52 Week Blog Challenge ~ Week 4

If you missed Weeks One, Two and Three, you can find them by following the links.

This weeks prompt is Top 5 Places I’d Like to Visit.  This one is hard for me since I can’t really travel much anymore.

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Last year, we drove all the way to Florida to see TimberLeaves and the trip was super hard for me.  By the time we got there, I was exhausted and in a lot of pain, not exactly how you want to start your visit with someone you haven’t seen in 20 years.

Now, when I think of the places I’d like to visit, I wonder if I’ll ever actually get to see any of them, but it never hurts to dream!

  1. Scotland – It’s beautiful.  I’d like to see the lochs and rolling green hills.
  2. Whales – I found out I’m Welsh on my bio father’s side.  Explains the red in my hair and the blue eyes, I suppose.
  3. China and/or Japan – I’ve always felt a connection to Asian art and culture and I think it looks beautiful over there.
  4. Titanic – Again, something I’ve always felt drawn to.  I’d love to spend some time over where the remains of the Titanic are and pay my respects to those who perished.
  5. New Orleans – I’ve always wanted to attend Marti Gras and walk the Garden District that I heard so much about in one of my favorite Ann Rice series, The Mayfair Witches.

An odd little list, but those are my top five places I’d like to visit one day.

Running on Empty

I’ve been MIA recently and missed some of my own deadlines here on the blog.  I’m still kicking, but the pain issues I mentioned in my last post lead into a horrible bout of insomnia which has left me suffering from mild exhaustion.

funny-sleeping-animal-memes-7I’m going into Day 9 of little to no sleep.  My mind has reached such a state of breakdown from lack of sleep that it’s been hard to even think of writing anything useful.  The ideas have evaporated along with any hope I have of sleeping more than two hours at a time.

The ideas seem to have evaporated along with any hope I have of sleeping more than two hours at a time.

The pain has finally started to ease some, at least back to where it feels tolerable again, but it has caused such a disruption to my sleep patterns that now I find myself unable to sleep like I normally do.  Granted, “normal” for me still isn’t great and hasn’t been for two years now, but it was better than this.

Easter Sunday, the one day I really needed to be up and accomplishing things, I slept for

Easter 2017
Squishy and Mini-Me hunting eggs.

around 5 hours consecutively in the middle of the day and ran late on our family cookout.  The cookout was still fun and the food was still good, but by the time we got outside to start the egg hunt portion of the day, we were losing light fast.

 

The cookout was still fun and the food was still good, but by the time we got outside to start the egg hunt portion of the day, we were losing light fast.

Squishy was still adorable in her Easter outfit and since she’s only three, I don’t think she really remembered her first two Easters well enough to be disappointed that we only got to hide the eggs once, which was a plus.  She still had a good time as well and racked up on Easter gifts, but it didn’t ease my guilt over everything coming together so late in the day.

I was more than a little disappointed in myself that everything felt so rushed at the beginning and that I spent the entire first hour or so everyone was here in the kitchen doing the things I’d intended to be doing while I slept for nearly 5 hours.

The lack of sleep is causing some kind of brain-fog where it’s hard to think straight 90% of the time.  I’m awake at all hours and when I do finally sleep for a couple of hours, it’s at weird times and I’m starting to have nightmares that are leaving me feeling like I haven’t actually slept at all and the exhaustion is leaving me without the motivation to do anything other than sit at my desk and stare at the screen.

It’s also caused a drastic increase in my anxiety.  Logically, I know that I’m beyond tired, that I’m actually suffering from mild exhaustion and that I shouldn’t let things get to me, but when you’re as tired as I am, it’s often hard to control the emotional side of things.

The brain-fog I feel like I’m trapped in has caused some sort of weird writer’s block when

Sleep Meme
I totally feel the way that monkey looks lately.

it comes to the kind of material I had hoped to be producing here.

 

The timing of starting a new blog and this happening couldn’t have been worse.

