Sunday, September 25, 2011

Attack of the Superwomen

I am not Superwoman. I admit, there was a time when I wanted to be. I was going to be the one who could do it all. And not just do it all, but with style, grace, and ease. 


Chronic illness helped knock the desire to be Superwoman out of me. I began to realize how much of my identity was tied up with "doing." It took a while for me to be at peace with just "being".  Of course, I still "do." But, I don't have to do things better than anyone else. I don't have to do "more." 


This peace has been tested this week. I have been in a situation where I have had to sit back on my little red scooter and watch others "do it all".  My relatively small offerings have been minimized and eclipsed. I just have to hope that my efforts have made some differences where it really counts and to not worry about the scope of them. 


Can I "not" do it all with style and grace? Stay tuned.







Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Verdict

After being in pain for most of the summer and being poked and prodded for a month, the verdict is costochondritis. This is severe inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum. 


http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/costochondritis/DS00626


According to my neuromuscular doc, this condition is fairly common in people who have multiple autoimmune diseases. That includes me. 


Getting my heart, stomach, and gallbladder checked out were, according to my doc, the appropriate things to do, given my family history and age. But, in the end, it was benign, but painful, inflammation that was the trouble. 


I feel like I "lost" my summer, between being in too much pain to function well and being in hospitals and doctor's offices. But, the upside is that, after 2 1/2 months, I am finally feeling human again. 


Just in time for Fall. 







Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Frustration

One of the most frustrating things about being disabled is inability to guarantee someone that I will be completely and totally reliable. When I was healthy, I always took great pride in being dependable. And even sick, if a crisis occurred, I was going to find someone to cover for me or at the very least call (sometimes removing my oxygen mask in an ER, much to the consternation of the medical staff) to let someone know that I would not make an appointment. 

I know that people in charge of things have to make sure that things are covered. But I get discouraged when tasks and opportunities are taken from me "just in case." I try very hard to pace myself and do the best I possibly can to make sure I can meet the things I commit to. I may not get things done quite as fast as a "non disabled" person. But, I daresay, I fulfill my obligations better than a lot of healthy people I know! 

Believe me. I will be the first person to take myself out of the game if I cannot perform a duty well and in a timely manner. 

Don't dwell on my disabilities. Dwell on my abilities. 


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The "Box"

A year ago today, I took a gamble and became part of a new gift and consignment shop called "The Cricket Box." Little did I know what a blessing I was in for!

I am now selling enough art to keep myself in supplies, donate to charity, and make a bit of profit. People tell me that looking at my "wall" makes them smile. This is all I could ask for.

Forming relationships with other vendors has also been a wonderful experience. Most of us help each other out whether it is hammering a nail that is *just* out of reach or helping someone create a Facebook page. If a friend or acquaintance is looking for something, we direct them to our fellow vendors at the "Box."

But, by far, the biggest blessing has been getting to know the owners of this amazing operation, Debbie Tate and Judy Wooley. They have not only managed to start a business (yes, in THIS economy!), but they  manage their business with grace. And they always have a smile and an encouraging word for us vendors. They make it a pleasant place just to "be."

A year ago, I took a $100.00 gamble on myself.

And won.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Proper Funeral

Yesterday, I was privileged to attend the funeral service for a longtime family friend, Miss Jean.

It was a very proper service, the likes of which I had not seen in some time. Almost everyone was dressed in "Sunday best" attire which to me is a sign of respect for the church in which the service is held as well as for the deceased.

The choir that Miss Jean had accompanied sang favorite old hymns in voices that quavered a bit at times. Pallbearers marched in wearing dark suits and white gloves. Large white carnations, which would later be placed on the casket, adorned their lapels.

One of Jean's friends stood and shared stories about her. The pastor, a wonderfully upbeat fellow, did his best to make the service a celebration of Jean's life and focused on her "new" pain and struggle-free life with Jesus.

After the service, the pall bearers marched out behind the casket and after it was put in the hearse, stood still and faced the bereaved as they exited the church.

I did not stay for the repast after the service. However, I could tell that there was going to be quite a feast for Jean's friends and family when they returned from the graveside where she was laid to rest beside her husband.

Music, flowers, laughter, tears, and fellowship. I think Miss Jean would have approved.

Rest in peace sweet lady.