.  Nachos and salsa is one of my favorite snacks. Corn served in any fashion is probably at the top of my list of favorites.  My list goes on and on as I am sure yours does.  The problem is that very little of this is on a Crohn’s diet. It is really hard to get excited about preparing or eating a meal when most of the things you won’t are no-nos.

Some of the foods listed as triggering (as if it really needs a trigger!) a bout with Crohn’s are: butter, mayonnaise, oils, sodas, coffee, tea, chocolate, corn, dairy products, fried foods, high fiber foods, beans, cabbage, broccoli, nuts, seeds, raw fruits, raw vegetables, spicy foods, popcorn, red meat and pork.  Now I ask you, what in the world is left to eat that is worth eating??!!

I have been trying to really be careful lately about what I eat.  I have had a flare-up the last few weeks and it is not pleasant to deal with.  So, lately I have been sticking to bread, potatoes, rice cakes and other bland things. It is recommended to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of the usual 3 larger ones.  So, I have been eating several times a day, but end up going to bed with my tummy growling because it is not satisfied.

A couple of years ago I went to a gastroenterologist. He performed a few tests on me and prescribed some pills for my problem.  After a few days the pills really helped the situation.  The only problem was that they cost around $630 a month.  That is not at all in my budget. I am hoping when the medicare and insurance kicks in July 1st that they will be affordable and I can go back to taking them. 

This is just one more area where there is some pretty good medicine available, it is just not affordable to the average person.  It is such a shame that those of us who really need medication are not able to get it because of the costs.

I am trying to be good and pick a  better choice of food for my condition.  It is not easy.  What I really want to do is pull out a good movie and pop some popcorn!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hanging On To Stuff

Since we moved out of the big house and into the condo, I have tried to make a conscious effort not to keep things I really don’t need.  When we moved, it was really a chore to sort through stuff that had not been looked at in years.  I could not believe all the things we had that I didn’t even remember buying.  Although it was hard to get rid of some of it, it is nice not to have to plow through a lot of things before you get to the thing you are looking for.  Being a pack rat is fun, but having things more organized and compact is much better.

I was thinking about this as I drank my coffee this morning.  I wonder how much “stuff” we hang on to in life that only pulls us down and makes us miserable. 

As I become more and more “disabled”, I realize all the things I will no longer be able to do.  If I dwell on it long enough I can really get myself into a deep depression.  It is really a stupid thing if you think about it.  Why do we carry all this garbage around with us?  Do we really enjoy being miserable?  I don’t think so.

I am going to try and sort it out in my mind.  I will make a list of things and try to find a good alternative.  For instance: I can no longer go on the Poet’s Walk that the girls and I really enjoyed in the summer.  I do not walk well enough to make the journey and the heat of summer zaps me to a frazzle.  They will have to make that trip on their own and I will be happy that they can still do it.  But, I CAN go to the book store sales and load up on books to take me to another world of my choice.  The aisles are close together enough so that I can wander up and down them without fear of having nothing to hang onto.  There are chairs scattered around the warehouse that offer rest when needed.  It is a good substitute for me.

I can no longer count on having the energy to cook large meals for family get-togethers.  It was always a joy for me to put a meal together for everyone to come and enjoy.  But there are pizza places and restaurants all around and we can still have a meal and enjoy each other’s company.  We can eat and come back here to talk and be together.  The family is in agreement with this idea so there is no worry there.

We used to go to the mountains a couple of times a year and stay for several days to a week.  We roamed the stores and walked around places to see the sights.  That is probably an adventure I can no longer do.  It was our favorite thing, but it will have to be altered now.  One of my sister-in-laws has told me over and over that she will be glad to push me in a wheelchair or whatever it takes for us to be able to go places and do things.  Although I dread getting to that point, at least I feel easy about being a burden and causing others not to enjoy our trips.  That is a big relief.  I hope that the time for wheelchairs and such does not arrive, but I have to be realistic and know that it is possible.

