It’s Chronic Pain month, ya’ll!

I’m going to let you all know what happens to me this month. Chronic Pain Month. Yes, I live with daily pain in my feet, knees, hips, back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. The severity of the pain goes up and down, but it’s there. Every. Damn. Day. For my son, too.

So I do try to do things to help myself. I use proper body mechanics, do physical therapy, take pills for pain and spasms so I have some quality of life. However, those things don’t always help. Like today. I went to the pool. Did my routine, which really is just simple stretches and lifts and I use pool therapy plastic “dumbells” and/or pool noodles. It always feels good to get in the water. The weightlessness and warmth is wonderful. When I’m done I often sit with the spa’s jets aimed on my achy parts. Ahhh, heaven. Usually I feel energized for a while afterwards and/or have less pain for an hour or so. Not today.

I got in the shower and raised my arms over my head to wash my hair and WHAM; incredible pain screamed through my back/side. What to do? Stop the shower only half washed? That is always an option, but I pushed through the pain and finished. By the time I walked to my car it was throbbing. Getting INTO the car again caused wrenching pain. Driving, hitting bumps, going into turns: PAIN. Did I go home so I could relax and take pills? Not yet. I had a responsibility to take care of.

Chronic Pain Quotes - I get so excited when I find a saying that is  perfect...and this one is one of them! | Facebook

I “work” for Rover. A pet-sitting service and I had a pet to go to. For the fee I am supposed to feed, play with, and/or take care of waste. For at least half an hour. Could I just drop in, check on things, and leave early? Sure the clients aren’t home to know how long I stay. But I KNOW. I pride myself on being reliable. Playing with this pet caused more spasms and pain, but I need the money. And, I love these animals. I get love back from them and that feels wonderful. Pretty sure today’s pet knew I was in pain. She sat on my lap more than she’s ever done before so we could just be. Many humans don’t understand or notice or care when someone is in pain, but animals know.

Barstow Animal Shelter

I finally got home, took a pain pill and a muscle relaxer, and put food in the oven for my son. A frozen lasagna. That was not my plan. I had planned to cook up some chicken and make a nice homemade meal. I’ve been “trying” to do this low carb diet, but tonight just wasn’t going to let me do veggie prep or stand for longer than a few minutes at a time, even on the pills. So the old standby; frozen food. My son’s reaction? “Ya, that’s our life. We can’t make plans.” Plus, lasagna is his favorite food.

Since I don’t think lasagna is on a low carb menu I ate popcorn. Not going to cook or prep anything for me. Just need to sit. Just need to sit and not move. I hope whatever I did to cause this latest exacerbation abates by morning so I don’t have to take pills to get through work tomorrow. I might work in a CBD store that sells Delta 8, but no way can I take it at work! To be able to get to sleep tonight though it will feel wonderful.

Katie Kacvinsky Quote: “But pain's like water. It finds a way to push  through any seal. There's no way to stop it. Sometimes you have to let  you...”

We need it too

Sept. being chronic pain month, I’m going to broach yet another taboo topic. Sex. Humans are sexual beings. We are made in a way to enjoy it. If we weren’t supposed to enjoy it we wouldn’t have those receptors that give pleasure. This is yet one more thing to add to the list of things you often can’t do when you live with chronic pain. If you do, you often can’t enjoy it.

Sexuality: A Critical Component of Quality of Life in Chronic Disease -  Nursing Clinics

There are medical pills to aid those with problems getting to arousal, keeping arousal, not being too dry, and other sexual difficulties. But if doing it hurts somewhere that has nothing to do with sexual organs, well you’re just not going to enjoy it and there’s no medical help except pain pills that often lessen the pleasurable feelings.

Stomach Pain After Sex: Why Women Experience Abdominal Pain After Sex or  Intercourse

This is where I say Yay for sexual aids “toys” and even humans that can help who won’t judge. Yep, I mean prostitutes. You can buy a human who won’t judge you for your looks and doesn’t know you or care about pain, but their job is to give pleasure. It’s not talked about much even among those of us with chronic pain, but as a social worker I know such companions ARE used by people with disabilities and chronic pain. Yet society judges that you are buying it or taking advantage of the sex worker and you are bad.