This morning, I felt compelled to share something, even if it was just to say that I’m practically not sleeping and can’t seem to form meaningful content at the moment.

I’m sure most of you have experienced issues of some sort with writing at some point or have had trouble sleeping for one reason or another to the point that you feel practically useless beyond the bare minimum.

So please, bear with me.  My life is a bit of a train-wreck at the moment.  I hope that it all straightens out soon.

Oh, and today is Paul’s birthday.  We’re going to Mini-Me and The Pain’s for a cookout later today to celebrate.  Maybe I’ll get some pics while we’re there if I can remember to charge my phone today, something I kept forgetting to do over and over yesterday.

 

Pain Management

I have felt like I needed to write all day, but because of my pain levels, it seems all that is rumbling around in my head right now is about pain, so let’s talk about it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have been permanently disabled for 2 years this June.  I was injured when the moped my husband and I were riding was struck from behind by a truck doing approximately 55 mph.

The accident broke multiple bones, both hips, split my pelvis in half and shattered the left side, separated my pelvis from my spine and I took a pretty bad hit on the head when I hit the road (yes, I know, not wearing a helmet was a very immature and a very bad decision and one I would never make again if I could ever ride anything smaller than a car again, which I can’t).  It also nicked my femoral artery on the right side and I very nearly bled to death.

The accident launched me up into the air and I landed in the road flat on my back from some distance up.

I spent an entire weekend in ICU, paralyzed all but my arms and head and most of it knocked out with the medications they were giving me to keep me sedated so I didn’t move too much.  They could not even attempt to put me back together over the weekend because my vitals kept crashing and would not stabilize.

I had surgery on Monday, with my vitals still not reacting well, and came out with almost the entire left side of my pelvis wired together with metal plates and pins.

I have extensive nerve damage on the left side as well as sciatica.  To say that pain is an everyday occurrence is an understatement.

Some days are worse than others, though.

What I experience is considered chronic pain, meaning that it never really stops, it’s more a matter of degrees of pain.

Lately, it’s been worse than usual, which is saying something because my average pain level is pretty high to start with.

I have been hurting pretty bad all day today, which is why I was putting off writing to start with, but then I fell.

Let me say here that I have always been clumsy by nature.  Never very stable on my feet to start with, always tripping and running into things and falling for no apparent reason.

After getting pregnant with Mini-Me, dizzy spells also became a common occurrence.

The head injury I sustained during the accident has made the dizzy spells more common as well.

Tonight didn’t really have anything to do with being dizzy, although clumsy and unsteady on my feet due to the damage on the left side played a part.

I was home alone, which I am most evenings because of DH and Chicklet both working nights, and we have six dogs that spend most of their time inside.  It was time to let them outside to use the bathroom and we kind of bottle-necked at the threshold between the living room and kitchen and I got tangled up with them and lost my balance.  I sat down hard, something that left hip and my lower back no longer deal with well.

I finally managed to get up on my own with the help of a nearby chair and let DH know I’d fallen.  He, of course, came home to check on me and found that my left hip was no longer seated properly in the joint, the bone in the very bottom of the back of my pelvis that broke when my pelvis shattered is a bone that will never heal (along with the break to the bone in the front of my pelvis that split in half) according to the doctors and from time to time, especially if I fall, that bone shifts somehow as well.

He, of course, came home to check on me and found that my left hip was no longer seated properly in the joint, the bone in the very bottom of the back of my pelvis that broke when my pelvis shattered is a bone that will never heal, (along with the break to the bone in the front of my pelvis that split in half) according to the doctors, and from time to time, especially if I fall, that bone shifts somehow as well.

He got my hip and that bone re-seated but I still had severe pain in my back and leg. Apparently, I had a nerve pinching in there somewhere as well.

Now, before I hear cries of emergency rooms and doctor’s appointments, let me say that I have already been told that there is little, if anything, that can be done for me at the hospital or doctor that the physical therapists and nurses didn’t teach my husband how to deal with at home.  All they can really do unless something breaks is give me medication and a hefty bill, which we can’t afford, so we deal with most things at home.


