Saturday, February 26, 2011


Late last night I was rummaging around in my books. I was looking for something to read to help me with my heart. I don't want to be bitter. My anger protects me from crying. When I let myself soften up I just weep. I'm not talking the pretty weep like the movie stars either. I'm talking red swollen eyes snot slinging everywhere sob sob weep.

The truth is that for all I ever learned about helping people cope with life threatening illness or loss or death, feels like a bunch of hogwash when I try and apply it to myself. There is a scripture in the Bible that says, "Each man should not think more highly of himself than he ought." I'm wondering if I was as helpful when I was nursing as I thought I was. I'm sure not doing such a great job with myself.

If I was being my own nurse than I would say my pain is not controlled and my depression is not controlled. Guess what? That is true but there is not a whole lot more that can be done, from both the cost and the treatment options. This is it and I have to learn to cope without alienating everyone in my life.

It's so hard not to be angry and bitter.

I'm sure my friends daughter will want Roman and she's coming back on Sunday. I can't decide if I want to take movies of him or just destroy all the pictures. I love him but I have to make the grown up decision of doing what's best for the dog and what is safest for me. I get determined to do things. Like the last time he was a big mess and we couldn't take him to be groomed. Jen and I did it. I royally killed myself but we got it done. I don't even remember how long I suffered for that. It doesn't help that I know how to groom him and have all the stuff. He is just too much dog for me. Then I wondered if I could have a little dog and I think I would trip on one of those too. My balance is impaired. I have probably never said out loud to anyone that my original fall that got me here was tripping on the dog I think. I'm not sure. I just remember a soft furry feeling under one of my feet before I started going down. It's hard to know in that fresh post op heavily drugged phase. But currently he loves to play and he's 65 pounds and growing. That much playful bump can send me into orbit. But if and when he goes that will be another red eyed snot slinging day.

I think maybe it was Kate who once told me that sometimes a great dog is a once in a lifetime thing.
I'm so stubborn. I sold furniture and all kinds of stuff to buy this puppy and now look where I am.
It seems sometimes I never learn. My friend Susie says, "For a smart girl you can be so dumb." Yeah we are still friends. You should hear some of the stuff I've said to her! Like for instance shopping at Macy's and looking at a pile of panties on clearance. She was looking at them and I picked up a pair and nearly ripped them stretching them as far as the fabric would allow and said, "Do they make them in your size?" After she stomped off and nearly left me forever we made up. That was about 25 years ago.

Made ya laugh didn't I.

Back to books that was going to be the topic. All the books I have in this sea of bindings on "self help" or spiritual comfort etc... are about the pain in your PAST.

What the heck?

Doesn't anyone have anything to say about the present?

After I get this cushion finished. Come hell or high water because I don't feel like doing anything except to go back to bed.
I might go to the library. If not today sometime soon.
Has anyone out there read any good books about coping with pain in the present?

Friday, February 25, 2011


 First I want to thank everybody for the very precious comments. I cried over each one. I felt the love. The sisterhood that Kathy mentioned is healing.
I am on anti-depressants a big whopping dose of them, but like Kat said there is no pill to erase what is happening. One of the things on the charge card are visits to a psychiatrist.  The doctor I see is an expert in pain, depression and nutrition. I am depressed because the cervical blocks don't last. I don't think I should do anymore because they have steroids in them and I cannot have surgery with RSD. My hip is hurting significantly and I have to hope and pray the graft will hold. I do take a huge amount of the best quality supplements and everything I can to heal my body. Y'all know how I feel about nutrition.

Kat you hit it, I don't have much will to live. It isn't gone but it's pretty weak. However I am a fighter and I'm not down on a 10 count yet. I also had to clarify to my daughter that what I meant was I am sometimes sorry she rescued me. I did not mean that I was sorry she came, never. Her coming has been an amazing blessing. I get tongue tied a lot and call her Mama. How's that for a woman who is 55? I call my baby, Mama.

I'm trying to sew. I used to do a lot of sewing. Jennifer wants to learn and help out and so far I am managing OK. I think it would be fun to make little things, doll clothes, or baby clothes. Will see, one day at a time.

Roman may be going to live in Colorado on a horse ranch with another big standard white poodle. My good friend's daughter is interested in him. He would love living there. He hates the heat and he loves cold weather. He went crazy in the snow playing in it. Last year in the summer I thought something was wrong with him. He just laid around and moped. He just doesn't like the heat.