If you’ve never had a disability or injury that’s caused you to lose use of an arm or hand or it causes incredible pain to use it, then you have no idea how much sex is missed. Well, not sex, but the arousal and orgasms. If you can’t arouse yourself manually how else are you supposed to? Sex toys and/or a sex worker.

I read books by an author who includes in her series, that is futuristic, government licensed companions. LC’s have rules to follow, like health care and physicals to keep their license. They aren’t supposed to use illegal drugs. However they can use drugs designed to enhance the sexual experience if the client wants it. Oftentimes LC’s will get training in the social sciences; psychology, or sex counseling for couples, etc. Yes, there are those of “lower caliber” who work the streets, but they still have those rules to follow. There are those who cater to the rich who have those degrees in psych or business. What I’m saying is, they are an accepted part of society. Accepted as something that is necessary, and lessens the amount of sex crimes too. They enjoy giving pleasure to the client. It’s a job. Many are married.

Personally, I think the world would be a better place with Licensed Companions. Even low income people can afford them. Many times people with disabilities or chronic pain are low income. There wouldn’t be the fear of judgement or catching diseases. The quality of life of a person who can’t manually give themself pleasure would increase. Happiness would increase. Some of you are thinking, well just use the sex toys. Again, if you can’t use your hand?

Michael Kaplan Sex Quotes | QuoteHD

Are people with disabilities supposed to never have or enjoy sex or those pleasurable feelings? And don’t, just don’t bring religion into the discussion. The ONLY religion that says sex is only for procreation is Christianity. I’ve only ever heard christians say you’re not supposed to enjoy it. That’s bullshit. If you actually know history then you know Romans and Greeks used prostitutes, because husbands were only allowed to have sex with their wives at certain times, etc. Many histories/cultures had prostitutes as people of status in society.

Touch, Sex and Disability in the time of COVID-19 – Handi

I’ve had the prostitute discussion and the porn discussion with many of my friends and social work colleagues. Some think there’s no way to have it without the person being abused. The hooker, stripper, or whoever HAD to be forced into it somehow. It can never be a good choice to sell yourself. I also know some women and men who enjoy their good looks and their sensuality and WANT to be a stripper, etc, enjoy giving others pleasure. Some simply enjoy that powerful feeling sex can give us.

Why should people in pain or disabled be denied feeling sexual? Modern society needs to get rid of the taboos around talking about healthy sex. Surely virtual reality will come up with something soon.

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability | Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Not complaining all the time . . .

This Keto business takes up a lot of time. I discovered eggs are the go-to for breakfast. I’m not into eggs enough to eat them every fricken day. So I did my due diligence and googled for other keto breakfast ideas and found grain-free oatmeal (will it taste good?) and many types of granola type breakfast “cereals” to make. Again, will they TASTE GOOD and not have weird texture? I am a cereal lover. Goddess PLEASE make these taste good!!! Reading through all these online recipes I’ve discovered it will take a good amount of time doing prep, chopping, etc.

Over the years I have looked for recipes so I wouldn’t have to put in time standing at the counter doing prep. Prep HURTS! The chopping, cutting, etc doesn’t mix well with arthritis and carpal tunnel and the standing is horrible for my hips and back. I’ve bought gadgets to use to do the prep for me, but ya can’t always use said gadget AND it makes more items to wash. Standing to wash dishes also hurts.

It really sounds like I am just a whiner, huh? I really do want to change my eating habits to diabetic healthy, but I also live with a lot of daily chronic pain. Most people really don’t understand how these common household “chores” such as cooking a meal can really hurt. It sort of defeats the purpose of wanting to eat/cook healthy if you’re in too much pain after cooking to actually eat it and also can’t get back up to do the dishes and cleanup. It really makes a person just rather not eat. Seriously, this last week I’ve been going hungry instead of cooking. It’s been a bad pain week. I’ve been eating keto bomb meal replacement bars instead. And they’re expensive. Plus, I have a pantry full of white rice, white pasta, canned vegies, and canned fruit from the food shelf that I’m apparently not supposed to eat.