I have also come to the conclusion that Good Housekeeping will never include our home in their magazine.  I try to keep things reasonable clean and not let things get too cluttered.  But there are days that even making a pot of coffee is too taxing to accomplish.  I am blessed in that my husband is very organized and cleans off the table and counters and such as he walks through the house.  He is such a fantastic man and does not seem at all burdened by my problems.  I do catch myself dreaming of vacuuming, mopping, dusting and shining up the place.  I am trying to learn to let that dream go and just enjoy what we have as it is some days.

I used to dream that when I got older and retired I would be “that lady” who visited shut-ins, carried food to those in need, ran errands for those who could not, etc. It seemed to me to be a special calling that I would really enjoy doing.  Since I no longer drive and cannot even look after myself on some days, that dream has had to be discarded.  But I can call people and write to those who are not near to me.  I can try to put a smile in my voice and give them hope.  Having someone just tell you they care often is the ray of sunshine that makes someone’s day. 

I had so many dreams of when I got older, but now I have to change and rearrange a lot of them.  But that can be a good thing.  Many things were dreams that probably would not have been reality anyway.  Some of them involved doing things I was not capable of in my prime.  Dreams are wonderful things but when we absolutely know that they are no longer possible, we have to let them go and dream of things that are possible.  There are many of those, too, so I am becoming more satisfied with them.

When we moved we had many bags to give to charity, many to put in the garbage and many to bring with us.  Now I just have to sort my mental things into bags and decide what to do with them.  I hope it is easier than moving!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

From The Brain To The ?????

I hate talking in slow motion.  By the time I get part of a thought out of my mouth, the rest of the thought is forgotten.  Very frustrating!! I have had many people tell me they have the same problem.  That forgetting thoughts is just a part of getting older.  I know that it is.  I have a lot of back pain when I stand for any length of time.  I know that others do also.  I have a terrible time with my legs.  I know that others have this also.  My face feels like someone is sticking it with pins most of the time and my jaw feels displaced.  I know other experience this too.  The list goes on and on and I know that others have these problems also.  What they don’t seem to understand, though, is that even though they have this or that problem, those of us with MS have ALL of them at any given time.

I know that MS is hard to understand if you are not going through it.  It is even hard for others who are around someone with MS all the time.  It is hard for those of us with MS to even begin to try and explain all the things happening in our bodies to someone.  It sounds really whiny and complaining when I think about it myself.  I hate to sound that way to others.

But when almost every part of your body is protesting what you are trying to do it is hard to remain positive 24/7.  Sometimes it is nice just to sink into yourself and have a pity party.  I know………most psychiatrists and doctors say that this is not the way to handle things.  But most of them do not have this dreaded disease and do not understand it even though they are trying to treat it.  Most of them are doing the best that they know how to do, but they fail in that they rarely listen to the ones that have what they are treating and are experiencing the problems.  I still find it funny (sic) that most doctors who treat MS only pay attention to what is written in their little doctor books and not to the people who actually have it.  So very strange……..

My disability healthcare coverage kicks in the 1st of July.  That is what is on my mind and what made me think of these things.  I am trying to sort out in my mind the doctors that I want to see.  Most of them I could not afford to visit before.  Most of them did not seem to know what to do about some of the problems I have.  (It seems like) Most of them did not care.

Yep, I am whining today.  I really want to get back into life as much as possible.  There are things happening that I want to be a part of.  I would like to feel like I can be around others without always thinking that I might knock over something, fall into something or hamper things that others may have wanted to do.  I know that a lot of my problems are ME trying to deal with ME not OTHERS trying to deal with ME.  That is another thing I need to sort out in my brain.