Then if we place the cats we can just relax and have less to worry about.

I'm not going to talk about pets anymore.

Maybe I'll make some stuffed animals. I don't know but I do know that if it's stressful to try and care for something then the joy is lost.  I cannot physically work with my dog. He is a brat because of it. He won't listen to me like he should. We love each other but it just is not safe for me, and not good for him.
So there we go. Sometimes I have to be an adult even when I'd rather be a kid, and a whiny cry baby at that.

Last night it took me until 2:30 am to fall asleep. My shoulder was killing me. Between pain in the left hip and pain in the right shoulder it can really be a challenge to sleep when I like to lay on my side. I have drugs for that too but they don't always work. Melatonin and all of that.

Case anyone wonders, this pain is really weird. Nurses learn how to help people describe their pain beside just, "it hurts."
My shoulder feels like it's ripping out of the socket.
The muscles under my arm and down into the elbow feel like they are swollen but they are not.
At times I have electric shocks in the bones. If someone pats my shoulder it sends shocks down my arm for hours.
Then there is the wrist. There isn't anything wrong with my wrist but it feels fractured and it aches all the time.
My hand is full of "cording." RSD makes these strings of knots grow in your hand.
They are very strange. They hurt. Right in the center of my palm it feels pierced.
At times my hand hurts so much I'd rather amputate the whole limb including the shoulder.
That isn't an option it won't help.
 I asked.
With RSD nothing will help, surgery is the worst thing you can do.

The second orthopedic doctor I went to for another opinion told me he fixed a broken finger on a woman who had RSD and didn't tell him. A 30 minute simple surgery turned her hand into a permanent claw.
RSD can deform your limbs and soften your bones.

That was about enough information for me.
I actually don't want to know too much more than that. If you research this stuff for more than 10 minutes a person could go into a full blown panic attack.
I wonder how a young woman with children would survive if she had this.
Paula from American Idol has it.

I usually wake up in the morning with some relief. As long as I lay there and no gravity is on my arm I can just relax and feel easy.  This morning I didn't want to get up at all.
Jen made me.
She dried my hair and fixed me up as much as I would let her which wasn't much.
Then we went shopping for groceries for 2 and 1/2 hours. Picking up one jar of creamer hurt the bones in my arm. So I tried to pick up light things one thing at a time.
It's really difficult to push a cart. The cart feels like it's full already when it's empty.
Makes me want to quit and go home.
When Jen moves out I'm going to send my husband to the store with a list.
We will save a ton of money because he sticks to the list. He's not an impulse buyer.

So that was the day today. If my shoulder calms down after some rest I might try to sew a little.

Team work.

One of my challenges each day is not making my daughter angry. I get her PO'd at me every single day.
I'd like to get up and apply duct tape instead of lipstick.
I'm not accepting this very gracefully.
I cuss. Sometimes I'm mean.
I don't know how she can stand me.
To make it worse she is very very sensitive and so are the kids.
It's true that you hurt the ones you love.
That really doesn't make any sense when I think about it.

I'm going to go lay down and watch TV.
I like to watch crime shows. Catch the bad guys.
I don't watch anything about cooking or homes.
No decorating or gardening. I don't want to look at it----yet.
I like looking at what you do.

I really don't know how to accept my life.
I do know one thing. Because I have taught this to others.
Grief is a valley you must walk through.
You cannot side step it, unless you want to walk around the mountain for 40 years.
I have to walk it.
It's a romantic notion to think you can lose this much gracefully.
I'm walking through it screaming, bitching, crying and sighing.
I do love my family.
My daughter.
and you.

My hope is that someday I will be nice again.
My hope is that I don't ruin the testimony of my faith.
My faith has to be real warts and all.
I have a lot of warts right now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Blog Needs A New Name.

Have you noticed how seldom I post? A true confession is that on the days I don't post I am struggling.
The truth is I am struggling with everything in my life.
I wondered about doing this, but I am going to go for it.
That is a warning.
If you are looking for a happy Karen Deborah post then move on.
This is not for you.

The truth is I am in a crisis in every way.
 I keep trying to find a positive outlook for living and I can't.
Then I rebuke myself and think of all the people who have faced much more serious adversity than me. If I don't, someone else does!
  I am becoming a recluse.  I don't call people. I don't go to church. I don't want to go out. I don't want to be patted or talked to or _____ fill in the blank.
I really don't want to hear any more platitudes or "good advice."
I may kick the next person's knee caps, who tells me to just straighten up.
Does anyone really think that I am doing this to myself?
It's more than insulting to think I'd want this.
It makes me feel unknown, that hurts.

