Humility

Humility has been, and is an important attitude in my opinion.  I don’t mean dragging yourself around looking down on the floor, feeling like you’re worthless.  I believe humility means letting anger go.  Humility is the attitude of “hey, I’m not always right…other people’s beliefs have credibility too.”

And, yes, sometimes we get caught sleeping in a safety class or doing something else that might be frowned upon, but hey…it’s not the end of the world!  We just need to move along and try to find some humor along the way when we do silly things!

Humulity is Healthy

Sleeping through the class!

Sleeping through the class! This is Mark - but we won't tell you his full name - that would not be fair!

 

Managing Pain

The finger

The finger

Ever been in your doctor’s office or patient exam room and noticed a sign that asks you where your pain level is – 1 through 10 – 10 being the highest?  So, where do you rate your pain when you are sitting there with two 50 MG opium patches, drink tincture of opium 4 times a day, and take that new opiate that claims to be 100 percent stronger than morphine?  Oh, let’s not forget Lortab, Vicodan, Diazapam, and 2 or 3 other drugs for pain management…

– – –

Richard had to go to the local clinic here today, and much to his surprise, he was “ORDERED” to provide the RX bottles of all medicines that he takes (there are now over 19 different pills a day.)  He left 1/2 hour later after refusing to join in their mandated and required “pain management program,” with a $110.00 bill paid to see a nurse practitioner.  How crazy is that?  Ironically, we are presently living in an elderly “community” with all elderly people who most are within 6 months to 1 year left to live.  (I would bet on that last statement!)

– – –

Here’s the “good” part:  The reason Richard went to the clinic is that it appeared that he got a bite from a critter that left a bruise and it wasn’t going away.  And pain management for a  terminal disease has WHAT to do with a bite from a desert critter?  Whatever this clinic’s attitude is about pain management – it’s completely invasive and rude.  So, unless he breaks an arm or something that needs set in a cast, he’s not going back.  I have to laugh at their concept of “PAIN MANAGEMENT” and patient “care.”  It is a joke. 

– – –

There is nothing in the world that could be considered pain management with the attitude of what Richard described to me today.  The nurse practitioner had no idea and did not ask about his current medical situation, who his family doctor was, and didn’t lay a hand on him.  Her mission apparently consisted of making certain that every patient she saw was to ensure the patient didn’t take any medicines to help alleviate pain.

– – –

Dying with Dignity.  “Sure thing,” I snort cynically – .  How does one die with dignity in horrendous pain and agony?  Zen “humming” doesn’t do it!  I know, because I’ve tried that one too. 

– – –

What a crock.  I wish for the nurse practitioner to walk (limp) in our shoes for a couple of days.  I guarantee this one will never help relieve the wicked pain of a cancer patient, someone who fell off a rooftop while working…the list can go on and on. I feel kinda’ sorry for the nurse practitioner, because she is being trained to work with patients and appears to be way out of her depth of knowledge and understanding.

– – –

We are not teaching reality to the students in school.  What’s happening at home – what’s happening to our caring for each other?  Do we?  If not, why?

 

Life Review

As the days of our lives begin to slow dance, many of us have the opportunity to contemplate the meaning of what, who, and how we were during our life on earth…did we do the best we could?  …did we give when needed…were we there for our friends when they needed us…how many smiles did we leave behind when we left a room…did we live our life with passion and meaning?

—-

Hanging out in a hospital bed isn't a great time

Hanging out in bed doesn't make for a great time for anyone

Becoming as ill as I have over the past 9 months, most of my days are sedentary, and I’m not used to that.  For 50 plus years I was always running not walking.   My mode of getting things done was to speed 100 miles an hour past everyone else (and yes I got quite a few speeding tickets in my time!).

—-

Now, sitting or laying in bed leaves me with something I didn’t think about before: A time for contemplation.  It’s gotta’ be done, I do believe that.  If we have the opportunity to trip back to the “good old days” and relive some of those happier times, it’s a definite improvement over sitting there blankly watching the latest reality television show.  If you have trash you need to burn (i.e., apologies to make, fences to mend, etc. – now is a wonderful time to do it).  Not everyone gets the chance to make things right with those they have hurt.  Count your blessings if you can do just that one thing!  If I can say, “I’m sorry,” I literally feel the weight come off my heart.   

The hospice workers call all of this “life review.”  That’s a darned good description of what is going on for us.  It’s an opportunity to sift through the past – – memories of first loves, beautiful sunsets, shooting stars on the backdrop of a black moonless night, that fabulous hot stone massage you got somewhere, sitting out by a running creek with a fishing pole and nothing but the rustle of the wind in the trees to keep you company….the list can go on and on and on.   