It’s bad enough that I feel like a loser who can’t get things done around the house and yard that NEED done and now I’m supposed to add all this cooking prep? People with medical disabilities are simply not supposed to be poor and alone. I HATE complaining about pain, but it is a part of my life. I feel so down about myself and think of people I know with cancer or other worse than I ailments who somehow manage to get up and cook, then I feel worse. I think of all the elderly and frail people in the world who are poor and alone and I really wonder why our society doesn’t offer help unless you pay or are part of a church? I’m 23 years younger than my parents who are both in huge amounts of pain. It makes me feel like a bad daughter that I can’t be there to do things for them. I know, somehow, between the both of them they manage to cook meals. I also know that afterwords in the evenings they sit in pain. A man who spent his life using his hands to make beautiful homes and other carpentry work then driving a truck now can barely hold a book at times. Mom has to wear a battery operated heating vest at all times to help the pain she takes opiates to lessen. How do they have any kind of life? They force themselves to do, to drive, to still volunteer.

Quality of life is a huge thing. Most people take it for granted. Most people don’t have to take pain medication to function. Some people take opiates illegally and make it hard for those of us who need it to get it. My chronic pain doc again mentioned medical marijuana. I can’t afford it. Aidan’s doc mentioned it to him, too. We could get the cards, but then have to drive to Brainerd to get the products, causing more pain. Right now we’ve been taking Delta 8 gummies, since I get a discount at the store. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to work there. I need the money and their products, but this last week has been difficult to work through my pain and not show it to customers. Can’t take D8 at work, or Tramadol.

So I come home and take stuff for pain and nothing gets done around the house or yard and I can’t stand up long enough to cook. At the pool I’ve gone from pushing myself to do cardio to just trying to use the pool to help alleviate pain with slow stretches. With my glucose at 116 I have to lose weight, but exercise brings on more pain so eating different is going to have to work.

Exercise Hurts | Funny Workout" Poster by BootsBoots | Redbubble

I wonder how many times I’m going to burn and cut myself with this food prep while on Tramadol? Maybe I should just take out stock in these keto bomb meal replacement bars. I am SO very grateful to Rebecca Strong Schultz for coming to help clean the house last week. Hmmm, who wants to come help do food prep? LOL, naw, that would have to be weekly and Who can afford that? It’s OK to let the house and yard work go for a while, only I know how long the floors go without a mopping. No one else needs to know. Just know, the next time you see dirty kids in a store or drive by a yard that needs cleaned up or mowed that you have no idea what those people might be dealing with: pain and/or mental health issues. Try not to judge and maybe donate to a local nonprofit. Pain sucks.

We are all tired right now. Pandemic fatigue. Election fatigue. 2020 fatigue.

Too many things have happened this year to bring the collective human spirit either together or apart. Over 250,000 of us have died. Every one of those people had family and friends. How those people left behind manage on now is questionable.

Some have chosen to be angry and be selfish. Something that is simply meant to save lives has been made political. Especially here in the USA I think humans have lost track of what it means to be part of family and friends because we are too close together.

Some of us may live in a rural area, but it is too easy to reach out on technology at the touch of a finger; so we are still figuratively close. There are still areas in our world where humans don’t have technology. It isn’t just a quit pop of thought to grab the device in our pocket or purse.

Less than 100 years ago the idea of going over to see the neighbor took planning. A person’s day was full of doing things necessary for staying close to home and going away from home took time and miles. The use of horses, taking food with you, and maybe not even calling ahead to let them know you were coming. Yet you were welcomed upon arrival.

We honestly take it for granted now that we can reach out in a split second and talk to anyone anywhere. Even the most remote of places can, at times, be reached via 5G or satellite. We want it all and we want it now.

Humans, especially Americans, have grown accustomed to instant gratification and entitlement.

Enter a global pandemic.