It would be nice one day to feel my right leg when I shave it.  It has been a long time since I have felt this.  It would be nice to take a pill and something really work as it is supposed to.  It would be nice if what I was telling my brain actually happened instead of it just sending the thought to a random area of its choice.  I guess we just have to learn to enjoy being surprised when we think “move my right arm” and our left leg jumps………….oh well……… J


Monday, May 20, 2013

Enjoying An Old Friend

We had a visit from a friend we have not seen in a long time.  She is dear to us and we have missed her a lot.  Although we stay in touch by telephone and internet activities, we have not actually been together in quite a while.  We used to go to church together, sing together and go to functions together. It was really nice to catch up on what has been happening in her life.

As we talked, I noticed that we have all come to the point in life where most of our conversation revolves around illness and sickness.  It reminded me of listening to the adults talk when I was a child.  It was disheartening in a way.

When we were going to church together the pastoral family was very musically inclined.  We had a great choir, lots of special music and many meetings that were all music.  It was great fun and we cut up and enjoyed each other’s company.  When that pastor and family left our church, the new pastor was very different and many of us eventually left that church.

During the time of this last pastor was when I was playing the piano, teaching Sunday School, Church Secretary and sometimes even gave the sermon on Wednesday nights.  I really enjoyed all of this, but as my MS became more of a problem it became harder and harder for me to keep up with these duties.  When I would be playing the piano, the notes would sometimes start to wiggle and I would lose my place and make a total mess of the song.  When I would teach Sunday School, I would often not be able to say the words I wanted to or keep my thoughts in order.  When I would take notes at the Board Meetings, I would sometimes not be able to hold my pen or keep up with what was being said.  As hard as I tried, I could not get those in charge to understand the problems I was having.  We eventually quit going to that church because of the pressure to keep doing things I could no longer handle doing.  It was a very sad time for me because I really enjoyed doing all of these things.  It really made me feel useless and not a part of the life I loved anymore.

Some of us have stayed in touch with each other although we have moved on to different churches and different activities.  Our friend Necie, who visited us the other day, is one who has continued to be a dear friend.  She has had a difficult time with RA and has had surgeries and gone through a lot of pain with this.  Although our problems are quite different, we have a lot of similarities.  One of which is determination to keep on with as much joy and love of life as possible.

As I think back at the things we used to enjoy together, I realize that it was not the things we were doing but just the fact that we enjoyed each other’s company that really made those times so great.  Although we are now doing different things than we did back then, we still laugh and cut up just like we did then.  I was really happy that our friendship could continue no matter what the circumstances.

It really saddens me to read about all the people who have lost friends and family because they don’t understand what a chronic illness does to a person.  Some have lost their mate, their children, their parents, friends and a lot of the people who they thought would support and help them deal with the things they are going through.  They become very depressed and have no joy in their daily lives.  Although to an outsider it may seem like they are whining and complain all the time, those of us going through the daily struggles with disease know how awful it must be to go through this struggle alone.  In a lot of way, it seems to me that there is nothing worse than this.

I am so grateful to God that I still have my family and most of my friends.  Although some have gone their own way, most have stood by me and try to help in any way they can.  They are treasures that have value far beyond anything that can be bought.

Necie, Howard and I used to sing specials together some at church.  I guess I could pull the keyboard out from under the bed and see if it (and I!) still works.  It would be fun ……… it would also probably give the dogs in the neighborhood something else to bark at, too!!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Being A Movie Star

Many years ago, when I first moved to Charleston, South Carolina, there were try-outs for extras in a mini-series being filmed there.  I was new to the area but decided to go down and see if I could get a part.  I was not expecting to be picked but thought it would be fun to see what was going on and if I could spot some of the stars.  Needless to say, I was thrilled when I was picked for two days of filming.

If you have never been to Charleston, it is a beautiful city with lots of interesting history.  Most of the downtown area is filled with beautiful old homes and churches.  Many of the streets are brick and cobble stone.  It is really worth the trip to visit and sight-see.