It’s been 2 days since I started this post, and while my pain levels have decreased from what they were when I started this post, they are still running higher than normal.  Yay me.  NOT.

Chronic Pain is often a day to day coping experience.  I never know when I go to bed at night what the next morning will bring.  Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s not.

I have barely slept since I fell.  The pain keeps waking me up.  I’m getting around and doing what has to be done, but it’s almost like performing a feat of strength and endurance to do it.  I’ve taken the last 2 days off from cooking and most of the cleaning beyond washing the dishes and keeping picked up.

I’ve taken the last 2 days off from cooking and most of the cleaning beyond washing the dishes and keeping picked up.  That’s about all I’ve managed.

I’ve also been dealing with high levels of anxiety and feel like I’m fighting off one of my depressive periods, which I hate.  The combination of them tends to make me non-functional in my life, which is what I’ve been dealing with the last few days.  I’ve been forcing myself to get up and do the things I have to do, that’s the only reason things are getting done.

Hopefully, my next post will be a little more upbeat, but I’ve promised myself that this blog will be nothing if not honest.  Coping with chronic pain and mental illness isn’t easy. Trying to stay functional through it is even harder.

 

Spring Has Sprung at The Lair

Around here, Spring and Fall are a big deal.  Spring is the time for Spring Cleaning and recovering from the cold winter months when no one feels like doing much of anything except trying to stay warm.

The cleaning inside has been in full swing for a couple of weeks already.  Easter, which our family still celebrates because of Squishy, is next Sunday, so now the crunch to get the outside ready has begun in earnest.

Squishy Easter 2016
Squishy Easter 2016

We already have a cook-out planned, which is pretty much a tradition.  Easter is usually our first “true” cookout of the year.  Squishy did a good job last year hunting eggs for the first time with minimal assistance, so we’re hoping that this year she’ll be even more independent with it.

Squishy did a good job last year hunting eggs for the first time with minimal assistance, so we’re hoping that this year she’ll be even more independent with it.

Notice the red cheeks?  Yeah, she’s like her GiGi when it comes to being outside in the heat.  We’re not a heat-resistant bunch, so I’m hoping it’s not quite as hot this year as it was last year.

Of course, we’ll have a dinner for Ostara more around the 19th, but that’s usually a smaller affair and a good excuse to cook some of my favorites like ham and deviled eggs. For Easter, we’ll be grilling steaks that my Dad has generously offered to provide.

For Easter, we’ll be grilling steaks that my Dad has generously offered to provide along with my homemade baked beans and potato salad.

I’m itching to start planting things and buying plants for the porch.  I haven’t really felt capable of caring for plants since the accident and this will be the first year that I’ve really thought seriously about replacing all the things that died while I was recovering.

Sage, rosemary, and lavender are all on my list of things I want to grow.  I’m thinking of drying the sage and rosemary to make smudge wands and the lavender will help keep the mosquitoes off the porch some.

What kinds of things do you do in the Spring and how does your family celebrate Easter/Ostara?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

SOC Sunday ~ Coping With Losing Someone That Used to Be Family

So, what is SOC Sunday?  Some of you may have seen a SOC post on other blogs.  There are a few of them out there, not all of them on Sunday, but for those who don’t know, let me explain.

Stream of Consciousness is supposed to be where you just write whatever is in your heart or on your mind as it comes to you.  No specific topic, at least not to start with (I usually find that my mind picks it’s on main topic while I write).  It’s a mind-dump.  No editing, beyond fixing typos.


 

So, it’s been a week.  A hard one.  Especially where my pain levels are concerned.  For those that don’t know, I’m disabled due to an accident the hubby and I was in nearly 2 years ago.  We were on a moped and were hit from behind by a truck doing 55 mph.  It split my pelvis in half, broke both hips, shattered the left side of my pelvis, messed up my back, nicked my femoral artery on the right side and I nearly died.  There was a scattering of broken bones as well, but my back and left hip are the worst of it now, nearly 2 years later.