Demands for an entire world to not just slow down, but . . .stop. Stay in one place. Don’t see family and friends for days, weeks, months. Figure out out to work a job from home. How to BE with each other, stuck, and falling over each other in a confined space instead of constantly being in motion away from the home.

It may feel like going backwards. We used to not leave our home base for long periods. We grew, cooked, and ate our food at home at a table. We did our schooling at home, often with anything in our surroundings being the stuff of teachable moments. Maybe one day a week a special trip was made into the nearest town for shopping, visiting, or religious escape. This was the life of our grandparents.

Life leading up to 2020 was full of not growing our food, but shopping, sometimes daily for whatever to make for supper or for fast food. Education was supplied, most often, away from home at schools. Our children spent time at daycare while we worked. Families complained of not having enough time to be together.

Suddenly 2020 says now you must all stay together constantly in one building for long periods. Children are in the way. Our jobs either figured out how to work from home or we now don’t have a job. Shopping was done by buying in bulk on one trip. Families now want time away from each other.

We have forgotten how to be. Be still. Be together. Breathe. Relax.

We are angry, sad, frustrated.

That doesn’t mean we should forget about keeping each other safe. Yes, was want to go out. Get away. See people we haven’t seen in months.

Too bad.

Because so many refused to care for how our actions affect others in the first place is why we are having to close down even more now. It’s the holiday season and as American we expect, we demand, we need to celebrate with family and friends. Yet it is that feeling of entitlement that has lead so many to not social distance.

And why so many of us have lost loved ones.

We want to get together with family this holiday season, too. We need to be close. We need to grieve. The virus doesn’t care.

I KNOW we’re used to getting what we want, but right now we MUST think of everyone and not be selfish. I want to see my family, too, but I also don’t want to possibly make them sick. I don’t want to get this.

All I can say is: I miss my brother. A holiday is only a day on the calendar and it only has as much meaning as we give it. Family CAN get together later. We can live video visit. We can use cell phones any time of any day.

Stay home. Mask up.

Please.

Don’t judge family members that fear the virus and don’t want to get together. It’s because we love you that we are staying home.

Stay safe out there.

Mommy Advocate General

A Parent Advocate Sued Anywhere Is A Parent Advocate Sued Everywhere –  Volume & Light Nashville

It doesn’t stop when I’m tired. It doesn’t stop when I’m sick. It doesn’t stop when I’m broken. It never stops. Once you are a mother of a child with special needs; you are their advocate for life.

You are their lifeline. Their voice.

I knew he would be born with the same degenerative rare connective tissue disease that I have. My genes would give that to him. I didn’t know I would never have my own life. Even after he’s legally an adult. He and I got so much more than just the one disease.

Challenges and Issues for Special Needs Children

From birth it began; paperwork. It. Has. Never. Stopped. How do you layer-down a human life to reams and reams of paperwork. It started with a simple printout: FRAGILE, Handle With Care. It didn’t matter that I was lying there in pain, not only from childbirth but from my own medical difficulties with the disease we’d share. I had to forget about me and yell at a nurse for the way she was yanking on my son’s legs.

Then we began Early Head Start, a preschool program, with more paperwork. Medical proof that my child would be full of bruises because that’s part of our symptoms. I had to prove that I wasn’t harming my child and the bruises weren’t abuse. His first broken leg at 10 months old wasn’t abuse. Start the paper trail. Keep all the medical files.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta: Brittle Bone Disease - Creative Med Doses

OH but if that would have been all of it! No, not for me. I had to hit the jackpot and my kid would also have ADHD, tons of anxiety, and years of depression. Anger management over not being “normal,” more broken bones thanks to hyperactivity, and a fear of playing; because when he plays he fractures.

Public school begins with more paperwork. We instututed a 504 Plan for my medically fragile child. That wasn’t enough. It didn’t take long before the school was “suggesting” medication for the ADHD. So educational assessments were done and the 504 Plan was changed to and IEP: Individual Education Plan. I was a Licensed professional therapist, a social worker, but who was there for me? Who helped me with all this new paperwork, assessments, tests, etc?