My life has completely changed. Everything I did before is gone. This is no longer Fresh Fixins. There isn't going to be gardening or cooking or baking bread. My starter rotted and I threw it out.
I struggle with the weight of the dough.
I cannot handle it, which steals the pleasure.
No canning, no planning the garden, none of it.
I cannot use my arm. My hand hurts when I type but today my heart is hurting more than my body.
If I continue to blog I'll have a completely different topic.
How about  "The Daily Scream?"

Trying to survive devastation.
Physical, emotional, spiritual, devastation.
It's not like I have a huge following.
But I wouldn't want to loose my fifteen blog friends that I really care about.
But can anyone want to read this crap?
I wouldn't blame you if you left.

So help me.

I can't think of title for spilling my guts.
That is what I'm going to do.
I am going to write often and just spill it.

I understand now why some people turn their comment section off.
They hurt too much to take even one hurtful comment.
Let's face it. A lot of people don't realize what they say injures another.
They haven't suffered and they don't know.
Knowing that, allows those of us in the fellowship of pain, to excuse them.

It's true my daughter has rescued me and brought me up from the grave.
But at times I wish she hadn't.
I am GRATEFUL that our relationship is restored.
I am GRATEFUL for her love and help.
She literally saved my life.
But I am not grateful for the dependance I have to embrace. I hate it.

I am also hurt that the rest of my family doesn't even get it.
I'm hurt my brother has never come to visit.
He just called and his mother in law fell and hurt her arm.
I'm sorry that happened.
The way he went on and on about how bad it is went threw my gut like a knife.
He has no concept of what has happened to me.
She will get better.

Sometimes I think no one gets this.
If you care about someone, don't you make it your business to know?
Can we I really just fade away and no one miss us me?
(I still miss Grandma J, she just went away).
My family doesn't read my blog except when I ask them to so I don't have to worry about saying this.

I  think I have PTSD.
I am afraid of falling.
I am afraid of people.
I am afraid of being touched.
I am afraid of handshakes.

Who is this?
These "fears" are foreign to me.
This is the antithesis of who I have been all my life.

I hate talking about what I am going through. Talk about Debbie Downer. 
My faith is in crisis. My identity is in crisis. I feel like who I am is in the past tense.
So who am I now?
Someone in a constant state of suffering.
Someone who went from care giver to dependence.
Someone who has almost ruined our finances, we haven't had to give up our home yet.
There it is again. Back and forth.
Other people are facing foreclosures.
Why do I complain?
I feel so guilty and I KNOW that is dumb. Knowing doesn't stop it.
Trust God....there's the rub. I thought I did.

I don't understand anything.

How can a nurse not have health care when I spent my whole life giving it?
Why should my 73 year old husband have to pay taxes?

I'm not paralysed but in a way I am. I'm travelling through a "veil of tears." I am grieving for my life.
I don't know how to continue. I am NOT suicidal.
That is for you Susie,you always freak when I talk like this.
I'm OK I just want to talk.
I'm upset because I need to get it out.
I want to scream, long and loud and every day.

Every day some daily task presents itself and I can't do it.
That is just a fact.
How do I focus on the good in the face of daily new "facts"?
Every day I get to wake up to a new day of disappointment.
My new life.

Every day the reality of our financial situation presses down on me a bit heavier and makes my heart hurt. I really should find homes for all my animals because that money is needed to pay bills.
I have asked many providers for help and they have written off parts of what we owe.

I have charged $12,000 for meds, doctors, and gas, basically anything we couldn't pay for. I didn't know it was that much. When my husband finally told me, I felt like I was going to vomit.
It seems to me the pets need to go.
They cost a lot every month.
The dog is so big he nearly knocks me over nearly every day.
He scares me to death.
I love that big galute.
He's a puppy pony.
Then I bawl and cry my eyes out, AGAIN.
How much do others have to pay for me?

What if something bad happens to them?
How can I be sure they'd get a good home?
Those are emotional rhetorical questions.
I don't need an answer. It's how I feel.

Beggars can't be choosers. SHUT UP!!!

It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't after such a long list of losses.

I have always been so good at helping others in grief. In encouraging others to cling to the Lord for comfort. I cannot help myself. I am not sure if I can't or don't want to.
I get mad.
How do you cling without hands?