The mini-series was North and South.  It is very well done and I hope you will watch it if you have not seen it.  There are many stars in the movie including: Patrick Swayze, James Read, Morgan Fairchild, Kirstie Alley, Morgan Fairchild, Lesley-Anne Down, Terri Garber and many others.  It was so exciting to be walking around the area and Patrick Swayze walk by and say hello.  This was before his Dirty Dancing fame, but he was still something to catch your eye! 

One of the people who really impressed me was Lee Horsley.  If you don’t know him, he was a big star on TV with several series and many made-for-TV movies.  He was not only handsome (and smelled so good!) but very nice and friendly.  We were always fed lunch and supper (dinner to those not from the South!) and he would sit on the ground cross-legged and eat with all of us extras.  He would join the conversation and seemed to fit in with anyone around.

The scenes I was a part of were supposed to be wintertime in Richmond.  It was actually 95 degrees in Charleston.  We were outfitted with petticoats, wool dresses, shawls, gloves and a hairpiece.  It was terribly hot and we had a hard time keeping the sweat from pouring down our faces.  The attendants were always coming by and swatting us in the face with some kind of powder that was supposed to keep the sweat from showing up on camera. I was totally miserable in the heat but loved being part of the filming process.

There were about 35 other ladies in my group who reported to the dressing area each morning to be dressed and our hair fixed as they wanted it to look.  As some of us arrived one morning, the door to one of the trailers opened and Elizabeth Taylor stepped out onto the little porch in front of it.  We froze and just stared at her.  She was so beautiful and really does have violet eyes.  She turned towards us, waved and smiled. It was one of the few times we saw her unless she was in a scene.  She could hardly stand the heat and was advised to stay inside as much as possible.

As I think back on it, it was the beginning of when I really realized I had a terrible time with heat.  After filming each day, I would come home and be sick, throwing up everything I had eaten during the day.  Usually, I could barely move because my legs would hurt so badly.  It was all I could do to drag out of bed and make it to the set each day.  I was determined to be there as long as they would let me, so I suffered through it.  Looking back on it, I would not take anything for the experience of going through it even with the heat sickness.

As I try each day to do as much as I can no matter how I feel, I think about that time and the determination I had then.  Of course, I was 28 years younger then and not in as bad shape as I am now.  Like most of you, there are days that I just cannot do the things I need to.  Other days I can push and get some of my to-do list done.  I am very proud when I do.

I still have my W-2 from Warner Brothers.  It is in an album with other things I cherish.  Even though I thought I did a really good job in that movie, Warner Brothers never called me to do another project.  I guess they just don’t recognize real talent when they see it!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dream Makers

There is a retirement community in Asheboro, North Carolina that has a program called Dream Makers.  I saw on the news the other day where a 90 year old lady that lives there wanted to jump out of a parachute before she died.  Dream Makers arranged for her to do so.  It was filmed and part of it was shown on the local news.  She seemed to have a wonderful time and really enjoy her adventure.  I am happy for her.  It is not one of the things that I have on my Bucket List.

Over the last few years I have had to rethink my bucket list.  For a long time most of the things on the list involved traveling.  I wanted to revisit New Orleans and go to one more Mardi Gras.  I wanted to walk the downtown streets of Charleston and see the old churches again.  I wanted to go to Colorado and see the beautiful Rocky Mountains again.  I wanted to go to California and visit with my cousin again.  I wanted to go to New England and ride along the Atlantic coast again.  There are so many places I have been and would like to see again.

My bucket list now involves doing things on a more minor scale.  I would like to go to the beach and spend a week or two.  I would like to visit Maggie Valley and stay a week or two.  I would like to go shopping with friends and maybe eat lunch.  I would like to go to the bookstore with my cousins during the 25¢ sale they have each month.  I would like to just get in the Jeep and drive.  I would like to be able to go places without having to ask my husband to take me.  I would like to be able to drive myself to wherever we have our girls get together and not have to have someone pick me up.  I would like to just wander through the grocery store or other store and my husband not have to hang onto me.