No one.

Cuz I’m also a single mom. A single mom with my own disabilities. On my own.

Then when he was in 4th grade he fell 10 feet off a garage. He broke his back in 2 places and punctured a lung. Try watching your heart being flown on a helecopter 4 hours away from you to an emergency Children’s Hospital! My heart, my child, unconscious flying away.

DSM-5 Criteria for Diagnosing Generalized Anxiety Disorder

After those 6 frantic days ensued a year of medical appointments and me, alone, lifting him, turning him, carrying him; while I had 5 herniated discs of my own. Driving 8 hours once a month to see the specialist. Dealing with his pain, and the school being an unnecessary extra pain in my back side.

By 6th grade the school decided they didn’t know how to deal with him. Do what schools do: label the child difficult. His grades were failing even though his intelligence is above average. I made the plans for his IEP because his special education “teacher” didn’t know how to do it right. They sent him to In-School Suspension when he was having an anxiety attack for Pete’s sake! So many things were going wrong, so I threatened to sue the school.

So Much Paperwork for New Professional Job Fields — Steemit

It shouldn’t take threats to get what you need for your child. I took him out of public school and enrolled him in a Charter school. Low-and-behold he became a person. He was no longer just a number and some labelled terms on forms. OH, it wasn’t easy. He still made our lives a challenge, but what the public school labeled as failing he was now getting good grades and making friends.

Not perfect A’s. He still needed a LOT of special education assistance, but he had happy moments for a change. In 10th grade he even had a girlfriend! I had a bubbling busy house full of teen boys that made me laugh for days. Ah, could he possibly see a future on the horizon?

A young man is supposed to start his independent life at age 18, after graduation. My son was headed in the right direction. He had a part time job working with computers, his love. He had a good bicycle and friends. He will never drive a car, but he was on his way!

Then the real world decided it needed to stomp us down again. The disease roared to life and he suddenly became a shell of himself. Living his days in extreme pain and inability to be mobile, he lost his job. He tried this that and the next thing to get better, but he’s not going to get better.

Understanding Chronic Pain

Without me he would be living in a box on the street, but I will never allow that. His depression and anxiety is now through the roof, as is his daily levels of physical pain. I’m trying to get him on SS Disability, but the “system” seems to think that due to his age he should be able to work. How can they not SEE the boy who so wants to be a man, but he can’t catch a break?

22 years old and I’m still in charge of his life. I have my SSDisability and my own difficulties, but being his advocate is never going to end. I love him to the ends of the universe and back, but how much do I give of myself and never get help for?

Mom’s never stop.

Fu*king Hackers!

Really? Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and  Twitter

In mid-September ALL of my bank accounts were hacked, including those for my minor son. Savings, checking, debit card were all hacked and they took $3,000.

Month and a half later I am STILL waiting for the bank’s fraud department to get it all figured out AND the same fucking hackers tried to get me again on Monday.

These “guys” are good. The bank can’t even figure out if they hacked my debit card first or went straight to my actual accounts. They called me using an actual number the bank uses so there was no way for me to know it wasn’t a call from the actual bank. They then sent me texts to confirm by sending me a code. So this all seemed like my bank. This is phishing.

6 sure signs someone is phishing you—besides email - Malwarebytes Labs |  Malwarebytes Labs

Now the bank thinks they probably hacked into my gmail account, so that’s how they knew the last 4 digits of my checking account and the exact amount of a recurring payment that I get from Social Security Disability each month on the same day. I have my bank accounts set to send me an email for any deposits, use of my account, transfers, etc. So they probably read those emails.

Can 'Hacking Back' Be An Effective Cyber Answer?

For how long? How long ago did they start watching me? They must have hacked my passwords, too. I really feel violated. I have no idea IF they got my social security number or not. Identity theft really sucks.

In the last month and a half I’ve had to change my username and passwords for any online sites, accounts, etc where I ever used any banking 3 times! I am really very tired of coming up with passwords. Getting inventive, though.