The pain this week has been hard to bear.  I’ve even had to use the cane a good bit this week.  I hate using the cane.  You have no idea how much I hate it.

I guess I should be thankful, I mean, I almost died, right?  After a weekend spent in CCU fighting for my life (they couldn’t get my vitals to stabilize because of nearly bleeding to death and crashing multiple times) and a surgery that lasted most of a day trying to put me back together, they said that they didn’t think I’d walk again at all.  I can walk, although not always well, but the point is that I’m alive and I can walk.  I should be thankful for that.

I always feel like I’m not being grateful for the fact that I’m here and that my legs work as well as they do when I complain about hurting.  It makes me feel like I’m not thankful enough for what I do have, even though I know that’s not really true.

Honestly, even though the doctors (as well as hubby and the kids) told me repeatedly that I’d probably be in pain for the rest of my life, I honestly didn’t think it would be this bad.

Of course, it’s worse than it usually is right now because of getting hurt and being stressed this week.

In other news, my ex-mother-in-law passed earlier in the week.  She was Mini-Me’s last living grandmother.  Most of my week has been wrapped up in trying to get her through that.  It’s been hard for her.

The viewing and service were last night.  I was supposed to go, but my ex-husband told Mini-Me the wrong time.  By the time they called and asked where she was, it was almost over.  She didn’t get to see her grandmother one last time like she needed to, and she’s been struggling because of that.  They ended up sending her great-aunt to pick them up, they dropped off Squishy with us and her and The Pain went on without me.  Getting ready for anything in a hurry is not my strong suit anymore.

I spent most of this week worried about Mini-Me, but also stressing because I thought I was going to have to deal with my ex and his family yesterday.  The ex and I have not gotten along well in the almost 22 years since we divorced, and since Mini-Me has turned 18, I think we’ve seen and spoken to each other once.

Surprisingly, when I took Mini-Me over there the day she passed, my ex asked her why I didn’t come in.  Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be welcome.  He told her that I was and personally invited me to come to the funeral home for the viewing and service and said for me not to worry, that he’d see to it that no one said anything to me.  Big, strong protector, huh?

Well, he was always protective of me…with everyone but himself, anyway, but that’s another post.

But, because of the time mix-up, I didn’t go.  Is it just me, or does it seem somehow almost worse when you’ve stressed over something for days and then it ends up being a non-event?

Of course, my anxiety had gotten involved.  The depression was expected, I mean, there was a time when I was close to my ex-mother-in-law.  She was like a mom to me when I was married to my ex and I loved her, although I’m not sure she really knew that I did.  I didn’t expect all the added anxiety over the idea of going to the viewing and service.

When Mini-Me lived with my ex, I even gave up some of my own time on my weekends to her when her and my ex had fallings out.  Mini-Me loved her and wanted to see her and I felt like he used that against his mom sometimes.  She was never that kind to me, of course, after the divorce, but that didn’t matter.  I did what I felt was right in my heart.

I miss her.  More than I thought I would.  Funny how that happens.  I’d known the woman for nearly 25 years, so I guess it’s understandable that I’d feel a loss of my own over it, although I’ve tried to hide my own pain from everyone as much as I could this week, especially Mini-Me.  I cried myself to sleep alone in my bed the night after we found out she was gone.

I did spend some time with my ex-father-in-law yesterday.  He brought Mini-Me and The Pain to my house after everything was done and I took them home.  We sat outside and talked for nearly an hour.  When my ex-sister-in-law called to see if he was coming back to her house, he told her straight up, “I was talking to Dawn a little bit”.  It made me feel kind of good that he made no explanations or excuses for why.  He may have later, but it meant a lot to me that he didn’t do it then, anyway.

So, that’s my SOC post for the week.  Kind of a “this is what my week has been like” post, I guess.

If you decide to do a SOC post, be sure to leave me a link in the comments and I’ll come check it out!