It is the little things on my bucket list these days.  Having the kids and grandkids over to a nice meal is now almost out of the question.  I cannot plan much of anything ahead of time because that may be the day I cannot walk or hold onto anything.  I would love to sit down and read a good book.  I used to read at least three books a week.  I have not read a book in months.  My eyes are getting too weak to do much reading.  I really miss that.

I guess, like most people, I took for granted the simple little things in life and yearned for the bigger things.  Now, I would love to just have the little things.

I know that there are people who have never ever gotten to have those things.  We look at them and have sympathy for them.  We pray for them, give money to help find a cure for their problems and try to help in any way we can.  We never really realize that that could be us.  In some ways, we are in that group now.

Regardless of how the above sounds, I am so grateful for the things I can still do.  I am still able to function enough to cook a little, clean a little and enjoy being part of the human race.  I still have compassion for those that are less fortunate and don’t feel in any way that I am worse off than they are.  I love my life and family and friends and would not trade any part of it to make everything on my bucket list come true.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Birthday My Husband

If I had searched the world over

For someone loving and true

I would never have found anyone

More loving than you.

No matter how hard times are

When life seems hard to bear

Through good times and bad

You always show that you care.

I know that for most men

Our life would be tough

But you stand by my side

And feel we have just enough.

My illness has kept us from many

Of life’s greatest joys

But we have substituted simple things

And those we’ve learned to enjoy.

I know that to many

We seem boring and simple

The happiness and love

In our lives is quite ample.

I just wanted to say

On this day of your birth

You mean all the world to me

More than anything else on earth.


Happy Birthday I love you sweetheart……..thanks for loving me, taking care of me and sticking by me all these years.






Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thoughts of Summer

I was looking through the advertisements that come with the paper this morning.  I am always hoping that the items on my grocery list are on sale, but that is rarely the case.

Most of the ads seem to be summer items.  The things on sale include suntan lotion, swimwear, beach balls, shovels and pails, coolers, shorts and so forth.  Most of the pictures in the paper are of people splashing in the water and playing at the beach.  Many are of people barbequing and lying in hammocks in their backyards. All are laughing and having a good time.  I really wish I felt that way about summer being so near.

Summer was always on my mind when I was young.  Playing with the other kids in the neighborhood, not having to get up or go to bed so early and not having to go to school were some of the biggest joys of my youth.  Of course, when I was young, there did not seem to be as much violence and we could roam the neighborhood without fear of being harmed.  It was a wonderful time in my life.

As MS started to rear its ugly head, summer became something that I began to dread.  The heat really takes a toll on my body.  I usually stay inside where it is cool.  Even in the shade, where people seem to think it is so much better, it is still hot and works against me.  Most people with MS have the same problem.

I think sometimes that I am really getting to be selfish.  Most of my friends and family are beginning to talk about going to the beach, going camping and having barbeque parties.  I really envy them being able to do that.  Sometimes I think I even resent them doing these things.

I DO NOT like that type of feeling to be a part of me.  It is very selfish to resent people being able to do things you can no longer do.  When I find myself being a little resentful when someone tells me something they have done that I can’t do, I am really ashamed of myself.  It gives me a feeling that I have a hard time explaining.  It makes me depressed and really down on myself.

I like to think that each day I am trying to be closer to God and more like Jesus.  Many days that is definitely not the case.  When I have these awful feelings I know that I am not only NOT doing as God wishes me to, but not doing as I wish me to.  There is a lot to the saying that you cannot please (love) others if you cannot please (love) yourself. 

Most of us have things in our lives that cause us a lot of pain and dread.  Most of the time we handle these things pretty well.  On those days that we don’t, we just have to back up and start over instead of giving in to them.  It is a very hard lesson to learn.

Summer is just around the corner.  I have decided to just let it happen and quit worrying about it so much.  I will look out the window and be happy for those enjoying the hot summer days.  As for me, I'll be inside turning up the A/C!