How To Hack A Bank Account - INVESTMENT GRAFFITI

It must be a nice career using all your time illegally taking money from others. Being low-income, why would they take MY money?! It was all I had. Yes, $3,000 was all my money. Why don’t they take money from those who can afford it? Ya, I know, that’s harsh, but I’m on disability because I have chronic pain and medical issues. All this stress had made my pain worse.

I don’t think hackers care about the people they hack at all. They have no humanity.

Go out and get a real f’ing job, assholes. Or go to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect anyone else’s $200.

FAQ: What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison? - Prison Fellowship
Go To Jail Monopoly Mixed Media by Jas Stem

8 years of suffering under Barack Obama

Teri Carter's Library

andersonlogo

3C54DC7D00000578-4140672-Barack_Obama_waves_as_he_boards_Marine_One_and_departs_the_Capit-a-77_1484945371469 Photo credit: The Associated Press

The sentence I hear most from well-meaning, conservative friends since President Trump’s election is this: “We suffered 8 years under Barack Obama.”

Fair enough. Let’s take a look.

The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

He drew down the number…

View original post 464 more words

Now

The thing to do these days is to try to “be in the moment.”

Is this difficult for others? Maybe it’s just a single mom thing, but I seem to constantly be thinking in terms of the future. What’s for breakfast, lunch, or supper? If I don’t do laundry today, will there be enough “?” for tomorrow? What needs to go on the shopping list? Do I have enough cat food and cat litter to get through the week? The PLANNING of life doesn’t seem to coincide with being in “the moment.”

How do others LIVE their life and stay in the moment at the same time?

I guess the Mindfulness Movement isn’t so much about not thinking ahead, but being thoughtful about WHAT you are thinking. I can think and do things at the same time. I think.

It really is difficult to think about what you’re thinking. Our world is full of distractions (did I mention the cats?) I know I am bombarded with self-consciousness about almost everything I do. That may stem from being raised by a narcissist who always made me feel like crap, but I want to give this a good try. I believe I CAN push out the buzzing thoughts that keep me awake at night, but how?

That “monkey mind” seems to be creeping into the background more often than not. I’ve been told to “just stop, and breathe.” Listen to what I’m thinking. Do I really need to think about that or allow it to control my emotions? So I’ve been trying to greet my onslaught of thoughts with “hello, I hear you, but I don’t need you.”

Wanna know who my best teacher for this is? My cat, Ninja. No matter what I am doing, when he needs his Ninja Time he needs it right in THAT moment. I used to push him aside and think he was being obnoxious. Currently, when he jumps up on my lap and I’m mid-search on the computer, reading a book, or whatever I may be doing he continues to head-butt me or the object until I empty my lap and focus only on him. Ninja Time can take anywhere from 1 minute to 10, but during that time I MUST pet and scratch him and do nothing else. He jumps away when he’s done.

So during that time I decided it was also a good time for me to do this be in the moment stuff. I think of how freaking soft his fur is, how loud can I get his purr to go, and wonder what he’s thinking? If thoughts about not finishing what I’d been doing prior sneak into consciousness, I recognize that thought, then try to get back to how calming it is to simply pet my cat. Sometimes he will let me give him an actual cat massage, but he’s not as big on that as my cat, Blizzard, is.

Resting on stillness, simply noticing my breathing is easy when I’m petting the cats. What about at other times, though. Meditating doesn’t come easy when I’m in pain. I like to do walking meditation when walking doesn’t hurt. Enjoy the singing birds. Try to discern the different bird sounds. Hear how the wind makes different sounds depending on where I am on the walk. Breathe in sync with every other step. I wish I could do this stuff without sensory input. I need to visualize, listen, touch, etc, or that monkey mind takes over.

I’ve been told “Mindfulness involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away.” Awaken to experience. Sure, except when I have insomnia. Having a nonjudgmental presence in my awareness just doesn’t work then. My mind is screaming “why can’t I sleep?!” Same thing when I want to snack, but know I don’t need to eat. “Mindful people can hear negative thoughts and feedback without feeling threatened.” I hope to get to that place.