My nerve block has worn off and I've lost the mobility I gained. I'm back to feeling crucified. The thing about that is real crucifixion would end and it doesn't. The pain syndrome I have "Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy," is a progressive disorder. It gets worse. Most of the time I can't even remember the name of it. I don't read about it because it scares me to death. I actually said in my Sunday School class that I'd rather have cancer and the judgement I felt was horrific. No one understood what I was saying. With cancer you live or you die. There is some hope of it ending, one way or the other. At least you have a chance to fight it.

I fight with exercise and drugs, but I'm told I might win.
A long shot. The majority of the time this RSD wins.
It disables.

Which is worse to always be blind or lose your sight and have the memory?

If a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it; does it make a sound?

The drugs make me stupid and I stink.
But if I don't take them I'll go hysterical.
I can't stand it when my arm is in a state of activity that looks like grand mal seizures.
It hurts and it scares me to death.
At least I'm off of narcotics.
Back and forth.

What I have is severe with increasing severity and it is chronic.
No end. I really can't take much more without going crazy.
I'm already crazy.
I don't want to know anymore about this.
I can't imagine more.
I know what it means when medical people say it will get worse.
Most people have no idea what is ahead of them.
I am a coward.
It shocks me, the cowardice, I thought I was brave.
I am a coward, no kidding.
Where do you go to say, UNCLE?

Hell on earth. Why? Wasn't I doing good work?
I have always said that this subject of suffering is one I couldn't tackle.
Maybe God wants me to reveal the whole inner ugly struggle.
I'm like that.
I'll say there is an elephant in the room when everyone else pretends there's nothing there.

Maybe my new lot in life is to say what it is like to be living with a whole host of unwanted changes.

Stripped of everything that was--- who I thought I was.

All that is left is words. I CAN talk.
But who on earth would listen?
Does that even matter really?
Is it hard to blog if you don't have any readers?
Anybody out there? Pink Floyd

I do not always have these rock bottom days.
I can smile and laugh sometimes.
I see the beauty of spring beginning to unfold.

Then I see all the weeds I would be pulling.
Ten years I have worked on this garden.
I don't want to stay here and watch it deteriorate.
The see saw again--up and down--back and forth.
My husband doesn't understand.
He does all he can, but this was never a one man operation.

I will just have to let things go one by one, or faster than that, ten by ten.
It's a lot like cancer or any other process that takes your life a piece at a time, or a chunk.

It took a lot of guts for me to do this.
Leave a comment if you want but don't judge me.
My mama said if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.
That's how come I don't blog.
But I miss blogging.
I can blog, I just don't have what I was to give you.
She is gone.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself.
I have no bootstraps.
Even if I did I wouldn't be able to reach them.
Someone else would have to put the boots on.
So none of that, please.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just a Note.

We have been house and dog sitting. Three dogs. My daughter and the kids are getting a bit of a break from us.
As I get more independent she is longing fro a home of her own. I remember how hard it was when I first moved here. Not knowing where to go or what to do, or even what there is to do.
She's very frustrated and it breaks my heart.

Will be home on Friday. I'll post something for the weekend. Maybe some pictures of these pooches.I thought my dog was spoiled rotten.  I'm eating too much over here. They have a huge flat scree TV and I'm watching it all the time. I do get some sun on a good day, we are having California weather here now. I wish it would last well into August. Yeah right, dream on....

Hope yawl had a good Valentine's Day. I had a great one. My daughter took me out to eat and have some Margaritas. My Honey took me out too! Twice in one day, that's a first.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Make Over Reveal

 A friend came by and received a make up do over courtesy of Miss Jennifer.
 and this is me....can you believe it?
 I am stylin and sassy. I need a facelift!!!
 But having fun is contagious...
 like my top? Jen gave it to me. Daughters are so nice to have around.
 The new fashionable decluttered dining room.
 Changes everywhere.

 A cozy seating vignette.
 and some snow....
 Mississippi style no shoveling required. Don't hate me I didn't do it.
 Sun predicted tomorrow so it will all be gone.

 but today the grand kids will play.
 this much snow in the south and the schools cancel.
 Yes it is true we are light weights with winter weather.
 We only know how to sweat out here.

 Back inside. You know it wouldn't be me without a small digression.
 El grande poo-pony sizing up the food situation. Not the human the plate.
 Living room touches.
 This guy is cute.
 A close up of the mantel.

She's been busy don't you think?
I'll hire her out for a good price!!