So, while I’m sifting through my past and memories of events and people who I have loved and some who I hated, I feel a sadness too.  Those are now memories.  It won’t happen again.  I won’t see “that” again.  I am dying and where I go from that point of my last breath, I have no idea.  I can only wonder.   I think highly of this “life review” experience.  It’s a blessing to have the time and mental clarity (what little that I do have between taking the pain medicines and opiates).  Tonight I feel lucky for these moments of memories of the past.

Acceptance

Accepting the path that our life is moving on and knowing the ultimate destination is one of the most difficult aspects of our existence,  We love to think that we are in control.  We are in charge!  We want to take responsibility and be in the driver’s seat. 

Nope.  Not happening.  We can try all we want, but that isn’t anywhere near possible.   There are some little things along the way that we can pull together on our own, but the big picture isn’t ours to control.

...no, pigs don't normally fly....

When Pigs Fly - I Keep Waiting!

Years ago I found a favorite saying, “When Pigs Fly.”  Meaning, “yeah right…that will happen when pigs grow wings and fly off into the sunset.”  I haven’t seen a pig fly by and I seriously doubt that I ever will.  Darn it.  Wouldn’t that be fun?

I guess I will just have to accept the fact that pigs won’t fly, and probably won’t fly in my life-time unless someone gets busy with some magic and makes it happen.

Just the same, I shall dream!

Acceptance of illness and our own mortality is a difficult and sad reality.  Life and death is not ours to control.  At some point in each of our lives we must let go and give over the control buttons. 

I’m okay with that, because frankly, as the illness we have has grown more and more difficult to live with, I’m just too darned tired of fighting the good fight.  Exhaustion sets in, humor fades, fear increases in the dead of night, and you begin to realize that this unfortunate time of life leaves you with just a little less energy each day to put up an arguement. 

Let me know when the Pigs Fly!  I want to watch.

Whispers

Whispers at night

Saying, “it will be okay…don’t worry”

I wish for those whispers to be true

Life is coming to a close for so many

And us

What to do, where to go?

Ah, just to be free of the pain without the drugs

….just for a few hours…

My love and I only have hours

We know….

We wish to believe, though, in the whispers that sometimes come at night

I watch my husband at night, twitching, sweating, watching the muscles jerk – – twisting in pain

We join each other in the pain and try so hard to help each other

In the end that’s all we can do. 

Try

Because, we know that we never were at the control station of this fragile existence of what we call life

It is all in the hands of a higher power

 

Crashes – Physical, Mental, Emotional …and that Darned Computer

…I lost the flower powerpoint display that Aletha sent me the other day…due to yet another “hack” on the computer. It had nothing to do with the beautiful flower display, but came out of yet another hacker group having fun. 

I wish I could shoot better, but at least now I haven’t wasted bunches of ammo, right?!

Well, sometimes computerd desert  it, right?

Well, sometimes computers deserve it right?

When I realized that I had opened an infected file and had to restore my settings and everything back for about a week, at first I was really ticked off.

Then I thought  it through a bit…”a wee bit” in honor of St. Patrick’s Day…

This computer thing was a “simple” crash…like about everything out there.  At least the computer crash is not responsible for the end of my life.  

Richard and I are getting through to the end of our lives in a very different and bizarre set of circumstances – poisoning.  After three years coping (and sometimes not coping) with our medical problmes and the side-affects of medicines required to keep us alive, I just figured out that all of this is a crash, and the fall-out isn’t a very pretty sight.

Medical crashes, legal crashes, weather creating upheavals everywhere in the world.  Crashes are becoming a serious condition for people everywhere . . . in truth, there isn’t a person on the planet that some sort of crash has hit them. 

Homeless Man with His Friend

Homeless Man with his Friend

Life has changed deeply and dramatically for so many hundreds of thousands (and that’s just our little continent).

We are at the end of so many things here in the United States…

…where could you possibly begin? 

It literally shakes me to my core.  Moving along through these incredible disasters, so many our fellow friends and neighbors have lost their lives as they used to be and are struggling every moment to simply stay alive one way or another.

Sadly, with the economy being so trashed, a lot of the humanitarian and charity organizations have lost donators and aren’t able to help like “the good old days.”  The fall-out from crashes is huge and so sad . . . far transcending my little problem of losing a few files on the computer.

I guess the question now is:  Who can I help today?

I’ll try to do something.  It’s what we must do – YES, we are our brother’s keeper,