It’s in our culture to shame over eaters, people who are tired at work, nag about things not getting done, and multi-task. It’s near impossible to focus on what’s going on in the room around you when you’re thinking of what you think everyone else’s expectations are for you.

Personally, I think I also have a hand-up to not “hear” all that droning and mumbling in my head. I can shut off my hearing aides! It’s a great pro about being mostly deaf. You really CAN hear yourself think better. I LOVE taking off the aides when I do art or read. The distractions of the room around me just don’t exist, because I can’t hear them. It’s easier for me to get lost in what I’m doing. Suddenly it’s been hours and, wow, look how much I got done!

Maaaaybe that’s not quite what being in the moment means, but I like it. It’s a sudden awareness of how cold or hot the room is, how thirsty I feel because I let my coffee go cold, how sore my hand suddenly feels from doing the art for so long. Instead of thinking ahead of time that my body will get sore, I’ll forget to stay hydrated, and oh ya – the sun goes down when you’re not thinking. Just doing.

Not to say I don’t fear the pain that I know will come, but maybe I don’t notice it as much? I’m not focusing on belittling myself for fearing the coming pain. I’m not avoiding things I “should be” doing. I’m actually enjoying the process. I didn’t think about the drama feelings of what others will think of my art. I’m not stuck on how long it’s taking to get done and will others feel it was worth the time. It really works for me to not hear all those evaluations and/or rejections when I turn off my hearing aides.

I have to admit, too, that I really savor my eating. I think THAT is another area where I am in the moment. I love food. I’m about forty pounds overweight. I KNOW I should eat more healthy. However, I love the taste of good food! I enjoy swishing something really nummy around my tongue and use all the tongue’s different tasting spots to really think about what I’m eating tastes like.

I also savor music. Ironic I know, since I can’t hear all the nuances that someone else might hear due to me hearing loss. I absolutely love good live music. I can close my eyes and see it. Feel it. I can’t go a day without listening to music. It’s often on in the background while I’m doing other things, but when a great song comes on I have to just stop what I’m doing, turn it up, and REALLY listen and enjoy.

I guess it’s all about how you interpret and react to what’s in your mind. It’s self-control.

Oops, had to do a 5 minute Ninja Time there. I’m back. Damn his little face is so beautiful.

I’ve noticed that the more I try doing this Mindfulness the less often I get upset about things that used to get to me. Hmmm, maybe I AM doing it right? I guess I am feeling less bad about having emotions. I’ve been told throughout my life that I was “too sensitive.” Now, I’m getting to be OK with the knowledge that feelings are normal and natural. It’s OK to feel, just not get into all that “wishing” about not feeling an emotion.

No, I’m not resigned to feelings. For example, my pain, I used to get angry at the pain. Angry at my body. I wish…blah blah blah. I can now think it’s OK to be angry, but know that the anger isn’t going to help.

Right now I started to think about what if what I’m writing is rambling nonsense and no one cares?

Guess it’s time to take some Ninja Time.

 

Goodbye Dear Brother

Monday, April 27th, 2020 around Noon Central Time my brother left this world. Covid-19 proved to be too much for him.

At 53 years old a blood clot in his lung caused a massive heart attack after a 3-week battle with the virus in the ICU.

I can’t put into words how much I loved him and will miss him.

His life was not an easy one. He took the brunt of abuse by my father and mother that created life-long mental illnesses. His path was full of hills and setbacks, but if asked he might say he “lived.” Some people just coast through life. My brother had many wonderful experiences mixed in with the bad.

He was one hell of a cook and a master Gardener. He thought about chef school. He could grow anything. He told me of times when he went camping and prepared four-course meals over the open fire. People from all over the campground would wander into their spot, brought in by the intriguing smells, with mouths watering.

He loved to walk with his dogs. He loved dogs. I didn’t like his dogs, LOL! He didn’t discipline them at all. They were his babies.

If you ever thought to hear what an angel sounded like; it would be my brother singing. I cried while he sang a choir solo in the Cathedral in St. Paul, MN. I had the honor to sing many duets with him in choirs, at weddings, at funerals.

My brother loved beauty. That IS OK for a man to do. He loved all his beautiful houseplants and yard and garden plants. He enjoyed art and music and the people who created those. He was learning to paint. He loved being outdoors. He loved the beauty in a person’s soul, not only what/who a person is on the outside. He loved to watch his dogs run and play. Simple beauty.

He put passion into everything he did. He did everything the best he could do. He loved hard, was hurt hard.

He enjoyed a damn good party! I will miss his laughter ringing out over the skies at a bonfire. He looked ridiculous when he danced, but … he…danced. He would throw caution to the wind, and dance. OK, liquid inebriation helped.

He knew MANY people in his life. People of all colors and creeds and customs and cultures. There were times when people were mean or abusive to him, but he gave them second chances. Often third or fourth.

He was my protector and playmate as a child, my driver and roommate in college, my friend and mentor as adults. We had conversations that lasted for hours and went into the long hours of the night. We could talk about ANYTHING. Of course, we didn’t always agree, but usually we did. Often, it seemed like he and I against the world. We understood each other.

I could write about the bad stuff. The prejudice against his being Gay. The times he was bullied and beaten for being fat or for having the rare disease we both have. His suicide attempt. His abuse by others. His HIV status. His diabetes. The last few years of his life which were very bad.

I’d rather talk about how intelligent he was. How much he loved animals. How much he lived a good life. How he chose to go back to college when he lost a job he’d had for 25 years and try again. How he tried every day to not let depression lead his life. His creativity, his passion, his bright aura.

That smile. His hugs. His deep bellied laughter. The way he could just do what he wanted despite those who might judge. The way he was…him. The entire body of stubborn and wonderful him.

He believed in God. Where he is now may he be at peace. May he be with all his dogs walking through a field at sunset and singing.

Covid-19

The government is already breaking in the the stockpiled items. Blood is at a critical shortage. Medical workers don’t have the protection they need: masks, gowns, gloves. This is in the US AND WORLDWIDE.

The US so-called “President” is a joke during all of this.

Whether or not you follow the CDC guidelines, YOU CAN STILL GET SICK. Some hospitals are having to make triage decisions about who can and who can’t get treatment.

Poor Italy.

I am one of the high risk. I have asthma. IF I get sick at any time of the year, it always turns into bronchitis. If I get this? I WILL get pneumonia. My mother has worse asthma than I do. I don’t want her to get pneumonia.

Yes. I am staying home. I usually stay home a lot anyway, but now? Most of the reasons and events I would have gone out for have been cancelled.

I am not a worry-wort type of person. I usually believe in taking risks. My son has extreme anxiety all the time. Right now he won’t leave the house. He even cancelled a doctor appointment I wish he would have gone to. He says he doesn’t want to bring anything home because of my asthma.

53% of Americans still don’t think this is an emergency situation. All of those people are not staying home. They don’t care about the high risk people. The fact that the number of people affected by this virus doubles and triples daily doesn’t get to them. It will when someone they know tests positive, but not before. They are selfish. Period.

It only took 3 months for this virus to become a pandemic. In comparison to other historic pandemics this IS a bad one; if only because the rest didn’t take place during our modern medicine capabilities. People like to compare it to the Sars, or other, epidemics, but it’s capability to effect millions has already surpassed them.

Am I sitting at home worrying about it? Not yet. Not for myself. However I do worry about people I know who are at high risk. So few numbers of people are actually getting tested WHEN they are sick. People are told to stay at home even if they’re sick and they are NOT getting tested. So the numbers of affected people really is a larger number than what the news says.

For now we’re OK here in my house. We have a lot to keep us busy. I have a house full of books. We have ample food for humans and cats. Possibly not enough cat litter and TP. I didn’t go out an hoard ANYTHING when others were, so now I can’t find TP anywhere.

I don’t care what other people say. I think this is a historic time. Life as we know it is changing before our eyes. What side of history will you be on?

Now. Remember to tip the deliver people. Wash your hands with SOAP.